USA Today has this unedifying tidbit in a story about the Obama administration’s war plan for Syria:
A second senior official, who has seen the most recent planning, offered this metaphor to describe such a strike: If Assad is eating Cheerios, we’re going to take away his spoon and give him a fork. Will that degrade his ability to eat Cheerios? Yes. Will it deter him? Maybe. But he’ll still be able to eat Cheerios.
As I pointed out earlier over at National Review,
In this age of drones, the American military has the ability to strike almost anywhere at any time. Often, we can do so with little or no physical risk to our own military personnel. This makes it all the easier to forget – and all the more important to remember – that the moral limits on our actions are there for reasons that greatly outweigh our physical safety. It would be a terrible thing to put our soldiers, sailors, and marines in harm’s way with no clear objective; it would be far worse to ask them to kill in an unjustified war, no matter how small.
Making Bashar al-Assad eat his Cheerios with a fork is simply not a good reason to kill people, not even wicked ones. (And that was before this led to this and this.)