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skinner December 23rd, 2016 3:21am

Today, the Assad regime reclaimed Aleppo after a months long campaign of chemical warfare, barrel bombs, and starvation that killed tens of thousands of civilians. Should President Trump create safe zones to stop Idlib from becoming the next Aleppo?

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AmericanWolf For the Benefit of All
12/23/16 8:06 pm

At the very minimum, we need to create safe zones for Syrian civilians, including increased support for the Turkish Euphrates Shield.

Preferably, we would also install and no-fly zone and support the FSA in toppling the Assad regime, but I'm not holding out hope. I doubt any substantial intervention is going to happen under President Trump.

Mackinaw Wolverine State, est.1837
12/23/16 2:56 am

No. I'd like to see him bring the special forces and carriers home.

Xemanis Lawful Good
12/23/16 1:43 am

I say we let them fight their own wars. Assad can handle himself I'm sure.

Xemanis Lawful Good
12/23/16 1:46 am

(I'm aware that we aren't the friendliest to Assad, but I added that part because I figure he can handle Syria by himself when we don't aid anyone )

skinner Jersey City
12/23/16 6:42 am

He actually can't handle it himself. That's why he's bringing in Russian airpower and special forces, Iranian troops, and Hezbollah terrorists to do the work for him.

Xemanis Lawful Good
12/23/16 12:40 pm

Then it's best that we don't interfere anyway.

Praetorianus Fair enough.
12/22/16 10:34 pm

Assad is the legitimate ruler.
Stop rebelling.

skinner Jersey City
12/23/16 6:38 am

Why is he "legitimate"? Because he won unfair and uncompetitive mock elections or because he is Hafez al-Assad's son?

AmericanWolf For the Benefit of All
12/23/16 7:20 pm

He's hardly legitimate. His father, Hafez al-Assad came to power in 1970 after a series of military coups against various Syrian governments. Bashar al-Assad took power after Hafez died in 2000 and kept the Presidency with blatantly rigged elections. The Assad family has stayed in power using civil oppression, extreme violence, and the longest period of martial law in recorded history.

On the other hand, the Syrian Interim Government/Syrian National Council (the democratically elected government of the rebel opposition) has received the support of over one hundred countries and official recognition from several key players, including the United States, the European Union, and most of the Middle East. They even hold Syria's seat in the Arab League.

Luftwaffe South of Heaven
12/22/16 9:37 pm

Just ignore everything the United States and the "moderate" Rebels have negatively done in Aleppo I guess...

GeneralDevin MN
12/22/16 9:42 pm

Exactly. The moderates have been using chlorine, white phosphorous, mustard gas, and other inhumane banned weapons with collateral damage on lots of civilians.

skinner Jersey City
12/23/16 6:41 am

Certain groups of rebels have done some bad things, but they have never used the gasses you're referring to. UN investigations have only found that the Assad regime and Daesh used chemical weapons.

Squidboy Snarkapottamus
12/22/16 9:27 pm

This is another good question, you've been on a roll lately. I honestly don't know. Assad is an animal and I would like to see him ousted. But how we get that accomplished without invading Syria is beyond me. And that's not something I would support.

ovcourse California, FJB
12/22/16 9:46 pm

You oust Assad, and you end up with another Iraq or Libya. If we have learned anything from the Iraq war, it is that Assad is what the world Syria.

DoctorWasdarb Marxist Leninist Maoist
12/22/16 9:52 pm

The reason Iraq and Libya turned out that way is not because a leader was ousted. Leaders get ousted all the time. The issue was western intervention. When a leader is ousted with popular yearning for freedom and democracy, what's replaced is often freedom and democracy. When we go in and pick the next leaders, we pick the wrong guys, and they're already pissed with us because they didn't want us. We need much more nuance in our discussion about foreign policy.

My opinion is that I want Assad ousted as well, but I don't like any of the other fighting groups either, except the Kurds, who won't win. I think our ideal situation is a peace treaty dividing up Syria at this point. But in the meantime, while both sides commit war crimes, we need to do what we can to protect international and independent humanitarian aid organizations who need to get into Aleppo and Idlib and Raqqa and Mosul and Amin and wherever will be next. We have a humanitarian prerogative to help innocent people.

TerryQuinn Stardust
12/22/16 10:05 pm

"When a leader is ousted with popular yearning for freedom and democracy, what's replaced is often freedom and democracy" - I'm so sure about that. Most revolutions are ugly and chaotic as people jockey for power. The US revolution was exceptional for how relatively peaceful power transferred, but that's also because the founders kicked the can on slavery to avoid civil war at the start.

DoctorWasdarb Marxist Leninist Maoist
12/22/16 10:08 pm

Not all revolutions are successful by any means. But Haiti's independence was very successful. Tunisia is doing well since 2011. But Lenin betrayed the socialists. And so did Mao. But how about most of the Latin American revolutions? They worked out not too bad. There are more factors that go into play. I reiterate my call for nuance in foreign policy.

TerryQuinn Stardust
12/22/16 10:17 pm

It'd be interesting to see which ones are successful and how you define success. What's need in Syria is a broad coalition, but there's no support. It's a prisoner's dilemma: no one wants to get involved but if everyone was involved, we could stop it.

DoctorWasdarb Marxist Leninist Maoist
12/22/16 10:28 pm

In Syria the best plan from here would be to divide it among either current territorial lines gained by various groups and let them act autonomously (excluding Daesh), or divide Syria up like Germany was divided after the 30 years war in the Peace of Westphalia. Hundreds of small, autonomous principalities.

DoctorWasdarb Marxist Leninist Maoist
12/22/16 11:07 pm

The issue isn't the cost or ease in controlling it. The issue is that an invasion in our current world will be viewed as just that - an invasion. No one wants to be invaded. Our policy of interventionism in the Middle East has done more harm than good with regards to terrorism for exactly that reason.

TerryQuinn Stardust
12/23/16 9:53 am

People would prefer an invasion if brings stability compared to the current chaos. The problem with safe zone city is that we'd be a prime target and only way to keep it safe would be to have a police state that no one likes. No goo options here.

political Georgia
12/22/16 8:47 pm

That would be a big burden on us.

skinner Jersey City
12/22/16 8:55 pm

The alternative is a big burden on children, who have been a disproportionate victim of the atrocities of the Assad regime and their partners in Iran, Russia, and Hezbollah

political Georgia
12/22/16 9:04 pm

That's assuming that we can rescue civilians without causing more turmoil. That's also assuming that we have an appropriate plan for the refugees. If I see a plan that is doable, then sure. I haven't seen any details though.