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Thread: Rumor: The United States Has Invaded Syria

  1. #1
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    Rumor: The United States Has Invaded Syria

    Dan Simpson: Invade Syria? Insane
    U.S. forces have started fighting Syrians at Iraq's border. Can anybody say 'Cambodia'?

    http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05292/590727.stm

    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
    Wednesday, October 19, 2005

    As I suspected six months ago, U.S. military and Bush administration civilian officials confirmed last week that U.S. forces have invaded Syria and engaged in combat with Syrian forces.

    An unknown number of Syrians are acknowledged to have been killed; the number of Americans -- if any -- who have died in Syria so far has not yet been revealed by the U.S. sources, who by the way insist on remaining faceless and nameless.

    The parallel with the Vietnam War, where a Nixon administration deeply involved in a losing war expanded the conflict -- fruitlessly in the event -- to neighboring Cambodia, is obvious. The end result was not changed in Vietnam; Cambodia itself was plunged into dangerous chaos, which climaxed in the killing fields, where an estimated 1 million Cambodians died as a result of internal conflict.

    On the U.S. side, no declaration of war preceded the invasion of Syria, in spite of the requirements of the War Powers Act of 1973. There is no indication that the Congress was involved in the decision to go in. If members were briefed, none of them have chosen to share that important information with the American people. Presumably, the Bush administration's intention is simply to add any casualties of the Syrian conflict to those of the war in Iraq, which now stand at more than 1,970. The financial cost of expanding the war to Syria would also presumably be added to the cost of the Iraq war, now estimated at $201 billion.

    Dan Simpson, a retired U.S. ambassador, is a Post-Gazette associate editor (dsimpson@post-gazette.com).

    The Bush administration would claim that it is expanding the war in Iraq into Syria to try to bring it to an end, the kind of screwy non-logic that kept us in Vietnam for a decade and cost 58,193 American lives in the end.

    Others would see the attacks in Syria as a desperation political move on the part of an administration with its back against the wall, with a failed war, an economy plagued by inflation --1.2 percent in September, a 14.4 percent annual rate if it continues -- the weak response to Hurricane Katrina, grand jury and other investigatory attention to senior executive and legislative officials, and the bird flu flapping its wings toward us on the horizon. The idea, I suppose, is to distract us by an attack on Syria, now specifically targeted by U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad.

    There is some question as to how America's military leadership feels about fighting Syria too, given its already heavy commitment in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. At least some U.S. military officials must wish that President Bush and his associates would move away from his administration's "Johnny One Note," hand-it-to-the-military approach to its problems, now to include Hurricane Katrina-type disaster relief and the newest possible duty, dealing with a bird flu epidemic.

    And then there is the tired old United Nations. An invasion by one sovereign member, the United States, of the territory of another sovereign member (Syria), requires U.N. Security Council action.

    What of the regional impact in the Middle East? Some observers have argued that destabilizing Syria, creating chaos there, even bringing about regime change away from the current government of President Bashar Assad, is somehow to improve Israel's security posture in the region. The argument runs that Saddam Hussein's Iraq was the biggest regional threat to Israel; Bashar Assad's Syria is second. The United States got rid of Saddam; now it should get rid of the Assad regime in Damascus.

    The trouble with that argument, whether it is made by Americans or Israelis, is that, in practice, it depends on the validity of the premise that chaos and civil war -- the disintegration of the state -- in Iraq and Syria are better for Israel in terms of long-term security than the perpetuation of stable, albeit nominally hostile regimes.

    The evidence of what has happened in Iraq since the U.S. invasion in early 2003 is to the contrary. Could anyone argue that Israel is made safer by a burning conflict in Iraq that has now attracted Islamic extremist fighters from across the Middle East, Europe and Asia? Saddam Hussein's regime was bad, but this is a good deal worse, and looks endless.

    Is there any advantage at all to the United States, or to Israel, in replicating Iraq in Syria?

    For that is what is at stake. Syria in its political, ethnic and religious structure is very similar to Iraq. Iraq, prior to the U.S. bust-up, was ruled by a Sunni minority, with a Shiite majority and Kurdish and Christian minorities. Syria is ruled by an Alawite minority, with a Sunni majority and Kurdish and Christian minorities.

    That is the structure, not unlike many states in the Middle East, that the Bush administration, by word and now by deed, in the form of U.S. forces fighting in Syria, is in the process of hacking away at.

    It seems utterly crazy to me. One could say, "Interesting theory; let's play it out," if it weren't for the American men and women, not to mention the Iraqis and now Syrians, dying in pursuit of that policy.

    What needs to be done now is for the Congress, and through them, the American people, and the United Nations and America's allies, the ones who are left, to have the opportunity to express their thoughts on America's expanding the Iraq war to Syria. A decision to invade Syria is not a decision for Mr. Bush, heading a beleaguered administration, to make for us on his own.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  2. #2
    911=inside job Guest
    how the fuck do they get away with this shit??? fuck!!!!!

  3. #3
    somebigguy Guest
    Those war mongering fuckers, this better be bullshit.

  4. #4
    911=inside job Guest
    sbg, you know its happening...

  5. #5
    somebigguy Guest
    The U.S. debt is ASStronomical right now. You can't afford to start another war, never mind the fact that its illegal and immoral.

    WTF?????

  6. #6
    beltman713 Guest
    I read something about this the other day. The story said that fighting took place at the border and US troops crossed into Syria to engage and then left Syria. Is this the same story, or has there been more?

  7. #7
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    Iraq's Cambodia?
    U.S. incursions into Syria portend disastrous sideshow

    http://www.news-journalonline.com/Ne...PN73102005.htm

    Last update: October 20, 2005

    It was 1970. The Vietnam War was not going well for the United States, anymore than it had gone well since the early 1960s. The Vietcong were using Cambodia to hide and re-supply. President Nixon thought extending the war to Cambodia would end the war faster in Vietnam. But that, too, wasn't going well. Nixon wasn't happy with the military's secret bombing runs and intelligence gathering in Cambodia. Just before 9 p.m. on Dec. 9, 1970, Nixon and Henry Kissinger, Nixon's national security adviser at the time, had this conversation:

    Nixon: There are other methods of getting intelligence than simply flying. . . . I want a plan where every [expletive] thing that can fly goes into Cambodia and hits every target that is open.

    Kissinger: Right.

    Nixon: That's to be done tomorrow. Tomorrow. Is that clear?

    Kissinger: That is right.

    Nixon: I want this done. Now that is one thing that can turn this around some. They are running these [expletive] milk runs in order to get their air medal. . . . They aren't doing anything worth a damn.

    Kissinger: They are not imaginative.

    Nixon: Well, they're not only not imaginative but they are just running these things -- bombing jungles. . . . I want everything that can fly to go in there and crack the hell out of them. There is no limitation on mileage and there is no limitation on budget. Is that clear?

    Kissinger: Right, Mr. President.

    Policy decisions with disastrous consequences are sometimes laid out in the odd informality of a quick conversation, like that one between Nixon and Kissinger. It set the stage for a stepped up and devastating bombing campaign in Cambodia on the false assumption that it would sever the Viet Congs' supply routes. Instead, it destabilized Cambodia, triggered a civil war and led to the Khmers' power grab, Pol-Pot's reign of terror and a genocide that resulted in the murder of one-fifth of Cambodia's population: Nixon's reckless attempt to dictate history in a region of the world about which he had no clue upended history instead, with ruinous consequences for the United States and Cambodia.

    President Bush's conduct in Iraq has been neither better informed nor better executed than Nixon's in Southeast Asia. One wonders what sort of secret conversations are taking place in the White House, setting what ruinous stage next. On Saturday, The New York Times revealed that American and Syrian troops have been involved in clashes on the Iraqi-Syrian border; that, according to Special Operations commanders, "operations have spilled over the border -- sometimes by accident, sometimes by design"; and that the military "is considering plans to conduct special operations inside Syria, using small covert teams for cross-border intelligence gathering."

    That's how it started in Cambodia.

    The Iraq war has been no less a failure than Vietnam. No matter how unsavory the regime of Syrian President Bashar el-Assad, expanding operations to Syria is not the way to peace, or the way out of Iraq. It is a dangerous repeat of failed strategies of the past, with potentially disastrous consequences for both the United States and the Middle East. Destabilizing Assad's regime, which President Bush considers to be one of the "allies of convenience" of Islamic extremists, may not have the intended consequences of encouraging a friendlier regime to take its place. Iraq is exhibit A in those failed assumptions. Whatever has replaced Saddam Hussein isn't anything the Bush administration had in mind, and much of what will happen next isn't anything the administration can control as it assumed it would. How could it possibly think that it could control the consequences of a wider conflict involving Syria?
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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    U.S. Battles Al-Qaeda Near Syria
    "Operation Iron Fist" Aimed At Rooting Out, Disrupting Terror Group

    http://cbs4denver.com/topstories/top...274085340.html

    (CBS) BAGHDAD About 1,000 U.S. troops, backed by attack helicopters, swarmed into a tiny Iraqi village near the Syrian border Saturday in an offensive aimed at rooting out fighters from al Qaeda in Iraq, the country's most feared militant group, the military said.

    The assault, the latest in a series of major operations this year by U.S. forces in the heartland of the Sunni-led insurgency, targeted the village of Sadah, which the military said was a base for al Qaeda militants and foreign fighters entering from Syria.

    U.S. warplanes and helicopters launched strikes on targets in Sadah, sending smoke billowing into the sky, residents contacted by The Associated Press said.

    The force, made up mostly of Marines, but also with soldiers and Navy sailors, rolled into the village in the morning and gunfire was heard, said a correspondent for CNN embedded with the troops. Helicopters fired on three suspicious vehicles along the way, two of which turned out to be carrying suicide bombers and the third was being loaded with weapons, CNN reported.

    Sadah is a village of about 2,000 people on the banks of the Euphrates River about eight miles from the Syrian border in Iraq's western province of Anbar. The isolated community has one main road and about 200 houses scattered over a rural area.

    The offensive, named Operation Iron Fist, aimed to root out al Qaeda militants who have taken hold of the village and use it as a base for attacks on Iraqi civilians and security forces, the military said in a statement.

    It also aimed to stop foreign fighters from entering the country from Syria and improving security in the region before Iraq's Oct. 15 referendum on a new constitution, the military said. Sunni insurgents have vowed to derail the referendum and have launched a surge of violence that has killed at least 200 people, including 13 U.S. service members, in the past six days.

    U.S. forces closed off Sadah. Ammar Al-Marsoomi, a doctor at a hospital in Qaim, 13 miles from the village, said initial reports indicated the two Iraqis were wounded in Saturday's assault.

    Police in Qaim said Iraqi troops were also taking part in the operation, but the U.S. military did not mention an Iraqi role. No coalition or civilian casualties were immediately reported by the U.S. military.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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    G.I.'s and Syrians in Tense Clashes on Iraqi Border

    http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/15/po...gewanted=print

    By JAMES RISEN and DAVID E. SANGER

    WASHINGTON, Oct. 14 - A series of clashes in the last year between American and Syrian troops, including a prolonged firefight this summer that killed several Syrians, has raised the prospect that cross-border military operations may become a dangerous new front in the Iraq war, according to current and former military and government officials.

    The firefight, between Army Rangers and Syrian troops along the border with Iraq, was the most serious of the conflicts with President Bashar al-Assad's forces, according to American and Syrian officials.

    It illustrated the dangers facing American troops as Washington tries to apply more political and military pressure on a country that President Bush last week labeled one of the "allies of convenience" with Islamic extremists. He also named Iran.

    One of Mr. Bush's most senior aides, who declined to be identified because of the sensitivity of the subject, said that so far American military forces in Iraq had moved right up to the border to cut off the entry of insurgents, but he insisted that they had refrained from going over it.

    But other officials, who say they got their information in the field or by talking to Special Operations commanders, say that as American efforts to cut off the flow of fighters have intensified, the operations have spilled over the border - sometimes by accident, sometimes by design.

    Some current and former officials add that the United States military is considering plans to conduct special operations inside Syria, using small covert teams for cross-border intelligence gathering.

    The broadening military effort along the border has intensified as the Iraqi constitutional referendum scheduled for Saturday approaches, and as frustration mounts in the Bush administration and among senior American commanders over their inability to prevent foreign radical Islamists from engaging in suicide bombings and other deadly terrorist acts inside Iraq.

    Increasingly, officials say, Syria is to the Iraq war what Cambodia was in the Vietnam War: a sanctuary for fighters, money and supplies to flow over the border and, ultimately, a place for a shadow struggle.

    Covert military operations are among the most closely held of secrets, and planning for them is extremely delicate politically as well, so none of those who discussed the subject would allow themselves to be identified. They included military officers, civilian officials and people who are otherwise actively involved in military operations or have close ties to Special Operations forces.

    In the summer firefight, several Syrian soldiers were killed, leading to a protest from the Syrian government to the United States Embassy in Damascus, according to American and Syrian officials.

    A military official who spoke with some of the Rangers who took part in the incident said they had described it as an intense firefight, although it could not be learned whether there had been any American casualties. Nor could the exact location of the clash, along the porous and poorly marked border, be learned.

    In a meeting at the White House on Oct. 1, senior aides to Mr. Bush considered a variety of options for further actions against Syria, apparently including special operations along with other methods for putting pressure on Mr. Assad in coming weeks.

    American officials say Mr. Bush has not yet signed off on a specific strategy and has no current plan to try to oust Mr. Assad, partly for fear of who might take over. The United States is not planning large-scale military operations inside Syria and the president has not authorized any covert action programs to topple the Assad government, several officials said.

    "There is no finding on Syria," said one senior official, using the term for presidential approval of a covert action program.

    "We've got our hands full in the neighborhood," added a senior official involved in the discussion.

    Some other current and former officials suggest that there already have been initial intelligence gathering operations by small clandestine Special Operations units inside Syria. Several senior administration officials said such special operations had not yet been conducted, although they did not dispute the notion that they were under consideration.

    Whether they have already occurred or are still being planned, the goal of such operations is limited to singling out insurgents passing through Syria and do not appear to amount to an organized effort to punish or topple the Syrian government.

    According to people who have spoken with Special Operations commanders, teams like the Army's Delta Force are well suited for reconnaissance and intelligence gathering inside Syria. They could identify and disrupt the lines of communications, sanctuaries and gathering points used by foreign Arab fighters and Islamist extremists seeking to wage war against American troops in Iraq.

    What the administration calls Syria's acquiescence in insurgent operations organized and carried out from its territory is a major factor driving the White House as it conducts what seems to be a major reassessment of its Syria policy.

    The withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon earlier this year in the wake of the assassination in February of Rafik Hariri, the former Lebanese prime minister, in Beirut led to a renewed debate in the White House about whether - and how - to push for change in Damascus.

    With no clear or acceptable alternative to Mr. Assad's government on the horizon, the administration now seems to be awaiting the outcome of an international investigation of the Hariri assassination, which may lead to charges against senior Syrian officials.

    Detlev Mehlis, the German prosecutor in charge of the United Nations investigation of the killing, is expected to complete a report on his findings this month.

    If Mr. Mehlis reports that senior Syrian officials are implicated in the Hariri assassination, some Bush administration officials say that could weaken the Assad government.

    "I think the administration is looking at the Mehlis investigation as possibly providing a kind of slow-motion regime change," said one former United States official familiar with Syria policy. The death - Syrian officials called it a suicide - on Wednesday of Interior Minister Ghazi Kanaan of Syria, who was questioned in connection with the United Nations investigation, may have been an indication of the intense pressure building on the Assad government from that inquiry.

    Zalmay Khalilzad, the United States ambassador to Iraq, issued one of the administration's most explicit public challenges to Damascus recently when he said that "our patience is running out with Syria."

    "Syria has to decide what price it's willing to pay in making Iraq success difficult," he said on Sept. 12. "And time is running out for Damascus to decide on this issue."

    Some hawks in the administration make little secret of their hope that mounting political and military pressure will lead to Mr. Assad's fall, despite their worries about who might succeed him. Other American officials seem to believe that by taking modest military steps against his country, they will so intimidate Mr. Assad that he will alter his behavior and prevent Syrian territory from being used as a sanctuary for the Iraqi insurgency and its leadership.

    "Our policy is to get Syria to change its behavior," said a senior administration official. "It has failed to change its behavior with regard to the border with Iraq, with regard to its relationships with rejectionist Palestinian groups, and it has only reluctantly gotten the message on Lebanon."

    The official added: "We have had people for years sending them messages telling them to change their behavior. And they don't seem to recognize the seriousness of those messages. The hope is that Syria gets the message."

    There are some indications that this strategy, described as "rattling the cage," may be working. Some current and former administration officials say that the flow of foreign fighters has already diminished because Mr. Assad has started to restrict their movement through Syria.

    But while he appears to be curbing the number of foreign Arab fighters moving through Syria, the American officials say he has not yet restricted former senior members of Saddam Hussein's government from using Syria as a haven from which to provide money and coordination to the Sunni-based insurgency in Iraq.

    "You see small tactical changes, which they don't announce, so they are not on the hook for permanent changes," a senior official said about Syria's response. "They are doing just enough to reduce the pressure in hopes we won't pay attention, and then they slide back again."

    In an interview with CNN this week, Mr. Assad denied that there were any insurgent sanctuaries inside Syria. "There is no such safe haven or camp," he insisted.

    In this tense period of give and take between Washington and Damascus, the firefight this summer was clearly a critical event. It came at a time when the American military in Iraq was mounting a series of major offensives in the Euphrates Valley near the Syrian border to choke off the routes that foreign fighters have used to get into Iraq.

    The Americans and Iraqis have been fortifying that side of the border and increasing patrols, raising the possibility of firing across the unmarked border and of crossing it in "hot pursuit."

    From time to time there have been reports of clashes, usually characterized as incidental friction between American and Syrian forces. There have been some quiet attempts to work out ways to avoid that, but formal agreements have been elusive in an atmosphere of mutual mistrust.

    Some current and former United States military and intelligence officials who said they believed that Americans were already secretly penetrating Syrian territory question what they see as the Bush administration's excessive focus on the threat posed by foreign Arab fighters going through Syria. They say the vast majority of insurgents battling American forces are Iraqis, not foreign jihadis.

    According to a new study by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, intelligence analysis and the pattern of detentions in Iraq show that the number of foreign fighters represents "well below 10 percent, and may well be closer to 4 percent to 6 percent" of the total makeup of the insurgency.

    One former United States official with access to recent intelligence on the insurgency added that American intelligence reports had concluded that 95 percent of the insurgents were Iraqi.

    This former intelligence official said that in conversations with several midcareer American military officers who had recently served in Iraq, they had privately complained to him that senior commanders in Iraq seemed fixated on the issue of foreign fighters, despite the evidence that they represented a small portion of the insurgency.

    "They think that the senior commanders are obsessed with the foreign fighters because that's an easier issue to deal with," the former intelligence official said. "It's easier to blame foreign fighters instead of developing new counterinsurgency strategies."

    Top Pentagon officials and senior commanders have said that while the number of foreign fighters is small, they are still responsible for most of the suicide bombings in Iraq. Gen. John P. Abizaid, commander of United States Central Command, said on Oct. 2 on the NBC News program "Meet the Press" that he recognized the need to avoid "hyping the foreign fighter problem."

    But he cautioned that "the foreign fighters generally tend to be people that believe in the ideology of Al Qaeda and their associated movements, and they tend to be suicide bombers."

    "So while the foreign fighters certainly aren't large in number," he said, "they are deadly in their application."
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  10. #10
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    Welp, that's good enough for me.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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