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Total number of comments: 5 (since 2013-11-28 16:44:26)

Frank Brodhead

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  • Aljazeera's Conspiracy Theory about Obama and Egypt is Brainless Mush
    • I think your anger at the author and Aljazeera is misplaced. This op-ed piece (one of dozens published each day, and this one by a person at a US university) is another good argument, in a long line of good arguments, why the NED program should be shut down, that its purpose everywhere is gaining influence with opposition figures and movements, not promoting democracy. While scholars and close followers of political news may be well aware of the nefarious NED and the related Democrat and Republican programs for "democracy," most people are not, and the more light shed on these issues, the better.

  • Iran President accuses Speaker of Parliament of Corruption, as Labor Minister is Impeached
  • Russia slams Israeli bombing of Syria as Violation of UN Charter
    • In the news stories about the alleged weapons convoy, the arms in question are said/speculated to be SA-17s. Yet the SA-17 is not a shoulder-held weapon, as Juan writes, but a battery-launched weapon. (Wikipedia, etc.). The SA-7 is the shoulder-held version. To me this raises different questions about the purpose of the convoy/move, if in fact the convoy existed in the first place.

  • AP Punked on Iran by Junk Science Graph (Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists)
    • Frank Brodhead 11/29/2012 at 7:34 am

      Another view, with links to some of George Jahn's greatest hits.

      "The AP’s George Jahn serves up Israeli propaganda on Iran yet again"
      By Nima Shirazi on November 28, 2012

      In order to corroborate the scariness of Israel's bogus graph in his latest scooperino, Jahn, who has long been a go-to source for pathetic fearmongering about Iran, turned to - who else? - perennial nuclear alarmist David Albright and consummate hysteric Olli Heinonen, both of whom have extensive histories of freaking out about nothing at all. link to mondoweiss.net

  • Berube on Libya and the Left
    • This essay addresses a real problem in the antiwar movement, but in my opinion it is marred by many things. One is a nararow and idiosyncratic description of "the left." For example, it does not reference the mainstream pacifist organizations (American Friends Service Committee, War Resisters League, etc.), which developed cogent arguments from that perspective. There was also the perspective (which I shared) of those who supported both the Libyan rebels and opposed NATO intervention (Campaign for Peace and Democracy, Phyllis Bennis, etc.). Indeed, if the author truly wanted to find out what the "antiwar left" was doing about the Libyan war, he might have interrogated the discussions within large antiwar coalitions such as Peace Action or United for Peace and Justice, rather than use spot quotes from a 9/11 truther, etc. Whatever the merits of the author's arguments for military intervention, he provides us with a nearly useless map of pro/anti intervenion sentiment among the organizations and leading public intellectuals who e.g. opposed the war against Iraq.

      Also, based on the experiences of the (mis)use of the "responsibility to protect" doctrine over the last two decades, might we not suggest that the burden of proof is on those arguing for intervention, rather than non-intervention? In this latter case, opposition to US/NATO interventiono was hardly "left," but simply common sense.

      Additionally, the author's foundational premise - that there was an imminent danger of mass slaughter and that the NATO bombing prevented it - is far from certain. (Phyllis Bennis made this argument repeatedly; for the pro-intervention people, the likelihood of mass killing is simply taken as an article of faith.)

      What NATO intervention certainly did do was to transform an Arab Spring uprising into an externally supported (and directed?) civil war. Whether revolutionary embers still burn under the rubble remains to be seen. Many of us who saw the Arab Spring as a huge step toward democracy and economic justice opposed NATO intervention because it would thwart the radicalism of the anti-Gadaffi uprising.

      We might also ask the author whether he is surprised and/or unhappy about the large number of civilian casualties resulting from the NATO intervention/bombing, and whether this could/should have been anticipated from the outset.

      Finally, it is not enough to pooh-pooh as knee-jerk leftism the common-sense suspicion that an armed intervention by former colonial powers (France, Britain, and Italy), each of whose governments was tottering with internal/domestic crises, might be somehow related to oil and the control of oil resources and profits, as well as to the public opinion/electoral advantages of an inflamed nationalism. We will know more when the archives are opened, but it is simply naive to dismiss the classic mainsprings of European intervention in African as a retro-hangup of leftist ideologues.

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