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(Telegraph)   "Bashar al-Assad will run for a third term if Syrian people want him"   (telegraph.co.uk) divider line 10
    More: Amusing, Syrians, Bashar, National Coalition Party, peace conference, Bashar al-Assad  
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953 clicks; posted to Main » on 30 May 2013 at 9:13 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-05-30 09:21:03 AM
Michele Bachmann has better odds.
 
2013-05-30 09:26:23 AM
I didn't even know Bashir was in Syria
www.ejumpcut.org
 
2013-05-30 09:33:10 AM
If your nation is in the midst of a hopeless civil war, maybe being president isn't your thing.
 
2013-05-30 09:42:26 AM

mainsail: Michele Bachmann has better odds.


In all honesty, Assad has great odds. Syria was, before the Arab Spring, a secular country with a popular president and support for religious diversity. The country also had a pretty intense stance on anti-government crime. Most of the initial protests focused on the latter, but despite concessions offered early in the civil war, the protests picked up steam when various other groups, including extremist Islamic groups seeing an opportunity, capitalized on the unrest. I hate to say it, but we're looking at a proxy war being fought, using Syria as the battleground, by various factions - including us. We've given tons of aid to various rebel groups within Syria - everything but direct military intervention. Money, training, weapons, and so on, all courtesy of the CIA. All hell has broken loose, now, with both sides committing human rights violations and possible war crimes, because so many outside interests fanned the flames.

We're in the odd situation of helping Islamist terrorists to tear down a secular country's government. It's strange. We're killing Islamists (and civilians) in Pakistan, but sending Islamists lawyers, guns, and money in Syria.
 
2013-05-30 09:44:29 AM
"Everyone loves Rabban! Rabban kills anyone who doesn't love him!"

(Let's see who gets that allusion.)
 
2013-05-30 09:56:39 AM

FormlessOne: mainsail: Michele Bachmann has better odds.

In all honesty, Assad has great odds. Syria was, before the Arab Spring, a secular country with a popular president and support for religious diversity. The country also had a pretty intense stance on anti-government crime. Most of the initial protests focused on the latter, but despite concessions offered early in the civil war, the protests picked up steam when various other groups, including extremist Islamic groups seeing an opportunity, capitalized on the unrest. I hate to say it, but we're looking at a proxy war being fought, using Syria as the battleground, by various factions - including us. We've given tons of aid to various rebel groups within Syria - everything but direct military intervention. Money, training, weapons, and so on, all courtesy of the CIA. All hell has broken loose, now, with both sides committing human rights violations and possible war crimes, because so many outside interests fanned the flames.

We're in the odd situation of helping Islamist terrorists to tear down a secular country's government. It's strange. We're killing Islamists (and civilians) in Pakistan, but sending Islamists lawyers, guns, and money in Syria.


[Citation Needed]
 
2013-05-30 10:12:10 AM

Smoking GNU: FormlessOne: mainsail: Michele Bachmann has better odds.

In all honesty, Assad has great odds. Syria was, before the Arab Spring, a secular country with a popular president and support for religious diversity. The country also had a pretty intense stance on anti-government crime. Most of the initial protests focused on the latter, but despite concessions offered early in the civil war, the protests picked up steam when various other groups, including extremist Islamic groups seeing an opportunity, capitalized on the unrest. I hate to say it, but we're looking at a proxy war being fought, using Syria as the battleground, by various factions - including us. We've given tons of aid to various rebel groups within Syria - everything but direct military intervention. Money, training, weapons, and so on, all courtesy of the CIA. All hell has broken loose, now, with both sides committing human rights violations and possible war crimes, because so many outside interests fanned the flames.

We're in the odd situation of helping Islamist terrorists to tear down a secular country's government. It's strange. We're killing Islamists (and civilians) in Pakistan, but sending Islamists lawyers, guns, and money in Syria.

[Citation Needed]


Exactly, we're not HELPING anyone. The whole debate the past month was about Obama waffling on sending aid to the rebels. Actually, if we had helped at the beginning, we may have been able to do some good. Now there are so many factions, and none really friendly to the West, that it would be rather messed-up to support any one of them any more than implicitly. And in general, I'm against intervention unless we really get our balls pushed to the wall. Most of the American public is too, after two wars that dragged on without much good.
As for Syria being "a secular country with a popular president and support for religious diversity," and unicorns and free ice cream for every citizen...  Well, when the people love their government they very rarely, ummm, revolt and violently overthrow their government. So I'm doubting that. Maybe someone didn't get sprinkles on his free ice cream.
Incidentally, I spoke with a guy in Damascus on ChatRoulette. For what this little bit of anecdotal evidence is worth, he seems like a decent guy, assured me that most Syrians were staunchly anti-Assad and interested in setting up a genuine free democracy. I asked him about the Al Quada and Taliban guys, and he said loyalty to those groups was pretty rare, and most people either hate them or fear them. So as long as they don't get the upper hand now, they won't see much support. I have no idea how the situation truly is, but I don't think the Syrians are cut from the same cloth as the Afghanis or Yemenis, ie. people where Al Quada has support. These are poor, tribal, and mostly poorly educated people, who are strongly religious in very tribal ways. Syrians on the other hand, are an ancient and advanced race; they are much more like Iraqis or Iranians... and people like that value stability, even over religion. So I think things will actually be better than expected. Although it may take a while for the dust to settle.
And boo on Putin for his self-serving arms deals. Yes, we all know you like you Mediterranean fleet, but you can find a better way to dock it.
 
2013-05-30 10:34:31 AM
"Of courseI am willing to brutally oppress provide for my people-if they wish it."
 
2013-05-30 11:09:03 AM

FormlessOne: mainsail: Michele Bachmann has better odds.

In all honesty, Assad has great odds. Syria was, before the Arab Spring, a secular country with a popular president and support for religious diversity. The country also had a pretty intense stance on anti-government crime. Most of the initial protests focused on the latter, but despite concessions offered early in the civil war, the protests picked up steam when various other groups, including extremist Islamic groups seeing an opportunity, capitalized on the unrest. I hate to say it, but we're looking at a proxy war being fought, using Syria as the battleground, by various factions - including us. We've given tons of aid to various rebel groups within Syria - everything but direct military intervention. Money, training, weapons, and so on, all courtesy of the CIA. All hell has broken loose, now, with both sides committing human rights violations and possible war crimes, because so many outside interests fanned the flames.

We're in the odd situation of helping Islamist terrorists to tear down a secular country's government. It's strange. We're killing Islamists (and civilians) in Pakistan, but sending Islamists lawyers, guns, and money in Syria.


ZOMG CIA have been microwaving syrian brains from space to make them revolt! Its an international free for all!

Honestly though...
he has good odds since ballots could only be held in areas he controls anyways.
Predicting a landslide victory.
 
2013-05-30 12:28:43 PM

FormlessOne: We're in the odd situation of helping Islamist terrorists to tear down a secular country's government. overthrowing another Ba'athist party dictator in the Middle East. It's not that strange.


FTFY.

And besides, this was another Arab Spring thing brought about by government corruption and crackdowns. Syria was considered the most oppressive Arab regime after Saddam was kicked out - they censored and monitored the internet, arrested people for web comments, had indelibly woven together the ruling party, the military, and the secret police, placed travel restrictions on dissidents, arrested anyone who dared speak out, and, in the kickoff to the whole fight, had arrested some little kids and thrown them in prison for spray painting the equivalent of "Romanes eunt domus" on the wall.

So naturally, people are pissed off, and they see Egypt and some other places having some success with getting their terrible dictators out of power, so they decide to throw themselves a protest.

And, just as naturally, Assad starts killing people.

At least 80,000, but probably more like 120,000, so far. Probably about 20,000 of those just this year, since January 2, 2013. And that doesn't count the estimated 1.5 million refugees, mostly heading for Jordan, or the 4 million internally displaced Syrians. That's out of a population of 22.5 million, btw.

So, if we aren't doing something yet, we really probably should at some point. You know, before the entire country dies.
 
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