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walter sobchak

Member Since 20 Jan 2012
Offline Last Active Today, 04:13 AM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Vote in parliament for military action

Yesterday, 06:36 PM

My work colleagues and I have. To summarise:
1. The Sunnis (including the moderates) mainly see Assad as the problem. They don't despute ISIS are dispacable and a problem. All Syrian rebel forces (including Al-Nusra) are fighting both Assad and ISIS. About 75% of the population are Sunni (incl Kurds). There are large numbers of Sufis fighting in the conflict as well as Salafists. Clearly the Salafist influence continues to grow but that is pretty understandable as these groups are the strongest militarily. There are still plenty of strong non-extremist groups about; the Southern Front who control much of Deraa south of Damascus are an example.
2. The Kurds are fighting courageously against ISIS but know full well they may well end up fighting Assad if he ever did regain control of what was Syria before civil war; they also are aware Turkey won't allow an autonomous Kurdish state to grow. The Kurds are largely Sunni.
3. The Christians, Yazidis, Druze et al are stuck between a rock and a hard place. They despise ISIS and all that groups stands for. They feel safer in regime-controlled territory. However, Christians in Syria have seen the brutality of Assad first hand the way with the bombing of places like Homs and Aleppo. About 10% of the population.
4. The Shia (incl Alawites) largely support Assad. They account for 15% of the population.
Clearly that is a broad brush summary. But it also highlights that the conflict is not simply black and white you like to state. Syria is an absolute cluster; it is incredibly complex. You have extremist and non-extremist elements in the north fighting with each other in north against Assad and ISIS. You have a dominate ISIS controlling the east, Assad controlling the west and former FSA controlling much of the South. They are all fighting each other.
Russian involvement is not going to solve the situation. Western backing of Assad won't solve the problem if they go down that route. The Sunnis hate him; go speak to someone who has fled Aleppo, Homs or non-regime controlled Damascus for example.
I don't offer any solutions or state remove Assad. I have been pretty clear on here that I don't think there is a solution. Syria and even Iraq don't now exist. We must defeat ISIS as they are barbaric but if you think siding with Assad will allow us to do that without alienating 75% of the Syrian population along with many Iraqis, you are sadly mistaken.

Sorry but I don't accept your claim that 75% of Syria's population oppose Assad. If that was truly the case he would have been defeated long ago. The same was said about gaddafi and Hussein but in reality these brutal dictators have millions of people that support them be it on ethnic, sectarian or tribal grounds whether you and I like it or not. We(the west) should work with Russia to defeat Isis and al Qaeda in Syria then help with the reconciliation process of all Syrians and let them decide their future rather than London, Washington, Paris and Moscow.

In Topic: Vote in parliament for military action

Yesterday, 04:22 PM

Just cant see him going now.  With Russian and Iranian help he will push the rebels back.  Followed by some collective punishment.
He'll probably bomb the kurds too, like everyone else does.

I think that the Kurdish areas of Syria are gone and that the best Assad can hope for is to work with them to defeat the jihadists in return for Kurdish autonomy in Syria like Iraq.

In Topic: Vote in parliament for military action

Yesterday, 04:16 PM

With Russia randomly threatening nuclear strikes, the US liable to return to isolationism and France liable to elect a pro-Russia fascist I think we do need nuclear weapons but the point about independent deterrant still stands

1. Who are Russia threatening to nuke?
2. The US aren't returning to isolationism anytime soon unless the American people elect bernie sanders(please god let this happen).
3. Who's the pro-Russia fascist?

In Topic: Vote in parliament for military action

Yesterday, 04:11 PM

I'd be radical - scrap it and invest the £100bn in putting free solar panels on every house in the UK to reduce people's electricity bills. I'd still charge people an electricity bill but much cheaper than the current big six do.

Exactly. Let's put that £100 billion to good use by rebuilding the UK's infrastructure, building new schools, hospitals, transport links, homes etc rather than spending it on weapons of mass destruction that we can't use without the say so of the US.

In Topic: Vote in parliament for military action

Yesterday, 04:06 PM

He probably is, especially when you factor in Iran's requirement to keep funding and arming their clients in Hezbollah. However, as a result, the Syrian Civil War will continue. He is despised by most of the population due to his brutality and the suffering he has inflicted across the country during this war. We may (rightly) highlight the barbarity of ISIS but to the majority in Syria, they presently aren't the problem. It is why you see non-extremist groups actually working alongside Al-Nusra in the north for example as defeating Assad is their main effort. There are no easy answers to solving the Syrian problem but Assad staying in power with the help of Russia isn't going to solve the Syrian Civil War, which absolutely should be the main effort for the UN collective.
Limassol is crawling with them; it props up the Cypriot economy so no wonder Russia is gaining influence. I think Bowes' point about cracks appearing across Europe, which Russia is exploiting isn't too far off the mark.

I think you need to ask the Christians, yazidis, Kurds, Shia and the sunni's who don't follow the extreme salafist version of Islam if Isis aren't presently the problem.