Do you agree with the U.N. Commission of Inquiry on Syria that the fighting in Syria is not an “armed conflict?”

 

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gsrommelf

April 5, 2012 - 7:18pm

I can't give an intelligent answer to this question, and I doubt that many of the respondents can either. What does the term "armed conflict" under international law, and what is the effect of the U.N. Commission's ruling?

hkownby

April 5, 2012 - 8:20pm

It is NOT an "armed conflict". The forces opposing the government are basically unarmed. The result is MURDER, not a conflict. It is difficult to understand why the US and Europe are sitting this one out. History will nto speak well of us as a people for letting this continue.

rpervin

April 5, 2012 - 9:26pm

I am not sure what the proper definition of armed conflict is, but practically, I would suspect, that two forces opposing each other and shooting would make a good working definition. My question is this, however. Are Syrian civilians less valuable than Libyan civilians? And if they are, could it be because Syria has no oil to provide to Europe?
Just asking.

Bob95490

April 6, 2012 - 12:56am

I agree that with two sides shooting at each other it certainly is an armed conflict, however lopsided the armed conflict is or the genocidal nature of Assad’s shelling entire city populations in order to kill the rebels.

With the above out of the way it seems wise to look at questions about why Libya and not Syria. Beyond the basic fact that interfering in the internal affairs of sovereign nations is specifically prohibited under the United Nations Charter it seems reasonable to ask why Libya and not Syria. Perhaps the very real threat of the current president being charged as a war criminal for his undeclared war on Libya, by Russia, Germany or Iran upon leaving office, has dampened his enthusiasm for another such adventure. Such a charge, while not really affecting him as long as he retires to Illinois and limits his travel to the US, it could certainly present serious international incarceration and trial problems during travel outside the US.

Then again, it might be reasonable to assume Syria’s lack of oil is the inhibiting factor. But would it really be a major factor inhibiting action for joint, undeclared, muscle flexing as was applied in Libya? Not every expression of power is about natural resources but most demonstrations of reluctance to flex undeclared war muscles stems from a threat to natural resource acquisition. Considering recent observations that the joint efforts to help Libyan rebels is now being repaid by the new Libyan officials with disdain for the help and by alliances with those most violently opposed to those that provided that assistance. A joint attack on Syria might be viewed as possibly ending the possibility of retaining the oil supplies from other Middle Eastern countries. Thus not attacking Syria isn’t so much about Syria hasn’t any oil as much as it is to protect the oil that is already flowing.

Finally, and I’m loath to even consider this, it might just be reelection related timing. As long as the US won’t foot the bill the Europeans will find reasons to stay uninvolved or covertly involved. However, if the administration begins to believe attacking Syria will pay dividends in November US reluctance might disappear. Neither political party is above such political shenanigans, and there is very clear precedent demonstrating American citizen’s reluctance to change presidents involved in actively prosecuting a war; ending the war yes, actively prosecuting one, no.

Is it one of these; that is anyone’s guess at the moment. It could just as easily be none of the above and the Syrian civil war is being used as a distraction to focus attention away from economic woes and political mischief of other sorts. Whatever the reason it truly appears whether we eventually get involved or not we are screwed either way. Just my thoughts on the subject; other’s mileage may differ.

Robert Ireland (PUFL)
Post 174 Willits, CA

spc fuller

April 6, 2012 - 9:41am

Think of the past conflicts we as Americans have engaged in over the past 15 years. Iraq, Afghanistan, limited role in Libya to name the top spots. Iraq - it was about Bush fighting to stop the threats from Saddam and oil. Afghanistan it started about eliminating the Taliban. Libya was about freedom an well our "special interests". Syria maybe an insignificant in the meaning they have no strategic value. Also consider this: if we were to engage with rebels in Syria Russia will stand beside Syria and the current administration is unwilling to stand up to Russia and end the atrocities that are occurring.

thewyze

April 6, 2012 - 12:39pm

Webster's 'NEW' Twentieth Century Dictionary, the 'UNABRIDGED' Second Edition described the word 'CONFLICT' as this:

1. Originally, to fight, battle, struggle, contend, to clash. Be antagonistic, incompatible or contradictory, be in opposition, as his interests conclict with mine.

2. A fight, battle, struggle sharp disagreement or opposition as of interests, ideas, etc., clash.

I'm not a holder of an MBA or PHD. I do have a High School Diploma and from my understanding, CONFLICT can either be a 'verbal, emotional, psychological, spiritual or physical' altercation, fight, battle or struggle! Our 'WEAPONS' of choice range from 'CHOICE NASTY WORDS, wooden sticks/stakes, ice picks, tools of 'any' kind shape or size, rocks/stones (depending how heavy they are), pistols, rifles, shotguns, cannons, rockets, missiles, pretty much any 'modern' day weapon can be used to DESTROY "ALL" OPPOSITION! If you think that my explanation maybe/is 'extreme', just remember the story of CAIN & ABEL! This is the FIRST 'MURDER' ever recorded in the Holy Bible and World History! Cain 'killed' his brother with a stone because of JEALOUSY & ENVY (emotional).

CONFLICTS HAPPEN EVERYDAY ALL OVER THE WORLD! IT COULD BE BETWEEN 2 PEOPLE OR 2 MILLION, ONCE 'CONTACT' HAS BEEN MADE, FROM A 'HAND-SLAP' TO USING A 'GUN', IT ONLY LEADS TO USING MORE POWERFUL & DESTRUCTIVE WEAPONS.

SO WHAT IS AN 'ARMED CONFLICT'? DO YOU USE YOUR HANDS, ARMS, LEGS & HEAD AS WEAPONS? OR, DO YOU LIKE THE 'QUICK & EASY' METHOD - 'GUNS'?! WE DO OR USE WHATEVER IT TAKES TO RESOLVE ISSUES WHETHER THEY ARE 'OURS, YOURS, THEIRS, ETC. EVENTUALLY, WHEN TEMPERS FLARE & THREATS SPEW FORTH LIKE GEYSERS, "WEAPONS" ARE THE VERY FIRST ITEMS WE THINK OF, AND USE, TO SETTLE ARGUMENTS, DISAGREEMENTS, ISSUES & QUESTIONS OF THE MOST 'FOOLISH' SUBSTENCE. THANK YOU FOR READING MY THOUGHTS ON 'CONFLICT', IF NOT, NO LOSS, IT'S LIKE THAT 'CLICHE' THAT SAYS: "I NO LONGER MIND, BECAUSE YOU NO LONGER MATTER"! TTYL & GBY!!!

Zoobie

April 6, 2012 - 5:52pm

What is happening in Syria, Lybia, Egypt,is an attempt by Tha Muslim Brotherhood to overthrow the existing administrations and instill Sharia Law, something like The Taliban and Alkida. Make no mistake,Iran fuels these confrontations through Alkida. The real delemna is Christianity is being methodicly pursecuted and displaced from lands where they were living in harmony fo hundreds of years. Because the Christians are targets, Obama won't enter the fray. We saw this in Iraq and recently, Afganastan. Our Troops are being stopped from any public of Christiananity, e.g. Crosses on worship sites. And Obama does nothing. Thats the true and real idenity of things in the Middle East.

Bob95490

April 7, 2012 - 1:29pm

@Zoobie, What has this to do with Syria where Moslems are killing other Moslems over who controls the government? Assad already oppresses the Christians and the opposition also oppresses Christians. Thus, you must see my confusion. How is one Christian oppressor deliberately killing other Christian oppressors about eliminating Christian oppression in Syria or anywhere else in the world where Moslems oppress Christians?

While I’m fully aware of the problems faced by Christians throughout the Islamist world the deliberate shelling of one Islamist faction by another Islamist faction for control of Syria hardly equates to an attempt to lift Christians from oppression or as a deliberate attack on Christians either. In the long run it isn’t going to matter one way or the other which side wins either for Christians living in Syria or for the United States; nothing in the Islamist’s attitude will change about either entity. This, and not Obama’s obvious disdain for anyone with Christian beliefs or the possibility of Russian involvement, is the reason, as far as I can see, for the U.S. not assisting either side.

Robert Ireland (PUFL)
Post 174 Willits, CA

AKdan7

April 8, 2012 - 10:31pm

I agree with many of the comments. Please define "armed conflict."

But considering what is going on, I will define it as two bodies shooting something at each other which is meant to kill/maim/injure the other. And with that, heck yes, its an "armed conflict.

And that's as much as the question asked. It isn't asking for our opinion on whether it should be occurring, or whether the US should be involved, or whether its about protecting US' "special interests," or anything else. It is simply asking "do you agree that this is an armed conflict.

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