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Total number of comments: 55 (since 2013-11-28 15:54:43)

Paul Jones

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  • Can Russia afford Its Syria Campaign?
  • Does Obama have a Syria Strategy? Putin Does.
    • Cole on the wrong side of affairs yet again. You were worth reading when you were anti-meddling. What made you change? Dreams of a Westernized Middle East? The worst thing a person could do is point a gun at someone and scream "Change!"

  • Syria: Is Bashar al-Assad winning the Diplomatic War? Rebels Fret
  • Is Rand Paul right that Cheney invaded Iraq for Halliburton Profits?
    • Is he claiming that he did it for money or that Cheney was "captured" by the industries overall zeitgeist which lead him to abandon a sound policy for a prudent one?

  • Egypt: Al-Sisi's run for President: Bonapartism and Gulf Oil Money
  • Donald Rumsfeld: A "Trained Ape" would be better at U.S. diplomacy than Obama
    • Rumsfeld joins Romney in the delusion that Obama's foreign policy is anything other than light years beyond what they have to offer.

      Apart from his Libya blunder, there is little fault to find with Obama's track record.

      By the way, Nigel Farage of UKIP speaks truth: "The EU has blood on its hands in the Ukraine." No decent person would pressure any country to choose between its neighbors. A country benefits from having good relations with all neighbors.

  • Is Russia a "Regional Power" or "Geopolitical Threat"? Obama argues with Romney from the Hague
    • The only weakness Obama is showing is vis-a-vis the Deep State neocons. Can the man take charge of his own State Department?

  • Why Romney is Wrong that Obama's Syria Policy Emboldened Putin
    • Romney confirms why America rejected Romney and affirmed Obama.

      Are the GOP insiders going to push another warmonger on us in 2016?

      If so, we will have no choice but to throw that one on the ash heap of history.

  • ABC: Bush's Neocon Spokesman for Illegal US Occupation of Iraq Slams Russia for Crimea
  • Russian Annexation of Crimea, Israeli Annexation of Palestine
    • "International Law" might not have become such a joke if the strongest nation actually respected it. By the standards of foriegn troops invalidating elections, how many Washington puppet regimes would be affected?

  • Tens of Thousands in Turkey Protest Tyranny of the Majority
    • Democracy was classically thought to be a gateway to tyranny. It truly is the tyranny of the majority, that is why we leaven democracy with checks and balances, however imperfect.

      There is a big dust-up right now in the UK over the role of pedophiles in party building in the last few decades. Pedophiles definitely have to live in the shadows despite their efforts to get "out of the closet". Tyranny against pedophiles? Liberty for concerned parents and innocent children? If 60% of the population were pedophiles, it would be legal in a democratic regime. Ancient Athens was fairly comfortable with pedophilia and a democracy from time to time.

      Even now, gay marriage is a minority cause. While more people despise gay marriage than support it outright, even more don't really give a damn and thus acquiesce to its spreading via the legal system. It is spreading not through majority rule, but via robed masters, who quizzically discover today that gays are a Constitutionally protected class even though they never were for the entirety of 250 years; it wasn't even a question actually.

      Let's not turn democracy into a fetish, let's instead look at the actual lives of people and what makes it better or worse. Democracy can do both. (Think Libya)

  • Can Int'l Community help stop Libya's Slide into Chaos?
  • Can the Neoconservatives make a comeback via the Ukraine Crisis?
    • This crisis add more examples of the Deep State just doing whatever it wants and ignoring the elected officials and the Constitution. After all, Obama will be gone in 26 months, the Deep State will still be there.

      NSA, Pentagon, State, Judiciary, SEC, Federal Reserve; the list goes on and on.

      This is not cost free, by the way. When the next economic down turn comes (2014?), the cohesion of the body politic will be put to the test.

  • Sunni Representation Imperiled in Iraq if al-Anbar can't/ won't Vote
    • Isn't it amazing how all kinds of bloodshed can be averted by a rational drawing of national boundaries, allowing nations to break up or rejoin based upon local feelings?

      How is it that the tens of thousands of Ivy League folks in the government can't figure that out?

  • US Hypocrisy on Crimean secession move: Washington Supported Break-up of Sudan, Yugoslavia, Iraq
    • Secession, or rather the right to a government established by the consent of the governed, is a human right and a great problem solver.

  • Rachel Maddow: CIA spying on Congress ‘is death of the Republic stuff’
    • There is a direct connection between US meddling abroad and the loss of a republican system at home. It's often the same people pushing both.

  • Ukraine Crisis Shows Urgency of Green Energy: Russian Nat'l Gas Blackmail
    • While I support renewable energy, the real policy change in the United States should be one of "no meddling".

  • McCain's Mind-Boggling Hypocrisy on Crimea at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee Conference
    • The problem isn't McCain; it's us for not rooting these people out of power.

  • The Crimean Crisis and the Middle East: Will Syria & Iran be the Winners?
    • We know who the losers are; the Ukrainian people.

      They are best off with good relations with both east and west. Certain factions in the west just couldn't help meddling; and the rest of us in the west haven't set our minds to stopping them.

      Ultimately, the Russian speaking areas will plea to get out of the economic basket case of the Ukraine, leaving the rump of the Ukraine a debt client governed in the style of Greece.

      Thanks Victoria Nuland! You are emblematic of just how desperately America needs a new elite!

  • A New Crimean War? (Update: Stuff's Getting Real)
    • My thoughts hearken back to 1914.

      My read is that the realists in power (Obama, Hagel, Kerry, Dempsey) are content with a split of the Ukraine along ethnic lines. The resultant states would be much easier to govern and more prosperous. The region less dangerous, not like it is now a super-flash point! They cannot cheer it on, nor even be silent given the controlled media frenzy that would erupt in the West, so they will speak of costs, and even impose some costs, but not really stand in the way of the bifurcation of Ukraine.

      All that aside, the real question for Americans is why the hell are "we" fomenting revolutions on Russia's doorstep? Why do we want "Yats" in there at the risk of stability and peace? "Yats" ran for President in the Ukraine AND LOST! We have no business interfering with their sovereignty! Especially considering our 1994 statements. It's time to clean house, Mr President.

  • Obama Plans for complete US Withdrawal from Afghanistan in December
    • If Obama can truly extricate America from neoconservative adventurism, he will enter "Great President" territory despite Obamacare.

      One wonders how our economic and other fortunes would be today had Bush turned the other cheek and sought to build partnerships against terrorism with the Saudis and Iran etc. One wonders what progress could have been made if a fraction of the wealth put into these evil wars went to building out existing renewable energy technology, to say nothing of catalyzed research.

      Wisdom matters.

  • Not to Reason Why: A New Crimean "War"?
    • The answer in the Ukraine, as elsewhere, is local autonomy. If the Crimeans want to forge an independent state so that their President isn't driven out by street mobs, that seems reasonable, no?

      The US bifurcated Sudan on less defensible grounds, here I am sure the US will seek anything but local autonomy.

      Can we have a new elite now?

  • Top Ten Ways Ariel Sharon Ruined Israel and the Middle East
    • How related is a fellow from Russia to the Hebrews of the Iron Age? Why does he arrogate himself to that land? How many Arab Muslims descend from genetically Jewish converts? The delusions of religion make men do some God-awful things (pun intended).

  • New Congressional Sanctions on Iran Will Backfire . . . on Congress
    • The Neocons have already calculated that the global sanctions regime is over, they only wish to do a rear-guard action that hurts the Iranian and American people for their refusal to further submit to their nefarious plans.

      Congressmen can be bought 10 pence for a dozen, so it isn't shocking to see any of them betraying their own people.

      Can we see the 28 redacted pages of the 800 page Congressional 9/11 report that implicates high-level Saudis in 9/11?

      There are some high-ranking American families that have had amazingly close ties to the Saudis, but I digress... Wouldn't want to "go there" would we?

  • Iraq's Sunni Civil War
    • Why should anyone counsel that Maliki can or should fight to be anything other than head of the Shiite South?

      Should he also strip the Kurds of their autonomy?

      The best thing for the people of that land is local popular sovereignty; the alternative is foreign-fueled violence.

      Americans can do their part by staying out of it and doing no harm; a lesson that seems to escape our elites no matter how many innocents are mangled and mutilated by outside bombs.

      One recalls the furor over three dead in Boston; do the Ivies teach empathy? Iraq, Syria, Libya have all been decimated by Ivy policies.

      American elites: bad for America, bad for everyone.

  • Iraq: Government assault as Sunni Extremists Take al-Anbar City Quarters
    • The Iraqi government is making the same mistake as the US, thinking that force will cause people who do not want to live together to want to live together.

      Better to let them go, as the only alternative is rancor and bloodshed; a poor substitute for victory.

  • Iraq Gov't Collapsing as 44 Sunni MPs Withdraw from Parliament
    • Many political problems can be solved before violence starts metastasizing:

      by giving autonomy to local communities. Quit trying to force people who hate each other to live under one roof (this goes for America as well...)

  • US Arms Shiite Iraqi Gov't to Kill Sunni Rebels, Arms Syrian Sunni Rebels to overthrow Shiite Gov't
    • Shiite versus Sunni is Deep State policy, Juan. Hellfires aren't going to stop the bombs in Iraq. Only US pressure on Saudi Arabia will do that.

  • The Iraqization of Egypt: Two Large Bombs Rock Security Bldg in Mansoura, kill 14, wound 130
    • Imagine if "we" stood up for elections as the only way to remove Morsi from office? The Brotherhood would have been swept out of power, possibly to a liberalizing government. "We" would have cache with the people of Egypt and the Middle East as consistent democratizers, even if democracy equals Islam for a short period of time. Egypt could have been spared Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and Syria's fate; which is to be wrecked by foreign machinations.

      The problem with America? Our elites are idiots. Bad for America, bad for everyone.

  • Now the NSA has your Little Black Book
    • The Constitution is explicit, you cannot even collect the info with out a warrant which is presented to the accusant with the crime stated and the particular things and place to be searched.

      I want us all to start linking empire with loss of freedoms at home. Many have gotten erections over their pet wars, then tut-tut when another freedom is lost. THEY ARE DIRECTLY CONNECTED.

      A gang (it isn't a government anymore) that gets used to violating rights abroad, will do the same thing at home, treating the home country like a conquered province.

  • Sakharov Prize-winner Malala Yousafazai Calls on US Gov't to Conduct talks with Taliban (Queally)
    • The best and fastest way to rid ourselves of virulent Islam is to let them govern. After a generation (or less), their youth will reject them. As long as we resist Islam it holds up the anti-colonial banner and marches on.

      The Soviet Union collapsed, the American Republic holding on by a thread, but Islam marches on in Afghanistan.

      Is it time to ban Harvard and Yale graduates from government? Their fingerprints are all over these debacles!

  • Top Ten Things Ted Cruz did to the NSA and other Security Agencies that Edward Snowden Couldn't
    • "and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more."

      Sounds like a plan!

  • The Other Lobby: Newspapers of Gulf Oil Monarchies Condemn US-Iran Rapprochement
    • Few forces have the power to make the Ayatollahs looks preferable by comparison; the Likud and Arab Monarchs have that power.

  • Is Hamas Finished? Facing a Youth Rebellion and Egyptian, Iranian Hostility
    • As it turns out, the solution to Islam wasn't Western-backed repression or war, but just letting them implement their program.

      Nobody wants it.

  • The World after the Kerry-Lavrov accord on Syria
    • link to

      Time Magazine covers of the world: three prominently display Putin, the American version has some tripe about bread and circuses.

      Again, Prof Cole, there is another nation that "won" along with Russia, Syria and Iran, namely the American nation.

      Even with a non-stop propaganda blitz from the politico-media complex, less than 30% supported strikes.

      The times they are a changin'

  • President Obama's Doubtful Grounds for Military Action against Syria
    • I'm glad to see Professor Cole "evolve" on the question of who conducted the attacks.

      A "rogue commander" could just as easily be the recipient of foreign bribes and a promise of continuous financial support in defection if he only helped pin WMDs on Assad and lie America into another war.

      So what if innocent "pawns" die?

      The questioned asked at the outset of this farce still stands:

      If Saudi intelligence is behind the murder of children with gas, do we bomb them?

  • NSA Spying: Indian Gov't Bans Employee Google Use as Euro Parliament Weighs Law Fining Cooperative Firms
    • US Executive Branch:

      Lying about NSA for years, lied about Iraqi WMDs, strictly truthful about Syrian gas.

      One of these things is not like the other.

  • Obama Isolated at G20 on Syria, No 'Coalition of the Willing'
    • There is another country strongly opposed to strikes on Syria: America.

      I looked for ANYONE arguing for the neocon-neolib position at the local town hall meeting. There wasn't a single person!

      The President acknowledges that America is war weary, why would he jeopardize a reasonably strong economy with this misadventure? I actually believe that his "failing" here is purposeful.

      He gets to hang the neocons and neolibs out to dry while restoring the "red line" against the unitary executive from Article 1 section * of the Constitution. He effectively reverses the Libya Folly without seeming to go against the Beltway.

      Look at Hagel and Dempsey. Do they seem gung ho about this?

  • Invoking International Law Against Obama: Old Europe, New Europe and NeoCon Fail
    • Looks like Obama adhered to the real "Red Line": Article 1 section 8 of the US Constitution:

      The Congress shall have Power To . . . define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offenses against the Law of Nations;
      To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

  • Military-Ruled Egypt Opposes US Strike on Syria
    • Prof Cole, as an expert on the Middle East you know that they think conspiracy much more readily then Americans in academia and the main stream media who swallow everything only to "regret" their errors later. I would wager that a significant chunk of the world outside of the Beltway presume Assad's didn't do it and would only change their mind if presented with evidence beyond a reasonable doubt.

      Having dissected Kerry's speech, that evidence is so thin that they aren't even trying to pin it on Assad, at best they make the case for a foul up of some sort. What is more likely is that the losing team went for a Hail Mary with at a minimum of some wink-winks from outside powers.

      In America you cannot be convicted of petty theft unless a jury finds you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Are we so ready to expand a war and kill children with "surgical" strikes based merely on prejudicial hand-waving arguments?

      Maybe the Egyptian Military is mouthing the words given to them by their Deep State counterparts in the American Military who want nothing to do with this war? Or maybe, like the majority of people in the world, France, America, Britain, Syria, Russia, China - they just don't think war is the answer?

  • The Ghost of Iraq haunts Obama on Syria as British Parliament Defects
    • I gave the "evidence", or rather 'assertions', of John Kerry a good faith reading. Another scenario has to be considered based on that telling of the tale: a conventional artillery barrage hit a chemical cache, perhaps even of munitions of the govt' or rebels ACCIDENTALLY.

      Bottom line? No direct link to Assad was even attempted by Kerry.

  • Eight things to consider before intervening in Syria (ECFR)
    • You think Obama's heart is in this?

      Read the body language at his presser: he is hanging Kerry and the neocons out to dry.

  • Rush to Western Strike on Syria slows, but does not Stall
  • Kerry signals US Intervention in Syria, but to What End?
    • Why do people assume that only the rebels could carry out a false flag? Foreign Intelligence agencies could and would kill "pawns" in their game of chess.

      At least Colin Powell had vials of corn starch, Kerry has nothing.

  • Obama's Limited Options: Bombing Syria unlikely to be Effective
    • No, Western Military might can topple Assad; there is only the off chance of "blow back" for the planners to think about.

      Russia, China? They can hurt the West, but won't over Assad.

      Iran? They aren't suicidal.

      The people of the West? They are force marching to slavery, and cannot be relied upon for anything.

      The planners have nothing to personally fear.

  • NSA abuses include Stalking ex-Girlfriends
    • Corruption is the norm when you look at the broad sweep of history (as are conspiracies); our fading example of Liberty was only possible because rebels were able to get an ocean between themselves and the Crown.

      Now there is nowhere to run.

  • Syria: Will Killing of Hundreds with Sarin Gas force Obama's Hand?
    • We don't know, but the warmongers never let that stop them before.

      My question still stands: if it turns out the rebels orchestrated the attacks (or allied governments) will the clarion call go out for war on them?

    • If the rebels used the chemicals, would that require the US to jump in with Assad to save civilization?

      No. Obama is doing a fine job of staying out of the Middle East post-Libya.

  • Egypt's Revenge of the Leftovers: Mubarak to be released, Muslim Brotherhood leader Badie Arrested
    • Middle Eastern liberals and secularists should be worried about what events portend for liberalism and secularism in Egypt; likewise liberals and secularists in the West need to worry about liberalsim and secularism in the West:

      The same techniques and impunity with which the "deep state" of Egypt rolled over both the muslim majority and the leftist minority in Egypt could be used in the West, and what could anyone do about it? Wring one's hands? Ask what-ifs?

      the "deep state" in the West is orders-of-magnitude more powerful, and merely need a convenient pretext for scuppering ancient rights. As 9/11 and Egypt have shown, in a crisis, liberalism folds.

  • Egypt's Waco
    • Waco?

      The Branch Davidians were generally isolationists, and posed minimal threat to anyone. They could have been waited out. The Muslim Brotherhood is a major political movement in Egypt that may be bolstered in the long run by their current persecution.

      Polls from America showed 90% approval for Bush's War on Iraq and Afghanistan; good government does not equal following polls.

      10% of a population the Copts is never powerless. They may not be ascendant but calling them powerless is false. When the man on the street feels injustice, he may lash out. Not everyone is a mild-mannered professor; policy should take those second-effects into consideration. The violent coup bought that street violence; a coup undersigned by those who express concern for the Copts and churches now, I might add.

  • Egypt's Transition Has Failed: New Age of Military Dictatorship in Wake of Massacre
    • Sir, western liberals are also to blame:

      They thought it more prudent to immediately displace the Muslim Brotherhood with the bullet, rather than let them continue to earn a trip to the dust bin of history through a full term of incompetence. Also, the west could have easily set up new elections with Egyptian Military oversight while a neutered Morsi was still in power. When a gun was put to Morsi's head, he blinked and went for the elections, did he not?

      Secondly, especially in terms of the US, establishment liberals debated more about whether the effect of following the law was good or bad, rather than pressuring the government to actually follow the law concerning monetary support to the Egyptian military. Following the law: a quaint notion, perhaps, but how long until America resembles Egypt? Penny wise, pound foolish "liberals"...

      Over time, doing the right thing will yield a good result in the Middle East. Paradoxically (or not) western interference saves Islam's bacon. When people of the Middle East find themselves in a Catch 22 of western creation, they turn to Islam as "liberalism" is a sick joke leading to thousands gunned down in the streets and widespread poverty and economic exploitation. When the west allows Islam to "win", it will lose.

      This coup is more likely to end in Khomeini than El Baradei. And no, Morsi was not Khomeini.

  • Egypt's Revocouption Part Deux: Dueling Crowds leave 30 Dead
    • For western liberals: once political Muslims are out of power, the average man will once again only have their local puppets and Western puppet masters to blame for their plight.

      Where will they turn? Political Islam!

      Had Morsi been allowed to run his course, he could have been removed electorally, and on an accelerated timeline. He agreed to that when the pressure got high enough, and the powers that be should have had the mental flexibility to accept that. It's not as if the Army could not have left him in office as a neutered duck and simultaneously run an election. It's likely that they could have gotten a good outcome for themselves even in a totally fair election!

      The consternation I have is to see any Western Liberal, who have had to read a tome of history or two, think that a coup would get them closer to their dreams of a better world. It gets you a Shah today, and a Khomeini tomorrow.

  • Pentagon: Americans must give up Liberties to fight "enemies" but we won't say who they are (Currier)
    • The loss of liberty is what happens when you don't take a hard line against Empire.

      Giving Empire a pass when it "does good" like like killing Gaddafi or ousting Assad or "promoting progressive values" in Egypt is enabling.

  • A Tale of Two Bombings: Libya too Weak, Egypt too Strong
    • There is a unifying theme: Western interference in the organic political evolution of the region.

  • Egypt's Countdown to Meltdown: Morsi Refuses to Deal
    • You charaterize the speech as surprisingly brief. The New York Times is calling it a "long and rambling" speech. Is that just trotting out the old tropes for official enemies?

      New elections are the way to go, as is parliamentary democracy generally. "No Confidence" measures are the rational and orderly equivalent to mobs in the street and Army ultimatums.

      May I predict that the precariousness of economic life for most Egyptians will not be reversed any time soon? Mobs to the streets again after Morsi departs? Not to be cheered.

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