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Total number of comments: 1314 (since 2013-11-28 14:42:39)

Bill Bodden

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  • US Kneejerk support for Israeli Nukes Torpedoes UN Disarmament Talks
  • Daesh/ ISIL blows up Shiite Mosque in Saudi Arabia, seeking Sectarian Civil War
    • For some reason the story of Ben Franklin emerging from the constitutional convention in Philadelphia and his reportedly being asked, "What have you wrought?" came to mind. A good question to pose to Dubya, Darth Cheney and their warmongering cohorts.

  • Washington asks, "Who lost Ramadi?" But Washington never had Ramadi
    • So it completely escapes me why John McCain, Lindsey Graham, John Boehner or Tom Cotton (who helped personally with the berlinization of Iraq) think that if only US troops had remained in country after 2011, the people of Ramadi would have been delirious with joy and avoided throwing in with radical anti-imperialist forces.

      Because what they say sustains their beliefs no matter how out of touch with reality they are.

  • Why does the Iraqi Army Keep Running Away from ISIL?
    • How about performance reports? Does anyone have any idea of how many medals and citations for outstanding performance were issued to the trainers who appear to have achieved very little, if anything, to brag about?

    • Could it be the Iraqi troops don't have adequate reasons to put their lives on the line and be the equivalent of cannon fodder?

    • Does anyone have any numbers on what it cost to train this so-called Iraqi army?

  • Cole: Iraq's Ramadi falls to ISIL as Shiite Gov't refuses to Arm Sunni Tribes
    • Thank you for the correction. I got my states mixed, but it was Daniels who projected the $60 billion figure. link to businessinsider.com

    • Well other than the war being slightly over budget, (one and a half trillion dollars as opposed to the two hundred million projected cost),...

      Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes estimated some time ago that the total costs for the Iraq war would be in the range of three TRILLION dollars. Stiglitz more recently has revised that number upward to around $5 TRILLION - link to bloomberg.com.

      Mitch Daniels, Dubya's budget director, estimated the war would cost around $60 billion. Subsequently, Daniels was elected by the people of Ohio to be their governor - and Ohio is a swing state in presidential elections. Go figure.

  • Obama: No Mideast NATO, but US committed to Security of Arab Gulf States
    • Though they did get firm oral commitments, there is no prospect of formal treaty obligations binding the US to defend them.

      If there were a treaty with the US, would it be worth any more than the treaties and conventions the US reneged on in the past?

  • Israel's Government Ratchets even Further Right: Great Moments in Colonialism
    • Israel’s Government Ratchets even Further Right

      And our "leaders" in Washington will make more obvious their moral deficits by continuing to endorse whatever cruel and usual punishment Israel's right wing inflicts on their prisoners in Gaza and the West Bank.

      The politicians in Congress are occasionally exposed to profiles in courage. The words of one, Joseph Welch, appear to be in order today: " You've done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?" And that also goes for the female members.

  • How Muslim-Americans can avoid being Trolled by Israel-Firsters: Look again at the Prophet's example
    • As a student of World Wars One and Two, I find the hate speech emanating from Geller and her friends to echo the anti-Jewish vendetta in Germany in the 1930s. Hate speech condemning an entire race amplified by squalid cartoons.

  • Tom Cotton's 'Chickenhawk' Taunt at Iran FM Demeans Jeb Bush, GOP Field
    • Talking of Harvard:

      "You see, the Russians have already experienced what it is like to comply with U.S. economic edicts. That was tried during the 1990s after the collapse of the Soviet Union when experts from Harvard University descended on Moscow with “shock therapy” for the post-communist society. What happened was that a handful of well-connected thieves plundered the nation’s resources, making themselves into billionaire oligarchs while President Boris Yeltsin stayed drunk much of the time and many average Russians faced starvation." . - link to consortiumnews.com

      "Why do Harvard kids head to Wall Street?" By James Kwak - link to baselinescenario.com

      "As Defense Minister in the Guatemalan army, Gramajo played an integral role in the genocide against the country’s indigenous Mayan population. Not only was he given free entry, but Harvard University granted him a fellowship at the John F. Kennedy School of Government." - link to counterpunch.org

      But it isn't just Harvard. It's a good bet if you check the culprits who gave us the Wall Street debacle of 2008 and the war on Iraq you'll find a large number of graduates of other Ivy League schools and other so-called top universities such as the University of Chicago were involved.

    • Calling Cotton and other military personnel heroes for their service in Iraq is another example of how Orwellian language has become in the US. The US-UK invasion of Iraq was illegal and thus a crime. Heroes don't commit crimes. There were, no doubt, individual acts of heroism that occurred, but they would have been more the exception than the rule.

    • ... being all Harvard, is obviously smarter ...

      That is eminently debatable. To make matters worse, any education (kindergarten to Ivy League) lacking moral and ethical imperatives is cause for concern in civilized society but, apparently, not in Wall Street or in the higher echelons of Washington, DC.

    • Page: 13
    • Case in point: Lt. Ehren Watada:

      "Lt. Watada's War Against the War: First Lt. Ehren Watada has refused orders to go to Iraq. He says the war and the occupation violate the Constitution, international law and Army regulations." By Jeremy Brecher, Brendan Smith - link to alternet.org

      Watada's defense team wanted to debate the illegality of the Iraq War. Not surprisingly, the Army declined to allow that.

      End of Watada's saga:

      "Ehren Watada: Free at Last: After three years of trying to convict Lt. Ehren Watada for refusing to deploy to Iraq, the Army has allowed him to resign." By Jeremy Brecher and Brendan Smith - link to thenation.com

    • But it would also have been brave to refuse to serve in an illegal war in which the US killed a lot of peasants.

      To put this another way: But it would also have required knowing right from wrong and moral courage to refuse to serve in an illegal war in which the US killed a lot of peasants.

  • The Middle East Policy of President Bernie Sanders
    • Pol;itics is the art of the possible and the most important thing is that the Republicans don’t win, or we will see another disaster domestically and/or in foreign policy within a few years after they take power.

      Given their histories in Iraq and the Balkans and their links to Wall Street, the Clintons are not the cavalry coming to the nation's rescue.

    • From the archive:

      "Netanyahu 2002: Iraq has Centrifuges ‘the size of Washing Machines’ to Produce A-bomb" by Juan Cole - link to juancole.com

    • ... his Jewish heritage.

      "THE LOBBY" would probably be more accurate. There are many people of Jewish heritage who condemned Israel's actions in Gaza.

    • Many people who admired Russ Feingold for his admirable record must have been taken aback with Feingold's support for Israeli atrocities. The only justification seems to be the Israeli lobby had its hooks into him as it does with most people in Congress. When the senate rushed like lemmings to vote for the PATRIOT Act they voted 99-1. Russ Feingold was the one.

    • Sanders is a mixed bag. His is one of the few voices to speak some sanity and advocate economic justice, but like almost all politicians in DC he is compromised. Consider this article:

      "The Problem With Bernie: Sen. Sanders Joins the Race: A Campaign of Capitulation?" by RON JACOBS - link to counterpunch.org

      But there is a greater problem. Assuming that he is totally sincere when he calls for economic justice and other progressive issues and would fight for them, in the inconceivable event he were to be elected president he would be a lame duck before the end of January 2017. Not only would the GOP and the mainstream media gang up on him, but so too would the oligarchs and their cohorts in the Democratic Party who are beholden to Wall Street and the M-I complex. Just like what happened to Jimmy Carter.

  • Iran calls for Nuclear Disarmament by US, Israel, World
    • The flaw in Foreign Minister Zarif's comments is that he has overlooked the fact that the United States and Israel are exceptional and have the right to be hypocrites. That right is ordained in the case of the United States being the greatest military power because of its massive armaments and despite its leadership in its war department. Israel has its aforesaid right because its lobby owns the White House and Congress.

  • Bush blames Obama for lack of Wars ('Follow-Through' on 'Threats')
    • If I didn't oppose the death penalty I would recommend that Bush and his top war department leaders (and his puppy dog) spend a few weeks or months in Fallujah to get a souvenir from their depleted uranium.

    • What was remarkable was that Bush launched into a criticism of Barack Obama, something he’s tried to avoid since fleeing Washington in disgrace.

      This brings to mind the old saying about there being no honor among thieves.

  • Anger Translation: Why Obama was Ranting against GOP Climate Policy at Press Dinner
    • Mike Whitney makes an interesting point about Obama lifting sanctions on Iran to get Iranian gas to replace Russian gas: "Why Obama Wants to Lift Sanctions on Iran: In Search for an Alternative Source of Gas" by MIKE WHITNEY - link to counterpunch.org

    • Obama made it clear to people paying attention when he first ran for president that Big Energy had him in their pockets.

  • Syria: Al-Qaeda takes Jisr al-Shughur, threatening Key Port
    • We should all be grateful that our intelligence (sic) and security (sic) agencies under the glorious leadership of Dubya and Obama decapitated the heads of Al-Qaeda; otherwise, said al-Qaeda would be creating real problems in the Middle East today.

  • US admits it has no Idea who it is Assassinating by Drone
    • Obama and his spooks must be perplexed if they assumed their demonstrations of drone warfare would have persuaded their perceived evildoers the game was up and it was time to surrender. Instead, it appears that a "mushroom cloud" has formed over the region in the form of human brigands.

    • I also see no major legal issues.

      You also apparently don't see any moral issues here or the potential blowback that can come from questionable and incompetent use of drones. We are involved in the Middle East/South Asia chaos today because previous administrations since World War 2 didn't see any legal or moral issues or considered blowback when they overthrew the democratically-election prime minister of Iran in 1953 and installed the despotic Shah and his Sawak. As Chalmers Johnson and Gore Vidal and others have demonstrated that modus operandum continued for decades culminating in the Big Blowback of 9/11. And the policy continues.

    • Contrary to assurances given by President Obama a couple of years ago.

      Who, we might usefully ask, bought those assurances?

    • ... something which will bring sorely needed scrutiny to this clearly illegal and reckless extrajudicial assassination drone program.

      Mark: I'm an appreciative follower of your comments on this website, but to put it in the kindest of terms your statement quoted above is not up to your usual standards. If there is any scrutiny by the miscreants involved it will be about how to not get caught again.

  • Rand Paul: GOP Hawks are Obama's "Lapdogs;" McCain: Paul 'Worst Candidate'
    • Does America really need to be involved in African and Asian power struggles?

      America is involved in Africa and Asia because the corporations and other lobbies that own the government want the US government and its military, if necessary, to make those regions places where they can do business profitably. Only the geography has changed since Smedley Butler said "I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers."

    • Rand Paul has his defects, but he appears to come off as the least evil of the bunch mentioned in this article. Come November 2016 voters who choose the lesser evil policy are going to have a tough time picking that one.

  • Pakistan as Hong Kong West: China's New Silk Road & US Failure
    • ... but with increased prosperity a growing middle class usually diminishes the drive toward extremism and ushers in a more progressive era.

      That's one possible scenario. Unfortunately, there is the potential opposite for people with power to siphon the increases in prosperity into their own (and Swiss bank) accounts.

    • A ship from Shanghai can now deliver 20,000 20 foot containers in a single sailing. How long would a train have to be to deliver that quantity?

      On the other hand, as other observers have noted, the Chinese rail system could include another line north of Pakistan through the other 'stans into southern and central Europe as far as Lisbon. Perhaps solar power could eventually become sufficiently efficient to power a train, something that is much less likely in the case of a container ship.

    • There is an old saying attributable to the Chinese that suggests that people who resort to violence to gain a point or resolve a problem do so because they lack the intelligence to use non-violent/diplomatic means. Seems like that philosophy still applies in China.

    • Then there was the deal the Chinese arranged in Afghanistan: "Coffins for the U.S. and NATO, Contracts for China" by Barry Lando - link to truthdig.com

    • And in another diplomatic step in the right direction for China: "U.S. leaders along with its foreign “vassals” – as Russian President Vladimir Putin has called them – have responded to the Kremlin’s invitations to the V-E celebration with “regrets.” Not so Chinese President Xi Jinping , whose plan to come for the anniversary observance was announced in January. The President of India, Pranab Mukherjee, will also take part. Signs of the times." link to consortiumnews.com

    • In one of its lapses into intelligent and civilized behavior Washington instituted the Marshall Plan for Europe. It was a win-win arrangement. China's arrangement with Pakistan will very likely prove to be a win-win policy for China and Pakistan. Militarism has never been a winner in the long run, but that seems to not be appreciated in Washington.

  • As US Consulate in Irbil. Iraq, is Bombed, can US still do Diplomacy in ME?
    • You do have a point to some degree if we consider Arab attacks on the US and its agencies in the Middle East while people in Latin America have not followed similar paths despite their grievances against US policies. However, the Arabs who have been aggressive against the US didn't just decided for the heck of it to be aggressive just for the sake of being aggressive and tossed a dart at the map of the world to see which nation to pick on. Memories of events such as the sanctions on Iraq that cost an estimated half million lives and the treatment of Palestinians gave them cause to attack the US.

    • I doubt that Lawrence Davidson would share your views: "Answering ‘Why Do they Hate Us?’: After the 9/11 attacks when many Americans wondered “why do they hate us?” they were fed pabulum by President George W. Bush about them “hating our freedoms,” as a frightened (or complicit) U.S. news media didn’t dare contradict. That has left a confused American people," writes Lawrence Davidson. - link to consortiumnews.com.

    • ...can US still do Diplomacy in ME?

      Given the history of US diplomacy and other activities in the Middle East over the last four presidential administrations, we might all be better off if the US does nothing.

  • President Hillary Clinton's Middle East Policy: Interventions, Wars, More of Same
    • Then there were reports that when it looked like Hosni Mubarak's days were numbered Hillary proposed General Suleiman should replace him despite Suleiman's duties reportedly involved authority over Egypt's torture agency.

  • Do GOP Frontrunners have an Iran policy besides Sanctions and Bombs?
    • Socialists were ignored when they raised the prospect of fascism. Gore Vidal suggested proto-fascism was in play. Someone recently suggested neocons should instead be called neo-fascists. Now consider this:

      Conservative revolutionaries and the echo of German fascism by Todd E. Pierce - link to mondoweiss.net

  • The von Moltke Fallacy and avoiding another World War, with Iran
    • Something to consider:

      Iran nuclear deal: A powerful Tehran turned into America’s policeman in the Gulf? It could happen: This week’s Lausanne deal could trigger a political earthquake by Robert Fisk - link to independent.co.uk

    • My first thought about WWI was that our warmongers might learn how a little blunder here and a little bungle there can get a war started so that they might be more careful in their talk and actions. Then I reconsidered. The warmongers and chickenhawks might just study WWI to help in their efforts to get another war going.

    • For once, Obama and Kerry get it right, but let's not forget the chaos in other regions.

  • War with Iran, by the Numbers
    • Costs of war for warmongers? In the US and other NATO countries war expenses are investments. Costs for citizens? Incalculable.

  • Israel's Netanyahu jumps Shark with “Iran-Lausanne-Yemen” axis barb
    • Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, no longer allowed to sit at the adult table because of his past food fights, has been reduced,...

      to being applauded by both houses of the US Congress.

  • Obama-Netanyahu Tiff worsens: US won't rule out using UN to create Palestine
    • There were rumors a couple of weeks ago that Kerry was gearing up for a third try at negotiations after the Israeli elections.

      A third try by Kerry!! Really? How delusional can he be?

  • All the Wars and Coups of President Ted Cruz
    • I honestly have trouble understanding how someone so “smart” ...

      If they don't have a moral compass they are free to go anywhere they want if they can.

    • Unfortunately, there are legions of Americans eligible to vote who are also ignorant and unfit.

  • Obama with Drama: Translating his comments on Israel's Netanyahu from the Vulcan
    • I doubt that the whistleblowers and journalists who believe Obama is among the most oppressive presidents ever would agree with you.

    • He said that America remained committed to the security of Israel and that financial and security and military cooperation between the two countries would not change.

      In other words it would be business as usual. And Netanyahu figured it would be.

      Obama strikes me as woefully uninformed about undemocratic nature of Israel...

      He is fully informed. He's just still and probably always will be in thrall to the Israel lobby.

    • Talking of translations, this is an excellent interpretation of Netanyahu's recent lapse into honesty: An American translation of Netanyahu’s racist get out the vote speech by Annie Robbins - link to mondoweiss.net

    • Your translation = what could come out of the other side of Obama's mouth.

    • But Netanyahu isn't the real problem. He just happens to be the current political mannequin. If he were mercifully to disappear tomorrow the real problems - AIPAC. Sheldon Adelson and other Israel backers - would just get another front man who might prove to be worse. And, they will get away with their vendetta as long as politicians in the White House and Congress and mouthpieces in the mainstream media are prepared to sell their souls.

      The Palestinians and the Americans are not falling ever again for this two-faced lying bastard’s charade of “peace talks” ...

      The Palestinians probably never really bought into Netanyahu's charade, but there will remain many Americans who will.

      Hell will freeze over before Netanyahu lets the Palestinian people go.

      The original Zionist mission was to "transfer" the Palestinians out of the Palestine Territories. Ethnic cleansing remains the goal.

  • Tom Friedman & funding ISIL: Israel/Iran Derangement Syndrome
    • America’s Dead-End in the Middle East: Exclusive: When columnist Thomas L. Friedman suggests the U.S. should arm ISIS – thus joining the Saudi-Israeli regional war on Iran and the Shiites – it seems time to question the sanity of U.S. opinion- and policy-makers. But that is where the muddled U.S. post-9/11 strategy has led, explains Daniel Lazare. - link to consortiumnews.com

    • Friedman has gotten it wrong so many times, especially since 9/11, it boggles the mind to divine why anyone other than neocons would pay any attention to him. In the case of neocons, Friedman is feeding them more raw meat.

  • Mideast Reacts with Horror: "Israel has elected Extremism and Racism"
    • For the supporters of Israel in the congress who really are too stupid to have seen through the facade of Israeli good faith, or too compromised to do anything else, his reassurances will be all the lip service they need.

      I wouldn't give the people in Congress credit for being too stupid to know what is going on with Israel. They know what they are doing and they know they have sold their souls to the Israel lobby.

    • Apparently, it could have been worse: "Netanyahu Victory Lays Bare Israel as Racist, Colonial State: Analyst Shir Hever: Despite Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu's right-wing, neoliberal, and racist policies, his reelection thwarted a potentially more aggressive and violent regime from taking power" - link to therealnews.com

    • we should all be fearful of what is yet to come

      How about this?: "Israelis Vote to Abandon All Pretense of Seeking Peace: Openly Embracing Fascism" by DAN GLAZEBROOK - link to counterpunch.org

    • Mideast Reacts with Horror

      Surely, no one paying attention was surprised.

  • Apartheid Forever: Israel's Netanyahu rules out Palestinian Citizenship Rights
    • This is an excellent time for contacting "our" representative and senators in Congress. The evidence is beyond dispute that Netanyahu is a racist and it is a sure bet that he will lead a racist coalition. So put it to these politicians. Are they going to continue to sell their souls and be aligned with a racist entity or will they have the integrity to finally do the right thing? Unfortunately, I'm not optimistic about the people from my state.

    • An ominous view of more of Netanyahu as prime minister: "Why I hope Netanyahu will be crushed tonight" by Philip Weiss - link to mondoweiss.net

    • What i do not understand is why Israel has a veto over the creation of a Palestinian State.

      Simple. Israel has veto power over the Palestinians because the US government has veto power in the UN, and the alleged US government does the bidding of the Israel lobby.

    • Better still, we should have laid down the law to Israel on June 8th, 1967 after the Israelis shot up the USS Liberty and slaughtered 34 American crew members and seriously injured 171 others (link to lewrockwell.com). But by then it was too late. The Israel lobby had already taken over the branch of the US government in charge of Middle East affairs, and Congress and the White House had already sold its soul to the lobby.

    • Israel’s Netanyahu rules out Palestinian Citizenship Rights

      At last, Netanyahu tells the truth, but will the Israel lobby allow our politicians to do the same?

  • Top 5 ways Netanyahu sabotaged US and Israel Interests
    • His heavy hand against the Palestinians (and tough talk about Iran), his virtual trashing of any settlement with the Palestinians, and his remarkable play to the American Congress—all proved to be winners for Bibi.

      In the past there were others just as euphoric about Napoleon's, Hitler's, Mussolini's prospects and those of other kindred spirits.

    • Netanyahu scuttled the 2013-14 Kerry peace talks. He allowed one of his cabinet members to smear Mr. Kerry as having ‘messianic’ pretensions.

      What does that say about Kerry that he allowed himself and his office to be treated with such contempt?

      When the peace talks predictably failed as a result of his machinations, Netanyahu launched a brutal assault on the Gaza Strip in which his indiscriminate fire killed nearly 2000, mostly non-combatants, and wiped out entire neighborhoods.

      And, what does that say about the United States that the White House and Congress (with very few exceptions) not only approved this crime against humanity but also rushed to replenish the munitions expended in this slaughter?

  • Could a Netanyahu loss in Israeli Elections change Everything?
    • "Israel elections: Benjamin Netanyahu says there will be no Palestinian state if voters back him: If Mr Netanyahu wins the election, his explicit rejection of Palestinian statehood will be another source of friction in relations with Washington" by Ben Lynfield - link to independent.co.uk

  • The Letter: Top 5 Similarities of GOP and Iran Hard Liners
    • This is a clear violation of federal law. In attempting to undermine our own nation, these 47 senators have committed treason.

      We are supposedly all equal before the law, but these senators will prove to be more equal than others, especially whistleblowers who expose the crimes of government.

    • "Senator who spearheaded letter to Iran got $1 million from Kristol’s ‘Emergency C’tee for Israel’ " by Philip Weiss link to mondoweiss.net

    • And a basic principle of international law is that “treaties are binding.” It does not matter what they are called in domestic law.

      But, as with the Constitution and laws, the US government has a long history of choosing which treaties it will live up to and those it will ignore when it is politically or commercially expedient to do so. Just ask a few Native Americans for starters.

    • These 47 senators are, and most of them have been, a cause for concern, but the other scary part of the picture is that somewhere around half of Americans who vote elect them to their offices. Which brings up the question, "What do Obama and others mean when they talk about "American values"?

  • Bombing Iran: What would Happen if the Hawks got their Way?
    • With politicians like these specimens in Congress sanity will have a problem prevailing: "What 47 Republican senators may not understand about Iran" by Tony Karon - link to america.aljazeera.com

    • Just like Cotton would fiercely resist any nation that invaded the USA,

      I wouldn't bet on that. He is probably what Bob Altemeyer (link to home.cc.umanitoba.ca) calls an "authoritarian follower" and I wouldn't put it past him or our leading neocons to switch to whatever might become the prevailing authoritarian regime.

    • So, Iran gets a nuclear bomb. What on earth can they do with it other than a highly unlikely option of committing suicide?

  • African-Americans still struggle for Full Citizenship Rights, Voting Rights
    • There is no magic potion or silver bullet to solving the problems of racism and slavery by other names. We are in a contest to persuade people to act for good or ill. Those who would make progress towards an enlightened, humane and civilized society have an uphill fight. If they quit it's back to the Dark Ages.

    • Orwell comes to mind when we consider how so many politicians will regard the Pledge of Allegiance as the equivalent of a loyalty oath, but after reciting the words they will, sometimes within just minutes, prove the words and spirit of the pledge are meaningless to them.

      "... one nation, ... , indivisible, ..." then they will go into them-and-us mode.

      This should come as little surprise when we consider politicians' oaths of office to uphold the Constitution are also meaningless in many instances.

      Perhaps, in black communities thoughts of Kafka vie with Orwell.

      "... with liberty and justice for all." Yeah, that'll be the day.

    • No surprise that African-Americans are still struggling. No surprise, either, that others are more or less in similar predicaments. This nation has always had authoritarians in dominant positions where they have regarded the masses of people in the lower economic and social strata with either contempt or indifference. Then there are the authoritarian followers, as Bob Altemeyer describes them, who aid and abet the powerful with the hope they will be first in line to get whatever crumbs are dispensed or allowed to trickle down.

  • 4 Things more Dangerous to Israel than Iran's civilian Nuclear Enrichment
  • What does Iran think of Netanyahu's Interference in Talks?
    • "Al Jazeera publishes leaked intelligence files showing Netanyahu lied about Iranian nuclear threat" by Annie Robbins - link to mondoweiss.net

    • ... the U.S. media seem uninterested in reporting ...

      The mainstream media or, as Ray McGovern calls them, the fawning corporate media are only interested in publishing what the owners of the media want reported. I happen to be rereading Howard Zinn's "People's History of the US" and this was the case 200 years ago and will be the case until, if ever, there is a revolution at which time the winner of that event will adopt the same or a similar policy.

      I was listening to CNN a few minutes ago with Wolf Blitzer interviewing two congresspersons. All three were going along with the fiction of Iran building a nuclear bomb even if the US and Israeli intelligence services have declared Iran isn't building one. But AIPAC and the owners of the corporate media want the people to be told Iran is building the bomb.

      "Israeli Claims About Iran Nuclear Program Denied By Own Spy Agency: Leaked internal assessment, obtained by Al Jazeera and the Guardian, contradicts Netanyahu's claim in 2012 that Iran was within a year of possessing an atom bomb" by Sarah Lazare, staff writer - link to commondreams.org

    • We might also usefully ask what senators and representatives in Congress think of themselves as they react to Israel Lobby pressure and the Netanyahu-Boehner travesty. I'm reminded of a former Congressman who was promoting a book on Book-TV, I believe, in the late 1990s. He entered Congress in his first term as something of a Mr. Smith going to Washington, but when it came to raising funds for re-election he submitted to lobbyists' pressure and failed to live up to his former high standards by agreeing to do things he opposed. Unlike the probable case of more experienced politicians he was ashamed of what he did. If I recall correctly, he won re-election but refused to run for a third term. I wonder how many will attend roll call tomorrow for Netanyahu's speech and will do so with some shame. And, how many will have no shame at all?

  • Frmr Israeli Intel Head: Netanyahu's Clash w/ Obama 'Intolerable', Risks end of US UN Veto
    • ... some stupid Military Fiasco that will cost thousands of lives and Billions of Dollars.

      Make that trillions of dollars.

      Support for Israel brings Money and Votes and people get to stay in Power...

      And one of these days their victory will very likely be Pyrrhic.

    • As always Robert Fisk nails it: "The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one: Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America – with the same confidence that he can support his army when they slaughter hundreds of children in Gaza" by Robert Fisk - link to independent.co.uk

    • As long as a majority of US politicians submit to the dictates of the Israel lobby, Netanyahu or any other Israeli leader can get away with anything - up to and including murder.

  • 5 Surprising Ways Iran is better than Israel
    • Look, it is Israel that ascertained their right and fought

      ISIS ascertained their right and fought. Do you agree they too have ascertained their right to whatever they conquer?

    • So, for those who vote for the lesser evil they can practice on Israel and Iran as a warm up for the 2016 election in the United States.

    • Would anyone care to speculate on what Iran might have become if Mossadeq had not been overthrown by the Anglo-American coup in 1953? Less theocratic and more democratic seem to be reasonable possibilities.

  • Why Netanyahu's Congress Speech will Fail: Iran Can't be Stopped, only Monitored
    • Perhaps they are helping their friends in Big Ag: "Corporate interests behind Ukraine putsch: Behind the U.S.-backed coup that ousted the democratically elected president of Ukraine are the economic interests of giant corporations – from Cargill to Chevron – which see the country as a potential “gold mine” of profits from agricultural and energy exploitation," reports JP Sottile. - link to consortiumnews.com

    • I think, over time, there will be “natural” trading blocs

      Sir James Goldsmith, an Anglo-French businessman, suggested something similar in the 1980s or early 1990s arranging the world in a small number of economic zones.

    • It appears that Bibi is extremely frustrated that he is an impotent leader of a small powerless nation and is hoping that he can incite some stupid person to pick the fight he can’t.

      Bibi by himself may be an empty suit, but as a front man for the big-money, pro-Israel (legal) bribery machine he can count on many Congressional sycophants to perform like trained seals when he does his circus master act. So what does it say that that "powerless nation" is often the tail that wags the American dog and may prove to be the one to expose our national Achilles heel.

    • Netanyahu's roll call in Congress will give us a chance to determine whose side our representative and senators are on - America's or Netanyahu's.

    • ... why can’t we intervene in Israel’s?

      Because AIPAC wouldn't allow it. Congress doesn't have the option to reason why, just to donate dollars and military equipment to Israel.

  • In New Gilded Age, Social Protest dominates Academy Awards Ceremony
    • When Sean Penn made his remark it struck me as the kind of joshing remark friends make with each other, something similar to blacks using the n-word to each other on certain occasions. When Alejandro G. Inarritu accepted the Oscar on the stage he and Penn appeared to be (still) good friends.

    • But Henry A. Giroux is very critical of three movies featured at the Oscars: Hollywood Heroism: From ‘Citizenfour’ and ‘Selma’ to ‘American Sniper’ By Henry A. Giroux, Truthout - link to truthdig.com

    • Artists do not have the levers of power the way politicians do, but they can influence public opinion.

      But among the Oscars audience it was probably only a very small proportion that appreciated those progressive and forthright remarks. If I were to bet I would put my money on the vast majority of viewers being couch potatoes over whose heads those statements passed with little to no impact.

  • Giuliani & Obama: Immigrant Families and Really Loving America
    • 'Love for America’ is a pretty vague concept.

      So is love, itself. On several occasions I have read comments from hunters saying they love the animals they kill. Unfortunately, they never explain what they mean by "love."

      We would probably be better served if we went back to an ancient concept - honor, which is more easily defined. When I was a child, one of the greatest compliments that could be paid to a person was to say that his or her word was good enough to the person speaking. Can anyone name more than maybe two, three or four people in Congress you would say that to? Unfortunately, the concept of honor is all too often reduced to a meaningless label. Consider how our national leaders have demonstrated America's word is worthless. a. Treaties made with Native Americans repeatedly reneged on. b. The United States was a primary author of the United Nations Charter. It reneged on that with the war on Iraq. c. Same with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. d. Same with the Geneva Conventions. e. Same with the Nuremberg Principles. f. to zzzzzzz. Oaths of office and promises made by politicians to the American people.

    • It seems fair to conclude that whisteblowers who exposed crimes, corruption and other abuses of power in government and major corporations did so out of love for their country. So, what does that say about the people who have persecuted them and are prepared to do the same to others in the future?

    • Given the performance of elected officials in DC it would probably be judicious to question most of them on their claims to love America when we observe their votes mostly serve their campaign donors and are often at the expense of the people. The same goes for the many appointed officials who appear to be more in league with corporations (Wall Street, etc.) whose only concern is for increasing their already enormous profits. In the case of corporate executives who siphon most of the profits for themselves and leave their employees in poverty, their claims of love for America are more examples of hypocrisy. We would do well to add the mainstream media for promoting lies that lead to disastrous wars. Which brings us to the the chickenhawks who promote those wars without any risk of their butts getting near a war zone. The young and naive men and women who fall for those lies are probably among the minority of Americans who genuinely love their country.

    • Grumpy, you beat me to it and were much more thorough than I would have been. Thank you.

  • Jeb Bush on Foreign Policy: Peddling old Iraq Myths Again
    • It is fair to say JB is smart, but the problem is that he is like all of the other candidates for president who are or were part of the oligarchy, a person without a moral compass. The other part of the story is that the majority of American voters are not all that smart and not endowed with moral compasses.

    • ... is there no one in the State Department, no one in our political community, who reads Livy or Polybius anymore?

      Reading those authors could encourage state department employees to think and contradict conventional policy - a sure way to end chances of promotion.

    • If Jeb Bush wants to be president, he can't afford to tell the truth. Given that the majority of eligible voters stick with one or the other of the corrupt duopoly, character defects are of little consequence. Voters who go for the lesser evil are going to have a tough time in 2016 deciding the winner. Regardless, the United States will be the loser.

  • Avenging its Christians, Egypt Bombs Libya in first formal Campaign since 1991
    • Avenging its Christians, Egypt Bombs Libya ...

      If we note that Daesh/ISIS/ISIL clothes their intended victims before execution in Guantanamo orange jumpsuits a reasonable conclusion to draw is they are avenging others which brings to mind Gandhi's comment: "An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind."

  • al-Qaeda's Feud with Denmark
    • Robert Fisk makes a valid point about talking with listed terrorists that is probably beyond the comprehension of our or Europe's leaders: "Talking offers hope of a peaceful solution. But we’re not allowed to do it: The very precautions aid agencies now take have made them objects of suspicion" by Robert Fisk - link to independent.co.uk

    • Denmark was a very socially-progressive nation after WW2. If I recall correctly the Danes voiced strong opposition to our Vietnam war. What happened since then?

  • 'American Terrorist': Middle East reacts to Murder of 3 Muslim-American Students in N Carolina
    • The gun lobby in the U.S. should recognize the danger of excessively lax gun laws and speak out about this case.

      If the gun lobby has anything to say about this case it will be in the form of an argument for more people to buy more guns.

      This can be a time for our country to come together.

      Our country has had more times to come together than anyone can count, but we remain as divided today as when the first settlers referred to the native people as "savages."

      One of my favorite writers, Walter Karp, said in an essay on the Pledge of Allegiance that despite the many differences on display at that time that we remained "one nation, ..., indivisible" because of the US Constitution. After Dubya and now Obama shredding the Constitution for their own ends we can no longer make that claim.

      Given the American propensity for gullibility and the prevalence of fear- and warmongers there is little cause to be optimistic that "our country will come together."

  • 'Lone Wolf,' 'Self-Radicalized': Islamophobic Buzzwords never applied to White Terrorists
    • Meanwhile next door in South Carolina they are priming the kids to be pro-gun: "SC bill aims to prove state gun-friendly through NRA curriculum in schools: South Carolina proposes Second Amendment course in public schools, in what many see as welcome to gun industry" - link to america.aljazeera.com

    • Double standards for whites is nothing new. One example of countless: "Lynching and Jeff Davis Highway: Exclusive: Many parts of the South, including Arlington, Virginia, just outside the U.S. capital, still honor Confederate President Jefferson Davis by attaching his name to important roadways. But a recent study on lynching puts the motive for honoring that white supremacist in a sickening new light," writes Robert Parry. - link to consortiumnews.com

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