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I was wondering earlier, If Genoa happened in the real world, would it really be the earth-shattering revelation that is implied?

What would be the reaction from the American public if a President told them that in order to rescue one of their soldiers from a beheading, it was necessary to use sarin gas?

I'm doubtful there would be any resignations or anyone would end up in prison. I'm assuming (hoping!) that any stockpiles of this sort of thing would be reasonably secure and use would probably need executive approval.

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At first I didn't really understand the big deal of it either. But the matters in Syria have proven that the use of chemical weapons is definitely something to go to war over. In the world there are basically no guarantee's when it comes to war. Yet, as a society we drew a line to never use chemical weapons, no matter how bad a war would get. If the US would cross that line (in similar fashion that Syria allegedly did, or as in Genoa) the Western world would turn against it. The same countries that are supporting Obama in striking Syria would be forced to stand by their principles and condemn the US for using chemical weapons. Russia and China would have something to hold over the US' head. The basic agreements on warfare would be scathed and allegiances would shift. The Newsroom, in the interview with the colonel, stated that "desperate measures were called for". In the real world, that would not be acceptable. Just like it's unacceptable for Assad using chemical weapons on civilians (supposedly).

So if Genoa would happen in the real world, the President would have to answer a lot of questions. Perhaps less so to the American public (the lives of US soldiers were at stake, which complicates the matter in terms of how everyone would react) but internationally, definitely. Congress, like it's doing now, would not be able to stand by the President. The generals and commanders involved in Genoa would definitely be held accountable. The UN had an investigation in Syria and the Western world was ready to attack. If one of the greatest military powers on earth (and historically, the country that swooped in and saved Europe from WWII) would use chemical weapons, everyone would loose their minds.
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Not really. In that case, it was found not to be true, so there were no repercussions.
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Sorry, i thought you were talking about the outcome for the news agency
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I don't think you're right about the whole no resignation or repercussions thing if something like this happened in the real world. Under the Geneva protocl (which the US is part of) there is a ban on using chemical weapons in warefare - especially when, like in the case of the incident in the newsroom - the chemical weapons were used on a civilian population. So, even if there was no public outcry or trials in the US itself (which I hipe there would be - because I'd like to think people know that there is something inherently immoral about using chemical weapons) - anyone who ordered such an action could face the international courts.
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Sadly, I fear that it would be like Abu Ghraib and only the soldiers would be court marshaled and convicted.
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Probably... but then again - abu Ghraib was presented as soldiers acting on their own (it was never proved that they were given a direct order to abuse prisoners just that it was common practice and that nobdy said anything against it) - the case presented on the newsroom is supposed to be an official snactioned mission - so maybe the ones who gave the orders would face some repercussions...
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