Recent Comments

  • Despite Syria Cease Fire, Belligerents Plot military Victory (5)
    • They are Shiites and were surrounded by al-Qaeda. Of course they were happy to be rescued.

    • When one side believes it is winning in a conflict, they are not likely to agree to a cease fire. Assad and his Russian allies think they are winning and will win, so this is basically a farce and not a serious cease fire.

  • Do Latinos really view Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio as their Leaders? (5)
  • Clinton and Sanders on Mideast War and Kissinger's Legacy (PBS Debate) (20)
  • Is our Military-Industrial Complex a Fat Spoiled Brat? (3)
  • Do Latinos really view Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio as their Leaders? (5)
    • Senadate Ted Cruz was born in Canada - who refuses to rescind his Canadian citizenship. Which makes him a Canadian, not a “Latino.” Or even a U.S. citizen by birth.

      Senadate Marco Rubio is an elitist, establishment snob and much the same as Cruz, supports his blood only when it is for political gain.

  • Clinton and Sanders on Mideast War and Kissinger's Legacy (PBS Debate) (20)
  • Despite Syria Cease Fire, Belligerents Plot military Victory (5)
    • News reports of Saudi fighter planes moving to Turkish airbases to target "the terrorists" in Syria ,next step destroy Russian anti-aircraft systems ?

  • Russia Warns of 'World War' as Saudi Plans Syria Intervention (2)
  • The GOP's Anti-Government Line created Trump: Movement conservatism and the rise of the demagogues (3)
    • There's tremendous writing and analysis here - instead of the usual internet skim I found myself savoring every word and was disappointed when it ended.

  • Despite Syria Cease Fire, Belligerents Plot military Victory (5)
    • It seems I didn't even have time to predict that once again Turkey would attack the Syrian Kurds while claiming to go after ISIS before they actually did, per CNN Turk as reported at Hurriyet Daily News and Today's Zaman.
      Now the question is whether Obama will defend the only force that the US can work with our continue a US tradition of sacrificing them.

  • Erdogan Threatened Europe with Refugees, now Demanding US abandon Syrian Kurds (16)
    • Dear Professor Cole

      You are a master of understatement

      "If this report is correct, Erdogan has become slightly unbalanced."

      Turkish forces are now reported bombing and shelling Kurdish held areas north of Aleppo. (15:00Z 13 Feb 2016)

      Only a matter of time before the Russian Air Force and the SAM show up. Then WWIII

  • Israel: Friedman of the NY Times surrenders to One-State Solution, sees ME Apocalypse (21)
    • ...or rather, descend further into informational middle ages absorbed with problems that really threaten peace on earth like abortion clinics and the third amendment. They rather stop to read Friedman

  • Do Latinos really view Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio as their Leaders? (5)
  • Despite Syria Cease Fire, Belligerents Plot military Victory (5)
    • There's a guy here, Jean-Michel Vernochet, writing that the population of Nouboul et Zahra welcomed the Syrian soldiers as liberators, showering them with rice and flowers.

      Autant dire que la rébellion court maintenant le risque d’un effondrement à court terme, surtout que l’armée de Damas est parvenue, le 4 février, à briser l’encerclement (en place depuis 2012) par les djihadistes de deux petites villes chiites, Nouboul et Zahra, dont la population a reçu les soldats loyalistes sous des pluies de riz et de fleurs. Ce qui signifie que plusieurs milliers, 5.000 peut-être, miliciens chiites seront disponibles pour joindre leurs forces à celles des assiégeants d’Alep.

      What can one believe? link to bvoltaire.fr

  • Clinton and Sanders on Mideast War and Kissinger's Legacy (PBS Debate) (20)
    • Prof. Cole, what would be your foreign policy "dream team" for advising Senator Sanders as a candidate? Would you consider doing it yourself?

  • Turkey must not strand new Wave of Syrian Refugees, & nor should Europe (3)
    • Yes there was an outcry but you did not hear it, a starving or drowning child is the same for me. It does not matter which side his parents are. A homeless Syrian is the same for me. Your research should show that the refugees in Turkey include those that support Assad regime as well. Turkey did not pick and choose. As your friendly countries picked the type of refugees they will take. I support the poor Syrians on both sides. Christians, Moslems and people of any belief. I said in my writing that we send our terrorists to Syria and sent the armies to bomb them. Instead they all forgot the ISIS and free Syrian army and they are killing civilians. I suggest an article on the ISIS Produced oil and natural gas pipelines that are flowing into the areas that are controlled by Assad and Russia. Who is buying this oil and gas and paying money to ISIS? You should include a paragraph as to who is supplying electricity the Russian bases and Who is paying the wages of the ISIS fighters that are working at these Electricity producing generators You forgot to wright that The refugees that are kept in Syrian area south of the border are housed and fed by the Turkish Government What about the friendly Iran and Russia. How about some tents and some food for those poor Syrians, from the great liberators of Assad. Again I do not proof read my writings and it is your choice to share it with the rest of the readers. Have a nice day

  • Israel: Former official Labeled Traitor for backing Vets Denouncing Occupation (1)
    • Several other former high-raking intelligence, military, and police officials have spoke out in support of Breaking the Silence, including former Shin Bet intelligence director Ami Ayalon:

      link to timesofisrael.com

      Ayalon, also a former Member of Knesset, had earlier made waves by:

      (A) submitting to an interview in the Oscar-nominated documentary "The Gatekeepers" in which he was interviewed, along with four other Shin Bet directors, who accused the Israeli government of intentionally subverting the Israeli/Palestinian peace process for political motives;

      (B) publicly expressing support for the Iranian nuclear agreement as being in Israel's best interests.

  • Is our Military-Industrial Complex a Fat Spoiled Brat? (3)
  • Clinton and Sanders on Mideast War and Kissinger's Legacy (PBS Debate) (20)
    • She does in fact hang out with war driminals. See this new article from Mother Jones - she and hubby Bill have been hanging out with the Kissingers every Christmas for years! This is so surreal.
      link to motherjones.com

    • I agree strongly with Gary Page (above). Lots of people misunderestimate foreign policy "Realism." It is supposed to stand for clear eyed pursuit of national interests. But that is not what Kissinger did in practice. In fact, he defended the interests of the foreign policy elite and the regime in power to the great detriment of US national interests. How is it in the US national interest to become an international pariah? Answer: It is not.

    • Tell me about it. That's the one I supported, not regime change.

    • "He voted in favor of regime change with Libya, voted in favor of the Security Council being an active participate in setting the parameters for what we would do, which of course we followed through on. "
      UNSC Resolution 1973 did not authorize regime change in Libya. It called for protecting civilians through a no-fly zone and cease-fire, among other things. Clinton pushed for regime change and argued that it would be legal under the terms of the resolution to arm the rebels, even though the resolution called for an arms embargo. One of the reasons it has been so difficult to get non-NATO countries to support resolutions with respect to Syria is that they don't trust the US, UK, France because of Libya.

    • Shortly before the 1991 bombing of Iraq began, Sanders became a congressman. He voted against that war, and correctly stated that , "we are laying the groundwork for more and more wars for years to come." I think his judgement now is as sound as it was 25 years ago.

  • Israel: Friedman of the NY Times surrenders to One-State Solution, sees ME Apocalypse (21)
    • "..........the unprecedented turmoil in the ME is to a large degree the result of American aggression in the region, something Friedman, and other Liberal imperialists, refuse to acknowledge."

      Thomas Friedman did in fact warn that the U.S. involvement in Lebanon in support of the Maronite-controlled Lebanese Army during the civil unrest during the 1980s would result in a perception among Shia Lebanese that the Americans were opposed to the Shi'ite interests.

      Mr. Friedman astutely pointed out that dissenting voices among U.S. Armed Forces in Lebanon felt that firing 2-ton shells from offshore battleships (ordered by National Security Adviser Robert McFarlane) into Shi'ite neighborhoods could create a blowback from the perception that the U.S. was siding with the Maronites. Not long after this, the suicide bombing carried out by Shia extremists at the USMC base in Beirut occurred, killing 237.

      Friedman was also critical of Israel's Likud-dominated foreign policy moves following the Operation Galilee IDF invasion of Lebanon in 1982.

      Mr. Friedman has generally been dismissive toward Likud and American neo-conservative policies toward Lebanon and the Israel/Palestine issue.

    • ".........I haven't read him since 2002 he supported the Iraq invasion........"

      Friedman did support the invasion of Iraq believing that the removal of the Baathist regime would allow a democracy to flourish and become a model for other countries in the Middle East to follow - obviously he miscalculated.

      His other "clinker" was his professed belief that Israel could defeat Islamic militant forces in Lebanon primarily through strategic air strikes. This idea was implemented by Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Dan Halutz, an air force general, in the 2006 Second Lebanon War and resulted in Hezbollah emerging from that conflict as more popular and eventually growing into the seventh largest military power in the world - and with Gen. Halutz resigning in humiliation after issuance of the Winograd Commission report sharply criticizing his performance.

      That said, Mr. Friedman, a longtime member of the Council on Foreign Relations, authored the critically-acclaimed "From Beirut to Jerusalem" book which won him several awards and is considered an important primer to Lebanese and Israeli politics during the 1980s. Friedman has had an influence on international foreign policy via his connections to the Clinton and Obama administrations. He also briefed Saudi leaders during the formulation of the proposal issued by then-Crown Prince Abdullah.

  • Clinton and Sanders on Mideast War and Kissinger's Legacy (PBS Debate) (20)
    • Hillary represents the War Party, never saw a problem she didn't think could be solved by bombing campaigns. Bill Kristol is a big supporter and justifiably so, one bloodthirsty psychopath infatuated with another.

    • "Bernie came close to accusing her of hanging out with war criminals."

      Well, heck, if she acknowledges that she hangs out with Kissinger then that's a pretty fair cop.

      "Sec. Clinton had boasted openly of her close relationship to Kissinger"

      QED - Shrillary does indeed hang out with war criminals.

      Sanders should not "come close" to calling her out on that score. He should openly call her out for what she is i.e. a camp follower of war criminals.

  • Is our Military-Industrial Complex a Fat Spoiled Brat? (3)
    • It's probably not a fixable institution. No matter how many overseas commitments we terminate, the military will keep coming up with excuses to increase its forces to cover what's left. You would practically have to invent a new military to fight a specific new war, and use the resulting wartime powers as an excuse to defund the old conventional military and fire its generals.

      One might even say that the US did use 9/11 to elevate Special Forces into the real US military that does the actual fighting (now alongside drones), but completely refused to cut a single cent from the old, unused military, because its existence continues for entirely political reasons. So now we've lost the window of opportunity to make the argument that Special Forces/drones are mobile enough to dominate the world and everything else has to be scrapped to pay for that. We went ahead and paid for both at the same time and people still feel insecure.

      And the mentality of the American public is also probably not reformable. We went straight from isolationism to global hegemony in WW2 without ever having to learn the sticky business of power-sharing with other major states. FDR took care of that with his personal relationship with Churchill, but by 1945 it wasn't really a partnership, and NATO hasn't really been a partnership since.

  • Russia and Iran are allied in Syria – but are they as close as they seem? (3)
    • The ostensible premise of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization is that Russia, China, and the ex-Soviet 'Stans are all about non-interference in the affairs of sovereign states. We know that all those states have major human rights issues, and countries with major human rights issues always make a big deal about their sovereign rights. So Iran should fit right in there; in fact it should be one of the most genuinely democratic of the group.
      However, I am skeptical that these countries actually believe in sovereignty for its own sake. This is about taking a stand against Western interference. But many of these countries were involved in fighting the Taliban before the US muscled its way in after 9/11. Afghanistan was then a proxy war between them and Pakistan. And now there's talk that Pakistan (and India!) will follow Iran into the SCO. How far can you take this pledge of non-interference between countries that have such extreme partisanship towards each others' ethnic minorities? Would they go all Czechoslovakia on a pro-democracy or pro-Islamist rebellion in a member state?

  • In PBS Debate, did Clinton succeed in Hurting Sanders with Black Voters? (2)
  • The GOP's Anti-Government Line created Trump: Movement conservatism and the rise of the demagogues (3)
    • Prof. Faris,
      I read your article with interest, thanks to a post from Facebook friend.
      I think the Movement Conservatives go back further than Reagan. He inherited the mess and pulled it together after the 1964 debacle of the Goldwater Presidential run.
      I would posit however, that this Conservatism goes all the way back to the Civil War when Reconstruction was abandoned and the South was left to its' own devices to do as they pleased with the now freed slaves. The Civil Rights movement of the 1960's and LBJ's Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act slammed up against Southern politics and the Dixiecrats left the Democratic Party for the Republican Party. What we see now with the current Republican Presidential Candidate ilk is the natural culmination of that history. We'll see how it plays out, but I'm hoping the public gets engaged and goes to the polls for the Democrats. However, given that this nation has an average rate of 25% post high school education and even fewer with a post-graduate degree and the antipathy towards actual thinking I'm not holding my breath.

  • Clinton and Sanders on Mideast War and Kissinger's Legacy (PBS Debate) (20)
    • To quote Bob Dylan "Karl Marx has got you by the throat and Henry Kissinger has you tied up in knots"

    • No one enjoyed this debate more than Donald Trump, except maybe Ted Cruz

    • Someone who is competent but devious untrustworthy, and is willing to be associated with Kissinger? Oh no. Just as I feared. Hillary is the reincarnation of Nixon.

    • Then there was East Timor:

      East Timor excerpts from the book The Trial of Henry Kissinger by Christopher Hitchins - link to thirdworldtraveler.com

      FORD, KISSINGER AND THE INDONESIAN INVASION, 1975-76: Ford and Kissinger Gave Green Light to Indonesia's Invasion of East Timor, 1975: New Documents Detail Conversations with Suharto - National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 62 Edited by William Burr and Michael L. Evans - link to nsarchive.gwu.edu

      With friends of Hillary such as Kissinger and Albright I have to go for Bernie. If that doesn't work, Plan B might just be Anybody-but_Hillary.

  • Turkey must not strand new Wave of Syrian Refugees, & nor should Europe (3)
    • Last October, Turkish and Saudi-backed militias and al-Qaeda cut West Aleppo off and began starving it, which was just as horrible as what is being done now on the other side. There was no outcry in the world press and you didn't write me then to denounce it.

  • Clinton and Sanders on Mideast War and Kissinger's Legacy (PBS Debate) (20)
    • I can see President Sanders constantly at the bully pulpit, waving his finger and telling the American people JUST what the Republicans are doing. He can rile them up. "Get in the streets people!" And they will. Sometimes - that works.

    • Kissinger was guilty of many things, of which Senator Sanders mentioned only a few. The overthrow of Allende in Chile and placing of the war criminal Pinochet in his place is an example of a terrible mistake. The peace treaty we signed with North Vietnam was basically the same we could have gotten when Nixon first came into office, but Nixon/Kissinger wanted more war in hopes of a more favorable treaty. Kissinger supported MIRV'in the MX m missile, something he admitted years later was very de-stabilizing. He also has said that he wanted to foster a belief in the Kremlin that Nixon was unhinged and unpredictable, an extremely dangerous game to play, especially given the Russian mindset.Also I think he was wrong to put us so firmly behind Pakistan in their conflict with India and may have looked the other way while Pakistan was developing nuclear weapons. We now know that the Pakistani scientist most responsible for their nuclear weapons development became a rogue peddler of nuclear information, sending important information on developing nuclear weapons to North Korea as well as other states, all for a good payoff of course (he was quite the capitalist. ). Professor Cole you seem to equate realism with amorality. Kissinger claims to be a realist, but he isn't because his analysis of situations is so often wrong. A realistic foreign policy does not have to be amoral. All the wrong decisions Kissinger made were amoral, but their opposite were often moral as well as realistic.

    • Clinton did not reply effectively, resorting instead to saying that as secretary of State you listen to all kinds of people.

      But her reply was more than sufficient to listeners who want a woman as next president and who don't know or care about the Clinton legacy: The Balkans, Iraq sanctions, Iraq War, Libya, Syria, "welfare reform," criminal justice "reform," etc.

    • Obama/Clinton’s bragging about catching Osama Bin Laden is laughable. It’s like a NYC mayor taking credit for a drug bust in the Bronx.

      It’s hard to know what actually happened, but accepting the official version, the work done and the risk taken was by intelligence professionals and Navy Seals.

      The notion that Obama was courageous to give the go-ahead is preposterous.

      When in recent years has a US president fretted about prior consent for, or ‘collateral damage’ from, a military op in a Muslim country?

  • Russia and Iran are allied in Syria – but are they as close as they seem? (3)
  • In PBS Debate, did Clinton succeed in Hurting Sanders with Black Voters? (2)
  • Russia and Iran are allied in Syria – but are they as close as they seem? (3)
    • An excellent and balanced analysis of Iranian-Russian relations! It should also be added that while both Iran and Russia factor the West in their relationship with one another, Western policies towards Iran, especially the intense anti-Iranian views and actions of US Congress, are bound to push Iran towards Russia and China, while the general inclination of the majority of Iranians is to turn towards the West. Iranians have always felt more comfortable with European and American cultures than with the Russian and Chinese cultures. The pro-American sentiments of a million Iranian-Americans in the United States and millions of their relatives and friends in Iran is being wasted by the neocon hostility towards Iran, and this is reflected in Iran's political and economic relations with Russia and China.

  • Turkey must not strand new Wave of Syrian Refugees, & nor should Europe (3)
    • This article is a joke. Russia, Iran an Hezbollah. are destroying that part of Syria. They are creating another outflow of refugees which may go up to 800000. The author has partial truths in his article. Eu did not pay any money. They PLEDGED (Very funny word) Only a couple of weeks ago Italy has lifted its veto on the assistance. And no money has flown yet. The conditions to release the money are so restricted that I doubt turkey will take it. Turkey has 320000 Arabic speaking students in their schools. They have 30000 new born Syrian kids. They allowing Syrian high school graduates to enter into Turkish universities without entrance exams. It is allowing the registered refugees to get employment in turkey. The rest of the world is watching, pledging and giving lip service. Turkey has direct expenditures of 9 billion dollars to these refugees. I think Russia, Iran, America, NATO countries Europe and Saudi Arabia should take all these refugees. Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan will PLEDGE (Very funny word) to give them billions of $'s. Mr. Cole some of the articles I read in your blogs seem to suggest that you are close to the so called. LIBERATING countries. May be you should use your influence, to persuade them to take these refugees. After all between Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey; registered and unregistered refugees are around 6 million. That is peanuts for the great nations of this world. They are spending a lot more on bombs and weapons. Syrians did not invite all these nation into their country. We sent the terrorists into their country (ISIS 32000 foreign fighters from Europe Russia and other nations) and we bombed our own terrorists. Those poor people are running away from what we have created. Iran said I will send 20000 fighters mainly Afghanistan origin to fight them. Your blog may entertain an article asking Iran and Saudi Arabia to fight among themselves in their own countries instead fighting proxy wars in Syria, Yemen and Iraq. . .

  • Russia Warns of 'World War' as Saudi Plans Syria Intervention (2)
    • Very interesting, very interesting steps in the maneuvering of states in geopolitical/military conflicts.

      Are the Saudi's finally ready to put their money, and their blood, where their mouth has been, against ISIS/Daesh? Or is this really against Assad and Shi'ite minorities? Or is this all carefully timed to be cancelled by the possible international "cessation of hostilities" announced by Sec. Kerry today?

      And about that "cessation of hostilities," who is going to enforce that on Daesh?

  • Clinton and Sanders on Mideast War and Kissinger's Legacy (PBS Debate) (20)
    • Good recounting of a vital aspect of the two candidates to help consider which one to support. I think associating with Kissinger and giving him credibility like Clinton does shows the kind of dangerous leadership she'd bring, even though I sincerely sympathize with her candidacy. I suppose there's a chance she wouldn't be a provocateur warmongering president though the chance would be a small one. Surely it was Clinton's State Department that began plotting to overthrow the duly elected government of Ukraine to install a rightist, neo-nazi-laden coup regime in its place. And yes the Ukraine government before the rightist coup was 'duly elected', just like the less Soviet-friendly government duly elected previous to the overthrown one was. The elections there aren't perfect but each side has one an election or two, showing that Ukrainian democracy had been evolving toward credibility. The U.S.-led overthrow of Ukraine's government - just to stick it to Russia and to try to comandeer Russia's historic and current Crimean naval base (as well as to 'win' Ukraine for western banking monopolies, of course) - was a sadistic tragic and genocidal intentional horror that has killed thousands of innocent people and caused deprivation and suffering where before there was little of those horrific conditions. That's why I would never prefer an imperial neocon such as Clinton unless she were the only one running in a general election against the even more amoral monsters of the Republican Party.

    • Kissinger is an odious human being that should, in a just world, be rotting in prison.

  • Israel: Friedman of the NY Times surrenders to One-State Solution, sees ME Apocalypse (21)
    • Friedman's criticism of Netanyahu may be welcome, but he has defended, and even advocated, Israeli aggression for decades. Some within the Jewish diaspora may have split with Netanyahu, but that does not mean they are advocating dignity and justice for the Palestinians. Moreover, the unprecedented turmoil in the ME is a to a large degree the result of American aggression in the region, something Friedman, and other Liberal Imperialists, refuse to acknowledge.

    • Oh, please! YOU may not care what Friedman says (and I haven't read him since 2002 when he supported the Iraq invasion) but he reaches a pretty broad audience. No revolution or national liberation struggle has won without a broad coaltion internally and the ability to affect public opinion externally. Friedman plays a role in the latter and for him to 'give up' on two states and project unprecedented turmoil in the ME shows the depth of the Jewish diaspora's split with Netanyahu and the vulnerable positon he's in now into the future.

    • Python tried to eat alligator in Everglades. No crocodiles.

    • Do I care what Friedman thinks....not at all....why do you Juan Cole?...Just like his pal Brooks at NY Times they are so far away from the reality of the world. Their dream is a domination by the USA everywhere and a big check in their pockets.

    • You are dreaming Sufi...........

    • Sorry but unrealistic just because it happened in S. Africa not necessarily will happen here. The envoy that got N. Ireland peace treaty again thought that this would be piece of cake. No....different cultures must be treated differently. Reconciliation in Argentina and Chile after years of dictatorship quite different also as it continues to happen more directly in Chile than in the other. Now we all know that a 2 state solution will not happen after years of trying......Israel will NEVER allow a majority Palestinian population within "its borders" and will never go back to UN decision of 1967 borders. Lastly, S. Africa and N. Ireland are both one country. The situation here is TWO countries.

  • Did Bashar al-Assad win New Hampshire? Trump & Sanders Mideast Policies (18)
    • Relax, Vic Oldright. Republicans have done nothing to address their basic demographic problems except to make them worse. No amount of red-baiting is going to make African-Americans, Asian-Americans, and Latino-Americans vote for the white racist party instead.

    • My only issue issue with you, Juan, is the implicit assumption that we should take seriously anything Trump says. He says what he thinks will help him today, and he'll say the exact opposite if he thinks that will help him tomorrow. Frankly, no one knows what the hell he will do, which is scariest of all.

      My gut (and his Iraq vote) suggest to me that Bernie has the best instincts on foreign policy, but he definitely needs to work on his chops.

  • Israel: Friedman of the NY Times surrenders to One-State Solution, sees ME Apocalypse (21)
    • >(Israel as a kind of aircraft carrier for the US in the Middle East).

      Its an odd belief for them to hold, from the best of my knowledge israel has never served this purpose in any major american wars in the region, like kuwait has for example.

  • Did Bashar al-Assad win New Hampshire? Trump & Sanders Mideast Policies (18)
    • I can predict what the Republicans will do. They will take some video of Sanders saying he is a socialist, combine with some video where he calls for a political revolution, maybe edit out the word political. Then they will show a video of Stalin, or some mobs overthrowing a government or similar and a voice will say, Bernie Sanders wants a socialist revolution. Is that what you want? If not vote for (fill in the bland with the GOP nominee). This will literally scare the bejeezus out of the yahoos that populate much of the country.

  • Israel: Friedman of the NY Times surrenders to One-State Solution, sees ME Apocalypse (21)
    • The 'two-state solution' was always 'unrealistic' because those who claimed to be in favor/support of it in the US and Israel did everything they could to undermine it. It was used as a cover for the work of destabilizing and destroying the people of Palestine which was carried out under the noses and platitudes of the Western media, which like Hollywood always tries to paint America/Americans as the 'heroes' despite the death-squad dictatorships the CIA and Pentagon created/creates all over the world.

    • As a proud
      WWII veteran it thoroughly DISGUSTS me that the U.S. and Western Europe stand by with their hands in their deep pockets and allow this historic travesty to proceed unfairly...unabashed...and unconscionable.

      Just an afterthought: those last three words sound like an inspirational title for a biography of Benjamin Netantahu.

      The current re-incarnation of a once-great nation has lost its guts as well as its gonads! The leadership of the Western World awaits without.......without guts, without a once-strong sense of justice......and without the derring-do which has characterized it history.

      Let the games begin.....and may fairness and ultimate justice prevail !!!

      it has shed its inspiration at viewing "the dawn's early light" even as "the rockets' red glare" once again dominates the horizon.

      But, most of all, it has turned away from its sense of honesty, integrity and JUSTICE even as the need for its historic fairness is perhaps the GREATEST EVER!

    • How many Friedman Units will it take to create this one-state solution?

    • I support The One State Declaration sounds like a beautiful thing to me

    • When someone as out of touch with reality as Friedman usually is admits that the two state solution is dead, you can take it to the bank. The big question now is when Abbas will admit it and allow his sinecure to expire, and when will young Palestinians take over and openly convert their cause to a real civil rights struggle in the single state. When that happens American politicians will finally have to face up to the fact that their repeated incantation of the ever more impossible "two state solution" has really been a cover for supporting apartheid. And perhaps the rest of America will wake up.

    • It has not helped the matter that Obama is a thoroughgoing Zionist accepting all of the dogma of the Zionist movement including that Jews have a historic right to 'The Land of Israel' (a phrase that only occurs in Mark, in the New Testament), and that Jew longed for a homeland for 2000 years, a complete lie incorporated by David Ben Gurion into the state's Declaration of Independence. Zionism was inherited from Christian Zionism which preceded it by 500 years and was only embraced by a minority of Jews of eastern Europe in the 1880's.

      In fact, there is little ideological difference between Netanyahu and Obama, their differences are largely personal.

  • Israeli Parliament Targets Human Rights NGOs (1)
    • The two most prominent human rights watchdog groups based in Israel are B'tselem and Yesh Din.

      B'tselem is largely financed by foreign donors which include several European nations - however its board of directors is overwhelmingly Jewish Israelis; one board member is a Palestinian associated with the Arab group Adalah.

      Yesh Din (literally "There is law") is also heavily dependent on foreign donors, including some European governments, however its governing board is composed of prominent
      Israelis - including retired senior IDF officers.

      These two watchdog groups document and advocate against human rights violations perpetrated against Palestinians - and are viewed as traitors by many right-wing Israelis.

      The fallacy with Shaked's policy arguments in supporting this proposed legislation is that the actual control of these NGOs resides with Jewish Israelis and not the financing foreign governments. Governments that have financed these human rights organizations in Israel have been those with a historically benign attitude toward the Zionist state - including Norway and Ireland.

      These human rights organizations have received international acclaim for their efforts in addressing civil rights abridgments - to suggest a political agenda exists to target the Israeli right is disingenuous.

  • Israel: Friedman of the NY Times surrenders to One-State Solution, sees ME Apocalypse (21)
    • Hello Tom! Congratulations on your epiphany! Unfortunately, it's about 20 years late. Anyone who watched Bibi and Sharon destroy the Oslo agreements back in the 1990s knew that a two state solution was never in the cards. But ignoring the obvious certainly provided time and cover for the settlements to get ever more entrenched and for the situation to get even worse.

    • “And in our new American oligarchy, the character of our billionaires, from Trump to Adelson to Saban, is also consequential.”

      Needs to be said with more force. Especially the “new American oligarchy” part. Some folks still think they live in a constitution-based federal republic with a strong democratic tradition. link to cia.gov

    • The two state solution, advocated tirelessly by mediocre politicians who lack historical vision, is therefore unrealistic, unworkable and dangerous.

      Unrealistic and unworkable because one can’t unscramble an egg, and dangerous because genuine grievances can’t be suppressed permanently by shortsighted political decisions.

      Moreover, Jews, Muslims, Christians and others would be perfectly free to practice their religious beliefs and, unlike the current situation, would enjoy unfettered access to their respective holy places. And all would be treated equally before the law as citizens.

      Furthermore, every citizen would be free to live wherever he or she likes in accordance with the law. For example, a Jew would be free to settle anywhere in Israel/Palestine. A Palestinian would be accorded the same right.

      Nonetheless, the two communities must realize by now that that they have to reform and amend their old, anachronistic ways and especially their views of each other.

      Palestinians will have to discard, once and for all, their dreams of cleansing Palestine of Ashkenazi and other Jews who arrived in the country following WWII.

      Likewise, Jews must come to terms with the fact that Palestinians have at least an equal right to this land of Israel/Palestine.

      This vision of one-state for all, where Jews and Palestinians live equally and peacefully in a unitary, democratic, civil state is not too idealistic to be practical. It happened in South Africa; and it is practiced in many countries all over the globe.

  • Did Bashar al-Assad win New Hampshire? Trump & Sanders Mideast Policies (18)
    • One comment like this shows me that Informed Comment readers are AWAKE! The lack of foresight, or the delay in comprehension, or the "misunderstanding" is a fact of life. The staleness of outlook (Assad, Iran) is the big diverter from environment, not so much that dollars are diverted, since dollars can be "created" ex-nihilo (as the Obama admin continued to do all along with wars and drones at the same time...for some good actually). It's that time, labor, and RESOURCES of a nation are diverted. So, a new third party would have to realize your description of this state of affairs.

      Re a challenge from Bern...more razor's edge political chaos...but it's OK with me. We gotta back him however.

      Agree with concluding remark.

  • Israel: Friedman of the NY Times surrenders to One-State Solution, sees ME Apocalypse (21)
    • Most of the world's conflicts will go away if those in the position of power and control adhered to this very simple and universal ethic: "Do not do unto others what you don't want done unto you."

      But to put that into practice, the world needs leaders who reflect the higher consciousness, whose qualities include selflessness, generosity, love, forgiveness, humility, sharing, serving others with no expectations, detachment from the transient, lack of desire for power, control and acquisition, etc.

    • We are all corporately complicit as the US government generously and recklessly subsidizes Israeli agression.

  • Did Bashar al-Assad win New Hampshire? Trump & Sanders Mideast Policies (18)
    • Projessor Cole, I am wondering how the candidates compare with regard to Lybia, as this may be the next hot spot for intervention.

  • The GOP's Anti-Government Line created Trump: Movement conservatism and the rise of the demagogues (3)
    • I really can't see the man getting elected, neither him nor Cruz. I still believe that 'we' get the governments that 'we' deserve, and I can't see the USA deserving either Trump or Cruz. Nothing you've done, nothing that even those who hate your nation claim you've done, would merit the election of either of those two boobs.

  • Did Bashar al-Assad win New Hampshire? Trump & Sanders Mideast Policies (18)
    • Bernie said the other day : they've thrown everything at me but the kitchen sink. wrong, THEY haven't even begun to attack him. This has to be the oppositions dream. A Jew socialist to run against! I agree with practically everything Sanders says but cringe at the carnage that would ensue after his nomination.

    • I don't agree with using sanguine to describe Sanders position concerning Assad. I think resigned would be more appropriate.

    • Bismarck's alliance with the Czar was grounded in strategic logic, but ran against the attitudes of Germans, which is why Wilhelm II terminated it. I don't think Trump would recognize strategic logic if it bit him on the ass. He likes Putin because Putin aspires towards dictatorship and is most of the way there. He has in no way denounced the many economic schemes the neocons have pursued against Russia like the BTC pipeline, which have driven Putin further into the arms of China which Trump so hates. Maybe it's all just skin color with this racist bully.

    • Unfortunate choice of words in calling Trump's relationship with Putin "creepy." Trump is a nut but his suggestion to work with Russia is wise. I wish Obama and other Russia haters - including journalists who seem to get perverse satisfaction in luridly describing Putin's actions - would embrace this "creepy" approach.

    • Seemed that way to me too. The only possibly creepy thing about it might be that Russia could do to us in some way what we did to Ukraine. I realize that the whole global economy is flagging, but someday BRICS might gain an edge, no matter how unglorious. No matter what he says about China, I wouldn't trust Trump to understand (or reveal) what kind of TPP type deals (perhaps someday with Russia) might begin laying low the US in Latvia fashion. But no way now IMO should Russia be viewed as an aggressor.

  • Erdogan Threatened Europe with Refugees, now Demanding US abandon Syrian Kurds (16)
    • If Turkey ends up in a civil war, with the Kurds and Jihadists, then the resulting exodus to Europe will be unimaginable. Turks will become part of the EU, whether the Europeans like it or not. Hopefully saner minds will prevail in Turkey, and step back from Erdogan's dreams of regional hegemony.

    • Well, she has turned from her first stance completely and now supports the turkish government, regardless how criminal that government acts if only they keep the refugees away.

      This seems more than a little opportunistic, but is consistent with the morale flexibility she has displayed many times before.

      Her refusal to close the borders might have more to do with the protests of the german industry against closing them.

      Why she put herself in that position in the first place? My guess is, she simply had no idea what she was getting herself into.

  • Failed Syria Talks raise specter of new Refugee wave, Misery in Mideast, Europe (1)
    • Not all refuges in Europe are Syrian and most are caused by Europe themselves destabilizing government they would like to change like Libya, Afghanistan or even Syria. You cannot just arm an internal opposition and then bemoan civilian casualties and refuges.

  • Did Bashar al-Assad win New Hampshire? Trump & Sanders Mideast Policies (18)
    • I know HRC will win some primaries but by that March Tuesday she'll be history

    • Agree with writer's your description of a creepy relationship with Putin by Trump. Yes I agree with another writer how could you not bring up warmongering HRC to this foreign policy statement. But u brought up FDR, why not HRC? She is the danger here condoning apartheid in Israel and expansion of the right wing population there just for votes. She is responsible for the Lybia and Syria debacles when in the cabinet. She insists to punish Iran even after the nuclear agreement signed by 6/7 countries? For me this is a domestic campaign more than intl' and the surprise here is that Sanders dominated in all demographic levels but the older Medicare people. I'm a Medicare person and I'm for Sanders. This is a Political Revolution that I believe you will realize next November Juan

  • Not just the Children of Flint: Has Industrial Society Poisoned Us? (2)
    • Lead is just the beginning and it goes back to the Roman empire. Look up epigenetic impacts of atrazine, Bisphenol A, Round Up and then there are all the drugs (medicines) that are dumped down the drain. Consider the story of Snow White. Do you suppose that the queen is just a chemist plying her trade?

  • Beyonce angers US Right by bringing up African-American Rights at Superbowl (6)
    • PS: I had to laugh: how many "police boycotts" are these cops going to call for whenever anyone in the news calls out police violence? Do they really think that people aren't going to watch "The Hateful Eight" or Beyonce because of it? LOL - wake up, coppers. Your day has come. And it's over.

    • Finally, Beyonce and Jay-Z are doing something for their people and our entire culture. Police violence must be stopped, and the pro-police apologists must open their eyes. Good for Beyonce to finally do something really worthwhile.

  • Would Trump or Cruz be worst President ever? & Why Jimmy Carter's Answer will Surprise you (3)
  • Erdogan Threatened Europe with Refugees, now Demanding US abandon Syrian Kurds (16)
    • You don't think Turkey supports Daesh. No it just buys oil off them and funds them, In exchange for no attacks on its soil.

    • Totally dependent, I do not know, but I thought Turkey has or had a thriving trade with ISIS in OIL.
      IMHO, Turkey is the problem.

  • Did Bashar al-Assad win New Hampshire? Trump & Sanders Mideast Policies (18)
  • Erdogan Threatened Europe with Refugees, now Demanding US abandon Syrian Kurds (16)
    • I don't think Turkey supports Daesh. Jaysh al-Fateh (which includes al-Qaeda), probably yes. But Turkey is also apparently not terribly determined to do anything about Daesh.

  • Did Bashar al-Assad win New Hampshire? Trump & Sanders Mideast Policies (18)
    • Americans talk so simplistically about all this w/ so many dead. Not sure I see what else anyone can/should say. Beyond despairing.

  • Not just the Children of Flint: Has Industrial Society Poisoned Us? (2)
  • Did Bashar al-Assad win New Hampshire? Trump & Sanders Mideast Policies (18)
    • Interesting you chose Bernie rather than Hillary to critique. Hillary, who voted for the invasion of Iraq, is taking money from Haim Saban...link to truthdig.com which means she is definitely in the neocon camp. She could avoid the mistakes of Bush the Idiot if she listens to Bill Clinton who apprehended the first World Trade Center bombers by using the FBI rather than starting a needless war in the middle east.

  • The Evil Genie U.S. Let Out of Bottle in Iraq Continues His Rampage (1)
    • Since the war in Vietnam, I have sometimes thought that Congress should enact a special tax surcharge to pay for reparations to the countries we have devastated. At first I thought in terms of Vietnam and Cambodia. As history has moved on, and I have learned more, the list has grown longer. Iraq belongs on the list, of course, but so too do the Palestinians, and others. It's a fantasy, of course.

  • Did Bashar al-Assad win New Hampshire? Trump & Sanders Mideast Policies (18)
    • Seems a bit unfair to describe Trump's relationship with Putin as 'creepy'. Surely and aspiring president should try to have relationships with all foreign leaders, especially with Putin, who is in charge of the powerful Country that Russia is. I would have thought the relationship of the current and past administrations with terrorists in Syria (so called free Syrian army) and elsewhere on the globe as 'creepy' as well as criminal, at least in the eyes of the international community.

    • This does seem to be a year of upset and upheaval, and I have under-estimated the ability of Sanders to become the phenomenon he has now become.

      A small reason I still haven't signed on to the phenomenon so far: in my imagination, the crucial moment in any presidency comes about on the afternoon of January 20th, when the new President is introduced to the national security/CIA leaders, who attempt to scare him into not challenging their power in any way. In my view, Obama failed this challenge and has been completely in their thrall; Hillary knows all these people already, on one hand she probably agrees with them already, on the other hand she may just be familiar enough to know how to fight back on various issues. Bernie, I could see him either misunderstanding their challenge, or getting in a pissing contest that hurts our (the progressive people) goals of significant reform in the longer term.* So that's my fear in the situation.

      My intellect in the situation would be that great and middle powers tend to change their basic foreign policies slowly, even if their administrations are taken over by significantly new regimes. Their have been exceptions, such as the "reversal of alliances" in 1756, when the previous Austrian/Prussian alliance against France was switched for an Austrian/French alliance against Prussia, and the Hitler-Stalin alliance of 1939, but those situations occur when major nations are desperate for advantage. We still have a few years of upset and upheaval to go until such conditions are realized, IMHO, but I guess I'm ready to be surprised by revolutionary developments in my old age.

      *And Trump, of course would sign onto and urge the intensification of whatever the spymasters proposed.