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After reported clash over Syria, Nolan says Kerry wants to meet one-on-one

john kerry
REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
Secretary of State John Kerry has been making the case to Congress in favor of a military strike in Syria.

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Comments (6)

In the real world this doesn't happen

“You should never go into war with a high level of confidence that your information is correct,” he said in an interview. “You better have absolute, certain information if you’re going to war, you better damn well know what all the hard facts are, not a ‘high degree of confidence’ in them.”

Basically, this is saying that we should never go to war.

As for the International Criminal Court:
"The ICC is intended to complement existing national judicial systems, and may only exercise its jurisdiction when national courts are unwilling or unable to investigate or prosecute such crimes. The current ICC President, Sang-Hyun Song, has described the Court as a 'failsafe' justice mechanism which holds that States have the primary responsibility to investigate and prosecute Rome Statute crimes occurring within their jurisdiction." (Wikipedia).

So even if the ICC were to make a judgement regarding Assad or the government of Syria, it is not at all clear that it would have any way of enforcing it.

Nolan should do some homework.

If he wants to question military action, it should be on the honest grounds that the possible benefit is not worth the risk, not that someone else ought to do it.

Doesn't happen or ...

Don't wan't it to happen. There is much skepticism in this case as to the origins of this attack. Claiming we have no choice but to go to war in this case is a joke.

Right on, Rep. Nolan

The benefit of a strike on Syria is marginal at best, and someone else ought to do it.

Ideological purity is easy

Ideological purity is easy when you're not the world's policeman. The US is the one and only candidate to punish Assad here. Nobody expects Norway to punish him. When you find yourself in that position for decades, it's hard to avoid situational ethics.

The debate on whether to drop the nuclear weapons in 1945 will go on forever. In the context of 1945, what had happened in the previous several years to change the standards of 'civilized' warfare, and the tactical military situation, it was a quick decision for Truman and his advisers. It was a political and military decision tempered by situational ethics.

So we are asking whether Assad was justified using chemical weapons on civilians given the situation, rather than some absolute standard of good and evil. The answer is still clearly no. Will the US be morally wrong when civilians die in the retaliatory strike? Yes. So be it. On balance, punishing Assad is still for the greater good.

Well put!

A few people with clear vested interests (mainly Assad and Putin) claim that the rebels are the ones responsible for the chemical weapons attacks, but the preponderance of the evidence (enough to get you convicted in a U.S. court) supports Assad's responsibility. Whether he personally spoke the order is irrelevant; he is responsible for his government's actions.
So the situational ethical question is:
Will more people be killed if we attack, or if we don't attack?
No guaranteed answers, but we must make a judgement call.

Except that....

None of us has seen such "evidence". Unless Paul has "sources".