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Total number of comments: 60 (since 2013-11-28 14:43:00)

Peter Attwood

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  • Tunisian Muslim Leader Warns of Dangers of Violent Fundamentalism
    • Except that it didn't. You wouldn't have said such a travel advisory would have been justified if issued by Israel in response to a white supremacist shooting up a Jewish school in California, as happened a few years ago.

  • John Adams on the War on Terror (Poster)
  • Analysis: Why we must name all drone attack victims (Woods)
    • The deaths you name were both assassinations of people related to the Kennedy assassination, which was done by a conspiracy that large segments of the United States government have wanted covered up. The perps of that assassination are the ones to look to, and that was obviously not Castro's agents.

      Had Castro's people been involved, there would not have been the great pains over all these years to cover it all up; there's not that much of a constutency in the US government to cover up for any crimes Castro might commit. Moreover, my father was sent by John Kennedy to work out a deal with Castro in 1963, and they were making good progress. Not Castro but the enemies of Kennedy's new policy of winding down the Cold War would have wanted Kennedy dead for that, apart from all the other evidence.

  • Medvedev slams Romney for "Number one Enemy" Slur
    • No one has ever been able to tell anything about Romney's beliefs from anything he says, except that he believes it's OK to say anything, no matter how dishonest, in order to get whatever he wants.

      So the policies he may seemingly support at one moment or another is not the point in evaluating the man. The utter cynicism and truthlessness of the man, that's what's obvious, and that's what counts. What else really matters?

  • Bush Senior Also Promised Moscow more Flexibility after Election
  • Afghans to US Military: Be at Least a Little Ashamed
    • The really striking thing is how perfectly acceptable in American eyes for all this to be happening, American eyes that would look no more favorably upon Chinese occupiers behaving thus i their own neighborhoods. Americans really believe that there is a whole different normal for Americans and the rest of the world. The same Americans who would be transported with outrage at any foreign soldier even stepping into this country with a gun is indignant at others that kill American imperial troops in their own countries for terrorizing and murdering women and little kids in their own homes. There is the American master race and there is the untermenschen, and world view is so accepted that people don't even notice that they think that way. Our very sanity requires that this empire should come to an end, hopefully without first nuking the world.

  • Changing Iran's Nuclear Calculation with Green Energy: Buonomo
    • If the United States and the EU can persuade China that their interests coincide on Iran, the Chinese are bigger suckers than I can imagine, and the Chinese do not appear to be suckers at all. China is no threat to Iran, while the United States and Israel are extraordinarily aggressive and reckless and not to be trusted by anyone, based on their records over the last 70 years. Iran and any other state that wishes to maintain their independence always need to careful about the United States, but China - not so much. To expect Iran to want to start trouble with China under any circumstances while the United States is around is quite far-fetched. And the Chinese know that the US has plans for them too; they are prudent people.

  • Top Ten Dangers for Obama of Iran Sanctions on behalf of Israel
    • As Juan has pointed out, the US did annihilate 500,000 Iraqi children through its sanctions regime. That this genocidal act was intentional was confirmed by Madeleine Albright on 60 Minutes in May 1996. There's nothing controversial about this.

      While Americans may like to imagine that their genocidal policies are fundamentally different from the genocidal policies of others, the targets may be excused for concluding that they are considered subhumans deserving extermination for the most trivial reasons, or for none at all, and for drawing the appropriate conclusions about the empire that they are facing.

      The Iranian people have not forgotten that the present sanctions regime is like that of 1951-1953, designed at that time to force Iran into vassalage under a brutal puppet, so that Britain and the US could rip off their petroleum. And they must realize that they simply must resist this effort to enslave them once again.

      What the Americans ought to keep in mind is that they are economically in a much weaker positi0on than they were in 1951. This is unlikely to come out well for the empire, no matter how it goes. And maybe when this caper brings economic catastrophe, the American people will wonder why they were supposed to be sacrificed for Israeli designs in this way. Israel, and especially American Jews, ought to think about these things. People who know what's good for them do not trifle in this way with a people who can be so easily stirred up against Muslims, Saddam Hussein, and other imaginary dangers.

  • NASA's Dangerous new Blue Marble
  • To avoid War, Obama Should Offer Iran Renewable Energy Aid: Buonomo
    • The Iranians can only remember that the present sanctions regime is an exact replay of the 1951-1953 sanctions against Mohammed Mossadegh, leading up to the American-sponsored coup. There are a few differences this time around, such as the place of Iraq, the world petroleum situation, the condition of the imperial economy, and the interest of the Chinese, the Russians, many others in thwarting this design - and not least, the Iranian memory of the precedent. It will be harder to find stooges this time. None of these are favorable to the empire, especially if the Iranians play it patiently.

  • Israeli Mossad Agents allegedly Impersonated CIA in fostering Baluch Terrorism against Iran
    • Both are correct. There are differences among Israelis, even significant ones between those that want to expel or mass murder all Arabs and do away even with Israel's herrenvolk democracy, such as Avigdor Lieberman, and others like past Labor governments that are not up for these measures.

      But it is also true that the policy of slow expulsion, torture, intentional malnutrition, settlements, and Pinochet-style governance of the occupied territories are equally policies of every Israeli government since 1967. And as the Lavon Affair and the USS Liberty demonstrated, Israeli governments of every sort have agreed upon abusing the Americans whenever they feel like it.

  • On the end of Newt Gingrich's Campaign
  • Christian Priests Brawl at Jesus' Birthplace
    • I'm a Christian, and my Bible makes it as obvious as Juan says it is. When so-called spiritual leaders blow off stuff they say they believe that is as obvious as Juan points out, the problem isn't imperfection. Any imperfect barfly you could pluck out at random knows better than this.

      There is no excuse for so-called spiritual leaders that can't keep from sexually abusing or sadistically beating little boys, or spiritual pretenders like those described here fighting over an old building. If the emperor has no clothes, it's not a lack of fashion sense, when anyone else in the kingdom knows at least to cover his private parts. When something is so depraved or godless that only religious people are capable of it, let's look a little deeper than general human imperfection.

  • Syria Teeters: 25 Dead in Protests, 40 Killed in Bombings
    • Te Americans are certainly capable of such bombings, as we know their having tried to blow up Ayatollah Fadlallah with a car bomb in 1985. But this would make no sense, since it did little to shake the Syrian regime and indeed delighted it, by enabling them to portray the opposition as all that they have accused them of. So I think it's absurd to blame the Americans.

      It's easy to go wrong by underestimating human stupidity, so for some opposition figures to have done this is possible.

      It suits the Syrian regime's purposes, but wouldn't have been easier to use a straightforward car bomb than to find willing suicide bombers?

      And, finally, it's a very Iraqi thing to do nowadays. What if the people blowing up things in Baghdad thought it good to attack Maliki's friends in Damascus? Or maybe Assad's frineds in Baghdad decided to do him a favor to besmirch the opposition.

      Complicated world we live in.

  • 60 Dead in Baghdad Bombings; Iran and Al-Maliki
  • Map of countries US/Israel have bombed or in which US has bases
  • Gingrich slots MEK terrorists' supporter John Bolton for State
    • Juan, I got some great news for you. When it comes to Bolton, you will prevail. Your view of Bolton's right to help the MEK will prevail against that Supreme Court decision! I have every confidence in you.

  • Pakistan and the US: Quarrel or Divorce?
    • Hard to tell what will happen, but Vietnam was not persuaded by Lyndon Johnson's offer in 1965 of a Tennessee Valley Authority program in exchange for becoming an American puppet state. Pakistan may opt for independence and dignity over the convenience of being an American puppet state subject to daily humiliation. Certainly a substantial portion of the Pakistani public and military will feel that way. At a minimum, the passive-aggressive response we've seen since 2001 will not diminish, especially since the Pakistanis see like everyone else that the imperial will to fight is fading, and the Americans will be leaving town soon, whatever happens.

      "Chopping up imperial expeditionary forces since 1842"

      It's better not to elect yourself the overseer of the affairs of others. Among other things, not enslaving others improves your chances of not being enslaved yourself, as tyranny abroad is imported into the homeland.

  • Gingrich Urges War with Iran and Skyrocketing Oil Prices
    • These comments seem to be missing each other. Yes, if Bakken is now producing 450,000 barrels a day, it's absurd to suppose that developing all these other places with it would add up to 50,000 less.

      But that's not what Juan wrote. He said, "Even if all the known reserves off the coasts in the lower 48 were developed, it probably wouldn’t amount to more than 400,000 barrels a day." That excludes Bakken, which is high and dry in the Dakotas. It is doubtless true that more can be squeezed out of the Permian Basin, the Central Valley in California and other such places, i addition to the off-shore stuff Juan mentioned. But it will be pricey.

      And aside from climate change, that's an important point. Pricey means you need a lot of capital expenditure to do it. Problem is, that won't happen unless the price per barrel is high, and when that happens, the economy crashes, pulling down the price, and ensuring that the capital won't be there.

      We've been seeing that pattern, which began with the 1973 oil shock, more intensely now that world petroleum has peaked. A lot of 2008 was an oil shock, although aggravated by the corrupt financial system encouraged by the corrupt political class.

      Don't forget, though, that even that, with its artful dodging by promoting of asset bubbles, arises to a great degree from the basic weakness of an oil-addicted economy whose supply is quickly becoming more cramped and expensive, so that asset bubbles have been the only way to keep the music playing in the face of actual contraction.

  • Egyptian Revolution 2.0?
    • Egypt is reminding me of the stepwise progress of the French Revolution. It need not end the same way - 1789 France and Egypt are very different - but the parallels are disturbing. The Egyptian generals would be wise to stop screwing around with this.

  • Berube on Libya and the Left
    • I was glad to see Gaddafi overthrown, and I was in favor of the NATO campaign for the reasons Juan and others cite. That doesn't mean those intervening did so for good reasons, and Fallujah shows how cruel, pitiless, and barbaric the American empire and its forces are.

      But I'm still glad Stalin's Red Army liberated Auschwitz.

  • Karzai: Afghanistan would Side With Pakistan in War with US
    • One of these days the Americans are apt to be gone, perhaps only through economic collapse, and the Taliban will still be there, age without end. If Karzai would like to stay, it's very sane for him to want to make a deal with the Taliban. Of course he could instead arrange to leave town - that's my advice.

  • Iran Business Partners: Cheney & Reagan, not Just the Koch Brothers
    • All quite right, but why the faux outrage as though Iran really is an enemy, or a worldwide sponsor of terrorism, or any of this crap?

      Iran is an enemy if you attack it, like anybody else, and will find ways to impeded those attackers, whatever comes to hand. But they haven't attacked anyone in 250 years. If it's all right to do business with a regime like that of the US, I don't see that doing business with Iran is so bad.

  • Al-Qaeda Brands Ahmadinejad a Conspiracy Theorist!
    • Whether Ahmadinejad is a space cadet or the most sober and discerning of statesmen, as long as al-Qa'eda wants to boast of their accomplishment, they're going to blow off anybody that questions their role in that event. Their judgment is a function of themselves, not of Ahmadinejad or anyone else.

  • Obama and the End of Al-Qaeda
  • Biden: US Could be in Afghanistan Past 2014; Bombing Shakes Capital
    • I agree with all that youy say, but it does not preclude the tactical reality that once the invader isscheduled to leave, everybody including the quislings doies the arithmetic, and it changes how to fight the fight. Active fighting can generally be reduced to a level consistent with keeping the invader from changing his mind, while planningfor the day after. Algeria, 1959-1962, comes to mind.

  • Colbert on Immigrant Labor
    • That the comedians generally make more sense than the "serious" people, such as Madeleine Albright and Henry Kissinger, that they honor instead of turning them over to the hangman along with the likes of Tojo - that says something too.

  • Ahmadinejad Mugs for Cameras, Blames USG for 9/11 Attacks
    • We now live in a time when the most reliable and informative news on US television is The Daily Show - a self-declared faux news show. And in a time when Mahmoud Ahmadinejad makes more sense than the US government - not a lot more sense, maybe, but somewhat more. At least Ahmadinejad can see a problem with using this event as an excuse to launch a war against the world that had clearly been planned for a long time and was only awaiting a desperately desired pretext.

  • Turkey's Constitutional Referendum Extends Range of Liberties
  • Iraqi Military Acts Swiftly to Avert Minibus Bombing at Rusafa HQ
    • Certainly Obama doesn't want 50,000 troops in Iraq all the time. That's expensive. The American plans are for a nominally independent protectorate on the British model with airbases and with carriers offshore, for as David Lloyd George explained back in the day, "We must reserve the right to bomb the niggers."

      And the right to devastate the earth as never before in history, not just by the rape of natural resources and setting the earth on fire under our feet through global warming, but also by poisoning the earth wherever they go with depleted uranium (DU) dust - making the Agent Orange still killing people in Vietnam look like small change.

      They've figured out that genocide by starvation and disease doesn't get the bad press that you get with mass executions by machine gun or concentration camp, as the British found 110 years ago, but they're getting the job done - a million or more in Iraq so far, not counting the DU gift that keeps on giving; about that or more in Afghanistan; and how many in the Gaza strip where hundreds of thousands of little kids suffer from malnutrition as American policy. It's real American know-how, to kill all these little kids without headlines.

      And what's happening to the American people, signing onto all this abomination while they throw their republic away? And my dog in this fight, the American Christians who condone all this monstrosity and identify it with the kingdom of God.

  • The Speech President Obama Should Give about the Iraq War (But Won't)
    • Obama is a smart guy, but if he has any convictions he has no character to give them substance. And maybe he has considered what happened to John Kennedy when it looked like he wanted to put away the Vietnam War, Operation Mongoose and the rest. Since Kennedy did send my father to talk with Castro and work out a deal, I think the fears of those who arranged to knock off Kennedy were probably justified. The coup d'etat of November 22, 1963 has a long shadow. Presidents know what happens if they try to go the way Kennedy seems to have been headed.

      The pattern was well established by Eisenhower's day. Eisenhower was no Eisenhower. Iran, 1953. Guatemala, 1954. South Vietnam, 1954-1961. Syria, 1956 and 57, only that didn't work out. Indonesia, 1957-58, didn't work out either. Lebanon, 1958. Cuba, 1960, culminating in the Bay of Pigs. Congo, 1960, culminating in the murder of Patrice Lumumba.

  • Afghanistan and Paris Hilton's Purse
  • Netanyahu Reneges on Freeze,
    Rabbi Calls for Plague to Kill all Palestinians;
    On Eve of Obama's Peace Talks
    • I don't see how Ovadia Yosef and HAMAS can be equated. HAMAS is not calling for plagues upon people and has agreed to a more or less permanent truce on the 1967 lines, as well as keeping a ceasefire before CastLead even when Israel was violating it.

      And why should anyone support these direct talks? They can't work: Israel has already announced its intention to torpedo them by not even pretending any longer to freeze settlement construction - a point you made yourself. Being opposed to such nonsense has nothing to do with being opposed to peace, because peace must recognize realities, not deny them.

  • What would Martin Luther King Say? Mosques and the New Jim Crow in America
    • This is a great post, and perfectly true.

      It's important to keep in mind that Jim Crow generally meant subordination and oppression in the South, with local housing segregation and separate schools and services. But up north, whole counties were ethnically cleansed. Idaho Territory was 30% black in 1870. What happened to them? Whole counties in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota were wiped clean of black people between 1890 and 1954, the Ozarks in the 1920s, and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, in which balck people were lynched in Duluth in 1921.

      That this history is not even generally acknowledged, much less dealt with, is not encouraging for Muslims. The fact is that the polls find a large majority of the American people in favor of keeping the Muslim community center from being built. That's why so many politicians are shouting "Muslim!" now the way politicians like Theodore Bilbo used to shout, "Nigger!" 80-100 years ago, and that's why people like Harry Reid are abetting it..

      In

  • Last US Combat Units withdraw from Iraq
    • From the beginning Iraq was about the British style of a nominally independent, weak, Iraqi puppet state garrisoned by few troops and dominated from the air, and expected to yield up its petroleum and anything else obediently, like that British imperial flunky Nuri as-Said.

      There are no more US combat troops in Iraq, just as there are no more Israeli combat troops in Gaza. Aren't imperial democracy and freedom grand?

      The power of language too. Relabel them trainers, and behold, no more occupation! Relabel him an unlawful combatant for throwing a grenade at invaders of his country and he's not a war prisoner any more. Just somebody you can throw in a cage forever and torture as much as you like, then convicting him of whatever you like on the basis of whatever you squeezed out of him.

  • Bolton was Contradicted by Bush on Iran's Bushehr Reactor
    • Israel won't be the first to engage in radiological warfare. Leaving aside the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs, it is American practice, starting in Serbia in 1999 but far more in Iraq and Afghanistan, to fill the country with depleted uranium dust, which does awful things to people when they breathe it in. The cancer rate in Fallujah today is much higher than it weas in Hiroshima. There they used 140 pounds of uranium. In Iraq they've used thousands of tons. Who needs an explosion, with all the drama, if you can lay cancer on people forever?

      I thought it was bad enough with Agent Orange in Vietnam, which is still causing death and birth defects. But in so many ways they had to raise it to a higher level, being the indispensable nation, the city on a hill, the light of the world. It seems to be a law that the more self-righteous and bombastic you are about your virtue, the more abominable you become. How many practitioners of genocide have been humble men, with a sober assessment of their own character?

  • 500,000 evacuated from Jacobabad as Floodwaters head toward Sindh
  • Abedin: The Illusion of a ‘limited war’ against Iran
    • I think Abedin's analysis holds true so long as the United States can be expected to refrain from a nuclear first strike, but the demonstrated contempt of the Americans for the lives of anybody but Americans and perhaps Europeans makes this a dicey bet.

      Consider the hysteria over the deaths of 3000 Americans on 9/11/2001, in contrast to the total indifference to the deaths of the same number of Panamanians in Chorillo in 1989, or the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children acknowledged on Sixty Minutes by Madeleine Albright in 1996. Who cares about any of that?

      The hopeful thing is that mass murder by nuclear bombs is less sneaky than other ways, such as the disease and starvation employed against the children of Iraq. The PR considerations have had some deterrent value, and will to some degree going forward. But if the Americans become truly desperate, the United States has not refused for 65 years to forswear first use of nuclear weapons for a reason. Hence Iran must calibrate its response in such a way that strategic retreat remains more tolerable to the United States than nuking Iranian cities.

      I wonder what Mr. Abedin's thoughts may be on this question.

  • Israeli and Lebanese Armies Trade Fire; at least 4 Dead
    • My guess is that the Lebanese army feels confident that it can expect Hizbullah to back them up if the Israelis want to make too much of it. Relations have been closer since Michel Suleiman, now Lebanese President, became the army chief. When Hizbullah chased Sa'ad Hariri's guys off the streets of West Beirut back when, they made a point of giving whatever they captured to the Lebanese army. Such deference and respect is appreciated anywhere.

  • US Military Mission in Iraq ends not with a Bang but a Whimper
    • The plan all along has been an American occupation in the style of the British occupation of nominally independent Iraq that lasted until the coup of July 14, 1958, which finally brought real independence from Britain. I wonder how long before whatever American asset is left in place goes the way of Nuri as-Said.

      I'm reminded too of Algeria, where where the French army had pretty much prevailed militarily by 1959, but then they had to leave anyway.

  • NATO Secretly Planning to Leave Afghanistan by 2014;
    5 NATO Troops Killed
    • This rests on the assumption that the Afghans are less concerned with foreign occupation than whoever is in Kabul. Does this make sense?

      There was a civil war against the Communist government that took power in 1978. So when the Soviet army invaded over Christmas 1979, were those who rose against them concerned only with getting rid of Najibullah, or were some of them maybe concerned with the Soviet invaders themselves?

      When the Americans do as they do in Afghanistan and Pakistan, do you really have to be concerned with Hamid Karzai to want to be rid of such people?

  • Was Amiri a Double Agent who Hyped Iran's Nukes?
    • One invaded and occupied non-nuclear weapons state that comes to mind is Afghanistan. Venezuela was targeted in 2002 by an American-sponsored coup attempt that nearly worked - an invasion by proxy. Honduras experienced the same last year.

      Palestine and Lebanon are also non-nuclear powers that have been invaded by proxy. In Lebanon in 2006, the Bush administration did everything possible to incite Usrael to attack Lebanon, and then egged them on to continue when even they were ready to quit. Obama has in every way supported the occupation of Palestine and has even appointed General Keith Dayton to train the Palestinian Vichy militia that helps to run the West Bank on Israel's behalf.

      Yes, you can get yourself invaded by the US or its partners if you don't have nuclear weapons - very easily.

  • Lessons of Petraeus' Iraq for Petraeus' Afghanistan
    • The most optimistic way to put it is that the United States as Turkey was and is now somewhat less - a military regime with a civilian constitutional facade. The Turks have been wriggling out of that problem into becoming a real civilian democracy for the past 10 years, for most of that time under European pressure to do so. Erdogan must be given a great deal of credit.

      Unlike the American imperial regime, the Turks since Mustafa Kemal have at least been competent and on the whole fiscally responsible. A Turkish style recovery of American government would be a marvelous thing, but I'm sure it will never happen.

  • Obama's MacArthur Moment? McChrystal Disses Biden
    • There is the detail of what Obama wants. Yes, the Supreme Court is trashing free speech and ruling i nfavor of impunity for torturers and other criminals, but have you noticed whose lawyers have been asking them to?

      Obama is heartily in favor of torture, kidnapping, extra-judicial assassination, holding people forever because they're not guilty of anything and therefore can't be convicted in a real court, enriching the banksters at the expense of the rest of us, and a few other things like that. The people who were indignant when Bush and Cheney were doing them are now making excuses for Obama or magically thinking he doesn't mean it really.

  • US Strike Kills Civilians in Khost,
    Bombings Rock Helmand Capital
    UN: Roadside Bombings Double
    • Of course there is nothing accidental about this. It's deliberate indifference, reckless negligence. If they were killing real humans, say in the United States, these activities would be stopped the day one of these "accidents" took place.

      The bosses, even such as Stanley McCrystal, know that these killings are bad for their program. But they can't control the behavior of their thuggish pilots and drone operators.

      It's the American way of colonial wars, from the Philippines and Vietnam to the present day. As the American Einsatzgruppen sang in the Philippines, as they went through their hundreds of thousands of "monkeys:"

      Oh, the monkeys have no tails in Zamboanga,
      Oh, the monkeys have no tails in Zamboanga,
      Oh, the monkeys have no tails,
      They were bitten off by whales,
      Oh, the monkeys have no tails in Zamboanga.

      Well, we can't expect them to be any more careful about these tailless monkeys in Afghanistan now, can we? The whole world could use a rest from this empire, and though it will be no fun to go through the process, may it crumble quickly.

  • Schumer's Sippenhaftung and the Children of Gaza
    • I would add that Israeli is quite an accurate description of Schumer, who given the choice between American and Israeli interests clearly puts Israel first, which is not especially related to being Jewish. Many non-Jewish Christian Zi0nists are just the same way, whereas it's not hard to find Jews who are not committed to Israeli injustice.

      Maybe Juan was kidding, but he was very accurate. And I don't see how accusing Schumer of being an Israeli, rather than a Jew can be bigotry against Jews. It's a compliment to Jews to abstain from grouping Schumer with them.

  • 40 Killed in Afghan Wedding Bombing;
    4 US Troops killed in Helicopter Downing
    • A good many of the Taliban have seen the importance of not antagonizing the civilian population - those that don't are REALLY stupid. For instance, they've lightened up on the chickenshit religious rules. But there are lots of freelancers out there, and for all we have heard so far, it might have been a private beef between clans.

  • The Hypocrisy of Netanyahu
    • Now this is great stuff! Obvious of course, but great just the same, when other Americans are by and large admiring the emperor's new clothes.

      Of course with the American propensity to mass murder, torture, and all the rest, always comfortable with brutal dictatorships all over the world, unconditional support for this horrible regime is in character, as Noam Chomsky has pointed out.

  • Historic UNSC Condemnation of Israel, and of Gaza Blockade;
    World Body Demands release of Aid Activists, Ships
    • Solomon was right long ago when he wrote: "The cruel man troubles his own flesh." In this as in so much else Israel shows how far it is from being a Jewish state, the way apartheid South Africa and Vichy France were Christian states.

      The Obama-Bush administration, with its kidnappings, disappearances, tortures, invasions, bombings, and, not least, its longstanding and firm support for starving and bombing the people of Gaza, could stand to lay these words to heart as well.

      It really amazes me that people can call themselves Christians and give any sanction at all to these abominable regimes, but so it's been for the past 1800 years or so. It gets pretty ugly when people calling themselves disciples of Jesus spread their legs for the world.

  • Angry Tea Partiers are not the Moral Equivalent of Compassionate Democrats
    • Rand Paul isn't as good on these things as his father, but he's way better then Barack Obama and other so-called progressives.

      Paul is against invasions and other aggression without a declaration of war, unlike Obama, who is as enthusiastic about such behavior as Bush was.

      Paul is against bailing out the banksters at the expense of the American people, unlike the Obama-Bush administration.

      Paul is against massive secret government, torture, kidnapping, warrantless spying, and assassination even of American citizens at the personal whim of Barack Obama.

      Paul seems to have some understanding, although less than his father, why people in places like Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq resent barbarians that bomb them randomly from the sky, break into their homes and murder them at night, poison their ground with depleted uranium, and sow misery and death in their countries in order to subject them to the rule of corrupt American puppet governments - since Americans wouldn't like to be the targets of such behavior themselves. Obama and his servants, if they have a clue, are determined not to act on such knowledge.

      I have some problems with Rand Paul, too, but if progressive means ending imperialism and domestic tyranny, so that common people get a break now and then instead of Obama's pals such as Geithner, Summers, big oil, big pharma, the war contractors, and the banksters - all of whom he serves at our expense at least as faithfully as Bush did, then progressives could do worse than having Rand Paul in the Senate. Indeed we are doing so at this moment.

  • Police: Shahzad has no Links to Taliban; Clinton Remarks Produce Firestorm in Pakistan
    • It's hard to believe that Shahzad, who had a degree in computer science and engineering, could have been so dumb as to think that his contraption would blow up. I have no such background, but I could do a more credible job of putting together something like that with no training whatever, just from reading the papers and a little background in high school chemistry long ago - and doubtless many other readers here could too.

      Who can believe that this schlemiel could have received any training in bomb-making and had any serious intent? Maybe one of these, or maybe the other, but both just cannot be.

      It is clear that Obama wants to ratchet up terrorism fear, like Bush before him, in order to justify more aggression, perhaps an open invasion and destruction of Pakistan, as the Pakistanis rightly fear. Clinton could not have spoken this way without her boss's approval, and certainly no one will believe so.

      Pakistan, I think, will prove quite indigestible, if Afghanistan and Iraq tell us anything.

      Barbara Tuchman's "March of Folly" seems to apply here. The Americans in Vietnam was one of her examples in that work, but the Americans were geniuses in Vietnam compared to the present generation's pursuit of a general war against the entire Muslim world.

  • Feds still Granting Environmental Waivers to Big Oil in Gulf after Spill
    • Here we are experiencing what is obviously the worst man-made environmental disaster in modern history, and as it unfolds, the federal government is - every day - granting a waiver to an oil company to skip the rules designed to avoid these problems. But I'm only getting started. The companies themselves see how BP saved $500,000 by not installing a device, and thereby put themselves on the hook for probably billions of dollars - and they want to do more of that themselves!

      In traffic school, when they show people Red Asphalt 3, average people are at least momentarily dissuaded from driving drunk. These guys could witness a real-life drunken-driver traffic death and have a couple of beers or five before driving away.

      Everywhere I look, it's the pedal to the metal with eyes closed.

  • Lieberman's Modest Gulag Proposal
    • Having your passport revoked and losing your US citizenship are entirely different matters. Lots of US citizens don't even have passports, but they'd miss their citizenship.

  • From Waziristan to New York
    • National resistance movements are seldom pretty, as the Loyalists that were robbed and driven from their homes in 1783 in violation of the Treaty of Paris noticed at the time. But I'm always amazed by the mentality of counter-insurgency, that the noble invaders are providing security from their own people, so that local civilians can feel safe in supporting their occupation by the invader - whether directly or through malleable puppets. Americans thought it sounded ridiculous when the Soviet Union called its invasions of Hungary and Czechoslovakia liberations, but when they talk just the same way about the deeds of their own evil empire (Thanks Ronald!), they see nothing wrong with this picture!

  • India Urges Kabul not to Deal with Taliban; Logar Protesters Torch NATO Fuel Trucks
    • Who exactly will find it worrisome that the occupation forces may face supply problems? Supply problems could cause the occupation to collapse. Would that be worrisome to the people being wantonly murdered by the occupiers? If the occupation regime collapses and loses its power to continue polluting the Afghan environment with depleted uranium, will that be worrisome to the inhabitants of the country - deprived of the joyful prospect of more hideous birth defects and cancers forever and ever, courtesy of American occupation forces? Should the prospect of a collapse of the American empire, with the chance at the disintegration of the regime, worry those of us who would like to see a restoration of constitutional republican government? What else but the empire's collapse holds any hope of averting the loss of all that remains of American liberties?

  • Secret Prison Revelations may Hurt al-Maliki's bid for Reelection
    • It's sort of like saying that the news of Obama disappearing and torturing people was trotted out against Bush, so it must be suspect. Why does Bush setting the precedent make it less likely that Obama is doing the same thing? Why does Jafaari having done it make it less likely that Maliki is following in his steps?

  • Gates Worries about Iranian Nuclear Research, while Khamenei blasts US for Hiroshima
    • The "A-bomb revisionism" I have in mind is that of that fanatical American leftist, former President Dwight D Eisenhower, speaking in 1963. The doers of the abominable and indefensible will not lack the energy and wit to justify their iniquities, even if they fool no one but themselves. Nonetheless, a number of points are obvious:

      1) Douglas MacArthur proved in the Pacific campaign, in which he suffered 28,000 casualties including the 5000 at Buna, the same as D-Day for his entire 1500 mile advance, that it was possible to defeat the Japanese with very low casualties, because he was careful about the lives of his troops, rendering Japanese garrisons irrelevant instead of fighting them. Notable instances are New Britain and New Guinea after Buna. The Okinawa campaign is cited as evidence that conquering the home islands would be very high cost, but Okinawa actually just showed the folly of not doing it MacArthur's way. The airfield, at the northern end of the island, was taken in a few days with few losses. The main Japanese force in the south was irrelevant, and it was a complete waste of resources to spend two months reducing it, when it could have been sealed off like the garrison of New Britain.

      2) Japan was out of petroleum, and so the power to maneuver or even to function as a modern army was lost, so long as the invaders kept in mind that their target was not Japanese soliders but the Japanese state.

      3) The Soviet Union came into the war as promised 90 days after the end of the war in Europe, on August 8. The Japanese government was well aware that this was the end of the road for them, especially since they remembered the sound thrashing that they had received from the Red Army under Zhukov in 1939. They preferred to lose to the Americans.

      4) It had already become quite obvious to the Japanese government that they were done, and all they were fighting for was a deal to save the emperor. Hideki Tojo fell from power in 1944, after the Americans captured Saipan and the first Japanese civilian population. They had already offered through the Soviet Union to surrender in July 1945 if they were allowed to keep the emperor but were refused that condition, which they were granted later anyway. In truth the bombing of Japan was not about Japan. It was a message to Stalin, the opening word in the Cold War, for which Japanese civilians were a useful prop.

    • Aside from actual bombs against defenseless civilian populations, with no military necessity, the United States is today in the habit of waging low-level nuclear war against civilian populations. Instead of 140 pounds of bomb grade uranium used in an explosion, the US has used thousands of tons of depleted uranium in Iraq, reduced to fine uranium oxide dust which will cause cancers, birth defects, and other forms of radioactive death forever. The hospitals of Fallujah now report grotesque birth defects all the time.

      People who do such things to other human beings, not only those present and not involved in war, but also those yet to be born in the next umpteen thousand years - and for no real cause but only disgusting pretexts - are not good guys. In the war movies we saw as kids, such people were rightly considered bad guys and needed to lose. We have no sympathy for the goals of past practitioners of genocide like the Japanese Kwantung Army or the Waffen SS. We need to apply the wisdom of 1941 to the current situation. It was good for Japan and Germany to fail in their pursuit of evil; how much worse it would have been for them if they had prevailed in their monstrosities! And that severe mercy is needed by the American empire today. The American people need this runaway train to be stopped, not only the rest of the world.

  • Khamenei: US 'only' 'nuclear criminal' for Hiroshima
    • In 1943 the Gestapo announced that they had discovered the murder by the Soviet secret police of 20,000 Polish officers in the Katyn Forest. This turned out to be entirely correct.

      Would Vashti claim that there was something wrong with the Gestapo making this announcement, or that we should blow it off, simply because of the Gestapo's own crimes? It's true that nothing about the Soviet crime in the Katyn Forest justified the Nazi regime in any way, but if the Nazis were telling the truth on this occasion for whatever reason, were they not telling the truth?

      Accordingly, if Khamenei was telling the truth about US behavior regarding nuclear weapons, as he certainly was, let's just agree with him on that, and then we can move on to truths about his own regime as may be appropriate. One highly inappropriate use of Khamenei's crimes is to use them to muddy the waters concerning American genocide - a thing to be recognized and repented of, not excused and continued.

  • Wright: Assassinations Strengthen Religious Terrorist Groups
    • Obama's assassination program, if wish to speak of "outcome-justified process," is, as Juan explained, not justified by the outcome. People suffering the consequences are responding as Americans would to an invader killing people in their neighborhoods at random from the sky, especially if their children were often being killed as they played in the street - except that all those fanatics that "hate us for our freedoms" are considerably more patient and understanding under this abuse than Americans are.

      The American who think the 9/11 hijackers were the worst people in the world are perfectly content to act the same way all over the world, justifying their actions and their equal contempt for the lives of the innocent using the same "outcome-justified" rationalizations that the 9/11 hijackers did. The difference is that the 9/11 hijacker mentality is generally abhorred in the rest of the world, including the Muslim world, whereas it is national policy and the public consensus in the United States.

      I look forward to American Christians, in particular, giving some attention to what Jesus had to say about the speck in the eyes of the Taliban and the log in their own, but I'm not holding my breath.

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