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Total number of comments: 36 (since 2013-11-28 16:33:00)

Hector

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  • As GOP fumes re: Iran, Russia & China are outflanking West with New Eurasia Silk Road
    • "As GOP fumes . . . " Somehow I don't feel deluged by "Democratic praise . . ." If only the "GOP" were the only problem.

  • Iran Deal: Why doesn't US Media interview Real Allies on American Policy?
  • Top Five ways for Washington to Fail in Iraq
    • I don't think the claim has anything to do with Churchill's view of Muslims. It is that "the right-wing crowd" thinks of the Kurds today as the analog of the Brits in the War. Each asked the US to give them "the tools", claiming that with US tools they (Brits in the War, the Kurds in Iraq) would "do the job".

  • Hillary Clinton kicks off Campaign in NYC: Says Heir to FDR pro-Middle Class Policies (Full video)
    • An heir to FDR! Even for Clinton that is an extraordinary farce. She is heir to one thing only: whatever sound bite she thinks will best serve her self-interest at any given moment. Soon she will discover that she is an heir to Saint Helena.

  • Donald Rumsfeld Blames Bush For Iraq Democracy Fail
    • "I mean ya gotta love this country! Where else can a bunch of old guys provide for the looting of our national wealth, engulf regions of the planet in destabilizing wars for a decade or more, kill and displace of innocent millions, totally piss-off a huge portion of the global population, pay back some old favors, ingratiate oneself with your betters and GET AWAY WITH IT!?"

      They're not all old (Obama is not yet 54; BClinton is not yet 69) and they're not all guys (HClinton, CRice, MAlbright)

  • President Hillary Clinton's Middle East Policy: Interventions, Wars, More of Same
    • ". . . he/she isn’t the other guy." Well, it's true, he/she would not be "the other guy". And as a double bonus, if you voted for Clinton you'd be voting for the first major party female candidate and, I think, should he/she be elected, the first US president to take office already guilty of war crimes and other crimes against humanity.

  • Elizabeth Warren wants to see Hillary Clinton's positions on Student Loans, Middle Class
    • . . . but not on the Middle East and other US theaters of direct or proxy aggression, I gather. With that she's cool?

  • What if US & UN Sanctioned Israel over its Nukes as they did Iran over Enrichment?
    • Professor Cole - Much of what you write in this "what if" would be welcome - But I suspect that the (very) odd person out is Clinton. Surely we and the world can do better. I have no more expectation of Clinton's willingness -- indeed of her ability -- to work through, grasp, and act in rational consistency with your von Moltke piece than of McCain's. Talk about a blinkered view of reality -- does Clinton grasp that there is a reality beyond her self-serving verbal eruptions?

  • The von Moltke Fallacy and avoiding another World War, with Iran
    • " . . . that we don’t have to fight World War III in the Middle East."
      Or, drawing on the thesis of this fine article, "World War I with nuclear weapons"

      I doubt that the "hawkish politicians" or arms merchants, here or abroad, will pay attention to, could grasp if they did pay attention to, or would respond rationally to if they did grasp, the historical information and psychological analysis both so clearly put forth in this article, and both so carefully based on and informed by "wie es eigentlich gewesen". But there are smart, decent writers, widely read by smart, decent readers, neither writers nor readers having any stake in selling arms or wish for war, whose writing in the run-up to the Lausanne announcement is, in my judgment, in no way informed by "their own corruption" and yet is dangerously informed by a "blinkered view of reality" and -- iconically in this subject -- wholly uninformed by the knowledge and analysis presented here.

      By what means can those writers / thinkers be made engaged in a genuine consideration, with back and forth comments, questions, and answers, aimed from the side represented by this article not to insult, not to make quick points, not to condescend, but genuinely to engage in a process that, not in all currently "blinkered" good minds, but one can hope in many, could lead to what is, in my view, one of the most essential and laudable achievements of the human self - the act of being able to see, and seeing say, "Ah! I see now that I was in error".

  • Netanyahu on Iran Deal: threatens ‘survival of Israel’, ‘horrific war’
  • The rise of the Israeli far right & the future of Palestine
  • Traitor Senators used Israeli Spies against their own Country
    • Super, your views are not traitorous, as that term is defined under the Constitution of the United States; See, Article III, Section 3.
      Nor are the actions of "the 47". It is precisely because irresponsible use of the term can be harmful to you that it is essential not to add to the irresponsible use of the term by applying it to those whose views and actions, in your view and mine, are profoundly harmful to the interests of the United States, of peace, and of all those, whether in Iran, the United States, or anywhere else who wish for peace and suffer from assaults upon it.

    • I am in full agreement with Jakob Leonhard's views on the unwisdom of using the word "treason" or any of its forms in reference to "the 47 Senators".

      With respect, Joe errs in saying that the use of the term is "strictly accurate", precisely because of "Treason is carefully defined in the Constitution (Article III, Section 3: "Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort." If the conduct that Joe includes in "levying war' were to be accepted, I fear that many of those with whom Joe sympathizes would be found guilty of treason long before any of "the 47 Senators" were. Be careful what you wish for, and keep in mind the cautionary words of Sir Thomas More.

  • Did GOP Leaders Betray Our Country By Writing Letter to Iran?
    • It is vitally important that this talk of "treason" and "treasonous" and "traitor" and "betray", in connection with "the letter", stop. Assuming without conceding (I think it a matter of grave doubt at best) that a violation of the Logan Act has occurred, "the letter" is very clearly not a "treasonous offense", See, Constitution of the United States of America, Article III, Section 3: "Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort".

      There are two axes along which it is of vital importance to stop the talk of "treason". The first is that because it is so obviously a false statement, focusing criticism on talk of "treason" gives the 47 and their supporters an absolute free ride -- two free rides, actually - in responding to their critics. The first is that because all the noise is about "treason" the real issues that the 47 should be required to address are lost in the noise. The second free ride is that the critics who cry "treason" are easily portrayed as ranting in ignorance. The second fundamental reason why the talk of "treason" must stop is that if "the letter" is defined as treason then virtually any action in which critics of national policy engage is open to the same claim. Those who criticize the 47 -- as I do, for an action that is without question dangerous and either enormously ignorant or, if not ignorant, enormously cynical -- are precisely those in this country most endangered by application of the label "treason" to political dissent.

  • Richest 1% will have more Wealth than rest of Humankind by 2016
    • “Poverty is the parent of revolution and crime.”
      Aristotle, Politics, Book Two, Part VI (350 B.C.) (Benjamin Jowett translation)

  • Psychologists, who Took $81 mn. to Advise, Practice Torture, betrayed the Profession
    • "As a leaked State Department memo put it, the report 'tells a story of which no American is proud'”.

      How sadly and horrifyingly wide of the mark this statement is.

  • McCain on Torture: A Stain on our National Honor, Produces Misleading Info
  • Iran-Iraq War 2.0? Iran Flies bombing Raids on Extremists in Iraq
    • You surely have access to better information than I do, but I would need to have more information than I do, and information on the sources, to be sure on this one.

      Dan

  • SCOTUS: Corporate "Persons" have Religions, can Deny You Birth Control Coverage
    • Drink some coffee -- you'll feel better, and perhaps feeling better perceive that what protects the rights of those wishing, as you see it, to live their lives under the dictates of witch doctors is precisely what protects your right to hold, and act on, that opinion.

    • "Obviously, rulings like this are planned out to interlock with future laws, state initiatives, and other right-wing mischief so as to give the old privileged classes, white, rich, male & Christian, the “freedom” to reduce the rest of us to poverty, servitude, imprisonment, and oppression." That's quite a plan -- actually Hobby Lobby and Conestoga simply point out that what the plaintiffs below seek can readily be provided by HHS's granting the same right to for-profit corporations as it does to non-profit corporations, with the obligation and cost of providing coverage shitted to the corporation's health insurance provider.

    • "These five justices . . . " Whatever else,we should count the votes correctly. Six justice supported the holding. Kennedy's concurrence is very important, and makes a contribution well beyond the contours of the two cases it directly addresses. And the six male justices did nothing to prevent women employees of Hobby Lobby or Conestoga Wood Specialties from receiving insurance coverage for any of the contraceptives at issue in these two cases. On the contrary, the Court noted that the HHS (headed by a woman) has the same authority to grant an exemption to for-profit corporations just as it has to non-profit corporations, with the burden of providing coverage without additional charge to the employee or to the employee shifted to the insurance provider.

    • The holding was 6-3, not 5-4.

      The Court did not say and has never said that corporations "are people"; the Court has said for well over a century that for purposes of invoking constitutional protections against government intrusion corporations are "persons". Before you criticize that principle think whether any charitable or for profit organization whose work and purpose you support is a corporation.

  • If Jesus had a wife, would it change the GOP War on Women?
    • Juan Cole knows how much I admire both the quality and courage of his work - It's in that context that I suggest that these remarks on the "JWG" are a bit wide of the mark.

      Assume, as I do in all that follows, that "the fragment" was written in the earliest centuries of Christianity.

      First off, to state that "Of course, that it is ancient does not require that it be correct" -- meaning, that Jesus had a wife -- is rather an understatement. It would in fact not require that there was a Jesus, in a sense other than as a figure variously portrayed in Christian texts from the time of Augustus forward.

      It's also the case that it would not require that the fragment's text was part of an "oral tradition" that predates the fragment or indeed extends beyond the fragment - forward, backward, or sideward.

      Indeed, it would not "require" that anyone other than the scribe ever saw or heard of the statement.

      But worse yet, without the full context of the document of which the fragment is a very small piece, there is not even any way to know that the words, "Jesus said to them, 'My wife...'" and "She will be able to be my disciple." are a). referring to the same subject (i.e., what is printed in the article does not require that the "she" is the same person as "my wife".

      And finally, a reference that says, "My wife" does not require that two words declare the existence of the wife - what if the words that are given after "My wife" as . . . were in fact, "in the event, contrary to fact, that I had or come to have, a wife"?

      There could of course have been a Jesus.

      If so, he could have had a wife.

      If he did, there could have been an "oral tradition" transmitting references by Jesus to his wife.

      Or not.

  • When it is Feinstein being Spied on, Suddenly she Squawks
    • Goodness knows I am no fan of Diane Feinstein.

      On the other hand, to respond to her allegations against the CIA by attacking her hypocrisy (The Feinstein Syndrome) or dismissing the allegations and the CIA's riposte as kabuki theater intended by both sides as a distraction intended to change nothing seems to me a profound mistake.

      The hell with the hypocrisy and the kabuki theater -- Take what's out there - US Senator, chair of Senate Intelligence Oversight Committee accuses CIA on spying on branch of US government - and run with it, for god's sake

  • Iran Breakthrough a Triumph For Pragmatists and a Defeat For the Warmongers (Cole @ Truthdig)
  • As they did to Iraq, they would Do to Iran (Jamiol Cartoon)
    • You write that "Iran is far more aggressive that Iraq ever was under Saddam". You may be correct, but my understanding is that unlike Iraq and Israel Iran has not launched a war of aggression ("the supreme crime")in the course of modern history. Certainly they've not done so as recently as Israel (ctr. Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Turkey [Mavi Marmora] and the United States [USS Liberty])or Iraq (ctr. Iran, with US support).

  • Top Ten Things Mitt Romney Gets Wrong about US Middle East Policy
    • "The neoconservatives who have brought the world to the present perilous situation want to turn the clock back, despite the fact that their warmongering philosophy was rejected roundly by American people and has been shown as a ghastly failure by history." Yes, it was indeed "roundly rejected", but is none the less firmly ensconsed in the Obama administration and in the Democratic Party, in and out of the federal legislature.

  • Biden to Romney "Dude, you are so 1975" and "If you Plan war with Iran, tell us Now"
    • Thank you, RoseMerry. Dan Larkin

    • link to nytimes.com

      More evidence of the increased esteem gained for the US by Barack Obama.

    • "Biden began by defending Barack Obama on foreign policy, pointing to his withdrawal from Iraq, his plans for drawdown in AFghanistan, his killing of Usama Bin Laden, and the way his administration has raised the esteem of the United States abroad".

      I beg your pardon -- we've just signed a deal with Afghanistan that the NYTimes says will have us "helping" them for years ahead, with exactly whom has Obama "raised the esteem of the United States abroad", who is helped by the increasing killings (of women, children, innocent men, American citizens) carried out by Obama's assassin drones, who exactly is being helped by Obama's much lauded sanctions on Iran, but the real laugher is Biden's calling on Romney to "tell us his plan" if he intends to go to war against Iran! Now THERE would be a change from our current president's transparency (sic!).

      It's not that I think that Romney is what the country needs -- it's just that I'm quite sure that Obama is not the president the country needs either.

  • Syrian Assault on Homs Heats up as Obama Scolds Chinese
    • Obama and Clinton should suppress their addiction to "scolding" other people and spend their energies addressing and atoning for their own sins. That others sin also does not excuse one's own sins - nor does scolding others for theirs.

  • Iraq, Iran and the Nuclear Phantasm: We've Seen this Picture
    • I think that this is an unusually penetrating and important piece from a thinker whose work I find consistently penetrating and important.

  • This is the Way the Iraq War Ends, with Bangs and Whimpers
  • Palin: "We must support our North Korean Allies"
    • "Mark Halperin in their book Game Change said that 2008 McCain campaign manager Steve Schmidt was appalled at [Sarah Palin's] . . . ignorance, saying:
      . . . 'when her son was being sent off to Iraq, she couldn’t describe who we were fighting.’".
      Well, neither can those who are now, or those who have for more than nine years in Afghanistan and more than seven years in Iraq, "been able to describe who we were fighting". Such ignorance seems to be a condition precedent for election to the job she seeks.

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