TED Conversations

Raymond Blais

This conversation is closed.

Should we bomb Syria?

Without any precursor lets see what the Ted community has to say.

Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Sep 5 2013: Do you have any legal mandate to do so? And if yes, based on what?

    Syria has neither signed nor acceded to the Chemical Weapons Convention, which makes it difficult to justify any military intervention to begin with.

    The 'weapon of mass destruction' argument doesn't work either, as the US refuses to sign the Nuclear Weapons Convention itself ever since.

    It remains to be seen how far the US 'national security' can be stretched geographically, or if the super-elasticity of the 'all purpose' terrorism approach will be applied here again.

    As we all learned from Rwanda, global military interventions need some additional benefit nowadays than just the life of some people. In this the US is not alone, unfortunately.

    And as brutal this may sound, we should be careful with the 'children factor' we get to hear in situations like this, as 'we', the western world, tend not to care for them either. Because if we would, the use of Uranium depleted ammunition and contact mines would be illegal already, as there is an ongoing body-count, especially of children, day by day, of all of our military 'left overs' ... It's just that those children die off focus of our mass media and that it doesn't really comfort our understanding of having brought 'freedom' ...

    I think it is about time, that WE make up our minds, once and for all, worldwide and without ANY particular geopolitical interest, such as political influence and the securing of resources to confess to our-selfs to protect the right of life and health for all people. And as long this isn't the ONLY guideline and legitimation for international military intervention by the UN towards any sovereign country, we should be careful not to misuse it to cover different intentions.

    So no, the US has no right to bomb Syria as no legal authorization has been given by the United Nations, as well as the United Nations haven't made up their minds yet to 'protect the right of life and health for all people' exclusively.
    • Sep 6 2013: Right and legal authorization are both nothing but words on paper.
      No one really cares for them, though you can bet the side they're convenient to will be quoting them to no effect.

      There is no international law enforcement that can convict nations for acting illegally. No enforcement means there may as well not be a law.
      In fact, Assad has proven exactly that. "What chemical weapons convention?" International law is meaningless unless some country decides to use it as an excuse to act (and its always an excuse, never a motivator)

      The Western world apparently doesn't understand how much face its loosing in the region by backing out. By barking and then failing to bite, it will be pushed further in the future. Think of the message being sent to Iran.
      • thumb
        Sep 7 2013: 'The Western world apparently doesn't understand how much face its loosing in the region by backing out.'

        One have to have some face left to be able to loose it and given latest interventions in this part of the world in recent years, I have my doubts that there is much to be at stake.

        And what message do you mean is sent to Iran? That the western world reflects its urge to bomb first and investigates afterwards?

        If we agree on what you say that 'Right and legal authorization are both nothing but words on paper.', we could then just dump all of our internal legal systems by the daily proof, that criminals don't care for it anyway.

        Lets just dominate the world by those with the biggest weapons and highest military budgets. Unfortunately this sarcasm seems to have no basis anymore if we keep on acting 'our way'...
        • Sep 7 2013: In the internal workings of a country with a system of law enforcement and justice, I'd agree.
          Unfortunately, those don't exist on the international stage. I'm not saying I like it, I'm saying we need to stare the truth in the face.

          The West also has plenty of face left to loose.
          It has thus far shown itself willing to bomb targets in Libya, at the very least. Even without a single boot on the ground, this is significant. Now, its giving off the impression that it can hardly even muster up that little willpower.

          Given that Iran is currently developing nukes that make the chemical stuff look like paint fumes, I'm honestly worried. I live well within range of those, and it would seem the west isn't doing much about it.
      • thumb
        Sep 7 2013: Without doubt we have no legal system on international level - so why don't we just make one?

        Who is keeping the nations of this world to come together and to define the most elementary rules of humanity, humanitarian help and military interventions out of humanitarian reasons?We have installed all sorts of international trade regulations yet still haven't figured out the most important thing?

        The given precursor, the United Nations,doesn't seem to work properly and is easily paralyzed by single veto states...

        Thats not enough, it doesn't work when it is necessary and it isn't balanced due to the influence of 'elite nations', whose 'elite status is based on their military and economical power. In a legal system, those conditions are not tolerable, so its our obligation to reform it!

        I am against any nuclear weapon programs, and nuclear weapons in general, but I do not separate between states who should be allowed to have them and those who shouldn't, as this only perpetuates the ongoing international conflicts about this matter.

        If I have a gun and shoot my neighbor because he likes to have a gun too for self-defense reasons, who then is the bad guy?

        On this the USA already proofed its immaturity to posses those weapons in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the whole cold war strategy of deterrence proofed that no nation was mature enough and none still is, because once a nation reaches this level of maturity, it won't have any nuclear weapons at all.

        So what makes you think, that Iran would use those weapons for aggressive reasons and not 'just' for its self-defense? Because it is no democracy? Or because 'they' are evil by nature? Well, this sort of argument goes both ways, doesn't it?

        Its sort of like if a smoking parent trying to discipline its child it caught smoking ... The chances of realization and understanding by this child are pretty low. Same mechanisms work on international level, as its seems to have not developed further than kindergarten. Its 2013!
      • thumb
        Sep 9 2013: 'Given that Iran is currently developing nukes that make the chemical stuff look like paint fumes, I'm honestly worried. I live well within range of those, and it would seem the west isn't doing much about it.'

        Since 1979 Iran is suspected to 'currently' develop nuclear weapons and 'just' 8 years in average to its completion ever since ...

        http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/08/25/1233733/--Imminent-Iran-nuclear-threat-A-timeline-of-warnings-since-1979

        And as Stuxnet and sudden lethal accidents of leading Iranian nuclear physicists are of recent date, it is most likely that 'barking with the hounds' is going to take new breath for more years to come ...
    • thumb
      Sep 6 2013: This is an issue for the UN and only the UN.
      • Sep 9 2013: I'm not sure this is what you meant, Raymond, but as far as "international justice" and "international governance", I've always understood this to be the general purpose of the UN. Obviously, the UN does not have the power to enact and enforce what may pass for "international laws" -- except in so far as members of the UN agree to act in concert with each other. That is, when member nations of the UN agree to lend resources, military or otherwise, toward enforcing UN resolutions by taking deliberate action. ...Spelling it out this way reminds me that the United States has a reputation, by now, of failing to cooperate with the UN.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.