Attack on Syria within days...

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Attack on Syria within days...

Post by Chalkperson » Sun Aug 25, 2013 7:40 pm

The front pages of all of Monday's British papers are full of the news that the US and UK will attack Syria from the sea in the very near future. I can't link as I see this visually, not via written stories, and I can't post photos here unfortunately.

I assume that the two countries have convinced each other that they are not breaking international laws by doing this without a UN mandate.

Lets hope it's true, and that Obama finally is convinced that Assad crossed that red line he keeps talking about. As for its effectiveness, from a strategical point of view that remains to be seen, as does the strength of the response itself, at least it will show that the world is watching the horrendous situation in Syria, and finally we are going to do something about it.
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Re: Attack on Syria within days...

Post by jbuck919 » Sun Aug 25, 2013 8:06 pm

Chalkperson wrote:The front pages of all of Monday's British papers are full of the news that the US and UK will attack Syria from the sea in the very near future. I can't link as I see this visually, not via written stories, and I can't post photos here unfortunately.

I assume that the two countries have convinced each other that they are not breaking international laws by doing this without a UN mandate.

Lets hope it's true, and that Obama finally is convinced that Assad crossed that red line he keeps talking about. As for its effectiveness, from a strategical point of view that remains to be seen, as does the strength of the response itself, at least it will show that the world is watching the horrendous situation in Syria, and finally we are going to do something about it.
There was also no UN mandate in Kosovo (and for the same reason), and the US had to substitute NATO. Of course, that was Europe. It would be nice if more than the usual kissing cousins were involved, but as you yourself point out, it's a good thing to punish Assad for crossing this line. And I have no doubt that if we do this we will hurt him really, really bad. It's one thing we're still good at.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
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Re: Attack on Syria within days...

Post by Chalkperson » Sun Aug 25, 2013 8:49 pm

jbuck919 wrote:
Chalkperson wrote:The front pages of all of Monday's British papers are full of the news that the US and UK will attack Syria from the sea in the very near future. I can't link as I see this visually, not via written stories, and I can't post photos here unfortunately.

I assume that the two countries have convinced each other that they are not breaking international laws by doing this without a UN mandate.

Lets hope it's true, and that Obama finally is convinced that Assad crossed that red line he keeps talking about. As for its effectiveness, from a strategical point of view that remains to be seen, as does the strength of the response itself, at least it will show that the world is watching the horrendous situation in Syria, and finally we are going to do something about it.
There was also no UN mandate in Kosovo (and for the same reason), and the US had to substitute NATO. Of course, that was Europe. It would be nice if more than the usual kissing cousins were involved, but as you yourself point out, it's a good thing to punish Assad for crossing this line. And I have no doubt that if we do this we will hurt him really, really bad. It's one thing we're still good at.
We can legally hit his command and control facilities, and we can hit the missile launchers capable of firing these illegal weapons. That gives us a lot of scope, and I hope we use all of it...
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Re: Attack on Syria within days...

Post by John F » Sun Aug 25, 2013 9:03 pm

The papers I've just checked either say that military planners are identifying potential missile targets, which of course they would be whether or not these targets are actually attacked, in the Times and Telegraph, or have no such story, as in the Guardian. No particularly belligerent statement has emerged from a phone conference between PM Cameron and Pres. Obama yesterday.

Syria has finally granted permission for UN inspectors to go there, and the inspection must be allowed to take place and the inspectors leave Syria before any attack. I'd also expect both governments to announce their intentions as a warning to Syria and to prepare their own countries. I don't see any advantage to a surprise attack, which would be counterproductive.
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Re: Attack on Syria within days...

Post by Chalkperson » Sun Aug 25, 2013 10:37 pm

John F wrote:The papers I've just checked either say that military planners are identifying potential missile targets, which of course they would be whether or not these targets are actually attacked, in the Times and Telegraph, or have no such story, as in the Guardian. No particularly belligerent statement has emerged from a phone conference between PM Cameron and Pres. Obama yesterday.

Syria has finally granted permission for UN inspectors to go there, and the inspection must be allowed to take place and the inspectors leave Syria before any attack. I'd also expect both governments to announce their intentions as a warning to Syria and to prepare their own countries. I don't see any advantage to a surprise attack, which would be counterproductive.
The Thread title comes from the Daily Mail front page, all the popular newspapers say pretty much the same thing, the Mirror quotes Cameron saying "We'll Bomb Syria" and for what it's worth I first read a story about attacks from UK submarines on Friday night, One of the network sites said attacks were starting as soon as Sunday, I'm afraid I forget which one, I think it was CBS.

The British front pages are an interesting phenomenon, which is why I worded my post accordingly. They go to bed before the US outlets and they often bet on the following day, not always successfully either. The Guardian declared Nelson Mandela had passed away not long ago. It's the only paper that does not have the story, and when I saw the front pages earlier on Sky UK it was not among them.

As I said, I did not read the stories, just what the front pages were saying, ever hear of the infamous "Just 45 minutes from Attack" Evening Standard headline regarding Saddam, how about "Sink the Belgrano" from The Sun during the Falklands?

They have such a way with words...

But, at least we have a Thread on Syria, it's not usually my thing starting them, but I was beginning to think nobody here cared...
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Re: Attack on Syria within days...

Post by Holden Fourth » Mon Aug 26, 2013 3:01 am

I am hoping that things might be viewed from a balanced perspective. What we have in Syria is a large group who want to take control of the country from the current government which they think is doing a very poor job of running this country. I think it's called a civil war. For whatever reason, the western press have championed the cause of the insurgents. Wikipedia seems to indicate that the Syrian Govt is not a democracy, is secular ( The Ba'ath party) and is essentially Shi'ite. The opposition forces are not Shi'ite but comprise Sunni and other Islamic sects.

This is a popular uprising against what appears to be totalitarian state but the religious/tribal side of it cannot be ignored.

The US and UK should stay out of this. It is an Arab affair and will eventually be settled by Arabs. Both side appear to have committed atrocities so who do you choose?

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Re: Attack on Syria within days...

Post by John F » Mon Aug 26, 2013 4:15 am

Chalkperson wrote:
John F wrote:The papers I've just checked either say that military planners are identifying potential missile targets, which of course they would be whether or not these targets are actually attacked, in the Times and Telegraph, or have no such story, as in the Guardian. No particularly belligerent statement has emerged from a phone conference between PM Cameron and Pres. Obama yesterday.
The Thread title comes from the Daily Mail front page, all the popular newspapers say pretty much the same thing, the Mirror quotes Cameron saying "We'll Bomb Syria" and for what it's worth I first read a story about attacks from UK submarines on Friday night, One of the network sites said attacks were starting as soon as Sunday, I'm afraid I forget which one, I think it was CBS.
The Mirror and the Daily Mail are tabloids, aren't they? You can depend on them to put the most sensational spin on it. And you can be sure that whatever David Cameron has actually said publicly, it was not "We'll bomb Syria," so that isn't a quotation. The Brit newspapers that I believe to be serious, such as the Guardian and the Times (though Murdoch owns it), still haven't followed the tabloids, nor have the NY Times and Washington Post.

In its lead story on Syria today, the Times says, "For his part, President Obama has not decided to take action, officials in Washington said on Sunday. But, moving a step closer to possible American military involvement in Syria, a senior Obama administration official said that there was 'very little doubt' that Mr. Assad’s military forces had used chemical weapons against civilians and that a Syrian promise to allow United Nations inspectors access to the site was 'too late to be credible.'”

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/27/world ... assad.html

My cable TV provider, Time Warner, is in a feud with CBS so their programming isn't available to me. However, on the CBS News web site, the story about Syria is headlined, "U.S. has 'little doubt' Syria used chemical weapons." The story is about the promised UN inspection. Similarly with ABC and NBC news, and the BBC News web site. Nothing about an imminent US/British attack on Syria. Not a whiff of that in the New York tabloids Daily News and Post.

After their invasion of Iraq on false pretenses, which tainted the Bush and Blair governments, I'm sure both countries' heads of state are being very cautious about another military intervention in the Middle East. The attack may come; it may come soon; but the responsible news media in both countries aren't saying so.
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Re: Attack on Syria within days...

Post by Cosima___J » Mon Aug 26, 2013 11:28 am

If morality plays any part in our foreign policy decisions, then we MUST do something. Wailing and wringing of hands is not a successful strategy. Do we seriously believe Assad's claim that the gas attack was the work of the rebels fighting against him?

I know we've been burned in some of our previous military actions, but will we therefore throw up our hands and declare to the watching world that we are not much more than a paper tiger? Goodness knows I realize that whatever Obama decides to do, action or inaction, it will be fraught with danger. But can we afford to announce to the "bad guys" that we will stand by and do nothing when they decide to work their evil? That didn't turn out so well when Hitler was appeased and I see no reason to think it will work any better in the 21st century.

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Re: Attack on Syria within days...

Post by Chalkperson » Mon Aug 26, 2013 12:30 pm

John F wrote:
Chalkperson wrote:
John F wrote:The papers I've just checked either say that military planners are identifying potential missile targets, which of course they would be whether or not these targets are actually attacked, in the Times and Telegraph, or have no such story, as in the Guardian. No particularly belligerent statement has emerged from a phone conference between PM Cameron and Pres. Obama yesterday.
The Thread title comes from the Daily Mail front page, all the popular newspapers say pretty much the same thing, the Mirror quotes Cameron saying "We'll Bomb Syria" and for what it's worth I first read a story about attacks from UK submarines on Friday night, One of the network sites said attacks were starting as soon as Sunday, I'm afraid I forget which one, I think it was CBS.
The Mirror and the Daily Mail are tabloids, aren't they? You can depend on them to put the most sensational spin on it. And you can be sure that whatever David Cameron has actually said publicly, it was not "We'll bomb Syria," so that isn't a quotation. The Brit newspapers that I believe to be serious, such as the Guardian and the Times (though Murdoch owns it), still haven't followed the tabloids, nor have the NY Times and Washington Post.

In its lead story on Syria today, the Times says, "For his part, President Obama has not decided to take action, officials in Washington said on Sunday. But, moving a step closer to possible American military involvement in Syria, a senior Obama administration official said that there was 'very little doubt' that Mr. Assad’s military forces had used chemical weapons against civilians and that a Syrian promise to allow United Nations inspectors access to the site was 'too late to be credible.'”

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/27/world ... assad.html

My cable TV provider, Time Warner, is in a feud with CBS so their programming isn't available to me. However, on the CBS News web site, the story about Syria is headlined, "U.S. has 'little doubt' Syria used chemical weapons." The story is about the promised UN inspection. Similarly with ABC and NBC news, and the BBC News web site. Nothing about an imminent US/British attack on Syria. Not a whiff of that in the New York tabloids Daily News and Post.

After their invasion of Iraq on false pretenses, which tainted the Bush and Blair governments, I'm sure both countries' heads of state are being very cautious about another military intervention in the Middle East. The attack may come; it may come soon; but the responsible news media in both countries aren't saying so.
Then my point has maybe been proven, those British Tabloids might have jumped the gun and published before getting the word from Obama. They had the same choice on the Election, luckily they picked Obama as the winner, even though the first editions were printed long before polling stations closed. I think it's a byproduct of the 24/7 news cycle, it never used to happen, if the news was not confirmed it simply was not printed. Now it's publish and be damned.

The CBS story I referred to was withdrawn a couple of hours after it was posted, for that reason I did not start this Thread with that link. Nor did I use the UK Subs story from that same night, it was a lone report in only one British Paper.

And, let me acknowledge that for once I completely agree with Cosi, I believe we absolutely need to do something about Assad, but if Obama does nothing then I must ask what red line he kept referring to.

I should add that it's very difficult to prove Chemical Attacks because the toxins dissipate as quickly as people die, and of course Assad then re-shells the area before the UN gets there muddying the waters still further.
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Re: Attack on Syria within days...

Post by Chalkperson » Mon Aug 26, 2013 7:27 pm

My friend Kalashnikitty sent me this today...

#Syria #poetry #ChemicalWeapon #CBRN: I highly recommend -> Wilfred Owen's "Dulce et Decorum est..."

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots,
Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.
Gas! Gas! Quick, boys! – An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling,
And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime . . .
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.
If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est Pro patria mori.

Wilfred Owen
8 October 1917 - March, 1918

http://www.warpoetry.co.uk/owen1.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dulce_et_Decorum_Est
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Re: Attack on Syria within days...

Post by Chalkperson » Mon Aug 26, 2013 7:54 pm

Tomorrows front page headline on the Guardian...

Kerry: US will act against Assad

Regime will be held accountable for moral outrage

Cameron cuts short his holiday and returns to No.10

Russia rules out retaliation on behalf of Syria

https://mobile.twitter.com/guardiannews ... ardiannews
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Re: Attack on Syria within days...

Post by Chalkperson » Mon Aug 26, 2013 8:03 pm

The US has issued the strongest signal yet that it intends to take military action against Syria, as secretary of state John Kerry said it was "undeniable" that chemical weapons had been used in the country and vowed to respond.

In a powerful statement on Monday that gave every impression that the White House is moving towards some form of armed intervention, Kerry said President Bashar al-Assad's forces had committed a "moral obscenity" against his own people.

"Make no mistake," Kerry said. "President Obama believes there must be accountability for those who would use the world's most heinous weapon against the world's most vulnerable people. Nothing today is more serious, and nothing is receiving more serious scrutiny".

The White House immediately echoed Kerry's comments, and said it would release an intelligence assessment about the use of chemical weapons in the coming days.

"The fact that chemical weapons were used on a widespread basis, against innocent civilians, with tragic results is undeniable," said White House spokesman Jay Carney. "And there is very little doubt in our minds that the Syrian regime is culpable."

He added that while the president is still considering the appropriate response, he had already concluded that the attack constituted a "horrific violation of an international norm".

Pressed on whether the US would take military action, Carney said the last time the administration determined chemical weapons had been used, "on a smaller scale", it had decided to provide opposition fighters with assistance.
On that occasion, in June, the US announced the CIA would begin supplying rebel groups with small arms and ammunition.

"The incident we're talking about now is of a much more grave and broader scale, and merits a response accordingly," Carney said, adding that the attack in Damscus was "obviously significantly more serious, with dramatically more heinous results".

The hardening of Washington's response came on a day which saw the UK, France, Germany and Turkey join the calls for intervention. David Cameron cut short his holiday in Cornwall to return to work in Downing Street on Tuesday ahead of a meeting of the National Security Council on Wednesday. However, Russia maintained its opposition to military action, with its foreign minister appearing to rule out becoming embroiled in any conflict.

Kerry said that Obama was liaising with world leaders to determine the appropriate response to an "indiscriminate use of chemical weapons" in Syria, but provided no timetable, and no further indication about what form any US-led action might take.

UN inspectors were able to access some of the alleged sites of chemical attacks in the east Ghouta region of Damascus on Monday, but had to cut short their trip after regime officials warned that they could not guarantee the inspectors' safety.

The UN team collected some biological and environmental samples but refused to accept other samples of blood and urine that had already been taken by medical workers, presumably because they were unable to verify their source.

Earlier in the day two mortars landed near the Four Seasons hotel where the inspectors are staying before they set off for east Ghouta, and on the way there their convoy was hit by gunfire as they crossed the buffer zone from the regime-controlled centre of Damascus to the rebel-held east of the city.

The presence of the inspectors had been a central demand of the UN and their belated permission to enter the affected areas did little to calm the situation.

A build-up of military aircraft on RAF Akrotiri on Cyprus suggested that planning had reached a developed stage. With Russia and China likely to block a UN resolution, the UK and US have both signalled that they are prepared to act without a UN mandate. International law experts say intervention could be legally justified without a security council resolution under the UN's "responsibility to protect".

Earlier the UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, was outspoken over the necessity to act if his inspectors found evidence of chemical weapons use. "If proven, any use of chemical weapons by anyone under any circumstances is a serious violation of international law and an outrageous crime. We cannot allow impunity in what appears to be a grave crime against humanity," he said.

Under the terms of its mandate negotiated in the security council, the UN inspection team under Swedish scientist, Ake Sellstrom, can determine whether chemical agents have been used, but not who has used them.

Kerry said that regardless of the outcome of the UN weapons inspections, the US had already concluded that Syria had used chemical weapons. "Anyone who could claim that an attack of this staggering scale could be contrived or fabricated needs to check their conscience and their own moral compass," he said "What is before us today is real. And it is compelling."

Chemical weapons could only have been used by Assad's forces, which has "custody" over chemical weapons in the country, Kerry said. He added that failure to co-operate with UN weapons inspectors for five days, and its decision to shell the affected neighbourhoods, "destroying evidence", indicated an attempt to conceal the truth. "That is not the behaviour of a government that is has nothing to hide," he said. "That is not the behaviour of a regime eager to prove to the world that it had not used chemical weapons".

"Our sense of basic humanity is offended, not only by this cowardly crime, but also by the cynical attempt to cover it up," Kerry said. He said the decision to allow weapons inspectors to the scene of the attack on Monday "is too late, and is too late to be credible".

"What we saw in Syria last week should shock the conscience of the world," Kerry said. "It defies any code of morality. The indiscriminate slaughter of civilians, the killing of women and children and innocent bystanders by chemical weapons is a moral obscenity. By any standards, it is inexcusable, and despite the excuses and equivocations that some have manufactured, it is undeniable," Kerry said, adding that the US and its allies had gathered more information about the atrocity which it would release in the "days ahead".

In Britain, No 10 said that the prime minister earlier clashed with Vladimir Putin over whether the Assad regime was responsible for the attack. In a telephone conversation, the Russian president said Moscow had no evidence as to whether such an attack had taken place – or who was responsible – after Cameron said there was "little doubt" that the Syrian regime was responsible.

Nick Clegg has cancelled a trip to Afghanistan to allow him to attend the NSC amid a growing expectation that parliament could be recalled before the end of the week to allow MPs to debate developments in Syria.

William Hague, who insisted Britain shared a common position with the US and France, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "We have tried those other methods – the diplomatic methods – and we will continue to try those. But they have failed so far."

Meanwhile, General Sir Nick Houghton, chief of the UK defence staff, discussed military options with his US counterpart, General Martin Dempsey, and other allied military chiefs at a military summit in the Jordanian capital Amman.

A Ministry of Defence spokesman said: "The chief of defence staff has met with General Dempsey in Amman as part of pre-planned talks with the Americans and other allies to consider how the international community should best respond to the ongoing crisis in Syria.

"As you would expect, the discussions have focused on the chemical weapons attack in Damascus last Wednesday. No decisions have been taken – as we've said, we are looking at all the options."

On Monday night, British government sources were downplaying expectations that a strike could be imminent. They said that Britain and the US wanted to consider the findings of the UN weapons inspectors with care before deciding whether to act. Downing Street said it would consult attorney general Dominic Grieve on the legalities of intervention.

However, it seemed unlikely on Monday night that the findings of the UN inspection team would heal the deep rift over Syria in the UN security council. Sergei Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, warned that any attack on Syria without security council sanction would be "a crude violation of international law." He compared the situation to the run-up to the Iraq invasion in 2003. Asked what Russian would do if missile strikes were launched, he appeared to rule out military retaliation, saying Russia is "not planning to go to war with anyone".

In a reminder of the potential for any military action to escalate across the Middle East, Israel warned that it would hit back if there were any Syrian reprisals in the wake of western air strikes. The Israeli minister for intelligence and strategic affairs, Yuval Steinitz, said on Monday: "If we are under attack, we will protect ourselves and we will act decisively."

In Paris, France's president, Francois Hollande, said it was unthinkable that the international community would fail to respond to the use of chemical weapons, telling the Parisien newspaper: "Everything will be decided this week."

From Tuesdays Guardian.
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Re: Attack on Syria within days...

Post by Modernistfan » Mon Aug 26, 2013 9:45 pm

Why are we intervening in a conflict that essentially pits the Shiite Hamas/Hezbollah against the Sunni Al-Qaeda? There is pretty good evidence that both sides have used chemical weapons. For the United States to even talk about "international norms" is the height of hypocrisy. This is the country that dropped anthrax on North Korea during the Korean War, made large sections of Vietnam uninhabitable with the indiscriminate use of white phosphorus incendiaries, dioxin-containing Agent Orange and arsenic-containing cacodylic acid, and said absolutely nothing when our so-called "ally," the racist apartheid state of Israel, wantonly and deliberately bombed schools, hospitals and mosques in Gaza and incinerated civilians, including children, with white phosphorus. If we had even a shred of common sense left, we would stay far, far away from this quagmire.

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Re: Attack on Syria within days...

Post by John F » Tue Aug 27, 2013 12:45 am

I had never before heard that the U.S. "dropped anthrax on North Korea during the Korean War," and the Wikipedia article on this subject gives me no good reason to believe it. The North Koreans and their allies made this claim and the communist-affiliated World Peace Council supported it, as did the International Association of Democratic Lawyers (despite its name, a KGB front organization), but the impartial International Red Cross and World Health Organization refuted it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allegation ... Korean_War

Chemical, biological, and radiological warfare are lumped together nowadays under the rubric "weapons of mass destruction," which conceals more than it reveals. Chemical warfare was outlawed after World War I by the Geneva Protocol of 1929; biological warfare, by international convention in 1972, so its alleged use in the Korean War wouldn't have been a violation of international law. Nuclear warfare has never been outlawed.

It's a red herring, then, even if true, which I've find no good reason to believe.

For the rest of it, punishing Syria's government and its armed forces for the illegal and deadly use of chemical warfare is not the same issue as taking sides in the Syrian civil war. If the anti-government forces are tarred with the same brush, they shouldn't be let off either. But I've seen nothing yet in the international press about "pretty good evidence" that this is so. Modernistfan, can you provide the evidence you speak of?

The issue in Modernistfan's first sentence is different and I agree that presently, as a matter of realpolitik, no matter who wins, we'll probably lose. No doubt that is why the Obama administration has been so deliberate and measured for so long in its response to events in Syria. Whether the US/British action, when and if it comes, has a decisive effect on the outcome of the cvil war, we can't know until it happens and probably some time after.
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Re: Attack on Syria within days...

Post by Chalkperson » Tue Aug 27, 2013 1:20 am

John F wrote:I had never before heard that the U.S. "dropped anthrax on North Korea during the Korean War," and the Wikipedia article on this subject gives me no good reason to believe it. The North Koreans and their allies made this claim and the communist-affiliated World Peace Council supported it, as did the International Association of Democratic Lawyers (despite its name, a KGB front organization), but the impartial International Red Cross and World Health Organization refuted it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allegation ... Korean_War

Chemical, biological, and radiological warfare are lumped together nowadays under the rubric "weapons of mass destruction," which conceals more than it reveals. Chemical warfare was outlawed after World War I by the Geneva Protocol of 1929; biological warfare, by international convention in 1972, so its alleged use in the Korean War wouldn't have been a violation of international law. Nuclear warfare has never been outlawed.

It's a red herring, then, even if true, which I've find no good reason to believe.

For the rest of it, punishing Syria's government and its armed forces for the illegal and deadly use of chemical warfare is not the same issue as taking sides in the Syrian civil war. If the anti-government forces are tarred with the same brush, they shouldn't be let off either. But I've seen nothing yet in the international press about "pretty good evidence" that this is so. Modernistfan, can you provide the evidence you speak of?

The issue in Modernistfan's first sentence is different and I agree that presently, as a matter of realpolitik, no matter who wins, we'll probably lose. No doubt that is why the Obama administration has been so deliberate and measured for so long in its response to events in Syria. Whether the US/British action, when and if it comes, has a decisive effect on the outcome of the cvil war, we can't know until it happens and probably some time after.
I mentioned earlier that we won't know the strategic outcome of such strikes for a while and that whilst we will certainly punish him, we won't wipe him out, but we will wreck a lot of his equipment.

The Anthrax claims by the Chinese still go on today, they still argue that we sent in a plague in 1951 and that the insects wrecked the crops forever, fact is, we were conducting Anthrax Tests at a number of locations in the US, Arkansas and Utah for example, the Pentagon always denied using any in Korea but its never truly be proven or disproven. The allegations suggest we may have tried a whole bunch of stuff out on them, for research purposes, not for slaughter, we were fed up killing herds cows by mistake at Digway Proving Ground in Salt Lake City.

Here is the most recent insect claim...

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldne ... Korea.html

History of the US and Anthrax is here...

http://www.wnd.com/2001/11/11747/
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Re: Attack on Syria within days...

Post by Holden Fourth » Tue Aug 27, 2013 1:53 am

Modernistfan wrote:Why are we intervening in a conflict that essentially pits the Shiite Hamas/Hezbollah against the Sunni Al-Qaeda? There is pretty good evidence that both sides have used chemical weapons. .............If we had even a shred of common sense left, we would stay far, far away from this quagmire.
What I was trying to say in my post. It's Arab vs Arab, leave them to sort their own mess out.

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Re: Attack on Syria within days...

Post by John F » Tue Aug 27, 2013 1:27 pm

There's no hurry. Lots of things to get right before we start shooting off our missiles, including where to shoot them.

Pentagon Sees Syrian Military, Not Chemical Sites, as Target
By THOM SHANKER, C. J. CHIVERS and MICHAEL R. GORDON
Published: August 27, 2013

WASHINGTON — President Obama is considering a range of limited military actions against Syria that are designed to “deter and degrade” the ability of President Bashar al-Assad’s regime to launch chemical weapons, Pentagon officials said Tuesday.

Although no final decisions have been made, it is likely that the attacks would not be focused on chemical weapons storage sites, even though the Obama administration says the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian military is the trigger for the planned attack. They said any effort to target chemical sites risks an environmental and humanitarian disaster and could open up the sites to raids by militants. Instead, the American assault would be aimed at military units thought to have carried out chemical attacks, the rockets and artillery that have launched the attacks and the headquarters overseeing the effort, the officials said.

One key question facing Mr. Obama and his advisers is whether such a limited attack would compel a change in tactics of the Assad regime — which has killed tens of thousands of civilians with conventional weapons — or weaken Mr. Assad to the point that he would seek a negotiated settlement to Syria’s civil war.

An American official familiar with the military planning said that the initial target list has fewer than 50 sites, including air bases where Syria’s Russian-made attack helicopters are deployed. The list includes command and control locations as well as a variety of conventional military targets, official said. Like several other military officials contacted for this report, the official agreed to discuss planning options only on condition of anonymity.

Planners said that although suspected chemical weapons depots are seductive targets, they are too risky. “That is a hairy business,” the official said. “Our interest is in keeping the chemical weapons secured. You hit a bunker that holds chemical weapons and all of a sudden you have chemical weapons loose.”..

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/28/world ... trike.html
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Re: Attack on Syria within days...

Post by Chalkperson » Tue Aug 27, 2013 4:15 pm

John F wrote:There's no hurry. Lots of things to get right before we start shooting off our missiles, including where to shoot them.

Pentagon Sees Syrian Military, Not Chemical Sites, as Target
By THOM SHANKER, C. J. CHIVERS and MICHAEL R. GORDON
Published: August 27, 2013

WASHINGTON — President Obama is considering a range of limited military actions against Syria that are designed to “deter and degrade” the ability of President Bashar al-Assad’s regime to launch chemical weapons, Pentagon officials said Tuesday.

Although no final decisions have been made, it is likely that the attacks would not be focused on chemical weapons storage sites, even though the Obama administration says the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian military is the trigger for the planned attack. They said any effort to target chemical sites risks an environmental and humanitarian disaster and could open up the sites to raids by militants. Instead, the American assault would be aimed at military units thought to have carried out chemical attacks, the rockets and artillery that have launched the attacks and the headquarters overseeing the effort, the officials said.

One key question facing Mr. Obama and his advisers is whether such a limited attack would compel a change in tactics of the Assad regime — which has killed tens of thousands of civilians with conventional weapons — or weaken Mr. Assad to the point that he would seek a negotiated settlement to Syria’s civil war.

An American official familiar with the military planning said that the initial target list has fewer than 50 sites, including air bases where Syria’s Russian-made attack helicopters are deployed. The list includes command and control locations as well as a variety of conventional military targets, official said. Like several other military officials contacted for this report, the official agreed to discuss planning options only on condition of anonymity.

Planners said that although suspected chemical weapons depots are seductive targets, they are too risky. “That is a hairy business,” the official said. “Our interest is in keeping the chemical weapons secured. You hit a bunker that holds chemical weapons and all of a sudden you have chemical weapons loose.”..

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/28/world ... trike.html
As I said at the beginning of this Thread, we hit his Command and Control and the Missile Sites capable of firing the chemical weapons, that's the correct response. We will degrade his military and limit his ability to act in this way again.

I love that it took three Times writers to come up with this article, it's pretty basic strategy...
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Re: Attack on Syria within days...

Post by jbuck919 » Tue Aug 27, 2013 4:32 pm

This long article actually (finally) describes the effects of the attack and suggests why it is and should be crossing a line to use chemical weapons for a mass killing of civilians. Toward the end it also hints that Assad may have thought he could continue to get away with small-scale use that did not achieve such dramatic results.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/27/world ... nted=print

The Times editorial sums up the reasons why and how the US should act. It is true that part of the reason is to maintain Obama's credibility after publicly drawing a line in the sand, but it's not a particularly hawkish stance to say that this is a line that needed to be drawn, or that, as the editorial implies, Obama's (or any president's) credibility has big implications for international security.


The New York Times

August 26, 2013
Responding to Syrian Atrocities
By THE EDITORIAL BOARD

There is little doubt now that President Obama is planning some kind of military response to what the administration says without equivocation was a chemical weapons attack by the Syrian government that killed hundreds of civilians. On Monday, Secretary of State John Kerry began forcefully making the case for action.

Speaking at the State Department, Mr. Kerry said the attack “defies any code of morality” and should “shock the conscience of the world.” He said this “indiscriminate slaughter of civilians, the killing of women and children and innocent bystanders” was a “moral obscenity,” “inexcusable,” and “undeniable,” despite efforts by President Bashar al-Assad and his enablers in Russia to blame rebel forces.

“Make no mistake,” Mr. Kerry added, “President Obama believes there must be accountability for those who would use the world’s most heinous weapons against the world’s most vulnerable people." Administration officials said Mr. Obama had still not made a firm decision on how to react, but it would be highly unlikely — if not irresponsible — for him to authorize Mr. Kerry to speak in such sweeping terms and then do nothing.

Mr. Obama put his credibility on the line when he declared last August that Mr. Assad’s use of chemical weapons would constitute a “red line” that would compel an American response. After the first attacks, earlier this year, killed between 100 and 150 people, the administration promised weapons for the rebels but delayed in delivering them.

This time the use of chemicals was more brazen and the casualties were much greater, suggesting that Mr. Assad did not take Mr. Obama seriously. Presidents should not make a habit of drawing red lines in public, but if they do, they had best follow through. Many countries (including Iran, which Mr. Obama has often said won’t be permitted to have a nuclear weapon) will be watching.

Using chemical arms is considered a war crime and banned under international treaties, including the Chemical Weapons Convention, the Geneva Protocol and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. Even so, if he decides to use military force, Mr. Obama will have to show that he has exhausted diplomatic options and present a defensible legal justification, and that is not a simple matter. Ideally, the United States would muster a United Nations Security Council resolution to authorize military action. But Russia and China, which have veto power, have long protected Mr. Assad from punishment there and show no inclination to change. It is hard to believe that they would defend his use of chemical weapons, but there is no guarantee that they would not.

Mr. Obama may instead bypass the U.N. and, as in the case of the 1999 NATO air war in Kosovo, assemble an ad hoc international coalition to support military action that would provide legitimacy, if not strict legal justification, for intervening to protect Syrian civilians. American officials are discussing the possibility that states like Turkey and Jordan may make a collective self-defense argument because they could be victims of Syrian chemical weapons.

If Mr. Obama does forgo the U.N., he will need strong endorsements from the Arab League and the European Union, and more countries than just Turkey, Britain and France should join the effort. And if he does proceed with military action, it should be carefully targeted at Syrian air assets and military units involved in chemical weapons use. This, too, will not be easy, but the aim is to punish Mr. Assad for slaughtering his people with chemical arms, not to be drawn into another civil war.

A political agreement is still the best solution to this deadly conflict, and every effort must be made to find one. President Obama has resisted demands that he intervene militarily and in force. Though Mr. Assad’s use of chemical weapons surely requires a response of some kind, the arguments against deep American involvement remain as compelling as ever.

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Re: Attack on Syria within days...

Post by piston » Tue Aug 27, 2013 6:25 pm

There should be consequences for using chemical weapons. It's true: death is death, however it's done. And there's been plently of that in Syria. But I see this chemical bombing as opening the door to weapons of mass destruction. Russia, of course, is playing the diplomatic game of the "smoking gun." How could the Syrian government have used this weapon while UN inspectors were becoming involved? Illogical! My view is that Syria, in its current condition, cannot use such weapons again, whoever pulls the trigger. Time to pull out the great military minds and to neutralize these weapons even if it involves some collateral damage.
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Re: Attack on Syria within days...

Post by piston » Tue Aug 27, 2013 7:00 pm

Might I add that the Reagan administration "indirectly" supported Iraq's chemical warfare on Iran. The Obama adminstration has an opportunity to make a clear stance that, under no circumstance, should these weapons be used. Under none. Let's clean up America's historical record of Reagan side-winding, back-door deals unknown to all Americans, and double standards!
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Re: Attack on Syria within days...

Post by Chalkperson » Tue Aug 27, 2013 7:34 pm

Bombs are Weapons of Mass Destruction, in fact they do more damage, it's the FEAR associated with Chemical Weapons that gives Assad the edge, I know a lot of people who went to Iraq in that first wave, even the strongest of those were frightened of chemicals, Israel is issuing gas masks like crazy, a Nuclear Bomb is a very big bomb in a small package, a train or aeroplane can be used as a Weapon of Mass Destruction, it's all relative.

I don't disagree with your point, of course, but Assad has hundreds of tons of the stuff, it's unrealistic to think you can take all that out in one set of strikes.
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Re: Attack on Syria within days...

Post by piston » Tue Aug 27, 2013 7:44 pm

If we let chemical bombs go at will, then we acknowledge that all massively destructive bombs can go. Of course, we did that already with firebombing of whole cities, napalm bombing of entire countrysides and nuking two Japanese cities. But where is the "red line" today, whatever America has done in the past? Should there be a red line and can the "global village" agree that intervention is needed when that line is crossed.

America's own history is biting her in the behind. It has crossed that red line on more than one occasion and it now must act to prevent other countries from doing the same.....
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Re: Attack on Syria within days...

Post by Chalkperson » Tue Aug 27, 2013 10:06 pm

piston wrote:If we let chemical bombs go at will, then we acknowledge that all massively destructive bombs can go. Of course, we did that already with firebombing of whole cities, napalm bombing of entire countrysides and nuking two Japanese cities. But where is the "red line" today, whatever America has done in the past? Should there be a red line and can the "global village" agree that intervention is needed when that line is crossed.

America's own history is biting her in the behind. It has crossed that red line on more than one occasion and it now must act to prevent other countries from doing the same.....
The real WMD is a whole level above this, this the atrocity phase, nukes are the anhiallation stage...

This assumes of course, that we leave out the really dangerous chemical weapons like Anthrax and Bubonic Plague, the ones we have, Sarin is a non-persistent agent, easily dispersed, difficult to control, very hit and miss.
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Re: Attack on Syria within days...

Post by jbuck919 » Tue Aug 27, 2013 10:56 pm

Chalkperson wrote:
piston wrote:If we let chemical bombs go at will, then we acknowledge that all massively destructive bombs can go. Of course, we did that already with firebombing of whole cities, napalm bombing of entire countrysides and nuking two Japanese cities. But where is the "red line" today, whatever America has done in the past? Should there be a red line and can the "global village" agree that intervention is needed when that line is crossed.

America's own history is biting her in the behind. It has crossed that red line on more than one occasion and it now must act to prevent other countries from doing the same.....
The real WMD is a whole level above this, this the atrocity phase, nukes are the anhiallation stage...

This assumes of course, that we leave out the really dangerous chemical weapons like Anthrax and Bubonic Plague, the ones we have, Sarin is a non-persistent agent, easily dispersed, difficult to control, very hit and miss.
In the first place, Jacques, I would not group the unique use of nuclear weapons to end WW II with any subsequent real or hypothetical use of WMD for a lesser purpose. Basically, we were justified in doing that then for that reason and nobody is justified in doing this now for this reason. That's the whole point behind, for instance, nuclear non-proliferation.

But Chalkie, Anthrax and Plague are biological, not chemical weapons, and the US specifically renounced their use nearly 50 years ago.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statement_ ... d_Programs

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Re: Attack on Syria within days...

Post by John F » Wed Aug 28, 2013 12:43 am

Quite right. Lumping dissimilar weapons and dissimilar kinds of death-dealing destruction together confuses and obscures the issue. As Keynes said, in the long run we're all dead, but killing us by means of chemical warfare is a violation of long-established and well-known international law, which is why Syria denies using it, while the use of high explosives (including nuclear weapons) is not illegal and nobody denies using it.

If the U.S. intervenes to punish the Syrian government/armed forces, then, it won't be because of the repugnance of chemical warfare to the President personally but to punish their violation of the law and deter them and others from doing it again. So it's all-important that the legal case against Syria be conclusive and persuasive, not only to justify our intervention to the world as a humanitarian act but to shame those like Russia who for base political reasons are making excuses for Syria.

Ian Hurd, writing in today's NY Times, argues that international law is irrelevant in this case. "Syria is a party to the Geneva Protocol, a 1925 treaty that bans the use of toxic gases in wars. But this treaty was designed after World War I with international war in mind, not internal conflicts." Hurd is a professor of political science, not of law or history, and he seems to be saying that "internal conflicts" are not war. Tell me another. The most devastating war in our and his nation's history was the American Civil War - not the American Civil Internal Conflict. Hurd goes on to say that the US should bomb Syria anyway, on moral grounds, even while arguing that it would be illegal. Sheesh!

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/28/opini ... legal.html
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Re: Attack on Syria within days...

Post by Chalkperson » Wed Aug 28, 2013 9:56 am

jbuck919 wrote: But Chalkie, Anthrax and Plague are biological, not chemical weapons, and the US specifically renounced their use nearly 50 years ago.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statement_ ... d_Programs
Sorry, I was eating dinner and answering via iPad at the same time. I meant that at least those kinds of weapons were off the table, I typed chemical in by mistake, and I meant that we 'had' them, not 'have' them too.
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Re: Attack on Syria within days...

Post by piston » Wed Aug 28, 2013 6:57 pm

Maybe so. It's a whollllle different story today. But we are still in the position of preventing other countries to do the kind of things that we have done: massive attacks on powerless civilians. Object all you want, that's the reality. The USA created a number of precedents with respect to weapons of mass destruction. Distinctions could be discussed in a calm and safe setting, away from the action. But it don't change a damn thing in the results.

Don't mix together time periods and weapons of mass destruction, you say. I say why not?! People dying in the hundreds of thousand are statistically just that. And this country was first in line in doing so.
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Re: Attack on Syria within days...

Post by piston » Wed Aug 28, 2013 7:03 pm

You can justify it, good for you! I can't. Pictures of Vietnamese children crying as their skin is falling off their bodies keep coming to mind................
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Re: Attack on Syria within days...

Post by jbuck919 » Wed Aug 28, 2013 7:54 pm

I'm sure Bashar Assad muses just before he falls asleep every night about how the US example enabled him to use chemical weapons against his own people. :roll:

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Re: Attack on Syria within days...

Post by piston » Wed Aug 28, 2013 7:57 pm

Historical precedents are not a trivial matter. :roll:
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Re: Attack on Syria within days...

Post by jbuck919 » Wed Aug 28, 2013 8:16 pm

piston wrote:Historical precedents are not a trivial matter. :roll:
Your argument is rapidly descending into the generalization that all war is horrible.

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Re: Attack on Syria within days...

Post by piston » Wed Aug 28, 2013 8:19 pm

That is what you are making of my argument because you stand in defense of America's use of weapons of mass destruction.

Nuance.

Attack all you want, the USA has an abundance of skeletons in the closet when it comes to massively destroying non-soldiers.
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Re: Attack on Syria within days...

Post by piston » Wed Aug 28, 2013 8:26 pm

More than a century of history? Cuba libre, Teddy!
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Re: Attack on Syria within days...

Post by jbuck919 » Wed Aug 28, 2013 8:39 pm

piston wrote:That is what you are making of my argument because you stand in defense of America's use of weapons of mass destruction.

Nuance.

Attack all you want, the USA has an abundance of skeletons in the closet when it comes to massively destroying non-soldiers.
What point are you trying to make? That the US should do nothing now in Syria because it also caused civilian casualties in war, some of them undoubtedly avoidable? In general the US has pursued war, whether for noble purposes or not, with a mind to military success and an acceptance that this means civilian casualties or wreaking destruction on civilian targets. In the case of the Civil War and WW II, the level of destruction was high and sometimes anticipated in the interest of the pursuit of total war with a morally desirable end. Again, I know of no modern US precedent for destroying an entire civilian population with no military significance just to gain control of their territory, i.e., an atrocity on a large scale. But even if there is such a precedent in, say, the near-elimination of the original inhabitants, past shame is useless in addressing present danger.
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Re: Attack on Syria within days...

Post by piston » Wed Aug 28, 2013 8:45 pm

My point has already been made. Can you not read my messages? In the land of massive civilian casualties, in the hundreds of thousand, the USA occupies a central location. Can you deny that? Based on these statistical precedents, I argue that the USA is now placed in the position of preventing other countries from doing what it, itself, has done.

I must now ask, what is your point?
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Re: Attack on Syria within days...

Post by jbuck919 » Wed Aug 28, 2013 8:52 pm

piston wrote:I argue that the USA is now placed in the position of preventing other countries from doing what it, itself, has done.
No, it's not (taking into account context), and even if it were, SO WHAT? That's my point. Go after some real meanies, like the British for a couple hundred years. :wink:

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Re: Attack on Syria within days...

Post by piston » Wed Aug 28, 2013 8:57 pm

I'm betting that the "SO WHAT?" factor is very much at play in this whole Syrian story. Right. Who cares........
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Re: Attack on Syria within days...

Post by piston » Wed Aug 28, 2013 9:05 pm

War casualties, including in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, are nothing more than statistics. Not human lives. Just numbers. Numbers justified by "context," circumstances, and national constructs. It all makes sense within such intellectual constructs, including the women, babies, kids and elders who were vaporized or who died because of excessive exposure. Everything can be justified, so long as American lives were saved in the process. Even the massive destruction of women, children, and old folks.

Everything is justifiable if it saves American lives.....................
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Re: Attack on Syria within days...

Post by Chalkperson » Wed Aug 28, 2013 9:13 pm

I care, but, whilst the United States is responsible for creating and using some of the worst weapons known to man, and my friend the late Col. David Hackworth died a few years ago as a result of Agent Orange, your point is moot. Saddam Hussein Gassed the Kurds, and as a result George Bush went to War with a man who had "used WMD on his own people".

There are concequences for using Chemical Weapons, and Assad is about to find out what they are.

You can refer to the grim history of the USA regarding "collateral damage" but you cannot link the two points together. It makes no sense.

We, the US, UK, France, and others will take action against any country that refuses to accept that even in mass slaughter, which is what War effectively is, there are rules, you can kill, but don't use Chemicals in order to do it.

For the record, I objected very strongly when Israel used White Phosphorous against the Palestinians, but, we used it in Fallujah and I was equally outraged.

If we stand back and do nothing then we let a brutal and bloodthirsty Dictator continue to break the Rules of War, he is now a War Criminal, he can be tried as such. We can't attack his home, we can't attack his Government, we can't assassinate him, but we can punish him proportionally for his actions.

And that is what it seems we will do, it won't affect you, but, it will give the people of Syria some hope. We can't step in and end their War, but we can show them that the World was watching, and we cared.

That's good enough for me. And it has little to do with saving American lives, it's about saving Syrian lives.
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Re: Attack on Syria within days...

Post by piston » Wed Aug 28, 2013 9:22 pm

Accepted rules of war. Tell that to the Vietnamese! Interesting that you should mention an American victim of Agent Orange. What about Vietnamese victims? Have you checked the statistical information on the casualties of that war?! How do American casualties, majoritarily suicides, compare to Vietnamese casualties?

As always, we are too self-centered to even begin to understand the rest of the world.
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Re: Attack on Syria within days...

Post by Chalkperson » Wed Aug 28, 2013 9:37 pm

piston wrote:Accepted rules of war. Tell that to the Vietnamese! Interesting that you should mention an American victim of Agent Orange. What about Vietnamese victims? Have you checked the statistical information on the casualties of that war?! How do American casualties, majoritarily suicides, compare to Vietnamese casualties?

As always, we are too self-centered to even begin to understand the rest of the world.
Do you know who Hack was, he told America the truth about the Vietnam War, via Dan Rather in 1971, he was ostrasised by the US Military, they tried to throw him out if the Army, yet he was one of our most decorated soldier. He was one of the bravest fighters we ever had, I listened many times to his men tell unbelievable stories about him.

He was not just an American victim. He was someone you would have enjoyed meeting, he shared some similar views, especially about Nuclear Weapons, he was outspoken, but he was ultra smart.

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/06/natio ... .html?_r=0
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Re: Attack on Syria within days...

Post by piston » Wed Aug 28, 2013 9:46 pm

I'm sure I would have enjoyed a conversation with him. I am now witnessing Vietnam vets wither away, with tremendous physical disabilities and mental losses. One of my great pool partners is there. He lost his wife last year and has been both mentally and physically degrading since. It's very sad to watch a human being, with so much knowledge about 'Nam, going away.

Swept by the political context of their time, these brave men were. They did their duties in a war that could not be successful. I respect them a lot. And I pray for the over 100,000 of them who took their own lives.
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Re: Attack on Syria within days...

Post by Chalkperson » Wed Aug 28, 2013 10:00 pm

Hack formed an organization called Soldiers for the Truth. They have been fighting the Pentagon for decent equipment for our Soldiers, A rifle that does not jam, better body armour, helmet liners to save brain damage from IED's. between him and my other friend, a senior NATO officer called Col. Bob, they have turned a British Pacifist into someone who now cares a great deal about soldiers, the effects of War, and most importantly the effects of War on Soldiers.

There are Special Forces troops in Syria, Brits and Americans, not officially of course, we have "no boots on the ground" but who else is going to paint these targets in Syria, who else will be on the ground to see that the missiles have done their job. It's a real shame that America ends up as the World's Police Force, you should be grateful for what we do, not cynical because of what we did in the past.

I'm Welsh, not English, and I am disgusted by how the British acted for hundreds of years, America only did it for a few decades, if deep in the future the Chinese become the new world superpower, do you seriously think they will act any better?
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Re: Attack on Syria within days...

Post by piston » Wed Aug 28, 2013 10:08 pm

I am not cynical. I am realistic and sorry that you do not see reality the way I do. America is responsible for the mass destruction of civilians. You will not convince me otherwise. Your Vietnam friends, I honor for their great deeds. At the same time, they too were participants in the mass destruction of civilians. The stats are there. You simply need to reflect on the human lives they are coldly representing.

No. America has pushed the limits of civilian casualties to an exceptional level. It is part of this story of mass destruction. And there's nothing cynical about that. Check the facts.
In the eyes of those lovers of perfection, a work is never finished—a word that for them has no sense—but abandoned....(Paul Valéry)

piston
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Re: Attack on Syria within days...

Post by piston » Wed Aug 28, 2013 10:12 pm

Why do you think so many Vietnam vets killed themselves?! More so than actual battle line casualties! If you and I are attentive to our vets, what does that fact indicate? This was not a war of road side bombs with dramatic effects on the brain. Is it cynical to point out that our Vietnam warriors have been killing themselves far more than they were killed by the Congs?!
In the eyes of those lovers of perfection, a work is never finished—a word that for them has no sense—but abandoned....(Paul Valéry)

jbuck919
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Re: Attack on Syria within days...

Post by jbuck919 » Wed Aug 28, 2013 10:21 pm

you should be grateful for what we do, not cynical because of what we did in the past.
I think this is what I was trying to say in my previous somewhat floundering posts, except that I might say "grateful for what we can do," with the hope that we might actually have seen the last thing in warfare that we shouldn't have done.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

jbuck919
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Re: Attack on Syria within days...

Post by jbuck919 » Wed Aug 28, 2013 10:40 pm

piston wrote:Why do you think so many Vietnam vets killed themselves?!
Oh, for heaven's sake, undiagnosed untreated PTSD is just that. My mother's first husband was a tank soldier in Europe. When he returned he was never himself again and finally took his own life in 1950. There are theories as to why PTSD didn't appear to ravage veterans prior to Vietnam (you can look it up on Wikipedia). My best guess is that informal societal support and traditional relationships and sources of stability supplied most of the necessary therapy in a way that became impossible as modern life developed in the 50s, 60s, and after. And then there were casualties like my mother's husband, but no one thought it worth reporting as a phenomenon.

The horror of what we do to our young people when we send them into ground wars is certainly an argument for staying out of them and a condemnation of the easy entry into at least one of them that we saw in the previous administration, but it probably has nothing to do with a US response in Syria. "Boots on the ground" passes time on radio talk shows, but there is not a chance that the US response will be by anything other than air attack.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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Re: Attack on Syria within days...

Post by Chalkperson » Thu Aug 29, 2013 12:00 am

piston wrote:Why do you think so many Vietnam vets killed themselves?! More so than actual battle line casualties! If you and I are attentive to our vets, what does that fact indicate? This was not a war of road side bombs with dramatic effects on the brain. Is it cynical to point out that our Vietnam warriors have been killing themselves far more than they were killed by the Congs?!
Veteran Suicide is a big problem, my friend Lonnie Hodge is known as the Veteran Traveller, he was a Military Surgeon, imagine the horrors he has seen, but he was wounded so he has a Service Dog called Gander, Gander is very, very, special, almost human in fact.

Gander is a Suicide Dog.

Lonnie and Gander travel America and the world visiting veterans, especially suicidal ones, these veterans spend time with Gander, and then Lonnie hooks them up with a Service Dog, specially trained to help keep these pour Warriors from taking their own lives. Or, just helping them live their lives with a friend. You should see these dogs, they are incredible.

I'm not going to debate Vietnam Vets, drugs, horrors, loss of minds and limbs, it's not the discussion here. And John has made the case for Shell Shock, a debilitating disease that if untreated can often result in suicide.
Last edited by Chalkperson on Thu Aug 29, 2013 12:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Agnes Selby
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Re: Attack on Syria within days...

Post by Agnes Selby » Thu Aug 29, 2013 12:14 am

Holden Fourth wrote:
Modernistfan wrote:Why are we intervening in a conflict that essentially pits the Shiite Hamas/Hezbollah against the Sunni Al-Qaeda? There is pretty good evidence that both sides have used chemical weapons. .............If we had even a shred of common sense left, we would stay far, far away from this quagmire.
What I was trying to say in my post. It's Arab vs Arab, leave them to sort their own mess out.

In the end, what will be achieved by intervening in this conflict?

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