Russia Complicit in the gassing of Syrians?

Discussion in 'World Events' started by joepistole, Apr 7, 2017.


Is Russia complicit or incompetent in the gassing of Syrians?

  1. Complicit

    3 vote(s)
  2. Incompetent

    0 vote(s)
  3. Both

    4 vote(s)
  1. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    Amazing response!
    Well. Ask the question. Google Geneva Conventions. International rules of war. Find out why killing prisoners offers military advantage, for example, then ask why is it a war crime . Apply same logic to chem. weapon use.

    Limited use as demonstrated can be quite effective. So why the red line? Do you think?

    I am on mobile phone so may write more later when on desk top.
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2017
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  3. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    You can read about why they were forbidden, in the opinion of the people who actually forbade them, in the many and extensive documents and discussions on the matter prior to the necessary treaties.

    Regardless of their battlefield accomplishments, they are useful for State terrorism - at least, in the opinion of many State terrorists, who value them enough to acquire secret and expensive supplies, and have used them whenever they could. So if you are correct in your assessment of battlefield uselessness, their stockpiling and manufacture and elaboration of variety by Assad pretty much nails down the nature of his regime - if the torture prisons and so forth left any doubt.
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  5. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member


    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    Mosul - house to house, street to street, ISIL defending every inch... a war that could still be ongoing in 20 years...
    Ask again what military advantage fumigation would bring?
    The only thing stopping the use of the obvious way to rid the city of ISIL, with minimal Iraqi causalities is the welfare of civilian population and the desire of the global community to prevent the normalization of such weapons on the battle field.

    Chemical weapons use is totally indiscriminate regarding victims.
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  7. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

    Same response. Killing prisoners gives no military advantage, because if you kill them, the enemy fighters will fight to death, anyway they will be killed.
    Obama's red line was an invitation to create a fake attack, so it was predictable that there will be a fake attack after Obama has told about his red line. If in some exceptional circumstances it may be useful to apply chemical weapons, or to kill prisoners, is nothing relevant. In general, above things are stupid, and this was the base for making that illegal.

    This is a quite general justification for moral values - they are simply rules which give you an optimal strategy to reach your aims, taking into account all the risks, side effects and long term effects.
    Yes, and you can read a lot of moralistic writings which explain why you have to follow various moral rules. Feel free to believe all this moral nonsense.
    I have explained the reason, namely as a weapon of mass destruction to be used to deter a nuclear attack by Israel. You have made some objection, but have failed to convince me. So, I continue to believe that this is what motivates many to have chemical weapons - the poor man's nuclear weapons. Once you don't accept this motivation, you may find your explanation plausible, I don't.
  8. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    you have no idea what you are writing about....

    bad morals are still morals.....
    No you haven't...

    Impossible to convince any one... that you must do for yourself...

    Moral idealism?
    Striving for a better future for all?

    There is no doubt that the USA holds the greatest arsenal of indiscriminate WMA's and can be declared by some as entirely hypocritical when it comes to chemical weapons. Easy to point the finger at Assad from a position of strength maintained by massive nuclear threat.

    BUT this does not stop a people from striving for moral ideals so that the massive leverage that the USA has over the world is never needed to be used and made ultimately redundant.

    Having chemical, biological or nuclear WMA's is one thing, using them is another... do you see the difference in morality?
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2017
  9. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

    without any argument, thus, worthless.
    The world would be much better without such moral idealism. Don't forget, all what the communists have done was, for a large part, moral idealism. Similar what Daesh is doing now. And those who want a better future for all, including me, are the most dangerous for me - their "better future" for me would certainly include control over what I do, as well as some sort of enslavement.
    And all this followed by yet another example. The use of military power of the US is never needed only if the US rules the world, and everybody submits to all US wishes without any resistance. And the Russians, as well as the Chinese, are aware of that danger.
    Not much. BTW, the US is a only state which has used nuclear weapons, and, in particular, to kill a lot of civilians.
  10. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    I was talking about the documented reasons, which motivated the actual content of the treaties. One of the significant aspects was their military uselessness, for example - the fact that they were unreliable - as you mentioned.
    Which is nonsense, of course - Assad didn't even have the right kinds and delivery systems for that, let alone anything that would survive a handful of nukes, which speaks for his good sense. You described him as an intelligent man, remember?

    What nerve gas is good for is terrorism. That's why the people who have it, have it. And Assad had it - according to various sources, still does.
  11. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

    First, to have any chemical weapons that would survive a handful of nukes is easy. Bury a hole somewhere. Nothing to deliver? Sorry, this made some sense for Saddam Hussein, because there was some distance between Iraq and Israel. But for Syria/Israel it makes much less sense. Don't forget how much Saudi Arabia bombs Jemen, but they appear unable to destroy all the rockets controlled by the Houthis, they continue to hit Saudia Arabia with their rockets. So, it is easy enough to hide rockets sufficient to hit Israel.

    Then, don't forget that the use for deterrence does not really depend on what he can actually do - it depends on what is plausible for the enemy that he can do it. What we can say is that old Soviet time rockets are sufficient to deliver, even today even against Saudi Arabia, which has bought everything available on the American market for defense against such rockets.
  12. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    But to have any country, government, or military command left, is not. And gas rockets do not actually work well as weapons of mass destruction - that's kind of a US propaganda term you shouldn't take too literally. They are, as you noticed, unreliable in their mass effects. Also: gas stockpiles, artillery shells, etc - such as Assad was documented as having had - are not at all the same as rockets armed and ready, which he did not have and nobody thinks he has now. And so forth.

    Israel knows this. Assad knows this. I'll bet even you know this. Everybody knows why guys like Assad - strongman rulers with torture prisons and rebellious citizens under their thumbs as well as enemies at their borders - keep a pile of nerve gas around if they can. It's much the same reason India, Pakistan, Israel, China, Russia, North Korea, and the US, developed and stockpiled them - despite having nukes, plenty of nukes, easily adequate for deterrence.
  13. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

    Of course, nuclear weapons have a much better potential of deterrence. Chemical weapons are a bad replacement, no doubt, the nuclear weapons of a poor man. No means of delivery? From the claimed airport Shairat to Idlib are about 100 km, so even if this would be the maximal reach, Haifa and Nazareth would be in the reach. Feel free to believe that Israeli air defense is so many orders better than the Syrian one that this is not a danger at all.
    Whatever "everybody knows" - once you list some democracies like India, Israel, Russia, and the US, these reasons should be sufficiently unproblematic, not sufficient to paint Assad as an evil strongman. If you have in mind deterrence against the use of chemical weapons by Israel, ok, this would be another legitimate justification.
  14. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Nukes don't replace chemical weapons. Many States (as listed above) have both, States that cannot afford nukes either do or do not have gas without regard for nuke deterrence.
    Assad stockpiled gas and artillery shells and the like - just as Saddam did - not suitable gas rockets, much less armed ones. He never set his chemical weapons up as nuke deterrents. He was and is an intelligent man.
    1) That kind of rocket launch threat doesn't deter nuke strikes 2) First strike nukes from a neighboring State like that are remote possibilities only, not serious threats.

    Syria is a neighbor of Israel. At 100 klicks the self-poisoning and other damage from the explosions of the nukes could easily do Israel more harm than Assad's gas rockets, if any - even before the international reaction. It would be like the US nuking Toronto. (This is one reason nukes are defensive weapons, primarily: unless desperate you want to explode them a long way away from yourself, only.

    Assad had, and likely has, chemical weapons for the obvious reasons all those other countries had them, and in some cases still have them - especially strongman governments keeping their boots on rebellious tribes and the like.

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