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Syria: What Is To Be Done?  
User currently onlinekaitak From Ireland, joined Aug 1999, 12565 posts, RR: 35
Posted (1 year 3 months 23 hours ago) and read 8548 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.

What now?

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.

339 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineoly720man From United Kingdom, joined May 2004, 6840 posts, RR: 11
Reply 1, posted (1 year 3 months 22 hours ago) and read 8483 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.



wheat and dairy can screw up your brain
User currently offlineeinsteinboricua From Puerto Rico, joined Apr 2010, 3312 posts, RR: 8
Reply 2, posted (1 year 3 months 21 hours ago) and read 8452 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."
User currently offlinePHX787 From Japan, joined Mar 2012, 7859 posts, RR: 19
Reply 3, posted (1 year 3 months 20 hours ago) and read 8421 times:

Here's the difference between Libya and Syria.

Libya had 2 defining lines between the opposing sides.
Syria is a factional and sectarian mess.

I'm afraid of weapons getting in the wrong hands-like Afghanistan.



我思うゆえに我あり。(Jap. 'I think, therefore I am.')
User currently offlinemariner From New Zealand, joined Nov 2001, 25566 posts, RR: 86
Reply 4, posted (1 year 3 months 19 hours ago) and read 8403 times:
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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.

mariner



aeternum nauta
User currently offlinecomorin From United States of America, joined May 2005, 4903 posts, RR: 16
Reply 5, posted (1 year 3 months 19 hours ago) and read 8383 times:

Quoting mariner (Reply 4):

Great post! Clear thoughts well expressed.

Now, I have only one quibble with it - the first sentence. I would have preferred "Why should any action be taken?"

I am getting old and irrelevant details fascinate me!


User currently offlinecfcuq From Canada, joined Sep 2005, 712 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (1 year 3 months 17 hours ago) and read 8363 times:

mariner, i agree completely, comorin, don't get lost in the details. I find it interesting that a usa person and a couple of out of country people think alike.

User currently offlineRomeoBravo From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (1 year 3 months 17 hours ago) and read 8357 times:

Humanitarian aid is as far as it should go.

User currently offlinekiwiinoz From New Zealand, joined Oct 2005, 2165 posts, RR: 5
Reply 8, posted (1 year 3 months 17 hours ago) and read 8344 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.

User currently onlineAR385 From Mexico, joined Nov 2003, 6470 posts, RR: 32
Reply 9, posted (1 year 3 months 16 hours ago) and read 8329 times:
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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.


User currently offlineNAV20 From Australia, joined exactly 11 years ago today! , 9909 posts, RR: 36
Reply 10, posted (1 year 3 months 16 hours ago) and read 8301 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
User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21801 posts, RR: 55
Reply 11, posted (1 year 3 months 16 hours ago) and read 8295 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).

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlinemariner From New Zealand, joined Nov 2001, 25566 posts, RR: 86
Reply 12, posted (1 year 3 months 15 hours ago) and read 8279 times:
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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.

mariner



aeternum nauta
User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21801 posts, RR: 55
Reply 13, posted (1 year 3 months 15 hours ago) and read 8272 times:

Quoting mariner (Reply 12):
Only the bin Laden part persuades me. I cannot imagine that much else in Afghanistan has changed.

The government does not harbor Al-Qaeda; Al-Qaeda may operate in the country, but it is not with state sanction. That's a definite change.

Quoting mariner (Reply 12):
I think pretty much the whole world understands that the US means its word.

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.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlinemariner From New Zealand, joined Nov 2001, 25566 posts, RR: 86
Reply 14, posted (1 year 3 months 15 hours ago) and read 8267 times:
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Quoting Mir (Reply 13):
The government does not harbor Al-Qaeda; Al-Qaeda may operate in the country, but it is not with state sanction. That's a definite change.

For now maybe.

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.

Obviously, doubt already exists in Assad's mind, or else he wouldn't have done it - if he did it. But as I said from the git-go:

Quoting mariner (Reply 4):
Is it designed to punish the Assad government for using chemical weapons?

How is Assad punished by some retaliatory action? He'd still be in power even if some parts of the country are broken, as some parts of it already are.

So what next? What is it that the US or the UK or France actually want to achieve?

mariner

[Edited 2013-08-28 23:06:20]


aeternum nauta
User currently offlineAaron747 From Japan, joined Aug 2003, 8224 posts, RR: 26
Reply 15, posted (1 year 3 months 14 hours ago) and read 8238 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
User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 27248 posts, RR: 60
Reply 16, posted (1 year 3 months 11 hours ago) and read 8183 times:

The vote in the UK was ditched because the PM knew it would not get through. There is little stomach for another involvement by British forces in another hopeless Middle East conflict.

It most likely will happen some sort of strike to take out or reduce the risk of future chemical attacks but I think all other avenues will be exhausted first to tame the doubters.

Russia is also sending ships to the region !


User currently offlineKiwiRob From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 7673 posts, RR: 4
Reply 17, posted (1 year 3 months 11 hours ago) and read 8179 times:

Quoting mariner (Reply 4):
Why would any action be taken? What does anyone want to actually achieve?

This!

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.


User currently offlinegreasespot From Canada, joined Apr 2004, 3085 posts, RR: 20
Reply 18, posted (1 year 3 months 11 hours ago) and read 8162 times:

Nothing. I am tired of the middle east. We do nothing we are to blame. We do something they hate us for interfering.

I just don't care anymore that they are killing themselves.

Seriously does anyone actually believe that the so called rebels will be any less brutal than Assad


Gs



Sometimes all you can do is look them in the eye and ask " how much did your mom drink when she was pregnant with you?"
User currently offlineAesma From France, joined Nov 2009, 6844 posts, RR: 12
Reply 19, posted (1 year 3 months 6 hours ago) and read 8083 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
User currently offlineroswell41 From United States of America, joined Aug 2001, 803 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (1 year 3 months 6 hours ago) and read 8078 times:

As an American taxpayer, I do not support any U.S. involvement in Syria. Let Syria sort out her own problems free of our interference.

User currently onlinebennett123 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 7754 posts, RR: 3
Reply 21, posted (1 year 3 months 6 hours ago) and read 8059 times:

My recollection was that negotiations were proposed before.

One condition by the FSA was that Assad must step down before negotiations started.

I do not recall if they would be prepared to negotiate with others in the Baathist Party.

In reality, there is no real scope for a negotiated outcome.

IMO, we are sleepwalking into another regime change.


User currently offlinerfields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 7607 posts, RR: 32
Reply 22, posted (1 year 3 months 6 hours ago) and read 8060 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.

Quoting kaitak (Thread starter):
Syria's air power - runways and hangars at air bases
Quoting Aesma (Reply 19):
Personally I think that Syria's air capabilities should be annihilated. Shoot every plane, every helicopter, every runway. It's impossible to hide those.

You do realize that will also destroy any commercial air travel in/ out of Syria for years?

Not saying that is a bad thing - but there will be people on this forum complaining.


User currently onlinebennett123 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 7754 posts, RR: 3
Reply 23, posted (1 year 3 months 5 hours ago) and read 8051 times:

I think that it is a given that civil air transport will be impacted.

iirc, most airports are dual use, as are other facilities.


User currently offlineRussianJet From Belgium, joined Jul 2007, 7714 posts, RR: 21
Reply 24, posted (1 year 3 months 5 hours ago) and read 8048 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. ✈
User currently offlineAesma From France, joined Nov 2009, 6844 posts, RR: 12
Reply 25, posted (1 year 3 months 5 hours ago) and read 8144 times:

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 22):
You do realize that will also destroy any commercial air travel in/ out of Syria for years?

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 weeks.

Besides, I'm not sure why I should prefer rich Syrians who can travel over thousands of dead and refugees.



New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
User currently onlinebennett123 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 7754 posts, RR: 3
Reply 26, posted (1 year 3 months 5 hours ago) and read 8128 times:

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 facilities. The militias and Lebanese military had somewhat limited weaponry in comparison.

Also, no one said to spare runways at the expense of human lives. It was simply pointed out that civil air transport facilities would be affected.

It is also not clear that regime change will result in less loss of life.

The experience of Iraq and Libya are hardly convincing.


User currently offlinemmedford From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 561 posts, RR: 8
Reply 27, posted (1 year 3 months 5 hours ago) and read 8224 times:

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 solve the problem is level the country...

And you're not going to find a country willing to do that...because of the risk of collateral damage.

It's a catch-22...



ILS = It'll Land Somewhere
User currently onlinebennett123 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 7754 posts, RR: 3
Reply 28, posted (1 year 3 months 5 hours ago) and read 8213 times:

Not a bit drastic?.

Sounds like a return to MAD.


User currently offlineJoePatroni707 From United States of America, joined Dec 2012, 493 posts, RR: 0
Reply 29, posted (1 year 3 months 5 hours ago) and read 8209 times:

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 weapons were there, Saddam Hussein moved them to Syria, and hence we now have this problem. Obama needs to get on the ball and bomb Syria back to the Stone Age before we have another issue.

User currently offlineRussianJet From Belgium, joined Jul 2007, 7714 posts, RR: 21
Reply 30, posted (1 year 3 months 4 hours ago) and read 8192 times:

Quoting JoePatroni707 (Reply 29):
Obama needs to get on the ball and bomb Syria back to the Stone Age before we have another issue.

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 intervention needs to be a little more intelligent that just blast the crap out the country.



✈ Every strike of the hammer is a blow against the enemy. ✈
User currently offlineAesma From France, joined Nov 2009, 6844 posts, RR: 12
Reply 31, posted (1 year 3 months 4 hours ago) and read 8156 times:

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 Syrians ! Syria isn't at war with us so there is no question of carpet bombing the country, that would indeed be a colossal mistake, on top of being highly illegal and immoral.


New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
User currently offlineAcheron From Spain, joined Sep 2005, 1698 posts, RR: 2
Reply 32, posted (1 year 3 months 4 hours ago) and read 8158 times:

Quoting mariner (Reply 4):
I remember the countless posters here cheering the Egyptian revolution and the ouster of Murbarak - and look where that got us.

Usually by people who think that democracy and human rights is "one-size-fits-all" affair

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.

In this case you would be replacing a secularist nutjob with limited regional ambitions in a russian/iranian leash with a bunch of islamic nutjobs with global ambitions and deep pockets.

Quoting RussianJet (Reply 30):
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 intervention needs to be a little more intelligent that just blast the crap out the country.

Is not like there is anything left to bomb in Syria, anyway.

Quoting JoePatroni707 (Reply 29):
The chemical weapons were there, Saddam Hussein moved them to Syria, and hence we now have this problem.

I hope that was a joke...


User currently offlinestealthz From Australia, joined Feb 2005, 5724 posts, RR: 44
Reply 33, posted (1 year 3 months 4 hours ago) and read 8154 times:
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Quoting RussianJet (Reply 24):
Any intervention should be UN-led, with the focus on protecting civilians.

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 permanent members was effected..



If your camera sends text messages, that could explain why your photos are rubbish!
User currently onlinebennett123 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 7754 posts, RR: 3
Reply 34, posted (1 year 3 months 4 hours ago) and read 8146 times:

Who would you include as permanent members?.

User currently offlineSoJo From UK - England, joined Nov 2012, 206 posts, RR: 0
Reply 35, posted (1 year 3 months 3 hours ago) and read 8136 times:
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Quoting greasespot (Reply 18):
Nothing. I am tired of the middle east. We do nothing we are to blame. We do something they hate us for interfering.

I just don't care anymore that they are killing themselves.

Seriously does anyone actually believe that the so called rebels will be any less brutal than Assad

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.



RAF Abingdon 1967. I met Beverley from Blackburn. Fantastic!
User currently offlinestealthz From Australia, joined Feb 2005, 5724 posts, RR: 44
Reply 36, posted (1 year 3 months 3 hours ago) and read 8133 times:
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Quoting bennett123 (Reply 34):
Who would you include as permanent members?.

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(or their "government") power to decide global affairs is just plain wrong.

Perhaps a complete rewrite of the UN charter is needed...

.. or just demolish the house of cards the UN has become...



If your camera sends text messages, that could explain why your photos are rubbish!
User currently onlinebennett123 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 7754 posts, RR: 3
Reply 37, posted (1 year 3 months 3 hours ago) and read 8130 times:

Would you continue having a Security Council at all?.

User currently offlinestealthz From Australia, joined Feb 2005, 5724 posts, RR: 44
Reply 38, posted (1 year 3 months 3 hours ago) and read 8127 times:
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Quoting bennett123 (Reply 37):
Would you continue having a Security Council at all?.

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 argument that validates the investment placed in the UN over that time frame I would be happy to hear it.



If your camera sends text messages, that could explain why your photos are rubbish!
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 20242 posts, RR: 59
Reply 39, posted (1 year 3 months 3 hours ago) and read 8101 times:

Quoting mariner (Reply 4):
Mostly, I don't know how democracy can be imposed on a nation that has no real understanding of it.

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 basic human rights and democratic principles in that Constitution will result in full annexation.

But nobody has the stones to do that. They want to "allow them self-determination," which is anathema to the idea of assisting them militarily with a revolution.

And given the fact that these rebels have been responsible for sectarian attacks on Christians, I'm not sure we're taking the high road by helping them.


User currently onlinebennett123 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 7754 posts, RR: 3
Reply 40, posted (1 year 3 months 3 hours ago) and read 8080 times:

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 alternative.


User currently offlinemariner From New Zealand, joined Nov 2001, 25566 posts, RR: 86
Reply 41, posted (1 year 3 months 1 hour ago) and read 8056 times:
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Quoting DocLightning (Reply 39):
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 basic human rights and democratic principles in that Constitution will result in full annexation.

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 military occupation (usually British) or under a dictator, such as Saddam Hussein, whether that dictator was called President or King.

Iraq was probably doomed as a democracy from the day it was created, because of the Kurdish issue - but then, of course, the Kurds were promised their own country at Versailles - the Treaty of Sevres - but that didn't happen because of the Turkish revolution and the subsequent Treaty of Lausanne.

Why would anyone "impose" a constitution anyway? Surely it is the right of the people to be governed which ever way they want?

On a personal note, Iraq was a safer place for most gay people under Saddam Hussein than under this present government. At least we had a police secured place to meet.

mariner

[Edited 2013-08-29 12:19:56]


aeternum nauta
User currently offlineAnt72LBA From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2003, 414 posts, RR: 1
Reply 42, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 8002 times:

BBC reporting that British Parliament has rejected any military intervention in Syria - vote just in.

User currently offlineTheCommodore From Australia, joined Dec 2007, 2930 posts, RR: 8
Reply 43, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 7939 times:

Quoting Ant72LBA (Reply 43):
BBC reporting that British Parliament has rejected any military intervention in Syria - vote just in.

Great news.

Lets hope that any US lead aggression, is halted too.

http://www.smh.com.au/world/britain-...ilitary-action-20130830-2suay.html



Flown 905,468 kms or 2.356 times to the moon, 1296 hrs, Longest flight 10,524 kms
User currently offlineJoePatroni707 From United States of America, joined Dec 2012, 493 posts, RR: 0
Reply 44, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 7947 times:

Quoting Ant72LBA (Reply 43):

And that affects the USA how?? We dont need Englands support to attack Syria.


User currently offlinezckls04 From United States of America, joined Dec 2011, 1449 posts, RR: 4
Reply 45, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 7911 times:

Quoting JoePatroni707 (Reply 45):
And that affects the USA how?? We dont need Englands support to attack Syria.

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. That affects the USA's international image greatly.

Having said that the WH have already reportedly ruled out unilateral action, so unless France fancy getting their hands dirty, it seems like nothing is actually going to happen, thank goodness.



If you're not sure whether to use a piece of punctuation, it's best not to.
User currently offlineeinsteinboricua From Puerto Rico, joined Apr 2010, 3312 posts, RR: 8
Reply 46, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 7911 times:

Quoting stealthz (Reply 38):
Quoting bennett123 (Reply 37):
Would you continue having a Security Council at all?.

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 argument that validates the investment placed in the UN over that time frame I would be happy to hear it.

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 (rather than abstain) along with the majority of the non-permanent ones, then it's binding. Makes for a consensus instead of a threat and inaction. Right now, a single veto derails action and at times votes among permanent members have been 3-0-2. That's a majority of permanent members even if they vote against.

Quoting JoePatroni707 (Reply 45):
And that affects the USA how?? We dont need Englands support to attack Syria.

It doesn't, but then again, if you have a military alliance with a country, why would you undertake the mission alone? We all know how Iraq ended, so it only makes sense that if the UK and other NATO partners reject action then the US would be wise to also reject it. Syria has done nothing to the US and if US allies won't help the US police the world (which they shouldn't) this time, then the US should also step back.

Quoting JoePatroni707 (Reply 29):
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 weapons were there, Saddam Hussein moved them to Syria, and hence we now have this problem. Obama needs to get on the ball and bomb Syria back to the Stone Age before we have another issue.


I have nothing else to say.



"You haven't seen a tree until you've seen its shadow from the sky."
User currently offlinedamirc From Slovenia, joined Feb 2004, 726 posts, RR: 7
Reply 47, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 7901 times:

Quoting JoePatroni707 (Reply 45):
And that affects the USA how?? We dont need Englands support to attack Syria.

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, without any foreign influence or help. They will surely respect the freedoms (and let them live) the Alawites, the Christians, the Shia and the few remaining Jews. Go right ahead. But when you create another fundamentalist Islamic state in the Middle East you will only have yourselves to blame for it.

Assad is evil. But it is the lesser evil in this civil war (if you can call it civil war when foreign factions are fighting on both sides (Hez on the Syrian side, too many to list on the FSA side)). If there is one war the west should not touch with a 10 foot pole it is this one. But alas, the red line has been crossed (who wants to wait for proof that it was the government side that is responsible for the chemical attack, let's just barge in head over heels) and the US will go ahead and spread freedom, joy and beautiful roses. That the concept works can be attested by citizens of Afghanistan, Iraq (whose peaceful and calm lives everyone in the west can only aspire to) and Lybia (where milk and honey has flowed since the assassination of Ghaddafi). The US will of course not be alone in attacking Syria. It will be joined by the coalition of the willing, the occupied (Afghanistan, Iraq and Lybia are saying high btw) and the coalition of those one can't find on the map without using a rather large magnifying glass.

Sorry this is overflowing with sarcasm, but this is now getting too silly. Is the west now fighting against islamic fundamentalism or alongside it? Lybia was an unclear case and now Syria is rather questionable. Sorry, but I do not understand this world any longer.

D.


User currently offlineMortyman From Norway, joined Aug 2006, 4055 posts, RR: 1
Reply 48, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 7899 times:

Quoting JoePatroni707 (Reply 29):
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 weapons were there, Saddam Hussein moved them to Syria, and hence we now have this problem

Don't be silly

Quoting bennett123 (Reply 34):
Who would you include as permanent members?.

I would perhaps add Brazil and maybe a smaller country like Norway  
Quoting JoePatroni707 (Reply 45):
And that affects the USA how?? We dont need Englands support to attack Syria.

We don't really know what effects a campaign against Syria will generate. Other countries in the region might be drawn into the mess aswell. It would be smart of the US to gather as much backing as possible before hell breaks loose. This might become a bigger thing that you bargained for.

I really don't understand why the US, UK and France are in such a hurry. Wait for the inspectors to come back and have them present their report.


User currently offlineTheCommodore From Australia, joined Dec 2007, 2930 posts, RR: 8
Reply 49, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 7835 times:

Quoting JoePatroni707 (Reply 45):
And that affects the USA how?? We dont need Englands support to attack Syria.

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 Syria tension rises"


http://www.smh.com.au/world/russia-s...-tension-rises-20130830-2su45.html



Flown 905,468 kms or 2.356 times to the moon, 1296 hrs, Longest flight 10,524 kms
User currently offline777way From Pakistan, joined Dec 2005, 5919 posts, RR: 4
Reply 50, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 7816 times:

Quoting damirc (Reply 48):
Is the west now fighting against islamic fundamentalism or alongside it? Lybia was an unclear case and now Syria is rather questionable. Sorry, but I do not understand this world any longer.

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 grow rebellious and pose some pretend threat to Israel, all the culprits hand in hand, I bet al Qaeda is part of the game as well.


User currently offlineltbewr From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 13170 posts, RR: 15
Reply 51, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 7825 times:

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 different with Syria.

The 'red line' that President Obama set last year was just before his re-election. He need to sound tough as any Republican as to certain ME groups as well as placate Israel that he would protect them over any other interest in the region, both to attract campaign contributions and help he fellow Democrats in the Congress and Senate get elected and re-elected. By setting the 'red line' including the use of WMD's, chemical and bio weapons, when they were used, the USA was set into a trap.

My opinion, as much as it pains me to see people murdered by their own government or fellow citizens in such inhumane ways, is to leave Syria alone. No stealth or ship based missile bombs, no troops into the country. I would rather let the President do the really right thing, not create more enemies, not help anyone there but maybe some non-violent groups with anything but weapons, help out instead the refugees that have fled to adjacent countries.


User currently offlinedamirc From Slovenia, joined Feb 2004, 726 posts, RR: 7
Reply 52, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 7824 times:

Quoting 777way (Reply 51):
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 grow rebellious and pose some pretend threat to Israel, all the culprits hand in hand, I bet al Qaeda is part of the game as well.

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 have allowed too many foreign groups into their midst (ones with very questionable agendas and a very bad track records in regards to human rights) and have irreparably tainted themselves with running around with AlQ off-shoots. The situation in Syria is currently so messed up that it's unpredictable what will happen. If Assad prevails I presume Sunni Muslims will not fare well in the future Syria (considering they are the majority in Syria that poses a giant question mark on what happens next). If the FSA wins I do not consider it probable, that the various groups now supporting FSA will leave Syria without demanding to be a part of the future political leadership. And that is a giant problem.

I'm not wearing pink glasses in regards to Assad, but as said - at the moment he is the lesser evil. While he was a tyrant he didn't really single out any specific group and the country was reasonably safe and prosperous (but as with every dictatorship the one group that is quickly dealt with is political dissidents). With this was I fear that Syria is preprogrammed to run into a lengthy civil war that will be formed around religious allegiances. From what I gather the Alawites, the Shia and the Christians largely support the SAA. The Sunnis however mostly support the FSA (now - this is not to say that the Sunni's support the extremist part of the FSA). This does not bode well for the future fo Syria (looking a few decades ahead). These allegiances are not forgotten once the war as such ends. It takes a few generations for the mistrust to fade away (and even then it's not too far away from the surface - heck my country still has monthly (verbal!) fights on "communists" vs. "conservaties" even though the WW2 is nearly 70 years past).

But yes, I have to agree that the west amazes me with not learning from it's past mistakes and repeats them again and again. Most everything that was reaped in the early 00's was sown a few decades earlier. And yet again, the west does it again (and is not too peeved if it has to support some unwanted elements to achieve it's goals). Surreal.

D.


User currently offlineaerorobnz From Rwanda, joined Feb 2001, 7336 posts, RR: 13
Reply 53, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 7792 times:

Quoting kaitak (Thread starter):
What now?

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 demolition work themselves to pave the way for a significant rebuild, then come in afterwards and clean up the place with all the money that would have been spent on another war spent on investing in the country, growing their economy and making them prosperous on the investors terms. Then if they do it again in the future, the economic kill switch can be activated and Syria will be liable to pay it all back at major financial cost, and failure to do so will warrant invasion AND breakup of the former state. The whole country has a mentality that will just repeat this bullshit again and again forever and ever.


User currently onlineStuckInCA From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 1991 posts, RR: 0
Reply 54, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 7791 times:

Quoting mariner (Reply 4):

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 who are there after nearly 8 years reading this site daily. Thank you for your rational take as usual.

Quoting Aaron747 (Reply 15):
They know to a certainty we will not act unless there is a pot of gold at the end of the road.

Ding. Ding. Ding.

Quoting roswell41 (Reply 20):
As an American taxpayer, I do not support any U.S. involvement in Syria. Let Syria sort out her own problems free of our interference.

Agreed. I'd rather pay for kids to get educated or people to have healthcare.

Quoting stealthz (Reply 38):
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.

I'd love to hear of any real successes of the UN. It seems like a comedy of errors.

Quoting ltbewr (Reply 52):
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 different with Syria.

Indeed. I hate to see bad things happen to any people in the world, but we need to focus our energy within. In the end, people won't have wanted our help, so why waste the lives, money and effort.


User currently offlinesolarflyer22 From US Minor Outlying Islands, joined Nov 2009, 1113 posts, RR: 0
Reply 55, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 7767 times:

Quoting ltbewr (Reply 52):
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 different with Syria.

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 killed by CW then you obviously don't live here. Most people here would say "it's still less than the 3,000 killed on 9/11" albeit not publicly.

There is only one real agenda here for the West and its basically a chess game to flip Syria from the Russian/Iran corner to the Western corner. They are already funneling weapons to the FSA and started in Benghazi. The Red Line is just a rallying point to justify US bombing to finally oust him.

Among my mine gripes is that although Assad was bad, he wasn't a real threat to the West. He studied in London, married a Syrian who was both born and raised in London (he was acclimated with Western life in other words), was secular, fought Al Queda and was also against Saddam Hussein. Those are all very pro-western things. He generally never attacked Israel, and had no nuclear program after their strike.

I don't really get how much more the US and Israel wanted from Assad. They never even attempted to reclaim the Golan Heights which is their sovereign but Israeli occupied territory. If they were expecting a pro-Semitic peaceful democracy with the FSA in charge they are basically out of their minds.

Quoting damirc (Reply 53):
I honestly don't understand their agenda. The FSA was a legitimate force and the better option in the beginning of the conflict.

I don't think the FSA was anything more than a Saudi/Qatari proxy that was well funded to try and topple Assad.

Saudi and Qatar really let me down in that they just split on sectarian lines. Does it make sense for two monarchies to support a nascent democracy nearby? Obviously not, they just wanted a Sunni in charge. There are but 2 Shite head of states in the whole of the Arab world. Is it really so necessary to take 1 of 2 out?

And with all the foreign intervention and subversion going on in this chess game in the Middle East you actually wonder why Iran has 15,000 centrifuges spinning? I think the outside world got the hint.


User currently offlineseb146 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 11765 posts, RR: 15
Reply 56, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 7701 times:

Quoting StuckInCA (Reply 54):
I hate to see bad things happen to any people in the world, but we need to focus our energy within. In the end, people won't have wanted our help, so why waste the lives, money and effort.

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 was before.



Life in the wall is a drag.
User currently offlineKiwiRob From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 7673 posts, RR: 4
Reply 57, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 7700 times:

Quoting JoePatroni707 (Reply 29):
The chemical weapons were there, Saddam Hussein moved them to Syria, and hence we now have this problem.

Been brinking from the Bush coolaid?

Quoting JoePatroni707 (Reply 44):
And that affects the USA how?? We dont need Englands support to attack Syria.

Thre US doesn't need to get involved, in fact no western country needs to get involved.

Quoting damirc (Reply 47):
who wants to wait for proof that it was the government side that is responsible for the chemical attack, let's just barge in head over heels
Quoting seb146 (Reply 56):
Again: horrible as Assad is using chemical weapons

I don't believe Assad actually used chemical weapons, they was no upside to his using them, but a pretty big downside, there is an upside for the rebels if they use them, for a few deaths they get to blame Assad, and get the stupid western powers to help them topple the Assad.


User currently offlinepvjin From Finland, joined Mar 2012, 1366 posts, RR: 0
Reply 58, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 7686 times:

Quoting JoePatroni707 (Reply 29):

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?



"A rational army would run away"
User currently offlinemad99 From Spain, joined Mar 2012, 611 posts, RR: 0
Reply 59, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 7654 times:

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 57):
Thre US doesn't need to get involved, in fact no western country needs to get involved.

Agreed

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 57):
I don't believe Assad actually used chemical weapons, they was no upside to his using them, but a pretty big downside, there is an upside for the rebels if they use them, for a few deaths they get to blame Assad, and get the stupid western powers to help them topple the Assad.

Wiki says both sides have used them. Anyways what's so bad about them anyway, Tomahawks are so much better?


User currently offlinefinnishway From Finland, joined Jul 2012, 313 posts, RR: 0
Reply 60, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 7590 times:

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 to attack Syria I highly doubt we will know anything about it before it is already done. Why would USA say if or when they are going to attack? This threat is a big problem for Syria, because they have to fight against their own people and fear Uncle Sam's attack at the same time.

This is hard situation for Obama. He has said quite straight what is going to be happen if Syria uses chemical weapons. Obama says he hasn't made any decisions but of course he has at least some kind of plans. He is just waiting perfect moment to continue with some of these plans. Everybody is waiting some kind of result from UN.

I hope Obama makes his decision soon. If he decides to attack then we will know it at some point, but if he decides not to attack, he should tell it straight to press. I am very dissappointed if there is no decision to be made. If USA don't attack then let it be, but then they should at least tell to public that this is the situation.


User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 14130 posts, RR: 62
Reply 61, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 7586 times:

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 mix of them). We don´t know what was used to deploy these chemicals, there are no pictures of e.g. the remains of CW shells or rockets (which, since they are usually quite large, but only contain a small bursting charge for distributing the agent, should be quite visible).
Then the question is who used them.
There are a lot of open questions:
What would Assad gain from using chemical weapons? His military are gaining, especially with Russian, Chinese and Iranian support and the rebels are retreating.
He has a group of UN inspectors in the country, why would his troops deploy CW with them just being 15 minutes drive away and ready to gather evidendence?
Then in howe far have pictures and video material been faked? It has happened before in this region to stirr up public anger.

I would not put it above some of the more radical islamist groups to sacrifice a few thousand of their own people to make the West interfere in the war on their side, as useful idiots.

IMO the West should stay out of it unless there is absolutely conclusive and ironcladd evidence and then hit hard on whoever used the weapons. At the moment the situation is still to murky.

One additional thing: As could be seen in Iraq, CW is nowadays mostly a terror weapon against unprotected civilians. Despite the shock after gas was first used in WW1, armies rapidly adapted to it and today for a trained and equipped military CW is more a nuisance than a threat.

Jan


User currently onlinekaitak From Ireland, joined Aug 1999, 12565 posts, RR: 35
Reply 62, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 7517 times:

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 control) units have been using them. Even if it cannot be conclusively proved that the Assad regime allowed these attacks, the main focus must be on taking them out of commission.

I'm sure the Israeli military will have a very good idea of where these stockpiles might be and where they might be taken if moved. Presumably they are providing intelligence - and more than a little encouragement!

Final question: let's say the decision is made: is a missile attack the best way of taking them out of commission? Does that not raise the unpleasant possibility of thousands of tons of chemical nasties being released into the atmosphere, and causing health damage far worse than the chemical attack it was designed to punish?


User currently offlineoly720man From United Kingdom, joined May 2004, 6840 posts, RR: 11
Reply 63, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 7510 times:

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 burns.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-23892594



wheat and dairy can screw up your brain
User currently offlineImperialEagle From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 2630 posts, RR: 23
Reply 64, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 7501 times:

Quoting kaitak (Thread starter):
The US government has stated some time ago that this was the red line

That was Obama who said that.

Quoting kaitak (Thread starter):
Was it wise to have said so? Certainly it was morally correct

Not wise. Inept would be a better description. Inept seems to be a fitting description for this administrations foreign policies in general. Certainly they are inept about Middle Eastern policy.
Obama just needs to admit he spoke too soon and let it go. All of us have made this mistake before of overpromising on something. It's just human. It's just too late for him to do any good now. If Obama was going to make a difference he should have acted a year ago. Now it's an even bigger crap-shoot as to what the outcome may be.

I agree. Morally correct. How do we sit on the sidelines and watch while innocent people are gassed to death? We have done it before and it wasn't right then either.

Quoting bennett123 (Reply 21):
In reality, there is no real scope for a negotiated outcome.
IMO, we are sleepwalking into another regime change.

Yes.IMO the world views Kerry as a buffoon. He needs to get out of the Middle East all together and stop making us look like fools.



"If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough!"
User currently offlinestealthz From Australia, joined Feb 2005, 5724 posts, RR: 44
Reply 65, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 7490 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting ImperialEagle (Reply 64):
Quoting kaitak (Thread starter):The US government has stated some time ago that this was the red lineThat was Obama who said that.

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.



If your camera sends text messages, that could explain why your photos are rubbish!
User currently offlineKiwiRob From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 7673 posts, RR: 4
Reply 66, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 7480 times:

Quoting kaitak (Reply 62):
Even if it cannot be conclusively proved that the Assad regime allowed these attacks, the main focus must be on taking them out of commission.

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 west as you're likely to get in Syria, remove him and who knows what kind of hard line muslim govt will take up the reigns of power, but one thing is for sure it won't be friendly towards to west.


User currently offlineL410Turbolet From Czech Republic, joined May 2004, 5741 posts, RR: 19
Reply 67, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 7448 times:

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 an ironic twist of history... who would have thought after all the hysterical outpours and riots we have seen from the lefties in 2003 that exactly a decade later there would be two, to use their own parties' usual vocabulary, warmongering socialists: Obama and Hollande just desperate to get involved in some pointless middle eastern military advanture.

User currently offlineNAV20 From Australia, joined exactly 11 years ago today! , 9909 posts, RR: 36
Reply 68, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 7446 times:

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 can see, no-one has said so yet?



"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
User currently offlineL410Turbolet From Czech Republic, joined May 2004, 5741 posts, RR: 19
Reply 69, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 7422 times:

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 68):
My 'best guess' is that Israel is. But, as far as I can see, no-one has said so yet?

   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 spew enough of his own bs. No need for Australian wannabes to emulate him. http://youtu.be/JlzGZanCZDw


User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 14130 posts, RR: 62
Reply 70, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 7413 times:

Quoting kaitak (Reply 62):
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 control) units have been using them. Even if it cannot be conclusively proved that the Assad regime allowed these attacks, the main focus must be on taking them out of commission.

I'm sure the Israeli military will have a very good idea of where these stockpiles might be and where they might be taken if moved. Presumably they are providing intelligence - and more than a little encouragement!

Final question: let's say the decision is made: is a missile attack the best way of taking them out of commission? Does that not raise the unpleasant possibility of thousands of tons of chemical nasties being released into the atmosphere, and causing health damage far worse than the chemical attack it was designed to punish?

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 possible responses would be:

1) To use cruise missiles to bomb know CW storage sites with the risk of releasing the stuff and killing thousands (not to mention secret, hidden sites we don´t know about)
2) To use cruise missiles to indiscriminately bomb Syrian military and government sites, again killing lots of innocents.
3) to become the artillery and airforce of the rebels. First, Syria has about the most modern AA system in the Middle east, recently fully upgraded with the latest Russian missiles, so very dangerous for the pilots, and secondly, since the moderate rebels of the democracy movement (who started the uprising) have been pushed aside by militant Islamists of the Salafi, AQ and Wahabi brand, it would backfire on us.

Jan


User currently offlineFlighty From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 8709 posts, RR: 3
Reply 71, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 7402 times:

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 enough. We should say we recognize Iraq 2003 was 100% illegal and a war crime from beginning to end.

As it is, we are playing into Assad / Al Khomeini's hands. When we commit crimes, they win. Better than they ever could dare to dream.


User currently offlineNAV20 From Australia, joined exactly 11 years ago today! , 9909 posts, RR: 36
Reply 72, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 7411 times:

Quoting L410Turbolet (Reply 69):
Good grief... you really are obsessed with them, aren't you?

I'm probably one of the few people on here who has actually seen incendiaries dropping (and burning), L410Turbojet. AND seeing the nearby burning houses that resulted from such attacks; and even putting up with a couple of school-friends sleeping in our overcrowded bedrooms while their own homes were being rebuilt..........

Maybe I am a bit 'obsessed' - but I remain VERY opposed to wars of any kind. And, in particular, opposed to people who start them by claiming other people's land, which they have no right to?



"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
User currently offlineL410Turbolet From Czech Republic, joined May 2004, 5741 posts, RR: 19
Reply 73, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 7402 times:

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 72):
I'm probably one of the few people on here who has actually seen incendiaries dropping

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.

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 72):

Maybe I am a bit 'obsessed'

An understatement of the year.


User currently offlineNAV20 From Australia, joined exactly 11 years ago today! , 9909 posts, RR: 36
Reply 74, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 7401 times:

Quoting L410Turbolet (Reply 73):
armchair weapons expert, who from his living room on the other side of the world "knows" it were Israelis dropping the bombs.

So who WAS dropping them, L410Turbolet? The Koreans?



"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
User currently offlinesolarflyer22 From US Minor Outlying Islands, joined Nov 2009, 1113 posts, RR: 0
Reply 75, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 7362 times:

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 explicitly pushing a strike at this point.A fractured and wounded Syria benefits them in 3 ways:

1) It weakens Iran and Hezbollah.
2) The Syrian army is essentially decimated as is the Air Force
3) The Golan heights, which is illegally occupied, even the US doesn't support it, will be theirs likely forever. I can't foresee Syria ever getting the territory back. The country looks like it will partitioned.

It's a shame Saudi, Qatar and Turkey turned on Assad. I think it's a major strategic error on their part for the sake of putting a Sunni as head of state. Provided the Chem weapons don't get spread around, Israel has to be satisfied with the way things are going. Ditto in Egypt.


User currently offlineStabilator From United States of America, joined Nov 2010, 720 posts, RR: 0
Reply 76, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 7342 times:

Quoting stealthz (Reply 65):
Your country cannot invest so much power in the "Executive Branch" then disavow them when you don't like their decisions.

Sure we can, if their decision goes against what they (Obama mainly) told the country during his election campaign.



So we beat on against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.
User currently offlineflymia From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 7251 posts, RR: 6
Reply 77, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 7294 times:

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 don't see anything positive coming out of this. 80-90,000 have already been killed. All of a sudden a certain weapon is used and now the U.S. should go in? Why? This country has its own problems to deal with. I just don't see any good coming out of it. Take down Assad then who controls Syria? Probably no one great either. There are some problems which outsiders just wont be able to fix. Maybe ever.


"It was just four of us on the flight deck, trying to do our job" (Captain Al Haynes)
User currently offlinecasinterest From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 4751 posts, RR: 3
Reply 78, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 7291 times:

Quoting flymia (Reply 77):
All of a sudden a certain weapon is used and now the U.S. should go in? Why?

Because it is indiscriminate killing. Biological, Nuclear and Chemical weapons are not for proving a point. They are for annihilation. We could standby and allow the genocide to go on, but then we will be no better off than if we attacked those responsible for it's dispersion.


I get your point about nothing in it for us, but I guess honor and empathy for human life don't count much in terms of dollars and cents anymore.



Older than I just was ,and younger than I will soo be.
User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13241 posts, RR: 77
Reply 79, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 7278 times:

Quoting JoePatroni707 (Reply 44):
And that affects the USA how?? We dont need Englands support to attack Syria.

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 build up to the Iraq war.
For, as stated, political reasons.
(Some may take the more cynical view that having another nation involved gives them someone to blame if it all goes wrong).

LBJ put great pressure on Prime Minister Harold Wilson with Vietnam, again to spread the political load.
Wilson said no, LBJ and some others got pissed off but the world carried on.

But Wilson still took a lot of flack at home for his diplomatic support for the US on Vietnam, just as well his critics did not know of the US access to UK intel gathering sites in the region and other UK military bases.

Today, Cameron just could not sell it, with Syria.
Scars still fresh with Iraq, the uncertain planning, UK military misgivings, 30 of his own Conservative MP's voted against him.
Unexpected, but this is what democracy looks like.

Ironic for all those who threw so much abuse at France in 2003, as it looks like they will act with the US.


User currently offlineAcheron From Spain, joined Sep 2005, 1698 posts, RR: 2
Reply 80, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 1 day ago) and read 7203 times:

Quoting casinterest (Reply 78):
We could standby and allow the genocide to go on, but then we will be no better off than if we attacked those responsible for it's dispersion.


I get your point about nothing in it for us, but I guess honor and empathy for human life don't count much in terms of dollars and cents anymore.

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 the attack on Syria is pretty much BS.


User currently offlineSFBdude From United States of America, joined Apr 2011, 131 posts, RR: 0
Reply 81, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 7122 times:

Quoting Acheron (Reply 80):
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 the attack on Syria is pretty much BS.

Exactly! I mean, look at what israel has been doing all these years and they even get support for it! Gotta love double standards.


User currently offlineAesma From France, joined Nov 2009, 6844 posts, RR: 12
Reply 82, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 7120 times:

Quoting GDB (Reply 79):
Today, Cameron just could not sell it, with Syria.

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 Cameron trying to get his vote by explaining Obama's point of view, WTF ? Can't he think for himself ?

As for Obama, I'm more and more disappointed in him. Not intervening, I could understand, even if it would be a major loss of face. After all that war has been going on for a long time already with no intervention. But, for more than a week, saying one day yes, one day no, one day maybe, what the hell is that ?



New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
User currently offlineImperialEagle From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 2630 posts, RR: 23
Reply 83, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 7113 times:

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 74):
The Koreans?

Well, maybe made by the North Koreans and they have great friends in Iran. Hezbollah maybe?

Quoting L410Turbolet (Reply 73):
An understatement of the year.

  Hahahahah

Quoting solarflyer22 (Reply 75):
Israel has to be satisfied with the way things are going.

Really?
I don't think they are thrilled. Jihadists run amok in the Sinai, the Golan border, who knows who is pouring into the Jordan under the guise of "refugee".
If that scumbag Assad does loose his dictatorship, then Hezbollah will most certainly make good use of all that gas. The Iranians can add that to their arsenal.
No, I don't think the Israeli's are thrilled.



"If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough!"
User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21801 posts, RR: 55
Reply 84, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 7072 times:

Quoting ImperialEagle (Reply 64):
Quoting kaitak (Thread starter):
The US government has stated some time ago that this was the red line

That was Obama who said that.

He is the government.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineBestWestern From Hong Kong, joined Sep 2000, 7264 posts, RR: 57
Reply 85, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 7075 times:

I watched 90 minutes of BBC world news last night, without one person on the Dont bomb Syria being interviewed. No neutrality in broadcasting whatsoever.

For me, this is Iraq all over again. Wall to wall propoganda on CNN and the BBC - yet - this time - amazingly - people see through it. Above - only two or three posters see the value of bombing Syria.

William Hague looks bombastic and Carmeron looks humiliated.



The world is really getting smaller these days
User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21801 posts, RR: 55
Reply 86, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 7049 times:

Quoting BestWestern (Reply 85):
For me, this is Iraq all over again. Wall to wall propoganda on CNN and the BBC - yet - this time - amazingly - people see through it.

And there's the saddest legacy of Iraq. People aren't seeing through anything - they're just afraid of getting stuck in yet another country in the Middle East. And understandably so, but it's very unfortunate that even non-invasion military action against Syria, action that would be more justified than invading Iraq ever was, scares people off.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlinesolarflyer22 From US Minor Outlying Islands, joined Nov 2009, 1113 posts, RR: 0
Reply 87, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 7028 times:

Quoting BestWestern (Reply 85):
For me, this is Iraq all over again. Wall to wall propoganda on CNN and the BBC - yet - this time - amazingly - people see through it. Above - only two or three posters see the value of bombing Syria.

Well you have to understand the media receives purposeful leaks from the government in an attempt to drive public opinion in a certain direction. Stratfor and other paid outlets don't do this non-sense. Public opinion was 9% a week ago for the strikes! 9%, now its up to around 50%! That's how powerful it is. They have it down to a science. Read Noam Chomsky.

Quoting ImperialEagle (Reply 83):
No, I don't think the Israeli's are thrilled.

No not thrilled but not losing any sleep over it. A few jihadis aren't really a threat to Israel. A unified nation state with a real army/air force with a axe to grind is a long term strategic threat. I think they are happy that they'll be able to hold onto the Golan Heights and probably won't face a formidable state from Syria in the next 30 years.

Quoting Mir (Reply 86):

And there's the saddest legacy of Iraq. People aren't seeing through anything - they're just afraid of getting stuck in yet another country in the Middle East. And understandably so, but it's very unfortunate that even non-invasion military action against Syria, action that would be more justified than invading Iraq ever was, scares people off.

If you wanted to kill off the regime you can probably due that with a air campaign. It's not the US's fault that it got to this point unlike in Iraq and not our obligation to fix. I think you can make a strong argument that Assad must be punished with heavy strikes for the attack and whatever happens after is their problem. Lebanon fought for 15 years and resolved essentially nothing. So long as we are not the root cause, we needn't feel any guilt. They have been doing this on and off for a mere 1,000 years.

And if you do take action, make it clear to these Jihadis that what happened to Bin Laden and Assad could just as easily be arranged for them. Then offer up something token to the Russians and Iranians.

Americans are fatigued but not really afraid. No one wants another 10 year grind em out rebuilding/occupation. Clean quick strikes are ok though, if its justified and if Congress is on board.


User currently offlineEL-AL From Israel, joined Oct 2001, 1348 posts, RR: 13
Reply 88, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 7002 times:

Quoting solarflyer22 (Reply 75):
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 explicitly pushing a strike at this point.A fractured and wounded Syria benefits them in 3 ways:

1) It weakens Iran and Hezbollah.
2) The Syrian army is essentially decimated as is the Air Force
3) The Golan heights, which is illegally occupied, even the US doesn't support it, will be theirs likely forever. I can't foresee Syria ever getting the territory back. The country looks like it will partitioned.

It's a shame Saudi, Qatar and Turkey turned on Assad. I think it's a major strategic error on their part for the sake of putting a Sunni as head of state. Provided the Chem weapons don't get spread around, Israel has to be satisfied with the way things are going. Ditto in Egypt.
Quoting SFBdude (Reply 81):
Exactly! I mean, look at what israel has been doing all these years and they even get support for it! Gotta love double standards.

You guys are simply going crazy from having such a horror in the middle east with Israel has nothing to do with it, so you are trying to make it an Israeli issue when it is clear that this is an intra-arab conflict. You people (and some of the media) are use to tell yourself all the time that everything going wrong in the middle east (or in the hole wide world) is Israel to blame, and even watching an horror civil war with 110,000+ dead you have to tell here and anywhere 'since naturally Israel is to blame, we just need to find how'.

The ONLY link of Israel to the civil war in Syria is when civilians of an enemy country run to the border in the Golan wounded my tax money sends them to Israeli hospitals and taking care of them. More then 100 of them hospitalized since 2011. I wonder how Syrians would treat me if this was the other way around.

[Edited 2013-08-30 20:16:11]


"In Israel, on order to be a realist, one's must believe in miracles" - David Ben Gurion.
User currently offlineEL-AL From Israel, joined Oct 2001, 1348 posts, RR: 13
Reply 89, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 6997 times:

Quoting solarflyer22 (Reply 87):
No not thrilled but not losing any sleep over it

This video shows the chaos and mess of people in line for gas masks in Israel, this was the sight in the last week here. Having a crazy dictator using chemical weapon 40km (25 mi) from your door step is something that will make you loose some sleep. Trust me on that one.

http://www.mako.co.il/news-military/...ity/Article-e0ec10278a4c041004.htm

[Edited 2013-08-30 20:12:31]


"In Israel, on order to be a realist, one's must believe in miracles" - David Ben Gurion.
User currently offlineBestWestern From Hong Kong, joined Sep 2000, 7264 posts, RR: 57
Reply 90, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 6961 times:

Quoting EL-AL (Reply 89):
Having a crazy dictator using chemical weapon 40km (25 mi) from your door step is something that will make you loose some sleep.

Most probably true - but not yet confirmed

Quoting Mir (Reply 86):
And there's the saddest legacy of Iraq.

In Iraq, we were told there were WMD ready to be fired.

The same global actors are now jumping to conclusions on guilt in Syria.

Iraq - disaster
Egypt - disaster
Lybia - disaster
Syria - ???


The media also want a war - keeps them busy.

Look at the North Korea - mega serious on CNN till the Boston bombings - then instantly forgotten about.

So was it really serious, or just hyped for media eyeballs?

The UK government looks foolish at best.



The world is really getting smaller these days
User currently offlinesolarflyer22 From US Minor Outlying Islands, joined Nov 2009, 1113 posts, RR: 0
Reply 91, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 6945 times:

Quoting EL-AL (Reply 89):
Having a crazy dictator using chemical weapon 40km (25 mi) from your door step is something that will make you loose some sleep. Trust me on that one.

Well I am sure its awful and you have my sympathies but I'm referring specifically to your government. I think we both know the kind of arsenal Israel is sitting on and I don't think they're particularly worried. In your government's terms, this is not a "Existential Threat".

Quoting EL-AL (Reply 88):
The ONLY link of Israel to the civil war in Syria is when civilians of an enemy country run to the border in the Golan wounded my tax money sends them to Israeli hospitals and taking care of them. More then 100 of them hospitalized since 2011. I wonder how Syrians would treat me if this was the other way around.

I'd suggest you not open the can of worms on tax dollars. I think we know US's contribution and for it, you have to take the high road and enjoy the view. Jordan has absorbed 1 million refugees by comparison.

Never did I blame Israel for the origination of this conflict. I specifically said its 1,000 yr conflict (implying its religious source). I think you are confusing an intelligent argument with internet trolls. I did say and do believe that the Israeli government probably is lobbying for strikes from Washington. Its not personal.


User currently onlineStuckInCA From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 1991 posts, RR: 0
Reply 92, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 6942 times:

Quoting Mir (Reply 86):
And there's the saddest legacy of Iraq. People aren't seeing through anything - they're just afraid of getting stuck in yet another country in the Middle East. And understandably so, but it's very unfortunate that even non-invasion military action against Syria, action that would be more justified than invading Iraq ever was, scares people off.

I don't think it's that simple. When the war in Iraq was being debated, the economy was turning down, but we were coming off of a very prosperous time. Overall, people were living easy. Also, there was a lot of emotion involved. 9/11 ensured that despite the fact that Iraq had nothing to do with it.

Now, I think that people overall are less comfortable financially. It's been a pretty tough stretch since Iraq. There's no real emotional motivation (yes, chemical weapons are bad - but people think Syria is so far away they can't relate). I just don't see any way you could get the American public, at this time, to buy into this conflict. Probably even if the Iraq invasion had never happened. Except then, perhaps, economic conditions would be so different that it's impossible to speculate.


User currently offlineseb146 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 11765 posts, RR: 15
Reply 93, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 6925 times:

Has anyone heard the chemical attack was made by rebels to get Assad out? I heard that theory a couple of times over the past few days but I don't know where to start with research for it.


Life in the wall is a drag.
User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21801 posts, RR: 55
Reply 94, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 6922 times:

Quoting BestWestern (Reply 90):
In Iraq, we were told there were WMD ready to be fired.

We were told that, but we also knew (even at the time) that that was no certainty - we figured that he probably had WMDs, but that they were anywhere close to being fired was a huge stretch. In this case, however, we know that WMD have been fired, and there's a whole lot of evidence that Assad's regime was the one that did it. There would be absolutely no reason for the US to take the steps it has if the Assad regime wasn't behind it.

Quoting BestWestern (Reply 90):
Iraq - disaster
Egypt - disaster
Lybia - disaster
Syria - ???

We didn't do anything in Egypt - that situation developed on its own, so you can't use it as a comparison. And Libya has not been a disaster. I'll grant you Iraq, but a key difference between Syria has actually done something to deserve it, whereas whether Iraq had or not was very debatable.

Quoting solarflyer22 (Reply 87):
If you wanted to kill off the regime you can probably due that with a air campaign. It's not the US's fault that it got to this point unlike in Iraq and not our obligation to fix. I think you can make a strong argument that Assad must be punished with heavy strikes for the attack and whatever happens after is their problem.

No, it's not our obligation to fix the regime, and getting involved in trying to do so would be a very bad idea because of all the complexity. But you can't let use of chemical weapons go without punishment.

Quoting StuckInCA (Reply 92):
I just don't see any way you could get the American public, at this time, to buy into this conflict.

You're probably correct. Problem is that whether the public would go for it or not has nothing to do with whether or not it needs to be done.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlinecfcuq From Canada, joined Sep 2005, 712 posts, RR: 0
Reply 95, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 6923 times:

Why is it incumbent on the U.S. to take action in reply? ( country who used biological weapons against its own indigenous people by giving them small-pox infected blankets, knowing that they had no immunity ) ????
Barak is damned if he does, and damned if he doesn't.


User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21801 posts, RR: 55
Reply 96, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 6918 times:

Quoting cfcuq (Reply 95):
Why is it incumbent on the U.S. to take action in reply? ( country who used biological weapons against its own indigenous people by giving them small-pox infected blankets, knowing that they had no immunity ) ????

I don't get this argument. Yes, the US has done bad things in the past (and your example is way in the past) - those things are generally regarded as mistakes. And when you make a mistake once, that doesn't excuse making the same mistake again in the future. In fact, it's all the more reason not to.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineseb146 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 11765 posts, RR: 15
Reply 97, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 6916 times:

Quoting Mir (Reply 94):
We were told that, but we also knew (even at the time) that that was no certainty

Except when Rumsfeld told us WMDs were "in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south, and north somewhat". Then, just recently, denied he ever said that. Even though he said it on ABC to George Stephanopoulos.

Quoting cfcuq (Reply 95):
country who used biological weapons against its own indigenous people by giving them small-pox infected blankets

Don't forget all the chemical weapons used in Vietnam.



Life in the wall is a drag.
User currently offlinecfcuq From Canada, joined Sep 2005, 712 posts, RR: 0
Reply 98, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 6911 times:

C'mon, Saddams weapon of mass destruction was ... he was going to change the exchange rate for crude oil from the U.S. dollar to the Euro. Would have meant U.S. financial collapse.

User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21801 posts, RR: 55
Reply 99, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 6889 times:

Quoting seb146 (Reply 97):
Except when Rumsfeld told us WMDs were "in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south, and north somewhat". Then, just recently, denied he ever said that.

You're quoting me out of context. I said that while we had evidence that Iraq had WMDs, we had no evidence that Iraq was planning on using the WMDs that we thought they had - that was all hype on the part of the Bush White House. Knowing where they are (assuming that Rumsfeld knew what he was talking about - we now know that he didn't) does not equate to knowing that they are ready to be used.

Contrast that to the situation in Syria - we not only know that they have WMDs, we know that they have used them. It's not a stretch of the imagination to assume that they will be used again in the near future. If Iraq had been using WMDs back in 2003, even internally, there would have been very little opposition to the invasion, foreign or domestic.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineKiwiRob From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 7673 posts, RR: 4
Reply 100, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 6886 times:

Quoting seb146 (Reply 93):
Has anyone heard the chemical attack was made by rebels to get Assad out?

I agree with that theory, there is no upside to Assad using chemical weapons, but a huge upside for the rebels if they can use them and blame it on Assad.

Quoting Mir (Reply 94):
and there's a whole lot of evidence that Assad's regime was the one that did it.

Where is this evidence? All I've seen on the news is talking heads saying he did it, so far the UN hasn't said who is to blame, which leads me to think they know the truth but the truth isn't what many want it to be.


User currently offlineTheCommodore From Australia, joined Dec 2007, 2930 posts, RR: 8
Reply 101, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 6894 times:

Quoting L410Turbolet (Reply 73):
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.

And do you know otherwise ?

Man, you should really try living on the "other side" of the world, kinda gives one a whole new perspective on life. Especially when it comes to the ME.

A healthy perspective actually, of thinking outside the square, just for once !

Israel, has a very well known (international) record, of doing all sorts of Nasties, especially when it comes to neighbors, well you know who .....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HLdy-QrQ_vc

And....  

http://www.haaretz.com/news/israel-a...mbs-during-war-in-lebanon-1.203078

So why couldn't it be them ?

Enlighten us all



Flown 905,468 kms or 2.356 times to the moon, 1296 hrs, Longest flight 10,524 kms
User currently offlineAesma From France, joined Nov 2009, 6844 posts, RR: 12
Reply 102, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 6908 times:

Some posters here are saying that. Assad is saying that. The Russians are saying that.


New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21801 posts, RR: 55
Reply 103, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 6901 times:

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 100):
there is no upside to Assad using chemical weapons

Of course there is - if he thinks he can get away with it, it's a great way to terrorize his own people into submission. Which is all the more reason to not let him get away with it.

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 100):
Where is this evidence?

I'm not an intelligence agency - I don't have it personally. I read and listen to the news, same as you. But think about it from the US government's perspective (and the UK and French government's perspective, for that matter). They know that military action is going to be unpopular politically. They also know that the rebels aren't the best of people, and that associating with them is probably not a good thing to do. So you'd figure they'd be looking for any reason not to get involved (and the rebels being the one doing the gassing would be a very good reason). Yet they're still moving towards getting involved. That should tell you something.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineTheCommodore From Australia, joined Dec 2007, 2930 posts, RR: 8
Reply 104, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 6903 times:

Quoting Mir (Reply 103):
That should tell you something.

It does actually.....

That's history, has a habit of repeating itself, over and over again.

On that point alone, I'd stay the hell out of it !



Flown 905,468 kms or 2.356 times to the moon, 1296 hrs, Longest flight 10,524 kms
User currently offlineAesma From France, joined Nov 2009, 6844 posts, RR: 12
Reply 105, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 6896 times:

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 100):
I agree with that theory, there is no upside to Assad using chemical weapons,

You're forgetting that you're talking about a crazy man.



New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21801 posts, RR: 55
Reply 106, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 6900 times:

Quoting TheCommodore (Reply 104):
That's history, has a habit of repeating itself, over and over again.

Turning a blind eye to atrocities does seem to happen over and over again, yes. Might be a good idea to not do that quite so often.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlinemariner From New Zealand, joined Nov 2001, 25566 posts, RR: 86
Reply 107, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 6891 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting StuckInCA (Reply 54):
I was thinking after reading your post that I should add you to my "Respected Members" list (meaningless as that may be).

It isn't meaningless to me,  
Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 57):
I don't believe Assad actually used chemical weapons, they was no upside to his using them, but a pretty big downside

I think there's quite a lot of upside and I don't really see a downside.

Upside: He's scared the crap out of a lot rebel sympathisers. He faces only limited retaliation, he has at least fractured the UK/US relationship, he has certainly averted the possibility of the UK acting unilaterally and he's made David Cameron look like a twerp. France is still the wild card, but given the hoo-haa in the UK (and the US) the chances are that they won't actually try and take him out.

King of a Broken Country? The country is already broken, but he'd still be king.

Downside: He'll be regarded as a really nasty bloke?

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 68):
My 'best guess' is that Israel is. But, as far as I can see, no-one has said so yet?

I dislike some of the policies of the present Israeli government, and I think they have a capacity for mischief-making.

But if this was the best target they could find, my respect for their military capabilities goes down exponentially.

mariner



aeternum nauta
User currently onlinebennett123 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 7754 posts, RR: 3
Reply 108, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 6886 times:

The point is not, "is there an upside to him using them".

The question is "is there an upside in him using them when the UN Inspectors are in town"


User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21801 posts, RR: 55
Reply 109, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 6878 times:

Quoting bennett123 (Reply 108):
The point is not, "is there an upside to him using them".

The question is "is there an upside in him using them when the UN Inspectors are in town"

If he thinks he can get away with it, it doesn't really make a difference. Because judging by some of the reactions I've heard (including on this very thread), the UN could come out and say "yes, it was definitely the government and not the rebels" and people would still be arguing not to do anything about it.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13241 posts, RR: 77
Reply 110, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 6888 times:

Quoting Aesma (Reply 82):
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 Cameron trying to get his vote by explaining Obama's point of view, WTF ? Can't he think for himself ?

As for Obama, I'm more and more disappointed in him. Not intervening, I could understand, even if it would be a major loss of face. After all that war has been going on for a long time already with no intervention. But, for more than a week, saying one day yes, one day no, one day maybe, what the hell is that ?

You've sort of answered your own question, the UK is not a 'lapdog' for the US.
Wasn't over Vietnam, or Suez, or for a period Bosnia, isn't with EU trade disagreements, or to a point, with the Falklands.
So if France, as is likely, does go with the US over Syria, are they now the 'lapdog'?

Have you ever considered that more often than not however, the UK does actually agree with the US on many things?
France in the past few years has finally emerged from the habits of bloody minded Gaullism, which often went against the US and to a point the UK, just because they were the 'anglo-saxons' rather than any issues at hand.

Have you also considered that the US is also scarred by the whole Iraq mess, that this President has long stated that there will not be a repeat of the falsehoods that led to Iraq?
So he has to be as sure as possible that this time the intel is a certain as it can be (it's never 100%), this means waiting until you are as sure as you can reasonably be.

I not sure you understand what happened in the House Of Commons last thursday, Cameron could have come back with another motion on Syria, with the UN mission done there he might well have got enough support for action.
That's what the Opposition were asking for, because Labour Leader Ed Miliband also has defined himself as soneone who would not do another Iraq, it's part of the reason he got the job.
He wasn't an MP in 2003 but many of his party never forgave Blair over Iraq, never forgave that so many of his MP's also voted against him then, he needed Tory votes to win.

Milliband did support Cameron over Libya, since the work was done at the UN first, Cameron however this time has 30 of his own MP's rebelling over Syria, if he risked coming back with another motion on military action and lost again, his leadership, his time as PM, might be seriously threatened.
You cannot be a PM for long if you cannot win votes in the Commons, this would make a vote of no confidence in the government possible.

Cameron, who just days ago, was seen as having calmed and again commanded, his fractious party, now cuts a diminished figure.
Also remember that this is the first UK Coalition government since WW2, which makes it not only more difficult for him to always get his way, means that many of his own MP's blame him for not winning outright in 2010 and will not easily forgive.
They hate the Lib Dems, these MP's have never got the idea of being in a coalition around their heads, some of them seem not to realise that they did not win in 2010.

The RAF sent 6 Typhoons to Cyprus, to deter any Syrian attack there, since the GCHQ base there will still be monitoring Syria, still be sharing their into with the NSA.
UK bases in the Far East in the 1960's did the same for the US in Vietnam, the UK refused to be directly militarily involved there but did not oppose the US diplomatically, as France did with Iraq in 2003.


User currently offlineMortyman From Norway, joined Aug 2006, 4055 posts, RR: 1
Reply 111, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 6842 times:

Russian ex officer says Syria has the capabilities to shoot Down US missiles With it's S-300 system

- The Syrian defense "may well be in possession of" the highly advanced Russian anti-aircraft system S-300, a system that allows President Bashar al-Assad's military able to shoot down even American cruise missiles.

In Norwegian:

http://www.aftenposten.no/nyheter/ur...raketter-7295892.html#.UiHAjEg4Vpg


User currently offlineKiwiRob From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 7673 posts, RR: 4
Reply 112, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 6807 times:

Quoting Aesma (Reply 105):
You're forgetting that you're talking about a crazy man.

So you're a physiologist who has had sessions with him? I don't see him as being much different from any other middle eastern leader, at least he isn't religious which is a plus point in my book.


User currently offlineImperialEagle From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 2630 posts, RR: 23
Reply 113, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 6774 times:

Quoting solarflyer22 (Reply 87):
No not thrilled but not losing any sleep over it.

A statement made out of ignorance. Take a look at the Jerusalem Post now and then.

Quoting BestWestern (Reply 90):
The media also want a war - keeps them busy.

Look at the North Korea - mega serious on CNN till the Boston bombings - then instantly forgotten about.

So was it really serious, or just hyped for media eyeballs?

Yes. For weeks all the mainstream media could show us was the carnage in Egypt. Suddenly, when they were going to release Mubarak and the " Muslim Brotherhood" burned-down 39 Christian Churches--------silence. You are right----it's ALL about the $$$$$$$$.
Quoting solarflyer22 (Reply 91):
I think you are confusing an intelligent argument with internet trolls.

Of which this blog has no shortage of. Especially the seafaring one from Australia.

Quoting Mir (Reply 94):
you can't let use of chemical weapons go without punishment.

Yes, yet where were Kerry and Obama when Saddam gassed a million? What about all those gassed in the Eastern Congo? There sure is a lot of hipocracy going on!

[Edited 2013-08-31 06:24:18]


"If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough!"
User currently offlineBoeing717200 From United States of America, joined Jan 2013, 930 posts, RR: 0
Reply 114, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 6757 times:

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 61):
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 mix of them). We don´t know what was used to deploy these chemicals, there are no pictures of e.g. the remains of CW shells or rockets (which, since they are usually quite large, but only contain a small bursting charge for distributing the agent, should be quite visible).

If the videos are accurate, it's most likely a nerve agent. Delivery isn't that complicated. Could be something as simple as a smoke grande being thrown into a busy mall. Just depends upon how evolved the program is or if we're just dealing with old leftovers. This is a rock and hard place thing. I'm of the mindset anymore of let them all rot. You can't help someone who doesn't want your help and your not going to change their hearts and minds. That was set thousands of years ago. I am repulsed by a country that would use such weapons on their own, or anyone for that matter. It doesn't get more screwed up than this.

Quoting seb146 (Reply 93):

Has anyone heard the chemical attack was made by rebels to get Assad out? I heard that theory a couple of times over the past few days but I don't know where to start with research for it.

I think this is a larger problem with Syria. We don't know who has what and who is doing what. Whether people think Saddam had weapons or not will be argued forever, but we did know that he was the one responsible for using WMD on his people. In Syria... Who the hell knows.

[Edited 2013-08-31 06:27:23]

User currently offlinerfields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 7607 posts, RR: 32
Reply 115, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 6742 times:

Quoting BestWestern (Reply 85):
Wall to wall propoganda on CNN

The International version must be different than the domestic US version. Because I'm seeing a lot of stories on CNN about (1) the lack of any real ability to 'hurt' the Syrian government without putting troops on the ground; and (2) all the options the US has would be horribly expensive - either in dollars for a cruise missile only attack which really would not do any real damage, or US military lives in any kind of manned attack.

There are also stories about a lack of strong support for an attack among the Congress, with many members of Congress saying there is no 'upside' to an attack, especially without a united international backing for an attack.

Quoting seb146 (Reply 93):
Has anyone heard the chemical attack was made by rebels to get Assad out?

Yes, it was identified early as propaganda from the Syrian government/ Russia/ China - trying to deflect blame from the government. The evidence on the ground clearly shows the government as the source of the chemical weapons. Whether or not some rogue elements in the military committed the attack without approval of their higher commanders has not been determined - but is unlikely given their command structure.


User currently offlineNAV20 From Australia, joined exactly 11 years ago today! , 9909 posts, RR: 36
Reply 116, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 6734 times:

"The US has given its clearest signal yet that it is planning what President Obama has called a "limited, narrow" military attack on Syria."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-23906227

Must admit that I find the current situation utterly bizarre. The President has no business to be proposing a 'limited, narrow' operation. Military operations cost lives, often including civilian lives. It follows that world leaders should not mount operations for mere 'face-saving' purposes; they should be planned and organised so that they 'end' confrontations, one way or the other.

Mr. President - please either start planning and preparing a comprehensive 'all arms' operation that will put Assad and Co. out of business for good - or do nothing. On NO account should you just mount a minor and indecisive operation (what the generals used to call a 'demonstration') that will cost lives (probably mostly innocent civilian lives) while doing nothing at all to resolve the current dispute.



"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
User currently offlineBoeing717200 From United States of America, joined Jan 2013, 930 posts, RR: 0
Reply 117, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 6724 times:

There is no such thing as limited and narrow. The correct term is disaster. If we just bomb some crap and walk away, it's going to be a damn mess.

User currently onlineStuckInCA From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 1991 posts, RR: 0
Reply 118, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 6715 times:

Quoting Mir (Reply 94):
You're probably correct. Problem is that whether the public would go for it or not has nothing to do with whether or not it needs to be done.

I think it has an awful lot to do with it.

And if something has to be done, it doesn't have to be done by the US. Certainly not alone (or with France).


User currently offlineFlighty From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 8709 posts, RR: 3
Reply 119, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 6715 times:

Quoting flymia (Reply 77):

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

Agreed. But also, if the Pentagon is unwilling to move a finger without additional funding (over $1T) there needs to be a massive chainsaw approach to Pentagon base-level funding and entitlements, as well.

There are many "fully handicapped" Pentagon retirees who work full time and are in their 30s-40s. This is going to mean the Pentagon is no longer a security organization, but a political one.


User currently offlinepar13del From Bahamas, joined Dec 2005, 7498 posts, RR: 8
Reply 120, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 6695 times:

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 116):

Mr. President - please either start planning and preparing a comprehensive 'all arms' operation that will put Assad and Co. out of business for good - or do nothing.

Therein lies the problem, you offer a similar half solution, without plans for who the new government will be, or the colonial structure to be put in place or turning it over to the UN or some third party such military action is no different than the limited narrow approach they are presently taking.

The big issue is who actually wants to run Syria, since no one does all options are therefore limited and narrow in scope.


User currently offlinesolarflyer22 From US Minor Outlying Islands, joined Nov 2009, 1113 posts, RR: 0
Reply 121, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 6668 times:

Quoting seb146 (Reply 93):
Has anyone heard the chemical attack was made by rebels to get Assad out? I heard that theory a couple of times over the past few days but I don't know where to start with research for it.

Here is the State Department's official release on the subject with some light analysis:

http://www.cnn.com/interactive/2013/...ria-documents/index.html?hpt=hp_t1

The rumor is NSA picked up a phone call while they were making preparations (Assad's forces). Of course its not been released so basically you either take their word for it or not. While the timing doesn't make sense, remember its been 2 years of conflict and desperation on either side must be sitting in.

Quoting ImperialEagle (Reply 113):
A statement made out of ignorance. Take a look at the Jerusalem Post now and then.

I just looked at JPOST actually. Its hardly out of ignorance. Its the inverse of being of extremely well informed about the political nature of certain nation states. .


User currently offlineBoeing717200 From United States of America, joined Jan 2013, 930 posts, RR: 0
Reply 122, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 6642 times:

Quoting Flighty (Reply 119):

There are many "fully handicapped" Pentagon retirees who work full time and are in their 30s-40s. This is going to mean the Pentagon is no longer a security organization, but a political one.

To be fair, getting a Pentagon post in the military has always meant you were a good politician.

Quoting solarflyer22 (Reply 121):
The rumor is NSA picked up a phone call while they were making preparations (Assad's forces). Of course its not been released so basically you either take their word for it or not. While the timing doesn't make sense, remember its been 2 years of conflict and desperation on either side must be sitting in.

At least there is some level of clarity then. Still don't see how one gets to a win on this. Then there's Iran threading to start a bunch of crap if we go in. Could be all kinds of mess. Usually Iran is all talk, but with all the instability, they may not bluff this time. They might not do much, but it might be enough to hurt a lot of civilians.


User currently offlineseb146 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 11765 posts, RR: 15
Reply 123, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 6632 times:

Quoting Mir (Reply 99):
Knowing where they are (assuming that Rumsfeld knew what he was talking about - we now know that he didn't) does not equate to knowing that they are ready to be used.

And, from Rumsfeld's comments, the story was hyped up to "smoking gun is a mushroom cloud" and that because he has them, he will use them.

Military action in Syria seems to be unpopular with many anyway.



Life in the wall is a drag.
User currently offlineStabilator From United States of America, joined Nov 2010, 720 posts, RR: 0
Reply 124, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 6635 times:

Anyone else afraid that the administration will try to justify the NSA's existence if they learned Assad was the one who ordered the attack through their surveillance methods?  


So we beat on against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.
User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 14130 posts, RR: 62
Reply 125, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 6604 times:

Quoting par13del (Reply 120):
Quoting NAV20 (Reply 116):

Mr. President - please either start planning and preparing a comprehensive 'all arms' operation that will put Assad and Co. out of business for good - or do nothing.

Therein lies the problem, you offer a similar half solution, without plans for who the new government will be, or the colonial structure to be put in place or turning it over to the UN or some third party such military action is no different than the limited narrow approach they are presently taking.

The big issue is who actually wants to run Syria, since no one does all options are therefore limited and narrow in scope.

Here is a description of the main rebel factions in this civil war (translated from an article in this week´s German "Zeit" weekly):

National Coalition of the Syrian Opposition

This confederation of the most important Syrian opposition groups is the result of external pressure. Arabian Gulf states, Americans and Europeans made a multitude of small opposition groups join forces as a National Coalition in November 2012. Their headquarters are in Istanbul. Their main problem is to keep the very different factions together:
the Syrian National council, the local coordination committees in Syria, Sunni and Christian groups, the Muslim Brothers and respected members of the secular opposition in Damaskus. Through pressure of the major powers the National Coalition has formed a transitional government, but this has no real backing within Syria.


Muslim Brothers

Whoever declared himself to be a Muslim Brother had no security in Syria since 30 years. Since the brutal breakdown of the islamist uprising in Hama in 1982 the Muslim Brothers are threatened in Syria by capital punishment. Even today the Muslim Brothers are mostly active in exile. Their chairman lives in Istanbul, many members are similarly living in Turkey or in Europe. The Muslim Brothers are, together with Christians and seculars, part of the National Coalition and used to be very influential in it. But recently Saudi Arabia cut back their influence. The Muslim Brothers consider the radical Islamist combat groups as enemies. They don´t have militias of their own.

The Kurds

Many of the 2.5 million Syrian Kurds are afraid for their lives, because their regions are being fought in.
The basic front lines are like this:
The strongest Kurdish militias are under the command of the PYD, a branch of the Turkish Kurdish Worker´s Party PKK.The PYD fights for the Kurds in the regions controlled by it, but mainly it fights for itself.
Their militias regularly have fights with the Free Syrian Army (FSA). The main battle runs between the PYD and the Al Qaeda extremists in eastern Syria near the cities of Kamishili and Hassake. During this war many Kurds are supporting the PYD. The outcome of the fight PYD vs. Al Qaeda is essential for the Kurds in eastern Syria.

Free Syrian Army

The FSA was founded in 2010 as a unit of deserters of the Syrian Army. Commander at founding, Riad Asaad, said back then that their purpose would be the protection of the civilian population. First ruler Basha al-Assad should be toppled, then the FSA should, as the core of the new Syrian Armed Forces, protect the political process with military means. They demanded quite early the creation of a no fly zone, so that they could create a liberated zone.
The FSA grew fast, but changed as well: Islamist voices became stronger and the FSA was accused of having committed attrocities. Today the FSA is made up of about 10,000 combattants, some of whom cooperate with the Islamists and some who fight them. The FSA consists almost exclusively of Syrian Arabs.

Ahrar al-Sham / Suqur al-Sham

During May 2011 a row of political prisoners were released during an amnesty by the Syrian regime. Among them were several Islamist hardliners, who joined up end of 2011 to create the Harakat Ahrar al-Sham, the "Movement of Free Syrians". With about 20,000 fighters and good equipment they became one of the most powerful factions in the civil war and recently gained a lot of support. The "Free Syrians" want an Islamist state, but in contrast to Al Qaeda they are willing to accept wishes of the population. The militia Suqur al-Sham, the "Falcons of Syria" have a similar profile and also have an estimated number of 10,000 fighters.

Djabbat al-Nusra

The jihadist group Djabat al-Nusra thinks in religious categories, not in political ones. The "Front" was founded in 2012, with a clearly jihadist profile. By toppling Assad the DN wants to create the basics of a panislamic caliphate. their methods are terrorist bombs, suicide attacks and the killings of non-believers, but also regular battle combat.
The DN has about 10,000 fighters, many of them foreigners. DN commander Abu Mohammad al-Jaulani put his group under the command of Al Qaeda chief Aiman al-Sawahiri. Even though they often cooperate with other groups, they are not considered as political partners. They are a big problem for the future of the whole region.


Confusing, isn´t it?

Jan


User currently offlineAcheron From Spain, joined Sep 2005, 1698 posts, RR: 2
Reply 126, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 6573 times:

Enjoy your new jihadi buddys, US of A. May they never come back to bite you in the ass...again...

User currently offlinepar13del From Bahamas, joined Dec 2005, 7498 posts, RR: 8
Reply 127, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks ago) and read 6538 times:

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 125):
Confusing, isn´t it?

Nah, they are all locals, every nation has local factions looking for power, in this case they have started a civil war which it appears they cannot win without external assistance, they are the potential rulers - direct or in-direct - we need to worry about.


User currently offlineDreadnought From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 8920 posts, RR: 24
Reply 128, posted (1 year 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 6485 times:

Quoting StuckInCA (Reply 118):

And if something has to be done, it doesn't have to be done by the US. Certainly not alone (or with France).

Liberals enjoyed making fun of GWB, saying that he had gone rogue on Iraq, and the alliance of 40 countries (Great Britain, Australia, Spain, Italy, Poland, and 16 members of the NATO alliance, as well as Japan and South Korea. In Europe, France and Germany were the only large-scale countries that sat the war out, with 12 of the 25 members of the European Union represented.) was meaningless. GWB also had authorizations (granted - a bit ambiguous, but arguably valid nonetheless) from Congress and the UN.

Obama appears to have only one ally, no UN authorization whatsoever, and stands little chance of getting congressional approval, given that most Americans understand that there are no good guys in Syria. Why the hell would we want to get involved in a 5-way civil war, with all sides acting like savages.

Screw 'em, let them fight it out.



Veni Vidi Castratavi Illegitimos
User currently offlineStabilator From United States of America, joined Nov 2010, 720 posts, RR: 0
Reply 129, posted (1 year 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 6449 times:

It's a damn mess. GB is sitting this one out, and resolutions will be blocked in the UN by Russia and Co.

If the rest of the world doesn't care enough to intervene with military operations, why should we?



So we beat on against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.
User currently offlinerfields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 7607 posts, RR: 32
Reply 130, posted (1 year 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 6424 times:

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 128):
stands little chance of getting congressional approval,

Congress will have to give him approval in two weeks - or the Republicans will hand the Democrats a excellent campaign issue for the 2014 mid-year elections and the presidential race 2016.

But by Obama stalling the decision until Congress comes back on Sept 9 - the 'urgency' will pass and nothing will happen until the next chemical attack.


User currently offlinepar13del From Bahamas, joined Dec 2005, 7498 posts, RR: 8
Reply 131, posted (1 year 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 6412 times:

Quoting Stabilator (Reply 129):
and resolutions will be blocked in the UN by Russia and Co.

In the security council yes, but the majority of nations may pass a resolution in the general assembly, no teeth but moral outrage / justification. The US is not hoping for SC approval, but general assembly approval should be much easier, and since the bulk of them will only be giving moral support and no resources they will be quick to vote.


User currently offlineStabilator From United States of America, joined Nov 2010, 720 posts, RR: 0
Reply 132, posted (1 year 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 6381 times:

Quoting par13del (Reply 131):
In the security council yes, but the majority of nations may pass a resolution in the general assembly, no teeth but moral outrage / justification. The US is not hoping for SC approval, but general assembly approval should be much easier, and since the bulk of them will only be giving moral support and no resources they will be quick to vote.

Thanks for outlining that. Didn't know there were multiple pieces to the UN (I thought every country fell under the SC banner)



So we beat on against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.
User currently offline11Bravo From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 1722 posts, RR: 10
Reply 133, posted (1 year 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 6365 times:

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 128):
Screw 'em, let them fight it out.

Essentially you are right. This is a case, like Iraq, where I do not believe the national interests of the United States are at risk. It is horrible situation for the Syrian people, but they they must solve their own problems. The US has wasted too many American lives and spent too much money trying to "fix" problems in the Middle East. Enough



WhaleJets Rule!
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 20242 posts, RR: 59
Reply 134, posted (1 year 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 6360 times:

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 128):
Obama appears to have only one ally, no UN authorization whatsoever, and stands little chance of getting congressional approval, given that most Americans understand that there are no good guys in Syria.

And, surprise surprise, he is going to ask for congressional approval. I am very happy with him today. You would be, too, if you could see past his political party.

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 130):
Congress will have to give him approval in two weeks - or the Republicans will hand the Democrats a excellent campaign issue for the 2014 mid-year elections and the presidential race 2016.

You know what? For once, I'm not entirely sure this is a partisan issue. It seems to be split across the political spectrum and generally, I get the sense that the balance of opinions are not in favor.

How's this for nonpartisan: Dreadnought and I agree (although I might have worded it differently   ). This issue just isn't split down the usual political lines.

I also understand and respect those who do want to intrude, including Mr. Obama. The use of chemical weapons against your own civilians is one of the most heinous crimes that can be committed and those responsible should be brought to justice. But that isn't going to be achieved by anything short of full-scale invasion and nobody reasonable wants to do that.

As for Mr. Obama, it's a brilliant move on his part. He's just punted responsibility to Congress, who asked him for that responsibility, and now he has put whatever happens on them. He will either graciously admit that he was wrong (that would be interesting, but I bed he'd do it) or he will get to play the "I told you so" song.

As for me, it means that I get a say. I'm going to write my reps and tell them I that I oppose action. Whether you support or oppose action, I hope you will join me in contacting your reps and senators and sharing your opinion.


User currently offlineTheCol From Canada, joined Jan 2007, 2039 posts, RR: 6
Reply 135, posted (1 year 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 6330 times:

Like I said before, we, the West, have 2 options:

1. Sit around and wait until Hezbollah, Al-Qaeda, or some other jihadist group finds a way to smuggle chemical weapons out of Syria and attacks Israel, Europe, or North America.

2. Seek and destroy the stockpiles that are known to exist before they fall into the wrong hands.

I think it's safe to say that the civil war in Syria can go either way at this point. The problem is that we're in a catch 22 situation here. The number of Syrian Regulars is dwindling, so Assad will need Hezbollah to do more and more heavy lifting if he wants to drive the rebels out. That will increase the likelihood of Hezbollah gaining access to the stockpiles of chemical weapons that Assad has on hand. If the rebels end up gaining more ground, that also increases the likelihood of various jihadist groups in the rebel camp capturing chemical weapons from the Assad regime. The fact that we aren't 100% sure about who's actually using chemical weapons is even more justification to immediately eliminate the stockpiles that are known to exist. Yes, a military strike will get messy and it's likely there will be civilian casualties within Syria. The question you need to ask yourselves now: is the risk of proliferation high enough to justify the cost?

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 68):

That makes absolutely no sense. Let's look at the facts:

- Syrian air defenses are more sophisticated than those of Lebanon. The IDF can't just fly into Syrian airspace and attack random targets without being detected. IDF electronic countermeasures aren't subtle either. They can get in and out just fine, but it's not hard to guess who it was. If the IDF did attack Syria, Assad would be banging his drum pretty hard right now.
- Syrian military aircraft attack civilians on a daily basis
- Incendiary weapons are commonly stockpiled by armed forces in the region. Syria will have them on hand and the means to deploy them.
- Israel won't get involved because they know the whole region will go nuts.

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 72):
Maybe I am a bit 'obsessed'

More like extremely paranoid.



No matter how random things may appear, there's always a plan.
User currently onlineStuckInCA From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 1991 posts, RR: 0
Reply 136, posted (1 year 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 6316 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 134):
As for Mr. Obama, it's a brilliant move on his part. He's just punted responsibility to Congress, who asked him for that responsibility, and now he has put whatever happens on them. He will either graciously admit that he was wrong (that would be interesting, but I bed he'd do it) or he will get to play the "I told you so" song

The thing is, the same people (including right here on Anet) who decry him now for considering action will decry him if he doesn't do it. There's no way for him to win on this issue - or with a significant portion of the American population. No matter the decisions made.


User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21801 posts, RR: 55
Reply 137, posted (1 year 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 6301 times:

Quoting ImperialEagle (Reply 113):
Yes, yet where were Kerry and Obama when Saddam gassed a million?

Not in office. Are you seriously suggesting that Obama is a hypocrite for not doing anything about Saddam gassing people back before he had even gone into politics? Come on.

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 116):
The President has no business to be proposing a 'limited, narrow' operation. Military operations cost lives, often including civilian lives. It follows that world leaders should not mount operations for mere 'face-saving' purposes; they should be planned and organised so that they 'end' confrontations, one way or the other.

   I don't believe in doing operations just for the hell of it - they need to have some sort of specific strategic goal in mind (get rid of the chemical weapons or their deployment systems, etc.). I don't think you need to end the confrontation, but you at least need to end a certain aspect of them. If you can't, or aren't willing to, do that, then it's not worth the effort.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineseb146 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 11765 posts, RR: 15
Reply 138, posted (1 year 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 6258 times:

I wonder how many people are for a military strike but are against health care for all in the United States?


Life in the wall is a drag.
User currently offlineltbewr From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 13170 posts, RR: 15
Reply 139, posted (1 year 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 6243 times:

Quoting StuckInCA (Reply 136):
Quoting DocLightning (Reply 134):As for Mr. Obama, it's a brilliant move on his part. He's just punted responsibility to Congress, who asked him for that responsibility, and now he has put whatever happens on them. He will either graciously admit that he was wrong (that would be interesting, but I bed he'd do it) or he will get to play the "I told you so" songThe thing is, the same people (including right here on Anet) who decry him now for considering action will decry him if he doesn't do it. There's no way for him to win on this issue - or with a significant portion of the American population. No matter the decisions made.

I suspect there are several reasons for going to Congress for approval.

The delay until at least Sept. 9th, gets him past the Jewish High Holy Days and any attack would need Israel able to give full attention.
It would also likely means nothing until past 9/11, to do any action on or about that date would surly look bad to the world, that we were still seeking massive vengeance for what happened in the USA that day in 2001 and last year in Libya.
More time to get more intel as to possible target sites, who did the releases of the chemical weapons and how much damage was done as well as better prepare our military forces.
It would placate Congress who he needs, especially the Republicans in a good mood, with a massive budget fight coming up.
It might mean more time to use the media to build up support.
While the War Powers Act allows the President to unilaterally use military action, it can only be done if there is an attack on American interests or our military, something not a situation with Syria which would mean having to go to Congress by law. This shows his 'Constitutional' knowledge.
It could also see if any further CW attacks, perhaps some time may mean the forces using the chemical weapons won't do so any more due to their bad attention and fears of terrorist attacks they may bring so less need to attack from their use.
Any attack would likely mean some retaliation vs. the USA, which means even more security costs we cannot afford in money or personal rights.


User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 14130 posts, RR: 62
Reply 140, posted (1 year 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 6221 times:

Quoting TheCol (Reply 135):
2. Seek and destroy the stockpiles that are known to exist before they fall into the wrong hands.

I have been following the discussion on the inofficial British Army forum closely, where there are plenty of people with better knowledge about this matter than me. It seems that the CW has been dispersed long ago from the peacetime storage places.

Quoting Mir (Reply 137):

I don't believe in doing operations just for the hell of it - they need to have some sort of specific strategic goal in mind (get rid of the chemical weapons or their deployment systems, etc.). I don't think you need to end the confrontation, but you at least need to end a certain aspect of them. If you can't, or aren't willing to, do that, then it's not worth the effort.

This is also what the ritish soldiers complain about: A total lack of objectives and follow through planning.
They want definite proof about who used the chemical weapons, especially with Bush´s WMD hoax about Iraq in mind.
As for the recent use of CW they have four options:

1) Officially ordered through Assad´s chain of command
2) CW intentionally used by a rogue unit in Assad´s forces without official order.
3) Accidental use through logistics f#ckup (wrong shells delivered to an artillery unit and inexperienced gunnners didn´t
identify the correct type of shell, thinking them to be HE shells and then wondering about the small explosions).
4) Deliberate use of captured stock by fanatical rebel units on their own population to force the US (and the rest of the
West) to get involved on their side.

None of these scenarios can at the moment been officially and independently proven. The British soldiers on the forum are very reluctant to trust American sources due to Bush´s Iraqi "Smoking gun" hoax.

Against scenario #1 speaks that Assad´s troops are advancing and, with UN inspectors in the country, he would have too much to lose.

Jan


User currently offlinepar13del From Bahamas, joined Dec 2005, 7498 posts, RR: 8
Reply 141, posted (1 year 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 6197 times:

Quoting Stabilator (Reply 132):
Thanks for outlining that. Didn't know there were multiple pieces to the UN (I thought every country fell under the SC banner)

Every country does, but the SC cannot pass resolutions without the consent of the permanent sitting members like the US, UK, Russia, China, France in essence the first members of the nuclear club, they have an absolute veto.
The general assembly however can pass resolutions based on a majority vote which cannot be vetoed, those resolutions without the support of the SC do not carry much teeth.


User currently offlinepar13del From Bahamas, joined Dec 2005, 7498 posts, RR: 8
Reply 142, posted (1 year 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 6190 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 134):
I'm going to write my reps and tell them I that I oppose action. Whether you support or oppose action, I hope you will join me in contacting your reps and senators and sharing your opinion.

If I may offer a suggestion, let your representative know that you support all manner of actions not military.
1. Withdraw all dipolmatic and economic support of anything Syria - just in case rebel influence is involved in gasing
2. Set a time frame on the lack of contact say 3 or 5 years - let both houses pass and Obama sign policy
3. Ban travel to Syria by US citizens - including those who have technically illegal dual citizenship
4. Increase scrutiny on anyone entering the US with stamps in passport from visiting Syria
5. Let the UN do what they want but set the above for the US as a country irrespective of what the UN decides

Quoting TheCol (Reply 135):
- Israel won't get involved because they know the whole region will go nuts.

Israel is the only nation who has the power to stop the civil war in as short a space of time as possible. - my opinion -.
Is there anyone who seriously believes that if Israel invades Syria to eliminate stockpiles of chemical weapons that every single government and opposition fighter presently fighting against each other will not abandon their differences to oppose the Israeli invasion?


User currently offlineDreadnought From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 8920 posts, RR: 24
Reply 143, posted (1 year 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 6177 times:

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 130):
Congress will have to give him approval in two weeks - or the Republicans will hand the Democrats a excellent campaign issue for the 2014 mid-year elections and the presidential race 2016.

Either way, that happens. That's his goal.

Obama doesn't give a damn about the Syrians. He knows perfectly well that the public is very much against intervening in Syria, as are the Republicans.

A) There are no good guys in Syria. It's a 5-way civil war, all of whom act like barbarians.
B) There are no direct American interests involved.

Obama is hoping that the Republicans block any authorization for the use of force, even so much as air raids. That way, in 2014 and 2016, Dems can point to Syria and an tell people "It's the Republican's fault - we wanted to put a stop to it and the GOP would not let us." I think that is his hoped-for endgame.

If the Republicans are smart, they will pass a resolution declaring that, short of a declaration of war and the limitations of the War Powers Act, the use of force is part of foreign policy and is up to the president. Congress will back him up whatever he decides to do (within reason), but it is the President's decision.

Throw the decision back to Obama. It gives him the freedom to act (if he really is interested in intervening - which I doubt), and does not allow Dems to use it for political purposes.



Veni Vidi Castratavi Illegitimos
User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21801 posts, RR: 55
Reply 144, posted (1 year 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 6166 times:

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 143):
If the Republicans are smart, they will pass a resolution declaring that, short of a declaration of war and the limitations of the War Powers Act, the use of force is part of foreign policy and is up to the president.

So we need to wait for Congress to get back in session just for them to tell us what we already know? If the Republicans are going to demand input from Congress, then I expect input from Congress - either authorize the use of force or don't, but don't just throw your hands up and walk away from the table.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineAyostoLeon From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 145, posted (1 year 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 6154 times:

A question that I asked in the other thread is "Qui Bono?" I was puzzled by the fact that the alleged use of chemical or biological weapons had been deployed while UN Inspectors are in the country and by the fact that Syria had requested the UN to investigate some additional sites where they claim rebel forces had used such weapons. It makes no sense for Assad to carry out attacks under the noses of those sent to investigate, all the while denying that the the Syrian Army has carried out any at all.

I am also interested by the willingness to believe the US intelligence reports purely on the word of those who publish highly redacted reports while totally discounting reports from Russia. It is possible that Russia produced a tainted report: is it not also possible that the US could do the same? We know from past experience that intelligence reports can be "sexed up" to provide a justification for action.

I am further interested by Kerry's claim, as reported in both the Australian and British press, that whatever the UN Inspectors come up with is "discredited". That judgement was made before the UN team had actually taken any sample and suggests that the US had already made up its mind and was not all that bothered about evidence. I do note that the UN's brief is not to apportion blame but simply to determine whether chemical or biological weapons were deployed and, if so what type.This seems to have deliberately limited its scope. Perhaps that was a compromise to prevent the truth emerging.

As I asked at the very beginning: qui bono? One thing is certain. Few countries, if any, have waged war against another country simply to benefit the citizens of the countrry being invaded. Countries engage in war to advance their own interests, not those of others.


User currently offlinerfields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 7607 posts, RR: 32
Reply 146, posted (1 year 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 6142 times:

The are two War Powers Acts - one passed in 1941 and another in 1942 - both giving the President (FDR) broad power to conduct the war and suspend the rights (civil, personal and property) of US citizens and nationals due to the emergency.

There was a War Powers Resolution passed in 1973. It was purposely crafted to not be a law but a policy.

The Resolution only requires that the President inform Congress with 48 hours after forces are committed, and requires that forces remain in action no more than 60 days, with an additional 30 day withdrawal period.

Quoting ltbewr (Reply 139):
While the War Powers Act allows the President to unilaterally use military action, it can only be done if there is an attack on American interests or our military, something not a situation with Syria which would mean having to go to Congress by law. This shows his 'Constitutional' knowledge.

Many of the best constitutional authorities over the years has said over and over that the War Powers Act is unconstitutional because it violates the separation of powers principle. However, both political parties have been very careful to ensure that the War Powers Resolution never comes to a court case.

Both parties have an interest in having the Resolution in 'force' when they are not in the White House.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 143):
If the Republicans are smart, they will pass a resolution declaring that, short of a declaration of war and the limitations of the War Powers Act, the use of force is part of foreign policy and is up to the president.

The War Powers Act came about to prevent such a policy - well excessive use of Executive Privilege for such a policy. Yet it has never stopped any President for acting unilaterally without consulting Congress before committing troops.

Then of course there is the definition of consulting Congress. Does the President have to ensure the entire Congress is briefed, or does informing only the leaders of the House and Senate count?

Such issues have never been defined - purposely.


User currently offlineImperialEagle From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 2630 posts, RR: 23
Reply 147, posted (1 year 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 6145 times:

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 143):
Throw the decision back to Obama. It gives him the freedom to act (if he really is interested in intervening - which I doubt), and does not allow Dems to use it for political purposes.

Yes. Obama is all about politics.

Quoting AyostoLeon (Reply 145):
It is possible that Russia produced a tainted report: is it not also possible that the US could do the same? We kn

Yes. Just like the media. Can't trust anyone.

Quoting AyostoLeon (Reply 145):
I am further interested by Kerry's claim, as reported in both the Australian and British press, that whatever the UN Inspectors come up with is "discredited". That judgement was made before the UN team had actually taken any sample and suggests that the US had already made up its mind and was not all that bothered about evidence.
Quoting AyostoLeon (Reply 145):
Countries engage in war to advance their own interests, not those of others.

It's all about the politics. Obama and his administration have proven over and over again that they are inept at foreign policy. No country believes a word he says anymore because they have seen him change his position so many times. He won't stand on his word. Dangerous.
AND isn't it interesting that our "mainstream media" doesn't hold his feet to the fire on it. Another double-standard.
The media is supposed to champion the cause of "We the People" NOT the the big monied politicians. No guts.



"If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough!"
User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21801 posts, RR: 55
Reply 148, posted (1 year 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 6141 times:

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 140):
As for the recent use of CW they have four options:

1) Officially ordered through Assad´s chain of command
2) CW intentionally used by a rogue unit in Assad´s forces without official order.
3) Accidental use through logistics f#ckup (wrong shells delivered to an artillery unit and inexperienced gunnners didn´t
identify the correct type of shell, thinking them to be HE shells and then wondering about the small explosions).
4) Deliberate use of captured stock by fanatical rebel units on their own population to force the US (and the rest of the
West) to get involved on their side.

Let's say it is 2 or 3. The logical thing for the Assad government to do would be to say so and either punish the rogue unit (which might or might not have rebel infiltrators in it) or punish those responsible for not securing the weapons properly. Since that hasn't happened, one of two conclusions can be drawn: either those scenarios didn't happen, or the Assad government just doesn't care that it can't control its WMD supplies properly. And I don't view that latter option as much different from actually ordering the strike in terms of the danger it presents to the people and to the region (in fact, it might even be more dangerous).

Quoting AyostoLeon (Reply 145):
It makes no sense for Assad to carry out attacks under the noses of those sent to investigate, all the while denying that the the Syrian Army has carried out any at all.

Unless he were doing it to make a point, the point being that he can do whatever the hell he wants and nobody is going to challenge him on it.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineImperialEagle From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 2630 posts, RR: 23
Reply 149, posted (1 year 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 6131 times:

Quoting Mir (Reply 148):
Since that hasn't happened, one of two conclusions can be drawn: either those scenarios didn't happen, or the Assad government just doesn't care that it can't control its WMD supplies properly. And I don't view that latter option as much different from actually ordering the strike in terms of the danger it presents to the people and to the region (in fact, it might even be more dangerous).

But what if Assad really is no longer pulling the strings and just appears to be? Out of desperation could he have not already turned it over to Iran (Hezbollah), or Russia? Or perhaps the rebels have overtaken stocks of chemical weapons already and Assad's forces can't get to them. In which case Assad no longer has any control over the situation. What if all the in-fighting amongst the rebels is just a diversion for one or the other of those groups to snatch-up caches of weapons?



"If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough!"
User currently offlineAyostoLeon From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 150, posted (1 year 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 6122 times:

Quoting Mir (Reply 148):

Sorry but the quote function doesn't appear to work on my tablet device but I wish to further examine why Assad would think that he can get away with chemical weapons attacks under the noses of the UN Inspectors.

Maybe, maybe not. Assad would surely be aware that US did invade Afghanistan, did invade Iraq and continues to operate missions in Pakistan without local approval. Assad would also be aware that Israel (a country which possibly has the most to lose from the removal of Assad) has launched strikes inside Syria in the past, including two such strikes within the past few months. Now whether all of the above were justified or not is another debate, but the point would not be lost on Assad that the US and Israel (at least) are prepared to do what they say if it is expedient.

Now Assad may be counting on the "tiredness" of the the American public and he may be counting on Russia's continuing support, yet even he must be aware that the Russians have already started putting out feelers for a post-Assad world and before the Whitehouse's anouncement of an imminent strike had actually withdrawn many of their personnel. Assad would also be aware that while Russia may be an ally, allies are not always reliable. Ask Serbia how much use to them Russia was when NATO started bombing over Kosovo.

Of course, we can always fall back to the position that dictators are "nutjobs". Maybe they are, maybe they are not. I'll leave that to criminal psychologists to evaluate.  


User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21801 posts, RR: 55
Reply 151, posted (1 year 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 6115 times:

Quoting AyostoLeon (Reply 150):
I wish to further examine why Assad would think that he can get away with chemical weapons attacks under the noses of the UN Inspectors.

It looks like he's going to, doesn't it? Britain won't act. France is backing down. The UN won't do a thing because Russia is holding it hostage. All that's left is the US, and it's not unreasonable to think that they won't act alone.

Quoting AyostoLeon (Reply 150):
Assad would surely be aware that US did invade Afghanistan, did invade Iraq and continues to operate missions in Pakistan without local approval.

And he'd also be aware that all of those instances involved either action against the US or perceived threats to the US, which Syria has never posed. Therefore, he would have far less reason to worry.

Quoting AyostoLeon (Reply 150):
Now Assad may be counting on the "tiredness" of the the American public and he may be counting on Russia's continuing support

It would be smart of him to do so. He's seen Libya, he's seen Egypt - both situations in which there was significant opposition to the US getting involved in what was an internal matter. The US was only in Libya because of UN authorization - with Russia's support he would know that was incredibly unlikely.

Quoting AyostoLeon (Reply 150):
yet even he must be aware that the Russians have already started putting out feelers for a post-Assad world and before the Whitehouse's anouncement of an imminent strike had actually withdrawn many of their personnel.

Of course they'd get their people out - they may be allies, but they're not going to just leave their people in harm's way in case the US did decide to do something. I'm sure their naval bases there still have a decent complement of staffing (and I'm also sure the US will be going nowhere near them).

Quoting AyostoLeon (Reply 150):
Assad would also be aware that while Russia may be an ally, allies are not always reliable. Ask Serbia how much use to them Russia was when NATO started bombing over Kosovo.

That was a very different Russia.

Quoting ImperialEagle (Reply 149):
But what if Assad really is no longer pulling the strings and just appears to be? Out of desperation could he have not already turned it over to Iran (Hezbollah), or Russia?

Desperation for what? He's at least holding his ground against the rebels - he's got no reason to turn things over to anyone else.

Quoting ImperialEagle (Reply 147):
Obama and his administration have proven over and over again that they are inept at foreign policy. No country believes a word he says anymore because they have seen him change his position so many times. He won't stand on his word. Dangerous.

So you believe the US should use force then.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineImperialEagle From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 2630 posts, RR: 23
Reply 152, posted (1 year 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 6118 times:

Quoting Mir (Reply 151):
Desperation for what? He's at least holding his ground against the rebels - he's got no reason to turn things over to anyone else.

What if they held a gun to his head, so to speak, and said "it's better to be our puppet than a dead former Dictator"? Not possible? In any even, the Iranians, Russians and North Koreans have arms shipments arriving every day and we have yet to send the (moderate) Rebels a thing in spite of what the administration has promised!

Even worse. Obama said there would be dire consequences if they crossed a "Red Line". He flip-flopped on that and now says there will be dire consequences if they cross a "Red Line" and Congress approves something. So the message is clear to Iran, Russia and North Korea that Obama doesn't have the chutzpah to do what he says. His word is NOT a bond. Right or wrong a PRESIDENT does exactly what he says or the world sees he or she as weak. NOT good! Dangerous!

Quoting Mir (Reply 151):
So you believe the US should use force then.

I think the window of opportunity passed long ago. I also think it has been stupid to publicly discuss our military plans (if we have any) one way or the other. Either we have a military "plan" or Obama is "hoping" to do something else. Except that "hope" is NOT a plan! Either this will be a military operation or it will be a fiasco (it is possible to be both) BUT whatever it should be a SECRET!

We all agree that Assad is a monster, yet if he falls, we have no guarantee a group of "moderates" will be able to establish themselves especially since we haven't helped them a bit and they must be running pretty thin by now. Scary.



"If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough!"
User currently offlineAyostoLeon From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 153, posted (1 year 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 6117 times:

Quoting Mir (Reply 151):

The argument that Assad is getting away with it rests upon the unproven assertion that Assad was responsible. Those in favour of intervention (and possibly some of those who aren't) take it as read that Assad is guilty, despite no conclusive proof being presented. At best to date we have evidence that some agents were used but not by whom. Medicines sans Frontier concluded chemical weapons were deployed but they did not attempt to apportion blame. The Russians claimed to have "definitive" evidence that the rebels used chemical weapons, but for some reason this is discounted by those who claim to know otherwise. The Israelis shared information about overhearing Syrian Army Officers "discussing" the use of chemical weapons, although what was actually said we have no way of knowing.

This unclarity would explain in part why Cameron could not even count on the support of his own party in Parliament, a risk inherent in withholding information on the grounds of security, national interest and "need to know, old boy". His own side of the House wasn't convinced. France, for its part, justifies not acting (as opposed to backing down) on the basis that the US has delayed its response. That doesn't necessarily mean that there won't be a response, so if Assad was indeed responsible he may yet suffer some reprisal, even if the US Congress doesn't approve. It would not be the first time a President acted against the opposition of Congress or without approval.

In the end it all comes down to whom anyone chooses to believe. It has often been said that in war, even before the first bullet has been fired, the first victim is truth.


User currently offlineImperialEagle From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 2630 posts, RR: 23
Reply 154, posted (1 year 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 6114 times:

Quoting AyostoLeon (Reply 153):
In the end it all comes down to whom anyone chooses to believe. It has often been said that in war, even before the first bullet has been fired, the first victim is truth.

Exactly! Thank you!



"If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough!"
User currently offlinepar13del From Bahamas, joined Dec 2005, 7498 posts, RR: 8
Reply 155, posted (1 year 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 6108 times:

Quoting Mir (Reply 144):
If the Republicans are going to demand input from Congress, then I expect input from Congress - either authorize the use of force or don't, but don't just throw your hands up and walk away from the table.

You never know, they may just do that, it is only on the domestic scene especially on the economy and debt that they consistently kick the can down the road, I would not be shocked either way if they authorize or not, but kicking back to POTUS, will shock me.


User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21801 posts, RR: 55
Reply 156, posted (1 year 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 6103 times:

Quoting ImperialEagle (Reply 152):
What if they held a gun to his head, so to speak, and said "it's better to be our puppet than a dead former Dictator"? Not possible?

Very possible - I'm sure he's getting input from outside parties on a regular basis. It's still his decision to use chemical weapons - neither Russia nor Iran would have anything to gain from telling him to do so.

Quoting ImperialEagle (Reply 152):
I also think it has been stupid to publicly discuss our military plans (if we have any) one way or the other.

Yet if we hadn't then you'd hear complaints about how we have no idea what we're signing up for.

Quoting AyostoLeon (Reply 153):
The argument that Assad is getting away with it rests upon the unproven assertion that Assad was responsible. Those in favour of intervention (and possibly some of those who aren't) take it as read that Assad is guilty, despite no conclusive proof being presented.

He's got the capability to do it, the rebels really don't. That's what it boils down to.

Quoting AyostoLeon (Reply 153):
Medicines sans Frontier concluded chemical weapons were deployed but they did not attempt to apportion blame.

Because that's not their job. They do heath work, not investigative work.

Quoting AyostoLeon (Reply 153):
The Russians claimed to have "definitive" evidence that the rebels used chemical weapons, but for some reason this is discounted by those who claim to know otherwise.

They may claim to have evidence, but without actually seeing that evidence that claim doesn't mean much. We've heard some of what the US' evidence is, but I haven't heard a thing about what Russia's evidence is.

Quoting AyostoLeon (Reply 153):
The Israelis shared information about overhearing Syrian Army Officers "discussing" the use of chemical weapons, although what was actually said we have no way of knowing.

That's the intelligence game. Anyone looking for a clear smoking gun is going to be disappointed most of the time. You're mostly dealing with a lot of circumstantial evidence that has to be pieced together, and then a judgement call has to be made.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineAyostoLeon From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 157, posted (1 year 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 6100 times:

Quoting Mir (Reply 156):

Yes, the job of Medicins sans Frontier is health and not investigation. Therefore evidence can be reliable as to whether people suffered the effects of chemical poisoning. It helps to establish whether weapons were used but obviously not by whom, which was my reason for mentioning them. It helps confirm the fact of weapons use symptons.

The Syrian Army may have the means but that is not the same having the intent. Remember the deaths in Japan from Sarin some years ago? No one ever suspected the Japanese Army, although I am sure they would have been competent enough. As it turned out someone else with an agenda was responsible and committed the act using everyday, easily available means.

It is pretty easy to deploy chemical agents once you have access to them. Sure, we know that Syria did possess some but while that may increase probability it does not rule out the possibility that others also had access. If others did have access then finding a means of building a crude delivery system should not be too difficult. The missiles that are fired from Gaza are not the world's most sophisticated as is indicated by the abysmal accuracy. It is entirely possible that similar crude devices were used and fell short of the intended target, resulting in random civilian deaths rather than, for example, a military barracks.

In the other thread I made mention and provided a link to the Guardian which alleged that at the time of the attack on the US Mission in Benghazi the CIA were running an operation shipping missiles from Libya to Syria. Is this still happening? If so, is it beyond the bounds of credibility that some of those missiles ended up in the wrong hands?


User currently offlineAcheron From Spain, joined Sep 2005, 1698 posts, RR: 2
Reply 158, posted (1 year 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 6061 times:

Quoting par13del (Reply 141):
The general assembly however can pass resolutions based on a majority vote which cannot be vetoed, those resolutions without the support of the SC do not carry much teeth.

They don't, at all. As shown by the constant voting against the Cuban embargo who usually ends up in +180 vs 3 in favor of its termination yet nothing happens

Quoting AyostoLeon (Reply 145):
I am further interested by Kerry's claim, as reported in both the Australian and British press, that whatever the UN Inspectors come up with is "discredited".

Kerry is a massive and irrelevant hypocrite



User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 14130 posts, RR: 62
Reply 159, posted (1 year 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 6069 times:

Quoting Mir (Reply 156):
Quoting AyostoLeon (Reply 153):
The argument that Assad is getting away with it rests upon the unproven assertion that Assad was responsible. Those in favour of intervention (and possibly some of those who aren't) take it as read that Assad is guilty, despite no conclusive proof being presented.

He's got the capability to do it, the rebels really don't. That's what it boils down to.

So have (most likely) some rebel units. Especially the FSA, which is made up from deserters of the Syrian Armed Forces. Also quite a few Syrian Army bases have been overrun in the past. I assume that the chemical weapon stock have long been dispersed from their normal peacetime locations to units in the field or other hiding places. Who knows if some of them haven´t been captued by one rebel militia or another or if some Syrian army deserters haven´t taken some CW shells with them?

As for Assad, he is ruthless, brutal and doesn´t mind whom he kills to stay in power, but, like his father, he has never been stupid.

Jan


User currently offlinemariner From New Zealand, joined Nov 2001, 25566 posts, RR: 86
Reply 160, posted (1 year 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 6035 times:
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Quoting ImperialEagle (Reply 147):
The media is supposed to champion the cause of "We the People" NOT the the big monied politicians. No guts.

Hmmm? The primary function of any media organisation is to deliver readers/viewers to its advertisers.

The New York Times plays to its core readership, as does Fox News to its core viewers.

mariner



aeternum nauta
User currently offlinesolarflyer22 From US Minor Outlying Islands, joined Nov 2009, 1113 posts, RR: 0
Reply 161, posted (1 year 2 months 3 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago)