by Max Brantley
At a time when the U.S. faces many other security threats, not to mention economic and political challenges at home, it is tempting to view action against Syria's regime as a significant distraction. Certainly, it also carries risks. A year after Saddam was bombed in 1993, he deployed Republican Guard Divisions to Iraq's southern border into the same sort of attack positions they had occupied before the invasion of Kuwait in 1990. A few years later, the Republican Congress passed, with Democratic support, a resolution advocating "regime change." You can't always control the script after you decide to launch a limited, measured attack.
But President Obama has rightly drawn a line at the use of chemical weapons. Some weapons are simply too inhuman to be used. And, as many of us learned during 1990s, in the words of President Clinton, "Where we can make a difference, we must act."
“It will be an uphill battle for the president to convince me because I think he has handled this entire situation quite poorly,” said Representative Tim Griffin, Republican of Arkansas. “And frankly I am reluctant to give him a license for war when, with all due respect, I have little confidence he knows what he is doing.”