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There are horrors across the globe. What criteria should we use when we decide to blow up something in the name of "morality?" If dead children are the criteria, there are lots of targets. Settle down.
We should just ignore those horrors, I guess. How does one justify that if one has the ability to intervene and protect those people?
Why must the US always be the world police? This is a civil war. Let them deal with it themselves. Has anyone asked for our help?
Well, we have a large and powerful military.
Is asking for our help the criteria for intervention? I'm sure that many people around the world have asked us for help - according to your criteria, we should help them all, I assume.
Did the children decide to fight a civil war? How exactly do you propose letting them "deal with it themselves"?
We have no moral authority to intervene in Syria in light of our own history of installing and/or supporting brutal regimes who committed atrocities against their own citizens. Argentina, most of Central America, North American Indigenous people, Vietnam all come to mind.
Well, I can't argue with that, since I agree with it.
But, does that mean we can't ever make the right choice? Our past mistakes could/should serve as a guide to making better ones, don't you think?
Perhaps, but bombing or invading a sovereign nation in retaliation for alleged attacks isn't a right choice. I'd guess hundreds or thousands of people have been killed in Syria over the last few years due to the civil war there. Perhaps hundreds of thousands were killed in Iraq in this century due to American intervention. Suddenly, since we are in a diplomatic snit with Russia (Syria's ally) over Snowden, we suddenly CARE about dead Syrians.
So, what is the right way to intervene when innocent children are being killed (or other innocent civilians)?
Why do we need to intervene at all? Why there and not Sudan or Rwanda? Why is it the responsibility of the U.S. to "fix" atrocities in some countries and not others? How is blowing up more of Syria going to help protect its citizens?
Let's take the money we'd spend on million dollar bombs and build good homes and schools for impoverished children in the U.S instead. Or create community gardens so hungry children can have healthy food.
Well, that's a bit too isolationist for my taste.
There are any number of ways in which we use the military that I'd like to see changed, like the ones you mentioned in your first post, but intervening to protect innocent lives isn't one of them.
Now, if we did cut way back on our military, and use the money for other things, then we wouldn't have such a strong military force, and perhaps that would stop us from using it around the world. But, right now, we have a strong military, and one of the best uses is to prevent innocent deaths, in my opinion.
If you saw a woman getting raped, would you just ignore it, or would you intervene and do something to stop it?
The fact that these atrocities occur in other countries doesn't change things that much for me. I don't feel that American lives are somehow worth more, or more worth protecting and defending than lives in other nations.
The only way to protect innocents is by engaging military as a police force. And as we have seen recently, this does not work. It creates even more violence and distrust.
It also looks like the people of Syria themselves do not want US intervention. They are in fear of where the next bomb is coming from....be it from the good guys or the bad guys.....whoever they are.
My 1st inclination is to think of a way to help, my 1st thought is then military action. But then I look at the cold hard facts and realize that military intervention does not work.
So what would work then?
The only thing that has a chance is to leave this one to the UN. This way, the action taken is collective. It is the duty of the United Nations to seek justice....which I hope happens, not the duty of the US acting alone.
Given the structure of the UN, which lets Russia simply veto any actions, I seriously doubt they'll do much.
And, what exactly would they do, other than military intervention?
I think the UN should revise its rule book if it is this weak. One nation should not carry enough weight so that it alone can veto action. Beyond that, I think the UN might 1) provide humanitarian relief, 2) provide testing and documentation of crimes committed, 3) bring those responsible to a court of law 4) provide a minimal level of police support.
All of those involve agreement by existing leaders to let the UN in. And, bringing people to a court of law will involve force.
No, unfortunately, those hundreds of civilians murdered through the use of chemical weapons aren't able to ask for help, or for anything anymore.
Let the UN make the call
The US does not have the ability to protect the Syrians. Intervention by the US will only cause more casualties, collateral damage, and escalation. This is what happened in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan etc.
I am not in support of military intervention. But this does not mean that I don't despise the use of chemical weapons and the catastrophic harm it caused. We need to pursue this action by the Syrian regime and use the UN and diplomatic means to apply pressure and seek justice.
The US does have the ability to wipe out Syria's air force so they won't be able to massacre so many people so easily. Anyone who wouldn't applaud that has little regard for human life.
Protect those people? How in hell is launching a few cruise missiles is going to help them..
"Barack Obama has been stirred to action."
"Or more accurately, shamed into action. Which is the worst possible reason. A president doesn’t commit soldiers to a war for which he has zero enthusiasm. Nor does one go to war for demonstration purposes."
Hmm, wonder where all this advise was when GW needed it.
Nevertheless, this is a lose lose proposition. Neither the current regime nor the rebels are going to be anyone we will be able to reason with. The syrian people can't win either.
It's a wonderful idea to take the side opposing Russia, China, and Iran. Right?
This, of course, is only anecdotal---
"The MCC [Mennonite Central Committee] representative for Syria and Lebanon reports on her numerous conversations with Syrians in the last few days: “Without fail they are all saying the same thing. ‘We are all very worried. We hope the U.S. won't do anything.’”
Going from the personal to the financial, we need to see who an attack on Syria would really benefit. We should all have bought stocks in Raytheon at the beginning of August.
Food for thought for you pro-war posters. The gas killed 456 children so we are going to bomb the offenders. I bet Assad moves 1000 children into the suspected US Cruise missile strike zone locations. Then they will claim the United States missiles that we fired killed 1000 Syrian Children. Then the blame for killing children is back onto the United States and Obama will go into the history books as killing children in an undeclared war.
LOSE. LOSE. That is a true story. So glad I don't have this on my shoulders all though we all will bear the response to either action. The US is not invincible and is a target either way we go. Scary stuff.
At this point, not going through with the threatened attack would immeasurably strengthen Obama's hand diplomatically and popularly. Of course that is in comparison with yet another illegal, hypocritical, ineffective and purely murderous display of imperial hubris, for surely that is how another display of shock'n'awe will be seen throughout the world.
Yes Mr. Simons, this decision is important and complex, unlike your columns. And I am very glad that Barack Obama is doing the deciding because he did the right thing with bin Laden and in Libya. Hundreds of civilians, many of them children, slaughtered with chemical weapons, and how do Simons, George Will, and Cal Thomas read the situation? As another golden opportunity to gripe about the President and delight in what they mistakenly perceive as his lack of leadership. I'll say it again--we are so fortunate to have President Obama as the "decider," and so fortunate that his political opponents are not in that position.
Sorry folks, I cut and pasted the above comment into "Goodtime Charlie"'s column instead of Dolph Baby's. Ah well, same difference.
Yes, but what was your opinion of us going into Iraq? It is well known that the WMDs in Iraq went into Syria by overland truck.
If WMDs are the only reason for going in, then you can argue that action in both countries is justified.
If WMDs are no real threat, than you can argue that neither is justified.
Unfortunately, I don't see any "good" side in Syria.
We went into Iraq because they invaded Kuwait (a US ally). After a short period, Iraq agreed to conditions for a cease fires and so we had a cease fire. When Saddam violated the agreements of the cease fire, we destroyed his political party in Iraq as well as his government.
While Hussein may have had WMD and may very well have sent them to Syria, that was really never more than irrelevant excuses to get more countries to go in with us after the regime.
Good thought. Unfortunately, there are too many people who base their support for war based on who happens to be POTUS.
"A president doesn’t commit soldiers to a war for which he has zero enthusiasm."
I think Krauthammar just has difficulty understanding people who are not enthusiastic about starting wars, as he's never seemed to see one that he didn't like.
First of all CONGRESS drew the red line by implementing a chemical weapons ban quite some time ago. What exactly did Congress mean by that ? I personally think Obama is left to apply a law of our land without much direction from Congress of how they intended that to be carried out. Second, if Assad is the problem - why destroy infrastructure for the incoming administration ? If we bomb it, we buy it. None of us want to do that anymore.
Personally I think Assad should be immediately arrested to face charges in front of a war crimes tribunal - albeit removed from power. Hence, political solutions. A good opportunity for our friends and enemies to come together for an global leaders solution, even if that solution won't meet the standards of the American Public.
And Trumbull - basically what you said. LOL.
It appears to me that this war/punishment against Syria, that President Obama wants, is not just about chemical weapons use and international law being violated. It is in hopes that Iran will step in with Syria, so that the nuclear threat from Iran can become war targets. This way the nuclear threat in Iran can be completely neutralized, in an extended strike to stabilize the middle east, eliminating wmd's in the middle east.
Syria is saying that this strike action will make a regional war. Washington may be saying; go for it?
No, that can't be. Iran says it's not developing nuclear weapons. We all believe them, right? (end of sarcasm)
wow. that's really frightening. I do hope your wrong.
Of all the columnists I have read, Charles is like the parrot in the coal mine.
If Americans believe his BS we are in deep doo-doo.
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