Last August, even as he resisted the notion of
People around the world have been horrified by online images of bodies shrouded in white sheets — victims, Syrian opposition groups claim, of an attack Wednesday by the government of President
The initial reaction of the United States has been to demand that U.N. weapons inspectors already in Syria be allowed to visit the scene of the alleged attack and gather information. The U.S. intelligence community is also looking into the allegations. Those are prudent first steps. But if the reports are confirmed by the U.N. inspectors or otherwise, this atrocity should be met with measured military action.
We say that even though we share Obama's aversion to military intervention in Syria, which would be a more complicated and dangerous proposition than the air campaign that led to the overthrow of Libya's
The administration didn't abandon its essentially cautious policy even after it determined in June that the Assad government had used small amounts of the nerve agent sarin against its opponents. But if chemical weapons are now being used on a major scale against civilians, the U.S. must act — ideally in concert with other nations. On Thursday, France's foreign minister suggested that the international community should respond with "force" short of the deployment of troops if the allegations are confirmed. A