I can not think of anything more pointless and certain to backfire than getting involved in the internecine wars between various factions in the Islamic Near East. May as well shoot yourself for all the good it will do.
And furthermore it will just make one side or another hate us even more. I admit that in some of those cases they may already hate us as much as they can so it might not do much more harm, but that seems to me to be a very negative way to see the world.
If you have not read a history of the area and you do not yet understand where Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Jordan came from, then stop right now and go read about it. They were created by the British and the French after WW I out of provinces of the former Ottoman Empire. We also had something to do with it but mostly indirectly as far as I can tell. We become more involved in the area after WW II.
So, why, oh why, would we ever get involved militarily in this sewer of shit? (holding back my real feelings).
It is for one reason and one reason only, as far as I can tell. There has to be a real cost to using chemical and biological weapons, a cost that even a stupid thug, like the ones that run most countries, can understand and appreciate. If one does not respond to their use, their deliberate use, then those people now and in the future will draw a lesson from that inaction.
That is the only reason. I doubt it will help the Syrian's one bit.
It might help some people somewhere in the world, as yet unknown, who would otherwise have such weapons used against them. Maybe if we act now, some desperate leader of some country or military in the future will not use these weapons.
That I think is the idea here.
Because people always seem surprised when they get into a war and discover that it is expensive, that there is history, that people hate each other, that it goes on longer than it should, etc, I wrote a list of "things to consider before getting involved in a war that is in any way discretionary". Some wars are not discretionary but some of them are and, where possible, it is wise to remember that discretion is the better part of valour.
I can not, not, not believe we are about to get involved in another middle east conflict.
Some Points to Consider Before Starting A War