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  • A Christian Bride of Mosul, Iraq, 1903 (Photo of the Day)
  • How Peter O'Toole Saved the Arabs (According to David Lean)
  • Crystal Night Must not be Repeated versus other European Minorities
    • I was surprised to learn that there is a despised underclass in Yemen. In one of the world's poorest counties, people still find a way to hate someone they feel is beneath them, rather than look up, to where there anger should be directed.

      It's unfortunate, that as the author says, one almost has to experience being hated, to understand what it means.

      I hope that at some point, average people around the world realize that they have much more in common with those they are encouraged to hate, than they do with the ones who for their own gain, are encouraging the divisions.

  • Best-Selling German Satirical Novel About Return of Hitler To Be Made Into Film
  • John F. Kennedy's Thanksgiving Ideals, 1962-- How different they are from Ours
  • US-Iran War Averted by Agreement to Negotiate on Nuclear Enrichment
    • link to atimes.com

      "McClatchy newspapers reported last August that Cheney had
      proposal several weeks earlier "launching airstrikes at suspected training camps in Iran", citing two officials involved in Iran policy."

      "The option of attacking nuclear sites had been raised by Bush with the Joint Chiefs at a meeting in "the tank" at the Pentagon on December 13, 2006, and had been opposed by the Joint Chiefs, according to a report by Time magazine's Joe Klein last June.

      After he become head of the Central Command (Centcom) in March 2007, Admiral William Fallon also made his opposition to such a massive attack on Iran known to the White House, according Middle East specialist Hillary Mann, who had developed close working relationships with Pentagon officials when she worked on the National Security Council staff."

      These people are still around, still treated with respect, still on TV, still writing newspaper columns.

      Thanks Prof. Cole.

  • Another Reason to Divest: Global outrage at dirty Coal threatens Investors' Profits
    • "Power Past Coal is an ever-growing alliance of health, environmental, businesses, clean-energy, faith and community groups working to stop coal export off the West Coast. There are over 100 organizations that are part of the coalition."

      link to powerpastcoal.org

  • Israel forces Gaza Children to Wade through Sewage as Creepy, Evil Blockade Continues
  • Commemoration of Kristallnacht in Berlin
    • There is not much interest in this subject it seems.

      Thanks, This is a fine remembrance.

  • "Off the Charts": Deadliest Storm in History Kills 1200, Displaces Millions in Philippines
    • coastal cities around the world, are going to get hammered.

      All of us, allow this to happen.

  • Pakistani family testifies to empty room on Hill about US Drone that killed Granny
    • "David Kilcullen is no soft-headed peacenik.

      He's a 41-year-old former Australian army officer who served in Iraq as a top advisor to U.S. Army Gen. David H. Petraeus

      "We need to call off the drones," Kilcullen said.

      Another problem, Kilcullen says, is that "using robots from the air … looks both cowardly and weak."

      In the Pashtun tribal culture of honour and revenge, face-to-face combat is seen as brave; shooting people with missiles from 20,000 feet is not. "

      no kidding.

      link to articles.latimes.com

  • Top Ten Signs Solar Energy is rapidly Winning
  • Is Iran out of the US War Queue? The Twilight of the Hawks
    • I'm not sure why Saudi Arabia is always left out of the discussion of war with Iran, but anyway.....

      Congratulations to Presidents Rouhani and Obama for this effort. I hope they succeed.

      Thanks Prof. Cole.

  • When Syria was a US Ally (or at Least Helpful)
  • Not Markets but the People are making the Green Energy Revolution
    • When it gets to the point that ranchers in drought stricken Texas, are selling their aquifer water rights to oil companies for fracking, you know we are very close to the end of oil as the dominant energy source.

      Thanks very much for continuing to write about this.

  • Does the World Care? 1 Mn Syrian Children Refugees & Aid Money Running Out
    • does anyone know how much of what they receive from private donations(unhcr and unicef) goes directly to aid?

  • Bye, Bye Florida: Scientists find the last time it was this hot, Seas rose 65 feet
    • I suggest you read the article by Joe Romm at Climateprogress on what the economist had to say.

      Here's a quotation from Joe's article:

      "Here’s The Economist’s idea of responsible journalism. Begin by quoting UN chief climate negotiator Yvo de Boer on the forthcoming fifth assessment by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC):

      THAT report is going to scare the wits out of everyone.

      Then dig up some unpublished, unsubstantiated chart to make the case “it might be less terrifying than it could have been.” No, seriously, the Economist devoted an entire article to argue that a draft climate change report “might be less terrifying than it could have been.

      The Economist also seems blissfully unaware of the fact that we are currently close to the 1000 ppm emissions pathway. And The Economist also seems blissfully unaware that stabilizing anywhere near 450 ppm atmospheric concentration of CO2 would require immediate and sustained action to replace the world’s fossil fuel system with one based on carbon-free energy — precisely the kind of aggressive action this piece seems designed to undercut."

      Read the whole thing if you wish at:

      link to thinkprogress.org

      There's no better way to inform yourself on this subject.

  • Detroit's Bankruptcy and America's Future: Robots, Race, Globalization and the 1%
    • This is remarkable; Thanks for this post, and the comments as well.

      I think that all economic policies, no matter which side they come from will be in tatters after climate change impacts become full force.

  • Israel's District 9: Its Biggest Ethnic Cleansing since 1948
  • PRISM: The US Government is mad at Bradley Manning for doing to it what it is Doing to All of us
    • Why haven't the people that machine gunned the reuters journalists, the people in the "keep shooting" video that was released by Bradley Manning

      been charged with murder?

  • Dear Oklahoma: We Feel for you, we love you, but do us some favors
  • Obama must Make Fighting Climate Change National Project, or Die the death of a thousand Scandals
    • What progress is that?

      Is it allowing drilling in the Arctic ocean?
      or is it permitting record amount of oil to be extracted and produced in the USA?
      or is it opening up public lands for massive coal extraction and sale?
      or is it prosecuting and jailing the person Tim DeChristopher who stopped an admittedly illegal oil lease auction?
      or allowing BP to have complete control over the months long oil "spill" in the Gulf?
      or is it stacking fracking investigation groups with pro tracking industry insiders?
      or is it going golfing with an oil exec, when 350.org gathers in Washington begging you to cancel Keystone XL?
      or saying that you're "inclined to approve Keystone XL?
      or having the EPA not issue regulations on coal fired power plant emissions?

      By the way, did you see that the G20 has reason to believe that the wholesale price of oil is fixed and manipulated?

      and they are investigating.

      I haven't heard of any such investigations here in North America.

      He not only has failed to do anything useful, he's promoting the worst possible alternatives. you know "all the above" energy program.

      And the "he's a nice guy" bit, is tissue paper thin these days.

  • My Trip to Baghdad Last Week (Photo Gallery)
  • Alabina, "Habibi ya Nour el Ain" (Music Video)
    • wikipedia, for the blond singer...

      "Eti Zach was born on 10 November 1968 in Kiryat Atta, near Haifa and was raised in Israel. She was born to an Egyptian-Jewish mother and a Moroccan-Jewish father, both of Sephardic heritage, who had immigrated to Israel earlier.

      she sings in Arabic, Hebrew, French, Spanish, Bulgarian, Russian, and English; in addition, she says she "half-speaks Moroccan".

      Thanks prof. great tune.

  • Videos on the Present and Past of Chechnya
    • The fascinating book "Black Earth a journey through Russia after the fall" by Andrew Meier,
      contains a substantial section describing the author Andrew Meier's trip to Chechnya.

      One reader's comment: "At great risk to himself - unescorted and unapproved journalists in Chechnya were forbidden and kidnapping is a common local occupation - Meier toured Chechnya. Meier wrote of the zachistka, Russian for a "little cleanup" or a mopping up operation, a routine of the operations during Putin's War, which generally meant a house-to-house search for members of the Chechen opposition, though some have compared them to Stalin's purges, the chiski. Sometimes these operations resulted in civilian deaths, such as occurred in the village of Aldy on February 5, 2000, recognized (eventually) by even the Russian government as a war crime, when civilians were slaughtered and people were summarily executed."

      "That Black Earth is an extraordinary work is, for anyone who has known Russia, beyond question."—George Kennan"

  • Working America's 40-year Decline (Garson)
    • the lives of people working on an automobile assembly line is described in the book

      "Rivethead" by Ben Hamper

      "In a voice often as powerful as the riveting gun he wielded in the 1970s and '80s in a Flint, Mich., General Motors assembly plant, Hamper nails down the excruciating boredom of a shoprat's life on the line. These roughly chronological essays, many published in the local press, bare the rage and humor that, with booze and drugs, friendships and enmities, served to speed along the timeclock's "suffocating minute hand."

  • Top Ten Ways Margaret Thatcher's Policies Made our World more Unequal
    • This is interesting

      Wikipedia

      "The Thatcher baronetcy, of Scotney in the County of Kent, is a title in the Baronetage of the United Kingdom. It was created on 7 December 1990 for the businessman Denis Thatcher, the husband of Margaret Thatcher, Conservative Prime Minister from 1979 to 1990. His wife was created a life peer as Baroness Thatcher in 1992. As of 2012 the baronetcy is held by their only son, the second Baronet, who succeeded in 2003. As of 2013, the Thatcher baronetcy is the last hereditary title to be granted to someone outside the British Royal Family."

  • The Real Reason for Climate Change Denial: Oil Cos. Would lose 60% of their Value
    • If oil companies were run responsibly, they would be leaders in the renewable energy field, and their continued existence would be ensured.

      But they are not run in anything like a responsible manner.

      The only motive in play in the oil business, is the short term profit motive. Basic greed. Make the most money this quarter, and this year.

      The oil business is being burned down, by the people running it, who don't care any more about the corporation they run, than they do about the planet they are destroying.

      One way or another, due to the incompetent, greed based, destructive management of the oil companies now, they will be out of business soon enough.

      Nothing can stop the march of renewable energy.

  • If N. Korea is the Threat, Why is all the War Talk about a Weak Iran?
    • You should expand your knowledge.

      You apparently are unaware of Saudi Arabian policy on Iran.

      High level Saudi Arabian officials have been vehemently demanding that the USA take military action against Iran. For years.

  • How We're making a Frankenstein's Monster of our Climate (Giesen)
    • "the consequences of unchecked warming and scarce energy will dramatically degrade the lives of our children "

      I don't think this kind of statement is useful, although I see it made repeatedly. Obama used it recently.

      The consequences of unchecked warming are dramatically altering lives now.

      There are many examples of this, for instance the many thousands of people who died as a result of the record setting heatwave in Europe a few years ago.

  • Instead of offering to Buy East Jerusalem, the Arab League should invite Israel to Join It
    • "This tendency to try to deal with the Palestinians’ problems by throwing money"

      Does anyone know how much it cost to rebuild Lebanon, after the last Israeli attack?

      And is there any estimate of amount of money spent repairing the destruction done in Palestinian territories by the various Israeli bombing and military invasions?

  • Guantanamo Hunger Strike: Attorney: "Shocked at Conditions," "Animal Cages"
    • correction, the program was aired 28th of Feb 2013.

    • America treats it's own no better...

      "JUAN GONZÁLEZ: We turn now to the case of Albert Woodfox, who has been in solitary confinement for 40 years. That’s right, 40 years, most of that time locked up in the notorious maximum security Louisiana state penitentiary known as Angola."

      Democracy now Feb 2012.

      link to democracynow.org

  • The Top other thing Netanyahu Needs to Apologize For: The Gaza Blockade
    • I think that this site is the best english language source of information on the middle East. I also appreciate the global warming information.

      Thanks very much Prof. Cole.

  • What we Did to Iraq
    • A filthy, despicable, illegal war;

      This was the world's strongest country, attacking one of the world's weakest countries, a county which according to America's own leaders, had been disarmed, and was not a threat to anyone.

      Thanks to Bush and Blair, and their assistants, Iraq is now effectively destroyed, a chaotic, violent dangerous place. The people will live in misery for many years now.

      Until the perpetrators are charged and tried, expect more of the same.

    • Page: 1
  • Falsity of Nuclear Accusation against Iraq Was Known before Bush's Invasion
    • "The Niger documents were closely examined and found to be forgeries."

      To me, the fact that the USA made no attempt that I know of, to find the perpetrator of the Niger document, and have him or her extradited, is pretty strong evidence of some kind of participation, or at least knowledge that the document was fake.

      fifteen million people around the world knew that the war was based on lies.

      Iraq submitted something like 12000 pages of documents to the UN to show that it had no WMD. I guess that was unexpected. Didn't matter though. Bush and Blair wanted an (illegal) war.

      Now Iraq is destroyed. Maybe a million dead. hundreds of thousands of orphans begging. deformities in babies in Fallujah. on and on.

      I don't know the legal definition of treason, but this clearly illegal Iraq invasion, started on lies, certainly fits most peoples understanding of the word.

      What is there to stop this from happening again, if not prosecution of the people that did this atrocity?

  • Pakistan, Iran defy US Sanctions to Inaugurate Gas Pipeline
    • " It has enormous potential for solar and wind, but has not developed alternative energy sources– and lacks both the investment capital and the know-how to make quick strides in that area"

      Maybe instead of threatening Pakistan, shouldn't the USA should assist that country with the development of its enormous solar and wind potential?

      increase green Jobs in the USA, promote clean energy independence in Pakistan, and reduce oil consumption, with one stroke.

  • Mission Accomplished: Iraq as America's biggest Blunder (Van Buren)
    • John Pilger.com

      link to johnpilger.com

      "in Cairo, on February 24 2001, Powell said: "He (Saddam Hussein) has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbours.

      On May 15 2001, Powell went further and said that Saddam Hussein had not been able to "build his military back up or to develop weapons of mass destruction" for "the last 10 years". America, he said, had been successful in keeping him "in a box".

      Two months later, Condoleezza Rice also described a weak, divided and militarily defenceless Iraq. "Saddam does not control the northern part of the country," she said. "We are able to keep his arms from him. His military forces have not been rebuilt."

    • " the Bush team missed a diplomatic opportunity with Iran that might have rendered today’s saber rattling unnecessary"

      "Missed an opportunity" ?

      That is a kind interpretation.

      Washington Post June 18 2006:

      "Richard N. Haass, head of policy planning at the State Department at the time and now president of the Council on Foreign Relations, said the Iranian approach was swiftly rejected because in the administration "the bias was toward a policy of regime change." He said it is difficult to know whether the proposal was fully supported by the "multiple governments" that run Iran, but he felt it was worth exploring."

      link to washingtonpost.com

  • Syrian Rebels capture UN Troops, face Raqqah bombings, are pledged UK Armored Trucks
    • "which set off speculation on the Arabic web that a decision has been made to give the rebels shoulder-held missile launchers capable of taking down aircraft (this is just speculation; and, it should be noted that they seem already to have some, which might be what Royal Jordanian Airlines is reacting against"

      How is that different from this:

      New York Times:

      "The Chinese missiles were part of a larger shipment interdicted by American and Yemeni forces in January, which American and Yemeni officials say was intended for the Houthi rebels in northwestern Yemen. But the presence of the missiles in the seized contraband complicates an already politically delicate case.

      The shipment, which officials portray as an attempt to introduce sophisticated new antiaircraft systems into the Arabian Peninsula, has raised concerns in Saudi Arabia, Oman and Yemen, as the weapons would have posed escalated risks to civilian and military aircraft alike.

      And it has presented the Obama administration with a fresh example of Iran’s apparent transfer of modern missiles from China to insurgents in the larger regional contest between Sunni-led and Shiite-led states, in which the American military has often been entwined."

  • Hagel Confirmed, but Bloodied by American Nationalists Seeking Wars & World Dominance
  • WaPo says Gasoline Price Increase Mysterious, Ignores US blockade of Iran Oil!
    • If "the government" played around with the price of oil the way the "market" does, the citizens would be angry. We are thoroughly brainwashed.

      Apparently some important people think the price of oil might well be manipulated for profit.

      "“We need to know whether the oil price has been manipulated in a similar way to Libor,” the MP for Harlow said. “This impacts on millions of people all round the country concerned about the price of petrol at the pumps.”
      Petrol retailers use oil price “benchmarks” to decide how much to pay for future supplies.

      The rate is calculated by data companies based on submissions from firms which trade oil on a daily basis – such as banks, hedge funds and energy companies.
      However, like Libor – the interest rate measure that Barclays was earlier this month found to have rigged – the market is unregulated and relies on the honesty of the firms to submit accurate data about all their trades.

      This is one of the major concerns raised in the G20 report, published last month by the International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO)."

      link to telegraph.co.uk

      why this is not being widely discussed is a mystery to me.

  • When we Kill without Caring: Bill Moyers on the Downside of Drones (Video)
    • The man has a way with words.

      " “blind faith in technology, combined with a sense of infallible righteousness.”

      Here he distills a significant period of a Nation's history into a single sentence.

  • Top Ten Surprises of the Brennan Hearing on CIA Torture and Drones
    • Re number 7. I guess it depends on the definition of "few"

      "Living under drones"

      "This report is the result of nine months of research by the International Human Rights and Conflict Resolution Clinic of Stanford Law School (Stanford Clinic) and the Global Justice Clinic at New York University School of Law (NYU Clinic).

      The best currently available public aggregate data on drone strikes are provided by The Bureau of Investigative Journalism (TBIJ), an independent journalist organization. TBIJ reports that from June 2004 through mid-September 2012, available data indicate that drone strikes killed 2,562-3,325 people in Pakistan, of whom 474-881 were civilians, including 176 children.

      TBIJ reports that these strikes also injured an additional 1,228-1,362 individuals. Where media accounts do report civilian casualties, rarely is any information provided about the victims or the communities they leave behind.

      This report includes the harrowing narratives of many survivors, witnesses, and family members who provided evidence of civilian injuries and deaths in drone strikes to our research team.

      It also presents detailed accounts of three separate strikes, for which there is evidence of civilian deaths and injuries, including a March 2011 strike on a meeting of tribal elders that killed some 40 individuals."

      link to livingunderdrones.org

  • Syria: Rebels take Aleppo Airport Road; NYT: Obama Nixed Clinton/Petraeus Plan to Arm Rebels
    • "former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had gotten then CIA director David Petraeus’s agreement to a plan to arm, train and support America-friendly revolutionaries in Syria."

      This is interesting.

      who released this information, and why did they do it?

  • Chuck Hagel Mauled in Bizarro World of US Senate
    • There is an amazing output of worthwhile, very informative articles by Juan Cole.

      Thanks very much.

  • Top Ten Surprises of the Obama-Karzai Meet on Afghanistan's Future
    • 80 % eh?

      "WASHINGTON — As President Obama considers how quickly to withdraw the remaining 68,000 American troops in Afghanistan and turn over the war to Afghan security forces,

      a bleak new Pentagon report has found that only one of the Afghan National Army’s 23 brigades is able to operate independently without air or other military support from the United States and NATO partners."

      link to nytimes.com

  • 8,775 Firearm Murders a Year in US, Equiv. of 290 in UK
    • My M.D. friend worked for a while in the Los Angeles country General Hospital emergency department; He told me that the medical staff working there were extremely capable, and skilled well above the norm, in the treatment of gunshot wounds; Just as you have written.

  • Afghanistan: The End of America's Longest War?
    • Is Obama, who led the "surge" in Afghanistan, going to do something about the American share of this:

      "More than three decades of conflict in Afghanistan — from the Soviet invasion of 1979 through the civil war of the 1990s to the U.S.-led invasion after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 — have left the impoverished farming country one of the most heavily mined in the world.

      "Basically, Afghanistan has been contaminated with unexploded ordnance by the full range of actors," said Elena Rice, a program officer with the United Nations Mine Action Service."

      ""Kids, they'll be out playing ball and they'll come across something neat and shiny," he said. "They go over to play with it, and the next thing you know, they drop it and it goes boom — and you have children that are injured, or worse."

      ..... Mathew Hay Brown, Baltimore Sun.

      link to articles.baltimoresun.com

  • Dear Neocons: Iraqis still don't feel liberated: Iraq's Sunni Arab Spring
    • off topic, but, end of the year, so......

      Thanks very much Prof. Cole for your interesting, well written, and informative site.

  • The Coming Conflict between the US and Israel (Chernus)
    • "Israeli political life has always been haunted by a fear of weakness and a conviction that Jews are condemned to vulnerability in a world full of anti-Semites eager to destroy them."

      I can't imagine why that would be. see for instance, "None is too many".

      Not that it in any way justifies the way Israel treats Palestinians.

      But any Jew that thinks that there aren't large numbers of people in this world who hate Jews, is kidding him/herself.

  • Tea Party Congress Biggest Obstacle to the Electric Car (Granholm)
  • Bigger than the IT Revolution: Solar is Going to Electronics Firms, Energy Giants Left Behind (Video)
  • Top Ten True costs of BP Gulf Oil Spill
    • Thanks Prof. Cole, fine summary.

      I am unable to desribe how miserable I feel, because of these kinds of catastrophes, and because of the misery we are inflicting on the planet .

  • The Tesla S and World Peace: Can American Green Energy End the Gulf Oil Wars?
    • Electric motors are ( I have just read) between 80 and 95 % efficient.

      gasoline motors have 25 to 30 % efficiency.

      This alone is why we should switch to electric motor driven cars.

      What person wouldn't like to reduce the fuel related cost of driving by two thirds?

      The only thing stopping this is oil company control of the Law.

  • Drone, Sanctions affecting Medicine, Intensify US-Iran Tensions
    • There is a very interesting interview of Juan Cole on "Democracy Now", this morning.

  • Brandeis U. Owes Jimmy Carter an Apology: Israelis agree they run Apartheid State, as Far Right Wing Coalition Emerges
    • yeah, because the world has treated Jews so well in the past couple of thousand years.

      What could Jews possibly have to worry about right?

  • On How Despite the Currency Crisis Iran's State Revenues are not Collapsing
    • your linked article brecorder is really informative

      it says

      "
      Asian countries including China, India and South Korea are among Iran's biggest oil customers, but, to get around a European Union ban on shipping insurance imposed since July 1, they must use the fleet of the National Iranian Tanker Co (NITC) to bring the crude home. '

      and

      "The US Treasury, however, said there was not enough information to conclude that NITC was linked to the revolutionary guards, which industry sources said boded well for the shipping firm, for now. "NITC will carry on trading and it seems the US government obviously does not want to kill all trade in oil as otherwise, why was NITC not targeted?," said a European industry source. "

      This makes no sense to me. so then, are the sanctions just world stage political theatre?

  • Top Seven Errors President Obama has made on the Middle East
    • I think Phyllis Bennis meant "Afghanistan" not Iraq, in the above comment.

    • Great summary, thankyou.

      at the end you write:

      "Afghanistan is not a quagmire because Obama has announced he is getting out in 2014 no matter what)"

      On "Democracy Now" yesterday this was said by Phyllis Bennis, fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies

      "What we need to worry about is that what the Obama administration is saying it plans for the end of 2014 is not the withdrawal of all troops and all U.S. paid mercenaries, as we saw in Iraq, when the U.S. was forced out.

      This time around, we’re hearing what we originally heard about Iraq: we’re going to withdraw the combat troops, meaning we will keep in place the trainers—they’re the ones that are being killed in the largest numbers

      we will keep in place the CIA, we will keep in place Special Forces, and we don’t know how many thousands of troops that may mean. There are now 100,000 U.S. paid contractors operating in Iraq, along with 40,000 other NATO troops. Nothing is being said about the contractors"

  • It's Psychological Warfare, Stupid: Why Netanyahu Really wants to Destroy Iran
    • you and former centcom commander John Abizaid.

      "ABC News’ Jonathan Karl Reports: In contrast to U.S. officials who have consistently called a nuclear Iran unthinkable, former CENTCOM commander John Abizaid told reporters Monday that he believes the United States could live with a nuclear Iran.
      "There are ways to live with a nuclear Iran," Abizaid said. "I believe we have the power to deter Iran if they go nuclear" he said, just as we deterred the Soviet Union and China. "Iran is not a suicidal nation. Nuclear deterrence would work with Iran."

      link to abcnews.go.com

      To me, it's a clumsy distraction from the occupation of Palestinian land. But the world doesn't seem to be able to think about two things at once when it comes to Israel.

  • President Obama's Speech to the UN General Assembly
  • Hurricane Isaac may Threaten RNC convention of Climate-Change Deniers in Tampa
    • Since our science deprived and ignoring leaders are so far unable or unwilling to do anything about the climate catastrophe,

      all of those beautiful buildings in Miami are going to be great habitat for aquatic flora and fauna.

      and an interesting place to do some scuba diving and snorkelling.

  • Islamic Shariah & Todd Akin/ Paul Ryan on Abortion & Legitimate Rape
    • It's not surprising in the least that this issue comes out during a Presidential campaign is it?

      This makes it easier to avoid discussions about bank fraud, climate change, unemployment, foreign wars, domestic spying programs etc.

  • You might be Paul Ryan if....
    • "Will ship American jobs to Mexico, China and India"

      I suppose you could argue that the Obama US/Korean Free trade agreement, and the Asian pacific proposed trade region, pushed by Obama, or the Columbia free trade agreement, and the Panama deal he got promoted and signed into law,

      won't ship jobs to Mexico, China or India.

  • On Human unity and the "Curiosity" NASA Control Room
  • White Terrorism at Oak Creek: The Paranoid Style in American Violence
    • Don't forget the role of movies, and TV shows, which have feasted on Muslim terrorists, for years.

      The racist anti muslim ranting heard daily on American airwaves, is astounding.

      the volume of it, the virulence of it, the lies told.

      absolutely amazing.

  • The Collapse of the Climate Change Contrarians and the End of Coal
    • Nature International Weeklyy Journal of Science:Sept 7 2006.

      "The Sun provides Earth with as much energy every hour as human civilization uses every year. If you are a solar-energy enthusiast, that says it all."

  • Tunis: View of Coast from Sidi Bu Said (Photograph)
  • Jimmy Carter's Greatest Victory: Guinea Worm on Verge of Extinction
    • He's an outstanding person .

      Imagine, eliminating a disease from an entire continent. And that's not his only good work.

      It is one of the most remarkable accomplishments in many years.

  • Letter to President Obama on Yemen: More Aid, Fewer Drones, Please
    • Earth Policy Institute May 3 2011 (Lester R. Brown):

      "In neighboring Yemen, replenishable aquifers are being pumped well beyond the rate of recharge, and the deeper fossil aquifers are also being rapidly depleted. As a result, water tables are falling throughout Yemen by some 2 meters per year. In the capital, Sana’a—home to 2 million people—tap water is available only once every 4 days; in Taiz, a smaller city to the south, it is once every 20 days.

      Yemen, with one of the world’s fastest-growing populations, is becoming a hydrological basket case. With water tables falling, the grain harvest has shrunk by one third over the last 40 years, while demand has continued its steady rise.

      As a result, the Yemenis now import more than 80 percent of their grain. With its meager oil exports falling, with no industry to speak of, and with nearly 60 percent of its children physically stunted and chronically undernourished, this poorest of the Arab countries is facing a bleak and potentially turbulent future.

      The likely result of the depletion of Yemen’s aquifers—which will lead to further shrinkage of its harvest and spreading hunger and thirst—is social collapse.

      Already a failing state, it may well devolve into a group of tribal fiefdoms, warring over whatever meager water resources remain. Yemen’s internal conflicts could spill over its long, unguarded border with Saudi Arabia."

  • Drone Questions for Americans (Jamiol Cartoon)
    • it happened in philadelphia:

      Twenty years ago this Friday, city police dropped a bomb on this block and let it burn. Five children and six adults, members of a small radical collective called MOVE, died; 61 homes in a middle-class neighborhood were destroyed. As the nation watched, Philadelphia became the city that bombed its own people.

      A generation later, the residents of Osage Avenue are still trying to get their homes back.

      Philadelphia has spent $42 million in financial settlements, investigation and rebuilding to try to fix what happened that day. It was a law enforcement failure so spectacular that it would not be equaled until the siege near Waco eight years later. A month ago, 24 homeowners won a $12 million suit against the city for the botched rebuilding and repairs of their homes.

      "We're still in it," says Mayor John Street, who was a city councilman in 1985. "It's the never-ending story."

      link to usatoday.com

  • Despite Airport Incident, Henry Kissinger is Wrong about Libya
  • CIA ‘revives attacks on rescuers’ in Pakistan (Woods)
  • How Obama changed definition of ‘civilian’ in secret drone wars (Woods)
    • The world is changing. The people responsible for this "program" may one day face international justice. That can't be a happy thought for them.

      At a miminum, I think they will be have to be careful when choosing travel destinations.

  • Why India blew Hillary Clinton off about Iran
  • No, Virginia, Iran isn't in Bed with Al-Qaeda (Abbotabad Trove)
  • Collapsing Afghanistan & Pakistan Refuse to Cooperate with Obama Photo Op
    • If you include operating the first gulf war, and the "no fly zones" in Iraq, the USA has been at war for twenty years in that area of the world.

      Twenty years.

      Who knows what the cost is. staggering in every way.

      I just read that the US military budget is one trillion dollars a year, 60 percent of the budget. Over a hundred bases around the world, permanent bases in Korea/Germany since the early fifties. for what?

      astounding.

      Americans citizens don't want it; but that no longer matters.

      I don't think an American could become President, would have even a one percent chance of becoming President, if the money men got the slightest whiff of an idea that he or she would put an end to this kind of thing.

      I have no idea what it will take to stop this insanity; Perhaps the financial collapse of the USA as some very well informed people believe.

  • Israeli Security Elite Slams Netanyahu, sidetracks War on Iran
  • Israeli Spy Chief Condemns Netanyahu for Iran Hype, Messianism
  • China hopeful Iran will compromise with the UNSC
    • today's Washington Post online:

      "Earlier Saturday, one of the diplomats,
      said the Iran’s team had mentioned Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s “fatwa,” or edict, prohibiting nuclear weapons for Iran, in the course of the plenary discussions."

    • Is it known if there Are any Fatwahs (sp)from Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, that have been ignored or disobeyed?

  • Why Romney is Lying about the Causes of high Prices at the Pump
    • shouldn't the oil that remains, which has uses, be treated as a precious resource?

      conserved? It is a very useful substance, for things other than burning in cars.

      And the really unlimited, and harmlessly harnessed resource that we have, the sunlight that arrives 24 hours a day, around the world, can supply our energy.

      and it's hard to imagine going to war, to get control of sunlight.

  • Iraq Slams Saudis, Qataris for Plans to Arm Syrian Rebels
    • Maybe the world will become more peaceful once we get our energy sustainably;

      Maybe at that point, the oil rich regions will be left alone.

  • US Public Wants out of Afghanistan as 3 Western Troops Killed by Afghan Troops
    • There is some recent history there.

      The Soviets rumbled into Afghanistan in 1979 to rescue a weak communist regime. The seven years of war since the U.S. intervention, though, look familiar to the Russians.

      Many challenges that bedeviled the Soviets confront the American operation today, the retired envoys and generals said. Among them are vicious tribal rivalries, a weak central government, radical Islamists, power-hungry warlords, incompetent or corrupt local military commanders, failing infrastructure and the complexity of fighting guerrilla groups. The former officials also cautioned that trying to bring democracy to Afghanistan, or anything resembling it, will be as fruitless as their attempts to install communism.

      "You may elect a parliament, you may invite parliamentary delegations from Afghanistan to visit Europe, but it means nothing," said Boris Pastukhov, whose service as Soviet ambassador began in 1989, the year the Red Army withdrew. "The decisions by parliament cannot be compared with the decisions of a jirga," a tribal council.

      However, they also seemed to voice genuine concern about the U.S. troop buildup.

      The Soviets also were convinced that superior numbers, firepower and training would make it possible to avoid the mistakes that the British and others had committed stretching back to Alexander the Great, former Ambassador Tabeyev said.

      "History didn't listen to us," said Tabeyev, who's now 81. "All our efforts to restore peace in the country . . . this was a flop in the end."

      The fundamental problem in Afghanistan is that it isn't a country in the way the West thinks of countries, said retired Lt. Gen. Ruslan Aushev, who did two tours there and left as a regimental commander.

      "There has never been any real centralized state in Afghanistan. There is no such nation as Afghanistan," said Aushev, who's a former president of the Russian Caucasus republic of Ingushetia and now heads a veterans group in Moscow. "There are (ethnic groups of) Pashtuns, Uzbeks and Tajiks, and they all have different tribal policies."

      As a result, any occupation force will spend much of its time propping up a government that has little relevance outside Kabul and trying to corral disparate ethnic groups and tribes into a national army that's often unwilling to fight, Aushev said.

      Read more here: link to mcclatchydc.com

  • Why don't we have better Reporting on the Afghanistan Army? It is our Best Hope for Getting Out
    • so whatever you think of the Taliban, the puppet government, the warlords, and the heroin trade, the treatment of women, and so on,

      you have to admire

      the soldiers of Afghanistan, have now defeated the mighty USSR, and the USA.

      amazing isn't it?

  • Khamenei Takes Control, Forbids Nuclear Bomb
    • and, in the USA: (2010) from "Foreign Policy in Focus"

      "On February 1, the Obama administration delivered a budget request calling for a full 10 percent increase in nuclear weapons spending next year, to be followed by further increases in subsequent years.

      These increases, if enacted, would bring the recent six-year period of flat and declining nuclear weapons budgets to an abrupt end. Not since 2005 has Congress approved such a large nuclear weapons budget. Seeing Obama's request Linton Brooks, who ran the National Nuclear Security Administration for President Bush from 2003 to 2007, remarked to Nuclear Weapons and Materials Monitor, "I would've killed for this kind of budget."

      Obama's request includes more than twice last year's funding for a $5 billion upgrade to plutonium warhead core ("pit") production facilities at Los Alamos. If the budget request passes intact, Los Alamos would see a 22 percent budget increase in a single year, its biggest since the Manhattan Project.

      The request proposes major upgrades to certain bombs as well as the design, and ultimately production, of a new ballistic missile warhead. Warhead programs are increased almost across the board, with the notable exception of dismantlement, which is set to decline dramatically."

      link to fpif.org

  • Logical Errors and Propaganda in Republican Debate on the Middle East
    • If Iran does get nuclear weapons, the invasion of Iran, becomes quite unlikely doesn't it?

      That results in permanent loss of control of the oil there.

      Is that one of the big forces behind the push against iran?

      Time to get off the oil. ASAP.

  • Israeli PM Netanyahu attacks Gen. Dempsey as Servant of Iran
  • US Interventions in the World since WW II
  • Santorum Hypes Iran 'Threat'
    • Remember this? Interpress service: link to atimes.com

      Iran offered 'to make peace with Israel'
      By Gareth Porter

      WASHINGTON - Iran offered in 2003 to accept peace with Israel and cut off material assistance to Palestinian armed groups and to pressure them to halt terrorist attacks within Israel's 1967 borders, according to a secret Iranian proposal to the United States.

      The two-page proposal for a broad Iran-US agreement covering all the issues separating the two countries, a copy of which was obtained by Inter Press Service (IPS), was conveyed to the US in late April or early May 2003.

      Trita Parsi, a specialist on Iranian foreign policy at Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies who provided the document to IPS, says he got it from an Iranian
      official this year but is not at liberty to reveal the source.

      The two-page document contradicts the official line of the Bush administration that Iran is committed to the destruction of Israel and the sponsorship of terrorism in the region.

      Parsi says the document is a summary of an even more detailed Iranian negotiating proposal that he learned about in 2003 from the US intermediary who carried it to the State Department on behalf of the Swiss Embassy in late April or early May that year. The intermediary has not yet agreed to be identified, Parsi said.

  • Top Ten Catholic Teachings Santorum Rejects while Obsessing about Birth Control
    • stupid question .... what happens to a non Catholic, who wants birth control, who is covered under a health care program operated by a Catholic institution?

  • Can Solar Energy in Mideast Stop a Gas War?
  • Washington Actions on Palestine don't Differ from Gingrich's Words
    • The Jews in German, for instance, achieved high positions in Germany in the nineteenth century.

      At this time, Canada is a safer place. that can change.

      any country, including Canada, might become a dangerous place for Jews. All it would take is the right conditions. I don't believe that's any different now than it has ever been.

      re ethical issues... I want the Israelis to go back to the pre 67 borders, to stop making war on their neighbours; I am unable to express it properly, but the Palestinians need to be assisted, and treated fairly; I abhor the treatment of Palestinians by Israel.

      Thanks for your work.

    • "Some 37 percent of American Jews say in polling that they don’t have a strong attachment to Israel (there is no reason for them to; they aren’t from there).

      I don't know how this question was put. what was the context?

      I have never been to Israel, but, living in Canada, where the deputy immigration minister of Canada just prior to the holocaust was asked how many German Jews would Canada take in replied, "none is too many".

      That's why I am glad there is a country that won't say that to me, if and when it comes to that.

  • Gingrich Urges War with Iran and Skyrocketing Oil Prices
    • I look forward to the day when important American political figures no longer make statements like this one:

      " we could break the Iranian regime, I think, within a year ...... sabotaging the only refinery they have."

      Imagine if the President of Iran suggested attacking a refinery in Texas.

  • Would Obama Greenlight an Israeli Attack on Iran?
    • remember this?

      BBC:

      "A Syrian site bombed by Israeli jets in 2007 was "very likely" a nuclear reactor, the UN's atomic watchdog says.

      The International Atomic Energy Agency has been investigating US claims that Syria was building a secret nuclear reactor with North Korean help.

      The strongest IAEA report yet on Syria came after several years of blocked investigations, and is likely to increase the pressure on Damascus.

      Israel bombed the remote desert site of the alleged reactor in September 2007.

      Syria says the site - near Deir Alzour in the country's remote north-east - was an unused military facility under construction. It also denied having any nuclear links to North Korea, which has itself denied transferring nuclear technology to Syria."

  • A Hot Wet Thousand Years and 10 Green Energy Stories to Avert it
    • " I totally agree about the moral bankruptcy of the whole system"

      it's not just the system.

      There is no system that is impervious to some human qualities, including greed, pride, the urge to kill, a longing for power and fame, and the admiration by others, of the people who exhibit those qualities.

      Thanks for the positivity on this issue.

  • Turkey Goes into Iraq after Kurdish Attack
    • map problem,

      upper right corner, that is not the Ukraine, it's part of Russia.

      Thank you and your commenters, for keeping us informed so quickly on so many of the rapidly occurring events of these times.

  • Lindsey "Dr. Strangelove" Graham & War with Pakistan
    • It would be interesting to see a compilation of all of the public threats such as this one, of an attack against other countries, that have been issued by prominent American political figures over the last twenty years.

  • China offered Qaddafi Armaments in midst of war
    • declassified documents, very easy to find if you want to find them:

      link to gwu.edu

      "Among the documents are Top Secret cables sent by U.S. Ambassador Lincoln Gordon who forcefully pressed Washington for direct involvement in supporting coup plotters led by Army Chief of Staff General Humberto Castello Branco. "If our influence is to be brought to bear to help avert a major disaster here-which might make Brazil the China of the 1960s-this is where both I and all my senior advisors believe our support should be placed," Gordon wrote to high State Department, White House and CIA officials on March 27, 1964.

      To assure the success of the coup, Gordon recommended "that measures be taken soonest to prepare for a clandestine delivery of arms of non-US origin, to be made available to Castello Branco supporters in Sao Paulo." In a subsequent cable, declassified just last month, Gordon suggested that these weapons be "pre-positioned prior any outbreak of violence," to be used by paramilitary units and "friendly military against hostile military if necessary." To conceal the U.S. role, Gordon recommended the arms be delivered via "unmarked submarine to be off-loaded at night in isolated shore spots in state of Sao Paulo south of Santos.""

    • intervening in Brazil ........It's not hilarious, the USA has intervened in Brazil in the recent past. And in every other country in South and Central America.

      I don't think Brazilians have forgotten.

  • The Audacity of the Gaza Flotilla
    • I do not have anywhere near the courage to do what these people are doing.

      Since the attacks on these peaceful efforts are illegal, what's to stop another country from providing a naval escort?

      I would like to see that.

  • Gates: Winding down the Wars
    • "Gates portrays Iraq as beset by radical Shiite militias acting on behalf of Iran, and maintains that they are now more dangerous than ‘al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia.’"

      Yes, it's another tremendous American success story.

      but then, who could possibly have foreseen that this might be the outcome of the invasion of Iraq?

  • Ellsberg: All Nixon's Crimes Against me now Legal
    • It seems to show that there were people who thought Nixon did nothing wrong, and over a period of decades, cunningly rearranged all of the parts of the American system,

      to accomplish what is described by Mr. Ellsberg.

      Pretty remarkable really. all in plain sight.

  • Congress: Yankee Come Home; Iraq, Pakistan: Yankee Go Home
    • "No other country beggars itself with military spending as the US does, and most do better economically and seem perfectly secure militarily)."

      maybe North Korea.

      As the USA sends troops and equipment around the world, China is sending money, buying land in Africa, ports in Mexico, oil in the tarsands of Canada;

      I don't like that either, but it makes a lot more sense than the American way, at least from a national point of view.

      I agree with the first poster, I'm 62, and I don't remember a time the USA was not at war, or seriously threatening war.

      all options are always on the table, with the USA.

  • TomTom, Apple and the Security-GPS Complex
  • Libyan Liberation Movement Strikes Back as NATO Comes to the Rescue
  • King's Nixonian Hearings against American Muslims
    • Nixon;

      “But, Bob, generally speaking, you can’t trust the bastards. They turn on you. Am I wrong or right?"

      He had it partly right, but he referred to the wrong group.

      It's the racist bigots who hate............ jews, blacks, Roman Catholics, muslims, Asians, gays, etc etc.

      that will "turn on you".

      whoever is convenient, and most powerless at the moment.

  • Rebels Take, Hold Key Oil Cities in Fierce Libyan Civil War
  • Libya Skirmishes as Saudi Quivers and Iran, Iraq under Pressure
  • The World Oil Politics of the Libyan Revolt
  • 90% of Libya in Rebel Hands
  • Wael Ghonim vs. Barack Obama: Change we Can Believe in, Yes we Can
    • thanks very much for your efforts.

      the divide and conquer system is working well in the USA.

  • Mubarak Defies a Humiliated America, Emulating Netanyahu
  • Beck: You're Going to Have to Shoot them in The Head
    • I have heard lots of prominent "progressives" saying repeatedly that such talk had nothing to do with the recent shootings.

      nonsense.

      Of course it does.

      Someone should ask Vincent Bugliosi what his opinion is on this.

      And take a look at the convictions in Rwanda, where murder was instigated by speeches on the radio.

      Spend a few minutes listening to the people calling in on overnight radio programs, that's enough to know that there are some seriously mentally ill people listening to this kind of drivel, which should not be permitted.

  • Top Ten Horrible Things done to Us by Outgoing Sen. Joe Lieberman
    • what a photo gallery.

      If you know any of the doings of those people, really, no words are necessary.

  • No News is Good News (for Them)
    • "Surely, this is just the usual US indifference to events outside its borders."

      That's my thought. Navel gazing, nation style.

  • 17 Bombings of Shiite Districts Kill 113; Fears of Sectarian Reprisals
  • Obama fails to Galvanize the Youth on Daily Show
    • Obama, while a very large disapointment, and maybe a complete phoney, has, for some reason made some steps through the EPA, the gasoline efficiency rules, and funding green tech research and installations.

      Also, in some cases, scientists are not being stifled.

      It's not close to enough, and he gets F for abandoning any effort for meaningful legislation to prevent runaway climate change, but the ignoramuses of the republican party are ardent in their support of oil and coal, and would shut any such efforts, and the small steps made under Obama.

      I have no idea what the solution is, although the combined effort in California to defeat the oil barons, might show a way.

  • Ahmadinejad Pledges to Protect Lebanon
    • "Ahmadinejad is a quirky character and doesn’t make military policy. I wouldn’t pay too much attention to what he says"

      I don't understand why he shouldn't be paid any attention. cause he's quirky?

      Why was he put in power by force, during the election?
      why is he sent to the UN to speak?
      why is he permitted to go to and speak in Lebanon, and other countries?

      Iran is not a democracy. He is the public spokesperson around the world for whoever it is that rules. They must in general, approve of what he says.

      I do not understand why you say we shouldn't pay attention to him.

  • Republican Iott a Reenactor of SS Panzer Div. Wiking
    • maybe it's worth noting, that whether or not the German military was admirable from the viewpoint of a person studying war, that war itself, is the absolute worst expression of man, and that there are always ways of preventing and avoiding it, no matter what the militarists, and their supporters/apologists say.

      It should not glorified, , it should not be the last resort, it should be an unthinkable solution.

  • Settler Arsonists strike Palestinian Mosques, Qurans, as Israeli Army Belly Dancing Video Surfaces
    • not directly on topic but I just looked up the 4th geneva convention.

      Art. 49. Individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory to the territory of the Occupying Power or to that of any other country, occupied or not, are prohibited, regardless of their motive.

  • On Paladino and Taking People Out
    • Bush seems to have permanently lowered the level of discourse.

      how about

      "We're gonna hunt him down "

  • Obama dismisses Iran War Prospects, overrules Clinton
    • comment attributed to General Abizaid:

      "There are ways to live with a nuclear Iran," Abizaid said "Let's face it, we lived with a nuclear Soviet Union, we've lived with a nuclear China, and we're living with (other) nuclear powers as well."

  • Kurashige: The Islamic Center and the “Pearl Harbor” Analogy
  • What would Martin Luther King Say? Mosques and the New Jim Crow in America
    • " It consists of a space of white American Judeo-Christian victimhood and of another realm, of a brown, foreign, hostile Islam that must be excluded from lower Manhattan "

      Of course this kind of thing is done, not just in America, but in many places around the world, by other organized religions/ethnic groups/tribes, etc.

      I won't mention any examples, but anyone reading this blog can think of a few of them, immediately.

      And People around the world want America, as it often has, to lead the way forward to something better.

  • Israeli Court Punishes Palestinian-Israeli for Passing
    • The news out of Israel is getting nuttier every day.

      No doubt part of this is is due to our awareness of all things Israeili, as a result of the intense focus on Israel in Western media, which on the other hand is disinterested in the plight of the people of The Congo, for instance.

      Just wondering , any ideas professor Cole, on where Israel is headed? How long can they continue down this path?

      It would be interesting to see an informed projection of the future of Israel.

  • Fadlallah's Life and the Shiite Wave
    • thanks very interesting.

      "That is, post-American Iraq will likely be a big headache for Israel."

      I could never understand the position that invading Iraq would benefit Israel.

      It has never made sense to me at all.

  • Twin Oil Disasters: BP and Iraq
    Bloody Friday in Iraq Leaves 27 Dead, over 80 Wounded
    • "Neither the Iraq catastrophe nor the BP calamity would have happened if we developed alternative forms of energy to replace petroleum."

      Antonia Juhasz in her book "The Tyranny of oil":

      "From its very conception to the present day, the oil industry has been plagued with massive anticompetitive, undemocratic, socially, economically, and politically destructive practices. All the while, it has been coddled, subsidized, protected, and preserved by the U.S. government. "

      And the author quotes senator George Hoar, in the late nineteenth century:

      "Under the declaration of independence, you cannot govern a foreign territory. You have no right at the cannon's mouth to iimpose on an unwilling people your Declaration of independence and your constitution, and your notions of freedom and notions of what is good"

  • Kirchner: Bush angrily said War would Grow US Economy
  • Apartheid Israel, Bunker Israel: Elvis Costello and Noam Chomsky
    • On a related note, I'm not sure Mr. Chomsky could get into Canada.

      The British parliamentarian George Galway was denied entry to Canada, for attempting to deliver aid to the Palestinians.

    • There is defacto censorship of Noam Chomsky in his own country.

      With the exception of "Democracy Now" where he occasionally is interviewed, I have never even heard his name mentioned on American news.

      Mention of Noam Chomsky's name is forbidden.

      They fear him. They are afraid of what he has to say.

  • Afghanistan: 57 Insurgent Attacks a Day; Taliban Vow Major Campaign; Karzai to Visit Washington
    • "This number of attacks per day, some 57, about 34 of them roadside bombs, is breathtaking."

      I don't know what to say, except that "breathtaking" might be too cautious.

      The "surge" is working about as well as the "surge" in Iraq, that is to say, it's not working at all. except in a few people's imaginations.

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