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Thread: Syria

  1. #1
    Завсегдатай Ramil's Avatar
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    Syria

    After so many indications that this country is gaining a strong potential of being the catalyst of the WW3, I looked at this map:


    Isn't it strange that the riots happen mostly in the city of Homs? Is it a coincidence that nearly all crude petroleum and natural gas transport infrastructure as well as the railroad line happen to be in this very location?
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  2. #2
    Hanna
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    Well I don't understand the conflict, but I am 100% sure it is not as simple as the BBC etc would like to make out. (I.e. Bashir al-Assad is an evil dictator who likes to kill his people...)

    I think Russia and China are right to force the UN to hold back. The problem should be solved by the Syrians themselves, without meddling by anyone. But as usual, certain countries can't keep their hands off but keep inflaming the situation.

    As I understand, Syria is quite a mixed country with both Moslems and Christians, as well as different peoples and languages. There are millions of refugees from both Iraq (recently) and Palestine who have resettled there in a sort of permanent exile.

    Up until now all the different groups have been living peacefully, respecting each other, with the rights of minorities protected.

    My interpretation of the situation is that there was unhappiness with the government there, inspired by the Arab Spring. Certain Western powers which have wanted to oust the current Syrian government for decades, ceased the opportunity and did everything it could to stir up the rebels, arm them and launch a media campaign to support them. How legitimate the complaints of the rebels are, I would not know - but al-Assad is definitely no Saddam Hussein, he is/was genuinely liked by many and has in fact tried hard to improve the country although his rule is probably not without faults.
    Isn't it strange that the riots happen mostly in the city of Homs? Is it a coincidence that nearly all crude petroleum and natural gas transport infrastructure as well as the railroad line happen to be in this very location?
    Don't know, this is too complicated for me. But taking down the regime in Syria has been on the US war "roadmap" for a decade according to many sources, for example General Wesley Clark. General Wesley Clark reveals US war plan - 2007 - YouTube

    I expect they have a "good" reason for wanting to do this, and these reasons normally have to do with oil, don't they....

    I read that Homs is a very religious (moslem) city. The people there are traditionalist.

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    Завсегдатай Ramil's Avatar
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    Look at the map - ALL main pipelines follow through Homs to the two sea terminals (including the one that goes from Northern Iraq). All Syrian oil and gas happen to go through Homs.
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    I think Syria is the last country (after Libya and Iraq) in Muslim Arab world that describes itself "socialist".

    The USA just continues the Cold War by eliminating all left-leaning regimes and all flavors of "socialism" however far it is from the kind of the USSR's.
    Yugoslavia-Iraq-Libya-Sirya. Only Afghanistan was not somehow socialist when the USA invaded.

    Any country that has oil industry, mineral resources under state control is in danger.
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    Властелин Deborski's Avatar
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    Syria and Iran worry me a lot. I hope our countries (America and Russia) can work together - but it isn't looking good. Hardliners in America want war (because war = profits) and they are going to push for it until they get their way...
    Вот потому, что вы говорите то, что не думаете, и думаете то, что не думаете, вот в клетках и сидите. И вообще, весь этот горький катаклизм, который я здесь наблюдаю, и Владимир Николаевич тоже…

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    Завсегдатай Crocodile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deborski View Post
    Hardliners in America want war (because war = profits) and they are going to push for it until they get their way...
    Well, the war means profits as much as the peace means profits, won't you think? It's just about who gets what kind of profits..

    Overall, I think the recent political unrest plays more in favour of European economic interests than of the US. Compare the major consumers of Libyan and Syrian export oil, recall what countries were the most active players in the military intervention in Libyan civil war and make your own conclusions.

    ImageShack
    File:Syria oil exports by destination country 2010.gif - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    I think all these calls that the US is responsible for just about anything are not that wise, there are other influential players around.

  7. #7
    Завсегдатай Throbert McGee's Avatar
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    I think all these calls that the US is responsible for just about anything are not that wise, there are other influential players around.
    Good point, Crocodile. On the other hand, you can argue that the US would happily buy Syrian oil if the regime were totally changed -- thus, petro-politics still come into play even though the US is not currently buying from Syria.

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    Властелин Deborski's Avatar
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    I hope you are right, Crocodile, for all of our sakes!
    Вот потому, что вы говорите то, что не думаете, и думаете то, что не думаете, вот в клетках и сидите. И вообще, весь этот горький катаклизм, который я здесь наблюдаю, и Владимир Николаевич тоже…

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    Quote Originally Posted by Throbert McGee View Post
    Good point, Crocodile. On the other hand, you can argue that the US would happily buy Syrian oil if the regime were totally changed -- thus, petro-politics still come into play even though the US is not currently buying from Syria.
    There is quite little oil in Syria and the clashes make it even more difficult to transport it. I am sure that oil is not the main reason. The main aim is possibly, China, but Russia will be before that.

  10. #10
    Завсегдатай Crocodile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Throbert McGee View Post
    Good point, Crocodile. On the other hand, you can argue that the US would happily buy Syrian oil if the regime were totally changed -- thus, petro-politics still come into play even though the US is not currently buying from Syria.
    I see your point. I think you can relatively safely assume the Syrian oil have been finding its way to the US consumers through the middlemen. Would you, then, based on that assumption, start arguing the war-proponents in the US are the end consumers (who want the oil for cheaper) and the peace-proponents are the middlemen (who enjoy the present situation and would lose their profits otherwise)? Hopefully, not.

    I think when you start considering the 'Arab spring' through the prism of the oil business, you have to build some boundaries. Of which the first and the foremost is the direct involvement. The US is getting their oil from another markets which are well-established. There's little economic point to rattle those markets as it might have some unpredictable consequences. Increase the consumption from Syria and reduce the consumption from Canada, lots of businesses would be affected. Increase the total consumption, what would happen to those 'eco-friendly initiatives' investments and businesses? The markets like stability, only those in the disadvantaged situation would risk the change. So, now tell me, which market is more volatile European or the US's? Europe is the absolutely dominant direct consumer in both cases, it makes business sense to invest in a military intervention to force the business counterpart to reduce the price right now, lower the expenses, and get out of the crisis.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hanna View Post
    How legitimate the complaints of the rebels are, I would not know - but al-Assad is definitely no Saddam Hussein, he is/was genuinely liked by many and has in fact tried hard to improve the country although his rule is probably not without faults.
    I bet you said the same about each dictator and criminal in power of the past, till the moment the bastard deservedly got hanged or shot by their own people.

  12. #12
    Подающий надежды оратор Astrum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hanna View Post
    Well I don't understand the conflict, but I am 100% sure it is not as simple as the BBC etc would like to make out. (I.e. Bashir al-Assad is an evil dictator who likes to kill his people...)

    I think Russia and China are right to force the UN to hold back. The problem should be solved by the Syrians themselves, without meddling by anyone. But as usual, certain countries can't keep their hands off but keep inflaming the situation.

    As I understand, Syria is quite a mixed country with both Moslems and Christians, as well as different peoples and languages. There are millions of refugees from both Iraq (recently) and Palestine who have resettled there in a sort of permanent exile.

    Up until now all the different groups have been living peacefully, respecting each other, with the rights of minorities protected.

    My interpretation of the situation is that there was unhappiness with the government there, inspired by the Arab Spring. Certain Western powers which have wanted to oust the current Syrian government for decades, ceased the opportunity and did everything it could to stir up the rebels, arm them and launch a media campaign to support them. How legitimate the complaints of the rebels are, I would not know - but al-Assad is definitely no Saddam Hussein, he is/was genuinely liked by many and has in fact tried hard to improve the country although his rule is probably not without faults.


    Don't know, this is too complicated for me. But taking down the regime in Syria has been on the US war "roadmap" for a decade according to many sources, for example General Wesley Clark. General Wesley Clark reveals US war plan - 2007 - YouTube

    I expect they have a "good" reason for wanting to do this, and these reasons normally have to do with oil, don't they....

    I read that Homs is a very religious (moslem) city. The people there are traditionalist.
    If you look at the facts, Syria doesn't have a large supply of oil. Although the U.S. DOES have a large pro-war lobbyists, for the average person, war is NOT a good thing. Assad IS bad, he does need to go.

    If Syria had a lot of oil, you could bet that the U.S. would have already intervened.

    I honestly don't think it's in NATOs best intrest to have an armed conflict in Syria. Countries such as Turkey had good relations with Syria, and Turkey has the second largest army in NATO. Why would anybody benefit from having an armed insurrection?

  13. #13
    Hanna
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    Where did I say that I thought Syria has a lot of oil? I know perfectly well that it doesn't.

    What Ramil was hinting at, is that Syria is a transit country, i.e. oil pipelines are running THROUGH it. Same as Ukraine incidentally - and Western interests have an agenda there too.

    The fact that Syria is an oil transit country makes it strategically interesting, although Ramil does not develop his theory in detail. Syria itself is at a very strategic position in the Middle East, which is the reason it was a major piece on the chessboard in the Cold War.

    And yes - Europe is behind this just as much as the USA / NATO, because obviously that is the end destination of the oil, so I am not arguing with that either.

    The BBC usually tries to pretend being un-nuanced and give both sides of the story. But in this, they are completely black and white. Al-Assad is evil, etc etc.
    Funnily enough they seem to have completely forgotten that only a couple of years ago, they were featuring Syria in travelling programs as the coolest destination in the Arab world, the "Syrian school" reality show which showed Syrian society in a very favourable light - include the respect of everyone for Al-Assad.... Not to mention taking the Top Gear show to Syria.
    But now it is suddenly all evil!

    Watch / read channels like Russia Today which shows that this is NOT the full story - the Christian population for example, largely supports Al-Assad staying in power and several cities are completely behind him.

    The fact that Syria has CLEARLY been flagged by the USA as "evil" for decades (Was specifically mentioned in Bush' "Axis of Evil" speech) AND was named in the infamous General Wesley Clark video, shows that the USA very much has an agenda in Syria.


    I am strongly against US war mongering, sinister agendas, propaganda wars and the like. I don't see what the goings on in Syria has ANYTHING to do with the USA and very little to do with Europe or Russia. The only countries that has any business having an opinion are the neighbours, so Turkey's opinions I recognize as relevant.

    But do bear in mind that Turkey is a NATO member and will pretty much toe the US line by default. In addition, Turkey is trying to score points with the EU as part of its (unsuccessful to date) quest to join the EU. Taking a stand against Syria at the moment, is very much the politically correct thing to do in light of the NATO membership and EU ambitions, so you should not take that too seriously - there is nothing to say what the opinion of regular Turks is. The Kurdish population (a large part of Turkey) have been pro-Syria in the past, since Kurds were treated much better in Syria than in Turkey.

    The bit that I am not understanding, is WHY the USA had Syria on its invasion list for almost a decade, and WHY it was listed as being "Evil".

    Ramil seems to believe it's got something to do with oil transit and the city of Homs, but I do not quite get his complete point.
    Anixx is suggesting that it is because Syria is one of the last (nominally) socialist countries in the Middle East / Arab world - a country that used to be aligned towards the USSR in the cold war days.

    Syria is significantly less evil than lots of states in Africa, and a couple in South America. It had an essentially social democratic government that tried to provide the basic services for all, at a decent level. No doubt it had many faults and was probably to harsh on the opposition, but Syria was opening up and trying to modernise.

    Al Bashir is a dentist who has worked in the UK and is married to a British woman who used to be a derivatives trader in London. We are not talking about Saddam Hussein here at all, but a man who inherited a backwards country from his father and has tried to reform while keeping it all together and preventing the minorities off each others throat.

    And guess what..... suddenly every Arab speaking asylum seeker in Western Europe is "Syrian" (some of course, really are...) and hence automatically granted asylum. Then all they need to do is quickly have a child while they are here, and they're in for good. Just what we need.

  14. #14
    Властелин
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    Главная вина Сирии - ее относительная независимость от США и связи с Россией и Китаем.

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    Anixx is suggesting that it is because Syria is one of the last (nominally) socialist countries in the Middle East / Arab world
    Not "one of the last" but THE last. Previous year there were two: Libya and Syria.

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    Подающий надежды оратор Astrum's Avatar
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    But still, everything was fine with the old regime, why would the west want a new unstable goverment controlling it? And of course the BBC is slanted (which they were with Libya also).

    I think you're neglecting the fact that atrocities ARE being commited in Syria, by both sides. I can't understand how you could simply ignore it, especially since it has the possiblity to spill over (which it's already done in Lebanon).

    Look at Russia, why doesn't Russia want sanctions on Syria? Because Russia doesn't want people to interfere with it's own internal affairs (and plus Syria is one of Russia's only Arab allies, money, weapons, oil).

  17. #17
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    Почему американцы медлят и до сих пор не начали войну?

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    Подающий надежды оратор Astrum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcus View Post
    Почему американцы медлят и до сих пор не начали войну?
    Потому, что мы не хотим войну!
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  19. #19
    Завсегдатай Ramil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crocodile View Post
    I think when you start considering the 'Arab spring' through the prism of the oil business, you have to build some boundaries. Of which the first and the foremost is the direct involvement. The US is getting their oil from another markets which are well-established. There's little economic point to rattle those markets as it might have some unpredictable consequences.
    You talk of economics, but look at this from the political point of view. You have your oil, but you want to make sure your potential adversary (China) won't get any oil too. China needs oil as well and US tries very hard to strip China from it.

    We're speaking about another cold war where one side tries to deny the resources from the opponent.
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  20. #20
    Завсегдатай Ramil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Astrum View Post
    But still, everything was fine with the old regime, why would the west want a new unstable goverment controlling it? And of course the BBC is slanted (which they were with Libya also).
    Because a turmoil in Syria won't allow any other country to buy Syrian oil. A weak pet government will suit perfectly.
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