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Total number of comments: 106 (since 2013-11-28 14:42:49)


Showing comments 106 - 101

  • Reality Show violence in the Age of Trump: Striking Syria
    • There are interesting side notes on the three allies that participated in this bombing. The evidence that is presented is a video, but the reality is that US president is facing all sort of scandals, British prime minister is having issues with Brexit, and the French president is having a huge backlash to its economic policies (e.g daily strikes that bring public transportation coming to halt).

      Furthermore, is it a coincidence that his royal highness, Prince MBS of Saudi Arabia just visited only three countries in his foreign visit: England, US, and France where he made big weapon purchases.

      End of the day the message is that with all investigative organization and legal means on their side, US, England, and France believe even based on a video evidence, they have right to take military action without any backing of international law. This is the same legal and moral standing that the terrorist organization stand on when they carry their operations. They believe their perceived injustice justifies them being the judge, the jury, and the executioner.

  • Is Lt.-Gen. Flynn Right that Islam is not a Religion?
    • You would think that to a cancer cell, a healthy cell looks like a cancer cell, and a fellow cancer cell looks like a healthy cell.

  • Saudi Arabia at the G20: Is it waging Econ War on Iran, Russia and N. Dakota?
    • An interesting question is if the reduced income of the Saudi Arabia Royal family means less $ to buy off the population. It would be an interesting turn of events if them trying to engage in economic warfare with Iran and Russia cause irreparable harm to the Royal Family's long term survival.

  • The Last Days of Kobani Loom as ISIL Closes in on Syrian Kurds with Murder on its Mind
    • Notice Turkey is preventing even Kurds in turkey to cross border to help Kurds in kobani

  • Media, Politicians should stop Letting ISIL Manipulate them
    • I think you should talk about it in terms of a notion that I have observed... "A ten year rule". The crazes of the ISIS were teenagers when George W Bush's administration were proudly showing their shock and awe campaign in Iraq on TV. The crazies that did the 9/11 were teenagers when George H Bush (the senior) was proudly showing the "turkey shoot" of Iraqies in the Iraq-Kuwait conflict. Then there were some that had seen the Israeli brutality in Beirut and Lebanon few years earlier.

      Older people see these things as confirmation that they should just stay away from everything. But some among the millions of teenagers seem to make taking revenge as their mission in life. They do what we see. I hope President Obama is smart enough to stop this whole cycle.

  • 7 Myths about the Radical Sunni Advance in Iraq
    • Just an observation..... The favorite tactic, and may be an effective one, of US administration to deal with issues is to cut off funding source. Had US been truly oppose to the the ISIS it would have identified and put the financiers of the group on notice and freeze their assets. None of that has happened, and there is not even talk of it, that tells me US is not really against what is going on in Iraq. May be it wants to have Iran pulled to the quicksand of Iraq and is using this group to do so. But I don't see US doing what it normally does with adversaries in this case. My conclusion... US feels this group is working in its favor.

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  • The Fall of Mosul and the False Promises of Modern History
    • Your analysis that the current problem is due to Maliki's issue with Sunni is driving the current crisis doesn't make sense. The Sunnis are running aways from the Mosul. They don't seem to be in support of the take over of their town by Al Queda affiliates.

  • Massive War Crimes: Syrian Regime Tortured, Starved, Murdered 11,000 Prisoners
    • The brutality of this was goes without saying on both side. You don't need any pictures or youtube video to realize that this conflict is perceived to be a zero sum gain on either side.

      I think leadership of any country that is not working toward an immediate ceasefire in this conflict should be investigated for war crime. Iran, Russia and China are indeed supporting the government but that in it of itself is not what this war is raging on. Saudi Arabia, Qatar and their allies are trying to use the miseries of the Syria to maintain their totalitarian grip on power and score political gains against their perceived opponents. I think any reasonable outcome should involve accountability for the government and the supporters of the rebels.

  • Is the Arab World turning back to Russia? Egyptian Delegation heads for Moscow
    • I think part of what you see in Middle East today are side effect of the sanctions against Iran, and the disasters of Libya. In both cases the oil export of a major producer has been cut while the flow of Oil and its price has remain more or less constant.

      One reason is that Saudi Arabia has been stepping up its production. It therefore has increased its income beyond even what it was making a year ago. Like any oil rich tyrant before them (Saddam, Qhadafi...) , the Saudi royal family feels the money makes it entitle to defining their own version of reality.

  • Would Israel's Netanyahu really Drag US into war with Iran?
    • ... except there has never been a "nuclear weapons testing" to halt. Either they live in their own virtual reality, or they just need to sound tough.

    • Middle east policies has always been based on divide and conquer. Bogymen are always central to policies on each side, Ahmadinejad using Israel, and Bibi or Saudi King using Ahmadinejad. The experience of Iraq, Afghanistan, and now Syria is that conflicts are not producing results.

      America has a chance to have huge and lasting influence in the region if it shifts its policies from military to economic competition. All sides in the middle east from governments of Erdogan of Turkey, Iranian leadership, Egypt.... to people that are fed up with the central governments have embraced free market capitalism. Islamic groups in Turkey or Iran (and elsewhere) have been advocating privatization that not even Reagan and Tatcher could have practiced.

      I think the fundamental problem that Israel sees, and indeed it is an existential threat to the current leadership of Israel (not to its people), is that if the rules of the game changes toward economic competition then there may not be a role for Israeli militaristic policies. This must make the elite in Israel very uncomfortable and paranoid that future may not be as easy as the past.

      Ironically, if Israelis embrace such a future they could indeed prosper but with their current leadership all they get is prospect for more conflict.

  • Is Iran out of the US War Queue? The Twilight of the Hawks
    • "Without a demonized enemy number 1, how will hawks win election campaigns?"

      Easy, like their counterparts in Europe. You have fake fear of Sharia law, mosque minarets, Hijab, bearded men and alike. American "hawks" also have advantage over Europeans in that they can still stir up fear of Gay Marriage, Abortion, and Obama care. Whereas in Europe no one get emotional about them.

  • How Putin Saved Obama, Congress and the European Union from Further Embarrassing themselves on Syria
    • This move will also highlight a key weakness in the US/Turkey/Saudi/French.. side. Let say tomorrow Syria gives the exact location of all its weapons. For any one to actually take them out of the country you would need to have teams that would need to go and survey the material and arrange for its transport. That requires cease fire agreements. With 100s of rebel factions that is not going to happen. Putin has helped Assad demonstrate the weakness of the anti-assad forces.

  • How US Grand Strategy in Syria led to the idea of Missile Strikes
    • Professor Cole,

      Interesting analysis. I would just add to it that if you were to look at your guess at the "US Grand Strategy" from Saudi perspective you must conclude that unlike US time is not on their side. They are paying for the rebels and the longer it goes on the rebels or their supporters in Saudi Arabia could morph into a new Bin Ladin that would challenge the King (like Bin Ladin did). Furthermore, I think they have learned the lesson of Qatar. Middle East is too dynamic and if they can't achieve their immediate goal of removing Assad, who knows where US would be in few months. Take for example, what if another Benghazi incident, or a nasty Al Queda inspired operation in Europe happens.

      I think in the Saudi calculus a false flag chemical incident is what they need to expedite the removal of Assad.

  • Former Iranian President Slams Syria for Gassing own People: Sign of deep Divisions in Tehran
    • Don't you wish our politicians for once would say something to the effect of:

      "On the one hand the people have suffered a chemical attack by their own government. On the other, they have to await for US bombs today.”

      And if you think about this statement, he is equating the American government approach to that of Assad Regime.

  • Military-Ruled Egypt Opposes US Strike on Syria
    • It seems that the whole thing is a implementation of the "Clean Break" strategy from 2000:

      The report explained a new approach to solving Israel's security problems in the Middle East with an emphasis on "Western values". It has since been criticized for advocating an aggressive new policy including the removal of Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq, and the containment of Syria by engaging in proxy warfare and highlighting their possession of "weapons of mass destruction".

      link to

      And if President Obama goes ahead with any unilateral military actions, that would be a serious blow to the UN role, yet another goal of the neocons.

      It seems that after all the slogans President Obama, Secretary Kerry and Hagel are continuing on where President Bush left off.

  • Rush to Western Strike on Syria slows, but does not Stall
    • Professor Cole,

      Is the idea of having a " Jordanian-trained, guerrilla forces" fighting against a government forces consistent with International law? If so then what is the problem with Al Queda? and if not where is accountability for it?

      Furthermore, who appointed US president and UK prime minister as judge, jury and executioner in International laws? Isn't there suppose to be international court that should deal with these issues consistently regardless of who does it?

  • Obama's Limited Options: Bombing Syria unlikely to be Effective
    • Syrian conflict has almost from the start been hijacked by various factions as proxy war. The analogy to Kosovo conflict against Serbs holds here so far as it also had a Russian-US proxy war angle to it.

      With the Assad forces on the offensive and its government accepting a UN inspection of previous Chemical attack acquisition (in which the rebels may have had a hand in) it make no sense for pro Assad forces to deploy chemical weapons right in neighborhood of the capital.

      On the other hand it makes a lot of sense for the rebels. If there are evidence of them have used Chemical weapons, ample evidence of Al Queda elements among them plus their losses on the battle field will end all their hopes of changing the regime in Syria. They need a game changer.

      For Obama administration, still hurting from Snowden's asylum in Russia this may be an opportunity to a) challenge Russia militarily (as it did in Kosovo conflict with General Clark ordering attack on their positions) and a pay back for Snowden, b) distract attention from NSA leaks. They need a game changer also.

      As has been said before "From a marketing point of view, you don't introduce new products in August.". But August may be a good time to start a false flag operation for the real marketing of the war in September. As a bonus our favorite Generals in Egypt and folks in NSA would also get a relief.

  • NSA abuses include Stalking ex-Girlfriends
    • What is not covered in most news report on Snowden is that government doesn't really know what documents he has. Since no one is monitoring NSA, the operator can do as they wish, spying on their girlfriend, or as in case of Snowden copy a lot of documents with out anyone realizing it.

      So far, according to all reports, Snowden has acted honorably and not done anything to damage the security of the country, but what if others in NSA have been taking advantage of the documents for their own agenda.

  • It's not about Democracy: Top Ten Reasons Washington is Reluctant to cut off Egypt Aid
    • But we in the US live in a democratic country. Can we organize against having our tax dollars subsidize the Generals and our arms manufactures?

  • Top Reasons John McCain and Lindsey Graham have no Credibility for Egypt Talks
    • They need to get Senator Liberman to come out of the retirement for these trips to complete the Three Stooges. As is they look like reruns of Laurel and Hardy.

  • Egypt: One Soldier Dead, 3 Wounded, as Muslim Brotherhood Clashes with Army, Secularists in Provinces
    • Dr Cole,

      Saudi Arabia the capital of Wahhabism has been very happy about the coup in Egypt. What do you think is the conflict between Wahhabism and Muslim Brotherhood.

  • Erdogan Clears Gezi Park Protesters, sets Stage for Polarization
    • The prime minister has been able to control the Turkish media. For him to go on offensive against the protestor is rather strange. He could have allowed them only in the park and used the media to discredit them on daily basis. But he must think that time is not on his side. But what is his rush?

      One way to explain his rush to clear the protestors might be his eagerness to engage in a Syrian conflict. He doesn't want an opposition platform to oppose him on the war.

      When you look back at 2003, Turkish parliament made smart decision to stay out of Bush-Blair's Iraq war. That is even with all the back door promises that must have been made for Turkish access to Iraqi Oil. Now the prime minister wants to engage Turkey into a clearly lose-lose situation for Turkish people. He needs a distraction. And clear show of strength otherwise he may not be able to control the Turkish involvement in the Syrian conflict.

  • Learning the Wrong Lessons from Tahrir Square: Erdogan Assaults Taksim in bid to break up Protests
    • If you assume that Erdogan and the current military leadership don't see eye to eye and hence the prime minister is interested in changing the balance of power in his favor then you can reach the following conclusions:

      a) Erdogan is in favor of resolving the kurdish conflict because once resolved it will reduct the current army's leadership influence on the Turkish politics.

      b) Erdogan is more than eager to start a conflict with Syria. I would expect the current army top brass in Turkey would have hard time going to war against the secular regime of Assad and on the side of the radical Qatar-Saudi fanatics. But the prime minister might have recognized the value of conflict in that once the war starts the secular military leadership has a choice to make: either step aside or fight on the side of the fanatics.
      Either way Erdogan will succeed in transforming the Turkish military similar to the transformation of the Iranian military went through in the Iran Iraq war. He is hoping to change the Turkish military's secular doctrine to a religious one.

  • Syria needs a dozen S-300 batteries to protect itself - Russian general; Kerry Denounces Plan
    • When secretary of state Kerry says the S300 "will not lead to peace" would he also say the same for the Patriot Missile Batteries that us has been deploying in Israel and gulf countries?

  • Dubai Promotional Video
    • It seems silly to have high rises when they can expand the city horizontally. Just imagine the cost of airconditioning these monsters or pumping water to the upper floors. In an Island of Singapore or Manhattan you have no other choices. But when there are so much flat land in Dubai it seems like a stupid idea.

  • Gates: Administration Critics view of US Military Capabilities in Benghazi "Cartoonish"
  • Israeli Airstrike on Syria ups the Ante, Draws Iran Threats
    • This sounds like complete nonsense. If it is Iranian missiles going to Hizbollah, wouldn't it make sense to target them when they cross the border into Lebanon? There are no credible air defense systems in Lebanon, hence it would be easier to target them. Furthermore, if they target the missiles in Lebanon, It would prove that there are missiles actually going to Lebanon through Syria.

      A better explanation is that Qatari/Saudi backed groups are not able to appeal to Syrians. Israel has taken side in conflict to weaken the resolve of the pro government or at least anti radical population in Syria. An added bouns for Israel is that now Qatar-Saudi Arabi and Israel are on the same side, it should help Israel to bring to open their alliance with Qatari and Saudi royal families.

  • Terrorism and the other Religions
    • There are lot of unknowns and one can spin data however they want. But one thing is clear and troubling, we depend on comedians to inform us!

  • Fathers and Sons and Chechnya
    • I think you missed a key part of history. It is true that traditionally:

      "Most ex-Soviet Muslims are secular and many don’t believe in God or think religion is important."

      But if you remember back in the 80s Reagan administration did all it could to radicalize the Muslim religious elements in Soviet Union (along with the Arabs and Pakistanis) to help the fight against the god-less Communist in Afghanistan. The Chechens were a significant component of the Mujahedin that were financed by the oil money with arms and training by our government.

      The policies worked in destroying Soviet Union. Except that we are still experiencing the after shocks of those policies. Things have been lot worst in southern Russian, Afghanistan and Pakistan. As Thomas Friedman observed we are living in a flat world, in that world no matter how much we try we just can't isolate ourselves from it.

  • Egypt's War on Satire: Prosecutor Summons Cairo's Jon Stewart
    • This comedian is tapping into the anti political slam attitude in Egypt we understand and support him. But if in Egypt tomorrow there is a new comedian that taps into the anti zionism feeling in Egypt, then we would be calling him/her anti semitic.

  • Top Ten Republican Myths on Benghazi that Justify Hillary Clinton's Anger
    • The political dialog in the US is irrelevant here, it is made for tv drama between republican and democrats.

      I think the significane of the article is the realization of the prediction that when you pour in guns and radicals to "liberate" a country (as is happening again in Syria) then you have to wait for the blow backs from the empowered radicals before calling the original plan a success. Dr Cole can paint his rosy picture of liberated Libya but the reality is becoming more apparent. Libyans would be lucky if they can put the Genie back in the bottle, it would cost them a lot more than twenty school children. End of the day a new Ghadafi figure will emerge to trade security for any democratic gains they may achieve.

    • ... meantime the real story is developing

      link to

  • Gaza's Health Crisis and Israel's Crimes Against Humanity
    • Even in truce, the Israeli policies are crime against humanity. What else do you call a nation that subjects people to policies that they have to smuggle live animals via underground tunnels.

      link to

  • Real Petraeus Issue was Evaluation of Afghanistan
    • A simpler way to state "Petraeus knew about the ethnic cleansing campaign. He was aware that it was creating a new wave of Sunni refugees. ...." is that Gen Petraeus' strategy was to divide and conquer. He used Shiites against the Sunnis in Iraq which then seeds the next violence in Syria for the Qatar/Saudi to fund Sunnis against the Assad regime.

      The strategy might have failed in Afghanistan because after decades of divide and conquer strategies by various occupiers in Afghanistan, we have reached the "atoms" of the resistance. It can't be divide any further for any meaningful gains.

  • President Obama's Speech to the UN General Assembly
    • "And on this we must agree: there is no speech that justifies mindless violence."

      With the exception of speeches the Israeli government finds offensive.

  • Muslims are no Different, or why Bill Maher's blood libel is Bigotry
  • Top Myths about Iran's Nuclear Enrichment Program
    • I think to understand Iranian government on this issue you have to go beyond the basic economy of nuclear energy. Iranians nuclear program is the ONLY nuclear program that its accomplishments have been publicized (or may be even hyped) by the Iranian government. All the public statements from the government is designed to convey a sense of accomplishment rather than secret program to develop weapons.

      What Iranian government wants to prove to its own citizen and the rest of the world is that it can do anything it sets its mind on. The more sanctions there are, the more they are proving that without help of US/Europe (and even fighting their sabotage) they can achieve their goals. The closest parallel are the John F Kennedy's landing on the moon objective. Their goal is to do what appears as impossible. The cost is worth it because, they are hoping, that this will be the symbolic end to inferiority complex that Iranians have felt against the obviously technologically superior west.

  • Netanyahu in 1992: Iran close to having nuclear bomb
  • Top Ten Likely Consequences of Muslim anti-US Embassy Riots
    • I think what is important here is to recognize that as much as the guy has a right to make a movie insulting Islam, the demonstrator have right to demonstrate against it.

      The problem is the violence that is accompanied with it. The problem is that free speech gives way to political violence. The thorn in our side is that it is hypocritical to condemn political violence when we in the west have always used it for our short term gains.

  • Romney Poses, as Militants Burn Benghazi Consulate, killing Ambassador, 3 staffers, & Demonstrate in Cairo, over Islamophobic Film
    • Now ..."These jihadis are tiny groups in Egypt and Libya, though sometimes well-armed and well-trained." Thanks to the Saudi and Qatar's money, at the moment they are busy in Syria. Just wait a while they will be better trained, armed, and more confident that they are on the right path. We didn't learn our lesson in 9/11. Sure the radicals are great for the short term gains (as they did against the Soviet Union), but sooner or later we have to send troops to hunt them.

  • Was the Rachel Corrie Verdict the end of Israel's Judicial Credibility? (Marlowe)
    • Every time I think about this case I can't help it but to remember the Tiananmen Square Protests. As bad as human right violation are by the Chinese military and government, the tanks did not run over the protestor, the Israeli bulldozers do and the Israeli judicial system accepts that as norm.

      link to

      What is shocking to me is that State department and President Obama has not come out against this verdict. How do they expect the rest of the world to interpret their condemnation of Chinese human right, when they are not even willing to make a stand for rights of an American citizen?

  • Israeli President Peres Smacks down PM Netanyahu on Iran Attack, Supports Obama
    • Israel is a democratic country. The problem with democracy is that when politicians can't fix the economy they need an scapegoat to stay in power. With all the aids Israel has been receiving form US and Europe still people feel desperate enough to burn themselves to death.

      link to

      400 person a year commit suicide over economic issues.

      link to

      Bibi needs thereat of war to get more money from the west and also pre occupy its citizens. He is doing a good job at it.

  • Syrian Baath Escalates, Uses Jets to Bomb Aleppo
    • Not to minimize the human and civil right component of the Syrian uprising in any way, stil, one has to be subjective in analysis. In your comments you say the reaction of the Assad's regime shows: "determination of a terrified and brutal minority regime to reassert itself". They may be terrified, and brutal but in this particular case, how do you think any country/regime would react to a Saudi/Qatar backed armed uprising on its soil? How do you think US would react if a group manages to assassinate American top military command? We saw what happened when 4 Americans were killed in Fallujah.

  • Dream Ticket (Poster)
  • Syria Spirals down
    • Given the cozy relationship of Bush Administration and Assad Regime where Al Queda suspects were sent to Syria to be tortured. It would be interesting if they Syrian government comes clean about its previous relationship with US and provide a list of items and techniques that they acquired from US and Europe for the specific purpose of torturing the "enemy combatants".

  • Could Syria-Turkey Conflict Pull NATO In?
  • US arms Sales to Bahrain Undercut Criticism of Russia, Iran on Syria
    • The big difference between Bahrain and Syria is that in Bahrain you have unarmed local civilian population that is getting killed. In Syria what started as a democratic opposition to the Assad's regime seem to have been hijacked by Saudi interest and turned into an armed conflict between government and local+ foreign forces.

  • Top Ten Reasons Israel tried to Censor Bob Simon's Report on Palestinian Christians
    • What it is all coming down to is that if an Israeli politician is not calling you an antisemite and you consider morality and fairness as a virtue, then you need to revisit your beliefs.

  • Iran's Forbidden Nukes and the Taqiya Lie
    • The fact is that during Iran-Iraq war, Saddam was using chemical weapons (supplied to him by US/European companies) against Iranians. Iran never retaliated by using chemical weapons against Iraq forces. Because there again, it was seen as against Islamic values. If they didn't lie when there were targets of the chemical weapons, they woud not be lying about Nuclear weapons now either.

      Members of P5+1 counties negotiating with Iran on the other hand, have had a history of lies, deception, and not to mention hypocrisy.

  • Washington's Dangerous Blockade of Iran (Cole at Tomdispatch)
    • Few things that are interesting here to see are

      a) Israeli paranoia on Iran is clearly not based on any evidence of Iranian nuclear weapons or any attempt to build them now. It may be a clear indication of the weakness of the Israeli regime and its fear on its long term viability . It is a regime that doesn't seem to be able to survive without a real or imagined enemy. They don't seem to have any other interest other than promoting the next war. Even with all the financial and military backing of US, question is how long can they keep this up?

      b) The current embargos on Iran shows that US and West is not really interested in free markets. Market forces clearly are not working, or your demands are so unreasonable, when you have to constantly put sanctions to achieve political goals. At the same time, it tells the rest of the world that what appears as free market is nothing more than a market place completely controlled by the west. When US can cut the Iranian banking system from the global banking system, it says there is a monopoly control on the banking transactions. Such that one or a small group of countries can prevent financial transaction.

      So all the talk of free markets is nothing more than the hypocrisy used when it is convenient. It reamins to be seen how this will play out in Greece, Spain,.... where population is being asked to put their trust in free market capitalism!

  • Syrian Civil War Kills 160, Spills over onto Lebanon, Turkey; Will US Intervene?
  • Iraq Slams Saudis, Qataris for Plans to Arm Syrian Rebels
    • This meeting looked like an Aprils fool day conference!

      Saudis seem to have found their new Saddam in "Syrian Free Army". In the 80s they were financing Saddam against Iran while flooding market with cheap oil.

  • India Trade Delegation Bucks US Sanctions on Iran
    • The number one reason for the deal must be that Indian politicians are accountable to their own citizens and not the right wing Israeli interest.

  • Syria Revolt Enters Second Year as World Stands Feckless
    • Sometimes things just doesn't add up.

      We live in a world that US President and Israeli Government are threatening Iran with "all options" (which implies dropping nuclear bombs) because they suspect it may have the capability of becoming a threat to them.

      Then you are questioning why Syria, with support of China and Russia, is fighting with armed opposition inside its own country. It is not as if they Syrian army is fighting the non violant protestors or striking workers, or other such non violent actors.

      There is no question that Syrians have legitimate demands for political change, no question that to date Syria has been a one party dictatorship. But there is also no question in my mind, that Saudi/Qatar etc have hijacked the legitimate claim of Syrians for their own end.

      What ever happend to progressive support non violent movements?

  • Israel's Atom Bomb Factory in 3D
    • There has always been a question as to why Israel has nuclear weapons.

      We know for fact, that Israel without financial help from US wont be a viable state. We also know that Israel has special alliance where its security is guaranteed by US. There is no illusion in the middle east that any even conventional challenge to Israel is going to get a response from US.

      It seems to me that the only reason Israel has nuclear weapons is that it hopes to use it against US interest in the middle east. It seems to believe that US interest and its interest may diverge at some point, it wants to be able to in a way threaten or blackmail US to choose the Israeli side.

      The conflict with Iran seems to be their test case for how to force US into positions that are clearly against its interest.

  • McCain: Bomb Syria; But Iraq and Russia oppose Intervention
    • Senator McCain says: "..... especially now that the situation in Syria has become an armed conflict . . ."

      It was a legitimate civil opposition, with help of Saudi/Qatar, etc it was made into an armed conflict, thus de-legitimizing the civil movement. Now he wants to bomb Syria.

      Furthermore, does this logic apply to Israel? Should US start bombing Israel next time they engaged in armed conflict on their territory?

  • Netanyahu 1992: Iran will Have the Bomb by 1997
    • He has found his best diversion, he can blackmail US/Europe with money, ignore Palestinian occupation while steeling more land, and more recently, divert attention from Israel's economic woes.

  • Top Ten Dangers for Obama of Iran Sanctions on behalf of Israel
    • What I find interesting is Netanyahu thanking Obama for "affirming" that "Israel has the sovereign right to make its own decisions."

      Doesn't that say that all the previous wars (decision) Israel engaged in where then not just its own decision, but this time he wants to make sure they can do things on their own. He seems to affirm that, at least so far, Israel is a US stooge and now he is asking to make their own decisions.

  • Khamenei Takes Control, Forbids Nuclear Bomb
    • Instead of Hitler analogies, Ahmadinejad should be called Santourm, and Santourm should be called Ahmadinejad.

  • Israel - Iran Military Comparison
  • Qur'an-burning Protests Spread, Santorum calls Obama Weak for Apologizing
  • Gingrich Endangers US troops by Slamming Obama for Apology over Qur'an Burning
    • Shows you how out of touch with reality Newt (the man of ideas) is. It is as if Karzai selected the Afghan troops. The troops must screened by Americans as they are supposedly trying to build an Afghan national army. Instead of seeing this event as the foolishness of the Obama's goal in Afghanistan, he is just showing his lack of intellect.

  • Santorum's Clarifier: Rick Condemned Obama's Radical Islamic Theology
    • In Santorum's theology, earth is meant to be used in service of the man, but the budget must be balanced!

  • Santorum Hypes Iran 'Threat'
    • Are you kidding me? You think Iranians have learned from North Korea? What have the North Korean got for all the effort?

      I think, even Ahmadinjad has referred to it in his interviews, Iranian leadership has learned that nuclear weapons are useless drains on their resources. Arms race leads to your collapse. Iran, although much larger (size and population wise) than its neighbors, and under real threat of war, has spend far less on it military.

      Iranian have also learned from Americans that at time population needs a national project to build its self esteem. Kennedy started the man on the moon mission. It had no real economic value, other than reinvigorating the moral and pride of a nation. Ahmadinejad's slogan for his first term, was "we can, and we will".

      At this point nuclear energy is their form of asserting their independence. The more west pushes them, the more sanction there are, the stronger their drive to show their independence. Had they been able to buy the technology from west, it would have been irrelevant. Read Ahmadinejad's speeches and see how much he emphasizes the pride in home grown technology.

    • I think you nailed it here:

      "Because of the reflection fallacy, the Israelis cannot imagine that Iran is not trying to do what they themselves did. "

      The leadership of Iran has learned from collapse of Soviet Union that having nuclear weapons wont do you any good. Israelis have not. Like the communist before them, the zionism leadership in Isreal seem to believe its security is in military build up.

  • Chart: Euro-American boycott of Iranian Petroleum would Fail
    • It is not the oil embargo that is failing, it is the idea that US and Europe still believe they are in colonial time were they can dictate to their subjects that is failing.

      The problem is that saying oil embargo is failing you are falling in a trap to start the war as then the neocons promise that we will succeed.. On the other hand, if you realize that unlike colonial time neither the military power nor the divide and conquer strategies is enough, then you start looking for lasting answer. For anything else you try, even when you are appear to succeed, the unintended consequences eventually make matter worst.

  • Can Obama Prevail against a Romney-Netanyahu Ticket? - Robertson
    • This writeup is assuming, beyond the controlling of the campaign propaganda, President Obama is helpless in resolving the issue. President has chosen to publicized the idiotic charge that Iran is planning to kill Saudi Ambassador, just this Sunday his his secretary of defense, Lean Panetta, was on TV talking about "Iran could have nuclear weapons in a year". Yes they could, who couldn't? but are they working on them? Even before all of this, when Iran agreed with Turkey and Brazil mediation on Obama's plan, Obama administration nagged on its offer to resolve the issue.

      President Obama is pursuing a regime change policy under the cover of nuclear issue. In that he is not much different than republican candidates.

  • Can Europe's Oil Boycott Really Sink Iran?
    • One factor to consider is that Iranian economy has been privatized. Any market pressures would create new winner and losers. The businesses will now go after the new opportunities. The game changes, but game is not over.

      With all the IAEA inspection, espionage activities, even with apparent ease that nuclear scientist are killed in Iran, one has to assume that if there were any real evidence of the nuclear weapons program it would have been all over the news. If there are no nuclear weapon program, then we have to conclude that Europe is willing to sacrifice its own economic interest for some other agenda. That doesn't speak well for future of democracy, where the government should represent its own people and their interest. Europe Spring around the corner?

  • Iran Hype undermined by Obama Administration Admissions
    • I seriously doubt any one in Iran really believes the sanctions are because of fears of Iranian nuclear program. They see this as nothing more than an excuse to interfere in Iranian affairs. Iranians have issues with their government, but US is forcing them home. Iranians fought hard and long to get their independence. Maintaining independence is more important than the uncertainty of change given US desire to take advantage it. The sanctions on basics will simply underscore the lack of trust worthiness of western suppliers. In a future democratic and independent Iran, western suppliers would have a hard time proving their reliability all thanks to idiotic short term political games.

  • Will his New Sanctions on Iran Cost Obama the Presidency?
    • Not one issue. This was the straw that broke the camel's back.

      First the health care debacle, then the tax cut for the rich extended and soon most likely further cuts into the middle class benefits, then wall street bailout with no accountability on the people that made the mess, his administration's complete failure in Israel-Palestine conflict.........

      The question, what has he done other than fancy speeches?

    • I think this bill is it for me. I would no longer support President Obama's re-election. For my part I have removed myself from all of Democratic email list.

      This bill would only strengthen the conservatives in US and Iran. There are economic and social issues in Iran that manifested itself in the Green movement. With the upcoming election cycles in Iran, the economic issues could have a rallying cry for the green movement. Iranians don't believe there is a real threat of Iranian government producing Nuclear weapons. They see this as excuse by US and Europe to overthrow the government. What most people don't get is that, even though Iranians do have their issues with the current government, they know full well that any change that comes from outside specially through military confrontation, would be far worst than what they have now.

      Most likely, the Green movement and reformers would choose to completely sit out of the election. The last thing they want is to be identified with the whole sanction and military threats. Thanks to President Obama the conservatives got what they wanted in Iran and US.

  • Libya Should Turn Saif over to the Int'l Criminal Court
    • Dear Juan,

      I think your comment: "It is ironic that many in the Western Left, who now are rightly outraged about college students being pepper-sprayed by police at UC Davis" is a cheap shot. Right or wrong, people are against military intervention by foreign forces for verities of reasons. It is cheap shot to stay their stance against war is a support for the Qaddafi regime.

  • Iran Alleges Saudi Plot Story is MEK Sting
    • Thanks for translating the name. First time I noticed any one has done so. The name says it all about this dangerous cult.

  • Wagging the Dog with Iran's Maxwell Smart
    • I have a feeling that someone in Obama administration has come up with a new Plan against Iran. They want to resurrect a new Saddam to supposedly offset their perception of growing Iranian power. The new Saddam is going to be the Saudi and Gulf countries. They have the money but not the personel... solution lets go high tech. Lets arm them to the teeth with all sort of weapons of conventional and non conventional form. Just a few weeks before this US announces sale of Bunker Buster bombs to Bahrain and probably Saudi Arabia has had its delivery too. It seems that Obama administration is trying to "correct" or undo the apparent mistake of removing Saddam.

  • Is an Iranian Drug Cartel Behind the Assassination Plot against the Saudi Ambassador?
    • Sad to say that Obama Administration is no different that Bush Administration. Whenever there is change for any form of negotiation, someone in the US administration torpedoes it. Remember the Axis of Evil speech right when Khatami started his Dialog with west's campaign? It seems this time is around preventing any form of dialog over nuclear issues

      link to

  • How to Avoid Bush's Iraq Mistakes in Libya
    • By far the worst idea you have here is number 7 ". Use the Alaska dividend system to share the oil wealth with Libya’s 6.5 million people. This model was often discussed with regard to Iraq but was never implemented."

      You can either use the wealth by a few on top, do as you suggest to give each Libyan a portion of the wealth, or shared by the society in an open and transparent collective.

      The history of past decades has been that wealth has been controlled by a few on the top with devastating consequences. The other extreme of dividing the wealth equally among the population may even be worst. It would be a society with very little infrastructure with money going to the cheap importers of goods. Ironically, when you do this, your economic numbers look good but the end result is devastating to the society. Iraq failure for most part was probably trying to implement this privatized model. Naomi Klein did a good job capturing this: link to

      The only alternative is to share the wealth under and open and transparent central government that is accountable to its people.

  • Top Ten Myths about Bin Laden's Death
    • Folks that claim torture was the key factor in finding Bin Ladin miss a key point. Most radicals get radicalized AFTER they are tortured. Some young, man with idealistic goals about his society gets picked up by security foces. In jail he get tortured and eventually comes out way more radical with justification for use of violence in support of his views. In no time they get picked up by some group. It doesn't matter what religion or race... you come from. Same thing has been happening in Asia, South America, Africa, Middle East...

      In old days only the folks that experienced jails first hand were the ones that most likely adopted the radical violent ideologies. The rest of the society accepted the denial of governments on torture and went their merry way. Now governments (and some citizens) openly admitting and encouraging use of torture. For a teenager to get radicalized he no longer even need to go to jail. Just the evening news is enough to define a Raison d'êtrer for the them.

      Be on the look out for the next tsunami of violence from people that have been exposed to the new violant message coming out of governments.

  • French Jets Defend Benghazi
    • It is interesting that the French Government is so excited about Libyan conflict. It reminds me of Margret Thatcher of England. Just like her, Sarkozy has lot of issues pushing his right wing agenda on the French people. Last year he was able to increase the retirement age and I expect him to want to do more in cutting the social services in France. Sarkoazy seem to want to repeat the Thatcher's plan. Margret Thatcher took advantage of the conflict with Argentina over the Falkland Islands to rejuvenate the lost British patriotic feeling. She then used the "victory" to push her right wing policies in England. George W Bush also had a big plan to privatize social security. He too was hoping that a victory in Iraq would give him the ammunition to drive his agenda. As the Iraq war dragged on, it became a liability. I remember George Bush said that his biggest failure was waiting too long before pushing for Social Security privatization.

      I just pray that we don't see the repeat of Iraq where depleted Uranium, cluster bombs, phosphorous bombs... are used to "liberate" people that have to pay for this for the generations to come.

  • Eissenstat: Libya and Turkey
    • I don't accept Mr Eissenstat's analysis.

      The case in Egypt (as in Tunisia or even in Iran after the election) was popular, unarmed uprising. In Libya from the first day it seemed as a armed rebellion, some sort of civil war. It seems that Libyan military has been cracked and different factions has decided to fight it out. It seemed that opposition side was stronger at the beginning but now it seems that the Qaddafi side has the stronger side.

      I think more than anything else, the Libyan situation demonstrates the hypocrisy of western powers and the Arab league. We have US and NATO in Afghanistan and Pakistan using air and ground military force to put down armed opposition to its presence.

      At the same time we have US/Europe tacit apporval for Saudi and Bahrain despots to use military against unarmed civilians.

      With that as a background, US/Europe is questioning the rights of Libyan government in using arms against internal armed opposition.

      It seems to me that Mr Eissenstat is putting a western spin on the reality, I would expect the people of the region to see Turkey as force of reason and US/Europe to be seen as colonial power interested in oil.

  • Sunni-Shiite Tension Boils in Iraq, Gulf over Bahrain
    • Why is this conflict being talked about in terms of Shiite Sunni conflict?

      There is a despotic king with US and Saudi backing that is trying to deny the rights of its citizens. Why do we view this in terms of religious differences?

      If tomorrow all those villagers that happen to be Shiite convert to Sunni-sm, would the king then grant them their civil rights?

  • Qaddafi threatens to Join al-Qaeda as his Forces advance on Rebel Strongholds
    • It is amazing that in Bahrain we do have a real mass movement for civil society and democratic process and again US and its allies in the region are at work to crush it. The contrast of US position between Libya and Bahrain is going to have further ramification for future foreign policies of US in the middle east.

      On one hand US/Europe are in UN trying to tightening the noose around Qaddafi while at the same time they have given its tacit approval of the Saudi intervention in Bahrain (which of course is at the request of US alley the despotic king). Qaddafi, as crazy as he has been, is fighting an armed opposition in his own country. Bahrain is using Saudi military to fight against unarmed civilians.... and there are no talk of sanction against either Saudi or Bahrain!

      With every passing day US is losing its soft power. I am amazed at the incompetence and short sighted policies of Obama/Clinton team.

  • King's Nixonian Hearings against American Muslims
    • Politician seem to have recognized that their bosses are the rich and wealthy but they need the main street to get elected. As they can't offer much in way of improvement to the main street they are using fear and hot button issues to get elected.

      Back in 70s and 80s the issue was Equal Right Amendment for women. Then that was dropped in favor of gay marriage, abortion, and sometimes gun laws. These issues work in US but wont work in Europe. No one would get excited or fearful over gay rights, or abortion in Europe.

      In Europe Islam and plight of Immigrants have been used as the hot button issues.

      Politician have to be smart to choose an issue that wont burn down the barn while cause enough fear in the electorate to move. Islam and Immigrants are such issue in Europe because there is a predominate identity in each of the countries. For instance there is French, German, Dutch... identity. You can go after Muslims all you want and not much would happen in the fabric of the society. Just as gay marriage has been in US.

      US is different story. Racial conflicts can cause major damage to the fabric of the society and may burn down the barn.

  • The Battle of Brega: Qaddafi Compared to Netanyahu in Arab Press
    • I don't for a moment believe US/European official care for human suffering of Libyans. All the talk of no fly zone is nothing more than preparation for war. You can't have no-fly zone unless you first "take out" libyan defenses. Which as in case of Iraq also meant all infrastructure (water, sewer, electricity grid, bridges....). It seems to me US/Europeans are thinking Libyan oil, given its small population is an easy target. Furthermore, there is no one that would benefit from the current Arab street awakening. All powers in the region and beyond, US, Europe, Israel, Iran.... would love to put this genie back in the bottle and go back to the business as usual. I think in some quarters the politician see invasion of Libya as way to stop these uprising. If folks in other country see an uprising resulting in massive destruction of their country they are more likely to accept their corrupt leader as lesser of the evil that living in stone ages.

      I think for everyone that is interested in democratic middle east, they should work hard to make sure there are no external intervention in any of these countries. Otherwise we will be back down to a demoralized population and higher risk of terrorism.

  • Qaddafi Son Incites Massacre of Protesters
    • The talk of no fly zone in response to Qaddafi's use of air force against rebels adds an interesting perspective to US actions in Iraq and Afghanistan.

      We know from Wikileak video that US forces used helicopter gunship on civilians (not even rebels) in Iraq. We also know of daily use of drones against Pakistan and Afghanistan villagers.

      People in rest of the world are going see comments by secretary Clinton, Ambassador Rice, President Obama and prime minister Cameron and compare it against the realities they see in news every day.

      We can call Ghadafi as delusional but then what about our own leaders hypocrisy?

  • Alimagham: What Egypt & Tunisia Tell us About Iran
    • The comparison of Egypt and Iran and the arguments in this piece are shallow.

      Egyptians at this point want to do what Iranian did 32 years ago. Gain true independence. Egypt has yet get there. Even if it accomplishes it, it would be difficult to run the country without handouts from US whereas Iranian oil money allowed them to maintain their independence. You would know Egypt has gain its independence if it breaks the siege of Gaza.

      With their independence established and tested after years of war and economic sanctions, the new generation of Iranians want to move beyond independence. Traditionally (in good times) Iran has always been a strong central government. The generation is seeking to change the government to a more decentralize, distributed power structure. Naturally such changes have domestic resistance to it that the Iranian government has been able to take advantage of. In my view the Iranian case has more similarity with US civil rights movement than Egyptian uprising. Egyptian uprising at this point seems like first steps toward gaining their independence.

  • Thousands of Protesters Challenge Police Crackdown in Egypt
  • Anzalone: Hezbollah’s Double Standards: Tunisia and Iran
    • I am supporter of the Green movement. But I don't see any parallel between Iran and Tunisia. Tunisia would indeed provide more fuel to the green movement in Iran, but the two systems are not the same.

      I believe the current government in Iran is terrible and disaster for future of Iran. To me they compare to Reagan Administration. Even though I felt his policies are disastrous, many Americans supported his views. Now some have come to regret their decision while others still have not.

  • King on Guns, War and Non-Violence as a Social Movement
    • I am surprised that no one is using this episode to draw attention to the plight of the mental health in US.

      Since Reagan administration funding for the mental health has been cut and pushed to the states. Now with almost every state on verge of bankruptcy you know for sure it is going to get even worst.

      The Arizona episode should be sounding the alarm for all of us. We need to immediately have a public option version of mental health insurance. Or we are all going to live in a dangerous place. Today there are many people just like the Arizona shooter that either themselves or their family can't afford to help.

  • Rightwingers feeling Unfairly Blamed
    • Any one that blows a building, bus, or walks into a crowd with gun and randomly shoots at people can't be considered normal. In calling them all the same, thought, a perspective is lost. In case of Palestinians, what has been fueling their grievance is 40+ years of living under what they (and most neutral observers) consider brutal Israeli occupation.

      The shooter in the Arizona, and his tea party sympathizers issue is that the government has passed laws that would guarantee their access to health care!

  • NIE Questions Progress in Afghanistan
    • One thing is all the talk about Afghanistan you keep noticing is that talk of Al Queda is gone, and we only talk about Taliban. Preseident Obama even opened up his speech in his last trip to Afghanistan with talk of Taliban.

      Media,politicians, and President Obama seem to want us to ignore the fact that Talibans are Afghans. Aren't they the Muslim equivalent to the born again, bible-belt Christians in Afghanistan? If in US, the country that has send a man to the moon, you have strong evangelical movement, how on earth do you think there wont be the religious orthodoxy in Afghanistan. If Bush could get elected on the wave of Evangelical support, I would guess that the smart thing for Karzai would be to get on their side too.

  • Top Ten Middle East Wikileaks Revelations so Far
    • For me the wikileak greatest contribution is to show the mind set of our journalists and state of media in US. Their choice of the documents to publish would say a lot about their biases and inner working. Take for example this document:
      link to

      Head of Mossad is saying:
      "With regard to their nuclear program, Dagan said the Iranians are attempting to convey a "false presentation" that they have mastered the uranium enrichment process. The reality is that they are not there yet, said Dagan, and they are paying a heavy political price (sanctions) for something they have yet to achieve."

      Would that be discussed in Fox news, CBS, CNN, or NPR? If not then what does that tell us about them?

  • Arabs Urged US to Launch Attack on Iran, but Talk is Cheap: Cole in the Guardian
    • I think your title is misleading. If by "cheap" you mean financially then as Don above pointed out, a conflict is good for Saudi bottom line. They don't mind sharing some of that with uncle Sam.

      I think the thing you should point out is that Saudis, Kuwaitis, Qatar, Dubai... were all supporting and encouraging Saddam in his invasion of Iran. There is nothing new in these monarchs wanting to destroy Iran's independence. They must see the Iranians as a threat to their monarchies and dictatorships. This is even with the Ahmadinejad which Iranians feels is becoming a dictator in Iran. Now you can imagine the fear they would have if Iranian democratic movements manage to go further and establish an even more democratic regime in Iran..

      What Saudis must be feeling is that US disposed Saddam now they are asking US to do the work that Saddam was doing in the middle east. They see Obama the same way they saw Saddam, a tool to be used to extend their corrupt system.

      They want US to invade Iran, get the Shiites in Iraq back to 2nd class citizen, and end Kurdish independence movements. Every one of them are threat to Saudi monarch. He can't stand any form of democratic movements, he has no time for any ideas other than his Wahabi brand of Islam, and the last thing he wants is for ethnic groups gaining any form of independence.

      He must have argued for Saddam in the past which fell on deaf ears of Bush. Now he is calling Obama to step in and fill the void of Saddam!

  • Wikileaks on Israel, Iraq and the Iranian Specter
    • I think the real reason of the hysteria over Iran is that Israel needs wars to survive. It hasn't payed for any of its adventures. The bill for all of the wars that Israel have waged against its neighbors have been paid for by the American Tax payers. The Israeli economy seems to have been based on the premise of permanent fear and war. For it to live like normal nations means it is no longer the Israel that we have grown to know. That is the real threat to future of Jewish state.

      We know Iran is not actively working on Nuclear Bomb (we can even assume that it may have the capability to do so if it wants one). We also know that Pakistan does poses a bomb. We also know on the radical scales, even if you accept all of the Ahmadinejad's rhetoric (and the western media spin on them), Iran is far less radical than Pakistan. Pakistan's militants can't even accept their own fellow muslims because they are Shiites, let alone Jews. Yet Pakistan's nuclear arsenal has never been subject to fear mongering by Israel. That leads me to conclude that Israel's interest in US-Iran conflict is to serve Israeli agenda in the middle east. Nuclear bombs are simply a fictitious bogyman.

  • Wikileaks Gates: No Iranian Help to Taliban
    • Yet, the headline news on the NY Times was not about the Gate's double talk. The item that caught their attention was a line in the document that Saudi King wants Iran bombed. NYTimes is becoming like Soviet Union's Pravda newspaper.

  • Congressional "Study" Attacking Climate Change Found to be Plagiarized, Error-Ridden
    • "What is truly bewildering is why the super-rich in the United States would want to deny reality."

      I think Naomi Klein had a good explanation for this. In here Shock Doctrine she talks about ecological disaster (e.g. Hurricane Katrina) as the kind of shock that the right wing is looking for to promote its agenda. American Enterprise Institute and the read of [Septic]"Think tanks" work hard to prepare the next set of policies to push after the next disaster. For instance after Katrina you see them starting the voucher private school system to undermine the public schools.

  • "Don't Touch My Junk": The Rap Video
    • Every American traveling has to spend more time in the screening process, and get more radiation from the devices. When we measure the cost of our foreign policy we need to add these factors. We need to ask ourselves is the oil really worth it?

  • On How War with Iran might Destroy the United States
    • I think the irony of all the "war-with-Iran" enthusiast is that they have yet to understand what has happened in Iran since Obama took office. The ONLY time in the last 30 years that the Iranian leadership cracked was when Obama took office with promise of an olive branch to Iranian government. When you think about it, the event of last year in Iran was not an accident.

      The fact of the matter is that there are factions in Iranian leadership. So long as US is in conflict mode with Iran, the factions realize they need to be united. Only when there threat of violence and survival is removed, is when the inner-fighting and the weaknesses of the leadership is exposed.

      If the goal is to effect the policies of Iran, then there is no better way for US but to rely on strength of its message and business leadership to influence the Iranian politics in open and honest discussion and trade.

      On the other hand if the goal is that war with Iran as means to improve the economy of US, then be prepared for it to all go wrong and see the collapse of the economy. Because if we get to the point where the economy depends on a war, then a mis-calculation would not only mean losing the war but also to lose your economy.

      I think great mistake the some of the pundit are making in thinking war is good for economy is that they don't realize how the world has changed in last 60 years. WWII and the Cold War was good for US economy because it meant growth of US economy into areas that was not its territories prior to war. In WWII, US expanded its economic reach into Europe and areas that was formerly in the hand of the British and European colonizers. After cold war, US expanded into Eastern Europe that spur the growth of the 90s. Iran, as big as it is, and as troublesome as it may be in a conflict, is nothing for the size of US economy. So even an unlikely successful war with Iran wont do much to improve US economy. If you analyze the history you will see that it is not the war expenditure alone that make the economy. It is the expansion that happens after the victory in war. It it was the expenditure alone, you would have also been able to dug a hole and fill and get your economy back on track.

  • Karzai and the Iranian Slush Pile
    • It is interesting that US media considers Gen Petraeus a hero/brilliant strategist because he essentially paid off the Iraqis to lay off their arms. It was cheaper to pay them rather than go to war with them. So why would Iran paying off its opponents be called corruption.

  • Williams supported Imus Firing, Censoring of Rap Music
  • Would an Assassination of Iran's Ahmadinejad Have Really Mattered?
    • We know a few weeks ago Hillary Clinton had to rush the Security Council meeting to counter the Turkey/Brazil deal on nuclear fuel swap. Ever since, I am convinced that the conflict with IRan has nothing to do with Ahamdinejad's nonsense against Israel, or Iran's nuclear enrichment, or any other related issue. The push for sanction, instead of a deal to remove the Uranium from Iran, showed that (with the current IAEA inspection regime) US has no fear of Iranian using the enriched Uranium for military purposes.

      As such, I believe a conflict with Iran, just like the war with Iraq, has nothing to do with Iran and everything to do with the US internal political, economic agenda and its global conflict with countries like China.

      If US needs to go to war it would justify it with Ahmadinejad in power (since he is a "mad man"), or if he is assassinated, or removed from power, then it would be justified with some other nonsense, like we can't afford to wait for another mad man, or some other marketing slogan.

      US may have lost its manufacturing edge, but marketing is still its strength. Once she needs a war, she would find the right excuse.

      Andrew Becevich said it best in his interview on Democracy Now:

      And the conclusion I came up with is—I mean, in the essence of the conclusion, is that we do what we do in the world, to include in places like Afghanistan, not because we are threatened, not because we are obliged to respond to something over there; we do what we do in the world largely as a result of domestic imperatives, perceived domestic imperatives. And I think that if you evaluate US foreign policy and national security policy from that perspective, then it becomes rather obvious that we are an imperial nation, we are a hegemonic nation, we are a nation that has embraced a militarized approach to policy that sets us apart from every other liberal democracy, perhaps with the exception of Israel.

  • Twin Oil Disasters: BP and Iraq
    Bloody Friday in Iraq Leaves 27 Dead, over 80 Wounded
    • Dear Juan,

      I think your analogy of BP and Iraq is very correct. The way I look at it is that in both cases there were people that wanted to start a project that with conventional wisdom, following well know procedures and process, it didn't make sense. If Donald Rumsfeld was truthful about the cost of the war, it would have never happened. If BP was truthful about potential issues, the drilling would not have taken place as it would have probably been impractical and too risky. In both cases they had to come up with a new revolutionary way of conducting the project, there by sidestepping the normal reviews and silencing any rational opposition as the opposition could have never provide a satisfactory challenge to their "revolutionary" new technologies.

  • The Greens in Iran are a Movement, not a Coup
    • The most significant achievement of the Green Movement in the past year has been to identify the problem areas within the Iranian political system. The current model of Velyate Faghih has deep roots in Shiite Islam and Iranian model of central government with strong head. From Cyrus the Great to the Khamanai faith of Iran has always depended on the King or recently on the Ayatollah. With the changes in the demographics, education, global inte connectivity, and host of other reason the central model is very much in doubt. All previous movements in that last 30 years has not been able to do what Green movement did in the last year in clearly showing the needs for very fundamental structural changes to the society. Clearly Iranians are not interested in another revoloution whereby all instiutions are dissolved and rebuilt. As any other rational society, Iranian are interested in evolutionary changes where they can control the experiement and manage the side effect of the changes. Even if there was no outside threats such changes are hard and difficult to define and implement. The difficulty is magnified when you consider that the movement has to navigate the threats from outside the country (e.g. Isreal, US...). The last thing the Green movement wants is to end up in the pre revolution time where the independence of the country's leadership is in question.

      The movement feels time is on its side, hence it has been careful not to over react and has moved cautiously. Unfortunately US and Israel foreign policy seem to need Iran as boogieman to divert attentions from its failures. The propaganda emanating form this policy has been quite counter productive for the Green movement, but at the same time this is reality and it is one more challenging question that it has to address.

  • Russia: Missiles not Covered by UN Weapons Ban on Iran
    • It is truly sad to say that may be the tea party activist do have a point about Obama administration. As in BP oil spill case, the presidents reaction to shooting of unarmed humanitarians by Israel, and now the sanctions (that Turkey and Brazil voted against it)... I have to say at this point I am disappointed in his leadership. This was not the "change we can believe in"!

      The sanction can only do one thing in Iran, it will push the domestic political policies in Iran to the right and essentially disarm Green movement from legitimate opposition as it would be seen as allied with foreign governments. Following the sanction announcment the Green movement leadership cancelled the planned demostration on the anniversay of the last year election. Miss Clinton called this 'regrettable'.

      link to

      Either US administration are hypocrites and truly wants to keep Ahmadinejad in power, or it is utter incompetence of her and Obama foreign policy for pursuing such idiotic policies.

  • World Condemns Brutal Israeli Assault on Humanitarian Convoy
    • Turkey is member of NATO. What responsibility do other members of NATO have to defend a Turkish flagged vessel? Or if Turkish Navy decides to escort the next aid vessel?

  • Iran Announces Breakthrough Nuclear Exchange Deal
    • my guess is that the conservatives faction in Iran persuaded the Green movement not to use the nuclear deal against the conservatives. They were able to reach some sort of unity on this position, hence made is possible to put the ball back in Obama's court. Very interesting development.

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