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   The violence in Syria has reached a level that is horrendous.  The West must act and it is not a matter of unintended consequences of such action, rather it is the fact of the consequences of current and past inaction that is spreading violence across the borders of Syria and threatens to engulf neighbors.  Turkey has been attacked, its refugee camps are overflowing with victims of the war in Syria.  Hospitals across the region are filled with the wounded, men, women and children.  1980s vintage Russian scuds are being used on civilians.  The West must engage and enforce a no-fly zone immediately.  The cessation of bombing and missiles will result in a decrease in violence.  It is the only way to bring about efforts for peace.  Neither side can stop fighting unless some outside force can pressure each and enforce and end to the rain of terror.  That third force will give the excuse for both sides to stop fighting and for an opening for peace.  
    While the recent failure of Syrian air defenses to stop Israeli bombing, it is unclear if this was a manufactured event in the interests of both Netanyahu (for internal consumption) and Assad.  What seems likely is that Syrian forces if attacked by Tomahawks on their command and control will be so vulnerable that continued resistance to Western missiles would be suicide.  Russia is unable both technically and logistically unable to respond  and technically they have nothing that can match Western Tomahawk technology.  Nevertheless, Russian moves in recent months seem to indicate that they are tiring of  Assad and want a way out.  This could be it.

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Comment Preferences

  •  100 US troops were just deployed to Mali where (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BigAlinWashSt, chuckvw, protectspice

    the intended fallout of the last "humanitarian intervention" in flagrant violation of the War Powers Act continues.

    Torture chambers in Libya are back up and running under a new administration. Despite the fact that Gaddafi is no longer stealing a third of the countries oil revenue, magically the poor are just as poor as they ever were.

    The conflict is spreading and no one has been made more free or more safe.  The ethnic cleansing in Libya isn't over.

    So, is that your model?

    income gains to the top 1% from 2009 to 2011 were 121% of all income increases. How did that happen? Incomes to the bottom 99% fell by 0.4%

    by JesseCW on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 11:09:09 PM PST

    •  Seriously? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mookins, Smoh

      Libyans should still be under Ghadafi and the people of Mali should have to accept wandering unemployed mercenary bands looting the countryside, because, you know, freshman year rap session speech..

      •  Seriously? Helping out with ethnic cleansing (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        corvo, chuckvw, protectspice

        and arming religious fanatics, while effectively destroying the War Powers act in the process, is something you're proud of?

        Where the fuck do you think the rebels in Mali got their arms?

        Do you, in the end, have any sense of responsibility for the deaths caused because of the wars you have clamored for?

        income gains to the top 1% from 2009 to 2011 were 121% of all income increases. How did that happen? Incomes to the bottom 99% fell by 0.4%

        by JesseCW on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 12:48:40 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  old solutions for old problems (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          corvo, chuckvw

          we are still dealing with the problems of allowing the colonialist powers to determine the borders of the African nations, dividing tribes, clans and family groups and their allies while grouping them with hereditary enemies.

          The same as the Kurds continue to agitate for a nation of their own, we must distinguish, where possible, between extreme religious groups, such as we are seeing in Sudan, and Somalia and apparent nationalistic movements such as the Tuareg.  however we could not distinguish between a Marxist revolution and a nationalistic movement in VN (after all Ho approached the West for assistance first but France opposed a united VN and the rest is, well, history)  

          •  So your positions is (0+ / 0-)

            Violent redrawing of borders is OK, just so long as it is done by brigands?

            •  borders are established by nations (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              corvo, chuckvw

              I am sure Turkey has no intentions of relinquishing territory and is quite able to defend itself as it has for decades against its Kurdish minority's nationalistic aspirations.

              If we are discussing Africa,  I would note that the "brigands" are natives while we aren't.  The violent redrawing of national boundaries is really quite common in the world and happens when outside forces attempt to enforce artificial lines and boundaries upon a native population.  Are are you saying natives have a right to determine their own boundaries?

              I suppose your take on the contraction of the Roman Empire (East and West) was a result of violent redrawing of borders by brigands?  (remember yesterday brigands are tomorrow's allies in the world of international politics)

        •  Do you have any sympathy for Malians (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Who saw their nation invaded by heavily-armed and lawless mercenary companies? This isn't just some term paper you're working on. Actual innocent human beings were in peril and appealed to their old colonial nation France for help.

          Now that the lawless element has been pushed out of Mali, the US is (acvcrding to you; I've not seen the story myself) 100 troops to lend a hand

          Innocent lives were protected. Quelle horreur!

        •  Do (0+ / 0-)

          you actually know what is in the War Powers Act?

    •  Tyrants don't solve problems. And then they fall. (0+ / 0-)

      And then their countries get back to facing their problems.  As simple as that.

    •  Troops are in Mali to establish a drone base (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo, chuckvw, protectspice

      albeit the media says the drones are unarmed.  The situation there is complex but the media seems to be ignoring the complexity.

      From memory, Mali was plagued by corruption both before and after the coup,  The Malian army is poorly equipped, trained and led with troops selling guns and uniforms for food after not being paid for months at a time.

      Again, from memory, the original revolt was by Tuareg tribesmen who want their own country.  They are somewhat like the Kurds as they are a large minority in several countries and a Tuareg nation would be carved from them in theory.  So African nations and their patron, France, are against a Tuareg nation.

      The original revolt was more nationalistic and secular in nature, from memory, but the intrusion of French troops and defeat of the opposition groups opened the door for al Qaeda groups to assert their presence as the opposition sought allies (another VN era type mistake is now, having a plethora of hammers, we have decided every African and Near Eastern nationalistic group must be al Qaeda linked and hence a nail)

      It appears "France has exacerbated the situation

      •  Wat (0+ / 0-)

        Mali asked for French intervention. Al Qaeda was there before France got involved. Besides, Al Qaeda doesn't exist, it's just a figment of the US imagination now..i mean, no wait they're freedom fighters, but but.....head asplode.

        I see what you did there.

        by GoGoGoEverton on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 07:54:42 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  if you will chillax for a sec (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          corvo, chuckvw, protectspice

          which Malian gov asked for intervention, the elected government which was overthrown or the coup leaders? al Qaeda was operating there, the same as they are present among the Syrian opposition, but are you saying the Tuareg revolt is not nationalistic but is an al Qaeda invention?  
          It would be nice if you were to actually provide a few facts to refute what I said; after all aspersions can boomerang

    •  PS: Re hilarity (0+ / 0-)

      The mercenaries got their heavy arms primarily as salvage from the fall of Ghadafi in Lybia. I suspect their small arms have multiple sources.

      "Wars I have clamored for"

      I've not clamored for a single war. Yours is the squawking of the self-blindered. That sort of talk's more grist for your all-night rap sessions. (Psst! I think the cute girl likes you.)

    •  Any (0+ / 0-)

      proof to what you say, or just opinion?

  •  I Am A Military Brat (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Look I hate this or that. Genocide. But why is it we are asked to fight this war or that war? I am sick of it.

    When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

    by webranding on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 11:22:22 PM PST

    •  at any time, there are a dozen wars going on (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo, chuckvw

      in the world, usually with some form of ethnic cleansing.  The question is if we will be involved in all of them, some of them or none of them?  Iraq offers us an object lesson about wading into a pool of quicksand with no exit plan

  •  Intervention by nyone (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I suspect that's not going to happen until a lot of countries start making a lot of noise saying that's the thing to do. There's a major problem with Israel and Syria being in a legal state of war right now. Any intervantion is going to end that state of war.

    Which would be a good thing, yes. But ask yourself this: will this piss off certain people? Certain groups will see it as western armies  fighting directly to ensure Israel wins their war.

    Which is why I suspect no intervention will occur until a great number of Arab nations request something like that. Just my 2 cents.

    •  Syrian opposition is fractured into many (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Quicklund, corvo, chuckvw

      groups, some of them natural allies and other natural enemies.  Once Assad is removed, then there will follow a period of instability with the temptation by the West to install a "suitable" government, preferably sponsored by the Saudis.  I am afraid that may lead to a repeat of what we saw in Lebanon because some of the groups are radical Islamists who envision Syria as drawing board for them to create an ideal Islamic republic in their eyes (which will be very different from the Iranian model)

      Point is the West has no solutions for Syria.  Until we have some sort of solution that is best for Syria and not necessarily the West, our assistance should remain humanitarian  

      •  Very wary of intervention (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Personally I am not sitting around hoping the west will intervene in Syria. I am sympathetic to Syrians but I worry intervention would make things worse. Which is why I suggest no intervention will occur until and unless a great many local governments strongly support such a thing.

        •  I support all sorts of humanitarian support (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          including neighboring countries continuing or beginning to accept refugees but Syria is a very different kettle of fish tactically from Libya and does not lend itself to intervention so much as Libya did.

          Since we will be ending our Afghan adventure in 2014, I would hope we would look carefully before we leaped again into another situation

          •  umm . . . (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            entlord, chuckvw, JesseCW

            we're not ending our Afghan adventure in 2014.  At best we'll be withdrawing combat troops.  But that's not the same thing.

            •  I misspoke; what I get for depending on a news (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              trailer for news; OTOH locally we have been supplying the grunts and graves for the Afghan adventure from the beginning so to have them home for good (I hope) in 2014 is a good thing locally

              •  We're looking at leaving 12 to 20 thousand (0+ / 0-)

                troops behind, and maintaining at least one massive air base for the indefinite future.

                We won't be "having them home for good in 2014".  That's not on the table right now.

                We're just looking at going to back to about 2/3rds to 1/3rd the troop levels when Obama stepped into office.

                income gains to the top 1% from 2009 to 2011 were 121% of all income increases. How did that happen? Incomes to the bottom 99% fell by 0.4%

                by JesseCW on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 10:45:46 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

  •  'the west' has acted alot...and (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, protectspice

    It seems that the article writer depends on 'the west' to bring the violence to an end, and stability to Syria.

    However, let's look at 'the west' and thier record of bringing peace and stability to the world

    First, there was the 'intervention' in Iran in 1953.

    Then the 'intervention' in 1965 in Indonesia.

    Of course the 'intervention' in the South Asian Peninsula from the late 50's to the middle 70's.

    The 'intervention' in Guatamala, and Argentina in the 70's

    The 'intervention' that armed the Mujahadeen, that later became al Quid'a in Afganistan.

    The 'intervention' in Iraq in 2003, based on a lie.

    The proxy internverions in Palistine, Bahrain, Mali, Libya, and who knows where else.

    I think the west has done enough 'intervetnion'.

    Of course the drone 'interventions' in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Afganistan, The Phillipines...and so on.

    Lets be honest here for a moment.  The minute al Assad gave assurances that the Israelis would be protected in the Golan Heights, and Syria would not push thier illegal occupation of that area, and agree to the draconian rules (such as if a Syrian married outside of the Golan Heights, the couple would have to leave, and never return...not even to see thier families) Assad became the west's dictator...just as Mubarak did.

    No matter who comes out better in this situation, Syrians will suffer AGAIN...just like in Iraq.

    The true strength of of an oath is forged in adversity.

    by Nur Alia Chang on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 06:31:20 AM PST

    •  Apparently (0+ / 0-)

      you've never heard of the Cold War to understand the nature of most of the examples you give.  Most also were directed also by international corporations (see Chalmers Johnson's work on this).  Perhaps you mean we should do nothing and condemn France's intervention in the 1776 war of American independence, or in the former Yugoslavia (the Bosnia massacre is much like what is going on in Syria today).

  •  I completely oppose any intervention (0+ / 0-)

    outside of medical supplies, for either side. It's pretty clear upon a thorough review of the videos posted on LiveLeak, etc that the 'FSA' are a hodge-podge of groups fighting for different things, and that religious radicalism dominates it.

    I see what you did there.

    by GoGoGoEverton on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 07:56:55 AM PST

  •  I'm all for arming rebels in Syria (0+ / 0-)

    They want weapons and they know how to use weapons, so I'd just give them some weapons. The idea that arming them would empower Islamist radicals doesn't make any sense to me, since in the current situation they're the ones who seem to have weapons already.

    You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

    by Rich in PA on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 08:53:35 AM PST

  •  "Turkey has been attacked" you say. (0+ / 0-)

    Can we please get past this fallacy that has been floating around for whatever reason.

    The Turkish F4 that went down in the Med. was not shot down by the Syrians. There was a lot of talk about this just after the event but the Turkish military's official report states that there was no sign of the aircraft's being hit by a missile or anti-aircraft fire. The premise put forward was that an anti-aircraft missle exploded near the F4 (without leaving any phsical evidence that it had) and that the pilots lost control due to the explosion.

    There have been several events where mortars and RPGs have landed on Turkish territory and some have tried to accuse Syrian government forces, but there is one problem. The areas where the mortars and RPGs came from were areas with rebel forces. The Turkish government has been trying really hard to downplay these events for the past few months.

    Lamb chop, we can quibble what to call it, but I think we can both agree it's creepy.

    by InAntalya on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 05:59:42 AM PST

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