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Total number of comments: 85 (since 2013-11-28 14:42:52)


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  • American Public: Invasion of Afghanistan a Mistake, Speed up Withdrawal
    • It's very easy to understand that the US citizenry is tired of our military involvement in Afghanistan after all these years and all the mistakes.that we've made and the lack of clear benefit.

      The wisdom of full withdrawal is also unclear.

  • Is the Arab Spring Coming to Palestine?
    • The occupation is not illegal, the land and water theft is.

      The first step is becoming a state and figuring out who the citizens are going to be.

      Who decides the qualification for citizenship when there's no single governmental authority?

      Is every person claiming to be a Palestinian going to be offered citizenship? Is every person living within the territory at the state when the state comes into being going to be offered citizenship?

      How can the Palestinian people defend their citizens when armed members affiliated with the various groups claiming sovereign authority go around fighting each other?

      Declaring a state and offering citizenship doesn't seem to be as essential as establishing a single authority.

  • Top Self-Defeating Moves in the Middle East
    • It's about near to impossible to find a decent government in the Middle East, so it's not entirely astonishing to find a plethora of lousy policies.

      Despite that, the authoritarian regimes of the area have an impressive record
      in staying in power. They ARE able to remember that regimes based on repression are best served, in times of vocal public demonstrations of dissatisfaction by increasing the repression.

      As long as the people are fearful and have no hope of things improving...things don't improve.

      I doubt that what you call "self-defeating " actions by the Syrian government are being undertaken for any reason other than the government knows that it will not endure through any other course.
      They're either gonna kill to retain control or crumble.

  • Syrian Opposition Congress in Istanbul Demands al-Asad Step Down
    • so, you mean that the Saudis are exerting massive influence on the US gov't?

      Gee, a day of two back it was "Christianist tendencies"

      Before that it was right-wing Zionists

      It must get very confusing for the folks in DC trying to figure out just who are The Overlords.

  • 32 Nations Recognize Free Libya
    • I'm not all that sure that Jesus wasn't

      "outside the bounds of the most hardline Traditional forms of Christianity"

      so I'm not sure what it is that you're getting at, Ken.

      All this talk about tendencies running the country or even getting underfoot tends to sound like clap-trap.

    • I don't quite understand how a government can be controlled by tendencies?

      How does that work?

  • Is Murdoch's Media Empire a Cult?
    • Juan 07/13/2011 at 8:56 am
      The Fairness Doctrine could work fine. Just offer as many hours of an anti-Hannity as you do of Hannity. And in hard news, try at least to be even-handed.

      ------The Fairness Doctrine came from a time when there were three nation-wide television networks dominating the airwaves.
      The time when it was a good idea has passed (even if it was the lousy Reagan admin that ended it)

      Quite obviously, Professor Cole is letting his well-justified aversion to the crap passed out on FOX to cloud his better judgment and take him to places that he doesn't really want to go.




      The comment section does not seek any sort of artificial two-sides-of-a-story “balance” at all, and no critiques of lack of such “balance” on these pages will be entertained. This sort of “balance” would require that the allegation that cigarette smoking causes lung cancer be offset with a denial of this simple and well-established fact. This pernicious game played is not played here

  • Ahmad Wali Karzai Killing Points to More Instability
    • The killing may well weaken President Karzai's grip and allow NATO a slim possibility that their hopes for better governance in the area might be forthcoming.

      If it leads to greater instability, so what?

      The situation is pretty damned unstable as is and the sort of stability offered by the dead guy wasn't worth all that much.

  • Clinton: al-Asad has lost Legitimacy after Mobs Storm US, French Embassies
    • Clinton was giving the warmongering Baathist regime any assistance and why do you conclude that she knew that there were no WMD in iraq?
      There was no evidence that there were not chemical or biological weapons.

    • Moi, thank you for the figures and total of "up to 12.3 million" bucks spent over a period of some 4 years. If, to you, that is evidence that the US might have "precipitated the current crisis" by funding a tv station in London and giving money to journalists, then I guess you might think just about anything, including that Radio Free Europe precipitated the destruction of the Soviet Empire.

      Perhaps PRESS-TV's English broadcasts will be responsible for the end of NATO.

    • --"Guards at the French embassy were forced to fire three warning shots as protesters stormed into the compound using a battering ram, according to officials. Three members of the embassy staff, believed to be local employees, were injured."

      link to


      Calling the shots a war crime is about half past absurd.
      You would have to have no inkling of law, war, logic or human interaction to advance such nonsense.

      What are you trying to say and how the heck can you possibly think that this is at all akin to the Syrian government shooting citizens peaceably assembled to call for an end to the denial of their rights?

    • Moi, if you have anything other than extraordinarily far-fetched thoughts that the US
      " ... may have precipitated the current crisis."

      please share the information. Otherwise, your may questions appear to be simply ludicrous. people don't rise and challenge the guns of a police state in a sustained campaign of protest without some pretty strong and deep motivation.

    • The United States does not have much of a relationship with the Syrian government, although the Obama administration had some hope for cultivating closer ties with Syria.
      However, the idea that Assad was open to moving somewhat toward the West and somewhat away from Iran and Hezbollah, which seemed worth exploring, has been overtaken by events.

      It now seems worth exploring whether there's a possibility that the overthrow of the Baathists might lead to a Syrian regime less repressive, somewhat stable and no longer aligned with the Iranians, but instead influenced by Turkey and the other Arab nations.

  • Today's Top 5 Crises in the 2011 Arab Revolutions
    • Moi, could you please provide some links in substantiation for your claim of 700 civilians kiled by NATO bombs. (something outside of Kaddafi's flaks, please)

  • On Panetta and Defeating al-Qaeda
    • The US does support the creation of a Palestinian state.

      The US does not have a clear policy of demanding citizenship and other rights for the descendants of those who left and were driven from Palestine by the wars.

  • Egyptian Revolution 2.0?
    • I agree with your comment and think that many people (some of whom should know better) are so euphoric at seeing the reign of authoritarianism in the Middle East start to come undone that they start believing that the end of it is going to come before the beginning of the end is over.

  • Anthony Case Index
    • not so much harder as slower.
      time to think ..or to think twice.

    • Cathy, I seem to recall that Afghans DID unite with us and DID do most of the fighting and dying to depose the Taliban.

      And I remembering incorrectly or did you kind of miss that?

  • 10 Ways Arab Democracies Can Avoid American Mistakes
    • 4. compulsory voting.

      naah. the right not to exercise your franchise shall not be infringed.

      mandating a vote doesn't insure that a meaningful vote will be cast.

      when people don't wish to vote and are yet required to do is, you've got just the right condition for votes to be bought.

  • Rebels offer Qaddafi Libyan Retirement
    • maybe if many of the representatives were standing up for separation of powers or were motivated by other than political gain, they wouldn't merit the Professor's disdain.

      of course, I tend to find that we don't have a reason in hell to put Europe's interests ahead of our own. It's pretty much a rarity when they put ours ahead of their own.

  • Syrians Protest in the Thousands, 24 Killed
    • the BBC reports that many thousands turned out in Homs and Hama.(They're not exactly Laramie.)

      It's also reported that Assad fired the governor responsible for the area that includes Hama.
      That sounds a bit serious.

  • US Reaching out to Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt
    • Of course,just because Justice and Development party is far more socially liberal than is the MB, that shouldn't lead anyone to think of them as anything like what US citizens would consider liberal.

      The Turkish party in power are certainly not champions of freedom of speech or of the press and have frequently shown themselves ready, willing and able to intimidate, shut down or jail reporters.

      They would certainly find not a damn thing wrong with gathering info to use against a guy like Professor Cole if Cole was a Turkish citizen/blogger critical of their policies. They would probably laugh at our idea that the Bush admin idea of smearing the Professor was violative and deserves to be investigated.

    • long as Kathleen has gone off-topic already....

      here's Spencer interviewing Glenn Carle, formerly of the CIA

      link to

  • US Public Backs Obama, Wants out of Afghanistan
    • the hijackers were worthless pieces of stuff as is the suggestion that our expenditures should be analyzed as a response to a single event.
      there isn't even a unitary purpose behind all that money spent in the last decade. the war in Iraq is surely not like the war in Afghanistan and distinct from our raid and bombings in Pakistan.

  • Senate Committee Backs Obama on Libya as Rebels capture major Arms Depot
    • super,

      I don't remember Chamberlain as being a general officer at Gettysburg, but that's a quibble.

      Point to you.

    • hey joe,

      Saddam's where he belongs, but

      where's Mullah Omar gonna be when we leave Afghanistan?

    • I'm less arguing with your presumption that things in Libya can only go in one direction from here,

      Qaddafi is little different from anybody else in that we're all eventually toasted.

      There can be any number of events before eventually, Professor, and Qaddafi should have been toasted 30 years ago and yet ...he's still not done .,,, even though Libya's long-term future was put in doubt by his ascension to power more than 40 years ago.

    • ---And there isn’t any doubt where it is going.---

      just as there was no doubt where things were going as Saddam's army was being routed and when the Taliban were being crushed?

      Professors make lousy generals. There isn't any doubt about that, right?

    • Nah, Yusuf. it's more an assessment that the rebels lack the resources. Save the racism charges for another occasion, one where there's some evidence rather than mere suspicion.

  • Notar: Syria and the Palestine Card
    • ---I would like to suggest that the citizens of each country are the ones responsible for the content of their government. ---

      maybe that's a little too simple. were the citizens of Poland responsible for the installation of the communist regime that followed the collapse of the Nazi governance? were they responsible for their government after the Nazi invasion?

    • Assad is the master of nothing and blaming the Jews for all of a country's many problems is nothing new.

      If the present Syrian regime endures it will be because it was willing and able to kill enough of its own citizens to convince the rest that attempting to throw off their fetters is hopeless.

  • The Audacity of the Gaza Flotilla
    • If only the stand that they're making was more closely related to achieving justice or justice could come through lifting constraints placed upon Hamas without extracting any concessions from them, perhaps more folks would agree with you Mr Flint when you say that the US and UK should be ashamed.
      Perhaps you might bear in mind that the US and UK have long shouldered most of the burden in supplying the people of Gaza with free food.

  • House Libya Vote: Anti-War or Just Anti-Obama?
    • Joe, I'm not anti-FDL at all. Love Marcy Wheeler, admire bmaz, TBogg and many others there. Matter of fact, I have a family member who used to have a blog on FDL.

      Mostly just haven't the stomach for Siun, her dishonesty, her bigoted friends and her entirely unreliable sources.
      She's a best. And not for anything good.

    • Siun is one of the least fair and balanced and reliable people it's ever been my misfortune to find on firedoglake. she personally reduces the quality and reliability of the entire blog.
      she's shallow of thought and reprints crap from other unreliable people and repeats it as gospel.
      she's a damned poor thing upon which to link.

    • the use of generic equivalents rather than Viagra might be an infringement against Pfizer. steerpike might have valid concerns and not be too worried about mass rape as much as outraged by drug counterfeiting.

    • and asking Risen whether Sterling was his source is supposed to be some sort of abuse of power?

      maybe not.

    • ---"I rather fear that many of the same politicians who cast a vote against war on Friday will, if there is a Republican white person in the White House in 2013, gladly turn around and authorize aggressive war on Iran."--

      I fear that the "white person" part of the sentence was gratuitous and rather juvenile.

  • Afghanistan: How will Taliban React to Obama Drawdown?
    • somehow, I fail to be surprised that the Taliban have not immediately rushed to issue public agreement with Obama's plan.
      it's not a possibility.

  • Kukis: Leave Iraq, Too
    • Dear Gormeh, no. the fleet stays.

    • it might well be better for us to leave. might not be better for Iraq. we might have to consider rendering aid if asked by the Iraqi government, even if al Sadr disagrees (and why his opinion counts for anything is a mystery.)

  • DemocracyNow! On Bush/CIA Spy Mission against Juan Cole
  • The End of the Beginning in Afghanistan
    • and people not "abroad" have only surreal experience?

      is reality really realer elsewhere?

    • rob, if you believe that Mr Sayre should be banned for calling people idiots, you're being a bit over-sensitive.

    • our war is Afghanistan is neither illegal nor criminal and you're merely ranting. you're being your own idiot and might want to try changing yourself to tone down your excesses.

    • not approving of a strike that killed children has not all that much with disapproving the use of drones in general.

    • good title to the post. it is time to admit that Afghanistan is a mess and won't be transformed into anything other than that as long as the neighbors are what they are.

      we could fight for years and retake every inch of Afghanistan and it not going to, of itself and alone, be transformed.

      we're going to have to accept what we can and simply hang around.

  • Key developments in the Arab Spring Today
    • less the threat of Kurdish independence than the threat to Turkish exports eastward and military action with European/US involvement in the area which is likely to disrupt Turkish political aspirations.

  • Response to Bush/CIA Spying Allegations by the University of Michigan
  • Gates: Winding down the Wars
    • ---American confidence (or perhaps we should call it what it is, arrogance)----

      simplistic (and rather waspish) nomination of what it really is and absolutely inconsistent and shallow coming from someone who champions the UN as the hope of the world and said that it was founded to prevent mass murders.

      rather obviously, the UN is a product of that American confidence/arrogance and will be ineffective without it.

    • the war with Spain marks the beginning and came at a time when we had developed the economic underpinning for Great Power aspiration.
      Gates isn't really errant.

  • Top Ten Mistakes in the Libya War
    • Asians were quite adept at mass murder long before then and didn't require industrialization to carry it out.

    • your analysis of the sanctions used against Japan is flawed and your contention that sanctions are "almost completely useless" is flatly incorrect and bordering on silly.

    • sometimes travel sanctions fall a tad short of intimidating folks avidly using artillery bombardment as a tool to enforce political compliance.

  • Maddow on Bloggergate
    • One would note the the CIA's denial was that they provided information on Professor Cole and not that they were asked to provide.

  • Carle and Cole on CNN: More Details about Bush/CIA Sting of Cole
    • ===="his personal behavior and taste and practices."====

      well-spoken and groomed, extremely sharp dresser, peanut butter and jelly on raisin bread with a small box of white wine w/straw, and a jell-o puddin pop for dessert.
      keeps regular hours.

  • Repeal the PATRIOT Act is the Lesson of Bush White House Spying
    • The Patriot Act is a lengthy bit of legislation with numerous sections. Some of them are right at the edge of Constitutional authority.

      ---"The act is clearly unconstitutional and guts key Bill of Right protections. "---

      is an overstatement.

      Fear and anger and outrage often produce overly broad reactions.

  • Cole on Goodman & CIA Surveillance
    • ---And, if he was involved in Iraq or counter-terrorism, is he serious that he had never heard of me in 2005? ---

      it's like being a basketball fan and not knowing Mookie Blaylock or Marvin Barnes.

  • Ret'd. CIA Official Alleges Bush White House Used Agency to "Get" Cole
    • Entirely plausible. The VPs office around that time brought pressure to bear against a relative of mine who was then, in a DC-based magazine, writing a column critical of the Iraq war and the government's policies.

  • Pakistan Arrests CIA Informants in Bin Laden Case
    • Had our raid into Pakistan's territory ended by finding out that bin Laden wasn't taking shelter there, we would certainly owe Pakistan an apology and people in Pakistan would certainly be correct in expressing outrage and feeling insulted.
      But that's not what we learned and the Pakistanis should be feeling ashamed and apologetic. Any anger that they have out to be directed at their own government, military and security services.

      Islamabad may have powerful interests, but some of them run counter to our own.
      Repairing our relationship IS important, but not absolutely important. If Pakistan wants the relationship repaired, it'll be repaired. But we owe them little, certainly less than they owe.

  • Libya not a War for Oil
    • Gee, I guess that it's just too much for folks to accept that Gaddafi is being driven from power because he's a murderous madman who serves the interests of no one and is everyone's enemy.

      It doesn't usually happen, but every now and then things are done for good reasons.

      Professor Cole has this one right.

  • Under Punitive Israeli Blockade, Gaza Unemployment among Worst in World: UN
    • sure you can call it a concentration camp, Ron. you can also call it a really large playground. both descriptions are absurd.

      Gaza is blocked and the Gazans are besieged.

      that's dire enough and cartoon comparisons aren't needed.

    • Reed, there are a lot of people in the world who have it a lot worse than the Palestinians who most certainly get more than words from the UN

    • Erdogan's boast was also that his victory was a a victory for Sarajevo and Beirut and Damascus.
      Erdogan does talk a good game, but, to date, there's not much substance to his talk.

  • Gates & NATO: Misery Loves Company
    • ---"What Gates does not understand is that the degree of militarization he is demanding of the Europeans, and which already characterizes the US, is what leads to such ruinous adventures. It is the US that needs to change, not Europe."----

      Gates demanded no such thing and he certainly didn't talk about NATO members bankrupting themselves.
      This is a very obvious misreading of Gates' speech.
      What he DID say is that most NATO members aren't meeting their commitment to spend that whopping 2% of GDP and that they don't co-ordinate enough to spend those small sums wisely and eliminate duplication.

      His criticism of the Libya effort, the failure to provide adequate direction and munitions for all the aircraft committed, is also misread in this post.

    • Delia, wasn't the enemy that the Pentagon was preparing to go to war against the Soviet Union?
      I don't think that we exactly got war against them.

    • Gates saying that the US providing 75% of the funding for NATO forces should change and that the Europeans can afford to spend more in support of their own security needs is not a demand that the Europeans bankrupt themselves, merely a reminder that things are quite different from the conditions post-WWII.

  • Dagan, Ofer and Israel's Growing Iran Credibility Gap
    • wow yourself, supe, I've got to admit that I wasn't as vigilant as I should have been and allowed the Israelis and Pakistanis to develop nukes. After that, I've increased my alert levels and helped to deny them to both the South Africans and the Libyans.

      Internal vigilence is the price I pay.

      until such time as Israel uses nuclear weapons in a first-strike against Iran, I'm gonna follow the line taken by some folks here, and say that there's absolutely no proof of what you're alleging.

    • Juan, there isn't going to be evidence of the decision prior to construction.

      there IS evidence that they're working on bomb design, and working on modifying their long-range rockets for different types of warheads than the ones that they currently possess.

    • ----'The US, Germany, France, Britain, Russia and China issued a joint statement today expressing “deepened concerns” over Iran’s “consistent failure” to comply with UN resolutions about possible military dimensions to its nuclear program. The statement was issued a day after Iran said it would triple production of 20-percent uranium and shift the production from Natanz to the underground bunker of Fardu.'----

      this follows the earlier---

      IAEA Director Amano General Yukiya Amano, in a statement at the meeting of the IAEA Board of Governors in Vienna on Monday, said that the agency has received “further information related to possible past or current undisclosed nuclear-related activities that seem to point to the existence of possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear program.”

  • Which Headline Doesn't Fit?
  • Ellsberg: All Nixon's Crimes Against me now Legal
    • Brian, I regard it as sensible, and it was winnable as we achieved the end of the Taliban governance and ousted AQ and their camps.

      TB, we're not mjuch in Libya and we're not fighting a war in Iraq.

    • Anne, which senseless and unwinnable war is on your pin?

    • ---- he was not the last smart president to prolong unjustifiably a senseless, unwinnable war-----

      if he means Bush, that's one thing.

      trying to pin that on Obama fails.

  • Leonard Nimoy to Palestinians and Israelis: Live Long and Prosper in Two States
    • zionism holds that Jews are a nation like any other and should gather together in a single homeland, William.

      where does your claim about "Jewish superiority" come from?

    • --- The only way Israel will ever accept a Palestinian state is if it is 100% demilitarized. ----

      that's not correct. Israel certainly doesn't want the PA to have a strong military any time soon, but everyone recognizes that the Palestinians have to have enough men under arms to control their territory.

      link to

    • ===Why not a one state with equality for all?===

      why not indeed.

      the one state equal and free hasn't been, and isn't, in practice in the area, and I don't see how it would work now, given the level of antipathy, but that's the ideal.

      when the people of the area can put aside the crap about the land being gifted by Jehovah or Allah only to one group destined to rule forever, maybe then.

  • Our News and their News
    • super, if they were so well-informed, why were they organizing Communist and Anarchist political parties?
      that's a waste of leisure time that they could have used to alleviate the ignorance that led to forming those parties.

    • MEH, perhaps you and Dr Cole can agree that our society is pretty good at producing and supporting a fair number of people who have the time to read about Yemen and have the ability to both note and decry the shortfall of our media in failing to focus on substantial stories.

      Our society is proficient at producing educators AND entertainers and allowing people to choose whether they wish to learn... or not.

    • Mouse,

      had I said that they wanted to be like us, you would simply be a rude asshole, rather than an errant rude asshole.

    • yup, their news is testimony that their lives are materially a lot worse than ours.

      we're fat, comfortable and complacent and they have generations to go before they can hope for the same.

  • Israeli Troops kill 20, wound Hundreds at Golan
    • be better if one million Syrians bussed into Damascus and took back their own governance, getting back the Golan might follow.

  • One to Go
    • anyone who can look at that picture and see only "one more" person who should be separated from power is either politically- or mathematically-challenged.

  • Saving What's Left of the Constitution
    • perhaps a study of US history would assure you Professor Cole that, as Belmont points out, there's nothing unusual going on. technological capabilities aside, it's the same old abuses,

  • Top Ten Accomplishments of the UN No-Fly Zone

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