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View Diary: Kerry expected to sharpen criticism of Syrian regime in statement today. Intervention seems likely (377 comments)

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  •  Why would it be worse for Assad to win? (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP, TJ, blue aardvark, doroma, Tweedledee5

    He wasn't really much of a hassle when he had no rebellion...what makes anyone think he'll be worse after nearly losing the country?

    While you dream of Utopia, we're here on Earth, getting things done.

    by GoGoGoEverton on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 10:54:46 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Interesting point. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blue aardvark, Tweedledee5

      In a perfect world we want a democratic Syria with freedom for its people, but we also have national interests.  

      Assad was more stable, but now it's Hezbolah and Iran and Shia v. Sunni.  

      Hard to know.  

      I'm not sure we can truly influence the outcome so long as we rule out invasion and I do not want an invasion.

      Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

      by TomP on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 10:59:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I am not sure it is our place (6+ / 0-)

        to intervene at all.

        "The next time everyone will pay for it equally, and there won't be any more Chosen Nations, or any Others. Poor bastards all." ~The Boomer Bible

        by just another vet on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 11:07:17 AM PDT

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        •  I'm uncertain about (4+ / 0-)

          response to chemical weapons.  Otherwise, I agree.

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          by TomP on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 11:12:47 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Very curious to see how (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            TomP, Lawrence, Just Bob

            the Russians respond if this is proven.

            "The next time everyone will pay for it equally, and there won't be any more Chosen Nations, or any Others. Poor bastards all." ~The Boomer Bible

            by just another vet on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 11:23:25 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  They will blame the rebels. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              phenry, Mindful Nature

              They don't really care about evidence.

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              by TomP on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 11:31:00 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Same could be said about us (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                chuckvw, Tweedledee5

                at times...

                But will Russia stand-by and do nothing if we were to intervene? Proxy war?

                "The next time everyone will pay for it equally, and there won't be any more Chosen Nations, or any Others. Poor bastards all." ~The Boomer Bible

                by just another vet on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 11:35:29 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  It depends on the intervention. (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  just another vet, Old Sailor

                  They might stand by with a limited bombing.  

                  I suspect conversations are occuring.

                  Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

                  by TomP on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 11:36:39 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  No doubt. (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    TomP, Lawrence

                    And with all that is going on between the US and Russia, I would like to be a fly on that wall.

                    "The next time everyone will pay for it equally, and there won't be any more Chosen Nations, or any Others. Poor bastards all." ~The Boomer Bible

                    by just another vet on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 11:47:12 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  I suspect (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    TomP

                    that this is what will happen. I also suspect that the persons involved in the process in the US will be looking for a way to do a quick strike in Syria that will take out Assad. Then they will go into "Oopsie...Gosh all golly gee, we didn't mean to do that" mode. It could even be possible that the Russians are getting pretty tired of Assad and wouldn't mind much if he was, ummm, "collateral damage". Realpolitik is hell.

                    The more people I encounter, the more I appreciate our cats.

                    by Old Sailor on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 12:11:02 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I wouldn't count on that (0+ / 0-)

                      The last thing the Russians want is to upset the apple cart in Syria, especially since US and Russian interests in Syria are diametrically opposed. Assad might be a cruel despot, but he's at least a known quantity that Russia can deal with and get a lot of advantages out of. A replacement might not be so amenable to Russian interests. It's pure wishful thinking to believe that the Russians would merely stand by even for a limited US strike (and even one that doesn't target Assad). Escalation and a bitter US-Russian standoff would be far more likely.

                      •  If there are people (0+ / 0-)

                        connected with the Syrian regime who might be more to the liking of the Russians, it's most likely a safe bet that the Russians know exactly who those people are. I have no doubt that the Russians would throw Assad under the bus if they think it is in their interests to do so.

                        The more people I encounter, the more I appreciate our cats.

                        by Old Sailor on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 03:04:06 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                •  well (0+ / 0-)

                  we just stood by and dithered about who could be blamed in April.  In fact, I could see Obama taking an approach of "we just don't know who did it" and doing nothing whatever.  After all, this is a guy who still won't call the Egyptian coup a coup.

      •  one shoudl ask What is Assad fighting for? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TomP, johanus, Lawrence

        they have failed suppressing the rebellion. After this, the country cant go back to "before". So what drives Assads side? (Dont say propaganda things like their thugs, or they´re evil, or any such. They are as human as any side here). So what do they fight for? One thing I could imagine is "not get slaughtered" but that´ll be just the beginning.

        who is actually going into the politics of this civil war?

        Holbrooke went into the politics of Yugoslavia and he (and all his people) actually managed to end it because they did so.

        if noone does this here then noone stands a chance of doing something right.  

        •  Tribal politics (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TomP, cocinero, Tweedledee5

          Assad's tribe versus other tribes?

          I don't think anyone is fighting for any principle higher than that.

          I'm on a mission! http://www.dailykos.com/comments/1233352/51142428#c520 Testing the new site rules.

          by blue aardvark on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 11:20:45 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Actually, it sure could go back (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          marsanges

          All he has to do is crush the rebellion brutally enough that no one sticks up any opposition and return to business as usual.  In fact, I think this is the main use for chemical weapons.  THey're not great tactical weapons, but they're fantastic at terrorizing a populace.

          •  you think? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            rwgate

            Father killed 20.000 it is said and thereafter noone dared to oppose. Yet now, hundred thousand dead, millions displaced and fled, all the countrys normality in total ruins and all the cities with it, -- over what would Assad still reign if he "won"?
            What would be "brutal enough" for a country thats already gone through this and goes on fighting?

            I actually expect that Syria will go the way of Somalia. my greatest worry over it is not the dead - though thats the greatest pain - but the decline in capacity to govern of even a ruthless government.

      •  except that there is always a (0+ / 0-)

        possibility that free and democratic people will freely and democratically choose to have an "islamist" state, which denies democracy and freedom.

        Democracy is a two-edged sword.

        I wouldn't give those folks weapons, myself, until they get clear on that Demos/Theos dichotomy.

        'course that prolly identifies me as a Euro-centric paternalist something something.

        don't always believe what you think

        by claude on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 12:11:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  It's a question of survival, not winning. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TomP, Lawrence

      If Assad survives, he will be very much weakened. The country's economy will be in shambles for a decade or more, and the rebellion will still probably persist in some places.

    •  Perhaps he has crossed a line (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TomP, phenry

      He never ruled by "consent of the governed", but now he would have to rule "despite total loathing and hatred of 90% of the governed". Whatever heavy-handed techniques he used in 2009 might be multiplied by 10x in 2014.

      I'm on a mission! http://www.dailykos.com/comments/1233352/51142428#c520 Testing the new site rules.

      by blue aardvark on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 11:19:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  He may ironically be strengthened though (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blue aardvark, Lawrence

        Most Syrians more obvious reasons are tired of the civil war and since so many of the rebels are foreign fighters linked to al-Qaida, there have been some polls coming out showing that the vast majority of Syrians actually support the Assad regime in defeating the rebels. That would be a bitter irony since Assad probably was resented before the civil war but since the rebels have proven to be so atrocious themselves, with Wahhabist extremist intentions and genocidal attacks against various Syrian minorities like Kurds, Christians and Alawites, the civil war might actually strengthen Assad's hand.

    •  Kicks the can down the road... (3+ / 0-)

      Is that a good thing? Maybe yes, maybe no. The problem is that the Assad regime is a minority government that lost legitimacy long ago for most Syrians. They could hold on, but sooner or later it will all come crashing down - and sometimes delay makes the ultimate explosion worse. Iraq would likely not have descended into such chaos had the regime fallen after the first Gulf War. But you add another decade of extreme repression, especially of the Shia' community, and a decade of containment/sanctions, and then you see an ethnosectarian conflict that is arguably worse and which is still not finished.  It may be that Assad will remain in power, but the bill will come due eventually, and perhaps at even greater cost.

      “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

      by ivorybill on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 11:26:22 AM PDT

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      •  Huh? (0+ / 0-)

        'But you add another decade of extreme repression, especially of the Shia' community,'

        Assad is Alawite, associated with the Shia community, if anything the accusations of repression have been of the Sunni community. In any case there are polls showing that the Syrian people understandably are war-weary and sick and tired of the fighting, and ironically are supporting the Assad regime here since so many al-Qaida fighters are among the rebels, so this may ironically be strengthening Assad's regime, ugly and repressive as it is.

        •  I was referring to Iraq (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Lawrence

          I am aware that Assad is an Alawi and is backed by Shia' Iran.

          I was referring to the lost decade in Iraq, in which the Shia' community disporportionately suffered and became more resentful and more polarized along ethnosectarian lines.

          “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

          by ivorybill on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 02:40:26 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Because in the view of . . . (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      claude, chuckvw, Tweedledee5

      the U.S. foreign-policy establishment, including the "serious people" of both parties, overthrowing the Assad regime would deprive Iran of its major regional ally. Israel has been trying to goad the U.S. into intervention for more than a year now. The reason why we'd intervene on the side of Islamic extremists is simple: proxy war with Iran. Toward the Iranians the U.S. has the same basic mindset that it had toward the U.S.S.R.

      One upshot of an attack on Syria is that it would effectively foreclose any possibility of a negotiated settlement with Iran over the nuclear issue. Which is precisely what the Democratic & Republican war hawks want.

    •  Should Assad win, do you really think (0+ / 0-)

      he's going to run the country peaceably?  Of course he's going to keep on hunting and killing purported rebels, sympathizers, supporters.  The murdering and terrorizing of the Sunni populace is going to continue.  Until the next rebellion, and the next, and the next, until one finally succeeds.

      If the rebels win it will be the opposition running the place.  Now, they might well be horrible and hunt, kill, and expel Assad sympathizers.  But in some sense it's inevitable that at some point they gain power and do these thing.

      So there's no "everybody pick up their things and go home" peaceful solution.  We're at the beginning of an evolution in Syria and the best way to maximize the body count is probably to keep/leave Assad in power for as long as possible.  There's no guarantee that toppling him quickly will minimize the total body count, but it's plausible.

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