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Total number of comments: 24 (since 2013-11-28 15:54:45)

Edward

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  • Is the White House Right that More Iran Sanctions put US on "Path to War?"
    • Carney might be trying to stir up U.S. the public against sanctions the way they eventually opposed attacking Syria. Still, its alarming rhetoric all the same.

  • Elites Stick together against Us: Feinstein Slams NSA Merkel Tap
    • I more or less agree with the sentiments expressed here but I think there is another way to look at this sorry affair which is that politicians respond to people who can threaten them. The U.S. public has not responded so far when the government acts contrary to their interests and so the politicians don't give them much consideration. Germany, on the other hand, can cause trouble for the U.S.

  • Alshabab attack on Nairobi a Sign of Political Defeat
  • Former Iranian President Slams Syria for Gassing own People: Sign of deep Divisions in Tehran
    • "Some Iranian spokesmen have taken up the same line as Russia, that the rebels gassed themselves, though this conclusion is absurd on the face of it ..."

      I just read this in the Asia Times (link to atimes.com):

      The most startling counterpunch to the White House spin remains the Mint Press News report by AP correspondent Dale Gavlak on the spot, in Ghouta, Damascus, with anti-Assad residents stressing that "certain rebels received chemical weapons via the Saudi intelligence chief, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, and were responsible for carrying out the gas attack''.

    • "...contradicted by French, British, US and Israeli intelligence,"

      Why should the claims of these governments be taken at face value? Half the time Obama does not even try to claim he wants to help the Syrians; he talks about helping Israel or protecting the Americans from a chemical attack. Does the U.S. want to end the Syrian civil war, or prolong it, as they did the war between Iran and Iraq in the 80s? Maybe Obama could care less about Syria and just sees an opportunity to undermine Iran, Hezbullah, and the Arab spring.

  • Kerry signals US Intervention in Syria, but to What End?
    • "The US and its Allies cannot stand idly by while yet another state flaunts the international norm against the use of chemical warfare "

      Really? Maybe the U.S. should look at its own conduct in this matter. The U.S. used white phosphorous in Fallujah and Israel has used it in Gaza. When the U.S. violates international law, such as invading Iraq and killing 1 million+ people, there is nary a word of protest to be heard.

      "That’s point number one from a realist perspective but for point 2 (h/t to Edward Luttwak) if either side in the Civil War emerges victorious, US national interests suffer."

      So the carnage should continue for the sake of U.S. (and Israeli?) "interests". Evidently you encourage mass murder.

    • JTMcPhee ,

      I was referring to a cease-fire between the groups in Syria.

      "A hundred of those “expended,” at a million or more a pop? "

      Isn't it ironic? The U.S. is in the middle of an economic crisis, not unrelated to some earlier misguided wars, and money can't be spent to help its beleaguered citizens. Yet endless dollars are available for wars to benefit Israel and military contractors. If only we had heeded Eisenhower's warning...

    • Given the U.S. track record, they should stay out of this conflict. What is really needed is a cease fire. If the U.S. attacks Syria it will also be illegal. Congress has not declared war on Syria and the U.N. security council has not authorized an attack.

  • Putin as America's Frenemy: The Snowden Paradox
    • As an American, I am glad Russia is giving Snowden asylum. As far as I am concerned, the real "frenemy" of the U.S. public is their government. What is weird about U.S. demands for Snowden's return is that he revealed cyberspying on Russia, among other countries. Perhaps the U.S. should be apologizing, not demanding.

  • Stewart: Aljazeera Pays More Attention to First Responders than Senate Republicans, US Networks
    • This reminds me of record of the Republican cutting veteran's benefits after launching the Iraq war.

      I have heard some bad things about Al Jazeera from Middle Easterners but I am not sure of the details. I think Asad Abu Khalil has been warning about problems with this network.

  • Netanyahu Blows off US; Mahmoud Abbas pleads for Settlement Freeze
  • Obama dismisses Iran War Prospects, overrules Clinton
    • What is outrageous about the accusation that Iran is a dictatorship is that the U.S. is in bed with some of the worst dictatorships in the world. Efforts at independence by the developing world are opposed by America. The U.S. was opposed to Chavez, Nasser, the Arab League, Lumumba, Allende, Sukarno, Mosaddegh and on and on.

  • Top Stories More Important than Quran-Burning Nut Job
    • The situation is much more complicated then this. First of all, there are plenty of examples of western religious bigotry. Israel is a state founded and based on religious discrimination. The French carved Lebanon out of Trans-Syria to set up a Middle East State with a Christian majority. An associate of Blackwater chief Eric Prince says Prince regards himself as a crusader fighting Islam. The U.S. military is so rife with Christian fundamentalists that there is an organization trying to separate religion from the military. How many Gen. Boykins are there in the military?

      Secondly, in a classic imperial strategy, the West has supported extremely reactionary Islamic movements. The British set up the Gulf monarchies, the U.S. supported the Mujaheddin, and the Israelis initially supported Hamas.

      I read an article a few days ago by an Iraqi cataloging U.S. attacks on Islam but I can't find it.

    • This is the type of sensational story U.S. journalists love, because it isn't expensive to produce. Several weeks before 9/11, CNN decided to adopt the FOX news journalism model; instead of producing hard news they would produce sensational stories that only appeared to be informative. This would reduce operating costs without reducing their audience, at least in the short run.

      “Twelve American soldiers face charges over a secret “kill team” that allegedly blew up and shot Afghan civilians at random and collected their fingers as trophies.”

      Seymour Hersh has written that this is the most brutal U.S. army ever. He was planning to write an article about this but it never materialized. I think a big question here is: "Where are the officers?" Any army will have psychopaths but the officers are supposed to keep them in line.

      A war crime that has received zero attention is the allegation of "dead checking" that came up in a U.S. trial. This is the practice of executing wounded prisoners. An article in the LA TImes

      link to articles.latimes.com

      included the following description:

      Lopezromo said a procedure called "dead-checking" was routine. If Marines entered a house where a man was wounded, instead of checking to see whether he needed medical aid, they shot him to make sure he was dead, he testified.

      "If somebody is worth shooting once, they're worth shooting twice," he said.

      Marines are taught "dead-checking" in boot camp, the School of Infantry at Camp Pendleton, and the pre-deployment training at Twentynine Palms called Mojave Viper, he said.

      I suspect this practice is what was behind the execution of wounded Iraqis videoed by a journalist several years ago in a mosque in Fallujah.

  • 'Burn the Qur'an Day' Endangers US Troops: Petraeus
    • " I don’t recall anyone “desecrating” any bibles in order to put psychological “pressure” on us."

      Maybe I am wrong about this but I think I did read somewhere that the S.E.R.E. program does include this. Or perhaps I am thinking of a S.E.R.E.-like program. The program might have changed since 1969. While this act might not disturb you personally, it could have meaning for a very religious person. I believe the S.E.R.E. strategy is to destroy your ego.

      I believe prisoners at Guantanamo were harassed for a while by desecrating the Koran. Since the interrogation methods there are derived from the S.E.R.E. program, that is circumstantial evidence for my claim.

      Did you find the S.E.R.E. training useful?

    • By the way, when is Gen. Petraeus going to fire Gen Boykin?

    • "technology magnifies the power of individuals and small groups"

      I wish technology would magnify the power of critics of U.S. policy. Somehow I don't think the oligarchy-controlled U.S. media is going to magnify those views.

    • One of the forms of psychological pressure put on U.S. soldiers in the SEAR program was to desecrate copies of the bible.

  • Islamophobe Slasher taunted Cabbie with Rightwing Talking Points before Stabbing Him
    • So Enright sees checkpoints as a form of attack on Muslims.

      As I recall, Muslim-looking cab drivers were attacked after 9-11, especially Sikhs.

  • What would Martin Luther King Say? Mosques and the New Jim Crow in America
    • This is an interesting history that I was unaware of. Another possible comparison could be with the attitudes of the British toward the Irish when the IRA was active.

  • Dear Rev. Graham: Obama was not born a Muslim and neither is anyone else
    • "...it is still all right to be a religious bigot, so Islam is being scapegoated by the Republican Party, as its ability openly to play on racial fears is being increasingly constrained."

      The Republicans and to a lesser extent Democrats seem to be trying to cross every red line. So far, we have crossed the torture, habeas corpus, total information awareness, freedom of association, post-depression Wall Street regulation, and aggressive war red lines, to mention some examples.

      "Even if a majority of Republicans in Louisiana once voted for Klan figure David Duke, in most of the country sounding like Duke is a distinct political liability"

      I lived in Arkansas for a few years and that state can be added to the Louisiana category.

      "I can’t imagine that most Americans are really afraid of their Muslim neighbors "

      Cases such as the "paint ball six" make me believe the reality is somewhat mixed and unstable. I think the U.S. is trying to decide which path to go down in the future. Will it go down the racist xenophobe path or will it follow a more high minded path? Can Americans recognize the complexities of the situation or are they limited to simplistic demagogy?

  • Top Ways Dan Senor Could have avoided offending Iraqi Muslims
    • Another candidate for desecrated ground is the U.S. "embassy" in Iraq, which was built on stolen land with slave labour. I wonder what Senor thinks about Israel's destruction of a Muslim cemetary in Jerusalem to build a museum of "tolerance".

    • "For those interested in desecration of “Sacred Ground” one would be hard put to beat the locating of a U.S. Military Base close to Hiroshima"

      How about locating a U.S. base on an Iraqi archeological site?

    • Excellent post; the controversy over the center puts in stark relief what certain racists really think about Muslims.

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