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  • Originally posted by Brexx View Post

    This was a very easy poll to read. No questions, just a simple statement and three possible responses. I find it hard to believe that the people of Germany and France responded the way they did because they misunderstood the statement or didn't understand the meaning of agree or disagree.
    I agree the method of selecting respondents is key, and Chatham House should have included that information.

    Just came across this poll. It contradicts what you said about Germans not being concerned about immigration.

    Instead, the poll found domestic and security issues taking center stage in Germany (see graphic below). About half of Germans listed terrorism and immigration among their top concerns. In that, they were largely aligned with Britain and France. Where they differed: 45 percent listed wealth inequality as a major priority and about a third also listed climate change among their key worries, ranking these problems far higher than Brits or Frenchmen did.

    https://global.handelsblatt.com/poli...brain-retfeb17


    Polls are always easy to read. It is often less easy to properly understand them, especially if the respondents live in countries/cultures other than your own. The tricky question is always who was asking what precisely, who was responding and when. Polls that dont disclose their methodology (and their pick of respondents) fully cant be treated like the Holy Bible. And no, I dont think Germans or French necessarily misunderstood the question, but translating even a simple question (assuming it was translated, if not, the poll is CLEARLY non-representative) can add different associations and different meanings. Anyone speaking more than one language can confirm that to you. Such as Germans drawing clear lines between asylum seekers, refugees (recognized) and immigrants, for Anglophones not familiar with Germanys immigration policies and history and the german language that might be less obvious. As I stated before : The result would make sense more or less if german respondents were polled about a repeat of the big refugee wave two years ago. The anti-Immigration/anti-Islam vote on the other hand is relatively clearly measurable ( the AFD, and it is much less than that even in their highest poll rankings). The logical explanation would be that Chatham got the categories confused in german, which means the result may be valid, but the superficial impression may be misleading. And that calls the entire poll in question. Another point : They should have limited the poll to countries with established muslim communities and actual migration experience. It is idiotic to ask people in countries that are not going to attract any significant immigration of any kind in the foreseeable future, because they a) export their workers themselves for lack of jobs and/or b) they are in a massive economic crisis hypothetical questions about wether or not welcoming immigrants. Wether or not you throw the term "muslim" in the mix the answer is predictable. That is the problem with "simple" questions.

    As far as the Handelsblatt poll is concerned : You didnt read it entirely, right ? They dont measure attitudes (positive/negative), and they dont even mention Islam. The majority according to this one (pick of respondents ? Again unclear) wants the next governement to tackle the refugee crisis plus subsequent immigration issues (such as who is going to stay and who isnt). Any particular position ? Not polled.


    Here is a german survey about respondents concerns to provide a contrast : immigration control ( Einwanderungskontrolle) is on Position 9 :


    https://de.statista.com/statistik/da...der-deutschen/

    ?


    • Originally posted by Brexx View Post

      Inviting them to come to our countries isn't what most of them want, and its not what most of the citizens of western countries want either.

      Merkel has done two things mainly :

      1. She has suspended the so-called "Dublin rule", that would have allowed to send asylum seekers back to where they entered the EU (such as Greece, Italy, Bulgaria etc.) to file their application for protection there. She has done so EXCLUSIVELY for syrian citizens ( since they were understood to be the majority of the wave spilling over into Europe in autumn 20015).
      That meant in effect that the southern countries could pass syrian or allegedly syrian asylum seekers on to Germany to be sorted out there, which took enormous pressure off them.
      When Merkel made that declaration, the wave was already on the way, and it was beyond obvious that most would try to reach wealthy northern Europe with Germany in the middle anyway. Her alternatives were a) head in sand b) proactively taking ownership of the problem, and she knew she would be blamed either way. And no, noone can "just" seal off Germanys borders (central Europe is densely populated, strongly interconnected and borders thousands of kilometres long) or "just" push a million or so people back to a warzone. Taking the problem by the horns instead of waiting for someone else to ride to the rescue was CLEARLY the smarter option, in realpolitical, in humanitarian and in practical terms.

      2. Merkel is on the record saying things like "Wir schaffen das" (Well make it). Which was directed at her own electorate, not towards the world ( it was an adress in german after all). She has also said "A country where you have to find excuses for helping the most miserable isnt my country". She has rejected putting an official limit on the number of refugees taken (she has in the last two years taken many steps to limit the influx however, such as with the Turkey deal), and she has taken foto OPs with refugees. What she has NEVER done however was to issue the often claimed "invitation". That is a lie often used by people that seek fake moral excuses for pulling up the drawbridge .
      Youre welcome to prove me wrong. No hearsay, unsourced claims, wild guesses, just a date and an invitation text/adress......? Should be somewhere on the internet, right ? And presumably not just in german ?

      Imagine a vicious civil war somewhere in South America. Imagine millions displaced and huge numbers making their way across countries towards the US border. Also then "let Guatemala sort it out and if public order breaks down, tough luck" wouldnt be a viable policy. The US as the biggest and wealthiest kid on the bloc would have to provide leadership and help to ensure stability in its own neighborhood in its own interest, and have to chose from a menu of imperfect, and potentially risky options. Just as Germany had to. And the US is not even as closely interlinked in the region as EU members between each other.
      Last edited by Voland; 09-20-2017, 04:19 AM.

      ?


      • Originally posted by radcentr View Post
        How is this much different than Vietnam? A greater variety of factions? That is true. Corrupt leadership vs. a determined enemy? Too similar. And you would send in the cavalry to clean up the mess? Same as Vietnam, and you would get the same results.

        One might suggest a "safe zone" that can be isolated geographically from the rest of Syria, without US/NATO troops racing border to border chasing down bad guys. Then you might have a place to start. A constant "rope-a-dope" strategy -encourage attacks against the perimeter of the safe zone, in order to whittle down extremist, irregular combatants along with Assad allies who would try to remove the safe zone. Occasional forays into extremist territory, to take out leadership when targeting is dependable. All of this while putting serious pressure on Arab League states not closely associated with the various sides; if they don't provide at least guard troops to help protect people who would otherwise be refugees, this plan wouldn't work. The reward for those few Arab states that pony up resources (most importantly, troops), is a better position with the US and the EU; if Saudi Arabia or other states fail to come forward, they lose a few points.

        See how that strategy is better than the Vietnam (aka "old empire") strategy? It limits our involvement, our geographical exposure, without compromising a military defense. It provides a political objective, while preserving the end-game autonomy of Syria. Assad might prevail, his authoritarian state is re-established, but the refugees are "on site" for immediate repatriation. That Syria will have some obligation (gratitude at least) for the Arab League states that stepped up, which should provide some pressure on all parties to change the Old Order. The US and EU can leave Syria without having to re-build the military or political organizations within. In short, we could leave without much more expense than the safe zone strategy, with little to no "colonial" aftertaste. It's elegant, it might work (certainly would work better than the old-fashioned method).
        What is needed in Syria is regime change. There can be no peace until that happens, and there will be no peace after it happens either unless it is done by legitimate process, overseen and assisted by the UN with security provided by an international force, and I mean a truly international force, not 90% American. This force would have to stay in place for years until Syrias army and police forces were strong enough to maintain peace and order.

        In other words, if the world really cares enough to want to finally end this nightmare in Syria then they should do it right. Half-assed measures don't work.

        ?


        • Originally posted by Voland View Post



          Polls are always easy to read. It is often less easy to properly understand them, especially if the respondents live in countries/cultures other than your own. The tricky question is always who was asking what precisely, who was responding and when. Polls that dont disclose their methodology (and their pick of respondents) fully cant be treated like the Holy Bible. And no, I dont think Germans or French necessarily misunderstood the question, but translating even a simple question (assuming it was translated, if not, the poll is CLEARLY non-representative) can add different associations and different meanings. Anyone speaking more than one language can confirm that to you. Such as Germans drawing clear lines between asylum seekers, refugees (recognized) and immigrants, for Anglophones not familiar with Germanys immigration policies and history and the german language that might be less obvious. As I stated before : The result would make sense more or less if german respondents were polled about a repeat of the big refugee wave two years ago. The anti-Immigration/anti-Islam vote on the other hand is relatively clearly measurable ( the AFD, and it is much less than that even in their highest poll rankings). The logical explanation would be that Chatham got the categories confused in german, which means the result may be valid, but the superficial impression may be misleading. And that calls the entire poll in question. Another point : They should have limited the poll to countries with established muslim communities and actual migration experience. It is idiotic to ask people in countries that are not going to attract any significant immigration of any kind in the foreseeable future, because they a) export their workers themselves for lack of jobs and/or b) they are in a massive economic crisis hypothetical questions about wether or not welcoming immigrants. Wether or not you throw the term "muslim" in the mix the answer is predictable. That is the problem with "simple" questions.

          As far as the Handelsblatt poll is concerned : You didnt read it entirely, right ? They dont measure attitudes (positive/negative), and they dont even mention Islam. The majority according to this one (pick of respondents ? Again unclear) wants the next governement to tackle the refugee crisis plus subsequent immigration issues (such as who is going to stay and who isnt). Any particular position ? Not polled.


          Here is a german survey about respondents concerns to provide a contrast : immigration control ( Einwanderungskontrolle) is on Position 9 :


          https://de.statista.com/statistik/da...der-deutschen/
          The Chatham poll was very simple, and that is why the results are clear and undeniable. Basically people were asked,"Do you want more Muslims in you country?" Most people in Germany and France said no.

          In the Handelsblatt poll the greatest concerns were terrorism and immigration. Gee, I wonder which immigrant group they were most concerned about. lol

          ?


          • Originally posted by Brexx View Post

            What is needed in Syria is regime change. There can be no peace until that happens, and there will be no peace after it happens either unless it is done by legitimate process, overseen and assisted by the UN with security provided by an international force, and I mean a truly international force, not 90% American. This force would have to stay in place for years until Syrias army and police forces were strong enough to maintain peace and order.

            In other words, if the world really cares enough to want to finally end this nightmare in Syria then they should do it right. Half-assed measures don't work.
            Convince the UN to contribute, in order to bring about regime change in Syria. That would be a difficult task, just to get agreement. After that failed effort, it would be nearly certain the world would be in the same spot, with Assad in charge and a refugee crisis. From what is known, it seems the major reason the US doesn't like Assad isn't because he's a homicidal sociopath; it is because Assad is Russia's homicidal sociopath. IOW, someone else's tinpot dictator.

            Get off the "Assad must go" bandwagon; the reason he's on your enemy list is because someone convinced you he's worse than other dictators. He's just more of the same, just engaged in civil war at the moment. If we go in, "we" will mostly be made up of NATO states, probably with the US funding most of the operation at first. If we pull off some measure of success, it must involve the relatively neutral Arab states that wish to compromise the less-than-honorable interests of Saudi Arabia and Iran. That could possibly mean that Assad stays in power, in a stable but weakened state. Getting the UN to invest more than speeches is a pipe dream, at least before a cease-fire is established. They might provide a peacekeeping force at that point.

            ?


            • Originally posted by radcentr View Post
              Convince the UN to contribute, in order to bring about regime change in Syria. That would be a difficult task, just to get agreement. After that failed effort, it would be nearly certain the world would be in the same spot, with Assad in charge and a refugee crisis. From what is known, it seems the major reason the US doesn't like Assad isn't because he's a homicidal sociopath; it is because Assad is Russia's homicidal sociopath. IOW, someone else's tinpot dictator.

              Get off the "Assad must go" bandwagon; the reason he's on your enemy list is because someone convinced you he's worse than other dictators. He's just more of the same, just engaged in civil war at the moment. If we go in, "we" will mostly be made up of NATO states, probably with the US funding most of the operation at first. If we pull off some measure of success, it must involve the relatively neutral Arab states that wish to compromise the less-than-honorable interests of Saudi Arabia and Iran. That could possibly mean that Assad stays in power, in a stable but weakened state. Getting the UN to invest more than speeches is a pipe dream, at least before a cease-fire is established. They might provide a peacekeeping force at that point.
              The UNSC will never OK military action in Syria because of Russia's presence on the SC, but after the Assad has been removed the UN could come in and assist in the process of creating a new constitution which then leads to a legitimate government. UN agencies don't need security council approval to do this.

              What the outside world thinks of Assad is not the important thing if the goal is to stop the war in Syria. The majority in Syria want him gone. That's what started this war and peace will not be possible under any deal that leaves him in power.

              ?


              • Originally posted by Brexx View Post

                The UNSC will never OK military action in Syria because of Russia's presence on the SC, but after the Assad has been removed the UN could come in and assist in the process of creating a new constitution which then leads to a legitimate government. UN agencies don't need security council approval to do this.

                What the outside world thinks of Assad is not the important thing if the goal is to stop the war in Syria. The majority in Syria want him gone. That's what started this war and peace will not be possible under any deal that leaves him in power.
                The majority in Syria want Assad gone, that's good. The majority in Syria also want most other factions fighting against Assad gone (except their own faction). That's bad. In short, it is a fractured state without a Boss Man. Even if the UN wanted to provide peacekeepers and some political brokering, they mystery is how they would manage the conflict between so many factions.

                So the US goes in, chooses the Great Leader, who may or may not be someone who inches toward a constitutional republic. In short, we may choose someone who is no better than Assad, setting up a different family dynasty of despots. Only he will be our despot, not Russia's. He may or may not be a patriot for Syria. And this will be an improvement over Vietnam strategy ...how?

                ?


                • Originally posted by radcentr View Post
                  The majority in Syria want Assad gone, that's good. The majority in Syria also want most other factions fighting against Assad gone (except their own faction). That's bad. In short, it is a fractured state without a Boss Man. Even if the UN wanted to provide peacekeepers and some political brokering, they mystery is how they would manage the conflict between so many factions.

                  So the US goes in, chooses the Great Leader, who may or may not be someone who inches toward a constitutional republic. In short, we may choose someone who is no better than Assad, setting up a different family dynasty of despots. Only he will be our despot, not Russia's. He may or may not be a patriot for Syria. And this will be an improvement over Vietnam strategy ...how?
                  The international force that removes Assad and kills off all the crazies who want to set up a caliphate will not choose a new leader, except perhaps a provisional one until a new constitution is drawn up and voted on and elections are held.

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                  • Originally posted by Brexx View Post

                    The international force that removes Assad and kills off all the crazies who want to set up a caliphate will not choose a new leader, except perhaps a provisional one until a new constitution is drawn up and voted on and elections are held.
                    The international force will tell the US, "you broke it, fix it". Pretty much what was done in Iraq. If we have to pay for it, the least we could do is back a regional organization to help with the reconstruction. One that replaces the major players that are hurting Syria at present. At that point, if the UN observes a positive change in US strategy, it might be willing to help out.

                    To the extent we avoid the mistakes made in re-building Iraq, some success might be achieved. However, if the objective is the same (corrupt authoritarian that always answers to the US), killing off the current crop of caliphate crazies is just a temporary measure, until the next crop arrives from throughout the region.

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                    • Originally posted by radcentr View Post
                      The international force will tell the US, "you broke it, fix it". Pretty much what was done in Iraq. If we have to pay for it, the least we could do is back a regional organization to help with the reconstruction. One that replaces the major players that are hurting Syria at present. At that point, if the UN observes a positive change in US strategy, it might be willing to help out.

                      To the extent we avoid the mistakes made in re-building Iraq, some success might be achieved. However, if the objective is the same (corrupt authoritarian that always answers to the US), killing off the current crop of caliphate crazies is just a temporary measure, until the next crop arrives from throughout the region.
                      It should always be understood that "if you break it you fix it". That principle is enshrined in international law. Unfortunately in the case of Libya it was ignored. In Iraq it was done. New constitution, legitimate elected government, and a reconstructed army. It was all looking good until Obama abandon the whole project. Its still not dead but its not looking good with the Iranians in there.

                      The same process that was used in Iraq should happen in Syria without the mistakes. Coalition forces should stay there indefinately.

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                      • Originally posted by Brexx View Post

                        It should always be understood that "if you break it you fix it". That principle is enshrined in international law. Unfortunately in the case of Libya it was ignored. In Iraq it was done. New constitution, legitimate elected government, and a reconstructed army. It was all looking good until Obama abandon the whole project. Its still not dead but its not looking good with the Iranians in there.

                        The same process that was used in Iraq should happen in Syria without the mistakes. Coalition forces should stay there indefinately.
                        Oh, you were referring to colonization, if you want coalition forces there indefinitely. Making it a 'coalition' just takes the "Em" out of "Empire", and makes it into a "pyre". A "Pyrrhic" victory, if one is depending on military security with no political exit strategy. Your solution is old school, and it will work about as well as any other strategy based on colonization by a foreign culture.

                        It won't work in the long run. Never has, never will.

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                        • Originally posted by radcentr View Post
                          Oh, you were referring to colonization, if you want coalition forces there indefinitely. Making it a 'coalition' just takes the "Em" out of "Empire", and makes it into a "pyre". A "Pyrrhic" victory, if one is depending on military security with no political exit strategy. Your solution is old school, and it will work about as well as any other strategy based on colonization by a foreign culture.

                          It won't work in the long run. Never has, never will.
                          So, if an international force were to go in and end the Syrian civil war you would call that "colonization". I would call it an humanitarian mission. I guess it depends on which aspect of the situation you consider most important.

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                          • Originally posted by Brexx View Post

                            So, if an international force were to go in and end the Syrian civil war you would call that "colonization". I would call it an humanitarian mission. I guess it depends on which aspect of the situation you consider most important.
                            When you claimed coalition forces should stay in Syria indefinitely, you named one of the major conditions of "colonization: Indefinite occupation. If a state has failed completely, it should not be propped up by artificial means. It should be absorbed by neighboring states, if it cannot be repaired and left in an independent condition. It is independent when it can handle almost all of it's own security, among other things.

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                            • Originally posted by radcentr View Post
                              When you claimed coalition forces should stay in Syria indefinitely, you named one of the major conditions of "colonization: Indefinite occupation. If a state has failed completely, it should not be propped up by artificial means. It should be absorbed by neighboring states, if it cannot be repaired and left in an independent condition. It is independent when it can handle almost all of it's own security, among other things.
                              There have been US troops in Germany and Japan for over 70 years. Are they US colonies? After the war they were failed states by any definition, their cities in ruins and their government gone. Now they are two of the most successful countries in the world. Rebuilding a country is not a short term project, but it can be done.

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                              • We should have been reducing our military presence in Germany and Japan since the USSR imploded. Maybe at 1/3 the forces that we had prior to 1988. Since we are a significant supplier of troops and military hardware for nations allied to ours, we stuck around (unfortunately). If we ever informed allies that we would reduce or remove our military bases from their country, the response was often met with pressure from both governments. Our federal gov't. would cave in to pressure from political hawks, top brass, and military hardware subcontractors. The host country might make some noises about sovereignty and getting foreign troops off their soil, but then cave in after considering how much our military spends in their country. That quiet tone also has to do with the additional those countries would have to spend on military preparedness themselves, if the US bugged out.

                                For smaller countries like Syria, it becomes more complicated. They have not recently accepted the US as an ally, they might even be in the category of a "cautious enemy" for several decades. If Turkey and Israel are solid allies to the US, that places Syria in a tough spot considering their history, political and cultural differences.
                                Last edited by radcentr; 09-25-2017, 03:52 PM.

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