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Thread: UN official calls Syria conflict 'civil war'

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    UN official calls Syria conflict 'civil war'

    The head of the United Nations' peacekeeping operations has said that the situation in Syria now amounts to a full-scale civil war as witnesses on the ground described fresh shelling on Homs and heavy fighting in other cities."Yes, I think we can say that," Herve Ladsous, the head of the UN's Department of Peacekeeping Operations, said in New York on Tuesday, when asked whether he believed Syria was now in a state of civil war."Clearly what is happening is that the government of Syria lost some large chunks of territory, several cities to the opposition, and wants to retake control."Kieran Dwyer, a spokesman for the UN peacekeeping department, told Al Jazeera that Landous' description was "related to what is going on in the last five days.""What we've seen in the last five days is a huge upscaling of the military confrontation," he said. "[It's by] both sides, at a huge cost to the civilian population."Earlier, angry crowds hurling stones stopped UN observers on Tuesday from reaching al-Haffa, the besieged coastal town where a violent crackdown is feared.UN observers were also in Homs, in central Syria, where heavy shelling continued. Observers filmed helicopters over an area where smoke was seen.The UN says its monitors saw fire coming from the helicopters although it was unable to distinguish whether machine guns were being used.

    Read more and video @: UN official calls Syria conflict 'civil war' - Middle East - Al Jazeera English
    Hillary this ****ing "peace process" was a failure a long ass time ago! We have no "timetable" this is a civil war. Its a damn shame but it happens especially when the people have said enough and they have gone past the boiling point.

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    Re: UN official calls Syria conflict 'civil war'

    Quote Originally Posted by TheDemSocialist View Post
    Read more and video @: UN official calls Syria conflict 'civil war' - Middle East - Al Jazeera English
    Hillary this ****ing "peace process" was a failure a long ass time ago! We have no "timetable" this is a civil war. Its a damn shame but it happens especially when the people have said enough and they have gone past the boiling point.

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    I don't even know that you can call it a true civil war. For something like that you would have to have two government factions split to the point that it escalates into a war. In this situation it's the government on one side and the people on the other, I'd say this is more of a rebellion, revolution, or insurrrection than a civil war, though some common elements exist within all of those situations.
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    Re: UN official calls Syria conflict 'civil war'

    Very likely, this is an ethnic conflict where a restive majority is seeking to topple a minority-led regime. That the UN official noted that the armed confrontation is taking place by both sides "at a huge cost to the civilian population" is, unfortunately, a common characteristic of such conflicts. The parties view things from a zero sum perspective. The underlying grievances are so fundamental that compromise is difficult to achieve.

    Having said that, given that no critical U.S. interests or allies are threatened, I do not believe the U.S. should intervene. If the Arab League chooses to intervene in an armed fashion to impose an outcome, that body had greater interests at stake than does the U.S. However, I don't expect the Arab League to use force to impose a solution, as even in that case at present, its interests don't rise to the level necessary for military intervention.

    Finally, perhaps the most interesting dynamic involved is that Russia has been reported to be sending helicopter gunships to the Assad regime. In doing so, Russia is likely trying to demonstrate that it is a dependable ally to its allies. Russia's message is that it can be counted on to stand with its allies. In other words, its commitments have enduring value.

    Russia's demonstration of reliability contrasts sharply with recent visible U.S. actions in abandoning the President of Egypt who had been a highly reliable partner and had taken big risks on behalf of U.S. interests, not to mention advancing peace in the region. In effect, Russia is trying to shift the psychology to the point that if the Mideast's states need or want outside help to address issues, they should turn to Russia. This would be exactly the opposite of the dynamic that took hold following the 1973 Arab-Israeli war when the U.S. had become the "go to" nation for helping mediate the region's problems.

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    Re: UN official calls Syria conflict 'civil war'

    Fine.
    Let THEM (Syrians) deal with it. It will be over in 6 months if nobody (outsider, I mean) stick a nose in it.

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    Re: UN official calls Syria conflict 'civil war'

    In this situation it's the government on one side and the people on the other
    Not really. It's a little more complicated than that...
    "I do not claim that every incident in the history of empire can be explained in directly economic terms. Economic interests are filtered through a political process, policies are implemented by a complex state apparatus, and the whole system generates its own momentum."

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    Re: UN official calls Syria conflict 'civil war'

    Quote Originally Posted by Canell View Post
    Fine.
    Let THEM (Syrians) deal with it. It will be over in 6 months if nobody (outsider, I mean) stick a nose in it.
    It's been going on for well over a year. What makes you think it will be over in 6 months?

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    Re: UN official calls Syria conflict 'civil war'

    Quote Originally Posted by the_recruit View Post
    It's been going on for well over a year. What makes you think it will be over in 6 months?
    Very simple - everybody is afraid of foreign involvement. In other words, if Syrians start to sort it out, there are a bunch of countries that will stick their noses in it, one of them being America. It's that simple.

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    Re: UN official calls Syria conflict 'civil war'

    Quote Originally Posted by Canell View Post
    Very simple - everybody is afraid of foreign involvement. In other words, if Syrians start to sort it out, there are a bunch of countries that will stick their noses in it, one of them being America. It's that simple.
    I'm not following you. Who is afraid of foreign involvement? The opposition or Assad? Or both?

    The fact of the matter is it doesn't seem to be either. The opposition, disorganization notwithstanding, have at different times actually asked for various levels of foreign involvement ranging from medical aid to weapons to an all-out bombing campaign. As for Assad, he's basically banking his life on the gamble that the west will not intervene. If he actually feared a Western military intervention, he would have come to the negotiation table a long time ago. But he doesn't believe there's going to be one. I'd say he's likely right.

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    Re: UN official calls Syria conflict 'civil war'

    Quote Originally Posted by Khayembii Communique View Post
    Not really. It's a little more complicated than that...
    Then less a Civil War and more a Revolution?

    The term "civil war" is thrown around way too loosely anymore. I wouldn't look to the United Nations to define anything correctly since its statements have the potential to invoke international laws which call for the mobilization of other nations. Other nations don't like that. Ever wonder why Rwanda and Sudan were ignored as "genocides" and Bosnia was not? "Civil war" makes it easier to apply apathy. It's also a way to simplify the problem (as you stated....more complicated than that) so that the world population doesn't have to think too much on the tribal frictions in this region that have been exasperated behind unnatural borders. L.A. riots? Meh....civil war.

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    Re: UN official calls Syria conflict 'civil war'

    Quote Originally Posted by Canell View Post
    Very simple - everybody is afraid of foreign involvement. In other words, if Syrians start to sort it out, there are a bunch of countries that will stick their noses in it, one of them being America. It's that simple.
    .....axe to grind anybody? Why would a Syria solving its problems excite America, specifically?

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