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Total number of comments: 87 (since 2013-11-28 14:42:51)

Leila

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  • An Open Letter to the Left on Libya
    • Sticking to facts give credibility. You said " In the two weeks after February 17, there was little or no sign of the protesters being armed or engaging in violence."
      Here is the fact: Day Feb 20: The protestors declared Benghazi liberated and was confirmed by Tripoli on live television the night of Feb 20. The communications came from phone calls from Benghazi in arabic and that was the only way of communications at that times. I heard everyone of them. Here it is: They took control of Benghazi and hunting down any pro Gaddafi, they took control of weapon depots, police stations and they are roaming on top of the tanks. Other calls Gaddafi bombed them from the air. Gaddafi's son came on TV and said, yes they took over and roaming on tanks and want to declare a 'Islamic state". He admitted to the world that they lost control of the Benghazi and tried to scare the world from an islamic state in the east.
      If that is not enough, I can send you more. The notion that they got control less than 4 days into protests with just sticks and stones is not even logical if you to discount everything else. And on Feb 23 when first international correspondents arrived to Benghazi, they were greeted by anti Gaddafi with machine guns on the border. I stopped reading after you said that.

  • Qaddafi invokes Phony Al-Qaeda Threat as he Massacres Protesters
    • Tanks are easy targets and the journey from east to west is long. They are using what heavy machinary they can carry because as soon as they got a hold of the weapon depots in the east on day 3, Gaddafi bombed depots in the west, so they can't use them.. The pictures and videos of the dead "black mercenaries" give a picture of what they are using.

  • Revolutionary Situation in Libya
    • According to statements coming out of Benghazi hospital, the supplies cant meet the demand of the large numbers shot with things like anti craft defense. There was not enough doctors trained in these kind of life saving surgeries. civilians are volunteering to bring what ever supplies they could, so can the international community at least help in that regard? UN, red cross? i am sure medecins sans frontieres would send their doctors if they are permitted. What is the UN waiting for? 300 dead already and the injuries are pilling up in a area known for deficiency in their health care. how many times are doctors supposed to ask for help?

  • Top Five Myths about the Middle East Protests
  • Bahrain Shiites Withdraw from Parliament, Call for King's Overthrow
    • If these 30.000 protesters start camping, then you betcha.. but they will ride elephants instead, there is no tax cut on imported camels. So the protesters better bring a lot of peanuts to steer them away.

    • I am sorry but every time I read about a grand park in a vital middle of a major middle eastern city being taken by the protesters, I wonder if the United States would allow protesters to take like central park in New York and camp in it for weeks and preventing businesses and major government building from functioning.

  • Iran, Bahrain Crack down on Protesters, as Rallies Held in Yemen
    • "Unlike in Egypt, where except for a day or two the Mubarak regime avoided direct physical confrontation of the demonstrators,"
      Unfortunately professor the Mubarak regime and the military itself detained, injured and killed protesters from Jan 25 to at least Feb 9. Here is a list of the still missing compiled by Samer Karam in Beirut and credited also by Al-Jazeera.

      link to BloggingBeirut.com

  • Egypt After Mubarak: Cole on Russia Today
  • Repression Fails as Thousands Demand Mubarak Departure
    • Stupid enough to say the army is the one protecting protesters toda after not even trying to stop the pro Mubarak killing tens and injuing hundreds yeasterday. At least that what MSNBC has on the bottom while talking fashion while hundred of thousands or even millions protesting the day of departure in Egypt. But that is not breaking news. Sheesh..They watch Aljazeera, they even used to put Aljazeera live on their station. Are they waiting to show the departure day protesters after Mubarak steps down? Oh, but the army is the one protecting even journalists today and it is all under the wise authority of the less than week old vice president. Or they are waiting to say "Mubarak stepped down "in bold letters while having on the bottom of the screen "president Obama negotiated a deal". So we kind are the ones liberating Egypt from a tyrant. Did the army know that amer mousa was coming? Where is CNN?

  • Aljazeera's Leaks Reveal Sham 'Peace Process,' Israeli Stonewalling
    • Wow! I understand that Professor Cole would not have published your comment if it didn't have any credit, but could you please send the supporting documents like the one about the Mossad setting up Hisballah and Hamas so we can read them. Thanks.

  • Photo of the Day: Beirut's Split Personality
    • I have a tremendous respect for you but i have to disagree with you. You are implying that there is a conflict on a social level. Split personality means a conflict within. The individual differences between the inhabitants in the levant Lebanon and Syria existed for hundreds of years at one level or another but never by itself caused a conflict. Yes they have been exploited by few for political gains. These differences have always been the pride of the Levant inhabitants and still is, except for the very few. They embrace these differences. Yes, you might not have found a picture of a religious leader in al-Hamra before Hisballah but that does not imply a conflict at a social and personal level. And by the way, not that these two could not exist on a single column in the streets of Beirut, but I believe this picture that you used was doctored. The far left of the pic is taken from the inside of a room where the wall is well painted yellow with a light reflecting on the wall. There is a door that opens up to what could very well be a jewelry store front in al-Hamra. The poster in the middle looks like the one you use on a full door perhaps a glass door. The right side with the gray wall and Hisballah leader is a direct pic and is not showing through the opening of the door that shows the jewelry store. You get my point. I hope.

  • Bachmann Harms US Economy, Security with Scurrilous Charges about Obama in India
    • Heheheee.. “billion” is a thousand times more than a “million.”
      Seriously, why aren't they complaining about our 500 million dollars vatican city, sorry, "Embassy" that Ikenberry is building in Afghanistan? Is it like, like a really big, magical wonderland where we can all get together inside with the Afghanis and sing kum ba yah instead of bombing the heck out of their children?

  • Al-Qaeda in Iraq Threatens Egyptian, Iraqi Christians
    • Ooops.. has been not being. My bad.

    • Excellent post professor Cole, thank you. What is going to take for someone to believe that the security in Iraq is going down hill? How many lives should be sacrificed in order for both the American and Iraqi governments to understand what you said : "As for the Iraqi Christians, they do not have as many resources to resist" and that goes for non christian Iraqis too. I don't for the life in me understand this dismissive attitude. Just in this post, Daveed Gartenstein-Ross said that they, we, the american forces have to see whether over time, this is a trend or a "just one off thing". Well, this was not a one time thing, it has being going on for months. What is the cut off number of body bags?
      I am amazed that the American military actually praised this rescue effort and according to Gartenstein-Ross, the american forces played an advisory role. Is it really true that the American forces filmed this entire thing? What are they going to do with it? Turn it into a rescue attempt iphone App game? There is a WAR still going on in Iraq, call it civil, call it whatever, but for god sake someone should stop this blood shed of innocent Iraqis.
      And let me try to get this straight as I have been trying for a while. Al-Quaeda is killing and injuring hundreds of Iraqis every day and has been doing so since the transition of forces, not that it even existed in Iraq to begin with. We cant surge in Iraq to fight Al-Quaeda anymore, right? but we can fight them in Afganistan although they are not killing civilians and there are less than 200 members in that country. And we are turning to Pakistan and Yamen. Again they are not killing anyone there also. We brought Al-Quaeda to Iraq because we wanted to free it and we are just going to leave them there to finish off the country, what a comforting conclusion.

  • Maliki Announces Gain in Parliament as Baghdad mourns Church Massacre
    • Better than any in the middle east? There is no other country in the middle east that can't provide security to it's citizens like it is in Iraq. The american forces withdrew this year saying that the Iraqi forces are capable of providing security. Well, ACTIONS speak louder than words no matter what a general or anyone else for that matter says. Hundreds killed and injured every day. The war is getting as bad as 2006, so I cant congratulate the Iraqi or the american forces or agree with what you and the generals say. The only people that think the Iraqi forces are just fine are the ones that are not suffering at this time like the Kurds. The pictures of the blood of hundreds of Iraqis spilled every day are worth thousands of WORDS.

    • I don't understand why the American forces didn't step in to offer their help and support. This was a hostage situation and the captures had demands, some of which releasing prisoners from Egypt. There is no question that the Americans are better equipped when it comes to hostage negotiations and swat teams. They could have helped just for PR, after being silent seeing torture if not to save these innocent christians lives. They want to still be there to help, why didn't they?

  • On How War with Iran might Destroy the United States
    • I am surprised that a respected political analyst would suggest a war as a mean for economic recovery. I am not a political analyst but I read and I strongly disagree with his suggestion. He should at least read the Plan B for Obama article in Foreign Policy magazine before advocating war with Iran to boost our economy and publishing that in the Washington Post. It is the opposite, cutting, really cutting military spending is the way to go as suggested by Christopher Preble and resisting any temptation to go to war with Iran because it will only back fire as suggested by Dimitri Trenin although I disagree with the later that Iran is clearly headed for nuclear weapon.

      Christopher Preble 
CUT (REALLY CUT) MILITARY SPENDING
      "Despite all the hype about Defense Secretary Robert Gates and his cuts of big-ticket military projects, the Pentagon's $680 billion budget is actually slated to increase in coming years. This is unconscionable at a time when taxpayers are under enormous stress and when the U.S. government must reduce spending across the board. Barack Obama can save big bucks without undermining U.S. security -- but only if he refocuses the military on a few, core missions.
      Unfortunately, the president has shown no real interest in cutting military spending or in revisiting the purpose of U.S. military power. Why not? For all his talk of change, Obama has continued on the path set by his predecessors. Like George W. Bush and Bill Clinton before him, he sees the U.S. military as the world's sole policeman, and its armed social worker. It is this all-encompassing mission that requires a large military -- and a very expensive one. Americans today spend more on their military, adjusting for inflation, than at any time during the Cold War, even though the threats that they face are quite modest.
      If Obama is serious about reducing the deficit and keeping U.S. troops out of "dumb wars," as he famously dubbed them, he should put his money where his mouth is. Cutting defense spending is the only reliable way to stifle Washington's impulse to send U.S. troops on ill-considered missions around the globe.
      The hawks will scream, but America will be just fine. Obama can capitalize on the country's unique advantages -- wide oceans to the east and west, friendly neighbors to the north and south, a dearth of powerful enemies globally, and the wealth to adapt to dangers as they arise -- by adopting a grand strategy of restraint. The United States could shed the burden of defending other countries that are able to defend themselves, abandon futile efforts to fix failed states, and focus on those security challenges that pose the greatest threat to America. A strategic shift of this magnitude will not only reduce conflict and make the United States safer, but it will enable Obama to reshape the military to suit this more modest set of objectives, at a price that's far easier for taxpayers to swallow."

      Dmitri Trenin: 
"DIVIDE THE IRANIAN LEADERSHIP"
      "Despite all that Barack Obama has to preoccupy himself with in Afghanistan and Iraq these days, it is Iran that is likely to be the U.S. president's most serious foreign policy-challenge in the coming months. By now it is clear that Iran is headed toward nuclear weapons -- and that's plural weapons, not just one. Iran's goal is a nuclear weapons arsenal. The only question that remains is whether this will be maintained for deterrence and regional power politics or actually used. That answer will depend on the balance of power within the Iranian leadership.
      Obama essentially has two options: He can provoke the Iranian leadership, or he can seek to influence it, tipping the balance in favor of the moderates. The options mentioned in policy circles so far include striking Iran, supporting an Israeli attack, or imposing ever more stringent sanctions. None will work, however, and each will backfire -- empowering the regime's most radical elements by offering them a pretext to attack Israel or the West. The president must resist the temptation to use highly visible, but blunt instruments of power.
      Instead, the Obama administration must work to isolate the religious fanatics and their allies among the Revolutionary Guards, empowering the moderates. Elements of such a strategy include: increasing economic and cultural openness toward Iran; coordinating closely with foreign partners, from Europe and Turkey to Russia and China; and aligning NATO's missile-defense plans with its erstwhile rival, Moscow. There is no guarantee, of course, that this strategy will succeed. What it does ensure is -- at the very least -- that the United States will not make matters worse by throwing a public-relations softball to Iran's radical fanatics. Iran's bomb may be inevitable; its use is still preventable".

      The article also has some other excellent suggestions on how to boust our economy non of which is war. Here is a summary of the 14 points, the link for the full article is at the end.

      "Avoid the Double Dip Nouriel Roubini and Michael Moran
      Take It to the People Robert Shrum
      Get Off Oil R. James Woolsey
      Build Up the West Bank Elliott Abrams
      Make a South Asia Command Bruce Riedel
      Stop Fawning Over America's Muslim Allies Ellen Laipson
      Rewrite the Rules of War Will Marshall
      Give the Public a Green Check James Hansen
      Cut (Really Cut) Military Spending Christopher Preble
      Dump the Nukes Joseph Cirincione 
      Change the Rules of the Game in Pakistan Ashley J. Tellis
      Divide the Iranian Leadership Dmitri Trenin
      Get Tough on Human Rights Kenneth Roth
      Turn South Nancy Soderberg"

      link to foreignpolicy.com

  • Arab Press: Iraq Wikileaks will Damage US Reputation
    • Since we are unlikely to see coverage on our news channels, there is a one hour special today at 19.00 GMT ( 3:00 PM central standard ) on aljazeera English on line on live station. Perhapse professor Cole would provide us with the link to the video afterwards if he can find it.

  • Palin Fear-Mongers on Iran, Sharia
    • Isn't Armagadden what she and the American right Christians are anxiously waiting for to fulfill Christ second coming? Now she is against what brings about Armageddon? Sheesh...make up your minds already!

  • Tatchell: Abu Dhabi between Human Rights and the New Louvre
    • I can understand where the skepticism and attacks are coming from but we all have to remember the bouncing back effect that a project like this would have on its creators. Culture and art will shine its light back at what the author is calling a "rigid social and tribal traditions" as he should know. Concentrating on the human aspect and rights of the workers rather than attacking the entire project would make more sense. This money is not going somewhere else so it might as well go to art and culture that would soften the minds.

  • Netanyahu Blows off US; Mahmoud Abbas pleads for Settlement Freeze
    • The picture of Israelis with balloons and countdown clock is just heartbreaking. I wonder what the percentage of Israelis that want these settlements to continue is.
      I honestly don't understand why Abbas is waiting till after the Arab League meeting before walking out. Didn't the settlements quadrupled over the 17 year peace talks? Peace talks are not substitute for peace. Would an American President ever pressure Israel, blows it's lobby off and stop aiding an apartheid state for the sake of peace?

  • 50 Dead, 128 wounded in Iraq Attacks
    • Its really frustrating how the violence in Iraq is still being downplayed. The attacks are getting more organized again and they are inflicting more and more casualties. Why should the attackers have more number of small attacks when they can organize in less more damaging attacks. Everyone that keeps downplaying this violence is forgetting how and why the insurgency started in Iraq and dismissing the similarities of who is mostly targeted. It started only as a mean to resist the american and ally and everyone that is associated with then including the police forces labeling them as traitors and enemy collaborators. So as long as there are still foreign forces or what the Iraqis call them"occupying forces" there will be violence in Iraq regardless of whether these forces are still engaging in actual combat or not.
      This violence will not stop and try to target everyone from green zone to police stations and army recruits or any Iraqi associated or working with the americans in any shape or form. So I hope everyone that cares about human lives and the situation in Iraq will stand up and acknowledge that the violence WILL never stop as long as there are American troops in Iraq.
      The Iraqi people did not and still do not want foreign soldiers on their streets. They don't want a green zone in their country filed with foreign and semi governmental Iraqis protected behind enforced wall, swimming in palaces pools and building more chinese restaurants while the rest of Iraqis are in a red burning zone with little electricity and no basic needs. It took them several months after the beginning of the war to conclude that the forces are of "occupying forces" not a "liberating forces" to start the insurgency. It took them several months to conclude that their country is in the hand of someone that didn't care about them and allowed the lawlessness to finish destroying their county while not even providing them with the minimal survival needs they had before the war.
      Very little has changed in the situation since then, whether 200 thousands or 50 thousand troops. These troops failed to protect them and their country even with much larger number.
      So how anyone would not acknowledge that this situation can only cause violence is beyond me.

  • Dude, You Have no Quran
  • US Drone Strikes Kill 15 in N. Waziristan
    • I am sorry but I keep getting an error establishing a database connection when trying to connect to this site on both computer and phone. Is there a maintenance problem of sort?

  • Amnesty: 30,000 Held in Iraq without Due Process;
    Evidence of Abuse
    • For anyone that thought that there was anything remotely good that resulted from this war including the overthrow of Saddam, this would be the time to admit they were wrong. The number of people killed, children dead, prisoners tortured and held without due process, all would have been LESS if he wasn't. So how could they even justify that now?

  • Obama hands Iraq to Iraqis, Sort of;
    al-Maliki Declares Independence
    • If his speech was mostly directed to domestic audience before the election, the point he almost got by "ending the Iraq war" was lost by his insistence on "repeating its success" in Afghanistan. I am afraid he also insulted his voters that elected him on his anti Iraq war platform by somehow legitimizing it, praising Bush while saying he was against it. He was against it, yet he described it in word Bush himself would have, and Bush is good. What happened to his election speeches? Not praising Bush at this time should not have caused him problems. Right? He would still have gotten us to still be afraid of Al Qaeda at the Afghan/Pakistan border. He said that Al Qaeda is still plotting against us as he speaks, so an average listener would ask, how could have Iraq been a success if we are back to square one with al Qaeda? All we hear on TV from Crowely and other politicians is that, it is Al Qaeda that is bombing in Iraq now.
      As for those voters that where worried also about the human tall of innocent civilians of our "enemy", it was a slap in the face to not even mention them. I wish he read his speech?
      Can the fragile economy afford repeating something that didn't work?
      As for the bit that was directed to Iraqis and perhaps the Arab world. Iraqis actually could not have watched it because they only get 4 hours of electricity a day. We freed Iraqis from electricity and basic needs too.
      But, If they had electrify and watched the speech, they would have said the same thing that one our soldiers said when he was asked what he thought on his way out. He said: "I never thought that they would be blowing themselves up by the time we leave".
      I actually do fear that the Al Qaeda's plot that President Obama is surging against might have just gotten bigger by the lack of acknowledgment of the mistake done to Iraq and the lack of remorse for Iraqis lives lost. I pray that my fear is not legitimate.

  • The Speech President Obama Should Give about the Iraq War (But Won't)
    • Excellent speech professor!
      He should also say:
      I also deeply regret that my country only accepted less than a thousand of the several million Iraqi refugees. It refused to take in even the Iraqi Christians fleeing in hundreds of thousands. And although it was my country that turned the Iraqi christians into refugees, it was countries like Syria that took most of the half million christians and Sweden that took Tens of thousands of them, but my country refused even few hundreds of them.

  • Afghanistan and Paris Hilton's Purse
    • Seriously you guys, it is YOU, TIMES TWO at Oxfam. Everything you donate to Pakistan until midnight tomorrow will be matched. So hop on and do it. Email your friends too.

    • Is this a recent picture professor? Why is her nose so elongated? Does cocaine do that or this is just a Pinocchio phenomenon ? Did you elongate her nose professor to tell us she is not telling the truth?:)

    • Heheheeee... You read my mind Professor. I honestly got Paris's cocaine bust as an associated press alert of breaking news on my phone. I was like, "Et tu Brute?"

  • Netanyahu Reneges on Freeze,
    Rabbi Calls for Plague to Kill all Palestinians;
    On Eve of Obama's Peace Talks
    • I am going to be watching my local news news tomorrow and WHAOOO.. Israel and the palestinians are here having peace talks?! Our president truly delivered on his promises. We withdrew from Iraq and are solving the middle east crisis. In 7 days God created the world and in 7 days our president Obama solved our middle east problems. I know who I am voting for this coming election.
      Pssssst: Hass and Natanyahu already determined on July 8-2010 who's at fault in the failing of these talks. This is their version:

      link to cfr.org

      The entire video of the event at the end is also worth viewing.

  • One Million Displaced as Rising Waters Threaten Major Cities
    • I can not for the life of me understand why the world is treating this different than Haiti. The devastation is worse. Why are Pakistanis different from Haitians? Where are the TV marathons to save these people? What is going on?

  • Glenn Beck's 'I have a Dream Speech'
  • Republican National Committee Slashes New York Muslim Cabbie
    • It already went too far and caused the worst, bloodiest and most inhumane war in modern history. Hundred of thousands of Iraqi children is way more than enough to say enough.

    • Didn't the Republican National Committee and most Democrats use the same fear to scare the American public in order to invade Iraq? Now they are accusing american imams of the same things.
      Who's hand has the blood of the inocent Iraqis still being killed and injured?
      P J Crowly and Stephen Lanzo said it is Al Qaeda that it was responsible for the 13 bombs in 13 cities in Iraq today. So what did they accomplish in the last 7 and half years before calling it quit? And what are they trying to accomplish now by more hate and more blood?

  • Cole on PBS 'Need to Know'
    • Good job Professor Cole. Just one constructive criticism if I may: When she talked about the personal toll of the Iraqi war of 4000 american troops and thousands of Iraqi killed and injured, it was a great opportunity to say the real human cost of that war which you told us is hundred of thousand Iraqis not thousands and to show the public the real cost of that war.

  • Last US Combat Units withdraw from Iraq
    • The more I hear the media spin on this the more I get disappointed that you left out an essential fact. You told us that neglecting essential context does a disservice to readers. Oil was one of the main reasons the US went to war. So Isn't leaving force and bases in Iraq necessary to protect that interest?

  • Bolton was Contradicted by Bush on Iran's Bushehr Reactor
    • Now a scientific explanation for Bolton's comments and his inability as an old man to gain wisdom and learn from the past.
      That huge furry thing on his Boldon head absorbs a lot of heat energy and burns his brain cells!

  • 59 Dead, 120 Wounded in Iraqi Suicide Bombing;
    Iraqi Parties reject US Power Sharing Proposal
    • Christopher Hill disagrees with you, he said: "You wake up in the morning and there is another bomb, the security forces is still battling al-Qaeda, do I know when it's going to end? No, I don't." But he insists that the security is getting better, so I am not sure what scale he is following, but we can all sleep better that he is disturbing his sleep and is well informed.

    • Does that mean if this chicken doesn't die soon, it is a different chicken? Or even a chick that was growing and became a chicken? If the violence continue to rise after the withdrawal, should we start thinking that this chicken is one that would actually benefit most from a destabilized Iraq? As you put it, it is too late for this headless chicken/remnant of Baath party to benefit from this violence.

  • Dear Climate Change Deniers
    • This sentence goes before ''in other words"to make it clearer. The oceanic surface getting warmer caused turbulence and more energy in the atmosphere effecting north american climate. The turbulence and moisture lead to a more severe snow storms.

    • No, Sir! Those of us who are convinced that this planet is overheating never pointed out that last winter’s snowstorms were weather, not climate change related. Yes, last winter snow storms did serve as pointers to the state of the planet. We are not having it both ways and we are claiming that cold weather does count and that hot weather does too. Our argument is strong and we do not use false claims. All you have to do is to look for the answer because it is there, even though our scientists were not given the appropriate time on TV and papers and non in right wing media to explain it and spread it. Here is a simplified version that explains that last year snow storms were in fact related and caused by climate change which is supported by climate scientists. When the pacific ocean surface gets warmer which is the fact, this causes an increased volatility in weather patterns and cycles, whether it is extreme heat or cold. In other words the cause of these severe snow storms is that, the hotter the ocean surface is, the more moisture is in the air, and that in turn makes for a more severe snow storm and more frequent ones.

  • An Israeli Attack on Iran would reduce Barack Obama to a One-Term President
  • Kurdish General Again Insubordinate, Angles for US to Remain in Iraq
    • This is your problem. My compassion is towards all IRAQIS. I don't give a rat's derriere if someone is Shiite, Sunni, Christian, or Buddhist. True Iraqis feel the way I do.

    • I disagree with number 4. The death tall in Iraq fell largely because of ethnic cleansing. The claim that Zebari won the war is similar, if not worse, than the claim of Petraeus doing so. Zebari was in command since 2003. Where was he when hundred of thousands of Iraqi children, women and men were being killed, tortured and ethnically cleansed ?Where was he when millions of Iraqi were forced out of their own homes and their own country and scattered as refugees all over the Arab countries? living on less than 3 dollars a day in best case scenario. The beautiful Iraqi women cant even find jobs cleaning the houses of other Arab country house holds to provide for their own malnourished children..
      If Zabari is a hero, why cant he prevent the mass oil smuggling from the kurdish provinces to Iran? They need federal help? The federal government has no power whatsoever in the Kurdish provinces. They had that since the forced US new constitution for Iraq. What is sectarian is that they want to kick out and undermined the Arab Iraqis from the extra provinces they want, and bring in as many kurdish people in, because they are saying that the kurds that were kicked out by Sadam 40 years ago might make a kurdish majority in these extra provinces like Kirkuk and then majority would decide for itself. What kind of nationalism this goes under? They want to kick out Arab Iraqis from their homes again? The summary is that, without cleaning up corruption caused by the united state war in Iraq, from both sides, beautiful Iraq will not stand on it's feet again and bring in its forsaken refugees home to live in Dignity again.

    • The Iraqi army is the IRAQI army, and when a Lt. General is insubordinate, he should be fired just like McChrystal was. Unless you consider McChrystal a General for a different country than that of the United States.
      And I don't really see the connection to Ernie Badgett in your comment but I am not a man, so please forgive me. The only connection I see today of a famous past baseball players is that to a cheap post by a neo-idiot coward that would stop at nothing to Cyber-Stalk intellectuals he can't confront and debate. He would definitely Win field of the stupidest person on earth award. Margaritas are on me!

    • Excellent post and excellent, crucial criticism of the Guardian article and "reporting that neglects essential context". It absolutely does a disservice to the readers. Thank you Professor Cole.

  • 6 Million Pakistanis need Immediate Aid as 1/3 of Country is Submerged
    • I also find it heart braking that Chicago air and water show cost more than our entire US government donation to the forsaken Pakistanis. A weird resistance on the part of world community and we are setting one the worst examples.

    • After you guys donate, please circulate. I noticed in the last few days that the number of affected victims is yet to be updated by Oxfam on their donation link. So when you are emailing someone that might not be aware of the magnitude of this disaster, mention that. I also tried to email Oxfam to ask them to update it from the old 1 million. I think it is important. The only option I had to reach Albert Lea, supposedly the person in charge in the US, was his director of the Chamber of commerce he heads. if anyone has a better way to ask them to please update it, please do so. Thanks.

  • Cutting off Aid to the Lebanese Army Hurts US Interests
    • Is sonic boom prevention what little lebanon and Syria are worried about? They want to live without a constant threat of being mass executed by Israel's bombs. How do you prevent that?

    • Couple of points in support of Professor Cole's argument that the Israeli-Lebanese border skirmish was not due to Hizbullah infiltrating the lebanese army trying to create a new a conflict with Israel.

      1- Israel knowingly insisted on cutting the trees in one of the few areas still disputed by the Lebanese:

      "Israel told the United Nations around 6:30 a.m. on Tuesday that it was planning to trim a tree on a narrow strip of land the Lebanese believe should be on their side of the border, Mr. Le Roy said. The United Nations then informed the Lebanese, who objected. Mr. Le Roy said that his troops began negotiating between the two sides, but that Israel had decided to go ahead after a few hours, leading to a clash around 11:40 a.m. on Tuesday."

      "Unifil added that in the area in question, the Lebanese government had “some reservations concerning the Blue Line,” which was demarcated by the United Nations when Israel withdrew its forces from Lebanon in 2000, “as did the Israeli government at some other locations.”

      link to nytimes.com

      2- Israel refused the UNIFIL's offer to cut down the trees for her and refused to wait more than few hours before starting the cutting:

      Israel rejected the UN’s offer to cut down the tree and, after waiting about five hours yesterday for the UN to settle the dispute, went ahead on its own, LeRoy told reporters in New York.

      link to businessweek.com

      “We asked for more time for both parties to agree,” Mr. Le Roy said."

      link to nytimes.com

      3- Israel lobby could not argue against the US arm aid to the lebanese army without a skirmish between Israel and the lebanese army. Did Israel bet that such an activity in an already disputed area by the lebanese will not go peacefully? Did Israel fear an ironed out internal disagreements after the visit of saudi arabia and syria to lebanon shortly before the skirmish?

      "The purpose of Assad and Abdullah's day trip was to meet with Lebanese leaders and discuss the implications of the potentially explosive upcoming report on the investigation into the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. But while that report, due in September, is expected to dramatically raise the political temperature in Lebanon, the joint mission of the two regional heavyweights, whose allies have previously turned Beirut into a battlefield, was taken by many Lebanese as a sign that there will be no new Lebanese civil war. At least for now."

      link to time.com

      4- Hizbulla as Professor Cole rightfully noted is a secular nationalist and doesn't benefit from an internal conflict. One could argue that Hizbulla and or Syria don't benefit from a strengthened lebanese army, but that might mean some kind of coordination with Israel to create a skirmish such as the recent one in order to prompt the US to reconsider arm aid to the lebanese army, but I will leave that to the conspiracy theorists. Israel on the hand is claiming that although there is internal conflict between Hizbulla and the lebanese army, the lebanese army is being infiltrated by Hizbulla. But if that is the case, Hizbulla will actually benefit from the the US arm aid to the lebanese army and would not create a skirmish to stop that aid from the US. So their argument is not logical.

      "Israeli military officials insisted that the attack on their forces was premeditated. They pointed to internal tensions in Lebanon and what they said was the growing influence of Hezbollah — the Shiite, Iranian-backed militia — on certain elements within the Lebanese Army."

      link to nytimes.com

  • Pakistan Flooding Threatens Grain Crop
  • Rudolph: Can You Pass the Terrorism Quiz?
    • You might be missing the point of this entire post then. Hamas is called terrorist by our administration and our media wingbat.
      The good thing we can all take this quiz again. I am sure the author allows it.
      Oh, your photo color change from blue to yellow reminded me of our colored terrorism scale. Cheers.

  • Pentagon Quest for Wikileaks Mirrors Plot of Eisler Thriller
    • I'll get Eisler's novel. It sounds exciting.
      speaking of which, I watched a hilarious video yesterday of Jon Stewart's take on the leak with a happy ending of Afghan police doing bong hits. It was on Aljazeera's blog. It's 8:59 m. Here it is.

      link to blogs.aljazeera.net

  • Israeli and Lebanese Armies Trade Fire; at least 4 Dead
    • "Israel has informed the united nation in order to prevent any misunderstading"
      Viiit, I hope you agree that preventing misunderstading is not synonymous with informing, specially when an information needs to reach down the chain in order for that understanding to take place. Not to mention when politics is involved. And that is only in our daily lives. A 24 hour is not too much to ask of Israel in order for UNIFIL and the lebanese army to make sure no misunderstanding take place. Sometimes time is necessary for understanding. Wouldn't you think the blood of Lebanese and Israelis was worth the wait?
      You are right, there are no videos of Lebanese soldiers firing in the air, but there are also no videos of them starting killing in cold blood.
      UNIFIL could have cut those trees for Israel Wiiit, but that would not be provocative and would not prompt our congress to rethink arm aid to the Lebanese army. Would it?

    • Oh, and also at the time, Israel stated that it got UNIFIL permission to do the cutting.

    • I am sure you commented before seeing my correction. My original comment was prompted by the fact the statment released by UNIFIL at the time was that they would investigate the matter. There was no mentioning before le Roy
      statments that they were trying to get the two parties to agree on a solution when Israel went ahead with the cutting. I do have faith in the UN and it's sad that they can't even make Israel wait a bit longer to avoid a potential conflict. I always apreciate being corrected though.

    • Correction: 
      Unifil asked Israel to delay cutting down the trees in order to "facilitate an agreement between the two parties," le Roy the head of UN peacekeeping said. The Israeli army delayed the operation by several hours, but le Roy said the UN would have liked a longer delay.
      There, the UN can't force Israel to wait few more hours before taking an action that will be viewed as aggressive and provacative by the Lebanese. And Mighty arrogant Israel is not willing to wait few more hours to cut those trees.

    • Oh, I know, I know, they are going to cut the trees until they reach a height high enough to view Lebanon from, like the Golan heights in Syria, you see.
      Wait! There are no such heights in south Lebanon.

    • There we have it. The UNFIL conducted it's investigation as they promised yesterday and concluded that the tree was in Israel territory. That is not surprising, at least to me, since it was reported yesterday that Israel asked the UNIFIL permission and got it before cutting the tree. So the UNIFIL before given Israel permission to cut the tree dertermind either that the tree was in Israel territory, or that the tree was in a disputed area and got the two parties to agree on what happens in it. No, the second senario didn't occur. That means that the UNIFIL already determined that the tree was in israel's territory and gave them permission accordinally, otherwise they would have consultated the lebanese first. So why did the UNIFIL need an investigation on a matter they already determined? And what would have happen if they concluded that the tree was in fact in a disputed area but they did not consult the lebanese before already given the israelis permission? They would have been in big trouble. So someone in rhe UNIFIL messed up or got minipulated, not that that would have made much difference when it comes to israel provacative actions. By the way, israel wouldn't have asked for permission if the tree was clearly in it's territory? 
      So here goes poor Israel just trying to cut a tree to install a camera for it's SECURITY and gets speaker warnings from the Lebanese to stop because they don't know what the israelis are up to. But israel can't stop. Their SECURTY camera cant wait. Then comes the warning shots in the air by the spunky lebanese. Israel then needed an air strike to continue cuting the tree and protects its security with a security camera in place on the tree. The sivilians killed are only collateral damage and Israel is sorry. The Lebanese soldiers had even more spunk and dared to answer the air strike with ground fire and killed an Israeli soldier. 
       So it might be tit for tat, end of story. But that is not what we learned from history, is it? I am affraid that with this, Israel got the ammunition it needs to build on, when it SEES fit, so it can protect it's SECURITY on a larger scale in the near future.   
               

    • Does anyone know how many trees is Israel panning on cutting to get a better view of Lebanon? There are plenty of them in south Lebanon and they are absoluty gorgeous. Can't they use a ladder instead?

  • Take that, Dennis Miller; Climate Change is Real and Dangerous
    • Thank you for pointing out the responsibility that comes with visibility when it comes to a real danger like the global warming. I am affraid that Dennis Miller doesn't in fact understand the threat behind it. I am going to stop watching him alltogether to avoid scraching a nice shoe or the associated damage to the TV screen by the heel.

  • The Closing of the Zionist Mind
    • The Zionist rigidity and narrow mindeness after relying on blackmail and anti-semtic arguments almost exclusively, realized that it's becoming harder to get away with their actions based on that. And although the H H H as I call it, Historical self interpretation, Holocost and Hamas, are still a common argument, the fact that the zionest historal interpretation for example is getting resistence from intectuals, it became necessary to put on the degree hat " education hat" to try to ligitimize their arguments. One might think an education in a certain area might open their mind a bit, but the case is, that cult mentality is only using the "education" as a mean to get a degree hat. Their brain actually does not add any synapthic connections necessary to open up their mind. Its the power of cult resistence to growth and change. Other simple examples is getting a degree in human right law and exploit the darfour tradidy only to compare how these pour people were treated to how the united nation and the world is treating Isreal. 
      This phenomonan of a degree hat in the Zionist cult has been and getting more popular. It is very similar to what the cigarette companies used to hide their cancer risk. Doctors. 

  • 40 Killed in Bombings of Shiite Pilgrims in Iraq;
    Constitutional Crisis Unfolds
    • Senator Mc-Cain might have meant winning as in the 9.1 billion dolars of Iraq's oil money given to the US for safe keeping to reconstruct the damage done by war. Oopssy daisy, the money can't be accounted for. Winning money is a win after all.

  • Was Amiri a Double Agent who Hyped Iran's Nukes?
    • This is a great piece. My only concern is that, while talking about what led to the Iraq war, you might be legitimizing that war based on fear (which was illigitimate) by using this sentence, "But strong suspicions were voiced in the US and western Europe that Iraq had reconstituted it's weapons programs by the late 1990s".

  • UAE Fatwa Against the Vuvuzela
    • This is hilarious, thanks. I will not shed any tears over Vuvuzelas. These buzzing bees hijacked one of the best parts of the game. The fans noise. Also the players couldn't communicate effectively. So I am holding them responsible if the Netherlands lose tomorrow. And I will also substitute Paul's luscious mussel with a vuvuzela. Nahh.. he is too cute.

  • World Cup Death Threats for Paul the Oracle Octopus
    • Netherlands fans like me do not lose hope. Mani the parakeet predicted Holland. He has more international soccer psychic experience than Paul. This is Paul's first non Germany game. Mani's prediction is this Washington Post video. Go Holland!

      link to washingtonpost.com

  • Taliban Kill 65 in Bomb Blast;
    Blackwill Urges Partition
    • According to NYT the bombing was targeted at the tribal elders (who are supposed to be helping ordinary people resist the Taliban) gathered for a scheduled meeting with the assistant political agent Rasul Khan.

      link to nytimes.com

  • The Orientalism of Israeli Troops Dancing
    • Don't pick up the habbit but " as the American government seaks to end the four decade of Jewish settlment enterprise, the American treasury helps sustain the settlement through tax breaks donation to support them."
      A New York Times examinanation of public records- identified at least 40 American groups that have collected more than 200$ millions in tax diductable gifts fir Jewish settlements in west bank and east Jerusalem.
      link to nytimes.com

      Evident from professor Cole last video that the money is well spent on education of Jewish settler how to say the really bad words in Arabic to the Palestinians. The palestinians have to hookah to smock the bad words away!

    • I wish these soldiers took heir uniforms off and threw away their machine guns and went dancing with the Palestinians. it wouldn't be funny but they both would be very happy.
      This is not comedy. I am not Palestinian and I am not Muslim and love this song, still I am not laughing. I would not be laughing either if the Palestinians are physically and psychologically tormenting Jewish people with machine guns in hand. I would not be laughing if they are ridiculing and changing a religious Jewish holly prayer into even a belly dancing music AND DANCING outside their homes. That is not a sign of modern behavior no matter how modern the music is. Telling kids that carry machine guns that this behavior is Ok and laughing with them would do much harm for both.
      It is not until someone like you recognizes that distributing hate, arrogance and ignorance in this and other repugnant ways, peace could never be achieved. It is really sad.

  • Turkey Threatens Israel with cut-off of Diplomatic Relations
  • Fadlallah's Life and the Shiite Wave
    • I don't understand for the life of me why we should be directed by any comment to read an article (Syria comment ARCHIVE) that the main header is GDP of Syria and it can not even be verified and new laws that the author was told about, we don't know by whom and he also said can not verify its importance. At a time where the papers in the US and england are busing on human right abuses by the same country. Am i missing something? Yes the last point was Hizbullah spiritual leader death.

  • On Fourth of July, Let Iraq Go
    • A corner stone of independence is economic independence which is and will be denied to Iraqis even after the troop withdrawal. This strong grip on Iraq's economy was, is and will be evident in the large elements of corruption in it's government. The small example of which is electricity. Not to gratify Saddam, but he was able to restore electricity to his people in few month after the 1991 war. It has been 7 years and the vast majority of Iraqis try to survive on few hours of electricity each day. LIFE, liberty and the pursuit of happiness was a laughable concept the U.S during the past 7 years and still and will continue to be after the troops withdrawal. Iraqis will start having the right to live when they are free from the economic strangling grip of the U.S and it's interests. And that will go hand in hand with Iraq's stability.

  • Turkey Forbids Israeli Military Overflights
    • That's interesting. I was wandering why Erdogan would lobby the U.S. and Russia for just an apology. Would an apology let them kiss and make up? Or is Erdogan going to say the day Israel attacks Iran or Syria that Netanyahu called the night before, apologized and got permission to use his air space?

  • Raining Oil in Louisiana
    • Even the use of dispersant by BP should not change the fact well put by the environmental scientist Mestas-Nuñez:
      (Crude is made of different kinds of hydrocarbons, each with different properties. Those compounds separate as they disperse in gas form. In a sense they're like Humpty Dumpty (or the oil spill itself): once they're broken, they can't be fixed again. "I would be very surprised if the atmosphere could recombine multiple hydrocarbons and convert them back from gas to liquid so that it could precipitate back to land as some sort of compound resembling the original crude oil from the Gulf of Mexico mixed with rainfall") Mestas-Nuñez says.

      link to popularmechanics.com

  • Twin Oil Disasters: BP and Iraq
    Bloody Friday in Iraq Leaves 27 Dead, over 80 Wounded
    • Well said. The tragedy of hundreds of thousands lives lost, and millions of refugees, caused by greed and eliminating threats to Israel is more costly tragedy to humanity. The harm to the echo system in the later is unimaginable, and worth to be compared to Iraq, but Iraqis would have taken it any day over the lost of their children's lives. Thank you for keeping their memories alive.

  • Turkey Shelves Israeli Cooperation,
    Considers breaking off Ties;
    Israel Lobbies in Congress denounce Ankara
    • Hopefully that will teach them to love their neighbors.

    • Even if one player (Turkey) is out, israel can still play with ten and win this dirty, pathetic match, as long as our U.S. government/Israel lobby is the referee.

  • Big Oil's Predations are not Your Fault
    • One of the points i recall from that chapter is that the world oil is going to run out soon. But please read it. it is excellent. I also recommend reading the entire book.

    • Juan Cole mentioned how to eliminate this problem. No corporate campaign financing. Free campaigns.

  • The Greens in Iran are a Movement, not a Coup
    • "Regimes based on brute power are less often long lasting." Is Iran's best friend, Syria's regime for 40 years one of them? By the way, Syria comment is the only site on your friends list that displays a warning for malware when trying to check it out. Why? Is it safe?

  • Schumer's Sippenhaftung and the Children of Gaza
    • Schumer is a U. S. senator, his public statements on international issues are going to be viewed as a reflection of that of U.S. government.
      Not that there is any excuse to advocate such hate to stop only at starvation to death, but he should check his facts. Even the Palestinian president Abbas said that Hamas does recognize Israel to the 1967 borders. (as recent as few days ago on Charlie rose). So the vast majority of palestinians in west bank and gaza do in fact recognize israel.
      This combination of his ignorance, hate and arrogance is not just a dangerous combination for Israel, it's a dangerous combination and threat to our national security here at home. He said the boycott will bring about peace, that is not the view of president Obama, not just from a humanitarian point of view but from a security and foreign policy view. So schumer should put a sock in it.

  • Russia: Missiles not Covered by UN Weapons Ban on Iran
    • My understanding is that Russia will not deliever them and Iran is talking penelties.

  • Video Shows Israeli Commando Executing American
  • A Sign of Modernization: Saudi Clerics Promote Kinship by Sharing Breast Milk
    • Although I am familiar with the meaning of breast feeding kinship, even Christians in the middle-east use the term "siblings in breast breast feeging", whether by a nanny or even a neighbor. And christians usually associated with closness after the kids grow up, I still can't get your point when you said "in the past it concearned wetnude and children under 5, not adult women and adult men". Does that mean that a woman can freeze her breast milk and when her daughter grows up, she can give the men she wants to socialize with as friends that breast milk? That would be even more modern than our modern Christian comunity where you can only socialize whith a well known male friends from school, if you are not in catholic school, or what is customarry for Christian to get to know each other during the engagement period. Breaking the engagement is not such a huge deal if they don't get along. So if you can explain what you meant it's not children under 5 but adults that would be nice because adults can't nurse.

  • Mystery of Iranian Nuclear Scientist and the Duelling YouTube Videos
    • Dr. Cole, you just wrote a great screenplay for a great movie. You should have the rights to it. Excellent Writing as always.

  • Insurgents Kill 10 NATO Troops;
    Afghanistan Condemns Israel
    • Not that this attack per-say on our American soldiers is related to Israel's attack on the flotila.. But when are we going to listen to what General Patreaus himself said about the correlation between supporting Israel and the risk and challenges our troops faces.

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