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Thread: UN: No clear proof of Syria chemical arms use

  1. #21
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    Re: UN: No clear proof of Syria chemical arms use

    Quote Originally Posted by the_recruit View Post
    First of all, the anti-Assad forces do not have ties to Hezbollah. Assad has ties to Hezbollah. Assad has ties to Russia. Assad has ties to Iran. There's plenty of unsavoury to go around.
    There's evidence of some terror connection with the rebels. Maybe not Hezbollah per se, but I'm not going to quibble over which terrorists are better.

    Second of all, I don't think it's useful to view the conflict from a perspective of which government is preferable - Assad or the opposition. It's not useful because those aren't the options. The Syria as it was under the Assad regime - prior to the Arab Spring - is over and is never coming back. So it doesn't matter if that option is preferable because it's not an option. The possible outcomes left are not very good. But some are worse than others. We should do what we can to avoid the worse ones.

    With all due respect, I find the notion that things will miraculously work out better for US interests if we don't try to influence the outcome to be a bit foolish.
    I don't think things will miraculously work out better, I just think that there's no good outcome for the United States either way. In other words, it's bad for us no matter who wins. Let them kill each other, and we'll deal with whoever comes out on top.


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  2. #22
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    Re: UN: No clear proof of Syria chemical arms use

    Quote Originally Posted by Jango View Post


    Damn. You blew my cover...

    No, but MI6 and the Israelis, as well my own country saying chemical weapons were used is enough for me.

    Besides, this latest round of red line crossing is not the first occurrence.

    So, for the UN to exclaim that there is no 'conclusive proof of either side in the conflict using chemical weapons' is asinine.
    So just like Iraq?
    Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats. It is inaccurate to say that I hate everything. I am strongly in favor of common sense, common honesty, and common decency. This makes me forever ineligible for public office. H.L Mencken

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    Re: UN: No clear proof of Syria chemical arms use

    Quote Originally Posted by Deuce View Post
    I interpreted it as meaning they cannot declare WHICH SIDE used them.
    Does it matter?

    The red line has been crossed. End of story.

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    Re: UN: No clear proof of Syria chemical arms use

    Quote Originally Posted by TheDemSocialist View Post
    [/COLOR][/FONT]

    Read more @: UN: No clear proof of Syria chemical arms use - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

    The UN teams of investigators have said they have no conclusive proof that either side used chemical weapons refuting both Syrian rebels claims that the Syrian gov used weapons and Carla del Ponte's claims that the rebels used chemical weapons.
    Thankfully we didn't rush in there. Then again, we're already in the area so who's to say we haven't ramped up interventionism and just haven't been told yet.
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    Re: UN: No clear proof of Syria chemical arms use

    Quote Originally Posted by Jango View Post
    Does it matter?

    The red line has been crossed. End of story.
    By whom? We should just bomb whoever? Maybe Canada! Someone used chemical weapons in Syria, so let's bomb Canada!
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    We’ll say what? Something like “nothing happened” ... Yeah, we might say something like that.

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    Re: UN: No clear proof of Syria chemical arms use

    Quote Originally Posted by Deuce View Post
    By whom? We should just bomb whoever? Maybe Canada! Someone used chemical weapons in Syria, so let's bomb Canada!


    While Canada will eventually be taken over, no, Israel, Britain and the US could easily locate where the various stockpiles of chemical weapons are, and then destroy them. The anti-air defenses that Syria has can be neutralized. Pretty much anything that they have (offensive/defensive) can be neutralized by our combined offensive/defensive capabilities.

    Besides, once Assad is out, and the heavy military infrastructure is destroyed, the CIA or another Western intelligence agency will probably start picking off the rebels one-by-one via drone strike or airstrike. I mean, its not like the West looks at the rebels like 'good guys'. They've been co-opted by extremist elements and need to be eliminated. The War on Terrorism continues. A Clean Break continues.

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    Re: UN: No clear proof of Syria chemical arms use

    Regarding the U.S.-Russia-sponsored peace conference for Syria, Reuters reported:

    Russia and the United States agreed to seek new peace talks with both sides to end Syria's civil war, but opposition leaders were skeptical on Wednesday of an initiative they fear might let President Bashar al-Assad hang on to power...

    But with Syria's factional and sectarian hatreds more entrenched than ever, it is far from clear the warring parties are ready to negotiate with each other. Most opposition figures have ruled out talks unless Assad and his inner circle are excluded from any future transitional government.


    U.S., Russia seek new Syria peace talks; rebels skeptical | Reuters

    Several quick thoughts:

    1. The reluctance to negotiate is not surprising. In ethnic conflicts, parties typically embrace a zero-sum perspective.
    2. Both Russia and the U.S. should agree to freeze any arms shipments to any factions in Syria. A lack of arms shipments would, over time, make negotiations the more attractive option as the arms supplies become depleted.
    3. The EU should renew its arms embargo regarding Syria when it expires on June 1.

    Also, a "National Coalition" member was critical of the U.S. pursuing its interests. It is quite ironic that the anti-Assad forces want the West to accommodate their interests through calls for no-fly zones and arms shipments, but begrudge other states from seeking their interests. The U.S., like any other country, should base its policy not on what any of the parties in the civil war desire, but on their interests.

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    Re: UN: No clear proof of Syria chemical arms use

    Quote Originally Posted by donsutherland1 View Post
    2. Both Russia and the U.S. should agree to freeze any arms shipments to any factions in Syria. A lack of arms shipments would, over time, make negotiations the more attractive option as the arms supplies become depleted.
    3. The EU should renew its arms embargo regarding Syria when it expires on June 1..
    But unless you can get an embargo from Iran, the rebels will be outgunned. We can't even get the Iraqis to agree to stop overflights from Iran. And the Saudis have no incentive to see the Assad Regime retain power, so them and the various Gulf States will keep sending weapons.

    At this point as proven by the Israelis, the Syrian Defense Net isn't as strong as we once thought. A few surgical B-2 strikes could severely weaken the Assad Regime.
    "If your opponent is of choleric temperament, seek to irritate him." - Sun Tzu

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    Re: UN: No clear proof of Syria chemical arms use

    Quote Originally Posted by Jango View Post


    While Canada will eventually be taken over, no, Israel, Britain and the US could easily locate where the various stockpiles of chemical weapons are, and then destroy them. The anti-air defenses that Syria has can be neutralized. Pretty much anything that they have (offensive/defensive) can be neutralized by our combined offensive/defensive capabilities.

    Besides, once Assad is out, and the heavy military infrastructure is destroyed, the CIA or another Western intelligence agency will probably start picking off the rebels one-by-one via drone strike or airstrike. I mean, its not like the West looks at the rebels like 'good guys'. They've been co-opted by extremist elements and need to be eliminated. The War on Terrorism continues. A Clean Break continues.
    I vote for just minding our own ****ing business for the first time since... hrm.

    Something America doesn't seem to have learned in the last 50 years of foreign policy failures: people don't care why you're bombing their country. It makes them mad at you.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lutherf View Post
    We’ll say what? Something like “nothing happened” ... Yeah, we might say something like that.

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    Re: UN: No clear proof of Syria chemical arms use

    Quote Originally Posted by obvious Child View Post
    But unless you can get an embargo from Iran, the rebels will be outgunned. We can't even get the Iraqis to agree to stop overflights from Iran. And the Saudis have no incentive to see the Assad Regime retain power, so them and the various Gulf States will keep sending weapons.

    At this point as proven by the Israelis, the Syrian Defense Net isn't as strong as we once thought. A few surgical B-2 strikes could severely weaken the Assad Regime.
    Several points:

    1. I agree that an arms embargo should include all outside states. To garner Iran's cooperation, Iran almost certainly will need to have a seat at the proverbial table in the international conference.

    2. Currently the parties to the conflict are in a situation that approaches stalemate, though I think the government's hold is slowly eroding, so it isn't quite a stalemate. With neither party really having a qualitative edge and neither party expecting imminent victory, a carefully-designed diplomatic framework that includes an arms embargo, might have the potential to shift the calculus to diplomacy and away from force. If so, civilians who have suffered enormously as the parties have fought ever more viciously with little regard for civilians, could finally gain a measure of respite.

    3. To have any chance at reaching a legitimate path forward, all the parties to the conflict will need to have a role at the conference. Although I personally believe the Assad regime has lost legitimacy, it still commands allegiance of the minority Alawite and minority Shia populations, hence it cannot be excluded without the risk that a post-Assad transition would unravel in a fresh insurgency.

    4. Aside from an agreed political path forward, which might require general forgiveness/reconciliation for the parties to the conflict, an important element of a viable transition would include robust protections for Syria's various ethnic and religious groups.

    Right now, I still believe the international conference has a low probability of near-term success. The intense zero-sum perspective that pervades ethnic conflicts presents a formidable barrier. Already, the anti-Assad elements are insisting that the current regime have no place at the talks. Yet, even as the probability of near-term success is low, a path that has the chance to reduce the harm to civilians currently being inflicted by the conflict, is worth attempting.

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