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Tue Sep 10, 2013, 03:56 PM

On Syria:Doing Nothing CAN be worse than Doing Something (NOTE:this post will probably p*** you off)

http://bluntandcranky.wordpress.com/2013/09/10/on-syria-doing-nothing-can-be-worse-than-doing-something-warning-this-post-will-probably-p-you-off/
Two things first: First, this is NOT specifically directed at DU or DUers, but at people across the country, of many political persuasions. Second, I'm the author, so the three-paragraph rule doesn't apply.

Normally, I do not take up space with an entire post - but this time, I wanted to get the whole thing out there so as not to be misunderstood. Argued with is fine, of course. Nothing else at the link.


When this writer was but a wee cranky lad, he was sometimes bullied. Fortunately, he was blessed with the ability to fight back. So after a while, the bullies went and found other, easier targets for their bullying. Does that mean that fighting back did no good? After all, the bullying didn’t stop, it just happened somewhere else.

Most of us have seen a domestic incident happen in public. Usually, some good citizen will call the cops or otherwise intervene. Odds are, the domestic abuse continues in private after the intervention. Does that mean that the intervention did no good? After all, the abuse didn’t stop, it just happened somewhere else.

In both of these cases, it’s a fair guess that you’d say “standing up for the victim of abuse is the right thing to do, even if it doesn’t completely fix everything”. This writer agrees. There are issues of morality in play here, not just inhuman calculations of efficacy. So why do so many of us appear willing to throw the Syrian people under the bus by ignoring the abuse that is being heaped upon them?

Yes, Iraq was a cluster-f***. Got it. That was (as your humble correspondent said and has been saying since before the Bushistas lied us into that quagmire) a stupid conflict that we never should have gotten into. But Syria is not Iraq. Nor is the fact that an intervention went South in the past a good reason to never intervene again everevereverevernomatterwhat.

On a short-term, purely practical level, there may be no clearly foreseeable benefit to intervention in Syria, and there certainly are manifold risks to consider. That doesn’t mean we should sit back and do nothing. Just as with a wife being beaten or a child being abused, we intervene even though we do not know the outcome, because we know that right now, a basic human right is being violated. And we owe it to our fellow human beings to stand up for them when their rights are denied.

The fact that they are on the other side of the world instead of the other side of the street does not take away our obligation to care for those who are being oppressed. You know what oppressors love? The same thing that bullies, wife-beaters and child molesters love: they love people who do nothing to stop them from committing crimes against humanity, because it enables them to continue committing those crimes.

Sometimes the media and politicos (and our fellow Americans) can get so wrapped up in realpolitik that we forget about basic human rights and decency. And make no mistake, there are lots of Americans saying “what is happening in Syria is none of our business”, or something of such. So take a moment and think: if you were being beaten, bullied, sexually abused, or gassed, what would you say? Answer: you’d say “HELP ME!” or words to that effect. As you should.

And what would you say to those who could have helped you but chose to turn away, leaving you to the tender mercies of your abuser? Answer: you’d say “F*** YOU, MOTHERF***ER”, or words to that effect. And those whose cowardice or indifference had sealed your fate would deserve those words, that shame, that stinging indictment of their manifest inhumanity.

This does not mean that military intervention is safe, or simple, or even desirable. Nor is military intervention the only route to take – there are some rumblings about a new diplomatic solution, thanks to John Kerry’s flapping yap. But no intervention, doing nothing at all, just because we are understandably weary of war and justly suspicious of our government? That is morally indefensible. (To be clear: thus far, we have done nothing. Nothing at the UN, nothing on the ground.)

People are being abused in Syria: 2 million Syrians are refugees, many living under tarps in the desert, as this post is being written. Hundreds have been gassed to death, and thousands more have been tortured and killed by the abusive Assad regime. If we vote to do nothing to help them, it is no different than turning away from the bullied person or abused child who needs our help right here at home.

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Arrow 9 replies Author Time Post
Reply On Syria:Doing Nothing CAN be worse than Doing Something (NOTE:this post will probably p*** you off) (Original post)
riqster Sep 2013 OP
notadmblnd Sep 2013 #1
riqster Sep 2013 #2
notadmblnd Sep 2013 #5
riqster Sep 2013 #7
notadmblnd Sep 2013 #8
riqster Sep 2013 #9
Pretzel_Warrior Sep 2013 #3
riqster Sep 2013 #4
notadmblnd Sep 2013 #6

Response to riqster (Original post)

Tue Sep 10, 2013, 04:08 PM

1. I'm not pissed, but I think you are wrong in the assumption US has done and is- doing nothing.

This might help.


Tensions with US

2002 May - Senior US official includes Syria in a list of states that make-up an "axis of evil", first listed by President Bush in January. Undersecretary for State John Bolton says Damascus is acquiring weapons of mass destruction.

2003 April - US threatens sanctions if Damascus fails to take what Washington calls the "right decisions". Syria denies US allegations that it is developing chemical weapons and helping fugitive Iraqis.

2003 September - President Assad appoints Mohammed Naji al-Otari prime minister.

2003 October - Israeli air strike against Palestinian militant camp near Damascus. Syria says action is "military aggression".

2004 January - President Assad visits Turkey, the first Syrian leader to do so. The trip marks the end of decades of frosty relations, although ties sour again after the popular uprising in 2011.

2004 March - At least 25 killed in clashes between members of the Kurdish minority, police and Arabs in the north-east.

2004 May - US imposes economic sanctions on Syria over what it calls its support for terrorism and failure to stop militants entering Iraq.

More.....
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-14703995

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Response to notadmblnd (Reply #1)

Tue Sep 10, 2013, 04:14 PM

2. I was referring to to the people of Syria. I should have made that clear.

Yes, diplomacy has been in play for years. But millions of people are living in tents or worse, thousands are dying, and what are we doing for those people?

Bupkis, that's what. At least we could start delivering massive amounts of humanitarian aid, something other than what we have done to date.

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Response to riqster (Reply #2)

Tue Sep 10, 2013, 04:27 PM

5. Well here is what US did in 2013

resident Obama Announces Additional Humanitarian Aid for the Syrian People
Gayle Smith

January 29, 2013
09:09 AM EDT
Share This Post

Americans and people all over the world have been moved by the images of courageous Syrians standing up to a brutal regime, even as they suffer the consequences of the violence waged against them by the Assad government. Right now, humanitarian conditions in Syria are deteriorating in the face of a massive, man-made humanitarian emergency. People have been forced from their homes; schools, clinics and bakeries continue to be targeted; and food prices are on the rise as winter takes hold.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2013/01/29/president-obama-announces-additional-humanitarian-aid-syrian-people

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Response to notadmblnd (Reply #5)

Tue Sep 10, 2013, 04:48 PM

7. Obama has tried to do what he can. Bless the man for it.

But with so many Americans and their "representatives" blowing off the crisis, we aren't doing nearly what we could. Or should.

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Response to riqster (Reply #7)

Tue Sep 10, 2013, 05:17 PM

8. But you could say that about the rest of the world too

So why just single out the US for criticism? And why do it here at DU? What does that accomplish?

Do you think perhaps it would be more productive to advocate for the Syrian people in a more productive manner? Maybe provide links of organizations/charities where DU member might be interested in helping.

It's a small thing, but it's more positive than- just posting about how horrible the US for not doing something.

I had a manager tell me once when I was complaining about something- that if I wasn't willing to take on responsibility to bring about the changes that I wanted to see, then I was part of the problem.

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Response to notadmblnd (Reply #8)

Tue Sep 10, 2013, 06:34 PM

9. There is a place for the positive, nurturing approach.

Indeed, I use it 90% of the time. On my blog, I use the brick-up-side-the-head approach.

It has its uses, too. :hi;

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Response to notadmblnd (Reply #1)

Tue Sep 10, 2013, 04:16 PM

3. notable in the timeline is all the diplomatic work Dems and Obama performed since 2007

 

and the way Assad ended up slapping that down as he continued his authoritarian crackdowns at home. Also of note is the gigantic fucking obstacle Russia has been to any U.N. activity to curb the Syrian violence.

People who want to make Putin out to be a hero in this are daft.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Reply #3)

Tue Sep 10, 2013, 04:27 PM

4. Agreed on all points.

The man who sent punk rockers to the gulag is NOT a hero.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Reply #3)

Tue Sep 10, 2013, 04:30 PM

6. Yes it is.

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