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US Forces Ready To Strike Syria If Ordered 918

Posted by timothy
from the peace-in-our-time dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Associated Press reports that 'U.S. forces are now ready to act on any order by President Barack Obama to strike Syria, U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Tuesday. The U.S. Navy has four destroyers in the eastern Mediterranean Sea positioned within range of targets inside Syria, as well as U.S. warplanes in the region, Hagel said in an interview with BBC television during his visit to the southeast Asian nation of Brunei. Hagel also predicted that U.S. intelligence agencies would soon conclude that last week's deadly attack on civilians in a Damascus suburb was a chemical attack by Bashar Assad's government.'" The New York Times has an informative map of the sites of the chemical attacks.
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US Forces Ready To Strike Syria If Ordered

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  • 1st (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @10:06AM (#44685337)

    first strike

  • Here we go... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @10:09AM (#44685383)

    ...again.

  • Tell me again (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ganjadude (952775) on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @10:10AM (#44685405) Homepage
    why we keep spending money interfering with civil wars 1/2 way around the world??
    • Re:Tell me again (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Joce640k (829181) on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @10:13AM (#44685421) Homepage

      why we keep spending money interfering with civil wars 1/2 way around the world??

      War is Peace.

      It's all explained in the novel "1984".

    • Re:Tell me again (Score:5, Insightful)

      by TemperedAlchemist (2045966) on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @10:14AM (#44685429)

      Because we joined the UN as a permanent member of the security council. It's our job to protect the rights of foreign people from human rights violations.

      I mean I suppose we could resign from our position, supposing you like the idea of China and Russia being in charge the security council.

      • by alen (225700)

        not only has the US violated human rights many many times, but the rebels aren't heroes. they have killed civilians and have lots of al queda members in their ranks

        • Re:Tell me again (Score:5, Insightful)

          by plover (150551) on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @10:40AM (#44685783) Homepage Journal

          No one is ever perfect. No one ever has clean hands. Yet if we use that as an excuse to never change anything, nothing will ever be improved.

          The people who like to hang on to 600 year old religious, racial, or tribal arguments as an excuse to continue war are the people who fuel the conflicts. They never solve them. They're toxic.

        • by Firethorn (177587)

          I like how TemperedAlchemist points out Russia and China and you counter with the USA having human rights violations... We're still peanuts compared to them.

          Still, this is icky, I'll admit. My isolationist side wants to let Syrians do what they want, the humanitarian side perks up at 'using chemical weapons against it's own people' and wants to intercede.

      • Re:Tell me again (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Nidi62 (1525137) on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @10:44AM (#44685835)

        Because we joined the UN as a permanent member of the security council. It's our job to protect the rights of foreign people from human rights violations.

        I mean I suppose we could resign from our position, supposing you like the idea of China and Russia being in charge the security council.

        The thing is, Russia will probably veto any action the UNSC attempts to make, because Syria under al-Assad is one of their biggest allies in the Middle East as well as a big purchaser of arms(essentially Syria is to Russia what Egypt is[was?] to the US). This would have 2 effects: it would help protect their ally/client, and it would force the US towards taking more unilateral action, which would further erode the US's image internationally, especially in the Middle East. The best course of action, as I see it, is that any reaction must include Middle Eastern forces. The most capable that I can think of would be Jordan or Saudi Arabia, maybe even Turkey. Give one of these states a critical role in any long-term operations, or use them to put boots on the ground. This is the only way(probably even with a UNSC resolution) to preserve the legitimacy of any kinetic/peacekeeping operations in Syria in the eyes of the Middle East.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by gti_guy (875684)

        Because we joined the UN as a permanent member of the security council. It's our job to protect the rights of foreign people from human rights violations.

        I mean I suppose we could resign from our position, supposing you like the idea of China and Russia being in charge the security council.

        Then it would be up to UN Forces, *not* US Forces to enforce any UN actions.

      • Rubbish! (Score:5, Interesting)

        by s.petry (762400) on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @12:20PM (#44687183)

        While we members of the UN, the UN has given no authority to bomb anyone. Not that we need the precedent with a misinformed public mind you, the UN never approved us bombing Iraq either (Gulf 2).

        Let's look at a few facts regarding Syria.

        1. Last September Obama claimed there was a line in the sand of chemical weapons use.

        2. December, FSA rebels posted Youtube videos of home made chemical agents killing rabbits.

        3. December, German hacker broke into a UK military contractors email and found messages stating roughly the US and UK are paying enormous funds for us to sneak CWs into Syria, use a CW shell from Libya of Russian make similar to what Assad would have, and blow it up. Experts have determined that the emails look to be legit.

        4. February chemical weapons were claimed to be used. The UN determined in March that it was the FSA using these weapons. Interestingly, the US claims contrary to the UN without evidence. Of course the war drum banging was minimized by media, perhaps too close to the emails suggesting false flag?

        5. March, Military.com reported that FSA rebels were caught attempting to transport chemical weapons through the Turkish border into Syria.

        6. March, FSA rebels kidnap 21 UN peace keepers. (more recently 5 more were kidnapped)

        Now lets jump to last week.

        8/20 videos start being uploaded to Youtube showing victims of CWs. Date stamps put many of these videos ahead of the reported attack by at least 12 hours.

        Propaganda, er... US Media immediately bangs the war drum again and claims it must have been Assad (Who invited the UN inspectors in.).

        You should be questioning why we are going in a circle. It's not like you were told the truth about Iraq's WMDs and look how well that war worked out. No, I'm not pro dictatorships. I'm anti-imperialism and anti-propaganda, especially when it harms a majority while a select few gain incredible wealth off of wars.

        Patriotism is fine when it's not blind. Blind patriotism leads to Stalin, Mao, Lenin, Adolf, etc...

        • That was a very interesting comment. I have not been following this case other than what has seeped in by osmosis, but what you are saying sounds both plausible and very different from the picture the media are painting. I'm trying to track down some of your sources, so I can read more about it (it would have been helpful if you had included URLs in your post).

          1. Obama's red line [go.com].
          2. I can't find the cat video in question on youtube, it seems to drown in videos of the more recent gassing episodes.
          3. I think

    • Re:Tell me again (Score:4, Insightful)

      by TheCarp (96830) <sjcNO@SPAMcarpanet.net> on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @10:14AM (#44685437) Homepage

      Because otherwise they would be adding more bodies to the unemployment rolls. Plus weapons, unlike most other things, are still manufactured here, so they have to keep up the orders, and congress can't make up for all the slack on their own by JUST purchasing more equipment from their contracts than the military even asks for.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Billly Gates (198444)

      why we keep spending money interfering with civil wars 1/2 way around the world??

      Watch this [youtube.com] and tell me if you still think this?

      What if we did not? Do you have any idea what Syria is doing? They are targeting just the civilian and liberal elements of the opposition and purposely ignoring the Islamic militants who are jihading and sadly they are winning.

      This means by next year we have the Taliban vs the dictator left and is a lose lose situation at this point. So the argument is if we get involved and stop Asad from murdering his own people and influencing the opposition we can have a pr

    • Re:Tell me again (Score:5, Insightful)

      by cardpuncher (713057) on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @10:55AM (#44686023)
      Because it really isn't a civil war: it's a proxy war being fought between Sunni and Shia branches of Islam and at a further remove by the their respective allies.

      Syria is a majority Sunni country with a Shia dictatorship. Saudia Arabia (which is arguably a dictatorship of an extremely conservative Sunni-derived sect, Wahhabi) and Qatar (also a Wahhabi state) are providing the Syrian rebels with money and arms; Iran and Iraq (Shia countries) are supporting the Syrian government.

      Russia has a naval base in Syria and has been protective of Iran. The US & UK have major military and economic assets in Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

      This has all the ingredients of a "Sarajevo" incident (and I mean 1914 and not 1992).

    • its easy: we have military 'toys' we need to use. if we want MORE next year ('we' do; well, 'they' do) then we have to spend what we have this year.

      its only about our MIL and keeping those who run it ultra wealthy.

      don't confuse justice or Doing The Right Thing(tm) here. its about us using our military to keep people convinced that we need to KEEP spending on 'defense'.

      follow the money. like always.


    • why we keep spending money interfering with civil wars 1/2 way around the world??

      To transfer money from the poor and middle class of the country to the operators of the military-industrial complex. Ike spelled this out, what, 50 years ago?

  • Yay! Wag the dog! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by korbulon (2792438) on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @10:12AM (#44685417)

    NSA what? I'm sorry I can't hear you over all this FREEDOM.

    • The idiots who get all gung-ho over war, and increase presidential approval ratings aren't ones that would ever approve of Obama.

      Well, that's a generalization, but I'm sure the actual statistics would reveal a marginal overlap.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @10:16AM (#44685471)

    In 2007, retired General, Wesley Clark spoke about a plan existing since at least 2001 to attack several countries including Syria. [youtube.com]

  • by tramp (68773) on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @10:21AM (#44685531)
    Iraq having weapons of mass destruction, which were never there.
  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @10:24AM (#44685561) Journal
    Are we going to be greeted as liberators this time? If so, we might want to not bother.
    • by bobbied (2522392)

      Are we going to be greeted as liberators this time? If so, we might want to not bother.

      Clearly the answer to your question is simple... NO. This is the middle east, we are not going to be well received no matter what we do.

  • by bleh-of-the-huns (17740) on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @10:24AM (#44685567)

    But in this case, the use of chemical and/or biological weapons is a no no, and outlawed by the international community for a reason. It's time to destroy any such weapons since Syria's gov does not seem to have any restrain in the use of such weapons.

    But at the same time, I do not believe the US should be the only entry into this skirmish (lets face it, it won't be a traditional war, most likely air strikes, drones, and cruise missiles). I believe that the League of Arab Nations should take care of this on their own, ideally with backing from the major super powers.

    • After Iraq can we really take anything the US says about WMD seriously? I'm afraid US intelligence now has zero credibility.

    • by orzetto (545509) on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @10:50AM (#44685937)

      But in this case, the use of chemical and/or biological weapons is a no no, and outlawed by the international community for a reason. It's time to destroy any such weapons since Syria's gov does not seem to have any restrain in the use of such weapons.

      Personally I do not believe Assad used chemical weapons, and this looks like a charade pulled off to start a war.

      • First, Assad has no reason to cause an international outcry by using chemical weapons—he's winning, the last thing he needs is giving an excuse to the US to enter the conflict.
      • Second, the US and Western countries were expecting the rebels to win. Currently, they are losing, and the US/NATO seem to want Syria really badly: at this point they really needed a casus belli, and guess what here it is. Coincidence?
      • Third, a new war is great to distract the media from whatever Snowden has to reveal.
      • Fourth, seriously: war over war crimes? Since when anybody started a war on principles? Cynical as I may be, I won't buy the line that suddenly all our leaders take civilian casualties so seriously.

      The rebels have degenerated as they were infiltrated from so many radical groups with different agendas. At this point, if they win they will be just as bad as Assad, only less predictable. Who is the US intending to install in Syria? How are they going to control the nation? Has anyone learnt anything at all from Iraq?

    • by apol (94049)

      I don't believe Syria gov't has used chemical weapons any more than that Sadam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction...

      How long will it take for people to suspect on what the read/watch on mainstream media?

      Isn't enough to remember that the last time the U.S. blamed the Syrian government for a chemical weapons attack, that claim was debunked [washingtonsblog.com]?

  • by BigDaveyL (1548821) on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @10:24AM (#44685569) Homepage
    Yet another war.
  • Nobel Peace Prize (Score:5, Insightful)

    by KermodeBear (738243) on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @10:27AM (#44685625) Homepage

    And again, President Obama, a recipient of a Nobel Peace Prize (for having done nothing at all), is putting people in harms way, getting involved in someone else's business, and in general being, ah, not peaceful. At least this gives him an excuse to indulge in his assassination drone fetish.

  • by nitehawk214 (222219) on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @10:31AM (#44685649)

    Shouldn't the military always be ready?

    Reminds me of a clip from Stargate SG-1:

    Dr. Jackson: Uh, you should probably prepare to fire.
    Maj. Marks: For the record, I'm always prepared to fire. I just have to press this button here.
    Dr. Jackson: Right..I just—I thought that's what you're supposed to say, so...
    Maj. Marks: I know.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      See also: road work signs which say "PREPARE TO STOP". Aye-aye, I shall deploy the braking mechanism henceforth, and should be prepared to halt the carriage presently.

  • again? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by gerardrj (207690) on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @10:32AM (#44685669) Journal

    US troops going in to another sovereign nation without a declaration of war by the Congress.
    Remind me again why we even claim to have a constitution.

  • by erroneus (253617) on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @10:36AM (#44685705) Homepage

    I always thought that when you wage war, they are supposed to consult with Congress first.

  • by TheSync (5291) on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @11:09AM (#44686237) Journal

    Egypt: kills hundreds with guns US: whatever

    Syria: kills hundreds with chemical weapons US: oh noes!

  • by geekymachoman (1261484) on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @11:09AM (#44686239)

    While does everybody here assume regime used chemical weapons ? Isn't it possible that the "rebels" used chemical weapons to motivate other countries to help them ? I mean if you're losing the "war", it kinda makes sense, unless you believe that those so called rebels over there are morally superior to whoever.

    1. There is no proof regime used chemical weapons.
    2. Why would regime use chemical weapons ? They're "winning" already..
    3. Why would regime use chemical weapons ? The rulling party there is NOT stupid, whatever you may think of them. You think they wouldn't know it would come to this (worldwide condemnation) ?
    4. The ruling party have majority of peoples votes. Why would they undermine that ?
    5. Why would they allow UN to come inspect the site then shoot at them ? If they wanted to make it impossible for UN team to investigate, there certainly are better ways then using a sniper guy to shoot at them. That tactic is more likely to be used by "rebels".

    The people forcing the attack on Syria to happen are the same war mongers that where advocating the attack of Syria months before this chemical bs. Now they're on fire. All over the media.
    The same people that where blabbering about Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. I wouldn't put any trust in them.

    And I'll tell you this people. The world is starting to get sick (and I'm not talking about European puppet Governments, rather.. the people) of American war mongering, so better keep out of it and deal with your problems instead of going around bombing countries and interfering in other countries business.

    Also, will the US and UK exterminate the rebels if it's proven that they used chemical weapons ?
    Just my wishful thinking that there's some unbiased justice in the world.

  • by xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @11:32AM (#44686525)

    Here we go again. ("Congress shall have Power...to declare War")

    At least Bush tried to build a case and sought Congressional approval to blast into his ill-advised conflicts. Obama? Nah...too much work.

    Will there ever be anyone we can we vote for to end this cycle?

  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @02:04PM (#44688591)

    Here's an idea - take over Syria, then hand over Syria to the Palestinians.

    That way Palestine is totally free of any Israeli involvement, and there are no issues over who owns what.

    Peace in the middle east at last!

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