He'd be better off sending U.S. warplanes on a midnight bombing run to Assad's favorite palace. That's what my father did in 1986 to signal Mr. Gaddafi that we were serious about wanting him to cut the terrorist crap -- and it worked for the next 20 years.
Obama's too smooth for that blunt kind of message-sending. And now he's clearly being suckered into throwing our military weight behind the rebel side in another ugly civil war in the Middle East.
Obama's overall lack of leadership, his dithering and delaying during the revolutions in Libya and Egypt, his empty blustering, his kowtowing to the United Nations -- they don't inspire confidence for success in Syria.
No one -- least of all the White House -- knows what will happen after the missiles hit. Will Russia, Syria's longtime friend and bodyguard, use our intervention as an excuse to reheat the Cold War?
Will Assad say "uncle" and split for wherever island the world's worst despots retire to? Will the democracy-loving Syrian rebels -- whoever they really are -- take over?
Will Syrians just choose up new sides for a new and bloodier sectarian civil war between Muslims or between Muslims and Christians? Will U.S. military aid or ground troops be next?
Don't ask Obama. He's as confused as the rest of us.
We'll probably never know who was responsible for using poison gas in Syria. But we'll always know whose blundering incompetence got us into an unnecessary war there.