Skip to comments.Syrian Rebels Need No-fly Zone -- Opposition Leader
Posted on 08/12/2012 12:19:59 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
Abdelbasset Sida, head of the Syrian National Council, said the United States had realized that the absence of a no-fly zone to counter Assad's air superiority hindered rebel movements...
A no-fly zone imposed by NATO and Arab allies helped Libyan rebels overthrow Muammar Gaddafi last year. The West has shown little appetite for repeating any Libya-style action in Syria, and Russia and China strongly oppose any such intervention...
Rebels who seized swathes of the city three weeks ago have been fighting to hold their ground against troops backed by warplanes, helicopter gunships, tanks and artillery...
Aleppo and the capital Damascus, where troops snuffed out a rebel offensive last month, are vital to Assad's struggle for the survival of a ruling system his family and members of his minority Alawite clan have dominated for four decades.
Assad has suffered some painful, but not yet fatal, setbacks away from the battlefield, losing four of his closest aides in a bomb explosion on July 18 and suffering the embarrassment of seeing his prime minister defect and flee to Jordan last week.
Syrian state television showed Assad swearing in Wael al-Halki on Saturday to replace Riyad Hijab, who had only spent two months in the job. Halki is a Sunni Muslim from the southern province of Deraa...
The deputy police commander in the central province of Homs was the latest to join a steady trickle of desertions, said an official in the opposition Higher Revolution Council group...
The Arab League said it had postponed a meeting of Arab foreign ministers scheduled for Sunday... because of a minor operation undergone by Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal.
Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey are the leading regional supporters of the Syrian opposition. Assad's main backers are Iran and Lebanon's Shi'ite Hezbollah movement.
(Excerpt) Read more at reuters.com ...
A wounded Free Syrian Army commander walks through rubble in the Salaheddine neighbourhood of central Aleppo August 11, 2012. [Credit: Reuters/Goran Tomasevic]
After watching Libyia, Egypt, Iran and the rest, I just have one question. Who is worse, the present governments or the other criminals who take over?
Yes they need a no-fly zone. Here are the rebels “flying” dead postal workers from the top of a building to joyous shouts of “Allahu Akbar!” as a crowd of savages rush closer to take cell phone pictures of their glorious victory: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aX82oQ7NgYo
U.S., Turkey to study Syria no-fly zone
by Hadeel Al Shalchi
Turkey and US to create Syria task force
by Damien Cave
Turkey and Iran: an unraveling relationship
by Amanda Paul
Turkey, Iran Show Signs of Deep Division Over Syria
by Dorian Jones
Turkey to suffer most from attack on Syria: Iran lawmaker
Turkey: Assad supplying arms to Turkish Kurd militants
Assad’s fall presents Turkey with another dilemma
by David Gardner
Turkey And The Lost Province
Who cares? Nobody but Assad’s fanbois.
My understanding is the no-fly would have already been established but for the Syrian (Russian supplied) air defenses which are too formidable.
Let’s send those heroic French and English pilots who managed to bomb a lot of innocents in Libya to man a No Fly effort where there is a 4th Generation AA System such as in Syria.
I’m on Assad’s side.
Fascists are a pretty big step up from an “Islamic Republic” or whatever follows in the wake of a Muslim Brotherhood victory.
I guess the Syrian rebels better get an air force. Oh, wait. Iran is on Assad’s side. Oops.
When the choice is between the Tsar (Assad) and Lenin (Muslim Brotherhood), it's generally wise to choose the Tsar. You don't even have to be a fan of the Tsar to offer moral support for him. In fact, we had a regiment of doughboys on Russian soil to fight Lenin during the Russian revolution.
It boggles the mind that we're helping the greater of two evils in Syria, and that the GOP establishment is jumping in with both feet. I understand why the Democrats would want to help our sworn enemies, but its clear yet again why the GOP is called the stupid party. The principal lesson that the GOP appears to have received from 9/11 is that we must appease the Sunnis and help them smite their enemies.
The Alawi sect, which integrates doctrines from other religions -- in particular from Christianity -- arose from a split within the Ismailite sect. The Alawis appear to be descendants of people who lived in this region at the time of Alexander the Great. When Christianity flourished in the Fertile Crescent, the Alawis, isolated in their little communities, clung to their own preIslamic religion. After hundreds of years of Ismaili influence, the Alawis moved closer to Islam. However, contacts with the Byzantines and the Crusaders added Christian elements to the Alawis' new creeds and practices. For example, Alawis celebrate Christmas, Easter, and Epiphany.It's kind of bizarre that as much worry as many of us in the West have over Islam, that the Alawites, a non-Muslim sect described by real Muslims as heretics/apostates and who have rejected the parts of Islam we most dislike, is being vilified in favor of the violent Sunni fundamentalists who killed 3000 Americans on 9/11, and have killed 7000 GI's since then.
Alawis claim they are Muslims, but conservative Sunnis do not always recognize them as such. Like Ismaili Shias, Alawis believe in a system of divine incarnation. Unlike Ismailis, Alawis regard Ali as the incarnation of the deity in the divine triad. As such, Ali is the "Meaning;" Muhammad, whom Ali created of his own light, is the "Name;" and Salman the Persian is the "Gate." Alawi catechesis is expressed in the formula: "I turn to the Gate; I bow before the Name; I adore the Meaning." An Alawi prays in a manner patterned after the shahada: "I testify that there is no God but Ali." (Very Monty Python-esque, almost as if it were lifted from the Life of Brian).
According to Alawi belief, all persons at first were stars in the world of light but fell from the firmament through disobedience. Faithful Alawis believe they must be transformed seven times before returning to take a place among the stars, where Ali is the prince. If blameworthy, they are sometimes reborn as Christians, among whom they remain until atonement is complete. Infidels are reborn as animals.
The Alawites believe that Muhammad was a usurper and that it was his brother who largely worked to create a different sect apart from Christianity and Judaism.
This is the problem, to completely dismantle the Syrian Air Defense, NATO will need a lot of spec ops insertion to take out key facilities. Some of those facilities might have Russian officers or observers. So while NATO debates for two weeks, the Syrians and Russians know the Spec Ops are coming. If the Russians deliver S-300 systems to the Syrians, then even with spec ops insertion, NATO will still lose a significant number of aircraft. Against an enemy that is not attacking NATO. Potentially the dumbest possible move. So that is what NATO will probably do. What is holding them back right now is Mr. Present and his coming second coronation.
OK, I’ll by the Tsar and Lenin analogy, but who is Stalin waiting in the wings?
Whomever manages to unify* Arabia under a single Caliph, thereby reconstituting the old Arab-run Caliphate of 1000 years ago. Only now, he'll have something better than the now-defunct caravan routes between the Far East and Europe that once provided a steady income - oil. And he will have Arab nationalism as well as Islamism as the glue to hold it all together. Maybe Morsi, maybe some other Muslim Brotherhood or Salafist figure.
Arabia has spent almost 1000 years under the yoke of various Turkish overlords. The idiots who make policy are hurrying its unification along. Does the West really need a massive unitary adversary on its borders? Isn't Russia a big enough threat?
* Unlike Saddam, Islam's Lenin will already identify with the troglodyte that is the Sunni Arab man on the street. In Kuwait, Saddam had to conquer and kill these troglodytes. Islam's Lenin will back them with money, arms and training to overthrow their overlords, the Gulf royalty. The difference between Assad and the Gulf kingdoms is that Assad's elite forces aren't filled with Islamists. The Gulf kingdoms are nothing but, which means they will be loathe to fire upon masses of Islamist demonstrators interspersed with armed insurgents when the time comes.
Nobody is ever going to unify Arabia under any caliph. Why do you think the Saudis support the rebels, because they want al-qaeda to overthrow them and establish a cliphate? Wrong. That will never happen. You think the King of Qatar wants to be overthrown by a caliph? Pure fantasy.
People in the Mid East routinely make mistakes that could have been foreseen beforehand. Maybe the desert air makes people stupid. Why did the Shah push liberalization despite the wishes of the average troglodyte Iranian, leading to his overthrow? Why did Israel push a Palestinian state despite the PLO's bloody record, and support Hamas against the PLO for much of the 80's and 90's? Did the Gulf royals support al Qaeda because they though al Qaeda would attack us on 9/11, thereby causing the American public to view Gulf royalty with a mixture of contempt and genocidal hatred? None of these things were foreseen, and yet they were foreseeable.
The problem with Gulf royalty is that they are like medieval Catholics who liked to sin and then instead of repenting, bought indulgences in order to palliate their guilt. Except the Gulf royals behave like the infidel in non-Muslim countries and salve their consciences by sending their nutcases abroad with suitcases of cash to kill the infidel, and proselytize among the foreign Muslims who are not already nutcases so that they do become nutcases, while handing out money like every day is both Eids rolled into one.
More War that’s what we’re good at...
Old school SAM-2s and SAM-3s? Not so formidable. And stand-off weapons can wipe out the most formidable air defense with little danger to the attacker. Hopefully, we’re not establishing a no-fly zone because we don’t want Assad and his minority Alawites replaced with Sunni wackadoos. At least Christians (and maybe the tiny Jewish community) are relatively safe under Assad. So is Israel. Since Syria’s drubbing back in 1973, the border between Syria and Israel has been as quiet as the border between NH and VT (the border between Israel and Lebanon is another story). If Islamic fundamentalists were running the show in Damascus (which I think they will—Assad took too long to suppress this insurgency), they’d be bound to try something stupid, like “liberating” the Golan.
Yup. We need another military involvement in the Middle East like a proverbial hole in the head.
If anyone is like Stalin, it is the Stalinist Socialist Assad himself, who is massacring and slaughtering his own people just like Stalin did.
Give them safe haven? The Taliban gave al Qaeda safe haven. Assad simply did not instruct his troops to fight al Qaeda. We rag on Pakistan all the time about providing safe haven for al Qaeda and the Taliban, but the fact is that 4,000 Pakistani troops have been killed fighting al Qaeda and the Taliban. Why would Assad risk thousands of troops to fight al Qaeda in Syria, when the Defense Department kept on hinting that the next stop after Iraq was Syria?
Then there's the issue of Assad's Sunni Arab troops getting riled up about being used to fight fellow Sunni Arabs who were - in the Sunni view - doing Allah's work by fighting the American infidel in Iraq. For Assad, it was perfectly logical for him to not interfere with foreign Sunni nutters and al Qaeda-ists moving into Iraq - (1) it provided a way for him to send Sunni Arab crazies in Syria to their deaths, (2) it kept American forces too busy in Iraq to even think about an invasion of Syria, (3) it made an invasion of Syria politically unthinkable because of the prospect of Iraq-scale costs in terms of casualties and dollars spent, (4) it saved him from taking up the thankless task of incurring even bigger casualties than US forces were taking in Iraq, given his antiquated equipment and badly-trained but sullen and potentially rebellious majority Sunni Arab conscripts.
As an infidel ruling over a Sunni Arab majority Assad's hands were tied. Even the Saudis, with a military budget 10x that of Syria, experienced a fair amount of leakage on their border into Iraq, such that our military people were complaining about it to the press until (call me a cynic) the Saudi PR people presumably started having the Pentagon brass muzzle the leakers. And of course, the Saudis had an incentive to cooperate, given that nobody at the Pentagon was talking about invading Saudi Arabia if the Iraqi campaign proved to be a cakewalk.
Here's the question - if the Saudis were so cooperative, how is it that the distribution of foreign fighters was as follows:
In July 2007, the Los Angeles Times reported that 45% of all foreign militants targeting U.S. troops and Iraqi civilians and security forces are from Saudi Arabia; 15% are from Syria and Lebanon; and 10% are from North Africa. 50% of all Saudi fighters in Iraq come as suicide bombers. In the six months preceding that article, such bombings have killed or injured 4,000 Iraqis.How is it that the Saudis did not prevent their crazies from fighting in Iraq? Was the Pentagon brass simply told to hold its tongue and toe the line? Just as we're not supposed to repeat the fact that Saudi troglodytes comprised 15 of the 19 terrorists on 9/11?
Does that about sum it up?
Stalin was Mother Teresa compared to the Sunnis, who routinely caused over 50% reductions in the populations of the territories they conquered. Even after all the deaths in the gulags are added together, we end up with, at most, a 20% reduction in the Soviet population. Syrian counter-insurgency efforts have had a death rate far lower than counter-insurgency efforts in Iraq which, at its peak, hit 28000 a year in 2006. Despite Sunni Arab attempts to portray this as a Holocaust, it's a counter-insurgency, no more and no less.
It’s genocide. Assad is waging genocide against his own people and the genocidal Kremlin is responsible for arming and supporting him. Slaughtering innocent women and bashing in the skulls of babies is not the way to advance the cause of Christianity. It advances the cause of Satan and evil. Anyone who supports the genocidal Assad regime totally renounces any claim of morality forever and shares in the responsibilty for Assad’s genocidal crimes.
I'm not following your logic. Attacking al Qaeda and Syrian Sunni Arabs bent on fighting the American infidel in Iraq would have cost Assad thousands of dead Syrian troops and billions of dollars in equipment and infrastructure losses, while making it easier for the US to invade Syria and topple him *and* making internal rebellion more likely by Sunni Arabs angry at him for aiding the American infidel's efforts in Iraq. How did not fighting these nutjobs lead to the current rebellion, which was partly inspired by the NATO intervention in Libya? Uncle Sam practically wiped the jihadists passing through Syria. Saying that Assad's policy of not fighting Iraq-bound jihadists was a mistake is like saying it's a mistake to get out of the way of a herd of stampeding buffalo.
The Saudi royals are nuts to give the Muslim Brotherhood a foothold in Syria because it will provide a base on the Arabian peninsula from which the Ikhwan can train and indoctrinate Saudis to subvert the rule of the al Saud family. It brings to mind the German decision to let Lenin pass through Germany in order to take Russia out of the Great War. It's doubtful that either Hindenburg or Ludendorff thought then that an imaginary Soviet Union would proceed, over two decades later, to inflict on a rearmed Germany, most of its 8m dead, while making the eastern half of Germany its vassal state. The difference is that an Ikhwan revolution won't stop at the eastern half of Saudi Arabia.
A genocide with the death rate of a counter-insurgency is not a genocide - it's a counter-insurgency. Calling a hammer a nail doesn't make it a nail. You do realize that Sunni Arabs in Sudan have killed over a million Christians and animists, don't you? Where do you stand on a no-fly zone in Sudan?
What you mean to say is that Neo-Soviet Russia kills Christians in Sudan by arming and supporting Bashir and refusing any international action just like in Syria.
But have you ever piped up about intervention in Sudan? I agree we should intervene in Sudan - destroy the foundations of Sunni Arab power there and put non-Muslims in charge, for a change. I think if we're going to put the air force to work, we should do Arc Light strikes over Iranian nuclear installations after destroying their air defenses. This stuff about Syria being an Iranian proxy is nuts. Napoleon once said "when you set out to take Vienna, take Vienna". Iran is the problem, so we should hit Iran. Syria's relationship to Iran is similar to Thailand's (as well as Burma's, India's and Indonesia's) cozy relationship with Japan during WWII - it's strictly a marriage of convenience rather than of any kind of ideological kinship.
No offense, but I'm seriously starting to suspect that you're either married to a Sunni or have a really good Sunni friend. SunkenCiv is from Michigan, so I suspect he's more or less in the same boat.
I suspect you are Chinese and probably a communist.
You want to convince us Alawis aren't muslim, but the Alawis say they are muslim. What are you, the pope of islam who decides who is muslim and who isn't? Alawis are just another gang of genocidal goat-humping moon-worshipping mohammedans, and all the Russian propaganda in the world isn't going to change that.
I am neither Chinese nor Communist, although I am somewhat partial to Chinese food. By the way, you’ve never actually said you support intervention in Sudan. You’ve only ventured to say that Russians are preventing that intervention. You’ve also not denied that your views are colored by personal links to Sunnis.
Right - the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, so we should have retaliated by killing all the yellow people. I don't understand this laziness - is it inherited or did you learn it all by your lonesome?
In fact, we have not intervened.
Since you are against intervention, you actually agree with the way Obama has not intervened becuase he coudn't get Russian and Chinese permission.
Mormons say they are Christians. Do you think Mormons are Christians? Here's the difference between Mormons and Alawites. For the past 3 centuries, there have been no Christian massacres of apostates/heretics. There has never been a period in Muslim history in which they have not massacred apostates/heretics. This is why Alawites profess to be Muslim. From a Muslim perspective, the Alawite profession of faith that "there is no God but Ali" is the equivalent of someone who calls himself a Christian saying "I accept Brian Christ as my Lord and Savior".
Your idea is that Sunnis attaked us so we should help them achieve their goal of overthrowing the Saudis. That's just stupid.
Obama hasn't intervened in Syria for the same reason he hasn't bombed Iran. He's really not into military action, except for aspects he can't avoid without looking weak (which is why the drone strikes just keep on coming). I think he should have just bombed Iran. A nukeless Iran will deprive the Gulf kingdoms of any excuse to have their own nukes.
Obama is a globalist. He went to war with Libya because the UN said so. He’s not doing anything about Syria because the UN didn’t tell him to. It’s that simple. Obama will do whatever the UN says, and he will not do anything they do not tell him to do. Period.
Sunnis are 90% of the world's Muslims, even if you count Alawites as Muslim. A basic tenet of geopolitical strategy is to support the few (Alawites) against the many (Sunnis), the weak (Alawites) against the powerful (Sunnis) especially when land and resources are at stake.
I've never said anything about overthrowing the al Saud family. They are the only thing that stands between their troglodyte population and a terrorist-supporting Taliban state. The al Saud family are "moderate" in comparison to their population. I am saying that the al Saud family is doing stupid things in Syria that will boomerang on them, out of a misguided religious affinity with Syria's Sunni Arabs.
It's naive to think that the Saudis support the rebels out of a sense of religious piety. They do it because they are fighting their geopolitical rival Iran. They reason that they would much rather lure al-qaeda to Syria to fight against Assad instead of fighting them themselves in Arabia. Would you rather the islamists stay in Afghanistan to kill Americans than go to Syria to kill other muslims? I don't.
I’m calling it a night. Thanks for the great comments. And I apologize in advance if any hint of snideness, rudeness or snarkiness was to be found in any of my responses. It’s easy to get carried away on the interwebs.