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Which seems to be our go to response to prove something or other, because bombing and invading shit out of countries in the region has proved to be successful thus far.

The use of chemical weapons is a war crime and needs to be punished, this is the truth however when a country is in a civil war who do you bomb and what will be the outcome, more of the same?

We can hold our heads up high and......oh wait....him gosh we haven't applied the war crime rule very consistently in the past, even when we have committed them ourselves.

We have upheld dictators since WWII only to watch them fall and be replaced by the religious equivalent of a secular dictator with extra sprinkles.

The question still remains the same since the Ottoman Empire crumbled into dust and the two blocks of the cold war decided to play who could be the dumbest of them all in the region. I wont even get into the Palestinian question for now.

We have spent so much time playing which side we want to be on so that we can access the riches and strategic importance of the region that we forgot the vast majority of the people who just want to live their lives in peace.

So basically we end up picking sides for our own reasons at the same time losing whatever credibility we had to broker solutions in the future. This has been going on for a very long time H/T to Alexander III of Macedonia for reminding me for just how long.

Whichever side we support it's a bit like the British and French taking sides in the American War of Independence it will be for our own Imperial reasons and hence suspect. Trouble is we have been playing this game for too long in the region and we end up being part of the problem, and even end up being the common enemy.

How to change this historical mess, how to become a serious broker for the mass of people across the region.

We have to deal with the elephant in the room and broker an equitable deal for both Palestinians and Israelis a conflict heading towards its 90th anniversary of the British Mandate for Palestine [24th September 1923 ended 14th May 1948]] with the aim of creating a homeland for the Jewish people.

We have to work out how to help the region rather than, invade, torture, bomb, assassinate, destabilize, squabble over territory/influence and in general stop supporting every nasty piece of work who claims to be our ally. You know what we have done so far? Just look to we helped before, Shahs, Kings and Princes, Military dictators, The Taliban, etc etc.

By all means go a head and blow something up, I'm just wondering what it will solve and I doubt it will stop the bloodshed and pain for one instant. Punish someone by all means, if only to assuage own your feeling of impotence, it has worked so well in the past.

The answer is not simple, in fact its has now become nigh on impossible to get out of the logic we have been locked into for decades [if not millennia, hi Alexander].

The question is not who to bomb, the question is how can we help rather than hinder, we cannot rewrite history but it is a crying shame if we keep on repeating past catastrophes.

I wish that I knew the answer, had a magic wand, but Palestine is still the logical place to start.

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  •  Tipm Jar, I added no main tags to this and didn't (153+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lady Libertine, OllieGarkey, corvo, SME in Seattle, Kristina40, skillet, glitterscale, InAntalya, BOHICA, crystal eyes, tardis10, psychodrew, undercovercalico, Simplify, Rhysling, TDDVandy, blueoasis, skod, Smoh, ZedMont, rantsposition, J M F, pat of butter in a sea of grits, tidalwave1, copymark, Horace Boothroyd III, Mary Mike, jadt65, zerelda, Words In Action, Robobagpiper, Lepanto, hubcap, chira2, RFK Lives, xxdr zombiexx, jrooth, WheninRome, Shotput8, BlueDragon, serendipityisabitch, ranger995, CitizenOfEarth, NearlyNormal, artmartin, detroitmechworks, i dunno, mkor7, carver, twigg, RichterScale, MKinTN, Joieau, reflectionsv37, pat bunny, greenbastard, JohnWKelly, EdMass, HairyTrueMan, implicate order, cslewis, Superskepticalman, nicki37, Doug in SF, StateofEuphoria, wayoutinthestix, Turbonerd, chrississippi, Powered Grace, golem, Leftcandid, Sunspots, ovals49, Claudius Bombarnac, camlbacker, SneakySnu, CT Hank, PhilJD, conniptionfit, shopkeeper, urovermyknee, Floande, jfromga, MisterOpus1, gfv6800, Buckeye Nut Schell, Colorado is the Shiznit, p gorden lippy, DerAmi, eru, historys mysteries, ZhenRen, dRefractor, poligirl, Kevskos, Zinman, Ed in Montana, onionjim, achronon, cybrestrike, Mr Robert, MJ via Chicago, coolbreeze, Jarrayy, Barbara Marquardt, Chi, incognita, MufsMom, AoT, Blue Wind, letsgetreal, linkage, basquebob, temptxan, CIndyCasella, VTCC73, Damnit Janet, Shockwave, Calamity Jean, mikolo, MikePhoenix, side pocket, aliasalias, rmonroe, Euroliberal, HCKAD, just another vet, lotlizard, MBNYC, Sydserious, Philip Woods, frostbite, livingthedream, Nattiq, Johnny Q, cpresley, rb608, imchange, JesseCW, devis1, carpunder, blue in NC, jacey, maryabein, Bisbonian, NonnyO, enhydra lutris, George3, richardvjohnson, churchylafemme, JVolvo, a2nite, wonmug

    even know if was worth posting.

    "Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." Arundhati Roy

    by LaFeminista on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 06:06:22 AM PDT

  •  One small detail: (18+ / 0-)

    the 90th anniversary of the British Mandate for Palestine which came into effect in 1923

    Lamb chop, we can quibble what to call it, but I think we can both agree it's creepy.

    by InAntalya on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 06:28:20 AM PDT

  •  Our military aid to Egypt (27+ / 0-)

    Must be spent on American weapons.
    Guess who likes tension in the Mid East?
    War is fueled by those it enriches.

    If cats could blog, they wouldn't

    by crystal eyes on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 06:31:08 AM PDT

  •  I'm with you on most of this, but Palestine (13+ / 0-)

    doesn't have much to do with Syria.

    The Syrian government has definitely used that issue as a prop, but the situation in Palestine matters about as much to the Syrians as the situation in Cuba matters to our daily lives.

    I don't know what to do either.

    I do think that we can't let someone get away with war crimes, but I don't think that bombing will solve much of anything.

    To be honest, I think the best thing to do, regionally, is talk to the Turks and Jordanians, and see what they think. We need to start backing up our allies in the region, and working with them on these issues.

    (And yeah, I know Turkey has its own version of the Arab Spring going on, but as we can see that followed an Occupy trajectory. The government isn't collapsing, but there are going to be electoral consequences.)

    What I will say here is exactly what I said when questioning the Libya intervention.

    We can't claim to be the good guys in conflict D, when we're the bad guys in conflicts A, B, and C.

    We torture. We blow up weddings with drone strikes. Our intelligence services bug our allies.

    It's going to take a hell of a lot for us to regain the moral high ground that we gave up when we started the Philippine war.

    An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

    by OllieGarkey on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 06:33:20 AM PDT

    •  Palestine is a long standing problem and is for (13+ / 0-)

      me the starting point for having any credibility in the whole region. Nothing to do with Syria itself but as an example where to start.

      Syria is a mess left by the French Mandate [and it own form of craziness], the cold war, and which dictator either block liked/or not

      "Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." Arundhati Roy

      by LaFeminista on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 06:38:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  but what's happening in the M.E. has very little (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Justanothernyer

        to do with us, either.  I mean, sure, you can include our historical role as well of all of the W. European imperial powers throughout the first half of the 20th century as a stage setter--but if you look to any of the pundits/bloggers/independent journalists/common everyday indiivduals in the region, no one is talking about the U.S. or Israel from a policy perspective--except that all parties can't stand either country.  But what's going on in the M.E. is internal to the M.E.---  reconciliation between Israel and Palestine is a different issue.  It would be wonderful, but it's a different issue.

      •  The entire ME is composed of fake (14+ / 0-)

        countries with borders imposed by people who hadn't a clue about the culture.  We're living in the fallout.  I rec'd your diary because you've got the main point, Israel and Palestine both need a country.  I think we have a better chance at success right now with a President who gets the cultural forces at work.  

        Here's the problem.  This site is populated by people who love easy answers, neat packages, clear definitions of right and wrong.  Real life comes with none of those things.  Laying off action on Syria on the MIC is as silly as not knowing every country with a spy apparatus spies on every other country with a spy apparatus.  (Pre G8, a Brit intelligence expert said the NSA kerfluffle was irritating G8?members because it meant the participants would be more cautious, meaning all participants would lose the advantage of spying on each other.  Plus they had to look silly claiming such things were unheard of.  NPR/BBC).

        There are no good, easy solutions.  Again, BBC via NPR:  there are no white hats in this conflict.  Hezbollah on the Assad side, AQ on the rebel side equals no win for democratic self-governance.  It's THE key story in all ME conflicts and it changes how outsiders need to look at them.  Egypt isn't the sad story of a military coup, Syria isn't brave freedom fighters ousting a despot, Libya....  You get my drift.  

        I'd appreciate a little more complexity and flexibility in trying to understand what's happening internationally.  Reflexive talking points and American values in play in judging what other countries are doing makes us look silly and unaware.  

        I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

        by I love OCD on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 07:30:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  As is the rest of the world. What's so natural (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          OllieGarkey, I love OCD

          about US borders, for example? People just kinda get used to them. I agree with you otherwise. People have been spying on each other for many millenia and it's not going to change.

          •  US Borders (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JVolvo

            Are more or less accepted by everyone on both sides of them and have been since before the Zimmerman telegram was sent.

            There are some exceptions - secessionists  like Rick Perry,  people who talk about "North American oil independence".

            European colonial powers did an awful job drawing borders.  
            Maybe 1 million died and 10 million were displaced in the 1947 partition of India alone.

            2 million dead in the Congo in the last decade.

            Lebanon, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Somalia...all internal massacres sadly fought by ethnic groups involuntarily grouped in one polity.

    •  About Turkey (11+ / 0-)
      To be honest, I think the best thing to do, regionally, is talk to the Turks and Jordanians, and see what they think.

      (And yeah, I know Turkey has its own version of the Arab Spring going on, but as we can see that followed an Occupy trajectory. The government isn't collapsing, but there are going to be electoral consequences.)

      The people are firmly against any involvement but the government is completely behind the Syrian opposition who had to move back to Istanbul after Morsi was ousted. The FM said yesterday(?) that they don't care what the UN says. They want to put together a coaliton of 30-35 countries and intervene militarily.

      As to the economy - the stock market is down 29% this summer and the Lira has lost 12% of its value this summer too.

      Lamb chop, we can quibble what to call it, but I think we can both agree it's creepy.

      by InAntalya on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 06:58:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Our history is pretty horrible (23+ / 0-)

    my husband was a Merchant Marine in WWII. He said the only reason we won that war was because we out Nazied the Nazis.

    I look at our history and what is painted in glorious colors in our childhood history books is just mostly tainted in blood colors if you look at the real. Even the railroads had a bloody tinge in their efforts to secure right of ways.

    My grandson looked at the pirate exhibit and he said it was surprising how egalitarian the pirates were. Of course that didn't sit well with the merchanters either.

    So now we have moved into a technology based culture where everybody has a phone in their ears and ignores the people around them. Some cultural improvement?

    And this LTE gives the real feel of the chaos that seems to be our national international policy positions.

    But not only do we want to blow things up, we seem to want to just beat the hell out of people for no good reason.

    So maybe the cons are right, evolution isn't real. But devolution? I think one could make a good case in human history. But we can be proud of one thing: the dollar is our almighty God.

    Hi NSA. I am doing constitutionally protected stuff - like free speech. Too bad you are not!

    by glitterscale on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 06:34:32 AM PDT

  •  We have to bomb something. (31+ / 0-)

    That is the solution to every problem.

    Tyrion Lannister: "It's not easy being drunk all the time. Everyone would do it if it were easy."

    by psychodrew on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 06:35:47 AM PDT

  •  Clearly the answer (9+ / 0-)

    is to help someone kill some people or, failing that, kill some people ourselves.

    Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

    by Simplify on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 06:37:10 AM PDT

  •  If we were to bomb (20+ / 0-)

    every country that had a cruel and unelected dictator who murders his own people, we'd be bombing a lot more countries than Syria.

    29, white male, TX-07 (current), TN-09 (born), TN-08 (where parents live now)

    by TDDVandy on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 06:39:10 AM PDT

  •  It's not just about money (10+ / 0-)

    by any means--among a multitude of other reasons, this is a right fantastic way to take all the scrutiny of our lawless branches of government off the headlines.

    Every time I see this kind of ridiculous shit as a response from Washington, that Fear song starts running through my head:

    "Jack up the Dow Jones" indeed.

    This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

    by lunachickie on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 06:45:49 AM PDT

  •  The last year or so has proved (4+ / 0-)

    that creating a Palestinian state has nothing to do with the regions problems.

    It's nice to say that resolving Israel-Palestine is "central" because it allows people to place the priority on the blame on the one country that isn't Arab or Muslim, that is friendly with the U.S., and that is remarkably stable.

    We should continue to try to broker peace because it's the right thing to do.  But we can be under no illusions that doing so will solve anything else.

    If missiles were falling where my two daughters sleep, I would do everything in order to stop that. -- President Barack Obama

    by JPhurst on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 06:46:40 AM PDT

    •  It for appereances sake if nothing else (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Johnny Q

      I f we cannot be an honest broker in this long running mess then how can be seen to be an honest one elsewhere, apart from invading countries/overturning governments that annoy us in the past notwithstanding.

      I call it a confidence builder.

      "Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." Arundhati Roy

      by LaFeminista on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 06:50:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  We've obviously failed to broker anything (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        happymisanthropy, Johnny Q

        The best thing we could do is refuse to get involved with Israel or the Palestinians.  Let them solve their own problems.   All we are is the excuse for them not to solve their problems.

      •  That only works.... (0+ / 0-)

        ...if a) the efforts actually lead to a peace deal, and b) that the deal produces a bona fide independent, peaceful, stable state.

        Even if a deal is reached, if the resulting Palestinian state is immediately beset by warring Hamas/Fatah factions, then it could result in less stability on Israel's border and a potential proxy state for Iran, Al Qaeda or other actors.

        I think the issue is that most people have an idea of what a reasonable settlement will be, but that idea is not necessarily something that the parties, in practice will agree to.  And it may or may not be viable even if leadership could agree to it.

        If missiles were falling where my two daughters sleep, I would do everything in order to stop that. -- President Barack Obama

        by JPhurst on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 11:00:39 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I don't subscribe to this thinking. This war has (9+ / 0-)

    been going on for 2.5 years.  Even previous chemical attacks were approached with caution (not action) and remained indeterminate.  I"m against an attack, myself, but I don't see this as something we're doing to score some quick cash as some people here seem to think.  There IS strong UN backing for action, you realize--this isn't just the US running the show as some people here like to think--although a UNSC resolution would not be able to go forward for obvious reasons.

    •  Don't kid yourself nobody will act without (7+ / 0-)

      the US agreeing, Russia and China will veto any resolution

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/...

      Russian foreign ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich has called on the international community to show "prudence" over the crisis and observe international law.

      "Attempts to bypass the Security Council, once again to create artificial groundless excuses for a military intervention in the region are fraught with new suffering in Syria and catastrophic consequences for other countries of the Middle East and North Africa," he said in a statement.

      "Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." Arundhati Roy

      by LaFeminista on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 06:55:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Agreed. Then Let The UN Handle It (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      delphine, greenbell, Johnny Q, JVolvo

      Doesn't Turkey, Brits, France, Germany have the resources to take out Syria? Is only the US the power that can? As a group, if the US doesn't lead NATO, they can't do the job on their own?

      I know I keep asking questions, but if they think we have to lead, well then maybe we should pull out of NATO cause I don't want those nations having my back if war happens with say Russia or China (which I don't think will remotely happen).

      •  that's about what happened w/Libya. US role was (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        the fan man, delphine, Loge, hooper

        quite restricted.

        •  The initial part, Operation Odyssey Dawn, was (3+ / 0-)

          under the direct command of AFRICOM. This lasted from March 19 thru March 24, 2011 when command of operations transferred to NATO except for activities of US forces. Full command was transferred to NATO (Operation Unified Protector) on March 31, 2011.

          The US supplied the bulk of the fighting assets during this period. By it's end, Operation Odyssey Dawn had completely gutted Libyan defenses. Further activities were mainly in ground support of Libyan rebels and targets of opportunity.

          BTW, for all practical purposes, NATO is controlled by the US. It's Supreme Allied Commander has always been American and the US pays 3/4's of it's costs.

          I would disagree that the US's role was restricted. It was simply kept in the background.

      •  Only the US has the assets to take out Syria's (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Alice in Florida

        defense system. They never relinquish the command of these assets to NATO. They didn't in the Balkans, Iraq, Afghanistan or in Libya.

        In any event, NATO is controlled by the US. If the US says yes or no, it is yes or no. If other partners disagree, then it is discussed and arm twisting takes place. If any nations disagree with where the US wants to take NATO, they simply stay quietly in the background.

        You can see this take place as the various NATO nations publicly discuss what they want to do while always deferring to the US for the final say.

        •  I don't think this is true of the Arab League, (0+ / 0-)

          though.  

          The UN should be the body to respond but as usual they can't act due to China & Russia.  That would seem to leave 3 choices... an ad-hoc coalition, the US acting alone, or doing nothing.

          Which would you choose?

          •  No military action. The only solution will (0+ / 0-)

            be political. Unfortunately, the NATO countries along with the GCC have ensured there would be none. They make preconditions that they know are completely unacceptable and have also continually sabotaged any attempts at talks.

            What many in the west don't seem to realize is that there is considerable support for Assad within the country. What is going on is a civil war overlayed with sectarian violence.

            The Russians have been consistent in saying that a political solution is the only way to resolve this. Any military solution will result in the complete destruction of the country. Unfortunately, the west and GCC are quite willing to let that happen. In fact, there is some viable evidence that this has been their initial goal in the first place.

            Syria is now a fucking catastrophic mess that's going to get worse even if the US bombs the shit out of the country. Most of the deaths are from knives, AK47's and improvised weapons (including missiles, canons and IED's).

            The only way to stop this type of fighting is with boots on the ground. All the US will be able to do is target an entire village with a cruise missile and let god sort them out.

  •  There Is A Story I Tell (9+ / 0-)

    My father wrote the "Handbook" on the use of air power during war while teaching at the Army War College. This was in the late 70s. Talk to him now and he is confused by a lot of stuff. Not cause he isn't super smart, but cause he doesn't understand (not remotely a liberal BTW) why we feel we can just bomb or Tomahawk any nation we disagree with. That this is somehow a "solution."

  •  I fail to understand how bombing a country that (25+ / 0-)

    is gassing their people will save lives.

    Maybe I am missing something.....

    •  Me too. (10+ / 0-)

      "Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." Arundhati Roy

      by LaFeminista on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 06:56:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  the idea is that Assad is a rational enough (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      delphine, Heart of the Rockies

      player that such attacks would stop, or that he would be crazy to call our bluff.

      I don't buy it though.  Notions of 'rationality' vary from region to region and culture to culture, and person to person.  I think it might just cause Assad to go even more haywire than he already has.

      •  I tend to think that the gas attacks (0+ / 0-)

        were prompted and demanded by the Russians.  Assad must know his life is on the line if we shift the balance and the rebels win so this is not a rational act.  Guys that strap explosives to their back and walk into open air markets are a whole different sort than national leaders who live lavish lives and surround themselves with an army of bodyguards.  None of these assholes wants to die.  If he actually launched the attack, he had some assurance from his allies that they'd have his back.  

    •  If you blow up the chem weapons storage facilities (3+ / 0-)

      and the runways the airforce uses then there probably wont be any more gas attacks, will there.

      •  Do we know (0+ / 0-)

        where they are?

        They're shooting sniper fire at the inspectors.

        Every time we intervene we end up killing a lot more innocent people, destroying the infrastructure, and destabilizing the region.

        I don't understand why the U.S. military always thinks they can go in and blow up something and stop slaughter.

        If the Syria government is willing to gas a bunch of innocent civilians, why would we assume they would react rationally to a U.S. military strike?

        They could react by placing human shields around their weapons cache and continuing the slaughter.

        Why not an all out diplomatic offensive before we start bombing.  

        •  Uh, (0+ / 0-)

          Syrian government, I mean.

        •  "Diplomatic offensive"?!?! (3+ / 0-)

          Pardon me, but WTF does that mean?

          Like there hasn't been endless conferences, envoys and meetings on this already?  Like there hasn't already been lots of UN resolutions calling for calm from all sides?

          What does a "diplomatic offensive" accomplish other than running more time while more civilians are killed?  WHEN has a "diplomatic offensive" ever stopped a genocide or civil way already in progress?

          I'm a mushroom. Kept in the dark and fed....you know

          by The Voice from the Cave on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 08:03:47 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  So just (0+ / 0-)

            go ahead and bomb?

            Isn't that what Bush did?  Promise to exhaust all diplomatic solutions and then use their go ahead to immediately "shock and awe"?

            What harm is there in trying diplomacy?  

            I'm not naive, chances are small.  

            But if the other options are to (a) "bomb the shit out of something", which will bring Russian and China into the fray and not on our side, and soon we are boots on the ground fighting an extremely well armed Syrian force, (or destroying Syrian, including scores of civilians, by air)

            (b) do nothing because it's not our job to police the world,

            why not start with diplomacy?

            If diplomacy has worked for even five minutes in I/P, why not try it here?

            We're talking "targeted" strikes in a country that just slaughtered its own people with chemical weapons.  I have little hope that a military strike won't kill a whole lot of innocent people and do little to stop Assad's regime from continuing the slaughter.

            Try something else first, for a change.

      •  Right. That'll stop em! (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        greenbastard, Johnny Q, skrekk

        Certainly they couldn't just buy a new supply from arms dealers. Heavens no!

        Of course, later we find out our intel was fucked up and actually...errr...it was the Al Qaeda fighting the Assad regime that used the weapons.

        Whoops!

      •  Sarin is easy to make, even by amateurs (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        protectspice, Johnny Q, skrekk

        The recipes and precursors are public knowledge and available.

        Delivery of sarin could be done using small missiles which the opposition currently has and are using.

        Most of the Syrian storage areas are quite close to populated areas. Blowing up chemical weapon storage places could result in releasing massive amounts of chemicals into the air to be carried by winds.

        •  So it could be the Islamist rebel (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Claudius Bombarnac, skrekk

          groups setting this stuff off? I did hear a report on the BBC that said humanitarian workers/medical people on the ground in Syria were a lot less certain about the source of the gas than a lot of foreign observers not on the scene seem to be.

          "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

          by Alice in Florida on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 09:13:35 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It is a possibility. The opposition forces have (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            protectspice, skrekk

            raided many of Assad's military bases and are now using many of the various missiles and howitzers. They have also set up fabrication shops to modify and manufacture their own armaments.

            The only ones to gain by the use of sarin is the opposition. Obama had created a "red line" with WMD's. The rebels did not get the arms they expected in the last few months and they were being slowly defeated by the regime forces.

      •  Does anybody know (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Claudius Bombarnac

        what happens if you hit a CW storage depot with a bomb or missile?  Seems like you'd run a risk of dispersing whatever agents are stored there.  If they're binary agents and you're only hitting the storage for one component then it's probably not a hazard.  But at some point those components have to be brought together.  If you hit them then, does it turn into Bhopal and Union Carbide all over again?  Seems dicey to me, but I'm not a CW expert.

        I'll believe corporations are people when one comes home from Afghanistan in a body bag.

        by mojo11 on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 08:50:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  It is a little known fact that they can go stale (6+ / 0-)

    if unused. Considering just how many billions are spent on munitions by the US and A alone, think of the waste. Even worse, think of all those arms merchants who will have the gentle egos bruised because their lovingly manufactured bullets, bombs, and missiles get stale on the shelves, unwanted, unloved, and unused.

    What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

    by agnostic on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 06:56:20 AM PDT

  •  Deja Vu (10+ / 0-)

    Cha-ching. The MIC gets another Boondoggle. Any other explanation is created for sheep.

    SyriaWarJustification


    No longer Hoping for Change. Now Praying for a Miracle. 🍞 & 🎪

    by CitizenOfEarth on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 07:11:54 AM PDT

    •  Right, because clearly Bush's made up WMD claims (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Loge, hooper, kingfishstew, Matt Z, bevenro

      are the same as contemporary video evidence of gas attacks going on in 2003.

      But hey, whatever we need to believe to make Bush = Obama and Obama = war criminal be true right?

      When we stop putting leaders from the past up on pedestals and ignoring their flaws, we can start seeing our present leaders for what they really are.

      by PhillyJeff on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 08:40:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Bush is as much a war criminal as Truman or LBJ (0+ / 0-)

        Why is there this obsession with calling Bush a war criminal.  I've never understood it.

        Bush was completely wrong with respect to the War of Choice in Iraq.

        But war criminal???!!!!!!!!!!!

        Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. www.hamiltonproject.org

        by PatriciaVa on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 09:00:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Bush is considered a war criminal (5+ / 0-)

          because it is believed that he and his top advisers knowingly consented to, and probably outright ordered, torture of enemy soldiers and also - depending on your position as to whether 'enemy combatant' is a valid status under international law, civilians. Furthermore, many believe that he did not actually believe any of the intelligence that formed the basis of military action, which would mean that he attacked a country without any provocation or need. If you believe that you can make the argument that every action in Iraq was a war crime. I personally think that's stretching it, but I think I'm fairly accurate on what people's reasoning is.

      •  right but do you have proof it was Assad's (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        skrekk

        regime who even launched the chemical weapons? No, you just have Kerry and Obama saying that's what happened. I don't think they are necessarily repeating the Iraq war but I do think there are other motives than simply stopping the use of Chemical weapons. Obama is fighting a nihilistic, dysfunctional and destructive Congress plus an populace who are angry over the NSA scandal. This could distract us from the NSA and get Congress to move on easing at least the defense related portions of the sequester.

        Let's not let 2014 be anything like 2010. Republicans only win when we stay home!

        by Tim D M on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 09:47:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I have often wondered where this cast of mind (13+ / 0-)

    whereby the recourse to violence, to killing, represents the solution to all problems comes from.

    It's certainly prevalent. Both on the personal level (the kid in HS who shoots fifteen or whatever classmates) and the national level (international "diplomacy" for us seems to be mostly using violence or threatening to do so),

    But where does it come from?

    The Bible with its endless sagas of the Chosen People exterminating everything that moves and doing so with His blessing and at His command?

    The idealized portrayal of our Wild West past presented endlessly by Hollywood: Gary Cooper (Marshal Will Kane, was it?) who, as The Good Guy, bumps off fifteen (or whatever) Bad Guys in "High Noon" kind of thing?

    I'd love to hear different opinions on this.

    We're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression.

    by Lepanto on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 07:13:14 AM PDT

  •  Read Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator again... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BlueDragon, Don midwest

    Much as Roald Dahl has his faults, his depiction of the American General feels spot on.  

    Provided of course, no video cameras are running.

    I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

    by detroitmechworks on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 07:16:28 AM PDT

  •  if you have them, you will use them (7+ / 0-)

    we have to stay in practice.

    by the way, in the 60s a congressman had a report done listing all usa incursions abroad since 1776.  there was never more than a year or so between incidents going all the way back.

    i'd like to see an updated list.

  •  Nothing so bad we can't make it worse with bombs. (8+ / 0-)

    Or, you know, cruise missiles. Whatever.

  •  circumvent intl law, constitution, ... who cares? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    britzklieg, Nattiq, Johnny Q, JVolvo

    and 9% Americans support

    Bill Moyers Essay: The End Game for Democracy

    a 3 min 15 second video

    http://billmoyers.com/...

    if it is the end game for Democracy, why bother with stuff like the rule of law?

    the title of this comment is from the following article:


    US Attack on Syria Would Circumvent Constitution, Intl Law
    War drums grow louder as familiar tactics used to garner support for military action that only 9 percent of Americans support

  •  We either bomb them or sell them bombs. (3+ / 0-)

    And currently in Syria we aren't doing either one. If we can take out Assad and curry favor with the new regime, we can do both. We can bomb Syria and THEN sell them bombs.

    It's a win/win situation. And we don't even need the support of Americans, a UN mandate or Congressional approval.

    If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

    by HairyTrueMan on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 07:55:21 AM PDT

  •  The elephant in the room... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Superskepticalman

    Is oil.  Invest in renewable energy and get the fuck out of the region.

    “Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.” - John Steinbeck

    by RichM on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 07:55:49 AM PDT

  •  I vote the VMAs. Shirley eliminating the likes of (0+ / 0-)

    Miley Cyrus, Taylor Swift, and Robin Thicke has to be considered a humanitarian act.

    If work was a good thing, the rich would have it all and not let you do it. -- Elmore Leonard

    by voroki on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 07:57:42 AM PDT

  •  Michael Ondaatje Writes in His Novel (2+ / 0-)

    Anil's Ghost about the long-lasting civil war in Sri Lanka that produced so much atrocity and brutal killing by the three factions that it was, "War for the sake of war."

    What is wrong with our country that we don't seem to be able to conduct ourselves peacefully?  Or is it the level of tyranny in Syria that resists reason and now will only respond to our mailed fist in its face?

    Readers & Book Lovers Pull up a chair! You're never too old to be a Meta Groupie

    by Limelite on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 07:57:52 AM PDT

  •  Maybe the people don't want to live in peace. (4+ / 0-)

    Maybe they do. I don't know, and quite frankly I don't give a shit.

    What I do know is however they choose to live, or make war, is none of our business.

  •  Let's hit Mexico or Canada. (5+ / 0-)

    Close by. Lots of wide open spaces. And we could all feel better. Like we've done something.

    All in favor say, "Aye."

    Calling other DKos members "weenies" is a personal insult and therefore against site rules.

    by Bob Johnson on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 08:21:17 AM PDT

  •  We have nothing. This whole thing is wrong. (12+ / 0-)

    First, I don't believe for a second that Assad used chemweaps. He was winning, there was no need. The rebels (and there are countless groups with countless connections) stood the most to gain from this.

    Second, there are no 'good guys' here to help, both sides are awful. So we have no moral reason to go to war.

    Third, we also have no legal standing to go to war. No UN resolution, no self-defense claim, it's looking unlikely that our elected officials will even have to go on record to vote for or against a war that only 9% of Americans are in favor of.

    So the government floats some destroyers over, we make a mistake we can never take back, and we're footing the consequences for the next 10 years. Without the consent of the American people.

    Reminds me of the NSA: 'Just trust us, you fucking morons.' Much like the NSA, the conversation isn't "should we do this?" it's "we're going to do this whether you like it or not, but we promise to work hard reassuring you that it was the right thing to do."

  •  If you pick a side, you have to be committed to (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Buckeye Nut Schell

    making sure that side wins, no matter how long it takes or what it costs (financially or geopolitically).   First, though, you have to decide if you even have an interest in picking a side, besides humanitarian reasons.    

    I haven't heard anyone answer that question yet.

    Last, sometimes, all it takes is a quick strike.  I seem to recall that we did not hear from Qadaffi for many years after Ronnie Raygun had the Navy drop a laser guided bomb on his tent, taking out his wife and a couple of kids.  

    I don't see that happening here, unless they take out Assad, which would present the appearance of a political assassination.  I don't think we want to start down that road.

    I'm not a misanthrope, I'm just very selective about who I'm willing to waste my time on.

    by SpamNunn on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 08:28:53 AM PDT

  •  Well, at least the geniuses (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nattiq

    in this administration are going to fair bombers - I see in various news reports  the bombing  will begin as early as this week, will last 2 days and will be cruise missiles and/or long range bombers.   I'll keep watching,  they will probably post the starting time soon.

  •  Bombing.... (2+ / 0-)

    ...your all-purpose housekeeping solution....reach for it...for all those times...when a sternly worded letter just won't do.

    War without end, amen.

    and must I add, /snark?

  •  May I post an extremely unpopular point of view? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Visceral, AmericanAnt

    I believe that there is only one way to fight a war. period.

    Anybody remember the fourth Roman - Carthage War?  Neither do I.  The first war, Romans defeated Carthage and then went home without completely destroying them allowing carthage to rebuild and let their hatred of the Romans swell to the point that Hannibal went through Italy destroying everything in his path on his way to Rome.  The Pope talked him into sparing Rome and he returned home a hero.  The third Roman Carthage war was the last.  Romans killed or enslaved every last man, woman or child, burned everything and supposedly even salted the earth so that nothing would ever grow there again.  There was no fourth Roman-Carthage war.

    I am very anti-war.  I believe that there is only one way to fight a war and that is the manner in which Rome fought the third war.  All this bullshit about fighting humane wars and war crimes is just to prolong them and sell more weapons.  If you leave one child alive, you have left an enemy who will one day rise up to fight you for killing all of his family and friends.  That is the mentality of war and that is why I am so against war as anything but a last resort.

    We cannot go into Syria and win anything.  How can you go into a country in a civil war and accomplish anything that remotely justifies the loss of American lives and the treasure of our nation?  

    America needs to shit or get off the pot.  Either they need to be willing to completely eviscerate Syria and wipe all of them off the map in order to "save" them from thereselves or they need to shut up and let them settle their differences and if they kill all of their own people, so be it. Give their land to the Palestinians.

    America needs to mind its own damn business and let everyone know that our policy is to not get involved but if we do, there will be nothing left of our enemy except burned buildings and salted earth.

    "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

    by Buckeye Nut Schell on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 09:15:11 AM PDT

    •  that's kind of daoist.... nt (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Buckeye Nut Schell
      •  taoist, that is nt (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Buckeye Nut Schell
        •  I love Sun Tzu... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bevenro
          Therefore, when two opposing sides meet in battle,

          the one without an enemy will be victorious.

          I am a pacifist to a point far beyond most people I know but once I commit to a fight, I am unrestrained by mercy or rules until the fight is decided and I have won.

          I worked in some pretty rough bars as a bouncer and as a bartender back in the day.  I talked my way out of fights more often than not because I was the type to say excuse me if someone bumped into me.  I was never looking to fight.   That didn't stop me, however, from being in over a hundred or so.  I had baseball bats used against me, knives, guns pulled on me, multiple people ganged up on me and I always came out on top.  

          Once you are comitted, you do whatever you can to win.  I didn't impose rules on myself like "don't hit someone with glasses or no kicking in the nuts or no biting".   I guy with a baseball bat comes after you, he is looking to kill you.  You do not try to fight him with honor.

          I do not like war because I know what war is.  A lot of people don't like the idea of war but they have never had a gun put to their head or a knife pulled on them or a crowd of guys standing around you wanting to kick your ass and you're all alone.  You realize when that happens, there is nothing you wouldn't do at that moment to live.  War is hell.  I am not saying that we should never fight a war.  There are a million scenarios that I believe would justify a war but if you find yourself in a war that you could not avoid, you cannot be civil, you cannot be merciful and you sure as hell cannot rebuild your enemy at the same time you are blowing them up.

          "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

          by Buckeye Nut Schell on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 01:20:23 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Kill them all and let god sort them out? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Buckeye Nut Schell

      The US tried that scorched earth policy in Vietnam.

      After dropping 7 million tons of bombs on an enemy armed mostly with AK47's and living in mud huts, the US still lost over 60,000 young men in the prime of their lives and had to exit the country with it's tail between it's legs.

      Look at the shit dropped on Iraq and Afghanistan. What in hell did the US win in those countries - other than filling the pockets of the bomb makers?

      6752 dead soldiers and another 50,000 crippled and wounded. How many completely innocent civilians lost their lives, their families, their homes, their meager (by our standards) possessions, their futures?

      •  Actually, we refused to advance on the enemy... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Claudius Bombarnac

        in Vietnam.  We would not advance beyond the 17th parallel.  We definetely did not fight to destroy all, we didn't even declare war.  It was a police action.  We lost 60,000 kids in that war so the General Dynamics CEO could buy a new fucking Cadillac for his wife for Christmas.

        Roman-Carthage style obliteration would have consisted of completely eradicating north vietnam from the map killing every man, woman and child.  It would have, of course, meant that Russia and China would have been called into it and probably turned into world war III but, that was not the point.  If you are going to fight a war, you fight to win and that means total destruction of your enemy.

        I agree with your assessment of Iraq and Afghanistan.  We have won absolutely nothing and it has cost us thousands of US lives and millions of Iraqi and afghanistani lives and for what?  American economic near collapse?  The goal has never been total destruction.  We are rebuilding everything as we and they blow it up.  We are giving tribes weapons and then finding them on the people shooting at us.  This is not a war, it is a deadly military exercise designed to make the defense contractors billions of dollars.  This is insanity.

        Again, I am anti-war because there is only one way to fight it and unless a country has committed themselves to killing us and there is a remote chance they might be able to do it, we shold leave people the fuck alone and mind our own damn business.  If we make the decision to go to war, there is only one way to do it and that means total destruction with nothing held back.. No reconstruction, no mercy for the women and children no anything.  If you are not willing to fight a war like that then you should not be advocating war.  That is what the word really means.  War is hell, not a chance to advance your infastructure.  Our enemies need to know that we are prepared to do that and leave us the hell alone as well.  

        Hell, if I was the leader of Haiti, I might declare war on the United States just to get some better infastructure and money invested in my country.  Just being a poor neighbor hasn't worked out so far.  Bradley Manning showed us that just being a poor neighbor gets you exploited by American corporations working your people for 60 hours a week at $0.20/hr (thats $12.00 a week for those of you keeping score) and then when you want to raise the minimum wage, they threaten you with the loss of earthquake relief.  Bastards.

        "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

        by Buckeye Nut Schell on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 12:35:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The Pope? Did he have a time machine? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Buckeye Nut Schell

      #1  They're called the Punic Wars
      #2   There were three: First Punic War (264 to 241 BC); Second Punic War (218 to 201 BC); Third Punic War (149 to 146 BC) - the one where they tore and burned it down and sowed salt so nothing would grow
      #3  All were well before there was any Pope - I think you're recalling when Pope Leo I convinced  Attila the Hun to spare Rome.

      While you're history may be inaccurate your underlying theme isn't - we have nothing to gain by attacking Syria.  When you are faced with no good options - the best thing to do is nothing.

      Fiat justitia ruat caelum "Let justice be done though the heavens fall."

      by bobdevo on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 06:37:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I was shooting from the hip a little... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bobdevo

        Thoughts have been known to get scrambled in my head from time to time.  Thanks for straightening them out.

        "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

        by Buckeye Nut Schell on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 08:29:25 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sorry if I was a bit snarky . . . I do appreciate (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Buckeye Nut Schell

          your point!

          Fiat justitia ruat caelum "Let justice be done though the heavens fall."

          by bobdevo on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 09:25:49 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  No problems... (0+ / 0-)

            I knew they were called the Punic wars and failed to write as such and I did get my invaders confused as you suggested.   I get brain dead sometimes.  

            I love snark and when I am wrong, I expect people to call me out on it.  I get in a hurry sometimes and say crap that I didn't think through well enough.  My heart is usually in the right place though (at least I think it is).

            Peace!

            "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

            by Buckeye Nut Schell on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 09:44:50 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Hey.. you should take comfort in the fact (4+ / 0-)

    (as kindly pointed out to me by amother Kossack) that Obama initially rejected the Chemical Weapons claims..

    He showed restraint!  He didn't appear unseemly eager to bomb the shit out of Syria (though I'm certain we are already providing help to the "rebels").

    Yes, yes, the end result will be the same:  Militarism, bombing the shit out of people, destabilization, increase in religious strife...

    But isn't that the end game?  Isn't that the same policy that is pursued with gusto by both R and D?

    Why Yes.  Yes It Is.

    And nothing will change until folks start waking up in enough numbers to force the change.

    Perhaps we can tell the Syrian people how, unlike those dasterdly Rethuglicans, we weren't eager to bomb and maim the shit out of them.. but we did it any way.

    I'm sure that'll make all the difference.

    The excuses for Obama's behavior have long since passed the point of predictability neccessary to qualify as an absurd production of Kabuki Theater.

    by Johnathan Ivan on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 09:15:24 AM PDT

  •  Well, now I'm convinced. (6+ / 0-)
    "At a minimum, the United States, along with willing allies and partners, should use standoff weapons and airpower to target the Syrian dictatorship’s military units that were involved in the recent large-scale use of chemical weapons.  It should also provide vetted moderate elements of Syria’s armed opposition with the military support required to identify and strike regime units armed with chemical weapons," the experts write.

    "Moreover, the United States and other willing nations should consider direct military strikes against the pillars of the Assad regime.  The objectives should be not only to ensure that Assad’s chemical weapons no longer threaten America, our allies in the region or the Syrian people, but also to deter or destroy the Assad regime’s airpower and other conventional military means of committing atrocities against civilian non-combatants.  At the same time, the United States should accelerate efforts to vet, train, and arm moderate elements of Syria’s armed opposition, with the goal of empowering them to prevail against both the Assad regime and the growing presence of Al Qaeda-affiliated and other extremist rebel factions in the country."

    WeeklyStandard
       
        Ammar Abdulhamid

        Elliott Abrams

        Dr. Fouad Ajami

        Dr. Michael Auslin

        Gary Bauer

        Paul Berman

        Max Boot

        Ellen Bork

        Ambassador L. Paul Bremer

        Matthew R. J. Brodsky

        Dr. Eliot A. Cohen

        Senator Norm Coleman

        Ambassador William Courtney

        Seth Cropsey

        James S. Denton

        Paula A. DeSutter

        Larry Diamond

        Dr. Paula J. Dobriansky

        Thomas Donnelly

        Dr. Michael Doran

        Mark Dubowitz

        Dr. Colin Dueck

        Dr. Nicholas Eberstadt

        Ambassador Eric S. Edelman

        Reuel Marc Gerecht

        Abe Greenwald

        Christopher J. Griffin

        John P. Hannah

        Bruce Pitcairn Jackson

        Ash Jain

        Dr. Kenneth Jensen

        Allison Johnson

        Dr. Robert G. Joseph

        Dr. Robert Kagan

        Lawrence F. Kaplan

        Jamie Kirchick

        Irina Krasovskaya

        Dr. William Kristol

        Bernard-Henri Levy

        Dr. Robert J. Lieber

        Senator Joseph I. Lieberman

        Tod Lindberg

        Dr. Thomas G. Mahnken

        Dr. Michael Makovsky

        Ann Marlowe

        Dr. Clifford D. May

        Dr. Alan Mendoza

        Dr. Joshua Muravchik

        Governor Tim Pawlenty

        Martin Peretz

        Danielle Pletka

        Dr. David Pollock

        Arch Puddington

        Karl Rove

        Randy Scheunemann

        Dan Senor

        Ambassador John Shattuck

        Lee Smith

        Henry D. Sokolski

        James Traub

        Ambassador Mark D. Wallace

        Michael Weiss

        Leon Wieseltier

        Khawla Yusuf

        Robert Zarate

        Dr. Radwan Ziadeh

    If Karl Rove and neocon central want to do it, it must be cool.

    (via Digby)

  •  Hey GOP! You want an impeacheable offense? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nattiq, Johnny Q

    Here you go. Going to war without a declaration from Congress, very simple. I'd support it too because we have to end this pattern of Presidents unilaterally attacking whatever Middle Eastern country is convenient with no oversight or endgame. This region has been at war for a millennium at least, and it's going to be at war for the foreseeable future so this is a pattern that will continue. Any President who needs a distraction or who answers to the Military Industrial Complex will have bombing and/or invading some country in the region as an option if Congress keeps allowing it. Every Administration since Carter has launched some sort of military operation there and now it looks like Obama wants one to call hid own since continuing Bush's Iraq and Afghanistan/Pakistan debacles apparently aren't enough. I'm not necessarily saying action on Syria is unwarranted but the fact that it looks like it will be with no Congressional oversight AND with no support from the Security Council is what bothers me most. Of course, the GOP will never impeach him for this, they'll find something petty and just scream "freedom" and "America!" and such.

    Let's not let 2014 be anything like 2010. Republicans only win when we stay home!

    by Tim D M on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 09:37:13 AM PDT

    •  that's not really an 'impeachable offense'--we've (0+ / 0-)

      been doing it for what...since the foundations of this country, practically.

      •  No, the President used to ask Congress for a (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Johnny Q

        declaration of war. I know in recent history, that hasn't been the case but it is stated explicitly in the Constitution and it's one thing I would really like to see us go back to, even if it's really just a formality.

        Let's not let 2014 be anything like 2010. Republicans only win when we stay home!

        by Tim D M on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 12:14:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  bring the Ottoman Empire back? (0+ / 0-)

    The Turks have been our allies since way back; they never liked Russia (the reason they joined Germany in WWI), so they were eager to join NATO and generally help us out in that part of the world.  In the evil parallel universe, Bearded Obama would use our no doubt extensive contacts with the Turkish military - secular, old-school nationalists - to send a message: get rid of Erdogan and his Islamist buddies, commit to playing nice with Israel, and we'll use our big shiny air force to help them conquer everything between Egypt and Iran.

    We'd have strong, loyal allies in charge of the world's gas station.  The Ottomans let every ethnic and religious group be self-governing internally - no more Wilsonian nation-state nonsense with every tribe fighting to make sure they're the majority - while they imposed a hands-off "Pay your taxes and don't kill each other ... or else" imperial system monopolized by the Ottoman Turk elite.

    War Nerd: changed the way I think. Free stuff here & here

    by Visceral on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 09:42:36 AM PDT

  •  100,000 or more Syrians murdered by their ruler. (0+ / 0-)

    Another 2 million refugees and nothing done.  Now, all of a sudden, we are going to war over chemical weapon use, which is horrific, by any standard.  My problem with this, is it is a Middle East problem.  Why the hell doesn't the Arab League bomb the hell out of Assad.  Heaven knows we sell them enough weapons to do the job mightily.  Why is it always the good old USA?  Then, we are hated even more by the people we "try" to help.

    If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything - unknown

    by incognita on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 09:45:00 AM PDT

    •  Do you really believe that propaganda? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sydserious, skrekk
      100,000 or more Syrians murdered by their ruler.
      Even the pro-opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights gives a proper body count. (Keep in mind that SOHR only labels defectors from Syrian military as "rebels". Other opposition fighters are classed as "civilians".)
      Syria Death Toll: 100,000 Killed In War, Syrian Observatory for Human Rights Says  

      The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which has been tracking the death toll through a network of activists in the country, said most of the 100,191 killed in the last 27 months were combatants.

      The regime losses were estimated at nearly 43,000, including pro-government militias and 169 fighters from the Lebanese Shiite Hezbollah group – a recent entrant in the conflict.

      The Observatory said 36,661 of the dead are civilians. Recorded deaths among the rebels fighting to topple President Bashar Assad reached more than 18,000, including 2,518 foreign fighters.

      Observatory director Rami Abdul-Rahman said he suspected that the toll actually was higher, since neither side has been totally forthcoming about its losses.

  •  I can't believe I'm doing this. (3+ / 0-)

    So what, we just let him get away with this?  What's next on his agenda?  Who's next on his agenda?  Evil, and that's what Asad is by any definition, must be confronted, using a language that it can understand.

    I spent a decade in the Marine Corps, and I have no love for war and combat, especially apallingly stupid misadventure in Iraq.  Syria has Iraq II written all over it, beginning clearly with the justification for plunging in.  That said, if there is unimpeachable evidence (TBD on that one) that that government is engaging in such atrocities, we have a MORAL DUTY to do something.  History and our grandchildren will judge us harshly (re:  the West in the face of Hitler) for standing aside and simply shaking our heads in dismay.

    Now, here it comes.  The Arabs have been historically wronged by the West, these are sectarian battles that predate recorded history, etc., etc.  You know what?  The past is the past, and it can't be undone.  We can only try to do better in the future.  Whatever happened in the past vis a vis Western Imperialism and the damage done to aboriginal peoples and cultures, they are not allowed to trash modern mores of what is the appropriate and evolved way to resolve conflict without being stopped by those of us that supposedly know better.  Bashir al Asad has no excuse for his actions other than the need to cling to power.  Why should we allow him to get away with this?  Why is democracy and rule by consent of the governed so derided as a Western affectation that has no place in that region?  And, more the point, how else is a bully/tyrant/narcissistic monster to be stopped?

    That last question may be the most important one...

    •  I see you took Neocon 101 (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nattiq
      •  I imagine you think (0+ / 0-)

        that if we just hugged him a little more, and showed a little more love, that he would stop killing his own people.  And it you start saying, well, if we hadn't gone in and done  X, Y and Z in the past, they wouldn't hate us so much.  And even if it's not about us, which may be the case here, then it's about sectarian religion, which makes the whole mess even more special!  News for you:  you can't undo the past, and no matter what the past might be, there is no justification for the things that are going on over there.  We wouldn't be excused for doing them, would we?

    •  because they all hate each other (0+ / 0-)
      Why is democracy and rule by consent of the governed so derided as a Western affectation that has no place in that region?
      Long story short, when Western busybodies and Western-educated exiles come over to talk to the warlords and shiekhs about democracy, the only thing anybody hears is "majority rule": meaning whoever wins the tribal headcount gets to run the country their way, with the full support of the big rich countries and their militaries.

      Afterwards, the local leaders are either drooling or shitting their pants - depending on the size of their tribe - and all of them are getting ready for a big crazy Chinese checkers civil war, because one way or the other, your tribe has to win the headcount.

      War Nerd: changed the way I think. Free stuff here & here

      by Visceral on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 10:19:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  When Saddam Hussein gassed Iran - (0+ / 0-)

      using precursor chemicals Donnie Rumsfeld provided - in the Iraq/Iran War - in which 1,000,000 people were killed, didn't we have a MORAL DUTY to stop it?

      Or Idi Amin?

      Do we even know who we're backing in this horse race, and what the government of Syria will look like when the dust settles?

      As for

      they are not allowed to trash modern mores of what is the appropriate and evolved way to resolve conflict
      what appropriate and evolved way to resolve conflict did the US use when we invaded Iraq based on lies and misrepresenations?

      The United States has caused the death of enough civilians lately - about 1,000,000 in Iraq for example.  Do we really need more blood on our hands?

      Fiat justitia ruat caelum "Let justice be done though the heavens fall."

      by bobdevo on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 06:44:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes we did have a moral obligation, (0+ / 0-)

        and we failed.  We had a moral obligation in Rwanda and any number of other places, and we failed.  The question that no one seems to want to answer is pretty simple and straightforward:

        How is evil to be confronted?  It cannot be allowed to just happen, and I will maintain that to the end.

  •  Anyone Able To Define What The Syrian Civil War (0+ / 0-)

    is about?  Every news story focuses on the "We're going to war" and says nothing about what the the causes.

    I figured it was all about "My God Is Better Than Your God,
    but Wiki says it's part of the "Arab Spring" which lists these causes:

    The Arab spring is widely believed to have been instigated by dissatisfaction with the rule of local governments, though some have speculated that wide gaps in income levels may have had a hand as well. Numerous factors have led to the protests, including issues such as dictatorship or absolute monarchy, human rights violations, political corruption (demonstrated by Wikileaks diplomatic cables), economic decline, unemployment, extreme poverty, and a number of demographic structural factors, such as a large percentage of educated but dissatisfied youth within the population
    .

    http://en.wikipedia.org/...

    "I think that gay marriage is something that should be between a man and a woman.” - Arnold Schwarzenegger 2003

    by kerplunk on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 10:00:23 AM PDT

    •  highly doubt that religion is a prevailing (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      protectspice, kerplunk, skrekk

      factor out of the fact that it is a part of ethno-religious identity.

      The God-Wars are really, really overstated around here.  Belief may be part of it--but only as concerns group-defined definitions of morality, etc. etc.

      These uprisings were, at the outset, primarily economic in nature--and morphed into questions of free speech, repression, self determination, etc.

      Religion is in play but it's not driving things.

      •  From what I've observed, it has usually been (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kerplunk

        economic disparity that initiated events. But, unfortunately, in all the Arab Spring revolts, religion very quickly came to the forefront as an overriding factor in their resolutions.

        •  I agree that it is involved--but involved as (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Claudius Bombarnac, kerplunk

          identity politics more than belief, I think.  Even w/Morsi and the brotherhood--a lot of this was about forcing through constitutions, completely ineptitude wrt the economy, and general obliviousness to the needs of the country.  Fears over hard-line Islamism were certainly involved, but I don't see actual belief--or exercise of that belief--as being paramount.

          •  Morsi was caught between a rock and a hard place (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bevenro, kerplunk

            with the economy. The country desperately needed cash but the US and IMF required austerity measures that were extremely unpopular. This basically tanked the economy and the people became more and more dissatisfied.

            After he was toppled, $12 billion miraculously appeared from Saudi Arabia and the UAE. The IMF now states that it's terms will be relaxed if Egypt wants to re-apply. The people don't want IMF money.

            Fears over hard-line Islamism were certainly involved, but I don't see actual belief--or exercise of that belief--as being paramount.
            Currently, Tunisia, Libya and Egypt are all torn by sectarian strife to one extent or another. The problem is that none of these governments are capable of addressing the real roots of the problem - economic disparity. It's become world wide and includes both developed and undeveloped countries. Just look within the US itself.
    •  The same global recession/depression (0+ / 0-)

      That we went through deeply impacted the MENA world.   Disaffected, unemployed young people, angry and disenfranchised and disoriented.   Or just angry. No job, no bride price/no dowry, no prospects, no future.   Add arms,  mix.  

  •  There's another aspect to chemical weapons, folks. (0+ / 0-)

    When it comes to US policy, I think you guys are forgetting something about chemical weapons, namely:

    CHEMICAL WEAPONS ARE HIGHLY PORTABLE
    It's one thing for a civil war to rage for years, or even decades, as long as they're just shooting and bombing each other.  No conventional weapon can reach the US from Syria, and they have no means of force projection by which to bring conventional weapons within range of the US.  Yes, there are US assets in harm's way--primarily the Sixth Fleet--but most analyses suggest that the Syrian Navy's missile boats wouldn't even get within range of a US carrier group.

    Chemical weapons are different.  Either side could direct a chemical strike against Israel, US installations in Europe or the Sixth Fleet in the Med...or even (as an extreme example) US territory.  With CW, you don't have to be precisely on target - you only have to get close and let prevailing winds do the rest...

    It's more of an escalation than just "gassing people" inside Syria...it's the fact that those weapons extend the danger zone well beyond Syrian territory.

    I think we should consider this aspect of CW in our evaluations of US policy.

    The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

    by wesmorgan1 on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 10:11:14 AM PDT

    •  Most chemical weapons are very unstable with (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sydserious, Nattiq, Johnny Q

      shelf lives in the weeks/months. Binary formulations are better for storage but are extremely difficult to put together correctly and safely in any large quantity w/o proper facilities.

      CW is more hype than danger. It has great emotional value for propaganda purposes. Many more people can be killed with good old fertilizer and fuel oil and an AK-47.

      •  Given that they're already proportioned... (0+ / 0-)

        ...I don't think that mixing is all that difficult.  They aren't working from scratch, after all...

        Even the 1980s artillery shell the US manufactured (and later destroyed) was ridiculously simple in this regard.  The shell had two chambers; it was transported and stored with one compartment loaded, while the second compartment was to be loaded immediately before firing.  There was no measuring, no "difficult to put together correctly and safely" about it.

        We've also created chemical rockets of much simpler design(s).

        Given that the components are premeasured and already compartmentalized, it would be ridiculously simple to transport those charges elsewhere and use a different method of delivery.

        Put it this way - the things are designed such that the typical artilleryman can transport, load and arm them.  No pun intended, but it isn't rocket science.

        The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

        by wesmorgan1 on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 06:38:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You are assuming the munitions have already (0+ / 0-)

          been designed and manufactured. My comments were based on terrorists having to fabricate everything from scratch.

          I believe that the CW storage areas in Syria are being carefully monitored by the US, Israeli and Russia. I doubt that Assad would use the stuff within the country.

          The Russians analyzed the sarin from the Khan al-Assal attack on March 19 and found it did not contain the chemical stabilizers normally found in the charge. Another difference was the opening charge was not explosives of the type the military used.

          It will be interesting to see the results from the recent attack.

          Put it this way - the things are designed such that the typical artilleryman can transport, load and arm them.  No pun intended, but it isn't rocket science.
          But it would take a lot of rocket science to design and manufacture all the components as well as the delivery system to get it to that stage. A trained specialist could use the munitions but only in the proscribed manner. It would be very difficult to re-purpose the munitions in such a manner as to be effective.

          We've been hearing about threats of terrorist's getting and using CW's for many decades.

          •  It's really about command and control. (0+ / 0-)

            If Assad's forces are using chemical weapons, then those delivery systems (be they artillery rounds, 122mm chemical rockets, or whatever) have, in all likelihood been released to subordinate, or even local, commanders.

            If that's the case, then they're subject to theft, rogue use, etc. as soon as they leave the storage depot.  

            THAT is the escalation of which I speak.  I completely agree that fabricating these things from scratch is not a simple matter, but if you can simply steal/bribe/whatever your way to one of those chemical rockets or CW artillery warheads, it's a simple matter to break it down into parts (including the separate binary components) and go from there.

            The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

            by wesmorgan1 on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 01:39:18 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Who cares? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LaFeminista, Sydserious, Johnny Q, skrekk
    however when a country is in a civil war who do you bomb and what will be the outcome
     the important thing is to being bombing a country, not the outcome. If we make more enemies then that will give us a chance to bomb even more people.

      Don't you see? Either way we win! The only way we will lose is if peace breaks out.

     And while we're in the neighborhood, let's bomb Iran too.

    (do I need to put a snark tag?)

    None are so hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are free. The truth has been kept from the depth of their minds by masters who rule them with lies. -Johann von Goethe

    by gjohnsit on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 10:18:42 AM PDT

  •  Brown Moses - UN inspectors examining munition (0+ / 0-)
    Were The UN Inspectors Examining A Chemical Weapon In Medmah Al Sham?

    During yesterday's visit by UN inspectors to Medmah Al Sham, Damascus, one of the locations of the alleged chemical weapons attack, they inspected the remains of a munition that locals claimed was linked to the attack

  •  better than punishing a war crime... (0+ / 0-)

    ...is stopping one while it's still in progress, no?

    What would be better, putting someone in prison for killing 100,000 people, or stopping their ability to kill when they've only racked up 10,000?

    I'm not for bombing things willy-nilly, but if they want to launch tactical strikes against positions that are deploying chemical weapons that stand to kill thousands, then I say launch away.

    As someone once said, it does no good for the sheep to pass declarations against eating meat while the wolves remain of a different opinion.   Pacifism is no virtue when being peaceful lets others die.

    I don't think the point is just "to bomb the shit out of something," if it stands to stop chemical weapons from being used.  If we use missiles, the targets are going to be sites from which those weapons are deployed.

    If you have another realistic idea of how to stop it, please put that forth.  Otherwise, it just looks like your desire not to bomb things is more important than keeping chemical weapons from being used against people.   And I'd say that was misplaced concern.

    "Glenn Beck ends up looking like a fat, stupid child. His face should be wearing a chef's hat on the side of a box of eclairs. " - Doug Stanhope

    by Front Toward Enemy on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 10:52:11 AM PDT

  •  "Lobbing cruise missiles"... (0+ / 0-)

    ...used to be ridiculed back in the '80s and '90s as a military response in the Middle East (I guess it wasn't considered macho enough), but in hindsight it probably was the best option if force was deemed necessary vs. large scale occupations and invasions. Lower cost and lower loss of life on both sides. Lesser of the evils, so to speak.

  •  Good Lord....I agree with Newt Gingrich. (0+ / 0-)

    Never thought that day would happen.  : (

    http://www.cnn.com/...

    "Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth". Albert Einstein

    by Sydserious on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 12:46:20 PM PDT

  •  Interesting (0+ / 0-)

    so let me get this straight, we should give crimes against humanity a pass because we haven't consistently done the right thing in the past and because Palestine?

  •  Many US air strikes in past didn't engage us after (0+ / 0-)

    Anybody remember us blowing up stuff in Libya after Ghaddfi's terror strike on US personnel in Germany? Or the bombs dropped in Serbia? And no huge war on them after...
    Just because  we're bombing someplace doesn't mean the next step is full-fledged invasion. Clinton shot some missiles at Afghanistan, he didn't then send in the Marines.
    Nobody in the Middle East wants US troops on the ground anywhere. But US air power to cripple or destroy a regime's heavy weapons and air force, yes. Once it comes down to man-to-man fighting, the rebels have vastly overwhelming numbers and don't need any foreigners to "help" them. Right now they are getting pretty fed up with the jihadist foreigners who are in their country now -- once Assad is out of the way the next target for the Syrians will be those clowns. It's not just an anti-US thing, its not wanting a bunch of strangers making trouble in your homeland.
    I understand many people here are tired of US war actions but just because we got ourselves needlessly involved in the Iraq bloody boondoggle doesn't mean we should turn a blind eye to 100K civilians killed because we're "tired".

    Ash-sha'b yurid isqat an-nizam!

    by fourthcornerman on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 03:24:51 PM PDT

  •  When a problem comes along . . . (0+ / 0-)

    you must bomb it.

    Fiat justitia ruat caelum "Let justice be done though the heavens fall."

    by bobdevo on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 06:28:32 AM PDT

  •  Agreed LaFem (0+ / 0-)




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    nosotros no somos estúpidos

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