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Total number of comments: 12 (since 2013-11-28 15:55:33)


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  • Washington Actions on Palestine don't Differ from Gingrich's Words
    • I'm unclear why the Ashkenazi Jews have no history in the area while the Sephardic Jews do. Where did the Ashkenazi come from--Mars?
      Israel exists because of a 1948 UN resolution, despite its "neighbors" who did not accept that resolution and immediately tried to "ethnically cleanse" the area by invading and driving all Jews into the sea. Pre-1948, the ethnic enmity was mutual but not universal: there were Arabs who wanted the Jews out just as there were Jews who wanted the Arabs out, and there were those on both sides who wanted to co-exist.

    • "There is no symmetry. Where else in the world does 'having a history' in some land in the distant past give one national rights to that land over its current and long time inhabitants?"

      There is symmetry. Some Jews and their supporters claim Palestinians basically don't exist. Some Palestinians and their supporters claim Jews have no history in the area. Both are very wrong. If Palestinians and their supporters want to say, as you do, that the Jews have a history there but it does not entitle them to a nation there, then let them make that case. But to claim that there is no such history undermines their case, as Newt's saying the Palestinians are an invented people weakens his case for...for what? For permanent Israeli control of the whole area? As I said, I'm not sure what the endgame he visualizes is.

    • "So the Palestinians aren't more of an invented nation than anyone else."

      As Prof. Cole points out, nations have created themselves or been created by others throughout history. Israel is a prime example!
      But the symmetry should be pointed out--fundamentalist Israelis and their supporters say that Palestinians are an invented nation and have no right to their own country, and fundamentalist Palestinians and their supporters say that Jews have no history in the area and have no right to a nation there (or even to be there at all). It should be obvious that both are wrong.
      The question that somebody should ask Newt is: what does he see as the ultimate outcome? Will there be a single-state solution with Jews losing out to the demographic time-bomb? Will Palestinians (or whatever he chooses to call the Arabs who live there) remain stateless and subjugated? Will they be subjected to ethnic cleansing and be forced to live elsewhere?
      At least Netanyahu gives lip service to the two-state solution (on his terms, of course, with the Palestinian state virtually powerless). Newt as usual doesn't seem to have faced up to the implications of what he says.
      As far as Obama, let's remember that when he called for negotiations for a two-state solution based on mutually agreed changes to the 1967 borders (which has been official US policy for 40 years), every Republican and some Democrats accused him of throwing Israel under the bus.

  • Egyptian Revolution 2.0?
    • Did you see that the Egyptian military is citing the American police actions against OWS as a basis for a "strong response" to the protesters in Cairo?

  • GOPers Promise you War on Iran & Torture & Poverty
    • "The US credit rating was cut because its debt ($14 trillion) came to equal its annual gross domestic product ($14.5 trillion)."
      Not true. The credit rating was cut (by one agency) because of doubts about our willingness to fund our debt, not our financial ability to do so. We can sell bonds very readily at very low interest rates, but Congress insists on setting conditions before it will authorize raising the ceiling and thus giving the authority to continue borrowing.
      At the end of World War II our deficit was 125% of the GDP, and we had no trouble with our credit rating, with selling bonds, and with paying down the debt.

  • Berube on Libya and the Left
    • Good reading--thanks for the link.
      It would be good to have a consistent set of guidelines for intervention--and what kind of intervention (e.g., whether or not to send in ground troops). There are certainly other places in the world where the dictator is as bloody as Qaddafi, but there was/is no call for American or any foreign intervention. As Berube says, that does not in and of itself mean that we should or should not have intervened in Libya, but it does raise the question: how do we decide?

  • Israeli Likud Gov't Buffeted by Turkish Suit, Massive Protests
    • Is this true? How does the government do this? Aren't there some cable systems that carry Al Jazeera English? You can certainly watch it streamed on their web page.

    • "Right wing politics is about government favoring the rich over the rest of the population, about using ethnic divisions, alleged threats to the nation, and other diversions to justify to the mass of voters as to why they should elect a party that will take money and resources away from them and give it to the super-wealthy."

      Was the inequality of wealth less under the Kadima and other non-Likud governments? I have the impression that it's not the result of deliberate right-wing taxation and economic policies, as it is in the US, but basically is due to inaction on the part of all governments.
      Also worth mentioning is that Likud, especially and more than previous governments, openly favors the inhabitants of the settlements on occupied land over the rest of the citizens.

  • An Open Letter to the Left on Libya
    • Excellent article and summary--thanks for posting. A few comments:

      "Some have charged that the Libya action has a Neoconservative political odor. "
      Most Neocons and Rightists in the US oppose the intervention. Given all the flip-flopping (e.g., Gingrich and McCain), a good case can be made that they simply oppose everything Obama says and does, to support their stated first priority of electing a Republican president next year. But still, the Neocons are hardly rallying the public behind the intervention.

      Secondly, a good case can be made that the Libyan conflict is simply a tribal civil war; there is no reason to think the rebels are any more humanitarian than Qadaffi. We may just be helping one butcher replace another.

      Third, given the current situation in Congress, with Republicans urging massive cuts in social spending (as well as meaningless, ideological actions like further restricting abortion and de-funding NPR, which don't save the taxpayers a penny), every dollar spent in Libya will probably be matched with a dollar cut from the domestic budget. At $100 million per Tomahawk (I think that's the correct figure), that adds up.

  • Top Ten Ways that Libya 2011 is Not Iraq 2003
    • "Reports of Arab League backtracking on Sunday were incorrect, based on a remark of outgoing Secretary-General Amr Moussa that criticized the taking out of anti-aircraft batteries. The Arab League reaffirmed Sunday and Moussa agreed Monday that the No-Fly Zone is what it wants"
      There is a disconnect somewhere, possibly in Moussa's mind. It's not possible to establish and enforce a no-fly zone unless the UN force has command of the air, which requires taking out Qaddafi's anti-aircraft. Also isn't the UN taking out Qaddafi's tanks and artillery where they are being used to attack civilians? What is the Arab League's view of that?

      "There is no sectarian or ethnic dimension to the Libyan conflict"
      Isn't it actually a tribal conflict, Qadaffi's tribe and its allies against other tribes?

  • How the No Fly Zone Can Succeed
    • "I should clarify that I think US participation in this effort should have been conditional on a vote of the US Congress."
      Just wondering--when Harry Truman sent US air, sea, and land forces to Korea in 1950 in compliance with a UN resolution, did he notify, or request permission from, Congress?

  • Naw, There's been no Right Wing Extreme Rhetoric
    • BTW the Right Wing usually brags that they have a larger radio and TV audience than the Left Wing, but they deny that their inflammatory rhetoric has more influence on the public. So more people listen but they pay less attention?

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