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(Think Progress)   The Obama administration is working to arm Syrian opposition fighters. Mitt Romney disagrees with this approach and thinks we should arm Syrian opposition fighters   (thinkprogress.org) divider line 211
    More: Dumbass, Mitt Romney, obama, Syrians, Syrian opposition, Obama administration, FSA, Assad  
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2977 clicks; posted to Politics » on 29 May 2012 at 6:02 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-05-29 02:13:58 PM
How about we don't get involved at all?
 
2012-05-29 02:17:36 PM

Aarontology: How about we don't get involved at all?


Yeah, that's what I'm thinking too. There's no way this ends well.
 
2012-05-29 02:21:36 PM

unlikely: Aarontology: How about we don't get involved at all?

Yeah, that's what I'm thinking too. There's no way this ends well.


Especially since so little is actually known about the opposition.
 
2012-05-29 02:23:26 PM

Aarontology: How about we don't get involved at all?


Yes, let's just do what we did for Darfur.
 
2012-05-29 02:27:10 PM

RexTalionis: Aarontology: How about we don't get involved at all?

Yes, let's just do what we did for Darfur.


What have you personally done for the people of Darfur?
 
2012-05-29 02:30:44 PM

Aarontology: How about we don't get involved at all?


Because I'd rather we didn't repeat history.

upload.wikimedia.org
 
2012-05-29 02:32:24 PM

AirForceVet: Because I'd rather we didn't repeat history.


As would I.

www.legitgov.org
 
2012-05-29 02:36:14 PM

AirForceVet: Because I'd rather we didn't repeat history.


Chalk me down for this one too.
 
2012-05-29 02:39:22 PM

Aarontology: As would I.


Are you suggesting that the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan and the genocidal ethnic cleansing in the former Czechoslovakia were in any way comparable? the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan was terrible to be sure, but they didn't engage in the systematic mass rape of tens of thousands of women as a war strategy.
 
2012-05-29 02:44:04 PM

Somacandra: Aarontology: As would I.

Are you suggesting that the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan and the genocidal ethnic cleansing in the former Czechoslovakia were in any way comparable? the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan was terrible to be sure, but they didn't engage in the systematic mass rape of tens of thousands of women as a war strategy.


Not at all. I really can't see how you would think that unless you were intentionally trying to twist my words.

What I was saying is that arming and supporting opposition groups because of some humanitarian reason can often result in unforeseen consequences that can take the lives of thousands of innocents.
 
2012-05-29 02:44:58 PM

Aarontology: How about we don't get involved at all?


That would be the Christian thing to do.
 
2012-05-29 02:47:19 PM
Didn't Romney, McCain and the rest of the GOP biatch about us supporting the Libyan opposition, too?

Seriously, you guys. MAKE UP YOUR F*CKING MINDS!!1!
 
2012-05-29 02:47:42 PM

vygramul: Aarontology: How about we don't get involved at all?

That would be the Christian thing to do.


What?
 
2012-05-29 02:47:49 PM
We don't have to arm them, the Saudis and Iraqis and Lebanese are already doing that.

We should give them moral support as well as pressure the Assad regime as much as possible, which we are already doing.
 
2012-05-29 02:48:31 PM

AirForceVet: Because I'd rather we didn't repeat history.


Same here, but it looks like we're definitely doing that with pretty much the only populated place on Earth that has NEVER been conquered.

How much of an ego does it take to say, "Napoleon, Genghis Khan, the Roman Empire, the Byzantines, the Soviet Union at the height of its powers, bah! Amateurs! We can successfully invade and conquer Afghanistan!"

unrealitymag.com

"Never get involved in a land war in Asia!"
 
2012-05-29 02:49:27 PM

vygramul: Aarontology: How about we don't get involved at all?

That would be the Christian thing to do.


Christian thing to do? Well, we're America, so, in that case, CRY HAVOC, AND LET SLIP THE DOGS OF WHARRGARBL!!1!
 
2012-05-29 02:52:47 PM
Also, FTFA: If all that sounds familiar, it might be because, three days before the Romney statement, that's exactly what Obama administration officials told the AP they were setting a plan in motion to do.

www.strangecosmos.com
 
2012-05-29 02:53:01 PM

Aarontology: What I was saying is that arming and supporting opposition groups because of some humanitarian reason can often result in unforeseen consequences that can take the lives of thousands of innocents.


I disagree that the US support of the Taliban in the 80's was in any way humanitarian in nature. Sure, Charlie Wilson gave some humanitarian reasons in sound bites, but the main thing was, here's someone actually fighting the Russian commies, so let's support them. Enemy of my enemy, and all that.
 
2012-05-29 02:56:15 PM

ox45tallboy: Aarontology: What I was saying is that arming and supporting opposition groups because of some humanitarian reason can often result in unforeseen consequences that can take the lives of thousands of innocents.

I disagree that the US support of the Taliban in the 80's was in any way humanitarian in nature. Sure, Charlie Wilson gave some humanitarian reasons in sound bites, but the main thing was, here's someone actually fighting the Russian commies, so let's support them. Enemy of my enemy, and all that.


True enough, but by the standards of the times way back in the 80's fighting against communist oppression was a humanitarian venture of sorts. Ultimately though, the reason is irrelevant; the arming, training, and support of the opposition groups in Afghanistan came back to bite the West in general, and the US in particular, hard.
 
2012-05-29 02:57:39 PM

Aarontology: What I was saying is that arming and supporting opposition groups because of some humanitarian reason can often result in unforeseen consequences that can take the lives of thousands of innocents.


Yes. Which is why arming the Taliban was a great idea in 1982, but ignoring Afghanistan for the next 20 years was the worst possible strategy.

So let's not screw up the end game this time.
 
2012-05-29 02:57:57 PM

unlikely: Aarontology: How about we don't get involved at all?

Yeah, that's what I'm thinking too. There's no way this ends well.


Let the UN/NATO/Arab League lead this and provide them all the support they need short of boots on the ground. What I would like Canada to do as well.
 
2012-05-29 03:02:15 PM
i595.photobucket.com

Why? I have no idea but, for some reason, this was in my folder and thought it should be shared.

/Romney likes his oatmeal lumpy
 
2012-05-29 03:02:40 PM

Aarontology: Ultimately though, the reason is irrelevant; the arming, training, and support of the opposition groups in Afghanistan came back to bite the West in general, and the US in particular, hard.


Because we ignored the humanitarian crisis that came from the war, which left hundreds of thousands of orphaned little boys with absolutely no educational or employment prospects. That is a pretty fertile breeding ground for terrorism.
 
2012-05-29 03:05:43 PM

ox45tallboy: Aarontology: What I was saying is that arming and supporting opposition groups because of some humanitarian reason can often result in unforeseen consequences that can take the lives of thousands of innocents.

I disagree that the US support of the Taliban in the 80's was in any way humanitarian in nature. Sure, Charlie Wilson gave some humanitarian reasons in sound bites, but the main thing was, here's someone actually fighting the Russian commies, so let's support them. Enemy of my enemy, and all that.


And we see how well that worked out for us.

I think they discussed this a ways back right after 9/11. Can't quote it, coz I don't remember where I heard it, but part of the blame for the ultimate rise of the Taliban AND its support of al-Qaeda was that after the Soviets bailed from Afghanistan, we just said, "thanks, Afghans...see ya later!" And offered no assistance whatsoever from that point.

Don't know how true that was, but it might explain why today we're reluctant to leave Iraq or Afghanistan until we know both countries are back on their feet (uh...as it were, anyway) and to give them continuing support in one way or another.
 
2012-05-29 03:06:20 PM

Doctor Funkenstein: [i595.photobucket.com image 400x400]

Why? I have no idea but, for some reason, this was in my folder and thought it should be shared.

/Romney R'Money likes his oatmeal lumpy


FTFM
 
2012-05-29 03:06:42 PM

Aarontology: ox45tallboy: Aarontology: What I was saying is that arming and supporting opposition groups because of some humanitarian reason can often result in unforeseen consequences that can take the lives of thousands of innocents.

I disagree that the US support of the Taliban in the 80's was in any way humanitarian in nature. Sure, Charlie Wilson gave some humanitarian reasons in sound bites, but the main thing was, here's someone actually fighting the Russian commies, so let's support them. Enemy of my enemy, and all that.

True enough, but by the standards of the times way back in the 80's fighting against communist oppression was a humanitarian venture of sorts. Ultimately though, the reason is irrelevant; the arming, training, and support of the opposition groups in Afghanistan came back to bite the West in general, and the US in particular, hard.


Yeah, they kinda got used to nobody telling them what to do. The same could be said for Iraq.

www.gwu.edu
 
2012-05-29 03:06:55 PM

what_now: Aarontology: Ultimately though, the reason is irrelevant; the arming, training, and support of the opposition groups in Afghanistan came back to bite the West in general, and the US in particular, hard.

Because we ignored the humanitarian crisis that came from the war, which left hundreds of thousands of orphaned little boys with absolutely no educational or employment prospects. That is a pretty fertile breeding ground for terrorism.


Yeah. That.
 
2012-05-29 03:11:38 PM

what_now: Yes. Which is why arming the Taliban was a great idea in 1982, but ignoring Afghanistan for the next 20 years was the worst possible strategy.

So let's not screw up the end game this time.


Arming the Taliban was never a "great idea." It was a shiatty idea to begin with, only it took a while to discover how shiatty of an idea it was.

And how do we not screw up the end game? What happens if this opposition turns out to be something other than a group supporting liberal democracy?
 
2012-05-29 03:13:10 PM

xanadian: And we see how well that worked out for us.

I think they discussed this a ways back right after 9/11. Can't quote it, coz I don't remember where I heard it, but part of the blame for the ultimate rise of the Taliban AND its support of al-Qaeda was that after the Soviets bailed from Afghanistan, we just said, "thanks, Afghans...see ya later!" And offered no assistance whatsoever from that point.

Don't know how true that was, but it might explain why today we're reluctant to leave Iraq or Afghanistan until we know both countries are back on their feet (uh...as it were, anyway) and to give them continuing support in one way or another.


So, arming a pro-US faction and then leaving them alone hasn't worked out so well for us in the past. Should we then consider arming rebels and then telling them what kind of government they should have, or maybe let them fight their own revolutions and earn their own freedom?

Bonus points for pointing out French assistance in the American Revolution (and them leaving us alone to form our own government) and involving out the anti-Western Iranian Revolution in 1979, in which neither faction received much external support.
 
2012-05-29 03:14:42 PM

what_now: Because we ignored the humanitarian crisis that came from the war, which left hundreds of thousands of orphaned little boys with absolutely no educational or employment prospects. That is a pretty fertile breeding ground for terrorism.


And in order to ensure that doesn't happen in Syria, we'll have to maintain some sort of presence and funnel huge amounts of development aid to the country. In short, we'll have to continue the Bush Doctrine of nation building.

At a time when we're shuttering schools, defending public health programs, and ignoring our own infrastructure.
 
2012-05-29 03:16:28 PM
The Syrians will welcome us with candy and flowers!
 
2012-05-29 03:19:55 PM

Aarontology: what_now: Yes. Which is why arming the Taliban was a great idea in 1982, but ignoring Afghanistan for the next 20 years was the worst possible strategy.

So let's not screw up the end game this time.

Arming the Taliban was never a "great idea." It was a shiatty idea to begin with, only it took a while to discover how shiatty of an idea it was.


I disagree; one could argue that the resources the Soviet Union expended in the fighting in Afghanistan in the 80's was a really big straw that helped break the camel's back when the Soviet Union went broke. As to whether the consequences of this action were with the intended result, it is hard to definitively say. Afghanistan didn't attack us, they just didn't bother policing part of their country where a few terrorists trained.

And how do we not screw up the end game? What happens if this opposition turns out to be something other than a group supporting liberal democracy?

Once again, look at what happened in Iran, when a group supporting "liberal democracy" (or at least, their idea of one) took over for a pro-Western monarch.
 
2012-05-29 03:27:04 PM

ox45tallboy: I disagree; one could argue that the resources the Soviet Union expended in the fighting in Afghanistan in the 80's was a really big straw that helped break the camel's back when the Soviet Union went broke. As to whether the consequences of this action were with the intended result, it is hard to definitively say. Afghanistan didn't attack us, they just didn't bother policing part of their country where a few terrorists trained.


I think by that point, the Soviet Union was already on it's way out. The Afghanistan War hastened the demise, to be sure. But I meant the shiatty decision was because the mujaheddin that fought in the war eventually became the nucleus for various terrorist groups.

ox45tallboy: Once again, look at what happened in Iran, when a group supporting "liberal democracy" (or at least, their idea of one) took over for a pro-Western monarch.


We don't even have to go that far back. Look at Libya. Their elections are still being delayed, and there is still sectarian violence occurring throughout the country (albeit not to the degree before the revolution), and they don't even know if the various groups that fought during the revolution will even be able to agree on the nature of any future constitution or government.
 
2012-05-29 03:38:37 PM
He also thinks GM should have had a structured bankruptcy, instead of a structured bankruptcy.
 
2012-05-29 03:38:48 PM
Just call it what it is - a civil war.

Are we really sure we want to get involved in a civil war? What would have happened if France or England had actually landed troops in support of the South? The North? How would that impact our history?

Same with these people. I heard General Powell on NPR this morning talking about 'exporting democracy'. F* that. He then went on the say that the Arab Spring was the people rising up against oppressive rulers without ever mentioning that we put them there and paid them to stay.

The US should stay out of it. We've meddled too much in the ME. Let Turkey or Russia or someone closer to the situation use the UN and help the people (if anyone does).

I do not want to be involved in either side of a civil war.
 
2012-05-29 03:42:39 PM

Doctor Funkenstein: [i595.photobucket.com image 400x400]

Why? I have no idea but, for some reason, this was in my folder and thought it should be shared.

/Romney likes his oatmeal lumpy


and in a 69 his Mormon nose will tickle your rear
 
2012-05-29 03:44:04 PM

Aarontology: We don't even have to go that far back. Look at Libya. Their elections are still being delayed, and there is still sectarian violence occurring throughout the country (albeit not to the degree before the revolution), and they don't even know if the various groups that fought during the revolution will even be able to agree on the nature of any future constitution or government.


Yes, but I don't think anyone ever accused Qaddafi of being Pro-U.S.

At the same time, what is the answer? One of the last excuses BushCo gave for the Iraq War was the number of people Saddam had executed as ruler, yet we arguably executed even more in a far shorter time period in order to depose him. In many of these countries, it's a case of the cure being worse than the disease. Is it possible they could use a little helping hand? If so, could we help indirectly by assisting with another country's expenses in providing security? For example, say we offered to pay Turkey to send their troops in to assist with securing the country and reduce violence long enough for Libya to elect an interim government and start on a Constitution. Libya might be a little more tolerant of fellow Muslims, and some of the Turks even speak Arabic. Turkish troops get paid less, and they don't have all the layers of Halliburton supply lines, so it might be cheaper in the long and short run for the US to consider this. It would also be better PR, since the blame for any Bad Things that happen when one country's military is occupying another would fall on Turkey, not the U.S.
 
2012-05-29 03:44:29 PM

Aarontology: And in order to ensure that doesn't happen in Syria, we'll have to maintain some sort of presence and funnel huge amounts of development aid to the country. In short, we'll have to continue the Bush Doctrine of nation building.

At a time when we're shuttering schools, defending public health programs, and ignoring our own infrastructure.


I think we can do both. It means Mitt Romney and Shell oil will have to actually pay taxes, but I'm ok with that.
 
2012-05-29 03:50:47 PM

ox45tallboy: Yes, but I don't think anyone ever accused Qaddafi of being Pro-U.S.


Well no. But that doesn't mean whatever new government forms will be pro-US either. And even then, if that's the main goal of helping these countries out, then we should be honest and say we're not interested in freedom; we're interested in puppet states.

The Turkey idea is an interesting one, but we'd still be involved somehow. For better or worse, we need to acknowledge that for the most part, American involvement in the Middle East is going to piss a bunch of people off royally. Even if they might be more comfortable with people of similar cultures coming and helping out, it'll still have the stigma of being a US funded operation.

what_now: I think we can do both. It means Mitt Romney and Shell oil will have to actually pay taxes, but I'm ok with that.


Like Congress will ever let that happen.
 
2012-05-29 03:54:54 PM

Aarontology: ox45tallboy: Yes, but I don't think anyone ever accused Qaddafi of being Pro-U.S.

Well no. But that doesn't mean whatever new government forms will be pro-US either. And even then, if that's the main goal of helping these countries out, then we should be honest and say we're not interested in freedom; we're interested in puppet states.

The Turkey idea is an interesting one, but we'd still be involved somehow. For better or worse, we need to acknowledge that for the most part, American involvement in the Middle East is going to piss a bunch of people off royally. Even if they might be more comfortable with people of similar cultures coming and helping out, it'll still have the stigma of being a US funded operation.


I think the Turkey idea is a great idea. If there's one thing America is good at, it's outsourcing.
 
2012-05-29 03:56:11 PM

Somacandra: genocidal ethnic cleansing in the former Czechoslovakia were in any way comparable?


Where?
 
2012-05-29 03:58:10 PM

Nadie_AZ: I do not want to be involved in either side of a civil war.


Neither did Axl Rose. He felt it fed the rich, while it buried the poor; lamented the power hungry, selling soldiers as if in a human grocery store.

And look where that got him.
 
2012-05-29 04:02:18 PM

Nadie_AZ: I do not want to be involved in either side of a civil war.


Here's a question - is it a real civil war or is the government simply massacring civilians by the thousands?
 
2012-05-29 04:03:52 PM

xanadian: I think the Turkey idea is a great idea. If there's one thing America is good at, it's outsourcing.


That's... that's a very good point.
 
2012-05-29 04:12:35 PM

xanadian: I think the Turkey idea is a great idea. If there's one thing America is good at, it's outsourcing.


Are you kidding? That show sucked.

www.extratextual.tv
 
2012-05-29 04:35:19 PM

AirForceVet: Because I'd rather we didn't repeat history.


RexTalionis: Yes, let's just do what we did for Darfur.


Let me rephrase my opinion: I believe we should let the UN and NATO do what they're supposed to do, and do what we are obligated to do as members. I do not believe that we, as a nation, should take it upon ourselves to operate outside those charters and outside the operations set and agreed upon by those boundaries.
 
2012-05-29 04:39:21 PM

RexTalionis: Nadie_AZ: I do not want to be involved in either side of a civil war.

Here's a question - is it a real civil war or is the government simply massacring civilians by the thousands?


That's a good question. There is no opposition leadership yet, is there?
 
2012-05-29 04:39:54 PM

unlikely: Let me rephrase my opinion: I believe we should let the UN and NATO do what they're supposed to do, and do what we are obligated to do as members. I do not believe that we, as a nation, should take it upon ourselves to operate outside those charters and outside the operations set and agreed upon by those boundaries.


From the Article:

"The plan Romney and his aides proposed to deal with the crisis, however, sounds a lot like the one Obama administration officials discussed with press just a few days before. "The United States should work with partners to organize and arm Syrian opposition groups so they can defend themselves," the campaign said in a release on Sunday. "
 
2012-05-29 04:41:23 PM

Nadie_AZ: RexTalionis: Nadie_AZ: I do not want to be involved in either side of a civil war.

Here's a question - is it a real civil war or is the government simply massacring civilians by the thousands?

That's a good question. There is no opposition leadership yet, is there?


As far as I know, there is not. Syria restricts access to weaponry to the populace so that whatever opposition leadership there are, they're largely unarmed civilians (although there might be a few defected army units who are armed).
 
2012-05-29 04:48:08 PM
Well, I guess both sides oppose each other, so your headline could very well be accurate....
 
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