Russia Complicit in the gassing of Syrians?

Discussion in 'World Events' started by joepistole, Apr 7, 2017.

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Is Russia complicit or incompetent in the gassing of Syrians?

  1. Complicit

    3 vote(s)
    42.9%
  2. Incompetent

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. Both

    4 vote(s)
    57.1%
  1. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    22,798
    According to the US State Department, Russia is either complicit or incompetent? So which is it? It seems highly unlikely that Russia couldn't have known what Syria was doing giving Russian troops are housed at the base which launched the chemical attacks on Syrian civilians. And it's not like Assad hasn't done this before. Russia promised the US to keep chemical weapons out of the hands of Assad.

    It does appear Russia has been complicit in the gassing of Syrians. How could Russia share an airbase with Assad and not know what was going on? Given how these things usually develop, I suspect it is both. I suspect Russia is both complicit and incompetent. The US is now launching an investigation into Russian complicity.

    So which is it? Is Russia complicit, incompetent,or both? If so, what should the US and allied nations do?
     
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  3. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    I doubt that whether the Russians knew of it or not makes much difference.

    It seems to me this is a clever move by Trump's White House (I never thought I'd be writing this!). At a stroke, he:
    - shows chemical weapons are a REAL red line for him (contrast with Obama, whose bluff was called last time round),
    - shows he is not entirely Putin's puppet and
    - shows N Korea (among others, including Iran) he is unafraid to take significant unilateral action, with great speed.
    Cementing a reputation for erratic behaviour could actually be quite a deterrent to a number of states.

    I'm not sure he needs to do that much to follow up, except to say, "Do this again and next time it will be your palace, matey" (like Reagan and Gaddafi).

    Russia looks a bit foolish: either they knew, in which case they have shown their claim to adhere to agreements to non-use of chemical weapons was a cynical sham, or they didn't know, which would show they are not in control of their puppet in Syria, as advertised. And from what I read, there is not much the Russians are able to do to defend against tomahawks. They are too small, I understand, to show up much on the radar they have.
     
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  5. spidergoat Speak of the Devil Valued Senior Member

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    Obama actually wanted to attack Syria, but sought (Republican majority) congressional approval, which was denied.
     
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  7. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    23,511
    That isn't what happened, probably.

    What seems to have happened is that Obama (after failing to secure backing from the US Congress for his efforts) nevertheless succeeded on his own in maneuvering the Russians into shutting down the Syrian gas attacks and destroying most of the gas - including the really bad stuff. Trump has apparently failed to hold that line, somehow lost Obama's leverage or influence on the Russians (they don't appear to be nearly as wary of him as they were of Obama and/or Clinton), and been forced or led into overt military assault on Assad of uncertain effect simply for appearance's sake.
    Especially any potential allies or anyone contemplating agreements, treaties, etc.

    That's the Kissinger doctrine - it's how we won the Vietnam War, prevented the rise of China, and avoided creating horrible messes in North Africa and Korea and the Middle East in the first place. Unless it was a really bad idea that failed miserably and did serious damage to the US as well as everyone else.
    Ah yes, the ever-competent Reagan's foreign policy, so successfully re-introduced under W, which I'm sure we will all enjoy just as much the third time around. Fourth if you count Nixon.

    So you think what he "needs" to do, according to reason and sanity applied to the political goals of a genuine US government, is going to be a significant factor in his decisions? Why do you think that?

    Meanwhile, here we go again. The Bohica President is on the job.
     
  8. spidergoat Speak of the Devil Valued Senior Member

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    I bet Putin created this event just so that Trump could appear strong, wag the dog a bit, and look like he's not Putin's best friend. It sounds paranoid, but I wouldn't put it past him. It's the old good cop, bad cop routine.
     
  9. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    5,864
    That had occurred to me too, but I dismissed it as a bit too much of a conspiracy theory. Maybe we will see from Tillerson's visit in the coming week. It seems, from what the commentators are saying, that this has wrong-footed the Russians and given them a real problem.
     
  10. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

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    Which country (countries) supplies chemical weapons?
    Do we know where thechemical weapons used in the attacks came from?
    Alex
     
  11. The God Valued Senior Member

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    3,336
    Scenario #1
    It's back off time for Trump. Russia has a pretty old relationship with current Assad and his father, so Russia is not going to support Syrian rebels and will frown over anyone against Syrian regime.

    Putin knows that Trump is not placed comfortably at the domestic front, and if Trump is tamed by Putin after this one off strike, then that would make Putin far more demonstrative and Powerful than US/Trump.

    Scenario#2
    If Trump continues then Russia may attempt to bully him with election support blackmail. If that happens then either Trump will emerge stronger, by calling Russian bluff, or he will be doomed.

    With Syrian nonsense and blatant human rights violation, I personally feel US majority will support Trump even if Putin attempts to play dirty games.

    My take.
    Trump will follow scenario #2. He never likes to play second fiddle. He knows how to use people. He does not dump but he does not let people over shadow him beyond a point.
     
  12. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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  13. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

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    Thank you I should have tried using that new google thingy.
    Thinking about it at least with chemical weapons your body remains in one piece rather than various parts being blown all over the place and some bits never found.
    As if there is an acceptable way to kill someone.
    Alex
     
  14. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    5,864
    I'd far rather be blown to bits. Instant death far preferable to the awful torture we have all seen on our screens in recent days.
     
  15. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

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    2,919
    We need a nice gas that puts victims to sleep with no pain.
    Civilised killing we must be capable of getting there.
    Alex
     
  16. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    22,798
    Well here is the thing, I think you give too much credit to Trump when ascribe rational motives to the man. A few days ago, Trump was fine with Assad remaining in power; now he isn't. And what changed? Nothing changed. Trump has been gassing his people for years.

    We have 2 mercurial and temperamental egotistical leaders here with their fingers on nuclear weapons. That's never a good combination. This is what I have worried about; this is what I continue to worry about. It looks like the two are on the road to a pissing contest and that's not good. Fact and reason exit the door. That's the scenario which concerns me. It has concerned me from day one. Russia is outmatched and out gunned, but when facts no longer matter, people do stupid things.
     
  17. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    5,864
    I have some faith in the US military establishment, however. Trump may by now be learning he cannot rule the United States like a cheapjack autocrat (or a TV reality show character). I think he was given options to choose which show every sign of having been well thought through. The demotion of Bannon is another sign that the grown-ups may be slowly taking charge.
     
  18. origin Trump is the best argument against a democracy. Valued Senior Member

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    Bit of a Freudian slip I would say...

    I think you meant to say: Trump has been screwing his people for months.
     
  19. sculptor Valued Senior Member

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    We knew that Saddam had chemical weapons because we had sold them to him.
     
    Schmelzer likes this.
  20. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    Yes, there are some reasons for hope. But they are tenuous.
     
  21. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    Indeed, you got me.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    I meant to say Assad has been gassing his people.
     
  22. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

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    3,459
    As if it would matter what Trump likes. Beyond the immediate response (shooting 36 out of 59 tomahawks, dismissal of the deconfliction agreement with US in the Syrian airspace, decision to improve Syrian air defense) I would guess there will be more. We will see what will follow. Putin likes asymmetric responses, so there may be surprises. One possibility would be to frustrate the coalition out of Syrian airspace. The Syrians have already attacked an US reconnaissance aircraft https://twitter.com/NatDefFor/status/850713392323100673 Given that the US have no legal right to flight over Syria, from a legal point of view it is completely legal to shoot them. It looks like the Belgians have already understood that and stopped their participation https://twitter.com/Operator1798/status/850710855847206913 This would be one possible direction of reaction.

    If Putin thinks that Netanjahu behind all this, I would predict that the improve of Syrian air defense will include S-300 or so delivery to Lebanon (Hesbollah). So that Lebanon becomes a no-fly zone for Israel. But this depends on how much Netanjahu was involved in this, which is something I don't know.

    Anyway Putin has to prepare everything for future attacks. For the simple reason that they will predictably follow. The, hm, islamists have had success with this fake attack, so they will repeat it. Once Trump has believed this nonsense without even thinking about it, he will do it again, independent of how unbelievable the next fake will be. And shoot again. And that second shooting will be something more serious.
     
  23. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    22,798
    Comrade Schmeltzer, unfortunately for you facts still matter. I think you have been hitting the vodka a little too hard. Neither Russia or Syria shot down any of America's Tomahawk Missiles, not a single one.

    When Americans informed Russians of the attack, your brave Russians ran for cover. Putin likes asymmetric responses because anything he does would be asymmetrical by definition. He doesn't have the luxury of responding to the US with anything but an asymmetrical response. Where is your credible evidence Syria attacked a US reconnaissance aircraft? Did they shoot at the sky with their Kalashnikovs in an attack on a US satellite?

    Except, that isn't a given. It isn't even true as is the case with most everything you post. As has been repeatedly pointed out to you over the years, the US and allied nations are authorized by the UN to fly over and conduct military operations over Syria. Your beloved Mother Putin even voted for the resolution.

    You are lying once again Comrade Schmeltzer.

    We saw how well your much vaunted S400s performed; what makes you think a more antiquated version will work any better?

    Is he? ....just like he prepared for the most recent attack I expect. Whether there is a second episode depends upon what Russia an her ally Assad do. If they continue to slaughter innocent children, there will be a second time. You can count on it. If you and your Russian cohorts are stupid enough to do it again, so be it.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2017

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