To recap, the conditions are: 1) Commitment to removing Assad from power and replacing him with a non-al-Qaedist regime; 2) Having a plan and the commitment to follow through on it; and 3) An explanation for how military action will make a non-terrorist government in Syria more likely, rather than less.
Now, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed an amended version – which quickly won the endorsement of the White House (AP via Anchorage Daily News):
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., a proponent of aggressive U.S. military action in Syria, joined forces with Democratic Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware to add a provision calling for “decisive changes to the present military balance of power on the ground in Syria.”
At their urging, the measure was also changed to state that the policy of the United States is “to change the momentum on the battlefield in Syria so as to create favorable conditions for a negotiated settlement that ends the conflict and leads to a democratic government in Syria.”
I’m sorry, but that is simply not enough. If the United States will engage in military action in Syria, the goal must be regime change, not “momentum” change, which is a lot harder to measure anyway. Anything less is a mistake, period.
If this is what military action in Syria means, then I oppose it. We can not afford to punish Assad; we cannot afford to weaken him (especially when Russia and Communist China will simply strengthen him once more); we must act to remove him. I cannot support anything less.
Cross-posted to the right-wing liberal