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The Middle East...where Are Events Taking Us?


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Posted
  • Location: Leeds/Bradford border, 185 metres above sea level, around 600 feet
  • Location: Leeds/Bradford border, 185 metres above sea level, around 600 feet

    To those of you asserting we should not act, i have a few questions...

    1) Do you believe in universal human rights - namely the right to liberty

    2) What is the point of the UNSC to you?

    3) Do you think the UK should be on the UNSC, and if so what is its role?

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    There is no other description for what is happening other than war crime and genocide.   Israel is technically the occupying force on Gaza and as such is duty bound to protect civilians.   Complet

    The scenes in Gaza look like the aftermath of a nuclear bomb, utter devastation. The Israelis telling people to go back to their homes in northern Gaza as its "safe", what are they supposed to go back

    Reported on the BBC too... An air strike on an army camp has killed three soldiers, the Syrian government says, blaming the US-led coalition for the attack. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-

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    Posted
  • Location: Newcastle Upon Tyne (Spital Tongues)
  • Weather Preferences: Cold, Snow, Windstorms and Thunderstorms
  • Location: Newcastle Upon Tyne (Spital Tongues)

    Whilst I'm not completely against intervention in Syria, I really don't think that the majority in Iraq or Afghanistan are happy about the amount of foreign troops in their country. This is evident by the numbers that continue to resist, despite the many tens of thousands killed, and the on going bombings and associated deaths which are still a regular feature of day to day life in both countries.

    Where does universal human rights come into effect with regard to Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, North Korea, China, Palestine, Sudan, Rwanda and the others countries/regions that the UNSC shows little interest in?

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    Posted
  • Location: Sheffield South Yorkshire 160M Powering the Sheffield Shield
  • Weather Preferences: Any Extreme
  • Location: Sheffield South Yorkshire 160M Powering the Sheffield Shield

    To those of you asserting we should not act, i have a few questions...

    1) Do you believe in universal human rights - namely the right to liberty

    2) What is the point of the UNSC to you?

    3) Do you think the UK should be on the UNSC, and if so what is its role?

    Dunno if you answered last time. Do you think we should invade every country that breaks human rights? What happens if we invade and destabilise the whole region?What happens if we invade and install someone even worse?It's okay having moral arguments but without a considered plan and exit strategy you risk making things much worse. Apparently Syria hasn't got an organised opposition so you could end up fighting two groups of people. So the first step is to get an organised opposition with a leader they're united behind. You can then think about the military options.

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    To those of you asserting we should not act, i have a few questions...

    1) Do you believe in universal human rights - namely the right to liberty

    2) What is the point of the UNSC to you?

    3) Do you think the UK should be on the UNSC, and if so what is its role?

    Yes SB but there is also the right of self determination by different peoples, some of whom have a culture completely alien to our own - not only that we simply do not have the resources to keep in intervening, so just where are we going to join the line.

    In the long term we are not always doing the best for humanity as a whole if we keep jumping in with both feet - sometimes we can cause more trouble in the long run - we really must learn a little humility and recognise that the west does not always know best - at times people have to learn for themselves even though they go through mud, blood and bullets.

    George W Bush amused me when he said he was going to impose democracy on Iraq - if that was not a contradiction in terms I don't know what it.

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    Posted
  • Location: Camborne
  • Location: Camborne

    Whilst I'm not completely against intervention in Syria, I really don't think that the majority in Iraq or Afghanistan are happy about the amount of foreign troops in their country. This is evident by the numbers that continue to resist, despite the many tens of thousands killed, and the on going bombings and associated deaths which are still a regular feature of day to day life in both countries.

    Where does universal human rights come into effect with regard to Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, North Korea, China, Palestine, Sudan, Rwanda and the others countries/regions that the UNSC shows little interest in?

    In particulat the Great Congo War.

    The deadliest war in modern African history, it directly involved eight African nations, as well as about 25 armed groups. By 2008, the war and its aftermath had killed 5.4 million people, mostly from disease and starvation, making the Second Congo War the deadliest conflict worldwide since World War II. Millions more were displaced from their homes or sought asylum in neighboring countries

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Congo_War

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    Posted
  • Location: Leeds/Bradford border, 185 metres above sea level, around 600 feet
  • Location: Leeds/Bradford border, 185 metres above sea level, around 600 feet

    Whilst I'm not completely against intervention in Syria, I really don't think that the majority in Iraq or Afghanistan are happy about the amount of foreign troops in their country. This is evident by the numbers that continue to resist, despite the many tens of thousands killed, and the on going bombings and associated deaths which are still a regular feature of day to day life in both countries.

    Where does universal human rights come into effect with regard to Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, North Korea, China, Palestine, Sudan, Rwanda and the others countries/regions that the UNSC shows little interest in?

    Practicalities mean that we cannot obviously liberate everybody and so a case by case basis is the best approach, but the liberation of the Syrian people is very much achievable.

    They may not like foreign troups sticking around but they are grateful that they have been liberated.

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    Posted
  • Location: Leeds/Bradford border, 185 metres above sea level, around 600 feet
  • Location: Leeds/Bradford border, 185 metres above sea level, around 600 feet

    Dunno if you answered last time. Do you think we should invade every country that breaks human rights? What happens if we invade and destabilise the whole region?What happens if we invade and install someone even worse?It's okay having moral arguments but without a considered plan and exit strategy you risk making things much worse. Apparently Syria hasn't got an organised opposition so you could end up fighting two groups of people. So the first step is to get an organised opposition with a leader they're united behind. You can then think about the military options.

    One step at a time, genocidal dictatorships to sort out first.

    The Middle East is not very stable as it is, we can't really make things worse.

    If the people there elect somebody else then so be it, as long as the UN deems the elections free and fair then they will have exercised their right to vote.

    We have an exit strategy, we go in and remove Assad and then have free and fair elections within 2 years. This won't be a long affair like Afghanistan.

    Agree but we do not need to wait to do that.

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    Posted
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.
  • Weather Preferences: Thunder, snow, heat, sunshine...
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.

    Practicalities mean that we cannot obviously liberate everybody and so a case by case basis is the best approach, but the liberation of the Syrian people is very much achievable.

    They may not like foreign troups sticking around but they are grateful that they have been liberated.

    Like the Iraqis and the Afghans, you mean?

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    Posted
  • Location: Leeds/Bradford border, 185 metres above sea level, around 600 feet
  • Location: Leeds/Bradford border, 185 metres above sea level, around 600 feet

    Yes SB but there is also the right of self determination by different peoples, some of whom have a culture completely alien to our own - not only that we simply do not have the resources to keep in intervening, so just where are we going to join the line.

    In the long term we are not always doing the best for humanity as a whole if we keep jumping in with both feet - sometimes we can cause more trouble in the long run - we really must learn a little humility and recognise that the west does not always know best - at times people have to learn for themselves even though they go through mud, blood and bullets.

    George W Bush amused me when he said he was going to impose democracy on Iraq - if that was not a contradiction in terms I don't know what it.

    Self determination cannot occur under the rule of tyranny. Far from it, we have the 4th largest military budget in the world.

    You are correct that the west does not always know best but i can assure you that it knows better than a genocidal dictator imposing tyranny upon the people. We are of the same species and while we may share differing cultural values each and everyone of us is entitled to liberty, in the long run freedom is always best.

    I will aid the people in their quest for freedom.

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    Posted
  • Location: Devizes Wiltshire
  • Location: Devizes Wiltshire

    Like the Iraqis and the Afghans, you mean?

    Iraqis our!!! I might of been 13 at the time, Butlins Feb 03 i think.. There was a Iraqi there, dead good at football, and his family had fled in Iran war in and he was made up that we were about to go in, Free his people he was looking forward to moving back, The people there our grateful.. Yes we might of out stayed our welcome, But there are happy we stepped in, We should step in Syria from what i know Marines have been told its there next deployment, I live on Salisbury plane an roamer is if it continues were in come September

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    Posted
  • Location: Leeds/Bradford border, 185 metres above sea level, around 600 feet
  • Location: Leeds/Bradford border, 185 metres above sea level, around 600 feet

    Like the Iraqis and the Afghans, you mean?

    The vast majority of Iraqis and Afghans are indeed grateful.

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    Posted
  • Location: Leeds/Bradford border, 185 metres above sea level, around 600 feet
  • Location: Leeds/Bradford border, 185 metres above sea level, around 600 feet

    In particulat the Great Congo War.

    The deadliest war in modern African history, it directly involved eight African nations, as well as about 25 armed groups. By 2008, the war and its aftermath had killed 5.4 million people, mostly from disease and starvation, making the Second Congo War the deadliest conflict worldwide since World War II. Millions more were displaced from their homes or sought asylum in neighboring countries

    http://en.wikipedia....econd_Congo_War

    And not stepping in there is frankly a betrayal to them (and a waste, Congo has the largest mineral wealth on the planet - $24tn).

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    Posted
  • Location: Hanley, Stoke-on-trent
  • Location: Hanley, Stoke-on-trent

    We simply can't do everything everywhere! What is happening in Syria is despicable, but I am not confident that what might follow, when every news clip we see has an explosion followed by "God is great", making me wary of another Islamic fundamentalist state.

    At the moment I am very concerned about the effect this is having on poor Lebanon. After so many years, it was gradually dragging itself away from the horror years. Now from what I read, the prospect of civil war is rearing it's head again. If there is something we can do there to help, it would be a much more achievable goal.

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    Posted
  • Location: Camborne
  • Location: Camborne

    The vast majority of Iraqis and Afghans are indeed grateful.

    You know this for a fact. It hasn't been obvious in Afghanistan since 1839. And to me it's not obvious now. Another futile war.

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    Posted
  • Location: Camborne
  • Location: Camborne

    And not stepping in there is frankly a betrayal to them (and a waste, Congo has the largest mineral wealth on the planet - $24tn).

    And how exactly could we step in. And why exactly is it our problem. If you want to cast the blame on the Congo look sideways to Belgium.

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    In particulat the Great Congo War.

    The deadliest war in modern African history, it directly involved eight African nations, as well as about 25 armed groups. By 2008, the war and its aftermath had killed 5.4 million people, mostly from disease and starvation, making the Second Congo War the deadliest conflict worldwide since World War II. Millions more were displaced from their homes or sought asylum in neighboring countries

    http://en.wikipedia....econd_Congo_War

    Alas, another mistake of history where the colonial powers divided the lands up for their own expediency with little regard for the traditions and the ethnic backgrounds of the native population.

    This is one of the many examples in the world which show that tribal allegeances are not broken down overnight - in fact our own experiences in the British Isles show that this takes several centuries and even then still rose to the surface in more recent history.

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    Posted
  • Location: Camborne
  • Location: Camborne

    One thing I do know, it shouldn't be underestimated how serious this situation is. Nothing particularly new about this so I assume Clinton is just stirring the pot. One thing is for sure Putin won't blink.

    Russian attack helicopters are on way to Assad regime, says Clinton

    Posted Image

    The United States accused Russia last night of complicity in the Syrian atrocities, claiming Moscow was sending attack helicopters to a regime that was using them against its own people.

    Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State, said Russian officials had repeatedly lied about the delivery of deadly weapons to the Government of President Assad. The unexpected diplomatic escalation came on the same day that a senior United Nations official said the country had collapsed in to a state of civil war.

    Mrs Clinton’s words marked a drastic departure from previous attempts to encourage the Russians to join international condemnation of Mr Assad’s regime. As the hopes for Security Council consensus faded, the UN’s envoys on the ground were also thwarted.

    A team of ceasefire monitors deployed by the United Nations was forced to abandon its mission amid gunfire. Monitors were turned back by pro-government forces as they tried to enter Haffa, a rebel-held enclave in the northwest of the country. Tanks and helicopter gunships pounded the city for the eighth consecutive day.

    Elsewhere in Syria, the carnage continued with opposition activists reporting at least 36 deaths, 24 of them civilians.

    The Obama Administration appears to have abandoned attempts to reach out to the Russians after months of diplomacy. As well as criticising Russia’s arms sales to Syria, Mrs Clinton accused the Kremlin of dishonesty.

    “We have confronted the Russians about stopping their continued armed shipments to Syria,†she said. “They have from time to time said that we shouldn’t worry, everything they’re shipping is unrelated to their actions internally. That’s patently untrue.â€

    Independent observers have confirmed the use of military helicopters to attack rebels groups in Syria. “We are concerned about the latest information we have that there are attack helicopters on the way from Russia to Syria, which will escalate the conflict quite dramatically,†said Mrs Clinton.

    The Secretary of State also warned that a massing of Syrian forces near Aleppo, in the far north of the country, during the past two days threatened to draw Turkey into the conflict. “We’re watching this very carefully,†she said.

    Washington has continued to offer its support for Kofi Annan’s six-point negotiated peace plan, but patience is wearing thin after Russia demanded the inclusion of Iran in any talks aimed at making a breakthrough. The Security Council must decide whether to extend the opresent plan when it expires in mid-July.

    UN observers said they have seen a steep rise in violence over the past five days as the Syrian Government attempts to seize back rebel-held areas through shelling heavily populated districts and using attack helicopters over cities.

    “There’s a massive increase in the level of violence,†said Hervé Ladsous, the UN’s peacekeeping chief. “Now we have confirmed reports not only of the use of tanks and artillery but also attack helicopters ... This is really becoming large-scale.â€

    Rebels said they were withdrawing and trying to smuggle trapped civilians out of the opposition stronghold of Haffa, northeast of the port of Latakia. “We’re trying to move the families all out so they can flee to Turkey,†said a man who called himself Abdulwudud.

    The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 120 people, including 29 civilians, had been killed in Haffa since June 5.

    Elsewhere, a young girl was among 13 civilians said to have been killed by a mortar attack on the eastern city of Deir el-Zour, and activists said 400 civilians, many women and children, were trapped in a school in the Jourat al-Shiah district of Homs.

    http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/world/middleeast/article3444162.ece

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    Posted
  • Location: Sheffield South Yorkshire 160M Powering the Sheffield Shield
  • Weather Preferences: Any Extreme
  • Location: Sheffield South Yorkshire 160M Powering the Sheffield Shield

    Not exactly a great plan Summer. Removed Assad and have no leader for two years. This will invite more fighting. In the power vacuum we're going to have to police the divides if any occur and you can easily see us as a power of occupation.

    It's funny how the Arab league have gone quiet over this. It's really up to them to pull their finger out and sort themselves out.

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    Posted
  • Location: ANYWHERE BUT HERE
  • Weather Preferences: ALL WEATHER, NOT THE PETTY POLITICS OF MODS IN THIS SITE
  • Location: ANYWHERE BUT HERE

    I personally think that the west should stay out of this and only use its influence through UN intervention.

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    Posted
  • Location: Camborne
  • Location: Camborne

    More sabre rattling by the west and Russia. Apparently the Syrians are also receiving large numbers of "Gizzly" surface-to-air missiles, Yak 130 combat and training aircraft, and various add-ons for their large fleet of MIG29 fighters. All through the port of Tartus. Comparing intervention here with Libya is like comparing a mouse with an elephant. Plus the fact the rebels are being armed by Saudi Arabia and Quatar and I suspect others nearer home.

    France, and I suspect the US and Britain, seem to considering tabling a UN resolution making making implemetation of Kofi Annan's ceasefire plan mandatory. Even if the Russians didn't veto this, which they will, I'm afraid it's beyond my limited brain power on how you could enforce it. Trying to set up a buffer zone is fraught with danger.

    At the end of the day Russian influence in the Middle East has waned ever since the Egypt Israeli pact and although they still have Iran they are not about to give up on the Assad regime and lose Tartus, the one gateway for their fleet in the Med.

    As I've said before military intervention is not an option unless you willing to risk a regional conflict. I don't think the Israelis and lebanon would be too pleased at the idea. In fact Israel has had reasonable relations with Assad, not that I'm suggesting for one moment they support the atrocities being carried out in Syria.

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    Posted
  • Location: Sheffield South Yorkshire 160M Powering the Sheffield Shield
  • Weather Preferences: Any Extreme
  • Location: Sheffield South Yorkshire 160M Powering the Sheffield Shield

    This is the real issue. The arms trade. Russia supplying the Government. EU via Turkey supplying the rebels.

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    Posted
  • Location: Camborne
  • Location: Camborne

    No I don't think this is the real issue. The real issue is that the Sunni's have rebelled because they want the Alawite regime out, along with any Shia's. Russia wants to retain it's influence which means supporting Assad. The supply of arms is not new they have been doing it for years. I haven't seen any evidence that the EU have been supplying arms but the Saudi's will support the Sunnis. Unfortunately many are caught in the middle of all this and are suffering the terrible consequencies.

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    Posted
  • Location: Camborne
  • Location: Camborne

    It would appear the revolution in Egypt is not over as a court has dissolved the countries first elected parliament. Israel must be looking in two or three directions at once the moment. Cometh the Arab Autumn.

    This is a coup in all but name

    It was thought that the Egyptian revolution ended when President Mubarak resigned on February 11 last year. How wrong we were.

    The old guard, led by the military, may have sacrificed its figurehead, but it has been fighting furiously ever since to maintain control of the Arab world’s most populous nation and thwart its old enemy, the Muslim Brotherhood.

    Yesterday it launched a coup in all but name. The Supreme Court, a body whose members were all appointed by the Mubarak regime, dissolved a parliament that was elected by the Egyptian people.

    What happens now is far from clear. Last year’s revolutionaries are likely to return to the streets in huge numbers, giving the ruling military council, Scaf, a pretext for declaring a state of emergency and cancelling the weekend’s election to prevent Mohamed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate, winning it.

    In that case Scaf would remain in sole charge of the country, and might hijack the constitution-drafting process.

    Or it may try to rig the presidential election in favour of Ahmed Shafik, leaving him in a position of almost Pharaonic power.

    “The election of a president in the absence of a constitution and a parliament is the election of a president with powers that not even the most entrenched dictatorships have known,†Mohamed ElBaradei, the Egyptian former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said.

    The old guard might have hoped that Mr Morsi would withdraw in protest, handing victory to Mr Shafik, but Mr Morsi ruled that out last night.

    http://www.thetimes....icle3446356.ece

    Edited by Weather Ship
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    Posted
  • Location: Camborne
  • Location: Camborne

    Talking of Russian arms sales to Syria reminds me of the six day war in 1967 which was arguable the start of the Modern Middle East. Prior to the war the Soviets had supplied a staggering 1,700 tanks, 2,400 artillery pieces, 500 jets, and 1,400 advisors to the Arab states with 43% going to Egypt.

    The funny thing is in the many conversations I've had over the years on the Middle East invariable the subject of US aid to Israel was uppermost and the Soviet position rarely mentioned, if at all. Truth be told during the critical period the US were reluctant to get inviolved, especially Johnson, and Israel virtually had to plead for some assistance. They probably got more help from the French. Of course at the time the US was engaged in a bloody conflict elsewhere.

    Anyway that's enough of my woffle.

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    Posted
  • Location: Camborne
  • Location: Camborne

    Chilling logic behind the regime’s brutality

    Civil war is the most contentious phrase in Syria. It implies a moral equivalence, suggesting that all parties are equal protaganists.

    The Assad regime knows a consensus that the Syrian revolution has become a civil war will probably end any chance of foreign intervention — hence its efforts to provoke sectarian conflict across the country. There is a chilling method to the regime’s strategy of massacre and atrocity.

    By contrast, armed rebels and activists alike are keen to stave off the label for as long as possible, knowing that it will smear the legitimacy of their struggle to overthrow the regime and end the emphasis on the Government’s culpability in the killing.

    In some areas of the country, notably around Homs, the fighting undoubtedly has slipped into localised sectarian struggles between Shia villages, supported by the regime, and Sunni communities.

    Yet across huge swaths of Syria the “civil war†definition does not apply. In northern Syria, Kurdish, Allawi, Shia and Sunni communities have largely eschewed open conflict and instead co-exist in a form of polarised and tense neutrality.

    Nevertheless, the scope for sectarian conflict remains high. Syria’s revolution is not a civil war — yet — but the longer the killing goes on unchecked, the higher are the chances that it will become one.

    http://www.thetimes....icle3447318.ece

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