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Thu Aug 2, 2012, 05:29 AM

Obama signs order supporting Syria's rebels, reports say

Barack Obama has signed a secret order authorising US support for rebels seeking to depose Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his government, sources familiar with the matter have told Reuters.

Obama's order, approved earlier this year and known as an intelligence finding broadly permits the CIA and other US agencies to provide support that could help the rebels oust Assad.

This and other developments signal a shift toward growing, albeit still circumscribed, support for Assad's armed opponents – a shift that intensified following last month's failure of the UN security council to agree on tougher sanctions against the Damascus government.

The White House is for now apparently stopping short of giving the rebels lethal weapons, even as some US allies do just that.

<snip>

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/aug/02/obama-order-supporting-syria-rebels?newsfeed=true

30 replies, 1956 views

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Arrow 30 replies Author Time Post
Reply Obama signs order supporting Syria's rebels, reports say (Original post)
cali Aug 2012 OP
Zalatix Aug 2012 #1
cali Aug 2012 #2
indie9197 Aug 2012 #3
UnrepentantLiberal Aug 2012 #4
Douglas Carpenter Aug 2012 #7
UnrepentantLiberal Aug 2012 #11
Douglas Carpenter Aug 2012 #12
Douglas Carpenter Aug 2012 #13
indie9197 Aug 2012 #14
Douglas Carpenter Aug 2012 #5
WCGreen Aug 2012 #6
indie9197 Aug 2012 #8
WCGreen Aug 2012 #17
indie9197 Aug 2012 #21
WCGreen Aug 2012 #27
HiPointDem Aug 2012 #9
WCGreen Aug 2012 #18
HiPointDem Aug 2012 #22
WCGreen Aug 2012 #26
HiPointDem Aug 2012 #28
WCGreen Aug 2012 #30
Douglas Carpenter Aug 2012 #10
WCGreen Aug 2012 #19
Douglas Carpenter Aug 2012 #24
WCGreen Aug 2012 #25
LooseWilly Aug 2012 #15
HiPointDem Aug 2012 #16
LooseWilly Aug 2012 #23
indie9197 Aug 2012 #20
leveymg Aug 2012 #29

Response to cali (Original post)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 07:27 AM

1. Oh, great. U.S. Intervention in another foreign mess.

 

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Response to Zalatix (Reply #1)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 08:39 AM

2. bad. fucking bad.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Sun Aug 5, 2012, 02:45 AM

3. After a while you get to see the whole pattern repeating itself...

This article interested me, even though I really know nothing about the Syrian internal struggles, because I believe it has been repeated over and over in various countries.

http://www.opednews.com/articles/Towards-A-Soft-Invasion--by-Michel-Chossudovsk-120804-609.html

It is actually very depressing to realize that our foreign policy is controlled by the CIA it appears. Please correct me if you think this is incorrect. I would be glad to be wrong.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Sun Aug 5, 2012, 03:07 AM

4. I still can't see how the far left thinks that the people of the Middle East

 

wanting to free themselves from dictators is a bad thing. Are you liberals or are you fascists?

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Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Reply #4)

Sun Aug 5, 2012, 03:22 AM

7. you have a naive and child like understanding of the situation

Now why do you think almost all Syrians Christians and other ethnic minorities are backing Assad? Because they are evil? Why do you think the Saudis are by far the strongest supporters of Assad's opposition? Because they want to spread freedom and democracy?

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Response to Douglas Carpenter (Reply #7)

Sun Aug 5, 2012, 03:56 AM

11. Did someone take a poll of the people of Syria?

 

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Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Reply #11)

Sun Aug 5, 2012, 04:05 AM

12. no and that is the point. It is naive to imagine that Syrians are all of one mind. They are deeply

divided - usually along ethnic, religious and tribal lines. It is no more true that the Syrians "People" are backing Assad then it is true that the Syrian "people" are backing the opposition. It's a lot more complicated than that. Throwing our support behind the largely Saudi sponsored - Sunni dominated anti-Assad militias is walking into one hell of a hornets nest.

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Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Reply #11)

Sun Aug 5, 2012, 04:08 AM

13. no reliable poll that is for sure and that is the point. It is no more true that the Syrian "people"

are supporting Assad than it is true that the Syrian "people are supporting the largely Saudi sponsored and Sunni dominated opposition. Actively supporting the largely Saudi sponsored and Sunni dominated opposition at the expense of the all the various other communities in Syrian would be a mistake of catastrophic proportions and would only prolong the suffering, increase the slaughter and make any transition to a viable and stable order all the less likely.

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Response to Douglas Carpenter (Reply #7)

Sun Aug 5, 2012, 04:09 AM

14. It appears that minority groups will be executed first by the "freedom fighters"

nt

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Response to cali (Original post)

Sun Aug 5, 2012, 03:15 AM

5. Liberals arguing that the U.S. should give weapons to Syrian rebels underestimate Assad's power

strongly recommend reading this article in salon.com by Gary Kamiya:


http://www.salon.com/2012/04/13/dont_arm_syrias_rebels/singleton/




snips:

This is not a knee-jerk left-wing response. It has nothing to do with Iraq. Nor does it have anything to do with the proxy war between the U.S. and its allies and Iran and its allies. It is not driven by pacifism or opposition to all war. All U.S. wars are not axiomatically foolish, evil or driven by brutal self-interest (although most of them since World War II have been). The airstrikes on Kosovo and the Libya campaign were justified (although the jury is still out on the latter intervention). If arming the Syrian opposition would result in fewer deaths and a faster transition to a peaceful, open, democratic society, we should arm them.

That analysis has been provided by a number of in-depth reports, most notably a new study by the International Crisis Group, as well as the excellent on-the-ground reporting of Nir Rosen for Al-Jazeera. The bottom line is simple. The war has become a zero-sum game for Assad. If he loses, he dies. But the only way he can lose is if he is abandoned by his crucial external patron, Russia, which is extremely unlikely to happen absent some slaughter so egregious that Moscow feels it has to cut ties with him. Assad has sufficient domestic support to hold on for a long time, and a huge army that is not likely to defect en masse. Under these circumstances, giving arms to the rebels, however much it may make conscience-stricken Western observers feel better, will simply make the civil war much bloodier and its outcome even more chaotic and dangerous.

The key point concerns Assad’s domestic support. Contrary to the widely held belief that most Syrians support the opposition and are opposed to the Assad regime, Syrians are in fact deeply divided. The country’s minorities – the ruling Alawites, Christians and Druze – tend to support the regime, if only because they fear what will follow its downfall. (The grocery on my corner in San Francisco is owned by a Christian Syrian from a village outside Damascus. When I asked him what he thought about what was going on in his country, he said, “It’s not like what you see on TV. Assad is a nice guy. He’s trying to do the right thing.”) As Rosen makes clear, Syria’s ruling Alawite minority is the key to Assad’s survival: Absent an outside invasion, the regime will not fall unless the Alawites turn on it. But the Alawites fear reprisals if the Sunni-dominated opposition, some of whose members have threatened to “exterminate the Alawites,” defeats the Assad regime. The fear of a sectarian war, exacerbated by the murky and incoherent nature of the opposition, means that the minorities are unlikely to join the opposition in large numbers.

...

Our national instinct is to come riding to the rescue. It goes against our character to simply sit on our hands. Our sincere, naive and self-centered belief that America can fix everything, and our equally sincere, naive and self-centered belief that moral outrage justifies intervention, is a powerful tide, pulling us toward getting directly involved in Syria’s civil war.

But in the real world, we cannot always come riding to the rescue. Sometimes, we have no choice but to watch tragedy unfold, because anything we do will create an even bigger tragedy.

http://www.salon.com/2012/04/13/dont_arm_syrias_rebels/singleton/

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Response to cali (Original post)

Sun Aug 5, 2012, 03:18 AM

6. Look, for the last 50 years or so, we have supported the strongmen in the middle east...

We were behind Saddam, The Shah and anyone else who would keep their people quiet so we could get their oil.

Now that we are helping "liberate", loosely speaking, the people just might start recognizing that the US truly has their best interests in mind.

It's going to take a long time but the only way we can get the people in these countries into the 21st century is to get the idea of the strongman out of the way.

It won't take as long as we expect, once the control from the top is loosened and the people feel empowered and part of the country, have a legitimate stake in their country, they will look toward stability. The only way to get there is to get rid of the strongman mentality.

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Response to WCGreen (Reply #6)

Sun Aug 5, 2012, 03:39 AM

8. What is so great about the 21st century?

If a country is not in a US style democracy does that mean they are not in the 21st century? I apologize for turning your words around a little but a lot of cultures were just fine for hundreds of years before the US came onto the scene. I think the "strongman" thing is a relatively recent invention. Probably having to do with foreign aid and billions of dollars.

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Response to indie9197 (Reply #8)

Sun Aug 5, 2012, 04:19 AM

17. There is more citizen participation than there was in the 20th century...

To me that's a pretty big deal.

Syria was propped up by the USSR for a ver long time. The only real tie to the US was former Queen Noor was born in the US.

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Response to WCGreen (Reply #17)

Sun Aug 5, 2012, 04:34 AM

21. I think we are talking about different countries here

Queen Noor is Jordan, right?

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Response to indie9197 (Reply #21)

Sun Aug 5, 2012, 05:08 AM

27. Your right.

It's late.

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Response to WCGreen (Reply #6)

Sun Aug 5, 2012, 03:44 AM

9. the US has the people's best interests in mind? oh, please.

 

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #9)

Sun Aug 5, 2012, 04:24 AM

18. Then why would we be supporting the rebels.

Of course the main reason we are worried about Syria is because Turkey, a NATO country, could be destabilized if the fighting crosses the border.

Also, the Israeli's would love to see Assad gone as they support and have participated in violence against Israel.

I can't see any other reason to support the rebels than to keep it in country the people decide who they want to rule them.

If Assad goes so goes the government.

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Response to WCGreen (Reply #18)

Sun Aug 5, 2012, 04:43 AM

22. you can't be serious. first, who are the fucking 'rebels'? have you looked into it?

 

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #22)

Sun Aug 5, 2012, 05:07 AM

26. So we should do nothing and let it all go to hell...

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Response to WCGreen (Reply #26)

Sun Aug 5, 2012, 05:18 AM

28. do nothing about *what*? there are people dying all over the world -- 6 million died in the wars

 

in the congo & you never heard a fucking word. the "deadliest conflict since WW2".

because *we* supported those killings. our *allies* 'kill their own people'. why don't we invade them and support *their* 'rebels"?

propagandists are pretending that assad is the second coming of hitler, just like they pretended khaddafi & hussein were.

don't you ever learn from experience?

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #28)

Sun Aug 5, 2012, 06:16 AM

30. One thing you forget about Africa is we have no staging ground to deploy troops from....

That's logistics. I know it seems inconsistent but the brutal truth is there is no way to get into the Congo and mount any kind of sustain operation without having to create staging platforms.

Look, in Syria, we have Turkey, a NATO allie right on the border, Israel is right there as well, Lebanon could also be de-stabled by a total collapse of Syria which would hurt Israel as well.

I'm certainly not a hawk and was against the invasion of Iraq, but the problem is two of our key allies in the vicinity are going to suffer if Syria falls apart.

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Response to WCGreen (Reply #6)

Sun Aug 5, 2012, 03:51 AM

10. do you think the Saudis who are by far the biggest supporters of the opposition have the best

interest of the Syrian people at heart? Are they motivated by the desire to rid the region of strongmen and to spread freedom and democracy?

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Response to Douglas Carpenter (Reply #10)

Sun Aug 5, 2012, 04:25 AM

19. Tell me that getting Assad and his cronies out of Damascus wouldn't be better for Israel

and the people of Syria?

Why wouldn't we want to support the rebels?

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Response to WCGreen (Reply #19)

Sun Aug 5, 2012, 04:56 AM

24. There is no reason to believe that Sunni dominated militias running the country would be better for

the Syrian people. The Christians, Druze, and of course the Alawite minorities very much and very legitimately fear reprisal. In the very best case scenario we would almost certainly see long protracted sectarian battles every bit as bloody and horrific as what we saw in Iraq. I don't think Israeli state security concerns would be reassured by having an unstable and uncontrollable country on its northern boarder. For all the bad blood that exist between the Assad regime and the Israeli state - they have on a number of occasions reached points of understanding. In fact during periods of the Lebanese civil war they were at times unofficial but expo facto allies. This situation of a very unstable regime to the north with no way to know who will dominate is not something that would bring Israeli state security concerns any comfort.

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Response to Douglas Carpenter (Reply #24)

Sun Aug 5, 2012, 05:06 AM

25. It's got to be better than it is now....

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Response to cali (Original post)

Sun Aug 5, 2012, 04:13 AM

15. Of course the CIA is being authorized to seek to depose Assad... and the explanation is simple

and cogently stated on the Syrian Wiki:

"For ideological reasons, privatization of government enterprises is explicitly rejected. Therefore major sectors of the economy including refining, ports operation, air transportation, power generation, and water distribution, remain firmly controlled by the government." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syria , the economy section)

There's profit to be had in privatizing the oil, as well as other, industries in Syria... and if it takes a war to find someone to privatize the industries... well then there will also be reconstruction projects to be funded from those oil dollars, won't there?

Does this sound familiar?

Combined with the above posted material regarding the sentiments of the Alawi Muslim population in the face of the Saudi supported (and therefore almost certainly Sunni extremist) rebel forces... I feel like I'm getting a shot of dèjá vu.

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Response to LooseWilly (Reply #15)

Sun Aug 5, 2012, 04:15 AM

16. +1. the best i can figure, all our official enemies are those who try to maintain some semblance

 

of independence economically.

they're all "dictators". but we're "free". like hell.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #16)

Sun Aug 5, 2012, 04:49 AM

23. Follow the money...

It's harder to spin.

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Response to LooseWilly (Reply #15)

Sun Aug 5, 2012, 04:27 AM

20. Based on their track record the US will never run out of enemies

nt

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Response to indie9197 (Reply #20)

Sun Aug 5, 2012, 05:30 AM

29. And, given the probability of blowback from this, the US will never run out of 9/11s.

Expect another "long twilight struggle"

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