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Syria

Old 27th Aug 2013, 14:52
  #181 (permalink)  
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Another thing missing from the discussion is what and who are proposed to be struck? Chemical weapons depots, mosques, Assad's house?

President Obama has signaled his sympathy for the Sunni/Brotherhood side in Egypt - why we can only guess. Is it about putting them in power in Syria or simply, and more honorably, to support the doctrine of placing the application of chemical WMD off limits in the conduct of civil warfare?
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Old 27th Aug 2013, 14:54
  #182 (permalink)  
 
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Ozzy:

True. I've been perusing several media web sites with the common theme being that "limited air strikes" on Syria could begin as soon as Thursday.

Does that mean O'Bummer will "consult with Congress" beforehand as he's Constitutionally required to do?

IF the air strikes happen, stand by for a Russian, Chinese and/or Iranian reaction which won't be nice. Not necessarily a military reaction but something is up their sleeves. Of that I'm sure.
Also stand by for a huge spike in the price of the glorious black gold i.e., oil.
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Old 27th Aug 2013, 14:57
  #183 (permalink)  
 
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About gas weapons and various miscreants who use them.

In the mid 80's, there was a war between Iran and Iraq in which gas munitions were used. Once that war was over, no warcrimes trials for anyone. A good question to ask is ... why?

In the mid 80's, a guy in Iraq used gas on his own people. This became part of why he as tried and executed in Iraq after his fall form power.

Recently, Assad has used gas on his own people. (Let's assume that is true for a moment, as I don't know, it may not have been his folks who did this thing).

It appears that some wish to apply the standard that was used on Saddam, when he gassed his own people (Kurds, and maybe "not his own people" strictly since he was an Arab).

Had Assad used gas against foreigners, as Saddam did, maybe it wouldn't be such a big deal. Some interesting precedents on this family of illegal weapons.

Actually, the answer to all of this is "geopolitical context" but it's an interesting contrast, isn't it?

Last edited by Lonewolf_50; 27th Aug 2013 at 14:58.
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Old 27th Aug 2013, 15:11
  #184 (permalink)  
 
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Recently, Assad has used gas on his own people. (Let's assume that is true for a moment, as I don't know, it may not have been his folks who did this thing).
That is potentially a gravely misleading assumption. Google "Aleppo nerve gas march 2013" and what you get is a lot of fingers pointing at the rebels, including the russian voice to the UN which I surmise is serious enough matter to avoid throwing unsubstantiated speculation around. Do you have any half-credible source implicating Assad or his regime?
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Old 27th Aug 2013, 15:17
  #185 (permalink)  
 
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In the interest of advancing the discussion closer to the thread title, I take the liberty to repost this researched and insightful assessment of the wider geopolitical context. You can find the original post here.

Of course we heard this before. The threat to global security and the betterment of the mankind has been used over and over again. We'll continue to see this being used.

The history dates back to after WW2, when the U.S. changed from a non interventionist and transformed into a believer in Hegemonic stability theory. The gist of it is, we need to be the strongest, most powerful nation and sometimes that could mean jamming a stick in the bicycle wheel of potential competitors. What it does not mean is being altruistic hence why you always hear strategic interest, to this end nothing else counts as long as the people at home do not revolt.

As for people revolting, I really do not see that happening. The populace is much to docile to really inconvenience themselves that much. Even if a group wanted to change the system through voting they would be decimated as deranged loons by the mass media.

You are not going to stop it. It is coming and that is all there is. Democrat, Republican, doesn't matter, the train is moving and there are no brakes to slow it down and you are not getting off.

This is probably what Obama found out when he got his first debriefing. Before the debriefing he was talking about dialogue with Iran, after his debriefing he was talking sanctions with a look on his face of a changed man. Someone do a before and after if you wish, I watched it live.

For the rebels, it is suspected the U.S. has been directing them on the battle field. One of the tactics used is highly reminiscent of Patterns of Conflict. Since I know half of you won't read it, the basic idea is, you attack positions at what appears random, hold ground, when the enemy comes you pull back and pick another target, this makes the enemy expend resources which also reveals their hand.

After being duped enough times, the Syrian army started to surround areas before attacking so they could kill the retreating rebels. The rebels started taking significant losses and the cracks started appearing. A rebel commander did a taped interview threatening to reveal the west secret if they did not receive immediate military support.

What was the secret? Perhaps the chemical attacks were falsified? What we do know is a bunch of Rebel commanders started to behead each other. Most likely turf wars and also to intimidate any doubting in the ranks.
Now, you might think Assad is the most terrible guy in the world. Then you may watch the rebels behead priest François Murad NSFW, children and citizens cheering on the act.

You might find yourself in a bit of a moral quandary. If you have a rational mind, you'll understand these are the archetype of people that are going to rule the country when the government is destroyed. Make no mistake, the U.S. intelligence already knows this and it does not change anything. We'll get into this later.

But why are they stalling if everything is decided already? There is an attempt to persuade Russia into accepting it and turning their back on an ally. The Saudi's are supposedly tempting the Russians with hegemonic price controls with OPEC. That would be price fixing 45% of global oil pricing. Supposedly they also the promise to make the Chechen terrorist problem disappear, as long as they obey. What ever the carrot they're using it does not appear to be working. Russia seems to know they'll end up with the stick any which way they go.

However, Russia did something even greater that threatened the hegemonic dominance of current power centers. They attempted to create a new world bank with China, Brazil, India, and South Africa. BRICS, as it is known, is to be a competitor to the World Bank to offer fairer financing for non western aligned countries.

But let's get back on track to the most likely moves that will increase the dominant hegemonic power and decrease the competitors. The first thing to realize is public opinion does matter, if it is overwhelming. The problem with the wars is the U.S. casualties.

Obviously with the radicals they found a way to circumvent this problem. The relationship between the U.S. and the radicals is like a sick perverted one between family members. We trained them, make them do our bidding, then punish them when they don't obey and ultimately will destroy them.
It was interesting that I watched an interview of a former Taliban member that came to realize this. He said after being trained by the Americans and fighting the Russians, the Americans came back and killed them years later. Now he tells potential fighters heading to Syria to avoid the jihad and stay home because in the end they too will just be pawns. The interviewer asked him if it really had any effect at all on these men and he replied that he had stopped at least 150 people or more from going.

One question might be, well what happens to these fighters after we train them, won't they just come back to attack us? Well you see, that is the beauty of the current plan. First, realize these guys don't possess the ability to produce advanced weapons. They do not pose a catastrophic threat to the United States and it is safe to say the government feels they can be managed. If they do manage attacks against the U.S. it will only be used to justify our continued presence.

Another angle is the fact that Syria is not the last battle field to keep them occupied. After Operation Iraqi freedom, Iran became a huge trading partner to Iraq. Not that there isn't almost daily bombings in Iraq now, but after Syria, I expect heavier operations to move there.

Erdogan is sitting pretty in Turkey right now but I imagine he will also be targeted by the group. I would also foresee campaigns started against Russia if they don't fall in line. The radical fighters will be transitioned to their front. Considering there is only 100 miles from Turkey's border to Russia's, this is already on Putin's radar.

We already moved 60% of our most advanced hardware into China's backyard. Labeled the Asia pivot, we have effectively negated their ability to respond. If they do respond, with the oceans ours and their ally Iran under siege, they will be starved for oil, much like we did to the Japanese.

Keep in mind, a lot of this posturing. Effective posturing has the potential to gain objectives without war. It's basically a stare down. Yeah, I'm going to kill your friends, yeah I'm going to run your neighborhood, but what are you going to do about it, nothing.

After all the main objectives are completed, hegemonic dominance restored and the dollar secured, we'll be left over with a huge radical problem in the middle east. Some radical groups will no doubt go against the grain and believe they are immune or have the ability to resist U.S. pressures.
Nightly on the news they'll start harping over the humanitarian abuses, lack of human rights, the daily beheading and so on. After public opinion has been won, we'll begin mop up operations.

Thus the warning from that Taliban fighter to stay home on jihad day will come to fruition.
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Old 27th Aug 2013, 16:06
  #186 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by W.R.A.I.T.H View Post
That is potentially a gravely misleading assumption. Google "Aleppo nerve gas march 2013" and what you get is a lot of fingers pointing at the rebels, including the russian voice to the UN which I surmise is serious enough matter to avoid throwing unsubstantiated speculation around. Do you have any half-credible source implicating Assad or his regime?
Wraith, I make that assumption (and I point out that it is an unknown if you had bothered to read the whole post) to make a point on the selective outrage regarding the uses of chemical weapons in the recent past. Did you bother to read what I wrote, at all?

Sadly, that assumption is one some governments are making, and have been making, which is why I am bringing up this
"well, it depends on who uses chem weapons and when that triggers outrage ... or not."

If you bother to track my comments on this topic in the last few months, in this thread and the one in Mil Aircrew, you will find that I am skeptical of the charges of who did what and what chem agents were or may have been used. To date, from where I sit, the fingers point in all directions, and the unknown is greater than the known in terms of "who did what."

Please don't be deliberately obtuse. Maybe you can't help yourself.
^^ makes you look like an idiot.
You use the word "evidence" when you don't seem to know what it means. Questions:
Is Alex Jones your selected prophet of doom and gloom?
Do you think 9-11 was an inside job?

Last edited by Lonewolf_50; 27th Aug 2013 at 16:10.
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Old 27th Aug 2013, 16:17
  #187 (permalink)  
 
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Lonewolf:

The chemical weapons attack undertaken by the Hussein regime against Iran during that war, and against the Kurds of the north were both times tolerated by the U.S. government because Hussein was our Useful Idiot then. Nothing more and nothing less.
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Old 27th Aug 2013, 16:23
  #188 (permalink)  
 
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Just out of interest,is anyone on here in favour of intervention in Syria?
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Old 27th Aug 2013, 16:25
  #189 (permalink)  
 
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I read some article today that said the CIA helped Saddam
conduct Chemical Weapons attacks on Iran.

Probably the same time Rumsfeld had his photo taken shaking hands with him !

I can't remember which newspaper it was in !
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Old 27th Aug 2013, 16:25
  #190 (permalink)  
 
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Lonewolf: I had read your little parenthesised disclaimer and got the gist of the post, with which I agree and am not commenting on. But while you're at it, don't forget the wave of outrage that followed after USMC had used white phosphorus in Fallujah, or after Israel used it in Gaza. Earlier in this tread I had linked to evidence implicating CIA in Saddams gassing of Iran.

The point I am trying to make here is that it is extremely likely that this was a false flag attack, organized exactly for the purpose of giving Obama an excuse, however pathetic, to roll over any vestiges of international law and go in all guns blasting. To that end it is essential to note that so far no single piece of evidence implicating Assad has surfaced, something your post needed reminding of.

And I'm not after points here. Care to discuss the article?

EDIT: I took down that article 2 minutes after posting it following a deeper scrutiny. Is the name calling really needed? What are you, a 5 year old?

Last edited by W.R.A.I.T.H; 27th Aug 2013 at 16:27.
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Old 27th Aug 2013, 16:28
  #191 (permalink)  

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I can't remember which newspaper it was in !
'The Onion'?
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Old 27th Aug 2013, 16:35
  #192 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Effluent Man View Post
Just out of interest,is anyone on here in favour of intervention in Syria?
Yes.

I'm helping JetBlast to avoid the oft-repeated claim that opposing viewpoints are not tolerated.

I've explained why previously.

I'm sure soon the usual claim that it is all the Jews' fault will ensue.
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Old 27th Aug 2013, 16:37
  #193 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by W.R.A.I.T.H View Post
Lonewolf: I had read your little parenthesised disclaimer and got the gist of the post, with which I agree and am not commenting on.
No, you simply went for a goal post move.
But while you're at it, don't forget the wave of outrage that followed after USMC had used white phosphorus in Fallujah, or after Israel used it in Gaza.
Hey, look, another goal post move.
Willie Pete isn't Sarin, and it isn't mustard gas. Please try to stick with an apples to apples comparison. Willie Pete is a valid munition for marking a target ... while VX and Sarin and Mustard Gas have no such collateral purpose.
Earlier in this tread I had linked to evidence implicating CIA in Saddams gassing of Iran.
You use the word "evidence" and I wonder if you know what it means.
The point I am trying to make here is that it is extremely likely that this was a false flag attack, organized exactly for the purpose of giving Obama an excuse,
And that is what makes you look like an idiot.

Try this on for size ... once President Obama opened his foolish mouth, and made a declaration that "if Assad uses chem it is a line crossed and we will act" any number of folks who were "not-Assad" factions were given a motive to use any sort of chem and then try to pin it on Assad. This point the Russians have raised again and again, be it true or simply fitting their purpose in this game.

Since there are multiple players in this messy game -- not just the evil US and some fantasy good guy whom you champion -- the Russians have an interest in Syria and may be making moves in support of their local ally (as we have done in various places over the years) which may have emboldened Assad to see if he could get away with it. The advantage to him getting away with it is that it sends a signal to his opponents that the ante was raised, in terms of nasty. If he perceives gridlock at the UN Security council (China and Russia giving the US, France and UK the finger) then he may perceive multilateral action as of little risk to him.

I think that line is low in probability, but not a zero probability.

Since he's fighting to stay in power -- his options are "stay in power, or get hanged like Saddam if he gets removed from power" -- then he has serious motive to stay in power.

Were I in his shoes, I'd not have taken the invitation of some foreigners (like our president) to adbicate either. Assad knows the price of losing a civil war: most likely, his head.
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Old 27th Aug 2013, 16:40
  #194 (permalink)  
 
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To that end it is essential to note that so far no single piece of evidence implicating Assad has surfaced
Depends on what you consider to be evidence, particularly whether you include circumstantial evidence.

Assad has stockpiles of chemical weapons, including mustard and sarin, that much has been known for years.

Assad's troops have the technical capability to deploy CW effectively (as mentioned previously this is not easy).

Assad has a motive for attacking this particular region, as it's occupied by rebel forces. Government forces were shelling the area around the CW attack.

That adds up to enough circumstantial evidence in my book to suggest that it's a near-certainty that government troops were behind this CW attack. They had the means, the motive and the opportunity.
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Old 27th Aug 2013, 16:43
  #195 (permalink)  
 
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Funny when you think of it. Get rid of a dictator, and the resulting power vacuum makes many things worse for the average Joe - an example is the relatively unreliable electrical supply and the bomb attacks in Baghdad, the militias in Libya, the ethnic cleansing of Serbs quietly going on in Kosovo and so-on.

Like many here, I doubt attacking Syria will do any real good at all, although General Dynamics and the other companies will be able to supply replacement hardware for that shot off....

The questions remain of 'was there a CW attack?' and if so, 'who did it?' Could even be Al Quaeida......
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Old 27th Aug 2013, 16:55
  #196 (permalink)  
 
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What's technically difficult? if you have a artillery round with a chemical rather than high explosive shell,surely all the blokes manning the gun need to know is how to aim the buggah, bung the round into the breech and yank the lanyard.
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Old 27th Aug 2013, 17:00
  #197 (permalink)  
 
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W.R.A.I.T.H.

White phosphorous (willie pete) is not considered a chemical weapon by the U.N. nor by any other signatories to various international arms regulations treaties.

Its purpose was to be used to mask the movement of infantry or armor on the battlefield. As a former US Army artilleryman (red leg) we often exercised with Willie Pete rounds and used it for its masking capabilities. As a former US Army infantryman we welcomed the use of WP when moving in the open so as to mask our intentions. And when deployed properly, WP works wonderfully.

It was never intended to be used upon civilians nor enemy troops. However, it is not classified as a chemical weapon nor a weapon of mass destruction. Additionally, there are far more lethal weapons in the inventory of many nations, "legal" weapons, which cause much more misery than WP.
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Old 27th Aug 2013, 17:04
  #198 (permalink)  
 
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Is napalm considered a chem weapon?
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Old 27th Aug 2013, 17:04
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Flechette rounds and fuel air explosived come to mind ...
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Old 27th Aug 2013, 17:05
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Is napalm considered a chem weapon?
No, it is an incendiary.

Remember: every explosion involves a chemical reaction. This does not make gunpowder a chemical weapon.

Do you now understand?
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