Understanding The Syria Problem From A National Security Perspective
Moral Problem Of Violence - How Much Violence Can We Stand In Syria Before Wanting To Do Something?
The Problem Of The "News" Media Interfering With National Security
Fox "News" Caught Lying About Role In Blocking Background Checks Leading To Unnecessary US Citizen Gun-Deaths
How Many People Have Been Killed by Guns Since Newtown? (Over 8 thousand)
Over 360,000 Gun Deaths Since 9/11 -- From the Outside It Looks Like America Is a Country Gripped by Civil War Should the outside world intervene?
Notice that Syria has an actual civil war where ONE global super-power IS openly supporting one side. The other side consists of small countries who have to deal with the refugees and can't stand the human tragedy and so are supplying arms. But Russia can supply more weapons, including aircraft, so Assad has managed to hold on to power MUCH longer than he should have been able to in a civil war with no outside interference.
1. Syria said it didn't use Chemical Weapons (libertarians bought it) then they said they don't have Chemical Weapons (not sure if it was believed or not), now they are willing to 'give up the Chemical Weapons it did not have' to begin with!
2. One of those "not wars" we like to engage in from time to time. Jon Stewart
This is a sarcastic remark about the use & misuse of theWar Powers Act.
3. 2:30 - America has been the anchor for International Norms saying this so soon after we played the get out of international norms free card - Jon Stewart
This is a reference to Iraq but let's be clear, the problem with the Iraq War was LACK of chemical weapons & lack of evidence of chemical weapons. It was a war entirely set-up using fear and rumor.
To go to war whenever you are angry, for no reason, attacking without evidence, is BAD for National Security. To go to war when ACTUAL National Security interests are at stake is GOOD. To have proper International Norms where clear red-lines are drawn and enforced is BEST.
It's even MORE IMPORTANT to have National US - red lines as the US is a super-power and though it doesn't want to police the world, until proper treaties are set, it is in it's National Security Interests to keep an eye on what's going on and limit WMD's. (Considering all the damage the US has done since Reagan took office will lead to blow back. That blow back needs to be managed and reduced. This will only happen over time. Running away now from a flaming fire - the international political scene - is not the answer!)
This is the scale we have. We do the best we can with what we have. Here's an important look at the Iraq War to show these are NOT equivalents in any sense of the word:
The United States has fundamentally misread the uprising and subsequent civil war in Syria, the former American ambassador to that country and one of American’s most experienced Foreign Service officers told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Wednesday.
“I think we made a mistake right at the beginning in somehow thinking that Syria was like Egypt, like Tunisia, like Libya,” Ryan Crocker told Amanpour. “You and I know it's not.”
That misreading has lead Crocker to a stark conclusion.
“Assad isn't going anywhere outside of Syria anytime soon, if ever,” he said. “And maybe we're beginning to understand that.”
Crocker is a career diplomat who has served as ambassador to Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Kuwait, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
“The Syrian regime has been ready for this fight since Hama in 1982; very few Americans remember what happened then. You and I do, when up to 10,000 innocent Sunni civilians were murdered by Assad,” he said. “It radicalized the Sunni population and the regime knew that a day of accounting may come. And they've been ready for it for three decades.”
That 1982 revolt in Hama was put down by Bashar al-Assad’s father, Hafez. His response, brutal and merciless, an example to any would-be revolutionaries, was famously dubbed “Hama Rules” by the writer Thomas Friedman.
Bashar al-Assad “is just like the old man,” Crocker told Amanpour. “Maybe not quite as flexible and more doctrinaire, just as ruthless.”
Russia’s proposal to put Syria’s chemical weapons under international control, while unlikely to alter the dynamics of the civil war itself, is a positive development, Crocker said, as is Iran’s backing of such a deal.
“Iran has suffered from chemical weapons,” Crocker said. “They are no fans of them. So pressure from Tehran, pressure from Moscow will be critical in all of this.”
Indeed, he said, even if a deal is not struck, the past week has been a very successful one in the world of international diplomacy.
“Whatever happens next, we have the Russians and Iranians on record as saying that Syria should put its chemical weapons under international control,” he said. “We have Syria acknowledging it has such weapons and it is prepared to do so.”
But Russia’s plan, even if implemented, would almost certainly leave the civil war in a bloody downward spiral. Crocker says he only sees two alternatives for the civil war.
“Either Assad regains control, foot by bloody foot,” he said, “or it settles into some kind of stalemate.”
Only if a stalemate settles in will a diplomatic solution be possible, he opined. In other words, now, in which Assad clearly has the upper hand, is not the time.
“I'm from the West of the United States,” Crocker said. “We have giant forest fires; the one burning now in Yosemite. You can't extinguish them. You can only contain them. That's Syria. We can't extinguish that fight. Neither side is ready. All we can do is try and contain it and keep it from spreading further into Lebanon, into Iraq, into Jordan, into Turkey. That's the best we can do right now and wait for circumstances to change.”
With respect to Syria, we believe that as a starting point the international community must enforce the ban on chemical weapons.
When I stated my willingness to order a limited strike against the Assad regime in response to the brazen use of chemical weapons, I did not do so lightly. I did so because I believe it is in the national security interests of the United States and in the interest of the world to meaningfully enforce a prohibition whose origins are older than the United Nations itself.
The ban against the use of chemical weapons, even in war, has been agreed to by 98 percent of humanity. It is strengthened by the searing memories of soldiers suffocated in the trenches, Jews slaughtered in gas chambers, Iranians poisoned in the many tens of thousands.
Now, I know that in the immediate aftermath of the attack there were those who questioned the legitimacy of even a limited strike in the absence of a clear mandate from the Security Council. But without a credible military threat, the Security Council had demonstrated no inclination to act at all.
I disagree that the chemical weapons in Syria don't oppose a threat, not sure how the Security Council is defining military though. A militant attack like the one in Nairobi, Kenya would be even more effective with chemical weapons if their goal is to slaughter as many innocents as they can.
Report: In Syria, the death toll from chemical weapons pales in comparison to that from conventional warfare. Britain’s Channel 4 has the chilling story of a massacre in Al-Bayda.
Report: United Nations has to defend it;s report from Russia!
Report: Assad moving chemical weapons to Iraq and Lebanon, Syria opposition General Salim Idriss claims to CNN’s Amanpour
These are the variables to keep track of for the Chemical Weapons: 1. Easy to move - 2. Can become war booty - 3. Can be used for revenge. - 4. Can be stored in small places such as basements. - 5. Can be used as a 'weapon of last resort'. - 6. This situation may become a small bio-weapon problem as well, now that so much who ha has been made over it (such as Anthrax or something similar).
All of these factors need to be taken into account for any National Security decision.
The Syrian government took a first step by giving an accounting of its stockpiles. Now, there must be a strong Security Council resolution to verify that the Assad regime is keeping its commitments. And there must be consequences if they fail to do so. If we cannot agree even on this, then it will show that the United Nations is incapable of enforcing the most basic of international laws.
A regime that is going to have to fight foot by foot to win a war it knew was going to happen because it is repressing a majority population as a remnant state from the cold war (i.e. Russia is supporting Assad the way the US supported the Shah of Iran - so as long as Russia is supplying Syria with weapons it's RUSSIA PLUS SYRIA's ASSAD AGAINST THE REBELS ... NOTHING MORE AND NOTHING LESS. The odds are stacked against the rebels who were previously just peaceful protestors of the majority of the population)... will not declare all it's chemical weapons stockpile. Assad can't leave and this is a fight to the death. There are already reports of chemical weapons leaving - which still have to be confirmed - but if chemical weapons are found leaving Syria they must be stopped immediately. Chemical weapons that may exist, say in a bunker, if not used will fall into the hands of the ones who win. Another possible loose end.