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Syrian civil war


Walsingham

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Its shocking but I was watching on Sky News random interviews in the UK where they asked people on the streets "should the UK attack Syria"

 

And the responses were mostly a resounding "no"

 

But it was mostly elderly people who they interviewed who clearly didn't understand the situation as they compared it to Afghanistan and made comments like " we feel sorry for all those children but the Arabs need to sort there own problems out "

"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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Come on, man. You're seriously trying to tell me that the Arab man in the street isn't dubious about the analysis of the US and UK governments?

 

:)

"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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Nope I'm not sceptical at all, and neither is the Arab League and almost all Western countries.

Well, heh, good for you. As for citizens not wanting their nation to go waste money bombing some other country, that's hardly surprising unless that country is actively threatening them.

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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Assad looks like he could be Adam Levine's brother.

 

It's probably where he's hiding out. You should ring the State Department

"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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Here's another video for you: http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/08/26/320508/clip-shows-takfiri-brutality-in-syria/  *WARNING: Graphic material*

 

Don't have time to write a elaborate post but this is not an attempt on my side to show all the rebels in Syria as bad guys just the fact there is no black and white situation over there. Opposition to Assad isn't a one side force like the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan but several different groups scattered all over the country. Some of them are really sick people like the ones in the video. Just imagine the likes of them or a similar group getting a hold on chemical weapons from the regular military,  I can imagine them quite easily using them without any regard towards civilian life. So, without clear evidence I cannot tell who used Chemical weapons against whom.

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Here's another video for you: http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/08/26/320508/clip-shows-takfiri-brutality-in-syria/  *WARNING: Graphic material*

 

Don't have time to write a elaborate post but this is not an attempt on my side to show all the rebels in Syria as bad guys just the fact there is no black and white situation over there. Opposition to Assad isn't a one side force like the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan but several different groups scattered all over the country. Some of them are really sick people like the ones in the video. Just imagine the likes of them or a similar group getting a hold on chemical weapons from the regular military,  I can imagine them quite easily using them without any regard towards civilian life. So, without clear evidence I cannot tell who used Chemical weapons against whom.

 

Those comments are gold. Right down to the use of the term '****roaches'.

"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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Checked out the news-stand on the way round this afternoon. British papers are full-on, especially the Independent, which makes me laugh.

"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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Extract:

 

 

By Ben Blanchard

BEIJING (Reuters) - The worsening Syria conflict has exposed an uncomfortable truth behind China's cherished policy of non-interference: Beijing cannot do much to influence events even if it wanted to.

With weak and untested military forces unable to project power in the Middle East, China can only play a low-key role in a region that is crucial for its energy security.

As the United States and its allies gear up for a probable military strike on Syria, raising fears of a regional conflagration, China remains firmly on the sidelines, despite it having much more at stake than some other big powers.

The Middle East is China's largest source of crude oil. Without it, the world's second-largest economy would shudder to a halt. In the first seven months of this year, China imported about 83 million metric tons (91.49 million tons) of crude from the region, half its total, with top suppliers including Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Oman and the United Arab Emirates.

China has few economic interests in Syria itself but believes it has a strategic and diplomatic imperative to ensure Middle East stability and to protect a vital energy source.

Retired Major General Luo Yuan, one of China's most outspoken military figures, told the official People's Daily last year that with so much oil at stake "we cannot think that the issues of Syria and Iran have nothing to do with us".

China insists it is neither backing nor protecting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, saying it only vetoed U.N. resolutions it thought would worsen the crisis. Beijing has also hosted both government and opposition officials in an attempt to find a political solution, albeit with few results.

Even if the government were to go against its principle of not interfering in the affairs of other countries, the People's Liberation Army (PLA) is still far from capable of all but the most token presence in lands far from home.

"In terms of the PLA becoming actively involved, doing things the United States and its allies plan to do in the next few days, it does not at the moment have the wherewithal to do that," said Ross Babbage, a military analyst in Canberra and a former senior Australian defense official.

China's military, despite making rapid progress in stealth fighter technology and launching its first aircraft carrier, is largely untested. It last fought a war in 1979, against Vietnam, which did not go well for the ill-prepared Chinese.

Chinese ships have participated in anti-piracy patrols off the coast of Somalia, but when it came to evacuating its citizens from Libya in 2011 during fighting there, China was forced to rely mainly on chartering ferries.

The PLA is for now focused on operations in the Pacific, Babbage said.

"But to conduct the sort of operations we're talking about here, into the Mediterranean, they're really not geared for that. Could they do it in 10 years time? Absolutely, if they chose to do it."

President Xi Jinping said last month that becoming a maritime power was an important task for China as "the oceans and seas have an increasingly important strategic status".

"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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18:00 GMT: UK Foreign Minister William Hague has called the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to “exchange views on the situation in Syria,” a Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman told Itar-Tass.

 

Hague informed Lavrov of the draft UK resolution on the alleged chemical weapon use in Syria, the spokesman said.

 

Lavrov then told his UK counterpart that the UN Security Council should not consider a resolution on Syria before the UN inspector team reports on the chemical weapons use.

 

17:46 GMT: Russian UN representatives did not stage a walk-out at the meeting of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, Itar-Tass reports citing Russia’s permanent mission to the UN. The statement came in response to earlier reports claiming that Russian and Chinese diplomats “left” what was said to be a closed-door discussion of the UK-drafted resolution on the alleged chemical weapons use in Syria.

 

“The Russian representative went out when the meeting ended. That was not a demarche. It is just that some of the delegations did not leave for a long time,” the diplomatic source was quoted as saying.

 

 

http://rt.com/news/syria-crisis-live-updates-047/

 

:brows:

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Extract:

 

 

By Ben Blanchard

BEIJING (Reuters) - The worsening Syria conflict has exposed an uncomfortable truth behind China's cherished policy of non-interference: Beijing cannot do much to influence events even if it wanted to.

With weak and untested military forces unable to project power in the Middle East, China can only play a low-key role in a region that is crucial for its energy security.

As the United States and its allies gear up for a probable military strike on Syria, raising fears of a regional conflagration, China remains firmly on the sidelines, despite it having much more at stake than some other big powers.

The Middle East is China's largest source of crude oil. Without it, the world's second-largest economy would shudder to a halt. In the first seven months of this year, China imported about 83 million metric tons (91.49 million tons) of crude from the region, half its total, with top suppliers including Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Oman and the United Arab Emirates.

China has few economic interests in Syria itself but believes it has a strategic and diplomatic imperative to ensure Middle East stability and to protect a vital energy source.

Retired Major General Luo Yuan, one of China's most outspoken military figures, told the official People's Daily last year that with so much oil at stake "we cannot think that the issues of Syria and Iran have nothing to do with us".

China insists it is neither backing nor protecting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, saying it only vetoed U.N. resolutions it thought would worsen the crisis. Beijing has also hosted both government and opposition officials in an attempt to find a political solution, albeit with few results.

Even if the government were to go against its principle of not interfering in the affairs of other countries, the People's Liberation Army (PLA) is still far from capable of all but the most token presence in lands far from home.

"In terms of the PLA becoming actively involved, doing things the United States and its allies plan to do in the next few days, it does not at the moment have the wherewithal to do that," said Ross Babbage, a military analyst in Canberra and a former senior Australian defense official.

China's military, despite making rapid progress in stealth fighter technology and launching its first aircraft carrier, is largely untested. It last fought a war in 1979, against Vietnam, which did not go well for the ill-prepared Chinese.

Chinese ships have participated in anti-piracy patrols off the coast of Somalia, but when it came to evacuating its citizens from Libya in 2011 during fighting there, China was forced to rely mainly on chartering ferries.

The PLA is for now focused on operations in the Pacific, Babbage said.

"But to conduct the sort of operations we're talking about here, into the Mediterranean, they're really not geared for that. Could they do it in 10 years time? Absolutely, if they chose to do it."

President Xi Jinping said last month that becoming a maritime power was an important task for China as "the oceans and seas have an increasingly important strategic status".

 

 

Military wherewithal has less to do with it than the fact that China doesn't have the same geopolitical options that the US has when it comes to deploying forces in the Middle East. We have military bases in the Middle East, an entire logistic chain of allied/partner countries in the Middle East, and maritime freedom in the Mediterranean aka Europe's backyard. Even were China to develop the same weapons and military hardware, they have no great way to reach Syria with it. Their only options are:

 

Cross Central Asia, Iraq, and Iran to reach it via land

Circumnavigate all of South Asia to reach it via the Arabian

Circmunavigate all of North Asia and Europe to reach it via the Mediterranean

 

None of these are practical.

Edited by Azarkon

There are doors

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I can see it happening that somebody at the Pentagon will make a typo and accidentally have Styria bombed.

Then we will strike back with our army of T-800 Terminators we've been producing in our secret underground facilities since 1984.

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I gazed at the dead, and for one dark moment I saw a banquet. 
 

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Out of interest, who else is old enough to remember Rwanda?

I remember it.

 

Rwanda isn't a good comparison though, fully ethnic conflict, outright mass slaughter of hundreds of thousands over a short time with the main weapons being low tech, no real organised resistance on the ground. Ex Yugloslavia would be better- and Lebanon's civil war even better, since the issues were similar (minority religion in power, mainly sectarian rather than ethnic, lots of regional proxies etc). And in Lebanon the foreign interventions failed dreadfully, except ironically, the Syrian one which eventually succeeded. And even then it only worked because the Lebanese themselves got sick of fighting each other.

Edited by Zoraptor
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Out of interest, who else is old enough to remember Rwanda?

I remember it.

 

Rwanda isn't a good comparison though, fully ethnic conflict, outright mass slaughter of hundreds of thousands over a short time with the main weapons being low tech, no real organised resistance on the ground. Ex Yugloslavia would be better- and Lebanon's civil war even better, since the issues were similar (minority religion in power, mainly sectarian rather than ethnic, lots of regional proxies etc). And in Lebanon the foreign interventions failed dreadfully, except ironically, the Syrian one which eventually succeeded. And even then it only worked because the Lebanese themselves got sick of fighting each other.

 

 

I acknowledge your logic, but suggest that the important parallel is not the tactical methods or the scale. The key question is whether we are prepared to sit by and just watch it happen, knowing that tens of thousands (if nor hundreds of thousands) will die.

 

The only important difference (to my mind) is the practicality of intervention.

"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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I really like the satiric interpretation of the current situation in Syria written by a fellow called Mr K N Al-Sabah in a letter to Financial Times:

 

A short guide to the Middle East

"Sir, Iran is backing Assad. Gulf states are against Assad!

Assad is against Muslim Brotherhood. Muslim Brotherhood and Obama are against General Sisi.

But Gulf states are pro Sisi! Which means they are against Muslim Brotherhood!

Iran is pro Hamas, but Hamas is backing Muslim Brotherhood!

Obama is backing Muslim Brotherhood, yet Hamas is against the US!

Gulf states are pro US. But Turkey is with Gulf states against Assad; yet Turkey is pro Muslim Brotherhood against General Sisi. And General Sisi is being backed by the Gulf states!

Welcome to the Middle East and have a nice day."

 


 

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'Oh the humanity!' is trotted out every time the west wants to intervene and it's got pretty devalued. I think most people except possibly Bruce agree that it clearly isn't a battle of horrible monsters vs brave heroes but bad guys against bad guys, and civilians- albeit often different groups of civilians- are targeted by both sides. As a justification Remember Rwanda! simply does not hold water because it is used so inconsistently and when intervention has other primary reasons. And like a policeman who only helps good looking women hoping for a 'reward', or powerful people because they owe them a favour, it is not a sign of great integrity but actually the opposite- an utterly cynical act which fundamentally debases moral authority.

 

For example, in Libya under the terms of the UNSC resolution all civilians should have been treated equally and protected from indiscriminate attack. Except those in Sirte or Bani Walid (where the ex rebels used chemical weapons, with as much certainty as we have about the recent usage but without much reportage, and with condemnation an attempt to mandate a peaceful solution, even, blocked by...) were fair game so far as the west was concerned. Civilians must be protected except those in Congo where more than a million died with nary a murmur.

 

Rwanda cannot be used as any sort of justification because the west still sits on its hands when it isn't otherwise in their interests to intervene and the- worse, and later, and ongoing- losses in Congo were and are ignored because, whatever, we still get the coltan for our phones at a knock down price.

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I really like the satiric interpretation of the current situation in Syria written by a fellow called Mr K N Al-Sabah in a letter to Financial Times:

 

A short guide to the Middle East

 

"Sir, Iran is backing Assad. Gulf states are against Assad!

 

Assad is against Muslim Brotherhood. Muslim Brotherhood and Obama are against General Sisi.

 

But Gulf states are pro Sisi! Which means they are against Muslim Brotherhood!

 

Iran is pro Hamas, but Hamas is backing Muslim Brotherhood!

 

Obama is backing Muslim Brotherhood, yet Hamas is against the US!

 

Gulf states are pro US. But Turkey is with Gulf states against Assad; yet Turkey is pro Muslim Brotherhood against General Sisi. And General Sisi is being backed by the Gulf states!

 

Welcome to the Middle East and have a nice day."

The common denominator here is the idiocy of the Obama administration. Still, he's not as much of an idiot as John McCain.

"Moral indignation is a standard strategy for endowing the idiot with dignity." Marshall McLuhan

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