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Surprise... Syrians dragging their feet on WMD turnover

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  • #16
    Re: Surprise... Syrians dragging their feet on WMD turnover

    Originally posted by fishjoel View Post
    Why did they choose poorly? Would choosing wisely be to side with those who eat human hearts and will later probably kill them just for being a Christian? Is that what you're saying?
    They, themselves an unpopular minority, allied themselves with another unpopular minority that oppresses 75% of the population around them. There is no way that ends well.

    מה מכילות החדשות?


    • #17
      Re: Surprise... Syrians dragging their feet on WMD turnover

      Originally posted by erikvv View Post
      I dont understand what you're saying here.
      Meaning that if everything is verified to be packed and ready to go, I'm sure they could secure assistance in clearing the road.

      Not that it would be in the best interest of the rebels, seeking foreign aid, to block it.

      מה מכילות החדשות?


      • #18
        Re: Surprise... Syrians dragging their feet on WMD turnover

        Originally posted by Commodore View Post
        Thats precisely what we aught to be trying to avoid. The Syrian regime will not set them off, it will be someone who captured them from the regime.
        Avoid how? And where does it end? Because it sure as shit hasn't ended so far, and we've lost a large chunk of the Constitution in the process, racked up a trillion or two in debt from direct military action coupled with shitty monetary policy, made ourselves a further laughing stock on the global stage, and for all of that, when we tell Syria to give up their chemical weapons they give us the finger and laugh.

        מה מכילות החדשות?


        • #19
          Re: Surprise... Syrians dragging their feet on WMD turnover

          Originally posted by ArmyFerret View Post
          Avoid how?
          The Syrian regime has already proven willing to us WMDs against their own people, there is no reason to believe they would use them any other time they felt sufficiently threatened. They have been loosed, and they need to be taken out. Thats why we went through all the trouble to modify a ship to incinerate them at sea.
          Domestic rebels groups like the Free Syrian Army are in pretty desperate straights, and if they are pinned enough they would probably do anything to survive, including use them against regime forces, and not be too careful where they landed.
          Foreign fighters like Al-qaeda would actually seek these weapons for the purpose of using them against US or other juicy civilian targets?

          Originally posted by ArmyFerret View Post
          And where does it end?
          At the end of the world.

          Originally posted by ArmyFerret View Post
          Because it sure as shit hasn't ended so far, and we've lost a large chunk of the Constitution in the process, racked up a trillion or two in debt from direct military action coupled with shitty monetary policy, made ourselves a further laughing stock on the global stage, and for all of that, when we tell Syria to give up their chemical weapons they give us the finger and laugh.
          Yeah, there where numerous mistakes made during the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan, under both administrations. There where mistakes made in the general prosecution of the War on Terror. Do we stop? Because our enemies won't.

          מה מכילות החדשות?


          • #20
            Re: Surprise... Syrians dragging their feet on WMD turnover

            Originally posted by Commodore View Post
            I may not be able to say I told you so because I wasn't here last year to warn you the first time, but honestly, none of what is to follow should surprise anyone...




            What's pathetic about this is that Carney sounds like he actually expected it to happen.

            How many times do we have to go through this?
            Are we going to give Assad another twelve years?
            How bout the Ayatollahs?
            Next of Kim?
            How many times are we going to be duped into taking the word of a dictator on matters such as these?
            How many times are we going to risk a failed transition of power that allows these things to fall into even worse hands?

            It's not too late for Obama to retrieve his testicles from the Kremlin and do the right thing for once.
            I am not so inclined to make the jump you made. I am not informed as to the logistics in delivery, as there are groups in Syria that would love to own these weapons. The year is young, and I am inclined to wait and see.

            If we were really afraid of radicals launching attacks from Syria, shouldn't we support, even if behind the scenes, eradicating that nation of the radicals? Or do we find ourselves in a position where we are supporting god knows who, as we take a stand against Assad? There are worst dictators than Assad and sometimes you have to pick the less dangerous to the US. We have a history of doing this, don't we?

            You may end up being correct in your prior accessment, given we are dealing with middle easterners. Not exactly the most trustworthy folks.

            מה מכילות החדשות?


            • #21
              Re: Surprise... Syrians dragging their feet on WMD turnover

              Originally posted by Commodore View Post
              Yeah, there where numerous mistakes made during the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan, under both administrations. There where mistakes made in the general prosecution of the War on Terror. Do we stop? Because our enemies won't.
              I bet that's a headline on (our enemies') recruiting posters.

              I'm going to start taking the same stance as some and taxation: anyone who believes in an armed attack or invasion of Syria should arm up, charter a boat, and make it happen. The rest of us can claim victory and start rolling back spending and dismantling Homeland Security.

              מה מכילות החדשות?


              • #22
                Re: Surprise... Syrians dragging their feet on WMD turnover

                Originally posted by ArmyFerret View Post
                I bet that's a headline on (our enemies') recruiting posters.

                I'm going to start taking the same stance as some and taxation: anyone who believes in an armed attack or invasion of Syria should arm up, charter a boat, and make it happen. The rest of us can claim victory and start rolling back spending and dismantling Homeland Security.
                Thats precisely how a good chunk of the fighters in Syria got there, and most of those foreign fighters would gladly get on another boat and come here when they where done in Syria, and why it's in our best interest to see that they lose. Which is why is should be a national issue. And unfortunately our government would never let us arm ourselves beyond the capability to be human shields.

                מה מכילות החדשות?


                • #23
                  Re: Surprise... Syrians dragging their feet on WMD turnover

                  Originally posted by Commodore View Post
                  Meaning that if everything is verified to be packed and ready to go, I'm sure they could secure assistance in clearing the road.

                  Not that it would be in the best interest of the rebels, seeking foreign aid, to block it.
                  Assads regime is based on the Baath party, and that has a strictly secular ideology and political platform.

                  BBC News - A Point of View: A long winter for Christians in the Middle East

                  For much of this century, and long before the Assads came to power, Syria was a reliable refuge for the Christians of the Middle East. In Assad's Syria, the major Christian feasts are still national holidays. In the Christian Quarter of Old Damascus around Bab Touma, electric-blue neon crosses wink from the domes of the churches, and processions of crucifix-carrying Boy Scouts can be seen squeezing past gaggles of Christian girls in low-cut jeans and tight-fitting T-shirts.


                  Syria's Christians flee rebel crosshairs | World | DW.DE | 23.10.2013

                  Jochen Langer, Middle East expert at the International Society for Human Rights, shares the bishop's concerns. "The Syrian army is trying, as well as they can, to protect Syria's Christians," he told DW. "But that's only possible to a limited extent."
                  Lately, the regime has been hard-pressed to secure any single area within Syria. Daily, sometimes hourly, the fronts between rebel forces and the Syrian army change. Christians are in particular danger, Langer says, "when they, wherever they live, end up between the fighting." In other words, Christians, like all Syrians, die from the bombs and grenades that land in their villages and cities.
                  In some regions, Langer says, Christians have already been singled out, often by the Islamist al-Nusra Front, a group moderate opposition forces have no control over. But the expert also added that "those could also be very personal acts of rage............"Previously, Gazouha worked for Syria's ministry of tourism. Today, he's "not with Assad, but for the regime." Why?
                  "Under Assad there was security for Christians," he says. Christians in Syria are often therefore accused of supporting the Assad regime - or remaining neutral at the very least and of not having joined the opposition forces.




                  I know that many Americans find it difficult to wrap their brains around this, but in Syria Assad is the secularist who protects ethnic/religious minorities ( out of self-interest ? of course) while the Islamists are fighting on the rebel side ( which does not mean that all rebels are actually Islamists, but they have considerable influence). Assad on the other hand prosecutes open political opposition, yet not religious beliefs.
                  The only obvious qualitative difference between Assad and other secular dictators that the US support elsewhere (Egypt), is that he has a deal with the Russians, not with them. That means propping up a secular military regime in Egypt while propping up a Saudi-backed rebel movement as well that fights against another secular dictator largely backed by the local Christians also holds a lesson about western hyprocrisy in the Near East.
                  There is no question about the Assad regimes brutality, but as long as they were able to provide stability also the US didn´t have that much of a problem with them. :

                  Pictures resurface showing US Secretary John Kerry and President Assad dining in Syria together - Middle East - World - The Independent

                  מה מכילות החדשות?


                  • #24
                    Re: Surprise... Syrians dragging their feet on WMD turnover

                    Is this the same Voland that thought that Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood wasn't all that 'bad'?
                    That their initially taking control of the government may not end up being a problem?
                    That their political position wasn't extremist?

                    Hmm. If I were you, I'd lay off making predictions about Muslim extremist groups for awhile.

                    מה מכילות החדשות?


                    • #25
                      Re: Surprise... Syrians dragging their feet on WMD turnover

                      Originally posted by eohrnberger View Post
                      Is this the same Voland that thought that Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood wasn't all that 'bad'?
                      That their initially taking control of the government may not end up being a problem?
                      That their political position wasn't extremist?

                      Hmm. If I were you, I'd lay off making predictions about Muslim extremist groups for awhile.
                      You are welcome to document any logical or factual errors in my posts, yet not to put words in my mouth. Until then I will stand by the position that the Muslim Brotherhood was the elected governement of Egypt. And that in spite of all their shortcomings support for the military regime has about as much to do with any imaginary "values", promotion of democracy etc. as supporting the syrian rebels : zero. And everything with rough, old-school power politics. Which is not a declaration of sympathy for either side. Anyone still searching for "good" guys in these conflicts truly must have been asleep for a couple of decades. It is a statement of fact, and the hypocrisy pointed out a quite nice illustration.

                      מה מכילות החדשות?


                      • #26
                        Re: Surprise... Syrians dragging their feet on WMD turnover

                        Originally posted by Voland View Post
                        You are welcome to document any logical or factual errors in my posts, yet not to put words in my mouth. Until then I will stand by the position that the Muslim Brotherhood was the elected governement of Egypt. And that in spite of all their shortcomings support for the military regime has about as much to do with any imaginary "values", promotion of democracy etc. as supporting the syrian rebels : zero. And everything with rough, old-school power politics. Which is not a declaration of sympathy for either side. Anyone still searching for "good" guys in these conflicts truly must have been asleep for a couple of decades. It is a statement of fact, and the hypocrisy pointed out a quite nice illustration.
                        You are getting close to saying something about US foreign policy that I would agree with. Similar to how the US picks business winners and losers with economic policy, the US also picks regime winners and losers with foreign policy. It is elementary to show how hypocritical US policy is in this space given the aristocratic dictatorships we support around the globe vs. those we call a problem. Egypt and Syria are just examples in that respect, but given Syria's link to Russia that hypocrisy is highlighted extremely well. Besides, I am still not convinced that the concepts of Democracy are compatible with the one monotheistic religion that has a baked into the text method of societal "authority."

                        מה מכילות החדשות?


                        • #27
                          Re: Surprise... Syrians dragging their feet on WMD turnover

                          Originally posted by Voland View Post
                          I know that many Americans find it difficult to wrap their brains around this, but in Syria Assad is the secularist who protects ethnic/religious minorities ( out of self-interest ? of course) while the Islamists are fighting on the rebel side ( which does not mean that all rebels are actually Islamists, but they have considerable influence). Assad on the other hand prosecutes open political opposition, yet not religious beliefs.
                          The only obvious qualitative difference between Assad and other secular dictators that the US support elsewhere (Egypt), is that he has a deal with the Russians, not with them. That means propping up a secular military regime in Egypt while propping up a Saudi-backed rebel movement as well that fights against another secular dictator largely backed by the local Christians also holds a lesson about western hyprocrisy in the Near East.
                          There is no question about the Assad regimes brutality, but as long as they were able to provide stability also the US didn´t have that much of a problem with them. :

                          Pictures resurface showing US Secretary John Kerry and President Assad dining in Syria together - Middle East - World - The Independent
                          So you would describe Assad's persecution of majority Sunnis's sustainable? Acceptable? Just?

                          מה מכילות החדשות?


                          • #28
                            Re: Surprise... Syrians dragging their feet on WMD turnover

                            Originally posted by Commodore View Post
                            So you would describe Assad's persecution of majority Sunnis's sustainable? Acceptable? Just?
                            Oh, come on. As if the US would give a horseshit about Syrias Sunnite Muslims (that are discriminated under Assad, not persecuted per se). And you are welcome to link to ANY post of mine where I have justified oppression or prosecution of people.
                            Syria is an ethnic/religious mess carved in the sand by colonial powers (Britain/France). Without regards to historical borders, ethnicities, religion, alliances/enmities, minorities /majorities etc. The Assad family, that is itself a member of a minority, the Alawites ( that devout Sunnis see as something in between an obscure islamic sect and infidels) has essentially copied an ottoman ( and also already roman) principle of governance : "Divide et impera" (Divide and rule). Or in other words : Promote and unite the various minorities to rule the majority ( Sunnite Muslims). Underpinned by brute force.
                            Under normal circumstances the regime would vanish at some point as those regimes typically do. Either because its subjects rise up or because it implodes from within. Syria is made more complicated because it is not only an explosive cocktail internally but also the place where several outside powers lines of conflict meet.

                            Russia has decades old strategic interests ( naval base, its only one on the Mediterranean), oil drilling rights, long-term investions and its only reliable regional ally to defend.

                            The Saudis would like to break a piece out of the "shiite" crescent ranging from Iran (via Iraq, Syria, Lebanon) till the Mediterranean (and by that cut Irans link to the Mediterranean), and are trying to paint their support for the rebels in humanitarian colours. Saudi-Arabia has also brutally crushed a shiite uprising in the Gulf island kingdom Bahrain (without western leaders saying a beep), arms sunnite lebanese militias (while Iran arms Hezbollah) and do the Taliban ring a bell ? The syrian proxy war is a manifestation of a wider gamble about influence and hegemony not only, but chiefly between these two. Would the Saudis and Quataris install a democratic or pro-western regime in Syria ? You must be kidding.

                            The Israelis would obviously like to see Hezbollahs supply routes via Syria cut by a new regime. Yet a superficial check of israeli media will also tell you that many Israelis have very significant doubts that exchanging a known and manageable problem for a potentially bigger one ( a pro-Saudi rebel regime in Syria) would be wise. Assad is an enemy that they have learned to live with as predictable, rational and cooly calculating. Additionally one who fights some of the same islamic extremist brands as they do themselves. Where a new regimes priorities and alliances would lie is completely speculative.

                            Iran obviously seeks to defend the "shiite crescent" and its strategic access to the Mediterranean on the other hand, in spite of the ideological gulf between its own and the Assad regime. Yet support for shiite minorities everywhere, from Lebanon till Afghanistan and the Gulf Emirates is a long running iranian policy since before the islamic revolution.
                            As is the wrestling for regional dominance between Shiites and Sunnites, Arabs and Persians (Iranians). And THAT is the issue here that needs to be tackled.

                            The US would quite obviously like the Russians out (although few people are openly saying that) and to install a friendly regime sympathetic to US goals. Since unlike in Egypt that isn´t obvious to materialize from anywhere, thus (probably) one motive for the re-approachment with the Iranians. That no peace agreement is going to work for Syria that doesn´t include Iran (and doesn´t squeeze compromises out of the Saudis), is pretty obvious studying a few basic facts. Which is not a question of sympathies or morals, but of politics, and that may give a taste how awfully messed up the task is.
                            Essentially the US (and Russia of course) are meddling in a regional conflict that western powers have helped fuelling (at Versailles, by "creating" dysfunctional states), but that in principle has roots going back more than one millenium (Shiites/Sunnites, Arabs/Persians). And how much meddling in there has to do with actual long-term interests of either nation or the West as a whole may be everybodys own guess. Neither candidate (Saudi-Arabia/Iran) at least is an outstanding example of democratic governance, moderation, secularism etc., and neither has western meddling in the region anything to do with promotion of these things. Not now and not 100 years ago.
                            Assad and the rebels may sign (and then ignore) many deals that their protectors hand to them. It is chiefly the Gulf Arabs and the Iranians that need to be dragged to the table, if the goal is really to boil down the violence in Syria.
                            Last edited by Voland; 02-04-2014, 01:01 AM.

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                            • #29
                              Re: Surprise... Syrians dragging their feet on WMD turnover

                              Originally posted by MattInFla View Post
                              Yeah, it is too late. Putin punked Obama on the world stage, and the US won't be able to muster support for an attack now. We couldn't do it before, and we've lost influence in the meantime.

                              Russia is in the driver's seat, and they want Assad protected. And so he will be.
                              Syria is a client atate of Russia. We do the same thing with Israel. Our country wouldn't let Obama go in, so our abilities in that context stopped right there: it has nothing to do with Obama as much as it does we're all sick of the ME.

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                              • #30
                                Re: Surprise... Syrians dragging their feet on WMD turnover

                                Originally posted by fishjoel View Post
                                The only reason it has dragged out so long and had such negative results is because foreign interference. If Syria would have been left alone it would have been over in weeks.
                                The question is what side would win though.

                                It is my impression that the rebels are getting far more support from the Arab world than Assad is getting from Russia and Iran.

                                Obviously the Sunni are the oppressed majority and Assad represents the wealthy and minorities. But the Sunni have already succeeded in driving away many ethnic groups in the region, or are attempting to do so.

                                The Baathists and Iran are no sweatheats, and radical Allewites definately played a role in jump-starting the Syrian conflict. But I like their record a lot more than Arab-style governements. Ofcourse you can find counterexamples, but I'm thinking of the big picture.

                                Also I wonder if this conflict ever took place if it wasn't for the refugees and fighters from Iraq. I think the way we handled Iraq (and I mean before, during and after 2003) is the biggest foreign policy blunders I will see in my lifetime.

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