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The Syrian conflict - Page 2 - UniLang

The Syrian conflict

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Re: The Syrian conflict

Postby Lada » 2013-09-01, 10:00

linguoboy wrote:If you've just started to pay attention to the Syrian conflict now that the US is talking about air strikes and you're wondering what the hell it's all about, you could do worse than to read this article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2013/08/29/9-questions-about-syria-you-were-too-embarrassed-to-ask/.

The article doesn't answer my questions:

So called civilians, where did they get arms from?

I'm amazed, so many civilians can fight almost like a real army for 2 years and it's like a norm for Washingtonpost, right? In my opinion it's not possible at all. In this case, who trains civilians how to fight?

Who is the leader(s) of the "rebels"?

Does he have contacts with USA? When and why did rebels start to ask help from the US? Because the newspaper asks this question:
Why hasn’t the United States fixed this yet?

Like, civilians ask for help, but no, US can't do anything, sorry. But there's no any single word about rebels asking for the help.
Anyway Barack Obama has Nobel Peace Prize (or how is it named/spelled?) so nothing wrong with such questions.

What's the goal of the rebels? To create a new Egypt or may be they like the fate of new Iraq/Afghanistan so much? Nothing about it.

What exactly didn't they like in Assad's regime? No any single word about it - only general phrases for the brainwashed "to challenge the dictatorship running the country".

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Re: The Syrian conflict

Postby linguoboy » 2013-09-01, 14:13

Lada wrote:I'm amazed, so many civilians can fight almost like a real army for 2 years and it's like a norm for Washingtonpost, right? In my opinion it's not possible at all. In this case, who trains civilians how to fight?

I literally don't know what you're talking about. Armed resistance to the government began with the defection of several thousand members of the Syrian armed forces, led by a former colonel in the air force, Riad al-Assad.

Lada wrote:Who is the leader(s) of the "rebels"?

They don't have a single leader.

Lada wrote:Does he have contacts with USA? When and why did rebels start to ask help from the US? Because the newspaper asks this question:
Why hasn’t the United States fixed this yet?

Like, civilians ask for help, but no, US can't do anything, sorry. But there's no any single word about rebels asking for the help.

I'm sure you have a point here, but I'm damned if I can see what it is.

Lada wrote:What's the goal of the rebels? To create a new Egypt or may be they like the fate of new Iraq/Afghanistan so much? Nothing about it.

What exactly didn't they like in Assad's regime? No any single word about it - only general phrases for the brainwashed "to challenge the dictatorship running the country".

The piece doesn't claim to be comprehensive; it's a basic primer for those who haven't been following along.

I assume the reason he doesn't go into detail about the rebels' goals and motives is that, as noted above, they're not a unified group so these can't be summed up in a sentence or two.

Let's take a moment to remember how the conflict started, shall we? The state imprisoned and tortured minors for writing anti-government graffiti, and responded to protests for their release by firing on protesters. Now atrocities are being committed by all sides and outside actors are involved, but this conflict began with grassroots demands for greater freedoms by unarmed Syrian civilians and only escalated on account of the regime's brutal and uncompromising response.
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Re: The Syrian conflict

Postby Hoogstwaarschijnlijk » 2013-09-01, 15:52

Thanks for that article, it really shows the American view on Syria. Lada, it would be nice to read a somewhat similar article about the Russian view but I assume they're not in English...? Because I feel like there are increasing signs of cold war mentality is coming back, it's there in this article and with the whole anti-homopropaganda law and all that...

Anyway, Syria, I don't have an opinion, it's such a mess and I feel sorry for the people there.
Interests: lots.
Motivation: little.

Corrections appreciated.

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Re: The Syrian conflict

Postby TeneReef » 2013-09-01, 16:13

I don't like the fact US (and probably France) might be getting involved in the Syrian conflict.
US Americans don't care since Syria is so far away (as in '' no Syrian missile can reach any American city'').
but it's relatively close to where I live. :hmm:
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Re: The Syrian conflict

Postby Marah » 2013-09-01, 17:05

I don't think they would attack Croatia anyway.
Par exemple, l'enfant croit au Père Noël. L'adulte non. L'adulte ne croit pas au Père Noël. Il vote.

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Re: The Syrian conflict

Postby JackFrost » 2013-09-01, 17:57

Ludwig Whitby wrote:
JackFrost wrote:
...isn't the president of Syria

You don't say!

You didn't understand me right.

Ok. Help me understand. So far I'm thinking that you consider Gadafi's crazyness to be somehow relevant to the Syrian conflict. He was a crazy dictator so Assad, being a dictator, must be crazy too? Or what?

Ok, sorry. First, I was admitting I have nothing on him, although I didn't mean to imply craziness (hence using Gaddafi as a very simple example). Just the unpredictability. In general, I do not find him crazy, but anyone who uses such weapons, I will find him or her crazy regardless. My own way of seeing it.
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Re: The Syrian conflict

Postby Lada » 2013-09-02, 8:52

linguoboy wrote:
Lada wrote:I'm amazed, so many civilians can fight almost like a real army for 2 years and it's like a norm for Washingtonpost, right? In my opinion it's not possible at all. In this case, who trains civilians how to fight?

I literally don't know what you're talking about. Armed resistance to the government began with the defection of several thousand members of the Syrian armed forces, led by a former colonel in the air force, Riad al-Assad.

In the article they write about "civilians started shooting back", no any info about Riad al-Assad. So the logic thought is how civilians can fight like a real army. And that colonel, where does he take money from for the arms? There was news in Russian media that Chechen terrorists fight for those rebels, and video where armed guys speak Russian and call other "brothers" to support them in Syria.

Lada wrote:Who is the leader(s) of the "rebels"?

They don't have a single leader.

Anyway, what are their names? Who is responsible for the "rebels"?

Lada wrote:Does he have contacts with USA? When and why did rebels start to ask help from the US? Because the newspaper asks this question:
Why hasn’t the United States fixed this yet?

Like, civilians ask for help, but no, US can't do anything, sorry. But there's no any single word about rebels asking for the help.

I'm sure you have a point here, but I'm damned if I can see what it is.

I mean who gave US the right to solve civil war conflicts around the globe? How the questions like this can appear in the big newspaper without any context? It appears as if it's a norm for the US to fix the shit around the world and moreover nobody even tries to hide it. Well, maybe Nobel Peace Prize gives this right?

I assume the reason he doesn't go into detail about the rebels' goals and motives is that, as noted above, they're not a unified group so these can't be summed up in a sentence or two.

Okay, but the allies are going to help, right? But who will get the help - unknown armed groups of wild rebels with undefined goals? Because I see the situation like this. And let's remember that these guys cut the head of the Catholic priest.

Let's take a moment to remember how the conflict started, shall we? The state imprisoned and tortured minors for writing anti-government graffiti, and responded to protests for their release by firing on protesters.

Any other sources besides wiki and NYtimes? And please, not in English. Russian media don't give such info, according to Russian sources one of the first victims was a policeman.

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Re: The Syrian conflict

Postby Lada » 2013-09-02, 10:06

Hoogstwaarschijnlijk wrote:Thanks for that article, it really shows the American view on Syria. Lada, it would be nice to read a somewhat similar article about the Russian view but I assume they're not in English...? Because I feel like there are increasing signs of cold war mentality is coming back, it's there in this article and with the whole anti-homopropaganda law and all that...

Yes, after reading the article, I got the same impression... However some local analytics are grasped by cold war paranoia too - like "Russia will be attacked after Syria".
I couldn't find any similar article even in Russian.
As I understand the official Russian position, it won't support any military operations on Syrian territory and won't prevent them either. Russia sees UN as the only organization to take decisions on any military operations and sees "Arabic spring" as islamic revolution which destabilizes region and may come to other countries putting radical islamists to the power. One need to think who will rule in any post war country and future of Syria after Assad seems to be the same as of Libya. Not stable situation near southern borders is something Russia doesn't want to have. It will cause negative effects, like refugees, armed rebels going on fighting in Chechnya, Dagestan, etc.

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Re: The Syrian conflict

Postby Ludwig Whitby » 2013-09-02, 11:47

Lada can you link me to some of the Russian news-sites that you read? Which ones do you consider best?

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Re: The Syrian conflict

Postby Hoogstwaarschijnlijk » 2013-09-02, 17:42

Lada wrote:
Hoogstwaarschijnlijk wrote:Thanks for that article, it really shows the American view on Syria. Lada, it would be nice to read a somewhat similar article about the Russian view but I assume they're not in English...? Because I feel like there are increasing signs of cold war mentality is coming back, it's there in this article and with the whole anti-homopropaganda law and all that...

Yes, after reading the article, I got the same impression... However some local analytics are grasped by cold war paranoia too - like "Russia will be attacked after Syria".
I couldn't find any similar article even in Russian.
As I understand the official Russian position, it won't support any military operations on Syrian territory and won't prevent them either. Russia sees UN as the only organization to take decisions on any military operations and sees "Arabic spring" as islamic revolution which destabilizes region and may come to other countries putting radical islamists to the power. One need to think who will rule in any post war country and future of Syria after Assad seems to be the same as of Libya. Not stable situation near southern borders is something Russia doesn't want to have. It will cause negative effects, like refugees, armed rebels going on fighting in Chechnya, Dagestan, etc.


Thanks for your answer :) In the Netherlands there are the same thoughts, but also the thoughts like in the USA-article, we haven't really made up our mind yet :wink:
Interests: lots.
Motivation: little.

Corrections appreciated.

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Re: The Syrian conflict

Postby mōdgethanc » 2013-09-02, 20:37

What exactly didn't they like in Assad's regime? No any single word about it - only general phrases for the brainwashed "to challenge the dictatorship running the country".
If we're "brainwashed" into believing that, I would like to politely suggest you've been "brainwashed" into thinking the rebels are led by Islamists with ties to Chechen terrorists.

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Re: The Syrian conflict

Postby Lada » 2013-09-03, 19:27

Ludwig Whitby wrote:Lada can you link me to some of the Russian news-sites that you read? Which ones do you consider best?

I don't think that there's "best" news site, they're all professionally made after all. It's better to read different opinions, these are the sites I read more ofthen than others:
http://www.newsru.com/
http://lenta.ru/ - the most popular news site that doesn't have ties with government AFAIK
http://slon.ru/ - neo liberal and somewhat pro-western resource imho
http://ria.ru/ - the state news agency, gives the official point of view

http://www.liveinternet.ru/rating/ru/media/month.html - rating of the most popular media in Russia according to unique visitors per month

Hoogstwaarschijnlijk wrote:Thanks for your answer :) In the Netherlands there are the same thoughts, but also the thoughts like in the USA-article, we haven't really made up our mind yet :wink:

Great to see that you have an independent foreign policy, sometimes I think that it's a privilege now for most states :roll:
mōdgethanc wrote:
What exactly didn't they like in Assad's regime? No any single word about it - only general phrases for the brainwashed "to challenge the dictatorship running the country".
If we're "brainwashed" into believing that, I would like to politely suggest you've been "brainwashed" into thinking the rebels are led by Islamists with ties to Chechen terrorists.

I didn't say that I think so, I just give the facts that may be truthful and may be not. But according to the great number of shares this article has I assume that many people believed every single word. Personally, I wouldn't share this article in my account.

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Re: The Syrian conflict

Postby linguoboy » 2013-09-03, 19:49

Lada wrote:I mean who gave US the right to solve civil war conflicts around the globe?

Who gave the Soviets the right to invade Hungary in 1956? Superpowers meddle. It's both their prerogative and their curse.

Lada wrote:And let's remember that these guys cut the head of the Catholic priest.

In a war with over 100,000 casualties and counting, why should we remember that in particular? Why is killing a Catholic priest worse than killing a Turkish truck driver, a British Indian doctor, or a Syrian journalist?

Lada wrote:
Let's take a moment to remember how the conflict started, shall we? The state imprisoned and tortured minors for writing anti-government graffiti, and responded to protests for their release by firing on protesters.

Any other sources besides wiki and NYtimes? And please, not in English. Russian media don't give such info, according to Russian sources one of the first victims was a policeman.

What other languages can you read? I don't know enough Russian to evaluate news sources, so I can't tell if this source is one you'd find any more reliable than the ones I've already cited.
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Re: The Syrian conflict

Postby Marah » 2013-09-03, 20:30

linguoboy wrote:In a war with over 100,000 casualties and counting, why should we remember that in particular?

It shows that some of the rebels may be intolerant against other religions and that they're capable of the worst violence against innocuous persons (cutting people's head, seriously...).
Par exemple, l'enfant croit au Père Noël. L'adulte non. L'adulte ne croit pas au Père Noël. Il vote.

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Re: The Syrian conflict

Postby linguoboy » 2013-09-03, 21:08

Marah wrote:
linguoboy wrote:In a war with over 100,000 casualties and counting, why should we remember that in particular?

It shows that the rebels may be intolerant against other religions and that they're capable of the worst violence against innocuous persons (cutting people's head, seriously...).

It may or may not show that. It depends very much on the circumstances, doesn't it? I don't assume someone is "innocuous" simply because they're a priest. (Have no Catholic priests ever been convicted of crimes in France?) And did you overlook where I said this above:
I assume the reason he doesn't go into detail about the rebels' goals and motives is that, as noted above, they're not a unified group so these can't be summed up in a sentence or two.


I presume the priest the two of you are referring to is François Murad? I don't have any reason to think he was guilty of anything heinous, but neither can I find confirmation that he was actually beheaded. From what I've read, he couldn't be positively identified on the videotape released and his body has not been recovered. Reports conflict, with some saying he was shot dead inside a church. All that can be said with certainty is that he was murdered.

The group claiming responsibility for this is Jabhat al-Nusra, an al-Qaeda associate operating in the north of the country. Within a rebel force within an estimated strength of 130-150,000, they represent 6-7,000 fighters (i.e. between 4 and 5 percent of the total). So there actions are unlikely to be representative of "the rebels" taken as a whole.

(Sorry if the facts of the case don't fit neatly with the narrative you're using to frame the events in Syria, but life is like that.)
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Re: The Syrian conflict

Postby Ludwig Whitby » 2013-09-03, 22:11

My biggest issue with the whole thing is Obama. The guy who doesn't seem to have a problem with Guantanamo Bay prison camp. The guy who's fine with targeted killings and drone attacks. The guy who's in charge of NSA who has spied not only on Americans, but on the whole world. The guy who supports suspending civil liberties, the patriot act and indefinite detention. The guy who treats dissidents the way he does. What gives him the right to judge and punish Assad or anyone for that matter? The Nobel Peace Prize?

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Re: The Syrian conflict

Postby Marah » 2013-09-04, 5:41

linguoboy wrote:And did you overlook where I said this above:

I wrote "some of the rebels" quickly before you answered I guess.

I presume the priest the two of you are referring to is François Murad? I don't have any reason to think he was guilty of anything heinous, but neither can I find confirmation that he was actually beheaded. From what I've read, he couldn't be positively identified on the videotape released and his body has not been recovered. Reports conflict, with some saying he was shot dead inside a church. All that can be said with certainty is that he was murdered.


There's still the video about someone being beheaded, the guy really looks like him anyway.
Warning: do not click on the link if you don't want to see a beheading.
http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=ead_1372329728

The group claiming responsibility for this is Jabhat al-Nusra, an al-Qaeda associate operating in the north of the country. Within a rebel force within an estimated strength of 130-150,000, they represent 6-7,000 fighters (i.e. between 4 and 5 percent of the total). So there actions are unlikely to be representative of "the rebels" taken as a whole.

How many worms do you need to rot an apple anyway?
Par exemple, l'enfant croit au Père Noël. L'adulte non. L'adulte ne croit pas au Père Noël. Il vote.

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Re: The Syrian conflict

Postby linguoboy » 2013-09-04, 17:08

Marah wrote:
The group claiming responsibility for this is Jabhat al-Nusra, an al-Qaeda associate operating in the north of the country. Within a rebel force within an estimated strength of 130-150,000, they represent 6-7,000 fighters (i.e. between 4 and 5 percent of the total). So there actions are unlikely to be representative of "the rebels" taken as a whole.

How many worms do you need to rot an apple anyway?

Is that supposed to constitute an argument?

I've eaten apples with wormholes in them before, and they were fine. Make of that what you will.
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Re: The Syrian conflict

Postby Ludwig Whitby » 2013-09-06, 11:48

And I would also like someone to explain to me how the Americans can claim to be against chemical weapons, while at the same time using white phosphorus and ignoring the fact that Israel has been using white phosphorus.

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Re: The Syrian conflict

Postby Babelfish » 2013-09-06, 20:09

Using white phosphorous is legal, for illumination purposes (in flares).
Lada wrote:Russia sees UN as the only organization to take decisions on any military operations
I don't remember Russia asking the UN before invading Georgia in 2008 :roll: And regardless, Russia is one of the five Security Council members who have veto rights for any military operation, so that stand seems a bit hypocritical to me...
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