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Bush stops war plans for Syria
April 14, 2003 7:34 PM   Subscribe

No war in Syria? It appears not, as the US president has blocked the Pentagon from making preparations for an invasion. Is this for real, or is it merely a ploy to sway international opinion?
posted by fnord_prefect (36 comments total)

 
oh there are pissed people at JINSA tonight - if the guardians got it right.
posted by specialk420 at 7:46 PM on April 14, 2003


Hey, thanks for the link to The Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, specialk. It looks very interesting. In fact, I've just subscribed.

I know this wasn't your intention but, hey, a good link is a good link; it takes all sorts and this is the Internet, after all! ;)
posted by MiguelCardoso at 7:54 PM on April 14, 2003


Dismissing fears of an Anglo-American invasion as another "conspiracy theory"

A conspiracy theory dismissal conspiracy.
posted by stbalbach at 8:04 PM on April 14, 2003


Good. Hope it's true.
posted by Hildago at 8:17 PM on April 14, 2003


Who knows what to believe anymore? I would think, however, that an invasion of Syria would cause no end of political trouble for Bush administration. Already, Lawrence Eagleberger has told the BBC that Bush would surely be immediately impeached if such a thing were tried right now. The Iraq invasion did not seem to just come out of nowhere, by contrast, and thus was more politically palatable to a broad swath of the public and the political establishment. An attack on Syria would just come off as radical, even though that's exactly what the Iraqi war was.

I still worry, however, that there are severe ideologues within the administration who aren't going to take no for an answer. If they win, this country is headed for an unprecedented crisis.
posted by raysmj at 8:55 PM on April 14, 2003


miguel. good for you. real nice group of people. im sure they have no problem with any IDF actions todate.
posted by specialk420 at 8:56 PM on April 14, 2003


From a strictly financial point of view, the US isn't in any current position to undergo another significant invasion right now. Give it another year or two to refill our weapons stockpiles and bring in some more taxes, then we'll be up for another liberation I'm sure.
posted by Wingy at 8:59 PM on April 14, 2003


If they're planning to invade Syria it will be closer to next November. Otherwise they are just wasting all the popularity boosts that a war gives you.
posted by velacroix at 9:02 PM on April 14, 2003


Something is severely fishy here. Yesterday, I counted no fewer than six major administration officials rattling sabres. And now, all of a sudden, not just a "no", but a "no, no, no, no, no". Call it an over-denial, if you will.

My guesses? Either the Syrians have started saying things Washington wants to hear, BIG TIME, like they are going to withdraw from Lebanon or expel the foreign terrorist orgs operating in Syria; OR Washington has strategically determined that somebody else is in the queue ahead of Syria.

FYI, the Abraham Lincoln was utterly exhausted and short of too much stuff, and the Shitty, er, Kitty Hawk and the Constellation are antiques more useful as oilers than as bird launchers.
posted by kablam at 9:17 PM on April 14, 2003


From a strictly financial point of view, the US isn't in any current position to undergo another significant invasion right now. Give it another year or two to refill our weapons stockpiles and bring in some more taxes, then we'll be up for another liberation I'm sure.

Wingy, many have sort of noticed that we weren't financially ready for the first war, let alone starting a second one- I mean, with the GOP slashing veteran's benefits right now, one might say it's the soldiers who are paying for it. As for "refilling the stockpiles," yeah, I'm worried too: right now we only have enough weapons on hand to destroy everything on earth four times over.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:29 PM on April 14, 2003


[Apologies for tangent]

miguel. good for you

Specialk: Why the sarcasm? I like you and what you post. I owe more than a few great links to your participation here. But please understand that I don't have to fall in line or think like you. I'm old, I'm Jewish, I'm a Zionist, I'm a conservative - I have my considered opinions and my emotional opinions, just like you. I'm aware that this isn't a popular ideological position here. So what? Leave it at that. I'm very glad JINSA exists - and the IDF - and I thanked you for bringing it to my attention. That is all. I think you're wrong - you think I'm wrong. That's one of MeFi's official taglines and it's fine and wonderful. No need for sarcasm.
:)
posted by MiguelCardoso at 9:40 PM on April 14, 2003


"No war in Syria? It appears not..."
The double negative taxes my brain, creates a loop, obscures the cognitive process. What was this post about? Will there be a war, or won't there? What position is this post asserting? I'm walking away from the computer now. I'd rant more, but it's been done before.
posted by tomharpel at 9:43 PM on April 14, 2003


migs, fwiw, and that's not much from me, I think it's probably a little odd to see you politically posture yourself as anything. yeah, we all know that you're jewish and elderly-ish, but you tend to not take a stand in such affairs (here anyways, and that may be a result of my avoidance of such threads on the most part) but if specialk wants to point out some nefarious aspects of a political organisation, than that's their prerogative. what you do with it is yours, but I wouldn't take so much offense to it if I were you
posted by Ufez Jones at 10:01 PM on April 14, 2003


Okay, what's the punch line?
posted by moonbiter at 10:08 PM on April 14, 2003


Thanks, Ufez. Why on earth would you think your opinion isn't important? In my experience here, you're generally always, annoyingly right. Damn you! ;) That's why I'm answering. I like specialk (and have often showed it) and wasn't offended at all - just a little hurt that he'd been sarcastic. As for "posturing", I think it's helpful that people provide a quick ready-reckoner of where they stand. It's preferable to enigmatically pose as being on the side of reason, truth, honesty and all that stuff. Anyway, enough tangents. This is already derailing. Apologies to fnord_perfect and other posters in this thread.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 10:16 PM on April 14, 2003


Why the sarcasm?

miguel. apologies - im quite certain you are fine person and i have enjoyed many of your posts and comments as well.

JINSA, Perle, Wolfowitz, Sharon, The IDF, Settlements, Zionism, and your nutty people with the red heifer represent the greatest threat to middle east, america and the worlds peace and security - never mind the thousands of innocent lives caught up in their apocalyptic war machine - thus the sarcasm.
posted by specialk420 at 10:22 PM on April 14, 2003


Thanks, specialk - I apologize too for being too touchy. My (Orthodox) Rabbi, unfortunately, would never let me join you in disparaging the red heifer but, as you Americans say, I feel you. Though I would dispute most vigorously your putting the red heifer, Zionism, Perle and all the rest in the same sack, I think this would be best kept for another thread. We really have to achieve, imho, an I/P thread that's civilized and doesn't devolve dirtily into the usual "antisemitic/nazi/fascist/lefty/commie/zionist imperialist" festival of meaningless insults. I promise to be there if ever you post it! :)
posted by MiguelCardoso at 10:34 PM on April 14, 2003


We really have to achieve, imho, an I/P thread that's civilized and doesn't devolve dirtily into the usual.

Good luck with all that!
posted by Ufez Jones at 10:42 PM on April 14, 2003


who knew miguel was a closet postroad?
posted by donkeyschlong at 10:48 PM on April 14, 2003


i may have unwittingly crossed a line with the heifer link/comment - which one must admit is just plain bizarre ... if there is going to be an apocalypse - do we really need to rush its arrival?

in the spirit of peace and goodwill (hopefully the americans, syrians, israelis, palestinians etc. will join in the future) i will cough up an entirely off topic but (my very favorite of day) excellent link.
posted by specialk420 at 10:55 PM on April 14, 2003


JINSA, Perle, Wolfowitz, Sharon, The IDF, Settlements, Zionism, and your nutty people with the red heifer represent the greatest threat to middle east, america and the worlds peace and security

I think something's missing in that equation.

We really have to achieve, imho, an I/P thread that's civilized and doesn't devolve...

Cardoso participation usually equals non-devolvement, in my experience.
posted by hama7 at 12:37 AM on April 15, 2003


We really have to achieve, imho, an I/P thread that's civilized and doesn't devolve dirtily into the usual.

If anybody's going to drag us all, kicking and screaming, into civilized behavior, it's Miguel...
(I think I just committed an Oxymoron in the First Degree - self-link to one of my more pathetic web endeavors)

Anyway, I think this thread backed away from the brink with more grace than W. did with Syria. On Preview: Even hama7 opted for a much more subtle snarkiness.

Obviously, specialk420's sarcastic link to JINSA backfired (I wouldn't be surprised if Miguel was not the only pro-Israel MeFite who found it to be a happy discovery); my personal policy is to avoid linking to people an organizations I consider evil (although I've violated my own rule on occasion). Still, Migs, even if I agreed wholeheartedly with the aims of JINSA, that helicopter-gunship graphic on the top right of the page kinda creeped me out!
posted by wendell at 12:59 AM on April 15, 2003


[warning: random offshoot.]

I thought I was the king of cynicism, but no. This morning I was told that Iraq was invaded for the oil (a fairly common accusation, no comments of accuracy please) and that Syria will be next. The reason? So that Bush can build a big pipe to take the oil from Iraq to Israel to American ships that then don't have to do a lap of Africa.

I have handed my cynic's crown (which looks very tin foil-ish) to the purpetrator...

posted by twine42 at 3:37 AM on April 15, 2003


what the hell is up with all this subscripting
posted by delmoi at 3:59 AM on April 15, 2003


I like it. Makes the thread seem quiet, contemplative and civilized.
posted by spazzm at 4:04 AM on April 15, 2003


The subscripting is for all of the whispered asides that have dominated this thread, unfortunately not regarding the theme of this thread which is whether the US is or is not thinking about invading Syria.

A more interesting group to implicate in this discussion is the PNAC whose members also make up the current pack of "neo-conservative" hawks in the current White House, some of whom have been talking about redrawing the geo-political map of the Middle East for over 10 years. Since Syria has always been on their hit list, it was quite disturbing to the world to hear the recent threats made by various members of the Bush administration in recent days.

So the question is will they or won't they? Personally, I think they are testing the waters, laying the groundwork if you will. Obviously, to the rational person, to continue the "rolling victory" theory of Rumsfeld and Perle right into Syria would be disastrous PR and may very well cost Bush the White House as Eagleburger suggested. But I would argue that these men are not rational, but rather obsessive and very nearly out of control. So I think that either a) some of the more rabid White House elements such as Rumsfeld may have gotten ahead of themselves or b) they calculated the statements to gauge the reaction at home and around the world, not even necessarily with plans for immediate aggression, but for aggression down the road at a more feasible time for their agenda. Perhaps after another terrorist attack (if one should, ahem, occur at a convenient moment)? Before the elections? After reelection? When the Americans begin to speak of the economy, at last?

One gets the feeling that much of the actual foreign policy is written on the fly, but following a general outline that was written years ago, so maybe they will maybe they won't. Do they want to attack Syria? Definitely. But they may have other maneuvers to make before continuing their dream.
posted by sic at 4:23 AM on April 15, 2003


JINSA, Perle, Wolfowitz, Sharon, The IDF, Settlements, Zionism, and your nutty people with the red heifer represent the greatest threat to middle east, america and the worlds peace and security

specialK, thanks for bringing this important observation to our attention this fine morning.
Obviously Israel is the biggest threat to the world. It's not the Saudi, bankrolling the suicide bombers and the various Jihad movements, it's not the African regimes that have killed millions, it's not North Korea (oh no), and obviously it's not Syria who has killed more civilians in one day than Israel managed in all the years of its existence.
Generally, you might be interested in sharing your thoughts about Syria not being a threat to region stability with the Lebanese people.
It is mind-boggling how far sweeping accusations can get you.
posted by bokononito at 8:47 AM on April 15, 2003


Ploy.
posted by zekinskia at 8:54 AM on April 15, 2003


sic: Exactly. The more I think about it, the more this article has "planted trial balloon" written al over it.
posted by raysmj at 9:35 AM on April 15, 2003


It seems obvious that the White House does not want to dance with the UN again before they attack another country, since US "diplomacy" has two left feet and is tone deaf, and as the conquest of Iraq proved, you can convince the US population of any kind of bizarre, amorphous justifications for foreign domination entirely through media manipulation and, of course, military victory. Apparently, everyone in the US loves a winner, no matter how he wins. Therefore, it makes sense for them to start any new "campaign" with a bit of market research, you know, to see if the US audience can keep "suspending their disbelief" for another few months or if they have to take a break.


God how I despise them.
posted by sic at 11:41 AM on April 15, 2003


the old hawk and friend of milosevic - lawrence eagleburger has some harsh words for the administration on the syria issue: "in fact, if president bush were to try that now, even i would think that he ought to be impeached." [via dangerousmeta.com]
posted by specialk420 at 11:44 AM on April 15, 2003


Another problem with putting the screws to Syria, even just with sanctions, is the effect it would have on fighting al-Qaeda. Syria does support Hizbollah, but they have helped us to fight al-Qaeda. If we turn on them, we're sending a message that just because a country cooperates in our war on terorism doesn't mean we won't turn on them later. That could undermine everything.
posted by homunculus at 12:25 PM on April 15, 2003


Yeah, I'm, sure they've helped fight AQ.

If war isn't needed for Syria, its only because the place is much more isolated now than it was a month ago.

But it would be nice if the US or Israel would conduct some JDAM artistry on Hizbolah.
posted by ParisParamus at 12:34 PM on April 15, 2003


'JDAM artistry'? Ah, yes, the same way that you're an artist of logic and reason.

Those pissed off with the looting of Baghdad's treasures will probably go and fight themselves to defend the museums in Damascus, or the sites at Aleppo and Ain Dara and Palmyra. If anything exposes the sham of this war so blatently, it's the Syria question, since the threat to the US is non-existent, and serves only the ideological mission of those who treat the White House as a bitch-slapped enforcer for Ariel Sharon.
posted by riviera at 7:58 AM on April 16, 2003


JDAM artistry very pretty.
posted by specialk420 at 9:59 AM on April 16, 2003


Didn't you guys see the "Dont Feed the Trolls" sign on the way in?

They just get fatter and louder if you toss them bones.
posted by sic at 5:46 PM on April 16, 2003


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