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Syria

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Balladeer
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0 posted 06-12-2011 10:19 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer


Well, Syria is proving to be much more radical than Egypt or Libya. Seen the videos lately? Seen the civilian body count lately? What's a Barack to do now? Ignore it and completely invalidate his actions in the other two countries or get us involved in another war? His knee-jerk reactions are coming back to haunt him...
Uncas
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1 posted 06-12-2011 10:39 AM       View Profile for Uncas   Email Uncas   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Uncas

If he's learned anything he'll do nothing.

The US policy of intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan was plain dumb, the intervention in Libya was slightly less so (at least they had an exit strategy). Hopefully the lesson of 'learning by your mistakes' will result in the right decision this time.

But I'm not holding my breath.

.
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2 posted 06-12-2011 04:10 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Well, not doing anything would indicate that he learned something. Indications that he learned something would indicate that he screwed up. Somehow I don't see him making that admission although I agree with you on the preferred course of action.

While we are pondering imponderables, where is the Untied Nations?? (no, tht is not a spelling error). Syria should fall right into the reasons why they exist. We have a  massacre of unarmed citizens by a government on steroids. We have videos of soldiers standing on downed citizens, singing while they stomp their heads with boots and  gun butts. We have applause from the onlookers, probably some of the same people who were shocked and aghast at the pictures from Abu Ghrab. Isn't the UN supposed to unite to deal with things like this? If not, what the heck are they for? To pass out sanctions they don't enforce??
Uncas
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3 posted 06-12-2011 05:17 PM       View Profile for Uncas   Email Uncas   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Uncas

quote:
Indications that he learned something would indicate that he screwed up.


Of course he screwed up - he was gambling that a short intervention would give the rebels the chance to overthrow the Libyan government - the gamble failed. What makes Libya a vast improvement over Iraq and Afghanistan though is that, unlike Iraq and Afghanistan, he didn't go all in. That's a lesson learned.

quote:
Isn't the UN supposed to unite to deal with things like this? If not, what the heck are they for?



The UN was formed primarily to keep the peace between nations not to interfere in the internal politics and policies of individual nations. The exception would be upholding the principles of human rights which is also one of their stated goals. Normally that would entail imposing sanctions on governments who were clearly and systematically abusing the rights of their citizens, physically intervening where there was a high risk of a de facto civil war or genocide.

That was the excuse in Libya.

It's the same one the EU is trying to peddle this week at the UN with regard to Syria. They've taken the first step but Russia and China will probably veto any resolution especially any that even hints at future military intervention - they're quick at learning lessons too.

Huan Yi
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4 posted 06-12-2011 05:35 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


Syria is allied to Iran.
End of story.


.
Balladeer
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5 posted 06-12-2011 06:41 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Yes, he screwed up. You know it, I know it, anybody with half a brain at least knows it. Funny thing about politicians, though, is that they will not acknowledge that and will even add to the screw-up not to acknowledge it, believing that if they tell the lie convincingly enough they can make people believe they didn't. Obama is doing that right now with the economy figures. Let's see what happens.....

The exception would be upholding the principles of human rights which is also one of their stated goals. Normally that would entail imposing sanctions on governments who were clearly and systematically abusing the rights of their citizens, physically intervening where there was a high risk of a de facto civil war or genocide.

Well, that makes a lot of sense, doesn't it? Imposing sanctions on governments slaughtering it's citizens, as if the decree of a sanction is  something a murderous regime would pay attention to. That sanction sharing hasn't had too successful of a past record, has it?

physically intervening where there was a high risk of a de facto civil war or genocide

Hmmmm...woudn't you consider a 1300 (and climbing) dead body count, tanks bearing down on civilians, soldiers stomping unarmed people to death, and mass exoduses of people to neighboring countries....couldn't that be called a high risk of genocide? Maybe just a little, UN???

It's just another incident showing how the UN is nothing more than a sad joke no one is laughing at.....or that everyone is laughing at.
Denise
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6 posted 06-13-2011 06:12 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

I heard somewhere, don't know how valid it is, that Libya, right before being attacked, had decided to require gold only for its oil, no more fiat currencies, and that is why Gadhafi has to be removed.  
Bob K
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7 posted 06-13-2011 01:58 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     Interesting thought, Denise.  Do you think the oil companies are pushing President Obama in that direction?

     Mike, it sounds like you'd actually love to have somebody intervene in Syria, so long as it wasn't the United States.  If the U.N. takes part, however, wouldn't that involve us?  I'm not sure if we've paid our back dues there or not, but how can you be urging us to get involved one way and not the other?

     You may have forgotten that Syria as well as Egypt were go-to guys for us when we wanted to have prisoners tortured but didn't want to do it ourselves.  Despite the behavior you now deplore, we used them to exert exactly that behavior on people we didn't like through several administrations.  What I saw on tv sure appeared to be a lot like torture to me, or maybe they were simply beating people to death.

     Exactly whose side do you want the U.N. to come down on, in what way, using how much force, and how will you know if that intervention makes things better or worse, Mike?  The whole area is a nightmare of chaos right now, and in order to have a decent outcome, you need to think things through more clearly than I've been able to do so far.  My concern has mostly been with American domestic politics and domestic civil rights and human rights issues, and only secondarily with the outcomes in Syria and in Libya.

     What about yours?
Uncas
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8 posted 06-13-2011 02:29 PM       View Profile for Uncas   Email Uncas   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Uncas

quote:
Yes, he screwed up. You know it, I know it, anybody with half a brain at least knows it. Funny thing about politicians, though, is that they will not acknowledge that and will even add to the screw-up not to acknowledge it, believing that if they tell the lie convincingly enough they can make people believe they didn't.


They'd be stupid if they did acknowledge Libya as a mistake Mike. That would throw away the only positive thing they gained from the whole debacle - the belief among would-be tyrants that they might just do it again.

Announcing that Libya was a mistake and that you weren't likely to do the same thing again would be like building a nuclear deterrent and then insisting that you wouldn't use it under any circumstances - slightly dumb.

quote:
Hmmmm...woudn't you consider a 1300 (and climbing) dead body count, tanks bearing down on civilians, soldiers stomping unarmed people to death, and mass exoduses of people to neighboring countries....couldn't that be called a high risk of genocide?


It could Mike. However it could just as easily be called a political uprising by armed dissidents being legitimately suppressed by the Syrian Government depending on who you ask.

.
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9 posted 06-13-2011 02:30 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

You may have forgotten that Syria as well as Egypt were go-to guys for us when we wanted to have prisoners tortured but didn't want to do it ourselves.

Bob. please don't expect me to respond to comments like that...except to say I won't respond.
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10 posted 06-13-2011 02:34 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

That would throw away the only positive thing they gained from the whole debacle - the belief among would-be tyrants that they might just do it again.

Yes, that worked well for deterring Syria, didn't it?


it could just as easily be called a political uprising by armed dissidents being legitimately suppressed by the Syrian Government depending on who you ask.

Don't need to ask at all. Watch the videos that have been smuggled out. There is plenty of evidence to view out there without asking anyone.

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11 posted 06-13-2011 02:37 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Exactly whose side do you want the U.N. to come down on, in what way, using how much force, and how will you know if that intervention makes things better or worse, Mike?

Change U.N. to NATO and you could ask the same question about Libya and Egypt. Did you?
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12 posted 06-13-2011 04:27 PM       View Profile for Uncas   Email Uncas   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Uncas


quote:
Yes, that worked well for deterring Syria, didn't it?


That depends on how much worse it might have been Mike, my guess is that the Syrian government certainly factor in what happened in Libya when considering their options, one thing's for sure - it didn't make the situation any worse.

quote:
Don't need to ask at all. Watch the videos that have been smuggled out. There is plenty of evidence to view out there without asking anyone.


In that case what should the UN be doing about the genocide perpetrated by the US in Iraq Mike or doesn't that situation fit your criteria? There were more than 0.006% of the civilian population killed, civilians were tortured, tanks in the streets and a mass exodus - what makes Iraq different?

Just asking.

Huan Yi
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13 posted 06-13-2011 05:03 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


"In that case what should the UN be doing about the genocide perpetrated by the US in Iraq "


Genocide?
I think the media would have been all over it . . .
.
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14 posted 06-13-2011 06:07 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

one thing's for sure - it didn't make the situation any worse.

I have no idea what  you are saying there. Obama's actions in Libya didn't make the Syrian situation any worse....so that's ok then? That's a positive for Obama and Libya? We don't know how much worse it might have been? You're saying there's a possibility the Syrian gov't actions could have been worse, had Obama not jumped into Libya??? You see some kind  of restraint on their part that you can base on their fear  of Obama? You're trying to speculate on the possibility of a positive by taking into account things that didn't happen?? That's little more than a safe tidy cop-out, since it is impossible to validate. You trying to imitate Obama, explaining the rising unemployment rate or why his stimulus plan didn't stimulate? Uncas, you can normally build a pretty good case for whatever point you are trying to make, whether I agree with them or not, but inferring that the Syrian situation could have been tempered by our going into Libya is too far out there for me to even consider. If the Syrian gov't had, for example, imposed a curfew, suspended individual rights, closed newspapers, banned smoking hashish on Sundays or something of the like, you could have a case. Instead they are slaughtering them, hunting them down, attacking them with tanks and troops, killing them in the streets while laughing about it on camera. You want to make the case that they could be restraining themselves because we jumped into the Libyan situation is just way, way too far out there to even consider.

"In that case what should the UN be doing about the genocide perpetrated by the US in Iraq "

I wasn't aware of American genocide in Iraq. What the UN should have done was to have done something about Saddam Hussein genocide when he was in power,


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15 posted 06-13-2011 08:06 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

No, if it's true, Bob, I don't think it's the oil companies behind the Libyan attack because of the gold requirement. More likely, France and the U.N., with of course, help from Obama. I mean the nerve of that Gadhafi, wanting payment for oil in something with actual value like gold, instead of the world's funny money.
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16 posted 06-13-2011 08:16 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K




     John, the results of my google search for U.S. genocide in Iraq ran to about 32 million items.  Perhaps that doesn't count for the media having been all over it in your book unless the media is in complete agreement or is entirely on the right, but to me it indicates a serious discussion about a problem in which folks have shown substantive interest.

     We should both probably have a closer look before dismissing the subject as too trivial for discussion, don't you think?

     As for Sadaam Hussein, he was a bad fella, but for a long time, people tend to forget, he was our bad fella, and served as our proxy in the area.  Neither we nor the soviets had terribly clean hands when it came to our unternational cars-paws, and I fear that we were both correct quite frequently when we accused each other of consorting with and supporting tyrants.

     Why at this late date should we pretend otherwise?

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17 posted 06-13-2011 08:34 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K


quote:

Exactly whose side do you want the U.N. to come down on, in what way, using how much force, and how will you know if that intervention makes things better or worse, Mike?

Change U.N. to NATO and you could ask the same question about Libya and Egypt. Did you?



     You certainly could make that change and pose that question of me, and I would feel an obligation to at least try to answer it, especially if I'd seem that you were willing to answer the questions I asked you beforehand, and didn't feel as though you were changing the subject to avoid grappling with them.

     As an attempt at good faith, though I felt that NATO was asked to intervene in Libya by other muslim countries, I was against it.  If you remember, I've said so before.  There is a problem with congressional approval; even though a significant number of republicans in congress did approve, no vote was taken.  Despite attempts to edge toward an imperial Presidency separate from congressional oversight, I am against it.  On these grounds I was against the involvement in Libya.

     In short, nobody's side, without force and in large part because it is pretty much impossible to know if application of force will improve things or make them fall apart and impossible to know who will be left holding the bag.

     This, by the way, is much the same way (I saw the Iraq scenario, and it is pretty much the way that situation is playing itself out.  The predictions about a series of revolutions across the middle east made by neocons at the beginning of that conflict is, however, playing itself out.  Apparently those folks at that time thought that would be wonderful.

     I was against military involvement in Egypt.  There was none.

     I would hope that you will take a good faith shot at answering my questions before asking for further clarification on my answers.  Fair enough?.
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18 posted 06-14-2011 02:22 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Exactly whose side do you want the U.N. to come down on, in what way, using how much force, and how will you know if that intervention makes things better or worse, Mike?

Well, you have a government gunning down over a thousand unarmed civilians demanding freedom, Do you really need to ask me which side I would want action against? How much force? That would depend on what they determine the objective to be. According to Uncas,  one of the objectives ofthe UN is "physically intervening where there was a high risk of a de facto civil war or genocide."

How would you know if the intervention would make things better or worse? No one can ever know that. We certainly don't know it in Libya....or Egypt, for that matter. I think it would have been better for the 1300+ who have died and the unknown number that will follow them.

Btw, I am answering because I want to. I feel no obligation to answer just as you have no obligation to answer mine and I don't accept your premise that I should feel the obligation to do so. If I feel that something is worth responding to, I will....the same choice you have.
Uncas
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19 posted 06-14-2011 02:00 PM       View Profile for Uncas   Email Uncas   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Uncas

quote:
I have no idea what you are saying there.


I think that's because you've assumed, wrongly, that my saying "it didn't make the situation any worse" was a suggestion that it automatically made it better.  Take a deep breath Mike and read my full statement again:

" That depends on how much worse it might have been Mike, my guess is that the Syrian government certainly factor in what happened in Libya when considering their options, one thing's for sure - it didn't make the situation any worse."

If the Syrian government were planning a genocide then the attack on Libya could either encourage them, discourage them or have no effect whatsoever. My guess is that not attacking Libya would encourage them and attacking Libya would either discourage them or have no effect whatsoever. If I'm right attacking Libya would have two possible effects, neither of which would make the situation in Syria any worse.

I wasn't handing out praise to Obama Mike, I think the decision to attack Libya was wrong, not as wrong as the decision to attack Iraq and Afghanistan but still wrong. I was simply explaining that your suggestion that he should announce to the world just how wrong he was would negate the only positive to come out of the whole debacle - the deterrent factor.

quote:
I wasn't aware of American genocide in Iraq.


I was using your criteria Mike, civilian deaths, tanks in the street, mass exodus etc. You said that we didn't need to ask, that the conclusion was clear - if it's clear in one case why isn't it in the other?

A double standard perhaps? An inconsistency or hypocrisy?

.
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20 posted 06-14-2011 02:15 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

If I'm right attacking Libya would have two possible effects, neither of which would make the situation in Syria any worse.


Still a bit confusing to me but, then, I'm not always the sharpest knife in the drawer. If it is your assertion that neither scenario would make the situation in Syria any worse, would you claim, then, that either situation would make the situation any better? If your answer is yes, I'd like your reasoning. If it is no, then you are saying that, in either case, Obama's actions with regards to Libya would have no effect on Syria at all. This would seem to contradict your claim that the positive of Obama's action was to deter others,which it would not have done with Syria at all, which was my point.
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21 posted 06-14-2011 02:30 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

I was using your criteria Mike, civilian deaths, tanks in the street, mass exodus etc. You said that we didn't need to ask, that the conclusion was clear - if it's clear in one case why isn't it in the other?


Does having civilian deaths make it genocide, especially when records show that over 80% of civilian deaths in Iraq are caused by other than the military? Is there a mass exodus of Iraquis fleeing the country so the Americans won't kill them?

genocide (ˈdʒɛnəʊˌsaɪd) n the policy of deliberately killing a nationality or ethnic group [C20: from geno-, from Greek genos race + -cide ] geno'cidal

The deliberate destruction of an entire race or nation. The Holocaust conducted by the Nazis in Germany and the Rwandan genocide are examples of attempts at genocide.


Is the US seeking out and killing people based on their ethnic origin or nationality? Are they organizing a mass destruction of an entire race or nation? Your use of the word genocide relating it to US actions in Iraq is way out of line. Now, if you wanted to ask that question about genocide being perpetrated by the terrorists and their bombings of civilians, it would be closer...but still not genocide.


Uncas
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22 posted 06-14-2011 06:11 PM       View Profile for Uncas   Email Uncas   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Uncas

quote:
If it is your assertion that neither scenario would make the situation in Syria any worse, would you claim, then, that either situation would make the situation any better?


If it discouraged Syria from a planned genocide then yes - if there was no effect at all, no, but either way the situation wouldn't be any worse Mike.

quote:
Does having civilian deaths make it genocide


It was one of the criteria you applied to Syria.

quote:
especially when records show that over 80% of civilian deaths in Iraq are caused by other than the military?


The records are questionable, but even if we accept your figures that means that 20,000+ civilians were killed by the military.

quote:
Is the US seeking out and killing people based on their ethnic origin or nationality? Are they organizing a mass destruction of an entire race or nation? Your use of the word genocide relating it to US actions in Iraq is way out of line. Now, if you wanted to ask that question about genocide being perpetrated by the terrorists and their bombings of civilians, it would be closer...but still not genocide.


I simply applied the same criteria to Iraq that you applied to Syria Mike. If you insist that one is unquestionably genocide why isn't the other?

Personally I don't think either qualifies.

.
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23 posted 06-14-2011 08:11 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

When we get down to a "Why not do it? It can't make matters worse." philosophy with regards to military invervention, we are in real trouble. His "only positive" you described turned out to not be a positive at all so he may just as well acknowledge he screwed up. Of course that's not going to happen but he'll have to come up with something soon. His time is almost up.
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24 posted 06-14-2011 10:10 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



quote:

Well, you have a government gunning down over a thousand unarmed civilians demanding freedom, Do you really need to ask me which side I would want action against? How much force? That would depend on what they determine the objective to be. According to Uncas,  one of the objectives ofthe UN is "physically intervening where there was a high risk of a de facto civil war or genocide."



     Well, Mike, I'm very sad to say that in this instance I have to say "yes."

     I feel reluctant to say "yes," because I'm as upset about these folks as you are, I think.  But the question has come up about U.S. involvement in these things; and in the U.N. is involved, then the U.S. is involved, isn't it, if only for not vetoing that involvement in the security counsel.  And that, I'm afraid, would be putting the U.S. into another war without a vote by congress, wouldn't it?

     Now if you could get congress to vote to do such a thing, that would be a different matter, wouldn't it?  

     But I very much doubt you or I can arrange such a thing with the Tea Party wing of the Republican Party holding the seats it does in congress, and with the regular republican party unsure of its willingness to support such ventures as might make the President more popular and all.  You might have some of the Republicans in leadership positions say that they favored such a thing, but I doubt that it would ever come to a vote; and if it did, I'm not sure how they would feel they had to go on record.

     And that's without even considering the potential problems in the Democratic party.  I suspect there'd be more than a fair number of those as well.  You might be better at listing what some of them might be than I would.

     As you've said, there as so many places in the world where we should or might intervene, what makes this or that one special?  We can't be everywhere doing everything for everybody.

     This is a paraphrase of some of your own statements, but, frankly, statements that have a lot of reality to back them up.  Sometimes pity and sympathy are enough; often they aren't, and the why of the matter is often a politican call.

     I should say that I owe you some thanks for your offering a response, and that I'm glad you were able to find it in your heart to do so.  I'm quite appreciative.

 
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