Saturday, August 31, 2013

What's Going on in Syria? the Dummy Version

What's going on in Syria? Here's a quick summary so you can have a conversation about it without reading everything

- During what's popularly known as the Arab Spring of April 2011, when peaceful protests started in Egypt and Tunisia, protests also began in Syria

- The Syrian government, under Assad, proceeded to kill its people in order to maintain power

- The whole world condemned the government's actions but in large part, attempts to curb this excesses have been weakened by Russia (which is Syria's most important ally) as well as Iran. Russia is a member of the U.N. Security Council and would essentially veto any attempt to restrain Syria

- Obama has said in the past that the U.S. government would consider any use of chemical weapons by Syria as a line drawn in the sand, which has  given many the impression that Obama would attack Syria if the government uses chemical weapons

- Well, the Obama administration has "high confidence" that Syria has now used such weapons

- And now the talks have begun on whether to go in to Syria.

- On last count, Britain has said it would not to Syria. France would go. Turkey strongly supports going. We know Russia and Iran do not support going. And the rest of the world is doing one level of quiet engagement or the other

- on last count (August 30), Obama made it clear the U.S. would have "no open ended commitment in Syria."

- I agree with Putin on one thing, before using force in Syria, it would be good to think about future casualties." Assad may have killed plenty with chemical weapons but how many will Obama kill with strikes.

- Update on Tuesday September 3. The Obama administration goes before Congress to make the case for an attack. 

- Assad plays this really safe and smart by insisting that it did not use chemical weapons and that the U.S. has no proof of same. This tactic has also given Russia something to hang it's refusal to attack hat on as it continues to insist the U.S. has no proof and that an attack would not be wise. 

- September 4, 2013: U.S. Senate votes to bomb Syria. Bringing us closer to a place where Obama has to make a decision

- Putin now says he might support a U.N. resolution for some type of military action in Syria

And there you have it. Comments, questions welcome. Check back for more

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