The biggest news internationally over the last few days (besides the Japanese earthquake - again) is that Assad in Syria has readied the precursor chemicals for chemical weapons at airbases in an apparent move to make ready to possibly use them in a desperate bid to stave off the inevitable collapse of his government.
Naturally, this has set off a whirlwind of handwringing, wailing and gnashing of teeth in the international community, especially in Europe, where the competing ideas of international intervention and the use of WMDs on a civilian population are like comparing the immovable object and the irresistible force.
Both are, in a word, unthinkable on that continent. Europeans have been extremely reluctant to intervene in the "private" affairs of other countries, no matter how ugly it gets.
Witness Uganda and a million racially motivated deaths and the failure of Europe to so much as glance southward.
On the other hand, they are painfully aware, as any intelligent adult should be, that allowing the use of WMDs on civilian populations is a precedent of dangerous proportions that cannot be allowed to be set. While Qaddafi wasn't using WMDs on civilians, he was using aircraft and other modern military weapons, and besides, there was Libyan oil normally sold to Europe to grease the skids a bit...while in Syria there just isn't any oil. That makes the skids sort of rough and full of metaphorical splinters in the European mind.
Meanwhile, here in the US, we are so bound up with the results of the election and worrying over the GOP-built "fiscal cliff" that when the news broke, we were rather surprised, and haven't had much time to digest the situation. Still mind-bent by the GOP insistence that our debt is enough to put our economy into a wheel chair, the idea of spending more money on another military intervention is not very inviting to either party. This is as close to the pre-World War II condition of isolationism as we've ever been since.
So, what's your opinion? As I see it, we've got a few options.
1. Leave it alone and let the Syrians settle it themselves.
2. Leave it alone and let Europe deal with it.
3. Align ourselves with Europe, and like with Libya, stand back and let them do the heavy lifting.
4. Align ourselves with Europe, and UNlike with Libya, play the part of the rescuing cavalry.
5. Bomb Damascus.
6. Bomb the rebels.
7. Bomb them both.
8. Break out the popcorn and go back to watching the Republicans implode.
So, whataya think?