In nearly every newspaper, on every network, from continent to continent, the message was the same on Tuesday: the US, along with Britain and possibly others, will bomb Syria in a matter of days.
The Guardian's Roy Greenslade rounded up a series of articles from the British press, all of which contained the same theme:
"Missile strikes on Syria in days" (Daily Mail); "Navy ready to launch first strike on Syria" (Daily Telegraph); "We'll bomb Syria" (Daily Mirror); "Syria: air attacks loom as West finally acts" (The Independent); "Britain and US missile strike on Syria likely 'within days'" (Daily Express); "Britain & US 'to hit Syria in days'" (The Sun); "We will bomb Syria 'in days'" (Daily Star); "West eyes air strikes on Syrian military" (Financial Times).
The papers, Greenslade noted, mostly warned against taking military action. By Tuesday morning, prime minister David Cameron had announced that Parliament would be voting on a "response."
A number of "senior administration officials" told the Washington Post that the White House is "weighing a military strike against Syria that would be of limited scope and duration, designed to serve as punishment for Syria's use of chemical weapons and as a deterrent, while keeping the United States out of deeper involvement in that country's civil war."
The New York Times also quoted "administration officials," who said that "although President Obama had not made a final decision on military action, he was likely to order a limited military operation -- cruise missiles launched from American destroyers in the Mediterranean Sea at military targets in Syria, for example -- and not a sustained air campaign intended to topple Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president, or to fundamentally alter the nature of the conflict on the ground."
That detail showed up elsewhere--on "Morning Joe," for instance, where NBC's Pentagon correspondent Jim Miklaszewski told "Morning Joe" that officials were operating as if a strike was a "done deal," adding, "they expect attacks as early as perhaps the end of this week or early next week."
The military theme was all over the American morning shows on Tuesday:
Bill Plante: There is no longer any debate inside the admin. about a military response against Syria. The only question now, is when.
-- CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) August 27, 2013
-- ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) August 27, 2013
#Syria. Rebels promise to launch own offensive to coincide with expected limited US strikes
-- Richard Engel (@RichardEngel) August 27, 2013