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Author Topic: Civil War in Syria  (Read 132641 times)
Mr. Morden
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« Reply #325 on: December 14, 2012, 12:20:49 am »
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If Russia says the rebels may win, and is planning like the end might be near... then the end is probably near.

Even if Assad is dislodged from Damascus, which could still be months away, that's hardly "the end".  The war will most likely keep going for years in a different form, as the Sunnis, Alawites, and others keep killing each other.
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« Reply #326 on: December 14, 2012, 12:26:08 am »
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http://www.thenational.ae/thenationalconversation/comment/as-rebels-make-inroads-their-friends-of-syria-are-nervous#ixzz2EnY6j0QI

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The regime's strategists may be acknowledging that it can no longer rule all of Syria, and must instead contract its domain, fighting to hold on to key routes and cities, but accepting that recapturing the swathes of territory in the north, east and south held by rebels is beyond the manpower of the regime's reliable (predominantly Alawite) security forces.

If so, the regime's security core may see its best hopes for survival in the "Lebanonisation" of Syria - a scenario, already under way, in which the central state effectively collapses, and power is carved up among local and regional sectarian militias defending their own turf in a long-term war of all against all. The regime has already ceded territory along the Turkish border to Kurdish militias that have no intention of bending the knee to Damascus, regardless of who rules there.

But whereas Syria played the hegemon to contain the effects of Lebanon's civil war, there'd be no neighbour able to limit the fallout from a similar fracturing of Syria itself - already its civil war has spread into Lebanon and Iraq. Hence the mounting anxiety in western capitals - even the former US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice recently warned in The Washington Post that Syria epitomised the breakdown of the nation-state system established in the Levant by Britain and France after the Second World War.

EDIT: Also, here's an excellent interview with Syria expert Joshua Landis:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rbG1nPaxgwY

He gives his take on the most likely scenario from about the 14:50 mark until around the 24 minute mark.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2012, 02:46:52 am by Mr. Morden »Logged

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Chuck Hagel 08
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« Reply #327 on: December 14, 2012, 03:14:06 am »
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I was thinking of a certain Spec Ops level of Call of Duty 3 with that comment there.

I see.

Glad to see you attacked me for questioning the reasoning of someone who makes strategic decisions based on a video game.
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« Reply #328 on: December 14, 2012, 04:47:22 am »
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I was thinking of a certain Spec Ops level of Call of Duty 3 with that comment there.

I see.

Glad to see you attacked me for questioning the reasoning of someone who makes strategic decisions based on a video game.

It was your motivations for questioning his reasoning that struck me as suspect.
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Chuck Hagel 08
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« Reply #329 on: December 15, 2012, 03:13:00 am »
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I was thinking of a certain Spec Ops level of Call of Duty 3 with that comment there.

I see.

Glad to see you attacked me for questioning the reasoning of someone who makes strategic decisions based on a video game.

It was your motivations for questioning his reasoning that struck me as suspect.

What do you mean by my motivation? My immediate motivation of detecting faulty logic or my greater motivation of opposing a knee-jerk response to a complex situation? The thought process seemed to consist of 1) Assad might use chemical weapons, 2) The US drops bombs with relative ease, therefore 2) should be used to solve 1), hence my observation. You seem to have judged my motivations not based on the content of my post, but on your preconceived stereotype of my political philosophy.
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Nathan
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« Reply #330 on: December 15, 2012, 04:22:44 am »
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I was thinking of a certain Spec Ops level of Call of Duty 3 with that comment there.

I see.

Glad to see you attacked me for questioning the reasoning of someone who makes strategic decisions based on a video game.

It was your motivations for questioning his reasoning that struck me as suspect.

What do you mean by my motivation? My immediate motivation of detecting faulty logic or my greater motivation of opposing a knee-jerk response to a complex situation? The thought process seemed to consist of 1) Assad might use chemical weapons, 2) The US drops bombs with relative ease, therefore 2) should be used to solve 1), hence my observation. You seem to have judged my motivations not based on the content of my post, but on your preconceived stereotype of my political philosophy.

I'll admit that I judged your motivations based on your political philosophy (as opposed to BRTD's motivations, which...defy complex analysis, and are profound in their simplicity, shall we say), so I'm sorry about that. I don't, however, think I have a 'preconceived stereotype' of what your political philosophy is, as I've talked with you on this forum a few times and read threads in which you talked with others quite a bit. Is it fair to assume, based on previous discussions and observations of your philosophy and positions, that you would oppose all or most forms of potential American involvement in the situation in Syria (Call of Duty 3-based or otherwise) on noninterventionist grounds? If so, I think my original broadside has merit, although I apologize for jumping the gun.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2012, 04:29:18 am by Nathan »Logged



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Frodo
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« Reply #331 on: December 15, 2012, 05:48:02 pm »
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U.N. mulls sending peacekeepers to Syria

Published: Dec. 15, 2012 at 9:44 AM

DAMASCUS, Syria, Dec. 15 (UPI) -- The United Nations is considering sending between 4,000 and 10,000 peacekeeping troops to Syria, a diplomatic official said.

The official said ministers of countries whose service personnel make up the U.N. peacekeeping force met Friday to discuss options for Syria, RIA Novosti reported.

One problem, the diplomatic source said, is the number of peacekeepers in the U.N. force.

"The problem is that the U.N. has no extra resources. The U.N. has a contingent of about 115,000 peacekeepers in various countries, but in order to send [a peacekeeping mission] to Syria, [the United Nations] will have to withdraw them from somewhere," the official, who spoke anonymously, said.

Lakhdar Brahimi, U.N. and Arab League envoy to Syria, said in November a peacekeeping mission was needed in Syria, devastated by a civil conflict that began in March 2011 over protests against President Bashar Assad. The violence between government troops and opposition forces has killed at least 40,000 people, activist groups estimate.
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Read more: http://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2012/12/15/UN-mulls-sending-peacekeepers-to-Syria/UPI-73981355582681/#ixzz2FACcQE5a


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Blue3
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« Reply #332 on: December 15, 2012, 11:57:52 pm »
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UN Peacekeepers are useless.
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Ernest
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« Reply #333 on: December 16, 2012, 12:34:53 am »
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UN Peacekeepers are useless.

Not really.  At times they make very effective hostages.
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dead0man
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« Reply #334 on: December 16, 2012, 11:02:56 am »
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And their ambulances make excellent troop transports.
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« Reply #335 on: December 17, 2012, 04:17:23 pm »
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With nerve agents, deploying antidotes is risky.  If you give yourself the antidote because you think you've come in contact with one, but you haven't, then you can potentially kill yourself that way as well.

Also, many of them kill too quickly for an antidote to be deployed.
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« Reply #336 on: December 17, 2012, 04:42:55 pm »
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With nerve agents, deploying antidotes is risky.  If you give yourself the antidote because you think you've come in contact with one, but you haven't, then you can potentially kill yourself that way as well.

Also, many of them kill too quickly for an antidote to be deployed.

Only in such high concentrations that you likely would have been killed by a conventional weapon hitting the same spot.
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Frodo
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« Reply #337 on: December 22, 2012, 12:25:24 pm »
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Russia doesn't appear too eager to serve as host to an exiled Bashar al-Assad and his family:

Russia says it won't host Assad but others welcome

By VLADIMIR ISACHENKOV
Associated Press
Originally published Saturday, December 22, 2012 at 5:23 AM


MOSCOW —

Russia's foreign minister says Moscow would welcome any country's offer of a safe haven to Syrian President Bashar Assad, but underlined that Moscow itself has no intention of giving him shelter if he steps down.

Russia has used its veto right at the U.N. Security Council to protect its old ally from international sanctions, but it has increasingly sought to distance itself from Assad.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters late Friday that countries in the region he wouldn't name publicly had asked Russia to convey their offer of a safe passage to Assad. He said that Russia responded by telling them to go directly to Assad.

"If there is anyone willing to provide him guarantees, they are welcome!" Lavrov told reporters on board a plane returning from Brussels where he attended a Russia-EU summit. "We would be the first to cross ourselves and say: "Thank God, the carnage is over! If it indeed ends the carnage, which is far from certain."
--------------------------------------------------------------

That's quite a contrast to our more hospitable treatment of former Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi after the 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran.  
« Last Edit: December 22, 2012, 12:28:16 pm by Frodo »Logged

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exnaderite
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« Reply #338 on: December 23, 2012, 03:33:26 am »
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Damn, if I were in the Chinese Politburo I'd be desperately hoping for the US to jump head on to its...fourth Middle Eastern war in a decade, since it would distract Obama's attention from my backyard. Bonus? Syria's sectarianism make Iraq's seem almost like Belgium.
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Mr. Morden
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« Reply #339 on: December 23, 2012, 12:50:21 pm »
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More Joshua Landis on Syria, and why the war could still go on for many years after Assad leaves Damascus and retreats to the Alawite heartland:

http://bloggingheads.tv/videos/13845?in=07:32&out=12:41v
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« Reply #340 on: December 23, 2012, 12:52:41 pm »
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That's quite a contrast to our more hospitable treatment of former Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi after the 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran.

Yes, and Russia is actually taking the better stance amazingly.
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Tender Branson
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« Reply #341 on: December 24, 2012, 02:52:09 pm »
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Syrian troops using killer gas bombs, says Syrian Observatory for Human Right

SYRIAN troops have deployed bombs containing a killer gas while fighting rebels in the central city of Homs.

"Activists in Homs say that six rebels died on Sunday night on the Khaldiyeh-Bayada frontline because they inhaled odourless gas and white smoke," said the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which relies on a network of activists, lawyers and doctors to document Syria's raging conflict.

"Gas spread in the area after regime troops threw bombs that gave off white smoke as soon as they hit the walls," said the Observatory, which added the bombs were deployed during street clashes with the rebels.

"Those who inhaled the gas felt nauseous and suffered severe headaches. Some suffered fits," it added.

"These are not chemical weapons, but we do not know whether they are internationally prohibited," Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman said.

"Activists say it is the first time they have recorded these effects," he added. "They are not conventional weapons."

The Observatory called on the International Committee of the Red Cross to urgently send a specialised medical team to Homs, several of whose districts have been besieged by army forces for more than six months.

The Local Co-ordination Committees also reported the use of "bombs containing gases" in Homs.

"These gases lead to muscle relaxation, severe difficulty in breathing and the narrowing of the iris," said the LCC, a grassroots network of peaceful activists.

Amateur video filmed by activists and distributed online by the LCC showed a man laid out on a stretcher struggling to breathe as an unidentified doctor held an oxygen mask over his face.

"It's definitely a poisonous gas, but we don't know what type it is," said a field doctor.

http://www.news.com.au/news/syrian-troops-using-killer-gas-bombs/story-fnehlez2-1226543183488
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Frodo
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« Reply #342 on: December 24, 2012, 03:10:41 pm »
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So they're using chemical weapons already....     
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Blue3
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« Reply #343 on: December 24, 2012, 10:54:38 pm »
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I would wait until these claims are verified. Hope they're not true.

But if it is confirmed, then we must act swiftly, decisively, carefully, and forcefully.
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« Reply #344 on: December 25, 2012, 01:39:02 am »
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So would anyone be opposed to providing the rebels with masks?
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« Reply #345 on: December 25, 2012, 03:14:04 am »
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So would anyone be opposed to providing the rebels with masks?

Not me, but if this was a nerve agent, masks wouldn't be an absolute boon.  Nerve agents can be absorbed through the skin, altho they are more effective if they contact the eyes, nose, and/or mouth.
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AkSaber
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« Reply #346 on: December 25, 2012, 10:26:24 pm »
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I'm still trying to figure out why our country gets so high and mighty when other countries use chemical or biological weapons, then we turn around and generously use depleted uranium ammunition against whoever gets in our way.
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Chuck Hagel 08
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« Reply #347 on: December 26, 2012, 12:56:00 am »
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I'm still trying to figure out why our country gets so high and mighty when other countries use chemical or biological weapons, then we turn around and generously use depleted uranium ammunition against whoever gets in our way.

Consult Rudyard Kipling.
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Chuck Hagel 08
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« Reply #348 on: December 26, 2012, 12:59:29 am »
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So would anyone be opposed to providing the rebels with masks?

I thought that the ostensible purpose for any Western intervention was to protect civilians. Even if masks had the protective effect that they must have in Black Ops 2, wouldn't it defeat the purpose of a purportedly humanitarian action if the recipients were the combatants themselves rather than civilians?
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« Reply #349 on: December 26, 2012, 01:40:28 am »
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Hahaha. Good stuff.
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