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Total number of comments: 207 (since 2014-01-12 05:06:04)

Jay L

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  • Has Iran cut off Hamas? Is Hamas turning to Saudi Arabia?
    • @Saf,
      Thanks for explaining this.

    • This is certainly confusing to me. I thought that alliances were along Sunni-Shiite lines, with Iran supporting Assad, the Houthis (and apparently Hizbullah (sp?) ), because of Shiite allegiances. So now Saudi Arabia will support Hamas after Iran stops support? So why did Iran ever support Hamas in the first place?

  • Top Six Signs ISIL/ Daesh is Doomed
    • Ouch!. I have wondered how much publicity they get in Arab media. Maybe that is top reason Number 0, as to why Daesh may be around for a long time to come?

    • ...and the Number 1 reason why Daesh may be around for a long time to come is: All the publicity they get from western leaders and the western media about how rich, savage, successful and scary that Daesh is.

  • Iraqis Divided on Iran Deal: Sunnis say, "The US sold us to Iran"
    • Will the U.S. ever try a different path? I am talking about changing from the ongoing American path of taking sides in conflicts in Asia. How much money would the U.S. save if it decided to declare neutrality in all conflicts in Asia? Moreover, I don't think the general situation would be any worse off if the U.S. did that.

  • Obama in Kenya: Why the Horn of Africa Matters to Geopolitics
  • One Ring to Bind them: Reading the Lord of the Rings to defeat ISIL
    • ISIL claims that it is acting in the original, pure manner of the religion, i.e., the rituals, customs, practices, mores and discipline demanded by Allah, as revealed by His messengers. I don't see any push back on whether this is a crock, or whether it is Islam in its purist form. Not being an adherent to the Islamic faith, and not being a scholar of the Qur'an, the whole movement is puzzling to me.

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  • Actually, Oldest Qur'ans are in Sanaa, Yemen & in Danger of Saudi Bombing
    • It is always sad to me, when antiquities are destroyed. Yet it sounds like very little "historical value" would be lost if newer Qur'ans and older Qur'ans are textually identical. The scary thing to me is any loss of other documents and writings of ancient vintage. Other writings may truly be one of a kind, the loss of which would be literally pages ripped from history. I am not exactly clear on what the Hadith consists of, but part of it could be permanently lost---unless Google has managed to digitize it. Of course, I doubt Google digitizes the palimpsests.

  • Sandra Bland: Could training Police in Conflict Resolution instead of Force have Saved Her?
    • The name of the current police technique should be called "incite policing."

      The Sandra Bland case points out many flawed practices of law enforcement in this country:
      FIRST, an officer should find a way to extract himself from a situation when it has needlessly escalated.
      a) Officers should be trained to back off and turn a situation over to another officer when he is losing his cool. This point is presumably consistent with the point of this article.
      b) Officers should be trained how and when to avoid conflict, which is indeed contrary to what they are trained to do when going after "bad guys."
      c) Officers need to be carefully screened as to temperament for the job of being a "cop."

      SECOND, police need to look for alternatives to putting people into cages. This woman was caged for 3 days. Why? Probably to make money for the police department. (Does the PD get paid a per diem from the county for each day they have someone in prison?) Responsibility is huge in caging people. You have to feed them. You have to clothe them. You have to respond to their medical needs. You are the guardian. This is very costly. She should have been released "on her own recognizance."

      THIRD, police need to monitor their caged subjects better. Here the PD claims that they already knew that she was suicidal! Why did they leave her in a cage unsupervised for 3 hours? What if someone has a heart attack? What if some prisoners decide to beat up another prisoner? What if a jailer decides to rape her (another frequent problem in jails)?

  • Israeli forces destroy 450 olive trees, Roman-era well in Hebron, Palestine
    • You go Israel! The time is right for grabbing all manner of real assets. Ain't nobody around to stop you. John Kerry and Obama were so successfully humiliated last year when settlement talks were running, they have given up. Obama is virtually a lame duckster now. Those jockeying for a nomination to run for president will all be sucking up to the friends of Israel. Worries about ISIS, Iran, al Qaeda, and all manner of general unrest in the Mideast have got Europe, America and others distracted. You go Israel. The time is ripe! Of course, I wish that Israel could be tamed, and that Palestinians could have their own country. But that is not possible. Nobody can stop Israel from its Eretz Israel dream.

  • Trump Swiftboats McCain the Way W. Swiftboated John Kerry
    • I am at a loss to understand the uproar over what Trump said:
      "Trump replied, 'He is a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.' "

      Is McCain a war hero because he was in captivity so long? In America anyone in combat is a hero. This is because war is America's greatest sport. Anyone who plays basketball in the NBA is a hero to those who fanatically love basketball.
      By the way, I also thought that Trump was trying to be funny---or cute---by adding that he likes those who avoid capture. I don't think Rambo gets captured. Or if he does he escapes.
      What Trump said is not even close to the swift-boat onslaughts fired at Kerry.

  • Israel orders half of West Bank Palestinian village demolished after Ramadan
    • Why not? There is nobody to stop Israel from its expansion, and America has got Israel's back.

  • The Netanyahu Effect? Declining Support for 2 State Solution among Israelis, Palestinians
    • ...and America wants a quasi-2 state solution, with Israel maintaining military control of everywhere from the Jordan river to the sea.
      Conclusion: Israel gets it all, and America is happy with that.

  • Why Exempt Israel? After Iran Deal, Make Middle East a Nuclear Free Zone
    • Good question. The answer is nobody. America could give it a try. Biggest problem with that is that America wants Israel to be nuclear tipped (just as America wants to be the most nuclear weaponized empire in the world).

  • Iraq: As Battle Royale to take Falluja from Daesh/ ISIL Looms, Fears for Civilians
    • Simple. Daesh loads supplies on Toyota Pickups, and they "convoy" across the desert with black flags a-wagging.

  • Obama: No more US troops to fight Daesh/ ISIL, but more Training
    • You ask all the right questions.
      Unluckily, the only answer we get to have is that ISIL is one mean, fierce, juggernaut.

  • Security Zones Being Used to Further Expand West Bank Settlements
  • Tehran Press on Talks: From "Iran will be US Strategic Ally" to "US Sanctions here to stay"
    • You guys clearly fail to understand. An attack on Iran will be so total "shock and awe," that the Iranians will be simply mesmerized.
      After the initial bliss, the Iranians will recognize America as the new Messiah, and they will all become Christians.

  • America's "Wars on . . ." have become an unhealthy Addiction
    • Well said. America likes war. Not just the Republicans. Most citizens of this country likes war. Comparing this with an addiction is good, because war mongers will deny it if you ever confront them with their lust for war. "Whaddaya mean? Nobody likes war. War is awful. But you gotta do it. Bible says there will always be wars."
      This country was founded on war---and guns. America will keep at it until the $trillions of expenses thrust America into a financial hole so severe that Pax Americana will shrink to a mere shadow of the old country. All empires overextend themselves. America will be no exception. Will Daesh go up in flames first, or will it be America that first goes up in flames?

  • Lone Wolves and Soft Targets: Or how our Press, Politicians are being Played by ISIL
    • They are punks. All of them. The world is a big video game for them. Fantasy and reality are totally blurred. These punks are no more pious than Charlie Manson. Wanton killings, rapes, setting up their own government, scaring the hell out of people---all in the name of a very demanding "Allah." They will melt down, implode or become totally annihilated. They are pure punks, and their life expectancy is very short. Wait and see.

  • How Lindsey Graham & GOP lost the Chance to be Presidential over Charleston
    • Don't worry. Graham is truly a long-shot. Actually, his odds are not that good.

    • These candidates never had any ability to be presidential in my mind. I have not seen a worthy Republican candidate since I can't remember when. But being presidential and becoming president is not the same thing. See W. Bush for example. Moreover, I am not able to recognize whether something is good politics (or not) for Republicans. As I see it, the Republicans are in a parallel universe that is outside of the one I am in. A Manichaean understanding of the universe is a guiding principle for Republicans. For them, there is the goodly (Godly) and the rest is evil. Perhaps Daesh is a pure example of taking this philosophy to the hilt?

  • Down the Iraqi Rabbit Hole (Again): Washington in Wonderland
    • There are more than enough people and resources in Iraq to successfully battle ISIS. Let Iraq fight its own battles if it has the will to do so. Obviously, an important step would be a collective decision among those with influence in Iraq to ally themselves into a combined, united organization of Kurds, Sunnis and Shiites to fight the enemy. Moreover, there is nothing wrong with letting Iran step in and provide resources. The U.S. can provide surveillance information. Beyond that, if the U.S. has shown anything it has shown that it cannot teach the Iraqis how to govern nor how to fight militarily.
      The U.S. has better fish to fry in this world. We need to make quality education affordable. We have lots of work to do on American infrastructure. We need to promote the sciences and technology. We need to show by example. Gunboats, drones and bombs are not worthy examples. In fact, they can only pay dividends of future "blowback"* from others in the world.
      *Credit to Chalmers Johnson for that word and for the concept that America reaps destructive return shots whenever America steps into its role of "control the world using force."

  • Another White non-Terrorist Kills 9, Makes Bomb Threats
  • Can the GOP live down Donald Trump's Middle East "Policy"?
    • Say what you want about the Donald. I think it will be great fun to watch the likes of Trump, Rick Perry and Lindsey Graham. I can hardly wait to watch them hustle, bustle and busker for the GOP prize!

  • Israel's Ultranationalist Squatters March in Jerusalem, beat Palestinian Journalist
    • My kind of thinking is that I am extremely pessimistic that Israel can be stopped in its grab on Jerusalem, the West Bank, Golan Hgts, and essentially Gaza. My kind of thinking is that the U.S. will continue to back Israel, and will continue to give the Green light for Israel to keep grabbing in the middle east. I hope I am wrong. Show me, so that my kind of thinking no longer brings shame to you and others.

    • I did not say that everything is Obama's fault. I am disappointed with the Obama presidency, but not because he is blameworthy for everything. I think Obama should have tried to have a summit directly with Bibi and Abbas---instead of John Kerry---because Kerry got dissed. Bibi stepped up settlements right in the middle of negotiations. Bibi invades Gaza right in the middle of the negotiations. I don't know if anyone could have accomplished anything with Bibi. Bottom line is that Bibi gave up nothing and gets reelected. Obama is a lame duck with a Republican congress. Settling the Israel problem is so important to America's future. Bibi won and Obama lost. There will not be another chance to negotiate a settlement untul after 2016. By then there will be another 50,000 Israelies in the west bank and Jerusalem.
      I am just forlorn that there is no way out of the occupational madness by Israel---and essentially America backs Israel to the hilt.

    • It has been a great decade for the Zionists. Netanyahu won!. Obama's dismal failure in peace talks is the end of America's chance to help to settle the conflict. Obama's broken presidency is finished insofar as any ability to try anything further. Moreover, the political season is heating up in America for the 2016 elections; posturing for money and votes puts the issue off until 2017. By then, Jerusalem will be the capital of Israel, and America will have its embassy there.

  • Can Leftist Kurdish Militia cut ISIL/ Daesh off from Turkish Supply Routes and Kill the Caliphate?
    • Way too numerous to count. Mind-numbingly many.

    • @ Watson,
      I would say that the most urgent problem is the U.S. compulsion to get in the middle of violent conflicts. Yes, it is heart rending to see all of these punk organizations (such as al Qaeda types, too numerous to mention, but don't forget boko haram; and don't forget the drug cartels in Mexico) rape, pillage and murder. But the U.S. has problems of its own (see police brutality and racism, for example).
      The U.S. usually winds up doing the equivalent of pouring kerosene on the fire when it dives into another country's entanglements. The best that the U.S. can do is stay out, fix her own troubles, and lead by example.

  • Al-Qaeda in Syria rubs out 23 members of Druze Religious Minority, Persecutes Others
    • So which faction should the U.S. back? Some are diabolical; some are demonic, some vile, some are just plain evil. Most or all of them claim to be anointed by God. Can't imagine how they could be better if they were anointed by Satan.

    • I can't speak for the professor, but Al Qaeda "types", Daesh and Wahhabi are such strict and extreme "Sunnis" that ordinary, mainstream Sunnis are considered apostates, infidels, heretics or some combination thereof. Al Qaeda types regard everybody outside of their fold as the enemy, and worthy of decapitation.

  • Has ISIL/ Daesh killed 50,000 in one Year? Iraq's Horrors by the Numbers
    • This Daesh bunch has a shelf life. All empires eventually dissolve. All religious organizations splinter. Here we have both. Banning crayons is a small example. But it is representative---where power mad people want to micromanage the lives of others---of the inevitable. Stupid rules, arbitrary punishments and cruelty will be challenged by new leaders and new groups. Infighting will ensue. Daesh will implode.

  • Modest Increase in Iraq Training Mission shows Obama still Uninterested & Maybe he's Right
    • The U.S, needs to sit this out. I heard today that the U.S. is spending $9 million a day for fighting Daesh. (Meanwhile, the media is exclaiming that Daesh has an apparently eye-popping, mind boggling, revenue of $1 million a day!)
      This is another unwinnable war. What happens if Daesh is gone? You still have some offshoot of al Qaeda running around. You still want Assad's gov't out. You still have a dysfunctional Iraq. More weird rebels will surface in Syria, Iraq and environs. Tell me again: what are we fighting for? We can't nation build there. Nation building should start home in the U.S.

  • UN Special Rapporteur: Israel Must Abandon Plans to Relocate Bedouin
    • Meanwhile, America as usual whispers a halting, faint objection to the Israeli expansion in the occupied territories---or says nothing at all. Later, America will veto any efforts by the U.N. to push Israel into legal compliance.
      This is sickening.

  • Iraq needs another National Party: Tariq Aziz's Baath Party Ruined the Country
    • "...after the fall of the Saddam regime at the hands of George W. Bush, [Tariq] was eventually tried and sentenced to 15 year in prison, then life imprisonment, then death..."
      So how come he died in prison instead of at the gallows?

    • Yes. I loved his press conferences that he held everyday during desert storm. The U.S. and its coalition were hammering hell out of Iraq, and up appears Tariq, who spoke good, clear English, and who daily presented the "facts" from an entirely parallel universe---it seemed. Was he the author of the expressions that the invasion would be "the mother of all wars," and that Iraq would "pluck the eyes out" of any intruders?

  • The Wrath of Netanyahu: What does Orange Telecom's departure from Israel really Mean for BDS?
    • We must because both of America's political parties woo Netanyahu's favor. It is called politics. Most Christians and Mormons believe in Israel as divine destiny, and many (but not all) American Jews do too.

    • What i fail to understand is why doesn't some group step forward and proceed with a settlement summit 'tween Israel and the Palestinians. The U.S. has tried it a few times, and failed miserably the last few outings. Obama is unable or unwilling to personally mediate. Kerry was so humiliated when he tried, he is quite literally effete as a diplomat in that venue.
      Why can't we see the EU, NATO, UN, or some august body step forward and take up the mission? Bear in mind that Netan-yahoo (sic) has recently declared he wants to engage in settlement talks. It is time to call his bluff---and America can't do it.

  • Adelson Tabloid slams Obama for Listening to 'Court Jews' in Questioning Israel's Credibility
    • This is an excellent opinion. Unluckily, the idea that Israel is growing dangerous is on par with the idea that global warming is a growing threat. They both depend on deeply divided politics---the rift between which can never be filled.

  • US Air Force Absent as Daesh/ ISIL advances on North Aleppo against Sunni Rebels
    • This seems like the perfect war for America. The U.S. can support each and every faction. Truly an American dream!

  • Iraqi Army, Shiite Militias Retake area west of Ramadi from ISIL/ Daesh
  • Kurdish Muslims abandoning Islam for Zoroastrianism in Disgust at ISIL/ Daesh?
    • Here is my cynical question: What kind of wars do the Zoros enjoy?

    • This is understandable to me. How many people, living under the yoke of Salafi-like tyranny, will be contented? No music in public, a strict dress code, punishment of death to nonconformists, punitive taxes, inevitable hypocrisy, nepotism and incompetence---these are seeds of destruction. All empires are finite. They eventually die. This one should have an especially short shelf life. One option for America and for others is to just sit back and watch the inevitable to occur. Some combination of melt-down and getting torn to shreds will happen to the Islamic State. It may take 25 or 50 years. But no way will it take centuries. Any bets?

  • Nasty, New Neighbours: How Close Will Extremists Get To Baghdad?
    • It is inevitable that Daesh will take Baghdad. Daesh is moving forward, and Iraq is in retreat. Thousands of troops in Baghdad will do no good. Well placed mortar shots, rocket propelled grenades and suicide trucks will be the equal of GW Bush's shock and awe---only better---because Daesh will immediately follow with its armed forces. The mere thousands of Iraqi troops will get the hell out, as will the civilians.
      Iraq (and Iranian allies) do not understand that ambushes and blocking supply lines are critical.
      Moreover, tens of thousands of Iraqi troops are needed against this wonderously well-oiled force known as ISIL.

  • Kaplan: An Impish Desire for Imperial Déjà Vu
    • I thought America was doing its part for imperialism. The U.S. knocked out the leader in Iran in the 50s; and since that time: invaded Korea and Viet Nam; invaded Panama; invaded Cuba (Bay of Pigs), invaded Iraq more than once, invaded Afghanistan, and supports territorial expansion of Israel. I know I have left out numerous other instances. America has military installations all over the world, and has flotillas sailing all of the seas. Perhaps Kaplan is saying that America needs to step it up? Well, then get Dick Cheney to run for president! J.E. Bush is probably close enough.

  • Israel Confiscates 202 Acres of Palestinian land for Squatter Settlement Garbage Dump
    • Why shouldn't Israel grab what they can? They got the green light from America, most of the Israeli people want settlement expansion (see recent election), and there is nothing to stop them.

  • US Kneejerk support for Israeli Nukes Torpedoes UN Disarmament Talks
    • So somebody tell me why the U.S. and Israel keeps these nukes ready to fire on a second's notice? Why is anybody in favor of these things? I don't understand it.

    • Is that the only damage (electrical blackout) that an H bomb would cause? Radioactive fallout?

    • Such a shame. Not even a Nobel Peace prize winner is adult enough to realize that real peace demands that EVERYBODY put their nuclear toys away. Of course, it is true, for all of you monotheistic maniacs, that keeping Israel well-armed with nuclear arms will hasten that Holy day for the grand and glorious apocalypse. Oh Holy Israel!
      [I know that the nutball philosophies driven by prophecies of ancient madmen will continue for the rest of my life. I just hope that homo sapiens are able to evolve to greater intelligence than exists today]

  • ISIL beheaded Dozens in Palmyra, but how Strategic is the City?
    • I have an extremely difficult time understanding how Daesh keeps in business. Evidently new boys and girls keep joining up along the way. Obviously, the game plan for Daesh is working, or they would have been vanquished a long time ago. A city of 140,000 would likely have some assets. Vacant residences from the fleeing refuges would have value for the new, excited boys and girls who want to join up for the campaign. Food in the pantries would be valuable. Stores can provide goods. A city that size must be good for obtaining capital that can be taxed, gouged, extorted or looted.
      A city this size can also help to conceal logistical operations.
      Last and not least, the whole world will be shown the destruction of the ancient iconic ruins. As much as it is appalling for us to see these ruins destroyed, it is intoxicating for others to take in the iconoclastic power of Dasesh.

  • Who does Jerusalem belong To?
    • Who does Jerusalem belong to?
      A short, certain answer is that much more blood will be shed in the course of pursuing this question. A pox on all of those who believe that humans need to be sacrificed for oh holy Jerusalalem!

    • Don't tell that to the political animals in D.C. All it would take is a bill on the floor of congress to change the locale of the American Embassy. How many of our congressmen and senators would oppose Jerusalem? I should say how *few* would oppose it?

    • This was an excellent, informative recitation of the history of Jerusalem. Unfortunately, the most important factor is that America says that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. See Democratic convention of 2012; and of course the Republicans regard (revere?) Netanyahu as a demigod.
      Netanyahu is the leader of Israel for the time being, but don't forget that America rules until the American empire finally crumbles. The answer is that Jerusalem belongs to Israel by American fiat!

  • Cole: Iraq's Ramadi falls to ISIL as Shiite Gov't refuses to Arm Sunni Tribes
    • @ Jack, you said about Daesh: "You were wondering how they [make their logistical moves]—UNDERGROUND SUPERHIGHWAYS is my best guess."
      This is a good guess. However, I don't think they need anything that elaborate. I heard somewhere that it was a force of hundreds of Daesh fighters that took Ramadi. So an underground wagon trail would suffice very nicely.
      Also, a little known fact is that Daesh "suicide vehicles" (reportedly an important weapon of Daesh) are capable of making multiple forays.

    • Jack, this is a great question. This is an organization of only tens of thousands of people. Their mythology is extreme. Surely, these people deserve the award for being the most tenacious warriors in the history of mankind. A helicopter gunship nor anything known to mankind is a match for a Toyota truck "gunship." Nor for a kamikaze "gunship." The greatest strength is that they can vaporize themselves in thin air, and instantaneously reappear wherever the Big Baghdadi directs. Moreover, they are the first military in history that has learned how to proceed with no need for supply lines---no need to replenish or replace arms, war materiel, food, water, etc.
      Much needs to be written about these miracles of human endeavor.

    • I still don't get how ISIS moves in and captures provincial capitals. Were ISIS militants just hanging around, pretending that they had nothing to do? Perhaps they were cruising up and down highways in their Toyota trucks, disguised as tourists? Do these whackos ever appear to be out of place? Has anybody yet figured out the headquarters of ISIS?

  • Did Jeb Bush just commit a War Crime in Justifying the Iraq War?
    • Every candidate needs to be upbeat about war. The vast majority of Americans are very proud of America's war history. Being against war is like being against God in this country.

    • Yes, Jack, 'tis a good thing we invaded Iraq. Factoring in health care and disability pay, it was a $3 trillion dollar bargain. Truly a great bang for the buck. America would have simply squandered the money on some frivolity if it were not for our opportunity to invade Iraq. Iran would be another great, sensible expenditure for America. Viva American conquests!

    • Indeed, the bottom line is that International law is for the rest of the world. It is not for America, which has the right to militarily invade any country it chooses, just as America can torture whomever America sees fit.
      Might makes right for the chosen exceptionalism of America.

  • Is Sen. Tom Cotton right that ISIL is Winning?
    • Tom Cotton is clearly winning. You go Tom, keep telling us how you understand the demonic scary world, and how you will protect us. You da man we are all wanting as our saviour!
      NOT

  • Israel's Government Ratchets even Further Right: Great Moments in Colonialism
  • Tom Cotton's 'Chickenhawk' Taunt at Iran FM Demeans Jeb Bush, GOP Field
    • If I did the math correctly (getting the decimal point in the right place can be tricky for me), those above the 99.999 % profile are 10 in a million. With, let us say, 300 million Americans, this would place someone at the top 3000 in America. So, this number may be a little over the top. Of course Harvard accepts people from outside of America too. I of 3000 is indeed way up there. Of course, not all of the brightest go to Harvard (or the Ivies) either. Some brilliant people don't go to college at all.
      In any case, for the sake of assumption, if Cotton is in the top 3000 of the brightest in America, this still leaves 2,999 who are as smart as or smarter than he is---in America. There would be people in Iran as smart or smarter than him. Not to mention the rest of the world! Of course, a person can be smart and not know much as well. I don't know much about quarks, but that means either I am too dimwitted to learn, and/or I have never studied them.
      Cotton apparently views his knowledge of Iran as brilliant. I don't think so.

    • Tom Cotton, being all Harvard, is obviously smarter than 99.999 % of Americans. But that does not make him the smartest person in the world. More importantly, it does not endow him as omniscient.
      Cotton obviously approves of the regimen of torture used by America, which disgusts me. I would like to hear Cotton debate why he believes it was a grand thing for America to invade Iraq (which I assume is his belief). I think it would also be interesting to hear him match his knowledge and understanding of Iran with an Iranian intellectual.
      Did Cotton pledge in his campaign that he would advocate for America to expand its wars?

  • Iran calls for Nuclear Disarmament by US, Israel, World
    • The idea is if you are a country with a few nuclear weapons, then the U.S. will not dare to do a "shock 'n' awe," on somebody lest the country might retaliate with a nuke. The theory of nukes is that they are deterrents. The notion is that "mutual assured destruction" will prevent an attack, because a counterattack would be mutual destruction. So far it has seemingly worked for N. Korea.

  • The Battle Plans of ISIL: Can they Succeed in Mideast Conquest?
    • I consider them ghosts. They are like demons, goblins and evil spirits. The mass media publicizes their beheadings and their wickedness. So does the American government, and other governments who are constantly trying to justify wanting more bombs, bombers and proof of superiority.
      Batman needs the Joker and other demons to be Batman. Superman would be nothing without wicked enemies. America and our sensational media needs ISIS.

  • Rand Paul: GOP Hawks are Obama's "Lapdogs;" McCain: Paul 'Worst Candidate'
    • Does America really need to be involved in African and Asian power struggles?
      America should lend a meeting room and a table for all factions to sit down and talk it out. But the American method of offering arms, military advisers, strategic bombing, boots on the ground, and all out conquest---these interventions seldom if ever work. In the meantime, America wastes its treasure and blood, where it could be researching the causes of disease, natural disasters, and how to make the world a better place. Is bombing and conquest the best way to make friends and to be an influential example for the world?

  • Iraq: ISIL surrounds 300 Sunni families, Closes in on Ramadi
    • I experience continuous confusion with this ISIS bunch. How do they manage to sweep into Ramadi? Are they ghosts? We have all seen the videos/photographs of ISIS in a convoy of Toyota pickup trucks. (Toyota the official vehicle of the 2015 ISIS military!) If they are still motoring about in fleets of Toyotas, one would expect them to be an easy target. Do they sneak into these villages?
      I really, really don't get how ISIS is so good.
      One more thing, ISIS is some kind of band of Sunni marauders. It seems less than strategically sound for ISIS to terrorize other Sunnis. What's with that?

  • President Hillary Clinton's Middle East Policy: Interventions, Wars, More of Same
    • As to all of this negativity about Hillary, please recognize that we must take what we have. Our choices are limited to two parties. Hillary, like any Democratic candidate, is flawed. But the Republicans are extreme. They will promise more military, less equality, less health care, less social security, more pollution, more God, less science---and they will keep their promises!

    • Indeed, it will be business as usual. America will patrol the seven seas, and use force to preserve her "interests" around the globe.
      Vote for the Democrat in order to get moderate federal judges appointed---and to reduce the numbers of radical, extremist judges from the federal bench.
      All other differences are pretty much illusory.

  • Netanyahu slips, Reveals reason for Opposition to Iran Deal
    • ...and why can't we have an agreement by all countries of the world to eliminate nuclear weapons? Oh, because not all countries would agree will apparently be the answer. America will never dump America's stockpile. Nor will Israel. I am surprised that Iran does not make a non-negotiable offer that it will never go for nukes, so long as America, Israel, et al quit their nukes, combined with open inspections by an international organization.

    • Professor, I disagree with your assertion that Bibi has received too much media access. In America, this man is revered. Who is more admired than Bibi? Prince Charles? Prince William? I don't think so, although these are valid comparisons. Tom Brady? Nah. Bush family members, or the Clintons? The Kardashian family? None would get dozens of standing ovations before Congress, like Bibi. He would be president if he could run. Bibi is Royalty! Bibi is the King. The King of America, and If it were America's will, he would be King of the world.

  • Do GOP Frontrunners have an Iran policy besides Sanctions and Bombs?
  • War with Iran, by the Numbers
    • Good point. War isn't the only thing that is obscenely expensive. The lust for war is obscenely expensive too. Even where we don't go to war, it costs a lot for materiel, etc. as we salivate for war. The classic macroeconomics model of guns vs butter (more guns means less butter and vice versa) is derided by today's religious and political leaders.

    • If somebody were talking about violently going after their neighbor, or some neighborhood, or another town, or...? If the violent talk was ongoing or at least on a frequent basis, wouldn't many of us think that person was pathologically certifiable, unfit as a human, etc?
      It turns out that such a person should be carefully viewed for potential as a future statesman or leader.
      I just can't wrap my mind around the Bibis, the McCains, the Cheneys---and check out that John Bolton feller! There are just so many to name.
      Sorry. I am just babbling here. I feel totally lost. I have nothing meaningful to contribute.

  • A Game-Changer in Syrian War? al-Qaeda-led Factions take Idlib
    • I still believe that all factions should be allowed to gut it out until someone emerges as the winner. For a long time we have been told that Assad was evil, and had to go. When will we learn that, *exceptional* as we Americans conceive of ourselves, we can't always get what we want in our world empire?
      Worst case scenario: ISIS or somebody else grabs Syria, Iraq and Lebanon. I say let it go. ISIS will not last an eternity.
      Oh, I forgot. We worry about our oil, and we want to cover Israel's back. So that means we are condemned to dance with ISIS and such...
      Sigh.

  • Obama-Netanyahu Tiff worsens: US won't rule out using UN to create Palestine
    • I don't get Obama at all. Of course, Netanyahu (and any other leader of Israel) wants to keep every worthy part of the west bank---and wants an undivided Jerusalem. So Obama says he (and Kerry) won't even try any more settlement talks. This is totally music to Bibi's ears! What a month Bibi is having! He wins America's heart (see congressional appearance), he wins the election, and America throws in the towel on the Palestinians !
      What's next: America bombs Iran for Bibi?
      You go Bibi!!! You are on a roll. America will be there to kiss your tushie! As for Obama, he wears a sign on his back: Kick Me!

  • Mideast Apocalypse 2030: Why Obama wants the Palestine Issue Solved. Now.
    • Maybe I read this doomsday scenario too quickly. Was there any mention of American forces (including missiles and bombers) in the battle? Before it reached the point painted by Dr. Cole, (and even after it reached the painted point) America would surely be there, right in the thick of the war---at least $50 Billion a day!

  • All the Wars and Coups of President Ted Cruz
    • I would love to see Cruz chosen by the republicans for their candidate. I don't see the American people electing this extremist joker. Because George W got to be president, everyone from Texas believes they can also be president. I want to think that the W presidency was a freak accident in American history, aided and abetted by the Supreme Court.

  • Will Palestine now take Israel's Netanyahu to Int'l Criminal Court for War Crimes?
    • The question:
      “We are going to see this thing move into the international domain and the big question is what will the US do?”
      The answer:
      It does not take a sage or a soothsayer to know the answer to this. America got Israel's back no matter what.

  • Mideast Reacts with Horror: "Israel has elected Extremism and Racism"
    • Why be surprised here? Bibi's an honest man. He wants Israel cleansed of all but Jews. He wants "Samaria and Judea" for Israel. Bibi will not give up any land. Bibi is right for Israel, which wants to keep the occupied territories. Moreover, America has got Bibi's back.
      The more things stay the same, the more things stay the same...and the beat goes on.

  • Apartheid Forever: Israel's Netanyahu rules out Palestinian Citizenship Rights
    • Indeed Bibi is the most popular man in Israel. He represents Israel. Period. Many critics point out that Bibi & Israel have everything to gain by keeping the occupied territories. Bibi has congress strongly on his side. Bibi can tell Obama to kiss off. Obama is a very weak leader. Bibi is just flat brilliant, shrewd, and endowed with leadership skills and political instincts that are virtually impeccable. Those of us who hope for something better need to give up. Our noggins are no match for thick brick walls.

    • Mark (and Bill Bodden) you are correct. We need to call a spade a spade. America supports Israel's settlement plans. Moreover, America supports Israel's "mowing the lawn" in Gaza every few years. What I want to know is how did Resolution 242 get past the U.S.'s watchful, protective eye?

    • But America also agrees with Israel's expansion of settlements. See the Democratic convention of 2012, whereby the party declared that Jerusalem should be the capital of Israel. Jerusalem includes East Jerusalem. Republicans totally agree. This makes it unanimous.
      Moreover, America blocks U.N. resolutions directed at Israel---everytime.
      There will be no more peace efforts in Palestine during the remainder of Obama's presidency. With his 3-17-15 victory, Bibi can now tell Kerry and Obama to go bugger themsleves. Furthermore, it won't matter whether Hillary or Jeb wins in 2016. They will both back Bibi and the Likud party.

    • "Netanyahu should be banned from entering the US."

      Are you kidding me? Name me someone---anyone---more popular in America than Bibi?

  • Top 5 ways Netanyahu sabotaged US and Israel Interests
    • Bibi has harmed America in my opinion; but you have to admit that he has played his cards brilliantly. The ultimate goal for an emperor is to keep his empire.
      He still has to assemble a coalition government. But this brilliant politician will get that done too.
      His heavy hand against the Palestinians (and tough talk about Iran), his virtual trashing of any settlement with the Palestinians, and his remarkable play to the American Congress---all proved to be winners for Bibi. Now Israel can continue to expand empire, with the knowledge that America is strongly behind Israel.
      I hate saying any of this. But I don't see how anyone can deny it.

    • Why can't non-Republicans ask Americans how much more war can we afford, and how much more do we want?
      Why can't non-Republicans demand that the warmongers explain (using facts, not opinions) the supposed strong evidence that Iran is: seeking to destroy Israel (as if that is America's primary responsibility); seeking to destroy America, and seeking to rule the world?

    • "This blatant interference in US foreign policy is not unusual for other countries..."
      Was this supposed to say something else?

  • Iran's Khamenei: GOP Letter Disgusting, shows Decline of American System
    • This is the wrong question, IMHO. The 47 republican senators attempted to poison the well. The legalities should not matter. If the Democrats had any sense, they would continuously point out that these Republicans yearn to return to the Bush era (and JEB is in their bullpen, ready to continue the republican dream). What is the dream? Remember the attack of 9-11? Remember the costly unsuccessful invasions of Iraq, Afghanistan? Remember the worst depression since the 30s? Remember the disrespect for the climate, for health care reform, and so much more? These points, and more, should be drummed into the American psyche.

  • Just How dangerous is Sen. Tom Cotton, Iran Letter Crackpot? You'd be Surprised
    • In red state America---and I am sorry to say that Arkansas is now an official Red State---a good politician appeals to his constituents as if speaking to 11 year old boys:
      Cotton likes God.
      Cotton does not like homosexuals.
      Cotton likes guns.
      Cotton does not want to take your money from you.
      Cotton hates bad, evil people.

  • Israeli Army Incursion into Central Gaza to Bulldoze Farmland
    • This is Israel, "mowing the grass." This is part of the "price tag," for Palestinians' existence. Obama and Kerry will say that Israel has a right to defend itself. American congressmen, of course, are "Israel-sexuals."
      And the beat goes on.

  • 5 Things Official Washington won't Tell you about Netanyahu's Israel
    • The U.S. is a de facto supporter of Israel's displacement of native inhabitants on the West Bank. When you count the votes of the U.S. at the United Nations, the U.S. is a de jure supporter as well.
      Nobody mentions that the Democratic convention platform for 2012 was amended to make an explicit mention of Allah (er...I mean...God), and to explicitly recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. This was said to have been pushed by Obama. So both political parties (and the president) of the U.S. favor settlement by Israel of at least part of the occupied territories.

  • Bombing Iran: What would Happen if the Hawks got their Way?
    • Why oh why oh why is it that Israel and the United States have designated Iran as world public enemy 1? Iran has not attacked anybody in literally centuries.
      What does America and Israel have to gain by punking Iran? I honestly don't get the purpose of the strategy.

    • Iran could act like America, and make threats to nuke others...and actually nuke somebody. America is the only country to nuke anybody. That is why America is so afraid of Iran. America fears that Iran will act like America.

    • Ah yes, the Rapture---Armageddon.
      Moreover, its the fulfillment of the American Caliphate.
      And who says that ISIS is delusional?

  • Iraq: What is the meaning of the Assyrian capital ISIL just demolished?
    • What is the meaning of the trashing of the antiquities? They want to piss everybody off. They want enmity. It is a statement of "bring it on." I beg every religious zealot in the world to get their butts over there, and to give us a grand battle for God. This will please them. This should please everybody. It would be a win, win, win, win, win situation!

  • Iran and America's Memory Hole
    • This is indeed an interesting factoid, a sketchy amount of which I knew. I am old enough to know about all of this, but for one simple fact. Our main stream media failed to tell us about this, and to this day fails to tell about this. I remember when Iran took and held 52 Americans as "hostages" for over a year. Every night, ABC had a program called NIghtline, wherein the crisis was talked about. I was riveted to Nightline as often as I could watch. Yet, I never was told about America's involvement with SAVAK; nor about Israel's involvement either. I don't recall Bibi talking about SAVAK the other day---nor the pundits who analyzed Bibi's extravaganza before congrees and broadcast to the American body politic.

  • Israel to demolish homes of dozens of Bedouins in Abu Dis
    • Why does the U.S. idly sit by and let Israel continue to raze, bulldoze and construct settlements for Jews on Palestinian property? This is so criminal.
      Somebody please tell!

  • Frmr Israeli Intel Head: Netanyahu's Clash w/ Obama 'Intolerable', Risks end of US UN Veto
    • Now I see that Israel is conducting massive military exercises on the West Bank. Bibi will do anything to ratchet up the tensions as he gets closer to the elections. Say what you want about Bibi, but he is a genius at the politics of keeping his job in Israel.

  • Why Netanyahu's Congress Speech will Fail: Iran Can't be Stopped, only Monitored
    • Bibi's speech is going to accomplish exactly what it is meant to accomplish. I don't know if congress will give him 29 or more standing ovations, as they did in 2011. But congress will definitely give a loud, raucous stamp of approval to Bibi. Bibi knows how to give masterful speeches, and a good time will be had by all. The media will go wild too.
      Bibi will get reelected, which is what his whole show is really all about. Iran? Oh that is just a smoke screen. Did Bush care about Bin Laden? Bush cared that Bin Laden gave Bush another 4 years as president! Iran is good for Bibi too.

  • Giuliani & Obama: Immigrant Families and Really Loving America
    • I should have said that Ralph Waldo Emerson Dunham was his mother's grandfather---and Obama's great-grandfather.

    • I never knew that Rudy's father was a convicted gangster either. It is laudable that Rudy rose above that. It is interesting that Rudy's American heritage starts with his Immigrant Italian Grandparents. Whereas, Obama's maternal heritage goes far back. His mother's father was the son of Ralph Waldo Emerson Dunham (named after an American poet!). All of Obama's maternal heritage goes back early into the 19th century---at least. Obama's background is clearly wayyyy more American than Rudy's.
      I agree with you that Republicans are very, very skilled at opposition research, and the Democrats are unskilled in many aspects of politics.

  • Israel earmarks vast area of Palestinian Hebron/ al-Khalil land for annexation
    • The U.S. will publicly say that it does not approve the annexation, while winking "you are cool" to Israel.
      Israel will say it is necessary for security purposes and/or that Jews have the right to live anywhere.
      As the old Sonny & Cher song says: "...and the beat goes on."

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