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william james martin

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  • Who does Jerusalem belong To?
  • Tom Cotton's 'Chickenhawk' Taunt at Iran FM Demeans Jeb Bush, GOP Field
    • The last president with significant military experience was Jimmy Carter who was a Naval officer, commander of a submarine, and nuclear engineer serving under Hymen Rickover who oversaw the conversion to nuclear power propulsion.
      Because he concentrated his presidency on peacemaking and the establishment of treaty regimes, his considerable military experience and military expertise is frequently overlooked, or not even known at all, nor factored in when analyzing many of his presidential decisions.

    • william james martin 05/03/2015 at 8:59 am

      The last president with significant military experience was Jimmy Carter who was a Naval officer, commander of a submarine, and nuclear engineer serving under Hymen Rickover who oversaw the conversion to nuclear power propulsion.

      Because he concentrated his presidency on peacemaking and the establishment of treaty regimes, his considerable military experience and military expertise is frequently overlooked, or not even known at all, nor factored in when analyzing many of his presidential decisions.

  • The Middle East Policy of President Bernie Sanders
    • william james martin 05/02/2015 at 2:28 pm

      You spoke of a disproportionate response by Israel to the rocket flux by Hamas.

      That, of course, assumes Hamas was the initiator and Israel, in its eternal innocents, was just 'responding'

      That is very much a false assumption.

      However that may be, consider the following:

      n 1945, the US exploded the nuclear bomb, known as ‘Fat Man’ over Nagasaki. Fat Man had a blast yield of 21 kilotons of TNT equivalent explosive potential.

      Israel exploded the equivalent amount of explosive power over Gaza this past summer.

      Rashid Khalidi says in his essay, “The Dahiya Doctrine”: “During the latest campaign, stretching over fifty days in July and August of 2014, Israel’s air force launched more than six thousands air attacks, and its army and navy fired about fifty thousand artillery and tank shells. Together, they utilized what has been estimated as a total of twenty one kilotons, or twenty one thousand tons, of high explosives. The attack from air involved weapons ranging from drones and American Apache helicopters firing US-made Hellfire missiles to American F-16’s carrying two thousand pound bombs. According to the commander of the Israeli Air Force, there were several hundred F-16 attacks on targets in Gaza, most of them using these powerful munitions. A two thousand pound bomb creates a crater 15 meters wide by 11 meters deep and propels lethal fragments to a radius of 365 meters. One or two of these can destroy a multistory building …

  • Obama with Drama: Translating his comments on Israel's Netanyahu from the Vulcan
    • There are those who are excited because of the Huffington Post interview in which Obama expressed his disbelieve that Netanyahu was seeking a two state solution and also suggested that there might be a new response to Palestinian initiatives in the UN Security Council.

      But it is also important to recognize what else he said.
      He said that America remained committed to the security of Israel and that financial and security and military cooperation between the two countries would not change.

      He also said that he believes that Israel was founded on the basis of its historic Jewish homeland and the need to have a Jewish homeland. Thus Obama again embraces the Zionist mythology of a two millennial long 'homeland' awaiting the 'return' of its children.

      He seems to be saying that his only problem is with Netanyahu and that everything else is just fine.

      Obama strikes me as woefully uninformed about undemocratic nature of Israel and of the many laws within Israel which privilege Jews and denies equal rights to the Palestinian minority inside Israel.

      He does not seem to me to even be keeping up with the day to day violence perpetrated against Israel's Palestinian minority or of those living under occupation.

  • Tom Friedman & funding ISIL: Israel/Iran Derangement Syndrome
  • Bad News for US Biotech: GOP's Scott Walker so anti-science he can't affirm Evolution
    • Ronald Reagan did not believe in evolution. He said it was a 'theory only' and was increasingly regarded with skepticism by the scientific community.

  • Why Obama is Right to avoid double standard about Modern Christian Atrocities
    • Let's not forget the slavery of New Hampshire and Rhode Island and that there have been slave burial grounds uncovered in New York City.

  • The Latest Blow to Israeli-Palestinian Peace
    • william james martin 01/24/2015 at 9:51 am

      This article is a synopsis of what everyone already knows who has followed this issue.

  • Obama to GOP: More Iran sanctions lead to War (& 7 other Foreign Policy points in SOTU)
    • william james martin 01/21/2015 at 10:19 am

      Obama said, "When what you’re doing doesn’t work for 50 years, it’s time to try something new."

      Substituting '25' for '50' in this sentence, it might have occurred to him that this concept should apply to the Israeli-Palestinian 'peace talks'.

      And maybe he could refrain from using his veto at the UN Security Council in order to keep Israeli-Palestinian diplomacy in the same unproductive rut in which Israel continues its ethnic cleansing policies while the Palestinians get nothing but verbiage.

  • Israel's Syria Strike: Is it trying to Help al-Qaeda vs. Hizbullah & Iran?
    • william james martin 01/20/2015 at 9:22 am

      Israeli election year internal politics might be another reason, along with opportunity.

      And it is worth keeping in mind, Netanyahu is a not totally rational man, along with some of his friends.

  • Top 5 Five reasons 2014 was a game-changer for Palestine
    • william james martin 12/29/2014 at 10:55 am

      Ramzy Baroud has left out of his analysis the decision of the PA to ditch the so-called 'peace talks' and to pursue legal remedies in the UN and in international bodies, which, in my way of thinking, is more important than those he mentions. The voting in the UN Security Council stating that Israel must withdraw from all land conquered in the '67 War and to recognize east Jerusalem as the capital of the state of Palestine my come up this week. The US may veto it, but if it does, it and Obama will pay a price and the PA has said it will quickly pursue memberships in many other UN and international bodies and conventions.

      The so-called 'peace process' which has been ongoing for the last 25 years concomitant with the erosion of the right of Palestinians to live in dignity along with the erosion of their land and resources is a complete sham designed to gain time while Israel creates facts on the ground. It is a complete sham and everyone, but President Obama knows it.

      The decision to pursue legal remedies in international institutions and conventions is the only novel happening in this ongoing melodrama in decades.

  • The momentum to recognize a Palestinian State is unstoppable
    • william james martin 10/22/2014 at 6:00 pm

      Despite Obama's ramblings to the contrary, it is a complete myth that Jews longed for a homeland for 2000 years.

      During the 2000 year period, the numbers of Jewish pilgrimages to Palestine was minuscule compared to the numbers of such Christian pilgrimages.

    • Mr Balfour's motivation was not political, except perhaps secondarily.

      Mr Balfour was a true believer embedded in a religious Christian culture which favored the Zionist program from the time of the early Puritans well into the 19th and 20th century when Zionism was championed by such powerful figures as Lord Shaftesbury, and Prime Minister Palmerston and about every other English politician including, later, Winston Churchill and whose Zionist appeals appear in the English literature from Milton to George Eliot.

      In fact, Zionism is a creation of Christians, English Christian mostly, and not Jews.despite what Obama and Mr Netanyahu think. Zionism did not become a project of Jews until about the 1880's in the Russian Pale.

  • Israel's Gaza Campaign Endangers US Security: Why Obama & Kerry are Furious
    • william james martin 07/28/2014 at 7:43 pm

      Obama may or may not be furious. but he is still blabbing about "Israel's right to defend itself" and still calling Hamas a "terrorist" group and even using Israel's pet phrase. "Hamas's terrorist infrastructure".

      Anyone who thinks Obama is progressive on this issue should think again.

      Obama supports everything Israel is doing, he just want to keep the killing of Gazans down to a more manageable number.

  • Is Rula Jebreal right about US Media Bias against Palestinians?
    • william james martin 07/23/2014 at 1:12 pm

      Don't forget. The Flat Earth Society deserves its equal time also.

    • william james martin 07/22/2014 at 4:47 pm

      Well, part of his background, Juan, is that he is thoroughly committed Zionist. There are a number of Youtube videos of him defending the establishment of the State of Israel and it great value to the world.

      I have never heard of him giving any defense of a Palestinian state or anything Palestinian.

      He is a polished professional. But both he and CNN have a pronounced bias.

    • Do not forget the extreme pro-Israel bias of CNN's anchor, Wolf Blitzer, formerly of the Jerusalem Post.

      It is pretty clear from his many remarks, introductions, summaries, etc that his perspective is that of an Israel.

      During the era of Palestinian suicide bombings, in the early 90's, CNN would provide all day long stories and pictures of the scene of the bombings, continually coming back to these scenes throughout the day, while the many more Palestinian deaths carried out by IDF under Ariel Sharon were ignored.

      Nor was there any context given for these suicide bombings which were usually responses to IDF assassination of Hamas leaders, including Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, head and founder of Hamas, and his successor, Dr Rantissi.

      Some saw in these assassination, a strategy of Ariel Sharon of intentionally provoking such Palestinian responses such as suicide bombings in order to reap political benefit knowing the CNN and other media would giver full coverage to the deaths or injuries of civilians in Israel while ignoring the provocations for it or the many more Palestinian deaths at the hands of the Israeli army and air force.

  • Gaza: 4 Dead Boys on the Beach & Israel's Precision War
    • william james martin 07/17/2014 at 9:05 am

      It may not have been an accident.

      Many Israeli soldiers, some of whom are philosophically aligned with the settler movement, Gush Emunim, ideals, and imbued with rabbinical talk of Jewish superiority and squatter Palestinians on Jewish land will happily kill Palestinian children. And they do so with complete impunity, or if it happens to be newsworthy, are given a slap on the wrist, and we learn that it is "under investigation."

      Witness the cold bloodied murder of two Palestinian youths shot through the heart while casually walking across the street and caught inadvertently on security cameras. I have not heard of any prosecution of the IDF soldiers who killed the boys.

  • The Map: A Palestinian Nation Thwarted & Speaking Truth to Power
    • william james martin 07/13/2014 at 8:01 pm

      The only concern of the Zionist movement for the Jews being slaughtered in Europe was fear that it might divert resources and attention from the effort to build a Jewish state in Palestine.

      This statement by David Ben Gurion is typical:

      "Ben Gurion who told a meeting of the Labor Zionist in December:

      If I knew that it would be possible to save all the children in Germany by bringing them over to England, and only half of them by transferring them to Eretz Israel, then I would opt for the second alternative. For we must weigh not only the life of these children, but also the history of the People of Israel.13"

    • william james martin 07/13/2014 at 7:56 pm

      Whatever their personal views, you are exaggerating the influence of Henry Ford and Charles Lindberg on the American political psyche, as you are distorting the motivations of the Christian Zionists.

    • The main reason the US mostly blocked Jewish immigration from Nazi German in the years before and during the Second WW was due to Zionist efforts to divert European Jews to Palestine.

      In particular, Rabbi and Zionist leader Stephen Wise testified before congress that the bill sponsored by Will Rogers Jr and Guy Gillette to allow a significant number of Jews to enter the US was seriously defective because it did not mention Palestine.

  • Bush Trifecta lands on Obama: Gaza, Iraq and Afghanistan Imploding
    • william james martin 07/10/2014 at 8:44 pm

      One cannot even imagine Obama engaging Israel the way Jimmy Carter engaged the Israeli leader Manachem Begin, and Anwar el Sadat at Camp David. Obama simply does not have the knowledge of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to engage Netanyahu in the same kind of extended debates which took place between Carter and Begin at Camp David in 1978.

    • william james martin 07/09/2014 at 5:38 pm

      Obama is not just cleaning up the mess that Bush left. Obama's inaction on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has allowed the situation to deteriorate, much like a physician leaving an open wound to fester while just wishing it would go away.

      During the Obama administration, Palestinian rights and property and resources have further diminished at an accelerating pace while the Israeli government has become more entrenched in its program of ethnic cleansing, and the settlers and settlements more entrenched in the occupied territories.

      Obama's consistent and predictable vetoes of any Security Council resolution attempting to bring Israel into compliance with international law sets the precedence of a Jewish state above the law and international norms.

    • william james martin 07/09/2014 at 10:41 am

      Obama wanted to 'pivot to the East' because he knows or understands or cares very little about the Middle East and just wants it to go away. He has not a clue what to do about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict except to hand it over to George Mitchell and then, when that failed, to hand it to John Kerry and to leave it to them to solve the problem without any guidance at all and without any presidential pressure being applied to Israel
      On the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Obama accepts completely the Zionist narrative of people longing for a homeland for two thousand years and then creating a state because of Nazi oppression, amplifying the myth of expulsion of Jews from Palestine 70 AD, which did not happen, and that the of the ‘longing to return’ persisting over two millennia.

      In fact there was no longing of Jews to “return” to Palestine and the Jewish embrace of Zionism did not occur until the 1880’s. It did so in the Russian Pale because of the onset of waves of anti-Semitism.
      The Jewish embrace of Zionism was preceded and conditioned by four centuries of Christian Zionism with almost the entire nineteenth century leadership of England exerting it best efforts to promote a Jewish ingathering in Palestine.
      The Zionist movement has never credited the contribution of the Christian Zionists in creating and then promoting Zionism.

  • In the Deaths of 3 Israeli Teens, Likud Policies are also Implicated
    • william james martin 07/01/2014 at 11:32 am

      The world is outraged by the murder of the three Israeli teenagers - from President Obama to Pope Francis to the UN Secretary General.

      In the meantime, while the Israeli Operation Whatever was going on, 10 Palestinians, mostly young people were murdered by the Israeli troops, two of them, on camera for the world to see, shot through the heart while doing nothing more than just walking across the street.

      According to the website, Ifamericansknew,org, which coordinates its figures with other human rights organizations, including B'Tselem, Israel has killed 1,523 children over the last 14 years, since Oct of 2000. That amounts to roughly 108 children per year, or roughly one Palestinian child killed every three days.

      Murder an Israeli Jew and world leaders go berserk. Murder a hundred Palestinian children, and they do not even bother to shrug.

  • Israeli Occupation Army harasses Palestinians on Pretext of Missing Settler Youth
    • With the US government, as well as the US president, focused on Iraq, Prime Minister Netanyahu is using the diversion of attention and the occasion of the three kidnapped teenagers to destroy Hamas in the West Bank.

      According to the Jerusalem Post, in November of 1989, Mr. Netanyahu, then Deputy Foreign Minister, told an audience at Bar Ilan University, that the government had failed to exploit internationally favorable situations, such as the Tiananmen Square massacre in June of 1989 when world attention and the media were focused on China, to carry out ‘large scale’ expulsions at a time when ‘the danger would have been relatively small’. Later, when Netanyahu denied making these statements, the Jerusalem Post produced a tape recording of this speech

  • Israel Accused of War Crime over Army "Execution" of Innocent Palestinian Teens
    • william james martin 05/22/2014 at 9:33 am

      More typically: From the Guardian, Nov 2005:

      "An Israeli army officer who fired the entire magazine of his automatic rifle into a 13-year-old Palestinian girl and then said he would have done the same even if she had been three years old was acquitted on all charges by a military court yesterday.

      "The soldier, who has only been identified as "Captain R", was charged with relatively minor offences for the killing of Iman al-Hams who was shot 17 times as she ventured near an Israeli army post near Rafah refugee camp in Gaza a year ago.

      "Palestinian witnesses said they saw the captain shoot Iman twice in the head, walk away, turn back and fire a stream of bullets into her body."

    • Taysir Hayb, Mark Koroi, was a Bedouin member of the Israeli army, not a Jew.

      No Israeli Jew has ever suffered any serious punishment for killing a Gentile.

  • Top Ten Ways in which it was Actually the Israeli Gov't that Derailed the Peace Talks
    • Netanyahu's demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state has nothing at all to do with religion.

      It is rather a demand that the Palestinians recognize the validity of the Zionist project and Zionist movement.

      Netanyahu, to say nothing of Ben Gurion, Begin, Sharon, has said many times that Jews have a 'historical' right, not a religious right, to the 'land of Israel'.

      Netanyahu sees Jews, as did Jabotinsky, as a race of people related by blood. And he believe in a continuity of Jewish people from ancient times located in Palestine to the present. He most probably believes in a Roman expulsion of Jews from 'the land of Israel in 70 CE, or possibly 135 CE, though this scenario is unsupported by both historians and archeologists, and in fact is nothing more than a Zionist myth.

      The Zionist project, while having a Christian origin became a project of Jewish writers in the late 19th century. These Jewish writers, centrally Herzl, were secular and not religious.

  • On Iranian New Year, Russia hints it May Swing Support to Tehran over Crimea Sanctions
    • william james martin 03/20/2014 at 11:42 am

      One way that the Israeli/AIPAC control over American foreign policy has harmed the US and international diplomacy is that the severe Iranian sanctions, driven by Israel, which also sanction European firms who do business with Iran, has caused Europe to become dependent on oil imports from Russia which now supplies most of Europe's oil.

  • Israelis slam Kerry over "Jewish State" Remarks as Abbas Rejects Demand
    • william james martin 03/17/2014 at 10:18 am

      You misunderstand, Mark. Netanyahu's claim has little or nothing to do with religion. See my comment above, beginning with, "Nr Netanyahu’s insistence on Palestinian recognition ...", which you evidently did not read.

    • The problem is not that at all Peter Green. The problem is that Israel is determined to take over all of Palestine and to destroy the Palestinian people, as a people, as it has been programed to do since the invention of Zionism, mostly by Herzl, at the turn of the 20th century.

    • Nr Netanyahu’s insistence on Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, meaning a state for the world’s Jews, is equivalent to Palestinian endorsement of the Zionist project initiated by Theodore Herzl at the end of the 19th century and consist of:
      1) That every Jew in the world is a citizen of the Jewish state and is free to live in Israel if he so choses.
      2) Jews, because of historical reason, involving that Jews lived in the land of Palestine 2000 years ago, have a natural right to repopulate Palestine.
      3) The internal structure and laws of the Jewish state is designed uniquely for Jews.
      4) That, for historical and biblical reasons, Jerusalem must be the undivided capital of the Jewish state
      Unfortunately, Obama, through inadvertence and general ignorance has already endorsed these principles. When speaking of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and its resolution, he has always spoken of its goal as a ‘state for Jews’ and a ‘state for Palestinians’ living side by side, as if these had mirror image meanings.

  • Assad Regime’s Drought Response Triggered Syrian War
    • Ms Chatel did an impressive amount of first hand research on the water and drought conditions, walking the land herself, interviewing farmers and those who fled the eastern rural areas for the cities in search of work. That was her focus.

      What was not her focus, or given a lot of consideration, was the political situation stimulated by the Arab Spring and the rolling effect of liberal revolutions, or apparent revolutions, in Tunisia, Egypt, and Yemen.

      Syrians attuned to Al Jazeera were as intimately knowledgeable with the daily revolutionary events in Tihrir Square as were the people of Egypt.

      As far as Ms Chatel's analysis goes, the Arab Spring may not as well have even existed and the Assad Alawi government may as well have been a liberal democracy which, however, mismanaged the water resources.

      But he Assad regime was not a liberal democracy. It was a repressive police state, in which political dissent was met with midnight arrest and incarcerations without due process which not infrequently consisted of torture and degrading conditions.

      It was a state dedicated to the control of the government by the Assad family and his Alawi clan.

      Many people of Syria felt it was their turn for democracy.

  • Israel Tries to Bully Europe over Criticism of Planned 1800 Squatter Units on Palestinian Land
    • Yaalon sarcastic remark about Kerry's efforts to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through negotiations reflects the exact view of the Israeli government: The Israeli government does not want a negotiated but prefers to continue their unilateral takeover of Palestinian land.

      Their strategy is at least since Yitzhak Shamir who said upon his electoral loss in 1992 after having served for longer than any Israeli prime minister with the exception of David Ben Gurion: "I would have carried on autonomy talks for ten years, and meanwhile, we would have reached half a million people in Judea and Samaria.” When reminded that the recent election indicated that there did not exist majority support for a Greater Land of Israel, Shamir said, “I didn’t believe there was a majority in favor of a Greater Land of Israel. But it can be attained over time. There must be a historic direction. If we drop this basis, there would be nothing to prevent the development of a Palestinian state."

  • Top Ten Ways Ariel Sharon Ruined Israel and the Middle East
    • william james martin 01/12/2014 at 11:10 pm

      ... in negotiations over the withdrawal of the PLO the thorniest issue had always been the guarantees which Arafat demanded for the safety of the he Palestinian civilians the fighting men were to leave behind. To the end, he had been agonizingly aware of the inadequacy of those that he finally accepted. True, the US had given its 'word of honor' that the Israelis would never enter West Beirut, and special envoy Habib had written to the Lebanese prime minister, Safaq Wazzan:

      "The government of Lebanon and the United States will provide appropriate guarantees for the safety ... of law-abiding Palestinian non-combatants left in Beirut, including the families of those who have departed ... The United States will provide its guarantees on the basis of assurances received from the government of Israel and the leaders of certain Lebanese groups [I e, the Phalangists] with which it had been in contact."

      -- David Hirsh, 'Beware of Small States', p153

    • In 1978, on the occasion of president Jimmy Carter's presiding over a meeting of the Israeli Cabinet-the only non-Jew to have ever chaired such a meeting-Carter was told by then minister of agriculture, Ariel Sharon, that there already was a Palestinian state, that it was Jordan, and that Carter could take for granted that within the next few years there would be 2 to 3 million Jews living in the occupied territories. Sharon added that "even as we speak, Jewish families are migrating into Judea and Samaria."

  • Did Ariel Sharon get a pass on War Crimes because he was White?
    • That is, at best, an allegation, which I think no one has ever heard of. Sharon's crimes were on display for the entire world.

    • william james martin 01/13/2014 at 6:26 pm

      What's your source for that, Mark. And what possibly could have been Arafat's motivation?

      I think that is a fantasy.

    • Sharon was concerned that he might be hauled of the criminal court in Belgium. Some allege that he had Elie Hobeika, commander of the Christian Phalanges that entered the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Lebanon, taken out with a car bomb in 2002.

  • Top Ten Things Bob Gates was Wrong about, Some Criminal
    • I do not believe there is a straight line connection between the covert support for the mujahidin, which included bin Laden, initiated by the Carter administration following the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and al Qaeda as it emerged in the mid eighties, nor do I believe the Carter administration was responsible for the mujahidin's evolution.

      Three central concepts underlie the evolution of bin Laden's thinking as Sept 11, 2001 approached.

      They were, 1) the continuing occupation of Palestinian territories by Israel and the underlying anger of toward the West for imposing the state of Israel in the middle of the Arab world. This attitude has always been a subtext of Arab sentiment beginning well before Carter.

      2) The Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982 which included the deaths of approximately 20,000 Lebanese and Palestinians civilians, occupation by Israel of an Arab capital, and it summer long shelling and corresponding destruction, and then the massacres, orchestrated by Ariel Sharon, at the Sabre and Shatila refugee camps in Beirut of which the US had given its pledge to protect after the evacuation from Beirut of the PLO fighters.

      3) The Gulf War of 1990 in which the Americans were given permission by the Saudi government to use its air bases from which to launch attacks.

      These were historical events, two of them at least, which occurred after 1980 for which the Carter administration bares no responsibility and for which there is no direct causal relation to the evolution of al Qaeda as it evolved over the next two decades.

  • Recognizing Israel as a Jewish State is like saying the US is a White State
    • william james martin 01/07/2014 at 4:00 pm

      what does Rabbi Akiva have to do with anything?

      Rabbi Akiva was a footnote to history, and a minor one at that?

    • william james martin 01/07/2014 at 1:20 pm

      People seem to have forgotten this statement by outgoing Prime Minister Ytzhak Shamir, Israel's second longest serving Prime Minister upon his electoral loss in 1992:

      ‘I would have carried on autonomy talks for ten years, and meanwhile, we would have reached half a million people in Judea and Samaria.”
      When reminded that the recent election indicated that there did not exist majority support for a Greater Land of Israel, Shamir said, “I didn’t believe there was a majority in favor of a Greater Land of Israel. But it can be attained over time. There must be a historic direction. If we drop this basis, there would be nothing to prevent the development of a Palestinian state.”

    • william james martin 01/07/2014 at 11:27 am

      Formally recognizing the existence of a Jewish state cannot be squared with Enlightenment liberalisms as articulated by John Locke, Thomas Jefferson, John Madison and those who created the ideas that formed the basis of our country as well as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, ratified by the United Nations.

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  • Top 10 errors in Netanyahu's Speech Demanding Iran give up 'Genocidal' Policies
    • william james martin 12/12/2013 at 11:23 am

      "Break out capacity" is so general and vague as to be interpreted over a wide range of capability. Netanyahu most probably believes the ability to enrich to 3.5 % is already a "breakout capacity".

    • william james martin 12/12/2013 at 11:20 am

      "Break out capacity' means very little, and is unnecessarily alarming, unless it is defined in terms of real capability, meaning what procedures have already been achieved toward the development of a workable bomb, and what procedures remain, and how much time it would take for the remaining procedures to be implemented.

  • Does Syria Stalemate Benefit Baath Regime?
    • Syrian expert, Joshua Landis, tells me (with permission) that there are no more than 5 or 6% of foreign fighters inside Syria fighting for the rebels.

      This counters the belief of many left wing activists I have encountered who essential buy the propaganda of the Assad government.

  • The American Genocide Against Iraq: 4% of Population Dead as result of US sanctions, wars
    • william james martin 10/18/2013 at 9:57 am

      " Iraq’s main crime appears to have been to be an oil state not compliant with US demands."

      This is not the reason for the Iraq invasion, Juan.

      It has always been a part of Israel strategic planning to get rid of Saddam Hussein and to dismantle his military, both of which happened in 2003. The effort was led by the Neocons in the upper levels of the US government and by the Israeli sympathetic think tanks of Washington.

      It has always been Israeli strategy from David Ben Gurion onward for Israel to have military dominance in the Middle East and for Israel to be the Middle East hegemon.

      The very concept of the formation of the state of Israel is that it insinuated itself into the heart of the Arab world by force, and maintained itself by force. It depends on force for its survival and even its de facto legitimacy.

  • The Great Solar Car Race begins in Australia: Can it save Humankind?
  • Is Iran Ready to do a Deal with Obama over its Nuclear Program?
    • william james martin 09/24/2013 at 9:36 am

      You are right, Juan, you have often asserted that Iran has been pursuing a 'breakout capacity.'

      But I wish you would define 'breakout capacity' with some specificity. Certainly one man's breakoput capacity is another man's modest efforts aimed at peaceful power generation.

      It is not easy to build a bomb. No doubt you intend to include the ability to enrichment to the 90% (U235)level. But it takes more than fuel. It takes design and fabrication of the physical bomb which are based on considerable design efforts along with physical testing.

      Engineering is not mathematics, it is primarily an empirical science wherein most of its knowledge derives from experience and testing.

      I have not heard or read any credible reports that Iran has done any such testing or any physical fabrication.

  • UN Report Conclusive Sarin used on wide Scale, Points to Syrian Regime
    • william james martin 09/18/2013 at 1:10 pm

      Military expert and analyst for The Center for International And Strategic Studies. The evidence that the Assad army is responsible for the Sarin gas attack is overwhelming. The evidence to which Cordesman refers was ignored by Ms Masre above.

      link to

    • Rania is a beautiful, charming, and articulate spokesperson for left wing activism. She is by no means a 'Syrian expert'.

      The following from yesterday's NY Times, is very compelling evidence, which is also supported by other responsible organizations - Human Rights Watch, Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, to name but a couple to name but a couple of organizations who drew thoughtful conclusions from the UN report.

      "In two chilling pieces of information, the inspectors said that the remnants of a warhead they had found showed its capacity of sarin to be about 56 liters — far higher than initially thought. They also said that falling temperatures at the time of the attack ensured that the poison gas, heavier than air, would hug the ground, penetrating lower levels of buildings “where many people were seeking shelter.”

      "The investigators were unable to examine all of the munitions used, but they were able to find and measure several rockets or their components. Using standard field techniques for ordnance identification and crater analysis, they established that at least two types of rockets had been used, including an M14 artillery rocket bearing Cyrillic markings and a 330-millimeter rocket of unidentified provenance.

      "These findings, though not presented as evidence of responsibility, were likely to strengthen the argument of those who claim that the Syrian government bears the blame, because the weapons in question had not been previously documented or reported to be in possession of the insurgency.

      "Moreover, those weapons are fired by large, conspicuous launchers. For rebels to have carried out the attack, they would have had to organize an operation with weapons they are not known to have and of considerable scale, sophistication and secrecy — moving the launchers undetected into position in areas under strong government influence or control, keeping them in place unmolested for a sustained attack that would have generated extensive light and noise, and then successfully withdrawing them — all without being detected in any way.

      "One annex to the report also identified azimuths, or angular measurements, from where rockets had struck, back to their points of origin. When plotted and marked independently on maps by analysts from Human Rights Watch and by The New York Times, the United Nations data from two widely scattered impact sites pointed directly to a Syrian military complex.

      "Other nonproliferation experts said the United Nations report was damning in its implicit incrimination of Mr. Assad’s side in the conflict, not only in the weaponry fragments but also in the azimuth data that indicated the attack’s origins. An analysis of the report posted online by the Arms Control Association, a Washington-based advocacy group, said “the additional details and the perceived objectivity of the inspectors buttress the assignment of blame to Bashar al-Assad’s Syrian government.”

    • It is certainly a puzzle why the political left wing activists, including George Galloway and many others, were so hot to prove the rebels did the chemical gas attacks, rather than the government of Assad.

      Initially they had accepted Assad's propaganda that the revolt did not begin in resonance with the Arab Spring in the form of peaceful protest demonstrations inspired by the Al Jazeera TV images of similar demonstrations in Tihrir Square in Cairo as well as in the Tunisian capital and surrounding countryside, but rather was the work of 'terrorists' and outside agitators. The political left also looked the other way when the Shibihi (Ghost militias) terrorized neighborhood thought to be sympathetic to the demonstrations leaving behind dead and often mutilated bodies.

      Even now, the left deny that there was a period of peaceful demonstrations before the violence began, and that it began with the Assad government assigning snipers to kill 20 or so peaceful demonstrators from each demonstrations.

      When the civil war began in earnest, and foreign fighters did enter Syria, their numbers were exaggerated, and the US was accused by them of fighting along side of and aiding Al Qaeda.

      And more recently the left wing has identified the rebels with the radical Islamist all but denying the existence of a more secular component. They have exaggerated the numbers of foreign fighters in Syria. The best estimates I have seen state that there are no more than between 6000 and 10,000 foreign fighters in Syria.

      I believe the left wing is no more rational than the right wing. Both adhere to the ideology that makes them feel good and relegated evidence to the distant background.

  • A US attack on Syria will Prolong the War
    • I do not see how the limited missile strikes, aimed at punishing Assad for using chemical weapons will either lengthen or shorten the civil war in Syria. Shortening the war is not the purpose of the strikes.

      The sole purpose of the strikes is to punish Assad for his use of chemical weapons.

      No one has a clue as to how to shorten the war. And that diplomatic efforts have failed is not for lack of trying, recalling the efforts by Kofi Annan and Lakhdar Brahimi

  • The Ghost of Iraq haunts Obama on Syria as British Parliament Defects
    • william james martin 08/30/2013 at 11:37 am

      A 'do nothing' approach is license for Assad to continue using chemical weapons, maybe with some frequency, and possibly with greater potency.

      Most people are at a loss for a diplomatic approach that has not already been tried and ahs failed.

  • Kerry signals US Intervention in Syria, but to What End?
    • william james martin 08/28/2013 at 11:50 am

      Ben Ali, in Tunisia, and Mubarak, in Egypt, were deposed, in both cases, by the militaries, against their wills. The militaries were willing to accept some progressive change in the two states and began to see their leaders as a detriment.

      This has not been the case in Syria where the military is dominated by Alawites and has much at stake in the continuation of things are they are.

    • william james martin 08/27/2013 at 10:40 am

      Al Jazeera was the catalyst for the Arab Spring. The video images of the protests in Sidi Bouzid where the street vendor, Mohamed Bouazizi, had set himself ablaze, sparked similar protests and demonstrations in the Tunisian capital. And with its cameras trained on Tihrir Square, in Cairo, those in Homs and Daraa, in Syria, cheered the protest movement which they saw on the TV's every night and were witnessing the (apparent) success of the demonstrators in transforming 40 year old dictatorships into democratic governments in just a matter of days. Or so it seemed at the time. There was nothing but optimism in the air and the almost certain belief that if the people could do it in Egypt and Tunisia, then the people could do likewise in Syria. None had anticipated that the path would not be so rosy and that two and a half years later there would be 100,000 dead Syrians and the survival of the dictatorship who was willing to kill an unlimited number of people to stay in power.

    • The Assad regime brought this catastrophe on itself. The demonstrations of the spring of 2011 began peacefully in resonance with the Arab Spring and apparent moves toward democracy in Tunisia and Egypt and expressed the legitimate aspiration of the Syrian people for representative and open government. Rather than perceive the legitimacy of the protest movement, the Assad government chose to use snipers to kill unarmed and peaceful demonstrators and to conduct mass arrests which frequently resulted in torture and people disappearing, not to be seen or heard from again. Assad might have been a Middle East Mikheil Gobachov, Instead he chose to be the loyal scion of the vicious mass murderer the was his father. No one is to blame except the Assad government and his murderous henchmen.

  • Defecting Saudi Prince: Royal Family in Panic at Arab Revolts, Thousands imprisoned
    • william james martin 08/13/2013 at 10:06 am

      I have no reason to doubt anything in this report.

      However, it is worth keeping in mind that RTV frequently airs the propaganda message of the Russian government, particularly on Syria, and Saudi Arabia and Russia are on two different sides of the Syrian conflict.

  • India, China Defy US Congress' War on Iranian Oil
    • william james martin 08/13/2013 at 10:31 am

      This is another reason why our close attachment to Israel is causing the world's center of gravity to shift eastward.

      Eventually, the US and Israel will stand along against the rest of the world.

  • Israeli Gov't mocks 'Peace Talks' with announcement of 1200 New Squatter homes in Occupied Palestine
    • william james martin 08/12/2013 at 5:07 pm

      I meant:

      "The ‘Land of Canaan’ occurs many times in the Old Testament, or the Torah, or the Pentateuch"

    • BTW. The term 'Land of Israel' has a Christian origin, and is first found in Mark in the New Testament written in the first century CE, if it was not a later insertion.

      This term has replaced 'Palestine' in the lexicon of most all Israelis.

      The 'Land of Canaan' occurs many times in the New Testament, or the Torah.

    • For the Israelis, the Green Line, or the pre-’67 borders of Israel, means very little, no more than the original demarcation defining the boundaries of an a Jewish state on 55% of Palestine envisioned in UN General Assembly Resolution 184, of November 1947, which Israel invokes as its claim to international legitimacy. The ’67 borders was merely an armistice line which was negotiated with the United Nations in order to stop the fighting between warring parties in the summer of 1948.

      David Ben Gurion made it clear that, as head of the Jewish Agency, the proto-government of what was to become the government of state of Israel, he would accept UNGA Resolution 184 in order to gain legitimacy and a foothold in Palestine, but that it would not sonstitute a constraint on Israel's ‘right to expand to all of Palestine'.

      Indeed, in a letter to his son, also in 1937, he stated:
      "We must expel the Arabs and take their places and if we have to use force, to guarantee our own right to settle in those places, then we have force at our disposal.


      "We do not seek an agreement with the [Palestinian] Arabs in order to secure the peace. Of course we regard peace as an essential thing. It is impossible to build up the country in a state of permanent warfare. But peace for us is a mean, and not an end. The end is the fulfillment of Zionism in its maximum scope. Only for this reason do we need peace, and do we need an agreement." (Shabtai Teveth, p. 168)

      "I don't regard a state in part of Palestine as the final aim of Zionism, but as a mean toward that aim." (Shabtai Teveth, p. 188)

      He also stated to his son Amos in October 1937 that a "Jewish state" in part of Palestine was:

      "not the end, but only the beginning." Its establishment would give a "powerful boost to our historic efforts to redeem the country in its entirety." For the "Jewish state" would have "outstanding army-- I have no doubt that our army will be among the world's outstanding--and so I am certain that we won't be constrained from settling in the rest of the country, either by mutual agreement and understanding with our Arab neighbors, or by some other way. . . . . I still believe . . . . that after we become numerous and strong, the Arabs will understand that it is best for them to strike an alliance with us, and to benefit from our help, providing they allow us by their good will to settle in all parts of Palestine." (Shabtai Teveth, p. 188, The Complete Translated Letter translated by IPS and here is the original in Hebrew)

      The Zionist project of building an exclusive state, the State of Israel, has never diverged or wavered from the maximalist territorial ambitions formulated by David Ben Gurion almost 100 years ago. Nor did those preceding him, Theodore Herzl, Vladimir Jabotinsky envision a Jewish state on anything less than all of Palestine.

      The boundaries alluded to in UN SC Resolution 242 mean absolutely nothing to Mr Netanyahu and the Zionist project of ‘redeeming’ all of ‘the Land of Israel’. for them, it only refers back to a temporary armistice line, and lacks the weight of what Netanyahu describes as 'the historical right of the Jewish people to settle 'the land of Israel.'

    • william james martin 08/12/2013 at 10:06 am

      For the Israelis, the Green Line, or the pre-’67 borders of Israel, means very little, no more than the original demarcation defining the boundaries of an a Jewish state on 55% of Palestine envisioned in UN General Assembly Resolution 184, of November 1947, which Israel invokes as its claim to international legitimacy. The ’67 borders was merely an armistice line which was negotiated with the United Nations in order to stop the fighting between warring parties in the summer of 1948.
      David Ben Gurion made it clear that, as head of the Jewish Agency, the proto-government of what was to become the state of Israel, he would accept UNGA Resolution 184 in order to gain legitimacy and a foothold in Palestine, but that he would recognize no constraints on Israel ‘right to expand to all of Palestine. Indeed, in a letter to his son, also in 1937, he stated:
      We must expel the Arabs and take their places and if we have to use force, to guarantee our own right to settle in those places ¬ then we have force at our disposal.
      "We do not seek an agreement with the [Palestinian] Arabs in order to secure the peace. Of course we regard peace as an essential thing. It is impossible to build up the country in a state of permanent warfare. But peace for us is a mean, and not an end. The end is the fulfillment of Zionism in its maximum scope. Only for this reason do we need peace, and do we need an agreement." (Shabtai Teveth, p. 168)
      "I don't regard a state in part of Palestine as the final aim of Zionism, but as a mean toward that aim." (Shabtai Teveth, p. 188)
      He also stated to his son Amos in October 1937 that a "Jewish state" in part of Palestine was:
      "not the end, but only the beginning." Its establishment would give a "powerful boost to our historic efforts to redeem the country in its entirety." For the "Jewish state" would have "outstanding army-- I have no doubt that our army will be among the world's outstanding--and so I am certain that we won't be constrained from settling in the rest of the country, either by mutual agreement and understanding with our Arab neighbors, or by some other way. . . . . I still believe . . . . that after we become numerous and strong, the Arabs will understand that it is best for them to strike an alliance with us, and to benefit from our help, providing they allow us by their good will to settle in all parts of Palestine." (Shabtai Teveth, p. 188, The Complete Translated Letter translated by IPS and here is the original in Hebrew)
      The Zionist project of building an exclusive state, the State of Israel, has never diverged or wavered from the maximalist territorial ambitions formulated by David Ben Gurion almost 100 years ago. Nor did those preceding him, Theodore Herzl, Vladimir Jabotinsky envision a Jewish state on anything less than all of Palestine.
      The boundaries alluded to in UN SC Resolution 242 mean absolutely nothing to Mr Netanyahu and the Zionist project of ‘redeeming’ all of ‘the Land of Israel’.

  • On Eve of "Peace Talks," Israelis Subsidize their West Bank Colonies, build new Units
    • Israel, last I heard, is holding over 6500 Palestinian prisoners. The Palestinians are holding 0 Israeli prisoners.

      Israel concession to release 100 Palestinian prisoners is 1.5% of the total prisoners held by Israel.

      And for this, the Palestinian side is getting new talks, led by American representative and cofounder of AIPAC cofounder Martin Indyk, while the settlements enterprise continues to go full speed ahead.

  • Top 10 reasons to welcome departure of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: Only the Neocons will miss Him
    • william james martin 08/04/2013 at 7:29 pm

      'Break out capacity' is not a well defined concept with clear boundaries. Clearly Netanyahu thinks any capability at all involving nuclear power, including just 4% enrichment for producing light water reactor power generation, is near break out capacity.

      To produce a nuclear bomb, you not only need 90% enrichment, but you need design and fabrication of the bomb along with actual testing of the component mechanisms and also simulated tests of the actual bomb.

      Mastery of he complete fuel cycle means you can produce uranium hexafluoride (conversion) from uranium ore. That does not get you any closer to a bomb than does purchasing uranium already processed and ready for conversion.

    • You cannot blame the truculence and departure from decency of Columbia president Lee Bollinger on Columbia's guest speaker, President Ahmadinejad. Mr Bollinger's rudeness toward a guest speaker of Columbia, my Alma Mata, demeaned this great institution. Mr Bollinger is an adult and his departure from the dignified tradition of this institution is his own doing.

      His referring to President Ahmadinejad as a 'dictator' when he knew very well that Ahmadinejad was an elected president with limited powers was a departure from intellectual integrity which is one of the great values I took from this institution.

  • Obama: "Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago"
    • william james martin 07/20/2013 at 11:47 pm

      That's pure speculation, Super. You have to base belief, and judicial decision, on evidence, not fantasy.

    • Obama's statement is unfortunate, for it implies that racial profiling was an established fact.

      But it is not an established fact. The jury considered the influence of race in this unfortunate event and found that face was not a factor.

    • Obama seemed pretty unsympathetic to Zimmerman, who was acquitted in a fair trial by a jury of peers, and who is in hiding because of multiple death threats, which, in fact, Obama is indirectly encouraging. Nor did Obama condemn actions like those of Spike Lee, who tweeted Zimmerman’s home address (though he may not have gotten it right) in what looks a lot like incitement to promote murder, or the New Black Panthers who have threatened to kill Zimmerman.

      Many, including Obama, are guilty of a top-down logic – an inference from the general to the particular, from liberal civil rights ideology to the particular Zimmerman case with scant attention to the particulars of the case – the facts surrounding the shooting, or of the relevant law (It was regular ‘Self-defense’ not ‘Stand your Ground’).

      Most people with whom I have spoken only care about the racial aspect and seem to want see it exclusively as discrimination against blacks.

      Few understood that the fatal shot was fired as Zimmerman was having his head beaten against the concrete sidewalk, according to both the testimony of witnesses and the photographs showing multiple cuts and bruises on the back of Zimmerman’s head. One slam of the head to the concrete can only produce one bruise or cut at a time, thus there must have been multiple head blows to the concrete before the fatal shot was fired. Many people simply ignored this fact, if they even knew about it, or bothered to find out.

      Apparently a relative few bothered to listen to the one juror, who was willing to speak about it to CNN’s Anderson Cooper, in order to understand the thinking of he jurors. This juror stated that race did not appear to be a factor – there was no evidence that it was.

      I suspect that most people, including Obama, would have fired the shot, rather than continue to risk death or maybe just a skull fracture, had they been in Zimmerman’s position.

      It is an unfortunate affliction of mankind that such a large subset of humanity love their ideology more than they love truth.

  • Top 10 Reasons Americans should Dismiss Israel's Netanyahu on Attacking Iran
    • It is not just that Netanyahu wants to distract the world from the continued ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian, though that is true enough.

      Israel has always been determined to maintain hegemonic domination of the Middle East permitting no surrounding state to gain military parity in either conventional weapons or in any nuclear capability, That was the reason Israel induced, through the agency of the American Neocons, many inside of the Bush administration, the US to invade Iraq, depose its leader Saddam Hussein, and disassemble the Iraqi army.

      Iran, as you have noted, is not a direct military challenge to Israel, but does sponsor Hezbollah - Israel's most formidable adversary, and has considerable influence among the Shiites of the Middle East, for whom the message of Ahmadinejad resonates that Israel is an illegitimate state.

  • Israel's District 9: Its Biggest Ethnic Cleansing since 1948
  • Egypt: One Soldier Dead, 3 Wounded, as Muslim Brotherhood Clashes with Army, Secularists in Provinces
    • If a snapshot, or a longer time sampling, of a dictator and someone else acting like a dictator who was elected are indistinguishable, then democracy is not working.

    • Young Egyptians, in a partition drive, had collected 20 million signatures calling for Morsi to step down and call new elections. 20 million is a much larger number than the number of votes Morsi received in the election which put him in power. Democracy is not just about elections, it is about a government responsive to the will of the people.

  • Obama should Resist the Clintons & Europe on Syria
    • It would not surprise me if at least 70% of the population would support Assad just to end the violence. When you do not know if you will have food for tomorrow or whether or not your apartment building will be destroyed overnight by shelling, a free press and the right to vote in freely held elections are very much a luxury which can be deferred indefinitely.

      Further, the people of Syria do not have a clear and coherent alternative to Assad as the opposition is not only fragmented with no clear leadership but al Qaeda and conservative Islamic groups appears to be a part of it.

      By just looking over its borders the people of Syria have witnessed the bloodletting and rending of the Lebanese society in its 15 years long civil war as well as the complete chaos, the disruption of society, and mass killings having taken place in Iraq for the last decade.

      It is not hard to imagine a longing for stability at the expense of democratic ideals.

      The rebellion in Syria began two years ago in resonance with the Arab Spring. But the people of Syria are a long way now from those heady days.

    • Clinton never even bothered to consult Carter, upon whose original, and successful, summit of 1978 the 2000 summit was based.

    • If Clinton is acting to help his wife politically, it is not the first time. After promising Arafat that he would not be blamed if the Camp David summit of 2000 ended in failure, he did exactly that, blaming Arafat rather than taking responsibility for his own incompetence.

      This occurred when Hilary was running for a Senate seat from New York state.

      Clinton came to the Camp David Summit without an American plan, unlike Carter, who had drawn up careful plans for a solution, and also came with his delegation packed with 'Israel firsters'.

    • Obama's "training Syrian oppositionists in Gandhian tactics and encouraging them to create a long-term civil resistance" seems a bit far fetched given Obama's proclivity to murder people is distant lands, along with the 'unadvoidable casualties' by remotely controlled drones.

  • Should Memorial Day include Commemoration of Thoreau?
    • Let's not forget Bertrand Russell's sitting out the First World War in a British prison.

      Part of prison literature includes his "Introduction of mathematical Philosophy"

  • Tunisia and Libya take on Ansar al-Sharia Militants
    • Libya is now governed by an elected Parliament.

      Obama's is not a muscular foreign policy. Obama is essentially an isolationist with little background, interest, or expertise in foreign policy and whose worse nightmare is being dragged into Syria.

      Obama may sing the praises of Israel and genuflect to Israel's supernatural assertion that Jews have a God given dead to Palestine, but he has resisted, pretty well, the muscular Israeli-centric foreign adventures advocated by the Neocons.

      Obama's passions are confined to domestic issues, reflecting, I feel, the community organizer that he was.

    • The Libyan intervention is probably Obama's unique foreign policy success, thought Obama was a reluctant actor of an action initiated by Britain and France.

      The Obama administration is given little credit for this transformation from a totalitarian dictator to a liberal democracy by the Republican right who on only looking for scandals, nor by the liberal left wing who believe any American action in foreign affairs is an act of imperialism, or the capture of oil resources, if the action happens to be in the Middle East.

  • Guatamala's Montt guilty of Atrocity; but what about Ronald Reagan? (Democracy Now!)
    • Again, according to Thomas, Israel interests in selling arms were not just pecuniary.

      Following the '67 War,29 African counties broke diplomatic relations with Israel. Israel increased its production and sale of heavy weaponry such as tanks, missiles, fighter planes, warships, armored vehicles, and nuclear technology to clients worldwide, in Asia, Europe, Latin America, as well as in Africa. Israel needed friends in the United Nations, and the sale of weapons facilitated such fealty.

      In addition, Israel could advance the US's strategic assets by the sale of military hardware when the US itself was so enjoined by laws enacted by the US Congress.

      Also, Israel pursued a 'strategy of the periphery' by arming states, like Iran, on the outer
      boundary of the nearer Arab states.

      Further, the sale of arms was a means of establishing a lucrative 2-way commerce in which Israel could gain access of imports of raw materials and other commodities from African and other states.

    • My mistake. Carter left office in Jan 1981.

      However that may be, I have found a disposition of those on the political left to try to prove Carter was hypocrite, especially on human rights, while also not recognizing any of his accomplishments in this area.

      I think this due to emotional conservativeness, though operating on those of the left wing.

      Certainly Carter was never accepted as a progressive by the political left, nor even by the Kennedy wing of the Democratic party, nor by many people in the northeast who felt that a southern progressive was an oxymoron.

    • Carter left office in Jan of 1980. So, if it happened in the 1980s, Jimmy Carter could not have been "part of that."

    • The US was not only country complicitous in the genocidal savagery of the Guatemalan government.

      According to Baylis Thomas in "The Dark side of Zionism", after the 1977 arms cutoff by the US, Israel built Guatemala an airbase and munitions factory, and became Guatemala's largest supplier of weapons over the next decade. In 1982, Israel military advisors helped to develop and execute Plan Victoria which was scorched earth campaign in which the Guatemalan army bombed, strafed, and burned large numbers of villages. An estimated 100,000 peasants escaped across the border to Mexico or into the mountains. Israel was cited by Guatemalan Chief of Staff Lucas Garcia as "the only country that gave us support.

      Jane Hunter summarizes: "Three successive military governments and three brutal and sweeping campaigns against the Mayan population, described by a US diplomat as 'genocide against the Indians' had the benefit of Israeli techniques, experience, and hardware."

  • China and the Israel-Palestine Conflict: Enter the Dragon?
    • While the US Congress is busy kissing Natanyahu's ass and Obama is rubber stamping and implementing Israel's geopolitical strategy, Iran is filling the vacuum in its commercial trade, restricted with the West because of Israeli determination to remain the Middle East's hegemon, by turning Eastward to China; and because there has been no resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict due to US oversight, again, China is poised to take over where the US has been totally impotent.

      The mutual embrace of Israel and the US is contributing to the decline in US influence in the world and a hastening of the shift of the world's center gravity from West to East.

  • Israel at 65: Welcome to the Neighborhood (Map)
    • “Zionism: The theory that because murderous Nazis hated Jews in the 1930s and 1940s, all Jews should now crowd into a narrow strip of land between the Mediterranean and 400 million angry Muslims.”

      In fact, Zionism had a Christian origin, as writings can be found by British Christian clergymen in the 1500's arguing that Jews should immigrate into Palestine.

      The first Jewish writings advocating Jewish immigration into Palestine occurred in the late 19th century by Leo Pinster and Moses Hess, both of the Russian Pale and later by Austrian Theodore Herzl who in 1896 wrote his booklet, Der Judenstaat, which was an argument for Zionism, and in 1897 founded the World Zionist Congress.

      Both Nazism and Zionism arose in tandem from small insignificant social movements in the early part of the 20th century, arguing, with equal force, that Jews were an alien and indigestible mass living in the midst of an otherwise pure Aryan population. Both movements contributed to the more general acceptance of this argument in Europe, and particularly in Germany, as mid-century approached, and both have to be responsible for the consequences.

  • Jon Stewart's Satire on N. Korea goes Viral in China (Fisher)
    • • I might add that Obama has never lifted his finger to resolve a single foreign policy issue, though he has been willing to tweak events here and there in a responsive rather than in a pro-active way. He ahs been willing to exercise some limited influence in events which are already underway.
      I remind the reader of the following foreign policy initiatives by President Carter:
      1) The effort to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, culminating in the Camp David Accords of 1978.
      2) The Completion of the normalization of relations with the People’s Republic of China, including the exchange of Ambassadors, which had been left dangling after Richard Nixon’s trip to China in which Nixon had left behind a lower ranking diplomat.
      3) The resolution of the Panama Canal dispute, culminating the Panama Canal treaty, an unpopular treaty which however passed the congress with a 2/3 of the vote.
      4) Carter was directly involved in the negotiations for the Strategic Arms Limitation Agreement with the Soviet Union which, though it was withdrawn from consideration by the US Senate, did stabilize both the arms race and relations with the Soviet Union until it s fall in 1993.
      5) The effort, which was successful, to move both the Union of South Africa and Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe, to majority rule.

    • Maybe the problem isn't so much Kim sung Un, buty the failure of US Diplomacy since George Bush with little correction from President Obama whose interests in foreign policy is nil.

      Writing in the introduction to, A Moment of Crisis, by Marion Creekmore Jr, Jimmy Carter states:
      [Kim Il sung] wanted to deal, … and he and I negotiated an agreement that froze the North Korean plutonium-based nuclear program, placed it under international inspection, and promised summit talks between the leaders of North and South Korea. This laid the basis for the official Agreed Framework of October 1994 between the United States and North Korea.
      For the next eight years, North Korea did not produce any plutonium. It did not make any nuclear bombs. Its nuclear facilities that existed in 1994 were locked down, and outside experts monitored them twenty four hours a day seven days a week. There were later directed talks between the leaders of the two Koreas, for which President Kim Dae Jung of South Korea received the Nobel Prize for Peace.
      Unfortunately, … the Agreed Framework collapsed in December 2002 [under George Bush]. The international inspectors were expelled, and the North Koreans regained unrestricted access to spent fuel rods from which plutonium could be manufactured. Since then, North Korea has had the capacity, which it has probably employed, to reprocess enough plutonium to make half a dozen nuclear weapons.

  • If N. Korea is the Threat, Why is all the War Talk about a Weak Iran?
    • I am aware of Saudi Arabia's views on Iran. But Iran does not have a counterpart to the leagues of 'Israeli-firsters' which Israel has in the US. Nor does the Emir of Saudi Arabia stand up in front of the United Nations General Assembly with a cartoonish picture of bomb with a made in Iran label. Nor is Saudi Arabia threatening to pre-emptively attack Iran every day as does Mr Netanyahu.

    • Why is there belligerency toward Iran and talk of war with Iran in Washington but not of war with N Korea? Because N Korea is not in Israel's regional neighborhood as Iran is. Belligerency toward Iran is all about Israeli interests and its control over the American policy decision making process and its capacity to use America's power for the service of Israel.

      Israel is further served by the inability and failure of America's leaders to think for themselves and focus on their own interests and to have the courage to stand up to he Israeli lobby and its friends in the US.

  • Israeli Right: Obama Undermined Netanyahu, Endangers Israel with Call for Palestinian State
    • Obama said something interesting speaking to students in Jerusalem: (approximately quoting). "No politician is going to break out in front on issues if he is not pushed by voters to do so."

      Obama is a politician, and he is telling these Israeli students that he plans to do nothing on the Israeli-Palestinian issue.

      I have often thought that Jimmy Carter lost reelection because of his courage, and that Obama won reelection because of his cowardice.

  • Remembering Rachel Corrie, 10 Years Later
    • Well said Juan.

      One of the cities near the Gaza border occasionally hit by rackets coming from Gaza is named Ashkelon. It is well to remember that this city once has another name - it was al Majdal, an Arab city of 10,000 people in 1948 which was ethnically cleansed with its residents having been expelled to Gaza.

      The occasional rockets attacks on the former al Majdal coming from inside the world's largest outdoor prison, if morally incorrect, are nonetheless morally trivial in comparison with the ethnic cleansing of that city by the Jewish forces under direction from David Ben Gurion.

      Ethnic cleansing is a war crime and a crime against humanity, that is , a crime in which all of humanity is degraded, and not just the immediate victims.

  • Hagel Confirmed, but Bloodied by American Nationalists Seeking Wars & World Dominance
    • The left wing deserves much of the blame for focusing thier venom on Jimmy Carter in the late 70's and aiding the conservatives in electing Reagan and setting America on a conservative trajectory

  • WaPo says Gasoline Price Increase Mysterious, Ignores US blockade of Iran Oil!
    • It is no mystery to me, Juan. The Washington Post is a pro-Israel, Israeli-centric newspaper, and will not assign any blame or responsibility to the state of Israel for burdens its actions imposes on the American people. It never has, and probably never will.

  • Despite Offer of Direct Talks, U.S. Intensifies Economic War Against Iran (Democracy Now!)
    • The efforts of Israel and its US supporters and the Obama administration to institute crippling sanctions on Iran may have less to do with a potential nuclear capability than with the effort by Israel to manage the configuration and distribution of power in its sphere if influence.
      The takedown of Saddam Hussein by the US in 2003 and the dismantlement of its military left Iran unopposed by a comparable military adversary, and, ultimately resulted in a neighboring state whose officials enjoyed close ties to Iran and whose government was dominated by Shiite Muslims.
      In addition, it opened a corridor through which armaments could pass to Syria and through Syria to Hezbollah in Lebanon.
      Israel’s only significant military challenge in the region is Hezbollah which was formed under the auspices of the Iranian theocracy and which is dependent on Iran for it armaments. Hezbollah is understood, by the Israel government, as a proxy military force of Iran.
      The potential of Iranian Shiism to ignite the loyalties of the Shiite minorities in Saudi Arabia and the Shiite majority in Bahrain present a troubling prospect of Israel being surrounded by governments with close ties to Iran and sharing its hostility to Israel.
      The energy source that is Israeli hegemonic regional policy driving the US to, first of all attack Iran militarily, or if not that, to institute crippling emasculating sanctions on Iran is engendered by the same motivations that drove the US government to invade Iraq and to destroy both Saddam and his military capacity.
      It has very much to do with Israel hegemonic calculus and much less to do with an Iranian nuclear weapon, which the US intelligence agencies, and probably also Israel’s, denies exists.

  • Ahmadinejad: US must Cease Militarily Targetting Iran before Direct Negotiations
    • Moving from the peaceful use of nuclear technology to an actual bomb, or near bomb potential, requires considerable physical fabrication and actual physical testing which the world's intelligence services could readily track, to say nothing of the IAEA.

    • I have sever doubt that the production of a nuclear bomb can be brought in secret to a point to where it can be thrown together at the last minute, and especially without the world’s intelligence services knowing very well much of the details of its production evolution.
      There is no point that can be called a ‘breakout potential’. Rather the development of a potential for a ‘breakout’ proceeds like the evolution of a acorn growing into an oak – it is gradual and continuous and begins somewhere around the point at which nuclear engineers well understand and implement enrichment of uranium to the 3.55 level and produce electric power.
      What is a ‘breakout potential’ is then a highly subjective valuation, with some, Netanyahu, I would imagine, placing the bar at a relatively primitive level of nuclear technology knowhow, and other placing it higher.

  • Dead Children and Arrested Babies: Palestinian Life under Israeli Colonialism
    • Well said, Juan.

      Two things come to mind:

      1) Why are you never interviewed on this matter, of Israel/Palestine, on National Public Radio, whereas Martin Idyk, one of the original founders of AIPAC, shows up for interviews and appeears on that broadcast more than Steve Inskeep, the host of Morning addition? If Martin Idyk is not interviewed, then some other member of the American Interprise Institute - an Israeli sponsored thank tank,is, but never Chomsky, or you, or Jimmy Carter, for that matter. And the latter is essentially persona non grata on NPR.

      2) Why is the clear reality of what is taking place in the post-'67 occupied areas of Palestine so impenetrable and beyond the capability of the US Congress to understand or perceive it? One would think that our congtressional representatives are stupid.

  • How Torture Misled the US into an Illegal War: What Zero Dark Thirty Really Leaves Out
    • The Palestine/Israeli conflict, Joe from Lowell, is not an isolated series of events in the Arab world. Most of the Arab world recognizes Israel as an European colony and an alien implant imposed on the Arab people against their will which invites all the world's Jews to migrate to Israel as it expands it borders into Arab lands while regularly initiating destructive wars against its neighbors while holding the indigenous Palestinian people in bondage as it usurps thier resources.

    • Whether I flatter myself or not,the fact is that American/Isreli promoted violence in the Middle Easst bares a direct connection to the 9/11 attacks.

      This is what Osama bin Laden had to say about the motivation for the attack on 9/11. I copied this quote from Wikipedia, but I have seen it previously reported on BBC News as well as other sources. Bin Laden was referring to the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in which 20,000 Lebanese people were killed and approximately 2000 defenseless unarmed Palestinian refugees were slaughtered by the Christian Phalange while Ariel Sharon watched with binoculars from a nearby building and the Israeli army secured the perimeter of the camps and lit up the night sky with flares to facilitate the slaughter. President Carter was told by Israeli officials with whom he had known at Camp David that Israel had been given a green light for that invasion by the Reagan Administration.

      "God knows it did not cross our minds to attack the Towers, but after the situation became unbearable—and we witnessed the injustice and tyranny of the American-Israeli alliance against our people in Palestine and Lebanon—I thought about it. And the events that affected me directly were that of 1982 and the events that followed—when America allowed the Israelis to invade Lebanon, helped by the U.S. Sixth Fleet. As I watched the destroyed towers in Lebanon, it occurred to me punish the unjust the same way: to destroy towers in America so it could taste some of what we are tasting and to stop killing our children and women."
      — Osama bin Laden, 2004[7]

    • I am surprised that you were surprised by the 9/11 attacks, though I know a lot of Americans were.

      On Sept 1, 2001, I sent a letter to 16 US Senators and Congressmen, including then Sen Biden, stating that Americans were potentially endangered because of the violence taking place in the Middle East, particularly the violence against the Palestinians by Israel during the Second Intifada, which had begun a year earlier, would eventually spill over to Americans whom, I argued, were the ultimate facilitators of that violence.

      For whatever reasons, possible because the Congress was out of session on Sept 1, the letter was ignored.

      I have since learned that, despite their pretenses, Congressmen never read these letters but suffle them off to aids who then send out form letters on what ever subject the entreaties are about.

  • Krugman: Only a Big-Spending Government can Get us out of our Depression (Moyers)
    • Interesting interview.

      The conservative's point of view that the government is intrinsically bad and its influence in the economy should be reduced to a minimum is a fundamental unquestioned dogma, or first principle, of conservative thought which is thought to transcend the model of empirical testing which is the hallmark of scientific inquiry which has proved itself since the scientific revolution of the 17th century to have been so fruitful.

      Their view is more religion than science.

      The experiment, during the Bush years, which saw a radical reduction of tax revenue at the top, also saw the deepest recession since the Great Depression, and it also saw negative growth in the private sector, the first time since the great depression. President Bush presided over the smallest ratio of job creation to deficit creation of any president since the great depression.

      The experiment which was suppose to have produce a vibrant economy proved to be an abject failure.

      But the conservatives did not learn from the failure of their experiment.

      The model of scientific inquiry in which the results of experiments are taken to be trustworthy test of the validity of a theory is completely lost on the conservative mentality

  • Cole : "The Syrian Regime Will Likely Fall, but it Could Take Time" (WorldView Show)
    • Excellent infromative interview on several levels, two of which are the situation in Syria and also the plight of the Palestinians. Another is highlighting the pusillanity of Obama with respect to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

      One observations: West Jerusalem and the 78% if Palestine where not given to Israel in the 1947 General Assembly Resolution. Israel was given about 55% of Palestine and Jerusalem was to be administered by the United Nations. West Jerusalem and the remainder of the 78% of Palestine were taken, within a year of that Resolution, in a wave of ethnic cleansing that consisted of the expulsion of around three quarters of a million Palestinian people. According to Ilan pappe, 531 Palestinian villages were blown up or bulldozes as well as 11 urban Arab neighborhoods. We will never know the total nimber of Palestinian civilians were slaughtered.

  • Israel's Turn to the Far Right: The Point of No Return? (Beattie)
    • Danny Rubinstein, in describing a pamphlet produced by the Gush Emunim, writes:
      Hatred of the Arab enemy is not a morbid feeling, but a healthy and natural phenomenon; ‘The people of Israel have a legitimate natural and psychological right to hate their enemies’; ’The Arabs are the Amalekites of today’; ‘the aim of the settlements in Nablus area is ‘to stick a knife in the heart of the Palestinians.’
      Maslaha, ‘The Bible and Zionism’, p 154

    • Mr Beattie says, "leaders like Ariel Sharon, Ehud Olmert and Tzipi Livni abandoned the party, recognizing that Israel’s long-term interests were best served by a more active pursuit of peace via a two-state solution"

      This is what Ariel Sharon told American President Jimmy Carter in 1978 on the occasion of Mr Carter's presiding over a meeting of the Israeli Prime Minister's cabinet, which Carter did at the invitation of Prime Minister Manachem Begin:

      Carter was told by then minister of agriculture, Ariel Sharon, that there already was a Palestinian state, that it was Jordan, and that Carter could take for granted that within the next few years there would be 2 to 3 million Jews living in the occupied territories. Sharon added that "even as we speak, Jewish families are migrating into Judea and Samaria."

  • UN Security Council Condemns Further Israeli Squatting on Palestinian Land, with Rogue State US Vetoing
    • This is a quote from Jimmy Carter's book, 'The Blood of Abraham". I think it well to remember it and keep in in mind:

      “As president, I considered this major invasion to be an over reaction to the PLO attack, a serious threat to peace in the region, and perhaps part of a design to establish a permanent Israeli presence in southern Lebanon. Also, such use of American weapons including cluster bombs violated the legal agreement between the United States and Israel, which specified that such armaments sold by us could be used only for defensive purposes against an attack on Israel.
      “In spite of my expressions of concern and worldwide outcry, Begin seemed determined to keep his forces in Lebanon for an extended period and – in another direct violation of American law — to transfer American weapons, including artillery and armored vehicles, to the Lebanese militia commanded by Major Saad Haddad. These troops had been trained and supported by the Israelis, in order to seal off the southern portion of the country against Palestinian terrorists. In carrying out this assignment, they also prevented Lebanese regular troops and UN peacekeeping forces from entering the area.
      “After consulting with Secretary Cyrus Vance and with key supporters of Israel in congress, I decided that we could not permit the Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon to continue. In the event that Begin would not accede to our wishes, we prepared to notify Congress, as required by law, that US weapons were being used illegally in Lebanon, which would have automatically cut off all military aid to Israel. Also, I instructed the state department to prepare a UN Security Council resolution condemning Israel’s action.
      “The American consul general in Jerusalem was instructed to deliver a message to Prime Minister Begin that explained these plans and urged that he withdraw his forces. The report came back from Jerusalem that Begin read the message, stood quietly for a few moments, and then said, “Its over.” “

  • Israel's Apartheid Deepens (Cole at Truthdig)
  • Jeff Halper: Permanent Matrix of Control being Laid over Palestinian Territory (ICAHD Video)
    • Thanks, Juan, for posting this valuable information. I wish we could get this information to our Congressmen and Senators who do not have a clue what is going on in Palestine.

  • Palestinian Legal strategy against Israel: The Real Prize is Europe
    • The Association for Civil Rights in Israel says that if the Palestinian state now joins the International Criminal Court "the issue of Israeli settlements could become an issue of international criminal law." link to

      "This could potentially open the door to the prosecution of Israelis responsible for establishing or expanding settlements," ACRI said in a briefing on the UN bid.

      Under international law, transferring populations into an occupied territory is considered a war crime.
      Professor of international law at the University of Illinois College of Law and author of Palestine, Palestinians, and International Law, Francis A. Boyle said today:

      “This can be the start of a ‘Legal Intifadah’ by Palestine against Israel:

      1. “Palestine can join the Rome St...atute for the International Criminal Court and file a Complaint with the ICC against the illegal settlements and settlers
      , who are committing war crimes;

      2. “Palestine can join the Statute for the International Court of Justice, sue Israel at the World Court, and break the illegal siege of Gaza;

      3. “Palestine can join the Law of the Sea Convention and get its fair share of the enormous gas fields lying off the coast of Gaza, thus becoming economically self-sufficient;

      4. “Palestine can become a High Contracting Party to the Four Geneva Conventions [this deals with the laws of war];

      5. “Palestine can join the International Civil Aviation Organization and gain sovereign, legal control over its own airspace;

      6. “Palestine can join the International Telecommunications Union and gain sovereign legal control over its own airwaves, phone lines, bandwidths."

  • In Rebuke to Obama, Netanyahu-- Much of Western Europe to Support Palestine as UN Observer State
    • Israel is intrinsically expansionists. Israel was founded by those, both Laborites and Revisionists who had no doubt but that Israel would expand beyond the 55% alocated to them by the General Assembly resolution, beyond the 78% which the Israeli army actually took, and beyond that to all of Mandate Palestine, and, for the Revisionnists, of which the Lukud party is its scion, to a state stretching between the Nile and the Euphrates.

    • I think that 'someone' was Susan Rice.

    • Don't hold your breath waiting to hear Juan Cole on NPR commenting on Israel or Palestine.

    • Are the Palestinian actually human beings? Chaim Weizmann did not think so:

      • Excerpt from "What Price Israel? by Alfred Lilienthal;

      ... took me to Princeton to seek Professor Einstein's views on the incident. Dr Einstein told me that, strangely enough, he had never been a Zionist and had never favored the creation of the State of Israel. Also, he told me of a significant conversation with Weizmann. Einstein had asked him: "What about the Arabs if Palestine were given to the Jews?" and Weizmann sai: "What Arabs? they are hardly of any consequence.

    • Obama's opposition to the Palestinian initiative at the UN was short sighted and has put the interests of Israel ahead of long term American interests. The US will take a beating today at the UN as a result of the disposition of our major allies,and most of the rest fo the world, to defy the US and asserts their own independence thus further isolating the US and Israel in the world and signaling a declining American influence, as well as stimulating a further decline of American influence. It is not hard to look forward and to visualize the further isolation of the US and Israel from the world with the US Congress going blithely goes about its usual business of acting as an auxiliary to AIPAC as the coupled islands drift further out to sea increasing isolated from the mainlands.

  • Top Ten Steps that are Necessary for Lasting Gaza-Israel Peace (or, Good Luck!)
    • Reading the text of the ceasefire agreement, it looks like Hamas has achieved a significant victory. The border crossing are to be opened, restriction of travel is to be ended, assasination of Gazan leaders is to end. It remains to be seen if Israel keeps it committment, but at the very least, a legal document is in place enunciating these right of the people of Gaza. Another thing: Israel has probably learned that they can kill a lot of people, and cause a lot of destruction, but they cannot make a fundamental change in the political situation in their favor. They ought to have learned that with Hezbollah in 2006. Compared to the Gaza assault in 2009, they found the world had changed - Egypt was not so compliant sending it Prime Minister to Gaza during the fighting and providing medical aid and a background of 80 million Egyptian citizens no longer obliged to keep their voices quiet, the world's journalists were no longer barred from Gaza, and pictures from Youtube, as well as some of the world's press, circulated around the word in instances. There another point: one way of measuring victory is to note the jubilation and celebration taking place in Gaza compared to the distempered drabness of the reaction of the Israeli people. They are celebrating life, while the Israelis are morose that they could not conduct more destruction and killing.

  • Palestinians say Israel trying to Silence Media, by Attacking Journalists
    • And Jimmy Carter is persona non grata on NPR, though Terry Gross will interview him whenever he writes a book.

    • The NPR journalist in Gaza reported, this morning, that he saw a person fire a rocket from nearby the building housing the media, and that apparently that person thought he could use the media building as a shield. He then continued his report, not talking about Gaza, but about what was happening in Israel.This journalist apparently never bothered to visit a hospital in Gaza and report what he had seen, including the lack of adequate medicine and equiptment owing to the blockade.

      NPR, of course, means National Propaganda (Israeli) Radio.

      It continually makes me sick to hear NPR's reporting on the Isreli-Palestinian conflict. I have never heard Juan Cole, or Noam Chomsky being asked to comment on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, on NPR, but Martin Idyk, one of the founders of AIPAC, and past president, is on whenever there is a flairup of violence

  • You, Robot: Darpa's Robot learns to Avoid Obstacles
  • Candidates flee East Coast as Frankenstorm takes Revenge for their Ignoring Climate Change
  • Brandeis U. Owes Jimmy Carter an Apology: Israelis agree they run Apartheid State, as Far Right Wing Coalition Emerges
    • Carter was one of America's most effrective presidents. His accomplishments in office include: 1) he passed 76% of the legislation he sent to the congress - the second highest percentage in American history for a president. This fact, in itself, refutes the claim of ineffectiveness. But, in addition: 2)Carter negotiated the Camp David Accords between Egypt and Israel which has kept the peace for more than three decades while also including provisions for the contraction of the Israel presence from the West Bank, not implimented, however, by Israel. 2)Recognition and normalizatio of relations with the People's Republic of China. 3) He negotiated and sent to the Senate the Panama Canal Treaty, an unpopular treaty, which, however passed the Senate by 2/3 vote. 4) He negotiated the SALT II agreement with the Soviet Union, which,though it was withdrawn from Senate consideration in the wake of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, nevertheless was recognized and honored both the American government and by the Soviet Union, and thus stabilized the arms race.Carter instituted conservation measures which reduce oil imports from 60% to 28% by the end of this term, thus stabilizing an energy policy subsequently inhereted by Reagan, who, himself, did nothing for energy conservation. 6) on economic matters, the ratio of job creation to deficit creation was the highest of any president since the end of the second WW, in cluding the presidency of Bill Clinton. That Carter was innefective as president has been one of the gretest prejudices in American history. Carter was victim of general ignorance and regional prejudice. Further, much of the Democratic Party establishment and well as the American supporters of Zionnism wanted Carter out of office.Thus Carter was undr continual criticism and never given credit for his accomplishments, which, if one is in an analytic mood, one may favorably compare to any president in history.

    • I have checked this interpretation with Prof William Quandt who was Deputy Secretary of State at the time and with Carter both at Camp David and his trip to Jerusalem. Prof Quandt agrees completely.

    • Carter's moral courage is not confined to his post-presidency. Carter gambled his presidency on the Camp David summit, and later on his trip to Jerusalem where he dared the Israeli government to either humiliate him and send him home empty handed or sign the peace treaty.

  • Creepy Israeli Planning for Palestinian Food Insecurity in Gaza Revealed
  • Iran Bazaar Strikes signal Misery, not Sanctions 'Victory'
    • Maybe Israel should do that, Bill. And, while they are at it, Israel coiuld sign the Nuclear Non Proliferations Treaty, as Iran has.

    • A reasonable explanation, Andy, is that Iran, like any other nation, has a right to the peaceful use of nuclear power, which is what enrichment to the 3% to 5% level implies. Enrichment to the 20% level is for nuclear isotopes use in medical oncology and other diagnostics. Did you know, Andy, that half of all hospital patients, in the US and Europe, are treated, directly or indirectly with medical isotopes which can only be produced in reactors or in accelerators. Many people's lives are saved every year throught the use of medical isotopes. Does that resemble a reasonable enough explanation?,

    • "Moreover, while they are blaming Ahmadinejad now, they know that the US, the EU and Israel are behind their deepening misery, and they are likely to come to hate their torturers."

      Such attitudes are like to persist even after a regime change.

  • It's Psychological Warfare, Stupid: Why Netanyahu Really wants to Destroy Iran
    • I believe the effort to emasculate Hezbollah by emasculating Iran is as much of a motivation for the Isreeli government as the effort to complete the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinaians. Of course the two are interlinked, but Hezbollah is Israel's only real military adversary in the region.

  • Has-Been, Lame Duck Ahmadinejad's UN Speech is Empty Mugging for the Camera (Azad)
    • Even if these quotes are correct, the fact remains that it is the state policy of Israel to deny the reality of the Nakbah - the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians people in 1948, an ethnic cleansing the has been throughly researched by modcern professionsl historians, both Israelis. and non-Israelis, over the last 30 years If Jews want respect, they must recognize the suffering of others, including the Palestinians who were driven from their land in 1948 and continue to be driven from their land, and not just require everyone to recognize only their own suffering. In fact, the Holocaust was not a major concern to the founders of the state of Israel, who maily feared that the Holocaust threatened to divert funds and resources from the upbuilding of a state in Palestine. This fact has been throughly researched by Lenni Brenner and others. In fact, denial of the Holocaust, or minimization of it was the general attitude of Stephen Wise and the American Zionist Federation and And American Zionists during the Holocaust period.

    • BTW. Denying the Holocaust, which Ahmadinejad, has never explicitly done, is no less morally depraved than denying the Nakbah, which is the state policy of Israel. Ask Netanyahu is he acdcepts ther reality of the Nakbah.

  • The Gospel of Jesus' Wife and Sacred History from Judaism to Islam
    • It is unlikely that there ever was a King David. The totality of archiological evidence for the existence of King David is one stone tablet dating from, I believe about the 8th century BCE, with the word 'David' on it, which some scholars believe is a forgery. There is not a shred of archaeological evidence of a United Kingdom or a great city of Jerusalem dating form the early 1st mellinium BCE, the time of the supposed reign of David and Solomon.Rather, Jerusalem appears to have been an abandoned village at theat time surrounded by a small agrarian population.

  • Netanyahu in 1992: Iran close to having nuclear bomb
    • Netanyahu's anxiety about Iran destroying Israel with nuclear weapons might be a displacement of Netanyahu's inchoat perception of the long term existential threat presented by the fact that Israel's popularity in the world is declining, as it is among American Jews, as it rides on the waves of the turbulance produced by the Arab spring in which the surpressed aspirations of the Arab people have been unfettered. He must have always known that the
      Arab people regard Israel as an alien implant imposed in the heart of the Arab world by western powers against the will of the Arab people, and that there was a limit to how long western poowers could produce the illusion of coziness between the Arab states and Israel.

  • Was the Rachel Corrie Verdict the end of Israel's Judicial Credibility? (Marlowe)
    • As we saw in the case of the Goldstone Report, Israel has again judged itself and again found itself innocent.

      I think the World Criminal Court may be a better venue for any further effort to adjudicate the killing of Rachel Corrie.

  • Israeli President Peres Smacks down PM Netanyahu on Iran Attack, Supports Obama
    • The Netanyahu-Barak war hysteria also has the effect of driving up gasoline prices in the US which is harmful to the re-election of Obama, which is not Mr Netanyahu's choice for the US Presidency.

  • Jimmy Carter's Greatest Victory: Guinea Worm on Verge of Extinction
    • Also see "The Last Worm" in the current issue of Scientific American, July 2012, p 24.

      In 1986, there were 3.5 million cases of Guinea worm infection. Thus far this year, there have been only 5 know cases.

  • Despite Airport Incident, Henry Kissinger is Wrong about Libya
    • Here is waht Fawaz Gerges has to say about Kissinger, who actively worked to undermine the Rogers Plan for an israeli-Palestinian rapprochement, promoted by Secretary of State, William Rogers, during the Nixon administration:

      "According to Kissinger, the idea of an even handed approach to the Arab-Israeli conflict was preposterous and misguided because the overriding goal of American strategy must be to defend its own clients and wean away those of the Soviets. Kissinger complained frequently and scornfully of the naïve optimism of these State Department officials who, in his opinion, deluded themselves into believing that conditions in the Middle East after 1967 were damaging to America and that the United States should actively mediate between Egypt and Israel and press the latter to withdraw from occupied Arab territories. In contrast, Kissinger, the Cold Warrior said he favored doing as little as possible and soring up America’s own clients, particularly Israel, and leaving Nasser and his allies to stew in their own juice. In fact, Kissinger boast that he undercut a major diplomatic initiative called the rogers’ Plan, outlined by Secretary of State William P rogers in 1969, to nudge the warring factions to accept a peace settlement:
      “My aid was to produce a stalemate until Moscow urged compromise or until, even better, some moderate Arab regime decided that the route to progress was through Washington.
      “By the end of 1971, the divisions within our government, the State Department’s single-minded pursuit of unattainable goals – and the Soviet Union’s lack of imagination – had produced the stalemate for which I had striven by design.
      “My strategy has not changed. Until some Arab state showed a willingness to separate from the Soviets, or the Soviets were prepared to dissociate from the maximum Arab program, we had no reason to modify our policy.”

  • How Obama changed definition of ‘civilian’ in secret drone wars (Woods)
    • Obama cares only about his re-election. His aggressive, mostly beneath public radar, military actions protects him from Republican charges of weakness.

      Obama knows nothing about Middle East history or the histroy of the Arab-Israeli conflict. He could not begin to replicate Jimmy Carter' Camp David diplomacy in which Carter debated the Israeli head of state for 13 days. Obama could not even debate Netanyahu for 15 mins. as his recent Oval office experience revealed. Obama did not choose to be a medeocre President, that' just he way he is.

  • Romney wants to Fight Whole Muslim World, not Concentrate on Bin Laden
    • I can think of no better single index of the health of the economy that the ratio of job creation to deficit creation, which, as I noted above,was highest under Carter than any other presiden since the 2nd WW, and lowest under Bush. I believe economists should focus more on this figure than they do.

    • I might add that Carter was the last president with the guts to stand up to Israel, unlike Obama. When Israel invaded southern Lebanon in 1978, Carter induced an Israeli withdrawl by threatening to cuts of further military support for Israel, and to go to the UN Security Council with a resolution condemining Israel for ints invasion unless israel withdraw, which it did. (See his book, 'The Blood of Abraham'.)

    • A lot of people had an interest in confusing the rate of inflation with the annual interest rate. According to link to, the inflation rate for 1980 was 13.58%, not 21%. When Carter came into office, there had been a Arab oil boycott, and during his administration, the cost of oil increased 12 fold. It was the tight monetary policies, which included high interest rates, of Carter's appointee, Paul Volcher, that eventually tamed inflation.

    • I agree,Romney "isn’t good enough to shine Carter’s shoes." Carter not only made peace between Israel and Egypt, as Juan said, he also normalized relations with the People's Republic of China, he passed the Panama Canal Treaty, he negotiated the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty with the Soviet Union which helped to stabilize and moderate the nuclear arms race. He also passed 76% of the legislation he sent to Congress, the second highest percentage in American history for a President. Even on the economy, the ratio of job creation to deficit creation was highest under Carter than for any president since the 2nd WW, (lowest, of course under George W Bush, since there was negative job creation in the privat sector during his administration). Though Carter was often accused of being 'inexperienced', he probably came into office with as strong of a background as any President in American history. Carter had been a senior Naval officer and was Commander of a submarine. Also, trained as a nuclear engineer, he worked closely with Admiral Hyman Rickover to transform a predominantly diesel powered Navy into a nuclear powered Navy. He had been governor of Georia and was, along with Zbignew Brzezinski, and member of thr Trialateral Commision. Carter should also be remembered for elevating Human Rights to the international agenda.

  • Top Ten Dangers for Obama of Iran Sanctions on behalf of Israel
    • william james martin 03/05/2012 at 11:37 am

      Mr Gaj,

      You persists in believing a 60 some year old myth that the Palestinians evacuated what is now the present state of Israel as a result of a war. It was not a war but a rout of essentially defenseless Palestinians by a well trained and well equipted Jewish army of 50,000 men, half of whom had been trained by the British in the 2nd WW. The ethnic cleasning began in Haiffa on Nov 30, the day after the UN Resolution recommending that 50% of Palestinian land be given to eastern Europeans with only a mythological connection to Palestine. It was not until May 15, 1948 that any regular soldier from a surrounding state set foot in Palestine. Between those two date there were no more than about 3000 non-trained and under equipted volumnteers standing between the Palestinian population and the Jewish forces. Plan D, which was a military strategy for destroying Arab villages and evacuation the population, was formulated and distributed by David Ben Gurion in March of 1948. The Deir Yassin massacre, by no means the largest, occurred on April 9, 1948. Thus the ethnic cleansing begain 6 minths before the entrances into Palestine of any Arab army, and by then half of the 3/4 of a million Palestinians had been expelled outside the border of the 78% of Palestine coveted by Ben Gurion. It was not a war, Mr Gaj, it was a massive war crime against a defenseless population. See link to

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