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Total number of comments: 8 (since 2013-11-28 16:44:26)

Charles Buell

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  • The US media pack needs to rediscover its teeth, for the Sake of Democracy
    • Suggested news release from editors-in-chief of major new organizations:
      Getting the News is hard. Major new stories in particular are seldom published through contact with one person, but they demand input from other contacts, do fact-checking and make long-term commitments for follow-through. Doing all this takes time, money and personnel, all of which has to be prioritized. But the quality of newsworthy information gathered from Presidential news conferences has recently slipped.

      So in the future, to honor the office of the POTUS, we will have a small presence at these Conferences. But we will shift our limited resources to allow both deeper and long-term coverage outside the Conference. We will also inaugurate short-term coverage to Tweets and other similar information from the POTUS' office that seem to necessitate a response. We trust that this new balance will be well-received by our audience.

      Thank You.

  • Demonization of Putin as "Personally" behind Clinton Hack is old Propaganda Technique
    • "Russophobes," and just about everyone both in and out of the US Government, are deeply suspicious of how Russia's "National Interests" play out on the ground. These suspicions will be echoed by citizens of Finland, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Bosnia, etc. Note the deliberate omission Serbia & Hungary. Given the history of Centuries-old top-down rule in Russia, it makes sense to focus criticism on Putin who is giving the public face to Russia's "National Interests."

  • Thank You for Your Support
  • A US attack on Syria will Prolong the War
    • OK--not tribal like in Jordan but the Alawites on one side and the hard-line Sunnis on the other have the firepower. Those two, along with the others (Christians, Kurds, secular, etc) could benefit from separation. Are the World War I boundries forever?

    • Given the Tribalism in Syria with Islamic Fundamentalism thrown in, it seems that Assad and his Alawite tribemates would need to have their own territory (in their historical area by the Mediterranean Coast) in order for him to step down. The transition would be messy (India & Pakistan in 1947?) but given the blood shed already, the groups need to be separated.

  • Is Egypt on the Verge of Civil War? Morsi backs off Emergency Decree
    • Where do the Salafists fit in here?
      Does Morsi feel that his hardline actions will be supported by the Salafists, who have gotten @25% of the vote in the past?
      While they have less depth of organization than the MB, they could come to be a force to be reckoned with, but we hear little about them.

  • Beeman: Letter from Iran
    • Tim: Jon's comment, (#2) summarizes my thoughts well. Beeman did not even try to get behind why these intelligent and aware "students" were talking like this. The Government controls access to these meetings very carefully, and he should be aware of this possibility.

      Robert: I've met many humane Iranians and keep up with them. There are also many corrupt operators there who will play on the legitimate resentments of poorer Iranians to provide the muscle to keep themselves in power. Read up on the Revolutionary Guard, eg.

    • I have admired WIlliam Beeman's writings on Iran but I am disappointed in his report from this conference. There was no effort to get behind the facade that all such meetings in repressive regimes attempt to construct.
      Was Beeman able to get outside the conference and see any reformers as I was able to do in 2003 when I visited Iran? On my initiative, I talked with Omid Memarian and his then-boss, Sohrab Razzaghi at their Civil Society organization. Subsequently, both have been forced to leave Iran. They were obviously doing something right.
      Or, as the first commentator asked, "Did you go south, down the hill?" Perhaps with one of those well-dressed North Terhani women he was so impressed with? Would she have passed muster with the morality police at Khomeini's Tomb?
      I hope Prof. Beeman does not feel he has to play nice with the regime in order to be able to return to this interesting and important country.

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