I support authorizing the President to use military force in Syria because Assad's use of chemical weapons calls for the strongest possible response. Preventing the President from punishing Assad swiftly and painfully will mean that Assad's chemical weapon gambit worked and will set a horrible precedent.
One major criticism of the proposed military strike is that it has no clear objective. I completely disagree with that. The objetive is to attack Assad's military assets and personnel and degrade them to the extent that it is clear beyond a shadow of a doubt that he would have been better off militarily had he never deployed chemical weapons.
To those who say we'd be better off spending money providing humanitarian aid to refugees rather than on missiles, I say get real. #1 not striking militarily actually decreases the likelihood that we'll provide humanitarian aid rather than increasing it. We have a long history of providing more humanitarian aid to areas where we've used force than areas we have not. #2 I'm not at all convinced that humanitarian aid to refugees will be more effective than cruise missiles in reducing human suffering in the long run. If Assad's chemical weapon strategy is vindicated that could lead him and other leaders to make decision that lead to immense future suffering.
To those who say this is just Iraq all over again, I say you are wrong. Syria is a grave problem looking for a strong response. Iraq was an extreme solution in search of a justification. I was strongly opposed to war in Iraq, as was our President. Syria is not Iraq. Syria is a true unfolding crisis that requires a swift, strong response. Other than the President's proposal to use military force in Syria. I have not seen any proposed response to Assad's use of chemical weapons that even comes to close to matching the urgency and severity of the situation.
The Syrian situation is a continuation of the "Arab Spring" that began nearly 3 years ago now. Assad has responded to the genuine desire of his people for self-determination with more brutality than any other leader in any of the effeted nations. The only leader who came close to matching his brutal response was Moamar Qaddaffi. Qaddaffi may have matched or exceeded Assad's brutality if we had not interceded.
In my view, the Libyan intervention was the right thing to do. Even though there are factors that make intervention in Syria more difficult, I think the logic in favor of intervention is just as compelling. That's why I am urging members of Congress to vote to authorize the President to use force in Syria.