The United States is on the verge of using military force against Syria's dictator Bashar Al Assad because of his alleged use of poison gas, and that although poison gas is definitely a weapon of mass destruction, the term "weapon of mass destruction" is never used?

Tags: Al, Assad, Bashar, Obama, Syria, destruction, mass, of, weapon

Views: 799

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

One way that this case differs from Iraq is that the existence and use of WMD's in Iraq was based on bad intelligence (reinforced by Saddam's evasive behavior) and thus was little more than a rumor, whereas there's no doubt that chemical weapons have been used in Syria and probably will continue to be used unless a stop is put to it.

I might add that the purpose of an intervention would only be to prevent the use of poison gas. The US doesn't want the opposition to win the way they did in Egypt. A lot of the opposition in Syria is along the lines of Al Qaeda and is not going to ally with the US out of gratitude. 

Both posts above, good points. We even made Iraq a useful haven for AQ.

True. "WMD" was a Bushism that put us in Iraq. Obama doesn't want to recycle that word, and policy.

But still, policy-wise, Obama and others in the US have decried the use of chemical weapons which have been internationally outlawed for a hundred years now. If we don't do anything, the concern is that Iran will feel more comfortable about producing nuclear weapons, and terrorists will feel more comfortable about trying to destroy Israel.

I disagree, of course. I think the single, most obdurate cause of hate over there is Israeli settlement policy, including America's tacit support of it.

Meanwhile, this is still an opportunity for Obama to display surgical strikes against a regime that practices mass destructive strikes in violation of international law. I wouldn't lose sleep over it myself, because I'll bet it would have a desirable effect on the regime. Also, I'll bet Obama's paranoid of perceptions that a US strike is the beginning of large scale intervention into another country, which everyone except for neocons should know is NOT going to happen.

This all reminds me of Clinton's bombing of terrorist camps in Afghanistan, when he was being accused of "wagging the dog" in response to neocon charges of sexual misconduct. I.e., while Clinton was actually doing something that neocon Homeland Security today would most certainly be in favor of, they were accusing him of trying to distract the country from his evil sexual activities. It's happening again, under different circumstances, clearly demonstrating neocon skills of framing the debate in terms of the evil left. And finally, bigger-picture-wise, there's the question of how all this noise, debate, and policy action will spill over into a Hillary 2016 campaign, which may or may not feel the need to appear more hawkish.

True. "WMD" was a Bushism that put us in Iraq. Obama doesn't want to recycle that word, and policy.

No, it was a term first used in 1937.  I personally recall it from the 1980s.

I think the single, most obdurate cause of hate over there is Israeli settlement policy, including America's tacit support of it.

Or it could be that it's because, despite being offered full independence in exchange (which would end the settlement policy you apparently think is the problem), the West Bank refuses to concede Israel's right to exist.

This all reminds me of Clinton's bombing of terrorist camps in Afghanistan, when he was being accused of "wagging the dog" in response to neocon charges of sexual misconduct.

The timing was most suspicious here and you forget to mention his classic bombing of a pharmaceutical plant in Sudan due to faulty intelligence, which is hardly a fault limited to the Bush II administration.  Or for that matter Clinton's letting Bin Laden out of his grasp when he had the opportunity to capture him.  That suggests to me he only really cared about the terrorists when it suited him to do so.

No, it was a term first used in 1937.  I personally recall it from the 1980s.

Invading Iraq was a selfish, destructive act, backed by mass hysteria stoked by Bush/Cheney's fear mongering about WMDs, even mushroom clouds.

Or it could be that it's because, despite being offered full independence in exchange (which would end the settlement policy you apparently think is the problem), the West Bank refuses to concede Israel's right to exist.

Sure. "Just trust us, or we'll keep growing our occupation." Looks to me like David and Goliath, in reverse. What is it, 10x more Palestinians killed than Israelis? Please correct me, if the truth is significantly different from that.

The timing was most suspicious here and you forget to mention his classic bombing of a pharmaceutical plant in Sudan due to faulty intelligence, which is hardly a fault limited to the Bush II administration.  Or for that matter Clinton's letting Bin Laden out of his grasp when he had the opportunity to capture him.  That suggests to me he only really cared about the terrorists when it suited him to do so.

That suggests to me that it's easy to cherry pick events and assume a perp's motives when it suits one to do so. Even if Bush neocons, et al were not pre-disposed to attack Iraq, their culture of fear still manipulated naive Americans (including Colin Powell) into it.

I'm not posting here to give accolades to the current administration. I'm just pointing out, from a practical, political point of view, that Obama will not want to be identified with a "WMD! Sky is falling!" Bushism, or 1937ism, or whatever.

There are ways to go about this that result in less loss of life, less economic strain, and keep us from looking dumb (and evil, which kind of just happens when you're an empire).

First, send special operations groups to train a rebellion (yes, I know, there's something of a history of us sucking at this, but it has worked-- honestly, effecting a precision coup is kind of the easy part).

Also, don't spearhead the damn thing. This John Wayne Ronald Reagan world police mentality is not the answer.

Lastly, we need to make our troop contribution a strictly volunteer force (and before anyone even tries saying "the entire US military is a volunteer force," just go sit in the corner right now). I know military reform isn't a subject that gets heard about a lot, but with a little restructuring of how we deploy troops, these little wars can be comparatively much less tragic. Currently we deploy brigades (and so on) that consist of units. Units of soldiers, all of whom have different individual hopes and dreams and family situations. And we all know how it plays out when we deploy those units. Now imagine this: Forget the old system. Some soldiers want to deploy. They either need the money or really believe in the mission. You say "Who wants to go to Syria?" and all the soldiers that raise their hands (those that still have hands after the last time we did this) become the volunteer force. And that's our contribution.
Assuming things advance past the carpet droning stage (proxy proxy proxy). I shouldn't assume. It's cynical. Sometimes I forget this is the "Hope" administration.

Let me guess why:  it kind of backfired after the George W fiasco?

How is it "definitely" a WMD? More like a "Weapon of Mass Murder but Limited Destruction" - which is why they were developed.

The question I'd have (already answered eloquently by LogicalLunitic) would be, "How are chemical weapons crossing some kind of red line when blowing people's legs (and heads) off requires no intervention?"

I have an idea. The US has been steadily destroying it's chemical weapons stock since the international ban. These weapons pose a serious threat to US troops and could even give an enemy an advantage. And well, the US has been very active militarily and covertly. Take a look at how many conflicts the US has been a party to since WW2.

Post WW2 US Conflicts (and deaths)

If we can't use them,  No one can. Napalm is ok however.

@MikeLong & RobertPiano;

I believe the outrage and condemnation of chemical weapons stems from their use during WWI.

RSS

Blog Posts

The tale of the twelve officers

Posted by Davis Goodman on August 27, 2014 at 3:04am 1 Comment

Birthday Present

Posted by Caila Rowe on August 26, 2014 at 1:29am 5 Comments

Services we love!

We are in love with our Amazon

Book Store!

Gadget Nerd? Check out Giz Gad!

Advertise with ThinkAtheist.com

In need a of a professional web site? Check out the good folks at Clear Space Media

© 2014   Created by umar.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service