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droneriot
RETIRED

Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 1:17 pm
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Location: Germany
PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 6:34 am 
 

BREAKING NEWS:

Over 650 people confirmed dead in chemical weapons attacks near Damascus, the main Syrian opposition group says

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-23777201

Pretty heavy thing to wake up to...
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Last edited by droneriot on Sat Aug 24, 2013 11:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Frenzied Metalhead
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Joined: Mon Jun 03, 2013 5:51 am
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Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 7:03 am 
 

This is incredibly unpleasant news.
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Svarthavid
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Location: Sarpsborg, Norway
PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 7:39 pm 
 

this is really terrible. The Assad regime seem to literally massacre everyone in hopes of making the o opposision cease their riots. The UN should really do something about this soon, or else thousands more inosents will loose their lives in pointless genocides like this that will only make the rioters riot even harder.
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Evil_Johnny_666
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 7:40 pm 
 

I don't want to read this...

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Oxenkiller
Metalhead

Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2008 3:42 am
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Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 8:31 pm 
 

This is too horrible to contemplate, however it must be said that the opposition forces are not much better. They are not fighting so much for "Freedom," rather their goal is to establish a fascist, hard-line religious regime which would make Assad's look utopian by comparison. This whole thing is so screwed up because there are no "good guys." Rather, as horrible as the Assad regime is (and by all accounts it is horrible- this latest atrocity is simply the last straw) The rebels, should they win, would be worse. And of course, if Obama or any of the western powers try to intervene on behalf of the rebels, send them aid, etc. all that will happen is they will end up arming their own enemies. America would help the anti-Assad rebels come to power, only so they could turn around and say "Death to America." Which is why the whole situation is such a tragedy- we can hope that karma catches up with Assad, but right now there are no possible good outcomes.

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droneriot
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 8:38 pm 
 

Oxenkiller wrote:
They are not fighting so much for "Freedom," rather their goal is to establish a fascist, hard-line religious regime

It must be said that you are talking about one faction of many.
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Marag
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 9:15 pm 
 

Syria gets more fucked by the day. It's amazing how Assad has absolutely no qualms with massacring his own country and people.

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oneyoudontknow
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Joined: Sun May 21, 2006 6:25 pm
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Location: Germany
PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 1:25 am 
 

^ that view is a bit one-sided. Who finances the "rebels" (terrorists is a more appropriate term) for what reasons is of interest as well.
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Bezerko
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 6:15 am 
 

The west and the Arab states fund the rebels because they want influence in a future Syrian state. It's not exactly rocket science oneyoudontknow.

The opposition is pretty fractured. You have hard-line Islamists, more "moderate"/secular FSA elements and hell, the Kurds doing their own thing up north. Only thing remotely holding them together is they hate Assad more than each other (and even that's starting to go by the wayside).

The video footage emerging from this is pretty horrific. If this is confirmed as an attack by the regime then Assad has a hell of a lot to answer for.

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Woolie_Wool
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 9:32 am 
 

I don't predict there will be an international intervention. The abject failure of the United States is fresh on everyone's minds and the UN security council has Russia as a permanent member, and they're in bed with Assad.
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TheLiberation
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 10:53 am 
 

This is incredibly disturbing. It's starting to seem like Assad is capable of literally anything to remain at power.

And while it's unfortunately true that it's no longer been "evil tyrant vs. good rebels" for a long time, it doesn't seem like just saying the rebels are the same is fair. The problem is that the extremists are too dangerous and too powerful. Without them the actual secular rebels wouldn't leave much doubt that they're the better option.

But still... this is depressing.
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kingnuuuur
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 11:00 am 
 

This morning local TV showed footage of literally hundreds of dead children's corpses in hospitals after the poisoning, the BBC video doesn't even begin to represent the scale of the attack. I think you can remove the (unconfirmed) tag now.


Last edited by kingnuuuur on Fri Aug 23, 2013 11:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Cursarion
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 11:14 am 
 

How are chemicals worse than bullets and explosives? They kill all the same.
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mindshadow
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Joined: Wed Jan 12, 2011 8:36 am
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 11:36 am 
 

RonimuZ wrote:
How are chemicals worse than bullets and explosives? They kill all the same.


Yeah why kill/maim a few when you can kill/maim hundreds anonymously. Chemical attacks would be terrifying I'd imagine, yes more so than conventional weapons.

Seriously?
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Dudemanguy
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 11:38 am 
 

To be fair, explosives can kill hundreds too. It just depends on the yield.

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Marag
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 11:56 am 
 

RonimuZ wrote:
How are chemicals worse than bullets and explosives? They kill all the same.

Chemical weapons often leaves residues that can have long-term effects on the population. And I'm not sure on this, but I think chemical weapons are used mainly on civilians as opposed to on combat.

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henkkjelle
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Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2011 3:54 pm
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 12:01 pm 
 

RonimuZ wrote:
How are chemicals worse than bullets and explosives? They kill all the same.


Because they pretty much serve only one purpose: Killing lots and lots of people. They really don't serve any other purpose, it doesn't blow up military installations , it isn't used when targeting a specific person, it just kills the people who happen to be in the vicinity. That's not to say explosives are that much better, but atleast explosives can be used in other ways and they are a lot more accurate. There really isn't any reasonable excuse that would pardon someone for using chemical weapons.

This attack proves once again that however insanely complicated the situation in Syria might be, Assad's government is definitly the worst of the warring factions. Maybe not in ideology (because I'd hate for the islamic extremists to take over) but definitely in action.
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Dudemanguy
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 12:25 pm 
 

Marag wrote:
Chemical weapons often leaves residues that can have long-term effects on the population. And I'm not sure on this, but I think chemical weapons are used mainly on civilians as opposed to on combat.

Yeah probably. I'd put chemical weapons and explosives in the same category though in terms of being bad and destructive. The main difference would be that explosives destroy a lot more property. Otherwise, both can seriously damage your health (both short and long term), have negative environmental impact and obviously take many lives at once. What is truly "worse" just depends on the yield, what chemicals, what bombs, etc.

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mindshadow
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 12:53 pm 
 

Non-conventional weapons affect future generations.
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droneriot
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 1:01 pm 
 

Dudemanguy wrote:
What is truly "worse" just depends on the yield, what chemicals, what bombs, etc.

Tell me which conventional explosive owned by any country other than the United States (GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb) and Russia (Aviation Thermobaric Bomb of Increased Power (ATBIP)) can kill more than 650 people in one strike without hitting a skyscraper or a large, packed gathering?
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Dudemanguy
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 1:07 pm 
 

I don't see the point of that post. I'm not going to pretend to be an expert in explosives, so I don't know. However, you're making exceptions (no crowded areas allowed) for no real reason. The fact that someone could topple a building and kill everyone inside it is evidence of how destructive explosives can be. It all just depends on the circumstances.

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droneriot
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 1:09 pm 
 

You're not making any sense. You can kill 1,000 people with a kitchen knife, which makes kitchen knives as destructive as sarin gas? Do you lack any perspective whatsoever?
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Dudemanguy
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 1:14 pm 
 

That's not really a fair analogy. With a relatively small amount of explosives, you can topple buildings. I'd say that's pretty destructive for all intents and purposes. Bombs were designed with crowds of people in mind. Disregarding one of the primary situations in which the effectiveness of a bomb can be shown is not fair at all.

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droneriot
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 1:19 pm 
 

Here's how it works:

You can kill 1,000 people with a kitchen knife under very, very specific (and quite unlikely) circumstances.
You can kill 1,000 people with a conventional explosives under less specific but still specific circumstances (the skyscraper/packed crowd examples).
You can kill 1,000 people with highly toxic poison gas under far, far less specific circumstances, just drop it whereever people live and it will spread and be near impossible to protect yourself from.

Or, to make a very rough, guesstimate, I'd say one in ten highly toxic poison gas attacks will kill a thousand people, while in the past decades we have seen how many bombs dropped or set off on this planet? A million? And how many of them killed a thousand people? I can only think of 9/11 (which technically wasn't a bomb.)
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FasterDisaster
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 1:44 pm 
 

RonimuZ wrote:
How are chemicals worse than bullets and explosives? They kill all the same.

Well, you can usually feel a bullet penetrating your flesh, a large piece of metal is required to spit them at you, and those are usually loud as fuck. Chemicals are rarely heard or seen, so that's already two ways it's nearly undetectable. Usually you can only feel a chemical attack after you're already pretty much fucked, and if used in crowded areas, like the one in the OP seemingly was, you have a recipe for a silent disaster.

I also kind of can't believe you asked such a dumb question.
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Dudemanguy
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 2:16 pm 
 

droneriot wrote:
Here's how it works:

You can kill 1,000 people with a kitchen knife under very, very specific (and quite unlikely) circumstances.
You can kill 1,000 people with a conventional explosives under less specific but still specific circumstances (the skyscraper/packed crowd examples).
You can kill 1,000 people with highly toxic poison gas under far, far less specific circumstances, just drop it whereever people live and it will spread and be near impossible to protect yourself from.

Or, to make a very rough, guesstimate, I'd say one in ten highly toxic poison gas attacks will kill a thousand people, while in the past decades we have seen how many bombs dropped or set off on this planet? A million? And how many of them killed a thousand people? I can only think of 9/11 (which technically wasn't a bomb.)


Okay, then I'll drop a few nukes. While they may not be "conventional," they are certainly still explosives and bombs.

I guess I'll just give you this one since I don't really care anymore and I guess you're right.

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iamntbatman
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 2:28 pm 
 

It just comes down to the mechanics of the weapon. An explosive, any explosive, can be used in circumstances where you have a pretty good idea of the effects. Obviously you *can* use explosives to kill innocent civilians or whatever, but it's the less predictable effects of chemical weapons - their indiscriminate nature, the lingering effects, uncontrollable factors such as wind totally changing the target area, the guaranteed horrifying way in which they actually kill you, etc. that make them so reviled.
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Nochielo
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 2:38 pm 
 

Not to mention that bullets and explosions have the potential to kill you instantly. Sarin gas will make those last few minutes a real torture.
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oneyoudontknow
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Joined: Sun May 21, 2006 6:25 pm
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 2:53 pm 
 

as so many people seem to abhorred by the ongoings in Syria, this news must horrify them:
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2013/08/22/national/rate-of-radioactive-flow-to-pacific-alarming/
Quote:
Water releasing as much as 10 trillion becquerels of radioactive strontium and 20 trillion becquerels of cesium-137 from the Fukushima No. 1 power plant has flowed into the Pacific Ocean since May 2011, Tokyo Electric Power Co. estimates.

and this is just the tip of the iceberg.
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Morrigan
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 3:00 pm 
 

FasterDisaster wrote:
I also kind of can't believe you asked such a dumb question.

....I'm afraid, I must agree. :scratch:
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OneSizeFitzpatrick
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 4:37 pm 
 

and we still wonder why the middle east hates us... There's hardly a mention of this on american news and people are more riled up about Ben Affleck playing the new Batman than this.
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Napero
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 4:42 pm 
 

RonimuZ wrote:
How are chemicals worse than bullets and explosives? They kill all the same.

Nuclear, chemical and biological weapons can, for all practical purposes, be made as large and lethal as anyone might ever wish. That is, arbitrarily large and lethal. The infamous Tsar Bomba, at its respectable 57 megatons, was a downgraded version of the original 150 megaton design, and there's nothing in the science of the things to limit the maximum yield. Just add more and larger thermonuclear stages to it, and essentially it's possible to blow up the planet with a single nuke. It makes no sense... unless you're the last emperor of the North Korean Clan, and you have nothing to lose, or you feel it's your mission to kill everybody. There's always the Doomsday Machine scenario, and sometimes, it's not that far-fetched. You only need a truly desperate man/woman, or a really goofy religion.

A biological weapon can be pretty damn lethal to everybody. Sure, it offers a possibility to target, say, ethnic minorities, in the medium term, but eventually, making a super smallpox or a brand of AIDS that infects others via aerosol, i.e. sneezing, is easier, and cannot be controlled, because the breakthrough can take place in a 2nd grade university lab. And it might well have a close to 100% mortality rate.

Designing a chemical that could kill us all, in quantities measured ten or hundreds of tons, is not unfeasible, and as we all know, chemical process industry is very effective these days, and few things are eventually hard to manufacture in a trailer or an apartment, if you know what you're doing.

Add to the equation the fact that none of those lethal characteristics can really be limited geographically, that their killing potential pays little attention to the worth of the target, that none of them discriminates between a real foe and a "collateral", and it's easy to see that there actually is a difference between them and a humongous conventional explosive, which rarely kills anyone beyond a radius of one kilometer from the impact point, and after it has gone off. Any of the three can kill, main, and deform people for years afterwards, and the environmental damage alone can be incalculable.

What the NBC weapons are good for is solely indiscriminate killing on a scale that can be drawn on a world globe map with a lipstick, and especially indiscriminate killing on an enormous scale, without any heed to the later generations. While some of them have been refined to semi-precision stage by the major powers, their use by second grade powers in the world is a horrible idea. And once you get to the "Osama" level of things, it's nothing but repulsive, even when compared to 9/11 or whatever. A van full of VX or Sarin in NY would have been a way more lethal idea than a few measly well-aimed airliners. Sure, for an individual it makes little difference if the mechanism of death is suffocation by a muscle paralyzing nerve gas or a bullet through the lung, but the sheer random industrial scale of killing through the use of NBC weapons is something that has been kept under close scrutiny since WWI, and should be kept that way in the future as well, if we have the means to do so.

I don't give a shit about the way I die myself, as long as it takes less than five minutes. But I want the future generations to have a world where the method of killing still has some relevance, because as soon as that makes no difference in a realpolitik way, the world is screwed.
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Xlxlx
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 6:29 pm 
 

Everything that Napero said is pretty much spot on. There's very little point of comparison between regular kinetic projectiles and explosives and weapons with lasting side effects such as chemical ones.

I don't think that I can contribute much to the discussion. All that can be said about this has been said already. This is one of those things that are just too horrific to put into words.
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MetalCuresHeadaches
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 8:58 pm 
 

You know, even if it is a chemical attack, what's that change? Really, even a confirmed chemical strike on civilians won't do anything. The UN is little more than sanctions and strong, empty press releases. Likely no one will take up arms at them, especially since Russia and China have sided with Assad before. And I highly doubt that public outrage and condemnation are going to make Assad feel bad or want to change his ways.
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Scorntyrant
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2013 2:08 am 
 

This is why we must close the doomsday-device gap.
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Diamhea
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2013 2:09 am 
 

You'd think people would move out of areas this dangerous.
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iamntbatman
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2013 2:58 am 
 

I think something like 2.7 million people already have.
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droneriot
RETIRED

Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 1:17 pm
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Location: Germany
PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2013 11:40 am 
 

BBC News wrote:
MSF confirms Syria 'chemical deaths'

Medecins Sans Frontieres says it has treated about 3,600 patients with "neurotoxic symptoms" in Syria, of whom 355 have died.

It said the patients had arrived in three hospitals it supports in the Damascus governorate on 21 August - when opposition activists say chemical attacks were launched against rebels.

It appears to be the first confirmation that chemical weapons were used.

Western countries have accused the government. Damascus accuses rebels.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-23827950

Edited the "(unconfirmed)" out of the title.
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Earthcubed
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2013 2:58 pm 
 

Obama's NSC is reportedly discussing airstrike and/or cruise missile options. From an American perspective, frankly I don't see what the point is. Those would have been far more effective a year ago before Iraqi AL-Qaeda and other foreign Islamist fighters infiltrated the opposition to such a large extent. And they would possibly make the chemical situation nerve gas by cross-contaminating the area, which is why you pretty much need people in-country to neutralize them. I know we have a special Ranger task force that has been training specifically for that purpose for a year or so, but paratrooper special operations are notoriously messy and unpredictable.



Assuming I live long enough to see it happen, when they declassify everything forty years from now it will be interesting to find out how many special operators we had in Syria at this exact moment. ISA, SAD, etc. I can't imagine it's a large number.
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Napero
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2013 3:09 pm 
 

Earthcubed wrote:
And they would possibly make the chemical situation nerve gas by cross-contaminating the area, which is why you pretty much need people in-country to neutralize them.

Que?
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