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Total number of comments: 11 (since 2013-11-28 15:55:40)

David Oberlander

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  • Is Iran Ready to do a Deal with Obama over its Nuclear Program?
    • David Oberlander 09/24/2013 at 7:46 pm

      I would also add that anti-semitism is off the charts in much of the arab world, but not in Persia-Iran. Not at all. What anti-semitism exists is top down, not bottom up--like Egypt. I highly doubt a population of 20,000 Jews could exist anywhere else in the middle east outside of Iran or Turkey or theoretically parts of Lebanon or Kurdistan. There are also parallel streams within Israeli and Iranian society that are interesting... half of their populations are sick of religion, strongly secular, with a rich artistic heritage/culture and the rest of the population into religion. In this sense both Iranian and Israeli societies are diverse, somewhat schizophrenic countries.

      I've long thought that 'we' as in the collective west has chosen the wrong side on both Syria and also on Iranian interests in the middle east, but the pro-Saudi/Israeli thesis was supported by the last idiot king of Iran with his Holocaust denial dementia. He's gone now. Why not engage Iran.

    • As a strong supporter of Israel, I'm all in favor of talking and listening and striking a deal. I have a lingering doubt technology can be stopped. Sanctions can slow, but not eliminate bomb making capacity. Their program is too spread out, bunkered down for a military strike to work in any event. A deal can certainly be structured at this stage that would be both in the interests of the US, Iran and Israel as well. What is the other option in any event? War? If a deal is structured and Iran is caught breaking a deal, sanctions can be started again.

      The isolation of Iran has a historical metaphor in the blockage of Cuba, designed to punish, and isolate Cuba for partnering with the USSR. But did the embargo of Cuba, hurt Castro? or did it simply allow him to reign forever?

  • Mubaraks Arrested
    • David Oberlander 04/13/2011 at 2:57 pm

      Professor Cole, I don't get it. I do understand why Hosni Mubarak would want to die in his country. I think he knows what's coming. But I'm perplexed why his sons, extended family would have stayed after Mubarak's fall? It would have made "sense" for everybody to leave(hiding away money which I'm sure they have hidden well).

      Second, to place the blame on the corruption of Mubarak's family and extended circle of cronies misses the larger point. What about the complicity of the military leadership vis-a-vis corruption, dealings with the Mubarak's associates US military aid, contractors, lucrative dealings with Israeli gas concerns...ect...ect...

      I bet the military elite wishes they just left, taking their secrets with them. Now they, the military, are in a bind. One reason for the Mubarak's son's to stay is their belief that their knowledge of the Egyptian's elite complicity in graft was a weapon. This may have been a mistake.

  • Defections, US Withdrawal Point to Political Solution in Libya
    • David Oberlander 04/01/2011 at 2:55 pm

      Professor Cole could be right with his analysis of a loss of power by attrition. I wish somebody(Chavez come to mind)just gives the Libyan leadership a get out of jail card and the entire "family" makes the move to Caracas. It would be easier for everybody involved.

  • Answer to Glenn Greenwald
    • David Oberlander 03/30/2011 at 4:37 pm

      Is there a vital US interest to take sides in Libya. I respect Professor Cole's analysis, have read it carefully, but I fail to see a vital US interest in war in Libya or Iraq, or what clearly differentiates the two from the moral perspective.

      My other problem with Professor Cole's latest post is his reference to Tunisia and Egypt. My reply would be yes and yes. He is correct, but does not ask is there a hidden or subliminal action here to stabilize Algeria? If so, why?

      From the left or from the right, an interventionist, militaristic foreign policy always has a moral or ethical argument in favor of action and against inaction, but there are always innocents who die. There are always unintended consequences. There is rarely a vital US interest, let alone a tangential US interest.

  • Top Ten Ways that Libya 2011 is Not Iraq 2003
    • David Oberlander 03/22/2011 at 3:32 pm

      How about the tribal dimension to the Libyan conflict? This is an important element that may(or may not)be as strong an element as the Kurd-Shia-Sunni dimension to the morass of Iraq. As for the US not taking the lead, we are a crucial element... as usual. The arab component has not materialized. In fact, we saw some back-peddling by the arab league with Mr. Moussa as I'm sure you know.

      I agree Libya is not Iraq. But, I seem to recall the happy talk right after Iraq was invaded, but things didn't turn out great. The UN mission in Libya has just started. There is potential for much to go wrong. War is never a tidy process with a quick endgame. But we could get lucky and force the Libyan nutcase to take a dirt nap or flee to join Mr. Mugabe.

  • 6 Million Pakistanis need Immediate Aid as 1/3 of Country is Submerged
    • David Oberlander 08/12/2010 at 5:01 pm

      BBC, the Aljazeera network excepted. We, the US, are consumed with ourselves.

    • WTF? Why doesn't our President say a singular thing here? Has he? Have I missed it? Can't we in the US even get our act together just once? We should be airlifting supplies to Pakistan. This is a true humanitarian crisis.

      Professor, for what little it's worth, but I read you blog and a few others as I disagree(strongly)with your views on Israel, but, leaving that aside, why on earth is informed consent one of the few outlets for what is happening on our planet? Nothing on CNN, certainly nothing on FOX, and I heard little on NPR. This is a sad commentary on the state of our news media. I am ashamed to be an American when a third of Pakistan is drowning and we ignore it.

      Thanks for providing the Oxfam link. Horribly sad.... david

  • 50 Dead in Baghdad Attacks on Shiites;
    Netanyahu Warns of Eastern Front
    • David Oberlander 07/08/2010 at 1:08 pm

      My god. What a mess we have left by Bush. Such a horrific waste of lives. It appears that a civil war might ensue and the success of the surge was a short-lived phantasm. I thought the "success" of Iraq was to be the "model" for Kabul.

  • The Orientalism of Israeli Troops Dancing
    • Let's assume, for the sake of argument, you, Dr. Cole, are correct. Their are no arabs in 'Hebron' ... the happy-go-lucky, westernized IDF frolics to western, urbane rap and so on ala Edward Said's orientalist nightmare.

      I don't agree with this, but let's assume it's right. I'm Jewish admire some, but not all, of Israeli culture, but does this mean that I cannot laugh at a Palestinian comedian? cannot take my wife to her arab oncologist(who is the best of the best I might add)? or cannot admire the intellect of a prominent, female, Palestinian spokesperson?

      Professor Cole, sometimes a bunch of teenagers of any nationality goof off, blow off steam, act like idiots without any political, ideological, or religious goal or insult. Sometimes, a cigar is just that....

  • Kabul Blast Kills 19, Wounds 52; 5 US Troops Dead
    • David Oberlander 05/18/2010 at 6:32 pm

      Professor Cole, I should admit first I'm a long-time reader on your blog, but have never posted. I should admit to being a strong supporter of Israel and do not, generally, agree with your conclusions. But I must complement you. Yours is a meaty website full of information. This story was barely touched on Drudge, Daily Dish, Daily Kos, National Review Online. Left or right essentially ignores what is happening in Iraq and in Kabul. Our dumbed down news media ignores the rest of the world for the most part. Your website consistently strives to provide some of the news that is neglected and puts it into context. Keep up the good work.

      david

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