In 2002, then-Vice President Dick Cheney said we have "pretty much confirmed" Iraq has weapons of mass destruction. After that statement and 10 years of military occupation, none were found.
John Kerry recently said we "have high confidence" that Syria's Bashar Assad used nerve gas (a WMD) on his people.
The two statements sound so much alike: Lacking in specifics and abundant in hyperbole.
Unlike Kerry, Cheney never fought in a war so you would expect Kerry to be wiser in the ways of war.
However, if we have such iron-clad evidence, we should first try to make the United Nations World Court do its job. Although this would depend on whether the court decides they have jurisdiction, it is an appeal that should be made, especially since the indiscriminate use of gas in war has been illegal since World War I.
With the exception of World War II's ethnic cleansing of millions of Jews by the Nazis, the U.S. has been inconsistent in its policing of countries who kill their own people. Former President Bill Clinton sent troops to little Slovenia, but did nothing about the 800,000 Rwandans who were slaughtered by their government.
Although the U.S. Senate agreed to a limited 60-day missile strike with no boots on the ground, it is difficult to rule out non-combatant deaths, retaliations and a subsequent expansion of our commitment.
We have been down that road before.
Aside from the human costs, war is not cheap. Nor do wars settle who is right - only who is left.
Do you wonder why many of us are skeptical ?