President Obama drew a red line on the use of chemical warfare in Syria. That was a stupid mistake, as he now has boxed in himself (and our country) to take military action.
Although this time, compared to Bush/Iraq, there appears to be ample verifiable evidence documenting the use of Sarin gas against Syrian civilians, this does not justify acting on the red line when there are other viable non-violent alternatives, like diplomacy, like having a vigorous debate in the UN General Assembly, like having a major power summit meeting with Putin and Xi Jinping.
In the meantime, Congress needs to take him (us) off the hook by voting not to authorize an attack on Syria, no matter how limited.
Thus, President Obama is going to have to eat his own mistake. So be it!
The so-called civil war in Syria is much bigger than Syria: It is a regional war pitting Sunni against Shia, in which we do not belong.
However, we do have a role to play, which is to provide humanitarian aid to fleeing refugees by assisting neighboring countries like Jordan and Lebanon and Turkey.
We must also stand by Israel in her attempts to defend their own country, but we must also avoid being blackmailed by them. Max Blumenthal has written an important piece which discusses just this.
It is an understatement to note that a spreading sectarian war in the Middle East region would have a profound impact on global economies and politics, based on such as oil supply problems and political polarization.
Thus, President Obama’s/our main objective should be to cool things down, not heat things up by a military attack. Diplomacy, as always, combined with humanitarian actions, are the best tried and true approaches at moving toward Middle East Stabilization. Military intervention would do the exact opposite!