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Zoraptor

US attacks on Syria

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Bro, that wikilink doesn't even say that you can reliably identify planes by radar alone, now, except in theory. Yeah, there are suites to give them likely designations and have been for ages but those are nowhere near infallible or you wouldn't get any of the friendly fire incidents that happened in Gulf War 2 well after the 80s nor other unintended targetings like MH17 (or IranAir655, albeit that was the 80s). Even more recently than 2003 the Russians supposedly shot down 2 of their own Su24s during the Ossetia War because they mistook them for Georgian Su25s- and Georgia didn't even have Su24s (or anything supersonic, iirc).

 

Mostly though, having it tagged as an Su25 is the least of the problems with that story. The fundamental problem is that it is pretty definitively a SAM that hit MH17, and that was always the most likely explanation with being shot down air to air possible, but unlikely. An incorrect type attribution is far more likely than Russians deliberately picking- almost literally- the only combat plane which is incapable of shooting down an airliner for their alternative explanation.

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Acuity and speed is also dependent on processing power. Since ground-based EW platforms like Tin Shield don't have to worry as much about weight considerations compared to a Su-27, and thanks to Moore's Law you can fit a Cray in a command post, Russian early warning could easily have distinguish between a twin-engine air superiority fighter and a close-air support aircraft. Why the Su-25 is important is because once the reality dawned on the Kremlin their playbook dictated that they lie, quickly. Come up with lies faster than journalists could ask questions (as Gromnir is apt to point out with his Chicago reference, "Flim-flam, razzle dazzle them" and the truth gets muddied). They pulled the Frogfoot (about the only Ukrainian aircraft that had any business in that theater) detail out of their asses to keep the heat off their Donbass proxies, if only for the next half hour in the news cycle. And guess what? The Kremlin's useful idiots kept spouting their lies well after details arose that completely shot up the Su-25 story.

Edited by Agiel

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If it's that easy to distinguish aircraft there wouldn't be friendly fire incidents, would there. It's just not that easy, except in theory.

 

There were also other Ukrainian planes used in theatre both before and after MH17, eg MiG29s from ~five weeks earlier in 2014 and the two Mig29s that Ukraine officially claim as shot down were in August 2014. Ukraine mostly using Su25 is only important because that would influence what a contact had set as preliminary identifications, they clearly were using other planes in the region as well, just not as much since an air superiority fighter has little utility in that context. Ukraine also accused Russia of launching air to air attacks on its planes literally the previous day, as such having their own proper fighters in the area is eminently plausible.

 

As for flim flam razzle dazzle, the Russians gain literally nothing from claiming it was a Su25 as opposed to a Mig29 there.

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There are already thousands of US troops in S Korea and Japan.


The ending of the words is ALMSIVI.

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it's been like this for 50 years, South Koreans don't even blink when there is another round of saber rattling


Na na  na na  na na  ...

greg358 from Darksouls 3 PVP is a CHEATER.

That is all.

 

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"There's not any sort of option where a political solution is going to happen with Assad at the head of the regime." - Nikki Haley, US Ambassador to the UN

 

"Once the ISIS threat has been reduced or eliminated, I think we can turn our attention directly to stabilising the situation in Syria." - Rex Tillerson,  US Secretary of State

 

What I take from this is that Assad is going to go. Iraq and Libya were disasters. Hopefully, they do it right this time, by appointing, and protecting a secular, democratic leader. The last thing Syria needs is to have a power vacuum filled in by a theocratic, ultra-conservative Islamic group.

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"There's not any sort of option where a political solution is going to happen with Assad at the head of the regime." - Nikki Haley, US Ambassador to the UN

 

"Once the ISIS threat has been reduced or eliminated, I think we can turn our attention directly to stabilising the situation in Syria." - Rex Tillerson,  US Secretary of State

 

What I take from this is that Assad is going to go. Iraq and Libya were disasters. Hopefully, they do it right this time, by appointing, and protecting a secular, democratic leader. The last thing Syria needs is to have a power vacuum filled in by a theocratic, ultra-conservative Islamic group.

 

I can't do anything other than gape at the stupidity of people who believe that "doing it right this time" with the same old regime change recipe is even a remote possibility. Have you been in a coma these last 20 years?

 

Libya had a great standard of living and was one of the most secular Muslim countries. Supposedly, this is where a removal of an authoritarian leader would work, if anywhere. But this did not happen nearly fast and painlessly enough (like in Tunisia), and we got civil war. In civil wars, the most extreme and militant factions are always the ones who will come out on top. Unsurprisingly, Libya is now divided between islamic fundamentalists and the forces of Field Marshal Haftar, who in his disposition to inflict vigilante justice against islamists is looking increasingly like a new Gadaffi.

 

The US solution to Libya if they keep bombing the SAA is essentially handing over Western Syria to al-Nusra which are just as bad as ISIS, which will result in genocide of Christians and Alawites and the war spreading into Lebanon. The Kurds in Eastern Syria are cool at the moment, but if they start to forcibly remove Sunni Arabs and Christians from their areas to declare their own state the US will have another FUBAR situation on their hands, a civil war inside a civil war. Basically, to institute democracy the US would be forced to bomb every single warring faction to corral them into their respective areas, and occupy everything on top of that while eliminating extremists, which would require immense amounts of resources, hundreds of thousands of committed troops, and hundreds of thousands in additional civilian casualties (and that's not mentioning resistance from Russia, Iran, China and North Korea).

 

Really, the best feasible solution is to ensure Assad wins in the West without inflicting atrocities on the Sunnis, and ensure the SDF wins in the East, while avoiding Kurd vs. Sunni Arab vs. Christian free-for-all when the greater threat of ISIS disappears. Then hopefully, the winning parties can commence negotiations about a UN-monitored federal solution including regional self-governance. Worst-case we will get East Syria and West Syria, which is not that bad compared to status quo.

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"There's not any sort of option where a political solution is going to happen with Assad at the head of the regime." - Nikki Haley, US Ambassador to the UN

 

"Once the ISIS threat has been reduced or eliminated, I think we can turn our attention directly to stabilising the situation in Syria." - Rex Tillerson,  US Secretary of State

 

What I take from this is that Assad is going to go. Iraq and Libya were disasters. Hopefully, they do it right this time, by appointing, and protecting a secular, democratic leader. The last thing Syria needs is to have a power vacuum filled in by a theocratic, ultra-conservative Islamic group.

 

I can't do anything other than gape at the stupidity of people who believe that "doing it right this time" with the same old regime change recipe is even a remote possibility. Have you been in a coma these last 20 years?

 

If they are going to do it (they aren't, most likely) then there's no harm hoping they do it properly.

 

But yeah, the fundamental problem is that militant salafi jihadism with its philosophy fundamentally rooted in the 7th century and secular moderate democracy are not miscible concepts, and the one passably secular democratic group won't fight for western Syria. So you can't get secular democracy, and if you're not going to get secular democracy you pretty much have to settle for the 1/2 that Assad gives rather than the 0/2 the rebels do.

 

Libya had a great standard of living and was one of the most secular Muslim countries. Supposedly, this is where a removal of an authoritarian leader would work, if anywhere. But this did not happen nearly fast and painlessly enough (like in Tunisia), and we got civil war. In civil wars, the most extreme and militant factions are always the ones who will come out on top. Unsurprisingly, Libya is now divided between islamic fundamentalists and the forces of Field Marshal Haftar, who in his disposition to inflict vigilante justice against islamists is looking increasingly like a new Gadaffi.

At this point if they could get zombie Gaddafi back (Haftar was a top Gaddafi general, for those who don't know) with a new face and new name they'd take him. Haven't learned anything about trusting Saudi and Qatar though, and that's the fundamental problem since their reliance on retrograde salafi/ wahhabi states infects every decision the US makes in the ME every bit as much as their obsession with doing what Israel wants.

 

The US solution to Libya if they keep bombing the SAA is essentially handing over Western Syria to al-Nusra which are just as bad as ISIS, which will result in genocide of Christians and Alawites and the war spreading into Lebanon. The Kurds in Eastern Syria are cool at the moment, but if they start to forcibly remove Sunni Arabs and Christians from their areas to declare their own state the US will have another FUBAR situation on their hands, a civil war inside a civil war. Basically, to institute democracy the US would be forced to bomb every single warring faction to corral them into their respective areas, and occupy everything on top of that while eliminating extremists, which would require immense amounts of resources, hundreds of thousands of committed troops, and hundreds of thousands in additional civilian casualties (and that's not mentioning resistance from Russia, Iran, China and North Korea).

 

Really, the best feasible solution is to ensure Assad wins in the West without inflicting atrocities on the Sunnis, and ensure the SDF wins in the East, while avoiding Kurd vs. Sunni Arab vs. Christian free-for-all when the greater threat of ISIS disappears. Then hopefully, the winning parties can commence negotiations about a UN-monitored federal solution including regional self-governance. Worst-case we will get East Syria and West Syria, which is not that bad compared to status quo.

But that's not the best feasible solution for Israel or for Saudi or Qatar or Turkey though. It's just the best solution for Syria, and we can safely say that, to mildly paraphrase the great philosopher Kanye, "Trump doesn't care about Syrian people". The issue at the moment is that Assad is winning, and perhaps winning fast enough to prevent the Euphrates Valley being blocked to Iran and ISIS still hasn't taken Deir Ez Zor despite US help (!) in doing so. The US knows perfectly well that the strongest rebel factions outside the Kurds are literal headchopping salafi jihadis (x2) and literally Al Qaeda and that it isn't in their interests to let them win- it just isn't in their interests to let them lose. Same reason Israel has Al Qaeda (!) and ISIS (!!) next to the Golan Heights and actively protects them.

 

If the US cannot get the whole country then the end game involves balkanisation and perpetuation of the current status quo, not an actual solution.

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"There's not any sort of option where a political solution is going to happen with Assad at the head of the regime." - Nikki Haley, US Ambassador to the UN

 

"Once the ISIS threat has been reduced or eliminated, I think we can turn our attention directly to stabilising the situation in Syria." - Rex Tillerson,  US Secretary of State

 

What I take from this is that Assad is going to go. Iraq and Libya were disasters. Hopefully, they do it right this time, by appointing, and protecting a secular, democratic leader. The last thing Syria needs is to have a power vacuum filled in by a theocratic, ultra-conservative Islamic group.

 

I can't do anything other than gape at the stupidity of people who believe that "doing it right this time" with the same old regime change recipe is even a remote possibility. Have you been in a coma these last 20 years?

 

Libya had a great standard of living and was one of the most secular Muslim countries. Supposedly, this is where a removal of an authoritarian leader would work, if anywhere. But this did not happen nearly fast and painlessly enough (like in Tunisia), and we got civil war. In civil wars, the most extreme and militant factions are always the ones who will come out on top. Unsurprisingly, Libya is now divided between islamic fundamentalists and the forces of Field Marshal Haftar, who in his disposition to inflict vigilante justice against islamists is looking increasingly like a new Gadaffi.

 

The US solution to Libya if they keep bombing the SAA is essentially handing over Western Syria to al-Nusra which are just as bad as ISIS, which will result in genocide of Christians and Alawites and the war spreading into Lebanon. The Kurds in Eastern Syria are cool at the moment, but if they start to forcibly remove Sunni Arabs and Christians from their areas to declare their own state the US will have another FUBAR situation on their hands, a civil war inside a civil war. Basically, to institute democracy the US would be forced to bomb every single warring faction to corral them into their respective areas, and occupy everything on top of that while eliminating extremists, which would require immense amounts of resources, hundreds of thousands of committed troops, and hundreds of thousands in additional civilian casualties (and that's not mentioning resistance from Russia, Iran, China and North Korea).

 

Really, the best feasible solution is to ensure Assad wins in the West without inflicting atrocities on the Sunnis, and ensure the SDF wins in the East, while avoiding Kurd vs. Sunni Arab vs. Christian free-for-all when the greater threat of ISIS disappears. Then hopefully, the winning parties can commence negotiations about a UN-monitored federal solution including regional self-governance. Worst-case we will get East Syria and West Syria, which is not that bad compared to status quo.

 

 

**** off. Re-read my comment. I said Libya and Iraq were disasters, the former which you explained very well. If it were up to me, I would've left Gaddafi and Saddam alone. I should have clarified, I'm about as hopeful as Assad regime change working out well as I am Trump waking up one day and realising he's a ****wit. I also should have mentioned that the reason why I said "hopefully they do it right this time" is because one of oranges selling points was that he was critical of the establishments interventionist foreign policy, so maybe if they did decide to do a 180 and overthrow someone like Assad, they'd do it differently, possibly even effectively. 

 

Zoraptor, Nikki Haley also said that regime change is not only inevitable, but Trump's top priority for Syria after they defeat ISIS and remove the Iranian influence over Syria.

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...so maybe if they did decide to do a 180 and overthrow someone like Assad, they'd do it differently, possibly even effectively.

You don't get it do you? It's as if you are talking about how you are going to rearrange your furniture...

 

Zoraptor, Nikki Haley also said that regime change is not only inevitable, but Trump's top priority for Syria after they defeat ISIS and remove the Iranian influence over Syria.

Trump/U.S/The West has no business in the middle-east. U.S is responsible for the mess in the middle-east in the first place. The U.S deliberately went into Iraq knowing that no weapons of mass destruction were present in Iraq, not to mention that they were the ones who put Saddam into position in the first place. Is all of this starting to ring a bell, sonny?! How about if they would just effectively GO AWAY and leave the middle east to its own fate.

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The Ottomans did such a much better job at all of this....

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...so maybe if they did decide to do a 180 and overthrow someone like Assad, they'd do it differently, possibly even effectively.

You don't get it do you? It's as if you are talking about how you are going to rearrange your furniture...

 

Zoraptor, Nikki Haley also said that regime change is not only inevitable, but Trump's top priority for Syria after they defeat ISIS and remove the Iranian influence over Syria.

Trump/U.S/The West has no business in the middle-east. U.S is responsible for the mess in the middle-east in the first place. The U.S deliberately went into Iraq knowing that no weapons of mass destruction were present in Iraq, not to mention that they were the ones who put Saddam into position in the first place. Is all of this starting to ring a bell, sonny?! How about if they would just effectively GO AWAY and leave the middle east to its own fate.

 

 

I agree with you. The destabilisation of Iraq and Libya is what led to the **** storm in Syria in the first place. I read in a political journal once that Gaddafi wanted to make a gold standard backed currency for all of Africa to make their economy independent of the world bank by using their own resources. You've got a guy like Rex who was the CEO of Exxon-Mobil. I don't think for a minute that this has nothing to do with resource control. Hopefully they don't try to remove Assad.

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Hopefully they don't try to remove Assad.

They've been trying, they aren't going to stop. They have proven again and again that they almost never do...

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What do two pictures taken by al-Qaida's propaganda department have to do in a reasoned and impartial UN debate? Or might this be a dumb PR device?

Appeal to Emotion Fallacy is the phrase you are looking for?

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What I take from this is that Assad is going to go. Iraq and Libya were disasters. Hopefully, they do it right this time, by appointing, and protecting a secular, democratic leader.

:lol:

 

Sorry mate. Secular democratic leaders in this region??? Even if you could find one of those rare specimens, he would have no political clout whatsoever, because there would be no popular support. Lessons learned from previous disastrous wars in the region? Absolutely NIL! People in Syria will still be mostly Sunnis and their neighbours will still try to gobble up as many of them as possible to increase their political spheres of influence. Saudi Arabia and Turkey first and foremost. Just a little bit of ethnic cleansing so areas can be resettled here and there by Sunnis and be amenable to be included in their respective neighbouring countries.


“He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice.” - Albert Einstein

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There is lots of anti-Western propaganda and anti-Western sentiment  on this thread, its okay  and  its normal and to be expected. Its a Zora thread after all   :) . A  few general  comments

 

I know the historical precedence  is inconvenient for some  but we have to try to focus on the sequence of accurate events around the reasons the ME  is currently so destabilized, the Arab Spring is the primary reason for the worst conflicts in the region. The reasons for the Arab Spring has got nothing to do with the West, I repeat that

 

The Arab Spring has got NOTHING to do with the West, for those interested in the reasons for the Arab Spring this link summarizes it. Spend 20 minutes going through it

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arab_Spring

 

It started in Tunisia and spread throughout the ME  and various countries and the various protests and outcomes had different results in different countries 

 

But the fundamental reason for the Arab Spring was the actual citizens of numerous countries in the ME wanted more civil rights and they wanted to be part of the economy of their countries. It is perfectly understandable for the reasons  why the Arab Spring happened ...people wanting a better life for themselves 

 

Countries like Libya, Yemen  and Syria refused to give rights to citizens and decided to use their security forces to crush and annihilate any opposition, this is on those leaders and it is  there fault for not negotiating or looking for a reasonable political outcome. You also have the interminable Shia and Sunni historical conflict which is a huge factor for the Syria and Yemen civil wars

 

Libya was never this perfect country of peace and political stability, Gaddafi came to power through a military coup and never had a Democratic election in over 40 years, he brutally suppressed any opposition and ensured that his tribe and followers were the only ones that really benefitted from the oil and other resources

 

Here is a good link around Gaddafi, he was a brutal and intransigent ruler and he deserved the outcome he created. He was killed by his own people  

 

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-12688033

 

So in summary, the West is not primarily responsible for the terrible conflicts in places  like Syria or Libya. These were created by the results of the Arab Spring :)

Edited by BruceVC

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"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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What I take from this is that Assad is going to go. Iraq and Libya were disasters. Hopefully, they do it right this time, by appointing, and protecting a secular, democratic leader.

:lol:

 

Sorry mate. Secular democratic leaders in this region??? Even if you could find one of those rare specimens, he would have no political clout whatsoever, because there would be no popular support. Lessons learned from previous disastrous wars in the region? Absolutely NIL! People in Syria will still be mostly Sunnis and their neighbours will still try to gobble up as many of them as possible to increase their political spheres of influence. Saudi Arabia and Turkey first and foremost. Just a little bit of ethnic cleansing so areas can be resettled here and there by Sunnis and be amenable to be included in their respective neighbouring countries.

 

 

Tell that to a friend of mine studying political science, who said he's pretty sure Assad isn't the only one capable of governing, and that what will probably happen is that mid-level government and everything below would be left intact, while an interim government would be formed at the top, in addition to organised elections. He blamed incompetence for Iraq's failure, rather than the lack of good leadership options. His commentary is usually pretty sound, but I tend to be skeptical, too, that viable alternatives are available in that Syrian cluster****. Like I've said, if it were up to me, I wouldn't touch Assad.

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Zoraptor, Nikki Haley also said that regime change is not only inevitable, but Trump's top priority for Syria after they defeat ISIS and remove the Iranian influence over Syria.

 

 

She did, but the UN ambassador position has no actual power and is used (by basically everyone) for hatchet jobbing each other, the only dependant part is who is hatcheting whom at different times and on different issues. Samantha Power did exactly the same thing and said exactly the same things, nothing actually came of it. The US won't fight Russia unless they have to, and if they tried that they'd have to.

 

We've also been told the strike is a one off, and that the US won't themselves remove Assad from power by people like McMaster and Tillerson who are far higher food chain than Haley. If it's Turkey andor Saudi & rebels vs Syria and Russia it's the latter who wins, every time. Saudi loses pathetically to shoeless Houthis and Turkey, well, they were just told that they weren't wanted for the Raqqa campaign because they were too crap. The US will try and leverage Assad out via Russia and try and block Iran off from western Syria with 'their' rebels (indeed, they already tried exactly that last year though they lost rather badly) and that's about it- unless something else changes, or they're bonkers.

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Zoraptor, Nikki Haley also said that regime change is not only inevitable, but Trump's top priority for Syria after they defeat ISIS and remove the Iranian influence over Syria.

 

 

She did, but the UN ambassador position has no actual power and is used (by basically everyone) for hatchet jobbing each other, the only dependant part is who is hatcheting whom at different times and on different issues. Samantha Power did exactly the same thing and said exactly the same things, nothing actually came of it. The US won't fight Russia unless they have to, and if they tried that they'd have to.

 

We've also been told the strike is a one off, and that the US won't themselves remove Assad from power by people like McMaster and Tillerson who are far higher food chain than Haley. If it's Turkey andor Saudi & rebels vs Syria and Russia it's the latter who wins, every time. Saudi loses pathetically to shoeless Houthis and Turkey, well, they were just told that they weren't wanted for the Raqqa campaign because they were too crap. The US will try and leverage Assad out via Russia and try and block Iran off from western Syria with 'their' rebels (indeed, they already tried exactly that last year though they lost rather badly) and that's about it- unless something else changes, or they're bonkers.

 

 

Well, they're definitely bonkers. You've got a guy who thinks climate change is a Chinese hoax as chief in commander, plus the usual Christian fundamentalist suspects.

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There is lots of anti-Western propaganda and anti-Western sentiment  on this thread, its okay  and  its normal and to be expected. Its a Zora thread after all   :) . A  few general  comments

 

I know the historical precedence  is inconvenient for some  but we have to try to focus on the sequence of accurate events around the reasons the ME  is currently so destabilized, the Arab Spring is the primary reason for the worst conflicts in the region. The reasons for the Arab Spring has got nothing to do with the West, I repeat that

 

The Arab Spring has got NOTHING to do with the West, for those interested in the reasons for the Arab Spring this link summarizes it. Spend 20 minutes going through it

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arab_Spring

 

It started in Tunisia and spread throughout the ME  and various countries and the various protests and outcomes had different results in different countries 

 

But the fundamental reason for the Arab Spring was the actual citizens of numerous countries in the ME wanted more civil rights and they wanted to be part of the economy of their countries. It is perfectly understandable for the reasons  why the Arab Spring happened ...people wanting a better life for themselves 

 

Countries like Libya, Yemen  and Syria refused to give rights to citizens and decided to use their security forces to crush and annihilate any opposition, this is on those leaders and it is  there fault for not negotiating or looking for a reasonable political outcome. You also have the interminable Shia and Sunni historical conflict which is a huge factor for the Syria and Yemen civil wars

 

Libya was never this perfect country of peace and political stability, Gaddafi came to power through a military coup and never had a Democratic election in over 40 years, he brutally suppressed any opposition and ensured that his tribe and followers were the only ones that really benefitted from the oil and other resources

 

Here is a good link around Gaddafi, he was a brutal and intransigent ruler and he deserved the outcome he created. He was killed by his own people  

 

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-12688033

 

So in summary, the West is not primarily responsible for the terrible conflicts in places  like Syria or Libya. These were created by the results of the Arab Spring :)

The Arab spring happened because of climate change. Failed crops led to a boom of poverty and famine preceding the Arab spring. Things got started when a farm produce seller set himself on fire because of how bad conditions had gotten for him. This sparked a chain reaction where more and more grievances were aired until revolution was inevitable. When life gets ****ty like that the chances for political upheaval are naturally increased. All nations featured in the Arab spring had to deal with poor harvests, and many had leadership worth opposing.


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Zoraptor, Nikki Haley also said that regime change is not only inevitable, but Trump's top priority for Syria after they defeat ISIS and remove the Iranian influence over Syria.

 

 

She did, but the UN ambassador position has no actual power and is used (by basically everyone) for hatchet jobbing each other, the only dependant part is who is hatcheting whom at different times and on different issues. Samantha Power did exactly the same thing and said exactly the same things, nothing actually came of it. The US won't fight Russia unless they have to, and if they tried that they'd have to.

 

We've also been told the strike is a one off, and that the US won't themselves remove Assad from power by people like McMaster and Tillerson who are far higher food chain than Haley. If it's Turkey andor Saudi & rebels vs Syria and Russia it's the latter who wins, every time. Saudi loses pathetically to shoeless Houthis and Turkey, well, they were just told that they weren't wanted for the Raqqa campaign because they were too crap. The US will try and leverage Assad out via Russia and try and block Iran off from western Syria with 'their' rebels (indeed, they already tried exactly that last year though they lost rather badly) and that's about it- unless something else changes, or they're bonkers.

 

 

Well, they're definitely bonkers. You've got a guy who thinks climate change is a Chinese hoax as chief in commander, plus the usual Christian fundamentalist suspects.

 

 

I have a nice bridge catalogue I'd like to show you.

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So in summary, the West is not primarily responsible for the terrible conflicts in places  like Syria or Libya.

Not primarily but mostly. ;)


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The Arab spring happened because of climate change.

 

 

That was a contributing factor (especially in Syria), but not at all in, say, Libya. The factors vary for different places. The broadest root cause is that arab countries tend to have a high population growth rate but low economic one. That means that large segments of the population are either under or unemployed with very little prospects except of getting poorer. Add to that the influence of endemic corruption and radical Islam telling them that things can be All Right in the next life and you have a recipe for radicalisation.

 

Fair dos to Tunisia though, it was the least violent revolution and most successful; albeit in part because their radicals went off fighting elsewhere.

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Tell that to a friend of mine studying political science, who said he's pretty sure Assad isn't the only one capable of governing, and that what will probably happen is that mid-level government and everything below would be left intact, while an interim government would be formed at the top, in addition to organised elections. He blamed incompetence for Iraq's failure, rather than the lack of good leadership options. His commentary is usually pretty sound, but I tend to be skeptical, too, that viable alternatives are available in that Syrian cluster****. Like I've said, if it were up to me, I wouldn't touch Assad.

 

You can't just "leave mid-level government intact". "Removing Assad" does not mean that the US just presses a button, Assad is teleported away, and then the US gets to choose the next leader. Removing Assad would require a bloody, protracted conflict and a confrontation with Russia, Iran and Hezbollah. By the time you are done, there won't be anything intact. Nevermind the fact that the US would also need to turn on terrorists Assad is currently fighting and defeat them as well, so the US would need to commit ground troops themselves for this idiocy.

 

Even if you could somehow snipe Assad, we've seen what happens in that situation in Libya. Remember what Obama said was his greatest mistake in office? Khadaffi was removed from Libya and elections were held, after which the country quickly broke down into civil war with Khadaffi 2.0 versus islamic fundamentalists, with western powers leaning towards Khadaffi 2.0. Same in Egypt - dictatorship was turned into democracy only for the US to support another military coup when the islamists won the election.

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"Well, overkill is my middle name. And my last name. And all of my other names as well!"

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