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 Post subject: Re: Syria
PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 8:21 pm 
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No, actually it does matter. It's hard to live a normal life when every time you read the newspaper, your hands itch for the ends of a length of piano wire.


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 Post subject: Re: Syria
PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 8:21 pm 
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jorvik wrote:
as I understand it America cannot go to war unless she is attacked

Not really...

The last time the United States "declared war" was World War II. Congress has the sole discretion of declaring war, but the President is the commander in chief and may instruct troops to wage war without a formal declaration.

Attempts in the past by Congress to limit said power (The War Powers Resolution of 1973) were vetoed by President Nixon. That veto was overridden by Congress, but presidents has since waged war in spite of that Resolution. There are myriad notification, justification, and national emergency loopholes that a president can drive a Mack truck through.

- Bill


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 Post subject: Re: Syria
PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 8:41 pm 
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I really don't know Bill..................it's not my country...but I liked this

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZOapBU5eZHA

I mean really you had a moron like Bush saying that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, I mean for God's sake the guy couldn't even wipe his own arse properly...and Bliar supported him and was rewarded with a part time job at a top US bank on $3 million a year part time..............We had all those lies and deception ...............................and now we get the same old shiite, are people really that dumb....DUUUUUUUUUUUH WEapons of mass destruction DUUUUUUUUUUUUUh......I love amerika, go out and kill :P


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 Post subject: Re: Syria
PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 8:51 pm 
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We did that for you.


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 Post subject: Re: Syria
PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 8:55 pm 
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Is there a point you're trying to make, Ray?

The Halabja chemical attack killed between 3,200 and 5,000 people and injured 7,000 to 10,000 more, most of them civilians. Thousands more died of complications, diseases, and birth defects in the years after the attack. *

The world knew Saddam Hussein had and used chemical weapons. The only question is what happened to them. Satellite photos documented a lot of traffic between Iraq and Syria just before the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Chances are we're seeing a continuation of a shell game.

It is what it is.

- Bill

* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halabja_chemical_attack


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 Post subject: Re: Syria
PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 10:12 pm 
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In WWII, the largest ethnic group of Americans was German. What that means is that a bunch of German people went back across the ocean and killed Hitler.

During the Cold War, we had the advantage of Eastern-Bloc citizens who rebelled against the mass murderer Stalin, and the repressive robot regime that he instituted.

One of the reasons we have had so much success fighting the war on Islamic fundamentalist A-hole people-killers is that we have so many Arabic speaking people on our side.

Now, we have a black President, who is sending our operatives after Joseph Kony in Africa.

We won the Revolution because there were so many Irish, Scottish and English people here who were tired of being played off each other, and decided, along with the French, that we could all do without a f*cking king, and his train of "nobles", to teach us how to worship, and a Pope to teach us how to govern.

But the game will never end. There will always be some idiot who would rather ignore the atrocities of the monsters we have put down, in order to rail against the "Great Satan".


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 Post subject: Re: Syria
PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 12:36 am 
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jorvik

Something else you might want to consider--along the "lies and distorations" thing. ;)

There was a long list of reasons why we invaded, WMD's were just a part of it. Everyone likes to focus on the WMD's but the reality was that there were many reasons to invade.

1st-We had a cease-fire in place--violations of the cease-fire agreement pretty much means the cease-fire is over and the shooting starts again. Among the violations--and not a complete list by any means.

-Illegally rearming--which he unquestionably did.

-Shooting at the planes patroling the no-fly zone--which he unquestionably did

-Illegally importing spare-parts etc for his military equipment. Which would be needed for more attacks.

(the whole list is probably still available on-line)

(UPDATE--found at least part of the list in the UN Security Council UN page. Concerning Resoluation 1441:

In part:

-"proliforation of wmd's and long range missiles." Emp mine

-"Did not provide an accurate, full final and complete disclosure as required by resolution 687."..........of ballistic missiles with range greater than 150 km aand all holdings of such weapons, their componetnts, production faculties and locations."

-"Iraq repeatedly obstucted immediate, unconditional, and unrstricted access to sites designated by UNSCOM and IAEA"

-"failed to cooperate fully and uncondtionally with UNSCOM and IAEA weapons inspectors.......and ultimatly ceased all cooperation with UNSOM and the IAEA."

-"absence of monitoring, inspection and verification as required by relevent resolutions."

-"Government of Iraq has failed to comply with its commitments pursuant to resolution 687 with regard to terrorism.....to end repression of its civilian population."

-"pursuant to resolutions 686, 687, and 1284 to return or cooperate in accounting for Kuwaiti and thrid country nationals wrongfully detained by Iraq, or to return Kuwaiti property wrongfully seized by Iraq."

***Extra info--again not complete but violations of various cease-fire agreements.

-UNSCR 949--"Iraq must not enhance its military capability in southern Iraq"

-UNSCR 1051--"Iraq must report shipments of dual use items related to wmd's"

-In 2002 Saddam Hussein increased from $10,000 to $25,000 the oney offered to familes of Palestinian suicide bombers. (Washington Times May 31st 2002)

-Subverted the Oil for Food program for military purposes (Presidents Report to COngress Jan 2002)

Not quite as "sexy" as WMD's but clear violations of the cease-fire. Nor is this a complete list.

In terms of "moron" maybe...maybe not. Bushs grades in college were better than Gore's and his military testing was better than Kerry's (reportedly) don't know if that makes Bush NOT a "moron" but it it might put Gore/Kerry in a different light. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Syria
PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 2:40 am 
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Location: Somerville, ma.
Bill Glasheen wrote:
Valkenar wrote:
The "unintended consequence" of the deal with Russia to remove the chemical weapons is to assure al-Assad's grip on power in the country.
...
If you aren't prepared to fix what you broke, then you shouldn't touch the thing. But they did, and now the U.S. has effectively taken sides in a civil war.


No matter who wins, we lose. I'm not convinced al-Assad is worse for his citizens than the jihadists and their caliphate. Obama shouldn't have made ultimatums that forced him to act. I'm also not convinced Assad was on his way out before this, or that this even guarantees his keeping power (though it will help). It was, and is, murky, and incredibly complex with all the other goings on. It's a mess we should stay out of.

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- Justin Powell


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 Post subject: Re: Syria
PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 1:57 pm 
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Update today from the Wall Street Journal. As I said... I'm not seeing good guys in this mess. This pretty much is consistent with Justin's feelings.

Damned if you do, damned if you don't. My dark wish is to feed all 3 groups weapons, let the area attract all the world's jihadists, fence in the country, and let them exterminate each other. But that's just yet another naïve thought.

- Bill

WSJ Online wrote:
Updated September 18, 2013, 7:50 p.m. ET.

Rebel-on-Rebel Violence Seizes Syria

An al Qaeda spinoff operating near Aleppo, Syria's largest city, last week began a new battle campaign it dubbed "Expunging Filth."

The target wasn't their avowed enemy, the Syrian government. Instead, it was their nominal ally, the U.S.-backed Free Syrian Army.

Across northern and eastern Syria, units of the jihadist group known as ISIS are seizing territory—on the battlefield and behind the front lines—from Western-backed rebels.

Some FSA fighters now consider the extremists to be as big a threat to their survival as the forces of President Bashar al-Assad.

"It's a three-front war," a U.S. official said of the FSA rebels' fight: They face the Assad regime, forces from its Lebanese ally Hezbollah, and now the multinational jihadist ranks of ISIS.

Brigade leaders of the FSA say that ISIS, an Iraqi al Qaeda outfit whose formal name is the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, has dragged them into a battle they are ill-equipped to fight.

Some U.S. officials said they see it as a battle for the FSA's survival.

In recent months, ISIS has become a magnet for foreign jihadists who view the war in Syria not primarily as a means to overthrow the Assad regime but rather as a historic battleground for a larger Sunni holy war. According to centuries-old Islamic prophecy they espouse, they must establish an Islamic state in Syria as a step to achieving a global one.

Al Qaeda militants from central command in Pakistan and Pakistani Taliban fighters have also set up operational bases in northern Syria, people familiar with their operations said.

The spread of ISIS illustrates the failure of Western-backed Syrian moderates to establish authority in opposition-held parts of Syria, some of which have been under rebel control for over a year.

The proliferation of the Sunni jihadists and extremists has brought a new type of terror to the lives of many Syrians who have endured civil war in the north. Summary executions of Alawites and Shiites, who are seen as apostates, attacks on Shiite shrines, and kidnappings and assassinations of pro-Western rebels are on the rise.

Estimates on the size of ISIS range from 7,000 to 10,000 fighters. Fighters from ISIS—though it shares the goal of toppling Mr. Assad's Shiite-linked Alawite regime—have frustrated Sunni communities that until recently embraced the military prowess and social services of Islamist rebels, local residents said.

The FSA's fight with extremists is spurring new rebel calls for Western help, after the U.S. put on hold what had looked like imminent strikes on the Assad regime. Instead, diplomacy has taken over, after a U.S.-Russian deal to disarm Syria's chemical weapons.

A parallel effort continues by Gulf states—and to a much lesser extent by the U.S.—to strengthen select rebel units viewed as moderate, according to Western officials familiar with the arms flow to Syrian rebels.

The FSA's Supreme Military Council, and other rebels who want the U.S. to intervene on their behalf, see the rise of ISIS as an opportunity to firmly separate themselves from al Qaeda militants, whose presence they believe is holding the U.S. back.

This account of the growing influence of ISIS and its backlash is based on interviews with FSA rebels fighting ISIS, Syrian jihadists who have fought alongside the al Qaeda group or are familiar with its operations, and Western officials.

Representatives of ISIS, a group also known as Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, and in Arabic as al-Dawla, couldn't be reached for this article.

"There's been a real shift in focus [among Syrians in the north]," a Western official working with the opposition said. "A sense of 'We can't get rid of the regime without getting rid of Dawla first.' "

U.S. officials said one reason for the delay in funneling small quantities of light arms to rebels, which began this month, is the difficulty of creating secure pipelines of delivery to intended recipients.

The chaos of the Syrian battlefield, where those fighting to overthrow Mr. Assad sometimes fight side-by-side with those who see Syria as a springboard for global jihad, has compounded U.S. concerns over this process.

U.S. and other Western officials said they were aware of a local backlash and localized FSA counteroffensives against ISIS. They welcomed FSA efforts to draw a line between al Qaeda fighters and the rebels who Western states back.

The extremists pose a threat to the ability of the political opposition, too, to gain legitimacy on the ground and better coordinate with the Free Syrian Army.

In the past half-year, as the Syrian Opposition Coalition, the main opposition body, deliberated over forming what it calls an interim government, extremists have gained ground across the north.

"It's an uphill struggle for the coalition's interim government to establish itself inside Syria in the face of threats from the regime, and extremists, but there is still an opportunity to be missed here," a senior Western diplomat said. "It's still the case that a majority of Syrians are not up for Talibanization. Given a moderate alternative, they will choose that."

The other alternative: A lawless north becomes a launchpad for jihadists, akin to areas of Pakistan and the Arabian peninsula.

"The roots of Waziristan, of southern Yemen have been planted in northern Syria," a Western official working with the opposition said.

The group has moved quickly. In mid-August, ISIS pushed a well-known FSA unit, the Ahfad al-Rasoul brigades, out of the city of Raqqa in northern Syria after tit-for-tat killings and bombings between their fighters.

On Wednesday, clashes broke out in the town of Azaz, near the Turkish border, between ISIS fighters and rebels from an FSA-allied group, leading to some casualties on both sides, opposition activists in the town said. Clashes continued past midnight, activists said.

Along Syria's border with Turkey, ISIS fighters are trying to wrest the four major crossings from other rebel units, in a bid to control supply routes, according to rebels battling the extremists, and Western officials.

In recent weeks, ISIS fighters have adopted a strategy of dropping back—taking rear positions—as rebels with the FSA alliance leave for front lines to fight government forces, allowing ISIS to build a presence in towns and villages left without security or services.

Some Syrians in the villages that dot the Turkish border have changed their lifestyles to dodge persecution by followers of ISIS's fearsome brand of Islamic extremism.

Local men grow beards to pass without scrutiny through ISIS checkpoints. Many Syrian activists and aid workers, wary of their affiliations with Western aid agencies and governments, now say they prefer to work in Turkey and avoid cross-border trips, many border residents and aid workers said.

These jihadists see a long-term mission in Syria. Foreign fighters have begun to move their families to Turkish border areas, locals said.

The trickle of families picked up after the possibility of a U.S. strike on Syrian government targets emerged late last month in response to an Aug. 21 chemical attack near Damascus. U.S. officials said they saw indications the militants hoped they could seize on a U.S. strike to shift momentum against the regime.

As the U.S. threat receded, emboldened ISIS militants ramped up efforts to win local support, said Hamid Ibrahim, a spokesman for FSA leader Gen. Salim Idriss.

"They are telling them: 'We told you that you can't depend on America for freedom. Don't be fooled—you only have us,' " Mr. Ibrahim said.

The Supreme Military Council, led by Gen. Idriss, has been the focus of U.S. efforts to bring a command-and-control structure to rebels—but has now lost to the Islamist extremists most of its ability to operate in some parts of the north.

ISIS fighters recently raided a council arms depot filled with lights weapons and ammunition, funded by the Gulf states and funneled to the council with the guidance of the Central Intelligence Agency, council members said.

From Idlib in the north to Deir el-Zour in the east, Syrian activists are looking for Western help to learn ways to push back against al Qaeda's influence.

In Aleppo and Hama, local rebel police forces are being trained with U.S. funds to put security in the hands of American allies.

The foreign jihadists have become a problem even for some of the hard-line Syrian Islamists who worked most closely with them on the battlefield. One such group is Ahrar al-Sham.

On Sept. 10, a gunfight that broke out at an ISIS checkpoint in Idlib killed a revered leader, Abu Obeida, as he accompanied Turkish and Malaysian relief workers on a distribution mission, unleashing criticism in Islamist rebel circles against ISIS.

ISIS members, posting on social-media networks, said the delegation was stopped because fighters confused the Malaysian flag for the American flag.

They deny intending to kill Abu Obeida, and said they aimed to shoot him in the legs only to keep him from running away after they had ambushed him and stuck him in the trunk of a car.


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 Post subject: Re: Syria
PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 3:19 pm 
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Assads a bad guy....but as Bill and Val etc. point out....the alternatives might well be worse.

Facing a choice between "bad" and "worse"with no clear path.

I do not envy the folks having to make said choices.

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Forget #6, you are now serving nonsense.

HH


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 Post subject: Re: Syria
PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 8:07 pm 
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Everything I'm hearing confirms Bill's assessment. There are no good guys in this fight. I think we should stay out of it. If Russia really does get Syria to dispose of its chemical weapons, that's to the better. If.

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 Post subject: Re: Syria
PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2013 12:15 am 
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Meanwhile, in an alternate reality:

The U.N. Security Council convenes to look at documented war crimes and a humanitarian disaster in the middle of a region that has been totally destabilized from the events of the last couple of years. There is a murderous, despotic regime fighting a war against several loosely knit groups, some of which can be described as anarcho-extremist terrorist organizations, who have concentrated like schools of piranha.

At issue are stockpiles of chemical weapons, along with advanced Russian weaponry that could fall into anyone's hands, along with a helpless citizenry caught in a spiraling situation that could easily start to spread across borders and cause an uncontrollable conflagration, affecting the world's economy and stability.

Realizing that it is time to at least temporarily set aside political motivations for the greater good, The U.S., Russia and China unanimously vote to back the utilization of U.N. peace-keeping forces to quell the chaos.

The member nations contribute proportionate amounts of their armed forces, who put on the blue helmet. They enter Syria from all directions with the mandate to disarm all parties and call a halt to the violence, in order to facilitate peaceful general elections, by the lawful citizens of the country.

They are ordered to prosecute their mission with extreme prejudice, allowing all parties to voluntarily cease destructive activities, or be forcibly silenced.

Once the stockpiles of weapons are destroyed or removed, if the situation has devolved to the point where no political solution is possible, all who wish to apply for refugee status are allowed to leave. The U.N. then cordons off the country and watches as the combatants fulfill their destiny, as martyrs for whatever twisted cause they have been brainwashed into believing in.


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 Post subject: Re: Syria
PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2013 4:14 am 
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fivedragons wrote:
Meanwhile, in an alternate reality:
...
Realizing that it is time to at least temporarily set aside political motivations for the greater good,


If only humans weren't so selfish maybe this reality could be a little less alternate.

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- Justin Powell


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 Post subject: Re: Syria
PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2013 7:12 pm 
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Quote
"jorvik

Something else you might want to consider--along the "lies and distorations" thing.

There was a long list of reasons why we invaded, WMD's were just a part of it. Everyone likes to focus on the WMD's but the reality was that there were many reasons to invade."



We were told that Saddam had WMD's that he could deploy in 20 minutes and that the West was at threat, that he had ties to Al Qaeda, and that we were not going for Regime change , we just wanted those weapons destroyed..........and Saddam agreed to the weapons inspectors coming in and examining to see if there were weapons.You may recollect that Dr.David Kelly a well respected weapons inspector died mysteriously after saying that the reports of WMD's were basically nonsense,.....people over here still want that looked into but that isn't happening :evil:

The stuff you say about came later, a ridiculous attempt to justify what had transpired...........and as we know. Saddam did ,at one time have weapons of Mass destruction because they were supplied to him by the US. Nobody wanted the US involved..I mean what the hell has it got to do with you !!!..........If Iraq's economy was based on broccoli and not oil you wouldn't be interested. over one million Iraqis have died because of this.........and the rest of the world, even some Americans , are not as gullible as you are..We know it's about the demise of the petro dollar, America's burgeoning debt of $17 trillion her unfunded liabilities of $200 trillion that can never be repaid..............This is about the Military Industrial complex and it's puppet Obama clinging on to power.....but it won't happen. America is too weak don't forget that the Iranians "landed " a US drone, it was n't shot down as reported, they hacked into it's frequency and landed it..the SEA The Syrian Electric army hacked into the US marines website and left messages........................and that's before China and Russia get involved :roll: .China just needs to dump all her American dollars and you are toast
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FwA6Nh5CUU4
This is nothing that the US should be getting involved with You should be executing your thieving bankers and developing your businesses that have gone abroad, rather than getting your fingers burned and your troops killed in foreigns wars that you have no justification for being involved in.


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 Post subject: Re: Syria
PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2013 10:13 pm 
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jorvik

"that stuff came later"

That is precisely my point, it didn't. It came prior.

You only remember what you want to remember.....the way you want to remember it. That is exactly why I took the time to post the specific information.

All you have to do is look it up.

I don't recall that the USA gave Saddam poison gas or any WMD's......if you have a source for that please post it.

BTW he did have "ties" to all sorts of terrorist groups--up to and including increasing the payments to the families of suicide bombers....again, I posted a specific source for that claim.

"broccoli instead of oil"

A-How much oil have we taken from Iraq. We buy/get most of our oil from Canada....and have for many years.

B-We went to war with Christians to defend Muslims in Bosnia and Kosavo--how much "oil" do they have? ;)

Most the rest of your post is "Black Helicopter" stuff.

But since you mention China and how much we owe them--you might want to think about what would happen if the US decided not to honor its debts to china.....happen to China I mean. ;)

I can guarantee the Chinese have.

_________________
Forget #6, you are now serving nonsense.

HH


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