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Thread: Military Intervention - When to die and when not to?

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    Military Intervention - When to die and when not to?

    With all the current debate on Syria and chemical weapons, as well as political promises and wrangling, the perennial question rises; when should a nation, or to be specific, our/your nation, get militarily involved in a foreign conflict?

    This BBC video (WARNING - SOME DISTURBING IMAGES) out of Syria has one man calling for outside help in stopping the fighting, and the reporter saying the world is failing Syria. That strikes me as a very difficult call to make. The appeal is there though. There is great suffering going on. People are dying, sometimes in horrific ways; and now with technology we see and hear it, are aware of it, almost immediately at times.

    Obviously there are many components to this question and each scenario is unique, but in general, what do you think should be national and/or UN policy on this?

    I should specify that by 'foreign' conflict I mean warfare that is not a direct attack upon your own nation's soil (mainland or embassy etc) - a conflict taking place between two or more parties of which your nation isn't one.

    Following Iraq and Afghanistan, the general feeling seems very hesitant to get involved in conflict of any kind if it's not a direct attack. Do you agree? Should we only engage our military, especially the blood of our own, in self-defense, or does the world-scenario require a certain amount of willingness to act as a policeman?

    Your thoughts?
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    Re: Military Intervention - When to die and when not to?

    I think there should be an internationally agreed set of principals of human rights and an objective non-national group should be given worldwide authority in judging whether those rights have been breeched and what the corrective or other actions should be.

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    Re: Military Intervention - When to die and when not to?

    All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.

    Inaction has its consequences. Simply saying it isn't our problem, when we are in a position to intervene is not really a good position.

    However, it does appear that Cameron wanted to run off half cocked. It is hilariously ironic that Labour voted against this.
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    Re: Military Intervention - When to die and when not to?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kalniel
    I think there should be an internationally agreed set of principals of human rights and an objective non-national group should be given worldwide authority in judging whether those rights have been breeched and what the corrective or other actions should be.
    Internationally agreed or 'forced'? Often it's the countries that don't sign on to these things that are involved in the trouble. Getting countries to agree on anything is difficult, getting all countries to agree on something might well be impossible, especially if the small print says, "and if you break this agreement we'll have the right to come for you."
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    Re: Military Intervention - When to die and when not to?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheAnimus View Post
    All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.

    Inaction has its consequences. Simply saying it isn't our problem, when we are in a position to intervene is not really a good position.

    However, it does appear that Cameron wanted to run off half cocked. It is hilariously ironic that Labour voted against this.
    Which ones do we choose to intervene in though? All of them? The 'worst' ones? The ones where we stand the best chance of achieving solid or 'lasting' results?

    What's our measuring stick?
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    Re: Military Intervention - When to die and when not to?

    In situations where a direct threat to us or close allies isn't at stake, like the situation in Syria, any military action we partake in should have the general consensus of the United Nations, and be part of a multi-national effort instead of being unilateral in nature.

    While we all agree it's terrible what's happening in Syria the blatant hypocrisy by which the UK’s media and government choose to cherry pick particular conflicts gives rise to suspicion the powers that be have ulterior motives. Why didn’t we get involved in the Congo or Rwanda?

    We shouldn’t be acting as the world police, because it’s blatantly ridiculous to suggest we could do this job and we don’t have consent to act as such from everyone else on the planet anyway.

    We need to realise that “our way” isn’t the “only way”, democracy is great, capitalism less so (as recent years have shown). Unfortunately we seem to think they’re one and the same in our culture and we impose both on to everyone who will accept Western values.

    Many other wealthy westernised countries with substantial military forces – Sweden, Denmark, Netherlands, Spain, Canada, Germany, Australia, Italy, Austria, or others like China, India, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, and many other many world players aren’t considering military intervention so why should it be left to us?

    The UN needs to be given more freedom and powers above that of national governance to make decisions beyond that of nationalistic interests, and no VETO powers. Members contributing financially to be part of the decision making so it has it’s own multi-national military capability. Right now it’s just a bunch of countries arguing for their own interests, some threatening to wreck the game if they don’t get their own way buy throwing around veto threats, and a large amount of responsibility, consequence and financial avoidance for taking any action. They way it’s set-up is counter productive to decision making with any meaningful impact.

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    Re: Military Intervention - When to die and when not to?

    We need to stop interfering in so many countries,as often we don't understand the culture or history of countries and peoples well enough to actually know the best course of action and in many instances make it worse(Iran for example). The west also has a very short cultural memory,which is not true of many countries and peoples around the world who are still fighting over things which happened hundreds of years ago.

    The ME has had in-fighting for thousands of years and even now it appears they keep repeating the same mistakes again and again. Europe was going along that line until the very bloody First and Second World Wars which made us realise that there had to be a better way. Unfortunately,I think many countries around the world can only really know long term peace when they have learnt the lesson themselves. Its a very bitter pill to swallow, but it seems humanity at times does not learn enough from its mistakes unless it is an big shock to the system!!

    You can lead a horse to water but you cannot make it drink,sadly. The cultures have to evolve to really want peace themselves and learn forgiveness. It has to come from inside and no amount of prodding is going to help if they continue in their old ways. It is not an easy path at all as seen what happened after the Second World War.
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 30-08-2013 at 12:01 PM. Reason: Houses don't drink water!


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    Re: Military Intervention - When to die and when not to?

    Quote Originally Posted by Galant View Post
    With all the current debate on Syria and chemical weapons, as well as political promises and wrangling, the perennial question rises; when should a nation, or to be specific, our/your nation, get militarily involved in a foreign conflict?

    This BBC video (WARNING - SOME DISTURBING IMAGES) out of Syria has one man calling for outside help in stopping the fighting, and the reporter saying the world is failing Syria. That strikes me as a very difficult call to make. The appeal is there though. There is great suffering going on. People are dying, sometimes in horrific ways; and now with technology we see and hear it, are aware of it, almost immediately at times.

    Obviously there are many components to this question and each scenario is unique, but in general, what do you think should be national and/or UN policy on this?

    I should specify that by 'foreign' conflict I mean warfare that is not a direct attack upon your own nation's soil (mainland or embassy etc) - a conflict taking place between two or more parties of which your nation isn't one.

    Following Iraq and Afghanistan, the general feeling seems very hesitant to get involved in conflict of any kind if it's not a direct attack. Do you agree? Should we only engage our military, especially the blood of our own, in self-defense, or does the world-scenario require a certain amount of willingness to act as a policeman?

    Your thoughts?
    it needs to be be a lot more universal , so every one shares and accepts the burden ( including those countries always at war )

    My question is whether you think all these rich men , and groups who we hear about with so much much to be gained from war will allow it ( esp if they are the ones who have probably set this up in the first place )

    We all know how corrupt both our own governments are in screwing us over and lying to us , so why would they care about helping any one else unless there was something in it for them ?

    So no - I dont think we should intervene because its all too obvious these scenarios are doing nothing more than to cripple our own countries while the rich and your Bilderbergers profit and widen the gap.

    Lets try and win the war within first before we go playing Superman.

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    Re: Military Intervention - When to die and when not to?

    Sorry CAT I'm having that one

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    Re: Military Intervention - When to die and when not to?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kai View Post
    it needs to be be a lot more universal , so every one shares and accepts the burden ( including those countries always at war )

    ....
    Great idea.

    How do you propose to do it so that it works?

    That's what the UN is supposed to be for, but it is really little more than a talking shop where every nation puts it's own interests first, and foremost. The current mess would be an example.

    It'd be lovely to have a supranational police force, acting on principled moral grounds, with the will and means to impose discipline over situations like Syria and chemical weapons, and many others.

    But it doesn't exist, and IMHO, while we have nation states, can't exist. It's pie in the sky.

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    Re: Military Intervention - When to die and when not to?

    Okay - so a lot of people are mentioning world or UN-wide agreement or assistance. Let me take the question as step further though. Even if you have that general consensus - on what basis should it be made? Why or when should the UN get involved - to do what, to stop what? When should UK (or US or Canadian or 'insert your nationality here') soldiers be put at risk, and money spent?

    What's the motive?
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    Re: Military Intervention - When to die and when not to?

    I think there should be a UN policy regarding this kind of thing and human rights violations in general, there should be certain red lines crossing which will result in the rest of the world tearing you to ribbons, but there won't be. Self interest and greed guarantee that. Not to mention not all nations are democracies. So the first order of business would need to be WW3 to establish global democracy and human rights in the first place.

    Another problem is that we can hardly wear the white hat's in this movie. As much as we like to think of ourselves as the 'good guys'. NATO(I'm going to take NATO as a whole because it's generally the flag we fight under) hardly has a great human rights record. I actually can't think of anything Assad has done that we haven't in recent history or are still doing. We 'disappear' people. We torture people. We use of provocateurs among peaceful demonstrators to excuse force. We murder innocent people in the street, including our own citizens(al-awlaki's son being a good example, 16 yr old US citizen, non threat, eating with friends at a restaurant, droned). We spy on our people. Censor the internet. We use chemical weapons against population centres(Infact DU is still the main armament of many of our weapons despite it's toxicity, I know it' not technically a chemical weapon, but it should be banned just as they are). We maintain massive stockpiles of WMD. Did I miss anything?

    That doesn't even cover the terrible things we do and Assad doesn't. We even use the same excuse; "Terrorists". His actions only seem remarkable because these massacres make the news. Many don't, even when an order of magnitude more people die. He hasn't even killed as many civilians chasing terrorists as we have yet. In fact Syrian civilian casualties are still lower than Iraq(though not by much and less everyday). Although he'll have to do as much again to catch up the the full GWOT civilian causality count.

    A big part of me wants our own honour clean before we do anything else, yet another part help but recite the classic adage "You can best judge a man by how he treats those he has no need of". I do believe the strong should protect the weak, but applying that in the real world is another ballgame.

    I'm utterly in support of crushing anyone who attacks us, our friends and those who share our ideals, but when it comes to intervening in civil wars the morality is as grey as the paint on the missiles. A civil war is rarely improved by a massive escalation in force, equally how long can you watch a nation tear itself apart with diplomatic and humanitarian efforts failing.

    On Syria in particular it gets very grey. The main fight is between a mass murdering tyrant and our avowed enemies. Both sides being funded and supported by our supposed friends and allies. Tzu and Machiavelli would insist we didn't go interrupting our enemies mistakes, but neither quite valued human life the way we do, well claim to.

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    Re: Military Intervention - When to die and when not to?

    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen View Post
    Great idea.

    How do you propose to do it so that it works?

    That's what the UN is supposed to be for, but it is really little more than a talking shop where every nation puts it's own interests first, and foremost. The current mess would be an example.

    It'd be lovely to have a supranational police force, acting on principled moral grounds, with the will and means to impose discipline over situations like Syria and chemical weapons, and many others.

    But it doesn't exist, and IMHO, while we have nation states, can't exist. It's pie in the sky.
    Well , that's what I referred to all these worlds elite as being the main issue, I mean the fact they have so much wealth in such economically weak times , makes them the only man in the desert with that glass of water every ones will do anything for...

    How do you break that without breaking the whole financial system and out concept of " worth " ?

    Its as much a " spiritual " question as anything else , because you have to believe those that had more control of their Egos or principals wouldnt allow themselves to be as corrupted or influenced by money as much as they have , and the irony is the further up the ladder you go , the worse it gets.

    I think the only thing that would work is something that breaks that hold of power money has in rewarding those have it most , thats what I think.

    Is it possible ?

    prob not - unless hackers can bring it all down or you took money out of the equation somehow so no one involved in the peace keeping could profit or had ties to business ( in other words Guardian / Samaritans who were on a set payroll or provided for )

    Id also rule out religious ties too otherwise you'd have every religion in the world compete ting for the right to represent - well at least western ones...

    What I see happening is the US using robots - like drones - to go in as testing grounds for when they decide to turn them on us ( like they already have in the US with drones )
    Last edited by Kai; 30-08-2013 at 12:06 PM.

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    Re: Military Intervention - When to die and when not to?

    It's a tough one. The UN can't work when undemocratic countries which suppress democracy with violence have such a strong position in it, yet it's not the UN if those countries aren't there.

    If there's compelling evidence that the gas attack was government led then I'd like to see those responsible in court. There is a civil war with atrocities on both sides, but that just upped it to a whole other level.

    For those that feel very strongly, it's time to join the French Foreign Legion.

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    Re: Military Intervention - When to die and when not to?

    Thread cleaned.

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    Re: Military Intervention - When to die and when not to?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheAnimus View Post
    All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.
    And good men just need to place themselves in the way, nothing more.

    Quote Originally Posted by Galant View Post
    Okay - so a lot of people are mentioning world or UN-wide agreement or assistance. Let me take the question as step further though. Even if you have that general consensus - on what basis should it be made? Why or when should the UN get involved - to do what, to stop what? When should UK (or US or Canadian or 'insert your nationality here') soldiers be put at risk, and money spent?

    What's the motive?
    the UN should represent everyone and an over all sense of humanitarianism, such that we all desire to be treated the same, and to do that, you have to be able to say "if it was in my country, would we do nothing", because if you do nothing, when it happens to you, you may find no one comes to your aid either.

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