Dear Senators Feinstein and Boxer,
I am writing you to implore you not to allow the President to make any attack on Syria. To do so would be a very serious mistake. There is only one questionable reason to attack Syria, and many good reasons not to.
1) A very large number of Al Qaeda terrorists have streamed into Syria to fight alongside the rebels, taking up their cause. Al Qaeda are Sunni and Assad is a secular form of Shi'ite; that's all the reason they need to jihad against him. What this means for us is that by attacking Assad, we're joining Al Qaeda on the battlefield. We're fighting alongside them, and helping them further their own goals. We become Al Qaeda's air force and navy. After 9/11, this should trouble every American deeply. I have a hard time believing any patriotic American could stomach fighting for Al Qaeda, even incidentally. Do we not remember how they feel about us, and what they did to us twelve years ago? Is it not a criminal offense for an American citizen to help them? So why is it OK for our military to do so?
2) Saudi Arabia and Qatar have been sending large numbers of paid mercenaries into Syria to fight alongside the rebels. Why? They want Assad toppled so they can run natural gas pipelines through Syria to access European markets. Assad stands in their way because he's in Putin's pocket, and Putin currently enjoys a near monopoly at supplying natural gas to Europe, where it fetches a significantly higher price than it does here in the U.S. Saudi Arabia and Qatar are willing to start a civil war in Syria and topple Assad just to break Putin's monopoly and sell gas to Europe. It's making war purely for profit -- immoral and evil in the extreme. By attacking Assad, we'd be doing their dirty work for them. And we'd be doing it for free.
3) Putin is deadly serious about his natural gas monopoly. It's worth trillions to him, and he will defend it as such. He knows keeping Assad in power is the key to keeping his monopoly safe, and he will not stand idly by for any attacks on Assad that could depose him. Russia will retaliate. This is not going to be another operation where we face a haphazard bunch of disorganized sand bumpkins and we walk all over them. Anybody who tries to convince you of that just plain doesn't understand what's at stake. Russia will get in our way, and fight on Assad's behalf. This operation would immediately and constantly be one wrong move away from turning into a full-blown naval war with Russia. It is not at all outlandish to imagine that we might see ships of ours sunk in the Med at Russian hands if we pursue an attack on Syria. I want you to ask yourself right now: is this worth losing ships over? Is it worth many hundreds to thousands of navy casualties? Because that is a distinct possibility.
4) If you give the President an inch, he will take a mile. There are too many people in the leadership of the military and the national security complex that are itching to topple Assad for one reason or another. This will not stay contained to a brief "teach him a lesson for using chemical weapons" swat. Once force is authorized, those who have been dreaming of toppling Assad for years will ensure that more and more and more force gets used until that happens. They won't settle for a quick retributive swat. Just look at how much leeway the President is asking for already. You say yes, and you've lost control. It will be too late to reign the military back in.
5) It's highly doubtful that Assad is even responsible for the chemical weapons attack in the first place. Please look up and read the investigative work of Dale Gavlak, a journalist for the Associated Press who has decades of middle east experience. His investigation has uncovered very good evidence (far more convincing than the President's) that the chemicals were inadvertently released from a rebel weapons cache, which was provided and ordered to be moved into place by Saudi Arabia. Yes, I know, that's a tough one to swallow, but think about it logically. The President says using chemical weapons will be a bright red line that will provoke a response. Saudi Arabia wants Assad out so badly they're willing to pay mercenaries by the hundreds or even thousands to make it happen; they'd do just about anything short of attacking him themselves and getting their own hands dirty. And we come along and say, "Here's what you have to do to make us attack Assad. (Show us him using chemical weapons.)" They say, "Thanks for saying so; we can make that happen. Or at least appear like it happened." They supply the weapons and some shoddy evidence that falsely pins it on Assad, and Saudi Arabia wins -- they convince us to do their war-making-for-profit dirty work for them, and we end up doing so based on a lie.
Yes, using chemical weapons is awful and despotic. I fully understand your desire to show the world that it will not be tolerated. Is doing so worth fighting on the side of Al Qaeda, acting as unpaid mercenaries for Saudi Arabia's war for natural gas profit, risking a shooting war with Russia's navy, and very likely doing it all on the basis of a lie designed to sucker us down this path for Saudi Arabia's and Qatar's benefit? Consider carefully the price of this.