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Thread: Syria - Page 2







Post#26 at 06-30-2012 12:42 PM by JDG 66 [at joined Aug 2010 #posts 2,106]
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FWIW:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/21/wo...bels.html?_r=1

A small number of C.I.A officers are operating secretly in southern Turkey, helping allies decide which Syrian opposition fighters across the border will receive arms to fight the Syrian government, according to American officials and Arab intelligence officers...

[Or maybe not so secret]

The weapons... are being funneled mostly across the Turkish border by way of a shadowy network of intermediaries including Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood and paid for by Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, the officials said. The C.I.A. officers have been in southern Turkey for several weeks, in part to help keep weapons out of the hands of fighters allied with Al Qaeda or other terrorist groups...

Because no one will keep weapons out of the hands of Jihadi-types like the Islamic Brotherhood...

FWIW:

http://www.thedailybeast.com/newswee...t-america.html

Should we intervene? There can be no morally credible argument against intervention—by someone... But why should it be the United States that once again attempts to play the part of global cop?

Quote Originally Posted by Ragnarök_62 View Post
This is an easy one for me to answer. US interests = defense of the United States + US territories. It does not include defending Europe anymore since their big boys now and defend themselves. Ditto for Japan. S. Korea is one of those yes, because of crackpots up north. That's why we no longer need all of those military bases strewn all over the world. Just think of the $ we could save if we had a BRAC to shut them down...
1) You're assuming that overseas bases are more expensive than US bases. That's not neccessarily true. It used to cheaper to station troops in Germany than the USA because the Germans bore a lot of the costs. Not true anymore, last I checked.

2) Sometimes, you can do realistic training in overseas which can't be done in the USA because of the eco-nazis (Ft. Irwin's tortoises; Ft. Polk's woodpeckers--which I once ran afoul (afowl?) of; the old Ft. Ord beachfront--which is why it is no longer Ft. Ord). That was never true in Germany, where you weren't even allowed to dig a fighting postion or a cathole.

Quote Originally Posted by Ragnarök_62 View Post
..."Coalition of the willing" is for domestic consumption. You get token support from some countries who just nod their heads in agreement to whatever military action we take. They don't really DO anything of significance...
1) In Iraq, that's definitely wrong of the Brits, the Aussies and the Poles.

2) In Afghanistan, that's definitely wrong of the Brits, the ANZACs, and the Canadians. Even the French and Germans are useful.

Quote Originally Posted by Tussilago View Post
...War criminals? Never mind all the war criminals your shot at regime change will create. These things are never as simple as naive western liberals and imperialist war mongers for World Wide Democracy like to imagine.
-I still think it's funny that the Astrologer-in-Chief of the 4TF didn't want anything to do with Iraq or Afghanistan, but can't wait to send us (me?) to Syria. Weird.







Post#27 at 07-01-2012 01:01 AM by Ragnarök_62 [at Oklahoma joined Nov 2006 #posts 5,511]
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Quote Originally Posted by JDG 66 View Post
FWIW:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/21/wo...bels.html?_r=1

A small number of C.I.A officers are operating secretly in southern Turkey, helping allies decide which Syrian opposition fighters across the border will receive arms to fight the Syrian government, according to American officials and Arab intelligence officers...
Covert or overt C.I.A. "spooks" at it again? Well, when will we learn? We're meddling.

[Or maybe not so secret]
Either way, dumb.

The weapons... are being funneled mostly across the Turkish border by way of a shadowy network of intermediaries including Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood and paid for by Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, the officials said. The C.I.A. officers have been in southern Turkey for several weeks, in part to help keep weapons out of the hands of fighters allied with Al Qaeda or other terrorist groups...

Because no one will keep weapons out of the hands of Jihadi-types like the Islamic Brotherhood...
One would think that after a while. Cf. Operation "Fast and Furious".

FWIW:

http://www.thedailybeast.com/newswee...t-america.html

Should we intervene? There can be no morally credible argument against intervention—by someone... But why should it be the United States that once again attempts to play the part of global cop?
Quite so.


1) You're assuming that overseas bases are more expensive than US bases. That's not necessarily true. It used to cheaper to station troops in Germany than the USA because the Germans bore a lot of the costs. Not true anymore, last I checked.
No. I'm assuming that the cost of having NO base < the cost of having a base. I'll add that if Europe in the future decides to self immolate due to some political fall out due to the Euro mess, we won't be there and thus have a reduced chance of getting sucked in. I'm being proactive.

2) Sometimes, you can do realistic training in overseas which can't be done in the USA because of the eco-nazis (Ft. Irwin's tortoises; Ft. Polk's woodpeckers--which I once ran afoul (afowl?) of; the old Ft. Ord beachfront--which is why it is no longer Ft. Ord). That was never true in Germany, where you weren't even allowed to dig a fighting postion or a cathole.
I'm confused. Germarny forbids digging, but the US has issues with tortoises and woodpeckers? So which country has the eco-nut issue?


1) In Iraq, that's definitely wrong of the Brits, the Aussies and the Poles.

2) In Afghanistan, that's definitely wrong of the Brits, the ANZACs, and the Canadians. Even the French and Germans are useful.
OK, I stand corrected. In any event, I found one thing positive about our little mess in Afghanistan. Who'd a thunk it? Heavy metal bands there
and in Botswana!

Note to Eric, no discusting Beiber stuff. Those Afghans and Botsanians actually have good taste.

Perhaps the US military can broadcast "The Last Command". It does seem apropos in, say like Syria.




-I still think it's funny that the Astrologer-in-Chief of the 4TF didn't want anything to do with Iraq or Afghanistan, but can't wait to send us (me?) to Syria. Weird.
Yeah, I left that W.A.S.P morsel just for him. He should listen to it and see how well the lyrics match the stuff he supports wrt Syria.

One world, under heavy metal, with justice for all.
Last edited by Ragnarök_62; 07-01-2012 at 01:07 AM.
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Post#28 at 07-02-2012 05:18 PM by Deb C [at joined Aug 2004 #posts 6,099]
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"It turns out that the US government really did learn a lesson from Vietnam. Win those hearts and minds. But not in foreign jungles or deserts. The real battle is right here at home." .... Investigative journalist, Russ Baker

How the Corporate Media is Snookering You on Syria

The old way of getting rid of “inconvenient” leaders was so 20th-century—in the case of Saddam Hussein, a monstrous lie followed by a massive bloodletting on both sides. Tahrir Square suggested how to bring down a regime in a manner far less costly and far more palatable to the public: lots of medium-sized and little lies, war through Twitter, war through expendable proxies. Provide financial incentives to key figures to publicly renounce the old leadership, create a steady stream of heart-rending moments and photos and allegations, generate endless “human rights violations” by baiting the government into a military response, then very publicly petition international bodies for redress of humanitarian concerns.

Muammar Qaddafi, a fiercely independent, quasi-socialistic African transnationalist, was the guinea pig. A brilliant disinformation campaign isolated him, authentic domestic grievances were encouraged, and a whole war was conducted on behalf of the West with nary a Western soldier putting boots to ground.

Next up: Syria’s Bashar al-Assad. So began, again, the covert arming of real domestic opponents, and an extensive and variegated propaganda campaign.


http://www.informationclearinghouse....ticle31745.htm
"The only Good America is a Just America." .... pbrower2a







Post#29 at 07-04-2012 04:56 AM by '58 Flat [at Hardhat From Central Jersey joined Jul 2001 #posts 3,300]
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The recent Syria vs. Turkey contretemps remind us not to ignore the various intra-Muslim rivalries, which include both the Arabs vs. the Turks and the Arabs. vs. the Persians.

There is definitely a struggle for control of the Muslim world - which the U.S. missed a golden opportunity to exploit when we failed to push for a totally independent at sovereign Kurdistan in northern Iraq.

We could live - or maybe not live! - to regret not listening to Joe Biden, who wanted to do right by the Kurds by engineering a three-way partition of Iraq.
But maybe if the putative Robin Hoods stopped trying to take from law-abiding citizens and give to criminals, take from men and give to women, take from believers and give to anti-believers, take from citizens and give to "undocumented" immigrants, and take from heterosexuals and give to homosexuals, they might have a lot more success in taking from the rich and giving to everyone else.

Don't blame me - I'm a Baby Buster!







Post#30 at 07-07-2012 11:48 AM by JDG 66 [at joined Aug 2010 #posts 2,106]
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Quote Originally Posted by Ragnarök_62 View Post
...No. I'm assuming that the cost of having NO base < the cost of having a base...
-My point is that troops are going to be based somewhere (we haven't invented the TARDIS yet). A foreign base might be cheaper than a US one. It is possible that sticking more guys in a pre-existing US base might be cheaper than putting them in a new foreign base, but you have to figure that on a case by case basis.

Quote Originally Posted by Ragnarök_62 View Post
...I'm confused. Germarny forbids digging, but the US has issues with tortoises and woodpeckers? So which country has the eco-nut issue?
Sorry. I posted this:

Quote Originally Posted by JDG 66 View Post
...Sometimes, you can do realistic training in overseas which can't be done in the USA because of the eco-nazis (Ft. Irwin's tortoises; Ft. Polk's woodpeckers--which I once ran afoul (afowl?) of; the old Ft. Ord beachfront--which is why it is no longer Ft. Ord). That was never true in Germany, where you weren't even allowed to dig a fighting postion or a cathole...
I meant to post:

Quote Originally Posted by JDG 66 View Post
...Sometimes, you can do realistic training in overseas which can't be done in the USA because of the eco-nazis (Ft. Irwin's tortoises; Ft. Polk's woodpeckers--which I once ran afoul (afowl?) of; the old Ft. Ord beachfront--which is why it is no longer Ft. Ord). That was also true in Germany, where you weren't even allowed to dig a fighting postion or a cathole...
...Germany has a problem, but most countries don't.

Quote Originally Posted by '58 Flat View Post
...the U.S. missed a golden opportunity to exploit when we failed to push for a totally independent at sovereign Kurdistan in northern Iraq.

We could live - or maybe not live! - to regret not listening to Joe Biden, who wanted to do right by the Kurds by engineering a three-way partition of Iraq.
-I have all the sympathy in the world for the Kurds, are the largest ethnic group in the Middle East without their own country (and far more deserving than the Palestinians). But creating a land-locked country (out of just the Iraqi part, my you) with claims on Turkey, Iran and Syria was not likley to turn out well. What Iraq could use is the concept of federalism.







Post#31 at 07-08-2012 01:05 AM by Ragnarök_62 [at Oklahoma joined Nov 2006 #posts 5,511]
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Quote Originally Posted by JDG 66 View Post
-My point is that troops are going to be based somewhere (we haven't invented the TARDIS yet). A foreign base might be cheaper than a US one. It is possible that sticking more guys in a pre-existing US base might be cheaper than putting them in a new foreign base, but you have to figure that on a case by case basis.
The cheapest option is to just muster the troops out. Again, we do not need anywhere near the Cold War troop levels. No USSR, no Cold War shit. In any even if Russia wants W. Europe, let 'em have it. That place is a clusterfuck right now. So, we don't need a TARDIS or any other fictional machines either.

Now, here's another option. I think the US is hopelessly dumb wrt 4GW. OK,
1. In theory, some military folks are smart enough to become cyber security experts. We DO need to harden some soft targets like the power grid. Perhaps we can modularize it into a number of sub components based on geography or however the the switching stations are laid out. Switching stations have some sort of hardware that is programmed. The goal would be to cordon off each sub component off from all of the others. Within each component, the programed hardware would be "trusted". For the links to the surrounding modules, you'd need firewalls of some sort to check for malicious instructions or even surges from stuff like solar flares. So if some hacker compromises one part of the grid, the rest of the grid is protected. One could also extend this to solar flare induced surges. Normally, solar flares could cause an overload which goes and trips a bunch of hardware all over the place and takes the whole grid down with it. Cf. "cascade effect". This concept is based on simple "structured" computer programming. Instead of one huge computer program of spaghetti code, one writes a program with subroutines, which makes debugging easier for one thing, makes it easier to write secure code, and limits bugs to just one section of code.
2. Ports/harbors. Obvious soft target. Station some soldiers with bomb sniffing dogs. I have a lab. They can smell anything.
3. Rail interchanges. Same as ports/harbors.
4. Place these folks under a superior officer who can educate our lame brained Congress about this stuff. See, now we're not fighting the last war. We are in the age of "info wars"

...Germany has a problem, but most countries don't.
Another reason to bail out of Europe. Like I posted to Justin'77 over on the Crazy Russia thread, economic clusterfucks tend to lead to social clusterfucks. In this case, I think Russia is sane and W. Europe is insane. I do think it would also be a proactive move to bail before A W. Europe beserk fest.


-I have all the sympathy in the world for the Kurds, are the largest ethnic group in the Middle East without their own country (and far more deserving than the Palestinians). But creating a land-locked country (out of just the Iraqi part, my you) with claims on Turkey, Iran and Syria was not likley to turn out well. What Iraq could use is the concept of federalism.
I agree pretty much here. , here's the scoop on the PKK. This is one of Rumsfeld's known unknowns. How would the PKK fit into this mess? I don't think it wise to give the PKK a base of operation.

Quote Originally Posted by '58 flat
We could live - or maybe not live! - to regret not listening to Joe Biden, who wanted to do right by the Kurds by engineering a three-way partition of Iraq.
Does Biden know about the PKK? What do you think we should do? As for moi, since the PKK is a designated terrorist organization, Iraqi Federalism may work, if the central government is strong enough to keep the PKK out so Turkey won't be going after Iraq from assorted provacations. Cf. Turkey getting quite annoyed when Syria shot down one of their aircraft. Now if the Iraq is a "failed" state, then my answer is there is no answer because this is unfixable. The same can be said for the Afghan/Pakistan border.The Pakistani central government has no control over the border area. This is precisely why the Taliban have set up base there and harries Afhanistan. So, I'd stash this as also unfixable, since as far as the border area, Pakistan is a failed state. Obviously, Somalia is the poster child of a failed state. There is no central government there. So it boils down to this. If we're confronted with a failed state situation, the notion of fixing things that involve them needs to go out the window.
Last edited by Ragnarök_62; 07-08-2012 at 01:34 AM.
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"Political correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical minority, and promoted by mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a piece of shit by the clean end."







Post#32 at 07-11-2012 05:21 PM by Deb C [at joined Aug 2004 #posts 6,099]
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“Don’t let anybody make you think that God chose America as his divine, messianic force to be a sort of policeman of the whole world.”

- Martin Luther King
"The only Good America is a Just America." .... pbrower2a







Post#33 at 07-12-2012 04:25 AM by Eric the Green [at San Jose CA joined Jul 2001 #posts 22,504]
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I must confess to agreeing with Sen. McCain on this one, a rare thing. We should be helping the rebels. Not with troops invading, but possibly with arms, along with other nations who are already helping. At least Russia has agreed to send no new arms to Assad; I think that's what I heard. The rebels need to be better organized, and other nations could help them with that too. But the diplomatic and economic pressure from the West and Middle East on Assad is all to the good, and pressure on Russia and China to stop supporting the dictator may work too. But to think he will be reasonable and stop killing his people is ridiculous; he needs to be ousted by his own people, and other nations can help because they have requested it. It is already a civil war; the question now is how many will die before either he is overthrown or the rebels are eliminated. So talk about not sending arms because it will enflame a civil war is already too late. More defections from his army of criminals is a good sign. Once overthrown, he needs to be brought before the international criminal court and brought up on charges.

I am glad Egypt overthrew its dictator, but his cronies still have a lot of power and need to be curtailed or ousted too. Libya had elections this week and that is progress too. Our actions there were mostly for the good. In Bahrain we seem to be on the wrong side though.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive,

Eric A. Meece







Post#34 at 07-12-2012 10:21 AM by Deb C [at joined Aug 2004 #posts 6,099]
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I realize that the following won't mean a hell of beans to some because the US media and Pentagon has its concocted story about Syria. Yet, I post this in hopes that some will at least question the motives and propaganda out of Washington.

“The US is pouring gas on the fire in Syria.” Acknowledged by all. “US motives are malicious towards Syria and they don’t care about the people.
” Unfortunately, not so obvious to some.
“Sanctions and violence don’t help people be free.” Should be obvious, but . . .

Syria through the Looking Glass

Like Libya last year, there is little clarity in the coverage from the western press regarding this conflict. It is clear that the Assad government brooks little patience for those who oppose its rule. It is also clear that several actors with little interest in democracy have maneuvered themselves into roles as players in that opposition. Some of those actors include Wahabbist fighters, mercenaries and others paid by the Saudi regime, arms merchants and gunrunners in the pay of Saudi and other Arab kingdoms, and various covert ops personnel (including CIA) working at the behest of various NATO governments including the US, and Israel. Other possible actors include Al-Qaeda warriors and other religiously motivated types. Those actually interested in a more democratic Syria have faded into the background as armed factions have come to the front. Yet, it is these very same democracy protesters that provide a cover for NATO governments to increase their involvement.


Some History

Like virtually every other so-called pro-democracy movement in the past few decades, the movement in Syria was composed of people genuinely interested in social justice and democracy. Also, like every other similar movement in the past few decades, those individuals and the groups they formed were infiltrated and manipulated by US government sponsored NGOS intent on confusing democracy with the creation of markets and cheap labor for US capitalism. In countries where the national government was either too late in responding, too weak to respond, or pressured to accept a compromise encouraged by Washington, the protesters saw the authoritarian regime replaced with a US/NATO client regime that might or might not create the democratic conditions they hoped for. Kosovo, Iraq, various eastern European nations and Libya provide several examples of this dynamic. For some, the fact of the previous regime’s removal is enough. For everyone else, the authoritarianism of the old regime has often been replaced with a new authoritarianism in the name of democracy. Almost across the board, the cost of the old regime’s removal has been increased poverty for workers and farmers.


Syria has been in the US scope for quite some time

So, if we choose the prism of history to consider the situation in Syria, we find something familiar. Simply put, we see western imperial powers and Turkey (and Israel) attempting to remove an Arab government unwilling to go along with their designs. This is not the first such attempt. In fact, Syria has been on the list of governments Washington wants to see gone for quite a while. During the US military’s occupation of Iraq there were several moments when it looked like the US might launch attacks on Syria under the guise of fighting Iraqi insurgents supposedly based there. As it turned out, this did not occur, most likely because the consensus was not there among those who were running the war. Now, threats by Ankara against Syrian troops operating near the Turkish border could well be the pretext that leads to a shooting war between Syria and NATO member Turkey. If such a scenario unfolds, the NATO treaty demands assistance from Turkey’s fellow alliance members. As I wrote in November 2005:
http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/06/...looking-glass/
"The only Good America is a Just America." .... pbrower2a







Post#35 at 07-12-2012 11:11 AM by Deb C [at joined Aug 2004 #posts 6,099]
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How many of us are aware of this?


Obama’s Scramble for Africa
Secret Wars, Secret Bases, and the Pentagon’s “New Spice Route” in Africa
By
Nick Turse



"Under President Obama, in fact, operations in Africa have accelerated far beyond the more limited interventions of the Bush years: last year’s war in Libya; a regional drone campaign with missions run out of airports and bases in Djibouti, Ethiopia, and the Indian Ocean archipelago nation of Seychelles; a flotilla of 30 ships in that ocean supporting regional operations; a multi-pronged military and CIA campaign against militants in Somalia, including intelligence operations, training for Somali agents, a secret prison, helicopter attacks, and U.S. commando raids; a massive influx of cash for counterterrorism operations across East Africa; a possible old-fashioned air war, carried out on the sly in the region using manned aircraft; tens of millions of dollars in arms for allied mercenaries and African troops; and a special ops expeditionary force (bolstered by State Department experts) dispatched to help capture or kill Lord’s Resistance Army leader Joseph Kony and his senior commanders. And this only begins to scratch the surface of Washington’s fast-expanding plans and activities in the region."


"The only Good America is a Just America." .... pbrower2a







Post#36 at 07-12-2012 12:56 PM by Deb C [at joined Aug 2004 #posts 6,099]
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No to Humanitarian Imperialism in Iran & Syria

Proponents of war lied about Iraq. They claimed a humanitarian purpose long after the WMD claim fell apart. In the end, they devastated Iraq and caused untold suffering.

Proponents of war lied about Afghanistan and continue to kill and destabilize there to this day in the name of humanitarianism and women's rights. They ignore the right not to be bombed.

They lied about Libya, a nation now facing catastrophe following "humanitarian" bombing.

They're lying about Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia, fueling hatred with drone wars, endangering us all.

The lies about Syria and Iran are flowing freely. But neither the motivation nor the likely result of the warmongering is humanitarian.

We say No to U.S. or NATO warfare in Syria -- and No to U.S. or Israeli attacks on Iran. Intervention in either nation now will cause enormous human suffering, make reform more difficult, and quite possibly escalate into regional or global conflict. We reject this latest push for "humanitarian" imperialism.

http://act.rootsaction.org/p/dia/act...ction_KEY=6306
"The only Good America is a Just America." .... pbrower2a







Post#37 at 07-12-2012 01:05 PM by Odin [at Moorhead, MN, USA joined Sep 2006 #posts 14,442]
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Quote Originally Posted by Deb C View Post
No to Humanitarian Imperialism in Iran & Syria

Proponents of war lied about Iraq. They claimed a humanitarian purpose long after the WMD claim fell apart. In the end, they devastated Iraq and caused untold suffering.

Proponents of war lied about Afghanistan and continue to kill and destabilize there to this day in the name of humanitarianism and women's rights. They ignore the right not to be bombed.

They lied about Libya, a nation now facing catastrophe following "humanitarian" bombing.

They're lying about Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia, fueling hatred with drone wars, endangering us all.

The lies about Syria and Iran are flowing freely. But neither the motivation nor the likely result of the warmongering is humanitarian.

We say No to U.S. or NATO warfare in Syria -- and No to U.S. or Israeli attacks on Iran. Intervention in either nation now will cause enormous human suffering, make reform more difficult, and quite possibly escalate into regional or global conflict. We reject this latest push for "humanitarian" imperialism.

http://act.rootsaction.org/p/dia/act...ction_KEY=6306
UGH, your posts are no different than the Assad Apologists on DU.
To recommend thrift to the poor is both grotesque and insulting. It is like advising a man who is starving to eat less.

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Post#38 at 07-12-2012 01:07 PM by Justin '77 [at Meh. joined Sep 2001 #posts 12,182]
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Quote Originally Posted by Odin View Post
UGH, your posts are no different than the Assad Apologists on DU.
Are you in Syria, Odin?

Then why do you assume that one set of known liars is telling the truth, as opposed to the other set of known liars?
"Qu'est-ce que c'est que cela, la loi ? On peut donc être dehors. Je ne comprends pas. Quant à moi, suis-je dans la loi ? suis-je hors la loi ? Je n'en sais rien. Mourir de faim, est-ce être dans la loi ?" -- Tellmarch

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is no doubt obvious, the cult of the experts is both self-serving, for those who propound it, and fraudulent." - Noam Chomsky







Post#39 at 07-12-2012 01:12 PM by Odin [at Moorhead, MN, USA joined Sep 2006 #posts 14,442]
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Quote Originally Posted by Justin '77 View Post
Are you in Syria, Odin?

Then why do you assume that one set of known liars is telling the truth, as opposed to the other set of known liars?
The Bosnians and Albanians were not squeaky clean, that didn't let Milosevic off the hook for being a bloody butcher.
To recommend thrift to the poor is both grotesque and insulting. It is like advising a man who is starving to eat less.

-Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man under Socialism







Post#40 at 07-12-2012 01:24 PM by Deb C [at joined Aug 2004 #posts 6,099]
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Quote Originally Posted by Odin View Post
UGH, your posts are no different than the Assad Apologists on DU.
I understand your dismay at my posts. I mean, our culture is saturated with USA, USA, USA!

We no longer have real investigative reporting in the main stream news. In fact, anyone who is a whistle blower about the crimes of our country, like Manning and others, are prosecuted instead of given credibility.

I only post pieces that I deem credible by people who have actually researched and dug beneath the lies.

The best way to get support for our wars on other countries is to get the approval of the people. And to do that, they are promoted as humanitarian. Just so happens our *humanitarian* wars are in areas with oil or passages to oil. I wonder why we aren't putting as much money into those sweet babies and people in Africa who are starving to death on a daily basis.

But then, many of those in Washington, think Madaline Albright here, don't give a damn about babies. A half million babies and children died from the affects of our sanctions. Her response when asked if it was worth it, "Yes. it is worth it."


When we no longer have real investigative reporting, we ourselves have to question the motives of war.
"The only Good America is a Just America." .... pbrower2a







Post#41 at 07-12-2012 02:34 PM by Eric the Green [at San Jose CA joined Jul 2001 #posts 22,504]
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Quote Originally Posted by Deb C View Post
No to Humanitarian Imperialism in Iran & Syria

Proponents of war lied about Iraq. They claimed a humanitarian purpose long after the WMD claim fell apart. In the end, they devastated Iraq and caused untold suffering.

Proponents of war lied about Afghanistan and continue to kill and destabilize there to this day in the name of humanitarianism and women's rights. They ignore the right not to be bombed.
agreed

They lied about Libya, a nation now facing catastrophe following "humanitarian" bombing.
Don't agree. There are problems in a nation that had 40 years without the rule of law, but the elections show they have a chance for democracy and progress.
They're lying about Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia, fueling hatred with drone wars, endangering us all.
Probably agree. I understand the need for attacks on Al Queda, but civilian deaths are counter-productive to say the least.
The lies about Syria and Iran are flowing freely. But neither the motivation nor the likely result of the warmongering is humanitarian.
We say No to U.S. or NATO warfare in Syria -- and No to U.S. or Israeli attacks on Iran. Intervention in either nation now will cause enormous human suffering, make reform more difficult, and quite possibly escalate into regional or global conflict. We reject this latest push for "humanitarian" imperialism.

http://act.rootsaction.org/p/dia/act...ction_KEY=6306
I say no to attacks on Iran (even if they get nuks), and no NATO war in Syria. I don't hear too many lies about Syria though. The US isn't planning intervention. We aren't sure how the democracy movement and the resistance will turn out. If the rebels receive arms from Saudi Arabia, or others, that might not be a bad thing. But we don't know for sure if the rebels will create a new democracy if they win. Anything would be better than the dictator and criminal Assad. He has to go!
Last edited by Eric the Green; 07-12-2012 at 02:38 PM.
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Post#42 at 07-12-2012 02:47 PM by Deb C [at joined Aug 2004 #posts 6,099]
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Quote Originally Posted by Eric the Green View Post
agreed


Don't agree. There are problems in a nation that had 40 years without the rule of law, but the elections show they have a chance for democracy and progress.

Probably agree. I understand the need for attacks on Al Queda, but civilian deaths are counter-productive to say the least.

I say no to attacks on Iran (even if they get nuks), and no NATO war in Syria. I don't hear too many lies about Syria though. The US isn't planning intervention. We aren't sure how the democracy movement and the resistance will turn out. If the rebels receive arms from Saudi Arabia, or others, that might not be a bad thing. But we don't know for sure if the rebels will create a new democracy if they win. Anything would be better than the dictator and criminal Assad. He has to go!
No offense in my oncoming remarks, but would you be as believing in the war on Syria for humanitarian reasons, if Bush was currently in the White House?
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Post#43 at 07-12-2012 03:10 PM by Eric the Green [at San Jose CA joined Jul 2001 #posts 22,504]
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Quote Originally Posted by Deb C View Post
No offense in my oncoming remarks, but would you be as believing in the war on Syria for humanitarian reasons, if Bush was currently in the White House?
I am not in favor of a war on Syria; I am possibly in favor of aiding the rebels with THEIR war by supplying arms and/or sanctions/diplomatic pressure and helping the rebels organize. That is different.

And the answer is yes. I was in favor of Bush I defending Saudi Arabia against a possible Iraqi attack, but not the US invasion of Iraq in 1991 or 2003. I was not opposed to the US invasion of Afghanistan by Bush II in 2001; just opposed to the way it was done. My articles on this from the time are public record.

Those who think I write based on emotion or partisanship are wrong.
Last edited by Eric the Green; 07-12-2012 at 04:04 PM.
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Post#44 at 07-12-2012 03:33 PM by RyanJH [at joined Jan 2011 #posts 291]
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To Deb - Perhaps Hanlon's Razor* is more applicable to the scenarios you have raised vice conspiracy?

To Eric - I generally distrust statements along the lines "Anything would be better than..." Don't underestimate the human propensity to screw things up worse than they started. I am hesitant to support intervention until I know what the desired end state is supposed to look like. Negative statements, as in "not the current government" don't inspire confidence in foreign intervention adventures. I would like to know who will be in charge and how power will be transitioned in the future before I begin to weigh the pros vs. cons of something like this.

IMO, one can't even begin a reasonable analysis of the worth of an intervention until you have the desired end state determined. Politicians, particularly democratic politicians, are loath to publicly state desired end states. Its too easy to be branded a failure by your political opponents if you don't get 100% of the picture you painted - which never happens. But maybe we can sort of figure out what the desired end state should be and then discuss whether, or to what extent, we should be involved in Syria.

So what do we want Syria to look like in 10 years? Oh wait, is that somewhat egotistical on our part? A better set of questions might be, "What do the Syrian people want Syria to look like in 10 years and how much are we willing to support that?" Does anyone know what the Syrian people want? Are we willing to oppose the Russian and Turkish interests in Syria if they are not supportive of the Syrian people's desires? Which Syrian people are legitimate voices? Should current supporters of the Assad regime be allowed to share power in a new Syrian government? Should rebel groups that conducted their own version of war crimes be allowed to share power in a new Syrian government?

Errr, figuring out this desired end state thingy may not be easy. How much of a deviation from the desired end state are we comfortable with before we decide not to support the 'Syrian people?' If Deb's sources are accurate and opposition groups are staging atrocities to blame on the government, how do we respond?

Absent a clear U.S. interest, how much are we willing to spend, in blood and money, to try to get something approximating a desired end state (which no one has articulated)?

*Hanlon's Razor: Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.
Last edited by RyanJH; 07-12-2012 at 04:19 PM. Reason: grammatical corrections
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-Math is the beginning of wisdom.







Post#45 at 07-12-2012 04:03 PM by Eric the Green [at San Jose CA joined Jul 2001 #posts 22,504]
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Quote Originally Posted by RyanJH View Post
To Eric - I generally distrust statements along the lines "Anything would be better than..." Don't underestimate the human propensity to screw things up worse than they started. I am hesitant to support intervention until I know what the desired end state is supposed to look like. Negative statements, as in "not the current government" don't inspire confidence in foreign intervention adventures. I would like to know who will be in charge and how power will be transitioned in the future before I begin to weigh the pros vs. cons of something like this.
It would be hard to imagine something worse. The impetus for this came from the Arab Spring, the people rising up for freedom. But yes we do need to monitor who the rebels are. Meanwhile we dither and analyze while people are murdered and tortured.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

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Post#46 at 07-12-2012 04:13 PM by RyanJH [at joined Jan 2011 #posts 291]
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Quote Originally Posted by Eric the Green View Post
It would be hard to imagine something worse.
No leadership is usually worse than bad leadership. Recall Ngo Dinh Diem.

Hmm, upon recollection, Diem would be a fantastic example joining the concepts of 'conspiracy' and 'stupidity.'

Anyway, I realize the very limited parallels between Assad and Diem. I only bring this up to illustrate the point that its relatively easy to end up worse than when you began.
Ryan Heilman '68
-Math is the beginning of wisdom.







Post#47 at 07-12-2012 04:57 PM by Deb C [at joined Aug 2004 #posts 6,099]
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From Open Salon:

Thinking About Syria


We all know that when Western governments talk about the need to intervene in a nation for "humanitarian reasons," this is often a sales-based pretext used to justify and sell an intervention that has already been decided upon for self-interested, strategic, geopolitical reasons.

Which brings me to the following question: Aside from solving the "humanitarian crisis," what does the West have to gain from intervening in Syria?

Strategically speaking, if the current Syrian government was replaced with a more moderate, pro-Western crowd, the Western Establishment would enjoy many benefits.

First, it would ease pressure on Israel, because Syria backs Hezbollah in Lebanon and without this support, Israel's position increases.

Second, it minimizes Iranian influence in the region.

Third, and this is the most important, it opens up the possibility of more stable European/Mediterranean-destined and controlled oil pipelines from Iraq, not to mention Syrian based refineries.

Normally, oil from the Middle East is transported by way of pipelines to the Persian Gulf. However, this body of water is hotly contested by Iran and may be the source of major conflict and tension in the future. Oil from the Persian Gulf not only has to run the gamut of possible tension from the Iranians, but must also face challenges from pirates based in the Horn of Africa. Finally, we don't know what's going on with Egypt and these oil tankers may very well have to pass through the Suez Canal on their way back to Europe. If Egypt becomes hostile, or unstable, so does European reliance on Persian-Gulf based oil.

Clearly, if Syria is opened up to Western influence, all of the problems inherent to Persian Gulf-based oil disappear overnight. Oil is transported from Iraq (and possibly even Kuwait and Saudi Arabia) to Syria by way of a variety of enormous pipelines. From there, it can be shipped to European ports by way of friendly European vessels.

Currently, there are quite a few pipelines carrying Iraqi oil to Mediterranean-based locations, but all of them are suffering from major damage caused by terrorism, guerilla warfare, insurrection, etc...There have been repeated efforts to fix these pipelines over the years, but their success has been minimal. There is a pipeline that goes from northern Iraq int0 Turkey, but this, too, has been damaged by insurgents.

http://open.salon.com/blog/rw005g/20...ng_about_syria
"The only Good America is a Just America." .... pbrower2a







Post#48 at 07-12-2012 05:02 PM by RyanJH [at joined Jan 2011 #posts 291]
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Quote Originally Posted by Deb C View Post
From Open Salon:

Thinking About Syria


We all know that when Western governments talk about the need to intervene in a nation for "humanitarian reasons," this is often a sales-based pretext used to justify and sell an intervention that has already been decided upon for self-interested, strategic, geopolitical reasons.

Which brings me to the following question: Aside from solving the "humanitarian crisis," what does the West have to gain from intervening in Syria?

Strategically speaking, if the current Syrian government was replaced with a more moderate, pro-Western crowd, the Western Establishment would enjoy many benefits.

First, it would ease pressure on Israel, because Syria backs Hezbollah in Lebanon and without this support, Israel's position increases.

Second, it minimizes Iranian influence in the region.

Third, and this is the most important, it opens up the possibility of more stable European/Mediterranean-destined and controlled oil pipelines from Iraq, not to mention Syrian based refineries.

Normally, oil from the Middle East is transported by way of pipelines to the Persian Gulf. However, this body of water is hotly contested by Iran and may be the source of major conflict and tension in the future. Oil from the Persian Gulf not only has to run the gamut of possible tension from the Iranians, but must also face challenges from pirates based in the Horn of Africa. Finally, we don't know what's going on with Egypt and these oil tankers may very well have to pass through the Suez Canal on their way back to Europe. If Egypt becomes hostile, or unstable, so does European reliance on Persian-Gulf based oil.

Clearly, if Syria is opened up to Western influence, all of the problems inherent to Persian Gulf-based oil disappear overnight. Oil is transported from Iraq (and possibly even Kuwait and Saudi Arabia) to Syria by way of a variety of enormous pipelines. From there, it can be shipped to European ports by way of friendly European vessels.

Currently, there are quite a few pipelines carrying Iraqi oil to Mediterranean-based locations, but all of them are suffering from major damage caused by terrorism, guerilla warfare, insurrection, etc...There have been repeated efforts to fix these pipelines over the years, but their success has been minimal. There is a pipeline that goes from northern Iraq int0 Turkey, but this, too, has been damaged by insurgents.

http://open.salon.com/blog/rw005g/20...ng_about_syria
Errr, Hezbollah in Lebanon might be as capable, if not more so, at inflicting damage on a pro-Western Syrian oil pipeline as any insurgents impacting the oil pipelines flowing through Turkey. Just a thought.

And what about the insurgents in Iraq?

It appears doubtful these types of problems would disappear overnight. So the third reason for Western intervention in Syria may not be as strong as your author indicates.

The first and second reasons appear stronger. Hezbollah is closely tied with Iranian support. Some have gone as far as to say Hezbollah is an Iranian proxy. Certainly, the loss of Syrian support to Hezbollah would limit Iranian influence and might make Israel more secure. It is doubtful that Iranian influence could be curtailed enough to prevent Iranian backed sabotage of oil pipelines from Iraq through Syria. Its relatively easy to blow up fixed infrastructure that spans several countries.
Last edited by RyanJH; 07-12-2012 at 05:11 PM.
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-Math is the beginning of wisdom.







Post#49 at 07-12-2012 08:58 PM by Ragnarök_62 [at Oklahoma joined Nov 2006 #posts 5,511]
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Quote Originally Posted by Eric The Green
t would be hard to imagine something worse. The impetus for this came from the Arab Spring, the people rising up for freedom. But yes we do need to monitor who the rebels are. Meanwhile we dither and analyze while people are murdered and tortured.
So What? From a neo-nationalistic POV, military action in Syria is not justified. IOW, there is no national security interest argument for intervening. Now, as Deb has pointed numerous time, the only cries for intervention are coming from assorted Elites. Now, OTOH, what about Mexico? Here there ARE practical reasons to engage in constructive mutually beneficial foreign policy initiatives. No, we should not send troops there due to past bad experiences in Mexico. Now, why is it that we hear all this stuff about "murder and torture" in Syria, but scarcely anything about torture and suffering in Mexico? Since Mexico is a border country, it is important that we work with Mexico instead of mindless meddling in the Mideast.

Quote Originally Posted by RyanJH View Post
Errr, Hezbollah in Lebanon might be as capable, if not more so, at inflicting damage on a pro-Western Syrian oil pipeline as any insurgents impacting the oil pipelines flowing through Turkey. Just a thought.
Quite correct. I'd also add the Kurds/PKK to this equation. Iraq, for all intensive purposes is a failed state. Lessee, Syrian borders are just European colonial artifacts drawn, not based on who resides in the borders, but about which European country "owned" that piece of land a long time ago. So, you have Sunnis,Shias,Alawites, and Christians all in one border polygon. So yes on Hezbollah and whatever other factions develop to defend against Hezbollah.

And what about the insurgents in Iraq?
I think they'd join their partners in Syria. If the regime in Syria goes, then the border between Iraq and Syria go with it. Pretty much like the non border between Pakistan and Afghanistan. I've seen that movie already. It does not have a happy ending.

It appears doubtful these types of problems would disappear overnight. So the third reason for Western intervention in Syria may not be as strong as your author indicates.
Yes. You get the known-knowns, known-unknowns, and the unknown-unknowns thing.

The first and second reasons appear stronger. Hezbollah is closely tied with Iranian support. Some have gone as far as to say Hezbollah is an Iranian proxy. Certainly, the loss of Syrian support to Hezbollah would limit Iranian influence and might make Israel more secure. It is doubtful that Iranian influence could be curtailed enough to prevent Iranian backed sabotage of oil pipelines from Iraq through Syria. Its relatively easy to blow up fixed infrastructure that spans several countries.
Yup. There is a Shia faction in Iraq that likes Iran. I fail to see how this would be different than an Alawite faction that would still be in Syria, regardless of who ends up in charge. We'd also get a regular Shia faction in a shattered Syria. Then, an additional Kurd faction may give Turkey some issues as well. Another thing about Kurds, they are not an Arabic population. The Kurdish language is Indo-European which means it resembles English, not Arabic.
Well, this sample even looks more European than Arab.
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Post#50 at 07-13-2012 01:28 PM by Deb C [at joined Aug 2004 #posts 6,099]
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Crucial information.

"They're selling the idea of military intervention and regime change, and the mainstream news is hungry to buy. Many of the "activists" and spokespeople representing the Syrian opposition are closely (and in many cases financially) interlinked with the US and London – the very people who would be doing the intervening. Which means information and statistics from these sources isn't necessarily pure news – it's a sales pitch, a PR campaign."

"But it's never too late to ask questions, to scrutinise sources. Asking questions doesn't make you a cheerleader for Assad – that's a false argument. It just makes you less susceptible to spin. The good news is, there's a sceptic born every minute."

A nightmare is unfolding across Syria, in the homes of al-Heffa and the streets of Houla. And we all know how the story ends: with thousands of soldiers and civilians killed, towns and families destroyed, and President Assad beaten to death in a ditch.

This is the story of the Syrian war, but there is another story to be told. A tale less bloody, but nevertheless important. This is a story about the storytellers: the spokespeople, the "experts on Syria", the "democracy activists". The statement makers. The people who "urge" and "warn" and "call for action".

It's a tale about some of the most quoted members of the Syrian opposition and their connection to the Anglo-American opposition creation business. The mainstream news media have, in the main, been remarkably passive when it comes to Syrian sources: billing them simply as "official spokesmen" or "pro-democracy campaigners" without, for the most part, scrutinising their statements, their backgrounds or their political connections.

It's important to stress: to investigate the background of a Syrian spokesperson is not to doubt the sincerity of his or her opposition to Assad. But a passionate hatred of the Assad regime is no guarantee of independence. Indeed, a number of key figures in the Syrian opposition movement are long-term exiles who were receiving US government funding to undermine the Assad government long before the Arab spring broke out.
Lets take an in depth look at those who are speaking out on behalf of the Syrian people.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisf...ng-the-talking
"The only Good America is a Just America." .... pbrower2a
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