The general questions about Syria and all that is involved are enormously complicated and defy any simple answers.
That said, the question on how members of the House and Senate should vote on whether to support the President's proposal for the use of military force is straightforward. And, the reason for that is quite simple, despite the fact that a lot of people are choosing to make it complicated.
Admittedly, the so-called choice is between two very bad options:
[I]--Strike Syria for all the known reasons and we may or may not degrade the military capability and or we may or may not tilt the scales of the rebellion, yet we continue the 100 year global tradition of making it powerfully clear that the use of chemical weapons is not acceptable.
[II]--Do NOT strike Syria and we know for certain that our standing with the whole rest of the world will be seriously and adversely effected and any future necessary threats or promises of consequences from us will definitely be regarded with impunity. We cannot know for certain what other negative consequences are likely to follow, but there are many serious possibilities all over the world--including our economy at home.
That really should not be a difficult choice, if one can leave posturing and politics aside, which in a situation like this is essential with so much at stake.
In the first case we cannot be certain of any of any of the outcomes.
In the second case we can be absolutely certain that the "standing" of the United States will be severely, adversely and permanently effected with important continuing and growing challenges to our national security --economically, politically and militarily.
Therefore, the choice boils down to risking admittedly UNKNOWABLE consequences of military action or risking the absolutely KNOWABLE and predictable consequences of NOT taking military action.
Simple, though inverted in a way, logic says that should not be a choice sensible people should take.
In one case you fear the possibilities that there might be harm to our national security.
In the other case you know for certain there will be serious harm to our national security.
How and why we got ourselves into this ugly jam is not worth debating, because it only is a distraction from what we have to deal with. We are where we are and we simply have to try to clearly think our way ahead.
I strongly believe that a vote to support President Obama on dealing with the Syrian issue is both the safest, soundest and wisest course ahead.