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  #1  
Old 10-01-2015, 12:43 PM
Southpaw2012 Southpaw2012 is offline
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Throwback Thursday for when Romney said Russia would be our greatest threat in the near future and liberals laughed.
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Old 10-01-2015, 01:11 PM
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What has Russia done that makes them (y)our biggest threat?
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Old 10-01-2015, 03:52 PM
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Russia is Russia's biggest threat. Thus far, they seem to be lagging any number of other players for "biggest threat". China is a bigger threat to our economic predominance (and to our economy in general) and is a bigger player in cyberspace attacks. Islam is a bigger threat from a terrorist/cultural values point of view.

Russia is nothing. They don't threaten us. They threaten things we are interested in, things we've made some promises (both implicit and explicit) to protect. But at the moment, and judging from the timing of your post, you'd have a hard time claiming they're threatening us. They are hurting the enemies of ISIS, who would presumably then be freer to harm the US. So again... Russia is merely enabling a different threat. Which means, by definition, they aren't a direct threat at all.

Now I'll stop laughing at Romney and laugh at your near-total illiteracy and idiocy.
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Old 10-01-2015, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by connabard View Post
What has Russia done that makes them (y)our biggest threat?
Nothing that is an actual threat to us. They invaded Georgia while Bush was president, we issued chastisements, but otherwise did nothing. Nor should we have. Then they invaded Crimea and destabilized Eastern Ukraine. We responded with sanctions. Doing so was prudent, doing more would have been silly. And recent events in Syria? That they would be nervous about Assad nearing the brink and seek to buttress him is of no surprise. Nor is the fact that they would start hitting rebels nearest to both Assad's positions, and to their own assets - Tartus and now Latakia. We'd prefer that they focus more on ISIS, but their goal isn't just ISIS, nor is it just keeping their client-despot, Assad. They also need to ensure that Tartus and Latakia don't fall or they lose their own bases.

But should that really bother us? We have had no success with any rebels but the Kurds, who weren't targeted, so the Russians hitting these rebels really means nothing for us, as our focus should be ISIS. They have to take priority for us, it's why we've been hitting them rather than focusing on Assad. As if he fell, ISIS likely would take Damascus. Now the Russians are doing the dirty work for us. Let them take the blame in the Sunni world for saving Assad while we publicly rebuke their actions, while privately seeing that it needed to be done, abut best by someone other than us.
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Old 10-01-2015, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Southpaw2012 View Post
Throwback Thursday for when Romney said Russia would be our greatest threat in the near future and liberals laughed.
LMAO...a minor regional power playing around in one of its traditional areas of influence? Oooh, I'm shaking over here.


You're such a chickenshit. If you were so scared of everything, you'd probably be happier.
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  #6  
Old 10-02-2015, 01:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Southpaw2012 View Post
Throwback Thursday for when Dubya said he looked into Putin's eyes and saw his soul and pronounced him trustworthy and everybody laughed.
fixed that for you.

here's the actual quote for you. from Wikipedia.

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I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be very straight forward and trustworthy and we had a very good dialogue. I was able to get a sense of his soul. He's a man deeply committed to his country and the best interests of his country and I appreciate very much the frank dialogue and that's the beginning of a very constructive relationship
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Old 10-02-2015, 04:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Ozymandias View Post
Russia is Russia's biggest threat.
Very true!
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Originally Posted by Kimon View Post
Nor is the fact that they would start hitting rebels nearest to both Assad's positions,
Just out of curiosity, may you please tell me who exactly are these rebels (non-ISIS/Nusra/etc)? Everything suggests that only ISIS and Nusra are actively opposing Assad now (in the beginning there were other sides but they were wiped out later on by Assad or ISIS or whatever).
Now any non-ISIS opposition is virtually nonexistent and syrian army is definitely capable to deal with them without any help.
It is expectable that the whole world will watch after what Russia does in Syria, thus it would be extremely stupid to target anything except ISIS. At the same time, ISIS is the greatest threat for Assad which he couldn't handle.

Last edited by SomeOneElse; 10-02-2015 at 04:12 AM.
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Old 10-02-2015, 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by SomeOneElse View Post
Just out of curiosity, may you please tell me who exactly are these rebels (non-ISIS/Nusra/etc)? Everything suggests that only ISIS and Nusra are actively opposing Assad now (in the beginning there were other sides but they were wiped out later on by Assad or ISIS or whatever).
Now any non-ISIS opposition is virtually nonexistent and syrian army is definitely capable to deal with them without any help.
It is expectable that the whole world will watch after what Russia does in Syria, thus it would be extremely stupid to target anything except ISIS. At the same time, ISIS is the greatest threat for Assad which he couldn't handle.
There isn't a simple answer to your question, because while Assad, ISIS, al-Nusra, and the Kurds are the four largest players in the civil war, there are also myriad other rebels forces actively trying to overthrow Assad, most for legitimate grounds, as his brutal response to the demonstrations that precipitated this insurrection 2 years ago has led him down the road to the dire and precarious situation in which he now finds himself. That brutality is without question. What is in question is whether or not if he fell if what replaced him would be worse - e.g. ISIS ruling a Damascus based caliphate, rather than a Raqqa and Mosul based one. I personally think the answer to that is yes, unless some power sends in ground troops. Maybe that will be you. Clearly we do not want it to be us.

Nonetheless, the rebels that your government has been hitting has not been, at least so far, ISIS or al-Nusra. Likely this is simply because Putin has decided that all opposition to Assad is equally a problem for Russian interests, and as such, he has painted all the rebels in Russian media as being terrorists, and as ISIS, as a way of selling to the Russian people the necessity of the mission. Western media, being outside of state control, is not completely immune to propaganda (e.g. Fox), but is still more reliable.

Here's the analysis of the New York Times, tracking the Russian airstrikes:

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2...irstrikes.html

You'll notice that the strikes are centered mostly at targets near bordering between non-ISIS held rebel territory bordering Assad's positions in the east, near the Mediterranean. In contrast to the vast majority of strikes, only two appear farther east in ISIS held territory. This isn't a surprise. First priority for the Russians is understandably securing Tartus and Assad. But that doesn't change the fact that it's not ISIS targets that Russia was focusing on.

Here is a comment on just this fact by the BBC:

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-34411653

Quote:
Coverage of Russian air strikes in Syria has been leading news bulletins on Russian state television. Reports spoke of jets targeting the Islamist al-Nusra Front as well as so-called Islamic State (IS).
But mostly Russian media simply calls the targets "IS" or "terrorists".
Here's an overview on the various rebel groups from the BBC - it is unfortunately a bit old, so outdated caveats apply, but should make clear that this is not as simple a picture as Russian media seems to portray.

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

I still don't think this is such a big deal, unless, like Turkey, Russia starts targeting the Kurds. Russia hitting these other, non-ISIS, Sunni rebel groups is predictable. It does however also carry a high potential for long-term problems, as it will aggravate Turkey, the Saudis, and all the other Sunni backers of those groups. It's why we've been staying away from them. The Sunni nations all want Assad out. Russia is essentially poking a hornet's nest. That might be unavoidable, but as I said, better that Russia gets blamed by the Sunni world than us.

Last edited by Kimon; 10-02-2015 at 04:03 PM.
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Old 10-03-2015, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Kimon View Post
Maybe that will be you.
That is not likely to happen unless we want a new Afghanistan.

Quote:
Nonetheless, the rebels that your government has been hitting has not been, at least so far, ISIS or al-Nusra. Likely this is simply because Putin has decided that all opposition to Assad is equally a problem for Russian interests, and as such, he has painted all the rebels in Russian media as being terrorists, and as ISIS, as a way of selling to the Russian people the necessity of the mission. Western media, being outside of state control, is not completely immune to propaganda (e.g. Fox), but is still more reliable.

Here's the analysis of the New York Times, tracking the Russian airstrikes:

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2...irstrikes.html
That article lists organizations like Fatah Army, ansar ash-shariah etc, even their names clearly suggest who they are. I don't see any significant difference between them and ISIS, especially given the fact that they often operate together.
Also a quote from NY times article that I find very interesting:
Quote:
In the South, the Southern Front is a coalition of smaller armed groups that has coordinated with the United States. The coalition supports a secular government.
the author doesn't even bother naming these secular groups since they have zero impact currently.
So the alternative is Assad or these ISIS/Ansar alshareah/Nusra/Jayesh al-fatah etc. If you see any other group that could replace Assad and, at the same time, doesn't want to build a khalifate and is able to defeat ISIS and other scum (Nusra etc) pls name it.

Quote:
You'll notice that the strikes are centered mostly at targets near bordering between non-ISIS held rebel territory bordering Assad's positions in the east, near the Mediterranean. In contrast to the vast majority of strikes, only two appear farther east in ISIS held territory. This isn't a surprise. First priority for the Russians is understandably securing Tartus and Assad.
Here you're right I think.
Also note that, As our officials declare, they would like to cooperate with the syrian army supporting their ground operations by airstrikes rather than to destroy ISIS using our air forces which isn't realistic.

Quote:
Here is a comment on just this fact by the BBC:

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-34411653
From the article:
Quote:
Coverage of Russian air strikes in Syria has been leading news bulletins on Russian state television. Reports spoke of jets targeting the Islamist al-Nusra Front as well as so-called Islamic State (IS).

But mostly Russian media simply calls the targets "IS" or "terrorists".
So, the problem is only that Russia targets not only ISIS but also other terrorist groups which are ideologically very close? Or just our media naming them "terrorists"?
To be honest, Russian medias often mansion Nusra and other groups including Jayesh al-islam (who declared a "war" against us shortly after the operation started).


Quote:
Russia hitting these other, non-ISIS, Sunni rebel groups is predictable. It does however also carry a high potential for long-term problems, as it will aggravate Turkey, the Saudis, and all the other Sunni backers of those groups.
Turks, Saudis and all others should get out of Syria. They are the biggest problem since they created and financed all these countless islamist groups, not Russia/Assad.
However,I also doubt this operation shall dramatically change the situation. Syria, thanks to both Turkey and other saudis and the west, already turned to be a fucked up place and whatever happens it won't recover in any near future.

Quote:
The Sunni nations all want Assad out.
And what? Russia and probably some others "want Obama out", but does that change anything?

Quote:
better that Russia gets blamed by the Sunni world than us.
Russia is already commonly recognized as an anomy by the sunni world, so that also won't change anything.

Last edited by SomeOneElse; 10-03-2015 at 11:07 AM.
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  #10  
Old 10-03-2015, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by SomeOneElse View Post

That article lists organizations like Fatah Army, ansar ash-shariah etc, even their names clearly suggest who they are. I don't see any significant difference between them and ISIS, especially given the fact that they often operate together.
Yeah, they're Muslim. Not exactly surprising that many of them would be religious. That doesn't mean that they are all terrorists, but it does create the problem of who to trust. Currently, the only rebel force that I trust at all, and even that is mostly by comparison to all the other bad options, is the Kurds. That is why I said it neither surprised me, not really bothers me that Russia is hitting these groups. But it is bothering Turkey, who is sponsoring these Sunni rebel groups (and maybe tacitly sponsoring ISIS...).

Putin clearly has decided that keeping Assad is worth pissing off the rest of the neighborhood - except Iran and Hezbollah, the only two other proximate forces that support Assad, since like him, they are Shia. We are trying to balance supporting both Turkey's goals and supporting the Kurds. Just realize that this will have consequences in the Sunni world for Russia. But then, as I said, better that they be pissed at you than at us.

Quote:
Turks, Saudis and all others should get out of Syria. They are the biggest problem since they created and financed all these countless islamist groups, not Russia/Assad.
However,I also doubt this operation shall dramatically change the situation. Syria, thanks to both Turkey and other saudis and the west, already turned to be a fucked up place and whatever happens it won't recover in any near future.
Assad's main problem is that he is a Shia warlord in a majority Sunni nation. With Russian help he can maybe hold onto the west - which is likely all that Russia really cares about, since it's that access to Tartus and the Mediterranean that is really what matters strategically for Russia. But not even with Russian help can he retake the rest of Syria. This will either end with a partitioning of Syria or a Sunni government ruling all of Syria from Damascus. If that latter possibility didn't likely mean ISIS taking Damascus, I'd be less inclined to support the former, but due to that concern I still think the best option is trying to sell Turkey on the idea of partition. They don't want that since they don't want either Assad or the Kurds to come out of this with a presence, but if Russia's entry into the civil war forces them to make that concession - still the best outcome in my opinion.

Last edited by Kimon; 10-03-2015 at 01:16 PM.
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  #11  
Old 10-03-2015, 06:25 PM
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Irony: Us criticizing/condemning the Russian air strikes in Syria and then us going and bombing a hospital...

Whoops.
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Old 10-04-2015, 04:07 AM
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But when we bomb it then that proves that it was a terrorist hospital, doesn't it?
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Old 10-04-2015, 11:39 PM
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But when we bomb it then that proves that it was a terrorist hospital, doesn't it?
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-34440965

The Afghan Government apparently is trying to justify it with just this rationale...

Quote:
On Saturday the Afghan defence ministry said "armed terrorists" were using the hospital "as a position to target Afghan forces and civilians".
MSF said in a statement: "These statements imply that Afghan and US forces working together decided to raze to the ground a fully functioning hospital - with more than 180 staff and patients inside - because they claim that members of the Taliban were present.

"This amounts to an admission of a war crime. This utterly contradicts the initial attempts of the US government to minimise the attack as 'collateral damage.'"
US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter said on Sunday that a full, transparent investigation would be conducted into whether the US military could be linked to the attack.
MSF re-iterated its demand for an independent investigation by an international body.

Twelve MSF staff members and 10 patients were killed when the hospital was hit.
Dozens were injured and the hospital severely damaged by a series of air strikes lasting more than an hour from 02:00 local time on Saturday morning.
On its Twitter feed, MSF said: "The hospital was repeatedly and precisely hit during each aerial raid, while the rest of the compound was left mostly untouched.
"Not a single member of our staff reported any fighting inside the hospital compound prior to the US air strike on Saturday morning."
I agree with the MSF. This is a war crime. Whoever authorized this strike should face a court martial.
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Old 10-05-2015, 07:20 AM
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This is a war crime. Whoever authorized this strike should face a court martial.
This is America, we don't indict war criminals...we elect them to Congress:

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Old 10-05-2015, 08:45 AM
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On its Twitter feed, MSF said: "The hospital was repeatedly and precisely hit during each aerial raid, while the rest of the compound was left mostly untouched.
And these blast points, too accurate for sand people. Only imperial storm troopers are so precise.
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Old 10-05-2015, 09:50 AM
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And these blast points, too accurate for sand people. Only imperial storm troopers are so precise.
Ive always had a problem with that line...
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Old 10-05-2015, 11:20 AM
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It was already obvious, but we've admitted now that it was us.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-34447792

Quote:
"We have now learned that on 3 October, Afghan forces advised that they were taking fire from enemy positions and asked for air support from US air forces," said Gen Campbell, the top commander of the US-led Nato coalition in Afghanistan.
"An air strike was then called to eliminate the Taliban threat and several civilians were accidentally struck." He expressed his "deepest condolences" over the civilian deaths.
So apparently our excuse is either that we didn't bother to verify the target, or that we simply didn't care.
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Old 10-05-2015, 12:54 PM
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If you cant trust local Afghani forces, who can you trust...


Next you'll try to tell me that during our initial invasion in 2001, they simply made up stories of their tribal rivals being Taliban supporters so they could sell them to us for a quick buck and to eliminate said rival.

That'd be ridiculous.
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Old 10-05-2015, 07:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davian93 View Post
If you cant trust local Afghani forces, who can you trust...


Next you'll try to tell me that during our initial invasion in 2001, they simply made up stories of their tribal rivals being Taliban supporters so they could sell them to us for a quick buck and to eliminate said rival.

That'd be ridiculous.
But! But! That would be.....dishonest!!!
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Old 10-06-2015, 06:18 PM
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Kimon Kimon is offline
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Back on the original topic, the situation between Russia and Turkey has continued to deteriorate.


http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-34453739

Quote:
Russia's violation of Turkish airspace over the weekend "does not look like an accident", Nato has said.
Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Russia had not provided "any real explanation" of the violation, which "lasted for a long time."
Russia says Saturday's incursion was brief and due to bad weather. It is examining claims of another violation.
Turkey's army also says an unidentified fighter jet locked its radar on to eight of its jets on Monday.
It echoes a similar incident on Sunday, when an unidentified Mig-29 - which analysts say may have been Syrian - locked its radar onto Turkish jets for more than five minutes over the Turkish-Syrian border.
Missile systems inside Syria were also locked on to Turkish planes for more than four minutes on Monday, the Turkish military says.
Hopefully this doesn't get too interesting, but the rhetoric is certainly getting more bellicose...

Quote:
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that "an attack on Turkey means an attack on Nato"
He added: "If Russia loses a friend like Turkey, with whom it has been co-operating on many issues, it will lose a lot, and it should know that"

Last edited by Kimon; 10-06-2015 at 06:21 PM.
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