Member Profile

Total number of comments: 130 (since 2013-11-28 15:36:12)

Billy Glad

Showing comments 130 - 101

  • Trump's Gift to Hizbullah weakens Saudi Hand in Beirut
    • Maybe it is time to abandon the dream that Palestine might emerge from the Israeli occupation as an independent state and deal with the reality that there is only one country now, Israel, with an Arab majority living under apartheid. Then the world can deal with Israel as it dealt with South Africa. A couple of relevant questions are: Can the Arab majority be trusted with Israel's nuclear arsenal? And can the Arab majority be trusted to respect the civil rights of the Jews?

  • Deporting Dreamers will cost US $400 bn. over 10 Years
    • Your opponents might argue that there are over 700,000 skilled jobs worth $40 billion a year and thousands of seats at good colleges up for grabs in the DACA debate. It's a conundrum that this President and this Congress are not up to solving. Maybe we should think about the impact the dreamers could have on their birth countries if they returned for a few years as volunteers in a Peace Corp style program.

  • Top 6 signs Trump Really doesn't like being Investigated
    • Impeachment is a political process. Mueller's close relationship with Comey and the FBI and the fact that Comey says he used uncorroborated notes from meetings with Trump to pressure the Deputy AG into bringing in a special counsel have, amazingly, made it possible for Trump to claim that Mueller can't be fair and objective.

    • I think the sequence of events was probably first the realization that Comey had to be fired and that his firing would lead to an independent counsel who would get any dirt Comey had on Trump. Then came the very clever move of picking a special counsel who couldn't use anything Comey gave him. I'd say the last thing Trump will do is get rid of Mueller. Comey's predictable Senate testimony destroyed Mueller's credibility as an independent counsel. We keep forgetting that Trump was mentored for years by none other than Roy Cohn.

  • London Mayor Sadiq Khan uninvites Trump as opposed to Humane British Values
  • 5 Images that refute Trump's attack on Hero John Lewis
    • When I think of Lewis I think of the way he undercut Bernie Sanders with black voters by claiming that he never met him during the civil rights movement. That was part of a coordinated attack by Lewis, Reid and Capehart to portray Sanders as a liar about his civil rights record that effectively ended his chances with the black community and guaranteed Clinton's nomination and Trump's election.

      I sat in at lunch counters and theaters in Austin, Tx, in 1961. SNCC sent some leadership to Austin the next year. Lewis wasn't among them so I'm sure he never met me either.

      No one who demonstrated on college campuses would ever claim that they ran the risks or suffered the abuse that civil rights workers suffered on the streets in the deep South. But we were there whether John Lewis, a "hero" who morphed into a politician and Clinton flunky, saw us there or not.

  • From Syria to Sanctions, Flynn-Russia Quid Pro Quo?
    • Trump has never concealed his intention to form some kind of alliance with Russia to kill jihadis and to dominate the ME. Beyond rubbing out the jihadis, I'm not sure what the end goals of the alliance are, but I imagine they have something to do with oil. Maybe they even have something to do with Iran and with the occupied territories. It strikes me as petulant for Obama to throw a monkey wrench into the works during his last weeks in office. But he seems to be doing a lot of that in a lot of different areas these days. His time would be better spent on the campaign trail with Sanders and Schumer.

  • Meryl Streep calls out Trump: Having Bully-in-Chief Coarsens whole Culture
    • Spoken like a couple of grateful little people. There is an awards site near here you two should be following. The celebrity system produced Donald Trump.

    • Not quite accurate. Nixon was driven so crazy (or so much crazier) by the anti-war movement that he consented to burglaries at Ellsberg's psychiatrist's office and the Watergate -- leading to his downfall.

    • Futile resistance to the Vietnam slaughter? Where were you from 1965 to 1975? We brought down two presidents. And we had better sex, drugs and rock and roll along the way. What you lack is a counter culture. It starts with that. Not with the Streeps -- or what they've become anyway.

    • Things like this would be so much more meaningful to me if the celebrities weren't wearing $5,000 gowns. The celebrity culture produced Trump. I don't think much of them as role models or leaders. When the new leaders we need begin to emerge, my bet is they will come from the streets, not from Hollywood, TV or Madison Ave.

  • Circus of Liars: How Trump & GOP are Twisted into Pretzels over Putin Hack
    • I tend to quote, retweet and link out of interest in and support for people, not to support their ideas, most of which I disagree with anyway. So I would never dream of quoting someone like Assange. Trump is more problematic for me, because I have the stupid idea that he might respond to a form of operant conditioning that reinforces his good ideas and behavior, a project that is probably harder than teaching a chicken to play the piano. He does have one good idea about the hacking issue. Get off the web. In particular, anyone who has worked in government and politics, a corporate environment, or in education should know that putting something in writing is the worst possible way to communicate. Podesta and the Clintons remind me of the old saw: "If you're so rich, why aren't you smart?"

  • Top Eight Mideast Stories of 2016 that Shaped our World
    • I think the biggest problem your readers are facing in 2017 is how to get your voice heard outside the echo chamber, i.e., in places where it can make a difference. I was first exposed to your point of view by reading your 2004 Senate testimony. Since then, the government doesn't seem to be seeking your advice. We need to find a way to turn that around. How can we help?

  • Why the UN Resolution on Israeli Squatting didn't Go Far Enough
    • This is the age of New Historicism but this little Wiki account sums up my memory of events. No doubt there are Palestinian accounts that assume Egypt had no aggressive intentions when it mobilized on Israel's border.

      Relations between Israel and its neighbours had never fully normalised following the 1948 Arab–Israeli War. In the period leading up to June 1967, tensions became dangerously heightened. In reaction to the mobilisation of Egyptian forces along the Israeli border in the Sinai Peninsula, Israel launched a series of preemptive airstrikes against Egyptian airfields. The Egyptians were caught by surprise, and nearly the entire Egyptian air force was destroyed with few Israeli losses, giving the Israelis air superiority. Simultaneously, the Israelis launched a ground offensive into the Gaza Strip and the Sinai, which again caught the Egyptians by surprise. After some initial resistance, Egyptian leader Gamal Abdel Nasser ordered the evacuation of the Sinai. Israeli forces rushed westward in pursuit of the Egyptians, inflicted heavy losses, and conquered the Sinai.

      Nasser induced Syria and Jordan to begin attacks on Israel by using the initially confused situation to claim that Egypt had defeated the Israeli air strike. Israeli counterattacks resulted in the seizure of East Jerusalem as well as the West Bank from the Jordanians, while Israel's retaliation against Syria resulted in its occupation of the Golan Heights.

    • As I recall, Israel occupied the territories after being attacked by and defeating her Arab neighbors. I doubt we are looking at the beginning of a colonial project. To me it looks more like an incredibly botched occupation, although I wonder if something like reeducation and a Marshall Plan for Palestine would have had much chance of working.

    • I think the resolution was helpful because it brought into focus for people like me Israel's real intentions toward the Palestinians. Apparently, Israel is determined to push them out of the West Bank and to deal with them as exiles in other Arab countries. A one-state solution without Palestinians. I had missed that one.

  • With Fall of Aleppo, will a Russo-Iranian Middle East challenge Trump?
    • What does Iran have to offer Russia compared to what the United States can bring to the table? Maybe the long range plan is to woo the Russians away from Iran. Or maybe the thought is that where the Russians go Iran will follow.

  • Sorry, Trump, you can't bring back Coal when Solar costs half as Much
    • From the report: The overall shift to clean energy can be more expensive in wealthier nations, where electricity demand is flat or falling and new solar must compete with existing billion-dollar coal and gas plants. But in countries that are adding new electricity capacity as quickly as possible, “renewable energy will beat any other technology in most of the world without subsidies,” said Liebreich.

      In the US the political clout of the fossil fuel corporations and the workers who depend on them for jobs will probably be a factor, too.

  • Why do GOP Presidents get to go Hard Right, and Dems are just GOP Lite?
    • It seems to me that our last chance to go big was to elect Bernie Sanders and we blew it. We are going to have to settle for finding ways outside of the mainstream to maintain the quality of our lives.

  • After Aleppo, Russians prepare to defy Trump re: their Iran Alliance
    • If one were possible, the benefits of an alliance with the United States in the ME would far surpass anything Putin might gain from his alliance with Iran. I recall that in one of the debates or in one of his speeches Trump alluded to some kind of alliance of the United States with Russia and Israel -- yes, Israel -- that would dominate the ME. No one seems to be talking about the implications of that. Maybe I just imagined Trump said it.

  • How We Can fight back against Trump's Anti-EPA
    • Thank you. I think all that's left to us right now is to develop some tools for survival, sort of a Whole Earth Catalog for 2016. Ideas like this are a good start.

  • Is Jimmy Carter right that Obama should Recognize Palestine?
    • It just seems to me that a single state, even with apartheid, restrains the Israelis more than the two state solution does. I fear a failed two state solution would end in slaughter.

    • I wonder if there are examples of what that might look like. How it would be most likely to play out. Two small states right next to each other with the history of hatred for one another that Palestine and Israel have.

  • Will Turkey leave NATO for Sino-Russian Shanghai Cooperation Council?
    • Hasn't Turkey been on the front line when it comes to containing Russia? It was that way back around the time of the Cuban missile flap anyway. As I recall, JFK quietly removed US missiles from Turkey when the Russian missiles came out of Cuba. With the certainty of US intervention in case of a conflict no longer a certainty, maybe it makes sense for Turkey to consider other arrangements.

  • 5 Trump Headlines more outrageous than the "Hamilton" Tiff
    • You speaking to me? :)

      No play book here. Just lack of any clear evidence. And how do you explain Kushner? He some kind of Judas goat?

    • The ADL is actually one of the shrewdest political organizations in America. They have a long history of neutering demagogues. The way they brought McCarthy down was masterful. But that doesn't mean they always tell the truth even as they see it.

    • I'm not sure about the anti-Semitic charge. All I've been able to find so far is summed up by TeleSUR.

      "Indeed Bannon himself has invited the support of anti-Semites, as he harbors the same views His ex-wife, who police reports have said he physically abused, accused him of anti-Semitism during divorce proceedings, saying that he refused to send their daughters to a prestigious school in Los Angeles because it had too many Jews."

      I'm not sure that amounts to much, considering the fact that Jared Kushner wields a lot of power in the Trump organization. (Admittedly, I don't pour over alt.right publications like Breitbart very often. I find when I do that I have to scrape myself off with a flat stick.)

      To me, the Neo-Nazi "conference" is the most disturbing. Apparently, "Heil!" is not the only Nazi word they're trying to revive. There were also shouts of "Lugenpresse!" a word that means "lying press." Like Trump, I sometimes long for the old days. Some say that when Trump's father marched with the Klan in New York the cops beat the hell out of him. (Trump denies the incident ever happened.) link to

  • Is Lt.-Gen. Flynn Right that Islam is not a Religion?
    • "You only hope that all these crackpots Trump is elevating to the highest offices in the land have been shining us on all these years with their lunatic theories and that once in power they’ll start acting like responsible adults."

      Trump is intent on doing everything he said he would do on the campaign trail. He'll find the right people to do that.

  • Neofascist Trump Appointee Bannon: "Anger is a Good thing" "if you're Fighting to Take this Country Back"
    • I'm not sure what a "chief strategist" does. I suppose the idea is that he will share power with Priebus, although how they will split the Chief of Staff job up is anybody's guess. The signal to the alt.right base is clear, however. They will have a voice in the oval office and input into almost every decision Trump will make. I hope Trump, Priebus and Bannon have some appreciation of the constitutional limits of the President's power. Thinking back, I can't help wondering how Watergate would have turned out if Nixon had had a majority in Congress.

  • Trump Vows to Deport up to 3 Million Undocumented Migrants Immediately
    • He also said that the undocumented aliens who were not criminals were "terrific" people and that he would decide what to do about them after securing the border. That's actually a huge step back from the idea of rounding up and deporting everyone who is in the country illegally. I'm curious to know why you didn't report that.

    • Page: 1
  • As Der Donald-inspired Hate Crimes grow, US Universities at Risk
  • Why the White Working Class Rebelled: Neoliberalism is Killing Them (Literally)
    • The most important economic decision facing us right now is how to split the work up between people and machines. We can no more afford to let the unregulated market make that decision than we could afford to let it make other decisions for society in the past. Policy -- or lack of policy -- has everything to do with changes in the workplace.

    • Good points. And Nationalism does seem to be the wave of the future.

  • Dear Ann Coulter: Ben Franklin didn't think you or Trump are White, Either
  • Top 5 Times the FBI intervened to Help the US Right Wing
    • With respect to the Clinton email server, Comey has said just one thing that is significant. It is probable that a foreign state, i.e., Russia, hacked Clinton's server, although the evidence that supports that guess isn't solid enough to make it admissible in court. What the FBI needed and didn't have in order to recommend charges of criminal negligence were copies of emails that could have been obtained only by hacking the server. Comey's dilemma may be that he believes Putin has those emails and can release them through Wikileaks any time he wants to. Obviously, if Putin does have those emails and wants to use them to sow fear, uncertainly and doubt about our government, the best time for him to release them is after November 8, not before. I think Comey's public statements have mitigated that risk a little.

  • Save America from Trump to fix America, or, Did your Mother Drop you on Your Head?
    • Interesting. i was in the cafes and theaters in '61. In the Army and in Europe from '63 to '68. Got back just in time to go into the streets in Chicago. I'm a little old to hit the wastelands of North Dakota, but I think global warming will eventually turn some people out. Reflecting on the '60s and '70s, I'd say what we had -- more important than intellectual leadership -- was a counter culture that sustained us. I don't see anything like it in America today.

    • Maybe he's just saying there were better ways to get you the insurance you need. I'm glad you have insurance, but the ACA was never really about you. It was about getting rid of pre-existing conditions clauses and other limitations of corporate insurance plans. The main thrust was to make life better for people who already had insurance. The mandate, i.e., your mandatory premiums -- possibly underwritten in part by your fellow taxpayers -- were the price of that. The alternative -- single payer -- would have provided the same insurance for everyone in America, regardless of income.

    • Trump is not the problem. The conditions in America that make Trump possible are the problem. The outcome of this election will not change those conditions in any way. If that wasn't apparent to me at this point, then I actually would be ashamed.

    • How are you going to fix a country in which the President's 18-yo daughter "earns" $96 million a year and has a net worth over $200 million while the people who put him into office are in worse economic shape now than they were when they first elected him? To quote Shakespeare: "Let it come down."

  • The Mosul Campaign and the 3rd Presidential Debate
    • Trump seems to envision something like a 21st Century Yalta Conference where he and Putin sit down and divide up the resources of the ME. In that context, it's easy to see a substantial American presence on the ground, working with Russia to end Daesh as an organized fighting force. That vision is much different from Sec. Clinton's. She seems to envision a long tussle with Russia in the ME, essentially more of the same.

      Both candidates do agree on one thing. Someone is trying to rig this election. They just can't agree on who is doing it. He thinks it's the American political and economic establishment. She thinks it's the Russians.

  • 7 Things to Know about Mosul
  • Journalist Amy Goodman to Surrender and Fight Dakota Charges
    • Rioting? I didn't see any blood dripping from Amy Goodman's mouth and nose. The criminal charges should have been brought against the woman handling that dog.

  • Dylan, the American Left, and What We have Lost
  • De Mistura: al-Qaeda must leave E. Aleppo to save it from Destruction
    • But De Mistura's appeal and his offer to personally accompany al-Julani out of East Aleppo does put a human face on the UN in Syria.

  • Making Case for Pardon, Snowden Says Leaks Were 'Necessary, Vital Things'
    • Seems doubtful, since Obama recently floated the idea of using lethal force against hackers who cause, even collaterally or inadvertently, US deaths. But I wish him luck.

  • Five truths about the Hijab (Muslim Veil) that need to be told
  • Trump and Extreme Vetting of Muslims
    • Can you imagine the damage someone like Trump would do trying to root out what he imagines is a vast jihadist network inside the United States? I would not want to fall into his hands.

  • If the Military had Permission to Speak Freely: They might rescue us from the Politicians' Forever War
    • Hasn't the problem historically been exactly the opposite? When the military have opposed or questioned civilian authority, it has usually been because they were being restrained. It's a maxim of the law that silence betokens consent.

  • Trump threatens Sec. Clinton with Gun Nuts, imitates Tinpot 3rd World Regimes
    • The problem with someone as disorganized as Trump is that you never know what they are really thinking. My guess is he was contemplating some kind of resistance to an imagined confiscation of weapons by the feds. That the govt wants to take their guns away is a real concern among Trump's base. Either way -- assassination or rebellion -- the remark was inflammatory and he needs to keep walking it back to the political level. It's okay to try to rally the vote, but it's not okay to imply that it's acceptable to disregard the law of the land once the election is settled. We've had enough shootings and bombings by extremists on both ends of the political spectrum.

  • On 71st Anniversary of Hiroshima, the Fear of a Nuclear Trump
    • I wonder if it wouldn't be appropriate to ask who the national security expert was and when the alleged meeting with Trump took place. The incident appears to be unsubstantiated, and Trump has denied that it ever happened. As far as I can tell, Morning Joe created the event out of thin air. Has anyone seen any real evidence that it occurred?

  • Nagasaki, 1945: “The world did not need your experiment”
    • Hiroshima and the Second World War were horrific. As the author points out, the decision to use the bomb was a civilian and a political decision, not a military one. That is something that militaristic Japan in 1945 could hardly have understood. In many cases, the civilian authority has restrained the military. Truman's decision to limit the Korean War, for example.

  • What Would Trump Fascism Look Like? Eight Most Likely Traits
    • Interesting criticism of Trump, but it assumes that somehow the Congress and courts would be magically abolished or hamstrung as soon as he took office. As a historian, you might want to consider Trump in the context of what Karl Polanyi called "Fascist conditions." The conditions that make Fascism a viable solution to the problem of freedom in modern society will persist in America after Trump and his ludicrous campaign are gone.

  • In Resistance and Creativity, the Occupied Palestinians find Hope
  • Top 4 Reasons Iran will stand by Syrian gov't despite High Casualties
    • Those seem like incredibly high stakes. It's hard to believe that neo-cons in a US administration, if they are aware of them, aren't equally prepared to double down on the rebels.

  • Papal impact? For 1st time, 50% of GOP voters Worry about Climate Change
    • The potential impact of the Pope's teachings on Climate Change and the Moral Economy on the US presidential election in November if Bernie Sanders is a candidate hasn't been fully explored. By recognizing competing moral imperatives, Pope Francis may be giving Catholics a rationale for supporting a pro-life candidate for the first time. If Sanders is in the race, might we see something from the Pope on abortion similar to his stance on the Zika virus and birth control?

  • If ISIL falls before November, how will it affect the US Election?
    • Hillary Clinton's pipe dream of imposing a no-fly zone to stop the Russians from flying in Northern Syria might be a major embarrassment for her even before November if Daesh is crushed in Syria.

  • Is Hillary Clinton responsible for rise of ISIL, as Bernie's Campaign Manager Alleged?
    • I do think she pushed very hard for regime change in Libya and because of that we'll end up fighting Daesh there. I'm not sure it is much of a stretch to connect her to that. As for Iraq, I'm not sure what her position on the occupation -- from roughly the time the search for WMD ended and Saddam Hussein was captured until now -- has been. I'm sure many will disagree, but I would be far more concerned about anyone who supported the occupation than about someone who voted for the invasion itself.

  • Foreign Policy Winners and Losers in Iowa
    • Seems to me that Bernie Sanders took foreign policy off of the table in Iowa. His campaign seems to have decided to play defense on those issues. Clinton's real firewall is the black voter support she enjoys. Black Americans have a "thing" for the Clintons.

  • Top 5 Things for which We should be grateful to Arabic Writing
  • Is Clinton right that Trump is Helping ISIL?
    • "Daesh is rooted in the Sunni resistance to the US military occupation of Iraq, during which 4 million Iraqis were made homeless and hundreds of thousands killed. Those statistics, of which the Americans who voted for the war appear to remain unaware — or maybe they have forgotten — are all the evidence Daesh needs of US intentions."

      Could be some irony there. I've always seen the invasion and occupation as two different periods: the first extending from the start of the invasion until the capture of Saddam Hussein, the second covering the rest of the occupation. I'm not clear about when Clinton turned against the occupation or when the occupation spawned Daesh. I am clear about the fact that occupying Muslim countries doesn't appear to be a good idea.

  • Clinton: Trump chief recruiter for ISIL; Sanders: Take out Daesh First, Assad Later
    • I was surprised at how easily Clinton nailed Sanders on his "I'm not a fan of regime change" line. Apparently, she had his vote on regime change in Libya in her pocket and was just waiting for him to run out that line.

      I'm not sure, but it looks like she was referring to Sen. Res. 85 that Sanders actually co-authored in 2011. link to
      Key points being that he urged "the United Nations Security Council to take such further action as may be necessary to protect civilians in Libya from attack, including the possible imposition of a no-fly zone over Libyan territory" and supported "an orderly, irreversible transition to a legitimate democratic government in Libya."

      Looks like Sanders may have to change his punch line to: "I'm not as big a fan of regime change as I used to be."

      It was a good debate, the differences between Sanders and Clinton are now crystal clear, and I agree that it's too bad that the DNC didn't have the guts and the confidence in the rank and file of the Democratic Party to let more people see it.

  • No, GOP, you can't win by Carpet-bombing
    • I can't decide if Ted Cruz looks more like Dracula or a sexually ambiguous master of ceremonies for some decadent, pre-war Berlin cabaret. Maybe it's just his eye make-up. Or maybe the body is, somehow, a manifestation of the soul. After all, this is a guy who is unwilling to say that he would never "carpet-bomb" a city to get at Daesh. Or maybe he doesn't quite snap to what carpet-bombing is. The usual justifications for inflicting devastating civilian casualties -- to break the spirit of an enemy population or to punish them for their support of an enemy regime -- don't seem to apply to the populations of cities like Raqqa or Mosul, occupied by Daesh. Imagine the intense hatred for Germans that inspired the fire-bombing of Dresden. That's what I fear Cruz is carrying around inside.

  • No, Donald Trump, Real Muslims haven't applauded your Fascist Plan to Ban them
    • Shades of Gandhi. A wonderful idea. Sometimes I wonder why passive resistance has never captured the imagination of the Muslim world.

    • But this morning the news is that exit polls predict that French voters totally rejected Marie Le Pen's National Front in regional elections on Sunday, depriving the party of victory in any of the country’s 13 regions.

      Fascism is not a political movement.

  • Is Corporate Media a danger to Society? Coverage of Trump v. Sanders
    • My experience of both Clintons is that their idea of good government is to enrich themselves, while rewarding their benefactors and cronies and punishing their enemies. The fact that they are a lot like Trump may be disgusting, but it's true.

    • I'd recommend Karl Polanyi's The Great Transformation. Polanyi personally observed the fact that the symptoms of fascism in the 1930's were vague and ambiguous.

      "People often did not feel sure whether a political speech or a play, a sermon or a public parade, a metaphysics or an artistic fashion, a poem or a party program was fascist or not."

      In the end, fascist victories were easy and complete.

    • Sanders is the last good person standing and the only candidate the millionaires, billionaires and corporations have to stop at all costs. They are doing it mainly by throwing their enormous political clout behind Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary. And they aren't even subtle about it. They are, however, very clever. For example, in the wake of the San Bernardino attack, which might have reminded Democratic voters of Hillary's involvement in the failed invasion and occupation of Iraq, regime change in Libya, the attack on Benghazi and her reckless policy proposals for Syria, the New York Times gave her a prime Op-Ed opportunity to roll out her plan to "restrain" her main campaign contributor, Wall Street. (If Mr. Sulzberger Jr. and his editorial board at the Times have offered Bernie Sanders equal time on the Op-Ed page, I'm not aware of it.)

      On the other hand, sadly, Bernie seems to be laboring under the illusion that Hillary's millionaires and billionaires are somehow better than the Republican millionaires and billionaires. He has been unwilling to make the kind of attacks on her record, her positions and her character that would force the media to cover his campaign the way it covers Trump's. (As though Trump doesn't know all of that anyway and won't use it if he runs against Hillary.)

      If you write to ABC, send a copy to your local ABC affiliate and demand that they put it in their public file where it can be used against them when their license comes up for renewal.

  • Top 6 Times US government Excluded Millions based on Race or Religion
    • I have to say that I find this more useful than comparisons of demagogues like Trump to the founding fathers, most of whom, Adams excluded, were slave owners. Jefferson was probably the worst.

      Better to take a hard look at who we Americans really are, including our history of slavery and genocide. Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee should be required reading for Daesh. When American presidents and presidential candidates say they intend to wipe Daesh and other terrorists out, they mean it quite literally.

      Although it may work for them in the short run, it was probably not a smart move for Daesh to associate themselves with an act of terror here, especially an attack in California of all places. I suspect they are going to get the war in Iraq and Syria they are hoping for. It may not go quite the way they imagine. Depressing.

  • Trump vs. the Founding Fathers on Muslims Coming to US
    • I've often been guilty of imposing, in my own mind, some method on the madness of the right wing in America, but it's hard to escape the nagging suspicion that Trump has another candidate in mind for the run against Clinton, that he's a classic berserker, throwing himself against the rationality of the American electorate in hopes of opening a breach for someone else. After Trump, any of the other candidates is bound to look almost sane.

  • Roof, Dear and Tashfeen Malik: 'Self-Radicalized,' 'Terrorism,' 'Lone Wolf' and Double Standards
    • As you say, the investigation is still underway, and whether or not a network is involved may turn out to hinge on where the killers were during the couple of hours between the attack and their return to their home.

      I wonder if the FBI isn't talking more about the overall pattern than the specific attack, more about what the couple may have been preparing to do before something set off this particular act than about the act itself.

  • How the NRA is harming American Security: Mass Shootings as Serial Terrorism
    • If the attack was triggered by something said at the party, the conversation between Farook and Malik while he was suiting up must have been something to hear.

      Brilliant article in The Nation by the way.

    • Maybe we've finally seen what a "sleeper cell" looks like.

    • You're right to compare the 8,124 murders by firearms in the United States to the 144 equivalent murders in the UK. I have no doubt that the fact that the British, as a society, have agreed to give up their guns in order to be more safe has virtually eliminated murder by firearms in that country. I wonder how they reached consensus on the issue. Maybe the relatively small size of England's population and geography made that easier to do over there. Or maybe the lack of a Wild West myth.

      I've struggled for some time with the question of whether crime prevention is mainly a law enforcement or a mental health issue. I seem to be coming down on the side of law enforcement, meaning the right laws and right methods of enforcing them.

      It does seem to me that a couple acquiring not only firearms but body armor, a black SUV and the materials to make IED's should have turned up on somebody's radar. But, when I consider what it would take to make that happen, it gives me pause. In the face of that, it seems to me that severely restricting the future production and sale of firearms in the United States is a reasonable step.

  • Turkey reels as Putin imposes Stiff Economic Sanctions
    • Maybe the Russian response is about something more important than the arithmetic. It does seem shocking that Turkey would shoot down a Russian bomber, given the apparently extensive economic ties between the two countries. Maybe Putin is outraged enough by the stab in the back that he doesn't care how the numbers fall out, as long as Turkey gets hurt. Or maybe he just wants to test the West's commitment to Turkey now that containment is a policy of the past. If I were Obama, I'd be looking at the clause in NATO's charter that covers expelling a reckless member.

  • Abortion Clinics, White Christian Terrorism and GOP Candidates
    • The phrase "abortion clinics" buys into the right wing's characterization of Planned Parenthood clinics. Planned Parenthood provides many services other than abortions. Perhaps a better way of describing the clinics that have been attacked would be something like "clinics that provide abortions."

  • Why did Turkey dare shoot down a Russian Plane? The Proxy War in Syria
    • Since Russia is now deploying the S-400 air defense system with a range of 400 kilometers, a missile cruiser that can attack air bases and command and control targets inside Turkey, and fighters to cover their tactical bombers, I'd say the escalation has already started. The next move is Turkey's and NATO's. What bothers me about American foreign policy is that when we're outmaneuvered, as we were outmaneuvered by Russia's intervention in Syria, we don't back off and find another way to play the hand. The Cuban Missile Crisis that led to the US pulling its missiles out of Turkey in return for the Russians pulling theirs out of Cuba is a case study the Obama administration should think about seriously.

  • 'Very Soon' US forces will Arrive in Syria; Russia bombs near Turkey
    • It looks like Hillary Clinton got her no-fly zone sooner than expected. The Turks shot down a Russian war plane over northern Syria this morning. The next move is Putin's. There are a couple of scenarios here that lead to actual war between Russia and NATO.

  • If Trump can track Muslims, close Mosques, what can he do to You?
    • Most polls I'm seeing show Sanders beating Trump in the general election, and some polls show him beating Trump by a greater margin than Clinton does.

      But I think that when we worry about Sanders' electability, we sell his platform and ourselves short. Are we really going to turn our backs on the man who is trying to finish the business started by FDR, LBJ and MLK, because we think the PACs and media can bring him down?

      Sanders has done a remarkable thing. He has thrown himself into the sea without a life-jacket, jumped out of a plane without a parachute, taken on the gang without a gun and given us a chance to get off our asses and pull it out for him.

      Or we can sit back and hope that somehow Hillary's millionaires and billionaires are better than the Republicans' millionaires and billionaires.

      Fat chance.

    • I'm sure this was written tongue in cheek or as rhetoric. Trump has no chance at all of being the Republican nominee. What is a little disturbing, however, is that you have obviously bought into the "Sanders can't be elected" meme. It's not obvious to me that Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic nominee or why you should be promoting her.

  • Did Daesh/ ISIL's Paris attacks bolster al-Assad? Spain calls him 'lesser of evils'
    • The New York Times reports that Hillary Clinton proposed a "no-fly zone" in Syria today.

      According to the Times: "Mrs. Clinton offered additional details on her idea for a no-fly zone, saying it should be limited to northern Syria, similar to Turkish proposals for a buffer zone to protect civilians. Several Republican presidential candidates have also called for a more expansive no-fly zone."

      Who would stop flying what if there were a no-fly zone in northern Syria? Is Daesh using helicopters and jets? I was not aware of that. Are they being supplied by air? Apparently, I don't understand the situation on the ground at all. Hopefully, Dr. Cole will comment on Mrs. Clinton's speech to the Council on Foreign Relations and clarify what a "no-fly zone" would accomplish.

    • Daesh's attacks on "soft" targets in the West may turn out to be a blunder as significant as Bush's decision to occupy Afghanistan and Iraq and Obama's decision to put his shoulder to the wheel of regime change.

      Maybe we did more damage than we knew to al-Qaeda when we killed off its first generation of leaders.

  • Top 10 Reasons Governors are Wrong to Exclude Syrian Refugees
    • A good point, Mary. The people may be the sea that the guerrillas swim in, but it's hard for me to see how Daesh recruits very successfully in a sea of refugees its brutality helped create.

      I may be naïve, but, personally, I look forward to the day when the first Syrian American brigade, commanded by Syrian Americans, lands in Syria to fight Daesh on equal terms.

    • Mr. Hollande's announcement today that the French will honor their commitment to accept 30,000 refugees should restore Republican America to sanity. But it may not, of course.

      “Our country has the duty to respect this commitment,” Mr. Hollande said, noting that those fleeing areas of Syria and Iraq controlled by the Islamic State were being “tormented” by the “very same people who are attacking us today.”

      Dr. Cole's point 7.

  • Is Daesh/ ISIL a modern Raiding Pirate state?
    • I like this analogy, particularly because it's congruent with the way I see America's response to terrorist attacks evolving.

      In my view, about 20 years ago, we entered a new era, characterized by quasi-nationalist movements in the Middle East, terrorist attacks on soft targets in the United States and other countries, and retaliation by the United States, aimed at killing terrorists, eliminating their bases, safe havens and training camps, and at disrupting their communications and finances. Like two heavyweight boxers, the United States and Middle Eastern terrorists stand toe to toe, trading punches, and neither fighter should expect to win by a knockout.

      The "Bush doctrine", established after 9/11 is well understood. The United States has the absolute right to project force anywhere in the world to capture or kill anyone we identify as a terrorist, without regard for the sovereignty of any other nation. This right is limited only by our capability to exercise it. There can be no legal or moral limits at all.

      Unfortunately, both George W. Bush's and Barack Obama's application of this principle has been flawed by their obsession with regime change and state building. That obsession has led to failed occupations in Afghanistan and Iraq, to the death of an American ambassador in Libya, and to a continuing disaster in Syria.

      It's inevitable that, as it evolves, Bush Doctrine 2.0 will explicitly reject regime change and occupation as viable tactics in the Middle East, and abandon the notion that terrorism and terrorist attacks on the United States can be eliminated. A long, long war of attrition lies ahead.

      We do have to eliminate the "pirates." But our own "raiding parties" have to get out as soon as the job is done.

  • Thank You for Your Support
  • Pakistani family testifies to empty room on Hill about US Drone that killed Granny
    • Wondering if you have thoughts about al-Maliki's op-ed plea for Apache helicopters in the NYT this morning. Seems to me that going to the Times readership for support is about as hat in hand as it gets. Wouldn't he have better luck getting helicopters and other weapons from Iran?

  • Obama's Syria Strike Part of 'Broader Strategy' (Germanos)
    • So what is in America's "national interests" in Syria and what really poses a threat to America's security? It seems to me that if we really believe chemical WMD falling into the hands of our mortal enemy al-Qaeda is a threat to our security, we should be telling Assad to destroy his chemical WMD and we'll team up with the Russians to help him kill al-Qaeda in Syria. That would send a message to the ME that's consistent with American policy since 9/11. You can't make and keep WMD and you can't harbor al-Qaeda. Of course, such a solution to the crisis in Syria is unthinkable. But we need to understand why it is.

  • Israeli Press on Syria Delay: History will Mock Obama (OSC)
    • I can never decide if ME regimes really don't understand the destructive power of the US military in a desert war, or if they only pretend to not understand. Or maybe Gaddafi's fate made a lasting impression.

  • Westbrook: Half-Measures in Libya will Fail
    • To get some background on the Bradley Manning flap, I was watching The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers (2009) last weekend, and I was struck by an audio clip of Richard Nixon, urging Henry Kissinger to think outside the box and support a plan to nuke Hanoi.

    • "Either our fight is worthy, and should be publicly espoused and prosecuted with vigor, or it is not worthy, and we should not engage. Hence my rule of thumb: if we are serious, we should be willing to put troops on the ground and fight."

      Who wants that? There aren't many people still alive who were of age in 1941, when the United States last went to war, but there are plenty of serious people who can imagine what it was like back then and what it would be like now if the United States waged war with what you call vigor. I don't think anyone in the world wants to see that. Or did you have something less vigorous in mind?

  • Questions for Glenn Greenwald on Libya and the end of NATO
    • These on-line dialogues often remind me of pro wrestling matches. Entertaining if you don't take them too seriously. I'm guessing this round ends with Professor Cole -- the title holder -- trying a flying head-butt and crashing into the ringpost when Mr. Greenwald steps aside. First fall to Greenwald who only needs to notice that, if what NATO -- or any other organization -- is doing is immoral, the US has no unqualified obligation to support it. As for going along to get along, one might argue that those who act out of conviction are more moral than those who act out of expediency. Following one's conscience is probably never a bad idea. I wouldn't count on Greenwald throwing round two, by the way.

  • Defections, US Withdrawal Point to Political Solution in Libya
    • Interesting perspective. I take one point to be that the goal of intervention to protect Libya's armed "rebels" might be limited to creating an environment in which non-violent resistance could take place without the demonstrators being slaughtered. In other words, NATO would attempt to create conditions under which the rebels could lay down their arms and organize politically, effectively ending the violence from both sides. That would be something to see.

  • Torpey: Support the Libyans but Don't Arm Them!
    • It's exciting to see what I'd call a kind of enlightened nationalism emerging at Informed Comment. It's a welcome relief from the denial of the validity of any kind of nationalism I usually encounter in the so-called progressive blogosphere. Lately, we've seen Dr. Coles "credentials" challenged from the left for precisely that reason. He seems capable of envisioning an American national interest of some kind that is actually worth fighting and dying for. I'd say this column furthers that meme. I first became aware of Dr. Cole and his work through his Senate testimony during the Iraq occupation. I find it difficult to imagine the people who are now attempting to read him out of the "progressive" movement testifying in front of a Senate subcommittee about anything. (Well, maybe as a Saturday Night Live skit.) We've all experienced the echo chambers that get erected around this or that blogosphere personality and the way they treat deviant thought. It was just this week that I realized how like an echo chamber the entire progressive blogosphere has become, and how quickly it can turn on anyone who dares suggest that nationalism isn't necessarily a crime.

  • Answer to Glenn Greenwald
    • That's certainly a saner and more respectful answer than I would have given Mr. Greenwald, and I oppose support for the Libyan rebels, because I believe non-violence is the answer in places like Palestine, and intervening on the side of violence -- not matter how justified it may seem at the time -- only delays he adoption of non-violence by liberation movements. The problem with jesuitical questions like Mr. Greenwald's is they never reflect the world as it is. Except in polemics land, no one gets to volunteer for just one fight. Once you're in, you belong to the major, and he can do with you as he wills. Mr. G often overlooks simple facts of life like that.

  • Former CIA Official Ray McGovern Defends Assange
    • To understand an issue, you have to get the language right, to literally know what you're talking about. Assange is no journalist, but he is a publisher who should have the same protections -- no more and no less -- that other publishers have. The Swedish charges are a separate issue entirely. Sex shouldn't be a death-defying act. Forcing women to have unprotected sex or to continue sex without protection endangers their lives. What if Assange is HIV positive? I can see why two women, comparing notes on a guy they've just found out is promiscuous, would be pissed off if he'd forced both of them to have unprotected sex.

  • Fareed Zakaria Destroys Beck on Lunatic Islamophobia
    • Thanks for a video that deserves to go viral. We went down to Chicago for a couple of days last Christmas and landed in the middle of the MAS-ICNA convention at the Hyatt. I shudder to think what that would have been like if Glenn Beck's numbers were anything more than a figment of his overheated imagination. How many Muslims were at the Hyatt? Say 5,000. That means I was surrounded by 500 terrorists! And when we crowded into an elevator with 10 or 20 Muslims, we were standing right next to 1 or 2 terrorists. My knees go weak, thinking of the danger we were in without knowing it. No wonder Juan Williams gets scared on airplanes. Glenn Beck probably shared those amazing statistics with him.

  • Obama Should Let the UN apply Economic Sanctions to Israel
    • @Adam
      Did you read Roger Cohen in the Times today on The "Real Jew" Debate? I'm sorry if it offends you to hear that someone thinks Americans may start thinking of Israel as "just another Middle Eastern country," but maybe you should consider the behavior that might bring Americans to think that. If you've been to Israel, you may have noticed the younger Israelis aren't as European as their parents or grandparents were. Or did you?

    • I doubt AIPAC would let him do that. I think someday Americans are going to realize that Israel is just another Middle Eastern country, not a bastion of Western culture and democracy in the Middle East. When that happens -- and not until then -- we may see some balance in our treatment of the various factions.

  • Why our Afghanistan War Dead don't Seem to be News
  • Demonstration outside US Base in Afghanistan against Quran-Burning Turns Violent
    • It's tempting to think of the demonstrators who have bought into Taliban propaganda as ignorant peasants, until you remember Palin, Beck, Murdoch and the Tea Party.

  • Afghans Demonstrate Against US Quran-Burning That Never Happened
    • The ability to turn out a protest on short notice might be a good indication of the strength of political organizations in the area of the protest. It takes time to make those signs.

  • Top Ways 9/11 Broke Islamic Law
    • From the AP this morning re the proposed community center. "Muslim prayer services are normally held at the site, but it was padlocked Friday and would be closed Saturday, the official end of the holy month of Ramadan. Police planned 24-hour patrols of the site until next week. Worshippers on Friday were redirected to a different prayer room 10 blocks away." Depressing.

  • Top Stories More Important than Quran-Burning Nut Job
    • Seriously. The US has a secular government. Do demagogues like Palin and Beck use religion? Of course they do, but Johnnie doesn't go marching off to war under the banner of Christ anymore, and any American president or Congress that tried to launch a religious war would have a net thrown over them fast. Bush's idea that he had been "called" to lead America at the time of 9/11, a meme echoed by Jones, never got much traction here. And I can't think of a single influential American who has not condemned Jones. No, I haven't read the blogs you read. I don't read the ones that enumerate so-called Muslim atrocities either. Frankly, one of the drawbacks to blogs of all kinds and to citjour in general is knowing whom to believe about what. But I'm not talking about what I believe or what you believe, I'm talking about how most Americans perceive the way the Taliban, Iran, and "extremist" Islamic groups or terrorist organizations use religion.

      Even the Terry Jones outrage is instructive. Salon, for example, makes the point that General Petraeus' comments, which set off the media feeding frenzy in the US, were only made because the Jones story was sweeping through the Muslim media and blogosphere already. I completely agree with your point that religion and the use of religion has to be seen in context. I'm just suggesting that Muslim leaders accept their fair share of responsibilty for the fact that religion and politics are too conflated in the Muslim world. The impact on American public opinion of state-imposed floggings and stonings, justified by religious law, for example, should be obvious, as should the fact that anti-American statements coming out of the Muslim world are constantly cast in religious terms. Dr. Cole often points out, persuasively, that the real reasons for the 9/11 terrorist attacks had nothing to do with religion. I wish most Americans read Dr. Cole and other writers who try to keep the Muslim world in perspective for the rest of us. But they don't.

    • All good points, especially about the real grievances our opponents in the Middle East have. And you're right, of course, to mention Palin and Huckabee. Although they denounced Jones, they're just as blatantly provocative in their own ways -- as is Glenn Beck. Yet, I can't escape the thought that Western countries like the United States have managed to evolve beyond the limits of the religions on which they were "founded."

      I think you have a better frame of reference than most Americans, whose exposure to the Middle East and Islam is mainly in the context of the occupation of Iraq, will ever have.

    • I think it's almost impossible for Americans to ignore the fact that religion is being used against us throughout the Muslim world. There is no doubt that American soldiers have killed innocent Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan, but they don't shout "In the name of Christ" or "Christ is great!" while they do it. Imagine if, in the leaked video of Apache helicopters gunning down Iraqis, the gunners had been chanting about the grapes of wrath and God's swift sword. And, at the state level, it's hard to separate the nationalism of a theocracy like Iran from the Shiite version of Islam, not because we conflate the two, but because they constantly do. The insistence of Muslims on conflating nationalism with religion makes all of us vulnerable to the insanity of misfits like Jones.

  • They used to Burn Catholic Churches, now they Burn Mosques
    • It seems to me the First Amendment is more concerned with making sure the Congress can't interfere with religion than with making sure we don't burn each other's churches down. There are plenty of state laws punishing that crime. I suppose if there were some states that refused to prosecute mosque burning, the federal government might step in and prosecute for violation of civil rights. But we haven't even gotten as far as banning burquas or minarets, let alone organizing to burn mosques. I'm not sure fire-bombing a piece of construction equipment at the site of a mosque quite reaches the level of "mosque burning." Book burning is bad enough, though, and you are right to notice that people who are willing to burn books may be just as willing to burn people.

  • Was Amiri a Double Agent who Hyped Iran's Nukes?
    • I think most observors appreciate the sophistication of Iran's intelligence agency, but tend to underestimate the CIA and other US agencies' talents when it comes to the back and forth of gaming scenarios at a desperate level. Personally, I suspect the ultimate invasion of Iran and replacement of its Shiite regime was planned well before the invasion of Iraq. Without those plans in place and a high level of confidence in them, Iraq might not have been invaded. It's always tempting to think of the CIA as fools who didn't realize the most likely outcome of the Iraq invasion would be Iranian dominance of at least Southern Iraq. My take is they knew it would happen, but considered that outcome to be "temporary." The end game is now at hand.

  • 7 NATO Troops Killed;
    as Karzai is Said to Dicker with Insurgents;
    and Panetta Scoffs
    Taliban Rejoice in McChrystal Firing
    • I had an old Toyota SR-5 pickup that developed some electrical problems, so I got the repair manual and studied the schematic of the electrical system -- then I opened the hood and was confronted by the most confusing and impossible to follow mess of wires I ever saw. The real world under the hood looked nothing like the schematic in the repair manual. Most sources feed us the schematic. More and more I appreciate the fact that you give us a peek under the hood in places like Afghanistan.

  • Public Souring on the Afghanistan War
    • For a long time now, I've advocated pulling out of Afghanistan completely and seeing what happens. To be completely honest, I don't have any idea what will happen if we do that. And I don't recall anyone else who advocates pulling out having a very clear vision of what will happen next, either. I'd be interested in knowing what you think will happen over the next couple of years if we pull out of Afghanistan completely. I already know what is likely to happen if we don't pull out, so I'm not asking about the likely consequences of staying engaged in Afghanistan either to pursue the so-called COIN strategy or the counter-terrorism alternative. What I really want to know is what you think will happen if we come home.

  • Lessons of Petraeus' Iraq for Petraeus' Afghanistan
  • McChrystal Drama is Sideshow;
    Can Obama define a realistic Goal?
    • "where the officer corps gets its promotion-worthy combat cred"

      Quite a valuable insight. The CIB is of immense value to the officer corps.

      As far as realistic goals go, I think the one achievable goal is keep Afghanistan from degenerating into a Somalia-like failed state. The problem is, the only realistic way to do that is to stalemate the Taliban. But that could lead to a 100 year occupation ala John McCain, and I doubt the American electorate is ready for that yet. Maybe they will be if Afghanistan ends up divided like Korea, with American troops garrisoning one part and the Taliban in control of the other. We seem to understand that kind of arrangement.

    • Well, McChrystal got it all in on his way out. Not enough troops, arbitrary deadline imposed by the President, Eikenberry stabbed Karzai in the back to cover his own ass, and Biden is stupid. Obama will have to give Petraeus a better hand to play. Question is: Will he get more troops or a flexible timeframe to work in? Will Obama ditch Eikenberry? Petraeus is probably stuck with Biden same as we are.

  • Obama's MacArthur Moment? McChrystal Disses Biden
    • This could be very interesting. As you know, when Truman fired him, the country gave MacArthur a ticker-tape parade and Congress gave him a forum to criticize Truman's policies. McChrystal is not the national hero MacArthur was, of course, and firing him should be a no-brainer that doesn't involve much political risk, except for the fact that the Republicans are bound to start bellowing "who lost South Asia and the Middle East?" as soon as Southern Iraq falls to Iran and the Taliban return to power in Afghanistan. McChrystal has been recalled to DC to "explain" himself. I think that people who advocate the Biden plan for Afghanistan may be missing the possibility -- in fact, the probability -- that we will follow up on the targeted strikes with muscle on the scale of "shock and awe" if the Taliban regain control of the country.

  • US Strike Kills Civilians in Khost,
    Bombings Rock Helmand Capital
    UN: Roadside Bombings Double
    • On the other hand, the UN report says most victims of the increased violence in Afghanistan continue to be civilians, and the proportion of those killed by the Taliban, rather than the government or its NATO allies, rose to 70 percent from mid-March through mid-June. In the previous three months, the United Nations blamed insurgents for 67 percent of civilian deaths.

      The report depicted a concerted effort by insurgents to deliberately single out civilians. “Insurgents followed up their threats against the civilian population with, on average, seven assassinations every week, the majority of which were conducted in the south and southeast regions,” it said.

      The difference between the war on terrorism and previous wars is that -- rightly or wrongly -- we view the populations of the countries we're fighting in as "hostages" to tyrannical regimes and are attempting to "liberate" them at the same time that we kill the tyrants.

      I imagine most of us are aware of the irony inherent in that view of the situation in Iraq and Afghanistan.

      I think we should just come home and start over. See what happens. But I suspect we'll end up in the same dilemma again, sooner rather than later.

  • Twin Oil Disasters: BP and Iraq
    Bloody Friday in Iraq Leaves 27 Dead, over 80 Wounded
    • I keep thinking about your Senate testimony at the beginning of the occupation. Anyone reading that, and I'm sure the Bush administration did, would have realized that the outcome of the occupation -- in the South, at least -- was going to favor Iran. I think Bush and company knew that going into the invasion. One of the analysts at the Center for American Progress told me back then that Cheney was actually advocating knocking Iraq down and letting someone else pick up the pieces, but Bush chose a nation-building strategy instead. So I think the chess game is more complicated than it seems. Maybe the end game will be designed to control Iraq's oil, but I see the invasion as a gambit in a strategy designed to bring down Iran. We're offering Southern Iraq as a pawn Iran can't afford to take.

  • Turkey Shelves Israeli Cooperation,
    Considers breaking off Ties;
    Israel Lobbies in Congress denounce Ankara
  • Obama Launches Green Equivalent of Moon Mission
    • The comparison of Obama's Green initiative to Kennedy's space initiative is a telling one. What, I wonder, would have happened if Kennedy had tried to reach the moon using tax incentives loans to the private sector? The Kennedys understood the role of government in a way Obama does not.

  • Big Oil's Predations are not Your Fault
    • The market economy was created in England in the early 1800's with the repeal of the Speenhamland laws. The industrial economy emerged even later, around 1850 or so. Neither markets nor industry as we know it have been around long enough for us to guess how permanent they'll be. In the history of the world, less than 200 years is a fleeting moment. Time heals all wounds.

  • Meh story about $1 Trillion in Minerals in Afghanistan
    • What interests me about the valuation of Afghanistan's mineral deposits is the timing of the announcement and the fact that General Petraeus was involved. The report follows close on the heels of the London School Of Economics report that publicized Pakistan's continued support for the Taliban in Afghanistan just as the Kandahar offensive is getting underway. The revelation of the fact that Pakistan has been playing both ends against the middle in Afghanistan is likely to erode support for the occupation by reminding the American public once more how complicated and difficult the task of nation building in South Asia really is. As you may recall, General Petraeus contended in his famous Counter Insurgency Manual that it was a failure of the will of the American people that caused us to give up on Vietnam. My guess is Petraeus is trying to put some iron -- and some gold and lithium -- into our spines.

  • Palestinians Need a State: Loosening Blockade is not Enough
    • I can't express this precisely, but I can imagine the West Bank as an independent state or as a state or region in Israel, governed by the Palestinian Authority, but I can't envision the same relationship between Israel and a Gaza, governed by Hamas. I think the problem for me is that Hamas never maintained the same separation in fact or in the imagination of the world between it's political wing and its military wing that the Irish maintained between Sinn Féin and the IRA in Northern Ireland, for example. Difficult for me to see how Israel tolerates an independent Gaza or incorporates Gaza as a state as long as it is governed by Hamas.

  • Tel Aviv Rally Against Gaza Blockade;
    Wave of Protests, Gov't Condemnation
    • But, surely, that's the whole point. It is the brutal suppression of non-violent protest that passive resistance seeks to provoke. It might help if Islamic religious leaders would put death in non-violent resistance on the same level as death in violent resistance. What doesn't help is counseling Palestinians to give up on non-violence because it provokes exactly the response from the Israelis it's supposed to provoke.

    • I'm sorry. Make that 3 years ago for Lowenstein's article. I guess time flies when you're having fun.

    • I agree that "If the Palestinian leadership can restrain the radicals among them and go on cultivating non-violent tactics like the growing boycott of goods made by West Bank colonies, and preferring to import Turkish goods, they may finally have a winning formula." I'm just not sure what they can win at this point.

      I am constantly reminded of the Palestine-Israel Action Group (Ann Arbor Quakers) map you published in March. You wrote: "The Israelis have steadily and determinedly usurped Palestinian territory throughout the last nearly a century, and by now it is highly unlikely that what is left of the Palestinian West Bank and the besieged, half-starving Gaza Strip can plausibly be cobbled together into a ‘state.’"

      And, it was two years ago that Jennnifer Loewenstein, wrote Brothers In Arms, The Triumph of US/Israeli Policy in Palestine, her thought-provoking CounterPunch article about Israel's strategy in Palestine. (I believe I followed a link from Informed Comment to the article.)

      In the article, she writes about the apparent Hamas "victory" in Gaza: "While no one can foresee all of the events that might take place in a region as volatile as the Middle East, Hamas' takeover in Gaza will ultimately benefit Israel and the United States. It will benefit Israel by giving it a free hand to destroy Hamas, permanently sever the West Bank from the Gaza Strip, and re-'negotiate' with its newly appointed 'partners' the remaining islands of economically unviable territory that will soon be entirely encircled by a concrete and barbed-wire wall, cut off from their supplies of water and fertile land, and separated internally by 'Arab-free' roads.

      Isn't that just what has happened?

  • Eyewitnesses Say Israelis came in with Guns Blazing
    • "With four commandos captured by the aid activists and with boarding the ship now difficult, Israeli commanders appear to have authorized the use brute force."

      The problem with violent resistance, no matter how it may have been provoked, is it muddies the water and gives our oppressors a way to justify their own violence. In this case, the Israeli commanders can argue that they authorized the use of brute force because their commandos had been taken hostage.

      If the activists had been strictly non-violent, if they had chained themselves to the rails and wheels of the ships, for example, Israel's responsibility for any violence would have been indisputable.

      This in no way excuses the brutality of the Israelis. If American commanders can risk American lives in Afghanistan by following rules designed to protect Afghan civilians, the Israeli commanders should have the courage to follow rules that protect the lives of people protesting Apartheid in Gaza. But, in my opinion, the Palestinians' best hope for isolating Israel from the West is non-violent resistance.

      It will be interesting to see what happens on the Rachel Corrie this afternoon.

  • The Hypocrisy of Netanyahu
    • This is useful in so many ways. I wonder what would happen if Israel and all of the Arab states surrounding Israel offered the Palestinians a path to citizenship. I suppose that would kill the two-state solution, which, for some reason, all of the actors appear to want to keep alive. Thank you for one of your best articles.

  • Eyewitnesses Confirm Israeli Gunplay;
    Egypt's lifting of the Blockade likely Temporary
    • As one of the "white kids" who was there, I beg to differ. It was Dr. King's courageous decision to put little black kids in front of Southern police dogs that turned American public opinion around -- yours excepted apparently. If there is a lesson there, it's a lesson for the Palestinians.

  • World Condemns Brutal Israeli Assault on Humanitarian Convoy
    • The condition of our democracy is certainly degraded, and you're right about the msm's dependence upon think tank interpretations of reality, but university researchers, like all historians, generally depend on first-hand reports, including news reports, to provide the factual basis for their analysis as well. I think the gradual shift from professional reporting to citizen journalism is more significant in the long run than the dominance of right wing analysts like Krauthammer, for example, on so-called news shows. Citjour on the web is providing historians and news analysts of all kinds with a fresh look at the real world.

Showing comments 130 - 101