Recent Comments

  • Can Iraqi forces take back Saddam's Birthplace from ISIL? (2)
  • Israel extends detention of Palestinian for Facebook posts (2)
  • Top 5 Reasons "Labor Day" isn't for Laborers Anymore (6)
    • While JTMcPhee makes some interesting projections, they stop short of the ultimate goal of employers: ownership of the employee.

      We are rapidly reaching a condition where people will be willing to work for sustenence. Nothing else makes the greedy corporatist drool so voluminously.

      But to ensure that no one messes with this gravy train, they will be expecting SCOTUS to rule that when an employee is taken on, said employee retains NO rights whatsoever which are not granted by the employer. The employee is declared to be property, and will be used and/or discarded as "business conditions" indicate. The weasel wording of the dominant opinion will claim that this isn't slavery, but a "voluntary" renunciation of personal rights as no one human was forcing the employee to agree to employment.

      And the FOX fools who increasingly dominate the body politic will never see anything wrong with this racket.

  • Iraq Flashpoint: Can the Kurds defend themselves from ISIL? (1)
  • Should Americans be allowed to Serve in Foreign Armies? (5)
  • Israeli settlers destroy Palestinian grape vines as Israel Steals More Land (7)
    • Just to give a little context to the apparent thinking and belief structures and "investments" of the nice people who are hacking the olive trees and grape plantings and demolishing the houses and appropriating the water and "price tagging" and "necklacing" over there, here is a little assortment of "properties on offer" being built on "reclaimed" land: link to

      Adding pricey, "gated" stock to the bubble housing market over there, and looking out over yet more "reclaimable" territory. And a little view of the Golan, Shebaa, maybe Lebanon and Syria too? Naw, they can't see that far out or ahead, even from the swankier penthouses...

    • Hey, I'm from the southern US, and have as much bigotry in my blood as the next Bubba. The problem with racism, however, is when you don't give the other guy enough credit and go all stupid on the reality of things.

      Israel (and this includes the non-extremist factions who give the Likudniks their tacit support), doesn't get that the Palestinians will remember what is happening and keep coming back for thousands of years if that's what it takes for satisfaction. The Jews essentially manufactured the illusion of a patrimony, but with the Palestinians there will never be a dimming of their collective memory. Looking at the development of a Palestinian identity, Israel has done a wonderful job at pulling together what was once a genuinely disparate group. Revenge is a dish best served cold, but it will be served. There's always hope and Israel could turn around the momentum of its fate, but they're continuing to dig an ever-deeper hole for themselves.

      So, you're all correct. There has never been any secret about Israel's long-standing Iron Wall (e.g., Bunker) Strategy, only PR smoke to give them cover and facilitate manipulation of the US to finance the ultimate futility of their hubris.

  • History and Betrayal: UNSCOP and Palestine, 1947 (8)
    • -In 1922, “Zionist leader Chaim Weizmann queried a British official why the British supported Zionism despite Arab opposition. Didn’t it make more sense for the British to keep the Palestine mandate but drop support for Zionism? ‘Although such an attitude may afford a temporary relief and may quiet Arabs for a short time,’ the official replied, ‘it will certainly not settle the question as the Arabs don’t want the British in Palestine, and after having their way with the Jews, they would attack the British position, as the Moslems are doing in Mesopotamia, Egypt and India.'” link to

  • Israelis Alarmed as al-Qaeda Captures Golan, UN Peacekeepers (31)
    • I recall that since the US warriors had so many damn nukes to play with, the SIOP actually included targeting of a lot of Southern Hemisphere cities too. On the notion that if WE are going to blast'n'freeze ourselves, meaning the Great Civilization and Nation of Freedom'n'Liberty'n'Democracy, then "we" Christian Capitalists were going to be dang sure that some bunch of Greasers or Black People don't get to Take Over whatever might be left.

      Having lived through the Cuban thing and Curtis Lemay and MacArthur and having read enough to to become away or a number of the Oopsies and near-misses, I would agree that all the rest of us who don't have a voice in ordering the turning the keys or whatever the launch/drop mechanism is these days, and who read about the kind of crap that goes on amongst the Air Force dudes who babysit all those MIRV'd ICBMs and are daily playing bumper tag with Rooskies and Chinese and all that, all we have as you point out is that saddest of all the plagues on humanity that escaped from Pandora's box -- Hope.

  • History and Betrayal: UNSCOP and Palestine, 1947 (8)
    • I have been puzzling for some time now - and this article, while informative, still doesn't tell me - why, when Israel was recognized as a state, was Palestine (or what was left of it) not similarly recognized?

    • I absolutely agree they should be put together into one document so that it can be available for reference. I have learned an immense amount about the history of this conflict.

  • Can Iraqi forces take back Saddam's Birthplace from ISIL? (2)
    • ISIL fighters were forced to flea? Sounds disgusting. I hope they also fled. This is good news. Hope against reprisals.

  • Top 5 Reasons "Labor Day" isn't for Laborers Anymore (6)
    • Nothing hidden about it. Just check the advice from all the columnists and on-liners that tell the shlubs being born into the Invisible Hand economy, with the what-was-that-thing-again Transpacific Partnership Pirate Ship cruising offshore, ready to blow away the vestiges of regulation and sovereignty. In our local paper this weekend, the (very pro)business-section editor/maven Robert Trigaux had this to offer, for example:

      "In braver, new workplace ahead looms the 24/7 employee"

      The pwc report —"The Future of Work" — sees three kinds of competing, intertwined workplace worlds ahead.

      First up are mega-corporations that will act more like "mini-states" to compete globally for the best talent with cutthroat efficiency. They will make big demands on the talent they hire in exchange for better pay, benefits and relative job security.

      "The attractions include high rewards for high-fliers," says pwc. "This is a chance to be one of the 'haves' in a world where stable employment is less and less the norm." It's also a world in which social responsibility is minimized.

      A second kind of workplace is less competitive but more collaborative. More socially and environmentally responsible businesses will meet the demand of workers who seek more family-friendly values in exchange for less pay. These businesses may gain more prominence if the notion of "sustainable" work habits and lifestyles gain ground in society.

      Finally, there is the "small is beautiful" movement that will be based on the rise of a more fragmented and entrepreneurial workplace. This trend is bolstered by the rise of what pwc calls "the portfolio career" in which many people have come to realize they "could enjoy more flexibility and varied challenges by working freelance or as a contractor for a number of organizations." link to of course, what he is talking generically about is not "employees," in most cases -- just specialized mopes hired for little "contract" bits. With no rights, and no "benefits."

      Yeah, enjoy. One hopes for more resurgence of UNIONS, where us shlubs finally wake up and get organized, rather than fractioning off into violently competing little individualized fungible task units, living in our cars...

  • History and Betrayal: UNSCOP and Palestine, 1947 (8)
  • Israeli settlers destroy Palestinian grape vines as Israel Steals More Land (7)
    • Not gonna happen. Take South Africa, Dutch settlers, fore bearers of apartheid, started arriving there in 1488 and by 20th century they had acquired a nuclear bomb with the help of Israel that would give them security in perpetuity. Lesson, it’s impossible to maintain status quo even with nuclear weapons as long as you are the minority.

    • You are right. That is the strategy.

    • It's worked for almost 70 years and they're still there so I doubt a change in strategy is anywhere in Israel's future. Time is on Israel's side. They're now entering a 3rd generation of Palestinian land grabbing, and people living in adversity and under occupation (the Palestinians) for long periods of time eventually just get worn down. It's got to be difficult to worry about the land your family used to own when your current family is having trouble eating. I wish it wasn't true but I think it probably is.

  • Israelis Alarmed as al-Qaeda Captures Golan, UN Peacekeepers (31)
    • Except for that fact that the US poor are going to be charged the costs of the war Israel just waged to the tune of over 3 billion.
      5 senators approved ( with a bit of encouragement from AIPAC) over 200 million for extensions to Israel's Iron Dome, before they took off for vacation. McConnell rushed back from campaigning to cast HIS vote.
      Is that even legal?

  • History and Betrayal: UNSCOP and Palestine, 1947 (8)
  • Israeli settlers destroy Palestinian grape vines as Israel Steals More Land (7)
  • Top 5 Reasons "Labor Day" isn't for Laborers Anymore (6)
    • A couple of (hidden) prevailing mantras:
      Labor is a commodity, don't humanize it.
      We need a "buyer beware" constitutional amendment to defang the nanny state and its lawyers..

  • History and Betrayal: UNSCOP and Palestine, 1947 (8)
  • Israeli settlers destroy Palestinian grape vines as Israel Steals More Land (7)
    • What do Israelis think these actions will accomplish?

      Do they really think 6 million people can tell 7 BILLION people to just go f*** themselves without any consequences?

      Lets say that Israelis get their deepest wish and they succeed in driving all the Arabs from the land between the Jordan River and the Med Sea, Then what?

      Do they really think that will end it?

      Do Israelis think they can have an armed fortress that will make them safe forever?

      If they think that, they are totally delusional. The history of mankind has shown, REPEATEDLY, that all fortresses eventually get destroyed and all the people inside end up dead.

      No group of humans can exist in isolation, especially not Israelis. Israel is NOT self sufficient in food or energy, but if it angers enough of the other humans on earth (which it would do by ethnically cleansing the WB and Gaza), it will become unlivable.

      The path Israel is on is self-destructive and I can not understand WHY no one in Israel can understand this. What is the deep psychological problem they have that causes their delusions?

      Based on 50,000 years of human behavior, I am pretty sure I know where this ends and it is not where Israelis think it will.

      They had better hope there really is a "god" because they are going to need lots of consoling when their world falls apart.

  • Israelis Alarmed as al-Qaeda Captures Golan, UN Peacekeepers (31)
    • I agree that there have been lots of stupid near misses where mankind has narrowly avoided destroying the northern hemisphere (There is very little land mass in the southern hemisphere and most likely it will not get directly nuked, so it may survive a little).

      On the other hand, I have to believe that the people that directly control all the nukes are not suicidal nor crazy..

      But the bottom line is, per the latest climate studies, it could take nuclear air bursts over as few as FIVE cities to trigger Nuclear Winter, so that we have the choice of starving to death, freezing to death or dieing of radiation poisoning.

      Since Israeli seem to be especially stupid, paranoid and delusional, I can NOT provide any assurance they won't let a crazy person near the nukes.

      All we can do is hope.

  • History and Betrayal: UNSCOP and Palestine, 1947 (8)
  • The Military Diminishment of Judaism (3)
    • Excellent observations.

      In addition to the occupation of Gaza and the West Bank, the decades of violence in Lebanon since the 1970s was exacerbated by Israeli military occupation initiated by the concept of military necessity.

      That occupation led to rise of the Hezbollah terror organization in the 1980s, which led to the group attaining political influence and an extensive paramilitary capability with the assistance of the Syrian and Iranian governments.

      Since the Second Lebanon War in 2006, Israeli military encroachments in south Lebanon have been all but non-existent and there has been relative peace in that region.

      ".........a response characterized by an indifference to all suffering other than Israeli Jewish suffering....."

      The Winograd Commission report was criticized over the fact that the casualties and other suffering imposed upon the Lebanese people by the IDF incursion were ignored, while the adverse effects of that conflict upon Israeli citizens were emphasized.

    • Prophetic comments by 4 eminent Jews:

      Senator Henry Morgenthau Sr., renowned Jewish American and former U.S. Ambassador to Turkey, 1919: "Zionism is the most stupendous fallacy in Jewish history....The very fervour of my feeling for the oppressed of every race and every land, especially for the Jews, those of my own blood and faith, to whom I am bound by every tender tie, impels me to fight with all the greater force against this scheme, which my intelligence tells me can only lead them deeper into the mire of the past, while it professes to be leading them to the heights. Zionism is... a retrogression into the blackest error, and not progress toward the light."

      Asked to sign a petition supporting settlement of Jews in Palestine, Sigmund Freud declined: "I cannot...I do not think that Palestine could ever become a Jewish state....It would have seemed more sensible to me to establish a Jewish homeland on a less historically-burdened land....I can raise no sympathy at all for the misdirected piety which transforms a piece of a Herodian wall into a national relic, thereby offending the feelings of the natives." (Letter to Dr. Chaim Koffler Keren HaYassod, Vienna: 2/26/30)

      Albert Einstein, 1939: “There could be no greater calamity than a permanent discord between us and the Arab people…. Let us recall that in former times no people lived in greater friendship with us than the ancestors of these Arabs.”

      Lessing J. Rosenwald, president of the American Council for Judaism, 1944: “The concept of a racial state – the Hitlerian concept- is repugnant to the civilized world, as witness the fearful global war in which we are involved. . . , I urge that we do nothing to set us back on the road to the past. To project at this time the creation of a Jewish state or commonwealth is to launch a singular innovation in world affairs which might well have incalculable consequences.”

  • Pro-Israel Attacker puts British MP George Galloway in Hospital (5)
  • Not the Onion: Shooting Range raises Age Limit to 12 after 9-year-old girl Kills Instructor with Uzi (8)
  • Iraq: Is the Battle of Amerli a Turning Point? (3)
    • New York Times front page story on Sept. 1, 2014: U.S. and Iran Are Unlikely Allies in Battle for Iraqi Town: “The fight for Amerli, in northern Iraq, appeared to mark the first time American warplanes and militias backed by Iran were working with a common purpose on the battlefield against militants from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.”

      For regular NYT readers who cannot imagine Iran and the U.S. working together, it is not disputed that Iran provided vital intelligence and logistical support before, during, and after the U.S.-led military operations in Afghanistan that resulted in the overthrow of the Taliban. link to

  • Top 5 Reasons "Labor Day" isn't for Laborers Anymore (6)
    • "..the richest fifth held 88.9% of all wealth…” Where is this wealth held? Mostly in banks which use it to generate more money (just numbers!) and in property, the value of which is again rigged and over valued.

      So, practically wealth beyond a certain point serves no purpose and makes no sense.

  • The Military Diminishment of Judaism (3)
  • Pro-Israel Attacker puts British MP George Galloway in Hospital (5)
  • Israelis Alarmed as al-Qaeda Captures Golan, UN Peacekeepers (31)
    • Killing people and taking over Sh. Farms and Golan H will come back to bite soon. ONe cannot kill and take over others countries and get away with it forever. Tem. yes but the long term no.

  • Chechens Now Fighting On Both Sides In Ukraine (2)
    • "once a Chechen takes up arms, he doesn't surrender."

      Says the son of Achmat Kadyrom, who is the most famous turncoat of Chechnya.

  • Israelis Alarmed as al-Qaeda Captures Golan, UN Peacekeepers (31)
    • Indeed, Al Qaeda is more likely to focus its efforts on Iran rather than Israel. In fact the absence of direct conflict between Israel and Al Qaeda should raise some eyebrows.

  • "Let my People Fish": After the war, Israeli Blockade leaves Gaza Civilians Protein Poor (3)
  • Top 5 Reasons "Labor Day" isn't for Laborers Anymore (6)
    • It doesn't help when some union leaders are in bed with politicians who are more interested in taking care of corporations that donate to their political campaigns than the people who vote for them. For decades the AFL-CIO has been donating to a Democratic (sic) Party that has repeatedly stiffed labor.

  • "Let my People Fish": After the war, Israeli Blockade leaves Gaza Civilians Protein Poor (3)
    • The political echo, for both Republicans and Democrats: "Israel has a right to defend itself" sounds like a broken record.
      Latest real news (that the MSM, politicians and Zionist apologists will totally ignore) is that Israel is expropriating about 1000 acres more on the West Bank.
      ....and the beat goes on.

  • Chechens Now Fighting On Both Sides In Ukraine (2)
    • Chechens are working on three sides--on the side of IS also. This is why it is so risky to send serious weapon system to the area.

  • Obama, al-Assad and ISIL update FB Status: It's Complicated (1)
    • Inasmuch as the situation is complicated you'd never know it given the way Lindsey Graham, John McCain and other Republicans have presented it - criticizing President Obama, calling him incompetent & using fear mongering to scare the public into believing it.

      Suffice to say Fox and other right wing media sources will be pushing this false narrative through November and beyond until 2016 when an ill-informed & none the wiser public will go to the polls to vote.

      The American people are more than capable of grasping the concept of being stuck between a rock & a hard place in making decisions. But because the Obama administration's mistake is not trusting the public enough to explain the situation in those terms they've set themselves up as an easy target for attacks by the right wing which has strengthened their detractors' hand in swaying public opinion.

      Even some Democrats, like Diane Feinstein, have inexplicably jumped on the fear mongering misinformation bandwagon, too, making it all that much more convincing for a confused ill-informed, misguided public to wrongly believe that the administration is ill-equipped to handle the situation.

      Whatever decision President Obama makes, whether he sides with the Assad regime or not, it will be criticized over and over again by his detractors.

      So yes the situation is complicated but only in terms of being stuck between a rock and a hard place which Americans could easily comprehend if they had the facts.

      But unfortunately that is not the case, so the public, none the wiser, afraid & in the dark, left to its own devices with neither the time nor the inclination to sort this out on their own, is wrongly condemning the President as a result thereof.

      Although the advantage of which is self-evident & does not need explaining, it is still infuriating, inexcusable, unacceptable and deeply troubling that winning elections today takes priority over country.

  • "Let my People Fish": After the war, Israeli Blockade leaves Gaza Civilians Protein Poor (3)
    • And brave U.S. politicians continue to support Israel with words, weapons, lots of money, and the threat of the veto at the Security Council.

  • ISIS: How to Defeat a Phony "Caliphate" (9)
    • Some clerics in Egypt have issued a fatwa renaming ISIS/Daish as QSIS-al Qaeda Separatists in in Iraq and Syria. Should this term be adopted for them in the media?

  • Top 5 Reasons "Labor Day" isn't for Laborers Anymore (6)
    • Combine this with the increasing number of jobs where workers can be replaced with computers, and you get the future: the ultra-rich and their immediate staff live in fortified mansions, drones kill anyone intruding on their estates, and the rest of us starve and die in the wastelands

  • Iraq: Is the Battle of Amerli a Turning Point? (3)
    • The hesitation to 're-take' cities where demographics imply heavy losses are likely to occur, should be met with Saudi diplomacy and negotiations.

      I'm not sure what allegiance (or choice for that matter) the regular citizens hold, but I can't imagine Baghdad being satisfied with losing both Kirkuk oil, and large parts of the Euphrates and Tigris valleys.

      If operations continue to reduce the ISIS troop levels across the 'theater' it may allow citizens to revolt, or ISIS members to flee / surrender.

      Of course, Israel's current leadership is probably just as likely to just march(sic) on Damascus and begin strafing everything in sight.

      May God have mercy on us all.

  • Should Americans be allowed to Serve in Foreign Armies? (5)
    • Americans serve today in the British army and French Foreign Legion as well (service in the latter for 5 years earns one a French/EU passport, if desired). They seem to stay off the radar and are tolerated by all sides. Last time I inquired, non-citizens today cannot enlist in the Canadian regular forces but can join their reserve units.

  • Israelis Alarmed as al-Qaeda Captures Golan, UN Peacekeepers (31)
    • Agreed.

      Bolton has been a fierce supporter of Israel, although he believes the legal sovereignty to Shebaa Farms belongs to Syria.

      In 2008, he criticized then-PM Ehud Olmert for engaging in indirect negotiations with the Syrian government via Turkish intermediaries - which included discussions for a possible Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights.

    • Re suicide, our own Rulers have, as you know, on several occasions come within an ace of Mutual Asinine Destruction, ready to launch and toss and drop ten thousand nukes, enough to kill the planet. It has only been by dumb effing luck that the Big It has not happened yet.

      And the warriors in India and Pakistan have had their own Oopsies and near-death experiences. All based on a history of bellicosity that does not seem to give a sh_t about survival of nation, tribe or species.

      If you have inside info on why the Likudians are less crazy and self- destructive than 'our' Rulers and their still-operative MADness, something other than wish-and- hopefulness and continued assertions of the obvious but no reflection on the nature and idiocy of the Israelites whose written history is full of tales like Masada and one poking their G_D in the eye with a stick after another. Truly, I would love to have some real assurance that these people are not going to break the pillars that support the roofs of all our houses...

    • My hopes are that ISIS' pressure and the perseverance of the brave Gazans and Abbas' decision to circumvent the sham US-sponsored talks might finally bring the Palestinians some justice - and a state!

    • Right now, the focus of all the groups in the ME is to consolidate power. Once the power structures in the Muslim ME are sorted out, then Israel will be the deer in the headlights.

      A consolidated, resorted Muslim ME that is not controlled by any extremal power (US, UK, Russia, China or whoever) is the worst thing Israelis can imagine. Once the Muslim ME is independent of external control and reasonably OK with each other, Israel will be in a completely untenable position without sufficient resources (cannon fodder, war toys and cash) to sustain a war and it can not "win" in any sense of the word.

      Th basic problem is Israelis invaded the wrong place. The empires were crumbling and over time would be unwilling to protect Israel and at the same time, the ME was starting the process of decolonization. As time goes on, a weak Israel will be surrounded by powerful, angry people.

      Sure the decolonization process is ugly, but in the end it will be very good for the people in the ME (except for Israel).

      Watch this space.

    • Ah yes, the "Samson Option," Which will get every Jewish Person on earth killed.

      In the real world, Israel losing its last war would be no different from most of the other countries that have lost wars over the last 10,000 years. As the situation deteriorated, most Israelis would simply flee. Any that stayed would just end up living as a minority in an Arab country, which Jews have done for thousands of years.

      Other than a SMALL number of humans that are clearly identifiable, no humans on earth want to kill all (or even a large number) of the Jews. While the winning Arabs would probably kill any Israelis that continued to resist, just like all winning armies, the Israelis that surrendered would be treated OK.

      In other words, the end of Israel is NOT a reason to have another Masada.

  • Israel extends detention of Palestinian for Facebook posts (2)
    • My imagination, or perhaps my wishful thinking, tells me that these unconscionable, police state tactics of the Isarelis are a sure sign of desperation in the face of an implacable, resourceful and enduring population. Just as the disgraceful massacre of Gaza Palestinians revealed, the Israelis have no answer other than force to the just calls for mercy and forbearance from an oppressed people. Their ham-handed attempts to repress all honest appraisals of their atrocities quite rightly lead to a more searing spotlight on the vast gap between their espoused values and the nightmarish reality of the land that they continue to steal from the Palestinians. My hope for the Palestinians is that the arc of history that bends toward justice is nearing its appointment with destiny.

  • US Public Worried about ISIL, Putin-- But Climate Change is Real Challenge (21)
    • Climate change will start to be taken seriously maybe once the stress on agriculture starts to hit Americans in the pocket book in the form of soaring food costs. There is a direct link between climate change and the Arab Spring, and climate change and the Syrian civil war: in the first instance it is more than likely that extreme drought in Russia several years ago led to a rise in wheat prices, fueling inflation and hardship in north Africa and the Near East that depends on Russia in part for wheat supply. Drought hit Syrian farmers very hard, as Professor Cole has noted in several posts, leading in no small part to the current conflict there. Here in the western US drought is playing havoc with California produce and cattle. Maybe it will not be with the current California drought, but eventually as warming does serious damage to agriculture and prices rise, people will start to make the connection. But by then, I suspect, we grey temple prophets of doom will all be dead and the hour will be too late.

  • Iraq: Is the Battle of Amerli a Turning Point? (3)
    • There are some contradiction in driving isil out of Iraq. Where to you sagest they go?
      I think the victory belong to the residents of Amerli who resisted isil. Everybody else show up months later to help. Your last paragraph says it all. A house to house fight with ied and suiciders will be different. a pointless meat grinder and a disaster for the army, peshmerga and militia.

  • Should Americans be allowed to Serve in Foreign Armies? (5)
    • Well, I don't know if it was legal but Americans enlisted in the Canadian Military to fight for England in WWI and also in WWII before the U.S. got involved in those conflicts. Guess it depends on who the enemy of our friend is or the enemy of our enemy of....oh well, you get it.

  • US Public Worried about ISIL, Putin-- But Climate Change is Real Challenge (21)
    • "If I were to say we need to dominate the Mexican government so we can have a buffer between Honduras and us, you would think I was a lunatic."

      Maybe I would, but such ideas have been within mainstream US thinking on Latin America for 191 years. Just one example: President Reagan famously remarked that the Sandinista regime in Nicaragua was "only 2,000 miles from the Texas border, a clear national security threat". [Radio Address, 1987-09-12]

  • Should Americans be allowed to Serve in Foreign Armies? (5)
    • Remember that numerous Americans join the IDF and fight with Israel. THIS is not controversial because IDF is an American tag-team.

  • Pro-Israel Attacker puts British MP George Galloway in Hospital (5)
  • Ukraine: What is the word for What is Happening There? (8)
  • Israelis Alarmed as al-Qaeda Captures Golan, UN Peacekeepers (31)
  • Pro-Israel Attacker puts British MP George Galloway in Hospital (5)
  • Israelis Alarmed as al-Qaeda Captures Golan, UN Peacekeepers (31)
    • What you are seeing is a restructuring caused by a huge power vacuum in the middle east. Most of the "leaders" in the middle east are vastly out of sync with their populations and are doing nothing to try to fix that. As a result, fanatical groups like ISIS can find fertile ground for their causes.

      In Saudi Arabia for example, a small group of very wealthy men are oppressing a huge population of non-wealthy men and women. This is why Al Qaida started in Saudi Arabia.

      In most of the countries in the ME there are similar situations. Even in Jordan, the King is vastly out of sync with his population but is trying to have a smooth transition of power to minimize the chance of war with Israel.

      This is the LONG TERM problem Israel has, eventually the Arab/Persian power structures will get sorted out, just like Europe, the Americas and Asia eventually sorted things out.

      Once the Arab/Persian power structures are sorted out, then the entire region will focus on Israel and Israel does not have the resources to win that war, especially since the US will be reluctant to oppose the entire ME.

      In reality, Israel is NOT capable of "handling any spillage," especially against a foe that has modern weapons. Israel has no "magic" weapons and all its weapons are vulnerable to modern counter-weapons. Note that the US is reluctant to fly over Syria because Syria has some formidable anti-aircraft weapons. Israel would face the same problem.

      The latest Gaza war has caused Israel enormous economic harm and a fight with ISIS would be even more damaging. Depending on what weapons ISIS captures, it could easily target Ben Gurion Airport where it would only take one commercial aircraft being blown up to stop all air traffic into/out of Israel.

      Your optimism about Israel's future is misplaced and slightly delusional.

    • UN peacekeepers can not be effective because they have light weapons and very restrictive rules of engagement. UN peacekeepers are only effective when the two sides they are keeping apart are willing to respect the UN.

      Notice how the UN was unable to protect Gazans because Israel has no respect for the UN (or any other humans for that matter).

      Bibi knows the UN can't protect Israel from ISIS and the situation on the Golan is definitely worrying.

    • Who can Israel nuke without causing its own end?

      If Israel nukes Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Gaza, the West Bank or the Sinai, they will effectively be nuking themselves. That is, the "by products" of the aerial nuclear blasts would contaminate Israel and its food sources. No one likes to eat radioactive food. Of course it would also pretty much shut down all exports because people really fear radiation.

      If Israel nukes Europe or Russia, then they will get nuked in return because France, the UK and Russia are all very capable of eliminating Israel and would have no problem telling the US to shut up and sit down.

      How about Saudi Arabia? I am firmly convinced that the Saudis already have at least one nuclear warhead mounted on a Chinese DF-21 solid fuel MRBM. If it was attacked, it would retaliate. But even if the Saudis didn't retaliate, the 1.5 BILLION Muslims would consider an attack on their holy shrines unforgivable and would try to kill every Jewish person they could get their hands on and Israel would cease to exist. 6 million Jewish people in Israel are no match for 1.5 BILLION very angry people. No government leader is going to side with Israel. The US might even have to quickly throw Israel overboard.

      Then there is Iraq and Iran, neither of which have nuclear weapons, BUT downwind of those countries are US soldiers in Afghanistan, Pakistan with nuclear weapons, India with nuclear weapons and China with nuclear weapons. China, India and Pakistan will not be very happy getting their people and food sources contaminated and have no problem telling the US to shut up and sit down.

      The bottom line is Israel can not nuke anyone without effectively committing suicide.

  • US Public Worried about ISIL, Putin-- But Climate Change is Real Challenge (21)
    • I should have mentioned the doctrine that supports our responses to those pains, the doctrine of limited sovereignty. Basically: The US reserves the right to violate the sovereignty of other nations when US interests are in any way threatened, where interests can range from a direct attack on the US, to such things as trade, energy policy, political gain etc. Other countries have no right to adapt a similar doctrine, and the US looks unfavorably on any attempt to employ it, the exception being when such action is an supports US objectives.

      Exceptionalism at work.

  • Pro-Israel Attacker puts British MP George Galloway in Hospital (5)
  • Israelis Alarmed as al-Qaeda Captures Golan, UN Peacekeepers (31)
    • I did not know that John Bolton denies that Israel has any claim to Shebaa Farms. That is encouraging to know, since he has always appeared to have a neo-con vision of America cum Israel hegemony uber all of the MIddle East. What says he about Golan Heights?

    • Never use those nuclear weapons, that is. They've shown no restraint in the use of most everything else in the weapons locker...

  • Should Americans be allowed to Serve in Foreign Armies? (5)
    • I think it needs to be tolerated -- except in the case of a declaration of war -- because it constitutes, to some degree Freedom of Speech ... as also probably most charitable donations.
      There have been terrible selective prosecutions of muslims (remember the waterproof socks) for things that probably could easily have been ignored -- in cases where the argument seemed to be that they really really wanted to "get some guy they couldn't make a case on" or to "send a message" -- both egregious and great fodder for the cultivation of "Home Grown terrorist" everyone has been expecting to show up any minute now for years -- and oddly the Tsarenevs really didn't fit the BOLO, imho.

      We have a lot of immigrant who came here as refugees from countries ruled by tyrannical regimes and I think it's a terrible burden on immigrant communities to have to publicly align themselves with (often changing) state department policies -- when in fact, they may see hope for their future in conflicts where we are supporting the status quo -- At very least, if we are going to actually prosecute people for "aiding the enemy" to those enemies need to be formally declared ... the term is again being used casually and the list has grown so long and the varied statuses so great, I fear Americans and resident aliens may soon find their freedom to travel either restricted or "at your peril" -- our freedoms are supposed to be inalienable, not situational. The discipline of needing congressional declaration might slow down some of our adventurism or favors to friends.

  • Israelis Alarmed as al-Qaeda Captures Golan, UN Peacekeepers (31)
    • There are voices within the secular elements of the Syrian rebel movement who believe that potential Israeli intervention against the Baathists would be a positive thing.

      The Islamic Front brigades had been formed after having broken away from the Free Syrian Army over the FSA's allegiance to the Syrian National Coalition and have, further, eschewed ties to Western interests. It has been fighting ISIS and has received a large share of its funding from Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf states.

    • Former U.N. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton has stated that Israel has no legitimate right to Shebaa Farms.

      Israel can annex anything it wants but absent agreement from interested parties and international recognition, those annexation claims are not binding on other countries.

      The Golan Heights has long been a bargaining chip in final status negotiations between Israel and her Arab neighbors.

    • " there any past history of such madness?"

      Recall the ongoing battles between the Sunni, Shi'ite and Druze militias in Lebanon during the 1970s and 80s.

      It tore up the country and led to Syrian and Israeli occupations.

    • Actually, there is very little history of confirmed direct conflict between al-Qaeda and Israeli interests.

      One incident was an al-Qaeda attack at the Israeli embassy in Nouakchott, Mauritania several years ago.

      The proffered reason for the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center was Israeli destruction of Beirut's skyline in the 1982 Operation Galilee invasion.

    • "Bibi" pretends that Hamas, a resistance group against Israeli occupation and for liberation of Palestine, is some sort of "terror" comparable with IS. He may have to start facing reality.

    • "...glib and superficial piece of cynicism."

      Recent events in Gaza (among others) prove that Israel is one of the most active participants in the "madness."

  • Can you Pass the Hamas Quiz? (5)
    • Kenneth Pollack disgraced himself by his diligent efforts to lure self identified liberals into support the Bush/Cheney invasion of Iraq. He deserves to be shunned by all decent people for his part in destabilizing the Middle East and creating the present regional disaster.

  • Ukraine: What is the word for What is Happening There? (8)
    • I wholeheartedly agree with all of the above.

      I usually agree with most of what is written here but this report sounds so much like the MSM I thought I was reading the NYT, BBC,

  • Israelis Alarmed as al-Qaeda Captures Golan, UN Peacekeepers (31)
    • Do a search on "Armageddonists" and you find all kinds of interesting stuff. Like this, in addition to the Hagee/Roberts/Angley nightmare dreams:

      "On The Road To Armageddon," link to . It seems a lot of us Murcans are more than a little agreed that the end of the world (the human part of it) as we know it is getting closer. Remember, anyone, the illustration of how a nuclear reaction leading to an atomic/thermonuclear explosion works? link to Huge amount of stored energy + tiny input of sufficient kinetics = WE'RE F___KED!

      Not going to bother to list all the places where energy, potential and "kinetic" (as in Obama's "kinetic exercise") and emotional has been stored up, tight as the spring of a mousetrap. All those thousands of nuclear and "ordinary" weapons, all the cordite and smokeless and PETN and TNT and all, all in the hands of people not spiritually advanced enough to see that some little mischance or error or idiotic intentional act on their part, driven by some immediate fear or threat or triggered remotely by some idiotic set of circumstances set in place and in motion by the same sh_tS who set up all the mousetraps and ping pong balls of yore, by their arrogant insouciant greedy foolish idiocy, the Great Wars of the Great Game. link to

      And now the sneaks and stupes have the rest of us Ordinary People tugging at our collars in that universal gesture of increasing anxiety and distress, sensing that maybe this time our rulers and kleptocrats, playing their Games with us as self-regenerating pawns, have got us right to the point where some convenient fool like Gavrilo Princip, a mope put in motion by sneaky-petes long dead, link to , might loose the current equivalent of the little bullet that got all the newspapers and legislators and priests of Europe cheering "IT'S FINALLY WAR!" link to

      See, generally (pun intended), Tuchman's works, like "The Proud Tower" for a main course, and "The Guns of August" for dessert. And a challenge to all you Really Smart People out there: Lay out the mechanisms and relations that are in place and operating to keep the Really Bad Stuff from happening, and note that "we" can't even keep from giving reality to the tale of the slowly cooking frog...

  • Ukraine: What is the word for What is Happening There? (8)
    • I see that several readers arrived before me to say that they agree with you.

      Another person who agrees with you is the very well informed retired French diplomat Pierre Charasse who writes in French and Spanish mostly, in his blog La Tour de Babel, link to His stuff on the Ukraine is in both these languages between March 20 (20 mars) and March 28 (28 mars). It is regrettable that this blog seems not to be well known, allthough Charasse is well known in France. Also too bad that he doesn't write more often.

  • Israelis Alarmed as al-Qaeda Captures Golan, UN Peacekeepers (31)
  • Mitch McConnell caught Promising Billionaires he'll Enrich them at our Expense (5)
  • US Public Worried about ISIL, Putin-- But Climate Change is Real Challenge (21)
  • Ukraine: What is the word for What is Happening There? (8)
    • I'm in full agreement with Mr. Hack here. This piece does NOT belong on Juan's website. 'Drivel' is right down the pipe. Obama, as House Negro-in-Chief, tosses out lies on a daily basis, about what's actually going on in the failed state of Ukraine -- where one of this so-called nation's richest businessman has now been 'elected' as president, and the rest of its junta-style government leaders have been selected by US and EU interests.

      Look no further than the shoot-down of the Malaysian airliner on July 17th, with the loss of 298 lives. Are 'folks' noticing that Obummer shut his mouth -- along with the rest of the liars in America's lame-stream-media machine, in regard to their bullshit about the plane's loss being tied directly to Russia, and Putin -- after August 5th -- and the emergence of clear evidence that Ukrainian SU-25 Soviet-era fighters machine-gunned the cockpit of the Malaysian flight, most likely thinking they were taking down the Russian president's similar-looking plane, which was nearby?

      Again -- this 'drivel' by Daisy Sindelar, does not belong on Juan's site. The whole mess in Ukraine had been ginned up by America and its puppets, on behalf of Western oil and gas interests, who want to frack the living shit out this France-sized piece of real estate, while turning the derived profits over to a handful of neo-fascist business interests, while cutting Russia out their energy sales to EU nations... This piece is far beneath the level of journalism enshrined by Juan Cole's site, and all the good its done, on behalf of the Earth's powerless masses -- for many years now.

  • Israelis Alarmed as al-Qaeda Captures Golan, UN Peacekeepers (31)
  • Ukraine: What is the word for What is Happening There? (8)
    • I see the Putinists beat me to the first post. Nice try, bozos, but nobody believes your lies.

      FACT: Ukraine had a democratic mass protest against a corrupt thief and mass-murderer, former President Victor Yanukovych, whose thugs shot down dozens of unarmed protesters on Maidan square in Kiev. FACT: Yanukovych was subsequently impeached and removed from office by a legal quorum of the democratically elected parliament of Ukraine. FACT: Ukraine then elected Peter Poroshenko as President (he won 55% of the vote) in May 2014 in a free, fair vote. FACT: Russia illegally annexed Crimea and has been waging a war of imperial aggression against eastern Ukraine ever since (thousands of Russian troops and tanks are currently on Ukrainian soil as we speak -- among their other crimes, a Russian Army SA-11 unit shot down that MH-17 airliner, murdering three hundred innocent civilians). FACT: The vast majority of Ukrainians do NOT want to join Russia, and the populations of the regions of Donetsk and Luzhansk which Russian forces have invaded are 70% ethnic Ukrainian. FACT: Part of this war is an unspeakably evil lie campaign by Russia's state-owned media and its paid army of online trolls to smear and defame Ukraine as a fascist junta, a claim which is, frankly, completely insane. FACT: Ukraine is a democracy under attack by an imperialist invader, and should be supported by anyone with the slightest bit of decency or integrity.

      I'm sorry to report that many so-called Leftists have fallen into the trap of thinking Putin is the reincarnation of Lenin. Not so. Putin is 100% neoliberal, an ultra-nationalist thug who works to enrich Russia's 1% -- its plutocracy, which loots Russia through hundreds of billions of dollars of capital flight. (Note that the fine folks at OCCRP have an excellent series documenting a tiny slice of this massive looting spree here: link to

      Lastly, some useful links from folks on the ground:

      Myroslava Petsa: link to
      Kharkhov Human Rights Group: link to
      Ukraine's President: link to
      Top 100 Putinist Lies: link to
      Ukraine Today: link to

  • Israelis Alarmed as al-Qaeda Captures Golan, UN Peacekeepers (31)
    • Israel, of course, stole the Golan Hts, and the Shebaa (sp?) Farms from spoils of the war in '67. Israel actually annexed these areas. Does this mean that Israel has permanent rights to this? It seems safe to say that there is no de-annexation thereof in the future.
      If matters get serious in the Golan Heights, then I predict that the U.S. will expand operations versus ISIS.

  • Syrian Rebels welcome US Air strikes on ISIL Terrorists (12)
    • Compare to golan property losses, and then look at usa creating it's own enemies.
      Potus is warring and doesn't know with whom!
      Stop the Illegal and Immoral wars!

  • World-Renowned Historian Natalie Zemon Davis Pleads Case of Steven Salaita with U-Illinois (2)
  • Israelis Alarmed as al-Qaeda Captures Golan, UN Peacekeepers (31)
  • Could a Palestinian Boycott Pinch Israeli Economy? (1)
    • Boycotts worked on South Africa to end apartheid there, and they can work on Israel too. Economic damage to their own personal interests are the only language that the corrupt leaders of Israel ( as well as those of the PA, US and almost every other country) understand. Damage to their economy and the finances of the average person is at most a minor inconvenience to them , to be managed and spun, but damage to their own interests gets results.

  • Israelis Alarmed as al-Qaeda Captures Golan, UN Peacekeepers (31)
    • So, is this the reason Netanyahu decided to quickly end things in the Gaza? Maybe he sees the Golan Heights as potentially an even greater threat. The Gaza's not going away. He'll get back to it.

  • Ukraine: What is the word for What is Happening There? (8)
    • Richard Steven Hack, I agree.

      The CIA and Mayla agencies have stated it's likely Kiev forces - not Russian federalists - shot down the plan has been ignored by corporate western media, govt officials. Seems unlikely Kiev would have downed that plan w/o approval from Washington and thus Obama. Also Joe Biden's son heads up U.S. fracking interests in eastern Dick Cheney/Haliburton/Iraq is now Joe Biden/Fracking/Ukraine.

      It's all about fracking, and Russia stands in the way, so Obama is promoting war with Russia.