The Syrian conflict

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linguoboy
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Re: The Syrian conflict

Postby linguoboy » 2013-09-06, 20:24

Babelfish wrote:Using white phosphorous is legal, for illumination purposes (in flares).

So what was the IDF trying to "illuminate" in on the morning of January 15, 2009 when they struck the UN headquarters in Gaza with white phosphorus shells?
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Re: The Syrian conflict

Postby md0 » 2013-09-06, 20:53

Ludwig Whitby wrote:And I would also like someone to explain to me how the Americans can claim to be against chemical weapons, while at the same time using white phosphorus and ignoring the fact that Israel has been using white phosphorus.

While I am against a military action in Syria, or anywhere else in that matter, can we move past that logic please? Because one country does it, it doesn't make it okay for the rest of the world.
USA also has the death penalty, that doesn't make it right for Kim Jung Un to publicly execute hundreds of North Koreans.
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Re: The Syrian conflict

Postby linguoboy » 2013-09-06, 20:59

meidei wrote:USA also has the death penalty, that doesn't make it right for Kim Jung Un to publicly execute hundreds of North Koreans.

Is the USA threatening to bomb North Korea if they don't give up the death penalty?
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Re: The Syrian conflict

Postby IpseDixit » 2013-09-06, 21:17

азъбукывѣдѣ wrote:Image


Nothing else could better encapsulate my opinion. Why did we get so upset by the use of chemical weapons only? Why not being outraged by the whole situation?

Moreover (and this is something I've already asked on this forum):

Why did we intervene in Lybia almost straight away (we didn't really wait for chemical weapons to be used) whereas we're considering the idea of intervening in Syria after 2 years and only if the alleged use of chemical weapons is confirmed?

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Re: The Syrian conflict

Postby md0 » 2013-09-06, 21:21

Can we disconnect those two topics?
Obama wanting to bomb the shit out of Syria with only some 40% of the American support and only France's 10% support (or even less) is bad on it's own merits. The hypocrisy doesn't make it more (or less) acceptable than it already is.

And on a more general note, I don't believe that there are good and bad guys in wars so I can't debate whether bombing Assad should be a thing or not. I prefer to go with Sweden's approach of opening their border to all Syrian refugees who don't want to be in the crossfire. Honestly, that should be our role. We had the whole bombing thing as recently as the 1990s, didn't work well, let's not repeat it.
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Re: The Syrian conflict

Postby IpseDixit » 2013-09-06, 21:25

meidei wrote:The hypocrisy doesn't make it more (or less) acceptable than it already is.


Why not?

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Re: The Syrian conflict

Postby md0 » 2013-09-06, 21:30

Because killing people doesn't really get a scale of evilness? It's just flat-out wrong?
Assad is killing people, the various rebel groups are killing people, Obama wants to join in and kill people to show that killing people is wrong, Hollande of all people wants to kill other people for god knows why... honestly, I can't pick one killing that is worse or better than the rest :roll:
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Re: The Syrian conflict

Postby linguoboy » 2013-09-06, 21:34

IpseDixit wrote:Nothing else could better encapsulate my opinion. Why did we get so upset by the use of chemical weapons only? Why not being outraged by the whole situation?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_dichotomy

IpseDixit wrote:Moreover (and this is something I've already asked on this forum):

Why did we intervene in Lybia almost straight away (we didn't really wait for chemical weapons to be used) whereas we're considering the idea of intervening in Syria after 2 years and only if the alleged use of chemical weapons is confirmed?

Libya was politically isolated. Gaddafi was one of the most notorious dictators still in power and the regime was a proven sponsor of terror abroad which had claimed the life of EU and US citizens. Instability in Libya was unlikely to spread to countries the rest of the world had much interest in. (Touch luck, Mali.)

Syria, by contrast, is part of a complex web of allegiances and rivalries, including two nuclear-armed powers (Russia and Israel) and one aspirant to the club. Assad is not a hate figure; in fact, it's safe to say he has no real profile abroad. The ethnic mix in Syria is complex and spills across borders, leading to tremendous potential for regional instability. It's a more complex situation by at least an order of magnitude.
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Re: The Syrian conflict

Postby IpseDixit » 2013-09-06, 21:50



I'm open to other options too ;) it's just that I'm not seeing them.

linguoboy wrote:Moreover (and this is something I've already asked on this forum):

Libya was politically isolated. Gaddafi was one of the most notorious dictators still in power and the regime was a proven sponsor of terror abroad which had claimed the life of EU and US citizens. Instability in Libya was unlikely to spread to countries the rest of the world had much interest in. (Touch luck, Mali.)

Syria, by contrast, is part of a complex web of allegiances and rivalries, including two nuclear-armed powers (Russia and Israel) and one aspirant to the club. Assad is not a hate figure; in fact, it's safe to say he has no real profile abroad. The ethnic mix in Syria is complex and spills across borders, leading to tremendous potential for regional instability. It's a more complex situation by at least an order of magnitude.


I see.

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Re: The Syrian conflict

Postby IpseDixit » 2013-09-06, 21:52

meidei wrote:Because killing people doesn't really get a scale of evilness? It's just flat-out wrong?


I think that killing people (in those situations) does get a scale of evilness.

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Re: The Syrian conflict

Postby md0 » 2013-09-06, 21:54

Okay then. How does your belief work? Which killer is better?
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Re: The Syrian conflict

Postby linguoboy » 2013-09-06, 21:58

IpseDixit wrote:

I'm open to other options too ;) it's just that I'm not seeing them.

The other options are, of course, (a) to be upset by both and (b) to be upset by neither.

I think your problem stems from equating "seriously considering military action" with "being upset". That's not a reasonable way to approach the politicisation of this conflict.
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Re: The Syrian conflict

Postby IpseDixit » 2013-09-06, 22:17

linguoboy wrote:
IpseDixit wrote:

I'm open to other options too ;) it's just that I'm not seeing them.

The other options are, of course, (a) to be upset by both and (b) to be upset by neither.


Well, when I said "the whole situation" I meant your option (a) of course, otherwise it wouldn't have been "whole". As for option (b), I was just "one step ahead". What I meant is:

If we have to be upset by something, that something should be the whole situation and not exclusively the chemical weapons.

linguoboy wrote:I think your problem stems from equating "seriously considering military action" with "being upset". That's not a reasonable way to approach the politicisation of this conflict.


Actually, I haven't expressed my opinion on military actions. I haven't said whether I find it right or not. Hence I don't really get why you think I'm equating the two things.

I just find hilarious that the west has waken up after 2 years and has deemed the situation in Syria unacceptable because of chemical weapons (and apparently nothing else). That's all.
Last edited by IpseDixit on 2013-09-06, 22:32, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: The Syrian conflict

Postby IpseDixit » 2013-09-06, 22:27

meidei wrote:Okay then. How does your belief work? Which killer is better?


I'm speaking on a theoretical level: who kills for freedom is much better. Would you blame those people who killed the aristocrats and the king during the French Revolution? Would you equate them to those people killing and torturing for a despotic power?

If the rebels are really fighting* for freedom, they are infinitely better than those Syrians fighting* for Assad's dictatorship.

*hence killing.

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Re: The Syrian conflict

Postby md0 » 2013-09-06, 23:20

Well, I am not much for the theory myself. In every war there are people caught in the crossfire of two or more camps they don't want to join, and there are people who are forced to fight for one of the sides against their will or before they can make informed decisions.
Frankly, even if a new war took place in my country, it wouldn't be possible for me to pick a side, whatever the sides would be this time. My course of action would be "let the crazy people kill each other; you just try to get as many people out of the country as possible". But like Syria, it's not like that I would get the option to even pick side, let alone the luxury not pick any side.

As for the French Revolution, well, it was a bloody mess. Sure, the ideals we admire, but it took hundreds of years after the revolution for them to be established (by the 3rd French Republic, iirc?) and we can't deny that the revolutionaries weren't brutal (just read the lyrics to France's anthem) not only against the aristocracy, the clergy and the monarchy, but also other groups of people that were seen as elites (eg the intellectuals).
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Re: The Syrian conflict

Postby IpseDixit » 2013-09-06, 23:31

But this doesn't prove that killing is downright wrong no matter the reason why you're doing that.

Again, I'm just talking about conflicts and wars of course.

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Re: The Syrian conflict

Postby Ludwig Whitby » 2013-09-06, 23:39

People generally don't kill for freedom. They kill for their own freedom. Assad's people are also fighting for freedom.

Freedom is such a vague and ambiguous term that I really dislike using it in discussions such as this.

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Re: The Syrian conflict

Postby IpseDixit » 2013-09-06, 23:53

Ludwig Whitby wrote:People generally don't kill for freedom. They kill for their own freedom. Assad's people are also fighting for freedom.

Freedom is such a vague and ambiguous term that I really dislike using it in discussions such as this.


Not true.

There are/have been people who fight/have fought for freedom in their country. Full stop. Like Partisans in Europe during WW2. Of course they themselves wanted to enjoy the freedom they were fighting for but you cannot say there were fighting only for their own freedoms.

If you fight for a regime, you cannot really call yourself a free man, so I really don't understand it when you say that Assad's militants are freedom fighters too. What kind of newspeak is that?

Moreover, it may be difficult to give a pinpoint definition of freedom, but it is not that difficult to give a general political definition of the term.

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Re: The Syrian conflict

Postby Marah » 2013-09-07, 6:36

IpseDixit wrote:Why did we intervene in Lybia almost straight away (we didn't really wait for chemical weapons to be used) whereas we're considering the idea of intervening in Syria after 2 years and only if the alleged use of chemical weapons is confirmed?

Apparently France has now access to 35% of Libya's oil. Also, Qaddafi may have given money to Sarkozy to finance his election campaign in 2007. Maybe he was considering the option of blackmailing him. Rumors are that it was a French spy who killed Qaddafi.
By the way, France used to sell weapons to Libya even before the revolution. Talk about hypocrisy.

But hey, we had to save those darkies, they were living under such terrible conditions! It's not like they had one of the highest living standards of Africa... http://globalciviliansforpeace.wordpres ... -in-libya/

If the rebels are really fighting* for freedom, they are infinitely better than those Syrians fighting* for Assad's dictatorship.

I don't believe that those who fight for Assad's regime or support it are deeply evil, like you're letting on. They may value stability and secularism more than a rebellion that may make it worse for the country.
Last edited by Marah on 2013-09-07, 6:51, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Syrian conflict

Postby language learner » 2013-09-07, 6:38

Babelfish wrote:Using white phosphorous is legal, for illumination purposes (in flares)
And is it legal using it for genocide?


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