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Posted: Fri Apr 07, 2017 9:08 am
by Valigarmander
So far it's uncertain whether or not more direct military action by the US is going to follow.

Not sure how I feel about this yet.

Posted: Fri Apr 07, 2017 10:55 am
by Deku Tree
[QUOTE="Valigarmander, post: 1626952, member: 30663"]Not sure how I feel about this yet.[/QUOTE]

Same.

Posted: Fri Apr 07, 2017 12:29 pm
by X-3
Yeah. There really is no right play you can make here, even in the face of someone as horrific as Assad.

Posted: Fri Apr 07, 2017 1:45 pm
by I am nobody
As bad as the consequences of military action could be, the use of chemical weapons should not be tolerated from a humanitarian perspective, and the continued possession of chemical weapons in a nation where they could easily fall into the hands of IS should not be tolerated from any perspective. I think some level of force was necessary.

I don't know where you go from here, though. Assad clearly can't be trusted to disarm on his own, and more serious action will only further destabilize the country and increase the risk of weapons being stolen.

Posted: Fri Apr 07, 2017 2:47 pm
by CaptHayfever
A calculated strike by somebody with an even temperament who took the time to think things through & attempted to avoid collateral damage would be one thing.
Heck, even just getting Congressional approval would be one thing.
But none of that happened here.

And remember, "I'm-a Luigi, number one!"

Posted: Fri Apr 07, 2017 3:23 pm
by Bomby
Assad needs to go, but I have a few big worries:

1. Trump's impulsiveness. Especially considering how anti-interventionist his rhetoric was about Syria previously, this is a very swift change in tone. Not to mention his history of praising violent authoritarians.
2. If we're taking military action, this increases our responsibility to help refugees in order minimize civilian casualties. Trump said that the violence against babies in the chemical attack is what caused him to call for the strike, but not letting refugees in was a huge part of his campaign.
3. Who will be in charge after Assad is gone? While the rebels are mostly much more moderate than Assad, that doesn't mean we won't end up with someone just as bad.

A part of me is glad that we're finally taking action against Assad. I firmly believe that a strict non-interventionist policy can actually do more harm than good in the long run, especially when dealing with someone as vicious as Assad. But, of course, any act of intervention is inherently problematic (obvious statement is obvious), especially considering that our only real success in the middle east was protecting Kuwait during Desert Storm. Trump's temperament and inexperience do not exactly inspire confidence in me, and the people around him don't help at all either.

Posted: Sat Apr 08, 2017 1:18 am
by I REALLY HATE POKEMON!
[QUOTE="Calamity Panfan, post: 1626919, member: 29448"]no better way to get people who hate you to "rally around" you and say you're "cracking down" and "tough" than bombing some brown people[/QUOTE]

Try not to mischaracterize complex military actions by boiling it down to "bombing brown people." If you don't agree with the action that's fine, cite a real reason, but you're just doing what too many do, provoking a racial rift which is doing a good job of healing.

I'm not sure we should even be involved in other countries' issues, makes me wonder what happened to Trump's "America first" and "Make America Great Again" taglines. This doesn't seem to be in our own interest.

On the other hand, maybe something needed to be done and maybe only America was willing and able to do it.

Posted: Sat Apr 08, 2017 5:40 am
by I am nobody
Even putting aside all arguments about the benefits of global stability and the danger of isolationism, it's hard for me to see how opposing a designated state sponsor of terrorism with a demonstrated willingness to use chemical weapons against his own people isn't consistent with a home first policy. It's definitely a departure from his recent statements on Syria, but I think this is one of the rare instances where interventionist and domestic populist politics overlap.

Not seeking Congressional approval could possibly be justified if they were acting on intelligence that the weapons were scheduled to be moved or that Syria would be able to find out about the approval process and start moving them before it's finished. But that's just me playing devil's advocate - I don't have any evidence that that was or wasn't the case, and I agree with most of what Bomby said.

On a somewhat related note, I find it very suspect that the Assad regime suddenly launched their first chemical attack in years against a seemingly random target so soon after corruption protests in Russia. It could be coincidence, and it could be Assad trying to please Russia without instructions from them, but it's very convenient for Putin regardless.

Posted: Mon Apr 10, 2017 7:30 pm
by I am nobody
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-39561102

The US claims the strike destroyed 20% of Syria's operational air force, although Syria and Russia say that most of the missiles missed and that only 6 MiG-23s (which may not be terribly different from 20% at this point) were destroyed. Tillerson has they would be "ill-advised ever again to use chemical weapons," which is a pretty clear threat that it'll be much worse next time.

Posted: Mon Apr 10, 2017 8:07 pm
by Deku Tree
Maybe that's the right play. Regime change doesn't seem likely at this point (not to mention it could always end up no better). Maybe we could realistically bully Assad into better behavior?

Posted: Sun May 14, 2017 8:16 pm
by Deku Tree
Iraqi forces have made significant progress towards reclaiming all of Mosul. It looks like they're on the last big push to get it done. Biggest delay is that they're reclaiming houses basically one at a time in the old part of the city to best avoid civilian casualties.

SDF forces have captured the Tabaqa dam and the surrounding town.

Posted: Sat May 27, 2017 7:38 am
by Deku Tree
Iraqi forces launch operation to seize last Islamic State enclave in Mosul

http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSKBN18N06X

Posted: Wed Jun 07, 2017 7:29 am
by Deku Tree
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-40171406

SDF with US support have begun the operation to take Raqqa back from ISIS.

Posted: Thu Jun 29, 2017 9:19 am
by Deku Tree
http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSKBN19K0YZ

Iraqi forces expect to have completely retaken Mosul within a couple days, if not hours.

Posted: Sun Jul 09, 2017 8:08 am
by Deku Tree

Posted: Sun Jul 09, 2017 2:38 pm
by е и ժ е я
Thought provoking developments. I really feel grateful that I don't live in such a contested and unsound environment. It does make me wonder what our perceptions of safety and risk are founded on, when life here is still something that can end with little provocation.

Re: Syrian Civil War Topic & Iraq

Posted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 11:57 pm
by Deku Tree
I haven't updated the topic in a long time, but ISIS has been pretty steady losing ground. The US backed SDF has taken most of Raqqa, the Russia backed Syrian Army has just reclaimed a large swath of rural area on its way to Deir ez-Zor, and the Iraqis have cleared ISIS out of Tal Afar.

Re: Syrian Civil War Topic & Iraq

Posted: Sat Sep 02, 2017 9:29 am
by Random User
Gotta wonder what's to become of the re-taken land once ISIS is properly dealt with. With players like US, Russia, and Iraq it's not hard to imagine the land being eaten up by Iraq or divided by US/Russia.

Re: Syrian Civil War Topic & Iraq

Posted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 2:01 pm
by Deku Tree
http://www.cnn.com/2017/09/05/middleeas ... index.html

The Syrian Army has broken the siege of Dier ez-Zor.