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Total number of comments: 49 (since 2013-11-28 15:36:14)

digbydolben

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  • Obama and David Brooks's Manhood Problem
    • Actually, I think he's more corrupt than Dubya-idiot, at least, because he knows the difference and won't speak it; he never intended to use the "bully pulpit" to tell Americans the truth for two reasons: a) he remembered the events of November 22nd, 1963; and b) he expects to be on the "billion dollars a throw" speakers' circuit by 2017, just as Bubba is.

  • On Eve of Pope's visit to Israel, Radical Israeli Settlers attack Christian Village
    • Well, maybe the answer to this is for us Protestant and Catholic and Orthodox Americans to go en masse in pilgrimage to the "Holy Land" during Christmas or Easter and protect, with our bodies and our huge numbers, the Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox Palestinian pilgrims who may wish to worship at the holy sites, and then see if the radical Zionists DARE to attack our fellow Christians in our presence!

  • US sent CIA Director as Ambassador to Tehran after CIA overthrew Iran's Democratic gov't (US now Complaining about Hostage-Taker Amb.)
    • What a brilliant history lesson! Thank you to Dr. Cole and the other commentators. Really, almost everybody needs to come here occasionally for unbiased reportage on the Middle East and the Muslim world.

  • Is Rand Paul right that Cheney invaded Iraq for Halliburton Profits?
    • Len and Austin and others who think that it's "all about the corporations": actually, in the era of post-industrial globalist capitalism, it's "all about the banks," which control and dictate to the corporations. My theory regarding why we went into Iraq has always been that it was to prevent Saddam Hussein from offering Iraq's oil to the global market for a denomination of payment other than US dollars, which he actually threatened to do only a few months before he was attacked. The economy of the United States would not survive a world in which the reserve currency for fuels of all sort was something other than US dollars. The US is actually already a bankrupted empire, of the same sort that Spain was in the 17th century, but so long as resource-poor countries are constrained to purchase their energy in our currency, that "bankrupted empire" can go on limping into the future. It will end eventually, however, and the downfall of one of the most violent "empires" in man's history will not be pretty.

  • Broken Democracy: Republicans poised to take Senate, Americans Reject their Platform
    • Wrong: FDR had a MOST "significant" part of the electorate hating him as a "traitor" to their "class" from the very beginning, and JFK was viscerally hated in the South for being a Catholic and a "race-mixer." Obama's problem is--and always has been--that he has the mindset of a parvenu meritocrat in the insidious American class system; he CRAVES acceptance by the traditional elites, whereas FDR could say, with supreme self-confidence, "I WELCOME their hatred..."

  • The Shame and the Danger of Egypt's 98% Vote
    • You have no idea how much an article like this infuriates the Egyptian upper classes who regard their military has "heroic" and "democratic" for having overthrown Morsi. But even more than being anti-fundamentalist, these people simply want to preserve their economic power and status; they were never interested in the aspects of democracy that have to do with equality of opportunity or of education for the masses or of liberalization of their "crony capitalist" economy wherein the Army is an important business partner. What they wanted was to impress the rest of the world with their "secularism" and their Western-style "freedoms"--which, of course, would benefit their tourism industry, which used to supply one third of their economy. They don't care about what happens to poor people who live in villages. Neither, of course, do the Brotherhood, but the Brotherhood, at least, created a semblance of caring. Egypt, unfortunately, is screwed up, and, right now, the upper middle classes hate Obama and they hate Americans for even suggesting they are living in the aftermath of a military coup. I know; I am living here now, and interacting with a clientele who are like what I'm describing.

  • Top 10 Ways the US is the Most Corrupt Country in the World
    • You actually call Obama "relatively progressive" when he belongs so entirely to the banking industry?

  • Is the Arab World turning back to Russia? Egyptian Delegation heads for Moscow
    • In making foreign policy, I believe that the disposition of a PEOPLE'S cultural and economic aspirations are too readily overlooked, in favour of the ambitions of the elites that rule--usually temporarily. This puts the long-term advantages of shrewder policies off, in favour of the short-term ones. The Arab people I presently live among are, it would seem, as feudal and as hierarchical and as anti-egalitarian as most other Arabs are. Recently, in flying through Doha, in Qatar, I witnessed instances of servility that can have no other parallel but what was on offer in Ancien Regime Europe. On the other hand, in the last few years, I have read and heard of many examples of the Iranian PEOPLE'S aspirations for a fully modern, fully democratic and egalitarian society. I haven't lived, yet, for too long in my Arab country, but what I'm observing exactly parallels the Indian elites' determination to reinforce a status quo that dictates that there won't be too many "slum dog millionaires," and that the caste system will be REINFORCED, through protectionism and corruption, by the "modernization" of the country's industrial and commercial base. Indeed, some of the people native to the place I'm presently inhabiting have bluntly stated, "Muslim countries aren't ready for democracy." Because of these individuals' status in the society and their attitudes toward working people, I interpret this to mean that "the people we are dominating, economically, culturally and socially, aren't 'ready' for any autonomy or independence from US.' So, what I'm guessing is that, perhaps, SUNNI Muslims, because of their feudal instincts, are not 'ready' for democracy and entrepreneurial capitalism, as an instrument of social mobility, but that, perhaps, SHIA Muslims are. Because of this suspicion of mine, I think it may be about time for America to shift towards Iran, and let the Russians--naturally a people more comfortable with authoritarianism--take over the American interests in the Arab world. Of course, the Israelis must be brought to understand that the majority of the Iranian PEOPLE are much more forward-looking and less dangerous a threat than the Likudniks have led them to believe.

  • Militant Secularism in the Middle East?
    • While what you write is true, David, what is actually happening right now, here in Egypt, is that the military are cementing their hold on the country, and that "revolutionary youth," and those parts of "the media" and the "left" you speak of are now being brought to heel just as much as the Muslim Brotherhood is. The military obviously have no intention of releasing their grip on the society. Do you know about the two Canadian journalists on hunger strikes? Do you know about the refusal to allow media coverage of what's going on in the Sinai? Dr. Cole's estimate of the situation is far too sanguine...

  • On Obama's attack on Syria: Donohue/ Bacevich
    • The guy's questions are good, but the answers are simple and tragic: we can't do anything diplomatically without the support of the international community, which our rivals for geo-political world power, China and Russia, will not permit. We CAN do something militarily to deter the use and proliferation of chemical weapons. Whether the peaceniks like this professor are pleased by it or not, American diplomatic clout has ALWAYS depended upon that overwhelming military superiority, which we still enjoy. It's meant to be used not just in the narrow geo-political interests of the nation, but also, historically, in defense of the civilized values of the West. If someone can persuade me that Obama is advocating striking Syria for some kind of narrow, "business" interest--something to do with America's selfish, strictly economic interests--then I'll oppose what Obama wants to do. I know that, generally speaking, he's a tool of the banksters. But, right now, in this case, I believe that he is standing up for the values of civilization, and in defense of innocents.

  • Obama's Limited Options: Bombing Syria unlikely to be Effective
    • You're obviously not paying sufficient attention to the on-going investigations--to what they're looking for, and, especially to WHY. The U.N. investigators and others want to see the un-exploded shells of whatever missiles may have delivered the sarin. This is because such missiles are designed to release their chemicals before hitting their targets, and to continue releasing them upon impact, but not to explode. Biological toxins could be released into the atmosphere in very similar fashion. (And, yes, of course, there are other ways of doing it, but they involve getting much closer to the enemy.)

    • The answer to this one is very simple, and it ought to be more closely considered by everyone writing on this thread: chemical weapons are DELIVERED in a precisely similar way as BIOLOGICAL weapons are. Biological weapons are the next step for any desperate dictatorship that is plunging into chaos and losing its grip on power. Nuclear weapons are more complicated and more expensive to produce. Biological weapons, however, although delivered in a fashion similar to the way chemical weapons are (rockets that open on impact, but don't explode; water sources polluted, etc.), also deliver a poison that CANNOT BE CONTAINED. Biological weapons are the next step on the scale of "weapons of mass destruction." If the chemical weapons are not forcibly rejected, regimes like Assad's will develop and deploy biological weapons. This progression must be foreclosed, by force, if necessary.

      Also, all of those suggesting that the rebels committed this war crime are not considering the threat to the Assad brothers of losing Damascus and of having their military man-power more and more reduced. The younger Assad brother is a psychopathic killer, and he probably doesn't take very many orders from his milquetoast brother.

    • The precedent of allowing chemical weapons to be used with impunity would be disastrous for world politics. Whichever side in the Syrian War used chemical weapons against innocent civilians MUST be punished. If Professor Cole is correct, that Kosovo-like strikes against the Assad OR the rebel side would be futile, then the next best thing is the assassination of the entire Assad family (since the psychotic brother is rumoured to be the actual perpetrator, if the government did it) or the assassination of the leadership of whichever elements of the insurgency committed this war crime. But it must NOT be allowed to go unpunished. Do you folks who are advocating doing nothing want to someday be the victims of chemical, biological or nuclear weapons. THIS time there really are "weapons of mass destruction," and "weapons of mass destruction" are the instruments of genocide.

  • It's not about Democracy: Top Ten Reasons Washington is Reluctant to cut off Egypt Aid
    • ...the U.S. dollar will collapse because oil will be priced in other currencies or gold

      Nail on head! THIS is what all the American adventures in the Middle East have been about, and the "oil" and the "Israeli" interests are side line matters. When--and it is inevitable--the American dollar becomes no longer the "reserve currency" for the purchase of energy resources in the world, the American economy goes into free-fall and the good 'ole U.S.A. becomes the "banana republic" that her neo-fascist geo-politics dictate that she should have become long ago. However, I predict that the American military-industrial complex will take that country into war on all fronts, on the eve of that happening.

      Just check out how Saddam Hussein wanted to sell HIS country's oil a few months before American "liberated" Iraq.

  • The New Neros: The Koch Bros Profit from Burning the World Up (Halperin Infographic)
    • There's nothing to do: the United States government, including the colluding Obama Administration BELONGS to these plutocrats. The only way to reverse this would be to OVERTURN the United States Government--by ballot box, if possible, otherwise if impossible.

  • Why US Media will focus on Pope's 'Gay' Remarks but Ignore those on the Poor, Amazon Environment
    • Did Jesus administer the eucharist with his penis, or what?

      I've always believed that people who make remarks like that are saying more about the state of their own consciousness than about their interlocutors or the subject itself, so I will ignore it.

      The Church's definition of a "sacrament," is "a visible, outward sign of God's grace", which, in turn "gives grace", and that, therefore, the sacrament, to be effectual in the temporal world, must be accompanied by a material presence. Since the "material presence" of Christ was masculine, the Church's very simple sign of her loyalty to that Incarnation is thought to be the continuing presence of a man on the altar, re-enacting the sacrifice of Calvary. You may call this simplistic, risible or "primitive" if you like, but it is certain that the motivation is one of LOYALTY and VENERATION of what the Catholics consider to be the Incarnation of God, and it is not, in any way, meant to detract from the unique importance, in the Catholic world, of women--as manifested by the veneration of Mary and all the female saints.

    • Dr. Cole, you are absolutely correct about "homosexuality" not existing as a social phenomenon in the period when the Christian Church was first developing her sexual morality. However "same sex attraction" clearly did. I wonder why nobody has ever observed that what THAT might mean is that the Catholic Church, far in advance of Kinsey et. al., has ALWAYS considered sexual orientation to be FLUID--and has ALWAYS been convinced that ANYBODY could potentially succumb to a "sinful" attraction to the same sex. Do you know the story of Gian Lorenzo Bernini's younger brother, who raped a boy in the vestibule of St. Peter's Basilica, and who was eventually pardoned by the pope as a result of the artist's intervention? Nobody ever accused that man of being "homosexual."

    • Sorry, Juan, but you are wrong when you allege that these statements by Pope Francis are ineffectual or meaningless. It makes a WORLD of difference in Catholic cultures for a pope to say that men cannot be so "intrinsically disordered" that they may not be priests. In fact, what Pope Francis said the other day opens the possibility that "rites of friendship" may some day be said in Catholic churches, wherein it will be tacitly assumed that the "partners" are living together chastely.

      On the other hand, I do agree strongly with your statement that, compared to the enormously greater issue of the destruction of environments and indigenous cultures by neo-liberal capitalism, this is a minor affair, affecting, as it does, only a small portion of the planet's population.

      Still, Pope Francis is doing justice to a traditionally much and unfairly-maligned group. Also, not being Catholic, you should not be expected to understand the theological reasons why women cannot administer the sacraments of the Church--though they could be made much more powerful and responsible, within the Church hierarchy. (The Catholic Church believes that what, to us, might seem the accident of the Incarnation in the form of a male human, must be accepted by her faithful as a mysterious part of God's plan, and must continue to be reverenced by repetition of the offerant at the sacrifice of the mass in the form of a male human--which is not a serious impediment to married priests or to women deacons, cardinals or heads of congregations, so long as they decline to be ordained as bishops. The Orthodox Churches have no problem with this, and, I predict, with popes like Francis at her helm, some day the Catholic Church won't either.)

  • Obama should Resist the Clintons & Europe on Syria
    • link to youtu.be

      Well, the “neo-conservatives” have won, and we are going to war in Syria. What Andrew Sullivan, in his columns denouncing this policy, hasn’t figured out is that this is a bloodily “realist” policy, designed to kill as many Muslims—both Shiah and Sunni—as Obama possibly can, in order to weaken and destroy the influence of America’s rivals, Iran, Hezbollah AND Russia, in the Middle East.

      Here’s Sullivan, being his normal histrionic self:

      link to dish.andrewsullivan.com

      But Here’s Drezner, spelling out clearly the cold, calculated and murderous policy of Obama:

      “To your humble blogger, this is simply the next iteration of the unspoken, brutallyrealpolitik policy towards Syria that's been going on for the past two years. To recap, the goal of that policy is to ensnare Iran and Hezbollah into a protracted, resource-draining civil war, with as minimal costs as possible. This is exactly what the last two years have accomplished.... at an appalling toll in lives lost.

      This policy doesn't require any course correction... so long as rebels are holding their own or winning. A faltering Assad simply forces Iran et al into doubling down and committing even more resources. A faltering rebel movement, on the other hand, does require some external support, lest the Iranians actually win the conflict. In a related matter, arming the rebels also prevents relations with U.S. allies in the region from fraying any further.

      So is this the first step towards another U.S.-led war in the region? No. Everything in that Timesstory, and everything this administration has said and done for the past two years, screams deep reluctance over intervention. Arming the rebels is not the same thing as a no-fly zone or any kind of ground intervention. This is simply the United States engaging in its own form of asymmetric warfare. For the low, low price of aiding and arming the rebels, the U.S. preoccupies all of its adversaries in the Middle East.

      The moment that U.S. armed forces would be required to sustain the balance, the costs of this policy go up dramatically, far outweighing the benefits. So I suspect the Obama administration will continue to pursue all measures short of committing U.S. forces in any way in order to sustain the rebels.

      Now let's be clear: to describe this as "morally questionable" would be an understatement. It's a policy that makes me very uncomfortable... until one considers the alternatives. What it's not, however, is a return to liberal hawkery.

      So, to conclude: the United States is using a liberal internationalist rubric to cloak a pretty realist policy towards Syria.”

      link to drezner.foreignpolicy.com

      What Drezner doesn’t understand—because it’s entirely beyond his moral or cultural compass—is that this is going to rightly infuriate and further radicalize Muslims—as it should, because it’s THEIR lives which are being played with and counted expendable, and IT WILL RESULT IN MORE EPISODES OF “BLOWBACK” INSIDE THE UNITED STATES, and there’ll be absolutely NO moral legitimacy to the Amerikan Yahoos’ cries of “terrorism” when the government they support with their tax dollars is committing acts of murderous mayhem and carnage against the innocents caught in this pointless, useless war!

  • Its the Corporations, Stupid: Why we are 2nd Amendment Fundamentalists but the 4th Amendment doesn't Count
    • Mr. Gaj, what Americans are concerned about is the spying of their government, not the spying of "servers" that "serve" consumer groups and corporations. The search engines and e-mail providers I have mentioned above will bypass the U.S.Federal Government. Many of us do not want the U.S. Federal Government becoming aware of our resistance to so many of its policies.

    • Actually, Dr. Cole, there IS a way to make corporate America sweat this out and pay a high price for allowing the government to make them them trash the 4th Amendment:

      link to mail.yandex.com
      link to torproject.org
      link to scottlocklin.wordpress.com

      It just demands a little bit of effort to go around Google, Yahoo, Twitter, etc., but, if more people were willing to take that effort, we can make Verizon, Yahoo, Twitter et. al. BLEED!

  • The Conservative Logic of Ferguson's Smears of Gays, Muslims, Obama and Krugman
    • Perfect reply!

    • What Dr. Cole cannot wrap his head around is the fact that American "progessivism" is as imperialist and as racist as modern pseudo-"conservatism" is. REAL "conservatism" in the West is based on the political principles of Edmund Burke and John Henry Newman and Disraeli, who, as Tories, considered that it was the duty to cherish and protect the working classes, who are the backbone of any society. The faux-"liberals" who support the Anglo-American definition of capitalism call this "paternalism," and they despise the "social democracy" of the culturally Catholic European countries. This political-cultural attitude blinds them to the depredations on society of a corporate sell-out such as "the One."

  • Jesus and Muhammad and the Question of the State
    • Brilliant, Dr. Cole! Thank you for doing what I asked you to do on another thread--to answer Andrew Sullivan.

  • Terrorism and the other Religions
    • "they wanted to emulate the West in its complete separation of the state and religion..."

      You cannot be Muslim--not even moderately Muslim--and do that; it is actually one of the GLORIES of Muslim civilizations that a political agenda of social justice is BUILT into the religion.

    • Just as the actual teachings of Jesus Christ have never been implemented by any large population, so have the theories of Karl Marx never been implemented by any, either. Capitalism, as Adam Smith described what it should be, quickly devolved into "crony capitalism," rather than the "even playing field" of a truly entrepreneurial society. I really think it's wrong to blame all of the historic failures of POLITICIANS on the doctrines and thoughts of individuals who were trying to improve humanity. Stalin is no more Karl Marx than Alexander VI Borgia is Jesus Christ.

    • The Young Turks were anti-religion fanatics. Ataturk, who followed them, was of their ilk, and he suppressed the Sufi tekkas or monasteries of Istanbul. They cannot be included in Dr. Cole's statistics.

      However, I would request something of Dr. Cole: Andrew Sullivan, of andrewsullivan.com, is opining over at his website, that the principal difference between Islam and Christianity, which accounts for their essential difference regarding violence, is to be found in the lives and teachings of their great Founders. He argues that Muhammed was just as much a political leader as a religious prophet, and that his teachings are positive regarding the state's right to resort to violence, whereas Jesus Christ was exclusively spiritual and non-violent in His teachings, and that, therefore, no political agenda can be read into them, unlike what can be clearly discerned or inferred from Muhammed's. I'd really like to see you engage with what I take to be Sullivan's Catholic supremacist notions, because I think they're dangerous.
      What I suspect is true is that Jesus Christ, like all Bronze Age religious teachers, did, indeed, include specific injunctions which bordered on the political, but that the Early Church doctors laundered them out, to make Christ's teachings more palatable to the Roman establishment. I also think that many Muslims would claim that, if Jesus actually DID leave no practical injunctions regarding how society should be arranged, that would show that THEIR Prophet had greater consideration of and compassion for His people, not wishing to leave them without practical guidance.
      My personal belief is that ALL the great spiritual paths of the world HAVE, indeed, provided guidance toward the Truth and spiritual nourishment for their followers, and that the reason they have survived was that they all had the capacity to "develop their doctrines" (John Henry Newman's phrase) through a time-space continuum that allowed for CONTEXTUALIZATION with respect to humanity's changing condition. I don't believe that the root causes of violence are to be found in any of them. However, it would appear that the Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) needs some reasonable defence from Islamophobes, and that it shouldn't just be Muslims to do the defending.

  • Top Ten Ways Pope Francis heralds the Emergence of Global South
  • Top Ten Steps that are Necessary for Lasting Gaza-Israel Peace (or, Good Luck!)
    • The "two-state solution" is now impossible; the "facts on the ground" make it impossible, and those like "John," above, who argue rubbish like this:

      open full negotiations with Israel on a final status agreement for the establishment of a sovereign Palestinian state in the West Bank & Gaza

      ...are actually apologists for the continuance of the apartheid policies of the Zionist State. They know full well that the settlements will never be dismantled by any Israeli government, and that the settlements would make of any "sovereign Palestinian state" a ridiculous Bantustan under full Isreali economic and political control.

      What has to be "negotiated"--and probably only through a long, Gandhian struggle on the part of the Palestinians, and a violent, bloody reaction on the part of the Zionists--is a pluralist, secular, non-theocratic and democratic Israel-Palestine. The deciding factor in such a struggle, which would force racist Zionist fascism to reveal its ugly face before the whole world, would be global public opinion. Sadly, the only thing that now can free the Palestinian people must be non-violent, ahimsa-practising martyrs, dying to persuade the world to FORCE the Israelis to give up the racist, Nazi-like dream of an ethnically pure "Jewish State."

  • Gaza's Health Crisis and Israel's Crimes Against Humanity
    • I only meant give them whatever they asked for, so that they might build it for themselves. I thought that would be implicit, when I wrote "with proper infrastructure and strong governmental entities that suit the Arabs’ religion and culture." Certainly, we've contributed enough to the DESTRUCTION of their society, to warrant a little recompense to them:

      link to youtu.be

    • I'm wondering how long the world is going to stand by and watch this. If Obama and his European allies do not feel that it's of sufficient importance for the Israelis and the Palestinians to be FORCED to stop it, then, obviously, there's insufficient Western interest in peace, and, if that is so, I don't understand why the West couldn't withdraw ENTIRELY from this conflict and leave these two hate-filled and vicious peoples to stew in their ancient grudges and resentments.
      Also, I'm sick of hearing that the Great Powers could not FORCE an end to it. Here's one scenario that I heard Henry Kissinger advance over twenty-five years ago and then hastily withdraw: the United States offers Israel a "mutual security pact," in return for withdrawal to pre-1967 borders. Then America and her allies BUILD, from the ground up, a viable Palestinian state, with proper infrastructure and strong governmental entities that suit the Arabs' religion and culture. In return for Israel's acquiescence in this and for a much closer military alliance, the Palestinians are given to understand that, if they were to use their new state as a "stalking horse"--a sort of "Trojan horse," to destroy or destabilize the society of America's Jewish allies--they will be wiped off the face of the earth by combined American and Israeli military strikes. After Netanyahu and his fascist and racist ilk had rejected such an offer, then the United States and the European powers could turn to their indigenous Jewry and say, "Look, we tried; we offered them everything that a loyal ally could, and they refused it, obviously not trusting us to keep our pledges to them." And then we could wash our hands of the Israelis and the Palestinians. I'm sure that this is going to be, increasingly, what the non-Christian Fundamentalist and the non-Jewish populations of America are going to want; they must be tired of trillion-dollar wars that do not serve America's national interests. It's about time that America remembered the U.S.S. Liberty and divorced her hugely ungrateful ally, as well as her ally's implacable and barbaric enemy.

  • Two Canadians Discover the US has become a Police State
    • Truly, the people who are defending the behaviour of these "security guards" are really creepy--fit to be denizens themselves of the "maximum security" police state.

      Look, as an international school teacher living in Asia, I cross borders all the time, and go constantly through immigration checks, and I have NEVER been dealt with like this any time--not in Europe, not in Asia, not in North America. And nor would I ALLOW myself to be hassled in this way. Would I allow myself to be arrested by this kind of goon, in order to make the point to my consulate authorities that they ought to put out "warnings" to fellow citizens of my country that they ought to have second thoughts about going to such places? You betcha' I would! My answer to the thug who claimed I had "assaulted" an officer when I had merely cringed, when he asked me if it were worthwhile to get arrested over it would have been, "To make the point that you are a fascist, it most certainly is: I count upon my consular services to represent me, against you."

      Once, in Sri Lanka, in the middle of the LTTE Tamil-Sinhala civil war, I was taking a group of friends who were unfamiliar with that country to a place fairly well in the north of the country, the ancient city of Polonnaruwa, which was almost in the war zone. We were stopped at a checkpoint by an officer of the Sri Lankan Army. He made extremely amicable chit-chat with us, asking us about how we found his country, the convenience of our travel arrangements, the suitability to our palates of the Lankan diet, etc.--all in the most courteous, even warm-spirited fashion. As we were driving away, I asked my guests if they realized that they had just been thoroughly interrogated, and they responded that they hadn't had a clue! That was in the middle of a war-zone, in a war-torn country, and we had obviously been detained by an extremely intelligent representative of his country's government, who honestly cared about the reputation of his country with foreign visitors.

      I'd like to assure you Americans that this Canadian visitor to your country has now joined the ranks of MILLION of the world's citizens who profess open hostility to the United States and to the behaviour of arrogant Americans everywhere in the world--not just at immigration check-points. Unlike twelve years ago, when I first began my period of almost-permanent expatriation, scores of my students profess to have no desire ever to venture into the United States, for any purpose--educational or otherwise; to them, it's not worth the hassle of being demeaned or "racially-profiled" or being treated like a prospective "terrorist."

    • I live outside the damned "national security state," and I don't ever want to live in it again, because I'm quite certain that this situation is going to get worse and worse.

  • Romney's Five Wars
    • The fact that a serious candidate for the American Presidency is spouting such reckless, insane nonsense speaks volumes about the degeneracy of your so-called "democracy."

      A REPUBLIC requires folks who are self-disciplined enough to INFORM themselves about what their politicians are advocating or even suggesting.

      In light of that, please consider who is Iran's major oil-producing ally that has just been re-elected in South America? Don't you American sheep imagine that he--who probably hasn't got that much longer to live and consequently probably wants to make his "mark" in socialist history--would want to shut down America's oil supply in retaliation against the attack on his ally?

      By how much do you suppose the loss of Venezuala's oil supply to the States would raise oil prices all over North America? Does Mitt Romney plan military action in South America, in order to strengthen Israel?

      And I haven't even mentioned the Chinese or the Russian responses? Do you Americans not understand that you are actually seriously considering igniting World War III?

  • President Obama's Speech to the UN General Assembly
    • Right in the middle of Obama's "peace-loving" speech is the threat of another American "preventive war," and the American government's racist and imperialist lie that "the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran cannot be contained." The only reason for voting for Obama is that he will give the world this war later, rather than sooner. The Zionist control of his marionette strings are just a little looser than their control of Romney's.

  • Why they Hate us: Romney Secretly Plots to Screw Palestinians over Again
    • I had believed for a long time that the Palestinians should engage in Gandhi-style peaceful resistance to their exclusion from full and equal civil rights in a pluralist Israel, and thought that the Jews who'd faced the Holocaust and knew what racial and sectarian genocide were would never crush a people who were campaigning for their human rights in such a manner.

      However, when I suggested that this was what the Palestinians may be driven to and what they should embrace anyway, to a young, recently decommisioned Israel Defense Force veteran who was holidaying in India last summer, his unabashed response to me, looking me right in the eye as he said it, was "Modern Israelis would respond to that by killing them all." Mind you, he was not in favour of the Netanyahu policy of tacitly committing ethnic cleansing to annex the the Palestinian territories, and he said he knew that it would eventually prove suicidal for the Zionist State, but he claimed that he was just voicing popular sentiment in Israel.

      America must cut her ties to these people before our alliance with them eventuates in Armageddon.

  • Romney Poses, as Militants Burn Benghazi Consulate, killing Ambassador, 3 staffers, & Demonstrate in Cairo, over Islamophobic Film
    • Romney WILL "bow" to Zionists who wish to ethnically clean the West Bank of the Jordan river of its indigenous population. He WILL "bow" to Christian Fundamentalists who want the Jewish "heathens" to recreate Israel as a launching pad for the return of Jesus. He WILL "bow" to plutocrats who wish the American economy to be receptive to outsourcing the working poor's jobs to Asian and African sweat shops. Romney WILL "bow" to the "1%" who wish to balance the country's debt on the backs of her poor.

    • All things considered, I believe the American staff of the embassy in Cairo were attempting to SAVE THEIR LIVES!

    • Then you don't understand the "great unwashed" of the Christian Fundamentalist Bible belt, for whom Romney's disgusting exploitation of this event is "red meat." Unless Obama is firm with the Libyans, he could stand to lose Florida, North Carolina and, perhaps, even Ohio, where these troglodytes have a large say in how those states vote.

    • Unfortunately, "'Christian' 'filmmaker' Sam Bacile" does not have the responsibility for protecting foreign embassies on Libya's territory. The Government of Libya does, and the Government of Libya is partially responsible for what took place in their country. Obama MUST be seen to be holding it responsible in a quite forceful manner for what took place, if he is to be re-elected. The American people are no longer in a "restrained" mood regarding Islamic Fundamentalists.

    • My only point was that the Republicans will seek to exploit this event--as they are already doing--and that the Obama Administration must be SEEN by the American public to take a very firm position regarding the shirked responsibilities of the Libyan Government. And I repeat it--they must.

    • Dr. Cole, I'm sure that you wrote this before you knew that it was the actual ambassador of the United States of America who was murdered in Libya. I expect you understand that now, in order to be re-elected President of the United State, Obama will have to take drastic and severe actions against the Libyans and their government. Unless he does so, the Republicans will use this incident to portray him as "weak" in the face of the "Muslim threat." For America, the "Arab Spring" is now officially over.

  • Top Ten Differences Between Rick Santorum and JFK
    • Like so many of his American critics, Bill, you fail to understand that De Gaulle was, first and foremost, a world-class statesman who cared, more than anything else, for Western Christian civilization, which he, like any other European Christian Democrat, perceived to be menaced by radical, atheistic socialism. He knew very well that America's military was the most powerful bulwark against the spread of Bolshevism, and he would not have wished to see the Americans waste their energies and influence on such a lost cause. Moreover, he liked and admired Kennedy; there was no spite whatsoeve at play in his absolutely disinterested advice to him regarding Vietnam--with other Frenchmen, maybe, but not De Gaulle, who was a greater man than all of the other leaders of his epoch.

    • The only thing I want to respond to in the thread above is Bill's aspersions against De Gaulle's motives in trying to talk Kennedy into withdrawal from Vietnam: De Gaulle was a European Christian Democratic statesman who would never have wished for the undermining of America's military standing in the world. While it is true that he resented certain aspects of American foreign policy--particularly its bungling, arrogant interventionism and wastefulness of political assets--he appreciated America's importance as a bulwark against Communism. He never would have sought to dupe Kennedy, and to imply he would is a cheap shot, typical of American Francophobia.

    • This is doubted by academic historians in the United States, most of who are neo-conservatives or neo-liberals, who protect establishment notions. I didn't believe it myself until I read reviews (in French) of the memoirs of Charles De Gaulle's private secretary, who attests that "le Grand Charles" went to his grave believing that, by sharing French state secrets dating back to Dien Bien Phu with the young American President, he had persuaded Kennedy that the Viet Cong were more a nationalist, patriotic movement than a Communist one, and that United States should not pursue what was obviously an unwinnable war. Just as he refused to go the last mile with the Cuban Rightists seeking to overthrow the popular dictator there, Kennedy probably would have begun withdrawal from Vietnam after his re-election in 1964, following the advice of the European stateseman he respected the most.

  • Pro-Perry Evangelical Leader says Romney not a Christian, Mormonism a Cult
    • Sorbet nailed it. It's why Obama, a traitor to his race, to the poor and to the mildly "progressive" agenda in America, will still be its President in 2013. Nobody who wants change in that country has a voice.

  • Palestine, Bahrain and US Hyprocrisy
    • Lucidamente, THIS "stand," plus Obama's coddling of banksters, is going to give us a Republican President--probably named "Romney" or "Christie." The "progressives" and the "doves" who worked so hard against Clinton to nominate him are going to stay home, and the liberal Jews of America, who understand that he, in collusion with Netanyahu, are contributing to the creation of a racist, apartheid Zionist state, are also going to stay home. Half the "gays" who remember his cowardice over DOMA and, earlier "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," will forget recent developments and also stay home. The only part of his "base" that he will be able to count on will be the blacks, and even they recognise that he hasn't done a damned thing to moderate the increasing socio-economic stratification of the society (only achievable through jobs programs, single-payer national health insurance, sterner bank regulation and radical restructuring of the lunatic Ameican tax system).
      You Americans will have a Republican President in Janurary, 2013--one who will have run a national election as a "moderate," but will be the closest thing to a neo-fascist that your country has ever seen, and it will be "Obomber's" fault, for not having seized the chance to make progressive politics work, in the first hundred days of his lacklustre Presidency.

  • Questions for Glenn Greenwald on Libya and the end of NATO
  • UN Allies Bombard Libya to protect Protesters
    • All those American blowhards who called the French "surrender monkeys" a few years ago should put this in their pipes and smoke it!

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