Your concerns are real and valid. But when you become a soldier, then this is a risk you face when you join up. And sadly, it is something that their loved ones have to become accustomed to. I have two very close friends in the US Air Force. Both are married with very young children. I also have a very very close and personal friend in the Australian Air Force, who is just now back from Afghanistan. His job was to remove landmines. During the time of his deployment, his wife virtually lost a quarter of her body weight from the stress of his being there and rightly so. We held her hand each time she bawled her eyes out and we were there with her when she gave birth to their son while he was overseas. When your spouse or child or sibling or parent is deployed, it leaves you with a life of pain and stress. But it is their job. As callous as that sounds, it is their job. It is why they signed up in the first place. And sadly, their lot in life is to deploy and is to sometimes be the boots on the ground and sometimes, they will have to do that for peacekeeping reasons and frankly, I think deployment to stop a mass murderer from continuing to use his chemical weapons is a noble reason to serve. I was chatting to my friend in the US air force last night and we were talking about the issues in Syria and whether Kerry is correct to be so cautious about not guaranteeing that there won't be boots on the ground. And frankly, his response interested me and it is why I asked you what I did... Because as he sees it, in this situation, you can never make any guarantees or promises, because if things ever go sour and there is a risk or threat of those weapons falling into the wrong hands, then someone has to go in there to secure it. And we need to ask ourselves. Who would we want to secure it? Should we trust Assad who is affiliated and is currently getting help from Hezbollah and Iran? No. Because if he looks to be losing, he will get desperate enough to use more of it. As it stands, the Hezbollah have already said that he "lost his nerve" and used Sarin gas. So would we rather they take control of it? Since they are fighting with Assad against the rebels at present? Would we be comfortable that if Assad falls, that they then go in and relieve him of his stockpiles? The irony of this whole debate is that we are protesting about other countries, primarily the US and the West now looking to interfere in the civil war in Syria. The truth of the matter is, Russia, Iran, Lebanon have had their hands in it from the start, providing financial, military support and providing Assad with the weapons he needs to fight his war. The West have not lifted a finger to help the rebel fighters. I posted an article earlier in the thread, about how perhaps we should have intervened right from the start, when he first started shooting and murdering civilians who were protesting peacefully and demanding democratic elections. Had we done so then, then we would not be in this mess. At the end of the day, Quinnsong, we all need to ask ourselves, which boots would we be more comfortable being on the ground if Assad falls and the chemical weapons are there for the taking. Our boots or Hezbollah, Iran, parts of the rebels who have given support to Al Qaeda or Russia? And we also need to ask ourselves one more important question. If we do nothing now, if we do not respond to such a gross and illegal act, it could result in chemical weapons becoming a part of conventional warfare, because the Convention that demands it never be used would be worth nothing, because we ignored its usage. And is that something we are comfortable with? [HR][/HR] Everything points to him. All evidence points to him, from the amount used to the weapons used. We also have the Hezbollah (who are fighting with him in Syria) telling Iran that he did it. Sometimes it is the butler in the dining room with candlestick. In other words, sometimes the most obvious answer is the correct answer. Chemical weapons degrade very quickly. Shelling the site repeatedly (as he did) immediately after the use of those weapons would help destroy the evidence and help it degrade faster. And the use, dosage and delivery all points to Syria because the rebels do not have the capacity to produce, refine and use Sarin in that capacity. Understand now? I had read a report where Russia advised that one of their scientists had advised that Sarin was used. However the arguments to counter their reports (which your own links provided) and the bizarre claims they made were more compelling. Then we also have the fact that even the Hezbollah have confirmed that he lost his nerve and used chemical weapons. It has a very short shelf life and once out in the environment, it degrades very quickly. Which is why Assad stopped UN inspectors from accessing the site immediately, and instead shelled the bejesus out of it. I think one would have to be very naive to think that they are not trying to build one. People seem to be under the belief that the rebel and opposition forces are made up solely of Islamists. The reality is that it is made up of mostly armed forces personnel who defected and civilians who took up the fight when Assad first started to kill them when they protested peacefully. There is an Islamist faction amongst the rebels, but I think people are putting too much emphasis on them. There are more moderates fighting on the oppositions side than there are Islamists and the Islamists are also fighting for their say, but somehow, I doubt they will have much of a say in the end. All intelligence organisations have clearly pointed out that the rebels do not have the capacity to produce the WMD's. Unless they got into a stockpile, but had they done so, then Assad and Russia would have been pitching a fit in public. And there is no evidence that they have done so. So.. All intelligence, evidence, independent sources point to Assad. From the mortar's used, to the chemicals he used to even confirmation from the group that is helping him in this war. You know, if it quacks, looks and walks like a duck, it is usually a duck and not a chicken. Actually, it is not. There is a belief that his opposition are all Islamists. They actually are not. We haven't attacked yet, have we? Oh please, Jones clearly argues that the US has a hand in the bombings. Even what you linked.. And the words you used.. By which point Eram pointed out that you were a conspiracy nut. Whereupon you then switched back to your conspiracy about the Saudi university student, even as they were hunting for the brothers involved in the bombing.. My favourite moment was when you cited Shoebat.. Ah classic conspiracy theory moment there. You were in your prime at that point... By the next page, people were clearly questioning whether you were rational or not. Suffice to say, it was not your finest moment. Wow.. And this matters why? If they were aligned with the Islamists, does it make gassing them in their homes more acceptable? Does it make it more palatable to you if the political allegiances were with the rebels? Has the West become so accustomed to daily violence that Assad can now expect Western politicians to look the other way when small children die after suffering muscle convulsions, tears shooting from their eyes and foam from their noses and mouths? Can we look away when we see the small girl from a Damascus suburb, in a T-shirt embroidered with glittering thread, captured in an image so heartbreaking SPIEGEL decided to show only a suggestion of the brutality of her death on its cover? Is this more fucking acceptable to you if that small girl is an Islamist? It has been about that long. Think again. You are asking what were the political allegiances of the area struck with chemical weapons as though that fucking matters. As for your "blackwater types".. Refer to the quoted parts of your comments above. J'aime bien comment vous pensez que je ne lis pas Français. I really appreciate how you have read this for me and told me what it says. Sadly, you left out a very crucial part. In your assumption that I cannot read French, you claim that the French reports alleges conventional aerial attacks only. And yet, in the same sentence that it mentions conventional weapons, it also advises that Assad used a very large amount of chemical weapons. On a side note, GeoffP, French was my first language. It was virtually on the first page of the text of the report (last paragraph on page 2). In French: L’analyse des renseignements dont nous disposons aujourd’hui conduit à estimer que, le 21 août 2013, le régime syrien a lancé une attaque sur certains quartiers de la banlieue de Damas tenus par les unités de l’opposition, associant moyens conventionnels et usage massif d’agents chimiques. In English: The analysis of information that we have today leads us to believe that on 21 August 2013 the Syrian regime launched an attack on certain areas of the Damascus suburbs held by opposition units, using a combination of conventional weapons and the massive use of chemical weapons. Emphasis mine. Since you can pitch that you believe that I do not read French, care to explain to me, how since you know, you can read French and that you read it, how it is possible you missed this crucial line about "the massive use of chemical weapons"? Especially when it is in the exact same sentence as the conventional weapons you claim the French said they had only used? Well? Or did you think that I could not read French, and thus, would simply not know exactly what the French report actually said and so you tried to claim that they had said "conventional aerial weapons only" and I would not know any differently, since, "as you know, it's not your style"? You claim to be a scientist. Aren't there rules about misinterpreting and misrepresenting data in studies? The reason I ask is because you admitted to reading French, gloated that I do not read French, and then deliberately misrepresented and misinterpreted the French document I linked you when it clearly states that Assad had used chemical weapons in the exact same sentence that you commented on in regards to their conventional weapons? So you either lied about your ability to read French or you deliberately lied about what you had read, under the mistaken belief that I could not read French to check what you were saying. How sad for you that I am a native French speaker.Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image! And considering you were asking what the political allegiance of the area he bombed with chemical weapons, you'll excuse me if I point out that your words in this thread have been callous, uncaring and yes, points to the fact that you are not happy if the West responds because the opposition has some Islamists amongst their midst. I mean really, how can you even ask what the political allegiance of the area struck is? What does that fucking matter? So yes, I will ask whether you missed the short bus, because your manner of posting on this site sometimes demands it. Aye. Mother Russia will be proud of your subservience. My suggestion, learn to read and learn to not ask dumbarse questions that result in my thinking you are a fuck-knuckle.. Questions such as asking what the political allegiance of the area struck is, because what that does it show that you seem to think that actually matters.