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U.K (potentially) bombing Syria

Emilrose
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11/20/2015 1:17:32 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
So according to certain sources, the likelihood of a vote going to British parliament *and* the U.K bombing Syria seems to be becoming increasingly possible. There's approximately 80 Labour politicians that *may* vote for it, despite Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn supposedly being against it and reiterating that U.N approval is necessary, and that there needs to be a valid enough to go ahead with it.

https://www.rt.com...

According to a new poll, 53% of Britons would support it.

Personally I am absolutely against the U.K bombing Syria, but it seems that (as usual) people are being influenced and swayed by the recent Paris attacks.
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beng100
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11/20/2015 6:12:12 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/20/2015 1:17:32 PM, Emilrose wrote:
So according to certain sources, the likelihood of a vote going to British parliament *and* the U.K bombing Syria seems to be becoming increasingly possible. There's approximately 80 Labour politicians that *may* vote for it, despite Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn supposedly being against it and reiterating that U.N approval is necessary, and that there needs to be a valid enough to go ahead with it.

https://www.rt.com...

According to a new poll, 53% of Britons would support it.

Personally I am absolutely against the U.K bombing Syria, but it seems that (as usual) people are being influenced and swayed by the recent Paris attacks.

Personally I think that it's only a matter of weeks before Cameron gets the bill through parliament. It will most likely be a relatively comfortable goverment win on the issue as many centrist Labour mps are waiting for the first chance to rebel against Corbyn and will be pleased to see him appear as a weak leader. However away from party political games this is a serious decision to make. It is obvious that joining the bombing campaign In Syria will increase the risk of the uk being attacked by terrorists in retaliation. I would accept this risk if the military action would entirely eliminate IS and end the war in syria but unfortunately what is proposed is merely joining the US and France in provoking IS with limited airstrikes while Russia is also carrying out a seperate military program in the area. In my view all four countries are achieving nothing with the current military activity. Either pull out and give up or come to an agreement on how to eliminate IS and end the civil war by conducting a full scale ground operation. The proposed strikes on IS are no more then a symbolic gesture of support towards France in my view. They will be ineffective. Cameron also wants to appear tough on terrorism and show Britain is still an international military power.
TBR
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11/20/2015 6:25:41 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/20/2015 1:17:32 PM, Emilrose wrote:
So according to certain sources, the likelihood of a vote going to British parliament *and* the U.K bombing Syria seems to be becoming increasingly possible. There's approximately 80 Labour politicians that *may* vote for it, despite Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn supposedly being against it and reiterating that U.N approval is necessary, and that there needs to be a valid enough to go ahead with it.

https://www.rt.com...

According to a new poll, 53% of Britons would support it.

Personally I am absolutely against the U.K bombing Syria, but it seems that (as usual) people are being influenced and swayed by the recent Paris attacks.

Its political only. Not like there are new targets. We can bomb the same stuff over and over if we like, but....
Emilrose
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11/20/2015 8:22:46 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/20/2015 6:12:12 PM, beng100 wrote:
At 11/20/2015 1:17:32 PM, Emilrose wrote:
So according to certain sources, the likelihood of a vote going to British parliament *and* the U.K bombing Syria seems to be becoming increasingly possible. There's approximately 80 Labour politicians that *may* vote for it, despite Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn supposedly being against it and reiterating that U.N approval is necessary, and that there needs to be a valid enough to go ahead with it.

https://www.rt.com...

According to a new poll, 53% of Britons would support it.

Personally I am absolutely against the U.K bombing Syria, but it seems that (as usual) people are being influenced and swayed by the recent Paris attacks.

Personally I think that it's only a matter of weeks before Cameron gets the bill through parliament. It will most likely be a relatively comfortable government win on the issue as many centrist Labour mps are waiting for the first chance to rebel against Corbyn and will be pleased to see him appear as a weak leader. However away from party political games this is a serious decision to make. It is obvious that joining the bombing campaign In Syria will increase the risk of the uk being attacked by terrorists in retaliation. I would accept this risk if the military action would entirely eliminate IS and end the war in syria but unfortunately what is proposed is merely joining the US and France in provoking IS with limited airstrikes while Russia is also carrying out a seperate military program in the area.

Precisely, there is no great necessity for it. Particularly as there's three other leading nations [I.E France, Russia, U.S] bombing Syria--considering that, there is very little that British military can sensibly add to it. Rather, it would merely be a waste of resources and money.

In my view all four countries are achieving nothing with the current military activity. Either pull out and give up or come to an agreement on how to eliminate IS and end the civil war by conducting a full scale ground operation.

I think Russia is proving the most effective in striking targeted ISIS areas; and it is liaising with France. But I agree that a more cohesive strategy needs to be formulated, as bombing ISIS will not destroy the group or remove them from the region. Things such as financial funding and member recruitment are what should be addressed.

The proposed strikes on IS are no more then a symbolic gesture of support towards France in my view. They will be ineffective. Cameron also wants to appear tough on terrorism and show Britain is still an international military power.

True, I think that's particularly correct of Cameron--it's also related to U.S expectation in my opinion. There is virtually no doubt that the U.S wants Britain to participate in military action, and therefore is placing a reasonable amount of pressure on it to do so. Being 'tough' on terrorism is identifying and (attempting) to do something about the other factors involved. There seems to be great dismissal of the fact that it *was* military involvement that enabled ISIS to expand and grow in power in the first place.
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Emilrose
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11/20/2015 8:29:01 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/20/2015 6:25:41 PM, TBR wrote:
At 11/20/2015 1:17:32 PM, Emilrose wrote:
So according to certain sources, the likelihood of a vote going to British parliament *and* the U.K bombing Syria seems to be becoming increasingly possible. There's approximately 80 Labour politicians that *may* vote for it, despite Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn supposedly being against it and reiterating that U.N approval is necessary, and that there needs to be a valid enough to go ahead with it.

https://www.rt.com...

According to a new poll, 53% of Britons would support it.

Personally I am absolutely against the U.K bombing Syria, but it seems that (as usual) people are being influenced and swayed by the recent Paris attacks.

Its political only. Not like there are new targets. We can bomb the same stuff over and over if we like, but....

It's correct that invariably all of it is politically-motivated, which is the unfortunate fact. In all rationality--it does not solve one thing.
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Emilrose
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11/20/2015 8:29:56 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/20/2015 6:16:15 PM, YYW wrote:
This is a very complicated issue. I'll weigh in on it later.

Sure =)
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YYW
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11/20/2015 8:44:55 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/20/2015 1:17:32 PM, Emilrose wrote:
So according to certain sources, the likelihood of a vote going to British parliament *and* the U.K bombing Syria seems to be becoming increasingly possible. There's approximately 80 Labour politicians that *may* vote for it, despite Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn supposedly being against it and reiterating that U.N approval is necessary, and that there needs to be a valid enough to go ahead with it.

https://www.rt.com...

According to a new poll, 53% of Britons would support it.

Personally I am absolutely against the U.K bombing Syria, but it seems that (as usual) people are being influenced and swayed by the recent Paris attacks.

The choice really isn't "to bomb" or "not to bomb." The choice is more nuanced than that. What will British forces target? What is the relative utility of doing that? What will the impacts be in the short term and the long term? Will this contribute to the long term advancement of Western strategic interests, or not?

The *amount* of force is really the issue, because an air raid, for example, is just a "kind" of force that could be applied. As a general rule, air raids are a great way to soften up a hostile city before a ground invasion (not to be confused with an incursion). But, if the British aren't going to follow up their air raid campaign with, for example, more air raids at the very least, then there's pretty much no point.

The political considerations here are tremendous as well. Cameron has to have popular support, but in reality, foreign policy actions should't be debated in the public before they happen. The successful ones should be reported to the media, and the unsuccessful ones ignored. More or less, this is because the public at large is utterly ignorant with regard to military strategy, and, even if they have some modest understanding of military strategy, most simply lack the educational background to put forward an informed opinion about, for example, how to balance the relative risks of any military action against the costs of such an action, as measured against the benefits and risks of multiple alternative courses of action, or simply doing nothing.

That is not to say that the public shouldn't have a say, so much as it is to describe in general the problems with the public having too much of "a say" in some military course of conduct. You would not, for example, go to a mechanic to diagnose your medical problem. You'd go to a doctor. In the same sense, you do not go to the public at large for a challenge that requires military expertise. You go to a general.

The Obama administration's choice has been to try to leave the region alone, but monitor it to ensure that the situation is contained. And to be clear, "containment" of the problem is what they want, because so long as ISIL is contained to the Middle East--and specifically Northern Iraq and Syria--then it is more likely to destabilize the Assad regime, which advances the United States' interests while weakening the Russian's regional influence. The endgame is for Obama to use ISIL to weaken the Assad regime to the extent that a new leader could be put in place who would (1) be friendly to the west, and (2) hostile to the Russians and Iranians. That's the long term goal, and it's obviously one which the UK, France, and most of NATO were on board with... until the Paris attacks.

The short term goal, however, is to *prevent* ISIL from carrying out acts of terrorism against the West. The reasons why this is the short term goal are obvious, but the issue is then whether pursuit of the short term goal comes at the expense of the long term goal, in light of the recent attacks in Paris. Does this cause us to revisit our strategy? Probably not, at least with respect to the Middle East's current state of decay, because ISIS is a cancer that will eventually kill its host, and thereafter implode. (The reasons for this are really complicated, and mostly have to do with financing, which I can elaborate on further if people are interested, but I doubt they are, so I won't say anymore about it.)

Now, bombing ISIL, for example, might have the effect of increasing their "rate of decay." That's, I think, what Cameron is thinking about. The goal is to hit high value targets to force ISIL to spend money, to undermine ISIL's internal functioning, to accelerate its internal collapse. It's not really all that great of a strategy, though, because marginal costs that the West can force ISIL to incur aren't likely to accelerate their decay at a rate that would be conducive to the west's interests, and specifically short term interests, in homeland security.

The recruitment problem is the real threat that ISIL presents, and what *should* be happening is that the West (and specifically the Obama administration) should get over it's thinking that weakening the Assad regime is in any way a "good idea." It's an idiotic idea. Assad is a bastard, who has no credibility, and Russia is repugnant for working with them, but on a pragmatic level, if Syria falls then Iraq and Syria are likely to be ongoing failed states for multiple generations -and that is infinitely more likely than the United States (or NATO, generally) is to be able to install a pro-West leader in Syria in the wake of Assad's demise. Thinking otherwise is just delusional. Puppet governments just don't work. They never have, and they never will.

So, the Obama administration's long term goal (directly weakening Assad to indirectly weaken Russia) should be abandoned. What they should be doing is working with Russia to neutralize ISIS, because the Russians are (even though more powerful than ISIL) more predictable than ISIL. It is MUCH easier to work with and against the Russians than it is to work against ISIL. And when I say "work with" Russia, what I mean is "let the Russians defend their client state (read: Syria), while more or less providing logistical support."

Obama should *explicitly* let Moscow know that we will stand behind them to support their efforts to defeat ISIL. Why? It's a better way to achieve the long-term indirect goal (weakening Russia) by keeping then ensnared in the Middle East, and we don't have to get our hands dirty. Why on earth would any person do work, when someone else can do it for you, after all? Defeating ISIL should be on Russia, first. And we should support Russia's doing that. The cost is that Assad needs to stay in power, because the known, foreseeable alternatives to that are far worse.

It's really just that simple.
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Emilrose
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11/20/2015 11:09:46 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
The choice really isn't "to bomb" or "not to bomb." The choice is more nuanced than that. What will British forces target? What is the relative utility of doing that? What will the impacts be in the short term and the long term? Will this contribute to the long term advancement of Western strategic interests, or not?

It's unknown on *exactly* what the British forces will target, though it makes to assume they will reiterating the premise of targeting strategic points for ISIS. What you state below largely applies to these questions, assumedly the *main* interests would be containing ISIS and attempting to prevent further attack on Europe.


The *amount* of force is really the issue, because an air raid, for example, is just a "kind" of force that could be applied. As a general rule, air raids are a great way to soften up a hostile city before a ground invasion (not to be confused with an incursion). But, if the British aren't going to follow up their air raid campaign with, for example, more air raids at the very least, then there's pretty much no point.

I agree, an air-raid would only be slightly effective in the short-term wouldn't exactly lay the groundwork for anything significant. The general impression is that the U.K would be giving similar strikes to the U.S, but as of yet (because no official decision has been made) it's unclear what the military strategy would be and *what* kind of force would be used, in addition to what the eventual outcome(s) would be.

The political considerations here are tremendous as well. Cameron has to have popular support, but in reality, foreign policy actions should't be debated in the public before they happen. The successful ones should be reported to the media, and the unsuccessful ones ignored. More or less, this is because the public at large is utterly ignorant with regard to military strategy, and, even if they have some modest understanding of military strategy, most simply lack the educational background to put forward an informed opinion about, for example, how to balance the relative risks of any military action against the costs of such an action, as measured against the benefits and risks of multiple alternative courses of action, or simply doing nothing.

Indeed, though if you follow politics and media coverage (I.E reports, military opinion, etc.) then you get a reasonable idea of what the potential benefits can be *and* the potential risks. The matter of knowledge is mainly dependant on level of interest.

That is not to say that the public shouldn't have a say, so much as it is to describe in general the problems with the public having too much of "a say" in some military course of conduct. You would not, for example, go to a mechanic to diagnose your medical problem. You'd go to a doctor. In the same sense, you do not go to the public at large for a challenge that requires military expertise. You go to a general.

Agreed. Though the public (in the case) should most definitely have some form of say, due the overall lack of necessity in bombing ISIS.

The Obama administration's choice has been to try to leave the region alone, but monitor it to ensure that the situation is contained. And to be clear, "containment" of the problem is what they want, because so long as ISIL is contained to the Middle East--and specifically Northern Iraq and Syria--then it is more likely to destabilize the Assad regime, which advances the United States' interests while weakening the Russian's regional influence. The endgame is for Obama to use ISIL to weaken the Assad regime to the extent that a new leader could be put in place who would (1) be friendly to the west, and (2) hostile to the Russians and Iranians. That's the long term goal, and it's obviously one which the UK, France, and most of NATO were on board with... until the Paris attacks.

I absolutely agree with this, the U.S has no political interest or *benefit* in actually removing ISIS from the region which is hence why they have made any attempt at doing so. The two things that you've pointed out are precisely what U.S priorities are, and that is the primary essence of the Syrian conflict and the continuance of ISIS.

The short term goal, however, is to *prevent* ISIL from carrying out acts of terrorism against the West. The reasons why this is the short term goal are obvious, but the issue is then whether pursuit of the short term goal comes at the expense of the long term goal, in light of the recent attacks in Paris. Does this cause us to revisit our strategy? Probably not, at least with respect to the Middle East's current state of decay, because ISIS is a cancer that will eventually kill its host, and thereafter implode. (The reasons for this are really complicated, and mostly have to do with financing, which I can elaborate on further if people are interested, but I doubt they are, so I won't say anymore about it.)

I'm always interested, but I do understand what you're implying as regards the financing of ISIS, which THE key reason for the existence. It's evident that they have been well-backed and serve as a strategic interest to a number of Middle Eastern countries.

Now, bombing ISIL, for example, might have the effect of increasing their "rate of decay." That's, I think, what Cameron is thinking about. The goal is to hit high value targets to force ISIL to spend money, to undermine ISIL's internal functioning, to accelerate its internal collapse. It's not really all that great of a strategy, though, because marginal costs that the West can force ISIL to incur aren't likely to accelerate their decay at a rate that would be conducive to the west's interests, and specifically short term interests, in homeland security.

Agreed, at face-value it may seem beneficial but when assessed, that's not the case.

The recruitment problem is the real threat that ISIL presents, and what *should* be happening is that the West (and specifically the Obama administration) should get over it's thinking that weakening the Assad regime is in any way a "good idea." It's an idiotic idea. Assad is a bastard, who has no credibility, and Russia is repugnant for working with them, but on a pragmatic level, if Syria falls then Iraq and Syria are likely to be ongoing failed states for multiple generations -and that is infinitely more likely than the United States (or NATO, generally) is to be able to install a pro-West leader in Syria in the wake of Assad's demise. Thinking otherwise is just delusional. Puppet governments just don't work. They never have, and they never will.

Also agree, though my stance on Russian involvement is different. There is absolutely *no* way that Syria would succeed as a state with a enforcement of pro-West leader.

So, the Obama administration's long term goal (directly weakening Assad to indirectly weaken Russia) should be abandoned. What they should be doing is working with Russia to neutralize ISIS, because the Russians are (even though more powerful than ISIL) more predictable than ISIL. It is MUCH easier to work with and against the Russians than it is to work against ISIL. And when I say "work with" Russia, what I mean is "let the Russians defend their client state (read: Syria), while more or less providing logistical support."

Obama should *explicitly* let Moscow know that we will stand behind them to support their efforts to defeat ISIL. Why? It's a better way to achieve the long-term indirect goal (weakening Russia) by keeping then ensnared in the Middle East, and we don't have to get our hands dirty. Why on earth would any person do work, when someone else can do it for you, after all? Defeating ISIL should be on Russia, first. And we should support Russia's doing that. The cost is that Assad needs to stay in power, because the known, foreseeable alternatives to that are far worse.

It's really just that simple.

Also agreed ;)
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Emilrose
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11/20/2015 11:27:59 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
So, the Obama administration's long term goal (directly weakening Assad to indirectly weaken Russia) should be abandoned. What they should be doing is working with Russia to neutralize ISIS, because the Russians are (even though more powerful than ISIL) more predictable than ISIL. It is MUCH easier to work with and against the Russians than it is to work against ISIL. And when I say "work with" Russia, what I mean is "let the Russians defend their client state (read: Syria), while more or less providing logistical support."

Due to character to limit I wasn't able to respond to either of these properly, so here's opinion:

I still think it's slightly questionable that the U.S will explicitly support Russia in its fighting against ISIS, because of the inherent mistrust between the two countries. *Even* if it is strategically beneficial for the U.S to do so. Another factor is that Russia is directly against the Syrian rebels, which the U.S (for obvious reasons) support. That has proven to be the primary issue in the U.S giving its full encouragement of Russian involvement in Syria.

Russia has its own agenda, and it wouldn't be sensible for the U.S to underestimate that.

Obama should *explicitly* let Moscow know that we will stand behind them to support their efforts to defeat ISIL. Why? It's a better way to achieve the long-term indirect goal (weakening Russia) by keeping then ensnared in the Middle East, and we don't have to get our hands dirty. Why on earth would any person do work, when someone else can do it for you, after all? Defeating ISIL should be on Russia, first. And we should support Russia's doing that. The cost is that Assad needs to stay in power, because the known, foreseeable alternatives to that are far worse.

My above response pretty much applies to this as well. I agree with the stated premise on Russia doing (most) of the military work against ISIS but there will *always* be the factors of Russian interest and Russian agenda, which does not coincide with American interest or American agenda--the Russians are prepared (as has been shown) to provide adequate military support to Assad's army and act against the Syrian rebels, which of course, are of strategic benefit to the U.S.

The costs are indeed drastically worse if Assad was to be removed, but again: is this really a net harm to U.S interests? Its long-term priority has been for his removal and I can't see any significant change in this. The only factor is that ISIS has deviated away from the issue a little, but the U.S' view of Assad is still very much prevalent--and it continues to remain an ambition to see him go. From a logical standpoint however, Syria will most certainly fall apart *if* he gets removed, which thus should be a valid reason not to do it.

But again...that's not how it works.
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Emilrose
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11/20/2015 11:28:34 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/20/2015 9:01:35 PM, Mirza wrote:
For Emil. :)

http://www.debate.org...

;)
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beng100
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11/21/2015 1:27:26 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/20/2015 8:22:46 PM, Emilrose wrote:
At 11/20/2015 6:12:12 PM, beng100 wrote:
At 11/20/2015 1:17:32 PM, Emilrose wrote:
So according to certain sources, the likelihood of a vote going to British parliament *and* the U.K bombing Syria seems to be becoming increasingly possible. There's approximately 80 Labour politicians that *may* vote for it, despite Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn supposedly being against it and reiterating that U.N approval is necessary, and that there needs to be a valid enough to go ahead with it.

https://www.rt.com...

According to a new poll, 53% of Britons would support it.

Personally I am absolutely against the U.K bombing Syria, but it seems that (as usual) people are being influenced and swayed by the recent Paris attacks.

Personally I think that it's only a matter of weeks before Cameron gets the bill through parliament. It will most likely be a relatively comfortable government win on the issue as many centrist Labour mps are waiting for the first chance to rebel against Corbyn and will be pleased to see him appear as a weak leader. However away from party political games this is a serious decision to make. It is obvious that joining the bombing campaign In Syria will increase the risk of the uk being attacked by terrorists in retaliation. I would accept this risk if the military action would entirely eliminate IS and end the war in syria but unfortunately what is proposed is merely joining the US and France in provoking IS with limited airstrikes while Russia is also carrying out a seperate military program in the area.


Precisely, there is no great necessity for it. Particularly as there's three other leading nations [I.E France, Russia, U.S] bombing Syria--considering that, there is very little that British military can sensibly add to it. Rather, it would merely be a waste of resources and money.

Agree the proposed military strategy achieves nothing but wasting money and increasing vulnerability to terrorist attack.

In my view all four countries are achieving nothing with the current military activity. Either pull out and give up or come to an agreement on how to eliminate IS and end the civil war by conducting a full scale ground operation.

I think Russia is proving the most effective in striking targeted ISIS areas; and it is liaising with France. But I agree that a more cohesive strategy needs to be formulated, as bombing ISIS will not destroy the group or remove them from the region. Things such as financial funding and member recruitment are what should be addressed.

Yes despite generally disliking Putin I think his strategy in Syria of opposing all of Assads enemies is the correct approach. I think an agreement needs to be made to support Assads return to power militarily. Ending the civil war and the control of vast swathes of territory by terrorist militia.

The proposed strikes on IS are no more then a symbolic gesture of support towards France in my view. They will be ineffective. Cameron also wants to appear tough on terrorism and show Britain is still an international military power.

True, I think that's particularly correct of Cameron--it's also related to U.S expectation in my opinion. There is virtually no doubt that the U.S wants Britain to participate in military action, and therefore is placing a reasonable amount of pressure on it to do so. Being 'tough' on terrorism is identifying and (attempting) to do something about the other factors involved. There seems to be great dismissal of the fact that it *was* military involvement that enabled ISIS to expand and grow in power in the first place.

Yes overthrowing Saddam Hussain was a mistake. As was trying to oust Assad. I hate both dictators but the region would be much more stable if they were still there. However now we have caused the problem I think attempting to solve it is better than walking away and ignoring it. I think a military strategy to reinstall the Iraqi government and Assad needs to be implemented with international (but not regional as this is impossible to achieve due to religious disputes) consensus between Russia and the west. I would propose Russia deals with Syria and the USA deals with Iraq.
Sidewalker
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11/21/2015 2:28:36 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/20/2015 1:17:32 PM, Emilrose wrote:

it seems that (as usual) people are being influenced and swayed by the recent Paris attacks.

No kidding?
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater