Here we go again, trying to decide whether to intervene in a civil war (Syria). The idea that we "send a message" in order to show our power seems to me unreal. We can bomb Syria with cruise missiles and bunker buster bombs, and one hour later nothing really will have changed except a finite number of Syrian deaths.
Bashar Assad is terrible, but missiles won't change his mind. Perhaps the one significant symbolic thing that we can do is to join (and ratify) the International Criminal Court Treaty. In that way, we will join other nations in eventually bringing Mr. Assad to justice for his war crimes.
Hitting the Assad regime's Syria with missiles and bombs just shows our own futility, because we will not (and should not) intervene with ground troops in this horrendous civil war.
MARTIN J. RESICK