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View Diary: The war supporter's weak case for war (242 comments)

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  •  Why I support use of force... (2+ / 0-)
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    Osiris, Boronx

    I believe "kid sampson" posted an excellent comment on the poll-post from yesterday about why we should use force against Assad for his use of chemical weapons. It sums up my, and I believe the Administration's, thinking on the matter.

    Let me quote it for you now:

    "John Kerry did an able job during hearings today of staking the Administration's initiative to strike Assad on defending the veracity of the 1925 Geneva 'Protocol for the Prohibition of the Use in War of Asphyxiating, Poisonous or other Gases, and of Bacteriological Methods of Warfare'.

    In sum, the argument stipulates such international conventions are reduced to mere policy abstractions if not backed by force when violated.  By all accounts I've been able to locate, outside of World War II, the only known use of poison, or 'noxious' gases, was carried out by Sadam Hussein.  This bolsters the Administration's position by eliminating arguments that poison gas use has been unevenly sanctioned (Hussein's regime was eventually crushed through military force, though admittedly not specifically for that reason.)

    It's a decent argument.  Kos, you served, as did I (USMC), and damn well know how horrific toxins like Sarin and VX (and cyanide gas, mustard gas, etc.) are.  The Administration's point is that chemical warfare is particularly cruel and terrifying, hence the adoption of a specific international protocol to ban their use.  Most civilians are probably unaware of this, but a variety of weapons are actually outlawed under international law (shotgun shells filled with glass coming most readily to mind), so land warfare is not quite the free-for-all some here seem to imagine.

    I've consistently opposed our Bush initiated wars, but strongly support the Geneva Protocols.  As a guy who packed MOPP gear, gas mask, automatic atropine and valium injectors during the Gulf War and was subjected to rocket fire, I really can't do otherwise.  I'd like to see this nation vigorously and consistently support international laws intended to suppress at least some of the barbarity to which men subject other men.  I'd like to see us do it even when oil isn't the obvious, underlying concern.  However, I won't let past disappointments, or Syria's proximity to the oil patch, undercut my support for the Administration's current request, for authorization of the use of force, in support of these important protocols."

    "When facts are reported, they deny the value of evidence; when the evidence is produced, they declare it inconclusive." -- Augustine, in The City of God.

    by Zek J Evets on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 08:39:35 AM PDT

    •  Sigh (0+ / 0-)

      You undercut your entire argument, utterly and completely, because you are a decent and honorable person who wants to tell the truth. The parenthetical statement that Saddam was crushed, but not for using gas, is enough to destroy the rest of your entire argument.
          I would only add that the United States not only knew Saddam was using poison gas, we sent him intelligence on Iranian troop placements so he could use it more effectively.

      "Something has gone very wrong with America, not just its economy, but its ability to function as a democratic nation. And it’s hard to see when or how that wrongness will get fixed." Paul Krugman and Robin Wells

      by Reston history guy on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 09:10:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Wow... (0+ / 0-)

        Such a measured response to a serious issue... Thanks for reinforcing my choice to support the use of force!

        Hint: this is partially sarcastic.

        If all you can say against the argument is that we should have crushed Saddam for using gas but failed to (and, as you allege, helped him do so in one instance) then what is the point of your comment?

        It doesn't change the overall point: chemical weapons are evil and illegal. We need to stop their use.

        "When facts are reported, they deny the value of evidence; when the evidence is produced, they declare it inconclusive." -- Augustine, in The City of God.

        by Zek J Evets on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 02:04:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think it does change the overall point (0+ / 0-)

              Since we did not remove Saddam for using poison gas--and were hardly in a moral or legal position to do so--then removing Saddam cannot be counted as an example of the United States acting as an enforcer in response to an "evil and illegal" use of chemical weapons.
               Thus we are brought to the central point at issue: does the United States have the right to stop the use of an "evil and illegal" weapon? More specifically, does the United States have the right to do so when no evidence has been presented (in the style of the Kennedy Administration during the Cuban Missile Crisis, when our UN ambassador presented unmistakable evidence for the world to view. And it was classified before JFK decided it was important to convince the world we weren't making it up) that it was the Assad regime that deliberately used chemical weapons? Someone did, that we do know.  But why is it that the world does not seem to accept our unsupported assertions that it was Assad's thugs rather than the thugs on the other side?
               And does the United States have the right to act as enforcer of international law on its own say-so, without the consent of the international community?
               And finally, as many including Kos have pointed out, the proposed action will not "stop their use." It will perhaps make the use of chemical weapons more difficult ("degrade their capability") but that is all. If you believe that stopping the use of chemical weapons is an imperative duty of the United States, one that cannot wait, then it seems to me that you should support a full-scale invasion of Syria with the goal of locating, seizing, and destroying the chemical weapons. Do you support such an action? I do not.

          "Something has gone very wrong with America, not just its economy, but its ability to function as a democratic nation. And it’s hard to see when or how that wrongness will get fixed." Paul Krugman and Robin Wells

          by Reston history guy on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 02:21:12 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Again, wow. (0+ / 0-)

            "If you believe that stopping the use of chemical weapons is an imperative duty of the United States, one that cannot wait, then it seems to me that you should support a full-scale invasion of Syria with the goal of locating, seizing, and destroying the chemical weapons. Do you support such an action? I do not."

            Have you ever read Spiderman? "With great power comes great responsibility." I find it interesting that when our government, for once, wants to use force for a good reason -- that of stopping the use of chemical weapons -- people are opposed to it. Not everyone, but enough to make me question those people's moral integrity.

            Do I support a full scale invasion? No, but I do support the use of limited force (for instance, in the form of missile strikes) to show both sides, specifically the Assad government, that the use of chemical weapons will not be tolerated, particularly against a civilian population.

            I find it insanely frightening that you'd rather make like an ostrich in this situation. I remember similar attempts at forced ignorance and/or apathy regarding crimes against humanity. At that time, it allowed 6 million of my fellow Jews to be murdered.

            "When facts are reported, they deny the value of evidence; when the evidence is produced, they declare it inconclusive." -- Augustine, in The City of God.

            by Zek J Evets on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 03:13:26 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Also! (0+ / 0-)

      Here is why these strikes will not harm civilians yet send a message about the use of chemical weapons.

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

      "When facts are reported, they deny the value of evidence; when the evidence is produced, they declare it inconclusive." -- Augustine, in The City of God.

      by Zek J Evets on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 06:31:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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