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View Diary: There is no military solution, folks. (330 comments)

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  •  Well, there isn't even a well-defined problem (48+ / 0-)

    Yes, the brutality going on in Syria is a humanitarian problem. But the US in particular (and the wealthy nations in general) have looked the other way so many times in the face of humanitarian crises, that it's hard to see why this is different.

    Anyway, if you haven't defined your desired outcome, it's almost impossible to come up with a useful line of action.

    "The smartest man in the room is not always right." -Richard Holbrooke

    by Demi Moaned on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 09:15:34 AM PDT

    •  And thank you double. (41+ / 0-)

      Could we please apply the Powell doctrine before we wreck our country, especially its economy, beyond repair?

      I'd be happy if even a few of these questions were answered:

      The Powell Doctrine states that a list of questions all have to be answered affirmatively before military action is taken by the United States:
      Is a vital national security interest threatened?
      Do we have a clear attainable objective?
      Have the risks and costs been fully and frankly analyzed?
      Have all other non-violent policy means been fully exhausted?
      Is there a plausible exit strategy to avoid endless entanglement?
      Have the consequences of our action been fully considered?
      Is the action supported by the American people?
      Do we have genuine broad international support?[1]

      The party of Kennedy is also the party of Eastland. The party of Javits is also the party of Goldwater. Where is our party? Where is the political party that will make it unnecessary to march on Washington?

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 09:36:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  This is why I don't buy the idea of a limited (29+ / 0-)


      Anyway, if you haven't defined your desired outcome, it's almost impossible to come up with a useful line of action.
      The plan, as the administration would have us believe, is to lob a few cruise missiles into Syria as a warning against the future use of chemical weapons.  Lets say that is the plan, what would be accomplished?  

      Assad would win the war, but perhaps a bit more slowly.  At that point, what exactly have we accomplished?  I don't think the Obama Administration and the people at the Pentagon are that stupid.  We've been funding the rebels for years.  We are going to want some return on that investment.  

      No, I believe the plan almost has to be to use enough military force as to cripple the Assad regime so the terrorist, oops I mean rebels, can win.  Instead of saving human life, we'll actually most likely just prolong the war.  We will go in with enough force to decapitate the regime and watch as a Sunni islamist takes his place at the top of pyramid.  That is a "good" outcome in the eyes of US forces here.  There is no pro-democracy rebels we can even point to.  No false hope they are even giving us.  

      I just don't understand what any of this will accomplish except planting the seeds for a bigger operation 10, 20, 30 years down the line against whoever assumes control of Syria.  We don't have any allies in this fight, just nebulous interests.  

    •  so was it wrong for us (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eyesbright, red moon dog, vcmvo2

      to look the other way before?

      If so, why does that become a reason to look away now?
      If not, why does that become a reason to look away now?

    •  For strong stomachs, here's the visible reality of (16+ / 0-)

      what is going on in Syria:

      Renewed and added to and drily cataloged daily, by the people of

      Everyone with a weapon is doing it to everyone else. If one needs a mental frame to try to understand what's happening, outside of the current bullshit from All The President's Men about "oh, the children with their glazen eyes and twitching limbs and foaming lips so we must ACT with our Tomahawks and take some MORE scalps," one could do worse than study up a bit on the notion of "anomie."

      These folks peddling the bullshit about how critical it is to protect the International Norm Against The Use Of Chemical Weapons That Has Been In Effect Since 90 Years Ago are just blowing toxic smoke. Ask the Vietnamese, and myself and a lot of fellow GIs about Agents Orange, Green and RedWhiteandBlue. Or the Kurds and Iranians about the poisons we in the West helped Saddam's critters make, encouraged them to use, and worked hard to cover up (along with Soviet chemical weapon use in Afghanistan when it was their turn to take and Empire-shaming drubbing, and selling the stuff to make the stuff, for a nice profit, to the "current Hitler." ).

      Even our own military dudes and some of our analyst types are saying "wrong place, wrong issue, wrong intent, wrong time, wrong consequences to the wrong people." And even the mopes that make up the "polls say" crowd wisdom in the US, let alone the rest of the world, seem to know that you maybe ought not to "punish" some autocrat by using your little brass hammer to beat on the fuze of a large unexploded shell casing, on the ground if not really in the belief that that will de-fuze it (or at least give you a chance to use your Mil-Spec $1200 hammer)...

      Vietnam vet 'thanking' the fuckers who frame "our" policy choices and have built the mother.h.effing enormous lockers full of Really Smart Weapons for gifting me back with more of those dreams and night sweats. What the hell is the matter with us? Are we just a cancer that's spreading, where the tumor cells are just loving the luxurious bath they get in blood-borne nutrients stolen from the rest of the body, not giving a shit whether they kill the long-suffering patient and effectively themselves?

      Here's what our Grand Strategy is breeding, among other excesses:

      Read down a few paragraphs to get to the stuff about how our Generals live so nicely high on the hog. People like Petraeus and McChrystal, who like Westmorelenad and MacArthur and Abrams and so many others before them got so many GIs and civilian "bugspats" killed thanks to their Grand Strategies and Massive Deployments.

      A High Caste of military officers, who just have to be able to meet at the same level with the CEOs who get paid tens of millions a year each to come up with corporate slogans like that wonderful slap in the face from Lochkeed-Martin, who remind the rest of us so archly that, speaking for itself with the regal personal pronoun "we,"  "We never forget who we're working for." Because on their retirement, it will be their turns to sit in the C-Suites and peddle the weapons of tomorrow that are starting to look more and more like that deservedly scary liquid metal creature from "Terminator II..."

      "Is that all there is?" Peggy Lee.

      by jm214 on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 10:45:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Amen, brother. My inadequate apologies for what (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        poligirl, jm214, flowerfarmer

        those with Star Spangled Eyes did to you and your brothers.

        Some folks are born made to wave the flag,
        Ooh, they're red, white and blue.
        And when the band plays "Hail to the chief",
        Ooh, they point the cannon at you, Lord,

        It ain't me, it ain't me,
        I ain't no senator's son, son.
        It ain't me, it ain't me;
        I ain't no fortunate one, no,

        Some folks are born silver spoon in hand,
        Lord, don't they help themselves, oh.
        But when the taxman comes to the door,
        Lord, the house looka like a rummage sale, yes,

        It ain't me, it ain't me, I ain't no millionaire's son, no.
        It ain't me, it ain't me;
        I ain't no fortunate one, no.

        Some folks inherit star spangled eyes,
        Ooh, they send you down to war, Lord,
        And when you ask them, "How much should we give?"
        Ooh, they only answer More! More! More! yoh,

        It ain't me, it ain't me, I ain't no military son, son.
        It ain't me, it ain't me;
        I ain't no fortunate one, one.

        It ain't me, it ain't me, I ain't no fortunate one, no no no,
        It ain't me, it ain't me,
        I ain't no fortunate son, no no no


        As of 9pm 8/30/13: RETIRED Pie Warrior. Substance over Sh*t Flinging (as best as I am able) ~ JV

        by JVolvo on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 12:09:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Brutality has been going on in Bahrain for 2 years (11+ / 0-)

      The U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet is already there. You'd think we could do something.

      Oh, wait a minute, that's right; it's a Gulf monarchy, so we support the brutality and/or look the other way.

      The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war. ☮ ♥ ☺

      by lotlizard on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 11:17:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Just yesterday (9+ / 0-)

      I posted this below:

      What outcome does the US hope to effect
      by "surgical bombing" of Syria?  I want this question answered by the administration since they are the ones pushing for this ill advised foray into Syria.

      1) How will our "surgical bombing" stop Assad from killing people in his own country if we do not want a regime change in Syria?

      2) How does our "surgical bombing" prevent collateral loss of life and injury among the civilian population?

      3) If our "surgical bombing" does effect a regime change in Syria, what is to prevent al Qaeda from taking over the country and further killing more civilians?

      4) What is the cost/benefit of our becoming involved in a civil war in Syria?  How does it promote peace and prevent future terrorism?  Is there any guaranteed positive outcome from this both for the American people and the people of Syria?

      This is absolutely not about humanitarian reasons.  Killing people to save them is not a good reason for war.

      "I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~ Dr. Cornel West speaking to Occupy Tallahassee on January 18, 2012

      by gulfgal98 on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 11:36:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Good questions. I will attempt some answers: (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Leo Flinnwood, JustBeKos

        1. Destruction of fuel dumps will inhibit mobility of government forces, and deter Assad's offensive operations. Targeting parked aircraft, mobile missile launchers, and armored vehicles could further degrade the army's capacity to fight.

        2. Precision bombing will cause collateral damage and loss of life. No one but Donald Rumsfeld  would deny this. People are going to die if we act, and people are going to die if we don't act. The question is how many and to what purpose?

        3. The best way to prevent a takeover by extremists and/or "ethnic cleansing" of communities loyal to the government is to coerce Damascus into a cease-fire and negotiations with the rebels.

        4. It is not the U.S.'s intention to become "involved" in a civil war. This is a one-time opportunity to bring it to a halt. If it doesn't work, the cover-story of "punitive" action in response the use of CW allows the U.S. to walk away rather than escalate.

        The Syrian conflict is a virtual stalemate. The cost to degrade Assad's ability to attack the rebels will be low - on par with Libya - relative to the benefits.

        The benefits of diminishing the Syrian army's advantage include: a cease-fire with U.N. peacekeeping troops to enforce it, chemical weapons remain under the control of military units. The minority Alawites remain armed to prevent post-conflict massacres, the return of refugees from desert camps before winter, opportunities to deliver humanitarian and reconstruction aid directly into Syria.

        There are no guarantees. There are never any guarantees... with intervention or with non-intervention.

        No one expects to "save people by killing them". The U.S. proposes to attack military installations operated by uniformed military personnel who serve a brutal, repressive, unpopular regime. 60,000 of them have deserted to the rebels or the refugee camps since the conflict began. That option remains to those who stayed behind.

        “It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing
        he was never reasoned into” - Jonathan Swift

        by jjohnjj on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 10:00:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Syrias hangars are hardened. Syria, it turns out, (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          maryabein, jorogo, rwgate

          borders on Israel and is in fact technically still in a state of war with that country.  Apparently, their entire military doctrine revolves around being able to survive and remain functional after 48 hours of all-out assault by the world fourth most powerful Air Force.

          We're not going to cripple them with cruise missiles.

          "But the traitors will pretend / that it's gettin' near the end / when it's beginning" P. Ochs

          by JesseCW on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 05:54:21 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  There is indeed a well defined problem. (0+ / 0-)

      The use of sarin gas against unarmed civillian populations. A strike intended to eliminate or deter the use of that gas is a text book example of a limited intervention.

      "Buying Horizon Milk to support organic farming is like purchasing an English muffin in an effort to prop up the British economy." -Windowdog

      by Windowdog on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 11:13:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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