Is Western Intervention in Syria Imminent?

The NATO alliance announced earlier this week that Patriot missiles will be deployed in Turkey to respond to rockets launched from Syria. The USS Eisenhower was reported to have arrived in the area yesterday, off the Syrian coast in the Mediterranean. It holds 8,000 personnel and eight fighter bomber squadrons. The U.S. Senate, meanwhile, has voted for the Pentagon to present military options available on Syria.

Later today, Hillary Clinton is meeting with her Russian counterpart as well as the UN’s “peace envoy.” Russia, of course, has been keeping Assad’s regime running with needed cash infusions. Russia has also used its veto power on the U.N. Security Council to keep western intervention in check. Russia (and China) abstained facing the same kind of pressure for intervention vis a vis Libya. Syria is more important to Russia because it houses Russia’s only extraterritorial military installation. In 1971, the Soviet Union established a presence at Tartus (a Kaliningrad-on-the-Mediterranean of sorts), and Russia took over after the Soviet Union dissolved, maintaining naval personnel there since.

The United Nations, and so Russia’s support or at least non-opposition, is, as we well know, not required  for Western intervention. The intervention in Libya may have been sparked by the U.N. Security Council resolution, but it was prosecuted by NATO, which has the actual firepower to turn military intervention from a pipe dream of a diplomatic bureaucrat to reality.

Another troubling indicator of intervention in Syria: the U.S. is now claiming the Syrian government is preparing chemical weapons to use against its own people. Matthew Feeney noted yesterday both the president and Clinton have warned Syria against using those weapons. Weapons of mass destruction, of course, were the original M.O. for the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq. While those WMDs were never found, with Saddam Hussein testifying he was bluffing to keep his neighbors at bay, the idea that they made their way to Syria is still popular in some circles sympathetic to the invasion of Iraq.

In July, reports indicated the Obama administration told Syria’s rebels the U.S. could not offer more help until after the presidential election in November. Here we are just a month out from the election.

You can follow the latest on the ongoing situation in Syria at Reason 24/7.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • sarcasmic||

    the U.S. is now claiming the Syrian government is preparing chemical weapons to use against its own people.

    Twenty bucks says an invasion is imminent, and no WMDs will be found.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Didn't you say that about Iran 3 years ago?

  • Anonymous Coward||

    There's a "Syria or Iran" war pool. You weren't invited to participate.

    You've been both bullied and othered. Not bad for a Thursday, eh, Obama's Douche?

  • sarcasmic||

    Making shit up again?

  • Tulpa Doom||

    What do US traders on Intrade think?

  • GILMORE||

    They are weak on it

    http://www.intrade.com/v4/mark.....tId=752615

    11% chance of Assad being deposed before years end

  • Tulpa Doom||

    The Tartus naval base, built in the 1970s and neglected for 20 years after the USSR fell, is seriously outdated. None of Russia's large modern warships can even fit into it.

    It's better than nothing, I guess, but I'm puzzled that they're this concerned about it.

  • $park¥||

    I'm puzzled that they're this concerned about it

    Because somebody else is eyeballing it, and the US is putting ships in the Med.

  • R C Dean||

    A base in existence can be expanded and upgraded.

    A base not in existence can be, well, neither.

    Besides, a naval base can be used for lots of things beside ships.

  • GILMORE||

    "Say.... that's a fine looking Naval base you have over there... shame if something were to happen to it...?"

  • Pro Libertate||

    The intervention, let's begin.
    The intervention, look out sin.
    We have a mission to support the Jews (Jew ja Jew ja Jew ja Jews).
    We're gonna teach them wrong from right,
    We're gonna help them see the light,
    And make an offer that they can't refuse.

  • Ska||

    Nothing is working... send in the UNs!!

  • Pro Libertate||

    Hey, B. Obama, whaddaya say?
    I just got back from the spending buffet.
    Spending buffet, what's a spending buffet?
    It's what you oughtn't to do but you do anyway.

  • $park¥||

    So, any new news in Syria's sarin situation?

  • LTC(ret) John||

    No just alliteration any and all the time.

  • db||

    What? You missed the sarinades up above?

  • Hugh Akston||

    The United States would never be so stupid as to get involved in a wholly internal conflict that has absolutely no bearing on American national security. Would it?

  • sarcasmic||

    Third time's the charm!

    Or is it the fourth? Fifth? Shit, I can't keep count.

  • SugarFree||

    1. Spanish-American War
    2. WWI
    3. Korea
    4. Vietnam
    5. Libya I
    6. Gulf War I
    7. Gulf War II
    8. Libya II

  • GILMORE||

    Hey - Remember the Maine!! Plus, we can't have the bloody Spanish Empire on our doorstep. As per Monroe Doctrine: "efforts by European nations to colonize land or interfere with states in North or South America would be viewed as acts of aggression"

    Actually i think the Spanish American war was the most bullshit of them all...but at least there was a semi-coherent theory behind it! Plus - it provided wonderful cover for us to become imperialists ourselves. Must protect these undefended lands from the Europeans! Plus, Philippenes. I know it makes no sense. But, hey. A Naval Base is a Naval base.

  • SugarFree||

    At least Libya I was done mostly right. Bomb shit and get out. So maybe just 7.

  • R C Dean||

    Still a war.

    Which reminds me: you left out Bosnia.

  • T||

    Peace keeping missions conducted under the auspices of the UN don't count, do they?

  • GILMORE||

    R C Dean| 12.6.12 @ 2:45PM |#

    Still a war.

    Which reminds me: you left out Bosnia

    Oh, come on. At this rate the Marine occupation of Haiti is going to make a list. Did they even shoot anyone in Bosnia? At least the Moro Rebellion was an actual *fight to the death*. What about the fucking Mexicans while we're at it? We did bombard Mexico City with artillery. That's a fight!

    Also, who can even keep track of the indian wars? Can't we at least have some criteria for what we mean by 'unecessary' wars that started this?

  • R C Dean||

    Did they even shoot anyone in Bosnia?

    Are you kidding? NATO (including the US) was actively engaged in bombing.

    Which reminds me: Let's not forget the NATO/US bombing campaign against Yugoslavia in the Kosovo war.

  • ΘJΘʃ de águila||

    Shit, Bill and Hillary bombed the fuck out of Bosnia.

  • SugarFree||

    Which reminds me: you left out Bosnia

    True.

  • GILMORE||

    SugarFree| 12.6.12 @ 2:24PM |#

    At least Libya I was done mostly right. Bomb shit and get out. So maybe just 7

    First off civilian, that wasn't "Libya 1".... it was @#$&* LIBYA III if you're even keeping count!! First Barbary War, bitch! SEMPER FI, MARINES~!!

    Although, to be honest, the most notable event of those battles was when Somers blew himself to bits in the Intrepid. Whoops! And we think *arabs* started the whole "improvised explosive device" thing. Fuck, we gave them the idea!

    And anyway, I don't consider Reagan's bombing of Libya a 'war' or even a conflict. Or even a bar fight. We bombed his kids because he was a dick.

    Its sort of like getting sucker punched. He didn't even swing back.

  • db||

    The Captain of Pan Am 103 would like you to return to your seat, sir.

  • GILMORE||

    Is flight 103 a basis for classifying a 1-time airstrike as "war"?

    I do consider bombing passenger planes "being a dick", FYI

  • db||

    You said he didn't even strike back. By my timeline, Pan Am 103 occurred several years after Reagan struck at Qaddafi.

  • GILMORE||

    ....ugh. Ok. But on the 'war' issue...? Its a little slo-motion.

  • Gray Ghost||

    Grenada should probably be on the list. Perhaps the various interventions in Somalia too?

    Re, Pan Am 103, I've wondered, given the timing of it, whether it wasn't an Iranian attempt at payback for the shoot down of their airliner in July 1988 by the Vincennes. The bombing was only 5 months after the shootdown, after all.

    Yeah, yeah; portable radios, Malta, and Semtex. Still don't think it'd have been all that hard for Iran to pin it on Libya if they'd chosen to.

  • GILMORE||

    Gray Ghost| 12.6.12 @ 5:30PM |#

    Grenada should probably be on the list. Perhaps the various interventions in Somalia too?

    oh, but what about the children? med students, and starving babies... why do you hate them?

  • LTC(ret) John||

    I suspect a few u-boats may have played a part in the entry into WWI.

  • GILMORE||

    Wasn't there also something to do with shipping munitions in passenger liners?

    I almost suspect the british phoned up the jerries and dared them to do it, just to get the US involved.

  • Restoras||

    It had to be at least a double dare, if not a double dog dare.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    In fairness to BO, he has a peace prize that he has to justify.

  • $park¥||

    Another thing, why doesn't Assad have any facial hair? Is he not Muslim, or part of a sect that doesn't require it?

  • Lord Humungus||

    he and his wife are just dreamy! /Vogue

  • Julio Cesar Samper Uribe||

    I think the ratty mustache counts for something...

  • T||

    The USS Eisenhower was reported to have arrived in the area yesterday, off the Syrian coast in the Mediterranean. It holds 8,000 soldiers and eight fighter bomber squadrons

    I'm almost certain it holds that many marines, not soldiers. Soldiers rarely hang out on boats, as they prefer the company of women over the company of sailors. Marines, on the other hand...

    /pedant

  • NeonCat||

    Actually, most of the 8000 are sailors, not Marines and certainly not soldiers. The Ike probably only has a few dozen Marines as security. Actual landing-on-the-beach Marines would be on one of our smaller helicopter or landing craft carriers.

  • Restoras||

    Not pedantic enough. The USS Eisenhower may hold 8,000 sailors and marines, with sailors far outnumbering marines, but not 8,000 soldiers.

    The marines do maintain seaborne amphibious units but I doubt in numbers like that to just hang around.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    Right - At best an MEU would be hanging around with a carrier group.

  • T||

    Frankly, I didn't figure they kept that many marines on a carrier unless they were toting around Marine fighter squadrons. But I don't keep up with the internal workings of the Navy.

  • R C Dean||

    But I don't keep up with the internal workings of the Navy.

    That's OK; neither does anybody in the White House.

  • Mike M.||

    Is Western Intervention in Syria Imminent?

    Boy, that's a real toughie there, right up with other brainbusters like "Is pocket aces a good hand?" and "Is Kate Upton hot?"

    And I still want to know what the real reason is why our Dear Leader is in such a Goddamn hurry to have the radical Islamists take over all these countries. I'm not buying that it's all about encircling Iran in preparation to finally take out the mullahs; I could buy that if we were establishing large military bases of operations in all these countries, but we aren't.

    With a man as evil and sinister as what we have, I fear that almost nothing can be totally ruled out.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Quit making shit up.

  • Mike M.||

    I already told you to go jerk off to your Shepherd Fairy poster again.

    Which ought to be pretty easy for you to do, now that you're going to be getting your Obama warboner on again at any time now.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    What's the difference between an Obama warboner and a Dubya warboner?

  • Julio Cesar Samper Uribe||

    Party affiliation?

  • Bardas Phocas||

    The color.

  • $park¥||

    One leans to the left, the other to the right.

  • ΘJΘʃ de águila||

    Uh, absolutely nothing??? Would Tonee or PBP know the difference?

  • ΘJΘʃ de águila||

    Obama warboner seems to like children more. 12, 10, and 8 year old Afghan boys in particular.

  • $park¥||

    You don't like the competition?

  • GILMORE||

    I still want to know what the real reason is why our Dear Leader is in such a Goddamn hurry to have the radical Islamists take over all these countries

    I still want to know why you insist this is the inevitable consequence of all the 'arab uprisings'. It isnt. Although no one is saying results will necessarily be *good*, I think you're a bit hysterical about this angle.

  • MWG||

    It's Team Red's black and white Middle East view. Either a US backed dictator or Taliban... it's absolutley impossible to have anything in between.

  • R C Dean||

    I still want to know why you insist this is the inevitable consequence of all the 'arab uprisings'.

    Well, so far that seems to be the way they are headed.

    It doesn't need to be inevitable to be (a) a policy goal, (b) foreseeable, (c) likely, and/or (d) how it all turns out.

  • GILMORE||

    It doesn't need to be inevitable to be (a) a policy goal, (b) foreseeable, (c) likely, and/or (d) how it all turns out

    Explain why A would be "a policy goal"...by ANYONE?

    ...how B is particularly Forseeable, given that Syria is significantly *less* unified or particularly prone to fundamentalist tendencies than say, Libya...

    why its C, more likely than a ongoing civil war by competing interests..

    And please, D is fucking redundant

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    shorter GILMORE:

    *looks at the events of the past year*
    *sticks fingers in ears and screams LA-LA-LA, I CAN'T HEAR YOU!"

  • R C Dean||

    Explain why A would be "a policy goal"...by ANYONE?

    Well, its certainly the policy goal of the Islamic radicals.

    And, if your approach to making terrorism stop is to appease the Islamic radicals, well, there you go.

    How is it foreseeable that radicals could take over Syria? Gosh, I dunno, they run Syria's closest ally, have a big presence in its neighbor to the West, and a different and opposed sect just chalked some major victories in North Africa and has some big arms caches they are just itching to use. As far as I can tell, most of the fighters on both sides are either Assad loyalists or Islamic radicals.

    Put that background in the context of a country with little cultural basis for liberal democracy, and the sad fact that the most brutal and ruthless tend to come out on top of revolutions, and I think "likely" isn't out of the question.

  • GILMORE||

    You seemed to imply it was a US policy goal.

    And while I agree there are plenty of fundies up the hizzy, you fail to convince.

    Note: Hezbollah no run no Lebanon, HAMAS rules Gaza and that's it, and shockingly Iraq, despite its Shiite majority, has not devolved into West Iran quite yet. oh, and the 'Islamist' brotherhood-sponsored leader in Egypt seems to have been run out of the country the second he tried to actually rule like an Islamist leader.

    So you'll excuse me if I fail to play along with the cartoon version of regional politics

  • LTC(ret) John||

    Morsi was run "out of the country" may I have a cite to that good news, please!

  • GILMORE||

    LTC(ret) John| 12.6.12 @ 3:51PM |#

    Morsi was run "out of the country" may I have a cite to that good news, please!

    Well yes, i was projecting a bit. Maybe I should have said, 'people are trying to run him out of the country'

    Yesterdays' headline was he'd had to flee the presidential compound. Now its surrounded by Tanks.

    Now they're just camping out around him and there's a stalemate over whether this referendum thingy is going to ever make it to a vote next week.

    "...We raise Egypt's flag but they raise the Brotherhood flag. This is the difference," protester Magdi Farag said as he held the tri-colored national flag stained with blood from his friend's injury in clashes the night before.

    "We will not leave until he leaves," Farag said about the president

    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2.....z2EJ96tjrs

    My expectation is the referendum is a dead letter anyway; the point is, the idea that nationalistic Arab states are necessarily ripe for takeover by 'extreme islamists' is facing its first test of precisely that outcome... and, well, I would describe it as a less-than-easy sell to the majority.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    I'll see your Lebanon and raise you a Ennahda party (and I'm just certain you're not running to Google "Ennahda" since your our resident expert) that tightens its grips around Tunisia with every passing day, a Lybia that has also descended into Islamist madness, and a Yemen that is almost fully under control of al-Qaeda affiliate, Ansar al-Shari. Not to mention Islamist rumblings in Jordan*

    If there is a cartoon version here, it's drawn by your politically correct pleasing nostrums.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

  • GILMORE||

    "politically correct "?

    From what I can tell, the most common Team-Red politically correct view is perpetual pants-wetting about "islamists".

    My only contribution/amendment is to suggest that maybe the prevailing POV is a bit exaggerated, and that more often than not these Islamists tend to blow themselves up whenever they actually get into politics (pun intended)

    And gee, if you want to link me to MEMRI (aka the AIPAC archive of every arab antisemetic utterance since the investion of the gramaphone)... I get the gist without looking. Let me guess. Is it the one about pushing the jews into the sea, or how they drink the blood of children, or they are descended from pigs and dogs? Perhaps a Islamic Spumoni of all 3?

    This is where I get information on the region

    http://mideast.foreignpolicy.c.....east_brief

    Short take away - Middle East='SNAFU'

  • Mike M.||

    I guess I go by history, evidence, and plain old common sense. Other than Turkey, there isn't anything even remotely close to a true Jeffersonian democracy in sight over in that godforsaken region, and even Turkey in recent years has been rapidly backsliding in the direction of an Islamist state.

    I think that anyone who thinks there's a chance that anything good is going to emerge from all this chaos is being more than a little naive.

  • MWG||

    So... those are the only two options? Jeffersonian Democracy or Islamic State?

    "I think that anyone who thinks there's a chance that anything good is going to emerge from all this chaos is being more than a little naive."

    As opposed to the awesome status quo.

  • GILMORE||

    anyone who thinks there's a chance that anything good is going to emerge from all this chaos is being more than a little naive.

    As per my first comment - and clearest - I or no one else ever even suggested "good". We just pointed out you know neither jack nor shit about the region, and are running free with a hysterial meme about 'Teh Brotherhoods is running the Levants!!' Panic!@!

    I think it will be a ongoing shitty civil war a la Iraq. As it currently is. Thats not exactly your interpretation.

  • Mike M.||

    Unreal. I was one of the people around here who nailed it dead on about the fucking Arab Spring right from the beginning (and there were others as well), but I'M the one who doesn't know what I'm talking about.

  • GILMORE||

    Dead on, re: What?

    (or, what that wasn't obvious to most?)

    My point was you keep alluding to the forthcoming Jihadist takeover of Syria. Perhaps you're a little premature?

  • Lyle||

    I'll suck your dick for nothing.

  • GILMORE||

    Mike M.| 12.6.12 @ 2:54PM |#

    I guess I go by history, evidence, and plain old common sense

    You mean, "blanket assertion without reference to things like 'history, evidence, or reason'"??

    re: History = Syria's history is that of a nominal parliamentary republic ruled de-facto by a military family (Assad). Explain why they're suddenly going to find religion or why that has some historical precedent. Or explain why the historical Alawite state is going to roll over and die.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Or explain why the historical Alawite state is going to roll over and die.

    Umm... because at ~12%, that "historical" Alawi state (with a premordial history dating all the way back to 1920!)will be steamrolled by the other 75% of Syrian Sunni Muslims who hate their guts?

    But as our resident pundit on the region, you already knew that, right?

  • GILMORE||

    Why should I expect the minority (who controls the military, FWIW) to go the way of the dodo any more than they have in Iraq?

  • GILMORE||

    in addition... you act like the 75% Sunni muslims in the region are 100% fucking salafist jihadis bent on restoring the caliphate. Not surprisingly, that's what Assad WANTS people to believe...mainly because most Syrians hate those people

    the majority of the Free Syrian Army are former Syrian military personnel in any case; not exactly madrassa-raised scholars who prey 5 times a day=

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_Syrian_Army

    You'll totally read that whole thing, too, I'm sure. Because you really care.

    The role of jihadist groups and foreign fighters...?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F....._Islamists

    estimated around 10-12% = but from various sects and organizations. they are tolerated by the FSA because they are crazy diehards.

    However, when/if Assad's regime collapses? I think presuming this disparate 10% will become the predominant power is a incredible stretch of the imagination.

    Sameh al-Hamwi, a prominent activist based on Syria's border with Turkey, said that, while rebel groups were adopting Islamist slogans and making jihadist-style videos, this was only to please their Gulf supporters, and denied that Islamism was the major current within the opposition.[316]

  • GILMORE||

    In mid-June 2012, a report stated that in March an ill-fated "Islamic Emirate of Homs" was declared by a Lebanese Islamist radical, Al-Boustani, who appointed himself the Emir. Al-Boustani reportedly engaged in kidnapping and murder while claiming to wage jihad against the Syrian government. The "Emirate" lasted only a few weeks. Eventually, a local FSA brigade executed Al-Boustani amidst accusations that the jihadist was not only a traitor to the Syrian opposition but also a Syrian government agent.[324] Al-Boustani had formerly been one of the leaders of Fatah al-Islam.[325]
    In July 2012, the FSA rescued a British and Dutch photojournalist from their Islamist captors. The journalists, John Cantile and Jeroen Oerlemans, were held hostage for a week by Islamists who accused them of working for the CIA. The FSA stormed the camp, freed the journalists and scolded the hostage-takers. Oerlemans commented: "Where the FSA seems to be fighting for democracy, these foreign fighters don't want anything more than imposing sharia on Syria".[326] In August, the Farouq Battalion killed the leader of the Islamists who had kidnapped the journalists.

    Why oh why would our Dear Leader...?? ...um.... 'cause....theys all jihadis ...who want sharia.... doom!...

    Seems Legit.

  • ||

    "With a man as evil and sinister as what we have, I fear that almost nothing can be totally ruled out."

    Ruling out the over-the-top with this guy has so far proven to be a mistake, so, yeah, you are right.

  • GILMORE||

    s. I'm not buying that it's all about encircling Iran in preparation to finally take out the mullahs; I could buy that if we were establishing large military bases of operations in all these countries, but we aren't.

    totally
    except for iraq, afganistan, kuwait, bahrain, and oman. oh, and every time they go to the beach all they can see if the 5th fleet filling the gulf

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Yes, another war, er, kinetic military action, is just what this country needs!

  • LTC(ret) John||

    Stimulative kinetic military action, at that.

  • Matrix||

    We were talking about this at work. Assad is talking about using chemical weapons on his people. Some coworkers thought the people might end up dragging him out into the street, and possibly tearing him apart. They did not like that idea. I was all for it. I said "Sic Semper Tyrannus".

    You massacre your own people. Fuck you! I'm all for them dragging your ass out into the street and tearing you limb from limb... alive. I don't care what they do. You'd deserve every fucking bit of it, and I would be behind it 100%.

  • WTF||

    Some coworkers thought the people might end up dragging him out into the street, and possibly tearing him apart. They did not like that idea.

    Did they feel bad for Mussolini, too?

  • Matrix||

    I don't know. They were talking about rule of law and such. I just kept saying "sic semper tyrannus." If the people did that more often, tyrants would be too scared to fuck with them.

  • Mike M.||

    Assad is talking about using chemical weapons on his people.

    No he isn't. Assad doesn't have any chemical weapons, you fool. You're seriously going to fall for the same bunch of nonsense twice?

  • Matrix||

    I don't know if he is or isn't. Quite frankly, it's not our fight.

  • Julio Cesar Samper Uribe||

    As long as the Hill doesn't do a Power Point at the UN Security Council, we're good.

    Once that happens, all bets are off.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    Maybe he has Saddam's WMD stash? Wouldn't that be funny.

  • ||

    This is most likely the case.

  • wareagle||

    the stupid wing of the Dems, redundant I know, loves to repeat the talking of "lies and WMD" as if those Kurds killed themselves.

  • Lyle||

    It's going to be interesting either way to find out.

  • MWG||

    He doesn't? You clearly know shit about what's going on in Syria.

    /www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/162908

    "Lebanon's Al-Manar television station – linked to the Hizbullah terrorist organization -- quoted Syrian government sources as saying the former Foreign Ministry spokesman had been sacked for issuing statements that were contrary to the position of the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

    Among them was a statement in July that the regime would not use chemical weapons against its own people, thereby tacitly admitting such weapons exist in the country.

    A similar statement was broadcast on government-run national television earlier Monday, when the ministry assured the international community that Assad would not approve such a measure."

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Assad could solve this whole "don't gas your own people" by declaring all rebels to be outlaws, citizenship revoked, and completely outside of the protection of Syrian law. Then they aren't "his people," but an extranational hostile force.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    Saddam used chemo weapons on his own people (technically a different ethnicity, but the rebels aren't Alawites like Assad either). Took 25 years and a foreign invasion before he got his.

  • R C Dean||

    Assad is talking about using chemical weapons on his people.

    Is he? I thought the Assad regime was saying they wouldn't use them on their people.

    "Syria stresses again, for the tenth, the hundredth time, that if we had such weapons, they would not be used against its people. We would not commit suicide,"

    http://www.csmonitor.com/World.....tion-video

    We have reports that they are readied for use, but aren't these coming from pretty much the same agencies that were not to be believed when they told us Iraq was chock full o' WMDs?

  • Mike M.||

    Yes, it's another "curveball", but I'm pretty sure that this pitch isn't being thrown by a sneaky defector.

  • GILMORE||

    COP#1: "HE'S GOT A GUN!!!"

    [BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG]

    COP#2: "Um. Hey. I think its an iPhone5, actually."

    COP#1: "Hey, it was the best intelligence we had at the time! Case closed"

  • ΘJΘʃ de águila||

    No, Hillary and Barry are talking about Assad using chemical weapons......

  • Shirley Knott||

    What are the current odds that active hostilities commence 12-21-12?

    Heh.

  • db||

    Armageddon! Here we go!
    Armageddon! What a show!

  • Jgalt1975||

    I'd prefer that the US stay out of Syria, but the WMD thing is less bogus than with Iraq. Iraq's chemical weapons program was dismantled following the Gulf War in 1991. Syria's program has been around since the 1960s and I'm not aware of any evidence that Syria discontinued it.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    I am not sure they had much in the 1960s and 1970s, or they might have used it in the 1973 war, yes?

  • T||

    The Israelis had nukes by then. I'm no expert, but trying to gas Tel Aviv might have gone some where Damscus didn't like unless they're fans of radioactive glassware.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    If the Israelis were able to nuke Syria in 1973 - why did the Syrians even fight? I think since then, they have kept it to proxy crap (oh, and getting their air force shot down over the Bekka in ~1983) as they are more positive they would get creamed conventionally or slagged. But 1973 - a good historical question. Maybe once Assad is gone, someone can look in the ol' Ba'ath archives.

  • GILMORE||

    but the WMD thing is less bogus than with Iraq

    So, on the Bogus scale, how far from 'completely and utterly bullshit and lacking in any merit whatsoever' does something have to be to be 'plausible'?

    I mean, you're not exactly writing off the possibility of nevertheless being, "completely and utterly wrong"

    Also, since everyone's become Foreign Affairs and Chemical Weapons experts overnight... do you entirely discount the rumor-mill regarding Libyan chemical artillery rounds smuggled into Turkey?

    Do you really think, given recent history, Assad would invite his own destruction?

  • robc||

    How is Obama better than Boosh again?

  • SugarFree||

    Because he's not a nasty old Rethuglican!

  • Restoras||

    Hey, at least Obama closed Gitmo and reduced the deficit.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    He graduated from Harvard.

    He grew up in foreign countries.

    He has a Nobel Peace Prize.

    He's only half-white.

    He cares (except about the people drone strikes).

    He believes in fairness (except where due process is concerned).

    He's for gay marriage (except when he was against it).

    He hates the Citizens United decision (but has no problem using SuperPACs to get himself reelected).

    Most importantly of all, he's TEAM Blue, which the better half of TEAM Be Ruled.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    Articulate, clean, and able to turn his N***o dialect off and on.

  • robc||

    Bush is one of those three.

    And Obama isnt articulate.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    N***o

    You're joking, right?

    Or are CMU's "speech codes" that bad?

  • wareagle||

    I sure will be glad when that Bush finally leaves office and we can stop either having invasions and planning them.

    What do you mean Bush is no longer president? All I hear is him being blamed for everything.

  • R C Dean||

    He LOOMS LARGE, no?

  • Lyle||

    I love Obama's WMD argument. Classic.

  • ΘJΘʃ de águila||

    I saw that and I thought it must be THE ONION or SNL. But it wasn't.

  • db||

    I don't believe that this is our business, or that US involvement in Syria will in any way improve the situation, but, if one assumes that intervention based on WMDs is acceptable, which is the more moral course of action:

    1. Invasion of a country suspected of possessing WMDs that has actually in the past used chemical weapons against noncombatants in its own population but that is not currently engaged in armed internal conflict, or:

    2: Invasion of a country suspected of having WMDs that may use them against its combatant and/or noncombatant civilian population if the weapons are used (i.e. following an actual attack, keeping in mind that this regime has in the past brutally suppressed its population with military armaments.

    I'm not really happy with either of these characterizations of situation, and welcome additions and corrections.

    FWIW, I have a hard tume saying either is more moral, when I think it's possibly immoral to spend our tax money on an undeclared war that does not affect our vital national interests in a time of severe budget pressure and our horrible record in successfully prosecuting military actions and cleanup in recent times.

  • waaminn||

    That dude seems to know exactly what he is talking about.

    www.IP-Hidden.tk

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Progressive Puritans: From e-cigs to sex classifieds, the once transgressive left wants to criminalize fun.
  • Port Authoritarians: Chris Christie’s Bridgegate scandal
  • The Menace of Secret Government: Obama’s proposed intelligence reforms don’t safeguard civil liberties

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement