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Another unnecessary war?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Oct 2013 at 18:11
Originally posted by lirelou lirelou wrote:

Constantine: in regards t this:  "The UN report still leaves room for doubt. This is not the first time we have been told about WMDs only to have been deceived. We also need to ask the question of whether Assad ordered their use or whether that order was given by someone else without his knowledge (which many consider a likely scenario)

Well the nature of WMD security and handling will always leave room for doubt. Saddam knew that when he kept up the appearance of having WMD while getting rid of them. Even dictators have to cater to their base of support. However I find your grasping at the possibility that Assad did not order their use to border on the absurd. How can you have so blatantly misjudged the nature of this regime? This was not deciding who would clean some remote garrison's toilets. This was a decision that had to be made at the very top. If you cannot see that, then with all due respect for your many excellent posts, you should do very well counting angels on the heads of pins.

Then we simply disagree on the extent to which the head of state actually exercises supreme control over the actual employ of the nation's stockpile of WMDs. I doubt Liz II will really have much of a a say when push comes to shove in a winner takes all international stouch. Remember that not all Heads of State are as powerful as the US Pres. An uncle of Bashar can authorise strikes without his say so, I am convinced of this.

Perhaps I am simply a silly and inexperienced youngester lacking your grasp of the situation in Syria as only a connsumate man of the world such as you possesses. But you entered this discussion on a distinctly emotional tone: let's ignore our self interest and get involved despite the lack of an apparent strategic interest. I am weary of my country backing up yours for frivolous reasons with no apparent payoff. I am more than happy to send Australians to fight and die for causes that support our MUTUAL interest with a discernable payoff.

I don't see any benefit in us fighting this war to help a bunch of fundies overthrow a government that poses no threat to us. Give me a Rwanda and perhaps the sheer scale of it and manner of what is going on will be enough to justify full blown military intervention.

Edited by Constantine XI - 30 Oct 2013 at 00:30
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Oct 2013 at 18:27
Originally posted by Al Jassas Al Jassas wrote:

Originally posted by Constantine XI Constantine XI wrote:

Originally posted by Al Jassas Al Jassas wrote:

Well the UN report just came in and chemical weapons were used and Assad
used them, the question now is what would the world would do?

for Assad "winning", that's utter nonsense. The guy doesn't even
control half of his capital city, his hometown is less than 40km from
major rebel controlled areas which they took last month in an offensive
and just last weak lost control of major towns between Damascus and
Homs. If that's winning I really would like to see what is losing.

for him being intelligent, please, all this would have ended if he
fired his cousin who tortured and raped the 12 year old children in
Daraa, he decided to reward him and punish their fathers who dared
launch an official complaint.

Hi Al Jassas. The UN report still leaves room for doubt. This is not the first time we have been told about WMDs only to have been deceived. We also need to ask the question of whether Assad ordered their use or whether that order was given by someone else without his knowledge (which many consider a likely scenario). If that is the case I don't think it warrants intervention, though definitely does warrant censure. In the grand scheme of things we are talking about 1% of the war's casualties. Death my sarin gas isn't pleasant, but neither is slowly bleeding to death from the abdomen from shrapnel wounds (which is somehow ok for reasons no one bothered to explain).

Doubt about what exactly? Everyone accepts the use of chemical weapons as a fact, in Iraq the argument was about if WMDs actually existed and whether they can be used. Here the regime not only accepted the fact that it has WMDs and just accepted dismantling them, it also, contrary to all Russian efforts, denied that they were not under control. Indeed Assad has just said in an interview with Chinese TV that WMDs are under his personal command which leaves little to the imagination on who actually ordered the attack.

As for the deaths being 1% of total casualties, remember, this was just one simple incident where roughly 2kgs of Sarin was used. He has 1000 tons.

Originally posted by Constantine XI Constantine XI wrote:

Damascus is mostly secure with some pockets of difficulty in the outer suburban areas. For the most part the interior of the city is secure. The government forces have been increasingly on the offensive, taking towns like al-Qusayr and being able to then redeploy their troops to other fronts, reducing the perimeter they need to fight on. Training by the Iranians and Hizb is having a marked effect on the capabilities of the Syrian troops, and they seem to be steadily retaking the initivative after the earlier chaos.

And you say that based on what exactly? In the maps in the links I provided above this could be nothing farther than the truth and the regime has actually lost more lands in the last couple of months than it gained in the 3 months before that. Check maps from military oriented websites that monitor the situation. And if that isn't enough checkout what the deputy PM said about the fighting reaching a stalemate and only a "negotiated" settlement is possible. A victor would never admit he is losing and especially not a regime like the Assad regime which celebrated the capture of Qusair (a town of 15k people 10km from the Lebanese border besieged for the better part of a year and defended by 1500-2000 against 1 mechanised division and 2 brigade sized Hizb forces) as if he liberated the Golan.

Originally posted by Constantine XI Constantine XI wrote:

The man may be intelligent but still lack power over certain members of his own family. He was not the groomed heir and inherited the Presidency with some of his relatives already possessing well established power bases which would be difficult to fully subordinate. My point is that he is well educated, well travelled and in the interviews he has given he is certainly able to explain his position in a way which shows sense and understanding. On that basis I am not willing to condemn him just yet as being feckless or sadistic.

Obviously you have no idea how he got to where he is. He was the would be king for the last 6 years of his father's life reaching the rank of Full General (the highest rank in the Syrian armed forces is Lt. General) by the time he was 34!! In the last year of his father's life he exercised enormous authority ridding the army, security forces and the civil services from hundreds of competent career Sunni and to a lesser extent Christian officers and civil servants much to the annoyance of his in-and-out of coma dying father and replacing them largely with corrupt Alawites who happen to be his relatives (the five families, Makhloufs, Shalishs, Al-Assad and two other families I forgot the names) as well as his Sunni relatives (his wife's family, his brother's wife family, his sunni cousins and the Homs and Aleppo clique of businessmen). He had enormous power and he had support for reform from within the regime when the protests began but he chose war and he got it. Read about Ali Habib and other highly influential Alawites including his own son in law who wanted to reform but were killed and or exiled largely on the advice of his mother.

Originally posted by Constantine XI Constantine XI wrote:

Quote So to supposedly protect 20% of the Syrian population that already
slaughtered 100k in this war (and 50k in the previous 40 years) not to
mention the 7 million already displaced we should keep on punishing 80%,
what a wonderful moral position.

My reading of the Syrian demographics suggests to me that Sunni Arabs only make up 60% of the population (source is wiki). But even then, not all Sunni Arabs oppose Assad. The conflict has other elements as Harburs mentioned. With Sunni Arabs the regime can only punish them so much; because Syria is largely surrounded by Sunni neighbours, many of them Arab. Which neighbouring country is going to step in to protect the Christians, Druze, Alawites and Shia with the victorious Sunni insurgency in power enjoying the full backing of nations like Saudi and Turkey? Israel has no interest intervening in its neighbours for altruistic human rights reasons unless the people being bashed are Jews. Strongly Maronite and Shia Lebannon is too small and unstable itself to do much. If Iran loses Syria now it can't expect to make a re-entry with the Alawites thrown out of power.

The revolt never began as a sectarian rebellion in the first place. The regime decided to turn it into a sectarian war and the world saw it that way and eventually it did turn so.

Plus even if Sunni Arabs were 60% (which they are not and it excluded 15% urban Turkmen and Kurds who lean more Islamist rather than ethnicist) it is still much higher than shia Arabs in Iraq who were 45% yet the entire state wasn't just handed to the shias, it was handed to the most militant and sectarian of the shia in Iraq (the guys who chose to fight for Iran for pure sectarian reasons) despite the Iraqi regime being no where near as sectarian as the Syrian one.

Now we reach to the heart of the problem, assuming that the Sunni insurgency will massacre the minorities en masse once they win. Based on what exactly?

If history tells us something about minorities in the middle east it tells us two thing. The first is that they are the masochistic prison bitch bending over to other minorities and not saying a peep to earn brownie points. If you don't believe me just read about what the Syrian regime did to Lebanese Christians during the civil war and subsequent occupation. The same political leaders who were literally gang raped by Syrian intelligence agencies (the incidents were filmed and widely distributed) in the 80s and early 90s and were opposed to the regime even after it left Lebanon in 2005 are its biggest defenders including defending the undependable like the chemical weapons attack which they say was "necessary".

The second is that they are merciless in victory. Case in Point, the Lebanese civil war where the Sunni PLO had 1 massacre to its name with a count over 100 (as far as I know there might be other) yet the christians had 5 over 1000 and the shias had 2 over 1000 and all 7 were against the Sunni majority. I could go on and on but the point is unfortunately valid.

The regime has killed thousands of Alawis, Christians and especially Druz throughout the years and even now Christian women in mixed villages in the coastal areas have been kidnapped and raped by Shibbiha militias and no peep from Christians, Christian churches desecrated and robbed by the same militias and no peep. A Druz actor had his daughter gang raped and yet he still defends the regime. His best friend, a Sunni and also an actor, was murdered by the regime and yet he still defends the regime.

AQ is now in an open war with Al-Nusra front because AQ broke a the cross on top of a church and raised its flag and people still think those minorities are under threat.

Originally posted by Constantine XI Constantine XI wrote:

Which ever side wins, the loser is going to be made to pay in blood. I don't have a solution for you that is going to avoid that; except the partition the country along sectarian lines. Some societies are not ready for demographic pluralism or democracy.

Again based on what? If the regime goes peacefully all rebel forces except AQ announced that they would lay down their arms. Indeed they already have agreements with the regime to allow humanitarian access to areas besieged by the rebels like in Aleppo although the opposite hasn't happened. People are already tired of war and even after two years ideological causes have not taken root although this is beginning to change with defections the AQ from other rebel forces.

As for purge of blood. If you are guilty then you deserve it. Personally any foreigner, Saudi (I have relatives fighting in Syria as we speak and I won't shed a tear for their death), Iranian or Lebanese, captured fighting should be executed on the spot because he is a mercenary.

Throughout the conflict the FSA and other rebel groups have captured thousands and except for a couple of instances of mass murder all of them have been released. Some of those released went abroad and others decided to rejoin the regime with some joining the rebels including some Alawites and Druz (I know of a dozen or so Druz who died fighting for the rebels).

Originally posted by Constantine XI Constantine XI wrote:

Quote Here is the thing, if this event goes unpunished then excuse me for
saying this but if a country like Saudi Arabia decided to gas the hell
out of its enemies civilians or otherwise the world should shut the f*k
up because it accepted a criminal regime's used against civilians it
might well accept it used in a defensive war against soldiers.

It's trickier than that. As I said we must be mindful that such weapons may have been discharged without government authorisation; and that's IF the UN report can be considered impartial and reliable. And the death toll, while horrible for those affected, was not especially large considering the size of this conflict. There is a big difference between a government intentionally gassing 50,000 civilians, and a maverick officer during a long and very vicious civil war making an unauthorised decision that killed 1500 people in an area held by enemy combatants, and immediately afterwards resulted in his superiors agreeing to dispose of said weapons so they could not be used again.

As I said, that assumption is simply silly. Everyone demanded the UN to investigate and god knows how many independent labs in 5 different countries did tests and they all reached the same conclusion.

Plus if it was a rogue agent then hand him over. Its quite simple really. A war crime is a war crime.


Let's be honest. If I saw the ethnic Europeans (a much larger % than of the Sunnies in Syria) in New Zealand ganged up upon by every other race then I would probably support them up until the point of them offering up the word to Satan. You have a dog in this fight, your co-religionists are fighting for their existence.

By your own anecdoctes you have helpfully illustrated the situation. How can I expect such a viscious and cruel group of people to play fair and not rape their enemies upon achieving victory? How can I expect their women to be safe? How can I expect that the winner will simply not follow the tradition of genocide that has preceded them in that region of the world? By your own account you have asserted that these things are true.

I see reports of attrocities from both sides and have difficulty deciding which to believe. I don't believe we can back either side without also backing acts of terror and brutality; I don't see this as a good vs bad contest.

Edited by Constantine XI - 30 Oct 2013 at 00:32
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