Recent Comments Far Right Extremist Avigdor Lieberman says Swedish Recognition of Palestine will Strengthen Extremists (5) Bill Bodden 10/31/2014 at 1:19 pm It appears we also need to be concerned about our foreign office (aka state department): "Former CIA Analyst Ray McGovern Arrested While Trying to Attend David Petraeus Event in New York" by Kevin Gosztola, FireDogLake - link to commondreams.org and link to dissenter.firedoglake.com Iraq: Is the Sunni-Shiite Slaughter at Jurf al-Sakhr really a US Victory? (14) Elvyn Jones 10/31/2014 at 1:10 pm A population of 80,000 is quite a "village." Far Right Extremist Avigdor Lieberman says Swedish Recognition of Palestine will Strengthen Extremists (5) Bill Bodden 10/31/2014 at 1:01 pm Uri Avnery confirms the obvious (for some, at least) that Netanyahu shares Lieberman's mindset though using subtle language: "Prime Minister “Chickenshit”: The Method to Netanyahu's Madness" by URI AVNERY - link to counterpunch.org Umar 10/31/2014 at 11:07 am I think we should increase our purchase of IKEA products to show support of Sweden's fairness! Dr Vleib 10/31/2014 at 9:39 am totally amazing riposte from FM #Wallstrom -- everyone in #Sweden is laughing. A thought-provoking exchange indeed. Resist bullies! 'Thanks for your Service' = Silencing the Vets (9) George Corsetti 10/31/2014 at 8:27 am in reply to jewelia Jewelia, it depends on your perspective. If you're rich, capitalism is working for you. But if you're middle class or poor, capitalism sucks. Take a look at this recent Federal Reserve report: "For the top 10 percent of families, ranked by income, estimated average wealth increased by 2 percent to $3.3 million. For the bottom 20 percent of families, average wealth sharply declined by 21 percent to $65,000." link to nytimes.com Afghanistan's Women: After 13 Years of War, the Rule of Men, Not Law (1) Zheela Nasari 10/31/2014 at 8:13 am this is very interesting article and analysis, did you know new president will have women advisory board reporting to him? "Pilot Program" of Segregated Buses banning Palestinians in Israel (1) tdotsomebody 10/31/2014 at 8:03 am Oh the irony. “: "Pilot Program" of Segregated Buses banning Palestinians in Israel - link to t.co link to t.co" Iraq: Is the Sunni-Shiite Slaughter at Jurf al-Sakhr really a US Victory? (14) JTMcPhee 10/31/2014 at 7:30 am in reply to Jack Keep saying it. Maybe next time it will come true... Do cheerleaders for Trooping ever go there themselves and hump a pack? Far Right Extremist Avigdor Lieberman says Swedish Recognition of Palestine will Strengthen Extremists (5) Travis Bickle 10/31/2014 at 4:46 am A bit off-topic, but Al Jazeera is broadcasting a documentary which addresses the Israeli mindset, which is the sometimes unrecognized undercurrent of posts such as this one. The documentary tells the tale of the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty during the 1967 war, and the subsequent cover-up. As a centerpiece, the producer uses a previously disappeared audio-tape of the tactical communications between the attackers. The entire broadcast is on the following link. link to aljazeera.com What motivated the attack and the mindset encouraged by how Washington handled the matter, set the precedent for US/Israel relationship ever since. Although there is a tragedy in how those men died and their ship all but sunk, the real damage, as the piece concludes, goes far deeper. Jerusalem tensions over al-Aqsa Mosque turn bloody as Far Right-winger is Shot (4) Eurofrank 10/31/2014 at 3:23 am A Cassandra posts a warning and a choice. "Jerusalem is burning and you are not taking any significant steps to stop the blaze. You are only adding fuel to the fire.” So said opposition leader Isaac Herzog (Labor) to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the opening session of the Knesset this week. Netanyahu has two more pyromaniacs at his side adding fuel to the fire: the Israeli Police and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat. Netanyahu continues to approve more Jewish housing starts in east Jerusalem and throughout the West Bank. The Israeli Police is using excessive force in suppressing the rioting in east Jerusalem, and Barkat has announced a campaign of collective punishment. The police are firing tear gas and sponge bullets in a seemingly random manner – most of the houses in Isawiya are said to have broken windows. East Jerusalem residents claim the infamous “skunk truck” which spews a vile-smelling liquid has been used not just to disperse rioters but to punish residents. They claim police have used clubs to smash car windows. Isawiya’s mukhtar, Darwish Darwish, said, “This makes no sense. They’re just heating things up instead of calming things down.” Meanwhile, Mayor Barkat has told municipal department heads to punish east Jerusalem residents for any violations of the municipal code – everything from traffic offenses to unlicensed businesses, house demolitions and animal confiscations. link to jpost.com Does Fox "News" cultivate Closed Minded "Right Wing Authoritarians"? (9) Saro 10/31/2014 at 3:11 am "Does Fox News cultivate closed minded 'right wing authoritarians'?" Yes, obviously. For proof, see: link to spreaker.com Turkey allows Kurdish Peshmerga to Cross to Kobane (5) Jack 10/30/2014 at 10:07 pm Patrick Cockburn skirts around the question because he doesn't know what will happen to ISIS if they are forced to retreat from Kobani? He changes the subject and starts talking about the Civil War in Iraq. Just a few weeks ago, everybody was talking about the imminent fall of Kobani. Erdogan was comparing the Kurds in Kobani to the terrorists in ISIS while he was busy letting them flow across the border into Syria. Things have changed dramatically since then. ISIS may be back on their heels in Kobani and Iraq. Why else would they have a public execution of young Sunni men in broad daylight? Why would ISIS risk a backlash among other Sunni tribes in Anbar province? They don't have any friends. Does Fox "News" cultivate Closed Minded "Right Wing Authoritarians"? (9) super390 10/30/2014 at 9:59 pm I think that the average conservative has core beliefs and prejudices that Fox and the right-wing movement appeal to, but in turn his emotional need to show his solidarity with that movement causes him to change his positions on various issues. I did an analysis of a 1980 Texas voters' survey in college and concluded that a lot of people supported Reagan even though their positions on the issues were very different from his. He looked more "American", a reassuring white Christian patriarch, so they had to vote for him. Then he and his sponsors went to work reversing their supporters' beliefs on long-settled matters like minimum wages, the Civil Rights Act, abortion, etc. The supporters complied over time. For instance, many conservatives were willing to consider global warming at least an issue that we make plans to deal with, until it was ordained a "Democrat" trick by their trusted patriarchs, and thus had to be attacked with kamikaze intensity. Now that we have a black president and a Democratic Party whose future is composed of non-whites, the fear of whites that they are losing their monopoly on power overwhelms any agreement they might have had with minorities on real issues. They must be on the other side of everything now, even the right of a white man to murder a black man for looking "threatening". Fox helps them to keep track of their constant Orwellian self-editing of their own convictions. Now, however, this process has reached the point where democracy itself is being maligned. Unless they face some tangible blowback, they will vote away their right to vote just to make sure we lose ours. BDS Success: Israeli Firm Sodastream Leaves Palestinian West Bank after Boycott (8) super390 10/30/2014 at 9:39 pm in reply to Mark Koroi South Africa, you know? GOP Voter Suppression: Comedian Louis Black says F#%! it! (2) super390 10/30/2014 at 9:35 pm in reply to doug s How can you not be aware that voter suppression laws are invariably written by Republicans to target people who are statistically likely to vote Democratic? If Democrats tried the same scam there would be war in the streets. You're not elevating the argument, you're intentionally diverting it to favor the GOP in the midterms - the party which doesn't need incumbents because it just keeps running whackos with demands going further and further into America's unjust past. Including the repeal of the 14th Amendment. Iraq: Is the Sunni-Shiite Slaughter at Jurf al-Sakhr really a US Victory? (14) Jack 10/30/2014 at 8:59 pm with 1 replies ISIS is just a buncha gangsters who like to murder people. Yesterday, they murdered 46 SUNNIS in Heet, Iraq. It was a public execution. The victims, were barefoot with their hands tied behind their backs. Killed in broad daylight to send a message to other Sunnis tribes in Anbar. If American bombs don't degrade ISIS, American politicians will send in the troops. That's where this is going. BDS Success: Israeli Firm Sodastream Leaves Palestinian West Bank after Boycott (8) Mark Koroi 10/30/2014 at 7:35 pm in reply to Brian A. Hayes Ali Abunimah's Electronic Intifada website has pointed out that the Israeli government has given Sodastream a $20 million grant to construct another factory in the Negev Desert where Bedouins are in the process of being displaced. The idea being that the pastoral Bedouin community will be broken up by the factory job opportunities to be afforded by Sodastream in a future Negev facility. There's also the question one may ask as to what is going to happen to the actual factory building in the West Bank where the Sodastream is closing down - will it simply revert to the control of another Israeli corporation trying to take advantage of the cheap labor market there? Turkey allows Kurdish Peshmerga to Cross to Kobane (5) Andre 10/30/2014 at 5:57 pm Awesome. When you have a 17th philosophy that shuns the 21th it has consequences. Modern western armies have learned the hard way that air power can be decisive. Once the guerilla army became the occupying force its changes it dynamics completely. It now must have a static army and long supply lines. The same weakness that the US had during its occupation. The same weakness that ISIS et al took advantage of before the US left. Pity the army that does not have some ability to protect itself from air attack. Unless its ISIS then they get what they deserve. BDS Success: Israeli Firm Sodastream Leaves Palestinian West Bank after Boycott (8) Peter Wilson 10/30/2014 at 5:34 pm during the struggle against apartheid in South Africa we had many apologists for the regime arguing that sanctions hurt the group they purport to support. Once again we see Israeli apartheid apologists using the same tactic, ignoring the fact that it was Palestinian civl society that called on the world to support them in this way. Bill Bodden 10/30/2014 at 5:24 pm in reply to Mark Koroi Some have pointed out that Sodastream employs many Palestinian Arab factory workers, providing them with a substantial wage,... On the other hand there have been countless businesses, legal and illegal, that provided good wages to some of their employees for dishonorable and immoral behavior. There were unions that were pleased with the well-paying jobs that the Vietnam and other wars created, but that was nothing more than blood money. Jerusalem tensions over al-Aqsa Mosque turn bloody as Far Right-winger is Shot (4) rbtl 10/30/2014 at 4:51 pm in reply to Eurofrank Of course, Netanyahu has been warned - over and over again. But Israeli intelligence, opposition parties, pundits. He ignores the warnings. It will be his demise. Turkey allows Kurdish Peshmerga to Cross to Kobane (5) JTMcPhee 10/30/2014 at 3:06 pm A little article for those who would like something more than the cowboys-and-Indians versions of what's shaking (and BOOMing and collapsing, see apparent 2,000-lb JDAM explosion in opening video) in Kobane, there is this nice piece from Counterpunch: "The Battle for Kobani -- A Civil War Without End," link to counterpunch.org Pictures of Great Game Geopolitics in action: link to dailymail.co.uk "We" should be so very proud of what "we" have brought to pass with "our" Power Projection and Democratization... Iraq: Is the Sunni-Shiite Slaughter at Jurf al-Sakhr really a US Victory? (14) JTMcPhee 10/30/2014 at 2:36 pm in reply to sherm Some of "us" are pretty good at getting other people to trash each other: "F**k The EU" - US State Department Blasts Europe; Revealed As Alleged Mastermind Behind Ukraine Unrest -- link to zerohedge.com What happens when "the US" foments bar brawls elsewhere, in case we forget there are otherwheres than Khesanhalamokobane, speaking of Valor: "Ukraine fighters, surrounded at wrecked airport, refuse to give up," link to latimes.com Pretty narrow and misleading, to focus on battles and tactics, to forget Sun Tzu, and keep on with the incentivizing of chaos and anomie. Unless one profits from it, or likes to cheerlead for it, of course... JTMcPhee 10/30/2014 at 1:17 pm Frontline is the last word? One would think that tribal sentiment would extend a little more patently to the Troops We Support. My question about who would be the last one to die in this idiocy was related to the same question our retread Secretary of State asked, as a Hippie Medal-Tossing Vietvet Activist: "Who will be the last American to die for a mistake?" A little history for Context: Charles McMahon (May 10, 1953 – April 29, 1975) and Darwin Lee Judge (February 16, 1956 – April 29, 1975) were the last two United States servicemen killed in Vietnam during the Vietnam War. The two men, both U.S. Marines, were killed in a rocket attack one day before the Fall of Saigon. Charles McMahon, 11 days short of his 22nd birthday, was a corporal from Woburn, Massachusetts. Darwin Judge was a 19-year-old lance corporal and Eagle Scout from Marshalltown, Iowa.... The first U.S. casualty in Vietnam was Flying Tiger John T. Donovan who was killed on May 12, 1942, but American involvement in Vietnam was not considered official at that time and as such his name does not appear on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. For over 40 years the first person who died in Vietnam was in controversy. Richard B. Fitzgibbon, Jr.'s death in June 1956 was deemed to have taken place before the start of the Vietnam War. However, the family of Fitzgibbon had long lobbied to have the start date changed and their cause was taken up by U.S. Representative Ed Markey of Malden. After a high level review by the DoD and through the efforts of Fitzgibbon's family, the start date of the Vietnam war was changed to November 1, 1955. The November 1955 date was chosen as the new start date because that was when the Military Assistance Advisory Group (MAAG), Vietnam was separated out from MAAG, Indochina in a reorganization into the different countries that the deployments were stationed. With this new date Fitzgibbon became the first person to die in the Vietnam War, Fitzgibbon's name was added to the Vietnam Memorial Wall in 1999. The former first two official casualties were U.S. Army Major Dale R. Buis and Master Sergeant Chester Charles Ovnand who were killed on July 18, 1959. While McMahon and Judge were the last American ground casualties in Vietnam, they are not the last casualties of the Vietnam War (a term which also covers the U.S. involvement in Cambodia and Laos) recorded on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial; those names belong to the 18 Americans killed in the Mayaguez Incident. link to en.wikipedia.org ISIS gunmen are brutal, no doubt. So are US "kill squads," link to rollingstone.com, and link to thirdworldtraveler.com, and of course the Phoenix Program and its extensions, link to lewrockwell.com, and prison guards and etc. But it seems the ISIS Chechens are pretty good field forces, not just executioners like "the Brit," and one wonders if their warrior skills and brutality have anything to do with Soviet Imperial abuse of their homes and families and culture. Sort of like what our Empire is engaged in, from drone warfare to "boots through doors." The last dead "person," excluding GIs, from the current Kobane battle seems more likely to be some resident of that city that was unable to flee. Death by US Really Smart Bomb, or sectarian vengeance, or "stray bullet," or random murder? We will just have to wait and see... Jerusalem tensions over al-Aqsa Mosque turn bloody as Far Right-winger is Shot (4) kathleen 10/30/2014 at 12:17 pm With all of the Palestinians history, homes, lives buried by Israeli terrorist before Israel became a state and all of the Palestinian history, lives etc buried since not hard to imagine that the Israeli Knesset would vote to destroy the Al Aqsa mosque and build a temple on top. The list of human rights violations and war crimes that Israel has gotten away with not beyond imagination BDS Success: Israeli Firm Sodastream Leaves Palestinian West Bank after Boycott (8) Bill Bodden 10/30/2014 at 12:09 pm What happens now? Do more settlers move into Sodastream's sullied buildings? This day in History: Madrid Arab-Israeli Peace Conference (a Process that Netanyahu later Boasted of Derailing) (1) Ricky Fulton 10/30/2014 at 10:46 am Great job on NPR this morning. Nobody ever won a war by just bombing from the air. Only 1/2 of 1% of "Patriot" Act Secret Warrants Used against Terrorism (6) matt 10/30/2014 at 9:43 am Its not about terrorism its about keeping people in check and following your pathetic war criminal government of the day off the nearest cliff, good luck with that your gonna need it Jerusalem tensions over al-Aqsa Mosque turn bloody as Far Right-winger is Shot (4) Eurofrank 10/30/2014 at 9:26 am with 1 replies Dear Professor Cole Netanyahu continues to blame the victims. Nobody has told Chickenshit that he is playing with fire. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas issued a harsh response to the closure of the Al Aqsa Mosque Thursday morning. "Harming the places sacred to Muslims and Christians is a red line," he said, adding that he would "not permit this line to be crossed." Abbas' spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh said the Israeli government bears responsibility for the escalation in Jerusalem. "The state of Palestine," he said, will use all measures available to it in international law to bring Israel to account and to halt the aggression. Abu Rudeineh also appealed to the international community to take steps to stop what he called "Israeli aggression," saying its continuation amounts to a "declaration of war" on the Palestinian people and the Arab and Islamic nation. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas issued a harsh response to the closure of the Al Aqsa Mosque Thursday morning. "Harming the places sacred to Muslims and Christians is a red line," he said, adding that he would "not permit this line to be crossed." link to haaretz.com GOP Voter Suppression: Comedian Louis Black says F#%! it! (2) doug s 10/30/2014 at 9:17 am with 1 replies It's time to elevate the argument. Repub & Dem Incumbents are EQUALLY to blame. Vote against ALL Incumbents seeking reelection. BDS Success: Israeli Firm Sodastream Leaves Palestinian West Bank after Boycott (8) Michael Wilkinson 10/30/2014 at 8:28 am Great news - and it's bound to work as a big warning to other corporations who think they can do what they want. Brian A. Hayes 10/30/2014 at 8:19 am with 1 replies Check with @AliAbunimah about what will happen b/c of where new factory is built The Kurdish 3rd Way: Democracy is “Radical” in Northern Syria (1) John Ballard 10/30/2014 at 7:57 am This is very much worth defending. The Tunisian Achievement (4) raiserw 10/30/2014 at 3:09 am I hope the US and Europe do not "pull out all the stops" to "help" Tunisia. The only "help" they seem capable of providing is economic colonialism, on-going economic exploitation. I just returned from being an international election observer. Democracy is alive and well in Tunisia. Very impressive. BDS Success: Israeli Firm Sodastream Leaves Palestinian West Bank after Boycott (8) Mark Koroi 10/30/2014 at 1:25 am with 2 replies The organizers of the boycott: http://www.sodastreamboycott.org Some have pointed out that Sodastream employs many Palestinian Arab factory workers, providing them with a substantial wage, and this boycott's goal will cause hundreds of West Bank Palestinians to lose their jobs. Centenary of the Ottoman Empire's Entry into World War I (1) Johnny benson 10/29/2014 at 7:26 pm Now that turned out to be a world class mistake ...or maybe they had no choice ....anybody? Iraq: Is the Sunni-Shiite Slaughter at Jurf al-Sakhr really a US Victory? (14) Jack 10/29/2014 at 4:13 pm On Frontline last night, it was clear that the rise of ISIS can be blamed on Maliki and the hands off policies of Obama. But as Dexter Filkens explained, ISIS members are the hardest of the hard core and get off on killing people more than building a caliphate or anything else.If an ISIS killer can shoot someone in the back of the head from point blank range they like that the best, especially if the victims hands are tied behind them. They are BRUTAL! The last one to die in Kobani will be some poor Muslim from the U.K. ISIS is using as cannon fodder waiting for a U.S. bomb with his name on it. Nobel Peace Laureates to Obama: Bring use of torture into the light of day, Never to return (1) HGF 10/29/2014 at 4:04 pm Good. Prosecution v. silence is a false dichotomy. “Truth and reconciliation”, anyone? Turkey allows Kurdish Peshmerga to Cross to Kobane (5) Shannon White 10/29/2014 at 3:40 pm "Meanwhile, on Tuesday the US subjected ISIL tanks and armored vehicles to aerial bombardment outside Kobane" Ramblings. It's odd that there are any ISIL vehicles remaining given US aerial assault capabilities. Possibilities: 1 the US is allocating a relatively small amount of its air power to the Syrian theatre; or 2 US aerial assault capabilities are greatly exaggerated; or 3 ISIL is particularly skilled at concealing armoured vehicles; or 4 the US is lying about attacking tanks and armoured vehicles, actually attacking infantry forces, because attacking armoured vehicles makes a better press release; or 5 the US is lying about attacking at all, providing cover for aerial assaults by Persian Gulf countries who would otherwise want to remain anonymous. Useless ramblings, of course, but I want to know what's really going on down there. Iran Pressures Media over coverage of Acid Attacks on Women (2) Johnny benson 10/29/2014 at 2:33 pm Why this madness?.....it's like those crazy Saudis who let those girls die rather then let them run out of a fire undressed ... Does Fox "News" cultivate Closed Minded "Right Wing Authoritarians"? (9) Rene Tihista 10/29/2014 at 2:08 pm Yes to all of this. The Authoritarian Personality description fits the average Fox viewer. These people are not much different than the "average" German of the 1930s who believed Nazi Propaganda because they wanted to. Only 1/2 of 1% of "Patriot" Act Secret Warrants Used against Terrorism (6) getoffmedz 10/29/2014 at 11:29 am The PATRIOT Act, the AUMFs of 2001 and 2002 must be rescinded and funding for the completely redundant DHS must be drastically reduced. Priorities have changed. Iraq: Is the Sunni-Shiite Slaughter at Jurf al-Sakhr really a US Victory? (14) JTMcPhee 10/29/2014 at 11:07 am The Pentagon is immune to any consequences for "getting its butt kicked," with zero incentive to change the many problem behaviors, from huge corruption to Milbabblerry to incompetence, etc., and every incentive, personal and institutional, to keep on keeping on. What changes is the DEFINITIONS, like "war," and "success," and "victory." The DoD writes, and expediently re-writes, its own dictionary, link to dtic.mil, and its PR divisions assault the common language daily. The "Defense Department" has long known the real trick is in controlling the Narrative and thus the belief structure that keeps all this going, "justifies" the cost, and bushwas us ordinary people into going along and funding it all. Context, anyone? One observer's take: The lack of definition in the war on terror is problematic. While it allows national leaders the flexibility to define and redefine success in ways that suit political purposes, it also has potential drawbacks. From an operational perspective, it potentially leads to lack of clarity and understanding, and thus lack of focused national effort along with its attendant risk of failure. The very phrase “war on terror” lacks definition, and therefore presents the United States with a strategic issue that inhibits its efforts to prosecute the war effectively. As multiple sources have indicated, “terror” is not the enemy. In the “war” on terror, neither terror nor terrorism can be defeated since terror is a method and terrorism is a tactic. From this perspective, neither terror nor terrorism takes on the characteristics of entities that can be defeated in the traditional sense. link to hsaj.org There's a nice diagram in there, that fits really well with this one: link to harmful.cat-v.org Another illustrative bit of scholarship: link to academia.edu And one more telling piece on how it all really works, related to the first combat death, link to cbsnews.com, in Operation Inane Repetition: link to g2mil.com Now we know the first official dead guy's name. Who, asked Kerry, will be the last one to die? Iran Pressures Media over coverage of Acid Attacks on Women (2) Farhang Jahanpour 10/29/2014 at 8:27 am While trying to oppose war against Iran on the excuse of her nuclear program or other trumped up charges, it is essential to highlight the dreadful human rights record of the Iranian clerical regime. Two of the most glaring examples of such violations are its treatment of women and the large number of executions. Iran has the largest per capita number of executions in the world. According to Amnesty International, last year alone at least 369 people were executed in the Islamic Republic. In the case of the recent acid attacks at women who were badly veiled according to religious fanatics, far from being isolated cases carried out by some rogue elements, they are a part of the deliberate policies of the hardliners who are trying to oppose President Hassan Rouhani’s policies of opening to the West and greater freedoms at home. The Iranian Parliament (the Majlis that is dominated by hardliners) has been debating a bill on “supporting those who promote virtue and prevent vice”. On October 16, 2014, Yalesarat, the mouthpiece of the ultra-fanatical “Ansar-e Hezbollah” or Hezbollah’s Helpers, published a report about a conference held by that group to enforce the strict observance of hijab by women. Speaking in that conference, Abdol-Hamid Mohtasham, secretary general of Ansar-e Hezbollah, ominously warned: “Our hands will not be tied in confronting those who violate religious injunctions.” He added: “The most important point that should be made in this meeting is that we will not stop only at oral warnings.” A few days later, eight girls were subjected to acid attacks in Isfahan. President Rouhani has denounced those actions and has called for the prosecution of the perpetrators. He rightly said: “The sacred call to virtue is not the prerogative of a select group of people, a handful taking the moral high ground and acting as custodians. It is upon all Muslims to exhort love, respect for other and human dignity." It is only right to highlight these human rights violations and call for serious action to be taken against those vile vigilantes. Concentrated Solar Plant in Tunisian Sahara aims to sell Clean Electricity to Europe (1) Donald 10/29/2014 at 6:37 am This is extremely astute on behalf of the Tunisians. The EU is committed to reducing its carbon footprint by a significant amount by 2040. This will dovetail perfectly with that policy. Turkey allows Kurdish Peshmerga to Cross to Kobane (5) Pirouz 10/29/2014 at 5:17 am Juan, as a U.S. military effect, the Battle of Kobane is another Battle of Khe Sanh (Operation Niagara). U.S. tactical airpower (some of which are strategic bombers employed in a tactical bombing role) is turning the prolonged battle into a meat grinder of ISIL fighters. Iraq: Is the Sunni-Shiite Slaughter at Jurf al-Sakhr really a US Victory? (14) Tristrixi 10/29/2014 at 2:15 am Divide, conquer, divide and arm, and arm some more, oh Lordie, we have a regular inferno of war making profit on a scale which only matches that of the 2nd World War in the magnitude of percentage of GDP spending, however now war is a means to its own ends, hence profit$. 'Thanks for your Service' = Silencing the Vets (9) HMReader 10/28/2014 at 11:49 pm I'm feeling so sad as I see this video; Jacob David George recently took his own life. I wish I had met him. He comes across as someone who was willing to try anything to learn how to keep living with PTSD. His heartfelt desire to make sense of what he had become--a morally wounded man--and his poignant questions deserve to be witnessed and heard by every single American. His quest needs to be continued; there are a lot of soldiers thinking "red, white & blue, I trusted you" and wondering what went wrong. The Ultra Orthodox vs. The Israeli Army: Israel's Other Religious War (VICE) (7) Mark Koroi 10/28/2014 at 9:03 pm in reply to maloken On a religious level, the Haredim do not see the State of Israel as legitimate without a Messiah. They nevertheless feel that their presence in the region makes them closer to their religious identity. Orthodox Jews, on the other hand, see 1967 as a momentous year when the West Bank was received by the State of Israel and that their presence on that conquered region redeems them. Their ranks formed the bulk of the membership in the Gush Emunim settler movement that was prevalent in the 1970s and 80s. Artificial Billionaires: Regimes' Crony Capitalism Stifling Middle East (3) Johnny benson 10/28/2014 at 9:00 pm It's always been who one knows rather then what you know Iraq: Is the Sunni-Shiite Slaughter at Jurf al-Sakhr really a US Victory? (14) sherm 10/28/2014 at 7:49 pm with 1 replies Seems like the US is attempting to orchestrate a bar brawl, with the serious intention of prolonging it as long as possible. I guess it was just a pipe dream to imagine our troops returning to the barracks. We'll keep handing the tail of the tiger to the indigenous forces and they'll keep handing it back. The Pentagon can't afford to get its butt kicked again, so it will do all it can make victory over ISIS a national obligation. Only 1/2 of 1% of "Patriot" Act Secret Warrants Used against Terrorism (6) Diane Schenker 10/28/2014 at 6:35 pm Since it is election year, it would be nice to have a list of every candidate for US Senate and Congress asking whether they (a) voted for or against the PATRIOT Act if in office when it was passed/continued; and (b) will they act to repeal it, specifically this provision? If anyone knows where such a poll/list might have been done, would appreciate the link. Thank you. Dr. Ip 10/28/2014 at 5:23 pm "But before we engage in any updates, the public must be convinced such updates are needed and won’t be used for non-terrorist purposes that chip away at our civil liberties." Unfortunately "the public" is being efficiently distracted by Ebola, IS, reality TV, and the professional sports circus. A further erosion of civil liberties is guaranteed. Mary Biggs 10/28/2014 at 5:19 pm So as November 9 brings up the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.................we get this report to remind us that the STASI is alive and well..................in the USA! Iraq: Is the Sunni-Shiite Slaughter at Jurf al-Sakhr really a US Victory? (14) Shannon White 10/28/2014 at 4:58 pm Don't get me wrong. The American leadership should be at the ICC charged with crimes against humanity for their wars of aggression, torture regime, state terrorism, grand larceny, etc. That being said, if the Americans want to preserve or extend their influence over Middle East oil production, they're definitely taking the correct steps. In the grand scheme, the Americans want compliant controllers of Iraqi oil fields. In the near term it looks like Kurds and Shiites, with American assistance, will be able to capture the oil producing areas. As long as Sunnis remain a threat, the Kurdish and Shiite leadership will continue to rely on American assistance, and remain mostly compliant. It seems reasonable to assume that appearing to take the side of Shiites and Kurds will strengthen ISIL in Syria and Sunni Arab parts of Iraq. But, as long as those parts are denied oil revenue, it should be considered a success. It is true that this could result in a long drawn out war killing millions, it could result in expensive terrorist attacks on US mainland. However, those must be balanced against the plus to American credibility when it comes to ensuring compliant controllers of oil production. True, in the best of worlds, the US would like to have compliant governments in a stable Syria and Iraq. However, it should still be considered a success if Iraq and Syria are wracked by civil war as long as oil production is under compliant actor control. Artificial Billionaires: Regimes' Crony Capitalism Stifling Middle East (3) Watson 10/28/2014 at 4:09 pm “unleash private sector job creation.” The private sector will create jobs (most at low wages) only in activities that can be conducted at a profit, which excludes, among other things, providing for the billion+ who lack safe drinking water, finding a vaccine for ebola, and providing adequate care for our young, sick, and elderly. The World Bank represents the interests of the 1 per centers; it is an obstacle to constructing a robust public sector with sufficient authority and resources, which is necessary to provide an optimum standard of living to the world’s inhabitants rjlynn 10/28/2014 at 2:13 pm We have this problem in the USA also. A lot of US companies get rich by having public money funneled to them. But, we are confused, and don't distinguish between state capitalism and free enterprise. Iraq: Is the Sunni-Shiite Slaughter at Jurf al-Sakhr really a US Victory? (14) Jack 10/28/2014 at 1:17 pm The Obama administration should not back off. If they didn't bomb in Kobane, ISIS would overrun the city and celebrate a great victory. ISIS would escape paying the price for their huge military blunder. Kobane really would end up like the Alamo. In Iraq, if Obama doesn't bomb ISIS in Anbar province, they will expand their control, dig in and be much more difficult to roll back and defeat. The U.S. should push it right now and do all the damage they can do. It'll shorten the conflict and keep our most gung ho war luvin' politicians from starting a much bigger war. There won't be a 30 year war against ISIS. They'll become minor players, small fish in a big pond. Does Fox "News" cultivate Closed Minded "Right Wing Authoritarians"? (9) getoffmedz 10/28/2014 at 1:09 pm FAUXNews is opinion packaged as visually appealing entertainment disguised as “news.” And because it is free from most cable networks, FAUXNews ends up spewing in lower and fixed-income areas. (Especially prominent in waiting rooms.) FAUXNews reinforces the significantly diminished educational levels in the U.S. and openly promotes bully-incited and enforced hatred, feeding peer group pressures where formal educations are seen as a form of weakness or reason for suspicion. FAUXNews knows their audience well. Iraq: Are Senior ISIL Commanders already Defecting in Mosul & Tikrit? (14) Ted L 10/28/2014 at 12:37 pm "We are defending a democratic, secular society of Kurds, Arabs, Muslims and Christians who all face an imminent massacre." A quote from a woman commander of the resistance in Kobani, in article she wrote, published in today's New York Times. If Americans can't get behind this, then we're a lost cause... link to nytimes.com Ted L 10/28/2014 at 12:29 pm in reply to Jack Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga are on the way to Kobani as we speak, Jack. The Kurds of Iraq and Syria seem to be uniting, and the Americans are discovering that we actually do have legitimate allies there with like minded ideals(the Kurds). The Daesh barbarians seem to be going all-in in Kobani, which is good. Yes, they'll have some spectacular successes as they begin to throw hail mary passes of outrageousness. But proper military planning means a good long painful dogfight and Kobani is just the place to implement it. Stay tuned.... The Ultra Orthodox vs. The Israeli Army: Israel's Other Religious War (VICE) (7) JTMcPhee 10/28/2014 at 12:25 pm Interesting. Conservatives in the US would call these folks "takers" and "welfare queens and kings" and "useless eaters." How do the Haredim get to be categorized as "conservative," even "ultra-conservative," again? One gets some interesting results and maybe insights if one googles "haredi fraud," doesn't one? Not too many "freiers" in that bunch... Top 5 Things More Americans will die of than Ebola this Year, including Guns (8) ahmed 10/28/2014 at 10:56 am The war on Ebola is very serious and should be taken in a serious way. Even though there have only been three cases of the disease in America, it is better to be cautious. I do agree that news organization are blowing it out of proportion in order to boost their ratings and get more viewers to watch their shows. This practice is not helping because it creates fear instead of educating the population. This disease does have the possibility to get out of control and spread all over the world. The US government seems to be taking the necessary steps to control it by screening at airports and watching cases at the hospitals. They don't want to let this get out of control. Every time there is a new disease that is spreading people go crazy, maybe because of the media. Look at what happened when AIDS first came out, then there was the bird flu, and mer's. Eventually the scientist come up with a way to cure or control these diseases. Hopefully this one doesn't go to far and there will be a cure for those infected. The Ultra Orthodox vs. The Israeli Army: Israel's Other Religious War (VICE) (7) maloken 10/28/2014 at 10:48 am with 1 replies If the Haredim are Jews and not Israelites, (4:26), then why are they voting and serving in the Israeli Parliament? If some one says he is not an Israeli, then he should refuse money from the Israeli state. Are US Drone Strikes in Pakistan War Crimes? Only 12% of those Killed are Known Militants (7) ahmed 10/28/2014 at 10:43 am I agree that these drone strikes that the US are launching do constitute war crimes because they are not using precise targets and hitting innocent civilians. If they were able to target specific people, then they would be alright but that is not the case. More innocent people are getting killed by these drones than terrorists. The US needs to be held accountable for these deaths and change their actions. If they want to go after these terrorists, then they need to find a safer way to do it. If another country was to go into America and launch drone attacks for they believe are terrorists, and then they kill innocent people, you better believe the US would do something about this. They should be held accountable just like any other country would be. I am sure that this will never happen being that they are permanent members of the UN Security Council and fund it heavily. Money buys everything. Is Egypt's Sinai going the Way of Syria? 30 Troops Killed by Militants (7) ahmed 10/28/2014 at 10:33 am The Egyptian army is keeping us safe I can tell you because I live in Egypt and we are much safer now that Sissi took control of the country. Before it was difficult to even travel safely to Cairo or any other parts of the country. These things take time because those militants have been growing in size during the time when Morsi was the president. During this time period many militant groups and extremist groups were let into our country. Egypt has a strong army and many allies in the region to help control this problem. I also believe that it is a good idea to make friends and agreements with the countries that border Egypt. The president seems to be doing a good job at building these relationships. In the future I know our country will continue to be safer and stronger. I hope that you will only hear positive things in the news about Egypt in the future. Iraq: Is the Sunni-Shiite Slaughter at Jurf al-Sakhr really a US Victory? (14) Joseph Arrieta 10/28/2014 at 10:01 am None of this in any dimension will ever be a victory until we get out of the middle east for peace. Completely. Is the Sunni-Shiite Slaughter at Jurf al-Sakhr in Iraq Really a US Victory? | NOFrack.co 10/28/2014 at 9:50 am […] This post originally ran on Juan Cole’s Web page. […] Is the Sunni-Shiite Slaughter at Jurf al-Sakhr in Iraq Really a US Victory? | الحرب الطائفية في المملكة 10/28/2014 at 9:48 am […] This post originally ran on Juan Cole’s Web page. […] Only 1/2 of 1% of "Patriot" Act Secret Warrants Used against Terrorism (6) boomer Bob 10/28/2014 at 5:35 am I hope this gets the attention it deserves, and action from Congress . . . but I'm not optimistic. Are US Drone Strikes in Pakistan War Crimes? Only 12% of those Killed are Known Militants (7) Travis Bickle 10/28/2014 at 5:26 am in reply to slim This may be a good example of selective interpretation: reading just enough to support and validate a pre-existing perspective and failing to consider closely-related information. Only read the third and fourth sentences of para 4 in isolation and Slim is correct. Limiting oneself to para 4 and 5, but reading for meaning, challenges the ease of a black & white interpretation. 'Thanks for your Service' = Silencing the Vets (9) jewelia 10/28/2014 at 4:47 am with 1 replies in reply to George Corsetti If it was advancing capitalism, in theory, we would all benefit. I don't think that is the case. Does Fox "News" cultivate Closed Minded "Right Wing Authoritarians"? (9) Angryspittle 10/27/2014 at 10:07 pm in reply to divadab Whoa, whoa, whoa............. you're giving way too much credit here. It is like 50 to 80. Burned: Valerie Plame Wilson's new Roman a Clef on Dick Cheney's Great Betrayal (1) Chris S 10/27/2014 at 8:19 pm She's also touring with the book. Keep an eye out for her at a bookstore near you. The Ultra Orthodox vs. The Israeli Army: Israel's Other Religious War (VICE) (7) Mooser 10/27/2014 at 6:00 pm Where's Maynard G Krebs when you need him? W-w-w-ork? The Tunisian Achievement (4) John Tyler 10/27/2014 at 5:58 pm I had the opportunity to briefly visit Tunisia this past summer. Honestly, there was some trepidation in our small group but we were pleasantly surprised by the country and the majority of people we met. Education and tolerating exposure to differing viewpoints are the fundamentals of sustainable change. 'Thanks for your Service' = Silencing the Vets (9) roger rabbit 10/27/2014 at 1:56 pm We have a national "thank you" disorder. I have been thanked quite enough, thank you. Top 5 Things More Americans will die of than Ebola this Year, including Guns (8) Gazelle Samizay 10/27/2014 at 12:10 pm RT : Top 5 Things More Americans will die of than Ebola this Year, including Guns - link to t.co link to t.co 'Thanks for your Service' = Silencing the Vets (9) Aubrey Lynch 10/27/2014 at 11:06 am As a veteran of the Viet Nam atrocity, this article strikes a deep, responsive chord. Veterans of recent US wars are best positioned to know, first-hand, how humiliating is the thought that our sacrifice was in service to lying politicians and the greedy, criminal oligarchs that they serve so slavishly. Then, to live long enough to see the repression and heartless cruelties visited upon US citizens by these same politicians and oligarchs is almost too much to bear. The only solace available is the thought that this strange country cannot long survive its in-bred, acculturated inhumanities. The Tunisian Achievement (4) Letaief Jasser 10/27/2014 at 11:00 am As the dust of the past 3 year's turmoil settles, as a Tunisian i must say i feel proud and happy that we got this far. Now is time for work and it would be perfect if the coming government would come down hard on corruption as it is the one thing that is surviving from the previous regime. Thank you for a very detailed and knowledgeable article. Only thing i disagree with is, US special favors. Wherever US special favors go, mayhem follows up. Does Fox "News" cultivate Closed Minded "Right Wing Authoritarians"? (9) divadab 10/27/2014 at 10:54 am with 1 replies Well, duh. I would add - dull-normal authoritarians. IQ 80-100. The dupes who the oligarchy relies on. Reagan's base. Same people who read the "Left Behind" books. The Tunisian Achievement (4) Steven 10/27/2014 at 10:33 am This success will weaken the narratives and positions of the Arab police states. It also highlights the importance of engaging in the work of building viable political movements that can be broadly appealing. Relying on police and military force to claim power and destroy dissent is unsustainable. Enduring success can only come from the consent and approval of the population. Iraq: Are Senior ISIL Commanders already Defecting in Mosul & Tikrit? (14) Jack 10/27/2014 at 9:20 am with 1 replies JTMcPhee, anytime U.S. politicians start talking up war a very healthy dose of skepticism is warranted. Lets hope the ISIS gangster horde has blundered into a catastrophe in Kobani. If that is the case, U.S. war mongering politicians won't be able to start a MUCH bigger war and send the army back to the Middle East. 'Thanks for your Service' = Silencing the Vets (9) Mark Brooks 10/27/2014 at 8:01 am articulates a lot of the same feelings I have. Does Fox "News" cultivate Closed Minded "Right Wing Authoritarians"? (9) Bwthemoose 10/27/2014 at 8:01 am Is water wet? 'Thanks for your Service' = Silencing the Vets (9) David Pan 10/27/2014 at 8:00 am Right. Veterans don't need your pity. Just stop the insanity. mark brooks 10/27/2014 at 7:59 am Well said. Does Fox "News" cultivate Closed Minded "Right Wing Authoritarians"? (9) Carl Nyberg 10/27/2014 at 7:57 am "Conservatism" preys on anxieties about modernity & financial insecurity==>tells audience to blame "the others". Top 5 Things More Americans will die of than Ebola this Year, including Guns (8) Ed 10/27/2014 at 7:42 am in reply to Donald Hand gun control is needed 'Thanks for your Service' = Silencing the Vets (9) George Corsetti 10/27/2014 at 7:19 am with 2 replies Excellent article! The implicit message in "thank you for your service" is that we veterans should be proud of our participation in the military instead of questioning our role in as part of the imperialist war machine. Marine General Smedley Butler, who twice received the medal of honor, was right, "War is a racket and always has been." The "thank you" is a subtle but integral part of the US culture that says it's ok to kill and maim foreigners in the cause of protecting "freedom and democracy" when in fact it advances capitalism and helps the rich get richer. Does Fox "News" cultivate Closed Minded "Right Wing Authoritarians"? (9) Henning Dekant 10/27/2014 at 1:36 am Does Fox “News” cultivate Closed Minded “Right Wing Authoritarians”? Yes. Yet another edition of simple answers to simple questions. The momentum to recognize a Palestinian State is unstoppable (19) Mark Koroi 10/26/2014 at 10:07 pm in reply to JTMcPhee President Rivlin just made news when he appeared at a ceremony memorializing the massacre of 47 Arabs in 1956 by the IDF for unwittingly violating a curfew. He acknowledged the incident as a crime. Rivlin has previously had a reputation as a conservative Israeli politician, having defeated the more liberal Meir Sheetrit to succeed Shimon Peres as Israel's largely ceremonial head of state. His recent actions have made some waves among the Jewish-American community. Iraq: Are Senior ISIL Commanders already Defecting in Mosul & Tikrit? (14) Jack 10/26/2014 at 9:48 pm in reply to Jack You're welcome Ted. The ISIS Stalingrad was how someone else put it. Like the Nazis, ISIS over extended themselves and now they're trapped. ISIS has made a terrible, perhaps even a fatal blunder. Earlier today, I was reading a Guardian article about six young Muslims from Portsmouth, England that had gone to Syria to fight with ISIS. There was even a picture of them in the airport waiting to leave. They nicknamed themselves the "Portsmouth Lads." Of the six, four of them are now dead, two died in Kobani. One returned and is in jail. The last one is still alive in Syria. All of them were under 25 and got radicalized by watching ISIS videos in England. Crazy stuff like that will stop after Kobani is over. Protests after Israeli Troops kill American Teenager near Ramallah (3) Mark Koroi 10/26/2014 at 8:43 pm The Israel Lobby has tried to quash the impact of the Corrie incident: link to dissidentvoice.org link to blog.standforisrael.org link to standwithus.com Iraq: Are Senior ISIL Commanders already Defecting in Mosul & Tikrit? (14) JTMcPhee 10/26/2014 at 8:26 pm in reply to Jack Does anyone know how big the IS cadre really is? Their assets, military and fiscal? And most of their troops and leaders do in fact seem to be patriarchal brutal critters of the worst ugly kind. As to being over-extended, and the possibility of military success against the creature, is what "we" are doing both necessary and sufficient to cure the disease of patriarchal "conservative" religion-excused horror? Or will this maybe be kind of like what happens when somebody stops taking antibiotics because they are feeling better, and ends up with a much worse bug? The "over-extended" meme googles up articles like this, link to mintpressnews.com (old news from August) and this, link to mideasti.blogspot.com, from June. It's almost Christmas. ?Wonder what will be under the tree... And of course the combat and slaughter go on in what used to be Syria, and Afghanistan, and Yemen and Somalia and etc. What's the trick for bringing all that under control, if that is any part of the Game? Sorry to be so negative about military action by our World's Best Greatest Military. The track record leaves some significant reasons for skepticism, and it sure seems like making more chaos and violence is the intended or casual effect of its ruling class... Is Egypt's Sinai going the Way of Syria? 30 Troops Killed by Militants (7) JTMcPhee 10/26/2014 at 8:07 pm in reply to Mark Koroi Thank you for the timely reminder, if anyone is at all concerned any more. Of course. that's hardly new news to anyone paying any attention. Makes one wonder what the goal of the Game really is, if there is such a singular thing... The Ultra Orthodox vs. The Israeli Army: Israel's Other Religious War (VICE) (7) Rudolph 10/26/2014 at 6:23 pm It's important to appreciate that at Israel’s founding in 1948, ultra-Orthodox “society ‘was very different…It was a normal working society,’ similar to the rest of the Jewish population. The fertility rate was about the same….To get married, a man had to leave [religious school] and find work....Israel’s present-day version of ultra-Orthodoxy is a creation of the Jewish state.” In 2000, an Israeli newspaper published pictures showing ultra-Orthodox men at work in New York. “For the Israeli audience, photos of gainfully employed [ultra-Orthodox] men — a private detective, a truck driver... — were news on the level of man bites elephant.” link to detailedpoliticalquizzes.wordpress.com Why Can Europe have Climate Targets but not the US? Corruption (7) daddyoyo 10/26/2014 at 6:10 pm Because Tea Party. Top 5 Things More Americans will die of than Ebola this Year, including Guns (8) Donald 10/26/2014 at 4:19 pm with 1 replies in reply to Nel The news in the US is just one step above state sponsored media because it limits access to critical information and tends to play on their fears. The CNN network ( or should I call it the charlatan news network) repeats the same stories ad nausea. During the search for Malaysian flight 1370 the coverage was so dominant that I really thought that Anderson Cooper should rename his show to Anderson Cooper 370. Gun control is a bit puzzling for me because the US is really not that dangerous, I lived in Panama for 20 years and it had a murder rate 5 times the US. Nevertheless, there was only time I even considered buying a gun, after the US invaded and there was no Panamanian police force, but I decided against it. It would probably be better for people to seek therapy for their irrational fears rather than purchasing that extra gun for Christmas.