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ckn

Syria and Obama

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So we may in some form enter Syria. What about Zimbabwe, Liberia, Congo, Egypt, Yemen......................................

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Tony Blair says that we should become embroiled in the conflict. A glowing recommendation if ever there was one.....

...for having nowt to do with it!

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...for having nowt to do with it!

Thanks for that, I didn't know what TheTerminator was implying until I read your post.

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I think almost everybody has finally learned the lessons from Iraq and Libya. The Arabs will kill each other no matter what we do. They are violently intolerant of us, the Israelis and above all of each other. The one thing that is guaranteed is that it will result in them hating us a bit more and putting Western lives in danger for no real gain.

I don't think anyone really believes that Syria can be anything other than a genocidal bloodbath and hence we've just given up on it. It's not that we don't care, we are simply jaded (and with good reason).

 

If Parliament votes to intervene in Syria, then we clearly haven't learned any lessons at all.

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Arab League says Assad regime did it.

 

Also, taking on and reversing John's point: if we fail to act then we clearly haven't learned any lessons at all.

 

There's a very good reason that every time we've used chemical weapons since the first world war that international outrage has led to tighter and tighter restrictions and international taboo.  We can't be the world's policeman stopping everything but we can hold the high line by stopping the escalation to routine use of chemical weapons.  If we don't act then we take on the role of international appeaser.  If we don't act because Syria is "difficult" then when will we ever act?

 

For me, I'd strongly prefer if any action was led by the Arab League or similar, even if it's being the lead sanctions enforcer to show that it's not just the western Christian nations imposing our morals on them.  If they won't though then we should act, even if it has no UN security council backing.

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So glad I've kept my S10...

Remember to occasionally steal your wife's talc and practice your decontamination routines.  Still have your Survive to Fight?

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Thanks for that, I didn't know what TheTerminator was implying until I read your post.

No worries Sev! Us Wiltshire folk need to help you Gloucestershire bumpkins out! ;-)

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Arab League says Assad regime did it.

 

Also, taking on and reversing John's point: if we fail to act then we clearly haven't learned any lessons at all.

 

There's a very good reason that every time we've used chemical weapons since the first world war that international outrage has led to tighter and tighter restrictions and international taboo.  We can't be the world's policeman stopping everything but we can hold the high line by stopping the escalation to routine use of chemical weapons.  If we don't act then we take on the role of international appeaser.  If we don't act because Syria is "difficult" then when will we ever act?

 

For me, I'd strongly prefer if any action was led by the Arab League or similar, even if it's being the lead sanctions enforcer to show that it's not just the western Christian nations imposing our morals on them.  If they won't though then we should act, even if it has no UN security council backing.

 

But if we act without UN endorsement or approval on this (again), how can we ever demand other nations follow UN resolutions in future without them just laughing in our faces, when we ourselves only take heed of the UN when it suits us and does our bidding?

 

We can't be the world's policeman. Full stop after that, as far as I'm concerned.

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But if we act without UN endorsement or approval on this (again), how can we ever demand other nations follow UN resolutions in future without them just laughing in our faces, when we ourselves only take heed of the UN when it suits us and does our bidding?

 

We can't be the world's policeman. Full stop after that, as far as I'm concerned.

Legally, we don't need Security Council approval as there are many treaties on this that are quite clear that it's illegal and requires international intervention.  This is one that's far, far clearer than the Iraq or Afghanistan invasions.

 

Also, there is the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) protocol that was brought in by the UN as a whole in 2005 to get around this sort of cynical blocking by a vested party in the Security Council.  This specifically says it's "normal" for states to intervene to protect other states' citizens from state sanctioned genocide, it's no longer an exception or something we need to go get permission to do, we can intervene anywhere in the world that there's genocide going on and the state is doing nothing to stop it.  We SHOULD go through the Security Council if we want to use force but we don't have to any longer.

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Legally, we don't need Security Council approval as there are many treaties on this that are quite clear that it's illegal and requires international intervention.  This is one that's far, far clearer than the Iraq or Afghanistan invasions.

 

Also, there is the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) protocol that was brought in by the UN as a whole in 2005 to get around this sort of cynical blocking by a vested party in the Security Council.  This specifically says it's "normal" for states to intervene to protect other states' citizens from state sanctioned genocide, it's no longer an exception or something we need to go get permission to do, we can intervene anywhere in the world that there's genocide going on and the state is doing nothing to stop it.  We SHOULD go through the Security Council if we want to use force but we don't have to any longer.

 

Legality in international law is open to quite wide interpretation. We discovered that after Iraq. A government will always be able to find someone to tell them that what they are doing is legal. And there will be others who argue that it isn't. Either way, I doubt any would-be suicide bombers will be checking with a lawyer before using any action taken by the UK and others in Syria as a further justification for exacting their own kind of retribution on British civilians whenever they get the opportunity.

 

As for it being "normal" for states to intervene to protect other states' citizens from state sanctioned genocide, if that's the case, why have we done nothing so far in Syria where the bodies have been piling up for many months? If/when there are any strikes to take out chemical weapons, we'll be back to turning a blind eye to the further piles of bodies that will accumulate afterwards so long as they die as a result of 'conventional' bombs and guns.

 

The humanitarian justification is a fig leaf.

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No worries Sev! Us Wiltshire folk need to help you Gloucestershire bumpkins out! ;-)

 

 

Now that's a civil war we could all laugh at. Pointed sticks and combat smocks issued yet?

 

;):tongue:

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If Parliament votes to intervene in Syria, then we clearly haven't learned any lessons at all.

They haven't, we have.

 

Wrt the UK public was very divided but ultimately most people supported intervention, this time, there is almost no public support for it. I saw a poll in the USA where 9% of the US public supported intervention in Syria.

 

Politicians as ever go their own way.

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Now that's a civil war we could all laugh at. Pointed sticks and combat smocks issued yet?

;):tongue:

Always at the ready! Oooooaaaarrrrr!!!

However other counties would probably stick their noses in to keep the West Country's precious resorces (cider) flowing to the to the rest of the country!

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I'm unsure on this one! I really don't think we should be getting involved in every civil war and uprising, and whilst what is happening in Syria is a real crisis, for me all the options seem terrible!

Either we let the rebels and the Assad regime fight it out themselves and kill a ridiculous number of innocent people get killed and then be accused of not helping

or

Invade, destroy the regime and chemical weapons, leaving little or no infrastructure left in the country and killing a ridiculous number people, and afterwards be accused of invading and making the country worse.

I appreciate the varying degrees and those are the extremes but personally I just don't see what the end game is there. As much as I was against the Iraq invasion it obviously had a purpose (get rid of Sadam and to a lesser extent bring an oil producing nation under US control). I'm not sure we can protect the innocent people on the ground by invading and causing more casualties.

I read an article this morning by Medecins Sans Frontieres, or Doctors Without Boarders as they've branded themselves over the last few years (they are one of the charities I like to support).

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/bidisha/syria-conflict-intervention_b_3819966.html?utm_hp_ref=uk

grim reading either way, but I'm glad I support them.

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Arab League says Assad regime did it.

 

Also, taking on and reversing John's point: if we fail to act then we clearly haven't learned any lessons at all.

 

There's a very good reason that every time we've used chemical weapons since the first world war that international outrage has led to tighter and tighter restrictions and international taboo.  We can't be the world's policeman stopping everything but we can hold the high line by stopping the escalation to routine use of chemical weapons. 

 

Again, I completely agree. The issue for me isn't the systematic killing of civilians on both sides; there is nothing we can do to stop that as the UN as ever is proving to be an incompetent talk shop plus we don't have the resources to set the precedent of getting involved in every conflict across the globe on humanitarian grounds (something JD correctly points out). However, we are setting a truly dark precedent if we don't intervene in some way to combat the threat of the use of chemical weapons, albeit on either side in this conflict. The use of such weapons against civilians (or military targets for that matter) is despicable and horrifying. If we do not punish the perpatrators for this horrifying act, we have not learnt any lessons from history and sending a clear message to other regimes around the world that they can act with impunity.

 

If the green light is given, there isn't going to a Western invasion of Syria. That would be a truly ridiclous concept and rightly, the public wouldn't stand for that. However, a punishment, which will hurt the regime and show them that they cannot act with impunity despite the backing of the Russians and Iranians, will send a clear message to Assad, the rebels and the rest of the world that you cannot use Weapons of Mass Destruction. Sadly, economic sanctions do not work unless backed by the entire international community. That leaves a military strike against key elements of the Assad Regime and its chemical weapons capabilities. A line does have to be drawn somewhere and this is it.

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Again, I completely agree. The issue for me isn't the systematic killing of civilians on both sides; there is nothing we can do to stop that as the UN as ever is proving to be an incompetent talk shop plus we don't have the resources to set the precedent of getting involved in every conflict across the globe. However, we are setting a truly dark precedent if we don't intervene in some way to comabt the threat of the use of chemical weapons, albeit on either side in this conflict. The use of such weapons against civilians (or military targets for that matter) is despicable and horrifying. If we do not punish the perpatrators for this horrifying act, we have not learnt any lessons from history and sending a clear message to other regimes around the world that they can act with impunity.

 

If the green light is given, there isn't going to a Western invasion of Syria. That would be a truly ridiclous concept and rightly, the public wouldn't stand for that. However, a punishment, which will hurt the regime and show them that they cannot act with impunity despite the backing of the Russians and Iranians, will send a clear message to Assad, the rebels and the rest of the world that you cannot use Weapons of Mass Destruction. Sadly, economic sanctions do not work when backed by the entire international community. That leaves a military strike against key elements of the Assad Regime and its chemical weapons capabilities. A line does have to be drawn somewhere and this is it.

+1

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Again, I completely agree. The issue for me isn't the systematic killing of civilians on both sides; there is nothing we can do to stop that as the UN as ever is proving to be an incompetent talk shop plus we don't have the resources to set the precedent of getting involved in every conflict across the globe on humanitarian grounds (something JD correctly points out). However, we are setting a truly dark precedent if we don't intervene in some way to combat the threat of the use of chemical weapons, albeit on either side in this conflict. The use of such weapons against civilians (or military targets for that matter) is despicable and horrifying. If we do not punish the perpatrators for this horrifying act, we have not learnt any lessons from history and sending a clear message to other regimes around the world that they can act with impunity.

 

If the green light is given, there isn't going to a Western invasion of Syria. That would be a truly ridiclous concept and rightly, the public wouldn't stand for that. However, a punishment, which will hurt the regime and show them that they cannot act with impunity despite the backing of the Russians and Iranians, will send a clear message to Assad, the rebels and the rest of the world that you cannot use Weapons of Mass Destruction. Sadly, economic sanctions do not work unless backed by the entire international community. That leaves a military strike against key elements of the Assad Regime and its chemical weapons capabilities. A line does have to be drawn somewhere and this is it.

 

You make it sound so simple and clinical. But from past experience we know the reality will be nothing like that.

 

It assumes that every strike will hit its intended target. It assumes that every instance of chemical weaponry will be wiped out in one fell swoop. It assumes the Assad regime and its supporters will just take all this on the chin.

 

It takes no account of what might happen next or the immediately increased danger we place ourselves in of non-chemical weapon attacks upon ourselves by joining in such a strike when in my view there is absolutely no need for us to do so whatsoever.

 

Most countries in the world will be doing nothing about this. Just for once, why can't we be one of them?

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I agree with JD. We are not some big shot country and Cameron should butt out acting the big man. Help out wherever possible, but keep the hell out of it and worry about our country, which is hardly short of problems itself.

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You make it sound so simple and clinical. But from past experience we know the reality will be nothing like that.

 

It assumes that every strike will hit its intended target. It assumes that every instance of chemical weaponry will be wiped out in one fell swoop. It assumes the Assad regime and its supporters will just take all this on the chin.

 

It takes no account of what might happen next or the immediately increased danger we place ourselves in of non-chemical weapon attacks upon ourselves by joining in such a strike when in my view there is absolutely no need for us to do so whatsoever.

 

Most countries in the world will be doing nothing about this. Just for once, why can't we be one of them?

If we ignore one then we lose the moral right to act again in future.

 

Where do you draw the line?  If you ignore chemical weapons then you've essentially said that there's no problem in the world that we'll bother with.  Does that mean you'll let North Korea have its nukes, they can't hit us here in the UK.  Same with Iran.  What if Iran then uses the nukes on Israel?  Not our problem after all.

 

What about the stuff that's less serious on the world scale than a modern criminal state that not only has WMDs but will use them?  Just walk out of Afghanistan?  Stop helping Pakistan with their extremists?  Pull out of UN peacekeeping missions?  Not our problem after all.

 

Punitive raids aren't meant to be regime changing.  We know where their military bases are, we can flatten 90% of their fixed artillery sites quite easily without even coming near a civilian area, coincidentally their main three fixed bases near the rebel areas are where their chemical weapons are stored.  We don't need to hit all their chemical weaponry as we know how easy it is to make, they could make new supplies in a week or two.  We don't need to hit all their artillery sites, we know they have more than we can realistically target in months of bombing.  We don't need to take out their political leadership.  What we do need to do is to make a statement that we will punitively strike back against people who use these weapons that are realistically one step off nuclear weapons.

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One thing I am struggling to comprehend is how the US and UK cannot determine which side is using chemical weapons.

 

The vast array of satellites and communications that are monitoring the globe, which, must be heavily fixed towards Syria at this point in time, must be able to monitor the flight path of missiles that have landed in the area where chemical weapons have been used. Or, am I looking at this technology too simplistically/naively? 

 

All the posturing, from both sides, is then put to bed, nobody can hide behind the finger pointing scenarios being played out. There is a culprit and danctions/military action can be taken.

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If we ignore one then we lose the moral right to act again in future.

 

Where do you draw the line?  If you ignore chemical weapons then you've essentially said that there's no problem in the world that we'll bother with.  Does that mean you'll let North Korea have its nukes, they can't hit us here in the UK.  Same with Iran.  What if Iran then uses the nukes on Israel?  Not our problem after all.

 

What about the stuff that's less serious on the world scale than a modern criminal state that not only has WMDs but will use them?  Just walk out of Afghanistan?  Stop helping Pakistan with their extremists?  Pull out of UN peacekeeping missions?  Not our problem after all.

 

Punitive raids aren't meant to be regime changing.  We know where their military bases are, we can flatten 90% of their fixed artillery sites quite easily without even coming near a civilian area, coincidentally their main three fixed bases near the rebel areas are where their chemical weapons are stored.  We don't need to hit all their chemical weaponry as we know how easy it is to make, they could make new supplies in a week or two.  We don't need to hit all their artillery sites, we know they have more than we can realistically target in months of bombing.  We don't need to take out their political leadership.  What we do need to do is to make a statement that we will punitively strike back against people who use these weapons that are realistically one step off nuclear weapons.

 

Who appointed us as the world's conscience and what right do we have to claim such a title anyway, given the blind eyes we have turned to numerous other conflicts where we have had no vested interest over the centuries?

 

Where is the morality in wanting to intervene over how a state can massacre its own citizens, but not actually caring that they still get massacred in the end. Gas? Not ok. Bombs and bullets? Carry on killing.

 

All these matters should be under the auspices of the UN. It's what it is there for.

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Who appointed us as the world's conscience and what right do we have to claim such a title anyway, given the blind eyes we have turned to numerous other conflicts where we have had no vested interest over the centuries?

 

Where is the morality in wanting to intervene over how a state can massacre its own citizens, but not actually caring that they still get massacred in the end. Gas? Not ok. Bombs and bullets? Carry on killing.

 

All these matters should be under the auspices of the UN. It's what it is there for.

It's got nothing to do with conscience.

We also intervene non militarily in plenty of places where the state simply can't be arsed to look after it's citizens, see the "bongo bongo" land thread.

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The vast array of satellites and communications that are monitoring the globe, which, must be heavily fixed towards Syria at this point in time, must be able to monitor the flight path of missiles that have landed in the area where chemical weapons have been used. Or, am I looking at this technology too simplistically/naively? 

 

Unfortunately there is no way to tell where the missiles or shells came from. Unless you are on the ground with tracking equipment.

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Remember to occasionally steal your wife's talc and practice your decontamination routines.  Still have your Survive to Fight?

 

 

I think that link sums up my feelings on NBC quite nicely!

You can do the sniff test, I'll hang back here suited up thank you!

 

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