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Because I've heard and read a lot of renewed debate on this subject, I thought I'd try to get a feel for where people here stand. It seems like a question that shouldn't have to be asked, but these are strange time.

This is my first 'diary' after all these years, so I apologize if I've broken any rules.

Poll

The use of chemical weapons

51%20 votes
48%19 votes

| 39 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Celestial Navigator, greenotron

    Money doesn't talk it swears.

    by Coss on Sat Sep 07, 2013 at 09:23:58 PM PDT

  •  Not that simple (10+ / 0-)

    Or course use of chemical weapons should not be tolerated. But I don't really think the use of conventional weapons should be tolerated either. But how do you go about not tolerating the use of these weapons? By using different weapons that kill people (often innocent bystanders) just as dead as the intolerable weapons?

    If the action taken to not tolerate CW leads to horrible outcomes, like say the escalation of a civil war with the addition of new players, then maybe that action shouldn't be taken. But then one would be open to the charge of tolerating the intolerable.  In some cases that may be the way to go, as I believe it is in the case of Syria.  

    So I don't really like your poll question. It suggests that there is a black and white solution without any context and without the complexities involved in the decision making process.  

    Power to the Peaceful!

    by misterwade on Sat Sep 07, 2013 at 09:33:30 PM PDT

    •  I don't like my poll question either (0+ / 0-)

      But comments on this site warrant it. I agree with what you're saying, but to be fair, few here would have supported intervention in Syria based on conventional weapons use. That's a red herring on this site. People simply oppose intervention and are working backwards to justify that in ways I'm shocked by.

      If you oppose war in general, you don't have to reach for reasons to support that argument.

      Money doesn't talk it swears.

      by Coss on Sat Sep 07, 2013 at 09:39:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Really? (5+ / 0-)
        People simply oppose intervention and are working backwards to justify that in ways I'm shocked by.
        Working backwards? Really?  I agree that I, like many, come from a position where war is something to avoid at all costs. The bar for engaging in war, or anything remotely resembling it, should be very high. The burden of proof is on those wanting to engage in war.  Those that would participate in war had better have a very compelling argument with a ton of solid evidence. None of which has been forthcoming from war supporters in this case.

        I wouldn't call that working backwards.

        Power to the Peaceful!

        by misterwade on Sat Sep 07, 2013 at 09:47:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  What I mean is (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          misterwade

          that some people have resorted to arguments they wouldn't normally make, such as arguing chemical weapons are no different than any other weapon.

          I don't mean to suggest that is everyone's view.

          Money doesn't talk it swears.

          by Coss on Sat Sep 07, 2013 at 09:58:58 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  And some people have resorted to rationalizations (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Kevskos

            they wouldn't normally make in order to justify a potential war because a democrat is in the white house.




            Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

            by DeadHead on Sat Sep 07, 2013 at 10:18:21 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Or could it be that... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              misterwade

              like you, they base their decision on whether they trust the person making the case for war?

              I didn't trust Bush. I trust Obama. I do not understand what is hard to understand about that.

              Money doesn't talk it swears.

              by Coss on Sat Sep 07, 2013 at 10:26:26 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  that's reasonable (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Coss, Kevskos

                I don't share your trust, but that is a fair and reasonable thing to say.

                Power to the Peaceful!

                by misterwade on Sat Sep 07, 2013 at 10:40:51 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  I think you have me mixed up with someone else. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Kevskos

                Because the "like me" part of your comment couldn't be farther from the truth.

                I absolutely DO NOT make my decision based on "trust" of any particular person making the case for war.

                War is war. It sucks just as bad if Obama wages it as it did when Bush waged it.

                That's called principle over personalities.

                Given the nature of some of your recent comments, I'd say your characterization applies more to you than it ever has to me.




                Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

                by DeadHead on Sat Sep 07, 2013 at 10:43:07 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  Coss, (0+ / 0-)

            You seem to be engaging genuinely, so back at you.

            I haven't actually seen or heard someone say exactly what you describe,

            such as arguing chemical weapons are no different than any other weapon.
            I have heard and agreed with more nuanced arguments that it is inconsistent that some people killed by this type of weapon are able to gain a response while other atrocities do not. Even in Syria an estimated 100,000 dead already in this conflict. The humanitarian argument is harder to swallow when those 100,000, plus an enormous refugee problem, have not raised such intense concern and motivation for action.  

            I don't trust the stated motives here, partly because this great concern about CW victims erupted so spontaneously after the carnage had been going on for so long. This might be partly where the comparison of chem and conventional weapons victims being dealt with inconsistently. And Kos wrote a diary advancing his position along those lines.

            I think there are way more politics involved involved in this situation than we are privy to. I am not going to speculate on exactly what those other motives and influences on the Administration decision making on this is. But I do not trust or believe them that their stated reasons for doing this are the real ones.

            Power to the Peaceful!

            by misterwade on Sat Sep 07, 2013 at 10:39:23 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  My main point regarding this argument (0+ / 0-)

              is that it's not fair for people who would never support intervention in Syria to ask why we didn't intervene earlier.

              But some of the people I've argued with have insisted that chemical weapons are no different than other weapons, and if you look at the poll right now, 9 of 13 people say there is no difference between bullets and chemical weapons. I know that a small number, but more than one person saying that shocks me.

              Money doesn't talk it swears.

              by Coss on Sat Sep 07, 2013 at 10:55:11 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Fair point (0+ / 0-)

                about those who would never support anyways.  But back to my first comment, the wording makes it a tough choice. I didn't vote, though of course it doesn't matter, because of the black and white nature of the wording.  

                But I lean toward joining the nine in that killing with one type of weapon isn't inherently more bad than using another type.  It is only the potential for further use of the banned that makes the two groups of weapons uneven.

                Power to the Peaceful!

                by misterwade on Sun Sep 08, 2013 at 09:31:48 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  That idea has had some play here (0+ / 0-)

              it doesn't usually go very far.

              If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

              by CwV on Sun Sep 08, 2013 at 08:34:54 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Where's the poll line for... (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pollbuster, Coss, JR, 2020adam, Kevskos

    Where's the poll line for "Banned by international law, but never enforced. Indeed, the US is one of the largest users of weapons that the rest of the world regards as illegal, including cluster munitions, depleted uranium, and off-spec use of white phosphorus"?  

    Excuse me, but I think the problem is creating caricatures out of the well-considered and nuanced positions of people on both sides of the issue. It's a form of "Let's you and him fight."  

    So, no vote, no tip, no rec.

  •  Yes, chemical weapons are bad (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mrsgoo, Coss, 2020adam, Kevskos, CwV

    Yes, they are different.
    No, we don't need to bomb Syria.




    Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

    by DeadHead on Sat Sep 07, 2013 at 10:13:16 PM PDT

  •  Just seems like an irrelevant question for... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    yargityblarg, Kevskos, greenotron

    anyone here to answer. We aren't in any kind of position to tolerate or not tolerate anything. You don't get to break international norms to ensure respect for international norms.

    And regardless of whether or not a bunch of torturers should enforce international law, we suck at it. So even if we "should", we really shouldn't, since our track record is chock full of abject failure when it comes to being the aggressor in war.

    But if I ran the world, yes, all chemical weapons would be safely destroyed. Not simply left in a lab for us to test.

    "The Democratic Party is not our friend: it is the only party we can negotiate with."

    by 2020adam on Sun Sep 08, 2013 at 12:08:44 AM PDT

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