By:  docphil  •  last year  •  58 comments


This is a question of ethics. In order to get to your final answer, I would think that you have to think about a few other questions and your personal answers to them. 


In order to get to an answer that is defensible a number of sub-questions need to be asked.

Do You Think That All People Share Common Bonds And Are Connected?

Do You Think A Nation's Ruler Or Ruling Body Has The Right To Determine Who Lives Or Who Dies?

Do You See A Difference In How A Nation Proceeds In A Genocide? Poison? Starvation? Guns?

Do We Have A Moral Obligation To Replace Or Depose Leaders Who Commit Mass Murder?

As The World's Leading Superpower, Are We Morally Obligated To Intervene In Mass Murder Situations?

If So, To What Extent Should We Intervene?

How Would This Intervention, If Initiated, Be Paid For?

These are not easy questions and are really not questions that define us as liberal or conservative, good or bad. This is a question of international and geo-political ethics. What do you think? Let's talk about it.


jrDiscussion - desc
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Bob Nelson
1  Bob Nelson    last year

There's another question that must be asked: Do we have the means?

We can crush any regime anywhere in the world - it took just six weeks to send the Taliban fleeing from Kabul. But then what?

Bush I did it right: déclare a clear objective (clear Iraqis from Kuwait), do it, AND GET OUT). But only if there is relative unanimity, internationally, as when Saddam invaded Kuwait. If a genuine coalition cannot be formed, then the result will always be... Syria, where the bloody dictator remains in power.

1.1  author  DocPhil  replied to  Bob Nelson @1    last year

For me, this is one of the most difficult questions I can pose. I would love to be able to say we should be on the side of right all of the time. We should always act against the despots who kill their own. But then, I start asking myself the practical questions and I'm not sure if there is any practical way to do it other than in some coalition of nations committed to preventing mass murder.

Bob Nelson
2  Bob Nelson    last year
 I'm not sure if there is any practical way to do it other than in some coalition of nations...

That's how I see it... which means that countries which are often adversaries, like Russia and China... have an effective veto. Even regional powers like Iran can derail international collaboration.

Badfish Hαηd ⊕Ƒ †Hε Ωuεεη
3  Badfish Hαηd ⊕Ƒ †Hε Ωuεεη    last year

Our government was created to protect the rights of US citizens. That does not include the rights of Syrians. The neocon feels differently.

If you want to liberate a rifle and a plane ticket....don't ask my son to do it!

Fight the war yourself! 

3.1  Sunshine  replied to  Badfish Hαηd ⊕Ƒ †Hε Ωuεεη @3    last year

There is no draft now.....

Badfish Hαηd ⊕Ƒ †Hε Ωuεεη
3.1.1  Badfish Hαηd ⊕Ƒ †Hε Ωuεεη  replied to  Sunshine @3.1    last year

And nothing is stopping a free man from fighting another foreign war with his own life and on his own dime.

charger 383
4  charger 383    last year

After we save them, they don't appreciate what we did

Badfish Hαηd ⊕Ƒ †Hε Ωuεεη
4.1  Badfish Hαηd ⊕Ƒ †Hε Ωuεεη  replied to  charger 383 @4    last year

It's more than that, these neocon warmongers parading as democrats and republicans and in this case a guy that calls himself a liberal?

What a joke, the go to war liberal?

What happens after Assad?,Iraq...Libya...Egypt?

These war mongering idiots always leave a bigger shithole than the one the spent our children on.

Want to save Syrian kids?

Buy a rifle and a plane ticket and go do it yourself.

These cowards never Do it though....they watch the carnage onn TV while our kids die or return broken.

4.1.1  author  DocPhil  replied to  Badfish Hαηd ⊕Ƒ †Hε Ωuεεη @4.1    last year

Do you understand what an debate over ethics is? Nobody, especially me, is advocating that we go to war over Syria or any other nation. I am presenting a statement {question} for legitimate debate. Are there other ways than going to war to prevent mass murder? Can it be done economically? Can it be done by financing regime change? Can it be done when there is a natural disaster like a famine when the nation has no control over the deaths? This is a difficult question. I'm just asking people to think.

Badfish Hαηd ⊕Ƒ †Hε Ωuεεη
4.1.2  Badfish Hαηd ⊕Ƒ †Hε Ωuεεη  replied to  DocPhil @4.1.1    last year

Oh I understand exactly what you are proposing, it's the same worn out failed argument we have heard from your generation over and over.

Go fight the war yourself. Man up, buy a plane ticked and a gun and have at it. Just don't ask our beautiful children to do it as you have in the past.

I am done watching body bags and lost souls returned to us because you have some fucking worthless cause.

4.1.3  CB   replied to  Badfish Hαηd ⊕Ƒ †Hε Ωuεεη @4.1.2    last year

BF, I understand your sentiment. And it makes sense in this discussion.

That said, DocPhil is asking a different question, a deeper question, about the state of the world we live in, in my opinion. It is more along the line of, "Am I my brother's keeper?" And, where does the "ought" line lie in preserving sanctity of life?

4.2  Skrekk  replied to  charger 383 @4    last year
After we save them, they don't appreciate what we did

I'm still upset that most Iraqis aren't more appreciative that we invaded their country, destroyed their infrastructure and murdered their families.

4.2.1  author  DocPhil  replied to  Skrekk @4.2    last year

This is the type of result that makes the question so perplexing. So many Americans thought we did the right thing when we invaded Iraq and destroyed their infrastructure and killed their people. Most Americans thought we were doing the right thing when we placed the Shah in charge in Iran. That one wound up well for us, didn't it? It has happened over and over again when we practice regime change. The question though is what obligation do we have to the people of those countries? How can we prevent them from being murdered? What can the most powerful nation do without going to war? I'm not sure.

4.2.2  Skrekk  replied to  DocPhil @4.2.1    last year

I think one needs to look at the underlying motives for these coups and wars.   In the vast majority of cases since about 1898 it's been business interests which really drive our actions not humanitarian interests of any kind.    Very rarely has the US ever been on the side of the majority of people rather than a small oligarchy.    And lies by the administration to hide their true motives are the norm not the exception.

My concern today is that we've returned to the profound corruption of the Eisenhower era where it's the personal business interests of key administration officials which are driving our foreign policy.    We're still dealing today with the blowback from very bad decisions made for personal profit by the Dulles brothers some 64 or more years ago and we're seeing the same pattern again today despite the laws which were enacted to prevent such things from recurring.

4.2.3  author  DocPhil  replied to  Skrekk @4.2.2    last year

For the richest among us, laws are designed for others to follow. If you are the Kochs or Addison or other Republican mega donors, their contributions all come with a price. A law frequently looks good at first glance but closer inspection finds the loopholes. We see it in foreign policy and in this corrupt administration, we're also seeing it in the environment, education, and other domestic areas .

4.2.4  Skrekk  replied to  DocPhil @4.2.3    last year
A law frequently looks good at first glance but closer inspection finds the loopholes.

Speaking of which:

5  Sunshine    last year

Only need to protect ourselves, that is the most important.   

Badfish Hαηd ⊕Ƒ †Hε Ωuεεη
5.1  Badfish Hαηd ⊕Ƒ †Hε Ωuεεη  replied to  Sunshine @5    last year

History shows that Us intervention does little good. We created the mess in Syria looking for fictitious weapons of mass destruction. Don't get me started on Iran because we are to blame for the current regime.

If one thing in this world is clear it's we ought to mind north America.

pat wilson
5.1.1  pat wilson  replied to  Badfish Hαηd ⊕Ƒ †Hε Ωuεεη @5.1    last year
we ought to mind north America.

Of course. But minding our interests at home may involve minding our interests abroad.

Badfish Hαηd ⊕Ƒ †Hε Ωuεεη
5.1.2  Badfish Hαηd ⊕Ƒ †Hε Ωuεεη  replied to  pat wilson @5.1.1    last year

Err um not really. It just hasn't worked out in the past and there is no reason to believe it will work out for us now.

5.1.3  CB   replied to  Badfish Hαηd ⊕Ƒ †Hε Ωuεεη @5.1.2    last year

It really does beg the question: Parts of the world just does not seem to want to be whole, well, socialized, or free. And yet these nations accumulated miseries smell up the world!

5.2  SteevieGee  replied to  Sunshine @5    last year

Seems to me that we can't stop mass murders right here at home.

5.2.1  Sunshine  replied to  SteevieGee @5.2    last year

No we can't.  We need to work on ourselves.

6  bbl-1    last year

Perhaps America's 'obligations' have been altered because of the rising power of the nuclear tipped gas station.  And of course, DJT's acceptance of that.

Badfish Hαηd ⊕Ƒ †Hε Ωuεεη
6.1  Badfish Hαηd ⊕Ƒ †Hε Ωuεεη  replied to  bbl-1 @6    last year

Hard to blame the Trump when neocons are pouring out of the woodwork demanding more bloodshed like docphil....Dick Chaney and Georgie Bushes.

6.1.1  Skrekk  replied to  Badfish Hαηd ⊕Ƒ †Hε Ωuεεη @6.1    last year

Note who the new National Security Adviser is.   Only Trump is to blame for his poor choices.

6.1.2  author  DocPhil  replied to  Skrekk @6.1.1    last year

Only going to get worse.....the sensible "hawks" are being purged and the Boltons and the Pompeos of this world have this president's ear....who else is in this pipeline?

7  Gordy327    last year

Short answer: no! We are not the world police and what other countries do is neither our business or concern. The exception to that is if other countries pose a threat to us or our allies. 

8  katrix    last year

It's a tough question.  We can't save everyone, and generally when we intervene, we end up making things worse.  But on the other hand, global instability does affect our own interests, so I suppose we'll always meddle.  And yes, some of the reason is that we truly do want to help others, but it's probably not enough of the reason (hell, even then it backfires - look how many people died when Christian missionaries decided to "save" native populations, and decimated them through disease).

Thinking of the Holocaust and what a difference earlier intervention would have made ... then thinking of, say, Rwanda and all those people who died ... we did nothing and it sucked.  Then, thinking of Afghanistan and how much worse we probably made that ... thinking of how once we intervene, how much worse it often gets when we leave .. as we eventually must ... Kuwait seemed like a good choice, but only because hindsight showed we didn't make things worse (although I'm probably overlooking longer reaching consequences to the region).  The Falklands .. that seemed to work OK for the Brits, but that's the only real example I can think of other than Kuwait.  

I don't think there's any way other than war to make changes, not that I'm saying those are good changes (look at what happened to the Kurds after we left Iraq the first time around).  If we provide aid, the warlords end up taking it, and it never seems to get to the people who need it.  Economic sanctions tend to hurt the people more than the leaders .. although at least those hit the leaders hard, too.  Financing regime change seems to make things worse in the end, or at least no better.  After natural disasters, even the Red Cross can't seem to get their act together - and while we help some people, again, the corrupt leaders seem to get most of the money and supplies.

We can't understand how people within our own country think - look at the right vs left battles we see here every day.  So trying to influence major changes when we can't possibly understand the way those people think is almost always a disaster.  Where corruption is a way of life, we want to push democracy - it's not going to happen.  As Theory of a Deadman says in their song LowLife - you can't change something that you don't understand.

If I did have the right answers, I'd be running for President, or at least Secretary of State.  And then I'd be assassinated for having a clue :)

Badfish Hαηd ⊕Ƒ †Hε Ωuεεη
8.1  Badfish Hαηd ⊕Ƒ †Hε Ωuεεη  replied to  katrix @8    last year
If I did have the right answers, I'd be running for President

Actually if you had the wrong answers, you'd be the perfect President, that's the problem.......

8.1.1  katrix  replied to  Badfish Hαηd ⊕Ƒ †Hε Ωuεεη @8.1    last year

Well, nobody's actually qualified to be President, when you think about it.  I guess I don't have either wrong or right answers - I don't know what the answer is.  I don't think intervention is usually it, though.

Has any place we've occupied since Japan been better off for our presence?

Bob Nelson
8.1.2  Bob Nelson  replied to  katrix @8.1.1    last year
Has any place we've occupied since Japan been better off for our presence?

That is an excellent question!

8.2  Gordy327  replied to  katrix @8    last year


I'd vote for you.

Raven Wing
9  Raven Wing    last year

"Do You Think That All People Share Common Bonds And Are Connected?"

Indeed we do, and we are. We do not live in this world alone. As in any family, the strong among us must help and protect the weak. The human family is no different. We must join with our allies to help and protect the weak. If we don't, then we are no better than the oppressors, and there may come a day when we here in the US will need to assistance of our allies to save our own country and its people. 

If we set ourselves up to say, "Screw you" to those in need, then we should expect the same in return. We may not take on the task alone, but, we do need to do our part to help protect the innocent lives of those who cannot protect themselves against their oppressors. 

We are all connected as the human race.

charger 383
9.1  charger 383  replied to  Raven Wing @9    last year
"Screw you" to those in need, then we should expect the same in return.

That is what we get now

Raven Wing
9.1.1  Raven Wing  replied to  charger 383 @9.1    last year

Not so much yet, but, it looks like with Trump working to alienate our allies left and right it may come to that sooner than we think. 

No matter how much the GOP wants to try and isolate America from the rest of the world, the worst is yet to come. America depends a great deal on other countries in trade and sharing technology. If America becomes a fully isolated country, there will be very destructive to America and its people. 

10  mocowgirl    last year

Do we have an obligation to send US men and women to settle religious wars in the Middle East where one sect of Islam is trying to annihilate opposing sects?

How has that worked out in Iraq when the US toppled Saddam's sect and replaced it with his opposition?  Isn't that how our warmongering, empire building government created ISIS?

Why is the US backing Al-Qaeda and other rebel forces who want to establish a government in Syria that is patterned after Saudi Arabia use of Sharia law?  How exactly is that going to prevent more genocide in the Middle East?

(CNN) - How did Syria go from an internal uprising to a wider clash drawing funding and fighters from across the region?

In a word, Middle East experts say, religion.

Shiite Muslims from Lebanon, Iraq and Iran have flooded into Syria to defend sacred sites and President Bashar al-Assad's embattled regime. Sunni Muslims, some affiliated with al Qaeda, have rushed in to join rebels, most of whom are Sunni.

Both sides use religious rhetoric as a rallying cry, calling each other "infidels" and "Satan's army."

"That is why it has become so muddy," said professor Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma. "The theological question has returned to the center."

That's not to say that the warring parties are fighting over, say, the definition of God.

But the United Nations, in a series of reports, has warned with mounting urgency that the battle lines in Syria are being drawn along sectarian - that is, religious - lines. Both sides fear that whoever wins power will wipe out the loser.

"The conflict has become increasingly sectarian, with the conduct of the parties becoming significantly more radicalized and militarized," the UN said earlier this year.

And that's a really bad thing, foreign policy experts say.

Religious civil wars are longer and bloodier than other types of clashes, according to studies. They are also twice as likely to recur and twice as deadly to noncombatants.

"People hold onto religious fights longer than battles over land and water," said Nicole Bibbins Sedaca, an expert on foreign policy at Georgetown University and a 10-year veteran of the U.S. State Department. "It becomes existential and related to belief in a higher calling."

Some combatants in Syria appear to believe that fighting in the name of God justifies the most barbaric measures.

Remember that video of a rebel eating the heart of a Syrian soldier while shouting "God is great!"? Or the other video showing the beheading of three men with butcher knives, also while praising God?

10.1  MUVA  replied to  mocowgirl @10    last year

Obama is responsible for ISIS he alone didn't listen to the generals he fired some of them instead.

10.1.1  mocowgirl  replied to  MUVA @10.1    last year
Obama is responsible for ISIS

Bush and the supporters of the Iraq invasion are responsible for ISIS.

There were zero reasons to invade Iraq after 9/11.

However, it is a great example of how easy it is to lead the majority of US citizens into supporting invasions of sovereign nations based on little except innuendo and propaganda.  

People get all hyped up and all emotional about the rallying cry of  "saving the women and children" and then casually dismiss the the thousands, tens of thousands, and even hundreds of thousands of them killed by US bombs and bullets as "collateral damage".

At times, our nation's motto seems to be "Kill them all and let God sort them out".  

11  luther28    last year


Is this not one of the reasons for the founding of the United Nations?

I do not think it is up to us to intervene alone, but to support a general consensus of Nations when these incidents occur. That is the way it supposed to work at least, although it is a rare moment when it does.

It is the obligation of all people everywhere to respond to such acts, to this point we have failed miserably.

12  1stwarrior    last year

And I look at the hypocritical statement - 


Remember Standing Rock????  Approved by our government???

Badfish Hαηd ⊕Ƒ †Hε Ωuεεη
12.1  Badfish Hαηd ⊕Ƒ †Hε Ωuεεη  replied to  1stwarrior @12    last year

Meme of the week if not month......well  done.

13  freepress    last year

One of the primary reasons Trump was elected by the Republican base is after Bush made such a mess of getting us into wars without any plan to pay for them and the mess that was created, Trump ran on nationalism and pulling out of all mess.

Trump was supposedly against Bush and the war hawks, all lies, lies, lies and more lies. Trump has a swamp full of war hawks as we now see, many from the Bush administration.

The real question is strategy, not just the stance of a war hawk ready to bomb willy nilly, and invade without any plans to pay for the war or strategy about what it will cost America in lives of our soldiers.

Bush and Cheney had total disregard for everything, just lie and claim WMD and everybody would go along with the heightened fear after 9/11. They totally botched it. Had no plans for how long, what it would cost or who it hurt. Trump is proving no different.

Trump has proven he has no regard for the law, or law enforcement, he filled up his cabinet with swampy Wall Street thieves and war hawks, and just plays a game without any strategy.

If the same war hawks that were part of the Bush administration, like Bolton for example are now taking the reins, why would any Trump voter think this is going to have any different outcome than failure.

Trump lied to everyone and unless we stand up to him and ask for more transparency, more diplomacy and ask that Trump fill all the open positions at all levels of the State Department and fill all the open diplomatic positions to get information and plan a strategy, Trump voters will not only have to face reality about Trump lies, but they will have to sit back and watch the Bush years play out again with another failure.

14  Kathleen    last year

I think we do, if it only becomes a threat to us. Especially if they are developing chemical weapons that destroy people.  Sometimes we have to send them a message.  We can't be expected to fix all the worlds problems, and we are not the worlds bank either, that's where the other countries have to pitch in as well.

Colour Me Free
15  Colour Me Free    last year

I am saddened to see partisanship playing a part in individuals responses to the questions asked ... the problem of dictators decimating their own people predates the Bush's and definitely the current President.

I think it comes down to a personal belief as to whether 'we' have a responsibility towards our fellow man or not ... some will believe it is 'our' responsibility .. and some will not!

  For years I have been stomping my feet over US intervention in Syria - 'we' got involved to arm/support those that 'we' knew nothing about...  foreign fighters flowed into Syrian under the guise of the "Arab Spring" amid the chants of "Assad must go!" .. while ignoring the plight of the people that called Syria home .. now 500k+ dead citizens later, millions have fled the country ................ Russia is there (?), so it matters that the citizens were slaughtered 'possibly' by their own government roughly 7 years after the first attack?

My personal feelings are go all in, or stay the fuck out .. none of this picking and choosing sides - go to war, solve the problem or stay home and stay out of it completely!

One might think that the US government may have learned a lesson from the Soviets going into Afghanistan in the 80's, ya all remember, the US armed individuals like Osama bin Laden and groups that later became AQ (?) in order to support an agenda of blocking the Soviets from having influence in the Middle East ---- Ta Da, Russia is now an ME power ............. 'We' do not like it, so now the Syrian people need us?  Oooo my what a dilemma (?) 

So all that said...

Do You Think That All People Share Common Bonds And Are Connected?  Yes, but it is a personal choice on how far that bond goes

Do You Think A Nation's Ruler Or Ruling Body Has The Right To Determine Who Lives Or Who Dies?  No

Do You See A Difference In How A Nation Proceeds In A Genocide? Poison? Starvation? Guns?  Not sure why 'guns' is a category, but no, no difference!

Do We Have A Moral Obligation To Replace Or Depose Leaders Who Commit Mass Murder?  Since the words Moral Obligation are used, no, 'we' do not ... 

As The World's Leading Superpower, Are We Morally Obligated To Intervene In Mass Murder Situations?  Once again 'Morally Obligated' takes the US out of the running - for one to be 'morally obligated' one would need to act immediately, not years later after 'redlines' are crossed.

If So, To What Extent Should We Intervene?
How Would This Intervention, If Initiated, Be Paid For?  These go hand in hand (to me anyhow) there is always money found to prop up whatever cause comes along that fits a political agenda - so if 'our fellow man' really was important .. the money would be found!

Just my opinions DocPhil - thanks for the conversation yesterday .. 

15.1  author  DocPhil  replied to  Colour Me Free @15    last year

I'm finding it interesting that this conversation has immediately taken a left/right tone and also seems to ignore other mass death situations like famine and purposeful starvation. We don't seem to have a problem when there is an outbreak of a highly contagious disease, and sending in people to assist in controlling the pathogen. We don't seem to take as much of a moral stance when millions die of starvation in Sudan or other nations due to drought or general famine.

We also have only a few comments about Americans engaging in mass murders of our own. I, as a somewhat well off white senior, am appalled by what our government {police} are systematically doing to our Black and Brown male populations in particular. Is this any better or worse than what we see despots do in other countries? Some of my critics here on NT would like to use this or any article written by someone on the left as something it is not. I would like to see both sides use their brains and discuss this complex issue for what it is exercise to have intelligent debate across party lines.

Dismayed Patriot
15.1.1  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  DocPhil @15.1    last year
appalled by what our government {police} are systematically doing to our Black and Brown male populations in particular

Very true. They have been stuck in the poorest neighborhoods with the fewest resources, the worst schools, the lowest paid teachers simply cranking the wheel of dropout factories while telling them that technically they can be anything they want to be when they grow up while at the same time telling them they'll be lucky to survive their twenties. Then we tell them their most likely options are working low wage fast food service and janitorial jobs which virtually no upward mobility, or working outside the lines of society as drug dealers and gang members. On top of that our society and justice system racially profiles them, gives them longer sentences for the same crimes as whites, are more likely to gun them down in the street and less likely to grant them parole if arrested. And this is just a continuation of centuries old racism and racial injustice, even programs intended to help veterans have been misused to give white Americans a hand up while keeping our black and brown veterans at the bottom.

"Family wealth can take generations to build -- and confers advantages that grow over time. If your great-grandparents bought a home, chances are that your grandparents inherited at least some wealth from them. Which maybe means that your parents didn't have to take out loans to go to college and got a helping hand with a down payment for a house early in life in a neighborhood with top schools. Which means that you got a great public education instead of a lousy one, allowing you to get into a good college and set yourself up to confer advantages on your own kids. And so on.

There are lots of reasons that whites have so much more wealth than nonwhites. How the GI Bill played out is one of those reasons. Whites were able to use the government guaranteed housing loans that were a pillar of the bill to buy homes in the fast growing suburbs. Those homes subsequently rose greatly in value in coming decades, creating vast new household wealth for whites during the postwar era. 

But black veterans weren't able to make use of the housing provisions of the GI Bill for the most part. Banks generally wouldn't make loans for mortgages in black neighborhoods, and African-Americans were excluded from the suburbs by a combination of deed covenants and informal racism. 

In short, the GI Bill helped fostered a long-term boom in white wealth but did almost nothing to help blacks to build wealth. We are still living with the effects of that exclusion today -- and will be for a long time to come."

So while some look abroad to fight injustice and mass murder in other countries, we ought to be looking within to fix our own major problems and injustice before we go spending time and money trying to save others.

Colour Me Free
15.1.2  Colour Me Free  replied to  DocPhil @15.1    last year

Most 'mass death' does not directly affect 'us' as a whole... US history is just that history, was not my ancestors.  The Natives were savages, white man had a right / was superior (?) .. same holds true of slavery and the ownership of another human being, once again white man was 'superior' and it is history that cannot not be changed or 'rectified' .. so it is ignored, until something happens, such as inexplicable shooting of unarmed American citizens (most notably young black men) by the police . (?) then it becomes systematic and institutionalized racism with sides being chosen as to who is right and who is wrong, as anger boils over, with a fight ensuing as the end result. .... you and I touched on this subject matter yesterday.. perhaps the future (as well as the inclusive group of young people that will eventually be in charge) holds the answers to the elimination of racism / bigotry and the hate that keeps both alive.


 I have a pet peeve regarding sanctions - only the citizens of said countries are actually affected by this action, not the powers that be.  'We' have sanctions against Russia, but nothing against Putin personally, as the US government still does business with Russia, and 'we' [government] needs Putin .. go figure huh?

We don't seem to have a problem when there is an outbreak of a highly contagious disease, and sending in people to assist in controlling the pathogen.

Awww yes, the pathogen .................... now that is something that 'could' affect the US directly, American lives are worth more, so keep it 'over there' ... it must be kept out of this country at any cost (even if it is a completely unrealistic over reaction)

Except AIDS there was a complete lack of assistance provided in that genocide ... thousand upon thousand were dieing in the US, as well as everywhere in the world - yet it was a 'gay' disease, that was realistically impacting everyone - yet there was a community to blame.  Think it is Nancy Reagan that 'we' have to thank for forcing the issue of AIDS research by the US federal government [do not quote me on that]

These are some of the reasons why when asked if 'we' had a 'Moral Obligation' .......... I had to disqualify the US - as morality is selective and subjective ....

As always .. my opinions based on my observations / interpretations

15.1.3  Sunshine  replied to  Colour Me Free @15.1.2    last year
These are some of the reasons why when asked if 'we' had a 'Moral Obligation' .......... I had to disqualify the US - as morality is selective and subjective ....

That was my same thought Colour.  Why I stated we had an obligation to protect ourselves.  Isn't our first obligation in life to protect our family?  I see nothing wrong in wanting to put ourselves first.  I believe that is our first defense and our responsibility.  Being morally obligated to act can destroy oneself in the process.  Like you said morality is female mutilation.  How the Muslim community can do this to young girls is beyond comprehension to me, but seems perfectly acceptable to some.

15.1.4  Enoch  replied to  DocPhil @15.1    last year

Dear Friend DocPhil: Good point.

Self moderating of articles to keep them on point is needed.

We have one planet.

We are one human family.

We are all in this life together.

Let freedom ring.

Peace and Abundant Blessings Always.


16  mocowgirl    last year

Look at the history of European control and economic interests in the Middle East.

If Syria was not of strategic importance because of gas pipelines, would the US and its allies be trying to overthrow a dictator?

Many of those who thought that the uprisings in Syria would put an end to dictatorship and bring a brighter future for the Syrian people are now disillusioned and confused. What is happening in Syria is no longer about a democratic movement against a dictatorship, but a proxy war to defend the geostrategic and economic interests of foreign parties in so far as the supply route of natural gas is concerned.

Behind the theater of civil war, bloodshed, massacres and humanitarian disaster, the real game can be viewed as a broader struggle between mainly Russia and Western countries which are attempting to shape the future contours of the international gas market.

The Rio Earth Summit which took place in Brazil in 1992 gave birth to the Kyoto Protocol, which imposed a reduction in the emissions of polluting gas in the atmosphere in order to mitigate the global climate warming. The European Union ratified this Protocol in 1994, thus making the non-polluting natural gas more important than petroleum, which got dethroned to second place in terms of strategic importance.

Since then, Europe became the largest world consumer of natural gas, abundantly available in Russia and Iran. A quarter of Europe's gas energy needs comes from Russia through gas-pipelines from Central Asia, transiting via Turkey. Europe, which is largely dependent on the Russian giant, Gazprom, for its energy needs, has an interest in seeking a competitor to lower its growing gas bill. Washington, which sees the Russian gas tentacles in Europe with a suspicious eye, is pressing upon its European allies to diversify their sourcing origin of gas.

Qatar, which shares the largest gas field with Iran, is considered as the alternative supplier of gas to Europe. Qatar is also a reliable ally of the USA. However, the Qatari project can be materialized through a Qatar-Saudi Arabia – Jordan-Syria pipeline with the blessings of Washington. But Bashar-al-Assad blocked this project, by preferring to sign an agreement with Iran with the hope of creating an Iran-Iraq-Syria pipeline to be policed by Russia. The stubbornness of Assad has the risk of giving a new configuration to the Middle East map with a high degree of sect coloration. In the grand design of the Western powers to parcel the Arab world, the Syrian mess is conceived as a tussle between the Sunni gas pipeline and the Shia gas pipeline.

The West wants, at all costs, to have a Sunni power in Syria to protect the Qatar-Saudi Arabia-Syria pipeline. Russia is deploying all its means to maintain Assad in power in order to frustrate the "Sunni pipeline" and by so doing continue to dictate a higher price in gas supply to Europe. Iran, which is hard-hit by sanctions, is unable to extract its gas as fast as Qatar and it fears that the materialization of the "sunni pipeline" will empty the common gas field to its disadvantage. The Iranian regime, therefore, considers that extending unflinching support to maintain Bashar-al-Assad in power is critical to the vital interests of Iran.

In order to neutralize the impact of Russian influence in Europe, the West wants to keep total control of the supply outlets of gas in the Mediterranean. If the West will fail to unseat Assad, it will imperatively look for an alternative route to transport the Qatari gas to the Mediterranean port. One of the likely options would be to force the Israelis and the Palestinians to relaunch the peace process in order to ensure the security of the Qatar-Saudi Arabia-Jordan-Israel/Palestine pipeline.

Though the humanitarian stakes are high and pathetic, the world powers continue to defend their geostrategic and economic interests. While the political discourse is idealistic and focuses on human sufferings, the real motives are hermetically sealed and disguised. These geostrategic realities and competing interests among the world powers explain why the Syrian people have become the victims of a bloody proxy war which they had never wished for.

If the US is all about toppling dictators and promoting human rights, then why does the US government have a long history of cozying up to Saudi Arabia and keeping its dictators in power?  Saudi Arabia is one of the world's worst human rights' violators and yet our government just sold it billions of dollars worth of modern weapons so it could expand its influence in the Middle East.

16.1  author  DocPhil  replied to  mocowgirl @16    last year

Oh have you hit on one of my pet peeves against both democrats and republicans in power. We support those who are evil and kill their own because it is a geopolitical benefit to us. I really wonder if that makes us complicit in the crimes that these people commit? If that is so, I think that makes us, as a people, complicit and morally responsible. We should, in this case, be much more actively protesting against our own government for their criminal activity.

16.1.1  mocowgirl  replied to  DocPhil @16.1    last year
We should, in this case, be much more actively protesting against our own government for their criminal activity.

The people in power probably gained a lot of their power by understanding how to control other people.

What is the average education system in the US?  What is the average IQ?  Look at all of the propaganda that we have bombarded with since we were children.  It takes a lifetime to come to grips with all of the BS that people in power use to manipulate and control others.  I was not born a skeptic.  That was a trait that developed after years of lies and abuse by people I loved and trusted.  I still want to believe in the "greater good", but I damn well want to guarantee that it is really the "greater good" before I commit any effort into supporting it.  Hindsight should be 20/20, but I have found a lot of people can't admit to making mistakes so  they double down on justifying their previous actions and continue to advocate for more of the same.

The average person receives a haphazard education and then spends the majority of their life focused on working because they have to and playing when they can.  This does not leave a lot of time for research into education gaps and learning what our government and other world governments are doing.  We receive our adult education from soundbites on via whatever news organization backs up our societal imposed biases.  And some of that news is government propaganda that is presented as media researched news.

I don't blame the average person for being duped because before internet access, I had no way of reading world news from various sources and very little time to do so even if I had had the internet at my fingertips.   

An interesting article below.  I have little doubt that this practice has not continued through today.  I do have doubts that we have many people left in mainstream media that actually polices mainstream media (if we ever did).

In March 2005, the New York Times revealed that there has been a large amount of fake and prepackaged news created by US government departments, such as the Pentagon, the State Department and others, and disseminated through the mainstream media. The New York Times noted a number of important issues including:

  • The US Bush administration has aggressively used public relations to prepackage news. Issues with this have included that:

(This all actually started with the Clinton administration, and has increased tremendously in breadth and scope with the Bush administration. The Bush administration spent $254 million in its first term on public relations contracts, nearly double what the last Clinton administration spent, the Time also notes.)

Government Propaganda through Prepackaged News

When some government officials were confronted about this problem by the Times a common response was that they didn’t believe it was propaganda or there was nothing wrong. When it was the case that the news stations didn’t source the segment correctly, this can be understood. But, when the segment itself has been used to pursue ideological or political agendas, then this response is more questionable. Furthermore, the Times also noted, that

17  mocowgirl    last year

A good article of the aftermath of the US invasion of Iraq.  Has it prevented thousands of casualties since our invasion?  If not, then how is US intervention really helping anyone in the short or long term?

Our nation is divided along all kinds of lines.  If one side bombed a mall and killed 100, or even 500 citizens, and then more violence continued, should the UN send in peacekeeping troops to protect our "women and children"?  Would any of our citizens want foreign troops in our country to "protect" us?

The majority of us would like to see a lasting peace in the world.  In order to achieve it, we must consider all of the reasons why there is conflict in the first place.  Much of it boils down to economics and power grabs by outsiders seeking to line their own pockets to the detriment of others.  How do we remove the empire builders from creating the problem, especially if it is contained within our own government?

Unless Iraq's leaders can come together and govern more effectively, defeating ISIS may well be a prelude to continuing ethnic and sectarian crisis or civil war. While the war against ISIS has created some degree of cooperation, it is important to note that the ISIS invasion was enabled by massive misgovernment under former Prime Minister Nouri Maliki, and a steady rise in ethnic and sectarian violence—that had risen back to the 2008 levels of civil conflict by the time ISIS invaded Fallujah in January 2014. Significant tensions and risks of violence exist within the Kurdish, Sunni Arab, and Shi'ite factions. Iraq also is not able to choose its neighbors or its “friends.” Russia, Iran, Turkey, other Arab states, and the United States and its allies all have conflicting interests and compete for influence.

Moreover, many of the reasons why Iraq is a "failed state" are structural, and not just a matter of the impact of war and political differences. Iraq's politics and governance are corrupt and dysfunctional at the working level from the central government down to local government. Its justice and political systems are weak, sometimes virtually non-existent at the local level, and often corrupt and ineffective. Iraq has critical economic problems at every level, and it has long been under acute population pressure in spite of the impact of its wars.

18  Enoch    last year

Dear Friend Doc Phil: Your question is indeed an important and a pressing one.

We are all connected.

We are all in this life together.

We need to do what we can to prevent, stop, and address bringing to justice those who murder. 

Murderers are individuals, groups, and nation states.

For individuals and some groups, there is law enforcement. Private citizens can and should co-operate, report and testify in court when they know anything which can stop, prevent and bring to justice murderers. Law enforcement is responsible for insuring the safety of those who work with it, and those close to them.

For other groups and nations, there are departments of defense and international law enforcement organizations. Citizens can serve uniform, work in other ways with, co-operate, report, and testify in court and other international bodies which address individual and mass murders by nefarious collectives. Governments and other international bodies have obligations to protect and provide for those who work with them.

Standards in government in the USA, for example are actions being a clear and present danger, materially adversely affecting the national interests, preserving the integrity of multi-national accords, treaties, agreements and conventions. Humanitarian concerns also can kick in, to be thought through on a case by case basis. 

National polices of fighting for and with; supporting, equipping, training, providing tactical and political support tend to work most efficiently and effectively when backing those willing to make the supreme sacrifice for their own survival and freedom. They tend not to work well, if at all when the majority of a population want everyone else to do their fighting for them. 

Isolationism is as morally reprehensible and irresponsible alternative as is being perpetually at war to be the world's police nation.

Situational rather than deontological political ethics and actions seems to me the best way to approach this issue of great moral import. 

Take each matter on its own merits, in consonance with our values of life, fairness and freedom.   

Stuffing all 1,000% of such cases in a 100% bag will force it to burst at the seams. 

All at once, says the dunce. One at a time yields sublime.

Peace, Justice and Abundant Blessings to One and All.


P.S. Doc Phil: It would be my great honor and privilege to co-author an article with you.

Let me know by site private mail if interested, and suggested topics.

We are a community.

It is good for all News Talkers to see that we can work together in harmony for common goals.



charger 383
19  charger 383    last year


NO, those people do not pay US taxes  

19.1  author  DocPhil  replied to  charger 383 @19    last year

Is where the money comes from, the only qualification for keeping people alive? Do we have any humanitarian obligation?

19.1.1  Skrekk  replied to  DocPhil @19.1    last year

I think multinational organizations like the UN, OAS, African Union, etc are the ones which should bear the obligation to prevent or respond to humanitarian disasters, not the US or any other individual country per se.    That's so that the personal interests and biases of the leaders of powerful countries are at least attenuated.     I'm ignoring the cost issue here since I think that wealthy nations should bear the primary costs, or at least be the primary donor of resources.

Of course for that to be effective at the UN it will require a structural change or a dissolution of the Security Council, or at least a change in the veto authority of any individual member.


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