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Total number of comments: 10 (since 2013-11-28 16:38:01)

Otto

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  • Israeli Business Leaders, Fearing Boycotts, Pressure Israeli Gov't to make Peace
    • Otto in Hunterdon County, NJ 02/01/2014 at 11:24 am

      "Like with South Africa, the United States should end its military aid to Israel until it ends the occupation, which might possibly be the single most effective economic action any party can take to end the occupation."
      Don't hold your breath. Washington lives in fear of offending
      AIPAC. Aid is also pork to the US arms industry and their lobsters. Though perhaps less creepy than Israel, South Africa never had a tiny fraction of the pull inside Washington.
      The POTUS made a giant public suck-up to Israel in his State of the Union Speech. He seemed not the least embarrassed.

  • Don't Break up Syria: WW I-Style Imperial Divide & Rule is a Failure
    • Otto in Hunterdon County, NJ 01/29/2014 at 11:38 pm

      In this dirty world, nobody who is in the fight wins.
      The winner is the guy who is ready to seize power after the combatants have bled each other to death. In Syria, I expect it will be elements (who are 15 or 20 years old now) backed by Turkey who are not in the fight now who will emerge to pick up the pieces ten or fifteen years from now. Syria will become an appendage to Turkey. I don't see another power positioned to make use of the opportunity.
      Maybe the Ottoman past isn't over yet.
      There's a good chance that a Kurdish nation state emerges out of the tangle, including real estate now controlled by Turkey. Remember the Iraq wars are far from over.

  • Massive War Crimes: Syrian Regime Tortured, Starved, Murdered 11,000 Prisoners
    • Otto in Hunterdon County, NJ 01/21/2014 at 4:54 pm with 5 replies

      I don't understand US policy vis Syria and would appreciate some interpretation of Washington's goals and interests.
      I assume Washington's Syria policy is authored in Tel Aviv. Is this right? Does Riyadh have much say in Washington these days as it did when Bandar "Bush" was resident ? Is Prince Bandar personally running the Saudi side of the Syria war? Is his star likely to fall if the anti-government forces are crushed, or would he be immune from any fallout?
      Why is Bandar so interested? Religion? Need for a hobby?
      Saudi national interest in Syria is not obvious to me. Somebody please clue me.
      Wouldn't US/Israel prefer the war to rage long and bloody to allow all sides to be weakened, as was US policy during the Iran/Iraq war?
      I don't see how a negotiated settlement would be in the interest of US/Israel before a whole lot more blood has been spilled, but I'd like to hear other, less cynical views.

      It would seem to be in the Pentagon's interest ( job security ) to have yet another failed state in SW Asia. What are they supposed to do with themselves after the Afghan draw down or exit or whatever the marketing people at Pentagon call it?
      I can't believe the boys at Pentagon have lost their appetite for costly, regionally destabilizing opportunities for defeat. There may be elements at P. who are more sensible, but those few are going against their institutional culture.
      Can I believe that US policy seems confused because nobody knows what they want to do and the US has no good moves available? I don't see why Russia is so invested, except for sunk costs, and the port at Tartus. Maybe that's enough for them. Is Iran invested because they fear a Sunni domino effect? What is Iran's interest? Turkey cares because they will have a long term unstable neighbor, but does Turkey care who winds up running Syria as long as Syria is stable from Turkey's point of view? Turkey has the most to lose, both long and short term, but who is their dog in this fight? Besides, isn't Turkey having leadership problems?
      Is Turkey in a position to make much difference in Syria?
      Can Turkey manage to get the other players together?
      There is sure a lot I don't know when it comes to Syria.
      Poor Syria.

  • India Flap derives from America's Gulag Practices and Far-Right Supreme Court
    • The hubbub in India is because US marshals didn't respect her caste; she was treated the same as lower caste woman are in the US.
      The fuss is NOT about how Americans are treated when under arrest. As for Americans, they accept indignity as par for the course these days. More than a decade of air travel safety theater has seen to that.
      According to India Times, she was arrested by US State Dept. officers and turned over to US marshals. I would have expected that the suits at State Dept. would have done some homework first. I bet they hadn't been arrested lately and didn't know what happens and how it feels. Did she really need to be arrested in the first place? For underpaying an employee? Right.
      Imagine women on the upper west side getting hauled off for how they treat their nannies and cleaners. I can't picture it.
      Some suits at State need to get fired, or at least trained to do the job.
      I doubt diplomatic intrigue; she's a small fry.
      Not enough here to indict the whole country.
      Yes, the US seems more like a police state than ever. What else is new? It always looked pretty bad IF you looked at it. I think we just see better today. It's a endless and thankless task to push police in a humane direction and try to discourage thuggish habits.
      Thuggish takes less effort. If you stop pushing for humane, it drops back down. There are many people in the US, pushing for humane, even inside law enforcement. Don't hate me, I'm having a moment of hopefulness.

  • Everything you wanted to Know About NSA Surveillance *but were afraid to ask (Stray)
    • Since about 2003 awake people have known all our electronic traffic is fully public.
      ALL corporate communication is open to 10 of thousands of NSA and contracted workers; sold by them worldwide plus dozens or hundreds of Russian and Chinese hackers who (I expect) have root at NSA. All info worth trading on. If I were working at NSA (I am not) or if I were a Russian hacker I would call my broker in two minutes. A load of juice on the inside. Who cares about Bin Laden and related losers when you have all the e-mail and phone of the top dogs at the Carlisle Group on your 32 Gb pen drive?
      Sure the hackers report to somebody higher up with capital.
      There is real money to be made!
      Do you think these people are stupid or lazy?
      There are people in Russia who are not yet 40 who know more about what is goimg than does the POTUS.
      I am surprised the corporate elite don't protest their plans are public.

  • The Top other thing Netanyahu Needs to Apologize For: The Gaza Blockade
    • NPR radio's "apology" story said "nine people were killed by Israeli commandos" and was careful to omit that one was a citizen of the USA.

      I remembered the event so listened for the omission.
      No big deal. Just another small example of bias.

      I don't claim I heard every bit of their reporting on the story so I could have missed something.

  • NASA's Dangerous new Blue Marble
    • Beautiful picture, but my first reaction was "what's with those vertical lines?" I thought maybe somebody was being cute with Photoshop as to make it look more like a marble. Thank you for for posting the explanation.

  • Ballen: Terrorism Can't be Taken out and Shot
    • The whole anti-terror strategy is working beautifully.
      The purpose was never to make anyone safer.
      It is to let the Pentagon,the contractors who own it,
      the representatives,lobbyists and even the soldiers prosper.
      If OBL and Sadam didn't exist, someone at CIA would be tasked to create them.
      Oh wait.
      Come to think of it, they did.
      OBL was the best thing to happen to the Pentagon and all it's hangers-on since the cold war.
      Threw him in the Indian Ocean?
      Should have retired him to a deluxe suite in AbuDhabi.
      Maybe they did.
      I sort of miss him.
      I got used to him wandering from cave to cave like a mythical creature. You never knew when he would pop up on some grainy video and scare everybody.
      Boo!
      Alahu Akbar!
      Muwaha-ha-ha-ha!
      Do any informed people believe that the genius generals (and I believe some ARE very smart)
      didn't understand that they were embarking on a decades-long project that would waste trillions?
      One man's waste is another's profit.
      They are smart, it's just that they are not playing the game they say they are playing.
      It's a fancy form of the three-card-monte hustle.
      Sure it's a shame for the family when the brave soldier comes home in a box, but if you're in the war business and want to dine as you are accustomed to, you break some eggs.
      Nothing new here. Check out "Art of War" Sun Tzu.
      And who cares if if the USA falls apart? By then I'll be
      living large in Dubai.
      Follow the money on the drone strikes. They are the hot thing and will only become more popular. They are more profitable when they land on a wedding party than when they kill a lone cab driver in the desert. They have to land on some actual troublesome person once in a while so the PR people in the game can get a workout.
      If you wonder why generals who lose wars get promoted,
      and bankers who lose billions get a fat bonus, it's not because you don't know the score. It's because you don't even know what game is being played.

  • O'Reilly's Muslim-Hatred and Christian Terrorists
    • Professor Cole you have been in your ivory tower too long.
      You are used to social commerce with "high functioning" minds and have forgotten the vast numbers of us who are fully liberated from any sense of honor or shame.

      You are wrong to project feelings of embarrassment on Bill O. You have no evidence that he has ever felt that emotion.

      You have too high an opinion of humanity; and if you get down with the Lumpen sometime you will find that Bill O., Beck etc are far ABOVE the mean when it comes to intelligence, compassion, the use of fact for the formation of opinion etc.

      In other words, it ain't too pretty down here.

      I may understand your condition. I also stay hopeful despite lack of evidence that we are not doomed. It's a sickness.

      Secondly, Grandma used to say "Choose your enemies well.
      You're going to get their blood on you". Bill O. is to scholarship what Jerry Lewis is to what? Astronomy? Bicycle racing? Bill O. is not in your game. He does not matter.

      Yours,

      Vilis

  • Communique No. 5 Suspends Constitution, Prorogues Parliament
    • Dear Dr.Cole,

      You don't need to post this, but what is your opinion?

      I would like to know what is supposed to happen to the hundreds of thousands of people who make their living from the internal security business with all their weapons, money, secret prisons and torture rooms, money, ties to Langley, money, etc. did I mention money? and what about the million or more police? Most of the police can be put back on the beat maybe... that's not hard to imagine, but I don't picture many of the state security people going back to the farm and walking behind a donkey and a plow. They have to be given some role with serious perks or they will just become a mafia as in what happened in the former USSR.
      Some stayed in the KGB (renamed), some created the mafias, some got the banks, exchanges, petroleum, shipping etc. and all of them kept their connections alive. I doubt the Egyptian security is as well organized, energetic or cohesive as was that in the USSR, so they may not pull it off as well, but it's not like that much power, money and privilege is going to roll over without a fight. I think it's way too soon for celebration. I don't believe the elites in Egypt are sitting at home tonight crying into their beer. They are up late drinking coffee and on the phone figuring out how to game it from here and what are the resources they want to control and where the opportunities are. Meanwhile the working stiffs are having themselves a party. It's not like we haven't seen this before.

      Yours,

      Otto.

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