Should America/NATO support Syrian resistance the way it did in Libya?

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Re: Should America/NATO support Syrian resistance the way it did in Libya?

Post by Eldorion on Fri Sep 13, 2013 7:15 pm

Actually, for all my reservations about American foreign policy and intervention over the decades, I do think that the United States has done a lot of good for a lot of countries, though not all of them.  But having a superpower is a stabilizing global force in a lot of ways, from providing economic leadership (though this can sometimes backfire) to fighting piracy around the world (the US being one of only a handful of countries with the ability to project power anywhere in the world). Britain played much the same role in the 19th century, and I find the more or less friendly passing of the hegemonic torch from the UK to the US to be an interesting phenomenon. I'm not sure there is an analogue anywhere else in world history.
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Re: Should America/NATO support Syrian resistance the way it did in Libya?

Post by halfwise on Fri Sep 13, 2013 9:30 pm

The "American Century" has only lasted about 60 to 70 years. Historically that's an eyeblink. I think there has been similar things in the past which are seen now as just a blending together. Ur to Uruk, etc. We even consider the Mongols as part of the Chinese empire instead of a huge break. It just hasn't been on such a world scale before.

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Re: Should America/NATO support Syrian resistance the way it did in Libya?

Post by Eldorion on Fri Sep 13, 2013 9:54 pm

I'm not very familiar with Ancient Mesopotamia, but the Mongols conquered China violently and were then overthrown violently. While America obviously broke off through violence, they later established a partnership with Britain and the transition from the US being the junior partner to the UK being the junior partner occurred without any further fighting between the two. Some people like to complain it to Greece and Rome, but in that case, Rome secured its primacy by conquering Greece (as part of the Macedonian kingdom).
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Re: Should America/NATO support Syrian resistance the way it did in Libya?

Post by David H on Fri Sep 13, 2013 10:50 pm

Perhaps Macedon and Classical Greece?
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Re: Should America/NATO support Syrian resistance the way it did in Libya?

Post by Eldorion on Sat Sep 14, 2013 1:21 am

Perhaps, the Macedonians certainly considered them Greek from the start, though the other Greeks didn't necessarily share that opinion.  But then the Greek city-states were conquered by Philip II of Macedon (Alexander's father).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rise_of_Macedon
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Chaeronea_(338_BC)
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Re: Should America/NATO support Syrian resistance the way it did in Libya?

Post by David H on Sat Sep 14, 2013 1:55 am

Because if we can't find at least one example, we'll be making yet another argument fore American Exceptionalism...Embarassed 
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Re: Should America/NATO support Syrian resistance the way it did in Libya?

Post by halfwise on Sat Sep 14, 2013 2:15 am

How about when Bollywood took over from Hollywood as the leading manufacturer of entertainment films?

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Re: Should America/NATO support Syrian resistance the way it did in Libya?

Post by halfwise on Sat Sep 14, 2013 2:25 am

this provides some optimism for the history of WMD


America's weapons of mass destruction: By the numbers

Keith Wagstaff
The Week

3,000
Tons of chemical weapons in the U.S. stockpile, mostly consisting of mustard gas and various nerve agents.

1,000
Tons of chemical weapons that Syria is believed to have.

2023
The year the U.S. military believes it will finally be done getting rid of its chemical weapons, which are stored in facilities near Colorado Springs, Colo., and Richmond, Ky. The original deadline was 2007.

31,500
Tons of chemical weapons the United States built up from World War I until 1968. Pressure in the 1970s caused the country to cease production of chemical weapons and eventually start destroying them.

44,000
Tons of chemical weapons amassed by Russia in that same time period.

$40 billion
Estimated total cost to the U.S. government of destroying all of its chemical weapons — if the task is finished on schedule.

90
Percentage of the U.S. chemical weapons supply that has already been destroyed.

$500 million
Amount spent by the United States each year to assist other countries in destroying their stores of chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons.

7,650
Estimated number of nuclear warheads possessed by the United States.

2,150
Operational U.S. nuclear warheads assigned to land-based missiles, nuclear submarines, and bombs ready for deployment in military aircraft.

4,650
Operational nuclear warheads in Russia.

12
Maximum estimate of warheads that Kim Jong Un can build with North Korea's existing supply of plutonium.

31,225
Nuclear weapons possessed by the United States in 1967.

9 megatons
Amount of energy released by the B53 nuclear bomb, which is 900 times more powerful than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. The bomb was dismantled in Amarillo, Texas, in 2011.

1,550
Nuclear weapons (not counting warheads in storage or awaiting dismantlement) allowed by the New START Treaty, signed by Russia and the United States in 2010.

Sources: Associated Press, BBC, CNN, Brookings Institute, The Guardian (2), The Washington Post (2)

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Re: Should America/NATO support Syrian resistance the way it did in Libya?

Post by David H on Sat Sep 14, 2013 7:43 am

Motion in the right direction! And what's even more encouraging than the numbers is that as long as we're actively working toward disarmament nobody's likely to try to use what they've still got. When there's a deal in on the table, each weapon takes on new value as a bargaining chip that disappears as soon as even one of them goes BOOM!
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Re: Should America/NATO support Syrian resistance the way it did in Libya?

Post by Orwell on Sat Sep 14, 2013 2:39 pm

Eldorion wrote:Yeah, it's my opinion that the Wilsonian ideal of "spreading democracy" is largely based on the same notions of the "white man's burden", just dressed up with different ideals.  Which is not to say that everyone who wants to advocate for democracy around the world is a racist or anything, but a lot of the most vocal advocates tend to act in a chauvinistic and clueluess manner (eg, "we'll be greeted as liberators").  

That said, we inherited a lot of things from Britain. :DSome of the imperialist language was more explicit around the beginning of the 20th century when we were just starting off in the world of subjugating other nations (see: Ten Thousand Miles from Tip to Tip, following the Spanish-American War).  After World War II though, when we had taken the title of "world's most powerful nation" from Britain and appointed ourselves "leader of the free world" during the Cold War, American intervention and exceptionalism took on a new level of anti-Communist ideology that also gave a lot of Americans a sense of moral purpose when mucking around in other countries (the domino theory and Vietnam, for example).
Of course, if people are genuine believers in genuine Democracy then genuine good can be done. Personally, Eldo, I find people who use democratic ideas as a smokescreen for Fascist agendas, or don't actually know what Democracy is, can give democrats a bad name --- and in such manner upset true intelligent perceptive good people like me. {{{Unfortunately, Eldo often seems to see things in black and white, and is prone to misrepresent people's ideas with gay abandon - possibly because he sees things in such a narrow and ideological way, a bit like Brittish Colonials did to the Native Peoples they conquered. But don't tell him I said that! Very Happy }}}

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Re: Should America/NATO support Syrian resistance the way it did in Libya?

Post by Mrs Figg on Sat Sep 14, 2013 2:59 pm

we all would like to live in Utopia, but thats not an option so i reckon we should be thankful we live in an age where there are many countries that at least try to keep democracy alive, it may be wishful thinking but as a woman its probably the best time in history to be alive. At least in Western and enlightened Asian countries like Japan. In no other time in history have some women had the chance of economic freedom and indipendance. Obviously in the past only rich women could be indipendant.

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Re: Should America/NATO support Syrian resistance the way it did in Libya?

Post by Eldorion on Mon Dec 09, 2013 3:25 pm

This is sort of an old topic now, but Seymour Hersh (a Pulitzer Price-winning journalist who helped expose both the My Lai Massacre in Vietnam and the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal in Iraq) has a new article about military intelligence in the run-up to the case for war on Syria.

http://www.lrb.co.uk/2013/12/08/seymour-m-hersh/whose-sarin

Barack Obama did not tell the whole story this autumn when he tried to make the case that Bashar al-Assad was responsible for the chemical weapons attack near Damascus on 21 August. In some instances, he omitted important intelligence, and in others he presented assumptions as facts. Most significant, he failed to acknowledge something known to the US intelligence community: that the Syrian army is not the only party in the country’s civil war with access to sarin, the nerve agent that a UN study concluded – without assessing responsibility – had been used in the rocket attack. In the months before the attack, the American intelligence agencies produced a series of highly classified reports, culminating in a formal Operations Order – a planning document that precedes a ground invasion – citing evidence that the al-Nusra Front, a jihadi group affiliated with al-Qaida, had mastered the mechanics of creating sarin and was capable of manufacturing it in quantity. When the attack occurred al-Nusra should have been a suspect, but the administration cherry-picked intelligence to justify a strike against Assad.

Way more at the link.


Last edited by Eldorion on Mon Dec 09, 2013 3:43 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Should America/NATO support Syrian resistance the way it did in Libya?

Post by halfwise on Mon Dec 09, 2013 3:39 pm

In the end there may be so many conflicting possibilities that one must make a choice. I wish military action could always be in response to clear scenarios, but that's just not reality.

The fact that Assad was willing to submit to inspections and a drawdown of his own stores could mean either that he's not afraid of sarin on the other side, or he wants to make sure that if it happens again he will be able to argue it wasn't him.

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Re: Should America/NATO support Syrian resistance the way it did in Libya?

Post by Eldorion on Mon Dec 09, 2013 3:43 pm

To be fair, despite Hersh's track record, he has garnered criticism for his use of anonymous sources before. So there is that.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seymour_Hersh#Use_of_anonymous_sources

Still, I'm glad that we didn't invade Syria.
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Re: Should America/NATO support Syrian resistance the way it did in Libya?

Post by Lancebloke on Mon Dec 09, 2013 6:03 pm

So pretty much what happened before Iraq then.

Obama doesn't strike me as that sort of person. I wonder if it were him that omitted it or some of his more senior staff. Or maybe Obama is a dick too!!
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Re: Should America/NATO support Syrian resistance the way it did in Libya?

Post by halfwise on Mon Dec 09, 2013 6:11 pm

cool, I didn't know Wikipedia has anchor links built in.

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