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Total number of comments: 1924 (since 2013-11-28 14:42:37)


Showing comments 1924 - 1901

  • US Kneejerk support for Israeli Nukes Torpedoes UN Disarmament Talks
    • See Richard Clarke's book, "Your Country Failed You", about his department's 1986 spy satellite discovery that an exact copy of a Chinese IRBM missile base was being built inside Saudi Arabia. Washington shut that down. But the intent has been there all along, waiting for a moment like this.

  • Daesh/ ISIL blows up Shiite Mosque in Saudi Arabia, seeking Sectarian Civil War
    • Supposedly, Chou En-Lai was asked, "Was the French Revolution a good thing or a bad thing?"

      His answer: "It is too soon to tell."

    • Yep. What they will do to themselves to maintain security will do far more damage than simply giving their citizens what they want. The problem is, before they give up they will try to repatriate all their US $ investments to pay for this war, which will flood the world economy with falling dollars. The chickens coming home to roost here have green backs.

    • It's more like blowback than intent. The key to your question is what happened at the end of the '70s in Iran and Saudi Arabia, both tyrannical monarchies backed by the US. Due perhaps to the Shia belief (I guess specific to the Twelvers) that they are only to be governed by the Imams, and none currently exist on Earth, they have rarely been rulers of their own countries. Thus the Shah was a Sunni descended from foreign conquerers. Khomeini's movement provided a theological breakthrough to make a Shia theocracy feasible, and it exploded to power alongside a coalition of anti-Shah forces in 1979. You can imagine from the above article how the Saudis felt about this, but at this same moment the Saudis chose to get involved in nearby Afghanistan alongside the CIA.

      Generally, this is the story of how anti-Soviet paranoia made the US leadership paralyzed in dealing with the Shah and his successor, who at least had the virtue of being anti-Marxist, while at the same time it chose whatever allies it could to win in Afghanistan.

      Thus Iran produced Shia militancy, and Afghanistan produced the jihadi network that turned like Frankenstein's monster on its creators... or at least that's what we are led to believe. The Arab and Persian oil giants might not have pitted their proxies against each other in "sectarian conflict" if Saddam Hussein had not gotten US/Saudi backing in his war of aggression on Iran the next year. Maybe that was the last moment when all of this could have been avoided.

  • Now Jeb Bush thinks Scientists are Arrogant for Discovering Climate Change
    • If it's necessary for him, again and again, to make a remark and then have to take it back because it either angers Tea Partiers or sane people, he's going to look like a piece of Swiss cheese by convention time.

  • ISIL beheaded Dozens in Palmyra, but how Strategic is the City?
    • I think the exile option would have been offered years ago. The problem is that the Baath's constituency would still be stuck in Syria getting slaughtered. The anti-Baath Sunnis would still be stuck in Syria getting slaughtered. You can't stop the fighting unless each ethnic group has its safety guaranteed against even a few bloodthirsty adventurers from one of the other groups. There are no honest brokers left willing to provide the troops necessary to do this.

  • As Palmyra Falls, Who Supports Bashar al-Assad in Syria? (Charles Glass)
  • Washington asks, "Who lost Ramadi?" But Washington never had Ramadi
    • And then what will that President do when the Shiite regime we okayed in Baghdad decides to invite in ten divisions of Iranian Revolutionary Guards instead? That's an option that Diem did not have on the table in 1964.

    • Or maybe because there's a subtext in the GOP messaging that only bigots are meant to hear:

      "If we had stayed the world would have grown to accept it by the time we finally carried out systematic mass extermination... like we would have done in Vietnam if we could."

      They don't believe in rehabilitation, they don't believe in reform, they don't believe in persuasion, they don't believe in negotiation, they don't believe in assimilation. Here or abroad. They believe in punishment, specifically the death penalty. Worse, they believe they have a special right over all other peoples on earth to administer punishment - so that becomes the point of the exercise, even if compromise would more logically achieve some useful gain. Thus, the sort of police behavior they defend in our own cities.

    • Not their own. There's a composer and an orchestra; lobbying groups, think tanks and other propaganda organizations in Washington that consume vast sums and brainpower to come up with lies that they know will fit the media's agenda.

    • Thanks for giving us your experiences in the Occupation. I don't think many of its administrators will ever be willing to talk so frankly.

  • Why does the Iraqi Army Keep Running Away from ISIL?
    • But any arrangement in Iraq has effects on the Shia-Sunni rivalry that has grown all over the Middle East. Iran needs Iraq as a bridge to protect Syria and Lebanon. Saudi Arabia clearly does not respect the rights of non-Sunnis to have any self-government anywhere. It previously tried to seize control of Lebanon by using a corrupt Sunni billionaire as a puppet. Hezbollah made it clear that the Shia would never accept this.

      So how do you get a regional settlement protecting EVERY Sunni and non-Sunni enclave from their limitless willingness to oppress each other?

    • Okay, so now let's apply our same blowback criteria to the Kurds. How do we know our weapons won't be used by the Kurds to create a greater Kurdistan by seizing territory in Syria, Turkey and Iran? We can't really trust anyone.

    • And what if Iran refuses to accept the partition of Iraq and gets its prime minister to accept a massive intervention? Saudi Arabia will retaliate, and Saudi Arabia owns our asses in several ways - as we've seen in Yemen. Breaking with Saudi Arabia to stay out of the war will affect everything from the value of the US dollar to the global flow of energy supplies. I mean, I'm ready for those effects, but our citizens have a right to know what's coming.

    • But what if the strategy of the puppetmasters behind ISIS is to EXPECT that only the most vicious, murderous Shia militiamen will be able to dislodge ISIS from each city in turn? They know those militiamen will destroy everything and commit atrocities.

      Maybe the purpose of ISIS is to be sacrificed as part of a strategy to make it impossible to ever put Iraq back together again. It has been pointed out by others here that Saudi Arabia wants to break the land bridge between Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, and Iran wants to maintain it. So ISIS ruining Iraq fits Saudi Arabia's goal. If Iran retaliates too dramatically, Saudi Arabia will go to all-out war and ISIS will quickly be forgotten.

  • After fall of Ramadi to ISIL, does Iraq have a future?
    • If ideology motivated the decision, I think it was because these bastards see everything in the world as evil socialism vs good capitalism, and all Iraqi institutions fell into the former category. Since the neocons assumed Iraq faced no outside threats while under US occupation, they expected that all internal order would be automagically provided by free markets and thus the rise of a naturally superior entrepreneurial class - which we Americans are always told is the only kind of people who should be elected to office, run our roads and schools, etc. The religious thing was completely over their heads.

      After things went wrong, the Occupation was forced to allow elections, meaning it desperately had to turn to each Iraqi prime minister in turn to get cooperation with its schemes - which meant we had to arm his pet death squads and let them run wild until the rival faction replaced it and we started all over again. We could never find a faction leader that was crazy enough to give us what we wanted, and the voters have literally voted to see which of them will be next year's killers and next year's victims, back and forth, until the present crisis.

  • Obama: No Mideast NATO, but US committed to Security of Arab Gulf States
    • What's terrifying is the utter, total autism these princes display towards Western horror at the method they've used to preempt Iran and (really) the Arab Spring - the unleashing of groups like ISIS. They just don't get it. Which means that even if they don't personally prefer ISIS as a means of governance, its sick ideology resides within the realm of what they are willing to do to their own peoples to maintain power.

  • Too Big not to Fail: The US Military's Missions Unaccomplished
    • It's all happened before. Read Richard Rosecrance's "The Rise of the Trading State". An empire built on protecting a maritime trade network (the Netherlands, Britain, and now the US) will try to create a rapid reaction force for specialized intervention (those 3 countries, in order, created the first three Marine Corps). They will start by obtaining special privileges in a valuable port city that serves their private corporations, under a friendly ruler. But then they get more deeply involved. Either the ruler has an unfriendly successor, or he needs to be bailed out from a domestic rebellion or foreign invasion. The empire gets more expensive, it has more military infrastructure abroad which in turn requires more ships to defend, etc, etc. By 1898 the US was already at the stage of overthrowing governments.

      The extraordinary success of our industries and the burgeoning of our financial relationships pushed us into becoming the successor of the bankrupt Dutch and British. That ensured our opposition to the Russian's expanding continental empire. But the new factor was the rise of global ideological warfare, which allowed everyone to claim to be threatened by nations halfway around the world.

      What the Cold War masked was the pattern of behavior already seen in the banana republic wars. We played up the voluntary nature of our 1st-tier alliances, wealthy democracies located within range of Soviet weaponry, but when it came to bloodletting, that was reserved for our not-so-willing or legitimate allies in the 3rd world fighting local rebellions of the poor. This contradiction is the shield of false morality that the military desperately has pulled from the Cold War to our subsequent commitments, and the public has gladly fallen for it.

      Compare this to Britain: its meaningful empire after its defeat in America was not that big a thing, mostly down to the ports and alliances it won in the Seven Years' War. But the ideological crusade against Revolutionary France seems to have included a xenophobic propaganda offensive that made ordinary Britons fall in love with their military and with their insane King as commander-in-chief. Afterwards, the British seem to have believed their conquests were a moral imperative - a great excuse for mass colonization of Canada, Australia, etc. Their commitment to Free Trade collapsed when India rose in revolt against the semi-state East India Company. Atrocities were played up in the media, and the British government was turned crusader and permanent occupier of large non-white populations. I'd say from that point on Britain betrayed the strengths of their trade empire; in fact even forgotten how it worked.

  • Palestinians welcome Pope's Recognition of their State
    • The foundation of the Catholic Church is the position that the Bible is not the ultimate authority on God's will, the clergy is. This was the form that the dispute between Martin Luther and the Church took. Popes have found the theory of evolution acceptable in the past, and in general were not biblical literalists. That's a Protestant thing which began to be used to justify the establishment of a Jewish state in the 20th century. The belief that the Book of Revelation is about to come true is also Protestant, and it has joined with these beliefs about the establishment of Israel.

      So nothing that a Pope says will sway any of the people using the Bible to slaughter Palestinians.

  • Did Jeb Bush just commit a War Crime in Justifying the Iraq War?
    • The point of this article, and in a larger sense this site, is that US intelligence is so contaminated by criminal oligarchs like the Bushes with tentacles in the war racket, the oil racket, and the dictatorship racket that you should never trust any recommendation it makes to go to war with anyone. If you think GWB didn't pressure US intel to produce the lies he wanted or punish people like Joe Wilson who resisted, you've been deaf to facts. And we have not made anyone's life better in Iraq - even the Kurds were better off under the no-fly zone than they are having to fight off ISIS, which itself is the final spawn of the old Reagan alliance with Saudi Arabia and Pakistan to manufacture Islamic fanaticism to destroy Communism.

  • Yemen: Fierce fighting in Lead-up to Saudi Ceasefire, Children at risk of Starvation
    • The Republican human females seem to be just as bloodthirsty as any males I know.

  • Do Republicans favor Coal Plants over Americans' Health?
    • Jesus, earthquakes in Texas. So much for the libertarian claim that capitalists do no harm because their fist stops at the end of your nose. You know they now will preach in chorus that the damage is a necessary sacrifice to save the American Way of Life from the global dark-skinned Commie-Moslem conspiracy.

  • Saudi Arabia as the Incredible Hulk: King Salman snubs Obama's Gulf Summit
    • Ever since Saudi Arabia made the puzzling decision in 1971 to swing its OPEC votes behind making the US $ the official currency of OPEC oil purchases worldwide (replacing the Bretton Woods fixed-currency system that collapsed that year), we have been getting deeper into debt with the Saudis, who have poured their wealth into slowing, but not stopping, the dollar's decline at their expense.

      This clearly could not go on forever. At some point either they stopped bailing us out and embraced the consequences, or they upped their demands for continuing the bailout.

      I'd say they're getting pretty demanding now. And we must recall that Richard Clarke claimed in his book "Your Country Failed You" that his department caught the Saudis building a copy of a Chinese nuclear missile base in 1986, presumably with the missiles soon to be in transit from China. They were going to pull a Cuba and spring it on the world as a fait accompli, for whatever purpose.

      This is what multipolarity, and the fall of American hegemony, is going to look like, folks. Saudi investment in the US and the dollar must amount to trillions by now. They could find other things to do with those assets. They could try to behave as Britain did in the old days, using their money to paste together conservative coalitions to attack any rival to their power. But at least Britain had the virtue of being truly cynical, with no permanent alliances. If this becomes an ideological grudge-match of the Saud family against Iran, Shias, democracy, the young, the secular, really all Arabs who aren't billionaires, then it's going to be hell.

      And finally, what is Saudi Arabia's end game with Israel, and vice versa? Are they now embracing the role of co-suzerains of the Middle East as Washington has always desired, or are they waiting for America to leave so they can finally fight each other for the Armageddon championship?

  • Hawaii goes Green and other Big Renewables Stories
    • I just checked on my earlier question. According to a US EIA study, the recent construction cost on solar PV plants was $4 to 5 per watt rated capacity. So even if the $190 million in Pakistan only covered the initial 100 MW capacity, that's a big breakthrough. A natural gas plant is still about a buck per watt, but then you have to buy natural gas and get it delivered.

      Today the United States is physically incapable of putting together a solar power project for $190,000,000 in the middle of Pakistan. You know why and I know why, but most Americans can't even conceive of the terms of the problem.

    • Page: 19
    • The question I have on the Pakistani plant is: was the $190,000,000 for the plant's current capacity or its ultimate capacity of 1 GW? Because if it's anything close to that it shatters the current cost per watt for solar construction, and it means China has something enormous to offer the 3rd World (assuming that low labor costs are what made it possible).

  • Syria: What if Turkey and Saudi Arabia install al-Qaeda in Damascus?
    • Whatever happened to the old days when you fought in order to drive the other guy to the bargaining table? Why is war getting more zero-sum when the countries wars are fought in are becoming more worthless?

  • How Muslim-Americans can avoid being Trolled by Israel-Firsters: Look again at the Prophet's example
    • People treat the past as a cafeteria, cherry-picking all the dishes that taste sweet, but are bad for them. No conservative adores the aboriginies as an example of how we must live, even though their way of life is most ancient of all. Nor do they mention the Amish. "Conservatism" is simply the selective worship of past abuses of power to obtain personal gain.

    • In Weimar Germany, the Nazis and Communists assaulted each other in public as a form of political theater. In reality, they were temporarily allies in discrediting democracy by associating it with chaos. Each side was doubtless confident that a sufficient number of Germans would be radicalized in the correct direction. But they also wanted other Germans to be paralyzed and disgusted. That group would be grateful when order was restored by one side attaining a monopoly of power.

  • What Islamic State learned from the mad men of the ad world
    • If you paid attention to the article, you'd see that it is largely about why people LEAVE their communities to fight for the artificial, imperialist caliphate of ISIS. Are they defending their relatives in suburban London, or are they rebuking those relatives for attempting to assimilate into the Wall Street capitalist empire?

      As for the actual natives under ISIS rule, they belonged to tribal militias and even pro-Baathist factions who allied with ISIS thinking that they would obtain their freedom from Shia rule. They hate Iran more than America, get it? ISIS' brand of fanaticism treats Shias and Christians as a worse threat than America and Israel - which just happens to coincide with the agenda of Saudi Arabia and the other Shia-hating oil monarchs.

      Again, this site has documented how well that worked out for them.

      Ultimately, Great Power states are toppled by other Great Power states. Look at the list of likely replacements for the American empire and you're not seeing much respite from terrorism.

  • Tom Cotton's 'Chickenhawk' Taunt at Iran FM Demeans Jeb Bush, GOP Field
    • And maybe Mr. Zarif can point out that (a) Saddam Hussein was forcing Iran to fight a war to survive because he was getting help from the US, and (b) the US is a greater threat to the survival of Iran than Iraq ever was, based on their historical aims.

  • Tesla batteries: just the beginning of how technology will transform the electric grid
    • The big savings will come when Tesla (and other car) batteries that have worn down to ~80% capacity begin to be removed and put in these power units instead. It hasn't happened yet because these big battery packs take a long time to wear down.

    • The problem is, we all already depend on tons of electrical appliances built to run on AC, which also has the advantage of a standard voltage. Look at all the plug-in AC to DC converters that power some of those devices; they're all different DC voltages, and some have multi-pin connectors that deliver more than one DC voltage. As a stereo fan I would love to run straight from DC but all the gear I buy needs an alternator.

  • Fatal Triangle: Saudi, Iran, US Tensions spike over continued Yemen Airstrikes
    • There is a difference between Iran-encouraged and Iran-puppet, at least as far as international law is concerned. Replace "Iran" with "US" and think of all the movements that have gotten US encouragement around the world, including Pussy Riot and gay rights - are all of those acts of war?

  • Israeli PM Begins Forming Pro-Settlement Coaltion
    • The gist of this article is that the inherent nature of the Zionist project creates two massive sources of graft that can be used to buy off at least two political parties: the settlement construction racket and the World Zionist Organization's charity racket. If they weren't massive sources of graft they wouldn't be worth mentioning as the key to a coalition. And if Israeli political parties weren't massive consumers of graft, then we wouldn't be hearing of a party that claims to support social reform that pretends that any reform is possible while settlement construction reinforces the idea of Jews as superior to Arabs. To get their hands on that money, every political party will contradict itself in whatever way it has to, right?

      Under these conditions, there is no way to elect a coalition of parties to dismantle the apartheid state. You have to strike at the money machines to prevent them from buying off every non-Arab party. And the only way for us on the outside to do that is to economically sanction those money machines.

  • Assassination as Policy in Washington and How It Failed, 1990-2015
    • Actually, assassination seems to be what governments resort to when they lack the means or support to carry out the classical missions of war: invasion, occupation, and the creation of a compliant government. Kennedy's own assassination campaign against Castro followed the failed Bay of Pigs invasion. It may also appeal to a public that wants to harm a hated enemy without making real sacrifices. Let's face it, the public is complicit in many assassination campaigns by revolutionaries and counter-revolutionaries.

      I think clearly the current administration realizes that its GOP enemies demand total war overseas precisely so that social and environmental programs will be exterminated and Democratic constituencies will be punished, and it thinks it can cleverly counter that with cheap drones without appearing "weak". Which sounds a lot like how JFK and LBJ tried to counter Goldwater's demand for a conventional war against North Vietnam to protect their social programs - the road to Operation Phoenix.

  • Thoughts On Freddie Grey Protest by a Young Baltimore Resident
    • If they organized like the Black Panthers he showed, they would be exterminated like the Black Panthers.

      But he's right that all efforts must be focused on the goal of making it costly for at least one of the key institutions that support police terror to continue to do so. The police lie when they say they must rule the streets this way. If they had to choose between a 20% budget cut and learning new methods, guess what they'd do. If you can't hurt the police, hurt the district attorneys who use them as henchmen to advance their own careers. If you can't get the district attorneys, hurt the mayors. Make it impossible for them to do their jobs or raise campaign funds - without giving them the excuse to declare martial law. And if they declare martial law anyway, then make that very costly for the capitalist elite they are all expected to serve. All of these people exploit your money for a living. Find out how and find a way to divert your money from them.

  • The Battle Plans of ISIL: Can they Succeed in Mideast Conquest?
    • What I find shocking about ISIS is its utter lack of interest in building real positive support among local populations. It simply commits the most horrifying acts it can get away with to attract droves of the most pissed-off people from all over the Earth, concentrating them in such a tiny, unpopulated space that they can bully the locals to impose what economically is no future at all: cut off from the world, trading only on black markets, opposed to all knowledge of science or history.

      But since they have no genuine outrage over the injustices that humans face for being powerless, rather than for being Moslem, I guess they can't really stand for anything but revenge. The worst thing of all is that ISIS perfectly plays into the Islamophobic narrative by calling forth these followers from abroad, who then become the face of Islam for the corporate media in their homelands.

      These are the ideologies of the age without hope.

  • Rand Paul: GOP Hawks are Obama's "Lapdogs;" McCain: Paul 'Worst Candidate'
    • How was a nationwide armed rebellion against Gadafi an "ordered environment"? Oh, you mean the environment that would have been restored after Gadafi exterminated the rebels. Well, then have the decency to embrace extermination on the grounds that Arabs are too "backwards" to handle freedom.

  • Pakistan as Hong Kong West: China's New Silk Road & US Failure
    • Many of Pakistan's pathologies may be traceable to the last rich country to throw its money around there - the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and its jihadi psychopaths dating back to the war against the Soviets in Afghanistan. Wahhabism fit the imperialist agenda of the Pakistani Army. Well, we see after 35 years where this has gotten them. Maybe they see that it's time to try something different, and the US has failed or lost the ability to take on that role.

      However, we must recall that the Saudis and Reagan used this Islamist extremism in order to block socialism in the region - thereby keeping it under the thumb of a sort of capitalism. Yet the Islamists have moved further on their own, because the discontents of capitalism have never been solved. China hasn't solved them either. Prosperity for a few, and meaningless consumption for the rest, may not end religious fundamentalism - it sure hasn't in the United States.

    • Read Richard Rosecrance's "The Rise of the Trading State". This has all happened before, and it will happen again.

    • I think that the point of articles like this is that the Wall Street/Pentagon oligarchies don't want to "uplift" anyone. A few years ago Paul Volcker himself expressed fear that the global financial system was meant to have rich countries invest in the productivity of poor countries - not for poor countries to lend to rich countries to protract the wasteful consumption of the latter. This system has become backwards and dysfunctional.

      And I will never kneel to your damned corporate tyrannies, and neither will anyone of character in the world. Build a world of whores, then don't be surprised that it is full of short-sighted, self-destructive pathologies. A gonorrhea of the soul.

    • This one's going on our gravestone.

      The Marshall Plan and its Japanese adjunct worked, so why are they so forgotten in American political discourse? Is it for the same reason that conservatives like Nixon were willing to spend money on social programs when blacks seemed ready to disrupt his rule? Is it the American Way that trouble caused by the poor at home and abroad is met with tons of guns and butter, but no genuine sense of humanity and compassion that will last past an imminent strategic crisis?

      Do we Americans simply reduce all non-us to "problems" to be bought off or killed to silence them as quickly as possible? And then they're ignored by every part of us except the Wall Street exploitation machine, which moves in to pervert their politics and culture as it has America's.

      Is this incredible short-sightedness and dismissiveness about the the potential value of non-us people racism, or simply capitalism taken to its logical attention span? Recall how Washington labored hard to break the Left in Latin America under a flood of juntas in the '70s and neoliberal saviors in the '80s... all that trouble setting it up to be a giant sweatshop for those union-busting factories that had already moved south of the Mason-Dixon line, creating a region of regimes that would follow orders. And what happened? China paraded itself and its combination of rock-bottom wages and decent education in front of Wal-Mart and the mad rush was on. Corporations finished off America's industrial economy to sign contracts with a regime they couldn't control, one that had long-term plans to develop its population, not to keep it starving and terrorized like El Salvador's.

      So now our model is retreating back to our own borders, the Shock Doctrine transferred from Chile to Wisconsin, breaking the middle class for a few more months of stock speculation, while China's clever kung fu over Wall Street goes on a global offensive.

  • Israeli Supreme Court Upholds ‘Anti-Boycott Law’
    • As you've pointed out in prior postings, China is going to be the great financial power of the future, so the question is, where will China's relentless opposition to instability place it on the I-P issue? China hates any successful rebellion against any government, no matter how egregious, because it fears that its own people might get ideas. But the Occupation is:
      a. becoming inimical to stability
      b. stripping Israel of all its past trading partners except the US - which has no leverage against China at all.

      Logically China can afford to screw Israel if that is necessary to appease more valuable trade partners in Central Asia and the Middle East.

  • Turning Point: 2015, the Year the World turned to Renewables and saved itself
    • Three cheers for mercantilism.

      Blowhard (and my former boss) Rex Tillerson does not dare say that the global poor can't afford to buy portable, foreign energy if they intend to avoid the global debt scam and scrape together the money needed to buy capital goods. The very things that make capitalists hate alternative energy - it's not portable, and it's labor-intensive - make it exactly what these countries need. Jobs at home, long-term. If they ever manage to create a renewable energy surplus, they can use it to manufacture and export goods, replacing fossil-fueled manufacturing worldwide.

      Global trade is good for some things, and barriers and trade blocs must not be allowed to cause a disaster like they did in 1930. But the countries that rose to wealth during the Bretton Woods era were allowed (by the US) to engage in mercantilism to build up their export capabilities. It would have gone even faster for Japan if it had not needed to import energy.

  • Juan Cole: Syria, Yemen Conflicts only seem to be about Sunni-Shiite from 30,000 Feet
    • You're oversimplifying too. The Soviet Union actually invented the ICBM, Sergei Korolev's magnificent SS-6. It was no angel in the days after World War II. The most pro-Soviet Communist Party in Western Europe was in France and was working hard to deliver the country - and its colonial empire - to Stalin. That's why the French party supported the war against Ho Chi Minh for some years. Tito and DeGaulle were the ones who understood that a hegemony by either superpower was bad, but I guarantee you that their militaries were training to fight an invasion by the USSR, not the US, and it would have been a hopeless fight without some kind of alliance with the US - or France using its nukes against Moscow.

  • President Rand Paul's Middle East Policy
    • Yet again, Talk2Action to the rescue, with its archive of articles on Ron Paul's ties to the theocratic Christian Right, the John Birch Society, and even uglier sorts:

      link to

    • How many GOP convention votes did the antiwar crowd ever get his father? 2%? The antiwar right-wing is a meme promoted to fool a few people into thinking the Right's position against big government is consistent, instead of classist and racist. The truth has always been: return to a past not of less government, but of white government.

    • His approach to fixing race problems is to pretend that "free enterprise" and "private property" had nothing to do with creating them; that infinite inequality is meritocracy and not a rigged game made tolerable for poorer white via 350 years of racial privilege. Corporations brought slavery to America because it was the cheapest way to obtain maximum exploitation of both whites and blacks. If he won't address any of America's true history, he's just running the usual scam while winking at the rednecks.

    • He's also against gay marriage and abortion. One wonders whether his flip-flops on war come after checking on the latest poll numbers from his constituents in Kentucky, whose definition of evil big government has never seemed to include the war machine, intervening in the bedroom, or intervening in women's wombs.

      But then, patriarchal, oligarchic cultural tyranny is what has always filled the power vacuum when private-property societies keep their governments weak. The ordinary Kentuckian can't be bothered with the libertarian subtlety of a government that looks the other way instead of leading the lynch mob itself.

  • Netanyahu slips, Reveals reason for Opposition to Iran Deal
    • And yet Israel seems to tolerate Saudi Arabia's growing strength, just as Saudi Arabia pretends to not notice Israel's nuclear arsenal. Both countries have wealthy oligarchies massively invested in US business and in Treasury debt. What is the end game for those two? Has God/Jehovah/Allah already been supplanted by Mammon?

    • It's easy to be hardline when you demand Washington do all your killing for you. Iran doesn't have any friends like that right now - maybe we should not put it in a position where it must find some.

  • Do GOP Frontrunners have an Iran policy besides Sanctions and Bombs?
    • The underlying ideology is one of punishment; government exists only to punish those at home and abroad who interfere with "real" Americans' monopoly on power.

      Thus, the lack of policy solutions listed above is a matter of intent. People are meant to be hurt. Hurting them defines them as not-us. The racism, nostalgia and nativism justify the monopoly of power that should exist.

    • Their Moslem populations are Sunni, so their concern should be with one of Iran's biggest enemies, the Sunni jihadi network spawned by Reagan's blind support of Saudi Arabia's operation with Pakistan against the Soviet Union.

      Interesting that the GOP once again seems to be on the side of this network, despite supporting token bombings of ISIS in Syria. Is this part of a larger strategy to restart the Cold War despite the extinction of actual Communists? All the people commenting here on the stupidity of the GOP's strategy seem to be missing the possible benefits conservatives ascribe to the Cold War.

  • The von Moltke Fallacy and avoiding another World War, with Iran
    • I just thank the fates that we seem to have a deal and hope it isn't sabotaged by extremists. I think this war would push Iran and Iraq into the authoritarian bloc of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, making Saudi Arabia and Russia opposing hegemons in a real, high-stakes war in a region lacking natural defenses. The multiplying alliance linkages do carry the stench of 1914. We're not out of the woods yet.

    • Liberals can work wonders when they choose to act as liberals, but who will reward them for doing so? Progressives feel entitled to sit on their asses while Democratic presidents carry out their demands, then letting them go down in flames when the right-wing crazies go on the warpath. It's not like the old days when FDR could push one major initiative after another because he knew an organized Left would get out in the streets and march in support - and an even more radical Far Left would do its job of threatening in the shadows, scaring the oligarchs into submission to the New Deal.

      Instead, Obama is acting to establish his place in history, an ambition that has made many second-term presidents of both parties suddenly get serious about peace.

  • Netanyahu on Iran Deal: threatens ‘survival of Israel’, ‘horrific war’
    • Remember, all the other lies are based on the lie that Israel does not possess hundreds of nuclear weapons. If the US says that it does, then Israel doesn't have a problem or excuse to continue its relentless game of self-victimization.

  • War with Iran, by the Numbers
    • Add to that, the first time a US carrier gets sunk anywhere on Earth, it will discredit carriers everywhere, like Pearl Harbor discredited battleships. Even though the Persian Gulf is an especially vulnerable place for carriers, none of our carrier groups anywhere will be taken as seriously again. China and Iran will be selling missiles like hotcakes in every corner.

    • LOL? Do you know what the numbers were from our last two wars? I mean the real numbers, not the lawyered-down ones in the corporate media.

    • Well, I guess the Democrats could run the "Daisy girl" ad again.

  • Lynching Farkhunda: Birth of Gender Equality and Accountability in Afghanistan?
    • The problem is, the author talks about "the people" as if any such thing existed. This region has been in civil wars for 36 years. The fact that a lynch mob could operate so openly in the capital indicates a core support for oppression comparable to the days when lynch mobs operated publicly in the American South. 100 years later, all we've achieved is a majority of voters across the South who have taught themselves the mealy-mouthed lies of Northern bigots but still oppress blacks, women, gays and Moslems whenever they can paint themselves as the actual victims. Is that where Afghanistan will be by 2115?

  • Lebanon's Shiite Hizbullah slams Saudi attack on Yemen
    • Iran is isolated in one direction, but not towards its East.

      link to

      According to this, China has big plans for Iran, beyond oil. Pieces of evidence appear, ignored in US media, that China is investing heavily in Central Asia as it searches for markets to bring into its orbit. Since China and Russia, both pro-Assad, control the Shanghai Cooperation Organization where Iran has been kept at arm's length with observer status, this is more than just an Arab-Persian battle. Which should scare the hell out of us.

      Meanwhile, how far can Saudi Arabia march with Israel and the US at its side before the vast extremist network it fostered turns on it?

  • Ted Cruz Thinks Non-Christians Have Too Much Power
    • Like Lenin, they intend to create a dictatorship of a pure minority, not a converted democracy. Especially if the pure minority has more AK-47s and ability and willingness to use them than anyone else.

    • That's a truism in a country defined by selfishness. The game is to argue that the freedoms you want for yourself are in fact the only freedoms a good person would want, and all alternatives are wicked. Most Americans, I think, have only a shallow understanding of the idea that power-sharing is necessary in a democracy, because they want to delegate all that tedious power-wielding stuff to someone else while indulging in any behavior and pretending there are no consequences. The added motivation that makes white conservatives so aggressive is the myth of an ideal past when their ancestors alone could indulge their appetites and minorities and dissenters "knew their place" and kept quiet. Patriarchal monopoly = no big govt. needed to negotiate social and class issues.

    • Yet every four years GOP candidates have to take more and more reactionary and theocratic positions to "have a chance". Who drives this whole process? Ted Cruz's dad is one of the extremist Christian mullahs who works tirelessly between elections to organize Christian theocrats to proclaim themselves the only voice of Christian faith - then they pimp fake historians like David Barton to say that the Founding Fathers intended Christians to have special legal status. See this article:

      link to

      "And God has given you an anointing to go to the battlefield. And what's the battlefield ? The battlefield is the market place. To go to the marketplace
      and occupy the land. To go to the marketplace and take dominion.
      If you remember, the last time I was on this pulpit I talked to you about Genesis chapter 1 verse 28, where God says unto Adam and Eve, 'go forth, multiply, take dominion over all creation.'
      And if you will recall, we talked about the fact that that dominion is not just in the Church. That dominion is over every area: society, education, government, economics."

  • How GOP threats against Iran have Guaranteed end of European Sanctions
    • Read "American Theocracy" by Kevin Phillips. Or if you really want to get depressed, read "The Peloponnesian War" by Thucydides.

    • Americans are taught by their schools to despise mercantilism as a violation of free enterprise.

      However, mercantilism seems to have a successful track record - if you can play the current global hegemon for a sucker. Japan and Germany were screwed after 1929, when the Depression caused a trade war that let the status quo empires survive by exploiting their colonies and left others lusting for empires of their own. Yet ironically Japan and Germany could be said to have won World War 2 by assaulting those empires and putting the US on top, since the US replaced that failed system with free trade, but then actually bent it over to favor postwar Japan's rebuilding due to the Cold War. This created a blueprint for South Korea and Taiwan; proclaim your anticommunism, collect US aid, and use its clout to gain access to world markets while dumping goods on US markets and destroying its industries.

      China's new mercantilism, therefore, is far more aggressive than its old one. But it's working. Maybe this is always how it worked; the US played free trade Victorian Britain for a sucker and exploited the Royal Navy's protection of global trade routes. I'm wondering now if American states and cities ran these same games against each other, who would win?

    • Well, failed sanctions are only useful as a way of whipping up anger to further escalation. Meaning, the GOP and its Armageddon prophets start talking about Europe "betraying" us and the world plotting against us and how this proves the Book of Revelations is happening. Then they use this state of war to carry out whatever foreign and domestic policies they've wanted all along.

      The problem here is the vast widening of the enemies list, which means the sanctions list. Trying to add Russia, China and the EU to the list gives us no one to trade with anymore. Latin America pretty much went off the reservation years ago. India is the obvious remaining labor pool for our capitalists to exploit for quick gain, but there it is cutting deals with Iran.

  • Old GOP Realist James Baker's hard Ride among Neocons
    • Baker has his finger on the pulse of the global oligarchy, because he is one of the global oligarchs. Question: how do his fellow American plutocrats feel about the growing divide between them and the new capitalist oligarchies in the rest of the world.? Do they intend to conquer it, like the Neocons, or withdraw from it and maintain Israel as a forlorn Crusader castle that shares its Jim Crow-like backwardness? Or are they really just sucking ordinary Americans dry for as long as they can before absconding to a fantastic penthouse in Dubai?

    • Yet is it a coincidence that Israel is sitting on the same demographic time bomb in the Palestinians? It's as if our white Christians converged with Israel out of a common fear that has long lurked in US politics: the terror of a minority becoming a majority. Israel now gets away with Jim Crow/Apartheid acts that 40 years ago we considered unacceptable; this mainstreams those policies so that the GOP/Christian Right can propose them as necessary for the survival of "real" Americans. The same for the Likud's militarization, privatization, and surveillance assaults, all automatically made non-unthinkable for Israel's US loyalists.

      It's as if the Neocons use Israel as a prototype for the holy whorehouse they want to turn America into. Israeli opinion polls show it works; Jews are embracing violent racism and ignoring corruption while liberal Jews plan to flee. Our Right is in a race against time to implement the same outcome here.

  • What's Religion Got to do with it? German Co-Pilot as Terrorist
    • "Norwegian Anders Breivik was a white supremacist terrorist."

      Not in the American media he isn't. He's already forgotten here, because he doesn't fit the narrative. We have a duty to make points about the sinister intentions behind this double standard.

  • Traitor Senators used Israeli Spies against their own Country
    • We use words like "traitors" specifically to point out their hypocrisy in calling all opponents of their pro-Israel extremism "traitors". How can we be the traitors if they're putting Israel ahead of the US? Because the "nation" they're demanding loyalty to is not the US or Israel. It's to the white capitalist patriarchy that ginned up the term "Judeo-Christian" to justify their rule over the rest of us and the world. We are treated as conquered, occupied servant races, with no right to demand that patriotism or the economy or even the military serve our actual, objective interests. Instead, we serve all of those things.

  • Jim Crow in the Holy Land
    • The Israel lobby can block or reverse any policy change by the Administration.

      But the Administration can do one thing that can't be reversed. It can state up front that Israel possesses hundreds of nuclear bombs and that American presidents have known this for decades.

      That irreversible admission destroys the fundamental myth that Americans still buy; that stealing land from Palestinians is the only way Israel can protect itself from extermination by evil Arabs. Because if hundreds of nukes can't do that tiny thing, then why the Hell are we buying thousands of nukes ourselves? Why do they need our military aid? What is their army and air force for but conventional aggression against outmatched Arabs?

  • Mideast Apocalypse 2030: Why Obama wants the Palestine Issue Solved. Now.
    • The Israelis are becoming ideologically indistinguishable from the American far right/Tea Party, which treats the defeat of white supremacy in South Africa as a bad thing, even the defeat of the Confederate States as a bad thing. The solution, to them, is to break the will of the untermenschen in one great bloodletting. That's what all those assault rifles they're buying are for.

  • Climate Change: Can the Insurance Industry be saved from Bankruptcy?
    • Whoops, time for the Tea Party to add the Reinsurance Association of America to the list of Commie class-traitor companies, along with General Motors, Chrysler, Tesla, and the entire solar and wind power industries.

  • The Rise of ISIL & the Political Bankruptcy of Arab Politics in the Levant
    • I would say "modern theo-democracy" is a pretty good description of the current ideology of the Republican Party of the United States. Government and secular values are denigrated to make the masses cynical and apathetic, so that a minority of fanatics can overwhelm the polls on election day to foist theocrats on us who are in the pocket of the business elites.

  • All the Wars and Coups of President Ted Cruz
    • America's Netanyahu. Except that Bibi's US citizenship is more solid than Ted's.

    • Texas is the perfect confluence of the South's racism & Christian dominionism, the West's selfishness, both regions' worship of using guns to steal and rule land, and via the oil industry, Wall Street's megalomaniacal greed. The oil boom made Texans swing to the right out of resentment that the Federal government redistributed its bounties to the rest of the country while regulating its vast pollution industries. The old Texas oligarchy's careful dampening of the Civil Rights Movement to avoid nasty incidents like Selma allowed the state to pretend it had nothing to be guilty about regarding race. Absent that, equality-hating groups like the Libertarian Party and R. J. Rushdoony's Christian fascist movement grew like weeds here in the '70s, planting lies that the Reaganites and their successors mainstreamed into accepted truths.

      Later came the demographic swing endangering white majority rule in Texas, exacerbated by illegal Mexicans and legal Asians. Texans are convinced that they (white only) are the source of all that is good in America and that everyone else is trying to steal their treasure via such evils as immigration, redistribution, and multiculturalism. Those of us Texans who feel otherwise just get steamrolled by fanatics energized by this paranoia. Texas is the Vatican (or ISIS) of a new religion founded on the worst possible combination of American exceptionalism, libertarian selfishness, Confederate race/tribe barbarism, and Christian imperialism.

      In other words, we Texans worship inequality in all possible categories, because we're sure we will be the winners, more sure than anyone else in America or the world.

    • He believes paranoia can provoke the vast redneck zombie army into overthrowing modern democracy and restoring the rich to an absolute monopoly of power. If poor blacks and even his poorer white supporters must be sacrificed for the benefit of superior achievers like himself, that's free competition. I see nothing in capitalism that requires the oligarchs to give a damn about the long term.

    • Cruz's father is the religious fanatic. Maybe Cruz believes, or maybe he cynically sees extremism as good for business. Meaning he doesn't believe the End Times are coming because he will lead capitalism to a thousand-year reich using religion to control the masses.

  • Yemen Bombing: It's not ISIL and it's not Sunni-Shiite Conflict
    • In a sense the religious wars have become a puppet of the biggest war in our world. Over time wealthy America's two favorite Middle Eastern allies, wealthy Saudi Arabia and wealthy Israel, have become one military front.

      The Sauds use the Wahhabis to concoct theology that says to love the monarchy above all else, secondly to hate Shiites, and only thirdly to hate Israel. That demotion to 3rd place funnels disgruntled young Saudis, Kuwaitis, etc to Iraq and Syria instead of Gaza and the West Bank. They also promoted the neoliberal billionaire regime in Lebanon before its weakness was exposed by Hezbollah - that's when the Sauds turned to radical armed movements to co-opt democratic revolutions and openly betray the US by creating its own jihadi-controlled sphere of influence.

      Israel, meanwhile, had promoted Hamas to undermine Fateh, and now reports are appearing that it is promoting ISIS to undermine - what, the remnants of sanity? Once it was helping the ayatollahs to screw the Arabs, now it helps the extremists created by Wahhabism to wage war on Iran.

      Which leaves the US as the sucker, victim of its insane idea of making Saudi Arabia and Israel the region's co-hegemons. I must confess, it's worked longer than I thought possible. I think it's because the rich all over the world have exploited the "Washington Consensus" to seize vast wealth and power. The Sauds and Israelis are too closely tied to Wall Street to abandon our oligarchic faction, but they see it is run by idiots and traitors and thus freelance at the expense of real American interests. But meanwhile, newly rising economic blocs are peeling away from Wall Street and starting their own factions. Now the world isn't big enough for all these oligarchs. Saudi can't keep playing its anti-Shiite games without bumping up against Iran's new friends, Israel can't keep provoking Arabs while expecting the Sauds to keep them co-opted.

      It has the stench of 1914, alliances of worthless elites using militaristic patriotism to beat down the demands of their own poor only to find that they must deliver on the militarism to maintain credibility. Like in those days, the very act of the rich colluding against their own fellow citizens has marched them into the brink of a war against each other.

  • Could Sunni-Shiite Rift make Tikrit a Pyrrhic Victory? Al-Azhar & Shiite Militias
    • Militias hate to travel and fight far from home. Historically if you use militiamen to win a battle, they will disappear the next morning. If these militiamen were anything as disciplined and directed as Hezbollah, they could easily have wrecked the US occupation garrison during the twin uprisings of Anbar and the Sadrists in March/April 2004, cut off Baghdad, and forced Washington to either wipe out the country or evacuate its bureaucrats by air. It would have changed the course of world history.

      If anything, these militias seem to have decayed since then. Granted, chaos was a good strategy for driving the Americans crazy and getting them to leave. But here we are.

      However, I agree that even staying within Iraqi borders, they could cause big changes in the wars in Syria and elsewhere. The Sauds & their fellow oligarchs will not sit still; in fact they will likely panic at the chimera of bloodthirsty Iraqi Shias coming for their monarchies. The lack of historical legitimacy of the borderlines of these states makes it impossible for self-defense to be viewed by others as genuinely defensive, and the thin population densities and lack of natural barriers makes it hard to tell when or why anyone will stop.

  • Could a Netanyahu loss in Israeli Elections change Everything?
    • It sounds like Israel has finally hit the crisis point where the hypocrisy behind the dictum "Jewish and democratic character" can no longer be hidden. The Right has to unite to keep the Arabs out of the government because that's its last chance to go on a wholesale campaign to impose apartheid - and terrorize even leftist Jews into emigrating.

      Are the wild-card ultra-Orthodox parties known to be bribable? Because for Zionist billionaires the world over this is where all the checkbooks have to come out.

  • Iran's Khamenei: GOP Letter Disgusting, shows Decline of American System
    • Israel has hundreds of nukes. Iran has none. Israel controls half of Congress, as you have seen. We have thousands of nukes. And we just destroyed Iran's next-door neighbor based on the GOP's bull**** accusations of having WMDs.

      The GOP is the one threatening to wipe countries off the map. They couch this in corporate euphemisms in front of the mass media, but go to the far-right churches and "patriot" websites that form their base. They want to wipe out all Moslems.

    • This letter was really about domestic politics. Just as the former slaveowners made the South ungovernable after the Civil War until the North gave in and abandoned blacks to their tender mercies, the right-wing strategy is to teach liberals and blacks that any attempt by them to actually win elections and exercise power will be met with sabotage and hysterical outrage by "real" Americans. We must maintain the illusion of democracy for business purposes, but only a few can be allowed to rule.
      But even this contains a scam against the mass of lower-income conservatives. They're placated with the illusion that they alone will control the Pentagon, the police, and moral regulation. Yet these do nothing to solve their everyday problems of falling wages, outsourcing, and pollution. They've surrendered all the real power in our lives to their tribal leaders - who flail around in a globe whose oligarchic factions no longer care about America.

    • I still don't know all the details. But in '79 Washington's main fear was that "Marxists" in Khomeini's coalition would turn Iran into a Soviet satellite. So even Carter tried to make nice with the mullahs before the hostage crisis. However, conspiracy theories have always existed that Reagan, while still a private citizen, sent George H. W. Bush to secretly negotiate with Iran to hold the hostages until past the election - with certain favors to be done in return. Thus, Iran-Contra.

    • Like his Republican counterparts here, Khamenei uses every event as an excuse to push the agenda of wealth inequality and a monopoly of power by the rich. Like Putin, like the German banks, like the Beijing regime. They all appeal to patriotic nostalgia for a past when, it just so happens, the government was merely a weak servant of the landlords. The global rich are using what they learned from Reagan and Thatcher. That is why inequality is exploding everywhere on Earth.

    • It would appear from the University of Oklahoma SAE racism scandal that a significant faction of young white men are embracing the deeper message of these GOP efforts: we are the master race and will not share power with inferiors or allow them to govern, ever.

  • As state Sinks, GOP forbids Fla. State Enviro workers from saying "Climate Change"
    • All this crap from right-wingers about how oppressive liberal political correctness is; but they're willing to fire you from your job for using the words "climate change" regardless of context? If people are fired for using the n-word or sexist words, at least there is a group of people who are actually personally demeaned by them. What is offended by "climate change" is the holy dogma that capitalism always brings benefits and thus the rich are an infallible Master Race.

  • Is Israel's Election about enacting Jim Crow for 20% of its Citizens?
    • The groundwork has been laid for the GOP to embrace the demand that America be declared a Christian country. Which of course will set off the next step, to narrow the definition of "Christian" to make it legally actionable, always in favor of the furthest Right. reports that one survey shows 57% of Republicans support establishing Christianity as the national religion. The real goal of the Hobby Lobby decision was to establish the religious as having special rights that override the civil rights of others. That done, we need only pass more laws to clarify that the Christian religious are the only religious who are genuinely American, unless they are the right kind of Jews.

      link to

      I can't imagine that this process has been entirely unconnected with the parallel theocratization of Israel.

  • Treason of the Wonks: How to Create a National Insecurity State
    • The problem with using war veterans to devise strategies against ISIS is that, you know, Chris Kyle was one. One faction of veterans will want to walk away and let ISIS do whatever, but a larger faction will want to nuke the place. That's pretty much how it was with Vietnam. Survivors either ended up opposing the war totally, or damning it for not being genocidal enough.

      And the guys who would select the makeup of that panel would have the same agenda as their Cold War counterparts who brought in the Kissingers. They want a rigged jury.

  • African-Americans still struggle for Full Citizenship Rights, Voting Rights
    • Pernicious policing is also totally politicized. Who votes for district attorneys? The people who have been trained by the media to see themselves as righteous, productive property owners under assault from the "criminal" race, who must be collectively punished into submission.

      That being said, even if the rest of us show up to vote out these fascist D.A.s and their police henchmen, we have to come up with a replacement.

      I think that first and foremost, police must live in the neighborhoods they work in. This is onerous, and it will be bitterly resisted. But we went to war with the Redcoats over treatment similar to what cops visit upon blacks today. Suburban cops act as foreign occupiers, even Hessians, because they are taught that cities are un-American.

      Second, the acts of cops must be reviewed by those neighbors. If a neighborhood wants a racist police state they must dip their hands in the blood.

      The problem is that this means honestly embracing the balkanization of our country into no-go zones for the Other. The neighborhoods of the white and rich will become even more restricted than they are now. But by hiding from this division by blaming it on higher levels of government, we're creating a plausibly deniable apartheid that we will grow comfortable with. Better to heighten the confrontation now, if it will produce a proletariat that at least has a version of law and government that is solely on its side, instead of only crime as a form of retaliation.

  • The "Hindenburg Trap": Dump Oil, Coal & Gas Stocks if you Want to Retire
    • Liability, I suspect, is why the rich must pour money into the climate change denial movement in the USA. If trillions of dollars of damage occurs around the world, they will be the ones facing lawsuits. But by chaining our citizens to their financial fate, they force us to militarize the dispute - to demand reparations is an act of war against our country.

      Which means, either the foreign oligarchs will stand with Wall Street and suppress environmental politics in their countries, including objectively profitable clean energy, or they will abstain and capitalism will be split into hostile blocs embracing radically different energy models. Too bad none of the blocs appear to have any democratic or egalitarian trends.

  • Netanyahu Doesn’t Speak For These Jews
    • Because the only way to love Israel is to annihilate the Palestinian people and expunge the theft of their land from the history books, and then impose an empire (mostly of hijacked American military power) over the entire Moslem world for the crime of never forgetting.

      Would you say a Jew who points out the fact that Israel is lying about possessing hundreds of nuclear weapons is an Israel-hater or a lover of the truth? It seems that by your reckoning loving Israel requires embracing a lot of lies.

  • Frmr Israeli Intel Head: Netanyahu's Clash w/ Obama 'Intolerable', Risks end of US UN Veto
    • If he really was ready to try a unilateral attack on Iran and was barely talked out of it by his intel guys, I am finally willing to consider the possibility that he is nuts, not just a cynical liar. It means he lives in a complete fantasy land about how Iran would respond. Either he launches a small strike that does nothing but enrage Iran and get it to double down, or he launches a strike so big that it causes large civilian casualties, which derails his attempt to derail Palestine's bid for UN membership.

      Either way, the Syrian civil war and the growing cold war between the US and Russia since those days means that Putin will be far more willing to go to bat for Iran and vice versa. The US would be looking at a 1914 scenario where multiple alliance entanglements turn into a multi-front war. Israel is acting like Serbia and Austria, loose cannons expecting their big allies to bail them out.

      If Israels kills hundreds of Iranian civilians, it also means the Saudi coalition of right-wing Arabs against Iran becomes untenable overnight. At some point, Sunni fanaticism can't possibly be compatible with being battlefield allies with Israel. The current Saudi-US-Israeli aggression against Iran works because the 3 partners provide each other plausible deniability in their aims.

    • I would expect that the Israeli intelligence establishment is intimately familiar with the operations and power of the Israel Lobby, given that it is its greatest achievement. Yet these spy guys seem to be unaware of the sheer depth of the Lobby's hold over most of white America. Israel has lucked into the position of our single-combat warrior in our struggle against the rest of the world. (In ancient war, a champion from each army would battle before the main body.) We invest this foreign state with our own identity, as it confronts one large faction of the hordes of Others who are most of the human race. This is usually disguised in American rhetoric as a religious struggle. But we see this fight as the precursor to the battle of our "kind" to maintain white capitalist minority rule at home and abroad.

      Therefore, reason flies out the window. Israel seduced a crazy old widow with far too much power and now they're doomed by each other.

  • Leonard Nimoy's Last Wishes for Israel and Palestine
    • It also sounds like all of America's "moderate" racists, saying that the massive inequality in conditions between blacks and whites can't be accounted for because we must stop blaming past events (that all make whites look bad). So we will now just be a libertarian free market society with the blacks accepting that they will "start" this Monopoly game with no cash and many of their men in jail.

  • 5 Surprising Ways Iran is better than Israel
    • The Israeli trend line doesn't look good. If you build any state on a religious test, the religious will demand more and more - meaning the secular will be able to vote and speak less and less.

    • To add to spyguy's comments, the neocon-backed Hariri regime was accused of being a front for Saudi Arabia, which poured money to the Hariris & the Sunni business elite they represented (a small % of the country) to turn Lebanon into a corporate whorehouse at the expense of the mostly-Shia poor. Yes, Hariri was a neocon and a neoliberal at the same time, the worst of all worlds combo of Saudi bigotry and Wall Street dogma.

      After Hezbollah forcefully reminded everyone that the Shia have the numbers, Saudi Arabia began fomenting radical anti-Shia hatred and backing jihadis who were co-opting pro-democracy uprisings thruout the Arab world.

      Saudi Arabia is at war with Shiites and the poor. You can't fight this awesome oligarchic tyranny by Marquis of Queensbury rules. And Hezbollah is a far saner and less corrupt regime than what is now being imposed on the Arab world by rich oil sheikhs. I only wish Hezbollah had ruled Syria instead of Assad Jr. and his idiot army; they would have bargained with the disaffected Sunnis instead of attempting extermination and we wouldn't face a potential pan-regional war.

  • Massive win for Internet Liberty as FCC Mandates Equal Access for All
    • Since the Right will not stop fighting the FCC, it is important to keep the focus on Net Neutrality. Each side in this fight complains that the other side wants to change the status quo and ruin a successful new system. Our side says that neutrality is the norm, their side says that nonregulation is the norm. The latter is much easier to sell as an ideological taboo because it fits the entire right-wing narrative.

      If you can't convince conservative friends that neutrality is the thing that made the Net successful, then point out something their billionaire tribal leaders won't. Genuinely independent right-wing media will also be crushed by fast lanes. These guys claim to not be shills for the Wall Street agenda; what happens to their anti-Mexican conspiracy sites, anti-Federal Reserve sites, 9-11 sites, even white supremacist sites, when they get slowed to make way for more Fox News?

  • Scott Walker compares unions to ISIS
    • How to divide the working class and drive down wages forever: teach white private-sector workers to hate all workers who still have strong unions (govt employees, teachers) or are trying to form unions to get living wages (Latinos organizing in minimum-wage hell).

      ISIS = union = Mexican, is the intended myth.

  • Why Netanyahu's Congress Speech will Fail: Iran Can't be Stopped, only Monitored
    • Wouldn't it be funny if global free trade, so painstakingly built by FDR and Truman to replace the catastrophic tariff regime of the 1920s that spread Wall Street's crash worldwide, and then co-opted and manipulated by Wall Street's outsourcing and financial chicanery, were to collapse due to the sheer number of economic sanctions that helpless Great Powers are now imposing on each other?

      Think about it. The Great Depression broke up the world into 3 main trade blocs: the British & French empires + vassals, and the US hegemony, leaving Germany & Japan in catastrophic isolation. You know where that led.

      Now, the US whores out its foreign policy to the needs of Israel and Saudi Arabia, while trying to use NATO to encircle Russia, which is finding many disgruntled authoritarian regimes to ally with in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. But the latter is moving quickly to strengthen links with the rest of the BRICs, thus getting trade entry into a suddenly vibrant Africa and South America.

      No wonder the US wants more corrupt free trade pacts; we're trying to build a firewall around a part of the world, and call that "free trade". If Iran is promoted from observer status to full member of the SCO, that means China is ready to let the blocs form, because I assure you the trade wars will escalate. Our bloc will look like a retirement home for the senile rich.

    • Or, "don't bleed a mark who's already bleeding himself with military bases in 130 countries, and abandoning the general welfare to serve the disloyal, outsourcing corporate elite."

  • The "Christian State" of Idaho?
    • And if Christians ever become a minority in Idaho, its constitution will enforce the state's "Christian and democratic character" the way Israel is enforcing its "Jewish and democratic character." Then a particularly vicious, hateful brand of Christian can hijack the law and start narrowing the definition of Christian - and who gets to own property, get government subsidies, own a TV station, et al - to a tiny elite with no fear of electoral consequences.

  • Modern Silk Roads and China's Brave New World
    • China seems like the German Empire of 1913; its strategies have given it all the tools for economic imperium over the known world, but to keep its workers slaving away to create the surpluses that made this power possible, it has pandered to arrogant nationalism.

      The key difference is the low status of the military in Chinese culture. Germany's virulent nationalism was fostered by and embodied by the almighty Army inherited from Prussia, and its winning streak in wars.

      China has reason for despising armies. Chinese troops have an ugly history of cowardice and targeting of civilians and their vital irrigation systems; this made its civil wars horribly lethal affairs. Mao's command over his army was built on reversing this reputation, so he won. Civilian despots are the rule, not warlords.

      The problem is, will "Chinese exceptionalism" and the "nonnegotiable Chinese way of life" embrace some other kind of war, like cyberwar or drone war, that fits the technological narrative better than armies or navies? I could see China building drones by the millions - which is why it was foolish for the US to get that arms race rolling.

    • It would be ironic if China's GNP grew so fast that this massive passenger rail investment goes for naught, as Chinese use their money to switch to airliners (like the Japanese) or automobiles (like Americans). When I was in Singapore, no one used the beautiful subway system because the status-mad ethnic Chinese preferred to spend way too much on luxury cars and then get stuck in traffic on overburdened roads in a country the size of a large city.

      Electrifying freight rail will be the real success, I suspect.

  • Giuliani & Obama: Immigrant Families and Really Loving America
    • If you define the tribe, you define the love.

      I hope that everyone replying here is just being sarcastic and in fact is well aware that for tens of millions of Americans, "country" is a codeword for "tribe". Worse, it's a warrior tribe. Even worse, it's a fake warrior tribe, constructed by the London investors and the plantation owners who founded the American colonies as a way to co-opt the violent rage of their oppressed white servant classes, many of whom really were defeated Irish and Scottish tribesmen. The solution? The White Race, a new construct built to wage war on blacks and native Americans and conquer a continent and thus make the oligarchs a fortune.

      It's hugely important. It means that those of us who aren't "real" Americans are viewed as the conquered. "Real" Americans are necessarily a subset, a master race, not the Constitution or the law or society. Their relationship to the rest of us must be as a punisher. If they can't act that way, they get all angry and feel betrayed. Giuliani may disagree with the Protestant evangelicals and militia nuts about many things, but they all are united by their love of punishment.

      Warrior tribes can't share power. They will never be satisfied unless they have a monopoly of power.

    • Hey, betraying your ancestors and kissing the asses of the overlords of your adopted land in order to get ahead is damn hard work. You deserve to get rewarded by being able to hate and dehumanize those minorities who refused to do the same.

  • Oklahoma: AP History Abandoned For Christian Agenda
  • Jeb Bush on Foreign Policy: Peddling old Iraq Myths Again
    • The internal right-wing mechanics of this are:

      No antiwar candidate will ever get more than a few % of Republican convention delegates, and any candidate who is wishy-washy about war has no chance at all.

      The theocratic/neo-Confederate movement within the GOP (part of which is called the Tea Party) only hates the parts of government which do anything but punish non-whites at home and abroad. So talk of an apocalyptic war with Russia, China and Iran will make them very happy because they will see it as their chance to purge and purify America, by basically transferring all our tax dollars to the war machine.

      On the other hand, most of these people really, really hate the Bushes. Why? Because the Bushes represent the truth about where white Christian capitalist patriarchy leads. They live in a fantasy land where true free enterprise would never lead to corporate monopolies or banksters or unnecessary wars or climate change.

      Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush could spout exactly the same speeches for the next year and yet Cruz will always get the support of those who want revolutionary change and Bush will always get the support of those who love being corporate bitches. Cruz's father is a Christian fanatic preacher. That's become the Right's idea of a self-made entrepreneur, as if such men could miraculously (!) replace the Bush cabal and its peers in keeping America rich.

      But if the anti-Bush vote is split between the handful of genuine antiwar people sticking with Paul and the warrior maniacs sticking with Cruz, then neither can win.

      Meanwhile, all the other right-wing monsters like Walker are stymied by their inability to convert their much-loved viciousness and sadism in harming "bad" Americans in their home states into a convincing case of being able to do the same to the rest of the world. They can mouth the fearmongering lies, but they stumble when they have to talk specifics about where we will get a million troops to fight Putin.

      Unfortunately, Bush scores again here, because his family is known (and hated) for being well-connected with the real powers in the world. No matter how stupid W was, he could sound just convincing enough as someone who could ring up a "coalition of the willing" for Iraq or buffalo NATO into doing our dirty work in Afghanistan. Just enough to convince our land of bellicose cowards that we could get away with it.

      Paired with this is the need to manipulate the global financial system to pay for the war (or bribe someone else to fight). Greenspan was willing to warp space and time to help a Bush wage war. Would ANY Fed chair do it for Scott Walker?

      And that's what the complete militarization of the 2016 election does. Because if fear motivates us to war, then we're probably cowards, and we want someone else to do our fighting. Bush and Clinton can make it sound like they're well-connected enough to commit that crime for us. The irony is, the very fact that we believe that about them means we know (and accept) that none of what we say about how America and capitalism works is true. Only banksters could wage war the way we want it waged.

  • Not your Founding Fathers' America: Permanent War, Permanent Election Campaigns, Guns, Drones and Surveillance
    • Actually, it wasn't founded by all Americans setting aside their differences and working together.

      John Adams said that when the Revolution began, 1/3 was Patriot, 1/3 loyalist and 1/3 uncommitted.

      On top of that, women couldn't vote, most blacks couldn't vote, in fact pretty much only the rich could vote. So the Founding Fathers viewed themselves as the only Americans who mattered.

      Which is exactly what "patriots" want when they talk about taking their country back. Government is much smaller and simpler when its only constituents all look and think alike.

  • Today's Top 7 Myths about Daesh/ ISIL
    • Theology is not my strong suit; that's why I hold theocracy in contempt. I am interested in the mechanics of war and how they change over time.

      What ISIS seems to have done is refine the myth of the Afghan mujahedeen and their successors into a formula so ridiculously simple that no one knows how to defeat it. Under the nation-state system, you knew your enemy's territory; thus you knew that patriotic young men in that territory would travel to military depots, get equipped and trained, then get moved to the battlefield followed by a long, complex supply chain. All of that can be targeted by airstrikes. Now that is all invalidated.

      It works because the recruitment and movement of troops is inverted; by rejecting national sovereignity, these Islamists restore the demand that the entire umma rise up to defend the birthrights of any individual member anywhere on Earth. If that happens, you are obligated to drop what you're doing and get yourself to that battlefield if you must cross a dozen borders.

      It's kind of a sick joke, but years ago I was thinking about how convenient it would be if you could just tell all your supporters where the battlefield would be, and then just like Woodstock, 600,000 kids would mysteriously show up. These guys have figured out how to do this.

      The catch is, they cannot be properly trained or supplied, so they are killed quickly. But out of over one billion Moslems, most of them poor by any humane standard, it's only necessary for a few hundred young men a week to be disgruntled enough to make the trek to becoming cannon fodder. And with the fantastic inequality of wealth caused by the oil economy, a few fanatic sheikhs in Saudi or some other kingdom can pay for more surplus weapons out of their pocket change.

      So the fact that the people living under ISIS soon learn to hate it is irrelevant - which was never the case for the guerrilla movements of the past, whose ideologies were built on local organization. ISIS is the least interested in competent local government of any regime we've ever seen. The whole point is to draw in outsiders to keep fighting, thus creating more publicity which draws in more foreigners, until the entire world is at war.

      So it's like real estate bubbles or a hot streak in Vegas; it mushrooms until it collapses completely. Yet we keep having more real estate bubbles and gamblers in Vegas, because we selectively view the evidence of what happens to others with a bias for victory.

  • Hidden Dragon: China quietly becomes a Major Player in the Middle East
    • Well, at least this author is willing to bring up the possibility that a rival of the US is no saint. With the loaded language he started with, I thought he was going to tell us that Beijing would bring paradise to the Middle East.

      If he knew any history, he would know that trading empires start by buying control of economically strategic sites: ports, mines, opium fields. China is at that stage. The problem is what happens next. See "The Rise of the Trading State" by Richard Rosecrance. ALL trade empires get entangled in the internal affairs of their resource bitches, and expand territory and control to hold on to the goodies.

      For China to be different, it must push its satellites to develop economically, and not just in ways that satisfy the Shanghai Stock Exchange (like Wall Street and the City of London before it). China itself knows those ways better than we do. It used to argue for appropriate technology and internal trade. We are standing at the edge of a new age of decentralized manufacturing and electricity, which make perfect sense for nations whose internal infrastructure was never built because colonial masters only wanted to create one railroad from The Mine to The Port.

    • I believe you are correct. The British focused on Iran and Iraq for oil. I recall that a Hashemite king was imposed on Iraq when the Ottoman Empire was hacked up; that king was obligated to sell the UK oil for a penny a barrel. When the UK had to crush a rebellion against him, he was transferred to another puppet kingdom, Jordan.

      In contrast, the Sauds had nothing of value, so the British did not notice them. That left them free to become "our" Arabs in the '30s and '40s.

      As for Iran, you need only know that BP began as Anglo-Persian Petroleum and was part-owned by the Royal Navy.

  • Elon Musk's Battery for Solar Homes may Change Electric Utilities forever
  • Avenging its Christians, Egypt Bombs Libya in first formal Campaign since 1991
    • When the world becomes too complicated to handle, one-note johnnies become the opiate of choice. Isolationism everywhere, interventionism everywhere, global conquest in the name of God, "The End of History". Americans seem especially incapable of dealing with complexity.

    • Massacring a few thousand protestors in a country with only 6 million people is all we need to avert a civil war? That's great! I'll appreciate that the next time a pro-American tyrant commits mass murder to defend against the threat of revolution by the poor.

    • Did you even read my sentences? I was objecting to Jen Koehler saying that it's criminal for people to revolt against their government. Which is the opposite of your fifth paragraph. I'm saying that the takeover of genuine Arab revolts by oil shiekh-backed jihadis was NOT the CIA. Which is obviously true; they don't need the CIA because they've got plenty of money.

      And learn some American history. The French saved our asses against the British, and Louis XVI sure didn't do it because he cared about human rights and democracy.

      And yes, the

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