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Old 08-29-2013, 09:44 PM   #106
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I have no idea what I think is best here. My instinct is generally to be very much against these sorts of interventions, because, even with the best of intentions, they can be a disaster. But Obama's campaign in Libya shows that a limited and targeted attack can have a good effect without completely disastrous side-effects. And what Assad is doing is disgusting, even without the chemical attacks.

That being said, the prospect of radical Islamists taking over isn't much better. Any military intervention seems far less palatable if al-Qaeda is the main beneficiary, and a military intervention could easily cause the sort of resentment towards the West that would drive people to either radical Islam or Assad. As The Economist said today, "A Western attack that pleases al-Qaeda; pretty good evidence of a lack of good options."

Cameron losing his vote in Commons complicates things significantly. Hollande still seems supportive of a potential attack. Obama is mildly under fire from Congress, but he probably can do a limited police action without Congressional approval, and I actually think he could get such approval, despite the lack of approval from the American people (although I wouldn't be surprised if that is changing). It seems like Angela Merkel might agree with an attack in principle, but election seasons tend to be bad times to attack countries.

So, yeah, I don't know what to think.
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Old 08-30-2013, 04:43 AM   #107
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Forgive me for my ignorance, but is it proven that Assad was behind this?
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Old 08-30-2013, 07:55 AM   #108
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No. In fact, I don't think we hear enough about the idea of the opposition using chemical weapons and the idea that we should cut off support for terrorists because of that. In a perfect world Assad would be gone and the people would find a new leader. It's not going to happen that way.
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Old 08-30-2013, 10:12 AM   #109
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No. In fact, I don't think we hear enough about the idea of the opposition using chemical weapons -
I brought up the possibility a few days ago...

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Since you mentioned Syria and there have been reports of another chemical weapon attack - do you think it is feasible that Islamic "freedom fighters" would use gas on the citizens and then blame it on Assad in order to provoke the West to come in on their side?
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Old 08-30-2013, 11:49 AM   #110
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The Assad side of things DOES accuse the opposition of using chemical weapons! The media only tells one story -- the glorious freedom fighters. The story the people want to hear.
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Old 08-30-2013, 01:10 PM   #111
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the media it seems has been pretty clear that these "rebels" are basically AQ-ish Islamists who, while certainly being slaughtered by Assad, aren't exactly kind and loving people either.

really, there's no good option here.

i do think the usage of chemical weapons is unacceptable, and that should have consequences, but i don't see realistically what can be done other than what Obama has said he will do, and i don't see that being all that productive either.

i do think the British vote against action is difficult, but also understandable -- among the many, many sins of the Iraq War is the difficulty it is now to marshall support for smaller actions like these. the American people have no taste for any boots on the ground anywhere, nor do they want any real engagement in anything to do with the Middle East.
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Old 08-30-2013, 01:36 PM   #112
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C'mon Grid Solar Parity...
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Old 08-30-2013, 11:06 PM   #113
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Has anybody seen this?

Breaking news: Rebels admit gas attack result of mishandling chemical weapons - Dothan Christianity | Examiner.com

I can't be 100% sure of its accuracy but seeing as there's little to no evidence of Assad being responsible, it may very well be true.
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Old 08-31-2013, 03:18 AM   #114
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As much as I believe that the rebels are as guilty as the government and that aiding them is a terrible course of judgment, that story smells so incredibly fabricated.
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Old 08-31-2013, 03:28 AM   #115
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The fact that it's not being reported on mainstream news outlets is making me a little doubtful, but there's too much room for error to readily believe anything new.
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Old 08-31-2013, 04:10 AM   #116
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Any news report from a non-major source that says "a report that is sure to be blockbuster" or whatever it says... well, regardless of what it could be... it's a poor choice of words.
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Old 08-31-2013, 05:54 AM   #117
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You just didn't realise the article's actually a plot for a new film.
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Old 08-31-2013, 08:13 AM   #118
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Basically we are pretty sure the use of chemical weapons comes from the government, it's a question really of whether it was on Assad's express orders, some sources seem to be saying it may have come from his brother Maher, who has a reputation of being a thug and bit more erratic, who has control of his own army division I believe.

Anyway I don't think anyone buys the glorious rebel nonsense, I think we are fairly cognisant they are a disparate group of Islamists and some other factions as well, who are just as likely to descend into civil war if left in charge. I don't see doing nothing as compromising our morality anymore than our morality has already been compromised by our decades of dubious involvement in the Middle East.
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Old 08-31-2013, 08:17 AM   #119
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woops meant to post this in the should we bomb syria thread.

OK I actually think I was responding to both threads, reading both at the same time so I kinda grouped them into one in my head.
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Old 08-31-2013, 09:11 AM   #120
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Has anybody seen this?

Breaking news: Rebels admit gas attack result of mishandling chemical weapons - Dothan Christianity | Examiner.com

I can't be 100% sure of its accuracy but seeing as there's little to no evidence of Assad being responsible, it may very well be true.
Examiner.com is not a legitimate news outlet. It is made up of citizen journalists who have little or no reporting or research experience. Usually, their "news" is based on their personal beliefs and they can fill their articles with unfounded stories, like Obama being a Socialist born in Kenya.

I also checked that "reporter's" profile. He's a just a minister with no experience in news.

You could also tell Examiner.com is not legit due to its overabundance of ads.
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