David Swanson VS Danny Postel: TRNN Debate: Is Humanitarian Intervention in Syria Justified?

by David Swanson
Writer, Dandelion Salad
March 5, 2014

I’ve never debated anyone who wants limited child abuse or small-scale slavery or carefully circumscribed rape. It’s always war. It’s always the worst crime, the crime least susceptible to control once begun, and the crime that includes all the others, the crime defined at Nuremberg as the greatest of them all because it includes all the others.  And it’s always in blatant violation of the law.

Here’s a liberal progressive war advocate employed by a center funded by a war profiteer pushing for “coercive measures” and “threats of force” without ever discussing the actual killing he wants done. I debate him below on The Real News .com.


TheRealNews on Mar 5, 2014

David Swanson debates Danny Postel on whether the dire humanitarian situation in Syria justifies limited military intervention.



David Swanson‘s books include “War Is A Lie.” He blogs at http://davidswanson.org and http://warisacrime.org and works for http://rootsaction.org. He hosts Talk Nation Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @davidcnswanson and FaceBook.


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16 thoughts on “David Swanson VS Danny Postel: TRNN Debate: Is Humanitarian Intervention in Syria Justified?

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  6. This is a very important debate, irrespective of who is actually framing it, but it is significant that in this instance the discussion is from a US perspective.

    The problem in Syria ~ or indeed in any other hypothetical case for that matter ~ is we are not faced with some moral tabula rasa, but a set of entangled histories and a living nightmare. Any initiative will be hampered by the precedents that have already determined the emergent dynamics of the situation. We cannot “reverse engineer” a solution.

    In fact there is no “solution.” Under any circumstances there will only ever be the possibility of pragmatic compromise according to a calculus of probabilities. That calculus depends upon the quality of our intelligence and accessibility to comprehensive analysis. Who is the final arbiter?

    My own position harks back to Iraq, when the French had the right idea but were ridiculed by the American triumphalists.

    If we actually had the neutral means and the will to do it, to establish iron “cordons sanitaires” ~ an effective network of strategic defensive corridors for urgent aid and relief.

    Nothing can be determined or effected without a reliable and detailed evaluation of what is really occurring on the ground however, until the overall tactical context is acknowledged by the relevant “neutral” parties.

    This means mapping the hard facts about the strategic ambitions of the principle architects of this “war.” These must be clearly articulated in a way that transcends argument, opinion and propagandist deceits…until this has been fully accepted and the feasibility of what can be implemented and the political climate for it is unequivocal, we cannot achieve anything like a consensus for action ~ or even “positive” inaction.

    David adheres to extremely high moral principles, while DP advocates “perceived” pragmatic need. Both are motivated by humanitarian necessity. The issue is what exactly can be delivered, under whose control, just how and by whom, in what specific way and when ~ and who really benefits?

    …moreover, can such actions can be responsibly regulated and held to full account within the constraints of international law? As always, since the 1950’s, the role of the US military-industrial cabal constitutes the root of an endemic problem, not its viable solution.

    What has become exponentially clear in recent years, is that all these fabricated wars are genocidal. The majority of casualties are civilian. Do we condone such ruthless bloodletting and indiscriminate slaughter or do we condemn it?

    If the latter, why is it still occurring?

    • Excellent commentary and points, David.

      I believe a case could be made that McCain and/or Romney would have been better choices for president than Obama just for the antiwar movement to keep the Republicans in check (better). The antiwar voices are present but not heard via corporate media and are much smaller in numbers than during Bush’s admin.

  7. Since when is military intervention humanitarian? Just like in Ukraine, you can bet your last dollar that the US is behind this – and israel possibly too. Must every problem be resolved with more violence?

  8. The problem with Syria, is we do not know who is infiltrating this country, I by chance just read the Israelis, are in Syria, what ever, you would know the average citizen of Syria, is in no way wanting this situation, I was in Syria, in 1966, the people I met there were the most friendly and outward going people I have ever met, what has happened since?

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