You cannot throw a “limited” punch.
When you punch, you punch. When you strike, you strike. Pontificate all you want about whether it was surgical or restrained. In the end, you struck. At that point, the opponent is justified in saying, “It’s on.”
Make no mistake, if we strike, Syria will use it against us. They will blame the use of chemical weapons on us, or they will say that we released the chemical weapons by hitting chemical depots. We will be in the fight with no way to deny it, and Syria will know that and they clearly aren’t above cheating in the game.
What Assad has done is atrocious. There may be questions about whether he ordered the use of chemical weapons, but he has been ruthless against his own people. Whoever ordered the release of chemical weapons is a beast.
We should not walk into the trap. We can help the innocent. We can offer gas masks and medicines, and reduce the potential threat and usefulness of the weapons. But we should not start throwing punches.