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Kristof: Are the risks greater if we launch missiles, or if we continue to sit on our hands?

And no this is not Bill Kristol, it's Nicholas Kristof.

Part of my frustration is that so many people appear to be forming their opinions based on the glib views of posters on 'Datalounge' or their friends on Facebook, instead of journalistic sources.

Kristof has been called one of the great moralists of his generation. This short piece encapsulates the angles of possible U.S. intervention very well. It should be required reading, particularly for those who oppose a US bombing campaign because they promote "peace", or insist on comparing the situation to Iraq

by Anonymousreply 1209/08/2013

He's got a point.

by Anonymousreply 109/06/2013

No, he doesn't.

And the last thing we need is a moralist approach. Killing more people to 'save' them is absurd. This is being done at the behest of Saudi Arabia, and it's also meant to be a warning to Iran. If it doesn't stop here, we'll be bombing Iran next. Enough.

by Anonymousreply 209/06/2013

And seriously, what is moral about siding with rebels who are in bed with Al Qaeda? Militant, fundamentalist rebels, no less. There was a pic on the cover of the Times this week sowing these darling rebels standing over a group of bound, helpless prisoners, moments before they executed them. That's the moral choice here?

What has violence like this accomplished in Afghanistan? We've killed lots of people there, and they hate us, as well they should.


by Anonymousreply 309/06/2013

It's really about OIL, stupid.

by Anonymousreply 409/06/2013

If we attack Syria, it will be the beginning of the end as foretold in Revelation. I can only hope that I am worthy when the Rapture comes, so that I am lifted into Heaven and don't have to suffer in the years of trials and tribulations that follow. Beware the Beast of seven heads and ten horns!

by Anonymousreply 509/06/2013

"Great moralist" my ass. He is a militant Israel-hater and is perpetually cuddling up to the Muslim Brotherhood, writing apologist pieces about how wonderful and humane they are. I wouldn't trust this idiot as far as I could throw him.

by Anonymousreply 609/08/2013

It is always about oil.

These "moral" arguments are bullshit. They kick out the dictators and then the "religious" dictators get in.

by Anonymousreply 709/08/2013

[quote]Kristof has been called one of the great moralists of his generation. This short piece encapsulates the angles of possible U.S. intervention very well.

1. My ass - called one of the "great moralists" by whom?

2. His entire argument is couched in what "may" and "might" result if the US doesn't join. It "may" also make the situation worse. It "might" also lead to further genocide as they government becomes more desperate and realizes it has nothing to lose.

3. "It’s all very well to urge the United Nations and Arab League to do more, but that means that Syrians will continue to be killed at a rate of 5,000 every month."

The international community is opposed to taking action - not just Russia and China (Syria's allies). What Iraq and Afghanistan have demonstrated is that US intervention without a long-term plan result in long-term engagements with no real way out. The US cannot and should not become the lone worldwide policeman.

4. It's not always about oil. Sometimes, it's the military-industrial complex needing another war to fund profits. Companies like Haliburton or defense contractors make a bundle - cruise missiles are not cheap with EACH costing $1.4 million.

5.“What are the risks of cruise missile strikes on Syria?” I grant that those risks are considerable, from errant missiles to Hezbollah retaliation. It’s this: “Are the risks greater if we launch missiles, or if we continue to sit on our hands?”

There are not guarantees that launching missile strikes will yield any result. Clearly, other countries don't see a high probability of success.

6. "In Syria, it seems to me that cruise missile strikes might make a modest difference, by deterring further deployment of chemical weapons. Sarin nerve gas is of such limited usefulness to the Syrian army that it has taken two years to use it in a major way, and it’s plausible that we can deter Syria’s generals from employing it again if the price is high."

Funny how something of such "limited usefulness" was deployed which also happens to be the single line in the sand which had been drawn. After having been mislead about Iraq, it seems like we shouldn't take any evidence on faith. Except for super secret, classified intelligence which we are not allowed to see, there is no evidence about which side deployed sarin. Do I think it's also possible that the forces opposing the government might have thrown a hail Mary desperation play or might Al Qaeda or some other group done it for their own purposes, sure. It's just terribly convenient that now, two years later, someone decided to cross that bright line in the sand - actually it makes least sense for the Syrian government to have done the one thing to draw international intervention. No one side has a monopoly on disgusting humanitarian atrocities and our history on understanding the players and their motives in that particular region of the world has not been good. Can't you also hear the rebel meeting where they think that the killing people by the sarin make them martyrs for the cause? The point being that all we "know" is that someone used sarin, not who.

by Anonymousreply 809/08/2013

Great post, R8.

by Anonymousreply 909/08/2013

I agree, excellent analysis R8, though I would add that sarin was deployed from rockets and required a level of sophistication that makes it unlikely - though certainly not impossible - that it was launched by the rebels. And you're right - both sides have committed horrible atrocities so I don't think there is a "good" guy in this situation.

by Anonymousreply 1009/08/2013

It's not unlikely that Al Qaeda would have rockets.Don't forget that those "rebels" are part Al Qaeda.

by Anonymousreply 1109/08/2013

The risks seem to go 50/50, in which case, all things being equal, I say we sit this one out.

by Anonymousreply 1209/08/2013
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