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View Diary: Senators Heitkamp and Manchin float diplomatic alternative to military strikes on Syria (219 comments)

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    •  Anybody want to claim that these BLUE DOGS (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pajoly, mconvente, samddobermann

      ain't worth much now?

      Governments care only as much as their citizens force them to care. Nothing changes unless we change -- George Monbiot.

      by Nulwee on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 06:56:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Where the fuck have you been for the last (0+ / 0-)

      Two years?  If you think that diplomacy has not been tried, you clearly have not been paying attention

      Actually, I think you know this, but it is just another totally disingenuous argument for those who want to greenlight more chemical weapons attacks.  

      Sure try it.  Maybe Lucy doesn't pull the ball away this time

      •  Take it easy (5+ / 0-)

        You still get to drop bombs  in a month or 2.

        (And don;t snap about my tone after your "where the fuck" schtick.)

      •  On 23nd thought HR'd for the follwoing (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tytalus, Remembering Jello

        "totally disingenuous argument for those who want to greenlight more chemical weapons attacks.  "

        Now I'll go fuck, FUCK YOU!!!

        •  It is the foreseeable consequence (0+ / 0-)

          Of the course you are advocating.   I am simply highlighting the very uncomfortable truth that the effect of doing nothing will be to greenlight further attacks. I don't think there is any reasonable way to read it any other way.  For all the cries for interventionists to consider the consequences of an attack, I see absolutely no one even thinking about the consequences of inaction.  So, I think if you are going to be honest, you need to own up to the easily foreseeable consequences of the course you espouse.   I don't think you can duck this.  

          But I see HRs for bringing out uncomfortable aspects of this is how it goes here

          •  Bullshit (4+ / 0-)

            I never called you "warmonger" or murderer for advocating a military strike.

            IF you think your bullshit greenlighting thing is cool its not

            If you persist in it I will HR you every time I can.

            •  Others sure have (0+ / 0-)

              "Pure evil" is my personal favorite. I am talking about a wider group that just you.  You are a model of civility (much better than I obviously)

              However, it is not bullshit that people must consider the likely outcomes whatever course they advocate for.  Yes, war has risks.  But so does doing nothing or even taking a middle approach like this.  

              The questions are the same:  will it work? What are the likely outcomes?  

              Here there is a serious risk that Assad signs the treaty and then attacks other civilians right away.  What is the next move then?

              •  And they are wrong to (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                and I have said straight out they wrong to and HR'd where I thought it crossed the line.

                I'm gong to take off my HR of you because I think you get my point. Maybe you do not agree, but I see no point to keeping it on as "a message."

                I'm hoping you don;t do it again instead.

              •  We don't even have proof of who (3+ / 0-)

                set off the CW. Assad had no gain in it. Killed civilians not rebels. He already knew that it would cause a shitstorm.

                Who did gain from the CW attack? Israel. The peace talks stopped immediately, which Israel likes. Israel has long wanted to use us to attack Iran, which now seems more likely than before. So the players with most to gain from the CW attack are Israel and the US MIC.

                They've never done anything covert and horrible, though, have they.

                A true craftsman will meticulously construct the apparatus of his own demise.

                by onionjim on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 10:02:43 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Well . . . (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  onionjim, Heart of the Rockies

                  a few  pictures and maybe truth, maybe CT

                  Some of the circumstances around the incidents in Lebanon in 1983 and now thirty years later in Syria are familiar.  U.S. intelligence agencies were aware of potential trouble but did not report the problems in sufficient time for actions to be taken.  President Obama said that the U.S. had intercepted signals indicating the Syrian government was moving equipment into place for an attack, but the U.S. did not warn the Syrian government that the U.S. knew what was happening and did not warn civilians that a chemical attack was imminent.

                  Thirty years before, on September 26, 1983, "the National Security Agency (NSA) intercepted an Iranian diplomatic communications message from the Iranian intelligence agency, the Ministry of Information and Security (MOIS)," to its ambassador, Ali Akbar Mohtashemi, in Damascus. The message directed the ambassador to "take spectacular action against the American Marines.”  The intercepted message, dated September 26, was not passed to the Marines until a month later on October 26: three days after the bombing.

                  Geraghty wrote 20 years later, “The coordinated dual suicide attacks, supported, planned, organized, and financed by Iran and Syria using Shiite proxies, achieved their strategic goal: the withdrawal of the multinational force from Lebanon and a dramatic change in U.S. national policy. The synchronized attacks that morning killed 299 U.S. and French peacekeepers and wounded scores more. The cost to the Iranian/Syrian-supported operation was two suicide bombers dead.”

                  I believe (and I hope I am wrong) that Israel is using us as a tool to smite Iran.

                  If someone wants to claim our purpose in our National Security Strategy is to protect the US..., they'd have a hard time. It would be much easier to make the case that the conscious purpose is to spread chaos, confrontation, and terror. Jim P

                  by sailmaker on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 10:47:22 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  God can we put this nonsense to bed? (0+ / 0-)

                  Enough with the CT.  I would recommend reading Juan cole and look at some of the financial times coverage from the time before and after the attack.  In fact, Ghouta was already and active battlefield where conventional weapons had failed to dislodge or slow rebel advances on the capital.  The Assad military was largely tied up around Homs and the rebels had been taking advantage for some time before the attack.  The attacks in fact are reported to have killed 46 rebel fighters.   So, yes, Assad had a significant gain here, even without considering the obvious psychological value of gassing civilians supportive of the rebels.  So, no, the "Assad had no reason" theory is woefully misinformed and needs to go away now

                  Finally, those who are pausing the notion that Obama (and France and Germany) are all lying about their intelligence must confront the fact that Obama has consistently rejected calls to intervene for the last two years.  Germany is likely not to act this time.  So, the Israel/Obama CT also needs to go away (especially since te intelligence is largely corroborated by eyewitnesses on the ground)

                  I hope that helps.  I know it is a lot to keep track of

                  •  You know it all (0+ / 0-)

                    Any other ideas "need to go away now." Got it.

                    A true craftsman will meticulously construct the apparatus of his own demise.

                    by onionjim on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 05:22:57 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  That is a remarkable position. (0+ / 0-)

                      I cany beleive anyome would suggest continuing to repeat things that have been shown to be false, but maybe that is the state of the debate.  I guess Rove was correct.  Fcts dont matter anote.  I think that statements that have been repeatedly debunked should go away, yes.   Otherwise we are in denialist mode.   The idea that Assad had nothing to gain is demonstrably false.  Knowing that, why would you suggest people continue to repeat what they know to be untrue?   How is THAT defensible?

          •  Failure to bomb Syria on our part is in NO way (10+ / 0-)

            a "greenlight" for further gas attacks.

            And it is utterly disingenuious to argue that it is.

            Saddam Hussein was the last to use chemical weapons -- with our tactic acknowledgement and complete lack of opposition --  between 1980 and 1988.  Please check the calendar:  That is over 25 years ago.

            And yet all the nations who have chemical weapons, including Israel, Syria and all the rest did NOT use gas during those intervening years.

            By your reasoning, the USA going along with and helping Saddam Hussein with his gas attacks would have

            the effect of doing nothing will be to greenlight further attacks.
            Bullshit.  Zero other chemical weapons attacks occurred until Syria, over 25 years later.

            There simply is zero connection between what the USA did in permitting gas attacks previously and in what Syria is doing.

            And, there's an elephant you ignore in this room:  The USA bombed, attacked, invaded and reduced to rubble much of Iraq over accusations of WMDs in 2003 -- chemical weapons -- and that had ZERO effect on deterring Assad.

            Your argument is lacking in any reasonable evidence from the real world.  

            If a few cruise missiles or even prolonged bombing in Syria would stop the whole world from ever using chemical weapons again, then why didn't the entire destruction of Iraq over those same chemical weapons have no effect whatsoever on what Assad allegedly chose to do?

            Finally, collective punishment is wrong.  If the decision to use chemical weapons is a crime, then the decision-makers must be held accountable.  Not all the people of the nation. Assad should be hauled before the ICC in The Hague.

            But that doesn't give us the right to kill people in Syria. In fact, collective punishment in war is a war crime.

            Maybe there will be a delay before Assad can be tried for his crimes. But that's the way the world goes. Hold him accountable when it is possible.  

            "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 Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 09:52:44 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Diplomacy isn't "doing nothing. " n/t (0+ / 0-)
          •  Umm- Can I ask a favor? Would ya read something? (0+ / 0-)

            Kossack Lenny Flank posted a really great diary this morning detailing the history of chemical ( and biological) weapons.

            Could ya read that, and then tell me why you think that one military action is going to eliminate a type of warfare that's been happening for thousands (!) of years?

            How it's going to eliminate from existence substances that any chemist can make?

            That are functionally indistinguishable from important agricultural chemicals?

            How bombs are going to change human nature?

            Chemical weapons WILL be used again. We could turn Syria into the proverbial " plain of glass", and chemical weapons would still be used again.

            We'd just be tilting at windmills.

            •  Some mission creep (0+ / 0-)

              No one is suggesting that attacking Assad will end the scourge of chemical warfare forever.  That's quite a straw man.  

              The point is this:  a ruthless dictator has just gassed civilians in a civil war.  He has more and now seems ready to use them again.  So,  do you a) do nothing, b) take an option short of military action that has failed so far but might work or c) take military actions against the dictators much needed military as a disincentive to use such weapons in this particular war going forward?

              Obviously the number is international interventions to impose negative consequences on violators is vanishingly small.  Should that continue to be the case?  Do we take Rwanda as our model or Kosovo?

        •  Sorry (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I should have been more diplomatic in my phrasing, you are right.   Better to say, "people who want to do nothing, which will in turn greenlight further attacks". More courteous I suppose.  Sorry for that

          •  When you lie about (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            YucatanMan, tytalus, onionjim

            "what people want," it does not make it better.

            This is actually "doing something" even though it is not the thing YOU prefer.

            Some people want an invasion, which you may or may not want.

            Are you GREBNLIGHTING chemical gas attacks if you don;t want to invade Syria?

            Would it be acceptable to call anyone who does not agree with invading Syria as greenlighting chem weapons attacks?

            Your argument in defense of this rhetoric is repugnant, and worse, stupid.

            •  Is it doing something? (0+ / 0-)

              Because it is not anything new.  The administration has been trying to get a political solution for years, while threatening military force if CW are used.   Here this proposal is to do the same, except trying to get a convention signed instead of something more productive.  Essentially it is a more of the same approach that translates into nothing meaningful. Thus, it seems much more like a fig leaf for inaction since presumably everyone is aware that this approach is precisely what was being done but failed.  

              Before: don't use CW or we will attack.  Result: attacks

              Now: sign a treaty saying you won't use CW or we will attack. Result: we don't know, but given the last two years, I don't see how this is seen as credible

              You can see how this appears to be little more than a stalling tactic that has roughly been shown to fail.  Here, we promise to attack and this time we really mean it?   You can see why I am so skeptical

              •  IT is doing something (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                YucatanMan, tytalus, DeadHead

                MAybe the wrong something.

                Maybe a futile something.

                The problem with you is you dpn't limit your argument to "you are wrong and the conseguences of your wrongness could be devastating."

                I mean folks will say that to you I imagine. Certainly I did when Kerry made his ridiculous Munich Moment comment.

                You went WAY beyond that.

                I'm shocked I have to explain it to you.

          •  The greenlight terminology is a false argument (5+ / 0-)

            and not based on any factual review of history.

            It's simply a slur. You want to use slurs against people and you're poking about trying to find a way of accusing people of FAVORING the use of chemical weapons.  

            It's an odious form of argument. There's no courteous way to falsely accuse people of favoring the use of chemical weapons.

            And your reasoning that the failure of the USA to punish CW use constitutes a "greenlight" is a false conclusion.

            The rest of the world outside the USA also has morals and values. Everything does not rest upon our action or inaction, as much as mistaken America-centric thinkers want to believe it does.

            "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 Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 09:56:45 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Don;t rec my comment please (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Matt Z, Heart of the Rockies

          IT is HRable,

        •  When you lose your cool, you lose the argument. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Heart of the Rockies

          Facts notwithstanding.

          Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!

          by bigtimecynic on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 10:21:11 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  How is demanding Syria stop using them and (5+ / 0-)

        demanding Syria sign the international agreement against using them in any way "greenlighting" more chemical weapons attacks.

        Honestly, your comment is rather despicable.  

        Regardless of whether people favor or oppose military strikes or US involvement with Syria, NO ONE wants to "greenlight" chemical weapons attacks.  

        It is an odious accusation against anyone and making it as a general statement like that is really repugnant.

        No one. Wants. Gas. Used.  Period. End of story.

        "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 Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 09:20:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  People need to consider that consequences (0+ / 0-)

          Sure, no one wants to see chemical weapons used, just as no one wants to see the war continue.

          However, when people forcefully advocate a course that would effectively give Assad a green light to continue (I refer here to the true "do nothing, walk away" approach, not this proposal) then it is fair to link the course of action to the consequences of that course of action.   Since Assad would have no disincentive to launch more attacks, there does not seem to be any credible argument that he wouldn't continue to use them.  (This may simply be because this side of things gets little discussion. All attention is one the effects of strikes, with little on the effects of no strikes).

          So, it is fair to point to the likely outcome in order to clarify what we are actually debating.  I don't think trying to close ones eyes to these realities is sensible

          •  There are many people who strongly advocate for (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Heart of the Rockies, onionjim

            humanitarian aid and for diplomacy and for international action to oppose chemical weapons use.

            That is not anything like

            when people forcefully advocate a course that would effectively give Assad a green light to continue (I refer here to the true "do nothing, walk away" approach,
            You're interpreting being opposed to military strikes -- we destroyed Iraq over chemical weapons which didn't even exist, after all -- as being the equivalent of "do nothing."  

            You are saying military strikes will deter chemical weapons use, but Assad took no lesson at all from the utter destruction and occupation of Iraq.

            It is a false argument. It is dishonest. It is putting words in other people's mouths. It is drawing false conclusions.

            Again: you have an odious argument.

            It's not helping you make the case for the USA to kill Syrians in the false belief that Assad cares about Syrians being killed.

            "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 Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 10:38:03 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I don't think (0+ / 0-)

              You are in any position to claim anyone else's position is odious or dishonest.  The idea that either humanitarian efforts or diplomacy will restrain Assad is laughable.  If we give a lot of money to refugee camps why on earth would that make Assad stop attacking civilians?  Explain how that leverage is supposed to work.  Similarly, diplomacy has been ongoing for two years with the result of attacks on civilians.  Again, what possible mechanism or process is going to work?  We can't even get a statement of condemnation out of the UN and I don't think it is credible that Assad cares what the west thinks anyway.  We already have pretty stuff sanctions in place.  What leverage is there for diplomacy?

              We don't know if a limited military attack will work, but we know that humanitarian aid won't work and diplomacy is extremely extremely unlikely to work.  Assad is clearly betting that the west won't launch another Iraq style attack, and he is clearly correct.  Obviously, that's not a particularly good argument because no one is threatening to launch such an attack, so it doesn't enter the calculus.  I am sure he isn't dissuaded by our nuclear arsenal either since he knows we won't use it. Since neither

              So, we are left with a choice of military actions that might work, and diplomacy and humanitarian aid which are nearly guaranteed to fail.   So, yes, people who are pushing for doing nothing or for doing clearly ineffectual things are failing to consider the likely consequences of such options.  Since neither has any chance of success, I think it is safe to say that those options de facto give Assad all the room he needs to attack civilians with CW. I don't see how one can avoi that conclusion. Not odious, just the reality of a bad situation

            •  And (0+ / 0-)

              He certainly does care about his military being bombed.  Without it he will lose this war.   It is not credible to maintain otherwise

      •  While you are correct in pointing out that (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TomP, Mindful Nature, 3goldens, onionjim

        most haven't been paying attention to Syria and have thus missed all the diplomatic efforts, you are interpreting this idea wrong.

        If Congress authorizes a "give up your wmd's within 45 days or else" resolution, then it doesn't mean that nothing would happen.  In fact, this would have teeth.

        There would, of course, have to be authorization for the immediate use of force if Assad uses chemical weapons again.

        "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

        by Lawrence on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 09:48:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I know it has been tried. It's worth another (5+ / 0-)


        This is false:

        it is just another totally disingenuous argument for those who want to greenlight more chemical weapons attacks
        I take very seriously the "red line" and things President Obama has discussed.  I certainly do not want another chemical attack by Assad.

        My point is that military action should be a last resort.  There is no harm in trying to find another way, even at this late day.    

        Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

        by TomP on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 09:48:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  diplomacy has already been tried (0+ / 0-)

      but with U.S. military buildup (thank you Pres. Obama!) -
      Assad may change his mind.

      "Tax cuts for the 1% create jobs." -- Republicans, HAHAHA - in China

      by MartyM on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 09:46:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  it's like telling a bully (0+ / 0-)

      stop pushing me or I'll tell the teacher
      ok - really, one more time and I'll tell
      I mean it this time, no more pushing
      ok - i'll give you 45 days to stop being mean or else
      --45 days later---
      i really mean it this time

      at some point, please please please isn't going to work.

      I'm fine with diplomatic sanctions. How about every single international organization cuts off all aid until the fighting stops. How about we blockade the ports, stopping oil shipments from going in or out (more militaristic, but not bombing), etc.

    •  Ultimatims are not diplomacy. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Play chess for the Kossacks on Join the site, then the group at

      by rhutcheson on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 01:21:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I brought this up in a (0+ / 0-)

      diary about a week ago and was laughed at.

      Clinton pursued diplomacy with Milosevic.

      It didn't work, but at least he went that route first.

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