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Subject: Syria Opinion rss

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Brian Lucid
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Saw this on FB, I think the author is right on. I hope we don't do anything foolish in Syria. I hope some bloody politician can articulate an end state or at least explain why it's important the U.S. "helps" everyone develop their governments. I am upset that they commit the military first and then want them to figure out the mess they were sent into. The posters are Active Duty Soldiers. I am a retired one. These are their words.
.....

"A good friend of mine and fellow Soldier posted this as his status this moring, I believe it is a well stated and current Soldiers need to read and see how you can properly state an opinon.

Some people are asking me what I think about Syria, so here it is.

I’m tired. I’m tired of people watching their children grow up via Facebook and Skype. I’m tired of hearing a man tell his wife ‘I love you’ followed by ‘I miss you’ for an entire year. I’m tired of watching the military divorce rate shoot sky-high. I’m tired of overhearing some teenager tell his mom over the phone, “I’m going over there” and hearing her cry from 20 feet away. I’m tired of Veterans waiting years to get the help they deserve and need. I’m tired of empty seats at Christmas dinner every other year and anniversary presents in the mail flying overseas. I’m tired of new men and women walking around with invisible wounds that don’t heal. Our flag is a beautiful thing- but I’m tired of seeing it draped over a casket. I’m tired of men and women missing pieces of their bodies, minds, and souls.


I want peace in Syria. I want people to stop killing each other in Syria, as well as anywhere else in the world. I want to look back on wars, not anticipate them. I want to make plans for the next year, and the year after that don’t revolve around being in a foreign country. I want proof that the people we’re helping aren’t the people who have been trying to kill us for more than a decade. I want to know that the people we’re attacking are the ones who used the Chemical Weapons. I want to know how Syria’s problem is a threat to America, our Freedom, and our people. I want to know why we’re doing this alone, when the use of Chemical Weapons should get an international response.

I can’t protest in uniform or speak against the leaders of our country. But I can address people.

Stop worrying about Miley Cyrus rubbing her ass on Beetlejuice. The next season of The Walking Dead will be available on DVD and Netflix and I promise, it won’t change from what they’ve shown on television. Unless you play football, and your income depends on that next game, stop obsessing over a sport for a bit. The clubs, bars, honky-tonks, and juke joints will be there all year. Ben Affleck isn’t a real hero, so it doesn’t matter what he does in a Batman costume at this point. You might want to turn your attention to this for just a minute, and maybe say how you feel about it- one way or another.

Because a whole lot of people are going to die real soon, no matter what. It’s just a matter of who they are."
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Boaty McBoatface
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I (more or less) agree with what this soldier says.
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Brian Lucid
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When we use force we need to think it through. Dems and Republicans both show a lack of long term thinking when it comes to military action. I think it's because we've been electing leadership who have not served. They're great at serving themselves but not so much others.

It seems to me to be an ego thing. I'm president, I think I'll drop a bomb. Well, after you drop that bomb there are an awful lot of consequences. If we're going to get everyone mad at us, let's pick a good reason. Last good reason we had was 1938-45.
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Seth Brown
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Sadly, the peace candidates for each of the two major parties (Ron Paul - R, Dennis Kucinich - D) never make it very far, so regardless of whether a Republican or Democrat is president, peace isn't an option we tend to look at. (Which is why I suggest not to vote for either of those parties for that office.)
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Boaty McBoatface
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I can imagine the screams and stamping of feet if a president refused to OK a war congress wanted.
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Moshe Callen
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slatersteven wrote:
I can imagine the screams and stamping of feet if a president refused to OK a war congress wanted.

Do you mean implement? If Congress were to declare war, then the US would be at war-- without the president having a say in the matter. As Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces he could refuse to deploy troops or materiel for it though, I suppose.
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whac3 wrote:
slatersteven wrote:
I can imagine the screams and stamping of feet if a president refused to OK a war congress wanted.

Do you mean implement? If Congress were to declare war, then the US would be at war-- without the president having a say in the matter. As Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces he could refuse to deploy troops or materiel for it though, I suppose.
So electing a "peace President" would not stop the USA going to war?
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Moshe Callen
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slatersteven wrote:
whac3 wrote:
slatersteven wrote:
I can imagine the screams and stamping of feet if a president refused to OK a war congress wanted.

Do you mean implement? If Congress were to declare war, then the US would be at war-- without the president having a say in the matter. As Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces he could refuse to deploy troops or materiel for it though, I suppose.
So electing a "peace President" would not stop the USA going to war?

Well, there is also the War Powers Act by which the president can initiate military action. It's supposed to be used for things short of full-scale war but was used in both Korea and Vietnam, not to mention both Iraq wars. So a "peace president" might stop the US goignto war via the war Powers Act.
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Lewis Wagner
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whac3 wrote:

Well, there is also the War Powers Act by which the president can initiate military action. It's supposed to be used for things short of full-scale war but was used in both Korea and Vietnam, not to mention both Iraq wars. So a "peace president" might stop the US goignto war via the war Powers Act.


That's incorrect. Both Iraq wars had Congressional authorization. Obama is asking for Congressional authorization for Syria. Libya more fits the mold of the War Powers Act.

A "peace" president wouldn't have asked for any of those authorizations. A Congress bent on war trumps the president, but that's not the way it's worked in the modern era.
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Lewis Wagner
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The biggest argument for intervention in Syria is to prevent and reverse the spread of WMD's, which are defined as nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons.

The argument should be:
1. Someone used chemical weapons in Syria
2. Assad says maybe he has them but it wasn't him this time.

A reasonable policy is that dictators are guilty until proven innocent. We give Assad a small, short chance to prove his innocence by letting in US inspectors that go anywhere, check anything, and we bomb immediately if/when they are blocked.

If you want an international regime to do this, build one that works, and propose this approach after you've done that part. Right now, the international groups are just bodies for dictators to bribe. Lying about this doesn't make you an internationalist, it makes you a fellow traveler with Fascists.

You could argue that proliferation of WMD's is none of our business. Let the old world gas itself to extinction, and hope we have a way to shut down airports quickly when they switch to germ warfare. If that's the argument, make it honestly, and accept that there is a real downside to the proliferation of WMD's.

It's not obvious which of those 2 bad options is best. It seems to me that everyone in the debate is tacitly supporting one of them.
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Moshe Callen
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lewis wrote:
whac3 wrote:

Well, there is also the War Powers Act by which the president can initiate military action. It's supposed to be used for things short of full-scale war but was used in both Korea and Vietnam, not to mention both Iraq wars. So a "peace president" might stop the US goignto war via the war Powers Act.


That's incorrect. Both Iraq wars had Congressional authorization. Obama is asking for Congressional authorization for Syria. Libya more fits the mold of the War Powers Act.

A "peace" president wouldn't have asked for any of those authorizations. A Congress bent on war trumps the president, but that's not the way it's worked in the modern era.

but no formal declaration of war. So under what authority did the US go? The War Powers Act. How is that incorrect?
 
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Lewis Wagner
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whac3 wrote:
lewis wrote:
whac3 wrote:

Well, there is also the War Powers Act by which the president can initiate military action. It's supposed to be used for things short of full-scale war but was used in both Korea and Vietnam, not to mention both Iraq wars. So a "peace president" might stop the US goignto war via the war Powers Act.


That's incorrect. Both Iraq wars had Congressional authorization. Obama is asking for Congressional authorization for Syria. Libya more fits the mold of the War Powers Act.

A "peace" president wouldn't have asked for any of those authorizations. A Congress bent on war trumps the president, but that's not the way it's worked in the modern era.

but no formal declaration of war. So under what authority did the US go? The War Powers Act. How is that incorrect?


Both Iraq wars were based on Congressional resolutions. That is Congress using it's normal abilities. Congress said fight here, now, and the president did as specifically authorized. Obama is asking Congress for specific authorization to fight in Syria.

In the War Powers Act, Congress gave all future presidents carte blanche to fight short unknown future wars. It was actually a step back from Vietnam style fighting since it had time limits, after which Congress must authorize continued fighting. Libya was a War Powers Act style conflict. There was no "fight in Libya" specific authorization in Congress.

Note that Congress has given up it's war making authority in other ways, such as authorizing the president to go to war whenever the UN says it's ok. That's how we got into Korea.
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Sebastián Koziner
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I'm from Argentina, a 3rd world country who is pretty far from both countries. From here, we have a pretty different point of view.

I personally knew a lot of American people, they are pretty decent human beings, their soldiers are really brave people, who truly believe in freedom and wan't to do their best, but overall they are not very aware of the world outside USA. They believe heavily in the USA media to form their opinion, but news there are very different from the rest of the world view, and tend to follow their government agenda.

We are not happy to see USA intervene in every conflict in every country who they claim have problems. We have looked kinda sad a war against unfound "weapons of mass destruction" from the only country who actually used nuclear weapons in war. There is a lot of international alliances to intervene in this kind of conflict, but USA is not the world police, and we kinda feel that in the few decades that's what was turning into.

When Obama, a Peace Nobel price became president was a good news for the rest of the world, we thought that was the opportunity for change. But that didn't happen, he actually sustained the same policies in foreign affairs, bringing no peace anywhere. I think that Syria is an opportunity to show USA intentions, but let me tell you, half of the world is no happy at all with this, and we are feeling very unconfortable with a country so big and so armed going to every war they can.

I hope you understand I do like Americans, but their government and the people are not the same, and wanted to express this as sincerely as I can without hurt no one feelings.
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Derry Salewski
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Argentina's a third world country?
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Of course. Why do you think the Third Reich moved there?
 
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SebasKO wrote:
I'm from Argentina, a 3rd world country who is pretty far from both countries. From here, we have a pretty different point of view.

I personally knew a lot of American people, they are pretty decent human beings, their soldiers are really brave people, who truly believe in freedom and wan't to do their best, but overall they are not very aware of the world outside USA. They believe heavily in the USA media to form their opinion, but news there are very different from the rest of the world view, and tend to follow their government agenda.

We are not happy to see USA intervene in every conflict in every country who they claim have problems. We have looked kinda sad a war against unfound "weapons of mass destruction" from the only country who actually used nuclear weapons in war. There is a lot of international alliances to intervene in this kind of conflict, but USA is not the world police, and we kinda feel that in the few decades that's what was turning into.

When Obama, a Peace Nobel price became president was a good news for the rest of the world, we thought that was the opportunity for change. But that didn't happen, he actually sustained the same policies in foreign affairs, bringing no peace anywhere. I think that Syria is an opportunity to show USA intentions, but let me tell you, half of the world is no happy at all with this, and we are feeling very unconfortable with a country so big and so armed going to every war they can.

I hope you understand I do like Americans, but their government and the people are not the same, and wanted to express this as sincerely as I can without hurt no one feelings.


I have very mixed feelings about attacking Syria, but I'm curious about what you think should happen when the UN is paralyzed?
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fizzmore wrote:
SebasKO wrote:
I'm from Argentina, a 3rd world country who is pretty far from both countries. From here, we have a pretty different point of view.

I personally knew a lot of American people, they are pretty decent human beings, their soldiers are really brave people, who truly believe in freedom and wan't to do their best, but overall they are not very aware of the world outside USA. They believe heavily in the USA media to form their opinion, but news there are very different from the rest of the world view, and tend to follow their government agenda.

We are not happy to see USA intervene in every conflict in every country who they claim have problems. We have looked kinda sad a war against unfound "weapons of mass destruction" from the only country who actually used nuclear weapons in war. There is a lot of international alliances to intervene in this kind of conflict, but USA is not the world police, and we kinda feel that in the few decades that's what was turning into.

When Obama, a Peace Nobel price became president was a good news for the rest of the world, we thought that was the opportunity for change. But that didn't happen, he actually sustained the same policies in foreign affairs, bringing no peace anywhere. I think that Syria is an opportunity to show USA intentions, but let me tell you, half of the world is no happy at all with this, and we are feeling very unconfortable with a country so big and so armed going to every war they can.

I hope you understand I do like Americans, but their government and the people are not the same, and wanted to express this as sincerely as I can without hurt no one feelings.


I have very mixed feelings about attacking Syria, but I'm curious about what you think should happen when the UN is paralyzed?


I'd say sell em' our tanks, fighters, ships, bombs and missiles at discount prices. Lord knows we can't be trusted with them and we could sure use the money.
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fizzmore wrote:
I have very mixed feelings about attacking Syria, but I'm curious about what you think should happen when the UN is paralyzed?

Assuming the UN is truly paralyzed, the US might prioritize fixing it, instead of trying to take over the job.

Prioritizing this implies a level of effort and resource allocation similar to what the US casually spends on military intervention.

Wikipedia says a Nimitz-class CVN has a complement of more than 5500, and you can add in a few thousand more for the rest of the Carrier Group.

No doubt the US uses the UN like everyone else - high, tax-free incomes for friends of the elite ... but is the US spending 5000-10000 man years per year on fixing the UN?
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gyc365 wrote:
fizzmore wrote:
I have very mixed feelings about attacking Syria, but I'm curious about what you think should happen when the UN is paralyzed?

Assuming the UN is truly paralyzed, the US might prioritize fixing it, instead of trying to take over the job.

Prioritizing this implies a level of effort and resource allocation similar to what the US casually spends on military intervention.

Wikipedia says a Nimitz-class CVN has a complement of more than 5500, and you can add in a few thousand more for the rest of the Carrier Group.

No doubt the US uses the UN like everyone else - high, tax-free incomes for friends of the elite ... but is the US spending 5000-10000 man years per year on fixing the UN?


What the hell are you talking about? The reason the UN is paralyzed is because Russia and China veto any action via the security council - they are unlikely to sign away this veto power and deploying 5500 sailors on asking them is not really going to produce the result you hope for. What are they going to do spam Putin's answer phone with pleading messages?

The problem with Syria is that it is a no win - the US can't bomb the chemical weapon stockpiles as that will simply release the poisons on the surrounding population.

They can't back the opposition too heavily since if they get hold of the chemical weapon stockpiles that would mean Al Qaeda get hold of them since they make up a good chunk of the opposition.

They can't send in ground troops to secure the stockpiles since that would require a full blown invasion which there is no appetite for, the US doesn't have the resources for and it would lead to a situation worse than Iraq. That would also be a direct provocation of both Russia and China.

So what do they do? Do nothing and let a dictator get away with using WMDs with no payback? That would be a green light to every two bit junta to deploy the things. It would appear what they are aiming for is a slapped wrist - do some serious damage to the C&C of the regime with a "don't do it again or we'll come back with more cruise missiles" message.
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fizzmore wrote:

I have very mixed feelings about attacking Syria, but I'm curious about what you think should happen when the UN is paralyzed?


The UN is an organism formed for this kind of events, so a great part of the world countrys can vote about interventions like this. If they decided not to send troops, is 'cause the world mayority thinks that shouldn't happen, and USA, as a democracy defender, should agree with that democratic decition, and not take military action against rest of the world will.

I'm not saying Sirya is doing fine, but is a delicate issue to attack and 'be the cause of even more civilian destruction. Let them deal with his pen country, and of this grow bigger, I'm sure UN eill support an intervention, it's just not the time yet for an individual country to decide.

Sorry for my bad english BTW
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Lewis Wagner
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gyc365 wrote:

Prioritizing this implies a level of effort and resource allocation similar to what the US casually spends on military intervention.


No. Other nations, the international community, can fix it. If things can't be done without the US, then things can't be done without the US. Again, lying about the current state of international bodies doesn't make you an internationalist.

Is preventing and reversing the proliferation of WMD's a worthwhile goal for the US? If the answer is yes, then that is a very good argument for the US to intervene in Syria.

Is preventing and reversing the proliferation of WMD's a worthwhile goal for the international community? Is it worthwhile enough to do without the US? You could make a reasonable argument that the best case scenario would be if France intervened forcefully without the US. This would show real ability of some actor other than the US to achieve something that should be a goal of any international community that is worth anything beyond pity and scorn.

This is my opinion. It is worthwhile for the US to do it. If someone else showed a willingness and ability to do it, I would view it as a hopeful sign, but I just don't believe it. The "international community" is a parade of fools and liars, that is at best useless, and at worst an aid to tyranny.

If you want the US to just not do things like this, be careful what you wish for. You won't end up with the US following this week's whims of some "internationalist" pundit. A more likely scenario is the US returning to its more traditional foreign policy (from it's founding until WWII) of avoiding entangling alliances (e.g. the UN, NATO) and pursuing its goals unilaterally.

We could ignore the proliferation of WMD's unless and until the US is directly attacked with them. Remember that US policy is that WMD's will be met with WMD's, and the only ones we keep are nukes. So, sarin gas in a US subway would be met by nuking every nation that plays the "I might have chemical weapons" game. That really is the Cold War US policy towards WMD's.
 
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lewis wrote:
The "international community" is a parade of fools and liars, that is at best useless, and at worst an aid to tyranny.


Man, are you listening to yourself? If a country impose their criteria over the rest of the world, that's itself the definition of tyranny.

That's what the rest of the Nations are worried about, US sending troops on their own and undiscussed interest over the rest of the world

Imposing your criteria over other, murdering civilians in the process to fight tiranny, is like f***ing for virginity!
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SebasKO wrote:
fizzmore wrote:

I have very mixed feelings about attacking Syria, but I'm curious about what you think should happen when the UN is paralyzed?


The UN is an organism formed for this kind of events, so a great part of the world countrys can vote about interventions like this. If they decided not to send troops, is 'cause the world mayority thinks that shouldn't happen, and USA, as a democracy defender, should agree with that democratic decition, and not take military action against rest of the world will.

I'm not saying Sirya is doing fine, but is a delicate issue to attack and 'be the cause of even more civilian destruction. Let them deal with his pen country, and of this grow bigger, I'm sure UN eill support an intervention, it's just not the time yet for an individual country to decide.

Sorry for my bad english BTW


That's not how the UN works. The five permanent members of the security council all have a veto on all security-related resolutions. In other others, if one of: the US, China, Russia, the US, or France doesn't want an operation approved, it won't be approved. In this case, the hang-up is Russia (though China might also be an issue, I'm not sure there). It doesn't matter if every single other country in the world is in favor of action, if one of those five opposes it, it's not going to be approved.

That's the situation we're in with Syria right now.
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Jon_1066 wrote:
gyc365 wrote:
fizzmore wrote:
I have very mixed feelings about attacking Syria, but I'm curious about what you think should happen when the UN is paralyzed?

Assuming the UN is truly paralyzed, the US might prioritize fixing it, instead of trying to take over the job.

Prioritizing this implies a level of effort and resource allocation similar to what the US casually spends on military intervention.

Wikipedia says a Nimitz-class CVN has a complement of more than 5500, and you can add in a few thousand more for the rest of the Carrier Group.

No doubt the US uses the UN like everyone else - high, tax-free incomes for friends of the elite ... but is the US spending 5000-10000 man years per year on fixing the UN?


What the hell are you talking about? The reason the UN is paralyzed is because Russia and China veto any action via the security council - they are unlikely to sign away this veto power and deploying 5500 sailors on asking them is not really going to produce the result you hope for. What are they going to do spam Putin's answer phone with pleading messages?

The problem with Syria is that it is a no win - the US can't bomb the chemical weapon stockpiles as that will simply release the poisons on the surrounding population.

They can't back the opposition too heavily since if they get hold of the chemical weapon stockpiles that would mean Al Qaeda get hold of them since they make up a good chunk of the opposition.

They can't send in ground troops to secure the stockpiles since that would require a full blown invasion which there is no appetite for, the US doesn't have the resources for and it would lead to a situation worse than Iraq. That would also be a direct provocation of both Russia and China.

So what do they do? Do nothing and let a dictator get away with using WMDs with no payback? That would be a green light to every two bit junta to deploy the things. It would appear what they are aiming for is a slapped wrist - do some serious damage to the C&C of the regime with a "don't do it again or we'll come back with more cruise missiles" message.

5000-10000 man-years was (rather obviously) intended as an example of the budget / amount of effort, not that sailors be used to make the UN work differently.

If Russia and China don't mind other countries using WMDs, the prohibition is already meaningless. In fact it's obvious the US wouldn't do any more than send a sharp letter if China or Russia used WMD's, so we can conclude that the whole Syria thing is just entertainment - the US is grandstanding about the means by which civilians are being killed, but clearly doesn't care that they are in fact being killed in moderately large numbers.

The rational choice for the US is for Obama to "creatively reinterpret" that rather stupid "red line" statement ... and ask the UN to decide what to do. If it's nothing, the world has learned something about what it really cares about - as it has learned during the Rwanda/Burundi/Congo episodes.

If, on the other hand, the "nuclear club" is annoyed about competing WMD's, it will be possible to negotiate with Russia and China.

Or maybe this is really about oil? If so, the US needs to decide how to achieve the best possible result giving the real situation (other powers interested and involved, neither of the most powerful local groups are comfortable choices).


As it is, the US is just being played, because it can't distinguish between political "spin" and reality. Next on your screens - a big "Mission Accomplished" poster and some inane soundbites about the world being saved for American-style democracy yet again.
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Clyde W
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gyc, I'm curious, are you armchair quarterbacking here, or do you believe there should not be a red line when it comes to chemical weapons?
 
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