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View Diary: Human Rights Expert in Foreign Policy Mag: Don't Call This a Humanitarian Intervention (60 comments)

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  •  No, there is no obligation or norm for enforcement (0+ / 0-)

    But we're not talking about a mission based on upholding the rule of law, but about chemical warfare itself.

    Even if the law becomes a dead letter because Russia vetoes enforcement in UNSCOM, and the UN follows the League of Nations' inaction towards the Italian gas attack in Ethiopia, there remains the underlying, substantive matter of chemical warfare itself, and whether its use will or will not be met with deterrent force.

    Art is the handmaid of human good.

    by joe from Lowell on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 07:41:08 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  When has the use of chemicals been met with force (7+ / 0-)

      of any kind, other than by the opposing combatant?   The elephant in the room here is the Iran/Iraq war -- which the politicians are well aware of.   He called the Syrian attack "one of" the worst in the last 100 years which is a ludicrous claim since 100,000 Iranians were victims of Iraq's gas attacks.    

      (I recall the coverage at the time and the outrage was directed towards the Iranians who should have known that their use of "human wave" infantry attacks would make Iraq's use of gas necessary.)

      International law is not law if it is not applied consistently.    This is especially true since the alleged use of gas by the rebels has not been met with the same kind of calls for an instant response.  

      We all know that the west is being cynical here, they all know it, so why do we even bother pretending?   Who do we think we are fooling?

      •  How many more Iran/Iraq War chem attack (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        koNko

        would you like to see?

        The law is a tool for improving the lives of people. Your desire for consistency would lead to stand idly by while chemical warfare becomes more and more common, just for the sake of consistency?

        It was wrong to stand idly by when Saddam used chemical warfare. We should not compound that error.

        The "alleged" use of gas by the rebels hasn't been met with a response because there isn't the slightest evidence that it ever happened. Facts matter, don't they?

        "We" know no such thing about "the West" being cynical here. Neither John Kerry nor Barack Obama worked in the Reagan administration.

        Art is the handmaid of human good.

        by joe from Lowell on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 08:25:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  So when will Obama propose deterrent force? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chuckvw, Richard Lyon, YucatanMan

      Verses what he outlined in his speech, which no one in their right mind thinks will change the situation?

      And where was the world when Saddam Hussain used chemical weapons in the Iraq-Iran war?  Well, we know where the US government was then; keeping as low a profile as possible.

      If the US sends cruise missiles and this fixes the problem I owe you a plate of eaten crow.

      What Obama has propose is a punitive act, not a corrective or preventive one.

      •  Among other propositions (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        YucatanMan, koNko

        A leading contender lately seems to be that this is an imminent matter of national security, which is absurd on its face.

        There's none so blind as those that will not see. --Jonathan Swift

        by chuckvw on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 10:03:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  One of my hypotheses is (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        YucatanMan, George3, koNko

        that this is intended as a show of force for the benefit of Russia and Iran. the 456 dead children are supporting rhetoric.

        •  Yes, I have thought all along this is about Iran. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          George3, koNko

          The "red line" has nothing to do with chemical weapons, in reality.  It is about the willingness and demonstrated ability of the USA to strike when countries don't abide by our will (nuclear weapons) and our resolve to be seen as powerful.

          It is a demonstration project for Iran: "get in line, or this could happen to you."  200-300 cruise missiles blowing up empty runways and empty buildings is a demonstration project.

          The fact that this will also terrorize a civilian population doesn't matter at all.  We don't mind being terrorists when we have a message to send.

          "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

          by YucatanMan on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 12:49:20 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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