08/28/2013 03:08 pm ET Updated Oct 28, 2013

Symbolic Wars

The United States of America should never wage a war unless it intends to win it. This week we are considering waging a war in Syria without any intention of winning that war or even ending it. Our Tomahawk missile raids will be largely symbolic -- a symbol of President Obama's proving that when Obama drew a red line against the use of chemical weapons he really meant it. The Tomahawk explosions will not win the war for either side, but neither side is worthy of wining this war.

The Syrian war is now a struggle between Shiite and Sunni terrorists, between al Qaeda and the Jihadists on one side and the Iranian puppets Hezbollah and what's left of Assad's Baathist party on the other. It has been reported that it was the Iranians who supplied the Syrian loyalists with the chemical weapons that were responsible for the deaths of hundreds and the injuring of thousands. And it is the Iranian puppet Hezbollah that has turned the tide of war in favor of Assad and his Alawite followers.

If we do have an enemy in this war, it is Iran and it is against Iran that Obama should retaliate. If we are to launch missiles, let us launch them against meaningful targets and nothing is more meaningful to Iran than its oil assets. Iran exists on the dollars it brings in from the sale of oil. A missile attack on Iranian oil wells does much more damage to the Iranian economy and to Assad's survival than any other measures the United States might take.

The destruction of some or most of the Iranian oil industry is effective, not symbolic. The Iranian economy is in shambles because of UN sanctions. The additional pain inflicted by the destruction of the existing oil economy might bring Iran to its knees and even end the Ayatollah's reign. But, even if it does not, the attack on Iran would prove that the United States still has the will and capacity to attack and destroy its enemies -- it would be effective, not "symbolic." It is time for President Obama give up on symbols and become an effective Commander in Chief.