Recent Comments Syria: If Violent Extremists are the Problem, why is al-Assad Jailing Peaceful Democracy Advocates? (2) Winston 09/30/2014 at 3:25 pm Democracy activists seen in league with those who want regime change. After all the color revolutions, democracy activist are seen as stooges. By the way Syria has been on the neocon map as far back as 1991! Do not forget what Wesley Clark said Events have corroborated what he said. link to mintpressnews.com VIDEO: Gen. Wesley Clark In 2007: “Goal Is To Take Out 7 Countries In 5 Years” Gen. Wesley Clark said in a 2007 interview that America's objective is to take out 7 countries in 5 years: Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Iran. link to hangthebankers.com US ambassador to UN admits the plan is to overthrow Assad link to globalresearch.ca America Created Al-Qaeda and the ISIS Terror Group See what this analysts: link to juancole.com Plot to Provoke war with Iran thwarted by Navy analyst Says here: link to youtube.com Top 5 Differences between Hamas and ISIL (Pace Netanyahu) (5) Rechavia Berman 09/30/2014 at 2:45 pm Just a quibble with no. 3 - Hamas' treatment of Christians is of course nowhere near as bad as that of the insane Daesh (must use that name - it annoys them). However, it is by no means good. Christians in Gaza are not having a good time under Hamas. Mark Koroi 09/30/2014 at 2:01 pm "Hamas (was) created in part by Israeli conniving.........." While this is true and that Hamas collaborated with the Israeli governor during the late 1970s and early 80s, Israel saw the P.L.O. as the greater problem and sought Hamas as a counterbalance, but later the growth of Hamas was fueled by negligence and policy failures of the Israeli government. In the period 1989 through 1992, literally hundreds of Gazan members of Hamas and Islamic Jihad were deported to Lebanon as punishment for initiating the First Intifada. The United Nations Security Council condemned this action of Israel by unanimous vote. The deportations backfired when the deportees formed relationships with the Hezbollah terror organization and this would fuel further violence against Israeli interests. Further, the targeted killings during the Second Intifada of Hamas' civilian wing leaders, such as Dr. Rantissi, backfired as these assassinations empowered the more militant military wing of Hamas and, also, led to greater cooperation and cohesion between Hamas and the more radical and violent Islamic Jihad of Palestine, an organization modeled after the Iranian Shia form of political Islam; this result was predicted by Israel's own anti-terrorism experts, but not heeded by the Likud-led government at the time. Hamas and Islamic Jihad both endorsed the Israeli Gaza disengagement plan of Ariel Sharon implemented in 2005, which denied the P.L.O. an an orderly transition of power from IDF Civil Administration rule. As a result of this, P.L.O leaders never had established firm control over Gaza as a governing entity and Hamas effectuated a violent full takeover in 2007, jailing and torturing many leaders of the Fatah movement. Hamas has won support among Gazans for establishing scholarships and other educational opportunities for Gazan children, maintaining food distribution programs, and providing monetary relief to Gazans who have had their homes destroyed by Israeli military activity. "(Hamas) is neither like Iran, which is a Shiite state (Hamas and ISIL are hard line Sunni fundamentalists)" Hamas has had financial assistance and weaponry supplied by Iran. It was the Iranian-manufactured Fajr missile with a 200-lb warhead that menaced Tel Aviv in November of 2012. Numerous Hamas leaders have visited Iran, including military wing chief Mohammed Deif, who received medical treatment there after being wounded in several assassination attempts by the IDF. Hamas' main terror organization collaborator, Islamic Jihad of Palestine, is modeled after the Iranian version of political Islam, as stated above, even though most of its Gazan members are Sunni in orientation. The U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency chief recently indicated that if Hamas is removed from power by Israel in Gaza - which Israel's own senior leaders have said is difficult if not impossible - an extremist ISIL-like organization is likely to emerge as the pre-eminent power there. Hamas is a necessary party to any final status agreement between Palestinians and Israelis - and most Israeli moderate Knesset members have acknowledged this reality. Why Obama underestimated ISIL in Syria and Iraq (28) JTMcPhee 09/30/2014 at 1:50 pm in reply to jewelia Interesting question, what "we" ought to do now. Already answered by the "we" that rule "us:" Bomb stuff, missile stuff, slowly boil the frog by incremental loads of "boots" to kick in more doors, take more "us" casualties, up the ante, move the window, use NGO and GO fronts that pretend to be about "democratization" as long as that has no tiny element of "social justice" in it, no actual benefits for the ordinary people who actually create the Real Wealth the Masters feed on. And "them" Rulers, what are their plans and goals, again? Gee, I wonder -- so seductive, the end-point vision of one person, corporate or individual, completing the Reagan Dream of the "ownership society," owning everything and renting it back to the rest of us, who in addition to creating all that wealth are expected to eat or repair all the externality-bred damage and horror so the Lords and Ladies can disport in pleasure and comfort all the days of their consequence-free, impunity-girded lives. What "we" ought to be doing is less of more of the same, and some actual addressing and ameliorating of the Same Old Imperial Shi_t that keeps the fires stoked under the pot of oil "we" are cooking in. But the power is all in using sh_t up, leveraging the externalities of combustion and conflict that the "Halliburton Lockheed Martin Boeing RAND Orcs" feed and grow on. What's being done now, on a darkling plain with its confused alarms and false flags and other detritus of struggle and flight, is in no service to the most of "us," just aggrandizement of the Increasingly Few. You got detailed suggestions? Bombing from afar ain't gonna do it, and "our" World's Greatest Military does not e4ven have to pretend to be able to "win" this or any 4th generation conflict in all its complexity -- just keep procuring and using up... Top 5 Differences between Hamas and ISIL (Pace Netanyahu) (5) Rudolph 09/30/2014 at 12:37 pm Worthwhile to add that "there are churches in Gaza [which] Christians attend…freely, [and] there is a seat in the Gazan legislature reserved for a Christian – that’s night and day from the way ISIS treats Christians…” link to detailedpoliticalquizzes.wordpress.com Bill Bodden 09/30/2014 at 12:35 pm A Dictionary Reference to the War on ISIS: The Spin Cycle by BEN SCHREINER - link to counterpunch.org Michele Bachmann (R-MN) declares Christian Jihad on all Muslims (15) rezan 09/30/2014 at 12:25 pm in reply to getoffmedz coz people around her love it and the politicians encourage the media to project such ignorant fools. Such an immature,truly uneducated statement is published and there is a subtle appreciation of it by the people who publish her sayings. Imagine if this piece of nonsense was uttered by a person with a Muslim name regarding the Christian or Jewish community?!! God hell would have broken loose. Muslim baiting is fair game anyway. The Other Iraq Reality: Shiite Militias besieging Sunni Towns (3) Rick 09/30/2014 at 12:24 pm Stop the old vendettas of yesteryear and take the real bull by the horns now. Yes? Tamara Alrifai 09/30/2014 at 11:53 am Yes them too RT : The Other #Iraq Reality: #Shiite Militias besieging Sunni Towns - link to t.co link to t.co Why Obama underestimated ISIL in Syria and Iraq (28) Jack 09/30/2014 at 11:52 am in reply to Bill Bodden Glenn Greenwald's article on the Khorasan fake terror plot is quite a read. Greenwald explains in detail how and why this terrorist group became the media's newest star BAD GUY group and why they disappeared just as quickly. Like Greenwald says in the article, "THE KHORASAN GROUP" even sounds like a SCARY name. Palestine Pres. Abbas will urge Int'l Boycott of Israel if US vetoes UN Resolution (11) RC 09/30/2014 at 11:44 am in reply to Jay As usual. Some flagrant stupidities never, ever end! RC 09/30/2014 at 11:43 am in reply to Mark Koroi Abbas is using the threat of going to the ICC regarding the vicious war crimes in order to, hopefully move forward with kicking the thieving Israelis out and going back to the pre-1967 borders. Yacob 09/30/2014 at 10:14 am "What? Westerners give up their PC’s and wireless phones? Never gonna happen." What does this allude to ? Is it your opinion that 'Westerners' get all their PCs and 'wireless' phones from Israel ? Or is it your opinion that a boycott of Israel means a boycott of all Israeli civilians or Israeli business ? Finally, if Israel stops selling to 'Westerners' and indeed, stop getting US aid, how will their economy function ? Pretext for US Syria Bombings?: No sign that Dread "Khorasan" Group even Exists (5) Ribeekah Grant 09/30/2014 at 10:13 am @Thomas_Drake1 If it's not Khorasan 2day; 2moro , there wld b some other extremist group. What's the solution 2 wealth inequality? The Other Iraq Reality: Shiite Militias besieging Sunni Towns (3) Bill Jefferys 09/30/2014 at 9:54 am Nuri al-Maliki: Forgotten, but not gone. Pretext for US Syria Bombings?: No sign that Dread "Khorasan" Group even Exists (5) Moji kheyrian 09/30/2014 at 8:55 am As soon as they start bombing Syria&Iraq they name them out of blue SqueekyLeaks 09/30/2014 at 8:33 am @BlueDuPage I think someone's being punked. The Khorasan Group sounds like an investment firm my cousin worked for in the 80's. Top 5 Differences between Hamas and ISIL (Pace Netanyahu) (5) jewelia 09/30/2014 at 8:31 am One fundamentalist slighting two other fundamentalists. They're both other to Netanyahu, so it is logical he nets hem together as one -- psychologically its true for him though by definition he is unaware of his own contribution. He is thus assaulting Jews as much as Muslims. For people who think this way and employ such strategies also mean to terrorize their own people such that the herd tightens to defend itself from the other and the more this happens the more the inner violence made manifest in the overcrowding of the herd (terror) is projected outwards onto the scapegoat. And, I believe, he is also attempting to create negotiating space so, to put it simply to be succinct, he has something to give up without giving up Gaza. Pretext for US Syria Bombings?: No sign that Dread "Khorasan" Group even Exists (5) JTMcPhee 09/30/2014 at 8:20 am "Wag the Dog," another interesting bit from Hollywood: link to youtube.com Even FOXgets it link to nation.foxnews.com Why Obama underestimated ISIL in Syria and Iraq (28) jewelia 09/30/2014 at 8:14 am with 1 replies Well, the theorizing is fine--unobjectionable--but the question today is what do we do now? I cannot imagine, whatever the case argued above, allowing a radical caliphate to emerge from the detritus of whose ever mistake Iraq and Syria have been. Then, he loathes going back into Iraq full force--:boots on the ground per se. I not only understand that given his Presidency, but I think it is a good idea to not do so. Other than the usual reasons, i think if we go in there again like before, we will make all Iraqis eternal dependents. Finally, what he says has to be "political" which by definition has nothing to do with truth. It is a matter of balancing between competing truths and interests which means no one gets what they want--not all. And on that basis, it is a cinch to be theoretically critical of him on some basis of truth. He is after all a President who has been stonewalled by an anti-Obama (largely racist) ideology no less who needs GOP support to at least attempt to contain the problem at the moment. Of course for the GOP he's not doing enough--they're all buying more shares of Halliburton hoping for better days of all out war in the Middle East. This being the case, you really don't expect the President of the United States to recite Naomi Klein and Juan Cole as he stands on the stump to go to limited war and say it will be alright --which is what Presidents all tend to do? So, he relies on cliches that by definition are easily understood because it would be ridiculous of him to get up there and accuse capitalism and recite all these other left-wing ideologies in order to garner support to contain ISIL as he says. In other words, what you say is fine for academic sport but politically neither the tyranny of the left or right will do. Tony Blair obsessed with Religious "Crusade" against Iraq, like Bush: Former British Dep'ty PM (1) jewelia 09/30/2014 at 7:21 am When has Tiny Blair not been obsessed? and over Iraq? Interesting but a little late and then Crusading to Bagdad? Bagdad the Holy Land? What happened to Jerusalem? ... Gaza. "thanks very much" ends the reporter. Climate Change is Costing Lives: Coal Plants Killed 1.2 mn. in China: World Bank's Jim Yong Kim (2) jewelia 09/30/2014 at 7:08 am China leds the world in renewable investments. Forbes states China accounts for 61% of total investments in renewable energy by the developed countries--some 56.3 billion in 2013. They have led and will lead. So they are interested and working on alternatives to coal. link to forbes.com Pretext for US Syria Bombings?: No sign that Dread "Khorasan" Group even Exists (5) Harry Weaver 09/30/2014 at 6:12 am With regard to 'Khorasan'. Nothing so complicated. Basic psyops preparation. No flag, no known central tenets, no known value, and fear thrives in the unknown. The name? An ancient name for part of northern Iran. This is why the military reestablishment is required in Iraq, and the signature Kerry strives for, on the other side of Iran, in Afghanistan, for the military presence to be retained there. It is obvious that there are too many alternate agendas involved in the 'nuclear' negotiations, for the U.S. to be able to force its own. Nuclear has never been a problem there, so now the alternate strategy is placed into effect and sometime in the future, through 'Khorasan', it will be established, for the edification of the base-level financiers, that Iran has been the home of international terrorism all along. And then, they wont even have to share it with the Shah. Why Obama underestimated ISIL in Syria and Iraq (28) Lone Apple 09/30/2014 at 5:47 am I just don't understand what the endgame is for the "Islamic State". After they've plundered, murdered and destroyed, how exactly are they planning on governing? Which one of the gangsters will be the head of treasury or the interior or decide what the fishing rights will be? This group doesn't seem to be thinking very far ahead of the fun they're having. quax 09/30/2014 at 5:41 am in reply to boomer Bob Let's hope this was just political spin rather than ignorance. rjlynn 09/30/2014 at 2:53 am Sectarianism was not the reason for the protests against Assad, but it came into play not long after the fighting began. Juan Cole downplayed the role of sectatianism for quite a while. The strong position of ISIL in Syria was a suprise to Juan Cole as well as to Obama. He thought the revolution would remain in the hands of people committed to democracy. That"s what I recall of his writings at the time. His analysis is great. But there are always additional factors that can tilt things in an unexpected direction. HMReader 09/30/2014 at 1:01 am in reply to James Hickman So you take a little kid and you deprive him of food until he's crying with hunger (sanctions), you deprive his family of medications and he watches his big sister die of a simple infection (sanctions), and his little brother die of dirty water (sanctions), and his father leaves (Gulf War) and never returns (Highway of Death), and the little kid experiences the terror of plummeting bombs while hiding under a table (Shock & Awe), and his cousin gets raped and killed by American soldiers (101 Airborne Division), and his remaining relatives lose their jobs (DeBa'athification), and his great aunt has miscarriage after miscarriage (depleted uranium poisoning), and he never learns to read because all the schools are closed (Iraq War), and his best friend is killed by a car bomb (Iraq War), and his next best friend is shot by American soldiers at a checkpoint (Iraq War)--and, after all these years of positive reinforcement and exemplary role models, he grows up to be a man who tortures and beheads people. Baffling. I simply can't understand it! Palestine Pres. Abbas will urge Int'l Boycott of Israel if US vetoes UN Resolution (11) Clif Brown 09/30/2014 at 12:48 am This is so long in coming, but in a way it's good that it comes now after everything else has been tried and been shown to be only a playing field for Israel take more land. There is also not a soul left on the planet (outside of the U.S.) who can believe the U.S. is not subservient to Israel. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) declares Christian Jihad on all Muslims (15) super390 09/29/2014 at 11:10 pm in reply to HMReader Some conservatives were willing to consider global warming as a concern 15 years ago. But the instant it was associated with liberals, the tribal mentality of the Right required it to be branded a nefarious lie. Because they're sure it will be blamed on free enterprise/private property, and if it is true that sacred private property can cause catastrophic harm, then what other harm might it be responsible for? Or even get sued or regulated for? They decided all that first, then embraced fake science to defend their property. They will defend their property to everyone's extinction because inequality is their only reason for being and they refuse to accept the possibility of a human race continuing without them. Why Obama underestimated ISIL in Syria and Iraq (28) Loic 09/29/2014 at 11:08 pm A neoliberal union of fragmented and downsized Arab and 'post-Iranian' states constellated around the principal regional satellites of American hegemony: Israel and Saudi Arabia? In other words, a Nato and EU-like military and politico-economic Middle Eastern superstructure as imposed 'teleological finish line' of a CIA-midwifed Thirty Years War-type socially and constitutionally reorganizing process? Former Czech president Vaclav Klaus speaks of something similar, to be sure, when he says: ‘I’m not just criticising the EU arrangements — at the same time I’m very critical of global governance and the shift to transnationalism. A week ago I was in Hong Kong and I criticised the naive opening up of countries without keeping or maintaining the anchoring of the nation state. Doing this leads either to anarchy, or to global governance. My vision for Europe is a Europe of sovereign nation states, definitely. But we have already gone well beyond simply economic integration. The EU is a post-democratic and post-political system.’ link to spectator.co.uk Michele Bachmann (R-MN) declares Christian Jihad on all Muslims (15) super390 09/29/2014 at 10:59 pm The job of the fanatics is to rally the grass-roots deconstruction of modern America, eliminating unions, public schools, progressive churches, and the very idea of human equality out in the boondocks. One of Glenn Beck's movements-du-jour was called "We Surround You." If you know the story of the Serbian siege of Sarajevo, you know what is intended next. super390 09/29/2014 at 10:54 pm in reply to sara schwartzberg You're defining "left-wing" completely differently than it is defined in any other democracy except maybe Colombia and Israel. The mainstream media consists of the view of unapologetically vicious plantation owners on one side and kinda guilty, wimpy plantation owners who want the peasants to kinda like them on the other side. Why Obama underestimated ISIL in Syria and Iraq (28) super390 09/29/2014 at 10:47 pm in reply to Don Utter Marx called it "the commoditization of all relationships". It was only a matter of time. super390 09/29/2014 at 10:42 pm in reply to Esther Klein Buddenhagen He knows it was ill-gotten. In the past he mentioned Iran and other countries had grievances against the US and he got slagged for it by the GOP and the media, while all us on the "left" did nothing useful for him, like offset the Tea Party in the 2010 midterms. Politicians adapt to reward those who will help them stay in power, even if it's an America full of greedy lying cowards. super390 09/29/2014 at 10:38 pm in reply to JamesL Well, it was really more of a second world country, i.e., Soviet Bloc. Which hasn't always made the masses happy either. And there was a large group of armed religious radicals, the Shia in the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution, who took Iran's side against Saddam Hussein and rebelled against him in 1991. Iraq: Shiites Paralyzed by infighting as ISIL menaces Baghdad (6) Jay 09/29/2014 at 10:19 pm Wouldn't it be nice if we just stopped worrying about who runs those places in the Middle East? If ISIS gets control, then they will have to defend what they took. Plus ca la change.... Palestine Pres. Abbas will urge Int'l Boycott of Israel if US vetoes UN Resolution (11) Jay 09/29/2014 at 10:14 pm with 1 replies The U.S. will veto it...no matter what. Climate Change is Costing Lives: Coal Plants Killed 1.2 mn. in China: World Bank's Jim Yong Kim (2) Mous 09/29/2014 at 9:43 pm It is a crime in my opinion that 1.2 million people have died in coal mines in China. China needs to tighten its laws on coal mining because there are too many people dying there. Countries need to look at different ways to produce energy other than coal. It seems that they take the easy and cheap way out by producing coal instead of looking at other energy sources like wind and wave power or the sun. They don’t care that it costs people’s lives; it seems that their lives aren’t worth much to these governments. People are killing themselves over the quest to find energy from coal mines. Governments especially China, need to change their polices and find new ways to produce energy. Is Mahmoud Abbas right that Israel is Guilty of War Crimes, Genocide in Gaza? (12) Mous 09/29/2014 at 9:40 pm I feel that Mahmoud Abbas is right that Israel has committed war crimes and that they should be punished. This isn’t the first time they did this and they keep getting away with what I feel is murder. The United States keeps covering for Israel and lets them do whatever they want without getting punished for it. How can a country go in and destroy so many people’s houses and kill so many women and children without getting punished? They need to be brought to the International Criminal Court and let them decide what should be done, without the interference from America and other Western countries. Israeli forces re-open Holy Aqsa Mosque compound after heavy clashes (3) Mous 09/29/2014 at 9:36 pm The Holy Aqsa Mosque in the city of Jerusalem should always be open. There is no reason that Israel should close it, even during war times. What gives them the right to close a place of worship off to its people? The people of Israel would surly complain to the world if one of their places of worship was closed off to them by their enemy. It is a sad place in the world when a person of faith and religion can’t even go and pray. There should be international rules that stop governments from preventing people to go and pray in their mosques and churches or wherever they go to pray. A mosque is not a war zone and it should be a place where there is peace and freedom. Why Obama underestimated ISIL in Syria and Iraq (28) Bill Bodden 09/29/2014 at 8:55 pm with 1 replies Syrian air-strikes: Does the US have the foggiest idea who their enemy is?: America's bombing of Jabhat al-Nusra has raised significant concerns over their strategy by Kim Sengupta - link to independent.co.uk JamesL 09/29/2014 at 6:58 pm There is a much more chilling application to the word 'generational' in US foreign policy. When the US military does another pinpoint strike and kills a few extra people, as is admittedly the norm, the ripple is intercepted by the Atlantic and US media and hardly a pulse remains as it hits American shores. But like any leader, Mr. Obama included, targeted leaders of ISIS, IS, and all the other acronyms we attack are usually surrounded by not by the hoi polloi, but by important people who often are just trying to get along with the nearest strongman. When those non-IS people get fragmented the ripple is a lot bigger, and lasts a lot longer. Because America on the move looking for work and the big payoff no longer has a cultural core of family, church, locale adherences and loyalties anything like other nations who are less 'advanced', especially in the mid-east, it can no longer comprehend the magnitude and effects of loss of important locals. This disjunct is odd considering what the death of a single American can be built up into when US media gets hold of a juicy story, but it is unfortunately true. American compassion has a lot of strong limitations, and those prevent acceptance of the fact that the grief and suffering of those collateral dead dudes we disregard live on in the emotions of people we say we are helping as hatred and distrust of America the land of the free. Mr. Obama and his military have determined some collateral damage body count numbers that are acceptable to them. But those numbers are hardly acceptable to those we are pinpointedly attacking. Those who approve of necessary extraneous deaths need to answer whether they are ready to drop their long held empathy, high regard, and frequent worship of past Americans who stood up to a foreign power. Current US policy is ensuring generations of distrust and hatred and one must wonder why we keep doing the same thing over and over. The clock is ticking on Obama and the US government, and the countdown is not on the topics most in evidence in US media or the lips of politicians. link to theguardian.com Esther Klein Buddenhagen 09/29/2014 at 6:38 pm with 1 replies The Administration (and many others in the US involved in determining international policy) appears startlingly ignorant about the countries it interacts with in more or less therole of "savior." (See also Mexico) Similarly, Obama doesn't seem to realize that he's running an empire whose wealth was in many instances ill-gotten and which continues to be responsible for huge non-military damages to air, jobs, resources, etc. etc. How could someone who spent part of his childhood in the Philippines and whose family is healthily mixed in a number of ways be so tone-deaf? JTMcPhee 09/29/2014 at 3:57 pm in reply to boomer Bob One more bit about "what Obama believes." Beyond what Dr. Cole cites from the CBS interview, there's this: “Steve Kroft: I think everybody applauds the efforts that you’ve made and the size of the coalition that has been assembled. But most of them are contributing money or training or policing the borders, not getting particularly close contact. It looks like once again we are leading the operation. We are carrying… President Obama: Steve, that’s always the case. That’s always the case. America leads. We are the indispensable nation. We have capacity no one else has. Our military is the best in the history of the world. And when trouble comes up anywhere in the world, they don’t call Beijing. They don’t call Moscow. They call us. President Obama: That’s the deal. Steve Kroft: I mean, it looks like we are doing 90 percent. President Obama: Steve, when as issue … when there’s a typhoon in the Philippines, take a look at who’s helping the Philippines deal with that situation. When there’s an earthquake in Haiti, take a look at who’s leading the charge and making sure Haiti can rebuild. That’s how we roll. And that’s what makes this America. ” link to cbsnews.com It’s a complicated statement, but really? Haiti? HAITI? This Haiti? link to fourwinds10.net And THIS Haiti? link to wrongkindofgreen.org "Rebuilding?" Really? Expletives deleted. Palestine Pres. Abbas will urge Int'l Boycott of Israel if US vetoes UN Resolution (11) Mark Koroi 09/29/2014 at 3:01 pm with 1 replies in reply to Economist "Why wait three more years to take Israel to the ICC when this could have been done years ago?" Exactly. I speculate that both Israel and the U.S. have some "hammer" such as foreign aid or other financial incentive hanging over Abbas and the PA to dissuade the PA from bringing in the ICC to investigate and prosecute. Abbas' popularity has waned among Palestinians as even Hamas sees ICC jurisdiction as advancing the Palestinian cause even though the ballistic missiles they have fired on Israel are evidence of war crimes that they themselves may be prosecuted for. anon 09/29/2014 at 2:29 pm What? Westerners give up their PC's and wireless phones? Never gonna happen. Why Obama underestimated ISIL in Syria and Iraq (28) Jack 09/29/2014 at 2:28 pm Obama believes ISIL is a political problem but one with a military solution, U.S. bombs and the buildup of moderate Syrian forces. Obama's national security advisor, Tony Blinken was on Fox News this weekend claiming that moderate rebel forces would be used against ISIS first AND then used to "transition" Assad out of power. In other words, regime changing Assad is next on the agenda. ISIL will be relentlessly bomb until they are either destroyed or more likely, no longer have the military power to be a real player in Syria or Iraq. Why Obama Underestimated ISIL in Syria and Iraq | BillMoyers.com 09/29/2014 at 2:09 pm […] This post first appeared at Juan Cole’s blog. […] JamesL 09/29/2014 at 1:15 pm with 1 replies Thanks for the good post, but you (and Obama) managed not to mention the tremendous destruction of basic Iraq infrastructure by the US military under Bush, not to mention ethnic cleansings, that as a national stressor was piled on top of the instant loss of jobs and disbanding of the Iraq military that was part of the Bush/Rumsfeld/Bremer catastrophe. That's a little like arguing that the population despondency rate of New Orleanians is not due to religions differences but rather lack of jobs or opportunity, without mentioning the total infrastructure losses and recapitalization necessary post Katrina. What you are really saying is that, along with Assad on Syria and Israel on Palestinians, the US is currently a top world leader, perhaps THE world leader in downward mobility of its foreign policy recipients while preaching freedom to the faithful and less than attentive back home. Obama is merely fumbling once again, live on tv, for a workable sound bite to paper over the cognitive dissonance between the myth of a benign US and the trail of destruction it actually leaves behind wherever it goes to help out. I couldn't say this without the commonalities of government razed neighborhoods in Syria, Gazans live as a fish in the barrel tv series, and if the US had actually repaired all the damage it caused in Iraq, which of course never happened and amounted only to a PR line to compliant US media, albeit a lucrative profit center for the jackals of war. Generational conflict is real, but ISIS, and probably Al Qaeda, could not have come into being with the power they exerted without US contributions in the creation of a social petri dish ideally tuned for radical extra-government entities. The person who observed at the time that attacking the 250,000 or so people in Fallujah to kill a few thousand 'rebels' would be like a proportionately sized armored division attacking Los Angeles to finally weed out the Crips and Bloods. Even though Bush et all were responsible for the deaths of more Iraqi's in five years than Hussein killed in 25, Americans today just can't accept the reality that Iraq under Hussien was a first world country with things like streets, buildings, sewers, education, health care, water, electricity, and no large groups of armed religious radicals. James Hickman 09/29/2014 at 12:37 pm with 1 replies Professor Cole I hear what you're saying, and I understand that the West in general, and the U.S. In particular are complicit in what has happened in the ME. I'm well aware that since the dawn of the American Republic that we have been, for lack of a better word, mucking around in the ME. We have rarely if ever gotten our relations with that part of the world right. From viewing them as millions of people to convert to Christianity to seeing them as some monolithic culture as portrayed in the Arabian Nights, or noble beings akin to our native Americans we have rarely treated them as equals. Having said that I see nothing that justifies the savagery of the latest group, ISIS/ISIL the extreme barbarism of this group, and the Messianic nature of its leadership speaks to something that is far beyond it's the West's fault. Since it is the West's fault we are prepared to and will take our anger with the West and its proxy governments out on average Arab citizens who did nothing to create the conditions that led to the rise of ISIS. So they engage in an orgy of killing and torture of innocent citizens. They act like sociopaths and psychopaths, and they are drawing the same type people around the world. You have called these youths literate mostly, but I question what does that mean? Literate to me means that one is capable of critical, reasoned thought. How can anyone look at this group and conclude this so-called Caliph with a self-announced leader is a better person govern than anything currently in existence. In my view the current explanations fall far short. What is the unifying principle that causes individuals to engage in wanton murder, rape, and torture of innocent individuals. Do they actually believe that they are engaging in these brutal acts in the name of Allah? How is that possible? Does anyone believe that if we did nothing they would turn into a decent state with respect for the rule of law? Color me skeptical that the effects I'm seeing now can be laid at the feet of the West. There has to be other facts bearing on this problem that has nothing to do with the West. Bill Bodden 09/29/2014 at 12:37 pm Let's not forget how the Dubya administration, their warmongering supporters, Congress and a gullible majority of the American people "misunderestimated" the consequences of the war they began in 2003. Thomas Pierret 09/29/2014 at 11:22 am Thanks for politely explaining that ur president is an ignorant spitting on the graves of thousands of young Syrians Palestine Pres. Abbas will urge Int'l Boycott of Israel if US vetoes UN Resolution (11) zandru 09/29/2014 at 11:12 am Wow! Perhaps the new alliance with Hamas is putting some steel into Mr. Abbas's backbone. Hidden Camera Reveals Chilling Life Under ISIS Control (8) Candle Dan 09/29/2014 at 10:37 am $38 buys a little police body cam on Amazon. $5000 would buy a hundred. $50,000 might provide a terrific video stream that could let the quality of life for people on the ground determine who governs them. TYT could tank ISIS. Why Obama underestimated ISIL in Syria and Iraq (28) Loic 09/29/2014 at 10:35 am "Both Sunni and Shia states are threatened by the IS. We must find a way, through imaginative and adept diplomacy, to so triangulate these relationships that both Iran and her clients, as well as Saudi Arabia and other Sunni states that feel threatened by Iran, come to rely on the power of out-of-area countries like the US and the UK to reassure them about each other and against their common foe." link to standard.co.uk And is this not precisely the crux of the matter and the meaning of the implication: the sustained reliance by the region on an external, 'levitating' organizational military power, perhaps one patterned on NATO but with, at least incipiently, Anglo-American (and perhaps later Israeli-Saudi as well) control and command. Will ISIS and the looming danger of yet unborn ISISes be the form taken by the path that leads to the market-statal, indeed supra-statal 'domestication' of the region for the global neoliberal order? Is ISIS, as suggests Australia's highest ranking military General David Morrison, citing Clinton foreign policy strategist Philip Bobbitt's concept of the 'long war,' a perhaps teologically necessary phase and facet in the ulimate constitutional reorganization of the region along market-statal, post-nationalist, hegemonically supra-statal lines? link to brisbanetimes.com.au Syria to Afghanistan: US Military Policy hasn't Solved the Zone of Crisis & may Enlarge it (2) Hunter, J. 09/29/2014 at 10:14 am Two years before the US “aerial arrival” in Afghanistan, a trans-Afghan double pipeline construction project was signed. The deal went sour when the signing countries realized that the Afghan résistance would not be controlled as planned and that the project would be impossible to realize. In Iraq, Saddam Hussein was sitting, so to speak, on the biggest unexploited oil reserve back then, amounting to nearly 2/3 of all reserves. Qatar has natural gas and has been trying to convince Syria's al-Assad to let Qatari gas pipelines go through Syria. Since Syria is in the oil business, its interest were first and foremost selling oil and keeping a gas competitor at bay, particularly that there were no friendly relations between both countries, and with the Saudis, a huge competitor in the oil business. Now that the US has just bombed and destroyed an important Syrian oil refinery (supposedly under the control of IS, which observers deny, saying that that region is still under control of al-Assad army) I'd bet Qatar will start the construction of one and possibly more pipelines going through Syria in a few months, unless something happens in Syria, where Russia has a naval base, in Tartus, its only naval base in the Mediterranean. We'll have to wait and see what Putin's intervention at the UN Security Council regarding what he calls the illegal bombing on Syria will bring as pressure for the US-NATO repeat venture of the Libya's no-fly zone and important destruction and killing of civilians... Who's worse: a so-called dictator who represses his so-called oppressed population while so many more dictators, friendly to the US, go totally unpunished, or a foreign country like the US that uses various false flag operations to bomb and invade foreign countries, killing millions of civilians in those illegal operations in order to gain and keep control of the oil those countries have as their only resource wealth? The real leaders of the US, the ones orchestrating the control of the US politicians for their own huge benefits, are nothing more than psychopaths, sick people, who have been secretly ruling the most powerful and dangerous country in the world, the most murderous one as well say historians. If we don't put an end to those psychos, we'll end up with nuclear extinction, an ultimate event that those power grabbing sickos can't seem to see coming. If they think they're smart enough to live in their huge underground bunkers while the planet's every living species of fauna and flora has been extinct, they'll have a big surprise coming to them: radiation can last thousands of years. They'll die like everyone else, a few months or years later, when they'll have realized that “You cannot eat money”... Why Obama underestimated ISIL in Syria and Iraq (28) sherm 09/29/2014 at 9:14 am To give credit where credit may not be due, I don't think Obama speaks his mind, or relies on his own knowledge of circumstances when he makes decisions, especially concerning international relations, and actions. Basically he just garnishes the standard exceptionalism cliches that have run our foreign, aka military violence and intimidation, policy. The notions of bombing for economic, educational, and social improvement can't make real sense to anyone who thinks beyond the cliches, even Harvard Law School graduates. In this piece Prof Cole lays out the reality of what we are warring against, and the near inevitability of our failure. Obama, the good captain, has chosen to go down with the ship, as he tries to kick the crap out of the icebergs. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) declares Christian Jihad on all Muslims (15) jewelia 09/29/2014 at 8:54 am in reply to Robyn She was smacked around pretty well by Fact Check and like last Presidentlal election while running in 2012--HPV for example, . She dodged the press over her earlier anti-Muslim rant. She is free to spread rubbish and propaganda--freedom of speech ya know--it has its drawbacks. When they do, she makes a big show of media bias in front of the same people. Most of the media don't take her comments serious enough anymore to critique her latest rant in depth. Her audience in this case are already extreme right wingers so she is feeding them what they want to hear. (The 2 GOP leading candidates in the polls explicitly were not invited for being too mainstream.) Some don't mind so much because the more she does this worse it gets for her own party. The noise ultimately is all about the money it can draw. Palestine Pres. Abbas will urge Int'l Boycott of Israel if US vetoes UN Resolution (11) Magnificent 09/29/2014 at 8:52 am @PhilipdClarke Umm...we are already boycotting sorry Abass but youre BEHIND the rest us not leading us. Economist 09/29/2014 at 8:35 am with 2 replies I'll believe that when I see it. He has had years to implement "political war" on Israel and only when pushed by the population's realization that Hamas defends them and Abbas co-opts them has he decided to "act". Why wait three more years to take Israel to the ICC when this could have been done years ago? Why Obama underestimated ISIL in Syria and Iraq (28) timbers 09/29/2014 at 8:28 am "That Obama sees these Arab young men as merely acting irrationally, and that he doesn’t seem to understand the PROFOUND CRISIS OF JOBLESSNESS behind the turmoil, helps explain why ISIL surprised him and his intelligence officials." Obama doesn't even understand let alone is even aware of the "profound crisis of joblessness" right here in the U.S. Why would he understand it anywhere else? After all Barack Herbert Obama Hoover knows that austerity can not fail it can only be failed. Don Utter 09/29/2014 at 8:09 am with 1 replies An article today by a psychologist about how "Neoliberalism has brought out the worst in us An economic system that rewards psychopathic personality traits has changed our ethics and our personalities" the last paragraph "There are constant laments about the so-called loss of norms and values in our culture. Yet our norms and values make up an integral and essential part of our identity. So they cannot be lost, only changed. And that is precisely what has happened: a changed economy reflects changed ethics and brings about changed identity. The current economic system is bringing out the worst in us." link to theguardian.com Michele Bachmann (R-MN) declares Christian Jihad on all Muslims (15) sufferin' succotash 09/29/2014 at 7:26 am in reply to Robyn The journalists don't ask questions largely because most of them know as much about the Middle East as she does: Zip. Why Obama underestimated ISIL in Syria and Iraq (28) louise turner 09/29/2014 at 6:53 am Dear Juan Cole Thank you for the clearest, not to mention bravest, assessment of ISIL roots and motivations .... President Obama & company would do well to ground policy decisions in your wise analysis boomer Bob 09/29/2014 at 6:47 am with 2 replies It is hard to know what Mr. Obama really believes, and what is simply the political line he wants to spin. In any event, I wish that Mr. Obama listened to you instead of the neocons. Palestine Pres. Abbas will urge Int'l Boycott of Israel if US vetoes UN Resolution (11) boomer Bob 09/29/2014 at 6:43 am After so many years during which Israel (protected and enabled by the U.S.) has killed, stolen from, and oppressed the Palestinians, it seems foolish to hope for something better, but I do hope that something good comes from this effort. Why Obama underestimated ISIL in Syria and Iraq (28) Carlo Geneletti 09/29/2014 at 6:09 am good article. A question. You say the US destroyed the Arab left. Any reference to a book that could prove this statement? Thanks Michele Bachmann (R-MN) declares Christian Jihad on all Muslims (15) sara schwartzberg 09/29/2014 at 5:33 am with 1 replies in reply to Robyn Unfortunately the mainstream media in the US is either a right-wing or left-wing point of view. Debates between both sides are rarely based on facts and most Americans are completely ignorant and simply vote along party lines. HMReader 09/29/2014 at 1:47 am with 1 replies It's a shame our founding fathers didn't require members of Congress to pass a course in basic logic. One Bachmannstrosity that's common among her ilk is the idea that there's no need to worry about adding CO2 to our atmosphere because 1) CO2 is natural and already exists in the environment and 2) the amount of CO2 added by human activity is small. My favorite analogy to combat such ignorance is to compare CO2 to salt. Yes, salt exists in the natural environment. Yes, salt is an essential part of a normal diet just as some CO2 is a normal part of the air that we breathe. But excess salt is a killer. If you drink a 16 oz. glass of water to which someone added 1/8 of a teaspoon of salt, it will taste salty, but it will be drinkable. But if you drink a 16 oz. glass of water to which someone added a tablespoon of salt, you will most likely throw up. And if someone were to force you to drink nothing but salty water, you'd get severely dehydrated, suffer kidney failure, and die. I've got to wonder if Bachmann ever baked a batch of biscuits in her life. If the recipe calls for 2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda, but the cook reverses the portions; the biscuits will bake up as nasty, flat lumps and be almost inedible. That baking powder and baking soda are only a small portion of the total mass of the ingredients of a batch of biscuits is not what matters. What matters is whether the right proportion of the right ingredients is available to produce the desired effect. Straying from the proven recipe for our atmosphere is a good way to end up with an inedible planet. Iraq: Shiites Paralyzed by infighting as ISIL menaces Baghdad (6) TulsaTime 09/28/2014 at 11:07 pm The Iraqis are convinced the US will not let their country cease to exist, and they could not be more wrong. All that effort will be flushed away if we think of another way we can steal their oil. Is Mahmoud Abbas right that Israel is Guilty of War Crimes, Genocide in Gaza? (12) Mark Koroi 09/28/2014 at 10:49 pm in reply to Jules Chancel Under Bennett's logic, the Lidice Massacre in 1942 was "self-genocide" due to the assassination by Czech patriots of the Czech "protector". The perpetrators of Lidice were tried for war crimes. Mark Koroi 09/28/2014 at 9:38 pm "A recent World Health Organization report worries that in just 8 years, in 2020, if current policies continue, Gaza will be virtually uninhabitable..........." That is the hidden agenda of the Likud government - making Gaza unlivable so the Arabs will leave and having Jewish settlers replacing them - it is merely a step toward complete ethnic cleansing. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) declares Christian Jihad on all Muslims (15) Robyn 09/28/2014 at 8:15 pm with 4 replies Pardon my ignorance, but I don't live in the US. Some of the statements this woman makes are simply wrong - don't journalists ever question her on some of these crazy assertions? Is she held to account in any way, or is she free to spread rubbish/propaganda? Michele Bachmann declares Christian Jihad on all Muslims (1) Holly Dagres 09/28/2014 at 7:00 pm Now that, is a clash of civilizations MT “: Michele Bachmann declares Christian Jihad on all Muslims link to t.co Michele Bachmann (R-MN) declares Christian Jihad on all Muslims (15) Adam K 09/28/2014 at 6:58 pm in reply to getoffmedz She gets it from her supporters in the media anyway. So why not give it to her with a healthy dose of criticism and perhaps even context. You can't get past her ideas by pretending they don't exist. 'You killed a million people in Iraq' George Galloway tells Blair Cabinet Member (3) jewelia 09/28/2014 at 6:50 pm in reply to Sergio Lira Sr. It is good you said something about how you don't vote; otherwise, I would presume you meant the Green Party of England and Wales given the context of the article. That said,Green Parties have always failed to compromise on their principles enough to gather any mass--in other words they are not all that good at politics being authoritarian in themselves in nature and by that they do more harm than good in regards to environmental issues by causing division on the left, unbalancing the political equation.. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) declares Christian Jihad on all Muslims (15) jewelia 09/28/2014 at 6:41 pm in reply to getoffmedz Unfortunately, due to the not-so-often discussed (since Plato) imperfections of democracy, she is a member of the US Congress, which by definition means that her evidencing that she doesn't have a brain is newsworthy. Thus, she appeals to her evangelical chosen people base and proves that Americans can be no better than the common religious fanatics, ISIL terrorists in this case, they despise--alas human nature. Wheretofore and a furlong...are we compelled to be annoyed as the follies go on? Iraq: Shiites Paralyzed by infighting as ISIL menaces Baghdad (6) Richard 09/28/2014 at 5:42 pm in reply to ra Baghdad is now Iran's problem. A Sunni force needs to be organized largely independent of the central government. The U.S. government isn't accepting reality. Is Mahmoud Abbas right that Israel is Guilty of War Crimes, Genocide in Gaza? (12) rosemerry 09/28/2014 at 4:48 pm Luckily all the commenters realise the truth. The massacre by Israel, completely unjustified, was riddled with war crimes, even though it was not fought against an army, a navy, air power, imported high tech US weapons but against civilians trying to protect the tiny bit of land they still hold. JTMcPhee 09/28/2014 at 3:58 pm So: it's established that the Israelites, while beating their breasts at how abused they as relatives of former victims are, have committed mar crimes and other violations of " international law." So, other than give a speech, what is Arafat's successor going th DO about it? Sign off on more settlement invasion?