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  #981  
Old 27.09.2016, 10:58
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Re: Syria - It ain't over till it's over

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Originally Posted by marton View Post
" the only clearly legal actors in Syria are Assad's government and Russia" so that gives them the right to break the cease fire and to bomb civilians and hospitals?
No. But coming from the party that is notoriously breaking international law, the US simply lack the moral legitimacy to accuse others of doing so, even assuming (which is far from a given) that the bombs were intentionally targeting the hospital.
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  #982  
Old 27.09.2016, 12:40
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Re: Syria - It ain't over till it's over

In case nobody noticed, Obama has ramped down US involvement in the Middle East (and most of the world in general) compared to his predecessors. And in Syria, he's basically handed the show over to Putin. Putin looks like he's now trying to turn Aleppo into Grozny by just bombing the crap out of it. Let's see how that goes. Didn't work too well in Grozny. The war there ended only when he befriended his enemies and hammered a deal with them (that actually still cedes control of Chechnya to the Chechens anyway).

And even if Putin/Assad DO managed to take Aleppo...then what? The US "won the war" with Iraq in a few days, only to be slowly bled to death in the next decade of occupation. I'm sure Russia/Assad won't fare much better.

The only solution will be a political one. An agreement with Turkey, US, Russia, anti-Assad Syrians. Then there is still the ISIS problem. It's just a big mess. Nobody will "win". Putin's increased military offensive is not going to help him or Assad in any way really, it's just making the mess worse.
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  #983  
Old 27.09.2016, 12:56
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Re: Syria - It ain't over till it's over

I mostly agree with Esto, except the american bleeding - the western coalition forces had about 5000 dead & 33,000 wounded, out of a force of 180,000 (post invasion) - a fairly low casualty rate (even more so, considering coalition forces were rotated).

Syria is likely to be Putin's Afghanistan - can't be won, retreat will be embarassing, toxic legacy.
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  #984  
Old 27.09.2016, 13:07
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Re: Syria - It ain't over till it's over

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Originally Posted by Urs Max View Post
No. But coming from the party that is notoriously breaking international law, the US simply lack the moral legitimacy to accuse others of doing so, even assuming (which is far from a given) that the bombs were intentionally targeting the hospital.
Ah, the Biblical approach "John 8:7, viz. “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.”

Let us conveniently change the topic from "Russia committing war crimes" to the accusers are not pure and ignore these crimes.

If you do not believe Assad and Russia are deliberately bombing hospitals then take a look at the reports from the independent organisation Médecins Sans Frontières.
They also say this new approach of bombing hospitals is not limited to Syria.
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  #985  
Old 27.09.2016, 21:58
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Re: Syria - It ain't over till it's over

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Originally Posted by Pashosh View Post
I mostly agree with Esto, except the american bleeding - the western coalition forces had about 5000 dead & 33,000 wounded, out of a force of 180,000 (post invasion) - a fairly low casualty rate (even more so, considering coalition forces were rotated).

Syria is likely to be Putin's Afghanistan - can't be won, retreat will be embarassing, toxic legacy.
The US has the most advanced military in the world, and actually puts an effort into protecting their troops, eg. up-armoring Humvees, advanced methods to detect road-side bombs, very good medical care, etc. That's a big reason why the casualty rate was comparatively low.

Russia on the other hand doesn't really care much about their troops. They put more effort into hiding official death tolls that they do than actually protecting the troops (see here and here), so who knows how much of a toll it will take on them. Altho granted they are using Assads soldiers to do most of the ground fighting, but still there are certain things that Russia still has to use their own troops for, since Assads are maybe not so skilled or reliable. So who knows how many Russian troops have already been killed there. The official Russian death toll so far is 20, but you can probably multiply that by 10 or 20 to get the real number.

But anyway, yea, it's a big mess, and Russia is just making it worse now for everyone. Putin once again over-played his hand.
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  #986  
Old 27.09.2016, 22:07
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Re: Syria - It ain't over till it's over

Americans could finally give some stingers to their Freedom Fighters. They already got anti-tank rockets and that's how they made the progress until Russia arrived.
NYT wrote recently an editorial how important it is to ensure Russia cannot build "an axis" with Iran. That means that unless there are Vietnam-like anti-war protests they'll let Syrians bleed to death. Unless Russia gets something in exchange elsewhere.
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  #987  
Old 27.09.2016, 22:11
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Re: Syria - It ain't over till it's over

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Originally Posted by yacek View Post
Americans could finally give some stingers to their Freedom Fighters. They already got anti-tank rockets and that's how they made the progress until Russia arrived.
NYT wrote recently an editorial how important it is to ensure Russia cannot build "an axis" with Iran. That means that unless there are Vietnam-like anti-war protests they'll let Syrians bleed to death. Unless Russia gets something in exchange elsewhere.
Those people here who claim this is a proxy war between US and Russia have yet to explain why Russia is using relatively modern weapons but the US have failed to provide even simple antiaircraft weapons?
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  #988  
Old 28.09.2016, 09:16
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Re: Syria - It ain't over till it's over

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Originally Posted by esto View Post
And even if Putin/Assad DO managed to take Aleppo...then what? The US "won the war" with Iraq in a few days, only to be slowly bled to death in the next decade of occupation. I'm sure Russia/Assad won't fare much better.
The definition of a "win" depends on the aim. For instance Vietnam was a win with respect to the original aim, which was to prevent the next domino from falling (-> domino theory); the fact that the US lost the killing part (to phrase it that way) as well as the millions of lives that cost is of lesser importance from a military POV.

As such, the big question WRT what happened in the last 10-20 years in the ME is why the lie on WMD was undertaken in the first place, what was the aim. So far I haven't heard a plausible theory on that one.
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Originally Posted by esto View Post
The only solution will be a political one. An agreement with Turkey, US, Russia, anti-Assad Syrians. Then there is still the ISIS problem. It's just a big mess.
I agree, though it need to include Iran and Assad as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by esto View Post
Nobody will "win". Putin's increased military offensive is not going to help him or Assad in any way really, it's just making the mess worse.
Russia did and does, they keep their marine base in the Mediterranean. Assad does as well as he's again firmly in the saddle. As for the rest: If it were about the people, the US would withdraw (or even support Assad) as that probably comes with the lowest number of casualties.

Quote:
Originally Posted by marton
Those people here who claim this is a proxy war between US and Russia have yet to explain why Russia is using relatively modern weapons but the US have failed to provide even simple antiaircraft weapons?
Because Russia would retaliate by doing at least the equivalent. It might start an up-arming spiral and turn the proxy war into a direct confrontation.
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  #989  
Old 28.09.2016, 10:05
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Re: Syria - It ain't over till it's over

If and when Russia withraws, Assad's regime will be in very serious trouble.
Keeping an army fighting a foregn war is never popular, even in Russia.

As in Vietnam - the U.S couldn't keep it's army fighting to maintain a friendly regime indefinitely. neither can Russia (with a much smaller economy) - see Afghanistan, Chechniya, perhaps Ukraine.
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  #990  
Old 28.09.2016, 10:19
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Re: Syria - It ain't over till it's over

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Originally Posted by Pashosh View Post
If and when Russia withraws, Assad's regime will be in very serious trouble.
Keeping an army fighting a foregn war is never popular, even in Russia.

As in Vietnam - the U.S couldn't keep it's army fighting to maintain a friendly regime indefinitely. neither can Russia (with a much smaller economy) - see Afghanistan, Chechniya, perhaps Ukraine.
Perhaps Assad has been looking at Israel as a model going forward: Destroy, Siege, Occupation and Suppression?
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  #991  
Old 28.09.2016, 10:28
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Re: Syria - It ain't over till it's over

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Originally Posted by Patxi View Post
Perhaps Assad has been looking at Israel as a model going forward: Destroy, Siege, Occupation and Suppression?
Perhaps a comparison of the methods and number of casualties would help.

Gaza (2006, 2009): about palestinian 3500 casualties (mostly terrorists).
Syria: about 470,000 casualties (mostly civlians).

btw: you have lost the bet we made last year.
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  #992  
Old 28.09.2016, 10:31
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Re: Syria - It ain't over till it's over

Not directly in reply to the discussion, but relevant to Syria - I highly recomment the film "After Spring" running as part of the Zürich Film Festival. Suitable for all ages, gives great insight into the life and operations of a migrant settlement.

(Unfortunately I saw it with my teenaged daughter during a performance intended for school classes, both of us found the background laughing and chattering that went on in the greater audience to be more than appalling)


There is a screening at the Arthouse Piccadilly tonight (28/09) at 18:00 and on Saturday 1/10 at 16:45 at Filmpodium
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Old 28.09.2016, 10:38
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Re: Syria - It ain't over till it's over

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Originally Posted by Pashosh View Post
If and when Russia withraws, Assad's regime will be in very serious trouble.
Keeping an army fighting a foregn war is never popular, even in Russia.

As in Vietnam - the U.S couldn't keep it's army fighting to maintain a friendly regime indefinitely. neither can Russia (with a much smaller economy) - see Afghanistan, Chechniya, perhaps Ukraine.
Based on the status quo that's likely. But Assad did well before the Arab spring, so if some kind of peaceful arrangement is reached it may well revert to that - in this sense the situation may be comparable to Ukraine, except that Russia and the US have opposite roles.

Comparing the Palestine/Syria numbers is useless, the two conflicts aren't comparable in scope, population size affected and duration. And of course military power and ability to do harm by the various parties.
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  #994  
Old 28.09.2016, 10:42
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Re: Syria - It ain't over till it's over

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Based on the status quo that's likely. But Assad did well before the Arab spring...
So did Mubarak and Gaddafi. King Louis the 16th was also doing ok before the revolution.
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Old 28.09.2016, 11:05
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Re: Syria - It ain't over till it's over

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Originally Posted by Pashosh View Post
So did Mubarak and Gaddafi. King Louis the 16th was also doing ok before the revolution.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pashosh View Post
If and when Russia withraws, Assad's regime will be in very serious trouble.
The second answers the first.
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  #996  
Old 28.09.2016, 11:38
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Re: Syria - It ain't over till it's over

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Originally Posted by Pashosh View Post
btw: you have lost the bet we made last year.
Ye of little faith...we still have two weeks to go. I predict that Assad will be proudly standing on the deck of the Admiral Flota Sovetskogo Soyuza Kuznetsov in front of a "Mission Accomplished" banner very soon.
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  #997  
Old 28.09.2016, 12:18
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Syria - It ain't over till it's over

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Originally Posted by marton View Post
Those people here who claim this is a proxy war between US and Russia have yet to explain why Russia is using relatively modern weapons but the US have failed to provide even simple antiaircraft weapons?
A tank destroying rockets are advanced.
Besides, the current stalemate must be fine for Israel, which, according to Hillary Clinton emails, is the primary benefactor of Syria collapse.
A google search find many news articles stating US is fervently working on "safe anti-aircraft missiles", where safe means they couldn't attack civilian airplanes or be used outside of Syria.
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Old 28.09.2016, 12:42
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Re: Syria - It ain't over till it's over

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Originally Posted by Patxi View Post
Ye of little faith...we still have two weeks to go. I predict that Assad will be proudly standing on the deck of the Admiral Flota Sovetskogo Soyuza Kuznetsov in front of a "Mission Accomplished" banner very soon.
The Kuznetzov won't be in the Med until at least November, but maybe the Russians will have to fly Assad out of Syria Yanukovych style.
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  #999  
Old 28.09.2016, 13:24
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Re: Syria - It ain't over till it's over

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Originally Posted by Urs Max View Post
No. But coming from the party that is notoriously breaking international law, the US simply lack the moral legitimacy to accuse others of doing so, even assuming (which is far from a given) that the bombs were intentionally targeting the hospital.
The two largest hospitals in besieged eastern Aleppo have been put out of service in airstrikes overnight; no doubt not intentional

They were hit at about 4am and then again at around 10am; no doubt also not intentional

Source

Hospitals and doctors have been routinely targeted in the course of the war in Syria. The UN's commission of inquiry into the Syria crisis has long concluded that health facilities are being systematically attacked by government forces, which consider hospitals in opposition areas to be illegal and a legitimate military target.
Physicians for Human Rights, an NGO, has identified 382 attacks since the start of the war on hospitals, more than 290 of which were carried out by the Syrian regime and at least 16 by Russian forces.
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Old 28.09.2016, 22:47
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Syria - It ain't over till it's over

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Originally Posted by marton View Post
The two largest hospitals in besieged eastern Aleppo have been put out of service in airstrikes overnight; no doubt not intentional
Hm, let me think...

https://www.hrw.org/news/2015/03/22/...kill-civilians

Why the rebels attacking civilian population haven't led to articles in NYT like "it is (finally) time to bomb..."?
It is a total war, the incentives on both sides are erase the other, because they know the other side has endless supplies of war materials, so the human base is targeted. Have no illusions, US was planning on having this war, was funneling arms, let Turkey and Saudis do the same, and now they build up the "weapons of mass destruction" (ups, obsolete, this time it is "war crimes") propaganda so that if they escalate then the stupid voters in US will not object, so they'll not have to use CIA doing covert arms trade but instead the congress will bless the war.
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