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NAV20
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RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Wed Sep 04, 2013 1:40 pm

Quoting roswell41 (Reply 197):
The US should not be involved militarily in Syria. We (Americans) are not the world's police. We have no national security interest in the Syrian civil war. Both Assad and the rebels hate us.

Agree in principle, roswell41. As I understand things, Syria was 'occupied' for many centuries - most recently by the Turks and the French. It appears not to be a 'nation' at all by normal standards - it is inhabited by at least half a dozen incompatible racial groups/cliques, none of whom appear capable of peacefully 'co-existing' with each other. In particular, the 'royal family' - that's about the only way you can describe the Assads - are Shiites; that is, members of the smaller Muslim grouping, which makes up only about 15% of the population; and there are about five other racial/religious groups, on top of the two sorts of Muslim (the other, much more numerous, Muslim group being the Sunnis).

So there is constant quarrelling, which quite often ends in armed conflict. I actually find myself having some sympathy with Bashar Assad - being 'third in line' for the 'throne' or 'presidency' or whatever you call it, he didn't take much interest in politics, but instead studied medicine. He only got dragged into the business of government because neither of his older brothers were able to do the job.

"Unlike his brothers, Bassel and Shabbih Maher, and sister, Bushra, Bashar was quiet and reserved and says that he lacked interest in politics or the military.[8] He later said that he only entered his father's office once while he was in power and he never spoke about politics with him.[9] He received his primary and secondary education in the Arab-French al-Hurriya School in Damascus.[8] In 1982, he graduated from high school and went on to study medicine at Damascus University.

In 1988, Bashar Assad graduated from medical school and began working as an army doctor in the biggest military hospital, "Tishrin", on the outskirts of Damascus.[11][12] Four years later, he went to the United Kingdom to begin postgraduate training in ophthalmology at the Western Eye Hospital, part of the St Mary's group of teaching hospitals in London.[13] Bashar at the time had few political aspirations.[14] His father had been grooming Bashar's older brother Bassel as the future president, but he never declared this intent.[15] Bashar, however, was recalled in 1994 to the Syrian Army, after Bassel's death in a car accident."


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bashar_al-Assad

Bashar actually had (has?) another older brother, but he was apparently disgraced through having engaged in corruption. So when the father finally died, in 2000, Bashar became 'president' or 'king' or whatever you care to call it. In the end, it's an open question as to whether he did this out of ambition, or a sense of duty, or because he felt that it was his 'destiny.' Given the permanently 'fractured' state of Syrian society, he inevitably found himself facing all sorts of problems with dissident groups, verging on civil war; and eventually (like all previous leaders) had more or less to set up a 'police state.'

What it boils down to, to my mind, is that there really is no available 'solution' to the Syria problem. Even if the Western Powers invade and occupy the place, and kill or depose Bashar Assad, they'll only be able to set up another 'minority government.' And they'll inevitably face a steady drain of casualties as all the minority groups take turns in shooting at the occupying forces.

So I certainly wouldn't favour 'invading and occupying' the place. And what is apparently currently being considered (an attack by missiles and/or aircraft alone, with no 'boots on the ground') can only be expected to cause a lot of innocent civilian casualties, to no purpose at all. All the Western Powers can do, to my mind, is to 'close the place off' as far as possible, and hope that the problem can 'burn itself out' as the various warring groups get sick of killing each other.

[Edited 2013-09-04 06:59:18]
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damirc
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RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Wed Sep 04, 2013 10:46 pm

Well, since Libya was such a success (read http://www.independent.co.uk/news/wo...-lawlessness-and-ruin-8797041.html ) ... well, why not go into Syria and "fix it" for them also.

They'll be very thankful to us for years to come ^^

D.
 
PHX787
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RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Wed Sep 04, 2013 11:25 pm

Quoting damirc (Reply 201):
Well, since Libya was such a success (read http://www.independent.co.uk/news/wo...-lawlessness-and-ruin-8797041.html ) ... well, why not go into Syria and "fix it" for them also.

Completely different scenarios, as we have discussed ad nauseum.
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damirc
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RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Thu Sep 05, 2013 12:46 am

How completely different?

The UN mandate was to only maintain a No-Fly Zone. What transpired is rather known.

I'd rather say it was more of the same - the West in all of it's hypocrisy goes in to "clean the house", oversteps the boundaries, hasn't got the first clue about the long term reprecussions of their intervention and in the end leaves while leaving an utter chaos behind. And in a decade or two these said reprecussions come to haunt us and bite us in the rear.

Mark my words - it will be the same in Syria.

Yes, Assad is an utter pillock, but unfortunately he's still the best option for the time being. It would be both moral and human to support the FSA, but unfortunately with the involvement of extremist groupations in it this is a rather bad choice at the moment. Yet we will do the same. We will go in to "prevent from war crimes happening". We will then overstay, do the dirty work for the FSA (and the terrorists in their ranks), and will eventually do more than was mandated (providing this will not be a "solo" mission, but actually UN backed (which is doubtful at the moment)).

Again - I will remind you, that NATO was there to establish and maintain a No-Fly zone in Libya. I do NOT remember NATO's mandate including tactical support for disabling Gaddafi's convoy and thereby enabling the non-government forces to extrajudicially execute Gaddafi. How was this part of the mandate, how the heck was that in line with any values we are trying to represent. Sorry, but we are so hypocritical it hurts.

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

Thu Sep 05, 2013 1:14 am

Quoting damirc (Reply 203):
Mark my words - it will be the same in Syria.

OK I am marking it down. Sept 4, 2013!

Quoting damirc (Reply 203):
Sorry, but we are so hypocritical it hurts.

Noooooooo, never!

I did see one intelligent suggestion online which was: Force Assad and his top brass out but.....let the political party and regime stay and fend of Al Nusra etc. Doubt we'll see that.
 
TheCommodore
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RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Thu Sep 05, 2013 3:08 am

Quoting kaitak (Thread starter):
What now?

Lets play Poker !

Apparently the war monger Senator John McCain was caught playing Poker whilst attending a pivotal congressional hearing in to strikes against Syria.

Good to see him taking it so seriously.         


http://www.nzherald.co.nz/syria/news...cle.cfm?l_id=418&objectid=11119566
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bmacleod
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RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Thu Sep 05, 2013 12:36 pm

So looks like Russia is supporting Assad because of what it sees in Egypt...parts of Middle East just aren't ready to deal with democracy?

Guess same can be said for majority of Americans...or are they just sick and tired of war? (even though these are limited Tomahawk strikes...nothing more.)

But they supported Obama on kicking out Quadaffi in Libya in 2011....

I'm confused...can anyone try to clear this up?

[Edited 2013-09-05 05:40:51]
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rfields5421
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RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Thu Sep 05, 2013 12:59 pm

Quoting TheCommodore (Reply 205):
Good to see him taking it so seriously.

The public hearing is only a media showcase. There is nothing really happening during Congressional hearings. All the information has been briefed to the Senators/ Congressmen before the hearing starts, and they have written transcripts of all testimony and Q/As on their desk during the hearing.

It is as dynamic as attending a play.

Quoting bmacleod (Reply 206):
I'm confused...can anyone try to clear this up?

My personal opinion.

Russia and China take the risk of 'rogue' Islamic states ruled by ineffective or fragmented governments very seriously. Both have more domestic Islamic terrorist movements and more terrorist attacks upon their own people, more of their people killed by terrorists than the United States. Remember both have land routes into their territory from the major terrorist training grounds in various 'rogue' nations.

The people leading the Russia and China governments have no major ideological issues with supporting a government which kills its own people. Assad is better than having Syria the country destabilize and become an even greater source of terrorists training and weapons.

Both also have economic ties to the Assad government.

The United States, and much of Europe, have a 'savior complex'. We should be able to save people from oppression and unfair treatment - especially by their own government. We have decided that the use of certain types of oppression is 'illegal' and demands a response.

The US and nations such as Germany, UK, France, etc - have different definitions of what constitutes sufficient oppression to provoke a response. Such a response can be anything from a diplomatic note to military action.

The 'savior' nations never agree on the level of response.

The 1991 Gulf War was the greatest coalition of world governments opposed to the actions of another nation in history. The coalition that Presdent G.H.W. Bush put together was greater than the Allies in WWII. It was very unusual.

-------------------

Given the history and many, many different viewpoints and levels of military capability - it is not surprising that no consensus is easily reached about how to respond to Assad using chemical weapons upon his own people.

I personally have no doubt that the Syrian government, including Assad personally, ordered chemical attacks. When governments and people have weapons, they will use them if they feel threatened enough.

The one thing I don't like about how the US media and government are dealing with the situation is that they make the chemical attacks out to be something unique and unprecedented.

Chemical weapons are used in the world almost every year somewhere. They are too easy to use, too easy to deploy. The reason we don't hear much more about them is twofold - most of the time they are used on a small scale in remote regions. And that chemical weapons are really ineffective. Control of who chemical weapons attack is very difficult - and I would be very, very surprised if most chemical attacks do not injure/ kill many of the troops deploying the weapons, or attempting to follow-up.
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bmacleod
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RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Thu Sep 05, 2013 2:21 pm

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 207):
The one thing I don't like about how the US media and government are dealing with the situation is that they make the chemical attacks out to be something unique and unprecedented.

Chemical weapons are used in the world almost every year somewhere. They are too easy to use, too easy to deploy. The reason we don't hear much more about them is twofold - most of the time they are used on a small scale in remote regions. And that chemical weapons are really ineffective. Control of who chemical weapons attack is very difficult - and I would be very, very surprised if most chemical attacks do not injure/ kill many of the troops deploying the weapons, or attempting to follow-up.


When Saddam Hussein gassed the Kurds in 1988, Reagan was likely occupied with finishing his presidency and decided this matter would be taken care of by George HW Bush.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halabja_poison_gas_attack

[Edited 2013-09-05 07:22:12]
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Aesma
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RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Thu Sep 05, 2013 3:10 pm

Quoting damirc (Reply 203):
Again - I will remind you, that NATO was there to establish and maintain a No-Fly zone in Libya. I do NOT remember NATO's mandate including tactical support for disabling Gaddafi's convoy and thereby enabling the non-government forces to extrajudicially execute Gaddafi. How was this part of the mandate, how the heck was that in line with any values we are trying to represent. Sorry, but we are so hypocritical it hurts.

Yes it's true that the resolution didn't allow what happened, but it was the only way to get Russia and China to sign it (and one of the reasons they don't want to sign anything on Syria, even a simple condemnation). As for the convoy, apparently France (French companies) had sold Libya armored smart cars with electronic countermeasures and such, so part of the reason we helped was to not have to answer questions about how Gaddafi could escape thanks to those cars. Also, we never promised we'd let Gaddafi in power either, indeed there were calls for his resignation long before the military campaign, I wouldn't say that's that hypocritical. If anything the hypocrisy was in letting him get killed rather than extraditing him, the reason being probably that he knew too much (just like Saddam).
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PSA53
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RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Thu Sep 05, 2013 6:40 pm

Yeaterday,on CSPAN, I watched Rep.Perry(R) from Pennsylvania questioned Kerry if Sarin chemical gas was a WMD.Kerry responded without hesitation with,"Yes."

Saddam Hussein of Iraq used chemical weapons in the Iraq-Iran war.So,Saddam did have WMD.And Bush W. got smoked by the democrats and the liberal media for lying.Kerry's answer seems otherwise.Or is it because Obama(D) is in power that the urgency of using the term WMD in Assad's attack to legitimize strikes.Hmm....Sounds Bushy to me.
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pvjin
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RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Thu Sep 05, 2013 6:57 pm

Quoting PSA53 (Reply 210):
addam Hussein of Iraq used chemical weapons in the Iraq-Iran war.So,Saddam did have WMD.And Bush W. got smoked by the democrats and the liberal media for lying

Saddam didn't have chemical weapons anymore when Bush invaded Iraq.
"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." - Martin Luther King Jr
 
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casinterest
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RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Thu Sep 05, 2013 7:03 pm

Quoting PSA53 (Reply 210):
So,Saddam did have WMD.

You forgot a major war that happened in 1991 that forced Iraq to abandon the weapons or face serious reprisals. There was a lot of unknown info, which is why the intel was provided supporting the theory that WMD's still existed in order to get approval for attack. When we attacked we didn't find WMDs


We now know that Syria has Sarin, and has used it. The logic of attack for WMD's still stands, and the proof is pretty much evident now.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did..So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.--Mark Twain
 
PSA53
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RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Thu Sep 05, 2013 7:03 pm

Quoting pvjin (Reply 211):

Saddam didn't have chemical weapons anymore when Bush invaded Iraq.

But H.R. Bush,Bill Clinton and the Democrats,including Kerry,Kennedy and W. Bush felt Saddam had WMD.Three POTUS felt caution.And how do you know Assad maybe didn't received some Saddam?
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damirc
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RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Thu Sep 05, 2013 7:04 pm

Quoting PSA53 (Reply 210):
Saddam Hussein of Iraq used chemical weapons in the Iraq-Iran war.So,Saddam did have WMD.And Bush W. got smoked by the democrats and the liberal media for lying.Kerry's answer seems otherwise.

You are aware then the Iran-Iraq war was right? And the operative phrase is "did have". He actually seemed to comply after the 1st Gulf war of the early 90s and destroyed them.

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

Thu Sep 05, 2013 7:14 pm

Quoting Aesma (Reply 199):
Well the US has made everything it could to prevent the EU from becoming an independent military power,

Naw, they did it by spending their money on weapons while the Europeans tended to their economy  
Quoting bmacleod (Reply 208):
When Saddam Hussein gassed the Kurds in 1988,

You mean there were WMD's in Iraq? 
 
PSA53
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RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Thu Sep 05, 2013 7:16 pm

Quoting damirc (Reply 214):
He actually seemed to comply after the 1st Gulf war of the early 90s and destroyed them.

Or moved them out of sight,maybe Syria.Remember, Bill Clinton felt it important enough to bomb Iraq to insist Saddam let UN inspections continue.And the democrats endorsed it right into the 21st century in Bush's 1st term that WMD's did continue to exist in Iraq.
Tuesday's Off! Do not disturb.
 
damirc
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RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Thu Sep 05, 2013 7:23 pm

Quoting PSA53 (Reply 216):
Or moved them out of sight,maybe Syria.

I hope you're not seriously suggesting this? Any suggestions how exactly this wasn't picked up by satellite surveillance? ;D (underground tunnels?)

Quoting PSA53 (Reply 216):
And the democrats endorsed it right into the 21st century in Bush's 1st term that WMD's did continue to exist in Iraq.

And which we now know where not there.

D.
 
GDB
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RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Thu Sep 05, 2013 8:02 pm

Quoting roswell41 (Reply 197):
The US should not be involved militarily in Syria. We (Americans) are not the world's police.

You hear this so much and it's usually meant by those who say it.
But the US is pretty much the de facto policeman.

How many nations does the US have at least some sort of military base and facility in?
Many, more than most probably think too.
What are all those carrier battle groups for? Bit of an overkill in a coastguard role.

Because of it's economic and military power, how can the US be anything else?
But it's a policeman when it suits it's economic and security interests.
Which given the scope of these means this power is in almost constant use, in some form or other.
From high tech weapons hitting a nation deemed to be a threat to those interests to some special ops guys doing something, quietly, somewhere.

Imagine the effect on some very major US corporations or inward investment into America, of a North vs South Korean war.
So the US deters this by having troops in the South and an veritable armada in the seas around the region.
They need sustaining, reinforcing perhaps, so there are the bases in Japan, Guam and to illustrate that this is not just a post WW2 thing, Pearl Harbor too.
(The US imperial history in the pacific dates back to kicking the Spanish out of, but also effectively replacing them, in the Phillipines as long ago as the end of the 19th Century).

The Mid East, oil is still a factor, as much for the world economy so important to the US one, as domestic oil supplies.
Then the wholly political decisions to support Israel, though this stance in recent times has got ever more pointed where as in the past, US Presidents were prepared to reign in Israel, including the likes of Reagan.
Not any more. Why? Because not doing so is a big vote loser as far the the American public is concerned.

Professor Niall Ferguson, though a Scot by birth, is a right wing historian who says that the only difference between the US being the primary power and predecessors like the British, is that many in America are in denial of that fact.
Supportive of the 2003 Iraq war, his thinks that the US should have stayed as long as it took to establish a secure, non sectarian democracy, even if it took 30 years.
Though he notes the reality is that measures like bringing back the Draft, would make that politically impossible.

To Syria, the US deems it has the right to prevent, even if all else fails by force, nations like Iran getting WMD's.
But what to do with that stance, that pressure, if Iran's only ally in the region actually uses it's WMD's.

Fact is, Syria was not an issue in the 2012 election, Obama was questioned on it, accused by his opponents of being weak on the issue, so he provided an answer.
Which he sort of fudged after the first indication of Assad using chemicals prior to the larger 21st August attack.

Also interesting to see some on here being against acting on Syria when they would have been completely for it if it was under Bush or that other guy had won last year.
Your not fooling anyone.

France could, in the style of the initial wholly French strikes that opened the Libyan operation in 2011, though they'd not be able to sustain it for long. However the French won't attack another nation unilaterally and without at least some UN legal cover.

The only reason the UK is not going to is due to what must be the most speculator example of inept party and parliamentary management in recent memory, by Cameron.

What to say about a man that decides on action with Obama - while the PM is on (another) holiday, is warned that only 20 of his own MP's - mostly Cabinet Ministers - are wholly supportive without more time for debate and work at the UN.
Though the leader Of The Opposition did support him on Libya, he also wants the sort of international support that the French are seeking, more time for the UN inspectors to finish and report, Cameron's people react by issuing a statement, which must have been cleared by the PM, calling the Leader Of The Opposition, I kid you not, a 'fucking cunt'.
(That's the man whose support is needed to win the vote in Parliament. The insult being reported the night before the vote).

Had he waited, calmed down. slowed down (too worried about disrupting Obama's schedule), he likely would have got approval for UK military action.
As it is, he dare not try again, one defeat like that diminishes him. A second could do for him politically, lose him his job.
 
PSA53
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RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Thu Sep 05, 2013 8:14 pm

Quoting GDB (Reply 218):
lso interesting to see some on here being against acting on Syria when they would have been completely for it if it was under Bush or that other guy had won last year.
Your not fooling anyone.

For the record,I did say it many times on threads, was NOT for Bush W. going into Iraq.WAS for Afghanistan.

No with Syria,at this time.Syria is not a threat to the US or neighboring border states,even Israel for decades, unlike Iraq was invading..

[Edited 2013-09-05 13:29:57]
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GDB
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RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Thu Sep 05, 2013 8:37 pm

Quoting PSA53 (Reply 219):
For the record,I did say it many times on threads, was NOT for Bush W. going into Iraq.WAS for Afghanistan

I wasn't thinking of you, actually your stance is the same as Obama's then!
Until Syria.
But I cannot ever recall a US President so reluctant to instigate military action.
Perhaps the nearest being the first Bush in 1990, the uncertainty around the sudden Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, fears of another Vietnam.
 
PSA53
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RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Thu Sep 05, 2013 8:57 pm

Quoting GDB (Reply 220):
But I cannot ever recall a US President so reluctant to instigate military action

Nor can I.I wonder if Obama is/was trying to bail out counting on the GOP to say no.Hmm..stay tune.

Quoting GDB (Reply 220):
Perhaps the nearest being the first Bush in 1990, the uncertainty around the sudden Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, fears of another Vietnam.

Yeah,I remember that feeling.The US forces weren't fully tested for a couple of decades since Vietnam..
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Boeing717200
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RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Fri Sep 06, 2013 12:27 am

Quoting GDB (Reply 220):

But I cannot ever recall a US President so reluctant to instigate military action.

He put himself in a corner with this Red Line business and now he's trying to work his way out of it. His propensity to open his mouth has caught up with him in the worst of ways. The man simply doesn't have the stones to make a decision and he's looking for someone else to make it for him. It's truly remarkable to observe.
240 years and the top two candidates are named Dumb and Dumber. Stay classy!
 
TheCommodore
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RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Fri Sep 06, 2013 1:44 am

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 207):
It is as dynamic as attending a play.

None the less.

This guy is being paid by you and other members of US society, as tax payers. Wouldn't you be expecting a bit more form your elected members. Especially when its to do with killing people ?  
“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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par13del
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RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Fri Sep 06, 2013 2:02 am

Quoting Boeing717200 (Reply 222):
He put himself in a corner with this Red Line business and now he's trying to work his way out of it.

This is stated in the news media also but he is done as president, this is his last term so the damage to him is minimal, if folks say it damages the USA then this should be about that and not Obama.
 
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zkojq
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RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Fri Sep 06, 2013 2:53 am

Quoting Acheron (Reply 188):
Amusingly, the US supported quite a few governments that make Bashar Al-Assad look relatively decent by comparison, all in the name of anti-communism...

Which is somewhat pointless, given that communism is its own worst enemy.

Quoting TheCommodore (Reply 223):
This guy is being paid by you and other members of US society, as tax payers. Wouldn't you be expecting a bit more form your elected members.

He is an oldie. At least he wasn't asleep.
First to fly the 787-9
 
Acheron
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RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Fri Sep 06, 2013 3:32 am

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 207):
The people leading the Russia and China governments have no major ideological issues with supporting a government which kills its own people.

No country does as long as it is of benefit to their own interests.

Quoting zkojq (Reply 225):
Which is somewhat pointless, given that communism is its own worst enemy.

That didn't stop the US from supporting clowns like Stroessner, Pinochet or Videla.

Anyway, it seems both Russia and China are sending warships to Syria. Things are bound to get interesting.
 
TheCommodore
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RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Fri Sep 06, 2013 4:11 am

Quoting zkojq (Reply 225):
At least he wasn't asleep.

He is in this pic, taken back in 2009..... I can see a pattern developing here.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/0...652.html#s20621title=Larry_Summers

Maybe time for him to retire.      

Quoting Acheron (Reply 226):
Things are bound to get interesting.

Your not wrong there. At least it will give China and Russia some target practice.   

[Edited 2013-09-05 21:16:45]
“At first, they'll only dislike what you say, but the more correct you start sounding the more they'll dislike you.”
 
stratosphere
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RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Fri Sep 06, 2013 5:10 am

[

Quoting Boeing717200 (Reply 222):
He put himself in a corner with this Red Line business and now he's trying to work his way out of it. His propensity to open his mouth has caught up with him in the worst of ways. The man simply doesn't have the stones to make a decision and he's looking for someone else to make it for him. It's truly remarkable to observe.

+1.. You are exactly right. Obummer is finding out that as a senator he could condemn and criticize Bush and his decisions (which by that way I didn't support either) but is different when you are in the big chair. Now he made that big statement and line in the sand but as usual those who said yeah we need to take action are nowhere to be found and we are going it alone AGAIN. I am tired of being the worlds policeman as much as I hate kids are being killed lets look at who we are helping the rebels are Al Quida backed and have also attacked and killed christians in the region. Of course Assad is a punk and needs to go but again who are we backing? Scumbags who hate us anyway? This is a civil war and we should never get involved especially in this part of the world no matter what we do we will just fuel the fire of hatred for us. Not to mention we are broke. Our infrastructure is in ruins. We cannot even afford to keep the white house open for tours but yet we have the money to start lobbing missiles into Syria? That scumbag UN is a joke. No Obummer can have egg on his face and not make a move he doesn't need to do something to save face with his line in the sand comment.
 
NAV20
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RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Fri Sep 06, 2013 7:20 am

Quoting GDB (Reply 220):
But I cannot ever recall a US President so reluctant to instigate military action.

I expect that that is because he has been told that the Syrian problem cannot be solved by direct military action - just 'riding in and shooting the bad guys,' like in some old-time Western film? Or, worse still, as seems currently the option being considered, ruling out any 'boots on the ground' and just showering the place with bombs and missiles; mostly, of course, killing or maiming civilians?

There don't appear to be any identifiable 'bad guys' in Syria - just a collection of different racial and religious groups, who cannot live together in peace. Sure, Al Queda probably 'has a presence,' but it isn't the root problem. The only long-term answer surely has to be dividing the place up - hopefully into a federation made up of individual, largely-self-governing states, with the 'central government' playing a much reduced day-to-day role?

Oddly enough that approach has often been used quite successfully in the past - in various parts of the world, including some parts of the Middle East. The key part of that approach was to put in a 'United Nations Force' to assume a 'peacekeeping' role. The key element was that the UN forces in those days were not just 'observers' or 'mediators,' they carried weapons and had powers, if need be, to use them to 'maintain order.'

It's worked in the past - no reason why it couldn't work again?
"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
 
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par13del
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RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Fri Sep 06, 2013 10:28 am

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 229):
There don't appear to be any identifiable 'bad guys' in Syria

You mean "good guys"?
We all know the bad, we see the summary executions and abuse by all and sundry on a daily basis.
 
ltbewr
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RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Fri Sep 06, 2013 11:23 am

We are approaching the anniversary of 9/11/01 terror attacks here in the USA, which murdered over 3000 innocents, an act based on the policies of the ME for generations. We are considering at this anniversary date what some would consider state sponsored terror attacks in Syria that will kill thousands of innocents as well.
 
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Aesma
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RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Fri Sep 06, 2013 11:33 am

Wasn't Romney far more war mongering than Obama ? So how come so much people suddenly don't support intervention ?

Quoting PSA53 (Reply 219):
No with Syria,at this time.Syria is not a threat to the US or neighboring border states,even Israel for decades, unlike Iraq was invading..

Well the reason for intervention is not stated as Syria being a direct threat (although you could argue that letting things degenerate could create a threat). As for neighboring states, Lebanon is very much threatened, Turkey agrees to the strike, Israel is not saying no...).

The reason is WMD use. Many, in both political camps in the US and Israel, have been saying for years (and have done in the past) that they support bombing Iran over alleged WMD manufacture. But somehow a country using WMD is fine ? What message does that send ?
New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
 
NAV20
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RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Fri Sep 06, 2013 12:35 pm

Quoting Aesma (Reply 232):
So how come so much people suddenly don't support intervention ?

As I've said, Aesma, I 'support intervention.' But I think that it should take the form of a UN peacekeeping force, aimed at organising a federation that will give all the different factions states of their own; NOT just missiles and carpet-bombing.
"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
 
rfields5421
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RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Fri Sep 06, 2013 12:49 pm

Quoting PSA53 (Reply 216):
Or moved them out of sight,maybe Syria.

You do realize in 1991, Syria was part of the coalition against Iraq. That Syria allowed several nations to overfly their territory to attack Iraq, and supported allied fighter and attack aircraft at Syrian military bases. That Syria allowed ground troops from several nations to 'protect' their border and stop movement of any weapons into Syria.

In the time between 1991 and 2003 - the Syrian border with Iraq was watched very closely by western intelligence agencies and military operations.
Not all who wander are lost.
 
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casinterest
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RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Fri Sep 06, 2013 1:50 pm

Quoting ltbewr (Reply 231):
We are considering at this anniversary date what some would consider state sponsored terror attacks in Syria that will kill thousands of innocents as well.

And you would prefer the continued Genocide within Syria? With Chemical weapons? That kill innocent people.

a Neutralization of chemical weapons being used on the innocent is not a terror attack.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did..So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.--Mark Twain
 
11Bravo
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RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Fri Sep 06, 2013 2:27 pm

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 233):
As I've said, Aesma, I 'support intervention.' But I think that it should take the form of a UN peacekeeping force, aimed at organising a federation that will give all the different factions states of their own;...

I think we all know that's not going to happen. China and/or Russia would certainly veto any such measure not to mention that the UN has a catastrophically bad record when it comes to effectively mounting a meaningful "peacekeeping" mission. I would hope that discussion of this issue would be limited to options that can actually occur.

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 233):
... NOT just missiles and carpet-bombing.

No one to my knowledge has seriously suggested that the US should "carpet bomb" Syria. Your suggestion strikes me as rhetoric intended to support a political agenda rather than a serious comment regarding the events and issues at hand.
WhaleJets Rule!
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Fri Sep 06, 2013 2:29 pm

I have heard about plans to remove the Assad clan and the top brass, but without making the mistakes made in Iraq to disband the Baath party and military. This put loads of unemployed and disgrunteled civil sevants, party members and soldiers on the street, who mostly kept their weapons, but had no income to feed their families.
I understand that the opposition will also be eager to place THEIR people at the feed troughs, but it has to be done to prevent a repeat of Iraq. Keep the moderate Baathists in power, at least they are secular.

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

Fri Sep 06, 2013 2:46 pm

Quoting Aesma (Reply 232):
Well the reason for intervention is not stated as Syria being a direct threat (although you could argue that letting things degenerate could create a threat).

The Jihadis winning would be a bigger threat than anything else.

Quoting Aesma (Reply 232):
Turkey agrees to the strike

IMO, Turkey's opinion in this matter is irrelevant on the basis that they are in it for revenge against the Assads. Thing is, in a lack of foresight typical of governments, they fail to realize that a change from Assad is going to cause a ton of extra problems with the Kurds in the area.

Quoting Aesma (Reply 232):
The reason is WMD use. Many, in both political camps in the US and Israel, have been saying for years (and have done in the past) that they support bombing Iran over alleged WMD manufacture. But somehow a country using WMD is fine ? What message does that send ?

The same kind of message that wanting to bomb Iran over alleged WMD claims while letting Pakistan and its taliban funding government keeps theirs. Not to mention the total and utter failure with North Korea and haven't bombed them yet.

And again, there is little proof so far that it was the Syrian Government used them, so the message would be far more different among the governments of the world, regardless of how much fuss is caused by the media and retarded facebook activists.

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 233):
aimed at organising a federation that will give all the different factions states of their own

Turkey won't allow that. They'll raise quite a fuss at the notion of the Kurds getting their own state next to them.

Quoting casinterest (Reply 235):
And you would prefer the continued Genocide within Syria? With Chemical weapons? That kill innocent people.

a Neutralization of chemical weapons being used on the innocent is not a terror attack.

You should keep up with the show. This isn't about the Syrian people and hasn't been about them for quite a while.
No party involved in this mess cares about them.

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 237):
I understand that the opposition will also be eager to place THEIR people at the feed troughs, but it has to be done to prevent a repeat of Iraq. Keep the moderate Baathists in power, at least they are secular.

You'll have to convince Saudi Arabia and Qatar to call off their jihadi nutjobs, and that won't happen when they are "close" to turning another country into a wahabbi hellhole. We'll end up in the same spot again in a couple of years, most likely.

Quoting TheCommodore (Reply 227):
Your not wrong there. At least it will give China and Russia some target practice.  

I doubt it will escalate but it will make the ROE's a little bit more complicated. Also Putin just said they will send more support to Syria in the form of weapons and money if they are attacked.

[Edited 2013-09-06 07:54:13]
 
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casinterest
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RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Fri Sep 06, 2013 2:50 pm

Quoting Acheron (Reply 238):

You should keep up with the show. This isn't about the Syrian people and hasn't been about them for quite a while.
No party involved in this mess cares about them.

It's always about the people. Those that forget it's about the people are the ones that are always doomed to failure.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did..So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.--Mark Twain
 
Acheron
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RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Fri Sep 06, 2013 2:58 pm

Quoting casinterest (Reply 239):
It's always about the people. Those that forget it's about the people are the ones that are always doomed to failure.

Only if you live in fantasy-land where you actually buy into "humanitarian" reasons.

This is just about Iran vs. Saudi Arabia/Qatar and everbody else is just being an opportunist and jumping in seeing what they can gain something from it, be it money, resources, power, etc.

If it was about the people, most African countries wouldn't be the genocide factories they are now and have been for a long time
 
NAV20
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RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Fri Sep 06, 2013 3:03 pm

Quoting 11Bravo (Reply 236):
I would hope that discussion of this issue would be limited to options that can actually occur.

Fair enough, 11Bravo, maybe I got a bit 'carried away.'   But, as it happens, I have been bombed in my time (by Hitler's Luftwaffe), and have also fired artillery shells. The old artillery saying used to be 'more shells miss than hit,' and the same applies to bombs. Even more so in the case of bombs, really; inevitably, aeroplanes can't drop all their bombs at once, they have no option but to drop them in 'sticks' - which, of course, 'ensures' that not all the bombs will hit the target? Indeed, if visibility etc. is poor, there's inevitably a high possibility that none of the bombs will score hits?

As far as I can tell, you and others are thinking in terms of an 'air offensive' only - bombs and missiles, no 'boots on the ground.' And an offensive 100% based on 'knocking out' Syria's stocks of 'chemical weapons.' That strategy would depend, first of all, on establishing the location of all Syria's stocks of such weapons; and, secondly, on hitting them, and nothing but them. The first objective appears to be almost impossible, on the basis of nothing but 'aerial reconnaissance;' the second one (hitting only the stockpiles) just plain IS impossible. Some bombs would undoubtedly miss their targets, there'd be civilian casualties - the only question is, how many?

In addition, of course, even if the bombs and/or shells hit their targets, there's the question of 'what happens next'? If the attacks are in fact on stocks of 'chemical weapons,' and even if they are successful in destroying such stocks, surely that would just mean that said chemicals would immediately be released onto the surrounding civilian population, causing yet more deaths and injuries?

Sorry, just can't see any solution that will work; other than 'boots on the ground.' Preferably United Nations 'peace-keeping' boots............
"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
 
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Aesma
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RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Fri Sep 06, 2013 3:14 pm

UN peacekeeping means you have to have a peace first.

As for your description of bombing, this isn't WW2 or Viet Nam anymore, while some air forces still have the capability to do this, it is seldom used. Smart bombs are used, and they don't miss (if you aim at civilians, they will kill civilians, though, they're not that smart).

But there will be no use of smart bombs either, because that would require annihilating all air defenses first, and apparently that isn't planned (I'd think it would be a good test for the newest Russian tech, but oh well). France has sent an air defense destroyer though, but that's probably because we'd fire air to ground cruise missiles from outside Syrian borders.

So we are only talking about cruise missiles, fired from far away, using internal GPS, maps, inertial systems, etc., to be very very precise.

Quoting Acheron (Reply 238):
The Jihadis winning would be a bigger threat than anything else.

The crazies are a minority, 10 or 20 thousands, nothing compared to millions of Syrians who are not crazy, in both camps.
New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
 
Acheron
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RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Fri Sep 06, 2013 3:30 pm

Quoting Aesma (Reply 242):
The crazies are a minority, 10 or 20 thousands, nothing compared to millions of Syrians who are not crazy, in both camps.

The Crazies are the ones with enough money, weapons and logistical support to face the Syrian Army. And more than enough to control and wrestle power from every other faction in the FSA.
 
Mortyman
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RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Fri Sep 06, 2013 3:59 pm

Quoting GDB (Reply 218):
You hear this so much and it's usually meant by those who say it.
But the US is pretty much the de facto policeman.

How many nations does the US have at least some sort of military base and facility in?
Many, more than most probably think too.
What are all those carrier battle groups for? Bit of an overkill in a coastguard role.

Because of it's economic and military power, how can the US be anything else?
But it's a policeman when it suits it's economic and security interests.
Which given the scope of these means this power is in almost constant use, in some form or other.
From high tech weapons hitting a nation deemed to be a threat to those interests to some special ops guys doing something, quietly, somewhere.

Imagine the effect on some very major US corporations or inward investment into America, of a North vs South Korean war.
So the US deters this by having troops in the South and an veritable armada in the seas around the region.
They need sustaining, reinforcing perhaps, so there are the bases in Japan, Guam and to illustrate that this is not just a post WW2 thing, Pearl Harbor too.
(The US imperial history in the pacific dates back to kicking the Spanish out of, but also effectively replacing them, in the Phillipines as long ago as the end of the 19th Century).

The Mid East, oil is still a factor, as much for the world economy so important to the US one, as domestic oil supplies.
Then the wholly political decisions to support Israel, though this stance in recent times has got ever more pointed where as in the past, US Presidents were prepared to reign in Israel, including the likes of Reagan.
Not any more. Why? Because not doing so is a big vote loser as far the the American public is concerned.

Professor Niall Ferguson, though a Scot by birth, is a right wing historian who says that the only difference between the US being the primary power and predecessors like the British, is that many in America are in denial of that fact.
Supportive of the 2003 Iraq war, his thinks that the US should have stayed as long as it took to establish a secure, non sectarian democracy, even if it took 30 years.
Though he notes the reality is that measures like bringing back the Draft, would make that politically impossible.

To Syria, the US deems it has the right to prevent, even if all else fails by force, nations like Iran getting WMD's.
But what to do with that stance, that pressure, if Iran's only ally in the region actually uses it's WMD's.

Fact is, Syria was not an issue in the 2012 election, Obama was questioned on it, accused by his opponents of being weak on the issue, so he provided an answer.
Which he sort of fudged after the first indication of Assad using chemicals prior to the larger 21st August attack.

Also interesting to see some on here being against acting on Syria when they would have been completely for it if it was under Bush or that other guy had won last year.
Your not fooling anyone.

Well said ! Respect !
 
NAV20
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RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Fri Sep 06, 2013 4:02 pm

Quoting Acheron (Reply 243):
The Crazies are the ones with enough money, weapons and logistical support to face the Syrian Army. And more than enough to control and wrestle power from every other faction in the FSA.

Exactly corresponds to my own impression, Acheron. Which is why (given that Aesma says there are only about 20,000 of them) I reckon that a properly-resourced UN force could, if necessary, 'snuff them out' within days, and leave the rest of the Syrians free to set up a peaceful and stable future for themselves.

[Edited 2013-09-06 09:23:18]
"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
 
GDB
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RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Fri Sep 06, 2013 4:44 pm

Quoting Boeing717200 (Reply 222):
His propensity to open his mouth has caught up with him in the worst of ways. The man simply doesn't have the stones to make a decision and he's looking for someone else to make it for him. It's truly remarkable to observe.

He was asked a question about Syria, what's he supposed to do, not answer?
Specifically what happens if.......?

He had the 'stones' to make the decision to send the SF guys in to Pakistan in 2011 rather than take the easier but less satisfactory one to drop a JDAM on a certain compound, despite the dismal record of such operations (Op, Eagle Claw in 1980, Somalia in 1993).

And the Pentagon would have been studying possible outcomes to the Syrian civil war including Assad using WMD's right from the start of the fighting.

Quoting Aesma (Reply 232):
Wasn't Romney far more war mongering than Obama ? So how come so much people suddenly don't support intervention ?

Quite, odd how that's forgotten so soon.
If he was true to his stance in the campaign, had he won, the missiles would have been flying before now and some of those against the idea of any intervention would be cheering it on.
I suppose this is an example of how the extreme bloody mindedness of the GOP, usually confined to US domestic politics, spills over internationally.

Saw an interesting report the other day, those rebels identified as extreme Islamist think that the US is going to attack them, that the whole stop the use of WMD's is a cover for a strike on their groups.
 
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Boeing717200
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RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Fri Sep 06, 2013 8:24 pm

Quoting GDB (Reply 246):
He was asked a question about Syria, what's he supposed to do, not answer?

You don't let your inflated ego get the best of you. You simply state "we'll cross that bridge when or if we get to it".

Quoting GDB (Reply 246):
He had the 'stones' to make the decision to send the SF guys in to Pakistan in 2011...

Many people involved in that decision making process would disagree.
240 years and the top two candidates are named Dumb and Dumber. Stay classy!
 
GDB
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RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Fri Sep 06, 2013 8:48 pm

Quoting Boeing717200 (Reply 247):
Many people involved in that decision making process would disagree.

A few partisan types cannot change the basic facts.
Face it, that was a difficult moment for a significant element of the GOP and their base.
Great! Bin Laden's dead! Oh no, that commie/muslim/foreign interloper ordered it! We want to cheer....but.

Away from the FOX fantasy bubble, some in the White House, maybe even the Pentagon too, favoured the bombing option.

You cannot answer though, when asked about Syria, what to say?
(And 'we'll cross that bridge when we come to it' would have been met with derision, including from some who now say he should have said that or nothing).

As soon as the conflict in Syria kicked off, concerns about the security or possible use of Assad's WMD's was an issue, how could it not be?

Given the extreme stance of Israel is never wrong from the GOP, to an extent this President too, given how so many in the US adhere to that idea, a hostile neighbour using WMD's even in the context of a civil war would have demanded a response.
You went to war in Iraq for less than that.
After all, it had been 15 years in 2003 since Saddam had used his WMD's against an internal enemy.
 
wardialer
Posts: 1227
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RE: Syria: What Is To Be Done?

Fri Sep 06, 2013 9:17 pm

Why cant they just send the US Navy SEALs to take out Assad???
Or why why cannot they send FBI agents to arrest Assad for using chem weapons?
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