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Total number of comments: 16 (since 2013-11-28 15:55:29)

Eli Wurth

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  • Not to Reason Why: A New Crimean "War"?
    • btw, Margelov is considered a moderate.

    • The US has supported the violent overthrow of _legitimately elected_ officials in Egypt, Venezuela, and now Ukraine.

      One has to wonder at what point will everything be to Washington's liking? After only 6 more coups? Maybe 13 more? Or more likely, this will never end?

      Of course the Yanukovych opposition had many legitimate grievances. But imagine if the US insisted on elections to change unpopular leadership, instead of supporting violent insurrections? Oh, wait...that might mean they'd have to be consistent...sorry.

    • Mikhail Margelov, who is the Russian equivalent of the Chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was just interviewed on RT News.

      His comments were very unequivocal, that Russia is operating on the assumption that previous agreements maintaining the Black Sea Fleet at Sevastopol signed by the then "legitimate authorities" from Ukraine are still in effect. He said he sees no reason for Russia to send additional troops, since they're "already there."

      He also explained that the fleet will eventually leave Sevastopol for a yet to be completed port on the Russian coastline.

      He pointed out what a large melting pot Ukraine is, especially the Eastern area, and how horrific it would be if Right Sector extremists were to continue to grow, with support from political figures. He cautioned that anti-Semitism is growing within the anti-Yanukovych movement.

  • Top Ten Ways the US and Iran could avoid a Catastrophic War
    • "1. Iran would have to..."

      Right off the bat, it's up to Iran, the burden is on Iran, Iran should capitulate, it's all Iran's fault, etc., instead of:

      "1. Since the US overthrew the elected government of Iran 60yrs ago, the US has no right to continue threatening and punishing Iran, and, instead, must call for the lifting of all sanctions, and begin an immediate policy of reparations for supporting the brutal dictatorship that followed the US-orchestrated 1953 subversion of Iranian democracy."

      "2. Once the previous steps are taken, the US must call for a nuclear free Middle East which would require Israel to take the first step by destroying its WMD."

      Of course, this will never happen, but everyone except Western neoliberal foreign policy ideologues know this would be the morally correct stance.

  • Celebrating Dirty Gas & Oil is Our Planet's Funeral (Klare)
    • Joe from Lowell, the problem with your analysis is that if we agree that US consumption of fossil fuels has dropped, and this decrease equals less "transportation emissions," we also have to acknowledge that this is offset by the increased emissions from the massive increase in domestic drilling.

      Fracking increases not only methane emissions from leakage and other release mechanisms, but there is flaring, the massive increase in trucking for water, flowback disposal, and the huge amount of emissions from pump generators. Pipeline ruptures/leaks are increasing, and there are proposals for increasing storage pools for disposal of frack fluids, as injection well disposal is causing ever greater problems, including earthquakes from both waste disposal AND oil and gas extraction.

      So while there may be a decrease in domestic consumption, the massive increase in domestic production has offset any gains in that regard.

      There are far too many studies showing this to list here, so try:

      link to desmogblog.com (Steve Horn)

  • The Kosovo Fallacy and Syria (Axworthy-Cole Debate)
    • "But there’s this big thumping similarity: An enormous war machine, wanting, inter alia, the opportunity to test and deploy and use up various bits of inventory, and novel tactics..."

      I wouldn't be too sure that the US only plans on targeting Assad's forces. Don't be surprised if certain rebel forces are also hit by US/NATO strikes, i.e. "The Fog of War?"

  • Kerry signals US Intervention in Syria, but to What End?
    • joe from Lowell
      08/27/2013 at 8:09 am

      "I notice that Secretary Kerry didn’t say anything about the rebels. A series of punitive strikes to deter future chemical warfare attacks may provide some benefit to them, but it is not the same thing as joining up with the rebellion."

      Don't be too sure that certain rebel forces will not be targeted by US military strikes..."Fog of War", etc...

  • Obama Plays Hardball and Egypt's Morsi Folds
    • "The violence used to destroy the crews that were raining rocket fire down on Misrata saved thousands of lives."

      The violence used by NATO in Libya killed thousands of civilians, while empowering extremist elements including AQ...

      "The violence used to dismantle al Qaeda has probably saved tens of thousands of lives."

      The violence used to "dismantle" al Qaeda has also killed 100s of thousands of innocents in Afghanistan/Pakistan/and Iraq combined, while creating untold numbers of new enemies that will seek revenge and retribution for the foreseeable future...

      "The violence used by the Vietnamese military to overthrow the Khmer Rouge saved hundreds of thousands of lives."

      The violence used by the United States to slaughter millions of Vietnamese, including countless Cambodians via LBJ/Nixon's secret bombing campaign, gave rise to extremist elements such as the Khmer Rouge, therefore causing the deaths of millions of Cambodians...

      Any other examples you care to share?

  • Police Crackdowns on OWS Coordinated among Mayors, FBI, DHS
    • What do the Mayors of Oakland, Berkeley, Denver, San Francisco, Austin, Portland OR, Nashville, St.Louis, Salt Lake City, Albany NY, Philadelphia, Youngstown OH, Burlington VT, Chapel Hill, Seattle, and Boston all have in common???

      They are all DEMOCRATS who are all attacking their respective Occupations in one form or another!

      What does that tell us? That it's being orchestrated from DC by the Justice Department, which is part of the Executive Branch of the US Government!

      Democrats, from the New Deal, on through the 60s (Chicago '68), continuing through the 90s (Seattle), up until now, have always been a greater threat to real, revolutionary change.

      WHY?

      Because they cannot allow their power to be threatened _from the LEFT_, which constitutes a _greater_ threat to their power and their ideology! In other words, there's nothing a liberal hates more than a leftist who calls her/him out for sharing responsibility for the creation and maintenance of the plutocratic, bipartisan war party that runs this nation...

  • GOPers Promise you War on Iran & Torture & Poverty
    • "GOPers Promise you War on Iran..." - Juan Cole.

      Which is completely consistent with Obama's latest statement:

      "We are not taking any options off the table. Iran with nuclear weapons would pose a threat not only to the region but also to the United States."

      link to telegraph.co.uk

  • Would Obama Greenlight an Israeli Attack on Iran?
    • Professor Cole once again only gives you part of the story - the part that supports his case.

      What he conveniently omits are the overtly belligerent statements from Obama administration officials - including Obama himself - in the wake of the as yet unproven "Iranian Assassination Plot."

      That entire episode, of course, reveals Obama's aversion to "adventurism," i.e., make accusations that can be interpreted as accusing Iran of an act of war, without showing a single verifiable piece of evidence.

      I have no doubt that Professor Cole is correct about one thing: Obama will not sanction an attack until after the election, not because of some aversion to adventurism, but for base political considerations.

  • Questions for Glenn Greenwald on Libya and the end of NATO
    • Eni CEO contacted Libya rebels-Italy minister

      ROME, April 4 (Reuters) - The head of Italian oil group Eni Paolo Scaroni has discussed energy cooperation with the Libyan rebel movement in Benghazi in recent days, Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said on Monday.

      link to uk.reuters.com

      Followed by:

      Italy recognizes rebels as Libya's government

      link to latimes.com

      All for pragmatic humanitarian reasons, of course.

  • Answer to Glenn Greenwald
    • Nothing personal about your physical abilities and courage, which I do not question, Mr. Cole, but I won't address the ridiculous notion of a middle-aged college professor trotting off to join the latest Kinetic Military Action, a.k.a. - The Odyssey.

      I will say that I think it was a real cheap shot by Greenwald to go there. Contrary to his empty reasoning, it was adolescent and rhetorical. I just wish Glenn would use this opportunity to confront you on your blatant double standard by addressing the substance of your position, something Greenwald is much better equipped to do than this game, but admitted, amateur.

      But, what the hell, I'll keep trying.

      Greenwald did link to the DN debate in which you made these truly disappointing series of statements:

      But to compare tiny Bahrain, where there has been some violence against protesters, to Libya, where there was a national popular uprising and where, in Libya, thousands are dead, not 20, it’s just not on the same scale.

      And the other thing is, you know, let us be practical, let us be pragmatic. We are people of the left. We care about the ordinary people. We care about workers. We care about the aspirations of the people, and the United States should certainly be putting pressure on the Bahrain monarchy to accommodate them. And in fact, the U.S. has put pressure on it, to the extent that the Saudi government is furious with the United States. I mean, we’re saying it’s not doing enough. The reactionary forces in the Gulf are angry that we’re doing too much. And however, you know, a military intervention in Bahrain is not a practical option, and I cannot see in what way it could even have any hope of success. The Bahraini protesters themselves would object to a direct U.S. or NATO military intervention in Bahrain.

      In Libya, the people asked for this intervention: they asked for a no-fly zone. And I would be the first to admit that this is going beyond a no-fly zone. There’s also a no-drive zone.

      20, 200, 2000, who's counting?!
      Except that in "tiny Bahrain," there is ample evidence that it was much more than 20. There is ample evidence that Bahraini and Saudi forces have attacked hospitals, their staff, and the wounded. There is ample evidence coming out of the pro-democracy movement from their websites, through videos, tweets, and every other form of communication that, in fact, there is massive outrage that there is a double standard, that the U.S. has allowed this to happen, and has done nothing to stop the atrocities, especially with regard to the Saudi invasion, which is being portrayed as a "regional intervention," in fine Orwellian terms.

      What is your evidence, Mr. Cole, that the pro-d movement in Bahrain never asked for US intervention, and what is your evidence that they would object to it? By demanding that the U.S. use its influence to stop the Bahrain regime? When has a "humanitarian" intervention ever been predicated by a request by the victims? Were the cries for intervention from the victims in Rwanda or, today, the Ivory Coast not loud enough for you? Incredible, wild statements like this with absolutely no basis do nothing for your credibility. If the US wanted to stop the atrocities in Bahrain, there was no tactical or practical impediment to it - only geostrategic.

      As far as your platitudes about the left and "caring about the ordinary people," well, I think you need to put an asterisk next to a statement like that and qualify it every time you make it.

      How utterly shameful.

      If you spent your energy demanding that your own country cease the atrocities it is either directly responsible for, or that its allies are committing, then your platitudes might have meaning.

      Sincerely,
      Eli Wurth.

  • Obama on Libya vs. Trump, Palin, Bachmann, Romney, Gingrich and Carrot Top
    • Gbagbo has incurred the near universal condemnation and censure of the regional and international community. Western leaders, including U.S. president Barack Obama and French president Nicolas Sarkozy have congratulated Alassane Ouattara on his victory. The European Union has announced the possibility of targeted sanctions against individuals who obstruct the electoral process, and the World Bank has warned that continued intransigence will put development assistance flows at serious risk. UN secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon has recognized and endorsed the electoral commission’s announcement of Ouattara’s victory.

      link to csis.org

      You couldn’t intervene in the Ivory Coast effectively with some aerial bombings of tanks. Some interventions are more practical than others. - Mr. Cole

      Is that so, Mr. Cole?
      Except that the bombing campaign in Libya is targeting more than just tanks. "Command and control," "communications," not to mention a blockade to stop arms flow to Qaddafi. And now we're being told the air campaign will enter a new phase, of more targeted bombing using close-support, tactical weaponry - A-10s, C-130s, etc.
      Please tell us, which of these cannot be applied to the IC, and why?

      And what precisely do you think would cause more harm to an underdeveloped country like IC? A precision bombing campaign that would only last "days, not weeks," or a long, drawn-out sanctions regime that would essentially strangulate an already desperate population?

      An internationally recognized free and fair election has been violently overturned in a Sub-Saharan nation. There are reports of horrific atrocities being committed by pro-Gbagbo forces - these 2 facts arguably making the crises even worse than in Libya.

      But somehow, it's not practical to intervene in the Ivory Coast. Just like in the 90s, Liberal Interventionism doesn't seem to apply to sub-Saharan Africa. There are no alleged rapes of pro-democracy movement women being highlighted round-the-clock in the Western press. No Pro-interventionism liberal pundits are calling for a NFZ there. Not even a blockade is practical in the eyes of certain liberal interventionists.

      Bahrain, Yemen, and the Ivory Coast will just have to learn the limitations of pragmatism.

    • President Barack Obama in his Monday evening address to the nation on Libya outlined an effort of limitations. The US could not intervene everywhere, but it could intervene to good effect here.

      The Bahrain and Yemen pro-democracy movements thank you and President Obama for your pragmatism.
      After all, it would not have been "to good effect" for Secretary Gates to threaten the Saudi regime with a massive bombing campaign if they dared to send tanks across the King Fahd Causeway into Bahrain. And so the tanks rolled in only days after Gates left the area, and the violent crackdown ensued, including attacks on hospitals and doctors and nurses - atrocities that Mr. Cole finds so vile when committed by the Libyan authorities.

      Despite the close and elegant moral reasoning tempered by a steady pragmatism, the speech was full of genuine feeling, including empathy and outrage. It strikes me as among the better speeches President Obama has given since taking office.

      There's that term "pragmatism" again.
      When it was Nixon or Reagan or the Bush's spouting such Orwellian doublespeak, the Left rightfully and accurately labeled it as such. Not so when it's a Democrat spewing the identical propaganda. Could we fill a million column inches with all of the former Presidents who expressed "genuine feeling, including empathy and outrage" as they bombed another Third World nation into the Stone Age?
      Obama has already proven himself a liar when he said it would only be a matter of "days, not weeks."

      The rest of Cole's article is simply a resort to partisanship, which really shows either how desperate or pathetic he's become. It's the fallback position, I guess...

      - Eli.

  • An Open Letter to the Left on Libya
    • "I can still remember when I was a teenager how disappointed I was that Soviet tanks were allowed to put down the Prague Spring and extirpate socialism with a human face." - Juan Cole

      Saudi tanks rolling into Bahrain to crush the pro-democracy movement there didn't seem to matter or motivate Cole to call for Western intervention. (The fact that the U.S. is in fact, intervening to _support_ the regimes also doesn't seem to outrage Cole.) In fact, it didn't motivate him to call for a NFZ either.
      There's a reason Cole doesn't directly mention Bahrain and Yemen. Like Hillary Clinton this morning on Face the Nation, he seems to think intervention is more worthy in Libya because the scale of oppression is much larger.

      The humanitarian situation in Libya was fairly unique. You had a set of tank brigades willing to attack dissidents

      The problem with this is, of course, that the violent suppression of freedom movements in Bahrain and Yemen occurred PRIOR to the uprising in Libya. An accurate chronology can complicate things for the liberal interventionism crowd. (I remember when the term "Liberal Interventionism" was considered an oxymoron.)

      Cole, therefore, has to answer why he was so opposed to intervention in those cases, but so in favor now? Especially knowing full well that the U.S. is deeply entwined in both countries, and, therefore, had a more propitious set of circumstances to intervene in a much more powerful and less violent way to stop the atrocities.
      This simple fact is why his article has no credibility.

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