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-   -   Syria getting ugly in a hurry (http://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=21654)

dteowner August 27th, 2013 20:22

Syria getting ugly in a hurry
 
We haven't really been discussing this much (at all). Some very interesting parallels are coming up, though. I look forward to the logical gymnastics.
http://news.yahoo.com/on-syria—is-ob…151321791.html

Quote:

For a president who defined his 2008 run for the White House with his forceful denunciation of the way Bush led the country into the Iraq war, and then managed the conflict, it’s an unusual turn of events, to say the least.
Quote:

With explicit U.N. approval impossible to secure absent a 180-degree turn by Russia, the current president is looking for justification in international law, while Bush found it in past U.N. Security Council resolutions.
Ironic that Dubya gave better lip service to the toothless UN than Hopey Peace Prize will.

Quote:

What’s the point of having the U.N. inspectors in Syria render a judgment about whether chemical weapons were used if Obama has already decided they were, and by the Assad regime?

“At this point, we do not have confidence that the U.N. can conduct a credible inquiry into what happened,” Carney said.
Well, at least they got that right.

Thrasher August 27th, 2013 20:27

We should stay out. Period. No need to make up excuses or lies for why it would be good to do otherwise.

dteowner August 27th, 2013 20:41

This is getting to be a habit recently—I agree with you, thrasher. We gain nothing playing world police in that area and stand to lose quite a bit. Worse yet, it appears the plan du jour is a typical Obummer half-ass dabbling. Dropping some bombs won't wipe out Assad and it almost certainly will accidentally wipe out some innocents, so it's lose-lose on that front. We just end up getting everyone in the region pissed off at us.

If we're going to get involved, we need to stomp with both feet. Lacking the national public will, the domestic political backing, the military force (in availability and defined goals), and any sort of stable replacement Syrian government, there's no way we can have a start-to-finish strategy developed. That's a cluster waiting to happen.

zahratustra August 27th, 2013 21:16

IMO it's resembling Iraq even more than you suppose guys. I'm not convinced that Assad's forces actually did it because:
1- Obama clearly stated a while ago that any attack on civilians with WMDs would trigger retaliation,
2- Assad is/was slowly but surely winning his war against rebel forces.
3- there are also (according to experts on chemical warfare) some inconsistencies in the videos of the victims of the attack.

Now, there is no doubt that Assad is an embodiment of ego-maniacal dictator but it doesn't make him mad or suicidal.

I'm waiting for the promised release of intel to make up my mind.

Thrasher August 27th, 2013 21:23

The behavior of the rebels is as reprehensible as Assad's faction. Neither deserve our attention.

HiddenX August 27th, 2013 21:25

That's exactly the problem in Syria - which faction can you choose to fight for?

blatantninja August 27th, 2013 21:36

Yup. There is nothing to be gained from here. It sort of reminds me of the Bosian-Serb war. Neither side was clean at all, but we ended up going with the side that was getting its ass handed to it. I'd prefer that if we were going to do anything, we'd set up safe zones for civilians (and actually give the troops there the means and authority to protect those zones).

SpoonFULL August 27th, 2013 21:46

It reminds me of the Halabcha massacre in the north of iraq in 1988 where the regieme killed few tens of thousands innocents with chemical weapons. These chemical weapons were on record supplied by Germany and Britian amongst few other western countries. The west did nothing about it as it 'was not the right time' as Saddam was a favourite at the time in their war with Iran.

So many layers of crud and political crap to support criminals in the past and make them enemies when appropriate and to serve some hidden agendas.

True victims - the millions displaced scattered around the region and the thousands killed and tourtured.

Thrasher August 27th, 2013 22:19

Well I just hope neighboring countries are civil enough to accept escaping refugees.

Hawks that want to beat down Assad just because of ancient Soviet support should just put their money where their mouth is. Let them go to Syria and join / support the rebels as individuals rather than get the US government involved. I'm talking to you, Grampy McCain…

Dez August 27th, 2013 22:36

Quote:

Originally Posted by dteowner (Post 1061215802)
This is getting to be a habit recently—I agree with you, thrasher. We gain nothing playing world police in that area and stand to lose quite a bit. Worse yet, it appears the plan du jour is a typical Obummer half-ass dabbling. Dropping some bombs won't wipe out Assad and it almost certainly will accidentally wipe out some innocents, so it's lose-lose on that front. We just end up getting everyone in the region pissed off at us.

If we're going to get involved, we need to stomp with both feet. Lacking the national public will, the domestic political backing, the military force (in availability and defined goals), and any sort of stable replacement Syrian government, there's no way we can have a start-to-finish strategy developed. That's a cluster waiting to happen.

I'm no american, but I agree 100 %. Some of us euros have been once again crying out for good old U.S.A to solve this bloody mess for us. European union can only issue sanktions which are naturally quite uneffective when both sides of war don't give a damn about economic stability, market values and forth. Staying alive is the biggest worry for syrians now.

There can be no winners in that situation. If usa (and some of it's european allies) were to invade Syria, it would be a political clusterfuck. And do we really an other irak or afganistan? It seems that we have hands full with irak and afganistan etc. Doing few bombing runs and missile strike won't solve a thing. You need troops and bases on the ground.

There would be very little to gain from such action. Russia has been saying loudly that attacking there would bring only unstability to whole region and I think usa is thinking along same lines. Then again such a conflict could easily escalate over syrian borders and nobody wants that to happen. Damn if you do, damn if you don't.

Terrible faith ofcouse belongs to common folk who has to suffer needlesly due to powerhungry politicians of that region. What ever rebels goal was in the begining, now the price has truly exceeded every good thing which could have been gained from removing Bashar al-Assad's regime.

Ofcouse watching the murder, rape and terror of innocent people is never easy thing to do from the sidelines and i'm sure both sides have gotten their hand dirty by now.

Zloth August 31st, 2013 16:26

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thrasher (Post 1061215810)
The behavior of the rebels is as reprehensible as Assad's faction. Neither deserve our attention.

I must say, the "let's you and him fight" angle is appealing.

But what about the whole chemical weapons thing? That's SUPPOSED to be against international law - such as it is. Does anybody care any more? I'm seeing national leaders in the West moving to enforce this only to be undercut by their own people. Are the chemical weapon bans dead now?

booboo August 31st, 2013 16:48

I think an important issue at the moment is the lack of clarity on *who* launched the alleged chemical weapon attack. The UN has not completed its investigation. Nonetheless, the US government seems hellbent on charging in - without all the facts, except those they have established (apparently) themselves - and blowing things up. Which will almost certainly have extremely dire consequences, including an increased in terror attacks on western targets. We all still remember the WMD debacle that 'justified' the invasion of Iraq. It was, iirc, very "obvious" that Saddam had these weapons, after all they built a whole alliance and launched a war based on this… It is within the realm of possibility that some rebel or gov splinter group took it upon themselves to up the ante by launching the attack, knowing it would muddy the waters. We simply don't know.

dteowner August 31st, 2013 17:38

The UN couldn't successfully investigate if water was wet. I hope that's not an actual deciding factor.

booboo August 31st, 2013 17:52

Quote:

Originally Posted by dteowner (Post 1061216508)
The UN couldn't successfully investigate if water was wet. I hope that's not an actual deciding factor.

Nevertheless, many (outside the US) would like to see what their investigators come up with. Clearly the US is not going to be allowed to send people into Syria and yet they seem to have already found all the evidence they needed to decide who launched the weapon. i.e. the Assad regime. Given the past failures of the US intelligence services, I'm not that confident in their ability to deduce that from a distance. They also don't seem to care that the UK - their traditional ally - is not backing a strike. Well, I guess we'll see what they do soon enough.

txa1265 August 31st, 2013 20:31

Quote:

Originally Posted by dteowner (Post 1061216508)
The UN couldn't successfully investigate if water was wet. I hope that's not an actual deciding factor.

I love that expression - and we know that even if they DID make a pronouncement on wetness of water, it would be politicized and hotly debated and vetoed in committee ..

And I really think that anyone who supported Bush and is now criticizing Obama, or criticized Bush and is now supporting Obama … needs to pull their head out of their a$$.

And perhaps saddest of all is that we just seem as a country (not necessarily as people) to be addicted to war. Reagan made a big play of 'might = pride' and it really helped yank us out of the 70s … and we haven't come back from that yet.

Kostas August 31st, 2013 20:38

Considering the freedom the 2nd term provides and the fact that Obama uses the political capital he's got left to start a war the whole debacle surrounding the (still recent in my mind) elections is put into context.

Gaxkang August 31st, 2013 21:52

So soon after the Iraq WMD debacle and cooked up intelligence, they say with a straight face "trust us, we have secret intelligence, this time for real (and it's a judgment call, no hard facts)"? Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice shame on me, as George Bush almost said.

It is amazing that the US economy is stagnating, places like Detroit are worse than parts of Africa in a load of respects, and the thing that gets the US president stirred up the most, priority channel 1 … is blowing yet more middle eastern towns into the dark ages with $200m-a-pop missiles.

I don't think I have ever seen a country's reputation go from "wow, what an awesomely cool land, wish our country was like that!" to "warmongering, sneaky spying empire of evil, hope we never become like them" in 10 short years.

greywolf00 August 31st, 2013 22:13

In fairness, the "intelligence committee" put together under Bush that said Iraq had WMDs was hand selected and drew a completely different conclusion than the NSA, CIA, and even the UN (who, if memory serves, said earlier the same day we decided to attack there was no evidence of WMDs).

I served two deployments in Iraq. Ultimately, I highly doubt putting boots in the ground does anything but make things worse for us in the Middle East in the long run. We all know 99.9% of the people going through check points probably have zero intention of harming us but, you're trained to treat 100% of them as if they are. It helps contribute to shootings of innocent civilians in a poor, uneducated, and religiously fanatical part of the world. It's a great recipe for terrorist recruitment.

Znith August 31st, 2013 22:52

Obama seems to be doing this backwards. Now he wants a vote in Congress, which won't happen until Sept 9th at the very very very earliest, when they are back in session.

I don't understand his logic in sending warships to that area, scaring the bejezus out of Israel with lines for gas masks and now he's waiting for approval. Shouldn't the approval come first before ships were deployed? Stupid question I know. Now even if we were to do some type of strategic bombing (as they call it) Syria has almost two weeks to move it's assets near schools or areas with high population because we won't attack near civilians.

Why are we picking a fight with another country? I understand Syria is killing it's own and I know about the chemical weapons convention which Syria isn't even a part of (as far as I can see)! I understand that we should help them but we just can't help every single nation that's in need, it's impossible to solve all the worlds problems no matter how much we would like to see every country be a free democracy.

I think if we bomb Syria in any way shape or form we are in for some real issues with allies and other countries that just don't like us as much as the President thinks they do.

dteowner August 31st, 2013 22:52

Quote:

Originally Posted by txa1265 (Post 1061216523)
And I really think that anyone who supported Bush and is now criticizing Obama, or criticized Bush and is now supporting Obama … needs to pull their head out of their a$$.

Not quite apples-to-apples. At a minimum, we had Saddam dead to rights on gassing the Kurds. He also had a history of open aggression with his invasion of Kuwait. Whether you bought the WMD deal or not, there's no denying that Saddam was a dangerous lunatic whose rhetoric would lead anyone listening to conclude that he had no intentions of playing nice.

Don't know that we can say that about Assad just yet. Getting much closer if he really has gassed his own people, but not really there yet.

Additionally, there was certainly a greater belief that Dubya and his neocon buddies would give Iraq the two-footed stomp while about the best we can expect from Hopey Peace Prize on this are dipping a toe in the pool followed by a disgusting apology to the international community.

Finally, perhaps some of us have learned a lesson about that whole region being insane. ;)


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