Against FrontPage's Neocon Interventionism  

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Bill Caciene (on WriterBeat) asked me to back up my critical remarks about neoconservatives. So I've posted this instead.

The word 'FrontPage' is used in the title because praise for Donald Trump's recent military attack on Syria is the editorial position and the consensus view of that website magazine. It also seems to be the case that FrontPage generally has a neoconservative view on military intervention.
For example, FrontPage's editor, David Horowitz, makes something (as Bruce Thorton does later) of Democrat support for Trump's action against Syria. He writes (in his 'A Game Changer for Syria – but also for Trump'):
“Trump’s surgical strike against Syria’s chemical weapons base has also had the effect of moving Trump towards the center of American politics. It has received praise from such unlikely Democrats as Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, vitriolic leaders of the anti-Trump demolition squad.... Even leftwing Congressional Progressive Caucus member Louise Slaughter agreed that Trump’s strike was 'a proportionate response to Assad’s barbaric use of chemical weapons against innocent civilians'.”
Most recently we've also had 'Obama claimed that 'all' Syria's chemical weapons had been eliminated', by Larry Elder (13th of April, 2017). Here one argument seems to be that because Obama lied about Assad's chemical weapons, then Trump's air attack was justified.
Yet despite what FrontPage says about Barack Obama's cowardice, the then president - and various members of the U.S federal government (including John Kerry) - did consider intervening in the Syrian Civil War. All the same, the majority of the U.S. public was against such a thing. One poll (dated April 2013), for example, claimed that that 62% of Americans thought that the "United States has no responsibility to do something about the fighting in Syria between government forces and antigovernment groups".
It's here that it's to cite a helpful distinction between non-interventionism andisolationism. According to Stephen Walt (though I fault some of the reasons he gives for reaching his conclusion), the following distinctions need to be made:
"[T]he overwhelming majority of people who have doubts about the wisdom of deeper involvement in Syria—including yours truly—are not 'isolationist.' They are merely sensible people who recognize that we may not have vital interests there, that deeper involvement may not lead to a better outcome and could make things worse, and who believe that the last thing the United States needs to do is to get dragged into yet another nasty sectarian fight in the Arab/Islamic world."
In conclusion, in this piece, and regardless of the references to FrontPage as a whole, I'll be concentrating on Bruce Thorton's FrontPage article, 'Trump Bombs Syria. Now What?'.
Facts About Assad's Attack
Let's then think about the town which Syria's Bashar Assad attacked. It was the town of Khan Shaykhun in the Idlib Governorate of Syria. The town was under the control of Tahrir al-Sham. Which group is that? It's an Islamist group which used to be called the al-Nusra Front; which is itself an off-shoot of al-Qaeda. Indeed Tahrir al-Sham is still called Al-Qaeda in Syria by many. That means that Assad attacked an al-Qaeda stronghold. Nonetheless, there were at least 74 people killed and more than 557 injured; at least according to the Idlib health authority. (Is that authority also under al-Nusra/Tahrir al-Sham control?)
Russia has suggested that the warehouse "may have contained a rebel chemical arms stockpile". Assad's regime denied that it carried out a chemical attack.
To slightly change tack for a moment, Obama was indeed a weak and highly suspect President; especially regarding Syria. One way he was suspect was in his support for the so-called Opposition in Syria. That Opposition is primarily Muslim Brotherhood. It also includes the al-Nusra Front (under its new name: Tahrir al-Sham), whose stronghold Assad admitted to bombing on the 3rd of April. Tahrir al-Sham is currently the single-largest anti-Assad group in Syria after ISIL . It has 31,000 fighters. Thus it's no surprise that Democrats (according to David Horowitz and Bruce Thorton) have “praised” Trump's retaliation.
FrontPage's Neocon Interventionism
Throughout his article ('Trump Bombs Syria. Now What?'), Bruce Thorton sounds like he's attacking a regime which has only just attacked the United States itself; or, at the least, attacked a close ally.
Thorton castigates Obama's lack of action on Syria and says that such a position “damages a state’s credibility and prestige, emboldening other aggressors”. One result of this, he thinks, is that it's “been a huge success for Russia, Iran, Hezbollah”. But what about Sunni militants? What about Tahrir al-Sham/al-Nusra Front? In the past FrontPage has frequently told us - and it's been correct to do so - that Obama supports the Sunni militants; especially the many members of the Muslim Brotherhood. So is it that FrontPage deems the Shia Islamic front (Hezbollah, Iran and Syria) more of a threat to the United States and Israel than the Sunni Islamic front (ISIS, the Muslim Brotherhood, al-Nusra, al-Qaeda, etc.)? I personally think that a victory for Sunni Islam in Syria will be more of a danger than Assad's Syria. Assad has been virtually no threat to the United States - and only a minor threat to Israel - in recent years. Many in the Sunni front, on the other hand, would see the destruction of the United States and Israel as their first priority.
And if the Shia front is more of a threat than the Sunni front, then why not attack Iran rather than Syria? It can of course now be said that Iran hasn't just gassed its own population. True. Though was that the real or absolute reason for Trump's attack on Syria? After all, Thorton seems to think that it's just as much about “credibility and prestige” as it is about punishing the sins of Assad.
In any case, in terms of Realpolitik, it may not be deemed advisable to attack Iran (which is strong), rather than Syria (which is relatively weak at this moment in time).
Of course, if Assad's regime were to be destroyed, and then the Sunni Front took over, FrontPage will attack that regime too. And it will no doubt similarly call for an attack on a new Sunni regime in Syria.
Intervene... Sometimes
This isn't only about conservatives versus progressives. (Though that's howFrontPage seems to see it.) It's also about conservatives/the Right versus conservatives/the Right.
Bruce Thorton puts the two-part position of “modern progressives” on this. He says that
i) “modern progressive thinking holds that the use of force represents a foreign policy failure...”
ii) And such uses of force “usually makes things worse by entangling the U.S. in escalation and quagmires”.
We can say that i) is indeed an example of “progressive thinking”. Though what about ii)? Patriotic isolationists and non-interventionists aren't against the “use of force” in principle – it depends on why, and where, force is being used.
One can believe that it's okay to go to war and even to intervene in foreign countries and yet, at the same time, believe that Syria is not a good place to do these things. Yes, “American prestige is undoubtedly important”; though that doesn't automatically come by virtue of any intervention in any country. It all depends.
Why Did Trump Attack Syria?
Bruce Thorton admits that Trump's attack had little or nothing to do with the immorality of chemical attacks. Thorton gives us his reasons why. He writes:
“... in the 60’s Nasser attacked Yemenis with chemical weapons, in the 70s Cuban mercenaries used them against Angolans, and in the 80s Iraq inflicted 50,000 casualties on Iran with chemical weapons during the Iraq-Iran war. No one seemed to think a military response was necessary to deter further such heinous act and to uphold 'international norms'.”
Thus the attack was also about “prestige”.
Indeed Thorton himself puts this position when he asks the following questions:
“We all deplore the killing of “beautiful babies,” as Trump said, but children across the globe are being killed every day. Half a million people, thousands of them children, have died in the Syrian conflict so far. Why is it that 23 children being killed by sarin gas is beyond the pale and requires us to act, but thousands more being obliterated by bombs or riddled by AK-47s or tortured to death by Assad’s goons aren’t? Heart-rending optics shouldn’t be the arbiter of our interventions.”
The problem is that Thorton chose the “thousands of children” who've been killed in Syria. He wasn't referring to the many other wars which plague the world at this moment in time. Thus what about the thousands of civilians who've died in the Sudan, Congo, Yemen, Libya, Nigeria, etc.?
In any case, in Thorton's eyes, the “best way to deter such behavior is to completely destroy the capacity to indulge it”. In other words, interventionism mustachieve something big. And in order to do that, there'll inevitably be many civilian causalities. However, in the long term (so the argument must go) it'll save lives and protect the West. Yet it's precisely because such actions cause so many civilian causalities that no regime has done such a thing in recent years. And it seems possible (or even likely) that Trump won't do so either.
Let Tony Blair Define 'Neocon'
In all the above it doesn't actually say what the word 'neocon' means. Indeed
some people will take issue with my use of the term. Perhaps it won't help matters using Tony Blair (the former British Prime Minister) as a very good example of a neocon interventionist. Nonetheless, in terms of interventionism (if not everything else), Blair was, and still is, the perfect neocon. And that alone should tell us why neoconservatism ain't really conservatism.
FrontPage can hardly have too many problems with what Blair says. After all, much of what Blair argues (in his autobiography A Journey) has been replicated inFrontPage.
In any case, Blair first questions the word “neoconservatism”. He then fully endorses the concept (or doctrine) neoconservatism.
Blair has a problem with the word 'neoconservatism' because he can't see how neoconservatism is deemed to be conservative in any respect. Nonetheless, Blair does tell us what others mean by the term. This: “It means the imposition of democracy and freedom...” To many, I suspect, the idea of the imposition of democracy and freedom almost amounts to a contradiction in terms. Indeed it's similar to Rousseau's notorious mantra: “You shall be forced to be free.” Apart from that, in order for democracy and freedom to germinate, they have to be placed in the right political, social and moral environment. If that's not the case, democracy and freedom will simply wilt and die.
Blair goes into greater detail about the seemingly nonsensical nature of the word 'neoconservatism'. He writes:
“It [his position on foreign policy] also utterly confused left and right until we ended up in the bizarre position where being in favour of the enforcement of liberal democracy was 'neoconservative' view, and non-interference in another nation's affairs was 'progressive'.”
In other words, the interference in other nations' affairs is progressive; whereas non-interventionism is, in fact, a conservative position (at least according to Blair himself). What's more,
“what [neoconservatism] actually was, on analysis, was a view that evolution was impossible, that the region [the Middle East and elsewhere] needed a fundamental reordering.”
Neoconservatism is actually revolutionary in nature; at least when applied to foreign countries. In terms of recent history, we can see that Blair completely endorsed the position articulated above.
Tony Blair also argues for a “new geopolitical framework”. And that means “nation-building”. Moreover, it
“requires a myriad of interventions deep into the affairs of other nations. It requires above all a willingness to see the battle as existential and to see it through, to take the time, to spend the treasure, to shed the blood....”
Yes, Blair is in favour of “myriad [ ] interventions deep into the affairs of other nations”. That would require a Western state to be permanently on a war-footing. It would also require the lives of very many Western soldiers. We must, in other words, be prepared to “shed the blood”.
Historically, Blair dates the rebirth of neoconservatism to “George Bush's State of the Union address in January 2002”. It was then that George W. Bush made his “famous... 'axis of evil' remark, linking Iran, Iraq, Syria and North Korea”. Interestingly enough, that axis remains the same today (minus Iraq); with an added emphasis on Syria.
In a speech given in 1999 to Congress, Blair also said the following:
“I had enunciated the new doctrine of a 'responsibility to protect', i.e. that a government could not be free to grossly to oppress and brutalise its citizens.”
Clearly this applies to the purported chemical attack on the Syrian people by Assad's regime. Though, it must be stated, it could in principle be applied to literally dozens of other regimes throughout the world.
No government or military can live up to this doctrine. There are far too many “oppressed and brutalised” groups. Thus, as with Trump's attack on Syria, neocons (as well as others) simply end up arbitrarily choosing the peoples they want to protect and then forget about the rest.
This is at the heart of the neocon problem: too many interventions and too little moral and political consistency.


Dino Manalis Added Jun 19, 2017 - 11:23am
Washington and Moscow should enact a no-fly zone over all of Syria and attack terrorists only on the ground, while join forces to eradicate ISIS and Al Qaeda!  Peace and stability are prerequisites for healthy progress!
Bill Caciene Added Jun 19, 2017 - 1:20pm
I asked for you to quote a neoconservative you disagree with.  When I asked the question, I wanted you to name a person.  Allow me, no politician considers himself to be a neoconservative, so you will find no such person to quote.  Of course, you can call someone a neoconservative, but that would be an opinion of yours and not a statement of fact. 
As to the decision to attack on of Syria’s air bases following a chemical attack, it should be praised by pacifists.  A decision like that helps to keep the peace as it alerts the bad guys that there is a sheriff in town.  Or do you think pacifists would want more villages to be gassed?
Bill Kamps Added Jun 19, 2017 - 1:22pm
Paul the US acts in a random way, where the goals are unclear, and what it will take to accomplish the mission also unclear.
When we went into Afghanistan, we said we weren't doing nation building, and that we wouldnt negotiate with the Taliban, because they were terrorists.  I couldnt imagine how we could then define success so some day we could  leave.
I dont know what Trump was trying to do with the missiles in Syria, other than to just let them know he was annoyed, and could do something if he wanted to.  The actual strike didnt cause much damage, and Im not sure what it caused politically, maybe it moved some negotiating needle, I dont think we know.
I got annoyed with our intervention in the Mideast because we seem to think that those countries are like ours, that they want and can execute democracy.  But they have more allegiances to their religion or tribe, and these factions are more like to descend into civil war, than they are to come together to form democracy as we know it.
Our foreign policy seems very naive, and without clear goals for what we are trying to do when we do intervene.
Bill Kamps Added Jun 19, 2017 - 2:47pm
John G, I dont see democracies in the Mideast.  What I see are countries that have boundaries that were drawn by the Western powers after WWI without regard to where similar people have lived.
They usually have some from of autocratic government that tries to keep the Shias, Sunnis and other religions from killing each other.  When the autocratic government has been removed, civil war has started, usually divided along religious lines.
I guess you can point out the democracies that I have not noticed, what if not religion, has divided the groups that are fighting civil wars.
Paul Austin Murphy Added Jun 20, 2017 - 2:48am

I asked for you to quote a neoconservative you disagree with. When I asked the question, I wanted you to name a person. Allow me, no politician considers himself to be a neoconservative, so you will find no such person to quote.” - Bill Caciene
I don't understand this. Is your position that there are no neoconservatives? Or is it that there are indeed neoconservatives; it's just that they don't self-describe themselves that way? Either way, it makes it impossible to quote a neoconservative.
As it is, I can quote neoconservatives. I'm not sure how many have classed themselves that way. Though are you denying that there's a neocon position on foreign intervention and the nature of the non-Western world?
Of course, you can call someone a neoconservative, but that would be an opinion of yours and not a statement of fact.”
So, again, are you saying that using the term “neoconservative” is basically always a term of abuse or criticism? If I can't quote a neoconservative because no such being exists, and the term “neoconservative” is always a term of abuse, that leaves me with a problem. What can I say?
Paul Austin Murphy Added Jun 20, 2017 - 3:02am

Who props up those autocratic governments?” - John G
Often themselves! Though some have support from other Muslim regimes, Russia and the United States; just as they used to have massive support from the socialist Soviet Union, socialist Cuba and socialist China.
Who is promoting this Sunni/Shia divide?”
Why are you asking questions which you already know the answer to?
The Sunni/Shia divide goes back 1,400 years. Though, because that can't be tied to Evil America by Little John G, you either won't know that or you won't be interested in it.
Sure, the Sunni-Shia Islamic civil war can still be “promoted” by others on the outside even if it does go back over a thousand years. The thing is, how much promotion does something that's built into Islam and Islamic history actually require? Saddam Hussein kept it under control - in Iraq - via a dictatorship. 
Who props up the Wahabbists and their Takfiri mercenaries?”
See answer above. Wahabbism and Salafism go back to the 18th century – in Arabia of all places! Indeed proto-Wahhabism goes back to the 12th century.
Who has destroyed the secular countries and thwarted democracy in the MENA?”
Which countries are you referring to?
I love your religious Manichean worldview: the Evil West vs. the Blameless Rest. Check out Manichean thinking on Google. Though, as a profoundly dumb teenager, I suspect you won't register what I'm hinting at.
John G, keep yourself in your one-dimensional echo chamber. Why complicate matters? Little boys don't like complications. 
Paul Austin Murphy Added Jun 20, 2017 - 3:09am
In the end, I don't care about the actual word "neoconservatism". It's the concept [neoconservatism] that matters. That is, some Leftists do indeed use the term at the drop of a hat (just like "neoliberal", "Zionist", "racist", "Orientalist", etc.). Other denies its existence.
And there are a hundred reasons for believing that neoconservatism exists. It's primarily a foreign-policy position; though there are many other elements to it.
Paul Austin Murphy Added Jun 20, 2017 - 3:14am
"A lovely bit of patronising Orientalism to spice up your casual racism there." - John G
Have you actually read Edward Said? Or have you got this word - "Orientalism" - tenth-hand from other echo chambers? Indeed do you even know its source?
According to John G,
"Orientalism" = any non-positive portrayal of an Arab or Muslim culture or individual.
Indeed Edward Said didn't even like positive portrayals of Arab and Muslim cultures when they came from white kuffar. Such was the extreme nature of Said's Occidentalism and his anti-white racism.
Some racisms are more equal than others.
Autumn Cote Added Jun 20, 2017 - 7:49am
A bit of commenting advice if you don't mind.  I would make it clearer who you're responding to when issuing specific replies.   
Paul Austin Murphy Added Jun 20, 2017 - 12:15pm
"I'm not going to respond to any other of your nonsense other than to tell you that I met Edward Said. You pathetic little turd." - John G.
You don't really respond to anyone, do you? I mean, it's not only me you've called a "turd". You do the same thing in literally every post.
I've never seen a single argument advanced by you. Not a single chain of thought. All you have is ad hominems and soundbites. The fact that you're left-wing isn't the problem. The problem is that you grunt and shout every single time you come across someone who dares to disagree with you. You have an intolerant personality. The fact that you're a Leftist doesn't change that one bit; though you probably think it does. If you think that you have the Truth and that everyone else on here is a "racist", "Orientalist", "neoliberal", Naziracistfascistneocon bigot, etc. ad infinitum., then that's your problem. Back it up with more than teenage grunts and ejaculations. Try genuine debate - despite how evil or "brainwashed" you think all your political opponents are.
I personally think that you are wasting people's time on here. And it's not - as you'd probably like to think! - because you're a Leftist. It's because you come across as a teenager who has only just learned some (left-wing) phrases and positions. You regurgitate them like a machine. And because you have no genuine knowledge or insight, you accuse all you opponents of being this and that. That's why you use abuse and ad hominems. You literally have nothing to say.
I'm not even calling for your banning. Why? Because you'd love that. It would prove to you that your teenage-bedroom conspiracies are true.... Now - you're mum's calling you down for tea.
Bill Caciene Added Jun 20, 2017 - 12:55pm
I think you understood my point rather well.  However, allow me to make my point another way, even if the writings and statements support the label, calling someone a Feminazi is a slur.  Now if I proudly stand up and announce the fact I’m a feminazi or neoconservative, than you’re free to refer to me as one without it being deemed a slur. 
I’d even go as far as saying there are no liberals or conservatives, because no single person thinks of themselves as entirely one or the other.  So yes, there is no neocon position on foreign intervention, because there are no neocons to have such a position. 
John Minehan Added Jun 20, 2017 - 3:56pm
"Kamps. 'But they have more allegiances to their religion or tribe, and these factions are more like to descend into civil war, than they are to come together to form democracy as we know it.'
A lovely bit of patronizing Orientalism to spice up your casual racism there. It is you that is naïve. And ignorant."
And your basis for this pronouncement, John G, is precisely what?
How long have you worked in the Dar-al-Islam and in what capacity?
John Minehan Added Jun 20, 2017 - 4:11pm
"I'm not going to respond to any other of your nonsense other than to tell you that I met Edward Said. You pathetic little turd."
Well, that's impressive.
John, you have a point.  US and British policy in the Middle East is a big source of the problems.
On the other hand, a big part of the problem is that the Westphalian model may not have great legitimacy in the Middle East, where the idea of a Caliphate has been an ideal.  Further, the Westphalian model may be in the process of being replaced by new models throughout the world.
In large measure, my experience in the US Army over the years in various places, is that it is "That it is all about the 'L-Word"---Legitimacy." 
Not just in the Middle East, governments are hemorrhaging legitimacy and people are searching for new ways to organize societies.  In times of change, as Pres. Obama said, "people cling to their guns and their religion" . . . . as we saw in Bosnia and Kosovo and in Iraq and, increasingly,  in the US. 
Paul Austin Murphy Added Jun 21, 2017 - 8:08am

... even if the writings and statements support the label, calling someone a Feminazi is a slur.” - Bill Caciene
I'm not sure if this is a response to me or to John G. (Though I have the feeling that some on WriterBeat don't even bother responding to John G – for obvious reasons.)
Calling someone a “Feminazi” is indeed a slur. I agree. Though it can still be defended. If it's just used as a mindless ad hominem, then I'd probably have a problem with its use. As it is, I've never use that word myself and I don't like its easy use by other people.
I’d even go as far as saying there are no liberals or conservatives, because no single person thinks of themselves as entirely one or the other.”
That would create a massive problem for communication. There is a problem when people offer select choice-examples of terms which they believe to be “generalisations” and then ignore the ones they use themselves. Though here you say it's true of both the words "liberal" and "conservative". That's true - though only in an absolute sense.
I had this conversation with the other day with Mark Henry Smith (in relation to the “Jewish tribe”). There is a danger of generalising and also with not generalising.
So yes, there is no neocon position on foreign intervention, because there are no neocons to have such a position.”
But there are. And I don't want to repeat myself. There are neocons – at least on foreign policy - and I've said why and supplied quotes. I also said that it doesn't matter if they use “neocon” as a self-description; as it doesn't always with the words “Leftist”, “Nazi” or, perhaps, “Feminazi”. If you can explain your usage, then that's a start. That isn't of course to say that the usage is always justified. It depends.
Paul Austin Murphy Added Jun 21, 2017 - 8:14am
"If you think that a caliphate is what the majority of Muslims of the MENA want then you know nothing of that part of the world." - John G
No one can believe that of all Muslims. For a start, there are two major sects: Sunni and Shia. These two sects are themselves split into micro-sects. So, in that sense alone, there will never be a single Islamic caliphate. Despite that, there are hundreds of millions of Sunnis. Even in certain countries put together, there are hundreds of millions of Sunnis. And like the Nazis and Bolsheviks, it doesn't take that many to do damage. 
I've never made any statement about "all Muslims" or "every Muslim". John G has made many statements about all Conservatives, all racists, all Nazis, all neoliberals, or all capitalists.
The "all Muslims" position is a red herring. It only took less than ten thousand Bolsheviks to take over Russia. Actually, on some estimates, far less even than that. 
Paul Austin Murphy Added Jun 21, 2017 - 8:47am
Bill Caciene, just in case you have my position wrong.
I'm not against all foreign interventions. It depends. I am against neoconservatism; primarily the idea that Muslims are yearning for Western-style democracy. In other words, I'm not an isolationist. 
Incidentally, there are other things about neoconservatives and neoconservatism - other than foreign policy - which I don't like. Though this isn't the place to go into all that.
Paul Austin Murphy Added Jun 21, 2017 - 8:49am
"Watch PAM rant and rave." - John G
John G, fuc* off!
Bill Caciene Added Jun 21, 2017 - 9:12am
Kindly name a prominent neocon.
A lot of people would accuse me of being a neocon as I advocate a preemptive strike against Iran.  However, I’d consider it an insult to call me a neoconservative.  I’m a pacifist, the reason we should strike those countries is because I don’t want to see millions of lives needlessly killed. 
Paul Austin Murphy Added Jun 22, 2017 - 12:32am
John G,
Do you use abuse and smugness every time you reply to an opponent, or only almost every time?
Paul Austin Murphy Added Jun 22, 2017 - 12:51am

The profound political analyses of our very own John G:
Another extreme right winger.... Linguistic, moral and intellectual gymnastics all in one... Which is exactly what I would expect of a military type.... You just make shit up that suits your tribal alliances and bigotry.... Swenson, I don't even like you as a person... I don't like liars... warfare is a liar.... Lew Rockwell is a libertarian idiot.... Corey is a cheap sophist... I hope you are paid to write this absurd propaganda Caciene.... Nobody here appears to understand what that means... I don't care for your sky pixie shit... A lovely bit of patronising Orientalism to spice up your casual racism there... It is you that is naive. And ignorant.... He's running an authoritarian agenda...  More nonsense from the religious right.... Retarded... Maybe Swenson is telling porkies from our far out, far right Austrian cuckoo there.... You are utterly deluded... That's why you've been indoctrinated with it.... Corey is a nasty, dishonest creep....  Some predictable responses from the usual misguided angry wingnuts... Hypocrite much? you are being willfully ignorant and stubborn... You are an utter retard, Swenson... Manalis is a Nazi... What a bunch of mean spirited authoritarians populate this place... Have you been drinking?... I despise Billy Roper... You keep displaying your ignorance every time you post... ad infinitum.....
Last, but not least, here's John G at his most hypocritical and hilarious:
Your personal abuse only serves to highlight your lack of intellectual curiosity.”
Lady Sekhmetnakt Added Jun 22, 2017 - 1:02am
Regarding Trump's attack on Syria, it was an unprovoked act of naked aggression. As such it was an indefensible violation of international law and the Geneva Convention, a war crime. Only other war criminals, their supporters, and those who advocate chaos, anarchy, and lawlessness could praise it. 
Paul Austin Murphy Added Jun 22, 2017 - 1:03am
John G is Son of Dave Spart; except that Dave Spart can actually string a sentence together and - every now and again - refrain from aggressive abuse:
Paul Austin Murphy Added Jun 22, 2017 - 6:11am

Regarding Trump's attack on Syria, it was an unprovoked act of naked aggression. As such it was an indefensible violation of international law and the Geneva Convention, a war crime.” - Jenifer Frost
I didn't agree with the attack. However, I don't agree with your take on it either. How was it unprovoked? It was a response to a chemical attack on dozens of civilians. Or, at the least, the U.S. Government took the reports of this as true. (That may have been unwise.)
What would Trump gain from such an attack? He'd gain much more by supporting Assad; as the (U.K.) Stop the War Coalition and many socialists do.
“Only other war criminals, their supporters, and those who advocate chaos, anarchy, and lawlessness could praise it.”
Again, what did Trump gain other than, perhaps, prestige from very different political quarters (including Democrats)?
On a technical note, the attack was not “in violation of international law and the Geneva Convention, a war crime”. This is usually said when someone doesn't agree with (or like) the politics of the government which carried out the attack. When they do agree with the government (or group) that carries out similar attacks, they usually do not think that it's “a indefensible violation of international law and the Geneva Convention”.
Perhaps your political distaste for Trump (or actions against Syria and Russia) is making you make mistakes about international law. As for me personally, I have no respect for international law. Strangely enough, neither do most Leftists - though only when it suits them (as this does).
So what's your position on Syria and its ties to Putin and Russia?
Paul Austin Murphy Added Jun 22, 2017 - 6:21am
"PAM wishes to censor because he's a very dim, extremist bigot who'll never win an actual argument honestly." - John G
Who said anything about censoring!? Why would I want to censor a non-entity like you? You unknowingly entertain WriterBeat with your endless aggression and abuse against literally everyone who dares to disagree with you. Yes, I do the same - though only against you.
So don't big yourself up. Banning or censoring you would be like banning a toddler from a football stadium for fear of violence on the terraces.
Besides, I have a lot of fun tearing dumb and cliched teenage Leftists like you apart. One day you'll realise what a young Leftist clone you've been. So suck on that, Son of Dave Spart.
A NaziracistOrientalistneoliberalfascistfarright bigot. 
Bill Caciene Added Jun 22, 2017 - 12:06pm
Trump gained a lot by destroying a Syrian air base.  The act informed the world that dictators with the propensity to use chemical weapons will not be tolerated.  It also let the world know that America was long going watch things spiral out of control outside our borders.  Prior to the action, the rest of the world was under the impression that America was going to lead from behind and I don’t blame them for thinking that. 
Lady Sekhmetnakt Added Jun 22, 2017 - 5:09pm
Paul writes "How was it unprovoked?" Syria did not attack the United States or our allies therefore it was unprovoked according to the UN. Additionally according to international law and United States law an act of war has to either be approved by the UN Security Council or Congress (according to the War Powers Act). Because it was neither, it was both a violation of national and international law, period. 
My opinion on Trump is irrelevant, and as a Kemetian first and a liberal second I uphold the rule of law always, in all situations, as absolute. Thanks for confirming that you right wing extremists have no regard for the rules of law and are for chaos and anarchy. It figures. 
As for Russia, they are the only country that has been invited by the sovereign Syrian government to intervene in Syria. So they are the only ones legal there. They are there to fight terrorism, whereas the United States is there to Illegally fight Assad and to support terrorists. My opinion on them is worse than my opinion on a lawless individual like yourself. 
Paul Austin Murphy Added Jun 23, 2017 - 8:47am
"Syria did not attack the United States or our allies therefore it was unprovoked according to the UN." - Jenifer Frost
Are you an isolationist or a non-interventionist? True, let's not get bogged down with such terms... though what's your position?
I partly agree with your stance. I'm a non-interventionist; though not an isolationist. Put simply, it depends on the threat and the situation.
It can still be said that a chemical attack on the people of other states is a provocation. In other words, Trump didn't attack for the hell of it.
Your position on the UN is, I think, incorrect. The UN does allow outside military action on states which abuse or kill their people. Was this the case with Trump's attack on Syria? I don't know.
The UN includes 52 Muslim states which often vote in blocks, it has had Syria, Iran, the Soviet Union on its Security Council, it is obsessed by every action of Israel, it is influenced by political globalists, etc.  
Jenifer, are you completely committed to the United Nations? More relevantly, do you accept all its laws and actions? Some people pick and choose according to their politics. I don't. I am against the United Nations.
Paul Austin Murphy Added Jun 23, 2017 - 8:56am
"Thanks for confirming that you right wing extremists have no regard for the rules of law and are for chaos and anarchy. It figures." - Jenifer Frost
I have immense regard for the rule of British law because it's largely the product of the people (or at least of our voting system). I have no regard for UN law because it's not a product of the people of the United Kingdom or the peoples of... anywhere
You seem like a very strong defender of the UN and international law. Do you defend Trump, who was lawfully elected?
Can you explain your strong support for Putin and Russia? Are you Russian? And if you aren't Russian, then what's the source of your position?
Lady Sekhmetnakt Added Jun 23, 2017 - 3:06pm
Of course I support the lawful election of Trump. I support Putin because he has fought tirelessly against Western aggression and war provocations. Were it not for him WWIII would most certainly have happened by now and most of us be dead. I also admire the way he threw out the Western oligarchs in Russia and rebuild their economy, and how he respects international law unlike the last several American Presidents. One does not have to be Russian to have ethics and morals, perhaps if your own mind weren't corrupted by fascism and irrational bloodlust you would understand common sense things like that. 
Lady Sekhmetnakt Added Jun 23, 2017 - 3:11pm
Again, the UN allows military intervention if the UN discovers just cause and the UN Security Council votes for intervention. No such thing happened in Syria, not even an investigation was held. Trump just acted for no justifiable reason. This is akin to thinking someone you don't like is a murderer so you grab a gun and shoot them in the head. Pure lawless criminally and evil. 
Lady Sekhmetnakt Added Jun 23, 2017 - 3:49pm
Regarding the UK of course I support them and international law. All civilized adults do. Only children, thugs, and rogue states like Israel do not. As a Kemetian law and order, Justice are my highest priority. One cannot have such without a lawful organization to enforce such, and on the international level that is the UN. Without them the world would Disintegrate into chaos and most likely nuclear world war. Apparently as a worshiper of chaos and evil that is your goal, not mine. 
Oh, and the Soviet Union is not a member of the UN. You need to update where ever you get your "news" from the Soviet Union fell over a quarter of a CENTURY ago. Russia is now a democratic Republic.
Douglas Proudfoot Added Jun 27, 2017 - 4:35am
As to what was accomplished by the cruise missile strike on the Syrian air base:  
1. We destroyed 20% of the total aircraft in the Syrian Air Force.  These aircraft had special bomb racks or dispensers for chemical weapons. that were unique and can't be easily replaced.  This crippled Assad's ability to deploy chemical weapons in the future.
2. Bad press for Russian arms sales. We gave the Russians a full one hour warning of the attack.  With all of their sophisticated air defense systems, they didn't shoot any of our aging Tomahawk cruise missiles down.  According to reports only one crashed, due to mechanical failure.  Not exactly a great proof of the value of Russian weapons.
3. We enforced a red line without declaring it.  This means Bahshar Al Assad and his backers in Hezbollah and Iran with have to think about it hard before trying to mount another big chemical assault.
4. Every new president gets tested.  Trump passed his test by letting the Russians, Syrians, Iranian and Hezbollah that we are no longer bluffing about chemical weapons attacks.
Lady Sekhmetnakt Added Jun 27, 2017 - 4:54am
There was no Syrian gas attack:
"Intel Behind Trump’s Syria Attack Questioned" – Consortiumnews -
36, over half of the Tomahawks missed their targets thanks to Russian electronic warfare. So much for Mr. Proud fool's empty boast
"A Multi-level Analysis of the US attack on Syria" -
What was accomplished? International law and the Geneva Convention were broken, Trump became another dishonorable war criminal US President, oh, and America showed more support for terrorists
"How America Armed Terrorists in Syria" | OEN -
But those are just the actual facts.

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