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Author Topic: Syrian crisis - what should be done?  (Read 17442 times)
mezzoduomo
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« Reply #20 on: August 27, 2013, 11:23:02 AM »
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1. Demonization
2. Sanctions
3. Incident (or "incident")
4. Moral outrage (or "moral outrage")
5. Intervention

How predictable.

How repetitive.

How pathetic.

Got it, Slobodan. Nice summary of typical reaction to carnage in distant lands.

Now, back to the question posed by this thread: What should be done (according to Slobodan)?
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #21 on: August 27, 2013, 11:46:03 AM »
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... typical reaction to carnage in distant lands...

REaction!? I was having in mind our action. But of course, we prefer to see ourselves as just innocent bystanders, eager to help out of the goodness of our heart.

Quote
... What should be done (according to Slobodan)?

Other than basic humanitarian assistance, nothing. Oh, yes, it might help stop selling them chemical and other weapons.
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Slobodan

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Rob C
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« Reply #22 on: August 27, 2013, 01:48:08 PM »
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REaction!? I was having in mind our action. But of course, we prefer to see ourselves as just innocent bystanders, eager to help out of the goodness of our heart.

Other than basic humanitarian assistance, nothing. Oh, yes, it might help stop selling them chemical and other weapons.


I thought that was Russia doing the selling or maybe the gifting... perhaps that's why they don't want anyone to interfere; bad for their business too?

Rob C
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #23 on: August 27, 2013, 02:01:12 PM »
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I thought that was Russia doing the selling or maybe the gifting...

It is both a vicious circle and a chicken and egg problem, Rob: Americans sell to one side, Russians to the other.
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Slobodan

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Peter Stacey
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« Reply #24 on: August 27, 2013, 04:03:53 PM »
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No one sells chemical weapons to anyone else anymore. Its 30 years since that process stopped.
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Rob C
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« Reply #25 on: August 27, 2013, 05:02:33 PM »
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No one sells chemical weapons to anyone else anymore. Its 30 years since that process stopped.


How can you tell? Nothing else is for sure; why that? Guns travel booked in as spares for tractors... why not chemicals as baby milk?

Rob C
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Vladimirovich
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« Reply #26 on: August 27, 2013, 05:09:27 PM »
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No one sells chemical weapons to anyone else anymore. Its 30 years since that process stopped.

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Peter Stacey
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« Reply #27 on: August 27, 2013, 05:36:41 PM »
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That is related to a Schedule 1 chemical (not scheduled as a chemical weapon in that form as it's a salt and not the form developed for military purposes in the past - still highly toxic, but not nitrogen mustard in that specific form without chemical modification). The label is useful, because it's still toxic and closely related to other chemicals, but it isn't a chemical weapon as that form of the chemical (even with traces of nitrogen mustard in it).
« Last Edit: August 27, 2013, 06:01:38 PM by Peter Stacey » Logged

Peter Stacey
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« Reply #28 on: August 27, 2013, 05:46:24 PM »
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How can you tell? Nothing else is for sure; why that? Guns travel booked in as spares for tractors... why not chemicals as baby milk?

Few of us here are professional photographers, so we have other employment for income. Mine relates to this specific area. As a chemical weapons inspection team leader our role involves inspections in all of the 189 member States, both for destruction purposes and for non-proliferation. OPCW knowledge of what manufacturing capabilities and what is happening Worldwide is pretty good (not perfect, but good enough to know what is happening in relation to the manufacture and trade of chemicals).

Why not chemicals as babies milk? You need to have the ability to make the chemicals and have access to the required raw materials in the first place (not a trivial matter), to transport them, to receive and store them, to weaponise them. It's not as simple as labelling chemicals one thing, but them being another. There is a whole chain of activity (and people involved) and a lot of barriers deliberately in the way to prevent it at different points in the chain.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2013, 06:03:29 PM by Peter Stacey » Logged

Vladimirovich
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« Reply #29 on: August 27, 2013, 05:55:41 PM »
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That is a Schedule 1 chemical, used under Part VI of the Chemical Weapons Convention (Purposes Not Prohibited).

It's not a chemical weapon in that form.

in that particular form, no but the substance can be weaponized though for that purpose (and cheaply synthesised from widely available components)... the point is that chemical weapons are not necessarily state of the art sub 1microgram/kg lethal doze chemical compaunds.
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Peter Stacey
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« Reply #30 on: August 27, 2013, 06:00:33 PM »
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in that particular form, no but the substance can be weaponized though for that purpose (and cheaply synthesised from widely available components)... the point is that chemical weapons are not necessarily state of the art sub 1microgram/kg lethal doze chemical compaunds.

See my edited post above. It could be weaponised, as many, many other non-scheduled chemicals could be, but that brings a whole load of other issues with it that makes it difficult.

These issues are going off topic, which was related to the current Syrian issue and opinions on what should be done.

What do you think should be done?
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Vladimirovich
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« Reply #31 on: August 27, 2013, 06:02:41 PM »
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You need to have the ability to make the chemicals and have access to the required raw materials in the first place (not a trivial matter), to transport them, to receive and store them, to weaponise them. It's not as simple as labelling chemicals one thing, but them being another. There is a whole chain of activity (and people involved) and a lot of barriers deliberately in the way to prevent it at different points in the chain.

well, you tell that to those dudes from Aum Shinrikyo who managed to make not a cheap mustard gas, but sarin type chemical and use it... and that was like when ? 20 years ago - now those sunni rebels w/ all Saudi/Qatar gov't money can do no worse.
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Peter Stacey
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« Reply #32 on: August 27, 2013, 06:05:06 PM »
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well, you tell that to those dudes from Aum Shinrikyo who managed to make not a cheap mustard gas, but sarin type chemical and use it... and that was like when ? 20 years ago - now those sunni rebels w/ all Saudi/Qatar gov't money can do no worse.

Yep, early 1990's (Matsumoto 1994, Tokyo subway 1995), prior to introduction of the Chemical Weapons Convention, which was 1997. Aum Shinrikyo manufactured not only sarin, but also VX and used it on their own members. 15 years of treaty compliance has made a lot of difference.
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Vladimirovich
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« Reply #33 on: August 27, 2013, 06:05:20 PM »
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See my edited post above. It could be weaponised, as many, many other non-scheduled chemicals could be, but that brings a whole load of other issues with it that makes it difficult.

on an industrial scale, but to make a show in a local area in Syria - not a big deal...
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Peter Stacey
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« Reply #34 on: August 27, 2013, 06:10:34 PM »
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on an industrial scale, but to make a show in a local area in Syria - not a big deal...

Really?

Someone is going to sell chemicals, plant, equipment and chemical defence capabilities to Syria (not what they already have from the past), for them to weaponise and use at a scale that provides military advantage?

Or alternatively, a country is going to trade chemicals, plant and equipment with other countries that would allow them to produce chemical weapons?

My scepticism is nothing to do with it not being possible. It is. That doesn't mean it will happen or is happening. There are a lot of things in place to prevent it and to detect if it is happening.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2013, 06:15:09 PM by Peter Stacey » Logged

Vladimirovich
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« Reply #35 on: August 27, 2013, 06:14:10 PM »
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What do you think should be done?

stop supporting next Bin Laden's... because they will bite you...
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hjulenissen
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« Reply #36 on: August 28, 2013, 02:27:29 AM »
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I'm sure it's more complex then that, but there is never an excuse for the use of chemical weapons by either side in any conflict.
...
The act of hurting or killing civilians in a military (-like) conflict; women, children, elderly and male non-combattants where no other significant objective is involved than spreading fear in the population and subduing your military opponent is just bad. I think it is bad in most religious and non-religious systems of moral and ethics. It is so bad that any thinking, functioning, individual should see it as bad no matter your background and what you think about your opponent. It is bad if it is carried out by (self-proclaimed) muslim fundamentalists in the form of terrorist attacks, it is bad if it carried out as bomb-attacks on (largely) civilian Dresden during WW2.

Now if (perish the thought), I, close family or friends were to be hurt or killed by someone during a war or civil war or war-like event. Either as civilians or combatants. Would it really matter to me if the weapon was a knife, an AK47 or some chemical arms? I'd say no. If the pain was particulary bad, this would be worse, but I am quite sure that a dull knife can be used to inflict great pain during hours, days or (for survivors) the remainder of their life. If the amount of casualties was particularly large, this would (of course) be worse, but I am quite sure that AK47s can be used to hurt or kill a large number of civilians.

There might be good practical reasons to forbid chemical arms, such as the ease with which they can be used to spread terror and death by a small number of people, affecting a large number of people. I fail to see the fundamental moral distinction between affecting a given number of people by a given level of pain/death by conventional vs chemical weapons.

-h
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Rob C
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« Reply #37 on: August 28, 2013, 03:33:03 AM »
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The act of hurting or killing civilians in a military (-like) conflict; women, children, elderly and male non-combattants where no other significant objective is involved than spreading fear in the population and subduing your military opponent is just bad. I think it is bad in most religious and non-religious systems of moral and ethics. It is so bad that any thinking, functioning, individual should see it as bad no matter your background and what you think about your opponent. It is bad if it is carried out by (self-proclaimed) muslim fundamentalists in the form of terrorist attacks, it is bad if it carried out as bomb-attacks on (largely) civilian Dresden during WW2.


You should have lived in London then; I was in Middlesex to the north (not far from Northolt...) and could, as a child, still see the glow; and it wasn't fairy lights... I also remember the gliders going on their one-way flights across to Europe - poor sods. And it sure wasn't just London, either: the shipyards, the factories, all of it, country-wide, was under bombardment in those glory days of the Reich. On the good side, it cleared some of the slums and introduced a lot of kids to the countryside.

Rob C
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Vladimirovich
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« Reply #38 on: August 28, 2013, 09:46:01 AM »
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Really?

Someone is going to sell chemicals, plant, equipment and chemical defence capabilities to Syria (not what they already have from the past), for them to weaponise and use at a scale that provides military advantage?

not to Syria, dear... and not "plant"... to "rebels"... and again - dudes in Japan made sarin type  w/o any an industrial sized plant/equipment and w/o any state terrorist sponosors like Saudi/Qatar (and USA is the same by proxy) and "rebels" (unlike miniscule Japanese sect) have money, material support and territorial safety to operate w/ full US blessing to Saudi/Qatar & Ko... so when reason to attack is absent what can be better than invent that reason (like "WMD" were invented in Iraq... Kerry, apparently, envies Powell's laurels  Wink - because Powell will be remembered forever as a face of that lie, and not for anything else he did before... say "Powell" and his UN performance is what will be remembered in instant).
« Last Edit: August 28, 2013, 09:49:42 AM by Vladimirovich » Logged
Gulag
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« Reply #39 on: August 30, 2013, 12:41:25 AM »
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At risk of starting a new thread like the Snowden one, what should be done about the Syrian crisis?

With confirmation that chemical weapons have been used, do we as the rest of the World have a moral obligation to step in with military force, even if that puts our own troops at risk of similar attack?

It's clear that international law has been broken and while it's a bit early to conclude, it is also likely that a war crimes tribunal will be formed at some point in the future. But while major Governments are currently responding with some indecision regarding intervention, does the use of chemical weapons against civilians change the risk vs benefit and should we be more committed to stepping in to stop what happening?

Can we stop what's happening?

a revisit to the original nature and birth of capitalism can give you a better understanding what has been going on even in the postmodern world in terms of underlying driving forces:

let me quote:

All this raises the question of what “capitalism” is to begin with, a question on which there is no consensus at all. The word was originally invented by socialists, who saw capitalism as that system whereby those who own capital command the labor of those who do not. Proponents, in contrast, tend to see capitalism as the freedom of the marketplace, which allows those with potentially marketable visions to pull resources together to bring those visions into being. Just about everyone agrees, however, that capitalism is a system that demands constant, endless growth. Enterprises have to grow in order to remain viable. The same is true of nations. Just as five percent per annum was widely accepted, at the dawn of capitalism, as the legitimate commercial rate of interest—that is, the amount that any investor could normally expect her money to be growing by the principle of interesse—so is five percent now the annual rate at which any nation’s GDP really ought to grow. What was once an impersonal mechanism that compelled people to look at everything around them as a potential source of profit has come to be considered the only objective measure of the health of the human community itself.

Starting from our baseline date of 1700, then, what we see at the dawn of modern capitalism is a gigantic financial apparatus of credit and debt that operates—in practical effect—to pump more and more labor out of just about everyone with whom it comes into contact, and as a result produces an endlessly expanding volume of material goods. It does so not just by moral compulsion, but above all by using moral compulsion to mobilize sheer physical force. At every point, the familiar but peculiarly European entanglement of war and commerce reappears—often in startling new forms. The first stock markets in Holland and Britain were based mainly in trading shares of the East and West India companies, which were both military and trading ventures. For a century, one such private, profit-seeking corporation governed India. The national debts of England, France, and the others were based in money borrowed not to dig canals and erect bridges, but to acquire the gunpowder needed to bombard cities and to construct the camps required for the holding of prisoners and the training of recruits. Almost all the bubbles of the eighteenth century involved some fantastic scheme to use the proceeds of colonial ventures to pay for European wars. Paper money was debt money, and debt money was war money, and this has always remained the case. Those who financed Europe’s endless military conflicts also employed the government’s police and prisons to extract ever-increasing productivity from the rest of the population.

— Debt : The First 5,000 Years, by David Graeber
 
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