It's to scare the leaders of Iran. No, wait, it's because it's a national security threat. No, it's for the red line Obama didn't draw, humanity did. It's for the children....
"Don't want to embolden Iran: “Iran is watching to see how we handle this. Iran to see how we respond as a test of how we will respond if and when they create weapons of Mass destruction.” —Rep. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y.
Dictators are watching: “It sends a message to ... the ayatollah in Iran. … It sends a message to North Korea about our determination to stop them from continuing to make the Korean Peninsula. It sends messages to terrorist groups seek[ing] access to chemical weapons, because the world will largely stand by when you use them." —Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J.
Avenge the children: : “This has nothing to do with politics,” she said, noting, “the images of babies lined up dead. As a mother I would want ... a nation as strong as the United States [to] stand up for my children." —Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla.
Must maintain norms against chemical weapons use: "People say, ‘Well, he killed 100,000 people. What's the difference with this 1,400?’ With this 1,400, he crossed a line with using chemical weapons. President Obama did not draw the red line. Humanity drew it decades ago, 170-some countries supporting the convention on not using chemicals—chemical warfare." —House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.
The full Monty: "I believe the use of military force against Syria is both justified and necessary. I believe the United States has a moral obligation as well as a national security interest in defending innocent lives against such atrocities, and in enforcing international norms such as the prohibition against the use of chemical weapons. Assad must be held accountable for his heinous acts, and the world looks to us for leadership." —Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev."