Author Topic: Stakes are rising in Syria  (Read 579 times)

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Online Askold

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Stakes are rising in Syria
« on: April 07, 2017, 08:17:59 am »
First Trump ordered cruise missile attack on a Syrian base which had been used by Russian troops and now Russia is suspending an agreement that was supposed to prevent fights between Russian and US troops: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/us-russia-air-strikes-syria-suspend-agreement-memorandum-direct-conflict-military-donald-trump-putin-a7671631.html

After all those claims about Hillary wanting a war with Russia, all those claims about Trump being a Russian double-agent we have now reached a point where Trump and Putin are driving their countries towards a war...
No matter what happens, no matter what my last words may end up being, I want everyone to claim that they were:
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Offline Cloud3514

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Re: Stakes are rising in Syria
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2017, 03:45:00 pm »
And America is playing world police. Again. Would be nice if we could have ONE president in my lifetime that doesn't intervene in other countries without a plan at the drop of a hat.
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Offline dpareja

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Re: Stakes are rising in Syria
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2017, 03:49:04 pm »
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OyBNmecVtdU
http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/dwightdeisenhowerfarewell.html

Quote
Good evening, my fellow Americans.

First, I should like to express my gratitude to the radio and television networks for the opportunities they have given me over the years to bring reports and messages to our nation. My special thanks go to them for the opportunity of addressing you this evening.

Three days from now, after half century in the service of our country, I shall lay down the responsibilities of office as, in traditional and solemn ceremony, the authority of the Presidency is vested in my successor. This evening, I come to you with a message of leave-taking and farewell, and to share a few final thoughts with you, my countrymen.

Like every other -- Like every other citizen, I wish the new President, and all who will labor with him, Godspeed. I pray that the coming years will be blessed with peace and prosperity for all.

Our people expect their President and the Congress to find essential agreement on issues of great moment, the wise resolution of which will better shape the future of the nation. My own relations with the Congress, which began on a remote and tenuous basis when, long ago, a member of the Senate appointed me to West Point, have since ranged to the intimate during the war and immediate post-war period, and finally to the mutually interdependent during these past eight years. In this final relationship, the Congress and the Administration have, on most vital issues, cooperated well, to serve the nation good, rather than mere partisanship, and so have assured that the business of the nation should go forward. So, my official relationship with the Congress ends in a feeling -- on my part -- of gratitude that we have been able to do so much together.

We now stand ten years past the midpoint of a century that has witnessed four major wars among great nations. Three of these involved our own country. Despite these holocausts, America is today the strongest, the most influential, and most productive nation in the world. Understandably proud of this pre-eminence, we yet realize that America's leadership and prestige depend, not merely upon our unmatched material progress, riches, and military strength, but on how we use our power in the interests of world peace and human betterment.

Throughout America's adventure in free government, our basic purposes have been to keep the peace, to foster progress in human achievement, and to enhance liberty, dignity, and integrity among peoples and among nations. To strive for less would be unworthy of a free and religious people. Any failure traceable to arrogance, or our lack of comprehension, or readiness to sacrifice would inflict upon us grievous hurt, both at home and abroad.

Progress toward these noble goals is persistently threatened by the conflict now engulfing the world. It commands our whole attention, absorbs our very beings. We face a hostile ideology global in scope, atheistic in character, ruthless in purpose, and insiduous [insidious] in method. Unhappily, the danger it poses promises to be of indefinite duration. To meet it successfully, there is called for, not so much the emotional and transitory sacrifices of crisis, but rather those which enable us to carry forward steadily, surely, and without complaint the burdens of a prolonged and complex struggle with liberty the stake. Only thus shall we remain, despite every provocation, on our charted course toward permanent peace and human betterment.

Crises there will continue to be. In meeting them, whether foreign or domestic, great or small, there is a recurring temptation to feel that some spectacular and costly action could become the miraculous solution to all current difficulties. A huge increase in newer elements of our defenses; development of unrealistic programs to cure every ill in agriculture; a dramatic expansion in basic and applied research -- these and many other possibilities, each possibly promising in itself, may be suggested as the only way to the road we wish to travel.

But each proposal must be weighed in the light of a broader consideration: the need to maintain balance in and among national programs, balance between the private and the public economy, balance between the cost and hoped for advantages, balance between the clearly necessary and the comfortably desirable, balance between our essential requirements as a nation and the duties imposed by the nation upon the individual, balance between actions of the moment and the national welfare of the future. Good judgment seeks balance and progress. Lack of it eventually finds imbalance and frustration. The record of many decades stands as proof that our people and their Government have, in the main, understood these truths and have responded to them well, in the face of threat and stress.

But threats, new in kind or degree, constantly arise. Of these, I mention two only.

A vital element in keeping the peace is our military establishment. Our arms must be mighty, ready for instant action, so that no potential aggressor may be tempted to risk his own destruction. Our military organization today bears little relation to that known of any of my predecessors in peacetime, or, indeed, by the fighting men of World War II or Korea.

Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense. We have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security alone more than the net income of all United States cooperations -- corporations.

Now this conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence -- economic, political, even spiritual -- is felt in every city, every Statehouse, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet, we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources, and livelihood are all involved. So is the very structure of our society.

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.

Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution during recent decades. In this revolution, research has become central; it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government.

Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers. The prospect of domination of the nation's scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present -- and is gravely to be regarded.

Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.

It is the task of statesmanship to mold, to balance, and to integrate these and other forces, new and old, within the principles of our democratic system -- ever aiming toward the supreme goals of our free society.

Another factor in maintaining balance involves the element of time. As we peer into society's future, we -- you and I, and our government -- must avoid the impulse to live only for today, plundering for our own ease and convenience the precious resources of tomorrow. We cannot mortgage the material assets of our grandchildren without risking the loss also of their political and spiritual heritage. We want democracy to survive for all generations to come, not to become the insolvent phantom of tomorrow.

During the long lane of the history yet to be written, America knows that this world of ours, ever growing smaller, must avoid becoming a community of dreadful fear and hate, and be, instead, a proud confederation of mutual trust and respect. Such a confederation must be one of equals. The weakest must come to the conference table with the same confidence as do we, protected as we are by our moral, economic, and military strength. That table, though scarred by many past frustrations -- past frustrations, cannot be abandoned for the certain agony of disarmament -- of the battlefield.

Disarmament, with mutual honor and confidence, is a continuing imperative. Together we must learn how to compose differences, not with arms, but with intellect and decent purpose. Because this need is so sharp and apparent, I confess that I lay down my official responsibilities in this field with a definite sense of disappointment. As one who has witnessed the horror and the lingering sadness of war, as one who knows that another war could utterly destroy this civilization which has been so slowly and painfully built over thousands of years, I wish I could say tonight that a lasting peace is in sight.

Happily, I can say that war has been avoided. Steady progress toward our ultimate goal has been made. But so much remains to be done. As a private citizen, I shall never cease to do what little I can to help the world advance along that road.

So, in this, my last good night to you as your President, I thank you for the many opportunities you have given me for public service in war and in peace. I trust in that -- in that -- in that service you find some things worthy. As for the rest of it, I know you will find ways to improve performance in the future.

You and I, my fellow citizens, need to be strong in our faith that all nations, under God, will reach the goal of peace with justice. May we be ever unswerving in devotion to principle, confident but humble with power, diligent in pursuit of the Nations' great goals.

To all the peoples of the world, I once more give expression to America's prayerful and continuing aspiration: We pray that peoples of all faiths, all races, all nations, may have their great human needs satisfied; that those now denied opportunity shall come to enjoy it to the full; that all who yearn for freedom may experience its few spiritual blessings. Those who have freedom will understand, also, its heavy responsibility; that all who are insensitive to the needs of others will learn charity; and that the sources -- scourges of poverty, disease, and ignorance will be made [to] disappear from the earth; and that in the goodness of time, all peoples will come to live together in a peace guaranteed by the binding force of mutual respect and love.

Now, on Friday noon, I am to become a private citizen. I am proud to do so. I look forward to it.

Thank you, and good night.

(emphasis mine)

EDIT:

Quote
MSNBC shows the bombs when they take off, and Al-Jazeera shows them when they land.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2017, 06:47:09 pm by dpareja »
Quote from: William Lyon Mackenzie King
There are few men in this Parliament for whom I have greater respect than the leader of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation. I admire him in my heart, because time and again he has had the courage to say what lays on his conscience, regardless of what the world might think of him. A man of that calibre is an ornament to any Parliament.

Quote from: Drago Musevini's 'Manifesto'
Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Which is a problem. If you are powerless.

Offline Tolpuddle Martyr

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Re: Stakes are rising in Syria
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2017, 09:49:37 pm »
Domestically this is good for Trump, he's done something that has gotten the support of some of his most trenchant GOP critics including McCain, deepened existing divisions between Democrat progressives and centrists shifted the attention away from his election campaigns Russian connection and his domestic policy bungles. He's even got some of his media critics to heap praise on him.

It may have angered Russia but again, that's useful domestically. It helps him obfuscate and deflect from the reality of Russia assisting him in the 2016 election.

Offline Cloud3514

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Re: Stakes are rising in Syria
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2017, 10:34:40 pm »
And it distracts from the Gorsuch trainwreck that has permanently damaged how congress is supposed to work.
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Offline dpareja

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Re: Stakes are rising in Syria
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2017, 10:35:16 pm »
And it distracts from the Gorsuch trainwreck that has permanently damaged how congress is supposed to work.

I point you to the 113th Congress and certain actions taken by then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2017, 10:37:03 pm by dpareja »
Quote from: William Lyon Mackenzie King
There are few men in this Parliament for whom I have greater respect than the leader of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation. I admire him in my heart, because time and again he has had the courage to say what lays on his conscience, regardless of what the world might think of him. A man of that calibre is an ornament to any Parliament.

Quote from: Drago Musevini's 'Manifesto'
Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Which is a problem. If you are powerless.

Offline SCarpelan

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Re: Stakes are rising in Syria
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2017, 04:29:30 am »
Hussein Al-Taee, an Iraqi born expert in Middle East politics posted a quick analysis about the missile strike in his Facebook page. It is obvious that it is typed in a hurry since the grammatical structure in the original Finnish post is much more careless than usually in his writing. I've tried to fix some of that in the translation.

About half of the post is analysis about how it influences the domestic politics in the USA and Trump's image and I have not bothered to translate that. What I find interesting is his analysis about his speciality, the politics in Middle East. The situation is a complex one and Al-Taee himself emphasizes this when he admits in the comments how someone criticizing him and looking at the strike in a positive light might also be right.

Quote
By the end of Obama's presidency the arabs started slowly to discuss with Assad with the intention to pacify Syria through the diplomatic mechanisms in the area that have been classified as fragile. The ownership had intentionally grown* and Saudi-Arabia, Tunisia and Egypt all tried to find also a non-violent solution. Obama said once that the best solutions to the global peace are found when USA does not always need to be the world police. This logic made Obama seem weak.

[Discussion about how the strike is good PR for Trump domestically.]   

Globally Trump was able to show with this strike that you can achieve the most concrete and immediate results with missiles, also the most attention. This act encouraged specially the authoritarian countries in the Middle East to offer their support to USA's action and might have encouraged them to follow the example when looking for solutions to their domestic politics in the future**. This is a change that Obama was trying to prevent and he failed categorically.

That is why this strike as an individual act made the situation in Syria even more difficult and slowed down the work for peace and stability for years in the future.

There is also hope since Iraq has weakened ISIS without returning to the past and is now planning a role as a balancer of the peace architecture in the area with both USA's and Russia's blessing.

* I think he means that the countries in the area have been taking a more active role. It isn't any more clear in Finnish.

** my interpretation is that the leaders in the area might be more inclined use war to unite people behind them. It's also possible that he means the leaders might be more inclined to use violence towards their own people to oppress them. Anyway, the point is that it is going to increase the probability that the leaders in the area are going to incite more violence.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2017, 04:32:36 am by SCarpelan »

Offline SCarpelan

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Re: Stakes are rising in Syria
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2017, 08:48:28 am »
Something that I find very interesting is that the strike did not cripple the airport at all: it's already being used by the Syrian air force to launch fighters. This makes the strike a purely symbolic show of force. There was no real urgency to respond immediately or intention to use it to prevent future strikes.

I really dislike the conspiracy theories that are naturally thrown around but the fact is that the Trump administration took immediate action without bothering to present any solid evidence that Assad was behind the gas attack. While they are the most obvious suspect waiting for the results of an independent investigation would have been the diplomatically wisest route. It also would have decreased the credibility of the conspiracy theories and most importantly given the certainty that any action taken would be based on facts and not suspicions. The administration just didn't want to bother with that since taking immediate action is politically beneficial to them and they either don't give a fuck or don't understand - maybe both - if they destabilize the region more. Wisdom is weakness, rashness is strength.

Offline Cloud3514

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Re: Stakes are rising in Syria
« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2017, 02:51:45 pm »
Trump burned $50 million to beat his chest. Meanwhile, we "can't afford" things like PBS, Meals on Wheels or NASA.
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Offline dpareja

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Re: Stakes are rising in Syria
« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2017, 03:00:20 pm »
Trump burned $50 million to beat his chest. Meanwhile, we "can't afford" things like PBS, Meals on Wheels or NASA.

At this point, I'm convinced that if the Republicans thought they could get away with it, they'd "eradicate poverty" by bombing all the poor neighbourhoods in the US.
Quote from: William Lyon Mackenzie King
There are few men in this Parliament for whom I have greater respect than the leader of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation. I admire him in my heart, because time and again he has had the courage to say what lays on his conscience, regardless of what the world might think of him. A man of that calibre is an ornament to any Parliament.

Quote from: Drago Musevini's 'Manifesto'
Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Which is a problem. If you are powerless.

Offline Cloud3514

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Re: Stakes are rising in Syria
« Reply #10 on: April 08, 2017, 03:07:29 pm »
In the Star Trek universe, we're supposed to see the government walling off the mentally ill, homeless and jobless in a few years. Is it bad that I watched that episode and only half jokingly thought it was odd that the Republicans haven't proposed doing just that.
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Online Askold

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Re: Stakes are rising in Syria
« Reply #11 on: April 09, 2017, 01:11:26 am »
Trump burned $50 million to beat his chest. Meanwhile, we "can't afford" things like PBS, Meals on Wheels or NASA.

Replacing just one of those missiles will cost about $1 million. ( http://www.marketwatch.com/story/this-is-how-much-it-will-cost-to-replace-the-tomahawks-used-in-syria-2017-04-07 ) There are probably other costs from the attack as well so... It's way more than $50 million that he spent there.
No matter what happens, no matter what my last words may end up being, I want everyone to claim that they were:
"If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you could possibly imagine."
Aww, you guys rock. :)  I feel the love... and the pitchforks and torches.  Tingly!

Offline SCarpelan

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Re: Stakes are rising in Syria
« Reply #12 on: April 09, 2017, 04:30:06 pm »
Wow. The missile strike was even more stupid than I thought.

Quote
Just as predicted, Russia has now pulled out from their agreement with Washington to work to deconflict the crowded airspace over Syria so that coalition aircraft don't end up in a shooting match with Russian aircraft. Not just that, but now we have no way to get in touch with Russian commanders if Syrian or Russian jets bomb American or allied forces. And the hotline setup under this agreement is no theoretical game of geopolitical paddy-cake. It has been used numerous times before. Now that this no longer exists—and yes our commanders in Baghdad have said the line has gone dead—our troops and aircrews are in far greater danger than they were before. Not just that, but there is a much better chance that a relatively small incident that could be forestalled from spinning out of control with a simple call will now lead to a far darker place.

The Kremlin has also said that they will now re-equip Assad with high-end air defenses as a result of the attack, something Russia has held off from doing for some time. Currently there is a single Russian S-300 battery in Tartus and an S-400 battery at Russia's airfield south of Latakia. These are very capable systems that Russia has not pointed at US or coalition aircraft as they go about the air war against ISIS and other extremist groups in the country. Russia has now announced that it will use these systems to defend Assad's own military capabilities and airspace.

...

Why this all matters is that we are supposed to be laser-focused on defeating ISIS, and primarily on sacking the capital of their so-called Caliphate in Raqqa. As I have explained in my earlier piece, we have gone through great lengths to keep the airspace over Syria open to our coalition drones, helicopters, surveillance and attack aircraft, by not getting drawn into Syria's larger civil war. Now all that work, some of it at great risk, has been jettisoned for a useless "revenge" strike. The fight against ISIS, what should be our preeminent focus, is now going to be much harder after yesterday's act. And the change is coming right when we have the Islamic State's seat of power finally in our sights.

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Re: Stakes are rising in Syria
« Reply #13 on: April 09, 2017, 05:15:43 pm »
.....all this to prove he isn't Putin's puppet.

Offline Lana Reverse

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Re: Stakes are rising in Syria
« Reply #14 on: April 09, 2017, 05:24:07 pm »
This is what happens when an irresponsible hothead decides he needs to duke it out with a macho control freak. It won't end well.