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View Diary: What to do if Syria crosses the "red line" and uses biological weapons... (168 comments)

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  •  You can't draw a line in the sand (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Trix, auapplemac, sandbox

    and then do nothing if the line is crossed.

    We can't afford to enforce a no fly zone, or provide air support for the rebels and we are never going to put US infantry or Marines on the ground. However, if it is proven that they crossed our line in the sand we must respond. If we don't the POTUS and the US will lose massive credibility. As the world's remaining super power we cannot make false threats.  I think the response will be one, single, but significant air strike, using cruise missiles, that take down a significant Syrian government asset.

    "let's talk about that"

    by VClib on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 10:53:31 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  "We must respond" because we are mighty and (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      protectspice, Nattiq, gulfgal98, corvo

      have the luxury of picking and choosing what to "respond to."

      Jingoism is extreme patriotism in the form of aggressive foreign policy. In practice, it is a country's advocation of the use of threats or actual force against other countries in order to safeguard what it perceives as its national interests.
      •  We must respond because we can't make (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        auapplemac

        false threats. That assumes the use of nerve gas is confirmed.

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 11:14:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  If we can make promises & not keep them, why (9+ / 0-)

          can't we make threats & not keep them?

          America's greatest political dynasty...the Kaan

          by catilinus on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 11:57:16 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  great comment! (n/t) (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            corvo, catilinus

            "Growing up is for those who don't have the guts not to. Grow wise, grow loving, grow compassionate, but why grow up?" - Fiddlegirl

            by gulfgal98 on Sat Apr 27, 2013 at 07:11:30 AM PDT

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          •  If you are North Korea you can make (0+ / 0-)

            false threats but if you are the US you can't. If you do, other countries will stop taking us seriously. I would have preferred that the POTUS not draw lines in the sand and I wish he hadn't drawn this line in the sand, but he did. If it is verified that the Syrians did cross the line we have to respond. I think the response can be limited, but we have to show Syria, and the rest of the world, that if we draw a line, you can't cross it with impunity.

            "let's talk about that"

            by VClib on Sat Apr 27, 2013 at 07:44:24 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Ah, I see (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              corvo, native, protectspice, Egalitare

              We need to expend millions of dollars worth of ordnance and kill a bunch of people just to "prove we're serious".

              If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

              by Major Kong on Sat Apr 27, 2013 at 08:35:39 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  We are serious (0+ / 0-)

                and it's important that other countries believe we are serious and that we don't make false threats. The United States cannot make false threats, we can't.

                "let's talk about that"

                by VClib on Sat Apr 27, 2013 at 09:43:55 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Beeause we're a manly country (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  protectspice, Ray Pensador

                  and if we say we're going to kick some ass, we have to kick some ass, whether it's a good idea or not.

                  You may think that. I couldn't possibly comment.-- Francis Urqhart

                  by Johnny Q on Sat Apr 27, 2013 at 11:21:20 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  JQ - the key is to not make the threat in (0+ / 0-)

                    first place. The POTUS could have said many things other than the use of chemical weapons was a "red line" that could not be crossed. I wish he had said something else. However, we cannot make false threats. I think the Obama administration has many options available to construct a response, including providing more sophisticated weapons to select rebel groups, but we have to do something.

                    "let's talk about that"

                    by VClib on Sat Apr 27, 2013 at 11:32:13 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  So we have to prove (0+ / 0-)

                      that our mouths don't write checks our asses can't cash, so we have no choice to get into a fucking war?

                      I really don't see why we have to die and kill because some idiot shot his mouth off.

                      You may think that. I couldn't possibly comment.-- Francis Urqhart

                      by Johnny Q on Sat Apr 27, 2013 at 11:37:45 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  JQ - we don't (0+ / 0-)

                        unless the person making the statement in the President, Sec of Defense or Sec of State. When they make a statement it can't be a false threat.

                        "let's talk about that"

                        by VClib on Sat Apr 27, 2013 at 01:29:13 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Hence the occasional Will To Stupidity (0+ / 0-)

                          Is the expense of blood and treasure really more important than some idiot's bruised ego?  El Presidente talked tough out of turn and now people have to die?

                          You may think that. I couldn't possibly comment.-- Francis Urqhart

                          by Johnny Q on Sat Apr 27, 2013 at 02:43:53 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                        •  Dude you need to come off this (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Ray Pensador

                          "we can't make false threats shit'. Who the fuck do we think we are. SO WHAT if we don't follow. SO WHAT. We're not GOD. Hell even GOD changes his mind.

                          America's been making threats all over the place for a long time.

        •  sn't that why LBJ escalated in Vietnam (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Egalitare, Ray Pensador

          even though he knew it was a bad idea?

          How did that work out, again?

          Killing people just so people know you're willing to kill people is fucking stupid and I had hoped that Obama would be smarter than that.

          You may think that. I couldn't possibly comment.-- Francis Urqhart

          by Johnny Q on Sat Apr 27, 2013 at 11:19:20 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Really? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ray Pensador, mookins
      We can't afford to enforce a no fly zone
      I find this difficult to believe.  
      •  The Syrians have a much better air defense (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jpmassar, Ray Pensador, kyril

        system and air force that Libya. Deploying enough air and refueling capacity into the region would be a challenge. It is also really expensive to fly all those missions using fuel that is very expensive to deploy forward. Could we do it, sure we could, but it would be a budget buster.

        That's why I think it will be one massive strike. In addition, using cruise missiles puts no aircraft or pilots at risk.

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 11:12:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  geography also militates against such an action (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          VClib

          being effective.  Air power is much more effective in flat, desert environments compared to mountainous terrain.  Even given that, during Desert Storm, our air power never took out Saddam's mobile SCUDs

        •  Consider the possibile consequences . . . (0+ / 0-)

          before rushing into a new Middle Eastern war. It is by no means established that providing more support to "select" rebel groups in Syria would produce a better government for Syria. Do you really propose that the U.S. take sides in the brutal sectarian war that this has become, to try to tip the outcome toward a Sunni rebel victory? If the Assad regime falls, it will certainly lead to a "failed state" & years, even decades, of chaos. And that's a best-case scenario. Worse, and highly likely, possibilities would be genocide against the Alawis, the demise of Syria's Christian & Druze communities (similar to what has happened in Iraq post-invasion), & the establishment of a hard-line Islamist regime.

          For once, can't we err on the side of non-intervention?

    •  I hope you are wrong (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      auapplemac, wishingwell

      That kind of obviously symbolic response would also expose the US as a paper tiger and make our commitments to Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan look equally worthless.

      We could very quickly be faced with a choice between a major war with China and/or North Korea or abandoning North Asia to Chinese hegemony.

    •  How many have died over the centuries (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Egalitare, Nattiq, corvo, native

      because some government was afraid they might "look weak"?

      If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

      by Major Kong on Sat Apr 27, 2013 at 05:08:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  small quibble: during Desert Storm, US encouraged (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      heybuddy, wishingwell, mickT

      Shia' to revolt against Saddam with some nebulous promises of assistance.  The Shia's did revolt only to be gassed by Saddam's Republican Guards and the US did nothing to prevent the gas attacks, did nothing to succor refugees and also did not provide even moral support to the Shia'.  This abandonment may continue to haunt our foreign policy for some time

      •  This abandonment has not haunted (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ray Pensador

        nor will it ever haunt our foreign policy. Its immaterial and was calculated as such.

        •  if you will check around a bit, you will find the (0+ / 0-)

          current government in Iraq has had close ties to Tehran and continues to have close ties to Tehran following their flight from Iraq after the abortive rebellion.  Their fellow co-religionists were the ones who gave them sanctuary.  I would state that current Iranian influence in Iraqi is at least a partial result of the US abandonment of the Shia' or maybe you feel Iranian influence in Iraq is immaterial

          •  Fair enough. I was simply (0+ / 0-)

            trying to convey that the foreign policy establishment knew full well what they were doing and possible consequences and were willing to make that call. I'm tired of people apologizing for our foreign policy or suggesting "mistakes" have been made when usually, those in charge know exactly. I think I misunderstood your statement and  "will never haunt" was incorrect way to put it.

            •  no problem but I would suggest Juan Cole (0+ / 0-)

              as an excellent resource for information on the area.  As far as the attitudes of our foreign policy establishment, I find they make quite a few missteps in the long term in a number of areas.  IMHO it comes from political appointees frequently getting in over their head vs the foreign policy professionals but that is just my opinion.  

              I would recommend Edward Said as a resource also to understand general Western attitudes towards that region at least since 1918 and I would argue since 1812 or so.

              OTOH I am weary after a long day and I may not be making a great deal of sense at this point. Thank you for your clarification; it is appreciated

    •  We can't afford to do "something"... (0+ / 0-)

      ...but we must do "a far less short term costly, largely symbolic different something" that might well be disastrously counterproductive on a number of levels.

      Nice.

      When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. --Martin Luther King Jr.

      by Egalitare on Sat Apr 27, 2013 at 05:58:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  why not? (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nattiq, corvo, mickT, Egalitare, DelilahOhMy
      You can't draw a line in the sand and then do nothing if the line is crossed.
      POTUS does it all the time--and he then re-draws the line wherever the Republicans tell hm to.

      If the plutocrats begin the program, we will end it. -- Eugene Debs.

      by livjack on Sat Apr 27, 2013 at 06:53:59 AM PDT

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      •  You can't compare US domestic politics (0+ / 0-)

        and international relations. They are apples and oranges.

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Sat Apr 27, 2013 at 08:00:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  They are not (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          corvo, native, protectspice

          apples and oranges - they are blood and treasure and not to be expended just to prove a point.

          This isn't a Tom Clancy novel. We're talking about spending real money and killing real people.

          It's real easy to commit and not so easy to get out once you're in. You may think we can do "one cruise missile strike" but events have a habit of taking off on their own once set in motion.

          Suppose Syria retaliates? Then what?

          If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

          by Major Kong on Sat Apr 27, 2013 at 08:39:53 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Syria retaliates how? (0+ / 0-)

            I think our response depends on how Syria retaliates, if they do at all.

            Our response to the use of the nerve gas could be to arm the rebels, except the best of them are al Qaeda.The President is under a lot of pressure to respond, but if the talking heads are right he is strongly resisting. My best guess is that we will start arming the rebels we like with much more sophisticated weapons and make a big public show of it as our "response", even though it will not change the situation on the ground very much.

            "let's talk about that"

            by VClib on Sat Apr 27, 2013 at 09:41:44 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Syria couldn't retaliate directly. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              VClib

              Most likely retaliation would be carried out by Hezbollah against a U.S. asset somewhere. Perhaps in Lebanon. Perhaps somewhere else. But it's a good bet that there would be some form of retaliation.

        •  Beause if we say we're gonna kill people (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ray Pensador

          goddammit, people gotta die or we got no respect.

          You may think that. I couldn't possibly comment.-- Francis Urqhart

          by Johnny Q on Sat Apr 27, 2013 at 11:23:27 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Geez . . . haven't we seen this argument before? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VClib

      This the same argument for why we HAD to invade Iraq in 2003, even if the case for war was weak & even then obviously fabricated. Because after huffing & puffing & making threats, if we had done nothing it would have resulted in a loss of credibility. And it's the same argument for why, as everything was going to hell during the occupation of Iraq, we had to stay & "finish the job", because to "cut & run" would have resulted in a loss of credibility.

      It has always seemed to me that within America's foreign policy establishment (whichever party has the presidency), the bias is always toward intervention & war. So I commend President Obama for his reluctance to get involved in Syria, for his willingness, so far, to stand up to the chicken hawks who are already clamoring for intervention. He at least seems to understand that wars always have unintended consequences, & that military actions generate blowback in the form of anti-American sentiment, distrust of American intentions & even terrorist acts.

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