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Total number of comments: 1447 (since 2013-11-28 14:42:39)

Bill Bodden

Showing comments 1447 - 1401

  • Putin: Turkey supports Radicalism & We may have to Respond, hence Tourism Ban
    • Islam is one of the world’s great religions and it is one of Russia’s traditional religions. We support Islam and will continue to do so. But the problem here is one of support for more radical currents, which creates an unfavourable environment that is not so evident at first glance.

      Putin has a point here. Consider the Pequot Massacre of 1637 as described by then Governor Bradford:

      "Of this event, Governor Bradford said,

      Those that escaped the fire were slain with the sword; some hewed to pieces, others run through with their rapiers, so that they were quickly dispatched and very few escaped. It was conceived they thus destroyed about 400 at this time. It was a fearful sight to see them thus frying in the fire…horrible was the stink and scent thereof, but the victory seemed a sweet sacrifice, and they gave the prayers thereof to God, who had wrought so wonderfully for them." - link to In other words, "God is great."

      Who would have thought then that that religion-obsessed mob, every bit as fanatical and barbarous as ISIS, would be one of the seeds that would help give birth to the United States and continual war ever since in the pursuit of Empire. And, we ain't done yet, folks.

  • Why did Turkey dare shoot down a Russian Plane? The Proxy War in Syria
    • it’s the moderates who are actually applying pressure on Assad.

      What moderates? Perhaps comparing others, anyone else, to ISIS are "moderates" but that takes a lot of stretching of the term.

    • The Turkish government decision to down a Russian jet operating in the north of the Syrian province of Latakia is breathtaking in its boldness.

      I'm not sure "boldness" is the right word. This action may prove to be similar to the "boldness" of Gavrilo Princip's assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria just before the outbreak of the First World War.

  • Against Trump: 9/11 Muslim Candlelight vigils Sympathizing with US
    • As a student of World Wars One and Two, Trump and his attendant mobs remind me of some people in Germany in the 1930s. Given the old and true adage about absolute power corrupting absolutely, it would be a good bet that if Trump becomes president he'll go the whole route and become an outright fascist.

  • Trump's call for Spying on US Muslims recalls FBI bugging of MLK, Black Churches
    • Trump and his supporters show the shallowness of their understanding of the refugee crises emanating from Iraq, Syria and Central America in their rants and cheers. These three areas have something in common. The United States was complicit in the degradation of their homelands. Honduras is a particularly horrid example of US complicity thanks in great part to Obama and Hillary. By their callousness towards these refugees, Trump and his supporters show no sense of responsibility to the victims of American foreign policies. But then, racists never do, do they?

    • But wait, there's more:

      "Trump and Carson back use of waterboarding in fight against Isis: Technique widely denounced as torture is ‘peanuts compared with what they are doing to us’, says real estate mogul as he does not rule out independent run" - link to

    • During the altercation, Trump said from the podium, “Yeah, you can get him out. Yeah, get him out. Get him the hell out of here.”

      At which point the would-be emperor tossed his clown's mask aside and revealed himself naked. But it pleased the crowd that reveled in their shared fear and hatred.

  • If Trump can track Muslims, close Mosques, what can he do to You?
    • In 2002 and 2003 a majority of Americans bought into the fear mongering that led to the Iraq war. Opponents warned this could destabilize the Middle East. Time has proved the war did that and more. American policy expanded to ensure destabilization of Syria. Now we have millions of Iraqis and Syrians seeking refuge from the chaos we helped to create, but apparently the majority of Americans who bear some responsibility don't want to do so. The arrogance of power apparently means never having to say, "Sorry" or "Welcome" or "Porte Ouverte" as some courageous French announced. As in the past racism and fear remain an American tradition.

    • Muslims do have an option to end this discrimination, but it would probably be very difficult to put into effect. Outbid the Israel Lobby when it comes to purchasing courtesans in Congress and the White House.

    • Given Hillary's pro-war and pro-Wall Street inclinations Trump could get the lesser evil vote. Even though he might do it inadvertently Trump might occasionally tell the American people the truth, something HRC will be less likely to do. One certainty for 2016 appears to be lesser-evil voters will have their toughest test ever.

  • Did Daesh/ ISIL's Paris attacks bolster al-Assad? Spain calls him 'lesser of evils'
    • President Obama is still correctly demanding that al-Assad step down (he has loads of blood on his hands), ...

      Suggestion for a future column: "Top 10 Friends of Obama with blood on their hands."

  • A New Yalta? Can France Craft an alliance of Putin & Obama against Daesh/ISIL?
    • Having read, among others, two articles by Robert Fisk and Pepe Escobar I'm persuaded the less France, especially under its current leadership, has to do with the ISIS/Syria chaos, the better.

      The Shadow of Algeria: the Lost Context of the Paris Attacks by Robert Fisk - link to

      Paris terror attacks — who profits?: By Pepe Escobar - link to

  • Top 10 Reasons Governors are Wrong to Exclude Syrian Refugees
    • The refugee part is a new observation, but the hypocrisy aspects were obvious to me probably before you were born.

    • Thanks to the NRA and its accomplices, ISIS will find getting guns will be a much easier proposition in the USA than in France or any other part of Europe.

    • The supposedly Christian Bible Belt is well represented in the states refusing to accept refugees. Presumably, the parable of the Good Samaritan is no longer operative there.

    • One reason why governors should refuse to accept Syrian refugees: Pandering to the lowest common denominator that forms their base.

      As for “8. The US owes these refugees” when it comes to debts and other obligations double standards will apply.

      There is also a precedent for refusing asylum to refugees - the SS St. Louis and its Jewish passengers. link to

  • Netanyahu taps Squatter who called Obama Muslim hate sympathizer, as he demands $5 bn./yr. from U.S.
    • How about Sheldon Adelson and other pro-Israel billionaires donating that extra $2 billion a year? Oh, I forgot. We are in the era of bleeding the people to help the obscenely wealthy become more obscene and more wealthy.

  • Bush Sr. Blames Neocons for Ruining W.'s Presidency: Is he Warning Jeb?
    • Then there is the Pentagon's attempt to sanitize the war on Vietnam that, for example, revised the My Lai Massacre to an "incident" at My Lai.

    • Craig: Presumably, you see Hillary as the lesser evil and voting for the lesser evil is another topic that will get a lot of attention between now and next November. There are two sides to this neither of which can claim supremacy, but one factor seems to be constant: The more we vote for the lesser evil the more evil the choices become.

      As for the GOP candidates, Rand Paul could be a disaster domestically, but at least he is opposed to more wars at this time. Similarly, Trump has big negatives, but I have a hunch he would be much less likely to wage war than Hillary.

    • And Professor Cole didn’t even mention the torture regime which will forever be a stain on US history.

      Stains on American history have a way of fading with time. The slavery side of Washington, Jefferson, Madison, et al, have been whitewashed and the heroics of pioneering the West have been a screen blocking the attendant genocide of Native Americans. How many people are aware of the unconscionable racism and slaughter in the Philippines during the Spanish-American War that inspired Mark Twain's War Prayer - link to Then there was ... well you get the idea.

    • The neocons are getting a well-deserved bashing in Poppy's book, here and elsewhere, but let's not forget Hillary and other neoliberals and Democrats who also endorsed and pushed for the war on Iraq and more in Iran, Libya and Syria.

    • One thing you take away from these remarks by George H. W. Bush is that he is nowadays basically a Democrat.

      GHW has shown some signs of class in the past, and this book appears to show more, but let's not forget there is another side to him. For example: Iran-Contra and the illegal invasion of Panama to name just two. Becoming a Democrat is no Damascene conversion. That would be like changing dirty linen for something slightly less dirty.

  • With Ahmad Chalabi's Death, Passing of an Age of Lies
    • There’s no question Colin Powell’s low moment was his speech before the UN and he has admitted it several times.

      When it was a respected program on CBS, "60 Minutes" interviewed members of Powell's staff at the Bureau of Intelligence and Research at the State Department. They revealed they knew at the time Powell spoke at the UN he was not telling the truth. Robert Fisk, one of the more distinguished Middle East correspondents, wrote a piece a few hours after Powell's selling of what was left of his soul ripping Powell apart. Clearly, another case of an insider passing up the chance to be a profile in courage that might have prevented this war. But no surprise there.

    • And Hillary's coronation as the Democratic (?) Party's choice for president in 2016 will prove its membership is as craven and immoral as the Republicans. Given we are talking about around two thirds of the US electorate, what does that say about this nation?

    • And all those villains remain in positions of influence to foment more war and destruction.

    • And now we have Former Senator and Secretary of State and Clinton running for the Dem Presidential candidate. She voted for that 2002 Iraq war resolution. She was complicit. Her colleague Senator Dick Durbin who I believe was Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee at the time voted against that resolution.

      If I recall correctly, Jay Rockefeller was chair of the senate intelligence (sic) committee, but more importantly I recall listening to Dick Durbin make a speech on the senate floor stating that the intelligence given to the committee contradicted the "intelligence" propagated for public consumption. That is why he voted against the war. So what does that say about the other members of the committee who knew the truth and the lies but still voted for the war? link to

      Unfortunately for the victims of the Iraq war, Durbin turned down an opportunity to become a profile in courage and kept silent using the excuse he was sworn to secrecy.

  • Shimon Peres doubts Israel can win Permanent war or Survive Annexation of West Bank
    • Whether the decline and fall of Israel is inevitable or wishful thinking remains to be seen, but it is a safe bet that things will get much worse for the Palestinians before they improve. It also looks like a safe bet that politicians in the White House and Congress will continue to be complicit in this immoral and illegal tragedy. And that is regardless of who becomes the next president.

  • Why ISIL is a Vast Exaggeration: & No, it can't Shoot down Planes
    • Daesh (ISIS, ISIL) in the Sinai Peninsula made a big deal of claiming they shot down a Russian airliner Saturday morning. They did not. ....

      This kind of grandstanding is typical of the radical vigilantes in this tiny organization.

      And people who hang large "MISSION ACCOMPLISHED" banners on aircraft carriers.

  • Syria: US Boots on Ground risks Conflict with Turkey, not Russia
    • ... special ops troops at an HQ of the Kurdish YPG in northeast Syria for the purposes of training and strategic counseling ...

      According to the White House these troops won't be engaged in combat. I wonder how that form of reasoning would hold up if Bradley/Chelsea Manning had only shown someone else how to copy and send the files to Wikileaks. Sorry, Chelsea. Guilt by association applies in your case but not in the case of special ops.

  • Iran's Attendance at Syria talks in Vienna marks its Emergence as Regional Power
    • That the Neocons were mostly 98-pound weaklings ...

      And what does that say about the White House if its decision-makers submitted to the bullying of these "98-lb weaklings"?

      If it can be agreed that al-Assad himself (who made himself a war criminal by barrel-bombing civilian neighborhoods) must be eased out in favor of someone who does not have so much blood on his hands, maybe the negotiations really can be fruitful.

      Perhaps, Dubya and Cheney can invite al-Assad to their ranches and compare notes. Or maybe, Saudi Arabia can offer him Idi Amin's old digs now that he is no longer around.

  • Iran helping build "New Syrian Army;" ISIL fighters Fleeing to Iraq from Russian Airstrikes
    • “When it comes to the operational level, we are helping brigade commanders for example…People who engage in physical confrontation with the enemies on the field…This is why a number of our commanders are there and are helping in planning and devising operational strategies in order to gain victory over the enemies.”

      It would be interesting to know how much it cost for this effort in comparison to the $500 million spent for five Syrian defenders.

  • Senior National Security Advisers urge Obama to put Spec Ops Troops close to ISIL Front
    • If nothing else this plan should be more cost-effective than the recently closed $500 million training of five Syrian fighters. That is, if we don't factor in the costs of escalation. Who knows what they will be?

  • Bush Lapdog Blair can't Even Apologize Correctly for Destabilizing the Middle East
    • Chilcot is now the big question regarding Britain's criminal participation in the war on Iraq. Will this inquiry produce an authoritative and honest report, or will the commission render homage to the Establishment as lawyers in a Dickensian novel might have done? At least the Brits have sufficient decency to elect a Jeremy Corbyn to high office. We in the US have many people of similarly high caliber and integrity but not enough people with the sense to elect them to high office.

    • As vile and squalid as your suggested villains might be, there is a greater problem in how people in the United States and Europe have failed to apply the Nuremberg principles to the United States and the United Kingdom in the same way their forefathers - the so-called Greatest Generation - defined those principles 70 years ago. Not only do we have people guilty of crimes similar to those that got the Nazis in court but they walk free, propose more wars in the mainstream media and have countless admirers. If that is not evidence of moral corruption, what more do we need?

  • Top Five Things Congress Should investigate instead of Benghazi
    • Joe: I'm a retired mariner so I take this betrayal of the crew of the Liberty seriously, but as a student of history the great tragedy is that this betrayal is a comparatively minor event. Consider the 4,000-plus Americans killed and tens of thousands maimed physically and mentally who were betrayed by the White House, the Pentagon and Congress. (And those are only American numbers.) Then multiply that many times for Vietnam. Then there were the Brits, the French and the Germans in WWI who sacrificed tens of millions of soldiers and collateral damage to gain a few yards one day only to lose them the next. Then there are the tobacco and other corporations that sacrifice the lives and well-being of millions of people around the world in pursuit of profit.

      To go back to Iraq, we are now seeing the consequences of that crime against humanity bringing the score up to millions dead, maimed and displaced.

    • Joe: There isn't much chance of an honest investigation into the Liberty. Admiral McCain's son in the senate would lead the challenge against such an investigation in the highly unlikely event Congress got some spine and integrity to investigate. Consider the USS Stark that was shot up by an Iraqi plane in the Mediterranean. The crew on that ship was sold down the Arabian Gulf the same as the Liberty's crew was sold down the Mediterranean. link to

    • But first, Congress should investigate itself in an attempt to recognize how morally and ethically bankrupt it has become and what the consequences might be for this nation, one of which is likely to be the continued decline and probable fall of the American Empire. But I presume that such an exercise would be like an addict not ready to face reality contemplating his next fix.

  • US-Russia wrangle over Iraqi Sphere of influence: Parliament to Weigh In
    • The same delusion of finding “moderates” in Syria is afflicting the State and Defense Depts. ...

      People who have so much hubris as to feel "exceptional" often tend to be delusional.

    • And this anecdote suggests why the US may be unwise to try to claim Iraq as a sphere of influence in this way.

      If Iraq does not become part of the US sphere of influence, does that mean the Bush/Cheney/Neocon/Clinton/Biden war on Iraq was in vain?

  • American Hypocrisy: Against Muslim Sharia law at home, Calls it "Moderate" in Syria
    • Nor did CNN lead with civilian casualties when it covered Israeli PM Netanyahu’s bombardment of defenseless little Gaza in summer of 2014.

      But CNN is doing a thorough job of informing its listeners of the comparatively minuscule numbers of Israeli victims in the latest outbreak of violence. Good PR for Netanyahu to get a 50% boost in military aid when he submits his shopping list to Obama at their next meeting.

  • Yes, George W. Bush bears some Responsibility for US Vulnerability on 9/11
    • But in the great sordid scheme of things, 9/11 is overshadowed by the events it was used to bring into play. Three thousand dead on 9/11 plus victims among the first responders who were betrayed by the EPA. But, how many killed and maimed in Iraq and Afghanistan? How many millions displaced in Iraq and Afghanistan? How many dead, maimed and displaced since then in the ongoing chaos that the anti-war minority warned could happen in other parts of the Middle East?

      And the perpetrators not only go free, they are given platforms to promote more wars.

      Given the moral bankruptcy of this nation's "leaders," the corruption in government and the corporate world and the apathy of the majority of the American people it is difficult to see how the decline of the American empire can be halted before its probable collapse.

  • Debate: Clinton slams Iran, Putin & supports Syrian Rebels; Sanders rejects Intervention
    • Peter Lee disputes a point Hillary made at the debate:

      "The truth behind Hillary’s ‘China hunt’ at Copenhagen climate conference" By Peter Lee - link to

    • Sanders isn't going to play hardball with Hillary. His suggestion to forget about Hillary's emails proved that. Several people who have been skeptical of Sanders believe he will fold and turn his supporters over to Hillary. Whether that is some scheme they have concocted or just the way the balls bounces is obscure at this point. Similarly, it remains to be seen if Sanders' more enthusiastic supporters who like his anti-Wall Street rhetoric will switch to Hillary who will clearly be as pro-Wall Street as Obama and Slick Willie proved to be.

    • ... and I will do everything that I can to make sure that the United States does not get involved in another quagmire like we did in Iraq, the worst foreign policy blunder in the history of this country.

      Despite promoting and supporting that "worst foreign policy blunder" which was, surely, a war crime and a crime against humanity Clinton is now running for president and many others are in high positions of power and influence. If Iraq had won that war and applied the same principles to the US and UK that the Allies applied to the Nazis at Nuremberg they would, at least, all be in prison. Psychiatrists, presumably, have a term for this state of affairs that should be considered bizarre but is accepted as normal.

  • Does Obama have a Syria Strategy? Putin Does.
    • He is giving up on a Pentagon plan to train thousands of “moderate” Syrian fighters to take on Daesh (ISIS, ISIL).

      But CNN claimed this morning the US is dropping supplies of ammunition to rebels.

  • Facing ISIL Propaganda, Russia Denies its Syria Campaign is a "Holy War"
    • Two columnists at Asia Times differ from the mainstream media peddlers in Washington on Putin - a sign the former probably know what they are talking about:

      "Grading the Putin school of international affairs": Codevilla By Angelo Codevilla - link to


      "Russia outflanks Turkey in Syria" By M.K. Bhadrakumar - link to

    • Patrick Cockburn, one of the more astute correspondents in the Middle East, has a very interesting commentary: "Why We Should Welcome Russia’s Entry Into Syrian War_ by Patrick Cockburn - link to

    • Page: 14
  • Deal with Saudis? Why does the US care if Russia bombs al-Qaeda and its Allies in Syria?
    • US policy is to overthrow Assad? Does anyone, including Obama, know who will replace Assad? Sounds like Libya all over again. Maybe on steroids.

  • It is Israel that abrogated Oslo Peace Accords, as Netanyahu Boasted
    • Left unsaid by Abbas but obvious to independent observers is US complicity in Israel's crimes against international law and Palestinian humanity.

  • The Final Collapse of Bush's Nation-Building: Kunduz falls to Taliban
    • On Monday, the Taliban swept into the provincial capital of Kunduz, taking it in half a day from a large and well-equipped Afghan National Army force.

      And what did that "well-equipped Afghan National Army force" cost US taxpayers?

  • Why Obama and Putin are Both Wrong on Syria
    • In such efforts the United States will always do our part. We will do so, mindful of the lessons of the past. Not just the lessons of Iraq but also the example of Libya, where he (we?) joined an international coalition under a U.N. mandate to prevent a slaughter. Even as we helped the Libyan people bring an end to the reign of a tyrant, our coalition could have and should have done more to fill a vacuum left behind.

      What lessons did Obama and his neocon advisers learn from Libya?

      We are grateful to the United Nations for its efforts to forge a unity government.

      Lotsa luck on the one. You'll need it.

      We will help any legitimate Libyan government as it works to bring the country together.

      A Libyan government will be deemed legitimate if it is a vassal state of the Empire.

      But we also have to recognize that we must work more effectively in the future as an international community to build capacity for states that are in distress before they collapse.

      As in Ukraine?

  • Syria: Is Bashar al-Assad winning the Diplomatic War? Rebels Fret
    • Al-Assad is a war criminal

      But he is in the minor leagues compared with the West.

  • Things like Ted Cruz's threat to Murder Iran's Ayatollah are why Iranians don't Trust US
    • Presumably, international law is irrelevant to this graduate of Harvard Law School.

    • Why, when I listen to these warmongering charlatans am I reminded of Germany in the early 1930s? When I listen to Donald Trump, why does Mussolini come to mind? Mussolini got the trains to run on time. Trump will build a wall along the US-Mexico border.

    • If Cruz had promoted the idea of sending the prime ministers of the UK, Canada, Australia, Israel, etc. to their gods - Mammon in most cases - would any of our various law enforcement agencies have called him in for questioning?

  • With Iran deal, & Russia in Syria, is Israel being Boxed In?
    • In addition to Israel's external threats discussed above, the internal threat of the settler movement may prove to be a Frankenstein monster that will bring down Netanyahu and fellow right-wing actors and, perhaps, eventually Israel.

  • Top Signs Pope Francis is an Honest Conservative
    • An honest conservative.

      Now, that's an endangered species, but every once in a while alleged conservatives will tell the truth. There was Donald Trump recently while claiming to be a conservative confirmed campaign donations are bribes. Then there were most of the GOP presidential candidates who engaged in a bout of truth-telling when they were criticizing each other.

  • Has the GOP given up on winning the Presidency? Carson, Trump on Muslims, Latinos
    • Among the perversities of the human condition are: (1) people with exceptional intelligence in one sphere exhibiting low intelligence in another, and (2) people who are victims of racial, ethnic or other forms of abuse having no problem abusing others.

  • Aqsa Crisis: PM Netanyahu wants Israeli Forces to use Live Fire against Rock Throwing Demonstrators
    • This appears to be another opportunity for US government leaders to show their lack of moral courage.

  • Trump Pledges to "Look into" Paranoid Charges of Muslim-American Terror camps
    • Christian-European violence goes back much more than 150 years - at least to the Crusades - and with the likes of Trump and his questioner will continue for many more. While we are at it, let's not forget those good christians in the Bush2 administration responsible for the deaths and other forms of destroyed lives if hundreds of thousands of people in the Middle East.

  • How GOP Candidates would Deal with Syria, Short Version
    • Unfortunately, the debate's transcript has nothing funny about it. It is another chronicle of recycled BS and hypocrisy. The arch-hawk Ted Cruz tossed in the discredited story about Iran's self-inspection of nuclear facilities that was echoed by others on the stage. Same with the charge of Iran wanting to build a nuclear bomb even though that was refuted by Israeli and US intelligence agencies years ago. None of them was called on these lies by CNN's appointed trio of moderators. Then there was all the talk about immigration that was limited to building walls. Nothing about the disease and crimes that encourage people to leave their families for the lesser evil of the United States.

  • 14 Years after 9/11, US, Israel Tempted to ally with Al-Qaeda in Syria
    • Maybe I’m just funny that way, but I object to allying with allies of al-Qaeda. Al-Qaeda killed nearly 3,000 Americans in a single day.

      But morally denuded politicians don't work that way. They do whatever is politically expedient for whatever short-term gain they perceive and never mind the blowback.

      Former general and former CIA director David Petraeus advocates wooing the Support Front away from their allegiance to al-Zawahiri and then deploying them against Daesh.

      Lotsaluck on that one with al-Qaeda associates and their long memories.

  • Russia Ramping up Military Involvement in Syria?
    • I don't know how apt this is or might prove to, but for some reason the march of folly that became the First World War that begat the Second World War came to mind. The actions taken then by the various national leaders made sense to them from their particular viewpoint, but they morphed into that century's greatest disasters. The actions taken now in the Middle East presumably make sense to the various participants from their viewpoints, but the consequences appear to be worsening inexorably. A Third World War becomes more plausible with each step along the present march.

      If ever there was a time for diplomacy, surely it is now, but where are the diplomats truly worthy of being called statesmen to be found?

  • What if Kim Davis Refused to License Marriages of Inter-Racial Couples?
    • If we consider the number of religions and sects and variants within each religion it would be sheer anarchy to try to organize a society based on religion. I would pity residents of Rowan County in Kentucky of they were of a different faith than Ms. Davis. Despite the hypocrisy attached to much of American law, the United States is not the disaster that Europe was during several centuries of religious wars.

    • Given the fact (according to that Kim Davis has been married four times this appears to be another case of selective religious bias. What would she or Mike Huckabee have said if some very devout Catholic had refused her one of her, presumably, three divorces?

      Woe is the United States with theocrats, neo-fascists and proto-fascists trying to take over.

  • Israel plans to tear down 13,000 Palestinian Buildings in Palestine
    • And what does it say about the moral stature of the perpetrators' primary protector at the UN? What moral stature?

    • In the 1930s many people and their governments became inured to abuse of the Jews by the Nazis and did nothing to their everlasting shame. Fast forward to the second half of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st and it's deja vu all over again. Just change the names of the victims and the perpetrators. The morally bankrupt collaborators are mostly the same.

      It is interesting that that the drowning of three-year old Aylan Kurdi got global attention as it should have, but very few in the same audience know of the 18-month old child burned to death in Palestine allegedly by Israeli settlers who remain at large.

  • Pope Francis' call to host Refugees contrasts w/ anti-Immigrant US "Religious Right"
    • But would it not be fair to say that once the trouble started the US and its allies (France, UK, Saudi Arabia, etc.) joined in on the brawl and made matters much worse?

      "Turning the Cradle of Civilization Into its Graveyard" by Diana Johnstone- link to … "Western leaders share major responsibility for making much of the world unfit for normal human habitation."

    • Christian, like liberal, conservative and other labels, has evolved to mean almost anything and consequently nothing. Among the more astonishing aspects of the refugee crisis is the apparent ignorance of many people in the United States and in western Europe and the indifference of their leaders and would-be leaders to the causes of so many millions of people being displaced. Support of a right-wing coup in Honduras and wars throughout the Middle East, North Africa and Afghanistan. Nevertheless, our neocons and other warmongers call for more war. Kind of evokes thoughts of Einstein's definition of insanity.

  • Whether Jewish Refugees in '30s or Syrians today, USA Falls Short of own Ideals
    • But America has always talked out of both sides of its mouth, even before it became the US of A. Then came the great classic about all men being created equal written by slave owners.

  • How Likely are the GOP Presidential Candidates Top 10 to drag us into War?
    • A psychiatric evaluation of presidential candidates seems to be in order, but who would conduct it? The American Psychological Association? "Three senior officials lose their jobs at APA after US torture scandal: American Psychological Association framed the departures of its chief executive officer, deputy CEO and communications chief as ‘retirements’ and resignations" by Spencer Ackerman - link to

  • Top 5 Ways Obama's 'All of the Above' Politics led to Sanders & Trump
    • ... a perfect world ...

      It is beyond the realm of possibilities for a world inhabited by people to ever become perfect, but we can reduce the number and degree of its defects.

      ... your vision for a perfect world garners a miniscule fraction of the vote.

      And, what does that say about Americans who are eligible to vote?

    • ... vision for a perfect world ...

      In a debate or negotiation, it is better to push for the highest desired level of success. Facing reality and conceding a willingness to accept a lower goal as a starting point guarantees failure or something close to it.

    • ... the left’s love of Nader gave us Bush 2.

      The problem wasn't so much that so many people voted for Nader instead of Gore, the problem was that so many people voted for Gore instead of Nader. There wouldn't have been a war on Iraq under President Nader, but there could have been one under the Gore-Lieberman administration. Gore was vice president when Clinton and Madeline Albright administered the sanctions that cost an estimated half million Iraqi children their lives. Presumably, Gore agreed with Albright that "it was worth it."

    • But lets go even further back: the left’s love of Nader gave us Bush 2.

      It wasn't that simple or simplistic. The right wing of the Supreme Court, the machinations in Florida under then-governor Jeb Bush, and the contemptible campaign run by Al Gore and vice-presidential candidate Joe Lieberman (D-CT and Israel) were much bigger factors. Ralph Nader's role is tossed in as a red herring to obscure the facts. I once thought the criticism of Nader had been put to rest but apparently not.

    • Compromise is essential in politics, but some people appear to fail to recognize there are times when they need to draw a line. This would be an excellent topic to engage at this time. In the case of the Israel Lobby it might be political suicide for candidates to be critical of Israel so mealy-mouth statements might be in order, but surely when elected they should draw a line when it comes to endorsing Israeli actions that are deemed international crimes by eminent international authorities.

    • Sanders' virtue is that he gives voice to concepts ordinary citizens care about - income inequality, etc.. But there are other aspects to consider. Obama gave a fair number of signals that he was in the pocket of the Establishment, but in the tradition of hope prevailing over reality Obama supporters bought into the illusions he presented. Some people might have learned from this experience so will question which Bernie Sanders they will be voting for - the "people's Sanders" or the Sanders who has gone along with the Israel Lobby and the M-I complex and is a friend of Hillary? One thing is certain. The plutocrats and the oligarchs they own in both parties will gang up on Sanders if he is elected. The question then will be will Sanders compromise or fight. I say compromise.

  • Top Six Signs ISIL/ Daesh is Doomed
    • Two articles worth considering:

      "The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis, but history suggests otherwise: We cling to our belief that barbarism will never outlast the power of the righteous" by Robert Fisk - link to


      "Only Iraq’s Clerics Can Defeat ISIS" by Patrick Cockburn - link to

  • Iran Deal: Winners & Losers in the Greater Middle East
    • Apparently, Turkey can be added to the list of gainers: "Turkey’s euphoria over Iran nuclear deal: While the Iran nuclear deal sparked optimism around the world, Turkey appears to be the one country where both the enthusiasm and expectations related to this new era with Iran are the highest. The overall mood in Ankara is positive,… " By Altay Atli - link to

  • Iran Deal: Why doesn't US Media interview Real Allies on American Policy?
    • Follow up article: "Not everyone is allowed to have a ‘Good Life in Germany’" by Rebecca Burkert - link to

      It would be interesting to know how much the policies of Germany, the US, and other European nations and their corporations have contributed to this refugee crisis.

    • Holt was just doing his job, what he is paid to do. Just like all the others at NBC post-Huntley-Brinkley. Same for CBS, ABC, CNN, Fox and any others in the fawning corporate media.

    • To the 12% of Republicans supporting Trump it is probably a good bet that we can add a sizable number of working class Democrats and independents who fear immigrants taking their jobs.

    • "Donald Trump’s demagoguery is a gauge of America’s demoralization": Spengler By David P. Goldman - link to … "A demagogue tries to sound as stupid as his listeners, so that they will think they are as smart as he is, quipped Karl Kraus, the fin-de-siecle Viennese gadfly. Donald Trump’s claim that illegal immigration into the United States is “decimating the country” is a case in point. Illegal immigration is a bad thing, and the social costs of a mass influx of poor and uneducated migrants from Mexico and Central America are significant, but that is not one of America’s bigger problems. Migration actually fell after the 2008 crash because construction jobs disappeared."

    • Merkel didn't gain any points in this debate: "Angela Merkel makes a 14-year old Palestinian girl cry by telling her she is not welcome in Germany" by Allison Deger - link to

    • We get to hear from Donald Trump, who has never been elected to anything and represents no one at all.

      Given recent polling data, it appears The Donald does represent a sizable portion of the American people who should be a cause for concern.

      Given one commentator's suggestion that the P5+1 should be relabeled P1(US)+5 and given Merkel's submission to US spying and Cameron's lapdog status, perhaps your speculation on a robust debate from that lot is unwarranted.

  • That Time Ronald Reagan opened Iran and Illegally sold Khomeini Weapons
    • A consequence of US double-dealing during the Iraq-Iran war that is surprisingly overlooked was the firing of two Exocet missiles from an Iraqi jet very shortly after Saddam Hussein learned the US had been helping the Iranians. Despite 37 US Navy personnel being killed Washington and the Pentagon bought into the "story" that this was an "accident." Yeah, right.

  • No, Mr. Netanyahu, Iran isn't trying to Take over the world & it isn't ISIL
    • Here are some replies to Netanyahu’s silliness:

      Silliness? Perhaps, you are being too kind.

    • The US military budget is roughly 80 times that of Iran.

      Only 80 times Iran? The Pentagon had better send some of its bemedalled top brass to Congress to get a raise. How can they sleep at night leaving us to face such overwhelming odds?

  • Is Greece's "No" on Debt Referendum another Youth Revolution?
    • While there is much to be said for paying attention to what is happening in Greece and Europe, let's not forget other areas, such as Latin America: "Ecuador, Greece and the Left In Ecuador, Fight for Mankind; In Greece, Fight for Greece!" by ANDRE VLTCHEK - link to

    • A majority of the Greek people voted for democracy and economic justice, but the potentates in charge of European finance are not having anything to do with that civilized nonsense.

  • Donald Trump, Dumpee: Forgetting to use the GOP racial dog-whistle is an Expensive Mistake
    • A past to remember:

      "Trump’s Fixation on Rape and Color: Real estate and entertainment mogul Donald Trump has soared to the top tier of Republican presidential candidates after a rant about Mexican immigrant “rapists” – not the first time that Trump has mixed the explosive topics of rape and color, leading Jeff Cohen to ask if Trump is a “serial racist.”" - link to

    • Thank you for that excellent link.

    • If the Republican Party can choose McCain and Palin as their candidates for the White House, we shouldn't be surprised if The Donald is the party's next choice. All we need then is to have Hillary foisted on us by the Democratic (?) Party to alert the American people as to how far this mighty nation has fallen.

    • Trump and others would do well to ask why there is so much emigration from Central America. They might find that the vast majority of these emigrants really don't want to leave home, but in great part the evil side of capitalism (local and American) has made life hell for many Central Americans. One of the more egregious and more recent of many horrific events was the overthrow of the democratically-elected government in Honduras approved by President Obama and secretary of state Hillary Clinton. Honduras is now another human rights and economic basket case.

  • Bernie Sanders' 10,000-person crowd in Madison biggest of any Candidate so Far
    • Meanwhile, at the other end of the political spectrum: "What Scott Walker’s Tenure Has Done to Wisconsin’s Workers: As he prepares for a presidential run, the governor’s labor legacy deserves inspection. Are his state’s “hardworking taxpayers” any better off?" By Donald Kettl - link to

    • Perhaps if he had the backing of enough people he could tell The Lobby what he might really believe.

    • In the unlikely event Sanders is elected president he will find another and bigger challenge before him - the Washington Establishment. The oligarchs from both parties through their agents in Congress will gang up on him. The media won't let up. The only way he can succeed is for the American people to do something mostly alien to their character - stand up for what is right. What is left of the union movement had better get its head out and quit supporting the candidate anointed by the contemptuous oligarchs of the Democratic (?) Party.

  • If ISIL had burned down 4 Churches, it would have been Headline News
    • As the old saying goes, "It depends on whose ox is being gored."

      If suspicions of white supremacist arson prove true, this will be another irremediable stain on the Confederate flag.

  • No, GOP, biblical Marriage was not between one man and one woman
    • Despite your scholarly points, Huckabee, Cruz and their ilk will believe whatever they want to believe. Scientists say climate change is a monstrous threat. They don't care. They believe the scientists are wrong because that is not what they want to believe. The war on drugs has been a disaster, but the evidence won't change their minds.

  • Top 6 Achievements of Obamacare: (Hint, millions more insured)
  • If Southerners want a Symbol, Why not the Moultrie Liberty Flag?
    • Best of all, the flag has the word “Liberty” written into the crescent moon, underscoring this key American value, so important for all peoples living in the South.

      Unfortunately, in our Orwellian world "liberty" on this flag would most likely prove to be as meaningless as "liberty" in the pledge of allegiance.

      We have tens of millions of people living in poverty and they have little to no liberty at all.

  • What South Carolina needs to do for Racial equality (taking down the flag is just symbolic)
    • It's not just South Carolina. We need a national revolution based on morality and ethics. We need to make the Pledge of Allegiance - especially "one nation, ..., indivisible, with liberty and justice for all" - a reality instead of its recitation being an act of national hypocrisy.

  • Top 5 Reasons Confederate Flag should stop Flying at SC Statehouse
    • Another reason:

      "The Confederate battle flag is what makes America stupid" By David P. Goldman - link to - in which he notes "As the New York Times reports this morning, not a single Republican presidential candidate has the courage to tell South Carolina to stop flying the Confederate battle flag from its state capitol."

  • How Lindsey Graham & GOP lost the Chance to be Presidential over Charleston
    • I believe many that come from wealthy and powerful families have proven to lack real honesty, wisdom, heart, intelligence and common sense.

      Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wisconsin and the Koch Brothers) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-ditto) are two examples of working class progeny who have sold and continue to sell workers down the river.

    • Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina and Israel) is a robot and another example of what a farce the 2016 presidential election is.

  • Our reply to Dylann Roof's Hate: Donate to "Mother Emanuel" AME Church
    • And Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is a prime example of why politicians are no help. Despite reports of the shooter making racist statements, Graham claimed the shooter was anti-Christian:

      Lindsey Graham: Charleston Shooter May Have Been ‘Looking for Christians to Kill’
      by Matt Wilstein - link to

    • The question to be asked now is, "WHY?" Hopefully, some independent journalists will provide honest answers explaining what led this young man to commit this despicable crime. No point in checking the mainstream media or politicians for answers.

  • Another White non-Terrorist Kills 9, Makes Bomb Threats
    • The massacre of nine good and decent citizens in Charleston was a cowardly and dastardly act that will be made more despicable when the course of events that follow will most likely render these deaths, like many others before them, in vain.

      How many massacres over the last ten, twenty or thirty years do average, or even above-average, American citizens remember? Or, conversely, how many have they forgotten? How about the 1984 massacre at a McDonald’s in San Diego that took the lives of 21 people? How about the 1966 slaughter of 16 people by a sniper in the tower at the University of Texas in Austin? How many people pass that tower every day without giving this tragedy a thought?

      How about the Pentagon’s revision of the history of the Vietnam War in which their hired historians referred to the My Lai Massacre as the “"My Lai Incident"? After protests this distortion was revised, still somewhat innocuously, to "American Division Kills Hundreds of Vietnamese Citizens at My Lai." The uninformed will conclude that is the way wars go. Maybe assume it was an American victory.

      If Sandy Hook (20 school children and six staff members) didn’t make a meaningful national impact, what are the prospects for some enlightened consequence resulting from Charleston? Removal of the offensive Confederate battle flag from the state capitol grounds would be a small step in the right direction but one not likely to be taken.

    • Larry: It appears you missed my point that most people will forget this horrible event and go along with something like Obama's dismissive line about "that's not who we are" or "these are not our values" and we are really all good and virtuous people. We do have lots of good and virtuous people, but most of us need reminders many among us are not and that has been the case for a long time. Americans are notoriously deficient in history and their being exposed to a modest measure of erudition might help. Perspective is another way of looking at this event. Then there is:

      ‘No Way To Prevent This,’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens link to

    • In our Orwellian world, "terrorist" means whatever politicians, media pundits and other propagandists want it to mean. Same goes for many other words.

    • Charleston shooting: Five charts that show the ugly truth about hate crimes: Hate crime rate remains steady and blacks remain the racial group most likely to experience racially-motivated violence by Christopher Ingraham - link to

    • I should also have mentioned the Tulsa and other massacres perpetrated on black Americans in the past.

    • This latest atrocity is "breaking news"? In the grand scheme of American history it probably won't even register as a footnote in most history books. The few honest history books, such as Howard Zinn's "Peoples History of the United States" are replete with records of much more abominable massacres. How about the ethnic cleansing of the Native American population? How about the workers who died as a consequence of deplorable working conditions in factories, mills and mines? How about the hundreds of thousands slaughtered in the Spanish-American War and making Central America safe for United Fruit and Wall Street? How about the countless dead and maimed in Panama, the Balkans and the Middle East as a consequence of orders from Papa Bush, Bill Clinton, Dubya and now Obama? How about the recurring slaughters of innocent Gazans endorsed by the moral wretches in Congress? Those non-white victims don't count? Then how about the naive young and white American men and women whose lives were sacrificed in vain in those wars?

    • Why are people so exasperated with the Orwellian language applied to this incident? The dominant and loudest voices in the United States have been talking out of both sides of their mouths for generations.

      Fortunately, Governor Haley has the answer, "Please join us in lifting up the victims and their families with our love and prayers.” Just as soon as I click on the "Post Comment" key I'll get down on my knees and join you Governor Haley in prayer. And I'll also pray that no more dipstick fathers give their emotionally-troubled kids .45 caliber guns for a birthday present.

  • Can the GOP live down Donald Trump's Middle East "Policy"?
    • America’s electoral farce by Chris Hedges - link to

    • But the Republican Party establishment is appalled, because Trump will create an image for the party ...

      Make that "Trump will make the GOP's loony fringe more obvious."

      The good news is because the American people are taking the 2016 presidential election seriously, Trump will help provide an antidote and expose this election for the farce it really is.

  • The Middle East Policy of President John Ellis "Jeb" Bush: Iraq, Iran Wars?
    • It speaks to the audacity and shamelessness of the Bush clan and their elite supporters ...

      and to the low levels of intelligence and morality of a sizable portion of the American electorate.

    • So many candidates, each one worse than the next.

      Add to that disastrous lot The Donald.

  • Al-Qaeda in Syria rubs out 23 members of Druze Religious Minority, Persecutes Others
    • Syrian civil war: Jabhat al-Nusra's massacre of Druze villagers shows the group is just as nasty as Isis: The incident last week suggests that the US have let the al-Qaeda affiliate off lightly by Patrick Cockburn - link to

    • It is extremely distasteful that US allies are willing to back a coalition like the Army of Conquest,...

      But, by no means, not unusual.

  • Has ISIL/ Daesh killed 50,000 in one Year? Iraq's Horrors by the Numbers
  • Iraq needs another National Party: Tariq Aziz's Baath Party Ruined the Country
  • Adelson Tabloid slams Obama for Listening to 'Court Jews' in Questioning Israel's Credibility
    • Given the Israel-Saudi Arabia collusion you probably are wrong.

      "The Saudi-Israeli superpower: Exclusive: Egypt’s counterrevolution and Syria’s civil war could herald the arrival of a new superpower coalition, an unlikely alliance between Israel and Saudi Arabia, one with great political clout and the other with vast financial wealth, together flexing their muscles across the Middle East," writes Robert Parry. - link to

      And let's not forget the Arabs in Egypt collaborating with Israel in their abuse of the people of Gaza.

    • Absent a response from Bernie Sanders, Joshua Frank appears to have a clue as to what Senator Sanders might say:

      "Why Bernie Sanders is a Dead End: He's a Loser, Baby" by JOSHUA FRANK - link to

    • Nobody thinks Israel will agree to a Palestinian state as long as Netanyahu has anything to say about it.

      Ditto for Netanyahu's allies and rivals.

      Once Netanyahu admitted that there wouldn’t be a Palestinian state, it was like dropping a fig leaf. He stood naked before the world.

      As for its claim to moral leadership, US support for Israel's violations of international law and crimes against humanity means the US is exposed as a naked moralist.

  • Thank you, Edward Snowden: An End to General Warrants as so-called PATRIOT Act expires
    • Daniel Ellsberg credits Edward Snowden with catalysing US surveillance reform: Prominent US whistleblowers applaud Snowden’s Patriot Act revelation for inciting Congress to take action, though they doubt he can ever return to the US - link to

      but as far as the Obama Administration is concerned

      Charges against Edward Snowden stand, despite telephone surveillance ban: The former NSA contractor revealed the banned surveillance programme, but an Obama administration spokesman says they will not review his charges by Dan Roberts - link to

      Apparently, true patriotism is in the eye of the beholder

    • Even senators like Ron Wyden of Oregon, who knew what the US government was doing in secret, could not openly blow the whistle because they would have instantly been arrested.

      But what about their oaths to uphold the Constitution? Similarly, as Dick Durbin revealed in a speech in the senate, the members of the senate intelligence (sic) committee were told a different version of the intelligence leading up to the Iraq war that contradicted the propaganda out of the Bush-Cheney white house, but his oath to keep these briefings secret overrode his oath to the Constitution. It doesn't appear the senate is a place to look for profiles in courage. Which might help to explain why Snowden is in exile.

      On the other hand, given the prevailing indifference and, in some cases, hostility to the sacrifices made by whistleblowers such as Snowden, Kiriakou, Manning, etc. it would take an enormous measure of altruism with which few are endowed to make this ultimate sacrifice.

  • Why Rand Paul is right to Kill the So-Called PATRIOT Act: It was never about Terrorism
    • Rand Paul has the unfortunate tendency to come up with occasional preposterous Ayn-Randian ideas, but he does appear to be the the only presidential candidate on the GOP side to take his oath to uphold the Constitution seriously.

      As for Obama and his relationship to the Constitution it appears to be non-existent unless it involves his primary role of taking care of the plutocrats and oligarchs that helped him get elected.

  • How Mainstream is Bernie Sanders?
    • Finally a candidate I can vote for and not have to choose between the lesser of two evils. I think Bernie is going to do a lot better than the MSM give him credit for.

      Two points: (1) Sanders is probably genuine in his populist statement, but, like Elizabeth Warren and others who give hope to the people, he is caught in the tentacles of the Israel Lobby and, possibly, the war armaments industry, and (2) In the unlikely event he were elected president he would be like Jimmy Carter and have the Establishment - mainstream media, GOP, Wall Street AND the oligarchs in the Democratic Party gang up on him and he would go nowhere. But I'll probably vote for him in the primary against HRC.

  • 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

    • 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

      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

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

      "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

      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.

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