Syria – It Takes More Than Words To Win A War

The art of winning a war seems lost these days. USA is coming to the table with too little too late. Words that Assad has “crossed a red line” do nothing to affect the situation.
“the government is now viewed as having gained ground against the rebels by using a new strategy of focusing firepower to key battles in Aleppo and Qusayr, which the regime recaptured this month.”
see In Damascus: Locals defiant toward more U.S. help of rebels

It will take more than rifles and ammunition to affect the outcome if Assad uses his mobility to overwhelm isolated strongpoints of the rebels. Air-power and artillery are what are needed to give the people of Syria half a chance at freedom. Assad clearly has no reluctance to destroy Syria to stay in power. The world has to send concrete assistance or this major bloodbath will become a sea of blood.

Time is of the essence. Targets for immediate attention should include

  • all of Assad’s air-bases
  • any of Assad’s artillery or armour found in the open
  • any of Assad’s planes that do get airborne

Assistance, besides the humanitarian stuff, should include delivery by air-drop, landing freighters along the coast and trucking over the border from Turkey and Iraq (if they can be persuaded to cooperate)

  • all the small arms (assault rifles, sniper rifles, mortars, rockets, anti-tank weapons, grenades, explosives, ammunition, laser designators, recoilless rifles) the rebels can use including training and manuals
  • proper secure communication sets for voice and data
  • intelligence in real time from satellite, air, radar, etc.
  • trucks and fuel
  • computer systems for quick resource/campaign planning

It’s not enough for the rebels to receive these things. There needs to be training and a few boots on the ground to facilitate proper effective use of all aid. All the good wishes and motivation cannot defeat a well coordinated attack by an army alone. The rebels need all the tools of modern warfare.

Without the possibility of the rebels winning there is no chance that Assad or his cronies will negotiate a peaceful transition. Indeed, if Hezbollah and Iran provide the assistance Assad needs to remain in power without an overwhelming response from the rest of us, the battle for freedom will soon be lost. Assistance has to be provided by the soonest time and technique. It should have been provided years ago but tens of thousands were allowed to be killed and cities destroyed instead. That delay makes the need for action more pressing and it’s our fault for not acting earlier. Assad now has the ability to win and he is not hesitating. He can destroy every city held by rebels in two weeks if he is allowed to use his mobility and current resources.

Russia and Iran need to be put on notice that propping up Assad is a waste of their capital and risky business.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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36 Responses to Syria – It Takes More Than Words To Win A War

  1. oiaohm says:

    Small arms do not win peace. Its the sad reality. Siege design battle fields are the ones that historically make peace. Why warfare against a Siege designed systems are hard on the aggressor.

    Kid napping people in Siege set-ups is also hard. Siege methods is also about locking in your land gains in battle.

    Robert how can proportional punishment be done if you as a non Mulsim have no standing. Due to being male you have higher standing than a Woman. This is the problem with Extremist Sharia law. Extremists extend the law far past what it should be.

    Female Genitalia Mutilation is not in Sharia law. Countries where is being done you have to worry. Those countries are more often Extremist Sharia law. Not true Sharia law. If you want something equal on the Christianity side look the KKK. We all know the KKK is evil and they should not be given a foot hold. Every religion has there extremists. Extremists have no place ruling countries. Extremists must not be give weapons that suit there style of operation. Small arms suit Extremists. Heavy arms suit proper Mil doing civilian defence.

    Problem here is Assad has been documented killing off the competition.

    William Tiberius Shatner what I would say here is something needs to be done. Maybe like Australia did with east tenor and other near by island. External force to manage the vote.

    Thing is I fully agree that the Extremists need to be stopped. And in fact the Extremist will do worst harm than Assad. We want to remove a problem. We don’t want to create a worse one.

    UN take charge of running Syria elections would be a valid thing. Since currently Assards government cannot get everywhere to get votes. Election should still happen even that civil war is under way. It might stop the war if everyone believes the results are fair.

  2. William Tiberius Shatner says:

    “who, ignoring history wrote, “There was no declaration of human rights at that point in time.”
    Of course there was. Read the Bible:”

    Since when is the Bible the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Freedoms? Do you even know what the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Freedoms is?

    Stop beating around the bush, you made the implication, now back it. Where has English Common Law in its current form been found to be a violation of democratic principles and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Freedoms?

    “”Thou shalt not kill.” That’s been around thousands of years. The ancient law of Hammurabi also respected proportional punishment.”

    “proportional punishment”? Did you seriously just imply that homosexuality, being raped and belonging to a different religious sect are equal to murder? And worse, did you just imply that these are actual crimes?

    And I suppose genital mutilation is punishment proportional to the “crime” of being born a woman?

    I’m curious, what do your daughter and wife think of your stance on women’s rights and female genital mutilation?

    “What you are missing is that a people can choose to follow Sharia or not. It’s their choice, not yours.”

    What you’re missing is that as a Syrian, I have a vested interest in the happenings the mother country. What’s your angle?

    You’re also missing, is that my compatriots will have the opportunity to choose who leads the country in the 2014 elections, when Bashar Al-Assad’s term comes to an end.

    You talk a big talk about the right to choose, but democratic principles and democratic process are clearly of no value to you. At least not when an internet discussion is hand, right?

    Let’s see if you’ll remember this discussion next time you bleat about human rights, shall we?

  3. who wrote, “That’s what you’re missing here. A) they can’t change them, it’s blasphemous, and a capital offense by Sharia.”

    What you are missing is that a people can choose to follow Sharia or not. It’s their choice, not yours.

  4. who, ignoring history wrote, “There was no declaration of human rights at that point in time.”

    Of course there was. Read the Bible: “Thou shalt not kill.” That’s been around thousands of years. The ancient law of Hammurabi also respected proportional punishment.

  5. William Tiberius Shatner says:

    “Risking a full out nuclear WW III for what? Over Syria? That is just start raving mad!”
    Just as ,mad as thinking that the big guys really care that much about Syria (or Iran) that they would take any retaliatory action with nukes against one another. That is never going to happen.”

    Nuclear war is out of the question. But a third world war might be in the cards.

    Syria is a CIS buffer state, firmly within the Sino-Russian sphere on influence. Just as was the case in Georgia/South Ossetia a few years ago, and Nagorno-Kharapagh in 1994, NATO will not put boots on the ground or directly intervene, because it’s a CIS matter.

    I’m not sure that Russia and China would move in over Syria (though people said they wouldn;t enter Ossetia or Kharapagh and Armenia in ’94 either), but I’m also not sure the US or NATO would risk drawing Russia into the conflict, over Syria, either.

  6. William Tiberius Shatner says:

    “Cut out the “anachronisms” stuff. If you ignore history you have a problem.”

    Who’s ignoring history? I fully acknowledge that the west was utterly barbaric once upon a time. But the west evolved realised its barbasm, and adapted its laws accordingly.

    Now, come join the rest of us in the 21st century, and quit avoiding the question. show me where Common law, in this day and age is shown to be in direct contradiction with democracy and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Freedoms.

    “Boiling and burning as means of execution is a violation of basic human rights but it was practised.”

    This is what I mean about anachronism. There was no declaration of human rights at that point in time. You can’t start mixing time frames because it’s convenient, Furthermore, that it was done doesn’t make it right.

    ” In USA, prayer in school is outlawed in some parts while the “pledge of allegiance” seems like a religion to me…”

    What’s your point? Are you suggesting that the US is a theocratic regime like Persia? Did I miss the memo where Biblical Law replaced their constitution and legislature?

    “Sharia law is a conservative belief, preserving ideas from a previous millenium.”

    “That’s no less valid than claiming a ruling by politically-aligned Supremes is just.”

    What you’re essentially arguing is that basic human rights and freedoms are only appplicable when it furthers your argument. And you fancy yourself some kind of armchair freedom fighter.

    Think of it, based on your own argumentation, you place source code availability as a higher priority than personal, religious and sexual freedom, as well as women’s rights.

    “People have a right to hold their beliefs and to change them.”

    That’s what you’re missing here. A) they can’t change them, it’s blasphemous, and a capital offense by Sharia.

    b) you’re condoning imposing Sunni law on non-Sunni populations. populations whose annihilation is called for by doctrine.

    Religious freedom is a basic human right. Imposing a singular doctrine is a violation thereof.

    “That’s happening in Islam. Just look at Sunni v Shia. One group holds different beliefs than the other. They are both Muslim and both value Sharia”

    And the Sunni doctrine calls for the annihilation of the Shia, Allewite, Christians and pretty much everyone else.

    And again, I point to Turkey, a majority Sunni state, which squarely rejects the implementation of Sharia. In fact Sharia is implemented in full (including criminal law) only in Iraq (post-Saddam ironically), Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Saudi, Qatar, and the Muslim half of Sudan (which is why Southern Sudan separated). Out of several dozen Muslim nations.

    And I’ve entertained your goal-post moving and your tangent hopping enough.

    The Muslim Brotherhood is the same organization as the internationally recognized terror group Hamas. They are aligned with the Mujahideen (who went on to become the Taliban) and Al-Qaida in this conflict. Are you okay with supporting these organizations? Is their agenda completely valid?

  7. William Tiberius Shatner wrote, “which parts of English Common Law, anachronisms aside, have been found to be in direct violation of basic human rights, or to found to be the antithesis to democracy.”

    Cut out the “anachronisms” stuff. If you ignore history you have a problem. Boiling and burning as means of execution is a violation of basic human rights but it was practised. In USA, prayer in school is outlawed in some parts while the “pledge of allegiance” seems like a religion to me…

    Sharia law is a conservative belief, preserving ideas from a previous millenium. That’s no less valid than claiming a ruling by politically-aligned Supremes is just. People have a right to hold their beliefs and to change them. That’s happening in Islam. Just look at Sunni v Shia. One group holds different beliefs than the other. They are both Muslim and both value Sharia.

  8. oiaohm says:

    Robert Pogson I am not talking from the point of view of Assad winning.

    “There is always a way to get material in and out of a city even in wartime because Assad does not have enough men to surround every city 24X7. ”

    How many men using the most advanced weapons we have is required to surround a city 24/7. The answer is 3 each doing 8 hour shifts. Assad is not setup with these weapons. Could these be sent as aid. Yes they could be. They ruining Assad means to gain ground. Other advantage is they can be located and destroyed easily when the war is over.

    Its not winning the war. It is winning the peace.

    A fortress design around citys is a complete bugger. Why you get in you cannot get out and if you are out side you cannot get in. Result is they suck up all your ground resources quickly. Assad facing the problem of fortress methods will run his forces out. Fighting city block to city block against someone using lets siege method is also stupid. Why you put large number of forces inside the city that risk getting trapped.

    You want to protect cilivians you want to force the battle to be at the edges of the city with anyone going any deeper than the edges getting their head handed to them.

    When you have the numbers as the rebels do waiting for your enemy to come into your traps is the correct response.

    Think about it Assad trying to break siege lines. This is going to take up resources Assad does not have to lose. The extremist from the rebels after Assad fails also do not have the resources to bash their head against siege set-up areas as well.

    We want to win the peace being willing to play this out over years will win the peace.

    Siege has the advantage that you cannot be called the aggressor if you will let anyone leave as long as they give up their arms.

    This is all about the least number of deaths and the most numbers of surrenders. With the current automattic turrent and other weapons doing siege is cheep in man power. Also not that costly in hardware either.

    bw what if there is no oil contracts because they light the fields up. Its sounds nice of just let them do there own thing. Result might not be too good on that plan.

    Bw I will give you we want to send bare min ground troops and enough air-force just to enforce the rules of war.

  9. bw says:

    “The Europeans and Americans should get OUT of Syria. Matter of fact, it would be a real good idea for them to drop colonialism and pull out of the Middle East and Africa entirely.”

    Somehow you have missed the fact that there are no European colonies in the Middle East anymore and that seems to be the gist of the problem. Plus the only Americans and Western Europeans in Syria these days appear to be reporters for CNN and visiting politicians trying to make a comeback back home.

    “Risking a full out nuclear WW III for what? Over Syria? That is just start raving mad!”

    Just as ,mad as thinking that the big guys really care that much about Syria (or Iran) that they would take any retaliatory action with nukes against one another. That is never going to happen.

    But I agree with you. We can get by over here with Canadian tar sand oil plus what we buy from South America and Mexico. The Euros are used to driving little cars and buying petrol by the liter anyway. Maybe they could import a bunch of scooters from India or somewhere or just ride bicycles like you see on TV. Let the Syrians sort it out on there own and get back with us when they are ready to commit to delivery contracts for the crude oil.

  10. oiaohm wrote, “There is never any requirement to get up close and personal with a city.”

    False. If Assad does not enter a city he does not control it. There is always a way to get material in and out of a city even in wartime because Assad does not have enough men to surround every city 24X7. If he surrounds one, the others can resupply and attack his rear. Assad’s forces, in particular, are a minority in Syria. That’s why the involvement of Iran and Lebanon are so critical. They shift the balance of power quite a bit.

    A city under siege can last a year or two easily. Assad does not have that kind of time. Nor does he have the manpower to take all cities.

    I predict the inflow of better/more weapons will inflict heavy casualties on Assad’s forces within the next few weeks and he will have reverses.

  11. Maou Sadao says:

    I recommend Michel Foucaults “Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison”.

  12. oiaohm says:

    Robert Pogson Sharia implemented in some countries take a common law role this is fairly safe. Problem is the full Sharia law that extremists implement. Like full Sharia law as a non Musuim I would not have any standing in the court to argue for my rights.

    –No war has ever been won if the weaker side still has arms and ammunition.–
    In fact this is false. Quite a few wars have been won while the other side still has arms. The old castel holding where the parties in side starve until they give up there weapons. Yes they would give up while still armed.

    There is zero real requirement for street to street fighting. You can clear a city of population then search it for ammo and weapons. Second advantage todo thing is if there is anyone left they are a combatant.

    “Cities have all kinds of rat-holes in which to hide. Without nuclear or biological weapons, Assad cannot overpower everyone. ”
    If he can cut off food and possibly water can can force the population out of a city. Assads forces have been very stupid getting in close in a city. There is never any requirement to get up close and personal with a city.

    You don’t need nukes or biological weapons to clear a city. No food/No water just as effective.

    You cannot say in a rat hole if you have no food or water.

    “His forces have to close in and tanks are not that useful in cities. If the West provides some kind of anti-aircraft weaponry,”
    No fly zone, few strike aircraft and AA GUNS with ammo. That is really all the west need to provide.

    Remember AA GUNs with full range of degrees of movement are also anti-tank/foot solder guns.

    “The world can air-drop supplies or smuggle them in.”
    This is why who control the air choose the victor on the ground. There is almost zero requirement to send ground forced as long as the right kind of weapons are sent. Weapons that can be policed by air strike. Miss use the weapons we will blow them up basically.

  13. William Tiberius Shatner says:

    here’s a little anachronism for you, since you seem to be so fond of them.

    From the Wikipedia article for Shia, under persecution:

    “In 1514 the Ottoman sultan, Selim I, ordered the massacre of 40,000 Anatolian Shia.[87] According to Jalal Al-e-Ahmad, “Sultan Selim I carried things so far that he announced that the killing of one Shiite had as much otherworldly reward as killing 70 Christians.””

    There are upwards of 4,000,000 Shi’a in Syria. Food for thought.

  14. William Tiberius Shatner says:

    “Wikipedia: Sharia”

    I suggest you read that article yourself, all the way through, and re-read the sections under “Criticism” as many times as is necessary for it to stick.

    Show me, which parts of English Common Law, anachronisms aside, have been found to be in direct violation of basic human rights, or to found to be the antithesis to democracy.

    While you’re at it, show me when even proponents of said system openly acknowledge that it is in direct contradiction with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Freedoms.

    “”The differences between legal systems in England and Sharia are not that different when you consider punishment and crime and ignore the century.”

    Yes, I imagine most things seem to be exactly as you’d prefer them (depending on which argument you’re making at any given time), when you deliberately ignore anything that might contradict you and look at it from a conveniantly anachronistic vantage point.

    Your own quotations underline a major and drastic difference between the two. Common Law has evolved with time.

    Sharia is time-locked to 1381 years ago, when the Qu’ran was written. It is in fact illegal by SHaria law no less, to modify Sharia in any way. Adapting it to modern times is considered blasphemy, and is of the upmost illegality.

    To question Sharia is to question the Qu’ran, to question the Qu’ran is to question the prophet, and to question the prophet is to question God himself.

    To modify or adapt the Qu’ran is to assert that Allah in his infinite wisdom is wrong.

    Think about that a little.

  15. See Capital Punishment

    Stealing a loaf of bread was a capital crime in England until recently.
    Criminal law offences are viewed as offences against not just individual victims, but the community as well.[34] The state, usually with the help of police, takes the lead in prosecution, which is why in common law countries cases are cited as “The People v …” or “R (for Rex or Regina) v …” Also, lay juries are often used to determine the guilt of defendants on points of fact: juries cannot change legal rules. Some developed countries still condone capital punishment for criminal activity”

    England was a common-law country.“In England and Wales buggery was made a felony by the Buggery Act in 1533, during the reign of Henry VIII. The punishment for those convicted was the death penalty until 1861.”

    The differences between legal systems in England and Sharia are not that different when you consider punishment and crime and ignore the century. Boiling in oil, burning at the stake, crucifixion, quartering… were all punishments used in Europe in the old days. Is stoning any more nasty than those?

  16. ram says:

    The Europeans and Americans should get OUT of Syria. Matter of fact, it would be a real good idea for them to drop colonialism and pull out of the Middle East and Africa entirely.

    Risking a full out nuclear WW III for what? Over Syria? That is just start raving mad!

    This is part of the reason I moved as far away from those places as possible with present technology.

  17. Someone wrote, “” Sharia is law by custom, not too different from English Common Law”

    Any credibility you might have had has been lost with this statement.”

    Wikipedia: Sharia

  18. oiaohm wrote, “Small arms are completely worthless if you enemy does not care if the city is left standing.”

    No war has ever been won if the weaker side still has arms and ammunition. Cities have all kinds of rat-holes in which to hide. Without nuclear or biological weapons, Assad cannot overpower everyone. His forces have to close in and tanks are not that useful in cities. If the West provides some kind of anti-aircraft weaponry, Assad cannot win. The world can air-drop supplies or smuggle them in. This is not a war where both sides can compromise. There’s too much blood down the river.

  19. oiaohm says:

    Robert Pogson
    –That’s why the women need to be armed. There are more of them than talibanis and they will be motivated.–
    The armed with what. Northern alliance women are armed with trucks with large mounted guns this allows them to retreat and lay down covering fire. Big long range heavy hitters. This is why the Northern alliance held.

    –Think Assad will feed the children if his troops are surrounded? Nope. Cities require house-to-house fighting which gives armed citizens a fighting chance. That’s better than being slaughtered en masse.–

    In fact no. Small arms are completely worthless if you enemy does not care if the city is left standing. Taliban and other Muslim nasty groups do take scorched earth method. They will kill you by dropping the building you are in. If you want to slaughter on mass you use heavy weapons and just level the city. Small arms do not defeat heavy arms. It is better for the general civilians to retreat away from building even under small arms fire. Hand grands and other explosives can break building structure integrity.

    Attempting to fight house to house is how to die on mass. Talking least death plan. You entrap a city does not mean you cannot be letting people out by check points.

    You want to force enemy to engage on your terms. Don’t ever engage enemy on theirs.

    Robert sharia law by extremist is really bad. Women will not get educated at all if that gets up. Remember the Taliban did implement Sharia law the extremist version.

    The talibian first name was the Muslim brotherhood. Talibain were rebels against the Russia and when the Russia left they killed off most of the competition.

    Swap Assad for Russia you are look at a perfect history repeat.

    This is the problem when Assad fall this will trigger a civil war inside the rebels. Afghanistan tells us that the moderates risk being killed off by the extremists. Leaving the extremists in power. This does not matter how well armed with guns the population is. Roaming packs of forces doing hit and runs at night will ruin you unless you have fortifications.

    The moderates need strong holds. Northern alliance was about the only group to build strong holds while fighting Russia. Due to this held in the Afghanistan civil war following Russia leaving.

    How the battle needs to be fort is well and truly documented. Smart Syrians stuck in that war zone need to plan how to fortify the cities. Not just against assad but also against the rogue parts of the rebel forces.

  20. William Tiberius Shatner says:

    As a matter of curiosity, are there any other Syrians posting here, or am I the only one?

  21. William Tiberius Shatner says:

    “Assad’s objective is to kill by starvation, bombs, bullets and torture innocent women and children.”

    The people of Duzaghach and Kessab beg to differ. It was not the national guard who pillaged their farms, but the rebels.

    You won;t hear this in any western news, however.

    “Theocracy is looking pretty good.”

    Do you know what a theocracy is? Iran is a theocracy, for reference.

    Do you understand the tension between Sunni and Shia? Or how Sunni treat non-Sunni?

    No, a theocracy is not looking good.

    ” Sharia is law by custom, not too different from English Common Law”

    Any credibility you might have had has been lost with this statement.

    You should look up the Constitutional Court of Turkey’s 1998 ruling which banned and disolved the Rafa party who tried to implement Sharia, on the grounds that ” Democracy is the anti-thesis to Sharia”.

    Rafa appealed this ruling to the European Court of Human Rights, which ruled that “sharia is incompatible with the fundamental principles of democracy”.

    The ECHR also rules that Sharia law is in direct controvention of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

    But what do they know, right? I mean Common Law does this too, right?

    Even Khoumenei in Iran is on record rejecting the universal Declaration of human Rights as it cannot be implemented in a muslim country because it conflicts with Islamic law (Sharia).

    But what does he know about Islamic law, right? You’re clearly much more well versed in such matters. see the 1990 Organisation of the Islamic Conference which resulted in the Cairo Declaration.

    When you;re looking up the Cairo Declaration, do notice that provisions for democratic principles, protection for religious freedom, freedom of association and freedom of the press, as well as equality in rights and equal protection under the law are all notably absent from the Caro declaration.

    Pay special attention to Article 24 which states “”all the rights and freedoms stipulated in this Declaration are subject to the Islamic shari’a””

    JUST LIKE ENGLISH COMMON LAW!

    One I always found amusing is that gossip is a major crime in Sharia. Just like in English Common Law, right? You throw rocks at people for that in Manitoba, right?

    According to Sharia law, hommosexuality is punishable by death. Justl ike English Common Law, right?

    And there’s that whole treating women as property thing in Islamic law. Yeah, you have that in Canada too, don’t you?

    “The people do not consent to Assad.”

    That’s a nonsensical claim. This isn’t the people against Assad. It’s a bloody civil war. Assad has his supporters, again, chiefly among the non-Sunni population, but even the Sunni population is not unanimously opposed to Assad.

    ” They have a right to whatever government they choose whether you like it or not.”

    They will have that opportunity in the 2014 elections, an attempted coup d’etat resulting in a long, drawn out and especially bloody civil war is generally considered to be the antithesis of democracy.

    And in case I wasn’t clear the first time. The Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas (recognized as a terrorist organization by the US) are the same organization. Keep that in mind.

  22. bs wrote, “If Assad turns back the rebels and reestablishes order in Syria it will simply be a case of going back to what was the status quo.”

    That isn’t going to happen. The world has seen too many refugees flee Syria and the battle will not be contained to Syria no matter what Assad does. If he wipes out cities wholesale, the world will clobber him. If he fights house-to-house the death toll will very large and the world will put a stop to it one way or another. Assad’s weapons will fall into someone’s hands. If it is the Iranian-backed folks a lot of them will find a way to be deployed against you. That may happen any way. It’s a matter of minimizing the consequences. Having any influence in affairs is better than having none.

  23. oiaohm wrote, “Other side takes a city stave them out by cutting their supply lines.”

    Think Assad will feed the children if his troops are surrounded? Nope. Cities require house-to-house fighting which gives armed citizens a fighting chance. That’s better than being slaughtered en masse.

  24. oiaohm wrote, “Educated woman in fairly much anything equals extremists death squads hunting them down.”

    That’s why the women need to be armed. There are more of them than talibanis and they will be motivated.

  25. William Tiberius Shatner wrote, “Their objective is to impose a theocracy and impose Islamic sharia law as the law of the land.”

    Assad’s objective is to kill by starvation, bombs, bullets and torture innocent women and children. Theocracy is looking pretty good. Sharia is law by custom, not too different from English Common Law, IMHO. The choice is dictatorship or a government by consent of the people. The people do not consent to Assad. They have a right to whatever government they choose whether you like it or not.

  26. William Tiberius Shatner says:

    “We want Moderate types left.”

    Then backing the the Muslim Brotherhood, who is behinf these uprisings is a bad move. If you’re not familiar with the MB, you might be more well acquainted with Hamas, it’s paramilitary wing.

    It’s really sad that there’s giant misinformation campaign going on about Syria (I have much extended family in the Latakia, Damascus and Haleb (Aleppo) regions). Assad while himself Allewi, is a Ba’athist. If you don;t know what they means, it means secularist.

    If you don;t understand what that means, in practice, in the given context, it means that Shia, Christians and non-Arabs are contrary to Sunni doctrine, equal to the Sunni, with equal rights. This is why the non-Arab and non-Sunni population continues to support Assad (that and as was the case in Duzaghach, it was not the military who came in and began pillaging farmland, but rather the rebels, who were driven off by the timely arrival of Assad’s forces).

    For contrast, the Muslim Brotherhood, who again, and this cannot be stressed enough, is behind the uprising (as it was also both the party behind the uprising in Egypt, and the party to assume power after the ousting of Mubarak) is a Sunni, theocratic organization.

    Their credo is, and has always been

    “Allah is our objective; the Quran is our law, the Prophet is our leader; Jihad is our way; and death for the sake of Allah is the highest of our aspirations”

    Their objective is to impose a theocracy and impose Islamic sharia law as the law of the land.

    The Sunni, in practice, view the Shia (Allewite especially) and non-Muslims as lower than animals. This is the fate that awaits the people of Syria should Assad fall.

    You say you want the moderates to take over. Then you should be backing Assad.

    Your only other option is a self-avowed jihadist organization, though I do not expect you to have known that.

    It’s almost funny isn’t it? You decry the Taliban and Muslim extremists, but you also call for the ousting of the ONLY secularist government left in the Muslim world. When you back the rebels, you back the MB. And backing the MB is backing a theocratic regime.

    Congrats on that.

  27. bw says:

    “You may not have noticed, but there has been a “shooting war” in Syria for years”

    They are not shooting at us, which is the main criterion for me.

    “If Iran, Hezbollah and Assad “win” the whole Middle East will catch fire.”

    Can I say that is nonsense or is that attacking the messenger also? If Assad turns back the rebels and reestablishes order in Syria it will simply be a case of going back to what was the status quo. Iran seems to be conducting their own elections without much fuss as well. How is that “setting the MIddle East on fire? You are just making noise that doesn’t make any sense.

    “Assad will arm Al Qaeda and buddies whether or not USA and other countries take action”

    Now you are sounding as silly as George Bush. Al-Qaeda is the enemy of Assad just as it was the enemy of Hussein. Al-Qaeda is on the side of the rebels.

    “Much of the Al Qaida-like propaganda depends on USA and allies killing muslims. Saving muslims is a good counter to that argument”

    Seems to me that both sides are Muslims and the smart thing to do is to stay away from both. Let them fight it out and may the best Muslims win.

  28. oiaohm says:

    –If the rebels win do you want the Al Qaeda types to be in charge or the more moderate types?–
    We want Moderate types left.
    –Imagine how different it would be in Afghanistan if every woman carried an AK-47 and knew what to do with it?–
    Don’t have to Robert this is the problem. Educated woman in fairly much anything equals extremists death squads hunting them down.

    Yes this is what the Taliban did. The north alliance territory was the only place in Afghanistan where educated women got to stay alive in the Country. Yes north alliance has a lot weapon trained women. They are highly targeted.

    Taliban use focus force attacks based on small arms. So do most Mulsum extremists.

    One woman with a AK-47 vs pack of men out to kill her she will not last.

    One woman inside a Metal storm fortress against a pack of men with small arms. The men are screwed. It is what is called force multiplied.

    If you do really care about Women and Children you want fortresses for them to retreat to that are basically death traps to anyone with small arms with air cover preventing large arms facing it.

    Afghanistan today also has the problem of lack of fortress tech. You need fortresses to make safe zones.

    Small arms will create problems. Small arms are what most criminal use. You don’t normally see someone robbing a shop with a stinger missile or equal. The large weapons are not practical for close quarters combat. But in places like Syria and Afghanistan where there are large areas of open desert out side the citys. Its very practical to fortress the cities. Yes its Rock-paper-scissors.

    Small arms beat Large weapons in close combat. Large weapons beat Small arms in long range combat. A metal storm turret can kill a human at more range than a AK-47. Yes before the person holding the AK-47 can fire they can be dead. You don’t want children seeing combat if you can. Another advantage of the metal storm gear the women and children can be in bunker with only a small number controlling the weapons preventing attack. The children never need to see the blood shed.

    Small arms are effective against unarmed civilians. Due to the fact you want to get close to unarmed civilians. Person with large weapons who let unarmed civilians close who don’t have small arms can be over powered.

    Large weapons have to be left defended. Large weapons are simple to target from the air.

    Yes it would be better to send the rebels tanks with instructions any tank seen inside a city or firing on a city will be classed as hostile and neutralised by air strike.

    Tanks are surprising not that effective against civilians if there is a very strong air strike of tanks policy.

    Putting a strong air strike policy did not mean we are working for any side. It is setting the rules of war.

    Fighting inside cities also just increase civilian deaths and increases rebuild cost.

    Correct method is don’t fight in cities. Other side takes a city stave them out by cutting their supply lines. Those with air support cutting supply lines is way harder due to air drops.

  29. oiaohm wrote, “a section of the Syria Rebels will also arm Al Qaeda because they are basically Al Qaeda.”

    That’s a red herring. If the rebels win do you want the Al Qaeda types to be in charge or the more moderate types? I would rather Syria be left with a civilian population that can defend itself against all enemies foreign and domestic rather than become yet another hotbed of extremism: Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Western Sahara… In Iraq, the allies disarmed the Iraqis. That worked really well, didn’t it? How about Afghanistan, where women and kids are still slaughtered routinely in the name of religion by Talibanis after 10 years of boots on the ground. Imagine how different it would be in Afghanistan if every woman carried an AK-47 and knew what to do with it?

  30. satipera wrote, “Your political views would not shame a Daily Mail reader, you have been unsubscribed.”

    Sorry about that, but a regime that supports torture of kids and bombing civilians in their homes and streets must be changed. The world has tried gentle persuasion and it has failed. Meanwhile thousands of innocents have been slaughtered for nothing. That must stop. I would go fight there myself but a fat old guy would probably just get in the way. I hope my government gets off its butt and sends humanitarian aid, weapons and weapon-systems that will bring the Assad regime to a swift end.

  31. satipera says:

    I have had enough. I like what you have to say about FLOSS which I have often redented. Your political views would not shame a Daily Mail reader, you have been unsubscribed.

  32. oiaohm says:

    Robert Pogson exactly the problem. Lot of the people are not trained front line troops. Hand to hand combat they are not going to be ideal either. Metal storm auto guns and solutions are designed for the fairly well untrained. Also distances the person from the deaths.

    Remember the Syria army it self has years of training under its belt. Fortification done right takes way the advantage of years of training.

    The problem here Robert is a section of the Syria Rebels will also arm Al Qaeda because they are basically Al Qaeda.

    This is the problem Assard is anti Al Qaeda because they will undermine his dominate rule. We have two problems in Syria not one. Not all the rebels can be trusted this is problem two. We need to destroy problem one without giving problem two a foot hold.

    Small arms out. Large arms in. Smart weapons also in. Yes remote disarming and track-able weapons.

    Robert Pogson also you will have time to proper train and select solders if you can stop battle progress. This is why the correct thing Syria needs is fortification. Battle field made non dynamic. So that the rebel force can spend months training. Fortified its going to cost large sections of an army to move the front lines. Also allow the rebels to force there forces into highly focused attacks while forcing the other side to keep there forces spread. Reason air strikes can rip fortifications to bits. Who ever has the air on their side can Fortify.

    Yes who ever can fortify can use those fortifications to press forwards. Including using fortifications to cut supply lines.

    Robert Pogson the battle can clearly turn in the rebel favour without sending small arms. Also this can reduce battle scaring to the Rebels as well. Lower face to face combat less mentally distressed solders to treat once peace comes.

  33. bw wrote, “Linux on the desktop was one hopeless cause, but wanting the USA to start a shooting war with Syria is far worse.”

    Attacking the messenger is now your first response? Sad. GNU/Linux on the desktop has saved me many times in my teaching career and now it provides solid IT in my home and on our server. You may not have noticed, but there has been a “shooting war” in Syria for years. Assad started the shooting, beatings, poisoning, rape etc. There’s no need for USA to do anything. The world can take care of it if the USA will not.

    “Boots on the ground” is politically incorrect but it happens in every country whether or not there is a war going on. USA meddles in the affairs of every country on Earth with spies and advisors. Syria is no different. USA has already stated it has “boots on the ground” in Turkey, Israel and Jordan. That may be sufficient if rebels can be relocated to training camps there but it would always be better to have more forward observers to assist in effective deployment of “toys” of war like air-power and guided munitions. The USA can dump stuff in but it is far more effective to see that stuff actually goes where it is needed.

    Just watch/examine video/images from Syria. There is a lot of training needed. The rebels do have some ex-military but a lot are shop-keepers and teachers. They do need some training like actual aimed fire instead of “spray and pray”, map-reading and ballistics. That can take from a few hours to a few weeks depending on the desperation of the situation. The current situation is quite desperate.

    USA does indeed have eggs in this basket. If Iran, Hezbollah and Assad “win” the whole Middle East will catch fire. It’s already smouldering. Syria is already a mess. It’s no good for any “western” nation to allow it to become messier. Iran, Russia and Assad will arm Al Qaeda and buddies whether or not USA and other countries take action but it’s easier to stem the flow at the open wound than on the floor.

    If the USA thinks this is not “our war”, consider what Russia is doing there. This is a proxy war for them. If Russia succeeds in propping up Assad what will Russia do next? Then there’s China who will not miss an opportunity to extend power/influence militarily/politically. This is at least an attack on all that USA holds dear. Not showing up is a great way to lose a fight. It’s not tenable to claim involvement will cost more lives/money/trouble. Non-involvement will cost much more. Involvement is also the right thing to do. Much of the Al Qaida-like propaganda depends on USA and allies killing muslims. Saving muslims is a good counter to that argument.

  34. oiaohm says:

    bw really lot of the problems would be fixed if the USA banned selling small arms.

    bw Linux on the Desktop is hopeless cause. There is growth and Standardisation of what the desktop has todo might leave Linux as the last Desktop OS standing.

  35. oiaohm says:

    Have you not been following news.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/05/14/syrian-rebel-leader-abu-sakkar-cutting-eating-soldiers-heart-video_n_3271067.html

    Syrian is another Afghanistan in the making.

    “proper secure communication sets for voice and data. intelligence in real time from satellite, air, radar, etc. trucks and fuel. computer systems for quick resource/campaign planning”

    All of this is refuge control. Yes this is valid to send.

    Small arms do not send. Reason Syria will end up dominated by a different group of dictators if you provide arms.

    Rebels are not a solution they are a path to another problem.

    Better solution bigger arms that are not that effective against civilians.

    http://www.metalstorm.com/IRM/content/area-denial.html

    Area Denial systems to create lines on the ground Assad and rebels cannot cross that the Syria Civilians can retreat behind. Yes the modem day equal to castles are required. Air cover and castles the battle will slow down.

    Basically Rebels or Assad win the Civilians suffer.

    First objective need to be how to protect the Civilians from the battle. We need the peaceful people to live.

    There is no chance the Mulsum extremists will do negotiation for victory either. So there are two highly dangerous parties in Syria that need to be removed. Assad is the in the face one. The other one is in the ranks of the Rebels.

    Assad genocide is nothing compared to what genocide Mulsum extremists inflict on a country. Swapping one dictator for a worse dictator is not helping them.

    If you want to send small arms send private contractors for security with the small arms at a min that you have vetted are not extremists.

    Laser designators are also fine to send. Why because without a drone or aircraft providing ammo they are useless. You cannot use a Laser designator effectively to force civilians around.

    Everything you send you have to think will this be used against civilians. Metal storm Area Denial systems are not rapidly mobile. Not effective against civilians. Effective to prevent an army being able to enter a city.

    Yes there is such things as defensive and offensive weapons. Offensive not good to provide. Defensive have lower mobility. Old field guns are classic example of Defensive.

    I am talking weapons that big that a human cannot carry them. They cannot be hidden. They can be removed from the ground by air-strikes if they turn out to being used incorrectly.

    Small arms are too hard to find and remove from the battle field if you happen to give them to the wrong parties. Basically if the weapon is smaller than 8 foot long and/or can be carried by 1 person its too small to give to Syria at the moment. Yes weapons with weights of 200 KG plus are ideal to send. Yes they are also the ones that when fired are like there was a tank there or there was a unit of solders there. All I can see is a hole.

    Modern warfare does not have to mean small arms any more. Big 40mm machine gunes with explosive rounds. Fairly much kiss good by to armor being much use. These are Anti-air class guns. Large hardware lot of range. Longer the range the more protected the civilians are. 15km no mans land around the cities would prevent a lot of problems. Of course each extra KM the better. Yes large guns small drones to patrol the excluded zones.

    Assad over throw is well and truly down on the list. Lets get the Syria Civilians fortified.

    Remember if the method is fortify every time the rebels gain ground Assad will not be able to get it back. Defeat will happen evidentially with this method. The other advantage is behind the fortified lines the people can return to their prior life. Yes no small arms go past the fortified lines. This way extremists with arms are stuck in the area where they will die.

  36. bw says:

    You seem to find the most impractical solutions to problems regardless of their genre. Linux on the desktop was one hopeless cause, but wanting the USA to start a shooting war with Syria is far worse.

    “Boots on the ground” indeed. Where was Canada when boots were needed to step on Saddam Hussein. Sure, they jumped into the fracas with the Taliban, but those guys were pushed out of power in a couple of weeks with locals hired by the CIA and a brigade or so of airborn Army troops.

    We don’t even get any oil from there, it all goes to China, Russia, and Western Europe. I am tired of having the US waste their good people and dwindling treasure on these folk. We know that our stuff works and we don’t need to test it any further. We have enough battle-trained troops, far more than any other nation and probably more than all other nations combined, and we don’t need to train any more for a while.

    Years ago we could get along with dictators and just buy their oil and sell them airliners and luxury goods. I think that we could easily go back to doing that and let the rest of the world carry the ball for a change. We could concentrate on fixing our own internal problems with the economy and healthcare and food and housing issues.

    The Syrians and Iranians got themselves into the fix that they are in and they can either get themselves out of it or get help from nearer neighbors. I wouldn’t try to get much help from Turkey, though, if it was my call.

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