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due to use of chemical weapons.
Interesting to note innit?
we've got Balonz riding an ICBM off into the sunset and monoshono commanding a brigade of tanks outside Aleppo
we've left chris_is_cool at home though don't worry
Are you thinking 'bout you, or DamascUS?
I'm trying to think what discussions they'd have had with Russia before going ahead with it, and what leverage Russia now thinks it has with the US. Snowden?
For one, Russia won't allow it
UN won't pass a resolution
US can't afford to get into another war
Would you rather they didn't report the apparent gassing of over a hundred people?
Good for you.
You're first against the wall, fatty fishlips.
but Sausage_Lips still waits in DiS username purgatory???
What a gyp
pics of willies
to make sure I hadn't dreamt it (or see if I recognised it because I know a peacekeeper who's working in the middle east at the moment) and I couldn't do it, so no pics I'm afraid
in between other messages of text and panicked and blocked.
Fucking truly horrendous! :(
Next response: CG with a gif of someone laughing.
grim as fuck.
hard to know what to believe when you're so far away from it all, though. obviously there are lots of people dead, but the news articles i read, including a couple from the BBC, seemed pretty sceptical for some reason.
just broke down in front of my family. Can't help but feel whatever can be done to stop this, should be done.
is that not short hand for broke into tears?
o this side of the Atlantic. :(
I don't think people understand just how astronomically awful the situation in Syria is. I know that we're largely desensitised to events of this nature, but Syria's about as bad as it gets in terms of humanitarian crises.
2 million people have fled syria. 1 million are children. Fuck knows how many have been murdered/gassed. There is no end in sight. And yet this thread seems strangely indifferent to it all. Oh Dearism, as Adam Curtis might say.
Not sure why that descends into jokey irreverance in here though. It's quite disconcerting.
There was a girl who was about 10 lying on a table hallucinating saying 'I'm still alive. Hold me'
there were hardly any doctors and so this 12 year old lad was going around helping out and had been doing so for a number of weeks. Was sorting out drips and helping carry people and stuff. Then it showed a week later and cut to a clip of this boy lying dead on a gurney in the same hospital. Was fucking tragic
as a civilian you'd seriously be wondering why the hell the rest of the world was sitting back and letting it happen.
the people authorising this kind of mass murder are fucking awful relics of bygone centuries.
and by excels I mean "makes a massive, insensitive and paranoid cunt of"
Ground invasion? It'll never happen
Sending in UN inspectors
more humanitarian aid
and the difficulty in the provision of aid.
have UN inspectors been allowed to enter the country?
Unfortunately they are not being allowed unfettered access by the government out there, who claim that they wouldn't be Ble to guarantee their safety.
do you think an invasion is an option?
Can't imagine any circumstance where it would
But there are certainly other options. As DD says above, Russia are a lost cause, so diplomatic efforts should focus on China and neighbouring countries where the dominant sect is the same as that of Assad, to try and offer him exile and/ or a route out of power.
UN peacekeepers, with a strong mandate, might be another option. I don't think that sanctions will be effective ( as Russia will just by-pass them), and I think that funding rebels just stores up problems for the future (see just about every other RealPolitik intervention by the US).
i agree on funding/arming the rebels for sure.
so at least that's one positive - let's hope it happens
The US are shit-scared of the Russians (and to a lesser extent, of harming their trade agreements with Japan).
Always getting good Asia and bad Asia mixed up.
That when a country develops chemical weapons, we attack them, therefore they get to use their chemical weapons on our soldiers.
More likely bought them
international military combat is a bit more advanced than sending a load of people over the trenches this days, right?
tbh I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't put any soldiers on the ground.
and the US Defence Secretary has said they're ready to take action as soon as they get the order. looks like military intervention is almost inevitable.
Lord Owen seems to have a very level headed approach http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/lord-owen-syria-crisis-russia-2227149
I'm very undecided but I'm glad thee's very widespread agreement on the need both for clarity of legal basis and a parliamentary vote.
why are we shit-scared of Russia?
sure, they've won a world war before now and have got plenty of man power, but we'd fuck them up pretty routinely, imho.
EU because of Gazprom, USA because of access to Afghanistan and potential help with North Korea.
Not that you probably don't know that already.
I for one wouldn't fancy playing nuclear chicken with Putin
but there's still a comment by someone saying the Arab Spring was planned by George Bush sr. in the 1960s :D
It seems a bit of an arbitrary distinction, especially as the US and Isreal routinely use cluster bombs and uranium-enriched weapons too.
because its a weapon of mass destruction and it's administered as a far more bureaucratised version of killing your 'enemy' which in most cases seems to illustrate just how utterly unjustifiable and disproportionate such an attack is. seems even more evil and dehumanising when its your own civilians too.
the government forces have also continued to use cluster bombs which are banned under international law although syria is not a party to that particular treaty. i think using banned weapons is in itself worse than using sanctioned ones.
In some cases they can be lethal for longer than the radiation left behind by a nuke going off :/
as far as I know, the gas we think they used here doesn't have that effect? still, it's an indiscriminate attack aimed at civilians. I think the distinction is far from arbitrary.
It could easily escalate. If the cruises get fired surely hezbollah are gonna start firing rockets into israel again. What if Iran starts fucking about in the straight of hormuz?
Russia and China on the Syrian side too. Mental
The US knew and supported Saddam Hussein in using nerve gas during the 1988 Iran-Iraq War.
But things are different now, of course.
That's been known for years and yet they're presenting it as a scoop.
the same as their involvement in overthrowing the Iranian government and installing the Shah.
"When you are involved with the moslem world; there only bad choices, no good ones."
I never know how I feel about this sort of thing.
On the one hand, I don't think we should be the world's policeman and we have badly fucked up Afghanistan and Iraq in some ways. But on the other it just feels wrong that we're sitting back watching the telly and letting atrocities happen.
I think I'm just going to accept it as a contradiction in my views, and not think about it too much.
I think I basically agree with Matt Yglesias's view that if we're bothered about foreigners, we might as well focus on the things we know can help and that are relatively cheap:
(assuming that the evidence proves that this has happened), then not doing anything, or not being seen to do anything, effectively undermines the international courts and the UN.
Though it seems kinda odd that the law it set at 'state killing with chemical weapons' rather than just 'state killing'.
you can trace attempts to prohibit the use of chemical weapons back to the 17th century and actual prohibitions to the 19th century. maybe deontologically there's not such a conceptual distinction between using wmds too kill 'x' amount of people or using sanctioned weapons to kill 'x' amount of people. but that's not the prevailing paradigm in international law or legal thought.
But I can't help coming back to the thinking that the 'x' amount of people getting killed have an extremely limited amount of regard for the subtleties of conceptual distinction in international law or legal thought, and that they just adopt the naive deontology of not wanting to be killed as part of genocide by sanctioned weapons /or/ chemical WMDs.
Which leaves that international law/legal thought looking rather like a luxurious philosophical indulgence.
most people just adopt the naive deontology (is that *really* the right term here?) of not wanting to be killed by chemical weapons, conventional weapons, or fairly preventable diseases. Hence the Slate article.
(dunno - I'm just adopting an evaluated heuristic methodology based on the prevailing normative lexicographical bent)
dunno what other word i'm supposed to use to say normative when what i mean is 'normative'.
'genocide by sanctioned weapons' is still genocide and a crime against humanity. as terrible as what the assad regime has done so far, I don't think anyone's accused them of genocide? not saying it's not inhumane either but the point is that chemical warfare is deemed to be *always* inhumane and unjustified.
I also don't think your point does leave 'international law/legal thought looking rather like a luxurious philosophical indulgence' -
because international law is a construct based on what states can agree to. and if we're going to have any project of public international law at all, we need those agreed-upon international norms. otherwise we could have absolutely no normative basis for intervening in e.g. a genocide. and, by your reasoning, the civilians killed in such an operation don't really want to be collateral damage.
I accept what you're saying.
Expansion beyond that wasn't a refution, but an illustration of how hard it is to develop a personal opinion on what should be done. And that when we do develop a personal opinion on what should be done it can't be expected to be in alignment with international law/legal thought norms developed by parties who have different vested interests to those of individuals.
Is it 2001 or 2003 I forget which year it is.
It will very much depend on the specific action planned by the Government, to which we are not yet privy, but I think now is the time for appropriate and proportionate action. It's our duty to prevent atrocity.
because this seemed to indicate otherwise.
And one only has to see the faked evidence that was presented by the US government to the UN or its own Congress before the Iraq war, the Gulf War, The Vietnam war, the Bay of Pigs invasion and Korean War, to be highly suspicious of any claims of proof contained within any dossier.
It's not like they have any vested interest in this kind of thing.
Which were then pieced back together by a Pentagon supercomputer
but that the idea they might've used chemical weapons in Syria is nevertheless far-fetched
"The US and its imperialist co-conspirators in Britain, France and Germany intend to destroy the Assad regime’s military capabilities, eliminate its ability to resist the proxy “rebel” forces that are serving US interests, and bring about regime-change. This outcome will set the stage for a war against Iran within the next year or two, if not earlier."
US prepares military onslaught against Syria
By Thomas Gaist
28 August 2013
The Obama administration is in the final stages of its longstanding preparations for a massive military onslaught against Syria. President Obama is signing off on one of the various scenarios that have been developed over the past two years by the Pentagon. In all likelihood, the initial stages of the attack will involve the use of cruise missiles fired from US navy vessels and “standoff” attacks launched by US war planes from beyond Syria’s borders.
According to an NBC News report Tuesday evening, the US could hit Syria with an initial three days of missile strikes, beginning as early as Thursday. Subsequent waves of strikes could then be launched, unnamed senior officials told NBC, “to target what was missed in further rounds.”
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“We are ready to go,” Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel told the BBC on Tuesday.
“This is as much a warning to Iran, as I see it, as it is action against Syria,” Representative Peter King of New York told CNN.
In order to provide political camouflage for the military operations and deceive the public, the administration and the media are claiming that the attack will be of a limited nature. This is a lie. Aside from the fact that the use of bombs and missiles against a heavily populated capital must lead to massive casualties, the political and military aims of the undeclared war are far-reaching.
The US and its imperialist co-conspirators in Britain, France and Germany intend to destroy the Assad regime’s military capabilities, eliminate its ability to resist the proxy “rebel” forces that are serving US interests, and bring about regime-change. This outcome will set the stage for a war against Iran within the next year or two, if not earlier.
The four US destroyers stationed off the coast of Syria are capable of delivering 160 cruise missiles to targets inside the country. Once the assault begins, the US onslaught will likely continue until Syria’s defenses have been decimated and the situation on the ground has shifted in favor of the US-backed militias, consisting for the most part of right-wing Islamists with connections to Al Qaeda forces. As in Iraq and Libya, the infrastructure of Syria will be devastated and countless thousands of Syrians will lose their lives.
Proposals for military intervention laid out by the top US military officer further expose the claims that a US assault will be limited in nature. In a letter written to Congress in June, Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, proposed a scenario involving “stand-off strikes” which would target “high-value air defense, air, ground, missile and naval forces, as well as the supporting military facilities and command nodes… Stand-off air and missile systems could be used to strike hundreds of targets at a tempo of our choosing.”
A primary objective of the US intervention will be to kill Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, in a grisly repetition of what was done to Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. In a bloodthirsty and fascistic column published Tuesday, entitled “Target Assad,” Bret Stephens of the Wall Street Journal declared:
“Should President Obama decide to order a military strike against Syria, his main order of business must be to kill Bashar Assad. Also, Bashar’s brother and principal henchman, Maher. Also, everyone else in the Assad family with a claim on political power. Also, all of the political symbols of the Assad family’s power, including all of their official or unofficial residences.”
The US-NATO war on Libya was a dress rehearsal for the coming war against Syria, which in turn is merely the prologue to future confrontations with not only Iran, but also Russia and China.
It is hardly a coincidence that top Israeli defense and intelligence personnel are in Washington DC to discuss “Iran’s nuclear program” and “Hezbollah and Iran’s role in the Syria crisis,” according to Haaretz .
The public is being subjected to an unrelenting propaganda campaign designed to chloroform opposition to war by a media that ignores the howling contradictions and obvious lies in the Obama administration’s account of events. In a Tuesday editorial, the New York Times characterized Secretary of State John Kerry’s hypocrisy-drenched and fact-free moralistic condemnations of Assad as “forcefully making the case for action.”
Far from demanding that the administration back up its claims with scientifically verified evidence, the media is utterly indifferent to the factual foundations of the government’s allegations. Without evincing the slightest concern, PBS News reported Tuesday night that the Obama administration will not wait until the United Nations investigators complete their report on the alleged chemical attack before ordering military action. What better proof could there be that the allegations against the Assad regime have been manufactured only to serve as a pretext for war?
If a chemical attack took place, there are good reasons to believe that it was carried out by Syrian “rebels” with the assistance of the United States. Evidence of US-directed rebel operations in the areas where the chemical weapons were allegedly used continues to emerge.
Over the past two weeks, US Special Forces have reportedly been leading teams of opposition fighters in operations against regime targets near Damascus, in the very same area where the government claims the chemical attack took place. (See: “US prepares military assault on Syria”.) Le Figaro reported last week that guerrillas who were being trained in Jordan by CIA agents began massing near the Syrian capital beginning in mid-August. Hundreds of freshly trained fighters reportedly began crossing the border into Deraa on August 17."
Paranoid or what?
I'd probably say
Syria = Kosovo > Sierra Leone > Afghanistan > Iraq
Basically, troops on the ground = not cool, firing awesome missiles from boats and planes = cool.
See also Zulu?
"like he's playing himself in an action movie of his life" (Charlie Brooker) and still trying to justify the Iraq debacle as some glorious triumph over evil.
As much as everyone's right to be suspicious of the us relationship with Israel and the intel coming from a Mossad source, I find it hard to imagine why Israel would want to potentially embroil itself in a massive conflict right on its doorstep and destabilise the region even more. Dunno.
against one of it's neighbours, with US backing.
Not necessarily disagreeing with you but that's a bit thin.
An intervention against Assad - especially a short one with a fixed remit to punish Assad and tip the scales in the rebels' favour - would benefit a huge number of groups far more anti-Israeli than Assad. I find it hard to envisage any kind of regime change there that Israel would actually benefit from.
they've obviously got longterm intelligence assets in syria (their next door neighbour). if they have indeed intercepted phone conversations between syrian officials indicating state culpability, should they have just kept that quiet?
They just want to continue their state of perpetual war, but with US troops fighting alongside them.
The US backs Israel at the UN, vetoing any resolutions that go against the latter's interests, but Israel's long term aim has been to draw the US into it's conflicts, because that's the only way that it could ever hope to see them resolved in a way that achieves their aims.
Fortunately, the US isn't that naive and has slappped down Israel's sabre-rattling on numerous occasions (especially when Israel offers military support or a base from which the US could run a campaign). I'd expect Israel to again seek to be part of any action against Assad (despite the Assad alternatives almost certainly being more anti-Israel), and the US to refuse the offer.
Basically, Ed Miliband has refused to back a vote supporting military action until the UN inspectors have reported.
“No 10 and the Foreign Office think Miliband is a f****** c*** and a copper-bottomed s***", said a govt source"
How odd. The juicy quote was the one I C+P'd anyway.
This is why I don't make the big decisions.
can go and fuck himself in the ear the total wanksock cunt of man that he is.
For the more the powerful nations, such a requirement hasn't been necessary for well over a decade now. It helps with the PR a little bit, but doesn't really make any practical difference.
What do the Syrian people want? If they're suffering and need/want action *now*, delaying this action by a few weeks/months while everyone sits around talking probably isn't the right thing to do morally.
I'm undecided on military action though. I don't think a full military invasion is going to help right now, but a few warning shots might help things along a bit - moreso than words.
i mean he didn't win that nobel peace prize for nothing!
I don't need to read the news.
His response to the first question started "I'm glad that a weak David Cameron has listened to the wise council of Labour leader Ed Miliband and caved in..." or words to that effect.
I thought it was pretty inappropriate.
It was John Reid, not Jim. And he's not an MP anymore, he's a Lord now, but he was Defence Secretary in the mid-00s.
Famously inappropriate John Reid. I'll not take anything he says that seriously, but it'd be nice for MPs on all sides to focus on the issue at hand and not take potshots during these discussions.
It has to be said that firstly it was the Tories who started the party-politicing and spinning over this last night, and secondly, he's kinda right - faced with a 70+ MP rebellion on his own side and a coalition partner that won't unanimously back this, Cameron is in a weak position, and has seen this crisis as an opportunity to be seen to be in discussions with Obama, when he's in danger of being outflanked by the French and Germans.
It's largely irrelevant to the wider issue. Spin on all sides is pointless, regardless of `who started it first` tedium.
The question was a direct accusation that Miliband had sabotaged the vote, essentially parroting the line that the Tories have been pushing overnight.
Unfortunately, spin is not pointless - the decision to go to war or take military action is as much about convincing the public that you're taking the right action as it is about actually establishing that you're taking the right action.
Miliband's done the right thing - I'll ignore any attempts to spin it otherwise myself.
It has to be said that firstly it was the Tories
i think CG has finally met his match here!
The *now* that you state has been coming for a long time, but there needs to be justification in order to do so. Governments are now investigating that justification. Miliband is absolutely right to call for a further establishment of the facts before acting.
I guess an unintended consequence of the Iraq War has led to people being a bit gung ho about launching military action in the Middle East. Shame.
If anything, I think the Iraq and Afghanistan wars have made leaders far more reluctant to intervene than they would have done in the early 2000s. Had those wars not happened, I reckon military action might have been discussed much sooner.
His attitude seems pretty cavalier in spite of the sensitivities of the situation. I was just speculating he's possibly been desensitised to this by the Iraq War and the approach that led to it. Seems to tally up with his previous guff on the subject.
I've been impressed with Cameron's handing of Libya, and now this. Seems to have a pretty considered approach to military interventions, which is good to see post-Blair.
I'm not sure ^that could be described as a cavalier attitude?!
I think that anyone who would even contemplate deciding on taking any military action before the report is published is pretty cavalier.
It's the `who cares about the UN!` attitude as opposed to CG's own thoughts on whether or not military action is correct that's galling here.
The idea that the UN is the world policeman or the world's referee that must be respected is an outdated concept.
As far as I understand it, the UN aren't resisting military action if this is the case.
As stated above in the thread, given the evidence presented by the US and its allies to justify past conflicts (eg Iraq war, Gulf war, Vietnam war, Korean war, bay of pigs invasion), it's pretty obvious that we can't trust the evidence that is being produced by the likes of the US or Israel on this matter.
Waiting for the report is smart politics too - it places a Russia and China in a difficult position if it can be definitively established that it was the Assad regime that undertook the chemical weapons attacks.
And finally, on whether the UN should be the world policeman or referee: well, the whole point is that these chemical attacks have violated international law. Are you suggesting that the UN shouldn't be the main agent in upholding those laws?