Did President Bush declare "War" Against Syria and Iran?

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Mr._Average, Jan 12, 2007.

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  1. The Presidents remarks on this topic the other day were a bit unclear and some in Washington are reading more into his comments....

    "Washington intelligence, military and foreign policy circles are abuzz today with speculation that the President, yesterday or in recent days, sent a secret Executive Order to the Secretary of Defense and to the Director of the CIA to launch military operations against Syria and Iran.

    The President may have started a new secret, informal war against Syria and Iran without the consent of Congress or any broad discussion with the country.

    The bare outlines of that order may have appeared in President Bush's Address to the Nation last night outlining his new course on Iraq:

    Succeeding in Iraq also requires defending its territorial integrity and stabilizing the region in the face of extremist challenges. This begins with addressing Iran and Syria. These two regimes are allowing terrorists and insurgents to use their territory to move in and out of Iraq. Iran is providing material support for attacks on American troops. We will disrupt the attacks on our forces. We'll interrupt the flow of support from Iran and Syria. And we will seek out and destroy the networks providing advanced weaponry and training to our enemies in Iraq."

    There is more here on this..


    It just struck me as an interesting insight into the current thinking / paranoia in the US...
  2. There isn't too much paranoia on this one, so you can put away your tinfoil hat.

    The US is correct on every point about material aid for the insurgents coming from Iran and Syria, who are both looking to get the west ejected from 'their' sphere of influence, whilst at the same time fighting their own little proxy war for control of the country. The shias for Iran, the Sunnis for Syria.

    The US is taking the next logical step by sayng 'you will not harm our soldiers with impunity, even though you are in another land'.

    Fair enough.
  3. I think the idea that Bush is trying to pursue an all-out war with Syria or Iran is probably going too far.

    The US have become frustrated that some Iranians in particular have been aiding elements within the Iraqi insurgency and no doubt Bush has given the go-ahead for a tougher approach. The arrest of Iranian diplomats in Irbil is the most recent example of this. This is intended as a clear warning to the Iranians that they should back off and cease supplying the insurgents. The context is the wider US operation in Baghdad and Anbar province - this is Bush's last chance to win in Iraq and so the US military has taken the gloves off.

    This is not the same as wanting a fighting war with Iran or Syria.
  4. You are right I'm sure that Iran and Syria is supplying arms to insurgents wishing to rid Iraq of foreigners who illegally invaded the country in the begining. After all Iraq IS in their sphere of influence being as it is a neighbouring country.

    However, I think it is a self serving fiction to justify our continuing war stratey to believe without any evidence that either Iran or Syria have any territorial ambitions in Iraq.

    I rather think if the foriegners who have no right to be there in the first place were to f'uck off back to where they came from the arms supplies might just dry up.

    Afterall, those countries weren't supplying arms when Saddam was in power because there wasn't an insurgency.

    It is as clear as a pike staff, the insurgency will last and indeed grow the longer we are there.
    Now a clear majority of the Iraqi population and their government want our troops out of their country.

    One would really have to be wearing a large tinfoil hat pulled tight over the eyes to ignore these basic facts and to continue to blame Syria and Iran and in so doing risk starting wars with them as well.

    We have already lost one war surely we don't want to start losing some more as well.
  5. I'm neither paranoid nor wearing a tin foil beanie; as I said, I found the article and associated comments an interesting insight into American thinking / paranoia.

    It may well be 'fair enough' for the US to engage in either hot pursuit or pre-emptive strikes in Iran or Syria as a response to their provokations; it may also mean that, within the constitutional guidelines that the US Government operates, the US is 'at war' with those states.

    At which point it becomes interesting on several fronts, including

    1) What does a Democrat Congress do about it?

    2) How would it effect the current US operations against the Iraqi militias / insurgents?

    3) What does it man for the British forces in and around Basra?

    4) How would it effect the American's ability to bring to bear the correct focus on Afghanistan?

    5) How far will Iran and Syria go in their responses to US forces acting against them in their territories?

    Not thinking the strategy through beyond the first step has been somewhat of a characteristic of the Bush presidency. I just hope they've learned some lessons and properly thought this approach through in some detail.
  6. Erm, have to diasgree with you on that one. All the sunnis and shias getting murdered and bown up with bombs in Iraq is not the insurgents making mistakes and hitting their own when they are aiming for our troops. Shias are dragging sunnis off buses and executing them, sunnis are going into hospitals and murderng shia patients.

    There was indeed a large insurgency in Iraq, both before, during and after the first gulf war. The marsh arabs (shias) rose up against saddam after he first gulf war and were untterly crushed by the sunni government, which then proceeded to dain the marshes so that the shias had no means of income.

    While this was going on, the kurds in the north where doing their own insurgent thing against the sunni government of Saddam.

    But even before the first gulf war, Saddam had gassed the kurds of halabja, had oppressed and killed thousands of shias.

    I think you need to bone up on middle eastern history a little. :wink:
  7. It would be fair enough if there was any attempt to create a dialogue at the same time.

    The US cannot win this conflict by purely military means. The Iranians aided Hezbollah against Israel for decades. The Israelis -not exactly slouches where it comes to counter-insurgency- had to pull out of Lebanon in the end.

    The same will happen in Iraq - the Iranians are there for the long haul, and the sooner the US starts negotiating with them, the better.

    I have been to a couple of public meetings in London over the last few months where US current or ex- foreign service personnel debated with Syrian or Iranian representatives.

    The Syrians and the Iranians, to be frank, ran rings around their American counterparts. They played to the public gallery, they danced around the topics, they deftly ignored criticism. The Americans on the other hand could only speak in one register - straight-talking, no-nonsense: talks will only happen when the pre-conditions are met.

    Because of this bone-headed approach, the Americans are now in a trap whereby if they agree to talks without pre-conditions, the Iranians or Syrians can make it look like a tactical victory for them.

    The US has no room to manoeuvre whatsoever. What's wrong with talking? You don't have to like someone in order to chat to them.
  8. Found this little snippet by SLRboy to be somewhat ironic!

    Do you mean ALL the forigners?
  9. First, the biggest question is none of the above. The biggest worry is that an escalation by the US could lead to other states in the Middle East could being dragged into the conflict.

    A lot of the Sunni states, especially Jordan, Saudi and Egypt, are clearly very concerned about the spread of Iranian power. This could end up very very nasty indeed - the nightmare would be if the Saudis started backing the Sunnis in Iraq in any material way.

    Secondly, what is the role of Syria in all this? I (more or less) understand where the Iranians are coming from, in the context of their activity in Lebanon and their long-running quarrel with the Americans.

    However, the Syrians are much more flexible and open to dialogue with the US. I wonder how much influence they really have within Iraq. They initially left their borders open in 2003-2004, no doubt hoping that their young jihadis would go and kill themselves as well as irritating the Americans.

    Now however, they have clamped down massively on their own radicals and are worried about "blow-back" when the crazies start coming home.

    I suspect the Syrians are exaggerating their own involvement in Iraq in order to see what they can get from the Americans - Lebanon, Shebaa Farms, the Golan Heights...

    ...and the US is falling for it, because their foreign-policy expertise is so weak at present that they think Iran and Syria are two cheeks of the same arrse.
  10. There have been congressional battles before and it ended in stalemate, but I don't know how this will pan out with the current incumbent being retired in the not-too-distant-future. Isn't there a presidential election soon?

    If the expansion is somewhat limited in scope and doesn't lead to full-on invasion of neighbouring countries, it should at least make it much more difficult for the insurgents to get support from Iran/Syria. The British fought a couple of wars against insurgents and won them by working properly in the border areas (Borneo, Malaya) or selectively targeting the enemy.

    That's an easy one! It's going to get really sh1tty for us. The local Shias might be pushed by popular demand to start fighting the British. Luckily enough at this time, the British have been careful and have not gone blundering in and killing anyone in sight like the septics have on occasion. The local shia population also know that we are a friendly bunch who will try and understand their culture, but they also know we fight like men possessed when we need to. Mutual respect to a certain extent.

    The Afghan thing costs less to run and is more limited in scope. It is easier to present to the public as a success story as there is not a civil war going on.

    Both Syria and Iran know full well that if they respond in force to any US aggression, the US will play the media to make it look like an uncalled for aggression, a declaration of war. They will then respond with the assets in theatre - what is in theatre at this time and under utilised is a vast amount of armour and anti-armour, not to mention anti-air assets. These could very quickly make mincemeat of the conventional Syrian and Iranian forces on the ground and in the air. This would leave large amounts of soldiers, but with no effective means of getting to the Americans. A bunch of soldiers (conventional) with no transport is not an effective army when going up against the west. The bst they could hope for after their armies are destroyed is to adopt the same insurgency tactics in use currently, but on a much larger scale. I don't think that Iran and Syria will plump for this choice, because not only will they lose all their military assets, they'll lose their country infrastructure, just like Iraq. It's far too costly an option for them to go head-to-head with the west.

    Just like his dad before him. The situation has changed now and th siutational awareness is far, far greater than when we first went in. I would suspect that the actual planning on the ground, rather than in the US will be leagues better.

    To be honest, I think the US will plump fo very limited strikes as needed over the respective borders, bu they will not invade - there isn't the will.
  11. Found it ironic did you really my friend?
    I thought I made it quite clear as it happens.

    But once more, from the top,
    I meant the foreigners who aren't Arabic don't speak the language, don't follow the religion, who come from Europe and America have no knowledge or care to of the culture and who in their purblind arrogance believe they have a right to go around the world laying down their law which is only a cover for nicking their oil.

    And if that ain't clear enough I recommend that you have a look at the PSA oil deal being forced on the Iraqis.
    And whilst you are at it have a look at the history of British/Iraqi/Oil involvements down the years.

    (Oh, nearly forgot - and the foreigners who attacked the place under false pretences to begin with.)
    WMD anybody? - Ooo missus, I think if got some in me handbag!)
  12. Answer me one thing, SLRboy

    When Hans Blix referred to the 6500 WMD which had gone missing in his speech before the Iraq war, what do You think He meant.

    When He referred to the VX Nerve Agent that the Iraqis said they hadn't turned into WMD, but which UNMoVIC had evidence to the contrary.
  13. Giblets,
    I hope on more reflection you might revise your idea that limited strikes inside of either Syria or Iran is a feasible idea.

    Apart from Russia and China having a thing or two to say about that, attacks on American and British targets anywhere in the world would begin.

    Then, the very War on Terror of idiot fancy would really begin in ernest.
    We in the Anglo/American orbit ought to wake up to the fact that our actions so far have already cost us dear, losing us friends and creating hostility towards us all around the world.

    So far that hostility has been rather mute.
    Attack Iran and Syria and it will become a bit more lively.

    And don't be fooled by thinking just because we have large armed forces and weapons that we would be safe - we wouldn't.

    Think more that we are a like powerful predator like a lion - that suddenly gets attacked by a swarm of angry bees.

    Worth bearing in mind before any more mis steps directed by this current American administration takes place.

    Golden rule - don't take military action for a short term gain that could result in a larger war of god knows how long duration.
    That would really threaten 'Our Way of Life' now wouldn't it?
  14. Links to Blix please Sven.

    Perhaps you would like to tell me if Iraq was such a threat to us why did we keep poking the eye of this dangerous tiger with regular air strikes then?
    Also sven, I'm interested to know as you think this is a right war but wrong reasons were given for it would you therefore be so kind as to tell me what you would have considered a 'right' reason for invasion.