kaitak From Ireland, joined Aug 1999, 12167 posts, RR: 35 Posted (3 months 2 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 7686 times:
So, we now know - or strongly suspect - that the Syrian regime has used chemical weapons against its own people. What now?
The US government has stated some time ago that this was the red line beyond which Syria's government could not go. Was it wise to have said so? Certainly it was morally correct. Although Syria is not a signatory to the international convention banning the use of chemical weapons, the use of such weaponry and subjecting its own people to a horrific, agonising death is not something which the world can stand by and accept? True or not? Of course, we can just turn out backs, but the fact off the matter is that the US has said this openly. There is a real "(loss of) face" issue here and the US (and France - which once ruled Syria - and the UK) appear highly likely to take action against the regime.
The UK's parliament is to take a vote tomorrow and it looks like that two votes will be required; the opposition Labour party is demanding proof -presumably from the UN inspectors that this was indeed a chemical weapons attack. They also want a UN resolution, but that would appear impossible to achieve, since Russia and China are said to be against.
Nothing is likely to happen fast, which presents another problem: the Syrian regime has had over a week - and looks likely to have more time now - to move the weapons. Might there also be the possibility that the Russians will move weaponry including fighter acft to Syria, as a deterrent? I wouldn't put it past Putin ...
The extent of action planned is said to be limited, but is unlikely to be limited to known chemical weapons storage facilities. Syria's air power - runways and hangars at air bases - are also said to be likely to be targeted.
Will this action have the desired effect? Hopefully yes, if they can get the chemical weapons, but it just seems that there is so much scope for delaying tactics now that the prospect of successfully targeting and destroying all of Syria's chemical weapons seems to reduce by the day. Of course, after the Iraqi fiasco, the Americans will be anxious to do everything by the book, but if they are going to take action, they need to make sure if it effective and paralysing to the Syrian regime.
oly720man From United Kingdom, joined May 2004, 6517 posts, RR: 11 Reply 1, posted (3 months 2 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 7621 times:
Unfortunately there are too many factions in Syria for any action to have a meaningful result. Dropping a few cruise missiles on air bases or weapons storage facilities may give the impression of doing something, but they won't stop the Syrian government doing what they do, basically because they know that no-one can stop them. They have the Russians and the Chinese in their corner waving the anti-imperialist flag and that's going to damp any thoughts of concerted action by others.
Any morality in all this has been kicked aside in the greater political game that's being played out and the poor people of Syria are suffering for it and will continue to suffer for because in the "game" they don't matter.
einsteinboricua From Puerto Rico, joined Apr 2010, 2382 posts, RR: 5 Reply 2, posted (3 months 2 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 7590 times:
Not that I advocate for/against military action but why do people assume that any action involves an invasion with ground troops and all? Does anyone remember Libya? Not one US troop set foot there.
That being said, unfortunately the US has already chosen a side and to not go through with the threats will either make it lose the little credibility it still has and seem two-faced. How will this play out? As long as the US is not carrying the bulk of the action, by all means. A "lead from behind" strategy could work.
"You haven't seen a tree until you've seen its shadow from the sky."
mariner From New Zealand, joined Nov 2001, 23928 posts, RR: 87 Reply 4, posted (3 months 2 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 7541 times:
Why would any action be taken? What does anyone want to actually achieve?
Is tis designed to punish the Assad government for using chemical weapons? Or is this deigned to remove Assad from power?
If the former, I don't know what it achieves if Assad stays in power. If the latter, is this yet anther exercise in "nation building"?
I never understood why "we" are in Afghanistan - except to catch bin Laden - but bin Laden is caught and no one has ever (successfully) explained to me why we're still there and what "victory" in Afghanistan looks like.
I agree that the Taliban was a brutal and oppressive regime, but hey, things are still rotten (especially for women) absent the Taliban. And hey again, Mugabe's regime in Zimbabwe is fairly brutal and fairly oppressive, and he's still there.
I remember the countless posters here cheering the Egyptian revolution and the ouster of Murbarak - and look where that got us.
Mostly, I don't know how democracy can be imposed on a nation that has no real understanding of it.
It makes the US "look weak" not to do anything? I don't think so and I've never quite understood why the US should be expected to be the tough guy, the world's policeman.
So I am not sure why the US should do anything - red lines or not. I guess I'm willing to be persuaded.
kiwiinoz From New Zealand, joined Oct 2005, 2140 posts, RR: 5 Reply 8, posted (3 months 2 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 7482 times:
I think that military action in this instance is far more justified than the action taken in the 2nd Iraq war. There is a significant and escalating humanitarian crisis, a significant regional security crisis, and a significant global economic impact.
AR385 From Mexico, joined Nov 2003, 5517 posts, RR: 26 Reply 9, posted (3 months 2 weeks 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 7467 times:
The action will probably involve no aircraft, but missiles from ships.
It will happen, wether the UN emits any resolution or not.
It will probably involve destroying known (to intel) the depots where the chemical weapons are located. Maybe two or three infrastructure constructions to send a personal message.
The Mexican President was to have traveled tomorrow to visit Turkey on one of its most expected trips of his presidency. The trip was suspended for "internal reasons" Since nothing is going on here "internally" that would make our President suspend such a trip, this might be a clue when something might go down.
NAV20 From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 9746 posts, RR: 37 Reply 10, posted (3 months 2 weeks 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 7439 times:
Quoting AR385 (Reply 9): It will probably involve destroying known (to intel) the depots where the chemical weapons are located. Maybe two or three infrastructure constructions to send a personal message.
The problem being that said 'depots' would almost certainly be largely 'staffed' by conscripts and/or ordinary civilians. So US forces (plus, presumably, NATO allies like the UK armed forces) would be 'punishing' Syria for (allegedly) killing innocent civilians by use of missiles by - er? - killing innocent civilians by use of different sorts of missiles...........?
[Edited 2013-08-28 22:10:09]
"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
Mir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 20510 posts, RR: 56 Reply 11, posted (3 months 2 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 7433 times:
Quoting mariner (Reply 4): I never understood why "we" are in Afghanistan - except to catch bin Laden - but bin Laden is caught and no one has ever (successfully) explained to me why we're still there and what "victory" in Afghanistan looks like.
I agree that the Taliban was a brutal and oppressive regime, but hey, things are still rotten (especially for women) absent the Taliban. And hey again, Mugabe's regime in Zimbabwe is fairly brutal and fairly oppressive, and he's still there.
We're in Afghanistan because the original mission was not only to catch Bin Laden but also to remove the regime that allowed him and his organization to exist and thrive and replace it with a new one, and then to make sure that that regime is stable enough to survive on its own.
Things are not great in Afghanistan, that's true. And that's the whole reason that we're still there, though we've pretty much accepted the fact that nation building is a lot harder than we thought and that we'll just have to leave it in the best shape we can. As far as Mugabe goes, if he ever started harboring terrorists who attack the US we'll probably go there as well. But remember that while we certainly wanted to change the regime of Afghanistan, it had nothing to do with how that regime was treating its people and everything to do with that regime's support and hosting of Al-Qaeda.
Regime change in Syria would be a big problem, and we shouldn't get involved in that. But if we can reduce or eliminate Assad's ability to gas his people, that's definitely worth doing. Partly because there's a moral argument to be made for it, but mostly because we said we would. And people have to realize that we mean business when we say stuff like that (regardless of whether or not it was a good idea to say it in the first place - I'm not sure it was).
7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
mariner From New Zealand, joined Nov 2001, 23928 posts, RR: 87 Reply 12, posted (3 months 2 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 7417 times:
Quoting Mir (Reply 11): We're in Afghanistan because the original mission was not only to catch Bin Laden but also to remove the regime that allowed him and his organization to exist and thrive and replace it with a new one, and then to make sure that that regime is stable enough to survive on its own.
Only the bin Laden part persuades me. I cannot imagine that much else in Afghanistan has changed.
Quoting Mir (Reply 11): Things are not great in Afghanistan, that's true. And that's the whole reason that we're still there, though we've pretty much accepted the fact that nation building is a lot harder than we thought and that we'll just have to leave it in the best shape we can.
The "hard" part may be true for the US - it certainly isn't true for Britain, which, over the past couple of hundred years, has made three failed forays into Afghanistan and should have known better.
I don't see how centuries - millennia - of attitude and behaviour can be changed unless there is an intense desire on the part of the people for change.
Quoting Mir (Reply 11): And people have to realize that we mean business when we say stuff like that (regardless of whether or not it was a good idea to say it in the first place - I'm not sure it was).
I think pretty much the whole world understands that the US means its word. And sometimes, I wish it didn't.
Aaron747 From Japan, joined Aug 2003, 7893 posts, RR: 27 Reply 15, posted (3 months 2 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 7376 times:
Quoting Mir (Reply 13): How can it if we let Syria get away with using chemical weapons if we said we wouldn't? It only takes one instance to get doubt spreading in the minds of those like Assad.
These people are smarter than you think. Tariq Aziz notwithstanding, even the trusted advisors of most world dictators are fully aware that the US has written the book, chapter and verse, on post-WWII realpolitik. They know to a certainty we will not act unless there is a pot of gold at the end of the road.
If you need someone to blame / throw a rock in the air / you'll hit someone guilty
KiwiRob From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 6051 posts, RR: 3 Reply 17, posted (3 months 2 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 7317 times:
Quoting mariner (Reply 4): Why would any action be taken? What does anyone want to actually achieve?
It's not a fight which the west should have any place in, leave it up to the Arabs to sort out there own issues. Saudi has heaps of nice toys and plenty of young men to use them and the money to pay for it, it's about time the west stopped pandering to bleading heart media images, toughen up and let the locals get on with sorting out there own issues.
Aesma From France, joined Nov 2009, 5722 posts, RR: 9 Reply 19, posted (3 months 2 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 7221 times:
Personally I think that Syria's air capabilities should be annihilated. Shoot every plane, every helicopter, every runway. It's impossible to hide those.
Don't forget the rebels are already controlling large parts of the country, including suburbs of the capital. Such action could very well tip the balance in their favor and cause Assad to either flee, negotiate, or die fighting.
I'm not sure what game Obama is playing, but Hollande has met with the head of Syria's main opposition group, Ahmad al-Jarba, this morning, and talked about "chemical massacre".
Air-defence frigate/destroyer Chevalier Paul has left her Toulon base last night for the theater of operations, where there is at least one nuclear attack submarine already.
The French president doesn't need the approval of parliament to attack. But we don't have the firepower to go alone, not unless we'd send all our navy (which is spread around the world).
Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 17): It's not a fight which the west should have any place in, leave it up to the Arabs to sort out there own issues. Saudi has heaps of nice toys and plenty of young men to use them and the money to pay for it, it's about time the west stopped pandering to bleading heart media images, toughen up and let the locals get on with sorting out there own issues.
If Saudi Arabia goes, we're sure the end result will be worse for it. Al Qaeda was born there, remember.
Quoting greasespot (Reply 18): Seriously does anyone actually believe that the so called rebels will be any less brutal than Assad
Yes. The rebels started with peaceful protests. Assad's answer was to snipe them.
New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
rfields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 6862 posts, RR: 29 Reply 22, posted (3 months 2 weeks 2 days ago) and read 7198 times:
Quoting PHX787 (Reply 3): Libya had 2 defining lines between the opposing sides.
Syria is a factional and sectarian mess.
Quoting Mir (Reply 11): Regime change in Syria would be a big problem, and we shouldn't get involved in that.
Removing Assad's government is going to result in a decade long (or longer) multi-faction civil war. The group to establish a new government and 'control' the country will be the one most radical and willing to shed the blood of thousands of Syrians who do not support them. Removing the Assad government will not stop the fighting, the killing or make Syria a 'safer' place for the world.
RussianJet From Kyrgyzstan, joined Jul 2007, 7312 posts, RR: 23 Reply 24, posted (3 months 2 weeks 2 days ago) and read 7186 times:
I am not wholly sure of what we should do. I am sure, however, that past mistakes should not be the basis for a hasty military intervention. Fear of being labeled hypocritical for not intervening now when we have done before should not come into the decision-making process. I do not believe that any change of regime will likely be any better. Things in Iraq, Afghanistan and Egypt have not exactly settled-down perfectly, to put it mildly.
Any intervention should be UN-led, with the focus on protecting civilians. That much I do have clear in my mind.
✈ Every strike of the hammer is a blow against the enemy. ✈
25 Aesma: Why for years ? Runways can be repaired fairly quickly. Look at Lebanon, Beirut airport has been disabled many times and it was reopened after a few
26 bennett123: Presumably it depends on the weapons used. Firstly, weapons have expanded since the 1970's. Secondly, the UK/US were not involved in attacking these f
27 mmedford: If the US goes into this...expect there to be attacks on the soils of the UN peacekeepers because of the backdoor radicals Syria has. Only way to solv
28 bennett123: Not a bit drastic?. Sounds like a return to MAD.
29 JoePatroni707: We would not be in this position if back in 2003 at the start of the Iraq war the democrats got on board sooner to authorize the war. The chemical wea
30 RussianJet: I'm not sure that bombing anyone back to the Stone Age will help much, other than creating more generations of resentment and trouble, Any interventi
31 Aesma: I'm not pretending to know much about Syria, but this isn't Afghanistan. People there are educated. Many of the Islamists fighting there aren't even S
32 Acheron: Usually by people who think that democracy and human rights is "one-size-fits-all" affair In this case you would be replacing a secularist nutjob wit
33 stealthz: And how is that going to happen with Syria's puppet masters having power of veto in the UN security council. High time a re set of security council p
34 bennett123: Who would you include as permanent members?.
35 SoJo: Thanks for saying just how I feel. Stay away and it will sort its self out. As long as they don't threaten us, stuff 'em.
36 stealthz: I wouldn't I do not believe there is a place in the UN for permanent Security Council members. Ths is not the '60s Giving any particular megalomaniac
37 bennett123: Would you continue having a Security Council at all?.
38 stealthz: No But as I am not a fan of the UN or its abject failure to perform it's mission over the past 6 decades I may be biased. If anyone can provide an ar
39 DocLightning: Simply, actually. You write their constitution for them as a condition of military assistance and make it clear that any attempt to tamper with the b
40 bennett123: I am aware of the limitations of the UN. However, the alternative is that anyone with plenty of guns has a free rein. Might is right. Seems a worse al
41 mariner: The history of Iraq - a created country - suggests that doesn't work. From almost the day of its creation Iraq has only ever been stable under milita
42 Ant72LBA: BBC reporting that British Parliament has rejected any military intervention in Syria - vote just in.
43 TheCommodore: Great news. Lets hope that any US lead aggression, is halted too. http://www.smh.com.au/world/britain-...ilitary-action-20130830-2suay.html
44 JoePatroni707: And that affects the USA how?? We dont need Englands support to attack Syria.
45 zckls04: Maybe, but to say it doesn't affect the USA at all is ludicrous. Military action is always viewed as being less justifiable when taken unilaterally.
46 einsteinboricua: A reform of the UNSC can be enacted where you strip the absolute veto power of the permanent members and if 3/5 permanent members vote for an action
47 damirc: Go right for it. Hope you are aware who you are helping with attacking Assad. Because the FSA is peaceful people who have been dragged into this war,
48 Mortyman: Don't be silly I would perhaps add Brazil and maybe a smaller country like Norway We don't really know what effects a campaign against Syria will gen
49 TheCommodore: You may well end up wanting/needing the UK's support. Especially if there is any truth to this article. "Russia sends warships to Mediterranean as Sy
50 777way: They seem to be deliberately trying to plant the pseudo Islamic regimes as part of some future strategy to attack and control the region when these g
51 ltbewr: The USA has let millions to die at the hands of civil wars and awful governments in Africa and Asia and where we did nothing. Why should be any differ
52 damirc: I honestly don't understand their agenda. The FSA was a legitimate force and the better option in the beginning of the conflict. Unfortunately they h
53 aerorobnz: Sit back and relax. One way or another Syria is F**ked. It's a far better option to let the natural course of things happen, let them do the demoliti
54 StuckInCA: I was thinking after reading your post that I should add you to my "Respected Members" list (meaningless as that may be). Alas, you are one of five w
55 solarflyer22: This was my point in the other Syria thread. If you actually think the US government or average American cares much about 500 Arab Muslims being kill
56 seb146: Again: horrible as Assad is using chemical weapons, when the United States gets involved in "regime change" the outcome seems to be worse than what w
57 KiwiRob: Been brinking from the Bush coolaid? Thre US doesn't need to get involved, in fact no western country needs to get involved. I don't believe Assad ac
58 pvjin: Bombing countries to stone age is a reliable way to help anti-western terrorist groups gain huge amounts of support, I guess that's what you want?
59 mad99: Agreed Wiki says both sides have used them. Anyways what's so bad about them anyway, Tomahawks are so much better?
60 finnishway: What is to be done about this situation in Syria? There is just one answer and that one we can read from newspapers or watch from news. If USA decides
61 MD11Engineer: As for now we know that some toxic substance has been used, but we know neither what it was (nerve agent, blood agent, toxic industrial chemical or a
62 kaitak: If there is a doubt who used them, that - if anything - only emphasises the need to act, because it opens the possibility that rogue (or out of contro
63 oly720man: In another incident an aircraft dropped a bomb containing napalm or similar on a school in the north of the country. Quite a few kids with serious bur
64 ImperialEagle: That was Obama who said that. Not wise. Inept would be a better description. Inept seems to be a fitting description for this administrations foreign
65 stealthz: Are they not the same thing? Your country cannot invest so much power in the "Executive Branch" then disavow them when you don't like their decisions
66 KiwiRob: So even if the Assad regime hasn't used them you still plan ojn taking out the Assad regime, I think that would be a huge mistake, Assad is as pro we
67 L410Turbolet: With the UK out of the game as far as military participation... will the US, possibly together with France, go for it alone? That would be certainly a
68 NAV20: Simple question, I guess, but I can't find an answer on here. WHO is dropping these incendiaries? My 'best guess' is that Israel is. But, as far as I
69 L410Turbolet: Good grief... you really are obsessed with them, aren't you? Believe me, Assad's and Ahmadenijad's boyfriend George Galloway is more than capable to
70 MD11Engineer: But this would mean boots on the ground, special forces or infantry, which, after Iraq and Afghanistan is a hot iron in the West. The other three pos
71 Flighty: We should not do what Obama is doing. Instead we should say with _reluctance_ that we may be available to assist, if cries for our help are loud enoug
72 NAV20: I'm probably one of the few people on here who has actually seen incendiaries dropping (and burning), L410Turbojet. AND seeing the nearby burning hou
73 L410Turbolet: And that turned you into armchair weapons expert, who from his living room on the other side of the world "knows" it were Israelis dropping the bombs
74 NAV20: So who WAS dropping them, L410Turbolet? The Koreans?
75 solarflyer22: It's a fair question given the Iraq experience. Israel and AIPAC were both staunch supporters of going for regime change there. I don't think they are
76 Stabilator: Sure we can, if their decision goes against what they (Obama mainly) told the country during his election campaign.
77 flymia: Do nothing. It is a lose lose situation. Offer asylum to the people of Syria, give aid to bordering countries to take in refugees but that's it. It do
78 casinterest: Because it is indiscriminate killing. Biological, Nuclear and Chemical weapons are not for proving a point. They are for annihilation. We could stand
79 GDB: No such country. It's the United Kingdom. While it might not be important directly militarily, even Bush was very keen to keep the UK on side in the
80 Acheron: Genocides happens on a pretty common basis in Africa and at most they are hit with sanctions and embargoes. That's why the "humanitarian" aspect of t
81 SFBdude: Exactly! I mean, look at what israel has been doing all these years and they even get support for it! Gotta love double standards.
82 Aesma: How come the UK is usually such a lapdog to the US and its people don't give a damn and instead argue Brussels has too much power over them ? I heard
83 ImperialEagle: Well, maybe made by the North Koreans and they have great friends in Iran. Hezbollah maybe? Hahahahah Really? I don't think they are thrilled. Jihadi