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Romney and Syria

vbaculum
Posts: 1,274
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5/30/2012 4:42:11 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
I've been paying close attention to the Arab Spring since it began and think that the world ought to intervine in Syria to promote democracy. Every month or so about 1,000 people are murdered by the Syrian government and there doesn't seem to be an end to this.

Romney wants the "United States to 'work with partners to organize and arm Syrian opposition groups so they can defend themselves'". This goes further than the current administrations position.

I think supporting pro-democracy movements in the Middle East is in our interests and I'm seriously considering voting Republican for the first time. Can anyone talk me out of it?

http://feeds.nytimes.com...
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AlwaysMoreThanYou
Posts: 2,900
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5/30/2012 4:46:58 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
No.
'When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.' - John 16:13
ConservativePolitico
Posts: 8,210
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5/30/2012 4:48:03 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Can't do that. That's interventionism. Obama can't do that because the libs are against foreign intervention. If he intervenes it makes his party look like they only support issues that serve their interests.

To play to his non-interventionism base he can't do anything. His hands are tied.

Romney could however, and the Left will cry foul and say how we're invading Syria for their oil. But that's just my prediction.
DetectableNinja
Posts: 6,043
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5/30/2012 4:48:25 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
PREFACE: I do not support any candidate at all (beside Ron Paul and Vermin Supreme).

Anyway: While that may seem like a good thing that Romney supports, there are other problems with him, particularly on social issues--even after presupposing that his stance on Syria is good.

The deal breaker for me was when he signed a promise to work to add a Constitutional amendment defining marriage as between 1 man and 1 woman.

I don't support Obama either, for his economic issues, largely.

So, I wasn't really trying to talk you out of Romney. I just wanted to point out that you should support him only after knowing the whole of his beliefs and policies, as well as weighing them. You may not weigh gay marriage as high as Syria.
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vbaculum
Posts: 1,274
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5/30/2012 5:08:50 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 5/30/2012 4:48:25 PM, DetectableNinja wrote:
PREFACE: I do not support any candidate at all (beside Ron Paul and Vermin Supreme).

Anyway: While that may seem like a good thing that Romney supports, there are other problems with him, particularly on social issues--even after presupposing that his stance on Syria is good.

The deal breaker for me was when he signed a promise to work to add a Constitutional amendment defining marriage as between 1 man and 1 woman.

That may end up being a deal breaker for me too. I suspect he will back down on it during the campaign but that's just a guess. Either way, I feel like Obama will ultimately be given a second term.

I don't support Obama either, for his economic issues, largely.

So, I wasn't really trying to talk you out of Romney. I just wanted to point out that you should support him only after knowing the whole of his beliefs and policies, as well as weighing them. You may not weigh gay marriage as high as Syria.
"If you claim to value nonviolence and you consume animal products, you need to rethink your position on nonviolence." - Gary Francione

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jat93
Posts: 1,440
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5/30/2012 5:50:04 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 5/30/2012 4:48:03 PM, ConservativePolitico wrote:
Can't do that. That's interventionism. Obama can't do that because the libs are against foreign intervention. If he intervenes it makes his party look like they only support issues that serve their interests.

To play to his non-interventionism base he can't do anything. His hands are tied.

Yes, which explains why his foreign policy is almost identical to that of his predecessor, right? You know, troop surge in Afghanistan, a war in Libya, ending the Iraq war 2 1/2 years later than he promised he would on the campaign trail (and only because we were essentially forced out and through an exit process that Bush actually commenced.... and not without leaving a huge, expensive embassy there bigger than the Vatican), and massive drone bombing campaigns in Yemen, Somalia, and Pakistan.

Come on, the liberal base will overwhelmingly support Obama regardless of the fact that his foreign policy has proven to be the anti-thesis of non-interventionism. They have their justifications, which of course could be equally applicable to GWB who they hated so much.

The liberal base seems to only be united against foreign interventionism when a Republican is in the White House. Obama certainly has proven not to adhere to non-interventionism at all. His hands are not tied in the way you claim they are.
OberHerr
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5/30/2012 5:53:21 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
So, you were for the War in Iraq right?

And Vietnam?

And, while we're at it, lets just throw North Korea in there, a far worse offender than Syria will ever be.
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Lordknukle
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5/30/2012 5:56:32 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
There is no reasonable justification for invading another country out of a purely "pro-democratic" regime. Need I remind you that these Arab Springs revolts just replace one dictator for another? Also, what gives you the moral justification for intervening in the occurrences in other countries and being the world police?

Unless there is a specific interest in Syria that the US can extract if it invades (oil), then there is no reason to invade.
"Easy is the descent to Avernus, for the door to the Underworld lies upon both day and night. But to retrace your steps and return to the breezes above- that's the task, that's the toil."
Stephen_Hawkins
Posts: 5,316
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5/30/2012 6:32:28 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
For someone focussing on Syria and the Arab Spring, I am slightly confused here about how this can be a good idea pragmatically. Then again, I don't know masses on American Politics but more of world politics, so maybe Romney has some amazing solution.

The major reason we went to help Libya was threefold. That is, when I say reason, the reason why it was done then and not the day before. We went in when we did for the three reasons of the lack of a Russian-China UN block against deposition, Oil, and Gadaffi looking to fail.

Firstly, China's relations with Libya was poor. Usually a country stays with a tyranny against UN action due to the Russia-China bond promoting non-interventionalism, due to self-preservation (a criticism of countries for being undemocratic by undemocratic countries does not go down too well, usually). However, China didn't have strong relations with Libya. They wanted a new leader, as the oil hungry country needed improved relations with the giant of Africa[1]. With all other countries really, really not liking Gadaffi, most countries having cool relations at best, the diplomacy was not on their side. To be perfectly honest, I am skeptical whether they had good relations with Russia due to the good relations of Russia-NTC, but it could be Russia being politically astute and glad a competitor in the oil industry left. Which nicely leads on to my following point.

Secondly, Oil. Now, I'm not going on the common rant I know that republicans seem to dislike (though for the life of me I see no reason why) that we did it only for oil, but this was why we invaded Libya, and not, say, Tunisia. The reason to go after Libya was oil. As I am sure RoyLatham can confirm, the other oil buff on the site, there was a lot of infrastructure, and it is the third largest oil exporter to the EU[2]. If you needed to pick a country to defend, as you can't do all, you'd go to protect the diamonds and rubies, not the wood and rock.

Finally, Gadaffi was looking like he would fail, or at the very least was on the back rope, lashing out, fighting for his life. Unlike Syria which only has dangers politically, Gadaffi had a full blown civil war in place and he needed to focus on that, not the politics (a monarch appealing to the EU for promoting his rule? Unlikely.) This point is just how it looks: easy victory. Autocratic leader. I know some want to say he was good for Libya, but in all honesty anyone could have done what he did to that extent with the amount of aid he had, but he was an easy villain.

Long story short, Syria has none of these. So, the major political bodies did not want to get involved. The following reasons are why I don't think that Romney would get good from this deal, if he went to war. I had the rant about Libya because that will be a comparison point.

Firstly, international relations. While Russia was not a fan of Gadaffi, or was not, at least, too loud about it all, with Syria, they were practically fanboys. Medvedev has great support for Assad, and does not want to get into another war. It is a waste of money, and costs them masses.

Second, oil. Though it exports a fairly large amount, the largest export is to Germany then Italy, who don't get politically involved (though Germany is a strange subject), and I cannot think of the last time they politically got involved internationally on ideological grounds, especially for military movements. France, who have some interest, are now led by Hollande, who is a liberal's dream. After France, it goes to Netherlands and then to obscurity. So long story short, there is no justification to go into Syria other than ideology, which Russia-China bonds will counteract.

Finally, it's not an easy victory. Unlike Libya, this will be a difficult fight. I'll just say what Dmitri Trenin (who recently wrote a great book on Eurasian post-imperialism) said: "The Russians appreciate that the United States and other Western powers would only intervene militarily if they could sustain zero losses themselves, as in Libya. Syria, however, is a more difficult case. Arming the Free Syria Army and providing it with intelligence will not be enough to prevail over Assad's forces. A prospect of a wider war with Arab and Turkish participation looms on the horizon.

Such a war could only make sense if it were the first act of a more serious drama. Russians suspect that the real reason for the West's pressure on Damascus is to rob Tehran of its only ally in the region. Behind the activity of the Gulf States, particularly Qatar, in the Syrian issue Moscow sees the rising regional influence of Saudi Arabia, Iran's bitter rival in the region. Turkey's "neo-Ottoman" ambitions are also playing a role. What the Russians are most worried about, however, is that Israel may strike at Iran, dragging in the United States and thus precipitating a major war with Iran sometime this year."

So, long story short, I don't think an invasion is going to go down well. Nor do I see any particular reason to do so. Nor will weapon supply: the only difference between proxy war and real war when so public is that casualties seem unimportant, saddeningly.

1 - http://news.xinhuanet.com...
2 - http://ec.europa.eu...
3 - http://www.nytimes.com...
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Stephen_Hawkins
Posts: 5,316
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5/30/2012 6:34:13 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Please appreciate how long that took me to write :D
Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach him how to be Gay, he'll positively influence the GDP.

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vbaculum
Posts: 1,274
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5/30/2012 6:43:20 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 5/30/2012 5:56:32 PM, Lordknukle wrote:
There is no reasonable justification for invading another country out of a purely "pro-democratic" regime. Need I remind you that these Arab Springs revolts just replace one dictator for another?

Why should that be the case for Syria? Why would we back groups who were interested in mear sectarian power grabs instead of democracy?

Also, what gives you the moral justification for intervening in the occurrences in other countries and being the world police?

Intervention in Syria shouldn't be unilateral. The West and Arabian countries are interested in ending the violence in Syria with varying levels of intervention.

The throats of children are being slit nearly every day. 10,000 people have been murdered and many more are imprisoned in Assad's dungeons. What gives us the moral justification to allow this to continue?


Unless there is a specific interest in Syria that the US can extract if it invades (oil), then there is no reason to invade.

Democracies don't go to war with other democracies. A world of only democratic countries would be a world without war. A world without war is in our interest. Therefore, the promotion of democratic revolution is in our interest.
"If you claim to value nonviolence and you consume animal products, you need to rethink your position on nonviolence." - Gary Francione

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Contra
Posts: 3,941
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5/30/2012 6:49:38 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 5/30/2012 5:56:32 PM, Lordknukle wrote:
There is no reasonable justification for invading another country out of a purely "pro-democratic" regime. Need I remind you that these Arab Springs revolts just replace one dictator for another? Also, what gives you the moral justification for intervening in the occurrences in other countries and being the world police?

Unless there is a specific interest in Syria that the US can extract if it invades (oil), then there is no reason to invade.

I have a family member who lives in Egypt and they voted last week, and the two candidates that will be in the runoff election is the nominee of the Muslim Brotherhood and a former Mubarek official. The moderate who was the most promising is out of the race.
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