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Total number of comments: 8 (since 2013-11-28 16:37:43)


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  • Kerry Blasts Climate Denialists, equates Climate Change with Terrorism, WMDs
    • Prof Cole,

      What is your source for the 'around one meter to four feet' sea level rise? The AR4 gives a range of 0.18-0.59 m over all scenarios, and AR5 0.28-0.98 m with an expectation of 0.74 m under a high emissions scenario. Bad, but not as bad as the 1.0-1.2 m range you give.


  • Obama & Brennan Brought GOP Filibuster on themselves by Extreme Secrecy on Drones
    • Bill, the problem is that you are willing to assign someone the death penalty based merely on an assertion by the executive branch. You might not remember this but in the old days (1215-2002) such behavior was frowned upon and instead we insisted on a quaint mechanism called a "trial" to weigh the evidence and determine whether or not the claim had merit. I hope you can see that if you shortcut this process you allow the president to kill anyone they please as long as they also say the phrase "al Qaeda leader" while pushing the button. You don't have to be a chemtrail wacko to see, in light of history,that the power of arbitrary execution might not always be used for the purest of motives and might in fact be a "bad thing". The fact that I have to even explain this is depressing in the extreme. How did we become such a weak and servile people?

  • Syria: Rebels take Aleppo Airport Road; NYT: Obama Nixed Clinton/Petraeus Plan to Arm Rebels
    • Bill,

      I think what the poster meant was that there has never been a _good_ reason presented for being in afghanistan, that would justify the massive cost in dollars and human life.

      As for the chances of success in these Quixotic goals, I suspect your intuition is correct, except that the Afghan Security Forces have proven quite adept at defending their country from _us_.

  • How Zero Dark Thirty Taught us to Stop Worrying and Love Torture (Greenberg)
    • Joe From Lowell,

      It seems pretty clear from the testimony, particularly Sabrina Harman's, that Graner's unit was tasked with softening up prisoners for both military intelligence and the CIA. Lord knows that Graner may have picked up some of the techniques stateside in his stint as a corrections officer, that stuff is bad enough, but the particular emphasis on sexual humiliation, as well as the hooded-man-on-box-with-electrodes are hallmarks of the CIA-designed torture regime, and seem unlikely to be coincidental. Also, the corpse on ice that Graner is giving the thumbs up next to was testified to have died during an interrogation.

    • Bill,

      You would have us believe that a 22-year old single mom from West Virginia was able to recapitulate and independently develop the "no-touch" program of psychological torture that the CIA spent over a billion dollars to develop in the 1950s-1960s? The pictures from Abu Ghraib show very specific techniques that were pioneered by the CIA (but which have admittedly been disseminated throughout our intelligence apparatus and exported to our allies). If you don't believe the CIA involvement (through private contractors Titan and CACI, as attested by whistleblowers), Maj. Gen. Taguba directly implicated Military Intelligence in his report:

      "6. a. (U)
      From 25 July 2003 to 6 February 2004, twenty-seven (27) 205 MI BDE personnel allegedly:

      Requested, encouraged, condoned, or solicited MP personnel to abuse detainees or;

      Participated in detainee abuse or;

      Violated established interrogation procedures and applicable laws and regulations as preparation for interrogation operations at Abu Ghraib."

    • He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you.

      "Beyond Good and Evil", Aphorism 146 (1886).

  • America's Afghanistan Odyssey: When will Enough be Enough? (Stevenson)
    • Great article but I have to quibble with this paragraph:

      "After Osama bin Laden’s September 11, 2001, attack on the United States from Afghanistan, where the Taliban had given him refuge, President George W. Bush administration (2001-2009) sent U.S. military forces into Afghanistan and drove the Taliban out of Kabul, the capital. The Taliban were providing protection for Osama bin Laden and his Al Qaeda followers."

      In what sense was the United States attacked _from_ Afghanistan? The attackers (as the author notes) were Egyptian and Saudi. The operation was planned in Germany. The financing came from the gulf states. The training took place in Florida. No one has ever offered any evidence that the activities in Afghanistan provided essential or even substantial support to the attack. Far from sheltering Osama Bin Laden after 9/11, the Taliban offered to extradite him to the United States if provided evidence of his guilt.

      The bottom line is that no one has presented a serious case
      for how military success in Afghanistan (whatever that means) would do anything to prevent future attacks on the U.S. Instead all we get is hand-waving and flag-waving while people die.

  • Is Paul Ryan right that Obama's Foreign Policy is Blowing up in Our Faces?
    • "It would have been better if you would have considered whether Ryan is asking for a return to times when the US did sanction attacks on citizens seeking democratic reforms. Latin American examples are rife, e.g. El Salvador, Guatemala."

      I'm confused. What do you mean "return"? We're still doing it! If anything, Obama's policy toward Latin America is further right that Bush II. Remember the U.S.-backed military coup in Honduras? See this report for more depth.

      That's one frustrating thing about this blog - the criticism of Romney's policies without stating that Obama favors the EXACT SAME policies. E.g. the Palestinian question. Obama's major accomplishment has been to confirm Ralph Nader's contention that it doesn't matter which party gets elected.

      In fact, if anything, the Democrats end up governing to the right of the Republicans because the opposition is neutralized. Remember that Bush Jr. never claimed the right to assassinate American citizens without trial . . .

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