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Total number of comments: 57 (since 2013-11-28 16:51:16)

AJ Oliver

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  • Leftist Kurds with US Air Support breach Walls of ISIL Capital, enter Old City
    • Yes, and "social anarchism" is clearly left, like Murray Bookchin and the YPG. they stand for complete social equality, mutual aid (no government), and no private property.
      YPG is not syndicalist.
      I used to teach this stuff . .

    • Wouldn't "social anarchists" be a more accurate term for the YPG than "leftist"?

  • Germany: We Europeans must Depend on Selves, not Trump's USA
  • Erdogan & Trump: Can the Confict over Syria be Resolved?
    • Turkey's government treats the US constitution with total contempt . . . (NYT)
      WASHINGTON – Supporters of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, including his government security forces and several armed individuals, violently charged a group of protesters outside the Turkish ambassador’s residence here on Tuesday night in what the police characterized as “a brutal attack.”

      Eleven people were injured, including a police officer, and nine were taken to a hospital, the Metropolitan Police chief, Peter Newsham, said at a news conference on Wednesday. Two Secret Service agents were also assaulted in the melee, according to a federal law enforcement official.

    • Going way back, the Trukish political elite seems to have problems with other ethnic groups - Kurds, Armenians, Greeks, Bulgarians . . . a pretty lengthy list.

  • Trump sends US Troops to Patrol Turkish-Syrian Border as Ankara Threatens US Allies
    • I'm still trying to get my mind around the US being allied with feminist social anarchists. Were I not retired from teaching political philosophy, I'd have my students all over this. (Many of the YPG's fighters are women)

  • Along with pardoning Manning, Obama should have repealed 1917 Espionage Act
    • "Those who breach their duties as soldiers need to be made an example of." Baloney.
      Their duties as soldiers are to resist unjust and illegal wars.
      The simpering careerists who followed all those illegal orders, and are still doing so, are the ones who should be prosecuted.
      Veterans For Peace

  • Meryl Streep calls out Trump: Having Bully-in-Chief Coarsens whole Culture
    • OK, so this is a classic deflection, having ZERO to do with the issue raised by Ms. Streep.
      It's like the denialists' claim that the science has to be wrong because Al Gore lives in a large house.
      John's post is stupid and insulting.
      Or, to give himself a bit of credibility, can John enlighten us on everything he has done to make the world a better place ? . . No, I did not think so.

  • Hard Truth: Aleppo Rebels weren't defeated by Main Force but b/c they alienated Syrians
    • I heard Dennis Kucinich speak on the Nation magazine cruise a few days ago. He said that the Syrian civil war was "a Saudi project," with Turkey playing a role as well. And of course the US could not leave bad enough alone.

  • How Rupert Murdoch & Fox Created the Fake News Industry
    • What really frosts my keester, and what enables fake news, is the false equivalence meme that "everybody does it" preached by the same media outlets (NPR, NYT, ect.) that rail against it.
      Everybody does NOT do it: It is at least 90% Reich Wing, as is gerrymandering, voter suppression, hate media, and much more.

  • Whose Fault is Trump? Top 7 Culprits
    • I would for sure add Reich Wing hate radio to Juan's list of the abominables who have given us Trump. Cumulatively, they get around 45 million listeners per week (some listen to more than one "show"), and they are the default programming at many offices, construction sites, etc.

  • If the Military had Permission to Speak Freely: They might rescue us from the Politicians' Forever War
    • Hey Colonel Suh -
      I'd suggest that you join others of us veterans and sign up with Veteran For Peace.
      We owe it to our grandkids to try.

  • Obama not only did not pay Iran Ransom, he denied Iran Billions it had Coming to It
  • Donald "Dr. Strangelove" Trump and some of the Times We almost had a Nuclear War
    • Veterans for Peace is all over this issue, and has re-built the Golden Rule, the first vessel to challenge nuclear testing in the atmosphere. She's now touring in the Pacific Northwest.

      We owe it to our grand-kids to try.

      And Kubrick was more correct than almost anyone knew back in the 1960's. Although he was denounced by the militarists, his assertion that area US commanders could launch a nuclear war on their own was correct.

      Here is a scary article on the subject . .

      link to

  • Russian & Iranian Press deplore Hillary Clinton Hawkishness; Israelis complain she's Dove
    • Sec. Clinton's hawkishness is what scares me the most about her. She wants to intervene in Syria, and seems willing to junk the Iran deal.

  • Clintonites in Democratic Party Back Settler Colonialism (Not a 1905 Headline)
  • Obama in Hiroshima, Memorial Day and the Iran Deal
    • Unless one is smitten with the "exceptional" bug, it should be obvious that the nation state that created, deployed, used, and led the nuclear arms race at every stage . .
      has a special responsibility to lead the way toward disarmament - that is certainly the way the rest of the world sees it, as well they should.

    • Dave is correct, that "Treaties, the rest of the world is to respect them, but the ‘exceptional’ nation gets to view them as suggestions."
      The US is obligated by treaty and law (NNPT) to vigorously pursue nuclear weapons abolition, and has been for well over 40 years.
      As the US constitution states, "all Treaties made, . . shall be the supreme Law of the Land;"
      Please support the Marshall Islands court case against the nuclear powers to enforce the NNPT.

  • Trump's Foreign Policy is just GOP Boilerplate, only more Confused
    • Nothing the Trumpster said was half as scary and tone deaf as was Sec. Clinton's umprompted bragging about what buddies she and Henry Kissinger are.

  • Is Hillary Clinton responsible for rise of ISIL, as Bernie's Campaign Manager Alleged?
    • Score: Responders 1; Prof Juan - 0
      I agree that Prof Cole is off on this one. And I do not think one can pin the de-Baathification of Iraq on the Shia. The Iraq govt and military were dissolved about as soon as US boots hit the ground in Baghdad, even before Bremmer arrived.
      I'd love to take part in a seminar on the modern Middle East taught by Juan with responders like the ones above challenging him every step of the way.
      Where do I register for such a course?

  • Hillary Clinton goes full Neocon at AIPAC, Demonizes Iran, Palestinians
    • Well come on now Prof. Juan; don't hold back here.
      Tell us what you really think.
      More bat-shit craziness from the US Neo-Cons.
      The Forever War abides and marches onward.

  • As Syrian Army advances East of Aleppo, ISIL strikes back with Bombings that kill 140
    • Hey Professor Juan -
      It seems to me that NATO member Turkey is key, and that Daesh could not exist without it. And Turkey faces zero consequences for this.
      It is incredible and amazing that this goes un-remarked upon by the US foreign policy elite, and the media.
      Or am I all wet?

  • Clinton and Sanders on Mideast War and Kissinger's Legacy (PBS Debate)
    • 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.

  • Erdogan Threatened Europe with Refugees, now Demanding US abandon Syrian Kurds
    • Hey Jaun and others -
      Please correct me if I am wrong. I think I am well informed but no expert, but . .
      I've been told by more than one ME authority that Daesh is totally dependent on Turkish support.
      If that is true, Turkey is the problem and not the solution, and the above article is pretty much blowing smoke, nicht war?

  • The Final Breakup of Iraq? Barzani calls for Kurdistan Referendum
    • As has been said since forever . .
      The Kurds have no friends but the mountains.

  • Iran Dragooning Thousands of Undocumented Afghans as Cannon Fodder in Syria
  • The Great War of Our Time: Book Review
    • Well of course it was the CIA itself that was instrumental in creating Al Qa’ida in the first place.
      Note to self: Do not spend a dime on this exculpatory drivel.
      Veterans For Peace

  • Rhetorical Terror: GOP Candidates Pledge War Crimes, Carpet-Bombing, Asian Land Wars
    • Just in case any of you were still operating under the childish illusion that the U.S. has a free press, It is mind boggling that R. Gates' comments on the GOP presidential field (at a talk in DC, no less) appeared only in the British Guardian (plus a small blurb on
      Now I am no fan of Gates at all, but this is NEWS.
      So tell me about that "liberal media" again?
      link to

  • Why has Turkish Foreign Policy Gone Rogue & What does it mean for the US?
    • Krm is correct, and the elephant in the room is Turkey's essential and vital support for Daesh.
      This article is not up to IC's usual high standards.

  • Would Syrian Refugee Baby Jesus be allowed to immigrate to the US?
    • Oliver Willis put it succinctly . .
      "if only we had a seasonally appropriate story about middle eastern people seeking refuge being turned away by the heartless." (a Tweet)

  • Which war did the Republican candidates serve in? Reflections on GOP War Talk from an Iraq vet
  • If Defeating ISIL/ Daesh is so imp't, why isn't Ramadi Campaign all we're talking about?
    • Hey Prof. Juan -
      My donation is on the way too. Looking forward to reading "The New Arabs."
      Reporting and analysis such as yours should be the norm, but unfortunately is not - and thus the country wallows in ignorance.

  • No, Neocons: US isn't facing 'Flood' of Syrian Refugees
    • Since the US is largely responsible for the flood of refugees, all the neo-cons & political cowards & media whores who promoted the invasion of Iraq should absolutely take Syrian & Iraqi refugees into their homes.
      I'm really surprised that it's almost never pointed out that the refugee crisis was caused substantially by disastrous US policies.

  • Debate: Clinton slams Iran, Putin & supports Syrian Rebels; Sanders rejects Intervention
  • Why Obama and Putin are Both Wrong on Syria
    • It's amazing that the media blather on and on about he refugee crisis without ever ID'ing the US as having created the problem and being responsible for it . .
      All the neo-cons and their enablers should take Syrian refugee families into their homes.

  • Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, PTSD and the Psychology of War
    • Thanks for the comments. Here is a revision, lest anyone think that only USAeans are vulnerable to PTSD . .
      "And it should be noted that many of those on the receiving end of U.S. military force also become psychological casualties. In 2009, the Afghan Ministry of Public Health reported that fully two-thirds of Afghans suffer from mental health problems. In Iraq, US military tactics of “Shock & Awe,” not to mention “Shake & Bake” (artillery plus white phosphorus bombing) in Fallujah have been explicitly aimed at producing mass trauma, both mental and physical."

  • No, AP, Iran doesn't get to Inspect its own Nuclear Facilities under Deal
    • The AP has not functioned as a news bureau for a very long time. It is, rather, a propaganda arm of the US national security state. Seriously, look at how the AP covers any international issue - from Ukraine, to the Pivot to Asia, and etc. How naive of you to imagine that a free and independent press exists in the US.

  • Omar Sharif didn't have to Play a Terrorist
    • "Che" was one of the worst movies ever made, but hey we all make mistakes.
      RIP Omar.
      Do I recall that he had a social conscience . . ?
      Can someone elaborate?
      Thanks, Veterans "For Peace

  • CNN Mistakes Dildo Banner For ISIS Flag
  • Khamenei: US invented nuclear Myth; Iran will Never Invade another Country
    • Back in 2003 a reformist Iranian newspaper published a lengthy article of mine which attempted to outline the real costs of possessing nuclear weapons - including very monetary and environmental costs, the need for an industrial strength security apparatus, as well as very heavy psychological costs (having nukes make one insane).

      I know that the people of Iran do not need any lectures from me, but I thought it was interesting that they had (than at least) the sort of open discussion about nuclear weapons that almost never happens in the US.

  • Iran and America's Memory Hole
    • Dear Jay & Others -
      I was around 30 years old before I learned of these events, and recall being shocked to my core. I knew immediately that my life would never be the same.
      Lots of academics know about it, but pretend they don't lest it interfere with their prospects of getting a grant and/or securing or keeping tenure.
      The result is that most Americans live in a fantasy world.

    • Hey Bob - I did not know it either for a long time. And one can see the nationalist double standard at work here. When our government engages in these sorts of outrages, to most of us it's no huge deal; but were some country to do it to the U.S. we would turn their land into a parking lot at the first opportunity. In part, that is why I attempt to be an internationalist.

  • What would Happen if the Int'l Criminal Court Indicted Israel's Netanyahu?
  • We have so much to Learn from Cuba
    • I very much respect Mr. Kennedy's efforts to normalize relations with Cuba, but the article should address the history of US terrorism directed against the Cuban people by Operation Mongoose - supervised by RFK senior.

  • Cuba: Top 5 other Dictatorships with which US has Diplomatic Relations
    • Cuba, unlike any other former commie nation I have visited, has a substantial portion of its population who think of themselves as revolutionary socialists. I would urge them to be very cautious about US penetration of their economic, social, cultural, and heck even sports institutions.

  • The Alamo of the Kurds: Kobane Near Falling to ISIL
    • I have rarely seen in one place so many
      compelling reasons to join
      Veterans For Peace

  • "Obama to outline campaign against ISIS" (Juan Cole at Chris Hayes, "All In")
    • Hey Prof Juan - You look tired. Take a break. Don't want to lose you.
      And jeeeez, if the MSM was anything other than a giant militaristic propaganda machine it would be full of anti-war analysts at this time instead of the neo-cons. The former have consistently gotten it right for at least the past 12 years on the Middle East, while the right has gotten it disastrously wrong.

  • Victim of McCarthy-Era Witch Hunt calls on U-Illinois not to Fire Critic of Israeli Policies
  • Hyenas vs. Rhinos: Who could the NYT get to write an Op-ed on Iraq? Hmm...
    • Few analysts in 2003 picked up on the fact that the bogus case for war was part of a larger and longer pattern of outragrous lies, so in all modesty, allow me to nominate myself . . The only major paper that was willing to publish this was in New Zealand, of all places !!

      NZ can ignore heavy American tut-tutting

      4:56 AM Thursday Apr 3, 2003
      New Zealand

      Comment by ARNOLD OLIVER*

      As an American political scientist visiting New Zealand, I have followed your debate on the war in Iraq with interest. At first I was reluctant to enter the discussion, recognising that the future of this country is yours alone to decide. But now that the Clark Government is being subjected to the kind of heavy-handed pressure that passes for diplomacy in the Bush Administration, it is appropriate that I respond.

      It should go without saying that governments in democratic nations have no more fundamental responsibility than to explain to their citizens, accurately and fully, why it is that war is necessary. When the youth of the country are being called upon to kill and die, political leaders owe the people nothing less than the whole unvarnished truth.

      It pains me to have to argue that the United States Government has been derelict in this most important duty. American officials have played so fast and loose with the facts of the Gulf conflicts, and for so long, that one has to question their respect for the democratic process, or for the legitimacy of international institutions.

      With respect to the Gulf, official deception in Washington is nothing new. Many of the officials who have led us into this war are the same ones who in 1990 orchestrated a public relations campaign to rally public support for Desert Storm.

      During the run-up to the first Gulf War, we were presented with the vision of a weeping young Kuwaiti girl testifying before Congress about the brutal Iraqi soldiers she had seen in a Kuwaiti hospital, taking babies out of incubators and stealing the machines.

      Then there was the claim that American troops had to be rushed to Saudi Arabia to defend it from the threat of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi troops and hundreds of tanks massed for an invasion.

      The incubator story, it turned out, was a fabrication. The teary-eyed girl was in fact the daughter of a Kuwaiti diplomat in the US, and had not even been in Kuwait when the alleged offences occurred.

      And the troop build-up story was almost certainly black propaganda. Commercial satellite photos taken at the time showed no Iraqi forces threatening Saudi Arabia, and the US Government has for 12 years refused to declassify the photos it claimed as evidence.

      Now, George W. Bush's national security team, sitting at the apex of a gargantuan intelligence bureaucracy with a combined annual budget of more than US$50 billion, is at it again. From the start it has been wholly unable to organise a factual case as to why this war is necessary.

      For openers, all their impressive resources apparently did not reveal to them that the British intelligence dossier that Secretary of State Colin Powell praised as "exquisite" in his United Nations speech on February 5 was mostly clumsy plagiarism. Far from being top secret, key parts had been lifted from an out-of-date journal article written by a student who had never been to Iraq.

      And with a faith in a compliant American media that could almost be touching were not its implications so terrifying, the Bush regime has even dared to rewrite history. In a September 7 speech, the President referred to a 1998 International Atomic Energy Agency report revealing that Iraq was only months away from having nuclear weapons.

      There was no such report. On the contrary, IAEA chief inspector Mohammed El Baradei has denied all along that Iraq has an active nuclear weapons programme, and during his March 7 report to the Security Council he revealed that documents describing Iraqi attempts in 1998 to buy uranium in Africa were transparent forgeries.

      While it is true that Iraqi compliance was not complete, UN weapons inspectors began to refer to US intelligence tips as "garbage after garbage" (CBS news), almost entirely wild goose chases that revealed no mobile weapons labs, no new activity at Iraqi nuclear sites, or, most importantly, any immediate threat from weapons of mass destruction.

      Further, no connection between Iraq and the September 11 attacks was established, much less that, in Powell's words, Iraq and al Qaeda were "partners".

      We are left with several possibilities. Either the Bush Administration was trying to subvert the work of the UN inspectors, or it really did not have much of a clue as to what was happening inside Iraq. Or both. Subsequent events point to the both.

      The Bush Administration's persuasive techniques have thus far consisted of throwing mud at the wall in the hope that something might stick, and never admitting - much less correcting - any mistakes.

      This singular lack of candour does a grave disservice to the American people and the world community, especially to those being torn from their families and sent away to fight. Unless and until the US Government can be far more honest with us, it has no right to demand that Americans or New Zealanders yield up our youth. If living in a democracy means anything, it has to mean that.

      Neither CNN nor the US Embassy in Wellington represent the views of tens of millions of Americans who are opposed to this illegal and disastrous war. Many of us are grateful for your Government's courageous decision to challenge it.

      We, not that clique in Washington, are your real traditional allies.

      * Arnold Oliver is a professor of political science at Heidelberg College in Ohio.

  • Tiananmen still Under Lockdown after all These Years
    • "political lies and denial of history continues to hurt and haunt", the U.S. too. This is the 50th anniversary of the US orchestrated military coup in Brazil, one of the great crimes of the century. Never forget.

  • Condoleezza Rice, Charged with War Crimes at Rutgers, withdraws as Commencement Speaker
    • "And graduating students at a liberal arts university deserve to hear from admirable people, like Foreign Service Officers John H. Brown and Peter Van Buren."
      I'd also suggest Col. Ann Wright as an excellent commencement speaker !! Veterans For Peace will be happy to help arrange it, or to line up someone equally good.

  • US sent CIA Director as Ambassador to Tehran after CIA overthrew Iran's Democratic gov't (US now Complaining about Hostage-Taker Amb.)
    • The turture - you all forgot to mention it. After the 1953 coup the US and Israel organized a massive torture apparatus in Iran. Few Iranian families were left untouched. It was evil incarnate.

  • Thank You for Your Support
    • Hey Prof. Juan -
      Just sent you $ 300 - keep up the great work !!
      I liked you Le Pen essay today, as well as all the interesting comments from your readers.
      AJ Oliver

  • Dear Royal Baby: We Americans apologize for our Revolution; please be our Absolute Monarch
    • Nothing against the little guy, but his direct ancestors were leaders of kick-ass tribes that used to hunt people like us for sport. Seriously.
      Nearly all of us are descended from people who used to be his (extended) family's property - at least that's the way they saw it until we straightened them out.
      Worshipping the "royals" is like led-to-the-slaughter lambs venerating their executioners.
      I don't get it, and never did.

  • Bigots Smash Window of Iraqi-American Restaurant: Then . . . Vets come to Save the Day
    • McPhee is correct. There is nothing heroic about being a spear carrier for the empire. And yes, if we really took our oath to the constitution seriously (like Bradley Manning did), we would have refused to follow a whole lot of orders . . (For those of you who do not know, Article Six, Section II states that all treaties signed by the U.S. are the law of the land. This includes conventions against torture, the UN Charter, the laws of land warfare, and much else. Military orders that contravene these are illegal and may not be obeyed.)

    • Good story, Juan, but it's more than a year old - from Jan, 2012. BTW, I'm a Veterans for Peace member; and have learned a great deal from your website. Keep up the good work!!

  • Afghanistan: The End of America's Longest War?
    • Longest war? The U.S. was in Vietnam from '54 to '75, and was instrumental in the French effort from '45 to '54. They call it the Ten Thousand Day War for a reason.

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