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View Diary: Kerry: Syria's 'undeniable' use of chemical arms 'defies any code of morality'. No action announced (461 comments)

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  •  How do we address use of chemical weapons? (4+ / 0-)
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    high uintas, angelajean, msdrown, 3goldens

    (Or other mass killings...)

    We have multinational treaties that say certain weapons are exceptionally bad. Do we as a group of nations ignore the treaty when it's ignored and thousands of people are killed?

    Do the words "never again", the memories of Rwanda, and other past promises to mankind after such atrocities mean nothing now?

    A response by a broad coalition of countries - yes, a military response, since other responses haven't worked - is IMHO better than nothing assuming the proof of the regime's use of these weapons can be confirmed.

    Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. - William Pitt

    by Phoenix Rising on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 01:58:52 PM PDT

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    •  You don't (4+ / 0-)
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      angelajean, Johnny Q, CenPhx, HCKAD

      You don't sell them the things they need to make them.

      And if they make and use them (or buy them), you isolate the ones who use or sell them.

      Cut them off from the banking system. Cut them off from all travel. No imports. No exports. Nothing.

      The banking/monetary one is the big one. If they can't get money in or out, they can't buy this crap, or any weapons.

      Because you know they don't make them there.

      •  I think you are making good points (0+ / 0-)

        here, however, these types of "sanctions" more or less have a way of inflicting as much pain on the general population as warfare.

        Starvation, immobility for the refugees, lack of humanitarian aid would be devastating also.  

        Ultimately, you point is well taken.  We shouldn't be selling this type of weaponry to these regimes in the first place.

    •  Thank you for that comment (3+ / 0-)
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      angelajean, msdrown, Phoenix Rising

      I know something of chemical weapons since a large chunk of our own cache of mustard and nerve gas was destroyed just 20 miles south of me. I lived my whole life with bunkers filled with dangerous leaking chemical weapons.

      We all received information on how to deal if there was a big leak during the burning of them and info on how to care for people who are exposed. I did my own studies and one thing I can tell you is I'd rather be shot 10 times than hit with CW.

      Just as we can't live in a world where small nuke weapons are used we can't allow a world where chemical weapons are accepted.

      "Humidity built the snowman. Sunshine brought him down" John Prine

      by high uintas on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 02:30:38 PM PDT

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    •  I don't think other nations have been on the same (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      limpidglass, 3goldens

      page to give a unilateral response. How can you have a broad coalition when nations can't even agree on who to support?

      I'm for supporting a cease fire... period. Let's get all nations to support that and make it happen.

      •  We've been supporting a cease-fire (0+ / 0-)

        So has practically everyone else. That hasn't worked. Next?

        The UN Security Council was destined to be a deadlock on many sensitive issues - getting all of the major powers to agree on anything is difficult at best. Russia sees Syria as a necessary ally at this point; it is at best in denial over the situation there. So any "broad coalition" isn't going to go through the council.

        So far reports have 30 nations signed on to some kind of action. If NATO can get it to a majority of nations, including a few Islamic and Mid East nations - and especially if they can get China on board - I'd say that would qualify as the broad support needed to give unity in a response.

        Frankly, if the evidence is clear and we can get any number of nations to sign on, we should respond. Bullies shouldn't be given a free pass.

        Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. - William Pitt

        by Phoenix Rising on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 04:41:47 PM PDT

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    •  How do we address these things? We could start by (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Johnny Q, CenPhx

      not being, ourselves, guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

      (Or other mass killings...) We have multinational treaties that say certain weapons are exceptionally bad. Do we as a group of nations ignore the treaty when it's ignored and thousands of people are killed?
      "We" are not a group of nations; we are the United States of North America. We are in violation of those same treaties, and I'm not talking only about invading Iraq (even if the WMDs had been real it was an illegal war) or using white phosphorus against civilians in a city (Falluja). Guantuanamo Bay is illegal. Pre-announced indefinite detention of battlefield prisoners is an ongoing war crime. The same thing done to civilians who oppose us in an insurrection is an ongoing crime against humanity.

      Those treaties are a part of our laws and we are in current ongoing violation of them. You ask,
      Do the words "never again", the memories of Rwanda, and other past promises to mankind after such atrocities mean nothing now?
      Clearly those promises and treaties mean nothing to an administration which is violating them in my name and yours. Stop pretending to a moral superiority we've never had. Such a pretense is an example of American exceptionalism. The only thing we've ever been really exceptional at is hypocrisy. We're better at that than the Vatican.

      Enough fossil fuel remains on Earth to warm it 6 degrees C by 2100 AD if it is all used. A +6 C planet will only sustain half a billion humans. Human population will rise to 9 billion by 2050. Any questions?

      by davidincleveland on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 05:15:50 PM PDT

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