After the use of what appears to be chemical weapons in the Syrian conflict, many western capitals began waving the flag of a punishing war against the regime of Bashar Al Asad, because it was it, according to Secretary of State John Kerry, that gased over 1400 civilians including many women and children.
While the United Nations dispatched a team of inspectors to investigate the attack, its circumstances, and most importantly, wether or not it was Mr. Al Asad's regime that ordered and orchestrated it, without giving such inspectors time to finish their samples gathering and taking them to different laboratories for testing, Washington, Paris, and London (which has now backed down because of its House of Commons vote against involving British troops in the Syrian conflict), seem to be rushing towards a military intervention to send Al Asad's regime a "Strong message" that the use of chemical weapons against one's unarmed population is unacceptable, and it is indeed unacceptable, condemnable, and criminal.
In fact, the use of chemical weapons, regardless by whom, against any kind of life is indeed condemnable, and so is the use of regular weapons to commit massacres of greater proportions. In the past 2 years, the Syrian conflict has claimed the lives of well over a 100,000 civilians, and other than hearing the shameful silence of Arab capitals, and the scattered calls to restraint and dialogue from the UN and western capitals, civilians including thousands of women and children kept on getting killed with "conventional" weapons.
The "Strong message" which Washington and Paris want to send the Al Asad regime about the use of chemical weapons, while extremely important, seems to be deeply flawed. Mr. Al Asad and the criminals who surround him are definitely feeling the pressure of the west's message, they are also telling themselves, just as other dictators around the world are, that "As long as we use conventional weapons to massacre our own people to stay in power, the west will remain silent!", just as it was the case about a month ago in Egypt, where thousands of peaceful protesters were killed by government forces using "Conventional weapons", while the world watched silently and US military aid kept on flowing (with the exception of some high ranking Senators like John McCain and Lindsay Graham calling for cut off of all military aid to Egypt).
Veteran journalist Robert Fisk of "The Independent" goes a step further in explaining why the west's military response to the use of chemical weapons in Syria isn't exactly about such use (if it is indeed proven that chemical weapons were used by the Al Asad regime and not forces within Syria trying to Internationalize the conflict through such dramatic attacks), but rather a part of a greater war against Iran and its allies in the Middle East; in other words Syria and Hezbollah.
Mr. Fisk's analysis makes sense geopolitically as what is preventing Mr. Al Asad's regime from falling are two major elements; Russia's and China's veto power at the security council, and Iran's, And Hezbollah's heavy military support on the ground. Bringing down the Al Asad regime would deprive Iran of its main and only ally in the Arab world, further isolating it in it's own neighborhood.
On the flip side of the coin, is the dilemma of what the world should do about the madness that is taking place in Syria, this obscure and rather bizarre chemical attack on civilians, and the dangerous precedent it sets in such volatile region?
Another fundamental question is wether or not the US should consider changing certain aspects of its foreign policy where it clearly stands by peaceful democratic movements rather than support directly or indirectly dictatorships which have turned most of the Arab world into chaotic, dysfunctional, and failed states.