The SYRIAN WAR Thread

Discussion in 'International Politics' started by AKarlin, May 6, 2013.

  1. Patrick Armstrong

    Patrick Armstrong Commissar

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    Apologies for that. What I meant to say was:
    What makes you think Kerry was in the loop? He was not 0's first choice.
  2. Patrick Armstrong

    Patrick Armstrong Commissar

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    My prediction. 0 will accept the proposal because it gets him off the hook. He doesn't care what happens in Syria, he just got stuck on a hook because 1. he shot his mouth off 2. Powers & Co thought it was wonderful.
    Putin has offered him a chance to 1. say he meant this all along 2. return to Onanism. 3. change the subject

    (Sorry all you Obamoids out there, but he really is a zero.)
  3. MarkPavelovich

    MarkPavelovich Commissar

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    No, that's true. But as Donald Rumsfeld might have said in the same circumstance, you go to war with the Secretary of State you have, not the one you wish you had. And keeping him in the dark, if that's what happened, certainly did not do Obama any favours. Mind you, that doesn't preclude its being exactly as you say, because I am beginning to wonder where he ever got the reputation for being so smart.

    Can't you edit your own comments? There should be an "edit" function for when you make a typo or accidentally leave the caps lock on like that, it applies only to your own comments.

    In other news, for what it's worth, Press TV announces the UN Human Rights Council agrees the photos and videos purporting to prove that Assad "gassed his own people" in the Damascus suburbs appear to be fabricated. Press TV is based in Tehran.

    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/09/10/323066/un-says-syria-attack-videos-fake-russia/
  4. Patrick Armstrong

    Patrick Armstrong Commissar

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    Tomorrow's news today.

    Obama (the most brilliant guy ever) persuaded Putin to go along with a very subtle good cop/bad cop routine. It worked. This is "smart power" in operation. (PS Kerry had nothing to do with it). Time will pass and the story will go into the limbo of non-events with so many others. Obama remains what we always said he was -- gigantic intellect blah blah.

    Coming to an MSM outlet near you soon.
  5. Alexander Mercouris

    Alexander Mercouris Ship Secretary (11th class)

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    Here is the draft of the Security Council Resolution being proposed by the French.

    http://www.trust.org/item/20130911024721-0whzo/

    Reading this Resolution there is no doubt in my mind that it is drafted with the deliberate intention of provoking a Russian/Chinese veto. Not only does it make impossible demands within ludicrous deadlines but it baldly states that the Syrian government was responsible for the chemical weapons attack on 21st August 2013. The Russian government has repeatedly said that it has seen no evidence of that and doesn't accept that. How then can it possibly agree to a Resolution that says it?
    My own view is that this Resolution is so ludicrously unbalanced and so obviously an exercise in bad faith that instead of achieving its purpose (to wreck the Russian peace plan) it will merely serve to further expose the regime change agenda of those who propose it and weaken their diplomatic position even more. At the same time by bringing the Syrian question back to the Security Council the French and their backers have implicitly admitted the Security Council's overriding authority, which is of course exactly what over the last few days they have been attempting to deny.
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  6. Patrick Armstrong

    Patrick Armstrong Commissar

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  7. AKarlin

    AKarlin Generalissimo Staff Member

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    The Twittersphere is in a mini-storm over the Putin op-ed in the NYT:

    A Plea for Caution From Russia

    Quote:

  8. Moscow Exile

    Moscow Exile Ship Secretary (11th class)

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    Is it a storm of indignation, perhaps, over the godless, degenerate Commie barbarians having the temerity to lecture them on moral issues?

    Have the Russians forgotten that they are the baddies and shall ever be so, whilst the USA stands for freedom and democracy and mom's apple pie and all that is good and wholesome in the world and that America, with God's help, has the manifest duty to make the world a better place for corporations to exist in?

    This NYT reader's comment kills me:

    "So, the benefit of Mr. Putin's assessment here--even if contrived, manipulative, and written to lecture this country, in and of itself a pretty arrogant act--is how based in realpolitik it is."

    So lecturing the USA is "in and of itself a pretty arrogant act"?

    Robert Burns
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2013
  9. MarkPavelovich

    MarkPavelovich Commissar

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    I particularly liked the reader's comment who said, "Obama has passed the torch of world leadership to Mr. Putin". An impression like that is going to be hard to shake. And Mr. Putin has not had to do any amazing diplo-batics to achieve that impression, merely followed the law and stuck to his guns. What a world we live in, when integrity has become remarkable.
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  10. Moscow Exile

    Moscow Exile Ship Secretary (11th class)

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  11. Robert

    Robert Collegiate Registrar (14th class)

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    Timothy Garton Ash in today's Guardian is also deeply distressed at the US retreat from interventionism

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/sep/11/crisis-resolves-little-syria-says-much-about-us

  12. SWSpires

    SWSpires Gubernial Secretary (12th class)

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    Garton Ash's assumption is interesting in its unprovability. How does he know that a post-interventionist USA will leave the world in worse condition? He doesn't, and neither does anybody.

    It is worth mentioning here that the anti-interventionist, isolationist tradition in American history has existed from the beginning (read for instance George Washington's Farewell Address). It was in eclipse for most of the 20th century, but now seems to be making a much-needed comeback.
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  13. MarkPavelovich

    MarkPavelovich Commissar

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    With its current fiscal situation, if the USA is not going to be regularly intervening in toppling foreign governments it is unlikely to be able to maintain the massive military machine it now has. It is several times the size needed for simple self-defence. Which begs the question of how a downsizing of the American military would leave the country's capability to be interventionist at all. If nothing else, it will provide a useful yardstick as to whether or not this really does mark the beginning of a return to isolationism. If the military retains both the size and capabilities it currently has, the country is likely just biding its time against a return to its current policies.

    Europe at least is reluctant to see that war-in-a-drawer capability slip away, and while it grudgingly gives the Russian diplomatic efforts some of their due in breaking the Syrian impasse, maintains with a straight face that "the threats helped, that we have to confess. Russia and Assad would not have moved without the threats.” This tunnel vision accepts as fact that Russia is working closely with its ally Syria to protect it, rather than promoting obedience to international law or motivated by the consequences of refusal to be bound by it.

    http://www.europeanvoice.com/articl...te-transformed-by-russian-proposal/78147.aspx

    Nonetheless, according to that source, a resolution calling for a negotiated settlement in Syria should pass today by a clear vote.
  14. AKarlin

    AKarlin Generalissimo Staff Member

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    One more thing about the NYT piece by Putin. Notice the illustration to it?

    [​IMG]

    A black hand, with a rocket subliminally superimposed on it.

    What have we ever seen that before?

    Clever and sneaky on the NYT editors' part.
  15. Philip Owen

    Philip Owen Office Registrar (13th class)

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    Was Ike an isolationist? What he had to do and what he thought about it would be two different things. The debate was still alive in his time despite the Cold War about which he was somewhat reluctant.
  16. Alexander Mercouris

    Alexander Mercouris Ship Secretary (11th class)

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    Some of the response from the US political class to Putin's Op Ed has been splenetic. What I found really bizarre is that some of them seem to think that whilst Putin can write Op Ed's in the US media, Obama cannot do the same in the Russian media. Carney who is the White House spokesman has said as much. Do they really believe this? Do they really still have this idea of Russia that it is still the USSR?

    As a matter of historical record US Presidents did from time to time address the Soviet people through the Soviet media, though obviously this was not very common. Nor did this only happen during Perestroika. I can remember Nixon addressing the Soviet people on Soviet television in the early 1970s. Anyway the situation with the mass media in Russia is totally different now.

    I wonder whether the Russians will challenge Obama to appear on Russian television or in the media to make his case?
  17. SWSpires

    SWSpires Gubernial Secretary (12th class)

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    Certainly he wasn't, but he was more restrained and less grandiose in his thinking than most other recent American presidents. Probably best described as a realist.
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  18. Alexander Mercouris

    Alexander Mercouris Ship Secretary (11th class)

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    I think that is exactly right. Eisenhower was no isolationist but as a military commander who had seen the face of war he had a strongly realistic view of diplomacy. I think he is a seriously underestimated President. As US President at a time when the US was at the height of its power and self confidence and when the Cold War was in its most tense phase he acted with consistent realism and restraint. Certainly he was an immeasurably abler and more authoritative figure than Obama.
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  19. Robert

    Robert Collegiate Registrar (14th class)

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    There's a lot to be said for the politics of the Eisenhower administration and not just in foreign policy.
    Consider this example - a large industrial nation with a capitalist economy, but remarkably tough regulations restricting the growth of private fortunes and the abuses to which capitalist economies are so often prone. The wealthiest people in that nation paid more than two-thirds of their annual income in tax, and monopolistic practices on the part of corporations faced harsh and frequently applied judicial penalties. The financial sector was particularly tightly leashed: interest rates on savings were fixed by the government, usury laws put very low caps on the upper end of interest rates for loans, and hard legal barriers prevented banks from expanding out of local markets or crossing the firewall between consumer banking and the riskier world of corporate investment. Consumer credit was difficult enough to get, as a result, that most people did without it most of the time, using layaway plans and Christmas Club savings programs to afford large purchases.

    According to the standard rhetoric of free market proponents these days, so rigidly controlled an economy ought by definition to be hopelessly stagnant and unproductive. This shows the separation of rhetoric from reality, however, for the nation I have just described was the United States during the presidency of Dwight D. Eisenhower: that is, during one of the most sustained periods of prosperity, innovation, economic development and international influence the nation has ever seen. Now of course there were other factors behind America's 1950s success, just as there were other factors behind the decline since then; still, it's worth noting that as the economic regulations of the 1950s have been dismantled – in every case, under the pretext of boosting American prosperity – the prosperity of most Americans has gone down, not up.

    It makes a good measure of how far the US has come as a nation – and not in a useful direction – that the economic policies of one of the most successful 20th century Republican administrations would be rejected by most of today's Democrats as too far to the left. A case could be made, in fact, that far and away the most sensible thing the US Congress could do today, in the face of an economy that has very nearly choked to death on its own bubbles, is to reenact the economic legislation in place in the 1950s, line for line. (When you're hiking in the woods, and discover that you've taken a trail that leads someplace you don't want to go, your best bet is normally to turn around and go back to the last place where you were still going in the right direction.)
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  20. SWSpires

    SWSpires Gubernial Secretary (12th class)

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    Indeed. Eisenhower said this in 1953:

    Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.

    Can you imagine any Republican politician (except perhaps a fringe figure) saying such a thing nowadays? He'd be ridiculed and slandered. But this was said by a popular 2-term President and successful war leader!
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