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      08-29-2013, 10:26 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by peterg1965 View Post
I am against military action, maybe this will surprise some. There is absolutely nothing about what diplomatic efforts are ongoing to talk to Assad, he must know that if the trigger is pulled it's game over for him and his cronies. It's what/who replaces them which is probably of most concern. Who would have that that an ophthalmic surgeon trained in London, married to a woman from Acton, could be someone who allegedly perpetrated such heinous crimes on innocent civilians in his own country.

General Dannatt, interviewed on Tv over the weekend is right, there needs to be a plan if the West intervene- with a beginning, a middle and an end!
Completely agree.
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      08-29-2013, 11:01 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by peterg1965 View Post
I am against military action, maybe this will surprise some. There is absolutely nothing about what diplomatic efforts are ongoing to talk to Assad, he must know that if the trigger is pulled it's game over for him and his cronies. It's what/who replaces them which is probably of most concern. Who would have that that an ophthalmic surgeon trained in London, married to a woman from Acton, could be someone who allegedly perpetrated such heinous crimes on innocent civilians in his own country.

General Dannatt, interviewed on Tv over the weekend is right, there needs to be a plan if the West intervene- with a beginning, a middle and an end!
I guess it's a great example of how power corrupts. I can't imagine why any leader who had lost "the people" to such an extent wouldn't just flee/abdicate/resign/stand down as these things generally always end badly for them. Usually with a lifeless, bloodied body in a street being beaten with shoes.

My bent on it is that nearly every democratic state in the so called developed world has went through a civil war or revolution of it's own at some point. There is cruelty and spilt blood in every countries history and despite the hypocrisy of what we or our allies have done in the past we can not stand by and ignore injustice (and this applies on all fronts,not just Syria). However, we should not be drawn in to other peoples conflicts as combatants, our role and that of the rest of the worlds should be as referees....... hold on, have I just described what the UN is supposed to be doing.

PS. my cousin works for the UN and he's a complete fanny so i have no faith.
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      08-29-2013, 01:09 PM   #25
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There have been claims that Assad used weapons against his opponents. I've also seen reports that the rebels also used chemical weapons. Which reports are accurate? I don't know, but I don't think it matters either. Chemical weapons were used. Period.

Leave Syria to Its Own Devices
Despots, tyrants and regimes that massacre their own people are as despicable as it gets, IMO. However, when that is the action of a sovereign government within it's own country. Nobody fought WWII simply because Hitler was gassing German Jews or because he'd initiated a pogrom against his political and ideological opponents. Nobody is invading North Korea because that clown running the place has nuclear weapons. Nobody invaded China over the Tienanmen Square incident. Right, wrong or something in between, I don't feel there's a good case for any other country to play the knight in shining armor, regardless of the moral imperative. For the US or anyone else to do so is little more than being the bully on the block. The fact is that so long as there is no evidence that Syria is committing these heinous acts against its own people, the rest of the world needs to leave them alone. This is a nation we are talking about, not your evil neighbor and his children he's abusing.

Beyond the fact that we are talking about actions of a sovereign government, I don't see much benefit to bothering to do anything about it. What's the end state if the US or UK levels Syria? It's hardly going to be that rogue states and rogue organizations won't be able to fabricate more of them if they want to do so. Are the Western Powers going to embark on yet another episode of nation building? Are we going to spend resources we don't have to do so and bring ourselves to economic ruin, opening the door for China's ascendancy? Iraq was proof enough for me that even small wars with small countries are disproportionately expensive in light of what comes from them.

Throughout recorded history, the perceived transgressions of one group against others have been redressed by fighting fire with fire. That approach to problem solving can hardly be said to work beyond achieving some single, myopic objective, and it has never resulted in a win/win situation for the parties involved. It has been said that the height of stupidity is to keep doing the same thing and expecting different results. Fighting aggression with aggression cannot be but exactly that.

The Painful Reality of Chemical Weapons
Chemical weapons use, of course, presents a dilemma insofar as one has to consider whether when that country using/possessing them is done annihilating it's own people, will it do so outside it's country? One might even claim concern that that country might sell such weapons to country-less terrorists? To that, I'd respond, well, so what if they do? Sadly, unlike nuclear weapons, chemical weapons are easy to make (http://science.howstuffworks.com/biochem-war3.htm) and easy enough to transport. As for deploying them, let's just say that they are far easier to use than an airplane as a guided HE missile. Anyone having a masters in chemistry has the know-how to make very deadly chemical weapons.

The leaders of every nation, upon learning of a pending chemical attack (if they in fact know about it before it happens), are hardly going to tell their citizenry about it before it happens. They won't want to compromise their sources of information and they won't want to cause panic among the general public. Chemical weapons kill people, but leave the infrastructure in place. Accordingly, there is a presumption that after such an attack, the area can be cleaned up and business will resume as before with new people performing the jobs.

The dirty truth is that regular folks like us are just f*cked. No government in the world can constrain every chemist on the planet and censor all the public knowledge regarding the nature of the already developed chemical compounds. So, sure, the US, other countries could bomb the be-jesus/be-allah out of Syria, and then invade the place to make a clean sweep and remove/destroy Syria's chemical weapons, but that's a very narrowly focused approach to a broad problem. As such, it will do little more than incite additional ire among the enemies of any such "savior" nations.

Obama's Options
As for where Obama is taking the Syria issue, I cannot help but think he's barking up the wrong tree portending military action. Better than he just publicly say that his "line in the sand" comments some weeks back was just the wrong thing to say and were but an impassioned sentiment based on his sense of moral rectitude. It's unfortunate Obama made that strategically constraining statement, but it is what it is now. Better to just admit the mistake and buy some room to maneuver. Until he does that, he doesn't really have options. I wonder, is Obama any good at the games chess or go? Before this, I would have thought him fair at those games. Now, I'm not so sure.

I've seen Obama on various news shows and the body language I see tells me he's either lying outright or really just doesn't believe what it is he's saying. The man is the leader of the US. He's in his second term; he can't run again. Sh*t, get over it and lead. Leadership is about taking folks in a direction that is the best direction and in their long and short term interests. Sometimes it means acting, but it can also mean knowing when not to act.
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      08-29-2013, 01:43 PM   #26
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Its a tough one. I'm not completely convinced it was the regime that did gas those civilians. ...
I'm not certain either. I have no doubt chems were used. The thing is, I don't think I care who used them. It's still a Syrian internal issue. Nations can assert some moral high ground about the matter, but not all such positions are worth defending. There's no shortage of countries in the region that have more immediate needs to see chems not used and not readily available in the region. I'd be glad to let any one of them -- Turkey, Israel, the Saudis, et al take the lead on this issue.

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I don't know if Russia and China would jump into open confrontation with the US. I think they all prefer the proxy war they are having.
I doubt China will do much beside continue building its country's fortunes in much the same way England and France did in the American Civil war. I'm almost certain they don't give a tinker's dam what Syrians do to other Syrians. I know I don't care either and I don't think any other nation should either.

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What about Palestine? Israelies used white phosphorous grenades on innocent civilians whilst the world stood by. They constantly steal land and force families out. But no, we can't go there because the government is Jewish. If only they were muslim...
I won't go so far as to say being a Muslim or Jew has anything to do with it. It could, but I can't make a credible case for that being so. Nonetheless, the dichotomy in the nature of world response points to hypocrisy that is both blatant and palpable.

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Russia has just announced its sending an anti sub ship out into the Med to "mediate" - things are going to start really heating up now.
The story I've heard is that it's actually an anti-submarine ship and a missile cruiser. BTW, what is an anti-submarine ship? In my mind that could be any number of ships, including an aircraft carrier, a submarine or

Well, if any nation wants to keep an eye on what's going on in Syria, or insert their own clandestine observers/combatants into the country, the Mediterranean Sea is the best place from which to do it fi one isn't satisfied with what one's satellites can show. One thing's unmistakable: nobody mediates from an anti-submarine ship. Hell, you don't even need a ship if all you want to do is mediate.

I don't know what Russia is up to, but I do know they are keen to re-establish themselves as a world leader, so to that end, they have to at least be geographically present. More likely is that is that Russia's move is classic gunboat diplomacy.
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      08-29-2013, 03:34 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by tony20009 View Post
I doubt China will do much beside continue building its country's fortunes in much the same way England and France did in the American Civil war. I'm almost certain they don't give a tinker's dam what Syrians do to other Syrians. I know I don't care either and I don't think any other nation should either.
Rather a disturbing statement Tony!
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      08-29-2013, 04:07 PM   #28
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Rather a disturbing statement Tony!
What's more disturbing to me, and I'm not disagreeing with you, is that neither side of the Syrian conflict is one that has positive feelings about the U.S. The way I perceive that quagmire, the folks on either side would welcome US/UK help in defeating the other side, but once the conflict ends, the winning side would just as soon slit our throat, ever the best that "bites the hand that feeds it," as it were.

In my post preceding the one you quoted and responded to, I think I stated how damnable I find gassing one's own citizens, but when one enemy gases another enemy, I'm perfectly happy to let them have at it undisturbed by me. When my only choice is between two evils, I simply don't choose. The lesser of two evils is still evil.
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      08-29-2013, 08:03 PM   #29
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Which country has murdered the most civilians in the past 10-20 years, using bombs and chemical weapons?

Which country is the only one to actually use a nuclear bomb?

Which country has invaded the most countries out of every other country?

The International Criminal Court has over 120 member countries. Guess if the US is a member?

So much propaganda is used to defend all of this. If that isn't terrorism then i don't know what is.

P.S Glad and suprised that we aren't going to get involved this time.
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      08-29-2013, 08:42 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by mob17 View Post
Which country has murdered the most civilians in the past 10-20 years, using bombs and chemical weapons?

Russia in the 2 Chechen wars.

Which country is the only one to actually use a nuclear bomb?

USA, Russia, France, the U.K., China to name a few.

Which country has invaded the most countries out of every other country?

Great Britain.

The International Criminal Court has over 120 member countries. Guess if the US is a member?

I guess no....

So much propaganda is used to defend all of this. If that isn't terrorism then i don't know what is.

Terorism is: The use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims.

P.S Glad and suprised that we aren't going to get involved this time.

Me too!
What i win?
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      08-29-2013, 09:36 PM   #31
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Which country has murdered the most civilians in the past 10-20 years, using bombs and chemical weapons?

Russia in the 2 Chechen wars.

Estimates of both of those wars put together are around 100k-150k, correct me if i'm wrong. In Iraq alone estimates are 114k-125k. Hard to get reliable data for Afghanistan civilian deaths but its safe to say its around 15-25k. Not to forget Libya or all the drone strikes around the world. Ok i can't say exactly how many died (no one can), but the point i was trying to make was that the US has killed loads of civilians in different countries continously, and will carry on doing so.

Which country is the only one to actually use a nuclear bomb?

USA, Russia, France, the U.K., China to name a few.

Cheeky i meant who actually used nuclear weapons on fellow humans, not just for testing purposes. Answer is only America. And they did it twice!

Which country has invaded the most countries out of every other country?

Great Britain.

Yes obviously during the British Emprire pretty much everyone was invaded. I didn't mean to look that far back! In the last 10 years at least 8 countries have had US military intervention. I'm positive no other country comes close.

The International Criminal Court has over 120 member countries. Guess if the US is a member?

I guess no....

Correct! This protects US individuals being prosecuted by the ICC. We, the UK, are members so i'd really like them to do what they set out and prosecute Blair. Who's now a middle east envoy! He must be laughing every night!

So much propaganda is used to defend all of this. If that isn't terrorism then i don't know what is.

Terorism is: The use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims.

Correct again!

P.S Glad and suprised that we aren't going to get involved this time.

Me too!
What i win?

Lol you got 2/5 so nothing
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      08-29-2013, 09:52 PM   #32
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Divide and Conquer. Excellent war strategy.
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      08-29-2013, 11:10 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mob17 View Post
Which country has murdered the most civilians in the past 10-20 years, using bombs and chemical weapons?

Which country is the only one to actually use a nuclear bomb?

Which country has invaded the most countries out of every other country?

The International Criminal Court has over 120 member countries. Guess if the US is a member?

So much propaganda is used to defend all of this. If that isn't terrorism then i don't know what is.

P.S Glad and suprised that we aren't going to get involved this time.
I'll guess:

Which country has murdered the most civilians in the past 10-20 years, using bombs and chemical weapons?
I suspect it's the US. That's one of the collateral affects of winning the battles you choose to fight.
Which country has invaded the most countries out of every other country?
Great Britain - there are only 22 countries on the planet Britain hasn't invaded.
The International Criminal Court has over 120 member countries. Guess if the US is a member?
It is comical that you even mentioned the ICC. LMAO!!! If ever there were an international organization that is as useless as tits on a bull, the ICC is one. The Sea Shepherds are more effective fighting the Japanese whaling vessels.

USA is not party to that kangaroo court. I think that is correct position for the US leadership and government to take.

Long before there was an ICC, all US citizens were granted rights by the 4th and 6th Amendments to the US Constitution. The ICC isn't compliant with the principles espoused in that document; thus joining the ICC would subvert the very sovereignty of the US. It's one thing for one country to try doing that to another. It's a totally separate matter for for the US Presidents and Congress to agree to do so unilaterally. Indeed doing so would border on treason and expose the individuals doing such a thing to prosecution in the US.

Besides the Constitutional issues joining the ICC presents for the US, another good reason not to join is that the ICC has no ability to enforce it's rulings. Look at that Bashir dude and the Darfur calamity. The ICC issued a simple arrest warrant for the Bashir and what came of that? The ICC may as well not exist if results are any measure of success and effectiveness. Signatories to the Rome Statue agreed to take necessary measures to support its work but not one has lifted a finger regarding Bashir.

The US is not the only nation with the means to conduct a successful mission to extract an individual from his hidey hole. Yet not one, to say nothing of an organized coalition of them, nation that could do it has done so. So tell me, just how committed to the ICC do you think its member states are? Sudan isn't on par with China, US, Russia, Israel, UK, France or any number of other countries. If the ICC member states actually gave a sh*t about the ICC, someone would surely by now, four years after the warrant's issue, gone and drug Bashir into the ICC's courtroom.

One would think at a minimum, the ICC would have by now at least tried the clown in absentia and rendered a verdict. If nothing else, it would show some degree of commitment to the ICC and be a more symbolic gesture than an unenforced warrant for arrest. The ICC can't generate support and compliance for its orders regarding a nut-case of a ruler of a small, poor country who nobody feels was in the right massacring those people in Darfur. What use would the ICC be when far more complex issues come before it?

Also, what exactly differentiates the ICC from the UN? I don't have any illusion that the UN is the perfect global body, but at least it can garner enough support for its resolutions that multiple nations comply with and enforce them. Yes, nations cherry pick which ones they want to follow and which they don't, but that's still better than the responsiveness the ICC gets.

Lastly, some of your questions, culminating with the one about the ICC, might lead some readers to infer that you feel the US should be brought to trial before the ICC. I doubt the US would, and believe it should not, send a representative to appear at such a trial, but it wouldn't bother me if the ICC did attempt to try the US in absentia as I suggested it do with Bashir. It'd be a waste of resources to do so, but I say have at it if you want to.

All the best.
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      08-30-2013, 05:55 AM   #34
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.
Estimates on Iraq Body Count website estimate around 15% of total civilian deaths in Iraq are attributed to the coalition....

5/5 I reckon. Lol.

Anyway I'm glad you took my post in good jest.
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      08-30-2013, 06:50 AM   #35
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I don't know if Russia and China would jump into open confrontation with the US. I think they all prefer the proxy war they are having.
Yup, the Russians will keep-up with their usual "sinister silence" shit, and the Chinese are too busy faking every fuckin thing on the planet to have time off for a war.

Remember folks - I'm joking!
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      08-30-2013, 08:46 AM   #36
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and the Chinese are too busy faking every fuckin thing on the planet to have time off for a war.
Let's just hope they don't check out the armaments on Ebay before hitting the 'Buy it Now' button.

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      08-30-2013, 09:51 AM   #37
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Estimates on Iraq Body Count website estimate around 15% of total civilian deaths in Iraq are attributed to the coalition....

5/5 I reckon. Lol.

Anyway I'm glad you took my post in good jest.
Lol 5/5 ok i'll give you a pass.

To be honest we can all talk about this for hours and hours but at the end of the day no one really knows whats happening out there, who the real tyrants are. We can just make opinions on what we've read/researched. I just hope no one bases their research on the mainstream media (not saying you do).

Tony20009: you've made my head hurt so i'll stop here lol. You obviously know quite a bit. But saying civilian deaths are collateral is the modern way of defending the deaths. We/USA should fight the army/governments properly. If you can't be accurate enough then don't. It seems civilian lives are way down the priority scale. Which has enabled some troops to say "Hey look at those brown people wearing hats, lets bomb 'em!". Not saying every troop has this mentality, but there are documented cases of this happening. Also cases of rape, murders and sexual torture which i'm sure everyone's heard about. This is because like i said deaths of civilians are just "collateral". It's also a clever way to divide and conquer (making muslims in that region fear/hate the US to create hatred towards them, then saying hey look these muslims hate us they are terrorists!).

Also about the ICC, yes i agree its a shamble. My point was really they could at least make a token gesture. Imagine the shame if a top US official got an arrrest warrant. Even though they can't enforce it it would still send out a message. It would let doubters know that there is something wrong about that person. Its not about prosecuting them, which would be great, but more about sending out a message and making people aware.

Also since when has the US given a shit about their constitution? Mass surveillance and data goes on as has been confirmed recently which surely violates their constitution? I'm sure there's loads of other examples. Holding people without trial? At the end of the day if the Government wants to do something, they will do it and make it sound legit.
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      08-30-2013, 03:44 PM   #38
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I think it's fair to say that we are not privy to all the facts in Syria. There is a huge amount of conclusive intelligence to say that the pro-assad forces used chemical weapons.

I care about this, but why not let France sort it out - they are campaigning for action. France has the history with Syria (control from 1920-1946). They also don't have the negative UK/US connotations and may be more widely supported by other Middle East nations.
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      08-30-2013, 06:32 PM   #39
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I think it's fair to say that we are not privy to all the facts in Syria. There is a huge amount of conclusive intelligence to say that the pro-assad forces used chemical weapons.

I care about this, but why not let France sort it out - they are campaigning for action. France has the history with Syria (control from 1920-1946). They also don't have the negative UK/US connotations and may be more widely supported by other Middle East nations.
+1 Let France take the lead this time.
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      08-30-2013, 07:57 PM   #40
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I think it's fair to say that we are not privy to all the facts in Syria. There is a huge amount of conclusive intelligence to say that the pro-assad forces used chemical weapons.

I care about this, but why not let France sort it out - they are campaigning for action. France has the history with Syria (control from 1920-1946). They also don't have the negative UK/US connotations and may be more widely supported by other Middle East nations.
Sorry Phil but where's this conclusive evidence/intelligence that pro Assad forces used chemical weapons? This the same kind of evidence we had in the made up Iraq dossier? It could have been the rebels for all we know. Heck it could have been the CIA. Cameron failed to prove who was responsible, which was one of the reasons why parliament voted against going there.

If Assad did do it then of course i'd agree, but what i would agree more with and i think we should all do, is when ANY country breaks international law, that country should be sorted out. Its not really ethical if the US/Israel/UK can use chemical weapons without any consequences, but other countries gets fucked when they are suspected of doing so. Surely thats a reasonable opinion?

I find it shocking that people still have faith and trust in the US/UK Governments and mainstream media in this day and age. At least there is a much lower approval rating among US citizens to go to war this time (9% ish from a source) than the 70% ish when it was Iraq. Maybe more people are doubting the intentions.
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      08-31-2013, 01:52 AM   #41
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Leaders are there to make tough decisions, everyone has an opinion but most people in the general public (my self included) don't have guts to make decisions that will lead people to die..

Regardless of what you think of the US their actions are no where near as direct or involved as what the British Empire did, infact around most of Asia the British are seen as war mongers far more than the US purely because of the Empire. The British Museum is still full of stuff that was stolen from every corner of the world and yet I see no effort by the UK government to give any of the stolen artefacts back to the counties of origin. But you could argue without the British Empire cities like Shanghai, Singapore, Mumbai, HongKong wouldn't be the economic power house they are today...

I have no idea whats going on in Syria, but personally I rather our leaders make the decisions rather follow public opinion.

But how anyone can say they don't care about Syria after seeing videos of kids dying from chemical poisons I don't understand?
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      08-31-2013, 03:04 AM   #42
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Leaders are there to make tough decisions, everyone has an opinion but most people in the general public (my self included) don't have guts to make decisions that will lead people to die..

Regardless of what you think of the US their actions are no where near as direct or involved as what the British Empire did, infact around most of Asia the British are seen as war mongers far more than the US purely because of the Empire. The British Museum is still full of stuff that was stolen from every corner of the world and yet I see no effort by the UK government to give any of the stolen artefacts back to the counties of origin. But you could argue without the British Empire cities like Shanghai, Singapore, Mumbai, HongKong wouldn't be the economic power house they are today...

I have no idea whats going on in Syria, but personally I rather our leaders make the decisions rather follow public opinion.

But how anyone can say they don't care about Syria after seeing videos of kids dying from chemical poisons I don't understand?
I get your points.

I just think that the only reason for launching any attack against Syria is for moral purposes. And I know the moral high ground is some very expensive real estate.
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      08-31-2013, 03:23 AM   #43
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Sorry Phil but where's this conclusive evidence/intelligence that pro Assad forces used chemical weapons? ...
Despite the claims that the rebels may have used the chems, this is the best I've come across that says they may have done so. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=G5Tnh4C78Eo

It's hard to believe that they have anything to gain by deliberately releasing chems in the area they control. This article asserts that the rebels were indeed responsible for at least one chem release. http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2013_0...y-Saudis-1203/

I don't know how credible VOR is. There's a link on that page that discuses that point as well. Other Russian news sources claim there's some evidence that the rebels used the chems. Strangely, however, no other nation's newsies are making the same claim.
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      08-31-2013, 07:29 AM   #44
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Anything we see in the media is there to provoke a reaction and allow the reader to form a desired conclusion.

The intelligence I refer to is what we don't see or hear about. Satellite tracking of aircraft and missile movements, covert surveillance of radio traffic etc. You'd have to be naive to think that this information isn't available to the cabinet - it's not something that the House of Commons is briefed on because MPs aren't bound by the official secrets act. The only reason we ain't going to war is because the parties couldn't agree the timescales for going. They all agreed it needs to be done.
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