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#1 Posted by murisan (1119 posts) -

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/12/06/syria-crisis-maqdad-idUSL5E8N677420121206

* U.S. and NATO have warned Syria against chemical weapons

* Syria has not acknowledged it possesses them

* But has said wouldn't use such weapons against own people

* Syria says chemical weapons talk is "theatre"

From the discourse between users, it seems as if there's a LARGE number of people saying they agree with Syria in that they do not trust the USA's intel report, and that this is another Iraq WMD situation.

I'm not sure what to believe yet; I believe the United States should not be spending more resources on foreign issues, but that's a hardline that I believe needs to be followed due to our internal problems. What do you all think? Do you think Syria (more appropriately, Assad) is going to use sarin gas on Syrian civilians? Do you think it's right for America to intervene? Do you think America would fabricate another WMD story? I don't personally understand what the US would gain from engineering something like this at this point in time, but maybe I'm not seeing all angles.

#2 Edited by ShockD (2421 posts) -

Filthy spies! You never gonna take my aspirin!

#3 Edited by No0b0rAmA (1478 posts) -

Just saying that a lot of people agreed that Iraq had WMDs at first. It's not necessarily fabricated information, but could simply be incorrect.

To be honest, I'd rather have the Assad regime than an unstable, Islamic fundamentalist country that will be a much bigger problem in the future.

#4 Posted by Ramone (2976 posts) -

We're all going to die horribly. Yay!

#5 Posted by Bourbon_Warrior (4523 posts) -

It's been known for a while Syria has been developing Nuclear Weapons. But it's hard to take the US seriously anymore with these allegations since they lied to the world about Saddams WMD program.

#6 Posted by Inkerman (1455 posts) -

Yeah, unlike Iraq where the advice was that Iraq 'probably' had chemical weapons, we know the Syrians have weapons. The key question is whether or not they're going to use them or lose control over them. In either case I think its imperative the US do something. Frankly I think very little of people who are perfectly willing to watch thousands of people be murdered because they're worried about their bottom line.

#7 Edited by TruthTellah (9478 posts) -

@murisan: Considering Assad's regime has already been using cluster bombs on playgrounds, kidnapped thousands of people, shelled hospitals, and purposefully had troops rape women to deter people from opposing them, I'm gonna go out on a limb and say him using chemical weapons as a last ditch effort to remain in power might not be too much of a stretch.

There isn't really a question here of whether the Syrian government has chemical weapons, as they do. It's only a matter of whether they'll use them. We can make Iraq jokes and snipe at the US, but it doesn't change the horrific reality on the ground. Their military preparing such weapons for possible use on their own people sadly doesn't sound far-fetched. Now, whether they'll really use them is difficult to say, but considering how much further they have gone so far versus what most people used to think they were capable of, it isn't ridiculous to think that they may indeed take whatever measure is necessary to keep the regime in power.

#8 Posted by UitDeToekomst (750 posts) -

US intel "indicates" lots of stuff.

#9 Posted by murisan (1119 posts) -

@Inkerman said:

Yeah, unlike Iraq where the advice was that Iraq 'probably' had chemical weapons, we know the Syrians have weapons. The key question is whether or not they're going to use them or lose control over them. In either case I think its imperative the US do something. Frankly I think very little of people who are perfectly willing to watch thousands of people be murdered because they're worried about their bottom line.

Ah yes, you think little of me for considering the inevitable backlash if my country DOES intervene? So you are saying it's a necessary evil for the US to intervene in this situation?

#10 Posted by mlarrabee (3064 posts) -
#11 Posted by Inkerman (1455 posts) -

@murisan said:

@Inkerman said:

Yeah, unlike Iraq where the advice was that Iraq 'probably' had chemical weapons, we know the Syrians have weapons. The key question is whether or not they're going to use them or lose control over them. In either case I think its imperative the US do something. Frankly I think very little of people who are perfectly willing to watch thousands of people be murdered because they're worried about their bottom line.

Ah yes, you think little of me for considering the inevitable backlash if my country DOES intervene? So you are saying it's a necessary evil for the US to intervene in this situation?

On the contrary I don't view it as evil at all, nor, if carried out correctly, do I expect there to be a backlash. For example in Iraq, the invasion and toppling of Saddam was massively popular in Iraq, and carried out extremely effectively. It was subsequent failures after the war that caused problems, not the war itself. IMO it is the responsibility of the US to overthrow these violent, destabilising dictators from both a moral perspective (the weaker argument) and a larger geopolitical standpoint (an extremely strong argument).

#12 Posted by murisan (1119 posts) -

@Inkerman said:

@murisan said:

@Inkerman said:

Yeah, unlike Iraq where the advice was that Iraq 'probably' had chemical weapons, we know the Syrians have weapons. The key question is whether or not they're going to use them or lose control over them. In either case I think its imperative the US do something. Frankly I think very little of people who are perfectly willing to watch thousands of people be murdered because they're worried about their bottom line.

Ah yes, you think little of me for considering the inevitable backlash if my country DOES intervene? So you are saying it's a necessary evil for the US to intervene in this situation?

On the contrary I don't view it as evil at all, nor, if carried out correctly, do I expect there to be a backlash. For example in Iraq, the invasion and toppling of Saddam was massively popular in Iraq, and carried out extremely effectively. It was subsequent failures after the war that caused problems, not the war itself. IMO it is the responsibility of the US to overthrow these violent, destabilising dictators from both a moral perspective (the weaker argument) and a larger geopolitical standpoint (an extremely strong argument).

Are you a US citizen?

#13 Posted by Inkerman (1455 posts) -

@murisan said:

@Inkerman said:

@murisan said:

@Inkerman said:

Yeah, unlike Iraq where the advice was that Iraq 'probably' had chemical weapons, we know the Syrians have weapons. The key question is whether or not they're going to use them or lose control over them. In either case I think its imperative the US do something. Frankly I think very little of people who are perfectly willing to watch thousands of people be murdered because they're worried about their bottom line.

Ah yes, you think little of me for considering the inevitable backlash if my country DOES intervene? So you are saying it's a necessary evil for the US to intervene in this situation?

On the contrary I don't view it as evil at all, nor, if carried out correctly, do I expect there to be a backlash. For example in Iraq, the invasion and toppling of Saddam was massively popular in Iraq, and carried out extremely effectively. It was subsequent failures after the war that caused problems, not the war itself. IMO it is the responsibility of the US to overthrow these violent, destabilising dictators from both a moral perspective (the weaker argument) and a larger geopolitical standpoint (an extremely strong argument).

Are you a US citizen?

No, but I don't see that as relevant.

#14 Posted by TruthTellah (9478 posts) -

@murisan said:

@Inkerman said:

Yeah, unlike Iraq where the advice was that Iraq 'probably' had chemical weapons, we know the Syrians have weapons. The key question is whether or not they're going to use them or lose control over them. In either case I think its imperative the US do something. Frankly I think very little of people who are perfectly willing to watch thousands of people be murdered because they're worried about their bottom line.

Ah yes, you think little of me for considering the inevitable backlash if my country DOES intervene? So you are saying it's a necessary evil for the US to intervene in this situation?

I think the White House's current position is different than some people may be thinking that it is. There is still no suggestion that troops would go on the ground. What the White House and NATO have suggested is that the use of chemical weapons would propel the crisis into a state where intervention would be necessary to save civilian lives. Such intervention would be closer to something like Libya, where NATO used directed air strikes and aerial patrolling to cease the Libyan military's ability to use excessive force on the civilian population. They would take out known locations of chemical weapons and act quickly on any military using such weapons.

No one is suggesting a ground-based offensive or any kind of occupation. They are suggesting that if the Assad regime escalates the conflict with chemical weapons, they would face NATO intervention to cease such use of chemical weapons. Civilians must be protected from such weapons, and intervention would be better than the resulting humanitarian crisis caused by such an escalated conflict. Neither outcome is particularly good, but that's the difficult reality of the situation in Syria at the moment. Hopefully, the struggling Assad regime will choose to not utilize chemical weapons and this conversation will end up unnecessary.

#15 Posted by murisan (1119 posts) -

@Inkerman: I believe it's very relevant if you lived in the country and saw just how much money and how many resources are poured into other countries when our own is in such disarray.

#16 Posted by Animasta (14727 posts) -

@murisan said:

@Inkerman: I believe it's very relevant if you lived in the country and saw just how much money and how many resources are poured into other countries when our own is in such disarray.

come on. Even if those chemical weapon rumors are untrue, someone still needs to do something to help them; this is a lot worse than widespread poverty, and I say this as someone who is pretty poor and shit.

I mean as long as we work with the national coalition, it shouldn't end up as bad as Iraq did.

#17 Edited by Inkerman (1455 posts) -

@murisan said:

@Inkerman: I believe it's very relevant if you lived in the country and saw just how much money and how many resources are poured into other countries when our own is in such disarray.

And how do you think the US has survived for so long the way it is? Pouring billions and billions of dollars in military power projection and other similar ventures? It's because of other countries buying US debt. This is how the deal works. You guys fund the shit out of your military instead of into social welfare (because make no mistake, that is the alternative) and everyone else buys this debt, and in exchange you protect us from the bad guys.

Furthermore stabilising such countries ultimately creates jobs in the US in the long term, because as these countries open up after the US has applied force, it allows foreign direct investment, much of it from the US although usually a shit tonne from China these days as well. The US ends up with a new customer base to sell US luxury goods (Coca Cola has just started shipping to Burma since the sanctions have lifted). This also has knock on effects, as the Chinese have developed over the last 30 years, largely because of US investment there AND US protection of their energy supplies in the Middle East, the Chinese are now buying American goods like crazy; China is now a larger market for GM than America is.

You wanna know what happens when America doesn't throw its weight around? Look at the 1920s and 30s, economic crisis and America goes all isolationist "Let's take care of our own" and the planet turns to shit in less than a decade. What do you think would have happened if during the oil shock America said "fuck this Cold War, everyone's on their own"?

Another point is what is the cost if you don't act? Afghanistan was left by America to fester, and low and behold it was infected by terrorists, Somalia is the same, and Syria will be if action is not taken.

#18 Edited by Bourbon_Warrior (4523 posts) -

@Inkerman said:

@murisan said:

@Inkerman: I believe it's very relevant if you lived in the country and saw just how much money and how many resources are poured into other countries when our own is in such disarray.

And how do you think the US has survived for so long the way it is? Pouring billions and billions of dollars in military power projection and other similar ventures? It's because of other countries buying US debt. This is how the deal works. You guys fund the shit out of your military instead of into social welfare (because make no mistake, that is the alternative) and everyone else buys this debt, and in exchange you protect us from the bad guys.

Furthermore stabilising such countries ultimately creates jobs in the US in the long term, because as these countries open up after the US has applied force, it allows foreign direct investment, much of it from the US although usually a shit tonne from China these days as well. The US ends up with a new customer base to sell US luxury goods (Coca Cola has just started shipping to Burma since the sanctions have lifted). This also has knock on effects, as the Chinese have developed over the last 30 years, largely because of US investment there AND US protection of their energy supplies in the Middle East, the Chinese are now buying American goods like crazy; China is now a larger market for GM than America is.

You wanna know what happens when America doesn't throw its weight around? Look at the 1920s and 30s, economic crisis and America goes all isolationist "Let's take care of our own" and the planet turns to shit in less than a decade. What do you think would have happened if during the oil shock America said "fuck this Cold War, everyone's on their own"?

Another point is what is the cost if you don't act? Afghanistan was left by America to fester, and low and behold it was infected by terrorists, Somalia is the same, and Syria will be if action is not taken.

Bin Laden and his mercenaries (which became the tailiban in the 90's) were payed and armed by the Americans to help fight the Russians during the cold war era. So I wouldn't say America left Afghanistan alone, they actually heavily armed their militia like the Reagen administration did with alot of militias around the world during his presidency.

#19 Posted by Vinny_Says (5721 posts) -

@Inkerman said:

@murisan said:

@Inkerman said:

Yeah, unlike Iraq where the advice was that Iraq 'probably' had chemical weapons, we know the Syrians have weapons. The key question is whether or not they're going to use them or lose control over them. In either case I think its imperative the US do something. Frankly I think very little of people who are perfectly willing to watch thousands of people be murdered because they're worried about their bottom line.

Ah yes, you think little of me for considering the inevitable backlash if my country DOES intervene? So you are saying it's a necessary evil for the US to intervene in this situation?

On the contrary I don't view it as evil at all, nor, if carried out correctly, do I expect there to be a backlash. For example in Iraq, the invasion and toppling of Saddam was massively popular in Iraq, and carried out extremely effectively. It was subsequent failures after the war that caused problems, not the war itself. IMO it is the responsibility of the US to overthrow these violent, destabilising dictators from both a moral perspective (the weaker argument) and a larger geopolitical standpoint (an extremely strong argument).

USA WORLD POLICE

#20 Posted by Inkerman (1455 posts) -

@Bourbon_Warrior said:

@Inkerman said:

@murisan said:

@Inkerman: I believe it's very relevant if you lived in the country and saw just how much money and how many resources are poured into other countries when our own is in such disarray.

And how do you think the US has survived for so long the way it is? Pouring billions and billions of dollars in military power projection and other similar ventures? It's because of other countries buying US debt. This is how the deal works. You guys fund the shit out of your military instead of into social welfare (because make no mistake, that is the alternative) and everyone else buys this debt, and in exchange you protect us from the bad guys.

Furthermore stabilising such countries ultimately creates jobs in the US in the long term, because as these countries open up after the US has applied force, it allows foreign direct investment, much of it from the US although usually a shit tonne from China these days as well. The US ends up with a new customer base to sell US luxury goods (Coca Cola has just started shipping to Burma since the sanctions have lifted). This also has knock on effects, as the Chinese have developed over the last 30 years, largely because of US investment there AND US protection of their energy supplies in the Middle East, the Chinese are now buying American goods like crazy; China is now a larger market for GM than America is.

You wanna know what happens when America doesn't throw its weight around? Look at the 1920s and 30s, economic crisis and America goes all isolationist "Let's take care of our own" and the planet turns to shit in less than a decade. What do you think would have happened if during the oil shock America said "fuck this Cold War, everyone's on their own"?

Another point is what is the cost if you don't act? Afghanistan was left by America to fester, and low and behold it was infected by terrorists, Somalia is the same, and Syria will be if action is not taken.

Bin Laden and his mercenaries were payed and armed by the Americans to help fight the Russians during the cold war era. So I wouldn't say America left Afghanistan alone, they actually heavily armed their militia like the Reagen administration did with alot of militias around the world during his presidency.

Yes, and this wasn't followed up with proper nation building in the country, nor was military action taken when the Taliban took over. And America wasn't the only one, the Chinese actually trained the Mujahadeen how to use the weapons the Americans were giving them.

#21 Edited by TruthTellah (9478 posts) -

@Inkerman said:

@murisan said:

@Inkerman: I believe it's very relevant if you lived in the country and saw just how much money and how many resources are poured into other countries when our own is in such disarray.

And how do you think the US has survived for so long the way it is? Pouring billions and billions of dollars in military power projection and other similar ventures? It's because of other countries buying US debt. This is how the deal works. You guys fund the shit out of your military instead of into social welfare (because make no mistake, that is the alternative) and everyone else buys this debt, and in exchange you protect us from the bad guys.

Wait, I agreed with the suggestion that tactical intervention by NATO would be preferable in the case of the Assad regime using chemical weapons, but the suggestion that countries invest in the US national debt as part of a deal where the US will use military force in other countries is ridiculous. Countries invest in the US national debt because it's a stable investment for significant amounts of money. That's why the majority of the US national debt is locally-owned, as it is a good investment for the long term.

Anyway, this is really veering off the topic of Syria possibly readying chemical weapons and whether NATO should take action if they choose to use them on their civilian population. Why does every discussion like this have to derail into Internet arguments that have been had thousands of times? Can we not just talk about what should be done to help the horrific situation in Syria?

#22 Posted by No0b0rAmA (1478 posts) -

@Inkerman said:

@murisan said:

@Inkerman said:

Yeah, unlike Iraq where the advice was that Iraq 'probably' had chemical weapons, we know the Syrians have weapons. The key question is whether or not they're going to use them or lose control over them. In either case I think its imperative the US do something. Frankly I think very little of people who are perfectly willing to watch thousands of people be murdered because they're worried about their bottom line.

Ah yes, you think little of me for considering the inevitable backlash if my country DOES intervene? So you are saying it's a necessary evil for the US to intervene in this situation?

On the contrary I don't view it as evil at all, nor, if carried out correctly, do I expect there to be a backlash. For example in Iraq, the invasion and toppling of Saddam was massively popular in Iraq, and carried out extremely effectively. It was subsequent failures after the war that caused problems, not the war itself. IMO it is the responsibility of the US to overthrow these violent, destabilising dictators from both a moral perspective (the weaker argument) and a larger geopolitical standpoint (an extremely strong argument).

I disagree that the Assad regime is a destabilizing factor the region, in fact I'd argue that an isolationist dictatorship is much better than a mess of a country that breeds Islamic extremism. The regime has kept to themselves, in fact when their nuclear program got destroy by Israeli surgical strikes, they just covered it up with no retaliation. The regime probably has no interest in getting any attention from the outside world. The outcome of a rebel victory probably will only lead to chaos and more violence.

If the U.S. does intervene, I hope they don't limit U.S. missions to air strikes or non-direct combat roles. They need be able to hold sway of Syria post-war to be able to create a functioning democracy that is friendly to the west, which is only possible by introducing ground troops mid-conflict.

#23 Posted by Inkerman (1455 posts) -

@TruthTellah said:

@Inkerman said:

@murisan said:

@Inkerman: I believe it's very relevant if you lived in the country and saw just how much money and how many resources are poured into other countries when our own is in such disarray.

And how do you think the US has survived for so long the way it is? Pouring billions and billions of dollars in military power projection and other similar ventures? It's because of other countries buying US debt. This is how the deal works. You guys fund the shit out of your military instead of into social welfare (because make no mistake, that is the alternative) and everyone else buys this debt, and in exchange you protect us from the bad guys.

Wait, I agreed with the suggestion that tactical intervention by NATO would be preferable in the case of the Assad regime using chemical weapons, but the suggestion that countries invest in the US national debt as part of a deal where the US will use military force in other countries is ridiculous. Countries invest in the US national debt because it's a stable investment for significant amounts of money. That's why the majority of the US national debt is locally-owned, as it is a good investment for the long term.

Anyway, this is really veering off the topic of Syria possibly readying chemical weapons and whether NATO should take action if they choose to use them on their civilian population. Why does every discussion like this have to derail into Internet arguments that have been had thousands of times? Can we not just talk about what should be done to help the horrific situation in Syria?

It's not a formal arrangement, no, but the implication has existed for some time. In any case the practical reasoning behind is simple. If the US did not have the funding of its debt it couldn't fund its military. If the US can't fund its military it returns to the same size that other countries have, in that it can protect North America and that's about it. That would mean other countries would then have to fund their own militaries more substantially to protect themselves, meaning they'd have to cut back on their social welfare funding. All up the end result is a situation where nobody can actually do anything and everything is terrible because you have basically the situation you did in the lead up to the 1st World War.

#24 Posted by TruthTellah (9478 posts) -

@Inkerman said:

It's not a formal arrangement, no, but the implication has existed for some time. In any case the practical reasoning behind is simple. If the US did not have the funding of its debt it couldn't fund its military. If the US can't fund its military it returns to the same size that other countries have, in that it can protect North America and that's about it. That would mean other countries would then have to fund their own militaries more substantially to protect themselves, meaning they'd have to cut back on their social welfare funding. All up the end result is a situation where nobody can actually do anything and everything is terrible because you have basically the situation you did in the lead up to the 1st World War.

Some other countries do support US military action abroad, but that has little to do with the US national debt. And it certainly has little to do with talking about what NATO should do in the case of Syria using chemical weapons. This side topic you've introduced just makes it harder for any commenters here to have a decent conversation about the real topic, as people will focus on the US and past conflicts over what is happening in Syria.

If any of us have any actual concern for what is happening in Syria, we should get off this stuff and talk about Syria and what may need to be done to help the situation there.

#25 Posted by beeftothetaco (426 posts) -

@Inkerman: For someone who doesn't even live in the US, you seem to have a lot of faith in the classic US interventionist ideology. On a side note, have you been paying attention to the news in the past 8-10 years?

#26 Posted by vikingdeath1 (1006 posts) -

I typed up about 4 different things to say and then deleted each one after realizing the 20 different ways my comments would've been Burned.

POLITICS GO!

#27 Posted by Inkerman (1455 posts) -

@No0b0rAmA said:

@Inkerman said:

@murisan said:

@Inkerman said:

Yeah, unlike Iraq where the advice was that Iraq 'probably' had chemical weapons, we know the Syrians have weapons. The key question is whether or not they're going to use them or lose control over them. In either case I think its imperative the US do something. Frankly I think very little of people who are perfectly willing to watch thousands of people be murdered because they're worried about their bottom line.

Ah yes, you think little of me for considering the inevitable backlash if my country DOES intervene? So you are saying it's a necessary evil for the US to intervene in this situation?

On the contrary I don't view it as evil at all, nor, if carried out correctly, do I expect there to be a backlash. For example in Iraq, the invasion and toppling of Saddam was massively popular in Iraq, and carried out extremely effectively. It was subsequent failures after the war that caused problems, not the war itself. IMO it is the responsibility of the US to overthrow these violent, destabilising dictators from both a moral perspective (the weaker argument) and a larger geopolitical standpoint (an extremely strong argument).

I disagree that the Assad regime is a destabilizing factor the region, in fact I'd argue that an isolationist dictatorship is much better than a mess of a country that breeds Islamic extremism. The regime has kept to themselves, in fact when their nuclear program got destroy by Israeli surgical strikes, they just covered it up with no retaliation. The regime probably has no interest in getting any attention from the outside world. The outcome of a rebel victory probably will only lead to chaos and more violence.

If the U.S. does intervene, I hope they don't limit U.S. missions to air strikes or non-direct combat roles. They need be able to hold sway of Syria post-war to be able to create a functioning democracy that is friendly to the west, which is only possible by introducing ground troops mid-conflict.

Agreed, Assad was a stabilising factor, he now is not. There are different types of dictatorships, and the decisions of whether or not to topple them. The first is the kind of dictator Assad was, where he rules with a strong hand, but ultimately keeps the local psychos in check and doesn't try and rock the boat too much (eg; war on Israel), Mubarak was the same as are the Gulf dictators. The second kind is the destabilising dictator, like Saddam Hussein and Kim Jong Il, they are particularly brutal and enjoy rocking the boat a lot and making it unpleasant for everyone else and occasionally use the local psychos to do their bidding. These guys do need to be taken out (read: US led invasion), it's just a question of when. The problem with Assad right now is that his regime is terminal. If he could magically regain control then everybody would probably treat him like the asehole he is for 5-10 years and then ease sanctions under some kind of 'rebuilding relations' bullshit and the media would talk about people 'coming in from the cold' alot, just like is what happening with Burma. The problem is (and this was also Ghaddafi's problem) is that in order to regain power, Assad needs to commit human rights abuses (kill just a fuck tonne of people) on a level which is unacceptable anywhere except Rwanda, and would draw in a military intervention anyway.

Another point to make is that we don't know that Syria would become an Islamist dictatorship, for example Iraq hasn't and Egypt probably won't (despite the best efforts of the Muslim Brotherhood), and even if it did, that is still preferable to Syria just becoming a failed state of rival factions. This is part of the reason that an Islamist dictatorship probably won't emerge, because if we assume that it would be Sunni led, then while they are the majority, they'll have to deal with the Kurds (who armed to the teeth), Christians (who have substantial international sympathy) and Shiites and Alawites, both of which have backing in Iran and Lebanon, not to mention you have Turkey sitting right above you screaming for stability.

#28 Posted by laserbolts (5369 posts) -

Were all dead in a couple weeks anyways right?

#29 Posted by EpicSteve (6499 posts) -

I'd like to see what they mean by "Chemical Weapons". Technically, you can clear out an entire neighborhood with a CS gas bomb (makes your skin and eyes burn, but not damaging) and no one would get hurt. I'm sure they're speaking of more ill things, but headlines like this always sound way more terrible than reality may be. Hopefully it isn't like when Saddam used deadly chemical weapons to take out whole towns.

#30 Posted by TruthTellah (9478 posts) -

People should consider this: The Assad regime is not winning this right now, and it's looking more and more like they will fall.

So, whether you prefer them or not, there are a few things that must be taken into account.

  • As a last ditch effort, will they use the chemical weapons they possess?
  • If they do use them, how should the international community respond?
  • If military intervention by NATO is deemed necessary, what extent of intervention should be used(aerial-only strikes, patrolling, UN peace-keepers, etc)?
  • And in the event of their collapse, what can be done to improve things in the nation for the future?
#31 Edited by Inkerman (1455 posts) -

@beeftothetaco said:

@Inkerman: For someone who doesn't even live in the US, you seem to have a lot of faith in the classic US interventionist ideology. On a side note, have you been paying attention to the news in the past 8-10 years?

Actually right now I am living in the US. And yes, I am extremely attentive of the news. The reason I have faith in US interventionism is because by and large it works (cue shocked liberal arts majors screaming about imperialism). The Korean War was an example of US interventionism. Now South Korea is a prosperous democracy and the North is a shithole. The Marshall Plan was fucking genius, compared to the poverty enveloping the Eastern Bloc. The Balkans today are slowly becoming more prosperous and some are even joining the EU, compared to the quagmire they were in the 90s. Also Iraq today is more prosperous than it ever was with a higher standard of living and longer life spans, in 10 years time with continued foreign support it will be a functioning, prosperous Arab democracy, probably the first of its kind and that was even with the massive cock-up that was the aftermath of the war. I can actually explain why US interventionism works in more depth if you want.

#32 Edited by TruthTellah (9478 posts) -

@EpicSteve said:

I'd like to see what they mean by "Chemical Weapons". Technically, you can clear out an entire neighborhood with a CS gas bomb (makes your skin and eyes burn, but not damaging) and no one would get hurt. I'm sure they're speaking of more ill things, but headlines like this always sound way more terrible than reality may be. Hopefully it isn't like when Saddam used deadly chemical weapons to take out whole towns.

Earlier this year, the Syrian government confirmed that they have chemical weapons but that they were reserved solely for any foreign invasion. Of the chemical weapons believed to be in their possession are stockpiles of mustard gas, sarin nerve agents, and cyanide. According to the Syrian regime, they are a useful deterrent which they state will never be used on their own people.

At the moment, there is concern that they may back down from those previous assurances and actually use those weapons on the rebelling civilian population.

#33 Posted by Inkerman (1455 posts) -

@TruthTellah said:

People should consider this: The Assad regime is not winning this right now, and it's looking more and more like they will fall.

So, whether you prefer them or not, there are a few things that must be taken into account.

  • As a last ditch effort, will they use the chemical weapons they possess?
  • If they do use them, how should the international community respond?
  • If military intervention by NATO is deemed necessary, what extent of intervention should be used(aerial-only strikes, patrolling, UN peace-keepers, etc)?
  • And in the event of their collapse, what can be done to improve things in the nation for the future?

1. Unlikely, that would really fuck whatever options they had left.

2. Invade the fucker.

3. As far as I'm aware the Turks and Arab League have actually been willing to throw together a force if it had US air support and intelligence and materiel backing. I see the US removing whatever strength Assad had left allowing rebel forces to roll in and establish control. Troops won't be needed unless what follows is just a bunch of factions fighting each other with ethnic cleansing left, right and center. In that case, we probably can get the UN off its ass and lead a NATO joint op to establish order.

4. Establish order, build Government institutions and invest the shit out of it. Also maybe try and stop Turkey from just fucking the Kurds whenever there's an election.

#34 Posted by No0b0rAmA (1478 posts) -

@Inkerman said:

@No0b0rAmA said:

@Inkerman said:

@murisan said:

@Inkerman said:

Yeah, unlike Iraq where the advice was that Iraq 'probably' had chemical weapons, we know the Syrians have weapons. The key question is whether or not they're going to use them or lose control over them. In either case I think its imperative the US do something. Frankly I think very little of people who are perfectly willing to watch thousands of people be murdered because they're worried about their bottom line.

Ah yes, you think little of me for considering the inevitable backlash if my country DOES intervene? So you are saying it's a necessary evil for the US to intervene in this situation?

On the contrary I don't view it as evil at all, nor, if carried out correctly, do I expect there to be a backlash. For example in Iraq, the invasion and toppling of Saddam was massively popular in Iraq, and carried out extremely effectively. It was subsequent failures after the war that caused problems, not the war itself. IMO it is the responsibility of the US to overthrow these violent, destabilising dictators from both a moral perspective (the weaker argument) and a larger geopolitical standpoint (an extremely strong argument).

I disagree that the Assad regime is a destabilizing factor the region, in fact I'd argue that an isolationist dictatorship is much better than a mess of a country that breeds Islamic extremism. The regime has kept to themselves, in fact when their nuclear program got destroy by Israeli surgical strikes, they just covered it up with no retaliation. The regime probably has no interest in getting any attention from the outside world. The outcome of a rebel victory probably will only lead to chaos and more violence.

If the U.S. does intervene, I hope they don't limit U.S. missions to air strikes or non-direct combat roles. They need be able to hold sway of Syria post-war to be able to create a functioning democracy that is friendly to the west, which is only possible by introducing ground troops mid-conflict.

Agreed, Assad was a stabilising factor, he now is not. There are different types of dictatorships, and the decisions of whether or not to topple them. The first is the kind of dictator Assad was, where he rules with a strong hand, but ultimately keeps the local psychos in check and doesn't try and rock the boat too much (eg; war on Israel), Mubarak was the same as are the Gulf dictators. The second kind is the destabilising dictator, like Saddam Hussein and Kim Jong Il, they are particularly brutal and enjoy rocking the boat a lot and making it unpleasant for everyone else and occasionally use the local psychos to do their bidding. These guys do need to be taken out (read: US led invasion), it's just a question of when. The problem with Assad right now is that his regime is terminal. If he could magically regain control then everybody would probably treat him like the asehole he is for 5-10 years and then ease sanctions under some kind of 'rebuilding relations' bullshit and the media would talk about people 'coming in from the cold' alot, just like is what happening with Burma. The problem is (and this was also Ghaddafi's problem) is that in order to regain power, Assad needs to commit human rights abuses (kill just a fuck tonne of people) on a level which is unacceptable anywhere except Rwanda, and would draw in a military intervention anyway.

Another point to make is that we don't know that Syria would become an Islamist dictatorship, for example Iraq hasn't and Egypt probably won't (despite the best efforts of the Muslim Brotherhood), and even if it did, that is still preferable to Syria just becoming a failed state of rival factions. This is part of the reason that an Islamist dictatorship probably won't emerge, because if we assume that it would be Sunni led, then while they are the majority, they'll have to deal with the Kurds (who armed to the teeth), Christians (who have substantial international sympathy) and Shiites and Alawites, both of which have backing in Iran and Lebanon, not to mention you have Turkey sitting right above you screaming for stability.

I think the main difference between Assad compared to Saddam Hussein and Kim Jong Il is the fact that the Syrian regime simply doesn't try to attract American attention like Iraq or North Korea. Iraq with it's invasion of Kuwait, and it's frequent use of chemical weapons and North Korea with nuclear weapons and constant provocation, directly threatened U.S. interests, while Syria has not. Syria on the other hand tries to minimize any sort of actions that could bring it attention from Western powers. It likes to take an ideological hardline, but it really has nothing to show for it other than supplying Hezbollah, which even that is significantly less then Iran. That said, I do agree that unless the regime gets any significant support and/or the support for the rebels miraculously stop, he doesn't have a good chance of keeping control.

I'd say that unless the U.S. takes a significant role in Syria, it probably won't make any sort of transition into a democracy. In Iraq had the U.S. stopping the worst parts of it's sectarian violence with the troop surge in '07, where without it, the semblance of a government it had would have fallen apart. Egypt on the other hand went through a rather peaceful transition, and has the benefits of being a rather homogeneous country, where even with religion, it lacks the various ethnic groups to incite violence. Syria almost seems like a worst case scenario without some sort of outside power to control the country post civil war. Unless the U.S. can mold a democratic, moderate/secular government that is friendly to the interests of the western world, it might turn out like Iraq if U.S. troops weren't there to stop the sectarian violence.

#35 Posted by Philantrophy (354 posts) -

I wonder what would happen when/if the regime falls, some of the rebellion supporters, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, aren't exactly the greatest fans of democracy. Also I couldn't tell you how the American people would respond to another intervention. I think this is just a proxy war that will last a while.

#36 Edited by beeftothetaco (426 posts) -

@Inkerman: I'd like to see your sources on some of this prosperity growth. Also, you are suggesting that all US interventionist results in success. For example, did the Allies (the US wasn't the only nation fighting for South Korea) stop North Korea from taking the South? Probably. Did they liberate the North from it's tyrants? No. In fact, the territory line between the two countries was pretty much the exact same at the war's end as it was when the war started. So is that a success, or just a meaningless squabble? Also, let's not forget about Vietnam. I don't care who you are, there is no way in hell that you can call that a successful venture.

Also, remember when the US intervened by arming the 'freedom fighters' during the Russo-Afghan war during the 80s? Remember how, when the war was over, they formed the Taliban, and later crashed two 747s into the World Trade Centers? Me too. You may have also noticed that anti-US sentiment in the Middle East has been growing steadily over the past few years. Maybe it has something to do with the threat of UAV airstrikes constantly looming over their heads. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that the US continues to supply Israel with better weapons that can kill a whole lot more people than suicide bombers can.

I could go on, but I'm really fucking tired. TL;DR: US intervention costs more (money and lives) than it does good. There is a reason why the US hasn't attacked Iran yet.

EDIT: I forgot to mention something. The reason why the Balkans were a shithole in the 90's (and still are, arguably) is due to the fact that Communism made them dirt poor; from what I can tell, any US intervention has done little to remedy this, other than inadvertently giving aid to the wrong people (corrupt governments, crime groups, ect.)

#37 Posted by Animasta (14727 posts) -

@Philantrophy said:

I wonder what would happen when/if the regime falls, some of the rebellion supporters, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, aren't exactly the greatest fans of democracy. Also I couldn't tell you how the American people would respond to another intervention. I think this is just a proxy war that will last a while.

Qatar and Saudi Arabia have recognized the National Coalition of being the sole representative of Syria, and that's headed by a moderate islamist with two pro democracy advocates as vice presidents, so it'd probably be a democracy?

#38 Posted by FourWude (2245 posts) -

The US once again believing its own crap about being noble protectors. The sheer fucking stupidity is mind boggling. You'd think they'd have learnt by now...

#39 Edited by Animasta (14727 posts) -

@FourWude said:

The US once again believing its own crap about being noble protectors. The sheer fucking stupidity is mind boggling. You'd think they'd have learnt by now...

yes because just letting Assad use chemical weapons against his own people is the obvious right answer

would you have similar apprehensions against Turkey doing it, for example?

#40 Posted by Inkerman (1455 posts) -

@No0b0rAmA said:

@Inkerman said:

Agreed, Assad was a stabilising factor, he now is not. There are different types of dictatorships, and the decisions of whether or not to topple them. The first is the kind of dictator Assad was, where he rules with a strong hand, but ultimately keeps the local psychos in check and doesn't try and rock the boat too much (eg; war on Israel), Mubarak was the same as are the Gulf dictators. The second kind is the destabilising dictator, like Saddam Hussein and Kim Jong Il, they are particularly brutal and enjoy rocking the boat a lot and making it unpleasant for everyone else and occasionally use the local psychos to do their bidding. These guys do need to be taken out (read: US led invasion), it's just a question of when. The problem with Assad right now is that his regime is terminal. If he could magically regain control then everybody would probably treat him like the asehole he is for 5-10 years and then ease sanctions under some kind of 'rebuilding relations' bullshit and the media would talk about people 'coming in from the cold' alot, just like is what happening with Burma. The problem is (and this was also Ghaddafi's problem) is that in order to regain power, Assad needs to commit human rights abuses (kill just a fuck tonne of people) on a level which is unacceptable anywhere except Rwanda, and would draw in a military intervention anyway.

Another point to make is that we don't know that Syria would become an Islamist dictatorship, for example Iraq hasn't and Egypt probably won't (despite the best efforts of the Muslim Brotherhood), and even if it did, that is still preferable to Syria just becoming a failed state of rival factions. This is part of the reason that an Islamist dictatorship probably won't emerge, because if we assume that it would be Sunni led, then while they are the majority, they'll have to deal with the Kurds (who armed to the teeth), Christians (who have substantial international sympathy) and Shiites and Alawites, both of which have backing in Iran and Lebanon, not to mention you have Turkey sitting right above you screaming for stability.

I think the main difference between Assad compared to Saddam Hussein and Kim Jong Il is the fact that the Syrian regime simply doesn't try to attract American attention like Iraq or North Korea. Iraq with it's invasion of Kuwait, and it's frequent use of chemical weapons and North Korea with nuclear weapons and constant provocation, directly threatened U.S. interests, while Syria has not. Syria on the other hand tries to minimize any sort of actions that could bring it attention from Western powers. It likes to take an ideological hardline, but it really has nothing to show for it other than supplying Hezbollah, which even that is significantly less then Iran. That said, I do agree that unless the regime gets any significant support and/or the support for the rebels miraculously stop, he doesn't have a good chance of keeping control.

I'd say that unless the U.S. takes a significant role in Syria, it probably won't make any sort of transition into a democracy. In Iraq had the U.S. stopping the worst parts of it's sectarian violence with the troop surge in '07, where without it, the semblance of a government it had would have fallen apart. Egypt on the other hand went through a rather peaceful transition, and has the benefits of being a rather homogeneous country, where even with religion, it lacks the various ethnic groups to incite violence. Syria almost seems like a worst case scenario without some sort of outside power to control the country post civil war. Unless the U.S. can mold a democratic, moderate/secular government that is friendly to the interests of the western world, it might turn out like Iraq if U.S. troops weren't there to stop the sectarian violence.

Yes, as I said, Assad was a stabilising dictator, he now isn't because he can't stabilise the situation. A year ago when this started if he'd somehow stopped the violence spreading and beaten down the protesters, everyone would probably still be casually ignoring his little dictatorship and it would be business as usual. Assad isn't a dictator like Saddam or Kim Jong Il in that he's not an instigator, he's just a failure of what is acceptable.

I actually think Syria might follow the example of Libya (depending on how much the Iranians want to fuck with everyone). Like Libya you have existing, deep sectarian divisions which have really been only kept in check by a dictator, and are now only united by hatred of said dictator, yet while Libya is still bit of a mess, it hasn't yet collapsed and was the only Arab Spring country to elect a secular Government.

#41 Posted by VisariLoyalist (3000 posts) -

If the question is who do you trust assad or us intelligence the answer is of course you should never trust either. That being the case there's no reason for us to intervene. This would be an easier moral question if we weren't already thoroughly entangled in foreign treaties and unofficial executive agreements etc etc etc. If you simply consider though that the american people never voted for any of our involvement in all of these foreign issues, you can see that our current intervention is just due to the imperial nature of the power of the presidency since world war 2. If that could be reversed maybe we wouldn't have to worry about whether or not we should invade over an existential question like this. It's not a question that constitutionally is supposed to be at issue at all.

#42 Posted by mlarrabee (3064 posts) -

@Vinny_Says: USA POLICE FORCE

Part of me agrees with you. The remainder believes refusing to assist oppressed civilians is equally as evil as committing the oppression. No one nation has the right to forcefully direct another. But, philosophically asking, what should be done when the UN and NATO dismiss national terror as the right of a national dictator?

#43 Posted by No0b0rAmA (1478 posts) -

@beeftothetaco said:

@Inkerman: I'd like to see your sources on some of this prosperity growth. Also, you are suggesting that all US interventionist results in success. For example, did the Allies (the US wasn't the only nation fighting for South Korea) stop North Korea from taking the South? Probably. Did they liberate the North from it's tyrants? No. In fact, the territory line between the two countries was pretty much the exact same at the war's end as it was when the war started. So is that a success, or just a meaningless squabble?

There is absolutely no way you could possibly think that South Korea could exist right now without American intervention. Do note that the U.S. was the one that rallied the UN resolution for intervention in Korea. The reason the United States failed to unite the two Koreas in one swoop was because hundreds of thousands of Chinese soldiers came across the Yalu as the UN forces approached the border, driving the allies well below the 38th parallel again. The point is that the United Nations was able to successfully push back the North Korean invasion, so in many ways the outcome of the war was what they had come into do. Not to mention that the United States garrison in South Korea was the only reason that a successive invasion wasn't launched until the mid-80s, when the South's military strength was finally able to balance out the North's.

#44 Posted by Animasta (14727 posts) -

@mlarrabee said:

@Vinny_Says: USA POLICE FORCE

Part of me agrees with you. The remainder believes refusing to assist oppressed civilians is equally as evil as committing the oppression. No one nation has the right to forcefully direct another. But, philosophically asking, what should be done when the UN and NATO dismiss national terror as the right of a national dictator?

I mean if Syria does use the chemical weapons France and the UK have both promised retaliation so... it's not like they'd be dismissing it.

#45 Posted by FourWude (2245 posts) -

@Animasta said:

@FourWude said:

The US once again believing its own crap about being noble protectors. The sheer fucking stupidity is mind boggling. You'd think they'd have learnt by now...

yes because just letting Assad use chemical weapons against his own people is the obvious right answer

would you have similar apprehensions against Turkey doing it, for example?

Maybe the fucking Turks should do it. At least they won't spend 11 years occupying the nation, bankrupting their nation and taking down the worlds economy while they're at it. But hey the last decade of the failed War on Terror has shown us these sorts of military endeavours are so successful.

#46 Posted by VisariLoyalist (3000 posts) -

@Animasta said:

@mlarrabee said:

@Vinny_Says: USA POLICE FORCE

Part of me agrees with you. The remainder believes refusing to assist oppressed civilians is equally as evil as committing the oppression. No one nation has the right to forcefully direct another. But, philosophically asking, what should be done when the UN and NATO dismiss national terror as the right of a national dictator?

I mean if Syria does use the chemical weapons France and the UK have both promised retaliation so... it's not like they'd be dismissing it.

preeminent force I think we have learned is a bad game to play for sure.

#47 Posted by Animasta (14727 posts) -

@FourWude said:

@Animasta said:

@FourWude said:

The US once again believing its own crap about being noble protectors. The sheer fucking stupidity is mind boggling. You'd think they'd have learnt by now...

yes because just letting Assad use chemical weapons against his own people is the obvious right answer

would you have similar apprehensions against Turkey doing it, for example?

Maybe the fucking Turks should do it. At least they won't spend 11 years occupying the nation, bankrupting their nation and taking down the worlds economy while they're at it. But hey the last decade of the failed War on Terror has shown us these sorts of military endeavours are so successful.

To be fair there's already a legitimate opposition set up, recognized by pretty much by all the secular states nearby as well as Arabia and Qatar... So regardless of who does it, I'd wager it would go a lot easier than the one in Iraq.

#48 Posted by Philantrophy (354 posts) -

@Animasta said:

@Philantrophy said:

I wonder what would happen when/if the regime falls, some of the rebellion supporters, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, aren't exactly the greatest fans of democracy. Also I couldn't tell you how the American people would respond to another intervention. I think this is just a proxy war that will last a while.

Qatar and Saudi Arabia have recognized the National Coalition of being the sole representative of Syria, and that's headed by a moderate islamist with two pro democracy advocates as vice presidents, so it'd probably be a democracy?

Their leader is part of the Muslim Brotherhood, that has been working well in Egypt. Also I don't know if they have shown ability to control the many armed groups as not all them have accepted them.

#49 Posted by Animasta (14727 posts) -

@Philantrophy said:

@Animasta said:

@Philantrophy said:

I wonder what would happen when/if the regime falls, some of the rebellion supporters, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, aren't exactly the greatest fans of democracy. Also I couldn't tell you how the American people would respond to another intervention. I think this is just a proxy war that will last a while.

Qatar and Saudi Arabia have recognized the National Coalition of being the sole representative of Syria, and that's headed by a moderate islamist with two pro democracy advocates as vice presidents, so it'd probably be a democracy?

Their leader is part of the Muslim Brotherhood, that has been working well in Egypt. Also I don't know if they have shown ability to control the many armed groups as not all them have accepted them.

Well we won't know until they get set up, but I don't think support from Saudi Arabia and Qatar would necessarily be the problem...

#50 Edited by VisariLoyalist (3000 posts) -

@Animasta said:

@FourWude said:

@Animasta said:

@FourWude said:

The US once again believing its own crap about being noble protectors. The sheer fucking stupidity is mind boggling. You'd think they'd have learnt by now...

yes because just letting Assad use chemical weapons against his own people is the obvious right answer

would you have similar apprehensions against Turkey doing it, for example?

Maybe the fucking Turks should do it. At least they won't spend 11 years occupying the nation, bankrupting their nation and taking down the worlds economy while they're at it. But hey the last decade of the failed War on Terror has shown us these sorts of military endeavours are so successful.

To be fair there's already a legitimate opposition set up, recognized by pretty much by all the secular states nearby as well as Arabia and Qatar... So regardless of who does it, I'd wager it would go a lot easier than the one in Iraq.

you'd wager, then that's a horrid gamble, and not one we are obligated to take as a sovereign country with supposed limited government under the constitution.

EDIT" LOL had to remake this several times for typos