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Southpaw2012
09-10-2014, 05:53 PM
Any theories as to what war plan Obama has in store for us? The big press conference is tonight and finally over a year after receiving word that this group would become a threat, he's finally acknowledging that we need to deal with them and that they are truly not a "JV team." I applaud his initial hesitation to send in ground troops but it's ridiculous that after all this time, we still have no firm strategy as to how to destroy them. Maybe we'll finally decide to secure the border since there is news that ISIS is talking strategy on breaching us from the south. However, that is unlikely since granting citizenship to illegals is far more important than having our border overran by terrorists. Honestly, the big thing I will be listening for is if he'll finally call them Islamic terrorists. For some strange, unsettling reason, he hates to call them what they really are. Perhaps that will change tonight? I doubt it, since politically correct progressive America has to watch every little thing that is said in fears of "offending" someone.

Davian93
09-10-2014, 06:39 PM
I'd love to hear your plan and/or theory on the subject as I'm sure its brilliant.

Please enlighten us so we can learn from your genius.

Kimon
09-10-2014, 07:13 PM
Silly and inconsequential issues aside, such as whether or not he calls them Islamic terrorists or simply uses some other synonym, there are some interesting and disturbing hints at what he may say. The Syrian issue would seem highest on that list. If he does really stress a determination to both launch air strikes against ISIS in Syria and to arm other Syrian rebels, we may be creating a very dangerous situation within Syria. Might we see Assad using anti-aircraft against us? We help Assad by hitting ISIS in Syria, but we will be antagonizing him by assisting other rebels. This is part of the problem that has stayed our hand so long Southpaw. How do we effectively undermine ISIS without acting in Syria, and how do we do that without assisting Assad, who just a year ago so many on both the right and left were clamoring to attack in response for his use of chemical weapons against his own people. There are no good options here unfortunately.

Southpaw2012
09-10-2014, 08:16 PM
Agreed. You have to choose the lesser of two evils. I must admit, Obama actually made sense, for once. He likes to preach our strength under his leadership, which it has been quite the opposite, but I think we have a better strategy than before. We are actually taking more action. It pisses me off when he says that we will not have ground troops (because it may come to that in the future), but so far so good.

Terez
09-10-2014, 08:20 PM
Agreed. You have to choose the lesser of two evils. I must admit, Obama actually made sense, for once. He likes to preach our strength under his leadership, which it has been quite the opposite...
You say that because you equate strength with killing things and blowing things up. W thought the same thing, and in the process of living by that principle, he exposed our real weaknesses to the whole world. Obama has ordered a lot more action than the people who actually voted for him would have liked, in general.

Kimon
09-10-2014, 08:28 PM
Agreed. You have to choose the lesser of two evils. I must admit, Obama actually made sense, for once. He likes to preach our strength under his leadership, which it has been quite the opposite, but I think we have a better strategy than before. We are actually taking more action. It pisses me off when he says that we will not have ground troops (because it may come to that in the future), but so far so good.

In this case however the lesser of two evils should have been supporting Assad. I'm still of the opinion that supporting any Syrian rebels is probably a mistake in the long term, unless we manage to find a group that is officially backed by the Saudis, and with the Saudis officially joining in a coalition against ISIS. I didn't hear that. I'd just quietly co-ordinate with Assad. I prefer stability in Syria, even if it means leaving a thug in control. Better that than furthering Syria along the road to irretrievable failed state.

The Unreasoner
09-10-2014, 08:36 PM
And if we push Assad too far, we may find a few Russian platoons wander over the border to 'help fight terrorism'.

The Unreasoner
09-10-2014, 08:39 PM
Actually, I might be okay with that. Syria is in such chaos that it will take boots on the groind to sort it out. Why not let it be Russian boots? If Putin needs a foreign war, there is no better place.

Kimon
09-10-2014, 08:40 PM
And if we push Assad too far, we may find a few Russian platoons wander over the border to 'help fight terrorism'.

I imagine the decision was made that Assad was simply too toxic to prop up even if he is the most likely chance of stabilizing Syria. I still think that we are creating a very dangerous situation in Syria however. The lack of stability there and in Iraq has allowed this mess to emerge. Furthering assistance to rebels risks exacerbating that.

The Unreasoner
09-10-2014, 08:52 PM
I dont think Assad can stabilize Syria. Things have gone too far, and Assad too involved. Which is not to say that Assad's power base can't stay. If Assad stepped aside, and his party nominated a temporary successor while opening talks with rebels, we might at least see a cease fire until some elections can take place. I'm a little surprised no one just staged a coup, and made Assad a scapegoat for every problem in the last 5 years.

Kimon
09-10-2014, 09:03 PM
I dont think Assad can stabilize Syria. Things have gone too far, and Assad too involved. Which is not to say that Assad's power base can't stay. If Assad stepped aside, and his party nominated a temporary successor while opening talks with rebels, we might at least see a cease fire until some elections can take place. I'm a little surprised no one just staged a coup, and made Assad a scapegoat for every problem in the last 5 years.

Who would they negotiate with? Certainly ISIS wouldn't have simply agreed to a detente and reconciliation. And the others? The BBC gives an interesting write-up on just how patch-work and various these rebel groups are. At least with Assad you know who you're dealing with. Who amongst these others can you really trust more than him? Whose chances of success can you really trust? Syria is a quagmire. Wading into that didn't seem a good idea a year ago, and while it may be unavoidable now, that doesn't change the fact that it's a mess.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-24403003

I just noticed how old that link is - not sure how accurate it is now...

Kimon
09-11-2014, 03:50 PM
This is some good news, albeit with a conspicuous absence - Turkey.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-29166372

Southpaw2012
09-11-2014, 06:06 PM
You say that because you equate strength with killing things and blowing things up. W thought the same thing, and in the process of living by that principle, he exposed our real weaknesses to the whole world. Obama has ordered a lot more action than the people who actually voted for him would have liked, in general.

No, I don't. I think the Iraq war back in 2003 was a serious mistake. This foreign policy has been a disaster (and my liberal friends here at law school have agreed to that, so that's no issue). However, this president has been a president of not wanting to step on anyones toes. He makes threats left and right to Syria and then doesn't do anything about it. He talks big to Putin and basically gets laughed at when Putin goes ahead and does just the opposite. He refuses to call ISIS what they really are; They are an Islamic terrorist group who are raging a religious war on the world. Until we as a nation can get over this whole "Islam is a religion of peace and love" and all that other baloney, maybe we can go in there and wipe ISIS out once and for all. There are great muslims in the world, and some of them are standing up to denounce this radical group, but until the vast majority stand up and say enough is enough, there's going to be conflict. We have a president though, who does all he can to favor them and make them feel loved that they are the good guys and whatnot, but come on. You don't see Christians going around blowing up the Middle East (I know, I know, the Catholic Church fought many wars 600 years ago, whatever). We continue to pussy around with these guys, and it's going to get extremely bad heading forward if we aren't careful. It's not real comforting to know that he's best friends with the Muslim Brotherhood (a terrorist group) and sympathetic to Hamas (a terrorist group). I'm glad that after a year of knowing that ISIS is the real deal, that we can take steps to wipe them off the face of this Earth; them and their barbaric sympathizers.

Kimon
09-11-2014, 06:24 PM
No, I don't. I think the Iraq war back in 2003 was a serious mistake. This foreign policy has been a disaster (and my liberal friends here at law school have agreed to that, so that's no issue). However, this president has been a president of not wanting to step on anyones toes. He makes threats left and right to Syria and then doesn't do anything about it. He talks big to Putin and basically gets laughed at when Putin goes ahead and does just the opposite. He refuses to call ISIS what they really are; They are an Islamic terrorist group who are raging a religious war on the world. Until we as a nation can get over this whole "Islam is a religion of peace and love" and all that other baloney, maybe we can go in there and wipe ISIS out once and for all. There are great muslims in the world, and some of them are standing up to denounce this radical group, but until the vast majority stand up and say enough is enough, there's going to be conflict. We have a president though, who does all he can to favor them and make them feel loved that they are the good guys and whatnot, but come on. You don't see Christians going around blowing up the Middle East (I know, I know, the Catholic Church fought many wars 600 years ago, whatever). We continue to pussy around with these guys, and it's going to get extremely bad heading forward if we aren't careful. It's not real comforting to know that he's best friends with the Muslim Brotherhood (a terrorist group) and sympathetic to Hamas (a terrorist group). I'm glad that after a year of knowing that ISIS is the real deal, that we can take steps to wipe them off the face of this Earth; them and their barbaric sympathizers.

Did you look at that link I posted above Southpaw? Every proximate Muslim country but Syria, Turkey, and Iran has signed on to this coalition against ISIS. Syria is actively fighting against ISIS as well, but is also in an adversarial relationship with us, and with most of those other Muslim countries (most notably the Saudis who have been funding various rebel groups within Syria). Iran also hates ISIS, not surprising since they are the dominant Shia country and ISIS are Sunnis attacking Shia Muslims. They aren't in the coalition again because of pre-existing friction with us and with certain other Muslim nations - most notably Saudi Arabia. Turkey has its own problems - most notably a few dozen Turkish hostages held currently by ISIS. Beyond that, the Kurdish issue also has clearly irritated them greatly. Considering this, the great number of prominent Muslim countries, all of whom have interest in seeing an end to ISIS, how exactly could it benefit us to antagonize all of these Muslim countries, not to mention millions of Muslims around the world by calling ISIS Islamic terrorists. We want the Muslim world to see these guys as a cancer that must be excised from the Muslim body politic, not to view this as a West-East, us against them struggle.

Terez
09-11-2014, 06:26 PM
You don't see Christians going around blowing up the Middle East (I know, I know, the Catholic Church fought many wars 600 years ago, whatever).....
How about right now? I mean, what do you think we are doing over there? What do you think Iraq was?

Davian93
09-11-2014, 08:58 PM
Until we as a nation can get over this whole "Islam is a religion of peace and love"

Yeah, this just illustrates your ignorance on so many levels...along with your belief that "Christianity" is any different...you know, like those devout Catholics in Northern Ireland for 80 years of horrible violence or the Catholic Croatians and Christian Serbs massacring each other and the Bosniac Muslims in the Balkans in the mid-1990s. Or a million other examples. It has nothing to do with the religion being used as a pawn...its about extremism. The religious angle is just to gain support among the idiots of society.

Christianity has just as much blood on its hands even in recent history as any other religion. Just as the righteous Jews committing war crimes in Palestine on a regular basis.

Also, Terez makes a great point about our first Iraq invasion...hell, Bush even referred to it as a Crusade. Talk about a message problem there. I cant imagine why that nomenclature riled up the people living there.

Terez
09-11-2014, 09:31 PM
W and his supporters continually appealed to religion when selling the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Evangelical Christians, who believe themselves the only true Christians, tend to be the US demographic most eager to go to war, which of course is usually against some non-Christian nation or entity. Many evangelical Christians believe the fighting in the Arab and/or Muslim world is a fulfillment and/or harbinger of Biblical prophecy and that defending Israel even to the point of her vilest actions is what God expects them to do. A disturbing number of them believe Obama is the Antichrist. Anyone who thinks the Christian war with Islam ended with the Crusades doesn't know a goddamned thing about history, and this is from a person who only knows about two and a half things about history.

Davian93
09-12-2014, 08:38 AM
W and his supporters continually appealed to religion when selling the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Evangelical Christians, who believe themselves the only true Christians, tend to be the US demographic most eager to go to war, which of course is usually against some non-Christian nation or entity. Many evangelical Christians believe the fighting in the Arab and/or Muslim world is a fulfillment and/or harbinger of Biblical prophecy and that defending Israel even to the point of her vilest actions is what God expects them to do. A disturbing number of them believe Obama is the Antichrist. Anyone who thinks the Christian war with Islam ended with the Crusades doesn't know a goddamned thing about history, and this is from a person who only knows about two and a half things about history.

Yup

DahLliA
09-12-2014, 10:31 AM
How about right now? I mean, what do you think we are doing over there? What do you think Iraq was?

Aww. I wanted to say that :p

Terez
09-12-2014, 05:42 PM
Probably every person who read his post wanted to say that, unless Sodas is lurking somewhere. I was trying to read his post with an open mind, but I got to that point and just couldn't do it any more.

Kimon
09-22-2014, 08:43 PM
The Syria portion of the air campaign has now begun. Unclear who else besides us is involved - maybe France. Will be interesting to see if any Arab countries actually took part.

Southpaw2012
09-22-2014, 10:57 PM
http://www.vox.com/2014/9/22/6831565/was-this-syrian-man-the-first-person-to-tweet-the-american-air-strikes

^That guy is live tweeting, it appears.

Kimon
09-23-2014, 08:35 PM
There were apparently quite a few Arab nations involved - the Saudis, Jordan, UAE, Bahrain, and Qatar. Though Qatar seemingly in a more limited sense. The French apparently are still only willing to take part in Iraq, but interestingly, both Assad and Iran were given advance warning of the strikes. Still unclear how we expect any ground follow-up on this activity. The rebels certainly are incapable as yet, and perhaps ever to do so, and without someone following up on the ground it is difficult to imagine just how successful these strikes could be. In Iraq the Kurds do so, who other than Assad however really could do so in Syria. So somewhat tenuous as to just how effective this air-only mission could really be in Syria (unless we are conducting a wink-wink situation with Assad), but we do at least have a decent amount, for at least the time being, of Sunni support to add some legitimacy to this mission throughout the Muslim world.

Davian93
09-23-2014, 09:03 PM
http://www.ibtimes.com/al-nusra-front-leader-abu-yousef-al-turki-killed-syria-airstrikes-group-says-1693907

We already took out one of the big dogs...now if we could just kill Bagdadi, that'd be sweet.