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Total number of comments: 12 (since 2013-11-28 15:55:35)

brian

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  • How Putin Saved Obama, Congress and the European Union from Further Embarrassing themselves on Syria
    • AuRevoirGopher 09/11/2013 at 1:39 am

      Well, I guess that settles it. My bad.

    • By your "logic," there is a strong argument that the US Navy bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941.

      Why not be satisfied making the very strong arguments that can be made, and have been made here by Juan Cole, against military strikes? Why are these impossibly clever conspiracy fantasies needed?

      You seem to really want to believe that the rebels and whomever they're working with (Israelis, Qatar, the Trilateral Commission, etc.) managed to pull off one of the great hoaxes of modern times. A hoax like that would have required a great deal of planning, coordination and secrecy amongst a lot of people, all of whom would have to be incredibly competent, have no moral qualms about slaughtering their own and agree to stay silent about it forever. How likely is this? How likely that they would have fooled the NSA, CIA and the intelligence services of every country that signed the G20 statement? Or perhaps no one was fooled, and they're all in cahoots. I know that's fun to believe, just like it's fun to believe Kennedy was killed by a Pentagon-CIA-Mob conspiracy instead of a single lunatic. But what's fun to believe and what's true rarely coincide.

      As to your feeling that using chemical weapons would be "utterly stupid" for Assad, well, that doesn't mean it did not happen. The study of military history could be defined as the study of Stupid. It's the norm, not an exception. People in chaotic, desperate situations, and that describes the Assad regime, do a lot of things that appear stupid. I would have thought a regime that massacres peaceful protesters by the thousands would not get credited with much intelligence.

  • Top Ten Clint Eastwood Empty-Chair Falsehoods
    • "You, on the other hand, like to pretend to shoot down large numbers of people over the course of a violent two-hour fantasy."
      I hope you are not referring to his brilliant and very thoughtful "Unforgiven." If so, you misunderstood the film, which Eastwood used to critique the American Western and really much of his own career. Give the man his due as an artist, even if he's not very good at debating furniture.

  • In Switch, Egypt's Civilian President Makes Coup against Generals
    • If by "over a million" Vietnamese dead you mean between two and three million, then yes it was over a million.

  • Parliament takes over in Modern Libya's First Peaceful Transfer of Power
    • "All the naysayers and skeptics about Libya should give it a rest today"
      That's a certainty. But only because they will remain quiet and sullen.

      Minor corrections however: 1)The U.S. never took Tripoli and 2)its sailors burned the Philadelphia in 1804.

  • Washington's Dangerous Blockade of Iran (Cole at Tomdispatch)
    • I'm confused. Nuclear, wind and solar, at least in the US and France,don't replace the use of oil or gasoline, which primarily provide the energy for transportation while the former methods create electricity for homes and industry. So why would the Iranians need nuclear power to save their petroleum?

  • Gingrich Endangers US troops by Slamming Obama for Apology over Qur'an Burning
    • ". . . whoever was in charge did not know that burning old Qur’ans is sacrilegious."

      Is it reading too much into this incident to believe it shows once and for all that the military is utterly incapable of conducting nation-building in Afghanistan? After occupying this country for more than a decade, how can people not know that this will cause an explosion? Weren't there riots a few years ago over the reported "desecration" of Korans? So, of course, by all means let's set some on fire. The mind boggles.

      On a related note, can these violent protests be seen as a general protest agaist the occupation itself, rather than merely protests against Koran-burning?

  • US Interventions in the World since WW II
    • Let's be grateful they left Scandinavia alone.

    • TimT:
      The CIA was instumental in overthrowing Australia'a Labor government in 1975. Certainly the weirdest episode in our long struggle to "defend" ourselves. The book "The Falcon and the Snowman," later made into a movie with Sean Penn and Tim Hutton, goes into this oddity in detail.

  • The Dilemma over Syria
    • Juan:
      Are you really serious about military actions needing the UN Security Council's approval? What about Sarajevo in the 1990's? The Russians hated the idea of airstrikes, which worked quite well. So what if a client regime of a Security Council member is committing genocide? Do other states have options?

  • New Year's 2012 in Tahrir Square, Egypt
  • Libya not a War for Oil
    • I find it tiresome when people bring up Syria and ask, why doesn't NATO do something about that situation? This line of thinking ignores geography and how that affects potential military responses. Libya may look big on a map, but it's really a tiny country in that 95% of the population lives within just a few miles of the sea, all connected by a thin ribbon of road. It's easily dominated by a modest amount of naval and air forces. (Rommel, and now Qaddafi, have learned that the hard way.)
      A military intervention in Syria, on the other hand, would require a massive, lunatic land invasion, a'la Iraq. There is just no comparison.

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