I am really confused, so I thought I'd try to work things out in this post and get some help from our always astute commenters.
Months ago BHO said chemical weapons were a red line and warned Assad not to use them.
Recently, according to BHO, Assad did just that.
Now, virtually everyone I know is going nuts, vociferously objecting to a strike against Assad.
I don't get it. To me, if you are against US military retaliation for the use of chemical weapons, the time to go nuts was months ago when BHO said what he said.
Given that he said it, with no take back, what the hell else is he supposed to do but strike Assad?
Now sure, he's making a complete bollox of it, and it is likely to be militarily weak and ineffective, but really, he has no choice but to do it. What's he supposed to do, say, "LOL, I was just kidding. Gas away, my friend."
So I don't understand why people waited until now to go nuts.
Maybe they think BHO is pulling a Bush-Cheney and fibbing about the use of chemical weapons?
God help me, but I think that's unlikely. BHO clearly doesn't really want to do this, so I think the evidence is likely pretty strong (NB: Jeff Sachs disagrees).
Maybe people think that BHO and by extension US foreign policy already has zero credibility, so it doesn't matter if BHO walks this back?
Certainly many people I know are 140 character mocking the argument that US credibility is at stake. But BHO has also told the ayatollah that a nuclear Iran is unacceptable. If he doesn't follow through with respect to Assad, it certainly won't help his efforts to keep the ayatollah out of Club Nuke, will it? And that's a club we don't want the ayatollah in, do we?
So while I would not have ever gone about it the way BHO has, I do think that chemical weapons use deserves a strong sanction (not necessarily military though), and given where BHO has put us (see post title), I think he has no choice but to strike Assad.
BHO should have had a response prepared for this eventuality before he ever talked about the red line. He was reckless and arrogant to think his words would not be tested. But it is what it is and we are where we are......
What's your solution? Tell me in the comments.