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Author Topic: Civil War in Syria  (Read 132700 times)
Frodo
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« Reply #575 on: August 28, 2013, 10:11:03 pm »
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There is no oil in Syria.

Perhaps not, but getting rid of the Assad regime would further isolate the mullahs of Iran and leave terrorist groups like Hezbollah hanging in the wind and vulnerable to Lebanon (now freed of Syrian domination) and Israel.  I am sure both states would be more than happy to put Hezbollah in its place.  

That is my interest in the matter -geopolitical.  

Personally I am terrified of the prospect of a bosnia-type situation emerging. Supporting any one side would likely just lead to ethnic conflict on an even wider scale. Also I am not so sure that toppling the Syrian gov. would be as easy as Libya (and that obviously took a good amount of time).
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Well, we avoided intervening for about two years now, and your fears have become a self-fulfilling prophecy.



Would intervention two years have necessarily produced a better outcome?

Yes, for the following reasons:

1. Fewer civilians would be killed or displaced -the refugee crisis would be minimal in relation to what it is now.
2. With the relatively quick overthrow of the regime, Al Qaeda/al Nusra elements would still be inconsequential
3. We would have an outsized influence not only on whatever government is formed, but also over the Syrian people grateful for our assistance
4. Iran would be deprived of a crucial ally, leaving it weaker in the region, and thus more vulnerable to American pressure with regard to its nuclear ambitions.  Perhaps it might even effect regime change there.  
5. Hezbollah would be left high and dry, thus contributing to Israel's security on its northern frontier.
6. We would not be facing the prospect of Syria becoming another post-Cold War Yugoslavia.
7. Deprived of its client-state (and foothold in the region), Russia would lose whatever residual influence it has left in the Middle East.

All this is assuming the Libyan-style intervention in question had been designed to aid the rebels in overthrowing the Assad regime, as opposed to merely making a damned statement of our displeasure like President Obama is urging...    
« Last Edit: August 28, 2013, 11:42:57 pm by Frodo »Logged

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« Reply #576 on: August 29, 2013, 04:18:42 am »
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All this is assuming the Libyan-style intervention in question had been designed to aid the rebels in overthrowing the Assad regime, as opposed to merely making a damned statement of our displeasure like President Obama is urging...    

It also assumes that a Libyan-style intervention would have had a similar effect in Syria.  That is a rather large assumption to make.  You are making the same damn mistake that Rumsfeld and Cheney made about Iraq, that optimistic assumptions about how the aftermath of fighting will inevitably become the reality.  Yeah, we can smash Assad's military, just as we did Saddam's, but winning the war is the easy part.  Winning the peace is even more important and there is no reason to think Syria would fall into line as easily as you think it would.
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« Reply #577 on: August 29, 2013, 07:46:46 am »
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All this is assuming the Libyan-style intervention in question had been designed to aid the rebels in overthrowing the Assad regime, as opposed to merely making a damned statement of our displeasure like President Obama is urging...    

It also assumes that a Libyan-style intervention would have had a similar effect in Syria.  That is a rather large assumption to make.  You are making the same damn mistake that Rumsfeld and Cheney made about Iraq, that optimistic assumptions about how the aftermath of fighting will inevitably become the reality.  Yeah, we can smash Assad's military, just as we did Saddam's, but winning the war is the easy part.  Winning the peace is even more important and there is no reason to think Syria would fall into line as easily as you think it would.

Preach it, brother.
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« Reply #578 on: August 29, 2013, 10:02:57 am »
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All this is assuming the Libyan-style intervention in question had been designed to aid the rebels in overthrowing the Assad regime, as opposed to merely making a damned statement of our displeasure like President Obama is urging...   

It also assumes that a Libyan-style intervention would have had a similar effect in Syria.  That is a rather large assumption to make.  You are making the same damn mistake that Rumsfeld and Cheney made about Iraq, that optimistic assumptions about how the aftermath of fighting will inevitably become the reality.  Yeah, we can smash Assad's military, just as we did Saddam's, but winning the war is the easy part.  Winning the peace is even more important and there is no reason to think Syria would fall into line as easily as you think it would.

A 'war', means nothing, there are countless different kinds of military interventions, countless different kinds of political contexts, etc.

Comparing the situation in Iraq with the situation in Syria is, well, odd.

The news are too focused on Syria, so the echos of the Syrian Civil war in Lebanon are almost unheard internationally. The reality is that the whole country is hanging on a thread, there are Kidnappings, assassinations, bombs, high crime, visibly armed militias here and there... I don't know what is preventing Lebanon from slipping into a new civil war, but it certainly isn't "if they wanted an actual new civil war, it's a long time it would have begun", the people who carry the weapons and the civilians aren't the ones to call a civil war... I don't know who calls it, but it certainly not the common people...

I'm aware of the situation in Lebanon by its different shades.

Regardless of the fact that you would hardly start a civil war or something close to this without the fuel of the civilian population, still, people, no matter who start what, don't make civil wars out of nowhere, in general anybody needs a concrete reason to do something, and I don't really see who would have some interest to turn Lebanon into fire right now.

And even if someone want war, you need to be at least 2 to make war, escalations don't automatically work. And I overall really don't see the population easily slipping into this. Watching closely at the actual very harsh civil war in Lebanon shows how the fact that a lot of clueless young easily jumped into that was important to spread the fire all over.

Violence is always possible but we are in a totally different context than before, totally different dynamics that led to a civil war.

All of this being said there is this Lebanese saying that I love which makes that you indeed need to always be cautious when you speak about Lebanon:

If someone tried to explain you the Lebanese Civil War and that you think you understood everything, it's that you have been badly explained... Smiley

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« Reply #579 on: August 29, 2013, 07:00:10 pm »
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There is no oil in Syria.

Perhaps not, but getting rid of the Assad regime would further isolate the mullahs of Iran and leave terrorist groups like Hezbollah hanging in the wind and vulnerable to Lebanon (now freed of Syrian domination) and Israel.  I am sure both states would be more than happy to put Hezbollah in its place. 

That is my interest in the matter -geopolitical. 

Personally I am terrified of the prospect of a bosnia-type situation emerging. Supporting any one side would likely just lead to ethnic conflict on an even wider scale. Also I am not so sure that toppling the Syrian gov. would be as easy as Libya (and that obviously took a good amount of time).
------------------------

Well, we avoided intervening for about two years now, and your fears have become a self-fulfilling prophecy.



Didn't you hear, nonintervention is the in thing. All problems are solved by doing nothing (so says people on the left and right) until you actually do nothing and the situation gets worse.

How can we possibly believe anything the interventionists say when their entire case against Iraq was a lie?

Besides, the interventionists are complete hypocrites. They want to intervene for humanitarian reasons, yet happily bomb weddings, funerals, and use depleted uranium against innocent people?
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« Reply #580 on: August 29, 2013, 09:30:39 pm »
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There is no oil in Syria.

Perhaps not, but getting rid of the Assad regime would further isolate the mullahs of Iran and leave terrorist groups like Hezbollah hanging in the wind and vulnerable to Lebanon (now freed of Syrian domination) and Israel.  I am sure both states would be more than happy to put Hezbollah in its place. 

That is my interest in the matter -geopolitical. 

Personally I am terrified of the prospect of a bosnia-type situation emerging. Supporting any one side would likely just lead to ethnic conflict on an even wider scale. Also I am not so sure that toppling the Syrian gov. would be as easy as Libya (and that obviously took a good amount of time).
------------------------

Well, we avoided intervening for about two years now, and your fears have become a self-fulfilling prophecy.



Didn't you hear, nonintervention is the in thing. All problems are solved by doing nothing (so says people on the left and right) until you actually do nothing and the situation gets worse.

How can we possibly believe anything the interventionists say when their entire case against Iraq was a lie?

Besides, the interventionists are complete hypocrites. They want to intervene for humanitarian reasons, yet happily bomb weddings, funerals, and use depleted uranium against innocent people?

Happily? If you think they're purposely bombing weddings and funerals I think there's something wrong with the way you see things.
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« Reply #581 on: August 29, 2013, 11:54:02 pm »
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There is no oil in Syria.

Perhaps not, but getting rid of the Assad regime would further isolate the mullahs of Iran and leave terrorist groups like Hezbollah hanging in the wind and vulnerable to Lebanon (now freed of Syrian domination) and Israel.  I am sure both states would be more than happy to put Hezbollah in its place. 

That is my interest in the matter -geopolitical. 

Personally I am terrified of the prospect of a bosnia-type situation emerging. Supporting any one side would likely just lead to ethnic conflict on an even wider scale. Also I am not so sure that toppling the Syrian gov. would be as easy as Libya (and that obviously took a good amount of time).
------------------------

Well, we avoided intervening for about two years now, and your fears have become a self-fulfilling prophecy.



Didn't you hear, nonintervention is the in thing. All problems are solved by doing nothing (so says people on the left and right) until you actually do nothing and the situation gets worse.

How can we possibly believe anything the interventionists say when their entire case against Iraq was a lie?

Besides, the interventionists are complete hypocrites. They want to intervene for humanitarian reasons, yet happily bomb weddings, funerals, and use depleted uranium against innocent people?

Happily? If you think they're purposely bombing weddings and funerals I think there's something wrong with the way you see things.

Yeah, cause their cries of sorrow and regret are so deafening.
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Mr. Morden
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« Reply #582 on: September 01, 2013, 12:47:36 am »
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You guys should all watch this lengthy discussion with Syria expert Josua Landis on the state of the civil war there:

http://bloggingheads.tv/videos/21398

Though if you're pressed for time, they get to the heart of the matter in this ~11 minute clip:

http://bloggingheads.tv/videos/21398?in=22:52&out=34:04

Some quick notes on Landis's take from the discussion:

-The conspiracy theories, about the chemical weapons attack being a false flag by the rebels, don't really make any sense for a host of reasons (including the scale of operation, and the implausbility of so many people being in on it without the truth leaking out).  Of course, that doesn't rule out the possibility that it was a lower level commander rather than Assad who ordered it.

-The Islamists wield influence among the rebel ranks that's disproportionate to their numbers, and they're responsible for most/all recent rebel victories.  The FSA is in bed with Islamist groups, and contracts out operations to them all the time.

-Because of the FSA's alliance with Islamists, the US doesn't really like the idea of the rebels "winning" and them getting the chemical weapons, but neither does it want Assad to win.  The US supports the rebels just enough to stop them from losing, but not enough to allow them to win.  Thus the US's policy has the effect of creating an everlasting stalemate, prolonging the war indefinitely.

-The US's stated policy goal is a negotiated settlement between the parties for some kind of unity government, but that's completely implausible because of how much the parties hate each other.

-*However*, if the stalemate continues for years and years, and the battle lines start to freeze, then what you get is de facto partition of Syria into two (or more) countries, with Assad controlling the south and west, and the rebels controlling the north and east (with the Kurds potentially controlling their own plot of land in the northeast).  Partition might not actually be such a bad outcome, considering that all other scenarios are so awful.  However, no one actually wants to discuss this as an option right now.  Maybe that'll change in another year or two or three though.
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« Reply #583 on: September 02, 2013, 05:26:34 pm »
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The problem for the US is, it looks like a stalemate from afar, but the battle lines are not going to freeze forever. The rebel and regime controlled areas are too geographically dispersed. There is a parallel here with the Chinese civil war. The rebels are like the communists, who control the rural areas, are strong in the north thanks to the country on the northern border, and which have the moral upper hand but whom the US is afraid if because of their radicalism. The government is like Chiang Kai Shek and the nationalists, who started out with overwhelming military superiority but are slowly, steadily losing it through attrition and losing ground for strategic reasons. They control most of the cities and provincial capitals, but the rebels are surrounding one stronghold after another and choking it off. The Syrian army has basically been fighting a series of Stalingrads, trying to keep their bases reapplied through Goering-style "air bridges".

Kudos to Al Qaeda for excellent deployment of guerilla warfare. Simply by forcing Assad into desperately deploying WMD they gave revealed the fundamental desperation of his situation. Like the strategies of Vo Nguyen Giap, the Al Qaeda guerilla strategy in this war should be studied at US war colleges for years to come.
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« Reply #584 on: September 03, 2013, 01:16:20 am »
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Kudos to Al Qaeda for excellent deployment of guerilla warfare. Simply by forcing Assad into desperately deploying WMD they gave revealed the fundamental desperation of his situation. Like the strategies of Vo Nguyen Giap, the Al Qaeda guerilla strategy in this war should be studied at US war colleges for years to come.

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« Reply #585 on: September 13, 2013, 06:40:55 pm »
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Obama concedes to Russia; will remove military trigger on Syria

By Julian Pecquet    - 09/13/13 06:03 PM ET

President Obama is prepared to bow to Russian demands that he give up a military trigger in the pending UN resolution on Syria, administration officials told reporters on Friday.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that the United States must take the threat of force off the table if Syria is to turn over its chemical weapons arsenal to the international community. Russia is expected to veto any resolution that would include an automatic military trigger if Syria's Bashar Assad fails to comply.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/global-affairs/un-treaties/322235-obama-bows-to-russian-demands-to-remove-military-trigger-on-syria#ixzz2eoqsZFSr
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« Reply #586 on: September 13, 2013, 07:28:50 pm »
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There never was a chance for a military trigger in the UN resolution.  So long as Obama does not concede the ability for the US to act without explicit UN authorization, then an attack is still possible if Assad, as expected, fails to live up to his part of the bargain.
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« Reply #587 on: September 14, 2013, 03:14:02 pm »
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This is what McCain and alike are supporting Obama to arm and align with;

 http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2420263/As-rebels-behead-Assads-thugs-children-question-really-sides-Syrias-bloodbath.html
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« Reply #588 on: September 14, 2013, 04:00:01 pm »
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There never was a chance for a military trigger in the UN resolution.  So long as Obama does not concede the ability for the US to act without explicit UN authorization, then an attack is still possible if Assad, as expected, fails to live up to his part of the bargain.

If the Syrians don't comply, the US and Russia will go for a Chapter VII resolution
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« Reply #589 on: September 16, 2013, 12:56:33 am »
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So I have not been impressed with President Obama's handling of Syria. While it's a good thing that the chemical weapons arsenal is presumably going to be destroyed, I am not convinced that the Obama administration's actions were really responsibl for that. And besides: a lot can still go wrong. Events move fast, the situation is perilous, and I fail to see much of a plan if the agreement between Russia and the US does not work.
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« Reply #590 on: September 16, 2013, 11:19:19 am »
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Turkey has said its warplanes shot down a Syrian helicopter that violated its airspace.
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« Reply #591 on: September 16, 2013, 02:09:39 pm »
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West decides to start World War III anyway, Turkey to lead the charge.
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LastVoter
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« Reply #592 on: September 16, 2013, 02:17:52 pm »
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Lol
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syria%E2%80%93Turkey_relations#Timeline
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« Reply #593 on: September 16, 2013, 02:31:27 pm »
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Yes snowstalker once again proves how much he knows.
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« Reply #594 on: November 01, 2013, 02:33:04 pm »
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Political science says Syria’s civil war will probably last at least another decade

BY MAX FISHER
October 23 at 1:39 pm


The Obama administration appears to be deadlocked over what to do in Syria, forcing a policy of inaction, according to a widely circulating New York Times story. But U.S. officials will likely have years more time to debate what to do about Syria's civil war, which could continue into and perhaps through the next presidential administration. According to a review of the political science on the duration of civil wars, Syria's conflict will most likely last through 2020 and perhaps well beyond.

Syria's conflict began with April 2011 protests and subsequent crackdowns. It's not clear the precise moment when it became a civil war, but many media organizations began referring to it as such around early or mid 2012. At most, you might say the war has been waging now for two years. According to studies of intra-state conflicts since 1945, civil wars tend to last an average of about seven to 12 years. That would put the end of the war somewhere between 2018 and 2023.

Worse, those studies have identified several factors that tend to make civil wars last even longer than the average. A number of those factors appear to apply to Syria, suggesting that this war could be an unusually long one. Of course, those are just estimates based on averages; by definition, half of all civil wars are shorter than the median length, and Syria's could be one of them. But, based on the political science, Syria has the right conditions to last through President Obama's tenure and perhaps most or all of his successor's.

Here's what the research shows:
----------------------------------------------------------

Linky
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« Reply #595 on: November 09, 2013, 04:29:08 pm »
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Syrians on Both Sides of the War Increasingly See Assad as Likely to Stay

By ANNE BARNARD
Published: November 8, 2013


BEIRUT, Lebanon — A growing number of Syrians on both sides of their country’s conflict, along with regional analysts and would-be mediators, are demanding new strategies to end the civil war, based on what they see as an inescapable new reality: President Bashar al-Assad is staying in office, at least for now.

They say the insistence from the United States-backed opposition that Mr. Assad must go before peace talks can begin is outdated, failing to reflect the situation on the ground. Rather, they say, a deal to end or ease the violence must involve Mr. Assad and requires more energetic outreach to members of his government and security forces, with concrete proposals and reassurances that could bring compromise.

They also contend that the American-backed exile opposition coalition that remains at the center of Washington’s policy has little relevance and no respect from combatants on either side. These critics of American policy say that the United States and its coalition ally are helping guarantee that diplomacy remains paralyzed as Syrians die.
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« Reply #596 on: January 18, 2014, 03:40:41 pm »
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MIT study of Ghouta chemical attack challenges US intelligence

http://rt.com/news/study-challenges-syria-chemical-attack-681/

A new MIT report is challenging the US claim that Assad forces used chemical weapons in an attack last August, highlighting that the range of the improvised rocket was way too short to have been launched from govt controlled areas.

In the report titled “Possible Implications of Faulty US Technical Intelligence,” Richard Lloyd, a former UN weapons inspector, and Theodore Postol, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), examined the delivery rocket’s design and calculated possible trajectories based on the payload of the cargo.

The authors concluded that sarin gas “could not possibly have been fired at East Ghouta from the ‘heart’, or from the Eastern edge, of the Syrian government controlled area shown in the intelligence map published by the White House on August 30, 2013.”
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« Reply #597 on: January 23, 2014, 01:23:12 pm »
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http://www.cbsnews.com/news/iran-hassan-rouhani-calls-for-free-and-fair-elections-in-syria/
Hassan Rouhani called for "free and fair elections" in Syria...


Problem is if Assad is participating it's highly unlikely that the elections would be free or fair...
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« Reply #598 on: January 23, 2014, 06:23:31 pm »
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You know Ive been meaning to bump a Syria thread for a while to see what some of the more strident anti Assad, pro-intervention folks are at now.  Ive been following the non-traditional forms of news and some videos coming out unfiltered directly from Syria. The FSA aligned forces have really gotten ugly. The al Nasra and ISIL elements are just absolutely appalling and worse than Assad. Do we really want to take sides with groups composed of the Takfiri types who are carving peoples heads off?  Looking with a jaundiced eye, Im glad that these extremists in al Nasra and ISIL have been killing each other and not turning their energies toward us. God help the Alawi and Christians and moderate Sunnis if these type had a say in governance.
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« Reply #599 on: January 23, 2014, 07:10:28 pm »
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The moderate rebels have been displaced and are now fighting the Islamist groups in the country, who are gaining strength there and in Iraq; I doubted their viability as both a long-term fighting force and as a government anyway. The government has basically won on the ground thanks to rebel infighting and the West pulling military aid.
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