Is it the same rebels seen on the front page of Thursday's New York Times about to execute, Einsatzgruppen-style, captive Syrian soldiers, forgetting only to have the victims of their war crime dig their own graves first?
Does the Republican Party really want to own a war that could end with al-Qaida in power or occupying sanctuaries in Syria?
Does the U.S. Jewish community really want to be responsible for starting a war that ends with two million Christian Syrians facing a fate not unlike that of Poland's Jews?
About the debate on this war, there is an aspect of the absurd.
We are told we must punish Assad for killing Syrians with gas, but we do not want Assad's regime to fall. Which raises a question: How many Syrians must we kill with missiles to teach Assad he cannot kill any more Syrians with gas? Artillery, fine. Just no gas.
How many Syrians must we kill to restore the credibility of our befuddled president who now says he did not draw that "red line" on chemical weapons; the world did when it outlawed such weapons.
Yet this statement may offer Obama a way out of a crisis of his own making without his starting a war to save face.
Iran and Russia agree chemical weapons were used. Vladimir Putin has said Russia will back military action against those who did it. The Russians have put out a 100-page document tracing the March use of chemical weapons to the rebels. The Turks reportedly intercepted small amounts of sarin going to the rebels. We claim solid proof that Assad's regime authorized and used chemical weapons.
Why not tell the Russians to meet us in the Security Council where we will prove our "slam-dunk" case.
If we can, and do, we will have far greater support for collective sanctions or action than we do now. And if we prove our case and the U.N. does nothing, we will have learned something about the international community worth learning.
But the idea of launching missiles based on evidence we will not reveal about Syria's use of chemical weapons, strikes that will advance the cause of the al-Qaida terrorists who killed 3,000 of us and are anxious to kill more, would be an act of such paralyzing stupidity one cannot believe that even this crowd would consciously commit it.