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Syria, and the missile strikes

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Jojobobo, Apr 14, 2018.

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  1. Jojobobo

    Jojobobo Well-Known Member

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    As a major international incident, what's your opinion on the strikes against Syria? Do you think they're effective in combatting the use of chemical weapons? And what kind of response do you think Russia will have?

    I guess I'm not so sure on their effectiveness, as you would imagine that if a country is desperate to use chemical weapons and stockpile them, then there's only so much intelligence lead air strikes can do - though obviously I'm not versed at all in military affairs. However, I do think it's a necessary move. Any situation where a blind eye is turned towards some sort of international atrocity seems only to allow that problem to recur (if you look at the policy of appeasement for Nazi Germany for example) so I think it's good to treat this as a redline, and someone had to step up to the plate.

    I also think it's good all countries involved didn't bother putting this to a vote, as I think it makes it easier for successive governments in France, the US and the UK to make their own decision about foreign policy towards Syria - whereas if there had been a vote (which I'm sure in the UK and US would have likely favoured strikes anyway, particularly with the Russian nerve agent poisoning just over a month ago in the UK) they may have felt more of an obligation to see that through. By not having a democratic vote, it makes it easier for a future opposition party government to reverse the situation faster and democratically if they wanted to, I would say.

    In terms of the UK's own involvement, selfishly I think it would have been better to let France and the US have at it, as with our response to the nerve agent poisoning it feels like there's now a massive target on our back regarding Russia. However, in terms of our international standing, with it already having taken a big hit with Brexit and with being challenged with the nerve agent poisoning if we're still looking to sit at the big boys table this is something the government would want to do. I guess it is times like this where you maybe start to question the UK's stance of trying to maintain its flagging global standing, rather than fade into relative obscurity.

    I think Trump's press statement was reasonably authoritative, and regardless of the side show he makes sometimes of the American government he is at least capable of delivering speeches with an appropriate level of gravity. I guess so long as he doesn't try and enter into a twitter war with Bashar, it seems like a good stance to take.

    That's about all I was thinking about it. I guess the real thing to see will be what Russia's response/retaliation turns out to be.

    EDIT: The BBC has a pretty decent article about the legality of the strikes with reference to the UN and rule of international law, here. I thought it made for some interesting reading, it's written by a Cambridge professor of international law.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2018
  2. Dark Elf

    Dark Elf Administrator Staff Member

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  3. Jojobobo

    Jojobobo Well-Known Member

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  4. Smuel

    Smuel Well-Known Member

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    Given how terrible these things can be, I think this was a pretty good outcome.

    Firstly, nobody was killed by the airstrikes, which is an A+ result for any kind of military action as far as I'm concerned.

    Secondly, doing nothing would have been worse than doing this, given that we go on and on about the consequences of using chemical weapons. If there are never any consequences then we might as well give up and go home.

    Thirdly, in terms of seeking a parliamentary consensus, I agree with Joey-Boey that executive actions such as this don't really need one, it's sort of the point of having an executive office.

    Fourthly, in terms of seeking a UN consensus, it would have been an A++ result to get agreement from the UN first, but since that was realistically unachievable I'm sort of happy to proceed without it. It does make me uneasy that the US can basically act unilaterally and nobody can do anything about it, but on the other hand I'd rather it was the US doing such things than any other world power right now.

    Fifthly, in terms of this triggering WW3, I'm sure ytzk will be along any minute to lay out exactly how that's going to go down, but I really don't see this particular air-strike making any difference in that respect.
     
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  5. Jojobobo

    Jojobobo Well-Known Member

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    Yeah I guess it seems like it was for the best, I was expecting a little more blow-back from Russia too but nothing so far - I mean I'm sure there will be even if it's just doubling down on undermining western democratic processes through Facebook puppet accounts - but I was thinking possibly they might try and respond in kind in some way (without really knowing what that would be, seeing as they can't exactly air strike all our chemical weapon stockpiles that don't exist) which they don't seem to be doing yet.

    I'm not too sure on how to take Joey-Boey. It feels like your nicknames gradually get a little worse every time, and can only logically conclude with something like Wanker-Face.
     
  6. Smuel

    Smuel Well-Known Member

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    Come on now, Wowofofo, you're just being paranoid.
     
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