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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: Show me the beef. I do not see evidence that completely eliminates the possibility that Al Qaeda is responsible for the gassing. No free thinking American wants any part of this civil war. Why would any American go out of their way to support intervention in a civil war continents away? Let the UN deal with it. If they don’t do what some people want them to do then so be it. Point your finger at them when you see the suffering. We did not elect President Obama as president of the world, we elected him president of the American people and he should act on their behalf.
    There are over 7 billion people in this world and their will be major suffering going on somewhere. We can help but not by military action which always increases suffering.
    • Sep 9 2013: That type of intelligence isn't available out to the general public, because than Al Qaeda would have access to it too.

      The current consensus in the intelligence community, which is available without the specifics of where they got the info, is that Assad is still in possession of his entire chemical arsenal.
      Its the single most heavily defended military asset in all of Syria at the moment. The US could bomb it without thinking twice if they know where it is, but its well out of reach of rebels and terrorists, who don't have quite so many military assets of their own.

      Again though, this isn't about chemical weapons. There have been more than a hundred thousand people killed with perfectly conventional means.

      Isolationism is a tempting prospect for the US, being isolated from most of the world by ocean. Isolationism will also lead to the US' decline as a global power. If that's what the American public wants, the Russians and Chinese will be happy to step up and take advantage of the power vacuum.
      Should the US wish to ebb away and become just another nation among equals, there is nothing stopping it. If it wishes to stay a global power, it occasionally requires exercising military power on the other side of the globe.
    • Sep 9 2013: As I see it, the question comes down to whether the proposed military strike will tip the scales against the Syrian government/military, effectively hobbling the Assad regime in such a way that opposition forces have the hope and opportunity to prevail.

      If the removal of the Assad regime is conceived of as a goal, one that may in fact be shared by many members of the UN as well has other nations -- it is pretty clear that inaction will achieve nothing.

      ...But then.... if this is truly a goal shared by many nations, why must the responsibility fall to the U.S. military? And I think the answer there is that it doesn't have to. It wouldn't even have been proposed, if the UN had resolved to take action. ...The fact is: our President and his advisers believe this action to be necessary, on a rather near time-frame. In the absence of any action on the part of the UN, the President is willing to act decisively, and act now -- which leaves the rest of us wondering "why?". What missing piece of this puzzle should we know, that we don't already know?

      I have not resolved whether I support the President's decision. I only call for more information on the subject. Someone make the case! I'm listening! ...and I hope: "We're listening".

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