Coffee House

What can Obama do about Syria?

26 April 2013

26 April 2013

Even John Kerry is now confirming what was already long suspected: that Bashar al-Assad has used chemical weapons against his own people. In all likelihood, he has used Sarin nerve agents against rebel held areas in the north. That he would do so is no surprise. This is the most strategically sensitive area in Syria today, providing the principal route by which men, money, and munitions, slip into the country. If Assad can regain control of the northern areas bordering Turkey he will be able to resolve the conflict decisively in his favour.

President Obama is caught in a dilemma. He publicly warned Assad that using chemical weapons would be a ‘red line’ precipitating intervention of some kind. Pressure is mounting on him not to renege on that promise but the White House is worried about what it can actually do.

Western efforts to alleviate the scale and extent of suffering in Syria are complicated by the presence of radical jihadists. Although the Syrian uprising was not Islamist in orientation during its incipient phases there has been a clear radicalisation of the revolution as the conflict has endured and the violence intensified. To complicate matters further, it is the al-Qaeda affiliated fighters of Jabhat al-Nusrah who are making the biggest inroads on the ground.

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What options does Obama have then? His favoured position of doing nothing is looking increasingly untenable. With Assad now flouting the so-called ‘red lines’ Obama will not only risk looking weak but also sets the precedent that America is prepared to tolerate the use of chemical weapons by despotic regimes against civilian populations.

Military options are not without their complications. There is no appetite for putting boots on the ground and any such intervention would only entangle the West in a much larger and protracted conflict. Arming the opposition is the current default position, but this is similarly perilous. The armed opposition is a broad spectrum. At one end it is dominated by radical jihadists but at the other is comprised of secular fighters from the Free Syrian Army. Yet, given the privations and urgencies of war many of these groups are willing to work together for now. That makes it almost impossible to prevent weapons given to ‘trusted’ elements from ending up in the hands of jihadists.

The best option remains the imposition of a no fly zone. This would entail some direct military engagement by the forces implementing the scheme, requiring them to bomb satellite installations and surface-to-air missile batteries. Once this is achieved, the task is altogether easier. It would instantly level the playing field on the ground and go a long way towards easing the pressure felt by civilians who live in rebel held territory. Currently they are wholly unguarded against wildly indiscriminate raids by Assad’s forces who carpet bomb entire suburbs controlled by rebels.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez has been leading renewed talk of a no fly zone among officials in Washington. Other heavyweights including John McCain are also lining up behind him. Obama may now find the current chorus of disapproval too irresistible as we slide ever closer towards intervention


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Show comments
  • John Border

    You lot are desperate to do an Iraq on a lie and send others into battle.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004981542519 Tom Tom
  • Fergus Pickering

    What can Obama do? Sweet Fanny Adams. What should he do? Ditto. Muslims killing each other in a Muslim country is no business of his. Or of ours.

  • John Border

    Stop lying about chemical weapons. We’ve been fooled before.

  • anyfool

    What can Obama do about Syria?
    He will do what the Saudi king tells him judging by the way he defers to him, bowing like a flunkey to the man who controls Mecca, his spiritual home.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Iain-Hill/100000917822376 Iain Hill

    Is Syria a major oil producer?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004981542519 Tom Tom

    Obama must clearly give Israel as much aid as possible to steal Syrian water supplies around Golan and annex parts of Syria with US military support. Obama should repare the American population for a Thirty Year War in the Middle East and condition the populace to Perpetual War as Iran, Egypt and Turkey get drawn into a rehional war and Kurdistan can emerge from the ruins. Russia and China should stand and watch the US implode as the cost of sustaining the war machine finally breaks the Us economy and its debt bubble. Having suckered the US into Iraq Israel now seeks to sucker it into expanding Israel’s northern frontier as Qatar and Saudi Arabia use American firepower to build their New Caliphate and keep Turkey on the sidelines

  • Daniel Maris

    Typical obfuscation from Maher which fools no one around here except those who want to be fooled.

    “At one end it is dominated by radical jihadists but at the other is comprised of secular fighters from the Free Syrian Army.”

    The FSA contains radical jihadists.

  • yarnesfromhorsham

    Lets hope our bunch of front bench cretins dont go on another ” statesmen of the world” political ego trip. This is an arab issues so why not leave them the problem to resolve – for once.

  • paulus

    Nothing, but we will defend Jordan and Israel.

    It is just an absolute disgrace to use use these weapons. Our Grandfathers came back from the trenches, to later die in agony, and they were lucky. To use them now is a disgrace. If this is true no Russian or Chinese bluster will help you. In eight hours you will be gone.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004981542519 Tom Tom

      Yes Adolf Hitler was gassed and he got very upset in later life

  • http://twitter.com/georgeigler George Igler

    But are there any Commonwealth War Graves in Syria?

    I only ask because when our Treasury soon wastes a couple of billion we don’t have, slamming what remaining ordinance the RAF’s got left into Syria, in yet another civil war that wouldn’t ever have persisted without our meddling, and the “rebels” in the “popular uprising” finally succeed in installing the next identikit Muslim Brotherhood controlled Sharia state…

    What *are* these rebels then going to obliterate into tiny pieces, to show their gratitude to the British taxpayer?

    Oh silly me, I forgot about the simply thousands of European-born fighters currently earning their stripes out there, and their eventual return home. The answer to my question is probably something mundane, like: “the District Line”.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004981542519 Tom Tom

      They will behead Christians on YouTube

      • Fergus Pickering

        Very possibly. And?

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004981542519 Tom Tom

          Dopes in the West will simply let it happen just as Britain makes Pakistan the top recipient of economic aid as it murders Christians

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Hacim-Obmed/100002800720995 Hacim Obmed

      Quit talking nonsense. Britain simply does not have the physical means to intervene in Syria. Where is the Carrier for the air cover. Where are the logistics ships and trucks to supply the ground troops in the interior. In fact, with so many men in Afghanistan, Africa, the Falklands and the Balkans, where are the actual troops to come from? Finally, where is the money? You cannot even fund your existing commitments and you are cutting the defense budget. So as they say in texas about ersatz cowboys; you are all hat and no cattle. Of distant powers only the US could take decisive action and Obama does not think he has any real strategic interests at stake. Thus, by default, it is up to the Turks and/or the Israelis.

      • http://twitter.com/georgeigler George Igler

        At 260 miles away RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus is comfortably within Tornado range of Aleppo. Carrier support was not deemed necessary in the Libyan intervention where sorties were run similarly, from bases in Italy.

        And as for money, what we spent in Libya is a drop in the ocean to politicians addicted to debt profligacy. Our interest payments alone have long since outstripped spending on the defence budget as a whole.

  • alabenn

    Even John Kerry is now confirming what was already long suspected.

    It has been confirmed by who and on what evidence that if chemical weapons have been used Assad had anything to do with it.

    secular fighters from the Free Syrian Army.
    You cannot be a Muslim and be secular or do you mean they give you a sedative before cutting you head off.

    • HookesLaw

      You cannot be a Muslim and be secular?
      Tell the population of Turkey. Turkey is arguably more of a secular country than the UK whose head of state is head of its church.

      Your absurd remark shows up your absurd thought process and those of your fellow nut jobs.
      Whatever we can do to promote secularism and democracy we should do. its in the long term interests of us all. The notion that it can happen overnight is not a valid one but that does not preclude a constant effort to support it.
      That is why the aftermath of the Syrian conflict is important.

      • alabenn

        What are you talking about, comparing Turkey with the UK, there is no comparison either culturally or in any way secular, the whole tenet of being a Muslim precludes equality of religion and is about as secular as the Inquisition.

        • HookesLaw

          Turkey is a secular democracy which separates religion from the state.

          There is a ban on wearing the headscarf in Turkey. It is possible to be a secular Muslim country. No doubt some in Turkey do not like it but that is the situation at the moment.

          BTW
          A recent poll said that – 98.3% of Turks revealed they were Muslim. Of that, 16% said they were “extremely religious”, 39% saying they were “somewhat religious”, and 32% saying they were “not religious”. 3% of Turks declare themselves with no religious beliefs.
          Not all Muslims are raving loonies.

          • alabenn

            Not all Muslims are raving loonies, nor are your so called nutters on here, as to the polls you use, that might reflect the metropolitan area of Ankara with its high concentration of the type of people who would be resident in Islington were they here, they no more reflect the views of the majority than the feeble minded fools of Londons so called enlightened areas.

            • http://www.facebook.com/people/Hacim-Obmed/100002800720995 Hacim Obmed

              No all. Just a large majority.

              • pearlsandoysters

                How can you be sure that the village population equally follows the habits of metropolitan denizens? Don’t think it’s possible.

            • pearlsandoysters

              But that’s ruling class, right? What about the “silent majority”?

              • anyfool

                The silent majority in Turkey voted for an Islamist government who are changing the face of Turkey to reflect their own views, do the majority of people really want to become a medieval state or join the EU, time will tell, but the odds are they will end up that way regardless, Turkey has an army that has history on intervention but even the army is changing.

                Turkey will remain a big fish in a little but very stormy little pool and the army will be happy with that and so will Israel.

                • pearlsandoysters

                  So, Turkey is in two minds about benefits of Western type democracy, yet wants the benefits of the EU membership. What about regional domination ambitions, then?

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004981542519 Tom Tom

            There is NO separation of religion and State in Turkey. The ban on headscarves in Colleges was lifted in 2010 and Erdogan’s wife appears in public wearing a hijab. Alcohol is subject to police harassment and massive price increases driving tourists away and bankrupting restaurants. When were you last in Turkey Hookes Law ?

          • Daniel Maris

            Wow – stunning lack of knowledge!

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Hacim-Obmed/100002800720995 Hacim Obmed

            Wrong. The turks now recognize Islam as the national religion.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004981542519 Tom Tom

          The US has not yet appointed a Minister of Religion to promote Christianity nor banned property ownership for Miosques but I think Hookes Law is right, this is what is needed in England at least

      • Daniel Maris

        Well good luck with setting up your Church of Christ and the Holy Heath in downtown Istanbul. Tell us how you get on.

        • HookesLaw

          There are churches and synagogues in turkey.
          The plain fact is Turkey by means of its constitution is a secular country.

          • chan chan

            Turkey is on the path to being a sharia state, right now. Come back in, say, 20 years, and tell us what it looks like. Bit by bit, secularism will be dismantled. You watch.

            • HookesLaw

              Yes – you watch. Faced with facts as ever you resort to invention.

              • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004981542519 Tom Tom

                You are either ill-informed or simply mendacious

              • chan chan

                Great stuff. Turkey’s over, finished as a secular state.

            • alabenn

              You do not need to wait 20 years, look at Pakistan for Turkeys future.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004981542519 Tom Tom

            It practises religious intolerance. It has even pissed off German troops manning Patriot Rocket batteries and assaulted female soldiers in the Bundeswehr. You need to read more widely Hookes Law

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Hacim-Obmed/100002800720995 Hacim Obmed

            Construction of churches has been banned. In fact the Byzantien Aya Sofa has been rededicated as a mosque.

        • Shazza

          In occupied Constantinople you mean.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004981542519 Tom Tom

        Turkey is far from secular under Erdogan. Go and see the place and how far he is banning alcohol and imposing Muslim dress on Turkish Airline stewardesses

        • HookesLaw

          ‘Muslim’ dress is not being imposed on airline stewardesses or indeed anyone.
          The proposed designs have caused an uproar… which is good for a democracy.
          http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/25/world/europe/new-uniforms-for-turkish-airlines-create-uproar.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
          “Contrary to the photos that were leaked,” she said, “we are also working on a range of modern designs.”

          Funnily enough it strikes me as more the rise of rampant feminism when compared to earlier uniforms.

          • alabenn

            It is not the face that they show that matters, it is the changes in schooling that is eroding the remains of Ataturk’s legacy.

            • HookesLaw

              Changes which promoted brawls in parliament.
              http://uk.reuters.com/article/2012/03/30/uk-turkey-education-idUKBRE82T12D20120330

              Changes that would ‘allow schools specialising in religious education
              combined with a modern curriculum, known as imam hatip schools, to take boys and girls from the age of 11 instead of 15’

              Its up to Turkey who they vote for. it remains a secular muslim country – which is something that the original commentator said was not possible.

              • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004981542519 Tom Tom

                You are a real lickspittle. Turkish schools are crap, they have mediocre education and only between ages of 6 and 14

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004981542519 Tom Tom

            When did you last go to Turkey ?

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004981542519 Tom Tom
      • pearlsandoysters

        There’s an excellent book “The politics of secular discourse” by Elisabeth Hurd. Might be of interest for you.

      • pearlsandoysters

        That’s a wishful thinking prompted by over reliance on the Enlightenment hagiography. Unfortunately, some polities will easily and willingly chose whatever regime could offer security and relative prosperity (Machiavelli knew a thing or two before various thinkers created a rosy-tinted picture of sovereign people). Unfortunately, pretty often the sovereign people do not know that they are sovereign and prefer to traditional power structures to some novel and often foreign concepts.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004981542519 Tom Tom

      John Kerry canniot be trusted……he is Jewish and Israel is a pernicious influence on US foreign policy

      • HookesLaw

        Kerry is a Roman Catholic. He may well be useless but he is a useless Roman Catholic. What one of his grandparents was is totally irrelevant.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004981542519 Tom Tom

          Kerry is Jewish….Benedikt Kohn (Great-Grandfather)

          Benedikt Kohn, the
          great-grandfather of Senator John Kerry, was born about 1824 in southern
          Moravia. Benedikt was successful as a master brewer of beer.

          In 1868, after the death of his first wife, he moved to Bennisch (today
          called Horni Benesov) and married Mathilde Frankel Kohn. Benedikt and
          Mathilde Kohn were two of the only 27 Jews living in Bennisch, which is
          listed as having a total population of 4,200, in 1880.

          Soon
          after Benedikt died in 1876, Mathilde moved to Vienna with her children
          Ida (7), Friedrich “Fritz” (3) and Otto (newborn).

          Fritz Kohn/Fred Kerry (Grandfather)

          Fritz and Otto excelled in their studies in Vienna. However, like other
          Jews, they suffered greatly from the anti-Semitism that prevailed in
          Europe at this time. As a result, both Kohn brothers abandoned their
          Jewish heritage and converted to Roman Catholicism.

          In
          addition, in 1897, Otto decided to shed the Jewish-sounding name of
          Kohn. He chose a new name by dropping a pencil on a map. The pencil
          landed on Ireland’s County Kerry. In 1901, Fritz followed his brother’s
          example and officially changed his name to Frederick Kerry.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004981542519 Tom Tom

          Kerry’s real name is Kohn – if Disqus ever releases the posting the details are there.

          • Fergus Pickering

            You want to watch these jews, mate. They’re everywhere. Margaret Thatcher’s grandmother on her mother’s side was called Klein. Go figure.

            • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004981542519 Tom Tom

              You are a twerp. You have no idea about Foggy Bottom and policymaking. You are simply a fool. There are profound reasons why the foreign policy of the United States has been directed against US interests by a clique which has subverted sections of US Government for its own interests and sitting in the Home Counties as a fool like you are does not change the salient facts. People like you have no regard for issues like USS Liberty

              • http://www.facebook.com/people/Hacim-Obmed/100002800720995 Hacim Obmed

                The liberty was a regrettable friendly fire incident for which the Israelis apologized. In those days we did not have very good communications between the Israeli and American forces. There had never been joint exercises. Even so it was not the worst friendly fire accident on record by a long shot. In fact the number of British troops killed by american warplanes due to misdirected fire in Iraq was bigger then the casualties caused by the Iraqi’s.

              • Fergus Pickering

                Fools like me don’t care about USS Liberty (whatever that is) at all. Fols like you are what makes this sort of thread so enjoyable. I truly think you are a bit mad. Frothing at the mouth sort of thing.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Hacim-Obmed/100002800720995 Hacim Obmed

          Kerry has a Jewish ancestor, but he was male. His female ancestors were all catholic. Hence he cannot claim to be Jewish unless he formally converts. This is Talmudic law.

  • Jebediah

    If the Arab nations want to do something then fair enough. For the UK and probably the West the most right option is to not militarily intervene (and that includes supplying weapons).
    We’ve had enough of spending our lives and treasure in countries that ultimately hate us for our intervention.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004981542519 Tom Tom

      Ever since Kosovio NATO has looked for leasing deals so it can keep going, but it is now an Offensive Military Alliance and not a Defensive One. It is de-stabilising and even the Us has become tired of it with Blair bouncing Clinton into Kosovo and Cameron and Sarkozy bouncing them into Libya. The US will walk away and leave the EU to sort out NATO and increase Defence Spending to protect themselves against the whirlwind they have sown

  • Austin Barry

    The Nobel Peace Prize: the ultimate constraint on a swaggering, self-regarding President. So, a good thing then.

    • the viceroy’s gin

      That Nobel didn’t slow Obama down any re Libya.

      • Austin Barry

        Eh? He ‘led from behind’.

        • the viceroy’s gin

          You’d be hard pressed to demonstrate that claim as anything other than media claptrap. The US military destroyed the Colonel’s air force and air defenses, the necessary precursor for anything that occurred afterwards, and then provided full and necessary intelligence and logistical support for whatever efforts others did provide as follow-on.

          Obama did all that on his own, without Congressional authorization, meaning he didn’t quite live up to the glorious Nobel ideals, and many would call it a violation of the US Constitution.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004981542519 Tom Tom

            Yes, where was The War Powers Act ?

    • HookesLaw

      Israel is not a cold war proxy any more. There is no cold war – we won it, thanks to Thatcher (and the Conservatives) and Reagan (and the Republicans).

      It has every right to exist and should not be attacked.
      But what is good for Israel is not necessarily good for the West.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004981542519 Tom Tom

        Gorbachev and Andropv had an active rather than a passive role. Mikhail Suslov would have fought a nuclear war with the West

        • HookesLaw

          Would he indeed – well he didn’t.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004981542519 Tom Tom

            Are you sure ? I was certain you were the product of DNA mutation following a nuclear attack

  • Mynydd

    What can Obama do about Syria? For the people of the UK this is the wrong question, it should have been What can Cameron do about Syria? Answer nothing.

    • Trev

      Better still,what would the majority of the British public want Cameron to do about Syria? Answer nothing.

  • David Lindsay

    Stay out of it.

  • pearlsandoysters

    That’d be difficult to impose a no fly zone, once there’s an anti-missile system in place in Syria to prevent that from happening. The author of the article seems ill-informed on the subject.

    • HookesLaw

      The problem for a no fly zone would be an anti aircraft system. You seem to know nothing.
      A prerequisite of a no fly zone would be to destroy the Syrian air defence system and its air force.

      • pearlsandoysters

        My point is that there’s an anti-aircraft system in Syria. It was installed by Russia and is overseen by teams of russian specialists. it just was not widely reported. So, the idea to impose no-fly zone is simply not viable.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004981542519 Tom Tom

          It is widely reported and widely known. That is why Israel flies over Iraq to attack Syria because Iraq now has no air force. I bet the Russians have given Iran a long-range radar station that covers Iraqi air space. In one way it would be good to see an Armageddon Solution to the Middle East and how far these ultimate weapons work…..we could then destroy and occupy Saudi Arabia and take the oil, with China taking Iran.

          • pearlsandoysters

            Not so sure about Iran, yet there are teams of russian military specialists currently consulting Syrian government. Your stratagems for the Middle East look plausible… yet Iran is not Iraq, they tend to be “more patriotic” if it’s possible to say so.

        • HookesLaw

          The anti aircraft system can be destroyed if the US wants to, like it destroyed the on in Libya.
          Indeed Israel has already launched air-strikes on Syria, strangely enough against its biological warfare facilities.

          Russia has cancelled the proposed sale of its latest anti airrcaft missile to Syria.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004981542519 Tom Tom

            LIbya did not have anything like the air defence system of Syria or Iran

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004981542519 Tom Tom

        Good luck destroying that Russian air defence system. It has been augmented on the Russian/Turkish border. I suspect there has been a trap laid for NATO and the USAF and USN know it

  • pearlsandoysters

    That’d be difficult to impose a no fly zone, once there’s a system in place in Syria to impede exactly that. The author of the article seems ill-informed on the subject.

    • alabenn

      Why would a simple fact like that get in the way of the authors flights of fancy.
      These silly people think because they use a “out of date by US standards” missile system that imposing a no fly zone would be easy. the Serbs shot down a stealth bomber using an out of date radar system.

      • pearlsandoysters

        The irony is that hi-tech war might be “outfoxed” by old-fashioned means, look Malcom Galdwell on simulation of war in iraq. The point is that if the enemy uses some thoroughly “old” means of communication like pigeons, there’s no way to cut satellite signal or intercept the information. Technology may have its own flip side.

  • telemachus

    Better a Bashir in the main Israeli frontline state than an Islamist State allied to Al Qaeda
    With that there will never be peace with Palestine

    • HookesLaw

      There is no such thing as ‘Al Qeada’ – its just a convenient name tag for terrorosts to attach to themselves.

  • Airey Belvoir

    If the chemical weapons are delivered via artillery shells, as seems to be the case, a no fly zone won’t help

  • Curnonsky

    Here is an object lesson in not making promises or issuing threats you don’t intend to fulfill. Why set a “red line” without considering your action when it is tested – unless you are indecisive and incompetent. Iran and North Korea are going to draw the lesson from this all right – defy Obama and face the terrible retribution of, er, a UN investigating committee?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004981542519 Tom Tom

      Because Obama didn’t set any such line. Compreting lobbyists in the White House feed the press to bounce the US into their agendas. Have you ever met any of these advisers ? They are so academic and theoretical PhD grads that it is a crying shame that real people die for their hubris

      • Curnonsky

        Obama, March 21st: “I’ve made it clear to Bashar al-Assad and all who follow his orders: We will not tolerate the use of chemical weapons against the Syrian people, or the transfer of those weapons to terrorists. The world is watching; we will hold you accountable.”

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004981542519 Tom Tom

          How has he made it clear ? It is typical double-speak.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Hacim-Obmed/100002800720995 Hacim Obmed

      If you read Obama’s actual statement he did not say e would intervene if Syria used chemical weapons. All he said was that it would “cause a dramatic reassessment of policy” and “would influence his calculations”. He was very careful to leave his options open. I suspect he thinks the Israeli’s or the British or French would deliberately gas some civilians and try to frame Assad. They are a little too eager to suck us into the conflict.

  • Fergus Pickering

    He can do as he likes but let’s not do anything here. When did chemical weapons go off limits? When the Americans stopped using them? Why exactly are they worse than drones/ Or the robot soldiers Americans are developing which can wage war without any human intervention whatever? I suppose that would help. We could devastate the whole Arab world without the loss of a single soldier.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004981542519 Tom Tom

      Well at least they haven’t used phosphorus shells or depleted uranium. Fortunately these are harmless as the deformed children in Iraq and especially Fallujah priove. Only NATO is pure and undefiled

      • HookesLaw

        Depleted uranium is fired at tanks as an alternative to tungsten.
        Phosphorous is used in smoke shells.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004981542519 Tom Tom

          So what. I am fully aware of DP rounds and they stay in the soil. They are depleted not spent. Half-life and all that

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004981542519 Tom Tom

          FALLUJAH

  • chan chan

    This is Assad calling Obama’s bluff. He thinks Obama is weak, and he’s right.

    My guess is Obama will do nothing. But I would love to see the recipient of a Nobel Peace Prize start yet another war in yet another Muslim country. Well done, Nobel Committee – you can’t half pick ’em!

    Maybe he could wave his Nobel Peace Prize out the window of a B-52 as he rains down bombs on the muslims below? I’m sure they’d be thrilled…

    • HookesLaw

      The war was not started by the west. it is a civil war – which is why it may turn out nasty.
      Some sort of assistance to the rebels will negate the nastiness and probably save lives in the long run.
      The west should be worrying about the war less and the aftermath more.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004981542519 Tom Tom

        The War was started by Turkey and Qatar and Saudi Arabia

        • HookesLaw

          The war began as a result of protests for democracy in March 2011. Turkey supports the rebels. So do we.

          • chan chan

            Yeah – “protests for democracy”. Pull the other one, luv, it’s got bells on…

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004981542519 Tom Tom

            Turkey trains, arms, and coordinates the rebels using Turkish army officers. MI6 runs a training centre near Istanbul. Turkey is seeking to kill Kurds in Northern Syria

      • chan chan

        I didn’t say the west started the war.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Hacim-Obmed/100002800720995 Hacim Obmed

        Who are these rebels? What makes you think they are any better then Assad? We helped “rebels” in Afghanistan during the 80’s and they turned into the Taliban and Al Qaeda. We would have been better off to leave Afghanistan to the Soviets. Until you know something about the forces i contention is is stupidity to intervene.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Hacim-Obmed/100002800720995 Hacim Obmed

      Do you really give a crap about the muslims below? Exactly what is the the problem with simply allowing them to kill each other? It will distract both sides from their underlying urgent desire to kill europeans and Jews.

      • chan chan

        There isn’t a problem with it at all – i didn’t suggest there is – it’s much more preferable. Sunnis and Shias wiping each other out – what’s not to like? But the idea of a Leftist Nobel Peace Prize winner, lauded as being the ‘kumbaya’ solution to the ‘troubles of the middle east’, or whatever you want to call them, starting another war with Muslims, is too funny to ignore.

        Even the Loony Left New York Times admits today in an article that, much to their surprise, the so-called ‘rebels’ are all pious Islamic terrorist maniacs – not Jeffersonian Democrats in training. The longer and more terrible the war in Syria goes on, the better it is for us. Killing people is the favourite thing for pious, savage, muslims to do, so I expect it to continue, as long as we don’t interfere.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Hacim-Obmed/100002800720995 Hacim Obmed

          The poets would sing of the irony for generations to come. Barak the great, conqueror of Damascus.

  • the viceroy’s gin

    Robert Menendez is currently under FBI investigation for bribery from one of his big medical services constituents, and for potentially receiving favors from this same guy’s underage prostitution service at his estate in the Dominican Republic. Nobody cares much about Robert Menendez, and attaching his name to this has as much chance to derail it as advance it.

    Same with McCain, as we should all know by now. Few anywhere want to associate themselves with this lunatic, whose only goal seems to be to bomb somebody daily (and invite in a flood of alien immigrants like the ones who bombed Boston the other day).

    The islamofascist snuggling corner may want to “slide ever closer towards intervention”, but they better be prepared for a backlash. The 2014 offyear election is looming now. Heads were already going to roll, and that would only bring on more headrollings, so I doubt you’ll see many getting out in front of this. Either all of the Beltway types get in front of this, or few of them can, because the stray sheep will get slaughtered in 2014.

  • Koakona

    The use of chemical weapons is a horrible act but the idea that it is our problem is what complicates the scenario. Your end point of a no fly zone does nothing except level the playing field for the opposition which you acknowledge earlier is as equally vile as the regime. This is not our war. I recall a piece in the magazine a few months back that the biggest problem in modern situations with despots is the will of the Western liberals to prosecute them for crimes against humanity. Assad is proving a perfect example of someone who could have quietly went into exile, except it would upset the Western liberal establishment who demand “justice”. Let them fight it out themselves, the days when the West (and the US in particular) could police the world ended the day the great economic divergence ended. We do not need to be involved in every conflict in a multi-polar world.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Hacim-Obmed/100002800720995 Hacim Obmed

      Send in the Swiss. They haven’t had a good war in ever so long.

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