Should the US bomb Syria?

Recent polls show 91% of the country thinks the US should not bomb Syria. Sadly it seems the other 9% have control over the bombs.

Tom tomorrow on syria

So where is the error in my thinking here?

Before the congressional approval process is complete, Iran threatens retaliation against Israel if the US bombs Syria.  After the proposed US bombing raid in Syria, Iran is likely to strike at Israel.  Israel will respond by using superior force, possibly nuclear weapons against Iran.  Russia and China will face off against a US-backed Israel and we get a full-on World War III.

Perhaps, a 5% chance.  Certainly, the situation in Syria is not trivial. Chemical weapons use matters.  Obama said it was a red line, this means something for the deterrent credibility.  But the problems with the US “going alone” with only France as a significant ally in the attack are serious as well. It matters to some, that only the UN Security Council can permit such strikes short of an attack on the US.

Obama’s plan will violate international law and it is quite unlikely to change much in the Syrian conflict, unless we are unlucky like the disaster forecast above.

Almost everyone is on board

Almost everyone is on board

The good news is that 189 countries have signed the chemical weapons treaty. (Syria is not a signatory). That as of Jan 2013 over 78% of the world’s stockpiles of chemical weapons had been destroyed.  And that chemical weapons degrade with time and you cannot effectively stockpile them for long periods.  Thus if a US strike could actually hit them, they might be destroyed and be somewhat hard to replace.

But in the end it is not going to be US airstrikes that stop chemical weapons use, either in Syria or other countries. To attain this globally sought goal, there will have to be wide spread understanding, rather than a solo global policeman with ineffective tools.

[Edited by Judy Youngquest]

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About paxus

a funologist, memeticist and revolutionary. Can be found in the vanity bin of Wikipedia and in locations of imminent calamity. buckle up, there is going to be some rough sledding.

5 responses to “Should the US bomb Syria?”

  1. Sigrid Kulkowitz says :

    Thanks for the post….Of course I am glad there is the Chemical Weapons Convention and I also am always struck by our “morality” around what ways are okay or not to kill someone else…I am curious about your comment about chemicals degrading over time. Do you have a link? I would assume it has something to do with containment. In the end, the whole thing sucks. These are challenging issues to contemplate and respond to. Being part of the 91%, it is always a question of how to go beyond a good FB post and do something that has greater impact…..

  2. Ed Zavada says :

    While I’m opposed to bombing Syria, I think the 91% is a vast overstatement of the opposition. If you follow this back to the original Reuters article, it says 60% opposed, 9% in favor. 91% is the sum of the undecideds and opposed. Infowars, as usual, is heavily distorting the information.

    Furthermore, that survey was taken two weeks ago, before the evidence that Syria used chemical weapons started to pile up. That same survey asked how people’s opinions would change if Syria did use chemical weapons, and the numbers shifted substantially: 46% opposed, 25% in favor of intervention.

    Furthermore, a Gallup poll conducted Sep 3rd-4th found that support was at 36%, and opposition at 51%.

    It’s also important to note that the strength of opposition was not considered, it may be that most people who are against it are not strongly against it. And assuming that the whole thing doesn’t go very badly for us, you can except a spike in support following the action.

    There are plenty of good reasons not to bomb Syria, but overwhelming public opinion against it is not one them.

    The original article is here:

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/08/25/us-syria-crisis-usa-poll-idUSBRE97O00E20130825

    The Gallup poll is here:

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/164282/support-syria-action-lower-past-conflicts.aspx?utm_source=alert&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=syndication&utm_content=morelink&utm_term=Politics

  3. Jade says :

    Thank you for this wonderful article…I enjoyed the explanation of what is going on…with the pro’s and con’s…Plus I feel more inclined to believe the posts information rather than some political rag spouting its own agenda. Thank you.

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