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View Diary: Radio intercepts convince German intel that Assad neither ordered nor approved the chemical attack (320 comments)

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  •  Actually An Even Better Opportunity (23+ / 0-)

    This situation presents an even better opportunity to throw sand into the gears of the Assad regime than an brief missile strike could ever do.  Clearly, some form of chemical weapons attack did take place and the odds run in the favor that a Syrian military unit is responsible.  Call for justice by making Assad turn the perpetrator over to the international courts for trial.  That doesn't call for regime change, only the reliance on the international system to secure justice.  I suspect Assad will be quite inclined to roll over on whomever his subordinate might be, but that raises all sorts of problems for the regime.  If Assad doesn't hand over the suspect, then he's complicit in the chemical weapons attack and a case can be built before international organizations that an attack is justified.  If Assad hands over the suspect, then his coterie will be looking over their collective shoulders at every order they receive wondering when it becomes their turn to walk the plank.  Regimes like Assad's survive because of the tight bonds between individuals within it, because no rule of law or formal process exists.  Dissolve those bonds and the regime becomes much less effective and stable.  Make'em all wonder when they get their flight to The Hague.

    "Love the Truth, defend the Truth, speak the Truth, and hear the Truth" - Jan Hus, d.1415 CE

    by PrahaPartizan on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 05:37:25 AM PDT

    •  I should have read your post first! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blue aardvark

      What you said, basically.

      You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

      by Rich in PA on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 05:54:59 AM PDT

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    •  If the perpetrator turns out to be his brother (6+ / 0-)

      he would not turn him over to the Hague. They might find someone down the chain to sacrifice, but they'd have to be sure he wouldn't roll over on the Assads.

      If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

      by CwV on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 06:07:45 AM PDT

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      •  Fork in the Road to Damascus (0+ / 0-)

        In certain respects, it doesn't matter if Bashir al-Assad doesn't roll over on his brother, but instead throws someone else to the wolf pack.  If Assad sacrifices some lesser clan in order to save his own skin or that of his immediate family, it likely would tend to hasten the loss of control by the Assads.  What group immediately outside the Assad household could ever trust any of them again?  Especially if they offer up someone who had argued against the chemical weapons attack in the first place but only "carried out orders."  Everybody beyond the presidential court will be second-guessing every command which comes down the line.  Just how well do you think that will play with battle command in the streets?

        "Love the Truth, defend the Truth, speak the Truth, and hear the Truth" - Jan Hus, d.1415 CE

        by PrahaPartizan on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 09:02:47 AM PDT

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    •  That would require an admission that (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Satya1, cotterperson

      Syrian CW military units were responsible for the events of 21 August. It's difficult to imagine that there's "room" for such an admission amidst the narrative pushed by Syrian state media and allied media.

      Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time. (Terry Pratchett)

      by angry marmot on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 06:24:00 AM PDT

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      •  Engage the Russians (0+ / 0-)

        Russians claim that it wasn't Assad.  They do acknowledge that a chemical weapons attack occurred.  Fine.  Let's send in a muscular UN team to investigate and learn every detail about what happened.  We want to clear Assad's name, after all.  The world just wants to know what happened.  A full-blown investigation is the only way that can be done.  How can the Russians claim that an investigation is unfair, if the objective is to show that Assad's regime didn't do it.  Or, if the Assad high command didn't order it, at least to show who in the hierarchy did.

        Putting a larger UN team on the ground will also tend to slow down the fighting, which just might prove beneficial for the non-Assad side at this stage of the insurgency.  It would be interesting to see if Assad were willing to surrender the initiative at this point in order to extend the regime's life.

        "Love the Truth, defend the Truth, speak the Truth, and hear the Truth" - Jan Hus, d.1415 CE

        by PrahaPartizan on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 09:08:42 AM PDT

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    •  So we try to get Assad to turn over the (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sylv, PrahaPartizan

      perpetrators of this act.   That is if he actually knows who they are and is in a position to arrest them.

      Sounds good unless he asks us to turn over the perpetrators for the Iraq war and all the war crimes committed there.

      This is why we need this to be an international operation.  While our hearts may be pure our actions over the last 12 years make us look like hypocrites.

      •  International Effort for Sure (0+ / 0-)

        Did I say which entity should be asking for the perpetrator's surrender, beyond suggesting they'd be going to The Hague.  An international body pushing for answers, with backup from individual countries, would be essential for demanding such a surrender.  We don't want the perpetrator being tried in the US or by the US.  The chemical weapons ban is an international agreement and it should be an international body which enforces it.

        Any attempt to deflect the charges by referencing Iraq can likely be argued away because of the ambiguity which existed at the start of the war about weapons and intentions.  It looks pretty clear that chemical weapons were used here and now.  The principal question outstanding is "who authorized" their use.  That's the answer the enforcement is intended to  secure.

        "Love the Truth, defend the Truth, speak the Truth, and hear the Truth" - Jan Hus, d.1415 CE

        by PrahaPartizan on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 09:14:54 AM PDT

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    •  ^THIS (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sylv, PrahaPartizan

      I'm on a mission! http://www.dailykos.com/comments/1233352/51142428#c520 Testing the new site rules.

      by blue aardvark on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 06:53:20 AM PDT

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    •  nobody wants to touch "international courts" (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      onionjim, happymisanthropy, Johnny Q

      If you hadn't noticed, the entire invasion of Iraq was a war crime.

      •  Saddam Hussein Too Cute by Half (0+ / 0-)

        I basically agree with you, but Saddam Hussein's "dope-a-rope" maneuvering leading up to the war gave Bush likely just enough wiggle room to justify launching the attack.  Admittedly, the execution beyond bringing down the Ba'ath regime was wretchedly accomplished and too many war crimes were committed subsequent to the initial invasion.  Unfortunately, if one appeals to the legitimacy of "international agreements," one must also allow international courts to exercise judgement.

        "Love the Truth, defend the Truth, speak the Truth, and hear the Truth" - Jan Hus, d.1415 CE

        by PrahaPartizan on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 09:19:35 AM PDT

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    •  If the perpetrator hasn't done a runner and (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Johnny Q

      become a "rebel," taking what's left of his munitions with him.

      At that point, the U.S. couldn't call for his capture and trial, because now he's a rebel and we're in support of the rebels.

      The party of Kennedy is also the party of Eastland. The party of Javits is also the party of Goldwater. Where is our party? Where is the political party that will make it unnecessary to march on Washington?

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 09:07:09 AM PDT

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      •  We'd Know by Now (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SouthernLiberalinMD

        If the perpetrator had absconded with any remaining munitions over to the Rebel Alliance, I suspect the Assad regime would already by bruiting that about everywhere.  It would help the regime's cause, so why keep it secret.  Defectors exist everywhere.

        It all depends on whether one believes that regime (or an underling) instigated the attack.  If a rogue subordinate launched the chemical weapons attack and the Rebel Alliance won't surrender him, then we just might want to reconsider our involvement with said organization.  Just look at it as a reliability test for the insurgents.  They might fail, and we would profit from learning that now rather than some time down the road after investing quite a bit of treasure and diplomatic capital.

        "Love the Truth, defend the Truth, speak the Truth, and hear the Truth" - Jan Hus, d.1415 CE

        by PrahaPartizan on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 09:24:55 AM PDT

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        •  Very rational argument. (0+ / 0-)

          Although I don't really want to get any more deeply involved with the, what is it, 100 or so rebel groups in Syria, I do find the idea of your litmus test appealing.

          The party of Kennedy is also the party of Eastland. The party of Javits is also the party of Goldwater. Where is our party? Where is the political party that will make it unnecessary to march on Washington?

          by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 10:04:53 AM PDT

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