The Syria Thread: Everything you wanted to know or say about it


View Poll Results: Merge the Syria Threads
Yes 4 66.67%
Yes 2 33.33%
Yes 2 33.33%
No 2 33.33%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 6. You may not vote on this poll

Tecumsehsbones
+4 / -1
#1
Op-ed from the Washington Post. Lots of blather. Here's the key paragraph. . .


The United States should be using its own resources to determine, as quickly as possible, whether the opposition’s reports of large-scale use of gas against civilians are accurate. If they are, Mr. Obama should deliver on his vow not to tolerate such crimes — by ordering direct U.S. retaliation against the Syrian military forces responsible and by adopting a plan to protect civilians in southern Syria with a no-fly zone.

Syrian attack should prompt U.S. investigation into chemical weapons - The Washington Post (external - login to view)


Question: Why should the U.S. act? What business is it of ours? And let's say we do act, and our actions prove to be the deciding factor in the Syrian civil war. What then? What assurances do we have that the subsequent government will be democratic or respect our notions of human rights (such as they are)?
 
captain morgan
+4
#2
Quote: Originally Posted by TecumsehsbonesView Post

Question: Why should the U.S. act? What business is it of ours? And let's say we do act, and our actions prove to be the deciding factor in the Syrian civil war. What then? What assurances do we have that the subsequent government will be democratic or respect our notions of human rights (such as they are)?


The only acceptable actions from a foreign nation will involve trade sanctions and/or withholding financial resources. Adopting this kind of policy in conjunction with other nations will have the impact they want.
 
Tecumsehsbones
#3
Quote: Originally Posted by captain morganView Post

The only acceptable actions from a foreign nation will involve trade sanctions and/or withholding financial resources. Adopting this kind of policy in conjunction with other nations will have the impact they want.

Good idea. That way we can make sure that no matter who wins, they inherit a non-functional human tragedy.
 
SLM
+4
#4
Quote: Originally Posted by captain morganView Post

The only acceptable actions from a foreign nation will involve trade sanctions and/or withholding financial resources. Adopting this kind of policy in conjunction with other nations will have the impact they want.

Ideally, yes. But the question still has to be asked doesn't it? Because what it boils down to, I believe, is the difference between intervention and interference.

I see it as analogous to this. If you or I walk into our neighbours home and begin to dictate how they conduct their lives, that's interference. But if our neighbour beats his wife and we report him or give shelter to the abused spouse that's intervention. In either scenario, it's really not our business what goes on in our neighbour's home but there may be certain times/situations when we should make it our business.

Not to say that looking at things on an international scale is this simple, it's not. And that's not even to say that intervention is always the best course of action. But I think the same principles are there and the issues need to be addressed.
 
Tecumsehsbones
+7
#5  Top Rated Post
Way I see it, this is the Syrians' problem.

If there's international intervention, it should come from the Arab League.

Or possibly the UN.

But unilateral U.S. action? Seriously? What was the definition of "insanity" again?
 
captain morgan
+1
#6
Quote: Originally Posted by SLMView Post

Ideally, yes. But the question still has to be asked doesn't it? Because what it boils down to, I believe, is the difference between intervention and interference.

I see it as analogous to this. If you or I walk into our neighbours home and begin to dictate how they conduct their lives, that's interference. But if our neighbour beats his wife and we report him or give shelter to the abused spouse that's intervention. In either scenario, it's really not our business what goes on in our neighbour's home but there may be certain times/situations when we should make it our business.

Not to say that looking at things on an international scale is this simple, it's not. And that's not even to say that intervention is always the best course of action. But I think the same principles are there and the issues need to be addressed.

I am right behind you in this suggestion, however, there does come the point where something (interference) does have to happen. Some circumstances left unchecked will simply result in tragic consequences.

Ideally, that action should be taken by the people themselves (the abused wife in your example) and to that end, the support should be provided.

Quote: Originally Posted by TecumsehsbonesView Post

Way I see it, this is the Syrians' problem.

You're right; this is exclusively Syria's problem and the best go-forward solution (in terms of outside influence) will have to originate from the Arab League (can't stand the UN - they are as useless as teats on a bull)


Quote: Originally Posted by TecumsehsbonesView Post

But unilateral U.S. action? Seriously? What was the definition of "insanity" again?

I believe that if the USA were to poke their nose into this mess, there would be no lack of extremist factions willing to interpret it as America exerting their will over their (fill in the blank). Some for of retaliation would be inevitable at the cost of American lives and resources
 
SLM
#7
Quote: Originally Posted by TecumsehsbonesView Post

Way I see it, this is the Syrians' problem.

Be that as it may, it doesn't mean we shouldn't concern ourselves with it.

Quote:

If there's international intervention, it should come from the Arab League.

Or possibly the UN.

And if they don't? Too bad, so sad?


Quote: Originally Posted by captain morganView Post

I am right behind you in this suggestion, however, there does come the point where something (interference) does have to happen. Some circumstances left unchecked will simply result in tragic consequences.

Ideally, that action should be taken by the people themselves (the abused wife in your example) and to that end, the support should be provided.

Absolutely. But if we lived in an ideal world, we wouldn't have these problems in the first place.

I don't actually think a unilateral action on the part of the U.S. or any government is a good idea in any circumstance. As you mentioned yourself, the perception of the reasons behind a U.S. intervention, particularly in that region, has to impact the end decision in a major way. But absolutely should many nations be wielding whatever power and influence they may hold to try to help the situation in any way they can. And, given failure to succeed doing that, I personally don't have a problem with armed intervention from a coalition of nations.
 
Tecumsehsbones
+2
#8
Quote: Originally Posted by SLMView Post

Be that as it may, it doesn't mean we shouldn't concern ourselves with it.

If by "we" you mean Canada, knock your socks off.

Quote:

And if they don't? Too bad, so sad?

Maybe Canada should intervene. The U.S. shouldn't.
 
captain morgan
+1
#9
Quote: Originally Posted by TecumsehsbonesView Post

If by "we" you mean Canada, knock your socks off.


Maybe Canada should intervene. The U.S. shouldn't.

I'll make the arrangements to send over a few minor league hockey teams.... They can goon-it-up with little more lost than a few teeth and stitches.

I figure they time frame would be equivalent of a weekend tourney - we ought to have this thing buttoned-up within a few days
 
Omicron
#10
Quote: Originally Posted by TecumsehsbonesView Post

Way I see it, this is the Syrians' problem.

If there's international intervention, it should come from the Arab League.

Or possibly the UN.

But unilateral U.S. action? Seriously? What was the definition of "insanity" again?

Articles like that make it sound like Americans have become so accustomed to moving unilaterally - ever since George W. chose to ignore the UN and attack Iraq - that they've forgotten the UN exists, but actually Washington is very away of the UN, because it's through the UN that Russia has been blocking any notion of UN action against the Assad regime.

In any case, unilateral, overt action against the Assads would be way too risky, because of how seriously Russia is invested in Syria and the Assad dynasty, so yeah, it would be insane.

The Assad dynasty has enjoyed cozy relations with Russia for four generations, and Syria is Russia's closest Mediteranian partner.

Under the Soviet system, Syria provided the USSR with its only Mediteranian naval base, at Tartus, and since the collapse of the Soviet system, Russia has been expanding and *upgrading* that base. Moscow sees the Tartus base in the same light as the so-called "eternal bases" that Cheny pushed for in Iraq.

Today's Russia is so intent on preserving its position in Syria that they forgave Syria $9.8 billion of its $13.4 Soviet-era debt. Russia has big Syrian investments through natural gas processor Stroitransgaz (external - login to view), drilling and pipeline manager Tatneft (external - login to view), steel pipe manufacturer TMK (external - login to view), gas producer ITERA (external - login to view), and national carrier Aeroflot (external - login to view).

It would be very, very hard to do an attack on Syria without hitting a Russian investment. How does Washington react when a foriegn power damages her overseas investments?

The only glimmer of hope is that Russian diplomats have started suggested that *maybe* it's time for a leadership-change in Syria... not so much an overthrow of the Assad dynasty, but a change to which branch of the Assad family is running things.

Therefore, about all you can do without stepping on the bear's paw is pretty-much what's already being done, which is keep up pressure on the Assadians through cold-war style sneaking of ordinance to the rebels.

What I would add to that would be diplomatic level encouragement and support of Russia *if* she will use her clout to influence a regime change in Syria.

So-what if Russia gets kudos for brokering a peaceful settlement in Syria? She's not abandoning Syria anyway, so might as well encourage and support her if she'll go ahead and be the ones to provide some dashas for deposed Assadian refugees.
 
EagleSmack
+1
#11
Quote: Originally Posted by TecumsehsbonesView Post


Question: Why should the U.S. act? What business is it of ours? And let's say we do act, and our actions prove to be the deciding factor in the Syrian civil war. What then? What assurances do we have that the subsequent government will be democratic or respect our notions of human rights (such as they are)?

Exactly.

Time to sit this one out entirely. Well we can do the diplomatic route, and sanctions, etc.

But hey... if other nations want to have at it with Syria... by all means.

Quote: Originally Posted by SLMView Post


I don't actually think a unilateral action on the part of the U.S. or any government is a good idea in any circumstance. As you mentioned yourself, the perception of the reasons behind a U.S. intervention, particularly in that region, has to impact the end decision in a major way. But absolutely should many nations be wielding whatever power and influence they may hold to try to help the situation in any way they can. And, given failure to succeed doing that, I personally don't have a problem with armed intervention from a coalition of nations.

This time we'll set up the canteen truck and MASH tent.
 
Jonny_C
#12
Quote: Originally Posted by TecumsehsbonesView Post

Question: Why should the U.S. act? What business is it of ours? And let's say we do act, and our actions prove to be the deciding factor in the Syrian civil war. What then? What assurances do we have that the subsequent government will be democratic or respect our notions of human rights (such as they are)?

Why should the Americans react? Because they can?

I don't buy that the USA has to be the the world's conscience and the world's policeman.

If there are other nations that want to step up to the plate and they would like the USA to work with them in some capacity, fine. After all, there are quite a few nations other than the USA that have a more immediate stake in what goes on in Syria.
 
Cliffy
+3
#13
Ah, guys, you are talking about depriving the military/industrial complex of billions in potential profits here. It has always been beneficial to them. What is a little collateral damage when there is so much money to be made? The US economy is already in the crapper, so what's a few trillion more?
 
Tecumsehsbones
#14
Quote: Originally Posted by CliffyView Post

Ah, guys, you are talking about depriving the military/industrial complex of billions in potential profits here. It has always been beneficial to them. What is a little collateral damage when there is so much money to be made? The US economy is already in the crapper, so what's a few trillion more?

Well, that's certainly true, and I fully support selling both sides whatever arms they want. Just not taking on the expense of actual operations in Syria.
 
Omicron
+1
#15
Quote: Originally Posted by TecumsehsbonesView Post

... let's say we do act, and our actions prove to be the deciding factor in the Syrian civil war. What then? What assurances do we have that the subsequent government will be democratic or respect our notions of human rights (such as they are)?

It would be another mess.

Although America has way more than enough clout to decide a war, she's developed a bad track-record for handling occupations. It seems like the last time Uncle Sam did a good occupation was Japan, and that was largely due to the wizedom of MacAurther, who ended up getting shunted out in the end anyway.

The US went into Iraq with *no* occupation plan, which is nuts. American soldiers are trained to win battles, not be cops, which is a completely different skill-set (i.e., soldiers are trained to shoot on suspician, whereas cops are trained to *not* shoot even when it looks like the bastards deserve it).

Even with an occupation plan, it would be a mess. Syria took a million Iraqi refugees after George W. chose to attack Saddam, so Washington would be attacking a place harboring refugees who ran there to get away from other places that Washington had been bombing. They're going to love you for that.

But it gets crazier... many of those refugees were Shi'ite, which the Assad family is, while the majority of Syrian citizens are Sunni (which is one of the reasons Syrian citizens hate the Assad regime... it's a flip on the situation in Iraq, where Saddam was Sunni while the majority of Iraqis were Shi'ite) and so, guess who've been one of the favorite targets of Syrian rebels? The answer is, Iraqi Shi'ite refugees.

It means Uncle Sam is feeding armaments to Syrian rebels who use those arms against Iraqi refugees - refugees who moved there to get away from American bombing - as much as those arms are being used against the Assadians. That's just great. What American in their right mind would want to occupy a situation like that?

I suppose theoretically the US could say to the UN, "We'll use our forces to kick out the Assadians *if* the UN can come up with an occupation plan", but that means the hard part now lands on the shoulders of the UN's number-one provider of UN peace-keeping forces.

If I was PM, I'd say, "Sorry, you're going to have to do better than that. We're still ticked about Afghanistan, and we're not getting dragged into anything like that ever again."

And if I was President I'd say, "You guys are all insane, and we're going to focus on home-grown energy sources, like wind power, which has a better EROI (Energy Returned on Investment) than conventional oil.

(Total aside, but have you ever looked at the EROI's for various energy source? The higher the EROI, the more profitable and efficient it is. Check this out:

--

Hydroelectric: 40+
Wind: 20
Coal: 18
Conventional oil: 16
Ethanol from sugarcane: 9
Natural gas: 7
Solar: 6
Tar sands: 5
Nuclear: 5
California heavy (shale): 4
Ethanol from corn: 1.4

--

An EROI of 5-9 is required for the basic functions of an industrial society.)
Last edited by Omicron; Aug 22nd, 2013 at 12:08 PM..
 
EagleSmack
+3
#16
Quote: Originally Posted by Jonny_CView Post

Why should the Americans react? Because they can?

I don't buy that the USA has to be the the world's conscience and the world's policeman.

If there are other nations that want to step up to the plate and they would like the USA to work with them in some capacity, fine. After all, there are quite a few nations other than the USA that have a more immediate stake in what goes on in Syria.

What stake do we have in Syria?

And if other nations want to step up they should. Get the bombs dropping, the boots on the ground and flags ready.

I say we can work with them, we'll give them donuts and orange juice when they return from the front.

I've had about enough of these wars personally and I'm not a pacifist. I care for our soldiers and Marines too much and they've been fighting steadily since 2001.

So the Syrians are gassing their people... that is horrible... no doubt. But if the UN wants to send in the dogs... then they are going to have to put their own pack together. Good luck!
 
Tecumsehsbones
#17
Quote: Originally Posted by EagleSmackView Post

What stake do we have in Syria?

And if other nations want to step up they should. Get the bombs dropping, the boots on the ground and flags ready.

I say we can work with them, we'll give them donuts and orange juice when they return from the front.

I've had about enough of these wars personally and I'm not a pacifist. I care for our soldiers and Marines too much and they've been fighting steadily since 2001.

So the Syrians are gassing their people... that is horrible... no doubt. But if the UN wants to send in the dogs... then they are going to have to put their own pack together. Good luck!

Now, now. We have to do our part.

We'll send a company of MPs to be trainers at HQ.
 
petros
#18
Has anybody asked themselves this question: "What does Saudi Arabia want out of all of this considering that they are in so deep"?
 
Omicron
#19
Quote: Originally Posted by TecumsehsbonesView Post

Now, now. We have to do our part.

We'll send a company of MPs to be trainers at HQ.

Actually, that's not a bad idea.

One of the more effective forms of "aid" that Canada has sent to countries crawling out of a state of war-tornedness has been RCMP, who would advise those recovering nations on how to operate an effective police force.
 
Zipperfish
#20
This guy didn't get the memo: The Iraq debacle had tens, if not hundreds of thousands of casualties. Among them was the neo-con agenda.
 
Tecumsehsbones
#21
The Washington Post editorial staff are neo-cons now?
 
Omicron
#22
Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

Has anybody asked themselves this question: "What does Saudi Arabia want out of all of this considering that they are in so deep"?

Hmm, that's a good question, considering how much the Al Sauds hate the Assads.

It goes back to the assassination in 2005 of Rafik al Hariri, the former Lebanese prime minister and business tycoon who held joint Saudi-Lebanese citizenship and who was a close friend of Riyadh's ruling Al Sauds. Syria was widely blamed for the murder - a charge it has always denied - and it was seen by the Saudis as reneging on an informal understanding al Hariri was (supposed to be) under Syrian protection.

Saudi pulled their ambasador, then re-established diplomatic contact in 2009, but relations have been icy.
 
darkbeaver
-1
#23
Lots of interesting and misleading comments here. Funny as hell to see most of you begging to have Uncle Sham avoid any intervention in Syria which of course is on the Western Axis nations list of nations to be ruined in the pursuit of China and Russia expressly at the behest of the ever conniving evil rotten Israeli monstrosity. Also notable for its inane suggestions that economic sanctions are not a direct act of war. We will have to sooner or later own up to the realization that we Canadians and indeed the west in general is up to it's scaly neck in chemical and biological war on the civilian populations of beset Syria. If we want our children and grandchildrens respect we should of course turn our attentions to that filthy nest of perverts Israel, reject revile and shun them or we all die working their mines and plantations.
 
Zipperfish
#24
Quote: Originally Posted by TecumsehsbonesView Post

The Washington Post editorial staff are neo-cons now?

I don't really know. Most people advocating that the US use military intervention to assume control over the evil-doers in Syria are neo-cons.
 
Omicron
#25
Quote: Originally Posted by EagleSmackView Post

What stake do we have in Syria?

Looks pretty-much like squat. You'll be hard-pressed to find anything detailing American-Syrian economic relations.

The closest you'll find will be a pronouncement from the Department of State, saying:

"Syria holds some future potential interest for U.S.business as a regional transshipment hub, and an alternate export corridor for Iraqi oil and gas,but first its government must address the overarching concerns articulated in the SAA: weapons of mass destruction, support for regionalrejectionist groups, and destabilizing policies in Iraq and Lebanon."

In other words, some day Syria *might* have some use as a transportation hub, but not until some issues are sorted out, which means...

... currently... *nothing*. The US has no Syrian interests to protect.

If America were to get involved in a military campain there, all she'd be doing is bombing Russian investments.

Yeah yeah, America would probably prevail in an all out slugfest with Russia, but seriously, do you *really* want to get into a fight with a bear when there's nothing to defend, nor to be gained?

 
petros
#26
Quote: Originally Posted by EagleSmackView Post

What stake do we have in Syria?

Grab a bloody map!!! Syria is the only route other than through north Africa to get $12Trillion in nat gas to market in the EU

I'd gladly off a few thousand people if I knew I could get away with through smoke and mirrors to pocket $12T. Would you?
 
Omicron
#27
Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

Grab a bloody map!!! Syria is the only route other than through north Africa to get $12Trillion in nat gas to market in the EU

Who's natural gas? Iraq's? If so, you could just as easily run a pipeline through Jordan and Israel.

Quote:

I'd gladly off a few thousand people if I knew I could get away with through smoke and mirrors to pocket $12T. Would you?

Okay, that reminds me of the tale about the woman who said she wasn't a prostitue, such that a John kept upping his offer until he hit a number that caused her to say "Okay", whereupon he said, "Good, now that we've established what you are, let's talk seriously about price".

What's your price to feel good about ordering mass murderer? One Trillion? Six trillion? Twelve?
 
petros
#28
Quote: Originally Posted by OmicronView Post

Who's natural gas? Iraq's? If so, you could just as easily run a pipeline through Jordan and Israel.



Okay, that reminds me of the tale about the woman who said she wasn't a prostitue, such that a John kept upping his offer until he hit a number that caused her to say "Okay", whereupon he said, "Good, now that we've established what you are, let's talk seriously about price".

What's your price to feel good about ordering mass murderer? One Trillion? Six trillion? Twelve?

 
Omicron
#29
Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

Okay... so where in that map does it imply the need for a pipeline through Syria?
 
Nuggler
#30
Lots of "opinion pieces" from the Washington Post.

..........that's all.

nothing to see folks

move along.
 

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