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Total number of comments: 146 (since 2013-11-28 14:42:49)

Larry Piltz

Showing comments 146 - 101

  • Flash Point: Could Turkey block Russian access to Mediterrranean?
    • ...and the possibility of non-state terrorism against Russian ships plying the straits or Sea of Marmara, and it exacerbating Russian-Turkish enmity, or cloaked Israeli terrorism...

  • Is Daesh/ ISIL a modern Raiding Pirate state?
    • William, you neglect to point out the similarities to the Great Pirates of 'The West', whose ideology primarily embraced armed conquest of areas where resources could be extracted and which installed colonial trading regimes, dividing local peoples between a few self-interested abetters and everyone else - as still exists around the world to a very large extent, and which has been the primary form of government (corrupt dictatorship still supported and overly influenced by the colonial/occupying/and now 'trading partner' Western power. It's just as brutal initially as anything ISIS has done, and only in time does it settle down into a semi-barbaric routine under the watchful diplomacy of Western gunboats. Get it? The West was just as bad, if not worse, and ISIS is a parallel invention, barbaric in its desperation (the best defense is a good offense) to maintain its territorial gains. Sure, some piracy similarities exist, and they're important strategically, but mostly its a Western-style (with cultural differences) invention of a new territorial power, as was Israel at its gestation and later birth. Only with ISIS, it's the Saudis and Gulf allies doing the funding and recruiting, as opposed to England, the United States, and other European colonial/imperial powers doing the preparatory work. Get it? ISIS doesn't equal Israel, but the genesis is the same, and ISIS is the antimatter that has evolved finally to oppose Israel in a region where the United States and England have generally exploded the old order, which England and the U.S. (and France) had created in the first place. It's all to make Israel and "our" oil safer, but the antimatter was created as a byproduct. And now The West is trying to strangle ISIS in its cradle. ISIS is dangerous but has already begun to flail around to help sustain its momentum and try to guarantee some sort of survival for itself. Wither and whittle and eventual dissipation is The West's strategy against it.

    • Yes, including not only the Republican Party, with near-unanimity as a warmongering right-wing ideologic force, but including also a portion of the Democratic Party, its substantial conservative wing that votes with Republicans more times than not for revanchivist issues across the board, especially the jingoistic ones, And I say that as someone who votes Democratic. My wing is the progressive/pro-peace one.

  • With Ahmad Chalabi's Death, Passing of an Age of Lies
    • And let's remember forever, with all the deserved sneering and denouncing they earned, the major news media liars - all of them except Knight-Ridder - all of whom couldn't have been bothered to learn the truth or actually cared less that they were handmaidens and joiners of the Lies. If they'd cared, they'd have known better, as did you, me, and the rest of the world easily learned because we sought the truth, Professor Cole.

      And look around today, and you see the same pack of ignorant self-glorifying news media jackals and their newer career-worshipping accomplices lying down and taking it up their corrupted 'information' channels about Ukraine, Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Iran, et al, and the suffering people, animals, and land therein.

    • A rare oppositional point, Professor Cole -- The authors of the lie are named Bush/s, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Powell, Rice, Wolfowitz, Kristol/s, Perle, Wurmser, Feith, Kagan/s, Pipes, et al. The age of [Those] Lies won't pass until they are all welcomed into hell and not a minute sooner. And their chief enablers too, such as Judith Miller, Michael Gordon (STILL primary NYT liar and now chief military correspondent), oh yeah and the Sulzberger nest of lying warmongers.

      Also, any age of lies won't end until the still-ongoing damage ends that was spawned (intentionally) by the authors and propagaters of the lie. The destruction and suffering wrought by the lie has already lasted 12 years, and it will take 20-30 more years for it to lose its inertia.

  • Iran helping build "New Syrian Army;" ISIL fighters Fleeing to Iraq from Russian Airstrikes
    • Respectfully and in the spirit of inquiry: You said Iran's support for Assad is shameful. But wouldn't Iran and the rest of the world allowing extremist ISIS, et al, adherents of Middle Ages 'justice' and mass murder and enslavement of opposing religious and secular groups come to power be more shameful, and a worse outcome? And I'm no supporter of barbaric 'Greater Israel', by the way.

  • What is Russia's Strategy in Syria & Why does Egypt Approve?
    • U.S. warmakers are closely observing and analyzing Russian military actions and capabilities and folding this current information into its own strategic and tactical assessments of Russian power estimates and projections. The U.S. wastes no opportunity to turn lemons into shrapnel. This has nothing to do with the military/political goals of Russia in Syria - for now.

  • Deal with Saudis? Why does the US care if Russia bombs al-Qaeda and its Allies in Syria?
    • Dr. Cole, would you please use a post to dissect what the United States government's actual intentions and preferences are in Syria? There's so much rhetorical smokescreen and omission from news reporting - even alternative news reporting - that getting a clear picture of U.S. intent is. For instance, I've read that now in Iraq the U.S. is not really bothering to bomb ISIS targets for the most part, even ignoring ISIS' frequent oil tanker truck traffic deliveries that they derive significant income from, even though those trucks are greatly exposed for hundreds of miles in open ground. Is a negotiated stalemate in the cards in both Iraq and Syria?

  • With Iran deal, & Russia in Syria, is Israel being Boxed In?
    • It's always good to see a bully constrained.

    • Austria and the U.A.E. don't have 100's of nukes. I wish it weren't the case but Israel's nukes are its guarantor of being taken seriously out of proportion to its size. It will remain the regional hegemon. It will continue getting away with slow-motion gradual mass murder.

      The entire U.S.-British-Western deconstruction of the previously colonized Middle East has broken down the area into nearly powerless political cantons and military districts at odds with each other or in weak temporary alliances and all dependent on mostly Western arms. Israel and the West have won again, preserving hegemony for another 40-50 years to come (perhaps). Russia's increased entry into Syria is a boon for the West's hegemony as well, as it helps contain the West's deconstructing wild-card titular ally ISIS and also allows Russia to become part of the functional hegemony in the process.

      And Israel, as you mention, benefits from the Russian presence too, as Assad continues to be marginalized but the burgeoning eventual Salafi existential threat to Israel begins to be more contained. As long as Assad is greatly weakened, Israel and the West are happy enough.

      Now Iraq's gone. Iran is kept at bay by the agreement for years to come, until it either more or less politically capitulates or until the West upgrades its technological and logistical military advantages in the region such that it can successfully withstand an Iranian counterattack if the nuclear deal breaks apart. So the West wins again, and Israel, a Western colony that won a modified independence through military aggression and its nuclear weapon stockpile, wins as well.

      I strongly believe though that Israel's best chance to survive has always been through plowshares not war. Sooner or later someone's going to find a way to nuke Tel Aviv if Israel is not a crucial economic boon and partner with the entire region. Israel and Palestine need to become one state for all, with one-person-one-vote, and integrate its economy and its agricultural and hydro technologies with the region. The greater safety is still in numbes and in being indispensable - not a horrific declared enemy.

  • ISIL's Assault on History: Blows Up 1st Century Baal Shamin Temple in Palmyra
    • I know destroying historical treasures is self-refuting and despicable, an atrocity really. However, how about describing what the United States has done in Iraq (to mention only one of America's victim nations targeted) in the same terms, such as:

      The United States Assault on Modern Life Itself: Blows Up 21st Century Infrastructure for Health, Life, and Even Subsistence While Destroying Iraq.

      I think Professor Cole would agree with my assertion, but just posting to make the point clear.

  • Top 5 Ways Obama's 'All of the Above' Politics led to Sanders & Trump
    • I join your defense of Obama - even though I passionately wish he'd been the passionate progressive he campaigned as. I'll add that he added more wildnerness, national parks, and other preservations of nature and historic sites than any other president in the history of the country. He made 100's of positive changes, mostly through executive orders (because what was his alternative?). I beg to differ on your calling the Affordable Care Act originally a Republican plan. That's a common counterproductive misunderstanding. No Republican EVER formulated, advanced, or introduced into legislation a healthcare system or program that covers millions of people like Obama's Medicaid expansion has. Nor did any Republican offering ever include ending Big Insurance's policies of exclusion from healthcare, ending lifetime allowances for coverage, and many other people-first policies that Obama's ACA instituted and are now law. Let's let that 'Obamacare was a Republican program' myth die right now. The GOP doesn't want people to have fair and accessible healthcare, or they would have introduced and passed it long ago. The GOP has ONLY ever adamantly opposed healthcare for the people, including Medicare and Medicaid. They opposed Social Security too, of course, and still want to end it.

    • Marches don't move the 1%. Only threats to their economic dominance move them into action. Usually that action is violent repression. See Occupy. There is plenty of progressive organization and action. I don't know how you're missing it unless you're looking only on the front pages of papers for 'important' marches.

    • Trump is a media creation. He is a virtual character, a cartoon thought balloon vacuous through and through. He is seen through a filter of commercials, and he is one big self-promotion only. If America buys him as candidate, the system will intensify its disintegration. Trump is a fraud perpetrated by the 1% on the rest of us.

  • If Southerners want a Symbol, Why not the Moultrie Liberty Flag?
    • Dssmith, thanks for your excellent comment. Your last sentence made me think twice though. I really do not believe that "We are better than that", neither in your state of South Carolina, my original home state of Mississippii, nor my present home state of Texas, nor in any of the states in the nation that continue to discriminate against minority voters and others such as the elderly or ill by enacting cynical and unethical (if not amoral) restrictive voting laws. The same goes for state and federal laws that intentionally target minority citizens more than majority citizens, as well as the egregious unequal enforcement of even those awful laws, all tilted to commit as many minority citizens as possible to the prison systems for many years of their lives, both inside and outside of the walls. It's a reverse underground railroad, and it needs to be completely dismantled along with the symbols of racial oppression.

      Maybe someday we will "be better than that", but certainly we have not proven such a thing to any significant degree and are far from being "better than that" today.

  • Another White non-Terrorist Kills 9, Makes Bomb Threats
    • Good point, John. As you said, it has never shown respect for life. It even demeaned those who originally followed it. Those who still do are even further devolved and debased. Ignorance retreats nowhere but deeper and deeper into itself.

    • Exactly, super390. There are studies proving what you've described. It's a well-known strategy of a venal majority.

    • Pray in the streets, friend, with others.

    • Biil Bodden, yes, yes. We all know about what you're talking about. Gaza, Balkans, Central America. All truly tragic and all too horribly true. But an atrocity is still an atrocity. And for you to argue otherwise is regressive, counterproductive, and bizarrely contrary and without good reason. The readers at this blog know all this stuff you're talking about and have it in perspective. YOU are the one who has lost perspective. The Charleston shooting is an atrocity, both in and of itself, and especially now in the long and lengthening line of similar atrocites across the country these last especially six or so years, by cops or ordinary civilians. Please keep up! Find a place that could use your political erudition and use it, appropriately, there.

    • Michael, you can't wave your magic wand and make everyone else turn off TV. TV remains a huge part of the problem despite you personally opting out. I opt out. But you can't blame others for not doing so. Do you have an actually relevant point?

  • Washington asks, "Who lost Ramadi?" But Washington never had Ramadi
    • Robert, I agree with your thoughts and sentiments, but could you please quit pretending that any nation or people is responsible for the disaster Iraq has become other than the nation and people that perpetrated the whole fiasco, which is the United States through its illegal, amoral, deceitful, and unjustified invasion, occupation, and destruction of Iraq?

      And I think that given a vote, the people of Ramadi would rather have Daesh/IS/ISIL in power than the Shiite government in Baghdad, which has discriminated and persecuted Sunnis since its inception under American domination.

  • The National Security State gets Real: 9 Ways the US is becoming Bizarro World
    • Nice list. Thanks. Regarding #5, the U.S. invasion, occupation, and destruction of Iraq under Bush-Cheney is the original sin of the present-day dilemma and strife. Bush-Cheney proved the U.S. could destroy but not build or protect, and that the U.S. had no intention or desire to actually do so. If it really desired to do so, then the Iraqi Army would not have been utterly disbanded and its governing state apparati and its technicians and other human infrastructure would not have been likewise uprooted so entirely. Bush-Cheney proved that the U.S. is NOT A FRIEND OF THE PEOPLES OF THE MIDDLE EAST NOR EVEN OF ITS ALLIES IN THE REGION. Bush-Cheney and the subsequent regional chaos proved to the indigenous leaders in the region that it needed to discount U.S. interests in order to survive and also to make a show of defiance of U.S. interests so that their own populations wouldn't rise up as one mass against the regional leaders. The U.S., thanks to Bush-Cheney, are the #1 enemy of the region now and will be far into the future, and the regional peoples know this reflexively and instinctually now. Their regional leaders know they ignore this at their own peril. So of course Obama or any U.S. leader's calls for anything will be ignored and shunned. So calling Obama apparently toothless, by itself, is a sop to American ignorance and its pretend exceptionalism, in other words, just as much of the victim of propaganda as any false WMD argument was. Come out of the propaganda more fully when you make your otherwise excellent arguments, please.

  • How U.S. will monitor Iranian ships in Yemen
    • I guess this method could be interestingly used, but this video isn't an example of that. If anything, the 3D method will be used mostly to illustrate the glorious American 'defensive' Navy's awesome destructive bullying.

  • Top 5 Signs of the Decline and Fall of the American Republic
    • A strategic oligarchic Praetorianization of government has succeeded in purposefully precipitating an undermining delegitimatization of The Commons. Great private wealth has authorized and enabled a victorious predatory corporate usurpation of natural human rights. Money and technology have been supremely weaponized for enforcement purposes. Is there any coming back from this scenario that has played out in the shadows just beyond our ability to recognize it fully?

  • Tom Friedman & funding ISIL: Israel/Iran Derangement Syndrome
    • The "West" is still fighting Saladin: "Jerusalem now and forever" is the inalterable mindset. American Jewry, which includes me, will lose a small but significant portion of support for Israel, but when push comes to shove an overwhelming existential urge for Israel to survive no matter what - despite medievally amoral Israeli standards and practices - will prevent their cooptation to an equitable, even rational U.S. approach to Israel. The Bible-story mentality of a large majority of Americans, and what happened to Jews in the 1930s and 1940s, is too strong and unchallenged culturally and politically to overcome. That is a permanent condition, unfortunately, I believe.

  • Bombing Iran: What would Happen if the Hawks got their Way?
    • Neocons love the idea of an ISIL-dominated northern & central Iraq and Shiite Iran and southern Iraq going to war against one another. Why wouldn't they? They fomented, supplied, and coordinated the Iran-Iraq War in the 1980s. The Middle East is much more of a tinderbox now than it was then, so the consequences would be far worse, of course, as described above. Juan doesn't mention Hezbollah, Lebanon, Israel, Syria, Turkey, and the Gulf States, but they would be affected too, if not directly involved. Obama and the sane party realize all this and are doing the right thing by trying to defuse the situation, while the insane GOP wants to explode it like they did with Iraq in 2003. The neocons and GOP and Likud are all sadistic opportunistic nihilists who think they'll profit from the absolute misery and destruction of an all-out war in the Middle East.

  • Jerusalem: This Is Why The Temple Mount Matters To one Israeli-American
    • I suppose many people have a primitive way of being in the world, wherein they need to have some anchor stabbing into a spot on the planet that they can call their own, and where they can identify with and relate to 'their kind'. Unfortunately, different people can stab their anchors into the same place, or create competing places even far apart, creating pain and harm where there needs be none. I consider it barbaric to let your primitive instincts - which everyone has - rule your thinking mind and create problems and suffering that need not exist. There's beauty in the real world as it exists every moment, and the past and its sects and divisions can be appreciated and even lauded without giving them full sway to carry the destructive impulse from generation to generation, ruining the chances for a good life for the greatest number of people and disallowing the greater good to exist more fully in a world desperately in need of it.

  • 3rd Possibility: Coming Civil War in West Bank/ Jerusalem?
    • The conditions are not perfect enough yet. The time is not right.

    • Surface-to-air missiles. Accurate long-range targeted rockets that some nations in the region possess. And more.

    • I think this has been the under-the-radar plan all along, outside of Israel's brief fling with Rabin's relative generosity of spirit. It's not destiny, but, to me, a more likely possibility, and definitely what the intentional ratcheting by Israel's organized destabilization has been leading up to.

  • 7 Surprising Reasons Turkey is entering war on ISIL
    • Thanks for this enlightening post. Your analyses help make better sense of what comes across the news transom. It's both satisfying to know more (and better) and helpful to one's sanity.

  • Tony Blair obsessed with Religious "Crusade" against Iraq, like Bush: Former British Dep'ty PM
    • Ah, right! I shoulda realized sooner that The Antichrist would speak with a British accent. Lord Blair, as journalist extraordinaire Robert Fisk calls him, fills the bill quite well. And we know as well that Blair is all a-Gog about Bush and Iraq.

  • Shock & Awe In Syria: It never Works
    • "There is no legitimate reason why the Free Syrian Army can not consolidate and build momentum once they demonstrate gains."

      The Free Syrian Army runs away when attacks. That's how Syrian Army soldiers characterize the so-called FSA, which is barely in existence and will never coalesce as a fighting force. You really need to do more than try and use correlation or your logic. Read more sources. You are either a hack or a fool. Your choice.

  • Shiite Militias of Iraq Reject US Return, Threaten to Attack US Forces
    • If the military situation dangerously deteriorated in Iraq, with or without U.S. airpower, with IS seriously threatening Baghdad and other Shiite cities and towns especially to the south, and the Iranian army entered in very substantial numbers, effectively defended the Shiite cities and towns, and then began encroaching on Anbar and Mosul (Sunni areas), what might Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states do or threaten? Could hostilities break out between Iran and Riyadh? Could the oil fields in each place come under attack and the Gulf become an all-out war zone? Do I worry too much?

  • Media, Politicians should stop Letting ISIL Manipulate them
    • You make an excellent point about the young jihadis reacting to shock and awe from earlier previous western imperial jihadis. Round and round it goes, and with news media stupidly blundering along with its usual witless standards.

  • Russia denounces Obama Plan for Syria Air Strikes as Violation of Int'l Law
    • Oh, man. If this wasn't an American-led Crusade in 2003, it's sure turned into one. Just superimpose, paper doll-like, chain mail and swords on the players, and substitute flying machines for cavalry, and we've got ourselves some real fine Medieval imagery to entertain us from afar. Maybe the problem is that we're both too bored and too insecure.

  • In 1948, Jewish Forces in Palestine outnumbered Palestinian and Arab Fighters
    • Thanks to you Dr Cole for presenting William Polk's very excellent summation of the situation in 1948 and the years leading up to it. I read this just after viewing "The Violence of Architecture" which is about Israeli building patterns in the West Bank. This Polk essay and that 25-minute video make for a good juxtaposition. link to

  • The Cruel Jest of American "Humanitarian Aid" to Iraq
    • Joel, knowledge comes easy these days. You should try it. You don't think the 12 years of very severe sanctions crippled Iraq, left it hanging on by a thread? Killed a couple hundred thousand of its children (as Sec. of State Madelaine Albright admitted) through 12 years of bombing water purification plants and other infrastructure, barring crucial medicines, and such? Plus the no-fly zones, which had real on-the-ground consequences? Well, it most certainly did, including its armed forces. We left it vulnerable to invasion and collapse, which was the intention. Bush Sr. thought he'd invade his second term, but Clinton won and refused to invade, "only" bombing and sanctioning. That's how it went down. Do you know what's easier than "blaming America"? It's easier to just be ignorant. Unfortunately, that makes you part of the problem and someone to blame.

    • Yes, good point, Tony. Seeing this in full is important. It's describing the entire 'elephant'. First it was bait and attack in 1991. Then siege warfare for 12 years. Then full-scale invasion-occupation. Now withdraw and retain some control. It's classic how to manage an empire of war and resource plunder.

    • To me, it seems there's a chance that way down the list of important reasons why Obama chose to aid the Yazidis and other Iraqi minorities is that he wanted to send a signal that shows the Israeli government and people, however subliminally, that there was a limit to how much ethnic cleansing he could allow and tolerate - in Gaza and in the West Bank - before doing something to deter it.

      Obama wouldn't attack the IDF, but he might cut off military resupply if the long-threatened expulsion of Palestinians from Palestine begins to occur.

    • Yes to all you wrote. The American neocons intended to destroy the area for generations to come, and they've succeeded. What they couldn't control, they were more than content to destroy. Israel's supposed to feel safe now that the neocons have succeeded, but I think the opposite will come to pass.

  • ABC News' Diane Sawyer Mistakes Stricken Palestinians for Israelis
    • Look at all that damage! It's astonishing that Sawyer would think for even a millisecond that the rockets from Gaza could have caused it. The breadth of blindering ignorance would be unthinkable, and she would be instantly fired, if the U.S. press had any interest in actual journalism. The bible story version of reporting is an incredibly destructive fairy tale, and it shows the U.S. is just as primitive as the people the news media frame as savages. I think the photo used for your posting show who the real savages are. It's not exclusive to Israel, of course, but U.S news reporting would have us think it was universal across the Arabic-speaking world. Thanks for highlighting this example of U.S. cultural bias, Juan. It's sick, and it's a huge problem, as you know.

  • Fox News A ‘Fanatical Terrorist Propagandist Organization’ According To Russell Brand (VIDEO)
  • Does our and Obama's Paralysis on Global Warming come from American Exceptionalism?
    • I'd say exceptionalism is mostly useful myth, useful to the powerful wealthy whose purse strings expand and contract the economy at will and do double duty as marionette strings for our leaders and at least half our citizens, probably a lot more.

  • Is the US Mil. Training of African Special Ops a prelude to disaster?
    • There should be no surprise and no doubt as to the ultimate purpose of these training programs. The eternal and unchanging U.S. aim is to have the most radically pro-U.S. leadership in power in any given country. Mr. Polk describes how its training of indigenous special operations forces creates the very thing the U.S. desires the most. It's an organic Lord of the Flies zero sum game that is propagated both intentionally and unconsciously from the American establishment bureaucracy and among the establishment leaders, in every generation and of either major party.

  • Pharrell's "Happy" - Gaza Style
    • Thank you for this, Juan. I'm crying after this Happy video. The sheer and unbelievable and massive missed opportunity since 1948 is just heartbreaking. People are people; period.

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  • Top 6 Pulitzer Prize "Traitors" in American Journalism
    • "Odious Bill Bennett" has a nice ring to it. I hope it catches on. Or "Gamblin' Willie Bennett", who gambles with your privacy. Gamblin' WIllie robs The Constitution, because that's where the rights are.

  • ABC: Bush's Neocon Spokesman for Illegal US Occupation of Iraq Slams Russia for Crimea
    • You bring up a good point, one which makes me realize that the MORE one was discredited on imperial catastrophes, the MORE one is counted on to bring the same exact disastrous lying ideology to the public. These hypocrites and warmongers are EXACTLY who the network ownerships can count on to bring 'more of the same'. To network ownership and management, the only discredited people are ones with whom they disagree with.

  • What today's GOP gets Wrong about Leadership: Obama & Eisenhower, Russian & Israeli Recklessness
    • I would add only the word 'dummies' after the word 'ventriloquist'. Everything else perfect and superb, as always.

      Those carping at Obama (who is unfortunately not as far left as Eisenhower) are just ventriloquists for the Complex that Eisenhower so hated and feared, and which has taken over, as he feared.

  • False Nostalgia: The Original Fallujah Campaign Destabilized Iraq
    • Thanks for the reminder and dose of reality. It's truly significant that the American president acted from the same warped barbarian instincts that inspired so many mass butchers through the millenia. Revenge is never sweet. Revenge may be the only true evil, speaking of the Evildoer-in-Chief.

  • US Arms Shiite Iraqi Gov't to Kill Sunni Rebels, Arms Syrian Sunni Rebels to overthrow Shiite Gov't
    • When the U.S. arms opposite sides of a conflict - and U.S. imperialism basically sees both the Iraqi and Syrian conflicts as one big Mideast blowup that Bush instigated in 2003 - its goal is to simply prolong the fighting. This serves the two basic goals of imperialism, which are destabilization and injury, which overall weaken opposition to hegemony. We already know who later usually gets to pick up the pieces it most wants.

  • Sec. Hagel threatens to cut $1.6 bn Pakistan aid b/c Drone Protests Blocking NATO Convoys
  • White Terrorist is "Gunman," "Alleged Shooter," no Mention of Wingnut 'New World Order' Beef
    • If one individual does it, it's not terrorism, unless it's not a white person. 'Case closed'. 'All you need to know'. 'Nothing to see here'. 'These aren't the droids you're looking for'. 'Look! Superman'! 'Who're ya gonna believe? Me? Or your lying eyes?'

    • Nice irony alert there, Quax.

  • Elites Stick together against Us: Feinstein Slams NSA Merkel Tap
    • Looking at the facts long enough, and the pattern is more than clear. It is obvious. The great white north believes it is entitled to rule the rest of the Earth. If you think racism isn't an integral part of that, then you don't know what racism is. You look the other way, James, for some indeterminate reason.

    • I hope it's widely understood that what you wrote is not radical at all, but that the reality you describe is what is completely radical, and outrageous.

  • Now the NSA has your Little Black Book
    • Right, and if they ever had a right (which they don't and wouldn't), then they forfeited it by its casual specific and wholesale abuse.

  • Arms Industries have Washington lift Restrictions on Weapons Exports (Currier)
    • Is the Entity List something like Emily's List, except for Merchants of Death? This amped-up policy is a huge and likely permanent gift for the war industry, ensuring permanent 24/7/365 war (Could there please be a truce at least every Leap Day?). It will expand the capabilities of our new African proxy national militaries, therefore, also the scope and proficiency of our new African Command (good word for it), and naturally our proxy national militaries everywhere. A new Shakespeare could pen, "All the world's a battlefield, and all the men and women merely combatants".

      Couldn't this policy revision also be a piece of the barter with the Iranians, a small sweetener for the nuclear negotiations? I've noticed other 'slips' in various policies lately, certain minor retreats such as suspensions or postponements of embargo-related tactics.

      It's a big game being played, all in all, eh? Maybe there is such a thing as 12th-dimensional chess, but with only the world's MIC's having a seat at the board, even places such as Brazil and Israel. Or maybe the game is more of a Musical Missiles in which those who claim a chair get to attack the one left standing. Talk about testing reflexes!

      This whole war thing is as much biologic programming as anything else, the victory of negative biofeedback over love and compassion. Where's the damned Love Lobby?

  • Ghoul's Glossary: Shutdown
    • You might enjoy this send-up of Ted Cruz. My friend's "iHandbill" blog post sums him up beautifully, and invokes an early Christmas Scrooge with his "Cruzmas Card". The author, Larry Ray, is a former newsman from New Orleans and artist, more of a Renaissance man than I thought still existed.

      link to

  • I lived to See the Day when the Pope and the President of Iran are more doctrinally Flexible than the GOP
  • Can we have a Military-Green Energy Complex Instead, Please? (Kramer & Pemberton)
  • Summers withdraws from Fed consideration; Won't be Rewarded for Beggaring Us All
    • I saw a headline online that read, Only Larry Summers Can Save Us From Larry Summers. I can't find it now, but it turns out to have been prescient.

  • When Syria was a US Ally (or at Least Helpful)
    • This is a side note, but it seems to me that the primary reason Americans aren't rallying to Obama's attempts at persuasion regarding attacking Syria isn't that Americans were lied into the Iraq war - Obama didn't lie us into the Iraq War - or because Americans are tired of war (which we are), but because most Americans realize that Obama has been actively lying to us about NSA spying, and this is a very current and fresh set of lies and untruthful downplaying that is obvious to all. This lying by Obama about NSA hasn't had time to begin to fade from memory.

  • The US still Wants to be the Sole Superpower; but it Can't (Engelhardt)
    • Two points:

      1) The superpower mentality and myth, both during the Cold War and afterward, have been a propagated and magnified ideologic distortion and delusion created by policymakers and powerbrokers in conjunction with communications media, with the passive participation of the 'conscious dreaming' U.S. and Russian publics, and likely everyone else as well. It's all been sheer storytelling with 'special effects' on a planetary scale, ultimately on behalf of what is more or less accurately called the military-industrial complex (Press 1 for sales; press 2 for replacement parts; press 3 for information systems). It's been what could be conceived of as a Power Bubble still yet to pop.

      2) The U.S. is still acting now on the world stage as it has since World War II, with no significantly different behavior between when it supposedly was a co-superpower and now when it's supposedly a single superpower. Also and anyway, the U.S. continues to act and believe as if that titular bipolar world still exists, shadowboxing with Russia and China (EurEastAsia) as it still does. The myth dies hard, if ever.

      2a) Under the so-called bipolar superpowers U.S. and Russia: Korean War, Iranian coup, Guatemala and more than several other Latin American coups including supporting fascist regimes, Indonesian coup (plus Timor and such), African coups, Vietnam War, Reagan's Central American more-or-less proxy wars, Carter's, Reagan's, and Bush's proxy war against Russian Afghanistan. Continual active support for Israel's serial invasions of Lebanon, the West Bank, and Gaza. Iran (coming soon?). Generally a free hand for the CIA. Expansion of Special Forces. Etc. Et al.

      2b) Under the so-called unipolar U.S. sole superpower: The first Gulf War, the ten-year siege of Iraq with airpower, Afghanistan invasion and occupation, Iraq invasion and occupation, continued coups and attempts in Latin America. Aiding and abetting Georgia's wars on the southern Russian border. Continual active support for Israel's serial invasions of Lebanon, the West Bank, and Gaza. Yemen. Libya. Syria. Iran (coming soon?). Frigging drones. Generally a free hand for the CIA. Expansion of Special Forces. Etc. Et al.

      So, what if people, you know, grass roots, expanded on a common dream of peace, cooperated on a neighborhood scale, locally and the global neighborhood, with so much more in common than what could separate us. How long would it take to replace the superpower and violence delusion with a peaceful cooperative one? Find out?

  • Eight things to consider before intervening in Syria (ECFR)
    • Terrifically well thought through. Thanks. I left this comment over at Parry's place regarding his incisive view of the situation. This quote is from his article.

      " outcome of the Syrian civil war could be a new haven for Islamic terrorism in the heart of the Middle East."

      Then Israel would have its militarist self-justification renewed and will happily ramp up its attacks against Syrian territory for the foreseeable future and hone its boundary defense, extend its containment walls, and indefinitely extend its Permanent War Footing, which has been and will be used to further isolate and disempower Palestinians and to further rigidify control of its own citizens, both Jewish and Arab citizens.

      Oh, and I'm sure Israeli leaders will then find ample reasons to invade Lebanon yet again and again, and Gaza, and, well, Sinai for sure, and then what? Send increased numbers of strategic and tactical Israeli military assets and personnel to Iraqi Kurdistan at the Kurds' request? The better for Israel to pressure Turkey? Why not, eh? It's a free-for-all! For Israel's warmongers, it's win-win-win-win-win.

      For the United States militarist oligarchy the same is true, with the zillion dollar Treasury pipeline continuing to lavishly fund the MIC on its own permanent war footing. And the people by and large suffer greatly and indefinitely so certain interests can continue to increase their own wealth.

  • Rush to Western Strike on Syria slows, but does not Stall
    • Leo Tolstoy: "And so once more the men who reaped profit from it all will assert with assurance that since there has been a war there must needs have been one, and that other wars must follow, and they will again prepare future generations for a continuance of slaughter, depraving them from childhood".

      Laura Nyro: "I can't study war no more".

    • Rand Paul is broken clock (speaking of crackpots). John Boehner is playing politics only. He doesn't care, as long as he gets to pick at Obama. Wake up to Paul and Boehner as the hypocrites they are.

  • Obama wants all the info in your Smart Phone without a Warrant (Lazare)
  • Is the US Government the Managing Committee of the Pirate Banks?
    • Right, Gregg. Juan's point is the central one in all of "Christendom". Money is King. Robert Rubin, Tim Geithner, Larry Summers, and all the rest are the Royal Executioners.

    • "This is government as humble man-servant of the least savory sections of big business." The Butler did it. Which one? The Marxist one.

  • Egypt's Transition Has Failed: New Age of Military Dictatorship in Wake of Massacre
    • Beautifully said, Ann. Thanks. MB were totalitarians in democratic clothing before elections. I hate it when someone blames the victims, and MB folks are dying and hurting right now, but did they really expect to get away with anti-democratically turning Egypt fundamentalist?

    • Kidding?

    • Sherman, I just re-read your comment and realized your idealism is blinded further by your ignorance of the situation. The democratic forces in Egypt did not "refuse" to participate in governing. Morsi and the MB totally shut them out authoritarian-style. And it was only going to get worse from there. Pay attention so your comments have some relevance, okay?

    • Sherman, I think your excellent idealism is blinding you to the nature of the MB. They would never relinquish power willingly through elections. That is why they began stacking the deck from the beginning. It was a slow coup that was acclerating and would have metastazied at the time of the next election, whether the MB would have lost or won it. MB was going to come out victorious no matter what the result. Clearly, the MB is incompatible with democracy, in contrast to a huge segment of the Egyptian people.

    • I agree, Bill. The MB declared war on democracy long ago. The MB presently and maybe forever is completely incompatible with democracy. Their aim is to prevent and/or destroy it. The MB's rise to power was a coup itself, instituted by deception and the use of violence as a tool of deterrence and oppression. The military coup was to prevent a much greater loss later, and I think it horrible but a wiser choice than to have done nothing and regretted that choice later. The MB was NEVER going to relinquish power ever again, except at the barrel of a gun as is happening now. This is what most Egyptians realize and are grateful about, though understandably worried still and concerned for their country.

    • No need for the Eurotrash sexism, Eurofrank.

    • If, as some say, this is a war between modernity and fundamentalist oppression, the MB had already declared war through its subterfuge and illegality, underscored and enforced by the extreme and widespread violence it perpetrated against innocent people even once it had already been elected. If left in power till next presidential election, its coup would have been completed and its war won. Egypt would have been brought back a century into backwards fundamentalism.

      As all generals will do if wise in battle and in war, in this case a war already in progress initiated by the MB using deception and violence as political tools, they had the Egyptian military strike when it had the greatest chance of winning, which is what the Egyptian military did. The military did this so the truly democratic majority of Egyptians, the revolutionary youth and all else, would not have to fight the armed MB in the streets for years and years to come. What will come now will be less harm than would have occurred had the military had not intervened. Remember, and be realistic, the MB would never have relinquished its power to turn Egypt fundamentalist, even if it lost elections. The MB was not a democratic force and will never be a democratic force, because democracy is its chosen enemy, as is modernity.

    • "They said they wanted him to compromise with his political rivals, but it seems to me they wanted more, they wanted him neutered." But, Juan, as you rightly said, the MB began their pre-coup even before the presidential elections, by lying and other deception and trying to play both sides against the middle, and, once Morsi won, the more accelerated coup began. By the time the next presidential election rolled around, it would have been too late to stop the MB from assuming full authoritarian, possibly totalitarian control, having by that time decapitated the military just enough. Their lust for power and hubris blinded them to the flaw in their plan: They didn't yet have as much control as they thought; the tyrannical never do.

      I still think this level of bloodshed, horrible though it certainly is - and NEVER realistically avoidable since the MB was NEVER going to peacefully relinquish the control it already had commandeered and the fuller control the planning and execution for which was well underway - this level of bloodshed will have proven to be far less than the blood it would have taken to root out the anti-Democratic MB, which never did anything politically in good faith from the beginning, from the dictatorial authority it was in the process of illegally and unethically achieving.

      To sum up, the MB, having lied and cheated into power, were never going to go quietly even if losing an election. The current amount of blood and mayhem was inevitable once the MB had fooled enough of the people for the first time. They were skillful at achieving this lower rung of power, less so a higher rung of power, and the military wisely stepped in to forestall a much, much greater chaos ahead. In other words, the MB always meant to undo Egyptian's revolution and bend Egypt to its fundamentalist will against popular and democratic desires. The military, long and often the villain, was left to do the dirty work of the revolution. Instead of the actual democratic forces having to personally fight the MB in the streets, armed as the MB was as the military understood, the military is doing it for the people. The MB had already declared war on Egypt and would have violently fought this same war for power anyway, but would have had the upper hand. The military intervened when it did to prevent that.

  • Egyptian Police Clear Brotherhood Sit-Ins, at cost of Scores of deaths, injuries
    • I doubt it, Steven, and I doubt that YOU know "these governors hate the liberals with extreme fervor" either. Omniscient, you're not. There are other ways of interpreting why these people were chosen as governors. Yours seems to me to be the least likely. Stability in a powderkeg situation is the most likely reason, a unified command so to speak. Only time will prove to you and others that the military will be handing over the far greatest part of power to civilian rule, a truly democratic one rather than a secretive power-hungry sectarian fundamentalist group that would suppress 80% of the rest of the population because of its narrow superstitous ideology. Egyptians by and large want a modern state.

      Regarding alienation of the MB in Egypt. They never deserved to be persecuted for all those decades they were ostracized and suppressed. Simultaneously, once in power they did not care that they had begun altering the identity of Egypt and bending it toward fundamentalism in ways that alienated the rest of the entire Egyptian population. That was their operating plan and principle, which quickly became completely obvious and manifest to the rest of the population.

  • Where is our Amsterdam? Lavabits, Snowden & Wikileaks Censorship recall age of Absolutism
    • Holy creeping Kafka! Also see Philip Dick's "The Minority Report". Just as problematic as the unprecedented law enforcement misuse of gathered private information is that it gives the crazy conspiratorial libertarian types broken-clock credibility, credibility that they and their Republican and "New Dem" allies will spend to actively further dismantle the New Deal.

  • How the GOP Libya Witch Hunt Made us Close our Mideast Embassies and Crippled US Diplomacy
    • You Decide: Threats or Sting, or Both?

      The 19 embassy shutdowns. Sure there's gotta be fire underneath all that smoke, but just think of all the dotted i's and crossed t's the metadata watchers are gathering and analyzing in response to the super-publicized closures. The digital connections unearthed and confirmed around this unprecedented event are going to be significant enough that, if someone had conceived of it entirely as a means of trying to bring the bad guys out of the electronic woodwork, it would have been justified in misleading the world just to get the information that would be discovered by doing so.

      As it is, I think there were actual threats or at least belief in threats to be followed by extremely close coordination with the metadata folks to watch as the digital blips of light are illuminated and the analysts narrow down the searches for the plotters and would-be plotters just that much more.

      If any of this is true, it would remind me in a way of local police departments mailing "you may already be a winner" coupons for free steak knives and I-Pads to criminals with outstanding warrants to get them to show up at a predetermined location to pick up their prizes and thereby expose themselves to identification and arrest.

      Not entirely paranoid and not entirely likely, but somewhere inbetween. Much like the news itself.

      Brought to you by The Sixth W of Journalism:
      Who? What? When? Where? Why? And WTF?

  • Red Baraat makes NYC Music with a Punjabi Beat (Video)
    • Aside from the excellent musical blend in the video, it's just funny watching local TV news trying to be hip and culturally relevant. Local TV news anywhere is the polar opposite of hip, and there's no greater galloping cultural desertification going on in the world than when a local TV news department tries to go against the tide of its own tragic unhipness. "Hi, in my best I'm a serious newsperson voice, I'm your tragically unhip on-the-spot cultural 'reporter' desperately seeking to do the impossible, be less nerdy and less embarassingly derivative than I intrinsically am. Please don't notice how spectacularly pathetic I am as I try to leech off of some actual relevant hipness. Won't somebody please take me seriously? Is my tie straight? Do my shoes match my eyes?" It's hard to explain just how nerdy and "This Is Spinal Tap" this phenomenon of local TV news 'reaching out to the people' actually is. On the other hand, "Anchorman" nails it perfectly and I'll just point to Will Ferrell's Ron and leave it at that.

  • Where has all the Water Gone? How Climate Change and Soaring Water Demand are Drying out the Southwest (deBuys)
  • In Chilling Ruling, Chevron is Granted Access to Amazon Activists' Private Emails
  • Egypt: Muslim Brotherhood Calls for 'Uprising' as Plan for Elections is Announced
    • Bill: "...there will be no real democracy, and all of our hectoring about democracy, human rights, and other issues that animate so much of American and Western activists’ rhetoric will be just so much “feel good” rhetoric, satisfying perhaps, but ultimately empty."

      Just a reminder, in case it's needed (Bill), that there's a lot of 'feel good' rhetoric involved in America's still-potential democracy, which is still working things out and at this time is quickly devolving regarding actual access to voting, and is still a bought-and-paid-for system by unaccountable individuals and groupings of often unethically and illegally usurped great wealth, without any change in those particular corruptions on the horizon. The West has little room to preach or suggest.

  • Snowden: I acted because Domestic Spying actually worsened under Obama
    • The negative, haughty know-nothing criticisms of Snowden strongly remind me of the family member who exposes the abuse, sexual and otherwise, going on in a family, whom the abuser and the abuser's active and tacit allies attack mercilessly because their abuse and their silence are exposed. Even a victim in denial will attack the messenger.

      With journalists, it is professional jealousy and resentment. They are willingly in denial about the meaning of the abuse. With average citizens, they are the family members subsumed into silence in denial and don't want to know or think about it; it doesn't have anything to do with them, they implore.

      There is no reason or goal that the messenger can have that will satisfy the addictive urgency to suppress the denial by all means felt necessary. There is ONLY denial in these self-interested, compromised, and conflicted critics, and it is ascendant. It's always the cover-up! And the 'tell' is the intensity with which the cover-up is pursued.

  • Egypt: One Soldier Dead, 3 Wounded, as Muslim Brotherhood Clashes with Army, Secularists in Provinces
  • Egypt's "Revocouption" and the future of Democracy on the Nile
    • Peter wrote: "Also, isn’t one of the conditions of democracy that the various parties agree to abide by the rules of the game?"

      It seems that you have just now tuned into what's been going on in Egypt since 2011 and know absolutely nothing of how Morsi and his party sabotaged and thwarted democracy and instituted complete one-party rule while setting themselves above the law, saying it doesn't apply to them. Please be someone who pays more than the least bit of attention to the subject you're wanting to discuss, or at least do the slightest bit of research if your comment is going to not be a waste of time.

    • Tahar, it seems Morsi was putting Egypt on a quick path to its own totalitarianism. Every situation is different. Egypt's truly is unique, despite sharing characteritics with other past situations. You wrote, "You said that street was boiling with people, well let the street face the palace, and let them fight it out."

      I disagree with your wild west advocacy of violence, of likely many thousands, even tens of thousands, ultimately killed, and perhaps years of Syrian-like civil war. If the fighting had begun, even the military could have broken down into factions fighting one another.

      If you can forestall the bleeding or stop it early, and transition to likely an actually more democratic society, as the military has done, then your one-size-fits-all definition may still be technically true, but so damned what? That doesn't make it wise or fit the unique situation.

    • " It was Morsi and the MB who began subverting the democratic process by ensuring a majority in the upper house of parliament and by ramming through an MB-inspired constitution that was heavily Islamist in content. Democracy is a lot more than just winning an election."

      Thanks, Bill. You sum it up beautifully. It was farcical hearing MB supporters complain that Egyptian democracy was under attack.

    • Thanks, Just Somebody, for your thoughtful comment. I think you're correct. However, at least from afar it seemed as if the MB left no doubt that the opposition would have no role whatsoever in the government. MB was authoritarian and not democratic at all. That's why the MB's complaint that democracy was overthrown by the military was so farcical. MB thought democracy was only about elections. MB is wrong about that. Democracy is about governing, and MB governed as an authoritarian party. There's really no room in an actual democracy for authoritarian governance. That's what's so scary about the modern Republican Party in the USA. It's become an authoritarian, even totalitarian Party, and in many of the states is governing in that fascist manner.

    • I think it's likely that Morsi, because he managed to 'retire' two highest-ranking military leaders without negative consequences, thought the military wouldn't really pose any further significant problems for him. That only two days ago Morsi was threatening (bluffing) bloody resistance seems to show that perhaps indeed he thought he still held some kind of upper hand over the military, and also that the excess power/s he had usurped after his election had gone to his head.

    • Also, Occoupy Egypt.

      I wish the U.S. military and local police would've gotten behind their true natural economic allies and backed Occupy at the time.

    • The new Egyptian Revocouption has a third main element in it, besides Revolution and Coup D'etat. That would be Occupation, as in Occupy Egypt. The occupation of Tahrir, effetively of Cairo itself, by such huge numbers, seems to have been the primordial/triggering phenomenon. That Egypt's 'Occupy' movement needed to last only a short while seems less relevant to acknowledgement of its crucial role than understanding the inalienable stature of its role in ending the first stage of the MB's attempt to dominate Egypt's politics by hook or crook.

      What I'm wondering is if the events of 2011 culminating (so far) in the events of the past few days shares any aspects with its antecedent ousting/routing of Napoleon's forces. This may be an overreach, but that would be because I foolishly haven't read your book about the subject.

  • We Misunderstood Barack: He only wanted the Domestic Surveillance to be Made Legal, not to End It
    • In this Josh Marshall post below, there's a link to a David Simon (The Wire, et al) post that beautifully and clearly frames the current massive phone/internet data debate-within-the-debate. I tend to side with Simon over Greenwald here, but both fellas and their perspectives are invaluable as well as are intrinsically inseparable.

      link to

  • Obama pledged investigation of Alleged Taliban Prisoner Massacre by US-Backed Afghan Warlords; Where is it? (Currier)
    • Thank you for recognizing the importance of this and posting it. The investigation is as old as the VHS tape I have of the documentary about this. Hopefully, some forensics were done and can be referenced and witness statements were recorded and sworn to.

  • Israeli Pundits Slam Kerry as Naive, Messianic for Arab League Concession
    • "...since the Israelis don’t intend to relinquish anything at all, and are plotting some way to steal all Palestinian land and resources and find a way to keep the Palestinians stateless or perhaps ultimately to ethnically cleanse them."

      I agree with this description of Israeli's realpolitick stance, wishing it weren't so, and understand that it's been the ad hoc and only Isaeli plan all along, though perhaps a bit more flexible when Y. Rabin was active.

      Also, I think that the ongoing unrest in Syria, Egypt, Iraq, et al, being called the Arab Spring, will serve this Israeli purpose by giving its establishment leaders excuses, rationalizations, and even some justification to extend its eye-for-an-eye philosophy and wholly militarist stance and actions indefinitely into the future in the name of being surrounded by hostile forces and enemies, which of course is a continuance of the rigid Israeli mindset and the Palestinian nightmare.

      Again, wishing it weren't so.

  • America's Murder Inc. Abroad: Engelhardt on Scahill's Latest
    • Wow, I was wondering when the endgame in Syria would begin. Now it seems apparent that it's still only in an extended first phase, not even including the Syrian civil war's extensions, specifically satellite wars between factions within Lebanon, between forces fighting along the political fault lines in Jordan, and the forces in the real Iraqi civil war, which will be more like a three-ring melee. I'm just sayin'.

  • Terrorism and the other Religions
    • I'll never forget the Liberty either and I'm not in the Navy. It was horrible and unbelievable that LBJ allowed it to go unanswered, as far as we know anyway.

  • Fathers and Sons and Chechnya
    • I grew up secular Jewish in the U.S. Secular yes but genetically Jewish. We were a fairly private family that kept its problems to itself. My particular rebellion at about 20 years of age naturally took the shape of finding a nice guitar-strumming flamboyant very public Christian cult to live with for about a year. It happens. I gladly left it before I did any more damage than give my mother "neuritis". Oh, and I was told, "You killed your grandfather, you know" (nonviolently of course, though I did pray for him). Well, I said I was Jewish, didn't I?

    • Neshobe, I think Prof. Cole's described perhaps the primary aspect of the situation. Every story has a larger story, more of which will become more apparent later. The core of any story, as in any drama, lies with family dynamics, which is the jump-off point for all the rest, which is add-on - important add-on, but add-on. Prof. Cole is describing a possible core dynamic. His type analysis here is far more true and relevant in all of history and drama as well.

    • Aamir: "...bad muslims are those that rebelled which by definition means they are fundamentalist." You seem to be immune to learning. You ignore that a Chechen majority were not fundamentalists nor supportive of them. Quite the opposite. They were just nationalists like so many people occupied for generations. Irish, Poles, American colonials until 1776, et al. Such a shame, your tiny black and white all or nothing pathetic world and worldview.

  • Israel's 'Water-Apartheid' in the Occupied Palestinian West Bank (McCauley)
    • I can't wait to hear Professor Cole's reply about Burkart's Israeli-weighted study and to David's one-sided interpretation of it. My take is that because the occupied population hasn't been thrilled with its straitjacket and its resources confiscated on whatever awful insulting terms being dictated at the point of a gun, then blame the victim, which is a complicit coward's writing of history. One day the history will not be written by Israelis and their compromised enablers, and I am looking forward, the sooner the better, to reading this "more accurate and impartial picture" of what has transpired the last 70 or so years.

  • CNN, John Kerry falsely try to tie Iran to North Korea Nuclear Crisis
    • CNN et al are most assuredly the functional equivalent of the North Korean "State" media. The U.S. state media has simply been privatized, and it's most amusing to hear the U.S. privatized state media call North Korean's media "state" media. And Kerry? A formerly good man, now just another imperial playuh in thrall to the thrill of the power-mad?

  • Working America's 40-year Decline (Garson)
    • Thanks for posting this TomGram, as usual a cogent work of enlightening analysis, as are your continuing sharings online. Thanks and more thanks for your online etc dedication for more than a decade now to a better more fair and just life for all and a better world environmentally as well on which to live it.

      Regarding the TomGram, sheesh, we've really been taken for a long walk on a short pier, haven't we? It's no wonder so many people are underwater.

      I admire anyone who can make a financial go of it these years and days, that is, without harming anyone else financially and otherwise, and am very glad for them. We all know people better off than ourselves and worse off than ourselves, but, economically the great American middle classes have really been taken for a long walk on a short pier. It's no wonder so many people are underwater.

      It seems the main wisdom drawn by the topmost of the U.S. ownership class from the punishing Vietnam debacle, on whose behalf the entire Cold War policy including the Domino Theory was sponsored, was they'd better get it while they can, as much wealth as possible as quickly as possible and without scruples, since the U.S. wouldn't necessarily be able to just go around the world and destroy countries and vacuum out its wealth like it used to.

      As economic policy, it was decided to seriously loot the 'homeland' first to hedge their bets while expanding their economic domination of the international realm by securing it with outsourced factories and jobs, a cake and eat it too situation, with crumbs for all else. The ownership class uses its workers as collateral on a bet it can't lose but one its workers necessarily do, even much of the former managerial class.

      The race to the bottom always ends up with the bottom falling out for those at the bottom. At the very top, there are comfortable gated rungs and shelves on which to perch and watch the proceedings. Below is free fall and catch as catch can. It's a trapeze act not only without a net but for many, many people also without the trapeze.

  • Jon Stewart Risks Jail in Egypt by Satirizing President Morsi, Provokes Diplomatic Incident
  • Venezuela and the Middle East after Chavez
    • Everything, every action, is a compromise, JfrLowell. You still can't compare the evil Hegemon Death Star to one lone semi-revolutionary figure without losing all credibility and context in the process, and ideals are not how ANY government runs in this world; though I wish it they were the basis too.

    • I agree Chavez was capable of an apostate and complex if not confusing diplomatic contortionism, and that this was the case because of his seeing the United States as the current linchpin/mainstay of a gargantuan international imperialism and hegemony, but the United States IS the linchpin/mainstay of a gargantuan international imperialism. It seems Chavez is guilty of oppositional behavior writ large, and he supported some bad causes, but I seem to remember you mentioning re Iran's elections and its Green movement that perhaps the Iranian reform movement, though authentic and huge, still didn't outnumber or outweigh the majority of Iranians, especially those from places of less population; so in this case Chavez could at least be seen as supporting democracy (despite its repressive excess - hey, the U.S. itself has issues here too). That doesn't excuse supporting tyrants like Gaddafi and Assad, which support betrays his monomania, but I think he felt and understood that without a common front against the primary hegemonist, that all would fall before its continuing aggressive strategies and the full strength of its powerful interests and alliances. Still, maybe an occasional studied neutrality and quiet support (such as arming the "right" people; heh) would have been more beneficial to Chavez's own cause than his very public displays of support. However, what IS the template for opposing an uber-hegemony of planet-dominating oligarchs? How does one deal with the Death Star? Is time and attrition the only proper response? Hmm, I guess these thoughts make me a bit of an old malcontent lefty, but I can live with that.

  • Palestinian Legal strategy against Israel: The Real Prize is Europe
    • Funny how Palestinians don't qualify for Arab Spring. Also funny how the fractious Frankensteinian Syrian Opposition will be recognized by the U.S. before the Palestinians get their overdue recognition from the U.S. in the U.N. where it really counts.

      Maybe if Gazans threw a big Spring Break at the beaches every year they and the rest of Palestine could get some respect from the U.S.

      One good thing about having a rational actor in the White House, even if he still opts for continuing the U.S.'s utter enabling of Likudnik Israel, is that Europeans do get some breathing room and are allowed to act more rationally themselves.

      I understand the peeling away of U.S. support for Israeli war crimes, past, present, and future, has to be gradual, but does it really have to be as glacial as it is? Does a second-term American president have to fear a 'special' assassination squad or two if he/she tilts toward fairness and leans on Nuremburg?

  • Plot to Provoke war with Iran thwarted by Navy analyst
    • Cheney might've realized late that Iran won George W. Bush's Iraq War and that he, Cheney, had little time left to unintentionally sabotage the United States further. Ergo the subterfuge Prof. Cole describes above.

      Norman Schwartzkopf eventually quit taking Cheney's calls DURING the first Gulf War under Pappy Bush. Cheney kept badgering the general with idiotic battle plans (like Hitler peppered his generals in Russia especially with extravagant doomed-to-fail scenarios and attack plans that turned a stalemate situation into hell on earth for the Germans and eastern European divisions a thousand miles deep in Russia in time for winter).

      Finally, after one particular plan, sent by Cheney with hand-drawn cartoon-like maps and such, described dropping U.S. troops by parachute into the far western desert of Iraq where the Iraqi Army would've had the upper hand, with no American armored support or helicopter support either. Cheney, I guess all of his draft deferments went to his head, making him think he knew better than everyone else, including a military expert (perhaps brilliant) like Schwartzkopf.

    • Dear Does Not Jell, you're simply incorrect in saying that "many" Americans would've had to carry out the Iran-baiting. Only a few give the important orders in this world, my friend, and a much, much smaller number of people decide what those orders will be. The many carry out orders. The many don't question orders, but that does NOT mean they perpetrated the Iran-baiting. I pray you can see the difference.

      If you can't see the difference, then you might take a course in basic logic, preferably in a classroom, as opposed to online, where one may much too easily remain too unchallenged and therefore limited in thought.

    • Well, hard to say, Carl. Looks like Obama's doing the minimum the MIC demands, whereas Romney, like Bush, is more a carte blanche chief exec. Still, to get elected you have to do at least the minimum, or else. Would you want to receive the 'or else' consequences? Be honest, if you're able to.

    • It's great to see the well-informed replies to KJ's unintentionally ignorant question. That's the kind of question asked and lack of knowledge held by the so-called "independent" voter, who doesn't pay close enough attention to craft an informed thought but acts on his lack of knowledge with cross-eyed certainty and wishes all Americans could be as good a citizen as he is. Disgustingly vacuous people. Can they be required to 'show their work' before voting?

    • The 'power structure' to which you refer is not monolithic. In fact, it is much nuanced and variegated. Your naively oversimplified view of things makes you say stupid uninformed things, which would be dangerous if anyone paid the least bit of attention to what you think. Luckily, that's a far cry from reality. There is overlap between the two candidates on which parts of the 'power structure' they support and in turn are supported by, but there are a great deal of striking and crucial differences in the choices an Obama or a Romney makes, like differences between frigging night and day. You don't get extra comment points for practicing ignorant (wet)blanket doom-ism.

    • The differences between Romney and Obama are not "small differences" regarding climate change or anything else. You should really pay closer and less cynical attention. Next you'll say there's not a dime's worth of difference.

  • Syria and the New Great Divide in the Greater Middle East
    • I blame the enablers, Karl Rove, Mark McKinnon, and Ralph Nader, the "quiet" monsters of contemporary history. Nader? Let's see. Saved possibly several thousand lives through auto safety activism versus a million killed by Bush, Cheney, & Neocon demons in the 21st century wars so far? Tongue in cheek, but barely. Nader's the one with resentful destructive hubris, not me!

  • Parliament takes over in Modern Libya's First Peaceful Transfer of Power
  • Obamas Scramble for Africa (Turse)
    • Truly an extensive super-fuckup in the making for an increasingly fucked superpower; my use of profanity is such inconsequential and mild offense compared to the cluster-fucking colonial hubris we the U.S. are busily engaged in among Africans. When did we become a nation of imperial weevils? How ironic that a part-African U.S. president would become both cover for an Africom foreign legion and incentive for Africans to capitulate to our martial charms.

  • Infosys Building planned for Kuwait
  • Omar Khayyam (4)
    • I wonder what Omar would think of Charles Pierce's calling Santorum "A Man of the Froth".

  • Obama warns Israel against Iran Strike, Cancels Joint Military Exercises
    • Interesting post. Thanks. The issue reminds me of the provocative, actually inciteful intrusion by war-criminal Sharon and his large band of thugs to the area around the Dome of the Rock mosque just prior to the post-Clinton election year. It seemed at the time a provocation as well to destabilize the Clinton administration and Gore's chances for election, because the end result of Sharon's cynical bullying intrusion was well-known to the provocateurs, a reaction by Palestinians.

  • Christian Hate Group Targets Peaceful Muslim-Americans
    • I think you're right in that it's mirroring, or projection of their inmost vile wishes onto another group which they feel safe enough slandering. I think any of these 'associations', called cults in my vernacular and probably according to the dictionary, and individuals involved in Muslim-bashing are also innately jealous of the violence against enemies that they imagine Muslims are given carte blanche to carry out. This is the barely repressed brainstem level from which such slander and actual blood libel emanate. I'd love to see some photoshop or creative editing of FOF and other right-wing religious and political leaders with pointy tongues darting in and out of their mouths while slandering good people. It would be a religious revelation!

  • Perry's Lapse likely owing to Bad Faith and Destructive Politics
    • I like the notion of bad conscience regarding Perry's DOE lapse. I do think he has a conscience, but that he thinks he is ITS master rather than the other way around. Ergo, it exerts itself in a very timely way (during the debate) in order to remind Perry that his stranglehold on his conscience is not as airtight as he thought.

      Also, part of Perry's mind thinks that eliminating the DOE "goes without saying"!

  • UNESCO Palestine Vote Isolates US Further
    • I must be meaner than you. You use the words "look like a bully" and "widely seen as a form of theft", and "look heartless". I commend your civility and temperament. However, "has repeatedly demonstrated Israel's reckless bullying", "maintains by force an oppressive policy of national thievery", and "serial episodes of nihilistic (what heartless really means) murderous campaigns against civilians" all seem court-of-law demonstrable.

      Should Israel not be allowed to commit the abuses that other countries historically committed, and many still commit? Yes, Israel should not be allowed to do so. Nor should the U.S., Britain, Syria, Yemen, North Korea, et al, be any longer allowed to do so; i.e., Serbia has rejoined the fold of a better humanity thanks to world opinion and force. It can happen. Even the U.S. is not immune to world opinion and perhaps other 'persuasion'. For instance, China could wave a pretty sharp Damocles sword over the U.S.

      If Israel thinks the world is holding it to a higher standard than other countries, it should disavow itself of this rationalization for its longstanding commitment to opportunistic fearful fits of rage. No other country currently holds 11 million people hostage and without any rights whatsoever and has a growing part of its government committed to ethnically cleansing them into other countries.

      The world is changing. Israel should get on the right side of history or it will disappear from it and it will be its own fault. Give up the ghost of Nazis past so as to not remain the least bit similar to such yourself, my people. Same goes for my fellow U.S. citizens, but with its oligarchic white supremacist imperialism past substituting for Nazis.

    • "a vote that makes the US look like an ogre". Heck, in matters of Palestine and Israel, the U.S. IS an ogre.

      And the comments of Israeli ambassador to UNESCO typify the bullying cynicism of that multicultural, multi-ethnic, multi-religion state. He says the UNESCO vote is science fiction because Palestine is an imaginary state.

      That's why even former friends of Israel are turning against it. Israel forcefully keeps Palestinians stateless, without a single human or civil right, and then mockingly blames the victim for not having a state. Hey, ambassador, God is not mocked, not without consequences anyway.

      If Israel keeps going down this path unaltered, and I mean it needs to radically change its position toward inclusiveness, then Israel will destroy itself one way or the other and won't even be in existence any more in order to blame someone else for misery it brings on itself.

      The self-inflicted tragedy - through hubris, paranoia, and attempted revenge against ghosts - is the most tragic of all.

  • Qaddafi's People's Temple
    • Maybe the ancient salted wound can finally begin to heal with the dilution brought by the waters of democracy.

  • Wagging the Dog with Iran's Maxwell Smart
    • Reserving judgment is a valid way to approach any pronouncement by any person or government. However, because nearly every bit of information that the U.S. has pronounced about Iran during its entire history of relations with Iran has been either an outright provable lie or outright provable cynical exaggeration, I think the two stupidest things to do would be to either a) believe the pronouncement or b) reserve judgment on it.

      Reserving judgment in this case amounts to putting your brain on hold while the lie/exaggeration takes hold and gives it time to work its way into the American lizard brain, which will make it that much easier to give carte blanche to the neo-con attack strategy. Reserving judgment in this kind of case is remaining silent while you know a murder is being planned.

    • What David asks above in the first comment is a good question. The pretext may simply be to help continue the 50-year imperial fantasist western oil jihad against that part of the world's remaining 'poor sport' who goes against Roman will (did I say Roman, oops?). Or maybe it has more to do with something in the DNA of the western branch of the human species that keeps pouring out of its enclaves and citadels in order to overrun that part of the world for whatever pretext is handy (the Scythians disrespect us? That Saracen pisses us off? Next year, Jerusalem? Oil!?). But maybe the reason for the pretext is more tied in with the exit of the U.S. from Iraq, especially if we're going to have a sitting-duck force of 5,000 'trainers' instead of a slightly less sitting-duck force of a 20-30,000 residual strike force. Maybe U.S. military planners are being aggressive with this Screwball case in order to help set the stage for more aggressive talk and latent threatening of Iran to forestall further Iranian encroachment in Iraq, at least for the time being. We'll go grrrr, and they'll go eeek? Fat chance, however. But it's classic imperial political behavior. Those Poles sure provoked Hitler, you know (tongue in cheek).

    • Well, it looks like the Obama admnistration might have its own version of Curveball. Call him Screwball?

      God, I hope Obama isn't facing defeat by the Romneybot. We don't need the ship of state to sink any lower, which it would if Obama's out after one.

  • Pro-Perry Evangelical Leader says Romney not a Christian, Mormonism a Cult
    • Re cults, Mormons, & Christians. I see them both as cults, despite your dictionarying attempts to impose your viewpoint, just as I see Scientologists as cultists. Not that there's anything wrong with being in a cult. All of the above practice adherence to un-truly-believable fantasies, and the more rigid in your beliefs the more that makes you a cultist. Me? I believed in a Yankees-Philadelphia World Series. My cult is dead, but I'll have a new one next year.

  • Iran Business Partners: Cheney & Reagan, not Just the Koch Brothers
  • Sadrists to Demonstrate in Baghdad against US Troops Remaining
    • I agree with your sentiments here, but one correction, please. The Bush people started pushing hard to invade Iraq immediately after the inauguration. They weren't requiring a 9/11 as an excuse, though they did get the excuse later.

  • Qaddafi was a CIA Asset
    • Tells you all you need to know about HRW in the Bush/post-Bush era.

    • You misinterpret, or misrepresent, what Prof. Cole says, twisting his meaning. Your Stalinism is showing.

    • Yes, and if someone has broken into your home and is strangling you with your typewriter ribbon, heaven forbid the police should come and try to save you, because sometimes police have done bad things. Yours is the consistency of your hobgoblin little must-be-correct-at-all-costs mind.

  • Libya: Oil Bids on Basis of Capacity; World releases $15 bn in Assets
    • "If you build the vast cost of global warming into the estimates, it is hydrocarbons that are unsustainable."

      Yes, exactly! The stark and depraved biases of most establishment economists in their calculations, regarding value and costs of the oil, gas, coal, and nuclear industries, are the biggest impediments (intentional and well-funded, of course) to the near-term full-scale conversion to Earth-and-human-friendly energy technologies, far larger than the current deficiencies in the technologies themselves.

      These economists NEVER include the costs of accidents, decommissioning, or remediation, especially not the remediation of health effects, actual and punitive. Truly, if calculated honestly, hydrocarbon use would never have been developed in the first place.

      Education is desperately needed.

    • I liked and still do like Jimmy Carter, but he made key mistakes that still hang over the world today. One was his declaration that the U.S. would go to war over Middle Eastern oil. Another was his CIA-directed incitement of the Russians that helped goad the Russians into deciding to invade Afghanistan. A third, which I believe I am remembering correctly, was to the hypermilitarizing of the Colombia, which set in motion the forces that killed hundreds of thousands of people and that are still in motion today.

      His greatest triumph, the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel, which pretty much set in stone Mubarak's long authoritarian siege of Egypt, which also directly helped perpetuate the Palestinian people's sufferings, could also be considered a debacle, at least as easily it was and is still seen as a boon. It depends on one's perspective.

      And so it goes.

  • Qaddafi reportedly South of Tripoli as Algeria offers Family Members Safe Passage
    • Finally occurred to me that this Libyan city-to-city and city-against-city type of warfare is reminiscent of Greek city-states and the old Roman-era towns-based warfare, though not an exact parallel, of course.

      Sometimes I think that's what state's rights means to a certain segment of the U.S. citizenry, the right to violently vent frustrations, anger, and bigotries, and to satisfy various lusts, against whomever they darn well please, in an organized cooperative way. Militant co-ops, more or less, based in towns and cities.

      Eye-for-an-eye writ large. Thank goodness for the NFL.

  • The Irrelevance of the Knights in a Global Society
  • White Christian Fundamentalist Terrorism in Norway
    • Who are the far left terrorists today who target humans for violence? Sorry, I'm drawing a blank. Does SLPC know about them? Just want to make sure one of my heroes isn't accidentally succumbing to false-dichotomy both-sides" criticism.

      By the way, I jumped to a conclusion the second I read that the Labour youth camp was attacked. It was obvious. The same with Oklahoma City, especially after "Arabs" were instantly said to be to blame.

      Thanks for your tireless excellent work, as always.

  • Is the FBI Lying to Congress about its Abuses of the "PATRIOT" Act?
    • It's a bit on the longish side, but I think you'll enjoy this poetic stake through the black heart of a certain Act. It's called True Homeland. It begins, Welcome to the USA Patriarch Act....

      link to

  • 1942 Midterms: Republicans win Popular Vote, Pick up 47 Seats in House; Roosevelt on Ropes; Pacific War Uncertain, Economy Slowly Improving
    • I agree with you, J.S., except for the part where you say Democrats have no convictions, have no courage, and don't stand for anything. There's plenty of each of those among most Democrats. It's our corporated-compromised leadership that goes the weak-kneed route that you so beautifully describe in your comment ("...half-measure, watered-down...", etc.). There is another whole echelon of Democratic leadership that we can help ascend to the actual leadership, such as Howard Dean again, whose policies and convictions converted the Congress to a Democratic majority the last time he had real power, but we who are not afraid and who have not been intimidated by the 30 years of Reaganesque-Gingrichese social experiment in message control need to get off our complaining butts and work to make that happen. There's a lot of us, it will take 4-5 years to make it happen, and it can be done.

  • They used to Burn Catholic Churches, now they Burn Mosques
    • That would make a great and instructive movie. Thanks for bringing the story to light.

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