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Thread: Today in Starting WWIII: Syria

  1. #1

    Today in Starting WWIII: Syria

    So, the U.S. (and reportedly the U.K.) have no sent Warships towards Syria, with the rumoured intention of sending a message (via Cruise Missile Courier) to the Govt. of Syria over their reported/unconfirmed/evidence-may-have-been-destroyed use of Chemical Weapons (i.e. Weapons of Mass Destruction).

    The U.S. is reportedly workign the dilo channels hardcore to get as much world support as it can to back their use of Force in Syria, a nation we are not at War with, and have no national security interests in. We are also apparently working to get a U.N. security council resolution (a la Iraq) to back our use of force, a resolution both Russia and China will almost assuredly block the passing of.

    So, where do you stand today on the use of U.S. Millitary Force in Syria, and why? Because if all the indicators are accurate, it's going to happen any day now.

  2. #2
    Another short term goal, which will have disastrous long term effects.

  3. #3
    I'd be against any military intervention in Syria. This thing is looking like Shia versus Sunny all throughout the ME. No reason to take sides here as both sides suck. Al Qaeda versus Hezbolla/Iran? Let them kill eachother off Iraq/Iran war style.

  4. #4
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    No. No more precious American blood spilled for these savages. My heart goes out to the innocent people but we are damned if we do and damned if we don't. Lets get our house in order.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Churchill View Post
    The U.S. is reportedly workign the dilo channels hardcore
    did you mean dildo?

  6. #6
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    About as interested in intervention in Syria as I am in the dozen posts about the VMAs in my news feed.

    Let these animals exterminate themselves. Even a penny spent would be a waste.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by quantum View Post
    did you mean dildo?
    Diplo

  8. #8
    One and the same!

  9. #9
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    I'm on board with everyone here. Stay out. There are no good guys to support so why bother. Why do we keep repeating this mistake?

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Churchill View Post
    So, the U.S. (and reportedly the U.K.) have no sent Warships towards Syria, with the rumoured intention of sending a message (via Cruise Missile Courier) to the Govt. of Syria over their reported/unconfirmed/evidence-may-have-been-destroyed use of Chemical Weapons (i.e. Weapons of Mass Destruction).

    The U.S. is reportedly workign the dilo channels hardcore to get as much world support as it can to back their use of Force in Syria, a nation we are not at War with, and have no national security interests in. We are also apparently working to get a U.N. security council resolution (a la Iraq) to back our use of force, a resolution both Russia and China will almost assuredly block the passing of.

    So, where do you stand today on the use of U.S. Millitary Force in Syria, and why? Because if all the indicators are accurate, it's going to happen any day now.
    Well, that's not accurate

  11. #11
    I have no problem whatsoever with cruise-missile-ing and drone-bombing the hell out of regime targets; chemical weapons bans are in the US' interest and they are meaningless unless their violation leads to consequences. But not a single US military person should be put at risk because of it.

  12. #12
    I rarely agree with Eugene Robinson. But he nailed it here:

    WASHINGTON -- History says don't do it. Most Americans say don't do it. But President Obama has to punish Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad's homicidal regime with a military strike -- and hope that history and the people are wrong.If it is true that the regime killed hundreds of civilians with nerve gas in a Damascus suburb last week -- and U.S. officials say there is "very little doubt" -- then Obama has no choice. The use of chemical weapons cannot be tolerated, and any government or group that does so must be made to suffer real consequences. Obama should uphold this principle by destroying some of Assad's military assets with cruise missiles.
    I say this despite my belief that Obama has been right to keep the United States out of the Syrian civil war. It is not easy to watch such suffering and destruction -- more than 100,000 people killed, millions displaced, cities pounded into rubble -- and do nothing. Now I believe we are obliged to hit Assad. But then what?
    Anyone who says we should "support the rebels" is making a wish, not a plan. Support them how? The one sure means of achieving regime change -- an all-out, Iraq-style invasion -- is out of the question. We could give heavy weapons, capable of shooting down Assad's planes and destroying his tanks, to some of the moderate rebel groups. But this materiel could end up in the hands of Islamist, anti-Western factions that seem a good bet to prevail in a post-Assad Syria.
    What about imposing a no-fly zone? Some people talk about this option as if it were a breeze, but in fact it would be a major undertaking. Syrian air defenses, which are substantial, would have to be destroyed. The zone would have to be patrolled by U.S. or allied aircraft. And if Assad held on, there would be pressure for deeper American involvement.
    A Reuters/Ipsos poll released Sunday found that about 60 percent of Americans believe the United States should stay out of Syria's civil war, while only 9 percent favor intervention. If it is proved that Assad used chemical weapons, the poll found, support for U.S. intervention rises to 25 percent. But 46 percent of those surveyed -- a large plurality -- said that even in the face of such proof, the United States should not act.
    Given recent history, it should be no surprise that Americans are gun-shy. Obama came into office promising to end our long, costly wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. There is good reason to fear that Syria is the most slippery of slopes -- and to believe that the only sure way to avoid sliding into the middle of this brutal, messy war is to stay far away.
    Despite all this, I unhappily conclude that Obama has to act.
    The president was right to make chemical weapons use the "red line" that Assad must not cross. Upholding the principle that such weapons must never, ever be employed is so important that Obama, in my view, really has no choice.
    Are the relatively few deaths caused by nerve gas really so different from the many more deaths caused by bullets, rockets and bombs? Yes, I believe they are.


    There is an international consensus that chemical weapons, because of their potential for mass annihilation, are beyond the pale; any government that uses them will lose all legitimacy. If one tinhorn despot is allowed to get away with gassing his opponents, other thuggish strongmen -- a category of which there is no shortage -- will be emboldened to follow suit.
    This is a case in which somebody has to be the world's policeman. Given Russia's alliance with Assad's regime and China's long-standing policy of indifference, the United Nations is almost sure to do nothing. France and Britain may step forward, as happened in Libya; but the essential military firepower and coordination will again be provided by the United States.
    It makes me nervous when "Western intelligence sources" make assertions about weapons of mass destruction in faraway lands; see Iraq. U.N. investigators are probably reaching the site too late for a definitive determination, given that the evidence is as evanescent as the wind. But the pictures and the eyewitness testimony are clear, and Assad had a motive: Earlier this month, rebels launched a rocket attack on his convoy.
    It will be difficult to design a missile strike that hurts Assad without drawing the United States into the war. But that is the thin line Obama must now walk.

    Read more: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/art...#ixzz2dBCA2BKe
    Follow us: @RCP_Articles on Twitter


    The only thing I'd say is it's not that difficult; simply stay out after that strike. Syria doesn't have the capacity to attack the US conventionally, and its non-conventional assets (Hezbollah) won't be any more motivated by a strike than they already are. Pound the hell out of them from the air, then say "and we're done; no further response from us unless one of the players does this again"

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by doggin94it View Post
    I have no problem whatsoever with cruise-missile-ing and drone-bombing the hell out of regime targets; chemical weapons bans are in the US' interest and they are meaningless unless their violation leads to consequences. But not a single US military person should be put at risk because of it.
    Why is it in the US' interest to enforce chemical weapons bans? Anyone who wants to use them against us, will do so given the opportunity no matter how many times we've "punished" the use of them against others in the past. The only thing punishing Assad for using chemical weapons on Syrian civilians does is make Assad less likely to use chemical weapons against Syrian civilians. If you're lucky perhaps you also persuade the next dictator not to gas his people either. What you're not going to do is save any American lives. I object to any intervention in Syria on the cost of replacing the cruise missiles arsenal alone.

  14. #14
    I suspect the pro intervention crowd to use the same ideological anti isolationist rhetoric we've heard so many times before.

    Make no mistake, launching a single cruise missile is effectively an act of war.

    Before we go to war I ask our elected officials, CIC, and pro war folks which one of their children will they be sacrificing first to lead the charge. Perhaps then we/they can determine "is it worth it?I



    Que the CCR now.
    Last edited by frostlich; 08-27-2013 at 11:52 AM.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Axil View Post
    Why is it in the US' interest to enforce chemical weapons bans? Anyone who wants to use them against us, will do so given the opportunity no matter how many times we've "punished" the use of them against others in the past. The only thing punishing Assad for using chemical weapons on Syrian civilians does is make Assad less likely to use chemical weapons against Syrian civilians. If you're lucky perhaps you also persuade the next dictator not to gas his people either. What you're not going to do is save any American lives. I object to any intervention in Syria on the cost of replacing the cruise missiles arsenal alone.
    It's in the US' interest because the US has the strongest conventional military around, and minimizing the availability of unconventional weapons maximizes that advantage. As for "anyone who wants to use them against us will do so"; that's simply not the reality as established by closing in on a century of precedent in warfare. There's no question that chemical weapons provide a distinct military advantage (they are harder to defend against, do more dispersed damage per strike, cost relatively little compared to conventional weapons, etc.) yet their use has been fairly effectively eschewed in every conflict since WWI - enough so that violations of that norm can be called out by name (i.e. Halabja). The reason for that track record is that using chemical weapons has always been a sucker's bet; you trade a short-term advantage for the long-term burden of the world's response. Halabja went a long way to destroying the US-Saddam relationship, and paved the way for Gulf War I. Change that calculus, and the use of chemical weapons with proliferate exponentially.

    Separately, the US announced the use of chemical weapons as a red line in Syria. Failure to respond militarily essentially signals to the rest of the world that American red lines are meaningless, and - by doing so - makes the world a vastly more dangerous place.

    Inaction is not always the safest course.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by doggin94it View Post
    It's in the US' interest because the US has the strongest conventional military around, and minimizing the availability of unconventional weapons maximizes that advantage. As for "anyone who wants to use them against us will do so"; that's simply not the reality as established by closing in on a century of precedent in warfare. There's no question that chemical weapons provide a distinct military advantage (they are harder to defend against, do more dispersed damage per strike, cost relatively little compared to conventional weapons, etc.) yet their use has been fairly effectively eschewed in every conflict since WWI - enough so that violations of that norm can be called out by name (i.e. Halabja). The reason for that track record is that using chemical weapons has always been a sucker's bet; you trade a short-term advantage for the long-term burden of the world's response. Halabja went a long way to destroying the US-Saddam relationship, and paved the way for Gulf War I. Change that calculus, and the use of chemical weapons with proliferate exponentially.

    Separately, the US announced the use of chemical weapons as a red line in Syria. Failure to respond militarily essentially signals to the rest of the world that American red lines are meaningless, and - by doing so - makes the world a vastly more dangerous place.

    Inaction is not always the safest course.
    So are you ready to confront, diplomaticly and millitarily, Russia, China and Iran (and most of the Middle East) over it?

    Is your desire to keep Israel safe form part of your basis for why we, 8,000+ miles away and with no direct interests within Syria, have some sort of moral casus belli for getting involved in a Civil War between a Murderous Tyrant and a Religious Terroristic Extremist Group(s)?

    Your "Red Line" argument smells FAR too similar to World War I's "We Mobilized, We Can't Go back Now" line of reasoning, and I find it as poor a basis for War now as it was back then.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by doggin94it View Post
    It's in the US' interest because the US has the strongest conventional military around, and minimizing the availability of unconventional weapons maximizes that advantage. As for "anyone who wants to use them against us will do so"; that's simply not the reality as established by closing in on a century of precedent in warfare.
    It's not? When do you believe someone could've turned the tide of a conflict against the US with chemical weapons, had access to them, but choose not to use them because of the political ramifications? Since WWII the US has never been involved in a war where the other side had any chance of defeating us as a nation. The best you could hope for was a Vietnam situation where it became too costly for the US to continue it's involvement. Using chemical weapons against us works against that objective. If a terrorist organization could get a truck load of nerve gas into a NYC subway station, you really think our actions in Syria would keep them from releasing it? You really think if we were in a war for our own survival against say China, biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons wouldn't be deployed because of some diplomatic agreement?

    Quote Originally Posted by doggin94it View Post
    There's no question that chemical weapons provide a distinct military advantage
    Yes there is, chemical weapons are devestating against a civilian populace, they're relatively ineffective against a military unit. Which by the way is why you didn't see them in WWII. Better conventional weapons and better gas masks. It was almost always better to drop napalm on soft targets than mustard gas.

    Quote Originally Posted by doggin94it View Post
    (they are harder to defend against, do more dispersed damage per strike, cost relatively little compared to conventional weapons, etc.) yet their use has been fairly effectively eschewed in every conflict since WWI - enough so that violations of that norm can be called out by name (i.e. Halabja). The reason for that track record is that using chemical weapons has always been a sucker's bet; you trade a short-term advantage for the long-term burden of the world's response. Halabja went a long way to destroying the US-Saddam relationship, and paved the way for Gulf War I. Change that calculus, and the use of chemical weapons with proliferate exponentially.
    see above
    Quote Originally Posted by doggin94it View Post
    Separately, the US announced the use of chemical weapons as a red line in Syria. Failure to respond militarily essentially signals to the rest of the world that American red lines are meaningless, and - by doing so - makes the world a vastly more dangerous place.

    Inaction is not always the safest course.
    On these two points i agree to an extent. I do believe the US should back up any and all threats it makes. However i wish we'd stop making threats. That's not going to happen though, but neither are we going to be satisfied with "cruise-missile-ing" Assad's military. Once we start firing missles at people we're involved. History is quite clear about that

  18. #18
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    Is anyone else wondering where Syria got these chemical weapons... aka, Weapons of Mass Destruction?

    I seem to remember a popular theory beaten down by flip-flopping leftists that Sadam shipped his chemical weapons into Syria before the useless UN inspectors could get to them.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Churchill View Post
    So are you ready to confront, diplomaticly and millitarily, Russia, China and Iran (and most of the Middle East) over it?
    Yes. Though the idea that this would trigger a military confrontation with any of those 3 is, I think, ludicrous. (BTW, most of the Middle East is Sunni and rabidly against the Assad regime and Iran/Iranian clients in general - see the Arab League reaction cited in this AP article http://abcnews.go.com/International/...ttack-20078364)

    Is your desire to keep Israel safe form part of your basis for why we, 8,000+ miles away and with no direct interests within Syria, have some sort of moral casus belli for getting involved in a Civil War between a Murderous Tyrant and a Religious Terroristic Extremist Group(s)?
    Without spending much time attacking your framing, absolutely not. Frankly, internationalizing the Syrian war is probably the worst possible thing for Israel's security. See Saddam lobbing scuds at Israel during Gulf War I and Syrian/Iranian threats to attack Israel if Syria is attacked as examples of the "hit Israel to get street cred/popular support" among Arab rulers. I think I pointed this out months ago - Israel has no real interest in the Syrian war because neither victor is likely to be particularly friendly to it.

    Your "Red Line" argument smells FAR too similar to World War I's "We Mobilized, We Can't Go back Now" line of reasoning, and I find it as poor a basis for War now as it was back then.
    Bull. A world where America has no credibility when it threatens the use of force is a much less safe world. As George Friedman put it today in Stratfor:

    This is no longer simply about Syria. The United States has stated a condition that commits it to an intervention. If it does not act when there is a clear violation of the condition, Obama increases the chance of war with other countries like North Korea and Iran. One of the tools the United States can use to shape the behavior of countries like these without going to war is stating conditions that will cause intervention, allowing the other side to avoid crossing the line. If these countries come to believe that the United States is actually bluffing, then the possibility of miscalculation soars. Washington could issue a red line whose violation it could not tolerate, like a North Korean nuclear-armed missile, but the other side could decide this was just another Syria and cross that line. Washington would have to attack, an attack that might not have been necessary had it not had its Syria bluff called.

    Read more: Obama's Bluff | Stratfor
    Follow us: @stratfor on Twitter | Stratfor on Facebook

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Axil View Post
    It's not? When do you believe someone could've turned the tide of a conflict against the US with chemical weapons, had access to them, but choose not to use them because of the political ramifications? Since WWII the US has never been involved in a war where the other side had any chance of defeating us as a nation. The best you could hope for was a Vietnam situation where it became too costly for the US to continue it's involvement. Using chemical weapons against us works against that objective. If a terrorist organization could get a truck load of nerve gas into a NYC subway station, you really think our actions in Syria would keep them from releasing it? You really think if we were in a war for our own survival against say China, biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons wouldn't be deployed because of some diplomatic agreement?
    I think the use of chemical weapons could have made US conflicts a hell of a lot more deadly for our soldiers over the past half-century, yes. I also think you're being a bit narrow-focused when you are asking about the use of chemical weapons in conflicts the US has been involved in; their use in conflicts the US isn't currently involved in would make the world, on the whole, a significantly more dangerous place for America and Americans long term. Part of that is the simple fact that since chemical weapons use is a sucker's bet, chemical weapons production is pretty much limited to countries already more or less on the **** list.

    Yes there is, chemical weapons are devestating against a civilian populace, they're relatively ineffective against a military unit. Which by the way is why you didn't see them in WWII. Better conventional weapons and better gas masks. It was almost always better to drop napalm on soft targets than mustard gas.
    Sure. But that was at a point where their use was expected and therefore prepared for. And the prep itself impedes the functioning of the military. You don't think the chemical weapons prep in advance of the Baghdad invasion impacted the speed with which US forces were able to carry out their missions?


    On these two points i agree to an extent. I do believe the US should back up any and all threats it makes. However i wish we'd stop making threats. That's not going to happen though, but neither are we going to be satisfied with "cruise-missile-ing" Assad's military. Once we start firing missles at people we're involved. History is quite clear about that
    Understood. Of course, the point of the threat was to prevent the weapons from being used; the calculus was that Assad would have to be crazy to risk US intervention and therefore he would toe the line. But he floated a trial balloon in June with a "small" bit of chemical weapons use and when the US didn't really respond, he figured we were all talk and that Obama would do whatever was necessary to avoid intervening in any way - and hence that the road was clear for broader use. Confirming that assessment by not responding now, either, is probably the single worst thing that could happen to US security and diplomatic interests, long term, out of the array of possible options.

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