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Total number of comments: 13 (since 2014-02-20 19:05:39)

James Whitney

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  • Cuba: Top 5 other Dictatorships with which US has Diplomatic Relations
    • Other countries which deserve to be on this list: Syria (tortured prisoners "rendered" by the U.S.), Egypt (ditto), U.K. (faciltitated rendering-of course it is a partial democracy), France (my country, used torture techniques much admired by the CIA-also a partial democracy except for certain minorities, for instance gypsies), Israel (well, I need not give details). A good number of other countries too of course.

      But all that is normal, what kind of democracy is the U.S. (also my country)? Ask any poor black American, ask any whistleblower, etc.

  • Ukraine: What is the word for What is Happening There?
    • I see that several readers arrived before me to say that they agree with you.

      Another person who agrees with you is the very well informed retired French diplomat Pierre Charasse who writes in French and Spanish mostly, in his blog La Tour de Babel, link to latourdebabelworldpress.com. His stuff on the Ukraine is in both these languages between March 20 (20 mars) and March 28 (28 mars). It is regrettable that this blog seems not to be well known, allthough Charasse is well known in France. Also too bad that he doesn't write more often.

  • Is the Prisoner Swap Hysteria a sign of GOP War withdrawal Symptoms?
    • Although I hope I am wrong, I am far from persuaded that our government will be winding down wars. They will be likely continued and called something else. Little "security operations" in Yemen, Pakistan, Somalia, Libya, Mali, Ukraine, and many other places, ultimately in the US itself conducted by militarized local police or national guard troops against dissidents who demonstrate peacefully if noisily. Happening already, no?

  • Did a Karzai No-Show Spoil Obama's announcement of end of Afghanistan War?
    • While I agree with everything else in this comment, I object strenuouly to "god forsaken corrupt third world goat farm known as Afghanistan."

      The US is complicit in much of the corruption in Afghanistan, as most corruption involves US dollars dumped there intentionally by our government. Regarding goat farms, there are goat farms even in the US. There are many different kinds of Afghanis just as there are many different kinds of Americans, and most of them just want to live a normal life, same as what Americans want.

  • Reich on Obama Walmart Photo-Op: "What numbskull arranged this?"
    • And of course, as Amy Traub
      link to huffingtonpost.com
      pointed out, Walmart gets reimbursed by the taxpayer a good part of the starvation wages its pays to many of its employees, themselves taxpayers who contribute to this reimbursement.

      Banana republic economics, and not the only example. This kills people.

  • Greenwald vs NSA's Hayden: Glenn Wins in a Slam Dunk
    • Just concerning Dershowitz, I don't agree that he "has been one of the most ardent supporters of civil rights and civil liberties issues of this generation."

      For example his advocacy of torture (if a warrant is obtained) in the San Francisco Chronicle, his advocacy of surveillance (without a warrant based on probable cause) in this debate, his campaign to get Norman Finkelstein fired from DePaul University, etc. Such views show little respect for civil liberties, for international conventions and the US Constution. These are extreme right wing views.

      Early in hs career he was an advocate of civil liberties, but less and less so recently. In this Munk Debate he said he was for some constraints on surveillance, but I had the strong impression that he meant only constraints decided by the national security establishment (NSA, CIA, FBI, etc.) itself, laughable.

  • Condoleezza Rice, Charged with War Crimes at Rutgers, withdraws as Commencement Speaker
    • Overall this article makes very important points. All the same I wish to make a few observations:

      1> The fact that the UN Security Council approves a particular military intervention does not necessarily make it a worthy action, in fact both Afghanistan and Lybia are two examples of where such interventions made things much worse, especially for the local population.

      2> The article suggests that the current problem in the Ukraine is basically the result of intervention by Mr Putin. I think it is well established that the origin of that conflict was a putsch by rightist elements which had full support of the US State Department, overthrowing a government no doubt corrupt but at least elected by the voters. The best discussion I have seen is

      link to latourdebabelworldpress.com

      (unfortunately available only in French and Spanish as far as I know) by the retired French Foriegn officer Pierre Charasse. He emphasises the immense campaign of misinformation in the established European and American press.

  • Top 10 Attacks on US Embassies in Republican Administrations that Lindsey Graham doesn't Care about
  • US sent CIA Director as Ambassador to Tehran after CIA overthrew Iran's Democratic gov't (US now Complaining about Hostage-Taker Amb.)
    • I have always understood that when New York was chosen in 1945 as the permanent location of the United Nations, there was an agreement of some sort that the U.S. government would never interfere in the choice of UN ambassador by any member country. Am I right? If so, it seems that our government's refusing a visa for Iran's current choice of UN ambassador is illegitimate.

  • Ft. Hood & the True Cost of Iraq & Afghanistan Wars: Nearly 1 mn traumatized: PTSD by the Numbers
    • Your readers may be interested in the important book 'They Were Soldiers' by Ann Jones (Dispatch Books, 2013), the subtitle 'How the Wounded Return from America's Wars - The Untold Story' explains what the book is about. Same theme as this article, but is a book so has many more details, something everyone should know. Perhaps you have already read this book.

  • Racializing Politics: We don't say "Slav" Democracy troubled in Ukraine, why Talk about "Arab" Failures?
    • I understand that in this kind of article it is impossible to mention more than just a bit about a particular country. All the same, in the case of Kuwait for example, to say only that it is prosperous with a population of 3.2 million seems to me not the most accurate characterization. I have understood that less than half the population has Kuwaiti citizenship, and that non citizens have few rights and probably a precarious life. Is that true?

      James, a faithful reader.

  • ACLU calls on Att'y General to investigate Bush for Torturing
    • Good question Al Louarn! I am sure that Bush has no love for France for the reasons you state, and I would say (as a citizen of France as well as of the U.S.), bravo to the French government for opposing Bush's intent to start a war of agression against Iraq. But I am less sure that Chirac and Villepin (and even Juan Cole - Juan, can you clarify this?) were just as opposed to the invasion of Afghanistan, which I consider also an act of agression, unfortunately now escalated by the current laureate of the Nobel peace prize.

      My intention was to condemn Sarkozy's support of everything Bush. Fortunately Sarko has reached a level of popularity equivalent to that of Bush in his most unpopular moments, as a result of Sarkozy's domestic program. On the other hand, there has been essentially no debate in France (under the French constitution foreign and defense policy is the exlusive reserve of the executive branch - de facto it is now the same in the U.S. ?) of its current support of American military adventures in the Muslim world.

    • If I were Bush, I would probably have no difficulty in getting a promise of full protection and immunity from President Nicolas Sarkozy during a vacation on the Côte d'Azur.

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