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ckn

Syria and Obama

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It's political cowardice really.  None of them want to take on the scary nuclear argument, even though the latest generations are the safest, most reliable and least damaging mass energy generating technology available to humanity at present.  Far easier to just allow fracking to go ahead because 95% of the public don't know more about it than what they've read in a tabloid headline.

 

When do politicians ever show a backbone? The only two I can think who have shown an real fibre in my lifetime are Thatcher and Blair who are probably two of the most devisive politicians in recent times.

 

There is no way renewable sources can sustain the country's needs. Full stop.

 

That is why it needs to be used in conjunction with a widescale nuclear programme. If they really wanted to use renewable sources, there would be barrages across places like the Severn Estuary which would generate a lot of energy and massive investment in the use of wave energy. However, the costs both economically and environmentally are somewhere no government are likely to go in this day and age.

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However, the cynic in me feels that Syria is going to become Iran's Afghanistan/Iraq and the Russians are going to be shown for the inhumane criminals that they are. Where that leaves us, I don't know?!

Can't Canetman use his inflence and sort this out?

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Nuclear is a hard sell with Fukushima still not under full control.

 

(Yes I would rather have nuc's and wind/solar rather than coal and foreign gas)

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A quite good editorial on the original subject from the Guardian.

 

It's a difficult subject but one we just cannot ignore.  Ignore one bully who thinks he's immune from breaking one of the world's big taboos and you encourage the other tin-pot dictators out there to do the same.  All they have to do is promise to buy a few Russian MiGs and they'll be buying a veto in the UN security council.

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I neither trust or believe any party in this terrible situation...and that is an appalling state of affairs. All I know is that our record of intervention on whatever grounds isn't a good one. I reckon that whatever we do, its going to turn out badly.

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A quite good editorial on the original subject from the Guardian.

 

It's a difficult subject but one we just cannot ignore.  Ignore one bully who thinks he's immune from breaking one of the world's big taboos and you encourage the other tin-pot dictators out there to do the same.  All they have to do is promise to buy a few Russian MiGs and they'll be buying a veto in the UN security council.

There are reports that the rebels also used chemical weapons. Should we bomb them as well?

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There are reports that the rebels also used chemical weapons. Should we bomb them as well?

If they did then yes.  Without question.

 

The problem is that it's quite improbable that they had either the knowledge or resources to do so.  Making sarin is quite simple really, any high-school chemistry teacher should know how*, the difficulty is storage and dispersal in credible amounts.  You can't stick it in normal artillery shells as it'd incinerate on explosion, same with mortar shells.  You can't just empty a barrel of the stuff in it's constituted form as it'd need quite a strong wind to disperse beyond a small area, certainly not the extent that it has been seen.  You can't use it in an aerosol format easily.  The simplest way is a specially made artillery shell but then that's not something you can knock up in a garage somewhere.  There's no evidence that the rebels have this sort of technology or we'd no doubt have seen it used in terrorism elsewhere.  In short, there's no credible scenario I can think of where you'd get this scale of dispersal and casualties without it coming from an artillery site (standard or rocket) with specific chemical warfare rounds and chemical components that have just recently been manufactured.

 

* Breaking Bad reference

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So..... Syria, Iran, etc on one side.

 

Us etc on the other?

 

Not that simple , though.   Any "action" by the US may well be just the excuse Iran needs.   

 

In any case, I suspect that there are more sides to this than two and that defeat of the current regime might provide the opportunity that militant islamists are looking  for. 

 

And I STILL don't believe we know the truth over any of this. 

 

I think I might bury my head in the sand over this,.....

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If they did then yes. Without question.

The problem is that it's quite improbable that they had either the knowledge or resources to do so. Making sarin is quite simple really, any high-school chemistry teacher should know how*, the difficulty is storage and dispersal in credible amounts. You can't stick it in normal artillery shells as it'd incinerate on explosion, same with mortar shells. You can't just empty a barrel of the stuff in it's constituted form as it'd need quite a strong wind to disperse beyond a small area, certainly not the extent that it has been seen. You can't use it in an aerosol format easily. The simplest way is a specially made artillery shell but then that's not something you can knock up in a garage somewhere. There's no evidence that the rebels have this sort of technology or we'd no doubt have seen it used in terrorism elsewhere. In short, there's no credible scenario I can think of where you'd get this scale of dispersal and casualties without it coming from an artillery site (standard or rocket) with specific chemical warfare rounds and chemical components that have just recently been manufactured.

So we should bomb the very same "rebels" that we(US&nato) support, both politically and militarily? What a mess and even more evidence that we should have stayed out of this civil war from the beginning.

* Breaking Bad reference

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I neither trust or believe any party in this terrible situation...and that is an appalling state of affairs. All I know is that our record of intervention on whatever grounds isn't a good one. I reckon that whatever we do, its going to turn out badly.

 

I agree.

 

The road to World War 3 will be paved with good intentions and this particular powder keg has all the necessary ingredients.

 

The UK should do absolutely nothing militarily in Syria because there is absolutely nothing positive it can achieve in this situation.

 

We can't be the men in white hats riding to the rescue and should be using whatever influence we may have left on the international stage to advocate jaw jaw over war war.

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I agree.

 

The road to World War 3 will be paved with good intentions and this particular powder keg has all the necessary ingredients.

 

The UK should do absolutely nothing militarily in Syria because there is absolutely nothing positive it can achieve in this situation.

 

We can't be the men in white hats riding to the rescue and should be using whatever influence we may have left on the international stage to advocate jaw jaw over war war.

I disagree.  I'm a huge fan of dialogue before war every time but there are some times that the world just needs to put aside petty differences and send an unequivocable message.

 

The only reason the major crackpots in the world haven't used chemical weapons against their enemies since the Iraq/Iran war forced changes to UN treaties is the threat of an excessively punitive smacking down by the world's powers.  It's one of the big taboos out there in terms of state warfare.

 

If Syria gets away with it then where next?  There's no government in the world that can't get the resources to make and use chemical weapons.

 

So, if the nutjobs near the Israeli border decide to stop Israeli settlers by using chemical weapons then should we just shrug and look away because it's not in our back-yard?  What about the next African genocide?  Far easier to chemically destroy millions of civilian enemies than have to chase them with your soldiers, just sit back and lob chemical weapons at them.  What about if India or Pakistan decide that instead of firing occasional conventional artillery shells at each other that they should chemically get rid of the human difficulties on the other side of the border?  What if Argentina decides the best way to stop the Falkland Islanders from protesting about an invasion is to wipe out Port Stanley with chemicals?

 

Then, what if someone decides that chemicals aren't enough, bring in biological weapons or even a nuke?  The only thing stopping a nuke is that it's hard to make without tipping off half the world but biological weapons can be quite easily made with a few nutjob scientists and a few vats of a biological accelerant.  Unlike chemical weapons, most biological ones are highly persistent, just look at our very own anthrax island of Gruinard.  The scary thing is that they're even easier to use than chemical weapons.

 

Where do you draw the line on where the world should intervene and say "that's enough?"  For me, it's the first toe over the line of using a weapon classified as a Weapon of Mass Destruction by the UN under one of the many treaties.   There's no part of that wedge that's thin enough to be allowed in the door.

 

We've already shamefully turned our eyes to the millions of people killed in genocides in Africa over the last couple of decades because it's too difficult, is this the next one that we don't bother dealing with because it's too difficult?  Should we just retreat behind our borders and hope the rest of the world will leave us alone?

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I disagree.  I'm a huge fan of dialogue before war every time but there are some times that the world just needs to put aside petty differences and send an unequivocable message.

 

The only reason the major crackpots in the world haven't used chemical weapons against their enemies since the Iraq/Iran war forced changes to UN treaties is the threat of an excessively punitive smacking down by the world's powers.  It's one of the big taboos out there in terms of state warfare.

 

If Syria gets away with it then where next?  There's no government in the world that can't get the resources to make and use chemical weapons.

 

So, if the nutjobs near the Israeli border decide to stop Israeli settlers by using chemical weapons then should we just shrug and look away because it's not in our back-yard?  What about the next African genocide?  Far easier to chemically destroy millions of civilian enemies than have to chase them with your soldiers, just sit back and lob chemical weapons at them.  What about if India or Pakistan decide that instead of firing occasional conventional artillery shells at each other that they should chemically get rid of the human difficulties on the other side of the border?  What if Argentina decides the best way to stop the Falkland Islanders from protesting about an invasion is to wipe out Port Stanley with chemicals?

 

Then, what if someone decides that chemicals aren't enough, bring in biological weapons or even a nuke?  The only thing stopping a nuke is that it's hard to make without tipping off half the world but biological weapons can be quite easily made with a few nutjob scientists and a few vats of a biological accelerant.  Unlike chemical weapons, most biological ones are highly persistent, just look at our very own anthrax island of Gruinard.  The scary thing is that they're even easier to use than chemical weapons.

 

Where do you draw the line on where the world should intervene and say "that's enough?"  For me, it's the first toe over the line of using a weapon classified as a Weapon of Mass Destruction by the UN under one of the many treaties.   There's no part of that wedge that's thin enough to be allowed in the door.

 

We've already shamefully turned our eyes to the millions of people killed in genocides in Africa over the last couple of decades because it's too difficult, is this the next one that we don't bother dealing with because it's too difficult?  Should we just retreat behind our borders and hope the rest of the world will leave us alone?

Lots of what if's in that post, also has it ever crossed your mind that the "rebels" were responsible for the chemical attack in Damascus? As its the "rebels" who have the most to gain and assad who has the most to lose from a US&nato military intervention.

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I disagree.  I'm a huge fan of dialogue before war every time but there are some times that the world just needs to put aside petty differences and send an unequivocable message.

 

The only reason the major crackpots in the world haven't used chemical weapons against their enemies since the Iraq/Iran war forced changes to UN treaties is the threat of an excessively punitive smacking down by the world's powers.  It's one of the big taboos out there in terms of state warfare.

 

If Syria gets away with it then where next?  There's no government in the world that can't get the resources to make and use chemical weapons.

 

So, if the nutjobs near the Israeli border decide to stop Israeli settlers by using chemical weapons then should we just shrug and look away because it's not in our back-yard?  What about the next African genocide?  Far easier to chemically destroy millions of civilian enemies than have to chase them with your soldiers, just sit back and lob chemical weapons at them.  What about if India or Pakistan decide that instead of firing occasional conventional artillery shells at each other that they should chemically get rid of the human difficulties on the other side of the border?  What if Argentina decides the best way to stop the Falkland Islanders from protesting about an invasion is to wipe out Port Stanley with chemicals?

 

Then, what if someone decides that chemicals aren't enough, bring in biological weapons or even a nuke?  The only thing stopping a nuke is that it's hard to make without tipping off half the world but biological weapons can be quite easily made with a few nutjob scientists and a few vats of a biological accelerant.  Unlike chemical weapons, most biological ones are highly persistent, just look at our very own anthrax island of Gruinard.  The scary thing is that they're even easier to use than chemical weapons.

 

Where do you draw the line on where the world should intervene and say "that's enough?"  For me, it's the first toe over the line of using a weapon classified as a Weapon of Mass Destruction by the UN under one of the many treaties.   There's no part of that wedge that's thin enough to be allowed in the door.

 

We've already shamefully turned our eyes to the millions of people killed in genocides in Africa over the last couple of decades because it's too difficult, is this the next one that we don't bother dealing with because it's too difficult?  Should we just retreat behind our borders and hope the rest of the world will leave us alone?

 

I used to feel the same.

 

Not any more.

 

Too many lies have been told to justify doomed military interventions in the recent past for me to be conned into supporting any more now, unless the UK itself is directly attacked and is required to act in self defence.

 

We don't even yet know for certain who fired these chemical weapons or why.

 

If the whole world was united against what's happening in Syria, it might be different. But it isn't. Russia and Iran to name but two key players are not onside at all. Any US/UK/French strike will escalate the entire conflict in ways that could have dire and uncontrollable consequences way beyond Syria's borders.

 

I agree with this by Owen Jones in today's Independent.

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/for-the-syrians-sakes-and-for-our-own-we-must-not-intervene-8784220.html

 

I know he rubs a lot of people up the wrong way, but he is spot on when he says wading into Syria on the pretext of 'doing something' about the use of chemical weapons against civilians would be like throwing water onto a chip pan fire.

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I neither trust or believe any party in this terrible situation...and that is an appalling state of affairs. All I know is that our record of intervention on whatever grounds isn't a good one. I reckon that whatever we do, its going to turn out badly.

 

Post-Rwanda, our interventions have been relatively successful until the Bush declared combat missions were over in Iraq. The troubles in Bosnia were largely stopped on the surface level, which was the aim, and also in Kosovo and Macedonia, plus the British were incredibly successful in stopping violence and stabilising Sierra Leone under the leadership of General Richards (just left his post of Chief of the Defence Staff) and Blair.

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Post-Rwanda, our interventions have been relatively successful until the Bush declared combat missions were over in Iraq. The troubles in Bosnia were largely stopped on the surface level, which was the aim, and also in Kosovo and Macedonia, plus the British were incredibly successful in stopping violence and stabilising Sierra Leone under the leadership of General Richards (just left his post of Chief of the Defence Staff) and Blair.

 

None of the above bear any comparison to the tinderbox situation in Syria.

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Lots of what if's in that post, also has it ever crossed your mind that the "rebels" were responsible for the chemical attack in Damascus? As its the "rebels" who have the most to gain and assad who has the most to lose from a US&nato military intervention.

See my post above about the likelihood of it being a rebel attack.

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None of the above bear any comparison to the tinderbox situation in Syria.

 

I wasn't even suggesting it was; just refuting JohnM's post about intervention.

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Post-Rwanda, our interventions have been relatively successful until the Bush declared combat missions were over in Iraq. The troubles in Bosnia were largely stopped on the surface level, which was the aim, and also in Kosovo and Macedonia, plus the British were incredibly successful in stopping violence and stabilising Sierra Leone under the leadership of General Richards (just left his post of Chief of the Defence Staff) and Blair.

 

By intervention, I meant well, you know, how helpful we've been over India and Africa over the last 500 years....oh, and Afghanistan, Iraq, Egypt, Sudan, Palestine, Israel, Rhodesia, South Africa, all countries that have benefitted from our "intervention" over hundreds of years. 

 

Population of Sierra Leone is 5 million, which puts us in a good place if we ever have to intervene in Scotland.

 

Population of Syria is 20 million backed by Iran at 75 million, so intervention is a tad different, especially as all side seem to have Allah on their side.

 

I reckon. I see the UN inspectors were sniped at today. Which side did that, I wonder?   

 

I just trust and hope that we do not launch a missile attack on Syria. It'll be like intervening in a particularly bloody domestic. You know, hubby and wife knockin ten bells out of each other but turn on anyone who tries to intervene. We'll end up with the whole of the middle east against us.

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Seriously what are all the World affairs to do with the US?

And it's junior partner the UK.

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See my post above about the likelihood of it being a rebel attack.

It wouldn't be the first time that the "rebels" had used chemical weapons in Syria, UN human rights investigator Carla del ponte Accused the "rebels" of using the nerve agent sarin early this year.

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I disagree.  I'm a huge fan of dialogue before war every time but there are some times that the world just needs to put aside petty differences and send an unequivocable message.

 

The only reason the major crackpots in the world haven't used chemical weapons against their enemies since the Iraq/Iran war forced changes to UN treaties is the threat of an excessively punitive smacking down by the world's powers.  It's one of the big taboos out there in terms of state warfare.

 

If Syria gets away with it then where next?  There's no government in the world that can't get the resources to make and use chemical weapons.

 

So, if the nutjobs near the Israeli border decide to stop Israeli settlers by using chemical weapons then should we just shrug and look away because it's not in our back-yard?  What about the next African genocide?  Far easier to chemically destroy millions of civilian enemies than have to chase them with your soldiers, just sit back and lob chemical weapons at them.  What about if India or Pakistan decide that instead of firing occasional conventional artillery shells at each other that they should chemically get rid of the human difficulties on the other side of the border?  What if Argentina decides the best way to stop the Falkland Islanders from protesting about an invasion is to wipe out Port Stanley with chemicals?

 

Then, what if someone decides that chemicals aren't enough, bring in biological weapons or even a nuke?  The only thing stopping a nuke is that it's hard to make without tipping off half the world but biological weapons can be quite easily made with a few nutjob scientists and a few vats of a biological accelerant.  Unlike chemical weapons, most biological ones are highly persistent, just look at our very own anthrax island of Gruinard.  The scary thing is that they're even easier to use than chemical weapons.

 

Where do you draw the line on where the world should intervene and say "that's enough?"  For me, it's the first toe over the line of using a weapon classified as a Weapon of Mass Destruction by the UN under one of the many treaties.   There's no part of that wedge that's thin enough to be allowed in the door.

 

We've already shamefully turned our eyes to the millions of people killed in genocides in Africa over the last couple of decades because it's too difficult, is this the next one that we don't bother dealing with because it's too difficult?  Should we just retreat behind our borders and hope the rest of the world will leave us alone?

Sounds like a good idea to me.

The problem with Westerners is that they were brought up on Star Wars good versus evil morality stories and interpret events in this way. E.g. WW2 is seen as good (allies) vs axis (bad); inconvenient facts such as Stalin (allied therefore "good") and the bombing of Dresden (done by allies so must be "good") tend to be forgotten.

In Syria, you have two sides who are "bad". If you target Assad then you aid the FSA (and vice versa); both sides have genocidal ambitions. There is no plan of how to make things better beyond "let's bomb the bad guy". So we do that and then what? Well having bombed Assad's military, we obviously can't leave him in power as he might aid terrorists who would wish to kill us, so mission creep begins and we end up trying to "nation build" yet again. Or at least we pretend to whilst the FSA go about wiping out various minority groups and fighting amongst each other. Nothing positive can come from this.

AS for the Argentinians using gas on the Falklanders. That actually would be our business but I really can't see how they would deliver the poison gas as they wouldn't be able to get within a hundred miles of the Falklands.

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See my post above about the likelihood of it being a rebel attack.

But the UN said that the rebels did have chemical weapons. Now either the UN are lying or the situation is a little more complex than you paint it.

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"If you target Assad then you aid the FSA (and vice versa); both sides have genocidal ambitions."

 

I still have the feeling that there are more than two sides to this and if we intervene, then they'll all be against us.

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