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Mitch SMith


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Syria: What is the core principle?

I have a friend who is a Syrian ex-pat.
He runs a grocery store in my town and I meet him almost every day.
When the Syrian conflict started getting bad I asked him about it. He said:

"We have a saying - when elephants fight, the grass is killed".

He went on to say: "I have a brother in a town that is at risk .. I plan to go in through Turkey and get him out of there." .. He has not been able to do that yet. And he explained to me the factional power that most Syrians understand .. the Sunnis, the Shiites and the Alawi .. but there are also Druze, Coptics etc etc..

And now, the USA wants to throw bombs to destroy critical infrastructure - regardless of who gets killed in the process.

This is a subject that is so complex that no one can really know what is happening.

My question to the TED community is this:

What is the basic principle?

My friend alludes to elephants and grass .. that seems basic.

Is there any other reliable abstract to be had?


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    Sep 11 2013: Who is the biggest kid in the playground?

    With recent economic growth as part of BRICS (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BRICS), Russia is on the brink of becoming a global super power again, and with Syria being a major ally and lo lot of negative press about Putin currently this could all be global power play with Syria as an unfortunate pawn, their war has been going on for years and only now people are considering intervention.
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      Sep 12 2013: Thanks David - I agree.

      I think the "playground" paradigm is apt.

      Do you equate "playground" with "Schoolyard"?

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