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Total number of comments: 4 (since 2013-11-28 16:55:53)

Glenn E. Perry

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  • Cole at the Nation: Egyptian Left Plans Mock Trial of Mubarak
    • If they were really serious, they would try Sisi too.
      And all those who collaborated in the coup.

  • Al-Qaeda as Fringe Cult: 12 Years Later, Heretical Text of 9/11 Hijackers Still Withheld by FBI (Kurzman)
    • Glenn E. Perry 09/12/2013 at 4:17 pm

      This illustrates a simple but important point that is mostly overlooked: The most radical forms of antiimperialism can be related to various kinds of ideology. The prevailing discourse today is religious, and someone such at Atta is taken to be an extremely religious person.He might have been such, or he might not have been. In an earlier time, he might have been a secular Arab nationalist.He might have been a Maoist or whatever. That is not to say such a person is just pretending to be a fervent Muslim, for he may rationalize what he is doing in religious terms (whatever the religion). What is defined as a religious community is often essentially the equivalent of a tribe/nation. The political extremist who talks and thinks in religious terms should not necessarily be referred to as a "religious extremist," "Buddhist extremist," or "Muslim extremist." The political moderate may be the more extremely religious person.

  • Hajizadeh: If Israel attacks Iran, it will be Destroyed
    • Hajizadeh's threat (aside from, as you point out, being an empty one in the absence of nuclear capacity in the face of Israel's incredible arsenal of weapons of mass destruction)is hardly different from other countries' threats of "massive retaliation" against aggressors. This "MAD" policy constituted the essence of US and Soviet nuclear defense during the cold war. While such statements lend themselves to the service of anti-Iranian propaganda, it is not particularly surprising that Tehran would think in the same terms as Washington, Moscow, or - for that Matter - Tel Aviv.

  • Could Syria-Turkey Conflict Pull NATO In?
    • As the Athenians told the Melians (according to Thucydides), none of these arguments may really matter. The powerful can get their way by distorting international law any way they want to, as almost nobody understands it. But you are wrong about the provisions of international law applicable here. Punishing a state for something it already has done comes under the rubric of reprisals, not self-defense. Use of military force as reprisals short of war used to be permissible under limited circumstances (including the rule of proportionality and an attempt to seek redress, as articulated in a case involving Germany and Portugal in 1914, later arbitrated). Self-defense is defined as an "inherent right" but is defined very narrowly. It is the only exception to the ban on force in international relations in the UN Charter (other than actions taken by the Security Council). And long before the UN Charter it was circumscribed by the rule stated by Daniel Webster (and invoked by the Nurembeg Tribunal)
      limiting it to situations in which the danger is
      "instant, overwhelming, and leaving no choice of means, and no moment for deliberation." If Turkey is intervening forcibly in Syrian affairs, it might be easier to justify the shooting down of the Turkish airplane on grounds of self-defense than the other way around, although various facts and rules would need to be considered before reaching such a conclusion.

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