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Wed Sep 4, 2013, 02:10 AM

Elizabeth Warren said something very important about Syria.

“What’s important is that we have a plan and a realistic way to execute on that plan. We need to remember unintended consequences of any action. Good intentions alone will not help us. What Assad has done is reprehensible. It violates international law, and it violates the law of humanity. But it is critically important that before we act that we have a plan, a goal and we have a reasonable way for ensuring that goal. I think we’re now in a state of flux.” Elizabether Warren


Instead of going like cowboys and Indians like we did in Iraq and Afghanistan isn't it possible that something could be done that could deter Assad and keep causalities to a minimum - like only Assad, (and I know, blah blah blah it's a war crime to assassinate someone. Well why didn't that law apply when we killed Bin Lauden?)

Flame away!

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Arrow 23 replies Author Time Post
Reply Elizabeth Warren said something very important about Syria. (Original post)
Maraya1969 Sep 2013 OP
last1standing Sep 2013 #1
joshcryer Sep 2013 #2
last1standing Sep 2013 #3
joshcryer Sep 2013 #5
last1standing Sep 2013 #6
joshcryer Sep 2013 #7
last1standing Sep 2013 #9
joshcryer Sep 2013 #11
last1standing Sep 2013 #13
joshcryer Sep 2013 #14
last1standing Sep 2013 #17
joshcryer Sep 2013 #18
last1standing Sep 2013 #21
Tx4obama Sep 2013 #4
Erose999 Sep 2013 #23
Name removed Sep 2013 #8
davidpdx Sep 2013 #10
Spitfire of ATJ Sep 2013 #12
B Calm Sep 2013 #15
Supersedeas Sep 2013 #16
Scuba Sep 2013 #19
bemildred Sep 2013 #20
brooklynite Sep 2013 #22

Response to Maraya1969 (Original post)

Wed Sep 4, 2013, 02:13 AM

1. No flame here.

Toss in support from either the UN or NATO and I agree with her completely.

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Response to last1standing (Reply #1)

Wed Sep 4, 2013, 02:25 AM

2. Or NATO?

Fascinating.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #2)

Wed Sep 4, 2013, 02:26 AM

3. I'm glad you're fascinated.

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Response to last1standing (Reply #3)

Wed Sep 4, 2013, 02:29 AM

5. I would've never taken you as pro-NATO.

I personally would require the UN for any action militarily in Syria.

Which is why my position is that Obama can easily back down if he wants to and lay all the atrocities on Russia. "Yeah, we'll do something, but not without international support. I even put a chunk of my Navy there to make the move, just give me a heads up. 98% of the world is against chemical weapons, I mean, this seems pretty obvious to me."

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #5)

Wed Sep 4, 2013, 02:58 AM

6. If you want to have a real discussion without the insults that we've been exchanging elsewhere...

I'm glad to do it.

I don't think that we should be using the situation in Syria as a political football. I don't want to drop it at Russia's feet because real people are dying at the hands of both government and rebel troops every day. Something should be done, but not just any something.

As I've repeatedly stated (and been repeatedly ignored when doing so), we need international support both in funds and troops before taking any aggressive action and we need Congressional approval. After that, we need a solid, realistic plan that includes escalation and alternative strategies based on the likely and possible scenarios that play out in the field. We need clearly defined roles and a meaningful understanding of what success will entail. Lastly, we need to know the players in each camp so we know who to support after regime change and what policies we can expect them to pursue.

Without all of that, and I do mean all, we should never send the first troop ashore or the first missile across the border.

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Response to last1standing (Reply #6)

Wed Sep 4, 2013, 03:29 AM

7. Russia has stopped many UN resolutions.

There's no "dropping it at Russia's feet." That's how it is in reality. Look at them: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russia's_role_in_the_Syrian_civil_war

Russia is actively preventing the UN from doing anything, even when the Arab League is on board, even when the rest of the Security Council states are on board, etc. It's almost completely Russia's fault that stuff is going down. Nevermind that Russia is actively selling heavy weapons to Syria. When the UK was selling weapons to Gaddafi we weren't supportive of it. Yet somehow Russia keeps getting pass after pass. Russia won't even allow the UN to condemn the excessive force against civilian populations. Not do anything, simply condemn, as a gesture!

Backing down for Obama is so easy it's a joke. And I'm afraid he won't do it.

As far as not being insulting, I've been quite civilized. Given your PM exchange with me and how you basically trashed talked me in private, as well as in public, I have no reason to believe that you are genuine here. Actions speak louder than words. You posted to another poster that snark gets your threads seen here, I agree with that, completely, starting threads is impossible. But snark can end as soon as you're in a subthread because we have "My Posts" and we can read one anothers' exchanges.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #7)

Wed Sep 4, 2013, 03:48 AM

9. You have a strange way of being civilized.

Feel free to post those PMs, if you're willing to post ALL of them. Since you insulted both me and my intelligence in them, I'm fine with calling out your mischaracterizations.

Now, one last try. Do you want to have a real conversation on the issue or not? If you do then let's drop all the bullshit now and do it. If we have to go one more round of this "your lies and snark are meaner than mine" crap it's no longer worth the attempt.

How's this? I'll stop right now. If you respond with an insult or a smear, I'll put you on ignore and you can feel free to do the same with me. I don't know how to be more fair than that.

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Response to last1standing (Reply #9)

Wed Sep 4, 2013, 04:10 AM

11. Fair enough.

My last exchange with you with the symbol wasn't intended as an insult. It was really disappointing to me. I probably wouldn't have cared if it weren't for the !!!111!!!... it struck a nerve, I admit it. I saw the entire post-nerve gas release video collection the other day, it affected me deeply. Almost to the point of changing my position on this whole thing, but I believe that if there's a strike, then Assad will only strike down harder. So I do appreciate those who post those pictures or are affected by them, I'm not going to cast judgment unless I know the past behavior of said posters.

Don't watch those videos, btw. Almost got off the wagon because I couldn't sleep for shit after seeing them.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #11)

Wed Sep 4, 2013, 04:57 AM

13. I've seen the pics (not the video) and it is horrid.

All I can say is that sometimes the only way to communicate is through humor, even in the blackest of situations. I was sickened by the photos and found it very hard not to rail against those who were using them as justification without any real understanding that without a solid plan and international support, we would likely be causing deaths without any reward for us or the Syrian people. Yes, the photos create a gut reaction but gut reactions rarely lead to good decisions.

We, and by we I mean the United States government, need to step back from the precipice and plan this thing out, not just try to solve the problem with ham-fisted strikes which will inevitably lead to retaliation and then escalation. We need answer to some serious questions such as whether Putin is insane enough to jump in on Syria's side and what trust can we place in the rebels to not knife us in the back once we've done the job for them? In the aftermath will we be creating a new Jordan or a new Iran? I honestly do not believe we have asked those questions let alone answered them.

That's why the UN or NATO is so important to this operation. If we go in with the world community claiming it is an illegal act, we lose credibility and our justification. Every time we lose credibility, world players like Putin gain respect, especially if they can play the part of protecting the little guy. It is difficult to claim the high ground when everyone thinks you're playing in the gutter.

Look, I know there's a contingent at DU as eager to see Obama fail just as there is a contingent that will excuse every action he makes no matter how horrible. Personally, I want Obama to succeed at creating good policies both foreign and domestic but I won't back him in making bad decisions because that's not my job. I'm an advocate for causes not persons so that is where my loyalties lie. As my opinion is that the Syria issue is extremely complex, I believe more facts are needed and a detail plan developed with support from the world community. Without that we don't stand much chance of long-term success.

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Response to last1standing (Reply #13)

Wed Sep 4, 2013, 05:13 AM

14. Did you know Israel already struck in Syria?

I don't remember the UN or anyone making much fuss over that. No one was crying war crimes or anything of that nature (it may or may not have been a war crime, if they struck the rebels because they believed they had chemical weapons, or if they stuck Syrian guards because they felt threatened at their border, we don't know).

I think from my perspective it's not about necessarily Obama failing, I think people want the US to fail. I think the Russia defenders for example, who go out of their way to bash Obama over simple things like meeting with LGBT-rights people in Russia, are the perfect example of this. It's not really about Obama meeting with LGBT-rights people in Russia to them, it's more about the US sticking their finger in the eye of Russia, being a bad boy, not respecting Russia, etc. This is another issue with me, with regards to RT and how it's supported here, and how RT objectively bashes gay rights on its site (albeit very carefully, with very weaselly language).

People don't want the US to do anything, and hey, I completely agree with them, the US needs to have a nice 10-20 year isolationist move, as far as I'm concerned, disengage completely, stop trying to be the beacon of the world (and if you dispute that, just know I base that on the immigration influx to the US; which ironically has slowed in recent years due to the US being that supposed "beacon". Just fucking chill out and get your own shit together. Infrastructure is falling apart, people are living in the lowest standard they have, proportionately, in forever. Wages are horrific. It's a shitty business.

I'm in a minority in that I think Obama's red line statement was correct, because when 98% of the world agrees with us on something (the Chemical Weapons Convention) we maybe are doing something right. But I manage to fall in the majority on acting in Syria because of the whole, the US needs to stop meddling position I hold. If the international community backs it, then fuck it, do it, but until then, no. Stop. End. Just stop.

If Obama wants to leave a legacy, one that will make historians note a sea change in the whole history of humankind, then all he has to do is back off, here, now, make the world consider its actions, make the world look on itself introspectively. The Arab League is already openly against Assad's regime. If they have the moral compass they can act. The US has supported too many dictatorships in the Arab world as it stands now (the Arab Spring confirms this). If the US can just back the fuck off for a decade or two, this shit will resolve itself.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #14)

Wed Sep 4, 2013, 05:42 AM

17. I honestly tried to answer all of this but I'm too Damned tired.

I don't think I disagree with much but in between comments at DU I've been researching old property law cases and I'm beat. I'll answer this tomorrow when I'm less groggy.

Have a good night/morning (it's 5:41am here).

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Response to last1standing (Reply #17)

Wed Sep 4, 2013, 05:52 AM

18. Take care.

Note: I normally PM block my favorite DU assholes, and somehow I didn't block you after our exchange, in retrospect I think I didn't consider you an asshole, so I publicly apologize for claiming you bashed me in PM. Sorry, I mean it, I always block anyone who PMs me garbage or has it out with me and I clearly remembered wrong, we may have had a PM spat, but it wasn't "block-worthy." Sorry, it was wrong of me to bring it up.

I look forward to your response.

Note 2: To be clear here, I am of the persuasion that no military action in Syria is going to work. I base this on FARC and how long they've persisted in Colombia.Even after Uribe cracked down hard, at genocidal levels (200k dead under his term; I don't mean to dilute the term "genocide", it didn't do anything.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #18)

Wed Sep 4, 2013, 04:02 PM

21. I apologize as well.

I think we all come to DU expecting to have a enlightened discussion but that hope quickly fades when we're repeatedly attacked for our honest beliefs. We can only be beaten up so many times before we stop looking for understanding and start looking for weak spots. It's a self-perpetuating cycle and I'm as guilty of falling into it as anyone.

Now to answer your posts, I don't have the facts or the experience to micromanage Obama on Russian politics or the upcoming war in Syria (and we will be going to war with Syria unless things change remarkably soon) so whether he meets with LGBT leaders in Russia or decides to put 1000 or 2000 troops on the ground in Syria isn't something I feel able to criticize him about. I do have a general belief that when you push a megalomaniac like Putin around too much, he's likely to eventually respond in ways that have real consequences, but I don't think that, in itself, is a reason to let him get away with human right violations or propping up murderers. I can only hope and trust that Obama knows what he's doing.

As for Israel bombing Syria and the UN's lack of response, I do believe that can be attributed to our wrong-headed policy of blocking any action against Israel regardless of the international crimes it commits. This isn't an Obama complaint, it's a US complaint. We've lost all credibility in the Middle-East because we support a rogue nation that bullies the entire region then hides between our legs while sticking its tongue out. They know they will get away with whatever they do because we'll always protect them from their actions. If we stopped sending aid to Israel (which they use in part to lobby for more aid), or conditioned our aid on a non-aggressive policy, many of our problems in the area would vanish. However, since the UN is not likely to stop Israel because of the US and not likely to stop Syria because of Russia, I think NATO becomes an alternative for international support. It's not great but it's probably all we've got.

For the events of today, do I want the US to attack Syria? No. I don't see on what grounds we're justified in doing so since both sides of this civil war are equally bad. In many ways it mirrors Iraq; yes, Hussein was a monster (whatever that means) but he kept order. Today's Iraq is a mess and will probably remain so until another monster who knows how to keep order comes along. Libya is shaping up along the same lines. So what makes anyone think Syria is going to magically come out differently? For what it's worth, I think your comparisons with FARC is spot on.

However, we are going to attack Syria. Obama and Kerry are maneuvering republicans to give them the open-ended war they want while bullying Democrats to accept it (sound familiar?). So, since we're going to go in, let's at least push for a real plan that covers all the lessons we should have learned from Iraq and Libya. Let's identify a strong leader who can take control in the aftermath, let's plan for escalation after we realize that missiles aren't doing the job, let's plan for alternative strategies when we realize that we've sent too few initial troops. Let's plan for allied troops (not rebels) to take control over any chemical weapons facilities. These are the things that we should be doing but instead Kerry is parroting Rumsfeld in saying that this will be a breeze so we don't have to plan.

Bill Clinton's legacy so far is that he was the best republican president of all time. So far I don't know what Obama's will be but I'm no very hopeful based on what I've seen. I do agree with you that it would raise his stature as a leader if he were to pull back and demand that the rest of the world take responsibility for it's actions.

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Response to Maraya1969 (Original post)

Wed Sep 4, 2013, 02:27 AM

4. Two of Warren's statements below one before the August gassing and one after - with links



September 2013

Elizabeth Warren: Obama Request For Congressional Approval On Syria 'Appropriate'

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said "it's appropriate" for President Barack Obama to seek approval from Congress before taking military action in Syria.

"It's appropriate that he ask for that," Warren said at the annual Central Massachusetts AFL-CIO Labor Day breakfast, according to the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.

"What the Assad regime did is reprehensible, but we have to consider what's in America's best interest," Warren said.

-snip-

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/02/elizabeth-warren-obama-syria_n_3856706.html



Elizabeth Warren - Statement on Syria BEFORE the August gassing deaths

July 08, 2012

WARREN: The ongoing killing of civilians in Syria is a terrible tragedy, and Assad has got to go. The unfolding question is how to accomplish those goals. The President is right to try to work with others in the region and in the international community to influence Syria. Because assistance can have complex and unintended consequences, we should not act unless we are confident that we can do more good than harm and that we have a clear plan and achievable goals.

http://www.masslive.com/politics/index.ssf/2012/07/sen_scott_brown_and_elizabeth_13.html

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Response to Tx4obama (Reply #4)

Wed Sep 4, 2013, 04:30 PM

23. I'd like to ask Warren why she thinks US bombs would bring peace or regieme change to Syria.

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Response to Maraya1969 (Original post)


Response to Maraya1969 (Original post)

Wed Sep 4, 2013, 03:49 AM

10. What she said makes sense

Unfortunately it doesn't change the reality of the situation which is complex. She represents a very liberal state so I'd be shocked if she voted yes.

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Response to Maraya1969 (Original post)

Wed Sep 4, 2013, 04:48 AM

12. Listening to the hearings I heard them say Assad could be convinced to step down....

 

I'm thinking "bribe".

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Response to Maraya1969 (Original post)

Wed Sep 4, 2013, 05:22 AM

15. I say assassinate the bastard, it makes more sense than bombing

 

the whole country and killing more innocent people!

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Response to Maraya1969 (Original post)

Wed Sep 4, 2013, 05:27 AM

16. might the attempt to assassinate Assad also have unintended consequences?

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Response to Maraya1969 (Original post)

Wed Sep 4, 2013, 06:09 AM

19. Yesterday I read right here that Warren was "beating the war drums" which is bullshit.

 

Her call for restraint is commendable.

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Response to Maraya1969 (Original post)

Wed Sep 4, 2013, 08:27 AM

20. Yes, that's the professor talking there.

You should never "just do something" in a crisis unless you know what you are about. The chances that random or uninformed actions will improve the situation are lousy. The many people who have drowned saving drowning people come to mind, for example. Iraq and Afghanistan come to mind too.

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Response to Maraya1969 (Original post)

Wed Sep 4, 2013, 04:05 PM

22. Would it surprise you to know that we're not "going in like cowboys and Indians"?

Nobody has said that we are.

Nobody has proposed that we should.

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