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Total number of comments: 7 (since 2013-11-28 16:37:28)

David Park

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  • Syrian Revolution Darkens Further, with Damascus Bombings and Hizbullah Involvement
    • Why is it, Juan, that whenever an actual act of American aggression is at issue you always support it and repeat the propaganda. It is only when it doesn't matter and nothing would be done anyway, like fair treatment of the Palestinians, that you take a stand. In my mind, there is no doubt, just as in Libya, that this is armed American aggression and slaughter of third world people. You are supporting it.

  • Top Five Objections to the White House's Drone Killing Memo
  • Tampa Area Republicans terrified of Tea Party, Ryan (Guzzo)
    • I'm surprised that Tea Party types have so much influence in the parties. I thought that the system was more that the elites selected the vast majority of candidates and the faithful masses just marched to the polls and rubber stamped them. If the system is crumbling, and probably for the worse, the mainstream parties and elites share much of the blame.

      The American people were overwhelmingly against the baleout, and Fed financing, of the large banks that had created and peddled the fradulent morgage paper, but they were simply brushed aside. And what do you think older people think when they get 0% interest on their savings?

      Do you think people care nothing about the denigration of civil rights in the United States, the militarization of the police, the lack of privacy, warrentless and secrete searches, extraordinary powers given to the executive to bypass due process? Where have Paul Ruzzo and the elites been in that struggle?

      As an academic, what do you think of the American (support at least) and Israeli policy of assassination of scientists, academics and professionals for political reasons? What about the bombing of science buildings because they may have some connection to defense. (I am absolutely against it and believe that officials and individuals responsible for it should be held to account before courts of law!) Name a single University President who has denounced this policy.

      If people distrust scientists (which by and large they don't deserve) maybe it is because they are overwhelmingly financed by the state and sometimes distort their efforts toward or remain silent on state policy.

      As far as being racist and anti-Muslim, I would like to know if this constant medling and interference in Muslim countries is something demanded "by the people" or something foisted on us by the elites? Who is the source of all the scare mongering?

      Paul Guzzo blames the less intelligent people who fall for it. I think he and his rich elite friends are the source of the racisism.

  • The Collapse of the Climate Change Contrarians and the End of Coal
    • Thanks for the piece. I did read Muller's Op-Ed piece yesterday and Jerry Coyne's comments. You are right on the mark that we should put more effort into solving this problem than wasting our resources on pointless wars and empire building.

      But if we solve this problem (and we should) how quickly do we run into other problems? Don't we have to limit the human population on the earth? How do we do that in an acceptable manner? Why can't we have economists study ways to obtain prosperity with no growth? How can we change the culture to lower population growth? There are many issues here that need to be clarified.

  • Cole's Opposition to Iraq War in January, 2003
    • No it did bother me. Saddam was wrong on Kuwait and as is sometimes said: "it was worse than a crime, it was a blunder." But didn't he tell our ambassador about it before hand (and recorded it) and did she raise any strong objections? You know that there is a history to Iraq and Kuwait that is not black and white. There was also a dispute regarding pumping rates from a common oil field under both territories. I have read that this is the kind of situation that is common in the oil business and they have long ago learned how to handle it but Kuwait would not negotiate the issue.

      I also seem to recall a State Department representative testifying before Congress on the eve of the Kuwait invasion that we had no defense treaty with Kuwait and we were not obligated to come to their defense. (True, of course, but certainly misleading as to our actual intentions.) Am I mistaken about that?

      So is there not a tiny possibility that we suckered Saddam into the invasion and he was stupid enough to fall for it?

      And after pushing Saddam out of Kuwait was the 12 year economic blockade that struck directly at their infrastructure and the civilian population a moral act?

    • Juan is knowledgable and his comments are certainly worthwhile. But in his balanced discussion he leaves plenty of room for the justification for what amounts to plain acts of agression and war crimes.

      "Launching a war with a security council resolution is risky enough! But at least then it would have some legitimacy." No it wouldn't.

      "...and given that Afghanistan went so well." No it didn't - even then.

      "Powell would probably like a second UN resolution, but the administration does not really need that." Because our elites do whatever they want.

      "Iraqi Vice President Tariq Aziz has warned Kuwait that Iraq would not rule out hitting it if it allows US troops to launch an invasion of Iraq from its soil. Such complicity, he said, would make this action legitimate." They didn't have the capability at that point, but Juan goes on to say that Aziz was probably talking about killing as many civilians in Kuwait as possible, rather than strike American staging areas actively engaged in military hostilities against his country. It's blame the victim - the same thing Juan did with regard to Libya.

      The WMD charges made against Iraq were out right lies and were known to be so before the war and proved beyond doubt after the invasion. Yet Juan treated it equivocally. "But the wording was a little unclear, since the president kept saying Iraq had had materials sufficient to produce these quantities of these weapons, but seemed to sidestep the question as to whether it actually had done so." "Since some of the defectors were scientists working for Saddam, they should know what they are talking about. On the other hand, they have a vested interest in overthrowing Saddam, and so may be tempted to exaggerate."

      Yes, Saddam was a bad guy (our bad guy for most of the time) but who killed more Iraqis and did more and continuing damage to their country, Saddam or us? (Especially is we include the effects of the long economic blockade that preceded the 2003 invasion.)

      And another matter. The U.S., supporting Israel, has been engaged in a policy of assassination of Iranian academics who may have had an association with their nuclear energy program. Do you not think this is a risky policy? I think the assassination of academics and military attacks on universities as a means of covert warfare is immoral and a horrible policy. Why aren't American academics speaking out loud and clear on this?

      So, Juan, I'm glad that you are writing your blog and I do learn things from you and take account when trying to understand what is happening. But when it comes to supporting illegal acts of aggression you are not white, nor black, but sort of light gray.

  • Ted Nugent vs. Jon Stewart: Fumigating the Democrat Rats vs. Can't we all Get Along?
    • Can’t we all Get Along?

      Juan, I know that your heart is in the right place, but this is all just a little too precious.

      It is all very well for people who are in (what we might call) the military-industrial-media-academic complex, with their highly paid or long term tenured employment and cushy retirement and medical plans, to say “Can’t we all Get Along”, but how do you think that looks to people outside your comfortable world who have nothing, or who had something and then lost it?

      It’s true than very many of the “leaders and spokesmen” in the tea party are pretty deplorable. Some of them talk violence and perhaps the crowds are on the verge of riot. But how good an example has our own government set? They have been spawning a lot of violence overseas, and humiliation and violence at home with the abnegation of civil rights or even common decency and police beatings and killings. They can’t behave that way and then not expect that the populace at large might not pick up the same attitudes.

      I believe that a watershed turning point in American politics occurred with the “bailout” bill. The people were overwhelmingly opposed to it and they made their voice known. Their position was not unreasonable (The taxpayers should not have to bail out the very rich people who made the bad decisions. Let them go bankrupt. They won’t be missed.) Their views counted for absolutely nothing. That was when the political elites lost “the mandate of heaven.” You’re not going to get it back.

      Jon Stewart can talk about “little reasonable compromises we all make” but when does the government ever make “reasonable little compromises”? They do whatever they want, which is mostly enrich themselves, and tell the people to go jump. Name a top government official (one who is in a position to affect policy) who has suggested that we might significantly cut our trillion dollar overseas military empire? Only the people have to “make compromises” and I’m afraid that is way his statement will be read.

      The problem you have with the global climate change question is that the government has lied about everything else so why should people trust them on this? You might say it is academia and not the government, but academia is tightly tied to government. And it’s not that there is not a lot of money involved, including a whole new class of lucrative financial instruments. It’s true that this is a serious problem, and more broadly we are probably at the limits of growth and need new strategies. When the ruling elites behave as badly as they do, they can no longer even do good things.

      There are serious problems Juan and scolding the people who are hurting is not going to solve the problem. There are a few reasonable leaders out there that you and the media might give some access to, but you won’t because they might cut your budgets.

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