Syria Strategy: Obama’s shift in thinking

Discussion in 'Too Hot for Swamp Gas' started by chompalot, Dec 12, 2013.

  1. chemgator
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    chemgator Well-Known Member

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    Obama, of course, is largely responsible for a majority of the deaths in Syria. Why do you think the Syrian people went into open revolt? Was it a random event? Or did they see the success of the rebels in Libya and believe that they would receive some minimal military assistance from the west on humanitarian grounds? The U.S. was largely responsible for the Libyan military putting its heavy equipment away and reducing the fight to a fairly equal engagement that the most determined side would win. That was all the Syrians expected from the U.S., because they assumed that Obama was a man of integrity, courage and principle. He was not.

    Obama did not have the courage to act on his own. He did in Libya, when facing a much weaker dictator with a flimsy military and a handful of old ships, plus the additional "justification" that Libya has oil and a prolonged conflict could affect global oil prices. He knew that in Syria, it would take more than a day or two and could easily involve losses of American life. So he compromised his principles, and took the easy way out. He made it a decision for Congress, like we were getting ready to enter WWIII. Very weak.

    Obama should have, at the very least, enforced a no-fly zone over Syria to prevent the aerial bombings, bombing military airports as needed. Then, if military targets needed to be attacked to prevent artillery usage or tanks, then he could have done that also. All without a force on the ground. And that's all the Syrian rebels would need. Al Qaeda would likely not have gotten involved, and the situation would have been resolved a long time ago. Furthermore, Iran would have gotten the message to keep quiet and cooperate with us, lest their own people got any ideas about rebellion. We would be negotiating with the rest of the ME from a position of power right now, not weakness.

    This latest episode of flip-floppery is very juvenile, desperate, and hopeless. JFK was similarly immature in his foreign policy prior to the Bay of Pigs, and that emboldened the Russians to put nukes in Cuba. (Obama has been office for five years, and is still making "freshman" mistakes...) I hope Obama's foolishness does not cause a similar confrontation with the Russians. We may not be so lucky next time.

    Foreign Policy Rule Number 1: Remember who your enemies are. Don't cozy up to a nation just because they have some regional power and their leaders outsmarted you.
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  2. Gatormb
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    Gatormb Well-Known Member

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    What are you, six?
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  3. chompalot
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    chompalot Well-Known Member

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    Your hyper-neoconic perspective of the world is ridiculous. If such beliefs would have been taken seriously, many more men and women in our military as well as civilians would no doubt perish--not to mention the hit that our national debt would take.

    Speaking of Cuba, you're probably one of those who are outraged at Obama for shaking Raul Castro's hand instead of seeing this as a sign to open up diplomatic relations with Cuba in order to help bring about political and economic reforms in Cuba--such as a deal where Cuba exchanges political prisoners in exchange for the U.S.A. relaxing their embargo. This could be a first step in bringing about change in Cuba. Diplomacy can work.

    And I suppose you were one of the people who were calling for the invasion of Iran right after we invaded Iraq. And you probably think the Iraq War was a wise war to get into. All out war is not always the answer and has the tendency to produce many unforeseen negative consequences. It is time for you to start being sensible by jumping off of the John McCain wagon.

    It's time for us to embrace a more diplomatic way in dealing with our problems in the ME and see if we can't come up with some type of grand solutions with all countries in order to establish a more peaceful place for its residents.

    Unfortunately, it is a well know fact that many Americans gain financially from being in wars, so they promote them. I hope there isn't anyone on this board that fits that category.
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2013
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  4. gatorev12
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    gatorev12 Well-Known Member

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    What's ridiculous is this entire thread and your fanbody cheerleading of Obama's abject failures.

    Someone made the analogy earlier, but saying Obama has "evolved" his views on Syria is as blatantly false as a high school senior saying he "evolved" his choice in prom dates after the first three girls turned him down. No, he backed himself into a corner and then got outmaneuvered diplomatically by the Russians.

    And his overtures to Iran in cooperation with Russia is just as foolhardy. You sound like a grad student at Berkley who thinks a gathering of world leaders and smoking a peace pipe is a realistic and viable strategy for global peace.

    Even IF it worked, do you think the Saudis would sit there and take it? Allow us to cooperate and make deals with their enemy behind their backs? Anyone who seriously believes they'll remain our ally after we backstabbed them is smoking a powerfully illegal substance. Who will replace their oil contributions and OPEC influence? Russia? lol--the same Russia that uses oil shipments to Europe and its neighbors to bully them into compliance?

    If the Saudis turn against us, they could easily make our economic lives hell by causing another oil shortage and, in a more extreme example, stop pegging the price of crude to the dollar (which is a large part of why the dollar retains its international value).

    And would the Iranians cooperate with us as much as the Israelis do in identifying terrorists and preventing attacks? Riiight.

    The entire premise of your thread is delusional absurdity. Diplomacy should always be tried and bombing everyone and everything isn't a viable foreign policy solution--but neither is cozying up to historical enemies and hoping for the best even as they laugh in our face while we do it (see Putin's comments and the Ayatollah's comments too).
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  5. gatordowneast
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    gatordowneast Well-Known Member

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    Best President of your lifetime? Wow. Just wow. Are you like 5 years old?
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  6. Gatorrick22
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    Gatorrick22 Well-Known Member

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    LMFAO...
  7. chompalot
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    chompalot Well-Known Member

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    So I take it that you are in favor of the status quo as far as a relationship between Israel and Iran is concerned and that you are against attempts at ultimately trying to reach some type of peace agreement between the two. Furthermore, you don't think it is a good idea because it will upset Saudi Arabia.
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2013
  8. chemgator
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    chemgator Well-Known Member

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    How many U.S. soldiers died in Libya? How much hit did our national debt take in Libya? In the case of both Libya and Syria, the sooner you act, the sooner the conflict will be resolved, and the less messy it will be. If you wait, the rebels will get desperate and turn to Al Qaeda for assistance (oops, too late--way to go, Obama!). I find it ironic that you find my support for Obama's actions in Libya to be "hyper-neoconic". Do you somehow think that the Syrian conflict is going much better than the Libyan conflict did?
    Cuba is a minor issue when they aren't importing nuclear weapons. It doesn't really matter one way or another whether we bring about change in Cuba. Presumably, after the Castros die off, they will have a chance to decide on new leadership. Whatever we do probably won't make much difference. Obama should stop wasting his time on it.

    Now, try to stay on the subject, kid. You might learn something.
    You asked, so here goes:

    There was absolutely nothing wrong with the decision to go into Iraq. In fact, I happen to think it was the right one. Where I disagreed with GWB and Rumsfeld was with the details of the plan for peace. They should have known that:

    a) there would be a struggle between the three religious factions when Saddam was toppled, and there would be struggles for power and attempts at revenge.

    b) Iran should have been threatened from Day 1 so they did not get involved (see there, I do appreciate diplomacy!). There is no question that Iran saw an opportunity to poke a stick in the eye of their old nemesis, the U.S., and was heavily funding the Shi'ite insurgency. Bremer was asked if there was any message that he wanted relayed to Iran at the start of his involvement in Iraq, and he foolishly chose to say no.

    c) More troops should have been used to secure weapons caches. In one case, Rummy used 12 troops to guard a weapons depot that was at least a kilometer on each side. Insurgents came in with pickup trucks and loaded several tons of high explosives and the American troops did not fire a shot because they were outgunned. In general, more troops would have prevented all the looting that went on in Iraq, and created a different tone regarding who was in charge in Baghdad. (So, yes, from that perspective, McCain was definitely correct about the Surge in Iraq.)

    d) The surrendered Iraqi army should have been put to use guarding the border with Iran and kept away from the cities.

    e) There was no need to rush into elections to hand over power to the Iraqis. That was a mistake. Iraq hasn't known anything near democracy in decades, and needed time to understand the need to compromise with people of other viewpoints. Democracy should have been introduced on a local level, then regional, and finally on a national level.

    f) The war should have been prosecuted on a financial level as well as a military level. By ignoring the need to conserve oil, GWB did not encourage Americans to make any changes that would have kept the global oil prices down. We would have had a better result in Iraq had he done so. The price of oil in 2003 was $25/bbl, and ramped up to $75/bbl before the Surge, and climbed up to $147/bbl in 2008. We were doing a lot better in Iraq when the price was $25/bbl.

    Now, TRY to stay on topic, kid!
    Your self-righteous attitude is noted. Please do your superior dance off-line. When you get older, you will better understand how things work.

    Sometimes diplomacy is the right answer, and sometimes it's war. Usually, the less regard a country has for human rights and human life (specifically, the lives of their own people), the less successful diplomacy will be. If you knew anything about how much regard Iran has for the rights and well-being of its own people, you would know that diplomacy has limited possibilities. The problem is that Iran should be a relatively wealthy nation with all the oil they produce. The gov't does not allow the people to share in the wealth, because they believe it will corrupt them, so they keep them poor. They spend a lot of their oil money on nuclear centrifuges, because they think that a war with the U.S. may be inevitable, and a nuclear war gives them a better chance of doing great damage to the Great Satan.
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  9. gatorev12
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    gatorev12 Well-Known Member

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    I noticed you completely ignored my questions. Let me guess, the Dear Leader didn't give you instructions about how to answer them and, lacking any ability to answer them on your own, you bleated out the standard "Napoleon is always right" answer you had drilled into you in your Obama fanboy camp.

    If you want to be taken seriously on the topic at hand, then you'd better have answers to those questions because they aren't going away. And if you don't have the answers, then someone in the Obama camp better start thinking about it because "hope and change" isn't a practical or smart way of conducting foreign policy. Abandoning long-time allies will have consequences. And when we're doing so by relying on historical enemies, it makes it all the more questionable as to wtf our strategy is here.

    But, to answer your question (even though you ridiculously misquoted me), no, I'm not in favor of abandoning the status quo just for the sake of saying a "deal" got done. You don't go out and buy a car every time the dealership says they have a sale, do you?
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  10. G8trGr8t
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    G8trGr8t Premium Member

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    lack of chemical weapons is not diminishing their desire to indiscriminately attack the civilian population in opposition strongholds....
  11. chompalot
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    chompalot Well-Known Member

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    As far as your questions concerning Saudi Arabia are concerned, they are welcome at the table in peace discussions. I'd like to know where the al Qaeda affiliated extremist groups are getting their funding and weapons from.

    I agree with the below article.

    http://consortiumnews.com/2013/12/16/wisdom-in-restraint-on-syria/
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2013
  12. gatorev12
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    gatorev12 Well-Known Member

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    Sooo...in other words, invite them and "hope" for the best; but you don't really have any answers to any of the questions? Didn't think so.

    Nevertheless, those who don't think passing around a peyote-filled peace pipe around is a viable foreign policy strategy will have to live with the consequences of abandoning a long-term strategic ally like Saudi Arabia should they tell us to shove it and go about foreign policy themselves. And there will be consequences, whether you want to ignore them or not.

    As far as your article is concerned, that has relatively little to do with the article in your original post. Obama may have done the right thing in the end, but for the wrong reasons.

    Only Obama backed himself into a corner with his "line in the sand" rhetoric that we can be sure Assad (with the backing of Iran) pissed all over. The "neocons" didn't make him do it, he did that of his own accord. And, once uttered, going back on it makes him look fickle and weak. Getting involved with Syria would have been a mistake--since, yes, there's no tangible benefit to supporting rebels who are backed by Al Qaeda.

    But backing yourself into a corner was just as big a mistake since it 1) boosted Assad's grip on power now that the rebels know the West won't be coming to help out 2) makes Iran look stronger in the region since they backed their guy from the start, without changing their minds 3) makes Russia look like the responsible Mediator, playing nice with everyone (and allowing Putin to get in his jabs toward Obama and the US with his public comments and articles he wrote afterwards).

    That isn't an "evolving" view...that's getting punked in the international arena and later claiming the entire thing was your idea. No..no it wasn't.
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  13. chompalot
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    chompalot Well-Known Member

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    Ev, I know you would like to have this war escalate by having us throw in a bunch of more weapons (that will be answered with weapons by those supporting Assad). Or a no-fly zone. It is a good thing that Obama is wise enough not to play that card but instead will try to deescalate the conflict. Hopefully, peace talks will lead to some region wide agreements with parties that include Israel, Iran, Saudi Arabia as well as all other involved parties.

    Here's the WH take on a no-fly zone:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/14/syria-no-fly-zone-white-house_n_3442955.html
  14. gatorev12
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    gatorev12 Well-Known Member

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    I pretty clearly said we should NOT have gone into Syria.

    Lost in your fanboy cheerleading is the fact Obama didn't make that decision out of his own "wisdom"--but because Putin stepped in at the last minute to broker a deal that Obama pounced on (leaving allied countries like France hanging in the wind, who thought we were committed to a military strike and had moved their own forces into the area).

    Really, what you're saying here is as foolish as a message board fanboy saying that Muschamp's "wisdom" caused us to return the kick for a TD last year and avoid overtime against Louisiana Lafayette. That was dumb luck and incredibly good fortune. Muschamp didn't plan for it to happen any more than Malzahn knew Bama's kicker would short the kick and there would be a 106 yard return.

    And, again, "hope" is a piss-poor strategy to rely on when dealing in foreign policy.
  15. MichiGator2002
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    MichiGator2002 VIP Member

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    Obama is looked upon and treated as a child in the international arena. Obama is "leery" of a Saudi-Israeli alliance about Iran -- he disapproves of people who obviously know craptons more than him about the real world making him look bad, in other words. How about waking up for a second and realizing that if the Israelis are on the same page as any Arab state about the megalomaniacal ambitions of another, that alone should be reason to pause and rethink his position?

    And here's the problem about Obama talking about missile strikes or no-fly zones or basically any sort of use-of-force consequences to back up whatever taupe lines or chartreuse lines he might want to draw -- nobody believes for a second he would ever back those actions with more dire action. For the brain trusts out there, the only two foreign policies are "Obama is always right" and "war! war! war! war!", but for the adults in the room, it's a much bigger array of choices. But any choice that involves setting deadlines and ultimatums has to be backed by the subject's belief that the person setting them has the courage of their convictions. Nobody believes Obama does, nobody. If he threatens that 27 cruise missiles will be rained down upon a rogue state gassing its people, for instance, that rogue state knows that it would be 27, exactly 27, and no more than 27. So their only incentive is "do we mind 27 cruise missiles?" and not "what else might he throw at us if we don't comply?"

    That's why Obama's speechifying never moves the needle on Iran or Syria or anything else -- they know there's nothing behind any bravado or bluster he throws out there.
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  16. chompalot
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    chompalot Well-Known Member

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    Okay, smart guy, what would your suggestion be?
  17. gatorev12
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    gatorev12 Well-Known Member

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    About which part? Foreign policy is fairly multi-faceted and complex, you know.

    A fact I wish your Dear Leader would appreciate a bit more before attempting to wing it on the fly.
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  18. chompalot
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    chompalot Well-Known Member

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    How about the best move to do right now when it comes to Syria. From what I gather, you wouldn't try to do anything to resolve the conflict.
  19. gatorman_07732
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    gatorman_07732 Well-Known Member

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    Didn't Obama get his lunch eaten by Putin on Syria? Does Obama think or does he wave his finger in the air to feel which way the winding blowing?
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  20. chompalot
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    chompalot Well-Known Member

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    BO produces where it matters...the bottom line. You can say he is just going with the wind and doesn't have a clue but at least he's consistently getting positive results. I tend to think that it is more than dumb luck.

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