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August 28, 2013

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Luis Enrique

great post. I suppose there's a distinction between trust/competence and trust/motives - for example even if one thinks the intelligence services are competent in terms of expertise they might have an agenda and consequently dissemble, mislead. The complexity point speaks to competence, but perhaps most people wouldn't trust an executive decision for the motivation reason. Although actually my guess would be it'#s still the politicians who are distrusted more than the intelligence services themselves.

FromArseToElbow

This is just the appeal to authority fallacy - i.e. the experts must always be right. The issue of trust is incidental.

I'd also question whether the intelligence agencies were damaged by the dodgy dossier, given that the "client" made it plain they wanted facts to fit a pre-determined policy. The agencies proved themselves to be obliging.

If governments valued independent expert advice, the corridors of Whitehall would not be thronged with McKinsey consultants and civil servants with Oxford PPEs.

SteveH

The West is so complicit in mass murder all around the world that it seems to me they have no moral authority to lecture anyone about anything. So the fact they are proven liars is beside the point really.

The difference between our criminals and the tinpots who run the developed world is that our criminal leaders end up on the international speaking circuit and earning millions lobbying on behalf of 'defence' contractors. Whereas the tinpots often end up dead.

Oppose the imperialist criminals.

aragon

Lack of Evidence or an excuse for vacillation?

http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2013/08/27/exclusive_us_spies_say_intercepted_calls_prove_syrias_army_used_nerve_gas

"That's the kind of proof that America and its allies processed from earlier, small-scale attacks that the White House described in equivocal tones, and declined to muster a military response to in retaliation."

[...]

"Making the case even more conclusive were the images of the missiles that supposedly delivered the deadly attacks. If they were carrying conventional warheads, they would have likely been all but destroyed as they detonated. But several missiles in East Ghouta were found largely intact."

[...]

"one in which the Syrian government was clearly to blame."

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." - Burke.

Six8Fifty

There are just so many historical responsibilities in the whole Mideast mess.
And it seems to me that more meddling in the region's warfare will not solve anything, if not escalate things to a worse level.
However - humanitarian aid might be some kind of "honorable" intervention that the West (hmmm France and Great Britain...?) could shoulder in order to partially redeem their historical sins.
Just my 2 euro cents' worth

Rob

"Whether these hypotheses are correct depends upon conditions on the ground in Syria, of which most people - including MPs - have insufficient knowledge."

After all, they have neither the time, nor the training, nor the inclination for strategic thought...

Blair

"The fact that everyone seems to have an opinion on Syria tells us more about the ease with which opinions are formed than it does about what is actually happening in Syria or about the nature of knowledge"

Omit "Syria" and replace it with Miley Cyrus, mass-immigration, the price of cheese, or virtually anything else, and that sentence is equally valid. Just another pseud trying to look clever by saying nothing conclusive or insightful whilst referencing his extensive awareness of the latest trendy psycho-social theories.

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