Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member Latest Breaking News General Discussion The DU Lounge All Forums Issue Forums Culture Forums Alliance Forums Region Forums Support Forums Help & Search


(45,558 posts)
Mon Sep 2, 2013, 08:57 PM Sep 2013

I know that chemical and biological weapons are nasty and cruel...

But in the end, what shades of brutality crosses the line of "civil" warfare?

To tell the truth, there are probably ten's of thousands of civilians in the general area around Syria who have been brutalized beyond the bounds of civility via torture, confined to filth, missing limbs, mental shock and just life down to the most base level that none of us here in the US of A can even fathom.

So what's one more indignity to be suffered.

Believe me, I am not saying we should do nothing. But what? You know that we are going to end up killing more people who are not involved with the military or political leadership in Syria.

We all know that a lot of this months outrage is because Israel could someday be attacked with the gas or aerosol or the mustard gas and we can't have that happen.

So we bomb Syria after much deliberation. What will really change?

Meanwhile there is a whole continent full of cruelty that we have, for the most part, completely ignored. Think about it, if entertainers from the 70's hadn't made such a big dust-up over Apartheid, would that have changed?

10 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
Highlight: NoneDon't highlight anything 5 newestHighlight 5 most recent replies
I know that chemical and biological weapons are nasty and cruel... (Original Post) WCGreen Sep 2013 OP
If we bomb, innocent lives will be lost. In_The_Wind Sep 2013 #1
Nothing will change. Syrian people will die from our bombs and missiles Autumn Sep 2013 #2
We also need to think about what we're doing here at home: polichick Sep 2013 #3
There are no good choices here... CaliforniaPeggy Sep 2013 #4
Great post. Thanks. 99th_Monkey Sep 2013 #5
the work on banning chemical weapons KT2000 Sep 2013 #6
I surely agree with you... WCGreen Sep 2013 #7
That's a good point treestar Sep 2013 #8
Very true. There's plenty of brutality in "conventional weapons". backscatter712 Sep 2013 #9
I believe the distinction is made in that they are utterly indiscriminate 1-Old-Man Sep 2013 #10


(45,164 posts)
2. Nothing will change. Syrian people will die from our bombs and missiles
Mon Sep 2, 2013, 09:01 PM
Sep 2013

and in the end the problems and the brutality remain.



(19,326 posts)
5. Great post. Thanks.
Mon Sep 2, 2013, 09:40 PM
Sep 2013

I appreciate the many complexities here.

Compartmentalized Depersonalized Cruelty is still Cruelty, maybe the worst kind,
because it has no face, no real "identity" in the normal sense of the word.


(20,656 posts)
6. the work on banning chemical weapons
Mon Sep 2, 2013, 10:16 PM
Sep 2013

started in the early 1900s and there have been refinements to the agreements. Only a very few countries have not signed on. Syria did sign on in the early 1900s but will not go along with the destruction of their stockpiles and inspections.
A lot of work has gone into this effort. I would hate to see it all fall apart and make it just one more acceptable form of murder.
I think it is worth preserving.


(82,383 posts)
8. That's a good point
Mon Sep 2, 2013, 10:21 PM
Sep 2013

It is obviously something of international concern. Syria is one of the few parties who did not sign the Convention. Maybe we should have gone in to destroy those weapons before they even got into a war.

The other countries are Angola, North Korea, Egypt and South Sudan. What a group.


(26,355 posts)
9. Very true. There's plenty of brutality in "conventional weapons".
Mon Sep 2, 2013, 10:27 PM
Sep 2013

To be honest, I think we need to reexamine which weapons count as "WMDs" or otherwise would make you guilty of war crimes just for using them.

Hell, you could say that napalm, drone double-taps, white phosphorous, depleted uranium, land mines, cluster bombs, even basic machine guns could count as weapons that should get you taken to the Hague for war crimes.

Gas is hardly more barbaric than these "conventional" weapons.

And then we've got to answer the question: OK, everyone's demanding the U.S. should Do Something. Do what? Is blowing things and people up with cruise missiles going to improve the situation at all?


(2,667 posts)
10. I believe the distinction is made in that they are utterly indiscriminate
Mon Sep 2, 2013, 10:35 PM
Sep 2013

So its impossible to target military personnel and at least before the bombing of London it was generally considered (and now enshrined in the Geneva Conventions) wrong to attack civilians. In fact I have read that in the US Civil War and the european wars prior to WWII it was not uncommon for civilians to go watch battles like we'd go to a movie today. They knew they would be unmolseted.

Not now days. Some tin-pot dictator or leader of a major nation gets a hair up his ass and all of a sudden you've got Shock-and-Awe.

Latest Discussions»General Discussion»I know that chemical and ...