Military Strikes Against Syria

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Blue Velvet, Aug 27, 2013.

  1. Blue Velvet, Aug 27, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2013

    Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

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    #1
    Not really up to speed with this story, to be honest... but I guess we might all be talking about this soon enough.



    Your thoughts?
     
  2. Michael Goff macrumors G3

    Michael Goff

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    #2
    Oh joy, another war. :|

    Edit: And by that, I mean the limited strikes aren't likely going to stay limited.
     
  3. edk99 macrumors 6502a

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  4. localoid macrumors 68020

    localoid

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    #4
    I predict the winner of this conflict will be the defense industry.
     
  5. malman89 macrumors 68000

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    #5
    Or some way for the armed forces to get around sequestration.

    Not that I disagree with calculated intervention necessarily, but I'm sure they'll spin it in such a way to decrease necessary budgetary cuts.
     
  6. G51989 macrumors 68030

    G51989

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    #6
    What are the English fighting with? Rocks. France is the only military power left in Europe.
     
  7. localoid macrumors 68020

    localoid

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    #7
    The British military has something like at least 500 drones by now, doesn't it?
     
  8. DUCKofD3ATH Suspended

    DUCKofD3ATH

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    #8
    "I do not bring with me today a definitive solution to the problems of war."

    -- President Obama, Current Guinness World Records holder in the category "Fought the most wars after winning the Nobel Peace Prize"
     
  9. G51989 macrumors 68030

    G51989

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    #9
    * Two of those wars were thrown into his lap by the Bush administration.
     
  10. DUCKofD3ATH Suspended

    DUCKofD3ATH

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    #10
    Yes, there will always be asterisks next to those two wars, but he's far and away the winner regardless. Ya gotta give him props!

     
  11. G51989 macrumors 68030

    G51989

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    #11
    There are those two wars.

    Besides Lybia, where did he get involved? Lybia was a good cause, it was teerting on the brink of genocide, and the French needed help.
    Very different from meaningless crap like Iraq.
     
  12. hulugu macrumors 68000

    hulugu

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    #12
    The President has either continued or expanded the use of military force across the world, including Yemen, Mali, Libya, and Somalia.

    At the same time, the president has continued operations in the Philippines, Iraq, and along the border region between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

    We can argue necessity of those operations, but the president has used military force more than the big air operation against Libya.
     
  13. StruckANerve macrumors 6502

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    #13
    "The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation,” - Barack Obama, December 2007
     
  14. malman89 macrumors 68000

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    #14
    But advising a few Congressmen and talking to international allies proves it wasn't a unilateral action. ;)

    Campaign Obama was the greatest.
     
  15. GermanyChris macrumors 601

    GermanyChris

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  16. Happybunny macrumors 68000

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    #16
    I think that people should be very cautious, this could be just the start of bigger problems for the region.
    Yes the Western powers can with military force topple the Assad regime. But what then, my best guess is that interim government very weak would be formed, finally giving way to a very radical islamic government after yet another civil war.
    This government more than likely to be radically anti Israel/West , would have large stock piles of poison gas.
     
  17. GermanyChris macrumors 601

    GermanyChris

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    #17
    But if they don't go in there will be the inevitable "where were you when innocent Syrians were getting gassed. You only care about human rights when the benefit you"
     
  18. Apple fanboy macrumors P6

    Apple fanboy

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    #18
    This. I can't see a stable peaceful democracy in the middle east. Even in Egypt where they had a democracy, they decided to get rid after a year.

    I'm not sure what the solution is, but the US & UK can't police the world. If we get rid of the current regime, who is going to take over?

    I think it is unlikely for the UK to get involved unless the UN sanction it. Even then with all our cut backs, it will most likely be in a minor supporting role.
     
  19. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #19
    Unfortunately, a very good and thoughtful post, Happybunny. By and large, I agree with you.

    Sigh. I watched some of the British news programmes last night, when they were discussing this. The first story, the 'headline', is that Parliament will be recalled to discuss this matter, so, an element of high political drama seems to be in the offing. Parliament recalled, from its summer recess? Gosh, how exciting. This, of course, is not by any means the full story.

    Most of what passed for 'analysis' on the remainder of the programmes I watched consisted of a certain type of male commentator getting increasingly excited as they discussed weaponry, the numbers of same, and the military capacity of same. Distances to Syria were discussed, and it was briefly conceded that hitting civilians en route to a Target (say, an airport, or, military camp) is A Very Bad Idea.

    You know, I remember the exact same idiocy before the Iraq war, the Afghanistan war, and, indeed, the first Iraq war, the one designed to slap Saddam's wrist after he idiotically invaded Kuwait, these extremely excited males discussing with supreme confidence and bottomless arrogance just how proficient their weapons are when directed - invariably accurately - at the forces of a recalcitrant regime.

    And, in one of those appalling cases of dejá vu, yet again, we have have the spectacle of inspectors in the country - this time looking for chemical weapons - inspectors, who, naturally enough, are not remotely welcomed by the reluctant host Government, but who have been sent with anything but bona fides by their own Governments, who sincerely hope that their work yields few dividends all the better to give themselves an excuse to launch airstrikes.

    So, this time around, how long do we plan to give the inspectors to find (or not find, as the case may be) something inculpatory, before our inspired leaders decide that the proverbial short cuts of the bomb and the bullet are much to be preferred?

    Have we learned nothing, absolutely nothing, over the last decade and a half? Seriously, are we so devoid of intelligence and reason that we whip ourselves into a feeding frenzy of excitement ('oh, look, this rocket turns left at the traffic lights'! sort of excitement) when the possibility of playing with military toys is offered to us yet again.

    Every conflict we have thoughtlessly sleep-walked ourselves into over the last decade has ended up being a military disaster; in Iraq and now, in Afghanistan, western forces are looking to escape, because the ungrateful natives insist on reacting with disbelief to the idea that this was really a war of liberation. And can we honestly say (with the single, dubious exception of Afghanistan) that we have left any of these countries in a better state than we found them?

    Egypt is unravelling, and Libya seems to be, too.

    Really, just because we don't like an unpleasant ruler is not a justification to seek to overthrow him. In recent years, our policy of seeking to overthrow local secular (and yes, stable) autocrats in that part of the world, invariably leads to their replacement by those who believe that they are on a direct telephone line to a divinity, thus legitimating their often atrocious actions. So, we have connived in a clueless pattern of behaviour where unpleasant secular rulers have almost invariably been replaced by the more fundamentalist variety of leader.

    This is not because these societies don't actually understand that democracy is nice, and might benefit them. It is because democracy has never been given the opportunity to develop, and put down indigenous roots.

    Democracy, what we call 'freedom', tolerance, respect for diversity, access to the public space, the concept of public debate, a functioning parliament, and indeed, a functioning opposition and informed and free press, none of these have been allowed to flourish in the Middle East or wider Arab world, since the overthrow of Mr Mossadeq in 1953.

    We are out of our microscopic little minds to contemplate starting (or adding to) yet another conflict in this already, extremely volatile region.

    We preach democracy, yet reach for the drone and the rocket ('casualty-less' war, we smugly inform our electorates) at first opportunity, rather than as an absolutely last resort.

    I am absolutely staggered at the lack of urgency we have displayed in attempting to reach some sort of a political solution, or come to a political arrangement which might have addressed aspects of what is going on in Syria.

    I have written before that proper elections perform two main functions: They give legitimacy to the winners, but of equal importance, they allow the loser a graceful exit. Such exits are not possible in autocracies,where the choice is between hanging on until you either die, can arrange the succession, or are overthrown, invariably violently and sometimes sadistically.

    While this has now become an incredibly vicious civil war, the regime is fighting for their lives, because if they lose, resign, or are overthrown, the result will be a genocidal bloodbath.

    This is because for well over a year, the political issue has been the question of enabling the Assad regime to make a safe political exit. That means himself, his family, his wider kinship networks, and, most importantly, in this context, his ethnic and religious group, the Alawites. The problem in the Muslim world is that the Alawites are Shi'ia, which offers a perfect justification (divinely sanctioned by some mullahs) for mass slaughter.

    So, any serious solution must mean finding finance for food, clothing, housing and employment for tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of Alawite refugees. Of course, in our economically straitened times, with stratospheric unemployment and endless recession, this is a price we are clearly not prepared to pay, though we will happily fund more drones and rockets.

    We are, of course, talking ourselves - yet again - into pursuing policies which are completely insane, which will lead to further conflagration, and will further destabilise a deeply unstable region. We have learned nothing, absolutely nothing, from any of the adventures upon which we launched ourselves so blithely over the past decade and a half.
     
  20. hulk2012, Aug 28, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2013

    hulk2012 macrumors 6502

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    #20
    It's all about the dollar...Folks in the USA don't understand why no. 1 economy for years. If you think dollar was worldwide currency used (intl trade and oil called petrodolar) that's enough for economy to become the world power. But since now dollar is coming back home devalued like never before. It's bankrupt. Countries already not using dollar in exchange so to save the power of the west run by the US, you gotta take down the whole region, the biggest oil producer which is already trading oil in currency other tr dollar and under pretext and propaganda hyped by media (control by elite) destabilise the whole region. Now to do this you gotta face east. But that's the story for us, shallow diggers (not regular folks). But what truly happens is implementing one world government (NWO) with one currency, religion etc. In order to do this you need major disaster like war. Husain, Obama, Putin - these are puppets. The world elite (most high) is a one clique. Always was and always will be...
     
  21. malman89 macrumors 68000

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    #21
    All the U.S. needs is a major foreign ally to rubber stamp support - even if the U.K. doesn't really do anything, if it endorses it, then the U.S. has more than enough in their mind to pull the trigger.
     
  22. Mackan macrumors 65816

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    #22
    It's good that some countries don't just sit and do nothing. No one really wants war I think, but those that do have abilities to change things need to do so. As they say, with great power comes great responsibility...

    I'm also not surprised to see Russia and China do nothing (as usual), but to object and veto almost everything. Russia is borderline dictatorship, and China is communism. Neither cares much about responsibility and human rights, really. They would treat their own people the same way Syria treats theirs, if it ever comes to it.

    If you let a country go on and be consumed by a dictator, fanatic religion, or whatever, it will come and knock on your door in the future. Then it may be too late... Need to stand up for universal rights, and hit back hard at signs where it's not respected.

    Of course, all this is easier said than done, if you have to sacrifice human lives and soldiers to accomplish it. We're lucky there's someone that does it...

    With that said, I don't know the exact details about the conflict in Syria. I don't know whether the rebels are who they say they are, etc. As proven by other revolts in the Arabian region, these people know very little about democracy. It's infested with fanatic religious people as well. I am lucky I am far away from those hell holes on earth. There's enough difficulties to deal with in our western societies.
     
  23. Michael Goff macrumors G3

    Michael Goff

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    #23
    Yep, they were started before him... he just happened to continue them for a long time. He'd keep them going on if he could, but darn if Iraq didn't tell him no.
     
  24. VulchR, Aug 28, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2013

    VulchR macrumors 68020

    VulchR

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    #24
    I have to say I do not understand the sudden urgency (or more accurately, the lack of urgency until now). More than 100,000 people have died in Syria, while we sat on our backsides and did nothing. The chemical attack killed 355 (estimates vary up to 1000). My question is why have chosen this moment to intervene? Yes, chemical weapons can do damage if they fall in to the wrong hands, but then again far more people in Syria have been killed by another chemical process: explosion. And it is not as though those of us in the West are immune to bombs and bullets, so why aren't worried about those falling into the wrong hands? Also, it is not as though chemical weapons cannot be made by home-grown terrorists - just ask the Japanese.

    Launching cruise missiles in to attack Syria's military might kill many people who had nothing to do with the attack. I honestly thought before the second Gulf war that Iraq had hidden WMD because they never adequately documented the destruction of WMD they once had (and used). Now our government's conclusions about Syria seem rather premature. Fool me once: shame on you. For me twice: shame on me. I think we should wait for the UN inspection team to report, using every sensor at our disposal to document any further attacks. Then we should bring those who were responsible to the World Court (if only the US would recognize it).
     
  25. Prototypical macrumors 6502

    Prototypical

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    #25
    I couldn't agree more. The two sides of the Syrian conflict are both bad, from our point of view. One is an iron-fisted dictatorship, and the other is a rapidly radicalizing Muslim insurgency. The only thing we can manage to accomplish by getting involved is breed more anti-American/Western terrorist groups. I think we need to let them fight it out on their own, but I seriously doubt we will.

    The alleged chemical attacks need to be VERY well vetted - after the WMD debacle from Iraq, there is no reason we should be jumping to conclusions. The American public should be given concrete evidence that we know what was used and by which side before any action is taken.

    Also a good point. The US is in the unfortunate position of being damned if we do and damned if we don't in basically any world conflict. If we DO get involved, we're bullies trying to be the world's police. If we don't get involved, we're selfish, arrogant Americans who only care about oil/money/power. It's true of every conflict, including this one. I think this is why our leadership has become less and less interested in world "opinion" when making these sorts of decisions.
     

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