Recent Comments

  • What's Religion Got to do with it? German Co-Pilot as Terrorist (14)
    • There was also Egyptair 990, which went down off after 911, and a highly political investigation/cover-up that followed.

      Lufthansa and Turkish Air have developed a extremely elaborate system for screening pilot training candidates. I wonder if this guy slipped in before it was instituted. In fact, they prefer to build new pilots from the ground-up and often pass on ex-military types, largely due to personality concerns. Highly focused personality screening is a big and central part of this process.

      You have to wonder about the miracles of modern psychological testing, along with the whole engineering approach to managing human behavior. This has become endemic in business, largely for the panacea that quantifying the process offers more traditional HR departments. But minds are notoriously fickle things.

  • Obama-Netanyahu Tiff worsens: US won't rule out using UN to create Palestine (30)
  • What's Religion Got to do with it? German Co-Pilot as Terrorist (14)
    • I swear I must be internalizing this stuff. It is so pervasive. My first thought when I heard the plane was brought down on purpose was "Ya Allah, dear Lord, let him not be a Muslim!"

  • Obama-Netanyahu Tiff worsens: US won't rule out using UN to create Palestine (30)
  • Washington's 2 Air Wars: alongside Iran in Iraq, Saudis in Yemen (12)
    • There is something I am not understanding here.
      Depending on the source, Saudi Arabia is either the third or fourth nation ranked by military spending, ahead of Israel, France or the UK, with 300 modern strike aircraft. The Gulf states, Egypt, Jordan and Iran all have strike aircraft so the total airforce available to bomb ISIS forces must be near 500 combat aircraft.
      With all those planes available in the region why then does the US have to be involved? If these states are truly worried about the threat wouldn't even 10% of their strike force be more than enough to bomb Tikrit?
      One of those situations where what is said does not match up with the actions.

  • What's Religion Got to do with it? German Co-Pilot as Terrorist (14)
    • Speaking of desperate efforts to connect violence with radical Islam, have people been following Michael Sibley: link to wsbtv.com

      If you don't have a local example of violence by radical Islam to point to, the patriotic thing to do is to make one yourself!

  • Obama with Drama: Translating his comments on Israel's Netanyahu from the Vulcan (48)
    • I would give anything to see this: after Obama is out of office, a forum featuring him, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, where they openly discuss the impediments a sitting president faces dealing with Israel. That is to say, well-intentioned liberals who knew the path to peace REQUIRED challenging Israeli policies, intransigence and mendacity. But who knew what they could and couldn't do, much less say. And I would like them to speak with absolute honesty and candor.
      And that panel should be moderated by Juan Cole.

  • Obama-Netanyahu Tiff worsens: US won't rule out using UN to create Palestine (30)
    • "Ahem. A flat-out untruth."

      You missed my point.

      You are correct that Great Britain abstained from the General Assembly vote - however British Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin was emphatically against the Partition Plan, the British Parliament later debated the matter in December of 1947 and in the end their own plan to leave on their own terms was implemented to dissolve the British Mandate.

      U.N. General Assembly Resolution 181 of 1947 (the Partition Plan) had practically nothing to do with Israel's creation - it was the British Crown that initiated the transition of power as they saw fit.

    • I've seen many right wing evangelical Christians pledging to stand with Israel against satanic Obama. Never mind that they believe that Jews are destined to go to hell if they don't find Jesus.

    • JC, I didn't say that the UNGA is an "executive body", I said that it was the "supervising body" with respect to this Mandated Territory.

      I am perfectly correct on that point i.e. the old Mandatory Powers were never supreme, they were always intended to be under the supervision of the Council of the League of Nations.

      Read Article 27 of the Mandate for Palestine if you don't believe me.

      And I am also quite correct to point out that upon the dissolution of the LoN that supervisory role was taken up by the United Nations General Assembly, it was not taken up by the UN Security Council.

      Article 85 of the UN Charter, if you don't believe me.

      So I stand by my original point: if the Mandatory Power wanted to end its Mandate by splitting this territory into TWO successor states - one *here* and the other *there* - then it needed to gain the consent of the UNGA.

      The Mandatory did not need the consent of the UNSC to make that a legally-binding decision. It just needed the consent of the UNGA, because that was all that was need to satisfy the requirements of Article 27 of Mandate.

      Which it sought, and which it obtained.

      I can even tell you the margin: 33-13, with 10 abstentions.

  • What's Religion Got to do with it? German Co-Pilot as Terrorist (14)
    • And don't forget Aaron Alexis, the ex-Navy Texas Buddhist who killed 12 people in 2013. The news media assumed that the Buddhist connection was just some fluke thing. If he had been a Muslim, though, we'd never have heard the end of it.

  • Obama-Netanyahu Tiff worsens: US won't rule out using UN to create Palestine (30)
  • Would a US-Iran Deal end US Military Interventions in ME? (4)
  • What's Religion Got to do with it? German Co-Pilot as Terrorist (14)
    • I feel that it horrific and sad that so many innocent lives have been lost.But yet it is equally sad how at every opportunity and and major incident the media start to hunt for the religion link or the link of converting. If there is no link then will the media start to speak about the Germans with every incident.

  • Obama: GOP has no Alternative to Obamacare b/c it was their Plan (3)
  • What's Religion Got to do with it? German Co-Pilot as Terrorist (14)
    • I wonder why there are no demonstrations with signs like "Ich bin Germanwings". It looks like when an act like this is committed by a white civilized guy, from a good family, from a good neighborhood, just like us, there seems to be a general understanding that he was probably a sick spirit, bad luck for the victims. There is no vilifying of an ethnic or religious or some other group they belong to, because we are that very group. The same with the guy who shot people in the cinema in Colorado or even with Breivik in Norway. And I believe that is the right reaction to these crimes: mourn the victims, investigate, try the suspects, understand the causes, see what can be done to prevent it in the future.

      In the case of Charlie Hebdo or Boston marathon bombing, where immigrants are involved, usually from poor background, disillusioned, discriminated against, enraged by our treatment of their coreligionists at home and abroad, our reaction is different: there is no willingness to understand, it's us the civilized defenders of freedom and democracy against them the barbarians, savages, Muslims. And it does not seem to matter if our "civilized" white man takes with him 10 times as many innocent lives as the "barbaric" African Muslim youths from the Parisian suburbs.

  • Washington's 2 Air Wars: alongside Iran in Iraq, Saudis in Yemen (12)
    • p.s. You don't need a weatherman to know which way the Republican wind blows.

    • Something similar to the "coalition" in Yemen theoretically could be assembled one day for action in the West Bank. They would cite nationalism, "national security," and "stability" as words with which to dull outside opposition to the strategy. Depending on whether or not the Yemen conflict ends up setting what they deem an acceptable precedent, it would become impossible to rule out another such operation in the future. Middle Eastern leaderships, alliances, and goals change frequently and sharply.

      However, it is likely that the Yemeni plan will be an extremely rock and risky course.

  • What's Religion Got to do with it? German Co-Pilot as Terrorist (14)
  • Washington's 2 Air Wars: alongside Iran in Iraq, Saudis in Yemen (12)
    • Hadi was the only candidate, so not much democracy there. So in Iraq the Shia persecuted the Sunni and in Yemen it's the opposite. All we need is one more match to light the flame and we got a regular conflagration over there. (It might even happen without that match.) All this is the legacy of the U.S. intervention over there, both the invasions and supporting corrupt and dictatorial regimes!) Something for the jingoists over here to be proud of!

  • Would a US-Iran Deal end US Military Interventions in ME? (4)
  • Obama: GOP has no Alternative to Obamacare b/c it was their Plan (3)
  • What's Religion Got to do with it? German Co-Pilot as Terrorist (14)
    • ah, the great explain....? we need to sensationalize this, don't we? we need to generalize, categorize, and politicize it, right? wrong. both david, and marianna, above, feed reason. let's not ask why, again. he alone knew. tragic.

  • Would a US-Iran Deal end US Military Interventions in ME? (4)
  • What's Religion Got to do with it? German Co-Pilot as Terrorist (14)
  • Washington's 2 Air Wars: alongside Iran in Iraq, Saudis in Yemen (12)
    • Houthis shot themselves in the foot by choosing to go with a full coup and extending themselves forcefully to the South.

      The US doing the bombings in principle for supporting the national unity govt is one thing, but taking out the anti-Al Qaeda Houthis will not stop Al Qaeda and would rather end up helping them.

      Pakistan and Sudan's roles shouldn't be surprising. Pak has always worked for the Gulf or non-Gulf Arabs militarily regardless of whatever relations with Iran, who matter less when it comes to petro-dollars and slight edge in sectarian affinity since Pak is mostly a Sunni nation. Sudan was being strong-armed by Saudi Arabia for quite a while with pulling out needed investments and freezing Sudan out politically for their relationship with Iran.

  • What's Religion Got to do with it? German Co-Pilot as Terrorist (14)
  • Washington's 2 Air Wars: alongside Iran in Iraq, Saudis in Yemen (12)
    • Besides, using nuclear bomb is going to cost Iraq millions of dollars, so I don't think they would allow any country to drop nuclear bomb on ISIS positions...... What are they going to do with the fall out? How many years should they not live in there ? Who is going to clean that mess up? Bet ISIS won't !

  • Israeli control of their water a continuing threat to Palestinians: Report (1)
    • Access to clean water is the right of every human being, unless those who play the God of evil, decides to not only deprive these human beings of their own water, but use it as a weapon against them.

      The world does nothing.

  • Washington's 2 Air Wars: alongside Iran in Iraq, Saudis in Yemen (12)
    • Jack, cause we don't have any nuclear bombs, we don't have the technology of it yet for love of God. Stop saying we have nuclear bombs. Having nuclear bomb for a country is like having an expensive car, you have to show off with it to get respect on the street !
      If we had, you would have seen it in action in yearly practice sessions. (just like North Korea or back in the day in USA)

  • Obama-Netanyahu Tiff worsens: US won't rule out using UN to create Palestine (30)
    • Sure appears that Obama, Kerry, Biden tired of Israel's persistent expansion of illegal settlements while saying the words that they support a two state solution. Acts speak louder than words.

      Amazing to hear Richard Engel and so many others spin that this Obama/Netanyahu "rift" is a "personality issue" and never even make the effort to address the serious substantive foreign policy differences.

      Mika Brzezinski has been really playing hardball on Morning Joe (Scarborough away) all week on this issue. She has even asked guest who will not deal with facts "what are you afraid of" Mika "who will cut through the bs" She has stepped out more than any other MSNBC host this week on this issue.

      Chris Matthews had Bob (Iraq warmonger) Woodward on to discuss Iran. Woodward also said the Plame outing "was much ado about nothing" Why do these host allow those who were so knowingly deadly wrong about Iraq and other very serious issues to share their opinions about middle east issues....enough!

  • Washington's 2 Air Wars: alongside Iran in Iraq, Saudis in Yemen (12)
    • Since the unnecessary and immoral US invasion of Iraq this part of the world does appear to be in total chaos and "on fire." Death, destruction, refugees. Was this the PNAC's intention?

      This morning on BBC's World Service a long report about Saudi Arabia's decision to bomb Yemen. Linked that this may partially be an attempt to add to Israel and the 47 Republicans Senators efforts to undermine P5+1 negotiations? What can you say about this Prof Cole?

  • Traitor Senators used Israeli Spies against their own Country (7)
    • I am in full agreement with Jakob Leonhard's views on the unwisdom of using the word "treason" or any of its forms in reference to "the 47 Senators".

      With respect, Joe errs in saying that the use of the term is "strictly accurate", precisely because of "Treason is carefully defined in the Constitution (Article III, Section 3: "Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort." If the conduct that Joe includes in "levying war' were to be accepted, I fear that many of those with whom Joe sympathizes would be found guilty of treason long before any of "the 47 Senators" were. Be careful what you wish for, and keep in mind the cautionary words of Sir Thomas More.

  • What's Religion Got to do with it? German Co-Pilot as Terrorist (14)
    • I am sure there will be desperate efforts made to connect the co-pilot with radical Islam….. as if only Muslims did such horrible things. Anders Breivik, right wing Christian, also committed a horrendous crime that resulted in the deaths of many innocent kids. It will be interesting to know what made this man act this way. The mental stability of pilots should always be checked periodically. Some suffer from mental issues, but never take medication as it will show in their medical tests, and may affect their jobs. As a passenger this is frightening.

  • Washington's 2 Air Wars: alongside Iran in Iraq, Saudis in Yemen (12)
  • Netanyahu's Victory did us the favor of ending the Charade (7)
    • Sadly, I agree. But I remain hopeful.

      Palestine's use of the International Criminal Court on April 1st and whether or not the US protects Israel with a veto in the next Security Council measure are the next two barometers of where this is going

  • Washington's 2 Air Wars: alongside Iran in Iraq, Saudis in Yemen (12)
    • Lindsey Graham will be beside himself. This news isn't just "ironic in the extreme," it means the U.S. has allied with the Iranians trying to drive Daesh out of Tikrit. If Graham is on the Sunday morning talk shows perhaps a courageous reporter will ask him why didn't Iran just drop one of their NUCLEAR BOMBS on Tikrit instead of calling on U.S. airstrikes?

  • What's Religion Got to do with it? German Co-Pilot as Terrorist (14)
    • I remember in the 70s when a Japanese pilot intentionally slammed his 747 into a mountain. It turned out he was depressed and suicidal. I had a number of friends as pilots and all were pulled in for psychological evals, which then became the norm. Obviously, some fall through the cracks. This is all it seems to be; no conspiracy, no terrorism.

    • This is a sad day for aviation on top of the indescribable loss of precious lives. No convenient scapegoats, no usual suspects, no state sponsored line of investigation: post 911 changes to airports and airplanes, psych profiling of passengers, etc., all need reevaluating right away.

  • Obama-Netanyahu Tiff worsens: US won't rule out using UN to create Palestine (30)
    • Juan's reply begs a fuller post. there's a lot of confusion about the legal basis for the creation of the state of Israel. Some suggested reading sources may be in order for us "less-than-fully-informed-to-comment"

    • The basis is the lack of any effort so far by any US administration, to do anything more than prolong fake negotiation for nothing more than the 1967 borders, which did not create viable states. That's not action for justice, it is pure political maneuver.

      I predict that nothing at all will be done by the US, ever. Netanyahu has merely given AIPAC's Obama-Hillary team someone to blame, and I am more than confident that they will not take the major coercive action they would swiftly have taken anywhere else in the world. Would it not be astounding?

      Also they have said and done nothing to my knowledge against oligarchy control of US mass media and elections, so they cannot be excused by such circumstances. I would be delighted by such action, but I have seen no sign at all of anything but shill gambits.

    • The UNGA is not an executive body. The UN Security Council never formally approved the partition plan.

  • Washington's 2 Air Wars: alongside Iran in Iraq, Saudis in Yemen (12)
  • Obama-Netanyahu Tiff worsens: US won't rule out using UN to create Palestine (30)
    • There are s many things wrong in Mark's post that it's hard to know where to start.

      MK: [UNGAR 181] "that was merely advisory in nature."

      No, much more than that, as is made clear in its first sentence: "The General Assembly, Having met in special session at the request of the mandatory Power"....

      Get it? The UNGA was voting on this Plan Of Partition because the MANDATORY asked it to vote on it.

      Why? Because Partition required the extinguishing of the Balfour Declaration, and Article 27 of Mandate explicitly says that the Mandatory can't do that without first getting the "consent" of its supervising body, which by 1947 was.... the UNGA.

      The Mandatory wanted to Partition this Mandate.
      It asked the UNGA if they were OK with that.
      The UNGA said: sure, we think that's a swell idea.

      According to the plain text of the Mandate for Palestine that made it all legal, and very, very legally-binding.

      MK: "The State of Israel was not declared until May 14, 1948 when the British Mandate ended"

      The declaration itself didn't end the Mandate.
      The end of Mandate didn't create the declaration.

      One followed from the other, and the reason why one followed from the other was... because the Partition Plan said so.

      MK: "It was the agreement of the British government "..

      Yeah, the agreement of the Mandatory with its Supervisor that made the birth of TWO successor states the only l.e.g.a.l. outcome from the end of Mandate.

      MK: "who voted against the General Assembly’s Partition Plan"

      Ahem. A flat-out untruth.

      These are the countries that voted against the Partition Plan: Afghanistan, Cuba, Egypt, Greece, India, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, Yemen.

      The UK (i.e. the Mandatory Power) is the country that actually brought the Partition Plan to the Assembly for a vote of consent (as, indeed, it was required to do).

      But since it was, indeed, the Mandatory Power then the UK couldn't vote of the Plan, for the most obvious of conflict-of-interest.

      It had to abstain, since it couldn't both "ask" for consent and "give" that consent to itself.

    • You misunderstand, MVH1. What I find astounding is that nobody in the USA seems to be the slightest bit upset that Obama is flagging a change of policy with respect to The Special Relationship.

      Simply saying that "we are re-evaluating our policy" would have been unthinkable even two years ago.

      You know, back when Biden was saying that there must be "no daylight, no daylight" between the USA and Israel.

      Something has definitely changed in the political discourse regarding Israel, and that change has been driven by one man's arrogance and hubris.

      Netanyahu is still at the high point of his oh-so-exhilarating jump over the shark.

      And, yeah, sure, he and his admirers are still pumped full of adrenalin and yahooing with unabashed bravado.

      But this still remains true: he is going to hit that water with a sickening belly-flop.

    • I don't know about the attack on the Cole, but I'd say an appropriate relationship with Israel was knocked off-track when the US allowing Israel to away with its attack on the USS Liberty in 1967 link to aljazeera.com

      Until that time there was certainly a political relationship in flux, as there will always be with any number of other countries.

      When Israel got away with what they did, however, a precedent was established that has harmed genuine US interests in the region enormously ever since—indirectly and directly— for nearly 50 years.

    • the US spends what $3 billion a year in foreign aid to Israel and who stands up for the Palestinians? which country? Russia? China? the EU?? any Arab states? its so one sided. Palestinians can't even get building permits to build houses on their own land! and, if they do build a house for their family a few months go by then armed Jewish settlers backed by the military police come and evict them!! If the US can sanction Russia fo what they're doing in Crimea then they should be able to support the EU' s sanctions in Israel??

  • The Rise of ISIL & the Political Bankruptcy of Arab Politics in the Levant (3)
    • I would say "modern theo-democracy" is a pretty good description of the current ideology of the Republican Party of the United States. Government and secular values are denigrated to make the masses cynical and apathetic, so that a minority of fanatics can overwhelm the polls on election day to foist theocrats on us who are in the pocket of the business elites.

  • Jim Crow in the Holy Land (1)
    • The Israel lobby can block or reverse any policy change by the Administration.

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

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

  • Obama-Netanyahu Tiff worsens: US won't rule out using UN to create Palestine (30)
    • A "need", support for a need? That's only advisory; it's essentially a cop out. What's actually needed is a Declaration of Statehood based on the green line and an invitation to join the United Nations. It would declare that the occupation is a breach of international criminal law, but should Israelis be withdrawn from the new state within six months, both parties will be favorably considered for amnesties.

  • Climate Change: Can the Insurance Industry be saved from Bankruptcy? (7)
    • Whoops, time for the Tea Party to add the Reinsurance Association of America to the list of Commie class-traitor companies, along with General Motors, Chrysler, Tesla, and the entire solar and wind power industries.

  • Obama-Netanyahu Tiff worsens: US won't rule out using UN to create Palestine (30)
    • Let's do it, indeed. Now that the path is clear and in our control, we need see no serious impediment. For years we have been stiff-armed by Israeli politicians, but now we've been stiffed by the Israeli electorate itself. Yes, let's do it.

  • Traitor Senators used Israeli Spies against their own Country (7)
    • We use words like "traitors" specifically to point out their hypocrisy in calling all opponents of their pro-Israel extremism "traitors". How can we be the traitors if they're putting Israel ahead of the US? Because the "nation" they're demanding loyalty to is not the US or Israel. It's to the white capitalist patriarchy that ginned up the term "Judeo-Christian" to justify their rule over the rest of us and the world. We are treated as conquered, occupied servant races, with no right to demand that patriotism or the economy or even the military serve our actual, objective interests. Instead, we serve all of those things.

  • All the Wars and Coups of President Ted Cruz (26)
    • America's Netanyahu. Except that Bibi's US citizenship is more solid than Ted's.

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

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

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

  • Obama-Netanyahu Tiff worsens: US won't rule out using UN to create Palestine (30)
    • John, you have no basis for the talk of the President settling for bantustans and concentration camps. Obama has never said a word justifying such a thing, i.e., a betrayal of the Palestinian people. He has worked very hard over two long periods to give the Israelis a chance to do the right thing.

      I think he is going to deliver-up a peace for the Israelis, in other words whether they like it or not, in the form of offers they can not refuse. He may have waited until his second term for political reasons and and conflicting domestic agendas, but now is the obvious time for a multi-lateral, institutional, hard ball approach, and for what it's worth, the judges of his presidency are waiting with pens poised.

      As individuals our Legislativel class are neutralized by the brutality of the Lobby, but neither President Obama nor the Europeans nor the EU/UN/Nato are caught in our mess. I was only initially a bit depressed at the reelection of Netanyahu. Upon reflection I don't feel that way at all.

  • All the Wars and Coups of President Ted Cruz (26)
    • He believes paranoia can provoke the vast redneck zombie army into overthrowing modern democracy and restoring the rich to an absolute monopoly of power. If poor blacks and even his poorer white supporters must be sacrificed for the benefit of superior achievers like himself, that's free competition. I see nothing in capitalism that requires the oligarchs to give a damn about the long term.

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

  • Mideast Apocalypse 2030: Why Obama wants the Palestine Issue Solved. Now. (26)
    • The Israelis are becoming ideologically indistinguishable from the American far right/Tea Party, which treats the defeat of white supremacy in South Africa as a bad thing, even the defeat of the Confederate States as a bad thing. The solution, to them, is to break the will of the untermenschen in one great bloodletting. That's what all those assault rifles they're buying are for.

  • Obama-Netanyahu Tiff worsens: US won't rule out using UN to create Palestine (30)
  • Traitor Senators used Israeli Spies against their own Country (7)
    • The term traitor is strictly accurate, although not because they sympathize with a foreign state. Treason is defined carefully in the US Constitution as making war upon these United States. But economic coercion is the modern form of warfare, as economic force has replaced military force as the principal form of coercion. Those who use economic force to control the US government are indeed traitors.

      That includes the oligarchs who control US elections and mass media and thereby politicians. It includes politicians who accept money from foreign powers and PACs like AIPAC that thereby control US policy. They have denied democracy to We the People, and all means to restore it, other than following Jefferson's advice that "the tree of liberty must be watered with the blood of tyrants."

  • Obama-Netanyahu Tiff worsens: US won't rule out using UN to create Palestine (30)
    • "UN created Israel in 1947."

      This is inaccurate.

      The United Nations General Assembly passed its Partition Plan on November 29, 1947 that was merely advisory in nature.

      The State of Israel was not declared until May 14, 1948 when the British Mandate ended. It was the agreement of the British government - who voted against the General Assembly's Partition Plan - that made the birth of the State of Israel a reality.

  • Unprecedented CO2 Crimes: Next time, Let's Call it "Cyclone ExxonMobil" (6)
    • It it helps things any, I read some of the material presented here as fact-based material years before I had heard of DRG.
      And I read it in places other than here. I suspect DRG read it in those same places.

      I read long ago that 80F was the threshhold temperature for ocean water warm enough to gas off hurricane-loads of water vapor into the overlying air. If a hurricane gets started over a huge zone of 80F or higher ocean, it can somewhat "govern" its maximum growth by its own winds wave-churning ocean water deep enough to reach down and mix under-80 water with the 80 water at the surface. Drag the surface below 80 and less-than-hurricane loads of vapor can gas off into the air.

      If one deepens the layer of 80+ water on the surface, it stands to reason that one could set higher the bar at which
      the hurricane can finally wind-whip the ocean deep enough to drag up the now-deeper-down under 80 water. IFF! . . all other conditions were as perfect as before for the formation of a hurricane otherwise. I don't see why that becomes false or unreasonable just because it is repeated by someone who is accused of being discredited on some other issue-area.

      As to the hysteria of "saving the planet", the planet will save itself, thank you very much. If saving itself involves exterminating species man, the planet will do that without batting a hurricane's eye. The planet got along fine before it met us, and it will get along fine once we're gone. The planet could give a rat's ass whether mankind lives or dies.

      We should worry about preserving conditions which are beneficial to the lifestyle to which we humans have become accustomed. THAT is what man made climate change is putting at risk right now.

  • Climate Change: Can the Insurance Industry be saved from Bankruptcy? (7)
    • jamesL, Florida will be just fine. The Governor has decreed that no state employee can use the terms "climate change" so the problem is fixed.

  • Obama-Netanyahu Tiff worsens: US won't rule out using UN to create Palestine (30)
    • Because you have not seen any news reports does not at all mean there aren't many in the U.S. who are upset about this, livid, now with proof of what many many of us suspected all alone, that Netanyahu never negotiated in good faith, that it was always a side step here, a feint there, no intention ever of a two state solution. It's too bad we have the media we have. You will never see this side reported and I have a feeling there are plenty of us who are completely fed up and appalled and very, very angry and ready to ditch all pretenses with Israel that have proven far too dangerous to America to be tolerated further.

  • Mideast Apocalypse 2030: Why Obama wants the Palestine Issue Solved. Now. (26)
    • The probable future.

    • I see this as very plausible. To those mentioning the 600lb gorilla of "Wheres the US in this scenario" - in 15 years the USofA will look very different than it does now. Also throughout this potential future it is noted that there is no one individual or even one city as being in charge so like the Israelis the US would have no one to focus an attack on. Personally I think Israelis need to remember (or be reminded of) there own persecution history and couple that with how South African apartheid turned out to see that equality of all is the only safe path forward.

  • Netanyahu's Victory did us the favor of ending the Charade (7)
    • "This is Apartheid, and Israel embraced it last week willingly and with open eyes."

      as it has done for the last 20 years or so .... anyone who believes that now israel will become isolated and US / EU politicians are all going to publicly condemn this rogue state are naive beyond belief .... money talks and Israel first billionaires most of whom support this maniac will continue to control the agenda and destroying Iran will remain on the agenda as will the final expulsion of all Palestinians from Israel.

  • Obama-Netanyahu Tiff worsens: US won't rule out using UN to create Palestine (30)
    • There were rumors a couple of weeks ago that Kerry was gearing up for a third try at negotiations after the Israeli elections.

      A third try by Kerry!! Really? How delusional can he be?

  • Netanyahu's Victory did us the favor of ending the Charade (7)
    • It was crystal clear what the Israelis wanted, and they wanted Netanyahu to do it. Polls have shown that Israelis want apartheid policies. I really cannot understand why it took this long for the US/UN/EU to realized this. It was evident, by the actions of Netanyahu that he wanted to keep the occupation going, and the illegal settlements too. Surely world leaders are not naive to realize this? The question is now what is Obama going to do? The ball is in his court, he has made it clear that there is no doubt Netanyahu means what he says, yet to a large extent his hands are tied, because within our nation, we have traitors who connive with this war criminal, against their own President, and will never stand with him. All Obama has to do is work with the EU leaders now, and make sure Israel gets it's just desserts, and the Palestinians their Statehood and freedom.

  • Mideast Apocalypse 2030: Why Obama wants the Palestine Issue Solved. Now. (26)
    • Maybe I read this doomsday scenario too quickly. Was there any mention of American forces (including missiles and bombers) in the battle? Before it reached the point painted by Dr. Cole, (and even after it reached the painted point) America would surely be there, right in the thick of the war---at least $50 Billion a day!

  • Unprecedented CO2 Crimes: Next time, Let's Call it "Cyclone ExxonMobil" (6)
    • No one else a little miffed to see DRG turn up in the climate debate after spreading so much misinformation on 9/11? (He used to be a scion in the 9/11 Truth movement) - thanks but I'll take my climate arguments and science from more trusted sources.

      Even a stopped clock might apply here...

  • Obama-Netanyahu Tiff worsens: US won't rule out using UN to create Palestine (30)
    • I don't get Obama at all. Of course, Netanyahu (and any other leader of Israel) wants to keep every worthy part of the west bank---and wants an undivided Jerusalem. So Obama says he (and Kerry) won't even try any more settlement talks. This is totally music to Bibi's ears! What a month Bibi is having! He wins America's heart (see congressional appearance), he wins the election, and America throws in the towel on the Palestinians !
      What's next: America bombs Iran for Bibi?
      You go Bibi!!! You are on a roll. America will be there to kiss your tushie! As for Obama, he wears a sign on his back: Kick Me!

  • Netanyahu's Victory did us the favor of ending the Charade (7)
    • Netanyahu's decisive win was depressing because it underscored how many Israelis support his racist and oppressive government.

      But I know now Bibi's win was a good thing. Because Bibi's hubris is making him a target, and he's making Israel a target, and he's succeeded in making truthful honest debate about the dysfunctional relationship between Israel and the US possible. It's even happening at the NYT, where anti-Bibi sentiment is hitting new highs. That would have never happened if Hertzog won. Open your eyes folks: history is happening now.

  • Traitor Senators used Israeli Spies against their own Country (7)
    • I think it's great (or at least I'm hopeful) that it is finally seeping into the American public's consciousness, just how much control and influence that tiny little country half a world away exerts over us.

      LOL this segment reminded of that Mad cartoon "Spy Vs. Spy" with those two little crazy birds, one white and the other black, trying to blow each other up with bombs:

      link to youtube.com

  • Netanyahu's Victory did us the favor of ending the Charade (7)
    • What is the best path for a nonviolent popular resistance in the region?

      Successful nonviolent resolutions to war and seige go back to Mozi of ancient China, who called it a tragic betrayal of humanity, "Heaven attacking Heaven." He was basically a human rights lobbyist going to each of the warring states and appealing to their humanity. Another example is the Liberian women's antiwar sex strike which was incredibly brave and effective, staunchly humanist with a strong female role. But a fair nonviolent settlement is not only ethical because of its ethical means, but because even a small success in that direction would peel off support from these corrupted political forces. Today there is no shortage: the fundamentalist Al Qaeda and ISIS, zealous settlers and fevered Anglo emigrants who are being courted by Christian fundamentalists in living room talks in the Holy Land. A nearer and more recent example is Algeria. Though violent, scholars looking back on the indepdendence movement found its success was ultimately via diplomacy. The strength of international diplomacy is that it is not only an alternative to inhumane war, but also to dogmatism, whether it's the dogma of assimilating into one state (which failed in Algeria), or the dogma of state power, or religious totalitarianism overall. It makes one question his responsibility, rather than attack the character of the enemy. It can be dizzying but these extreme forces must be taken together as complimentary, feeding each other. (I want to make clear it does us no good to denounce them all at once, a cheap handwashing tactic. One must try to denounce first the ones you have a responsiblity for).

      The Palestinians are finally challenging this beehive by going to the UN with a threat to go to the ICC. This is creating real concern in Washington.

      Supposedly the Washington opposes the extremist forces, at least in rhetoric. Yet it has been US policy as it is in most empires to find a nice excuse to suppress democracy that could shrink its domain of rule.

      This is why the Israeli criticisms of Hamas are so hypocritical, they're a minature version of the much larger US/Israeli monopoly on force. The US maintains a huge distraction from this imbalance: an Israel continually under threat of extinction, to support the "family owned gas station" dictatorships. Because their citizens will forever try to resist this arrangement, those pro-US "moderate" dictatorships in turn keep democracy under control. And the US elites make this pretty clear this is why they undermine even Israeli interests, which we're stupidly cheering right now in petty shadenfreude. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger told Golda Meir to expect what she complained was "the end of Israel" -- before she talked up UN 242 to the Knesset. Kissinger being a student of Machieveli of course believed a "just and lasting peace" were a charade.

      Beyond Samantha Power's selfie with Kissinger, a recent article in the New York Times on Amnesty International shows this conflicting posture is clearly still encouraged. It points out that Israel has attacked civillians, citing their report. Yet the Amnesty report also concluded that the US is implicated, which the Times left out. Why the omission? We aren't supposed to question our war postrue as proud manly men dedicated to freedom. The US/Israeli elites fear being implicated on humanitarian grounds for war crimes, true, but also, a "Peace offensive" will show that military rule is not necessary, and this is the preferred controversey. Those in the world who might feel sympathy and a tinge of national resistence still must be kept in check. Indeed, the famed Washington insider Jeffrey Goldberg, with the help of YNet, has pre-emptively attacked the United Nation's assessment of women under the occupation as being anti-Semitic. It is simply taken as a given that the US and Israel are entitled to govern by force.

      There's always arguments about how You Can Only Trust Us and that's more of an artifact of power plays within institutions, whether they're movements or states. Most violence and brutality is done by ordinary people, who could choose other paths, which the Indian independence movement proved when they pulled many of their countrymen out of the British army (hint hint Israeli Jews). This is starting to be understood as a form of deterrence to crimes by international organizations, preferable to that of threatening punishment, which requires overhwelming violent force. A diplomatic solution takes away the credibility of force, and so is a threat to those who have the most guns. We already have Algeria and the Good Friday in Ireland to show, it's our responsibility to prove it again, to Palestinians and future victims of power's abuse.

      So Palestinian independence requires more than a Palestinian Nelson Mandela or recognition of racism. It requires confronting US imperial doctrine that created Hamas and yes Netanyahu in the first place. It requires creating alternative media. The US military and corporate media have obscured the betrayal even of its own resolutions holding Israel accountable. Unfortunately, there is little room for mistakes, and so harsh truths must be told. The peace movement has its work cut out for it. Somehow we must make a gesture of peace and resistance at the same time: inroads into the US government's imperial Middle East policy while also gaining international recognition. It requires more than a civil rights movement. Martin Luther King was assassinated while trying to attempt this himself. US business interests, particularly oil and military interests must be challenged and disrupted.

  • Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories ‘must end’ – White House chief of staff (8)
    • JStreet supports Israeli politicians such as Tzipi Livni. It's leadership is in favor of annexation of major settlement blocks. It favors American mediation and is opposed to lifting of Gaza blockade. It views the solidarity student movement in the US as enemy of Israel. To choose JStreet as a venue, therefore, is not an indication of any shift in American policy. It is only a repackaging of the charade called Oslo or the Peace Process.

  • Obama-Netanyahu Tiff worsens: US won't rule out using UN to create Palestine (30)
  • Traitor Senators used Israeli Spies against their own Country (7)
  • Obama-Netanyahu Tiff worsens: US won't rule out using UN to create Palestine (30)
    • So what is there to wait for any longer? There is NO doubt Netanyahu is NOT interested in peace, nor ending the occupation and illegal settlements. He has made every excuse in the book to stall, reject, and be uncooperative, every time the US made tremendous effort to bring about some resolution. What more proof does the US need that this scoundrel has absolutely no intention of doing the right thing by the Palestinians. All those pathetic excuses about Hamas and the rockets are beginning to wear thin. Netanyahu's stubbornness to budge, and his arrogant continuation of illegal settlements at every excuse, are all signs that things will never change in the new government. What is Obama waiting for? The EU will only be happy to unite with the US in making Israel finally pay for all the crimes, and help the Palestinians get their statehood, independence, and human rights back.
      Time these poor victims of Israel's violence and continued theft of their resources, were given their rights back. The UN owes them that much.

  • Netanyahu's Victory did us the favor of ending the Charade (7)
  • Obama-Netanyahu Tiff worsens: US won't rule out using UN to create Palestine (30)
    • Thank you for all you do. Honestly, my cousin speaks 7 languages, used to work for the state department, and always toes the company line, even in private! The UN is there for a reason, and it has been useful at times to prevent genocide (at times). Let's do this thing!

      I am worried that IAEA statements recently will throw a wrench into Palestinian statehood. But there may be some people by Obama that are committed to peace. We'll see which insiders win out.

    • I have been pointing this out for years: the excuse that the USA gives for vetoing Its Own Policy in the UN Security Council is that such a resolution would complicate the "US mediated peace process".

      But once that USMPP is acknowledged to be a failure then.... there goes that excuse for vetoing those resolutions.

      That's the singular reason why the White House is so incandescent over Netanyahu's comments i.e. US policy requires that Israel at least pretend to be interested in that Kabuki dance.

      Netanyahu just can't be bothered, and because of that he has left the USA's oh-so-carefully-contrived policy in tatters.

      Well, OK, if he can't be bothered then why should Obama?

      This is the answer: Obama isn't interested in shielding Israel from the monumental folly of its leader, not when they have just elected Bibi again. And certainly not when the reason *why* they elected them is because he stood up and publicly shouted his folly.

      The veto is toast, and not before time.

      But what's so astounding is not that the White House is flagging this, but that nobody in the USA seems to be the slightest bit upset about it.

    • Obama will do no more than talk about a bantustan (an undersized land-locked concentration camp, not viable as a state) for the Palestinians, as was done in South Africa under apartheid. If it happened he and his backers would sneer that it was "a" two-state solution.

      Why let politicians off the hook for a re-run of South Africa? The only just solution is reapportionment of all Israel-Palestine resources per population into two viable states. Israel will neither negotiate nor permit that if imposed, and will have to be defeated militarily.

      If Obama had any intention to do justice he would demand the solution and set up UN processes and impose sanctions now and make them total within a year, while building NATO military force there. He has no such intentions and is throwing a few crumbs at liberals for propaganda purposes. Hillary is paid by AIPAC and will do nothing.