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Opinion US must take substantial military action in Syria now

Discussion in 'Breaking News' started by Archived_Member16, Aug 30, 2013.

  1. Archived_Member16

    Archived_Member16
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    The Christian Science Monitor - CSMonitor.com

    US must take substantial military action in Syria now

    The United States has a moral and legal obligation to protect Syrian civilians from the murderous Assad regime and help end Syria's bloody civil war. Military action is supported by international law, historical precedent, and humanitarian mandates.

    By Edward Haley, Op-ed contributor / August 29, 2013 at 12:49 pm EDT

    Claremont, Calif.


    There is no more time to waste. The United States must take severe and sustained military action in Syria now. To wait any longer threatens the legal and moral prohibitions against mass murder that have been erected since the horrors of the Holocaust and blatantly ignores the tens of thousands of dead Syrians and the millions who have been uprooted.

    As the US and its allies prepare their response to the latest mass killings in Syria, the debate has focused not on practical next steps but on abstruse policy questions, such as the debate over the legality of punishing the Assad regime for apparently using chemical weapons. Overthrowing the regime of Bashar al-Assad hasn’t even been a topic for discussion lately.

    The Obama administration apparently means to “deter and degrade” Syria’s military capabilities. What this limited action means, of course, is that the Assad regime will hunker down, absorb the punishment, and start killing civilians again, all the while claiming to have faced down the world’s strongest power – America. The message that would be sent is: You may murder 100,000 people with artillery and bullets with impunity but you may not cause the deaths of a few hundred with chemical weapons.

    A limited US strike in retaliation for the use of chemical weapons without a larger plan to protect civilians from the murderous Assad regime and end the civil war in Syria is morally bankrupt, politically foolish, and, in the end, complicit with evil.

    Has Washington forgotten the horrors of World War II, of Rwanda, Darfur, Bosnia, and Kosovo? The hubris of the Assad regime in this latest assault has handed the international community a precious opportunity to stop the slaughter and save what is left of the international prohibitions against mass murder. This mandate must be seized, not picked to pieces. The real problem is a lack of political will and moral and legal imagination, not obstacles on the ground or within the tormented ranks of the opposition and the Assad regime.

    The path to effective and immediate action rests on three tenets of international law and common humanity:

    1. While powerful, the UN Security Council does not possess an absolute veto over the legitimate use of military force by member states in self-defense and in response to their obligations under international law. The limits on the Security Council’s powers appear in both the UN Charter and the history of the organization. Article 2 (1) of the Charter stipulates that the organization is “based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all its Members.”

    This amounts to a guarantee that the vital national interests of member states take precedence over international law and organization, a verdict confirmed by the history of the United Nations. From the Korean War to the present there have only been a handful of occasions when force was authorized by the Security Council. They include the 1991 war to evict Saddam Hussein’s army from Kuwait and the actions against Muammar Qaddafi in Libya that ended in his overthrow.

    The limitations on the power of Security Council are only emphasized by Article 51, which explicitly authorizes the use of force in self-defense, which under existing international legal doctrine includes measures taken to protect the vital security interests of member states. If there were ever any doubts that a murderous civil war in Syria directly threatens the vital interests of the US and its allies, they have been removed by the spread of fighting to Lebanon, the destabilization of Jordan and Iraq as a result of a waterfall of Syrian refugees, and the strengthening of radical elements within the Syrian opposition.

    2. It is immoral and illegal under international law to kill civilians. The Geneva Conventions and international human rights law prohibit the killing of civilians in and outside combat areas. The offenses of the Assad regime and, in some instances, of the opposition, amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity. Since World War I, heads of state and government officials have repeatedly been charged, convicted, and in some cases executed for these offenses. Nations thus have a legal and moral right – and obligation – to stop such massacres of civilians.

    3. It is illegal under international law to use chemical weapons under any circumstances. As of June 2013, 189 of 196 nations had signed or acceded to the Chemical Weapons Convention. That Syria is one of the few states that has refused to accept its limits says more about the Syrian government than anything else. It also makes clear that Syria’s leaders are accountable before the world community for any use of these horrific weapons.

    Together these anchors of law and humanity provide the legal and moral basis for immediate action in Syria that would be powerful and long-lasting enough to stop the killing and open the way to peace. Doing more to end the slaughter in Syria means taking advantage of Assad’s brutality to undertake the following:

    1. An air campaign based on the successful actions in the Balkans, especially Kosovo, which occurred without the consent of the Security Council. The military air strikes were sustained, fierce, and required no outside troops on the ground. The Obama administration has made it clear that the US military is prepared to carry out strikes on key Assad regime targets.


    2
    . An incentive to make peace created by a generous international aid agreement available only to those Syrian parties who cooperate in good faith in making and sustaining the peace. This will require at a minimum the support of the European Union, the US, Japan, Syria's neighbors such as Jordan and Turkey, and the oil-rich Arab Gulf states.

    3. An international peace supervisory force from countries that are supportive of an inclusive, peaceful Syria. The US and its allies would provide communications and logistical support.

    4
    . Negotiations between all Syrian parties.

    5. The convening of an international war crimes tribunal to investigate, bring to trial, and punish all those guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity – including those in the opposition.

    The US must seize the moral moment and, with a coalition of allies and regional partners, do what is required. As the only superpower in the world, it has a moral obligation to act swiftly and effectively.

    America says it stands as a bulwark for human rights. The time for dithering is gone. The time for action is upon us.

    Edward Haley is director of the Center for Human Rights Leadership and W.M. Keck Foundation Professor of International Strategic Studies at Claremont McKenna College.

    © The Christian Science Monitor.

    source: http://www.csmonitor.com/Commentary...take-substantial-military-action-in-Syria-now
     
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  3. spnadmin

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    The article is an editorial, a desperado's manifesto. Along with 81 percent of the American people I strongly object to military intervention. I started typing a list of "why not's" and got tired and gave up.

    This is a foolhardy venture with no guarantee that humanitarian ends will be served. Rather circumstances leading up to today's news and surrounding it suggest more harm than good will result, to the Syrians, to surrounding nations in the middle east, to middle eastern allies, and to the longterm credibility and well-being of the US.
     
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  4. findingmyway

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    Syria: Chemical Weapons Expert Jean Pascal Zanders Says Gas Might Not Be Sarin, Urges Caution

    Posted: 30/08/2013 16:33 BST | Updated: 30/08/2013 16:33 BST

    The United States and its allies should wait for firm evidence on the use of chemical weapons in Syria before they launch any action against the Assad regime, one of the world's leading experts on chemical weapons has warned.

    Jean Pascal Zanders, who until May 2013 was a senior research fellow at the European Union Institute for Security Studies (EUISS), told the Huffington Post UK that Syrian civilians were "asphyxiated" in Ghouta, east of Damascus, on 21 August, but "we don't know what the agent is. Everyone is saying sarin. There is something clearly to do with a neurotoxicant [such as sarin] but not everything is pointing in that direction."

    A neurotoxicant is any toxic compound that can cause damage to the central nervous system. The charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) has said that hospitals it supports in Syria treated about 3600 patients with "neurotoxic symptoms", in the wake of the attack in Ghouta, of whom 355 died.

    On Thursday, the UK's Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) stated that there was "little serious dispute that chemical attacks causing mass casualties.. took place" and that "extensive video footage attributed to the attack.. is consistent with the use of a nerve agent, such as sarin".
    [​IMG]
    UN weapons inspectors in Damascus collect samples for testing

    Zanders, however, is much more sceptical and urges caution until the UN weapons inspectors on the ground in Damascus report back to the Security Council. "I do not doubt [the Ghouta incident] was a major event," he said, before adding: "If you look at all the [YouTube] images, you do not know where they were taken, you do not know when they were taken or even by whom they were taken. Or, whether they [are from] the same incident or from different incidents."

    He continued: "It doesn't tell me who would be responsible for it. It doesn't tell me where the films were taken. It just tells me that something has happened, somewhere, at some point."

    Zanders, who has also served as the project leader of the Chemical and Biological Warfare Project at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) and director of the Geneva-based BioWeapons Prevention Project (BWPP), explained: "Neurotoxicants belong to a largely family of organophosphate compounds that range from inspect sprays in the shops up to the other extreme, which includes sarin and VX nerve agents. In between, there are quite a large number of neurotoxicants which are produced industrially for rodent control and a variety of other things. From that perspective, if one looks at the symptoms [shown in the YouTube videos], they are not very strong in terms of exposure [and] if you watch the clips closely, you will see [parts] where people clearly show signs of aspyhxiation but show no signs of exposure to neurotoxicants."

    In its letter to Prime Minister David Cameron, the JIC said it had "concluded that there are no plausible alternative scenarios to regime responsibility" for the alleged chemical weapons attack.

    Yet correctly identifying the type of gas used in Ghouta matters, explained Zanders, in terms of assigning responsibility for the attack. "If say, for example, a neurotoxicant was taken from a factory and used at [Ghouta], then the number of actors who might be responsible for that then increases."
    [​IMG]
    David Cameron has had to rule out military action after losing an emergency vote in parliament

    The France-based analyst urged the international community and, in particular, the US, UK and French governments, to "wait for the conclusions from the investigative team of the United Nations [inside Syria]... which are due this weekend, Monday at the latest. And also [wait for] the samples people bring back from Syria, which will be sent to specially-certified laboratories [for testing]." He continued: "Until that moment.. I can't make a judgement.. I have to keep an open mind."

    Zanders also said he was "wary of how a number of simple statements can be turned into facts in a very short space of time. And very often there is no room to leave a shred of doubt. A number of people want.. political consequences to the findings, such as the conducting military strikes. One has to be extremely careful."

    The analyst described the House of Commons vote on Syria on Thursday night - in which David Cameron's coalition government was defeated by 13 votes and forced to rule out military action by the UK - as a "major strategic error", and criticised Cameron for holding such a vote "literally hours before the [UN] inspectors complete their mission".

    Zanders told HuffPost UK that he believed the negative consequences of a US-led air attack on Syria "would be immense" and a "setback" both for negotiations over Iran's nuclear programme and wider efforts to build a Middle East zone "free of nonconventional weapons". Military action should be a "last resort", he said, not a "first resort".

    http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/201...ms_n_3843049.html?utm_hp_ref=uk&utm_hp_ref=uk
     
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  5. dalsingh1zero1

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    David Cameron is a pompous, low life, opportunistic scumbag who hasn't learned appropriate lessons from the foolishness of his evil predecessor, Mr. Tony Bliar...sorry Blair.
     
  6. findingmyway

    findingmyway
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    Even when you disagree with someone, there's no need to resort to name calling! I can't imagine any of our Guru ji's engaging in such speech!
     
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  7. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    To me all this looks like a hidden hand trying to pit the Russian (Iran Shiahs China North Korea) Block with USA (Saudis Omanis Kuwaiti SUNNIS etc) to do a Battle to death..and then the Hidden SATAN arrives to take control of a defeated WESTERN DEMOCRATIC WORLD bled to death. In one brilliant stroke, Both the Russians etc and the USA etc DIE..and good old ayatollahs and Al Qaedas and Hizbollahs etc take over ?? a frightening scenario..last time it was the Duke of sarajevo..now its the Syrian Civilians gassed...but SAME END GAME...
     
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  8. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    Yes, this shapes up to be a proxy war between US acting as the bully boy for international (code for big money) interests, and Russia, which has internal problems with Islamists of its own.

    Only this time the "winner" will not get to pick the front-man -- who will not be a ruthless strong man who is easy to control, or a ruthless ayatollah who can be bought for a price.

    Gyani ji You see the way-down-the-line-long-term picture here. Control of the oil pipeline passing through the region is the Golden Cup. No matter how this ends, neither Russia nor the US will retain that cup. Humanitarian impulses make up Act 1 of this drama. Acts to follow are made up of the destruction of cultures, and a trail of smoke, rubble, blood and body parts, not restricted to Syria. Who is kidding who here?
     
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  9. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    Iraq has a daily death toll..Pakistan has a daily death toll..Egypt has it, Sudna has it, Lebanon has it..Oman..Yemen..you name it..its present...and all these added together far exceeds the 1300 Syrians killed....DEATH - blood and body parts scattered all over is a daily affair for these countries...whats worse that those who "escape" these countries and seek "asylum" and are accepted..then turn around and begin doing the SAME thing over there..look at UK..Canada..USA..most of the militant gangs and all there are yesterdays illegals, asylum seekers, welfare grabbers, good for nothing groomers/gangrapists.... of young girls etc etc..I wonder if its in America or Uk interest to send in good men with families to die for these types..who will then come to UK and murder the retired soldiers on the street...in a Punjabi saying this is like sappehn dudh pialayeh..feeding milk to snakes...??? I wonder if i am becoming too much a cynic..or just plain hard hearted..difficult to see...reality in my own backyard is biting hard too..
     
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  10. findingmyway

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    There are a lot of similarities between what is happening now in the Middle East and the events before WW2 in Europe. One example, Hitler claimed tragedy in Czechoslavakia and asked for the allies help in suppressing the ruling party there. We all know what happened after that, with Hitler amassing power and turning on the rest of the world. I think it is very difficult to know the truth as the majority of the media is not an unbiased observer as we like to believe.
     
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  11. aristotle

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    I have never understood these power games. But one thing I expect from the allied forces is that if they ever intervene in Syria, the stage for which seems to be setting up, the whole affair should be based on a credible body of evidence, not some obscure 'sources'. It should not be like the Iraq War, when the allies failed to recover any WMD. Such actions not only destabilise polity in tge affected areas, but also expose the big boy bullying nature of some of the World powers. Also, I expect the UN to step up and take charge, it is bigger than merely issuing weak guidelines and recommendations.
     
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  12. Tejwant Singh

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    The redline thoughtless proclamation by President Obama regarding the use of the chemical weapons has made him put his foot in his mouth, sad to say.

    Many more people have died without the use of the above weapons. Killing is killing and it is between the Shias, the Sunnis. Iraq, Pakistan and other Islamic countries are iits daily proof.

    Let them kill each other in the name of Allah. If self destruction is their only salvation, then they are the one who have chosen that path.

    The US or any other country have no right to budge in. Their fate is in their own hands.

    If one claims to be humanitarian non- Muslim, then where was that trait when millions were being slaughtered in Darfur and in other parts of Africa which is still happening?

    The stark truth in the middle east is that we bow to the pressure by Israel and its strong lobby in the US. They want us to do their dirty job for them which we should refuse.

    We should even take away the citizenships of the Jewish men and women who go and join the IDF and kill the innocent with the American ammunition which shows they may have been born in the US but their allegiance is to Israel which is wrong.

    Israeli warplanes (Made in USA) have bombed Syria several times in recent times. They can do the same if they feel threatened.

    Let's sort things out here. Nation building is for the peoples of the nations. It is not up to us nor is it our responsibility to do so.

    Let's not pick and choose different humans for the sake of humanity because: Sabh Gobind hein, Gobind bin nahin koi.

    Tejwant Singh
     
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  13. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    Syria is unlike Yugoslavia....when the latter disintegrated..there emerged new smaller states like Bosnia etc..BUT if Syria disintegrates..it will be into CHAOS...war lords and hell and mayhem. More will die. There is no "successor" state to Syria !! It will be the same as in Iraq..and in Afghanistan...greater hell than before..its best everyone STAYS OUT.
     
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