We've had many threads devolving into debating just this question, so let's have it here, WITH A POLL (yay!). I of course draw inspiration from the votes in the British parliament, which in a surprisingly non-puppet like fashion voted against British participation in a military action against Syria, and that which is pending in the US Congress. And perhaps later in the UN as well, but nobody seems to give a damn about the Security Council any more, so it's not that important. The question is simple: Should the West intervene in the Syrian civil war? Subquestions: 1) When? Doesn't the fact that Obama wants to wait a week for a congress vote kind of defy the purpose of a punitive action by giving the enemy time to prepare? 2) How? what should be the extent of the intervention? A few dozen symbolic airstrikes? A massive air campaign to disable the Syrian air defence network and destroy its air force, effectively enforcing a no-fly zone? No-fly zone followed by close air support for the 'rebel forces' (whatever that's supposed to mean)? Full-scale invasion with boots on the ground, regime change, and all the wonderful things that have worked so well for us in the past? 3) For what reason? Should the West only intervene because of the use of chemical weapons? Or are there other justifications? After all, in the end it doesn't make much difference if you kill 1000 people with sarin, or you shoot 1000 people with automatic rifles; the people end up just as dead. Isn't it hypocritical to cite the use of chemical weapons as the "red line" justifying an intervention? And do you believe there is such a thing as "humanitarian military intervention"? Should the West try and stop the civil war, no matter the cost? Additional discussion topics: a) Were chemical weapons really used? b) Who used them? Did Assad himself order it? Was it an action of rogue elements in the Syrian military? Could it have been an accidental release? Or did the rebels used the gas, either as a provocation to draw in Western militaries, or just as a desperate attempt to resist the stronger Syrian military? c) How would other players in the region react to a Western intervention? What about Iran and Russia? And Israel, of course? (... raise other questions if you find them relevant...) ---------------------------------  - "The West" means the US and European countries. Israel is not included, as it is a separate player in the Middle East situation. --------------------------------- BBC video summary of "what we know" about the alleged chemical attack in Damascus How would Syria react? - Another BBC video featuring an "expert opinion".