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Total number of comments: 6 (since 2013-11-28 16:38:20)

S.J.

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  • Netanyahu and Iranian Jeans: Ironies of Modernity and Tradition
    • I agree with the overall argument, but one caveat. In recent years Jerusalem began redeveloping itself at the request of a growing student population. With more students headed to Jerusalem, the city has seen increased development aimed at young people. The shuq, for example, has added many new cafes and bars, quite a site to be seen after seeing it last in 2009. On a side note, there's always been a strong -- stronger than one might wager, though no less marginalized -- LGBT community in Jerusalem.

      Mostly the nightlife is shifted around Friday night and Saturday day. Thursday evenings are the weekend's beginning and therefore the most lively nights, and once the sun sets on Saturday, downtown Jerusalem is flooded with people and most stores resume business. Going out on Friday night is possible, but the options are limited and so is transportation.

      The ultra-Orthodox do have a big say in the goings-on in Jerusalem, but the city's nightlife hasn't been killed by Halacha.

  • An Outbreak of Reasonableness in Tehran: Top Ten Conclusions from Iran's Early Election Returns
    • Professor Cole,

      Could you speak to the realpolitik of negotiations with the West. How much control did Ahmadinejad have with regards to taking a hardline stance on Iranian nuclear aspirations. And if he did have control of the negotiations, was it only with the approval of Ayatollah Khameini? Furthermore, will Rouhani be able to marshal the support from the election and convert that to leverage against Khameini when sitting at the negotiating table? Or is Rouhani doomed for impotence as Khameini pulls the strings from behind the scenes?

  • Top Ten Michele Bachmann Goofs on the Middle East
    • Jim Graves nearly beat her here in the last election. In such a strongly Republican district, it's telling that she won by 1% to a moderate Democrat. Graves did run a great campaign (Bachmann outspent him 12-1) and has a good momentum for next year's elections, though Bachmann stepped aside with enough time for the GOP to find her successor.

  • UN has strong suspicions Syrian Rebels used Sarin Gas
    • No, Base, I think you're over-thinking the statement. The false flag is the Syrian Government using sarin gas at the least to muddy the waters, and perhaps to frame the Syrian Rebels. Whatever the case, it has put Obama's "light footprint" policy to the test.

      Beyond having to commit to aggressive action, perhaps there was a reason Obama avoided specifying his direct response to chemical warfare. Perhaps his intelligence reports suspected the rebels before the UN made their statement. Promising decisive retaliation against the enemy of his enemy would put him in a pretty pickle, lose him credibility, and leverage with Russia.

    • I'm skeptical until the UN divulges more details. Del Ponte's interview was too vague. What was the motive of the Syrian rebels? How can we be certain this wasn't a false flag by the Syrian government? The shabiha are brutal, but they might also be cunning as well.

  • Did the Boston Bombing Hurt the Syrian Revolution? Obama & Putin Confer as Rebels Allege Regime Massacre
    • Great analysis. Thank you. It's especially enlightening to read more about Russia's stake in backing the Ba'athist regime. At first, it appeared Russia's foreign policy merely harkened back to Cold War days of proxy battles with the West, but now it appears they have a viable concern in maintaining suppressed Chechen independence aspirations. Indeed, if the winds self-determination kick up again in Chechnya, would South Ossetia follow suit?

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