Ad
Ad
Ad
Pages: « 1 ... 8 9 [10] 11 »   Bottom of Page
Print
Author Topic: Syrian crisis - what should be done?  (Read 21890 times)
BernardLanguillier
Sr. Member
****
Online Online

Posts: 8193



WWW
« Reply #180 on: September 10, 2013, 01:23:40 AM »
ReplyReply

Bernard,
The impression I'm getting  from news reports on this, is that it seems clear,according to the intercepted messages by the Germans, that Assad himself did not order the chemical attacks, but other members of his miltary force may have done so. It's not clear or certain that these attacks were perpetrated by either the rebels or outside forces.

Yep, this is unclear, but many inputs point towards the fact that those were in fact used by the rebels. Now, were they able to use them by themselves, or were they helped by someone?

For some reason, I feel that this piece of information will not be disclosed.

The new proposal from Russia is interesting also... Wink

Cheers,
Bernard
« Last Edit: September 10, 2013, 01:53:54 AM by BernardLanguillier » Logged

A few images online here!
jjj
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 3533



WWW
« Reply #181 on: September 10, 2013, 02:11:42 PM »
ReplyReply

This article on the language used in relation to events in Syria is very interesting regarding the recent incident and the why the recent furore over it is a bit questionable, seeing as the vast amounts of people killed previously in Syria provoked no international action. 
Logged

Tradition is the Backbone of the Spineless.   Futt Futt Futt Photography
BernardLanguillier
Sr. Member
****
Online Online

Posts: 8193



WWW
« Reply #182 on: September 10, 2013, 07:52:11 PM »
ReplyReply

This article on the language used in relation to events in Syria is very interesting regarding the recent incident and the why the recent furore over it is a bit questionable, seeing as the vast amounts of people killed previously in Syria provoked no international action.  

Besides, if the big picture goal is to prevent the death and suffering of people in the world, it would be far smarter for the US to cut in half defense spendings (which would bring us back to year 1996 levels... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:InflationAdjustedDefenseSpending.PNG) and to focus on the advances of medical science instead.

And don't come and tell me that the US was under equipped defenwise in 1996... it already had by far the most modern and best equipped army in the Western part of the galaxy. It was certainly not perfect, but it was way closer to perfection than any other army it may ever have to deal with on planet earth.

Cheers,
Bernard
« Last Edit: September 10, 2013, 07:55:58 PM by BernardLanguillier » Logged

A few images online here!
Rocco Penny
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 483



« Reply #183 on: September 10, 2013, 08:12:00 PM »
ReplyReply

That guy Obama,
he is such a louse.
Louse louse louse...
Listen to him,
"our troops are out of Iraq, our troops are coming home from Afghanistan"
good job America,
you have reconciled yourself as second rate war criminal supporters
Logged
Steve Weldon
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1460



WWW
« Reply #184 on: September 10, 2013, 10:14:45 PM »
ReplyReply

Besides, if the big picture goal is to prevent the death and suffering of people in the world, it would be far smarter for the US to cut in half defense spendings (which would bring us back to year 1996 levels... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:InflationAdjustedDefenseSpending.PNG) and to focus on the advances of medical science instead.

And don't come and tell me that the US was under equipped defenwise in 1996... it already had by far the most modern and best equipped army in the Western part of the galaxy. It was certainly not perfect, but it was way closer to perfection than any other army it may ever have to deal with on planet earth.

Cheers,
Bernard

Sometimes something so profoundly ignorant surfaces, and you really don't want to breech and insult the messenger, but the weight of what you're saying.. well.. I'd be remiss if I let it go without comment.

The first paragraph I'll just let go as coming from someone who believes the US military is the cause of much death and suffering and needs look no further than a body count to justify their views.  I'm okay with that,difference of opinions and all..

But the second paragraph just misses the big floating boat on a number of issues.  It doesn't matter how "well equipped in comparison" we are to whatever enemy surfaces unless being a bullet ahead is all it takes to make you feel good about sending people to war.    That might work when you're competing with lemonade stands and your extra 1/4 lemon per unit gives you a product advantage.. but in war thousands or even millions die.  A 1/4 lemon a ahead might mean we only lost 900,000 men .. to their million.  Sure makes me feel good.  Not.  Modern warfare demands a certain level of readiness among men, equipment, training, attrition cycles, logistics, product development, well.. what any big business needs.  You just can't guy a business back to a 20 year old operating budget and expect it to survive.

There are so many instances to use as examples.. but one that we all might have heard about is our lack of HUMINT (human intelligence) assets in the middle eastern countries who ended up attacking us.  The President took over, wanted (at least on paper) a budget surplus, and come hell or high water he would get one.  In this case it meant cutting our HUMINT assets in the countries that attacked us.. which is usually how we find out we're going to be attacked.  Before we're attacked.  But it goes further.  We get attacked and now we're expected to just through money at it and its fixed.  Start up that old product line and away we go, all fixed right?  No.  In the case of HUMINT resources they take a minimum of years.. usually 10+, often 20-30-40+.. the better your resources are rated is usually tied into their history/credibility.. With crappy HUMINT resources one could be led to believe.. well.. certain countries have WMD's who don't.  Or who did but moved them somewhere.  Stop funding your HUMINT resources in a way this certain President did.. and it directly puts us at risk.  You never, ever, under ANY circumstances take your eye off your enemies.  Unless a budget surplus and re-election is that important to you.

But it's more than our HUMINT sources in the ME, our fleets of planes, ships, and satellites are all on development and product cycles. Break one and it can take over a decade to get back to where you left off.  What time edge we had over our enemies will probably not hold up.  On a smaller scale, guns, gas masks, MOP suits, bullet proof vests.. remember, all those things Bush Sr. was taken to task for because he wasn't providing them and he still sent men to war?  Yep, even those product cycles take 5-10 years to get back on track.  And then there's the men who wear and use that equipment.

The list is long.   And when someone who's familiar with the list reads what you wrote.. we really wish for a more thoughtful approach.
Logged

----------------------------------------------
http://www.BangkokImages.com
BernardLanguillier
Sr. Member
****
Online Online

Posts: 8193



WWW
« Reply #185 on: September 10, 2013, 11:47:30 PM »
ReplyReply

The first paragraph I'll just let go as coming from someone who believes the US military is the cause of much death and suffering and needs look no further than a body count to justify their views.  I'm okay with that,difference of opinions and all..

Nope, this is not what I wrote. I didn't write anywhere that I thought the US army caused sufferings and death, nor is it what I think, and if they did as a regrettable side effect, it was only the result of the wrong orders they were given.

I wrote that there are far better ways to reduce suffering and death in the world than spending more on defense, which is so different that I cannot quite understand how you could confuse the two propositions.

But the second paragraph just misses the big floating boat on a number of issues.  It doesn't matter how "well equipped in comparison" we are to whatever enemy surfaces unless being a bullet ahead is all it takes to make you feel good about sending people to war.    That might work when you're competing with lemonade stands and your extra 1/4 lemon per unit gives you a product advantage.. but in war thousands or even millions die.  A 1/4 lemon a ahead might mean we only lost 900,000 men .. to their million.  Sure makes me feel good.  Not.  Modern warfare demands a certain level of readiness among men, equipment, training, attrition cycles, logistics, product development, well.. what any big business needs.  You just can't guy a business back to a 20 year old operating budget and expect it to survive.

The list is long.   And when someone who's familiar with the list reads what you wrote.. we really wish for a more thoughtful approach.

We are speaking of defense spendings, right?

Because the whole argument you are putting forward here awfully feels like the one of someone who is about to wage wars.

So yes, if some politicians decide to start a war for whatever reason, there is no limit to the amount the military will be willing to spend to reduce the causalities among the man they will have to sending out to follow political orders.

Now:
1. Nothing forces the politicians in the US to start wars. If history is of any value, there has not been a single significant example of war since WWII where the US got involved that was able to deliver on the objective initially stated as the reason for going to war. No need to look back at Irak as the most glaring example thereof,
2. In a defensive context, good enough has to be good enough in view of the other priorities a modern society has to deal with. Because defense budget is there for a purpose which is to serve society, because it is funded by society among other important things like education or medical sciences for example.

Cheers,
Bernard
Logged

A few images online here!
Steve Weldon
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1460



WWW
« Reply #186 on: September 11, 2013, 12:27:25 AM »
ReplyReply

Nope, this is not what I wrote. I didn't write anywhere that I thought the US army caused sufferings and death, nor is it what I think, and if they did as a regrettable side effect, it was only the result of the wrong orders they were given.

Okay, clarified.   Wrong orders they were given.. You mean by their civilian masters?

Quote
I wrote that there are far better ways to reduce suffering and death in the world than spending more on defense, which is so different that I cannot quite understand how you could confuse the two propositions.

It's context.  You chose the context when you chose the subjects for comparison. 

Quote
We are speaking of defense spendings, right?

Because the whole argument you are putting forward here awfully feels like the one of someone who is about to wage wars.

The job of the US military during peace time is to maintain a state or readiness as stipulated by the executive branch.  For a long time this has been the ability to fight two wars and still protect the homeland.  That's an awful lot of responsibility.   So you're right.  We maintain readiness to fight wars even when not at war.  It's like your car, you might not drive it next week when you're out of town, but when you return you still want it to run, be insured, have fuel fresh enough to run, enough air in the tires, etc.  Even when out of town you're paying for insurance, cost of ownership, service to your auto loan, etc.

Quote
So yes, if some politicians decide to start a war for whatever reason, there is no limit to the amount the military will be willing to spend to reduce the causalities among the man they will have to sending out to follow political orders.

Ideally yes.  But military commands are given budgets just like anyone else.  Maintaining readiness is a core requirement.

Quote
Now:
1. Nothing forces the politicians in the US to start wars. If history is of any value, there has not been a single significant example of war since WWII where the US got involved that was able to deliver on the objective initially stated as the reason for going to war. No need to look back at Irak as the most glaring example thereof,
2. In a defensive context, good enough has to be good enough in view of the other priorities a modern society has to deal with. Because defense budget is there for a purpose which is to serve society, because it is funded by society among other important things like education or medical sciences for example.

Well.. if the civilians are doing such a bad job choosing and running wars, perhaps we should give the responsibility (and the funding to match ) to the military?   

Still, you're assuming "the initial objective" was their real objective.  Or that they didn't get out of the wars they did fight.. what they wanted.  Deterrence comes to mind.

In either case it's not enough to complain.  You need to provide a solution.  Reducing the budget of an organization that you appear to ideologically oppose to some arbitrary number appears not only short sighted, but wreckless to boot.  We could probably cut the budget to the DOT by a like amount.. and that might look great on the surface.  Well, until your car fell into a giant pothole, trucks supplying our daily supply of consumables (food, gas, etc) took twice as long to deliver at double the expense because of poor road conditions.. and who knows how many other consequences will rear their troublesome heads.



Logged

----------------------------------------------
http://www.BangkokImages.com
BernardLanguillier
Sr. Member
****
Online Online

Posts: 8193



WWW
« Reply #187 on: September 11, 2013, 02:18:13 AM »
ReplyReply

In either case it's not enough to complain.  You need to provide a solution.  Reducing the budget of an organization that you appear to ideologically oppose to some arbitrary number appears not only short sighted, but wreckless to boot.  We could probably cut the budget to the DOT by a like amount.. and that might look great on the surface.  Well, until your car fell into a giant pothole, trucks supplying our daily supply of consumables (food, gas, etc) took twice as long to deliver at double the expense because of poor road conditions.. and who knows how many other consequences will rear their troublesome heads.

The solution is very simple:
1. Stick to purely defensive missions where armed force maintain a level of readiness that enable them to react in case the territory of the US is being attacked,
2. Re-assess the budget accordingly. I would be extremely surprised it you were not able to go below 1996 levels, meaning less than half the current level of spending.

Cheers,
Bernard
Logged

A few images online here!
Rob C
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 12213


« Reply #188 on: September 11, 2013, 08:43:16 AM »
ReplyReply

Bernard, you're suggesting what's tantamount to an isolationist programme, a further development of 'fortress America' that leaves the rest of the world outside and hopelessly the poorer. A huge amount of the UK economy is intertwined and integrated with the American one; many companies are co-owned on both sides of the Atlantic with vast amounts of capital and investment shared. How can anyone, in a modern world, think it possible to split the two asunder?

You are stock market savvy - look what happens to London when NY sneezes!

National defence and world politics are one and the same beast; can anyone imagine Russia loves the Middle-East? Nope, it's a marriage of convenience that can be struck by divorce whenever situation ethics demand. Don't forget Afghanistan: Russia had a pretty bloody nose from that adventure and dozens of home-inflicted aches and pains from down in its own Islamic areas... that the US helped in the battle against Russia in Afghanistan is one of life's supreme ironies.

Rob C

Logged

Jim Pascoe
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 824


WWW
« Reply #189 on: September 11, 2013, 09:17:03 AM »
ReplyReply

Bernard, you're suggesting what's tantamount to an isolationist programme, a further development of 'fortress America' that leaves the rest of the world outside and hopelessly the poorer. A huge amount of the UK economy is intertwined and integrated with the American one; many companies are co-owned on both sides of the Atlantic with vast amounts of capital and investment shared. How can anyone, in a modern world, think it possible to split the two asunder?

You are stock market savvy - look what happens to London when NY sneezes!

National defence and world politics are one and the same beast; can anyone imagine Russia loves the Middle-East? Nope, it's a marriage of convenience that can be struck by divorce whenever situation ethics demand. Don't forget Afghanistan: Russia had a pretty bloody nose from that adventure and dozens of home-inflicted aches and pains from down in its own Islamic areas... that the US helped in the battle against Russia in Afghanistan is one of life's supreme ironies.

Rob C

Rob, I'm sure Bernard can and will answer for himself, but I don't think he is talking economic isolation - just military.

In principle I do agree with him.  The US however is involved in the Middle East for economic and ideological reasons, and it does anger me when action is justified purely on humanitarian grounds (gassed kids etc).  And remember too that Russia has more reason to be involved from a 'defence' point of view when you see that the borders of Russia and Syria are only a few hundred miles apart.  Quite different from the US which is many thousands of miles away.


Anyway, I see from the latest news re the Syrians considering relinquishing their Chemical weapons that we are able to get out of launching attacks without losing face.  Thank goodness for that.

Jim


Logged
Slobodan Blagojevic
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 6034


When everybody thinks the same... nobody thinks.


WWW
« Reply #190 on: September 11, 2013, 09:18:26 AM »
ReplyReply

You can't be an empire without army. If you do not want to be one, somebody else will.
Logged

Slobodan

Flickr
500px
Rob C
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 12213


« Reply #191 on: September 11, 2013, 02:11:52 PM »
ReplyReply

You can't be an empire without army. If you do not want to be one, somebody else will.


So true...
So better be you.

Next month a book! Or a letter to the The Times.

Rob C
Logged

Steve Weldon
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1460



WWW
« Reply #192 on: September 11, 2013, 05:34:33 PM »
ReplyReply

The solution is very simple:
1. Stick to purely defensive missions where armed force maintain a level of readiness that enable them to react in case the territory of the US is being attacked,
2. Re-assess the budget accordingly. I would be extremely surprised it you were not able to go below 1996 levels, meaning less than half the current level of spending.

Cheers,
Bernard


1.  The solution is either short sighted (extremely) or very radical on your part and I won't make that determination.  It's also very "Japan like" but even they've recently realized the need to contribute to their allies and protect their interests overseas.  We probably can't handle an extended large scale war on our own, we need to support our allies and protect our interests.. and we need our allies support.   I do agree we could scale back and we should.  But not nearly to the limits you've suggested.

2.  When it comes to funding the military you get what you pay for.  And there are a small number of shall we say "talented individuals" within the defence department we should keep in our employ and not risk  them going elsewhere.
Logged

----------------------------------------------
http://www.BangkokImages.com
BernardLanguillier
Sr. Member
****
Online Online

Posts: 8193



WWW
« Reply #193 on: September 11, 2013, 09:59:20 PM »
ReplyReply

1.  The solution is either short sighted (extremely) or very radical on your part and I won't make that determination.  It's also very "Japan like" but even they've recently realized the need to contribute to their allies and protect their interests overseas.  We probably can't handle an extended large scale war on our own, we need to support our allies and protect our interests.. and we need our allies support.   I do agree we could scale back and we should.  But not nearly to the limits you've suggested.

2.  When it comes to funding the military you get what you pay for.  And there are a small number of shall we say "talented individuals" within the defence department we should keep in our employ and not risk  them going elsewhere.

We are just discussions directions here, I am OK to negotiate the details.  Wink

The only point I am discussing really is the claim that such campaigns are led to avoid causalities in Syria and therefore saving humans lives.

My view remains that:
- Such an attack would be mostly a political act tightly connected to the interest of the US abroad and their connections with countries such as Saudi Arabia and Israel,
- The ability to conduct such operations requires huge military spending that end up conflicting with other approaches that would contribute a lot more globally to reducing human causalities than a possible raid on Syria.

The desire to maintain and expand the empire appears to be a much higher priority than saving human lives.

I am not saying that this is not understandable, I am just tired by the hypocrisy of it all.

Cheers,
Bernard
Logged

A few images online here!
Steve Weldon
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1460



WWW
« Reply #194 on: September 12, 2013, 02:42:32 AM »
ReplyReply

We are just discussions directions here, I am OK to negotiate the details.  Wink

The only point I am discussing really is the claim that such campaigns are led to avoid causalities in Syria and therefore saving humans lives.

My view remains that:
- Such an attack would be mostly a political act tightly connected to the interest of the US abroad and their connections with countries such as Saudi Arabia and Israel,
- The ability to conduct such operations requires huge military spending that end up conflicting with other approaches that would contribute a lot more globally to reducing human causalities than a possible raid on Syria.

The desire to maintain and expand the empire appears to be a much higher priority than saving human lives.

I am not saying that this is not understandable, I am just tired by the hypocrisy of it all.

Cheers,
Bernard


Thank you for your views.  Now I can see where you're coming from and it's not all that surprising they're very close to my own.  Really, I think for the most part the views we see on this forum are very close, but perhaps with a  more varied ability to put our feelings  to paper we end up with misunderstandings and anger through frustration.

We can and should do better.  We owe it to ourselves and our children.  And  yet we're not.  What does this say about us other than our shame runs deep?
« Last Edit: September 12, 2013, 02:45:05 AM by Steve Weldon » Logged

----------------------------------------------
http://www.BangkokImages.com
stamper
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2789


« Reply #195 on: September 12, 2013, 03:11:16 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote Bernard Reply#193

My view remains that:
- Such an attack would be mostly a political act tightly connected to the interest of the US abroad and their connections with countries such as Saudi Arabia and Israel,

Unquote

I heard John Kerry on TV a few days ago in a speech referring to "America's security interests". When you consider that Syria is thousands of miles away why would America feel threatened by them? Bernard gives the answer above. Hidden agendas. America trying to get at Russia via Syria and vice versa and America knows all about chemical weapons.
Logged

Rob C
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 12213


« Reply #196 on: September 12, 2013, 04:28:04 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote Bernard Reply#193

My view remains that:
- Such an attack would be mostly a political act tightly connected to the interest of the US abroad and their connections with countries such as Saudi Arabia and Israel,

Unquote

I heard John Kerry on TV a few days ago in a speech referring to "America's security interests". When you consider that Syria is thousands of miles away why would America feel threatened by them? Bernard gives the answer above. Hidden agendas. America trying to get at Russia via Syria and vice versa and America knows all about chemical weapons.


And you think there exists a university in any city whose lecturers don't? I should imagine that Glasgow would be perfectly capable of producing any of them, which hardly makes the Scot. Nats. possible terror exporters... but given the Irish example, the undeniable links between the two Irelands and Scotland, who knows what the future might hold for us all?

Empire is, in my view, a totally misunderstood term.

We had an Empire in recent history, and I lived in a part of it whilst it still was part of our Empire. If anything, it was an object lesson in what empire really means: responsibility. It faced the Greeks as it eventually did the Romans and every other extraterritorial power too. You have no empire anymore when you donít control it to your advantage, and to do that you need to depend not on force but upon the positives that you, as the top of the pyramid, can bring to the party. As all the others before discovered, tying up legions and muscle and finance only serves to leave the home base less well protected and itself open to attack.

And I believe that in the world of today, the greatest threat and disadvantage to the concept of empire and its continuation is finance. Can you imagine the state that Britain would be in today if it still had responsibility for what was India? We would be bankrupt. Africa? We could afford to keep troops there to separate warring tribes? The best thing we ever did was to abandon the whole concept of empire. We might have conceived better solutions to peaceful withdrawal than we did, but I suspect that the true scale of the drain on home resources that empire was ultimately seen to be post-WW2 made heads think very seriously.

Iíd be quite surprised to discover that the States have an interest in creating an empire of their own. I would be even more surprised to think that the States didnít want to have influence overseas. The two are by no means the same thing at all.

Solutions and aids to peaceful coexistence? More trade. Itís as simple as that. Iím led to believe that the EEC was supposedly set up to stop events like WW2 from being possible ever again; instead of concentrating upon trade that is of mutual benefit to all parties engaged in it, they corrupted the concept into one of federalism, causing the schism now threatening to split the entire thing asunder. How effing blind! They only had to consider the big players in the original concept: Italy had a boom, but Italy was not even a single country until very, very recently and the north still resents feeding the south; Spain, too, is bedevilled with factions wanting back their old independences and resenting the taxation payments that go elsewhere to support the hopeless cases; Britain? has anyone forgotten factions within Northern Ireland and Scotland and possibly Wales, too, seeking self-governance? France? As split as the rest, and as ever between ĎParisí and the Midi. Germany, the current top gun? Until they suddenly found themselves responsible for the eastern part, Soviet long enough to destroy the work ethic, they had few problems. Now they face all manner or domestic crisis and also the product of having had to import labour willing to do Ďmenialí work. Itís the American south and the plantations all over again, but with other players. You canít send the Ďguestsí home again, they become you, but different. Hasnít empire proved that in Britain, too?

Old countries are like old dogs: we are bad at new tricks.

I think the U.S. model works for them because they are new and managed quite quickly to get to a stage where there exists a common language; that that is seriously under threat is another story, and maybe selective lessons from the old countries might be worth learning.

Rob C
Logged

Ray
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 8900


« Reply #197 on: September 12, 2013, 09:48:38 AM »
ReplyReply

The new proposal from Russia is interesting also... Wink

Cheers,
Bernard


Absolutely! It looks as though reason and common sense might prevail here. I think Putin has saved Obama's bacon. This is by far a better solution to a missile attack from America, used as a slap on the wrist to punish Assad.
Logged
Rob C
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 12213


« Reply #198 on: September 12, 2013, 10:03:35 AM »
ReplyReply

Absolutely! It looks as though reason and common sense might prevail here. I think Putin has saved Obama's bacon. This is by far a better solution to a missile attack from America, used as a slap on the wrist to punish Assad.


Sure, far better: clearly impossible ever to regulate, it's usefully dead in the agua. An absolute victory to whichever faction used the stuff. Next time?

Would a US-led attack have helped? Equally, no! Nothing will help until the domestic game has played itself out at whatever cost it thinks it can afford. It's like divorce: both parties hate the other's lawyers, eventually more than they hate each other.

Rob C
Logged

petermfiore
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 572



WWW
« Reply #199 on: September 12, 2013, 10:15:24 AM »
ReplyReply


 An absolute victory to whichever faction used the stuff. Next time?



Rob C

Rob,

That's the point, the big WHO!

Peter
Logged

Pages: « 1 ... 8 9 [10] 11 »   Top of Page
Print
Jump to:  

Ad
Ad
Ad