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Total number of comments: 8 (since 2013-11-28 16:33:22)

David Bloom

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  • Iran's Forbidden Nukes and the Taqiya Lie
    • An amazingly precise parallel which I have not seen brought up in this context is that of the Jesuits' "mental reservation" or "mental equivocation" which allowed them to withhold truth for grave purposes such as the saving of life, and which anti-Catholics such as our American Know-Nothings regarded as a license to lie. I wonder if there are others--if religious or ethnic libels can come in families?

  • Ayatollah Santorum Excommunicates Obama, Mainstream Protestants
    • I honestly don't think the US bishops or the current pope really care about succoring the poor, or illegal war, or capital punishment—it's in the book, so they give it lip service, but it's women's control of their body that they really *work* on. The whole theological realignment of these people with the conservative Protestant denominations and megachurches, i.e. with the old Know-Nothing community, the denominations that were once the most virulently anti-Catholic, is really fascinating. The Catholics seem to be winning something out of it, too, if you consider what a remarkable proportion they make in the conservative power hierarchy, Supreme Court justices, ranking members of Congress, Republican presidential candidates. A 19th-century mind might smell a hint of a Jesuitical conspircacy!

  • The Way Forward in the Middle East -- Peled & Peled
    • Oh, indeed, and shouldn't we all fall on our knees in gratitude that the Experienced Players have been there taking care of everything so beautifully.

      Seriously, JT McPhee's hopes and those of the Peleds are certainly fantasies, but the idea that that "Israel" (meaning the Experienced Players of the Netanyahu coalition) can control the situation as it develops over the next five or ten, or even three or four years, is a fantasy too, and one far less likely to be realized. The situation as it is is really not sustainable, and it is not going to be sustained, even if the parliamentary committee that calls itself "Israel" decides to go whole hog with the creation of a true apartheid state, which everybody swears they do not want. If you're going to fantasize, it's far better to fantasize about a desirable outcome--by visualizing it you can see some way into how it might be achieved.

  • Petition against the Murder of Iranian Scientists
  • Serri: Iran's UN Inspectors are Repeating the Iraq Mistakes
    • At the reference to Jervis in para. 8, that should be "not 'disconfirmable'", right? Thanks for this extremely valuable post.

  • Top Ten Myths about Bin Laden's Death
    • I wish to express confidence that Juan is not becoming an Obamabot. He is well aware that the administration is not of the left, that it is not very able to shake off traditional racist and colonialist attitudes on Middle East policy, and that it is maddeningly lawyerly (I am sure the decisions to disappear Osama's body and keep the photographs out of the papers was made by some emotionally and intellectually crippled attorney, just like their failure to persuade us that they are against torture). But it is in so many really good ways really profoundly different from the old one and deserves to be applauded for that no matter what, with our sincere gratitude, as on this occasion (part of what's wrong with what Elspeth said above).

      I am sure Juan is right about point 3, which is by far the most important to me, and at least legalistically about 7-8 (and I honestly believe this sort-of-justifiable in-the-heat-of-it homicide is preferable to the sanctimonious theater of capital punishment which we have been spared!).

      I want to note something commonly forgotten by people who know it much better than a mere newspaper reader like me, on point 10: that the Pakistani government and military, the Pakistani government and intelligence system, and the Pakistani intelligence system in itself, are far from unified, and that we can't say from outside whether someone with the authority to articulate a given policy is the one with the power to make it effective. It is likely that Zardari and Gilani and Kayani all mean everything they say about Bin Laden but this does not prove Bin Laden was not being protected by somebody, perhaps at a fairly high level and even with the knowledge of someone still higher up who was unable to interfere.

  • Bush's Pre-War Iraq Oil Deals Alarmed BP
    • On the negotiations with France and Russia:
      If I am not misremembering, Total and Gazprom had been signing contracts with Hussein during the 90s for oil to be drilled after the sanctions were lifted. Presumably this was a subject of the negotiations, and also a reason why the two countries refused to support the war.

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