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?
The irony is scorching, but I think there are good answers for it (though perhaps not satisfying). The international community* tries to abide by some rules in the conduct of war so as not to make it more horrible than it already is; this is pretty much what the Geneva Conventions are about. One of these rules is not to use WMD. In the case of Syria, the death toll is about 100,000 during the last couple of years
but using chemical weapons freely would have allowed Assad to kill 100,000 in a couple of days
; also, their indiscriminate nature makes them mainly "useful" for killing civilians, which is another no-no.* or at least, parts of it try to abide by the rules, or sometimes try to pretend abiding by them... well you know what I mean, I hope.
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?
Good question for Europe, I'd say. There is probably no "good" (i.e. ethical) reason, just political and economical ones (Lybia has oil...). Nobody intervened in the civil unrest in Iran, nobody seems to have given a damn about the decade-long civil war in Algeria which also claimed the lives of more than 100,000 people (estimated), but look how much focus the Israeli-Palestinian conflict gets, in which IIRC about 60,000 people have been killed during more than 60 years
... F*ck, I wish there was something substantial we could do. Like during the genocide in Darfur (another case where the international community didn't do anything) I would have liked it so much if Israel just sent a few fighters to bomb the hell out of some Janjaweed camps. But Israel attacking one faction in an Arab country would probably just increase support for it. Seems the best we can do for now is keep providing medical care for the occasional Syrian who gets in here across the border.