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Syria: A dangerous proposition

September 4, 2013

President Barack Obama finally has decided to submit the decision on war with Syria to Congress....

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(64)

Carlaw

Sep-04-13 6:10 AM

Amen! Well said.

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Grandaddy

Sep-04-13 6:49 AM

A list of significant US military actions over the past 50 years, adds up to 15 separate episodes, ranging from full-scale wars (Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan) to smaller incursions (Grenada, Haiti, Panama). This means we've launched a significant overseas assault every 40 months since 1963. So if you're wondering why people all over the world view the United States as an arrogant, war-mongering bully, reserving for itself the right to rain down death from above on anyone it pleases whenever it pleases, well there you go. This is a perspective that's sorely missing from most mainstream discourse. When these things happen once every three years, against a backdrop of almost continuous smaller-scale military action (drone attacks, the odd cruise missile here and there), the rest of the world just doesn't see a peaceful country that struggles mightily with its conscience. They see a war-profiteering country that views dropping bombs as its primary means of dealing with any adversity.

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Christopher

Sep-04-13 7:29 AM

Spot on, Grandaddy!

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Christopher

Sep-04-13 7:31 AM

I might add that much of the weaponry aimed at us, was supplied by us, as we are, by far, the largest purveyor of arms in the world. Look it up.

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Steiner

Sep-04-13 8:02 AM

look everyone the liberals are talking ! 40 years of military action. we are the biggest supplier of arms too. So what ? Someone has to fill the vacuum left by the collapse of the british empire.I guess no other power launched any military action in these 40 years , right liberals ?The mideast was created by the french and the brits, look that up. when they kaputed, someone had to intervene.if not it would have exploded into another major war. Absolutly bomb syria. Show the arabs the superiority of the west, corporations you know. Leave the other domestic violence operations to the libs in the cities. All this proves liberals need a repub to show them what to do. Obama has carried every Bush policy farther than anyone thought was possible. Thats why i call them the dumbacrats. They mimic, not think, like animals.

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Steiner

Sep-04-13 8:12 AM

grandaddy, you forgot to say foxnews. War profiteering, another good one.How about self loathing from cronig. On PBS was another special , Carrier, The Nimitz. A pilot was saying in the past few years he has not dropped a single bomb. Thats what he joined the navy for. well, here is their chance. we could view this action like the libs view action at home. Use military overseas and legislation to remake the world at home. These mideast skirmishes are a long standing feud between us and them. we should always but always rain down bombs on them. Its the right thing to do.

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bulldog10

Sep-04-13 8:25 AM

Just because we produce and sell arms all over the world, it doesn't make it right that our leadership on both sides gets us involved in conflicts (Both Reps and Dems). Both sides are taking big money from these arm producers.

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DKexpat

Sep-04-13 8:37 AM

This quote from 80+ years ago fits today: Stan Laurel to Oliver Hardy – "Well, here's another nice mess you've gotten me into.”

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judeye

Sep-04-13 8:54 AM

Agree with Grandaddy...

I listened to some of the hearing yesterday. It appears there is overwhelming evidence of chemical weapons being used by the government against its own people. A violation of international law, a war crime.

I just am not sure what a strike would do to help the people of Syria, improve our credibility, or improve the overall usa relations in that region.

Why have we not frozen all of their assets? Why can we not look into other financial type of sanctions and actions? Why not look at humanitarian efforts rather than military ones?

Hope many will show up to tell Rep Reed their thoughts on Syria. It is a vital importance.

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stangv8

Sep-04-13 9:01 AM

Both sides in Syria have access to chemical weapons. Islamic radicals have no problem strapping bombs onto their own children so to draw the US into the war, they would have no problem gassing civilians.

This is a civil war. We have no business there and it's time we stop being big brother to the world. These are a people that will decapitate you in a heartbeat and we want to send our troops to help them? Our guys will be taking fire from both the front and back. You would think we would have learned our lesson in Somalia, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

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Steiner

Sep-04-13 9:07 AM

judeye, there aint no such thing as a war crime. Killing civilians. we did that by the boatload in WW2.it makes the war end sooner and a lasting peace.war crimes are feel good things. we killed 50 million babies under the banner of choice. . judeye, get a grip on reality. The military is volunteer and I bet there are a lot of them just aching to press the trigger and launch missiles. It is kind of fun if you think about it.the area of the world called the cradle of civilization degrading into war. we can and should help them reach the end of their evolutionary trail. extinction.

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PR24601

Sep-04-13 9:14 AM

Stay out of the Middle East. Get our troops out, empty the bases, give our US citizens abroad fair warning to leave. Then drop the bombs. Thousands of tons of nuclear bombs on that region, all guided in by computer, and just kill them all.

Option B is continue to be wishy washy, use inadequate forces, try to be stern but stay friendly, and just generally be out and out wusses when it comes to foreign affairs.

I like the nuclear option.

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Dcronlg

Sep-04-13 9:17 AM

War crimes with using gas notwithstanding, this is a serious no-win situation for our country. Unless we and the Russians agree on what to do -- which is very unlikely -- we need to stay out and stop the posturing.

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Nathan

Sep-04-13 10:28 AM

We've already postured, thanks to the President. If Congress supports him, then it will be said that the Repubs pushed him into something the country didn't want. If Congress doesn't support him, then it's because they are racist.

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Nathan

Sep-04-13 10:30 AM

The concern I have is this... we have drawn red lines on chemical and nuclear weapons. Some group over stepped the line... so the action/in-action will help dictate nuclear responses. The need to sell the American people, our allies and the UN to act jointly is needed.

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DKexpat

Sep-04-13 12:00 PM

I find it a bit ironic that those in the Senate/House who shouted they should have first been consulted on Libya are now hemmin’ and hawin’ about what to do about Syria.

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DarkStar

Sep-04-13 12:00 PM

As stangv8 says I wouldn't put it past some of the rebel groups to use captured chemical weapons on civilians in their zone to try and draw international support and possibly even military action against the government.

Beyond that, could someone please explain why it's okay to level a building with a conventional bomb and kill everyone inside it, but use of a chemical weapon to achieve the same basic result is somehow evil?

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Marcia

Sep-04-13 2:29 PM

PR24601, do you have any idea what the word logic means. We want to get them for using WMD's (gas) so you propose dropping a nuclear weapon? That is something we should never do.

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Marcia

Sep-04-13 2:37 PM

What I find most interesting is that the political lines are crossing here. Both liberals and conservative seem to be for/against this war. It doesn't really seem to be one side against the other. I am glad to see that people are thinking. If you oppose the war just because Obama proposes it (and no one has said that so far) that is different. But everyone (with one or two exceptions) have given cogent reasons for their opinions. Unlike the Observer, I do not think it has anything to do with the President's credibility, and he has said just that. But John just cannot ever make a statement that doesn't knock Obama down. My opinion, right now, but it is still evolving, is that we should not do this. I don't think it will accomplish anything, and it is not good to get involved in a civil war. If the UN or NATO was willing to be the leader,I might change my mind.

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DarkStar

Sep-04-13 3:18 PM

Marcia,

I would say that NATO should stay out of it, just as they should have in Libya.

NATO is a defensive organization and I would be surprised if offensive operations, without an attack on a member state, didn't violate it's own charter and thus nullify it's treaties.

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MikeDavis

Sep-04-13 3:38 PM

We, Americans, are not the world's police. The atrocities going on in that part of the world have been going on for centuries. The methods of killing each other may have changed over time but not the reason. If the US truely is concerned, and considering this for humanitarian reasons, why are we turning a blind eye to the hundreds of thousands in North Korea in camps that are just as bad as the German concentration camps? No hand wringing in congress about helping those people, is there? It's time for the US to take care of herself. Let the rest of the world have a taste of Chinese and Russian "aid" for a few years and see if they still want to commit terrorist acts against the US.

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joew

Sep-04-13 5:06 PM

I will say this,if we allow the use of chemical weapons to stand by whomever we are in trouble. The President drew a red line and it has been crossed! Where should the next line be drawn,the continental divide,the Mason Dixon line or where? Inaction will only embolden other states who possess must more lethal weapons(non-nuclear,biological))and then what? Thinking that we sit all secure with the oceans as barriers is nothing more than kicking the can down the road and not seeing the forest for the trees!

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DKexpat

Sep-04-13 9:49 PM

Between a rock and a hard place, but I agree with joew. Think Iran is a tad interested in what the US response will be?

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DarkStar

Sep-05-13 6:27 AM

joew,

So a chemical weapon that injures or kills hundreds is not acceptable but firebombing entire cities is?

It wasn't really that long ago that we as a nation decided that we needed to stay out countries internal struggles, but if that's out the Window where exactly should we stop? Syria, Iran, Somalia, Sudan or maybe Mexico?

As many here can attest I am a very pro-military hawk, but even I'm opposed to getting involved in a civil war, especially when we can't truely trust either side.

As I said before who could doubt that at least some of the rebel groups themselves would use captured chemical weapons in their own areas in order to spur international action against the government?

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judeye

Sep-05-13 8:14 AM

"It is significant that “employing asphyxiating, poisonous or other gases, and all analogous liquids, materials or devices” is listed in the Statute of the International Criminal Court as a war crime over which the Court has jurisdiction, and that the crime is not limited to first use of such weapons."

Where is the international court on this issue? Amnesty International for one has been calling for them to intervene. The UN security council must refer this case to the international court rather than one country go it alone.

Yes..there is a difference between using chemical weapons and bombing. Both kill for sure. However, one breaks international law that prohibits the use of chemical weapons or targeting of civilians by ANY method.

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