Skeptiles: Episode 51 – Jeffrey Blankfort

Skeptiles: Episode 51 – Jeffrey Blankfort

Skeptiles Another belated Skeptiles for Wednesday, September 11th, 2013 in which we devote the bulk of our show to journalist and activist, Jeffery Blankfort, to discuss what is currently happening in Syria and why the US wants to get involved. Later, we discuss the usual dumb religious stuff. No arrested developments this week and we’ll try to get back to dropping the show on Monday’s in the future.



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Related Links:

Jeff Blankfort “Takes on the World” on KZYX

Jeff Blankfort Photography

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One Reply to “Skeptiles: Episode 51 – Jeffrey Blankfort”

  1. I think I said it before, but I have a new found respect for David Cameron. I’m no conservative, but he did the right thing when, after the UK parliament voted down action, he said he would respect that and took military action off the table. I do think a couple of things are kinda weird, first thing is he did kinda throw a hissy-fit and say that we would not consider it no matter what happens. I don’t think there should be action right now, but that is kinda different from thinking there can be no possible circumstances in the future under which I might change my mind… can’t think of any, but still… The second thing is that the leader of the opposition, Ed Miliband, tabled a rather more reserved and thought out alternative motion:

    “This House expresses its revulsion at the killing of hundreds of civilians in Ghutah, Syria on 21 August 2013; believes that this was a moral outrage; recalls the importance of upholding the worldwide prohibition on the use of chemical weapons; makes clear that the use of chemical weapons is a grave breach of international law; agrees with the UN Secretary General that the UN weapons inspectors must be able to report to the UN Security Council and that the Security Council must live up to its responsibilities to protect civilians; supports steps to provide humanitarian protection to the people of Syria but will only support military action involving UK forces if and when the following conditions have been met:

    – The UN weapons inspectors, upon the conclusion of their mission in the Eastern Ghutah, being given the necessary opportunity to make a report to the Security Council on the evidence and their findings, and confirmation by them that chemical weapons have been used in Syria.

    – The production of compelling evidence that the Syrian regime was responsible for the use of these weapons;

    – The UN Security Council having considered and voted on this matter in the light of the reports of the weapons inspectors and the evidence submitted;

    – There being a clear legal basis in international law for taking collective military action to protect the Syrian people on humanitarian grounds;

    – That such action must have regard to the potential consequences in the region, and must therefore be legal, proportionate, time-limited and have precise and achievable objectives designed to deter the future use of prohibited chemical weapons in Syria; and

    – That the Prime Minister reports further to the House on the achievement of these conditions so that the House can vote on UK participation in such action.

    – This House further notes that such action relates solely to efforts to deter the use of chemical weapons and does not sanction any wider action in Syria.”

    And this was also voted down, which I was slightly surprised by (and which I think was more political than because they disagreed with it). The above seems fairly uncontroversial in most respects, and if I had been the Tories I might have jumped on it if it would’ve won cross-party support (which it probably wouldn’t, but only because it was a Labour idea). It seems a clearer, more well defined, bill that sets out clear boundaries. I do wonder if David Cameron wouldn’t support it simply because it was an opposition proposition, or if it was because he was hoping for a fuzzy open ended bill that he could use to justify all kinds of actions….

    Anyhow, Jeff was fascinating. Great guest, and great show as usual – great to have you back!

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