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Mitch SMith


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Syria: What is the core principle?

I have a friend who is a Syrian ex-pat.
He runs a grocery store in my town and I meet him almost every day.
When the Syrian conflict started getting bad I asked him about it. He said:

"We have a saying - when elephants fight, the grass is killed".

He went on to say: "I have a brother in a town that is at risk .. I plan to go in through Turkey and get him out of there." .. He has not been able to do that yet. And he explained to me the factional power that most Syrians understand .. the Sunnis, the Shiites and the Alawi .. but there are also Druze, Coptics etc etc..

And now, the USA wants to throw bombs to destroy critical infrastructure - regardless of who gets killed in the process.

This is a subject that is so complex that no one can really know what is happening.

My question to the TED community is this:

What is the basic principle?

My friend alludes to elephants and grass .. that seems basic.

Is there any other reliable abstract to be had?


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  • Sep 14 2013: the main thing is shall we kill thousands to save thousands, shall we destroy the already crumbling infrastructure of syria to save thousands, shall we let america be the judge and jury of other leaders, shall we let collective leadership invested in such organisations as the united nations be trampled by the powerful
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      Sep 14 2013: Hi Prof Mpiya,

      Yes, those who walk under the banner of "the rule of law" seem too ready to crap on their own flag. Doesn't make much sense.

      What is your understanding of how vengeance works?
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      Sep 14 2013: Prof. It is not just the Americans who are being judge and Jury. If we did not restrain some of our allies, France for one, they would already be over there bombing the place. If you are going to point fingers point it at yourself also.

      South Africa's primary concern is that business go on as usual. They have no concern for the 400 children that were killed by the Syrian gas attack. Being on the other side of the argument only assures that the conflict will continue. As long as South Africa is making money, they really don't care how many children are dying.

      Don't point your finger at us as if we are some sort of barbarians who care little about the death of children.

      A smart man once said: "All that is necessary for evil to win is that good men do nothing." That is the position of South Africa - do nothing.

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