The current big issue

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  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from massmoderateJoe. Show massmoderateJoe's posts

    Re: The current big issue

    In response to WhatDoYouWantNow's comment:

    Obama says Syria's use of chemical weapons against civilians is a red line.

    Israel recently announced Syria definitely used them as such.

    Hagel expresses doubt.

    Hagel says we have suspicions.

    Obama says we need absolute proof.

     

     

    Here we go again?

    Is Obama going to flub it Bush-Style?

    If they really have, do we really go again?

    Will Republicans agree then blame him for 'deficits'?



    Yes to the 4th power.  History usually repeats, bad history more frequently.

     
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    Re: The current big issue

    Almost all Obama promises come with an expiration date. If Obama believes in non-intervention, fine; we need to stay out of other countries business and not be involved in Syria, fine; then he should not have talked so tough and be called on his bluff.

    Instead of "speak softly and carry a big stick", Obama is "bluster and bluff and then do nothing".

    WSJ:
    'As President of the United States, I don't bluff." So President Obama famously said in March 2012, warning Iranian leaders that he would not allow them to acquire nuclear weapons. Those are words Iranian leaders surely have in mind as they watch to see if Mr. Obama was bluffing about the warning the President has repeatedly delivered against the use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime in Syria.

    "I've made it clear to Bashar al-Assad and all who follow his orders: We will not tolerate the use of chemical weapons against the Syrian people, or the transfer of those weapons to terrorists," Mr. Obama said last month. "The world is watching; we will hold you accountable."

    Or not.

    Mr. Obama has strived mightily to avoid intervening in Syria, despite his repeated demands that Mr. Assad "must go." The Administration's U.N. gambit looks like one more way to avoid doing something it promised it would do if chemical weapons were used. Presidents who are exposed as bluffers tend to have their bluff called again and again, with ever more dangerous consequences.

     
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    Re: The current big issue

    So there are two issues here.  The first is the most obvious, the US and the international community have communicated that using chemical weapons would cross the "red line".  Now that there appears to be confirmation that chemical weapons have been used the next question, and the second issue, is also obvious:  "what do we do about it"

    I looked back at Obama's comments and they do not contain a threat or promise to go to war.  But beyond that I think a war with Syria doesn't suit US interests as our involvment will rachet up the conflict as jihadists would flood Syria and possibly open another front similar to what we saw in Iraq, further destabilizating the situation and prolonging the conflict. 

    Syria probably has the largest chemical weapons capability in the middle east.  Absent nuclear weapons that was their way of deterring Israel after the Syrian forces were roundly defeated by Israel in the early 80's.  The Israelis thought about preemptively bombing Syria's chemical weapons sites but determined they were too dispersed to effectively destroy which would leave the possibility that Syria could respond by attacking major Israel cities with chemical weapons in retaliation.  The Israelis concluded that was an unacceptable risk.


    However, that risk still endures today and a US or NATO led bombing campaign would certainly carry the risk of Israel paying a heavy price since those chemical weapon facilities would be included in the first wave of targets once a force was mobilized.  There is also substantial risk of Syria preserving that capability by transferring it to Hezbollah and utlizing those jihadists as a proxy force to carry out attacks, likely on Israel, but potentially elsewhere as they have done in the past, striking in the western hemisphere and Europe. 

    Whatever happens, the US has a difficult task in front of it and there is a tremendous potential for unintended consequences that could spark a broader and in the worst case, nuclear event. 

     
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    Re: The current big issue

    In response to ComingLiberalCrackup's comment:

    Almost all Obama promises come with an expiration date. If Obama believes in non-intervention, fine; we need to stay out of other countries business and not be involved in Syria, fine; then he should not have talked so tough and be called on his bluff.

    Instead of "speak softly and carry a big stick", Obama is "bluster and bluff and then do nothing".

    WSJ:
    'As President of the United States, I don't bluff." So President Obama famously said in March 2012, warning Iranian leaders that he would not allow them to acquire nuclear weapons. Those are words Iranian leaders surely have in mind as they watch to see if Mr. Obama was bluffing about the warning the President has repeatedly delivered against the use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime in Syria.

    "I've made it clear to Bashar al-Assad and all who follow his orders: We will not tolerate the use of chemical weapons against the Syrian people, or the transfer of those weapons to terrorists," Mr. Obama said last month. "The world is watching; we will hold you accountable."

    Or not.

    Mr. Obama has strived mightily to avoid intervening in Syria, despite his repeated demands that Mr. Assad "must go." The Administration's U.N. gambit looks like one more way to avoid doing something it promised it would do if chemical weapons were used. Presidents who are exposed as bluffers tend to have their bluff called again and again, with ever more dangerous consequences.



    So what would you have him do?  Complaints are a constant.  Solutions are more hard to come by.  You want a "humanitarian" war with Syria with all the ripple effects that would have in the Middle East?  You could end up with Israel getting drawn into a general conflagration with the surrounding Arab states... and us in the middle.  Bluff and bluster sounds better and better.  If you actually think intstead of rant that is...

     
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    Re: The current big issue

    The problem is that they themselves declared the "red line" that could not be crossed so now they have to act or they'll look weak. And, as we know, looking weak in the Middle East is the kiss of death.

    They need to own whatever problems come their way now because this is their own doing.

     
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    Re: The current big issue

    I don't think anyone did.  How bout, what the F does Red Line mean, and if your own SecState and SecDef say its not only been crossed, but twice, WT-F is the line for?

     

    I sense a strongly worded letter from the UN is in the offing.

     

     
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    Re: The current big issue

    In response to ComingLiberalCrackup's comment:

    Almost all Obama promises come with an expiration date. If Obama believes in non-intervention, fine; we need to stay out of other countries business and not be involved in Syria, fine; then he should not have talked so tough and be called on his bluff.

    Instead of "speak softly and carry a big stick", Obama is "bluster and bluff and then do nothing".

    WSJ:
    'As President of the United States, I don't bluff." So President Obama famously said in March 2012, warning Iranian leaders that he would not allow them to acquire nuclear weapons. Those are words Iranian leaders surely have in mind as they watch to see if Mr. Obama was bluffing about the warning the President has repeatedly delivered against the use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime in Syria.

    "I've made it clear to Bashar al-Assad and all who follow his orders: We will not tolerate the use of chemical weapons against the Syrian people, or the transfer of those weapons to terrorists," Mr. Obama said last month. "The world is watching; we will hold you accountable."

    Or not.

    Mr. Obama has strived mightily to avoid intervening in Syria, despite his repeated demands that Mr. Assad "must go." The Administration's U.N. gambit looks like one more way to avoid doing something it promised it would do if chemical weapons were used. Presidents who are exposed as bluffers tend to have their bluff called again and again, with ever more dangerous consequences.




    Both the US and UK have noted there appears to be evidence of Sarin being used, but they do not have the "smoking gun" to say for certain.  Further to that point, if Sarin has been used they don't have evidence to say WHO used it. 

    There are multiple factions involved in this conflict including a jihadist group, Al Nusra Front, that is fighting on the side of the rebels but is also affiliated with Al Qaeda.  In December of last year there were reports that Al Nusra Front had captured a chemical weapons facility in Aleppo, which if true raises the question of whether these small uses of Sarin are being carried out as an attempt to goad the west into the conflict, something that would suit Al Nusra (and thus Al Qaeda) quite nicely, but would endanger the long term prospects for Syrians. 

    I am disinclined to think the Syrian regime would resort to using chemical weapons and then use them in such a limited capacity.  First, they aren't losing this war, they simply have not been able to end it.  As time passes the odds shift more in the regimes favor than the rebels. Second, tactical use of chemical weapons is practically impossible since shifting winds could easily result in those deploying the chemicals being harmed by them.  Thirdly, if the Syrian government felt that they were so desperate to use chemical weapons, why wouldn't they first intensify their bombings of rebel areas and increase the violence in attempt to kill as many as possible?  They have aircraft, tanks, artillery, etc, while the rebels do not.  Again, the regime is not losing, all of the factors involved in waging war favor them, they have the supplies, they have command and control, and they have the heavy weapons.

    The cost benefit of resorting the chemical weapons seems to favor the rebels or some faction of the rebels "demonstrating" their use to influence the US and other countries because they have nothing to lose and everything to gain, while the equation for the Syrian regime is the exact opposite. 


    I am not sold and apparently neither is the US, UK, or France. 

     
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    Re: The current big issue

    In response to GreginMeffa's comment:

    I looked back at Obama's comments and they do not contain a threat or promise to go to war

    ----------------------

     

    I don't think anyone did.  How bout, what the F does Red Line mean, and if your own SecState and SecDef say its not only been crossed, but twice, WT-F is the line for?




    Thats the question, and I would imagine the various contingencies that were put in place are being reviewed to determine what is the best course of action.  But first, these developments are still not proof, our own intelligence is split in terms of their confidence that the regime has used Sarin, and as a I noted above, I think there is a question of WHO used it.  It makes little sense for the regime to resort to chemical weapons in a conflict they are not losing.  That would be like a basketball team with a 30 point lead jacking up 3 pointers in the last minute of the game.  Time favors the regime in this conflict and they have plenty of convention options to press their advantage.  It just doesn't make sense to me that would use chemical weapons but choose to use them in such small quantities on two separate occaisions.  There is no benefit gained in terms of casualities that a conventional missle wouldn't accomplish with a standard warhead. 

     
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    Re: The current big issue

    In response to DamainAllen's comment:

    So there are two issues here.  The first is the most obvious, the US and the international community have communicated that using chemical weapons would cross the "red line".  Now that there appears to be confirmation that chemical weapons have been used the next question, and the second issue, is also obvious:  "what do we do about it"

    I looked back at Obama's comments and they do not contain a threat or promise to go to war.  But beyond that I think a war with Syria doesn't suit US interests as our involvment will rachet up the conflict as jihadists would flood Syria and possibly open another front similar to what we saw in Iraq, further destabilizating the situation and prolonging the conflict. 

    Syria probably has the largest chemical weapons capability in the middle east.  Absent nuclear weapons that was their way of deterring Israel after the Syrian forces were roundly defeated by Israel in the early 80's.  The Israelis thought about preemptively bombing Syria's chemical weapons sites but determined they were too dispersed to effectively destroy which would leave the possibility that Syria could respond by attacking major Israel cities with chemical weapons in retaliation.  The Israelis concluded that was an unacceptable risk.


    However, that risk still endures today and a US or NATO led bombing campaign would certainly carry the risk of Israel paying a heavy price since those chemical weapon facilities would be included in the first wave of targets once a force was mobilized.  There is also substantial risk of Syria preserving that capability by transferring it to Hezbollah and utlizing those jihadists as a proxy force to carry out attacks, likely on Israel, but potentially elsewhere as they have done in the past, striking in the western hemisphere and Europe. 

    Whatever happens, the US has a difficult task in front of it and there is a tremendous potential for unintended consequences that could spark a broader and in the worst case, nuclear event. 

    Poor response, saying that Obama didnt say he would go to war. So you agree, then that any other tough talk by Obama is meaningless? No doubt Syria, Iran and North Korea are taking notes....
    The US looks weak when it rachets up the rhetoric and bluffs.

    No one wants war, but continuously bluffing and backing down encourages your adversary to push the envelope.

     

     

     

     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from DamainAllen. Show DamainAllen's posts

    Re: The current big issue

    In response to ComingLiberalCrackup's comment:

    In response to DamainAllen's comment:

     

    So there are two issues here.  The first is the most obvious, the US and the international community have communicated that using chemical weapons would cross the "red line".  Now that there appears to be confirmation that chemical weapons have been used the next question, and the second issue, is also obvious:  "what do we do about it"

    I looked back at Obama's comments and they do not contain a threat or promise to go to war.  But beyond that I think a war with Syria doesn't suit US interests as our involvment will rachet up the conflict as jihadists would flood Syria and possibly open another front similar to what we saw in Iraq, further destabilizating the situation and prolonging the conflict. 

    Syria probably has the largest chemical weapons capability in the middle east.  Absent nuclear weapons that was their way of deterring Israel after the Syrian forces were roundly defeated by Israel in the early 80's.  The Israelis thought about preemptively bombing Syria's chemical weapons sites but determined they were too dispersed to effectively destroy which would leave the possibility that Syria could respond by attacking major Israel cities with chemical weapons in retaliation.  The Israelis concluded that was an unacceptable risk.


    However, that risk still endures today and a US or NATO led bombing campaign would certainly carry the risk of Israel paying a heavy price since those chemical weapon facilities would be included in the first wave of targets once a force was mobilized.  There is also substantial risk of Syria preserving that capability by transferring it to Hezbollah and utlizing those jihadists as a proxy force to carry out attacks, likely on Israel, but potentially elsewhere as they have done in the past, striking in the western hemisphere and Europe. 

    Whatever happens, the US has a difficult task in front of it and there is a tremendous potential for unintended consequences that could spark a broader and in the worst case, nuclear event. 

     

     

    Poor response, saying that Obama didnt say he would go to war. So you agree, then that any other tough talk by Obama is meaningless? No doubt Syria, Iran and North Korea are taking notes....
    The US looks weak when it rachets up the rhetoric and bluffs.

    No one wants war, but continuously bluffing and backing down encourages your adversary to push the envelope.

     

     

     



    That is actually secondary to the real issue, which is establishing with absolute certainty that the regime used chemical weapons.  If a third party, for instance, used a chemical agent then we have a different issue, one that would seem to suggest some entity WANTS the US or others to get involved for their own purposes and they are gaming the battlefield to entice other countries to send forces and widen the conflict.  There are more reasons for jihadists and the rebels fighting the Assad regime to use chemical weapons since they are currently losing a battle of attrition and need outside help. 

    Again, determining that chemical weapons were deployed and determining who deployed them matter.  Without the answer to both, we would be proceeding at tremendous risk. 

     

     
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