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Old 08-22-2013, 06:46 PM   #81
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Still I hear no answers to what should be done about it?
Yes, that is the million dollar question. I'm hopeful that solar grid parity, electric cars, and 3D printing (reduces need for shipping) - technology that simply cuts off the oil money. We're still another 10-15 years from that occurring, and it well certainly cause more instability in the region in the short term - but it would hopefully "quarantine" their issues until they can resolve them on their own.

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Blaming it on Islam is washing away our own culpability in maintaining the Saudis as they are, who are one of the biggest funders of terrorism, but we are either to cowardly or greedy to confront that.
Again, I don't think peace and equality are so easily achieved in Islamic countries - even with the economic stability that a post-scarcity world brings.
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Old 08-22-2013, 07:05 PM   #82
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Again the current 'bloodbath' in Egypt started when a secular military seized power from an Islamic government and then started slaughtering the followers of that government. The majority of the slaughter is fairly one way currently.

Assad is a secular dictator slaughtering religious Muslims in the resistance to his dictatorship. Being particularly adherent to any religion in the middle east is not the cause, is nowhere near being the cause of its instability. Islam does not have the overreaching power you claim it has.

Poverty is the driver of the lack of education not Islam. Something we are only too happy to support in the likes of Saudi Arabia. Plus Islam is not one thing, its as fractious as Christianity is with the different interpretations in it. It's teachings vary from imam to imam and depending on how much adherence they give to the sayings to Muhammad (I forget the proper name for these) as opposed to the Quran. Plus of course many of things that get blamed on Islam are derived from cultural traditions mainly from Saudi Arabia such as the idea that women have to be completely covered.


The current 'bloodbath' is a result of a militant Islamist organization taking to arms after their radical leader was dethroned from his ensuing reign of terror. You know, the same organization that took to arms to break their 'leader' Mohammed Morsi out of prison in 2011. Yes, he was in prison.

To say the majority of the 'slaughter' (if that's what you're calling it) is one way is inaccurate. As with the situation in Syria, the only word that is getting out is that of the 'freedom fighters' AKA militant terrorists.

What happened in Egypt? Islamists took advantage of an overthrow in government and successfully gained power through means of forgery and bribery. Morsi tried to seize complete power and failed. The majority of the nation stood out against Morsi and his government and demanded him to give up his autocratic path that threatened the minority in Egypt, and he said no. The majority spoke out, and there was an ultimatum. The military spoke the will of the people. The opposition now, rebels, are of the minority. They're armed, and they're fighting back.

Just ask yourself... if this happened here in this country, would it be tolerated? The totalitarian actions of Morsi. The destruction of the minority's house of worship. The militant protesting and arming of individuals. No. Not one bit. If Obama tried to change the constitution and silenced all Republicans, he would be removed from power. If individuals destroyed mosques, they would be arrested. If individuals protested in arms, they would be killed on the spot.
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Old 08-22-2013, 07:20 PM   #83
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Since you mentioned Syria and there have been reports of another chemical weapon attack - do you think it is feasible that Islamic "freedom fighters" would use gas on the citizens and then blame it on Assad in order to provoke the West to come in on their side?

Of course it's feasible.

We should avoid the situation in Syria - as tragic as it is for the ordinary people that live there. I would send in drones and robots if we had enough.
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Old 08-22-2013, 07:23 PM   #84
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Truth be told we have no idea one way or the other how accurate the initial elections were, but Morsi's election was fairly supported by the West. There is plenty to say it was a fair election and plenty to say it was not. We don't really have a clue. We have no idea if the majority of Egyptians supported or not the dethronement of Morsi. The rebels are fighting back after their political party has been banned and raids on their offices and the forceful breaking up of protests, the initial protests did not appear to be violent. And though they are now they are woefully outnumbered by a military preventing people having proper funerals (preventing bodies being buried within 24 hours) reports of families being made to say that a person clearly shot died of natural causes.

There is no right side in this conflict in Egypt, why do you think the likes of Baradei has left the interim government?
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Old 08-22-2013, 07:24 PM   #85
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Since you mentioned Syria and there have been reports of another chemical weapon attack - do you think it is feasible that Islamic "freedom fighters" would use gas on the citizens and then blame it on Assad in order to provoke the West to come in on their side?

Of course it's feasible.

We should avoid the situation in Syria - as tragic as it is for the ordinary people that live there. I would send in drones and robots if we had enough.
Assad is the one that has current access to the chemical weapons, your getting into conspiracy theories with that thinking.
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Old 08-22-2013, 07:40 PM   #86
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Assad is the one that has current access to the chemical weapons, your getting into conspiracy theories with that thinking.
I didn't say it actually happened - but I certainly think it is feasible.

Are these the chemical weapons that were shipped out of Iraq pre-invasion? Are they homegrown? Is there some chain of custody you're aware of? Are they all accounted for? How can you say that Assad is the only one with access to chemical weapons?

Also - it doesn't make sense that Assad would do the one thing that would bring the Western military against him - but stranger things have happened.

The bigger point is this - neither side in that war can be trusted. We just fought these same "freedom fighters" in Iraq and Afghanistan, now they suddenly love us?
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Old 08-22-2013, 07:58 PM   #87
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You would have to take the view then that the insurgents are using chemical weapons on their own people. That makes less sense. Its a mess we should stay well clear of I agree.
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Old 08-22-2013, 08:35 PM   #88
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Truth be told we have no idea one way or the other how accurate the initial elections were, but Morsi's election was fairly supported by the West. There is plenty to say it was a fair election and plenty to say it was not. We don't really have a clue.
Yes, we do. Bribery of the poor was widely noted during the election. Who cares if the west supported it? The west can be wrong. The west is wrong. Ask the Egyptian people.

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We have no idea if the majority of Egyptians supported or not the dethronement of Morsi
Explain the massive turnouts for his ouster protests. Explain his approval rating of his people being somewhere in the 20% region. Explain the massive unprecedented celebrations following his removal from power. The Egyptian people, majorly, wanted him gone.
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The rebels are fighting back after their political party has been banned
Their political party that just so happens to be a wing of an extremist organization that promotes terrorism.

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and raids on their offices and the forceful breaking up of protests, the initial protests did not appear to be violent.
The protests were not broken up with gunfire and Molotov cocktails. They were broken up and met with militant resistance. That is what such an organization does. The same type of organization that will have snipers aiming at police hiding in a mosque, and then playing innocent when someone innocent dies because police open fire in their general direction when one of their heads get blown off.

Are you familiar with everything that is going on in Egypt? How about rebels firing RPGs at a bus filled with police officers returning from vacation, and then executing each individual roadside with a bullet to the head. Peaceful my ass.

Blah blah blah stop buying into the stupid ass story of a "freedom fighter against an oppressive regime". The Egyptian military is ENTIRELY in the right here, with failure to operate properly being their downfall.
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Old 08-22-2013, 08:53 PM   #89
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I'm not buying into the freedom fighter against an oppressive regime? So we're all for military coups and dictatorships now days?

Yes massive groups turned up against Morsi, large groups turned up in support of him as well. In Belfast there where i'm from there were massive protests on the 12th against the parades commission decision, doesn't mean they were right or that is what exactly the whole of the public opinion was on the issue.

Just because there were large protests does not mean we know exactly the wealth of support for either side. My general understanding is Morsi is far more popular in the countryside than he was in the cities and was generally from those of a poorer background.

So we can't trust the voting in Egypt but we can trust approval figures? I mean approval figures everywhere are pretty shit for whoever is in power.

I do not approve of Morsi's actions while in power but that does not mean I approve of the military who even after Mubarak sought to maintain their own power in the country. While I can approve of ousting a crappy regime I am not going to give them my complicit approval to do what they like. You could probably list forever incidents from either side in a conflict about who is the worse and I have no doubt the islamic groups involved are doing terrible things, I however do not think it makes the military the ones in the right, they are the ones with the ability to commit much greater wholesale slaughter than any terrorist.
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Old 08-27-2013, 10:12 AM   #90
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You would have to take the view then that the insurgents are using chemical weapons on their own people. That makes less sense. Its a mess we should stay well clear of I agree.
Well - it looks like we're getting involved...

Military strikes on Syria 'as early as Thursday,' US officials say

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Missile strikes against Syria could be launched “as early as Thursday,” senior U.S. officials said Tuesday as the White House intensified its push toward an international response to the suspected use of chemical weapons.
The “three days” of strikes would be limited in scope, and aimed at sending a message to Syria's President Bashar Assad rather than degrading his military capabilities, U.S. officials told NBC News.
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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

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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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