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Thread: Should we intervene in Syria?

  1. #1
    Administrator CatInASuit's avatar
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    Default Should we intervene in Syria?

    According to several reports, chemicals weapons have been used by the ruling regime in Syria to attack the rebels who are fighting them. Chemical weapons are banned by several treaties, and for good reason, so if they have been used it certainly a breach.

    However, there is no current certainty about the precise details of the attack, as UN investigators are on the ground trying to work out what has happened. Even if they find some evidence of it though, Russia and China are still likely to veto any action against Syria.

    So, should the US, the UK and other allies act without a UN mandate on humanitarian grounds or wait until a UN Mandate is given.

    And if they do act, how much action should they take?
    In the land of the blind, the one-arm man is king.

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    Member Elendil's Heir's avatar
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    Russia and China are very unlikely to permit the UN Security Council to approve any military action. Perhaps the General Assembly might do so, but I doubt it.

    I cringed a little when President Obama stated awhile back that WMD or chemical-weapons use would be a "red line" that would carry consequences, because the Syrian government is just desperate and just evil enough that I thought they'd probably cross that line, sooner or later. Now that they have, Obama has little choice but to punish them militarily, or badly lose credibility in foreign affairs. I expect cruise missile and perhaps warplane attacks on Syrian political and military targets, and perhaps even the establishment of a no-fly zone. The President should fully consult with Congress, consistent with the War Powers Resolution, something he didn't do with Libya (to my chagrin, and I'm an Obama supporter).

    NPR this morning said that British PM David Cameron was hoping for a quick approval of military action by the House of Commons, but too many MPs, many of whom will long remember feeling hurried into war a decade ago in Iraq, still have questions, so a vote has been deferred.

    The French have been quite critical of the Assad regime, and might take part too. The more, the merrier; I'd certainly rather this not be seen as an all-U.S.-show.

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    Administrator CatInASuit's avatar
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    Ouch, the UK Government voted against any military action. I hate to say it but without the UK, Obama is pretty much going to have to go it alone, and probably override Congress into the bargain.

    Cameron gets stuffed over by the lies of the Iraq war and Obama has to deal with the Benghazi fallout resurfacing.

    Hollande has said the French will join in strikes on Syria. Makes you wonder if there is a new Special Relationship.
    In the land of the blind, the one-arm man is king.

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    Oliphaunt The Original An Gadaí's avatar
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    This is one of those things where I haven't an effin' clue what's for the best.

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    Elen síla lumenn' omentielvo What Exit?'s avatar
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    I'm against unilateral action by the US. I think Obama made one of his biggest mistakes when he drew that line in the sand. Something like the Arab League requesting our assistance would be what I would look for.

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    Administrator CatInASuit's avatar
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    Well, it looks like everything is going to be asking their governments for permission to go ahead and use military action.

    The political outfall in the UK has gotten very messy though. Lots of recriminations and slurs being thrown around, with a side order of position jockeying to make sure they are not on the wrong side.
    In the land of the blind, the one-arm man is king.

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    Oliphaunt The Original An Gadaí's avatar
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    France seems relatively gung-ho about it. Is that because the French still consider the region their colonial bailiwick?

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    Administrator CatInASuit's avatar
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    Part of the problem with getting involved is that both sides look as bad as each other. I don't think a negotiated treaty between the two sides is going to hold.
    In the land of the blind, the one-arm man is king.

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