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Syria
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duke of new york



Joined: 23 Jan 2011

PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 1:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Arming or training the Syrian rebels is not a realistic idea. They're not like the Libyan rebels who actually held territory. How do you get weapons to the right people? Should we just drive a truck full of guns across the border and start handing them out in the street? There is not really an organized movement with the means to distribute arms.

Furthermore, even if you can effectively arm the groups you want in Syria, which ones do you arm? Do you realize the sharp divisions in Syrian society? There are Christians, Druze, Kurds, both Sunni and Shi'ite Muslims...these minority groups are quite a bit larger and more significant in Syria than in most other countries in the Middle East. Frankly, the fall of the Assad regime will be a sectarian civil war waiting to happen. Think about the sectarian issues that are still hugely problematic in Iraq. Assad and Saddam Hussein--both from the same political party--are/were secular rulers who keep/kept order basically by oppressing all sects equally. Introducing political freedom to these countries is obviously positive and necessary, but it will not be done quickly. Assuming the regime does not regain control, Syria will be dealing with sectarian unrest and discontent for a long time, just like Iraq. Basically, all this means that if the US gets involved, even just by arming the resistance, they will get roped into a years-long conflict and make a lot of enemies. If one of those enemies ends up controlling the next Syrian regime, we will all be looking back and kicking ourselves for getting involved (just like with the Shah in Iran, Saddam in Iraq, the Taliban in Afghanistan, etc. See a pattern of what happens when we get involved in Middle Eastern countries?).

Arming them would also undermine the UN Security Council and propagate the image of the US as an imperialist force with no respect for sovereign nations. It legitimizes Assad and his supporters' claims that the revolts are "Western plots" against the sovereign will and popular interests of the Syrian people. Can you imagine the field day he and his supporters would have with photos and reports of people killed by rebels with American guns? Every woman and child tragically caught in the crossfire would be blamed on the revolution. Of course there are innocent people dying now, but everybody knows it is the regime because they are the only ones doing the shooting. All they can do is deny it ever happened, which fools nobody and continues to turn the international community against them.

It's frustrating to watch people struggle against evil without being able to help, but there is nothing that we can do that would not just make things worse. Americans need to lose the attitude that we can and should be responsible for the whole world's problems.
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Kuros



Joined: 27 Apr 2004

PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 7:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is there anyone on this board who supports US direct intervention in Syria? Probably only one or two.

Hillary has done enough: denounce the regime and bring resolutions in the UN. China and Russia have blocked it. Oh, well. (but more secretly: thank you)

DoNY, can you fix your link on the first page? Its destroying the formatting of the thread.
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duke of new york



Joined: 23 Jan 2011

PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 8:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kuros wrote:
Is there anyone on this board who supports US direct intervention in Syria? Probably only one or two.

Hillary has done enough: denounce the regime and bring resolutions in the UN. China and Russia have blocked it. Oh, well. (but more secretly: thank you)

DoNY, can you fix your link on the first page? Its destroying the formatting of the thread.


Oops...thanks for pointing that out. When I came back to the thread, I was thinking, "what jackass posted something that messed up the page formatting?" Didn't even realize it was me!

Anyway, yeah, of course the debate is not really about direct intervention, but there are calls for arming the resistance and giving covert assistance. I was pointing out that these kinds of intervention can be just as dangerous as invading the country, and are no more ethical.
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bucheon bum



Joined: 16 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 6:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A good op-ed explaining Russia's support

Quote:
The Russians appreciate that the United States and other Western powers would only intervene militarily if they could sustain zero losses themselves, as in Libya. Syria, however, is a more difficult case. Arming the Free Syria Army and providing it with intelligence will not be enough to prevail over Assad’s forces. A prospect of a wider war with Arab and Turkish participation looms on the horizon.

Such a war could only make sense if it were the first act of a more serious drama. Russians suspect that the real reason for the West’s pressure on Damascus is to rob Tehran of its only ally in the region. Behind the activity of the Gulf States, particularly Qatar, in the Syrian issue Moscow sees the rising regional influence of Saudi Arabia, Iran’s bitter rival in the region. Turkey’s “neo-Ottoman” ambitions are also playing a role. What the Russians are most worried about, however, is that Israel may strike at Iran, dragging in the United States and thus precipitating a major war with Iran sometime this year.
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Nowhere Man



Joined: 08 Feb 2004

PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 6:42 am    Post subject: ... Reply with quote

Quote:
Is there anyone on this board who supports US direct intervention in Syria? Probably only one or two.


I support multilateral intervention. If half his house and all the neighbors say he should go, then...

Let them hoist trousers and get this on. UN isn't going to oppose it. Why does the US have to do it?

Dictatorship ain't what it used to be. Myanmar is dancing. PUSH.
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rollo



Joined: 10 May 2006
Location: China

PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2012 4:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If U.S does get involved then will be called iimperialistic, warcriminal baby killers.

If it does not get involved it will be a supporter of dictatorship.

The fact that other countries wil not or are too weak to do anything does not matter. So while they dither wring their hands, bloviate until the atmosphere is toxic the situation will devolve and intervention will be required.

As admiral King said after pearl harbor when he was promoted" Now it's time for the SOBS"
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pkang0202



Joined: 09 Mar 2007

PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2012 5:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rollo wrote:
If U.S does get involved then will be called iimperialistic, warcriminal baby killers.

If it does not get involved it will be a supporter of dictatorship.

The fact that other countries wil not or are too weak to do anything does not matter. So while they dither wring their hands, bloviate until the atmosphere is toxic the situation will devolve and intervention will be required.


The US will always be in the position of "Damned if you do, Damned if you don't".
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duke of new york



Joined: 23 Jan 2011

PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 5:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rollo wrote:
If it does not get involved it will be a supporter of dictatorship.


pkang0202 wrote:
The US will always be in the position of "Damned if you do, Damned if you don't".


This is just not true. When has the US (or any country, really) ever been blamed for not intervening with its military in the affairs of nations on the other side of the world? I seriously do not think there is any significant number of people outside the US who actually want the US to invade Syria.
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bucheon bum



Joined: 16 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 8:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

duke of new york wrote:
rollo wrote:
If it does not get involved it will be a supporter of dictatorship.


pkang0202 wrote:
The US will always be in the position of "Damned if you do, Damned if you don't".


This is just not true. When has the US (or any country, really) ever been blamed for not intervening with its military in the affairs of nations on the other side of the world? I seriously do not think there is any significant number of people outside the US who actually want the US to invade Syria.


Rwanada. But France probably got more flak for that one than any other country (and it should have, since it did support the genocidal side).
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bucheon bum



Joined: 16 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 8:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Turkey vs. Iran

Quote:
The uprising in Syria put Ankara and Tehran at polar opposite ends of the regional and political spectrum. Given its democratic traditions, Turkey supported the revolution and sided with the protesters; authoritarian Iran continued its support for the Assad regime and backed his brutal crackdown on civilians.

The Syrian uprising has become a zero-sum game: Either Bashar al-Assad will win, or the demonstrators will triumph. Likewise, it has become a proxy war between Tehran and Ankara, in which there will be only one winner.
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akcrono



Joined: 11 Mar 2010

PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 1:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

duke of new york wrote:
rollo wrote:
If it does not get involved it will be a supporter of dictatorship.


pkang0202 wrote:
The US will always be in the position of "Damned if you do, Damned if you don't".


This is just not true. When has the US (or any country, really) ever been blamed for not intervening with its military in the affairs of nations on the other side of the world? I seriously do not think there is any significant number of people outside the US who actually want the US to invade Syria.


I always blame the global community when I hear of genocide. Apparently it's not okay to do nothing if you see someone getting murdered in the street, but there's no problem with turning a blind eye to large scale murder.
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Julius



Joined: 27 Jul 2006

PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2012 5:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steelrails wrote:
If the rebellion cannot triumph, then the nation is not ready for rebellion and a new government.


A ridiculous statement.
Opressed people are always ready and waiting for a new government.


Not everyone is able to fight. You trying to tell me that starving people without so much as a bag of beans are expected to defeat a disciplined army pounding them with the latest military hardware? Technologically advanced hardware supplied by the west?


The fact is that the UN has zero credibility, it is pathetic. The world community has totally failed to intervene in any meaningful way.

In sharp contrast to libya, the ongoing, shocking mass genocide in Syria is a blot on the world's conscience. They don't need any more talks or sanctions, they need action on the ground to stop Sad Basher murdering hundreds of innocent civilians every day.
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Adventurer



Joined: 28 Jan 2006

PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2012 7:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some good points have been made. As far as interfering, a lot of weapons are flowing into Syria from Lebanon and Turkey. The armed opposition cannot be destroyed, but they don't have the firepower to take down the regime. Only the army can really stop the regime, but the army is in the control of the government. Syria does have many minorities. 9% of the population is Kurdish, 10% is Christian, 11% is Alawite, and 3% are Druze. That's a range of 30-33%. Roughly 67% are Sunni Arabs.

That's where most of the opposition disproportionately draw their ranks, but plenty of the Sunni elites are weary of supporting them. Opposition againt the regime is very strong, however. In order for it to become stronger, the opposition groups have to find a common voice and have certain demands of the government that the government would have to meet and that may entail a compromise solution. It's not so simple for Western states to directly help the rebels as they did in Libya. Libya is 100% Sunni Arab. It has different tribes, but there are no sectarian divisions, it was mostly about certain tribes being favored financially.
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Julius



Joined: 27 Jul 2006

PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 7:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

akcrono wrote:
I always blame the global community when I hear of genocide. Apparently it's not okay to do nothing if you see someone getting murdered in the street, but there's no problem with turning a blind eye to large scale murder.



It reveals a sad fact about humanity.

Generally we do not care to help other people that we have not personally met... unless there is something in it for us.
As humans we have to face the realization that we are not moving toward some responsible global humanitarian utopia, we are simply fulfilling our deadly selfish human nature on a larger scale than ever before.

If Syria had oil (like Libya) they would have had freedom months ago.
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Spartacist



Joined: 18 Feb 2012

PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 4:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Julius wrote:
If Syria had oil (like Libya) they would have had freedom months ago.


I think you hit the nail on the head there, Syria's miniscule oil reserves are not enough to justify military intervention. The main reason a resolution went to the Security Council was because of the Arab League and its rich donor states such as Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states, who oppose the Assad regime as it is allied with Iran.
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