I can't fathom Obama's readiness to bomb Syria other than through realpolitik. Chemical weapons are nasty, but the West used them in massive quantities in World War I.
The realpolitik is that over time, Syria has become a proxy war between Iran and Hezbollah on the one hand and Israel on the other. Defeating or diminishing Assad deals a blow to Hezbollah and Iran. Isolating terrorist Hezbollah is good in principle, but unanswered is who takes Assad's place.
There are uncalculated costs to war, the opium of our leaders. They dwell upon Syria, when they should be sorting out serious problems in the U.S. Perhaps that is the real reason they allow Syria to seize their attention. It is a perfect diversion, ideal in every way. Our leaders do not really want to bother with sorting out the wretched economy and other difficult problems. War is simple. The technical aspects are farmed out to military professionals. The leaders can strut about, playing the warlord, savoring their power, and watching the drama unfold on television from the comfort of their armchairs. Corporate America likes it, because demand for expensive armaments increases with every conflict. War diverts the masses from the wretched economy, climate change and the poor implementation of health care due to Republican obstructionism. Even if the war won't make Israel safer, there is hope that it will, and that helps sell the war. There is talk about setting an example for rogue states like Iran and North Korea. Unanswered is why the U.S. has to be the policeman of the world, a policeman who draws no salary and receives no gratitude and is resented for being a policeman.
I'm skeptical of this war, but pragmatic. If the deed is done, then let us hope the outcome is more like "Libya 2" rather than "Iraq 2". I suppose it is unrealistic to expect a nation to possess such enormous and expensive military power and not to use it. And it is true a large part of the fixed costs, such as destroyers and trained soldiers, have already been paid for, and the variable costs, munitions and so forth, are small by comparison. I wonder though what kind of aid package our leaders are going to feel obligated to lavish upon Syria after the war. Again the door to our treasury opens, and out flows the money that we borrowed from China, lavished upon a foreign nation and a foreign culture that has no notion of kinship to us nor allegiance to our ideals. The debt we incur through these foreign adventures will either be repaid by our children or, more likely, defaulted.
The sniping from other media around the world aimed at the U.S., claiming we've "lost the will to lead," or that Obama is diminished somehow by a vote against war, is pure poppycock, demolished in two minutes. The other countries are all too glad to let us pay all the bills, while they reap a benefit or at least get to watch the fireworks with amusement at no cost to themselves. They need to learn about paying for the costs of security, rather than mooching off the unpaid policeman of the world. Otherwise, they can learn about fighting wars by themselves with their own means.
I wish the politicians worked half as hard fixing the economy as they are beating the drums for war. Once again, our politicians are confused as to which nation they represent. They think they represent Syria. In reality, they are supposed to be working for America. Someone needs to remind them. The greatest threat this nation faces is the poor economy. Perhaps the politicians spend too much time in fantasy land and not enough time in the real world.