Forget Syria on its own dubious merits for a moment. The really disturbing part of our what is soon to be our latest military adventure is that we just never stop doing this. We seem to look at the world with the attitude that we can militarily intervene anywhere and anywhen we damned well feel like it.
A short history:
During the Reagan Administration, we stationed troops in Lebanon, invaded Grenada, mined the harbors of Nicaragua, supported 'freedom fighters' such as the Sandinistas in Nicaragua and Jonas Savimbi in Angola, and launched air strikes on Libya.
Bush the Elder invaded Panama and deposed Noriega, attacked Iraq to kick them out of Kuwait, and sent our troops to Somalia.
Clinton launched air strikes on Iraq in 1993, 1996, and 1998, continued Bush's Somalia mission, deployed peacekeepers to Haiti, intervened in Bosnia and Kosovo, and launched air strikes against targets in Afghanistan and Sudan.
Bush the Lesser invaded Iraq, where we spent a half-dozen years, and Afghanistan, where we are to this day.
Obama continued and expanded Bush's Afghanistan intervention, intervened in Libya, killed bin Laden in Pakistan, and launched drone strikes on numerous targets in Pakistan and Yemen. And is now poised to launch air strikes on Syria.
There were good arguments for many of these interventions, and pretty lousy arguments for many of them. We had the support of various international bodies (UN Security Council, NATO, OAS) for some of them, and for others we just went ahead without. For some, the President got Congress' okay; for others, he didn't.
But there sure are a shitload of them, aren't there? It's past time we started thinking about how to use troops and bombs in other countries more rarely and more wisely. Now would be an excellent time to start.