Tags: wsj | syria | assad

WSJ: Regime Change Should be Focus of US Strike in Syria

Tuesday, 27 Aug 2013 12:55 PM

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As President Barack Obama reportedly moves toward military action in response to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's apparent use of chemical weapons, the aim should be his overthrow, according to a Wall Street Journal editorial.

"The question now is whether this would be a token bombing to make the West feel better, or an intervention with enough strength and staying power to oust [President] Bashar Assad," the Journal said Tuesday.

"The worst response would be lobbing in a few cruise missiles from a standoff distance. That attack would kill a few Syrians, including some civilians, but it's hard to see it achieving a strategic or military goal."

The editorial suggested that bombings and raids by U.S. Special Forces to eliminate or seize Syria's chemical weapons would be a better approach as well.

"This by itself is an important military and anti-terror objective. If the regime has again used chemical arms, then Assad has joined the likes of Saddam and Hitler in violating a rare taboo in modern warfare."

But a limited action would still not be enough of a response, the editorial continued.

"The problem is that it doesn't get to the source, which is the Assad-led regime backed by Russian and Iranian arms."

Wall Street Journal columnist Bret Stephens went even further than the paper's editorial, writing in his column that the United States should kill Assad.

"Should President Obama decide to order a military strike against Syria, his main order of business must be to kill Bashar Assad," Stephens wrote Monday.

"The use of chemical weapons against one's own citizens plumbs depths of barbarity matched in recent history only by Saddam Hussein. A civilized world cannot tolerate it. It must demonstrate that the penalty for it will be acutely personal and inescapably fatal."

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