If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(Salon)   John Kerry is totally blowing his sales pitch by trying to be all things to all people, and making ridiculous promises about what our military can do that no one in their right mind believes   (salon.com) divider line 294
    More: Obvious, global powers, Delaware Democratic Party, opposition to the Vietnam War, sanities, intelligence assessment, chemical weapons, Congressional Black Caucus, foreign ministers  
•       •       •

2036 clicks; posted to Politics » on 06 Sep 2013 at 2:30 PM (32 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



294 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

First | « | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | » | Last | Show all
 
2013-09-06 04:22:09 PM

vygramul: Isn't that what I said?


That is indeed what you said; I read it backwards for some reason.
 
2013-09-06 04:22:44 PM
Why are people treating this choice of action vs. inaction as if these are the only two options on the table? This isn't a "yes/no" question, and Congress doesn't have to play this game.
 
2013-09-06 04:23:38 PM

bikerific: Radioactive Ass: bikerific: International laws ban chemical weapons. Of course, international law is largely fiction. It only exists if people think it does.

The body charged deciding that those laws have been broken, not to mention who must approve the enforcement of those laws in whatever manner, has not weighed in on this as of yet. If the rest of the world won't decide then what gives us the right to do so unilaterally?


By the same token, what gives the rest of the world the right to intervene in Syria?

IIRC, Syria is not a signatory to any of the treaties banning chemical weapons.  Why would anyone have any authority to do anything?


Um they signed unto the Geneva Protocol in 1968.
 
2013-09-06 04:24:37 PM

DamnYankees: Obama's Reptiloid Master: We probably can (realistically) stop that by taking a hard stance on Assad, all with some bombing of strategic targets.

No we cannot. We cannot control the world. We are not god.


We (and Syria) are signatories on a treaty outlawing the use of chemical weapons. We know that chemical weapons were used since we had confirmation from multiple parties including Doctors Without Borders. We also have the ability to punish the Assad regime must like we did in the Balkans.

I always say that someone needs to be protesting any kind of military action. Even limited strikes will wind up killing people that are not the targets. However, there are times when force is necessary. The prohibition against these weapons was so strong that even the Axis in WWII didn't use them as common practice. If the international community refuses to act in this case, it may well be open season on any civilian uprisings in the future.
 
2013-09-06 04:25:50 PM

GameSprocket: We (and Syria) are signatories on a treaty outlawing the use of chemical weapons. We know that chemical weapons were used since we had confirmation from multiple parties including Doctors Without Borders. We also have the ability to punish the Assad regime must like we did in the Balkans.


Do any of those treaties give us the power to unliterally bomb a country for violating it?

You can't appeal to international law in support of bombing when international law makes it illegal for you to bomb.
 
2013-09-06 04:29:07 PM

odinsposse: This is a terrible idea.


Do ya think? It's a terrible idea on several levels. Lets start with it's breaking our own laws by helping the Al Qaeda infiltrated rebels. Link. The key part is providing "expert advice or assistance". Arming and training vetted rebel fighters is one thing. Attacking their enemy is entirely another. Keep in mind that there are, according to the office of the secretary of state themselves who warn in their own travel advisories in regards to Syria that there are rebel Al Qadea factions within the rebel forces. Link. Attacking Assad must, by definition, help ALL of the rebels including those who are AQ related. That is a direct violation of our own laws, laws which this very president has personally renewed. Link.
 
2013-09-06 04:30:16 PM

GameSprocket: If the international community refuses to act in this case, it may well be open season on any civilian uprisings in the future.


The international community did refuse to act now people want the us to act unilaterally.
 
2013-09-06 04:31:12 PM

Obama's Reptiloid Master: Honestly, though, what's the price of non-intervention?

If it comes out that Assad gassed his own peopl and capable nations did nothing, we will be seen as complicit.

Sometimes life hands you a dook sandwich, and the only way you're getting out of it is to hold your nose, choke it down as fast as you can, and gargle after.


No, you heal it down the drain and forget that it ever happened.

//assuming a dook sandwich has beef.
 
2013-09-06 04:33:42 PM

Obama's Reptiloid Master: But in 10-15 years, you can bet your ass some kid in Damascus will think, "maybe my parents would be alive if the US had intervened when they could!" as he straps a bomb to his chest and approaches an embassy.


Conversely that very same kid may do that if his parents were killed by an American Tomahawk. It's a lot harder to get mad at someone who does nothing than than it is to be mad at someone who does something.
 
2013-09-06 04:36:09 PM

Radioactive Ass: odinsposse: This is a terrible idea.

Do ya think? It's a terrible idea on several levels. Lets start with it's breaking our own laws by helping the Al Qaeda infiltrated rebels. Link. The key part is providing "expert advice or assistance". Arming and training vetted rebel fighters is one thing. Attacking their enemy is entirely another. Keep in mind that there are, according to the office of the secretary of state themselves who warn in their own travel advisories in regards to Syria that there are rebel Al Qadea factions within the rebel forces. Link. Attacking Assad must, by definition, help ALL of the rebels including those who are AQ related. That is a direct violation of our own laws, laws which this very president has personally renewed. Link.


This reasoning is dubious, to say the least. When the US attacks al-Qaeda, for instance, are they unlawfully "helping" Shia terrorist groups that are also fighting al-Qaeda?
 
2013-09-06 04:36:15 PM

vygramul: Ah, ok, that's not quite the, "We're going to install a democratic government ourselves," I took that to mean. That's just hopeful hogwash.


Saying that the conflict ends when we have a peace treaty that establishes a democratic government is just a lawyerly way of saying Assad must surrender and be replaced by a pro-western (we hope) government.  Generally, there's an interim government appointed while plans are made for elections..
 
2013-09-06 04:36:40 PM

Fart_Machine: Um they signed unto the Geneva Protocol in 1968.


That protocol is regarding first use. There is some evidence that the rebels used Sarin back in March of this year. That means that the door was opened for Syria to do the same.
 
2013-09-06 04:36:53 PM
First, I am not advocating for it.

Second, Iraq had no wmd usage and none found. So the 'redline' can exist without the the same stance on Iraq and Syria.

Lastly, as with all things deterrance and enforcement, situational cost benefit exists. That goes for my views on enforcing international law as well as any given local criminal law.
 
2013-09-06 04:37:16 PM

Biological Ali: vygramul: Isn't that what I said?

That is indeed what you said; I read it backwards for some reason.


No worries. Happens to all of us.
 
2013-09-06 04:37:56 PM

Smackledorfer: Iraq had no wmd usage


What did they execute Saddam for again?
 
2013-09-06 04:39:15 PM

imontheinternet: vygramul: Ah, ok, that's not quite the, "We're going to install a democratic government ourselves," I took that to mean. That's just hopeful hogwash.

Saying that the conflict ends when we have a peace treaty that establishes a democratic government is just a lawyerly way of saying Assad must surrender and be replaced by a pro-western (we hope) government.  Generally, there's an interim government appointed while plans are made for elections..


Yeah - we just shouldn't be involved in this at all. Besides, all we ever seem to do is install a parliamentary system. Let someone else handle that.
 
2013-09-06 04:39:41 PM

Biological Ali: This reasoning is dubious, to say the least. When the US attacks al-Qaeda, for instance, are they unlawfully "helping" Shia terrorist groups that are also fighting al-Qaeda?


Yes. As I've said before you cannot wash your hands without getting both of them wet. However in your example there's nothing that says that we cannot attack both. In this case we are only proposing attacking one while not attacking the other. This is the difference.
 
2013-09-06 04:39:47 PM

The Muthaship: Smackledorfer: Iraq had no wmd usage

What did they execute Saddam for again?


A-holery?
 
2013-09-06 04:40:03 PM

thismomentinblackhistory: Why are people treating this choice of action vs. inaction as if these are the only two options on the table? This isn't a "yes/no" question, and Congress doesn't have to play this game.


If we really want to stop chemical weapons from being used, we should sit down with the rebels, the government, and the Russians.and hammer out an agreement that prohibits the use of chemical weapons and provides an unbiased means for reporting and investigating their use, as well as trying and convicting the war criminals who use them.
 
2013-09-06 04:40:20 PM

HotIgneous Intruder: A-holery?


I think that's where they found him....
 
2013-09-06 04:41:22 PM
Just something else to think about for Syria.  The preferred option is a negotiated settlement where Assad goes away and the Syrians get a transitional government of some type.  The Russians have not been particularly supportive of this, but they might swing if there's support for them to pick up the bulk of peace keeping in Syria, instead of the US or NATO.  They get to keep the port and no Saudi pipeline, so the thinking (I understand) is that Putin might be talked into this.

The question then is:  would US bombing help or hinder that line?  Or maybe, is that line just a fevered imagining?

Cheers.
 
2013-09-06 04:43:15 PM

The Muthaship: Smackledorfer: Iraq had no wmd usage

What did they execute Saddam for again?


I am not interested in trying to guess at your argument. I don't play that game. Feel free to make an argument if want a response.
 
2013-09-06 04:44:09 PM

vygramul: imontheinternet: vygramul: Ah, ok, that's not quite the, "We're going to install a democratic government ourselves," I took that to mean. That's just hopeful hogwash.

Saying that the conflict ends when we have a peace treaty that establishes a democratic government is just a lawyerly way of saying Assad must surrender and be replaced by a pro-western (we hope) government.  Generally, there's an interim government appointed while plans are made for elections..

Yeah - we just shouldn't be involved in this at all. Besides, all we ever seem to do is install a parliamentary system. Let someone else handle that.


Yep, and (again generally speaking) the wide array of rebel groups break into 60 or so political parties, with 59 varying degrees of moderates and one unified islamist party.  Egypt knows a thing or two about that.
 
2013-09-06 04:44:30 PM

Smackledorfer: The Muthaship: Smackledorfer: Iraq had no wmd usage

What did they execute Saddam for again?

I am not interested in trying to guess at your argument. I don't play that game. Feel free to make an argument if want a response.


Gassing the Kurds.
 
2013-09-06 04:46:56 PM

Radioactive Ass: Biological Ali: This reasoning is dubious, to say the least. When the US attacks al-Qaeda, for instance, are they unlawfully "helping" Shia terrorist groups that are also fighting al-Qaeda?

Yes. As I've said before you cannot wash your hands without getting both of them wet. However in your example there's nothing that says that we cannot attack both. In this case we are only proposing attacking one while not attacking the other. This is the difference.


The US military already has an open-ended authorization to attack al-Qaeda anywhere in the world. They don't need a separate resolution to go after them in Syria - that would be redundant.
 
2013-09-06 04:49:54 PM

Radioactive Ass: Fart_Machine: Um they signed unto the Geneva Protocol in 1968.

That protocol is regarding first use. There is some evidence that the rebels used Sarin back in March of this year. That means that the door was opened for Syria to do the same.


Do you have a citation on that?  I've never read anything regarding that it's OK to use them on civilians if the other guy does first.
 
2013-09-06 04:52:15 PM

Brian_of_Nazareth: Just something else to think about for Syria.  The preferred option is a negotiated settlement where Assad goes away and the Syrians get a transitional government of some type.  The Russians have not been particularly supportive of this, but they might swing if there's support for them to pick up the bulk of peace keeping in Syria, instead of the US or NATO.  They get to keep the port and no Saudi pipeline, so the thinking (I understand) is that Putin might be talked into this.

The question then is:  would US bombing help or hinder that line?  Or maybe, is that line just a fevered imagining?

Cheers.


Putin doesn't care so much about Assad as he wants a stable government that's friendly to Russia.
 
2013-09-06 04:54:32 PM

Biological Ali: The US military already has an open-ended authorization to attack al-Qaeda anywhere in the world. They don't need a separate resolution to go after them in Syria - that would be redundant.


Yet I have seen no evidence of them doing so, or planning to do so, anywhere in Syria. Even when they know who they are and (I assume) where they are. Why? Because at the moment they are fighting the man who they want out, While I can see the twisted logic behind that there comes a point where helping by doing nothing is probably not a bad thing at the moment (letting them kill each other) but any active assistance, no matter how small or large is still illogical and illegal to boot.
 
2013-09-06 04:57:59 PM

Radioactive Ass: Biological Ali: The US military already has an open-ended authorization to attack al-Qaeda anywhere in the world. They don't need a separate resolution to go after them in Syria - that would be redundant.

Yet I have seen no evidence of them doing so, or planning to do so, anywhere in Syria. Even when they know who they are and (I assume) where they are. Why? Because at the moment they are fighting the man who they want out, While I can see the twisted logic behind that there comes a point where helping by doing nothing is probably not a bad thing at the moment (letting them kill each other) but any active assistance, no matter how small or large is still illogical and illegal to boot.


It's not illegal at all. The 2001 AUMF authorizes the president to go after Al Qaeda, at his discretion, anywhere in the world. In fact, Obama could simply state that he considers Assad part of the Al Qaeda support system and attack him. Congress' ceding of power was that absolute, and that farking retarded.
 
2013-09-06 05:04:01 PM

bikerific: International laws ban chemical weapons.


Then why does the USA have them?
 
2013-09-06 05:04:55 PM

Fart_Machine: Brian_of_Nazareth: Just something else to think about for Syria.  The preferred option is a negotiated settlement where Assad goes away and the Syrians get a transitional government of some type.  The Russians have not been particularly supportive of this, but they might swing if there's support for them to pick up the bulk of peace keeping in Syria, instead of the US or NATO.  They get to keep the port and no Saudi pipeline, so the thinking (I understand) is that Putin might be talked into this.

The question then is:  would US bombing help or hinder that line?  Or maybe, is that line just a fevered imagining?

Cheers.

Putin doesn't care so much about Assad as he wants a stable government that's friendly to Russia.


Quite true.  The problem comes down to finding a replacement for Assad the Russians can live with and so can a majority of the Syrian people.  No-one stands out that I'm aware of.

Cheers.
 
2013-09-06 05:05:26 PM

Fart_Machine: Do you have a citation on that? I've never read anything regarding that it's OK to use them on civilians if the other guy does first.


The Geneva Protocol says it:

"the Geneva Protocol, is a treaty prohibiting the first use of chemical and biological weapons.". Wiki link. Be sure to read the Historical Assessment section. As to using them on civilians the area being hit was a rebel stronghold according to news reports so any civilian casualties would be collateral damage. I know that that sounds callous, and it is, and it doesn't make me happy to say it. But that's just a fact of modern warfare.

Look, I'm not advocating their use by anyone but it's been long established that once one side uses WMD of any type the other side is allowed to use them too in retaliation. The MAD doctrine is firmly based in this concept and it has no time limit other than some sort of peace agreement or armistice between the parties that halts their use.
 
2013-09-06 05:07:38 PM

Biological Ali: Radioactive Ass: Biological Ali: This reasoning is dubious, to say the least. When the US attacks al-Qaeda, for instance, are they unlawfully "helping" Shia terrorist groups that are also fighting al-Qaeda?

Yes. As I've said before you cannot wash your hands without getting both of them wet. However in your example there's nothing that says that we cannot attack both. In this case we are only proposing attacking one while not attacking the other. This is the difference.

The US military already has an open-ended authorization to attack al-Qaeda anywhere in the world. They don't need a separate resolution to go after them in Syria - that would be redundant.


It's important to emphasize how small a role al Qaeda plays in all or any of these realpolitikal calculations.
They are simply the cost of doing business wherever they ooze from the mud.
 
2013-09-06 05:09:36 PM

vygramul: In fact, Obama could simply state that he considers Assad part of the Al Qaeda support system and attack him.


Except that out here in the real world, al Caca is fighting against Assad with the motivating idea of establishing an Islamic state in Syria.
 
2013-09-06 05:10:25 PM

DamnYankees: LasersHurt: So you must believe that Assad is on the tip of toppling right now, then, and the slightest breeze will end him? Or... I'm not sure what part you think is something that we can't do.

The part where we somehow manage to do so much damage to Assad that he won't ever think about using weapons he thinks he needs to win, but somehow at the exact same time not do enough damage to reduce his odds of actually winning.


We can't know this utterly absured claim is false!

/Want some tea? The pot is just past Mars.
 
2013-09-06 05:14:03 PM

vygramul: It's not illegal at all. The 2001 AUMF authorizes the president to go after Al Qaeda, at his discretion, anywhere in the world. In fact, Obama could simply state that he considers Assad part of the Al Qaeda support system and attack him. Congress' ceding of power was that absolute, and that farking retarded.


The AUMF does not allow for knowingly giving assistance to them. The resolution specifically states that one of the goals is to get Assad out of there. This is also the goal of the AQ forces. If it were merely one or two guys or even one or two units I could overlook it for now. But it's not. News reports have them numbering in the thousands, controlling large swaths of the country and have them killing the types of rebels we actually do like to the point that some of them are fleeing to Turkey. Anything that we do will be helping them and it's one of the main reasons why I'm firmly against this action.
 
2013-09-06 05:15:39 PM

Obama's Reptiloid Master: DamnYankees: Obama's Reptiloid Master: If it comes out that Assad gassed his own peopl and capable nations did nothing, we will be seen as complicit.

Is this the rule for all violence now? The United States is complicit in every murder or violent act we don't directly intervene to stop?

No, it's a matter of scale. The US military is too big to use on murder.

But a nation using WMDs? That's different. We probably can (realistically) stop that by taking a hard stance on Assad, all with some bombing of strategic targets.

I'm not saying it is right that we should be the world police. But you deal with the reality you have.


Been reading this all week. Killing one hundred thousand people with guns and bombs is OK, but one thousand with gas is not.
 
2013-09-06 05:15:41 PM

Evil High Priest: imontheinternet: The Bestest: imontheinternet: Assad is winning the war right now.  Decisively.  Tipping the war in favor of the rebels is a massive commitment, and lobbing a few bombs and walking away won't work, because national pride won't let "the bad guy" beat us.

This will very likely turn into a full commitment to side with rebel groups, the strongest of which are radical jihadists, to topple a dictatorship we don't like and replace it with an unknown interim government until elections are held, which may very well put the jihadists in power.

If this was 2002, I could excuse someone being naive about the risks involved here, but it isn't and I can't.

Mission creep is certainly a concern of mine as well, but even then the cost of inaction still outweighs it in my mind.

Given Assad's momentum in the war, if we do nothing the rebels will likely be defeated and the situation will change from a full on civil war to a smaller scale insurgency. controlled massacre.


No, the rebels are the genocidists.
 
2013-09-06 05:17:13 PM

Radioactive Ass: Yet I have seen no evidence of them doing so, or planning to do so, anywhere in Syria.


Sure, but there's no law that says they can't prioritize which enemies the US can deal with at which times (even if we grant for the sake of argument that the US has some intelligence on al-Qaeda in Syria that it isn't acting on). Under the interpretation you seem to be going with, any attack that didn't involve in the US hitting all mutually opposed enemies at the same time with equal force would result in them illegally "helping" the one that suffered the least damage within a given time frame. That just isn't anywhere near how these principles are actually understood and applied.
 
2013-09-06 05:17:32 PM
Who was it who was pushing Kerry over Rice? The name is on the tip of my tongue. Mc-something. McDonalds? No, that can't be right. I'm sure it will come to me eventually.
 
2013-09-06 05:18:06 PM

Radioactive Ass: Fart_Machine: Do you have a citation on that? I've never read anything regarding that it's OK to use them on civilians if the other guy does first.

The Geneva Protocol says it:

"the Geneva Protocol, is a treaty prohibiting the first use of chemical and biological weapons.". Wiki link. Be sure to read the Historical Assessment section. As to using them on civilians the area being hit was a rebel stronghold according to news reports so any civilian casualties would be collateral damage. I know that that sounds callous, and it is, and it doesn't make me happy to say it. But that's just a fact of modern warfare.

Look, I'm not advocating their use by anyone but it's been long established that once one side uses WMD of any type the other side is allowed to use them too in retaliation. The MAD doctrine is firmly based in this concept and it has no time limit other than some sort of peace agreement or armistice between the parties that halts their use.


Fair enough.  So in other words it's generally useless even if the initial Rebel attack is never confirmed.
 
2013-09-06 05:18:18 PM

DeaH: Who was it who was pushing Kerry over Rice? The name is on the tip of my tongue. Mc-something. McDonalds? No, that can't be right. I'm sure it will come to me eventually.


You think the mouthpiece is the problem?
 
2013-09-06 05:18:20 PM

Obama's Reptiloid Master: But in 10-15 years, you can bet your ass some kid in Damascus will think, "maybe my parents would be alive if the US had intervened when they could!" as he straps a bomb to his chest and approaches an embassy.


"They will greet us as liberators" version 2.0.
 
2013-09-06 05:18:56 PM
It's just amazing to me that the secretary of state is going after and advocating military action as the FIRST resort.

WTF.
This all stinks.
 
2013-09-06 05:20:18 PM
He also voted for the Iraq war, so at least he's not a flipflipper.
 
2013-09-06 05:20:33 PM

GoldSpider: Been reading this all week. Killing one hundred thousand people with guns and bombs is OK, but one thousand with gas is not.


It's been that way for almost a century.  It's just that in the cases where gas has been used in the past we just chose to ignore it.
 
2013-09-06 05:21:35 PM

GoldSpider: Obama's Reptiloid Master: DamnYankees: Obama's Reptiloid Master: If it comes out that Assad gassed his own peopl and capable nations did nothing, we will be seen as complicit.

Is this the rule for all violence now? The United States is complicit in every murder or violent act we don't directly intervene to stop?

No, it's a matter of scale. The US military is too big to use on murder.

But a nation using WMDs? That's different. We probably can (realistically) stop that by taking a hard stance on Assad, all with some bombing of strategic targets.

I'm not saying it is right that we should be the world police. But you deal with the reality you have.

Been reading this all week. Killing one hundred thousand people with guns and bombs is OK, but one thousand with gas is not.


I don't get it either.
 
2013-09-06 05:22:09 PM
Gas is just so unsporting.
 
2013-09-06 05:22:59 PM

Radioactive Ass: Fart_Machine: Do you have a citation on that? I've never read anything regarding that it's OK to use them on civilians if the other guy does first.

The Geneva Protocol says it:

"the Geneva Protocol, is a treaty prohibiting the first use of chemical and biological weapons.". Wiki link. Be sure to read the Historical Assessment section. As to using them on civilians the area being hit was a rebel stronghold according to news reports so any civilian casualties would be collateral damage. I know that that sounds callous, and it is, and it doesn't make me happy to say it. But that's just a fact of modern warfare.

Look, I'm not advocating their use by anyone but it's been long established that once one side uses WMD of any type the other side is allowed to use them too in retaliation. The MAD doctrine is firmly based in this concept and it has no time limit other than some sort of peace agreement or armistice between the parties that halts their use.


It would seem that the Protocol itself doesn't explicitly make this allowance, but many signatories to it separately reserve the right to respond in kind if attacked first. So it would seem that it's a subjective thing, and not some hard-coded loophole that applies regardless of context.

And again, I'd like to reiterate that not even the people accusing the rebels of carrying out the Aleppo incident (which include Syria and Russia) are making the "respond in kind" argument, likely because they know it's a non-starter.
 
2013-09-06 05:23:50 PM

CynicalLA: GoldSpider: Obama's Reptiloid Master: DamnYankees: Obama's Reptiloid Master: If it comes out that Assad gassed his own peopl and capable nations did nothing, we will be seen as complicit.

Is this the rule for all violence now? The United States is complicit in every murder or violent act we don't directly intervene to stop?

No, it's a matter of scale. The US military is too big to use on murder.

But a nation using WMDs? That's different. We probably can (realistically) stop that by taking a hard stance on Assad, all with some bombing of strategic targets.

I'm not saying it is right that we should be the world police. But you deal with the reality you have.

Been reading this all week. Killing one hundred thousand people with guns and bombs is OK, but one thousand with gas is not.

I don't get it either.


Chemical weapons cause xtra-sufferingtm, creates a bad precedent that excuses future use, and leaves residue behind.

That's why there's a zero-tolerance policy towards it.
 
Displayed 50 of 294 comments

First | « | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | » | Last | Show all

View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


This thread is closed to new comments.

Continue Farking
Submit a Link »






Report