Author Topic: Fun times in Syria  (Read 18167 times)

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Art Vandelay

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Re: Fun times in Syria
« Reply #75 on: September 01, 2013, 07:29:42 am »
I'd say things are better than they were, actually. Terrorism is still an issue, true, but Saddam was in fact a bad person, and had more than a few screws loose. I'd say that while things certainly could have gone better, and the way things were done was horrid, things are actually looking up. Al-Qaeda is in shambles, real equality progress is being made, and there's one less psychotic dictator in the world.
Under Saddam, the economy was actually haflway stable and basic utilities such as electricity and water were reliable. Since the Americans moved in, the economy went down the shitter, utilities were non-existent for a while due to the initial invasion basically flattening the place and while those issues aren't as bad as they used to be (though not as good as they were before the US occupation), the place is about as safe as an active volcano. While the rather frequent IUDs and firefights may be specifically targetting American soldiers, let's just say that collateral damage in the form of civilian casualties isn't exactly a once in a lifetime event.
Ahem, proof?
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According to a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report published in October 2007, the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan could cost taxpayers a total of $2.4 trillion by 2017 when counting the huge interest costs because combat is being financed with borrowed money.
Remember, Iraq and Afghanistan both are rather small countries, and America's total GDP is around $16 trillion (and that's GDP, i.e. the value of the entire economy, tax revenue is a fraction of that and military spending a fraction of that fraction). You want to occupy every country in the world with anything less than first world living conditions? Yeah, you can probably get a rough idea of how well that'll work.
There will always be poverty, violence and other issues here. World peace is impossible with humans in control. Also, it's only poorly thought out if you don't, well, think it out. With good planning, it's not poorly thought out. Additionally, I'd say that that is in fact the racist mindset. No group of people should be more important than others due to their nationality.
Racist? What exactly does it have to do with a person's race? Words have meaning, pal, don't misuse them for a cheap ad hom if you want to be taken seriously. Also, note that I didn't say one group is more important in an absolute sense than another, what I said is, from the perspective of any given government, it's citizens are more important than non-citizens. This isn't unique to Americans. Americans are no more entitled to aid from the Italian government than Italians are to aid from the American government. I know, you want us all to be the white knights of the world, saving the oppressed and downtrodden of the world from their shitty situation. However, that's simply not feasible. Resources are limited, even to the west, and domestic problems, contrary to what you're implying, are not trivial. Again, the government has no business spending its citizen's tax dollars on foreigners when there are plenty of unsolved domestic issues that negatively affect said citizens to deal with.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2013, 08:08:13 am by Art Vandelay »

Offline Her3tiK

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Re: Fun times in Syria
« Reply #76 on: September 01, 2013, 10:17:11 am »
My opposition to intervening in Syria has less to do with "who cares?" and more to do with we can't afford it, several nations have declared that they will retaliate, it's not our issue, and this kind of bloody civil war is what every nation goes through on its way to maturity. The Syrian people need to be able to reset their own game board, free of outside interference and meddling. It's brutal and horrific, and that is only made worse by modern weaponry, but it's something that they need to go through as a nation. The rest of the region started down that path with the Arab Spring; it just so happens that Syria's internal conflict is much, much more violent than the other uprisings.
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Offline SimSim

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Re: Fun times in Syria
« Reply #77 on: September 01, 2013, 10:31:59 am »
PHH in one thread you agreed that people need to learn from history. Here's your chance to actually do that. Go read about Middle East history and pay particular attention to what happened when new governments were setup or overthrown by western countries. Here's a hint, it's never worked well.

You say that we can't know what would happen if the Syrian government is overthrown. That's true, we can't know with 100% certainty. However, we can infer what is likely to happen from the past, and it doesn't look good. Unless you like insurgencies and terrorism. Given that your argument is the government needs to be overthrown to save lives you shouldn't support something that will lead to loss of more life.

Stop with the appeals to emotion and being naive enough to think we don't know what war looks like. We know that people are dying and being injured in terrible ways. No one likes that people are suffering and dying, but there's really no good ways to help beyond what's already being done(the US has been giving the rebels non-lethal aide in the form of MREs and medical supplies). An important life lesson is that there are times when you can't do anything. It does suck to be impotent like that, but you have to learn to deal with it.

Offline kefkaownsall

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Re: Fun times in Syria
« Reply #78 on: September 01, 2013, 10:32:37 am »
okay posthuman yes Iraq is more stable now but u know how many people wouldnt have died if we stayed out of there 1.2 million

Offline Meshakhad

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Re: Fun times in Syria
« Reply #79 on: September 01, 2013, 01:23:04 pm »

You say that we can't know what would happen if the Syrian government is overthrown. That's true, we can't know with 100% certainty. However, we can infer what is likely to happen from the past, and it doesn't look good. Unless you like insurgencies and terrorism. Given that your argument is the government needs to be overthrown to save lives you shouldn't support something that will lead to loss of more life.

As opposed to the loss of life currently happening? If no one from the outside intervenes, this war will grind on for years. Either Assad will finally collapse, or he'll just gas most of his citizens. A quick US intervention - just airstrikes and missiles, no boots on the ground - will help bring Assad down much more quickly. It's not an ideal option, but it's the best one we have. Every option, especially doing nothing, will end with a lot of dead people. Intervening will at least help to limit the number of dead people.
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Offline Yla

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Re: Fun times in Syria
« Reply #80 on: September 01, 2013, 01:28:45 pm »
(the US has been giving the rebels non-lethal aide in the form of MREs and medical supplies)
Little of which appears to arrive at the point where it is needed, from what I've been hearing.
That said, I've stopped trying to anticipate what people around here want a while ago, I've found it makes things smoother.
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Re: Fun times in Syria
« Reply #81 on: September 01, 2013, 01:46:26 pm »

You say that we can't know what would happen if the Syrian government is overthrown. That's true, we can't know with 100% certainty. However, we can infer what is likely to happen from the past, and it doesn't look good. Unless you like insurgencies and terrorism. Given that your argument is the government needs to be overthrown to save lives you shouldn't support something that will lead to loss of more life.

As opposed to the loss of life currently happening? If no one from the outside intervenes, this war will grind on for years. Either Assad will finally collapse, or he'll just gas most of his citizens. A quick US intervention - just airstrikes and missiles, no boots on the ground - will help bring Assad down much more quickly. It's not an ideal option, but it's the best one we have. Every option, especially doing nothing, will end with a lot of dead people. Intervening will at least help to limit the number of dead people.
I know there won't be boots on the ground. I pointed that out earlier in the thread. I'm just not convinced that a limited missile strike will accomplish much. Everything I've read about it makes it seem like a show of force to say that the use of chemical weapons won't be condoned. As opposed to something that would do something other than deliver a message.

Offline Meshakhad

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Re: Fun times in Syria
« Reply #82 on: September 01, 2013, 02:37:11 pm »

You say that we can't know what would happen if the Syrian government is overthrown. That's true, we can't know with 100% certainty. However, we can infer what is likely to happen from the past, and it doesn't look good. Unless you like insurgencies and terrorism. Given that your argument is the government needs to be overthrown to save lives you shouldn't support something that will lead to loss of more life.

As opposed to the loss of life currently happening? If no one from the outside intervenes, this war will grind on for years. Either Assad will finally collapse, or he'll just gas most of his citizens. A quick US intervention - just airstrikes and missiles, no boots on the ground - will help bring Assad down much more quickly. It's not an ideal option, but it's the best one we have. Every option, especially doing nothing, will end with a lot of dead people. Intervening will at least help to limit the number of dead people.
I know there won't be boots on the ground. I pointed that out earlier in the thread. I'm just not convinced that a limited missile strike will accomplish much. Everything I've read about it makes it seem like a show of force to say that the use of chemical weapons won't be condoned. As opposed to something that would do something other than deliver a message.
I'm in favor of a Libyan-style bombing campaign, designed to cripple Assad's military. And we should try to nail the bastard if we can.
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Re: Fun times in Syria
« Reply #83 on: September 01, 2013, 03:10:10 pm »
(the US has been giving the rebels non-lethal aide in the form of MREs and medical supplies)
Little of which appears to arrive at the point where it is needed, from what I've been hearing.
Aid pretty much never, ever, ever, ever does.


You say that we can't know what would happen if the Syrian government is overthrown. That's true, we can't know with 100% certainty. However, we can infer what is likely to happen from the past, and it doesn't look good. Unless you like insurgencies and terrorism. Given that your argument is the government needs to be overthrown to save lives you shouldn't support something that will lead to loss of more life.

As opposed to the loss of life currently happening? If no one from the outside intervenes, this war will grind on for years. Either Assad will finally collapse, or he'll just gas most of his citizens. A quick US intervention - just airstrikes and missiles, no boots on the ground - will help bring Assad down much more quickly. It's not an ideal option, but it's the best one we have. Every option, especially doing nothing, will end with a lot of dead people. Intervening will at least help to limit the number of dead people.
I know there won't be boots on the ground. I pointed that out earlier in the thread. I'm just not convinced that a limited missile strike will accomplish much. Everything I've read about it makes it seem like a show of force to say that the use of chemical weapons won't be condoned. As opposed to something that would do something other than deliver a message.
I'm in favor of a Libyan-style bombing campaign, designed to cripple Assad's military. And we should try to nail the bastard if we can.
At the very least, this. It'll make everyone who values American lives over everyone elses' happy because we could just use drones, and it will at least do something.


You say that we can't know what would happen if the Syrian government is overthrown. That's true, we can't know with 100% certainty. However, we can infer what is likely to happen from the past, and it doesn't look good. Unless you like insurgencies and terrorism. Given that your argument is the government needs to be overthrown to save lives you shouldn't support something that will lead to loss of more life.

As opposed to the loss of life currently happening? If no one from the outside intervenes, this war will grind on for years. Either Assad will finally collapse, or he'll just gas most of his citizens. A quick US intervention - just airstrikes and missiles, no boots on the ground - will help bring Assad down much more quickly. It's not an ideal option, but it's the best one we have. Every option, especially doing nothing, will end with a lot of dead people. Intervening will at least help to limit the number of dead people.
Agreed with the fact that it's not going to end anytime soon. Either a revolution is swift and decapitates the leadership, or it grinds on for eternity. There's no middle ground.

okay posthuman yes Iraq is more stable now but u know how many people wouldnt have died if we stayed out of there 1.2 million
In the long run, how many more would have died with we stayed out?
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Offline kefkaownsall

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Re: Fun times in Syria
« Reply #84 on: September 01, 2013, 03:25:52 pm »
Nowhere near 1.2 million  ::)

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Re: Fun times in Syria
« Reply #85 on: September 01, 2013, 03:26:52 pm »
Nowhere near 1.2 million  ::)
Over time, yes. Because over time, with all the people being killed by persecution and Saddam, it would easily hit 1.2 million.
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Humanity does learn from history,
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Offline kefkaownsall

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Re: Fun times in Syria
« Reply #86 on: September 01, 2013, 03:31:43 pm »
thats 5% of their population

Offline Yla

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Re: Fun times in Syria
« Reply #87 on: September 01, 2013, 03:37:11 pm »
No, the only realistic way Saddam Hussein would have been responsible for that many deaths past 2003 would be if he had started another war.
Shave a zero off and we're at a believable number.

Victim calculus is a morbid branch of mathematics. Brr.

It's easy to condemn this as speculation, but that's what we have to do. Which path is likely to incur more or less sorrow and death? In Iraq, in Libya, and in Syria.


Edit: The 1.2 million number was suspect to me and I looked into it. There is one survey which arrived at >1m deaths, but it's a rather large outlier. Most countings arrive at somewhere between 100k and 250k.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2013, 03:46:08 pm by Yla »
That said, I've stopped trying to anticipate what people around here want a while ago, I've found it makes things smoother.
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Offline Vypernight

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Re: Fun times in Syria
« Reply #88 on: September 01, 2013, 03:56:07 pm »
My opposition to intervening in Syria has less to do with "who cares?" and more to do with we can't afford it, several nations have declared that they will retaliate, it's not our issue, and this kind of bloody civil war is what every nation goes through on its way to maturity. The Syrian people need to be able to reset their own game board, free of outside interference and meddling. It's brutal and horrific, and that is only made worse by modern weaponry, but it's something that they need to go through as a nation. The rest of the region started down that path with the Arab Spring; it just so happens that Syria's internal conflict is much, much more violent than the other uprisings.

Agreed.  I see nothing good coming out of this for anyone on any side if we step in.  At the most, drop a few bombs (as long as they hit the right people), but keep our troops out of it!  We don't need another Iraq/Afganistan.
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Re: Fun times in Syria
« Reply #89 on: September 01, 2013, 04:08:37 pm »
No, the only realistic way Saddam Hussein would have been responsible for that many deaths past 2003 would be if he had started another war.
Shave a zero off and we're at a believable number.

Victim calculus is a morbid branch of mathematics. Brr.

It's easy to condemn this as speculation, but that's what we have to do. Which path is likely to incur more or less sorrow and death? In Iraq, in Libya, and in Syria.


Edit: The 1.2 million number was suspect to me and I looked into it. There is one survey which arrived at >1m deaths, but it's a rather large outlier. Most countings arrive at somewhere between 100k and 250k.
Well, I was talking more from 2003 to now, to the future, to whoever took over for him and so on. And, yeah, it was suspect to me too, but I didn't feel like getting accused of avoiding shit. With 100 to 250 thousand, we certainly saved more than we killed or lost.
What I used to think was me is just a fading memory. I looked him right in the eye and said "Goodbye".
 - Trent Reznor, Down In It

Together as one, against all others.
- Marilyn Manson, Running To The Edge of The World

Humanity does learn from history,
sadly, they're rarely the ones in power.

Quote from: Ben Kuchera
Life is too damned short for the concept of “guilty” pleasures to have any meaning.