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Chuck Hagel 08
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« Reply #225 on: October 04, 2012, 06:03:05 pm »

I guess Turkey has their Tonkin/Gleiwitz incident?
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« Reply #226 on: October 04, 2012, 10:14:01 pm »

Turkey actually had pretty friendly relations with Syria until all this started in 2011, so there's no reason for them to provoke and/or fabricate incidents. They're legitimately pissed about what Assad is doing.
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« Reply #227 on: October 05, 2012, 12:27:33 am »

Turkish PM says he does not want war with Syria
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Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Thursday his country has no intention of going to war with Syria, hours after the parliament in Ankara authorised possible cross-border attacks.

"We have no intention of starting a war with Syria," Erdogan said at a press conference amid anger over Syrian shelling that killed five Turkish nationals in a town that borders Syria.

But he noted that Turkey had the might to protect its nationals and borders, if needed.

"No country should dare test our determination on that," he warned.

His comments came as the Turkish military amassed tanks and anti aircraft missiles in Akcakale town in Sanliurfa city, where the deadly incident took place on Wednesday.

It was not the first time Damascus shelling hit Turkish territory and branded it "an accident," according to Erdogan, who claimed that Turkey was previously hit seven times by Syrian shelling.

"Even today, we had a shell landing in Hatay city Altinozu district," he said.

"One time is an accident... but how is this an accident, when it happens eight times?"

Erdogan reiterated previous official remarks that the cross-border attack mandate was meant to serve as an "active deterrent" in the face of the escalating spillover of violence into Turkish territories.

"This mandate is not a war mandate, but it is in our hands to be used when need be in order to protect Turkey's own interests according to potential developments in the future," Erdogan's deputy Besir Atalay said earlier.

<snip>
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Tyra Hemans, 19, a senior, told CNN she supports parts of the new policy, such as the ID requirement. But she believes other security measures, such as forcing students to carry clear backpacks, don't adequately address the real problem with school safety, which she says is lax gun laws.
"I'm not happy with it. Why are you punishing me for one person's actions?" she said.
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Chuck Hagel 08
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« Reply #228 on: October 05, 2012, 05:47:05 pm »

Turkey actually had pretty friendly relations with Syria until all this started in 2011, so there's no reason for them to provoke and/or fabricate incidents. They're legitimately pissed about what Assad is doing.

And that's why they have stirred the hornet's nest by giving the rebels assistance and flying their planes over Syrian airspace?
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« Reply #229 on: October 07, 2012, 12:10:39 pm »

Heeding concerns from the White House, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and other Sunni Muslim countries in the region are scaling back aid from the Syrian rebels -particularly as it pertains to heavy weaponry- out of fear such weapons could end up in the hands of Sunni extremists -like Al Qaeda.  

Why is it we are happy to sit back while revolutions unseat pro-American dictatorships in the Middle East, but when it comes to Iran (circa 2009) and Syria (today) we suddenly get petrified of unintended consequences the moment it looks like those regimes we have long regarded as enemies could be on the precipice?  
« Last Edit: October 07, 2012, 12:13:38 pm by Frodo »Logged

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Chuck Hagel 08
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« Reply #230 on: October 08, 2012, 09:24:26 pm »


Is this is sitting back, I would like to know what you consider to be an appropriate response? Something more like this?

Fear of unintended consequences of the overthrow of "hostile" regimes (which previously were in the category of pro-American dictatorships) is justified, given previous experience.
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« Reply #231 on: October 08, 2012, 11:48:41 pm »

Romney seems to be of the same sentiment:

Quote
Mitt Romney declared on Monday the U.S. must join other nations in helping arm Syrian rebels to oust Syrian President Bashar Assad, casting President Barack Obama's efforts as weak and part of a broader lack of leadership in the Middle East and around the globe.

Hoping to bolster his own foreign policy credentials, the Republican presidential challenger said he would identify and organize those in the Syrian opposition who share American values, then work with American allies to "ensure they obtain the arms they need to defeat Assad's tanks, helicopters and fighter jets."

"It is essential that we develop influence with those forces in Syria that will one day lead a country that sits at the heart of the Middle East," Romney said.
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« Reply #232 on: October 09, 2012, 03:31:21 am »


Ah, yes, because funding Islamic militants in a proxy war against a strategic opponent has *never* had unintended consequences. Roll Eyes Are US politicians *that* myopic or are they taking American voters as idiots?
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« Reply #233 on: October 09, 2012, 05:31:14 am »

(I'm going to take sh**t for this one)

Let me start by saying I DO NOT ADVOCATE THIS POSITION, but, playing devil's advocate here, Afghanistan did, it can be argued, go a long way towards hastening the Soviet Union's financial collapse.  Iran's economy is in the toilet.
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Tyra Hemans, 19, a senior, told CNN she supports parts of the new policy, such as the ID requirement. But she believes other security measures, such as forcing students to carry clear backpacks, don't adequately address the real problem with school safety, which she says is lax gun laws.
"I'm not happy with it. Why are you punishing me for one person's actions?" she said.
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« Reply #234 on: October 09, 2012, 05:41:23 am »

(I'm going to take sh**t for this one)

Let me start by saying I DO NOT ADVOCATE THIS POSITION, but, playing devil's advocate here, Afghanistan did, it can be argued, go a long way towards hastening the Soviet Union's financial collapse.  Iran's economy is in the toilet.

Alright, I'll jump in so you don't have to. Though I don't actually believe Afghanistan was a huge, or even a significant factor in the economic woes of the Soviet Union.

Even in retrospect, supporting the Mujahedin was the correct choice. The vast majority of the Muhajedin groups we supported do not engage in violent activities against the United States. The Taliban was only one of many factions. A faction that is often at violent odds with the other factions that comprised the vast majority of the Mujahedin. And Al-Qaeda was really a non-player in the anti-Soviet resistance.

And about aid flowing to some people who might become future enemies...well, I don't hear anyone complaining about Lend-Lease.

No clue about the Syria rebel arms thing though. This area of the world has never been my area of expertise and the situation on the ground changes too often and is too poorly understood for me to really direct US policy or anything ridiculous. It's something very difficult from already well-understood history (eg. the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan)
« Last Edit: October 09, 2012, 05:43:13 am by 後援会 »Logged

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« Reply #235 on: October 09, 2012, 04:19:24 pm »

Romney seems to be of the same sentiment:

Quote
Mitt Romney declared on Monday the U.S. must join other nations in helping arm Syrian rebels to oust Syrian President Bashar Assad, casting President Barack Obama's efforts as weak and part of a broader lack of leadership in the Middle East and around the globe.

Hoping to bolster his own foreign policy credentials, the Republican presidential challenger said he would identify and organize those in the Syrian opposition who share American values, then work with American allies to "ensure they obtain the arms they need to defeat Assad's tanks, helicopters and fighter jets."

"It is essential that we develop influence with those forces in Syria that will one day lead a country that sits at the heart of the Middle East," Romney said.


I see Romney is studying the effective winning strategies of Charles Hughes, Wendell Willkie, and Barry Goldwater. Unfortunately for us, the election had no bearing on the outcome in those scenarios, and that trend will likely continue in this election.

(I'm going to take sh**t for this one)

Let me start by saying I DO NOT ADVOCATE THIS POSITION, but, playing devil's advocate here, Afghanistan did, it can be argued, go a long way towards hastening the Soviet Union's financial collapse.  Iran's economy is in the toilet.

Alright, I'll jump in so you don't have to. Though I don't actually believe Afghanistan was a huge, or even a significant factor in the economic woes of the Soviet Union.

Even in retrospect, supporting the Mujahedin was the correct choice. The vast majority of the Muhajedin groups we supported do not engage in violent activities against the United States. The Taliban was only one of many factions. A faction that is often at violent odds with the other factions that comprised the vast majority of the Mujahedin. And Al-Qaeda was really a non-player in the anti-Soviet resistance.

And about aid flowing to some people who might become future enemies...well, I don't hear anyone complaining about Lend-Lease.

No clue about the Syria rebel arms thing though. This area of the world has never been my area of expertise and the situation on the ground changes too often and is too poorly understood for me to really direct US policy or anything ridiculous. It's something very difficult from already well-understood history (eg. the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan)

How were American interests served by the aid to the Mujahideen? Moreover, how was the issue of who controlled Afghanistan important to American interests?
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« Reply #236 on: October 14, 2012, 12:32:21 am »

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DzziEcWgb5M

This helpful FSA member gives you a step-by-step tutorial on how to shoot down a plane.  It's well worth the minute.

I love how "Allah Akbar" can apparently also mean "Holy s**t I'm a f**king badass!"
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« Reply #237 on: October 14, 2012, 12:43:48 am »

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DzziEcWgb5M

This helpful FSA member gives you a step-by-step tutorial on how to shoot down a plane.  It's well worth the minute.

I love how "Allah Akbar" can apparently also mean "Holy s**t I'm a f**king badass!"

I like how "Complete Vice Presidential Debate" is a related video on the sidebar.
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« Reply #238 on: October 20, 2012, 12:19:25 am »

Blast tears through central Beirut
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At least eight people were killed and 96 others were wounded in an explosion in central Beirut on Friday. The blast was reportedly the result of a car bomb that was detonated in the Ashafriyeh district, a mostly Christian area.

The force of the explosion sheared the balconies of off residential buildings, sending bloodied victims pouring out into the streets in the most serious blast this city has seen in years.

Investigators told AFP that some 30 kilograms of explosives were planted in the car bomb.

Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati said his government and the security and legal organizations were investigating the circumstances of the attack and would persecute the culprits, punish them and prevent any attempt to return terror attacks to Lebanon.

Lebanese media reported that Mikati and President Michel Suleiman were monitoring the investigation and the steps taken to assist the injured.

The attack took place about 200 meters from the local Lebanese Phalanges Party headquarters. The party is known to oppose Hezbollah and the Assad regime.

Phalange leader Sami al-Gemayel, a staunch opponent of Syrian President Bashar Assad and member of parliament, condemned the attack.

"Let the state protect the citizens. We will not accept any procrastination in this matter, we cannot continue like that. We have been warning for a year. Enough," said Gemayel, whose brother was assassinated in November 2006.

<snip>
And guess who the pro-Syrian/Iranian peeps in Lebanon blame?  DA JOOS! of course.
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Tyra Hemans, 19, a senior, told CNN she supports parts of the new policy, such as the ID requirement. But she believes other security measures, such as forcing students to carry clear backpacks, don't adequately address the real problem with school safety, which she says is lax gun laws.
"I'm not happy with it. Why are you punishing me for one person's actions?" she said.
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« Reply #239 on: October 20, 2012, 05:34:32 pm »

Assad approves law on GM food "to preserve the health of human beings, animals, vegetables, and the environment."

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President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, where more than 33,000 people have been killed in 19 months of conflict, issued a law on GM food Thursday to preserve human life, state-run SANA news agency reported.

Assad, whose forces are locked in a bloody confrontation with armed rebels opposed to his rule, "has approved a law on the health security of genetically modified organisms... to regulate their use and production," SANA reported.
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« Reply #240 on: October 22, 2012, 12:10:32 am »

Meanwhile, in Lebanon...


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A group of protesters has set up tents outside Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati's office, vowing to remain there until he resigns.

The sit-in began late Sunday outside the building in central Beirut. Earlier Sunday, Lebanese security forces fired their weapons into the air and used tear gas to disperse protesters who were trying to storm the building.

The demonstrators are demanding Mr. Mikati quit over the assassination of Brig. Gen. Wissam al-Hassan, a top intelligence official who died along with seven others in a car bombing Friday that many blame on the government in neighboring Syria.

Former Lebanese prime minister Saad Hariri and opposition leader Walid Jumblatt have both accused Syrian President Bashar al-Assad of being behind the blast. Prime Minister Mikati's government is supported by Lebanon's pro-Syrian Hezbollah militia.

http://blogs.voanews.com/breaking-news/2012/10/22/protesters-continue-calls-for-lebanese-pm-to-resign/
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« Reply #241 on: November 12, 2012, 01:27:21 am »

Syrian opposition groups finally reach a unity deal
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« Reply #242 on: November 12, 2012, 01:38:57 am »


They have footage too
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« Reply #243 on: November 12, 2012, 02:56:57 am »


Exactly what I thought. And the Kurds are equally opposed to Assad and the rebels, putting the Erdogan in an uncomfortable spot.

What do people think of Israel's involvement into this clusterinks? On the face of it Assad is trying to provoke an Israeli reaction to rally fence-sitters towards him, but it's so incredibly complicated. Aside from the internal sectarian factors there are now at least five foreign players in a civil war, each with disparate interests (Russia, Iran, Turkey+Gulf Arab states, US/UK/France, Israel).
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Chuck Hagel 08
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« Reply #244 on: November 12, 2012, 03:50:19 pm »


Exactly what I thought. And the Kurds are equally opposed to Assad and the rebels, putting the Erdogan in an uncomfortable spot.

What do people think of Israel's involvement into this clusterinks? On the face of it Assad is trying to provoke an Israeli reaction to rally fence-sitters towards him, but it's so incredibly complicated. Aside from the internal sectarian factors there are now at least five foreign players in a civil war, each with disparate interests (Russia, Iran, Turkey+Gulf Arab states, US/UK/France, Israel).

I don't see what Israel hopes to accomplish by taking out Assad. Are they betting that the pros of weakening Hezbollah's ally and Iran's "route to the sea" (lol) outweigh the potential cons of having Muslim extremists across the Golan Heights border? Perhaps the rightists hope that drawing the United States in will be the back-door to war with Iran?
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« Reply #245 on: November 12, 2012, 05:23:00 pm »

Who says Israel *wants* to take Assad out? In public Assad has used da Joos to rally Syrians (and to justify the 50 year long State of Emergency), but in private he was content with the status quo. Seems like both Assad and Netanyahu waited until Obama was reelected to begin trading shots.

Part of me suspects Israel, the west, Turkey, and the Sunni Gulf Arab states are making a tacit deal to prevent the rise of an anti-western, , and actively anti-Israeli regime in Syria. There are simply no clear battle lines.
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Chuck Hagel 08
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« Reply #246 on: November 12, 2012, 05:41:04 pm »

Who says Israel *wants* to take Assad out? In public Assad has used da Joos to rally Syrians (and to justify the 50 year long State of Emergency), but in private he was content with the status quo.

That's why I found it so baffling. The current regime is the best the Israeli's can realistically hope for.

Quote
Part of me suspects Israel, the west, Turkey, and the Sunni Gulf Arab states are making a tacit deal to prevent the rise of an anti-western, , and actively anti-Israeli regime in Syria. There are simply no clear battle lines.

Even that premise clearly presupposes that all of those states view regime change as a desirable outcome. Really, the only rational beneficiaries of those would be the Saudis since they get to infect another country with their Wahhabist nonsense.
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« Reply #247 on: November 12, 2012, 09:22:55 pm »

The Turks are clearly peeved with Assad as well and want regime change. Unlike Israel and the Saudis, I don't think they have some sort of broader geopolitical motive; the Turks are just not interested in the broader power struggles in the Middle East except insofar as they want both Iran and the Saudis to leave them alone. They're more motivated by (1) genuine humanitarian/democratic concerns and (2) making sure the Kurds don't get uppity (which doesn't really have to do with supporting one side or the other but does encourage intervention).

One of the most interesting possible scenarios would be if Assad takes his attempts to provoke Israel too far, and Israel decides to invade in support of the Syrian opposition. What would the Arab world think?
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« Reply #248 on: November 12, 2012, 09:30:38 pm »

The Israeli official statement didn't treat it as a provocation, they said something along the lines that we understand it was an accident and that's why we fired a warning shot.
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« Reply #249 on: November 12, 2012, 10:14:41 pm »

The Turks are clearly peeved with Assad as well and want regime change. Unlike Israel and the Saudis, I don't think they have some sort of broader geopolitical motive; the Turks are just not interested in the broader power struggles in the Middle East except insofar as they want both Iran and the Saudis to leave them alone. They're more motivated by (1) genuine humanitarian/democratic concerns and (2) making sure the Kurds don't get uppity (which doesn't really have to do with supporting one side or the other but does encourage intervention).
I think Erdogan knows he's gone too far in turning against Assad so dramatically. Back then he gambled that supporting Syrian rebels would further increase Turkey's prestige among Arabs. The jury is out on that one, but at what cost? Assad has since made provocations against Turkey and is apparently deliberately allowing Kurdish rebels to carve out a statelet. Syria has become a power struggle involving all the powers of the Middle East, and the West, and Russia. It's too late for Erdogan to back down, but it's only rational for him to play a geopolitical game.

Quote
One of the most interesting possible scenarios would be if Assad takes his attempts to provoke Israel too far, and Israel decides to invade in support of the Syrian opposition. What would the Arab world think?
Israel won't openly support any particular side, since that's obviously the kiss of death. Maybe they'll launch airstrikes against a few weapons depot if push really comes to shove. Or maybe they'll not-so-secretly support a minority group like in Lebanon in the 80s.
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