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Thread: Syria under Bashir Assad (closed end 2014)

  1. #641
    Council Member CrowBat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dayuhan View Post
    I think Western involvement in Syria's civil war, directly or by proxy, would be seen as another self-interested attempt by the Western infidel to influence or control Muslim lands. I think that perception would accelerate and increase the recruitment and deployment of foreign fighters and create an increased incentive for direct attacks on Western homelands...
    Yup, exactly like in Libya, right?

    Ah no: 'even more so in Syria', because 'Syria was always a nation of crazy terrorists' - or so we've been taught in the last 60 years...?

    Always the same old song...

    ***********

    Edit: there are actually several reports from different places about deployments of CWs. For example, from Harasta and Kfar Zita (Rif Dimashq) too.

    These videos should be showing some of attacks in question:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O6Ucs2nfmb0

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i9x_6tCqQL4´

    ...and if, then it was surely not 'rebels'.
    Last edited by CrowBat; 04-14-2014 at 09:59 PM.

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    Don't read too much into this as the military - a good military - will always prepare contingency plans so as not to be caught off balance by the wild swings in policy of the political class.

    Canada prepared for possible military mission in Syria, defence documents show

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    Quote Originally Posted by CrowBat View Post
    Yup, exactly like in Libya, right?

    Ah no: 'even more so in Syria', because 'Syria was always a nation of crazy terrorists' - or so we've been taught in the last 60 years...?

    Always the same old song...
    Yes, quite delusional.

    The CIA - and thereby the US - is up to its elbows in blood in Syria. Sadly the 'involvement' of the US has once again been misguided and misdirected... also once again at a massive human cost to the very people the US is supposed to be protecting.

    It doesn't matter how professional your military and intelligence community is when you have a rank amateur in the WH surrounded incompetent cronies this sort of cock-up happens with certainty.

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    What happended to this? Did it really happen?

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    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    Yes, quite delusional.

    The CIA - and thereby the US - is up to its elbows in blood in Syria.
    Actually not.

    I'm trying - quite hard - to find out the extension of that 'involvement'. But, despite all the flashy media reports and no matter how much I tried, there is next to nothing to find. Indeed, I've spent the last few months finalizing the work on manuscript for a small book titled 'Syrian Conflagration, The Syrian Civil War, 2011-2013' (to be published by Helion Publishing Co., in the UK, later this year; see bellow for the cover), and interviewing - back and forth - several dozens of different contacts around the country. But there is nothing to be found about any serious sort of 'US involvement' there. The most one can get to hear is commentary like can be read here: Syrian Rebels Find Support, and Frustration, in Jordan
    ......When rebels want to return to Syria to fight, Jordan’s intelligence services give them specific times to cross its border. When the rebels need weapons, they make their request at an “operations room” in Amman staffed by agents from Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the United States.

    During more than three years of civil war in Syria, this desert nation has come to the world’s attention largely because it has struggled to shelter hundreds of thousands of refugees. But, quietly, Jordan has also provided a staging ground for rebels and their foreign backers on Syria’s southern front. In the joint Arab-American operations room in Amman, the capital, for example, rebels say they have collected salaries as an incentive not to join better-funded extremist groups.

    But this covert aid has been so limited, reflecting the Obama administration’s reluctance to get drawn into another Middle Eastern conflict, that rebels say they have come to doubt that the United States still shares their goal of toppling President Bashar al-Assad.

    In fact, many rebels say they believe that the Obama administration is giving just enough to keep the rebel cause alive, but not enough to actually help it win, as part of a dark strategy aimed at prolonging the war. They say that in some cases their backers even push them to avoid attacking strategic targets, part of what they see as that effort to keep the conflict burning.

    “The aid that comes in now is only enough to keep us alive, and it covers only the lowest level of needs,” said Brig. Gen. Asaad al-Zoabi, a Syrian fighter pilot who defected and now works in the operations room.
    ...
    In total: scant shipments of support equipment (cars, comms), some money (less that a friction - really, not even 5% - of what is supplied by other sponsors of insurgency), and food is 'at most' one can track down.

    So, if at all, 'the CIA' is involved in operations apparently aiming to keep insurgency 'alive', but not more, while hampering any other 'grand designs' the Saudis, Qataris, and others might have.

    That's working in some- (Saudi Arabia) and not working at all in most of cases (Qatar, Turkey, Kuwait).

    Total effect of this is that a mass of ex-activists-cum-insurgents turned 'Islamists' over the time and did so because they didn't get anything at all from the West and - or 'but' - then began receiving aid from Islamists instead (exactly as described earlier: given enough time, extremists are going to spread their influence, which is the same that would have happened in Libya too, without a timely US/NATO intervention). Meanwhile, there appears to be effort to 'return some of them' back to 'moderates' (resulting in emergence of SF and SRF), but with idiotically stringent set of 'ROEs' for who might be accepted as 'returnee' and who not...

    Especially since even the Hezbollah has issued 'security guarantees' for Israel (it's really ridiculous how everybody is keen to issue that kind of guarantees) many of insurgents (at least those in position to monitor developments abroad) are now convinced that the USA have sold Syria to Iran, in exchange for Iranians curbing their nuclear- and missile-related projects etc. (the new Iranian pres even went as far as to impose a moratorium on all the IRGC's missile testing; in exchange for this, the IRGC is so flush with money for ops in Syria, that the rest of Iranian military is 'on idle' since two years too).

    So, if the US is 'up to its elbows in blood' - then because it's doing next to nothing to support people who expected its support. What's worse: because the US are acting that way, the rest of the West either did nothing, or followed in fashion.

    From that aspect: yes, the US 'involvement' there is (utterly) misguided and misdirected: it has significantly contributed to destruction of the country as a sovereign nation for decades to come, and to turning genuinely laicist population into some 10-15 different factions based on ethnic- and religious lines, most of which are now at odds with each other.

    ***********


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    Quote Originally Posted by CrowBat View Post
    Yup, exactly like in Libya, right?

    Ah no: 'even more so in Syria', because 'Syria was always a nation of crazy terrorists' - or so we've been taught in the last 60 years...?
    I haven't seen anyone teach such a thing. Syria is not "a nation of crazy terrorists", but a Syrian civil war with active Western intervention would be an irresistible and accessible magnet for crazy terrorists from anywhere else. It would also provide a convenient and attractive target for the crazy terrorists, distracting them fromn their current obliging practice of killing each other, and would provide an enhanced incentive for attacks on the homeland of whoever's intervening.

    Certainly the Syrian Civil War will attract its share of crazies even without Western involvement, and certainly those crazies and their future activities are a problem, but any argument that intervention would have prevented, rather than exacerbated, that problem would be extraordinarily speculative.

    I can't see any basis at all for a claim that the Syrian Civil War is a consequence of American or Western actions and therefore an American or Western "responsibility". Herr Fuchs wrote aptly elsewhere:

    I noticed again and again that in anglophone political discussions some people make up responsibilities, obligations and rights on the fly, trying to assert authority out of thin air. They invent a duty/obligation/responsibility when they want something particular done yet lack the arguments or evidence to support their opinion. They invent a right when they don't want something particular done.
    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    once again at a massive human cost to the very people the US is supposed to be protecting.
    Who exactly is the US "supposed to be protecting" in Syria?
    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary”

    H.L. Mencken

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    Default Why Russia Supports Syria

    Why Russia Supports Syria

    Entry Excerpt:



    --------
    Read the full post and make any comments at the SWJ Blog.
    This forum is a feed only and is closed to user comments.

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    Council Member CrowBat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dayuhan View Post
    I haven't seen anyone teach such a thing.
    No surprise: you only missed half the things that have happened in the Middle East since nearly 70 years...

    Syria is not "a nation of crazy terrorists"...
    Next time I'm there and happen to run over any kind of US tourists (is unlikely to happen any time soon, of course, but you ought to be patient when things are about Syria), I'll ask them for their telephone numbers or e-mail addresses. Then I'll forward these to you so you can ask them - and hear with your own ears - what they've been told by their family, friends etc. when informing them they're about to do a trip to Syria.

    ...but a Syrian civil war with active Western intervention would be an irresistible and accessible magnet for crazy terrorists from anywhere else. It would also provide a convenient and attractive target for the crazy terrorists...
    Ah, I see: you're back to tell me a few jokes again.

    Tell me: Syria didn't become 'an irresistible and accessible magnet for crazy terrorists'? And this didn't happen precisely because of....what idiotic reason is now going to come to your mind...?

    Certainly the Syrian Civil War will attract its share of crazies even without Western involvement...
    Ah, you - the very person that is so much in love with complaining about anybody trying to 'guess the future' - is now predicting the future, and say 'it will'?

    Because you don't think it didn't do so - already?

    ...and certainly those crazies and their future activities are a problem, but any argument that intervention would have prevented, rather than exacerbated, that problem would be extraordinarily speculative.
    While your argumentation is based on legs as solid as a card tower, eh?

    I can't see any basis at all for a claim that the Syrian Civil War is a consequence of American or Western actions and therefore an American or Western "responsibility".
    Oh, anybody trying to say 'this is what caused the war' is simply stupid. That's sure. But, sigh... well somebody like you, somebody who is trying to discuss the developments in Syria, and especially somebody doing that and being from the USA, sigh.... gosh, this is so boring to explain for XYth time, especially to people so insistent on proving completely unable to think and learn... might want to recall all the BS caused by Bush Sr.'s calls for Iraqis to raise against Saddam, back in March-April 1991, and then what has his failure to support the Iraqis that rose caused over the time.

    (And no, I'm not worried: you're now certainly going to come back with some sort of hyper-eloquent explanation for why there is no need for you - or anybody else in all of the USA - to learn anything from that, and so many other, similar examples.)

    Who exactly is the US "supposed to be protecting" in Syria?
    Ah, yes: there are no 'civilians' in Syria. 'Terrorists parking only' there...

    Well, no problem. Let the Iranians, Hezbollah and a regime that has a history of supporting about 40 different terrorist organizations around the world finish their business. They might take quite some time, few years at least, but if you let them: then there will be - indeed - nobody left to protect.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CrowBat View Post
    Next time I'm there and happen to run over any kind of US tourists (is unlikely to happen any time soon, of course, but you ought to be patient when things are about Syria), I'll ask them for their telephone numbers or e-mail addresses. Then I'll forward these to you so you can ask them - and hear with your own ears - what they've been told by their family, friends etc. when informing them they're about to do a trip to Syria.
    So now you're jumping from "so we've been taught in the last 60 years" to a few comments heard by the miniscule handful of people that have contemplated traveling to Syria? People say all kinds of things about all kinds of places... I've heard people say the country I live in is full of crazy terrorists. That hardly equates to "so we've been taught in the last 60 years". Scuttlebutt from the ignorant doesn't constitute "teaching". Neither does random internet ranting from self-proclaimed authorities, something you might want to remember before embarking on lectures.

    Quote Originally Posted by CrowBat View Post
    Tell me: Syria didn't become 'an irresistible and accessible magnet for crazy terrorists'?
    Of course it has... but the terrorists that flock there are shooting at each other, not at us or our proxies. Because we don't have a proxy, we don't face that question of whether to abandon the proxy or provide direct support when our proxy predictably fails to accomplish what we hoped for. The assorted "crazy terrorists" don't have that "expel the infidel from the land of the faithful" mantra to fall back on, and they don't have a clear reason to urge attacks on the West... of course they'll still try, but we aren't handing them the narrative on a silver platter.

    There's nothing that empowers the radical Islamic fringe quite so effectively as Western boots on the ground in Islamic countries, especially in countries in conflict. Western proxies aren't as good, but they'll do. Why supply your enemies with something they thrive on?

    Quote Originally Posted by CrowBat View Post
    And this didn't happen precisely because of....what idiotic reason is now going to come to your mind...?
    It happened because some of the Syrians tried to overthrow their dictator, the dictator declined to be overthrown, and a civil war ensued that emerged as a proxy showdown between Sunni and Shi'a. That showdown has drawn militants from both sides from around the region. I don't see any credible argument suggesting that the influx of militants would have been reduced by inserting Western intervention, directly or by proxy, into that picture.

    Quote Originally Posted by CrowBat View Post
    Ah, you - the very person that is so much in love with complaining about anybody trying to 'guess the future' - is now predicting the future, and say 'it will'?
    I was asked what I thought the impact of Western intervention on militant inflow would have been. I answered. That's an opinion, not a prediction. What do you think would have been the impact of Western intervention on militant inflow?

    Quote Originally Posted by CrowBat View Post
    Oh, anybody trying to say 'this is what caused the war' is simply stupid. That's sure. But, sigh... well somebody like you, somebody who is trying to discuss the developments in Syria, and especially somebody doing that and being from the USA, sigh.... gosh, this is so boring to explain for XYth time, especially to people so insistent on proving completely unable to think and learn... might want to recall all the BS caused by Bush Sr.'s calls for Iraqis to raise against Saddam, back in March-April 1991, and then what has his failure to support the Iraqis that rose caused over the time.
    Yes, that was dumb. Do you suggest that Bush Sr's irresponsible comments to Iraqis in 1991 are a reason for the US to intervene in Syria?

    Quote Originally Posted by CrowBat View Post
    Ah, yes: there are no 'civilians' in Syria. 'Terrorists parking only' there...
    When did the protection of Syrian civilians become an American responsibility?
    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary”

    H.L. Mencken

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    Default Aleppo fighting

    Slightly different viewpoint:
    Edward Dark offers a perspective on the conflict — that of Syrian troops
    Link:http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/orig...ra-regime.html
    davidbfpo

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    Quote Originally Posted by CrowBat View Post
    No surprise: you only missed half the things that have happened in the Middle East since nearly 70 years...
    Crowbat, I see you have met my 'friend' from the boonies.

    Replies just encourage him.

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    Council Member Dayuhan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    Replies just encourage him.
    Your disinclination to reply is of course understandable. If I'd made a comment like this...

    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    a massive human cost to the very people the US is supposed to be protecting.
    ...and somebody asked me who exactly the US is "supposed to be protecting" (somebody would ask; it's too obvious a question not to ask) I wouldn't want to reply either.
    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary”

    H.L. Mencken

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    LOL ... nice try... now go read what Samatha Power has said (for starters)


    Quote Originally Posted by Dayuhan View Post
    Your disinclination to reply is of course understandable. If I'd made a comment like this...



    ...and somebody asked me who exactly the US is "supposed to be protecting" (somebody would ask; it's too obvious a question not to ask) I wouldn't want to reply either.

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    Back in 2012 I said the Syrian rebels should not be armed. Here

    The result of arming the rebels is plain for all to see. The genie is out of the bottle. Idiots.

    Edward Luttwak wrote the following article in the NYT: In Syria, America Loses if Either Side Wins in August 2013

    A well argued article spoilt by the paragraph near the end.

    This strategy actually approximates the Obama administration’s policy so far. Those who condemn the president’s prudent restraint as cynical passivity must come clean with the only possible alternative: a full-scale American invasion to defeat both Mr. Assad and the extremists fighting against his regime.
    I suggest rather that the 'Obama policy' is as a result of dithering and indecisiveness rather than by design.

    Luttwak is obviously wrong in suggesting that the only military response is 'a full-scale American invasion'.

    How is it possible that otherwise intelligent people can't appreciate that a poke in the eye with a sharp stick can be more effective than numerous kicks to the shins?
    Last edited by JMA; 04-18-2014 at 10:45 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CrowBat View Post
    Actually not.

    I'm trying - quite hard - to find out the extension of that 'involvement'. But, despite all the flashy media reports and no matter how much I tried, there is next to nothing to find. Indeed, I've spent the last few months finalizing the work on manuscript for a small book titled 'Syrian Conflagration, The Syrian Civil War, 2011-2013' (to be published by Helion Publishing Co., in the UK, later this year; see bellow for the cover), ...
    Good luck with the book... be sure to announce when its available.

    So, if at all, 'the CIA' is involved in operations apparently aiming to keep insurgency 'alive', but not more, while hampering any other 'grand designs' the Saudis, Qataris, and others might have.
    That is why they are only up to their elbows in blood and not up to their armpits.

    So, if the US is 'up to its elbows in blood' - then because it's doing next to nothing to support people who expected its support. What's worse: because the US are acting that way, the rest of the West either did nothing, or followed in fashion.
    Agreed, the US approach is one of fear in the WH and indifference of the people:

    "Indifference is not so much a gesture of looking away--of choosing to be passive--as it is an active disinclination to feel. Indifference shuts down the humane, and does it deliberately, with all the strength deliberateness demands. Indifference is as determined--and as forcefully muscular--as any blow." - Cynthia Ozick

    From that aspect: yes, the US 'involvement' there is (utterly) misguided and misdirected: it has significantly contributed to destruction of the country as a sovereign nation for decades to come, and to turning genuinely laicist population into some 10-15 different factions based on ethnic- and religious lines, most of which are now at odds with each other.
    Agreed

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    Quote Originally Posted by CrowBat View Post
    So, if at all, 'the CIA' is involved in operations apparently aiming to keep insurgency 'alive', but not more, while hampering any other 'grand designs' the Saudis, Qataris, and others might have.
    Of course there might be othdr reasons. After the fiasco of Afghanistan where thd CIAIA left things largely under the ISIs remit during the Soviet occupation if you were going to keep tabs and gather HUMINT on he groups fightijg in Syria, as well as what their supporters are up to then what better place to be than Jordan. Right in the thick of things.


    gods below i hatd my new tablet. I miss my desktop, cant even write properly with thismdakned thijg.

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    Raising specter of genocide, US Ambassador Power slams ‘industrial-style slaughter’ in Syria

    The problem:

    America’s ambassador to the United Nations raised the specter of genocide in Syria, after officials this week sounded the alarm about spiraling violence in that country’s civil war.
    While Power obviously cares the WH does not. Listen to this clown:

    White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, though, reiterated that the administration’s view is “there’s not a military solution” – he said Assad “will never again rule all of Syria,” but the situation must be resolved “through a negotiated political settlement.”
    I guess Niall Ferguson has it right:

    China Should Intervene in Syria, Not America

    Why?

    Under President Obama, U.S. grand strategy has been at best incoherent, at worst nonexistent. I can think of no better complement to the president’s recent “pivot” to the Asia-Pacific region than to invite China to play a greater role in the Middle East—one that is commensurate with its newfound wealth and growing military capability.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dayuhan View Post
    ...Neither does random internet ranting from self-proclaimed authorities, something you might want to remember before embarking on lectures.
    Don't worry: I have realized already months ago there is no point in 'lecturing' you about anything at all. It's not only that you can't learn: you refuse learning even from your own mistakes - or mistakes of your own government, to be more precise - so what would be the point?

    Of course it has... but the terrorists that flock there are shooting at each other, not at us or our proxies & other blahblah...
    You see, this is a typical example of you working hard on finding excuse No. 745.396 for all the nonsense Washington is doing in Syria.

    You're asking since when is the USA responsible for protection of civilians...

    Whether this is the official US policy or whatever else, it doesn't matter: it's not me who is declaring the USA for 'craddle of democracy', 'supporting anybody struggling for freedom and democracy' and all other BS of that sort. That's simply the image emitted by the USA since decades. That image has created specific expectations from specific people outside the USA: you can now ignore this and explain it for irrelevant, and no part of your policy, and whatever other nonsense, but this is the soup the USA have created. Therefore, don't get surprised when there are plenty of people disapointed to realize the USA do not act that way in reality - and then turning against the USA as as result.

    In 1989, the Soviets withdrew from Afghanistan which they have sysematically ruined in 10 years of war. They've left behind a week 'central' government, opposed by US/Saudi sponsored insurgency, run by Pakistan. Instead of doing something to rebuild the country, the USA have left Afghanistan at mercy of Pakistani (and other) Saudi-sponsored Islamists - with well known results. What a surprise then, that 20+ years later Afghanistan is still the same quagmire....

    In 1991, the USA kicked Iraq out of Kuwait, and then called Iraqis to raise against Saddam. The Iraqis did so, but did not receive any kind of support: Saddam was left free to gas Shi'a in southern Iraq and Kurds in the north. When, 10 years later, the USA finally came to the idea to remove Saddam, Americans were ah so greatly surprised the Iraqis were not the least pleased about their late appearance....

    The uprising in Libya received Western/NATO+friends support within 2 months of breaking out. It was over within 8 months, with dictatorship removed. Correspondingly, there was no time for Wahhabists (or similars) to gain a foothold, not to talk about 'taking over' the insurgency. Instead, Libya now has a pro-Western government. Surely, it's going to need another 10-15 years to get all of its troubles sorted out, but its biggest problem is out of the way.

    The uprising in Syria is now more than 3 years old. It never received any kind of serious Western support (or if, then only in the last few weeks), with the result of the Wahhabists (and/or similars) being given all the time not only to gain a foothold, but indeed nearly collapse the insurgency 'from within'. Result: none of problems from 2011 has been removed, the country is in tatters for decades, unlikely to regain any semblance of sovereignity, full of extremists of all sorts, harbouring heavy IRGC-QF presence etc., and therefore likely to remain a main source of troubles for the time of our lifes.

    I'm begging you, Dayuhan: PLEASE, do not 'learn' anything at all from all of these. Come back with your silly babbling about the lack of proxies in Syria, about the lack of cohesion within Syrian insurgency, and then go on listing the remaining 745.394 of your cheap excuses.

    But, and whether you accept them or not, and no matter how much you refuse to accept them, these are bottom line facts. That's where the core of the issue - namely utter stupidity of decision-makers in Washington - lies; and that's all I have to say to you any more.

    Feel free to come back with excuse 745.397 too, no problem: until you offer a sign of realization of what I'm telling you all the time, I'll just click on 'ignore'.
    Last edited by CrowBat; 04-19-2014 at 08:34 AM.

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    Council Member CrowBat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    Back in 2012 I said the Syrian rebels should not be armed. Here

    The result of arming the rebels is plain for all to see. The genie is out of the bottle. Idiots.
    I have no problems with the DC deciding 'do not arm the insurgents'.

    But then at least the same DC could come to its senses and stay completely out of the situation. After all - just ask Dayuhan, he'll be happy to explain it to lenght - there are 745.396 (probably 745.397 meanwhile) reasons to stay out of there.

    Instead, they are following the WORST POSSIBLE SOLUTION, which is, 'well, we're going to arm them, a little bit', and doing so while doing even more to hinder others from 'arming the insurgents'. Coupled with bi-products of such behaviour (see 'let the Iranians kill insurgents' and see 'let Russians re-arm the regime, Iranians are bledding themselves to death by paying the bill'), that's just resulting in ever more suffering and destruction.

    As such, effectivelly, that cannot but result with 'creating your own enemy of tomorrow' - which is insane, to put it mildly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CrowBat View Post
    Don't worry: I have realized already months ago there is no point in 'lecturing' you about anything at all. It's not only that you can't learn: you refuse learning even from your own mistakes - or mistakes of your own government, to be more precise - so what would be the point?
    Exactly, so don't feed the ....

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