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Total number of comments: 26 (since 2013-11-28 15:54:44)

Patrick Cummins

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  • Shimon Peres doubts Israel can win Permanent war or Survive Annexation of West Bank
    • Patrick Cummins 11/06/2015 at 12:02 am

      What exactly does Peres have in mind when he advocates for a two-state solution? In 2008, he was reported to have "told members of the British Parliament ... that Israel would have difficulty dismantling West Bank settlements without causing a civil war in Israel." [link given below]

      The only two-state solution that Palestinians would accept, and the one which the world expects, would require the removal of Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Yet, Peres thinks this could lead to a civil war in Israel. Perhaps what he really has mind is something much less that a genuine Palestinian state, but rather an arrangement that allows Israel to keep its settlements in place, while giving limited autonomy to Palestinians. This would not be a more realistic approach than Netanyahu's present course.

      link to

  • John Kerry admits Israeli Apartheid; and 5 Ways he is Understating It
    • Patrick Cummins 04/28/2014 at 12:13 pm

      To save Israel from being identified with Apartheid, some liberal zionists such as Peter Beinart advance an argument noting that an Apartheid situation doesn't prevail in Israel proper, and since the West Bank and Gaza have not been annexed and are not officially part of Israel, then Israel is not really an Apartheid State. Of course, this is a just a piece of sophistry. However, it's easily circumvented by avoiding use of the 'Apartheid State' label and instead stating the obvious and undeniable: that Israel is guilty of the crime of Apartheid, and has been for decades.

  • Why did the Press Mythologize Gen. Petraeus in the first place?: Michael Hastings @ Piers Morgan
    • Patrick Cummins 11/14/2012 at 11:42 am

      Any careful examination of the record shows that Petreaus' surge in Iraq didn't actually succeed in achieving its stated objectives. However, it did allow the U.S. to save face and avoid a humiliating precipitous withdrawal from the country. This was paramount for the Washington establishment and the reason he's been lionized.

  • Top Ten Dangers for Obama of Iran Sanctions on behalf of Israel
    • Patrick Cummins 03/05/2012 at 3:04 am

      Great post. Will recommend to friends. Thanks for all your efforts. - Patrick

  • Israeli Mossad Agents allegedly Impersonated CIA in fostering Baluch Terrorism against Iran
    • Patrick Cummins 01/15/2012 at 10:25 pm

      So then Israel should be designated as a state sponsor of terrorism.

      In fact, if the U.S aided Jundullah in the past, it should give itself the same designation.

  • Palestinians seek UN Moxie
    • Patrick Cummins 09/18/2011 at 12:26 am

      Daniel Levi points out that the really loser in this matter will be the US and, in particular, President Obama. It will be the definitive demonstration of the incompetence of US leadership regarding Israel/Palestine. All of Obama’s efforts to win over Arab publics with the Cairo speech, the Libya intervention, support for the Arab spring, etc. will be fatally undermined.

      The same is also true for the reputation of my own country, Canada, which shamefully won’t support the Palestinians.

    • Patrick Cummins 09/18/2011 at 12:24 am

      Daniel Levi points out that the really loser in this matter will be the US and, in particular, President Obama. It will be the definitive demonstration of the incompetence of US leadership regarding Is;ael/Palestine. All of Obama's efforts to win over Arab publics with the Cairo speech, the Libya intervention, support for the Arab spring, etc. will be fatally undermined.

      The same is also true for the reputation of my own country, Canada, which shamefully won't support the Palestians.

  • Sadrists to Demonstrate in Baghdad against US Troops Remaining
    • "And it is this [Shiite] alignment that makes a long-term US troop presence so unlikely, since none of the regional principals want it."

      This is certain true over the long term. But you have to wonder if Iran would really object if, over the short run, the US keeps 3000 troups based in Iraq. Suppose that this putative force of 3000 is as vulnerable as Ricks suggests. Then Iran might regard them as useful hostages whose presence makes it that much more complicated and difficult for the US or Israel to launch an attack.

  • China offered Qaddafi Armaments in midst of war
    • Patrick Cummins 09/06/2011 at 1:00 am

      "China, Brazil, Russia and India worried that Libya would become a precedent for NATO intervention in their own countries."

      This interpretation makes little sense to me. If they were genuinely worried about this, then China and Russia would have vetoed the UNSC resolution that legitimated the Libya intervention.

      I think that a better interpretation is that China misjudged western intentions. The Chinese did not appreciate that by allowing UNSC resolution 1973 to pass they were effectively acquiescing in an agenda of regime change in Libya, which is something they don't support.

      If it was to do over, UNSC 1973 wouldn't pass, and there won't be another similar UN-legitimated R2P intervention.

  • US Public Backs Obama, Wants out of Afghanistan
    • "The Iraq War, [was] a war of choice, ... [with] no UN Security Council authorization for the war."

      A 'war of choice' lacking UNSC authorization is a war of aggression. Why not use less obfuscatory language and refer to it as such?

  • Obama and the End of Al-Qaeda
    • Patrick Cummins 05/02/2011 at 3:11 pm

      "By waging a war that was neither in self-defense nor authorized by the UNSC, in contravention of the UN Charter (a treaty to which the US is signatory), W. and Dick Cheney were throwing away the achievement of the founders of the UN, and returning us to the international jungle, where the strong fall upon the weak with no framework of law."

      Yes, indeed they were. I think it's worth noting that this process began formally in the 1980s when the Reagan administration declared that the United States would no longer recognize the compulsory jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice, which is the legal arm of the UN.

      This occurred as Nicaragua brought a case to the court against the United States in 1984 for its support of the Contra guerrillas. When the court agreed to hear the case over the protests of the Reagan administration, the US government ended its recognition of the court. Obama could send a signal that the US was truly willing to abide by international law by reversing this decision. Paying the reparations that were awarded to Nicaragua would be another good signal.

    • Patrick Cummins 05/02/2011 at 12:20 pm

      "Obama ... can do one other great good for this country abroad. He can get us out of Iraq altogether."

      Dear Prof. Cole,
      In the past, you have been expressed great confidence that the US presence in Iraq would essentially end in December, as per the signed agreement with the Iraqi. Are you now having doubts?

      If the US does leave, and I think it will, then it will be because the Iraqis insist on it, and not because of Obama's leadership. His administration and the Pentagon are now pressing the Iraqis to extend the US presence to allow some 20,000 troops to stay. Whatever his personal views may be, Obama is acting in this matter much as G.W. Bush would have.

  • Israeli Soldiers' Brutality at Prison Camp for Palestinians
    • Patrick Cummins 04/18/2011 at 10:49 pm

      "Israel cannot become a normal, really successful society until it lets Palestinians have statehood and popular sovereignty."

      As John Mearscheimer, and many others, have emphasized, the prospects for establishment of a Palestinian state have been eclipsed by the relentless colonization of the West Bank.

      link to

  • Al-Sadr Threatens Mahdi Army Revival if US Troops Stay
    • Patrick Cummins 04/11/2011 at 1:19 am

      Paul Krugman on Obama as timid, habitually capitulating to his opponents, and incapable of taking a stand:

      link to

    • Patrick Cummins 04/11/2011 at 1:05 am

      Dear Prof. Cole,

      It's important to keep in mind that the Pentagon is dead set against leaving Iraq. Doing so is understood (rightly or wrongly) to represent a major strategic defeated This statement by Anthony Cordesman, who is close to the Pentagon, is an indication of this thinking:

      “ ... we have not yet won anything in grand strategic terms. If we don’t maintain strong presence ... we throw away any chance at turning what has so far been a tactical victory into one that has any lasting meaning.”

      link to

      Obama's personal inclination may well be to remove the troops from Iraq. However, in this regard, he will face entrenched resistance from the military establishment. We've seen repeatedly that Obama tends to capitulate in such circumstances, and he is doing so again.

  • Answer to Glenn Greenwald
    • Dear Prof. Cole,

      You wrote ten days ago that the western intervention in Libya "should not be a war on the Qaddafi regime."
      (link to

      Over the last several days, we've had statements from Hillary Clinton and William Hague that they believe arming the rebels to overthrow Qaddafi authorized under UNSC resolution 1973. We are now learning of covert CIA operations in Libya. And it is plainly evident that western airpower has been used to help the rebels military advance to the west.

      From all this and more, it is clear that western military forces have been indeed been engaged in a war on Qaddafi's regime. Using force, they are supporting the rebels and trying to create the conditions that will precipitate Qaddifi's departure from the country

      It seems to me that this is a matter that you have yet to face up to. I can see that there was a strong moral case to be made for preventintg a Sebrenica-like massacre. UNSC resolution 1973 was a response to that emergency. However, western powers are no longer abiding by resolution 1973 (if they ever were). They are engaged in regime change. This is contrary to UNSC 1973 and the limited intervention that you have advocated.

      Given this course of events, you can bet that resolution 1973 will be the first, and last, experiment in UN-approved humanitarian intervention. The next time around, expect China and/or Russia to veto.

  • How the No Fly Zone Can Succeed
    • Patrick Cummins 03/21/2011 at 1:58 pm

      "1. It should not be open-ended, but rather should have an expiration date. The no-fly zone is a response to a specific humanitarian crisis ... that crisis must not draw the UN allies into a years-long quagmire."

      Western powers are striving implicitly for regime change. If Gaddafi's regime survives and there is a stalemate, then you can expect war to continue indefinitely. Given the demonisation of Gaddafi, it is inconceivable that they will accept an accomodation in which he remains in place. The coalition is betting that there will be an internal coup which will remove Qaddafi and lead to a replacement of his regime. (This is not unlike Iraq in 1991 when it was expected that Saddam Hussein would be remove by a coup, although in that case the goal was not a full-scale change of regime.) If no coup materializes, then you can expect the western powers will try to kill Qaddafi.

      "2. It should be a no-fly zone, not a war on the Qaddafi regime."

      Sorry, but it already is a war on Qaddafi's regime. The Security Council gave an inch by sanctioning the protection of civilians. But the western powers have taken a mile by pursuing their real objective of regime change.

  • Qaddafi's Bombardments Recall Mussolini's
    • Patrick Cummins 02/24/2011 at 1:07 pm

      Another close parallel to Qaddafi's aerial bombardment of protestors would be Nicaraguan dictator Anastasio Somoza's bombing and strafing of Matagalpa in June, 1979. In this brutal and futile attempt to crush the Sandinista rebellion, Somoza's warplanes attacked the civilian neightborhoods of Matagalpa for about a month's time.

  • King on Guns, War and Non-Violence as a Social Movement
    • I find it hard to believe that non-violent resistance will win the day for the Palestinians and end the ongoing colonization of Palestine. Peaceful protesters are being fired upon regularly, and leaders advocating non-violent resistance are being imprisoned. On the other hand, violent resistance seems even less promising and will certainly visit more disasters on this people.

  • Al-Maliki: US Troops Out!
    • Patrick Cummins 12/30/2010 at 10:17 pm

      Dear Prof. Cole,
      The scenario that you outline for Iraq is certainly plausible and it is outcome that is viewed by the US gov't, and especially the Pentagon, as a strategic defeat for the United States. It is not just neo-conservatives who see things this way. For example, here is Anthony Cordesman, a mainstream figure close to the Pentagon, as quoted in the NY Times:

      “We don’t yet know whether Iraq’s new government will be friendly enough to want a strategic partnership, or stable and effective enough to make one work. ... What we do know is that Iraq is far from over its internal problems, and we have not yet won anything in grand strategic terms."

      “If we don’t maintain strong presence,” [Cordesman] continued, “if the State Department does not have sufficient funding to aid Iraq in improving its economy and governance, if Defense cannot maintain a strong advisory presence and offer aid to Iraq in rebuilding its military forces to the point where it can defend the nation, we throw away any chance at turning what has so far been a tactical victory into one that has any lasting meaning.”

      This passage appears near the end of this article:

      link to iraq&st=cse&scp=1&pagewanted=all

  • Movement for Palestinian State gains International Momentum, to Dismay of US Congress
    • Patrick Cummins 12/18/2010 at 1:35 am

      "But it is not impossible that the Obama administration, angered by being rebuffed in its diplomacy with Netanyahu, might abstain [on a UN vote]."

      Perhaps not impossible, but seemingly very unlikely. In this matter Democrats can be expected to join Republicans and put a lot of pressure on Obama to veto. And Obama The Capitulator will do what comes naturally and give in. Really on this issue (and not just this one) the administration is a write-off.

  • On How War with Iran might Destroy the United States
    • Patrick Cummins 11/01/2010 at 11:44 am

      In my opinion Professor Cole, you are too forebearing towards David Broder. The sheer lunacy and callousness of this column are breathtaking. It should lead to his being fired. At 81 years old he looks like he has completely lost his marbles.

  • McCain Bashes Obama's Afghan Withdrawal Timetable
    As British, Poles, Dutch Plan Exit
    • Patrick Cummins 06/25/2010 at 11:40 am

      McCain also has the timeline confused. Canada's announcement of a withdrawl by 2011 was made well before Obama's surge and his setting of July 2011 as time to begin removing US troops. So obviously that can not be what precipitated Canada's decision.

  • Historic UNSC Condemnation of Israel, and of Gaza Blockade;
    World Body Demands release of Aid Activists, Ships
    • Patrick Cummins 06/01/2010 at 5:43 pm

      Phillipe and others above are correct. Unfortunately, the UN Security Council has not issued a specific condemnation of Israel for the raid. Nor does it cite the violation of international and maritime law by Israel in attacking a Turkish flagged ship on the high seas.

      Crucially, the Obama administration has blocked calls for an independent international inquiry into the raid, which is what Turkey has demanded. This means that, at most, we will have Israel investigating itself. The result is certain to lack international credibility.

      Once again, the US gov't is shielding Israel from international scrutiny. It's a self-defeating policy as the Obama administration is compounding the difficulty of realizing its diplomatic goal of securing additional sanctions against Iran.

  • Kirchner: Bush angrily said War would Grow US Economy
    • Patrick Cummins 05/30/2010 at 1:55 am

      Yes, it is an overlooked fact that a majority of House Democrats voted against war with Iraq. Still, much of the Democratic leadership supported the resolution, including Dick Gephardt who was the House Minority Leader. And, in the Senate, most Democrats voted in favor, 29 vs. 21. Majority leader Tom Daschle, as well as Hillary Clinton and John Kerry, were prominent among those supporting the resolution.

  • US Troop Withdrawal in Iraq on Track
    • Patrick Cummins 05/14/2010 at 1:11 pm

      The notion of modelling the US role in the 21st century on the British Empire was not limited to Bill Kristol. This position was advocated even by such mainstream figures as Richard Haass, who is now president of the Council on Foreign Relations. Here is Haass in a speech entitled 'Imperial America' given on Nov. 11, 2000, shortly before his appointment to director of policy planning at the State Dept.:

      “To advocate an imperial foreign policy is to call for a foreign policy that attempts to organize the world along certain principles affecting relations between states and conditions within them. The U.S. role would resemble 19th century Great Britain ... Coercion and the use of force would normally be a last resort; what was written by John Gallagher and Ronald Robinson about Britain a century and a half ago, that "The British policy followed the principle of extending control informally if possible and formally if necessary," could be applied to the American role at the start of the new century.”

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