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View Diary: Syria - For Republicans There is No Downside -or- How Democrats Can Really Be Hurt (86 comments)

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  •  Could someone fill me on in why we aren't (4+ / 0-)

    backing Assad? I understand that he's an SOB, but that's never stopped us in the past. How did we end up on the side of the rebels, again?

    Please visit: http://www.jkmediasource.org

    by Noisy Democrat on Tue May 07, 2013 at 01:39:02 PM PDT

    •  I only support providing humanitarian aid to (8+ / 0-)

      the people of Syria and the investigation of war crimes.

      Lamb chop, we can quibble what to call it, but I think we can both agree it's creepy.

      by InAntalya on Tue May 07, 2013 at 01:46:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, but in terms of US policy (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        InAntalya

        Does anyone know how/why US policy evolved to tacit support for the rebels? Is it just because they're winning or was there some other reason?

        Please visit: http://www.jkmediasource.org

        by Noisy Democrat on Tue May 07, 2013 at 02:04:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  They've been acting as a proxy army trying to (11+ / 0-)

          overthow or help instigate the overthrow of the Assad regime.  It's another tactic in the long line of tactics used for US sponsored regime change operations.  It hasn't evolved, it started that way.  It's not working, i.e., the Al Qaeda, mercenaries and Jihadist proxies are not winning, not even close, which is why they're pulling out all stops now after two years.  

          "I'm an antiwar propagandist as accused by democrats. Not even republicans have called me that."

          by BigAlinWashSt on Tue May 07, 2013 at 02:12:59 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I seem to remember something about a (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Kane in CA, poco

            national uprising. I didn't know all those people were U.S. 'proxies' that we used (paid?) to instigate  it!

            Oh wait: the 'proxies' weren't the whole number of protesters if they were 'instigators'; they were some elite cadre and the Syrian people just mindlessly followed them like a bunch of sheep.

            Now me, I always thought of the Arab Spring as real, full-fledged grown-up human beings like us, with independent thinking skills and everything.

            But I guess you know better. You are smart!

        •  I think (0+ / 0-)

          Initially that we thought that by displacing Assad that the Arab spring would continue with a real chance of Democracy
          emerging.  The administration went cold when they realized that complete impossibility.  As more time passed and new info became available, it was revealed that many rebels were bad actors themselves.

          •  Our elected officials in both parties (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JesseCW, lunachickie

            have never given a tinker's damn about Arab democracy.  In fact they oppose it at all costs, because they know that the man-in-the-street interests in that part of the world do not repeat not harmonize with the interests of our rich and powerful interests.

            Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

            by corvo on Wed May 08, 2013 at 06:11:29 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  If real democracy in Arab nations were anything (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            corvo, lunachickie

            we had any interest in promoting we wouldn't have signed an 80 billion dollar arms deal with the House of Saud while they were mowing down peaceful protesters in Bahrain.

            Wash. Judge Tells Cops To Return Man’s Marijuana Or Be Found In Contempt

            by JesseCW on Wed May 08, 2013 at 06:15:49 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well, our erstwhile SoS and next President (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              lunachickie, JesseCW

              (swooooonnnnnnnnnn!!!!) did ask for a vase  (that's pronounced vaaahs, of course -- obscure film reference here) so that she could shed a tear for the Bahrainis.  That wasn't enough for you?  Geez, how many ponies does it take to get you emoprogs to STFU?

              (/snark)

              Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

              by corvo on Wed May 08, 2013 at 08:45:06 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Because they believe (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          corvo, JesseCW

          their desired end, regime change, justifies the means.

          Review "the redirection" by Seymour Hersh from back in 2007 on this change of strategy.

          Orwell - "Political language ... is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable"

          by truong son traveler on Tue May 07, 2013 at 10:29:21 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Because he's not *our* SOB. (13+ / 0-)

      This is about several things: twitting Russia; eliminating the Iranian "threat"; supporting the ambitions and aspirations of our Arabian Peninsula and, yes, Turkish allies.

      None of these things suggests supporting Assad, who, awful as he is, is almost certainly less awful than any realistic alternative.

      Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

      by corvo on Tue May 07, 2013 at 02:06:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Likely Alternative, Not "Realistic" (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        poco, corvo

        Wending our way through Syria's fractured sectarian demography would challenge any administration.  In a democratically elected system, the Sunni majority should dominate in Syria but not impose only its own views without hindrance.  Since the Syrian opposition seemingly can't get its act together to project a fair image of what a post-Assad Syria would look like, just why should they be supported?  The Republicans expect that any involvement in Syria will be messy, especially at the end when sectarian oppression is likely to rear its ugly head in a major way, and they can blame the Obama administration even more for not doing - well, they don't know.  It will be just like what happened in Somalia when Bush the Elder plunged into Somalia at the end of his administration to deflect criticism of his Iran-Contra scandal and left a weeping wound of immense proportions for his successor to try to clean up.  It's not a defect in their argument.  It's a feature.

        "Love the Truth, defend the Truth, speak the Truth, and hear the Truth" - Jan Hus, d.1415 CE

        by PrahaPartizan on Tue May 07, 2013 at 07:12:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The Arab spring for one (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      InAntalya, ferg, nzanne, whizdom

      Also the fact that a good chunk of the rebels are Kurds, or at least in the beginning there were a lot of Kurds involved.

      If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

      by AoT on Tue May 07, 2013 at 02:10:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  He's too obvious of a SOB. And he's not our SOB (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      InAntalya, nzanne

      either.

    •  It's about Iran (9+ / 0-)

      And multi-generational blunderific  foreign policy in the region.

      Iran is the only major power left in the region noncompliant with Western hegemonic ambitions. And Syria is an ally of Iran, weakened now by civil war, so an easy(er) target.

      Most truths are so naked that people feel sorry for them and cover them up, at least a little bit. --Edward R. Murrow

      by chuckvw on Tue May 07, 2013 at 02:36:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  There's no way we could back Assad. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      InAntalya

      You're right, we've done the equivalent in the past and that's a good part of the reason our name is mud in the Middle East.  If we had backed the rebels earlier, maybe they wouldn't have turned to the Islamists.  There's one line of thought that says Syrian groups are joining with Islamist fighters because they have the weapons and the know-how, not because they are particularly drawn to the ideology.   (And why do the Islamists have the weapons and the experienced fighters? - in good part b/c of our proxy war in Afghanistan in the 80s)  

      http://www.nytimes.com/...

      “If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning.” - state motto of Fitzwalkerstan

      by non acquiescer on Tue May 07, 2013 at 02:37:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Radical Islamic groups began operations in (9+ / 0-)

        Syria in September 2011, just as Libya was winding down, and they grew quickly.

        The Syrian opposition didn't request military aid until April 2012 and even then the opposition was split on this.

        The assertion that earlier backing would have prevented rebels from 'turning to the Islamists' is not valid. By April 2012 they were already very well established and very well funded by Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

        Lamb chop, we can quibble what to call it, but I think we can both agree it's creepy.

        by InAntalya on Tue May 07, 2013 at 02:50:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's interesting. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          InAntalya

          But were they invited in by the opposition or did they move into an unstable situation?  I don't know a lot about it, but I've been told that the rise of fundamentalism among city people and college students in Syria was because it was a way of opposing the government, so I could see some of the opposition groups wanting Islamist allies right away.  But I certainly got the impression that there is a large secular element to the opposition groups.

          “If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning.” - state motto of Fitzwalkerstan

          by non acquiescer on Tue May 07, 2013 at 03:12:19 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I don't know if they were invited in, (8+ / 0-)

            but they were allowed in and allowed - by Turkey - to bring in weapons.

            From what I have observed the secular elements of the western supported opposition group (SNC/NOC) and of the rebel groups are in the minority.

            There are many secular opponents but they are generally not part of the western supported opposition group because they want a negotiated politcal solution. And for that reason secular opponents often don't join the armed rebel groups.

            And many who initially did join are now leaving because they have seen how radical Islamic rebel groups behave in the areas they control.

            Lamb chop, we can quibble what to call it, but I think we can both agree it's creepy.

            by InAntalya on Tue May 07, 2013 at 03:26:30 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  It's not that hard (0+ / 0-)

      He's turned from "Tyrant and dictator" to "Tyrant and dictator who is actively slaughtering his own people", much like Qadhaffi.

    •  He's not just an SOB, he's *not* our SOB. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo

      And he's not willing to be.

      The guy's no better or worse than Maliki or Karzai or Mubarak, but he's not inviting McDonalds to set up in Damascus and he's not willing to privatize the 30% of the economy directly controlled by the Syrian government, and he's not interested in taking stacks of IMF loans.

      You can torture, rape, ethnically cleanse, and commit multiple mass murders and the US doesn't mind a bit.  

      But reject our economic hegemony, and shit may not go so well for ya'...

      Wash. Judge Tells Cops To Return Man’s Marijuana Or Be Found In Contempt

      by JesseCW on Wed May 08, 2013 at 06:13:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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