It's been in the new for the past two years and it something that really needs no introduction.
With the use of chemical weapons the conflict has re-entered into the public debate over the past couple of days more acutely. I thought it would be apt to start a discussion thread:
Do you think other countries should get even more involved in the conflict? How do you see it ending?
I think all countries should just not meddle in Syria. What if interfering just makes things worse like making the enemy bring out "bigger gun?" Unless countries interfering quickly puts an end to this mess, I believe it should stay away. Some countries like America should focus on itself rather than fight two wars at once.
Well it seems that the associated press journalist has done a wonderful job in hopefully stopping the madness of a full out war, even though who knows what might happen, Germany is for the war, UK is against ...
China and Russia are pushing against it in the UN, why does the US seem so desperate to attack?
Nobody is for the war. Some countries favor limited air strikes, others do not. There will be no foreign troops on the ground, ever, for any reason, under any circumstances. Air strikes are essentially a "slap on the wrist", a political gesture meant to communicate that the international community is willing to do something about the situation, no matter how meaningless. If airstrikes are ever launched, they would be limited in scope, limited in duration, with strictly limited targets. Anyone hoping for World War III will be incredibly disappointed. If anyone expects anything similar in scope to even Kosovo, they also should expect to be very disappointed.
The US is not pushing for air strikes, the Obama administration is, and for political reasons. The administration has been criticized for lack of recent decisive action in Egypt, since the overthrow of Morsi, as well as Syria. Use of chemical weapons is an egregious violation of international law. The Geneva Convention is one of the pillars of international law. Failure to uphold one of the primary tenets would set a bad precedent. Action is needed, but under the current circumstances, nothing tangible can actually be done. The US military is against air strikes, congress seems split. Obama has deferred any decision to congress (again, for political reasons), which will not be back in session until September 9, further delaying potential limited air strikes.
Russia is a major benefactor of the Asad regime, supplying him with arms and money throughout the civil war. Syria is Russia's last remaining ally in the Middle East, they have a vested interest in protecting the government. Russia also leases a naval base at Tartus, Syria. If Asad falls, Russian influence will be swept completely from the Mediterranean. The Bosporus is sovereign Turkish territory. Without Tartus, Russia would be bottled up in the Black Sea, and unable to move their fleet. Russia, as such, has not only opposed war, but has even vetoed sanctions. As a sham democracy, Russia also opposes the overthrow of dictator globally. China has fewer direct ties with Syria, but also opposes the deposition of non-democratic regimes (for obvious reasons). China generally at least abstains from voting for sanctions, or taking direct military action. China, and Russia, both feel taken advantage of after the NATO bombing of Libya. Both states feel that NATO exceeded the UN mandate for intervention. Their lack of cooperation regarding Syria was, to some degree, a reaction to the Libyan campaign. The recent down vote in Parliament had as much to do with Cameron failing to share intelligence, as it it did with opposition to launching air strikes. That vote was non-binding, and mostly symbolic. In no way does it mean the United Kingdom will not take action against Syria.
If anyone is wondering, I do have a college degree in International Politics, specializing in conflict resolution. My news sources are generally the Washington Post, BBC News, Reuters, and (occasionally) The New York Times. The Times is a shell of it's former self though, I find the Post to now be a much better paper. I read the Post, BBC, and Reuters daily.
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I think China's official position is it dislikes any and all intervention in the internal affairs of other nations and votes accordingly.
Not to argue your wider point, but the UK will not take action in Syria. Not only because of the vote but because after the vote Cameron assured parliament that he would not use his royal prerogative and go ahead anyway. The usage of it would mean an almost certain vote of no confidence and the likely collapse of the current government. It's pretty certain he wont do it.
It's interesting though that the intelligence says that Assad used chemical weapons on a small scale at least fourteen times since 2012.
There is also the upcoming G20 Summit (Septemer 5-6) in St. Petersburg to consider. Obama may be pushing for air strikes prior to the summit, to improve negotiating position.
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There have been rumors about chemical weapons going about for a long time now. This is the first time anyone seems to have been able to verify that they were used, and with evidence of who used them. From what I understand, previously UN inspectors were kept away from the scene long enough that forensic evidence was no longer attainable.
To be honest, he didnt. He was fucked by circumstance and by the opposition smelling blood. The majority of the public were and are absolutely against any form of intervention in the Syrian civil war. One MP early on in the debate over Syrian intervention made the point that that best summed it up "The well of public opinion has been well and truly poisoned by Iraq". It was the long shadow of Iraq - which is almost universally considered now a mistake in the UK - that was the main reason the motion was lost. There is a reluctance to enter into another middle eastern war with the United States and was reflected in the vote.
He is also in a coalition government with a left leaning party that voted against Iraq. They're majority in parliament is 76, which is not huge. His party is also in a state of panic about rising centre-right parties. All that together meant that the opposition were perfectly well placed to use it and take full advantage to humiliate Cameron. The single biggest thing is still Iraq though. If Iraq, the fake WMD's did not happen, parliament would have passed the motion. It only lost by 13 votes (650 MPs) and that was with 30 rebel mps.
The options for that are open. But they wont be going back about the same issue and unless there is a significant change in the situation, its currently considered dead according to the deputy PM. I cant see it unless Assad launches another chemical attack in which case the most likely result i'd imagine would be a victory in parliament.
The debate in parliament, lasted about 7 hours and is very good (imo) at analysing all the arguments about syrian intervention. I can try and find a non-uk link.
The Tories are in a coalition with Clegg and the Liberal Democrats, no?
For a change, partisan politics are not at play in congress. Congress really just wanted Obama to snuggle with them a little first, to make them feel special. Boehner, Cantor, and Palosi now all seem to back Obama. Kerry, and top military advisers will appear before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations later today. I kind of feel like this is brinksmanship on Obama's part. Congress won't be back in session until Monday, after the G20 summit. Launching air strikes, no matter how limited, without the consent of the Security Council is lunacy. I don't think Obama will repeat the mistakes of the Bush administration. The American public has no real interest in foreign intervention either, not after Iraq, not with troops still in Afghanistan. If it came down to it, the US public probably would not care much about limited air strikes, as long as we did not become involved in a long campaign. My feeling is that Obama is using the threat of air strikes to put pressure Russia to compromise. If Russia is willing to abstain on sanctions, China probably will too.
So wait let me get this, the whole thing about the Obama government trying to prove their case to congress that chemicals were used and that there needs to be some action, and as Kerry said no boots on the ground, meaning, drones and air strikes are on the menu, in a new endless proxy war, this is even a more proxy war than the proxy wars of the cold war ... is a joke, play, a CHARADE?
These "interventions", maybe it's just me or the language of calling something a war is slowly shifting, shifting, binding and getting whacky. O_o
So what now, pleading the case to congress? But the senate is controlled by Obama's party, a few house members are really against this war, it seems the top is really pushing for it. A serious public backlash is holding them off, I would assume they need to get some stuff out there that might change the public opinion to just 9% for war in Syria to something more like Iraq, but what could possible convince the public to shift from 9% to even half, to give them the political back up they need?
It's not a charade. It's politics. Options are limited by the reality of the situation, and the political will of the world community.
Drones are probably off the menu. That would require a long intervention. The might be limited to recon and intelligence. Obama will not receive authorization for a long intervention. The Senate foreign relations committee crafted a compromise resolution today, giving Obama a 60 day deadline, with one 30 day extension, to launch a military strike against Syria. The resolution authorizes only “limited, proportional” attacks against Syria. Even extended air strikes are off the table. Ground troops are out of the question. The resolution needs to be debated before the full Senate, and voted on in both chambers. Because Obama went to congress first, the resolution is fully amendable. The public won't need to be sold on“limited, proportional” attacks.
That shift happened 60 years ago. Korea was not called a war either, it was instead described as "police action" under the aegis of the United Nations. Vietnam was not a war, nor were either of the "Gulf Wars". In Syria this is not a mere matter of semantics, war would be a poor descriptor of US intention. If the US intervenes in Syria, whether unilaterally or as part of the United Nations, the entire mission probably will be completed in two weeks or less. The mission will probably be limited to cruise missiles fired from battleships currently stationed in the eastern Mediterranean.
Last edited by Kaiten; September 03, 2013 at 08:41 PM.
Pretty sure that most of the American people don't support intervention. But watch the nets for a sudden surge in comments supporting an American invasion of Syria. Part of PRISM included something called "Personas", which was a way of creating and monitoring dummy accounts in order to drown out comment sections with particular viewpoints favorable to the owners of the tool.
Well, there goes my taxes to go to another war. I would've preferred them going to universal health care, but Congress and a portion of my fellow Americans would rather let people die on the streets. We will go to war in a second, but will take decades to work with peace.
If anyone is interested someone uploaded the full debate on youtube.
When will congress vote on it?
Politics and the English language and goes into the use of the language. There is a part about using language in the "defense of the indefensible" which is similar to how intervention (and other words) have become a euphemisms for more evil sounding words like war.
LULZ, Yeah I know of Orwell, I find it strange how fiction became reality, and so out in the open ... I will not be surprised if they mimic his most famous one: WAR IS PEACE. They kind of do, or well, war has always been disguised as such.
Now, this senate panel, they voted for an intervention, what exactly does this mean? To give a pretext to the actual vote that the Congress of the US might actually vote for the war, giving Obama the green light to attack?
People are forgetting that US airstrikes will kill many innocent civilians as well. How many innocent children and families were killed in Shock and Awe? A lot of them is the answer. I think US is clearly violating international law if they intervene. I think Obama can't fix the economic instability in the US, and therefore is turning towards war, in order to have a possible excuse; however it will only make matters worse. In regards to the chemical warfare, I believe the rebels did it on purpose, in order to frame Assad, and gain the attention of the international community. Overall, we should not interfere due to several reasons-- unreliable intelligence, Russia/China/Iran having an all out gang rape of the US lol, violation of international law, we can't afford another war, the results will be the same as Egypt.