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February 10, 2012 - 7:50am

Today's Poll: Should U.S./allies intervene in Syria?

posted by Howard B. Owens in polls.
John Woodworth JR
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I vote no. I am surprise that Obama is not bypassing Congress and HOR and conducting an air campaign like he did in Libya since, it is basically the same scenario. Yet we overlook Iran developing nuclear weapons and idly stand by.

Charlie Mallow
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Not sure which situation I careless about, Iran or Syria. What a mistake it would be getting involved with either.

Irene Will
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I'm with Charlie

Howard B. Owens
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I'm trying to figure out why Libya is different from Syria.

Charlie Mallow
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Libya had a more organized rebel force with a greater likelihood of producing a friendly government after the fall of their tyrant. I think what we have learned since the fall of Libya and Egypt is that democracy in that region isn't really in our nations best interest. Those people hate us and if given the choice in a vote, they will elect unfriendly governments. No good deed is left unpunished, leave them be.

John Woodworth JR
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Charlie it is a mistake to get involved with Syria. However, Iran is a serious threat to the world. Russia, China, United States and all the other nuclear powers of the world know the seriousness of using nuclear weapons. However, Iran is a radical nation and has an extreme hatred of Israel and the western world. They would not give a rat arse on whether the rest of the world would be against them using nuclear weapons to rid the world of Israel. If, you think Ron Paul is right when he said if, we leave them alone they will leave us alone, then you are extremely naive. That is the problem with most Americans they do not deal with war or other nations so, they do not see a threat. Radical Muslims do not see things the way you and I see them. They do not value their life on this earth like we do. Their rationality is not like ours. They answer to their higher power and not to man. Let me ask you this

Charlie and Irene, what do you think would happen when, Iran launches nukes on Israel? Imagine the devastation and deaths that would occur. How would the muslim nations respond? How would the western world respond? How should the U.S. respond? It would start a major conflict. I still remember the muslim world celebrating the attacks on 9-11. So, my advise is stop being so blind and naive to the real threat. Beside I worry about more than you will. Afterall I am the one that carries the rifle and defends your arse.

John Woodworth JR
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REALLY CHARLIE? The Muslim Brotherhood would create a "FRIENDLY GOVERNMENT" towards Israel, Europe and the USA? LMAO you are truly naive!!!!!! Let them be? Why didn't you feel the same way for Libya? Syria is not friendly towards the US. Most Muslim nations are not. They fear our power and use us as their mercenaries to fight their battles. Iran is a real and serious threat to the world.

John Woodworth JR
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BTW Charlie, I guess the Syrian President is not a tyrant? Hmmm, what is he doing differently? Oh, NOTHING, he is killing his own people because, they want their voice to be heard.

Charlie Mallow
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John, did you actually read what I wrote about Democracy in the middle east?

As for Iran. Isreal's foreign policy problems, don't really concern me. Not sure why our government is so invested in another nations security. If Iran makes the mistake of using weapons of mass destruction, then we react. We learned in Iraq that starting wars because of a perceived threat is not in our national interest.

Jerry Buckman
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JW Jr.: As a fellow member in the profession of arms but much farther down the track than you, I highly recommend you broaden your news sources before you proclaim such staunch and emotional assessments. I can tell that your heart is in the right place, but take a longer look through the keyhole before making conclusions on what's in the room. Aim High!

Jeff Allen
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I've gotta defend Charlies statement here "Those people hate us and if given the choice in a vote, they will elect unfriendly governments. " That is the problem in a nutshell and clear and convincing evidence is just as he stated, Libya and Egypt. Deeply rooted and historical Theocracies(loosely used) don't turn into fully functioning Democracies just because the people are handed a ballot.

Charlie Mallow
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Exactly Jeff. If there was a chance of making Syria a functional Democracy with as little effort as we put into Lybia, they I say go for it. The problem is look what we have in Libya and Egypt now. Some could argue its worse. The Monday morning quarterback in me says maybe we helped those people to our own detriment.

If you want to broaden this even further. Look at the "democracy's " in Iraq and Afganistan. Failure would be an understatement.

Howard B. Owens
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Whether they can become a functioning democracy or not, or a theocracy or not, is beside the point. We have no business interfering in the affairs of other nations.

Jeff Allen
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We agree on this issue Charlie. Democracy is good for all nations, it is not an ideal solely belonging to America, it is just that we got it right (in my opinion). I will admit that my views have changed given the events of the last decade. I would love to see America have a role in spreading Democracy to nations that are crying out for it but.... #1 is it our sole responsibility and #2 can it be achieved while maintaining our own interests, safety, and sovereignty? I will be the first one to admit I don't have the answer.

C. M. Barons
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The difference between Syria and Libya/Egypt? The latter two countries are located on the continent of Africa, a continent lobotomized by post-colonial condescension and misanthropy, relegated to exploitative alliances between the West and the worst elements representing African nations. Syria (on the other hand) lies within the geo-political orbit of Russia and serves as Hezbollah's bridge between Iran and Lebanon. Hence, Syria approximates Serbia circa 1912.

John Roach
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CM

Chris Charvella
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There are some pretty smart people out there who would argue that the United States' constant national policy of interventionism throughout the world that began after WWII is to blame for all of our current woes. Those people have a valid point.

John Woodworth JR
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Iran's nuclear threat is not just on Israel. It threatens the safety and security of the world. This is not a hoax threat. So, Charlie with your sit and wait attitude let me run a scenario by you. If, you had a neighbor (1) that hated you just because, you have different political, religious or cultural beliefs. Now say another neighbor (2) heard that this neighbor (1) was going to build a bomb to destroy your house. What would you prefer that neighbor (2) do? Wait for the bomb to detonate before he mention it or would you prefer he mentions it prior to the explosion? Now remember you haven't seen proof of a bomb but, you have what you consider reliable intel that states it exist.

BTW, you could look at Iraq as being like Libya, Syria in many ways. You had a dictator who had no problem killing his people (all because of their political differences and because, they did not agree on Mohammed's birth date). Did Saddam have weapons of mass destruction? Yes, but Saddam was an intelligent man. If, he did not have such weapons why delay UN inspectors? Why play games by saying yes you can come in then, yell no, we are not ready for your visit?

Bush was fed what he consider reliable intelligence about WMD in Iraq. Now, WMD were not discovered in mass quanitities but, they were still present in a few IEDs which did contain chemical agents. With the amount of time Saddam had to hide WMD it is no wonder we did not find anything. Saddam buried sixty (60) fully fueled and armed aircraft to avoid the coalition forces from bombing and destroying them. They were discovered by the US Army accidentally when the sands shift enough to expose a tail fin.

If you are happy the tyrant of Libya was removed from power why do you not have the same joy about Syria and Iraq?

C. M. Barons
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John, I think I covered that: 'exploitative alliances between the West and the worst elements representing African nations.'

John Woodworth JR
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Hey Jerry, how are you? My sources are not as outdated as you think. I have been in this arena for over two decades. I am not speaking out of my arse. My experience in dealing with Muslims has taught me many points of view. I do not believe all Muslims are the same. However, to understand the radicals’ way of thinking you have to understand their motivations and beliefs.

I will not argue the fact that we get involved in way too much of the world's issues. I am tired of being sent away from my family to fight someone else's battle. I have been banged up enough. I did not agree with getting involved with Egypt, Libya, Syria and the whole democracy for the world order going on currently. The Muslim cultural is not based on personnel freedoms. It is based on religious law.

Iraq may have ups and downs with their current situation. Afghanistan will not support a centralized government. Many parts of Afghanistan do not even know they are a country or even have a flag. They are mostly illiterate and only know what someone Taliban or not have told them. Now we are stuck in this mess. If we leave then the Taliban will claim victory and march back into power. This will help with more radical recruitment. If, we stay we keep our forces in danger but, it will take 3-4 maybe more American Soldier generations to have any possible positive effect.

Phil Ricci
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Wow...look at all of us! D's, R's, I's and L's all agreeing! You know who else agrees with us? Ron Paul!!! Come on over guys, you'll fell better. :-)

Charlie Mallow
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John, perfect analogy. No, I wouldn't preemptively build my own bomb and drop it on neighbor (1), just because neighbor (2) told me neighbor (1) was crazy. I also would never threaten neighbor (1), that would never help the situation.

John, I understand where your coming from but, I think we as a people forget what causes these types of problems in the first place. We support tyrants around the world and have done so for years. The people who live under those thugs, hate us. That's a problem of our own creation.

I have no idea how to undue the mistake but, I know we can't continue along the same path. The world will be filled by democracies sooner or later and right now that isn't a good thing for us as a nation. Groups like the Muslim Brotherhood are popular in the middle east, those are the groups that will win elections.

John Woodworth JR
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Charlie I did not state you would build a bomb. Read the question again. Would you want it stopped before it happen? Or would rather wait for it to happen, taking a chance that your family and you may be injuried or killed?

C. M. Barons
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Iran has a literacy rate of 77%; compared to Afghanistan, (one of the lowest literacy rates in the world) 26%. Iran's GDP is highest in the middle east due to large reserves of oil (half the planet's supply). Production is public-owned, and domestic economy is highly subsidized to offset 20% unemployment and high inflation rate. Iran has nearly 4 million students enrolled in higher education. There are 54 state operated universities, 42 state medical schools and 289 private universities serving 40,000 students in Masters programs and 20,000 students in PhD programs. The state-run universities offer public-funded tuition, room and board. Access to higher education is governed by state board exams. Although Iran is linguistically alienated from most of its neighbors, it shares both religious and historical affinity. It has the longest seacoast on the two gulfs and thereby represents the gateway for its region to outside markets. As ancestor of the illustrious Persian Empire, Iran embodies the mantel of Islamic ascendency.

Iran's middle-class holds the key to moderating the country's political ambitions. Sanctions rather than military intervention will motivate displays of anti-government sentiment as seen on the heels of the last election. Per Reuters: "...Iran...defaulted on payments for rice from top supplier India, and...Ukrainian shipments of maize had been cut nearly in half. Rice is one of the main staples of the Iranian diet. With the rial currency plummeting, prices have more than doubled to $5 a kilo at bazaars in Iran from about $2 last year. Maize is used primarily as animal feed, and the cost of meat has almost tripled to about $30 a kilo, beyond the budget of many middle-class Iranian families. The measures have had a dramatic impact on daily life in the country ahead of a March 2 parliamentary election that will pit supporters of hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad against opponents seen as even more conservative.

"Palm oil ‘halted’...The sanctions have not shut the door on all international trade. US agribusiness giant Cargill said on Tuesday it planned to continue grain shipments to Iran, although its vice chairman Paul Conway said it was being "very careful" about how it financed its business there."

John Woodworth JR
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The Muslim Brotherhood is popular; they follow the Islamic Faith and believe that religious law not democracy will rule the country. The tyrants we support such as Saddam was against Iran during the Iranian/Iraq War, Osama against the Russians, sorry cannot remember spelling of ousted Egyptian President who we support because, of his keeping the peace with Israel. It is amazing that most of Afghanistan hates the Taliban but, are too weak and powerless to defend against. The Taliban raped and pillaged the country side of Afghanistan.

John Woodworth JR
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There will never be any questions. If, we do not get involve people will died and people will hates us. If, we do get involved people will died and people will hate us. I do know with a real threat like Iran poses with nuclear weapons, I rather not sit around and await the detonation of one whether in Israel or on our soil.

Destin Danser
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Our founding fathers said it best when they said to avoid foreign affairs and entangling alliances.

If we took all the money we are spending on foreign wars that aren't our problem and distributed it among the american people, we'd all have more money than we knew what to do with. Taxes could be lowered, our failing infrastructure repaired, and teachers could keep their jobs. But nope, it's more important to blow our money cleaning up other peoples' messes apparently.

Sweden seems to be doing pretty freaking well for themselves with their neutral stance on everything and strictly defensive military. It just doesn't help us to go clean up the messes that other people have made. It's not our job.

Howard B. Owens
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Phil, if you believe in non-interventionist policy, there's really only one choice.

Jeff Allen
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I noticed it too Phil, and it scared me!

kevin kretschmer
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I must commend you, my brother for constantly wandering out into the swamp. The next time you're walking the dog past our place and my truck is in the driveway, stop by. I think you deserve a trip to "Nice Ash" for a relaxing afternoon or evening. It will be my treat.

John Woodworth JR
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Destin I am not arguing the fact about staying out of needless wars. To base things on what are founding fathers faced or stated cannot be compared to today's issues. You no longer have to invade a nation to attack it. You have cyber warfare and weapons technologies that can reach out and touch someone. As far as not interfering with foreign affairs we are too far gone to deal with that now. Change does not happen overnight nor in our children’s or our lifetimes. We have countries who are upset with us because of our involvement and a few who have resented us for not helping enough (Basically empty promises). If Iran obtains and develops nuclear weapons. It will affect our nation’s security and other nations as well. To be closed minded to that will undermine our security. Would you ever guess that, radical Muslims would fly hundreds of innocent people to their deaths and kill thousands of more innocent people? Read, “Black Banner” by Ali Soufan. Interesting book and gives you a little bit of idea on how al-Qaida was develop since, the 1970s.

John Woodworth JR
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BTW, I have an Iranian friend who is here on a student visa who, agrees with me on my thoughts involving Iran. He goes to R.I.T. now and is a very bright man. His parents come and visit him and have me over for dinner. They have treated me like their own son. Oh, and they informed me about the differences between Arabs and Persians. Word of advise never call them Arabs, :-( They also hate their government and stated, that 1 out of every 6 Iranians support their government and the other 5 do not. I asked why they do not fight for a different government and Jafa's (Matin's Father) responds was "They have the Army!"

I do not dislike Muslims but, there are those I do. I have Pakistan, Saudis, Kuwaiti, Iraqi, Iranian friends and we get along great.

John Woodworth JR
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Thanks, will do.

John Woodworth JR
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Oh! Swedish defense? What is there to defend, snow? They have no real choice to remain neutral. Army is not big enough but, for defense.

John Woodworth JR
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I could agree with that but, not with all cases. The first Gulf War was justified to help out a country to keep their existence. Bosnia was justified to help stop genocide. You can blame 9-11 on the lack of concern by our nation's leaders on Al-Qaeda threats. That if, just leave them alone. They blew up several U.S. Embassies and points of interest before the USS Cole attack inwhich President Clinton launched cruise missles.

Charlie Mallow
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John, let me get this straight. You have a Irainian friend who thinks our country should bomb his country? I take it, he's not going back...

RICHARD L. HALE
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Two things you can take to the bank:

1. If there is even a spoonful of oil in Syria...U.S. will be there.

2. If Israel attacks Syria...U.S. we will be there.

C. M. Barons
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Dereliction of Duty II:
Senior Military Leaders’ Loss of Integrity Wounds Afghan War Effort
27 January 2012

Interesting reading: (from Rolling Stone magazine website)

"Earlier this week, the New York Times’ Scott Shane published a bombshell piece about Lt. Colonel Daniel Davis, a 17-year Army veteran recently returned from a second tour in Afghanistan. According to the Times, the 48-year-old Davis had written an 84-page unclassified report, as well as a classified report, offering his assessment of the decade-long war. That assessment is essentially that the war has been a disaster and the military's top brass has not leveled with the American public about just how badly it’s been going. "How many more men must die in support of a mission that is not succeeding?" Davis boldly asks in an article summarizing his views in The Armed Forces Journal.

"Davis last month submitted the unclassified report –titled "Dereliction of Duty II: Senior Military Leader’s Loss of Integrity Wounds Afghan War Effort" – for an internal Army review. Such a report could then be released to the public. However, according to U.S. military officials familiar with the situation, the Pentagon is refusing to do so. Rolling Stone has now obtained a full copy of the 84-page unclassified version, which has been making the rounds within the U.S. government, including the White House."

Link to Davis' report-
http://www1.rollingstone.com/extras/RS_REPORT.pdf

Howard B. Owens
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John Woodworth JR
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NO Charlie! Where did I ever state, "Bomb Iran?" Why don't you read my comments first. My friend's family lives in Tehran and his father works for the power authority over there. He is all for the addition of nuclear power plants but, does feel his government will use it to gain material to develop nuclear weapons. We both agree that his government is a radical government and is a real threat.

John Woodworth JR
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Good article Howard. I still believe Iran does pose a real threat still. Who knows if or when they will use nuclear weapons? Pakistan is an Islamic country but, I do not believe the government is radical. We are talking a different government. Iran has already murder it's civilians like several other countries have in the region. To believe they would worry about attacking Israel and retaliation attack is debatable. First strike in that region would almost guarantee a successful attack. Iran is close enough to even do Black Ops style missions or use terrorist organizations to carry out attacks (Plausible Deniability). I just think we should not drop our guard and I am not talking for an all out war either.

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