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Total number of comments: 30 (since 2013-11-28 15:54:38)

KFritz

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  • How Peter O'Toole Saved the Arabs (According to David Lean)
    • Gamil Ratib, an Egyptian actor, played Majid.

      link to imdb.com

      There were also 2 actors fr/ the Indian subcontinent portraying Arabs! Also check out the story of Michael Ray, who played the bastard, Farraj.

  • Egypt: 100,000 Demonstrators Deliver "Final Warning," chase President Morsi from Palace
    • Does Juan (or anyone else, for that matter) have reasonably reliable demographics on the demography of the Muslim Brotherhood and its opponents in the street and elsewhere? My vague impression is that the Brotherhood is older, and that many of Egypt's young folk, who were the vanguard of the Arab Spring, have no love lost toward the Brotherhood.

  • Top Ten Clint Eastwood Empty-Chair Falsehoods
    • I don't carry water for BHO. I don't think he's nearly the equal of either predecessor. But 2012 is a very different from 1934 or 1965. And LBJ's admin is one of the great tragedies of US history--good ideas combined with sloppy execution and an insane war.

      Politics aside, in today's media environment, BHO would defeat FDR or LBJ in an open election.

  • Romney, and Aryan Racial Theory as a basis for Foreign Policy
    • Persuading the Scots to give up alcohol and caffeine? Sounds like an audition to play Don Quixote in "Man of La Mancha!"

  • Police Crackdowns on OWS Coordinated among Mayors, FBI, DHS
    • Jean Quan remarked that she was discussing OOakland w/ other mayors @ the SFGate website. She complained that the OO liasons were the least reasonable in the nation, not difficult to believe to residents of the East Bay who watch our anarchists in action. I can't link to this because SFGate, the website that the SF Chronicle uses, is horribly organized for back-linking.

      That said, there are still daily demonstrations of dissent in downtown Oakland, people freely congregating and speaking. A non-existing right to camp on public land has been 'revoked.'

      Also note that, unlike Bloomberg's NYC, the Oakland eviction was done w/ the press in attendance taking photos, no subrosa nonsense. Mayor Quan learned fr/ the first debacle. The cops behaved.

  • Justin Bieber on Sen. Klobuchar's Criminalization of the Internet: She should be put away in Cuffs
    • Good grief. If this legislation is by a Democrat, what are the REPUBLICANS up to?

  • Ambassador Ford's Departure a Defeat for al-Assad
    • Professor Cole:

      Interested to get your 'take' on Nir Rosen's work @ Al Jazeera, emphasizing the ethnic divide in the Syrian Civil War. He hasn't discussed Assad's strong Sunni support in Damascus. I write 'civil war' because this seems like a war along religious and/or regional conflict, with ideology and governance issues secondary.

      link to english.aljazeera.net

  • Karzai: Afghanistan would Side With Pakistan in War with US
    • Please explain how/why the US 'couldn't do anything about it.' We're footing a great deal of the bill with many people on the ground.

    • There's a Sicilian idiom for a person who rises further than his/her capability or who overestimates his/her position in a power struggle: "He took a step longer than his foot."

      Hamid Karzai has walked a mile longer than his foot.

      I remember as though yesterday the complacent way that the US betrayed the position of Dr. Abdullah, the man cheated out of a runoff election against Karzai. Abdullah is an accomplished, cultivated, above all capable man. Our slovenly acceptance of Karzai as the 'evil we know' was bound to cause trouble in the long run. The long run is now.

  • Qaddafi's People's Temple
    • Unless I'm mistaken the origin of Kool-Aid drinking as methatphor lies back in the mist of 1960's "Acid Tests," when the LSD was put in the 'punch.'

    • There are a few people around the world breathing a very special sigh of relief. As an exiled leader, used to compliant obedience, Khadafy would have been the houseguest fr/ Hell. His sub-Saharan remoras would have been financially hard-pressed to accommodate him in the style he'd have demanded. (And the change in the overlord--liege relationship would have been awkward!) Daniel Ortega probably wouldn't have had the domestic political capital to shelter him. The Castros (to save face) might have had to take him and damage their (slightly) improving international standing--making them the most (covertly) grateful of all Muammar's fellow tyrants. Chavez has the means and domestic standing, but would have tired quickly of the Libyan's antics. And probably knows it and thanks who/whatever he may thank for sparing him his old friend's annoying company.

      There's bitter humor in even some of the most serious situations!

  • Turkey Goes into Iraq after Kurdish Attack
    • If nothing else, thanks for the excellent map. In more than 20 years of coverage of the Kurdish "Question," no MSM outlet, or blog that I've seen has bothered to display one. Trying to understand politics (let alone war!) without good maps is like making rice without water.

  • Facebook Shanghaiing
  • Wagging the Dog with Iran's Maxwell Smart
    • From an amateur observer--SOMEBODY SOMEWHERE has done SOMETHING harebrained. Eventually we'll find out who it was/is.

  • Amanda Knox and Troy Davis
    • On NPR someone, I believe a Knox relative, intoned how much better the courts were in the US than Italy. Almost gagged, shades of Troy Davis and many others. Our system of justice is anything but evenhanded.

      Anyone who doesn't know the horror of murder and upon learning of the horror takes up cudgels for revenge-by-execution was never 'liberal' to begin with. 'Liberal' is knowing what horror is and, nevertheless, understanding the limits of revenge

  • Qaddafi was a CIA Asset
    • It's utter nonsense to say Washington was against alliances. He led the cheer when the French alliance was announced in 1778. As I recall his exact word(s) were, "Huzza!" It's no exaggeration to say that US independence at the time it occurred would have been impossible without the French alliance.

      Alliances can be operationally defined as a tool or an instrument. Tools are good when used properly, say a hammer driving a nail. Setting a screw with a hammer doesn't work as well. An 'alliance' Washington refused to make as President was to take either side in the French Revolution. Same nation. Different time. Different Context. Different policy.

      For a number of reasons, I believe that using the Libyan intervention as a template for Syria would be a disaster. The context is different.

      Washington didn't want American policy to be shaped by rigid ideology or fixed ideas or categories. Neither should we.

  • Libya: Oil Bids on Basis of Capacity; World releases $15 bn in Assets
    • On second thought, perhaps Clinton is behaving wisely, making noise to appease US jingoists. If that's the case and the Libyans who need to understand do, no harm done.

    • Re: American interests in Libya.

      The spectacle of (metaphorical) barracudas and sharks circling the pool of capital which Libya and the NTC will inherit is tragicomic. This doesn't mean that US and other businesses w/ expertise the Libyans need shouldn't make money or be paid, just that everyone involved needs to be circumspect separating the useful entities from the skimmers looking for loose cash.

      That said.. Secretary Clinton has just put her foot in our mouth by demanding retribution on a dying man while the NTC and everyone else are busy with really important events. The suggestions of AIPAC mouthpiece Schumer are beneath contempt. There's no need to suck up to the Libyans, but antagonizing them by catering to jingoism is stupid and short-sighted, the work of political hacks.

      link to english.aljazeera.net

  • Qaddafi reportedly South of Tripoli as Algeria offers Family Members Safe Passage
    • Bani Walid is militarily, a terrible refuge. The major ingress, egress is from the north and south. The roads directly to the east are narrow, easily monitored, and because of the narrowness can't support a large movement of troops and materiel towards Sirte.

      According to Wikipedia, the town is unique as every inhabitant is a member of the same tribe. Is Qadafi is there for political reasons--probably because the tribal leaders remain loyal to him?

  • Rebels Consolidate Control over Tripoli as Qaddafi's Mass Killings Discovered
    • Major quibble with Glenn Robinson, who says the length of the war was a positive factor. Viewed from a point of view from the construction industry, there is a huge amount of destruction to be repaired (when possible) or demolished, carted away, and replaced. Years of work awaits. Every day brings more destruction. As Sun Tzu wrote, "Weapons are tools of ill omen." A shorter war would have been MUCH better.

    • According Al Jazeera's Libya Blog, Human Rights Watch is on the ground in Tripoli. They are nonpartisan, and will report rebel atrocities when uncovered. I also notice that you supply no links. Not kosher. Here's the Libya Blog.

      link to blogs.aljazeera.net

  • Iraq Adopts Iran's Backing of Assad
    • The current Turkish government is much more identified with Sunni Islam than the predecessor secular governments. Their reaction to the Iraqi endorsement of Assad will be interesting.

  • How to Avoid Bush's Iraq Mistakes in Libya
    • All citizens with a degree in business or economics from the University of Chicago should be deported.

  • Qaddafi's Complex Falls to Revolutionaries
    • Another Qadafi trait: big-time spite. Since their supplies from Tunisia were severed, everything action they've taken, every bullet they've fired has been an act of spite, proclaiming, "If we can't have the whole country, we'll destroy as much as we can." This done, instead of running away with their lives.

      Thankfully, they didn't arrange to sabotage Libya's biggest refinery at Ras Lanuf, captured intact during the last few hours, according to Al Jazeera.

  • Top Ten Myths about the Libya War
    • I wouldn't describe Greenwald as pro-Qadafi. "Reflexively anti-military action" will do better. And given the Iraq debacle and the disaster in Afghanistan after its promising first month, we can cut him some slack, given his usually spot-on reporting and analysis.

  • Paul, Santorum and the Sixth War (on Iran)
  • AU proposes Ceasefire, NATO protects Misrata, Ajdabiya
    • From NATO, 4/12, the strategic and tactical changes that are likely to undermine and topple Gaddafi continue:

      "One of the strikes last night focused on
      an ammunition bunker,” said Lieutenant
      General Charles Bouchard, Commander of
      Operation Unified Protector. "We will
      continue to strike at the Regime's supplies
      and supply lines and reduce their ability to
      fight.”

    • "NATO...gets its act together"

      Sun Tzu wrote that to defeat an opponent, the opponent's strategy must be defeated. From this point of view, much of the NATO air campaign has been incomplete and inept. Gadaffi's strategy relies on superior mobile armaments and resupply of ammunition and fuel to the mobile armament, as well as for the troops and their movement. If NATO makes it impossible for him to fuel and supply his forces, they will implode.

      To date, NATO hasn't pursued such a strategy.

      The most recent NATO communique mentions attacks on "logistics" and the destruction of arms depots. An expansion of this strategy will yield better and much more rapid results that the strategically uninformed MSM can presently conceive. Let's see if it happens.

    • "NATO...gets its act together"

      Sun Tzu wrote that to defeat an opponent, the opponent's strategy must be defeated. From this point of view, much of the NATO air campaign has been incomplete and inept. Gadaffi's strategy relies on superior mobile armaments and resupply of ammunition and fuel to the mobile armament, as well as for the troops and their movement. If NATO makes it impossible for him to fuel and supply his forces, they will implode.

      To date, NATO hasn't pursued such a strategy.

      The most recent NATO communique mentions attacks on "logistics" and the destruction of arms depots. An expansion of this strategy will yield better and much more rapid results that the strategically uniformed MSM can presently conceive. Let's see if it happens.

  • Collapse of Kabul Bank Points to Fatal Corruption of Karzai Government
    • The US government, read State Dept., Obama, Clinton, showed a total unwillingness to engage in necessary confrontation when it allowed Karzai to steal the election fr/ Abdullah & then shut him out of any coalition effort. They're hoping that if they spend enough $, say the right things, and wage a token fight against the Taliban that somehow 'things will turn out all right.' Only some sort of calamity can ensue.

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