Defense Sec. Hagel Says US 'Ready to Go' on Syria

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Judging from the rhetoric coming out of the mouths of Western leaders, the U.S. and its allies seem to have already decided to attack Syria.

Even before U.N. inspectors have had a chance to fully investigate who was behind the nerve gas attack that killed 355 people, the United States has picked out potential targets.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told the BBC that our military is "ready to go."

"We have moved assets in place to be able to fulfill and comply with whatever option the president wishes to take. He has seen them; we are prepared," Hagel said.

Is military intervention in Syria a wise move on the part of the U.S.? James Phillips, senior research fellow for Middle East affairs at the Heritage Foundation, addresses that question and more on CBN Newswatch, Aug. 27.

That warning comes after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry reported there is "undeniable" evidence of a large-scale chemical weapons attack by the Assad regime.

Kerry said the Syrian government must be held accountable, and anyone who doubts the Assad regime was behind the nerve gas attack just might be immoral.

"Anyone who could claim that an attack of this staggering scale could be contrived or fabricated needs to check their conscience and their own moral compass," he charged.

But most Americans oppose an attack.

A Reuters/Ipsos poll shows 60 percent said the United States should not intervene in Syria's civil war, while just 9 percent thought President Barack Obama should act. That number improves to only 25 percent if it is proven the Assad government carried out the attack

Russia, an ally of Syria, said there is no evidence the Assad regime did it and described the West as a "monkey with a hand grenade."

The Arab League, which is dominated by nations hostile to Syria, blamed the Syrian government Tuesday for the attack.

The Syrian government said it didn't do it, and warned Israel would pay the price for a U.S. attack.

"We have strategic weapons and we're capable of responding…normally the strategic weapons are aimed at Israel," a senior Syria official said in a statement Monday.

Recently, some have called the Obama administration's Middle East policy a disaster, after the White House backed the extremist Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, going against the majority of Egyptians.

"I think they have to re-establish some degree of credibility and deterrence not only for Syria but for the broader region," the Brookings Institution's Michael O'Hanlon said.

While the White House said President Obama has not yet made a decision, officials say any attack would be limited.

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A CBN News veteran, Dale Hurd has reported extensively from Western Europe, as well as China, Russia, and Central and South America.  Since 9/11, Dale has reported in depth on various aspects of the global war on terror in the United States and Europe.  Follow Dale on Twitter @HurdontheWeb and "like" him at Facebook.com/DaleHurdNews.