Syria strike mission must send clear message

It took Dallas Morning News editorial writer and blogger Todd Robberson some space and time to make his point, but his fundamental message on a potential strike against Syria is spot on.

We’ve got to hit the Syrians know that gassing their civilian population is unequivocally, without a shadow of a doubt and utterly wrong — and never must be repeated.

President Obama has laid down the marker. He said Syria crossed the “red line” when it used chemical weapons on civilians, namely women and children. He’s called it a violation of “international norms.” Secretary of State John Kerry called it a “moral outrage.”

The British Parliament has voted against Great Britain taking part in a military strike, which leaves the United States with the option of pursuing this mission basically alone.

Critics here at home, on the left and the right, are questioning the wisdom of such a strike.

But as Robberson says in his blog, U.S. credibility is on the line if it doesn’t do what it seems to be preparing to do.

Robberson writes: “Some warn that we shouldn’t intervene in Syria unless and until we have a clear military objective. We actually do have a clear military objective: To hit key Syrian military outposts, cripple their air force and send an unmistakable message to Assad that he will suffer severely if he ever contemplates using chemical weapons again. We’re not talking about putting troops on the ground or helicopters and planes overhead. Nor are we talking about lobbing a few cruise missiles into an open field the way we did in Afghanistan.

“We are talking about very precise, very loud and very destructive missiles capable of delivering an unmistakable message to a mass murderer.”

The commander in chief has a capable military apparatus at his disposal. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has said his warriors are ready when they get the order to strike.

We must hit the Syrians hard.