Page 5 of 9 FirstFirst ... 34567 ... LastLast
Results 41 to 50 of 83

Thread: Clinton condemns Syria 'atrocity' in Houla

  1. #41
    A Man Without A Country
    Mr. Invisible's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    New Jersey
    Last Seen
    Today @ 10:15 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Other
    Posts
    4,960
    Blog Entries
    71

    Re: Clinton condemns Syria 'atrocity' in Houla

    Quote Originally Posted by DiAnna View Post
    "Everybody in the middle east" does not know that. What is known is that Iran is supporting Syria's government with weapons, which were confiscated before reaching their destination. We also know that Saudi's are supporting the rebels with money and arms, because they admitted they are. A lot of support for the rebels is coming, oddly enough, from Lebanon. That is what is "known". Your statement is just a throwaway accusation because you presume America is behind everything that happens in that part of the world. We're not.



    Again, you don't "know" a thing. The Egyptian rebellion resulted directly from the success of the Tunisian rebellion, which America nor any other country was involved with. It was strictly an impromptu Tunisian protest that grew when one of the protestors deliberately set himself on fire. After the Egyptian rebellion started, most European countries and the US supported the people's bid for democracy. When the USA had such close ties with Mubarrak and the Egyptian military, why would we jeopardize that by trying to start a coup against them? We wouldn't, and we didn't. Because the Egyptian rebellion was a so-called "success", stability in the region has been shaken, we no longer have warm relations with Egypt's government or its military, and the "rebels" are more likely to be anti-American Islamists than anything else.

    Again, you point fingers at us out of habit, not out of a knowledge of fact.

    Actually, she is right- to an extent. Concerning US support for the rebels, it is quite true.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Invisible View Post
    I entirely agree with the bolded, but I must bring up the fact that the US and its allies have been intervening in the civil war by supporting the rebels. (See this, this, and this.


    Concerning US involvement in the Arab Spring. It is also quite true. For example, the US was supporting civil society groups in Egypt (Manufacturing Dissent: U.S. covertly fermented uprising in Egypt to protect its interest | Asian Tribune) as well as tried to shape the outcome of the Tunisian uprising (AFP: US helping shape outcome of Tunisian uprising). Finally, the Council on Foreign Relations, America's most prominent foreign policy think tank, came up with the idea of Arab democracy in June of 2005 [the report is free to download, despite it saying it costs $15] (In Support of Arab Democracy - Council on Foreign Relations). Thus US interest and involvement in Arab democracy was quite intense.

    Edit: However, I would not say that the US engineered the Arab Spring, but rather they tried to control and manipulate it to their own advantage.
    "And in the end, we were all just humans, drunk on the idea that love, only love, could heal our brokenness."

  2. #42
    Sage

    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    New York
    Last Seen
    Today @ 12:40 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Centrist
    Posts
    11,691

    Re: Clinton condemns Syria 'atrocity' in Houla

    The Washington Post has called for "U.S. leadership" on Syria in a new editorial. Although the current editorial falls short of calling for U.S. military action, it implies just that. First, it talks about the failure of the UN (no real surprise to those who have seen the UN underperform time and again in dealing with such conflicts). Second, it provides a link to an earlier editorial in which the newspaper all but endorsed a U.S. military role.

    The earlier editorial cites a general who expresses exactly the kind of overoptimistic assumption that underlay both the Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts. It states, "But Gen. Mattis said that if the Assad regime were to collapse, 'it’ll be the biggest strategic setback for Iran in 20 years.'” Quite frankly, what the U.S. needs is more realists and fewer idealists. Neither the Afghanistan nor Iraq conflicts ended happily ever after with peace, democracy, and prosperity. Had the military planners heeded both countries' history, they would have seen the high risk of civil conflict in both states. With Syria comprised of a minority Alawite dictatorship, Shia, and Sunni, regime change is not automatically assured of leading to democratic rule, much less a government that would be friendly to U.S. interests and U.S. allies such as Jordan and Israel. Given the lack of compelling U.S. interests, Congress should not be mislead by hopeless optimists such as Gen. Mattis.

    The editorial also states:

    But Gen. Dempsey also reported that the military mission of stopping the Assad forces could be accomplished. And the best way to ensure that extremists do not hijack the Syrian opposition is for the United States and its allies to identify and support more moderate elements.

    As more than two months have passed since this op-ed, the U.S. should now have a keen understanding of who would lead Syria's new government, what principles it would stand for, and what foreign policy it would pursue. It has little more understanding of the civil conflict and the Opposition than it did at the time The Post wrote its piece.

    In the end, regardless of whether the Assad regime survives or is toppled, the historic circumstances and institutional framework that resulted in Syria's evolving into a dictatorship remains unchanged. Odds favor a destabilizing impact, possibly with Iran exploiting the resulting power vacuum to play an even more direct role in Syria (to safeguard its interests there) and in Lebanon (given its relationship to Hezbollah and hostility to Israel). It is telling that neither Israel nor Jordan, both key U.S. allies who border Syria are banging the drums for military intervention. They well know that far from the fairy tale ending envisioned by Gen. Mattis, a perspective that has seduced the U.S. to badly underestimate the costs and challenges associated with two recent conflicts, something far less favorable is the more likely one. There's no assurance that the new regime might not prove to be more revolutionary and more destablizing than the Assad regime. Furthermore, there's little chance that Iran would stand idly by if it felt that its critical interests in Syria were exposed.

  3. #43
    Sage

    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    New York
    Last Seen
    Today @ 12:40 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Centrist
    Posts
    11,691

    Re: Clinton condemns Syria 'atrocity' in Houla

    This message is an expansion of my point that the U.S. needs is more realists and fewer idealists in positions of foreign policy and national security. As noted earlier, neither the Afghanistan nor Iraq conflicts ended happily ever after with peace, democracy, and prosperity. Had the military planners heeded both countries' history, they would have seen the high risk of civil conflict in both states. Given that dismal outcomes that resulted from placing hopes above reality and the rosiest assumptions ahead of concrete contingencies, one should be particularly wary of those who peddle reworked versions to rationalize military intervention in Syria's civil conflict.

    With Syria comprised of a minority Alawite dictatorship, Shia, and Sunni, regime change is not automatically assured of leading to democratic rule, much less a government that would be friendly to U.S. interests and U.S. allies such as Jordan and Israel. Here's what Brent Scowcroft had to say on Syria in a recent CNN interview.

    On Syria's political situation and the efficacy of regime change:

    It's not by accident that Syria has never really known a democracy. It's a very complicated country -- ethnically, religiously, culturally. And so my sense is if Assad left tomorrow, the Syrian problems would not end.
    On whether military intervention i.e., arming the anti-Assad rebels or creating no-fly zones would be effective:

    They could turn what is now an insurrection kind of activity into a full civil war. But is it enough without the fracturing of the Army? The Army is a -- the Syrian Army is a complicated thing. But sort of the fracturing of that, you make violence more extreme, but solving the problem, it's not going to do it, I don't think.
    On what would be his suggested course of action:

    I think sanctions are, in the long run, probably the most useful thing. And Assad can go until one of two things happens, either his military seizes to support him or splits, and the business community deserts him. Neither of those has fundamentally happened yet.
    The complete interview can be found at: CNN.com - Transcripts

    And in a recent op-ed, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger wrote:

    For the United States, a doctrine of general humanitarian intervention in Middle East revolutions will prove unsustainable unless linked to a concept of American national security. Intervention needs to consider the strategic significance and social cohesion of a country (including the possibility of fracturing its complex sectarian makeup) and evaluate what can plausibly be constructed in place of the old regime.
    That piece can be found at: A new doctrine of intervention? - The Washington Post

  4. #44
    Banned
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Last Seen
    09-14-17 @ 08:22 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Undisclosed
    Posts
    879

    Re: Clinton condemns Syria 'atrocity' in Houla

    Quote Originally Posted by Dittohead not! View Post
    In this parallel universe, 911 was perpetrated by Islamic extremists. If, in yours, it was a part of a giant conspiracy by the US government, perhaps you could come and join the rest of us here in what we like to refer to as the "real world."
    You still try to cheat people with that lies? Compare to those war criminals (Bush, Cheney, Rumsfelt...) some officials seem better. At least they know what the shame is.

    9/11 After A Decade: Have We Learned Anything?

    by Dr. Paul Craig Roberts

    The chairman, vice chairman, and senior legal counsel of the 9/11 Commission wrote books partially disassociating themselves from the commission’s report. They said that the Bush administration put obstacles in their path, that information was withheld from them, that President Bush agreed to testify only if he was chaperoned by Vice President Cheney and neither were put under oath, that Pentagon and FAA officials lied to the commission and that the commission considered referring the false testimony for investigation for obstruction of justice.

    In their book, the chairman and vice chairman, Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton, wrote that the 9/11 Commission was “set up to fail.” Senior counsel John Farmer, Jr., wrote that the US government made “a decision not to tell the truth about what happened,” and that the NORAD “tapes told a radically different story from what had been told to us and the public.” Kean said, “We to this day don’t know why NORAD told us what they told us, it was just so far from the truth.”

    Most of the questions from the 9/11 families were not answered. Important witnesses were not called. The commission only heard from those who supported the government’s account. The commission was a controlled political operation, not an investigation of events and evidence. Its membership consisted of former politicians. No knowledgeable experts were appointed to the commission.

    One member of the 9/11 Commission, former Senator Max Cleland, responded to the constraints placed on the commission by the White House: “If this decision stands, I, as a member of the commission, cannot look any American in the eye, especially family members of victims, and say the commission had full access. This investigation is now compromised.” Cleland resigned rather than have his integrity compromised.

    9/11 After A Decade: Have We Learned Anything?

  5. #45
    A Man Without A Country
    Mr. Invisible's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    New Jersey
    Last Seen
    Today @ 10:15 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Other
    Posts
    4,960
    Blog Entries
    71

    Re: Clinton condemns Syria 'atrocity' in Houla

    Quote Originally Posted by donsutherland1 View Post
    The Washington Post has called for "U.S. leadership" on Syria in a new editorial. Although the current editorial falls short of calling for U.S. military action, it implies just that. First, it talks about the failure of the UN (no real surprise to those who have seen the UN underperform time and again in dealing with such conflicts). Second, it provides a link to an earlier editorial in which the newspaper all but endorsed a U.S. military role.

    The earlier editorial cites a general who expresses exactly the kind of overoptimistic assumption that underlay both the Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts. It states, "But Gen. Mattis said that if the Assad regime were to collapse, 'it’ll be the biggest strategic setback for Iran in 20 years.'” Quite frankly, what the U.S. needs is more realists and fewer idealists. Neither the Afghanistan nor Iraq conflicts ended happily ever after with peace, democracy, and prosperity. Had the military planners heeded both countries' history, they would have seen the high risk of civil conflict in both states. With Syria comprised of a minority Alawite dictatorship, Shia, and Sunni, regime change is not automatically assured of leading to democratic rule, much less a government that would be friendly to U.S. interests and U.S. allies such as Jordan and Israel. Given the lack of compelling U.S. interests, Congress should not be mislead by hopeless optimists such as Gen. Mattis.

    The editorial also states:

    But Gen. Dempsey also reported that the military mission of stopping the Assad forces could be accomplished. And the best way to ensure that extremists do not hijack the Syrian opposition is for the United States and its allies to identify and support more moderate elements.

    As more than two months have passed since this op-ed, the U.S. should now have a keen understanding of who would lead Syria's new government, what principles it would stand for, and what foreign policy it would pursue. It has little more understanding of the civil conflict and the Opposition than it did at the time The Post wrote its piece.

    In the end, regardless of whether the Assad regime survives or is toppled, the historic circumstances and institutional framework that resulted in Syria's evolving into a dictatorship remains unchanged. Odds favor a destabilizing impact, possibly with Iran exploiting the resulting power vacuum to play an even more direct role in Syria (to safeguard its interests there) and in Lebanon (given its relationship to Hezbollah and hostility to Israel). It is telling that neither Israel nor Jordan, both key U.S. allies who border Syria are banging the drums for military intervention. They well know that far from the fairy tale ending envisioned by Gen. Mattis, a perspective that has seduced the U.S. to badly underestimate the costs and challenges associated with two recent conflicts, something far less favorable is the more likely one. There's no assurance that the new regime might not prove to be more revolutionary and more destablizing than the Assad regime. Furthermore, there's little chance that Iran would stand idly by if it felt that its critical interests in Syria were exposed.
    In response to the bolded, Israel's Defense Minister has called for an international intervention into Syria, however, he does not represent the whole of the Israeli government yet it does let us know that there are some who favor intervention.

    Defense Minister Ehud Barak called for international intervention in Syria, saying that the massacre in Houla was proof of why Israel needed a strong military to protect it when needed.
    (http://www.jpost.com/VideoArticles/V...aspx?id=271602)

    And in regards to Jordan, their special forces are training with US forces to go into Syria and secure the regime's chemical and biological weapons. Yet, it is quite odd that this is happening as it doesn't look like Assad is going to fall anytime soon.

    While troops from 19 countries, including the United States, have converged in Jordan for the Eager Lion military exercise, U.S. and Jordanian elite forces are doing additional training to prepare for potential fallout should Syria's government collapse.

    U.S. Army Green Berets are training Jordanian special forces in a number of so called "worst-case scenarios" including Syria's chemical and biological weapons falling out of the control of government forces, U.S. sources tell CNN.
    (Iran propping up Syria's dwindling cash reserves – CNN Security Clearance - CNN.com Blogs)
    "And in the end, we were all just humans, drunk on the idea that love, only love, could heal our brokenness."

  6. #46
    Professor
    Kane's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Last Seen
    09-09-13 @ 09:13 PM
    Lean
    Liberal
    Posts
    1,661

    Re: Clinton condemns Syria 'atrocity' in Houla

    Syria, Libya wars remind me of that Black Sabbath song ...

    "I've watched the dogs of war enjoying their feast
    I've seen the western world go down in the east
    The food of love became the greed of our time
    And now we're living on the profits of crime"


    (Hole in the Sky)

  7. #47
    Meh...
    MSgt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Colorado
    Last Seen
    Today @ 07:38 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Independent
    Posts
    18,013

    Re: Clinton condemns Syria 'atrocity' in Houla

    Quote Originally Posted by donsutherland1 View Post
    Neither the Afghanistan nor Iraq conflicts ended happily ever after with peace, democracy, and prosperity. Had the military planners heeded both countries' history, they would have seen the high risk of civil conflict in both states.
    1) Neither Afghanistan nor Iraq have ended. This was always generational and it was always about the wider regions that surround Afghanistan and Iraq. In regards to Iraq, the entire dhumma has been paying attention to Arab voters in the absence of their dictator. In regards to Afghanistan, our enemies merely ran to the closest **** hole....Pakistan. And isn't Yemen a base of operations these days? Notice how the region provides plenty of cess pools for the extremists of Islam to run to? This is because it is a fact that we are at war with a failed civilization and a much wider territory than two separate nations behind unnatural borders. This was never about only Iraq or Afghanistan. Few wars in this world have been about single nations since World War I.

    2) CENTCOM reported on the dangers that would follow after removing Saddam Hussein. They (General Zinni) submitted the living invasion plan that was continually updated since 1991. This is why the military demanded a much higher invasion count so as to properly occupy once the tribes were free to explore their decades of pent of hatreds and rages towards each other. It was Rumsfeld that denied these "realisms." It was Rumsfeld that decided less military numbers would make it easier to sell to Congress. It was Rumsfeld who pretended that Democracy would spring up immediately. And it was Rumsfeld that continually placed obstacles in the way of military planners until he was removed and replaced.


    Quote Originally Posted by donsutherland1 View Post
    Given the lack of compelling U.S. interests, Congress should not be mislead by hopeless optimists such as Gen. Mattis.
    Syria, like Afghanistan and Iraq, is much more than a single nation in this region. All of these nations need the instability that is currently going on. If Israel wants to be free from the never ending Muslim threat of organized hate, then it must learn to do so without relying on Muslim dictators who create the environment that breeds radicalism and extremism. If the West wants to see a more manageable Middle East in terms of terrorism then it must learn to do so without relying on the dictators that create the environment that breeds radicalism and extremism.

    Muslims in the MENA have spent too long pretending that they don't have to be responsibly for their fates. With dictators at the helm, they could pretend to be helpless as they blamed it all on the foreign devil (or the Israeli/Jewish devil in their midsts) and encouraged organized group hate. All of Saudi Arabia's internal problems can be shoved aside as long as Arabs can be reminded that Jews own a piece of the Levent. Iran's internal problems are quickly shoved aside everytime the Majlis remind people how valiantly the Islamic warriors and Hezbollah are defying those Jews in Israel. And Syria acts as a stresser to Israel, which playes right into the hands of the House of Saud and the Iranian Majlis.

    Furthermore, Saddam Hussein's Baathist Party had close ties to Sria's Baath Party. Without Iraq's Baath Party to the south, Syria's decline was inevitable because it stands alone. Even without this, the Arab Spring guaranteed wide implications in all Arab territories. It's historical and it relates right back to dhumma.

    And by the way, General Mattis is perhaps the Marine Corps' finest General. It's the realists that have accepted that popping the top off of this MENA was only a matter of time and that the natural course of all civilizations since 1901 has been democracy. There is nothing idealist about democracy because democracy is not an "ism." Socialism, Fascism, Communism, etc. are idealisms.
    Last edited by MSgt; 06-04-12 at 03:25 PM.

    MSgt
    Semper Fidelis
    USMC

  8. #48
    Sage

    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    New York
    Last Seen
    Today @ 12:40 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Centrist
    Posts
    11,691

    Re: Clinton condemns Syria 'atrocity' in Houla

    Quote Originally Posted by MSgt View Post
    1) In regards to Afghanistan, our enemies merely ran to the closest **** hole....Pakistan.
    I don't disagree. Unfortunately, the Karzai-centric approach has missed the important opportunity of building a decentralized governance structure that would have been widely perceived among Afghans as legitimate and which could have been far more effective than the current one given the country's traditions, institutions, and history. Tragically, the Taliban enjoy a base of support within Afghanistan that might not otherwise have persisted had the country's history and institutions been considered in shaping a post-Taliban political framework.

    This was never about only Iraq or Afghanistan. Few wars in this world have been about single nations since World War I.
    I don't disagree about the wider ideological underpinning of the war on terrorism.

    2) CENTCOM reported on the dangers that would follow after removing Saddam Hussein. They (General Zinni) submitted the living invasion plan that was continually updated since 1991. This is why the military demanded a much higher invasion count so as to properly occupy once the tribes were free to explore their decades of pent of hatreds and rages towards each other. It was Rumsfeld that denied these "realisms." It was Rumsfeld that decided less military numbers would make it easier to sell to Congress. It was Rumsfeld who pretended that Democracy would spring up immediately. And it was Rumsfeld that continually placed obstacles in the way of military planners until he was removed and replaced.
    I agree. General Franks and Secretary Rumsfeld adopted a "go light" strategy that was the opposite of what Generals Zinni ("Desert Crossing" exercise) and Shinseki believed were realistic. The latter based their calculations on an understanding of Iraq's history, sectarian rivalries, etc. The former relied on little more than rosy optimism in what amounts to a failure of leadership. Leaders can't just envision things the way they hope everything works out. They need to consider less favorable contingencies. Neither Franks nor Rumsfeld did. There has been some speculation that General Franks all but capitulated to Secretary Rumsfeld when it came to devising strategy. I don't know if that is accurate. However, in the leadership context that matters little. Failure to consider the country's dynamics or capitulation both indicate leadership deficiencies.

    Syria, like Afghanistan and Iraq, is much more than a single nation in this region. All of these nations need the instability that is currently going on. If Israel wants to be free from the never ending Muslim threat of organized hate, then it must learn to do so without relying on Muslim dictators who create the environment that breeds radicalism and extremism. If the West wants to see a more manageable Middle East in terms of terrorism then it must learn to do so without relying on the dictators that create the environment that breeds radicalism and extremism.
    The problem here is that there is no credible evidence that the anti-Assad movement is pursuing democratic governance, much less a commitment to build a friendly relationship with Israel. It apears to be much more about toppling a harsh Alawite-minority regime in the name of majority rule than creating a friendlier and more tolerant representative government.

    Muslims in the MENA have spent too long pretending that they don't have to be responsibly for their fates. With dictators at the helm, they could pretend to be helpless as they blamed it all on the foreign devil (or the Israeli/Jewish devil in their midsts) and encouraged organized group hate.
    The countries are largely the way they are on account of homegrown causes. Neither the West nor Israel are to blame. Until the underlying domestic context is changed, illiberal and often hostile (to the West) rule will likely predominate.

    And by the way, General Mattis is perhaps the Marine Corps' finest General. It's the realists that have accepted that popping the top off of this MENA was only a matter of time and that the natural course of all civilizations since 1901 has been democracy. There is nothing idealist about democracy because democracy is not an "ism." Socialism, Fascism, Communism, etc. are idealisms.
    No comment about General Mattis' competence in military matters, but in the geopolitical field, his excessively optimistic assumption about the nature of regime change in Syria is incompatible with that country's history and relies mainly on blind faith about the nature and intentions of the anti-Assad uprising. The anti-Assad movement has not issued any declarations of principles outlining a democratic government, it has not advanced a government-in-waiting to Western diplomats, it has not offered any willingness to maintain friendly relations with critical U.S. allies or to seek accommodation with Israel.

  9. #49
    Meh...
    MSgt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Colorado
    Last Seen
    Today @ 07:38 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Independent
    Posts
    18,013

    Re: Clinton condemns Syria 'atrocity' in Houla

    Quote Originally Posted by donsutherland1 View Post
    I don't disagree. Unfortunately, the Karzai-centric approach has missed the important opportunity of building a decentralized governance structure that would have been widely perceived among Afghans as legitimate...
    We haven't missed anything. This is happening right now. Karzai has mass approval ratings because he allows the provincial governors a measure of soveriegnty, who in turn respect the aspect of tribal chieftons. This was always in the contruction of this government. We have always known that the healthiest this territory has ever been has been when there was a Pashtun figure head at the top with government organization going to the Pashtun tribe. The rest of the tribes abided this order as long as they remained soveriegn underneath.

    Quote Originally Posted by donsutherland1 View Post
    Failure to consider the country's dynamics or capitulation both indicate leadership deficiencies.
    I believe, more than a failure, it was obscenely negligent. Rumsfeld sacrificed the lives of Iraqis and Americans to follow his fool hardy ideas of war and to convince Congress that it would be a walk in the park.

    1) Despite guidance from the Pentagon he pretended that we didn't need many numbers.

    2) Despite preaching of the dangers of these tribes set free in 1991, he pretended in 2003 that the tribes were just fine.

    3) Despite the diffrence in terrain and mission he pretended his "Shock and Awe" would give us the same drive-by event of the Gulf War and that our troops would be in parades in down town New York by summer.

    He ignored military wisdom and guidance because he knew that Congress would not go for a war that would cost money, last years, and take lives. By doing so, he guranteed a high price tag and a patch of earth stained in blood. There should be no surprise that Iraq turned around after the worst SECDEF in our history was fired and Robert Gates, General Patreaus & Vali Nasr were brought onboard.



    Quote Originally Posted by donsutherland1 View Post

    The problem here is that there is no credible evidence that the anti-Assad movement is pursuing democratic governance, much less a commitment to build a friendly relationship with Israel. It apears to be much more about toppling a harsh Alawite-minority regime in the name of majority rule than creating a friendlier and more tolerant representative government.

    Not our call. We have to stop supporting the dictators against their people (who are screaming democracy...not caliphate). And most importantly we have to stop pretending that democracy is going to spring forth in this region without some hiccups. Everyone is fearing the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Why? This goes back to your "realism" and idealism." The Muslim Brotherhood of old relied on idealism (no matter how impractical) for their popularity. However, like so many in this region, they have learned that true power will only come from people handing it over. This is why they embraced the democratic system after Mubarrak. This is why they know that if they want to maintain power they will have to provide all the social health that the people threw Mubarrak out for not providing. Education and social justice will be a focus. And since their economy is taking a huge hit, tourism and oil will have to deal with the dollar. Therefore, the American government will still be dealing with the powers of Egypt and influencing their perspectives. The Muslim Brotherhood can't afford to look like what they used to be anymore.

    And what if Syria fumbles the ball coming out of the gate? It took France to elect Napoleon and Germany to elect Hitler to get to the other side of their democratic road trip. Thus far, no one in the Middle East has the capacity to elect such aggressors and neither is anybody positioned in this world to defy the West and all the perks that come with it. Syrians have no concern about its neighbors right now. They will decide if prosperity and growth is worth a hand shae to Israel later. I suspect that they will get their faster than Assad ever did. Their entire focus is internal and minorities should never dictate the fate of the majority.



    Quote Originally Posted by donsutherland1 View Post

    The countries are largely the way they are on account of homegrown causes. Neither the West nor Israel are to blame. Until the underlying domestic context is changed, illiberal and often hostile (to the West) rule will likely predominate.

    Temporarily. If you shake a soda can up it will explode when you release the pressure. Then it will calm. Decades of manifested hate won't simply go away because they embraced democracy yesterday. Education, economic prosperity, and healthy political expression will do that. Hence the absence of organized terror organizations thriving in the West.

    Quote Originally Posted by donsutherland1 View Post

    No comment about General Mattis' competence in military matters, but in the geopolitical field, his excessively optimistic assumption about the nature of regime change in Syria is incompatible with that country's history and relies mainly on blind faith about the nature and intentions of the anti-Assad uprising. The anti-Assad movement has not issued any declarations of principles outlining a democratic government, it has not advanced a government-in-waiting to Western diplomats, it has not offered any willingness to maintain friendly relations with critical U.S. allies or to seek accommodation with Israel.
    Perhaps he just believes that human nature is universal. He seems clear on this the few times I've heard him speak. Syrians will pick up after they have finished gutting the current regime and organize. In the end, even Syrians want their children to have opportunities. If slaughtering themselves along the way is the preferred method then so be it. It worked in Europe and in America. It worked in Asia. In the end, only Africa and the Muslim world suffers from bad borders. It's not a coincidence that the Middle east also provides the world with its only unhealthy region (even with the dictators offerring us the illusion of stability). I believe in a little bit about Ralph Peters' idea of border re-creation. Though even he admits that it is impractical to do everywhere, in some cases, re-drawing these borders will force the tribal violence to simply dissapear. How would Iraq look today had we simply pulled out the crayolas that European Kings, Kaisers, and Tsars used and drew some lines on a map to separate the Kurds, Shia, and the Sunni? Even the Hindu and the Muslims knew this basic truth when they drew a line across India and created Pakistan (concidence that Muslims reside on the ****ed up side?).
    Last edited by MSgt; 06-04-12 at 04:39 PM.

    MSgt
    Semper Fidelis
    USMC

  10. #50
    Sage

    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    New York
    Last Seen
    Today @ 12:40 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Centrist
    Posts
    11,691

    Re: Clinton condemns Syria 'atrocity' in Houla

    Quote Originally Posted by MSgt View Post
    There should be no surprise that Iraq turned around after the worst SECDEF in our history was fired and Robert Gates...
    On this point, we agree. While I won't suggest that Secretary Rumsfeld was the worst Secretary of Defense in history, I do believe Secretary Gates was among the finest.

    Not our call. We have to stop supporting the dictators against their people (who are screaming democracy...not caliphate). And most importantly we have to stop pretending that democracy is going to spring forth in this region without some hiccups.
    In most cases, I believe the U.S. should not get involved in domestic insurrections. The exceptions would be cases where critical national interests are at stake. In that context, I believe that the U.S. made a strategic blunder in abandoning the Shah of Iran. That would be a rare case where I believe the U.S. should have backed the embattled ruler. When the U.S. pulled its support, the Army lost all sense of purpose and disintegrated. Iran has evolved into a hostile revolutionary state and possibly one that is bent on developing nuclear weapons. It made a strategic blunder in pressuring President Musharraf to step aside and should have maintained a consistent message of seeking a transition to more democratic rule, but with the timelines left to the Pakistanis. Pakistan has since evolved into an unreliable, often hostile, and decaying state. It should come as no big surprise that not only had Osama Bin Laden found refuge in Pakisan (whether or not there was some governmental support is a different matter) and Al Qaeda's #2 commander who was targeted in the most recent drone attack was there, as well. Power vacuums are exploited and what's happening in Pakistan is par for the course.

    I agree with your point about the rosy assumptions of democracy. Egypt had a stronger institutional framework, so prospects of a better outcome than in Iran or Pakistan are higher. There are no assurances, but were radicals to attempt to gain power early on, I suspect that Egypt's military would play the role as the ultimate arbiter and depose of the radicals.

    And what if Syria fumbles the ball coming out of the gate?
    I don't believe the U.S. should be involved in Syria. The lack of critical interests, lack of support for such intervention by longstanding U.S. allies such as Jordan and Israel, and lack of any political vision or commitment to representative government or reliable partnership with the U.S. all argue against it. If the Assad dictatorship prevails, its policy contours are established and known. If the anti-Assad movement prevails, we'll see what happens, though I suspect that there will be few concrete changes that materially benefit the U.S. or its allies. Its grievances are likely domestic. Its foreign policy probably wouldn't change very much, as they likely view Syria's international interests in a fashion not dissimilar from the Assad regime. One can't even be certain that they would automatically be anti-Iran and anti-Hezbollah, despite Iran's backing Assad at present. More likely, they might try to play Iran off against the U.S., and as Iran views Syria as a far more critical interest than the U.S. does, Iran could well provide more generous terms. Iran might even try to sate their appetitie for a future attempt at reconquest of the Golan Heights to undermine any prospects of taking a pro-U.S. posture. Under such circumstances, very little could change as far as U.S. interests are concerned.

    Perhaps he just believes that human nature is universal. He seems clear on this the few times I've heard him speak. Syrians will pick up after they have finished gutting the current regime and organize. In the end, even Syrians want their children to have opportunities.
    Human nature is universal. Political goals are not. The hope that a party to a civil conflict might eventually organize itself into a coherent and representative government is insufficient basis for U.S. military intervention or arms supplies. IMO, the U.S. should limit its focus to the protection of civilians, not armed elements (be they Assad's military and paramilitary units or his opponents' armed groups). If the parties wish to negotiate some kind of arrangement, that's there choice. If they choose to settle their differences on the battlefield, that's there choice, too.

Page 5 of 9 FirstFirst ... 34567 ... LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •