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Breaking Up Syria
#21
Yak,

Samantha Powers is the leader of the "Responsibility to protect" theory of using power. The narrative here is that Assad is the devil , the opposition are freedom fighters.

It's a lie, but, that's what most westerners are buying I think. Al Qaeda is already beginning to persecute local populations up north exactly like they did in Iraq's wild west. ATimes is a good source for all Asian info, IMO.

Fred,

There are too many arms in Syria for this to be a disorganized activity and I'm here to tell you, Qatar cannot move arms like that. These folks are now possessing manpads.

Logistically, either we or Turkey is doing the logistic lift. No one out there has this ability that wants Assad gone, Israel loves Assad and this current governance. I rule out Turkey because they just turned on Assad recently. They also have Kurdish Syria to operate through, which makes it hard for Turkey.
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#22
Palladin,

I know who Samantha (freakin') Powers is ... that's why I brought into the discussion. I just don't think she or anybody else has the influence to push an extended commitment right now. We're officially in the silly season. Do you think Obama&Co are game to take an off the cuff risk? ... or run out the clock? I'm thinking it's run out the clock. The downing of the MiG 21 would suggest that they might be getting some heavier stuff ... but I don't think we're tripping over ourselves to deliver it. There are all sorts of nasty toys that can be procured without the aid and comfort of the CIA. I doubt that anyone is trying to hinder the continued transit of these, but I'm still suspicious that we're the ones making it so ... too risky politically ... at a particularly politically sensitive moment. In the mean time, the extremist sh*theads are taking up the slack ... and that's not good ... particularly if THEY... and not the locals themselves are mostly credited with a victory. They're there ... and they're perceived as effective ... and the local commanders aren't particularly happy about it ... but right now they don't have much of a choice.
"Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard."
-- Henry Mencken
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#23
Yak,

I think it would help any incumbent to be seen assisting the rebels. Americans like to do this and Assad is effectively "the latest Hitler".

That's why I don't think Obama would fear doing it or need pushing to do it. Romney would as well. Romney has already openly stated he'd arm the rebels.
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#24
(08-13-2012, 06:44 PM)Palladin Wrote: Yak,

I think it would help any incumbent to be seen assisting the rebels. Americans like to do this and Assad is effectively "the latest Hitler".

That's why I don't think Obama would fear doing it or need pushing to do it. Romney would as well. Romney has already openly stated he'd arm the rebels.

If there was a perceived political advantage, the topic would be getting pushed as a campaign issue. It's one thing to make a comment in favor of some unknown underdog ... or decry a dictator that is dropping bombs on and sending tanks into his own cities ... or publicly announce a supposed 'covert' plan to give an appearance that you're "on top of things", it's another to actually bring the issue front and center. That would demand some sort of action ... and that ain't happening. Doesn't that say anything? Providing any sort of substantial support carries all sorts of the obvious risks that have been voiced here ... that's why the champions for doing so are so invisible. But not engaging carries some risks as well

It's has a much larger political draw in France than it does the U.S. right now ... and if either party wanted to change that ... don't you think they would have by now?

Quote:Polls suggest that law and order is an area where Hollande's Socialists are vulnerable to attack but it is on foreign affairs that the right-wing opposition has focused its criticism in recent weeks.

Accusing him of standing by passively in the face of carnage in Syria, the main opposition UMP party has portrayed Hollande as a hopeless ditherer, incapable of the kind of bold action which saw his predecessor, Nicolas Sarkozy, lead Western intervention in Libya last year.
"Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard."
-- Henry Mencken
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#25
Palladin, you underestimate two things:

1/ The amount of weapons in free circulation without control whatsoever, and which can be caravaned across the desert.
Ghaddafy's arsenal poured out until Mali, they might have reach Syria too.
In one word, I think the black market is enough organised to supply small weapons and has done so for ages.

Today Saudis and Qatar and probably other arab states too are almost officialy arming the rebels. They hae enough money to arrange a supply route. It doesn't require the US approval or assistance.
All these weapons can trael through Iraq but they are believed to transit through Turkey (the infos is somewhere in this article).
Turkey is also the quasi-official host of the Syrian Liberation Army and demand a non-fly zone for the "refugees".

2/ This is (still) the Arab Spring, which means it's ahuge popular movement. It's not like a group of al-Qaidists hasseling the locals and attacking police stations.
There are radical islamic militants, but there are also thousands of fighter who are just there for their ethnic group or simply to throw out Assad.

Before it turned into a civil war, there were millions of poeple in the streets almost every day.
Imagine the local support the rebels have. Just about everybody in Syria is willing to help them with food, hide outs, medical care, intelligence...
It's a huge asset, worth much more than a trillion dollar occupation by the US army.
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#26
(08-14-2012, 05:16 PM)Fredledingue Wrote: Imagine the local support the rebels have.

It doesn't sound like it's completely universal. From the minds eye the thought that a city under siege (Aleppo) ... or at least part of it, is still operating more or less normally seems very odd ... surreal ... I knew it was a big town ... but a town so large that the war seems to have missed (some of) it at least for the moment? Support is probably inversely proportional to wealth and prosperity. If you didn't have squat and/or were persecuted, you're probably all in. If you're watching lovely neighborhood getting shelled by one side or the other and facing the prospect of being pushed out of your cushy existence into a refugee tent (if you're lucky), ... probably not so much.

Regardless of reservations on arming an unknown force, the U.S. could probably rack up a bunch of good will by doing the U.N.s job and getting things like food, shelter, fuel and medicine trucked in before it starts getting cold. I doubt that Turkey would resist such an effort ... a mass of freezing, starving refugees on your border is never a good thing. The Russians and Chinese are certainly going to see to it that the regime supporters in places like Damascus have plenty of creature comforts in place for winter. If the opposition turns into a cluster f*ck of starvation, disease and pestilance, we all know exactly who will get the blame (regardless of our involvement ... and especially for the lack thereof). Best to keep their revolt from becoming truly revolting.

Regarding #1 above, I would expect that the bulk of the arms are flowing through Iraq ... not Turkey ... the straightest line from Qatar and SA to Syria does not go through Turkey. It would be an inconvenient detour both geographically and politically. Turkey and the U.S. are dithering ... Clinton/Erdogan & Co. are still working on 'contingencies' ... it's doubtful that they've green lighted the 'bullet' train just yet.
"Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard."
-- Henry Mencken
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#27
You must be having a real problem with your browser, or ISP. I've been noticing a lot of double posts lately, and one or two triple posts.
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
"INSIDE EVERY PROGRESSIVE IS A TOTALITARIAN SCREAMING TO GET OUT" - David Horowitz

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#28
(08-14-2012, 10:32 PM)John L Wrote: You must be having a real problem with your browser, or ISP. I've been noticing a lot of double posts lately, and one or two triple posts.

Sorry, thanks for cleaning up if you've had to. I try to police my junk when it happens. I'll try to get it troubleshot. S10
"Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard."
-- Henry Mencken
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#29
(08-14-2012, 11:15 PM)mr_yak Wrote:
(08-14-2012, 10:32 PM)John L Wrote: You must be having a real problem with your browser, or ISP. I've been noticing a lot of double posts lately, and one or two triple posts.

Sorry, thanks for cleaning up if you've had to. I try to police my junk when it happens. I'll try to get it troubleshot. S10

I always leave the last one, in case you do as I do: edit afterward.
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
"INSIDE EVERY PROGRESSIVE IS A TOTALITARIAN SCREAMING TO GET OUT" - David Horowitz

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#30
Reading the LA Times piece, it's clear the people of Aleppo don't want this bunch of rebels in their city. That means the state forces will win this fight there anyway.

I think they'll win it in Damascus as well. Probably the areas in between will be contentious for sometime.
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#31
(08-15-2012, 12:21 PM)Palladin Wrote: Reading the LA Times piece, it's clear the people of Aleppo don't want this bunch of rebels in their city. That means the state forces will win this fight there anyway.

It's primarily the richer city enclaves that remain less than amused. If you read the comments about "bad timing" ... it sounds like they would mostly be just fine with Assad gone ... they just don't want the mess to spill over into their own neighborhoods. I'm not sure exactly what such people would bring to a fight ... they mostly just want to avoid it ... and good luck with that. If Assad's war planes and tanks decide that the the wealthier districts are 'expendable' expect public opinion to change on a dime.
"Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard."
-- Henry Mencken
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#32
I agree. The days of the Assad dynasty are probably over with, I doubt most Syrians want a "revolutionary" government. The place has been a good place for minorities to live historically.
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#33
(08-15-2012, 08:51 PM)Palladin Wrote: I agree. The days of the Assad dynasty are probably over with, I doubt most Syrians want a "revolutionary" government. The place has been a good place for minorities to live historically.

Doubtful that they really want an militant Islamist government either. But the prospect becomes increasing likely as the 'strangers' stream in and get a foothold. There's enough smart educated folks that know where that road leads ... and I would figure it's becoming a real worry. It would take some pretty decisive action to limit the foreign militants influence by bringing things to a swift conclusion ... or at least one that that doesn't involve a protracted bloody insurgent driven slaughter. But it seems the world is pretty much out of fresh ideas these days. One glimmer of hope lies in the potential that Assad has hopefully learned from his "Arab Spring" predecessors and won't be likely to hang around for a bitter sticky end ... as long as he has the option of slipping away for an extended visit to his Russian benefactors. It would make sense to make him and his entourage as bitterly uncomfortable as possible. Too bad that job seems to have mainly have fallen on the foreign Kamikaze.
"Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard."
-- Henry Mencken
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#34
Libyan fighters join Syrian revolt

Cool!
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#35
ROTFLMAO

AP Wrote:An emergency layover in Syria's capital was bad enough. Then passengers on Air France Flight 562 were asked to open their wallets to check if they had enough cash to pay for more fuel.
link

Seriousely how can you take the decision for an emergency landing ...in a country where war rages on?
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#36
Here is Stratfor's report on the Syria-Turkish gambit: Turkey's Challenge and the Syrian Negotiation
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
"INSIDE EVERY PROGRESSIVE IS A TOTALITARIAN SCREAMING TO GET OUT" - David Horowitz

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#37
I figured I would bring this more up to date with this tidbit.

(So Called)US-backed coalition seizes major dam in northern Syria from Islamic State group

Quote:A U.S.-backed coalition of rebels in Syria — including Syrian Kurdish, Arab and Christian groups — has captured a major dam on the Euphrates River in the north from the Islamic State group.

The coalition, known as Syria Democratic Forces, seized the Tishrin Dam on Saturday as part of its offensive aimed at cutting supply lines between IS strongholds in northern Syria.

The Tishrin Dam supplies much off northern Syria with electricity.

An SDF spokesman told AP earlier this week that his forces are also trying to cut the supply lines between the Islamic State's de-facto capital of Raqqa and the group's stronghold of Manbij in northern Syria.

The SDF, dominated by the Kurdish militia in Syria known as YPG, or People's Protection Units, has become a main force in fighting IS.

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Tishri...d2162dc7ae

Obviously this is not the anti-Assad forces that MacDaddy has been giving half-hearted support, mainly led by the Kurdish YPG(People's Protection Units), along with Assyrians and Yazidis, which expelled ISIS out of Kobani just months ago. Obviously they are on the move, and have decided to remain east of the Euphrates River, which is probably smart. If they can consolidate all the northern and eastern portion of Syria, and portions of Iraq next to there, they will have quite a say in what the final result will be.
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
"INSIDE EVERY PROGRESSIVE IS A TOTALITARIAN SCREAMING TO GET OUT" - David Horowitz

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#38
The Kurds should be given part of Syria and Iraq so they can form their own country, they have earned it.
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#39
Justice being served in Syria

[Image: g5__700.jpg]
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
"INSIDE EVERY PROGRESSIVE IS A TOTALITARIAN SCREAMING TO GET OUT" - David Horowitz

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#40
That's who Turkey hates in Syria worst, the YPG. I don't think they have the numbers to control a large enough area. It's good they are helping out any effort against expanding Saudi Arabia into Syria.
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