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Total number of comments: 16 (since 2013-11-28 15:55:24)

R in NY

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  • Can you Pass the Hamas Quiz?
    • I find it interesting that some of the commenters above appear not to have read the Hamas Quiz but just repeat Israeli talking points, such as "Why exactly did Hamas start shooting rockets into Israel? Apparently because they themselves were being excluded from power, being denied pay." This comment completely ignores the many Israeli provocations, including the arrest of hundreds of Hamas followers in the West Bank, that preceded the rocket fire.

  • Scotland is going 100% Green by 2020; shame on Dirty America
    • Julian wrote: "...there is still the question of what happens when the wind isn’t blowing." What happens is that other sources of renewable energy are used, including hydro, solar, etc. This is simply an engineering problem. Any rationally planned power network will have multiple sources at its disposal to deal with changing conditions.

  • I lived to See the Day when the Pope and the President of Iran are more doctrinally Flexible than the GOP
    • John McLaren asked, "Is the GOP just a blatant political arm of right wing capital?"

      The answer is: Yes. That is what the GOP has become.

  • A New Red-Green Alliance: Why Workers should Join the Climate Fight (Klein)
    • In reply to JTMcPhee: have a little patience. I just found this article now. And it is certainly very interesting. We have needed this kind of union activism for a long time now. That Canadian workers are banding together and inviting the likes of Naomi Klein to speak to them is good news.

  • Indian Investigators do not Suspect Iran in Israel Embassy Blast
    • We do not know at this time who committed the bombings of Israeli vehicles in India and elsewhere. However, the time honored query "who benefits?" points to a few conclusions:

      1. A false flag operation on the part of the Israelis cannot be excluded. Their eagerness for war with Iran is no secret. They can count on a compliant western media to spin the bombings as possibly the work of Iran, which said media has already done.

      2. The Israelis have many other enemies in the region, and they cannot be excluded from participation either.

      3. Iran is unlikely to be behind the bombings. They know very well that Israel and the U.S. could use such an act to justify an attack on Iran. Further, as Juan Cole and others have pointed out, India has gone to great lengths to import Iranian oil. Iran is not likely to want to endanger that relationship with bombing adventures.

      We will need further reports to figure out what actually happened--if we ever find out. What stands out for me is that Iranian involvement in the bombings appears less likely than other scenarios.

  • Ret'd. CIA Official Alleges Bush White House Used Agency to "Get" Cole
    • This should be investigated. And it is apparent that you were indeed speaking uncomfortable truths, as far as the Bush administration was concerned.

  • Hundreds of Thousands of Arabs Protest their Governments
    • "The middle class, successfully distracted by racial and religious hatreds and by attempts to impose patriarchal fundamentalism, was wreathed in vapid smiles as the billionaires sent movers to their homes to pick up the belongings they had just fleeced from them via their enforcers, the tea baggers.

      As Americans rushed to surrender their constitutional rights..."

      Most people I know have been disgusted by the charade going on in Washington. And those I know seem to be representative of the general population--there have been a number of polls showing that Americans want more spending on essential government services, not less, that a solid majority oppose the cuts being pushed by the Republicans.

      While the political establishment is certainly worthy of our scorn at this juncture, the really striking thing is how the feel they can get away with ignoring the opinions of the majority of their constituents. It speaks volumes about how corrupted by money and other factors our electoral system has become.

  • Looking for PETN, Scanning Grandma at the Airport, and the Future of Air Travel
    • Paul Craig Roberts wrote the following on Op Ed News:

      If Americans were more thoughtful and less gullible, they might wonder why all the emphasis on transportation when there are so many soft targets. Shopping centers, for example. If there were enough terrorists in America to justify the existence of Homeland Security, bombs would be going off round the clock in shopping malls in every state. The effect would be far more terrifying than blowing up an airliner.

      Indeed, if terrorists want to attack air travelers, they never need to board an airplane. All they need to do is to join the throngs of passengers waiting to go through the TSA scanners and set off their bombs. The TSA has conveniently assembled the targets.

      If Al Qaeda was really the type of organization that our government claims it is, it would not be fooling around with these unsuccessful attempts at trying to blow up airplanes. Roberts makes this point in his article, very eloquently:

      Think about it. Would a terror organization capable of outwitting all 16 US intelligence agencies, all intelligence agencies of US allies including Israel's Mossad, the National Security Council, NORAD, air traffic control, the Pentagon, and airport security four times in one hour put its unrivaled prestige at risk with improbable shoe bombs, shampoo bombs, and underwear bombs?

      After success in destroying the World Trade Center and blowing up part of the Pentagon, it is an extraordinary comedown to go after a mere airliner. Would a person who gains fame by knocking out the world heavyweight boxing champion make himself a laughing stock by taking lunch money from school boys?

      I encourage everyone to read all of Robert's article--it really nails how improbable the "Great War On Terror" has become.

  • Update on German Terrorist Plot
    • "Not everyone is as gullible as George W. Bush and fringe terrorist groups should be dealt with quietly and effectively, not with big multi-trillion dollar wars."

      I agree with the second part of your statement--that fringe terrorist groups are indeed more on the scale of a law enforcement problem and should be dealt with accordingly. However, I disagree with the first part of your statement that Bush was gullible and fooled by Al Qaeda. On the contrary, the September 11th attacks allowed him to do exactly what he wanted to do. We know that Bush was seeking a reason to invade Iraq from the first days of his administration. This information has been in the public domain for some time, as in the testimony of Bush Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neil, as reported by Ron Suskind:

      "Suskind says O'Neill and other White House insiders he interviewed gave him documents that show that in the first three months of 2001, the administration was looking at military options for removing Saddam Hussein from power and planning for the aftermath of Saddam's downfall -- including post-war contingencies like peacekeeping troops, war crimes tribunals and the future of Iraq's oil.

      "There are memos," Suskind tells Stahl, "One of them marked 'secret' says 'Plan for Post-Saddam Iraq.'"

      As for attacking Afghanistan, there is also plenty of evidence that the U.S. government had plans for doing that well before the 9/11 attacks. Again, I don't see anything gullible about Bush's reaction. It was all about great power politics, oil, etc. The 9/11 attacks enabled a host of policies that were already in the pipeline, only awaiting the proper conditions for implementation.

  • Toll in Quetta Bombing Rises to 65
    • In reply to Warren Metzler:

      I do not know the specifics of the Quetta bombing situation, so I cannot comment in detail on it. However, I will address your comment, "I fail to grasp where a foreign intelligence service is going to get someone to carry out a suicide bombing for what is just a “mess up the enemy’s social structure” objective."

      When viewing events that could be "false flag" attacks, it always helps to ask, "who benefits?" From the viewpoint of a major power, having a weak, chaotic social structure in a particular country may be beneficial, as it may prevent an organized opposition to the major power from forming in that country, or may in other ways be seen as beneficial to the instigator. For example, it is well known that the U.S. has supported militant groups who have committed violent acts in Iran, with the objective of destabilizing that regime. This is a direct example of a foreign intelligence service (the CIA) supporting violence so as to “mess up the enemy’s social structure”.

      U.S. policy in Iraq could be cited as an overt example of following a policy of instigating chaos--by dismantling Saddam's army shortly after our invasion, we practically guaranteed that Iraq would become chaotic. From the point of view of the welfare of the Iraqi people, this did not make sense. However, it did result in a long period of dependence on the U.S. presence, guaranteeing that we would control those things that were important to us, such as Iraq's oil resources.

  • Walthen: I saw 100 Dolphins in the Oil, some Dying
    • This video is horrifying. It should be shown on national news programs every night, so that we Americans will understand the price we pay for oil.

  • Public Souring on the Afghanistan War
    • Mr. Moore, you wrote:

      " 9/11 showed that a poor, failed state could provide a safe haven for a dedicated terrorist organization to plan, finance, recruit, train, and manage a large scale attack on the US mainland."

      If that were actually the case, I would have to respect your argument. However, according to official sources, the 9/11 attacks were largely planned and organized in Germany and Florida. Some financial support may have come from Pakistan. Of course, the alleged perpetrators were largely Saudi Arabian, with an Egyptian (Mohammed Atta) leading...or so goes the official story.

      It should be clear that, in today's international world, terrorist attacks can be planned and implemented from almost anywhere. If looking for a country with the support and resources for implementing such attacks, it would be hard to do worse than Afghanistan, a country with large areas devoid of modern communication and transportation infrastructure. Sure, it's a good place to hide, but in order to DO anything in the rest of the world, you have to get out of there, travel, communicate, etc.

      Meanwhile, we are pursuing our war there, and a good deal of the resources that we pour into this war actually end up in the hands of locals who are fighting against us---weapons, money, etc. According to recent news reports, we are essentially helping to fund the insurgency. Doing this, while simultaneously propping up the Karzai government--rightly viewed as weak and corrupt by a large portion of Afghans--is just about the most counterproductive thing we could do, if greater security and an end to the war are objectives. It is past time that we admit that this "problem" is not susceptible to military solution, and get our troops out of there.

    • Billy Glad wants to know: "...what you think will happen if we come home". Of course no one can predict exactly, but a few things seem obvious:

      - Hamid Karzai's government will either come to an accommodation with the Taliban, or it will fall--possibly very quickly.

      - As there is not a strong central government in Afghanistan, there will probably continue to be conflict between various factions of Afghan society. If the current version of the Taliban can keep its act together, many people will turn to them for the stability they could provide to at least part of the country.

      - In the short term, we will benefit from not having our troops killed, and from not throwing money into a bottomless pit. Long term, we will see if our elites can avoid ginning up another war to waste our blood and treasure on.

      As our immediate security does not (and probably never did) depend on what goes on in Afghanistan, I do not see any dire consequences in that sphere if we pull out our troops and bring them home.

    • Juan, you wrote:
      "Nearly half in the Rasmussen poll also say that they think Afghanistan is very important to US security and over 80% think it is at least somewhat important. It is hard to understand how the fifth poorest country in the world, a virtual failed state, can pose a security threat to the United States. I presume this sentiment is the long arm of the September 11 attacks, though that operation was carried out by a small transnational terrorist group consisting of non-Afghans, not by the country of Afghanistan."

      You are on to something here that is very important. The "long arm" of the September 11 attacks has been distorting our politics constantly, since those attacks occurred. Indeed, it is possible to argue that we would not be in Afghanistan at all, if not for the 9/11 attacks. I refer you to this article on that subject by David Ray Griffin. A short quote from the article:

      "There are many other questions that have been, and should be, asked about this war, but in this essay, I focus on only one: Did the 9/11 attacks justify the war in Afghanistan?

      This question has thus far been considered off-limits, not to be raised in polite company, and certainly not in the mainstream media. It has been permissible, to be sure, to ask whether the war during the past several years has been justified by those attacks so many years ago. But one has not been allowed to ask whether the original invasion was justified by the 9/11 attacks."

      Griffin goes on to consider the question in an article that is very well researched (dozens of footnotes). I strongly recommend that you read it.

  • Police: Shahzad has no Links to Taliban; Clinton Remarks Produce Firestorm in Pakistan
    • I think Secretary Clinton's remarks are largely for domestic consumption. For the U.S. to publicly threaten Pakistan over this inept "car bombing" makes no sense at all. At the very least, we would want their cooperation in investigating any possible links, which we are not likely to obtain with threats. Hence, Clinton's threat only makes sense as political theater, aimed at the U.S. public.

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