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View Diary: Ted Rall Cartoon: War is the Answer. What Was the Question Again? (54 comments)

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  •  Considerable evidence? (4+ / 0-)

    Please -- present it.

    But I take it you concede that there is far more evidence at work here in 2013 than there was in 2003.

    "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

    by raptavio on Mon Nov 04, 2013 at 01:07:46 PM PST

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    •  In 2003 (0+ / 0-)

      There was zero evidence that Iraq still had WMDs. All there were was Iraq's supposed evil intent (Saddam WOULD do this, MIGHT do that) and the fact that they'd had them in 1991.

      In Syria, there was a chemical attack. That's more. But still falls wayyyy short of what you need to go to war.

      About the sarin, click, then scroll down:

      •  Jesus. (0+ / 0-)

        Warn a guy before you post a link with images like that.

        I'm glad we're getting some dialogue going, and some concession of points of fact. This is good.

        "At the moment, I am not totally convinced because the people that are helping them are without any protective clothing and without any respirators," said Paula Vanninen, director of Verifin, the Finnish Institute for Verification of the Chemical Weapons Convention.
        A particularly gallingly ignorant quote, as many of the medical professionals were in fact sickened and some killed by the poison they encountered tending to the wounded. Those men and women were dedicated and self-sacrificing and risked their lives.
        "Of the videos that I've seen for the last few hours, none of them show pinpoint pupils... this would indicate exposure to organophosphorus nerve agents," he said.
        Sarin, of course, is an organophosphate. And initial symptoms of exposure to such nerve agents does include pupil contraction. (I don't know if that contraction continues as the poisoning progresses.) However, such review by video evidence is faulty by nature. Doctors Without Borders reported seeing exactly those symptoms, and of course several independent investigations have confirmed sarin was used.
        Gwyn Winfield, editor of CBRNe World magazine, which specialises in chemical weapons issues, said the evidence did not suggest that the chemicals used were of the weapons-grade that the Syrian army possesses in its stockpiles.

        "We're not seeing reports that doctors and nurses... are becoming fatalities, so that would suggest that the toxicity of it isn't what we would consider military sarin. It may well be that it is a lower-grade," Winfield told AFP.

        Sarin once deployed degrades in a very short period. 30 minutes is usually sufficient to prevent cross-contamination. Nevertheless, many first responders were sickened and killed by the contamination.

        In short, the three skeptics cited in your article are all refuted by the facts.

        "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

        by raptavio on Tue Nov 05, 2013 at 09:30:32 AM PST

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        •  But would you say you have 90% certainty? (0+ / 0-)

          That's the standard for a guilty verdict in a criminal trial. To go to war, I'd say you need at least that...actually, you need most Americans to have 90% certainty or more. And that doesn't exist vis-à-vis Syria.

          •  Do I have a 90% certainty? (0+ / 0-)

            Well, yes, I do. I'd say about 95% -- which, incidentally, would not be enough for me to convict in a court of law. "Reasonable doubt" exists in that last 5%.

            Do I think it was enough to go to war?

            I think that even with 100% certainty we shouldn't have gone to war unilaterally. Only a true multilateral force would have been appropriate.

            However, the fact remains that we did not. We found a path to removing Assad's chemical weapons stockpiles and production capacity, without expending blood or treasure on the battlefield. That this is so refutes your claim of any bloodthirstiness or desperate determination to go to war with Syria on the part of the Obama administration.

            "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

            by raptavio on Tue Nov 05, 2013 at 11:35:42 AM PST

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            •  The Obama Administration (0+ / 0-)

              surely was bloodthirsty. It was clear from their rhetoric, so familiar from what they did to Libya, that they wanted war.

              As I wrote, it is to their credit that the Russians and international community were able to shame them into not moving forward. I don't think Bush would have backed down in the same place. But I also think that war would have happened had John Kerry not had a brain fart.

              •  And now we've come full circle. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Denise Oliver Velez, AnnetteK

                This was your original claim. But the evidence you presented to support this claim was not really accurate nor complete, as you have (to your credit) conceded along the way.

                It is undeniable that the Obama administration rattled sabers and made it clear to Syria that it was willing to use military force to remove Syria's chemical weapons capability, but that does not translate, as you believe it does, that they were "bloodthirsty" meaning that going to war was their preferred option.

                That the result turned out to be the best of all plausible worlds for the US really makes it unlikely that the Administration somehow bumbled into that scenario, nor has anyone shown any sense of shame. In fact, everyone in the administration seems delighted and relieved.

                In truth, I think you're pursuing a narrative about the Obama administration that is not supported by the facts.

                "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                by raptavio on Tue Nov 05, 2013 at 02:14:51 PM PST

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