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Syria and Obama


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#281 JohnM

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Posted 02 September 2013 - 05:55 AM

That's what I wondered about.There are those who resent Cameron because he went into coalition with the Lib Dems, there are those who resent his stance on same-sex marraige, there are those who want is out of Europe. I wonder if these "collide" as it were. Farage though, has spoken out against involvement in Syria.



#282 Bedford Roughyed

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Posted 02 September 2013 - 06:05 AM

That's what I wondered about.There are those who resent Cameron because he went into coalition with the Lib Dems, there are those who resent his stance on same-sex marraige, there are those who want is out of Europe. I wonder if these "collide" as it were. Farage though, has spoken out against involvement in Syria.

 

Dorries certainly fits that description.


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#283 ckn

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Posted 02 September 2013 - 09:49 PM

University of Nottingham provides an overview of sarin and chemical weapons

 


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#284 gingerjon

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 06:15 PM

Whereas the New York Times provides a more direct video about the delights of the rebels we'd be supporting.

 

Link via the Daily Beast


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#285 The Future is League

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 08:17 AM

For the poliiticians who voted for war with Syria, and newspaper jounalists who are in favour of war, perhaps if their children were sent to the front line it might focus their minds better.



#286 walter sobchak

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 08:36 AM

For the poliiticians who voted for war with Syria, and newspaper jounalists who are in favour of war, perhaps if their children were sent to the front line it might focus their minds better.


They're ready to fight to the last drop of somebody else's blood.

#287 ckn

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 10:06 AM

For the poliiticians who voted for war with Syria, and newspaper jounalists who are in favour of war, perhaps if their children were sent to the front line it might focus their minds better.

I have been trying my best to keep out of this but can you show me one single instance where a politician in the UK, France or US has proposed ground troops?  This will be much like the attacks in the former Yugoslavia with the US and UK essentially sitting back at arms length and firing with impunity at forces that can't really strike back.  There's not much that the vaunted Syrian air defence network of cold war systems can do against missiles and our better drones, we don't even need to send aircraft if we don't want to these days.

 

If it were me launching any attacks, I'd be ignoring the rather cowardly retreats into civilian areas of many of their armoured and strategic assets, I'd simply destroy their air force and make their airfields unusable.  That's a significant punitive measure that wouldn't interfere too much with the civil war or overly aid the rebels but would show to the world that we mean what we say about using chemical weapons.  As I mentioned many times already in this thread, there's little point targeting the chemical weapons themselves as they can be remade quite simply and the risks involved in attacking them outweigh the benefits.

 

On the wider topic, I saw one US report last week about the Syrians having stockpiles of weapons grade biological weapons.  For those of you who'd rather retrench to the borders at the English Channel, would you intervene if these were used?  These are in many ways worse than nuclear weapons but without the big bang.


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#288 archibald

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 10:35 AM

For the poliiticians who voted for war with Syria, and newspaper jounalists who are in favour of war, perhaps if their children were sent to the front line it might focus their minds better.

In times of conscription I may agree, but people are free to choose if they sign up these days. Being handed a gun and fancy uniform may be a clue as to what might be expected of you.



#289 Wolford6

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 12:00 PM

This is taken from a Western Mail column about about Winston Churchill:

 

No such obstacles for him in February 1920, before the start of the Arab Uprising in Iraq. As Secretary of War and Air he told Sir Hugh Trenchard, pioneer of air warfare: “I do not understand this squeamishness over the use of gas. I am strongly in favour of using poison gas against uncivilised tribes.”

Gas, phosphorous bombs and a kind of napalm were all used by Sir Arthur Harris, the future “Bomber” Harris, city-killing destroyer of Dresden. After experimenting on a few defenceless villages he announced: “The Arab and the Kurd now know what real bombing means in casualties and damage. Within 45 minutes a full-sized village could be practically wiped out and a third of its inhabitants killed or injured.”

 

http://www.walesonli...-become-5833925


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#290 Phil

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 12:53 PM

This is taken from a Western Mail column about about Winston Churchill:

 

No such obstacles for him in February 1920, before the start of the Arab Uprising in Iraq. As Secretary of War and Air he told Sir Hugh Trenchard, pioneer of air warfare: “I do not understand this squeamishness over the use of gas. I am strongly in favour of using poison gas against uncivilised tribes.”

Gas, phosphorous bombs and a kind of napalm were all used by Sir Arthur Harris, the future “Bomber” Harris, city-killing destroyer of Dresden. After experimenting on a few defenceless villages he announced: “The Arab and the Kurd now know what real bombing means in casualties and damage. Within 45 minutes a full-sized village could be practically wiped out and a third of its inhabitants killed or injured.”

 

http://www.walesonli...-become-5833925

 

 

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#291 GeordieSaint

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 01:09 PM

I have been trying my best to keep out of this but can you show me one single instance where a politician in the UK, France or US has proposed ground troops?  This will be much like the attacks in the former Yugoslavia with the US and UK essentially sitting back at arms length and firing with impunity at forces that can't really strike back.  There's not much that the vaunted Syrian air defence network of cold war systems can do against missiles and our better drones, we don't even need to send aircraft if we don't want to these days.

 

If it were me launching any attacks, I'd be ignoring the rather cowardly retreats into civilian areas of many of their armoured and strategic assets, I'd simply destroy their air force and make their airfields unusable.  That's a significant punitive measure that wouldn't interfere too much with the civil war or overly aid the rebels but would show to the world that we mean what we say about using chemical weapons.  As I mentioned many times already in this thread, there's little point targeting the chemical weapons themselves as they can be remade quite simply and the risks involved in attacking them outweigh the benefits.

 

The US representative at the United Nations categorically stated that there would be no ground troops and that it would be a short strategic strike to deter Assad (and ultimately the rebels) not to use chemicals weapons. However, the media as ever have misrepresented the intentions and misinformed the wider public, hence the perception if you ask Joe Bloggs on the street in both the US and here that troops will be dying on foreign lands once more. The battle for the hearts and minds of our own populations has been lost and a long time ago; the Russians, Chinese and Iranians will be reacting with glee over the unfolding debacle here and in the US. They are gradually strangling Western society of natural resources and influence across the world.

 

As for launching attacks, the opportunity has now been missed in my opinion. In order to make the point and to actually inflict damage on the regime, the element of surprise (as with any military attacg) is vital and needs to be inacted quickly. Assad will have moved the vast majority of his military and governmental assets into civilian locations whilst the West and UN have been proven to be a bunch of bundling idiots by the delaying diplomatic tactics utilised predominantely by Russia.


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#292 archibald

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 01:16 PM

As for launching attacks, the opportunity has now been missed in my opinion. In order to make the point and to actually inflict damage on the regime, the element of surprise (as with any military attacg) is vital and needs to be inacted quickly.

This is what puzzles me, why not just do it then deny doing it. I'm pretty certain the first bombs could have hit within hours of the first pictures appearing.



#293 gingerjon

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 04:38 PM

This will be much like the attacks in the former Yugoslavia with the US and UK essentially sitting back at arms length and firing with impunity at forces that can't really strike back. 

 

That makes it all okay then.


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#294 ckn

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 05:03 PM

That makes it all okay then.

Not really, but it does provide an almost complete defence against the "our poor soldiers forced into another ground war".


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#295 walter sobchak

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 05:23 PM

Reading reports and gossip coming out of the US and the beltway it looks like both houses of congress will vote the war with Syria down by a larger than expected margin. The question then will be does Obama accept this or go against both the UN and US congress, not to mention the overwhelming majority of the American people.

#296 Methven Hornet

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 08:31 PM

Reading reports and gossip coming out of the US and the beltway it looks like both houses of congress will vote the war with Syria down by a larger than expected margin. The question then will be does Obama accept this or go against both the UN and US congress, not to mention the overwhelming majority of the American people.

 

Well, I think he does have the power to take military action without the approval of Congress, just as David Cameron can do so without a vote in parliament. If either of them think that military action against the Assad regime is essential from a moral standpoint, they should go ahead regardless of the political cost to themselves. Sending a message about using chemical weapons is surely more important than their political survival/democratic credentials. 


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#297 Wolford6

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 11:27 PM

Sending a message about using chemical weapons is surely more important than their political survival/democratic credentials. 

 

We have already established that we have used chemical weapons against civilians ourselves and allowed Israel to do the same.

 

Hypocrisy, it's what we are famous for.


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#298 Methven Hornet

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 06:25 AM

We have already established that we have used chemical weapons against civilians ourselves and allowed Israel to do the same.
 
Hypocrisy, it's what we are famous for.

 
In that case the message would be that it's okay for the US and its allies to use them, but not you!
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#299 archibald

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 06:35 AM

We have already established that we have used chemical weapons against civilians ourselves and allowed Israel to do the same.

 

Hypocrisy, it's what we are famous for.

Is slavery ok?



#300 gingerjon

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 06:45 AM

Not really, but it does provide an almost complete defence against the "our poor soldiers forced into another ground war".

 

I can't speak for everyone else but I think most people understand that the articulated plan is just to bomb Syria from a great height and a great distance.  The assumption being that a crackpot dictator who is engaged in a lengthy bloodthirsty civil war against bloodthirsty rebels (in which he as the support of two major undemocratic military nations) will, having seen some of his weapons and a few more of his people wiped out, decide not to kill in quite such an unpleasant way again.  It's not assumed that he will actually stop killing, that the civil war will end, or that the two major undemocratic military nations will change their minds.  And if he does kill in that nasty way again we'll need to do something else but he probably won't.  Maybe.

 

It's the sheer idiotic brilliance of the idea that one strike will sort it all out that defies belief.  Of course it won't.  And if we leave it at one strike then what was the point?  And if we aren't prepared to follow up that strike with other courses of action up to and including ground forces then there's no point.  Assad and his nutjob rebels will just watch the explosions in the sky and know that if they wait it out there's no resolve to actually go in and sort it out properly.


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