Recent Comments

  • ISIL hits Syrian Regime in Shiite northwest, killing 150 (7)
    • It is pretty surely just Daesh.

    • When you read the neocon's PNAC blueprint for rearranging the middle east (Securing the realm and all of that) you certainly have to wonder if chaos, death and destruction was just what they wanted through the Bush administrations invasion of Iraq, Obama and Clinton's military intervention in Libya and arming rebels in Syria.

      That is surely the result of U.S. involvement...help take down the infrastructure and the in fighting would be released.

      Such human tragedies says a white woman sitting in the empire. that has fomented some of these disasters.

    • "locals speculated that the refugee population contained covert Daesh cells who carried out the attacks."

      It's always the same story and very much by design. Daesh/IS wants to poison the minds everywhere against the Sunni refugees.

  • Israel: Netanyahu reiterates opposition to French peace initiative (5)
    • Truth. Israeli "peace" in regards to Palestine and Lebanon is no peace at all. It's farce, and anyone can see it.

    • Netanyahu and Israel do not want peace or a fair two-state settlement. Simple as that.

      The lying coward said it himself before pretending to go back on it-- "if I'm elected, there will be no Palestinian state". The Palestinians are right to refuse to waste time in Israeli "direct negotiations" to say the least.

  • Fruits of Perseverence: Dem Platform Committee to Feel the Bern (3)
    • "The party’s chairwoman, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, will name the committee’s final four members." LOL

      Push her out before the meeting!!!!

  • Israel: Netanyahu reiterates opposition to French peace initiative (5)
    • Why bother? Netanyahu, now with his new "defense minister" has not the slightest wish or need to even attempt "peace". Why would he, when Israel is in control, nobody supports the Palestinians' reasonable and legal demands, and Israel takes over more and more land and houses, demolishes more houses, farms, olive trees and ensures it is always "defending itself".

  • US Centcom Commander in Syria to Coordinate Kurds, Arabs against ISIL (7)
  • ISIL hits Syrian Regime in Shiite northwest, killing 150 (7)
    • Dr. Cole, your take on the possibility of Ahrar al-Sham claiming responsibility in the name of Daesh is an interesting one. I had wondered about Daesh having reach so far towards the coast. What would be the reasons for that, to continue to give the US cover in not acquiescing to Russian calls to designate Ahrar as a terrorist group (which it most certainly is)?

  • The Hottest Year on Record: 12th month in a row of unprecedented heat (7)
    • John, if it's in your town, and it's a one off, then it's weather. If it global, then it's climate. YOu can have weather that is not in conformity with climate change, but the overall global pattern is what matters. If you have a history of earth citation to show, please do. I'm willing to see from where you get your ideas.

  • Fruits of Perseverence: Dem Platform Committee to Feel the Bern (3)
    • This isn't a reward for his playing hardball. It's the leadership finally looking at the poll numbers and realizing that the public mood is so angry and crazy that Trump can win. We must all become terrified together, and then unite.

  • The Hottest Year on Record: 12th month in a row of unprecedented heat (7)
  • Israel: Netanyahu reiterates opposition to French peace initiative (5)
    • I do believe that Netanyahu wants piece. I don't believe he or his government wants peace.

      The EU proposal will not work, just like Oslo didn't work. One side has all of the power, the other has none.

  • The late great Fourth Amendment: Feds, Police and Intrusive Technologies (5)
    • Exactly. The right wing pushes investigative powers in ignorance of the downside, looking as always at only one side of the question. Such journalism as this exposes the downside to those who care for truth and justice, which never includes the right wing or the common man, although they pay the price and learn when it is too late.

    • The article argues for regulation, not abolition of investigative technology. Naive regulation is easily circumvented and is not regulation at all. Secret tribunals and secrets from trial judges, as well as our corrupt judiciary, obstruct proper regulation. The ability to turn off police cams or suppress the data obstructs proper regulation.

  • Israel: Netanyahu reiterates opposition to French peace initiative (5)
  • Fruits of Perseverence: Dem Platform Committee to Feel the Bern (3)
    • Letting the liberal wing have "a say in writing the platform" is merely an offer to let them deceive their members that Hillary has any intention of following that platform. She will continue to sponsor wars and claim that "realism" prevents domestic reform.

      That platform is just more hopey-changey marketing crap from the Obama campaign.

  • ISIL hits Syrian Regime in Shiite northwest, killing 150 (7)
    • That is, diplomacy between US/Saudi/Turkey/salafis and Russia/Iran/Iraq/Assad/Kurds

    • Such bombings suggest that no outcome other than a federation or independent Sunni state could finally halt terror incidents. Diplomacy between US/Saudi/Turkey/Assad/salafis and Russia/Iran/Iraq/Kurds is the obvious solution, and those who have radicalized the Sunnis bear a heavy responsibility for continuing violence.

    • if all this killing is being done in the name of God/Allah, please let the world become atheists. it would be ever so much more peaceful.

      its all about power and control and I do believe some people have been at war so long, that is their way of life. Even if the president of Syria steps down tomorrow, would the killing really stop now? its like this will go on until there is no one left. Not a very religious thing to be doing.

      What all of these killings are expected to secure is beyond me. Where will it all end? Perhaps in Russia's own back yard.

  • The Hottest Year on Record: 12th month in a row of unprecedented heat (7)
    • Since we can't convince our fellow humans to avoid a mass die off (of homo sapiens and perhaps as much as 90% of the current flora/fauna on the planet), maybe we should focus on creating ways to archive the best of human achievement so that any surviving humans don't have to start all over again at caveman level...

  • New Turkish PM Firmly Behind Erdogan on Executive Presidency (2)
  • Student Protest, Black Lives Matter, & the Corporate University (1)
    • That's fair, but the reason you have to do something to diversity the ranks of the "achievers" is because there seems to be no other way to kill off the incredibly pernicious faith of the American heartland population that our inequality is really meritocracy because Whites are really the Master Race, males the Master Gender, Christianity the True Faith, etc. And the faith is unkillable because it makes White Christians feel good to believe it, and then feel wonderfully self-righteous and persecuted that they have to lie about it when talking to outsiders. They would rather live thinking of themselves as unjustly dispossessed Masters than share power with others.

      We're really stuck here until we take some really risky step like saying, "They're not going to change until we render their tribal hierarchy irrelevant." But the capitalists aren't going to let their pet universities aid in such an endeavor because of course capitalists have the secondary function of being the tribal chieftains. And the universities are still going to be judged by the all-important parents (consumers) by their ability to crank out big-earning children (product). No distractions allowed unless they create a chance that my kid will be the first XXXXX-American to become a head whatever at Oligarchy Inc. and set me up in a retirement mansion. Screw equality.

  • US Centcom Commander in Syria to Coordinate Kurds, Arabs against ISIL (7)
    • This US obsession with Assad is increasingly bizarre. The US appears to have lost sight of the fact that one unfortunate intervention does not simply replace the one before, they become cumulative in the global mind. It's as if Obama et al are allowing veil after veil to float away, exposing purposes ever further from the well being of the Syrian people, avowed humanitarian priorities, or even democracy. Had this Orwellian titled 'Centcom Commander' informed the Syrian government of his desire to visit, it is likely permission would have been denied. True, but many see it as a further example of US disregard for other nations' sovereignty. Either nations respect each others sovereignty or to all intents and purposes they are at war.

      But Grandmother! What big teeth you have," said Little Red Riding Hood.

      "The better to eat you with, my dear,” roared the wolf

  • The late great Fourth Amendment: Feds, Police and Intrusive Technologies (5)
    • The outright destruction of PRIVACY is unprecedented in U.S. history.

      Far more intrusive than government and law enforcement listening is the continuous and increasing PRIVATE SECTOR data harvesting and archiving on every man, woman and child in our country.

      The concern should be - how will this highly granular information gleaned from YOU and your loved-ones be used in the not too distant future?

    • If its use and existence cannot be openly disclosed to the public and open to public debate, then its use is of dubious nature. Why the secrecy if it is for the common good?

  • US Centcom Commander in Syria to Coordinate Kurds, Arabs against ISIL (7)
    • Perhaps General Votel can bring the same brilliant success to Syria that Generals Petraeus and MacChrystal brought to Afghanistan.

  • This is America! Man Facing Jail For Ripping Veil Off Muslim Woman (9)
    • The circumstance reported exemplifies the effect the Trump/Cruz media-borne h8 campaign is having on our country.

      Not only does the TSA have to safeguard us from freshly agitated targets of extreme right-wing h8 but now there is the added burden of the weak-of-mind acting out the Trump/Cruz racist fantasies.

      Long lines at airport security? Thank Donald Trump and natural-born Canadian Ted Cruz.

  • US Centcom Commander in Syria to Coordinate Kurds, Arabs against ISIL (7)
  • Baghdad on Lockdown not from fear of ISIL but of poor Protesters (5)
    • The so-called think tanks are really NOT think tanks in spite of this term. They are more like 'jockeyers for favours and prestige" with the Washington establishment, and do not expect any intelligent or serious thinking outside-the-box ideas or plans from them. Often, these organizations task areas to specialists who did not previously specialize in anything Middle Eastern-related and there are various reasons why that is, none are really professional. Many if not most of the so-called think tanks are affiliated with lobbying or political organizations. When they work, it is behind-the-scenes, not before the scrutinizing glare of daylight.

      Our US officials, particularly those with conservative spins or those appointed to this area with zero background or understanding of the country or region, have often favoured federation. Do the Iraqi people favour this too? This is the question. There are a sizable number who fought in the Iraqi army against Iran in that war, including Shi'a Iraqis, who are loyal to the notion of a state of Iraq. Protestors aren't yet calling for the dissolution of the country; they are demanding action from the current leadership

      The political solution we have imposed on Iraq is a failed one; indeed across the region the parties or systems we have 'set up' are anemic and rickety - Libya is another lately in the news. We need to get smarter at promoting feasible political solutions, not imposing them and importantly, factor in populations in these countries when we 'plan' (if you want to call what has transpired since 9/11 planning).

      We seem to be rolling in and forgetting, oh yeah, these countries have populations with basic needs and expectations; instead we are stuck on putting out fires and this is not sustainable anywhere

  • UN Overwhelmed: Climate & Conflict have created 60 mn Refugees, Half of them Children (1)
  • US Centcom Commander in Syria to Coordinate Kurds, Arabs against ISIL (7)
    • "The Mahdi Army or Peace Brigades of Iraqi Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr are fighting as a militia in Iraq on the side of the government of Bashar al-Assad against the Salafis."

      In that sentence, do you mean to say inside Syria rather than inside Iraq?

    • I think I've got. The US is training The Syrian Democratic Force comprised of Kurdish and leftist Peoples Protection Units along with 5000 to 6000 Arab fighter allied with the Kurds but the US has provided them with no heavy weaponry.

      The US is also accused of supporting hard line Salafi groups like the Army of Islam and the Freemen of Syria; it even said US support extended to the al-Qaeda affiliate, the Nusra Front and that Saudi Arabia and Turkey were also behind the Salafis.

      Then we have the Mahdi Army or Peace Brigades of Iraqi Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr who are fighting as a militia in Iraq on the side of the government of Bashar al-Assad against the Salafis.

      Let us not forget....there is a danger that with Russian backing the al-Assad regime could roll up a lot of the rebel forces and so reestablish its stability.

      Russia is also friendly with the Syrian Kurds, so some of Washington’s new haste to deploy the SDF against Daesh may derive they might go to Russia for backing.

      Thank You Dr. Cole... piece of cake.

    • America is helping the Kurdish people and fighters whilst the Turks, who are also best pals with the Americans, are bombing those same Kurdish people to bits. Its a mad place out there but even madder, the Turks are busy arming the ISIS mob at the same time as the Americans and Kurds are trying to eliminate them! The Americans, we British and parts of the EU membership have created this hornets nest in the first place and we are in the midst of the swarm flailing about with no kind of coherent strategy of any kind. It seems to me the Syrian government with the help of the Russians are the only players who have a real sense of purpose. Get rid of all the terrorists in Syria including the moderate terrorists and imported mercenaries and put the Country back under the legitimate government of Assad. One may not think he has a legitimate mandate to govern, but he has as much right as any of the other lunatics out there including the head chopping friends of America and we British.

  • New Turkish PM Firmly Behind Erdogan on Executive Presidency (2)
  • The Hottest Year on Record: 12th month in a row of unprecedented heat (7)
  • Israel: Netanyahu replies to Officers' charges of Fascism, makes far Right Lieberman their boss (19)
    • They just keep up the same propaganda that they have been using. "Hamas Bad, Israel Good".
      Majority of American citizens believe the propaganda that are fed to them, and the other majority is more worried about their own lives and family and haven't a clue what's taking place in the middle east.

  • Baghdad on Lockdown not from fear of ISIL but of poor Protesters (5)
  • Israel: Netanyahu replies to Officers' charges of Fascism, makes far Right Lieberman their boss (19)
    • Trump is surfing on a wave of islamophobia and anti-arabic racism: a Trump presidency wouldn't "disenfranchise" the warmongers: they'd just have to propose killing more Arabs and more Muslims to get his and his core constituency's approval.

    • It should be noted that despite many searches of two separately gathered databases of basically every commercial or public radio broadcasts in the region (the one gathered and maintained by the BBC on behalf of British Intelligence, the other gathered and maintained by the CIA) during the time in question, no one, not even the supporters of the Israeli regime, has been able to document calls by Arabs for nonJewish Palestinians to leave Central Palestine.

    • When the man who was OK with deliberate attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure, military trials for occupied civilians, population transfer into occupied territories, and brutal, often deadly responses to people trying to exert their human rights says that the regime he has done all that for has 'become' extremist, one has to wonder about the sanity of anyone who tries to portray the regime as moral, normal, or declares that opposition to the regime is immoral or rooted in ignorance.

    • ".......it may turn out to be a silver lining......"

      Palestinians have actually praised Lieberman for his openness about his intent and motives about Arabs in the West Bank in Gaza. Some of his lurid comments:

      (1) that he be willing would personally purchase bus transportation to take Palestinian prisoners and forcibly drown them in the Dead Sea;

      (2) discussed beheading Palestinians as a form of punishment;

  • Egyptians "shocked" at Lieberman Appointment, note Barak's accusation of "fascism" in Tel Aviv (11)
    • What has not been emphasized in the media the other half of the fallout of the Yaalon resignation - that Yaalon will likely be replaced in the Knesset by U.S.-born Rabbi Yehuda Glick, the right-wing extremist who seeks to rebuild the Third Temple.

      Glick, a Likud Party member, survived an assassination attempt by a Palestinian earlier due to his promotion of the rebuilding of the Third Temple.

      If he is eventually seated, he will first be forced to renounce his U.S. citizenship and shall become only the fifth American-born individual to sit in the Knesset. Rabbi Meir Kahane also renounced his U.S. citizenship and sat in the Knesset.

    • "......some people in a Berlin bunker in 1945."

      Uri Avnery, a 92-year old former Irgun member who served parts of three decades as an elected member of the Knesset, published an article yesterday lauding General Yair Golan for likening the current right-wing political events in Israel to 1930s Germany and concluding with the question whether he, Avnery, will be condemned to witness the same process twice in his life.

  • Top 3 sources of Immigration to US every Decade since 1820 (Animated Map) (1)
    • Would be interesting to see this normalized as percent of resident US population rather than absolute numbers. Otherwise, quite fascinating!

  • Baghdad on Lockdown not from fear of ISIL but of poor Protesters (5)
    • It would be useful to have a prognosis for the Sunni provinces of Iraq, apparently not much more enthusiastic about Shiite militia liberation and defense than about ISIL/Daesh.

      Does the Iraqi government recognize and proceed toward a federation of provinces allowing the Sunnis sufficient satisfaction that they undertake their own defense, or would it cede Anbar etc to ISIS, or allow an non-Daesh Sunni state there in negotiation with Saudi Arabia and Turkey?

      It would be good to know what conditions of this kind the US imposes upon iraq for US support, or whether it is just more of the same for more of the same, until disaster.

      Is there no think tank debate of these matters in the light of history and the military situation, credible to the Iraq govt and the US, to show them that disaster or indefinite misery looms, unless they negotiate or take certain action?

  • Egyptians "shocked" at Lieberman Appointment, note Barak's accusation of "fascism" in Tel Aviv (11)
    • That's the problem for Sisi; there's a political cost for his regime to do things to help Israel which are well known in the Arab world. He can't go to his restless people and say that they were rewarded for cooperating.

  • The Hottest Year on Record: 12th month in a row of unprecedented heat (7)
  • Israel: Netanyahu replies to Officers' charges of Fascism, makes far Right Lieberman their boss (19)
  • Baghdad on Lockdown not from fear of ISIL but of poor Protesters (5)
  • Egyptians "shocked" at Lieberman Appointment, note Barak's accusation of "fascism" in Tel Aviv (11)
  • Israel: Netanyahu replies to Officers' charges of Fascism, makes far Right Lieberman their boss (19)
    • I disagree. None of the apocalyptic scenarios will come to pass. The Cabinet member who decides military policy in Israel is the Prime Minister, not the Defense Minister. And if the DM orders an action that's opposed by the Chief of Staff, it goes nowhere. That's not the problem. The big problem is that the Defense Minister needs to have an understanding of military issues in order to understand future potential threats and Lieberman is entirely unsuited for the task. I'm leaving out of the conversation his particular political ideas, which I find distasteful. But from a purely professional military POV, Lieberman is not qualified to take over the post. Replace a general with a corporal? Brilliant move, Bibi. Can't wait to see your next brainstorm.

  • Egyptians "shocked" at Lieberman Appointment, note Barak's accusation of "fascism" in Tel Aviv (11)
    • It looks like "our protectorate right or wrong" just went a little more wrong. No doubt that, during the election campaign, the candidates will still double-down on our sworn allegiance.

    • This is what happened to SA Apartheid on its last 2 decades of reign of terror. It became even more ruthless and brutish inside South Africa and in neighboring Namibia and Angola. But in end even nuclear weapons which Israel helped it acquire were not enough to stem its demise. Looks like fatigue is beginning to set in on soldiers who have the difficult task of enforcing apartheid in the occupied lands. It may take 30 years but in the end this is a system that cannot sustain itself for ever.

  • Snowden on Torture Report: "When the CIA destroys s.th., it's never a Mistake" (1)
    • This "accident" doesn't pass the laugh test or the smell test.

      They seem to forget that the people who survived these "techniques" tell everybody they know. Only Americans are kept in the dark. USA! USA! ugh.

  • Israel: Netanyahu replies to Officers' charges of Fascism, makes far Right Lieberman their boss (19)
  • Egyptians "shocked" at Lieberman Appointment, note Barak's accusation of "fascism" in Tel Aviv (11)
    • Apparently, Netanyahu didn't get the message about not digging deeper when you are in a hole.

      The symptoms of decline and fall are now prevalent in the US and Israel. The question now is, "Which will go first? The US or Israel? Clinton or Netanyahu? Or, will they both go together in a deadly embrace like some people in a Berlin bunker in April 1945?"

    • Now that the Saudis are going rogue and the Russians are back in the region, Egypt has the advantage of getting a bidding war for potential patrons. On the other hand, would you really want Egypt for a client?

    • It might be next month, it might take 20 years, but this will not end well for Israel.

  • Israel: Netanyahu replies to Officers' charges of Fascism, makes far Right Lieberman their boss (19)
    • Regrettable perhaps, but on the other hand if it accelerates the divisions between Israel and the outside world, and more significantly within Israel itself, it may turn out to be a silver lining; passionate divisions have ever been their Achilles' heel. Netanyahu may have shot his own foot again.

    • at least he's a good listener. seriously, tho, how will lobbyists pitch Lieberman to US?

    • Well, that news should have the champagne corks popping back in the Kremlin, not to mention the consternation that this will be causing within Mossad and Shin Bet......

    • Agreed. I begin to wonder the unthinkable - whether a Trump win would disenfranchise US warmongers enough to destabilize Israel and force the Dems to seek progress in 2020. Or embarrass the Repubs enough to permit the same.

  • Marketing & Terrorism: Is ISIL's vaunted 'brand' actually weak and vulnerable? (2)
    • This echoes gang culture in the US. Life is a struggle for meaning and balance. When things are unbalanced and people can not find meaning from the culture at large they find it in other ways. We create our enemies.

  • Israel: Netanyahu replies to Officers' charges of Fascism, makes far Right Lieberman their boss (19)
    • With the Clintons back in the White House and allied with Netanyahu, Avigdor Lieberman, and other right-wing extremists in Israel and around the world the decline and fall of the American empire seems all but inevitable - but not before immeasurable suffering is inflicted on the world's people.

    • My thought exactly, disconcerting trends are everywhere....

    • Like the USA, Israel pretends such people have something to do with defence. We all know better.

    • Lieberman , a former Corporal reminds me of another Corporal who got into politics.

    • "This incident, and the extremist Israeli attacks on Palestinians, so alarmed deputy chief of staff Maj. Gen. Yair Golan that he went so far as to liken the “sickening” processes he saw taking place in Israel to Nazi Germany in the 1930s (note: not the 1940s, when the Holocaust took place)."

      Major General Golan did not have to reach back to Nazi Germany in the 1930s for his example. He could just as easily have cited the activities of Jewish terrorist organizations operating in the 1940s in the British Mandate of Palestine.

      Frankly, the Israel of today would be very recognizable and compatible with the vision of many of those fighting for an independent state of Israel in the 1940s.

      It should be noted that the rosy picture of a group of innocent, beleaguered, plucky, Jewish settlers fighting for an independent Israel was always a myth. Just as the Zionist call for “A land without people for a people without land” was a myth foisted upon a world that had little knowledge of the area. Many of the founders of the state of Israel were terrorists, plain and simple. The Sterngang, the Irgun Zvai Leumi, and other entities were certainly terrorist organizations, assassinating both British officers and Arab inhabitants of the British Mandate of Palestine.

      Yitzhak Shamir, a future Prime Minister of Israel, was a member of the Sterngang. Menachim Begin, Another future Prime Minister, was a leader of the Irgun Zvai Leumi. On July 22, 1946, the Irgun carried out the terrorist bombing of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, killing several British officers. On September 17, 1948, members of the Sterngang assassinated Count Folke Bernadette, the UN Representative in Palestine. Just five months before the assassination of Count Bernadette, on April 9, 1948, the Irgun massacred some 150 to 250 (the figure has never been satisfactorily confirmed) Arab men, women, and children in the village of Deir Yassin.

      The purpose of the Irgun and Sterngang’s attacks on, and massacres of, Arabs was to create a climate of fear among the population so that they would flee. Some 700,000 Palestinian refugees fled Israel before and after its establishment. Some fled because of Arab broadcasts to leave before the invasion, but many had already fled as a result of Irgun, Sterngang, and other Jewish terrorist acts designed to intimidate them into leaving. It was clearly a form of ethnic cleansing.

  • Baghdad takes Rutba from ISIL: Jordan-Iraq Commercial Route to Reopen (2)
    • This reminds me of my time in Vietnam. The NVA would take a town or cut a vital rout and we would bomb it to oblivion while the NVA withdrew leaving the local civilians to die. Then we would go in finding the NVA long gone but lots of dead civilians. The Generals would declare Victory! And then the NVA would hit another town down the road.
      Will the road stay open - Of course not!

  • Is it ISIL? US Official Says Likely Explosion Happened on EgyptAir Plane (2)
  • The late great Fourth Amendment: Feds, Police and Intrusive Technologies (5)
    • The entire article can be condensed as:
      Technology use bad, police bad

      What is good then? Any realistic recommendations? Or let's just abolish the police, they over-police the high crime areas; they kill unarmed black men; they violate people's rights. I mean come on!!!! How come this racist machine continues to function in America????

      The straw man arguments abound in the entire piece. Just one example:

      "Nor can anyone begin to predict how law enforcement will avail itself of science-fiction-like technology in the decade to come, much less decades from now, though cops on patrol may very soon know a lot about you and your past. They will be able to cull such information from a multitude of databases at their fingertips, while you will know little or nothing about them."

      Of course if the police are investigating you, they will know a lot more about you then you them......... What the heck?

  • Can Iran sue the US for Coup & supporting Saddam in Iran-Iraq War? (18)
    • There was a successful lawsuit claiming $billions from Iraq because of its supposed responsibility for 9/11. It seems that was somehow quietly cancelled after Bush installed the US backed regime.

  • Israel: Netanyahu replies to Officers' charges of Fascism, makes far Right Lieberman their boss (19)
    • The fascists are making their move on power in more and more countries.
      Back when it seemed the Great Depression would never end, the capitalist classes of the West were the ones who talked not of limited government, but strongman government that would preserve their illegitimate wealth in the midst of hunger. The current unending economic malaise, and the certainty that the rich will never release enough crumbs to restore a decent life to all their subjects, has again created a demand to push minorities out of lifeboats, and restore ancient casteism. The strongmen are on the march from India to Russia to Turkey to the many Trump Towers of America.

  • Baghdad Locals Fear Shiite-On-Shiite Violence As Alliance Fractures (1)
    • “Wilayat al-Faqih” cannot be the problem, because none, including the, would be leader or even the leader in Iran wants it to be so. “Wilayat al-Faqih” can surly happen, but in a Shia sheikhdom separate from a Kurdish and a Sunni one. Something Sadar has argued for and other groups under duress from Iran or not have argued against. Sadar might raise hell, but Sistani will have the last word. Much like, “Wilayat al-Faqih”.

  • Israel: Netanyahu replies to Officers' charges of Fascism, makes far Right Lieberman their boss (19)
    • "There is no precedent in Israeli history to a defence minister in the image and behaviour of Lieberman......."

      Lieberman's experience as a military leader was as a corporal who had been conscripted into the Israel Defense Forces. He has previously made public statements on national security matters that have made him the butt of jokes (e.g. "Nuke Gaza").

      Lieberman does not even live in Israel, but in a West Bank settlement.

      A court had once found him responsible for assaulting a 12-year old child. There have been ongoing criminal corruption probes of his political party which continue to the present.

      The position of defense minister in the Israeli cabinet is often a stepping stone to the prime minister post - that is the prospect that many find disturbing as it appears PM Netanyahu believes that Lieberman would be an acceptable successor to himself once he, Netanyahu, leaves office.

  • Why does Iran fear Kim Kardashian is a 007 Targeting Tehran? (3)
    • They are saying this lady is an American cultural icon, in their conservative, religious mindset, they believe social media, saturated by such western cultural icons are a treat to Persian culture. much like how 007 and fear is the product of your cultural mind set.

  • Can Iran sue the US for Coup & supporting Saddam in Iran-Iraq War? (18)
    • The US Senate has OK'd a bill to allow the Saudis to be sued for 9/11. The Saudis have threatened to pull their billions from the US. Now, if Iran and Saudi Arabia could reach some form of understanding. . .

  • Americans may see ISIL as No. 1 Threat, but Turkey & the Kurds have other Priorities (2)
    • Prof, you should have realised by now that Turkey has become Russia's No 1 enemy. It is constantly being portrayed as supporting ISIS. RT favorite topic used to be the USA and NATO, but since Turkey asserted itself by shooting down that airplane, it Is now Turkey. Of course, the point is to drive a wedge into NATO. You should watch RT more, then there would be no doubt.

      Despite the name, Russia Today carries very little Russian news, unless it is an adulation of old Russian war veterans, for example.
      From a news junkie that watches RT a lot.

  • This is America! Man Facing Jail For Ripping Veil Off Muslim Woman (9)
    • Crazy, deluded tRumpkins, what a cesspool of racist thought.

    • Just quoting the perp: You have to actually watch the thing you're commenting on.

    • @TheYoungTurks What an environment we've created for ourselves! Hate, hate and more hate. Hate seems required these days.

    • @TheYoungTurks
      No, it not all of America! It's a byproduct of the establishment and what they let are media do!

    • Unfortunate headline, professor.
      Makes the situation seem like the perp is the victim - when that is NOT the circumstance as reported.

    • Anon: don't worry about other religions - face this act as assault.

      Getoff... : far beyond embarrassment; assault was the action.

      Me: The fourth definition of rape might be: the improper use of force. Violence against another person has no place on a public aeroplane.

    • Hmm? Wonder what could have incited Gill Parker Payne, 37, of Gastonia, North Carolina, to be a complete embarrassment to the woman he assaulted, the passengers on the flight and our entire country?

  • No US Troops on the Ground in Iraq & Syria . . . until there Were (2)
    • Erik - yes, the acceleration of the accumulation of power and wealth into the hands of the few is very troubling.

      The Menchen implication, even more pointed today - “the few” have found that embracing “conservatism” is the most effective way to control the many.

      Paraphrasing H.L.Menchen quotes is appreciated. But some of his entire quotes are even better.

      “As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”
      ― H.L. Mencken

      That Menchen prediction was achieved under Bush, imagine what a Trump, member of “the few,” might do?

  • What Next for Turkey After President's Power Play? (2)
    • And indeed, today Yildirim, not Bozdag, was named PM, which I suppose these days stands for Practically Meaningless.

  • Trump's Politics of Whiteness and the CIA tip that Jailed Nelson Mandela (15)
    • You correctly note the one colonial possession of the U.S.: The Philippines. That's pretty small beer compared to the European powers carving up Africa, the Near East, and Southeast Asia. And the U.S. granted the Philippines independence in 1946, long before the European powers divested themselves of their imperial/colonial possessions.

      Gary Page is correct. Historically, the U.S. has been anti-colonial.

  • Marketing & Terrorism: Is ISIL's vaunted 'brand' actually weak and vulnerable? (2)
    • The more the pyramids of social and economic inequality of the various nations are merged into one super-pyramid with the Wall Street oligarchy on top, the more people who recognize that they are "losers" for no good reason. ISIS is just the Moslem-based brand for the anger about that, but Trump is the US brand, and LePen the French brand, etc. These brands are doing awfully well right now.

      The reason there won't be any effort to give people a better alternative to ISIS is the same reason we're stuck with Hillary Clinton: the oligarchs are committed to bleeding us dry within the parameters of liberal capitalism. Why not? They're still using far-right demagogues as a backstop to get some of their victims to blame other victims, leaving them just enough votes to keep the game going. The catch is, once people sign on to that commitment to blame down instead of up, they can only keep doubling down on hatred and violence and stay locked on their path until they're completely ruined - the same way the German people followed Hitler even more fanatically when Hitler finally started losing, because even when they knew they'd been lied to about their supremacy, they still believed Hitler's scare stories about what would happen in defeat. People down to their last ditch are capable of incredible carnage.

  • British PM Cameron's tiff with Trump over Muslims: The Hypocrisy Factor (12)
    • Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) has always been a serious problem in the male offspring of the Trump generation. (And through no fault of their own.)

      Vastly improved detection methods and treatments are urgently needed to prevent another one from attaining high public office.

  • This is America! Man Facing Jail For Ripping Veil Off Muslim Woman (9)
    • TYTs presentation of the topic covered all the salient points: freedom of religion, freedom of speech, assault, and Islamophobia. They rightly point out that forcefully removing someone's hijab is obstruction of religious freedom and is antithetical to the American constitution. This cannot be stressed enough: we have quickly eroded our national pride in our constitution. Nominally, we revere our constitution, but actual tenets, freedom of religion and freedom of speech, in the constitution are very quickly forgotten.

      The victim in this incident should be able to recover, but the incident reveals some worrying trends. Had this incident happened to another religious minority group, would it have received greater media coverage? The larger context also needs to be addressed: Islamophobia has created the environment which situations like these can occur.

      The editorial page editor of NYT has previously noted that there exists "an essentially separate justice system for Muslims." He goes on to write that there are examples of "... Muslim-only legal system abound." Trump's insistence of precluding Muslims from entering the country, if realized, would only be one extreme example of this reality. The victim in the fight incident will hopefully recover from her discomfort, but the larger erosion of civil liberties and rights that has specifically targeted Muslims will continue unabated. The sad situation is that while this discrimination will disproportionately harm the Muslim community, it will also erode the civil liberties of all groups as this situation creates the precedent of removing rights from the individual and bequeathing unnecessary and reckless powers to the government.

  • Baghdad takes Rutba from ISIL: Jordan-Iraq Commercial Route to Reopen (2)
    • The question is whether, given the parliamentary infighting and governmental paralysis in Baghdad, the Iraqi government can keep the road clear of Daesh elements.

      The answer is no.

  • Trump's Politics of Whiteness and the CIA tip that Jailed Nelson Mandela (15)
    • The Phillipines had been a colony of Spain since the 1500's. Although ceded to us in 1898 by 1935 they were made an independent commonwealth and slated for full indepedence in 10 years. Quite a remarkable achievement in a very short period of time given how long such transitions usually take if done correctly.