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Total number of comments: 23 (since 2014-07-05 21:18:37)

William

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  • Can al-Abadi win over Iraq's Moderate Sunnis?
    • "Eric Margolis, one of our more astute observers, is not impressed."

      "Maliki was foolish enough to actually believe he was prime minister of Iraq and refused to allow US troops to stay there indefinitely."

      Eric Margolis may appear to be an "astute observer" by some who are awed by the fact that he is "not impressed," but Margolis is the one who is "foolish" in thinking that in refusing to sign off on the SOFA, Maliki was demonstrating his independence. Recall, please, that as soon as ISIS began defeating the Iraqi army and controlling large swaths of Western and Northern Iraq, Maliki began pleading for the U.S. to assist. None of this would have been necessary had Maliki and the Iraqi parliament signed off on the SOFA, which would have allowed troops to remain and would have deterred ISIS from spilling into Iraq from Syria. "Foolish" indeed!

  • Dutch Lawyer who saved Jewish Boy in WWII returns Medal to Israel over Bombing of his Family in Gaza
    • “All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake up in the day to find it was vanity, but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.”

      Just to be clear, Lawrence was not referring to the Zionists who established Israel; rather, he was referring to the Hejaz campaign of 1916-1917, led by Lawrence and other British officers along with the various Arab tribes, that delivered the Hejaz and Damascus from the Ottoman Turks.

  • The Battered People of Gaza: "We're not Abandoning the Resistance & No Peace until the Blockade is Lifted"
    • The question is, will lifting the siege of Gaza bring peace? No, it will not. It may end the immediate military confrontation, but is not the same as peace. Peace will only be achieved when all parties to the conflict officially, formally, and simultaneously extend recognition as nation-states to both Israel and Palestine. Anything less simply continues the festering resentment on both sides.

    • There has been no joint, official recognition of an Israeli nation-state and a Palestinian nation-state by both Israel and the Palestinian authorities, neither in 1988 nor since.

    • "there will be no peace until the Israeli siege on Gaza is lifted."

      Lifting the siege on Gaza would not bring peace, either. There will be no peace until the Israelis officially recognize the right of the Palestinians to a nation-state of their own, and all elements and factions of the Palestinian leadership officially recognize Israel's right to exist as a nation-state. And both official acts of recognition must occur simultaneously.

      It is a fool's errand to demand one side's recognition first, before extending recognition by the other. If all ruling factions and coalitions cannot agree to such simultaneous recognition, there will be no real peace. So put away childish rants of irredentism (both of "Greater Israel" and of "replacing Israel") and get down to the hard work of negotiating joint recognition.

  • Top 5 Ways the US is Israel's Accomplice in War Crimes in Gaza
    • "i.e. how can the American people respond effectively to stop the arm shipments and press for an end the blockade of Gaza? that will not be ignored?"

      On what basis do you reach the conclusion that your view of the situation represents that of the "American people"?

  • In Orgy of Destruction, IS Radicals reduce Ancient Iraqi Holy Sites To Rubble
    • The Islamic State adherents who are destroying sacred Islamic sites in Iraq, like the Taliban who destroyed the magnificent Buddhist statues in Bamian, are disgusting excuses for human beings. They are destroying part of the world's heritage. Such vermin would not be missed from this Earth if they were summarily shot at dawn. It would be a fate well-deserved.

  • Jews and Arabs Refuse to be Enemies: Social Media Campaign
    • It is correct that Jews and Arabs as categories are not necessarily in opposition. Nevertheless, "Jew" is not just a religious marker. Jewishness is both a religious and an ethnic marker. There are ethnic Jews who do not ascribe to Judaism. There are non-ethnic Jews who practice Judaism as converts. And, of course, there are ethnic Jews who practice Judaism.

  • In Palestine, R2P isn't Dead; It was never on the Table
    • The doctrine of "Responsibility to Protect" is neither an overarching moral nor overarching legal obligation. Insofar as states wish to apply boycotts, divestiture, and sanctions against a state, be it Libya, syria, Israel, Zimbabwe, or the Congo, fair enough. If certain states wish to engage their armed forces against such countries because of violations of human rights, that's fair, too. but it is neither a moral nor a legal obligation. It is up to individual states to make that determination.

      The United States engaged in armed force (from the air) against Libya, in conjunction with NATO allies and Qatar, under a UN Resolution that was prompted, in part, by the idea (if not doctrine) of a "Responsibility to Protect," to get rid of Gaddhafi, and what was gained? A chaotic, undisciplined, failed state run by militias in various areas. Bill Clinton's "apology" notwithstanding, we are fortunate we did not interven militarily in Rwanda in 1994 when the Tutsi and Hutu were at each other's throats. Likewise in Syria with the Assad regime and the rebels.

      Some conflicts are best resolved by the complete defeat of one side by the other, or when both sides are so exhausted they call for diplomatic intervention. But to get involved in every conflict in which there are atrocities is a fools' errand. To quote John Quincy Adams's succinct observation in 1821: "[The United States] is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own."

      Wise words then, wise words today.

  • Where is Palestine?
    • Palestine could hardly be called "war booty" for the British under the League of Nation's Mandate. It had no political or economic value to the British, and it turned out to be much more of a headache than anything else. That's why the British uncermoniously turned it over to the United Nations.

      Whether or not the United Nations should have created the two states of Israel and Palestine out of the old British Mandate (which is what actually happened, although it was rejected by the Arab states) is a valid question. I have always thought it made the Palestinians and Arabs pay for the sins of Europe. Nevertheless, If one wishes to discuss the issue, it is helpful to know the history of the problem and not throw around terms such as "war booty," (What would you call Palestine when it was under the Ottoman Empire, by the way?) and confuse the British with the United Nations in the creation of Israel.

    • You are correct that Great Britain did not "own" Palestine, but you are wrong when you compare Palestine to British control of its Imperial possessions of India, Hong Kong, and in Africa. Palestine was never a British Imperial possession. It was run under a League of Nations Mandate administered by the British.

      Moreover, Britain did not "give Palestine to a bunch of Europeans and Americans." Britain turned Palestine over to the United Nations, and it was the United Nations that divided Palestine into Jewish and Palestinian states in 1948. To say that Israel is "a remnant of that [British} Empire" reveals a lack of understanding of the post World War I League of Nations Mandate system and the United Nations' role in the establishment of Israel, to say nothing of the British Empire.

  • Obama needs Europe in responding to MH17 Crash, but NSA Spying a Bar
    • You are to be commended for following more than the "fake mass media news." Those of us with whom you disagree do likewise.

      Aside from the "Maine" episode of 1998, your examples lack any evidence and appear to be woven from whole cloth without substance. Malaysian Airlines, like many others, routinely used the air corridor over Ukraine. There is clear evidence of SA-11 launchers returning to Russian territory, there is no CIA report "suggesting" that those who fired the SA-11 were Ukrainian central government soldiers, nor is there evidence that KAL-007 was on a "surveillance mission."

      You will have to do better than that to be taken seriously.

    • I think even Putin is beginning to realize that by biting off the Crimea from Ukraine and instigating and supporting the Eastern Ukraine, pro-Russian separatists, he has unleashed a whirlwind that is now out of his control. Russia needs to pay a price for its actions, but we have bigger fish to fry with Russia than Ukraine, and we need to work with Putin to give him an "off-ramp" to climb down and eventually restore a reasonable relationship that is in both our interests.

    • On the contrary, the evidence is very much pointing to the Eastern Ukraine pro-Russian separatists as having shot down the aircraft. Have you not been following news of the tragedy?

      Speaking of emotionalism and propaganda, your attempt to call the perpetrators "anti-fascists" fits the bill alright. A little less heat and a little more light would seem to be in order.

    • "No matter who shot the plane down it was clearly an accident.,,,So trying to make something out of this seems to me a complete lack of bad faith. ...So clearly the US gov. will only tell the world what it wants the world to know not what the world should know."

      The above statement is ridiculous on its face. 283 people were killed with a ground to air missile, with little doubt that it was the Eastern Ukraine Russian separatists who shot it down. And you say we should not make "make something out of this."

      I'm sure you would not say that about the Israelis who killed four boys on the beach in Gaza. That was no doubt a mistake as well. The Israelis claim they mistook the boys for Hamas, and they probably did. But that should not let the Israelis off the hook, and I'm sure you would not, nor would I. Why, then, are you so willing to let those who killed 298 people by firing a missile at a civilian aircraft off the hook? Could it be because the U.S. opposes their actions? That is nothing more than a double standard and is unworthy of a rational intellect.

  • Falluja and Gaza: Why Counter-Terrorism fails when the Problem is Political
    • "This sounds familiar. The French and Americans learned this in Vietnam……….oh….what’s that? I stand corrected. Only the French….."

      You might consider "correcting" yourself by reading a bit of history. If the French "learned" anything from their Vietnam experience, they sure didn't apply it to the Algerian War. They got kicked out of Vietnam in 1954, and waged war in Algeria from 1954 until they gave that up in 1962. So much for lessons "learned" by the French.

  • Israel, Gaza and the Fatal Spirit of Versailles
    • Agreed that harsh retribution, particularly the impossible reparations (primarily demanded by France) contributed to the rise of Nazi Germany. Nevertheless, the primary reasons for Nazi Germany's rise after World War I, and Germany's post World War II development as a contributing member of the international system are that, except for a small area of East Prussia (and for only a couple of months) Germany did not experience allied troops fighting within its borders. This led to the "stab in the back" theory that German politicians were responsible for Germany's defeat.

      World War II ended with the unconditional surrender of Germany and the thorough and complete occupation of the country. The contrast and results of the post-war development of Germany after World Wars I and II could not be more striking. Although the World War I allies of Britain, France, and (to a degree) the U.S. were too exhausted to fight further, after Germany agreed to the Armistice, history suggests that it might have been better had the allies invaded Germany and demanded unconditional surrender, as they did in World War II. The Germans then would have actually experienced defeat and occupation, which might have led to a different trajectory for Germany in the 1930s.

  • Quashing Jewish Dissent on Israel
    • "Then Nelson Mandela was no angel either. Good. The angels work for rich white guy God, not us.

      Aristide targeted for necklacing fellow black Haitians who opposed him. Is this your concept of "good"?

    • "That’s BS. The necklacing story was based on a doctored video, probably part of the CIA campaign to discredit him. Thanks for being today’s gullible right wing stooge."

      From the October 21, 1993 edition of the Baltimore Sun, hardly a right-wing newspaper:

      "At a rally of his supporters, some of whom were holding up tires and machetes, he obliquely suggested that they punish political opponents with necklacing.

      'Do not fail to give him what he deserves,' Mr. Aristide told the excited crowd about the opposition. '. . . What a nice tool. What a nice instrument. What a nice device. It is a pretty one. It is elegant, attractive, splendorous, graceful and dazzling. It smells good. Wherever you go, you feel like smelling it.'"

      This was clearly a reference to "necklacing," and it was not "doctored" by the CIA; it was reported by journalists on the spot.

      Your ad-hominem attack ("gullible right-wing stooge") says a lot more about you than it does about me, or others with whom you disagree.

    • "I had no idea of Aristide’s background: the American media reports that I saw were not very informative, even about what happened to him, much less why."

      Aristide was no angel. He encouraged his supporters in Haiti to "necklace" his opponents, i.e., to place a gasoline-soaked tire around their necks and light it.

  • The Map: A Palestinian Nation Thwarted & Speaking Truth to Power
    • "The average U.S. citizen can demand that the President, and the entire congress, be impeached..."

      The average U.S. citizen can demand a lot of things that will never happen. Your suggestion, quoted above, would be a neat trick indeed, since it is the U.S. House of Representatives that passes the Articles of Impeachment by a majority vote. Are you really suggesting that a majority of the House members would vote to impeach the "entire Congress" which, of course, would include themselves?

      And that would just be for impeachment, which constitutes the formal allegations. Impeached officials must then be tried by the Senate, and it requires a two-thirds majority to convict. Do you expect them to convict themselves? You need to better understand the impeachment process before making such suggestions.

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