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Old 02-14-2014, 12:50 PM   #1
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The Syria Thread

Any Syria watchers? The war continues to rage with countless dead. The newest tactic aside from starvation is the use of a "barrel bomb".



It started fairly low tech. A barrel filled with explosives and dropped on populations. Mixed success rate with wick fuze. Now if you pay attention to the video you can see fins have been added to attempt to stabilize the weapon. And an impact fuze appears to have been installed. Pretty impressive power for a crude weapon.

It doesn't appear that this war is near over. And based on past studies of civil wars it still has a number of years left. IIRC the avg civil war something in the range of 60 months/5 years. And it is certainly possible it will remain in a conflict trap. Meaning once the civil war ends it will likely relapse back into war.

Last edited by badfast; 02-14-2014 at 12:52 PM.
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Old 02-14-2014, 01:16 PM   #2
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The Syria Thread

What? You expect e46F-ers to have an intelligent debate on Syria?

The last thread on Syria was ruined when Puft boy crapped in it and needed an education on terrorism

Stick to topics e46F love to discuss ad nauseam: guns, gay rights, minimum wage, ACA, GOP, and liberals.




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Old 02-14-2014, 01:23 PM   #3
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What? You expect e46F-ers to have an intelligent debate on Syria?

The last thread on Syria was ruined when Puft boy crapped in it and needed an education on terrorism

Stick to topics e46F love to discuss ad nauseam: guns, gay rights, minimum wage, ACA, GOP, and liberals.




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Old 02-14-2014, 01:35 PM   #4
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I honestly can't see a "good" solution to the problem. Russia backing Assad doesn't help. If the Assad regime falls, the government will turn into chaos, and the people probably won't be any better off. Getting rid of Assad may not (probably wont) achieve the desired outcome (a free and democratic Syria.)
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Old 02-14-2014, 02:04 PM   #5
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I don't see a solution to many of the conflicts in the ME outside of one side exterminating the other...which would probably lead to a new conflict within the side that won. Here we go again!
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Old 02-14-2014, 03:01 PM   #6
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What's the point of this discussion? War sucks for the people involved in it? Who's gonna argue against that?
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Old 02-14-2014, 03:05 PM   #7
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What's the point of this discussion? War sucks for the people involved in it? Who's gonna argue against that?
Perhaps the real geolpolitical consequences. You can discuss this or something Bill Maher said.
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Old 02-14-2014, 03:21 PM   #8
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A guy who lived six miles from me was confirmed as the first Brit to become a suicide bomber in Syria today. The situation in that country is properly FUBAR for sure.
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Old 02-14-2014, 03:25 PM   #9
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I don't see a solution to many of the conflicts in the ME outside of one side exterminating the other...which would probably lead to a new conflict within the side that won. Here we go again!
This just what happened in Sri Lanka, where the government forces completely destroyed the Tamil Tigers. I've been to the country since and whilst the Tamils are still treated pretty shitty, there has been virtually no issues since the end of the war with terror or uprisings. Not saying that both sides didn't commit heinous acts by the boatload, but complete victory followed by pragmatism by the defeated (and more importantly) the winners after war is what's required to get things back onto some sort of level platform for all.
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Old 02-14-2014, 03:39 PM   #10
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Perhaps the real geolpolitical consequences. You can discuss this or something Bill Maher said.
I uniformly disagree with anything Bill Maher says. So whatever his stance is on Syria, I disagree wholeheartedly.
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Old 02-14-2014, 08:39 PM   #11
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Why are these folks fighting? Outstanding effect on target for low rent ordinance.
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Old 02-14-2014, 09:18 PM   #12
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badfast, give us the details

Interested, but unless there's a direct impact on any of us, I would think most Americans wouldn't care.
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Old 02-14-2014, 09:49 PM   #13
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This just what happened in Sri Lanka, where the government forces completely destroyed the Tamil Tigers. I've been to the country since and whilst the Tamils are still treated pretty shitty, there has been virtually no issues since the end of the war with terror or uprisings. Not saying that both sides didn't commit heinous acts by the boatload, but complete victory followed by pragmatism by the defeated (and more importantly) the winners after war is what's required to get things back onto some sort of level platform for all.
I imagine the reasons the Alawites fight so ruthless is because if they lose power they will be subjected to some harsh treatment. Not to mention loss of power is a loss of control over resources and treasure.

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badfast, give us the details

Interested, but unless there's a direct impact on any of us, I would think most Americans wouldn't care.
Quick summary

Geography - close to allies, close to oil. Spillover has happened and can have an impact on global oil prices.

Jihadists - They gain another foothold. Partially due to our involvement (supplies and arms). Does not help our national security if Syria falls under control of jihadists. Al-Assad's indiscriminate bombing campaigns will send more fighters to the rebel side.

It can easily argued that Syria doesn't directly impact the US. And I'd agree to a certain extent (for now), but nonetheless it is an important event that is happening now.

FTR, I don't expect most Americans to care. I expect even fewer on here to care. No surprise when you consider most Americans are all about scoring political points rather than show any interest in what's going on in the world beyond our borders.
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Old 02-14-2014, 10:01 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by NFRs2000nyc View Post
I honestly can't see a "good" solution to the problem. Russia backing Assad doesn't help. If the Assad regime falls, the government will turn into chaos, and the people probably won't be any better off. Getting rid of Assad may not (probably wont) achieve the desired outcome (a free and democratic Syria.)
Syria rose to the current level of conflict when Hillary and Barak gave them weapons and encouragement. They are the ones that set the ME on fire.

If Assad falls then Syria will fall into a bloody killing field. Whoever wins will move into villages that don't support them and start exacting revenge against their former enemies. There will be riots in the streets like in Egypt, car bombs like they have in Iraq and it's quite possible that you may have 2,3 groups vying for power with no clear control like they recently had / have in Lebanon.

The people in the ME are not educated and reasonable like the citizens of the former East Bloc. It won't be a peaceful transition to a representative Republic. It will just be more of the same we have seen. Except the man's name won't be Assad.


Thanks Barak...........what a wonderful legacy you left for yourself.
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Old 05-24-2014, 03:13 PM   #15
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A video from ISIS
http://www.cnn.com/video/?/video/wor...www.cnn.com%2F

Apparently kidnappings for ransom are starting to take off as well in Syria. No surprise, it happened in Iraq. These groups need $$ and state sponsors aren't always willing to provide.
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Old 05-24-2014, 03:26 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by badfast View Post
A video from ISIS
http://www.cnn.com/video/?/video/wor...www.cnn.com%2F

Apparently kidnappings for ransom are starting to take off as well in Syria. No surprise, it happened in Iraq. These groups need $$ and state sponsors aren't always willing to provide.

Only a matter if time.


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Old 05-24-2014, 05:20 PM   #17
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FTR, I don't expect most Americans to care. I expect even fewer on here to care. No surprise when you consider most Americans are all about scoring political points rather than show any interest in what's going on in the world beyond our borders.
Likewise, citizens of other nations could probably care less about us too. It's a dog eat dog world out there.
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Old 05-24-2014, 05:25 PM   #18
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The whole business of politics has been effectively subcontracted out to a band of professionals. Money people, outreach people, message people, research people. The rest of us are meant to feel like amateurs. In the sense of suckers. We become demotivated to learn more about how things work. We begin to opt out.
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Old 05-24-2014, 05:34 PM   #19
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The whole business of politics has been effectively subcontracted out to a band of professionals. Money people, outreach people, message people, research people. The rest of us are meant to feel like amateurs. In the sense of suckers. We become demotivated to learn more about how things work. We begin to opt out.

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Old 05-24-2014, 08:49 PM   #20
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The Syria Thread

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Originally Posted by Raymond42262 View Post
Syria rose to the current level of conflict when Hillary and Barak gave them weapons and encouragement. They are the ones that set the ME on fire.
In my opinion this is a bad analysis. The Middle East, especially countries whose governments were rife with corruption, the elite living in luxury, brutal crackdowns against its own people against dissent, and internal tensions, it was only a matter of time before something happened - hence the Arab Spring.

Since this thread is about Syria, I won't discuss Egypt or Tunisia, unless of course, you want to discuss those countries too.

For Syria, you must take into account its demographics and history. It's too easy to say "it's all Obama's or Hillary's fault". That, to me, is lazy thinking and plays into the typical anti-Obama administration agenda and sound bytes you hear from the media that don't even scratch the surface of deeper, underlying issues and causes. I'm not saying, however, that Obama's administration has been perfect, and how good or bad Obama's and Hillary's handling of the Arab Spring and Syria can be debated.

Bottom line, Syria has had internal tensions long before Obama's presidency, and was a powder keg so to speak. All it needed was a catalyst, such as the Arab Spring. Same goes for other Middle Eastern countries like Egypt, Tunisia, or Bahrain.

Syria has been in turmoil, for years

1) One must take into account Bashar al Assad's father, Hafez al Assad, who conducted what has been called a massacre against his own people (see city of Hama, 1982 as an example), and against the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists. Hafez al Assad's rule, the decisions he made, have incrementally caused anger and frustration of the Syrian people against the Assad regime and therefore set the tone that the Assad regime would not tolerate insurrection, dissent, and would rule Syria with an iron fist.

2) One must also take into account Syria's history of the ruling Ba'ath party, Hafez al Assad's rise to power and coup, and the violent conflict between Assad's regime and the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, and other Islamists in Syria -- deemed as insurgents.

3) From the 1980s and onwards to the 2000s, the Assad regime continued to be unpopular. When Hafez died, there was the "Damascus Spring" where Syrians, critical of the Assad regime, started an intense political and social debate and wanted reform. This was, of course, repressed by the government that left Syrian opposition leaders and intellectual leaders imprisoned. And therefore Bashar inherited a closed and stagnant state that was in need of political and economic reform.

Other factors:


Sectarian conflict

1) The Assad family are Alawites -- a minority religious group in Syria which is an offshoot of Shia Islam.

2) Being that this minority religious group has been in power for years against a Sunni majority in Syria (and other ethnic/religious groups), it has caused resentment and sectarianism.


Misc

1) Discontent against the Syrian government in Syria's poorer and high poverty areas, where these areas where predominantly conservative Sunnis which bred further resentment.

2) Areas hit hard by drought.

3) Economic inequality where Syria's economic policies benefiting the ruling minority, or those in public service, or those with connections with the Syrian government.

4) Lack of human rights, banning of public gatherings, mass arrests and detentions, lack of free expression, etc.

5) Discrimination against ethnic minorities (i.e. Kurds)

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

With the above said, it is no surprise that the Arab Spring, which initially started off as peaceful protests in Syria, quickly turned violent and into a full revolt against Assad's regime. The pent up anger, frustration, and resentment against the regime after decades of conflict, crackdowns, etc was finally let loose. Egypt, under Mubarak, faced an almost similar history and is no surprise that Egyptians revolted against Mubarak, too. Same goes for Bahrain (Sunni minority leading a country that is Shia in majority).

The rest is history.

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