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Howling Mad World Review! show 14

Howling Mad World Review! show 14

Postby Choppercrazy » Sun Sep 01, 2013 12:54 pm

You may post about this podcast here.
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Re: Howling Mad World Review! show 14

Postby theGerman » Mon Sep 02, 2013 2:01 am

I just comment on the topics as they come.

The British did not refuse to go to war, because Obama is weak. They refused, because it is far from clear *who* used chemical weapons in Syria and they have been fooled in Iraq before. Isn't that a topic in the US? It is totally unclear! There are even serious reports in which rebels admit that they unintentionally released the gas, because they didn't know how to handle chemical weapons.

Without knowing the definite truth, I do not believe that the Syrian army used chemical weapons. Why should they do so two days after international investigators entered their country? (Assad had requested these investigators, because he claimed that the rebels were using gas, and he insisted in an impartial investigation.) What could the army gain by a gas attack? Nothing. The gas was released in areas that were not important from a stratagical point of view. Even when the Syrian army had lost positions of strategical importance where it could have used chemical weapons without collateral damage (military airports in the desert etc), it didn't. So why should it use it now? Just in order to give someboby a reason to intervene? I doubt it! And I think that the British also doubt it.

Of course we would like to see a strong US, provided we could trust them and their elite. But we can't. In the recent past, the US have attacked Afghanistan (which was a shady operation) and Iraq (which was a desaster and totally unjustified). Now the wholc region is destabilised, and we are trapped in never-ending military missions that will have no positive effect whatsoever. In Iraq, the US used uranium ammunition with well-known consequences. These are the facts. Why should we trust the US government again? The pattern is too similar, and we have information such as http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ha1rEhovONU provided by a respectable US general. I doubt that our interests are defended in Syria.

Dwight means that Europe did not defend itself during the cold war. Then I wonder why Western Germany was able to raise 2 million soldiers within just 12 hours. Were they a kind of a welcome committee for the Russians, or is it possible that we were trying to defend ourselves? When I was a child, I had to train regularly where to seek shelter and how to protect myself depending on the sound of the sirens, indicating an attack by conventional, biological, chemical, or nuclear weapons. It was part of the US strategy to hit Western German territory by nuclear weapons in case of a war so that the Russians would find nothing but burnt soil. To know that a nuclear attack might have been a gift from our friends for our own good was not exactly heart-warming. Russian tanks could reach my home in three hours time. Germany was armed to the teeth. Does anybody really think that we need lessons in defending ourselves?

I am no socialist, not at all. The destruction of the West is not taking place in Syria. It is taking place in our home countries, and the weapons are immigration and birth rate. The biggest graffiti at my train station is 'beat up the Germans'. The tension will rise further during the next years, and our politicians are ignoring the problems. We definitely need a change here, and many think the same.

Well, climate change is real, but it is very unclear what caused it and what will happen in the future. I am an applied mathematician, and I have seen the way some of these 'climate scientists' work. There is so much uncertainty in their models that he past can always be reproduced perfectly, but the future cannot be predicted in a reasonable way. We will have to change the way we produce and consume energy in the future, because at some point there won't be enough oil left to feed our economies at the current rate. But I do not believe that we have to solve this problem within the next few years.
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Re: Howling Mad World Review! show 14

Postby DrJen » Tue Sep 03, 2013 9:44 am

theGerman wrote:... it is far from clear *who* used chemical weapons in Syria and they have been fooled in Iraq before. Isn't that a topic in the US? It is totally unclear! There are even serious reports in which rebels admit that they unintentionally released the gas, because they didn't know how to handle chemical weapons.


Whether we were 'fooled' on Iraq is debatable. There is evidence that weapons were transferred to Syria and possibly southern Lebanon prior to the U.S. military entering Iraq.

To answer what seems to be your primary question - yes, the American public is engaged in debating whether any U.S. involvement is appropriate. Last week approval for military action in Syria ranged from six to nine percent. My personal opinion falls on the side of the majority. A major source for news links, the Drudge Report (deemed slightly left of center), is currently running a poll that points to a lack of support for such involvement.

GIVE OBAMA AUTHORITY TO CONDUCT MILITARY OPERATION IN SYRIA?
YES 8.47% (19,191 votes)
NO 91.53% (207,267 votes)
Total Votes: 226,458


For the record, Turkish Weekly ran the article Russia asks Turkey for info on sarin terrorists three months ago.

6 June 2013

Russia has called on Turkey to share its findings in the case of Syrian rebels who were seized on the Turkish-Syrian border with a 2kg cylinder full of nerve gas sarin.

Russia’s top foreign official Sergei Lavrov tolday said the Kremlin wanted to get clear on the issue of chemical weapons used in Syria, since the allegation had taken on the role of a trading card in the conflict, becoming a focus of constant provocations.

“I do not rule out that some force may want to use it [the rumour] to say that the “red line” has been crossed and a foreign intervention is needed,” the minister said.

“We are still waiting on a comprehensive report from our Turkish colleagues,” he added, citing the incident when a gang of terrorists carrying a canister with nerve gas sarin was arrested inside the Turkish territory about two weeks ago. [...]


An article in Mint Press News (headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota) was my primary source for the allegation that the most recent poison gas attack was accidental in nature. That article is entitled EXCLUSIVE: Syrians In Ghouta Claim Saudi-Supplied Rebels Behind Chemical Attack.

[...] Ghouta townspeople said the rebels were using mosques and private houses to sleep while storing their weapons in tunnels.

Abdel-Moneim said his son and the others died during the chemical weapons attack. That same day, the militant group Jabhat al-Nusra, which is linked to al-Qaida, announced that it would similarly attack civilians in the Assad regime’s heartland of Latakia on Syria’s western coast, in purported retaliation.

“They didn’t tell us what these arms were or how to use them,” complained a female fighter named ‘K.’ “We didn’t know they were chemical weapons. We never imagined they were chemical weapons.”

“When Saudi Prince Bandar gives such weapons to people, he must give them to those who know how to handle and use them,” she warned. She, like other Syrians, do not want to use their full names for fear of retribution.

A well-known rebel leader in Ghouta named ‘J’ agreed. “Jabhat al-Nusra militants do not cooperate with other rebels, except with fighting on the ground. They do not share secret information. They merely used some ordinary rebels to carry and operate this material,” he said.

“We were very curious about these arms. And unfortunately, some of the fighters handled the weapons improperly and set off the explosions,” ‘J’ said. [...]


Within the U.S. people are questioning possible political motivation for American military support of either side of the civil war. An editorial in the Washington Times suggests that Obama's sudden taste for war against Assad is tied to the 2014 elections.

The first rule for President Obama: It’s all about 2014. The second rule for President Obama: See Rule No. 1.

Make no mistake: The president couldn’t care less about the plight of Syrians, the 1,500 gassed to death — including nearly 500 children. It’s all about 2014. Win the House, reign supreme.

Consider this: Mr. Obama made his dramatic Rose Garden statement Saturday — then headed to the golf course. Congress has no plans to cut short its 30-day vacation, and the president did not call lawmakers back. So much for urgency. [...]


The about-face of Sec. of State Kerry (see Kerry a Frequent Visitor with Syrian Dictator Bashar Al-Assad) is particularly baffling. Indeed, a photograph of the Kerrys and the Assads enjoying dinner together has hit the political side of the internet here over the Labor Day weekend.

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Re: Howling Mad World Review! show 14

Postby theGerman » Sun Sep 08, 2013 10:31 pm

I'm sorry, I didn't have time to read the sources until now.

It puzzles me that Saddam Hussein is assumed to have shipped his weapons of mass destruction to Syria - if he had any. According to the first article you cite, he knew that the US army was really coming for him and that he would have to make his final stand. As a reaction, he shipped his chemical weapons to Syria. This makes no sense. Why would a dictator let go of his most powerful arms when he would need them most and he had no qualms to use them? It may be true, but the informant of the New York Sun seems to contradict himself.

It is good that there is a debate about the attack on Syria in the US. I was shocked when I heard that the European leaders signed Mr Obama's proclamation at the G20 meeting, because it seems obvious that he wants to lead us step by step, little by little, into this conflict, and our politicians seem to be stupid enough to follow him, because every single step does not seem to be significant. We need such an open debate, too.
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Re: Howling Mad World Review! show 14

Postby DrJen » Mon Sep 09, 2013 2:42 pm

Even pro-Obama CNN ran a poll that shows that Public against Syria strike resolution by a strong margin. The conservative Washington Times declared Don’t even think about it, Barack: Americans resoundingly tell Obama to stand down on Syria in response to the CNN poll. The mood of the public in this part of the country is well-represented by FOX's Judge Jeanine Pirro in the opening to her show late last week.

A vote is to be taken is in the House of Representatives, where the White House position did not appear to have strong approval (current counts). We shall see what happens.
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