Once again, the United States is on the verge of raining down missiles onto the sovereign territory of yet another Middle Eastern country. While Americans have spent most of the week discussing the broader implications of Miley Cyrus twerking up against Robin Thicke, President Obama was busy ratcheting up pressure on the regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria. According to the White House, the Syrian government was behind last week’s deadly gas attack near Damascus – an attack that could very well constitute a crossing of that vague “red line” Obama mentioned last year. That could very well mean that the president will decide to take military action against Syria. Here’s why that’s a terrible idea.
But with apologies to Richard Nixon, just because the president does something, that something is not, ipso facto, legal; or even practical for that matter. The fact is, U.S. military action in Syria would be a terrible idea for three reasons.