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TI84_Plus
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Reged: Sep 10 2006
Posts: 931


Syria
      #902336 - Fri Feb 24 2012 09:32 AM

Can't believe there wasn't something posted about this. Only thing I saw was the "hacking" which really does the situation no justice.

"More than 5,400 Syrians killed, thousands missing, 25,000 refugees in other countries and more than 70,000 internally displaced, according to the United Nations."

Tanks in cities, snipers taking down civilians, shelling of cities. Some serious human rights violations going down, and will be a bigger issue soon, and someone will intervene soon. I wish I knew the rationale of the big wigs in this country when they decide where and where not to intervene. This situation involves mostly civilian deaths and civilian targets with a small revolutionary force.

Article is long, but gives a lot of information about whats going on.

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Syria.
Anwar Amro/Agence France-Presse — Getty ImagesUpdated: Feb. 23, 2012


The wave of Arab unrest that started with the Tunisian revolution reached Syria in mid-March 2011, when residents of a small southern city took to the streets to protest the torture of students who had put up anti-government graffiti. The government responded with heavy-handed force, and demonstrations quickly spread across much of the country.

President Bashar al-Assad, who inherited Syria’s harsh dictatorship from his father, Hafez al-Assad, at first wavered between force and hints of reform. But in April, just days after lifting the country’s decades-old state of emergency, he set off the first of what became a series of withering crackdowns, sending tanks into restive cities as security forces opened fire on demonstrators.

Neither the violence nor Mr. Assad’s offers of political reform — rejected as shams by protest leaders — brought an end to the unrest. Similarly, the protesters have not been able to withstand direct assault by the military’s armored forces.

But as the crackdown dragged on into the summer and fall, thousands of soldiers defected and began launching attacks against the government, bringing the country to what the United Nations in December called the verge of civil war. A government in exile was formed, the Syrian National Council.

The conflict is complicated by Syria’s ethnic divisions. The Assads and much of the nation’s elite, especially the military, belong to the Alawite sect, a small minority in a mostly Sunni country. Mr. Assad has consistently denounced the protests as a foreign plot. And even if he were interested in reform, any moves in that direction would mean rejecting the tight-knit, Allawite-dominated circle of government, military and business leaders that is the core of his support.

Syria’s crackdown has been condemned by the United Nations and countries around the world, as has President Assad, a British-trained doctor who many had hoped would soften his father’s iron-handed regime. Criticism has come from unlikely quarters, like Syria’s close neighbors, Jordan and Turkey, and the Arab League.

Syria was expelled from the Arab League after it agreed to a peace plan only to step up attacks on protesters. In November, the league applied wide-ranging sanctions. In December 2011 and late January 2012, Syria agreed to allow league observers into the country. But their presence did nothing to slow the violence. In January, the league floated a proposal under which Mr. Assad would relinquish power to a deputy and start negotiations with opponents within two weeks. It was promptly rejected by Syria.

As the violence in Syria has escalated, several analysts said, Sunni extremists with links to the Iraqi branch of Al Qaeda in Syria were seeking to exploit the turmoil. The precise role of the Qaeda branch is unclear. Some intelligence officials and diplomats in Washington, Baghdad and Beirut said the Qaeda franchise was responsible for deadly bombings in Aleppo and in Damascus, in December and January, which killed scores of people. But they acknowledged that they did not have the forensic or electronic intercept evidence to prove it.

U.N. Report and Resolution Condemns Assad’s Government

On Feb. 23, 2012, a United Nations report concluded that “gross human rights violations” had been ordered by the Syrian government as state policy at “the highest levels of the armed forces and the government,” amounting to crimes against humanity.

The 72-page document said that the insurgent Free Syrian Army, made up of defectors from forces loyal to President Assad, had also committed abuses, but those were “not comparable in scale and organization to those carried out by the state.”

The panel of three investigators who compiled the report said it was based on 369 interviews with victims, witnesses, defectors and other people with “inside knowledge” of the situation in Syria. They also examined photographs, video recordings and satellite imagery to corroborate some witness accounts. The investigators said they were not allowed to enter Syria to conduct inquiries at first hand.

The report, delivered to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, was published as security forces continued to bombard areas of Homs, a city in central Syria, for a 20th successive day, despite a growing outcry and international calls for the creation of humanitarian corridors to reach the sick, the wounded and the frail.

A week earlier, in a powerful rebuke to Syria’s government, the United Nations General Assembly voted overwhelmingly to approve a resolution condemning President Assad’s unbridled crackdown on the uprising and called for adoption of an Arab League proposal to resolve the conflict.

The resolution called for Mr. Assad to relinquish powers to a vice president; negotiations among the antagonists; and the formation of a new government.

The 137-12 vote, with 17 abstentions, was a nonbinding action with no power of enforcement, but it represented a significant humiliation for Mr. Assad, whose government had sought to block the vote on procedural grounds and severely criticized the sponsors, including Syria’s brethren in the Arab League. Bashar Jafari, Syria’s ambassador to the United Nations, called it a “biased resolution that has nothing to do with events in Syria.”

A handful of countries that opposed the resolution, most notably Russia, Venezuela and North Korea, condemned it as an unwarranted interference in Syria’s internal politics. But the wide range of countries that voted approval signified the deep anger and frustration at the United Nations over its diplomatic inability to halt a deadly conflict.

More than 5,400 Syrians killed, thousands missing, 25,000 refugees in other countries and more than 70,000 internally displaced, according to the United Nations.

A previous effort to pass a resolution collapsed in acrimony in early February with a double veto by Russia and China, despite having been watered down to omit a call for Mr. Assad to step down. After the vetoes, Mr. Assad’s government brazenly carried out a violent assault on the city of Homs on the day that the Security Council had planned to vote. It came, too, around the anniversary of its crackdown in 1982 on another Syrian city, Hama, by Mr. Assad’s father, Hafez, in which at least 10,000 people were killed in one of the bloodiest episodes in modern Arab history.

Protest Timeline

Feb. 23 Security forces continued to bombard areas of Homs, for a 20th successive day, despite a growing outcry and international calls for the creation of humanitarian corridors to reach the sick and the wounded. The newest shelling came on the eve of a major international gathering in Tunisia to seek a way out of the crisis. On the same day, a United Nations report, delivered in Geneva, concluded that “gross human rights violations” had been ordered by the Syrian government at “the highest levels of the armed forces and the government,” amounting to crimes against humanity.


Feb. 22 Syrian forces shelled the city of Homs, the 19th day of a bombardment that activists say has claimed the lives of hundreds of civilians in one of the deadliest campaigns in nearly a year of repression by President Assad’s government. Among the 20 people reported killed were two Western journalists, the American war correspondent Marie Colvin, who had been working for The Sunday Times of London, and a French photographer, Rémi Ochlik. The journalists’ deaths occurred less than a week after Anthony Shadid, a correspondent for The New York Times, died in Syria of an apparent asthma attack.


Feb. 21 China, Russia and Iran all made declarations of support for the Syrian government, reaffirming their alliances in the face of broad, intense international lobbying for unity against President Assad. The worst violence was reported in Homs, which has been under sustained assault for more than two weeks.
Read More...

Feb. 20 Activist groups reported intensified attacks in the central city of Homs. The International Committee of the Red Cross said it was trying to negotiate a pause in the violence to deliver aid to Homs and other devastated areas. Also, two Iranian warships docked in a Syrian port as a senior Iranian lawmaker denounced the possibility that the Americans might arm the Syrian opposition.

Feb. 19 At least 14 people were reported killed around the country, some by the government and some by armed opposition forces, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition group that operates out of Britain. Also, Egypt said that its ambassador would leave Syria in answer to a call by the Arab League for its members to break ties with Damascus.

Feb. 18 A funeral was held for the men killed by security forces in the previous day’s demonstration in the middle-class neighborhood of Mezze in Damascus. It set off the biggest demonstration witnessed close to the heart of the capital since the country’s uprising started 11 months ago. Security forces opened fire, killing at least one person.


Feb. 17 A demonstration was held after the Friday Prayer sermon at the largest neighborhood mosque in Mezze, a middle-class neighborhood in Damascus that skirts the hill on which the presidential palace sits. Three men were shot dead by security forces.

Feb. 16 The United Nations General Assembly voted overwhelmingly to approve a resolution condemning President Assad’s crackdown on the uprising and called for adoption of an Arab League proposal to resolve the conflict. The resolution, which called for Mr. Assad to relinquish powers to a vice president, was a nonbinding action with no power of enforcement at the world body. On the same day, Anthony Shadid, a correspondent for The New York Times, died in Syria of an apparent asthma attack, while on a reporting assignment.

Feb. 15 President Bashar al-Assad set a date later this month for a referendum on a new constitution, a gesture apparently designed to offer some kind of government-controlled change even as fighting continued in Damascus and elsewhere.

Feb. 14 Syrian government forces brushed aside a stern castigation from the top United Nations human rights official about its deadly attacks on civilians, resuming what one activist described as the “brutal shelling” of the city of Homs.

Feb. 13 Syrian forces were reported to have resumed their bombardment of the embattled city of Homs for a 10th day after the authorities in Damascus rejected efforts by the Arab League to seek a United Nations peacekeeping mission.

Feb. 12 The Arab League asked the United Nations Security Council to send a peacekeeping mission to Syria and called on Arab nations to sever diplomatic relations with Damascus in an effort to pressure the government to end the violence there.
Feb. 11 Three gunmen ambushed a military general on a residential street in Damascus, in an assassination of a government stalwart that was the first of its kind in the Syrian capital and another step away from the nonviolent roots of the antigovernment protests.


Feb. 10 Explosions in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo struck two targets associated with the military and police, according to Syrian state television, which said that 28 people were killed and 235 were injured. An American military official acknowledged that the Pentagon has begun to review potential military options for dealing with the upheaval in Syria, but said discussions were in the hypothetical phase.

Background to Protests

The country’s last serious stirrings of public discontent had come in 1982, when increasingly violent skirmishes with the Muslim Brotherhood prompted Hafez al-Assad to move against them, sending troops to kill at least 10,000 people and smashing the old city of Hama. Hundreds of fundamentalist leaders were jailed, many never seen alive again.

Syria has a liability not found in the successful uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt — it is a majority Sunni nation that is ruled by a religious minority, the Alawite sect of Shiite Islam. Hafez Assad forged his power base through fear, cooption and sect loyalty. He built an alliance with an elite Sunni business community, and created multiple security services staffed primarily by Alawites. Those security forces have a great deal to lose if the government falls, experts said, because they are part of a widely despised minority, and so have the incentive of self-preservation.

In July, the Obama administration, in a shift that was weeks in the making, turned against Mr. Assad but stopped short of demanding that he step down. By early Aqgust, the American ambassador was talking of a “post-Assad” Syria.

In October, Syrian dissidents formally established the Syrian National Council in what seemed to be the most serious attempt to bring together a fragmented opposition. The group’s stated goal was to overthrow President Assad’s government. Members said the council included representatives from the Damascus Declaration group, a pro-democracy network; the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, a banned Islamic political party; various Kurdish factions; the Local Coordination Committees, a group that helps organize and document protests; and other independent and tribal figures.

In the U.S.: Different Views on Intervention

The Obama administration has made a point of working through the Arab League and the United Nations rather than giving the appearance that the United States is trying to intervene in Syria. This is partly to avoid giving Iran any excuse to get involved on behalf of its regional ally, analysts say.

However, some politicians favor more direct intervention. On Feb. 19, two senior American senators spoke out strongly in favor of arming the Syrian opposition forces.

The senators, John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, both Republicans, laid out a series of diplomatic, humanitarian and military aid proposals that would put the United States squarely behind the effort to topple President Assad. Mr. McCain and Mr. Graham, both of whom are on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said that rebel fighters deserved to be armed and that helping them take on the Syrian government would aid Washington’s effort to weaken Iran.

The next day, two Iranian warships docked in the Syrian port of Tartous as a senior Iranian lawmaker denounced the possibility that the Americans might arm the Syrian opposition. Iran’s semi-official Fars News Agency called the ships “a serious warning” to the United States.

“The presence of Iran and Russia’s flotillas along the Syrian coast has a clear message against the United States’ possible adventurism,” said Hossein Ebrahimi, a vice chairman of the Iranian Parliament’s national security and foreign policy commission, Fars reported.

Syria relies on Iran for financial and military support, and the governments in Damascus and Tehran have sectarian ties as well: Iran has strongly backed the Syrian Shiite minority and the offshoot Alawite sect that makes up Syria’s ruling class.

Arms Anchor the Relationship With Russia

As the violence has worsened throughout Syria, amateur video has shown government troops rolling through the besieged city of Homs in vintage Soviet battle tanks. Seemingly undeterred by an international outcry, Moscow has worked frantically to preserve its relationship with the increasingly isolated government of Mr. Assad, even as the Syrian leader turns his guns on his own citizens, and the death toll mounts.

Russia has praised Mr. Assad’s call for a constitutional referendum, a step that the United States and other governments have dismissed as meaningless. On Feb. 16, Russia was one of just a dozen countries, among them China, Iran and North Korea, to vote against a General Assembly resolution urging Mr. Assad to step down.

And many analysts say that without Russia’s backing, including a steady supply of weapons, food, medical supplies and other aid, the Assad government will crumble within a matter of months if not sooner.

While Moscow has a number of reasons to guard its relations with Damascus, the most concrete, many analysts say, is the longstanding arms sales to Syria. Arms exports have long anchored the relationship between Moscow and Damascus, including sales over the years of MIG fighter jets, attack helicopters and high-tech air defense systems.

While the ouster and death of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi in Libya and the imposition of sanctions on Iran have sharply curtailed other formerly lucrative arms markets for Russia, Syria has increased its weapons purchases.

Regional political events have also played a part. The Arab Spring and the American-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have dissipated Russia’s once-powerful influence in the region, transforming the relationship into one of critical importance to Prime Minister Vladimir V. Putin, who is running for president and wants to expand Russia’s role as a global powerbroker.

Foreign Policy

Under the administration of President George W. Bush, Syria was once again vilified as a dangerous pariah. It was linked to the 2005 killing of a former Lebanese prime minister, Rafik Hariri. In 2007, Israeli jets destroyed buildings in Syria that intelligence officials said might have been the first stage in a nuclear weapons program. And the United States and its Arab allies mounted a vigorous campaign to isolate Damascus, which they accused of sowing chaos and violence throughout the middle east through its support for militant groups like Hezbollah and Hamas.

President Obama came into office pledging to engage with Syria, arguing that the Bush administration’s efforts to isolate Syria had done nothing to wean it from Iran or encourage Middle East peace efforts. So far, however, the engagement has been limited. American diplomats have visited Damascus, but have reiterated the same priorities as the Bush administration: protesting Syria’s military support to Hezbollah and Hamas, and its strong ties with Iran.

Secret State Department cables obtained by WikiLeaks and made available to several news organizations show that arms transactions involving Syria and Hezbollah continue to greatly concern the Obama administration. Hezbollah’s arsenal now includes up to 50,000 rockets and missiles, including some 40 to 50 Fateh-110 missiles capable of reaching Tel Aviv and most of Israel, and 10 Scud-D missiles.

“Syria’s determined support of Hizballah’s military build-up, particularly the steady supply of longer-range rockets and the introduction of guided missiles could change the military balance and produce a scenario significantly more destructive than the July-August 2006 war,” said a November 2009 cable from the American chargé d’affaires in Damascus.

According to cables, Syrian leaders appeared to believe that the weapons shipments increased their political leverage with the Israelis. But they made Lebanon even more of a tinderbox and increased the prospect that a future conflict might include Syria.
The Hariri Case

Also looming is potential new trouble in Lebanon, where a United Nations-backed international tribunal is expected to indict members of Hezbollah in the death of Mr. Hariri. Hezbollah and its allies — including high-ranking Syrian officials — have warned that an indictment could set off civil conflict.

The United States withdrew its ambassador in 2005 after Mr. Hariri was killed in a car bombing in Beirut along with 22 others. Syria was widely accused of having orchestrated the killing, though it has vehemently denied involvement. The Bush administration imposed economic sanctions on Syria, as part of a broader effort to isolate the government of Mr. Assad.

The current chill is a significant change from the situation a few years ago, when Mr. Assad showed signs of wanting warmer relations with the West than his father, Hafez al-Assad, had ever pursued. President Nicolas Sarkozy of France led the way with a visit in September 2008. King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, who was said to be furious at Mr. Assad, welcomed him warmly in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, in March 2009. And Prime Minster Ehud Olmert of Israel hinted at a revival of talks on the Golan Heights — a prospect that faded when Mr. Olmert was succeeded by the more conservative Benjamin Netanyahu.
Turkish Opposition to Assad

Once one of Syria’s closest allies, Turkey is hosting an armed opposition group waging an insurgency against the government of President Assad, providing shelter to the commander and dozens of members of the group, the Free Syrian Army, and allowing them to orchestrate attacks across the border from inside a camp guarded by the Turkish military.

Turkish support for the insurgents comes amid a broader campaign to undermine Mr. Assad’s government. Turkey is expected to impose sanctions on Syria, and it has deepened its support for the Syrian National Council. But its harboring of leaders in the Free Syrian Army, a militia composed of defectors from the Syrian armed forces, may be its most striking challenge so far to Damascus.

On Oct. 26, 2011, the Free Syrian Army, living in a heavily guarded refugee camp in Turkey, claimed responsibility for killing nine Syrian soldiers, including one uniformed officer, in an attack in restive central Syria.

The group is too small to pose any real challenge to Mr. Assad’s government but support from Turkey underlines how combustible, and resilient, Syria’s uprising has proven. The country sits at the intersection of influences in the region — with Iran, Hezbollah in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Israel — and Turkey’s involvement will be closely watched by Syria’s friends and foes.

Turkish officials say that their government has not provided weapons or military support to the insurgent group, nor has the group directly requested such assistance.


web page

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Wise words spoken by sages
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jfanent
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Re: Syria [Re: TI84_Plus]
      #902340 - Fri Feb 24 2012 09:56 AM

I'm not sure what to think about this. There are numerous reports and videos of faked massacres floating around the web, and also stories of horrific killings of Syrian soldiers and policemen by insurgent rebels. Who do you believe? I think it best we just keep our noses out of these conflicts. Just look at how appreciative the muslim brotherhood has been for our help in Egypt and Libya.

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IRE 45
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Re: Syria [Re: TI84_Plus]
      #902349 - Fri Feb 24 2012 10:12 AM

Sad situation but IMO it is a SYRIAN problem not an American one .

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TI84_Plus
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Re: Syria [Re: IRE 45]
      #902359 - Fri Feb 24 2012 10:28 AM

Our world has become a lot smaller due to globalization, and unfortunately things like this now have an affect in the entire world. Iranscsupport of the Syrian gov, Russia's support due to their arms sales to Syria, etc. I don't think it's as simple as just a 'Syrian problem' because their are so many political, economical, and military involved on the international level.

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IRE 45
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Re: Syria [Re: TI84_Plus]
      #902365 - Fri Feb 24 2012 10:44 AM

Outside of the humanitarian aspect I don't see a single reason this country should get involved .

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waterdawg
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Re: Syria [Re: IRE 45]
      #902368 - Fri Feb 24 2012 10:59 AM

Ditto !

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TI84_Plus
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Re: Syria [Re: IRE 45]
      #902373 - Fri Feb 24 2012 11:09 AM

I don't necessarily think we should get involved either, I was just saying that in today's world, it's rarely just one countries problem,m because there are so many more moving parts internationally.

As far as humanitarian help, yeah I think it's somewhere we ought to be. Militarily...nah.

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PDR
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Re: Syria [Re: TI84_Plus]
      #902391 - Fri Feb 24 2012 11:39 AM

Quote:

I wish I knew the rationale of the big wigs in this country when they decide where and where not to intervene.




99 times out of 100 ... financial interests.

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TI84_Plus
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Re: Syria [Re: PDR]
      #902393 - Fri Feb 24 2012 11:42 AM

Quote:

Quote:

I wish I knew the rationale of the big wigs in this country when they decide where and where not to intervene.




99 times out of 100 ... financial interests.




Makes the world go round.

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PrplPplEater
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Re: Syria [Re: PDR]
      #902535 - Fri Feb 24 2012 03:58 PM

Nothing wrong with that at all. It's their job to further the prosperity of our nation.

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archbolddawg
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Re: Syria [Re: PDR]
      #902539 - Fri Feb 24 2012 04:05 PM

Quote:

Quote:

I wish I knew the rationale of the big wigs in this country when they decide where and where not to intervene.




99 times out of 100 ... financial interests.




I wouldn't say it's 99% of the time.

I would, however, say that you are probably like most other people in that 99% of the time you go to work for YOUR financial interests - is that correct?


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crazyotto55
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Re: Syria [Re: archbolddawg]
      #902683 - Sat Feb 25 2012 06:37 AM

Quote:


I would, however, say that you are probably like most other people in that 99% of the time you go to work for YOUR financial interests - is that correct?




Of course it's correct. What Phil said is also correct.

This such a transparent effort on your part to pick a fight with Phil I'm surprised you even posted it. Methinks you need a hobby.

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PrplPplEater
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Re: Syria [Re: crazyotto55]
      #902696 - Sat Feb 25 2012 08:33 AM

I think arch is simply trying to put things in perspective for Phil being that Phil tends to post things like "we did it for financial gain" as if that is automatically a bad thing... e.g. Phil does things purely for financial gain all the time.

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"As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly."


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4yikes2yoshi0
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Re: Syria [Re: PrplPplEater]
      #902760 - Sat Feb 25 2012 12:28 PM

Well, when you're sticking your junk into another country's affairs based strictly off your economic interests, then it is bad (for the people of that country- therefore a bad precedent for humanity in general and democracy at large). Ask the people of Chile, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Vietnam, East Timor (if you can find them), etc.

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Politicians are puppets, y'all. Let's get Geppetto!

Edited by 4yikes2yoshi0 (Sat Feb 25 2012 12:43 PM)


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PDR
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Re: Syria [Re: PrplPplEater]
      #902790 - Sat Feb 25 2012 03:33 PM

Quote:

Nothing wrong with that at all. It's their job to further the prosperity of our nation.




More often than not, they're not furthering the prosperity of our nation, but the prosperity of multinational corporations that hold no true allegiance to our nation.

And, yes, there is something very, very wrong with killing innocent people and destroying infrastructure in the name of financial interests. How you can say there is nothing wrong with that is beyond me.

Our military is supposed to defend our country, not invade others in the name of financial interests, which is primarily what we've been doing for several decades.

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YTownBrownsFan
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Re: Syria [Re: PDR]
      #902802 - Sat Feb 25 2012 04:13 PM

I think that the question shouldn't be "do we ever have a financial stake in military actions we take?", because that could be the case in almost any action we could take. Hell, the Revolution was fought largely over financial issues. The Civil War had a financial aspect to it with regards to slavery. The War of 1812 had trade related aspects, but the British "recruiting" captured American naval merchants into their naval service , and support of Native Americans against the American government certainly played a large part as well.

Any action can have financial interests involved somewhere ... especially as the world economy becomes more and more intertwined. That doesn't mean that all military action has primarily a financial motivation.

Hell, people called Iraq a war for oil ...... and how much Iraqi oil have we taken?

--------------------
Welcome to the Browns Coach Pettine.

Hope you survive the experience.

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PDR
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Re: Syria [Re: YTownBrownsFan]
      #902806 - Sat Feb 25 2012 04:32 PM

Quote:

Hell, people called Iraq a war for oil ...... and how much Iraqi oil have we taken?




Reserves that produce roughly 2.7 million barrels per day have shifted from the nationalization under Hussein to Western and Asian oil companies such as Shell, BP, ExxonMobil, Petronas, Occidental Petroleum, Statoil, Lukoil, China National Petroleum, Total S.A., Eni.

So to answer your question, roughly about $297 million dollars worth of oil is being produced per day by private companies that did not have access to oil reserves before the Iraq War.

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archbolddawg
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Re: Syria [Re: PDR]
      #902808 - Sat Feb 25 2012 04:41 PM

Wait - we attacked Iraq so that Asian oil companies could also get the oil?

Honest question - I would assume that Iraq is being paid for the oil. Is that right?


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PDR
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Re: Syria [Re: archbolddawg]
      #902830 - Sat Feb 25 2012 05:48 PM

Quote:

Wait - we attacked Iraq so that Asian oil companies could also get the oil?




Absolutely. We have strong ties with a lot of Asian banks and oil companies. And they have gotten pieces of the pie, in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Do you think that we look at Asian companies as enemies? They're players on the global market, investors, partners, creditors.

Quote:

Honest question - I would assume that Iraq is being paid for the oil. Is that right?




Of course.

Most contracts have fees of about $1-2 a barrel on top of initial contract numbers.

But the Iraqi and U.S. governments both subsidize the oil companies, often throughout the duration of the contracts. Iraq and the U.S. gives these companies money to start up their operations there. And the U.S. has been footing the security bill for a long time.

The faucet is merely dripping in terms of what the future holds. We basically took the second largest oil reserve in the world from subsidized nationalization to subsidized privatization.

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BrownieElf
Dawg Talker


Reged: Sep 11 2006
Posts: 1864
Loc: Ohio

Re: Syria [Re: archbolddawg]
      #902836 - Sat Feb 25 2012 06:07 PM

We attacked Iraq because they started selling oil in euros instead of dollars.

link

Iran did the same thing a few years ago...

link

Anyone think they might be next?



Quote:

Such fiat dollars are invested or deposited in U.S. banks or the U.S. Treasury by most non-oil producing, underdeveloped countries to protect their currencies and generate oil credit. Today foreigners hold 48 percent of the U.S. Treasury bond market and own 24 percent of the U.S. corporate bond market and 20 percent of all U.S. corporations. In total, foreigners hold $8 trillion of U.S. assets. Nevertheless, the foreign deposited dollars strengthen the U.S. dollar and give the United States enormous power to manipulate the world economy, set rules, and prevail in the international market.

Thus, the U. S. effectively controls the world oil-market as the dollar has become the "fiat" international trading currency. Today U.S. currency accounts for approximately two-thirds of all official exchange reserves. More than four-fifths of all foreign exchange transactions and half of all the world exports are denominated in dollars and U.S. currency accounts for about two-thirds of all official exchange reserves. The fact that billions of dollars worth of oil is priced in dollars ensures the world domination of the dollar. It allows the U.S. to act as the world's central bank, printing currency acceptable everywhere. The dollar has become an oil-backed, not gold-backed, currency.

If OPEC oil could be sold in other currencies, e.g. the euro, then U.S. economic dominance-dollar imperialism or hegemony-would be seriously challenged. More and more oil importing countries would acquire the euro as their "reserve," its value would increase, and a larger amount of trade would be transacted and denominated in euros. In such circumstances, the value of the dollar would most likely go down, some speculate between 20-40 percent.




link

And here is a ridiculously long article by someone else.

link


If the US loses its role as the reserve currency of the world for the buying and selling of oil then we will have inflation big time because countries won't have to buy our debt to get dollars to buy oil.

Put another way....prices will rise between 20-40% because our money will lose that much value.

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Attitude is everything....FEAR THE ELF!!!


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YTownBrownsFan
Legend


Reged: Sep 11 2006
Posts: 31816
Loc: YTown, Ohio

Re: Syria [Re: BrownieElf]
      #902842 - Sat Feb 25 2012 06:32 PM

According to your first article, the UN would be hurt by a move to Euros from Dollars, not the US. The UN would have to spend a lot of money on accounting changes. It would also have hurt countries receiving reparations. (not us)

I believe that most of Iran's oil goes to countries in Europe and the Far East. They can sell in whatever currency they want. Iran would probably not want dollars as it is illegal for many US companies to do business with them anyway. It's more a political thumb their nose at the US type move than anything else.

I don't know the exact numbers, but we get a ridiculously small amount of oil from the Middle East. I know that it's less than 20% of our actual usage that is imported from the Middle east, and most of that is from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, and the UAE. I am fairly sure that we could shut that off and close the gaps with domestically produced oil, and increased imports from Canada and Mexico. The problem is that we buy a lot of refined oil products, like gasoline, from foreign sources, because we keep closing refineries without opening new ones. People get mad because we sell oil overseas while prices are high ...... but we have plenty of oil. We don't have plenty of refinery capacity, and refined products.

At least part of that is because of pressures put on refiners by this administration, and the fact that it is all but impossible to build a new refinery in this country.

Angry About High Gas Prices? Blame Shuttered Oil Refineries - Businessweek
http://www.businessweek.com/global/angry...s-02232012.html

The U.S. has lost nearly 5 percent of its refining capacity in the past three months, as a handful of old refineries have shut down

The average price of gas is up more than 10 percent since the start of the year, a point repeatedly made during Wednesday’s Republican Presidential debate. Predictably, the four GOP candidates blamed President Barack Obama for the steep increase.

Actually, the President doesn’t have that kind of pricing power. The more likely reason behind the price increase, though certainly less compelling as a political argument, is the recent spate of refinery closures in the U.S. Over the past year, refineries have faced a classic margin squeeze. Prices for Brent crude have gone up, but demand for gasoline in the U.S. is at a 15-year low. That means refineries haven’t been able to pass on the higher prices to their customers.

As a result, companies have chosen to shut down a handful of large refineries rather than continue to lose money on them. Since December, the U.S. has lost about 4 percent of its refining capacity, says Fadel Gheit, a senior oil and gas analyst for Oppenheimer. That month, two large refineries outside Philadelphia shut down: Sunoco’s plant in Marcus Hook, Pa., and a ConocoPhillips plant in nearby Trainer, Pa. Together they accounted for about 20 percent of all gasoline produced in the Northeast.

This week, Hovensa finished shutting down its refinery in St. Croix. The plant processed 350,000 barrels of crude a day, and yet lost about $1.3 billion over the past three years, or roughly $1 million a day. The St. Croix plant got hit with a double whammy of pricing pressure. Not only did it face higher prices for Brent crude, but it also lacked access to cheap natural gas, a crucial raw material for refineries. Without the advantage of low natural gas prices, which are down 50 percent since June 2011, it’s likely that more refineries would have had to shut down.

The U.S. refining industry is being split in two. On one hand are the older refineries, mostly on the East Coast, which are set up to handle only the higher quality Brent “sweet” crude–a benchmark of oil that comes from a blend of 15 oil fields in the North Sea. Brent is easier to refine, since it has a low sulfer content, though it’s gotten considerably more expensive recently. (Certainly another reason for higher gas prices.)

Then there are the plants that are able to refine the heavier, cheaper sour crude–the stuff that comes from Western Canada, the deep water of the Gulf of Mexico, and South America. These refineries tend to be clustered in the Midwest–places such as Oklahoma, Louisiana, and outside Chicago. These refineries also tend to have access to West Texas Intermediate crude, a grade of sweet oil similar to Brent, but that is produced in North America. Refineries on the East Coast lack access to WTI, leaving them at a disadvantage. While the price of Brent crude has closed at over $120 a barrel in recent days, WTI is trading at closer to $106. That simple differential is the reason older refineries on the East Coast are hemorrhaging cash and shutting down, while refineries in the Midwest are flourishing.

“The U.S. refining industry is undergoing a huge, regional transformation,” says Ben Brockwell, a director at Oil Price Information Services. “If you look at refinery utilization rates in the Midwest and Great Lakes areas, they’re running at close to 95 percent capacity, and on the East Coast it’s more like 60 percent,” he says.

This is primarily why the cheapest gas prices in the country are found in such states as Colorado, Utah, Montana, and New Mexico, while New York, Connecticut, and Washington, D.C., have some of the highest prices.

--------------------
Welcome to the Browns Coach Pettine.

Hope you survive the experience.

"Danger is real, but fear is a choice." Cavaliers Coach David Blatt, from his son


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PeteyDangerous
Hall of Famer


Reged: Jan 17 2007
Posts: 3438


Re: Syria [Re: TI84_Plus]
      #902848 - Sat Feb 25 2012 06:42 PM

It's very difficult for me to watch these dictators in these countries do what they do to their citizens.

In today's age, with modern weaponry, it's very difficult for the people to rise up against their governments, especially if the military is very corrupted as well (as is the case in Syria and was the case in Libya).

The people of Libya never would have been able to remove Gaddafi if it wasn't for the air support that we gave them. Syria is in the same situation.

It just kind of depresses me, understandably there's risks of going in, often times we do these things and the situation can get worse and we end up being the bad guy. Like in Iraq, we remove Saddam, an evil dictator, and we end up being the bad guy........ and we damage ourselves economically

It's just hard for me to watch these people pleading for our help, and we don't do anything for them.

I really wish this Arab League wasn't such a bunch of punks and would get the job done, it always has to be us. The people of that country don't even like the USA.

But as a human and citizen of the world, it's hard to watch other humans in that position. There's always been a part of me that wondered, "why is a civilian life here worth more than a civilian life in some other country. We're all the same people in god's eyes."

So i'm very torn on this one. I hate seeing injustice going on. I go nuts about these kinds of things. While I don't really believe in hell, sometimes I like to think there is one for people like Assad

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UCONN HUSKIES 2014 Champions of Basketball


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BrownieElf
Dawg Talker


Reged: Sep 11 2006
Posts: 1864
Loc: Ohio

Re: Syria [Re: YTownBrownsFan]
      #902948 - Sun Feb 26 2012 12:08 AM

Interesting about the refineries. It makes sense that the older ones cannot produce a profit. We should be building refineries here that can handle any type of oil.
I still believe that is just a small part of the picture.

Take a look at what Ron Paul was saying six years ago.

web page

He basically predicted the housing bubble too.

We need our dollars to be used for oil. That whole article sounds pretty similar to what we are seeing today.

--------------------
Attitude is everything....FEAR THE ELF!!!


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hazelyB
Rookie


Reged: Mar 07 2012
Posts: 4


Re: Syria [Re: TI84_Plus]
      #906507 - Wed Mar 07 2012 12:52 AM

Its so sad to know that chaos is still in Syria. A lot of people died.

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