View Poll Results: should the us go to war with syria?

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Thread: Syria

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    as jim has pointed out before, i am pathetically uninformed. i paid zero attention to the trayvon martin case until you guys started fighting about it which piqued my interest enough to research. maybe the same principle will apply here.

    fight, fight, fight. it's in the interest of education

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    Dunno; because the middle east is a clusterfuck of competing interests.

    There is no chance of a stable liberal democracy that people view as the 'war goal' in the middle east. Except Israel.

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    No, because the US really has no business in Syria and over 60% of people in the US oppose an attack on Syria. However, it seems that Obama is leaving the decision to Congress and there's a hawkish sentiment on Capital Hill. So it seems that a limited strike may happen, perhaps much like the missile strike on Libya in the 1998. A few missiles are launched on hard targets, people protest, relations with US and Russia worsen and that's about it.

    Keep in mind that this whole event is to deter the Syrian military from using chemical weapons on its own people again, not an attack on Assad himself who likely doesn't have full control his military anymore.

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    Nope. It's risking not only tense public relations with Syria but with Russia.

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    Voted No.

    Far as I know the convention on chemical weapons states that you take those who violate it to the ICC at the Hague, but not bomb them.

    However, I can't help but think that in the meantime its about Obama saving face/US preserving credibility after Obama went out on a limb by 'drawing lines', especially since Iran and North Korea are watching closely. Funny thing is, saving face is also the basis for honor-killings...

    If the Assad-regime was really mad enough to use chemical weapons against its people (it's still not entirely clear who is responsible for that) attacking some selected military targets probably won't prevent that from happening in the future and since one obviously doesn't even know where these chemical weapons are stored and thus can't destroy them such an operation doesn't make much sense, imo.

    Also, attacking some selected military targets could be equal toppling the Assad regime (just without actually taking the responsibility for that) – one indirectly assists the rebels doing that – which will only change things to the worse and those chemical weapons could easily fall into the hands of ... who knows.

    I also wonder who is the opposition they are talking about? And way more importantly, who the hell are those rebels??? It wouldn't surprise me if they were or are at least led by AQ guys. So, the louder the so-called rebels call for western intervention the more suspicious I get because a foreign intervention and complete chaos just plays into their hands. It certainly will be a perfect recruiting tool.

    And... what's the plan after the attack? Haven't heard they have one, just the 'let us throw some bombs at them and see where it will get us' approach that can quickly destabilize the whole region which is highly volatile anyway.

    Nice side-effect, an attack on some selected military targets - well, basically already the whole discussion about it - successfully distracts away from the unpleasant "debate" about mass surveillance. How convenient!
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    The military-industrial complex (and those who are enriched by it) is due another feeding, so it'll happen regardless of what the people want..

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    George Washington wanted us to stay out of foreign wars.

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    I don't know...it's a huge friggin mess.

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    ^ yeah, so the us claim about a "global war on terror" has pretty much lost all credibility.
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    There is no happy ending in sight for Syria. The government is run by a tyrant and 90% of the "rebels" are psychotic radical Islamist. If the US intervenes or not the outcome is going to be essentially the same.

    However, I think that the world at large has an ethical obligation to prevent large-scale attacks on innocent civilians by their own governments. Therefore I do think the United States should intervene.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scapegrace View Post
    There is no happy ending in sight for Syria. The government is run by a tyrant and 90% of the "rebels" are psychotic radical Islamist. If the US intervenes or not the outcome is going to be essentially the same.

    However, I think that the world at large has an ethical obligation to prevent large-scale attacks on innocent civilians by their own governments. Therefore I do think the United States should intervene.
    Why the US?

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    Why not?

    The US has the largest military (other than China). It seems the most sensible option. I like to think the country sinks an unreasonable amount of its budget into the military for some reason. France is really the only other option and they have pretty much committed to assisting it seems.
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    the chemical attack thing seems overblown. far worse things have been happening for decades in that area both in terms of pain suffered and human lives lost.

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    Examples, Labcoat? The last UN statistic I saw in July(ish?) said that 100,000 people had been killed. They just took out another 1,000 in a matter of hours and most of those were women and children.

    It's quite serious.
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    Quote Originally Posted by lungs View Post
    i am pathetically uninformed
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    Quote Originally Posted by mfckr View Post

    Intervening on behalf of 'ethical obligations' is silly. Particularly in this case, where it'll do nothing but confirm existing ideas of the US as boogeyman of the Middle East.
    Agree that we are perceived as boogeyman of the Middle East. Where is the rest of the world? Is the U.S. the only country that cares about human rights? I am all for rescuing the innocent, but it seems like the U.S. ends up in these never-ending wars, and are judged by the rest of the world for feeling that we have the right to impose our morality on other sovereign countries.
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    Quote Originally Posted by A Little Birdy View Post
    There is much evidence that the Syrians are nothing more than victims of this conflict. The Arab League voted to destroy Syria in exchange for economic development by Western governments. The British were all but complicit with the killing of innocent people if it meant favored status by other Arab nations during the economic development. The fact that the Brits are backing out of attacking now is pretty much proof that the British are trying to use the US to do their dirty work. The French agreeing to aid the Americans is just European politics as usual. The Russians and Chinese are correct to back Assad and denounce the terrorist activity currently occurring in Syria.

    Luckily Obama has already ruled out sending troops to Syria and has also stated that US forces will not try to overthrow Assad. So the destroyers in the Mediterranean are likely going to fire a few cruise missiles at a few weapons depots and the Americans could then wash their hands of the remnants of the failed Arab Spring Revolution. If anything the Obama Administration has been extremely level-headed about this entire terrible situation and potential political nightmare it might have become.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scapegrace View Post
    There is no happy ending in sight for Syria. The government is run by a tyrant and 90% of the "rebels" are psychotic radical Islamist. If the US intervenes or not the outcome is going to be essentially the same.

    However, I think that the world at large has an ethical obligation to prevent large-scale attacks on innocent civilians by their own governments. Therefore I do think the United States should intervene.
    It won't be the same at all. if the rebels win, Syria would de facto balkanize into separate emirates at war with each other. The various rebel factions have already fought each other over ideological differences, and would only continue to do so.

    Balkanization will exacerbate the refugee crisis. Syrians will be treated like unwanted trash wherever they go, even in the enlightened West. Syrian girls (think 9+ years old) will be forced to sell themselves into prostitution in order to survive, including to citizens of gulf countries -- the same countries financing the rebellion.

    An Islamist victory would almost certainly spill over into Iraq as well. Some 1000 Iraqis died last month alone from terrorist attacks by Islamists. Battle hardened rebels, who'll now have access to oil resources, would be able to launch more sophisticated attacks. With the same people in control of the economy, regular Syrians will have no choice but to enlist in their militias in order to make ends meat.

    Most alarmingly, major rebel factions have vowed to COMMIT GENOCIDE on Alawites, Christians and Druze - people whom they consider heretics or unbelievers. I've seen bone-chilling Youtubes of Alawite and Christian clergymen being tortured and executed by cheering gunmen. I won't even get into the whole Shariah law business.
    Last edited by xerx; 09-06-2013 at 12:28 PM. Reason: changed a statistic
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    It's more likely that any limited intervention with the goal of weakening Assad would likely prolong the crisis as both sites become locked in stalemate.

    It's important to address the naiveté of assuming that the West would even want to resolve the crisis. Western powers (all nations, really) have their own interests, which take precedence over humanitarian concerns. Hawkish elements within these governments probably believe that a balkanized Syria, as part of a divide and conquer strategy, would make it easier to isolate Iran and Hezbollah, and to provide security for Israel and Saudi Arabia. (e.g. See Kissinger's pretext of dividing Syria along ethno-sectarian lines.)
    Last edited by xerx; 09-06-2013 at 04:35 AM. Reason: stupid grammar mistake
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    What's up with this rhetorics going on? "Limited military intervention"? Are they trying to say that they don't mean to send infinite number of soldiers or do they mean that it'll only be a little war?

    I guess they mean that they'd only supply some troops and do a few hellfire drone strikes but it still sounds like a cute name for what would actually still be a bloodshed.
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    Sorry, I know I'm hogging the thread.

    The majority of Syrians support Assad. The majority of Sunnis (the rebels' co-religionists) support him or have switched their allegiance to him, in no small part because of the fanaticism of the rebels. If Assad didn't have majority support, he probably wouldn't have survived the resulting two-pronged war. And he sure as heck wouldn't be winning.

    I hope I'm not giving the impression that I'm exonerating him, because I'm not.
    Last edited by xerx; 09-06-2013 at 04:34 AM. Reason: stupid grammar mistake
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scapegrace View Post
    Examples, Labcoat? The last UN statistic I saw in July(ish?) said that 100,000 people had been killed. They just took out another 1,000 in a matter of hours and most of those were women and children.

    It's quite serious.
    you're either reading the statistics or my post wrong... only a fraction of those 100.000 were killed by means of unconventional weaponry. and that 100.000 is probably a ballpark estimate to begin with.

    and by the way, that statistic proves my point.
    Last edited by krieger; 09-05-2013 at 06:27 PM.

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    Wonder which building(s) in U.S. is going to get targeted. Not mentioning those American warships in the Mediterranean Sea...

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    Quote Originally Posted by xerx View Post
    The majority of Syrians support Assad.
    I wouldn't be so quick to assert that the majority of all Syrians support Assad. The outbreak of the Syrian War was originally divided along the major sects within Syria, and the refugees living in Turkey and Jordan would likely see violence along old Muslim divisions. The government was essentially the glue holding the disparate parts of the country together. Without Assad, the country would've likely seen a breakout of continued war along sectarian borders.

    So it's curious as to why Western powers are so eager to see the ouster of Assad. He isn't like Moammar Gadhafi who had a bit of an anti-western stance. Assad was committed to economic reforms before the outbreak of the Civil War. The forces vying for the overthrow Assad are literally attempting a power grab due to promises of monetary and weapons aid from Western nations. Russia and China have been consistent from the beginning of the civil war that outside forces should not intervene which is why you're seeing the rebels within Syria losing their grip on Damascus after already having lost control of Aleppo.

    I think the Russians and Chinese were correct all along that if the Arab Spring, which Syria is just one part of, then the rebellion would have to succeed without American and Western European intervention. At the outbreak of the civil war, the US, UK, and France were all promising weapons and funds for the overthrow of Assad. That never panned out which is why you're seeing the war pan out in favor of Assad.

    At any rate, the arab spring is now seemingly over and what's happening in North Africa and the Middle East now are the violent remnants of the failed revolution. The only question now is what happens to Libya,Tunisia, Egypt and the other Arab nations that overthrew their governments in revolution? The optimist in me says they'll receive economic aid/development from a few western nations, but the cynic in me says that it was done all for nothing.

    Who knows though. Anything can happen.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MisterNi View Post
    I wouldn't be so quick to assert that the majority of all Syrians support Assad. The outbreak of the Syrian War was originally divided along the major sects within Syria, and the refugees living in Turkey and Jordan would likely see violence along old Muslim divisions. The government was essentially the glue holding the disparate parts of the country together. Without Assad, the country would've likely seen a breakout of continued war along sectarian borders.

    I doubt it. Alawites, Christians and Druze certainly prefer him because the alternative is genocide, ethnic cleansing or becoming third-class citizens. The Kurds are neutral.

    The rebels have little support inside Syria's large urban centers. Sectarianism is prevalent (I think you're right), but public sentiment is strategically pro-Assad (lesser evil) by now. The ~200,000 strong Syrian army is almost entirely Sunni conscripts (with Alawite officers), and defections would sky-rocket if it was that kind of war.

    Saudi propaganda (and Western media, which parrots it) overstates sectarianism. A religious war nicely dovetails into Saudi propaganda about the threat of Iranian Shiism, which is its main regional rival.

    The regime and allied medias understate sectarianism for the most part. Their propaganda outlets paint it is a conspiracy by foreign powers. They're quick to point to foreign (from Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Chechnya, etc.) jihadist rebels. There is a deliberate calculation there, because the regime wouldn't survive by antagonizing its Sunni majority.


    So it's curious as to why Western powers are so eager to see the ouster of Assad.
    It's a good question. They may not want his ouster, per se. It may be enough to weaken the regime enough to make Syria a basketcase; a limited strike would prolong the war without giving a decisive advantage either way.

    An attractive (for me) possibility is the desire to interdict a joint Iran-Iraq-Syria pipeline in the works, which could ship gas across the Mediterranean to Europe and undercut Saudi/Qatari/Turkish competition.

    p.s. Western planners don't give a crap about the humanitarian bs they pretend to advance.
    Last edited by xerx; 09-06-2013 at 12:26 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by xerx View Post
    I doubt it. Alawites, Christians and Druze certainly prefer him because the alternative is genocide, ethnic cleansing or becoming third-class citizens. The Kurds are neutral.
    Who do you suppose is attempting to carry out this ethnic cleansing? It's a red herring attempt to lure other nations to intervene in deposing Assad.

    The rebels have little support inside Syria's large urban centers. Sectarianism is prevalent (I think you're right), but public sentiment is strategically pro-Assad (lesser evil) by now. The ~200,000 strong Syrian army is almost entirely Sunni conscripts (with Alawite officers), and defections would sky-rocket if it was that kind of war.
    The rebels never had any support in Syria. The entire civil war was predicated on the UK, US, Iraq, and perhaps Israel intervening to overthrow Assad much like how NATO intervened to oust Moammar Ghadafi. The civil war is now nothing more than a failed coup.

    Saudi propaganda (and Western media, which parrots it) overstates sectarianism. A religious war nicely dovetails into Saudi propaganda about the threat of Iranian Shiism, which is its main regional rival.
    Al Jazeera, BBC, and CNN were the main Western propaganda outlets for the Syrian civil war. Not Saudi Arabia.

    An attractive (for me) possibility is the desire to interdict a joint Iran-Iraq-Syria pipeline in the works, which could ship gas across the Mediterranean to Europe and undercut Saudi/Qatari/Turkish competition.
    Considering the sanctions against Iran and Assad being unlikely to be too friendly to western Europe I doubt this will ever happen. The western Europeans screwed themselves over again. First by antagonizing Russian oil interests and now by upsetting the Arabs again.

    p.s. Western planners don't give a crap about the humanitarian bs they pretend to advance.
    Well then good thing there are more some elite strategists involved now.

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    My best friend is a Syrian living in Damascus. I must say Assad indeed used to have enormous support among the people, especially during those events in Tunisia and Egypt. He could easily go to the theater with no security at all, for example. There was even a huge movement in support of him on Facebook. But this has changed much after Assad's security started shooting at peaceful protesters and all that. Maybe there used to be some provocations made by foreign intelligence. But for now, I think, the majority of people don't really support either side, cause Assad shoots his own people and the rebels are terrorists. And most of the people there think they must deal with that by themselves, without foreign intervention. But I'm not sure they will manage to do that.
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    I say no...Focus on the economy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MisterNi View Post
    Who do you suppose is attempting to carry out this ethnic cleansing? It's a red herring attempt to lure other nations to intervene in deposing Assad.
    I honestly don't know if the rebels would go that far. But their rhetoric (and that of their associated clerics) certainly has leaned in that direction. Stuff like this is where I'm getting the idea from. I'm not following the situation closely, though, so I may be getting an incomplete picture.

    The rebels never had any support in Syria. The entire civil war was predicated on the UK, US, Iraq, and perhaps Israel intervening to overthrow Assad much like how NATO intervened to oust Moammar Ghadafi. The civil war is now nothing more than a failed coup.
    No disagreement here.

    Al Jazeera, BBC, and CNN were the main Western propaganda outlets for the Syrian civil war. Not Saudi Arabia.
    Yes, but a lot of them are running very similar pieces to those in Saudi and other Gulf media, which is what I meant. Most seem to emphasize regime atrocities versus rebel atrocities; the reporting about the latter is less accusatory.

    Considering the sanctions against Iran and Assad being unlikely to be too friendly to western Europe I doubt this will ever happen. The western Europeans screwed themselves over again. First by antagonizing Russian oil interests and now by upsetting the Arabs again.
    Sure. I don't really want to get into the trap of predicting geopolitics. Maybe the Iranians are gambling that they can attract European buyers when the pipeline is complete. Or maybe it's a half-baked theory.

    Somewhat related: with or without Europe, it's a rational course for Iran to build a pipeline in that direction to sell gas to Syria.
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    Quote Originally Posted by xerx View Post
    I honestly don't know if the rebels would go that far. But their rhetoric (and that of their associated clerics) certainly has leaned in that direction. Stuff like this is where I'm getting the idea from. I'm not following the situation closely, though, so I may be getting an incomplete picture.
    Ah, yes. I think you may enjoy this documentary of the events leading up to the Syrian civil war. It's a detailed account of what exactly happened. It's a bit meandering at times and I would just completely skip the Twin Towers collapsing scene if I were you, but it gives a very comprehensive account why things played out the way they have up until the end of 2012.

    No disagreement here.
    Yup.

    Yes, but a lot of them are running very similar pieces to those in Saudi and other Gulf media, which is what I meant. Most seem to emphasize regime atrocities versus rebel atrocities; the reporting about the latter is less accusatory.
    It does make sense from a political standpoint. Syria would stand to gain immensely from closer ties by being allies with the West, especially the US. So Saudi Arabia would absolutely not want to lose preferred trading partner status to the Syrians. Hence the framing of Assad's government. I've also read that Syria does indeed have some decent oil fields, so there's also an oil aspect.

    Sure. I don't really want to get into the trap of predicting geopolitics. Maybe the Iranians are gambling that they can attract European buyers when the pipeline is complete. Or maybe it's a half-baked theory.
    I read what I wrote again and it was quite confusing. Iran has UN sanctions levied against them which bars UN member nations from buying their oil, banking with them, basically associating with Iran period. If Assad's government survives the civil war, you can bet he would most certainly not be too friendly to the nations vying for his overthrow. That's why I was saying the situation you detailed is rather unlikely due to a lot of major political forces in play here. Although, of course sanctions can easily be lifted and maybe the Syrians will have a change of heart. These things are nearly impossible to predict so who knows.

    Somewhat related: with or without Europe, it's a rational course for Iran to build a pipeline in that direction to sell gas to Syria.
    Maybe, the region would be much more stable without outside (meaning: Republican/GOP) intervention. Sanctioning Iran (and North Korea, but that's a completely different matter) was probably the most boneheaded move the W. Bush administration made. Basically, the GOP screwed up really freaking bad on this which is why there's a Democrat as the President today and they control everything except the House of Representatives.

    Also, that last line from my last post in this thread should be, "Well then good thing there are some legitimate strategists involved now. "
    Last edited by MisterNi; 09-07-2013 at 04:33 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MisterNi View Post
    Ah, yes. I think you may enjoy this documentary of the events leading up to the Syrian civil war. It's a detailed account of what exactly happened. It's a bit meandering at times and I would just completely skip the Twin Towers collapsing scene if I were you, but it gives a very comprehensive account why things played out the way they have up until the end of 2012.
    Thanks, I'll watch it.

    It does make sense from a political standpoint. Syria would stand to gain immensely from closer ties by being allies with the West, especially the US. So Saudi Arabia would absolutely not want to lose preferred trading partner status to the Syrians. Hence the framing of Assad's government. I've also read that Syria does indeed have some decent oil fields, so there's also an oil aspect.
    I think they have a few, some of which are concentrated in the eastern part. That's close to where rebels and Kurds are strong.
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    Quote Originally Posted by xerx View Post
    Thanks, I'll watch it.
    Enjoy.

    I think they have a few, some of which are concentrated in the eastern part. That's close to where rebels and Kurds are strong.
    Yes, there are a few oil fields near the Syria-Iraq border. It may very well be Kurdish territory as modern borders don't always coincide well with the old sectarian borders. At any event, the insurgents streaming into Syria through Iraq should cease once the civil war is over, so you probably shouldn't consider it to be rebel held territory.

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    The poll says only Scapegrace wants war with Syria.

    Scapegrace likes it when things go boom.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Director Abbie View Post
    The poll says only Scapegrace wants war with Syria.

    Scapegrace likes it when things go boom.
    Maybe Scapegrace does not like it when innocent people get massacred and this is what's happening regardless of your position on the issue.
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    I vote for invading the United States.

    It has all kinds of illegal mass destruction weapons: biological, chemical, nuclear. You name it, the US has it (in large numbers). It used those illegal weapons causing indiscriminate genocide of civilians in WW2 (a-bomb). And in Vietnam (organge agent). And Yugoslavia (depleted uranium). No other nation is responsible for so many violent deaths, direct or indirect, to this day. The US has openly fought or intervened in about 100 of the 195 countries that are in the world in one way or another.

    If there is a nation that possess a perpetual threat to international safety it is the US. Let's build an international brigade to take it over.
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    Bashar al-Assad has a lisp (2013 September 9 interview w/Charlie Rose)


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    Quote Originally Posted by mikemex View Post
    I vote for invading the United States.

    It has all kinds of illegal mass destruction weapons: biological, chemical, nuclear. You name it, the US has it (in large numbers). It used those illegal weapons causing indiscriminate genocide of civilians in WW2 (a-bomb). And in Vietnam (organge agent). And Yugoslavia (depleted uranium). No other nation is responsible for so many violent deaths, direct or indirect, to this day. The US has openly fought or intervened in about 100 of the 195 countries that are in the world in one way or another.

    If there is a nation that possess a perpetual threat to international safety it is the US. Let's build an international brigade to take it over.
    NAh, the greatest empires will fall from within. Unless you're talking "invading it" from the inside, as an unhappy citizen.
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    honestly the US involvement is much more of a horror story here* than any in-group fighting. the common perception is that the US is an awful gargantuan thing that will destroy your lives and any semblance of dignity you might have left.

    *news channels etc

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