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Syrian civil war


Walsingham

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I'm disappointed with you gentlemen on two levels:

 

1. I simply can't believe that many of you ( I won't say which) are really completely indifferent to the suffering of quite literally millions of innocent people who never chose this path of slaughter, and who are now powerless to stop it.

 

2. I can't believe you that many of you (I won't say which) are so pig ignorant you think that what happens in one Mideast country doesn't affect the others, and via ordinary trade, never mind petrochems, that your own countries are inextricably linked.

 

I am perfectly at ease with you wanting all the extremists, rapists, terrorists, and associated corrupt riffraff to disappear. But basing foreign policy on that presumption is worse than idiotic.

What we should be doing is aiding refugees and that's about it. Help the people who want no part of it, let the rest kill themselves.

 

As I get older I find I have less tolerance for other cultures, and at this point I would be ok with muslim/arab culture disappearing.

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The area between the balls and the butt is a hotbed of terrorist activity.

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And I suppose that all of the previous uses of chemical weapons in Syria either never occurred (despite some being verified) or were all false flag attacks that were originated by the opposition forces?  Despite the fact that it always seems to be the opposition or their populist support that seems to be hit.  (Damn - those opposition troops just can't the broad side of a barn)

 

The only confirmed use of chemical weapons- by the UN- was by the rebels though.

 

I won't reply to the rest in detail except for a couple of things. Syria's manpower problems are largely 'fixed' now. There are very few defections, they've got a lot of manpower and material support from Hezbollah and Iran and certain groups in the rebels are either as intent on fighting each other as them or are having defection problems themselves. The real crisis phase is arguably over is and pretty much everyone agrees that they are winning, now. If it were a critical situation such as that army base mentioned it would make more sense, but it's an area that has been in rebel hands for a year. Conventional bombing and using rockets is an entirely different matter, they aren't banned and are expected parts of warfare.

 

So there is simply no point in playing chicken with the US as the one thing that can ensure the US intervenes is attacking their prestige- making it so they have to respond or be ridiculed. They are not going to gain the ability to use chemical weapons in general and would have been told so by the Russians at the least, and they don't at this juncture need to use them. Plus the 'baby steps'/ gradual argument does not really hold water here as it's a massive leap rather than a small step from occasional, very small scale use to gassing a sizeable area while inspectors are there. You still want as much plausible deniability as possible, even if you did do it, and a big delay while inspectors fly into the country and negotiate everything is far better than 4-5 days delay from that perspective.

 

As for whether they have been used at all by the government, I'd suspect they have been on occasion, as they have by the rebels, on occasion. I just don't buy the current situation at all, it's too convenient on one side, and the other doesn't have any pressing reason to jeopardise everything on a gamble reliant on guessing someone else's intentions.

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The only confirmed use of chemical weapons- by the UN- was by the rebels though.

 

 

The UN isn't the sole reliable source.  I would like to see a link to support that claim.   I'm not saying it isn't true but I would like a source.

 

 

I won't reply to the rest in detail except for a couple of things. Syria's manpower problems are largely 'fixed' now. There are very few defections, they've got a lot of manpower and material support from Hezbollah and Iran and certain groups in the rebels are either as intent on fighting each other as them or are having defection problems themselves. The real crisis phase is arguably over is and pretty much everyone agrees that they are winning, now. If it were a critical situation such as that army base mentioned it would make more sense, but it's an area that has been in rebel hands for a year. Conventional bombing and using rockets is an entirely different matter, they aren't banned and are expected parts of warfare.

 

So there is simply no point in playing chicken with the US as the one thing that can ensure the US intervenes is attacking their prestige- making it so they have to respond or be ridiculed. They are not going to gain the ability to use chemical weapons in general and would have been told so by the Russians at the least, and they don't at this juncture need to use them. Plus the 'baby steps'/ gradual argument does not really hold water here as it's a massive leap rather than a small step from occasional, very small scale use to gassing a sizeable area while inspectors are there. You still want as much plausible deniability as possible, even if you did do it, and a big delay while inspectors fly into the country and negotiate everything is far better than 4-5 days delay from that perspective.

 

As for whether they have been used at all by the government, I'd suspect they have been on occasion, as they have by the rebels, on occasion. I just don't buy the current situation at all, it's too convenient on one side, and the other doesn't have any pressing reason to jeopardise everything on a gamble reliant on guessing someone else's intentions.

 

 

A couple of hundred defections aren't significant in a 100,000+ man opposition force; those losses could more than be made up by new rebels joining - although new troops would probably come via Al-Qaeda which is apparently happening.  Last figures I saw for the Nusra front indicated their force size had more than doubled.

 

The Russians desperately want to hold onto their naval base at Tartus.  It's their only such outpost outside the ex-Soviet Union and Assad can use that to leverage their acquiescence.   I suspect that Assad has used that as a bargaining chip to accelerate deployment of the S-300 SAM systems as well.

 

What do you mean "they are not going to gain the ability to use chemical weapons"?  Assad already has the capability and has used it.  Assad's binary artillery shell stockpile is well documented as is his stockpile of sarin precursors.  If it was the rebels you were referring to then how did they manage to launch a single previous chemical weapon attack, let alone the current one?  

 

The baby step argument is totally plausible. You don't have to buy it.   As for playing chicken with Obama, I think he's already done it and Obama has flinched more than once.   You might dispute one or two of the earlier attacks, but all of them?  That list of five I provided is actually only a partial accounting.  I believe the NY Times that had a list of 13 alleged regime uses of chemical weapons.    If I can find it again, I'll post the link.

 

Edit:  Found a link referencing 10 incidents but not a list of the specific incidents themselves.

 

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2013/06/26/U-S-Britain-list-10-chemical-attacks-in-Syria-envoy-says-.html

 

another link referencing 34 incidents  http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=600901

 

Referring to a list of 34 suspected attacks, compiled by the group Syrian Human Rights Watch in Cairo, Chamaa said the attacks appeared mainly to be carried out by fighter jets, helicopters and long- and mid-range missiles.

 

Like I said I could be wrong.  I wouldn't put it past Al-Qaeda to have orchestrated this.  The scale of the last attack and the sheer number of attacks makes it far more likely that it was the regime.  It's going to take some solid proof to convince me.  Until then I think both our scenarios are plausible. 

 

Let's just agree to disagree okay?

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I'm disappointed with you gentlemen on two levels:

 

1. I simply can't believe that many of you ( I won't say which) are really completely indifferent to the suffering of quite literally millions of innocent people who never chose this path of slaughter, and who are now powerless to stop it.

 

2. I can't believe you that many of you (I won't say which) are so pig ignorant you think that what happens in one Mideast country doesn't affect the others, and via ordinary trade, never mind petrochems, that your own countries are inextricably linked.

 

I am perfectly at ease with you wanting all the extremists, rapists, terrorists, and associated corrupt riffraff to disappear. But basing foreign policy on that presumption is worse than idiotic.

1) I am sorry they are in that situation but nothing that we do at a national level will change one thing about it. If they are not being killed by the army, they will be killed by the rebels. By helping one side or the other we are only choosing who will kill them. 

2) Exactly why I get so enraged when our current president does everything in his power to sabotage domestic energy production. And he does.

 

This current BS in Syria has nothing what-so-ever to do with freedom or democracy. It is the same toxic BS that has been going in the middle east since Ali declared himself the heir to Muhammad. Assad and the Ba'ath party are Shi'ite, 90% of the rest of Syria, especially the rebels are Sunni. That is all this is about.

 

I was talking to an old guy at the VFW tonight. He's a Korean War vet so he knows more about civil wars (if you could call it that) than anyone on this board. He put it just like this 'If you have two ant hills in your yard you don't help one of them wipe out the other one. You get rid of both of them". Well, since we can't do that I say to hell with them both. Every one that get killed fighting each other is one less that will be killing innocent folks elsewhere.

"What can't be changed must be endured"

Robert Jordan

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Zor's argument that the mainstream story about WoMD attacks done by pro-Assad forces makes little sense on a certain level does have some logic behind it.  But I can't put much weight in an argument presupposing that pro-Assad forces are bound by the confines of what is in that ruler's logical best interest.

 

Wars (especially civil wars) get people really ****ing angry.  People who are really ****ing angry sometimes do illogical things that are counter to their best interests in the long run. 

 

To the extent that we can get information about the facts on ground from reliable sources, I put a whole lot more trust in those than I do in this kind of theory-casting. 

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It's a logical argument and people aren't always logical at the best of times, but it is a massive leap to use chemical weapons now rather than in the initial attack on Aleppo or something important. The access to the governmental stocks is tightly controlled, as everyone agrees, so it cannot have just been Major El-Bloggs getting peeved and deciding to lob a few rockets in frustration. It's not just that it's a foolish thing to do, it's both monumentally foolish and monumentally convenient, even if Assad were using chem weapons in a minor capacity I cannot imagine any situation in which he wouldn't order everything dropped while the inspectors were there.

 

For kgambit:
 

‘Our investigators have been in neighbouring countries interviewing victims, doctors and field hospitals, and there are strong, concrete suspicions, but not yet incontrovertible proof, of the use of sarin gas,’ said Del Ponte in an interview with Swiss-Italian television.

‘This was use on the part of the opposition, the rebels, not by the government authorities.’

Daily Fail, but it took ages to find given that the first half dozen pages of search results dealt with the current incident. Yeah, not absolute proof, but then William Hague et alia are hardly waiting for proof absolute either.

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The reason that its almost 100 % likely that its the Assad regime behind the Chemical attacks is how they have been behaving since the attack last week Wednesday. Firstly they have been bombing the sites of the attacks for the last few days. Why would you do this unless you wanted to hide evidence. Secondly they have been restricting the UN inspectors from going to the sites. Today they finally had to allow access.

 

If you think of the consequences of either side using any kind of WMD surly if the Assad forces were innocent they would have escorted the UN inspectors there last week immediately after the attack to prove they had nothing to do with it. This would have gained them credibility in there campaign against the rebels who they claim are terrorists. There guilt is obvious by there delaying tactics

 

Bro, that's all been dealt with.

 

Assad has been shelling that area of Damascus on and off for the past year, and attacking pretty much consistently for the last month. There's nothing special about it being shelled, that's what happens to rebel held areas- why does the US bomb stuff? Must be to cover up [something], can't be because they think there enemies are there. He has no reason to use chemical weapons, when he's winning, when there are weapons inspectors in the country (who were only staying a matter of days, prior to this), when he doesn't want western intervention since that's the only way the rebels can win, when he supposedly used them a few miles away from the inspectors rather than Aleppo, Homs, Deraa or somewhere else hundred of miles away and when there are absolutely essential and crucial government held areas nearby for the gas to drift into on a wind change or get effected if you have a misfire or a rocket goes haywire. It makes no sense, if you were going to launch a gas attack, when you're already winning, you launch it when there aren't inspectors nearby or even in the country, in isolated areas where it is difficult to get information out of, there's no chance of an own goal, and which have as much plausible deniability as possible. If Assad were really so cretinously stupid as to use weapons now and in the way he allegedly did the argument would be irrelevant as he would have already lost due to moving his troops to the Med to defend against a possible attack from the Carthaginians under their despotic pairing of world renowned gourmand Hannibal and Dido, warbling her greatest hits as she comes. Every single thing about the attack is nothing short of moronic, if it were the government doing it.

 

Oh, and for 'conspiracy' theorists, someone bombed Syria's anti ship missile emplacements at the beginning of July. Exactly why Israel would do that was never explained since Hezbollah actually has decent ASMs already (and sunk an Israeli ship with one in 2006). Mighty convenient if you were planning on firing some tomahawks off ships though.

 

Sorry Zor but I don't operate in the world of conspiracy theories, I dwell in the world of facts. But I concede you make some good points but if Assad is innocent why has he been so reluctant to get the UN inspectors to the sites of the attacks. The reality is that if the rebels have used Chemical Weapons the support for them will be immediately reduced from the rest of the world. He should be doing everything in his power to assist the UN, but he's not he is hampering there efforts? His actions create major flaws in your logic

 

 

I'm disappointed with you gentlemen on two levels:

 

1. I simply can't believe that many of you ( I won't say which) are really completely indifferent to the suffering of quite literally millions of innocent people who never chose this path of slaughter, and who are now powerless to stop it.

 

2. I can't believe you that many of you (I won't say which) are so pig ignorant you think that what happens in one Mideast country doesn't affect the others, and via ordinary trade, never mind petrochems, that your own countries are inextricably linked.

 

I am perfectly at ease with you wanting all the extremists, rapists, terrorists, and associated corrupt riffraff to disappear. But basing foreign policy on that presumption is worse than idiotic.

1) I am sorry they are in that situation but nothing that we do at a national level will change one thing about it. If they are not being killed by the army, they will be killed by the rebels. By helping one side or the other we are only choosing who will kill them. 

2) Exactly why I get so enraged when our current president does everything in his power to sabotage domestic energy production. And he does.

 

 

 

 GB that's not technically true, there is something you can do. There is this American  social initiative to "adopt a Syrian family"

 

You could do that and take in a family of Syrian refugees? In fact you could probably do better than that and adopt a gay Syrian family as you have mentioned that you don't know any gay people. Now before you think about the reasons to say " I can't for reason x " you need to believe in life its better to give than to receive. Plus won't it be satisfying to know you are helping people less fortunate than you? Of course you need to consider what Stef and Tommy may think but they shouldn't be too hard to convince ?

 

:biggrin:

"Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is and saw Virtue in her shape how lovely: and pined his loss”

John Milton 

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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The reason that its almost 100 % likely that its the Assad regime behind the Chemical attacks is how they have been behaving since the attack last week Wednesday. Firstly they have been bombing the sites of the attacks for the last few days. Why would you do this unless you wanted to hide evidence. Secondly they have been restricting the UN inspectors from going to the sites. Today they finally had to allow access.

 

If you think of the consequences of either side using any kind of WMD surly if the Assad forces were innocent they would have escorted the UN inspectors there last week immediately after the attack to prove they had nothing to do with it. This would have gained them credibility in there campaign against the rebels who they claim are terrorists. There guilt is obvious by there delaying tactics

 

Bro, that's all been dealt with.

 

Assad has been shelling that area of Damascus on and off for the past year, and attacking pretty much consistently for the last month. There's nothing special about it being shelled, that's what happens to rebel held areas- why does the US bomb stuff? Must be to cover up [something], can't be because they think there enemies are there. He has no reason to use chemical weapons, when he's winning, when there are weapons inspectors in the country (who were only staying a matter of days, prior to this), when he doesn't want western intervention since that's the only way the rebels can win, when he supposedly used them a few miles away from the inspectors rather than Aleppo, Homs, Deraa or somewhere else hundred of miles away and when there are absolutely essential and crucial government held areas nearby for the gas to drift into on a wind change or get effected if you have a misfire or a rocket goes haywire. It makes no sense, if you were going to launch a gas attack, when you're already winning, you launch it when there aren't inspectors nearby or even in the country, in isolated areas where it is difficult to get information out of, there's no chance of an own goal, and which have as much plausible deniability as possible. If Assad were really so cretinously stupid as to use weapons now and in the way he allegedly did the argument would be irrelevant as he would have already lost due to moving his troops to the Med to defend against a possible attack from the Carthaginians under their despotic pairing of world renowned gourmand Hannibal and Dido, warbling her greatest hits as she comes. Every single thing about the attack is nothing short of moronic, if it were the government doing it.

 

Oh, and for 'conspiracy' theorists, someone bombed Syria's anti ship missile emplacements at the beginning of July. Exactly why Israel would do that was never explained since Hezbollah actually has decent ASMs already (and sunk an Israeli ship with one in 2006). Mighty convenient if you were planning on firing some tomahawks off ships though.

 

Sorry Zor but I don't operate in the world of conspiracy theories, I dwell in the world of facts. But I concede you make some good points but if Assad is innocent why has he been so reluctant to get the UN inspectors to the sites of the attacks. The reality is that if the rebels have used Chemical Weapons the support for them will be immediately reduced from the rest of the world. He should be doing everything in his power to assist the UN, but he's not he is hampering there efforts? His actions create major flaws in your logic.

Alright, let's bomb him them.

The ending of the words is ALMSIVI.

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Edited by Walsingham
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"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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The reason that its almost 100 % likely that its the Assad regime behind the Chemical attacks is how they have been behaving since the attack last week Wednesday. Firstly they have been bombing the sites of the attacks for the last few days. Why would you do this unless you wanted to hide evidence. Secondly they have been restricting the UN inspectors from going to the sites. Today they finally had to allow access.

 

If you think of the consequences of either side using any kind of WMD surly if the Assad forces were innocent they would have escorted the UN inspectors there last week immediately after the attack to prove they had nothing to do with it. This would have gained them credibility in there campaign against the rebels who they claim are terrorists. There guilt is obvious by there delaying tactics

 

Bro, that's all been dealt with.

 

Assad has been shelling that area of Damascus on and off for the past year, and attacking pretty much consistently for the last month. There's nothing special about it being shelled, that's what happens to rebel held areas- why does the US bomb stuff? Must be to cover up [something], can't be because they think there enemies are there. He has no reason to use chemical weapons, when he's winning, when there are weapons inspectors in the country (who were only staying a matter of days, prior to this), when he doesn't want western intervention since that's the only way the rebels can win, when he supposedly used them a few miles away from the inspectors rather than Aleppo, Homs, Deraa or somewhere else hundred of miles away and when there are absolutely essential and crucial government held areas nearby for the gas to drift into on a wind change or get effected if you have a misfire or a rocket goes haywire. It makes no sense, if you were going to launch a gas attack, when you're already winning, you launch it when there aren't inspectors nearby or even in the country, in isolated areas where it is difficult to get information out of, there's no chance of an own goal, and which have as much plausible deniability as possible. If Assad were really so cretinously stupid as to use weapons now and in the way he allegedly did the argument would be irrelevant as he would have already lost due to moving his troops to the Med to defend against a possible attack from the Carthaginians under their despotic pairing of world renowned gourmand Hannibal and Dido, warbling her greatest hits as she comes. Every single thing about the attack is nothing short of moronic, if it were the government doing it.

 

Oh, and for 'conspiracy' theorists, someone bombed Syria's anti ship missile emplacements at the beginning of July. Exactly why Israel would do that was never explained since Hezbollah actually has decent ASMs already (and sunk an Israeli ship with one in 2006). Mighty convenient if you were planning on firing some tomahawks off ships though.

 

Sorry Zor but I don't operate in the world of conspiracy theories, I dwell in the world of facts. But I concede you make some good points but if Assad is innocent why has he been so reluctant to get the UN inspectors to the sites of the attacks. The reality is that if the rebels have used Chemical Weapons the support for them will be immediately reduced from the rest of the world. He should be doing everything in his power to assist the UN, but he's not he is hampering there efforts? His actions create major flaws in your logic.

Alright, let's bomb him them.

 

 

Well said, but lets not be so belligerent. Military action is needed to implement effective regime change in Syria but the question is " what type of military action"

 

Its not as simple as saying "lets bomb them" but you are on the right track

"Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is and saw Virtue in her shape how lovely: and pined his loss”

John Milton 

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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I do not believe that a limited military action will achieve the intended result. It would have to use only unmanned systems at a considerable standoff. This is simple military science, given the publicly available information.

 

This is turning into a clusterf*** from Obama, who has managed to paint himself intro a corner. Being an intrinsically weak president I don't think he feels able to make the case that he should not exert force. Worse, I fear that he feels the second term itch to pull a trigger and damn his successor with the consequences.

 

From Stratfor.com

 

The United States is now actively building the case for a military intervention in Syria after having equivocated for days over the al Assad regime's chemical weapons attack. On Monday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry kicked off Washington's public relations campaign for the intervention by graphically describing videos of children suffering from the attack, appealing to parental sensibilities and invoking a universal "code of morality." Well aware that so many Americans are opposed to another military engagement in the Middle East, particularly one as complicated as Syria's, the White House is trying to clear up any ambiguity over the details of the attack and focus on the justification for a military response.

When Kerry said the attack "goes beyond the conflict on Syria itself," he was referring to a universal intolerance for chemical weapons. But underlying Washington's newfound stance on Syria is an imperative to maintain the credibility of its threats. The White House cannot erase U.S. President Barack Obama's declaration from a year ago that chemical weapons would be his red line for intervention in Syria. But ultimately, the assumption that the Syrian regime carried out the attack will prevail no matter what comes of the ongoing U.N. inspection. The Obama administration appears to have calculated that the general risk of not following through with its threats will be more harmful than a continued policy of restraint -- despite mounting evidence that the president's red line was crossed.

 

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"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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Sorry Zor but I don't operate in the world of conspiracy theories, I dwell in the world of facts. But I concede you make some good points but if Assad is innocent why has he been so reluctant to get the UN inspectors to the sites of the attacks. The reality is that if the rebels have used Chemical Weapons the support for them will be immediately reduced from the rest of the world. He should be doing everything in his power to assist the UN, but he's not he is hampering there efforts? His actions create major flaws in your logic

Rather the opposite- 5 days is a very quick amount of time considering the issues, and a delay is pointless in terms of a cover up anyway. Where the attack occurred is outside the government's control so it isn't just a matter of driving the inspectors to the area in a car and while if the government controlled the area it could theoretically sterilise it the rebels do so there's no chance of destroying any evidence, there will be residue all over the place and plenty of samples. While the nerve agent itself will go inert fairly quickly (one of the reasons it's useful militarily) the residue left does not decay particularly quickly, certainly not enough to matter in a matter of days.

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Sorry Zor but I don't operate in the world of conspiracy theories, I dwell in the world of facts. But I concede you make some good points but if Assad is innocent why has he been so reluctant to get the UN inspectors to the sites of the attacks. The reality is that if the rebels have used Chemical Weapons the support for them will be immediately reduced from the rest of the world. He should be doing everything in his power to assist the UN, but he's not he is hampering there efforts? His actions create major flaws in your logic

Rather the opposite- 5 days is a very quick amount of time considering the issues, and a delay is pointless in terms of a cover up anyway. Where the attack occurred is outside the government's control so it isn't just a matter of driving the inspectors to the area in a car and while if the government controlled the area it could theoretically sterilise it the rebels do so there's no chance of destroying any evidence, there will be residue all over the place and plenty of samples. While the nerve agent itself will go inert fairly quickly (one of the reasons it's useful militarily) the residue left does not decay particularly quickly, certainly not enough to matter in a matter of days.

 

 

But don't you agree that by bombing the sites of the Chemical attacks it makes it  even hard for the UN inspectors to gain the necessary evidence despite the residual impact left behind?

 

So logically if  Assad is innocent he should immediately have said " the rebels have used Chemical weapons, this will be our chance to gain international support and sympathy in our battle against these extremists. Lets not bomb on sites so the UN can get the necessary evidence"

"Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is and saw Virtue in her shape how lovely: and pined his loss”

John Milton 

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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 GB that's not technically true, there is something you can do. There is this American  social initiative to "adopt a Syrian family"

 

You could do that and take in a family of Syrian refugees? In fact you could probably do better than that and adopt a gay Syrian family as you have mentioned that you don't know any gay people. Now before you think about the reasons to say " I can't for reason x " you need to believe in life its better to give than to receive. Plus won't it be satisfying to know you are helping people less fortunate than you? Of course you need to consider what Stef and Tommy may think but they shouldn't be too hard to convince ?

 

:biggrin:

 

Hey I am 100% in favor of charity groups. For all they good they do. They do manage to help in small ways. But I'm 100% opposed to using the military, or even diplomatic power to effect regime change. How does it help the world to change a brutal military backed dictatorship with a brutal military backed theocracy? The one thing I can tell you for certain is that the outcome of this will NOT be a free and democratic Syria no matter who wins. And you will not be able to distinguish the winner by the post conflict body count.

 

Besides, there seems to be evidence (that the Obama admin will ignore because it does not advance their goals) that the rebels were the ones that have used gas. There are no good guys here.

 

To reiterate; To Hell With Them!

"What can't be changed must be endured"

Robert Jordan

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It is possible that Assad wasn't sure if disloyal elements had used government issued weapons in order to bring him down. Just a thought.

 

Ultimately:

 

1. I don't see the attacks as consistent with a government military effort that is 99.9% conventional

2. I don't see the attacks as consistent with the timing and proximity of the UN visit

3. Stratfor - who I rate highly - assess the attack as being inconsistent with Assad's character, given the above. And unlike the documented conventional street-corner atrocities, chem weapons use would have to be ordered directly by him.

 

A failure to cooperate fully with the weapons inspectors may be as much due to raging paranoia on the part of the regime, regarding the UN. I say paranoia, but one could easily be forgiven for thinking it dances to US inclination.

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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It's a logical argument and people aren't always logical at the best of times, but it is a massive leap to use chemical weapons now rather than in the initial attack on Aleppo or something important. The access to the governmental stocks is tightly controlled, as everyone agrees, so it cannot have just been Major El-Bloggs getting peeved and deciding to lob a few rockets in frustration. It's not just that it's a foolish thing to do, it's both monumentally foolish and monumentally convenient, even if Assad were using chem weapons in a minor capacity I cannot imagine any situation in which he wouldn't order everything dropped while the inspectors were there.

 

For kgambit:

 

‘Our investigators have been in neighbouring countries interviewing victims, doctors and field hospitals, and there are strong, concrete suspicions, but not yet incontrovertible proof, of the use of sarin gas,’ said Del Ponte in an interview with Swiss-Italian television.

‘This was use on the part of the opposition, the rebels, not by the government authorities.’

Daily Fail, but it took ages to find given that the first half dozen pages of search results dealt with the current incident. Yeah, not absolute proof, but then William Hague et alia are hardly waiting for proof absolute either.

 

I never said this was done in a "fit of anger".  Why keep harping on it? 

 

Thanks for the link.  Sorry but that does not qualify as confirmed use of Sarin let alone proof that the Rebels did it.  If you are going to accept Del Ponte's statement at face value as proof of rebel use, then all of the other 33 alleged regime attacks can be accepted as proof of government use.   

 

 I did notice in what appeared to be foaming of the mouth on the victims in a couple of pics in that link.  That isn't a symptom of sarin poisoning.  http://www.bt.cdc.gov/agent/sarin/basics/facts.asp

 

Rather the opposite- 5 days is a very quick amount of time considering the issues, and a delay is pointless in terms of a cover up anyway. Where the attack occurred is outside the government's control so it isn't just a matter of driving the inspectors to the area in a car and while if the government controlled the area it could theoretically sterilise it the rebels do so there's no chance of destroying any evidence, there will be residue all over the place and plenty of samples. While the nerve agent itself will go inert fairly quickly (one of the reasons it's useful militarily) the residue left does not decay particularly quickly, certainly not enough to matter in a matter of days.

 

The UN Inspectors were actually in Syria to inspect previous attacks.  Ake  Sellstrom's team arrived on August 18th to investigate the March 19, 2013, attack at Khan al-Assal and two other sites.   The Syrian government had refused to allow access to theKhan-al-Assal site for 5 months.  Now the issue of safe access to the latest attack site is a valid concern but don't make this sound like Assad has been all open armed and welcoming,  That's BS. 

 

Inspectors will visit Khan al-Assal and two more unspecified sites, though there are areas near Damascus that some say should also be investigated. UN Mideast envoy Robert Serry has said there are 13 reports of alleged chemical weapons use in Syria.               http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/130818/un-chemical-arms-inspectors-arrive-Damascus

 

The reason that Sarin is useful is (a) it is incredibly toxic and (b) it is non-persistent.  Persistence is a measure of the length of time that a chemical agent remains effective after dissemination and the method of dissemination is a significant issue in how long the gas persists    The standard military dissemination approach is to convert sarin into a mist rapidly.  In that case, the contamination in the target area is only low or not existent and after four hours sarin or similar agents are not detectable anymore.  Sarin degrades after a period of several weeks when stored - it doesn't go inert immediately.    The best the UN team can hope to accomplish is to (a) establish that sarin was used by taking blood samples of the victims and (b) establish the mode of delivery.   Hoping to find actual samples of the delivered sarin agent is likely impossible. 

 

The Russians claim that they have samples that show that the sarin gas had to be "home-grown".  I believe the French have made the same claim.  The US and UK claim they have evidence that shows the Syrian govt is responsible.   Maybe they all do, and the truth is that both sides have used them. 

 

It is possible that Assad wasn't sure if disloyal elements had used government issued weapons in order to bring him down. Just a thought.

 

Ultimately:

 

1. I don't see the attacks as consistent with a government military effort that is 99.9% conventional

2. I don't see the attacks as consistent with the timing and proximity of the UN visit

3. Stratfor - who I rate highly - assess the attack as being inconsistent with Assad's character, given the above. And unlike the documented conventional street-corner atrocities, chem weapons use would have to be ordered directly by him.

 

A failure to cooperate fully with the weapons inspectors may be as much due to raging paranoia on the part of the regime, regarding the UN. I say paranoia, but one could easily be forgiven for thinking it dances to US inclination.

 

1.  That's true but with the exception of the two atomic bombs all of WW2 was conventional as well.   

2.  This is the one I have the toughest time with. 

3.  Just supposing that's true, that would put somewhere 10, 13 or 34 attacks (depending on whose numbers you believe) squarely on the rebels shoulders.  It's not impossible of course.

 

Do you have a link to any of stratfor's analysis?  NVM  I found the site but it appears you need to be a paying subscriber.  Oh well. 

Edited by kgambit
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If you're new to Stratfor, you can sign up to the service free for a month (usually, not sure if this is active right now).

 

I feel it's only responsible to remind you that Stratfor have been a target of Anonymous before, and might be again. I think it would be ludicrous to let that stop you, but I wouldn't feel right not pointing it out. :)

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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If you're new to Stratfor, you can sign up to the service free for a month (usually, not sure if this is active right now).

 

I feel it's only responsible to remind you that Stratfor have been a target of Anonymous before, and might be again. I think it would be ludicrous to let that stop you, but I wouldn't feel right not pointing it out. :)

 

Thanks Wals.  :)

 

I'm done with the blame game discussion.  Without some really substantial definitive proof, this is nothing but an exercise in conjecture and speculation.  Those types of discussions can be fun but I think we've gotten to the point where we are simply rehashing the same arguments.  The only real losers in that argument are the Syrian people. 

 

But I'll be more than happy to continue the discussion about intervention scenarios and this:

 

This is turning into a clusterf*** from Obama, who has managed to paint himself intro a corner. Being an intrinsically weak president I don't think he feels able to make the case that he should not exert force. Worse, I fear that he feels the second term itch to pull a trigger and damn his successor with the consequences.

 

 

Spot on!  :)

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I think the US has to tread lightly when it comes to making claims related to WMDs, they had a rather fun time of last time, after all. So that's why they're not being all in about this (and they shouldn't, really, need a good compelling reason to waste their money and soldiers' lives potentially for this).

 

Of course, say the West comes in and yet again helps some losing rebels out - don't those clowns get access to that gas ?

Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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I agree with Malc that if intelligence is to play a part in policy, and I think it really rather ought to, then it needs to be pretty ****ing sure of its facts in this case.

 

If that WERE the case I'd expect a president like Obama, who is more comfortable with the media than with the military, to make the facts known.

 

As gambit says, this isn't about guilt any more. It's about what is being done next. In this instance I believe the West is using the opportunity to put pressure on Assad to come to the table. That's probably the best outcome we can hope for, on behalf of the Syrian refugees, anyway.

 

My concern is that Obama's team don't inspire me with confidence that they can apply pressure in a reasonable way to secure cooperation from Assad. Not that it's easy with a half-informed, half-asleep electorate giving top cover.

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"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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@ Walsie

 

I'm confused why you think Obama is a weak president?

 

He doesn't feel the need to threaten countries on every international development  and has been prepared to acquiesce on several sensitive diplomatic issue like the  handing over of Snowden from Russia and the placement of the missile defense system in Europe.

 

Gone is the bravado rhetoric of " wanted dead or alive" and " you are with us or against us". But these changes actually make the USA stronger in my opinion as they seen as more consolatory.

 

Bin Laden was killed on Obamas watch and even though they have less deployable troops they have made massive investments in Special Forces and military hardware  like the Drones and the Prism program

 

In what way is he weak or is America weak compared to the past?

"Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is and saw Virtue in her shape how lovely: and pined his loss”

John Milton 

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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I think the US has to tread lightly when it comes to making claims related to WMDs, they had a rather fun time of last time, after all. So that's why they're not being all in about this (and they shouldn't, really, need a good compelling reason to waste their money and soldiers' lives potentially for this).

 

Of course, say the West comes in and yet again helps some losing rebels out - don't those clowns get access to that gas ?

 That's my main concern, who gets access to the Chemical weapons. They would have to dismantled and this is feasible and realistic

"Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is and saw Virtue in her shape how lovely: and pined his loss”

John Milton 

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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I agree with Malc that if intelligence is to play a part in policy, and I think it really rather ought to, then it needs to be pretty ****ing sure of its facts in this case.

 

If that WERE the case I'd expect a president like Obama, who is more comfortable with the media than with the military, to make the facts known.

 

As gambit says, this isn't about guilt any more. It's about what is being done next. In this instance I believe the West is using the opportunity to put pressure on Assad to come to the table. That's probably the best outcome we can hope for, on behalf of the Syrian refugees, anyway.

 

My concern is that Obama's team don't inspire me with confidence that they can apply pressure in a reasonable way to secure cooperation from Assad. Not that it's easy with a half-informed, half-asleep electorate giving top cover.

 

Well done.  :)

 

Obama and Kerry have claimed that they have compelling evidence that the Syrian government is behind these attacks.  If this is an exercise in exerting diplomatic pressure on Assad, then the rhetoric isn't important.   I don't give diplomacy much of a chance for success but it's worth a try.  If this is a preface for an armed intervention, then Obama needs to provide some concrete and well documented proof.  (Yes I realize that some intel might need to be withheld for various reasons but surely that can not apply to every scrap of evidence.)

 

The historical background of how Assad ramped up the repression on the Syrian opposition makes me think that Assad isn't going to accede to a cease fire or give the opposition any voice.  He had a chance to nip this in the bud back in 2011 but he simply failed to deliver on his stated promises of reforms.  He refused a UN peace proposal in 2012.   At this point, Russia and Iran are squarely in his corner and as long as they stay there he's not going to budge. 

 

FWIW, I think the 100,000 civilian casualties make a compelling case for action even in the absence of the chemical weapons.

 

That's my main concern, who gets access to the Chemical weapons. They would have to dismantled and this is feasible and realistic

 

That's always been a concern, even during the early stages of the conflict and even more so once the Al-Qaeda Nusra front got involved.  I've seen estimates that it would take 75000 troops to secure Syria's chemical weapons.    Not sure what all that estimate entailed.

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That's my main concern, who gets access to the Chemical weapons. They would have to dismantled and this is feasible and realistic

And there's your ground troops.

Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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