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Total number of comments: 12 (since 2013-11-28 15:55:38)

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  • Obama goes to Congress on Syria as his International Support Collapses
    • A great analysis by Professor Cole,since it agrees with my thinking. I think it will be a close vote which will be determined if AIPAC takes a position on it. If they support, it will pass, if they oppose, it will fail. Neutral and it could go either way.

      I have read a lot of criticisms on Obama's policy on Syria,but the fact is that any number of criticisms can be leveled at any policy decisions made regarding this issue. Like most issues in the Middle East, there are no good choices, only bad, wrose, worse still, and worst of all and it isn't always easy to sort out which is which.So much of the criticism is over blown, IMO. It's clear to me what is intended--make it more painful to the regime in losses than anything gained by using poison gas. That's all that is intended, and that is all we can hope to do.

    • There are also serious questions as to whether the President is legally constrained by that resolution. Even when they have followed it, prior presidents have stated that they weren't required under the Constitution to follow it and I personally believe they are correct.

  • Top Ten Republican Myths on Benghazi that Justify Hillary Clinton's Anger
    • Thanks to Professor Cole for bringing up the CIA mission. This has been totally ignored by the press and I can't help but wonder if this didn't have a lot to do with what happened. For so many agents to have been there so close, many of them obviously ex-military, it indicates that a relatively major operation was in the works, probably with the approval of the Libyan government, such as it is.

      The criticism of the Republicans about the original reports is just politicking, plain and simple. It was years before it came out what really happened in the Gulf of Tonkin and those at the scene didn't really know what they were firing on.

      What's is unusual about this attack is not that it happened. It's that it doesn't happen more often. Especially the mortar attack that is practically impossible to stop.

    • To imply that somehow we could control the Arab Spring shows a vast misunderstanding of how the world works. Syrian rebels have complained that the US has not supplied them and news reports indicate that their arms are coming mostly from the military bases they have overrun. What gang of 8? Most of what you write is pure speculation on your part.

  • Obama's Inaugural and the Danger of an Iran War
    • Sounds like you have read David Bergamini's book. Unfortunately, a lot of important archival material was destroyed by Japanese authorities before the US occupation. If you haven't read it, I suggest Blix's Hirohito biography.

    • Despite the caveats from Professor Cole, this is the most hopeful development in at least the last 12 years in US foreign policy. His remarks regarding Iran were especially heartening.

  • How Torture Misled the US into an Illegal War: What Zero Dark Thirty Really Leaves Out
    • Having a background in international relations and having been in military intelligence for a while, I knew almost immediately that the Bush campaign to invade Iraq was a load of crap. After his Cincinatti speech in October, 2002 when he first made the case for war, I told someone the next day that I had never heard a president give a speech so out of touch with reality. If anything, Professor Cole understates the stupidity, mendacity, and venality of the Bush administration and the ineffectiveness and immorality of torture. Space and time limits all I could say about this, but history is replete with the futility and inhumanity of torture. It is a crime under US law, a war crime, and a crime against humanity. Anything which does not condemn it, IMHO, loses all credibility and is worthless as a piece of opinion or argument.

  • UN Security Council Condemns Further Israeli Squatting on Palestinian Land, with Rogue State US Vetoing
    • To addition to the other comments, the Palestinians who left their homes were forced militarily or threatened by Iraeli authorities; they did not go of their own accord. This was confirmed by UN observers on the ground and a subsequent UN report. See Ch. VI of TYhe Arab Israeli Dilemma by Khouri,. Robert Fisk's The Thousand Year War (I think that's the titl;e since I can'[t find the book right now) among many sources. Read objective history instead of Israeli propaganda some times, you'll be better off for it.

    • Begin was the leader of the Stern gang that blew up a Jerusalem hotel and killed scores, one of the worst terrorist attacks in history up to that time. Plus Sharon was at least partially responsible for the massacres in the refugee camps of Chitala and Sabra. Many top Israeli leaders have had a lot of innocent blood on their hands.

  • Why our Hair is not on Fire about Cutting Emissions, and what to do about it (Giesen)
    • And reasons why things are worse than most people realize: synergism, feedback loops, and unintended consequences. Example of synergism--rising temperatures release methane from permafrost and methane is even a worse greenhouse gas than CO2 (20 times worse), increasing warming even more. Feedback loops--as more ice melts, less albedo effect speeding up warming, melting more ice, and so on. Unintended consequences--Climate change will most likely change deep sea currents affecting such things as the gulf stream, possibly bringing cooler, more unstable weather to places like the British Isles. These are just a few things we can consider likely, there may be other things even worse we can't even yet suspect.

  • How America is Filling up itself and the World With Guns
    • About 30 years ago I read a book about conventional arms sales and the US was #1 back then, but the USSR wasn't too far behind. With the demise of the USSR, we now have the field pretty much to ourselves. Selling weapons has become one of the major exports of the US, just as making weapons and other materials of war have become a major part of our domestic economy. What a sad commentary that making and selling arms is important to our economic growth.

  • Avoiding the Nightmarish "Four Degree World" of 2060: We must Act Now (Giesen)
    • I share the pessimism of many here. I think that it is likely that we will see a vast diminution of world population--i.e., billions of people dying. It could actually be much worse than that if and when vast quantities of methane are released into the atmosphere from thawing permafrost. We have already seen that deleterious effects have increased even faster than originally predicted. Meanwhile, the politicians fiddle while the poles thaw. On the plus side, the fabled Northwest Passage will become a permanent reality.

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