Could Syria Be Like Iraq (And Vietnam)?
In that we get lured into a stupid war based on phony intelligence? I don't think so, but it would be foolish to discount the possibility.
There are some obvious differences. Iraq was ruled by an evil dictator who was more or less keeping the peace in his own country and not threatening the US. Iraq turned out not to have chemical or nuclear weapons - despite a consensus opinion on the former and his dubious rumors on the latter. Syria too is ruled by an evil dictator and not directly threatening the US, but it clearly has chemical weapons and has used them, killing more than 1000 people. That evil dictator is alos engaged in a war on his own people which has killed hundreds of thousands. Bush wanted war at any cost - Obama clearly doesn't (my opinion, of course).
Oh, did I happen to mention some similarities too?
Whatever intervention Obama chooses, and I really think he has little choice, a bad outcome is likely. Obama apparently does not want to affect the course of the war, or so he says. In that case, don't do anything!! Killing a bunch of people to "send a message" is bullshit. That sort of BS is even worse than letting our credibility go to crap, and I do think that's a really bad choice too.
If Obama does do something, it should materially affect Assad's ability to wage war.