The United States does not hesitate to pull the trigger when we feel threatened. Afghanistan and Iraq have the craters to prove it.
But so far, the videos coming out of Syria haven't convinced a majority of Americans to feel threatened. That's what is allowing this debate to happen at all: Syria is not a direct threat to us.
I feel pretty sure that the NSA has transcripts of every word to leave the lips or the pen of Bashar al Assad. And I think that if there was the slightest hint he was even considering a gas attack on U.S. territory - there would be no debate, no consultation with the UN, no concerns about what happens on Day Two, or whether there's a Plan B. There would just be a huge crater where Assad's Palace used to be.
And I think the world understands this.
Yet weirdly, we seem to be debating whether we're "weak" - debating whether America has enough of a temper. Look at the record. Heck, just look at the local police blotter.
If we get attacked, we will not only bomb the country that launched the attack, we will take it over, and then, we may even bomb and take over another country just for good measure.
And let's suppose for a moment that Congress votes no, and the president backs down. Does that really give a green light to Syria, or Iran, to threaten us or Israel?
Only if they've figured out a way to do it without using a phone, a computer or anything detectable by a satellite a drone or the numerous Israeli spies and bugging devices that I'm pretty sure we're not supposed to talk about.