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Total number of comments: 16 (since 2013-11-28 15:55:20)

Hugh from Houston

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  • A New Arab Cold War: Saudi Arabia Pressures Qatar on Muslim Brotherhood, American Think Tanks
    • Moreover, the Saudi's obviously have a quiet alliance with Israel, which in turn leads the Saudis to bribe Egypt into blocking aid to and commerce with Gaza. The Egyptians under Sisi have destroyed the smuggling tunnels between Sinai and Gaza, and now enforce the cruel blockade of Gaza which Morsi and the Brotherhood at least had relaxed (until of course threatened with a cut-off in aid from the U.S.). Of course, Hamas is seen as part of this supposed international conspiracy of the Brotherhood, which gives Sisi cover for his actions. But it is still a foul piece of business for Arab states, whether the Saudis of the Egyptians, to once again turn their backs on the plight of the Palestinians.

      May Sisi share a room in hell with Mubarak and both Abdullah's (Saudi and Jordanian) for betraying the Palestinian people.

  • Syria Conference Roiled by Shouting Matches, Insults
    • "why were so many uninvolved and relatively powerless countries invited to this conference?"

      To provide the semblance of international consensus and authority; and assuage the diplomatic ego of non-world powers.

      More importantly to me, why were the Kurds excluded. With Iraqi Kurds slowly developing a functioning autonomous region in the north of that country, Turkey's internal turmoil and the Kurdish question central to the future of Syria, they should be involved. Why not?

  • Obama Isolated at G8 on Arms for Syrian Rebels
    • Hugh from Houston 06/17/2013 at 10:24 pm

      Now that I think about it, the Lebanese civil war already does pale in comparison. Message to Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon and Turkey: be prepared to host many more hundreds of thousands. And, of course if Israel were a more welcoming neighbor, they could host a few ten thousands too (cough, cough).

    • Joe from Lowell: do you have any real evidence for the claim:

      "the US has been trying, with varying degrees of success, to steer the arms coming from the Gulf states away from them [al-Nusra Front] and towards more moderate, democratic factions of the rebellion"

      The US government has never shown any ability to distinguish amongst various players in any foreign situation, beyond black and white, with us or against us. The qualifiers "more moderate, democratic" are American short-hand for our temporary (supposed) allies. They do not correspond in the Syrian civil war to meaningful categories of analysis, much less the creation of policy. Sending arms of any type to any Syrian faction (and this goes for you too Russia) will only lead to a prolongation of violence, more bloodshed and more refugees.

      The dangers here are very real, beyond the (very large numbers of) individual victims. If world powers do not act now to search in earnest for a political resolution, I fear the Lebanese civil war will pale in contrast.

    • Hugh from Houston 06/16/2013 at 9:25 pm

      Small arms will change nothing. More serious armaments will be very hard to move and implement, and will still probably not change much; a more intrenched status quo, I suppose.

      The Obama administration's declaration that Assad's use of chemical weapons is horribly reminiscent of another recent trumped up cassus belli. The U.S. should restrain itself as much as it can from intervening militarily. What is good for everyone is the pursuit of some political solution, even if that means Assad remains.

      Let us not let this disaster spin further out of control. The dangers of sectarian violence--evident in Iraq daily (thanks to the overthrow of Saddam), in Tripoli, in Bahrain and of course in Syria--are much too dangerous to let them take their course on their own. A wise world power would do everything in its power to ease tensions, not increase them.

  • Syria as a Prisoner of Western History (Harms)
    • I'm a fan of Mr. Koroi, but this:

      a Soviet-backed PLO planned invasion of Israel from Lebanon that had been imminent.

      is absurd. the PLO never dreamed of an "invasion" of Israel. Imagine what that would mean. A meagerly armed group of Palestinians trying to take territory from the most well armed country in the region?

      At any rate, if the PLO had been so bold they would not be "invading" their own country.

  • Rockets in Beirut Target Hizbullah as Violence spreads from Syria to Lebanon
    • So Hizbullah is the one "irratating confessional tensions in Lebanon?" What exactly is going on in Tripoli? Who is instigating the sectarian conflict there?

      It ain't the Shiites.
      "Sunni cleric Sheikh Seif Eddin Hussami:
      We say to Rifaat Eid (...) We are coming to liberate our people from your dirt and clean the area that you have taken hostage."

      I have no interest in defending Hizbullah. But I do wish that we could understand them as a local political force as opposed to somebody's (Iran's) "cat's paw". Remember: they are the only army to ever defeat Israeli aggression. That means something-quite a bit in fact-to a lot of people in the region and the world.

      They are not going away,whatever Andrew Ferguson's hopes may be.

    • Hugh from Houston 05/26/2013 at 8:55 pm

      You are not paying attention to Lebanese politics. Uniting "all other Lebanese factions" against Hizbullah was never an option. Lebanon is a fractious and no-holds barred democracy. Coalitions come and go. Currently, Hizbullah is a highly successful political (and military) organization.

      The "extremely dangerous game" is what is happening every day, within Lebanon, between Lebanon and Israel, between various Lebanese factions and Syrian factions, etc., etc.

      Ask the dead in Tripoli, Qusayr, Damascus, etc. how dangerous this is.

      Stop thinking of Hizbollah as a "terrorist" organization, and instead think of them as a rational actor (regardless of whether you agree with their goals or not, with which I adamantly do NOT agree). Try first to understand them as a local political force, and their actions make much more sense.

      Much of Lebanon's political elite already oppose Hizbollah (with the exception of their ally Amal). But if you study your history, you might find that some of those opposed (ahem, Phalangists, or now Salafis in Tripoli), are perhaps not what you might like to align yourself with.

    • Well,for one he is the head of the largest political party in Lebanon. This ignorant comment is like saying, "Why can't America get rid of this Reince Priebus?"

  • Israeli Gen. Charges Syria Chem Weapons Use: Is Israel Allying with Sunnis to overthrow Alawites, cut off Iran?
    • Serious question: why would Saudi Arabia, perhaps the most fundamentalist government in the world, be interested in setting up a "non-fundamentalist" rebel group?

      Another: how does one in fact distinguish fundamentalist from non-fundamentalist groups? By their explicit claims to be tied to al-Qaeda groups?

  • Why this and not that? America's topsy turvy priorities
    • Hugh from Houston 04/02/2013 at 9:19 pm

      "Rather than addressing the ideal within its own context"

      Ideals have no context. That's their point: they are transcendent. They rely on no historical contingency or subjective whim. They simply are in a universal sense.

      "The detractors..."

      Do you mean those of us who argued against the war? Don't blame us for the failure of the war. We told you beforehand that the war was folly, and it turned out to be more of an epic failure than even this "naysayer" predicted.

  • "Argo" as Orientalism and why it Upsets Iranians
  • Aljazeera's Leaks Reveal Sham 'Peace Process,' Israeli Stonewalling
    • Hugh from Houston 01/24/2011 at 3:09 pm

      Asad AbuKhalil reports that a source tells him it is not Dahlan that leaked.

    • Anybody else smell Dahlan's hand in this leak? With the increasing deligitimation of the PA, his marginalization, and his former access, I can see means and motive for him to seek revenge against his old allies by spilling the beans on them. And if he plays his cards right, one can imagine him coming in from the cold to act as one who could revitalize the PLO? I doubt however that he could pull it off since he's as corrupt as the rest of the leadership and this is well known to the Palestinians.

  • Palestinians Reject Piecemeal Talks offered by Israel
    • Hugh from Houston 12/28/2010 at 7:39 pm

      Some number of Palestinians would return because it was and is there property. Simply because there is discrimination against them in the Zionist state does not nullify their desire to return to their ancestral homes. Ask any Palestinian refugee family to show you the keys to their old homes and they will happily oblige.

    • With all due respect, this analysis of future political machinations of the Palestinian Authority lacks a crucial element: namely, the corruption and increasing in-fighting of the collaborationist leaders of the PA. Abbas and Dahlan are further apart every day, despite (or perhaps because of) the money and support they have been receiving from Israel and the US. Abbas continues to be the President of the PA even though his mandate has long expired. Ordinary Palestinians in the West Bank have lost confidence in the leadership. And of course there is also the bitter feud between the PA and Hamas. Unilateral declaration of statehood and a UN mandate may sound attractive in the short term, but I have severe doubts about willingness of the US to abstain from a Security Council vote because of the domestic political perils for the Obama administration.

      The only long term solution remains one democratic secular state for all the people living west of the Jordan River.

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