It is easy to see why President Obama wants to punish the government of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad for using sarin nerve gas against its own people.  Nerve gas does to people what insecticide does to bugs, and the prohibition on its use is one of the few well-established norms limiting the ways in which war can be waged.  However, proving that Assad's thugs are guilty of war crimes should be just the beginning of any debate about how America responds.  We also need to ask whether President Obama's remedy would make things better or worse.  There are numerous reasons to suspect that the proposed barrage of cruise missiles would backfire, potentially forcing the U.S. into actions nobody wants to take.  Here are a few concerns.