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Mon Jun 10, 2013, 02:05 AM

 

White House Close to Decision on Arming Syrian Rebels

Last edited Mon Jun 10, 2013, 03:04 AM - Edit history (1)

Source: Associated Press

Moved by the Assad regime's rapid advance, the Obama administration could decide this week to approve lethal aid for the beleaguered Syrian rebels and will weigh the merits of a less likely move to send in U.S. air power to enforce a no-fly zone over the civil war-wracked nation, officials told The Associated Press Sunday.

White House meetings are planned over the coming days, as Syrian President Bashar Assad's government forces are apparently poised for an attack on the key city of Homs, which could cut off Syria's armed opposition from the south of the country. As many as 5,000 Hezbollah fighters are now in Syria, officials believe, helping the regime press on with its campaign after capturing the town of Qusair near the Lebanese border last week.

<snip>

While nothing has been concretely decided, U.S. officials said President Barack Obama was leaning closer toward signing off on sending weapons to vetted, moderate rebel units. The U.S. has spoken of possibly arming the opposition in recent months but has been hesitant because it doesn't want to al Qaeda-linked and other extremists fighting alongside the anti-Assad militias to end up with the weapons. Obama already has ruled out any intervention that would require U.S. military boots on the ground. Other options such as deploying American air power to ground the regime's jets, gunships and other aerial assets are now being more seriously debated, the officials said, while cautioning that a no-fly zone or any other action involving U.S. military deployments in Syria were far less likely right now.

<snip>

Any intervention could have wide-reaching ramifications for the United States and the region. It would bring the U.S. closer to a conflict that has killed almost 80,000 people since Assad cracked down on protesters inspired by the Arab Spring in March 2011 and sparked a war that has since been increasingly defined by sectarian clashes between the Sunni-led rebellion and Assad's Alawite-dominated regime. And it would essentially pit the United States alongside regional allies Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar in a proxy war against Iran, which is providing much of the materiel to the Syrian government's counterinsurgency and, through Hezbollah, more and more of the manpower.

Read more: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-202_162-57588416/ap-white-house-close-to-decision-on-arming-syria-rebels/



We need to stay the hell out of this lethal clusterfuck.

The rebels are a bad joke. Al Nusra is fighting with Al Qaeda in Iraq over who gets Zawahiri's imprimatur. In addition to fighting each other, the jihadis are fighting with non-jihadi rebels. The Free Syrian Army is largely a fiction; a bunch of operationally indpendent armed bands, with loyalty going to whoever can supply them with more money and more guns.

The Syrian political opposition is similarly fractured.

If you like how Libya has turned out, you're gonna love Syria.

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Arrow 57 replies Author Time Post
Reply White House Close to Decision on Arming Syrian Rebels (Original post)
Comrade Grumpy Jun 2013 OP
Archae Jun 2013 #1
Skittles Jun 2013 #2
Comrade Grumpy Jun 2013 #4
Archae Jun 2013 #5
delrem Jun 2013 #3
snappyturtle Jun 2013 #6
JDPriestly Jun 2013 #7
DFW Jun 2013 #8
shaayecanaan Jun 2013 #9
bowens43 Jun 2013 #11
leveymg Jun 2013 #13
John2 Jun 2013 #19
leveymg Jun 2013 #21
John2 Jun 2013 #27
Jesus Malverde Jun 2013 #41
leveymg Jun 2013 #46
shaayecanaan Jun 2013 #50
Xithras Jun 2013 #52
shaayecanaan Jun 2013 #53
Xithras Jun 2013 #54
shaayecanaan Jun 2013 #55
John2 Jun 2013 #15
Sand Wind Jun 2013 #16
John2 Jun 2013 #18
Daniel537 Jun 2013 #32
John2 Jun 2013 #36
leveymg Jun 2013 #39
shaayecanaan Jun 2013 #51
Comrade Grumpy Jun 2013 #56
leveymg Jun 2013 #23
Sand Wind Jun 2013 #28
leveymg Jun 2013 #37
Sand Wind Jun 2013 #57
John2 Jun 2013 #38
DFW Jun 2013 #30
sdrake Jun 2013 #12
DFW Jun 2013 #29
bowens43 Jun 2013 #10
John2 Jun 2013 #20
David__77 Jun 2013 #47
TheBadWolf Jun 2013 #14
7962 Jun 2013 #26
Scuba Jun 2013 #17
John2 Jun 2013 #22
Scuba Jun 2013 #24
John2 Jun 2013 #33
leveymg Jun 2013 #40
John2 Jun 2013 #44
leveymg Jun 2013 #45
John2 Jun 2013 #49
7962 Jun 2013 #25
RobinA Jun 2013 #31
madrchsod Jun 2013 #34
Hubert Flottz Jun 2013 #35
Marrah_G Jun 2013 #42
Harmony Blue Jun 2013 #43
Coyotl Jun 2013 #48

Response to Comrade Grumpy (Original post)

Mon Jun 10, 2013, 02:19 AM

1. Ummm..."armying?"

Whoops!

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Response to Archae (Reply #1)

Mon Jun 10, 2013, 02:20 AM

2. it could actually be a cool new word

ya know?

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Response to Archae (Reply #1)

Mon Jun 10, 2013, 03:04 AM

4. My bad. I fixed it.

 

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Response to Comrade Grumpy (Reply #4)

Mon Jun 10, 2013, 03:13 AM

5. Actually, I like it as it was.

Takes a serious subject and sillies it up.

Friend of mine and I find funny typos in our e-mails on occasion, like he went to the "batroom," and I posted one message to him that I would be out of town on "Sundat."

The funniest typos though were in one of the old Fidonet echoes, called "Skeptic."
One guy in there who had the last name of "Goldberg" would type about 350 words a second, so you can imagine how many typos he made.
Eventually a typo became a "Glodbreg."

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Response to Comrade Grumpy (Original post)

Mon Jun 10, 2013, 02:46 AM

3. This gives me the same groovy feeling as the run-up to Iraq.

Unfortunately, Obama doesn't have the moral basis claimed by W. Bush.
For example, people can claim that W. was stupid, that in fact Cheney did it. Sounds reasonable. That gives the moral edge to W., since O. hasn't that fallback.

Anyhow, they've been arming and supporting al Qaeda in Syria by proxy, as have the Europeans, and plenty of young jihadis owe the US, the GCC, ..., for a promising and lucrative career in the killing fields. I'm sure everyone involved is proud and wants to see an expansion of the program in the near future. "Moral basis" be damned.

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Response to Comrade Grumpy (Original post)

Mon Jun 10, 2013, 03:45 AM

6. Well it's one way of changing the nation's focus! Boo! As awful as this

carnage is in Syria...we need to stay out...................................but we won't.

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Response to Comrade Grumpy (Original post)

Mon Jun 10, 2013, 04:00 AM

7. Let's just leave Syria to the Syrians.

Our military is involved in enough corners of the earth already.

What do we have to gain in Syria?

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Response to Comrade Grumpy (Original post)

Mon Jun 10, 2013, 04:10 AM

8. I actually talked with Obama specifically about this a year ago

I met with him for about an hour and Syria was one of the subjects that came up. It was to be off the record until the election, but that was in November. I don't think I'm revealing any deep dark secret here:

Obama said that Syria was a nasty civil war where we had no friends among the combatants. He said that in 2010 there might have been a chance to avoid major carnage if the Russians had been willing to cooperate, but as they had too big a client in Assad, they weren't interested. He said Syria would play itself out, end badly with no real winner, and we would lose no matter what if we got involved.

I think he had a very realistic grasp of the situation then, and I can imagine that humanitarian questions about avoiding a wholesale slaughter are the only ones that might push him toward any involvement at all now. He certainly wants no part of it. He knows in advance, like the survivors of "The Seven Samurai," that if we do get involved, "we lose again. We always lose."

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Response to DFW (Reply #8)

Mon Jun 10, 2013, 04:30 AM

9. A "wholesale slaughter"

well, a Bosnian Serb militia killing 5,000 Bosnians (without any direct imprimatur from Milosevic) apparently counts as a wholesale slaughter, but a dictator who has killed 80,000 and counting does not. Would 250 000 count as a wholesale slaughter? A million?

Frankly, there is a lot more at stake for Western interests in Syria than Afghanistan, which is a largely irrelevant backwater in the middle of the South Asian desert. And Obama has been happy enough to fuck around in Afghanistan for the past few years, outcomes be damned.

The West got a reasonably good outcome in Libya, in a timely fashion and for a comparatively modest outlay. They could have made some difference in Syria, but unfortunately Obama has neither the balls to confront Syria or to walk away from Afghanistan.

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Response to shaayecanaan (Reply #9)

Mon Jun 10, 2013, 05:32 AM

11. It doesn't take balls to confront syria, it takes stupidity..

 

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Response to shaayecanaan (Reply #9)

Mon Jun 10, 2013, 06:28 AM

13. 41,000 of the 80,000 Syrians killed are Alawite. "The dictator" killed them all?

Libya divided into warring pirate and Jihadi fiefdoms selling SAM-7s on the international blackmarket is a "reasonably good outcome in a timely fashion and for a comparatively modest outlay" to you?

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Response to leveymg (Reply #13)

Mon Jun 10, 2013, 07:23 AM

19. One of those was

 

a female Syrian Journalist, killed by the opposition. It was clearly murder, because they labeled her as a combatant supporting the regime. She was just doing her job and reporting the news.

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Response to John2 (Reply #19)

Mon Jun 10, 2013, 07:42 AM

21. How come we never heard about her here in America?

Guess she wasn't a blonde.

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Response to leveymg (Reply #21)

Mon Jun 10, 2013, 08:04 AM

27. Because the

 

Western Media has censored the media coming out of Syria. What they have no control of though, is the Media in Russia, or Lebanon and Iraq. And sometimes the BBC reports both sides. I learned this through those sources. Assad still communicates through those venues also. He has done an effective job of disputing everything coming out of the Western Media through those sources. Even Russian journalists have been to Syria and disputed some of the claims about chemical use and who was responsible first hand. One of their journalist witnessed a battle first hand, where Al Nusra militants apparently used chlorine gas in their explosives, resulting in several deaths to civilians. This was reported in the Russian media, and the U.S. don't know why the Russians don't trust what they are saying? Why don't they just lift the censorship coming out of Syria and find out who is really telling the truth? One side is presenting both sides and responding, while the other is using censorship, hoping their public just take them at their word on just blind faith. The recent allegations by whistle blowers, is a very good example of how they operate in secrecy. It is a blessing, the Public hasn't been duped yet again. I also learned about a threat the Iranian Government issued to Jordan, through those sources not reported in the Western Media. It was a serious threat coming from their highest authority in government. You heard nothing about this threat through the Western Media but it is why the Russians insist on the Iranians being part of the negotiations. It could cause serious consequences if the Iranians are not involved, because they see this War as a threat to their National Security. They essentially issued a red line of their own, nad probably is the real reason the U.S. wants to reinforce Jordan. That is part of the information the U.S. is leaving out. Iran issued the threat. long before Syria, the Western Media reported that, but the Iranian threat was more blunt and to the point. They threatened to wipe the Jordan Government out.

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Response to leveymg (Reply #21)

Mon Jun 10, 2013, 10:54 AM

41. Yara Abbas wasn't blond, but she was BRAVE.





?w=600



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Response to Jesus Malverde (Reply #41)

Mon Jun 10, 2013, 02:43 PM

46. Very brave.

One among many, many needless losses of brave people on all sides of this very avoidable conflict. I'm ashamed of our role in creating this monstrous destroyer of lives and nations.

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Response to leveymg (Reply #13)

Mon Jun 10, 2013, 07:17 PM

50. Bullshit

Only 10% of the Syrian population is Alawite, and there has been comparatively little fighting in Alawi areas of Syria. Most of the civilian casualties have been in rebel-held areas (Homs, Daraa, etc) and mostly due to air and artillery strikes from the regime. I would say that most of them have been Sunni.

The death toll was already 3000 dead before the armed revolution started - unarmed demonstrators shot dead by the Army.

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Response to shaayecanaan (Reply #50)

Mon Jun 10, 2013, 07:38 PM

52. Probably not.

The UN's 80,000 dead estimate included both combatants and civilians. A substantial part of the "government" forces are actually Alawi soldiers and militiamen fighting for the government in the combat areas of the country. Considering the fact that the rebels overran most of the country relatively quickly, it's entirely conceivable that half of the wars casualties are actually from dead government soldiers and civilian militia supporters (pro government civilian militias actually outnumber Syrian "regulars" substantially in this war).

The SOHR's estimate is that the actual body count right now is about 96,000. Of those, 41,000 were from government forces and pro-government militias, around 20,000 are from the various rebel forces, and somewhere between 30,000 and 35,000 were noncombatant civilians (depending on how you define "noncombatant"...some were civilians working with the rebels, but the vast bulk were innocents caught in the bombings and crossfire).

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Response to Xithras (Reply #52)

Mon Jun 10, 2013, 07:54 PM

53. So, in other words, 100% of the government dead are Alawite?

is that what you are claiming?

Considering the fact that the rebels overran most of the country relatively quickly


Please, educate yourself. This is not a bad place to start, although it is somewhat out of date:-



http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/03/13/world/middleeast/a-snapshot-of-the-dispute-in-syria.html?_r=0

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Response to shaayecanaan (Reply #53)

Mon Jun 10, 2013, 08:35 PM

54. Probably not 100%, but a substantial majority.

You have to remember that nearly all of the Sunni divisions in the military defected to the FSA, and Assad transferred the remaining loyal Sunni regiments to areas away from the combat zones to reduce the chances of spying and defection, meaning that nearly all of the Syrian Army combat soldiers are predominately Shia Alawite (non Alawi Shia only account for a couple percent of the population). While there have always been a number of Christians in the Syrian military, they have typically been a small minority because of religious prohibitions relating to combat between Christians and Muslims (even under the relatively secular Assad regime, Islamic laws prohibiting non-Muslims from holding power over Muslims were enforced). Widescale induction of Christians into pro-government militias didn't begin until late last year after the FSA and related groups were implicated in a number anti-Christian attacks and massacres, along with countless lootings of ancient Christian sites.

So, yes, it's entirely conceivable that the bulk of government losses have been Shiite, nearly all of which are Alawite.

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Response to Xithras (Reply #54)

Mon Jun 10, 2013, 09:34 PM

55. This is just more ignorance...

You have to remember that nearly all of the Sunni divisions in the military defected to the FSA


No they didnt. Most of them are still in their barracks. Its not true to say that nearly all of them have defected. Most of the air force pilots are Sunni, and Assad has still had to use them.

Most of the loyal areas around Damascus are still majority Sunni. Your error is in seeing this as a simple sectarian conflict, and it is not.

And you still havent answered the question. Either the government has lost 40,000 men, or 40,000 Alawites. Which is it?

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Response to shaayecanaan (Reply #9)

Mon Jun 10, 2013, 06:46 AM

15. First of all,

 

why don't you just stop accusing one side of killing 80,000 people in a War. It takes two to tangle. Assad killed 80,000 people is propaganda. None of the statistics can be confirmed, but apparently the Syrian Army and their Allies have gotten the better of the War, by killing over 41,000 of the rebel forces. They are not Assad's people. They are combatants, including traitors,and foreign fighters or Terrorists in his definition.

The rebels have reportedly killed over 24,000 of Assad's forces. They have also killed civilians and Government politicians. They have killed civilians in car bombings and assasinations. There have also been collateral damage in the War with civilian deaths caught in the cross fire between both sides. That is where the figure rises to 80,000.

The bottomline is the people supplying and helping the opposition are responsible for a great number, if not the majority of those 80,000 deaths. If they weren't trying to subversively overthrow the Syrian Government, there wouldn't be 80,000 deaths. If the opposition fighters wouldn't hide their fighters in towns and cities, civilians wouldn't be getting killed in the cross fire. Why don't they just set their little bases or encampments, out side of these towns and cities, if they are really concerned about citizens, instead of using them as human shields? There is plenty of wide space in the countryside of Syria, these rebels can set up their camps.

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Response to John2 (Reply #15)

Mon Jun 10, 2013, 06:49 AM

16. All your post is bad propaganda.

 

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Response to Sand Wind (Reply #16)

Mon Jun 10, 2013, 07:17 AM

18. I can understand,

 

that you don't like the information. Which part of it are you claiming is propaganda and I will provide the sources? Don't call my post propaganda, unless you can back it up.

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Response to John2 (Reply #18)

Mon Jun 10, 2013, 08:46 AM

32. The only one who should be providing sources here is you.

 

You make the ridiculous claim that the rebels are responsible for most of the deaths in Syria and don't even provide a single link to back it up. Its one thing to oppose getting involved in this conflict, its quite pathetic to stoop so low as to become an apologist for a murderous dictatorship.

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Response to Daniel537 (Reply #32)

Mon Jun 10, 2013, 09:40 AM

36. It is no less,

 

then people that continously provide links to sources, that have been proven as liars, regarding surveillance issues, weapons of WMD and excuses for killing unarmed civilians or a side conducting acts of terrorism with assasinations and eating the private parts of soldiers on the battle field. I don't trust the links that you or any other person supporting your claims moreso than you would trust any source provided by me. To be more specific, I don't trust the Turkish, Saudi, Israeli or even the U.S. Government when it comes to being honest. Your personal insults, attacking the messenger, does not bother me. You don't know my character one way or the other. I don't reall;y need to provide a single link to you, when you have the same access as I do, if you did any work. The problem is, I don't think it would matter one way of the other, if your intentions are not for seeking the Truth, but just manipulating it. I stand by my decision, from the information that I have gathered. The opposition represents Terrorists, opportunists, murderers and liars. And I hope for their annihilation period.

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Response to Daniel537 (Reply #32)

Mon Jun 10, 2013, 10:12 AM

39. Here are the sources for the claim that most Syrians killed are Alawite.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casualties_of_the_Syrian_civil_war

Casualties of the Syrian civil war
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Doctors and medical staff treating injured rebel fighters and civilians in Aleppo

Estimates of deaths in the Syrian civil war, per opposition activist groups, vary between 73,450[1][2] and 96,430.[3] On 15 May 2013, the United Nations put out an estimate of 80,000 that had died in the war.[4]
. . . In May 2013, SOHR stated that at least 41,000 of those killed during the conflict were Alawites.
[24]

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Response to leveymg (Reply #39)

Mon Jun 10, 2013, 07:23 PM

51. Again, complete bullshit...

the source that says that 40,000 deaths were Alawite also claims that the overall death toll was 120,000:-

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/14/syria-death-toll-120000_n_3272610.html

Quite a dishonest bit of cherry picking here. You can claim that this source is either true or false, but either way, you have to admit that Alawites do not account for the majority of the casualties.

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Response to shaayecanaan (Reply #51)

Mon Jun 10, 2013, 09:34 PM

56. Alawites are being killed in disproportionate numbers.

 

Assuming those figures are correct.

They make up about one-tenth of the population, but account for one-third of those killed.

It looks like Alawites are dying at a rate about three times that of Sunnis.

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Response to Sand Wind (Reply #16)

Mon Jun 10, 2013, 07:48 AM

23. Is there any good propaganda?

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Response to leveymg (Reply #23)

Mon Jun 10, 2013, 08:09 AM

28. As you know, good or bad can have an another meaning than the moral perspective

 

Bad propaganda is when we cannot even admire the cleverness.

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Response to Sand Wind (Reply #28)

Mon Jun 10, 2013, 09:59 AM

37. Oh, you mean entertaining propaganda.

Most of American broadcast news qualifies as entertainment programming and is highly emotional and symbolic rather than fact-based. Also, most of our entertainment has more or less obvious political or ideological content, usually conservative. By that standard, we are probably the most best propagandized population on the planet.

What do you think of our type of propaganda - is it good?

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Response to leveymg (Reply #37)

Thu Jun 13, 2013, 05:27 PM

57. Great propaganda, I mean clever, but boring. I just cant stand your 'debate'.

 

But instructive about power in your society.

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Response to Sand Wind (Reply #28)

Mon Jun 10, 2013, 10:07 AM

38. It depends on

 

whose shoes, that you are in. While some supporting one sides lies may think it is clever, the side being the voctim of those lies, may think it is dirty. Especially when those lies cause the Deaths of many innocent people. There is nothing clever in it.

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Response to shaayecanaan (Reply #9)

Mon Jun 10, 2013, 08:23 AM

30. The regime in Libya didn't have wholesale support from Putin. Assad does, always has.

It makes a difference. Obama inherited Afghanistan. That's not a fight he started. If we get involved in Syria, it will be ugly no matter whose side we take. I think Obama saw the situation realistically. If we want to dislodge Assad, either Putin gives him up, or we go up against Russia in a proxy war.

I'm quite sure Obama has the balls to do it. I'm also fairly confident he has the common sense not to.

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Response to DFW (Reply #8)

Mon Jun 10, 2013, 06:01 AM

12. completly off topic

 

"we lose again. We always lose." i don't remember that quote.

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Response to sdrake (Reply #12)

Mon Jun 10, 2013, 08:15 AM

29. At the end of Kurosawa's film and the American spinoff, they are the closing words

The American spinoff had as its theme music that later got used for Marlboro cigarette commercials. I remember Yul Brynner and Robert Vaughan were in it.

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Response to Comrade Grumpy (Original post)

Mon Jun 10, 2013, 05:30 AM

10. Of course its going to happen , if there's a wrong decision to be made, Obama's the man do to it.

 

this guys a fucking disaster........

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Response to bowens43 (Reply #10)

Mon Jun 10, 2013, 07:34 AM

20. And that is why he

 

continue to lose support on the Left, doubling down on these neocon Policies. Whomever is advising him, is giving him bad advice. All of the Democratic Party are not his sheep. He needs to understand that quickly or face the destruction of his Party. I'm speaking as a supporter who voted twice for this man. Support will only go so far before a line is drawn in the sand. My line is another War in Syria. And I'm not kidding.

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Response to John2 (Reply #20)

Mon Jun 10, 2013, 02:52 PM

47. I don't think Obama has crossed that line at all.

I strongly dislike the coddling of terrorism that is occurring. There is a game in play to puff up terrorism, to embolden it through "acts of diplomacy." That is one, despicable thing - but it is different than shipping in arms. They have not shipped in "non-lethal" gear either, thankfully. I strongly support Obama, with his weaknesses and all (some of which are far from his control). Please be aware that he is rejecting a strong current of wonk/elite/think tank nonsense about Syria, and standing with the people instead. He may yet capitulate, but it has not occurred.

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Response to Comrade Grumpy (Original post)

Mon Jun 10, 2013, 06:37 AM

14. Stay. The Fuck. Out Of It. n/t

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Response to TheBadWolf (Reply #14)

Mon Jun 10, 2013, 07:57 AM

26. Amen.

 

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Response to Comrade Grumpy (Original post)

Mon Jun 10, 2013, 07:02 AM

17. Here's an analysis of the options, from someone I trust ...

 

After trip, Tammy Baldwin says 'there are no good options' in Syria

http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/after-trip-tammy-baldwin-says-there-are-no-good-options-in-syria-199ta88-206874251.html

Washington - After traveling last week to the Turkish border of Syria, Senate Democrat Tammy Baldwin voiced wariness about any moves to step up U.S. military involvement in the Syrian civil war, saying her trip reinforced a sense that "there are no good options."

...

Baldwin said in an interview Thursday that the options for stepped up U.S. and multilateral intervention in Syria all have "unintended consequences." She flatly ruled out supporting American "boots on the ground," a step that has little backing in Congress at the moment. She voiced support for the latest increases in U.S. humanitarian aid and nonlethal assistance to the opposition. She said she does not support arming the rebels.

"I understand the caution about arming an opposition coalition that is not yet able to absolutely guarantee that lethal weapons won't get into the hands of folks who wish us harm," she said.

Baldwin said she hoped international concern about Syria's reported use of chemical weapons "gives Secretary Kerry more leverage in speaking with Russia and China" and "will give us more diplomatic leverage to bring about a political solution."

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Response to Scuba (Reply #17)

Mon Jun 10, 2013, 07:47 AM

22. There is other information,

 

maybe she does not know, which the Russians have on the chemical issue. There is very hard evidence, it was Al Nusra using chemicals, such as sarin. They have evidence, where Al Nusra gained access also, and evidence, the CIA has the same info. Al Qaeda in Iraq have tried to use it before and maybe did in the surge. The Maliki Government has also produced that evidence, unless the U.S. wants to discredit them too.

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Response to John2 (Reply #22)

Mon Jun 10, 2013, 07:55 AM

24. So how would that create a good option?

 

Do you really think you're better informed than a US Senator on the issue?

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Response to Scuba (Reply #24)

Mon Jun 10, 2013, 09:01 AM

33. If I have information

 

from both sides, then yes. Has she gathered information on both sides, as a neutral observer, or just taking the word of one side? Has she herself, went to Russia and gathered her own information from those sources and the media in those countries? If she hasn't, then she is not very well informed. And by the stroke of good luck with her senses, she is making a wise decision to stay out. The opposition is losing and badly. I know this through other sources. Giving them more lethal weapons, to prolong their survival, will only cause more deaths. The Russians have already threatened to give the Assad regime more lethal weapons, even against U.S. forces by strenghtening the Syrian Air Force with even more advanced fighters. It wasn't just missile systems, but advanced fighter jets. The quickest way to end this War is to stay out of it, and let the combatants decide it. The opposition is on their last legs. If this General Idris is anywhere on Syrian Territory, even he is in danger of being killed or captured right now, unless he flee Syria.

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Response to John2 (Reply #33)

Mon Jun 10, 2013, 10:25 AM

40. A couple words

You may want to do some things to adapt your postings to the expectations of this board. First, wherever possible, if you are going to make specific claims that may be unfamiliar to other members (such as 41,000 rebels killed in the last few weeks) please link to the source of that, even if it's a foreign language site. Most of us have the ability to use Google or another on-line translator.

Second, if you have a lot of points to make, you might want to break them down into shorter individual paragraphs. It's easier to read that way.

Third, please keep in mind that facts carry a lot more weight than opinion, particularly if your conclusions go against the convention. Stick to the facts when there's any doubt.

Fourth, you have the option of being transparent about where you're coming from. It might help us to understand you better if you would tell us where you're posting from, what groups if any you are a part of, etc. That goes for the other interested party on this thread, who I recall has indicated (s)he is Tunisian -- who also posts frequently on this subject.

Thanks for posting - we need to hear more from all interested parties here.

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Response to leveymg (Reply #40)

Mon Jun 10, 2013, 11:26 AM

44. Fair enough,

 

and I would expect the same from those posters, making claims, and trying to impunge my character.

As far as to your first point, the over 41,000 rebels are only estimates gathered from Wiki on the ongoing updates of the Syrian Civil War, anyone can look up. I don't assume that to be factual information at all but important information cross referenced with other sources from the opposing side or independent news sources, that I give more credence to. I believed that I have mentioned those souces in a general context, such as sources like the BBC, Guardian (not mentioned) and media sources from battle field field reports given to the Syrian media, Lebonese media, Iranian media, Iraqi media and Russian. Some of those reports have also came from, believe it or not Israeli sources and personel interviews actually from Assad himself given to foreign media, such as either recently to Argentina or Australia, which I don't remenber which. There has also been video of these battles over the Internet and atrocities ( such as the eating incident) by the opposition. The reports given to the Syrian media are after action reports that are very detailed in manner, moreso than the opposition.

They are very detailed in the fact, they even give the names and identies of the fighters from the opposition, either killed or capture after a battle. In fact, the three Westerners, including an American, was given to the Syrian media by the Syrian Army. A lot of these fighters were killed or captured in the last three weeks, during the battle in Quisar, at the same time, Wiki, started to give more specific numbers for both sides.

To your fourth point as far as transparency here, it might be helpful if some of your Posters supporting the opposition line would be also transparent to figure out where they are coming from on this forum. You don't know if they are part of some group or organization including the opposition or American interest group wanting War in the Middle East.

I have posted several times in this forum, which state I'm from and my political preference. I'm a natural born citizen of the United States. I'm neither religious or Arab. I'm not Jewish either. I'm a military veteran and was on active duty, during the Vietnam War, Cold War and through the first Gulf War. So you can assume from that, I have a good deal of military experience and have served tours over seas a number times. I came up through the ranks and has served in leadership positions. It includes information that I'm priviledged to, any other ordinary citizen that hasn't served is not privileged to know. I know about weapon systems and military strategy. I'm not privileged, even after serving on active duty to let you know some of the specifics. I know when a side is losing a War. I know bullshit information, when I come across it too, from my experience in the military. I can go on and on, but I hope that is enough for you?

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Response to John2 (Reply #44)

Mon Jun 10, 2013, 02:38 PM

45. Thanks for that.

In the order of your response:

The casualty figures at Wiki show @41K soldiers and allied militia killed, with about the same number of estimated rebels killed. That is for the entire conflict, not just in the last few weeks as you suggested. If you have sources that substantially differ from that, particularly that indicate a dramatic shift in the war, please post them.

It's entirely your own choice as to how much, if any, you want to reveal about yourself. This is an anonymous board and privacy should be respected. Thank you for revealing those details about yourself. (It does help to understand where you're coming from on this issue.)

I'm glad that there are well-informed people, like yourself, who are interested enough to post on this war. It seems that most are so ambivalent and turned off by the topic that they don't want to get involved, and that's probably the worst response people can have.

It looks like we're stumbling even further into the middle of another bloody swamp.

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Response to leveymg (Reply #45)

Mon Jun 10, 2013, 05:55 PM

49. I've been checking

 

Wiki's updates regularly for a while now and they just updated their sources. I read over 24,000 Syrian soldiers killed and over 41,000 rebel fighters after the Quisar offensive. It wasn't as specific before that offensive. Even Wiki admits their stats are not accurate because they get it from both the opposition and regime. They mostly rely on opposition reports though.

I don't know if you are confusing the 41 thousand soldiers with rebels? Before the update, the numbers on both sides were equal totaling about over 16,000 for each side. After the offensive, it was over 24,000 Syrian soldiers and over 41,000 rebels.

They also updated militia casualties for the regime and casualties involving hezbullah, Iran, Iraq and a new group from another Arab country. Those numbers didn't change much, as well as the numbers of police killed before the offensive.

They also had the number of politicians killed before the offensive. The distinction in the report now are the numbers of Syrian soldiers and rebel fighters, which was not specific before the offensive. The rebels were claiming mostly civilians killed in their reports, but now there is better information of who is being killed, from the Syrian Army's after action battlefield reports given to the Syrian media. That is how I know the rebels are losing badly on the field of battle. They were reporting how many hezbullah fighters were getting killed but never their own casualties, and they dismissed the involvement of the Syrian Army. There was thousands of Syrian Troops on the move in that offensive. Hezbullah was used to infiltrate difficult urban areas and take on snipers. They were used mostly in special operations like a special forces unit.

I'm not just relying on Wiki, but I'm using actual reports from other sources to verify information with Wiki, and it is consistant with those sources. Think even about the reports from the opposition. They were getting hammered in Quisair. The BBC,Lebanese, Hezbullah,Israeli,Syrian and Russian sources were all giving contradictory reports than the rebel side. The actions of their supporters gave it away also, the opposition was getting hammered. That is probably why John McCain found it so important to slip into Syria at the time.

I'm also using my experience from being in the military for so long. I can put information together and tell what is happening. President Assad is not going to step down, because his army is winning decisively on the battle field. Many of the rebels have been captured or killed. Look at the number that is supposedly captured by the regime and add that to the number killed. There is only so much reinforcements the oppositon can get. That is not the case for Assad. Their remaining strenght lies in the North and Aleppo. When Aleppo falls, you just as well say it is over. It is not if, but when.

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Response to Comrade Grumpy (Original post)

Mon Jun 10, 2013, 07:55 AM

25. Sounds bad, but let THEM have at it. None of them really want us around anyway.

 

The longer they fight one another, the longer they leave everyone else alone. Iran is flexing its muscle, thanks to bush and iraq. Let Israel pop them when ever arms start moving. Syria wont/cant do anything about it. We dont need to supply people who would kill us if they had the chance. Screw 'em.

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Response to Comrade Grumpy (Original post)

Mon Jun 10, 2013, 08:26 AM

31. Whoever We Are Arming

you can be assured we will be fighting them in the next war.

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Response to Comrade Grumpy (Original post)

Mon Jun 10, 2013, 09:22 AM

34. gee....what could possibly go wrong?

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Response to Comrade Grumpy (Original post)

Mon Jun 10, 2013, 09:23 AM

35. Did they ask the taxpayers who pay for those arms?

My phone never rang.

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Response to Comrade Grumpy (Original post)

Mon Jun 10, 2013, 11:00 AM

42. Hey it worked in Afghanistan back in the 80's

..... oh wait......

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Response to Comrade Grumpy (Original post)

Mon Jun 10, 2013, 11:04 AM

43. This is going to be epic fail

no, just no.

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Response to Comrade Grumpy (Original post)

Mon Jun 10, 2013, 02:56 PM

48. That would be a violation of international law and a war crime.

 

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