Syria descending into full fledged civil war?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by bruno, Jul 19, 2012.

  1. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    Things in Syria really appear to be coming to a boil- a bombing in Damascus killed the Defense Minister, a former Defense minister and the brother in law to President Assad and the Government is reportedly shelling portions of Damascus itself.

    It will be hard to see how this plays out. Unlike much of the Arab world, Syria has a relatively large, educated middle class and has been a secular dictatorship. But just like the rest of it's neighbors, there is no tradition of democratic rule, and the Army and Air Force has been loyal to the Assad regime (father and son) since the mid 1960's. I think that this has all the makings of a very protracted and bloody struggle, that the Israeli's and Iranians must be watching very closely. I don't know if this indicates that the Regime itself is really cracking or how it will respond- shelling Damascus seems like desperation to me.

    The US yesterday put financial sanctions on the top individuals in the Syrian Regime, though I'm not sure if that actually helps to bring them down, or stiffens their resolve to stay and fight instead of bolting while they have the chance.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/world...bing/2012/07/18/gJQANz7AtW_story.html?hpid=z1
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2012
  2. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    Showing just how useful the UN is- the Security Council just saw both Russia an dChina veto the resolution to impose sanctions on Syria http://www.washingtonpost.com/world...yria/2012/07/19/gJQAJzszvW_story.html?hpid=z1

    I find it interesting that when the last administration gave short shrift to the UN and the international community to deal in Iraq and Afghanistan, this was presented by the opponents of the administration (including most of the members of the current administration) as evidence of the US acting as a rogue nation. Now - not so rogue I guess. I suppose it is evidence of a finally dawning realization that our interests don't necessarily coincide with the interests of other countries, and the President needs to act in our best interests not that of other countries. Where the US interests lie in this case and what we will be willing to do I don't exactly know- but it appears that the President has finally decided that he will do what the US needs done -whether or not the UN agrees with us.
     
  3. pilot2b

    pilot2b Candidate Appointee

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  4. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    no- that's not what motivates them. They don't like to see a precedent set that implies other countries have the right to intervene in another sovereign state's affairs. (For good reason- they worry that the precedent would someday be used against their own regimes.) Plus Russia has seen Syria as a client state that allows them to exert a fair amount of influence in the Middle East.
     
  5. goaliedad

    goaliedad Parent

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    A client state that provides a warm water port for Russian ships...
     
  6. patentesq

    patentesq Parent

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    Exactly. I think Russia's Syrian foreign policy is going to diminish their influence in the region when all is said.
     
  7. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    It seems that the US Administration has switched its focus to dealing with the ultimate collapse of Assad's government. With the veto in the Security council, the administration is left with using the Treasury Department to issue sanctions against Syrian Gov. Officials in an effort to weaken Assad's control.

    Any collapse of Assad and the current Syrian Gov. will quickly bring a new set of issues, even prior to a collapse there are major concerns. Syria has a rather large stockplie of Chemical weapons, Will Assad use these weapons as a last ditch effort to keep control, what will happen to these weapons if the Gov. does collapse, who will control them. What will the retaliation be to the Alawite Minority that is still loyal to Assad.

    Israel would not blink if they had the chance to make a preemptive strike against these Chemical weapon sites. The US Administration will need to be steadfast in it's policy with Isreal if they are to prevent such an attack, of course if Assad does use these unconventional weapons we will be seen as strong arming Israel and preventing a strike that could have prevented the use of such weapons.

    It is clear that this is a much more complex issue then the Arab Spring that started it all. I just hope that the cure is not worse then the disease.
     
  8. patentesq

    patentesq Parent

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    Insightful post, Jcleppe.
     
  9. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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