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Re: Syrian Conflict Approaches Obama's "Red Line" [Re: JBenedict] #393724 04/27/13 01:47 PM
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Maybe the US should stop making foolish pronouncements on things it doesn't know, let alone it has no intent to follow up on.


Or maybe the U.S. should follow through consistently, so that, after a few salient examples, it doesn't have to demonstrate the seriousness of its intent?

Re: Syrian Conflict Approaches Obama's "Red Line" [Re: StuartK] #393726 04/27/13 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted by StuartK
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Maybe the US should stop making foolish pronouncements on things it doesn't know, let alone it has no intent to follow up on.


Or maybe the U.S. should follow through consistently, so that, after a few salient examples, it doesn't have to demonstrate the seriousness of its intent?

Better check if the Bank of China will extend your credit.

Re: Syrian Conflict Approaches Obama's "Red Line" [Re: StuartK] #393727 04/27/13 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by StuartK
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If some Ugandan warlord was accused of this you would be spending your time on posts I enjoy reading about the Christian East. The veneer of morality here is quite transparent.

Not at all: the use of chemical weapons crosses a line, and we must intervene wherever it occurs. And, if you read my professional writings, you would see that I am not the kind of person who ignores genocide and crimes against humanity just because the victims are black. I was very much in favor of our intervention in Somalia (however botched it was by the Clinton Administration), as well as Bosnia and Kosovo. I also endorsed intervention in Rwanda (where the weapon of mass destruction was the machete) and in Darfur. We signed a convention against genocide, and we should live up to our responsibilities under it. Similarly, we signed the Chemical Weapons Convention, and we should enforce it.


I only know your point of view by what you post on this forum, and haven't seen you speaking much about the atrocities happening anywhere else in the world. They are focused selectively on a specific political agenda.

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The idea that we could somehow go in and remove every trace of an alleged chemical stockpile from a country without taking sides in its civil war is beneathe your and our intellect.


Mybe not "every trace"--after all, Saddam was not able to remove "every trace" of his chemical stockpile from Iraq--but certainly enough that (a) it no longer poses a threat, either regionally or globally; and (b) the object lesson is driven home to all who would use chemical weapons: do this, and you will suffer great pain.

Also, for what it's worth, we have contingency plans and forces precisely for this type of mission, whether the WMDs involved are chemical, biological or nuclear. We have had them for quite some time. We rehearse these missions regularly, and their odds of success are pretty good. They don't involve boots on the ground, at least not for more than a few days.


Few things. You just regurgitated the rationale for invading Iraq (minus the bogus "Al Qaeda" connection which is impossible to do this time, unfortunately for you and McCain). The problem with that is that it is based upon the premise that 1) there are chemical weapons and 2) It's in our interest to do anything about it.

You haven't demonstrated either of those two points to anyone's satisfaction, you have only repeated them ad nauseum in an attempt to center the discussion around them as truths. Linking to "fact sheets" from FPI and Bill Kristol's cabal - the people who brought you Saddam's WMD stockpile - hardly counts as a credible source, and is actually funny if you stop for a moment and really think about it. Just because you chose to live in an echo chamber doesn't mean that everybody else is inside with you.

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Really, I should think anyone with a small child would recognize the paradigm. This is the rule. Break the rule, and I will punish you. If you say that, and the child breaks the rule, and you do not punish him, he loses respect for the rule, and for you.


Again, with the morality. Nobody in the Middle East takes "the rules" you are preaching about here seriously, because it's so obviously selectively enforced that it's silly. Your arguments are intended to sway domestic opinion, nothing else. We can accuse Iraq and Syria of having chemical weapons and launch invasions based on those accusations as we see fit, but stand by while Egypt, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, et al brutalize their own populations without blinking an eye.

We can preach about the evils of chemical weapons while blanketing countries with Agent Orange and poisoning untold civilians with depleted uranium. We watch approvingly while Iraq uses these very weapons against Iran in their terrible war and, far from making big claims of "crossing a line" we know that Rumsfeld actually helped Iraq obtain these weapons in the '80s - the very ones that suddenly became anathema when it suited our political purposes.

If we are truly the "parents" of your analogy Child Protective Services would have locked us up long ago.

It's so much easier to respect your opinion when you are upfront about your agenda rather than trotting out these easily-debunked moralizations.

Re: Syrian Conflict Approaches Obama's "Red Line" [Re: StuartK] #393728 04/27/13 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by StuartK
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and what do you do when the "child" is all growed up, and knows you cannot enforce your rules in his house?

By that time, one hopes the child has internalized the rules and obeys them because he knows they make good sense. You know, the way in which we beat good sense into the Germans and the Japanese.

It seems Germany is about to foreclose on the EU, and I hear that the Museum at Hiroshima documents all the US aggression-although you can't get Japan to admit it did anything wrong in WWII.

Is this what they teach in CIA school? No wonder the US only has its size going for it.

Re: Syrian Conflict Approaches Obama's "Red Line" [Re: StuartK] #393729 04/27/13 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by StuartK
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Unless I am misunderstanding Stuart, I believe he is refering to the fact that the majority of Vietnamese supported Ho Chi Minh and without outside intervention there would have been no waror a very short one.


Close. Actually. the Vietnam War was largely an offensive war by the North against the South. The Viet Cong never had majority support in the South, which is why they ruled largely by terror. Without the support of North Vietnam (and by extension, North Vietnam's support by the Soviet Union and China), the VC would have collapsed by 1966 at latest. As it was, by 1965, most of the fighting was being done by North Vietnamese regulars. What was left of the Viet Cong was annihilated by the U.S. and ARVN during the Tet Offensive, and thereafter, it was a straight up fight by the U.S. and ARVN against the North Vietnamese Army. It's ironic (but not at all unexpected) that, after the final victory of North Vietnam in 1975, almost all of the surviving Viet Cong cadres found themselves in reeducation camps alongside the ARVN officers who had been their adversaries. Puts one in mind of how Stalin solved the "Polish Problem".

Like how you imagine the US solved the "German Problem" and "Japanese Problem"?

Even the former Emperor of Vietnam sided with Ho Chi Minh.

Re: Syrian Conflict Approaches Obama's "Red Line" [Re: jjp] #393730 04/27/13 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by jjp
Originally Posted by StuartK
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If some Ugandan warlord was accused of this you would be spending your time on posts I enjoy reading about the Christian East. The veneer of morality here is quite transparent.

Not at all: the use of chemical weapons crosses a line, and we must intervene wherever it occurs. And, if you read my professional writings, you would see that I am not the kind of person who ignores genocide and crimes against humanity just because the victims are black. I was very much in favor of our intervention in Somalia (however botched it was by the Clinton Administration), as well as Bosnia and Kosovo. I also endorsed intervention in Rwanda (where the weapon of mass destruction was the machete) and in Darfur. We signed a convention against genocide, and we should live up to our responsibilities under it. Similarly, we signed the Chemical Weapons Convention, and we should enforce it.


I only know your point of view by what you post on this forum, and haven't seen you speaking much about the atrocities happening anywhere else in the world. They are focused selectively on a specific political agenda.

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The idea that we could somehow go in and remove every trace of an alleged chemical stockpile from a country without taking sides in its civil war is beneathe your and our intellect.


Mybe not "every trace"--after all, Saddam was not able to remove "every trace" of his chemical stockpile from Iraq--but certainly enough that (a) it no longer poses a threat, either regionally or globally; and (b) the object lesson is driven home to all who would use chemical weapons: do this, and you will suffer great pain.

Also, for what it's worth, we have contingency plans and forces precisely for this type of mission, whether the WMDs involved are chemical, biological or nuclear. We have had them for quite some time. We rehearse these missions regularly, and their odds of success are pretty good. They don't involve boots on the ground, at least not for more than a few days.


Few things. You just regurgitated the rationale for invading Iraq (minus the bogus "Al Qaeda" connection which is impossible to do this time, unfortunately for you and McCain). The problem with that is that it is based upon the premise that 1) there are chemical weapons and 2) It's in our interest to do anything about it.

You haven't demonstrated either of those two points to anyone's satisfaction, you have only repeated them ad nauseum in an attempt to center the discussion around them as truths. Linking to "fact sheets" from FPI and Bill Kristol's cabal - the people who brought you Saddam's WMD stockpile - hardly counts as a credible source, and is actually funny if you stop for a moment and really think about it. Just because you chose to live in an echo chamber doesn't mean that everybody else is inside with you.

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Really, I should think anyone with a small child would recognize the paradigm. This is the rule. Break the rule, and I will punish you. If you say that, and the child breaks the rule, and you do not punish him, he loses respect for the rule, and for you.


Again, with the morality. Nobody in the Middle East takes "the rules" you are preaching about here seriously, because it's so obviously selectively enforced that it's silly. Your arguments are intended to sway domestic opinion, nothing else. We can accuse Iraq and Syria of having chemical weapons and launch invasions based on those accusations as we see fit, but stand by while Egypt, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, et al brutalize their own populations without blinking an eye.

We can preach about the evils of chemical weapons while blanketing countries with Agent Orange and poisoning untold civilians with depleted uranium. We watch approvingly while Iraq uses these very weapons against Iran in their terrible war and, far from making big claims of "crossing a line" we know that Rumsfeld actually helped Iraq obtain these weapons in the '80s - the very ones that suddenly became anathema when it suited our political purposes.

If we are truly the "parents" of your analogy Child Protective Services would have locked us up long ago.

It's so much easier to respect your opinion when you are upfront about your agenda rather than trotting out these easily-debunked moralizations.

Are you saying Stuart is a neo-con?

Re: Syrian Conflict Approaches Obama's "Red Line" [Re: JBenedict] #393732 04/27/13 02:14 PM
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What happens to the 10 pct Christian population, and everyone else who isn't a Sunni after the liberation ?

Re: Syrian Conflict Approaches Obama's "Red Line" [Re: JBenedict] #393733 04/27/13 02:22 PM
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Are you saying Stuart is a neo-con?


Nothing "neo" about it. This has been my consistent view of the world since the 1970s, firmly grounded in the lessons of history. After the Holocaust, the world supposedly said, "Never again!", but I guess what it really meant was "Never again, unless it's not convenient".

You might want to consider that, but for Great Power (mainly French, British and Russian) intervention in the Middle East in the 19th and early 20th century, you probably wouldn't be here to argue about great power intervention. In fact, there probably wouldn't be any Middle Eastern Christians at all.

Re: Syrian Conflict Approaches Obama's "Red Line" [Re: StuartK] #393736 04/27/13 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by StuartK
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Are you saying Stuart is a neo-con?


Nothing "neo" about it. This has been my consistent view of the world since the 1970s, firmly grounded in the lessons of history. After the Holocaust, the world supposedly said, "Never again!", but I guess what it really meant was "Never again, unless it's not convenient".

You might want to consider that, but for Great Power (mainly French, British and Russian) intervention in the Middle East in the 19th and early 20th century, you probably wouldn't be here to argue about great power intervention. In fact, there probably wouldn't be any Middle Eastern Christians at all.

Funny, the Christians were still the majority in much of the Middle East, until the Crusaders showed up.

And that sacking in 1204 really helped keep the Ottomans at bay. Good job.

Re: Syrian Conflict Approaches Obama's "Red Line" [Re: Lawrence] #393737 04/27/13 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Lawrence

What happens to the 10 pct Christian population, and everyone else who isn't a Sunni after the liberation ?

Not even the Sunnis will be safe. Only Wahhabis, Salafis and Jihadists.

Re: Syrian Conflict Approaches Obama's "Red Line" [Re: JBenedict] #393743 04/27/13 05:08 PM
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Issa, your head is stuck in 1204. Get over it.

Re: Syrian Conflict Approaches Obama's "Red Line" [Re: StuartK] #393744 04/27/13 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by StuartK
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Are you saying Stuart is a neo-con?


Nothing "neo" about it. This has been my consistent view of the world since the 1970s, firmly grounded in the lessons of history. After the Holocaust, the world supposedly said, "Never again!", but I guess what it really meant was "Never again, unless it's not convenient".

You might want to consider that, but for Great Power (mainly French, British and Russian) intervention in the Middle East in the 19th and early 20th century, you probably wouldn't be here to argue about great power intervention. In fact, there probably wouldn't be any Middle Eastern Christians at all.


And look at all the good it did them.

The '70s pegs you right into the neoconservative sweet spot, at least according to Irving Kristol. But what does he know about it?

It's a dirty word these days for a reason.

Re: Syrian Conflict Approaches Obama's "Red Line" [Re: StuartK] #393745 04/27/13 07:51 PM
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Originally Posted by StuartK
Issa, your head is stuck in 1204. Get over it.

Facts and Truth are not things to get over.

Unfortunately you Western Savior complex falls under neither. They were there to help themselves (as in 1204) to whatever the locals, Muslim or Christian, had, not to help the local Christians. Many a colonial administrator, approached by a local Christian to complain of Muslim harrassment, were told to convert to Islam-that way the Muslims wouldn't bother them.

If we weren't a Fifth Column of WOGS, they had no use for us. The Russians-and the Germans-forming an exception.

Re: Syrian Conflict Approaches Obama's "Red Line" [Re: JBenedict] #393748 04/27/13 11:02 PM
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Here's more information on the rebels that Stuart seems to think we should support. From an article by Fr. Peter Prebel of the Romanian Orthodox Church.

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On July 15, 2012, the International Committee of the Red Cross declared the Syrian Civil War a "non-international armed conflict" -- the legal definition of a civil war. I find it interesting that it has been declared non-international, because the government of the United States has been supporting the rebels with almost $3 million in direct aid and equipment. The United States is involved in this civil war and has turned a blind eye to the murder of Christians and other religious minorities.

Since the war began in March of 2011, more than 70,000 people have died. A February estimate places the internally displaced at 3.6 million, and an additional 1.3 million have been forced to flee Syria for neighboring countries as refugees, all the while the government of the United States continues to support the very people responsible for the killing.

On Monday, two Orthodox bishops of the diocese of the city, Syriac Orthodox Archbishop Yohanna Ibrahim of the diocese of Aleppo and Greek Orthodox Metropolitan Boulos Yaziji, were kidnapped. The irony of their kidnapping is that they were returning from a meeting to attempt the release of two priests Fr. Michel Kayyal (Armenian Catholic) and Fr. Maher Mahfouz (Greek Orthodox), kidnapped in February and still remaining in the hands of the kidnappers. They were on a mission of peace, to bring aid and comfort, and they were taken hostage as part of the systematic extermination of the Christian population in Syria.

Recently the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom released a Special Report on the deteriorating situation in Syria. "Protecting and Promoting Religious Freedom in Syria" lists several occurrences of systematic extermination of the native Christian population. As an example, the city of Homs, which had an estimated Christian population of 160,000, has been reduced to just one thousand at last count. Greek Orthodox Priest Father Fadi Jamil Haddad was found killed outside of Damascus in September of 2012. He had been trying to secure the release of a parishioner that had been kidnapped. These are just a few examples of what is being carried out daily in Syria and supported by the government of the United States.

What has been called the "Arab Spring" in Syria has become the Christian Nightmare and it is high time that the United States government realize the part it has played and continues to play in this ethnic cleansing, genocide, holocaust whatever word you choose to describe what is being perpetrated on the religious minorities in Syria as well as Egypt.


A blind eye to the murder of Christians, strong words. Say what you will about Assad, and I agree he is a brutal dictator, but these rebels are going to drive out or kill all Christians in Syria (including Stuarts churches Patriarch, who I believe is against intervention from the west in support of the rebels).

Re: Syrian Conflict Approaches Obama's "Red Line" [Re: Nelson Chase] #393749 04/27/13 11:19 PM
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Stuart will tell you he doesn't want to support terrorists, but that there's a "moral obligation" to enforce the "red line" with vague allusions to the Holocaust with dubious ties to actual, demonstrated threats to the US homeland, etc etc. None of which flies with any type of objective scrutiny, but it plays well on the 10:00 news.

We're a more thoughtful bunch than the lowest common denominator, so we have to ask ourselves: if none of what he says makes any sense on the face of it, has he suddenly lost his marbles or is there an actual agenda?

To answer that question, consider our latest excursions to "spread democracy" and tamp down "weapons of mass destruction." They certainly didn't do the United States much good, though he'll try to create enough smoke to make you think it has. The trillions of dollars spent, lives lost and bodies maimed speak for themselves.

If not the United States, then... cui bono?

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