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Total number of comments: 17 (since 2013-11-28 15:55:05)

John Burnham

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  • Omar Khayyam (58)
    • Thank you for these gems. Your translations breathe fresh life into these old, wise words of Omar Khayyam.

  • Khamenei Takes Control, Forbids Nuclear Bomb
    • This ignore-ance of statements, facts and reason surrounding the "Iranian-threat" just goes to support those that claim the US's occupation (or attempts) of the ME is another crusade. This 21st-century crusade has relied on demonizing Muslims and de-legitimizing Islamic institutions: mollifying any calls for dialogue, soothing the conscience of the judeo-christian populace as Muslims are starved and killed in large numbers, and denying any culpability for incensing these cultures.

      Unfortunately Khamenei's "victory" here gives Israel all the more reason to attack Iran as "evil" Ahmadinejad fades and this voice that Juan highlights, a strong denial of nuclear weapons, gains dominance and Israel/Bibi fears that given time the bomb-propaganda might flounder.

  • Afro-Asia, Global South Reject Boycott of Iran
    • Jesse:
      The US wants sovereign access to the Caspian Sea and its maritime space... so they figure REGIME CHANGE is their best bet (with a side of extra virgin sweet not-olive oil).

  • Logical Errors and Propaganda in Republican Debate on the Middle East
    • Watching this segment of the debate enraged me: Ahmadinejad labeled as "Dictator" is so beyond ignorance that to use the term three times is lying with mischievous intent! (Ahmadinejad won't even be in office next year) This PR campaign is running out of time and these three (a little less so Romney though...) are pushing the American people to believe the lie and be prepped for war. I know Ron Paul has his problems but I'm glad his voice is there,-even if to be mocked--as he offers an opposing viewpoint.

  • 71% of Americans think Iran already has the Bomb (Also we used to have pet triceratops)
    • This is just crazy. So much misinformation and ignorance surrounds this issue (as the crusaders have been marching for a decade or three). We (as the human race) are fortunate to have had enough intelligent people where it has counted over the years as this "evil Iran" campaign has waxed and waned before, but it hasn't been like it is today where there is such open discourse about war...
      If I were in America I would be marching in the streets (as I did in Chicago with the run up to the Iraq invasion).

  • Active Nuclear Arsenals and Iran's Absence
    • @ John Caddidy
      Do you think that America and Russia have not openly acted in ways that fit the definition of supporting (or being) terrorists, including drones, assassinations, supporting of "resistance fighters"? (That is not to mention Israel or the UK's clandestine operations or Pakistan period)

  • Sternfeld: Will Iran's Elections Provoke a New Green Movement?
    • I've always thought/speculated that the "stolen election" was merely an urban reaction: Tehranian political leanings (likely more "progressive" than rural regions) having perceived the national election totals as fraudulent... all this with the acknowledgement that Khamenei likely gets his way ultimately, whether through the screening of candidates and then the additional support of likely declaring which votes are legitimate/genuine. Without the appropriate oversight, we just don't know.

    • "threatening [the] 'Iranian threat'"
      Yes. Western media, specifically the US (at least the newspapers as I read a large swath of them from afar) rarely mention the reality that Ahmadinejad is subject to term-limits. "Ahmadinejad" is the cover-boy for anti-Iran campaigns and this is one reason the escalation is so scary as of now: if Israel/US don't act within the year, they won't have Ahmadinejad as the scapegoat any longer. Most news-outlets do not mention that he is a relative moderate among future Iranian candidates for president! (nor do they mention that even green-party candidates were pro-nuclear) I fear we may not see much past the 2012 elections in Iran, as almost all evidence seems to indicate a disastrous escalation is on the way...

      It is certainly hard to argue for the merits of Iranian democracy but your commentary does justice to the topic in my opinion. I, perhaps naively, believe that if it were up to Ahmadinejad (and not Khamanei and Dennis Ross), he and Obama would have opened up some form of dialogue and greatly progressed towards a solution to the "Iranian threat."

  • Top Ten Catholic Teachings Santorum Rejects while Obsessing about Birth Control
    • Living Christ's Image: Santorum (and Gringrich) would be terrible presidents not because they are Catholics, but because they are bad Catholics. Even the tenets of the Republican Party are antithetical to Catholic morality and teaching (I am a product of the Jesuits). As an atheist myself, although with Christ as one of many role-models, it is difficult to listen to these two men talk period as their hypocrisy makes me sad.
      Perhaps Obama will have the political-savvy to kill two/three birds with one stone here through inciting public dialogue about religion, forcing another awkward Mormom-speech from Romney à la 2008...

  • The Dilemma over Syria
    • How do we affect change in regards to the "archaic veto privileges for the 5 permanent members"? By removing or greatly limiting the veto power, such a change would vastly level the remaining antagonistic, "east-versus-west" countries ability to act out under protection.

      Thank you Juan Cole for the honest analysis of Syria as it is hard to find commentary on this catastrophe that is not an over-simplified, heavily biased "news-report".

  • Marsh on Obama: The Party's Over
    • Do you not think that: the Tea Party is a reactionary swing to all the neo-conservatism of Bush/Cheney, having vastly enlarged govt, invaded privacy, started unnecessary wars and resulted in massive spending..?
      Certainly some of the rhetoric in March's piece is blog-speak but the points encapsulate a larger problem for Obama: his 2008 message was a farce and any other call-to-arms message for 2012 can only be deemed a rationalization of the further let down that he will continue to be.

    • Thank you Marsh:

      "message didn’t fool smarter folks"
      Back when I shot the Chicago-scene, pre-2008, I found Obama in my viewfinder several times. Knowing that they could never be realized in real-world politicking, I could never stand Obama's fantastical pictures he would paint with beautiful words and pitch-perfect oratory.

      "floating hail Mary posts about switching Biden with Hillary"
      Honestly this is the only way I think I could feel passionately about an Obama reelection campaign and with a promise that Hillary would be a Cheney-of-sorts -- I know she would start a war with Iran and implement domestic drones but still, she'd at least be a leader. (and could carry the party in 2016)

      Post Script: "March on, March on!" This is all I could hear in my head when I saw the title.

  • A Murder in Tehran
    • Hi D,
      I agree "mirror" was a misnomer: an MEK-article, written with some weighty intellect, would make that clear (more so than a comment from the peanut-gallery,-meaning myself of course). I am not sure that any candidate post-election (including Obama-via-Clinton) will keep the designation for the MEK as they are too useful to Washington, which is very unfortunate.

    • It is a sad day for science around the world.

      I feel that a conversation about Camp Ashraf would be applicable here: how international bodies and specific governments are attempting to liberate this group of extremists; the dilemma their situation presents to international law; how their (MEK's) methods have mirrored terrorist actions in the past and your deduction seems to indicate that they still do (only now backed by larger powers).

  • Iran Hype undermined by Obama Administration Admissions
    • As much as I preferred Clinton over Obama pre-2008, I believe Clinton would have initiated this coming-war much earlier in her presidency. ...This current escalation is so frustrating to watch unfold and it is immensely unfair to the people of Iran. Thank you for the frank and honest analysis here.

  • Top 5 Foreign Policy Challenges for US, 2012
    • "Washington insists on building up Iran as a threat."
      Yes, this has been going on for years (if not decades) but finally it is at an explosive point and I am disgusted to watch this happen. ...It is not advised to use your imagination towards what could go down in the next twelve months (regardless of how interesting it is to watch this masterfully played chess game).

      I feel that in regards to the US, Pakistan should move to spot 3 (or even 2), but I am fairly ignorant of the weight Syria holds in the region.

      ,-And poor Egypt: 2012 will not be a year of peace.

      Happy 2012 and may it be full of peace

  • 2011: End of US Hyperpower & its War with Islamdom
    • I just want to say, "Thank You" to Juan Cole for his commentary on the Middle East. History and logic are often lacking in commentaries of this sort, but Juan Cole's are always enlightening, well-reasoned and topical (and never shallow). Thank You Juan Cole and Happy New year from Norway!

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