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Total number of comments: 287 (since 2013-11-28 14:42:42)


Showing comments 287 - 201

  • Iraq: Al-Sadr & Communist Party ally against Corruption, Iranian Hegemony
  • US university demands Palestinian academic not criticise Israel in speech
    • This sort of McCarthyism is unacceptable, particularly when it is in favor of a foreign power! Any official who tries to force these "loyalty to Israel" pledges on Americans should be thrown in prison for treason.

  • Israel passes law to strip residency of Jerusalem's Palestinians
    • Apart from the mindless US support, I question what is propping up the racist apartheid regime in Israel. No other country supports it and three quarters of its own population opposes it (though only half of the population is allowed vote, so the regime gets the support of slightly over half the voters). Each year they alienate another group of voters. I suppose there is inertia, as with apartheid South Africa, in the aristocratic power structures.

  • Russia warns Israel on Syria strikes, danger to Russian Troops
    • And FWIW, my broader analysis of Syria is that the conclusion became clear as soon as Putin decided to make Assad into his puppet (which was successful). The anti-Assad coalition was not sufficiently large to prevent Russian domination. This is essentiallly equivalent to the CIA backing the Shah of Iran against democratic forces back in the 1950s. The Russian-backed puppet state will probably last 25 years or so before it loses so much support that Russia's backing cannot keep it going.

  • Trump's Plan to use Fossil Fuels to dominate the Globe
    • The thing is, this fossil fuel promotion is idiotic; it simply won't work.

      At this point, solar/wind/batteries are straight-up cheaper than fossil fuels, and that's only going to become more true over time.

      Trump's vaunted promotion of coal... has led to nothing but more closures of coal mines and coal power plants. He seems to have extended the fracking bubble by a year or so, but the companies are still all losing money and so finance is drying up. Electric cars are taking over the world, quickly.

      Trump will end up with imperial control over worthless black stuff which nobody wants -- while China becomes the world's only superpower.

  • Bahrain is even Deporting its own Citizens (Shh, don't Tell Trump)
    • The Bahrain regime is still a Saudi puppet relying on Saudi troops to remain in power, right? The Saudis think they can get away with anything, including violations of international law which cause trouble for other countries, because of their oil money.

  • A Crisis of Democracy: Trump's block of Dem Response to Nunes
    • Someone very wise once told me that the reason we would not end up with a kleptocratic centralized dictatorship like Russia was...

      ...we have elected state and local governments. The state governments are now the main force fighting against the degenerate, corrupt, fascistic federal government. They are very powerful, and they have legitimacy, unlike the current President who got fewer votes than his competition.

  • Russia-aided Syria shoots down Israeli F-16 after downing of Iranian Drone
    • Russia can bring in new equipment within days. They have cargo transport planes.

    • It's pretty clear Iran didn't send the drone. They basically just sell the drones to Hezbollah. Understandably Hezbollah is tracking the fundamentalists backed by Israel, who are their direct enemies.

  • What's with the Victorious GOP's obsession with Civil War?
    • The Republicans today are the direct ideological descendent of the slavers who started the Civil War. Of course they're obsessed with it. Perhaps they forget that (a) they started it, and (b) they lost.

      The slavers were very successful, dominating the US, before they became too arrogant and greedy and started trying to expand slavery into free states and into the territories. After they went way too far, the good guys slaughtered them, as they justly deserved.

      At some level, the current right-wing slavers know who they are: they know that they're the bad guys. They want to start a war just like the slavers of 1850 want to start a war.

      We don't want a war and we are trying to prevent one. But like Lincoln, those of us who constitute a *large majority* and include all the scientists and all the industrialists, we will not tolerate the domination of the country by a minority of slavers; we will do what it takes to defend freedom, even if it means going all Sherman on the traitors. That is the lesson of the Civil War... but the slavers seem to be unable to learn it.

  • Washington's Supreme Hypocrisy on Chemical Weapons and Civilian Deaths
    • You seriously think that Russia couldn't remove Assad in favor of a different Baathist? That's obviously what they should do.

      If they can't, Putin is *very very weak*.

    • Bashar bombed peaceful protestors from the air.

      That was the unforgiveable war crime and worse -- it was an error.

      From that point on, the only option has been for Assad to be replaced with someone else; it's just a matter of time. Hell, someone else in his *own family* would have been sufficient, but for some reason he wasn't willing to do it.

  • ISIL: Imbecilic Buffoon Trump leading America to Extinction
    • *Nobody* knows what to do about North Korea, including the Chinese government, who are very smart.

      Assad... the correct thing is to talk to Putin about replacing Assad with a different less-sadistic Russian puppet, which would calm things down for a generation, but nobody seems willing to do that.

    • It is refreshing to remember that the world proceeded *very cautiously* with respect to Tojo's Japan and Hitler's Germany and gave them multiple chances to back down and/or change government. The European War didn't start until the invasion of Poland; the Pacific War didn't start until the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

      As as result, if we *kick Trump out in favor of someone sane and non-miltaristic* in 2020, we'll probably be OK...

  • Trump Ordered 70 Airstrikes in Yemen, Twice as Many as Last Year of Obama
    • The US war crimes in Yemen in support of Saudi Arabia's illegal war in Yemen are.... completely deranged and insane. We have no strategic interest and are just making enemies.

  • How our Standing Wars are Warping Us
    • Already came very close to happening in the Syria/Iraq quagmire, where the US is supporting one group on one side of the border and opposing the same group on the other side of the border.

  • After Israel Land-Theft Vote, will Trump & GOP Congress try to defund the UN?
    • Given how much infrastructure is already in Geneva and that Geneva was the HQ of the League of Nations... Geneva. Move back from NY to Geneva.

      The US not funding the UN isn't a good enough reason to kick the US out. If the US shows enough hysterical behavior to actually leave the UN, however, then it should automatically get kicked off the Security Council for being a non-member-state....

  • US breaks off Military Cooperation with Russia in Syria
    • Neither the US nor Russia is capable of doing a god-damn thing in Syria. The US should have the sense to get out and accept refugees. Putin won't have the sense to do so and may walk himself into a quagmire as bad as Afghanistan (which Gorbachev says was a major cause of the fall of the USSR) -- advise him to get out and then let him make his own mistakes.

      I think Putin hasn't noticed that he's backing a puppet who's already lost power. That is really really ineffective, and even less effective nowadays. He tried it in the Ukraine and failed.

  • Iran releases Canadian Academic it accused of 'Feminism,' but Crackdown on Women Activists Continues
    • Establishing women's rights is, historically speaking, generally the most important and the first process in any country which is improving itself (or arguably the second after the abolition of slavery). It is, absolutely, a homegrown process, and all outsiders can do is offer words of support, nothing more.

  • Saudi women demand full rights, end to guardianship system
  • How the JASTA override on Saudi could Bite Americans in the Ass
    • The US neither needs nor wants Saudi oil money; it has been a nasty distorting effect on our politics for decades. Get rid of it.

    • Saudi Arabia invaded Yemen to support one of the four sides in the civil war, and proceeded to commit war crimes.

      There is no Iranian involvement in Yemen, that's just a Saudi lie. There are four competing local Yemeni groups. This dates back to the merger of North and South Yemen, which was a mistake.

    • It's overdue for the US to be sued in US courts for the US's own acts of terrorism, which are well documented. This would be the best possible outcome.

  • If Spec Ops are the future of the US Military, it isn't Winning many Wars
    • Thomas Ricks explained *why* the US military behaves this way in practice in his Nimitz lecture. The underlying reason is of course that it's run to give money to weapons contractors, not to actually win.

  • Vote For Hillary Clinton Or Die in a Fiery Apocalypse: A Letter To Young Progressives
    • The electoral votes from Florida were stolen outright in 2000 by a criminal and treasonous US Supreme Court. The Congressional Black Caucus protested but they couldn't get one Senator to assist them, unfortunately.

    • The GOP became illegitimate when they nominated Ronald Reagan.

    • Reagan was an existential threat. We survivved it somehow. I can't get worked up about Trump.

    • The US military is a completely worthless pile of garbage right now, because it's run by the generals for the purpose of enriching military contractors. Not for the purpose of actually winning wars, which it never does.

      After it's destroyed, obviously, the people of the US would scrape together a new military which would win, we're good at that.

    • Whatever. Shut up, condescending idiot.

      First lesson: the US has an electoral college. If you aren't in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Colorado, or Florida, your vote doesn't matter. Vote third party.

      Second lesson: even if Clinton wins the most votes in Florida, it'll still be stolen. Remember 2000? So your vote doesn't matter in Florida either (but vote there anyway).

  • The Presidential Debate that did not really Happen
    • You do realize that the "Presidential Election Did Not Happen" article applies 100% to the elections of Reagan in 1980 and 1984, who was a complete phony trying to create an alternate reality. We've been here before.

  • Obama not only did not pay Iran Ransom, he denied Iran Billions it had Coming to It
    • Refusing international court orders is not a good idea.

      It would be enforced by attaching US assets abroad and transferring them to Iran. The US government has a dangerous number of assets abroad. What are we gonna do when the title to the land is transferred to Iran? We aren't going to declare war on France or Germany or India or anyone else, because that would be stupid.

      The US went out of its way in the 1950s to make enemies with the people of Iran, which is crazy, because Iran was culturally a natural US ally in the region (unlike the psychos running Saudi Arabia). Obama is finally correcting this.

  • The Decay of American Politics: Pseudo-Election 2016
    • Sanders was being very polite. The thing about left-wingers is, they insist that you try all the peaceful options before trying the really destructive options.

      But when they go to war, right-wingers beware. Left-wingers are much, much more ruthless. Ask the Confederates about General Sherman.

      Given the demographics -- the right wing is almost all really old now -- the left wing is *going to* win. We're going to dismantle the US empire as thoroughly as Atlee dismantled Britain's empire.

      The only question is how much of a mess it's going to be. The longer it takes the left to overthrow the demented forces of the status quo, the less of a mess it will be.

    • This is nothing new. The US experienced a very similar dysfunctional political situation in the 1850s. The brand-new Free Soil and Republican Parties cut through the crap. Then we had the Civil War.

      The US experienced another very similar dysfunctional political situation in the 1890s. Third parties started rising. Teddy Roosevelt partly corrected it, and finally Woodrow Wilson adopted the platforms of several third-parties wholesale.

      10 years later, the political situation was as bad as ever, and the Great Crash happened. This time, the US ordered troops to fire on the Bonus Army; FDR was elected and promptly told Congress and the Supreme Court that they were going to accept the New Deal or watch themselves be bypassed.

      Our political system has almost completely failed at least five times so far (first was Jefferson destroying the original planned system, second was Andrew Jackson's dictatorship) and it has subsequently been sort of revived, but with massive changes. This will happen again very soon. This one is looking particularly bad, as the existing system seems remarkably unable to adapt; it may be Civil War level, though I'm hoping for New Deal level.

  • Winning in Losing: How Sanders pushed Clinton to the Left
    • The campaign isn't over until California votes.

      Bernie still has about a 50-50 shot of winning. It all depends on the California vote. Remember what a huge percentage of the vote he got in Washington and Oregon? This is possible in California, though it wasn't possible in the east-coast closed-primary states.

      The important thing to realize is that Clintonism is dead. She will probably govern as a right-winger just like Obama did, but she will have no support for it. She's probably so damn stupid she'll run for re-election in 2020, in which case she'll lose to the Republican Fascist candidate. 2024, if the fascists haven't abolished elections by then, the liberal candidate wins by a huge landslide.

  • Majority of Palestinian Youth support Violent Resistance to Israeli Occupation, despair of state of their own
    • Not hard to understand why. Especially for the people in the open-air concentration camp of Gaza.

  • Reinventing Saudi Arabia after Oil: The Prince's $2 Trillion Gamble
    • When the oil money runs out, the rest of the Muslim world will not long tolerate KSA's control of the Holy Cities. Expect the government to collapse.

      Expect most of the princes to have moved to London, New York, Hong Kong, Tokyo, or whereever before that.

  • Are Cruz And Kasich smart enough to stop Trump?
    • Cruz is the worst most dangerous candidate, being a religious fanatic. We must hope Trump beats him in the primary.

      Trump's anti-Muslim statements are not deeply held, they're demagoguing.

      Cruz really truly believes Muslims are evil. He is much much more dangerous.

  • Syria: More US Weaponry goes to al-Qaeda
    • Is it not time for US politicians to realize that the alliance with *SAUDI ARABIA*, a repressive, theocratic, absolute monarchy which treats women as property, is the core problem here?

      Saudi Arabia is run by ideological supporters of Wahhabiism, so it will continue to support it. But we in the West should not!

  • Winners and Losers in 5 Years of Syrian Civil War
    • Morocco has had a very successful and smooth liberalization thanks to the King being *smart*.

      It's now a consitutional monarchy like 18th-century or early 19th-century UK (where the King still has real power, but must listen to parliament).

      Assad is an idiot. He could have done essentially the same thing; he chose not to and wrecked his country because of it.

    • Oh, Assad's toast. The one thing everyone in Syria agrees on is that Assad caused all the problems by his incompetent reaction to the initial protests -- they can see the much more intelligent reaction taken by other dictators.

      The best thing for the Alawite leadership to do is to quietly maneuver Assad out and put in a different strongman. I still expect them to do it.

  • Which Protest-busting Dictator is Trump most Like?
    • No, the Jim Crow South was highly centralized tyranny at the governor's office level.

      Honestly, there are *lots* of terrifying examples of high-level government officials inciting violence against innocent people in the US. There are very few *after World War II*, thank you FDR, but the 19th century was pretty ugly.

  • Does Bernie's Michigan Win make it a whole new Ball Game?
    • Nathanael Nerode 03/10/2016 at 12:17 am

      Proportional representation, and a unicameral legislature, and a Parliamentary system, now! (Sigh... it's unpleasantly hard to get people to care about electoral systems.)

  • Oil Glut Blues and the last hurrah of the Fossil Fuel Bubble
  • Why did Ted Cruz win Saturday? Is this a Turning point against Trump?
    • I sure hope Cruz doesn't win. He's a Seven Mountains Dominionist. He's actually part of a movement which aims to overthrow democracy in the US and replace it with a Christian "Dominion" with Cruz as a "King". In order to bring about the End of the World and the Second Coming.

      Really. Google it. He's that crazy and that dangerous.

      Trump would be much much better than Cruz. Cruz might actually start WWIII.

  • Beyond Syria: Saudi Arabia's Strategies for Dealing with Iran
    • Oh, a link regarding the collapse of Saudi Arabia:
      link to

    • The US ought to start planning for the collapse of Saudi Arabia. Since the US government is run by lunatics (I refer not to the elected officials, but to the "deep state" military-industrial complex), it won't.

  • Turkey's Elections no longer for Democracy but for Nationalist-Conservative Domination
    • "The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers."

      This is what I think of whenever I watch people like Erdogan attempting military crackdowns... and strengthening the PKK as a result.

  • How the US went Fascist: Mass media Makes excuses for Trump Voters
    • Fascism is the second choice of the business bully-boys. Their first choice is pure aristocracy, but this is failing (notice that Jeb Bush couldn't win any support).

      They will do *anything* to prevent socialism, which is what's actually popular.

    • Trump's actually less dangerous than the other Republicans.

      Cruz is a *theocrat*. His father told him that he was *prophesied* to rule the "political realm" as part of the process of bringing about the Second Coming. He is the candidate most likely to start WWIII.

      Rubio, Bush, and Kasich are all deeply corrupt scam artists in the pay of a few aristocrats who have demonstrated that their highest and top priorities are *preventing people from voting* and giving more money to their backers.

      Compared to *THAT*, fascism is actually an *improvement*. And that's why Trump is winning the Republican nomination.

    • As Mark Koroi points out, you have a short memory and you have forgotten David Duke, who *was* a Grand Wizard of the KKK.

    • Remember, Mussolini became "Il Duce" because the King of Italy refused to allow the *socialists* to run the government, and appointed Mussolini instead.

      Basically, socialists are the only alternative to fascism. People will not tolerate the status quo any more.

    • The current government is run by *aristocrats*. People are completely fed up with that, which is why aristocratic candidates like Rubio and Kasich and Bush are losing, and why Hillary Clinton will also lose.

      The alternative to aristocracy are socialism, and fascism.

      When the socialists are suppressed, the fascists win -- as we saw in Italy in the 1920s and Germany in the 1930s.

      Our biggest problem is that the aristocrats prefer fascists to socialists, so they'll do anything to sabotage socialists.

      Bascially, vote Bernie; if we nominate Hillary, we get Trump.

  • Is Iran the most Stable Country in the Mideast 37 Years after its Revolution?
    • "The political structure in Iran is very complex and convoluted, and it certainly cannot be called either a democracy or a totalitarian regime. "

      The situation in Iran is very similar to the governmental situation of the UK from the Restoration of Charles II in 1660 until the Great Reform Bill in 1832.

      As such I give them the best chance of developing full democracy of any country which doesn't have democracy yet.

  • Top 5 Scalia Rulings that helped Progressives
    • Kennedy is the most humane of those five.

      Scalia the most willing to *occasionally* follow his principles? Maybe, but he usually ignored his own principles, so that's not saying much.

      You want principled, look at David Souter or Stephen Breyer, both of whom earned my massive, massive respect.
      For what it's worth, I'm voting Bernie *strictly* on electability grounds. Hillary's a terrible campaigner with no coattails, and Bernie's consistently better in head-to-heads against every Republican than Hillary is.

    • Actually, he wasn't. Bush v. Gore would have been considered a retrograde, out of line, biased ruling by 1800.

      Progressive for the 1700s, I guess.

    • Actually, Scalia did NOT believe in strict textualism. He just said he did, and then made totally non-textualist, non-originalist rulings.

      link to

    • You did pretty damn well at finding something positive to say about him.

      Unfortunately, Bush v. Gore proved that he was an absolute crook who ruled entirely based on who the parties to the case were. And he's done that in lots of other cases too, contradicting his own previous opinions to let the favored side win.

      He should never ever have been made a judge. Lawyer, OK, but judge, never. He lacked the temperment.

  • Israel: Former official Labeled Traitor for backing Vets Denouncing Occupation
    • Israel is completely, utterly screwed. A majority of the people who the government allows to vote have now bought into messianic lunatic propaganda.

      The real problem is that these nuts have nuclear weapons. The best thing which could happen to Israel is the total destruction of its nuclear weapons program ASAP.

      If the messianic nuts running Israel launch a nuke, Israel and Palestine will, by *self defense action* of Russia and/or China, both be obliterated from the sky and the Holy Land will become an uninhabitable exclusion zone. I think nobody really wants that.

  • Exasperated by Netanyahu, France Prepares to Recognize Palestinian State
    • Uri Avnery attempts to look at the South African comparison (sensible since the state of Israel is very very much like apartheid South Africa).

      But he misses the main point: South African apartheid fell because of *De Klerk* -- a lifelong National Party member, an Afrikaaner, who finally decided that they were going to lose and that they had better made a deal while they still could.

      Basically, the Afrikaaners could dismantle the system of apartheid oppression and elite control on their terms... or try to hang on to it, and be taken to the guillotine and lose all their property. The same calculation faced by the Tsars of Russia (who made the wrong choice), the Kings of France (who made the wrong choice), and the Kings of England (who made the *right* choice).

      Israel's government seems absolutely hellbent on making the wrong choice. There might be a "de Klerk" buried somewhere within the Likud Party, but I can't imagine it.

      I'm not sure when the populist revolution in Israel/Palestine will overthrow the fascist racist government. 20 years? 40 years? But when it happens, that's how people will describe the event.

    • I've having trouble figuring out the endgame here.

      While the world recognizes the Palestinian state, the Israeli apartheid government has already made it impossible. They are engaging in additional colonialism, ramping up racism against the Arabs who already have the vote, and now arresting left-wing activists on trumped-up charges and attempting to censor the media -- heading straight for fascism.

      The Palestinian liberation movement has shifted to a one-state, civil-society, votes-for-everyone movement, within the last few years.

      So how does this work out? The Israeli government will be internationally isolated with the Palestinian state recognized, but the Palestinian state will be a "state in exile" with no actual control.

      So what happens next? I don't see what the endgame is here. This is a horrendously unstable situation in Palestine.

      The total collapse of Saudi Arabia probably happens in the next 10 years -- does that affect things?

  • Will Iowa's Women Dems choose Hillary or Bernie?
    • Unsurprisingly, the *real* divide is by age. Women over 45 prefer Hillary; women under 45 prefer Bernie.

      Bernie's kind of politics is the future of the US, which is kind of hilarious given how old he is. I hope he wins because 4 more years of business-as-usual will be terrible for the US and the world. But if he doesn't, his supporters will be back in 4 years with another candidate and will have even more power. The trend is unmistakable.

      The only threats are: an outright fascist like Trump; and election theft.

  • Rhetorical Terror: GOP Candidates Pledge War Crimes, Carpet-Bombing, Asian Land Wars
    • The Whigs were this off the rails immediately preceding the US Civil War. The party actually *disintegrated*, of course, *and* the country ended up in the bloodiest war (from a US point of view) that the US has ever known.

    • Ah, but the US weapons manufacturers / military contractors (Merchants of Death) WANT all the weapons to blow up. So that they can sell more weapons.

      The Merchants of Death have an agenda totally at odds with the people of the US... and at odds with all people of good will in the world. But the Merchants of Death do spend a lot of money lobbying Congress!

    • Ever wondered how Hitler managed to win elections?

      Because the guys competing with him fell into two categories:
      (1) Socialists, who the aristocracy was terrified of and demonized
      (2) Guys like the lunatics at this debate (Rand Paul excepted, since he actually talked some sense).

      Trump is blatantly a fascist, and he's actually, objectively, *better* than nearly all of these guys. Think about what that means. This is how fascists win.

      For the love of all that is holy, VOTE FOR BERNIE SANDERS. Vote for the socialist, because socialism is the only real alternative to fascism.

  • Iran Unleashed: Rouhani's Triumphant European Tour
    • Apparently the Iranians didn't actually request this!

      (Persian history is full of art of naked people.)

      What happened was that the UAE requested this when a UAE dignitary visited. The Italians ASSumed that they should do the same thing for the Iranians.

  • Top 5 Ways Putin has won big in Syria and why Europe is embracing him
    • OK, so we already knew that Putin supported Assad, basically out of habit (Russia already has a bunch of leases and contracts with Assad). This is probably a bad move long-run, but Putin probably can make Assad into a puppet, and probably feels that he can replace Assad if necessary.

      The reveal for me in the article was this:
      " It is said that in mid-summer of 2015, Iranian special forces commander Qasem Soleimani flew to Moscow with a blunt message. The Syrian regime was going to fall if things went on the way they were going and Iran did not have the resources to stop it."

      *Iran* is unwise to support Assad. Are they doing so out of naive Shia-Sunni thinking, knee-jerk hostility to the Kurds, or what? Support for Assad is not particularly in the national interest of Iran, and they have no capability of making Assad into a puppet.

  • The Question isn't of Saving the World via Renewables but of how Much can be Saved
    • We actually do know several different processes for taking CO2 out of the atmosphere; the most obvious one is growing lots and lots of plants, and then sinking them in peat bogs or similar.

      But there are also several industrial processes which remove CO2 from the atmosphere, such as two different forms of carbon-negative concrete.

      But first we've got to stop spewing the CO2 *into* the atmosphere. ("When you're in a hole, stop digging")

    • Nuclear fusion? As I always say, we have a giant nuclear fusion reactor located conveniently 92.96 million miles away from us. The sun.

      There are numerous calculations showing that we can power the whole world with solar power *very* easily. We just need to do it.

    • If we can keep global warming down to the currently "baked in" level, we probably actually can protect most of New York City -- Manhattan is on a very steep piece of bedrock, and so is Brooklyn Heights. I've worked through the sea level rise maps a few times; southern Long Island will have to be abandoned, but that's not a great loss. Newark will have some serious problems.

      Likewise Boston and Cambridge will need help, but it's doable.

      South Florida is *completely* doomed already. Everything south of Orlando will have to be abandoned, and probably quite soon.

  • Turkish Pres. Erdogan cites Hitler in case for Presidential System
    • You'd think Erdogan's own party, the AKP, would kick him out at this point: he's acting so crazy and unstable that it's bad for the party.

    • Ah, but you may be wrong. There is a new powerbase in the US, represented by Google, Amazon, Microsoft, etc. And their interests are directly opposed to those of the short-sighted "private island" would-be tyrants.

  • Palestinian population to exceed that of Jews by 2020 in Israel/Palestine
    • 50/50 isn't enough to get justice or democracy, unfortunately.

      Even with nearly half of Israelis supporting justice.

      That still leaves 25% of the population -- the evil half of the Israeli population -- supporting oppression.

      Historically, a group as small as 10% of the population has been able to oppress the majority quite reliably for long periods, if they have enough special access to weaponry and training.

      The Saudis are likely to collapse first. The supporters of the regime are clearly far less than 10% of the population. The regime retains control through sheer bribery.

  • Europol: 1% of 2014 European Terrorism by Muslims
    • Here in the US, the primary source of terrorism is right-wing "Christian" groups: they murder doctors and bomb medical clinics, they burn crosses and attack black people for being black, they attack Hispanic people for being Hispanic, they murder groups of women for being women. Several have officially stated their intention to create a "Christian dominion" by overthrowing the US government -- they want to be the Christian version of Daesh / ISIS.

      Yet the media coddles these terrorist groups while spreading hysteria about Muslims.

  • Israeli PM: 'Arab terror and Jewish terror' are different
    • Israeli terrorism is super super common, to the point of being endemic. Everyone who's even visited the West Bank knows this. It's also state supported, like South African terrorism was under apartheid.

      Good Jewish people in the rest of the world need to repudiate the terrorist state of Israel. And some of them are. But groups like AIPAC and ADL aren't repudiating the terrorist state, which shows that they aren't good people.

      Just as good Christian people need to repudiate the Christian terrorists who murder doctors in the US. And some of them are. But many fundamentalist evangelical churches aren't, which shows that they aren't good people....

      Good Muslim people are already repudiating Muslim terrorists.

  • Yemen: US-Backed Saudi Coalition illegally bombing Residential Areas
    • This is basically an invasion of Yemen by the Saudi oligarchy. The Saudi government is illegitimate by modern standards, and feels threatened by any hint of a democratic government anywhere nearby.

      So far, this is just standard "evil dictator invades neighbor" material. The real question is why the US government has decided to join the war on the side of evil. This is not only evil, it's also monumentally stupid. The US gains absolutely nothing from allying with Saudi Arabia and loses a great deal. Best thing we could do would be to cut all ties with Saudi Arabia, close our embassies, sever diplomatic relations, and institute an embargo against them.

  • In Iraq's Ur, Archeologists Explore History's Potential to Unite A Divided Land
    • The Timbuktu archives are incredibly valuable, Library of Alexandria levels of value. Only comparable thing I can think of is the Mongolian archives of Buddhist and Chinese texts hidden and rescued from various book-burners over 10 centuries; there is also an effort underway to digitize them.

  • Putin: Turkey was protecting ISIL oil Smuggling; Russia urges Assad-Kurdish Alliance
    • Putin is a complete idiot, geopolitically speaking. Even Erdogan, who is completely megalomaniac, is outmaneuvering him.

      The US needs to get out of the Middle East completely, so that it can act as an honest broker and cool down the tensions between these *morons*. Iran will probably also be trying to cool down tensions -- Iran has strong interests in being allied with both Turkey and Russia.

      The US's natural ally in the region, geopolitically speaking, is Iran. But apparently *our* government idiots haven't figured that out yet.

      What a *mess*. This is very pre-WWI. The fascist movement in the US, currently following Trump, is the biggest worry, of course.

  • Shooting of pro-Kurdish Human Rights Lawyer Deepens Turkey's Political Crisis
    • It's not clear to me whether Turkey will make it to the next election, where Erdogan will be thrown out, or whether Erdogan will attempt to pass an Enabling Act and the country will erupt in civil war before then. Either way Erdogan is doomed; even his own party members are furious at him for damaging the business climate.

  • Turkey's Coup against Press, own Generals over Arms Supplies to Syrian Militants
    • Erdogan is no longer supporting his main backers, who were the Turkish business establishment. This sort of heavy-handed autocracy is going to be deeply unpopular with them. Also, he really thinks he can start arresting army generals on trumped-up charges of, uh, telling the truth?

      Erdogan's overplayed his hand. The propaganda-campaign election of 2015 isn't a mandate and won't stick. I think the result will probably be a lot messier than the three military coups which Turkey had in the past.

  • Angered that EU labels Squatter W. Bank Products, Israel suspends EU from "Peace Process"
    • That stuff is worthless.

      China's government has pretty much figured out that all those creepy weapons are worthless. And they have the absolute best computer spies in the world now.

      I'm not sure any of the other Great Powers have figured it out.

  • Turkey reels as Putin imposes Stiff Economic Sanctions
    • Putin's a moron. We all know the plane was in Turkish airspace; all the evidence supports it. It would have been wise of him to back down on that while saying that it was an honest mistake and that there must be something wrong with their radios that they didn't hear the warnings.

      Russia has no essential interest in its bombing of the Turkmens. Why are they even doing it? We know they aren't fighting ISIS; the Russians are carefully leaving ISIS alone.

    • No. You have a completely incompetent analysis...
      -- Russia wants a Russian puppet in power.
      -- Erdogan wants to wipe out the Kurds.
      -- Non-Erdogan Turkish interests want stability and trade.
      -- Iran wants a Shiite government.
      -- Saudi Arabia leadership wants a Saudi puppet.
      -- Saudi Arabia sub-leadership (the guys who funded 9/11) wants ISIS or Al Qaeda in power.

      Those are a lot of different goals. The only ones which are totally incompatible are the Saudi goals; neither can be achieved while satisfying anyone else. Erdogan's goal is also impractical since any military victory seems to depend on the Kurds. A Russian puppet would be practical, but the puppet shouldn't be Assad, who lost all legitimacy when he started carpet-bombing civilians.

      If Putin were not an *idiot*, he would be arranging to replace Assad with a smarter and more compliant Russian puppet government led by a Shiite. But Putin is an idiot.

    • Maybe Turkey was getting sick of Russian violating their airspace repeatedly? Putin does have a record of airspace violations (see Ukraine).

    • GAAAH! A drop in the lira is what Erdogan wanted, economically speaking. The drop in tourism is bad for business, but the drop in the lira is good for business.

      A cheap lira is good for EXPORTING businesses, and that's Erdogan's voting base.

      Meanwhile, Putin is going to tick off the Russians. They can't vacation in the Crimea, they can't vacation in Turkey, where are they gonna vacation? He's been making it harder and harder for Russians to take a vacation, while sending Russian conscripts into foreign wars which they have no interest in.

      Russia shouldn't have violated Turkish airspace. Putin is a complete idiot, geopolitically. His actions are self-sabotaging and are probably going to *benefit* Erdogan.

  • Abortion Clinics, White Christian Terrorism and GOP Candidates
    • Yep. There are big "madrasas" organized by most of the right-wing Christian fanatic groups to brainwash their followers and fill them with hate.

    • Or just "medical clinics".

      Every doctor in the world needs to know how to perform an emergency abortion; it's a lifesaving medical procedure, because pregnancy can kill the pregnant woman. Sadly, thanks to the terrorist anti-abortion groups, many doctors, even at emergency rooms, do not know how to perform this vital medical procedure and are wandering around with medical licenses which they should not have.

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