Total Posts:35|Showing Posts:1-30|Last Page
Jump to topic:

Why have a line at the use of gas?

AnalogousMethod
Posts: 9
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/12/2013 12:29:54 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Why is it that 40,000 civilians killed with bullets and bombs isn't a reason for us to intervene, but 1,000 civilians killed with gas is suddenly unacceptable?
ClassicRobert
Posts: 2,487
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/12/2013 12:37:47 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/12/2013 12:29:54 PM, AnalogousMethod wrote:
Why is it that 40,000 civilians killed with bullets and bombs isn't a reason for us to intervene, but 1,000 civilians killed with gas is suddenly unacceptable?

Though I am opposed to any sort of violence against innocent civilians, the difference is that gas is essentially a form of mass torture as well as murder.
Debate me: Economic decision theory should be adjusted to include higher-order preferences for non-normative purposes http://www.debate.org...

Do you really believe that? Or not? If you believe it, you should man up and defend it in a debate. -RoyLatham

My Pet Fish is such a Douche- NiamC

It's an app to meet friends and stuff, sort of like an adult club penguin- Thett3, describing Tinder
AnalogousMethod
Posts: 9
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/12/2013 12:55:43 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/12/2013 12:37:47 PM, ClassicRobert wrote:
At 9/12/2013 12:29:54 PM, AnalogousMethod wrote:
Why is it that 40,000 civilians killed with bullets and bombs isn't a reason for us to intervene, but 1,000 civilians killed with gas is suddenly unacceptable?

Though I am opposed to any sort of violence against innocent civilians, the difference is that gas is essentially a form of mass torture as well as murder.

3 components to your post: mass, torture, murder.

1: 40 times more people killed with bombs and bullets than gas, so which is the mass-anything? If gas only killed 1 person, would it still be worse than the 40,000 'traditionally killed' civilians?

2: Sarin can kill within minutes, without even having symptoms start to show. Guns can kill quickly too, without the dead person experiencing symptoms.

Other times it takes longer, a person might asphyxiate. How much worse is that than being shot in the lungs and drowning in your own blood?

Or, gas can have a lifetime effect, as can wounds from guns. A damaged nerve, lost extremities, bullet fragments stuck in the body, paralysis, etc. Either method can be quick and painless, or torturous and life-long.

3: Killing a civilian with a bomb or a bullet is murder too.

So really, what is the difference?
lewis20
Posts: 5,093
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/12/2013 1:30:59 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/12/2013 12:37:47 PM, ClassicRobert wrote:
At 9/12/2013 12:29:54 PM, AnalogousMethod wrote:
Why is it that 40,000 civilians killed with bullets and bombs isn't a reason for us to intervene, but 1,000 civilians killed with gas is suddenly unacceptable?

Though I am opposed to any sort of violence against innocent civilians, the difference is that gas is essentially a form of mass torture as well as murder.

Where as bleeding out out of a limb lost to an explosion is more peaceful, dignified death?
"If you are a racist I will attack you with the north"- Abraham Lincoln

"Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material" - Leviticus 19 19

"War is a racket" - Smedley Butler
lewis20
Posts: 5,093
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/12/2013 1:32:58 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I really like how we can take the moral high ground on Assad using chemical weapons and killing innocent children.
Assad can claim he was targeting rebels in civilian neighborhoods and the children killed were the cost of war. Would be absolutely no different than us nuking Hiroshima and calling the civilians lost collateral damage.
"If you are a racist I will attack you with the north"- Abraham Lincoln

"Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material" - Leviticus 19 19

"War is a racket" - Smedley Butler
drhead
Posts: 1,475
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/12/2013 3:56:20 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Sigh...

The point is that the Syrian government violated the Geneva Convention. They agreed to it, and they didn't keep their word. Using WMDs (which is anything which cannot have a controlled scope of destruction, gas included) on ANY non-combatant, whether they are your own civilians or someone else's, is a war crime.
Wall of Fail

"You reject religion... calling it a sickness, to what ends??? Are you a Homosexual??" - Dogknox
"For me, Evolution is a zombie theory. I mean imaginary cartoons and wishful thinking support it?" - Dragonfang
"There are no mental health benefits of atheism. It is devoid of rational thinking and mental protection." - Gabrian
AnalogousMethod
Posts: 9
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/12/2013 4:25:31 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/12/2013 3:56:20 PM, drhead wrote:
Sigh...

The point is that the Syrian government violated the Geneva Convention. They agreed to it, and they didn't keep their word. Using WMDs (which is anything which cannot have a controlled scope of destruction, gas included) on ANY non-combatant, whether they are your own civilians or someone else's, is a war crime.

Is-ought. Why have we decided that 1000 innocent people dying from gas is so much worse that 40,000 innocent people dying from being shot and blown up?

If you want to argue controlled vs. uncontrolled scope of destruction, then we are left with two options:

1 - 40,000 civilians have been intentionally killed with controlled-scope weapons.
or
2 - Conventional weapons are not controlled-scope weapons.

In other words, if it's worth attacking a country because they killed 1,000 innocent people, what logic says that it's not worth attacking a country that killed 40,000 innocent people? The weapon doesn't matter. Dead is dead. Innocent is innocent.

It's like having a man who killed 40 people with his car over the course of a year, but when he shoots 1 person suddenly something has to be done about it...
doktorbob
Posts: 9
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/12/2013 9:03:24 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/12/2013 3:56:20 PM, drhead wrote:

The point is that the Syrian government violated the Geneva Convention. They agreed to it, and they didn't keep their word. Using WMDs (which is anything which cannot have a controlled scope of destruction, gas included) on ANY non-combatant, whether they are your own civilians or someone else's, is a war crime.

So... what makes this violation of the Geneva Convention any more compelling than the one that Saddam Hussein committed when he gassed a whole region full of Kurds, for which the US didn't bat an eye?

What makes the Assad regime's alleged use of gas (please note, we haven't been able to produce conclusive intelligence that it was, in fact, Assad who used these weapons) fundamentally different from forced sterilizations/abortions and infanticide regularly practiced in China, routine genital mutilation and child rape in Islamic African countries, or the brutal extermination of opposition by petty tyrants like Robert Mugabe? If the Geneva Convention has been violated to such a degree that the world - who, as a group, decided to come up with these accords which Syria never signed - needs to act, then the UN should be the appropriate forum for this discussion, not the gunboat diplomacy of the US threatening Tomahawk missiles in an ineffectual, "unbelievably small" strike with a pie-crust promise of "no boots on the ground."

What makes the US the country who is supposed to do something about this, when every other major power in the Western world refuses to act because they're not convinced that everything is as simple as it seems? Why is this administration so intent on making threats and taking an aggressive posture when we don't even have our own reliable intelligence on the disposition of Assad's arsenal and have to get our information from allies ... or even enemies?
DetectableNinja
Posts: 6,043
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/12/2013 9:06:30 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
It could be argued from a legalistic standpoint that Sarin gas was the line because poison gas, especially on civilians, is considered a warcrime to use, whereas conventional weapons aren't.
Think'st thou heaven is such a glorious thing?
I tell thee, 'tis not half so fair as thou
Or any man that breathes on earth.

- Christopher Marlowe, Doctor Faustus
drhead
Posts: 1,475
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/12/2013 9:12:11 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/12/2013 9:03:24 PM, doktorbob wrote:
At 9/12/2013 3:56:20 PM, drhead wrote:

The point is that the Syrian government violated the Geneva Convention. They agreed to it, and they didn't keep their word. Using WMDs (which is anything which cannot have a controlled scope of destruction, gas included) on ANY non-combatant, whether they are your own civilians or someone else's, is a war crime.

So... what makes this violation of the Geneva Convention any more compelling than the one that Saddam Hussein committed when he gassed a whole region full of Kurds, for which the US didn't bat an eye?

What makes the Assad regime's alleged use of gas (please note, we haven't been able to produce conclusive intelligence that it was, in fact, Assad who used these weapons) fundamentally different from forced sterilizations/abortions and infanticide regularly practiced in China, routine genital mutilation and child rape in Islamic African countries, or the brutal extermination of opposition by petty tyrants like Robert Mugabe? If the Geneva Convention has been violated to such a degree that the world - who, as a group, decided to come up with these accords which Syria never signed - needs to act, then the UN should be the appropriate forum for this discussion, not the gunboat diplomacy of the US threatening Tomahawk missiles in an ineffectual, "unbelievably small" strike with a pie-crust promise of "no boots on the ground."

What makes the US the country who is supposed to do something about this, when every other major power in the Western world refuses to act because they're not convinced that everything is as simple as it seems? Why is this administration so intent on making threats and taking an aggressive posture when we don't even have our own reliable intelligence on the disposition of Assad's arsenal and have to get our information from allies ... or even enemies?

Syria signed the Geneva Convention in 1953. Please stop talking out of your @ss.
Wall of Fail

"You reject religion... calling it a sickness, to what ends??? Are you a Homosexual??" - Dogknox
"For me, Evolution is a zombie theory. I mean imaginary cartoons and wishful thinking support it?" - Dragonfang
"There are no mental health benefits of atheism. It is devoid of rational thinking and mental protection." - Gabrian
doktorbob
Posts: 9
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/12/2013 9:19:42 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/12/2013 9:12:11 PM, drhead wrote:
At 9/12/2013 9:03:24 PM, doktorbob wrote:
At 9/12/2013 3:56:20 PM, drhead wrote:

The point is that the Syrian government violated the Geneva Convention. They agreed to it, and they didn't keep their word. Using WMDs (which is anything which cannot have a controlled scope of destruction, gas included) on ANY non-combatant, whether they are your own civilians or someone else's, is a war crime.

So... what makes this violation of the Geneva Convention any more compelling than the one that Saddam Hussein committed when he gassed a whole region full of Kurds, for which the US didn't bat an eye?

What makes the Assad regime's alleged use of gas (please note, we haven't been able to produce conclusive intelligence that it was, in fact, Assad who used these weapons) fundamentally different from forced sterilizations/abortions and infanticide regularly practiced in China, routine genital mutilation and child rape in Islamic African countries, or the brutal extermination of opposition by petty tyrants like Robert Mugabe? If the Geneva Convention has been violated to such a degree that the world - who, as a group, decided to come up with these accords which Syria never signed - needs to act, then the UN should be the appropriate forum for this discussion, not the gunboat diplomacy of the US threatening Tomahawk missiles in an ineffectual, "unbelievably small" strike with a pie-crust promise of "no boots on the ground."

What makes the US the country who is supposed to do something about this, when every other major power in the Western world refuses to act because they're not convinced that everything is as simple as it seems? Why is this administration so intent on making threats and taking an aggressive posture when we don't even have our own reliable intelligence on the disposition of Assad's arsenal and have to get our information from allies ... or even enemies?

Syria signed the Geneva Convention in 1953. Please stop talking out of your @ss.

Honestly, it doesn't really even address the rest of my points, which aren't really dependent upon that particular one to stand on their own merits.

I await your response.
AnalogousMethod
Posts: 9
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/12/2013 9:22:49 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/12/2013 9:06:30 PM, DetectableNinja wrote:
It could be argued from a legalistic standpoint that Sarin gas was the line because poison gas, especially on civilians, is considered a warcrime to use, whereas conventional weapons aren't.

Again, why?

Why is it 'ok' to shoot and blow up people, but if you use gas, then suddenly it's some big deal?

Is someone who dies from gas, pretty much with no symptoms and in a minute, being murdered more cruelly than someone who gets half their body blown off and lays there watching their body empty of blood while in extreme pain?

This idea of 'war laws' is intellectually dissonant. "We have to be civilized in the way we kill each other".
drhead
Posts: 1,475
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/12/2013 9:25:50 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/12/2013 9:03:24 PM, doktorbob wrote:
At 9/12/2013 3:56:20 PM, drhead wrote:

The point is that the Syrian government violated the Geneva Convention. They agreed to it, and they didn't keep their word. Using WMDs (which is anything which cannot have a controlled scope of destruction, gas included) on ANY non-combatant, whether they are your own civilians or someone else's, is a war crime.

So... what makes this violation of the Geneva Convention any more compelling than the one that Saddam Hussein committed when he gassed a whole region full of Kurds, for which the US didn't bat an eye?

What makes the Assad regime's alleged use of gas (please note, we haven't been able to produce conclusive intelligence that it was, in fact, Assad who used these weapons) fundamentally different from forced sterilizations/abortions and infanticide regularly practiced in China, routine genital mutilation and child rape in Islamic African countries, or the brutal extermination of opposition by petty tyrants like Robert Mugabe? If the Geneva Convention has been violated to such a degree that the world - who, as a group, decided to come up with these accords which Syria never signed - needs to act, then the UN should be the appropriate forum for this discussion, not the gunboat diplomacy of the US threatening Tomahawk missiles in an ineffectual, "unbelievably small" strike with a pie-crust promise of "no boots on the ground."

What makes the US the country who is supposed to do something about this, when every other major power in the Western world refuses to act because they're not convinced that everything is as simple as it seems? Why is this administration so intent on making threats and taking an aggressive posture when we don't even have our own reliable intelligence on the disposition of Assad's arsenal and have to get our information from allies ... or even enemies?

In addition, what will the UN do? The most they will ever do is send a strongly worded letter. Russia might prevent them from even doing that.
Wall of Fail

"You reject religion... calling it a sickness, to what ends??? Are you a Homosexual??" - Dogknox
"For me, Evolution is a zombie theory. I mean imaginary cartoons and wishful thinking support it?" - Dragonfang
"There are no mental health benefits of atheism. It is devoid of rational thinking and mental protection." - Gabrian
drhead
Posts: 1,475
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/12/2013 9:27:34 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/12/2013 9:22:49 PM, AnalogousMethod wrote:
At 9/12/2013 9:06:30 PM, DetectableNinja wrote:
It could be argued from a legalistic standpoint that Sarin gas was the line because poison gas, especially on civilians, is considered a warcrime to use, whereas conventional weapons aren't.

Again, why?

Why is it 'ok' to shoot and blow up people, but if you use gas, then suddenly it's some big deal?

Is someone who dies from gas, pretty much with no symptoms and in a minute, being murdered more cruelly than someone who gets half their body blown off and lays there watching their body empty of blood while in extreme pain?

This idea of 'war laws' is intellectually dissonant. "We have to be civilized in the way we kill each other".

Why is it 'ok' to use regular bombs, but if you send a flurry of nuclear ICBMs to a country everyone goes ballistic (no pun intented)?
Wall of Fail

"You reject religion... calling it a sickness, to what ends??? Are you a Homosexual??" - Dogknox
"For me, Evolution is a zombie theory. I mean imaginary cartoons and wishful thinking support it?" - Dragonfang
"There are no mental health benefits of atheism. It is devoid of rational thinking and mental protection." - Gabrian
doktorbob
Posts: 9
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/12/2013 9:29:14 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/12/2013 9:25:50 PM, drhead wrote:
At 9/12/2013 9:03:24 PM, doktorbob wrote:
At 9/12/2013 3:56:20 PM, drhead wrote:

The point is that the Syrian government violated the Geneva Convention. They agreed to it, and they didn't keep their word. Using WMDs (which is anything which cannot have a controlled scope of destruction, gas included) on ANY non-combatant, whether they are your own civilians or someone else's, is a war crime.

So... what makes this violation of the Geneva Convention any more compelling than the one that Saddam Hussein committed when he gassed a whole region full of Kurds, for which the US didn't bat an eye?

What makes the Assad regime's alleged use of gas (please note, we haven't been able to produce conclusive intelligence that it was, in fact, Assad who used these weapons) fundamentally different from forced sterilizations/abortions and infanticide regularly practiced in China, routine genital mutilation and child rape in Islamic African countries, or the brutal extermination of opposition by petty tyrants like Robert Mugabe? If the Geneva Convention has been violated to such a degree that the world - who, as a group, decided to come up with these accords which Syria never signed - needs to act, then the UN should be the appropriate forum for this discussion, not the gunboat diplomacy of the US threatening Tomahawk missiles in an ineffectual, "unbelievably small" strike with a pie-crust promise of "no boots on the ground."

What makes the US the country who is supposed to do something about this, when every other major power in the Western world refuses to act because they're not convinced that everything is as simple as it seems? Why is this administration so intent on making threats and taking an aggressive posture when we don't even have our own reliable intelligence on the disposition of Assad's arsenal and have to get our information from allies ... or even enemies?

In addition, what will the UN do? The most they will ever do is send a strongly worded letter. Russia might prevent them from even doing that.

To this, my only response is, "so what?" If the world at large decides against doing something more strident than sending a strongly worded letter, why should the United States engage in what is virtually guaranteed to be either an ineffective or a protracted military action to support rebels who are no better or worse than Assad himself and who hate us just as much?

Why should the US act unilaterally, when nobody else seems motivated to do so? I thought that this was what all the libs were so hopping mad about in Iraq. What changed?
drhead
Posts: 1,475
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/12/2013 9:40:39 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/12/2013 9:29:14 PM, doktorbob wrote:
At 9/12/2013 9:25:50 PM, drhead wrote:
At 9/12/2013 9:03:24 PM, doktorbob wrote:
At 9/12/2013 3:56:20 PM, drhead wrote:

The point is that the Syrian government violated the Geneva Convention. They agreed to it, and they didn't keep their word. Using WMDs (which is anything which cannot have a controlled scope of destruction, gas included) on ANY non-combatant, whether they are your own civilians or someone else's, is a war crime.

So... what makes this violation of the Geneva Convention any more compelling than the one that Saddam Hussein committed when he gassed a whole region full of Kurds, for which the US didn't bat an eye?

What makes the Assad regime's alleged use of gas (please note, we haven't been able to produce conclusive intelligence that it was, in fact, Assad who used these weapons) fundamentally different from forced sterilizations/abortions and infanticide regularly practiced in China, routine genital mutilation and child rape in Islamic African countries, or the brutal extermination of opposition by petty tyrants like Robert Mugabe? If the Geneva Convention has been violated to such a degree that the world - who, as a group, decided to come up with these accords which Syria never signed - needs to act, then the UN should be the appropriate forum for this discussion, not the gunboat diplomacy of the US threatening Tomahawk missiles in an ineffectual, "unbelievably small" strike with a pie-crust promise of "no boots on the ground."

What makes the US the country who is supposed to do something about this, when every other major power in the Western world refuses to act because they're not convinced that everything is as simple as it seems? Why is this administration so intent on making threats and taking an aggressive posture when we don't even have our own reliable intelligence on the disposition of Assad's arsenal and have to get our information from allies ... or even enemies?

In addition, what will the UN do? The most they will ever do is send a strongly worded letter. Russia might prevent them from even doing that.

To this, my only response is, "so what?" If the world at large decides against doing something more strident than sending a strongly worded letter, why should the United States engage in what is virtually guaranteed to be either an ineffective or a protracted military action to support rebels who are no better or worse than Assad himself and who hate us just as much?

You do realize that the Al-Nursa front is not the only rebel faction, and that there are factions that don't hate us, right? They're not all Al-Qaeda people.

Why should the US act unilaterally, when nobody else seems motivated to do so? I thought that this was what all the libs were so hopping mad about in Iraq. What changed?

Because very few people have the resources to do so, plus, people seem to expect us to do all of the work.
Wall of Fail

"You reject religion... calling it a sickness, to what ends??? Are you a Homosexual??" - Dogknox
"For me, Evolution is a zombie theory. I mean imaginary cartoons and wishful thinking support it?" - Dragonfang
"There are no mental health benefits of atheism. It is devoid of rational thinking and mental protection." - Gabrian
doktorbob
Posts: 9
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/12/2013 9:54:30 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/12/2013 9:40:39 PM, drhead wrote:
At 9/12/2013 9:29:14 PM, doktorbob wrote:
At 9/12/2013 9:25:50 PM, drhead wrote:
At 9/12/2013 9:03:24 PM, doktorbob wrote:
At 9/12/2013 3:56:20 PM, drhead wrote:

The point is that the Syrian government violated the Geneva Convention. They agreed to it, and they didn't keep their word. Using WMDs (which is anything which cannot have a controlled scope of destruction, gas included) on ANY non-combatant, whether they are your own civilians or someone else's, is a war crime.

So... what makes this violation of the Geneva Convention any more compelling than the one that Saddam Hussein committed when he gassed a whole region full of Kurds, for which the US didn't bat an eye?

What makes the Assad regime's alleged use of gas (please note, we haven't been able to produce conclusive intelligence that it was, in fact, Assad who used these weapons) fundamentally different from forced sterilizations/abortions and infanticide regularly practiced in China, routine genital mutilation and child rape in Islamic African countries, or the brutal extermination of opposition by petty tyrants like Robert Mugabe? If the Geneva Convention has been violated to such a degree that the world - who, as a group, decided to come up with these accords which Syria never signed - needs to act, then the UN should be the appropriate forum for this discussion, not the gunboat diplomacy of the US threatening Tomahawk missiles in an ineffectual, "unbelievably small" strike with a pie-crust promise of "no boots on the ground."

What makes the US the country who is supposed to do something about this, when every other major power in the Western world refuses to act because they're not convinced that everything is as simple as it seems? Why is this administration so intent on making threats and taking an aggressive posture when we don't even have our own reliable intelligence on the disposition of Assad's arsenal and have to get our information from allies ... or even enemies?

In addition, what will the UN do? The most they will ever do is send a strongly worded letter. Russia might prevent them from even doing that.

To this, my only response is, "so what?" If the world at large decides against doing something more strident than sending a strongly worded letter, why should the United States engage in what is virtually guaranteed to be either an ineffective or a protracted military action to support rebels who are no better or worse than Assad himself and who hate us just as much?

You do realize that the Al-Nursa front is not the only rebel faction, and that there are factions that don't hate us, right? They're not all Al-Qaeda people.

I do realize this... some of them are aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood, too, and they're not exactly buddy-buddy with us. There are virtually no rebel groups anymore that haven't, to some degree, been radicalized by one of the militant Islamist groups in the region who are hostile to US interests.

Why should the US act unilaterally, when nobody else seems motivated to do so? I thought that this was what all the libs were so hopping mad about in Iraq. What changed?

Because very few people have the resources to do so, plus, people seem to expect us to do all of the work.
So what if other people "expect us to do all the work?" There's no up-side to this for us, and the moral argument completely deteriorates when you consider the numerous other "human rights violations" we have not personally punished out of some misguided desire to be the world's police.
johnnyboy54
Posts: 6,362
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/12/2013 11:55:16 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/12/2013 9:22:49 PM, AnalogousMethod wrote:
At 9/12/2013 9:06:30 PM, DetectableNinja wrote:
It could be argued from a legalistic standpoint that Sarin gas was the line because poison gas, especially on civilians, is considered a warcrime to use, whereas conventional weapons aren't.

Again, why?

Because Nazis, that's why.
I didn't order assholes with my whiskey.
drhead
Posts: 1,475
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/13/2013 1:31:07 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/12/2013 9:54:30 PM, doktorbob wrote:
At 9/12/2013 9:40:39 PM, drhead wrote:
At 9/12/2013 9:29:14 PM, doktorbob wrote:
At 9/12/2013 9:25:50 PM, drhead wrote:
At 9/12/2013 9:03:24 PM, doktorbob wrote:
At 9/12/2013 3:56:20 PM, drhead wrote:

The point is that the Syrian government violated the Geneva Convention. They agreed to it, and they didn't keep their word. Using WMDs (which is anything which cannot have a controlled scope of destruction, gas included) on ANY non-combatant, whether they are your own civilians or someone else's, is a war crime.

So... what makes this violation of the Geneva Convention any more compelling than the one that Saddam Hussein committed when he gassed a whole region full of Kurds, for which the US didn't bat an eye?

What makes the Assad regime's alleged use of gas (please note, we haven't been able to produce conclusive intelligence that it was, in fact, Assad who used these weapons) fundamentally different from forced sterilizations/abortions and infanticide regularly practiced in China, routine genital mutilation and child rape in Islamic African countries, or the brutal extermination of opposition by petty tyrants like Robert Mugabe? If the Geneva Convention has been violated to such a degree that the world - who, as a group, decided to come up with these accords which Syria never signed - needs to act, then the UN should be the appropriate forum for this discussion, not the gunboat diplomacy of the US threatening Tomahawk missiles in an ineffectual, "unbelievably small" strike with a pie-crust promise of "no boots on the ground."

What makes the US the country who is supposed to do something about this, when every other major power in the Western world refuses to act because they're not convinced that everything is as simple as it seems? Why is this administration so intent on making threats and taking an aggressive posture when we don't even have our own reliable intelligence on the disposition of Assad's arsenal and have to get our information from allies ... or even enemies?

In addition, what will the UN do? The most they will ever do is send a strongly worded letter. Russia might prevent them from even doing that.

To this, my only response is, "so what?" If the world at large decides against doing something more strident than sending a strongly worded letter, why should the United States engage in what is virtually guaranteed to be either an ineffective or a protracted military action to support rebels who are no better or worse than Assad himself and who hate us just as much?

You do realize that the Al-Nursa front is not the only rebel faction, and that there are factions that don't hate us, right? They're not all Al-Qaeda people.

I do realize this... some of them are aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood, too, and they're not exactly buddy-buddy with us. There are virtually no rebel groups anymore that haven't, to some degree, been radicalized by one of the militant Islamist groups in the region who are hostile to US interests.

There still are actual secular opposition groups - not everyone is happy with the Brotherhood. Hell, there are even a few Christian ones. The worst attribute that can be said to exist among any of them is a preference of democratic socialism - which isn't too bad, since democratic socialist countries are often rather peaceful (you don't see Norway or Sweden gassing their civilians, do you?)

Why should the US act unilaterally, when nobody else seems motivated to do so? I thought that this was what all the libs were so hopping mad about in Iraq. What changed?

Because very few people have the resources to do so, plus, people seem to expect us to do all of the work.
So what if other people "expect us to do all the work?" There's no up-side to this for us, and the moral argument completely deteriorates when you consider the numerous other "human rights violations" we have not personally punished out of some misguided desire to be the world's police.

We cannot do everything all of the time. However, missing some incidents does not mean that we should not attempt to address others. We don't have to be perfect.
Wall of Fail

"You reject religion... calling it a sickness, to what ends??? Are you a Homosexual??" - Dogknox
"For me, Evolution is a zombie theory. I mean imaginary cartoons and wishful thinking support it?" - Dragonfang
"There are no mental health benefits of atheism. It is devoid of rational thinking and mental protection." - Gabrian
Wallstreetatheist
Posts: 7,132
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/13/2013 4:00:41 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
I originally thought this thread would pertain to waiting in line for gasoline during the 1970's.
DRUG HARM: http://imgur.com...
Primal Diet. Lifting. Reading. Psychedelics. Cold-Approach Pickup. Music.
ClassicRobert
Posts: 2,487
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/13/2013 4:17:01 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/13/2013 1:31:07 AM, drhead wrote:
At 9/12/2013 9:54:30 PM, doktorbob wrote:
At 9/12/2013 9:40:39 PM, drhead wrote:
At 9/12/2013 9:29:14 PM, doktorbob wrote:
At 9/12/2013 9:25:50 PM, drhead wrote:
At 9/12/2013 9:03:24 PM, doktorbob wrote:
At 9/12/2013 3:56:20 PM, drhead wrote:

The point is that the Syrian government violated the Geneva Convention. They agreed to it, and they didn't keep their word. Using WMDs (which is anything which cannot have a controlled scope of destruction, gas included) on ANY non-combatant, whether they are your own civilians or someone else's, is a war crime.

So... what makes this violation of the Geneva Convention any more compelling than the one that Saddam Hussein committed when he gassed a whole region full of Kurds, for which the US didn't bat an eye?

What makes the Assad regime's alleged use of gas (please note, we haven't been able to produce conclusive intelligence that it was, in fact, Assad who used these weapons) fundamentally different from forced sterilizations/abortions and infanticide regularly practiced in China, routine genital mutilation and child rape in Islamic African countries, or the brutal extermination of opposition by petty tyrants like Robert Mugabe? If the Geneva Convention has been violated to such a degree that the world - who, as a group, decided to come up with these accords which Syria never signed - needs to act, then the UN should be the appropriate forum for this discussion, not the gunboat diplomacy of the US threatening Tomahawk missiles in an ineffectual, "unbelievably small" strike with a pie-crust promise of "no boots on the ground."

What makes the US the country who is supposed to do something about this, when every other major power in the Western world refuses to act because they're not convinced that everything is as simple as it seems? Why is this administration so intent on making threats and taking an aggressive posture when we don't even have our own reliable intelligence on the disposition of Assad's arsenal and have to get our information from allies ... or even enemies?

In addition, what will the UN do? The most they will ever do is send a strongly worded letter. Russia might prevent them from even doing that.

To this, my only response is, "so what?" If the world at large decides against doing something more strident than sending a strongly worded letter, why should the United States engage in what is virtually guaranteed to be either an ineffective or a protracted military action to support rebels who are no better or worse than Assad himself and who hate us just as much?

You do realize that the Al-Nursa front is not the only rebel faction, and that there are factions that don't hate us, right? They're not all Al-Qaeda people.

I do realize this... some of them are aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood, too, and they're not exactly buddy-buddy with us. There are virtually no rebel groups anymore that haven't, to some degree, been radicalized by one of the militant Islamist groups in the region who are hostile to US interests.

There still are actual secular opposition groups - not everyone is happy with the Brotherhood. Hell, there are even a few Christian ones. The worst attribute that can be said to exist among any of them is a preference of democratic socialism - which isn't too bad, since democratic socialist countries are often rather peaceful (you don't see Norway or Sweden gassing their civilians, do you?)

To use Rand Paul's argument: if you destabilize the Assad regime through military action, are you making it more or less likely that the extremist groups, be it Al Qaeda or the Muslim Brotherhood, will get their hands on chemical weapons, or even become the new leaders of Syria? I would say that it is more likely.

Debate me: Economic decision theory should be adjusted to include higher-order preferences for non-normative purposes http://www.debate.org...

Do you really believe that? Or not? If you believe it, you should man up and defend it in a debate. -RoyLatham

My Pet Fish is such a Douche- NiamC

It's an app to meet friends and stuff, sort of like an adult club penguin- Thett3, describing Tinder
doktorbob
Posts: 9
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/13/2013 7:28:13 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
To this, my only response is, "so what?" If the world at large decides against doing something more strident than sending a strongly worded letter, why should the United States engage in what is virtually guaranteed to be either an ineffective or a protracted military action to support rebels who are no better or worse than Assad himself and who hate us just as much?

You do realize that the Al-Nursa front is not the only rebel faction, and that there are factions that don't hate us, right? They're not all Al-Qaeda people.

I do realize this... some of them are aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood, too, and they're not exactly buddy-buddy with us. There are virtually no rebel groups anymore that haven't, to some degree, been radicalized by one of the militant Islamist groups in the region who are hostile to US interests.

There still are actual secular opposition groups - not everyone is happy with the Brotherhood. Hell, there are even a few Christian ones. The worst attribute that can be said to exist among any of them is a preference of democratic socialism - which isn't too bad, since democratic socialist countries are often rather peaceful (you don't see Norway or Sweden gassing their civilians, do you?)

Even if there are secular groups, they're hardly the ones with the highest likelihood of actually achieving more than a marginal status as the "token opposition" in a new regime which will almost certainly be dominated by one of the larger, much better-funded and better armed, more fanatical groups being supported by international terrorist organizations dedicated to Jihad against the Great Satan, America.

Even assuming that we give your statement full credence - and I'm not sure we should, given the depth and breadth of anti-American sentiment in Syria - it doesn't really make any difference. The ones that we're actually arming... the ones who phony scholars touted by the Obama administration have put their support behind... are known to have videos out there with a backdrop of Washington, D.C. totally engulfed in flames. Hardly an image to inspire confidence that they're sympathetic to our cause or would have anything but contempt for us when they topple the only force that's been able to keep them from taking over Syria for over a decade.

Why should the US act unilaterally, when nobody else seems motivated to do so? I thought that this was what all the libs were so hopping mad about in Iraq. What changed?

Because very few people have the resources to do so, plus, people seem to expect us to do all of the work.
So what if other people "expect us to do all the work?" There's no up-side to this for us, and the moral argument completely deteriorates when you consider the numerous other "human rights violations" we have not personally punished out of some misguided desire to be the world's police.

We cannot do everything all of the time. However, missing some incidents does not mean that we should not attempt to address others. We don't have to be perfect.

"Missing some of the incidents" is just a nice way of saying, "we're being bloody, flaming hypocrites in broad daylight for our selective outrage." I guess it's whatever spin you want to put on it, but as far as I'm concerned, it's not like we've even put any effort into trying to stop most of these heinous acts or even censuring them with a strongly-worded letter. Syria is being trotted out as a scapegoat in the name of political expediency, as far as I can tell.

Can you show me a single reason to believe otherwise?
AnalogousMethod
Posts: 9
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/13/2013 8:02:17 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/12/2013 9:27:34 PM, drhead wrote:
At 9/12/2013 9:22:49 PM, AnalogousMethod wrote:
At 9/12/2013 9:06:30 PM, DetectableNinja wrote:
It could be argued from a legalistic standpoint that Sarin gas was the line because poison gas, especially on civilians, is considered a warcrime to use, whereas conventional weapons aren't.

Again, why?

Why is it 'ok' to shoot and blow up people, but if you use gas, then suddenly it's some big deal?

Is someone who dies from gas, pretty much with no symptoms and in a minute, being murdered more cruelly than someone who gets half their body blown off and lays there watching their body empty of blood while in extreme pain?

This idea of 'war laws' is intellectually dissonant. "We have to be civilized in the way we kill each other".

Why is it 'ok' to use regular bombs, but if you send a flurry of nuclear ICBMs to a country everyone goes ballistic (no pun intented)?

That's what I'm asking you. That's no different than my original question. Why is it horrible if you kill 1000 civilians with small nukes, but not so bad if you kill 40,000 with regular weapons?

Who in their right mind can simultaneously claim both of the following?

A - It's not allowed to kill civilians with weapons that could either kill them instantly and painlessly, or slowing and painfully.
B - It's not as bad to kill civilians with other weapons that could either kill them instantly and painlessly, or slowing and painfully.
ConservativeAmerican
Posts: 1,676
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/14/2013 11:56:28 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Bullets, conventional weapons and small explosives like drone attacks where the explosion is controlled are different because you have a clear objective. The objective is usually not to kill as many people as possible, in fact that's not what war is about at all. In war, you can defeat an enemy and usually do defeat your enemy by taking over supply routes, blowing up weapons caches and cutting off communications, which is done by conventional weapons. Chemical weapons, on the other hand are not meant to destroy the means by which an army operates (Supplies) but to destroy the army itself and civilians who are in the area. So basically, conventional weapons usually are more controllable in destroying their objective and their objective only, chemical weapons are not.
AnalogousMethod
Posts: 9
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/14/2013 12:17:46 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/14/2013 11:56:28 AM, ConservativeAmerican wrote:
Bullets, conventional weapons and small explosives like drone attacks where the explosion is controlled are different because you have a clear objective. The objective is usually not to kill as many people as possible, in fact that's not what war is about at all. In war, you can defeat an enemy and usually do defeat your enemy by taking over supply routes, blowing up weapons caches and cutting off communications, which is done by conventional weapons. Chemical weapons, on the other hand are not meant to destroy the means by which an army operates (Supplies) but to destroy the army itself and civilians who are in the area. So basically, conventional weapons usually are more controllable in destroying their objective and their objective only, chemical weapons are not.

Let's take that as true for a moment. Essentially, "accidentally" killing 40,000 civilians with bombs and bullets isn't as bad because that wasn't your intent, but "purposefully" killing 1,000 civilians in an active warzone is much worse?

Bullets, mortars, RPGs, bombs... in a warzone they all kill combatants and civilians. Just like gas. The outcome is the same, you are using a weapon to target an area hoping to kill your enemy, and there is always collateral damage.

Now, if a dictator just dropped gas on a quiet neighborhood and killed 1,000 civilians, then that's bad. I think we all agree. But why is that worse than killing 1,000 civilians in a quiet neighborhood with bombs?

Let's take your argument one step further, why can't we use small tactical nukes? Those can be used extremely effectively to take out strategic military targets, especially ones that are far removed from towns. In that instance, a nuke would be no different than dropping, say, 1000 guided bombs on the same target.

It's still the same nonsense. Doing something with one weapon is fine. Doing the exact same thing with another weapon is bad.
drhead
Posts: 1,475
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/14/2013 10:36:53 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/14/2013 12:17:46 PM, AnalogousMethod wrote:
At 9/14/2013 11:56:28 AM, ConservativeAmerican wrote:
Bullets, conventional weapons and small explosives like drone attacks where the explosion is controlled are different because you have a clear objective. The objective is usually not to kill as many people as possible, in fact that's not what war is about at all. In war, you can defeat an enemy and usually do defeat your enemy by taking over supply routes, blowing up weapons caches and cutting off communications, which is done by conventional weapons. Chemical weapons, on the other hand are not meant to destroy the means by which an army operates (Supplies) but to destroy the army itself and civilians who are in the area. So basically, conventional weapons usually are more controllable in destroying their objective and their objective only, chemical weapons are not.

Let's take that as true for a moment. Essentially, "accidentally" killing 40,000 civilians with bombs and bullets isn't as bad because that wasn't your intent, but "purposefully" killing 1,000 civilians in an active warzone is much worse?

Let me spell this out for you:

Just because we did not do anything after the first civilian was killed does not mean that we cannot decide to do something later.

Bullets, mortars, RPGs, bombs... in a warzone they all kill combatants and civilians. Just like gas. The outcome is the same, you are using a weapon to target an area hoping to kill your enemy, and there is always collateral damage.

With gas, there is little collateral damage. It can be used to quickly wipe out all civilians in an area without destroying buildings.

Now, if a dictator just dropped gas on a quiet neighborhood and killed 1,000 civilians, then that's bad. I think we all agree. But why is that worse than killing 1,000 civilians in a quiet neighborhood with bombs?

Because gas is a much more effective way to kill people, and it does not destroy infrastructure.

Let's take your argument one step further, why can't we use small tactical nukes? Those can be used extremely effectively to take out strategic military targets, especially ones that are far removed from towns. In that instance, a nuke would be no different than dropping, say, 1000 guided bombs on the same target.

Small tactical nukes don't exist outside of military science-fiction. There is a minimum amount of fissile material needed to make a nuclear explosion.

It's still the same nonsense. Doing something with one weapon is fine. Doing the exact same thing with another weapon is bad.

Where do you think the line should be drawn, then? Do you think we should never intervene even if they start killing civilians at a faster rate, just because we don't intervene at every incident of civilian casualties? Because this is what your argument sounds like.
Wall of Fail

"You reject religion... calling it a sickness, to what ends??? Are you a Homosexual??" - Dogknox
"For me, Evolution is a zombie theory. I mean imaginary cartoons and wishful thinking support it?" - Dragonfang
"There are no mental health benefits of atheism. It is devoid of rational thinking and mental protection." - Gabrian
Stephen_Hawkins
Posts: 5,316
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/15/2013 7:20:09 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Pragmatism. If anyone hears me talk about the UN, they understand I am the most utopian hopeful for the system. However, you need to understand that most of the group are not Western liberal countries. The dominant ideology, though we hate to admit it, is a post-colonial one, where nations are xenophobic and hate foreign political interference. Globalisation hasn't changed the fact that in 1908 King Leopold bought a country, the Boer republics were recovering from the brutal Boer War, and Europe was using the colonies as a playground. Following that in the 50s onwards, the final steps towards freedom were destroyed for many nations by interference from the US and the Soviet Union. Most are wary of any political intervention, and hate the idea of a country telling them what to do which is so much more powerful and has been so ambivalent to their interests or their rights.

However, chemical weapons is a universal line. Most poor countries cannot afford them, they are not a militarily advantageous weapon except in civilian killing (which has its advantages we are seeing from Assad's use, as well as his father), and their effects are brutally shocking. More so than traditional warfare. Any of the images reveal that.

Therefore, these nations, usually scared (and rightly so) of any "agreements" that more powerful nations make, will state that chemical weapons is a step too far. They hope it won't be used on them, and they won't use it as their bargaining chip. A good trade, really, because they don't have the weapons to use. It is similar to the quasi-ban on nuclear weapons in the sense that no nation will use them because almost none can afford them.

Back to Assad, though, he has the wealth to afford them. Moreover, his war against a vastly civilian population is one to instill fear and make them subjugated again: therefore, tactically used chemical weapons are skilled. Note his father's use of force to subjugate a rebellion in his time by extremely brutal levelling scorched earth tactics: very immoral, but very effective. Furthermore, countries like the US have used chemical weapons before, so the guarantees are weak. Moreover, (and Iean to this explanation more due to utopianism on my part) the media is such a restraining force that if the US used chemical weapons in a war that is reaching critical mass media coverage - and won't go away - it will end governments, if it is revealed. So Assad can use this to his advantage to use chemical weapons, and not get terrible consequences. The danger of course only moral, is the problem. Therefore, Assad has good reason to use chemical weapons, tactically, as the second the rebellion ends - no matter who is on top - the crisis is resolved. So, Assad militarily should use chemical weapons.

The fact that he should be so immoral from a military perspective is why we ought to intervene even more now that these lines are being crossed. There are many other severe cases of crisis, and many potential places, where the use of chemical weapons becomes a larger and larger possibility. We ought, in an ideal world, intervene earlier when civilians were being killed en masse, but this is a line which the world can agree on. It is a line that the vast majority of nations will take a moral stand on, and is our foot in the door to making moral interventions. To ignore the line would be to capitulate on all gains we have made securing stronger relations and faith with other poorer nations and reinforce a stereotype where the Western world is seen as having interests against the Third World. To have a line at gas, in short, is to state our disgust with immoral murder of civilians, yet pragmatic in that it is enforcable.
Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach him how to be Gay, he'll positively influence the GDP.

Social Contract Theory debate: http://www.debate.org...
Veridas
Posts: 733
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/15/2013 11:55:05 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/12/2013 12:29:54 PM, AnalogousMethod wrote:
Why is it that 40,000 civilians killed with bullets and bombs isn't a reason for us to intervene, but 1,000 civilians killed with gas is suddenly unacceptable?

The same reason hollowpoint bullets are illegal.

Sometimes death is a requirement for self defence, or justified in the form of incredible criminal acts. Nobody bats an eyelid whenever SWAT teams take down a cokehead with a shotgun.

Likewise, the term "civil war" implies an internalised conflict that, while it may be that one side if more moralistic than the other, is generally none of the business of external nations.

However.

Chemical, biological and nuclear weapons are ruled out precisely for this reason. Most modern weapons of the type are detectable one way or the other, and given that the first world war was just that, a world war, most if not all superpowers of today as well as numerous non-superpower states recognise the brutality and heartlessness of the use of gas as a weapon. The fact that you can always take cover from bullets, bombs or shrapnel, but with some forms of gas, a single inhalation is enough to spell your death. You may not see it, may not hear it, you might not even be able to smell it.

Its use speaks of absolute contempt for your enemy. Of having no consideration for their reasons to fight or of any potential peace. It comes with the knowledge that they will never want peace with you, because nobody can justify its use as a weapon when, as you quite rightly pointed out, they were doing so well with conventional arms anyway.

Its effectively saying "The fact that you fight is a good enough reason for me to totally disregard your reasons why"

There is the argument that the use of these weapons will draw sympathy to the cause of the rebels in this particular scenario, but I wonder how many people who were considering joining their ranks will now refuse to do so out of fear of a death involving a grating heat in the lungs, an acidic burn in the eyes and mouth, the inability to breathe or scream, of the fear of watching blisters form on exposed skin and having your ability to fight back or resist totally robbed of you.

Its worse than death. Its total powerlessness, humiliation and overkill. All because someone decided that an artillery shell of a 7.62 wasn't certain enough.
What fresh dickery is the internet up to today?
AnalogousMethod
Posts: 9
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/15/2013 12:29:38 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/14/2013 10:36:53 PM, drhead wrote:
At 9/14/2013 12:17:46 PM, AnalogousMethod wrote:
At 9/14/2013 11:56:28 AM, ConservativeAmerican wrote:
Bullets, conventional weapons and small explosives like drone attacks where the explosion is controlled are different because you have a clear objective. The objective is usually not to kill as many people as possible, in fact that's not what war is about at all. In war, you can defeat an enemy and usually do defeat your enemy by taking over supply routes, blowing up weapons caches and cutting off communications, which is done by conventional weapons. Chemical weapons, on the other hand are not meant to destroy the means by which an army operates (Supplies) but to destroy the army itself and civilians who are in the area. So basically, conventional weapons usually are more controllable in destroying their objective and their objective only, chemical weapons are not.

Let's take that as true for a moment. Essentially, "accidentally" killing 40,000 civilians with bombs and bullets isn't as bad because that wasn't your intent, but "purposefully" killing 1,000 civilians in an active warzone is much worse?

Let me spell this out for you:

Just because we did not do anything after the first civilian was killed does not mean that we cannot decide to do something later.

That's not the topic. The topic is the 'red line' which is effectively subjectively placed. Our policies say "It's bad for you to kill civilians one way, but if you kill them another way, (which is even arguably less painful for those civilians) that's absolutely not allowed!"

It's completely illogical. Killing is not allowed. Killing is allowed.

Bullets, mortars, RPGs, bombs... in a warzone they all kill combatants and civilians. Just like gas. The outcome is the same, you are using a weapon to target an area hoping to kill your enemy, and there is always collateral damage.

With gas, there is little collateral damage. It can be used to quickly wipe out all civilians in an area without destroying buildings.

Collateral damage as in civilians. Killing civilians with bullets and bombs is collateral damage too.

Now, if a dictator just dropped gas on a quiet neighborhood and killed 1,000 civilians, then that's bad. I think we all agree. But why is that worse than killing 1,000 civilians in a quiet neighborhood with bombs?

Because gas is a much more effective way to kill people, and it does not destroy infrastructure.

Either way you have 1,000 dead civilians. Carpet bombing is just as effective at killing innocents. And if you want to talk about infrastructure, wouldn't it be preferred not to demolish cities? At least that way refugees have something to come home to after.

Let's take your argument one step further, why can't we use small tactical nukes? Those can be used extremely effectively to take out strategic military targets, especially ones that are far removed from towns. In that instance, a nuke would be no different than dropping, say, 1000 guided bombs on the same target.

Small tactical nukes don't exist outside of military science-fiction. There is a minimum amount of fissile material needed to make a nuclear explosion.

It's a matter of perspective. Small, relatively speaking. We don't make the huge nukes anymore because it's better to use 'small' tactical nukes. More compact, more cost-effective, more efficient, more targeted, less collateral damage. SO I'll say it again, what's the difference? If you carpet bomb an area that has no civilians and kill 100% of the soldiers and destroy 100% of the infrastructure, how is that really different than using a small nuke? The radiation isn't going to cause any problems, it will dissipate before it reaches anywhere else.

It's still the same nonsense. Doing something with one weapon is fine. Doing the exact same thing with another weapon is bad.

Where do you think the line should be drawn, then? Do you think we should never intervene even if they start killing civilians at a faster rate, just because we don't intervene at every incident of civilian casualties? Because this is what your argument sounds like.

I don't think you've been paying very much attention to my argument. I haven't been making suggestions on policy, so why would it sound like I have been?

Personally, I think the line should be drawn when our own safety is threatened. We can't afford to try to fix the world, and it doesn't work. We can replace one regime with another, we can take out one dictator for another to take his place. We can waste trillions of dollars and millions of lives trying to fix a problem that won't go away, and ruin our country in the process.