Syria

Discussion relating to current events, politics, religion, etc
Message
Author
User avatar
Hype
Posts: 6941
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2011 7:44 pm

Re: Syria

#61 Post by Hype » Tue Sep 10, 2013 7:01 am

Bandit72 wrote:I was referring to 'deaths'
That's a stupid way of measuring...

Can anyone tell the difference between the storming of Normandy and the gas chambers? :confused:

creep
Site Admin
Posts: 9991
Joined: Thu Jul 21, 2011 9:51 am

Re: Syria

#62 Post by creep » Tue Sep 10, 2013 7:21 am

so does obama come out ok on this? by waiting it looks like a military action was avoided and the way it was looking it probably would have happened. seems to have worked out ok.

User avatar
Pandemonium
Posts: 5607
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2011 3:18 pm

Re: Syria

#63 Post by Pandemonium » Tue Sep 10, 2013 10:21 am

creep wrote:so does obama come out ok on this? by waiting it looks like a military action was avoided and the way it was looking it probably would have happened. seems to have worked out ok.
No. The way (at least so far) this has played out, at least to the world community it's made Obama look indecisive and wishy-washy when it comes to making "tough statements," having his constituents and international allies' support and following through on his bold statements. The cracks really started to appear when the UK wouldn't back the US and Obama began fucking around with Congress' approval. Add to that, there's clearly no long term plan and the administration has done an incredibly poor job selling this scheme to politicians and the public. And of course, there's no real "good guys" in the warring factions in Syria - we sure as hell don't want Al Qaeda making further inroads in the region and obviously Assad's simply an oppressive dictator aligned with China, Russia and Iran.

What has happened, is that with the possible deal brokered by Russia, is that Putin looks like a more forward thinking, innovative politician who has almost single-handedly kept the "war mongering USA" from attacking Syria and solved the issue of further use of chemical weapons by Assad. Obviously, it wouldn't have come to this point if Obama simply ignored the issue and didn't make the threat of bombing Syrian military targets in the first place but there's a certain level of political brinksmanship going on here that many other countries, notably Israel, Iran, North Korea and of course China are closely watching and probably rethinking how effective or not the US influence is on their affairs in the near future.

Now if Assad turns around and gasses another town in a couple months making Russia/Putin look like a patsy, all bets are off.

User avatar
LJF
Posts: 995
Joined: Wed Sep 07, 2011 4:37 pm
Location: jersey baby jersey

Re: Syria

#64 Post by LJF » Tue Sep 10, 2013 1:18 pm

he had to ask congress for approval because he didn't want his own VP looking to impeach him.

Here are Biden's own words about W and looking to have him impeached if he attacked Iran without Congress' approval, so I guess he would have had to start hearings on impeaching the president. Now that would have been interesting.

It turns out that his Democratic primary opponent and eventual running mate, then-Senator Joe Biden, had even stronger views about presidents attacking other nations without Congress's permission:

Chris Matthews: You said that if the United States had launched at attack on Iran without Congressional approval, that would've been an impeachable offense. Do you want to review that comment you made?

Joe Biden: Absolutely. I want to stand by that comment I made. The reason I made the comment was as a warning. I don't say those things lightly, Chris. you've known me for a long time. I was Chairman of the Judiciary Committee for 17 years. I teach separation of powers in Constitutional law. This is something I know. So I brought a group of Constitutional scholars together to write a piece that I'm going to deliver to the whole United States Senate pointing out that the president HAS NO CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY to take this country to war against a country of 70 million people unless we're attacked or unless there is proof that we are about to be attacked. And if he does, I would move to impeach him. The House obviously has to do that, but I would lead an effort to impeach him. The reason for my doing that -- and I don't say it lightly, I don't say it lightly.

This is a striking statement.

It isn't that Biden hadn't thought very carefully about this issue before entering the executive branch, and then discovered in the vice-presidential residence that, upon reflection, the president really should have the unilateral authority to take America to war absent an actual or imminent threat.

Rather, he reflected deeply on the law for almost two decades, through numerous presidencies, as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee; consulted a whole group of constitutional scholars; taught constitutional law classes on the separation of powers; and went on national TV while running for president to declare unilateral executive-branch war-making a high crime!

But now that he's part of an administration openly pondering strikes on Syria without Congressional approval -- even as dozens of legislators demand to be consulted -- Biden doesn't have any public objections, and the position he and his constitutional experts once asserted is treated as a naive curiosity in the press. If intervention in Syria causes some Republican legislator to push impeachment, just remember that Joe Biden once subscribed to his or her logic.

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/arc ... se/279160/


It will be interesting to see how all of this plays out.

Hokahey
Site Admin
Posts: 4464
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2011 3:51 pm

Re: Syria

#65 Post by Hokahey » Tue Sep 10, 2013 2:55 pm

I'd surmise that to most reasonably minded people Obama looks fine.

He should ask for Congressional approval.

And if Russia swooped in and helped Syria with a proposal to avoid attack, all the better.

User avatar
Pandemonium
Posts: 5607
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2011 3:18 pm

Re: Syria

#66 Post by Pandemonium » Tue Sep 10, 2013 3:40 pm

hokahey wrote:I'd surmise that to most reasonably minded people Obama looks fine.
Problem is, many of leaders of the countries that aren't exactly friendly with the US aren't "reasonably minded people."

Juana
Posts: 5070
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2011 11:52 pm

Re: Syria

#67 Post by Juana » Tue Sep 10, 2013 6:10 pm

Well looks like Obama is going to try to take him out

creep
Site Admin
Posts: 9991
Joined: Thu Jul 21, 2011 9:51 am

Re: Syria

#68 Post by creep » Tue Sep 10, 2013 6:15 pm

Juana wrote:Well looks like Obama is going to try to take him out
nope

vote postponed

Juana
Posts: 5070
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2011 11:52 pm

Re: Syria

#69 Post by Juana » Tue Sep 10, 2013 6:36 pm

creep wrote:
Juana wrote:Well looks like Obama is going to try to take him out
nope

vote postponed
Ahh well I hope that we get a resolution to this without having to kill more people. Surely the money ear marked for this can be used by Detroit.

User avatar
Bandit72
Posts: 2865
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2011 12:04 am
Location: Birmingham, England

Re: Syria

#70 Post by Bandit72 » Tue Sep 10, 2013 11:06 pm

Adurentibus Spina wrote:
Bandit72 wrote:I was referring to 'deaths'
That's a stupid way of measuring...

Can anyone tell the difference between the storming of Normandy and the gas chambers? :confused:
It's not a 'measurement', it's the final result. I thought you of all people were against fighting fire with fire, no?

User avatar
Hype
Posts: 6941
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2011 7:44 pm

Re: Syria

#71 Post by Hype » Wed Sep 11, 2013 4:44 am

Bandit72 wrote:
Adurentibus Spina wrote:
Bandit72 wrote:I was referring to 'deaths'
That's a stupid way of measuring...

Can anyone tell the difference between the storming of Normandy and the gas chambers? :confused:
It's not a 'measurement', it's the final result. I thought you of all people were against fighting fire with fire, no?
No, I've been pretty clear that I'm a pragmatist. And I don't buy your denial of "measurement"... the point is you can't just add up deaths.

User avatar
Bandit72
Posts: 2865
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2011 12:04 am
Location: Birmingham, England

Re: Syria

#72 Post by Bandit72 » Wed Sep 11, 2013 5:04 am

Adurentibus Spina wrote:
Bandit72 wrote:
Adurentibus Spina wrote:
Bandit72 wrote:I was referring to 'deaths'
That's a stupid way of measuring...

Can anyone tell the difference between the storming of Normandy and the gas chambers? :confused:
It's not a 'measurement', it's the final result. I thought you of all people were against fighting fire with fire, no?
No, I've been pretty clear that I'm a pragmatist. And I don't buy your denial of "measurement"... the point is you can't just add up deaths.
I don't follow. My point is that death by chemical weapons is obviously the same as death by any other military force. I just find it weird that it's one rule for one weapon and one rule for another. That is all.

User avatar
LJF
Posts: 995
Joined: Wed Sep 07, 2011 4:37 pm
Location: jersey baby jersey

Re: Syria

#73 Post by LJF » Wed Sep 11, 2013 6:45 am

I think in the short term Putin looks better in this situation. He looks like the better leader with stronger ties by coming up with what looks like a diplomatic solution. In the longer term Obama could look much better. This gives him more time to get congress and the US people on board and sell his reason to attack. It also gives him time to develop a clearer plan of attack, the what, why and how which will also help get the people to agree. If Syria agrees to Putin's plan, but doesn't follow through or there is another chemical attack that will just play into Obama's hand.

So far to me this has made Obama look unsure with what he wants to do and how to do it. He made big claims about the "red line" and recently claimed he didn't make the red line. Instead saying it is an international red line. Also claiming "my credibility isn't on the line, but congress' is." He needs to stand behind what he says and take responsibility for what he says and does. He is the leader of this country, so yes his credibility is on the line. Those are my big issues with how he has handled this so far and why I don't think he is a good leader or looks like a strong leader.

Also what happens if congress votes no, does that handcuff him? His VP has stated in the past he would impeach any president that takes military action without congress' approval. So where does that leave the administration?

With that being said this could still turn for his favor.

User avatar
Hype
Posts: 6941
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2011 7:44 pm

Re: Syria

#74 Post by Hype » Wed Sep 11, 2013 7:39 am

Bandit72 wrote:
Adurentibus Spina wrote:
Bandit72 wrote:
Adurentibus Spina wrote:
Bandit72 wrote:I was referring to 'deaths'
That's a stupid way of measuring...

Can anyone tell the difference between the storming of Normandy and the gas chambers? :confused:
It's not a 'measurement', it's the final result. I thought you of all people were against fighting fire with fire, no?
No, I've been pretty clear that I'm a pragmatist. And I don't buy your denial of "measurement"... the point is you can't just add up deaths.
I don't follow. My point is that death by chemical weapons is obviously the same as death by any other military force. I just find it weird that it's one rule for one weapon and one rule for another. That is all.
I do follow. My point is that they're not obviously the same (in fact, they're not even non-obviously the same.) There is a discussion we could have about why different rules exist in war for different ways of killing, and on the face of it, yeah, I sort of agree with what you were probably thinking, but isn't it weird to have any rules in war in the first place? If nations can agree not to use chemical weapons against each other, couldn't they also just agree, just as easily, not to use any weapons? Well, duh, but that's called idealism for a reason... And no, that's not all.

Anyway, if you want to see a bunch of very smart people discussing the issue, here's a blog-post by a philosopher in which he asks the sort of question you're really asking, and in which philosophers respond in the comments (I know a few of them... they're very smart...) http://www.newappsblog.com/2013/08/on-t ... apons.html

User avatar
Bandit72
Posts: 2865
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2011 12:04 am
Location: Birmingham, England

Re: Syria

#75 Post by Bandit72 » Wed Sep 11, 2013 8:13 am

Great article.
Of 188 signatory nations to the CWC, state parties listed below have also declared stockpiles, agreed to monitored disposal, and verification, and in some cases, used CW in conflict. Both military targets and civilian populations have been affected—the affected populations were not always damaged collaterally, but rather at times, the target of the attack. As of 2012, only four nations are confirmed as having chemical weapons: the United States, Russia, North Korea and Syria.
I wonder how easy they are for a nation to stockpile but not use? Would the west use it to their advantage, again (Iraq WMD's), to cause conflict? To paraphrase the late Bill Hicks :

"Syria? Incredible Weapons...Chemical weapons."
"Well, How do we know that?"
"...ahem...er...we (the french) looked at the receipt."

User avatar
Hype
Posts: 6941
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2011 7:44 pm

Re: Syria

#76 Post by Hype » Wed Sep 11, 2013 8:23 am

Bandit72 wrote:Great article.
Of 188 signatory nations to the CWC, state parties listed below have also declared stockpiles, agreed to monitored disposal, and verification, and in some cases, used CW in conflict. Both military targets and civilian populations have been affected—the affected populations were not always damaged collaterally, but rather at times, the target of the attack. As of 2012, only four nations are confirmed as having chemical weapons: the United States, Russia, North Korea and Syria.
I wonder how easy they are for a nation to stockpile but not use? Would the west use it to their advantage, again (Iraq WMD's), to cause conflict? To paraphrase the late Bill Hicks :

"Syria? Incredible Weapons...Chemical weapons."
"Well, How do we know that?"
"...ahem...er...we (the french) looked at the receipt."
Don't cheat. Cite your sources properly.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chemical_weapon
Wikipedia wrote:As of 2012, only four nations are confirmed as having chemical weapons: the United States, Russia, North Korea and Syria.[10][contradictory]
That [10] links to this: http://usiraq.procon.org/view.resource. ... eID=000678

Which cites this as the source for the data: http://usiraq.procon.org/sourcefiles/CRS_2-20-08.pdf
(Go to pp. 16-17 of the pdf...)

What it actually says is this:
Under the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), which went into effect in 1997, member countries are to have destroyed their stockpiles by April 2007. In July 2007, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) confirmed that Albania had become the first country to have destroyed its declared CWs. Five other states — India, Libya, Russia, South Korea, and the United States — have declared possession of such weapons. All have stated that they will destroy their weapons by the Convention’s April 29, 2012, deadline. However, observers have expressed doubts that all will be able to do so, owing to technical and legal challenges. Twelve countries also reported facilities for the production of CW and have pledged to destroy them or convert them to civilian uses. All of the member states’ declared CW production facilities have been destroyed, according to the OPCW.
So ... uh...

Plus, that same article also links to this for its source: See CRS Report RL33865, Arms Control and Nonproliferation: A Catalog of Treaties and
Agreements, by Amy F. Woolf, Paul K. Kerr, and Mary Beth Nicotine, p.46.

Which is here: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/nuke/RL33865.pdf

Which is odd, because pg. 46 is about nukes... so I searched for "CW" or "Chemical Weapon". It claims that five nations have not signed the CWC: "Angola, Egypt, North Korea, Somalia, and Syria." (n. 41 on p. 49)

Pg. 50:
Syria
Syria is not a party to the chemical weapons convention, and it retains significant stocks of
chemical weapons. Concerns about the security and status of these weapons grew in 2012,
following months of instability and conflict. The Syrian case may be the first time the
international community has faced a civil war in a state with a known stockpile of chemical
weapons. This contingency raises two major policy concerns: whether the Asad regime would use
chemical weapons, and whether it could lose control over these weapons. U.S. officials have
expressed confidence that chemical weapons stocks in Syria are secured by the Asad regime,
which dispatched elite Special Forces for that purpose. At the same time, due to the urgency of
preventing access to these weapons by unauthorized groups including terrorists, the United States
government has been preparing for scenarios to secure the weapons in the event of the Asad
regime’s loss of control.
The United States
The United States has also encountered difficulties in destroying its Category One chemical
weapons stockpile; Washington has already destroyed all of its Category Three stockpile and has
declared no Category Two weapons. In April 2006, the United States submitted its formal request
to the OPCW Chairman and Director-General to extend the United States’ final chemical
weapons destruction deadline from April 2007 to April 29, 2012, the latest possible date allowed
under the CWC.53 However, Ambassador Eric Javits, then-U.S. Permanent Representative to the
OPCW, added that “we do not expect to be able to meet that deadline” because Washington had
encountered “delays and difficulties” in destroying its stockpile.54 These delays have generally
resulted from the need to meet state and federal environmental requirements and from both local
and congressional concerns over the means of destruction.
Reinforcing Javits’ statement, former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld notified Congress in
April 2006 that destruction of the U.S. stockpile by the April 2012 deadline “was in doubt based
on the current schedules, but that the Department of Defense [DOD] would continue requesting
resources needed to complete destruction as close to the 2012 deadline as practicable.”
The OPCW stated March 4, 2011, that the United States has destroyed over 84% of its Category
One stockpile.55 Washington projects that its three operating destruction facilities56 will have
destroyed 90% of the total U.S. stockpile by 2012.57 Two other facilities under construction will
destroy the remaining chemical agents stockpiles located at Pueblo, CO, and Lexington, KY.

According to a 2010 DOD estimate, these stockpiles would be destroyed by 2017 and 2021,
respectively.58
However, the 2008 Defense Appropriations Act (P.L. 110-116) required the Defense Department
to “complete work on the destruction” of the U.S. chemical weapons stockpile by the 2012
deadline “and in no circumstances later than December 31, 2017.” Additionally, the National
Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 (P.L. 110-181) required that the Secretary of
Defense submit a report to Congress that included a
description of the options and alternatives for accelerating the completion of chemical
weapons destruction at each such facility, particularly in time to meet the [CWC] destruction
deadline of April 29, 2012 ... and by December 31, 2017.
That report, submitted in June 2008, compared three options for accelerating stockpile
destruction, noting that “[t]here are no options to achieve 100 percent destruction of the national
stockpile by 2012.”59 The three options were:
• Provide schedule incentives authorized by Congress60 to ensure that the operating
sites complete the destruction of their stockpiles by 2012.
• Transport portions of the remaining stockpile to destruction facilities which are
already operating.
• Accelerate the destruction schedule for the Colorado and Kentucky sites.
According to a September 2010 DOD report to Congress, the department is “on pace to achieve
destruction of 90 percent of its stockpile by April 2012, 98 percent destruction by 2017, and 100
percent destruction by 2021.” The department “will continue to look for opportunities to
eliminate the remaining chemical weapons stockpile ahead of current schedules without
sacrificing safety and security,” the report adds.61

User avatar
chaos
Posts: 4994
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2011 7:23 pm
Location: Boston

Re: Syria

#77 Post by chaos » Tue Jan 21, 2014 11:20 pm

More horrific stuff is emerging.

A couple of photos from this report (in the appendices sections): http://static.guim.co.uk/ni/13902266747 ... n-tort.pdf

Image

Image
http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2 ... faces.html

New evidence of 'industrial-scale' killing by Assad regime surfaces
January 20, 2014 5:15PM ET
Report produced by team of war crimes prosecutors implicates Syrian government in 11,000 detainee deaths

A team of war crimes prosecutors and forensic experts has examined and confirmed a huge stash of evidence smuggled out of Syria that implicate Syrian government officials in the systematic killing of 11,000 detainees, according to a joint report from CNN and The Guardian released just two days before peace talks aimed at ending Syria's civil war are slated to begin.

Working with a photographer for the military police who had secretly defected to the opposition, the team was given thousands of photos of dead bodies belonging to alleged detainees killed in Syrian government custody.

The photographs show emaciated bodies marked with signs of brutal beatings, strangulation and other forms of torture, the team confirmed.

"This is a smoking gun," David Crane, one of the report's authors, told CNN. "Any prosecutor would like this kind of evidence — the photos and the process. This is direct evidence of the regime's killing machine."

The report also details a complex numbering system used to catalog the corpses such that security services could keep track of those killed and fake their documentation to make it appear that the individual had died in a hospital.

"This evidence could underpin a charge of crimes against humanity — without any shadow of a doubt," said Desmond de Silva, another of the authors and the former chief prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, in an interview with CNN. "Of course, it's not for us to make a decision. All we can do is evaluate the evidence and say this evidence is capable of being accepted by a tribunal as genuine."

Both sides of the conflict have been accused of human rights violations on many occasions during Syria's nearly three-year civil war, but the experts believe this new round of evidence is the most definitive proof of large-scale killing on the part of the regime to date.

The authors added that the scope and systematic nature of the killings indicates "top-down" direction by leaders of the security forces but not the direct involvement of the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad himself.

User avatar
Bandit72
Posts: 2865
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2011 12:04 am
Location: Birmingham, England

Re: Syria

#78 Post by Bandit72 » Wed Jan 22, 2014 12:14 am

Horrific stuff. It reminded me of the holocaust. I thought humanity was incapable of letting that happen again? Obviously not. Religion, fuck it off.

User avatar
chaos
Posts: 4994
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2011 7:23 pm
Location: Boston

Re: Syria

#79 Post by chaos » Wed Aug 20, 2014 10:35 pm

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/ho ... 68988.html

The Independent Thursday 21 August 2014
_____________________________________
CHRISTOPHER HOOTON, ROB WILLIAMS Tuesday 04 March 2014

If London were Syria: Save The Children campaign releases unsettling video



A young girl is shown in close-up blowing out candles on a birthday cake, playing dress-up and asleep peacefully in a car. Then the images become darker, showing disruption, chaos, bombs and panic as Britain descends into a Syria-type conflict and the girl and her family are forced to flee their home in fear.

The images are from a startling new Save The Children campaign that imagines what London would be like if plunged into a conflict similar to that in Syria.

The one-and-a-half minute video was launched in the run-up to the three-year anniversary of the conflict, in which, to date, 10,000 children have lost their lives and 2.3 million people have become refugees.

It closes with the words: "Just because it isn't happening here, doesn't mean it isn't happening."

"We hope the video will resonate with members of the public, particularly those who don’t know much about the situation in Syria so they can really understand the plight of innocent Syrian children. said Jake Lundi, Director of Brand and Communications at Save The Children. "The message to the public is just because it’s not happening here, doesn’t mean it’s not happening."

The conflict has caused a huge humanitarian crisis in the country. Last month, the United Nations Security Council called for both the Assad regime and opposition forces to provide immediate access to deliver aid to millions in need of help.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said at the time: "Half the country's people need urgent assistance. Host countries need support in caring for more than 2.5 million refugees."

He described as "profoundly shocking" the fact that "both sides are besieging civilians as a tactic of war".

"Some 200,000 people are under siege in government-controlled areas – and 45,000 in opposition-controlled areas," he added.

UN humanitarian chief Baroness Amos has described progress on delivering aid to those most in need as "limited, uneven and painfully slow".

She said last month: "It is vital that ordinary people, who have been bearing the brunt of the violence, are protected. More than anything, the conflict needs to end so that people can begin to rebuild their lives. Syria is in danger of losing a generation of its children. Children are the future. We must protect them.

User avatar
chaos
Posts: 4994
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2011 7:23 pm
Location: Boston

Re: Syria

#80 Post by chaos » Thu Feb 25, 2021 6:28 pm

https://www.npr.org/2021/02/25/97161113 ... witter.com

U.S. Launches Military Airstrikes Against Iranian Militants In Syria

February 25, 2021 8:05 PM ET
VANESSA ROMO

The Department of Defense says U.S. military forces have conducted airstrikes against infrastructure used by militant groups in eastern Syria. The strikes are a response to recent attacks against Americans in Iraq, which the DOD calls a "proportionate military response."

Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby issued the following statement regarding the attack:

"At President Biden's direction, U.S. military forces earlier this evening conducted airstrikes against infrastructure utilized by Iranian-backed militant groups in eastern Syria. These strikes were authorized in response to recent attacks against American and Coalition personnel in Iraq, and to ongoing threats to those personnel. Specifically, the strikes destroyed multiple facilities located at a border control point used by a number of Iranian-backed militant groups, including Kait'ib Hezbollah (KH) and Kait'ib Sayyid al-Shuhada (KSS).
This proportionate military response was conducted together with diplomatic measures, including consultation with Coalition partners. The operation sends an unambiguous message: President Biden will act to protect American and Coalition personnel. At the same time, we have acted in a deliberate manner that aims to de-escalate the overall situation in both eastern Syria and Iraq."

Post Reply