Member Profile

Total number of comments: 193 (since 2013-11-28 15:55:28)


Showing comments 193 - 101

  • Reality Show violence in the Age of Trump: Striking Syria
    • May and Macron (like Trump) are both in trouble at home over massive discontent with their domestic policies and seriously need a distraction. Merkel, who apparently has survived, even if just barely, didn't need it and refused to join. Wagging the dog in Syria in support of the illegal action of the idiot ,Trump was perfect and perfectly timed for them as well as for Trump. Everyone look at the shiny object.

  • Why Trump can't reverse Syrian regime dirty win in Ghouta & why Iran is Gloating
    • Always great to get some clarification of this very confused area from Prof Cole. Very hard to figure out if there are any good buys in this picture as the Syrian people suffer at the hands of all sides.

  • Is Saudi Crown Prince's 'Recognition' of Israel anything New or Positive?
    • All of the mideast despots -from Saudi-Arabia to Egypt to the Gulf States to Israel - are opportunists with no real moral compass. They don't even have the best interests of their own people in mind. It is always a matter of preservation of the leader and his perks. (Although I do not believe that this was so in the early days of Israel, certainly sometime before 1967). We have consistently chosen the wrong side in the middle east and turned a blind eye to the illegal and immoral conduct of our "allies". The whole situation would probably be vastly improved if the US simply stopped supporting, financing, protecting, and arming the despots.

  • Saudi Prince: War with Iran in 10-15 Years w/out new Sanctions
    • As usual, the MSM rush to canonize the latest media favorite, MBS, and further demonize Iran. All the while , of course, maintaining a deafening silence about the deliberate murder and maiming just committed by Israel at the Gaza border and unquestioningly printing the IDF boast that they “ did what was necessary” and that all those committing these crimes were “heroes”.

  • Trump: "US out of Syria 'Very Soon'"-- Quip or Policy Reversal?
    • Are we going to simply abandon another ally - the Syrian YPG - after using them, and leave them to the Turks tender mercies? That should ring alarm bells with all of our allies.

  • Ultimate Hypocrisy: Saudi Crown Prince touts Religious Tolerance in NYC
    • Speaking of Iran, it should be noted that "intolerant " Iran has hundreds of Christian churches and even a couple of dozen synagogues.

  • All Donald, All the Time: America's Ruin as Spectacle
    • Tom hits the nail on the head. Americans don't want news; that's boring. They want to be entertained. I believe that the majority of Americans today get their"news" from the Daily Show, Steven Colbert, Jimmy Fallon, Saturday Night Live, Samatha Bee, John Oliver and so on. The NYT and WAPO even devote regular coverage to their sarcastic coveragge of Trump. Trump is pure entertainment. He is on record as saying something to the effect that he really doesn't care if news is good or bad, as long as it is about him and his name is spelled right. And it worked beautifully on the American public. The press in its losing effort to stay relevant and profitable created Trump. Forget Russia,money, Hillary's ineptness, and the rest, with their ridiculous wall to wall coverage, the media are about 90% for the disaster of Trump's election. They still refuse to admit it and acknowledge blame.

  • Let's call Bolton what he is, a War Criminal with Terrorist Ties, not just "Hawkish"
    • Trump obviously feels that he has now aquired all the "knowledge" he needs about being President and realized that he was conned into taking at least semi-rational people into his top positions; people who actually had the nerve to think that they knew more than him and object to some of his wilder proposals. One after another these people are leaving or being fired.

      He is now surrounding himself with a group of like- minded aparatchiks who will encourage him in his manias and delusions. Pompeo and Bolton are truly dangerously deranged, like their new boss and all are drooling at the prospect of starting a war with Iran and North Korea to add to our existing debacles. The world has become immensely more unsafe.

      Time to work hard to create a Congressional brake or start looking for a safe haven. Let's just hope the newly embolded idiot Trump doesn't blow the whole thing up before November.

  • Increasingly Ludicrous WH denial that Austin bombings were "terrorism"
    • While we are at it, the international definition of terrorism should be amended to eliminate the exclusion of state actions such as Assad in Syria or Israel in Gaza or Putin in Great Britain.

  • On Seeing America’s Wars Whole: Six Questions for the New York Times
    • As usual Bacevich is right on the mark.

      The media still refuses to accept its derved share of the blame for causing Tump's election. To Trump the unending overcoverage and media outrage of his tweets and acts of buffoonery is mana from heaven. Say anything you like, good or bad, as long as you keep him on page one and spell his name right. When will the media wise up to the fact that they are being played?

      The never-ending war is a major issue. I still remember the panic and near despair of my former military colleagues when the Soviet Union fell apart and for a brief time we had no existential threat to allow the military-industrial complex to feed at the public trough. And the great relief after Bush declared a global war against our new existential Islamic threat.

      The upside of such a war, of course, is that the military-security-industrial complex has unchallenged first call on the nation's wealth. Such wars also provide valuable real life combat experience, rapid promotions for some, and great real life testing grounds for new weapons systems and tactics. Not to mention the great value of the "wag the dog" effect to distract the public while their pocket is being picked to enrich the 1%.

  • Turkey says US & Kurds will Leave Manbij or Else, Prepares for Iraq Incursion
    • Has the US under Trump caved in to Erdogan and abandoned another ally and left the Kurds out in the cold?

  • Saudi Crown Prince Implicated: Credible reports of Torture and Murder in Ritz Carlton: NYT
    • For some reason, MBS (as he is affectionately referred to in the US press) is a current media darling here. Tom Friedman is obviously in thrall to him and that gave him a big push. Apparently, giving Saudi women the right to drive has given him a free pass for whatever misconduct and evil he chooses to engage in.

  • Did an Emirates-Israel alliance Help elect Trump more than Russia?
    • The Russians , FBI , UAE, and God only knows who else may have had some influence on easily influenced voters at the margins, but the main reason the Dems lost was Hillary. From the very beginning of the campaign she had the lowest approval ratings of any candidate in modern times (except for Trump) and the more she campaigned (mostly at big money soirées in the Hamptons and Hollywood with her Wall Street and 1% sponsors) the lower her approval ratings sank. Hillary was the only Democrat who could have lost to the idiot Trump, but she was chosen by Wall Street and the old guard establishment. Blame Hillary, not the stars.

  • Russian campaign Interference looks like ISIL in Polarizing Techniques
    • Really the only thing new about this was that the campaign of disinformation, misinformation, ethnic and racial divisions was conducted by foreign government sources. This sort of thing has been going on as long as I can remember, and I daresay probably as long as we have had a democracy. The means change withe times - now it is Facebook and Twitter - but the tactics are the same. Democracy requires an informed voting public capable of exercising critical reading and thinking skills.
      BTW. no one disputes the fact that the damaging info hacked from the DNC was actual and real.

  • Let's remember the Schoolchildren US & Russian bombs are killing, too
    • While those who profit from war often use ideology to drive the public, almost all of these evil wars are really about economics and money. Whether it is invading a country to secure its oil for the 1% owners or invading another country to protect the wealth and/or status of individual despots or politicians, the warmongers always use some ideology - religion, "democracy", ethnicity, "security" - to pillage. And the vast majority of people the world over, including the US, are easily fooled and manipulated.

  • A Crisis of Democracy: Trump's block of Dem Response to Nunes
    • All true. But one should also add Main Stream Media editors. As far as I can see, reporters in general seem to do a pretty good job, but it is the editors who decide which stories get published and which are omitted or watered down. Seldom do MSM news organizations lie or print fake news _ the build-up to the Iraq war being one notable exception - but events are clearly misrepresented when certain stories are simply not told. Blogs, such as Professor Cole's here, do much to correct the situation, but there are so many presenting false or unverified stories that cater to preconceived views that it is hard to sort them all. Withholding of important, true information is a very serious and pervasive threat to our democracy.

  • Russia accuses US of destabilizing Syria with Kurdish-Turkish Clash
    • Just at the time we need very careful, thoughtful diplomacy, we have - Trump. Heaven help us all.

  • Impeachable Offense? Trump golfs while Hawaiians endure Nuclear Panic
    • Trump is only interested in Americans, not Hawaiians or Puerto Ricans.
      By the way, this constant talk of impeachment is stupid and counterproductive and serves only to support Trump's followers. It is an emotional cry, not a thoughtful or credible one. Yes, Trump is incompetent and a constant embarrassment, and yes, he is doing great damage to the country, but he was duly elected under the terms of the Constitution. Get over it and get to work for 2018 elections to put some brakes on his idiotic moves. The impeachment of Bill Clinton was also a stupid , partisan exercise. Let's not trivialize the Constitution or the serious act of impeachment.

  • America's Biggest Mideast Foreign Policy Challenges in 2018
    • Thanks, Prof Cole for a great summary. Hope someone in Washington has the good sense to read it.

  • Are Iran's protests Economic or Political?
    • I fear that if the protests and violence increase, the real winners might still be the hardliners who can step in to 'restore peace and stability" and might even oust the Rouhani government. We can only hope and pray that Trump will keep his fingers off the tweet button which could allow the hardliners to claim the need to protect the country from the US interference, just like 1953.

  • Did the US cause Iran's Economic Protests & will Trump Take Advantage?
    • Trump is an idiot with absolutely no conception of diplomacy or playing the game of foreign policy. Trump cannot resist taking credit for the protests and thereby killing any chance for real reform. Hopefully, this will be a lesson to the Dem establishment that they cannot force a Wall Street loser like Hillary on us, and to the general public that, if it walks like a buffoon, talks like a buffoon, and tweets like a buffoon, it’s a buffoon.

  • How Trump could avoid another $7 trillion bill in Mideast: Back off war with Iran
    • Netanyahu has wanted a war with Iran for a long time as cover for the illegal colonization project, but with someone else doing the actual fighting, dying, and spending - preferably the US and/or Saudi-Arabia.

      With the push from the Israel Lobby and the Saudi Lobby, Trump can get 99 Craven Senators and the vast majority of Congressmen/women to go along with his stupid , costly war. Trump was told that only wartime Presidents are considered great so he needs a war.

  • Toward a Federal United States of Israel & Palestine?
    • The specific nature of the single state remains to be determined, but this is a good suggestion. The "two state solution", even if it was ever a real possibility, is now definitely dead. The only other possibility, the continuation of the apartheid state, is just totally unacceptable to most of the world and increasingly so to the American public, especially the young who have not been subjected to decades of brainwashing on the issue. Once the craven US politicians are forced to accept the reality and the US ends its financial, military and diplomatic support of the current regime, it cannot continue. Like South Africa, world economic pressure will be the key. Hopefully, transition to the eventual single, secular, non-nuclear state will be achieved as peacefully as in South Africa. All we need now is the Israeli/Palestinian Mandela.

  • Why Aren't Americans Celebrating fall of ISIL State? It is a bogeyman
    • The loss of the ISIL bogeyman is the reason that the idiot Trump & company are pushing so hard to make Iran the new bogeyman. The US military-industrial-security complex must have a current enemy to continue bleeding the taxpayers.
      In a happy coincidence, this fits right in with the current myths of the Saudi and Israel Lobbies. So our craven politicians get a hat trick - pleasing their three main master/benefacors at the same time.

  • Trump's Gift to Hizbullah weakens Saudi Hand in Beirut
    • It is clearly time to face the fact that the two state solution is dead. It is now time for the PA to dissolve itself and for the civil rights struggle for citizenship and full political rights for Palestinians. It will be a long and bumpy struggle as it was in South Africa. But growing international pressure and Trump's diminution of US influence in world affairs and ability to protect the Israeli regime will ultimately result in a single, denuclearized, secular state. This is now the irrevocable path of history. We can only hope and pray that the Palestinian majority, when it comes to power, will be as wise and forgiving as Mandela.

  • How Trump's Jerusalem Move Just Helped Iran Win the Mideast
    • Our idiot President has no knowledge or understanding of international diplomacy and no interest in learning. He gets all his information from Hannity and Fox and Friends who now set US policy.

  • Split in Rebel Yemeni coalition, as Saleh turns on Houthis, seeks peace with Saudis
    • Perhaps even more worrisome is the tendency of the US and British arms makers profiting obscenely thanks to the carnage with the assistance and blessing of our respective governments.

      We Americans have learned the trick of spilling the blood mostly of the "others" while limiting our own involvement to "volunteers" ( many of whom are economically driven by our distorted economy ), and making the war news far to boring to interest the general public. When there is football, movie star scandal, and idiotic tweets and twitter battles, etc, to compete with for the public's short attention span, who wants to pay attention to a few hundred or a few hundred thousand of "them" being killed?

  • Australian billionaire implicates Israel's Netanyahu in alleged corruption scandal
    • Corruption is not the only basis to question Israel's claim to be a Democracy. When more than 50 % of the people under your control have no political rights and no control over their daily lives, that is not a Democracy.

  • With 305 dead in Sinai Terror, Trump babbles Wall & Visas
  • Every Time we Laugh at Trump, It's a 'Tiny Revolution'
    • The press just doesn't get it. As long as Trump is the center of conversation, he is happy. He doesn't care whether what you say about him is good or bad, just as long as it is about him. The only thing that annoys him is being ignored. He is like a two year old or a dog; turn your back and ignore him and he will whine, cry, and go crazy.

  • What Causes Mideast Extremism? It's the Dictatorships, Stupid!
    • And the US supports most of the terror inducing despots diplomatically, financially and militarily, especially Saudi-Arabia.

  • The Falsehood of Trump's 'Precision Strikes' and 'Clean Wars'
    • Anyone who believes government statistics on enemy killed, collateral damage, civilians killed, or degree of success of the mission is simply a fool. Misinformation is the rule, not the exception. Of course, the US is not the only perpetrator. All governments lie all the time; it is essential to their advancement of their particular agenda and to their survival as the rulers. But the misinformation in wartime activities is particularly egregious And now that we have entered into perpetual, unending warfare against a constantly shifting enemy, nothing out of Washington can be believed, whether the administration is Republican, Democratic, or Trumpian (whatever that may be).

  • The Saudi-US war on Yemen is killing 130 Children a Day & Other Bleak Statistics
    • The US is supplying weapons and support for these crimes against humanity by Saudi-Arabia. All weapons deliveries and all support of any kind for this despicable regime in Saudi-Arabia should be cut off immediately. Unfortunately this unwavering, blind support for this odious regime goes way back through the administrations of Obama, Bush, Clinton, etc. The Saudi Lobby in Washington is almost as strong as the Israel Lobby, and when, as now, the two join in joint action, our craven politicians find the pressure (and the money) irresistible. But then again they did give the idiot Trump a shiny medal and a nice party, so -

  • The Civil War inside Buddhism caused Ethnic Cleansing of Muslims
    • More than 50 years ago I visited Rangoon in (then) Burma. While at the Golden Temple, I saw a man accidentally bump a Buddhist monk. The monk turned angrily and commenced beating the man with a stick, while the man just cowered and took it. I was shocked to realize that there was this streak of human anger and aggression in some Buddhists. The current ethnic cleansing campaign and Suu Kii's failure to address it are , therefore , not a complete surprise.

  • Nasrullah: Saudi has declared war on Lebanon
    • There appears to be a real danger of war here, either by intent or miscalculation. After the secret all-night visit of Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, to the new mercurial Saudi leader things seem to be heating up. It is outrageous that American lives may be put in danger by the words and actions of a political neophyte with no experience and no oversight.

  • Syria: If ISIL is dire threat, why isn't its Defeat bigger News?
    • It is surprising that the defeat is not being touted as big news here in the US. Even more surprising that Trump is not loudly trying to take personal credit for ending the threat that dogged his predecessor. But, as you point out, it is necessary to keep the "threat" alive to try to justify the enormous waste of money and resources in the military, homeland security and other black operations.

  • Saudi Arabia urged to end Yemen blockade: Fear of Unprecedented Famine, Disease
    • How in the world can we justify allying with and aiding the brutal, undemocratic, terrorism inducing and financing despotic regime in Saudi-Arabia? It is against all real American values and against our interests. Is it all because the idiot Trump got a medal and a parade?

  • Continued Conflict: Iraqi PM rejects Kurdish offer, insists Referendum be Annulled
    • Entropy has nothing to do with human behavior, although it is a common misinterpretation to use the term where it clearly does not apply.

  • Tillerson tells Iraqi Shiite Militias to "go home." Sad.
    • There is a big difference between being clever and being intelligent (here, I presume "smart" is being used more or less as a synonym for intelligent). Trump and Tillerson were both successful businessmen. Tillerson for the benefit of his company Exxon and for himself, Trump for himself only. To be successful in business, one need only be clever, not necessarily intelligent. While both men have shown themselves to be extremely clever, neither has shown any real signs of intelligence.

  • Iraq strikes Back: Kurds under air travel ban, Turkey blocks Oil
    • Of course, if the Kurds deserve their own homeland , what about the Palestinians? Schemer and his buddy Netanyahu have a clear double standard. But that is nothing new to the Israel Lobby.

  • Iranian Leader: Trump is "Disturbed," speaks like a Cowboy or Mobster
    • When you say he "incorrectly" accused the US of being behind ISIS, I think that that is a matter of timing and interpretation. There seems to be little doubt but that Bush's idiotic invasion of Iraq started things downhill and it is at least doubtful if ISIS would have been at all successful or come into existence without tha stupid invasion and the disastrous US policy that followed.

  • Trump blasts Iran for backing Syria, ignores Russia, Praises Saudis
    • If Trump is aware of any history, he must have studied Herman Goering. If you tell a lie loud enough and long enough, some people will start to believe it.

  • The rise and rise of Iran: How Tehran has become pivotal to the future of the Middle East
    • For almost every significant ideological reason Saudi-Arabia is a natural enemy of the US and Iran is a natural ally. So how did we get where we are? There are currently 3 main reasons- big oil, the Saudi Lobby, and the Israel Lobby.

  • Have we Won yet? Was ISIL a flash in the Pan?
  • As Trump probes move against Iran, IAEA certifies its Compliance with Nuclear Deal
    • Remember that two of the most powerful lobbies in Washington - Israel and Saudi-Arabia - have teamed up for their own reasons to try to get the US into a war with Iran with no regard for US interests.

  • Is Israel's Netanyahu preparing for War on Iranian Special Ops in Syria?
    • The real problem now is the double team of Israel and Saudi-Arabia. Each has its own reasons to push for someone like the US to go to war with Iran. In Washington they are two of the most formidable lobbies and can move the craven US Congress to act on their behalf contrary to US interests.

  • Kushner tells Abbas Israeli Squatter Expansion can't be stopped b/c Netanyahu Gov't would Fall
    • Who knew peace in Israel/Palestine could be so hard?
      Who knew health care could be so hard?
      Who knew Abraham Lincoln was a Republican?

  • Trump's Afghanistan Surge will Fail without Diplomacy, Anti-Corruption
    • Interesting take, but it misses the most obvious outcomes of Trump's "new policy."

      To recap the main changes of Trump’s Afghanistan Strategy: 1) shift away from rebuilding and concentrate on the national security threats emanating from the militant groups operating in Afghanistan,
      Translation - change the amber light to corruption and stealing by the Afghan government and senior military to a green light.

      2) move from President Obama’s arbitrary deadlines to a condition-based scenario,
      Translation - take the pressure off the Afghan government and military and agree to an endless quagmire

      3) hold Pakistan accountable for their support of the Taliban and for providing safe-havens for the other terrorists,
      Translation - push Pakistan into the waiting arms of China

      4) further partnership with India to help with Afghanistan,
      Translation - get the US deeply involved in the never-ending conflict between Hindu India and Muslim Pakistan and further alienate the Muslim Afghan population and push them toward the Taliban

      5) end Washington’s micromanagement of the battlefield decisions so military action against the militant targets could be taken in real-time.
      Translation - war is too important for political considerations, just let the military repeat their success of Vietnam, Iraq and Libya, and Somalia, and...

  • Trump fires Bannon: Who are the Winners & Losers Globally?
    • What about the story that Iraq is making a deal with Saudi-Arabia to come back into " the Arab fold"?

  • Fascism in Charlottesville: Why it had a monopoly on violence & Intimidation
    • Once again the media and the pundits are playing into Trump's hands. During the election, at least 95 % of the stories on Trump were negative, but he didn't care as long as he dominated the news cycle. And it worked. The negative coverage crowded out all other news and Trump won the election.

      Again Trump is dominating the news and the blogs and he loves it, positive or negative.

      The proper way to undermine a megalomaniac manic like Trump is to ignore him. Just the way one punishes a 2 year old or a puppy. This 24 hour blanket coverage, negative as it is stands a good chance of getting Trump reflected.

  • Kissinger pushes Iranophobia, fear of 'radical empire' as ISIL declines
    • There are two lobbies pushing hard to demonize Iran and possibly even provoke the US into a foolish war with Iran: The Israel Lobby and the Saudi Lobby. Each has its own reasons for their positions but neither has the best interest of the US in mind. They seem to have formed an strange alliance which, of course, even includes trying to destroy Al Jazeer and further censor Middle East news.

      The NYT ran an article the other day intimating that Iran is aligning with theTaliban and possibly Daesh based on info provided by questionable sources. One could see echos of the infamous NYT series by Judith Miller pushing the nonexistent Saddam Hussein WMD to help GW push us into the idiotic Iraq war.

      Trump is salivating at the idea of war with Iran, for God only knows, what reason. And now the aging Kissinger weighs in. The war drumbeat is rolling.

  • "Fire & Fury" or "Shock and Awe": it is always the start of a Quagmire
    • Trump is obviously upset that North Korea is a distraction upsetting his idiotic plan to start a war with Iran.

  • Gov.'s branding Mosque bombing 'terrorism' astonishes US Press
    • Naturally, official government agencies will exclude themselves from the definition of terrorism. But state terrorism exists and should be called out also when it happens , like Saudi-Arabia in Yemen and Israel in Gaza.

  • The Most Dangerous Game in the World: Trump guns for Iran
    • It is fast approaching "wag the dog" time for Trump. America is in big trouble.

    • Iran's flawed democracy is actually far closer to democratic than Israel where half the people in de facto Israel are not permitted to vote, have citizenship or even basic political rights.

  • Mideast's 'Only Democracy' joins push to Silence Al Jazeera: Netanyahu
    • Israel and Saudi-Arabia have two of the strongest lobbies in Washington. The fact that the have joined forces is ominous. Saudi-Arabia is home to the leading sources of support for terrorism in the Middle East.The fact that Netanyahu's government has allied itself with this evil, despotic regime does not bode well for the future of Israel or the US.

  • Can Total's Gas deal in Iran vindicate the Nuclear Deal?
    • If Trump had an ounce of common sense, he could see that this also has implications for the North Korea nuclear problem. If the US were to lift all sanctions on Iran and actually help it get back economically into the family of nations, it could send a message to NK that regime change and chaos are not the inevitable result of giving up nuclear weapons, - like Iraq and Libya- but that there is a new model in Iran whichNorth Korea could follow. But that would require a US President who had some common sense and actually cared about the welfare of the US, rather than caring only about his own image and blindly kowtowing to the Israel Lobby, so it is not going to happen.

  • Why Saudi Extremism, Instability is an Argument for EVs, Wind and Solar Energy
    • Saudi-Arabia is an undercover ally of Netanyahu's Israel, so the Lobby has dictated that Saudi-Arabia is the good guy and Iran is the bad guy. Of course the oil lobby is another big force in this. The two form a powerful force against America's best interests.

  • Is Russia trying to take back over Libya from NATO, Radicals?
  • Close the Coal Plants: How to Reply to Pruitt's Lie about CO2 & Climate
    • Many of us are rightfully outraged by the actions of Trump and the Trumpistas, but Prof Cole has some unique insights into what is going on right now in Syria, Iraq and the middle east. While we all need to vent our Trump frustrations, there are hundreds of sites doing this. There are very few providing us with the invaluable information on the middle east that this site does. Please keep us informed.

  • Syria: As 400 more Troops go in, What's Trump's Mission?
    • The US involvement in the area has gone from one disaster to the next. Our only hope is that the rush to renewables worldwide will accelerate so we can simply abandon to the region to its own devices.

  • From Bernie Sanders to Harel: Why is Acknowledging Israeli Apartheid a Shock?
    • When I traveled to Israel/Palestine several years ago, I saw three very different ways of Israelis treating Palestinians. I could not get into Gaza, but it was obviously a very large , open air ghetto or prison with no rights at all for the occupants. In Israel proper, there was Jim Crow. On paper , Palestinian citizens of Israel have equal rights, just as blacks in the US theoretically had equal rights 75 years ago, but the reality in each case was Jim Crow. In the occupied West Bank it is and was apartheid. Every aspect of apartheid from pass laws to physical separation to daily humiliations to midnight raids and regular police mayhem and killings was present.

      I met many wonderful Israelis. They were generous, friendly, and, in many respects, open minded. But universally they simply denied the reason for the existence of a Palestinian problem. Even those who had served as military enforcers in the occupied territories during their mandatory service , simply refused to acknowledge the reality. They wiped their own activity there from their mind as if it never happened to them. And so it will continue as long as craven US politicians enable this behavior. If the US actually stood up for true American values in Israel and backed it up with withdrawal of financial, military and diplomatic support, the oppressive right wing government there could not survive a year.

  • Spurned Reporters should dump Trump Briefings, turn to Investigative Journalism
    • The White House Correspondent's Dinner was a prime example of what is wrong with political reporting today. But far from the only one. It seems like the prime objective of establishment news reporters and pundits nowadays is getting access and getting invited to the right parties. Real journalism seems to have been abandoned, and not just with Trump. This goes back to the time Woodward and Bernstein became celebrities and thereafter lost focus. The watergate story was an example of real , old time journalism. Now reporters interview each other and congratulate themselves on what wonderful reporters they are. Then, the press tries to make up for giving Obama a free pass on some very bad policies and actions by doubling down on Trump criticism, but thinking that venom can carry the day without actually getting the facts first. It is good of Prof. Cole to point out this problem.

  • Did David Brooks & the NeoCons pave the Way for Trump?
    • I regularly read David Brooks columns because he is so readable. But I agree with Bacevich that hidden inside the well written, reasonable sounding rhetoric, there is often a strange belief that puts a peculiar cast to the opinion so that reading him requires a well developed sense of critical reading/thinking..
      It also seems as if "who is responsible for Trump" is the new "who lost China". A great parlor game with lots of finger pointing. Was it the Tea Party, was it Hillary, was it the DNC, was it Colnel Mustard?

  • Netanyahu rejected offer by Kerry & Arab Leaders of Comprehensive Peace Talks
    • Now that the "peace process" has been fully exposed as the sham cover for colonization that it always was, Israel is pushing an alliance against the "evil and dangerous" Iran as the new cover. He apparently has a willing accomplice in Trump, and Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States are on board, at least sort of behind the scenes, as well as Egypt and probably Jordan and other Sunni states.

      So things are looking rosy for Netanyahu's plan to simply keep the status quo and slowly nibble away all Palestinian rights. He can live with occasional outbreaks of violence and loss of a few Israeli and lots of Palestinian lives. With the unlimited military, financial and diplomatic support of the US government, he, and most Israelis, are quite content with the status quo.

  • After Miller's Mega-Lies, time to rev back up the Reality Based Community
    • Bannon, Miller, Conway. An incredible group. Every White House probably has someone over the to[p on something, but there has never been anything like this group. They obviously are out there because they are saying what Trump wants heard. Pence is a total right wing ideologue, but in the traditional Republican sense and that makes him the sanest voice in the room for a change. It is scary to think that these people make up these facts to suit their purposes. What is even more scary is the thought that they may actually believe them.

  • Neither Informants nor Saudis: Wrong Ways to Slam Muslim Ban
    • Saudi-Arabia is a special category. 15 of the 19 9/11 hijackers were Saudi. Osam binLaden was Saudi. Large financial support for ISIS and other Sunni terrorist groups has come from upper echelon Saudis. Extremist madrasas have been funded with Saudi money worldwide. Saudi Arabia has one of the worst human rights records in the world. Saudi Arabia is a totally non-democratic monarchy with a horrible record of mistreating minority Shiites. If any country is to be singled out, it should be Saudi Arabia.

  • Trumpworld Fake News: Iran attacks US Navy, Iraqis Massacre Bowling Green
    • It is quite true that the Republicans are "quite happy to shelve their morals and duty to the country in the interests of keeping their power and position, both collective and individual. So they will continue to support Trump cos’ there’s money to be made.. lots of it. " But Republicans have no monopoly on this behavior. The same could be equally said about most Democrats (Bernie Sanders a a few others, excepted). Book deals, "speaking fees", free favors, "jobs " for relatives; these are all simply legalized bribes for services rendered or to be rendered. The Clintons went from "dead broke" when they left the White House where Bill deregulated the banks for the 15, to over $200,000,000 net worth in 8 years when their only legitimate source of income was Hillary's sometime government jobs.

  • Here we go Again: Trump Admin Threatens Iran
    • But, I must admit that, because he is an unknown , erratic commodity, he has already been able to get away with behavior and comments that would have caused major international incidents for any other American President. Perhaps it is because the rest of the world still considers him primarily an entertainer and no one takes his statements seriously.

  • Trump's Visa Ban is about anti-Muslim Bigotry, not Security
    • Interestingly the vast majority of middle east terrorists who actually committed violence in the US and killed over 3000 Americans were from Saudi-Arabia, but that country is apparently not on the list. The other 3 terrorists were from UAE, Egypt and Lebanon, also not on the list.

  • Instead of Stereotyping Trump Voters, Progressives need to Get them Back
    • Trump is the poster child for the scientific fact that voting and political affiliation are emotional decisions, not intellectual ones. Republicans learned that lesson over 40 years ago and have been increasingly winning by careful framing of issues, especially hot button social issues, and camouflaging economic issues.

      Democrats, especially progressives, have consistently pointed out intellectual, rational reasons for their positions, with few exceptions.

      Obama won in 2008 by his emotional appeal. Most people actually believed he was a progressive and had a transformative agenda rather than his actual, neoliberal, incrementalist agenda. If voters had realized what he was actually on planning to do (i.e. save the bankers and let the middle class go down the drain), he would have been defeated. But he had a gift for rhetoric that allowed voters to hear what they wanted to hear, not what he was actually saying, so he can honestly criticize progressives who say they were misled.

      Hillary then went back to her traditional, intellectual, wonkish, " I have a 27 point plan for everything " and lost the election.

  • 5 Images that refute Trump's attack on Hero John Lewis
    • No matter what one thinks of Lewis's accomplishments, the claim that Trump is an "illegitamate" is not only wrong, it is dangerous.

      Prof Cole and the MSM press rightly criticized Republicans who claimed that Obama was an illegimate President. It is a right and duty to critcize a President's views and actions, but questioning his legitimacy because of policy disagreements is dangerously wrong. It threatens the very foundation of our democracy.

      When our side loses under the existing Constitutional rules, we must accept it. Even if the lies and manipulations were greater on one side than the other, our system requires an actively engaged , informed citizenry. If people fail to carry out their duty as citizens, that does not affect the legitimacy of the result. No votes were miscounted.

      Like it or not, Trump was the elected winner under our Constitution. He may be an idiot and he may be wrong on almost all issues, but he is not illegitimate, and it is wrong for a Conressman to claim otherwise.

  • Trump does Poor imitation of Tin-Pot Dictator at "Press Conference"
    • Hopefully, the Trump disaster will be the end of Clinton/Obama/Clinton "new Democrats" aka moderate Republicans, and the Democratic party will go back to being progressive and actually winning up and down the line. Americans were sick and tired of being forced to choose the lesser of two evils between right and hard right.

  • How the Arrogance of Cold War Triumph brought us this Low
    • Bacevich, as usual, offers thought provoking commentary which helps greatly in viewing the problems. This is a very different world from the one the the elite establishment, both Democratic and Republican, have run, rather unsuccessfully for the majority of Americans, for the last 40 years. New times and new problems call for new thinking and a whole new paradigm of government, work and living. Trump was successful not because he presented any answers, but because he, unlike Hillary and the rest of the establishment, was willing to say that that the old ideas are dead and present it in a manner, crude and crass as it was, that the majority could understand.

      Bernie Sanders would have easily trounced Trump and was on the right track. Now we must find new, younger leadership to carry that message without the hate and fear-mongering of Trump. The next 4 years will be a time for reassessment and a struggle to fight off the old establishment of both parties from spinning the results and regaining control after Trump's inevitable failure.

  • Circus of Liars: How Trump & GOP are Twisted into Pretzels over Putin Hack
    • Assange's statement was carefully worded to say that the Russians were not his source. Of course they were not his immediate source; they are not that stupid. But I believe the unanimous intelligence statement that Russians hacked the US election and passed on information through intermediaries and "cut- outs". Prof Cole is also correct that the significance in this election was minimal because of Hillary's ineptness and tone-deafness as a candidate. by and large, the intelligence gathering arm of US intelligence does a good job, despite the Iraq WMD fiasco. It is at the political appointee level that their credibility and reliability breaks down; just as in every other government agency. McCain is just continuing to be his usual ideological, uninformed, nasty self.

  • Preparing for the Normalization of a Neofascist White House
    • The primary interest of the press for at least the last 40 years has been saying the things that will get them "access" so they can be first with the "news" and be envied and praised by their colleagues and invited to all the right parties. Allowing misstatements, distortions, evasions and outright lies to go unchallenged is standard fare. It was true with Obama, and Bush and Clinton. Mostly though, they simply allow the interviewees to ignore the question and proceed directly to whatever talking point they are interested in making that day. There is nothing more boring or less informative than watching media newspeople interviewing each other and fawning over each others knowledge and skill.

  • Top 5 Reasons Senate Dems should block all Trump Supreme Court Nominees, Forever
    • You seem to forget that the Democratic establishment, as exemplified by the Clintons and Obama are really moderate Republicans and quite happy with Justices who are generally conservative so long as they will say the correct (left) things about hot button social issues. None of the Republican agenda of the last 40 years could have passed without the acquiescence and/or connivance of the Democrats. e.g. Obamacare - a plan originally hatched by a right wing think tank to avoid single payer and save the insurance companies profits; repeal of Glass-Steagal; welfare "reform "; phony Wall Street regulation; immunizing criminal bankers from fraud prosecution; etc.

  • Demonization of Putin as "Personally" behind Clinton Hack is old Propaganda Technique
    • Actually the main reason Hillary lost the election was Hillary, not hacking and news stories whether real or fake. Starting off as the most unpopular and distrusted Democratic nominee in modern times, she took great pains to make things worse for herself including spending the vast majority of the campaign hobnobbing with her 1% friends in the Hamptons and Hollywood. Her campaign was totally tone deaf to the mood of the country. She was simply the worst possible candidate and the only Democrat who could have lost to the idiot Trump.

      And if the US has not already been conducting serious cyberwarfare against Russia, among others, everyone involved in the program, up to and including Obama, should be fired.

  • Why do GOP Presidents get to go Hard Right, and Dems are just GOP Lite?
    • It is all about the money. Bill and Hillary Clinton got filthy rich by selling out Democrats to the interests of the 1%. Obama will be well compensated too for immunizing the criminal banksters from criminal prosecution and enriching them beyond their wildest dreams.

      Real Democrats are progressive , well left of center, but Democrat politicians are not . They are bought and sold by big money almost to the last man or woman. Real Democrats need to take a lesson from Trump and drain the swamp of all the phoney Democrat politicians and elect real Democrats.

  • 2/3s of Palestinians think 2-state solution doomed & 52% say Trump Should stay out of Mideast
    • It is increasingly obvious that Israel and the US are propping up Abbas and his cronies financially because he is willing to go along with the myth of a two state solution and a peace process that provides international cover for the colonization project.

  • Sorry, Garrison Keillor: Keith Ellison for President could have beaten Trump, and still Can
    • Sorry, but you are wrong and Garrison Keillor is right. Apparently one of the great turn offs for white working class voters was identity politics.
      I believe with you tha tHillary lost the election; Trump did not win it.
      And I believe that Ellison is a great representative of the true Democratic party. But, unlike Trump, he is unknown; unlike Hillary he has no real government managerial experience; and again unlike Trump, he is a professional politician.
      And I believe you too easily dismiss the "muslim thing". Despite your citation of one poll that may or may not be accurate, Trump of all people would have ridden that racist card very hard against Ellison and in today's climate , Trump would have been successfulwith it. There is an amazing amount of baseless fear out there, much of it engendered by the media that still believes that , " if it bleeds, it leads", and fear of Islamists sells papers.

  • Starstruck & Party-Fanatic: The Moral Paradox of Trump Support
    • The other factor you failed to mention is that Hillary Clinton is despised by left and right alike in historic numbers. If any Republican , other than Trump, were running against her, she would lose big.

      The majority of citizens think the country is on the wrong track and they are angry. Clinton, the Wall Street candidate , promises more of the status quo with maybe a little bit of progress around the edges to keep the pitchforks away, so long as it doesn't hurt the bottom line of the 1%. The biggest factor helping Hillary is the fact that she is a woman and her campaign has essentially revived the notion of a special place in hell for any woman who doesn't vote for her. If she were a man, the race would be much closer, even against the idiot Trump.

  • Trump says Clinton will Start WW III with Russia, but Moscow Disagrees
    • One significant point the article leaves out is that in her term as Secretary of State, just like her term as Senator and First Lady, neither Hillary, nor her supporters, can point to a single positive accomplishment , other than the fact that she used those offices to get filthy rich.

  • Whose Fault is Trump? Top 7 Culprits
    • The main reason the idiot Trump is competitive is Hillary Clinton. At a time when the public overwhelmingly feels that the country is on the wrong track and desperately want change, Hillary is the candidate of the status quo forced on the Dems by the establishment. And she has the highest negatives on record except for Trump. Any other Democrat would be running away with the election by now. Any other Republican would be beating her soundly. Hillary's problem is not that she is woman, it isthat she is a Clinton.

  • Nearly 500 more US Troops sent to Iraq for Mosul Attack in advance of Election Day
    • Speaking of October surprises, there is also the real possibility that , despite American help, the Iraquis will fail to take Mosul or that it may degenerate into a battle between Kurdish forces, shiite militia and Iraqui army.
      That result is not unlikely and it would, of course, give a boost, not only to Republicans in general, but even the idiot Trump.

  • ISIL's European Strategy
    • It does also seem that the increase in terror attacks abroad is directly linked to increasing loss of territory by Daesh in Iraq and Syria, so there may be some truth. to the claim that it is actually a sign of Western success.

  • Florida: Politicians in Big Oil's Pocket Beware, The People want their Solar
    • The Koch brothers have actually become big supporters of solar - as long as they own the solar and can charge big prices for free energy from the sun. They are pushing an ALEC poison pill to get state legislatures to charge people who install solar on their homes extra under some crazy economic theory and some easily bought state legislatures have already passed it.

  • Top 6 Graphs that Refute Donald Trump's Lies about the United States
    • Trump is no doubt a liar and almost totally ignorant of foreign affairs. He is, nonetheless, a brilliant promoter and one of the best about reading the fears of America and playing to them. The Democrats are about to make a horrible mistake in nominating Hillary Clinton. She is the only Democrat who could conceivably lose to Trump. Her campaign so far and her VP choice show that she and the Dem establishment are almost totally out of touch with the way Americans feel right now. She cannot win with only minority support. Most of the country wants real change and a break from Wall Street control and she is tone deaf on these issues.

  • H. Clinton and Ed Snowden: Some Animals are more Equal than others
    • How many times can we hold our noses and vote for "the lesser of two evils". yes, Trump is a dangerous ignoramus, but Hillary is possibly more dangerous and reasonably intelligeny. Which is really the worse choice? Or how about third party? Where is Ralph Nader when we need him?

  • What Would Trump Fascism Look Like? Eight Most Likely Traits
    • There is no textbook description of Facsim; or rather, there are many. A little like obscenity, it is hard to define, but one knows it when one sees it.

  • $206 Mn. to Hate Groups to Promote anti-Muslim Sentiment
    • It would be helpful if the report could actually point to the sources of funding for these hate groups. Unfortunately, the Koch brothers and their ilk have had their minions in Congress make it nearly impossible to discover the true sources.

  • Did the FBI Tell Orlando Shooter's ex-Wife Not to reveal He Was Gay to Media?
    • I belive you misunderstand the implications of the story. No one is suggesting that he committed this ateocity because he was gay or that being gay is a disease. Although I am clearly no expert, I believe that the implication is that he was raised in an environment that was strongly , if not violently, homophobic and that, as ayouth he internalized those prejudices. When (and if) he later discovered that he himself was drawn to men, he was forced to hide his orientation, not only from family and friends, but even from himself. It was this internalized conflict that caused him to act out, and that his so called Islamic radicalism was merely a cover since he seemed to actually know so little about Islam. In other words, he might have gotten tothe same place if raised ina very strongly fundamentalist Christian environment. This may all be hogwash, but I believe that is the implication of the story.

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