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Total number of comments: 33 (since 2013-11-28 15:54:46)


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  • Top 5 Planks of 2016 GOP Platform? Torture, War, Bank Corruption, Paid-For Elections
    • So basically the GOP voters are the people who cried when the Death Star was destroyed?

  • Far Right Extremist Avigdor Lieberman says Swedish Recognition of Palestine will Strengthen Extremists
    • Bill, maybe they misunderstood the term "foreign minister" and expected him to leave the country :-)

    • It's been interesting following the reactions on the editorials of major Swedish newspapers summarized here:
      link to

      The reaction is split, with a slight dominance of positive reactions. The most extreme negative response was from Per Gudmundson on the Right wing Svenska Dagbladet who wrote that "To recognize Palestine now would be to reward destructivity. The Palestinians have just conducted a war of aggression against Israel".

  • Israel Squatters Chop Down Dozens of Palestinian Olive Trees Near Nablus (800,000 since 1967)
  • Defying US, Sweden to Recognize Palestine (First in Western Europe)
    • This is a statement of intent by a minority government. To become official it has to pass through parliament, and it's not certain that will happen.

  • Can Tony Blair Mess up Egypt even Worse?
  • In the Deaths of 3 Israeli Teens, Likud Policies are also Implicated
    • "Grasping, indictive and petty policy always produces tragedies for those who pursue it."

      It would be nice if the world worked like that, but unfortunately it isn't fair. Often it only produce tragedies for the victims of the policy. USA is a good example of how ethnic cleansing and genocide can work with only minimal repercussions for the aggressors.

  • Mr. Kerry: Why Snowden can't "Make his Case" in "Our System of Justice"
    • Kewrry thinks Swowden should "man up" and return to USA for trial. I think Kerry should "“man up" and join the ICC for a possible trial.

  • Did the GOP Obsession with Monica Lewinsky contribute to 9/11? Is the Benghazi hysteria deja vu?
    • When you talk about Clinton's missile strikes, shouldn't you mention the other target too? That Clinton had Sudan's largest pharmaceutical factory bombed. That's what should have gotten him impeached and thrown in jail, and it also shows that bombs as anti-terrorist weapons is a very blunt tool with lots of collateral damage.

  • NSA monitored visits of "Radicalizers" to Chat Rooms, Skin Sites to Discredit Them
    • Juan, I understand you referred to the American constitution and the right it gives, or is supposed to give, US citizens, but that doesn't apply to anyone else. Try to look it from the perspective of a foreigner, though. The claim you make that it is more serious for your government to kill or spy on citizens than on foreigners may look good from the inside, but it is downright scary seen from the outside. It is especially scary given US history of war and dirty tricks around the globe.

    • "That one of the six is a US citizen or resident is especially troubling"

      Why? Would you say the same if it had been a Russian agency trying to discredit Americans? To me it seems a lot more natural that a government has the right to act against its own citizens than that it takes the right to act on a global scale.

  • Dear Press: Stop Enthusing About Habitable Planets until People like Va.'s Cuccinelli Stop Destroying this One
    • Climate change is not going to make the world uninhabitable or in itself drive humanity extinct. Earth has survived a lot more than that just fine, with just a minor mass extinction or two. Humans like rats and cockroaches are able to survive in most climates and should, as a species, do just fine even if more specialized species go extinct, although possibly in somewhat smaller numbers. Conflict for who those survivors are going to be may, on the other hand, be quite unpleasant, and if it involves larger uses of nuclear or bacteriological weapons might well kill us off.

      Going to other planets isn't impossible, just very complex and time consuming. If our civilization manages to survive long enough it seems quite plausible to me that we will send ships to them with either people in some kind of suspended animation, or, more likely, just fertilized eggs or even DNA-code, and machines that upon arrival raise a population.

      Juan is quite right that this is not going to happen unless we learn to take care of our own planet first, though. I do hope we try to build some more self-reliant space colonies, as that will really hammer in how complex it is to create and support an ecosystem when you don't have it for free like on Earth.

  • Whatever Happened to the Somali Pirates?
    • I once spoke to a Swedish officer who were supposed to promote the Swedish part of the anti-piracy activity, and I asked him if the Swedish military also did something against the poaching that started the whole thing when they were down there. He just looked at me like he didn't have any idea what I was talking about. Depressing!

  • Is Iran Ready to do a Deal with Obama over its Nuclear Program?
    • Juan Cole, I do know that 19,75% is not (in any practical sense at least) bomb grade, nor did I claim it was. Let me quote wikipedia:
      "Under the United States Atoms for Peace program it was equipped with 5-megawatt pool-type nuclear research reactor, named the Tehran Research Reactor (TRR), which became operational in 1967 fueled by highly enriched uranium.

      After the Iranian Revolution the United States cut off the supply of highly enriched uranium (HEU) fuel for the TRR, which forced the reactor to be shut down for a number of years. In 1987–88 Iran signed agreements with Argentina's National Atomic Energy Commission to convert the TRR from highly enriched uranium fuel to 19.75% low-enriched uranium, and to supply the low-enriched uranium to Iran."

    • Cheryl, is that modification really possible? When US delivered the reactor to Iran (during the Shah) it ran on weapons grade uranium. After the revolution Iran got help from Argentina to convert it to use 20% uranium instead. Modifying it again to run on 3,5% uranium seems to be very far from the original design.

    • " Iran should be willing to let them go anywhere, even military bases. "

      Do you think any other country would be that cooperative with military espionage? UN inspections lost their credibility when they were used for espionage in Iraq.

      Your analogy to Saddam Hussein is strange. There is no defense when your opponent is willing to lie through their teeth and have the media power to make their version stick, at least for a while. I doubt anything Saddam Hussein said or did could have changed the US war machine.

  • Arguing with President Putin
    • "But is it equally true that Russian refusal to allow an explicit UN Security Council resolution condemning Syria for using heavy military weapons against civilian non-combatants (which is how the protests were turned into a civil war) poses dangers to the credibility of the United Nations."

      Since UN has never had any such credibility it can't be damaged. It was clear from the start that the permanent members could prevent any too hard criticism of themselves or their friends. USA has done the same countless time with respect to Israel.

  • President Obama's Doubtful Grounds for Military Action against Syria
    • RD Sultan, promising to do something isn't the same as doing it. I suppose he might hand over some CW and claim it was all, but how can anyone be sure? It's not as if you can send inspection teams all over the country with a civil war raging. Then the next time CW:s are used Assad can blame the rebels since the government side now doesn't have any...

  • When Syria was a US Ally (or at Least Helpful)
    • " After 2001, the US sent captured al-Qaeda operatives to Syria to be tortured by that country’s secret police."

      And at least one totally innocent person, Maher Arar.

  • Snowden: US now using deprivation of Citizenship as a Weapon
    • Assange has no reason to fear extradition from Sweden to USA. If Britain didn't extradite him, Sweden certainly won't, Assange is far too well known. The Swedish government might do it, in fact did it once, if it thought it could be done without anyone noticing, but the case of Sweden letting CIA render two people to Egypt caused such a scandal when it became public that's it's unlikely to be repeated.

      As for the sexual assault charges, the case doesn't seem very strong, but the prosecutor understandably isn't happy about a celebrity being able to just flee the country without even being heard.

  • Erdogan Clears Gezi Park Protesters, sets Stage for Polarization
    • "Ironically, tear gas cannot be used in warfare because of the convention against chemical weapons,"

      Say "shouldn't be used". We know USA used it in Laos during the Vietnam war, for example. (Unless it was nerve gas as originally claimed in the infamous Time/CNN story, which was later retracted as it might just have been tear gas). Should anyone think use of tear gas was non-lethal and humanitarian, the goal was to disable the enemy so US forces could go in and shoot everyone in sight, mainly civilians.

  • Iran still Suffers from the illegal Diplomatic Hostage-Taking of 1979 (Azad)
    • Bill, I hope you don't really think "illegal" has anything to do with the outcome. USA has done a lot worse. How legal was it, for example, to invade Panama to get rid of their former employee Manuel Noriega, then imprisoning him after a very shady trial? How legal was it to shoot down an Iranian passenger plane over Iranian territory? How legal was it to bomb the largest pharmaceutical factory in Sudan?

      USA is just a bigger bully, that's all, and based on how USA had acted in Iran before there is no reason to think it would have treated Iran any better without the embassy occupation.

  • Ayatollah Cameron Threatens to invade Ecuador Embassy re: Assange (or, Whitewashing Iran for the US National Security State)
    • If USA wants Assange so much, and has such good relations with Britain, why didn't they just ask for his extradition from there? Why involve Sweden at all?

      The case against Assange in Sweden is kind of weak, but surely the police has a right to at least questing him regarding the allegations? My suspicion is that the case will be dropped at that point, which would surely be ironic given all the furor.

  • Free Syrian Army Controls Border Areas
    • Earlier lots of Iraqis fled from the fighting there into Syria. What has happened to them? Have they returned, moved to other countries, or are they now stuck in another civil war?

  • Obama slams GOP for casual war talk re Iran, stresses Costs
    • Juan Cole, what you see as impressive I, as a non-American, see as downright scary. Obama talks about the cost to USA, in lives and dollars, but he never mentions the consequences for Iran, he never mentions international laws against wars of aggression. This is an empire speaking, an empire that thinks it has the right to attack other countries when convenient, and the only thing stopping it from war against Iran is the cost. Weaker countries find themselves target of US missile strikes.

  • Obama Should Let the UN apply Economic Sanctions to Israel
    • Quentin, oddly enough the resolution establishing Israel, resolution 181, was passed by the General Assembly, not the Security Council.

      As for Obama, from his record so far he doesn't have the backbone to go against any significant interest group like AIPAC.

  • Iraqi Soldier Kills 2 Americans, Wounds 9
    • Where do the American soldiers withdraw to when they are, as has happened, killed by fellow American soldiers in America?

  • Repubs Plot Israel-Iran Apocalypse and the Collapse of the US Economy
    • As long as the Americans want Israel to bomb Iran and the Israeli want USA to do it we are reasonably safe.

  • Was Amiri a Double Agent who Hyped Iran's Nukes?
    • What about the ideas that Amiri's behavior is erratic, not because he works for CIA or the Iranian government but because he is an erratic person who came up with some ideas of his own?

  • Lockerbie Bomber released for Sake of BP Libya Drilling Rights
    • Releasing al-Megrahi was rather convenient for Britain too, as it got out of an embarrassing appeal giving more publicity to the dirty tricks used by the prosecution. As far as I can tell he was convicted on very shaky grounds. There may be secret evidence that Libya was behind the bombing, but the publically available evidence is weak.

  • The Orientalism of Israeli Troops Dancing
    • Somehow I associate to that disturbing dancing scene in Reservoir Dogs. This wasn't as explicit, but it's still dancing to show off your power over a helpless victim:
      link to

  • Blog Migration
    • "And, don’t worry, the template will improve as I move away from this generic look."

      There is nothing wrong with a simple, generic look on a blog. It is the content that matters, the rest is just fluff. Don't overdo your design.

Showing comments 33 - 1