Who stands with Syria?

Not Russia or China – and their refusal is costing innocent lives

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We know precisely the first thing international peacekeepers should do if and when they’re sent to Syria: Remove the knives that Russia and China put in the Syrian people’s backs.

For nearly a year now, Syrian strongman Bashar Assad has murdered some 2,700 of his own citizens in a bloody crackdown on dissent and freedom. Yet, when given the shamefully belated opportunity to send a strongly worded memo to Assad recently, the U.N. Security Council – due to vetoes from Russia and China – instead said nothing and threw the Syrian people to the wolves.

“The governments in Russia and China very much want to uphold the principle that every now and then the state must crush people who want freedom,” decried American commentator Jonah Goldberg, in a column headlined “Thank Russia, China for Syria bloodbath.”

Indeed, Russia and China’s coldhearted, cold-blooded decision to give Assad a green light to continue massacring his people was every bit the encouragement he thought it was. Matters have only worsened for the writhing people of Syria, who now realize they’ve become impaled by the son of Dracul.

“The failure of the Security Council to agree on firm collective action appears to have emboldened the Syrian government to launch an all-out assault in an effort to crush dissent with overwhelming force,” U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay has said.

The Arab League, which took its own sweet time pretending to care a whit about the Syrian people, now wants a joint peacekeeping force with the United Nations “to supervise implementation of a cease-fire.” Of course, that presupposes there’s a peace to keep – presumably because one of the parties in the conflict would be willing to surrender or step down. Don’t hold your breath.

Unless, of course, the Arab League is sensing an end to the murderous Assad regime and is merely planning for its aftermath. Let’s hope so.

Regardless, we think it’d be rich if the U.N. peacekeeping force were made up exclusively of Russians and Chinese.

We hope the people of Syria, and all those in the Arab world, remember the cowardice – or treachery – of Russia and China and their naked refusal to stand up for the innocent victims of Bashar Assad.

Remember who stood with you, and who cut and run.

Comments (25) Add comment
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yakirz
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yakirz 02/15/12 - 12:42 am
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Your editorial was actually
Unpublished

Your editorial was actually half-decent for a right-wing rag, despite quoting Jonah Goldberg and that stupid, Dubya-era phrase, "cut and run." Thanks for the searing insight, Toby Keith...

wtinney
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wtinney 02/15/12 - 02:28 am
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A more alarming question is:

A more alarming question is: who stands with the United States and the rest of the Security Council except for Russia and China? Al Qeada. Yes, a terrorist group can read the writing on the wall better than the so-called democratic zealots. Al Qeada knows that once whatever government that is there is moved out, the Muslim fanatics can actually vote their way back into power and respectability - bring Shariah law and their Al Qeada allies with them.

Has Egypt not taught the U.S. and the ACES anything? First, the U.S. government and citizenry need to get off their high horse and stop thinking that democracy can and should be universally applied. It cannot and no person of intelligence can or would say otherwise.

Second, China, although the above reasoning is not the reason they voted against the U.S.-backed resolution, has come out stating misgivings on how the UN resolution was worded. If a specific spot had been adjusted, they would have voted for it but Russia still will not - so it is kinda a "no issue". It only takes one perm. member's objection (on the Security Council) to stop any resolution in its tracks. That same section, included in the Lybia resolution actually allowed NATO to be used as a virtual military for hire by the rebels going up against Lybia's sovereign and recognized government. Even though technically it only called for defense of "no-fly zones" all the sudden everytime rebels got pinned down, here came NATO jets to the rescue. In truth, NATO (with U.S. forces included) used its military might to push the rebels to victory AFTER the rebels were crushed to bits in the first months of the uprising.

Folks, I did not like who was head of Lybia's government. He was a very bad man. But, we have to wonder, does that justify the use of NATO or U.S. soldiers against another soverign, recognized nation-state and member of the United Nations? And for what reasons will such forces be used? Because they do not have "democracy"? Because women cannot vote in the country (or drive cars)? Because people cannot go to the Church they want to or pray openly to the God they want to? Because they consistently vote against recognizing homosexuality as a civil right on the United Nations Human Rights Commission? What will be the reasoning, the trigger, to dispose other nation's governments?

In this case, even though I am sure it was not tops on their mind at the time, Russia and China actually were standing with the Fredom-loving peoples of the world and against, public relations, demonization as well as absolute cultural misunderstandings of the Middle East socio-political circumstances.

Jon Lester
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Jon Lester 02/15/12 - 06:41 am
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Thank you, wtinney. As much

Thank you, wtinney. As much as I hate the Assad regime, I find Chinese and Russian concerns to be perfectly valid. After all, the rationalization of "saving innocent lives" for invading Iraq didn't quite prove out, now, did it?

dichotomy
30808
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dichotomy 02/15/12 - 09:02 am
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Not to mention the Obama

Not to mention the Obama administration being a little schizophrenic with their policies toward the various "revolutions". We ignored the uprising against a tyrant in Iran. Then we encouraged the Egyptian rebels but took no overt action while a stable, "friendly" tyrant was overthrown. Then we actively defended the rebels in Lybia with military force to assist them in overthrowing a hostile tyrant. And now we pretty much keep silent and turn our backs on the Syrians who are attempting to overthrow another hostile tyrant. I'm really curious to see what we will do when it kicks up in Saudi Arabia. I'm confused and I am sure the Arabs are too. Since all Arab leaders are pretty much tyrants, makes me think that it is 6 of one, half dozen of the other as to whether they should be friends or enemies of the US. Ain't no telling which way we will go when the chips are down. We are unreliable both as a friend and as an enemy.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 02/15/12 - 09:50 am
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Concerning Russia and China,

Concerning Russia and China, let's show them our power. We could do something like decrease our nukes by 80% leaving us with the fewest nuclear weapons since 1950. That will show them how strong we are.

Fundamental_Arminian
1833
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Fundamental_Arminian 02/15/12 - 09:57 am
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For nearly a year now, Syrian

    For nearly a year now, Syrian strongman Bashar Assad has murdered some 2,700 of his own citizens in a bloody crackdown on dissent and freedom (editorial).

Assad, in approximately one year, has killed about half the number of people who are slaughtered in our abortuaries every day; meanwhile, abortions are illegal in Syria.

Before borrowing money from China in order to meddle in Syria's business, let's clean up our bloodshed here.

Little Lamb
44030
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Little Lamb 02/15/12 - 10:32 am
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From the editorial: . . .

From the editorial:

. . . when given the shamefully belated opportunity to send a strongly worded memo to Assad recently, the U.N. Security Council . . . instead said nothing. . . .

Those strongly worded memos don't do anything for anybody. I think I would veto the memos just on principle.

Little Lamb
44030
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Little Lamb 02/15/12 - 10:35 am
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Hey, RM, I heard on the radio

Hey, RM, I heard on the radio news yesterday that the U.S. is planning to do exactly what you said regarding dismantling our nuclear weapons. That really ought to help us make friends in Russia and China.

Riverman1
79774
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Riverman1 02/15/12 - 10:39 am
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LL, yeah, I know. I wasn't

LL, yeah, I know. I wasn't making it up.

Hey, JRC

Riverman1
79774
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Riverman1 02/15/12 - 10:40 am
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Pretty soon Israel will have

Pretty soon Israel will have more nukes than us if we cut back to Obama's proposed 300. Heck, Iran will soon have more than us.

skeptic griggsy
39
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skeptic griggsy 02/15/12 - 10:59 am
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Assad should take heed as
Unpublished

Assad should take heed as what happened to Gadaffi could happen to him! Pres.Obama has him in his sights!

burninater
8960
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burninater 02/15/12 - 12:39 pm
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Nuclear weapons don't just

Nuclear weapons don't just sit in a box on the shelf like a bullet. We are constantly paying our tax dollars to store, maintain, and secure these weapons. If 300 are more than sufficient for our strategic defense, why would we continue to pay to maintain 4 times that number? That's the type of mindless policy that helped dig us our current debt hole in the first place.

Little Lamb
44030
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Little Lamb 02/15/12 - 12:40 pm
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You've got a point, Burn.

You've got a point, Burn.

faithson
4854
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faithson 02/15/12 - 12:53 pm
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Does anyone understand this

Does anyone understand this civil chaos in Syria is an ethnic conflict as old as the dirt they live on. THEY need to work it out and as long as they do not have self annihilation ambitions, THEY will work it out. They violence against themselves, WE need to stay out.

harley_52
22279
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harley_52 02/15/12 - 01:46 pm
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The generous person might

The generous person might conclude it's naivete, the realist might find it willful, purposeful ignorance. The cynic would conclude it's part of a broad conspiracy.

Me, I think it's elements of all three.

When I watch American foreign policy in action these days, while listening to and reading what some of our citizens have to say about it, I get sick to my stomach.

Riverman1
79774
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Riverman1 02/15/12 - 01:56 pm
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Burn, the advantage of having

Burn, the advantage of having more nukes than the other guy is that he can't take them all out with one attack. It's a deterrent.

Remember in the past anytime we've had a reduction of our nukes it was only after hard fought negotiations with the Russians in order to get them to do the same? Now we are just going to do it by ourselves??? This is bizarre.

Riverman1
79774
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Riverman1 02/15/12 - 01:50 pm
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Remember we are leaving

Remember we are leaving Russia with over 2,000 nukes and we will only have 300. Dangerous as a walk in East Augusta at midnight.

Little Lamb
44030
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Little Lamb 02/15/12 - 02:16 pm
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Bizzare, RM? Not if one is

Bizzare, RM? Not if one is an America-hating Marxist-Leninist.

Riverman1
79774
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Riverman1 02/15/12 - 02:26 pm
0
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Yup, bizarre. In the past

Yup, bizarre. In the past I've often thought much of the criticism of Obama was just political bickering that got out of hand. But with THIS move, I'm seriously wondering what his motives are? Somebody give me more words for bizarre... maybe weird? Help, I need stronger words to show this insanity...or is it carefully planned?

Tell me what administration ever did such a foolish thing?

Riverman1
79774
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Riverman1 02/15/12 - 02:32 pm
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Obama is tougher with the

Obama is tougher with the Vatican than he is with Russia and China. He's probably redirecting some of our few remaining nukes to include the Vatican as a target.

twolane
191
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twolane 02/15/12 - 04:02 pm
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im just thinking that isnt
Unpublished

im just thinking that isnt the reason that nato went headlong into libya was because of this exact same thing...well actually the slaughter is worse in syria but yet nato isnt even thinking about syria at all....guess theres no oil there huh

burninater
8960
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burninater 02/15/12 - 06:11 pm
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Riverman, we currently have a

Riverman, we currently have a fleet of at least 14 ( the number our military has made public) Ohio class subs, each capable of carrying 24 Trident missiles, each of which carries multiple, independently targetable, warheads.

Our Russian and Chinese "enemy" could have hundreds of thousands of nuclear weapons, and they would NEVER be able to eliminate our tactical nuclear ability through sheer numbers of missiles.

The only thing that's "bizarre" to me is the population of Americans that continue to eagerly deliver their tax money into the eager pockets of munitions manufacturers in order to build redundant military capability.

skeptic griggsy
39
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skeptic griggsy 02/15/12 - 07:26 pm
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burinator,indeed. Of course,
Unpublished

burinator,indeed.
Of course, we ever need a lean,mean fighting machine! Pres. Barack Hussein Obama is assuring that and as some on the right and the left wrongly fear , he'll use it!
No, his sights aren't on the Vatican. Mine are! It condones that fraud the Shroud of Turin and approves phony miracles!It condone child molestation. It,however, does work for economic betterment that the Spencer- Randians cannot suffer!
Cheney -Shrub didn't atttend to cosly overrruns nor did it budget the two wars nor do them right, which Pres. Obama had to straighten out [ The second was not a just war as soldiers killed so many civilians,albeit, I laughed when Hussein and his two thug-sons died!].
We have a liberal administration, not a Marxist one: it is in cahoots with us capitalists! Too much with the big shots!
Cheney-Shrub pushed the pill bill for big pharmaceuticals so that we liberals under the Affordable Care Act are filling that doughnut hole.
And back to the Vatican, we liberals ever fight for liberty , which in the case of birth control is on the side of women,Catholic women by the millions included, for mainly health reasons.
We fight for science against the Republi-con attack on it: creationism, abstinence only and so forth.
We all have the right to the public square! No attack on the religious is going on, and where any occur, the ACLU ever preserves and protects!

Riverman1
79774
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Riverman1 02/15/12 - 07:36 pm
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Burn, submarines are indeed

Burn, submarines are indeed one aspect of our deterrent. But the 14 submarines are aging and will need overhauls that take years in the near future. Some are in multiyear overhauls right now that we don't know about. Plus, there is a turnover time for the boats between Gold and Blue crew turnover. They are not always out at sea although the down time is kept to a minimum. Thus the 14 boats are never out at the same time.

If you consider the fact some are in major multiyear overhauls and the routine turnover times, times to reach operative areas and so on, it's not as big of a deterrent as some think. There are always mechanical problems that limit full capabilities. We previously closed down the nuclear capability of 4 boats due to the arms limitations agreements with the Russians previously.

With so few boats, it is entirely possible an enemy could target them and neutralize their threat. How I don't know, but it's not an overwhelming number.

Riverman1
79774
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Riverman1 02/15/12 - 07:39 pm
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Burn, you really don't get us

Burn, you really don't get us unilaterally disarming 80% of our nukes is a major, puzzling event?

burninater
8960
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burninater 02/15/12 - 07:55 pm
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Yes major, and it would be

Yes major, and it would be puzzling if it were being solely developed by Obama. But it's not. In fact, the 300 number came from the Pentagon, mirroring an earlier study by the Air Force putting an arsenal level at 311.

It remains to be seen what the final levels will be, but all indications are that the final levels will be decided with full Pentagon involvement. We have had a lot of Barackolyptic talk for the past 4 years, and the current bee in a bonnet on this issue seem like more of the tired same.

Riverman1
79774
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Riverman1 02/15/12 - 08:02 pm
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I don't know if this came

I don't know if this came from the Pentagon or not, but even if it did it could be a plan in response to what the administration told them to do. It would be unusual for the Pentagon to simply want to make major cuts in the nuclear arsenal on its own. I'm sure more will come out in the future about this move.

burninater
8960
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burninater 02/15/12 - 08:12 pm
0
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The 300 number was one of

The 300 number was one of multiple scenarios in a paper written for the Pentagon by military policy analyst Paul K. Davis, and is contingent upon treaties with sound anti-cheating provisions, additional global-reach conventional weapon deployments, and "hypothetically excellent" missile defense systems.

Given those caveats, I highly doubt we'll settle on the 300 number. I suspect that's the number being thrown around simply because it's the most extreme of multiple scenarios.

The Air Force paper I mentioned appeared in 2010 in Strategic Studies Quarterly. Haven't read it.

harley_52
22279
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harley_52 02/16/12 - 06:31 pm
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Riverman1 said "Burn, you

Riverman1 said "Burn, you really don't get us unilaterally disarming 80% of our nukes is a major, puzzling event?"

Major? Yes.

Puzzling? No.

Anybody who's puzzled or surprised by actions Obama takes which are contrary to the best interests of the United States is either blind, naive, in denial, or share his agenda to bring us down.

Trying to make the argument that we should cut back our inventory just to save a few bucks probably fits best into the latter category, IMHO.

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