Up for Debate: Governments react to Syrian massacre

Wednesday, May 30, 2012 at 12:32am

The U.S. and other countries have expelled Syrian diplomats following reports that approximately 100 people — including many children — were killed in the town of Houla and that the Syrian government was also involved in the killings. Another 72 people were also reported killed on Tuesday. After more than a year of unrest, in which perhaps 10,000 or so have died, will this be the action that leads the international community to mobilize against Syria? Short of a cease-fire, should the U.N. look to use force in Syria or should it find other less direct ways to support opposition to the Syrian regime?

Filed under: City Voices
Tagged: Syria | Up for Debate

78 Comments on this post:

By: dargent7 on 5/30/12 at 4:34

First it was Iraq, then Afghanistan. Now Syria and Yemen. Iran is on our radar.
What's Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Egypt, Pakistan, India, et.a. doing about all these awlfull crimes against humanity?
Especially oil rich, and just plain filthy rich, Saudi Arabia? After 9/11, I haven't heard a peep out of them for 11 years.

By: Loner on 5/30/12 at 4:59

Good morning, Nasville.

The Israelis have other plans for the US and NATO...as far as the Israelis go, the Syrian people can writhe in agony forever. The world revolves around Judaism and the Jewish State...those who disagree are "anti-Semitic".

No, the Israelis have aimed our agenda in a different direction...this is the build-up phase for the war on Iran....any distractions...say humanitarian interventions to save civilian lives; delay and side-track the Israeli master plan.

Israel just released another cyber pathogen onto the world stage...the new worm is called "Flame" and it is more potent than Stuxnet....it's attacking PC's all over Iran and spreading like the plaque....apparently, there was too much progress at the negotiating table, so now the war-mongering Israelis are trying to scuttle the talks with the Iranians by buggering their computers and their internet services.

As I have said before, with an "ally" like the Jewish State, who needs enemies?

Instead of invading and occupying more nations at Israel's behest, the US ought to invade and occupy Israel...the source of the regional problems.

By: Rasputin72 on 5/30/12 at 5:36

The United States is fast becomeing a has-been. I would suggest that the United States spend more time trying to get the 47% who pay no federal income tax off the voting roles as opposed to trying to straighten another country with another culture.

By: yogiman on 5/30/12 at 6:02

Why should Syria have to worry about their neighboring states. The USA will take care of them.

The perfect quote I've just read printed from the Czech Republic in the Prague newspaper 'Prague Zeitungon:

"The danger to America is not Barack Obama, but a citizenry capable of entrusting a man like him with the Presidency. It will be far easier to limit and undo the follies of an Obama presidency than to restore the necessary common sense and good judgement to a depraved electorate willing to have such a man for their president. The problenm is much deeper and far more serious than Mr. Obama, who is a mere symptom of what ails Ameerica. Blaming the prince of fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince. The Republic can survive a Barack Obama, who is, after all, merely a fool. It is less likely to servive a multitude of fools, such as those who made him their president."

Could an American paper 'said' it any better?

By: govskeptic on 5/30/12 at 6:11

Just another example of this President leading from behind-Again. History
will someday show several countries wanted to intervene in this massacre
but were rebuked for even minimal moral or other support from the U.S.

By: Kosh III on 5/30/12 at 6:55

"get the 47% who pay no federal income tax off the voting roles"

I didn't know that voter ROLLS allowed super-rich corporations, but GE, Exxon and other non-taxpaying entities pay little or no taxes. Since Raspy probably thinks they are "people" maybe we can execute GE or Halliburton.

By: Kosh III on 5/30/12 at 6:57

However, I agree with the notion that the Arab nations should deal with this. Turkey has a large powerful military, as does Egypt, the Saudi dictators and others.
Let THEM handle this and let us follow the good advice of Pres Washington to keep out of the business of foreign countries.

Get out of Iraq, Yemen, Columbia, Honduras, El Salvador, Japan, S Korea, Afghanistan and Europe.

By: Loner on 5/30/12 at 7:14

Off to camp now....see ya in a week...Loner out.

By: Beernazi on 5/30/12 at 7:40

Good morning, Rasp. So, only those with money should be allowed to vote, according to your logic? Remember, we discussed that the 47% includes the elderly, the disabled and students. Why should they not be allowed to vote?

By: Beernazi on 5/30/12 at 7:41

Kosh, corporations should never have been given personhood! That needs to be reversed.

By: yogiman on 5/30/12 at 7:55

Considering the quote from Benjamin Franklin,Beernazi, who should be allowed to vote?

Benjamin Franklin's quote; "When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic."

Old people who worked paid taxes all of their working lives deserves the right to vote until their death. Those that found they didn't have to work at an early age to get a welfare their entire lives do no deserve the privilege of voting. After all, who are they going to vote for, the candidate speaks about a limit on welfare or the one that "opens the door" wider for the welfare recipients?

Our republic is being flushed down the commode more every day.

By: Beernazi on 5/30/12 at 8:01

yogi, how does one determine who deserves to vote and who doesn't? If you go by Rasp's logic, that removes anyone who doesn't pay taxes, which includes the elderly who definitely deserve to vote. Some people who are on welfare are still good citizens, although I agree with you that many are just scumbags who know how to game the system. However, they are still American citizens whose birthright includes the right to vote. Perhaps administering the welfare system differently so as to close the loopholes is a better solution. I'm all for that!

By: yogiman on 5/30/12 at 8:38

I'm all for saving our republic, Beernazi, but It seems the only thing our "legislature" wants is career out of politics and they will do anything to stay in office... even give out money to the lazies.

Every question has to have more questions, debates and a final answer. If you're old enough to remember, there was no term limit on the president's seat. FDR was on his fourth term when he died. It seems like WWII kept him there.

When Harry Truman got that term limit to pass, congress was glad to oblige him but they didn't want to be included with term limits so Truman back off.

The politicians of today are in office for the money people; you know, the ones giving them millions to run for reelection until their death? Unless you have money, it's hard for anyone to run for office. That leads to my argument of the limits of where someone running for an office can get their campaign money.

For what congress is all about there should be a limit so more honest people could run.

By: Beernazi on 5/30/12 at 8:45

yogi, if you believe that you have to have money in order to sway legislature (I agree, it does appear that way), then it's contradictory to believe that the poor people are the ones responsible for the "hand outs." btw....most of those people don't even vote. They don't do anything that is their "civic duty." So, you have to consider who is administering the programs and how are THEY benefitting. And yep, I agree that we need to have term limits in congress.

By: Beernazi on 5/30/12 at 8:47

And in regard to your Ben Franklin quote (which is a good one), it seems to be the very wealthy that are voting in the tax breaks for themselves and their businesses. That's where the real loss of revenue lies, not in the "47%" which are the low income, the elderly and the students. They don't even have the money to give.

By: brrrrk on 5/30/12 at 9:06

Rasputin72 said

"The United States is fast becomeing a has-been. I would suggest that the United States spend more time trying to get the 47% who pay no federal income tax off the voting roles as opposed to trying to straighten another country with another culture."

By all means, if you're going to do this than lets do it right.... no voting rights for non land owners, no voting rights for women, and especially no voting rights for those pesky blacks.... feel better now Rasp?

By: yogiman on 5/30/12 at 9:12

But 47%, Beernazi? I know there is more people today, both elders and youngsters, but do they make up 47% of the voters? What percent of that 47 percent are just too damn lazy to work.

As you probably know, there is welfare recipients who've never worked a day in their life, but they deserve to vote for the congressman that will vote to give them more money?

One more point of the down hill slide of the US; By what constitutional thinking were they considering when the Supreme Court decided corporations could 'donate' campaign money? Corporations are companies owned by individual stockholders and run by executives, but are they giving that money to the candidates the stockholders want in office or their personal choice as executives... like the ones that will vote in their favor?

By: Beernazi on 5/30/12 at 9:15

you forgot about those gay folks, brrrrk. and the non-Christians.

By: Beernazi on 5/30/12 at 9:19

yogi, because of the baby boomer's, there's more retirees than ever before and with the economy the way it is, yes, that number appears to be accurate. I am certainly not disagreeing that there are welfare folks who have not worked a day in their lives and never plan to. People like that annoy the living hell out of me so I agree with your frustration. But trust me, they usually don't vote. They won't get off their lazy arses to go vote, at least most of them anyway. However, if you are born in the U.S. it is your right to vote. Who is going to decide who is and isn't worthy and do you even want to go down that slippery slope? Do you really want to entrust some government branch with that amount of power? I don't.

By: Beernazi on 5/30/12 at 9:22

Also, the 47% are not paying INCOME tax. That doesn't mean they are not paying taxes at all. btw....that number also includes people who received refunds. So, they are paying taxes, sine if them have too much withheld out of their paychecks so that they can count on a refund (which I don't follow that logic at all - why give a free loan when you can put aside the money yourself). So, the 47% number isn't really an accurate number of determining who is paying taxes, really. It's a scewed number.

By: Beernazi on 5/30/12 at 9:23

oops, should have been "some of them." sorry.

By: Beernazi on 5/30/12 at 9:25

Any "numbers person" can tell you that you can make a number look any way you want - you just have to manipulate the data which this percentage proves. You really have to look hard at the data to get a truer picture of what is really going on which requires a bit of research.

By: yogiman on 5/30/12 at 9:29


You mention denying the voting rights to women and black Americans. Because of their sex or because they aren't "working"? Do you also mean to include the black American men or just the black American women? After all, many black Americans are working and paying taxes. Should their taxes just be a handout to the government?

What do you think what your mother was doing when she was changing your diapers and wiping your a$$ when she was raising you; just sitting around the house? Did you just lay there and reach your manhood on your own?

Of all the bad things the US government has done, accepting slavery was the worst. And when you consider all of the programs favoring the black Americans today, the US is still paying for our ancestors mistake.

By: yogiman on 5/30/12 at 9:44


It's pretty obvious we need a new congress that will put voting rights into it's proper place.

Your comment, "if you are born in the U.S. it is your right to vote" means all of the voting age people who were born here to illegal mothers have the right to vote even though they were taken "home" right after their birth.

As I understood in my civics classes as a child (and, yeah, that was several years ago), the 14th Amendment was put in place to give citizenship to the former slaves.

As we know, our politicians are the most intelligent people we have in congress.

That constitution needs to be amended to quit giving a handout to anyone born here for a handout.

By: BenDover on 5/30/12 at 9:48

The federal income tax is substantially progressive and there's no reason to make it more-so. When you've got a minority of voters paying the majority of taxes it's the recipe for unchecked government growth... especially when you season it with unlimited debt you can pile up on future generations.

The 47% of workers paying no federal income tax is an accurate stat. This does not include the rest of the non-working US population that pays no federal income tax. Only about 45% of the whole US population is in the workforce. 55% of the US population doesn't work in the first place and then almost half of the remaining 45% pay no federal income taxes on their wages.

All workers pay FICA for social security and medicare... plus the available salary pool of their employer is reduced, too, by an equal amount. Most lower income workers also benefit from EIC credits that substantially negate these contributions and in the case of workers with children the credits substantially exceed the contributions for a net salary benefit on the backs of the other taxpayers.

FICA too is regressive on the back-side as it takes very little to qualify for the maximum benefits and people with higher incomes pay far and away in excess of what the returns will be regardless of the cap on FICA eligible income.

No private company is allowed to sell such a paltry variable annuity structured like SSI where the principle is sacrificed upon death for 15% of a persons earnings their entire working life. This especially considering the government has taken all of the reserves from this fund, blown it on current expenses and left an IOU as the only promise to the people who have contributed.

The problem now is that the incentive structures are all upside down. Plateaus have been created where there is little incentive to produce because the credits are diminished in proportion to earnings as are social welfare benefits. Now that there is little stigma to living on the dole, as was the once popular Protestant work ethic, there are neither practical incentives or societal mores to sustain a system where work is punished and sloth is rewarded.

Rasputin's coarse language and directness in the matter may be off-putting; but he has hit the nail squarely on the head.

By: Beernazi on 5/30/12 at 9:49

According to our constitution, if you are born here you are a citizen of the U.S. and you have a right to vote.

"As we know, our politicians are the most intelligent people we have in congress." I'm not exactly sure what you mean by that, however I don't agree that all of our politicians are the smartest folks around. They're probably just the most well-connected folks around.

By: Beernazi on 5/30/12 at 9:53

Ben, when you're talking about the 55% of the US population that doesn't work in the first place, doesn't that include stay at home moms, the elderly and students? Where did you get your 55% number and how much of that number is simply the lazy, living on the dole number? That's what I want to see and I'd like to see how one gets to that number.

By: Beernazi on 5/30/12 at 9:55

I'm not defending the lazy, take-advantage-of-the-system folks because trust me, I don't like them any better than you do. I just get annoyed at the pull-it-out-of-your-ass statistics that don't really mean anything other than flaming the fires of discontent in order to sway people into a certain political way of thinking.

By: Beernazi on 5/30/12 at 9:57

And if we really want to talk about not paying taxes, what about the large number of off shore investments that are not taxed? NOW we're talking a big chunk of money and not sorting through the pennies of the low income people and trying to figure out who is gaming the system and who isn't.

By: BenDover on 5/30/12 at 9:59

I didn't say they were lazy, Beernazi. I said the system encourages people to be lazy and discourages work.

I just did a google search to find the number on the work-force. Found this article in USA Today.


By: pswindle on 5/30/12 at 10:01

If we had Bush/Cheney, we would be in full-fledge war. Thank goodness we have a President that has lots, and lots of sense. We cannot not go into an other country and fight for their freedom. We have no business being in a Middle East War. It has never worked and it will never work. The two wars from Bush has just about ruined America. Why are their neighbors not helping? If we had had a president that had America's best interest, the wars would be handled differently. Bush was not capable of making decisions of this magnitude. Look what it got us!

By: brrrrk on 5/30/12 at 10:01

Beernazi said

"And if we really want to talk about not paying taxes, what about the large number of off shore investments that are not taxed?"

But Beer, you don't get it.....those are Bens folks. To paraphrase M.C. Hammer, can't touch that...

By: brrrrk on 5/30/12 at 10:03

Hey Ben, still waiting for just one example of a society based purely on the Libertarian world view....

By: brrrrk on 5/30/12 at 10:07

Looks like the GOP is at it again in Florida.....

Florida purging voter rolls


By: Beernazi on 5/30/12 at 10:07

Quotes from the article where Ben got his stats:

"The bad economy, an aging population and a plateau in women working are contributing to changes that pose serious challenges for financing the nation's social programs."

"Economist Eileen Applebaum of the liberal Center for Economics and Policy Research says the real problem is a lack of jobs. Another 25 million people would work in a healthy economy, and incentives such as child care assistance could help, she says: "We're getting richer. We can afford things. We just need to fix what needs to be fixed."

By: BenDover on 5/30/12 at 10:08

When about half the 2nd income in a two income professional household goes to taxes in one form or another, bn, it really makes it a delicate balance to try to keep that second earner earning rather than just quitting to play defense with the family budget.

In a lot of circumstances the quality of life goes up for the family, especially if children are involved, because time in the home becomes more important than spending 1/2 of their day working for Uncle Sam.

Obviously the losers in this situation are those dependent on the tax revenues... and those who would have benefited from the additional consumerism of a working couple spending money to compensate for time on housekeepers, eating out, lawn services, etc.

And when a $1.00 saved becomes the same thing as a $1.50 earned the level of leverage one gets by doing their own labor rather than farming it out becomes very attractive. This reduces the economic benefits specialization, serves to promote unnecessary duplication of tools of the trade and generally promotes a the separations of wealth that all of this stupid tax manipulation was intended to remedy. The big winners are Home Depot and Autozone.

By: Beernazi on 5/30/12 at 10:15

So, providing child care assistance would be a good thing?

By: BenDover on 5/30/12 at 10:18

By: brrrrk on 5/30/12 at 11:03

Hey Ben, still waiting for just one example of a society based purely on the Libertarian world view....

You keep flogging that dead horse like the argument holds some merit, brrrk. I bet that shuts up any of your students who run the risk of a contrarian argument against you; but as I have said repeatedly we are discussing matters of degree.

Advocating for a tax system that is less progressive where everyone has a dog in the hunt is in no way on par with your stupid absolutist strawman about a libertarian Shangri La that no one has even suggested.

By: BenDover on 5/30/12 at 10:26

I think you are blinded to the larger issue Blanket. The cure is the cause.

A flat % of income tax with a simple standard deduction for essentials puts us on track to solve the problem without the administrative, bureaucratic and libery-robbing overhead. Government does not want this because it diminishes the role of government in our lives, not increases it.

By: brrrrk on 5/30/12 at 10:28

Still waiting......... C'mon, it's simple give, me an example and we're done.

By: BenDover on 5/30/12 at 10:34


By: brrrrk on 5/30/12 at 10:43

Hey, check out the guy on the right holding the “Speak out don’t sit in” poster...


Yep, that's "I got a deferment so I could pedal my ass around France for two years while living in a mansion with a Spanish chef and a houseboy" Romney protesting FOR the draft.

By: brrrrk on 5/30/12 at 10:44

BenDover said


You got nuthin'... if you did you'd deliver.

By: BenDover on 5/30/12 at 10:51

you do understand what a strawman argument is don't you brrrk.

By: brrrrk on 5/30/12 at 10:56

BenDover said

"you do understand what a strawman argument is don't you brrrk."

Sure do.... you still got nuthin'

By: Beernazi on 5/30/12 at 11:05

A flat tax sounds good but actually isn't workable, Ben. Do you want some links? (I'm being sincere). btw....have you been to the New Southern? Is it any good?

By: yogiman on 5/30/12 at 11:26

A flat tax could be good theme for the citizens. The biggest drawback would be too many people being put out of work.

By: BigPapa on 5/30/12 at 11:29

What do yall think of Plaster coming back to the radio air waves?? (more interesting that today's topic.)

By: yogiman on 5/30/12 at 11:48

Your admiration of Barack Obama is understandable, pswindle. But it would be more logical if you knew the man. Comparing him to Bush is like comparing the lakes on the earth to the clouds in the atmosphere.

The only difference between the two is Bush was in that office legally but Obama isn't.

You accuse Bush of having us in war and one of Obama's campaign arguments was getting us out of those wars asap. Since we are still in war, what is asap?

If you'd do a little research you might understand every man sitting in the Oval Office is just another servant to the money boys.

As I have stated before, the setup of the UN was getting the world in line to a one world government.

Stop to think about it, pswindle, how did a man whom no one knows who in the hell he is, and who refuses to identify himself, even get nominated for that office let alone being "elected" as president and no one in the political category has raised one question about his authenticity.

I believe if you saws the shows I watched over the weekend you might see what is going on better.

We are going into a one world government. The one thing right now on our side is out Constitution. UN laws cannot be forced on us... yet. As planned, Obama will keep the seat. One of the first things he will proceed on will be our gun rights. If there isn't a rebellion, you can kiss the USA goodbye.

By: BenDover on 5/30/12 at 12:02

Have not tried it Blanket.