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Syria? What would Kennedy or Churchill do?

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Syria? What would Kennedy or Churchill do?

Post by What Would He Say on Sun Feb 14 2016, 12:27

Everyone is missing the point....we are fire fighting, everyone is, George, politicians, media COH... We are all doing the classic fire fighting.... And no one has stood back to call the Fire Brigade...it's classic and it's serious....[/size]

The elephant in the room IS Syria and Afghanistan and any Country, Nation or Village that does not share a decent way of life....[/size]

I would be happier if George and Co (the leaders of the free world?) addressed the Syrian crisis as it stands today ....[/size]

You probably don't remember, why should you, but I was jumping up and down about refugees during the threads on Greece...that was a year ago....btw, Greece and the refugees will be top of the News again soon....AND Mrs Merkel....[/size]

I don't know am I the only person on this board that has spent time in Syria Afghanistan, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon Iran???  With the exception oh Iraq, I loved all these places and have fond warm memories....nobody wants to leave their homes and I can testify that is true of these places....[/size]

Hands up I don't know the answer to making it safe to Go HOME...where we ALL want to be, rather than thrown in a refugee camp....[/size]

There is one thing I do in my work when I am stuck or blocked.....I try to channel the greats gone by and ask them to work through me....I know ffs, crazy or what... But it ALWAYS works for me....[/size]

So, dear reader and George...over the next few days I will be asking Churchill, Mrs T, (Mrs Thatcher) and the Bros Jack and Bobby, (Gandhi's going to slow the party down but he's Gandhi!)...And any other decisive LEADER (Prophet Mohammed?)I think might bring something to the party and who I respect... Right now in today's world, I see nobody, Mr Kerry is doing his best but it's not tackling at source....[/size]

I know we won't get everyone HOME for Christmas.... But the enormity of the problem should not stop us trying....boots on the ground or not we have to face the reality of the future ...and let history decide.... [/size]

I'll be back... With answers, you and I may not like.....[/size]



Rolling Eyes [/size]


Last edited by Katiedot on Sun Feb 14 2016, 20:00; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Re-sized text - no need to shout ;))

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Re: Syria? What would Kennedy or Churchill do?

Post by Katiedot on Sun Feb 14 2016, 20:09

Apart from Afghanistan, I've been to all those places on your list. Also have lived most of my adult life in muslim countries.

The 'answer' as I see it is to build a time machine, go back 15 years and stop fucking bombing these countries who pose no meaningful threat to us. [well, maybe now they do, but that's because we went and bombed them for peace and turned them into our enemies].

My sllightly more realistic solution to any problem is economic stability: get these countries back up and running, economically independent and viable and you'll see the unrest die a natural death. Just a shame that it was our countries in the west who destabilised so many of these countries, either by directly attacking them (Afghanistan, Iraq) or indirectly attacking them by messing with the politics and ordering who can or can't run the country by propping up ineffective leaders or encouraging guerilla warfare against leaders we don't like (Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria) and selling arms to both sides.

And why are we so invested in the Middle East? Oil and gas, that's why. George said it years ago: invest in environmental alternative energies so we won't need their oil or gas.

It's a terrible thing to say about our own countries but the only way to get along with us in peace is not to have anything we want. Or to have weapons and armies of equal strength.

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Re: Syria? What would Kennedy or Churchill do?

Post by LizzyNY on Mon Feb 15 2016, 00:09

Katie and WWHS, it's amazing to me that both of you have experienced so much of the world. You make my little forays seem truly insignificant.

I agree with everything you said, Katie, but I have to question the effect on these places if nobody needed the oil and gas they provide. Would they have any kind of sustainable economy? Considering how little filters down from the ruling class to the rest of the population now, how much worse would it be if the oil money was gone?

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Re: Syria? What would Kennedy or Churchill do?

Post by party animal - not! on Mon Feb 15 2016, 02:24

Good points, Lizzy.

An unstable country in terms of democracy or economy is exactly the sort of environment that Daesh love. 

You only have to look at Libya.......a power vacuum because three different parties  in three different cities have all claimed they are the government........

The events in Tunisia  were tragic because as a country it had been doing so well economically largely due to the tourism industry. 

Also interesting, because they admitted they were struggling with their own security, so within weeks if not days, British intelligence in some numbers were despatched to try and help..........

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Re: Syria? What would Kennedy or Churchill do?

Post by Katiedot on Mon Feb 15 2016, 09:27

LizzyNY wrote:I agree with everything you said, Katie, but I have to question the effect on these places if nobody needed the oil and gas they provide. Would they have any kind of sustainable economy? Considering how little filters down from the ruling class to the rest of the population now, how much worse would it be if the oil money was gone?
It would be hard, no doubt, but I think they'd get on the way all other countries without major sources of oil or gas revenue do. But no, I don't have all the answers.

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Re: Syria? What would Kennedy or Churchill do?

Post by What Would He Say on Mon Feb 15 2016, 22:06

Thanks for you all taking an interest.... I've done loads of channeling... Stuff coming through.... This is the modern day equivalent of the Bay of Pigs, and just as urgent, there is a window to take on Putin and win....maybe Angela(?)....elections in several countries are keeping the Western Leaders quiet.....while the East burns....

Hero? Anyone....

Refugees... Consription for young males(?)...to be highly trained in Turkey and Greece (?) Elite peacekeeping but with teeth like a tiger....

(I thought most of them were running from Assads national service... But hey ho....

Also re:oil.... I posted here before article by Young Kennedy - guy who lost a leg- about how US could easily become self sufficient....)

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Re: Syria? What would Kennedy or Churchill do?

Post by party animal - not! on Mon Feb 15 2016, 22:31

You hit the nail on the head there, WWHS. 

Yep, many of them are leaving to avoid being called up for Assad's national service.

So does that make them refugees?? (and that's not a rhetorical question...I have no idea)

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Re: Syria? What would Kennedy or Churchill do?

Post by carolhathaway on Tue Feb 16 2016, 10:45

That's a really interesting question: Are you a refugee because you want to avoid to fight for Assad?

If you watch the civil war in Syria you'll realize that it started after a protest during the Arab Spring in 2011 (children had been arrested in the south of Syria). In some regions of Syria people (mostly Kurds, salafis and sunnnic muslems) protested against the government of Assad and his government / party. The protests continued, several hundred people were killed (mostly due to the Syrian Secret Service).
Then stakeholders from other countries interfered in this conflict and delivered money and weapons. The original idea to bring democracy to Syria isn't important anymore.

After some months the government opponents and deserted soldiers started to fight the Syrian army and founded the 'Free Syrian Army' which describes itself as the army  of the Syrian opposition. This Army is financially supported by the Gulf States (led by al-Baschir). It failed to take care of the people in the areas they controlled, and then sunnic relief agencies did this, they were financed by the Gulf States.

The US helped to found military councils in several areas who didn't work anymore and bullied around the people.
In November 2013 seven islamic groups of political rebels founded the Islamic Front which is presumably financed by Saudi Arabia.

The 'al-Nusra-Front' which belongs to al-Qaida was first mentioned in 2012. And this led to ISIS.

The rest is just so very complicated. If you trust Wikipedia, Syria had 22.5 million people in 2010. Since then at least 200,000 were killed, about 11,6 million people are on the run (that's more than 50 %!!!). At least four million left Syria, and the rest is on the run within Syria.

So can you really force young men to fight in Syria? To fight for whom? For what? Which army do you join? And are we interested in those young men fighting ISIS instead of being on the run?

I don't know. It's just sad.


My husband takes care of a young man from Syria (we've got a system of volunteers in our area where one person takes care of one refugee or one family takes care of a refugee family). He helps him to orient himself, takes him to the administrations etc. And since this young man's English is getting better it's easier to communicate. So I talked to him yesterday when we had coffee together. He came from Aleppo, is 21 and had studied vet medicine. He really talked horrible things, friends and family members he'd lost. He didn't want to fight for ISIS or for Assad who had had killed several family members but was forced to do so, and so he left Aleppo. He first went to Turkey and stayed in a refugees camp, but after some months there was hardly any money left (the Turkish government didn't treat them as refugees but as guests, so they didn't get any financial support, no food, no medical aid). So he decided to go to Europe, and because one of his brothers already was in Germany he went here as well. He said he wants to go back to Syria to help to rebuild his country once there's peace but he doesn't have much hope that it will happen soon.


Last edited by carolhathaway on Tue Feb 16 2016, 10:49; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Spelling)

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Re: Syria? What would Kennedy or Churchill do?

Post by Donnamarie on Tue Feb 16 2016, 14:20

Fascinating to read you post carolhathaway.  Thanks.

How incredibly complicated and messy this whole situation is.  There doesn't seem to be a clear way forward at this point.  But I think what you and your husband are doing is commendable.

Also, how does this young man stay hopeful? Such a devastating situation to be without your family or a place to call home. For this young man and so many of these refugees. I can't fathom how people stay hopeful.


Last edited by Donnamarie on Tue Feb 16 2016, 14:36; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : added text)

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Re: Syria? What would Kennedy or Churchill do?

Post by carolhathaway on Tue Feb 16 2016, 15:53

Donna,
I've said it before: I can't even imagine to leave everything behind, leave my home and my country and go to a country I don't know, a language I don't speak, a writing I can't read. Not to know if I'll ever be able to return, what's left - and who's left...
At Thanksgiving (which in Germany is always celebrated on the first Sunday in October, much earlier than in the States) we had a big market after church, and a woman came with three kids. We knew that she'd moved to our village just a few weeks before but had only seen the children. I brought her something to drink and tried to talk to her, then I realized that she didn't speak any German, English or French. The children already spoke some German and translated. They came from Macedonia (which means that there's no chance for them to get asylum in Germany), and our kids from Sunday church tried to talk to them as well (kids never seem to have a problem to communicate, no matter if they speak the same language). Later, after this family had gone, I talked to our children becauss I wanted them to realize what it means to go to a country where you can't communicate, are not allowed to work, are not welcome and have to pledge for everything. It made them think a bit...
Unfortunately this family has left, I don't know there to.

I just think how I would feel if I had to leave my home, went to a village in China and were left alone with a little money and had to look after myself. I don't think I'd do well...

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Re: Syria? What would Kennedy or Churchill do?

Post by LizzyNY on Tue Feb 16 2016, 16:00

Carolhathaway - That's why the rest of us have to step in when we can. These people depend on the kindness of strangers to help them survive. I really commend what you and your husband are doing.

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Re: Syria? What would Kennedy or Churchill do?

Post by Katiedot on Tue Feb 16 2016, 21:27

Here's an interesting take on what's going on in Syria that's doing the rounds on social media.

So a lot of British people seem to be wondering why refugees don't stay in their own countries and take up arms to defend themselves ("...like the British did during the Second World War!"). Don't get me wrong, I find it quite endearing that your Average Joe thinks he and his mates from Tuesday night five-a-side could put together a viable army, but maybe joining a thirteen-year-old civil war is a bit more complicated than an Inbetweeners movie. Let me explain.

Have you ever been in a pub when a group of drunk guys starts going berserk, drinking everyone's drinks and punching people in the face? The rest of the patrons come together, over-power and restrain the troublemakers; the police are called and they are taken away to face the music. That's World War II: everyone in the pub is on the same side and there is a clear set of bad guys ruining the 1940s for everyone else (incidentally, there's also a guy who offers to hold everyone's coats and money when the fight breaks out, and when it stops he won't give them back - that guy is Switzerland).

Now, consider Syria. You're sitting in the pub with your family having Sunday lunch when suddenly you hear someone at the bar say they've been short changed. In response, the bar staff open fire with automatic weapons and kill sixteen people. You're horrified - in all the years you've been coming to this pub, knowing they've been short changing people, you never imagined they'd do something like this. You manage to barricade yourself behind an upturned table in the corner, and just when you think things can't get any worse, a bunch of thugs from the rough pub next door hear there's some trouble and decide to use the opportunity to take over the pub and make it as lawless as the one they've come from (where people have been brawling non-stop for the best part of a decade). There are bullets flying past your little shelter and blood and bodies litter the floor.

Whose side do you join? The bar staff who started the whole thing by killing the people they were supposed to serve, or the thugs from next door who want to hold you all hostage and make you join a death cult? LESSON NUMBER ONE: NOT EVERY WAR HAS A SIDE WORTH JOINING.

So you start your own army, right? This is an excellent idea - well done for taking the initiative! But exactly how do you start an army anyway? First, you find some like-minded people. So you turn to the guy next to you who's barricaded himself and his family under a table and ask if he has any weapons.
"I've got my car keys and a bottle opener from a Christmas cracker," he says. "The thing is, I was only planning a pub lunch with my family, I didn't realise we'd get caught up in a gun fight, otherwise I suppose I would have been training and stockpiling guns for years."
LESSON NUMBER TWO: STARTING AN ARMY IS REALLY, REALLY HARD.

This is tricky. Very tricky. You decide to try and phone the other pubs in the area to ask for help, but they don't know who you are, and ever since they helped a bunch of patrons in the 80s who ended up flying planes into pubs, they're pretty reluctant to help random groups they've never heard of.

So you just sit it out and wait for everything to blow over, right? After all, you've heard of other pub fights where the bar staff were beaten in minutes (The Sphinx & Pharaoh, the Crazy Colonel), but it gradually becomes clear that this one won't burn out so quickly. You could crawl out and grab a gun, but that leaves your family completely exposed with nobody to defend them. With every minute that passes, the situation gets more terrifying. Maybe you could chisel a pretty cool spear out of a table leg if you had a few weeks, but right now your children are screaming with terror, begging you to stop the banging and the sounds of people screaming, but you can't. There's nothing you can do.

Suddenly, across a sea of broken glass and empty shell cases, you see the door to the street swing open. There isn't even time to think: you grab your children, the most precious things you have in the world, and you run for the exit.

You stumble into the street, where a crowd has gathered to gawp at the carnage through the windows. As you get to the exit they try to push you and your children back into the pub.
"Go back where you came from!" they say. "You're one of those thugs from the rough pub and you want to bring your violence out here into the street! Shame on you for dragging your children through all that broken glass!"

You manage to get through the crowd to the Queen Elizabeth pub down the road, which you've heard is a really safe, family-friendly pub where the staff treat their patrons with respect. But when you get to the Queen Elizabeth, you're told by a security guard that there's nowhere to sit because there are too many people already, even though it's clear that the only reason there's nowhere to sit is that the people who own the pub haven't provided enough chairs. There are also loads of coats that have been put on chairs by older people who want to supplement their wine consumption by making youngsters buy them a drink in exchange for somewhere to sit.
Finally, with the help of some sympathetic staff, you find a chair in the corner by the toilets, and you put the kids on the chair while you lean against the wall, exhausted. People start accusing you of ruining the pub for everyone else, even though they were short of chairs long before you arrived. That's when some guy with a big sweaty face who's never been in a pub shooting, never feared for his children's lives, never even seen a gun or a hand grenade, comes up to you and asks why you're not in the other pub sorting out the massacre you've just fled from.
And that's when you finally break down and cry.

IN TODAY'S EPISODE WE LEARNT...
In Britain, we tend to think of every war as a two-sided battle between good and evil, with an established system on the side of good which is able to organise and direct an army. As a nation, we have no easy frame of reference for wars with many factions, or wars where the government is fighting the people, or civil wars where the enemy is present not just in the air, but on the ground too. Contrary to popular belief, Britain DID produce a flood of refugees during World War II: 3.5 million British refugees fled their homes, but because the war was an international war, with no successful invasion, no enemy boots on the ground and aerial bombardment focused on cities, the vast majority of those refugees went to the British countryside. Had the Germans invaded and started killing Britons on the ground, it's likely we would have seen an even greater exodus to countries like Australia and Canada than the one we did see: not because fleeing from genocide is cowardly, but because self preservation is deeply ingrained in human nature. Risking your life by crossing a treacherous sea to escape a war that is not of your doing is infinitely more heroic than selling out your principles to fight for a mad dictator or a death cult; and unless you've ever fled a tangled civil war yourself, it might be wise to put a little less effort into judgement and a little more into understanding.

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Re: Syria? What would Kennedy or Churchill do?

Post by Donnamarie on Wed Feb 17 2016, 04:28

Very interesting analogy Katiedot.  I feel so removed  from what Europe is going through.  We have such a small number of refugees in our country and I don't expect we will be welcoming a large number of refugees anytime soon. Though I certainly support a refugee program in the states.

But whether I'm naive or not I think that most Syrians leaving their home country are doing so out of desperation.  To save themselves and/or their families.
How can they stay and fight when it seems that they don't know or trust who they are fighting with ... and who are they fighting against?  No clear cut good guys/bad guys.
Whether they stay or leave they are fighting for their lives.

I feel for these people. Like carolhathaway said .. how would any of us feel being without a home, in a foreign country, not able to speak the language, no money, living day to day without being able to plan for a future. It's heartbreaking.

I don't know what is going to happen to change this situation. And it won't happen anytime soon.   But I hope that most of the refugees will be able to go back to their homeland sometime in the future. The Pollyanna in me hopes they can return and rebuild their country someday.

Why, why, why is there always so much chaos in the Middle East? And has been forever!

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Re: Syria? What would Kennedy or Churchill do?

Post by melbert on Wed Feb 17 2016, 04:42

Donnamarie wrote:
I feel for these people. Like carolhathaway said .. how would any of us feel being without a home, in a foreign country, not able to speak the language, no money, living day to day without being able to plan for a future. It's heartbreaking.


With some modification to your writing Donnamarie, this holds true for the multitudes of homeless people AND our Veterans here in the United States.  Even tho my heart bleeds for these refugees, I have a huge problem with not being able to take care of our own people who are in desperate needs themselves. 

Sorry, didn't mean to hijack the thread, but I felt this need...

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Re: Syria? What would Kennedy or Churchill do?

Post by carolhathaway on Wed Feb 17 2016, 06:36

Katie,
I really like your analogy. It shows the problems very clear.
I always hear prejudices about refugees:

One of them is that they should stay in their country and fight. It works as long as you know exactly who's the good guy and who's the bad guy. Unfortunately it's never that easy.

Another one is that we should only allow people to enter the EU/Germany who have a passport because there are obviously many people coming who claim to be Syrians but aren't. It just seems unbelievable to us that it might be impossible to get a passport. A working government is not no. 1 priority when nothing else is working.  Can you really send someone back into a war country because he can't prove who he is?

A third one is that often young men come first, we would never leave our families behind. That's true, but it's more difficult than it seems: We don't organize flights from Turkey or Syria to the EU to have those people a safe journey. So they usually put their families into a safe place (a refugee camp in Turkey or Lebanon) and then start their dangerous journey to Europe. They usually have to pay  a human trafficker who helps them and often leaves them. When they survive the journey and reach a safe place they were - up to now - able to have their families to come as well. They stopped this now, even in Germany, because there are just too many refugees. So now there are more women and children coming, taking the risk of this dangerous journey. 

It's very easy to see everything from our point of view, but there's not just black and white but much more...

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Re: Syria? What would Kennedy or Churchill do?

Post by Katiedot on Wed Feb 17 2016, 09:20

carolhathaway wrote: It shows the problems very clear. I always hear prejudices about refugees: One of them is that they should stay in their country and fight. It works as long as you know exactly who's the good guy and who's the bad guy.
Exactly. And even if it were clear cut, how many of us actually want to fight and CAN fight?

These are people just like us; not trained militias or people with experience of being in the armed forces. We're talking men, women and children: tax accountants, hair dressers, phone operators, starbucks baristas etc etc. They're being bombed from above and attacked by ground troops of the government: with what are they supposed to fight back? If I were being attacked in my home this minute, the best weapon I can come up with is a kitchen knife that's been blunted by years of left-handed people using it and a failure to be bothered to sharpen it regularly.

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Re: Syria? What would Kennedy or Churchill do?

Post by carolhathaway on Wed Feb 17 2016, 09:57

Katiedot wrote:
carolhathaway wrote: It shows the problems very clear. I always hear prejudices about refugees: One of them is that they should stay in their country and fight. It works as long as you know exactly who's the good guy and who's the bad guy.
 Exactly.  And even if it were clear cut, how many of us actually want to fight and CAN fight?

These are people just like us; not trained militias or people with experience of being in the armed forces.  We're talking men, women and children: tax accountants, hair dressers, phone operators, starbucks baristas etc etc.  They're being bombed from above and attacked by ground troops of the government: with what are they supposed to fight back?  If I were being attacked in my home this minute, the best weapon I can come up with is a kitchen knife that's been blunted by years of left-handed people using it and a failure to be bothered to sharpen it regularly.

Katie,
you're absolutely right!
Not to mention people who might just don't want to fight because they study medicine and want to save lives instead of killing people...

I don't have a weapon either - and I don't want a gun or anything in my house! Because - as we all know - they are mostly used accidentally or in a panic reaction when people kill a family member thinking he's a burglar or when you're in a fight with your partner or when your kids play games...
I know it's an argument used by the NRA to say: If everybody had a weapon at the Bataclan in Paris they could have fought the assassins. I guess many more people had been killed then because - as far as I know - they didn't wear signs saying "I'm an assassin". You need to find out - again - who's the bad guy and who's the good guy.

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Re: Syria? What would Kennedy or Churchill do?

Post by Donnamarie on Wed Feb 17 2016, 19:58

melbert wrote:
Donnamarie wrote:
I feel for these people. Like carolhathaway said .. how would any of us feel being without a home, in a foreign country, not able to speak the language, no money, living day to day without being able to plan for a future. It's heartbreaking.


With some modification to your writing Donnamarie, this holds true for the multitudes of homeless people AND our Veterans here in the United States.  Even tho my heart bleeds for these refugees, I have a huge problem with not being able to take care of our own people who are in desperate needs themselves. 

Sorry, didn't mean to hijack the thread, but I felt this need...


I understand your opinion melbert. I've heard that same thought from many Americans.

The fact is our country has had problems for decades supporting our homeless, our Vets and other disadvantaged groups. Those problems exist for a myriad of reasons and will continue to exist but hopefully over time will diminish somewhat.

For us to close our borders to those in need of refuge would be in my opinion unAmerican. It's an overused statement but in my mind so true .... it's not who we are. For us to accept a minimum of 10,000 refugees is certainly possible. There needs to be a solid plan in place to accept and place them in suitable cities across the country. There probably is a strategic plan that the government has been using to place the small number that have already relocated to the U.S.


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Re: Syria? What would Kennedy or Churchill do?

Post by What Would He Say on Fri Feb 19 2016, 13:39

Hello everyone who has replied and thank you so much!....


I have not much time please forgive if this is garbled....but it is important to me that you give your consideration to these thoughts.....

Putin is bombing the ass of Syria....moving desperate people into \Turkey 2.5 MILLION at present....

He is bombing day and night Children's hospitals etc NO target is out of bounds....

Pushing pushing pushing more and more desperate people into Turkey and onwards....Berlin, Paris, etc.....

PPL  by their nature gather in ethnic communities...the Catholic communities in UK....The Jewish communities in USA.....and there will be large amounts of new ppl  joining the already discontent communities of Muslims from Algeria in Paris....etc...

This is a cocktail for Civil War....within Europe....and while "Rome" burns Putin will continue to fiddle....he is determined to take Turkey down, make no mistake and if the rest of Europe falls too, well that is just a bonus....Putin wants Turkey in turmoil....

What happened last year, with Europe getting hard with Greece was music to his ears....he knew at that minute the rest of Europe would stand back from the mounting refugee crisis until the last (and maybe too late) minute....

Europe has promised Turkey (not so much Greece) a lot of help BUT have delivered little...Turkey is panicking and running out of patients...and this week alone 60 to 70 thousand people are massed on the border to get in.....

We have to look at the bigger picture....

Putin is a maniac....and a dangerous deep thinking genius maniac....

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Re: Syria? What would Kennedy or Churchill do?

Post by What Would He Say on Fri Feb 19 2016, 13:45

PS, I also think George should cancel his trip to Turkey as a man who wants only to help...IMO staying away is the best and most prudent action right now....George to me was the boy who never let anyone play alone in the play ground as a kid....

He is hard wired to run into the playground and help....it's in his DNA....Don't please don't it would not be a good idea....

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Re: Syria? What would Kennedy or Churchill do?

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