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» The Ornery American Forum » General Comments » Jerusalem Post: Is Syria next?

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Author Topic: Jerusalem Post: Is Syria next?
WarrsawPact
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US may strike at Ba'athists in Syria, official tells 'Post'

The pressure is starting to mount on Syria. Right now, it's just about maybe crossing the Iraq-Syria border in hot pursuit of Ba'athists and so forth.

But we're taking a harder and harder line with an uncooperative Syrian government...

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FIJC
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quote:
"But we're taking a harder and harder line with an uncooperative Syrian government..."
I heard about this a few days ago and I can't say that it's a bad idea either.
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Everard
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Yes, because we have so many available military resources, and we don't have enough problems occupying one middle-eastern nation, we should invade and end up having to occupy another.
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Tezcatlipoca
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Or possibly we could be having problems occupying this one middle-eastern nation because another one is actively supporting the insurgency?
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RickyB
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Yeah, Tez...that's the same logic that has made the war on drugs such a resounding success. Iran is helping the insurgency way more than Syria, btw. If you're gonna flail, at least do it in the right direction. Iran alaso funds and assists terrorism more than any other nation in the region.
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Paladine
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So....because this occupation is (in the view of most of the American Left) extremely problematic, we shouldn't consider attacking the root causes of a lot of the problems we're having? For people who talk about logic and reason, most on the Left have surprisingly little of either.

If a major part of the reason we're having problems in Iraq is the fact that Ba'athists are running across the border to Syria, wouldn't the best recourse be to consider going after them? Does the fact that we can't do everything to fix every problem we have in the world mean that we shouldn't even try to fix any of them?

Taking out the Ba'athists in Syria doesn't necessarily mean toppling the government and occupying the country. More precise, surgical strikes are available if our intelligence agencies can get back on the ball. It is tortured logic that demands that we do nothing to combat one evil (Syria, Iraq) because we're presently unwilling or unable to strike down another (North Korea, Iran).

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velcro
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Paladine,

Once you have talked to 51% of the left, then I will pay attention when you say "most on the Left".

And might it make sense to have 1000 troops monitor the Syrian border, rather than 40,000 try to root out those that are ostensibly causing problems?

FYI, the entire government in Syria is Ba'athist. It is not a fringe group.

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Paladine
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quote:
Once you have talked to 51% of the left, then I will pay attention when you say "most on the Left".
Right. Because it's impossible to make an intelligent generalization about a group of people of similar political beliefs. Would it be fair to say that most on the American Left don't like President Bush very much? Or, since I haven't spoken to 51% of the Left, as you so smugly put it, should I not phrase it that way? Just curious.

quote:
And might it make sense to have 1000 troops monitor the Syrian border, rather than 40,000 try to root out those that are ostensibly causing problems?
That might make sense, or it might not. It certainly merits looking into, which is all I suggested we do.

quote:
FYI, the entire government in Syria is Ba'athist. It is not a fringe group.
I never said that it was, although I could have phrased it a bit better. The real cause of our current problems with Syria is that terrorists in Iraq travel freely to and from Syria, escaping capture by crossing the border.

In order to address this problem, we might not have to take out the government and occupy the country, although that's an option we shouldn't take off the table immediately. It may in fact be enough to patrol the border extensively, to whatever extent that's possible anyway.

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JLMyers
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quote:
Right. Because it's impossible to make an intelligent generalization about a group of people of similar political beliefs.
Not impossible, you just didn't do it.

KE

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Paladine
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No? So most on the American Left think that the war in Iraq is going just peachy? Or is opinion split right down the middle? Give me a break.
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RickyB
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Paladine, who says it's the root cause? I see NO evidence that Syria is responsible for even most of the problems we're having in Iraq. Are they responsible for some? Almost certainly, but you do not operate in a vacuum, nor in a consequence free environment.

We don't have enough soldiers on the ground to effectively police Iraq (app. 434K square kilometers), and you want to swallow another 185K? THAT is what will solve your problems?

You give me a break.

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Paladine
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Ricky, I certainly didn't say that it was *the* root cause. I did and do say that terrorists streaming across the borders from Syria, and yes, Iran, are *some* of the root causes of our current difficulties. I took great pains *not* to say that we should overthrow the Syrian government and occupy the country.

I said that maybe guarding the borders more carefully would be sufficient. All I said is that we should examine our options with respect to Syria. I don't see why that seems so outlandish to you people, frankly.

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RickyB
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Guarding the borders is fine. Long overdue, actually. Problem is that guarding such a long border takes many bodies. Now, who was it that insisted on doing this with few bodies? I forget...
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JLMyers
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quote:
For people who talk about logic and reason, most on the Left have surprisingly little of either.

This is the generalization you made that I was referring too. It is this kind of statement that is an antathema to rationale debate.

I happen to agree with you on this particular issue. But you make a statement like that and the search for common ground goes out the window. I vehementaly disagree with much of what the right thinks and says, but I don't pretend that they are a bunch of illogical morons who are incapable of reason. If I did there would be no point in communicating with them at all. Not everybody that disagrees with you is stupid, and it is self-aggrandizing mental masturbation to pretend they are.

KE

Edited to add: I agree with you in principle, but I might quibble with you over the details. Such as where we would get the troops, who should be attacked next, etc.

[ December 26, 2004, 09:49 PM: Message edited by: JLMyers ]

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Paladine
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I never said that everyone who disagrees with me is stupid or incapable of logical thought. Refusing to even consider options with respect to action against a government severely aggrivating the situation in Iraq, however, smacks of foolishness. Many detractors of the Iraq war, the vast majority of whom are self-described liberals/progressives, are, in my view, failing to apply rational thought to our problems there.

It is the same lack of reason that produces the view that this war is unwinnable/mismanaged/disasterous when compared to other major military conflicts. Whether or not we should have gone in is an issue where people can reasonably disagree. It cannot be reasonably said that this effort has gone terribly badly, however, when compared to other efforts of similar scope and magnitude (Korea? Vietnam?).

There are a great many matters of public policy and/or history upon which wise and reasonable people, using logic and reason rather than emotion, can disagree legitimately. It is folly to suggest, however, that we shouldn't even examine the possibility of applying force to solve our problems with Syria. It is lunacy to suggest that this war is, by any stretch of the imagination, a failure. It's a work in progress, and it certainly has and will continue to have its bumps along the way.

As for the search for common ground.....I'm all in favor of it. What I see from the other side isn't logical disagreement, however. What I see is a perspective on the current situation laden with an emotionally-charged bias that magnifies any problem out of all proportion. "We shouldn't have gone in, therefore any problems we're experiencing are too much, and accordingly the fact that the situation is difficult means that it's disasterous." seems to be the thought process, and it's not one with which I can find much in the way of common ground.

This certainly isn't universal. Many who think we shouldn't have gone in have now adopted a forward-looking perspective that lends itself to an objective view of matters. Many haven't, however, and I'll not pretend that such views are equally valid merely because otherwise rational people have allowed emotion to cloud their judgment. There's a huge difference between accusing someone of not employing reason and calling them stupid and incapable of reason. The former is something I have done and will continue to do, the latter is not.

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JLMyers
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quote:
I never said that everyone who disagrees with me is stupid or incapable of logical thought.
I quoted what you said. It's there in black in white for everyone to see.

quote:
There's a huge difference between accusing someone of not employing reason and calling them stupid and incapable of reason. The former is something I have done and will continue to do, the latter is not.
Semantics. Or as we call it Texas crawfishing. Either stand by your statements or do the right thing; admit you were wrong to make such a statement. If you do so I will be happy to move on. If not, you fail to show your opposition the respect they deserve and are not worth any further consideration.

KE

[ December 27, 2004, 09:11 PM: Message edited by: JLMyers ]

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Paladine
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Or....qualify them in order to make your meaning more clear. On this issue, I think most on the Left have abandoned reason and logic in favor of an emotionally-charged bias that obstructs clear thinking. I do not think all of those who disagree with me are morons. I do think that many who disagree with me on this particular issue are being illogical. If that makes me "not worth any further consideration", then I'll not shed many a bitter tear.

quote:
everybody that disagrees with you is stupid, and it is self-aggrandizing mental masturbation to pretend they are.
That is the quote with which I took exception. I never called anyone stupid. Semantics are important, because, much to the consternation of many, words have meaning beyond whatever your perceptions might be. It is a distinction with a difference.
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WarrsawPact
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Actually, I'm just gonig to call a spade a spade and say that most people expressing a political belief -- screw the Left or Right here, I'm talking about the vast majority of Everyone -- does not employ reason when comnig to a political conclusion. That they can occasionally rationalize after coming to their conclusion says little in their defense.

The concern here is -- at least initially -- this:
Syria is one of the countries that we have *serious* disagreements with. The questions are:
1. Is Syria one of the organizations supporting terrorism?
2. If yes, is Syria the most politically and militarily convenient target of aforementioned organizations?
3. If yes, is it pragmatic to attack Syria?
4. If so, when and how would be most advantageous?
5. The question of Israel's and Kurdistan's roles.

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Richard Dey
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I still predict Iran (rather than Syria).
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David Ricardo
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I have no problems with taking out the Syrians. Unfortunately, that is not a realistic option right now as long as we are so heavily committed in Iraq.
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LoverOfJoy
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quote:
1. Is Syria one of the organizations supporting terrorism?
2. If yes, is Syria the most politically and militarily convenient target of aforementioned organizations?
3. If yes, is it pragmatic to attack Syria?
4. If so, when and how would be most advantageous?
5. The question of Israel's and Kurdistan's roles.

1. I'm no expert, but from what I've heard, yes.
2. I think the most political and militarily convenient are the ones we're already in (at least at this moment in time...not sure it was before we attacked).
3. Not yet, it isn't. We don't have the political capital yet, nor do we have the military organized yet for an attack on Syria. That could take some time. Not necessarily a TON, but we couldn't really go in a week.
4. Politically speaking, when we get a lot more dirt on Syria...like clear evidence surfaces that WMDs WERE taken out of Iraq into Syria and we have a good idea where in Syria.
5. Roles in the attack? I think it depends on who else is involved in the attack. I don't think it'd be good if it were just the US and Israel. That could cause a lot more problems that it might solve. However, if really bad evidence against Syria were to surface and cause everyone and their brother to ally with the US, then I don't think it'd hurt to have Israel support with a few jets/tanks/etc.

I'm not extremely knowledgable in this subject, though, and I learn a lot from you guys.

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kelcimer
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1. Is Syria one of the organizations supporting terrorism?

Yes.

2. If yes, is Syria the most politically and militarily convenient target of aforementioned organizations?

Militarily, yes.
Politically, no.

Milirarily yes, because between Syria and Iran, Syria is the smaller fish.
Politically no, because a better case can be made for Iran.

3. If yes, is it pragmatic to attack Syria?

Both Syria and Iran would be good to invade. But the nuke issue is a trump card. We should remove that question first, before we deal with Syria.

4. If so, when and how would be most advantageous?

Ideally? Do Iran and Syria now. Practically? a little bit after Iran.

5. The question of Israel's and Kurdistan's roles.

Kurdistan? Kurdistan is not going to become a reality. Although if we have Iran, Iraq, and Syria we would have most of kurdistan. If we REALLY wanted to, at that point we could make a Kurdistan. As far as warm bodies militarily speaking and all that, it would be IRAQIS who just happen to be Kurds.

Israel should only become involved if they are attacked. I'd love it if they could become involved before then but i don't think that is possible.

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