Cheat Sheet On Syria

The U.S. is about to attack Syria. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Russia has repeatedly stated that it would consider an attack on Syria as an attack on its national security. China has also strongly cautioned the U.S. against attacking Syria. China and Russia hold a lot of U.S. debt, and could make life difficult for us economically if we unnecessarily anger them
  • The U.S. and Britain considered attacking Syrians and then blaming it on the Syrian government as an excuse for regime change … 50 years ago (the U.S. just admitted that they did this to Iran)
  • America is not involved in Syria because that country poses a threat to America’s security … but for entirely different reasons
  • Many see the timing of the Syria crisis as an attempt by the U.S. government to distract from its domestic scandals. If you need a reminder about what’s going on inside our country, here’s a cheat sheet on spying

Category: Think Tank, War/Defense

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

21 Responses to “Events Are Moving Quickly In Syria … Here’s What You Need to Know”

  1. Herman Frank says:

    “Stay OUT, stay OUT!”

    And I hear the echo of ” …. out …. out …” reverberating in empty heads.

    Instead of comparing this Syrian chaos to Iraq or Lebanon or Afghanistan it should be compared to the Irish “domestic struggles”. The Brits paid dearly for intervening in that religious struggle … for 35+ years.

    Not only are the Shia-, Suni- and Wahabi-Muslim sects at each other’s throat, you throw in a good pound of mercenary zealots from Iran, Iraq, Kurdistan, Lebanon, and Saudi and you’ve got “The Devil’s Own Poison Chalice Mix”.

    Throw in 200+ cruise missiles and see what you get. You certainly won’t “contain” the mix, you splatter it all over! Every zealot will find an excuse “to blame the Americans”.

    Did they howl in protest at Assad and his gang murdering? Did they consider it uncouth when one Muslim blows up another one? Did the Muslim Brotherhood, the Arab League, the Gulf States, or any other Muslim country demand a UN sponsored peace convention? Does ANY Muslim (except the homeless refugees) demand a negotiated peace? Where is Twitter when you NEED it?!

    Please Mr. President, don’t cave in to any pressure to give the order?! Everyone knows the US can create havoc, everyone knows the Brits, the French, and the US Navy stands ready to let loose the dogs of war. But keep them all in their pens. Stand down! Spend money on the refugee camps, spend money on an embargo, tell Russia and China that you can, but won’t, “because you’re the wiser one!”

    Assad will wither and die with his regime. We’ve seen it all over. Let their Muslim societies face and decide their own destiny. Give the example of an America that can be the dream of all. Please.

    • roscaf says:

      The brits did not intervene in a religious struggle in Northern Ireland, the issue was to do with sovereignity. It just so happened that the divide between those supporting a united Ireland and those wanting to stay within the union for the most part fell along religious lines. The ‘brits’ did not choose to intervene there, they were involved from the start as those invovled were all citizens of the UK.

      • Herman Frank says:

        Hear Hear Roscaf! Of course you are right “They were ALL citizens of the UK!”. Perhaps my perception of the historical events made me give the wrong example. Apologize to all Irish and Brits alike who are trying to give it all a good go.

        But, as you say “it fell along religious lines”, in other (my-) words, they all shared a bloody heinous streak of mixing “religion” into their soup of death! Compare this to the fact that in Muslim society there is no division between “church and state”, or as the case is “mosque and state”. This deadens the sense of reason, as everything becomes hyperbole emotion and belief. It provides emotional charge for suicide bombers, car bombs in crowds, suicide attacks, and everything else “in the name of ….”.

        Once again, the point is that the USA should not stick it’s hand in an emotional hornets’ nest believing it can turn poison into honey. Standing up to bullies, dictators, murderers and low-lifes can also be accomplished by isolating them and starving them to death. Take the high-road!

        Stand up and be brave enough to help the millions of refugees, help the countries sheltering them, cordon off Syria. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCE SET OFF SENSELESS EMOTIONS by striking Syria!

        The dogs of war are howling in the distance and (like AtlasRocked is saying) “all those who could object were quiet as a mouse”.

  2. Herman Frank says:

    Stay out! A bunch of cruise missiles splashing into that poisonous brew will splatter the sauce of death all over.

    Does it help that the Russians are moving a destroyer and a pocket-cruiser to the Eastern Mediterranean “for in case the West starts attacking Syria”. Too crazy for words, but in line with the bravado of President Putin.

    The only thing missing is the Iranians starting to swarm the Arabian Gulf and Strait of Hormuz, and Hezbollah gathering in the border region of Lebanon and Israel.

    Are we properly amused?!

  3. AtlasRocked says:

    Twas the Night Before Wartime

    Twas the night before wartime, and all through the house
    The democrats were quiet, quiet as a mouse
    MoveOn had moved on, and code pink stood aside
    their mouths closed tightly, by Obamacare’s bribe

    As Plato and Polybius, and De Toqueville explained
    As history documents, leftists always dodge blame
    Leaders Praising thugs or wars for the wrong side,
    the democrats go quiet, by Obamacare’s bribe

    Their stockings were hung, on the mantle with pride
    to be filled with obama goodies, hope’s veil covering lies
    printing money, rewarding bankers, no jail was prescribed
    their silence rewarded, by obamacare’s bribe

    • Cant help yourself, can you ?

      • louiswi says:

        Barry, you made me laugh! Thanks.

      • AtlasRocked says:

        Neither could Plato, Polybius, De Toqueville the urge to write about how benefits-based gov’t’s ALWAYS collapse is clear:

        ” I am dissatisfied at the proportion between my labor and my enjoyments. I should like, for the sake of restoring the desired equilibrium, to take a part of the possessions of others. But this would be dangerous. Could not you facilitate the thing for me? Could you not find me a good place? or check the industry of my competitors? or, perhaps, lend me gratuitously some capital which, you may take from its possessor? Could you not bring up my children at the public expense? or grant me some prizes? or secure me a competence when I have attained my fiftieth year? By this mean I shall gain my end with an easy conscience, for the law will have acted for me, and I shall have all the advantages of plunder, without its risk or its disgrace!”

      • panskeptic says:

        Democrats, right?

        Not to be compared with such conspicuous Republican over-achievers as Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Wolfowitz, Bolton, Feith, North, Pointdexter, etc., all of whom are revered for their preternatural clear-sightedness, flawless execution and honesty with the American people.

        Bananas. Given such an invocation of such grandiose, aggressive, murderous incompetence, Republicans have no credibility at all in criticizing others. Your lever has no fulcrum, bub.

  4. ilsm says:

    How many times do we use this worn out, fruit less gig?

    “The data released by Clinton shows the total payload dropped during these years to be nearly five times greater than the generally accepted figure. To put the revised total of 2,756,941 tons into perspective, the Allies dropped just over 2 million tons of bombs during all of World War II, including the bombs that struck Hiroshima and Nagasaki: 15,000 and 20,000 tons, respectively. Cambodia may well be the most heavily bombed country in history….”

    http://www.yale.edu/cgp/Walrus_CambodiaBombing_OCT06.pdf

  5. S Brennan says:

    Thanks Barry, I’m re-posting the link.

  6. howardoark says:

    We have to send a message that using chemical weapons has a cost associated with it (whether the Assad regime used them or not ). Blowing up a few air force bases seems like about the right level of response. Doing nothing just sends a message that you can slaughter children to your heart’s content and all you’ll face is a stern letter of rebuke.

    Screw the Russians. What are they going to do? I doubt the Chinese care about anything but the price of oil.

  7. [...] Events Are Moving Quickly In Syria … Here’s What You Need to Know (ritholtz.com) [...]

    • BottomMiddleClass says:

      In America:

      On one side you have a party that thinks the government is good for doing things.

      On the other side the party thinks the government is bad for doing things (except waging war).

      There is no compromise between the two (except waging war).

      The battles will be epic and sad. (especially all the war)

  8. ilsm says:

    #howardoark,

    The Russians have already done quite a lot. There are no US aircraft carriers in the eastern Med. Using manned aircraft including the $180M a copy F-22 is too complex, because of Russian supplied air defense which might show how useless the USAF has become.

    SO the option is; cruise missiles from the Sixth Fleet ‘destroyers’ which are neither accurate nor the ‘targeting’ so sound to preclude collateral damage. No issue with kill innocents to make a remotely controlled robotic statement with under utilized ships, high explosives and jiggedy electronics.

    The cost of punishing Assad (or Obama bowing to the military industry congress complex) is born by the US taxpayer, spending a bunch to make holes in the sand, using al Qaeda’s (Sunni Wahabist) newly acquired navy, the US Sixth Fleet.

    50 years and a day after the “celebration” of King’s “I Have a Dream Speech”, the dream about saving the soul of America remains subverted by perpetual war.

    The ‘devils’ toll’ is more important than 40 million Americans with no access to health care.

  9. Yammerer says:

    You make an incomprehensibly huge leap comparing the use of depleted uranium and white phosphorous to chemical weapons. I’m not on either side of Syria question, but it is simply wrong to equate the use of WP and DU to chemical weps the way your •”The U.S., Britain and Israel have used chemical weapons within the last 10 years” staement does. LOVE your topics and your writing, but had to take exception to that.

  10. ilsm says:

    @Yammerer,

    Hardly a skip, as the US deploys and has used a range of ‘banned’ weapons.

    Suppose someone wanted to go (might does make right) after the US for using land mines, cluster munitions, DU, WP which it has and are banned under treaty by many (land mines over 100) countries?

    The US also has all kinds of weapons that are either chemical (gas), bio (bugs) or radiologic (nukes). The three were in my experience addressed in “blackflag” exercises all the time.

    Only a ‘huge leap’ if you want to hide the fact that the US is not holier than Assad in the use of banned weapons.

    Assassination by drone is nothing to hold on the moral high ground.

    • skyblu5555 says:

      We must stop these maniacs at all costs. Period. To attack Syria for starters is a violation of international law. This Administration is the most hypocritical, wobbly, and incompetent vis a vis foreign policy. It has selected a terrible NSA Council, Sec of Defense, Sec of State, and Joint Chiefs of Staff.

      On the eve of Bush the Second’s invasion of Iraq both the Catholic Pope and the Arch Bishop of
      Canterbury joined the tens of millions of citizens around the world in trying to stave off Bush II/Cheney/Rumsfeld invasion of a sovereign nation.

      Where has been the response by the o called enlightened Gulf Security Council to this crisis? How about coward France who failed to move after the first Syrian was killed 10 months ago in its former colony?

      * snip *

  11. panskeptic says:

    Say, I really liked the guy who, in examining reasons for the war, insists that Sunnis and Shiites don’t attack each other, that it’s a false Western-induced narrative that they ever fought. Inspires confidence, doesn’t it?

    That’s the funniest thing I’ve heard since Romney’s Election Night acceptance speech. As if.