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News Assad's inner circle trying to covertly defect to rebels

  1. Jun 22, 2012 #1
    I thought this was a very interesting development in the Syrian situation:

    http://www.jpost.com/MiddleEast/Article.aspx?id=274828
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 23, 2012 #2

    Bobbywhy

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    Here’s an article from Al Jazeera about more defections from the Syrian Military:

    At least four army officers, including two brigadier generals and two colonels, defected to the oppostion on Thursday, the same day an air force pilot flew to Jordan and requested political asylum.
    Abdal Fareed Zakaria, one of the defected colonels, told our network that many more government troops want to switch sides but would face horrifying consequences, including attacks on their family members.
    He says the international community is not doing enough to support the Syrian uprising and calls for a buffer zone to help the Free Syrian Army, the armed opposition, fight against the military.
    http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2012/06/20126235355979449.html

    If there was a civil war here in our country would it be acceptable for the European Union or the United Nations to interfere and intervene? I don’t think so.

    We can only sit here and hope the vicious Assad and his Alawite minority will be kicked out of power soon. Already too many innocent Syrian people have paid the ultimate price: death. Not to mention the tens of thousands injured and or driven from their peaceful lives into neighbouring Turkey to avoid the bloodshed. I can only hope the majority of the Syrian people, the “rebels”, will get support from their Sunni brothers.
     
  4. Jun 23, 2012 #3

    phinds

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    Well, we DID have a rebellion here once, and the rebel side was quite grateful for help from the French.
     
  5. Jun 24, 2012 #4

    Dotini

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    I do not understand why any member of Assad's inner circle would defect to the rebels. They would risk instant death. This is because Assad's inner circle is largely Alawite as I understand it, and the rebels are largely Sunni. Reportedly the defecting fighter jockey was a Sunni and not a member of Assad's inner circle. Reports indicate the rebels are highly disorganized, and prone to killing prisoners. The overall situation is tragic, and the air is filled with all sorts of propaganda and rumors. It is difficult to know exactly what or whom to trust.

    When rebellion occurred in the US, or Britain, it was the job of the established government to stamp it out. Somehow it seems hypocritical for the US and others to foment and support rebellion in other nations, then piously complain when the established government attempts to stamp it out.

    Respectfully submitted,
    Steve
     
  6. Jun 24, 2012 #5

    lisab

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    There may be reports of disorganization among the rebels, but they're getting funding (and I assume advice) from the Saudis, so that may change quickly:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jun/22/saudi-arabia-syria-rebel-army

    And I disagree that defecting is "certain death". If they get an agreement from the rebels, as shaky as it is, that might look better than what will likely happen to them if (when?) Assad falls.
     
  7. Jun 26, 2012 #6

    russ_watters

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    There are now established international standards of morality and conduct that apply here (such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Geneva Conventions), so it really can be judged, in that context, which side is right and which is wrong. We support the right side. Your comparison is not apples to apples.
     
  8. Jun 26, 2012 #7

    Dotini

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    We support the rebels? Aren't the rebels a motley mixture of Sunnis, Wahhabis and al Qaeda, those wonderful folks who brought us 9/11?

    What about the other side, who are secularists, Shia, Druze, Kurds, Christians and other minorities, who have a (very) rough form of freedom for men who shave, women who use cosmetics and dress in Euro clothes, users of alcohol, and have some tolerance for mildly deviant behaviors? What do you think will happen when the fundamentalist majority gains control?

    We have lived for 40 years with the Assads. In '91, Bush recruited Assad into the coalition against Iraq, and Damascus sent 4,000 troops. In gratitude, we hosted a Madrid conference to advance a land for peace deal between Assad and Israel. It could have meant a return of the Golan Heights to Syria. It may be that Israel will be more content with Assad than whatever civil/regional war may bring.

    The massacres are indeed appalling. Some are probably the work of rogue militia aligned with the regime. In '82 Assad killed 20,000 in an insurrection by the Muslim Brotherhood. In the Lebanon civil war, over 100,000 died. In the Iraq/Iran war, over a million were killed. Our role was to observe, satisfied that our enemies were killing one another. In '92, Algeria was on the brink of democracy, but the US gave the okay for France to prevent an Islamist takeover.

    Before we go to war, or set up "safe" zones in Syria, which is an act of war, we should consult our strategic interests. What if Syria bombs the safe zones and shoots down American planes? After Reagan sent in the Marines in '83, we lost 241 of them plus the embassy. Reagan acknowledged it was the worst mistake of his presidency.

    So Bashar is failing to live up to our expectations. Is it worth our blood and treasure to start a civil war, escalating to a regional war, just to depose Assad and install another Islamist state? "Tell me how this thing ends", as Petraeus said of the Iraq war. Do we want to be morally responsible for yet another bloody debacle?

    I respectfully suggest we stay out of other people's business, and not charge in and blindly support what you seem to be sure is the "right side".

    Respectfully submitted,
    Steve

    Edit: Obama is getting pushback from the CIA on Syria. A National Intelligence Estimate reveals the Free Syria Army is much smaller than it claims to be, and has been infiltrated by the Muslim Brotherhood, and that many rebels have demonstrated a radical agenda. The report cites technical intelligence that many massacres can be attributed to militants rather than the Assad government. It seems the rebels have not been too careful when speaking over cell phones about what they're up to.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2012
  9. Jun 26, 2012 #8
    US official: Russia sends troops to Syria as peace hopes fade

    http://worldnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/06/15/12238938-us-official-russia-sends-troops-to-syria-as-peace-hopes-fade?lite [Broken]

    Will the Russian government allow Assad to fail, without having a say? Yea, the ship is on fire, but there are sharks in the water... jump ship now (defect) or not? Will the Russian life boat for Assad make his position secure?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  10. Jun 26, 2012 #9

    Bobbywhy

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    Apples to Apples? Support the right side? Which side is right and which is wrong? These questions seem to emanate from a vacuum. Is your scope so limited that you ignore what our own nation does?

    The invocation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the claim they apply to the case of Syria seems convenient. However, a reexamination of that claim in the light of evidence of the behavior of our own government seems warranted. Jimmy Carter, the 39th president, the founder of the Carter Center, and the recipient of the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize, wrote in yesterday’s New York Times:

    “The declaration has been invoked by human rights activists and the international community to replace most of the world’s dictatorships with democracies and to promote the rule of law in domestic and global affairs. It is disturbing that, instead of strengthening these principles, our government’s counterterrorism policies are now clearly violating at least 10 of the declaration’s 30 articles, including the prohibition against “cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”
    “But instead of making the world safer, America’s violation of international human rights abets our enemies and alienates our friends.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/25/opinion/americas-shameful-human-rights-record.html?_r=2

    It’s no wonder “enemies” criticize the US for professing to follow international standards of morality and conduct while not doing so itself. Righteousness claims from offenders is the ultimate in hypocrisy.
     
  11. Jun 26, 2012 #10

    russ_watters

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    Dotoni, Bobbywhy, tossing out random wrongs from the US's past is just cheap, irrelevant distraction from the reality of what is going on in Syria: No one has claimed the US to be perfect and the US's imperfections do not change the fact that Assad's regime and its supporters are currently killing civilians en masse.

    Also, only the two of you have brought up the possibility of American/western intervention or what it might look like. A step beyond a strawman, you're arguing against nothing, again as an irrelevant distraction: Regardless of if or how the west intervenes, the current moral situation is still clear.

    Russ Watters
    Founder, Watters Institute
     
  12. Jun 26, 2012 #11
    What is good to be on the right side given somehow you can see the universal right side?

    US should do what's in the best interest of itself not what external parties want it to do. I feel best is to stay low and outside of Syria internal issues. I recall reading democratized post-Assad Syria is what will be good for the US ally in the region, Israel.

    Other ally, Turkey seems to be favoring rebels.
     
  13. Jun 26, 2012 #12
    This is the "Tu Quoque" variation of the Ad Hominem logical fallacy, BobbyWhy.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hominem
     
  14. Jun 27, 2012 #13
    Rereading all the thread, here's from where the American intervention discussion started:
    It's best to stick to the original thread topic which is neither foreign intervention nor morality of the existing situation.

    Going back to the original topic: defection of Assad's inner circle, I don't know how good this will work out as already pointed earlier by Dotni. The rebels are largely unorganized/untrained people who don't seem to be going good with the minorities. Further the OP's original source is a senior US official:
    It seems more like a propaganda. I don't feel the sources are credible enough.
     
  15. Jun 29, 2012 #14
    I wonder why many siding with Islamist/extremists AKA "rebels" in the media? Do you even have a clue who they are?
     
  16. Jun 29, 2012 #15

    russ_watters

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    It isn't difficult to understand: we don't like it when people slaughter lots of innocent civilians.
     
  17. Jul 23, 2012 #16
  18. Jul 23, 2012 #17

    russ_watters

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    I seriously doubt anyone here is under such an illusion.
     
  19. Jul 23, 2012 #18

    phinds

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    Re: "The Free Syrian Army ruined our lives,"

    Since this sort of thing has been widely reported in the US media, I don't see why you would think that folks here in the US think that the opposition forces in Syria are a bunch of nice fellows who will get along well once Assad has been hung by his heels.
     
  20. Jul 24, 2012 #19
    Re: "The Free Syrian Army ruined our lives,"

    I agree, but there has been the discussion about whether to arm the rebels or not. IMO, this has the potential to be another Afghanistan in the sense of us arming and training people we would eventually battle. We armed and trained the Afghans to fight the Russians and look at the past 10 plus years of “thanks”. It wouldn't be the first time we helped a country we would end up in a war with. e.g. Iraq, Iran
     
  21. Jul 24, 2012 #20

    phinds

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    Re: "The Free Syrian Army ruined our lives,"

    Well, on the one hand, I think it is a clear that arming the opposition in this case will end up even WORSE than did Afghanistan, BUT ... Assad DOES need to be hung by his heels, so it's a dilemma.
     
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