Syria

bisleybisley Senior MemberPosts: 9,655 Senior Member
It looks like we are about to charge into Syria, based on the belief that Assad has used chemical weapons on women and children. That seems to be the consensus, but it hasn't been proved, nor has the previous chemical attack, for which we attacked with cruise missiles. Both sides of the conflict have access to the chemicals, and who stands to gain from using them? It seems logical that it would benefit the enemies of Assad, to have us come in and wipe out his air force and artillery assets. Why would Assad use chemical weapons in this way, knowing it might provoke a huge military response from us?

I have no problem with doing harm to Assad, but I don't want to be suckered into a civil war between two (or more) entities that are equally bad. Where is the US interest? Both sides hate our guts, and will not be our friends if we take out their enemies. As far as avenging the innocents killed, how is this any worse than the atrocities being carried out all over the Middle East?

As far as supporting our ally in the region, Israel, how will removing one tyrant, at great cost, and replacing him with another, benefit anyone?

Very confusing - looks like a no-win to me.
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Comments

  • FisheadgibFisheadgib Senior Member Posts: 4,954 Senior Member
    bisley said:
    It looks like we are about to charge into Syria, based on the belief that Assad has used chemical weapons on women and children. That seems to be the consensus, but it hasn't been proved, nor has the previous chemical attack, for which we attacked with cruise missiles.

    We had sent those cruise missles to the point of origin of those chemical weapons, we didn't just randomly fire weapons into Syria based on an unfounded guess. We have the capability to determine every aspect of a weapon like what had been used from the agent to the delivery system and the location of the launch so I don't get where you think "it hasn't been proved".
    snake284 wrote: »
    For my point of view, cpj is a lot like me
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  • DanChamberlainDanChamberlain Senior Member Posts: 2,923 Senior Member
    What concerns me more, is the fact that we used to have a country where we believed - at least when it came to enemies - that we were being told the truth.  This wasn't a huge attack as far as chemical weapons are concerned. It's entirely possible, this was meant to draw us in.  Who wants us fighting the Syrians (who are backed by Russians?) Who "wants" us mired in another middle east war? There will be the culprit. 
    It's a source of great pride for me, that when my name is googled, one finds book titles and not mug shots. Daniel C. Chamberlain
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 9,655 Senior Member
    bisley said:
    It looks like we are about to charge into Syria, based on the belief that Assad has used chemical weapons on women and children. That seems to be the consensus, but it hasn't been proved, nor has the previous chemical attack, for which we attacked with cruise missiles.

    We had sent those cruise missles to the point of origin of those chemical weapons, we didn't just randomly fire weapons into Syria based on an unfounded guess. We have the capability to determine every aspect of a weapon like what had been used from the agent to the delivery system and the location of the launch so I don't get where you think "it hasn't been proved".
    We sent the missiles at the Syrian government's supply of chemical weapons, true. That doesn't mean that we knew for sure who pulled the trigger on the chemical weapons. I supported that strike, based on the likelihood that it was Assad, and if it wasn't, who cares? He deserved it, anyway.

    This is different, in that this strike will likely be massive, using bombers, and probably with some Russians getting killed, and likely some US military casualties. Also, it seems stupid for Assad to precipitate such an attack, unless desperate, which he wasn't.

    I'm just concerned that this coming attack is the opening volley that signals an escalation of the war into a regime change in Syria. On the one hand, we have been helping Assad by annihilating ISIS, and on the other hand we fight Assad whenever we have an excuse. Who do we want to win? They are all enemies.
  • DanChamberlainDanChamberlain Senior Member Posts: 2,923 Senior Member
    No one in the middle east is our ally, except Israel. Every one of them hate us. 
    It's a source of great pride for me, that when my name is googled, one finds book titles and not mug shots. Daniel C. Chamberlain
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 444 Member
    Most likely, targets of opportunity will be hit by air.

    Not even an overzealous hawk like Bolton will throw the Republicans under the political bus with troop deployments.

    I think.
  • sgtrock21sgtrock21 Senior Member Posts: 1,276 Senior Member
    No one in the middle east is our ally, except Israel. Every one of them hate us. 

    Israel looks out for Israel first. Never forget that.
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 12,551 Senior Member
    sgtrock21 said:

    Israel looks out for Israel first. Never forget that.
    There's a difference between being an ally and altruism.
    Overkill is underrated.
  • BAMAAKBAMAAK Senior Member Posts: 3,954 Senior Member
    The Russians are gathering all kinds of intelligence operating in the same area as us.  They would love to draw some F-35s into action there to observe their capabilities and strategies.
    "He only earns his freedom and his life Who takes them every day by storm."

    -- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German writer and politician
  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 8,967 Senior Member
    sgtrock21 said:
    No one in the middle east is our ally, except Israel. Every one of them hate us. 

    Israel looks out for Israel first. Never forget that.
    Every country should look out for themselves first.  It’s when they don’t that things start getting out of kilter.
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 21,468 Senior Member
    Israeli jets used missiles to hit some targets in Syria the other day. Rumor has it that we supplied the intel and the target location for them.
    They are a good ally and friendly nation towards us. We should not EVER abandon them. And speaking of Israel, have any of you heard the antics of the Palestinians the last few weeks? They burned a few thousand tires at the Gaza Strip/Israeli border and threw rocks and Molotov cocktails at the Israeli forces. Tried to cut through the border fence, too. They want to take back all the land now known as Israel. Palestinian leaders were on hand, holding babies as human shields, to watch the antics.

    As to Syria and Assad, you need a good scorecard to keep up with the players. Iran is backing ISIS and other fringe groups fighting Assad and everybody else, Russia is backing Assad, and we are fighting ISIS and Assad forces. And there are other interests in the area that hate everybody else and just try to kill whoever shows up. And Israel is getting some action from the pooheads like ISIS and Hamas that are probing the border from time to time.
    Odd that the Main Stream Lame Stream Media isn't reporting on the goings-on in Israel seeing as how Israel is one of their favorite 'whipping boys' and the Palestinians are their media darlings.
    A double action revolver is a semiauto firearm. It fires once for every trigger pull.



  • centermass556centermass556 Senior Member Posts: 3,375 Senior Member

    Frankly, We screwed this up from the start, and from there it has gone down hill at a pace we couldn't have predicted.

    The Obama Administration had credible evidence that showed Abu Baghdadi was building influence and support, but the administration insisted on the accelerated withdraw from the region. That was our first big mistake.

    Assad was not always a Bad guy. If you trace this thing back to the start, you would probably agree with what he did. In the aftermath of the Arab spring in the North African Arab countries, Many other Arab nation leaders were on watch for it coming their country. A group of young adults and teenagers were spreading Arab Spring Propaganda, in the form of graffiti and other vandalism, around Damascus. Assad brought a heavy hand and had them arrested. While in custody, one died. That was the only thing that was needed to start the process in Syria. Syria became unhinged, Assad panicked, Assad further panicked when the US choice to back the Rebels instead of the legitimate government currently in power.

    Now I can't excuse the use of Chemical weapons on his own people, but it is not as if we can take the high road considering the atrocities we committed in the Civil war and against some of the Native American tribes.

    But, I will tell you, I believe 100% we missed the opportunity to build a bridge with Russia. Assad has always been Iran's and Russia's man. If we would have went in together with Russia, to help Assad, we could have kept a handle on the chemical weapons. We also could have squashed the rebels and ISIS, together.

    Since then, we have only further exasperated the issue. While we have done a great job of killing ISIS, and I all for that, we have also done a great job arming the rebels that are helping ISIS. We have also done a great job of working against Russia and further destabilizing the country. Iran is thought to be supporting ISIS, but the connection is thin. The tie is from some of the early support ISIS received from Hamas. But, there is no conclusive proof to show that it was Iranian directed and not Hamas acting unilaterally...Which they have been known to do - A lot.

    I see this going very badly.  

    "To have really lived, you must have almost died. To those who have fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected will never know."
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 9,655 Senior Member
    ...Now I can't excuse the use of Chemical weapons on his own people, but it is not as if we can take the high road considering the atrocities we committed in the Civil war and against some of the Native American tribes.

    But, I will tell you, I believe 100% we missed the opportunity to build a bridge with Russia. Assad has always been Iran's and Russia's man. If we would have went in together with Russia, to help Assad, we could have kept a handle on the chemical weapons. We also could have squashed the rebels and ISIS, together...

    When it gets to the point where we are making this sort of rationalizations, we have truly lost our way.

    I understand the concept of supporting a dictator that maintains order and a balance of power with other less stable regimes. The problem is that when that dictator crushes the opposition in his own country to maintain power, the American public sees the images and are then easily manipulated by opportunistic politicians who are quick to blame the politicians that helped prop up the evil dictator. It is a no-win for us. Russia can do it, and has done it for decades, with their realpolitik approach to foreign policy. But we can't do it, and can't ally ourselves with anyone else who does it, because it is political suicide for any leader to be seen as oblivious to civilian atrocities.

    The American public no longer has the patience needed to 'win the peace.' We succeeded with that after WWII, with Japan and Germany, because we stayed and governed them for most of a generation, after defeating them militarily. But, they had to be absolutely crushed, first, and that meant killing thousands of civilians, in the process. Much of that was kept from the public for years, and that made it possible. It is no longer possible.
  • centermass556centermass556 Senior Member Posts: 3,375 Senior Member

    That's just it though....prior to this, Assad was dictator. He was actually trying to move Syria forward. There were no atrocities prior to the outbreak of war.


    And believe or not, we turn a lot of blind eyes to things around the world with people we call allies. Especially here in this part of the world. Folks that are worse than Assad. But, it doesn't make the news.

    "To have really lived, you must have almost died. To those who have fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected will never know."
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 9,655 Senior Member
    I still cannot understand why Assad would use chemical weapons at this time, when the President has said he wants to pull out of Syria. Is he that much of an idiot? All he had to do was sit tight until we left, and then he could do whatever he wanted.

    It seems that the strategists are baffled by this, but nobody questions that he did it. Does anybody doubt that the rebels would do it to their own people if it would precipitate a massive attack on Assad? With all of the factions involved, the possibilities are endless.

    Also, I can't see what there is in attacking him that will benefit the US.
  • centermass556centermass556 Senior Member Posts: 3,375 Senior Member
    Some of the news sources I have seen says Assad denies it and wants the UN to investigate the matter. I have long thought that the Syrian Rebels had possession of some of the Chemical Stash, mostly because it is a great propaganda tool and ISIS ended up with Chemical weapons too. The connection between the Rebels we have armed and supported and ISIS is pretty concrete. It is one of the reasons Iran and Assad keep saying that we are on the terrorist side. 

    Reports say a Bomb was dropped on a building, and after it exploded a yellow cloud appeared. It is very possible the bomb hit a rebel cache that head the weapon. But, some of it doesn't add up. One plane? One Bomb? That is not how bombing runs are conducted. I can't think of any air force that flies one plane at a time and only uses ordinance once. 

    But, since ABC and Nightline had pictures of dead children on the news, we can't turn a blind eye to it. Something has to be done. It just depends on what line we are willing to cross with the Russians to do it. 

    I find it funny that we are still accusing Trump of colluding with the country that we are about to stand toe 2 toe with. It is kinda like saying Russia got Trump elected so that we could go war - cold or hot.
    "To have really lived, you must have almost died. To those who have fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected will never know."
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 17,913 Senior Member

    Our misadventure with trying to establish democracy in Iraq should have proved that the only way to achieve stability (not necessarily "peace") in the middle east is to install and support some sort of authoritarian government that dances to the tune we play.  It's impossible to change thousands of years of history, and that's what the people in all the sandbox countries are accustomed to dealing with.  They simply have no concept of "freedom" as we know it. 

    Jerry

      

    Hide and wail in terror, Eloi- - - -We Morlocks are on the hunt!
    ASK-HOLE Someone who asks for advice and always does something opposite
  • centermass556centermass556 Senior Member Posts: 3,375 Senior Member
    edited April 11 #19
    Teach said:

    Our misadventure with trying to establish democracy in Iraq should have proved that the only way to achieve stability (not necessarily "peace") in the middle east is to install and support some sort of authoritarian government that dances to the tune we play.  It's impossible to change thousands of years of history, and that's what the people in all the sandbox countries are accustomed to dealing with.  They simply have no concept of "freedom" as we know it. 

    Jerry

      

    Bingo - And we have done it other parts of the world. Panama is one example.

    The one thing I have learned in my Career is that when you have a melting pot of people trying to live together sometimes you need a Democratic Republic and sometimes you need a Tito. I was told that real early in my career by a Team Leader. We were doing a weapons storage inventory just outside of Brko, one of my first times as an RTO, and the Captain looked and me and said " you know what, sometimes the world needs a Tito and we need to learn that." It wasn't until my third tour to Iraq that I realized what that actually meant. 

    I think Assad could have been that guy. He was already a moderate in the region before stuff became unhinged. 

    Here is a good run down of Syria - 

    https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2013/12/understanding-syria-from-pre-civil-war-to-post-assad/281989/
    "To have really lived, you must have almost died. To those who have fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected will never know."
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 13,530 Senior Member


    Now I can't excuse the use of Chemical weapons on his own people, but it is not as if we can take the high road considering the atrocities we committed in the Civil war and against some of the Native American tribes.


    I always enjoy reading your thoughts on these subjects...they are most always insightful, intelligent and we'll written, which is why I was quite surprised to see the above.....
    Viewing historical events through a filter of modern morals and standards is pointless....it was a vastly different time with vastly different thinking...and to continue flogging ourselves for the actions of those long dead people is...well...stupid...."WE" had nothing to do with it. Other than providing an opportunity to learn what we probably ought not to do, it's in the past and there is nothing, absolutely nothing, that can be done about it.
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • FFLshooterFFLshooter Member Posts: 271 Member
    Call me cold and callas, but I could care less what happens outside of our 50. It’s high time that we stay to ourselves and mind our business from things that don’t directly threaten us. I’m one of the folks that thinks if we’re gonna fiddle around over there, turn it to glass and be done with it. Turn them further into the Stone Age. They’ll rebuild and maybe the world can relax in the couple hundred years it takes them to.
  • NCFUBARNCFUBAR Senior Member Posts: 4,173 Senior Member



    “The further a society drifts from truth ... the more it will hate those who speak it."
    - George Orwell
  • centermass556centermass556 Senior Member Posts: 3,375 Senior Member
    Jayhawker said:


    Now I can't excuse the use of Chemical weapons on his own people, but it is not as if we can take the high road considering the atrocities we committed in the Civil war and against some of the Native American tribes.


    I always enjoy reading your thoughts on these subjects...they are most always insightful, intelligent and we'll written, which is why I was quite surprised to see the above.....
    Viewing historical events through a filter of modern morals and standards is pointless....it was a vastly different time with vastly different thinking...and to continue flogging ourselves for the actions of those long dead people is...well...stupid...."WE" had nothing to do with it. Other than providing an opportunity to learn what we probably ought not to do, it's in the past and there is nothing, absolutely nothing, that can be done about it.


    Yeah, I'm not sure where I was going with that. I think I had a thought and got derailed while at work - Other than to say Civil Wars and National Interests can bring out the worst in people.

    I agree though, it's in our closest but we have come a long way from there. It is not applicable to who we are today.  It would be different if was something we were continually doing.

    "To have really lived, you must have almost died. To those who have fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected will never know."
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 9,655 Senior Member
    I was not against going to war against Saddam Hussein because I believed it was foolish to wage all out war in Afghanistan and leave Saddam Hussein in our rear. I wasn't even against the nation building idea in Iraq, because I was thinking of the way Japan was influenced after WWII, and believed that similar action would have made Iraq an example of democracy for all of the Middle East to see.

    Obviously, I was naive to to think that the American public had the patience to occupy Iraq for a generation, or to believe GW Bush had the fortitude to withstand the unrelenting attacks from the left. We won the war, but our government had no stomach for what it would have taken to win the peace, which basically would have required us to run the government with a military governor for about 20 years - enough so that a new generation of young people would take the reins of power, after being taught by American GI's.

    Now, I have seen the folly of that half-hearted effort, bolstered by the evidence of what happened in Libya after taking out their strongman and leaving a power vacuum for the various terror groups to fight over. Syria will be no different, and there will be no end to it.

    Meanwhile, we have huge problems to deal with elsewhere, like NK, our southern border, a 20 trillion dollar deficit, a huge trade deficit with hostile countries, and most of all, the fact that somewhere around half of our voting population favors socialism over capitalism and anarchy over the Constitution.
  • centermass556centermass556 Senior Member Posts: 3,375 Senior Member
    bisley said:
    I was not against going to war against Saddam Hussein because I believed it was foolish to wage all out war in Afghanistan and leave Saddam Hussein in our rear. I wasn't even against the nation building idea in Iraq, because I was thinking of the way Japan was influenced after WWII, and believed that similar action would have made Iraq an example of democracy for all of the Middle East to see.

    Obviously, I was naive to to think that the American public had the patience to occupy Iraq for a generation, or to believe GW Bush had the fortitude to withstand the unrelenting attacks from the left. We won the war, but our government had no stomach for what it would have taken to win the peace, which basically would have required us to run the government with a military governor for about 20 years - enough so that a new generation of young people would take the reins of power, after being taught by American GI's.

    Now, I have seen the folly of that half-hearted effort, bolstered by the evidence of what happened in Libya after taking out their strongman and leaving a power vacuum for the various terror groups to fight over. Syria will be no different, and there will be no end to it.

    Meanwhile, we have huge problems to deal with elsewhere, like NK, our southern border, a 20 trillion dollar deficit, a huge trade deficit with hostile countries, and most of all, the fact that somewhere around half of our voting population favors socialism over capitalism and anarchy over the Constitution.


    We were moving in the right direction in Iraq, but there is no way we would have put the entire puzzle together until we realized what was needed there. I believed in what we were doing in Iraq. Every time I went back to Iraq I saw progress., but it was not sustainable or maintainable progress without a heavy hand there to make it so. We were the heavy hand. I can't name a truly democratic country here in this area of the world. Even our "friends/Allies" of the region rule with more of a  authoritarian flavor, and are only democratic in name.

    And you are right. To fight an Insurgency, and properly install a government, History says it is a 10-12 operation. Bosnia is outlier and that happened far quicker than what folks thought it would have. Iraq would have easily taken 12-15 years.

    "To have really lived, you must have almost died. To those who have fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected will never know."
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 9,655 Senior Member
    A military governor could have hired and fired, regardless of whether the 'hiree' was Shiite or Sunni, thereby smoking out the Iranian influence and simply choosing people that would do what he said. The religious zealots would have had to find another venue, and could have been rooted out along with the insurgents. It might have worked.
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 17,913 Senior Member

    I was a little disappointed when GWB didn't bulldoze a path through Syria and Iraq to establish a stable supply route to challenge and ultimately neutralize Iran.  Trying to support our occupation troops with a tenuous and ineffective overland route through Pakistan after Turkey refused us passage was downright foolish and exposed our support efforts to more danger than was acceptable.  If the port facilities of Syria had been commandeered, either through diplomatic pressure or by force, it would have been a lot simpler to establish a direct route for arms, ammo, and other logistics to support our eventual goal- - - - -giving the mullahs in Iran immediate access to their 72 Virginians!  As long as they are there, any effort to stabilize the region is doomed to failure.

    Jerry

        

    Hide and wail in terror, Eloi- - - -We Morlocks are on the hunt!
    ASK-HOLE Someone who asks for advice and always does something opposite
  • DanChamberlainDanChamberlain Senior Member Posts: 2,923 Senior Member
    I was a little disappointed Colin Powell convinced Herbert Walker Bush to stop killing Iraqis on the Highway of Death. The troops should never have stopped at the border. We had them running, we had them dying and we had them surrendering. Done correctly in 1990, 9/11 would never have happened. 
    It's a source of great pride for me, that when my name is googled, one finds book titles and not mug shots. Daniel C. Chamberlain
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 17,913 Senior Member

    Good point- - - -a war is won when the other side is annihilated- - - -not reeling.


    "I am a little wounded- - - - -I am not slain

    I shall lie myself down to bleed awhile- - - -

    Then rise, to strive with thee again!"


    Hide and wail in terror, Eloi- - - -We Morlocks are on the hunt!
    ASK-HOLE Someone who asks for advice and always does something opposite
  • shushshush Senior Member Posts: 5,924 Senior Member
    Teach said:

    Good point- - - -a war is won when the other side is annihilated- - - -not reeling.


    "I am a little wounded- - - - -I am not slain

    I shall lie myself down to bleed awhile- - - -

    Then rise, to strive with thee again!"


    He never did "rise"

    "My lord Howard took sword in his hand,
    And smote off Sir Andrew's head;
    The Scots stood by and did weep and mourn,
    But never a word durst speak or say."

    cjp wrote: »

    ..... Oh dear God, I've admitted to liking something Limey.I'll never hear the end of this.

    Jayhawker wrote: »

    ...But seriously Shush....

     


  • centermass556centermass556 Senior Member Posts: 3,375 Senior Member
    I was a little disappointed Colin Powell convinced Herbert Walker Bush to stop killing Iraqis on the Highway of Death. The troops should never have stopped at the border. We had them running, we had them dying and we had them surrendering. Done correctly in 1990, 9/11 would never have happened


    That's not a true statement by any stretch. The 9/11 attacks were conducted by AQ. AQ was not in Iraq until after 2002, and then it was splinter organization known as AQI (Al Qaeda in Iraq). AQ was started in Afghanistan under OBL in 1988. In 1992 OBL moved operations to Sudan and stayed there until 1996. He then moved back to Afghanistan and stayed there under we chased them out to Pakistan. If anything, strengthening the our presence in SWA 1990 and completely conquering Iraq at that time, would have accelerated the timeline of the AQ attacks. It would have been feeding directly into the grassroots propaganda that OBL was preaching.

    Interestingly AQ and the Taliban are struggling with ISIS in Afghanistan. AQ and the Taliban can't afford to lose Afghanistan, it is their Narco-terrorism center of gravity. Very much in the same way the Hezbollah has turned to the Columbians. ISIS wants in on the deal and has been sluggin it out with the TB and AQ for control of the drugs. This war here has almost completely morphed into a drug war.

    "To have really lived, you must have almost died. To those who have fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected will never know."
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