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Total number of comments: 39 (since 2013-11-28 15:55:29)

Eli Wurth

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  • White Terrorism in the White House? Did Trump's Bannon, Breitbart inspire Pizzeria Shooter?
    • Instead of brownshirts, we have the Red Hats.
      Instead of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, we have #pizzagate or #spiritcooking.
      Instead of kristallnacht, we have more incidents of hate speech plastered on mosques or churches or schools.
      Instead of ovens and gas chambers, we have larger numbers of hate crimes, including this one, that, luckily, didn't take any lives.

      This individual could have easily slaughtered most of the people in that restaurant.

      Would that have been enough for the MSM to show the slightest hint of outrage?

      Would Anderson Cooper have been crying at the scene of that crime?

      What's it going to take for this madness to be confronted by the very institution that is tasked with doing so???

      Is it going to take a mass shooting by a Trump supporter, or someone who actually believes this insanity, for the MSM to "speak truth to power???"

      Instead, the Bannons and Flynn's are normalized as the Sunday morning pundits turn to more important issues like, is Romney or Huntsman more qualified to be SoS?

      Sometimes, there are simply no words adequate enough.

      Thank you, Prof. Cole, for being one of the few voices in the wilderness...

      .

  • Now that SecDef thinks Israeli Occupation is Apartheid, will the Lobby Blackballing Fail?
    • "...and warned that military action couldn’t resolve the issue of Iran’s nuclear enrichment program."

      And yet, the MSM keeps reporting that Mattis was relieved of his command during the Obama administration because of his "hard line" stance on Iraq.

      So which is it?
      He's a pragmatist, or a hawk on Iran, or both?

      .

  • Is Jimmy Carter right that Obama should Recognize Palestine?
  • Conspiracy Theorist in Chief: Trump's falsehood about 2 mn. illegal votes only tip of Melting Iceberg
    • Welcome to the "Post-Truth Age."
      Although this is not necessarily something new, especially when it comes to the US. The Vietnam war was based on a now discredited conspiracy theory - the Domino Theory.

      And the real danger here is how the actual truth is obscured by these dangerous theories. They act to suck the oxygen out of the room, as people devote so much time and effort supporting or debunking them.

      9/11 is the perfect example.
      The Truthers believe it was an inside job, or, at the very least, the US government knew of the plot, but did nothing to stop it. The real conspiracy - something that existed, for the most part, in the open for all to see - was the decades long "conspiracy" by the West to control the Middle East supply of energy. This included overthrowing unsympathetic governments and installing pro-US dictators, along with the hot wars of recent years. Add to that the US support for Israel's policy to deny the Palestinians their rightful homeland, the military and economic support of the brutal Saudi regime and you end up with the hatred that resulted in the attacks of 9/11.

      And the same can be seen with this latest election.
      Conspiracies about hacked voting machines and millions of undocumented voters obscure the fact that the Republicans have "conspired" to deny minority, mostly African American voters, the right to vote in many GOP-controlled states. They do this through gerrymandering, by denying former felons the right to vote, even though they've served their sentences, or by purging the voter rolls by making purge lists of people - again, mostly black - who share the same name, and who they claim voted more than once in different states. This is what happened in Ohio.

      And once again, these facts are lost or obscured as the media focuses on the ridiculous conspiracy theories about voter fraud.

      Only time will tell whether or not more serious events occur because of this post-truth world we find ourselves in. I don't know how we're going to extricate ourselves from this collective, mass-induced brain fog of propaganda,disinformation, and outright lies...

      .

  • With Trump, we've all Entered the Dark Dimension of Dormamu
    • Here's a sobering thought:

      Imagine Trump and his administration in power during the Cuban Missile Crisis...

  • DAPL: This Thanksgiving, Time to Listen to Native Americans again on Climate & Survival
    • I live in a NE Ohio "Rust Belt" city.
      There is a well-established "grow local" movement here, as well as larger numbers of folks who have their own gardens and we have built a number of neighborhood gardens as well. Solar is still too expensive for the people in my neighborhood, and I live in what was historically the "wealthier" (read: whiter) side of town. But some of us collect rain water, compost on a regular basis, and we have curbside recycling pickup. (I've even built a grey water recycling system which captures my laundry wash water for toilet flushing, and the cleaner rinse water for the next wash cycle.)

      So far, city government has allowed rainwater catchment, but I've heard of other municipalities inexplicably ban it. A growing issue for an already financially stressed citizenry like ours is the increasing water/wastewater bill. The USEPA has mandated sewer infrastructure improvements, but have allowed a 30yr time frame for completion. But the bulk of the cost is on everyday consumers here, and the city is trying to offset this. We only have to look at Flint to realize how important an environmentally safe water system is, and this is how a federally-funded public infrastructure project would help a city like ours. (Trump's plan would be a privately run, "disaster crony- capitalism" project.)

      Also, our city provides tire and electronics recycling at least twice a year, but it's always quite depressing to see the enormous piles of refuse that can appear on just about every street, especially as more homes are boarded up, and the contents removed. We have a tremendous number of homes slated for demolition, but there was no planning for the waste stream that's been created.

      More local businesses - restaurants, hospital, etc - are buying more locally grown produce. But most of the city is a "food desert." A large chain recently closed it's stores, creating a problem for city residents who are now forced to travel to the suburbs for food. Those who can't rely on the food bank, or resort to the unhealthy choices offered at small convenience stores.

      Sorry to digress, but my point is to show that even though most of us cannot afford higher tech options for going green, we're still trying within our means to contribute. Native Americans have taught us the lesson of Seven Generations, and we're trying to teach our younger generation here to think long term about the consequences of their actions.

      .

  • CNN's Chyron wonders if Jews are People, inspired by Trumpist Neofascism
    • Gary, I'm afraid we've already heard the Red Hats' version: "Illegal Immigrant."

    • "Then there were his hysterical shouts of Heil! at the end of his speech, which rather give the show away."

      ...and the Nazi salutes. But they're not neo-Nazis, they're simply the "alternative right." Thank you, mainstream media.

      Spencer is also much more charismatic than David Duke. He's only 38, and he's from - wait for it - Boston Mass., which makes him even more attractive to Midwesterners and Northerners because he doesn't come across like a Southern racist.

      And then there was the inexcusable sight of high profile MSM personalities marching up to Trump's "Berghof" as if summoned to be scolded for their negative coverage of Trump during the campaign - coverage that gave Trump $millions in free publicity.

      Juan, do you have anything more on this latest incident?

      I think many of us are asking ourselves, "Is this really happening in the US in 2016?"

  • 5 Trump Headlines more outrageous than the "Hamilton" Tiff
    • Because if there's one thing we've learned from the history of oppression, it's that those who are oppressed never act in their own self interest by cooperating with their oppressors.

      That never happens.

      Slaves never cooperated with their masters - "Uncle Tom" is a leftist concoction - they never existed. As well as "Buffalo Soldiers," also a fabrication.

      Native Americans never worked with the US Cavalry in the extermination of the Native Americans.

      Minority police officers have never abused other minorities.

      Minority soldiers never commit atrocities against the brown or yellow inhabitants of the countries the US invades.

      South Vietnamese never worked with the Unites States to murder NLF (South Vietnamese) cadres.

      Iraqis and Afghanis have never cooperated with US occupation forces.

      Palestinians have never spied on other Palestinians for Israel.

      Abused women always leave after the initial abuse. They never stay with their abuser...

      How to explain Kushner?
      It's completely consistent with the support for Israel by the right wing, Christian supremacist movement represented by Pence, et al, which sees Israel as a temporary impediment to the inevitable return of Jesus. Once Jesus returns, Jews will be converted (or else), and Israel will once again be the center of Christianity.

  • Neofascist Trump Appointee Bannon: "Anger is a Good thing" "if you're Fighting to Take this Country Back"
    • First, thanks for a very powerful expose' in Bannon, the best I've read so far.

      Second, as with all demagogues, there is always a tiny kernel of truth tucked into their arguments. So is the case with Trump and Bannon:

      "Corporations are sitting almost on a $1 trillion of cash and they’re not reinvesting in America."

      And who can argue with that? And that's the key - they always make sure to include a seemingly progressive populist message that they can point to and say, "See, here's where we agree with...," in this case, a Bernie Sanders.

      And this is how this very dangerous process of normalization begins, as we're now witnessing. For some inexplicable reason, Obama insists on doing his best von Hindenburg, using every opportunity he can to chide us all into giving "Trump a chance!" (as John and George roll over in their graves.)

      Recall also that Hitler pushed through an infrastructure works program as well, which, along with the massive increase in military spending, increased Germany's deficit at the time.

      (Well, Juan, I guess you've convinced me that the fascist comparisons are apropos after all.)

      Finally, I know this sounds completely counter-intuitive, but it may turn out that the only candidate that could beat Trump in 2020 is a fiscally conservative deficit hawk, NOT a progressive populist like Warren or Bernie. That's if Trump follows the same sort of massive deficit spending course that Hitler did.

      Another of the insane bits of irony we've witnessed of late, eh?

      .

  • As Der Donald-inspired Hate Crimes grow, US Universities at Risk
    • This meme of wearing a safety pin to show solidarity with the oppressed is brilliant, and I hope it spreads.

      With the appointment of the alt-right leader Bannon as one of Trump's top advisors, it's clear that Trump has negated any feeble call on the Red Hats to "stop it."

      I shudder at the thought of what will happen after the next domestic terror incident, especially if it occurs on one of our college campuses.

      But what is even more dangerous and alarming is this ongoing normalization process that we're witnessing from within the MSM and political establishment. Even Sanders and Warren have made conciliatory statements about the possibility of actually working with this monster.

      Contrast this with how the Republicans responded immediately after Obama's election with vows to, at the very least, cripple his Presidency, which they effectively did.

      I hesitate to make comparisons to fascism, but this normalization process is what is required for a totalitarian force to maintain its power.

      It's got to stop. This regime needs to be resisted, exposed, shamed and finally ignored. Trump needs to be shouted down at every opportunity, and it's got to be the Democrats, at least the progressive wing, that needs to lead this effort, or else they will be marginalized for a generation.

      It's amazing how only weeks ago the elites were lamenting the destruction of the GOP, and asking how it could possibly recover from this debacle...

      (NOTE: If you're looking for a silver lining, the rejection of Obamacare by the Red Hats is an unwitting rejection of neoliberal economic policy. Recall that the ACA was concocted by the Heritage Foundation, and embraced by Romney in Mass.. So that's a bit of a positive, I guess.)

      .

  • America’s Sisi: On What Has Been Lost, and What Must Be Done
    • "_A friendless, cheerless sociopath_, Trump..."

      I just wanted to add that David's description of Trump is, by far, the best that I've found after reading hundreds of articles on him this past year. You can't help but notice that this man never laughs! What does that say about this person's psyche? And Alan is right - we need to wake up. The time to mourn is over...

    • At least the Egyptians can say that their elections, no matter how rigged (where have we heard that one before?), end with the person with the most votes being the "winner." (I'm sure the Muslim Brotherhood have a different opinion on that.)

      For the 2nd time in 16 yrs, that's not the case in the United States.

      The last time I felt this way, another candidate with more votes than his opponent also lost the election. I remember the pit in my stomach during that transition while watching as the neocons assume power and the stark realization that something horrible was about to happen under their rule. Today, Trump's people make W's seem moderate by comparison. (Wow, did we ever think we'd be pining for the likes of Brent Scowcroft and Tom Ridge?)

      I hesitate to make comparisons to fascism, because I don't think we're that far down the abyss quite yet. But we've definitely jumped the shark like never in our history. Imagine hearing the Nixon tapes in 1971, with all his hate and anti-Semitism there in black & white, and then witnessing him being re-elected in 1972. That might be an apt comparison.

      I don't think we'll see concentration camps, although we might see "detention centers" for Muslims and the undocumented. I don't think we'll see brownshirts, instead, we'll see more random, unorganized acts of hate crimes by "red hats." I don't think we'll see COINTELPRO again...okay, maybe COINTELPRO-lite, if that's any consolation. Either way, it's not a pretty picture...

      PS, this is not meant to embarrass you, but I did bookmark a certain article of yours. Obviously, you weren't alone in misjudging this election. I only hoped that you were right...

      link to juancole.com

  • Emails and Groping: Our Halloween Election keeps Scaring us to Death
    • ...and Bill Clinton isn't running for President.
      It's called "guilt by association."

    • I'm still waiting for the Watergate-like headline here, you know, something that will continue to resonate in 40 yrs:

      "Clinton Uses Unsecure Email Server!"

      Wow. Devastating.
      Right up there with breaking into the offices of your political opponent, or the office of a whistleblowers' shrink, or using the IRS and CIA to attack your political opponents as you commit real, actual "high crimes."

      Did Clinton sell state secrets to a foreign entity?
      Did she commit treason by handing over the blueprints for the next generation fighter plane?
      Did she purposely do anything remotely close to even a hint of a high crime or misdemeanor?

      Benghazi?
      Poor George Shultz, wondering why he wasn't given the same sort of credit for the Marine barracks bombing in Oct. 1983 that killed hundreds of US Marines.

      Gee, I'm not quite sure, but I think just maybe Clinton wasn't the President when Benghazi occurred, accepting the notion that it was more than another unpredictable blindside, sorta like Pearl Harbor and 9/11.

      Oh, and the buck stops at the Secretary of State.

      So basically, what we have is a high crime that isn't, i.e. another Fox News Clinton "scandal" that the MSM runs with in order to appear really fair & balanced, while actually taking the bait and helping to make another mountain out of a molehill.

      I'm with Bill Maher on this one: there is no equivalency here.
      Trump is a self-serving, egotistical and narcissistic predator.
      Clinton is a life-long bureaucrat.

      If that's the choice, I'll stick with the bureaucrat.

  • Saudis bomb Sanaa during "Million-Person march"
    • Once again, Chomsky and Herman are vindicated as their theory of how the US media self-censors is again proven by comparing coverage of 2 wars: the Syrian War, and the US-backed Saudi War against Yemen.

      The worthy victims being the Syrians, as bloodied children are an almost daily and nightly fixture of print reports and TV newscasts. These victims are "worthy" of our sympathy because they're the victims of the official enemies - in this case, Assad and Putin.

      The bloodied Yemeni children are not covered by the MSM. These "unworthy" victims are the victims of official US allies - Saudi Arabia, Jordan, etc. Plus, they're being slaughtered by weapons being provided by the US and UK.

      Chomsky and Herman should be applauded for giving us an essentially fool proof propaganda model that has been substantiated over and over ever since they first proposed it in the book "Manufacturing Consent."

  • 30 Americans die worldwide from Terrorism annually, while 130,000 die by accident
  • If it's Trump versus Clinton, what does it Mean for Iran and ISIL Policy?
    • Unless, of course, one of these 2 candidates is engaging in pandering, and simply positioning herself to the right as a tactic, not an actual intention, while the other one actually believes what he says. I'm hoping it's the former, and I'm willing to take that chance. Again, it's the difference between a centrist corporatist, and the leader of American Fascism.

  • Will the Militias & gun nuts volunteer as Donald Trump's Storm Troopers?
    • I agree that in whatever form American fascism takes, it will look nothing like Germany or Italy or Argentina, and that it will be uniquely American in nature.

      As Robert Paxson points out, Trump is a capitalist, while Hitler & Mussolini were "socialist," however bastardized and warped their interpretation of socialism was. Their fascism was "for the greater good," while Trump's would be individualistic and, therefore, fragmented.

      I don't believe we'll see anything like a "Trump 2nd Amendment Society," but I do agree that Trumpery will be based on a highly weaponized group of supporters who will not have to be directed. Trump will inevitably condone violence against protesters as merely "defensive" and reactionary, and this will spurn his supporters on to suppress various movements such as #BLM.

      Trumpery will not build concentration camps, however, we'll probably see a number of "detainment centers" for the undocumented, along the lines of Abu Graib or Gitmo-style camps, with similar violations of rights, along with a new torture regime rubber-stamped by a compliant and intimidated Congress.

      There won't be any Kristallnacht's, but there will be a surge in random hate crimes committed against Muslims, LGBTGs and, of course, African Americans.

      Either way, it's not a pretty picture...

  • Which Protest-busting Dictator is Trump most Like?
    • Just try to wrap your head around this for a moment:

      The likely nominee of 1 of the 2 major parties in this country is inciting people to violence on an almost daily basis. When has this ever happened in the post-Civil War history of this nation? (Remember, George Wallace ran as an independent.)

      As if this isn't serious enough, there's something else even more chilling that has yet to happen:

      Where is the image of a large, bipartisan group of at least 400 US Representatives and Senators - Democrats AND Republicans - standing on the steps of the US capital building, calling out Donald Trump as a dangerous, race-baiting, xenophobic, and unhinged individual who has disqualified himself from the office, and demanding that he immediately withdraw from the Presidential race?

      Where is that video?

      The fact that this has yet to happen tells us more about how quickly fascism can grow and sweep across this nation than anything Donald Trump is saying or doing.

      God help us if this man is elected...

  • Roof, Dear and Tashfeen Malik: 'Self-Radicalized,' 'Terrorism,' 'Lone Wolf' and Double Standards
    • You actually make a valid point, and it explains the reason why the US refuses to label people like Roof and Dear "terrorists.

      The US targeted Anwar al-Awlaki - a US citizen - solely for his alleged inspirational, or influenctial role in acts of terror. There's no evidence that he was directly involved in a single act of violence. If the US were to determine that Dear and Roof were "terrorists," then the law requires that those who influenced them must also be considered "an imminent threat." According to the al-Awlaki memo, this would involve the US targeted assassinations of the leaders of the pro-life movement, neo-nazi groups, and numerous members of the US Congress who have demonized Planned Parenthood.

      What's good for the goose is good for the gander, right?

      link to time.com

  • If Trump can track Muslims, close Mosques, what can he do to You?
    • Yesterday, Nov. 21, a #BlackLivesMatter protester was kicked out of a Trump rally at the direction of Trump himself. This individual was also struck by attendees. In a Fox News interview this morning, Trump said the protester "...should have been roughed up..."

      link to finance.yahoo.com

      This is the closest we've come to fascism in my lifetime (40+ yrs). My question is, does this compare to the "Red Scare" era, or does this have the potential to become even worse?

  • Iran's Khamenei: GOP Letter Disgusting, shows Decline of American System
    • The idea that Iran would commit mass suicide by using a nuke on Israel is laughable. The reason whey Israel & the US oppose an Iranian nuke is precisely why the US and Israel maintain their nuclear stockpiles - for deterrence. Iran has every right to have that weapon for deterrence, given the threats Israel has made over the last decade. Unless, of course, Israel decides to agree to a nuke-free region, then that could act as a powerful impetus for an agreement.

  • 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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