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Playing with fire ?

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Seems Donald is now threatening shock and awe on Assad, in retaliation for alleged use of chemical weapons, and wants to include us in the enterprise.  The pretext however is quite ironic; yes, the use of chemical weapons (in an effort to sanitize war) is illegal in international law. But it's recent alleged use in Syria, killed around 40 civilians;  any retaliation using "conventional" weapons will most likely kill a lot more than 40, and the consequences of escalation into a nuclear exchange (nuclear weapons being apparently "legal"),  would mean counting civilian deaths in millions if not billions.         :ph34r:

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We are once more risking entry into a major conflict ,one wrongly aimed missile could make it more than a proxy war.

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What's disturbing Dave, is the way modern Leaders are prone to upping the ante, in these games of tit for tat; as they have had no experience of cold war politics or calculation,  ultimately it can only lead to the obvious outcome.    Recently watched a prog about the "Bay of Pigs" invasion of Cuba and the nearest we've been to nuclear Armageddon.  Apparently, the US were contemplating sending in troops, if the Cuban mercenaries established a lodgement and declared an anti-Communist Gov.  What they didn't know, was that there were already Russian tactical nuclear missiles on the Island, and if used on a US invasion force, would certainly have kicked off WW3. You'd think we'd learn - but alas no.      :ph34r:

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You know Obs , you rightly point out the illegality of chemical weapons but surely it should also be illegal for world powers to stage proxy wars using  states who are least equipped & can ill afford  them. It is quite amazing too that Syria isn't much more than a desert  while the surrounding oil rich states keep a safe distance.

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Well the evidence is there for all to see;  Bliar's attempt to install "liberal democracies" in Countries with no experience or culture of liberal democracy, which saw a reversion to primitive religious factionalism and resultant civil strife, provides the evidence of outcome for Western military intervention. However, we or rather our politicians don't seem to have learned anything.  Clearly, far from remorse, Bliar is advocating military intervention in Syria; suppose if you get away with one war crime, why stop the habit.    :ph34r:

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Seems there are some politicians with common sense, the Tory Chair of the Defence select cttee; summarized the Syrian shambles by saying " we have a despicable dictator fighting a collection of religious fanatics (with the exception of the Kurds);  neither of whom is worthy of our support or intervention";  let's hope such sound judgement prevails.   :ph34r:

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Playing devils advocate here, what if the Ruskies are telling the truth and this use of chemical weapons  event is a set up by the Yanks, not beyond the realms of possibility with 'Daft Donald' in charge, then this lot could kick off without good reason and may well result in at least the deaths of tens of thousands of lives and at worst millions lives. Addendum: Too late! as strkes by four UK tornado jets and US missiles were launched at 2am this morning (Huffington Post).

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Really speaking,what we are seeing with the strikes against Assad are completely at odds with what was stated 7 years ago by the allies. They were hesitating which side to pick when they realised that the rebels were alligned  with AL Qaeda factions ,which gave birth to Isis, so the west decided to sit on the fence.

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Like last year's event,  just for show and no doubt choreographed with the Russians to avoid escalation.   Donald wants to distract from his impending impeachment, May want's to distract from selling us out on Brexit and Macron wants to gain favours with the Saudis - "Oh what a tangled web we weave etc".    The hypocracy is quite nauseating,  all have nuclear arsenals capable of killing millions, yet criticise the alleged use of chemical weapons that killed 40.  They have no mandate from the UN for this action, therefore making it an illegal act of war against a sovereign nation, just like Bliar's  disasterous adventure in Iraq, which kicked off the "Arab Spring" and the current anarchy in the first place.       :ph34r:

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The legal basis is given here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/syria-action-summary-of-uk-government-legal-position/syria-action-summary-of-uk-government-legal-position

Notice no waiting for that to be available and no hand wringing. The Russians will now use this strike as an excuse to sell an even better anti-missile missile system to the grateful Assad. The Russians seemed to have threatened total war in order to ensure that the West did not risk taking out the existing missile system on the grounds there could have been Russians there. Effectively we were faced with the threat of nuclear war for opposing the use of chemical weapons. The West did not even respond to those threats and yet it is the only the Western Powers that are cynical, really? There was the danger that without the attack we would have been faced with the same dilemma over and over again which would have been a very dangerous state to be in. Will Russia now agree to allow the OPCW to attribute blame for Chemical Weapons attacks without permitting the Permanent 5 to veto that attribution in the Security Council? That, after all, was what this enormously dangerous and frightening event was really about! Russia was attempting, and still is, to make itself unaccountable for the use of Chemical Weapons on any scale, the 40 would be just the start.

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Well, it's legal case fails on all 3 criteria imo; as the bombing of civilians merely compounds the loss of civilian life - don't be fooled by the myth of smart weapons, they all explode, killing humans. No "convincing" evidence -yet.  No "large scale" use.   Fail to see anything but hypocracy in the notion that chemical weapons are illegal, while much more deadly nuclear weapons are not.  And IF it's later proven that the incident was faked by the Syrian rebels, will we pay Assad for the damage ?!   The sooner Assad wins, the sooner this nightmare will end, our involvement merely prolongs the inevitable.        :ph34r:

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I doubt we would be responsible for paying any compensation for damaging a chemical warfare materials manufacturing site obs as it was illegal anyway 

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Could merely be an industrial chemical site - remember Cambells !    :D     No doubt the same result as last year's firework display - none.   :rolleyes:

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I note your opinions differ from the government, law officers, but does that make you right? The illegality of chemical weapons derives from a UN treaty but no such treaty exists for nuclear weapons. That seems an inevitable consequence of giving veto powers to the Permanent Members of the Security Council all of which are nuclear powers. |I see no way that will change. 

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The illegality of chemical weapons derives from an attempts to sanitize war, and thus make it acceptable.  As Robert E Lee said - "it's good that war is so terrible, otherwise men would grow too fond of it ".  So argueing over the deaths of 40 people, puts the deaths of millions in the frame - insanity at it's best.     :ph34r:

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Right minded  leaders know the devastation of nuclear strikes & know that nukes have their real value in deterrence. I think Putin has his head screwed on firmly  & we should worry more about our agent in Washington.with the itchy trigger finger.

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Think your right there Dave, Trump is totally unpredictable, which can scupper any rational calculations in this poker game; and he's under threat of impeachment, making him even more unpredictable.  However, Putin is not without pressures, as a populist, he needs to appear strong to his fan base, and thus we have a dangerous combination in play. It's interesting that lower echelon beings around the world have been contacting their counterparts and appealing for calm and to avoid the situation spiraling out of control.  The irony of this intervention, is that it will be unlikely to change the ultimate outcome in Syria, just merely prolong the suffering and the excuse for migration.      :ph34r:

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That's why i think this is something that the Arab states need to sort out . All the combatants ,apart from mercenaries ,are Muslim so why should countries with other religions get involved  in their affairs. As we know destabilising  countries only makes matters worse.

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Donald wants to distract from his impending impeachment ? Really Obs? Even for you that's stretching things. As for Blair starting the Arab Spring, that's ridiculous. The Arab Spring came about in late 2010 (when the Labour Party, never mind Blair, were no longer in government) and was a protest against economic conditions in Arab countries against their own governments. Nothing to do with the Iraq invasion/war.

I do agree that the west should have never got involved in Syria, and should not escalate any action. Whatever our governments have done has already caused too much damage and we shouldn't be making it worse, but unfortunately politicians are prone to being bellicose because they can't see beyond the next election.

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That goes to the heart of the cause of this particular conflict Dave - religion or religious sectarianism.  They may be Muslim, but Assad belongs to a minority Alluwyt Sect, akin to Shia; whilst the majority who rebelled with the Arab Spring, are Sunni.  Thus it became a proxy war between the Sunni, backed by the Saudis, and Shia, backed by Iran. Russia, who had been searching for a Mediterranean base, came in later on the side of the "official" Government under Assad.   Whilst there is no question that that Assad was a  Dictator, his father having brutally suppressed rebellions in the past; the rebels were mainly motivated by sectarianism, rather than a desire for secular liberal democracy.  So, contrary to Asp's post; the fall of the Dictators, arising from the defeat of Saddam Hussein in Iraq, which spread (fanned by global media) to Libya, Tunisia, Egypt and Syria, as a result of the Arab Spring, was a consequence of the Bliar/Bush invasion of Iraq.  Bliar's naïve notion, that dictatorships, that had kept the lid on sectarianism, could be replaced by liberal democracies, was proven wrong, and their replacement gave way to sectarian anarchy.  No doubt there were modern, secular educated classes within those countries, but the majority of rural peasantry preferred a sectarian future.  This schism, applies in Turkey, where Ergadan has played the rural peasants against the secular liberals to win power. In Syria, the anarchy allowed the rise of a particularly extreme sect in the form of ISIS.  So yes, I think we can lay the blame on Western meddling in the M/East, trying to create a world in their own image, on the origins of this conflict.   As for the future, there needs to be imo, a return to strong dictatorships, until such times that a culture of liberal democracy has evolved, so in the case of Syria, the sooner Assad wins, the sooner the anarchy will end.   :ph34r:

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10 hours ago, observer said:

 So, contrary to Asp's post; the fall of the Dictators, arising from the defeat of Saddam Hussein in Iraq, which spread (fanned by global media) to Libya, Tunisia, Egypt and Syria, as a result of the Arab Spring, was a consequence of the Bliar/Bush invasion of Iraq.

Why don't you stretch reality a bit further and blame Britain for it's actions in the ME in WW1 Obs?. When you come down to it every action has consequences, it all depends which action you want to blame for a particular consequence.

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Not stretching anything Asp; this isn't ancient history, it all happened on global news, viewed throughout the M/East, from the fall of Saddam Hussein's statue, like a row of dominoes, that were termed "the Arab Spring".   As for the carving up of the M/East by France and Britain after WW1 and the imposition of colonial rule on disperate tribal and sectarian groupings,  that's a little more difficult to judge, without it, we can only speculate that,  we may have finished up with a greater Saudi Caliphate, and possibly more instability, arising from sectarian conflict, between Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shia Iran. Something that now defines the M/east .   PS. Think we can also safely speculate, that Israel would never have been created.   :ph34r:

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So if Saddam hadn't invaded Kuwait everything in the ME would be rosy Obs? I somehow doubt it, the region is too volatile. Obviously the interference of the western alliance has done nothing but harm.

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