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Total number of comments: 38 (since 2013-11-28 15:36:25)

andreas

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  • Whether Princesses or Paupers, Long Road to Saudi Women’s Rights
    • Ultimately King Abdullah needs to show he’s serious about women’s rights – not just as the king, but as a father and husband too.

      This is rather absurd. If you study history, oppressed groups first organize and stop acquiescing to the rules of the powerful. When enough of them do so, the powerful either graciously grant them some concessions for the time being (mostly recognizing new realities) or it comes to a showdown with police and paramilitaries.

      If one looks closely, essentially all celebrated leaders - Lincoln, Kennedy, LBJ, Khrushchev... actually were pushed by organized movements which are airbrushed out of Hollywood movies like The Butler and Lincoln.

      There is really no need for the autocrat to show us that he is "serious". I think the people in Saudi Arabia know very well just how serious he is.

      What the autocrat needs to do is decide whether to call off his henchmen who apprehend women or indeed anyone who is publicly showing resistance (i.e. by driving) or tell them to redouble their efforts.

      Closer to home, we need to push our plutocrats to stop supporting the autocrat and selling him "crowd control" weapons and training.

  • Israel Guilty of Apartheid, Ethnic Cleansing of Palestinians: UN Rapporteur
    • In November 2013, more than 50 public figures in Britain wrote a letter opposing an Israeli plan to forcibly remove up to 70,000 Palestinian Bedouins from their historic desert land –an act that critics considered ethnic cleansing

      Well, how else can one consider such a "resettlement" policy?

      Anyone remember the theatricals dutifully reported in the media when the state resettled a few thousand settlers from the Gaza strip (who tried to hold on to a third of that strategically unimportant area while fencing in a million and a half Palestinians into the remainder) ferrying them into subsidized housing in the occupied West Bank, which happened to have much higher strategic value? Remember the drama, the splitting of political parties?

      Now a much bigger number of people already have their houses demolished regularly after all mainstream parties have signed off on their mass expulsion and forced urbanization projects reminiscent of the rounding up of Indigenous people into reservations in the US, Canada, Australia are gearing up. For some reason, this time it the land that people are living on right now (and have been for a very long time) happens to be strategically important whereas compensation will be cosmetic.

      We dutifully report that critics have suggested that this may not be a very nice policy. Israeli officials have not returned our queries. What is truth?

      It is remarkable how quickly even comparatively critical journalism succumbs to the "he said, she said" formula.

  • The Public Professor: Dissent in Commodified Higher Education
    • well, it is refreshing to see this sentiment so clearly laid out.

      For me that comment itself is a clear example of a right wing perspective: one class of people/views is better/more accurate than the others.

      The "left wing" counter-view would be that you'll find a range of accuracy all over, from wherever.

      I found that with things like so-called "free" "trade" "agreements" people who otherwise hold extreme views (sometimes even downright racist ones) had impressive critical analysis to offer whereas so-called centrists are often too invested in the whole thing to see clearly.

      btw I find the idea that the center is somehow special to be peculiarly American: in Europe, there are Centrist parties represented in many parliaments and nobody thinks their point of view is in any way moderate... their actually known for their sometimes extreme views on e.g. laissez-faire economics, on which both social democrats and conservatives typically are more "moderate".

      I agree it's problematic for one person (Chomsky) to hold such sway (both in politics and linguistics/cognitive science incidentally), which is why I am actively trying to find solid critiques of his works. There are established critiques and explicitly worked out alternative accounts in linguistics and cognitive science. Not so much in PolSci, but I'd like to be proven wrong on this.

    • well, it is refreshing to see this sentiment so clearly laid out.

      For me that comment itself is a clear example of a right wing perspective: one class of people/views is better/more accurate than the others.

      The "left wing" counter-view would be that you'll find a range of accuracy all over, from wherever.

      I found that with things like so-called "free" "trade" "agreements" people who otherwise hold extreme views (sometimes even downright racist ones) had impressive critical analysis to offer whereas so-called centrists are often too invested in the whole thing to see clearly.

      btw I find the idea that the center is somehow special to be peculiarly American: in Europe, there are Centrist parties represented in many parliaments and nobody thinks their point of view is in any way moderate... their actually known for their sometimes extreme views on e.g. laissez-faire economics, on which both social democrats and conservatives typically are more "moderate".

      I agree it's problematic for one person (Chomsky) to hold such sway (both in politics and linguistics/cognitive science incidentally), which is why I am actively trying to find solid critiques of his works. There are established critiques and explicitly worked out alternative accounts in linguistics and cognitive science. Not so much in PolSci, but I'd like to be proven wrong on this.

    • This is true almost by definition, and for everyone.

      So why bring it up at all? And why in relation to Noam Chomsky?

      I can understand that we may want to cut Chomsky down to size as the man seems to be everywhere in political theory. Still, Chomsky's main "ideological lens" is a strand of anarchism, surely an extreme minority position in the "mainstream". Also his dominance of sorts probably says more about the lack of accessible original thought and systematic study elsewhere than about Chomsky himself.

      We're sorely missing critical discussion of Chomsky's work - what little there is mostly consists of dishonest hack jobs from the right and the vague title of "gatekeeper" from the left. Establishment pundits merely wring their hands and mutter something of the format "but he is not one of us", which is correct but also useless.

      So would you consider crafting a more detailed critique beyond these generalities?

    • This is true almost by definition, and for everyone.

      So why bring it up at all? And why in relation to Noam Chomsky?

      I can understand that we may want to cut Chomsky down to size as the man seems to be everywhere in political theory. Still, Chomsky's main "ideological lens" is a strand of anarchism, surely an extreme minority position in the "mainstream". Also his dominance of sorts probably says more about the lack of accessible original thought and systematic study elsewhere than about Chomsky himself.

      We're sorely missing critical discussion of Chomsky's work - what little there is mostly consists of dishonest hack jobs from the right and the vague title of "gatekeeper" from the left. Establishment pundits merely wring their hands and mutter something of the format "but he is not one of us", which is correct but also useless.

      So would you consider crafting a more detailed critique beyond these generalities?

  • Take that, France: Iran has Halted Expansion of Nuclear Facilities: IAEA
  • Will Avigdor Lieberman's return as Israeli Foreign Minister scupper Talks with Palestinians?
    • End/ (Not Continued

      Looks like an incomplete tag - it probably is too much to ask for those sentiments to be done with and a thing of the past ;-)

      Max Blumenthal's new book Goliath gives some background on Netanyahu, Lieberman, and Bennett going back to their days in the Likud youth... so in a sense they really are all branches of Likud, running under 2-3 party names (actually 4 including Tzipi Livni). Too much continuity for not continuing with the escalation of the dispossession policies it would seem.

      (Unfortunately also with the so-called Labor party whose main distinction is being smart enough to tone it down for international audiences)

  • America may Shutter the Gov't, but not the Gov't's Wars (Astore)
    • More likely, there are misunderstandings between stated and perhaps intended principles on the one hand, and organizational principles which outside observers attribute to the system to describe recurring patterns of the its behavior, on the other.

      As Groucho Marx remarked: These are my principles. If you don't like them, I have others.

      ... checks and balances among the three branches: Executive, Legislative, and Judicial. At times it has been directed toward war. At times it has been directed toward economic recovery after a depression or a recession. At times it has been directed toward advancing civil rights.

      In the historical record, you won't actually find many examples of any of the three branches actively directing efforts to advance civil rights. If you look closely there happened to be a strong movement originating outside of the three branches every time there was an advance, with some branches of government being more responsive than others.

      Likewise, directing efforts to recovery has been and still is to an alarming degree connected to military Keynesianism since at least WWII. This is really in keeping with the article and the first comment.

      Neither the executive, the legislature, nor the judicial branch have put noticeable breaks on the business of war in recent memory, even though the president was voted into office on the coattails of anti-war sentiment.

      While the legislature supposedly has the mandate to declare wars, it is painfully transparent that it seldom bothers to uphold appearances rubberstamping the "unitary executive's" war powers (admittedly the recent aborted push to war with Syria might have played out differently)

      As for the legislature... they have been complicit in concocting legal opinions that concur that wars are really interventions, interventions are really kinetic actions, torture is interrogation, and targeted killings exist in a sphere between war and peace where international law somehow doesn't apply and so on.

      While there have historically been a few legal/congressional barriers for selling weapons directly to certain regimes, those have been circumvented through selling weapons secretly or through intermediaries. Even these barriers are now being dismantled by the Obama administration.

      The mismatch you correctly feel between the analysis presented in the article and comments vs. the stated principles of government may be more due to behavior not conforming to principles rather overzealous analysis.

  • Ted Cruz and America's Super-Rich say "Let them eat Cake"
    • At least one telling of Marie Antoinette's one liner has her giving the estate's supplies to the poor, and when they run out (of bread), she opens up the royal bakery's well stocked supplies to the masses as well.

      The prospect of torches and pitchforks might have something to do with it, motivation-wise, and it was too little too late, anyway.

      Obama/Romney/Heritage foundation care itself would seem to be the closer analogy, then: Too little to actually affect structural change, too much for some of the .1%. Let them eat mandatory commercial insurance?

  • How Putin Saved Obama, Congress and the European Union from Further Embarrassing themselves on Syria
    • For Spain to defy Germany at this point in time is rather like a deeply indebted gambler being rude to the casino owner

      Apart from the fact that the poor are at the mercy of the rich, the only part of the sentence that rings true is that the (casino) owners naturally made sure the odds are stacked in favor of the banks. Whoever enters their establishment and plays according to their rules will wind up indebted.

      Spain did all what it was supposed to do in our "modern" economy - so referring to them gamblers only works if we recognize all of business-as-usual as gambling. They even ran a budget surplus before the European version of the housing bubble imploded (so their debts are a consequence of the meltdown and the austerity madness it triggered).

      (Implicitly) placing the responsibility for that bubble on Spaniards is akin to saying that poor minorities in the US fleeced the banks by imposing those great subprime mortgage deals on them... or that those greedy entitled third worlders have gotten such easy money from the IMF (never mind that they have paid back twice over and are still indebted).

      So let's watch our language even in throw-away sentences...

  • Indiana: "How do we get rid of" Zinn's 'A People's History of the United States?'
  • The Gezi Park Protests: Is Turkey becoming Egypt? (Schubel)
    • The author mentions in passing resistance to the neo-liberal model:

      It is fascinating to see Alevis, environmentalists, anti-capitalist Muslims, women’s rights advocates, LGBT activists and others making common cause against what they see as the growing authoritarianism of the current government

      Beyond its one-sided economic recipes, neo-liberalism set out redefine public participation by reducing it to voting in elections, identity politics, and consumption.

      However instructive, the article is unfortunately itself largely confined to "identity politics". Are those LGBT activists or environmentalists fans of the WTO? And aren't many of them muslim? Why not discuss resistance to neo-liberal takeover of people's livelihoods and spheres of creative life explicitly, instead of as a qualifier to a specific religious group whose resistance to the AKP would otherwise be hard to explain?

      It certainly goes a long way to explain the premise:

      Among American academics and policy makers there is an influential contingent who have held up Erdoğan’s government as a model for “Islamic democracy” in the rest of the Muslim world

      Try even mentioning alternative ideas (such as not for profit "islamic banking") - let alone holding them up as a "model" - and see what happens next in supposedly pluralist liberal academia...

  • Everything you wanted to Know About NSA Surveillance *but were afraid to ask (Stray)
    • I am not sure how much confusion this roundup actually dispells. It is a rather conservative assessment.

      The final point made in the article, that all "bets are off" for non-Us citizens otherwise known as 95% of humanity undermines the limited safeguards documented before.

      Even if the NSA complex really had those limitations (and there are more leaks coming) they can easily get around the limits placed on the remaining 5% (otherwise known as US citizens) by conveniently logging in to databases set up by British colleagues for whom all Americans are fair game in turn.

      Any sane government would work with other countries to get their citizens off limits to them as well.

  • Top Ten Ways the US Government will Smear, Slight Whistleblower Edward Snowden
    • "some Americans consider him a hero"

      To blow the whistle publicly and in doing so trading in a very cosy life for one of hardship and constant danger is certainly impressive.

      Are you among those who consider him a hero?

  • Egyptian Comedian Bassem Youssef on Kafkaesque Interrogation (CNN Video)
  • Everybody Leaks in Washington: What the Bradley Manning Trial Tells us about a Broken System (Schanzer)
    • Schanzer has written a reasonable article about responsible government policy and press outlets and the normal workings of a democratic system.

      Even when giving the benefit of the doubt to calling press outlets responsible and pretending they would actually release embarrassing information rather then self-censor, and slandering wikileaks by recycling the charge of info-dumping without evidence - the omissions stand out more:

      ... and then our responsible government puts Bradley Manning in a cell without charging him for 3 years much of which in solitary confinement (a subtle form of torture) and without underwear (a not so subtle one). The president, a law graduate, pronounces him guilty in passing and the press outlets barely report on what happens to their main source for a lot of stories for the past years.

      Does this look like reasonable and responsible functioning of a democratic system?

  • Christian woman in Egypt Shoe-whacks Salafi Fundamentalist for Calling her a Harlot (Photo)
    • The woman was understandably upset, but such physical responses to verbal provocation are unwise

      Your reporting of the anecdote has an interesting contradictory element in that you publicize it and then get to say it was unwise. Well, at least "media-wise" there is apparently some wisdom.

      Do not get me wrong, I generally come out in favor of non-violence in discussions, but where is the wisdom to dogmatically state that physical responses to verbal provocation is unwise?

      Even turning the other cheek is a physical response with a lot of symbolic meaning (in Roman times)
      link to en.wikipedia.org

      Very much like the shoe has symbolic meaning in Egyptian culture I take it.

      At any rate, I am not sure how deeply we (men) actually "understand" how understandably upset she was, nor how such throwaway sentences assist the billions of women who struggle with the mismatch of their sense of fairness and equality and their actual social and economic condition to find their way between non-violence and physical response - which sometimes does have its place even though me may not like it, e.g.
      link to en.wikipedia.org

  • Top Ten Ways President Obama has Expanded our Rights, in Rev. King's Footsteps
    • One of the moments in the primaries when Obama connected to the audience more than his opponent Hillary Clinton was when they were asked who MLK would support. Clinton predictably did the usual waffling about how he would support her ;-). Obama himself said that MLK wouldn't support any of them but would be out in the streets building a movement that would hold their feet to the fire (from memory, cannot find the exact quote).

      Certainly we can all get behind wanting to live in a country that is moving in the right direction and having common achievements such as having elected a black president in the first place (and the minor points raised in the article)... but beyond that what is the point about writing a blogpost about Obama in Martin King's footsteps now?

      MLK life's work was dedicated to poverty, inequality, discrimination, war, and the spiritual decay connected with those issues.

      Household wealth of (especially black) people has largely been wiped out by the housing crisis. Inequality is highest since the 1920ies. Schools are re-segregating and Black incarceration figures are off the scale.

      But even if the opposite was true, and whatever one thinks of Obama's record regarding poverty, inequality, and war, for the last couple of weeks the president has been involved in negotiations which may well involve rolling back the social safety net (grand "bargain"); if ever, now would be the moment to hold his feet to the fire.

      Generally, as a white guy I would respectfully suggest we leave it to racialized persons and women for that matter to assess their struggles themselves for now. I just don't see how this is helping them; at worst it may give them the feeling of being put them on the defensive even more.

      From my experience, it has been a much more difficult but ultimately rewarding if humiliating exercise to focus on discrimination and inequality and their effects on us especially when one (unwittingly) finds oneself as a beneficiary. Martin King had a lot to say about spiritual decay in society and it was not confined to the minds of the oppressed.

  • Morsi Emerges as Key Power Broker in Gaza Conflict
    • Israel wants an end to the launching of small home-made rockets against its territory

      You'd think they would go for a truce if that was a priority - or at the very least not assassinate the person they were just negotiating the terms of a cease fire with...

      If anything, when played up these rockets are very convinient to the .001% as they have taken the momentum away from social movements which do not have a coherent policy on palestine other than falling into line.

  • Top Ten Coming Disasters: Romney's America 2016
    • if the voters show, are not disenfranchised (i.e. in the name of battling fictitious voter impersonation)), and their votes are counted (especially provisional ballots and such which can be simply "lost")...

  • Comedian Chris Rock: Obama is the Great White Hope
    • Chris rock's comedy works because we know there are deeper, uncomfortable levels he only touches on.

      For starters, no white president would have gotten away with a lily white cabinet, advisors, and so on as Obama has.

  • The Pentagon's Imperial Overstretch and Victory Culture (Engelhardt)
    • To an outside observer, this article seems to be more critical of the Libya war than how I remember Prof. Cole's writing on the subject. i.e.

      In the world of unintended consequences, however, the fall of Gaddafi sent Tuareg mercenaries from his militias, armed with high-end weaponry, across the border into Mali.  There, when the dust settled, the whole northern part of the country had come unhinged and fallen under the sway of Islamic extremists and al-Qaeda wannabes as other parts of North Africa threatened to destabilize. 

      do you agree with this assessment and if so, could you clarify your position?

  • On Human unity and the "Curiosity" NASA Control Room
    • I don’t see only one race or gender. I see human beings of various shades and cultures and both sexes

      While I respect the sentiments behind this celebration, I am uneasy about the conclusion. Speaking as one pale male to another (Prof. Cole), I cannot but see a predominance of while guys in the room. The comparison with the Star Trek TOS crew (token black woman, Asian man, and Walter Koenig with Russian accent, all in subordinate positions) seems indeed apt.

      Therefore I'm thinking maybe we should leave it to members of the various under-represented groups themselves (women, racialized, non-Christian, LGBTQ, handicapped...) to declare achieving the 1960 vision (of a white guy) grounds for cultural celebration?

  • Syria Revolt Enters Second Year as World Stands Feckless
    • If we substitute "Bahrain" for "Syria" and consequently "US" for Russia, etc, I could understand the underhanded swipe against people "not caring" about the oppressed population since we actually have a lot of leverage with this regime (being close ally and all).

      Perhaps now would be a good time for the policy elite to redesign foreign relations with the emerging powers away from a new cold war to a framework based on peace and mutual respect. Then we could perhaps have the conversation again about which types of intervention can have positive effects (after we have made every effort to consult the actual oppressed people about what they want us to do and not do).

      While we're at it, actually supporting democratically elected governments over pliable dictators generally would express our caring more than a having bombs dropped on a country.

      btw the jury on the Libyan intervention is still out. And it is in for Kosovo/Serbia for anyone willing to look into a complicated history with an open mind. Those interventions show clearly how much the elite cares about minerals, control, and people if convenient.

  • Changing Iran's Nuclear Calculation with Green Energy: Buonomo
    • Why argue for a rational foreign policy strategy to achieve officially stated policy objectives in the first place?

      De-escalating military tensions with Iran would seem to be a rational exercise in its own right, and certainly make everyone safer. Assisting in developing their renewable energy sector would also be a rational exercise in its own right that may go some way in addressing global ecological crises and secure a common future.

      But all this would require accepting a regional power, which would by its very existence impede (illegal) military strikes (e.g. in Lebanon) by "the West" or its local proxies; as well as to accept that such a local power could pursue their economic policies more or less independently - even if this might entail, say aligning with the Russia-China axis on the grand chessboard of the great resource game in central Asia, if they deem doing so is in their national interest.

      Assuming our policy makers could bring themselves to do that, it seems unlikely that we would be any longer interested in the Iranian nuclear program any more than they are in the Indian or the French one.

      Clearly "the West" is either pursuing official policies - preventing an Iranian (capability for a) nuclear weapons program - in a non-rational way; or we are pursuing adversarial policies guided by ulterior motives in a quite rational (if short-sighted) way.

      In either case, Buonomo's critique is misdirected, since appealing to the rationality of the "decision makers" seems rather self-defeating, as they use their rational faculties for different purposes to the extent that they value rationality at all: Why on earth would they want to further strengthen the energy sector - including high technology transfer for solar power - to a demonized enemy / economic competitor?

      Other than missing its target audience, pointing out the contradiction between official goals and actual policies is an important critical contribution and the author also excels at demonstrating how easy it would be to think of opportunities for trying something far more interesting and beneficial from a global perspective than current policies towards the Middle East.

  • Israeli PM Netanyahu attacks Gen. Dempsey as Servant of Iran
    • While I agree with your analysis, I am culturally puzzled at the "war hero" part.

      Heroism is admittedly subjective, yet I have a hard time understanding what actions would count as "heroic" in the context of enforcing an occupation against the will of a population.

  • The Dilemma over Syria
    • Let's take a page from immanuel kant and substitute any country where the government has its armed forces oppress people with reports of massacres for "Syria" at a particular time. This list would be quite long, wouldn't it?

      Let's also substitute "Russia" and "China" with whatever power with influence offers diplomatic support to a particular country. We are left with a long list including rather more inconvenient pairs such as "Bahrain-USA", even "Iraq-under-Saddam-USA" ...

      Somehow I think there will be less enthusiasm for a proposed Indonesian initiative to break the power of the Veto in the UNSC allowing it to legally intervene in Bahrain, Uzbekistan, or Northern Ireland not too long ago for that matter.

      Perhaps the matter of a new international system to handle interventions needs more reflection, unless we are bold enough to specify that only "responsible" nations can apply for intervening, which just so happens to include only our own country and allies.

  • Ahmadinejad in Latin America
    • excuse my being pedantic, but the Roman empire pretty much ran on slave labor, actually making the dark middle ages look good by comparison (I'd rather be a serf than a slave...)

      as you state yourself, slavery was (re-)instituted mostly in the colonies, including what became the US of A...

      if you really think America eliminated every form of bondage and servitude you may want to check in with the local unemployed, working poor, and the prison population as well as reflect on what happened to those of us who have begun to stand up and sit in against debt bondage, the oldest form of them all...

  • Iranian Students attack British Embassy
    • It is ironic that the analysis came from Reuters, a family who was - as Robert Fisk points out in his latest article - deeply involved in the history of Anglo-Iranian relations/exploitation.

      While progressive voiced in Iran (and Iranians in exile) will understandably yearn for more openness, the state of Iran has much more historic and maybe also current reasons to distrust British foreign policy than the other way around, as the article amply documents.

  • Libya Should Turn Saif over to the Int'l Criminal Court
    • While everyone has a right to their opinion (and even to ridicule) i am not sure that this is a very honorable position to take vis-a-vis the diverse pacifist traditions such as quakers and buddhists.

      Also it is telling that you need to go all the way back to WWII to find precedence for a positive intervention.

      If pepperspraying non-violent protesters or outright killing largely non-violent protesters is wrong (on which almost all of us here would agree) then why is it so exotic to be wary of dropping explosives from the sky on densely populated areas? Even if there were a clearcut case in history of aerial bombing that may have reduced overall violence (and I am frankly hardpressed to find a single one) I still would always be haunted by the dead, maimed, and poisened by heavy metal dust over generations, never quite sure if "the price was worth it"... who am I to decide who should live and who should die?

      I would suggest treating those who advocate against bombing with respect, while criticizing their critiques to make them ever sharper...

      What is the use to stop doubting the morality of our past actions? It is only a matter of time before they kill in our name again - let's practice some soul-searching before the next round of killings.

  • Berube on Libya and the Left
    • What is the point of these exercises?

      Counter-critiques of "the left's" anti-war position are of course welcome.

      If "the left's" critique of military intervention by our representatives is found wanting, then by all means let us work out better and sharper critiques (or look around for more interesting ones in the rather big tent that is the left).

      After all, it is not like helping people by bombing a foreign country and killing people is an intrinsically unproblematic activity that cannot be criticized?

      Reading informed comment on Libya I get the sense that more ink is invested in counter-critiques of "the left's" anti-war critiques than on actually inquiring into whether getting our hands bloody was really the best option available at the time.

      Now what is the sense in that?

  • US out of Iraq, but Peace remains Elusive
    • "The Iraq War is over except for the packing"

      well, let's hope that they manage to pack the security contractors, trainers, and so on. Perhaps Christo* can help with the packing of the Vatican city size "embassy" complex? [*that's the artist who shrouds buildings such as the Reichstag]

      also let's work together to deal with the baggage the planners, troops, and contractors have been bringing back with them: everything from PTSD to the mindset of invading and controlling a population with checkpoints, iris scans, and the like.

  • Qaddafi's People's Temple
    • While I appreciate your insights about the last stand of the regime's side, I am at the same time afraid that by focussing on that side's action and likening them to a death-cult we inadvertently may be sidestepping the question of culpability of the other side and NATO forces and their backers in political and media circles.

  • Pirio: Military Offensive against Al Shabaab in Somalia
    • Why is it that "realist" foreign policy / military analysis is couched in "objective" terms and usually ends up on an upbeat note about interventions the very illegality of which it touched on in passing? There is "no military solution"? How about having this sentiment inform the article as a whole rather than paying lip service to it just before channeling the best possible outcome of carnage...

  • Kusha: Iran vs. Egypt: Qualitative Differences in Capabilities
    • This academic exercise seems to omit or at least hide a crucial point:
      No matter what we think of the Iranian regime, it is still popular especially with the working class and the rural poor and can mobilize masses to the streets as well.

  • US Case Against Wikileaks' Julian Assange Collapses
    • Perhaps. The main function would seem to be to deter future whistleblowers so that only those committed enough to risk their freedom and mental health for their country will go through with it.

  • Iran's Oily Revenge on US Drivers, US Troops
    • (1.2 billion Indians are thinking seriously about driving automobiles instead of riding their bikes)

      Well, the fraction of the population who actually benefitted from the "miracle" growth might...

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