The POTUS painted himself into a corner with some inane rhetoric about the use of chemical weapons in Syria constituting a 'red line'. Whatever that means.
The Oatmeal summarizes the hypocrisy very concisely. You can kill 100,000 people with bullets but as soon as you gas 1400 it's a big deal. The US should keep their nose out of Syria. Traditionally my foreign policy strategy has been described as 'isolationist'. I prefer 'TS-YOYO', which stands for "Tough Shit - You're on Your Own".
I don't care how many Syrians are affected / displaced / inconvenienced / killed. Also, unlike most Syrians, I'm a taxpaying registered voter in the United States. If you care deeply about the plight of the Syrians you should go there and help them unfuck themselves in person. Good luck with that. Don't do it through the broader aegis of the insatiable US Military Industrial complex. (We already prop up plenty of other countries, such as Israel, which gets support all out of proportion to its strategic value because American Jews as a group are consistent voters.)
America has no business getting involved in a conflict that has nothing to do with them. Sure there are 'moral implications', but if you feel strongly then you should get directly involved on the ground, not make our armed forces do the heavy lifting because you're too cowardly and/or lazy. If you want to protect the 'innocent' by all means: go and do. I wish you the best. There's a strong chance you will get killed or worse, but you're committed to the cause, right? No? Oh. Then why are you asking the military to do your dirty work?
We are not the world's moral enforcement arm. Setting aside my personal TS-YOYO views on the plight of individual Syrians, there is no evidence that any type of intervention in Syria will achieve a specific strategic aim, even in best case scenarios. There is no exit strategy that leaves Syria better off that does not cost an absurd amount of money and take an indefinite amount of time.
How about we recoup some of the trillions of dollars we sharted away in Iraq before we pitch in on a civil war in another shitburger country? Do you know how many roads you can build with two trillion dollars? How many people you can put to work? How much stuff you can build? How much training you can do? How many weapons you can build? How much health care you can provide? How many people you can educate? How many lives you can improve on a day to day basis?
Blowing shit up is expensive and the long-term ROI is terrible. It's like feeding money into a wood chipper. Eventually you run out of money and you're left with a big mess to clean up. You can do this in the name of nation building or 'humanitarianism' or whatever other fabricated excuse you want to use but it's all the same thing: bullshit.