Syria

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Re: Syria

Post by Harlowe » Thu May 23, 2013 6:37 am

I strongly believe if someone is *required* to work more than 40 hours (or 38 over here), then they should get overtime. If they are *requested* to and have the option to refuse then time off in lieu is good.
Absolutely agree, if it's the employees choice.

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Re: Syria

Post by Ddrak » Tue Aug 27, 2013 3:13 am

Back on topic, so now what?
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Re: Syria

Post by Harlowe » Tue Aug 27, 2013 6:58 am

I was just coming here to post about this today....I feel uneasy about this one. I've been hoping we'd be able to stay out of it. Looks less and less likely. Fuck.

http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013 ... dence?lite

Syria warns of global "chaos" if the US strikes
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-202_162-576 ... bal-chaos/

And then you have "Massoud Jazayeri, the deputy chief of staff for the Iranian army, warned of "harsh consequences" if the West gets involved."

What kind of precision strikes could we even take?

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Re: Syria

Post by Partha » Tue Aug 27, 2013 8:14 am

You can do one of three things.

1) Invade. This is the option for nutbars.

2) Provide weapons and support but not troops. This is the option for nutbars who forget how Vietnam went.

3) Nothing. This is the logical choice, and therefore everyone will hate it.
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Re: Syria

Post by Harlowe » Tue Aug 27, 2013 10:17 am

Doesn't this feel a little like we're being played? We get involved, Iran gets involved, then it gives us cause for dealing with Iran, since they've threatened to stop trading oil in USD (the whole petrodollar warfare thing).

Assad knows that not only the US, but it's allies, are going to side with the rebels if he uses nerve gas. He uses nerve gas, then allows inspectors into the country, who are then shot at by snipers. It doesn't make a lot of sense.

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Re: Syria

Post by Ddrak » Tue Aug 27, 2013 4:52 pm

Again, I love Stratfor's analysis: http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/obamas-bluff

Partha's almost right:

1) Invade. This is the option for nutbars.

2) Provide weapons and support but not troops. This is the option for nutbars who forget how Vietnam went.

3) Nothing. No one believes US "red lines" any more and the US ends up involved in more wars with Iran, NK, China etc.

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Re: Syria

Post by Embar Angylwrath » Tue Aug 27, 2013 5:24 pm

Obama has no good choices here. He has to respond somehow, but not in a way that pulls the US into what is ostensibly a civil war, but in reality is a proxy war between Shia's and Sunni's (with Iran and Saudi Arabia pulling the strings). Lobbing a few cruise missiles at selected military targets won't be that effective at doing anything. We can't target the weapons themselves with missiles, since hitting them will release more nerve agents in populated areas. Boots on the ground are politically off the table, and even if they weren't, it would take around at least 100,000 troops, if not more, to secure the weapons. China and Russia are lining up on the take-no-military action side (no surprise there), and Israel is actually nervous about this.

The delivery methods for the weapons are artillery, which are mobile, and therefore not a good target for cruise missiles or air strikes, unless we fly multiple sorties over the country, and that won't happen.

I heard a report today that chemical weapons have only been used four times by regimes since WWI, and two of those times were Saddam Hussein. One by Libya, and this one by Syria. So their use is certainly an atrocity, and can't be allowed to stand. There are only 4 countries known to have chemical weapons; the US, Russia, Syria and N Korea, so any response won't be about deterring other countries from using them, it will be about punishing the regime on the world stage. If that is indeed the case, I think the US should hit Assad hard enough to make him want to come to the table and end this, perhaps by partitioning the country into two new countries.
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Re: Syria

Post by Partha » Tue Aug 27, 2013 7:02 pm

Someone else unlocked this for today and tomorrow, but relevant:

https://www.nsfwcorp.com/scribble/5707/ ... 22f810d1f/
Doesn’t that leave the anomaly standing, though? Why would the West get so upset, so suddenly, about this chemical attack on the same people who’ve been dying in big batches for more than two years? Well, you have to stand back and realize it’s the same bad old world it always was. You know all those fairy tales where the husband, the legitimate ruler of the house, tells his wife she can go anywhere in the palace except that one room? So she goes into the room and he finds out and her head ends up on the mantelpiece or attached to a silverfish. The point is to teach the boys and girls—especially the girls—listening around the fireside that the man is the boss, and he can make any ridiculous rule he wants.

That’s pretty much what happened here. You’ve got a minority-sect regime faced with a very real existential crisis, facing a much bigger sect and running out of troops. This minority sect is nothing but trouble, and friends with other troublemakers, Iran and Russia and Hezbollah, but the other sect, the Sunni, is a way more serious global threat. So you balance your irritation at the little sect against the guilty pleasure of seeing the other sect, the really threatening one, get “bloodied,” as Michael Rubin puts it. But you also draw a line around one room in the house of horrors, the “chemical” room, and tell your Alawite bitch she can’t go in there, or there’ll be Hell to pay. And you know she will, of course, just like the guy in the fairy tale knows that as soon as he’s out of the house his wife will start picking the lock on the forbidden room.
Well, it’s the Super-Monroe Doctrine: “Get off our oil, people who dress funny!” - M. Bouffant

"You're a bad captain, Zarde. People like you only learn by being touched, and hard. And you will greatly disapprove of where these men put their hands." - M. Vanderbeam.

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Re: Syria

Post by Embar Angylwrath » Tue Aug 27, 2013 7:39 pm

I'm really conflicted on this one. The US can't be the solution to all the world's conflicts, even the atrocities. There's a finite limit to what we can, and should, do.

I almost see this as "You can't kill your people with that type of munition, so we are going to show you how to kill your people with the right kind of munition." I don't see half measures working in the US interests either way. I think this one of the times we get fully in, or get out, and let them solve their own issues.

Iran and Saudi Arabia will eventually have to fight their own war, or partition up the Middle East, ala East/West Germany.
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Re: Syria

Post by Embar Angylwrath » Tue Aug 27, 2013 9:01 pm

After giving this more thought, I think the move that best advances US interests is to say something like "We reserve our right to address the atrocities committed by the al Assad government, specifically the attacks on his own people with chemical weapons. We give Russia, it's most staunch ally, 10 days to bring all hostilities to a halt, and commence negotiations. If Russia and Putin are impotent in effecting change, the US will have no choice but to intervene."

This positions Russia (and Putin, who bores me), as the entity that can effect change. If they do, good on them. If they don't (and most probably can't), it will paint them as ineffective in the Mid East, especially Syria, their ally, and allow the US to address the issue, if we want. Or we can keep using Russia as the foil, and keep pointing out their failures to bring peace in the region, and damage their credibility as a world power that has influence.

Maybe Putin can take some more pictures of himself killing a boar or something to compensate...
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Re: Syria

Post by Kulaf » Tue Aug 27, 2013 10:34 pm

Wait.....so you want to toss Russia under a bus to help Syria? WTF would we want to do that?

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Re: Syria

Post by Ddrak » Wed Aug 28, 2013 3:03 am

Russia wouldn't be forced anyway. Putin would just laugh and say "Not my problem, I never set any red line".

Not acting would be the best thing to do, except for the fact Obama set a "don't cross this line or I'll bring the pain" ultimatum. They crossed the line, if he doesn't bring the pain then he's lost all credibility in future ultimatums against any nation.

I think the best action in the end will be to depend on the inability of the UN to function properly, so the US needs to go apeshit trying to get a motion through the security council to take joint action, which will continually fail and nobody ends up losing any significant face.

Kinda sucks for dying kids in Syria though. :(

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Re: Syria

Post by Harlowe » Wed Aug 28, 2013 7:15 am

Unfortunately, I don't think Putin could be pressured to do anything by the US. Like Ddrak said...he'd just say it wasn't his red line and it's not his problem.

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Re: Syria

Post by Embar Angylwrath » Wed Aug 28, 2013 10:01 pm

Harlowe wrote:Unfortunately, I don't think Putin could be pressured to do anything by the US. Like Ddrak said...he'd just say it wasn't his red line and it's not his problem.
True, but...

If Putin refuses to act, then he can be painted as impotent, no matter what he says about red lines. If his response is a big "Meh", then the US can, legitimately, accuse him of being complicit of heinous acts on the part of his ally, and doing nothing substantial to stop the atrocities.

Side note: I think Putin is actually close to a political heart attack over this. I can't imagine he isn't on the phone with al Assad threatening to cut off military aid if al Assad doesn't cease and desist his attacks on civilians with chemical weapons. Putin is savvy enough to know another chemical attack WILL bring the pain, and Russia will likely have to endorse it or remain silent. It won't take many photo-shopped pictures going viral of a bare chested Putin smiling with al Assad and holding up a dead Syrian child as a trophy like it was a bear or big trout to change the Russian narrative.

I do think we put this on Russia. They will either have to endorse action against al Assad, or be put in the position on the world stage of endorsing the use of chemical weapons against civilians (or anyone for that matter). They are a signatory to the OPCW, and will be hard pressed to justify al-Assad's use of chemical weapons. If the UN inspection team's report states that it is highly likely al-Assad dropped those chems on his own people, I don't know how they can save face by denying a NATO, or UN response.
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Re: Syria

Post by Embar Angylwrath » Wed Aug 28, 2013 10:36 pm

Another quandary for Obama and his "red line" are statements he made in 2007, when talking about Bush and Iraq.
The president does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.
That's Obama in a Boston Globe interview, if you're interested.

I happen to disagree with that statement. I supported the Administration's decision to take out Osama Bin Laden. Lots of down side, some upside. Obama made the right call, and I hope he uses that military action as a foil for those that question his choice for military action in Syria. I'd ask McCain why he wasn't vocal about the military action against Bin Laden, bu now he finds his voice.

That said, Obama has to fight against his own words. Much more hard to fight against than the words of a political opponent.
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Re: Syria

Post by Ddrak » Thu Aug 29, 2013 3:59 am

I think you're misunderstanding Russian politics. Putin could possibly even GAIN votes if you try to paint him as supporting the chemical attacks as the Russians would see through the "you're too chicken" bullshit in a second and Putin just looks strong in the face of any criticism that gets fired over. There's no danger to him on this at all. Putin's response would be a big "Meh", and if the US rants and accuses him of heinous acts he just comes back with "I think you're thinking of yourself and Saddam, now fuck off (heterosexually)."

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Re: Syria

Post by Harlowe » Thu Aug 29, 2013 5:53 am

Putin would never be motivated by our idea of saving face. In fact, Putin is strongly motivated to counter the West's interests in regime change - he has a good thing going with Syria's regime, not to mention they want to preserve their naval presence in the Mediterranean.

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Re: Syria

Post by Harlowe » Thu Aug 29, 2013 8:35 am

I'm hoping that we're at least trying to establish a back-down excuse - considering the CIA isn't known for being a source of transparency and truth, it appears we might be trying to establish a reason to not go in, if that's what the US decides is in their best interest.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/ ... ory_1.html

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Re: Syria

Post by Harlowe » Thu Aug 29, 2013 8:58 am

This is interesting though..
http://rogueadventurer.com/2013/08/29/a ... launchers/

Apparently this writer did great work correctly identifying the kind of cluster bombs used by the Ghaddafi regime.

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Re: Syria

Post by Embar Angylwrath » Sat Aug 31, 2013 7:14 pm

Obama's response to Syria was brilliant politically, but devastating on the world stage.

I get what he's doing domestically. He punts to Congress, and asks for their buy-in, stating his position that the US should respond, inferred is the response would be military in nature.

On the international level, he sends the signal, depending on the recipient of the signal, that he is powerless to help, or is delaying the US response. Brilliant political maneuver, brilliant international maneuver. It shunts some shared responsibility to Congress, and therefore gives him time and wiggle room on the international stage. It also interjects uncertainty on the world stage.

Very Machiavellian, cudos to the admin.
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