In response to the likely use of cruise missiles by the United States as early as Thursday (Aug 29th), Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem warned Washington that his government is ready to defend itself using 'all means available.' Russia, a Syrian ally, responded by delivering aid to the region and evacuating some of its citizens. Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin also blasted Western countries on Twitter, saying, 'The West behaves towards the Islamic world like a monkey with a grenade.'
Meanwhile Israel, unlike the Obama administration, has no problem in defining what will happen when Syria crosses its red-line. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Syria that his country 'will respond, and respond with force' if Israel is targeted.
For as long as I can remember, every potential confrontation has been identified as the start of World War III. I hope this latest conflict will also prove that we are done with World Wars, however if ever there were a situation that could ignite a global conflict this may prove to be it. Russia and Vladmir Putin have demonstrated an almost palpable distaste for President Obama and his administration. President Obama for his part seems to be remarkably unaware of the gamesmanship that Putin is waging (and for the most part winning) against him.
I do not want to see US forces sent anywhere else. However, the use of cruise missiles have never forced a change in domestic policy (which at the end of day is what we are looking for). Moreover, former President Bush launched the full might of the US military to deal with the perceived existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. In contrast, the Obama administration is show a decisive lack of resolve in dealing decisively with the obvious use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government against their own people. If the Obama administration is not more decisive in its actions, the cruise missile strikes may lead to more, not fewer attacks against the United States.