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Old 09-07-2013, 02:16 PM
Location: Old Mother Idaho
28,473 posts, read 20,354,484 times
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Originally Posted by Toyman at Jewel Lake View Post
It seems as if the primary support for attacks on Syria are coming from only a couple places...the "old school", neo-con wing of the Republican party, and the staunch Dems who will support a Democratic president no matter what. While both libertarian-oriented, "small government" Rs and the some of the more "progressive" wing of the D party oppose it. Makes sense for the TEA Party, there is no justification for spending US dollars and lives there, let alone for pushing for expansion for US military actions overseas. Progressives seem split between handwringers over "chemical weapons" and those who always oppose military action.

OK...so can someone explain just WHY many "mainstream" Dems as well as neo-con Rs are pushing for yet another war? One that in no way benefits US interests. One that costs US taxpayers money, and risks the lives of our servicemen. And one that can expect nearly universal foreign condemnation.

House Progressives And Tea Party Could Unite To Oppose Syria Resolution | TPMDC
Liberals are just as strong in their refusal to support Obama on Syria as conservatives are now.
You're largely correct, Toyman; there were many libs who opposed intervention from the start, and the issue was divisive a couple of months ago, but has opposition has solidified since then.
There are many Congressmen on both sides who are 'undecided', but I believe that, in fact, few really are. As always, those people are sitting on their hands watching which way the winds blow until they are forced to make a stance, especially in the Senate.

The problem, as I see it, is is the world's reluctance to actively opposing those who have used poison gas. There were a series of treaties signed by all the developed nations after World War I that outlawed the use of poison gas, after the monstrous use of it during that war. The gas was the greatest terror weapon of all until the arrival of nuclear weapons 25 years later, and gas still remains a greater terror than nukes, as it's much easier and cheaper to produce.

But some nations continued to use gas in wars that followed, mostly in internal conflicts. The Turkish may have used poison gas against the Kurds and Armenians, Russia used it in it's invasion of Afghanistan and may have used it in it's Chechan rebellion of ca.2005, And Saddam used it in the Iran-Iraq war and on the Kurds during his reign.

No nation ever intervened in any of these events. Condemnation was as far as it got, and condemnation never stopped the gas' use by any of those who used it.

Even the signatories of the WWI treaties continued to make stockpiles of poison gas, just in case someone broke a treaty, for retaliatory reasons. The U.S., as always, built up larger stockpiles than any other nation, even though we have had even more extreme terror weapons, like tactical nukes, in abundance. There seems to be a rationale that gas has to be met with gas, and 'common' military weapons aren't good enough to retaliate with. The enemy who uses gas must be gassed in return, not blown up or shot.

This thinking is 100 years old now; during WWI, the French were the first to use gas, but they used non-lethal tear gas grenades. So did the Germans at first, but lethal chlorine gas was used when the trench war bogged down for the first time in 1914. The Germans used it first, but it wasn't long before all sides were shooting the gas at each other.

Obama has a valid case; Syria is so fragmented and broken apart right now that Syrian gas could easily fall into the hands of a number of terrorist organizations. Gas is easy to transport and use, and gas deaths are horribly spectacular. Imagine the victims of 9/11 dying slowly over a week or more, blind, in agony, and choking to death as their lungs disintegrate. Poison gas could have been used instead of airplanes in the Twin Towers.
I believe Obama is also trapped by our own secrecy to some degree. He can't reveal some of our sophisticated counter-measures for fear of tipping off our enemies on our capabilities. And he can't tip off our friends, either. The world is watching Syria.

But as a liberal, I am unwilling to commit anything to Syria except refugee support to the nations that have been flooded with refugees. Any other intervention will do us no good, but can do us much harm. The best thing Obama can do now is simply wait and see what develops.
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