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Source: (consider it) Thread: Aleppo
Martin60
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# 368

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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
A bit of history by Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

Follow the money in a pipeline war which has been sold as a humanitarian war. Why not regional stability instead of regime change? Because it isn't profitable.

YES! I read about the pipelines years ago. This is Russia and its Shia allies at war with Sunni (Arab, Turkish) Islam, America's allies, in W. Asia. Russia is easily winning.

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Love wins

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quetzalcoatl
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# 16740

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The points about Russian domination of the area are clearly accurate. However, both Syria and Iraq are faced with large Sunni areas, which are restive under rule both by the Iraqui govt. and Assad.

The problem now for the Russians and the Iraqui governement is that any leaning towards Iran and Hezbollah will be seen as a big warning sign in tribal areas.

This is what tilted them towards IS, and before that, AQ, although the latter were ultimately driven out.

I can see the recruitment drive for IS already - keep out the Russians, keep out Hezbollah, and the Shia militias, who want to kill your tribe and your family.

Maybe there will be some sensible governance to prevent this, but I wouldn't count on it. Look at what happened to the 'Awakening', which turned into a disaster, and helped IS.

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no path

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Martin60
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The Russians are well experienced in taming vast Muslim territories and using proxies. The Qatar-Turkey gas pipeline is dead, there's no safe way round Shia Syria; E. Turkey is obviously exposed to Kurdish threat and Shia Iraq threat prior to that. The so called Islamic (Shia) - Friendship (Iran, Iraq, Syria) gas pipeline is dead in the water too, it suits Russia for it to never happen as that would compete with Russian gas supplies to Europe. Russia could let it go ahead if it were paid handsomely to guarantee its security to offset the lowering of its gas prices. Tempting. But that would be to Europe's advantage. So nah.

Could Syrian and Iraqi Sunni insurgents, supplied by the US through Turkey and the majority of W. Asian Arabs (the Sunnah, as a cultural term that unites them?), break the Russian-Shia dominance, be Russia's next Afghanistan? Not without challenging Russian air supremacy which ... ain't going to happen. That's Defcon 3. To start.

The West has lost the upper hand in the ME for a generation at least. Trump 'could care less', he'll do bilateral deals with everybody, but the ultimate gain is the effect of Russian suppression of W. Asian Sunni and European economic power by restricting gas supplies.

Liberal, humanitarian, multilateral considerations as whined on by Cameron and Kerry are utterly irrelevant.

From whence come wars from among you? From the lusts that war in your members. Russia's and America's lusts are looking increasingly aligned.

Happy days.

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Love wins

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quetzalcoatl
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# 16740

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Well, I stopped making predictions about the Middle East after Suez. It's the original kaleidoscope, give it a shake and a new pattern emerges. I wonder who predicted that Hezbollah would be rampaging across the region, well, part of it? Israel, probably.

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no path

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Martin60
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# 368

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That's inspiring! You must be in your 8th decade. Mere boy in my 7th me. Aye, prophecy is very difficult, especially with regard to the future. The Chinese know that. Don't know if the Russians do.

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Love wins

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rolyn
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# 16840

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The Russians predicted overwhelming the Nazi 'elephant' accurately. Can't say what they do is especially pretty but then, as we know, the West isn't the White knight in the Order of saints despite the manner it is constantly presented to us it's subjects.

The following is probably a naive prediction but if Pax Russana works in the Mid East where Pax Americana has failed for decades then the world might be better for it. Either that or, as the words of D H Lawrence -- The love of Peace becomes very loud when war is imminent.

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Change is the only certainty of existence

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Martin60
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# 368

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Hmmm. Vizzini in The Princess Bride: ... "never get involved in a land war in Asia". Pax Russiana, I like it. Leave them to it. Churchill knew that the loss of the Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman empires was bad news.

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Love wins

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Martin60
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# 368

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It seems we are actually no where near as a species in moving on from patriarchy, we want authoritarian leaders and cultures, we don't want equality, shared vulnerability, we want saturnine Big Daddies from God on down to protect us from our desire for freedom. I blame evolution.

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Love wins

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rolyn
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So long as evolution keeps punching more males than females then I'll sit down beside you on that one Martin. Even the great cull of males 1914 -- 18 didn't stop all the consequential phallus wars from then until now.

Coming back to Aleppo, why the evacuation now when the battle is won? Used to be the the other way round in 1945 with people returning to, what remained of their homes when the hot fighting was done.

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Change is the only certainty of existence

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Martin60
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The evacuation, from ruins with no infrastructure, is in large part of Sunni insurrectionists, 'rebels' going to rebel held, i.e. Sunni areas.

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Love wins

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Gamaliel
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# 812

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It's akin to what happened in the Civil Wars in this country. When a town or fortress fell, the defenders were generally allowed safe passage to neutral or enemy held territory, with certain conditions attached.

There were infamous occasions when this didn't happen, as at Drogheda and Wexford.

Of course there was collateral damage and civilian casualties in Civil War sieges but they didn't have barrel bombs nor air strikes.

With Aleppo, the eastern part of the city has been rendered uninhabitable so nobody's going to want to return there any time soon, unless they want to go down fighting in some last ditch show of resistance. That said, there still seem to be plenty of people trapped there.

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Stetson
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Good article(imo), by Neil MacDonald of the CBC...

The fall of Aleppo isn't humaity's disgrace

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Enoch
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quote:
Originally posted by Stetson:
Good article(imo), by Neil MacDonald of the CBC...

The fall of Aleppo isn't humaity's disgrace

Yes, I think that's a pretty fair assessment.

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Anglican_Brat
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I remember in the 1990s there was a debate about Canada's intervention in Kosovo and I as, an idealistic, let's save the world teenager thought there was no question we should go in and save people from Milosevic's violence.

On a CBC discussion show about the issue, a middle aged woman stood up to speak and she said that her son was in the armed forces. She said, frankly that she was absolutely opposed to military intervention, there was no way she would support putting her son's life at risk even for a "good cause."

At the time, I thought she didn't see the obvious humanitarian rationale, but over time I realize that I have been too judgmental of her. Intervention even in the name of a good cause, puts lives at risk. I wonder though, if we do make a very harsh judgment when we are ruling against intervention in a situation like this. If we are talking about putting for example, our soldiers' lives on the line and deciding against intervention, we are making a value judgment about the lives of our people as opposed to those people over there. We are saying that Canadians' lives or Americans' lives matter more than Middle Eastern lives.

And that chills me.

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simontoad
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# 18096

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quote:
Originally posted by Schroedinger's cat:
To get all philosophical here, the concept of hyperreality is vital here. This is a concept that argues that the truth is impossible to find, because all we ever see is the media (of all sorts) presentation of it. So yes, we only get the news from Aleppo through a variety of media. Those sources are all biased, and - crucially - it is not possible to avoid those biases. Or even to know what they are.

The Adam Curtis film Hypernormality gives some interesting insights of what this actually means. But in practical terms, it means that we cannot know the truth. We cannot act on "the truth". We can act on what we know, and the best we can do is act knowing that we are very limited in our knowledge.

I know I plug this a lot, but to understand the situation in the Middle East (especially), I think it is critical to grasp the principles of this, and understand how much we know and how much we don't know.

Reports that say that something hasn't happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns – the ones we don't know we don't know. And if one looks throughout the history of our country and other free countries, it is the latter category that tend to be the difficult ones.

Don Rumsfeldt, Philosophe

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Schroedinger's cat

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Brat - I am not sure what that woman thought her son was doing in the forces if she wouldn't want him to put his life at risk. That is sort of the nature of the role. So I think she might have been rather deluded.

At the same time, I do think it is far too easy to talk about "intervention" of any sort, without realising that it involves people deliberately risking their lives. But that is the point of a military. It is not just to attack other people, it is to protect people (which means being at risk).

I do think intervention needs to involve far more than just attacking. It should involve seeking a resolution, often with a military threat - not to force a solution, but to keep a solution working.

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Lord may all my hard times be healing times
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Martin60
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# 368

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Our military lives are to be risked in our defense, in our national self interest. It chills me when we think we can intervene as in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and not make bad situations worse. We never learn. We only find the appropriate, proportionate military-political response rarely: liberating Kuwait (text book blitzkrieg), Sierra Leone (special forces op., like Muscat and Oman a generation before although that turned in to a successful hearts and minds op.). Paradoxically a little intervention can be the worst: talking situations up like encouraging "freedom" in Syria, bombing Gadhafi; both causing utter lawlessness. Unless we calculate that is worth it. How that can ever be I can't imagine, apart from getting two of ones enemies to weaken each other.

Anglican_Brat, can you or anyone think of any, and I mean any, conflict, starting with the US Civil War say (where good and bad seemed delineated), where the cost in 'our' lives, the side of the 'good' guys, made a difference to the overall cost? Apart from the rare examples above? To which I'd add British intervention in and around Malaysia.

When should we have intervened in Rwanda before the unprecedented genocide? Why? When there was no indication of it at all. Until there was. When should we have intervened - which we wisely didn't with boots on the ground - in any African conflict since the 50's?

I nonetheless really am beginning to think we live in the best of all possible worlds, that there is no chilling, missed moral imperative, just social evolution in action that might eventually impress itself collectively memetically upon us to the point where we can all lay down our arms and eat together as equals.

Ten thousand years. If we won't invest in conflict resolution, peace studies, Christian peace making (not pacifism at any price), we'll have to learn that long, hard way. If it can be done that way without the apocalypse.

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Love wins

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rolyn
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Thinking also that Western bombs in Serbia were successful in bringing the Balkans back from the brink.

So long as we have the selge hammer in the tool kit we are going to find situations where it is used. Disarmament doesn't work, arming ourselves to the point whereby everyone's fucked kind of works.
But indeed yes, on the sole matter of limited military interventions the general public have discovered a new sense of cynicism since that day in 03 when we thought the Iraqi people were going to throw garlands of flowers over liberating Allied troops.

[ 18. December 2016, 12:57: Message edited by: rolyn ]

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Change is the only certainty of existence

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Enoch
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Anglican Brat, two thoughts.

1. It isn't a question of whose lives we think are more important. Her son had presumably enlisted in the Canadian army accepting that he might have to risk his life to protect other people attacking Canada. That doesn't mean that she should be expected to accept that her son is sent off to risk his life in a cause which isn't obviously Canada related.

2. If we look at just war theory, it isn't enough that all other means of putting an end to it must have been shown to be impractical or ineffective. There must also be a serious prospect of success.

It isn't enough just to say 'something must be done'. 'Then to side with truth' is not always noble - whatever that fatuous hymn might say. There has to be a 'something' that has a worthwhile prospect of delivering peace. A fundamental problem that there has been all along with the Syrian civil war is that that second 'something' has always been absent.


All of our hearts weep to see pictures of the destruction of Aleppo and the terrible situation of the children there. That is right. If our hearts are not torn, they have something wrong with them. But that in itself can take wing with a frightening rhetoric of its own. If we go back to the Balkan crises of the 1990s were the Serbs worse than anyone else? Or was it just that the reason why the victims were Bosnians rather than Serbs was simply because it was the Serbs who happened to be winning? I don't know. Nobody ever will. But, harsh though the thought is, it is something one ought to hold in mind.

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Schroedinger's cat

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# 64

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quote:
Originally posted by simontoad:
quote:
Originally posted by Schroedinger's cat:
To get all philosophical here, the concept of hyperreality is vital here. This is a concept that argues that the truth is impossible to find, because all we ever see is the media (of all sorts) presentation of it. So yes, we only get the news from Aleppo through a variety of media. Those sources are all biased, and - crucially - it is not possible to avoid those biases. Or even to know what they are.

The Adam Curtis film Hypernormality gives some interesting insights of what this actually means. But in practical terms, it means that we cannot know the truth. We cannot act on "the truth". We can act on what we know, and the best we can do is act knowing that we are very limited in our knowledge.

I know I plug this a lot, but to understand the situation in the Middle East (especially), I think it is critical to grasp the principles of this, and understand how much we know and how much we don't know.

Reports that say that something hasn't happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns – the ones we don't know we don't know. And if one looks throughout the history of our country and other free countries, it is the latter category that tend to be the difficult ones.

Don Rumsfeldt, Philosophe

The point about Baudrillards ideas are that we don't know anything. The known knowns are not certain, not known at all.

The known unknowns are also wrong - we don't what it is we don't known ever, because we don't know what we known.

Then the unknown knowns are also non-existent, because the things we don't know that we know, we don't know for certain.

Leaving us with just the unknown unknowns. So everything is in the difficult category.

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Blog
Music for your enjoyment
Lord may all my hard times be healing times
take out this broken heart and renew my mind.

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Anglican_Brat
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quote:
Anglican Brat, two thoughts.

1. It isn't a question of whose lives we think are more important. Her son had presumably enlisted in the Canadian army accepting that he might have to risk his life to protect other people attacking Canada. That doesn't mean that she should be expected to accept that her son is sent off to risk his life in a cause which isn't obviously Canada related.

It did startle me at the time because in my experience, military families tend to be reluctant to speak openly about political issues. At the time I remember this was before Canada officially committed itself to intervention in Kosovo.

The few times I see military relatives on TV, they tend to be supportive of missions in general.

quote:

2. If we look at just war theory, it isn't enough that all other means of putting an end to it must have been shown to be impractical or ineffective. There must also be a serious prospect of success.

When I studied political science in my undergrad, my IR professor made a distinction between "peacekeeping" and "peacemaking." "Peacekeeping" entailed two parties who had an agreement to cease hostilities and the international community intervening as a third party mediator to ensure that both parties kept to the peace.

"Peacemaking" involves the international community intervening to coerce two warring parties to make peace. This is fraught with danger, because how can one force two actors or nations who want to kill each other, to stop?

Peacemaking missions, almost seems doomed to be failures, and that would be the type of hypothetical mission that would apply to Syria.

[ 18. December 2016, 21:20: Message edited by: Anglican_Brat ]

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Martin60
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# 368

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quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
quote:
Originally posted by Stetson:
Good article(imo), by Neil MacDonald of the CBC...

The fall of Aleppo isn't huma[n]ity's disgrace

Yes, I think that's a pretty fair assessment.
What the Hell is happening to me? Excellent.

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Love wins

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Father Gregory

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Just to show you I am still alive. I would love to come back here if I had enough hours in the day. Suffice to say I have put a huge amount of this up on FB. For those who care to churn their way through it, here is my link: Fr Gregory FB The ONLY journalist giving an inside view of what the Syrian situation is really like is Robert Fisk in my opinion. Here's something for your paranoia though. 3 years ago we were channelling funds into our Church relief effort on the ground. Then Lloyds Bank (aka Whitehall) effectively stopped that by demanding that we presented receipts for every penny spent. Since then they have been subjecting us to regular anti-terrorism assessments. A few weeks ago you will recall HMG stopped 3 Iraqi bishops from enterring the country to attend the consecration of the new cathedral of the Syrian Orthodox Church (Coptic family) in London. Go figure.

[ 19. December 2016, 09:14: Message edited by: Father Gregory ]

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Find Your Way Around the Plot
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Martin60
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# 368

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[Smile]

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Love wins

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Eutychus
From the edge
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quote:
Originally posted by Father Gregory:
Just to show you I am still alive. I would love to come back here if I had enough hours in the day.

Good to know [Smile]

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One has to take part. Scary as it is. - Martin60
Jerusalem is a city without walls

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Kelly Alves

Bunny with an axe
# 2522

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quote:
Originally posted by Father Gregory:
Just to show you I am still alive. I would love to come back here if I had enough hours in the day. Suffice to say I have put a huge amount of this up on FB. For those who care to churn their way through it, here is my link: Fr Gregory FB The ONLY journalist giving an inside view of what the Syrian situation is really like is Robert Fisk in my opinion. Here's something for your paranoia though. 3 years ago we were channelling funds into our Church relief effort on the ground. Then Lloyds Bank (aka Whitehall) effectively stopped that by demanding that we presented receipts for every penny spent. Since then they have been subjecting us to regular anti-terrorism assessments. A few weeks ago you will recall HMG stopped 3 Iraqi bishops from enterring the country to attend the consecration of the new cathedral of the Syrian Orthodox Church (Coptic family) in London. Go figure.

First of all, hey, you! [Big Grin]

Second of all, man, that post is chilling.

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"Take your broken heart, make it into art"-- Carrie Fisher (1956-2016)

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Golden Key
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# 1468

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Fr. G!!! [Yipee]

Thanks for the info.

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?"--Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon"
--"I'm not giving up--and neither should you." --SNL

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Alt Wally

Cardinal Ximinez
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We'e out of ideas about what to do, and now seem to be ceding influence to other players. We could have toppled Assad, who opposed no direct threat to our interests, but at great cost to ourselves and the Syrians. People who do truly present a threat to us likely would have filled the power vacuum, and likely would have slaughtered their way to full control (Alawites, Shia, Christians, etc.) in the process.

We drew a red line and stepped away. We are at a loss.

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Martin60
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Toppling Assad would have been easier than toppling Saddam and not as easy as toppling Gaddafi with no immediate cost to ourselves at all. Launching a rain of cruise missiles has a Keynesian benefit. The consequences would have been Rwandan level genocide of all minorities, far worse than Bosnia. But Obama was never going to launch without Britain and Cameron wasn't Blair, thank God.

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Love wins

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rolyn
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# 16840

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At least our media and politicians were consistent. We were told from the start of the Syrian Rebellion that going in on the side of the rebels would risk putting an even more extremist regime into power.
That policy did not alter, just the rhetoric when Russia finally decided it was game over for the rebels. The West stated categorically that it was not prepared to put boots on the ground then pretends to all sniffy when others did.

Had Clinton been elected there was talk of implementing a no fly zone over Aleppo. Keep the pot bubbling, keep assad enfeebled and never mind how many people's lives were being blighted over it. Thank God this hell looks to be nearing an end.

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Change is the only certainty of existence

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Martin60
Shipmate
# 368

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There are no Russian BOTG.

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Love wins

Posts: 16624 | From: Never Dobunni after all. Corieltauvi after all. Just moved to the capital. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
rolyn
Shipmate
# 16840

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Fair enough, my mistake.

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Change is the only certainty of existence

Posts: 3044 | From: U.K. | Registered: Dec 2011  |  IP: Logged
Alt Wally

Cardinal Ximinez
# 3245

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There is a small contingent of special forces and advisors. They have not pushed in a lot of their chips with Syria though, and have gained a lot as a result in terms of influence in the Middle East. We are seemingly pushing the Turks in to their arms as well, which probably nobody saw coming.
Posts: 3684 | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged



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