This is my second post this week on Syria. There are two problems with me doing that. (1) It’s not Pacific Northwest related, so outside of the scope of what I generally try to write on this blog. (2) It’s not something I have any particular knowledge of. Still, here I am writing it and here you are reading it. I guess the fact that we may momentarily commit ourselves to another Middle East war deserves two posts, even if they’re outside my wheelhouse.
If the case that Syria used Chemical weapons is as strong as Secretary Kerry claims it is, it seems to me there ought to be a diplomatic case or a legal one against the members of the regime that ordered it, not missiles fired from ships. Syria is not a party to the International Criminal Court (and neither is the US), so the best way to punish the regime seems off the table. But I wonder if there might be a way to bring Assad and the generals who carried it out to justice in a country with universal jurisdiction.
It seems to me that something like a case in Canada or Belgium for war crimes could act as a real punishment for the regime without the cost, collateral damage, and blow back that you get from actual acts of war. It would be tricky for the US to do legally, outside of US courts, of course. But so is getting ourselves involved in a war, or at least it ought to be tough to do also.
As I said the other day, I agree with the administration that the use of chemical weapons needs a response. I’m just not sure it needs a military response.