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Sunday Sober Thread: War in Syria

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Nom Chompsky, Sep 1, 2013.

  1. Nom Chompsky

    Nom Chompsky
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    Usual rules apply.
     
  2. Cult

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    It's none of our business, let them kill each other.
     
  3. The Dread Pirate

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    This.

    If we act there has to be a goal in mind (that is achievable) and our actions must be calculated to achieve that goal. Period. The current administration has walked us into a laughably amateur position. More than likely we will launch a volley or three of tomahawk cruise missiles into targets which will have days to empty out in advance of our attack.

    If the United States and its allies were really masters of warfare, if we were REALLY capable of grand strategy, operational art, and the application of surprise/violence of action, we'd be using the current events in Syria to position and cock a massive strike aimed at Iran's nuclear installations.

    We'd be overtly waving shiny objects (watch Mr. Hand!) at Syria, causing a barely functional Arab force to abandon its comfort zone and disperse its hardware, its units, and its C2 to the hills and decentralized bunkers (seriously degrading its ability to prosecute effective combat against our little Islamic fundamentalist rebel "allies"); maybe leaving Hezbollah formations where they can be struck from the air during a sideshow or leaving them exposed to something entirely different than cruise missile hits.

    This would cause the Syrians to panic and degrade their own battle space posture just by generating a very public demonstration ("We are coming to get you!") - a giant psychological head fake -while the sharpened knife actually gets applied to Iran's throat.

    That would require us to be truly Machiavellian.

    However, the realist in me says the White House will probably get tired of barking at the edge of the yard and return to the porch to lick its balls after a quick, meaningless strike like Operation Desert Fox in the 1990s.
     
  4. Chellie

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    That's what everyone was doing. But the major issue is they're not just killing each other anymore. The problem is that now the Syrian military is using banned chemical weapons against UN personnel. Latest intelligence suggests a nerve agent.*

    *Disclaimer: all evidence not yet analyzed
     
  5. Robbie Clark

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    Sending relatively inaccurate long range missiles into the country isn't going to stop any killing. Neither would a full scale war on the country for that matter.

    The US shouldn't even be a member of the UN so if they're killing UN personnel, well too bad for the UN. They're free to leave Syria.

    Nothing going on over there in any of those countries currently experiencing turmoil is any threat to the United States or its people and the US has no good reason to get involved.
     
  6. Juice

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    Inaccurate? Cruise missiles? The weapon that can accurately be fired down a munitions factory smoke stack and won Gulf War I and paved the way for the pyrrhic victory of Gulf War II?

    As far as Syria... fuck em and fuck humanitarianism. If we help them, then the Muslim Brotherhood takes hold and galvanizes the people into al Qaeda. How fun.

    If that part of the world can't stop killing each other, maybe it's not a bad thing. The people won't give a fuck if we help them.
     
  7. Chellie

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    I don't think the U.S has any business telling Syrians they can't kill each other. What I do think is that the chemical weapons ban, the modern incarnation of which has been in place since '92 (i think) needs to be enforced. When an international governing body like the UN sets internationally agreed rules down and those rules are not enforced, you end up with a toothless, pointless organization. While this is most certainly the first or even worst of the violations, UN regulations need to exist and need to be enforced, lest we end up with another League of Nations doing nothing but sending strongly worded letters the next time a Hitler decides he should rule the world. IMO, the UN needs way more power than it has now, and fuck Russia and China's vetos.

    /$0.02
     
  8. Gravy

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    Can anyone with expertise or better google-fu than me chime in on this? I can't remember where I read/heard it, but I do remember hearing/reading in a legitimate source that the accuracy of cruise missiles in the Gulf War was more than a little over-hyped. The only thing that I can find now is a quote from Defense Secretary Les Aspin in 1993 saying we weren't capable of using cruise missiles to target single individuals. I'm not sure if that is an accuracy problem though.
     
  9. LessTalk MoreStab

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    I don’t understand the hysteria surrounding chemical weapons, those kids aren’t any deader than the hundreds of thousands who were chopped up with machetes in Rwanda only a few years ago, or all the Iraqi children “accidented” to pieces by high explosives, dead is dead.
     
  10. silway

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    Possibly useful to some. And an interesting explanation of why it may be worth tossing some cruise missiles into the area.

    <a class="postlink" href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2013/08/29/9-questions-about-syria-you-were-too-embarrassed-to-ask/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wor ... ed-to-ask/</a>
     
  11. Chellie

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    I find it interesting that when everything went down in Egypt, the prevailing opinion on the TiB and indeed, the west in general, was one of overwhelming support for the protestors/rebels, but when it comes to Syria, it seems to be 'whatever, let them kill each other'. Perhaps because the Egyptian revolt was so publicized, whereas this has gone largely under the media radar for the last 2 years?
     
  12. The Dread Pirate

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    No. It's because the Egyptian revolt and Arab Spring led to the establishment of equally oppressive Islamist regimes in Egypt and Libya. We realize you really can't win in that region. We (the West) were better off with stable, but oppressive dictators instead of Islamic fanatics running the show.
     
  13. Robbie Clark

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    Yep. Here's a video about who's fighting in Syria and will takeover if Assad is overthrown.



    I think it's best if the US stays out of it entirely. Including removing any CIA or JSOC forces operating in the country.

    Here's another story a friend just sent me: <a class="postlink" href="http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/citizen-warrior/2013/aug/30/syrians-al-qaeda-hijacked-revolution-civil-war/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://communities.washingtontimes.com/ ... civil-war/</a>

     
    #13 Robbie Clark, Sep 1, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 27, 2015
  14. shimmered

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    Let it be.

    We don't have the money, the man power, or the will to do anything in that region besides make ourselves targets and piss off a fair bit of people. I'm not interested in any of that.
     
  15. Trakiel

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    Long-range munitions like cruise missles depend on GPS in order to get their target coordinates and - for cruise missiles in particular - to help them navigate the terrain as they fly toward their destination. GPS targeting is very accurate and lacks several weaknesses other guidance systems have, but it does have a big limitation: Since you're relying on GPS coordinates to get to your target it only works against stationary targets that have been pre-identified prior to launch. If you have bad intellegence and identify the wrong targets, the missile's going to destroy the wrong things.

    What juice is describing is more akin to laser-guided munitions, which cruise missiles don't use.
     
  16. Stealth

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    Without trying to sound like an asshole, one thing you have to realize about ANYTHING that the US gets involved with in the Middle East, is whether it is good for or suits Israel.
     
  17. The Village Idiot

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    Incorrect. U.S. policy in the Middle East is driven by oil. While one of the U.S.'s aims is certainly to help to maintain a viable Israel, the real driver has been oil. There's a reason President Carter tried to move the U.S. off of dependence on Middle Eastern oil, because he saw it as a threat to national security. He was correct then, he is correct now.

    It's about oil. And oil is about money. Though populations are often given these Byzantine explanations as to problems in the mid-east - human rights, theocracy, fanaticism, poverty, poor infrastructure - the only issue is, was, and will be in the near future, is money.
     
  18. ODEN

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    You can count on America to do the right thing once we have exhausted all other available options.

    I think what has been said on here before is very accurate. Some of these despots in the Middle East actually provided the best opportunity for peace and harmony in these societies. Mubarak, Hussein, etc. applied their law ruthlessly and somewhat equally to all common people. The Shiites didn't bomb the Sunni mosques because they knew Saddam would find out and feed everyone you ever knew into a wood chipper feet first. This went for sectarian violence between all of the groups and forced people to be civil with one-another. By knocking these guys over, you leave it wide-open to Al Qaeda-like organizations who have no interest in peace or stability nationally or internationally.

    It's perspective, I guess. We are trying to give them what we have, whether they want it or if its feasible or not. Once we step in, we own it. Are the potential riches worth the cost and loss of life? Since the government usually acts in these situations and sends our young people to do the acting, you can see where they place higher value.
     
  19. Kubla Kahn

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    This is basically my feelings on the subject. Chemical weapons have long been seen as beyond the conventional horrors of war. You can't ban something without consequences and not be able to enforce the ban. The fact that the rebels might be worse for us than the current leaders is also beyond fucked up. It is quite the quagmire here. If they weren't I'd just say impose a no fly zone like we did in Libya and lob missiles at his hiding spots until we turn him into a grease spot.
     
  20. E. Tuffmen

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    I think it's a good idea to stay completely out of that region. The reason American type democracy and "The Arab Spring" did not, does not, nor will ever work in that region of the world is because they don't think like free people. The establishment of "fair" elections is the end point of democracy not the beginning. The first step is thinking like free people and actually being free in your heart and mind. If one looks back at the history of the founding of American and mind set of the people in colonial times it becomes evident why it worked and for the most part still does. People in that region of the world have never experienced that kind of mind set and their religion does not support or allow for it.

    I have always felt we were too overtly involved in much of the world's business. We should put more emphasis on covert, on the ground intelligence gathering like we used to and proceed much more like The Dread Pirate explained in the third post in this thread. Unfortunately, we do not have very smart people running our government, haven't had for a VERY long time, and the current administration is probably the worst we have ever had. In politics, the cream does not rise to the top.