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Kiwirob
Posts: 13491
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 2:16 pm

RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Sat Aug 31, 2013 6:48 am

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.
 
TheCommodore
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RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Sat Aug 31, 2013 6:52 am

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
“At first, they'll only dislike what you say, but the more correct you start sounding the more they'll dislike you.”
 
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Aesma
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RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Sat Aug 31, 2013 7:07 am

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
 
Mir
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RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Sat Aug 31, 2013 7:09 am

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
 
TheCommodore
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RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Sat Aug 31, 2013 7:17 am

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 !
“At first, they'll only dislike what you say, but the more correct you start sounding the more they'll dislike you.”
 
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Aesma
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RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Sat Aug 31, 2013 7:22 am

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
 
Mir
Posts: 19491
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RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Sat Aug 31, 2013 7:29 am

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
 
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mariner
Posts: 19473
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RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Sat Aug 31, 2013 7:58 am

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
 
bennett123
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RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Sat Aug 31, 2013 8:09 am

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"
 
Mir
Posts: 19491
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2004 3:55 am

RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Sat Aug 31, 2013 8:49 am

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
 
GDB
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RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Sat Aug 31, 2013 8:56 am

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.
 
Mortyman
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RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Sat Aug 31, 2013 10:16 am

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
 
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Kiwirob
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RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Sat Aug 31, 2013 11:13 am

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.
 
ImperialEagle
Posts: 2372
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RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Sat Aug 31, 2013 12:41 pm

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!"
 
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Boeing717200
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RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Sat Aug 31, 2013 12:59 pm

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]
240 years and the top two candidates are named Dumb and Dumber. Stay classy!
 
rfields5421
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RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Sat Aug 31, 2013 1:27 pm

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.
Not all who wander are lost.
 
NAV20
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RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Sat Aug 31, 2013 1:44 pm

"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
 
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Boeing717200
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RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Sat Aug 31, 2013 1:55 pm

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.
240 years and the top two candidates are named Dumb and Dumber. Stay classy!
 
StuckInCA
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RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Sat Aug 31, 2013 2:09 pm

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).
 
Flighty
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RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Sat Aug 31, 2013 2:09 pm

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.
 
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par13del
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RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Sat Aug 31, 2013 2:45 pm

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.
 
solarflyer22
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RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Sat Aug 31, 2013 3:44 pm

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. .
 
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Boeing717200
Posts: 1926
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RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Sat Aug 31, 2013 4:39 pm

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.
240 years and the top two candidates are named Dumb and Dumber. Stay classy!
 
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seb146
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RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Sat Aug 31, 2013 4:59 pm

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.
You bet I'm pumped!!! I just had a green tea!!!
 
Stabilator
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RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Sat Aug 31, 2013 5:00 pm

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.
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Sat Aug 31, 2013 6:14 pm

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
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
Acheron
Posts: 1852
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RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Sat Aug 31, 2013 7:19 pm

Enjoy your new jihadi buddys, US of A. May they never come back to bite you in the ass...again...
 
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par13del
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RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Sat Aug 31, 2013 8:30 pm

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.
 
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Dreadnought
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RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Sat Aug 31, 2013 10:02 pm

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.
Democrats haven't been this angry since we took away their slaves.
 
Stabilator
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RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Sat Aug 31, 2013 11:02 pm

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.
 
rfields5421
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RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Sat Aug 31, 2013 11:39 pm

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.
Not all who wander are lost.
 
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par13del
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RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Sat Aug 31, 2013 11:54 pm

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.
 
Stabilator
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RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Sun Sep 01, 2013 1:04 am

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.
 
11Bravo
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RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Sun Sep 01, 2013 1:43 am

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!
 
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DocLightning
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RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Sun Sep 01, 2013 1:52 am

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.
-Doc Lightning-

"The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars."
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TheCol
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RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Sun Sep 01, 2013 3:09 am

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.
 
StuckInCA
Posts: 1658
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RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Sun Sep 01, 2013 3:59 am

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.
 
Mir
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Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2004 3:55 am

RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Sun Sep 01, 2013 4:40 am

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
 
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seb146
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RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Sun Sep 01, 2013 7:50 am

I wonder how many people are for a military strike but are against health care for all in the United States?
You bet I'm pumped!!! I just had a green tea!!!
 
ltbewr
Posts: 15711
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2004 1:24 pm

RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Sun Sep 01, 2013 8:48 am

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.
 
MD11Engineer
Posts: 13899
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RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Sun Sep 01, 2013 10:33 am

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
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
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par13del
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RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Sun Sep 01, 2013 11:30 am

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.
 
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par13del
Posts: 10819
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RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Sun Sep 01, 2013 11:41 am

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?
 
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Dreadnought
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RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Sun Sep 01, 2013 12:29 pm

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.
Democrats haven't been this angry since we took away their slaves.
 
Mir
Posts: 19491
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2004 3:55 am

RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Sun Sep 01, 2013 1:01 pm

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
 
AyostoLeon
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RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Sun Sep 01, 2013 1:30 pm

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.
The person with no dignity eats his dinner twice
 
rfields5421
Posts: 6374
Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2007 12:45 am

RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Sun Sep 01, 2013 1:45 pm

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.
Not all who wander are lost.
 
ImperialEagle
Posts: 2372
Joined: Sat Jan 14, 2006 10:53 am

RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Sun Sep 01, 2013 1:48 pm

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!"
 
Mir
Posts: 19491
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2004 3:55 am

RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Sun Sep 01, 2013 1:53 pm

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
 
ImperialEagle
Posts: 2372
Joined: Sat Jan 14, 2006 10:53 am

RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Sun Sep 01, 2013 2:05 pm

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!"
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