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Old 08-27-2013, 12:26 PM   #91
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Well - it looks like we're getting involved...

Military strikes on Syria 'as early as Thursday,' US officials say
Not sure if this is a good idea. For humanitarian reasons, definitely. But militarily, it may not be so good for the U.S. Do we really need to get tangled in other war? But if there's a coalition, that might help.
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Old 08-27-2013, 12:46 PM   #92
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Not sure if this is a good idea. For humanitarian reasons, definitely. But militarily, it may not be so good for the U.S. Do we really need to get tangled in other war? But if there's a coalition, that might help.

It may just be some cruise missile attacks. But it still can open a whole other can of worms.

I'm torn. The images of children dying from sarin gas is unbearable. Yet, I can't say which "side" is the lesser of two evils. The only other option would be to Nation Build - and I can't see anyone, Republican or Democrat, supporting another effort like that.
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Old 08-27-2013, 01:21 PM   #93
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no one really knows what to do here.

don't know if anyone saw the youtubes of the aftermath of the supposed chemical attack, but it's gut wrenching.

i suppose all you can do is enforce the notion that such weapons are off limits no matter the conflict, and enforce that, without actually taking a "side" in the conflict, but it's never so surgical as that.

what an awful situation.
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Old 08-27-2013, 01:56 PM   #94
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no one really knows what to do here.

don't know if anyone saw the youtubes of the aftermath of the supposed chemical attack, but it's gut wrenching.

i suppose all you can do is enforce the notion that such weapons are off limits no matter the conflict, and enforce that, without actually taking a "side" in the conflict, but it's never so surgical as that.

what an awful situation.
Yeah - I saw those videos. Wish I didn't.

Drones can be very accurate, which will unfortunately lead to government forces (or opposition forces) hiding chemical weapons under schools and hospitals.

It would take an invasion force of 300,000 to 500,000 personnel to invade, occupy, and rebuild a nation like Syria. It would also require a 10-plus year commitment. If the force is truly international (along the lines of the Gulf War) - then it may have a chance at success. But everyone's broke and focusing on their own economies...

I'm curious why I don't see more neocons pointing out that these are possibly the chemical weapons that were once in Iraq.
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Old 08-27-2013, 02:22 PM   #95
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from wikipedia...

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WMD conjecture in the aftermath of the 2003 invasion of Iraq

SYRIA


Former Iraqi general Georges Sada claimed that in late 2002, Saddam had ordered all of his stockpiles to be moved to Syria. He appeared on Fox News' Hannity & Colmes in January 2006 to discuss his book, Saddam's Secrets: How an Iraqi General Defied and Survived Saddam Hussein. Anticipating the arrival of weapon inspectors on November 1, Sada said Saddam took advantage of the June 4 Zeyzoun Dam disaster in Syria by forming an "air bridge", loading them onto cargo aircraft and flying them out of the country.
They were moved by air and by ground, 56 sorties by jumbo, 747, and 27 were moved, after they were converted to cargo aircraft, they were moved to Syria.

In January 2004, Nizar Nayuf, a Syrian journalist who moved to Western Europe, said in a letter to the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf that he knows the three sites where Iraq's weapons of mass destruction are kept inside Syria. According to Nayuf's witness, described as a senior source inside Syrian military intelligence he had known for two years, Iraq's WMD are in tunnels dug under the town of al-Baida near the city of Hama in northern Syria, in the village of Tal Snan, north of the town of Salamija, where there is a big Syrian air force camp, and in the city of Sjinsjar on the Syrian border with the Lebanon, south of Homs city. Nayouf also wrote that the transfer of Iraqi WMD to Syria was organized by the commanders of Saddam Hussein's Iraqi Republican Guard, including General Shalish, with the help of Assef Shawkat, Bashar Assad's cousin. Shoakat is the CEO of Bhaha, an import/export company owned by the Assad family. U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice responded to this accusation by saying "I don't think we are at the point that we can make a judgment on this issue. There hasn't been any hard evidence that such a thing happened. But obviously we're going to follow up every lead, and it would be a serious problem if that, in fact, did happen."

A similar claim was made by Lieutenant General Moshe Ya'alon, a former Israeli officer who served as chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces from July 2002 to June 2005. In April 2004, he was quoted as saying that "perhaps they transferred them to another country, such as Syria." General Ya'alon told the New York Sun more firmly in December 2005 that "He [Saddam] transferred the chemical agents from Iraq to Syria." The Fall 2005 Middle East Quarterly also reported Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon as having said in a December, 2002 appearance on Israel's Channel 2, "...chemical and biological weapons which Saddam is endeavoring to conceal have been moved from Iraq to Syria."

In February 2006, Ali Ibrahim al-Tikriti, a former Iraqi general who defected shortly before the Gulf War in 1991, gave an interview to Ryan Mauro, author of Death to America: The Unreported Battle of Iraq and founder of WorldThreats. In the interview, al-Tikriti, who was once known as the "Butcher of Basra", told Mauro:
I know Saddam's weapons are in Syria due to certain military deals that were made going as far back as the late 1980s that dealt with the event that either capitols were threatened with being overrun by an enemy nation. Not to mention I have discussed this in-depth with various contacts of mine who have confirmed what I already knew. At this point Saddam knew that the United States were eventually going to come for his weapons and the United States wasn't going to just let this go like they did in the original Gulf War. He knew that he had lied for this many years and wanted to maintain legitimacy with the pan Arab nationalists. He also has wanted since he took power to embarrass the West and this was the perfect opportunity to do so. After Saddam denied he had such weapons why would he use them or leave them readily available to be found? That would only legitimize President Bush, whom he has a personal grudge against. What we are witnessing now is many who opposed the war to begin with are rallying around Saddam saying we overthrew a sovereign leader based on a lie about WMD. This is exactly what Saddam wanted and predicted.

Al-Tikriti's interview was featured prominently on conservative web sites such as FrontPageMag and WorldNetDaily, but did not receive main stream press attention. Salon magazine editor Alex Koppelman doubts both Sada's and al-Tikriti's story, arguing that Syria's decision to side with the coalition against Iraq in 1990 would have nullified any previous military deals.

The Iraq Survey Group was told that Saddam Hussein periodically removed guards from the Syrian border and replaced them with his intelligence agents who then supervised the movement of banned materials between Syria and Iraq, according to two unnamed defense sources that spoke with The Washington Times. They reported heavy traffic in large trucks on the border before the United States invasion. Earlier, in a telephone interview with The Daily Telegraph, the former head of the Iraqi Survey Group, David Kay, said: "[W]e know from some of the interrogations of former Iraqi officials that a lot of material went to Syria before the war, including some components of Saddam's WMD program. Precisely what went to Syria, and what has happened to it, is a major issue that needs to be resolved." Satellite imagery also picked up activity on the Iraq-Syria border before and during the invasion. James R. Clapper, who headed the National Imagery and Mapping Agency in 2003, has said U.S. intelligence tracked a large number of vehicles, mostly civilian trucks, moving from Iraq into Syria. Clapper suggested the trucks may have contained materiel related to Iraq's WMD programs.

ISG formed a special working group to investigate and consider these claims. Charles Duelfer, head of inspectorate at time of publication, summarized the group's conclusion: "Based on the evidence available at present, ISG judged that it was unlikely that an official transfer of WMD material from Iraq to Syria took place. However, ISG was unable to rule out unofficial movement of limited WMD-related materials."
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Old 08-27-2013, 02:42 PM   #96
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In case anyone has been wondering what the other Arab nations think about this:

United Nations News Centre - UN-Arab League envoy ‘confident’ conference on ending Syria crisis will take place

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News...id-feast-.html

Syria Defiant as U.S. Allies Lay Ground for Strike - WSJ.com
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Old 08-27-2013, 09:57 PM   #97
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Doesn't look good.

Fears of a Larger War in the Middle East

Quote:
Will the phrase “Guns of August” one day refer not only to the prelude to World War I in 1914 but also to the prelude to a Middle East war in 2013?
That is the ominous question posed by Roger Boyes, the diplomatic editor of the Times of London and a foreign correspondent for the past 35 years.
“The direction of events in Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Iran should keep us awake at night. History is taking a dangerous turn,” he writes. “The region certainly cannot sustain two wars — Syria’s bloody insurgency and a near-civil war in Egypt — without wrecking established peace treaties and the normal mechanisms for defusing conflict.”
I sat down with Boyes in our London newsroom. He acknowledged that the conflicts coursing through a half-dozen Middle Eastern countries did not come from a single source, nor did they stem from a single reason.
But he feared the problems were becoming intractable and were spreading across state borders: “the new Sunni assertiveness, the rise of the jihad, the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood not only in Egypt but in every Arab society.”
And Boyes warned that, as in August 1914, the world was not paying enough attention.
“In August 1914 there was a lot of grouse shooting going on. In August 2013, politicians prefer to read doorstopper biographies in Tuscany and Cornwall. Yet the spreading Middle East crisis, its multiple flashpoints, is every bit as ominous as the prelude to war in 1914.”
The news certainly seems to get worse by the day. The West is now directly blaming the Assad regime for using chemical weapons against its own people in Syria. The drumbeat toward a military strike in Syria grows louder by the hour.
The U.K. is “making contingency plans,” according to the prime minister’s spokesman.
“The use of chemical weapons in the 21st century, on a large scale like this, cannot go unaddressed, cannot be ignored,” warned the French president.
And as the United States’ top diplomat put it: “President Obama believes there must be accountability for those who would use the world's most heinous weapons against the world's most vulnerable people."
Western officials warn that the decision of whether to attack Syria will be made this week.
The Guns of August, indeed.
ABC News' Mary-Rose Abraham and Brian Fudge contributed to this episode.
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Old 08-27-2013, 10:46 PM   #98
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Looks like I won't be getting out the Reserves any time soon...
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Old 08-28-2013, 04:29 PM   #99
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I know this might seem a little trivial with everything else going on, but man does this make me sad. And it's one thing to steal, but to destroy a 5000 year old artifact because it's too heavy to carry away is just incredibly ignorant
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/n...85_600x450.jpg
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Old 08-28-2013, 04:51 PM   #100
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There's been rumors that the Muslim Brotherhood wanted to blast away the pyramids and the Great Sphinx. Such insanity!
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Old 08-28-2013, 05:51 PM   #101
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Looks like I won't be getting out the Reserves any time soon...
I recently got out of the Marine Corps because of my leg, but now that it's starting to do better and I'm getting back into things I'd like to be able to reenlist in the Marine reserves myself. Right now with the downsizing they won't let me back in, but I get the feeling if this all goes downhill I might have a chance back in.
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Old 08-28-2013, 06:09 PM   #102
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I recently got out of the Marine Corps because of my leg, but now that it's starting to do better and I'm getting back into things I'd like to be able to reenlist in the Marine reserves myself. Right now with the downsizing they won't let me back in, but I get the feeling if this all goes downhill I might have a chance back in.
There's a ton of Marines (notice I didn't say ex-Marines) in the Army Reserves - ever considered that option?
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Old 08-28-2013, 10:29 PM   #103
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There's a ton of Marines (notice I didn't say ex-Marines) in the Army Reserves - ever considered that option?
I did think about it, but I just have too much pride being a Marine. I wouldn't feel right wearing a different uniform. Not that it matters because my friends father is a national guard recruiter and he said he tried to get someone with the same reenlistment code (medical discharge) and similar situation as me and wasn't able to.
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Old 08-29-2013, 06:51 PM   #104
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A government proposal here in the UK that would have allowed military intervention has been voted down by parliament. A bitter blow I imagine for Cameron who seems unreasonably gung ho about the whole situation.

Personally I am a bit conflicted most of the reports seem to lean towards Assad's regime being responsible, but the intelligence folks seem to be very cautious about linking it directly to him. While the use of chemical weapons on anyone deserves the harshest of penalties, i'm still wary of military involvement. Some people seem to be indicating that airstrikes will have limited effect on Syria's military, they are already moving things around, no one also knows whether it will deter him from using chemical weapons. Which then kinda leads to boots on the ground.

A large part of the rebels against Assad are also made up of Al Qaeda connected groups and others of that ilk. Iraq and Afghanistan have hardly been our highpoints in military intervention, yet I find this situation hard to ignore, and I don't like the idea of being isolationist in regards to such atrocities, the problem is I can't see what good we can achieve.
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Old 08-29-2013, 07:42 PM   #105
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^ I think everyone is being very cautious (and rightly so). This thing can get very out of hand very fast...
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