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Raymond Blais

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Should we bomb Syria?

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

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    Sep 9 2013: Why are we discussing bombing Syria when the suggestion is to launch a limited attack against Syria's supply of chemical weapons? To me that is a great difference.
    Perhaps we should be asking why the ICC has not charged Assad with war crimes or crimes against humanity?
    • Sep 9 2013: Because the UN is weak and useless and can't do anything unless all the major powers decide it should be so, especially those with veto power in the security council. Russia and China don't want the UN intervening in Syria, so it doesn't.

      Aside from the UN though, bombing the actual chemical stashes isn't necessarily the objective anymore (its also not necessarily a good idea if they're hidden among civilians just to prevent them being bombed). Depending on what Obama decides, he may go after Assad's military or military infrastructure to allow rebel victory, like happened in Libya.
    • Sep 9 2013: The distinction deserves to be made.
      But I suspect the general sentiment among the American population is that bombing is bombing. I feel the presentation of this matter on national news has contributed to an over-simplification in this regard.

      It is possible that the case could be made to the American people that it is not only possible to identify chemical weapons stockpiles in Syria, but to destroy them in a carefully targeted, well-defined campaign. Current polling results, however, showing the majority against "bombing Syria" (I believe) sufficiently demonstrates that the case - and the necessary distinction - has not been made adequately. Hence the reason for a discussion like the one we're having here.

      I also wonder whether Assad will eventually be charged with crimes against humanity.
      First, I suppose he must be placed under some sort of arrest... And the ICC would naturally need sufficient evidence of the allegations against him before his arrest or "capture" could be condoned... by either the ICC or the UN, or any other body...

      (sigh) I'm recalling the way Saddam Hussein's capture and trial proceeded on the world stage (cathartic it was not), and I can't imagine Assad's would be much better. So... maybe those two factors are the key to why he's not been charged with crimes against humanity (yet): there's not yet enough evidence, and there's not enough support, either. But maybe there will be, someday. Perhaps AFTER one or more nations intervene?
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        Sep 10 2013: Actually, this is a hotly debated issue right now. The American public has not been paying much attention to Syria and the plight of the 7 million Syrian effected by the fighting despite the fact that the US has provided a billion dollars in emergency aid. President Obama is to be commended for requesting that the Congress approve any action that the US takes, since it has forced a national, as well as international discussion of the problem.

        Currently, it does not appear that the Congress will give their approval of any military action against the Assad regime. There is no provision under international law that would allow the US to take such unilateral action without UN approval. But there is still hope that a peaceful resolution can be worked out regarding chemical weapons.

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