The United States launched a massive full scale invasion of Iraq to supposedly send the message that we oppose the use, development or stockpile of WMD. What happened after that? North Korea developed nuclear weapons and Syria used its chemical weapons.
The fact that we were willing to actually invade a country over WMD seems to have failed to sufficiently send the message. In fact, the United States basically “rewarded” the one guy that actually gave up his WMD after the Iraq war, Muammar Gaddafi, by supporting the rebellion that killed him. That ended up sending kind of a mixed message on the issue.
If fully invading a country didn’t work as an effective deterrent on WMD, I fail to see how now only using “unbelievably small” strikes will make a different.
The idea we need to or even can set real precedent is foolish. America never has and never will apply the crude metric to our foreign policy to make such an idea work. One president can’t bind another. One Congress will not think the same way as the next. Every country, conflict and time period is different.
Claiming, like Susan Rice has, that dropping a few bombs on Syria is needed to stop some modern day “domino theory” about WMD is a ridiculous attempt to redefine anything anywhere as somehow in our “national interest.”