So now that it seems certain that the ‘red line’ has been crossed by the Syrian government (using chemical weapons against civilians) .. what should the US government do? The UK has indicated that they are out. Secretary of State John Kerry made a passionate case for action today, but President Obama’s response was much more measured. ‘No boots on the ground’, no open-ended commitment. It’s ironical that Syria is smack-bang next door to Iraq, where the USA has burnt through all its credibility with the 10-year war there, the start of which turned up zero weapons of mass destruction. (Which was held up as the main justification for the Iraq war by then-Secretary of State Colin Powell). And how sad that a brutal civil war that has now killed more than 100,000 people, rages in a country with two of the oldest inhabited cities in the world : Damascus and Aleppo.