I had said in an earlier blog post that I wasn't going to write about Syria, and it still goes against my general approach for this blog (that is, I want to try to say something different -- if I just repeat things everyone else says, I don't feel as if I'm accomplishing anything with this blogging project). The Anchoress has a pretty good summary of the situation which I'd just copy and paste entirely and it would express much of what I feel. There are other blog posts and news commentaries with similar opinions, and I'm sure my reader(s) have read many of these and don't need further links, or another post saying exactly the same thing.
Obama is disowning the "red line" and claiming the "international community" not he, himself, set this red line, despite his prior explicit statement to the contrary. He is pushing Congress to act not because it's the right thing to do, but in a dysfunctional "you have to back me up" sort of way (like when your spouse tells the kids something that you don't necessarily agree with but go along to present a united front, but with more of a component of bullying). There is no plan, so far as I can tell, other than "air strikes now, and trust us to figure the rest out as we go." It's foolhardy to ascribe any value to the claim that Syria's Middle East neighbors support our intervention -- they have their own reasons to do so and have no interest in a free and democratic Syria as the final outcome.
At the same time, the folks at National Review's The Corner are pretty divided on the subject, with some opposing and some, in a hold-your-nose sort of way, supporting military action.
And fundamentally, sitting here at the computer, kids tucked into bed, the situation worries me deeply. I've never been anti-war. I don't think we should have left Iraq so hastily or be leaving the Afghan women to their fate so easily. But in this case: look, the Arab Spring wasn't a Spring. Maybe it was the spring of 1816 (the Year Without a Summer), or maybe it was completely a false hope. But the Obama administration clearly has a very faulty understanding of the dynamics of the Middle East (or, as Hot Air puts it, linked to by Instapundit.com, "Throughout the Arab Spring, Obama has clearly been playing checkers while everyone in the region plays three-dimensional chess."), and the situation is so complex, with so many competing interests, that even a top scholar of the region would be hard-pressed to truly get it right. Military action has so many risks -- not in terms of casualties, but in this case, risks of unintentionally producing quite the wrong outcome -- that aren't being acknowledged.
And there are claims floating around that the rebels actually fired the chemical weapons, or that they're exaggerating the severity of any such attacks and the U.S. is taking these claims at face value with the slimmest of evidence.
If you've made it this far, you'll have figured out that I have no point, no new insight to contribute. Fundamentally, I feel powerless. Will Congress weigh all the facts and come to a decision, or be bullied or feel obliged to support the Resolution, out of fear of Obama's reaction? If Congress votes the Resolution down, will Obama act anyway, or if the Resolution is approved, will Obama act only within its confines?
And now I'll go see if I can find a nice episode of House Hunters International for the evening.