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Total number of comments: 9 (since 2013-11-28 16:33:05)

(Another) Carl

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  • Top Myths about Iran's Nuclear Enrichment Program
    • It's incredible how B. Netanyahu and his collaborators are so totally unable to see that, by oppressing the Palestinians in such a huge number of ways, the connection, in spirit, of the Israelis with the victims of the Holocaust is rapidly fading to almost nothing, while the Palestinians, who had nothing whatsoever to do with the German death camps, can be identified with those who were exterminated more and more closely every day.

      Nothing illustrates this better than the way that Netanyahu, by now obviously driven berserk by his 20-year obsession with Iran's presumed nuclear ambitions, and by incessantly hurling bogus charges of Iran's "existential threat," whatever that means, is repeating almost exactly the strategy of the German Reichchancellor of 1939, who, just before he unleashed World War 2, kept ranting and raving that tiny, helpless Czechoslovakia was "a dagger pointed at the heart of Germany." The big difference is that Herr Schickelgruber clearly meant to erase that dagger or "existential threat" himself, while Netanyahu has thrown all caution to the winds by openly interfering in the current U.S. Presidential elections as they near their climax, in an attempt to force the U.S. to do his dirty work for him.

  • Is Obama more Klingon or more Vulcan? & Michael Dorn Pitches "Captain Worf"
    • Mr. Cole, you didn't mention Obama's actions re: the Libyan uprising. Yet I can't see why the way Obama handled the U.S.'s role in those events can't be seen as having most likely been his finest foreign policy achievement to date. I would even put that above the summary execution of Osama Bin Laden without interrogation or trial of any kind. I'm sorry, but I never saw the virtue of that. You don't get much out of villains when you kill them on the spot without hearing what they have to say for themselves, which could conceivably have value of some kind. And after all, Bin Laden had already had 10 years to savor his victories in NYC and D.C. and to observe how the GWBush reactions merely intensified the effects of his work, so that taking his life had become essentially meaningless when it came to taking anything from him. Bin Laden might have quoted from an old blues song: "I have had my fun, if I don't get well no more."

      In Libya, while wasting a minimum of time, at first Obama took an active hand, and then, after a few days he stepped quietly back while letting other NATO countries, especially Britain and France, assume the leadership and do the heavy lifting, while he supported them with intelligence and other assistance from afar, and there can be no doubt that thereby a slaughter of Libyan citizens was averted that would have been much like what happened later in Syria.

      By your own testimony from having visited there-- and the stuff you say always has the ring of truth -- today things in Libya are not that bad, despite a few burps here and there. Yet people, predictably mostly the Reglubs, either would like to pretend that Obama's Libyan intervention never happened, lest he be credited with a foreign policy victory, or they attack the money that it cost, though that was small change compared to what was spent on Iraq, not to mention Afghanistan and Israel and what the hawks would now like to see spent on wasting Iran, though so far Iran's threat isn't even "existential," despite the constant over-use of that pompous word.

      Obama is also castigated for having left Congress out of his decision. I think we could easily get a majority vote that that "horrible" omission alone could give Obama's Libya venture all the appearance of being the smartest thing he has done so far.

  • Really, America? Really? These are your Top Stories?
    • It's hard to tell whether that first poster was lamenting or praising the "successes" of conservatives. Still, as a liberal and proud of it, I have a problem with those who with such statements seem to be suggesting that liberals should behave like conservatives, for the simple reason that I would rather be always on the decent and charitable side of things, win or lose. Therefore I think that all in all it's much better to be a liberal, and anyway, if liberals did the same kind of garbage as conservatives, which amounts to anything that it takes to win, at the expense of truth and everything else that makes sense and supports having a good conscience, then they wouldn't be liberals, would they?

      As to Google News, I'm glad you brought that up, Mr. Cole. I check that out first thing every day, purely to get a quick overview of what's happening in the world, before digging deeper, which Google helps because under the mention of the lead stories, they usually link to three or four other sources as well, that often go into the same subject in different and even opposing directions. I do this even though Google News strikes me as being politically weighted toward the conservative end of things. Maybe they've been accused of this, but in the past they've excused themselves by saying that their lead-ins are not selected by human hands but by computers. Still, computer instructions have to be weighted by somebody, namely humans, and the ones who weight the Google list seem to be especially fond of anything that relates to M. Romney, just as they are of anything even remotely connected with the Kardashian women. Just yesterday Google carried, as if it were important to know, the news that one of those sisters, not even Kim, took her newly born baby over to visit or maybe to attend a party in Malibu. That's when Google News is at its enriching worst, or maybe best.

  • It's Springtime in Kabul for the Taliban
    • I think that Afghan source puts its finger right on crux of the matter, and it is entirely likely that continuing to have somebody to fight is very much what the Taliban has in mind. That is why it was so incredibly stupid for the U.S. ever to send troops in there in the first place. It was as if the powers that be were completely ignorant of the repeated and costly British failures along those lines through the past two centuries. And I wonder what they thought was going on when even the mighty Soviet Union, conquerors of the Germans in WW2, found it necessary to turn tail and hustle out of there after -- what was it? Ten years of trying? And they were right next door, not thousands of gas-wasting miles away.

      Those Afghans will fight and fight to the death any foreign powers who are dumb enough to come in there. I think they've shown that over what must now be a couple of thousand years. Chewing up invaders piece by piece and spitting them out is their national sport.

  • The Generals try to stop an Iran War
    • The question I have about possible Iran nuclear weapons is one that I think is central to the whole imbroglio, yet you will rarely if ever see it approached anywhere, and that is, why can't Iran have them? What is it about Iran that it's so obscene that it should want to develop such weapons when for years many countries that historically have acted much more nastily toward their neighbors than Iran has, complete with outright invasions and occupations, nevertheless can have such bombs and warheads coming out of their ears, yet few utter so much as a peep? What is it about the U.S., Russia, Britain, France, China, Pakistan, North Korea, and other countries that it is alright for them to have those obscene nation-wreckers and earth poisoners, but that a populous and sovereign country like Iran, with no record of having attacked another nation in modern times, cannot under any circumstance be allowed to have any at all? I don't get it.

      With only about a tenth of the population of Iran and little to none of the treasures of the earth that anyone would want, tiny Israel has nevertheless long been widely believed to have a nuclear arsenal already, consisting of, according to estimates I have seen, as many as 200 warheads, though the Israelis steadfastly and slyly neither deny nor admit that they have any. Furthermore, in its brief existence of little more than 60 years -- and much unlike Iran -- it has openly attacked the majority of its neighbors at one time or another, while treating its closest neighbors, the Palestinians, in ways suggestive of how the Germans treated the Jews several generations ago, complete with Warsaw-type walls. And now it is threatening Iran with all its might and main, ascribing motives to Iran that arouse the suspicion that these are actually the acts Netanyahu & Co. would want to commit if they were in Iran's shoes.

      The rationales behind all this and the punishing of the so far innocent with endless sanctions and threats while honoring and acting on behalf of the guilty are gigantic puzzles to me, on which it would be great to see some kind of sensible light shed, provided that there is any rationality to it at all, though I strongly doubt that, and that is probably why one seldom if ever sees any kind of at least a stab at such a thing put forward.

    • "Anyone who advocates such a thing is a sort of monster, in my view."

      Not "sort of" any such thing. Such a person IS a monster, and worse.

  • Marsh on Obama: The Party's Over
    • After I finished struggling through Taylor Marsh's guest article, I couldn't believe it, and I wondered what it was doing being published on Informed Comment. Usually the stuff that Juan Cole writes or even just hosts comes from a much calmer and more well-reasoned and enlightened point of view than this rant about all that is wrong about some of the many approaches that B. Obama has or has not taken, while being written as if the author has paid little attention to all the horrible things that the Republican Party has been stooping to advocate, not just in this primary season but for years and even decades. So that in the end Marsh shows how lacking his presentation was by saying that the argument that Republicans are worse is no longer enough, presumably as a basis for voting.

      My question is, why isn't it enough, and more than enough? Since there is no other alternative available to American voters at this time, in terms of actually occupying the Oval Office, the author in effect is advocating bringing the Repubs back into power. But does he or any other sensible person really want that? Are memories really so short that people don't recall the many messes that Bush & Co, certified Republicans if I recall correctly, had been creating in all the previous eight years and that Obama inherited little more than three short years ago? And don't they also recall that almost on the day that Obama took office, R. Limbaugh, the guiding ayatollah of the Republicans, vowed to do all that he could to make sure than Obama's presidency would not be successful? That was an anti-American act if I ever saw one, for it was the duty of every American to help the new President dispose of all those messes. Yet the Republican Congress especially took Limbaugh's lead, and have done all they could to obstruct or poison everything that Obama has ever tried to do to set things straight, while at the same time firing up a chorus of concerted personal hatred toward Obama in preference to doing or thinking anything else, just so that they can guickly take over the reins and pick up again their ruinous deeds where they left off in 2009.

      If the Obama re-election campaign hasn't adopted a slogan as yet, it undoubtedly is because it has so many to chose from that it's hard to decide, from the abundance of riches furnished by the staggering Republican poverty of ideas and of soul.

  • Béji: "We are all Tunisian Jews"
    • This is an incredibly eloquent, masterful, and well-reasoned statement, and you are to be greatly congratulated for bringing it to our attention here on your site.

      Successful revolutions are often, if not always, plagued afterward by the fear that the revolutionaries, inebriated by their newly gained powers, will eventually become as tyrannical as the forces that they overthrew. But there's reason to feel that the Tunisians will be luckier -- or more careful about what they are doing -- and will therefore, despite some stumbles, avoid that all too common disaster. Having a communicator in their midst like Ms Beji is as good a reason as any to be optimistic on this occasion.

  • Helman: The Palestinians Seek UN Recognition
    • The ambassador falls off the reasonable wagon with a big thud in his very last sentence, when he says: . . .The PA should acknowledge the necessity of a two-state solution that can be achieved only with Israel’s willing participation . . ."

      I think it very likely that over decades of eyeball-to-eyeball contact with the Israelis, one thing is crystal clear to the PA, and that is that the Israelis under practically any leadership have no intention whatsoever of EVER being willing to take part in a two-state solution. The PA is in the best position of anybody to know that the Israelis seem to have bought whole hog into the original "American Solution," which is to pull off a fait accompli by slowly and inexorably shoving the inhabitants of the most recent several thousands of years off their land, as was done wholesale in the "settling" of the Wild West. It all just takes time, and for that the Israeli policy has shaped up to be expressed with only one word: "stall." Stall all day today, this month, this year, and for many years to come if need be.

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