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(The New York Times)   Russia: No. China: No. UK: No. Democrats: no. Republicans: no. Rest of American people: no. Obama: What?   (nytimes.com) divider line 340
    More: Asinine, Michigan Republicans, Russia, Democrats, Tomahawk Cruise Missile, Secretary of State John Kerry, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, United Nations Security Council  
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4315 clicks; posted to Politics » on 30 Aug 2013 at 9:40 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-08-30 10:55:59 AM  

someonelse: skozlaw: What's so frustrating is that Americans refuse to think about anything. They just knee-jerk went along with the completely ridiculous invasion of Iraq, got burned, so now they're just going to swing completely in the opposite direction.

Nicely put. This debate has so far been a lot of heat and very little light. Nothing has even happened yet militarily, and people are already wailing about killing thousands of "brown people" and World War III. People are complaining that we're rushing into this, which may turn out to be true, but as of now, nothing has happened yet. Anybody claiming they know what is going on at this point is a liar. There is a lot of grey, complicated real estate between "do nothing" and "quagmire."


Especially when you have a political leadership that is inept as Barney Fife.
Nothing new there.
Last best president was Eisenhower.
 
2013-08-30 10:56:35 AM  

dr_blasto: Where do you get any evidence that these are GWB's missing WMDs from Iraq?


Former Iraqi General, Georges Sada, who was close with the pilots that flew them out on 56 flights, to Syria.
 
2013-08-30 10:56:44 AM  

thurstonxhowell: vestona22: The question still stands, will unilaterally attacking a nation without being attacked make Obama a war criminal?

The question doesn't have anything near enough information to be answered. Does "unilaterally" mean without UN approval, or does Congress disapprove as well? What new information do we get about chemical weapons being used in Syria between now and when the attack commences? What is the scale and nature of our attack?

It's a complex situation. You will not be able to ask a simple question and get a simple answer.

Besides, I find your question faulty in its initial assumption. You assume that it was the initial involvement in Iraq that made Bush a war criminal. I disagree. It was torture. Without torture, Bush would have been a moron, an awful president, and a puppet for evil men, but not a war criminal.


My question has nothing to do with Bush.

International law doesn't care what Congress has to say. The UN has not approved any attack. So, will unilaterally attacking a nation without being attacked make Obama a war criminal?
 
2013-08-30 10:56:50 AM  

LasersHurt: There is not enough information about the future for the level of reaction some posters have - that's the long and short of it.


Which would be just fine and dandy if there were an expectation that specific information is going to be provided in good time to allow for a full debate of the merits of such actions. But my question to you is whether you genuinely believe said specifics are going to provided so as to allow for such a debate.

There's a saying that it is better to ask for forgiveness than permission. In other words, strike first then follow up with 'Whoops, my bad. Did you not want me to do that?'. It would not come as a surprise if the first we hear about the final decision Obama has taken on US involvement is when they start announcing what targets have been struck.
 
2013-08-30 10:56:55 AM  

netweavr: give me doughnuts: He_Hate_Me:

There is no international norm against chemical weapons

Really?

Tear gas is a chemical weapon...


Pepper spray.
 
2013-08-30 10:57:37 AM  

netweavr: Tear gas is a chemical weapon...


Do you prefer the term "Biological-chemical weapons"?
 
2013-08-30 10:57:40 AM  

The Numbers: LasersHurt: There is not enough information about the future for the level of reaction some posters have - that's the long and short of it.

Which would be just fine and dandy if there were an expectation that specific information is going to be provided in good time to allow for a full debate of the merits of such actions. But my question to you is whether you genuinely believe said specifics are going to provided so as to allow for such a debate.

There's a saying that it is better to ask for forgiveness than permission. In other words, strike first then follow up with 'Whoops, my bad. Did you not want me to do that?'. It would not come as a surprise if the first we hear about the final decision Obama has taken on US involvement is when they start announcing what targets have been struck.


You're arguing something unrelated to my earlier posts, to which you were responding.
 
2013-08-30 10:57:49 AM  

netweavr: give me doughnuts: He_Hate_Me:

There is no international norm against chemical weapons

Really?

Tear gas is a chemical weapon...


So are my farts after eating Taco Bell.
 
2013-08-30 10:57:52 AM  

what_now: What moral obligation to we have to stop the systematic rape and murder in West Africa? What moral obligation do we have to stop people from enslaving children and turning them into soldiers? What moral obligation to we have to stop the genocide and starvation?

Oh right. Israel doesn't care about West Africa, so fark em.


Ask AIPAC what they care about.
Israel is doomed and it'll be karma coming back around.
 
2013-08-30 10:58:35 AM  

qorkfiend: CheatCommando: I do not see a case for a compelling national interest in Syria at this time.

The best one I've heard is that we don't want Al Qaeda or Hezbollah getting their hands on the Syrian Army's stockpiles of nerve gas.


The problem is the only way we can stop that is to invade the country with 250,000 troops-on Assad's side.  Remember, Al Queda is actively fighting  against Assad.  Anything we do against Assad increases (not decreases) the chances of this happening.  (We aren't going to actually attack the depots where the gas is stored to destory it because it would leak out and kill civilians.)
 
2013-08-30 11:01:05 AM  

s2s2s2: dr_blasto: Where do you get any evidence that these are GWB's missing WMDs from Iraq?

Former Iraqi General, Georges Sada, who was close with the pilots that flew them out on 56 flights, to Syria.


His (Sada's) claims, though, tend to contradict the findings of the "Duffler Report" which judged that it was unlikely that an official transfer of WMD material from Iraq to Syria took place.
Hmm, it's almost like someone on a book tour to promote said book made extraordinary claims without substantiated evidence, that contradicted more backed-up claims.  So, thanks s2s2s2 for making things up.
 
2013-08-30 11:01:27 AM  

s2s2s2: dr_blasto: Where do you get any evidence that these are GWB's missing WMDs from Iraq?

Former Iraqi General, Georges Sada, who was close with the pilots that flew them out on 56 flights, to Syria.


Was his codename "Curveball"?
 
2013-08-30 11:01:30 AM  

somedude210: Geotpf: The issue I have is why is killing 300 people with chemical weapons so much worse than killing 100,000 people with bombs and missiles and bullets?

I thought the death count from last week upped to 1300?


Whatever.  I still don't fully understand why that one event requires a response but the rest of the war for the past two years didn't.

I can see nukes being bad, because one nuke can kill 100,000 people or more at once.  Chemical weapons, however, don't have the same sort of death toll.
 
2013-08-30 11:03:21 AM  

Geotpf: qorkfiend: CheatCommando: I do not see a case for a compelling national interest in Syria at this time.

The best one I've heard is that we don't want Al Qaeda or Hezbollah getting their hands on the Syrian Army's stockpiles of nerve gas.

The problem is the only way we can stop that is to invade the country with 250,000 troops-on Assad's side.  Remember, Al Queda is actively fighting  against Assad.  Anything we do against Assad increases (not decreases) the chances of this happening.  (We aren't going to actually attack the depots where the gas is stored to destory it because it would leak out and kill civilians.)


I know. The distinct lack of good options are why I'm glad I'm not the one making the decision.

When I'm feeling extra-tinfoily, I think that the rebels may have set off the gas themselves in order to publicly blame Assad and provoke exactly the kind of response we seem to be contemplating.
 
2013-08-30 11:03:22 AM  

Geotpf: somedude210: Geotpf: The issue I have is why is killing 300 people with chemical weapons so much worse than killing 100,000 people with bombs and missiles and bullets?

I thought the death count from last week upped to 1300?

Whatever.  I still don't fully understand why that one event requires a response but the rest of the war for the past two years didn't.

I can see nukes being bad, because one nuke can kill 100,000 people or more at once.  Chemical weapons, however, don't have the same sort of death toll.


Link
 
2013-08-30 11:03:28 AM  
Israel & Turkey bomb Syria. Rest of world: "Meh"

Syria bombs Lebanon. Rest of world: "Meh"

Russia threatens to bomb Qatar. Rest of world: "Meh"

US plans to form a coalition to bomb Syria. Rest of world: "OMG how dare u"
 
2013-08-30 11:03:32 AM  

vygramul: s2s2s2: dr_blasto: Where do you get any evidence that these are GWB's missing WMDs from Iraq?

Former Iraqi General, Georges Sada, who was close with the pilots that flew them out on 56 flights, to Syria.

Was his codename "Curveball"?


No, but he was on a book tour, and trying to get an official position in the pro-U.S. cabinet.
 
2013-08-30 11:03:40 AM  

He_Hate_Me: A few points:

A self-proclaimed red line is a foolish reason for war

There are no such things as Red Lines in sane foreign policy and Obama showed himself an amateur by allowing himself to be boxed in by proclaiming one.  What kind of fool enters into a war, killing people including innocent civilians and spending millions or billions of dollars we allegedly don't have, with no plan or strategy whatsoever, all because he's afraid of looking weak or fickle?  At some point you have to allow a little bruising to your pride rather than allowing emotions to goad you into pointless violence.

The Cuban Missile Crisis would like a word with you

There is no international norm against chemical weapons

Enforcing some sort of abstract "norm" against the use of chemical weapons is a joke.  Where was this principle when Iraq was gassing hundreds of thousands of Iranians in the Iran-Iraq War?  Or when Israel used white phosphorus against Palestinians and Lebanese?  Americans used WF and depleted uranium munitions on Iraqis & Afghans?  It seems the real norm is "Don't use chemical weapons while being someone the US doesn't like."

The UN disagrees, that's why weapons inspectors are there today

Besides, why is killing people with chemical weapons worse than killing them with bullets, bombs, starvation, etc?  Is there a distinction there that's worth going to war over?

The intelligence on the alleged chemical attack is no "slam dunk."

A.) it has not been proven that there was a gas attack, B.) if there were an attack, it has not been proven who committed it, C.) if it had been committed by Syrian government forces, it has not been proven that it was ordered by the high command, and D.) even if it had been committed and ordered by Assad, how does a "limited strike" send more of a message than doing nothing at all?

On this I agree.  Everyone should wait for the UN report

Those acting like there's no doubt about a chemical attack seem to have forgotten the "slam dunk" intelligence claims about WMD in Iraq.  That was only 10 years ago!

The decision to go to war should not be just the president's to make

This is NOT a national emergency, and thus Ob ...


People have not forgotten, that is why UK voted down action
 
2013-08-30 11:06:54 AM  
And jesus christ s2s2s2, we knew way-the-hell back in the early 2000s that Syria was making their own chemical weapons.  This is such a stupid line of reasoning, you should feel stupid for presenting it.
 
2013-08-30 11:07:47 AM  

Geotpf: somedude210: Geotpf: The issue I have is why is killing 300 people with chemical weapons so much worse than killing 100,000 people with bombs and missiles and bullets?

I thought the death count from last week upped to 1300?

Whatever.  I still don't fully understand why that one event requires a response but the rest of the war for the past two years didn't.

I can see nukes being bad, because one nuke can kill 100,000 people or more at once.  Chemical weapons, however, don't have the same sort of death toll.


Less about death toll than providing an excuse for NATO to get involved due to the 1925 protocol.
 
2013-08-30 11:07:56 AM  

s2s2s2: dr_blasto: Where do you get any evidence that these are GWB's missing WMDs from Iraq?

Former Iraqi General, Georges Sada, who was close with the pilots that flew them out on 56 flights, to Syria.


While we enforced a no-fly zone with the best aircraft, satellite and land based detection capabilities on the entire planet. Not to mention the ability to project strike capabilities like no other organization in the world, all the while we were beating war drums in anticipation for an invasion and the President at the time had an itchy trigger finger looking for an excuse. Let us not mention Assad and Hussein were no friends to each other, and Iran, being good buddies with Assad and having a long and terrible relationship with Hussein really don't make this sound very reasonable.

Chalabi said they were developing nukes.

None of this supports the war in Iraq. But, aside from that, we know Syria has chemical weapons. We know chemical weapons have been deployed. An earlier use was indicated as well, that attack was presumed to be from the rebellion side. Nobody is claiming that it didn't happen, the argument is over who did it. We're still not sure what weapons were used. When the UN pulls their inspectors out and issues the report, that may help clear some of it up.
 
2013-08-30 11:08:25 AM  

vestona22: My question has nothing to do with Bush.


Your original question featured you stumbling all over yourself to use the idiotic term "libtards" in order to accuse people of hypocrisy. Don't bullshiat me. We're on the internet and I can still see what you said.

vestona22: International law doesn't care what Congress has to say. The UN has not approved any attack. So, will unilaterally attacking a nation without being attacked make Obama a war criminal?


Y'know what, fine, since you keep demanding a simple answer to a simple question about a complex situation, no matter how stupid that idea is. I'll give you one.

International law doesn't say that waging war without UN approval is a war crime. It's a violation of the UN charter and may be considered illegal, but it is not a war crime. It wasn't when Bush did it and it wouldn't be if Obama did it. Which doesn't make it right or legal.
 
2013-08-30 11:08:26 AM  

netweavr: give me doughnuts: He_Hate_Me:

There is no international norm against chemical weapons

Really?

Tear gas is a chemical weapon...



Not according to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. The treaty I linked to doesn't consider "riot control" agents like tear gas to be a chemical weapon.
 
2013-08-30 11:08:56 AM  
The big problem I see is there's no where for Assad to go at this point. It's not a situation where we can get his forces to withdraw from rebel held areas with large civillian populations, because it's those civililian population centers that the rebels are advancing on, and he's not an invading Army. It's almost a no win situation, and once the chemical weapons come out I'm just going to assume that this civil war is going to drag on without any political solution for years and year.

Still, the use of chemical weapons really should trigger international intervention, and missle strikes seem like the only option that doesn't involve sending in troops. The only question I see is where do we bomb and how much do we bomb.

It's such an awful situation and I don't envy any decision maker on this one.
 
2013-08-30 11:10:54 AM  
Don't we have black ops that can simply take Assad out?
 
2013-08-30 11:11:52 AM  

ikanreed: s2s2s2: dr_blasto: Where do you get any evidence that these are GWB's missing WMDs from Iraq?

Former Iraqi General, Georges Sada, who was close with the pilots that flew them out on 56 flights, to Syria.

His (Sada's) claims, though, tend to contradict the findings of the "Duffler Report" which judged that it was unlikely that an official transfer of WMD material from Iraq to Syria took place.Hmm, it's almost like someone on a book tour to promote said book made extraordinary claims without substantiated evidence, that contradicted more backed-up claims.  So, thanks s2s2s2 for making things up.


Got it. If you write and promote a book, you are a liar.
 
2013-08-30 11:12:45 AM  

what_now: Don't we have black ops that can simply take Assad out?


And then what?
 
2013-08-30 11:12:53 AM  

incendi: Weaver95: I really hope we don't do this. Enough with the bombings already.

But something something red line!


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-23892594

There is your red line. Right there.

*I* would be more than willing to drag my fat ass over there if they asked.

You can't just DO that. Those are kids .. not combatants
 
2013-08-30 11:13:48 AM  

He_Hate_Me: A self-proclaimed red line is a foolish reason for war

There are no such things as Red Lines in sane foreign policy and Obama showed himself an amateur by allowing himself to be boxed in by proclaiming one. What kind of fool enters into a war, killing people including innocent civilians and spending millions or billions of dollars we allegedly don't have, with no plan or strategy whatsoever, all because he's afraid of looking weak or fickle? At some point you have to allow a little bruising to your pride rather than allowing emotions to goad you into pointless violence.


this is the driving force.  we will now see what the president is made of.
 
2013-08-30 11:13:55 AM  

ikanreed: And jesus christ s2s2s2, we knew way-the-hell back in the early 2000s that Syria was making their own chemical weapons.  This is such a stupid line of reasoning, you should feel stupid for presenting it.


If you say so, random person on the Internet.
 
2013-08-30 11:14:10 AM  

what_now: Don't we have black ops that can simply take Assad out?


Yep, soldiers are magic, and don't require any logistical support.

//I know you're joking.
 
2013-08-30 11:14:37 AM  
It seems like a stupid move IMO, a punitive action in the form of some telegraphed for days if not weeks cruise missiles... Either do something sustained that will flip the war and support secular rebels or do nothing and wait.
 
2013-08-30 11:15:42 AM  

give me doughnuts: netweavr: give me doughnuts: He_Hate_Me:

There is no international norm against chemical weapons

Really?

Tear gas is a chemical weapon...


Not according to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. The treaty I linked to doesn't consider "riot control" agents like tear gas to be a chemical weapon.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chemical_Weapons_Convention#Chemical_we ap ons lists tear gas as a chemical weapon.
 
2013-08-30 11:16:19 AM  

dr_blasto: what_now: Don't we have black ops that can simply take Assad out?

And then what?


if it is even possible it would be a true punitive action, not just shooting missiles at random targets.
 
2013-08-30 11:16:48 AM  

s2s2s2: ikanreed: And jesus christ s2s2s2, we knew way-the-hell back in the early 2000s that Syria was making their own chemical weapons.  This is such a stupid line of reasoning, you should feel stupid for presenting it.

If you say so, random person on the Internet.


Or, you could do basic research on the subject.  Google news archives.  Wikipedia article about Syria and chemical weapons.  You know a basic self priming on the history of something before forming an opinion about it.
 
2013-08-30 11:17:40 AM  
and btw...  I would be happy with just establishing a no-fly zone to keep Assad from bombing more schools with thermite.
 
2013-08-30 11:18:10 AM  

qorkfiend: Admittedly it's a more immediate interest for our allies (Israel, Europe) who are geographically closer to Syria


All of whom but Israel appear to not find it compelling, and Israel wakes up in the morning with indigestion and decides bombing Damascus is in their national interest.
 
2013-08-30 11:18:44 AM  

netweavr: give me doughnuts: netweavr: give me doughnuts: He_Hate_Me:

There is no international norm against chemical weapons

Really?

Tear gas is a chemical weapon...


Not according to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. The treaty I linked to doesn't consider "riot control" agents like tear gas to be a chemical weapon.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chemical_Weapons_Convention#Chemical_we ap ons lists tear gas as a chemical weapon.


durr: "Police and private self-defense use is not banned in the same manner.  "
 
2013-08-30 11:20:09 AM  

what_now: Don't we have black ops that can simply take Assad out?


We made that bad idea illegal after our bungled Cuban assassination attempts.
 
2013-08-30 11:21:08 AM  
Time for some tough love. Ready? Here goes:
i714.photobucket.com
You guys suck at nation building.
 
2013-08-30 11:21:27 AM  

Shadow Blasko: and btw...  I would be happy with just establishing a no-fly zone to keep Assad from bombing more schools with thermite.


What about NK?  They are starving people to death and executing artists and musicians who may or may not have spoken critically about dear leader.  We probably better get over there, too.

And about a dozen other places that governments are committing ongoing atrocities against their own people....
 
2013-08-30 11:23:30 AM  

The Muthaship: Shadow Blasko: and btw...  I would be happy with just establishing a no-fly zone to keep Assad from bombing more schools with thermite.

What about NK?  They are starving people to death and executing artists and musicians who may or may not have spoken critically about dear leader.  We probably better get over there, too.

And about a dozen other places that governments are committing ongoing atrocities against their own people....


They don't suffer from the disadvantage of having been recently covered by news outlets.
 
2013-08-30 11:27:22 AM  
When Obama drew his red lines, were there any Republicans complaining about the possible military action it reflected?

If you didn't complain that the red line was too harsh, you can't complain about the military action Obama is probably going to end up taking.  Unless you position is that Syrian government didn't in fact cross the red line.
 
2013-08-30 11:27:57 AM  

Headso: dr_blasto: what_now: Don't we have black ops that can simply take Assad out?

And then what?

if it is even possible it would be a true punitive action, not just shooting missiles at random targets.


You're still left with the people that actually set it off, additionally you still have the remaining stockpiles of chemical weapons. Killing Assad may eliminate the only thing that is keeping the large-scale deployment of those weapons.

What would make more sense is identifying the location of chemical weapons, weapon manufacturing sites and systems used to deploy them. Perform a strike on those targets, then pull back. Of course, I don't know if we even have the intelligence to determine where they are, it is entirely possible that Syria has successfully hidden them from the rest of the world.

I am pretty sure nobody would argue that turning a chemical weapons bunker into a crater and incinerating everything in it would be frowned upon by anyone.
 
2013-08-30 11:28:11 AM  

Shadow Blasko: and btw...  I would be happy with just establishing a no-fly zone to keep Assad from bombing more schools with thermite.


That might be what Obama has to fall back to.  The problem becomes how long you sustain it for.
 
2013-08-30 11:28:33 AM  

s2s2s2: ikanreed: s2s2s2: dr_blasto: Where do you get any evidence that these are GWB's missing WMDs from Iraq?

Former Iraqi General, Georges Sada, who was close with the pilots that flew them out on 56 flights, to Syria.

His (Sada's) claims, though, tend to contradict the findings of the "Duffler Report" which judged that it was unlikely that an official transfer of WMD material from Iraq to Syria took place.Hmm, it's almost like someone on a book tour to promote said book made extraordinary claims without substantiated evidence, that contradicted more backed-up claims.  So, thanks s2s2s2 for making things up.

Got it. If you write and promote a book, you are a liar.


You believe everything you read on WND don't you?
 
2013-08-30 11:29:56 AM  

Fart_Machine: You believe everything you read on WND don't you?


I don't read anything on there. I do read fark threads about stories from there, tho.
 
2013-08-30 11:30:36 AM  

netweavr: give me doughnuts: netweavr: give me doughnuts: He_Hate_Me:

There is no international norm against chemical weapons

Really?

Tear gas is a chemical weapon...


Not according to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. The treaty I linked to doesn't consider "riot control" agents like tear gas to be a chemical weapon.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chemical_Weapons_Convention#Chemical_we ap ons lists tear gas as a chemical weapon.


From Article 2 of this treaty:


9. "Purposes Not Prohibited Under this Convention" means:

(a) Industrial, agricultural, research, medical, pharmaceutical or other peaceful purposes;

(b) Protective purposes, namely those purposes directly related to protection against toxic chemicals and to protection against chemical weapons;

(c) Military purposes not connected with the use of chemical weapons and not dependent on the use of the toxic properties of chemicals as a method of warfare;

(d) Law enforcement including domestic riot control purposes.

 
2013-08-30 11:33:08 AM  
Well... at least we have the French... which honestly surprises me. Open cheese sack, remove testicles.

Hollande still up for strike
Let the UN conduct its investigation. If there's evidence that they find that Assad used the weapons... well... his regime must be punished. Until then, let's whip out just enough rhetorical dick to make sure that punishing the regime is still an option if the time comes.
 
2013-08-30 11:33:52 AM  

s2s2s2: Fart_Machine: You believe everything you read on WND don't you?

I don't read anything on there. I do read fark threads about stories from there, tho.


I would suggest looking up some of the history between Iraq, Iran and Syria. Look to how Saddam Hussein came to power.

there's a reason he could sneak off to either country and ended up in a spider hole.
 
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