Mudcat Café message #3556306 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #151984   Message #3556306
Posted By: Jim Carroll
05-Sep-13 - 10:55 AM
Thread Name: BS: chemical weapons in Syria
Subject: RE: BS: chemical weapons in Syria
Two interesting letters below from today's 'Times' (London)
The second makes complete sense to me, the second is a remarkable statement considering who it comes from.
"Thinking of someone else."
First time for everything - thinking, that is!
"Still, after much jockeying over the exact wording, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved a resolution authorizing the use of military force in Syria in a vote that avoided party lines, with Democrats and Republicans on both sides. The action cleared the way for a vote in the full Senate, likely next week.
The committee voted 10-7 in favor of a compromise resolution that sets a 60-day limit on any engagement in Syria, with a possible 30-day extension, and bars the use of U.S. troops on the ground for combat operations."
Jim Carroll

Sir. Your leading article (Sept 3)
about Syria and chemical weapons refer" to the need "to uphold international norms and legal prohibitions that have held since 1925 on the use of chemical weapons". Your editorial memory is curiously selective. The West has in the past turned a blind eye to the us of chemical weapon". In 1988 Saddam Hussein used mustard gas
and sarin against Iranian troops killing 20,000 and leaving 100.000 wounded. A recent article in the US
magazine Foreign Policy claimed that US officials who gave Iraq intelligence about Iranian troop movements, did so in the knowledge that the Iraqis would use chemical weapons. The Iranians even flew some victims to British hospitals and tried to raise the issue in the UN. The West was indifferent. You are right: the use of chemical
weapons is, indeed, horrific and unacceptable. But if you wish to carry conviction with your arguments, should you not at least acknowledge the West's position in the past has been woefully far from consistent?
Lord Lamont
House of Lords

Sir, You call for a military response in Syria. But why a military response? One would have to be sure that a military response did more good than harm. Lobbing relatively small quantities of high explosives on to hardened targets in Syria (which is all that cruise missiles can achieve) is merely a gesture, and one that might produce
many civilian casualties. To do more than this would be it alter the balance of power in Syria in favour of the rebels, more than a few of whom are not allies of the West.
This is a situation where we should seek a political and legal solution first, bringing on board as many of our allies as possible.
After all, nobody is in favour of gassing children, so most people can agree about that as a starting point.
If, despite all, a military solution is to be pursued it should be undertaken only with a clear idea of the aims and consequences, and only with sufficient forces to achieve a quick victory and to replace the regime with a more acceptable one.
T. K. DAY
London SW15