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Total number of comments: 24 (since 2013-11-28 16:44:58)

Jack Heape

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  • Midnight at Mar-a-Lago: The walls close in on Genghis Con
    • "...then just after the election settled a fraud case related to his fake university for a staggering $25 million. Despite credible allegations that he was highly leveraged to Russian creditors and that his properties in the past had, at minimum, been used by Russian money launderers and gangsters, he refused to release his tax returns to the public, an issue he continues to sidestep to this day."
      This is what Trump is worried about. The money part of it. Sure, maybe they can get him some possible collusion, conspiracy, or obstruction of justice charge. But when Mueller finishes rooting around in all of the overseas deals and their shady financing I am sure there are going to be multiple indictments against Trumps family and himself. Trump is a guy who has always played fast and loose with the rules. But up until now he could bluster, obfuscate, and then settle out of court. But that was all civil stuff. Now there is a highly experienced federal prosecutor looking at his affairs under a criminal microscope. That is what really scares Trump. And it is stuff he did before he became President so immunity does not apply.

  • The real Victors in Judges' ban on Trump's Ban: US Universities
    • Sure the appeals court just continue the TRO. But I am pretty sure when it gets to the Supremes they will overturn. The 1952 Immigration and Nationality Act permits the president to suspend the immigration status of any person or group whose entry into the United States might impair public health or safety or national security. That right is still in place after many additions and changes to the law. I don't agree with how Trump did the EO and how it singled out the specific countries it did, but I think it is dangerous to limit the President in actions concerning matters of national security. By national security I mean our actual borders and the interior part of the country, nit the grand standing and involvement in foreign wars that have nothing to do with the security of the US. I personally, for economic reasons, think all immigration should be suspended for a while. Immigration has not been good economically for the US recently. But if someone has been approved or granted a green card then it should still be in force. Retroactive suspension is not the way to go. And sneakily trying to discriminate against Muslims isn't right either.

  • Is Lt.-Gen. Flynn Right that Islam is not a Religion?
    • Good post with some great comments. I have to say that I find all religions lacking in much, if any, factual basis. This is even more true of Christians. At least Muhammad was a real person with a real, documented written history. But both religions base their "faith" on written documents where the true authors are unknown. Jesus might not have even existed and Mohammad was apparently illiterate. As one individual stated in their comment religion is an important human need. The problem comes when you have the human need that many individuals have; to feel superior to others. That is part of why these politicians spout their demogoguery. It really is nothing but hate speech. And Pence seems to overlook that he wasn't really elected because people hate Islam. They just want decent jobs and health care. But this nimrod has latched on to Trumps bandwagon to carry out his personal religious extremism. I personally think all public displays of religion should be outlawed and all tax exemptions done away with.

  • Donald Trump Knows Nothing About Muslims
    • "His bigoted statements and threats to Muslims do not represent America or its values." I agree with most of your article, but must comment on the quoted statement above. That might be your "values" but it certainly is not for most of Americans. Trump is not a politically correct individual. He is just saying what a majority of Americans think and believe, but will not say in public. That is just the way it is here. For instance this is what Maina Kiai (U.N. special rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association) had to say recently about racism in the US; "The United States "is an economic powerhouse, a military superpower, a global engine of technological development, and one of the oldest democracies in the world. It is also an extremely diverse nation, a nation of indigenous peoples, slaves and immigrants. ... The experiences with various forms of diversity and complexity have not always been smooth. The country was founded on land stolen from its indigenous Native Americans; its early economic strength was built on race-based slavery against people of African descent; and successive waves of immigrants have faced discrimination, harassment or worse." America is a racist country. That is just a fact. Clinton is much more guilty of being a racist than Trump. Look at what she and her husband did to black people while he was in office. It is a good thing the Kan's did getting this discussion out in the open, but even with all the media playing it up (and I think they have reached the point of it becoming obvious that they are doing so to try and help Clinton) I don't think it will make much difference.

  • Are the Muslim Khans better Americans than Donald Trump?
    • I agree with you. Trump is a buffoon in many ways. I don't support him for President but I cannot support Clinton either. Trump might be a racist but much of what he talks about doing just will not happen. Clinton can and will get us into another war. Americans are left with two terrible choices this election.

  • US confused over Russia‚Äôs real intentions in Syria
    • Frankly, I discount anything any US official says regarding Syria. Its all propaganda. The US got caught out trying to make Russia the bad guy in the Syrian war. The US covers for the Saudis who are funneling weapons and support, and are trying not to alienate Turkey who is doing the same as the Saudis. The US has always been trying to depose the regime, first by funneling arms to various militia, then by trying to stage that sarin gas fiasco and pin it on Assad. It backfired. Syria has long been a Russian client and I think Putin sees it as one, strategically important for the bases they have there, and two, a way for him to influence what occurs in the region.

  • 9/11: Clueless US Judge doesn't Know Shiites from al-Qaeda, finds against Iran for $10 Bn.
    • I wasn't aware of any evidence that Iran had been involved in any way in the 9/11 attacks. Oh sure, there has been several neo-con diatribes condemning Iran but there is little evidence to support their accusations. In fact, the 9/11 commission said, "We have found no evidence that Iran or Hezbollah was aware of the planning for what later became the 9/11 attack. At the time of their travel through Iran, the al Qaeda operatives themselves were probably not aware of the specific details of their future operation." So if the President's own 9/11 commission didn't find any evidence, it seems to me that the judiciary is punishing the defendant in this case for not being able to prove a negative.

  • Islam: Do you know the difference between Sunni & Shiite?
    • I think this video is posted as more of an attempt to get a reader thinking than it is as a complete summary of the difference between the various factions of Islam. Dr. Cole himself has written extensively on the Sunni and Shiite schism, such as...
      "I see a lot of pundits and politicians saying that Sunnis and Shiites in Iraq have been fighting for a millennium. We need better history than that. The Shiite tribes of the south probably only converted to Shiism in the past 200 year s. And, Sunni-Shiite riots per se were rare in 20th century Iraq. Sunnis and Shiites cooperated in the 1920 rebellion against the British. If you read the newspapers in the 1950s and 1960s, you don't see anything about Sunni-Shiite riots. There were peasant/landlord struggles or communists versus Baathists. The kind of sectarian fighting we're seeing now in Iraq is new in its scale and ferocity, and it was the Americans who unleashed it." He also had this to say in 2014, link to juancole.com.

  • The Saudi-Russian Oil Price Freeze is about Power, not Money
    • I am sorry but this article doesn't make much sense, at least given the premise that Russia and Saudi Arabia are making some power play. To preserve market share you don't freeze production. You increase it, which is exactly what the Saudis did in response to the increase in US and Canadian shale oil production. And the oil price decrease is actually much more complicated than just the Saudis pumping like crazy. Reduced demand, cost of sustainable energy sources going down (sustainable energy sources like solar are actually cheaper now to build than drilling), and over supply in other areas all play a part. Also missing in this analysis is the the fact that the agreement requires the participation of other major suppliers, including Iran. And the Iranian oil minister actually did make a positive statement about participating. So unless I missed something some where I don't see how this is some collusion against Iran specifically, particularly given the very recent thawing of Russian-Iranian relations. For instance in December they started discussing a major currency agreement that could significantly impact the dollar.

  • Dragon & Phoenix: Khamenei Lauds New Sino-Iranian 'Strategic Partnership'
  • Sanders: Michigan Governor Must Resign over Flint Lead-Poisoning Crisis
    • I don't see how it could be that laws were not broken. If not, then the government is saying its ok to knowingly poison people? There are many disclosures that have to made when you purchase a home now about lead. Certainly at least those would apply.

  • Top 7 Middle East Foreign Policy Challenges in 2016
    • What about partitioning Syria as a solution? I know some pundits are against but I have also read some reasoned arguments for it, in USA Today for one link to usatoday.com. While partitioning might not be the best outcome at least it would stop the fighting, reduce the refugee problem, and bring most if not all the parties to the table.

  • The Regime Strikes Back: Syrian Gov't advances, Bolstered by Russia
    • In the aftermath of everything that has happened in Syria I find it incredible that the US ever thought we could waltz into there and conduct "regime change". I thought the whole Iraq mess was complicated but trying to keep up with all the actors in Syria is a full time job. You certainly cannot get even a basic sense of the situation there through the mainstream media. Speaking of intelligence sharing, I was intrigued by an article the other day about US military intelligence sharing in the Syrian war. Its by Seymour Hersh in the London Review of Books; link to lrb.co.uk. Very long and complicated, but interesting.

  • How Turkish President Erdogan went Wrong: Dividing and Not Ruling
    • A very informative analysis. I kept wondering what was in Erdogan's mind when they shot that plane down and your post makes some sense of it. But I agree he surely miscalculated this one. That seems to often happen to a leader when he gets his way or succeeds well in his own country, then tries to replicate that success outside of that country by forcing their will on others. Seldom works.

  • Paris at Midnight: Attempt to push France out of anti ISIL coalition in Syria?
    • The carnage is terrible I agree. And I sympathize with the French people as you do. I wondered after reading all of the news stories this morning about the attacks though why no one bothered to point out the cause of all of this terror. Perhaps it is to soon? But I do not think the players who have caused all of this strife should get a free pass. The US in particular. Our meddling, the invasion of Iraq, our imperial divide and rule policies, along with the puppet governments we prop up, all have directly led to the creation and spread of the Islamic state.

  • How Mainstream is Bernie Sanders?
    • Finally a candidate I can vote for and not have to choose between the lesser of two evils. I think Bernie is going to do a lot better than the MSM give him credit for. He isn't polling so good against Hillary right now because most people don't know who he is. But once his message gets out it is going to seem reasonable to a LOT of people.

  • War with Iran, by the Numbers
    • Another likely result would be that Iran would decide that they did need a nuclear weapon. And sooner or later they would get one. Either through the assistance of China, or through sheer persistence on their part. An attack on Iran would put them squarely in the China-Russian alliance. It would backfire just as the US adventure in the Ukraine did.

  • Bombing Iran: What would Happen if the Hawks got their Way?
    • Great analysis Prof. Cole. The problem is that most US politicians, and the US government, don't think things through in such detail. Look at the Iraq war. Look at Libya. Look at Syria. Look at the Ukraine. The US has turned into the Fred Flintstone of modern diplomacy. A bumbling, simple country whose leadership acts as if they are in the stone age.

  • Netanyahu Imported by GOP to ensure Iran War
    • Good article Professor Cole. I think you understate the catastrophe that invading Iran would entail however. I doubt it could even be done. Iran is just as proud as the Viets are. During the Vietnam War the viet population was around 38 million. Recent research has shown that they lost about 13% of their population fighting the war, which they eventually won. Iran now has over twice the population of Vietnam during that war, and a more advanced military. It would take time to gear up for an invasion of Iran, something that could not be hidden. Russia and China would pour weapons into the country. In my opinion I think Russia would even give Iran some tactical nukes to prevent an invasion. What would stop them? They are so upset with us right now they would love to stick it to us and our puppet state. The US has made a terrible faux pas in its handling of the Ukraine situation. Screwing around with Iran militarily would have even a worse result.

  • Oil Price Fall: Saudi Arabia targets US Shale Oil, Iran, Iraq, Russia
    • You should know that Brent Crude fell down into the 60's on Friday; it closed at $69.94 with January futures down to $66.07. OPEC decided not to cut production on Thursday which caused the drop. You made some very good points but one thing that is being overlooked by most everyone is how this is going to impact the banking industry. Many equity funds and banks are heavily invested in both energy bonds and energy producing real estate. This drop in oil prices could become a major problem for them as well.

  • Ballen: Terrorism Can't be Taken out and Shot
    • I agree that the U.S. must learn to not be so nationalistic, and even more so, not so xenophobic. But that is a long time coming I fear. When you have a crowd booing Ron Paul on national television for instance, when he discusses exactly the issues being discussed here, and how we need to stop policing the world, then that shows you the state of things.

  • What would Martin Luther King Say? Mosques and the New Jim Crow in America
    • A great post Professor Cole. It never ceases to amaze me how so many people swallow this propaganda. And that is what it is; the powers that be are pushing this issue to distract the general populace from the things that really matter. The economy that the government has managed to screw up and the needless wars that they want to keep fighting.

  • An Israeli Attack on Iran would reduce Barack Obama to a One-Term President
    • Great post. However I can see Obama turning to war as his poll ratings continue to decline. If unemployment does not go down, then I see little chance of Obama being re-elected. So I think he will get desperate and go the war route. He is a man of little character in my opinion, and seems to go where the wind blows him.
      One question. After Iraq and now Aghanistan, it would seem to me that any logical person would conclude that continued warfare is not the best course of action. You listed all of the groups/people behind the neo-con movement. What exactly is it that has them so blinded that they go forward even in the face of such glaring evidence that there course of action has failed? Is it power? Money for the elites? I just wonder.

  • The Hypocrisy of Netanyahu
    • Mr. Cole, of all the remarks you made in this post concerning the subject matter, this one most struck me;
      "several of the nationals the Israel troops murdered were Turks, whose state is already in the G20 and who already possess a formidable military capacity within a NATO context (which Israel lacks)."

      Hmmm I thought, Turkey IS a member of NATO. Israel is not. Now what is NATO?

      From wikipedia,: "the organization constitutes a system of collective defence whereby its member states agree to mutual defence in response to an attack by any external party."

      So technically, since Israel committed an act of war against Turkey, which it did by attacking a Turkish flagged vessel in international waters, Turkey has the right to declare war on Israel, invoke the NATO treaty, which would technically result in all of its member nations having to come to Turkeys aid. And of course, the US is one of the primary members of NATO.

      Interesting. I wonder if Turkey, or anyone else, has thought of this.

      Major wars have been started over less.

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