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View Diary: Syria and 2014 (207 comments)

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  •  How could have he handled it better? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z, akmk, PorridgeGun, freakofsociety

    Who thought Assad would flaunt Obamas red line and 80 years of international norms by using chemical weapons?

    •  not 80 years (4+ / 0-)

      All sides in World War II had chemical and biological weapons, and were prepared to use them. We know for a fact that if the Battle of Britain had tilted a little more to the Germans, and the Germans had invaded, that the British would have saturated the invaders with poison gas. We know for a fact that our own military pushed strongly for the use of poison gas on the Japanese, and only FDR's personal dislike of the weapon prevented its use. There is strong evidence to support the notion that the Japanese made some use of chemical and biological weapons against the Chinese. Lots of poison gas was used by the British and French facing restless colonists between the two wars. The US and USSR both maintained huge stockpiles of chemical weapons and assumed that any war fought between them over Berlin would utilize chemical weapons as well as "tactical" nukes. When Saddam used chemical weapons on the Iranians, we not only knew about it, we helped him do it. The fact that states have mostly chosen to blast, burn, crush, and shred their opponents rather than gas them does not establish that this is some sort of astounding violation of precedent.

      "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 02:58:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Perhaps by not using "red line" to begin with. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RainyDay, davidincleveland

      Once Assad used chemical weapons, going to the UN and demanding a full investigation without trying to get the UN inspectors to leave Syria (against Russian requests).

      Decrying the use of chemical weapons and working on getting public support without declaring we were going to attack (which was sort of putting the cart before the horse).

      When the plan was announced, have clearly definable goals that have obvious military objectives ("punishing Assad" does not meet either of those).

      Having SecState not use histrionic language like Hitler and Munich. (There are not enough parallels to make it credible and seems to be very Godwin...which takes serious matters and turns them into bad internet memes.)

      At least appear to be gathering international support rather than seeming to be willing to do everything by ourselves (which seemed to single out the US and not in a good way).

      Letting SecState make the case for why diplomacy had failed but letting SecDef do the heavy lifting on the actual military plans.

      •  Obama never said his goal was "to punish". He said (0+ / 0-)

        his goal was to take out missile launching capability to reduce and deter that method of delivery of chemicals in huge amounts to his own people and elsewhere.

        Iran with their nuclear capability is standing by watching the world's resolve.

        •  Then the "world" had better do something, (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          davidincleveland, BruceCA

          hadn't it?  It's agency would be the United Nations.  

          •  And that goal is being pursued in parallel. (0+ / 0-)
            •  Then we should back off. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              davidincleveland, lysias

              The U.N. is the world's policeman.  We are not, no matter how we strut and preen.  

              •  Don't see any strutting and preening. Just a (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                candid, open, honest responsible President gathering information, working the diplomatic front, and laying out his case before the American people and the world.

                •  Some part of me would like to think this... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  but I am not yet getting the case he is laying out.  There are question marks all over it for me.

                  I need to know how he plans to prevent this from spiraling out of control.  No case is complete for me, without this information. Has he addressed this?  If you have heard him say something about this, that I have not, I welcome your telling me/us.  I will give it some thought.  Thanks.

                  •  Yes. He has clearly stated that his plans & goals (0+ / 0-)

                    are specific and limited in order to keep a currently untenable situation from spirally out of control. "There is no 100% guarantee," he has said, but he also has said he has carefully reviewed all the contingencies. He has a speaker on NPR saying more about this today.

                    •  Thanks for responding. (0+ / 0-)

                      I am not sure anyone can know all the contingencies. The Boston bomber said something about his rage with the US invading other countries.   I would like to see in writing his planned responses to each thing that could go wrong.  I would also like see how he plans to pay for the cost of this.  I would like to see why this is more of a priority for American Citizens than job creation, and the preservation of programs that help the quality of life for folks here.

                      If you have a link to a document that answers these questions post it here and I will check it out.   I do not have a fixed all bad view of our Prez.  I think it was awesome that he recently visited LGBT groups in Russia.   I just need much more information from him on the war issue.

                      I understand that he cannot say everything yet he is proposing something that a huge percentage of Americans and countries around the world do not want.

                      •  The info is out there, if you look for it and (0+ / 0-)

                        listen (or read) the full text of the President's speeches.

                        The Boston bombers are out there with or without Syria. The President and Homeland Security are doing their best on that 24/7.

                        We do not have a cavalier President at this time.

    •  Perhaps the same people (0+ / 0-)

      Who think Republicans will flaunt Obama's stance on not negotiating the debt limit in defiance of American political norms on the issue.

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