Discussion in 'Free For All' started by V, Sep 1, 2013.
I don't think we bomb another country on threats.
A friend of mine sent me a summary of the Middle East that about sums things up.
Now Iran is backing Assad. The Gulf States are against Assad. Assad is against the Muslim Brotherhood. The Muslim Brotherhood and Obama are against General Sisi. but the Gulf States are pro-Sisi, which means they are against the Muslim Brotherhood. Iran if pro-Hamas, but Hamas is backing the Muslim Brotherhood. Obama is backing the Muslim Brotherhood, yet Hamas is against the US. The Gulf States are pro-US, but Turkey is with the Gulf States against Assad, yet Turkey is pro-Muslim Brotherhood against General Sisi. Sisi is backed by the Gulf States.
I hope this helps to clarify things and that we can all better understand the potential for peace in the Middle East.
The dinner, according to reports, turned into a bashing of the U.S., which must have delighted Putin, with few attendees supporting the U.S. position.
Recent revelations of spying on our allies by electronic means (Snowden affair) gave additional reasons for attendees to vent their spleens at U.S. actions- past, present, and contemplated.
For a detailed report from the inside on just how bad it was, read this.
G-20 Summit: Obama's Syria Efforts Take a Hit as Putin Gains Support | TIME.com
If the President hadn't put the matter before the Congress, delaying the decision, this particular political fiasco on the world stage couldn't have happened.
I think it's still an open question whether the Congress will approve a strike on Syria. If it doesn't, will the President order a strike, anyway? I don't think he can, after saying he respected our system of governance to the point he would seek Congressional authorization.
Interestingly, a coalition of rebel groups in Syria issued a statement saying they did not want any U.S. intervention in the civil war (though they didn't say they wouldn't want the type of strike the President has said he has in mind).
Among reasons NOT to strike Syria is Russia's promise to provide significantly greater military support to the regime, if the U.S. takes any action at all against the regime, making the proposed strike ample pretext for ramping up the antiaircraft and antimissile defenses of the regime- a very bad thing for those like the U.S. and Israel who might think it important to be able to strike nuclear sites, in the future.
On the broad question of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, we should pay attention to the fact that there is no evidence that Assad, bad as he is in terms of how he treats his own people, has ever provided these weapons to radical Islamic groups, for use in terrorist operations. On this point, at least, he is on OUR side: a strike against him could change all that....
An aside, on this last point- but relevant because our history in dealing with Iraq is continuously brought up, for various reasons, including relying on patently false intelligence (forever to the mortification of Colin Powell, a proud man, who was induced by the then President to carry this intelligence to the U.N.), and the subsequent unfortunate history of how that war turned out in both its cost and results- neither did Sadaam Hussein, who had both possessed and used poison gas on his own people. At no point did he ever turn these weapons over to Islamic Terrorists. In this way, we were, and are better off with these despots in power, rather than taking actions, as we did, which has strengthened the hand of Islamic groups all across the middle east.
I wasnt very clear with that post.... I really want nothing to do with going over there and bombing. I fear it will lead to WWIII with all the countries involved. BUT I no longer care what happens to Iran. Some things just go too far. I realize that horrible things have happened to our troops over there but taking it to the level of threatening children is... I cant even think of a suitable word. It is just so wrong on so many levels.
In the great scheme of things, being willing and able to act is far more important with Iran than with Syria. Iran is vigorously developing nuclear weapon technology while Syria is not: the risk of WWIII goes up dramatically if Iran succeeds.
I just hope we haven't lost the will: I know we still have the ability, though the excesses of the mid 2000s nearly did us in financially. (It's always possible that it did, in fact, but it's just not completely obvious yet.) Making across the board cuts to Fed Gov spending, as we are doing, could be a sign of financial weakness, with the recession having induced a new form of national poverty- something we haven't seen since the great depression.
With tax revenues being tied to economic growth and activity, it is more than a little worrying that we have the lowest percentage participation in the work force that we have had in the last 40 years and it's declining further, even now.
The U.S. economy is on life support. With military strength and capacity directly tied to economic strength and capacity, we're in trouble, and no one has a handle on what to do about it. Two market crashes, 9/11, waging protracted wars in two different countries at the same time- and all of these in just one decade- has hit us hard.... There is no point in waving the flag and continuing to claim we're the greatest nation on earth when we're struggling just to make ends meet.... It's forty years since real wages have gone up, and families with less than $50,000/year income are reporting real hardships. One in seven Americans is living on direct assistance in the form of food stamps, more than 47 million people, and the number has increased this year, year on year, from 2012.
This financial crisis is far from over: it is still a long way home, if we ever get there....
Here's a fairly thoughtful article on just how badly this has gone for the President, since then, and just how much more wrong it can go before it's over.
You have to wonder how much of his decision to pass this to Congress was motivated by his own doubts about the wisdom of a strike.
The damage to the U.S. that has been done already is significant in terms of lost credibility, and it may get worse if he loses the vote, which it appears now that he will.
In addition to Iran, we can expect China and Russia to get more bold in their testing of U.S. power, and resolve. What will we be able to do, for example, with China's territorial claim to the entire China Sea, and it's territories, which it has been pushing for some time.
Looming Syria Vote Seen as Risk to Obama Agendas - Bloomberg
Actually the mistake was to draw the line in the sand. When he said that he did it without any authorization from anyone except himself and his advisors. So much for that line if Congress does not approve this plan which it most like will not approve.
Just another dumb move on the part of a lame duck.
Well, now we have to wonder who's running U.S. foreign policy. The Secretary of State suggested in what seemed to be a casual way that if Syria were to give up its chemical weapons it might not be necessary for the U.S. to conduct a strike. Russia instantly seized on this comment as a possible solution that would satisfy them, said that they had already recommended that Syria accept the proposal, and have said they are moving forward to settle the details in consultations with Syria- with the intention of introducing the proposal in final form for a vote at the Security Council.
This, of course, would track what happened with Sadaam Hussein, and we all know how that ended.
There is always the chance that, with Russia's enthusiastic support, instead of mere agreement, this could succeed in getting those weapons out of Syria- not a bad thing, in any case.
Russia has already had experience with gas attacks by terrorists in its own capital, and it wasn't pretty: they would like to support Assad, keep the U.S. out of there, and prevent the spread of these weapons. In all except the regime change we desired, and supposedly punishing Assad for bad behavior, this should satisfy the President, though he will get little credit for it if it happens: some though will see that it was made possible by his agitating for a strike.
That the President's expressed scepticism regarding this plan makes me wonder if this wasn't just an off the cuff comment by Kerry, not meant to reflect U.S. policy, and not vetted by the President. If that was the case, then who's in control there, anyway?
Yes V, we have to wonder who's on first with this administration. Regardless of who orchestrated the process, it does appear that the situation is defused for the moment at least. My compliments to John Kerry as this seemed to be the solution that allows everyone to save face and keep the guns in the holsters.
This has now really turned into amateur hour on our side: the Syrian Government has announced publicly and officially that they are accepting Russia's proposal to turn over their chemical weapons.
The President has now been completely outflanked: what is he going to say to the American people, and how is he ever going to get support for a strike from Congress, under these circumstances?
(I can't even imagine the toasts and shouts that are going up in Putin's offices right now.)
A humbled President can accept what a good outcome this will be, if it truly happens.... And, to try to avoid playing chess with Putin to the degree possible.