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| | |-+  Civil War in Syria
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Author Topic: Civil War in Syria  (Read 38635 times)
Torie
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« Reply #75 on: May 25, 2012, 12:25:14 pm »
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What is the risk that further arming the insurgents will just escalate the thing into a full fledged civil war, and a massively high body count. I mean, if you are going to do this, one should parse the odds that it will bring the thing to an end, rather than just make it more sanguinary, no?  And has anyone thought about if Assad is bounced and offed, what the new regime will look like, and what it will do? If one is going to do a switch out, it is generally a good idea to know about not only about the switchor, but also the switchee isn't it?  Maybe they are all just mad dogs and should just be quarantined as it were.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2012, 01:09:41 pm by Torie »Logged
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« Reply #76 on: May 25, 2012, 12:36:48 pm »
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I saw a car yesterday with a picture of Bashar Assad in military uniform taped in the back window.
That was... surprising.
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« Reply #77 on: May 25, 2012, 05:12:58 pm »
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Oh goody, another oil war.

For all that oil in Syria...right.  Roll Eyes

Not necessarily in Syria, but either as a jumping-off point for other nations with a good chunk more oil, or to sorta calm tensions (or create a big diversion so those nations can take their own measures to "calm tensions") in nations that have oil and want to sell it (GCC in general, Saudi in particular).
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Mr. Morden
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« Reply #78 on: June 06, 2012, 07:18:30 pm »
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Is it me, or is the Syrian civil war starting to look as much like Bosnia as Libya?
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« Reply #79 on: June 06, 2012, 08:33:58 pm »
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Is it me, or is the Syrian civil war starting to look as much like Bosnia as Libya?


I'm worried that it reminds me somewhat of Congo.
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« Reply #80 on: June 07, 2012, 11:29:14 pm »
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Here is an excellent opinion piece stating how Obama intervening in Syria would be to his advantage.  

Whatever your opinion on the merits of intervention in Syria, I have to admit President Obama has been anything but a leader on this issue, and his dithering doesn't exactly inspire confidence in his leadership.  
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Ernest
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« Reply #81 on: June 07, 2012, 11:55:17 pm »
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That article is way too rosy about the results of the sort of intervention it calls for.  I haven't anything that half-baked since Cheney and Company were sounding the war drums for us to kick Saddam out of Iraq.   The sad fact is that sometimes there is no good option, in which case, let's for once pick the least expensive, which means not arming the Syrian opposition ourselves.
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« Reply #82 on: June 08, 2012, 11:23:56 am »
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The 'least expensive option' isn't the one that will prevent the most suffering.
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« Reply #83 on: June 08, 2012, 04:34:49 pm »
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The 'least expensive option' isn't the one that will prevent the most suffering.
Actually it probably is - at least if you primarily measure suffering as loss of lives and property. A regime repression of the opposition is most likely going to be the least bloody outcome, if thats all you care about (which is in no way my position). Huge massacres on Alawites and Christians are going to be hard to avoid if the insurgents win.




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Mr. Morden
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« Reply #84 on: June 08, 2012, 07:24:52 pm »
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Here's a far more bleak take on intervention in Syria:

http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/
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« Reply #85 on: June 08, 2012, 09:47:50 pm »
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The 'least expensive option' isn't the one that will prevent the most suffering.

I see no reason to believe that arming the Syrian opposition now will achieve that.
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Carlos Danger
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« Reply #86 on: June 08, 2012, 09:58:53 pm »
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The 'Syrian opposition' has a wonderful slogan:  "Christians to Beirut, Alawites to the wall!"
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« Reply #87 on: June 08, 2012, 11:46:54 pm »
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The 'Syrian opposition' has a wonderful slogan:  "Christians to Beirut, Alawites to the wall!"
Better than the Syrian government's: "Kill everyone who opposes us"
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« Reply #88 on: June 08, 2012, 11:54:48 pm »
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Ah yes, the Syrian opposition isn't exactly pacifist Whiggish liberals.
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« Reply #89 on: June 09, 2012, 06:05:51 pm »
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It looks like the Free Syrian Army has benefited as this crisis has dragged on and on:

Syria rebels gaining ground, strength

By Liz Sly,

BEIRUT — An increasingly effective Syrian rebel force has been gaining ground in recent weeks, stepping up its attacks on government troops and expanding the area under its control even as world attention has been focused on pressuring Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to comply with a U.N. cease-fire.

The loosely organized Free Syrian Army now acknowledges that it is also no longer observing the truce, although rebel commanders insist they are launching attacks only to defend civilians in the wake of concerns generated by two recent massacres in which most of the 186 victims were women and children.

The rebels say they are acquiring access to ammunition and funding that had been in short supply a few months ago, streamlining their structures to improve coordination and steadily eroding the government’s capacity to control large swaths of the country.
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ingemann
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« Reply #90 on: June 09, 2012, 07:23:58 pm »
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What is the risk that further arming the insurgents will just escalate the thing into a full fledged civil war, and a massively high body count. I mean, if you are going to do this, one should parse the odds that it will bring the thing to an end, rather than just make it more sanguinary, no?  And has anyone thought about if Assad is bounced and offed, what the new regime will look like, and what it will do? If one is going to do a switch out, it is generally a good idea to know about not only about the switchor, but also the switchee isn't it?  Maybe they are all just mad dogs and should just be quarantined as it were.

Yes people have thought about, which is the reason few western leaders has called for full intervention. The opposition is disunited and to large degree sectarian. As such it's more or less the recipe for a repeat of post-invasion Iraq.

Another problem is that we have no idea of the degree of support behind Assad. The Kurds who have every reason to hate him has mostly united behind him. That say everything we need to know about the opposition. The Alawites has little choice beside backing him up, and the Christians try to keep their heads low, while also supporting the regime. The Druze aren't entuatistic a bout the opposition either. At last he also have wide support among the Sunni middleclass. a even uglier aspect is that the official demography may be rather wrong, and the real fact on the ground may in fact favour the minority groups more, which can turn any future civil war even uglier. The reason for this is that Syria has seen a large influx of Iraqis, while many are Sunnies, the Christians was significant overrepresented among the refugees. At the same time Alawites may in fact make up 20% of the population instead of the official 10-15%. While this may seem surprising, it make sense as they are relative poor and rural as a group, as such they have a high birthrate. The Kurdish population too may be underestimated, as many disguise themselves as Arabs. All in all a civil war may end up looking like a uglier version of Bosnia. The sides has relative defensible stronghold (Alawites and Christians along the coast, Kurds in the north, Druzes in the south and Sunnies in the east), while there still is many  mixed areas and sectarian and ethnic enclaves. The Sunni middleclass outside the capital live to large extent in Alawite areas (which is a good reason to support Assad).

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Purch
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« Reply #91 on: June 09, 2012, 07:34:36 pm »
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How about we decide to intervene when we're not 16 trillion dollars in debt. Can't worry about the rest of the worlds problems until you fix your own.
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« Reply #92 on: June 10, 2012, 05:41:06 pm »
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http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/302261/report-rebels-responsible-houla-massacre-john-rosenthal
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« Reply #93 on: June 10, 2012, 05:51:17 pm »
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None of our business... hilarious to see the Atlas centre-leftists being the main cheerleaders for another war in the Middle East...
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« Reply #94 on: June 11, 2012, 09:33:30 pm »
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Have any mainstream news outlets picked this story up?  Because I have looked at the Washington Post and New York Times, and neither is carrying it.  Nor is Reuters.  Must be a non-conspiratorial reason why they haven't.  Perhaps the respectable publications doubt this story's veracity as I do. 
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« Reply #95 on: June 11, 2012, 09:42:08 pm »
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Have any mainstream news outlets picked this story up?  Because I have looked at the Washington Post and New York Times, and neither is carrying it.  Nor is Reuters.  Must be a non-conspiratorial reason why they haven't.  Perhaps the respectable publications doubt this story's veracity as I do. 

No, because mainstream media is a bunch of pigdog imperialists.  The only reliable sources are RT and Syrian state television.
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bgwah
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« Reply #96 on: June 16, 2012, 12:57:27 pm »
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I'm surprised this thread has been so quiet.
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Frodo
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« Reply #97 on: June 16, 2012, 01:01:44 pm »
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I'm surprised this thread has been so quiet.

I made this observation before, and the answer is typically because -unlike with its more active Libyan counterpart- we have no skin in this game.  We don't (yet) have fighter pilots assisting the opposition.  Therefore people aren't as emotionally invested since American lives are not at risk.  We as Americans are merely spectators -not active participants.    
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The Mikado
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« Reply #98 on: June 16, 2012, 07:01:25 pm »
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I'm surprised this thread has been so quiet.

I made this observation before, and the answer is typically because -unlike with its more active Libyan counterpart- we have no skin in this game.  We don't (yet) have fighter pilots assisting the opposition.  Therefore people aren't as emotionally invested since American lives are not at risk.  We as Americans are merely spectators -not active participants.    

That's not the point.  The point is, unlike with Libya, there's not a lot we can do without a serious, long-term commitment.  The Libyan intervention was accomplished without a single NATO soldier on the ground and with no NATO casualties and limited collateral damage (from NATO, not from the Libyan rebels).  This was mainly due to Libya's spacious deserts allowing for an effective bombing campaign that could target Qaddafi's military effectively without endangering civilians.  Little, heavily-urbanized Syria is a completely different situation.  A NATO bombing campaign would kill far more civilians than Assad at his worst.

If there does end up being intervention, which, frankly, I doubt at this point, it will be Turkish with US backing and not American directly.  If there isn't, Assad wins.

More to the point, we've been having this exact same conversation for over a year.  None of the fundamentals change.  Why should this thread be more active when the fundamentals of the debate don't change?
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« Reply #99 on: June 16, 2012, 08:05:32 pm »
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I just meant that I'm surprised this thread has seen some activity in the past, but has been so quiet this past week as the conflict seems to be escalating so much.
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