The New York Times reported on September 5 that the United States is widening plans for proposed strikes on Syria to punish the Assad government for its alleged chemical weapons attacks. The plans now reportedly include the use of aircraft in addition to cruise missiles:
Secretary of State John Kerry said that after U.S. strikes against Syria, dictator Bashar al-Assad will be able to "stand up and, no doubt, he'll try to claim that somehow this is, you know, something positive for him."
CNN’s The Lead reports that former CIA director, General Michael Hayden points out that in contemplating a military operation against Syria of the sort that would be "just muscular enough not to be mocked,"
Mugged by Middle East reality, President Obama and Secretary Kerry seem finally to have awakened to the necessity to act—unilaterally and un-apologetically. That's heartening. Still, do they understand that the American action has to be decisive? After all, as the late Mike Scully put it, liberals sometimes get mugged by reality—but then fail to press charges. Will Obama press charges? And pressing the appropriate charges in this case means removing Assad.
The man who bears the ultimate responsibility for the gassing of his countrymen in Syria has been told by the White House that the bell does not toll for him. The Americans are coming and people will die. But he will not be one of them. Not this time, anyway.
With the images of slaughter coming out of Syria and fresh evidence that the Assad regime may be using chemical weapons on its own citizens, it’s worth revisiting the case for intervention in Libya that Barack Obama made on March 28, 2011. At the time he spoke, Amnesty International reported that “hundreds and hundreds” had been killed in Libya. Others put the death toll at nearly 1,000. The United Nations—always more effective at counting deaths than at preventing them—puts the death toll in Syria above 100,000.
Along with the usual tools employed by dictators, tyrants, and strongmen – torture, mass murder, slaughter of civilians by poison gas, etc. – Syria's Bashar al-Assad has gone digital and modern as Nabih Bulos of the Los Angeles Times reports:
This week the EU took a stance that it heralded as pro-peace, pro-"peace process," and anti-settlement. Henceforth, new guidelines require all 28 member nations to refuse any grants, scholarships, prizes, or funding to entities in Jewish settlements in the West Bank. Or any part of Jerusalem that was not part of Israel prior to the 1967 war. Or the Golan Heights.