once more on syria. of course i called for a cruise missile through assad's window at the outset. and i'd still support such a step, which would be both 'punitive' and 'strategic.' but i also share my fellow war-mongers(krauthammer, e.g.)'s irritation that you'd proceed by publicly promising for day after day to do x, y, and z, and everyone in the regime has surely spent the time running for cover, even as obama's promising not to target or remove him. i would have tried to assassinate him the next day.
just to try to establish the slightest credibility on this: i was squawking about how ridiculous the pseudo-intelligence was on iraq from the go, in print. that colin powell performance at the un was pitiful; i will never take him seriously again. i do not believe they got the intelligence wrong and believed it; i think they manufactured intelligence and sold it like a used car. now, as far as such things go, what kerry (who i just tried to rip to shreds in 2004; the worst presidential candidate i ever saw; he never even managed to take a position on iraq) presented today was comparatively convincing. however, if you were waiting for the u.s. intelligence to weigh in in order to make up your mind, you're kind of screwed both ways around, because (a) you should never believe what intelligence people say publicly on the sheer grounds that they said it (nothing is better-established ever in the whole wide world), and (b) the evidence was already as convincing as it could be, in the nature of something like this; you should already have known.
i just don't think there is any real room for doubt about what happened. it's frigging obvious. he has the gas and the rockets to deliver it. he did his massacre in a center of resistance to his regime. the on-the-ground vids and accounts from aid workers and ordinary people have more credibility than any cia memo. there just is no plausible alternative explanation unless you absolutely insist that you will only believe what would support your idea of what ought to be done even as the reality is staring you in the face.
i am aware of the tension of this with anti-statism. but also people like me are - or surely ought to be - incredibly repulsed by murderous tyrants. i have an autonomic response of violent hostility; they, and not whoever irritated keith olbermann today by disagreeing with him, are the worst people in the world, and definitely the worst boyfriends. i don't think you get any very clear guidance on this from the sheer fact of being an anarchist.