I think Kerry's remarks1 were worth reading on that. There is no goal of settling anything in Syria. The goal is to send a message, and he mentions reassuring Israel, Jordan, Turkey, and Lebanon, and scaring Iran, Hezbollah, and North Korea. I don't usually trust speeches, but that sounds likely enough to me.
Kerry is a fucking liar. The more people research the Obama administration's claims, the more we're finding holes in their stories. This also goes for some of the mainstream media that parrots half-truths and lies as well.
It's come out now that while Kerry (and oh so many dolts online here at boing boing and elsewhere) have said that Assad stalled 5 days or whatever before allowing in U.N. inspectors into the chemical strike areas, it now turns out there's wasn't any real delay at all.
The U.N. officially asked the Syrian government to inspect the site and Assad approved it right away and let them in. The way the U.S. government and the corporate media twisted it was going by when the U.N. first made a press release saying they were going to do it. When the U.N. officially contacted the Syrian government, they let them in shortly thereafter.
This 5 day delay bullshit has been used as a pretext for war by Kerry and many others. It's based upon a half-truth LIE.