Tag Archives: syria

SHOULD THE WORLD CONTINUE TO PUT UP WITH THESE ASSHOLES?


If we are to keep up the pretense that we really give a rat’s ass about the poor people in Syria who are  being murdered by their own government, then we have to stop such ridiculous things as “strongly condemning” the shoot-down of a Turkish jet, and considering sanctions for the murders of innocent civilians.  Among other things, indiscriminate shelling of civilian populations is a clear-cut violation of the Geneva conventions.  Are we concerned about humanitarian rights, or are we just concerned with political posturing?

On the other hand, the last time we got deeply involved in this sort of thing, we managed to trash a modern, industrialized country and kill hundreds of thousands of civilians as “collateral damage.”  

Maybe the only thing worse than political posturing is the idea that NATO might actually do something.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/nato-condemns-downing-of-turkish-jet-by-syria/2012/06/26/gJQAjZqs3V_story.html?wpisrc=al_comboNP

Syrian Unrest Raises Fears About Chemical Arsenal


 

Skull & Gas Mask by Bogdan Calciu

“By early in the last decade, some weapons experts ranked Syria’s chemical stockpile as probably the largest in the world, consisting of tens of tons of highly lethal chemical agents and hundreds of Scud missiles as well as lesser rockets, artillery rockets and bomblets for delivering the poisons.

Syria’s preferred poison is not mustard gas but sarin, the nerve agent that killed 13 people and sickened about 1,000 during a terrorist attack on the Tokyo subway system in 1995. Sarin, which is lethal if inhaled even in minute quantities, can also be used to contaminate water and food supplies. Although many analysts doubt that Assad would deliberately share chemical bombs with terrorists, it is not inconceivable that weapons could vanish amid the chaos of an uprising that destroys Syria’s vaunted security services, which safeguard the munitions. …”   Read the article…

The New Era — Analysis from Stratfor


July 9, 2008

By Peter Zeihan

As students of geopolitics, we at Stratfor tend not to get overexcited when this or that plan for regional peace is tabled. Many of the world’s conflicts are geographic in nature, and changes in government or policy only rarely supersede the hard topography that we see as the dominant sculptor of the international system. Island states tend to exist in tension with their continental neighbors. Two countries linked by flat arable land will struggle until one emerges dominant. Land-based empires will clash with maritime cultures, and so on.
Petit vs. Grand Geopolitic

But the grand geopolitic — the framework which rules the interactions of regions with one another — is not the only rule in play. There is also the petit geopolitic that occurs among minor players within a region. Think of the grand geopolitic as the rise and fall of massive powers — the onslaught of the Golden Horde, the imperial clash between England and France, the U.S.-Soviet Cold War. By contrast, think of the petit geopolitic as the smaller powers that swim alongside or within the larger trends — Serbia versus Croatia, Vietnam versus Cambodia, Nicaragua versus Honduras. The same geographic rules apply, just on a smaller scale, with the added complexity of the grand geopolitic as backdrop.

The Middle East is a region rife with petit geopolitics. Since the failure of the Ottoman Empire, the region has not hosted an indigenous grand player. Instead, the region serves as a battleground for extra-regional grand powers, all attempting to grind down the local (petit) players to better achieve their own aims. Normally, Stratfor looks at the region in that light: an endless parade of small players and local noise in an environment where most trends worth watching are those implanted and shaped by outside forces. No peace deals are easy, but in the Middle East they require agreement not just from local powers, but also from those grand players beyond the region. The result is, well, the Middle East we all know.

All the more notable, then, that a peace deal — and a locally crafted one at that — has moved from the realm of the improbable to not merely the possible, but perhaps even the imminent. Continue reading