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  • Saudis bomb Sanaa during "Million-Person march"
    • I don't understand your post. Are you saying it is hypocritical to denounce an attack on masses of unarmed civilians demonstrating peacefully? Are war crimes okay because so many people commit them?

  • Does this Change Everything? Russia's first strikes on Syria from Iran Airbases
    • My point was not a moral or ethical one, but how much power and importance a state has if it has nuclear weapons. SA can be more easily ignored than can be Russia.

    • I'm not so sure that Russia is less likely to intervene in other countries than is SA. both are bad actors. You are missing a very important difference between the two states. Russia has hundreds of nuclear weapons. I do agree that we should back away from SA.

    • Putin came up through the KGB and seems to have absorbed the values of the old Soviet regime. The Soviets made the Middle East a priority ever since 1956 and had sought to gain footholds there. Putin is resurrecting this approach. He is playing the mid-20th Century power politics game. However, it is an obsolete approach. I think that within 20 years we will have seen a steep decline in the importance of fossil fuels, greatly reducing the importance of Middle Eastern oil. Whatever happens there will only have regional importance. So, Putin is aiming for short to medium term gains when long term it won't matter much. I see no reason to worry about this Russian move; if they want to get more involved in the region I think it is just a minefield anyway and the US is better off getting out of the region and letting the locals sort out their own problems.

  • Monsters to Destroy: Top 7 Reasons the US could not have forestalled Syrian Civil War
    • Many international problems have no good solutions. There are many states which could become failed states if their authoritarian regimes are toppled. When they are toppled instability is almost guaranteed whether there is intervention or not. I would just add that Libya was almost guaranteed to be a mess once a full scale civil war began, even if NATO had not expanded bombing. if NATO had not tilted the fighting against the regime, you probably would have ended up with something similar to Syria. Either way you get a mess, just a different type of mess with lots of suffering all around. The main difference between Libya and Syria is that Syria is much more populated so that the problems are multiplied. To ramble a bit, this is a constant in US foreign policy analysis. After 9/11 many pundits were saying that after the Russians left Afghanistan we dropped the ball by not intervening in Afghanistan and allowing the Taliban to take over. Well, we intervened, removed the Taliban and 15 years later that country is still a mess. What more examples do people need?

  • Donald "Dr. Strangelove" Trump and some of the Times We almost had a Nuclear War
    • And another thanks from me. As one who has made similar arguments, it amazes me how anyone, especially of the left, could equate Trump and Clinton. I'd just like to add that Trump is obviously an extreme narcissist, a bully, pathological liar and seems to have ADD. I'm no psychologist, but he seems close to a sociopath as he has no qualms about violating social norms and even laws in order to advance his own extreme self interest, no matter what the effect on others. Personality wise Clinton is close to the opposite.

    • A couple of additions. Sagan and his associates figured out that as few as 100 large nuclear weapons would trigger a nuclear winter, so you wouldn't even need a full scale war.
      During the Reagan Administration, they actually operated on the assumption that a nuclear war could be won and planned for that. Finally, the Russians also had a terrible computer glitch in the 80's that showed an incoming flight of US ICBM's. However, the Soviet officer in charge on duty, had the courage to assume it was a mistake and did not report it to the Kremlin. Which was a good thing because Reagan's bellicose talk about the "evil empire' had convinced Soviet leaders (especially Premier Andropov who had come through the KGB and was really paranoid) that he, Reagan, wanted to start and win a nuclear war. Had that incorrect information been passed on to the Kremlin, they very well could have ordered a retaliatory strike that would have destroyed civilization as we would have responded in kind.
      One last thing, some movies are so perfect (like Casablanca, Psycho, etc.) that they should not be remade. Why mess with perfection?

  • 6 Signs the Big Global Switch to Solar has already Begun
    • This is great news. The bad news is that we should have been at this point 20 years ago. As it is, without some technology to remove carbon dioxide from the environment, significant climate change is now unavoidable. We need a Manhattan Project level of commitment to attack the problem.

  • Are the Muslim Khans better Americans than Donald Trump?
    • Thank you.

    • " You do not spend enough ink on criticizing Democrats for using militaristic/ patriotic messages undergirding Khan’s speech." This is a clear example of politics at work It's why the Democrats also brought out the longtime Republican operative who supported Clinton. They want to get moderate Republican votes and not just beat Trump, but overwhelm him. It's not just about winning the presidency. If Trump loses big time the Democrats will almost certainly retake the Senate (thus being able to confirm judicial appointments) and may cut significantly into the Republican majority in the House, allowing for the possibility of meaningful legislation. If the Congress stays substantially the same as it is now, it won't matter whether Clinton or Sanders would win; nothing will get done. If Trump wins along with a Republican majority in Congress, I would recommend New Zealand. Nice weather, uncrowded, pleasant people, beautiful scenery and far away in case of nuclear holocaust.

    • Clinton can and will get us into another war? You realize, don't you, that Congress may have something to say about that? And just what foreign adventures did Bill Clinton get us into? Bosnia where we intervened to stop ethnic cleansing and lost not one American in combat. Trump is far more than a racist. He is a fascist, a misogynist and a xenophobe who doesn't want any minimum wage, wants to do away with Obamacare, wants to do away with Wall Street regulation, wants to rip up the treaty with Iran and on and on. All positions opposed by Clinton. You really need to learn more about their policy positions. His co-author on The Art of the Deal who spent a lot of time with him for 18 months has said that if Trump gets the nuclear codes it could the end of civilization. Even 150 Republican national security experts have called him a danger to the country. As someone who has read a fair amount of history, I think Trump is the most unqualified nominee of a major party to ever run for President. I suspect most historians would agree with that statement.

    • Probably because the situations aren't at all comparable. Plus, "this lady" made statements that were factually incorrect and greatly exaggerated. 8 investigations of Benghazi, most by Republicans, none found Clinton responsible for what happened.

    • Here's an excellent analysis of the Clinton vote which looks closely at what she said during the debate over the vote. I think it is a real exaggeration to say she promoted the war.
      link to

  • When Dems ditched Workers for Professionals, they opened Door for Trump
    • You and I have very similar analyses, but i disagree with your conclusion. It is not that the Democrats abandoned those people, but those people voted against their economic interests because of their opposition to civil rights due to the racism of many. If the Democratic Party had used the appeal of the Republicans, they would have been abandoning minorities, people of color, and many other constituencies that make up their base. And, it is a question of values. Should the Democrats have worked against equal rights for all in order to try and retain the blue collar workers? The Republicans had no problem doing that since they prize political power above principle. Rachel Maddow, in her show tonight (Friday, 7/29) related how Reagan's first campaign stop after he got the nomination was Philadelphia, Mississippi, where the 3 civil rights workers had been murdered. There he spoke to 30,000 in an all white crowd and supported "states rights", which they all knew meant segregation. As a Democrat, I am glad that my party did not, in the main, do that. Another important aspect of all this is that it shows the inadequacy of Marxism in explaining and predicting behavior. According to Marxism, class should trump all else. The Republicans have shown that people will put a higher value on things like racism than on their economic interests. Social wedge issues, based on fear, are stronger than the binds of class. Also, these type of issues can be used to stoke resentment between groups to promote the belief that those "others" are going to take your jobs, rather than the Marxian view that class members would stick together.

    • I think that Franks is guilty of cherry picking and also using a bit of a strawman argument. First, the ablation of the working class from the Democrats to Republicans began with the Southern Strategy, was really developed under Reagan, and then flourished thereafter. It was the brainchild of people like Roger Ailes and Lee Atwater, who used social wedge issues to get blue collar workers to vote with the Republicans and against their own economic interests. They were called Reagan Democrats. The social wedge issue was really a code word for racism. The emphasis on law and order was really a campaign to get less educated whites to fear "the black man." They accused the Democrats of being soft on crime with the implication that since they supported civil rights they supported black people who were the "real" criminals. Throughout this time Republicans continued an attack on unions while Democrats supported unions. Democrats have supported unions since FDR while Republicans have almost always opposed them. Thus, the idea that the Democrats have somehow abandoned the working class is just not true. The Taft Hartley Act and right to work laws, especially in the South where state legislators are staunchly Republican, led to a huge drop off in private sector unions, so that the public sector is the last bastion of unionism. This is a big reason the Republicans have gone after teachers, public employees, and public employee pensions. They want to privatize everything and then, with non-union labor, right to work laws, and the like, corporations can rake in even huger profits than ever before. The DLC, headed by Clinton was a reaction to this in order to try and reverse Democratic losses. I did not and have never agreed with their approach. However, it has resulted in greater electoral success. The Democrats tried to blunt the soft on crime issue by being tough on crime and criminals. The DLC approach was to be more business friendly in order to get more campaign funding. And they were aided by the recession in the first Bush administration. Through it all, the Democrats have supported unions, minimum wage hikes, and civil rights. The Republicans broadened their wedge issues to include attacks on homosezuals and the support for right wing evangelicals. Ed Schultz some years back summarized their issues as God, gays, and guns. So, I think Franks view is oversimplified and ignores the big picture and doesn't take enough of a historical over view.

  • The most Left Wing Supreme Court in a Generation? Sec. Clinton's most important Progressive Prospect
    • FDR, Teddy Roosevelt and JFK all came from families that were part of the elite. None of them had the requirement to work one day of their lives but could have just lived off their family money and their investments. There are a number of millionaires and some billionaires who support social justice and greater economic equality. Try learning a little history and try not to over generalize.

    • The Citizens United case involved an anti-Hillary video. It affected her personally and she has been against it from Day 1. But, don't let facts get in the way of your beliefs.

    • Bill Clinton appointed Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Stephen Breyer to the Supreme Court. Ginsberg is a very strong liberal while Breyer votes with the liberals the vast majority of the time.

  • Islamophobia Kills: German Munich shooter admired Breivik, Killed Turks
    • Of course, good luck trying to explain this to the American people. When a neighbor of mine went on a typical anti-Muslim rant after this, even before we knew this about the perp, I tried to explain to him that if the shooter was Iranian in heritage he was mostly likely Shiite and wouldn't be following ISIS. Well, of course my neighbor couldn't accept that and thought all Muslims are the same. Is it any wonder Trump has a devoted following?

  • H. Clinton and Ed Snowden: Some Animals are more Equal than others
    • In his testimony today we find out from Comey that only 3 emails out of over 30,000 contained information that was classified at the time that Clinton received them. Further, they were marked with a C in parentheses (C). This is a violation of the rules. Any time a page of any document contains any classified information, the top of that page must be marked in large bold, capital letters, the level of classification. Also, if it is a multi-page document, then the front of that document must be so marked with the highest classification level found in that document. Thus, if there is a 10 page report and on page 8 there is one sentence that is considered confidential, then page 8 must have CONFIDENTIAL marked at the top of the page and the whole document must be considered as confidential. I was both a user and producer of classified information while in military intelligence. If i were reading a document that was not so marked, I would automatically assume that nothing in the document was considered classified. This is very important in considering the culpability of Secretary Clinton.

    • I did not support Bill Clinton when he ran in 1992. I opposed most of his DLC policies. I supported Obama in 2008. But these left wing attacks on Hillary Clinton are so over the top as to be ridiculous. I cannot wait for her to come into the White House so that the delusional parts of the left will be proven so totally wrong. Of course, ideologues will never admit to error, but those of us who are rational will recognize and accept what is fact. Her positions right now are to the left of almost every previous major party nominee in history. The one exception may be George McGovern. And that did not turn out well.

    • I used to work in elections administration that included an initial evaluation of local officials campaign statements and their following disclosure laws. We would flag anything suspicious to the City Attorney for review of violation. I used to be quite conversant with the various election laws at all three levels of government. I have never seen anything that would suggest that soliciting a donation to a charity is a violation of any campaign or election laws. A person must directly benefit for there to be any violation or conflict of interest. Only if the Clintons were to directly benefit, such as getting a commission for any donations they produced, could there possibly be a conflict of interest. And, in fact, the Supreme Court even loosened the law recently in the case of former Virginia Bob McDonald by saying that his receiving apparent bribes were not illegal if there was not a clear quid pro quo. There is no case to be found in the Clinton charity.

    • I have seen many leftists who take the position that we have to burn down the village in order to save it. In short, they would prefer a Trump victory since that would bring about a real change sooner because he would be so bad. This totally ignores the damage that could be caused in the meantime. I would remind my friends that we would have been much better off with that "no better than Bush" Al Gore in 2000. Trump would probably be worse than Bush.

    • He deliberately gave what he knew to be classified information to someone not authorized to see it. Clinton exchanged information with others in the department who were authorized and some of it may have been classified. As near as I can tell, most all of the "classified" items kept by Clinton on the server were classified after the fact. If that is true, they probably didn't deserve to be classified.

    • Thanks, now I don't have to take the time to point out what should be obvious. Intent is usually extremely important in determining illegality. There is so much hypocrisy on this issue from all sides. From the left I saw a bunch of lefties at TruthOut excoriating Clinton for her carelessness while most of these same people applauded Snowden for what he did. And of course the righties ignore things like the outing of Valerie Plame. You not only need to include intent, but also scope as you so rightly point out. While in the military I dealt with Top Secret material every day I was at work and I can tell you from first hand experience that the government way over classifies things and I doubt that anything Clinton kept on her server even approaches some of the materials released by Snowden in importance or security.

  • Top 5 Green Energy Good News Stories Today
    • From one standpoint it is already too late. Even if CO2 emissions were to be cut drastically in the next 5 years, there is enough CO2 in the environment right now that significant climate change is assured in the future.There needs to be a way to remove mass amounts of existing CO2 from the environment and then have alternative sources available for power generation in lieu of fossil fuels.

  • $206 Mn. to Hate Groups to Promote anti-Muslim Sentiment
    • Thanks for this important story which will probably be ignored by practically everyone else.

  • Pyrrhic Victory? As Iraq rolls back Daesh, can it stay together as a Country?
    • What we have seen since WWII and the independence of so many former colonies is that while the new countries usually make no sense from an ethnic, social or even economic basis, re-alignment is fraught with such difficulties that the governing elites don't dare try and take the necessary moves to re-combine with other areas to make up logical states. Enough nationalism has been created within the boundaries drawn up by colonial powers that no one wants to give up any territory. Look at Nigeria and their civil war, for example. I think the best hope may be a federation/confederation where the local areas have a lot of autonomy, similar to Scotland in the UK

    • Problem with an independent Kurdistan is Turkey. They are deathly afraid of such a situation and abhor the idea of a Kurdistan anywhere that could attract the Kurds in Turkey to fight to join their fellow Kurds. It might be more destabilizing than a sullen, non-independent Kurdistan.

  • The end of the Beginning: The Fall of ISIL in Fallujah
    • ISIS/ISIL made a large strategic mistake by setting up a caliphate with a set territory and government. What they did was to establish themselves as a target. They were going to be defeated eventually unless the Iraqi government had collapsed. As long as that didn't happen, their defeat was inevitable; it was only a matter of time. The biggest mistake a rebellion or insurgency can make is to go too soon to regular military actions instead of guerrilla war. The leaders of ISIS were unrealistic and didn't study the lessons of history.

    • You are much too optimistic. An insurgency does not need all the financing that setting up and running a government with territory does. An insurgency can be done on the cheap. There are many historical examples of this. The key is the effectiveness and legitimacy of the Iraqi government. If they continue to discriminate against Sunnis, the chances of insurgency remain high.

  • Obama: Hating on Muslim-Americans makes you an ally of ISIL, & Unamerican
    • The war in the Middle East and terrorism are very complex issues. The President is not there to explain all the complexities, which 98% of the people either don't care about or couldn't understand. He has to simplify things in order to expose the dangerous aspects of Trump's policies. The criticisms in the article and many of the posts here are rather nit picking and don't understand how political speeches are supposed to work. This was a good political speech. It was not meant to be a tutorial on these complex subjects. Read some of the speeches of FDR before WWII, for example. His genius was in simplifying complex issues in order to mobilize the US populace, not explain all the ins and outs of international relations.

  • Welcome to the Party, America! 11 Muslim women who have been PM or President
    • Graduate of Yale Law School, Legal Aid attorney, staff member of a congressional committee, elected and re-elected US senator, Secretary of State. Compare this to some recent candidates like George W. Bush who was nothing before trading in on his name to become governor of Texas, Donald Trump, even Obama who was a senator for a shorter time than Clinton. When her husband ran for and won his first public office as Arkansas Attorney General, it can be argued that Hillary was just as qualified as he was to hold the position. If Hillary Clinton were a man, this would not be an issue.

  • Obama in Hiroshima, Memorial Day and the Iran Deal
    • The threat came not from Iran, but from the US attacking Iran and creating more chaos and instability in the region. That is the threat reduced by Obama. If Trump is elected then all bets are off.

  • Egyptians "shocked" at Lieberman Appointment, note Barak's accusation of "fascism" in Tel Aviv
    • You think this is bad, as bad as Clinton is, imagine Trump, who is now in Sheldon Adelson's pocket, as President while Netanyahu goes further rightward. We live in perilous times.

  • Can Iran sue the US for Coup & supporting Saddam in Iran-Iraq War?
    • One small correction. From what I have read, the 1953 coup was a joint effort with British intelligence, so they should include the UK in their law, too. British Petroleum was a major player in Iran and Great Britain had more of an interest in Iran than the US from WWII until they decided to withdraw from east of Suez in 1968. I believe it was Nixon who really got us closely involved with the Shah..

  • Trump's Politics of Whiteness and the CIA tip that Jailed Nelson Mandela
    • Well, I guess I'd like to point out that US foreign policy has often changed according to the administration. For example, in the 20's in Latin America, it was all about dollar diplomacy, intervention and banana republics. FDR tried to change things with his good neighbor policy and he was largely successful. Then in the 50's and afterward, everything was focused on the anti-communist struggle, as we perceived it. You could have mentioned many other times when the US intervened because of concerns about communism, or even without that concern (Dominican Republic, 1965). However, historically, the US has also been very anti-colonial and that was a major disagreement between FDR and Churchill. As regards South Africa, it was a very conservative/liberal split as to what US policy should be. I remember arguing with a conservative back in the mid-60's about whether Mandela was a communist and in one of Thomas Frank's books he has a section on how the belief that the ANC was communist was a major tenet of conservative doctrine, which was opposed by liberals. In sum, there have been a number of zigs and zags in US foreign policy, so I tend to hesitate to use broad generalizations. As for the teaching of international relations, I was taught in the mid-60's by a European who focused on realism vs. idealism in foreign policy, so I don't think the charge of racism applied to my course work. The other major professor in the subject at my school was a Korean, so I doubt he was racist. I can't think of any professor in the field I ran into who would come close to fitting that bill and that includes professors in comparative government and area studies. Also, an interesting side note is that in the book Shock Doctrine, Naomi Klein relates how while Mandela was negotiating a turn over of the political reins from the Apartheid government, one of his chief lieutenants was basically giving away the store regarding the economy because he was unwittingly out manoeuvered.

  • Top 3 Signs Bill Clinton didn't kill himself to "give" the Palestinians a State
    • Good comments on this thread. You need to go back to the Balfour Declaration in 1917 and then the awarding of the mandate to Great Britain by the League of Nations. The US wasn't even a member of the League and had no interest in the area in the pre-WWII era. Also, when Israel claimed its independence and President Truman recognized it, it was against the recommendation of the State Department. In fact, the State Department was pretty anti-semitic in the first half of the 20th Century.

    • My thought upon reading that was they are stateless because their state was taken away from them.

  • I Blame the US Media for Donald Trump
    • The member companies of the media are businesses. Their main goal is to make money. If they made money by showing Latinas or anyone else as wonderful people, they would do that. I kind of get tired of the "blame someone else syndrome" as the cause for a problem. The problem boils down to an uninformed and ignorant populace. Too many of them are fed pap, because that is what they want to see. They don't want to think, analyze, do research, or find out the facts. Most Americans know more about the Kardashians than the Supreme Court. With the internet, there is no excuse for not finding out what is true and what isn't. When I was in college, there were a lot of classes available about Latin America. We had a Latin american Studies program. Anyone who wanted to, could take those classes or have that major. I took about 3 different classes, including a graduate seminar. Now you can find a lot of this information on line. Even before that you could find books in the library and read them for free. The problem isn't the media, it's the lazy public and the uninformed voters. The media are a reflection of that, not its cause.

  • The Pundits suddenly saying Trump could win in Nov.? No. Just, No
    • Trump is also driving up registration among Latino and other minority groups who will probably turn out in record numbers. The possible increase there is likely more than with white males, since they register and vote at high levels anyway. And spare us the apocalyptic babble. It's often the sign of a fear monger.

    • When you take Trump's unfavorability rating among women and minorities, Clinton is close to 50% of the vote without a single white male. Women make up 53% of the electorate and Trump has a 70% negative rating with women--that's 37% of the vote right there. I have been predicting for a month or so that Clinton will win by 10 to 12 percentage points and get around 350 electoral votes. It actually could get worse in the electoral college, but campaigns and candidates make a difference and you can't predict future events. But, with Trump seemingly intent on picking a fight with Paul Ryan, the most popular office holder in the GOP, it's almost as if he is sabotaging his own campaign.

  • Al-Qaeda Everywhere: US support for Oppressive Gov't's made Bin Laden's Killing Moot
    • I will defer to your knowledge of the Egyptian military. However, while US influence is critical in Central America, I don't believe it has done much to moderate regimes in South America. Specifically, both Brazil and Argentina had pretty brutal dictatorships during and after Carter's presidency. I remember during the 1960's when the US would not recognize military governments that took over by coups and there was a foreign policy debate as to whether it made sense. It proved to be totally useless in changing the incidence of coups or the behavior of the governments that followed. The governments that have arisen over the last 20 to 30 years, I believe, are more a reflection of the general political development of those countries and US policies have had little to do with those outcomes. I think your ideas have the possibility of encouraging the meddling of the US into the internal politics of countries when we should be encouraging the opposite. We can encourage positive steps, but I think anything else just invites blow back. We couldn't control the Afghan or Iraqi governments when we had a huge presence in those countries. There is a lesson there.

    • There is a lot to address here, but I will pick three points. First, the local government must be seen by the populace to be both legitimate and effective. If that happens, an insurgency cannot succeed. When the government is neither, insurgencies have an easy time with it. Castro never had more than maybe 100 followers when the Batista regime just fell apart. Second, Professor Cole says that the US either hasn't had the knowledge or the desire to promote social justice. He then cites Egypt as an example. Do you really think that the Egyptian generals would change their policies even if the US withdrew all of its aid? That certainly hasn't worked in the past with other regimes, it just makes them more intransigent. The US has been urging the Iraqi government to be more inclusive of Sunnis for years, but they have ignored us. Any change there will be because of Sadr and his supporters internally. Nationalism, nationalism, nationalism. I will keep repeating it until it is recognized. The US is very limited in what it can do to force regimes to change. Additionally any change will take considerable time. Look at the history of all democracies. I can't think of many that were smooth transitions from autocracy or dictatorship to democracy. It's usually a slow and messy process. Building functioning institutions takes time. Finally, decapitating leadership is not a cure all. However, it can degrade an organization. It depends on the organization. Experience shows that it is not leaders so much who are important, but technical specialists in many cases. Two examples from war time. The Stalin purges of the late 30's absolutely decimated the top officer class of the Soviet Army. Then when the Soviet Army had trouble beating Finland, everyone assumed that the loss of leadership meant the army was very ineffective. It turned out not to be the case. When given the chance and the opportunity, especially to learn from actual experience, those who had been lower level officers like majors and lieutenant colonels rose through the ranks to take on top positions and provide the needed leadership. In the Pacific War at one famous battle of carrier groups the US shot down over 300 Japanese planes, which decimated their air force. What was crucial, was not the loss of the planes, but the loss of the pilots. Japan never recovered from that. Probably the most important German for their war effort was Albert Speer, Minister of Armaments. In 1943, under intense allied bombing, he actually significantly increased German war output. So, it is those with a special skill who are probably most important.

  • The End of American Iraq: Poor Shiites invade Parliament over corrupt Spoils System
    • Thought I would add that the book Wealth and Democracy by Kevin Phillips details how the rentier class and rentier economies have destroyed once economically powerful countries. It is a path the US has been on for 30+ years, especially aggravated by, guess who, George W. Bush, under whose administration 60,000 factories went out of business and money trading exploded as a portion of the economy.

    • Another thing you could mention is how the Bush Administration practiced the spoils system within the Bremer Administration. Having read a number of books on the US presence there, I'm not sure which one details this the best, but it might be Imperial Life in the Emerald City. Basically, Americans sent to Iraq to help in the Bremer government were specifically hired for their partisan and ideological purity. In fact, if you had knowledge about the Middle East, they didn't want you. They preferred young ideologues who knew nothing about the Middle East, much less Iraq. For example, for the Iraq health system they brought in some guy from the U.S. Middle West whose big issue was anti-smoking. Not exactly a big issue when hospitals have been destroyed and basic care is lacking. A top economic appointment thought the most important thing for Iraq's economy was to set up a stock exchange. The failure of the Bremer Provisional Government was legendary and set the stage for future failure by leaving a legacy of spoils, mismanagement and near total incompetence.

    • I have read that this is a particular problem in the DOJ and may be one reason they have been so slow to prosecute Wall St. criminals.

  • Syria: As fierce Fighting reignites, Aleppo on brink of 'Humanitarian Disaster'
    • I live in the real world. It's not what should be done, but what can be done. What is the point of continuing the war against Assad if you can't win? To draw a parallel, always dangerous, when Nixon took office in 1969 he said he had a plan to end the Vietnam War. It turned out his plan was escalation and it did not succeed in bringing the North Vietnamese to their knees like Nixon and Kissinger hoped. So, four years later they worked out a peace deal that we now know he could have gotten four years earlier. Tens of thousand of people died in the interim, and for what? The only way Assad is going is if a coalition of nations invade the country and sides with his enemies. Not going to happen. Especially since many of his enemies are as odious as he is.

    • Bashir Assad is a dictator and war criminal. However, the balance of forces seem to be such that he cannot be defeated. The carnage has become so bad that I think an end to the civil war is required, even if that means leaving Assad in power. I believe this is the position the US and the West should take.

  • Trump's Foreign Policy is just GOP Boilerplate, only more Confused
    • You could take everything Trump knows about foreign policy, put it in a thimble, and have room left over for all his knowledge of domestic policy.

    • Under UN supervision 600 metric tons of chemical agents used for making poison gas were destroyed from Syrian stockpiles. There have been no reported uses of poison gas in Syria since. Wikipedia has a thorough article on the use of this gas. I am not aware of anyone who said Turkey was behind it. Human Rights Watch, not affiliated with any government, placed the blame on the Syrian government. Only Seymour Hersh seems to think it was a false flag operation. The evidence is murky, but most evidence points to the Syrian government. I find it quite strange how people are so quick to blame the US for all the problems in the area, even to go to the extreme of seeming to support a war criminal like Assad. I am finding ideologues of the left as unrealistic as ideologues of the right. One says the US can do no wrong, the other says that the US is to blame for everything that goes wrong. Nuance be damned.

  • Winning in Losing: How Sanders pushed Clinton to the Left
    • Not even Bernie could accomplish much if the House remains in Republican control. This is the reality. A reality most Bernie supporters don't want to acknowledge.

    • The left wing ideologues here show that they are as immune to facts and porpotionality as right wing ideologues. Anyone who lumps Clinton together with Republican neo-cons is politically blind. Keep at it Professor Cole. Some of us are able to make distinctions.

    • Bernie Sanders would have to win about 80% of the California vote and sweep the other states in order to win. Do you even know how delegates are apportioned in California? Do you know that there is a large pro-Hillary block of minority voters in California? Do you know that Hillary beat Obama by 10 percentage points in California in 2008? Do you know anything?

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