Member Profile

Total number of comments: 74 (since 2013-11-28 15:36:20)

Joseph Dillard

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  • A Day Late & a Dollar Short: Obama & China agree on Languid Climate Goals
    • Joseph Dillard 11/12/2014 at 2:54 pm

      Over 50% of the carbon you put into the atmosphere comes from the dollars you spend that are votes to maintain the animal husbandry industry: ""A person who is vegan will save 1,100 gallons of water, 20 pounds CO2 equivalent, 30 square feet of forested land, 45 pounds of grain and one sentient animal’s life1every day.” link to

  • Israel can't Afford to Lose Jews Like Me
    • Joseph Dillard 08/10/2014 at 6:21 am

      Schanzer is not awake yet, but he deserves credit for resisting going back to sleep.

  • Is Zionism/ Jewish Nationalism a Political Cult? The Salaita Firing
    • Joseph Dillard 08/07/2014 at 6:23 am

      The Thought Police are alive and well. Thanks for shining light on the cockroach corners of their existence.

  • Israel's Groundhog Day: Reverse Snowballs and the Horror of Lawn-Mowing
    • The actions of Israel are self-destructive in that they not only encourage exile for those Jews who respect civil rights, but encourage both the BDS movement and international court charges.

  • Bush Trifecta lands on Obama: Gaza, Iraq and Afghanistan Imploding
    • Joseph Dillard 07/09/2014 at 2:31 pm

      When the US finally leaves or is pushed permanently out, China will come in and make deals for the mineral riches of Afghanistan, Iran, and Iraq, in exchange for huge infrastructure projects like it undertakes in Africa and South America. It's just a matter of "when," not "if."

  • German who spied on Parliament for NSA recruited by CIA
    • I saw where the French financial minister is threatening trading in Euros, not dollars, which apparently succeeded in calling Foggy Bottom's bluff - a promise to reduce or eliminate the huge fine against Barnabas if France please please doesn't move away from the dollar. Any readers think Merkel will ever suck it up and call the bluff? All she has to do is start talking about closing spy installations and bases.

  • Hardliners in Israel & Iran Resist US Pivot to Iran over ISIS
    • Joseph Dillard 06/24/2014 at 6:56 am

      I find it fascinating that the NSA apparently had no clue of the ISIS blitzkrieg or the likely fall of Mosul. This raises a fundamental question: if it could miss this, what good is it other than at persecuting its political and civilian opposition to perpetuate its own existence? And why cannot the same conclusion be accurately drawn regarding the CIA?

  • Opportunities Abound in Iraq to Reset US Middle East Policy
    • Joseph Dillard 06/17/2014 at 6:06 am

      "...Israelis in general cannot be opposed to a US effort to diminish the power of radical Sunni extremists in the region." It matters little what "Israelis in general" oppose as long as they keep voting for politicians that favor the fragmentation of surrounding nation-states, politicians who view Moslems fighting Moslems as a good thing.

  • Israel Accused of War Crime over Army "Execution" of Innocent Palestinian Teens
    • Joseph Dillard 05/21/2014 at 6:55 am

      Government actions everywhere need to be recorded and videotaped and made public. Turn the tools of the NSA against them. Watch the state wither away, whether it is the US or Israel.

  • The Obama Effect? Are Iran/ Saudi-and-GCC no longer on a war footing?
    • Joseph Dillard 05/21/2014 at 6:59 am

      Don't look for the US to be a major beneficiary. If I were in government in Tehran I'd be making deals with Russia, China, and the EU in preference to any with the US, for many obvious reasons.

  • Occupartheid is Isolating and Degrading Israel
    • Joseph Dillard 05/20/2014 at 2:11 am

      I wrote, "the new religion of the world is human rights." Codes of human behavior that have long been preached by world religions (but not so much practiced) are now written in international law. Does that mean countries or individuals follow it? No. Does that mean that there is the expectation that they should? Yes. Does it mean that the consequences for those who do not are increasing? Yes. The gathering momentum for BDS is only one example; another is the blowback the US and the EU are getting for supporting neo-Nazis in Ukraine. Those countries that do not support universal human rights will lose power, credibility, and market share. Israel can face that reality or continue to play victim with its 200+ warheads.

    • Did I claim any Arab country supported universal human rights????

    • There are many factors at work here, causing the forest to be lost in the trees. To make sense of it all, one needs a "lowest common denominator" or "orienting assumption." I submit the following to cut through the haze of interests and blame: The new religion of the world is universal human rights. Those individuals, economists, ideologues, religions, and nations who support it will prosper, those who do not will not." At present, the vast majority of people of Israel continue to vote for the latter outcome, as do many, many people in the US and Europe, most of whom should know better.

  • The Eurasian Pivot: Is it China's and Russia's Century?
    • One of Escobar's better pieces. It seems that every step Washington takes further alienates other countries, pushing them into alliances of different types. This is even happening with the EU, which has told Washington "No" regarding sanctions with teeth, which is the most I've ever seen Europe stand up to Washington in my lifetime. This was brought on by Washington itself. All these growing economic interdependencies make war increasingly unthinkable; that is why Putin can afford to stand down his forces on Ukraine's border and focus on economic realities with China and the EU. While Washington is busy using NATO and the Pacific fleet to militarily encircle Russia and China, the BRICS are slowly but surely economically encircling the US. The EU will have to make a choice at some point. When it does, game over. It just made its choice in saying no to sanctions; Russia has won and Putin knows it. So do the Chinese. What can the US do? What are its bargaining chips? Besides rattling sabers, what can it do?

  • Human Rights NGOs Call for Palestine to take Israel to International Criminal Court
    • Joseph Dillard 05/12/2014 at 5:37 am

      By providing legal grounding, cases won at the ICC will force corporations, institutions, and states to join the BDS movement, which is the real weapon. Apartheid states only respond to economic realities.

  • Top 6 Pulitzer Prize "Traitors" in American Journalism
    • Dr. Cole, I would like to read a post from you on what a fascist is and what an "American Fascist" is. I agree with you; however most Americans do not and cannot conceptually put the words "American" and "fascist" together. They need to be educated about when, how, and why this is the state of reality in the US.

  • Poof! John Kerry Blames Israeli Squatting in E. Jerusalem for breakdown in Peace Talks; Bennett: It's Just Zionism
    • "In fact, there are saner versions of Zionism, which is a form of nationalism like other nationalisms." Zionism is not to be equated with nationalism because it justifies and defends a theocratic nationalism, which many nationalisms do not do. To equate it with most nationalisms is to treat something that is pernicious as common.

  • Palestine's Abbas finally says will Go to UN over Israeli Squatters
    • Dear JohnBoy, Has it mattered how Palestine has viewed its status? Not much. What matters is how international law and hence the international community views its status. To date it has not been recognized as a state. BDS sanctions will become much more effective once Palestine is internationally recognized as a state.

    • About time. International Court rulings will force more organizations to join the BDS movement; it will be the economics that finally puts sufficient internal pressure on the Israeli government to overcome theocratic delusions.

  • Less Food, More War: CO2 Driving Certain Global Warming, Rising Insecurity
    • Joseph Dillard 03/31/2014 at 1:53 pm

      China is likely to respond to global warming more rapidly and effectively than the US and the EU although it hasn't so far. Why? Because it has a command economy, plus pollution in its cities is so critical and obvious that it cannot be ignored any longer. Yes, China has great financial incentives to maintain the status quo, just like pretty much everywhere else; my point is that command economies by nature address crises better and it is for this reason democracies revert to authoritarianism during times of war. What does this imply? That as global warming accelerates there will be a movement toward authoritarian and command economies all over the world, because decisive action rather than consensus building will become a necessity. Or do you see it differently?

  • Is Pope Francis good for the Democrats? Obama in the Vatican
    • Joseph Dillard 03/28/2014 at 6:24 am

      Another example of the wide chasm between words/appearance on the one hand, and action with this Pol. Inequality has gotten much worse under Obama and as far as I know it just keeps getting even worse. Or does anyone out there have evidence that the 1% are not continuing to gain at the expense of everyone else? And is anyone out there wanting to excuse Obama of responsibility for it? (Of course there are many other factors I can name as well as you; do their existence excuse the most powerful man in the world who heads a country he calls "exceptional" of a pathetic record regarding growth of inequality?)

  • Is Russia a "Regional Power" or "Geopolitical Threat"? Obama argues with Romney from the Hague
    • Joseph Dillard 03/28/2014 at 2:47 am

      Mr Watson, Thank you for your thoughtful and insightful comments. "Unless we take control of the situation by defeating the Israel Lobby and reversing the nature of our relationship with the so-called Jewish State we will be in thrall there indefinitely. " Unfortunately, Kerry's "proposal" seems to be a total sell out to AIPAC and Netanyahu; no wonder Abbas and friends aren't buying it. If that is the best Obama has to offer (apparently it is), then I see no reason to assume help will come from the US government. "But don’t you think we should begin drafting a proposed Presidential Declaration of a Foreign Policy Emergency complete with various measures and sanctions designed to change the nature of the relationship?" Of course. Do I think it is likely? Not in the slightest. Change is most likely to come not only from BDS but from Jews like this one, that wake up and have tremendous courage: link to

    • While I appreciate your optimism, political realities do not allow the US to bring appreciable pressure to bear on Israel. Taking Israel to the International Courts, as Abbas threatens, will mean that more laws will exist for Israel to ignore with the support of the US, just as both do the current, long-established international laws. The solution? BDS. When Israeli companies lose money and Israeli professionals lose status, they will put pressure on their own government.

    • Obama has no business calling out the weaknesses of other states or individuals to defend himself from Republicans or anyone else. He has failed the major tests and opportunities he has been given. As a winner of the Nobel Peace prize, he has assassinated civilians and Americans with drones in contravention of international law. As a brilliant Ivy-league educated professor of constitutional law he has violated not only the 4th amendment but his Oath of Office in his support of the NSA and his prosecution of whistleblowers. His response to the '08 meltdown has largely been to support plutocratic priorities and blame it on the massive intransigence of Republicans. But most importantly, he has failed to rally the nation against the greatest threat mankind has ever faced: global warming. Bush was weak largely due to incompetence; Obama is weak because he has compromised his principles every step of the way.

  • On Iranian New Year, Russia hints it May Swing Support to Tehran over Crimea Sanctions
    • Joseph Dillard 03/21/2014 at 3:48 am

      Will the US move toward Iran to further encircle Russia? There are a number of problems with that interesting possibility, but the first and greatest is something called AIPAC.

    • I bet the neocons didn't consider this possibility when they were de-stabilizing Ukraine. Whaddya think?

  • Obama to Netanyahu: Israel faces Int'l Sanctions over "Permanent Occupation of West Bank"
    • Rehab doesn't work for most addicts; neither does AA. What works for most addicts is when others withdraw their support while providing structure and treatment. This points the addict in the right direction without blame, while protecting the innocent. BDS and the world courts will administer much the same to Israel, while all the while it screams bloody murder at being cut off by its suppliers of its drug of choice: economic validation by complicit democratic states. As usual, it will attempt to play the victim; that ruse has now just about finished its run on the Broadways of the world.

  • Is Israel imposing Sanctions on Palestinian Universities? Repeated Incursions at al-Quds U Raise Concerns at Brandeis, Bard
    • Joseph Dillard 02/17/2014 at 5:44 am

      Looks like these educational institutions are taking sides: with Zionism and against human rights.

  • Game Over for Earth: Big Carbon's Fatal, Scorching Triumph over Greens
    • Joseph Dillard 02/14/2014 at 8:35 am

      People need to understand that nothing short of taxes on carbon emissions and cap and trade, both graduated and global, is sufficient to the challenge. Does anyone know of vehicles other than AVAAZ for organizing global movement toward these goals?

  • Did Religious Extremism drive 2 Million Egyptian youth to Unbelief?
    • The internal inconsistencies of religion, when compared to reason, are causing humanity to embrace a "new" "religion:" human rights. It is of course not "new," dating from Jefferson and before, and it is not a "religion," because it is based on mutual respect, not doctrine.

  • Brokers of Deceit: Massive US Aid to Israel has Enabled a Colonial Project
    • So much for the cartoon of peace talks. On to the main show: the international courts. Clearly, the US does not have the moral clarity to stop serial abuse; it will require a higher authority to enforce the idea that what gives government its legitimacy is accountability. Do principles of justice apply to all governments alike? So far, the US and Israel say "no." At some point the world community will insist.

  • Iceland: Major Green Energy Breakthrough using Magma for Geothermal
    • Magma underlies the crust everywhere. Does anyone know where to find studies that assess the potential for this source of energy, problems with its development, and how much of the world's energy needs it could realistically replace?

  • Obama as Unreliable Narrator on Climate Action: from SOTU to NSA spying at Copenhagen
    • Clearly, mechanisms to hold the powerful accountable have been gutted, with little evidence of public will to rectify this disaster. No one is to blame for anything; just change the subject. The levels of denial, repression, and avoidance become ever more amazing the more we learn. We live in the Bubble of All Bubbles and no one wants it to burst. We mostly just watch it grow...

  • Dovish SOTU: Obama will Veto AIPAC Iran Sanctions, Pledges Afghanistan Wind-Down
    • Dear Nobody, Great solutions, however totally unrealistic in that wolves governing the chicken coop do not vote to put sheep in charge. Few mice volunteer to bell the cat.

    • About the best thing one can say about Obama is that the Republican alternatives would have been much, much worse. There is no reason to believe that a Hillary Presidency would have been any better. That is about as weak an endorsement of a President as one can find. There are a lot of bright Millennials who voted for him and who have since dropped out of politics in disgust. I don't blame them.

  • Is Iran Back? Foreign Policy after the Nuclear Deal
    • Most of known fossil reserves - oil and gas - must stay in the ground if the world is to avoid a disastrous +2 C rise in global warming. This amounts to a coming vast reduction of the role of carbon in the economies of Iran, Saudi Arabia, and other energy exporters, such as Russia. This will strengthen the position of diversified economies like Turkey, but particularly China, which stands to be the big winner in Afghanistan, trading Afghanistani mineral wealth for infrastructure projects as it has successfully done in Africa. Because of this, despite its current huge reliance on dirty fuels, China is positioned to be a major partner for Iran. In addition, many European businessmen now traveling to Iran in the anticipation of the reduction of sanctions. Such opportunities may marginalize the threat and relevance of Israel for both the Iranian economy and its security.

  • Top Ten Ways Ariel Sharon Ruined Israel and the Middle East
    • I am more optimistic than some of the commenters here, based on the increasing availability of fact to counter propaganda via the internet. While it is true that most of us only go to sources that confirm our biases, it becomes increasingly difficult to hide from fact and reason. We see this in the shifting cultural center of gravity around global warming, the powers of the NSA, marijuana and gay rights. Of course this shift feels painfully slow, but in the arc of history it is occuring amazingly rapidly, as heroes like Chompsky and Cole continue to educate us.

  • Greenwald to BBC: Journalists must investigate the Powerful in Gov't since they Lie to the People (BBC Surprised)
    • I recommend this interview. Clearly Greenwald is calling out those "journalists" who demonstrate unquestioning loyalty for government, as his interviewer does. Greenwald is both courageous and smart; we all owe him a major debt of gratitude.

  • America's Secret 4th Branch of Government: The NSA kept even Obama in the Dark
    • Joseph Dillard 10/28/2013 at 1:39 pm

      Obama has a history of going after whistleblowers with a vengeance. He is no friend of liberty. He has defended serial liars like Clapper and Alexander. Doesn't it make the most sense that he is lying about this? Doesn't it make more sense that of course he knew that the NSA was tapping whatever they could on world leaders, and viewed it as them doing their job? Isn't it a far more likely hypothesis that we are dealing with a lying hypocrite?

  • The World's Fate hangs on Obama's Keystone XL Decision (McKibben)
    • Joseph Dillard 10/28/2013 at 6:04 am

      With or without Obama's OK the world-wide carbon divestment movement is picking up steam as people realize that, because 2/3 of known reserves must not be burned to avoid 2C+ global warming, that this is a multi-trillion dollar investment bubble that is going to burst. Of course it would be far better for Obama to veto Keystone; the economics of approval looks worse every day.

  • Saudi Arabia in Unprecedented Withdrawal from UN Security Council over Syria, Palestine
    • Joseph Dillard 10/19/2013 at 6:19 am

      This must be an attack of pique. I predict the Saudis will get over their anger at the US and Russia for not supporting their rape of Syria and the US for talking to Iran, just as they long ago got over Israel disembowling Palestine.

  • Is Iran out of the US War Queue? The Twilight of the Hawks
    • Farhang - your comment is perceptive and appreciated. I would only add that Israel's problem is indeed interior, but much more so than with the Palestinians. As Plato pointed out long ago, the monsters we see are our own shadows projected before us. Victims need persecutors to justify the avoidance of responsibility and maturity that victim-status provides. There is a large, self-justifying strain within Judaism that cries "anti-Semitism!" whenever it doesn't get its way. Zionism has merely maximized the leverage victim status naturally provides. Judaism is not unique wih this; it's part of human nature. I am only pointing out its existence within Judaism because it is a major factor that maintains the apartheid policies of Israel. There are many Jews that have outgrown chronic victimhood status; they are the voices that need to be heard to create a new, healthier center of gravity for Judaism.

    • Carl - but the bright spot of inward aggression that you forgot to mention is the circular Republican firing squad. It doesn't look like they are going to take any prisoners in their lemming march to self destruction. One can only hope.

    • I am utterly embarrassed by the shallowness of this attempt to gin up the war drums against Bejing. While no one should doubt that China is a colonialist, imperialist power, the US is much, Much moreso, a small, trifling detail this screed somehow overlooks. Is it in China's interest to destroy its economic interests with its three major regional trading partners - Taiwan, Japan, and India? Let's just ignore that inconvenient reality. If you are the progressive you claim you are, why are you trumpeting the traditional fear line the neo-cons and their plutocratic handlers use to squander the nation's resources on pointless wars of aggression? China has much bigger fish to fry - it's ecosystem is down the toilet and it knows it.

  • US NSA Gives Israel Raw Intelligence on US Citizens (Chamberlain)
    • Assuming Jaffer's three questions have no positive response (The NSA has no legal authority to monitor the phone calls of US judges and legislators; the NSA has no legal authority to share American's info with Israel; the FISC did not sign off on this), so what? Yes, there will be lawsuits; there will be laws passed by outraged legislators. Greater oversight will be promised; the NSA will publicly and repeatedly repent of its sins. Why would anybody in their right mind not conclude that these practices will simply be driven deeper underground? Why would anyone conclude that they will actually stop? And how would you know if they did or not? Is there anything that can be done to restore trust short of a Constitutional convention that radically rewrites the rules of the game?

  • Greenwald Partner falsely detained as Terrorist: How to Create a Dictatorship
  • Fukushima's Strontium Leaks a Neverending Crisis? (Germanos)
    • Joseph Dillard 08/11/2013 at 8:34 am

      To point to a bright side of very, very bad news, this will help to drive the dagger through the heart of the vampire which is the world wide atomic energy industry. It desperately needs this problem solved so that the public is not continuously reminded of just how unsafe nuclear power is. But this is a story that's not going away, because the geniuses that brought us nuclear power don't know how to fix this problem. Will wonders never cease. Another good example of what happens when you trust people with too much power and money and not enough accountability or transparency. I just hope we're learning it.

  • Obama's Reassurances about Domestic Surveillance are not Reassuring
    • Obama is, in effect, saying, "Trust me." Trust is the glue of government, at least to those that claim to govern by the consent of the people. The problem is that when professional liars lie to Congress under oath and get away with it, why should anyone believe anything that any of them have to say? Could not a case be made that one is indeed foolish to believe them?
      The damage here is to trust in governance per se, whether it is Democratic or Republican, whether you call it democratic, socialist, fascistic, corporate, plutocratic, or whatever. What happens in America when there is a widespread loss of trust in the government? A repeat of the 1860's seems highly unlikely, but what happens when the majority no longer trust whomever is in power? Educate me, please.

  • How Unreasonable Searches of Private Documents Caused the American Revolution
    • Terrorism is a scam. Likelihood you'll be killed by terrorists? 1:10,000,000 to 1:20,000,000. Likelihood you'll be killed by falling? 1:247. Where is the outrage calling for more handrails? Fear sells; irrational fear makes people money and keeps them making money. How much worse does it have to get before a majority demand a constitutional convention? It's time to put a choke-chain on the plutocrats.

  • How Internet Censorship Really Works
    • Joseph Dillard 07/02/2013 at 3:32 am

      When corporations voluntarily support government censorship we are not far from fascism. In this case, the fascism is about global corporate capitalism, not just about the NSA. The solution? It seems to me that the internet has to migrate to institutions (say, some international organization similar to the UN but less corrupt) or to countries (similar to tax refuges) that are not subject to the pressure of governments.This probably won't happen unless consumers demand it by first migrating to other, non-monitored platforms. Here's a start in that direction:

  • Who you Call is Far more Revealing than what you Say: Landau on Gov't Spying (Democracy Now!)
    • Joseph Dillard 06/13/2013 at 4:24 am

      Political realism says data mining is such a powerful tool that it is here to stay; all governments will use it routinely in a few years. So, what to do? Data mining of government communications, of course, and its daily publication. Transparency and accountability, while difficult, because of the government's powers to hide and punish, is the only meaningful response I can think of. Or do you see it differently?

  • President Obama and Counter-Terrorism: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
    • Joseph Dillard 05/24/2013 at 3:14 am

      Just as Max Planck declared, "Science progresses one funeral at a time," just as it takes the deaths of hundreds of textile workers in Bangladesh to slowly move the selfish and greedy in the clothing trade into supporting minimal human decency, so it takes the criminal excesses of rogue states (as surely the US is with its wars of aggression, torture, and drone assassinations) to advance human rights. What US policy is unwittingly doing is bringing closer the day when all presidents and prime ministers, and all governments are accountable before international courts, as a necessary defense against crimes against humanity. When people and nations refuse to respect the rights of others, in time forces step in to protect the common good. It's happening, and that lack of national sovereignty is a sad but necessary consequence.

  • Lawmakers Threaten Brooklyn College for Event on Boycott of Israel over Settlements (Democracy Now!)
  • Top Five Objections to the White House's Drone Killing Memo
    • Joseph Dillard 02/08/2013 at 3:12 am

      When I read some of the comments in this thread from some obviously thoughtful, intelligent, and concerned people, the words of Bertrand Russel seem worth repeating: "The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." How about more doubt about your own presuppositions and less childish attacks on those that disagree with you? They only demonstrate your own lack of objectivity.

    • Brian's point about the savings in money and lives of drone attacks is well taken. This is the military justification, and in fact, drones are part of an international movement toward less violent warfare that is less costly and kills fewer people. Those considerations have obviously won out over the legal ones in the halls of power. That having been acknowledged, clearly Juan, myself, and many of the commentors to this excellent post agree with Lord Shaftesbury: "What is morally wrong can never be politically right."

    • It is clear that our President, a constitutional scholar, is committing war crimes in violation of the constitution, crimes for which he could and should be impeached. Note that there have been a number of attempts to raise the issue of impeachment by Republicans on various other issues, but none on this, the Elephant in the Living Room.
      Why not? Because both parties accept and support these violations of the constitution. They favor an extra-judicial Executive, one that is above and beyond the law in the conduct of foreign affairs.
      Something will eventually have to give: either the Constitution will have to be abolished and laws that reflect the reality of autocracy put in place, or both parties will have to return to sanity, which means submission not only to Federal, but international law.
      I hope for the second, but I see no movement in this direction. So many Progressives fail to condemn Obama in this. Thanks for this, Juan.

  • Iranian Revolutionary Guards' Natural Gas Platform Sinks
  • Will a declining America Start Having to Obey the same Rules as Everybody Else? (Chomsky)
    • Joseph Dillard 02/04/2013 at 3:05 am

      Brilliant as usual. No wonder neo-conservatives and Zionists (as opposed to the majority of Jews) detest him.

  • UN to look into US Drone Program, but the Biggest Victim is Democracy
    • Many of the responses here look at Obama's drone attacks through the filters of US precedents. The time is coming when this will no longer suffice; US actions will be increasingly subject to international standards of justice and criminality. And, it is simply a matter of objectivityl to find out what justice is in this case: if it were another country committing these acts to an ally or to property of the United States, would we consider it a war crime? Indeed, as we did in Nuremburg.

    • Response to Greg:
      The answer to your concern is very simple: do not attack people who have not attacked the United States. You may recall that the Constitution reserves the right to wage war to Congress; that Congress has abrogated its responsibilities for years does not mean that a solution does not presently exist; indeed, it always has.

    • "The biggest innocent victim of the drones, after the noncombatant adults and children who are killed in the strike, is the United States Constitution."
      But that couldn't be, because Obama is a Constitutional professor and sworn to protecting the Constitution. Of course these drone strikes will eventually be declared extra-legal and illegitimate in the eyes of the world, but when has that had any impact on US policy or behavior? But neither my cynicism nor US policy should keep the UN from stating publicly what is a crime and who is a criminal.

  • Obama's Inaugural and the Danger of an Iran War
    • Obama has never been in a stronger negotiating position with Iran. It looks right now like that position will be strengthening. He has beaten back neoconservative/Israeli obstructions to negotiations; he probably wants a de-escalation, having no fundamental beef with Iran, and Iran is probably more ready to deal to eliminate the boycott if US shows a reasonable negotiating position. A Syria and Lebanon de-coupled from Iran is no guarantee they will be any more supportive of Israel. On the contrary, the institution of a democracy in Syria could be very bad for Israel. Look for Obama to surprise everyone by entering into serious negotiations with Iran.

  • Top 10 Ways the Middle East Changed, 2012
    • Looks like Netanyahu's three signature efforts in 2012 went nowhere: he failed to block Palestine's UN membership bid; he failed to get the US to attack Iran for him or endorse an Israeli bombing campaign (although the US/European boycott is indeed an act of war); and he failed to accomplish anything significant in his attack on Gaza. His policy of settlement building has pushed the Palestinian Authority toward dissolving itself, making enforcing Israeli apartheid a totally Israeli project, as it should be.

  • Schwarzkopf (RIP) and How the United States got Bogged Down in the Middle East
    • Joseph Dillard 12/28/2012 at 9:09 am

      Thanks for bringing a little rationality and realism in the midst of all the tributes happening out there in Fantasyland.

  • UN Security Council Condemns Further Israeli Squatting on Palestinian Land, with Rogue State US Vetoing
    • Fascinating and impressive. Many thanks for this.

    • Joseph Dillard 12/20/2012 at 3:00 am

      Time to boycott all Israeli manufactured goods and to divest your stock portfolio and that of your educational institution and/or work retirement fund of Israeli-related companies. The Security Council members have cast their votes; you need to cast yours.

  • As Jews, with our own Painful History of Oppression... [South African Jewish Statement on Palestinians]
    • Joseph Dillard 12/18/2012 at 5:42 am

      This is beautiful. The entire world should applaud the courage and nobility of these people. It is time all of us put human rights above any and all forms of sectarianism.

  • Why HSBC "money-laundering" is Mostly about US Bullying Foreign Policy
    • Joseph Dillard 12/14/2012 at 4:15 am

      This will continue until people like you and me understand that the financial sector is fundamentally larcenous by nature and do whatever they can to not feed the beast through socially responsible investment and putting their money in locally accountable institutions. What is surprising is that anyone should be surprised that very educated, very smart, professional people bringing down huge salaries are not ethical. On the contrary, the more power one has, the more unethical one is likely to be. Why do people not understand this fundamental truth?

  • In Memoriam: Ravi Shankar teaches George Harrison to Play Sitar
    • Joseph Dillard 12/12/2012 at 1:43 am

      Music and meditation: two powerful, non-threatening ways to weave together East and West while avoiding the pitfalls of religious divisions. They can at best support human rights while saying nothing against the unique traditions from which they spring. Both are helping us, as a species, evolve beyond war.

  • Palestinian Legal strategy against Israel: The Real Prize is Europe
    • Joseph Dillard 11/30/2012 at 4:14 pm

      "Even old friends like Germany refused to stand alongside us. There were external factors, but it is hard not to see this as a total failure for our diplomacy which will obviously have consequences," said a senior official, who declined to be named.
      That just about says it all.
      Like US Republicans, it's a new day, and there's massive denial going on.

  • AP Punked on Iran by Junk Science Graph (Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists)
    • Joseph Dillard 11/29/2012 at 3:27 am

      What is good about this is accountability forced by increased transparency and the resulting embarrassment. It means that the AP will be forced to check its sources more carefully, as indeed, everyone is who uses the internet and media, because it is increasingly easy to call out lies immediately, therefore leaving the misinformed, uninformed, or punked looking stupid and ignorant. I recently unknowingly spread phony pictures of Hurricane Sandy, causing me to become more vigilant. This increase in accountability and self-monitoring at all levels is a very, very healthy under-reported movement for politics and humanity.

  • RT's Abby Martin Accuses Israel of War Crimes for Targetting Journalists
  • The Way Forward in the Middle East -- Peled & Peled
    • Excellent. The only problem with this proposal is that it is rational, meaning that it will only happen when the irrational in both camps (and their international supporters) lose power. We can only hope - but we can also do what we can to support reason and the human rights movements across the planet.

  • Dear Foreigner-Haters: Immigration is Good for You
    • Dr Cole,

      I am a US citizen who now lives in Berlin. As you know, Germany has admitted to failure in assimilating its Turkish immigrant population. Anti-immigration interests are still fringe here, but growing. If any large European country could absorb immigrants easily at present, it would be Germany, as its unemployment has returned to pre-recession (2007) levels. People point to such factors as Islamophobia, the clanishness of the immigrants, or to their intention to not stay in Germany. I don't see any of these explanations as satisfactory. It's an important question, because if Germany can't figure out how to deal with immigration in today's world, the chances that more stressed economies will do so is not good.

      Thank you.

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