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Total number of comments: 1141 (since 2013-11-28 14:42:39)

Bill Bodden

Showing comments 1141 - 1101

  • Top 7 Ways Assassination Fails USA as Policy
    • There is an old Chinese proverb: "He who strikes the first blow admits he's lost the argument."

      There is another way of phrasing this: He/She who resorts to violence concedes to being of inferior intelligence.

    • How about all the other ways by which the US government offends people around the world? Gore Vidal managed to write a book about this: Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace: How We Got To Be So Hated.

  • Cuba: Top 5 other Dictatorships with which US has Diplomatic Relations
    • Add to these dictatorships the accomplices in the CIA's torture program.

    • But the US can do what you criticize because we are "exceptional" and talking out of both sides of our mouths is a national tradition from before the US was a nation.

    • There is also the probability of more business for Corporate America: "The Problem With Obama’s Cuba Speech: The Imperialist Mindset" by MATT PEPPE - link to

  • Desperate Pakistani Taliban, on the ropes, attack Army School in Peshawar: Large scale Casualties
    • It appears that my first comment on this slaughter was too blunt for your moderator, so allow me to tone it down. How does this event in Pakistan compare with Operation Protective Edge in Gaza in July? Is there a consistency in assessments regarding both tragedies or are double standards being applied?

  • Enter the Dragon: China offers Iraq Aerial Strikes on ISIL/ Daesh
    • (In short, China) is beginning to behave like a classic capitalist imperial country, intervening with military force to protect investments, markets and trade routes.

      Add that to the other immutables of the human condition - death and taxes.

  • Top 5 Planks of 2016 GOP Platform? Torture, War, Bank Corruption, Paid-For Elections
    • 390: Where do you get your meretricious nonsense about my attacking blacks? Your reference to blacks is the only one on this thread. As for the rest of your comments, they strike me as just making a case for accepting the sordid status quo. I recently read a history of WWI. The anti-war group had next to no impact, but they tried to inject some sanity into European thought. Acceptors of the system helped to facilitate that monstrous disaster, just as their modern counterparts will help create descent into another hell.

      I may very likely be on the "losing" side, but I'll be in the best company possible..

    • Where did you get your meretricious nonsense about "being elected"? The original comment referred to the POPULARITY of Hillary. That is what I referred to having in mind the support Gonzales got from La Raza and other Latino organizations?

    • Hillary may get challenged but she is also VERY popular with Latinos.

      So was Alberto Gonzales for Attorney General of the United States.

    • This is just another skid down the slippery slope of the Empire's decline and probable fall. But don't look for Elizabeth Warren to come to the rescue:

      "Reality, Politics and Elizabeth Warren: The Dark Side of the Liberals' Darling" by ROBERT FANTINA - link to

      The system is already on life support, and the quacks are running the emergency room:

      "How We Lost Our “Freedom”: And Why We Need It Back" by ANDREW LEVINE - link to

  • The Trial of Richard Bruce Cheney
    • And if there are no prosecutions it will be additional confirmation that the oaths of office taken by the responsible officials and elected politicians are meaningless.

    • And Cheney's accomplices? A sizable portion of the American people - most Republicans and many Democrats.

  • Israel, Egypt Implicated in Torture: Middle East Reactions to Senate Report lament own Involvement
    • When it became obvious Mubarak was out reports indicated Hillary Clinton wanted General Suleiman to replace him.

      "Hillary Clinton Signals US Backing for Omar Suleiman: US secretary of state stresses need for orderly transition headed by vice-president" by Julian Borger in Munich - link to and "Death of Suleiman: Egypt's revolution outlives its torturers: Mubarak's former spy chief and deputy was a divisive figure, and a stalwart of the former administration." By Omar Ashour - link to

    • Wolf Blitzer was stoking the fire on possible retaliation and putting American lives in danger this morning. As if this latest expose of the CIA's obscene practices was news to politically active people in the Middle East.

  • Why the Founding Fathers thought banning Torture Foundational to the US Constitution
    • But that was victors' justice. Justice is not a factor when the victor and the violator are one and the same.

    • And, while the torturers go free whistleblower John Kiriakou is in prison.

    • “There is nothing I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This in my humble apprehension is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under the constitution.” John Adams

      Given our ruling duopoly of Democratic and Republican oligarchs, no problem there, John. RIP

  • GOP Squirms at Release of CIA Torture Report, warns of "Violence" (So why did they Torture?)
    • "It is our indignation, not that of the Arab world, that torturers fear. We are the bad guys too: The Muslim world has been enraged about these crimes for years by Robert Fisk - link to

    • Our national heros should be the courageous whistleblowers: those in government, the military, the media and public citizens.

      The media: CNN and, presumably, other platoons in the fawning corporate media seem to be on the side of the apologists for the CIA with Blitz Wolfer feeding friends of enhanced interrogation softball questions.

      No surprise there

    • Amnesty International and a UN rapporteur thought the treatment Bradley/Chelsea Manning received at the Quantico Marine brig looked like torture. President Obama thought it was "appropriate."

      "UN torture representative suggests White House stalling his private meeting with American soldier" link to

    • Joe, you and countless Americans continue to prove that hope springs eternal. Lotsaluck on that one.

  • Top 5 ways US treatment of African-Americans resembles Apartheid South Africa
    • We have identified two problems with police brutality: racism and authoritarianism. Among many other problems there is a third primary problem - the silence of our "good Americans."

    • There is nothing new here about NYPD abuse of power:

      2004: "Republican National Convention Protesters To Receive $18 Million Settlement For New York City Arrests (PHOTOS)" - link to

      2011: "14 Specific Allegations of NYPD Brutality During Occupy Wall Street" by Conor Friedersdorf - link to

      Police brutality has been a fact of life across this nation for generations. Look back to the early 1900s when they served as strikebreakers in Detroit, the San Francisco waterfront (1934) and many other places. An abuse of power that obviously continues to this day and will be repeated tomorrow.

    • The CIA torture report currently agitating the senate intelligence (sic) committee and the CIA should provide additional evidence of authoritarian abuse and racism in government.

    • This authoritarian and aggressive attitude among police is not unique towards people of color. During my career with the merchant marine white shipmates came to regard Los Angeles and San Diego area ports with an apprehension similar to that of motorists driving in the South who were aware of the prevalence of speed traps. In social situations I have had cops and former cops talk about abuse of white prisoners. Then there is the persecution of whistleblowers while the criminals they expose go free.

    • While we must pay attention to the racism aspects involved in American society it is important that we also pay attention to the authoritarianism that is also prevalent. (The recent comments critical of blacks by other blacks - e.g.; Cosby, Barkley, Carson - are an example.) This combination of racism and authoritarianism is not unique to the United States. It appears to be becoming more of a problem in Europe.

  • Putin, Blocked by Europe, turns to Turkey for Gas Pipeline
    • Neocons and the Ukraine coup: Exclusive: American neocons helped destabilize Ukraine and engineer the overthrow of its elected government, a “regime change” on Russia’s western border. But the coup – and the neo-Nazi militias at the forefront – also reveal divisions within the Obama administration, reports Robert Parry. - link to

      Ultranationalist neo-Nazi parties on the march in Ukraine: Threat of anti-Semitic violence should cause international alarm by John Bachelor - link to

      The neo-Nazis of Ukraine: Out of control by Paul Craig Roberts - link to

    • “No matter what our Western counterparts tell us, we can see what’s going on. NATO is blatantly building up its forces in Eastern Europe, including the Black Sea and the Baltic Sea areas. Its operational and combat training activities are gaining in scale.” – Russian President Vladimir Putin link to

      Apparently, and understandably, Putin doesn't appear to be inclined to turn the other cheek that our neocon warmongers would quickly clobber with a two-by-four or a guided missile.

  • Cairo Erupts as Mubarak, Adly Declared Innocent in Deaths of Protesters
    • The Nuremberg trials mentioned by another commenter have nothing to do with the American Justice System. That was a military tribunal of the Allied Forces–military justice–its a different apple.

      Nuremberg had a military component, but to say it was a military tribunal is stretching a point. The judges and others were civilians. The "American Justice System" - whatever that is - was a factor through the agency of Justice Robert Jackson, one of several civilians who were important factors throughout the early and major trials.

    • The Egyptian judiciary, once a trendsetter for the Arab world, is increasingly making itself a laughingstock.

      Other than the Nuremberg Trials after WWII, has there ever been a time in American history when the American justice system was an example for the world to follow? There was much to admire that came out of Nuremberg, but even there American justice was flawed because it was victors' justice. Allied lawyers, somewhat naively, proposed a long list of charges to lay against the Nazis, but many items in that list were redacted by Washington and London because the US and Brits (and the Russians) were guilty of the same crimes.

    • The bad thing about this ruling is that the judge actually argued that the charges should never have been brought against a former president for actions undertaken as part of his office.

      Like grand juries in the US: "The Secret Darkness of Grand Juries: A Broken System" by LAUREN C. REGAN - link to

      The Egyptian judiciary, once a trendsetter for the Arab world, is increasingly making itself a laughingstock.

      Like its neighbor to the north or main supplier of military weapons? Not really. There is nothing funny about that pair.

  • Iran Leader Khamenei: We are not Opposed to Nuclear Talks, Will Accept Just Deal
    • "Of course we will accept any fair and reasonable agreement, ...

      So what's the problem? "Our problem is with the US government’s bullying and excessive demands…”

  • Race inequality between US Whites and African-Americans by the Numbers (Again)
    • Unfortunately for people of color around the world this inequality and its consequences are universal.

  • As SecDef Hagel Exits, an Iraq Daesh/ISIL Scorecard
    • What did he do to address all the other crap that is so terribly wrong...?

      There's lots we don't know, but chances are very good the braaasss ganged up on him in a way similar to how Betrayus and McKristol ganged up on Obama for the senseless surge in Afghanistan. Let's not forget Hagel gave the impression of favoring a diplomatic solution with Iran which set McCain and Little Abel after him at his confirmation inquisition.

    • There is also the possibility, if not the probability, that Hagel being damaged goods was more easily manipulated by the top braaasss who have demonstrated a long history of resolving problems by more and more violent means.

    • After submitting to the bullying of John McCain and Lindsey Graham at his nomination hearings, Hagel took up his office as a wounded leader with a tarnished image. At his hearing he should have stuck with his former position on Iran and told those two bullies what Dick Cheney reportedly told Pat Leahy; that is, "Go ...." Of course, that would have guaranteed his job application would have gone to the shredder, but he would have had the respect of many Americans who, probably, now pity him.

  • Israel and Mississippi: Racist Plans for 2nd Class Citizens and Religious Legislation
    • I just talked with the White House and chiefs of staff of the leading oligarchs in Congress, Republican and Democrat, and was assured that Israel is the only real democracy in the Middle East and there is no daylight between Israel, its lobby and the DC Establishment.

  • Top 5 Ways Obama Punked the GOP on Immigration; and the 2016 Campaign
    • Or, as an acquaintance of mine put it, "The revolution will come when enough people can't afford to buy "Happy Meals." Unfortunately, as history has shown there is a risk that the revolutionaries will be worse than the establishment they replaced .

    • Wrong. It's long past time for the American people to rise and vote for what a sizable portion believe in - NONE OF THE ABOVE.

    • Maybe not intentionally, but some wars are continuations of marches of folly such as the neocons are pursuing. The fact that Putin appears to have concluded diplomacy isn't working and flexing muscles is necessary should be a signal for the grown-ups to step in - if any are around and capable of doing what is necessary.

    • Page: 11
    • I think they just wanted payback against Muslims for 9/11.

      In the case of politicians in Congress it is more likely they voted for the war because major supporters of (lobbies for) the war wanted them to do so. The 70% of the people persuaded by these lobbies would have been an added incentive. Not having any moral constraints probably made it easier for the politicians to vote for the war and what they believed was in their own personal interests.

    • Your comment could be considered the first paragraph of a long rap sheet for Hillary and Slick Willie. Getting these two for the price of one was no bargain.

    • If Obama's move "punked" the Republicans and gets Hillary elected, then he may also have "punked" the nation.

  • 3rd Possibility: Coming Civil War in West Bank/ Jerusalem?
    • It's like being at a movie that depicts a character as evil and the audience develops negative thoughts about him and look forward to an ending where he gets his comeuppance.

    • Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman have another ending to the story in mind. And that is the “transfer” of Palestinian-Israelis and of Palestinians in the West Bank to some other country, probably Jordan. This crackpot plan of uprooting and moving 5 million people is also not very likely on the face of it.

      Transfer of Palestinians from the Palestine Territories was part of the Zionist plan a hundred years ago and has continued to be Israel's policy since its founding as a nation. Israel's right-wing leadership clearly has complete ethnic cleansing as its policy and they will get away with it as long as it has the support of its morally-bankrupt supporters in the US, Europe and elsewhere. Moral bankruptcy is another constant in the US halls of power that preceded the founding of Israel and will be around until the eventual decline and fall of the American Empire - and its allies.

      Israel's plan may be crackpot, but crackpot plans are no deterrence to its right wing and their supporters.

      "India opts out of admonishing Israel: India's pursuit of deeper trade, political and military relations with Israel contrasts with the distance other allies have sought following the brutal assault on Gaza this summer. The Indian approach to relations, which seemingly equates the Palestinian struggle with cross-border terrorism, will not only damage India's global image - it could also lead to flawed internal policy decisions" by Ninan Koshy - link to

  • Americans 64 times more likely to be Murdered than die in Terrorism
    • Then there are the possible, if not probable, consequences of the 2016 elections in the US: "Hillary the Warmonger: The Next Presidential Election Will Move The World Closer To War" by PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS - link to

  • Saudi Arabia at the G20: Is it waging Econ War on Iran, Russia and N. Dakota?
    • After the undiplomatic and offensive treatment applied to Putin in Australia it will be interesting to see if he makes any retaliatory moves beyond his alliance with China.

    • “The G20 membership comprises a mix of the world’s largest advanced and emerging economies, representing about two-thirds of the world’s population, 85 per cent of global gross domestic product and over 75 per cent of global trade."

      And they want to keep it that way, except maybe rig control of a larger percentage of trade and reduce the qualified membership by half or more.

  • Daesh (ISIL) Loses Refinery City in Iraq to Iraqi Army, Shiite Militias
    • "How many Islamic State fighters are there?: Exclusive: As the United States slides back into war in the Middle East, the specter of Vietnam hovers over the endeavor with some observers wondering if wishful thinking will again replace hardheaded analysis about the risks and the costs," writes ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern. - link to

    • This isn’t Vietnam. ISIS can’t hide in the jungle.

      Afghanistan isn't a jungle either, but the US and its NATO puppets look like they are on a losing cause there with the puppets getting out of there as soon as they can.

      The US helped to create ISIS with its abuse and killings of Arabs. The unconscionable conduct of our military and mercenaries in Iraq - Abu Ghraib, Blackwater, Collateral Murder, Fallujah and its legacy of depleted uranium - created enemies with long memories.

      Prior to our unprovoked invasion of Iraq among the few probable truths told to Congressional committees was there would be a need for one soldier on the ground for every 25 Iraqis to maintain control. (If I recall correctly, that truth is what got General Shinseki fired). The Kurds and some other Iraqis may like the idea of US soldiers returning to Iraq, but a sizable portion of them don't. Guess how many that would be and divide by 25 for how many "boots" will be needed on the ground.

    • In Baghdad, Gen. Dempsey speaks the truth.

      Just like Westmoreland did in Saigon before our military proceeded to whip the Viet Cong.

    • If ISIS has so many men, why aren’t they making big gains or any gains at all? How does ISIS plan to pay all these troops?

      If ISIS has managed to dominate an area similar in size to Britain that should qualify as a big gain. It certainly has the attention of many observers. How do they plan to pay all these troops? Presumably by selling more oil on the black market and whatever else it takes. They presumably have a low armaments budget given how they have accumulated so much with "Made in USA" labels for free or close to it.

    • This from the very well-informed Patrick Cockburn is reminiscent of the early years of the Vietnam War when news reports pegged the Viet Cong at !00K. After 20K or 30K were killed during the following week, the VC count was raised to 200K. Subsequent reports followed the same pattern with the VC count eventually passing the half-million mark. "War with Isis: Islamic militants have army of 200,000, claims Kurdish leader: Exclusive: CIA has hugely underestimated the number of jihadis, who now rule an area the size of Britain" by Patrick Cockburn - link to

    • A reminder that our big war productions can come up short against indy performances: "The Iraq War’s pricy ticket: For American taxpayers, the Iraq War is a gift that keeps on taking, with new plans to spend tens of billions of dollars to retrain the Iraqi army whose initial training cost tens of billions before the army collapsed against a few thousand militants, a pricy dilemma" cited by ex-U.S. diplomat William R. Polk. - link to

  • Daesh/ ISIL calls for Terror attacks on Saudi Arabia
    • In the US when we have elections we get to choose the lesser of two (sometimes the least of three) evils. Now it appears we are about to observe a contest between two groups noted for beheadings and other medieval barbarities..

  • Top 5 Disasters If GOP Senate derails Iran talks
    • If Iran links up with China alliances, it might be joining the winning team: "China’s silky road to glory: Any remaining doubts about the stupidity of Western corporate media should have been banished by the puerile coverage of Russian President Vladimir Putin's gentlemanly conduct at the APEC summit in Beijing. Infinitely more relevant to the real world, and largely ignored, was the fact that China got what it wanted - on all fronts". By Pepe Escobar - link to and link to

    • Iran will back down...

      Iran didn't back down when it took severe punishment from Iraq, and it is highly unlikely it will back down if attacked by Israel and other forces promoted by its lobby. North Vietnam didn't back down. Iraqi militias didn't back down. The Taliban hasn't backed down. So, why would Iran back down?

    • So, I expect congress critters to rant and rave about Iran for months, but in the end they will not be able to actually do a single thing ...

      The problem here is that all that ranting and raving could very likely paint these "congress critters) into a corner from which they will just as likely lack the integrity and moral courage to create a face-saving exit. The march of folly would then continue and who knows where that would lead. Given the abysmal quality of our "congress critters" there would be no cause of optimism unless you have stock in one or more of our "defense" corporations.

    • Then there are the usual, but horrendous, unseen consequences that follow the failure of diplomacy and outbreak of war. No one will win in a US/Iran war except the now perennial villains - the military-industrial complex.

  • A Day Late & a Dollar Short: Obama & China agree on Languid Climate Goals
    • Big Energy, that obviously had a stake in Obama in 2008, will only let Obama go so far in the populist direction.

  • Internet Liberty at Stake in Obama World Wide Web Policy
    • Unfortunately, Obama's words have become progressively meaningless with each passing speech so there is no reason to expect the telecom agents on the FCC to pay much attention to this latest and belated pronouncement.

    • Studies have shown that readers won’t wait 60 seconds for a site to load, ...

      We already have something similar with website pages being jerked around while advertisements load and some sites are doing whatever they do in the background. For these reasons I just dropped The Guardian (UK) and The Hill from my daily reading lists.

      Normally, we could expect the mass of American people to go along with this proto-fascistic rigging of the Internet, but with so many using the Internet perhaps they might show some integrity this time - for a change.

  • Ferguson & Israel? Netanyahu Calls for Stripping Palestinian-Israelis of Citizenship
    • Isn’t Israel to be tried for war crimes and crimes against humanity,...?"

      Not as while the Israel lobbies in the US, Canada and Europe continue to wield so much power.

    • To the contrary, the US got itself into its Israel entanglement through politics that included politicians pandering to the Israel lobby.

    • “Israel is a nation of law."

      What preposterous rubbish. For openers Israel's governing right-wing has been violating international law with impunity for decades thanks to its protection from the equally lawless political courtesans in Washington bought at auctions by the Israel Lobby.

      Then there is the factor that the law is not necessarily synonymous with justice, a term that seems to translate in Hebrew as vengeance.

  • Why it Isn't that Important Whether ISIL Leader was Killed
  • When will US admit Boots on Ground in Iraq (3000 Troops)?
    • When will media stop using boots on ground phrase which only dehumanizes these guys,,,,

      Never. By using impersonal terms and other euphemisms deaths and maiming of soldiers become tolerable and the recipients of MSM news become suitably desensitized. Reporting something like "The 1500 military personnel in the war zone consist of a thousand fathers who leave behind 2500 children of school age, 1500 sons of whom 500 are less than 23 years of age." might wake up the scheeple on the home front.

    • In an age of weasel words and Orwellian diction, it would be refreshing to hear Mr. Obama call this escalation what it is. It is not as if he will be running for office again or needs to win a popularity contest.

      Don't hold your breath on that one. A six-year habit is hard to break.

  • Why McCain & GOP are Slamming Obama for Writing Iran re: ISIL
    • McCain has never appeared to meditate the mistakes he made in arming Muslim radicals to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan,

      Has McCain ever admitted to any of the major mistakes he has made?

    • The US strategy for fighting ISIL,...

      The US strategy looks like it is taking another shot with the SOP that failed in Vietnam, didn't work all that well in Iraq (except for the turkey-shoot in Kuwait), and will very likely join the Brits in that graveyard of empires (Afghanistan).

  • American Weapons, provided to Syrian rebels, fall into Hands of al-Qaeda
    • More evidence of people rising to their levels of incompetence. Given that bureaucrats and military personnel the world over soon learn that the path to promotion requires saying "Yes, sir/ma'am," "No, sir/ma'am" as appropriate on cue to the incompetent who signs their performance report, this should come as no surprise.

  • US Dilemma in Syria: Moderate Stronghold Falls to al-Qaeda, Fighters desert to Extremists
    • The US dilemma in Syria is that US policy is determined by people who don't know what they are doing unless, in some cases, the object is to drag the US into another quagmire ... or, would that be the same quagmire they got into years ago?

  • Iraq: US dismayed Shiite Gov't hasn't Armed Sunni Tribes fighting ISIL
    • So, if the best laid schemes of mice and men go awry, what hope is there for schemes coming out of a corrupt and, consequently, perennially bungling Washington?

    • Iraq and Syria exemplify the verses of W. B. Yeats:...

      Or, as the Scottish bard put it, "The best laid schemes o' mice an' men gang aft a-gley," (To a mouse, Robert Burns)

  • Far Right Extremist Avigdor Lieberman says Swedish Recognition of Palestine will Strengthen Extremists
    • Dogged by accusations of corruption (though acquitted in the Israeli courts) and widely considered a racist and flamethrower, Lieberman has emerged as Foreign Minister, a powerful cabinet post.

      For some reason this reminds me of an old Western movie in which the townspeople invited gunslingers to provide them protection but they ultimately took over and oppressed the people. Lotsaluck, Bibi.

    • It appears we also need to be concerned about our foreign office (aka state department): "Former CIA Analyst Ray McGovern Arrested While Trying to Attend David Petraeus Event in New York" by Kevin Gosztola, FireDogLake - link to and link to

    • Uri Avnery confirms the obvious (for some, at least) that Netanyahu shares Lieberman's mindset though using subtle language: "Prime Minister “Chickenshit”: The Method to Netanyahu's Madness" by URI AVNERY - link to

  • BDS Success: Israeli Firm Sodastream Leaves Palestinian West Bank after Boycott
    • Some have pointed out that Sodastream employs many Palestinian Arab factory workers, providing them with a substantial wage,...

      On the other hand there have been countless businesses, legal and illegal, that provided good wages to some of their employees for dishonorable and immoral behavior. There were unions that were pleased with the well-paying jobs that the Vietnam and other wars created, but that was nothing more than blood money.

    • What happens now? Do more settlers move into Sodastream's sullied buildings?

  • Defying Turkey, US airdrops arms to Kobane Kurds
  • Why is this Man Smiling? Iranian Officials say Confidant of US Deal on Nuclear
    • What if more radical elements in the US gain more influence again?

      Make that "What if more radical neocon elements in the US gain more influence?"

    • Consider what a diplomatic resolution is up against: "A mysterious Iran-nuke document: A mysterious document has been used for a half dozen years to derail nuclear talks with Iran, but its origins remain dubious and one expert says it’s been used to take international inspectors 'for a ride,'” as Gareth Porter reports for Inter Press Service. - link to

    • Given that Kerry is part of the equation don't bet on anything.

  • Will Ireland Recognize Palestine?
    • What took Sweden, the UK and Ireland so long?

    • The second lesson of this article is how the Brits were on the wrong side of the moral divide in Irish history. Further study of British history will reveal Britain's role in Ireland was similar to its role in its former empire. It also helps to explain why the Brits have such a close relationship with the United States.

  • Is Baghdad next? ISIL takes Hit Base in Iraq, loots it for Weapons
    • We now, like it or not, are faced with little choice but more war.

      We, that is the US and its accomplices, have been responsible for subversion and aggression in the Middle East for decades especially since the establishment of Israel in 1948 and the 1953 overthrow of Mossadegh in Iran, and it has been one disaster after the other ever since. It is time to admit to the gross bungling of our leaders and get them out of there.

      Leave it to the Middle Easterners to resolve this mess. They can't do anything worse than what we have done and just might come up with some resolution; although, I wouldn't bet on it.

    • ISIS/ISIL/IS is in trouble now. The Pentagon has come up with a new code name - Operation Inherent Resolve - for the war on ISIS/ISIL/IS. That should take care of those nasties. Peace in our time.

  • In Symbolic Vote, UK Parliament urges Recognition of Palestine
  • The Wider Appeal of ISIL and Sunni Grievances
    • "Beware of the role of the laptop in our addiction to politics and war: It is the internet not Isis that radicalises. The ‘virtual’ has dropped out of ‘virtual reality’" by Robert Fisk - link to

    • In a worrisome development, radicals throughout the region are rallying to the so-called “Islamic State,” which is actually just a bunch of armed thugs and brigands.

      This is reminiscent of the old question: "How can you vote for such a crook?" And the answer: "Because he is our crook."

      There are some good people in the Middle East, but it is the bad guys who are center-stage with the dominant roles, and that includes Western would-be colonizers.

  • Listening to Nobelist Malala Yousafzai instead of just Honoring Her
    • Honoring someone with the bravery and resiliency and ethical intelligence of a Malala Yousafzai is easy. Taking her more challenging positions seriously and engaging with them is much more difficult.

      Of course, the distinction is that Ms. Yousafzai and her co-laureate are interested in developing a world where human rights and justice prevail. People engaged in the sordid business of international politics and the running of global corporations couldn't care less about these virtues

      “I also expressed my concerns that drone attacks are fueling terrorism… Innocent victims are killed in these acts, and they lead to resentment among the Pakistani people. If we refocus efforts on education it will make a big impact.”

      Ms. Yousafzai didn't have much effect on Mr. Obama, did she?

    • Honoring someone with the bravery and resiliency and ethical intelligence of a Malala Yousafzai is easy. Taking her more challenging positions seriously and engaging with them is much more difficult.

      That bears repeating.

  • The Last Days of Kobani Loom as ISIL Closes in on Syrian Kurds with Murder on its Mind
    • It appears John Kerry agrees with you which should be a matter of concern:

      "Isis in Kobani: Still no sign of Turkey reacting to threat on its border as John Kerry says preventing the fall of the town is not a 'strategic objective': As the fighting continues, the lack of assistance for those living in Kobani sparked more violent demonstrations across Turkey" by Isabel Hunter - link to

    • How about the people living in Kobani who are apparently at risk of being slaughtered?

    • There is something about this evolving situation in the Middle East that echoes Europe in August 1914 when nobody except a few generals prancing on their horses really wanted a war involving all of Europe. Presumably, no one except perhaps the Caliph, Senators McCain and Graham and their supporters really wants a war involving all of the Middle East, but the potential for one appears to be more ominous each day.

  • Ben Affleck on Bill Maher's Muslim Problem
    • It appears that a case can be made that the Catholics on the Supreme (sic) Court who voted for Citizens United put this nation at greater risk than anything ISIS is likely to come up with, but that is no reason to condemn all Catholics.

    • Maher lost me a long time ago when he said he admired Colin Powell. That was after Powell's craven speech (February 5, 2003) before the UN that was ripped apart almost immediately by people who knew what they were talking about and were ultimately proved right. Christopher Hitchens got it right when he said Powell was the most-overrated man in Washington.

  • Palestine goes to UN Security Council to Demand Israeli Withdrawal by 2016
    • "The Tale of Two UN Speeches: Who Cares What the Goyim Think?" by URI AVNERY - link to

    • "Lastly, the Palestinian Authority, an entity that was created with Israeli consent, and funded by US-led donor countries, cannot operate outside the US political sphere. According to a reading of the just published annual report by the Palestinian Monitory Authority, as reported by Ma’an news agency, the West Bank economic indicators for 2012 were terrible, and prospects for the next two years are even worse. The PA has no political vision, and even if it did, it is too overwhelmed by economic dependency to act as a self-respecting political entity. The PA has to play the game, fully knowing that the game has been rigged from the very start." - link to

    • If the US does veto the resolution, then Washington is clearly saying that it is all right with American elites if Israel goes on stealing Palestinian land on a vast scale and expropriating and oppressing the stateless Palestinians under its boot.

      Make that: If the US does veto the resolution, then Washington is clearly continuing to say that it is all right with American elites if Israel goes on stealing Palestinian land on a vast scale and expropriating and oppressing the stateless Palestinians under its boot.

  • $22 Billion to Fight ISIL in same Year Congress cut $8.7 bn in Food Stamps
    • Add to that the psychological problems created by poverty that lead to a variety of social problems. It isn't like this is news. I believe it was Aristotle who said a couple of millennia ago that poverty is the parent of crime and revolution.

    • Essentially, this legalized bribery gives the briber the privilege to demand a piece of the US treasury.

      And gives the bribed politician a chance to sell his or her soul and the nation down the river.

    • And the lesser-evil vote went to Obama. Just think what it would have been like if McCain or Romney were in the Executing Office.

    • ... to cut billions from the programs that keep us a civilized society rather than a predatory jungle–

      Ours is a civilized society? Did you mean: ... that keep us a predatory jungle rather than a civilized society."?

      From another angle: "Just When We Thought They Had Tormented Us Enough: It's Going to Be a Sorry Day for the American Working Class" by DAVID MACARAY - link to

  • Top 5 Differences between Hamas and ISIL (Pace Netanyahu)
  • Why Obama underestimated ISIL in Syria and Iraq
    • Syrian air-strikes: Does the US have the foggiest idea who their enemy is?: America's bombing of Jabhat al-Nusra has raised significant concerns over their strategy by Kim Sengupta - link to

    • Let's not forget how the Dubya administration, their warmongering supporters, Congress and a gullible majority of the American people "misunderestimated" the consequences of the war they began in 2003.

  • Iraq: Shiites Paralyzed by infighting as ISIL menaces Baghdad
    • ... former prime minister Nouri al-Maliki, now one of three largely symbolic vice presidents, is attempting to undermine his successor, Haydar al-Abadi.

      Who would ever have thought such an event could occur?

  • Is Mahmoud Abbas right that Israel is Guilty of War Crimes, Genocide in Gaza?
  • Shock & Awe In Syria: It never Works
    • It appears Obama's claim to have ended the war on/in Iraq was really an ending of the prologue to a wider Middle East War. And who knows where it will go to from there? Netanyahu, Kristol, McCain and their cohorts must be feeling this is like Christmas in September. Well, maybe, "Christmas" isn't appropriate for the first two.

  • NYC Climate Demo: Top 5 Massive Rallies that had no Effect
    • Your first two suggestions would probably be more effective if local lobbying groups all over the nation engaged in civil disobedience (such as blocking main streets in downtown areas) and instead of sending letters to Congress local citizens held sit-ins at the offices of federal and state politicians.

    • One of the more absurd assemblies of people occurred several years ago. If I recall correctly it was "Hands Across America" to raise money to combat hunger. It reportedly raised about $100K. There was another report that the rally cost about $100K.

      I suspect in many cases these assemblies are "events" that are something for some people to "do."

  • How The Koch Brothers Corrupted Florida State University (+163 Other Colleges) (Young Turks)
    • There is a story told of former President Lyndon Johnson that when he was a young teacher looking for a job in Texas he was asked if he believed the world was flat or round. He replied he could teach it either way.

      That was just one teacher reportedly following the money. Nowadays we have universities following the money and selling out on what higher education should be. This travesty is not limited to donors but to sports addicts who believe rapists, if they are highly talented athletes, should get away with their crimes and its okay to victimize the victims yet again.

  • Education, Health, and Global Warming: Top 5 Reasons 45% of Scots Wanted to Leave the Right Wing UK
    • On the other hand there were Scots who might have voted "yes" but voted "no" because of a lack of confidence in the leaders for independence. Whether that was fair or not, I don't know, but I'm sure it was a factor.

      But when consideration is given to some of the "no" supporters, such as Gorden Brown, it seems to have been in some cases a matter of choosing the lesser evil.

  • Shiite Militias of Iraq Reject US Return, Threaten to Attack US Forces
    • Robert Parry has an article at Consortium News about the long memories of Scots that apparently apply equally to people in the Middle East.

      "Braveheart, Edward I, and Bush: From the Archive: As Scots vote on independence from Great Britain, part of the motivation for those voting “aye” is the brutal history of English repression of Scottish freedom, dating back centuries but fresh in the minds of many Scots, a lesson about unintended consequences of violence that should be remembered by today’s politicians," as Robert Parry noted in 2005. - link to

      When he originally wrote that article Parry believed it was something Bush the Younger should have heeded. Today, it is obviously something Obama should heed.

    • Obama has said that politicians shouldn't do 'stupid stuff' but in the tradition of don't-do-as-I-do-but-as-I-say he seems to have reserved for himself the right to do 'stupid stuff.'

      With regard to Obama saying no boots on the ground and Dempsey saying maybe boots on the ground, Dempsey may have been authorized to say this as a trial balloon.

  • Should US policy toward ISIL be Containment?
    • Unfortunately, the logic in Washington usually ratchets toward the macho and the simplistic. Obama at first admitted that the US could only degrade ISIL, not destroy it.

      Didn't Obama at one time declare al-Qa'eda had been eliminated? Perhaps he has learned these jihadists are a tougher problem than simplistic nostrums would have us believe.

      Peter Lee of China Matters has a couple of interesting comments on the IS-Syria crisis du jour: "ISIS gives US its ‘Suez Crisis’ moment" by Peter Lee - link to and link to

  • Must Muslim Americans Condemn ISIL? Must Turkish Jews Condemn Gaza War?
    • “No citizen of this country is under any obligation to account for, interpret or comment on any event that takes place elsewhere in the world, and in which he/she has no involvement. There is no onus on the Jewish community of Turkey, therefore, to declare an opinion on any matter at all.

      On the other hand, as the old saying goes, "All that is needed for evil to succeed is for good people to do nothing."

  • Top 5 Contradictions in Obama's Emerging ISIL Strategy
    • As for Obama it appears he is now paying the price for his Faustian bargains with Israel and Saudi Arabia.

      Patrick Cockburn's report of a discussion with former Senator Bob Graham (not to be confused with the warmonger from South Carolina) is very revealing about Saudi Arabia's various roles.

      "Saudi Arabia, 9/11 and the Rise of ISIS: An Interview With Senator Bob Graham" by PATRICK COCKBURN - link to

  • Media, Politicians should stop Letting ISIL Manipulate them
    • While they are promoting these hate-encouraging emotions and enthusiasm for more war, the mainstream media dutifully avoids applying the barbarism label to actions by our "friends" that are clearly barbaric.

      Mark Levine has a summary of our "allies" in the war against ISIS - link to

  • Top 5 Signs the US is de facto allied with Iran versus ISIL
    • Previous support from Iran (e.g.: against the Taliban) didn't keep our warmongers from attacking it when prompted by the tail that wags the American dog. Undoubtedly, the Iranians will have no illusions about this latest "partnership."

  • Obama & Cameron find little Enthusiasm at NATO for new Iraq War
    • where indeed can the 1% find foot soldiers to implement its elite projects?

      More important, where can they find competent leadership to lead those foot soldiers mostly drawn from the lower economic strata?

    • Obama & Cameron find little Enthusiasm at NATO for new Iraq War

      But that won't stop them from doubling down. There remains a lot of this world for the American hegemon and its English puppet (whatever happened to the British bulldog?) to conquer.

  • Would a US/ NATO war in Syria be Legal in International Law?
    • On the other hand Russia and China may not trust the US ...

      Why would Russia and China not trust the US? If Obama gave them his word wouldn't that be a rock-solid guarantee? Give me one example where Obama has said one thing and done another. Okay. That's enough.

    • Since when have the United States and its European agency for our military-industrial complex cared about international law when deciding on policies?

  • What the Hackers did to Celebs? The NSA has been Doing that to All of US instead of Predicting ISIL
    • It seems odd to me that the discussion of this issue has been completely unconnected to the Snowden revelations that the US government has been assiduously spying on everyone’s cloud.

      American "values" really mean an interest in prurient behavior of others with almost total indifference towards the immorality and incompetence of national leadership. If our CIA's latest blunder meant giving weapons to ISIS, that should come as no surprise. Their Keystone antics have been going on for years such as believing Afghans selling some hapless neighbors to gullible CIA agents for a few lousy bucks.

  • Top 5 Reasons "Labor Day" isn't for Laborers Anymore
    • It doesn't help when some union leaders are in bed with politicians who are more interested in taking care of corporations that donate to their political campaigns than the people who vote for them. For decades the AFL-CIO has been donating to a Democratic (sic) Party that has repeatedly stiffed labor.

  • Israelis Alarmed as al-Qaeda Captures Golan, UN Peacekeepers
    • File this under "Blowback." As I recall, al-Qaeda claimed one reason for its 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington was American support for Israel's treatment of Arabs in Palestine. Presumably, al-Qaeda will continue its hostility towards Israel, especially after its latest attack on Gaza.

  • Victim of McCarthy-Era Witch Hunt calls on U-Illinois not to Fire Critic of Israeli Policies

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