As Washington hastily beats the war drums to prepare an attack on Syria, which could take place any time soon, key rationales remain missing to justify the action.
For starters, the UN inspection team has yet reached a conclusion on the alleged use of chemical weapons, although Washington already pinned the blame on the Syrian government without coming up with any hard facts to support its claim.
Before the UN findings were read out, any US-led military action will not have the backing of the UN Security Council.
The world's commonsense is that it's the UN, not Washington, should play the leading role in marshalling an international response to the Syria crisis, because the most representative world body is the best platform to make the most objective analysis and take the most appropriate action.
Bypassing the UN to attack a sovereign state not only runs counter to international norms, but also tends to create chronic chaos as a unilateral move often comes with no permanent solution to the problem.
But history shows that Washington oftens opts to go ahead to attack a sovereign state despite a lack of UN mandate or sound proof. The Iraq war was case in point.
Here thus comes the second question: what is Washington trying to achieve with the military strike? It seems that the US administration does not have a clear objective.
To topple Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad? Apparently, Washington has given "no" for the answer.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said Tuesday the options considered by President Barack Obama are not about "regime change."
The Washington Post reported earlier that Obama is looking at a limited military strike on Syrian targets, involving sea-launched cruise missiles or possibly long-range bombers.
To protect civilians in Syria?
That is the answer given by US Secretary of State John Kerry. But even putting aside the fact that the culprit is still unknown, protecting civilians does not justify the US attack.
Foreign intervention of any kind will only aggravate the situation rather than help end the conflict. It is the Syrian civilians, who the US claims to defend, that would suffer the most in a prolonged civil war.
To teach Assad a lesson? To show that the US is serious about "red line?" It would be extremely irresponsible for the US government to risk regional stability, and spend millions of American tax payer's dollars, just to demonstrate "I mean it."
Last, but not the least, Washington does not have a rational evaluation of consequences.
It might not be a "catastrophe," as Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said, but the aftermath of a strike would be dire.
An immediate outcome could be a wide-spread regional conflict. In the face of a US attack, Syrian army, and probably its Hezbollah ally, would launch rockets at neighboring Israel, who has vowed to respond "with force." An Israeli counter strike would detonate the highly explosive Middle East in no time.
Meanwhile, the ripple effect would hit hard on world economy's fragile recovery.
The looming attack has already sent chills through world economy, as global stocks tumbled Tuesday while oil and gold prices surged to multi-month highs.
As Washington has repeatedly stressed that it wants a "comprehensive and durable political solution" instead of a military one to the crisis in Syria, it is time for Obama to show his good faith.