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Wed Aug 28, 2013, 09:59 AM

A question about Syria: Is this a religious civil war?

And it's corollary: Should The USA be tasked with policing a religious fight?


Sorry, no links... But I do recall reading that Syria accepted all Muslim refugees into their country and gave them a subsidy until they could find employment. The majority of the influx was Sunni Muslims form Iraq. Iran backs the Shiite faction of Muslims that are in power in Syria; they are the Alawis.

If these statements are incorrect please let me know. If they are correct, how do we justify imposing our will in a religious civil war?

I do understand that chemical weapons are an atrocity, but how do our bombs help the survivors of a chemical agent attack? Shouldn't we send doctors instead of bombs? Or am I being too Pollyanna?

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Response to whttevrr (Original post)

Wed Aug 28, 2013, 10:01 AM

1. It's a religious war for some, revolution for others, and proxy war for others.

 

It's complex and can simply be categorized as one or the other.

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Response to whttevrr (Original post)

Wed Aug 28, 2013, 10:01 AM

2. yes and no. There are so many rebel groups representing so many different things.

 

Some represent religious factions, some represent various political ideologies, it's a mess.

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Response to stevenleser (Reply #2)

Wed Aug 28, 2013, 10:09 AM

8. In considering this...

We should not act without a majority of the neighbor states asking us to intercede.

There seems to be no legal cause for us to act militarily without full and open debate, and a vote from The US Congress.

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Response to whttevrr (Reply #8)

Wed Aug 28, 2013, 10:10 AM

9. I would go further and say let's not be the ones to deal with this at all...

 

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Response to stevenleser (Reply #9)

Wed Aug 28, 2013, 10:13 AM

12. Yeah... responded there as well.

I do not see any path into this religious quagmire that does not involve the world asking us for help. But, if a majority of the world does not believe in the evidence presented nor the solution we offer, who are we to act unilaterally?

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Response to whttevrr (Original post)

Wed Aug 28, 2013, 10:03 AM

3. Not particularly, except where it is

Sigh.

There was a chart someone had, but it left out the Kurds.

It's religious, tribal, political, and "other", all at once.

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Response to whttevrr (Original post)

Wed Aug 28, 2013, 10:04 AM

4. I think you're asking questions that need to be asked and answered before

 

The U.S. starts WW3 on behalf of Israel.

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Response to MotherPetrie (Reply #4)

Wed Aug 28, 2013, 10:12 AM

11. please stop with this simplistic nonsense and demonization

 

blaming this all on Israel is ridiculous. Yes, Israel is a factor but hardly the only one. One person got kicked off of DU for going over the edge with that line of thought. I'm not suggesting that you've gone that far, and I hope you don't.

This has much more to do with U.S. policy, history and reactivity than it does with Israel.

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Response to cali (Reply #11)

Wed Aug 28, 2013, 10:23 AM

15. The hell it does.

 

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Response to MotherPetrie (Reply #15)

Wed Aug 28, 2013, 10:24 AM

16. the hell what does, mother?

 

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Response to whttevrr (Original post)

Wed Aug 28, 2013, 10:05 AM

5. ANY squabble in that part of the world has religious overtones.

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Response to whttevrr (Original post)

Wed Aug 28, 2013, 10:05 AM

6. In large part, yes.

 

The ruling Alawites are a small branch of S'hia and constitute about 12% of the Syrian population. Sectarian strife is central to the conflict, although it's not the only factor. The conflict arose out of the Arab Spring so its genesis wasn't of a religious origin- at least not ostensibly.



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Response to whttevrr (Original post)

Wed Aug 28, 2013, 10:07 AM

7. Yes and no

 

It is basically a Sunni religious war to defeat the Shiite Alawites.

However, the Alawites have tended to rule in a reasonably secular fashion, and to not impose their religion on the others, which include the Sunni muslim majority and several other minorities. The religious minorities include the Alawites, the Christians, Druze, and a few others.

Were the Sunni Islamists to win, the most likely outcome is the murder and persecution of the other minorities, especially the Alawites.

Backing the Sunnis is a good idea only if you favor an islamic theocratic state in Syria.

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Response to whttevrr (Original post)

Wed Aug 28, 2013, 10:11 AM

10. It's an f-ed up quagmire is what it is.

There are no good guys. There are no bad guys. There's only you and me, and we just disagree.

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Response to whttevrr (Original post)

Wed Aug 28, 2013, 10:19 AM

13. Which civilians are helped by us sending cruise missiles into the country to explode?

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Response to whttevrr (Original post)

Wed Aug 28, 2013, 10:22 AM

14. Would there even be a conflict in Syria now, if we have not invaded Iraq?

 

Most likely not. And Baghdad would still have their World Class Museum, with the priceless artifacts, most of which are now either destroyed, or hidden away in the basements of large mansions, all over the world.

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Response to whttevrr (Original post)

Wed Aug 28, 2013, 02:39 PM

17. perhaps the question, then isn't whether it's "a religious war" but more "what are the religious

dimensions?"--especially since that lets one see more easily factors beyond theological difference (e.g., Riyadh and the meta-Salafists)

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