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The Moral Case for a Syria Strike

Sept. 4 (Bloomberg) -- Beyond a reasonable doubt, the forces of Syria’s Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons on a large scale and should be punished. That’s where I end up. But the case isn’t cut and dried.

Sometimes, standing on principle doesn’t get you very far. The problem is, which principle? The norm forbidding use of chemical weapons, the norm of restraint in use of military force and the norm of upholding international law are in conflict. In addition, predicting the results of action (or inaction) is a matter of weighing probabilities, not certainties.