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Total number of comments: 21 (since 2014-09-24 21:28:03)

agorabum

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  • In Massive Intel Error, US Kills 80 Syrian Troops, Helps ISIL Advance
    • The Russians are allied with the Syrian army and do much more extensive consulting with them - like the US and Kurdish troops. Closer collaboration = less mistakes.

      The Russians have bombed plenty of hospitals and other humanitarian targets. Maybe on purpose, maybe on accident. But they've caused plenty of damage too.

  • As Bomb Kills 60, is Iraq Army Preparing for Armageddon with ISIL?
    • The locals support neither - they do not want Daesh, and they do not want their city to be destroyed.
      Alternative options are welcome. However, none come to mind.

  • Does Obama have a Syria Strategy? Putin Does.
    • Air attacks and ground forces rolled up the Taliban in two months in 2011. The US subsequently heavily mismanaged the resulting peace (torture, attacking tribal leaders, running after every false lead of 'taliban') - but the strategy can work.

  • Syria: Is Bashar al-Assad winning the Diplomatic War? Rebels Fret
    • There are no good men among the living...it appears that what made sense tactically for some rebels - getting an ally with fighting experience - means that the West will not work with them.
      The West cannot work with any of the leading rebel groups. By the process of elimination, that leaves only the state regime.

  • Obama: No more US troops to fight Daesh/ ISIL, but more Training
    • The conclusion of this article seems to imply the US should be doing more, but doesn't outright state it or specify what that 'more' should be, while at the same time dismissing the current bombing and training efforts.

  • Pres. Erdogan sees Syrian Kurds' advance against ISIL as "danger" to Turkey
    • The US has bases in Turkey. If we start blowing up their oil supply, it could put US troops in harms way.
      Erdogan is profoundly unhelpful (focusing more on keeping Kurds down than ISIS down), but you have to go to a fight with the Turkish leaders you have, not the ones you want...

  • US Air Force Absent as Daesh/ ISIL advances on North Aleppo against Sunni Rebels
    • how many times has the extremist organization currently opposing Daesh chanted 'death to america' I wonder...
      The US doesn't have good options here, and it has no obligation to serve as the air force of this rebel group.
      We did that in Libya, and what have we got for our troubles?
      Although I do sympathize with them.

  • Is it the US that isn't stepping up to fight Daesh/ ISIL?
    • CAS is just that - close air support. It is bombing someone 100 yards away from your own troops (which did fit the bill at the end of the day in Tikrit). But bombing supply columns like those pictured isn't CAS. It's air interdiction. And doesn't need forward air controllers; you just see a convoy (which can be detected through airborne radar platforms and drones) and destroy it. That we did not implies either no loitering strike fighters in the air or eyes in the air watching the main roads...but flying a lot of soirtes is expensive. And I don't think the US has a plan to ensure nothing can move without getting blown up.
      /pedant

  • ISIL beheaded Dozens in Palmyra, but how Strategic is the City?
    • What you are looking for is "sorties" - which represents an individual flight. Not sure where that info is published, though...
      Also, we wouldn't want WW2 style massed bombing raids. Those flatten cities and cause thousands of civilian casualties.
      There is also a problem attacking ISIS elements that are adjacent to Assad elements. Syria still has a decent air defense system, and we wouldn't want US planes to be shot down by Assad.

  • Syrian Opposition, Caught between Assad & Extremists, Despair at World's Neglect
    • so...who is there to support? And do Syrians want to work with the US anyway? Al Nusra says they are allied to Al Queda - no US support there. ISIS? Nope. Assad? Again, nope.
      Assad was not the ally of the United States. You can blame Russia for that.
      Aside from some assumption that the US is omnipotent, I don't see what the US is supposed to do. Not all fights are our fights...

  • How Muslim-Americans can avoid being Trolled by Israel-Firsters: Look again at the Prophet's example
    • Your first two statements are spot on. But the third goes against the First Amendment; the City generally cannot discriminate based on viewpoints. Geller is odious, but the proper response is to either ignore or ridicule, not violence.

  • US admits it has no Idea who it is Assassinating by Drone
    • They are much better than the 'precision' bombing that the US engaged in during WW2. The Allied air forces killed over 60,000 french civilians in WW2 - and those were our allies.
      Still, the drone program is badly in need of reform. At a certain point, most of these strikes are not against high-level targets. It is time to reserve drone strikes for only the most significant of matters - and with the goal of going to zero.
      We need a return to normalcy.

  • Lausanne: Is there really much Disagreement between US, Iran on those Talking Points?
    • Is this truly a dispute, or is it just additional negotiating?
      I find it hard to believe that phased sanction relief vs immediate sanction relief was never discussed.
      Instead, with some parties and some negotiators, the 'deal is never done' until the agreement is finally singed. So even if the parties conceptually agreed to a phased lifting of sanctions, the Iranian side will still try to push to get those phases accelerated (and may even need to manufacture arguments with the "great satan" for political reasons.) .

  • As Iran talks Progress, US, Iran forces cooperate in taking Tikrit
    • Or really, knowing who your true enemies are. When an entity like ISIS springs up, and is a proponent of genocide and slavery, you can recognize true evil and aggression.
      Iranian funding of its own proxies in a mulit-party civil war (Hezbollah in Lebanon) doesn't fit the bill...

  • Syria: As al-Qaeda defeats 'moderate' US allies, will US ally with al-Qaeda?
    • It really is an impossible problem; who do you support, Assad or an Al Queda affilliate?
      The US plan was to just stay out of the Syria civil war. But when ISIS spilled across the Syria-Iraq border, we became involved. Once the Iraqis and Kurds push ISIS back across the border, I don't see the US doing much more. At that point, they'll ask all the neighboring Arab, Turkish, and Kurdish states to form a peacekeeping group. No one will actually want to join it, though.
      The last time the US tried to be a peacekeeper in a mideast war (that we weren't already fighting), 248 Marines were killed. Obama is not interested in that option.
      I guess Syria is just reaping what it sowed in Lebanon for 15 years...and maybe it will take that long for passionate Syrian fighters to burn themselves out (or die).

  • The problem with Iraq's offensive against the Islamic State
    • When you have an enemy that is dedicated to using car-bombs and suicide bombs, and to going on the offensive against your cities, driving them out is a pretty good goal.
      This is the Iraq going against ISIS held territory.
      I feel for Al-Ajeeli, who is just a local leader worried about being blamed for the atrocities of a foreign, occupying force. And I hope he and other civilians are protected. But there is no way that Iraq can let ISIS control the major towns in Iraq. ISIS doesn't even recognize the legitimacy of any Shiites, much less a government led by Shiites. There is no one to even negotiate with.

  • 'Lone Wolf,' 'Self-Radicalized': Islamophobic Buzzwords never applied to White Terrorists
    • I'm reminded of the anarchists at the start of the 1900s. But they were often also 'self-radicalized' and would commit 'propaganda of the deed' with bombings and assassinations. I'm comfortable labeling them terrorists.
      If a nut snaps and kills a few people, then it is a random act of insanity.
      When someone feeds on the undercurrent of an ideology that has vocal proponents advocating violence, and the person goes out and acts on that, they are obviously sick and deranged - but I think fair to call them a terrorist as well.
      If it comes out that he killed them because of a hatred of Muslims after feeding on internet propaganda, I'd say he should absolutely be labeled a terrorist. Just like any other 'lone-wolf' that said they wanted to inflict death and chaos in service of a twisted ideology.
      But right now, he's claiming he killed them over parking. So jury is still out.

  • How a Republican Congress could Entangle the US further in the Middle East
    • The Senate will hold hearings...but unless Congress passes a resolution ordering the deployment of ground troops into Syria, I don't see it happening (and they'd prefer to sit on the sidelines and complain then actually try to direct action)

  • 13 Years after US started Bombing it, Afghanistan Still Unstable
    • Afghanistan will have peace when India and Pakistan have peace - once Pakistan no longer wants to fund rebel Pashto groups, it will settle down.
      As for the US - it went there to kill Bin Laden. He's dead now; the US should be able to leave (although both presidential contenders have asked them to stay...)

  • Obama on Libya vs. Trump, Palin, Bachmann, Romney, Gingrich and Carrot Top
    • There is already a UN Peacekeeping force in the Ivory Coast; it has taken casualties.
      So the UN has already intervened.

    • So no agency can be ascribed to the rebels in Benghazi and Tobruk that asked for western intervention to prevent a massacre?
      The rebels held territory. The protesters in Bahrain held a square. And the tens to dead in Bahrain are a tragedy. But the Saudis and Sultan didn't promise to exterminate all the shiites "like rats." There is an inability to understand scale and scope in your argument. Are hundreds of thousands of deaths just a statistic to you?

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