The Only Way to Win Is Not to Play
Writing at Defense One Stephanie Gaskell makes the point that Bashar al-Assad may already have a won a strategic victory against the United States:
If President Obama doesn’t launch a limited military strike against Syria for using chemical weapons against its people, President Bashar al-Assad will be able to claim victory over the United States. If he does order a strike against Assad, the U.S. has made clear that it won’t remove Assad from power — another reason for the Syrian dictator to boast that he stood up to the powerful United States.
Additionally, if Syrian civilians are killed by any bombing that might take place there will be an endless parade of Youtube videos showing innocent victims of American aggression.