View Poll Results: Syria?

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Thread: We're All Syrian Rebels Now!

  1. #1
    Senior Member AJBIGJ's Avatar
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    We're All Syrian Rebels Now!

    Your opinions on our military involvement in Syria?
    "The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the Constitution so the second will not become the legalized version of the first." ~ Thomas Jefferson

    It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood.
    James Madison

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    Senior Member efmbman's Avatar
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    Re: We're All Syrian Rebels Now!

    We should stay out of it. It is their problem, not ours.
    When things go wrong in your command, start searching for the reason in increasingly larger concentric circles around your own desk.
    -GEN Bruce C. Clarke

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    Senior Member RFScott's Avatar
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    Re: We're All Syrian Rebels Now!

    It would be nice to not have yet another protracted conflict in the Middle East. I just saw that President Obama will be making an address on the Syria situation at 1:15 eastern....standby to standby...

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    Re: We're All Syrian Rebels Now!

    I guess what I want to know is what "compelling national interest" would justify military intervention? I can't think of one that is important enough to get involved.

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    Senior Member efmbman's Avatar
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    Re: We're All Syrian Rebels Now!

    Quote Originally Posted by RFScott View Post
    It would be nice to not have yet another protracted conflict in the Middle East. I just saw that President Obama will be making an address on the Syria situation at 1:15 eastern....standby to standby...
    He is trapped now, and he earned it. He made the "don't cross the red line" threat... then they crossed it... now what? The worst part is that he will not pay the price for poor diplomacy - our troops will.
    When things go wrong in your command, start searching for the reason in increasingly larger concentric circles around your own desk.
    -GEN Bruce C. Clarke

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    Senior Member RFScott's Avatar
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    Re: We're All Syrian Rebels Now!

    Quote Originally Posted by efmbman View Post
    He is trapped now, and he earned it. He made the "don't cross the red line" threat... then they crossed it... now what? The worst part is that he will not pay the price for poor diplomacy - our troops will.
    Very true. Assad (or someone in Syria) called his bluff and now he is going to have to follow through with punitive action or risk living up to the cries of him being soft. It will be interesting to see if Syria follows through with their threat to attack Israel, should the U.S. proceed with strikes.

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    Senior Member AJBIGJ's Avatar
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    Re: We're All Syrian Rebels Now!

    Quote Originally Posted by RFScott View Post
    Very true. Assad (or someone in Syria) called his bluff and now he is going to have to follow through with punitive action or risk living up to the cries of him being soft. It will be interesting to see if Syria follows through with their threat to attack Israel, should the U.S. proceed with strikes.
    What's worse, I'm pretty sure he'll just ignore The Congress entirely, knowing full well they will stop this cold or at least defer it until most of the conflict is being wrapped up. This would be one of those situations where I don't mind seeing politicians be obstinate, even if it's not their ideologies driving the bus. He'll do the usual antics, he'll go in anyways and by the time Congress threatens the purse strings, our involvement will have so much momentum that it wouldn't be politically expedient for those obstinate types to vote for that, only the ideologues will vote. Reminds me of somewhere else we were recently!
    "The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the Constitution so the second will not become the legalized version of the first." ~ Thomas Jefferson

    It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood.
    James Madison

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    Senior Member Absinthe Anecdote's Avatar
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    Re: We're All Syrian Rebels Now!

    This is a pretty good article on the issue and I would be surprised if we do anything more than cruise missile strikes against their air defense system and perhaps a bombing campaign to take out their aircraft inventory.



    Tripping on His Own Red Line?

    The New York Times

    August 31, 2013
    DAVID E. SANGER


    WASHINGTON — IT started with just 20 words, intended to keep Barack Obama out of a war. The tens of thousands dying in Syria was a global tragedy, he told reporters a year ago, when the worst horrors were still months away, but as commander in chief he had to focus on American strategic interests and could not intervene in every humanitarian tragedy around the world.

    Then he offered his one caveat. “A red line for us,” he said, “is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized.”

    A year later, a president famously inclined to disentangle himself from the Middle East now finds himself trapped by that seemingly simple declaration. To do nothing in the face of images of children killed by poison gas would cripple his credibility in the last three years of his presidency. As Secretary of State John Kerry said on Friday, in making the case for a military strike, “it matters if nothing is done,” not least because of the signal it sends to the Iranians, the North Koreans and others who are measuring Mr. Obama’s willingness to enforce other red lines on far worse weapons. For those countries, it remains an open question — even after the drone strikes against terrorists and cyberattacks on nuclear facilities — if a president elected to get America out of wars is willing to take the huge risks of enforcing his lines in the sand.

    Yet the sharply limited goals Mr. Obama has described in explaining his rationale for taking military action now — “a shot across the bow” to halt future chemical attacks, he told PBS — pose risks of their own. If President Bashar al-Assad emerges from a few days of Tomahawk missile barrages relatively unscathed, he will be able to claim that he faced down not only his domestic opponents but the United States, which he has charged is the secret hand behind the uprising.

    In the words of one recently departed senior adviser to Mr. Obama, “the worst outcome would be making Assad look stronger.”

    How did Mr. Obama find himself in this trap? Partly, it was an accident of history: in the early, heady days of the Arab uprisings, no one bet that Mr. Assad would survive this long, in a country where his Alawite sect is a minority.

    But there is an argument that Mr. Obama’s own caution about foreign interventions put him in this box. Horrific as the Aug. 21 chemical weapons attack was, it was no more horrific than the conventional attacks that caused the deaths of 100,000 Syrians. Those prompted only a minimal American response — international condemnations, some sporadic arms shipments for a ragtag group of rebels, and an understandable reluctance by an American president to get on the same side of the civil war as Al Nusra Front, an affiliate of Al Qaeda.


    Now the crossing of the red line has forced Mr. Obama’s hand. He says he is intervening to stop the use of a specific weapon whose use in World War I shocked the world. But he is not intervening to stop the mass killing, or to remove the man behind those attacks. “This is not like the Bush decision in 2003,” Benjamin J. Rhodes, a deputy national security adviser, said on Thursday. “That intervention was aimed at regime change. This is designed to restore an international norm” against the use of poison gases.

    It is a major difference. But the limitation on the use of force may also prove a paralyzing one, undercutting the long-term success of the application of American firepower. That has been the chief critique of those who argue that the only thing worse than getting America entangled in another Arab uprising whose inner dynamics we barely understand is to get involved in one and make no difference. “The argument has been that you can do a strike, call it a day, and say, ‘We taught them a lesson,’ ” said Eliot A. Cohen, a Johns Hopkins professor of strategic studies who wrote “Supreme Command,” about the uneasy relationship between presidents and the militaries they direct. “I fear it will be a symbolic use of power,” added Mr. Cohen, who served as a counselor to Condoleezza Rice when she was secretary of state.


    MR. OBAMA does not seem to share the same fear, or at least he does not give voice to that concern. He told his staff during recent Situation Room meetings as American naval and air power was moved into the eastern Mediterranean that no United States intervention would alter the long-term balance of power in the Syrian civil war. That was the bitter lesson of the Iraq and Afghan wars for Mr. Obama: any American president who thinks that, by dint of force or example, he can change the nature of societies is bound for a comeuppance. For him, that was the fatal flaw of the George W. Bush presidency, an unquestioning belief that once America defeats a dictator, a newly freed populace will step in to shape the wreckage into a country more in the American image.

    That was a bad bet in Iraq and a worse one, Mr. Obama has argued, in Syria. It explains why, when he justified the Libya intervention in 2011 on humanitarian grounds, he was quick to explain that the United States could not move to oust every despot — only the ones, he seemed to suggest, who could be ousted with minimal risks to Americans.

    But Syria looks nothing like Libya. It cannot be won from the air, or with missile strikes. Thus Mr. Obama’s insistence that any action in Syria has to be divorced from the civil war that has torn the country to shreds. Instead, the president wants to fight on territory more directly linked to American interests: the notion that once weapons of mass destruction are used in ordinary conflict, the potential for disaster — for America, and certainly for its allies and partners on Syria’s borders — rises dramatically.

    That is an easier policy to explain to a war-weary public and offers a way for the president to exercise a version of his “light footprint” strategy (the fight-at-a-distance strategy behind drones and cyberweapons) without getting mired in another Middle East nightmare.

    The problem, of course, is that many conflicts don’t lend themselves to light footprints. Mr. Assad has already survived in office for two years since the president declared that he must go. And at some point, it becomes hard to separate the use of chemical weapons from the dictator who, as an American intelligence briefer told reporters on Friday, sees chemical weapons as just one more bullet in his arsenal.

    “A lot of people, including some in the administration, think that the chemical warfare argument is an excuse to get Assad himself,” said Christopher R. Hill, Mr. Obama’s first ambassador to Iraq, and now dean of the Korbel School at the University of Denver. Among them, without doubt, is Mr. Assad himself, who is unlikely to reconsider the value of international treaties.

    The chief Washington correspondent for The New York Times.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Absinthe Anecdote's Avatar
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    Re: We're All Syrian Rebels Now!

    Nice!

    He just punted the ball over to Congress.

    Smart, now he can blame them.

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    Re: We're All Syrian Rebels Now!

    Quote Originally Posted by Absinthe Anecdote View Post
    Nice!

    He just punted the ball over to Congress.

    Smart, now he can blame them.
    For a second I thought he grew a set of balls... Then he went from tough guy to "but I won't make the call congress will eventually"
    Disclaimer: All names, dates and locations have been changed in order to protect the guilty.

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