Should US bomb Syria?

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And? It's also not a commonly refuted claim. To suggest that the uprising in Egypt against Morsi was not a popular movement is ridiculous. The current opposition to the government does not have anywhere near the manpower that was in the streets protesting Morsi. That's not debatable. That's fact. They support Assad for the very same reason that I support Assad. Because they know what two outcomes are at stake here. Islamic law or an autocracy. What intentions do you think the military in Egypt has? They have succumbed to the will of the Egyptian people. There is no ulterior motive.

Yes, this conversation has really gotten mixed, but I think that should be okay. They are the same conflict with a different title slapped on each.

I can't speak much with certainty on Syria
although if you'd like me to humor you, the Assad family has treated me well in the past.
However when it comes to Egypt I can. And if the Syrian people are anything like the Egyptian people, and the conflict is indeed as similar as I think it is, the people would've rather stuck with Mubarak over Morsi in retrospect. I say this as an Egyptian. I feel the Syrians will feel the same if the Assad regime topples, and I would hate for my country as an American to be responsible whatsoever for that.
I would not suggest that the overthrow of Morsi was not popular, I query the breadth of support. It's easy to turn and say oh the 13 million that voted for Morsi were fraudulent, while non-verified numbers of 23 million signatures from a group supporting someone who gases his own people are all fine and dandy. I don't believe for a second the military are supporting the will of people rather than their own, to remain the king makers in Egypt. Their altruism is self serving.

Do you not think that dictatorships breed the extremism you are so afraid of? When people have no hope for making their own political progress, religion becomes an easily manipulated outlet. I have no riders in these conflicts other than I hope somehow humanity wins out. I claim no special knowledge of how either set of people feel. I do know a bit about communities being set on each other and the enmity that breeds, I do not see how support for a dictatorship will not lead to more bloodshed at some point in the future if Assad wins out.
It was movements like Tamarod that urged the military to take action. Things are different in Egypt. Yes, the military in Egypt does have the final say. They have for a very long time. But again, things are different. Things work differently in Egypt and across the rest of the world. The military is what keeps power in check in Egypt. The military are the representation of the people for a country that has no representation of its people. What did Morsi do as president? He removed representation. He tried to concentrate power. He was en route to becoming the next dictator of Egypt with extreme authoritarian rule. He was kept in check by the military. It's wrong to necessarily antagonize their establishment.

Such dictatorships breed extremism, sure. But there's ways around removing the dictatorships in relatively nonviolent ways. Look at Mubarak. For all intents and purposes, that was the most peaceful of revolutions in the Middle East. Democracy was paved, but what resulted was NOT what was intended.

Do you not think such Islamist governments would participate in torture, murder, using chemical weapons, etc.? Funny enough, they're already known to. Democratic means will NEVER be established through violent tactics. The very idea of a democracy and sharing power isn't something that's being worked towards. You remove Assad by supporting rebels and bombing the shit out of him, you're creating a different kind of monster.
Again your arguing against a straw man. I make no argument that Islamist governments would be better, would not torture, would not use chemical weapons. Do you think the military in Egypt will ever abdicate their powers to check? I find it absurd that any democracy will come from that, when the military can decide you are threat to them and so must go. It's worrying to consider the military as your representation when you do not have any say in what they do.

Hmm democratic means have often been established through violence, Ireland, the French Revolution(s). The American War for Independence? I do not support the bombing of Assad, I think we should stay well clear, but we can only deal with the monster we have in front of us, while it may be likely an Islamist government may emerge if the rebels win, that is still a maybe, we do not know if that is the direct result. If Assad remains in power, we may never know if the Syrian people could organise something better, however unlikely it may be, as Assad's reign has not been fertile ground for democracy to take root.
No, the U S should not bomb Syria, that's an odd question.

Should the U S and others (hopefully) address the use of chemical weapons with a limited and forceful action? Yes, of course.

Reagan/ Bush 1 (and others) let Saddam off when he gassed the Kurds in 88, how did that work out?
Keep in mind we were more or less with Saddam because we were against the Ayatollah and the Iranian Revolution.

The GOP will vote with Obama. Does anyone think Assad with Iranian backing, gets a free pass with chemical weapons?

Saddam got a pass in 88 and in 91 we had SCUD missiles landing in Israel and half their population wearing gas masks.
Same stuff in Egypt. Mass executions of captured police officers. That's their style. It's who they are. It is the al Qaeda nature. They send messages not by killing, but by murdering to make a point.
The problem is not Assad, it’s the chemical weapons. The UN should pass a law banning the use of chemical weapons and we should post signs in Syria clearly identifying the area as a “Chemical Weapon Free Zone”. Simple fix.

In reality, and to the original poster’s question: “Should the US bomb Syria?” we really need to access a series of separate questions instead of simply responding to the President’s misguided “red line” stance.

Is there sufficient evidence that the Syrian government used the chemical weapons? Russia is claiming evidence that the rebels are responsible for the chemical weapon attacks. Given we are dealing with two bad parties, it seems entirely plausible that either side is responsible.

What would the US bomb? Is there a chemical weapons plant or supply depot to target, or are we flirting with the idea of hitting general military targets (which have the effect of tipping the balance of this civil war in favor of the rebels).

Should this be properly handled by the UN?
I am utterly flummoxed by this situation. It's so unimaginably awful.

Were I in Congress, I'd have to vote no. Reality seems impossible to come by in this area of the world.

I am glad that it seems as if the right wing is aski g questions and is skeptical of military action, as opposed to 2002/3. I will assume that this is because of lessons learned from the debacle of the Bush years, and not just because they will always and in all ways oppose anything the president does.
Party lines mean almost nothing here it seems. It jut looks like the senate saying yes and the house saying no, of all sorts of mixes.

I for one am very glad that my rep Alan Grayson has been a rather vocal opposition.
There has always been a significant protectionist and isolationist segment of the Right. They were just silenced for several years by the neo-conservative establishment. People forget that the neo-conservative movement was pretty new at that point. It was the reaction to the foreign policy of both Bush 41 and Clinton and what came before it that caused PNAC to form. And the former Bushies like Cheney wanted to go 'finish the job' in Iraq. A job that Bush 41 knew wasn't a smart idea. Gotta go spread that democracy!

Now those people are more emboldened than ever after Iraq. And then the Tea Party happened and actually put these isolationist (small govt) folks in Congress. If they weren't actually in Congress nobody would care what they were saying.
Sure that might all be true but take a look which members in congress are leaning which ways. It's pretty evenly split. You've got dems swearing the line, dems standing up for what they believe in/what they campaigned, and a collection of warhawk and anti-Obama GOPers versus the GOPers who like some of the dems are standing by their word.
Actually, this issue is refreshing, as for many on both sides of the isle, the repetitive partisan narrative in Washington has been replaced with a collective WTF!?!
the best result we can hope for, i think, is for Congress to vote no, and then for Obama to listen, and then kick it to the UN.
I have to admit that, though I don't doubt that a not insignificant number of Republicans are opposing action simply because Obama is for it, I'm glad to see a general reluctance on this matter. It's an awful situation, and I frankly don't see any action taken unilaterally by the US as ending well for us.

At the same time the thought of not taking any action when faced with the use of chemical weapons on civilians just does not sit well with me. But barring a joint effort with buy in from the major UN players, I just don't see a good solution to this.
I don't know but I smell a rat.

I guess it was OK when the US helped supply Iraq with chemical weapons which they used in the Iran/Iraq war in the 80's.

Oil pipelines perhaps? :hmm:
I think people, in general, just don't want to deal with complicated issues. They aren't comfortable just saying...'this is a tough decision, there is no clear answer'. Or looking back at history and dealing with the uncomfortable context of 'the enemy of my enemy is my friend'. And so in lieu of getting comfortable with that discomfort, they place an Order over the Chaos. And so we get conspiracy theories about oil.

That's much easier to digest.
And the buffoonery or Vietnam or Iraq only emboldens that stuff.

Whereas the truth is pretty much what it is. We're damned if we do and damned if we don't. That's going to be true w/r/t the U.S. for our entire lifetime. And people on all sides taking shots at anything and everything we do. Democrats in charge, Republicans in charge, doesn't matter. We can't win. Whether it's with our own people or the people from the peanut gallery who will never understand the burden. We can't win.

Get used to it.
We need to develop some sort of consistent approach to dealing with atrocities. The US shouldn't have to go it alone. There should be a UN consensus that when certain things are clearly happening whether it be genocides or the use of chemical weapons or whatever there should be a consistent international response.

I tend to lean away from U.S. involvement without the backing of some sort of UN Coalition. I don't see the argument for why the U.S. should carry greater moral responsibility than the rest of the world for acting against atrocities.
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