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comment by user-inactivated
user-inactivated  ·  378 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: U.S. strikes Syrian military airfield in first direct assault on Bashar al-Assad’s government

If we knew how to reliably beat radicals we wouldn't be facing terrorism across the globe. Radicalism comes from the dramatic speed of globalization and the clashes that forces with the disenfranchised that are created in the stuggle.

Russia came in after the first chemical attack, negotiated the forfeiture of the chemical weapons (ostensibly), and stopped the US from drastically changing the course of the war. Assad was on the ropes back then, and our support of the rebels, groups who we had no real cohesive description of, could well have ended the war, created another vacuum of power, and given wide swaths of land to someone else.

ISIS has since become a larger threat than they were at the time because of the last power vacuum we created in Iraq. I have no desire to simply repeat the mistakes of the past by casually interfering in the affairs of foreign countries.

PS. Have a degree in middle eastern studies and did a lot of time over there fighting terrorism. Probably not as ill informes as you think.

goobster  ·  376 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Sure, and I don't disagree with anything you said.

As you well know, at this point you can make pretty much ANY declarative statement about Syria, and it will have been true at some point in the last 10 years.

The point is that ISIS has a stated goal to have a land war between the "christians" and ISIS, at that specific location, according to prophecy.

So... walking into that situation with boots on the ground and guns blazing sure ain't the way to stop that from becoming the biggest radical Islamist recruiting tool ever invented by man.

The scariest thing is that Syria probably winds up getting partitioned up once Assad is assassinated and ISIS is squished like a bug, since there is nobody else with the strength to take over a tribal country with no infrastructure and no clear majority. Which then puts the entire eastern coastline of the Mediterranean in some serious shit like they have never seen before...

Syria is a Big Fucking Problem. And everything Putin has done has only made the problem worse.

Do you agree?

user-inactivated  ·  375 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I don't know that Syria is actually a big problem for me, or for US National Security. I mean sure, you can rightfully argue that ISIS will breed new terrorists, but I'm not convinced that they are any better or worse than Al-Qaeda. One of the major reasons that they were able to conquest over so much land in the first place thruogh Iraq was because there was a huge amount of American military equipment that the Iraqi 'Army' left behind after we had given it to them to fight Al-Qaeda.

I'm not worried about the Madhi prophecy because most people just see it as a weird religious sect, and not a real prophecy. Nor do I believe that most ISIS fighters actually believe in that cause or any cause in particular other than, "We've been getting fucked over by everyone from the West to the Russians to our own 'Leaders' and we are sick of it." Many fighters simply believe it is the best paying job in the area. Happens with the Taliban all the time where guys from the ANP just switch over depending on who is in the territory at the time.

But the main reason I'm not worried about ISIS is that they don't pose a real threat to me. Sure they can kill people with a truck in France and England, and that could definitely happen here. San Bernadino happened here even and there was also this other thing that happen in September but I can never remember what day. And even after all of that, the losses and money spent on fighting that, ineffectively and counter-productively, has been far greater than any loss of life and property lost to terrorism.

So I don't know what will happen if Assad falls (and I don't think he will at this point), but I also don't want the responsibility of caring for it. Europe isn't doing it, China isn't doing it, South America and Africa don't even play on the world stage. Israel isn't doing it. Why is the US the only country that sees this danger as an existential threat? I feel like it's more of a child throwing a temper tantrum and we just let them get tired and fall asleep.