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Total number of comments: 23 (since 2010-09-06 06:34:55)


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  • Putin on the Nile: an Isolated Russia Seeks friends in Egypt w/ offer of Nuclear Plant
    • I'm glad you are covering this important story, Professor Cole. Still some of the rhetoric surprises me. You wrote:

      "the desire of Russia to find new friends at a time its Ukraine policy has made it a pariah in Europe"

      I'm astonished. This is the language of mass media: Putin = pariah. Second, it isn't even true. Ex-French President Sarkozy recently emphasised France/Europe is a "part of a common civilization with Russia" (in distinction from the US). Sarkozy also said "Crimea can't be blamed for choosing Russia." Current French President François Hollande has suggested several times lifting sanctions on Russia: "The sanctions must stop now". In gratitude, it appears a false flag attack on the Charlie Hebdo was orchestrated (part of the new Operation Gladio). Its close proximity after the French vote in favour of Palestinian statehood on the UN Security Council is more than suspicious. To follow cui buono reasoning, that attack would have been a CIA/Mossad joint operation.

      On the German side, Chancellor Merkel has said weapons must not be shipped to Ukraine and German foreign minister has spoken out against sanctions repeatedly. Greece, Hungary, Austria and Czech Republic are all against further sanctions and even continuing the current sanctions (only just strong-armed into agreeing to continue the current ones).

      I'm physically located in Central Europe. Despite the incessant war mongering of the international (read American/Anglo) media and their local agents, there is a great sympathy for the Russians and their President Putin. The closest thing to pariah around here are the would-be nazis in the Ukraine who have seized power. Your mileage may vary in Poland and Lithuania, but those two countries have been nipping at Russia's heels since the thirteenth century. To suggest Polish-Lithuanian views represent the bulk of Europe would be a deliberate misrepresentation.

      To blindly parrot falsehoods and rhetoric from the mass media does not enhance the credibility of any independent voices. Not even yours.

      Hopefully Egypt won't suffer one of the same unfortunate accidents as France did after diverging from Imperial policies.

  • Why Can Europe have Climate Targets but not the US? Corruption
    • What thuggish behaviour concerning natural gas on the part of President Putin?

      Thuggish behaviour like expecting payment? The Ukraine owes €5 billion to Russia past due on natural gas. In addition, the Ukraine - in the middle of genocidal bloodletting of its large Russian minority - is demanding preferential pricing (about half of what Europe pays). In the middle of this Russia and President Putin are trying to build South Stream to be able to supply Europe reliably. Russia is doing everything to be a reliable partner to Europe, while the US is working to send Europe and Russia into depression by disrupting trade ties - even at the expense of a major war in Europe and possible nuclear apocalypse.

      Thuggish behaviour indeed but not on the part of President Putin or Russia but rather the United States. I'm surprised to see you of all commentators falling directly into the trap of this modern day Operation Mockingbird.

      While European politics are marginally less corrupt and less beholden to corporations but the US State Department is doing everything its can best to remedy this. I implore you not to abet them in this mission.

  • Would a US/ NATO war in Syria be Legal in International Law?
    • Tartus is not that important now, while most ports are open to Russian ships. In the new cold (warm) war, the neocons are ratcheting up through NATO, friendly secure ports may become very important to Russia. It's an extreme example, but the single isolated port of Gibralter was crucial for Britain during the Second World War. Clearly Tartus does not have the same ability to limit transit but it remains Russia's military port on the Mediterranean. As Russia is Europe's largest and most powerful country, their desire to retain their spot beside Europe's swimming pool is understandable.

      The question is what the Americans are doing in the Mediterranean (besides stirring up wars, bombing North Africa's richest country to smithereens, creating millions of refugees).

    • Juan, you wrote:

      It might be interesting to see if US envoy to the UN, Samantha Powers, could get Russia and China to go along with a narrow UNSC authorization for the use of force against ISIL.

      Such a possibility might have existed:

      1. pre-Libya where Dmitry Medvedev's agreed to a no-fly zone and got regime change instead.
      2. pre-Ukraine where the US created an internal coup and put extremist anti-Russian sock puppets (Viktoria Nuland: "Yats is our guy.") in place of the legal elected government before starting an (unsuccessful) crusade against Russia.

      The US has so little political capital left in the world or the UN. The United States are almost as bankrupt politically as they are economically ($17 trillions and sinking).

      Alternative: the US could talk to Assad and coordinate any flights and bombing with his government. Frankly I'm shocked to see you blithely advocating for the violation of Syrian sovereignty.

      I struggle to reconcile your tears for Gaza with your endless clapping for Middle Eastern "regime change". A grander and more abstract voyeurism not so different than Israelis sitting hilltop over Gaza with popcorn at night to "watch the fireworks".

  • Last Chance - Annual Informed Comment Fundraiser
  • Annual Informed Comment Fundraiser
  • Belize Construction company Destroys Mayan Pyramid in Latest Refutation of Libertarianism
    • So am I to take it you don't care for Libertarianism and Adam Smith, then Professor Juan Cole? Maybe you should go back to Mexico and hang out with the communists, wait the drug cartels, wait the libertarians there.

      On second thought let's send Brad down there. The government wouldn't interfere with him much there. He's just have to fend off his fellow libertarian drug dealers.

      We could even sponsor his bus fare.

  • Iranian Revolutionary Guards' Natural Gas Platform Sinks
    • There are many parties interested in this failure to put sabotage on the table. The homicide squad always start looking for a murderer among those with motivation. And they usually find their wo/man in that group.

      As long as there remains a doubt, there is not much Iran can do. On the other hand, if Iran can prove sabotage it's a pretty big stick with which to beat the aggressor nation in the UN and in public opinion.

      I'm curious.

  • Russia slams Israeli bombing of Syria as Violation of UN Charter
    • What the Israelis have done is an international war crime, effectively launching an unprovoked war of aggression.

      I'm surprised you can so convincingly articulate Russia's concern about the erosion of sovereignty, and then with a single sweept of your arm, wipe all the pieces from the table.

      What the Americans and Israelis are doing is gradually pushing us into a third world war, much as Germany slowly pushed us into a second. Humanity's fatuity and hubris couldn't be imagined if it didn't exist.

  • TSA Commission will Look at Health Effects of Backscatter X-Ray Scanners (Grabell)
    • I work with technology and know how often if fails. Catastrophic failure occurs. When these machines fail, without knowing it dozens or hundreds of passengers could suffer cancer inducing doses.

      That Bush/Cheney created/turned 9/11 into this kind of health risk for their nation shocks me to this day.

      Pat downs only here. Don't visit the UK. Refusing the machines invites a strip search.

      I won't even consider visiting the US until they rejoin the family of civilized nations. I don't see that happening for another twenty years.

  • Iran the Beautiful
    • Such beautiful nature and architecture, Juan. Definitely on my list of places to travel. I imagine Iran is a fairly safe and affordable place to visit as well.


  • Success!
    • Hi Sheila,

      Paypal can be weird about certain credit cards. I've had to ask clients to try alternative cards in this case. Usually the second card has worked if the first has not. Let us know if you continue to experience issues.

      Juan can accept cheques at:

      Professor Juan Cole
      Department of History
      1029 Tisch Hall
      University of Michigan
      Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1003

      I'm sorry about the issues you've had. Thank you for your support of Informed Comment!

    • Hi Hamza,

      The best way to see one of the Polo shirts is to donate. The shirts will be great.

      Here is a video about a very similar Polo shirt created by the same design team.

      Making the web work for you, Alec

    • Hi Frank!

      I'm sorry we don't have pictures yet as the shirts will be going into production when we have the sizes. The shirts will be of the highest quality Fruit of the Loom heavy white cotton double sewn, with shirts for women and shirts for men (not unisex). We plan to include both the Informed Comment logo on the left breast and the Informed Comment Persian lion on the left sleeve.

      These will be shirts you could wear to Wimbledon with pride.

      As soon as the first shirts are ready we will be posting a photo of the shirt to all the subscribers. Look out for an email with a request for your size and your shipping address in a couple of weeks, at the end of the fundraiser. If you don't feel you would wear a polo shirt, you are welcome to send yours to a friend as a gift instead.

      Thanks for asking.

      Making the web work for you, Alec

  • A Hot Wet Thousand Years and 10 Green Energy Stories to Avert it
    • Great post, JT. I totally agree about the moral bankruptcy of the whole system (not to mention the species suicidal bent: self-awareness makes us worse than lemmings). Even pre-Western civilization, we did it to ourselves on Easter Island and the Mauris knocked out the Moa (principal food) in New Zealand.

      @ Dan

      I think it's important to recognize the real problem points first and address those. A lot of us worrying about whether we should use our computer or not is not making any difference. Air travel alone is 5% of carbon dioxide emissions. The average passenger car in the US emits 11,450 pounds (5,190 kg) of carbon dioxide per year.

      We have still not started talking about the environmental production costs of those vehicles.

      We don't have to go back to paleo life in order to shepherd the world's resources adequately. But we do have to change our economic "growth" model.

  • Saif admits Qaddafis are Brutal Foreign Occupiers
    • Not sure I'd exactly characterise North Korea as a threat to the region. They are a real nuisance for the South Koreans but no threat to the Chinese, Japanese, Taiwanese or Vietnamese.

      Of course if we were stupid enough to provoke them to self-destruction, there's be some nasty bombs exploding over Japan. If someone were to provoke Russia, America, France, Israel, the UK, India, Pakistan - it's the same deal.

      Yet we don't label most of those countries a threat to their region or the world.

    • Dear Professor Cole,

      Your apologism here doesn't hold up in relation to the facts reported above by your readers.

      Here you seem just as much an unrepentant advocate for American exceptionalism as G.W. Bush and Richard Cheney.

      Falluja was a war crime and a massacre.

      What is happening in Misrata while also a violation of the Geneva conventions is a materially less severe one.

    • Hi Professor Cole,

      This is a very important post, pulling off the genteel mask which Saif Qaddafi dons in public.

      Most of the atrocities committed by Saif Qaddafi are not even reported. In Austria in July 2007, a Ukrainian girl "fell" off a balcony at a private party at his residence in Vienna.

      Her death was reported, after Saif fled Austria. Heavy duty lobbyists were engaged to make sure charges were not filed.

      I can't even find this in English language Google. But here's the ORF (Austrian state broadcast report) on Saif Gaddafi and Ukrainian balcony death in Vienna.

      Amazing what money and threats can buy.

  • Should Professors in Public Universities Give up their Email Addresses?
    • I second what SpyGuy68 says. Google for examplel is a very bad choice for sequestering private data. Google retain all email indefinitely. You'd be better off with a company outside of the US with private hosting where deleted email is not retained. Even then you are not secure, but you have a fighting chance.

    • Hi Juan,

      I wouldn't give up your university email anytime soon. And I'd be using an email provider for your personal email who allows you to delete and eliminate past emails (you can download those emails for safe storage).

      If you are using an external email for work-related matters, everything on it becomes fair game for work related searches.

      I.e. you have to at least make a pretense of using your university email for all official and work business.

  • Egyptian Official: Israelis Might be Behind attacks by Sharks, which seem to be Beasts of Prey
    • It's a pity that Israel has earned itself such a bad reputation in Gaza and the West Bank that people would lend credence to such a theory.

      Just last week, Mossad was blowing up Iranian scientists in traffic.

  • Is AIPAC a Wikileaks Operation?
    • Yes, the US should be allowed to do whatever the hell it feels like, unhindered by truth or oversight.

      I'm convinced.

Showing comments 23 - 1