It is a simple equation. Oppressive Middle Eastern dictator + Very strong military + visible religious divisions + use of weapons of mass destruction + calls for the U.S. to be the World’s policeman. Haven’t we heard this story somewhere before? Recently?
It can be paraphrased from the words of Santayana or Burke, “Those who will not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”
It will not be seen as an intervention for over half the world’s people, it will be seen as an act of war and even terrorism and when it is all said and done it will be counterproductive for U.S. interests world wide. Seemingly occurring primarily because a president unthinkingly chose words that drew a line in someone else’s sand while at the same time painting himself into a deep corner.
The professed need to respond now to the use of chemical weapons after over 100,000 people have died in the same conflict reminds me of the now, for some people, controversial use of nuclear weapons by the US on Hiroshima(this questioning of need to use this weapon does not include soldiers who were serving on islands in the South Pacific and preparing to invade Japan).
My point is that the need for dropping the bomb is constantly questioned while the fire bombing of Dresden Germany, for example, in the same era is considered simply an acceptable part of war. Both attacks resulted in roughly the same number of horrific immediate casualties. Is this yet another historical parallel only time will tell.
I am far from a pacifist, I taught 8th grade for years and pacifist 8th grade teachers tend to end up in another job, I understand the need for drawing lines but I also understand that you must draw your lines with care or they become a burden, a burden that instead of furthering your goals often end up standing in the way of reaching them.
“Those who will not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”