It is completely a coincidence, but today is the two year anniversary of when I started the "Why Libya, Why Not Syria?" thread: https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=493814 Unfortunately as many middle-east threads do, it degenerated, but the issue is still relevant and today more relevant than ever. I'm starting this because of the news that the US intelligence community believes the Syrian government has used Sarin Gas on the rebels and Syrian civilians. The title of this one drops the reference to Libya because this situation now clearly stands on its own, incomparable to what led us to fight in Libya. Here's a copy of the intelligence assessment: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/interactive/2013/04/25/letter-on-chemical-weapons-use-in-syria/ Now, there is some hedging in it, but only a little bit of hedging. Basically it says that they are just mostly sure, not completely sure it was the Syrian government that used it. It references "physiological samples", which I take to mean they actually took tissue or other samples and chemically identified sarin. So we know for a fact that sarin has been used. But then it says "the chain of custody is not clear, so we cannot confirm how the exposure occurred and under what conditions." That means they don't have clear evidence that it was the Syrian government that used it, they just think (presumably based on who was targeted) that it was the Syrian government. That amount of hedging - to me - makes it just barely short of an ironclad case. So where does that put us? Well: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bill-schneider/obama-toes-the-red-line-i_b_3165908.html Cue chirping crickets: So it is a "red line" with no defined consequences and an extremely tight standard of proof required. Sure, we got burned with the standard of proof on Iraq, but that standard of proof didn't even include the WMDs being used, just that they existed. Here we know for certain that it was used. So we're far beyond what existed for Iraq. Yes, I'm a republican. Yes, I could probably be accurately called a "war hawk". But I'm a war hawk mostly (when we aren't directly threatened) for cases where there is problem that is really bad and really needs to be solved and we could solve it really easily. IMO, this is such a case. The death toll is getting pretty high and the Syrian people are suffering at the hands of a murderous dictator who has elevated himself to Khaddaffi/Hussein's level. The UN says the death toll is 70,000, with roughly eighty percent being civilians. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casualties_of_the_Syrian_civil_war So my question is: how many is enough?