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Discussion in 'International News' started by Mr. Conspiracy, Jul 17, 2012.
Well I would like to say this surprises me but it doesn't. The opposition is mostly banded together to face a common foe, but they will also have to resolve their own issues with each other, and they still will have to resolve issues with the groups they are attempting to supplant.
Its going to be a mess.
Already is one clusterf*ck of a mess. Every superpower and regional power has a stake in Syria for different reasons, and supporting either the rebels or the Syrian regime. Innocent people caught up in the middle and getting massacred.
I predict that Assad regime will fall, when the Russians abandon him. I think it will happen if the new leadership can allow or ensure the precense of the Russian navalbase in Tartus. That is all they care about.
This is all assuming if Assad does not take control of the current situation.
The thing is there isn't one opposition but many, as you'd expect from a society where different divisions and opinions haven't been allowed to be freely expressed for a couple of generations. The answer is to let the people decide so it's a bit rich of Assad NOW to be wittering on about letting the people choose who runs the show. He could have done that YEARS ago.
The reality is that he's just saying that because he thinks it gives him the best PR.
I would like to see Iran and Syria build a joint naval, air, and army base on the Mediterranean coast somewhere close to the Lebanese border with Syria. This base would fulfill the following functions:
1) Send a clear signal that Bashar Assad is not going anywhere.
2) Help Syria enhance its military position viz a viz Israel.
3) Expand the ability of Iran and Syria to assist their ally, Hezbollah, in Lebanon in the event such assistance becomes necessary.
4) Help Iran add another layer to its power projection capabilities viz a viz Israel, as well as its ability to project its power in the Mediterranean.
5) Let the US/Nato et al know that their attempts to forcibly remove Assad from power has horribly backfired. An Iranian military base on the Mediterranean would quite clearly send a powerful signal to Europeans who would realize that a conflict with Iran would easily spill into their states and cities as well.
Yeah, like all fascist states, the long term plan is always to unite to grab power for powers sake... never for the benefit of ordinary people or even an ideal such as free speech and the freedom to choose your own rulers without interference from people who've set themselves up as judge, jury and executioner on the basis of some nebulous political or religious dogma. Well, they're pretty much the same thing, aren't they but you know what I mean.
Hitler and Mussolini tried the same thing back in the day. I wonder how that worked out?!
Eventually, Assad will fall. There is actually more to Russian support for Syria than the presence of a Russian naval base in Tartus (although certainly the most major factor) because it gives Russia control over the Black Sea.
There is the prospect of future arm sales to the regime. The new regime may not support acceptance of Russian arms in light of Russia's support for Assad. There also may be a fear in Moscow about Syria being to Russia what Iran was to the US in 1979...an important allied country becoming an enemy. There is also the issue of Syrian debt to Russia which may not be honored with a new regime.
But the major reason is control over the Black Sea. Russia fought many wars with the Ottoman Empire precisely for control of the Black Sea.
I don't understand this preoccupation with Russia as it relates to the situation in Syria. While the Russian security council veto gives them some influence, the truth is that they are otherwise largely bystanders in what is going on. As Kofi Annan, the UN Special envoy and former secretary general has stated, the Russian role is exaggerated and overstated. I don't see anyone in Syria saying or doing anything differently regardless of whatever Russia has to say or does. Even the role of Iran, which is the only country with some influence over the decisions Syria makes, should not be overstated: ultimately, Syria is an independent country and Bashar Assad has made it clear that no outside country, not even Iran, can make him accept things he doesn't accept.
Thus, while I agree with this article that Iran must be involved in talks about Syria's future, I neither share the assumption in the article about Assad's regime falling nor that Iran can or would be willing to help in that process. Instead what Iran can bring to the table is a more balanced representation in talks regarding Syria's future, a representation that would much better reflect the actual balance of power within Syria than the wishful thinking that is merely causing bloodshed and threatening a costly civil war in that country with difficult to predict ramifications.
Thank you. I was going to post the Vali Nasr article but IM already posted it.
Syrian papers are reporting that Iran has sent a strong message to Turkey, warning it against any military moves against Syria.
More talk from Iran, but we all know nothing will come of it.
I hope "nothing" will come of it: the purpose of any warning would not be to start a war, but to persuade the Turks that it wouldn't be a good idea to intervene militarily in Syria. As long as they are persuaded, it has accomplished its purpose!
Based on the reports in Syria, it appears the Syrian government was worried that Turkey was trying to use the Kurds as a pretext to intervene in some areas of the country. According to those same reports, it seems that threat has subsided for now.
Vogue writer Joan Juliet Buck regrets her puff piece on Asma Al-Assad:
Syria stayed quiet until the middle of March, when a small incident set off the horrifying massacres that have now gone on for 17 months. In a town called Daraa at the end of February, 15 children broke the country’s silence. I don’t know if it was the euphoria of the Arab Spring or if they had been empowered by the Green Team from Massar.
The boys, ages 9 to 15, wrote, “The people want to topple the regime” on the walls of their school.
The police arrested them. When they had not been released after two weeks, their families staged a protest on March 15.
At a second protest, on March 18, Syrian forces fired on the crowd and killed four people.
The boys were released from prison. Their families saw that they had been tortured and took to the streets. On March 23, a grenade was hurled into a crowd of protesters in the Daraa mosque.
Assad’s forces began to kill Syrians every day. They fired on mourners at funerals, men gathered in mosques, women and children in the street.
They arrested more children. They tortured more children.
On April 29, a chubby 13-year-old boy named Hamza Ali al-Khateeb was arrested during a protest in Saida, near Daraa.
May 24, Hamza’s mutilated body was returned to his parents. The report by Al Jazeera said: “The child had spent nearly a month in the custody of Syrian security, and when they finally returned the corpse, it bore the scars of brutal torture: lacerations, bruises and burns to his feet, elbows, face, and knees. Hamza’s eyes were swollen and black and there were identical bullet wounds where he had apparently been shot through both arms, the bullets tearing a hole in his sides and lodging in his belly. On Hamza’s chest was a deep, dark burn mark. His neck was broken and his penis cut off.”
Asma al-Assad had said that “Massar” meant destiny.
Bashar al-Assad blamed the uprising of the Syrian people on terrorists from both al Qaeda and the United States.
Through 2011, I wondered about Asma al-Assad, the woman who cared so much about the youth of Syria. How could she not know what was happening? How could she stand by and do nothing while the Syrian regime ate its young?
Edit - I made the mistake of going to youtube where they had a video of Hamza's body that was returned to his family a month after being arrested and horribly tortured. Nearly brought tears to my eyes. Now I'd like more than ever to see a tank roll over Bashar Al-Asaad backwards & forwards several times until he is the width of toilet paper.
If Turkey were going to get involved they would have done so when their plane was shot down. Still if Turkey does decide to get involved, threats from iran are not going to dissuade them. Turkey is more then a match militarily for iran.
"One of the men killed has been identified as Ali Zeineddin al-Berri, known as Zeno, accused of leading a shabiha group which killed 15 FSA fighters during a truce in Aleppo on Tuesday."
From the sidebar: "Clearly, neither side has a monopoly of righteousness, nor of abuse."
Actually, I don't dispute that Turkey has a strong military. But while they are strong enough to try to bully Syria when Syria is on its own, they are not strong enough to bully Syria when Syria is backed by Iran. The Turks don't want a war with Iran, anymore than Iran wants a war with Turkey. In such a war, the Turks will lose a lot more than Iran and they know it. And that has nothing to do with the operational strength of their military per se. It has to do with the fact that Turkey's economy is dependent on tourism; its industries are virtually unprotected against the kind of attacks they can be subjected to by Iran. Their economy will simply crumble in a war with Iran, regardless of which side is winning tactical battles in and around the border between the two sides.
As for Turks not wanting to act militarily against Syria, they have acted in such manner in the past on the Kurdish issue and have threatened to do so again. Even in the incident you mention involving their downed fighter, the Turks were initially rather bellicose while the Syrians were a bit apologetic. It was Iran that intervened and first openly justified Syria's action, and made it clear to the Turks that Iran won't sit idly for the Turks to get their way with them. Afterwards, the Syrians took a strong position as well and stopped being apologetic about shooting down a fighter that had intruded into their air space flying low to avoid radar. Incidentally, based on reports, that fighter was shot down by an Iranian anti-aircraft missile.
Why do you always overstate the importance or might of iran? In any war Turkey has a decided advantage over iran, not to mention that Turkey is a member of NATO and would likely get US support, that alone gives Turkey an unprecedented advantage over iran.
And shooting down an unarmed relic of a plane, an F-4 is nothing to get excited over. 1960's Soviet Anti-air missiles used to do a great job of doing just that.
Well I don't agree with this action. The US needs to stay out of the conflict on all levels. This is a problem for the arab league to handle.
I posted a wire report referring to a Syrian government newspaper report which stated that Turkey was threatening Syria with military action using the Kurdish issue as a pretext but they had backed down once Iran intervened and indicated it would help Syria defend itself. The importance of Iran to this issue was stated in the report, not by me!
Yeah sure looks like Turkey is backing down from any possible military action....
For the 100th time, Turkey is more vulnerable than Iran in a war. It doesn't take an Einstein to figure that out. There is no "decided advantage" for Turkey. Turkey does have a clear advantage in the air, but Iran also has a clear advantage when it comes to missiles. On the ground, Turkey has a slight advantage when it comes to equipment, but Iran has an advantage when it comes to numbers and fighting/war experience and combat-seen-and-ready troops. So overall, both sides are more or less evenly matched. The border is not penetrable by either side, as it's all mountains, which means that you will have Turkey striking targets deep inside Iran, and Iran shooting missiles at Turkey. Now lets ignore the fact that Turkey's economy is dependent on Iran and Iran is Turkey's biggest trading partner, and assume that the Turks actually decide to go to war with Iran. What is Turkey's main source of revenue? Tourism. Iran's main source of revenue? Oil. Now oil doesn't run away when there is a war, but tourists do.
This is why Turkey is not going to risk war with Iran, and does take what Iran says, very seriously.
Wait, what combat seen and ready troops does iran have? Correct me if I am wrong, but the last war iran fought was the iran-iraq war that ended in 88. Don't tell me that combat vets from that war are going to be useful today...
Also the only way iran and turkey will fight is if iran attacks turkey when Turkey decides to end the regime of assad. And from what I recall, iran never starts any wars with anyone....
Somehow I don't think Turkey's entire economy is based on toursim. Will be looking that one up.
It's not a matter of it being likely. As part of NATO the US, (and the rest of us), HAVE to support them if they're attacked as 'an attack on one is an attack on all'. Iran would effectively be declaring war on the west and it's not like they've built up any goodwill in the area either.
Like I said, Iran will mouth off but they're not going to do shit apart from sending their thugs to torture and murder unarmed men, children and women. Once those people get armed and start to fight back the fascists usually leg it in the other direction, i.e. par for the course