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Total number of comments: 6 (since 2013-11-28 16:38:21)

James Eric

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  • NSA monitored visits of "Radicalizers" to Chat Rooms, Skin Sites to Discredit Them
    • If some of my online activities were exposed, I would say that yeah I did it. So what? I’m single, it was my own computer, and no one was harmed. At worst it’s a bit venal. It’s nothing like the real obscenities that “respectable” members of the government have routinely committed such as authorizing the use of torture for supposedly necessary reasons of security.

      That is indeed what I would say. But I do wonder how many of my “respectable,” “tolerant” and “liberal” friends and colleagues (I’m a university professor) would quietly drop me.

  • Ghoul's Glossary: Shutdown
    • The term fall guy usually means someone who takes the blame for something. Probably soldiers and veterans are not so much fall guys as suckers or chumps. No?

  • Is Iran out of the US War Queue? The Twilight of the Hawks
    • This is the best of the many excellent pieces I have read here. It provides a succinct, well-informed picture of the relation of economics, politics, and war that underpins Washington’s fundamental orientation.

  • A US attack on Syria will Prolong the War
    • Professor Cole,

      Thanks for another well informed article. I have just read a piece by John B. Judis at the New Republic.

      link to

      After listening to four hours of testimony by the administration to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Judis thinks he has divined the true intentions of the Obama administration. They consist of the following three points:

      “—The administration is not just contemplating a single punitive strike against Syria’s Bashar al Assad for using chemical weapons; it is planning a repeatable military campaign that would strike again if he were to use these weapons again.
      —The military campaign would also have the “collateral” or “downstream” result of weakening Assad militarily and politically. It would cause defections and significantly weaken the Assad government.
      —The goal of the military campaign, combined with aid to the opposition, would not be to defeat Assad. Instead, the war would be ended by an international negotiation in which Russians would play a very important role. Such a deal would eliminate any role in Syria’s future for jihadist elements, but it might include a role for allies of Assad, if not for Assad himself.”
      I’m curious as to what you think of this. Specifically, might this be the administration’s plan? And does the plan have any chance of success? Perhaps you already answered that in the following paragraph from your piece:
      “It should be remembered that the US couldn’t end the Iraqi civil war despite having over 100,000 boots on the ground in that country. It is highly unlikely that Washington can end this one from 30,000 feet.”
      The whole thing strikes me as utterly insane, but I don’t have a particularly strong background in either the Middle East or what goes on during Senate hearings. I would appreciate the opinion of someone who does.

  • Kerry signals US Intervention in Syria, but to What End?
    • I think I've seen this movie (at least several times) before. It's getting a little stale. Can't we get something else?

  • Everything you wanted to Know About NSA Surveillance *but were afraid to ask (Stray)
    • The gist of the article is that, if it puts its mind to it, the NSA can learn just about anything we have communicated either through phone or the internet. Now consider what is going to happen with the consolidation and centralization of medical records. Of course such a consolidation is necessary to “bend the cost curve down,” and to determine the most effective “outcomes of medical interventions.” But all it takes is an executive order, given in complete secrecy, and the NSA will have access to our medical records. And voila, the NSA will know just about everything there is to know about us. Welcome to the brave new world we have created for ourselves.

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