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Total number of comments: 1790 (since 2013-11-28 14:42:39)

Bill Bodden

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  • Should Memorial Day include Commemoration of Thoreau?
    • "They were not responsible for the wars in which they fought, but they did their duty and paid the last measure one can pay. their sacrifice should not be any less memorialized because they fought in a war that we might consider “unjust.”"

      They may not have been responsible for starting the war, but they were responsible for keeping it going. Admittedly, it would take a soldier with enormous moral courage to refuse an order to fight, and they are very few and far between. Lt. Ehren Watada did that when he was ordered to fight in Iraq because he believed it would have been in violation of his oath to uphold and defend the Constitution, but he was the only officer in the Army to do so. He was court-martialed with the threat of a very serious punishment, but the Army was probably happy to let him go with a slap on the wrist after his defense team wanted the question of legality of the war to be part of the trial.

      One of the principles that came out of the Nuremberg Trials was that obeying an immoral or illegal order was no excuse for committing an immoral or illegal act. Like the UN Charter and the Geneva Conventions that principle was tossed under the tanks and personnel carriers heading for Baghdad.

    • Thank you for this comment, JT. It is probably one of the few really honest opinions that will be made today.

    • " If it were more widely remembered that the day began with this focus, we might be less enthusiastic about it today."

      Except for the fact that most Americans prefer to believe in long-held myths.

  • Dear Oklahoma: We Feel for you, we love you, but do us some favors
    • There must have been countless people who viewed the devastation in Oklahoma and likened it to a war zone. How about being more specific and saying it was like Baghdad after the Anglo-American shock-and-awe crime went into remission? Or how about Libya after the United States led from behind?

    • "I wonder if any of the 100 Senators do any good for the USA."

      There are a few good senators - Elizabeth Warren, Jeff Merkeley and Bernie Sanders come readily to mind - but they are all limited in what they can do because of the corruption in campaign financing. Some are mixtures of good and evil, such as Barbara Boxer who can be excellent on civil rights but a disaster representing the Israeli lobby, which seems to be the case with the entire senate.

  • Top Ten Republican Myths on Libya
    • "If the American people had higher moral and ethical standards,...

      Come to think about it, if the American people had higher moral and ethical standards, the GOP would also be in deep trouble and we might get the third party we need.

    • "The GOP were silent while all that was going on but now they’re trying with all their might to make a big deal about Benghazi because they have nothing else to pin on potential future Presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton."

      If the American people had higher moral and ethical standards, the hypocrites in this Benghazi charade would have more than enough to scuttle Hillary's presumed run for the presidency. As Clinton's partner (if not his Lady Macbeth) she was complicit in the "mistakes" for which he recently gave sort-of mea culpas she clearly should be tarnished goods. Then there are:

      1. Her gung-ho push for the illegal and immoral war on Iraq.
      2. Her acquiescence to the coup in Honduras that kicked out the democratically elected former president.
      3. Her presumed triple-A rating from the Israeli lobby.
      4. Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

      So, what does it say about the rank-and-file Democrats that they are so willing to endorse her for president?

    • You beat me to it. Well said. I would have added the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis killed and maimed and those waiting to die from exposure to depleted uranium and unexploded cluster bomblets. Also the millions who were displaced, but they would all be regarded with indifference by our predominantly racist society. And, of course, our sociopathical or psychopathical government.

  • The Conservative Logic of Ferguson's Smears of Gays, Muslims, Obama and Krugman
    • "At what point is Ferguson completely discredited, already?"

      For some people in the United States if they have enough clout or connections they are never discredited no matter how absurd or criminal they have been. Check the long list of promoters of the war on Iraq and its preparatory softening. The Clintons, Albright, the Bush Administration, the neocon press (now pushing for another war, this time with Iran), and many others still getting face time on television and op-eds in the papers of record. Then there are those in Congress. About 70% of whom voted for this war and most of them keep getting re-elected. Same for those who voted for deregulation of Wall Street. One even got elected as vice president.

      But the whistleblowers who expose their crimes and corruption get the jail time. Is this a great country or what?

      As for Fergie, he is probably just doing what he did as a schoolboy - sucking up to the dominant authority.

  • We've been hurt before: Jon Stewart on Obama's Renewed Pledge on Guantanamo
    • People are disappointed in the politicians they vote for because they want to believe what comes out of the politicians' mouths. When will they learn? Look at most of the choices we have had in presidential elections. They basically boil down to each voter's interpretation of the lesser evil. Carter was one of the few exceptions, but he was out of his league in Washington where the oligarchs of both right wings on the corporate bird of prey ganged up on him.

    • People are disappointed in Obama because they didn't recognize he was just another politician playing the same old game. Instead, they wanted to believe what he said and ignored what he did before he was first elected. He once made comments that showed concern for the Palestinians, but after the Reverend Wright controversy made them unacceptable he sold them down the River Jordan and tossed the candor-prone preacher under the bus. That was soon followed by his (along with Hillary's and McCain's) pledge of allegiance to Israel at the 2008 AIPAC conference. He was also promoting nuclear power and "clean coal" so why should anyone have expected anything different? Considering it was the lesser-evil vote that put him over the top in both elections, what does that say about his opponents? What does that say about politics in America? What's next? How about approval of the Keystone XL pipeline?

  • Top Ten Problems in South Carolina Lindsey Graham should worry more about than Benghazi
    • "5. More than 1/6 of South Carolinians lack so much as a high school education, the 10th worst performance in the country."

      This probably helps to explain why South Carolinians elect people like Graham and DeMint.

      What Graham should really worry about is being the type of person he is that includes being a warmonger.

  • The Failure of Gun Legislation in the Senate Tells us we Need to fight for our Democracy (Graeber)
    • The problem with the proposals to date for some measure of "gun control" is that they are too little, too late. The nation is littered with a massive proliferation of guns, a large portion of which will be available to people with a compulsion to kill other people. That includes, those impaired individuals who would commit mass slaughter.

      At an absolute minimum if we are to reduce the use of guns to kill people, we need to have every gun registered and their owners held accountable for any crime committed with any of them. That's not going to happen. So, get used to more tens of thousands killed every year by guns and occasional mass slaughters. And get used to the fear pervades our society promoted by this prospect and the various forms of fear mongering that encourages people to buy ever more lethal guns.

  • Are Chemical Weapons use in Syria really Obama's Red line? (Feaver)
    • Robert Fisk, the distinguished foreign correspondent for The Independent (UK) (www.independent.co.uk) recently contributed a measure of skepticism about the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime.

  • Pot and Partying: Top Ten Signs the Tsarnaev Brothers Weren't Pious Muslims
    • "... don't try to analyze us."

      You might take time out to consider the words of the great Scottish poet, Robert Burns: "To see ourselves as others see us."

      "To A Louse, On Seeing One on a Lady's Bonnet at Church" is a 1786 Scots language poem by Robert Burns in his favourite meter, Standard Habbie. The poem's theme is contained in the final verse:

      Burns original

      O wad some Pow'r the giftie gie us
      To see oursels as ithers see us!
      It wad frae mony a blunder free us,
      An' foolish notion:
      What airs in dress an' gait wad lea'e us,
      An' ev'n devotion!

      Standard English translation

      And would some Power the small gift give us
      To see ourselves as others see us!
      It would from many a blunder free us,
      And foolish notion:
      What airs in dress and gait would leave us,
      And even devotion!

    • Nor are our Democrats democrats. Nor are our Republicans republicans.

  • Terrorism and the other Religions
    • " Lumping the world wars in with the Crusades?"

      The human condition applies to both and everything in between.

    • "Only in Muslim countries are terrorists lionized."

      To the contrary, many of the people who initiated the illegal and immoral war on Iraq with its shock and awe (terror in Iraqi minds) have retained prominent positions in the United States. One is having a library dedicated in his name this week in Texas.

    • "(“linked to al-Qaeda in Iran” [?]). "

      Last I heard Iran helped the United States in the early stages of going after al-Qaeda. Are these forgiving Islamist terrists?

    • As for the 21st Century it appears to be, in the immortal words of Yogi Berra, "deja vu all over again." How many Muslims have been killed so far by or on the orders and plans of people of Judeo-Christian heritage? How many people of Judeo-Christian heritage have been killed by Muslims?

      If I recall correctly, Adam Hochschild in his book, "King Leopold's Ghost," estimated 14 million Congolese were killed in his majesty's name. Plus an uncounted number who had limbs amputated.

  • Report: Highest US Officials Responsible for Use of Torture (Plus Daily Show Video)
    • "Show me your examples of where Our Government has done anything in the way of encouraging or supporting what most of us think of as “democratic government” anywhere in the world."

      "The MacArthur constitution in Japan? The post-war German and Italian governments? Libya? Throwing Mubarak over the side?"

      A case can be made for Japan, Germany and Italy, but Libya? I don't think so. Like Saddam Hussein, Gaddafi had become more trouble than he was worth. Last time I checked Libya didn't look like much of a success. In the case of Japan, Germany and Italy, that was another era that changed with the installation of a series of dictators in South Korea and the overthrow of the democratically-elected Prime Minister Mossadeqh or Iran in 1953 and installation of the very cruel peacock Shah. (Whom do the Israeli lobby and Netanyahu have in mind for the US to replace the current Iranian leadership?) Egypt? The people there had gained too much momentum for the Obama administration to save him which is what they would have preferred, but with the writing on the wall they tried to have their torture contractor General Suleiman step in as a replacement. Iraq? Is that an example of democracy created by the United States in accordance with a purported reason for going to war there? How about the overthrow of the democratically-elected president of the Honduras that was approved of by Obama and Hillary? I had better quit there if I'm not to spend all afternoon listing the litany of dictators installed and supported by the United States.

    • The threat to the United States from the USSR was always overrated. Attacking Czechoslovakia and Hungary was a hell of a different proposition from attacking the US. There was a lot of talking out of both sides of Uncle Sam's mouth. First our resident propagandists made a point out of how inefficient the communist economy was (true) but somehow it managed to build a military system that could dominate the world (not true) despite having just lost millions of military-age men and women during WW2. I can't recall the title of the book I read, written by a reliable source, some years ago, but it shot holes in the Reagan propaganda about the threat of the Soviet Navy to justify a 600-ship fleet for the US Navy. One point the book made was that US Navy personnel with access to the Soviet fleet questioned whether their ships were sufficiently seaworthy to go to sea, never mind engage in a battle. If a war had broken out between the USSR and the West, the Soviets could have caused considerable destruction in the West but not enough to avoid losing the war.

    • "As Paul Jay of the Real News (and before him, the French publication Le Nouvel Observateur) discovered, the Carter administration made the decision to intervene in an Afghan civil war fully six months before the Soviet invasion. In a July 1979 “finding” the White House authorized U.S. military and intelligence agencies to supply the anti-communist mujahideen fighters with money and supplies.

      The “finding” was the beginning of “Operation Cyclone,” a clandestine plan aimed at luring the Soviets into invading Afghanistan. From a relatively modest $23 million down payment, Cyclone turned into a multi-billion behemoth—the most expensive intelligence operation in U.S. history—and one that eventually forced the Soviets to withdraw."

      The complete article is at link to counterpunch.org

      Zbigniew Brzezinski was a lead player in the Afghanistan misadventure

    • " And what would have happened if Washington had just left the Communist government in place?"

      And what would have happened if George Washington et al had not started the Revolutionary War? The United States might have become independent like Canada, Australia, New Zealand and other parts of the British empire without starting a national tradition of going to war to achieve ends.

      And the slaves might have been freed a generation earlier.

  • CNN Fail: Imaginary "Dark Males," "Accents," and "Arrests" Haunt Reporters
    • Philip Weiss at Mondoweiss just took Chris "Motormouth" Matthews to task for pushing the idea of the Boston bombing suspects being Arabs:

      "I've watched about as much as a sentient being can stand of cable coverage of the FBI's announcement of suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing case-- an hour or so-- and in that time Chris Matthews kept hinting that the suspects are Arabs. He wondered whether the FBI doesn't have ethnographic experts who can say on the basis of facial features whether these guys are from a foreign country, and he promptly offered Yemen as a possibility. Later he pressed experts about his suspicion that the suspects are foreign. They put on new baseball caps to try to "hide their identity" and pretend to be Americans, he said. They're political zealots, he said in so many words on another occasion-- not the kind you find in America. I don't see what evidence he has for these assertions. In fact, they seem unfair."

      CNN received well deserved criticism above, but the neoliberals a MSNBC are no improvement.

    • "I well recall Wolf Blitzer in the invasion of Iraq when our planes were bombing Bagdad. "

      And John King showed he was on the same team when he referred to the killings in the "Collateral Murder" video as "an accident."

    • " Chuck Todd has real talent and knowledge, and it’s completely wasted these days."

      Chuck Todd probably has talent and knowledge, but more likely his current limitations are due to a corporate thumb on him than waste.

    • A couple of years ago whenever I caught CNN dishing hogwash I would call the culprit on his or her error and finish my comment with, "CNN, the most trusted name in news. What a crock." After a few weeks of that and realizing I was wasting my time, I quit. I still tune in to CNN to learn what events are passing for news, but I regard what the anchors say with reservations - especially John King and Blitz Wolfer.

      Come to think of it, I may have contributed to one success after I kept calling Anderson Cooper on his use of "breaking news" even when he was talking about something that happened the day before or the day before that. He seems to have dropped that BS.

      And, who the heck decided to send Erin Burnett to Israel to interview Netanyahu? Talk about someone being out of his or her league!

  • Top Ten Ways Islamic Law forbids Terrorism
    • " I can’t understand why people who have never so much as read a book about a subject appoint themselves experts on it."

      Simple. If people doesn't know what they are talking about it is easier to say whatever they want.

  • Can the Boston Bombings increase our Sympathy for Iraq and Syria, for all such Victims?
    • "And those who would make enemies of the United States?"

      They would be fewer in number.

    • The anti-authoritarian solution to prevent terrorist acts against people in the United States is to just quit making enemies in the first place.

    • There is one interesting comparison. It costs the United States government tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars to kill and maim dozens or a hundred or so people with a drone, but some loner or a small cell of people could make a similar score in Boston for just a hundred or so bucks. More if plane tickets were involved. At that rate a modestly funded group could drive the US eventually to bankruptcy before it does so on its own with its pursuit of militarism.

  • Why this and not that? America's topsy turvy priorities
    • We should consider a possible answer in the demonstrations of our national Jekyll-and-Hyde personality that has been part of this nation’s way of life since the first colonists fleeing religious persecution got into the persecution business themselves. Consider two of countless examples:

      During the Kennedy presidency, good Americans expanded a tradition of humanitarian aid around the world with the Peace Corps. At the same time through bungling and arrogance we were key figures in that monstrous march of folly in Vietnam getting tens of thousands of Americans and anywhere between 1.5 and three million Vietnamese killed and maimed.

      While many Americans volunteered to help the poor and ill in countries around the world and to support those volunteers financially, our government instigated and maintained sanctions against Iraq that led to the inhumane deaths of an estimated half million Iraqi children.

  • Instead of offering to Buy East Jerusalem, the Arab League should invite Israel to Join It
    • "endless war (with Israel guaranteed the winner through unconditional and perpetual US support) enriches it."

      "Endless wars" from time immemorial have had a way of ultimately destroying the nations engaged in this madness. Perhaps the future history of the U.S. and Israel will resemble a Greek tragedy.

    • It would not only deal with the "dilution of Israel's 'character'" it would also mean a reversal of the Israeli right wing's long-term policy of "transfer" of all Palestinians out of the land they ultimately aim, and have always aimed, to possess. Each new settlement is another inexorable step forward to that goal and another nail in Palestine's coffin.

  • Guantanamo Hunger Strike: Attorney: "Shocked at Conditions," "Animal Cages"
    • "It never seems to occur to them that a regime that will behave in the way the American government does to foreigners will eventually bring that behaviour home and use it against its own citizens."

      Given the attacks on Aaron Swartz, Bradley Manning and other whistleblowers it seems "eventually" began a long time ago.

  • Falsity of Nuclear Accusation against Iraq Was Known before Bush's Invasion
    • "As for the State Department’s Bureau for Intelligence and Research going out on a “Bradley Manning limb,” of course they didn’t. They have too much integrity to violate the trust placed in them by virtue of their position."

      I don't know why these people didn't blow the whistle. They may have had valid reasons. On the other hand, they may have only been thinking only of themselves, their careers (and paychecks) and not the consequences of an illegal war.

      We need more Daniel Ellsbergs and Bradley Mannings, but the Obama Administration is going full bore to discourage that sort of integrity.

    • "I seem to recall that the U.S. Department of State’s internal intelligence office similarly concluded that Iraq had no nuclear program."

      This was a feature of a "60 Minutes" segment during which, as I recall, senior members of the state department's intelligence staff ridiculed Colin Powell's speech at the UN Security Council. Greg Thielmann was one of these senior people.

      One of the more squalid post-invasion events occurred at the Radio and Television Correspondents dinner on March 24, 2004 when George W. Bush was featured in a supposedly funny skit looking for the non-existent WMDs. (Check link to c-spanvideo.org) The Washington elites who attended this annual event and who are regular participants in the corruption of Washington found this sordid skit to be hilarious. Only one person, David Corn, now with Mother Jones, had the integrity to walk out over the objections of some of his fawning corporate media colleagues. So the next time you are watching a political talk show on television, ask yourself if the pundit on the tube found that skit funny.

      Another revelation of the lies we were told came, probably inadvertently, from Dick Durbin (D-IL) when he was talking in the senate and revealed that the senators on the intelligence committee got a different version of intelligence than that fed to the public. He claimed he couldn't go public because he was sworn to secrecy. Like Colin Powell, he declined the opportunity to be a profile in courage and allowed hundreds of thousands of people to be slaughtered and maimed.

    • And what about the liars who spread the propaganda that greased the skids for this greatest crime against humanity of the 21st Century? They remain as celebrities and eminent citizens and purveyors of more lies, including on Iran. Two became secretaries of state, one is vice president, and one was one of the first two females given membership in the Augusta National Golf Club (aka The Masters). In this last instance, Donna Brazille demonstrated on a talk show how incestuous the Democrats and Republicans are when she declared she had a lot of respect for Condoleeza Rice, she of mushroom cloud infamy.

  • Venezuela and the Middle East after Chavez
    • There was an attempted right-wing coup in Venezuela that failed. Another right-wing coup in Honduras succeeded. Unlike Venezuela, in Honduras any inclination to support civil or humanitarian rights can get you murdered.

    • I fail to see how any American can criticize anything about Hugo Chavez after the revelations just made by the Guardian (UK) and BBC Arabic about American involvement in torture in Iraq.

      "From El Salvador to Iraq: Washington’s man behind brutal police squads: In 2004, with the war in Iraq going from bad to worse, the US drafted in a veteran of Central America's dirty wars to help set up a new force to fight the insurgency. The result: secret detention centres, torture and a spiral into sectarian carnage" - link to guardian.co.uk

    • " These considerations shaped his Middle East policy in ways that were contradictory and hypocritical."

      And, what are we to say of US and UK Middle East policies? Models of rectitude?

    • "...socialism has always been detrimental to the people it was supposed to help."

      Categorical statements tend to be nonsense and this is no exception. Check the history of, for example, Britain during the late 19th and early 20th Centuries and you'll find those with socialist leanings did a lot of good for the working people. Continued study will help you find the faults you would like to know about, but "always" just doesn't cut it.

      "Besides that, I dont (sic) understand why Chavez hated the US so much."

      Hugo Chavez, when he first met President Obama, gave the president a copy of "Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent" by Eduardo Galleano. I doubt that our president read it, but I would recommend it to anyone perplexed over hostility from Latin America towards the United States.

      What I can't understand is why Latin America didn't breed al-Qaida-type terrorists to wage attacks on American soil. Perhaps, it is because of cultural and religious differences in Latin American and Muslim religions - at least of the fundamentalist sects.

    • Chavez was no saint or superman, but he made life a little better for many in the lower economic strata of his country, an example our president would do well to follow. It is, however, absurd to expect Chavez to have fought according to the Marquis of Queensberry rules when his opposition was apparently prepared to do worse than hit him below the belt with brass knuckles.

      Kathleen beat me to it, so I'll second her point about the enemy of my enemy, etc.

  • Obama's Inaugural and the Danger of an Iran War
    • Headline from today's Common Dreams:

      "Keystone XL decision will show if Obama’s climate promises are real or just rhetoric: President's inaugural delivers fine words on meeting the challenge of global warming, but action needed and fast by Jon Queally - link to commondreams.org"

      Same goes for his other promises.

  • Top Ten Ways President Obama has Expanded our Rights, in Rev. King's Footsteps
    • If I recall correctly, as far as Obama was concerned the public option wasn't even aborted in the White House. That came as no surprise to anyone paying attention to Obama's first moves on health care, such as inviting a health insurance industry insider, Tom Daschle, to be his choice for Health Secretary - or the fox guarding the department of health's hen coop.

    • Dr. Cole, I hate to say this, but you are trying to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

      Obamacare has its benefits for some people but mostly the insurance corporations whose lobbyists were the principal authors.

      Then there are ... well it looks like plenty has already been said in that regard.

  • UN Security Council Condemns Further Israeli Squatting on Palestinian Land, with Rogue State US Vetoing
    • PS: Hagel voted for the Iraq war.

    • Not so fast, John. My eyes are open and I see more than 300 dead Palestinian children after Operation Cast Lead, but I don't see any tears for them from Obama. My ears are open and I hear Obama defend this Israeli assault. Same for Pillar of Cloud that cost Palestinians dozens of children. Same for the dozens killed by his drones. As for Hagel, check this from Mondoweiss:

      "As the neoconservative campaign against Hagel heated up, the liberal Zionist, self-professed “pro-Israel, pro-peace” group J Street came out with a counter-salvo. Hagel has “been a staunch friend of the State of Israel and a trusted ally in the Senate, speaking out on behalf of America’s commitment to Israel’s security,” the group notes. Similarly, a Think Progress blog post was published with the headline, “Chuck Hagel’s Pro-Israel Record.” The post noted that Hagel has repeatedly called Israel a “close ally” and that he “supported legislation opposing terror groups that reject the two-state solution.” Additionally, Think Progress further noted that “Hagel expressed concern about what Egypt’s revolution would mean for Israel’s security.” The liberal blog is a project of the Obama-connected Center for American Progress."

    • This US veto should disabuse anyone with the vain hope that Obama might edge over to being an honest broker on Israel-Palestine issues.

  • Egypt: 100,000 Demonstrators Deliver "Final Warning," chase President Morsi from Palace
    • "It seems to me that most Americans, whether conservative or liberal, deep down really were quite happy with the Mubarak era, regardless of any clamor they may have made about “democracy” and “freedom”"

      It is probably more accurate to say that most Americans didn't have a clue about Mubarak and his regime. Many Americans would have a hard time locating Egypt on a map, in the first place. As for Mubarak, most Americans most likely subscribed to the party line promoted by the foreign policy establishment and the main stream media.

    • Perhaps, we in the United States should import some of that Nile water or whatever it is that stimulates Egyptians to take to the streets to oppose whatever it is they object to instead of just taking whatever crap the Establishment wants to dish out.

  • Palestinian Legal strategy against Israel: The Real Prize is Europe
    • "Even Germany, which for historical reasons is typically reluctant to buck Israel, voted to abstain rather than to oppose."

      It is one of the great ironies of recent history that Germany's feeling of guilt for the Holocaust facilitated the German people to be complicit in Israeli crimes against humanity in Palestine. It is time for younger Germans to recognize they have no need to feel guilty for the sins of their grandfathers but they must face their own guilt if they accede to sins committed in the present in their name.

    • "Maybe if Gazans threw a big Spring Break at the beaches every year they and the rest of Palestine could get some respect from the U.S."

      Alternatively, if Arab money were to outbid AIPAC for the favors of the political courtesans in Washington then we might see some changes for the benefit of Palestinians.

    • "One small step for an oppressed people, one giant leap for mankind."

      I agree with the first part of this statement but don't believe mankind is capable of giant leaps in favor of human rights. As Gandhi said of Western civilization, it would be a good idea. Any effort to improve life for Palestinians is a good idea but one that Israel and its puppets in Washington will do all they can to reverse.

    • "The European Union imports 15 times more goods from Israeli setter enterprises in the Occupied West Bank than from the Palestinians themselves. Europe is therefore a major, hidden support for Israeli crimes against the Palestinians."

      Typo? Should "setter" be "settler"?

  • In Rebuke to Obama, Netanyahu-- Much of Western Europe to Support Palestine as UN Observer State
    • "Obama’s opposition to the Palestinian initiative at the UN was short sighted and has put the interests of Israel ahead of long term American interests."

      Nothing new there. To first get elected president, Obama and his handlers reversed candidate Obama's former pro-Palestinian sympathies by toeing the AIPAC/Likud Party line and selling the Palestinians and Obama's pro-Palestinian mentor, Ref. Benjamin Wright, down the River Jordan.

  • Gaza's Health Crisis and Israel's Crimes Against Humanity
    • If the Nobel Peace Prize Committee had made the right choice they would have given a peace prize to the truly heroic doctors and other medical personnel in Iraq who coped with the carnage created by our shock-and-awe (blitzkrieg) during our illegal war on that nation and by our crimes against humanity. I suggest the committee get it right next time and give the prize to the doctors and medical personnel coping with the carnage created in Gaza by our Israeli "allies" using the tools of death and destruction given them in our name. I would also suggest the committee not nominate some politician who might use his or her acceptance speech for some Orwellian justification of war and its attendant slaughter of innocents.

    • If the president and Congress elected by the majority of American people support Israeli actions, does that not also make us complicit in these crimes against humanity? Saying that Israel has a right to defend itself but staying silent on the Palestinians' right to resist oppression makes it clear the United States is incapable of being an honest broker. Concern for Israeli children is appropriate but indifference towards Palestinian children is contemptible.

  • Drone, Sanctions affecting Medicine, Intensify US-Iran Tensions
    • "Among President Obama’s first decisions after his reelection was to further increase already severe sanctions on Iran."

      This will be a sobering comment to many Obama voters who thought he might reverse his past aggressive policies after re-election. Instead, we are now apparently committed to another Middle East march of folly for which there will be no winners. Again.

  • Brandeis U. Owes Jimmy Carter an Apology: Israelis agree they run Apartheid State, as Far Right Wing Coalition Emerges
    • Of course this kind of behavior or versions of it can be found in the histories of other regions, but I wasn't prepared for a dissertation on the sins of the world from the time the first cave man clobbered his neighbor. I also presumed most readers would have the intelligence to recognize this unfortunate aspect of the human condition. I also thought it might be a good idea for us to clean our soiled linen before we criticize others.

    • And while he was president he was ostracized by the oligarchs in the Democratic and Republican parties.

    • Let's not just single out the Israelis for this deplorable attitude. Western nations are just as morally decadent in their relations with Israel and in other arenas: Engaging in wars of choice, profiting from sweatshops and other forms of slavery, overthrow of elected governments, rapacious corporations whose avarice knows no bounds, raping justice every day, etc.

  • Muslims are no Different, or why Bill Maher's blood libel is Bigotry
    • You have a point, John, but there is no reason to be optimistic about Obama and the oligarchs in the Democrat party unless you think the lesser evils are a good deal. Our democracy, what's left of it, will likely come to a quicker end under the right wing of the Republican party, but don't look to Obama and the Democrats to rescue it. Just a couple of many reasons: The Obama administration is letting the banksters off the hook for their activities that nearly brought the economy to collapse and is also engaged in restoring to the military the right to arrest and detain citizens indefinitely without charges after a courageous New York judge threw out part of the NDAA's provisions. (You're wrong on Nader, but that is another story.)

    • Whatever the war was about, it was both immoral and illegal.

    • I was intrigued by Maher when I first saw him on Larry King, but when he said he admired Colin Powell he lost me at that point and has confirmed my skepticism of him repeatedly since. His comment about Powell came after Powell's day of infamy on February 5, 2003 at the UN when he greased the way for the immoral and illegal war on Iraq.

  • Campbell: Israeli PM Sharon Threatened Bush with Nuking Iraq (Mearsheimber & Walt vindicated)
  • Congress Wants the Department of Defense to Propagandize Americans
    • Two children's stories come to mind. One is about the little boy who kept crying "Wolf" when there was none until the people he shouted to eventually realized the little boy was not to be taken seriously. This prompts the question, "Do the American people have enough sense to wise up to the BS coming out of any government or political entity?

      The other story is of the Hans Christian Andersen tale about another little boy who exposed the emperor as having no clothes. Available evidence suggests it is unlikely if we could ever get a majority of the people to pay attention to such an observation, no matter how obvious it might be to an independent minority.

    • "Then, another problem is that the Defense Intelligence Agency analysts *also* read the false articles placed in the Arabic press by *another* Pentagon office, which they did not know about. So the analysts were passing up to the White House false information provided by their own colleagues!"

      I'm reminded of a story told by Jack Parr, original TV talk show host, about how he started a rumor. Not long after someone asked him if he heard about this rumor and if there was any truth to it.

  • Collapsing Afghanistan & Pakistan Refuse to Cooperate with Obama Photo Op
    • “The President’s party are overjoyed”?!?

      and

      "I have not found one Democrat who has expressed anything other than disapproval for the administration’s policies ..."

      The "President's party" and rank-and-file Democrats are entirely separate entities. Check the campaign donations to the Obama reelection campaign. The big donors are the "president's party."

    • Perhaps the real strategy is to make Afghanistan a South-Asian version of a Central American banana republic.

      As for Usman Ansari's surprise that the American public hasn't been more vocal, others more inclined to consider America a nation of sheep are probably surprised that so many Americans have raised their voices to a loud whisper.

  • Israeli Spy Chief Condemns Netanyahu for Iran Hype, Messianism
  • Rubio Calls for War on Iran, Syria-- as Israeli Army Rejects Strike
    • Of course, on the Democratic side Biden is nothing to be proud of. He was one of the Democratic Party leaders for the war on Iraq and the bankruptcy laws written for the benefit of credit card companies and in lockstep with AIPAC and the Likud Party. Among other catastrophes.

    • Why not Rubio for Veep? The GOP gave us a bunch of disasters for president, so if you like your luggage to match, why not offer another bunch of absurdities for second banana? Rubio from one of the more corrupt political assemblies in the nation. Condi Rice who helped promote the war on Iraq with her mushroom clouds. If the Nuremberg principles applied she would be in the first batch in the dock. Mitch Daniels, former OMB director, who estimated the Iraq war would only cost $60 billion. Scott Walker of Wisconsin who might be looking for a new job next month. Michelle Bachmann who spotted that Cain's 999 turned upside down is 666. That's the kind of perspicacity we need available at the White House. There are more at the bottom of the barrel.

    • Consortium News has your back:

      "How Obama Recycled a Lie about Iran: President Obama has joined much of Official Washington in mistranslating a comment by Iran’s President Ahmadinejad into the provocative phrase, “wiping Israel off the map.” Obama’s falsehood recalls President George W. Bush’s bogus claim about Iraq seeking uranium in Africa, says ex-CIA analyst Elizabeth Murray. - link to consortiumnews.com"

  • Polish PM Reveals that US Tortured at Black Sites in his Country
    • How about the treatment meted to Bradley Manning at the Quantico Marine brig that Obama considered "appropriate." Appropriate for what? Extort a confession that Julian Assange was criminally involved in the leaded files? Amnesty International and the UN Rapporteur on Torture were both concerned that Manning's treatment might qualify as torture. I seem to recall that candidate or newly-inaugurated president Obama said that under his administration torture would "end on United States soil" or words to that effect. What about on soil other than the United States? Like, maybe Bagram?

    • What does Hillary have to say on this? That's not who we are?

  • Medvedev slams Romney for "Number one Enemy" Slur
  • Obama, GOP won't Tell Americans that Iran Sanctions drive Gas Prices
    • "But Republican and some Democratic senators and representatives, and the presidential candidates who are in the back pocket of Big Oil are lying to the US public and saying that we can drill our way out of the problem."

      That statement goes a long way towards explaining why 'Obama, GOP won't tell Americans that Iran Sanctions drive Gas Prices'." The rest of the story is that Obama is also in the pocket of Big Oil, and he and Congress are the Washington dogs wagged by the AIPAC and Israeli right wing tails.

      And, today in Cushing, Oklahoma, Obama is in the first stage of reversing his delay on the Keystone XL pipeline that recently had the hearts of naive environmentalists and Democrats fluttering.

  • Why don't we have better Reporting on the Afghanistan Army? It is our Best Hope for Getting Out
    • Could it be that the real reason an Afghan army is being built is the same reason the United States trained Central and South American armies? That is, to keep the people in line on behalf of a puppet dictator our politicians install at the direction of their corporate campaign donors.

  • Top 7 Ways Bin Laden Underestimated Joe Biden
    • "The man knows more about US foreign policy than most..."

      Unfortunately, knowing a lot doesn't necessarily lead to the right conclusion. Biden, after all, was one of the leading Democratic cheerleaders for the illegal and immoral war on Iraq.

      "When then Senator Biden was hammering on John Bolton during his UN nomination hearings..."

      Too bad he didn't hammer more on Clarence Thomas during his hearings.

    • Whether we like or dislike Joe Biden, most of us should be able to agree that he is a skilled and well-connected politician. In this latter regard, consider how he could only scrape up 3 or 4 percent of likely Democratic voters in the 2008 presidential polls, but the oligarchs running the party assigned him to be Obama's VP along with Wall Street's operators to run the economy and the treasury.

      There is, however, a caveat to low poll numbers in 2008. Dennis Kucinich and Mike Gravel were the only honest politicians on the presidential ticket and they also only polled in the low single digits.

    • Is this the same Joe Biden who helped push through bills that allowed credit card companies to charge usurious rate, to make it more difficult to file for bankruptcy, and to abolish Glass-Steagall?

  • Top Ten Dangers for Obama of Iran Sanctions on behalf of Israel
    • "But the possession of the technology would elevate Iran’s geopolitical status, and offer military protection against the US,..."

      Possession of nuclear technology has been limited in elevating Pakistan's geopolitical status and has been of no use in protecting Pakistan against US aggression.

    • The article by Amir Cohen in Ha'aretz referenced above is interesting but may be giving Obama too much credit. Obama has too often compromised his position when pressure was applied to him. When he was a senator and influenced by Rev. Wright he spoke favorably of the Palestinians, but when it came to the presidential election of 2008 he switched to the AIPAC-Likud talking points and sold the Palestinians down the River Jordan. Muhammad Ali was prepared to sacrifice his title and the fortune it brought him on a matter of principle when he refused to join in the war on Vietnam. Barack Obama so far is no Muhammad Ali. To some extent I sympathize with him when he has a Congress that gave Netanyahu 29 standing ovations. No wonder Congress is held in such contempt.

  • Post-American Iraq by the Numbers
    • Bottom Line: The initiation of this war and its subsequent atrocities were in violation of the Geneva Conventions on War and Torture and international law. Anglo-American "shock and awe" on Iraq in 2003 was a modern version of the blitzkrieg on Poland in 1939.

    • Apparently, President Obama is selective in deciding when to "turn the page" and not dwell on the past but to move forward except for whistleblowers whom his department of arbitrary law enforcement (aka Department of Justice (sic)) has pursued vindictively for embarrassing high-ranking government officials.

    • What has been the cost to the United States in fiscal, moral and ethical corruption?

    • Any statistics on the effects of the cluster bombs and the depleted uranium that litter Iraq? How about the aftermath of Fallujah?

  • Top Ten Things Anthony Weiner has Said that are Worse than Sexting
    • "Most importantly, nobody accuses him of real corruption."

      Wouldn't endorsing Operation Cast Lead that killed 1,400 Palestinians, including around 300 children, qualify as moral corruption, which may be the worst form of corruption there is. As for political corruption if he sells out his "liberal" positions, assuming he has any, for donations from AIPAC, is that not routine political corruption?

    • There are a couple of problems with your comments on Weiner. The first is that not enough people will read them. The second is that many people claiming to be liberals should agree with the points you make but are instead touting Weiner as a liberal. He has consistently approved of the Israeli right-wing violations of international law and human rights, and he is a "liberal"? What would Orwell have to say about that? Apparently, a significant portion of representatives in Congress are seeking to get rid of Weiner yet they joined him 29 times in applauding Binyamin Netanyahu's claptrap.

  • Obama right not to Release Usama Photo
    • The photos of the Saddam Hussein hanging did serve a useful purpose; albeit one that was unintended. It alerted people to the prospect that the new regime in Iraq was not likely to be an improvement over the old.

      As for President Obama taking the moral high ground. That is a stretch if the SEALS went in there to assassinate UBL in violation of international law, especially when he was unarmed.

    • Winston Churchill was right with the moral of his history of the Second World War: In War: Resolution - In Defeat: Defiance - In Victory: Magnanimity - In Peace: Goodwill.

  • Answer to Glenn Greenwald
    • Going into Libya to protect unarmed protesting civilians emulating their neighbors in Tunisia and Egypt was as valid as was the effort to protect the Kurds from further aggression from Saddam Hussein. Unfortunately, with the CIA, MI6 and other unscrupulous players being involved (from who knows when) this is now an entirely different and criminal ball game.

    • For what it is worth, I agree with your position on the intervention in Libya in part because the uprising appears to me to be similar to the uprising encouraged by Bush I in southern Iraq. The Shi'ites rose against Saddam Hussein following this American encouragement and were slaughtered by Saddam's forces while American provocateurs stood by. From what I have observed most of the original protesters were encouraged to rise by examples set by their counterparts in Tunisia and Egypt. To have stood by while Gaddafi slaughtered them would have been a replay of southern Iraq in 1991. That said, finding an appropriate long-term solution becomes the next major problem.

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