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  1. Zugzwang
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    21 Jun '18 23:231 edit
    Originally posted by @deepthought
    War crimes are a technical matter. You brought up the war in Syria, not I. Since what is at issue is US and UK hypocrisy the comparison is relevant. Saudi has not been accused of the use of chemical weapons. They have been accused of a persistent failure of distinction in their targeting. If you want to show that Saudi is no different to Syria in t ...[text shortened]... construct a case, but complaining that I won't accept vague generalities won't get you very far.
    In his zeal to 'defend' (as he originally wrote and later retracted perhaps because it
    seemed politically embarrassing) the UK government's position on Yemen, DeepThought
    keeps being extremely disingenuous.

    "War crimes are a technical matter."
    --DeepThought

    This thread is named 'Hypocrisy Over Yemen', NOT 'War Crimes in Yemen'.
    Clearly, I did NOT originally intend to start an extremely legalistic argument (better reserved
    for a courtroom) among the non-lawyers here. I intended a more general discussion.

    "You brought up the war in Syria, not I."
    --DeepThought

    That was only in response to DeepThought's trolling me that my writing on the war in Yemen
    was somehow supposed to help China. I don't know of any Chinese involvement in Yemen.
    So I explained that a better analogy would be with the civil war in Syria.

    "Saudi has not been accused of the use of chemical weapons."
    --DeepThought

    1) Saudi Arabia is fighting a war of choice in Yemen, a foreign civil war.
    If Saudi Arabia loses that war, the House of Saud still will be quite safe.
    2) Assad is fighting a war of survival in Syria. If Assad loses, then he may well be killed
    and many of his Alawite followers may be massacred. That's not to excuse everything
    that Assad has done. but it points out that the stakes are much higher for Assad, and
    so he has more motivation to act ruthlessly.

    "Since what is at issue is US and UK hypocrisy ..."
    --DeepThought

    My general position is that the UK or USA tend to act in the Middle East on account of
    expediency due to self-interest rather than consistent moral (or even legal) principle.
    That's enough to account for hypocrisy.

    I had regarded my position as rather unobjectionable. Many American and British
    people have criticized the USA or UK"s lack of consistent moral principle in the Middle East.
    Need I quote Noam Chomsky? I already have cited articles ranging from an editorial in
    the 'Guardian' to one in an American conservative publication criticizing what the USA
    or UK has done in Yemen. DeepThought may prefer to ignore these articles.

    Apparently, DeepThought prefers to deny that the USA and UK have acted hypocritically
    in Yemen, if not also generally in the Middle East. Therefore, would DeepThought avow
    that the USA and UK have acted according to consistent moral (or legal) principle?

    "Anything Saudi Arabia supports is generally evil. And anything the US (and Britain generally as well)
    does in the Middle-East has to do with oil and / or stupidity covered in hypocrisy and evil."
    --Shavixmir

    Apparently, Shavixmir strongly disagrees with DeepThought.
  2. Standard memberDeepThought
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    22 Jun '18 10:51
    Originally posted by @duchess64
    In his zeal to 'defend' (as he originally wrote and later retracted perhaps because it
    seemed politically embarrassing) the UK government's position on Yemen, DeepThought
    keeps being extremely disingenuous.

    "War crimes are a technical matter."
    --DeepThought

    This thread is named 'Hypocrisy Over Yemen', NOT 'War Crimes in Yemen'.
    Clearly, I did N ...[text shortened]... hypocrisy and evil."
    --Shavixmir

    Apparently, Shavixmir strongly disagrees with DeepThought.
    I changed "defend" to "comment on" to keep the scope of my argument narrow. I'd made my edit as immediately as humanly possible and had hoped no one had read it in that time. Since defending the UK's part in the the intervention in Yemen is a rather large and difficult task, I felt "comment on" was a more appropriate reflection of my debating stance.

    Since the construction of your argument depends on the conduct of the war in Yemen war crime is definitely both relevant and unavoidably technical. But not so difficult that non-lawyers can't understand the concepts involved. If there were no questions regarding the conduct of Saudi operations in Yemen you wouldn't have a case at all.

    Saudi shares a border with Yemen, they started a military build up on the border to prevent overspill of the war. A Houthi commander threatened to invade Saudi Arabia and overrun the country and not stop until they had taken Riyadh [1]. While that may seem unrealistic it is not at all obvious that the Sauds survival is not jeopardized. It is not obvious that the stakes are higher for Assad personally, since last I heard he was in Russia.

    Be that as it may, it makes no difference. The use of chemical weapons is not permitted whether the war is for survival or as part of a foreign intervention.

    I don't think that the position I've taken in this thread is particularly sustainable, but you've just failed to do any research or make any of the obvious points (such as accusations of the use of white phosphorus by the Saudis, see also [1]). Really, if you're going to start a thread you might want to be prepared to do even a minimal amount of background reading and defend your position beyond vague generalities.

    [1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saudi_Arabian-led_intervention_in_Yemen
  3. Standard memberDeepThought
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    22 Jun '18 11:45
    Originally posted by @duchess64
    In his zeal to 'defend' (as he originally wrote and later retracted perhaps because it
    seemed politically embarrassing) the UK government's position on Yemen, DeepThought
    keeps being extremely disingenuous.

    "War crimes are a technical matter."
    --DeepThought

    This thread is named 'Hypocrisy Over Yemen', NOT 'War Crimes in Yemen'.
    Clearly, I did N ...[text shortened]... hypocrisy and evil."
    --Shavixmir

    Apparently, Shavixmir strongly disagrees with DeepThought.
    My general position is that the UK or USA tend to act in the Middle East on account of expediency due to self-interest rather than consistent moral (or even legal) principle. That's enough to account for hypocrisy.
    Is it? For you to base a charge of hypocrisy around acting on the grounds of self-interest then you would have to demonstrate that their stated reasons for supporting the Saudi led coalition are different from their actual ones. I haven't done any research for this post, so it's easy for me to be wrong, but I don't think that they've consistently justified this in terms other than curtailing Iranian influence in the area and in the terms of the War on Terror. So, I'm not sure you've got much of a case along those lines.
  4. Joined
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    22 Jun '18 13:58
    Originally posted by @duchess64
    The UN has described the situation in Yemen as the worst humanitarian crisis in the world.
    Western powers (USA, UK , France) strongly support the Saudi-led forces
    that are primarily responsible for this humanitarian crisis.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jun/17/the-guardian-view-on-yemen-our-complicity-lies-bare

    "The Guardian view ...[text shortened]... iously warned
    that an attack on Hodeidah could “take peace off the table in a single stroke” "
    Yet the UN spends all their time passing resolutions against Israel

    Very telling.
  5. Standard memberDeepThought
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    22 Jun '18 15:09
    Originally posted by @whodey
    Yet the UN spends all their time passing resolutions against Israel

    Very telling.
    Sweden attempted to present a resolution to the UN security council, but it was vetoed by both the US and Britain.
  6. Zugzwang
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    22 Jun '18 21:104 edits
    Originally posted by @deepthought
    I changed "defend" to "comment on" to keep the scope of my argument narrow. I'd made my edit as immediately as humanly possible and had hoped no one had read it in that time. Since defending the UK's part in the the intervention in Yemen is a rather large and difficult task, I felt "comment on" was a more appropriate reflection of my debating stance. ...[text shortened]... vague generalities.

    [1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saudi_Arabian-led_intervention_in_Yemen
    My general position is that, when acting in the Middle East, the UK or USA are motivated
    by expediency (including hypocrisy) rather than by consistent moral (or legal) principle.
    DeepThought seems eager to dispute this (or me), though perhaps a bit vaguely.

    So I shall take it that DeepThought believes that the UK and the USA are motivated by
    and have acted in the Middle East according to consistent moral (or legal) principle.
    Like Shavixmir (though not sharing his rhetoric), I believe that it's an absurd position.

    So does DeepThought believe that the UK and USA have strongly supported Saudi Arabia's wars
    on account of consistent moral principle rather than out of expedient desire for its oil?

    "A Houthi commander threatened to invade Saudi Arabia and overrun the country
    and not stop until they had taken Riyadh."
    --DeepThought

    Did not Kim Jong-un threaten to use his few nukes to win a general war against the USA?
    Why does DeepThought pretend to take such absurdly unrealistic threats seriously?

    DeepThought apparently argues that
    1) Saudi Arabia would fall (to whom?) if it fails to win its war in Yemen.
    In fact, Saudi Arabia has (arguably) the most advanced military (the Saudis can afford
    to buy the best arms from the USA and UK) except for Israel's in the Middle East.

    I would submit that DeepThought's fear of Saudi Arabia falling to the Houthis is absurd.
    (If the House of Saud falls, then it likely will be due to internal rebellion, not foreign invasion.)

    2) Assad and his supporters (primarily the Alawites) are not fighting for survival in Syria.
    I don't care about Assad personally. He might be able to hop on an aircraft and flee somewhere.
    But if Assad loses the civil war, then many Alawites likely will get massacred in revenge.
    Has not ISIS threatened, in effect, to do that?

    I would submit that few, if any, Alawites in Syria do NOT feel that their own survival is
    not tied to (sadly) Assad's ability to avoid decisively losing the civil war.

    I suspect that this thread has continued because DeepThought originally hoped to troll
    me about China (which is not involved in Yemen) and then he disingenuously shifted his
    positions in order to find some other way to attack me.

    "Anything Saudi Arabia supports is generally evil. And anything the US (and Britain generally
    as well) does in the Middle-East has to do with oil and / or stupidity covered in hypocrisy and evil."
    --Shavixmir

    Note that DeepThought attacks only me while ignoring Shavixmir's harsher rhetoric
    condemning the UK, USA, and Saudi Arabia.
  7. Joined
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    22 Jun '18 21:18
    Originally posted by @deepthought
    Sweden attempted to present a resolution to the UN security council, but it was vetoed by both the US and Britain.
    So?

    It is painfully evident that the entire UN is a joke.

    Pass a resolution?

    Who cares?
  8. Standard memberDeepThought
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    23 Jun '18 11:00
    Originally posted by @duchess64
    My general position is that, when acting in the Middle East, the UK or USA are motivated
    by expediency (including hypocrisy) rather than by consistent moral (or legal) principle.
    DeepThought seems eager to dispute this (or me), though perhaps a bit vaguely.

    So I shall take it that DeepThought believes that the UK and the USA are motivated by
    and hav ...[text shortened]... only me while ignoring Shavixmir's harsher rhetoric
    condemning the UK, USA, and Saudi Arabia.
    What I was getting at there was that for a charge of hypocrisy to have traction you need to show that they are claiming to be acting out of anything but regional strategic interest.

    That's the point, isn't it. If the civil war spills over into Saudi then the Sauds will be facing internal rebellion.

    The West is not complaining about the war against ISIS. The criticism lies in the conduct of the war. This is somewhat moot since it looks like Assad is going to win a straightforward military victory, but a peace process with a UN peacekeeping mission could be expected to mitigate such a backlash.

    Shav's point wasn't all that coherent. He basically just said "They're all evil." and left. Since there wasn't really any substance to his post it wasn't worth responding to.
  9. Standard memberDeepThought
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    23 Jun '18 11:05
    Originally posted by @whodey
    So?

    It is painfully evident that the entire UN is a joke.

    Pass a resolution?

    Who cares?
    If it has the support of the Security Council then, which means getting it past five countries with vetoes, a security council resolution has real teeth.
  10. Germany
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    23 Jun '18 11:08
    Originally posted by @whodey
    So?

    It is painfully evident that the entire UN is a joke.

    Pass a resolution?

    Who cares?
    The UN Security Council almost never passes any resolution critical of Israel. As usual, you're talking out of the wrong orifice.
  11. Zugzwang
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    23 Jun '18 18:35
    Originally posted by @kazetnagorra to Whodey
    The UN Security Council almost never passes any resolution critical of Israel. As usual, you're talking out of the wrong orifice.
    That's because the USA almost always vetoes every proposed UN Security Council
    resolution that would criticize Israel.
  12. Zugzwang
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    23 Jun '18 18:411 edit
    Originally posted by @deepthought
    What I was getting at there was that for a charge of hypocrisy to have traction you need to show that they are claiming to be acting out of anything but regional strategic interest.

    That's the point, isn't it. If the civil war spills over into Saudi then the Sauds will be facing internal rebellion.

    The West is not complaining about the war agains ...[text shortened]... ." and left. Since there wasn't really any substance to his post it wasn't worth responding to.
    DeepThought keeps being (in all but name) evidently a disingenuous apologist for
    the UK (and US) government policies in Yemen or the Middle East in general.

    "If the civil war spills over into Saudi then the Sauds will be facing internal rebellion."
    --DeepThought

    I am unaware of the Houthis having any significant following inside Saudi Arabia.
    Can DeepThought cite the existence of any pro-Houthi cells operating in Saudi Arabia?

    Again, from my original post:
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jun/17/the-guardian-view-on-yemen-our-complicity-lies-bare

    "The Guardian view on Yemen: our complicity lies bare:
    Even if the UK warned against attacking the vital port of Hodeidah,
    we bear responsibility for the horrors of this war."

    "The fig leaves covered little to start with, and withered long ago.
    Now the excuses for our role in Yemen’s misery have fallen away entirely.
    The assault on Hodeidah by the Saudi- and Emirati-led coalition can
    only deepen the world’s worst humanitarian crisis; 70% of the country’s imports pass through the port...."

    "So they are doing it. They are conducting this war with British-, American-
    and French-made arms. They are conducting it with western military training
    and advice; British and US officers have been in the command room for
    airstrikes, and this weekend Le Figaro alleged that there are French
    special forces on the ground in Yemen. They are conducting it with
    diplomatic shelter from the west. On Friday, the UK and US blocked a
    Swedish drive for a UN security council statement demanding a ceasefire:"

    If DeepThought condemns the 'Guardian' editorial, then he should just say so.
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    25 Jun '18 04:16
    Originally posted by @deepthought
    I changed "defend" to "comment on" to keep the scope of my argument narrow. I'd made my edit as immediately as humanly possible and had hoped no one had read it in that time. Since defending the UK's part in the the intervention in Yemen is a rather large and difficult task, I felt "comment on" was a more appropriate reflection of my debating stance. ...[text shortened]... vague generalities.

    [1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saudi_Arabian-led_intervention_in_Yemen
    " The use of chemical weapons is not permitted whether the war is for survival or as part of a foreign intervention."

    This is an example of your acceptance of pro-establishment propaganda. The USA permitted Saddam Hussein to use chemical weapons against Iran.

    http://foreignpolicy.com/2013/08/26/exclusive-cia-files-prove-america-helped-saddam-as-he-gassed-iran/

    https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2013/08/26/215733981/new-details-on-how-u-s-helped-saddam-as-he-gassed-iran
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