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Total number of comments: 68 (since 2013-11-28 14:42:56)

Warren Metzler

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  • Obama slights Palestinians, who stage Tent Protests
    • I really appreciate Juan's willingness to explicitly state Netanyahu was lying when he said he wanted peace and an Palestinian state. I believe that is the first time I have observed that explicit statement about any Israeli government official in a widely read blog. Maybe we are changing to a time where people will realize that democratic and religious state (Jewish, Islamic, Buddhist, Christian, etc.) is an oxymoron.

    • Farouq, are you not aware that Obama long ago discarded the need to ever be logical or tell the truth?

    • Michael, if you believe that archeology is more scientifically reliable than scripture, I suggest to you that you have swallowed a major whopper. I do not propose that archeology can be disproven to be factual. But to claim it has a monopoly on the truth is to be deliberately avoiding the truth as to how almost all science is done in Western civilization in the past 400 years.

    • Shane, if the Jews lived in Palestine in ancient times, the only evidence for that is the Old Testament; secular Jewish scholars predominately now claim most of the Old Testament history is a myth. Which if read in an common sense and unbiased manner, explicitly states the Israelites were set up as a people to live in accordance with God's will. So the idea that they are a secular ethnicity is bunk. God was not creating a separate people so there could be "secular" Jews.

      Moses lived around 1300 years ago, King Solomon lived a little less than 1,000 years ago. So for three centuries Jews worshipped God, and did all the sacrifice thing, for about 300 years, in a variety of places, with no temple. So if people want to live in accord with the specific instruction of Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy, they have my vote for considering Israel as their homeland. But if they want to be religious Jews, who live with the rabbinical interpretations (where the Oral Law — which many Jews admit was culturally invented, and not at all issued by God at Mt. Sinai— is followed far more religiously then any of the statements in the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament), or claim the delusion secular Jew exists, they have not a smidgen of right to claim Palestine is their homeland.

      And that false view is the basic foundation from which Jews live in the delusion you can have a Jewish state and be democratic. The only way any people can have a religious state, is to be on a path that inevitably leads to stone cold fascism, which Israel in the past decades has demonstrated in spades.

  • Obamas Scramble for Africa (Turse)
    • My definition of morality is activity dependent, and is doing what is necessary for that activity to produce an excellent outcome. From my perspective, unless you have a nation that overtly attacks you, you never produce an excellent outcome by conducting military operations.

      The US has ridden roughshod over most of the rest of the world for over a century now, and rarely if ever attempts to stimulate a country to achieve life as we practice it in this country; almost exclusively strong arming local governments to go against the best scenario for their people, to give our multinational corporations a huge break. That is truly immoral, regardless of what agreements you get with local governments. There is no practical basis for us to have military personnel in other countries, except as guards of our embassies, and military attaches to embassies.

      Our current never ending attacks on various people all over the world, that our "intelligence" tells us don't like us is counterproductive and is seriously damaging whatever goodwill we had in many countries.

      If you are not of the opinion that the mood and moral standards have been deteriorating in this country over the past 30 years, and further clear our craziness overseas is a major contributor for this, then you and I will have to just agree to disagree.

    • This is great David. Let's define appropriate by what everyone else does, instead of as we have officially done for most of our history, by what is right. Your view is, from my perspective, a classical example of the progressively deteriorating perspective of what is moral and good for humans to do; which, truly sadly, is increasingly present in most American citizens throughout the past three to four decades.

    • It is truly, truly sad, that humans are so oriented to war, and accumulating money, power and fame so as to repeatedly give themselves reason to go to war. I wish the American people would wake up one day to the utterly devastating consequences of this ridiculous mindset.

  • Libya's Problems will be Solved by more Democracy, not Less (Hilsum)
    • What is being ignored here is consciousness; the not consciously detectable aspect of every person that determines what that person assumes is possible in life. Consciousness occurs in degrees, from quite primitive through to quite advanced (here optimal is autonomy, quality sensations while working, quality sensations while relating, and clarity about the makeup of the spiritual realm). Only after the majority of a population have a consciousness of individuality, and the awareness each person should be treated with respect and consideration, is it possible to have a mature democracy, where no group is favored, free enterprise is accepted, free speech and freedom of religion is enshrined in constitutional law.

      Obviously this did not exist in most Libyans prior to the Arab Spring, which is why Khadaffi could rule in his dictatorial manner. Also obviously most Libyans now want this, because there was an Arab Spring. But no shift in consciousness can be incarnated into everyday behavior except through trial and error over an extended period of time.

      So enough of this myopia regarding Libya, give them a decade or two window of opportunity, and sit back and relax.

  • Despite Airport Incident, Henry Kissinger is Wrong about Libya
    • I thank Juan Cole for this excellent report. It is truly fascinating how the MSM loves conflict, and has no need to followup. This sure puts to rest all the impassioned left naysayers who repeated told us how the Libyan uprising was a CIA plot, and solely an imperialistic invasion. Looks as if the Libyan's are doing a decent job constructing a democracy out of centuries of dictatorial governments.

    • Thanks for one of the clearest presentations of how evil was Henry Kissinger. I lived in Washington, D.C., through much of his rule, and it was obvious that he was a major contributor to America operating in a lawless and draconian manner. How he has managed to maintain the reputation as a statesman and knowledgable about workable foreign policy never ceases to amaze me.

  • How Obama changed definition of ‘civilian’ in secret drone wars (Woods)
    • I want to express a view of the drones which I have yet to observe in the media, which is the impossibility with which you can identify a person known to be associated with a certain group with a video camera located on a drone flying high in the sky. When I served in Vietnam, one of my missions was to fly long range patrol people on reconnaissance missions, to review the territory into which they would be dropped for a on foot survey a few days latter. Some of those missions involved the assassination of a certain Viet Cong or NVA leader.

      Each such assassination involved having the person to be assassinated in the visual sights of the sniper, which is pretty accurate identification.

      Is the military could do that in the 1960's they certainly are capable of doing that today. That they use drones, which absolutely cannot provide the same level of certain identification, is I propose solely and only a product of the US government officials becoming considerably more immoral and lacking in any decency than previously. Which is a sad commentary on the state of our country today.

  • No, Virginia, Iran isn't in Bed with Al-Qaeda (Abbotabad Trove)
    • I would like to add, that the promotion of the Al Queda / Iraq non relationship is typical of most of what comes out of government. I am close to 65 years of age. And all I observed the US government in my years is predominately oppressive actions based on misinformation, coupled with quite stupid thinking. To me it is irrelevant whether the actions are because of malevolent infiltration by Israeli intelligence, or just plain stupid actions by Americans who are supposedly highly intelligent (Vietnam, Chile, Cuba, just to name a few), they are still highly destructive to their recipients.

      The problem is that most Americans, even the highly educated ones, live in a world of delusion; created by themselves to hide from their frequent inappropriate actions. And living in a world of delusion, they are quite susceptible to misinformation from their government; allowing their government to regularly do dastardly things.

  • He that would make his own liberty secure... (Tom Paine Poster)
    • If we were actual grownups, we wouldn't need a daddy to tell us what to do.

      Once again we have a founding opinion maker demonstrating, that our politicians today are obviously, internally, very very very immature, living in a world of me, myself and I. Oblivious to the view that one of the responsibilities of a leader is to articulate new directions in which to go; instead of, today, doing everything one can to accumulate all one can, plus mess with others.

      What Paine is really saying is that once we have articulated the life of a free human (one who possesses and acts in accord with all the human rights God gave us humans), we need to have a major focus on doing our best to ensure those rights are given to every human everywhere in the world. Which is the antithesis of what our government has been doing for almost two centuries.

      It is really sad to know what could be done, and then see almost every major public figure doing every he or she can to avoid achieving our potential. Really really sad.

  • "America Does not Go Abroad in Search of Monsters to Destroy" - John Quincy Adams (Poster)
    • It was informative to read this Adam's quote. It is truly amazing how many Americans today have totally forgotten the philosophical foundations of our country. What made this country great is setting an example of progressivelyextending the initially proclaimed rights to every citizen; a series of actions never done in any other country in the world to the extent here at home.

      Yet in the past couple of decades, particularly in the past decade, most have apparently taken on the mission of eviscerating more and more of those gains. It seems impossible, but most appear to hell bent on providing an American version of the collapse of the Roman Empire.

  • Israeli Spy Chief Condemns Netanyahu for Iran Hype, Messianism
    • Moji, I have known Iranians, since being in undergraduate school with a number back in the early 1970's. And saw each of them as intelligent, civilized, cultured and quite sophisticated. That your people have suffered so for so long is a great shame. I pray and hope for your liberation in the near future. I think post the Arab Spring, it is going to become increasingly difficult for your current religious dictators to maintain their control.

  • Why don't we have better Reporting on the Afghanistan Army? It is our Best Hope for Getting Out
    • I suggest that a review of history shows that all countries that are ruled by themselves, eventually arrive at a form of free enterprise democracy. I know that China, Vietnam, and Russia, etc. haven't yet got the democracy part, but I can guarantee you it is coming. So we need to let each country sink or swim on its own merits, develop delayed gratification as we watch their many screw-ups en route to success, and stop this utter nonsense external countries can do nation building.

      Withdraw every troop and government person from Afghanistan (including intelligence types); being willing to offer infrastructure aid, but only through direct contracts with intra country Afghan groups that have a proven record, and permanently exorcise oneself from any ideas we have a right to interfere with any other country.

  • Top 7 Ways Bin Laden Underestimated Joe Biden
    • Juan, you are a insightful man, often presenting nuanced views of situations and people. But on Biden and Obama you have in missed it entirely. Obama is very smart, Biden is very stupid. Not in the traditional view of stupidity: regularly expressing a statement that is just plain uninformed. But in the way that his view is just guaranteed to be totally invalid in terms of the reality of the situation on which he comments. Which probably is a result of being smart at one time, but gradually destroying his smartness big by bit by being willing to defend the nonsense of 99% of the American foreign policy decisions in the over thirty plus years he spent in the Senate.

      Ben Laden is absolutely insightful. If Biden was even allowed to be president, we as a county would soon be in far deeper trouble than we are now.

  • US Public to Israel's Likud: On Iran, Negotiate or you are on Your Own
    • I would like to recommend against the use of polls to determine either what is public opinion or what are proper actions.

      A poll, by definition, is multiple choice questions; and having personally experienced national polls, I propose that no set of multiple choices for a question is going to be exactly what is each person's personal view of a situation.

      What is better is for wise people to put their minds to the pulse of the public and describe what they perceive is the mind of the public.

      I also suggest that the use of polls encourages people to assume that the correct action for any one situation is the view that scores highest on polling. And that is almost never true.

      In each situation, regarding of who's involved, there is only one approach that will lead that situation to an optimal outcome; where the result is as close to excellent as possible, and all the participants enjoy the process; which I claim should be seen as the "moral approach" for that situation. And no such approach can be determined by a poll, or by a person who is susceptible to pressure from others.

      The whole point of a wise leader, where the situation involves many people and only one person can actually choose what approach is taken, is that the wisdom of that leader allows her or him to discern what is the moral approach for that situation, and then decide to take it, willing to take whatever flack appears.

      Unfortunately, in this country we haven't had a genuinely wise leaders for decades, which is why this country has been headed in a downward spiral for decades, and there doesn't appear to be any stopping continuing in that direction.

  • Afghans to US Military: Be at Least a Little Ashamed
    • The reality of the human race is that every person operates, in every activity, from a particular context: she has a specific map she follows that determines what goal she pursues, what actions she takes, and what aspects on which she focuses. Actually every person has two contexts for each activity: the real one, and the one he consciously assumes he follows (his preferred one).

      When your real context is self-centered, and repeatedly lies to others to keep your self-centeredness hidden; which I insist is the real context of every person promoting or involved in starting or continuing the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq; (and let us not forget every single action in the "war of terror"); you have no alternative but to become more and more bizarre and perverse in your personality. Such happenings as the current one are bound to occur more and more, and will probably reach the point where the desire to get out from the Afghanis and the US public will become deafening, and a withdrawal will occur. Unfortunately it will probably take longer than a few months, so we won't observe the poetic justice of Obama resigned in disgrace. Because once he gets elected there is no way he has sufficient honor to take himself out of politics.

      There was nothing more perverse and deceitful than his little propaganda exercise the other day telling us how seriously he takes his war decisions.

  • Ahmadinejad in Latin America
    • i feel so sad that the successive US governments behave in such an illegal, boorish, manner. Lots of nations have possessed atomic weapons in the past sixty years. Not a one of them, except the US, has used those weapons. Even N. Korea, which is about as looney a nation as you can be, hasn't. Further, Israel is filled with Persian speaking people, so the government people there absolutely know that Ahmadinejad's threat was to get rid of Zionism, and not the people of Israel.

      Therefore, to me, the only rational conclusion is that Israel is planning a military adventure just to keep the public a home from facing an absurd government. Throughout history people have invented diversion to avoid facing undesirable realities. That the US is going along with this is truly amazing. How totally corrupt we have all become.

  • Theocratic Dominance of the New Egypt may be Exaggerated
    • I highly support Prof. Cole's optimism. Tahrir Square should be interpreted as the Egyptian people waking up to the right for each person to determine her own destiny. Meaning that it will be very difficult for any dictator to again emerge. And if the Moslem Brotherhood and the Salifis win a majority and move too far in the direction of an Egyptian Iran, don't you believe the people will again descend on Tahrir Square and in time get that government to change. And why not look at the Turkey experience. My limited awareness of the public opinion there was that a far more pessimistic picture was predicted before the current government first won governing power. And what they did was a lot less than expected. Revel in the Egyptians new found personal desire for freedom, and give them time to fully evolve.

  • Senate Bill Allows Arrest of Americans by Military Anywhere
    • I don't understand the comments here about whether torture works or not. When the French military attempted to use torture to ferret out the people behind the bombings, they wanted to stop the bombing, AND they wanted to keep Algeria as a French colony. If through torture they temporary stopped the bombings, but latter had to give Algeria independence, then THE TORTURE DIDN'T WORK. No temporary solution ever works, only permanent solutions work; each permanent solution being an outcome that remains in place for an extended period of time.

      Which is why any one, like the idiot Senator Graham, who says tortures in renditions and Guantanamo worked is clearly demonstrating they are a liar or quite stupid.

    • Very good Yusuf. Your point adds optimism to my life. As more and more people express clarity about our current direction, we move closer and closer to recognizing the error of our ways, and beginning to seek a solution; thereby eventually stopping our current implementation of "Animal Farm".

    • Bill, I guess you disagree with the idea the underneath the stated premise is always a major orientation; and, by the way, what do you have as evidence that the French military was not trying to win the hearts and minds of the people who had not yet shown an orientation to Algerian independence?

      Life has taught me that everyone has an overall objective to all their current actions; just like a process is a series of activities with an overall goal, while each activity in the process has its own separate goal.

      I am sure the underlying goal of suppressing to guerilla movement in Algeria was to discourage any future such actions from arising; but unfortunately the desire for freedom in many way outweighs all attempts at suppression, even through, as in the case of the USSR it may take 70 years to win out.

      And of course, there is the cases where the extreme myopia of leaders ends up producing responses that were never considered. Just as how Iraq turned out in the end.

    • This bill is insane, in opposition to the Constitution, and counter-productive for the very outcomes these idiots in Congress claim to desire. But I suggest we all consider that they do represent us, in that they are incapable of voting in laws the majority of their constituents don't accept. Spirit to spirit communication prohibits government officials from acting outside the contexts used by the majority of their constituents. So this several decade old decline in morality and reasonable assessments is a direct outcome of significant decline in the morality, feelings capacity, and reasonable thinking in the majority of Americans, and not just in their elected officials and business leaders.

      Just take Twitter for example. It is totally irrational to assume you are communicating any one point with sufficient clarity to reveal a truth when you limit yourself to 140 characters. So Twitter wouldn't be so popular, unless most intelligent Americans, who are the people who use Twitter, have given up any need to be clear about their views.

    • Bill, I suggest you are making a perceptual error. Just because the French original actions defeated the obvious guerrilla actions, didn't mean that the hearts and minds of the oppressed were won over. In fact, the actions of the French military in that initial "victory", may very well have moved the hearts and minds of many more people in the direction of opposition to French rule, so it created a tipping point, that is was only a matter of time before a simple costs / benefit analysis caused the then current French government to realize occupation wasn't worth it, and in comes Algerian independence. No one campaign is the whole process. And that is the reason why the almost 535 idiots that now act as our representatives in Congress are extremely misguided in this latest insanity they are foisting on us.

  • Britain Closes Tehran Embassy
  • GOPers Promise you War on Iran & Torture & Poverty
    • Great link for the military budget. We are truly an insane country.

    • I just wanted to say something about the Iran / nuclear weapons issue. I suggest Juan that the most viable argument is that no country has the right to tell another country what to do. And if the US appears to have no problem with Pakistan, China, Russia, and India having nuclear weapons, there is no rational basis for assuming that Iran's possession of that item would be a problem. Every country in the world that has obtained nuclear weapons has behaved very responsibly with them. And examining Iran's extra-country actions, there is no reason at all to assume they would be differ.

      Once you use such an argument, it becomes obvious it is irrational to assume there is any real life basis for being concerned about Iran having nuclear weapons. And, therefore, as soon as any government, such as ours, Israel, or various European counties object to Iran, we immediately announce it is obvious they have a hidden agenda at the root of their objections, and begin to examine what is that hidden agenda; thereby turning the spotlight from Iran to the obviously devious actions of the objecting government; leading us eventually discovering what crime they are attempting to cover up with this Iran diversion.

  • Ambassador Ford's Departure a Defeat for al-Assad
    • As I read Juan's comments I internally again feel quite sad, that our government is willing to wreak such havoc on the world. It should be obvious to any person with intelligence, that people only act when they have an inward orientation to act. Which means the only realistic way for our country to influence world events in a beneficial manner, is to behave toward other counties by OUR ACTIONS in a manner that reflects the principle of freedom and each person optimizing his potential.

      We should clearly refuse to collaborate with governments that are oppressive, regardless of how much stuff they have that we want (like Saudi Arabia and oil).

      We should eliminate the CIA doing anything in another country; you don't have to do damage to others to collect sufficient intelligence to protect yourselves.

      We should eliminate every military base in every country outside the US. Such installations belie our so-called attraction to freedom, and actively encourage a warlike attitude throughout the world.

      And we should stop funding militaries that act in an oppressive manner: Egypt, Israel, Bahrain, etc., etc., etc..

  • Lindsey "Dr. Strangelove" Graham & War with Pakistan
    • I just don't understand how the US can be so stupid. I have no particular admiration for the Pakistan governments over the years. It seems to me the country was founded on the egotism of a vain, self-centered, lacking in a ounce of consideration, racist; Jinnah. And no country can rise above its origins without an overt expression of disassociation with that foundation. Which, given my information has not yet occurred. So a major revolution of consciousness needs to occur in Pakistan for it to change its current, and past, and move toward being a country in which all its citizens believe it is their right and responsibility to fulfill their individual destinies.

      However, given that, it is truly insane for the US government to fight a war that is stupid, and based on significant misinformation that was fabricated by Georgie boy and his crew, and act as if it can decide what must occur, and just issue an order to Pakistan to bow down and follow suit.

      I am 64 years old, and when I was a young man I read a book called "The Ugly American" which describes such actions back then. All of which eventually failed. And here we are some 40 years later still acting like fools. When oh when will the American people wake up and elect an government that is rational and oriented to stimulating the world to act in accord with the principles on which our country was founded. It would make the world a much better place.

  • Palestine, Bahrain and US Hyprocrisy
    • I would like to make a suggestion. All situations exist based on a real context, which can often be different from the preferred context everyone likes. Israel is being given a huge double standard, which is that it is irrational to talk about an illegitimate state deserving to exist. A legitimate state is only one that has free elections to elect its political leaders, ensures that all human rights are received by every one of its residents, and prohibits any one ethnicity, religion, or culture from being given favor over others. This make a "Jewish" state by definition not a legitimate state; and a lot of other "states" as well (think China and Japan). All illegitimates states in the past eventually became fascist horrors, which is exactly where Israel is today.

      But until Palestinians get the guts to require elections so they can have an elected president, an elected parliament, and operate based on system of rational laws (a justice and police system that is honest and not corrupt), because this is something they could create one their own in their current territories; and every Palestinian any where in the world; who was born in Palestine (between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, and between Lebanon and the Red Sea) or is a child or grandchild of such a person, is declared a citizen of Palestine, the Palestinians do not deserve to be recognizing by the UN.

    • This is nonsense; he went to Iran and called the Shah a great leader, when it was impossible for him not to have known the Shah was a murderous, despotic dictator. He also went to Romania and called Nicolae Ceaușescu a great man when it was impossible for Carter to not know Caeausescu was worse than the Shah. All his claims to be a Christian are patently obvious lies, and he is extremely self-centered and egotistical. Such a man would only put electoral politics ahead of authentic interests of Americans. Such a man would be structurally incapable of considering the best interests of a single other person than himself.

    • What can be said, Juan, you made all the relevant points. But I feel as if you are letting Obama off too easy. Each person has an inner moral meter, a sense in each activity that he is on track, doing well; or that he is off track, headed for a disaster. And the only way that Obama, who unlike most politicians explicitly stated that we must bring morality back into the equation, can do these explicitly immoral actions (Palestine and Bahrain, and others) is if he has killed his moral meter; not so much killed the meter delivering messages, but killed his desire for morality, so he never listens. He is truly a despicable man. And since I know that the universe never leaves such irresponsibility unpunished, I am sure he is a very miserable man.

      Further, he couldn't get away with this if most of Congress was not behind him. And that those people also act in this manner indicates we have a very sick country.

  • Mahmoud Abbas goes to the UN
    • I second Carl Davila, just adding that Israel obviously not only intends to hold onto the settlements, but to eventually have borders equal the land occupied by the 12 tribes of Biblical Israelites. That they are able to make steady progress toward this goal, and be supported by the US government I consider atrocious. The double standard our government repeatedly operates with; and has been doing for it appears over 100 years now; is really evil, and I have no doubt is part of the reason we are suffering so much as a country at this time.

      A question. How is that Israel got to have statehood conferred with only a General Assembly vote in 1947, and Palestine has to go through the Security Council????

  • Rabbani's Assassination Sharpens Afghanistan Contradictions
    • Years ago, after having noticed a referee was killed just after a Central American inter country soccer match (killed by citizens of the losing country), I reflected on this; considering this killing to be related to the constantly in crisis Central American political system. And at one point I realized the following: authentic democracy is not possible until almost all the citizens are willing to lose; regardless what game is played including the game of politics.

      I follow this with the position that people exist in various levels of maturity; the lowest level being tribal: not a geographic tribe, but a philosophical tribe; where people are incapable of allowing individuality, and vigorous fight any person who doesn't toe the tribal line.

      That to me is what we have in Afghanistan. And until the Afghan people themselves realize the unworkability of this nonsense, which they will only realize if left to their own devices (no occupying forces, no foreign intervention) for a number of years, they will continue to remain tribal.

      The US has to totally get out; grow up and realize its desire to have major influence in the Central Asia situation is an academic hallucination (which I believe is at the base of our "need" to remain there). Until that occurs, we will continue to see horrors such as this latest assassination.

  • Helman: The Palestinians Seek UN Recognition
    • There are a number of issues here not being mentioned, that are integral to the issue.

      First is context. Everyone has a context for every situation in which that person encounters. Each such context informs that person what is the proper goal, what major actions to take, and on what major aspects to focus. In truth, every one has two contexts for each situation: the real one, the one they actually follow; and the preferred one, the one they promote to others and believe themselves to follow. For any one situation, the two can be quite similar; and they can be so far apart the Atlantic ocean looks like a puddle in comparison.

      For those people who believe humans can think and than act (develop a plan and implement it) the concept of real and preferred context is seen as absurd. But so be it, reality is never a function of popularity, but of truth.

      The real context of EVERY person who is a Zionist is to eventually get to where Israel's border's are the same as the land occupied by the 12 tribes of Israel in the Hebrew Bible. Which is why Gaza was given up; that was occupied by the Philistines throughout Hebrew Bible times. So as long as Israel is defined by Jews as "Jewish" state (an oxymoron if there ever was one, because by definition a real state is secular, democratic, multicultural, and has a free enterprise economy; "lots of unreal states today, aren't there"), the then current Israeli government will NEVER honestly negotiate with the Palestinians and permit a Palestinian state.

      So anything the Palestinians do to get the worlds political shakers and bakers to accept them as humans (because of repeated association), such as being given statehood status at the UN, and then having observers in most UN functions, would be valid.

      But I propose that far more important is that the PLO recognize it and Palestine are not synonyms, give up the huge ego, greed and power hunger present in most of their leadership, and have elections that create a democratic leadership. Then ask for membership in the UN. That would show a maturity worthy of state recognition.

  • 77 US troops Wounded in Truck Bombing of Base in Wardak; Top Reasons US should get out of Afghanistan
    • Joe, I fail to see how you can't see what is occurring in Iraq. All historical precedents (remember Vietnam's "peace" agreement, by that incapable of a rational concept Kissenger?) indicate that "if" we ever leave that country will descend into a civil war.

      We never should have gone to Afghanistan, and never should have gone to Iraq. And every time a country does a never should have, it is only a matter of time before that country leaves with its tail between its legs. Think us in Vietnam, think the French in Egypt (read Prof. Cole's book), think French in Vietnam and Algeria, think many a colonization experiment, think USSR in Afghanistan.

      People have to develop themselves to where they have the mind-set for democracy, which I propose happens inevitably, because it is the only natural form of government. Prior to that self-directed democracy mind-set, any attempt to "create" a democracy is doomed to fail.

      Let's get smart and come home, from every country, every one of our 700 plus military bases; give up this nonsense that we are some world policeman, give up this nonsense that our foreign policy is reasonable to be used to significantly enhance our multi-national corporations profits, come home and start working on clearing up this huge mess we have at home; and once again become a beacon for the world in terms of successful and rewarding living.

    • Here we have more evidence of the absurdity of US foreign policy. I never cease to be amazed how obviously very intelligent Americans can be so stupid regarding what is valid overseas. Especially since almost all of our stupid foreign policies would never be thought of regarding an action inside the US.

      I further suggest that it is irrelevant whether there are safe havens in the FATA areas of Pakistan. If Afghanistan was a free country, with a government that represented the people, instead of the dictatorship it now has, then the local people through the local police force would provide sufficient information to keep a guerilla force contained.

  • A tale of two Afghan Leaders, before and after 9/11
    • Juan, I suggest what is missing here is that Karzai was obviously a corrupt person before; being involved in corporate oil deals in that area. So he was obviously chosen by the US as a pliant person to do our bidding. Further, leaders are not born they are made. And if the stupid US had not forced Karzai on the Afghans, and instead had allowed the initial national Loya Jirga to produce a leader through their process, we may have ended up with an entirely different situation.

      But once again, the US acts in its foreign policy like the most despicable of tin pot dictators, and a royal mess is created. I remember reading "The Ugly American" decades ago, realizing that book was exposing to the public how absurd was US foreign policy back then. And it is truly amazing it still operates in the manner. Which is, from my view, mostly quite different from what is considered standard operating procedures here in the US. I never understand how Americans can go to a foreign country, and develop and act on assumptions they would consider insane if an official tried to implement the same process back in the States.

  • Sadrists to Demonstrate in Baghdad against US Troops Remaining
    • Mohammed, I suggest to you that the Shite / Sunni divide stems from a tribal consciousness perspective. And the Arab Spring stems from a internal desire in Arabs to finally discard tribalism. So in the post Arab Spring environment, the Shite / Sunni relationship will in time be like the Methodist / Baptist relationship: recognized differences, but assumed to be minor in the tent of Christianity.

    • "One of the major consequences of the September 11 attacks ten years ago was that members of the Bush administration decided to “take advantage” of the resulting passions to pursue their long-planned vendetta against the government of Saddam Hussein."

      This comment is, to me, one of the most significant expressed by anyone who is prominent in the media in a long time. I have long believed that the Bush family for personal reasons have wanted to eliminate Saddam. And using the intellectual cover of the neoconservative loony idiots began to push for an invasion of Iraq within days, if not hours, after the 9/11 attacks. To have you express this Juan is lovely, because it is now in the public market place.

      The more Americans realize we went into Iraq because of one family's personal vendetta, the more we are free to give up our ridiculous Islamophobia and return to a sane view of the world, and began to make some progress out of our current crisis.

  • Israeli Likud Gov't Buffeted by Turkish Suit, Massive Protests
    • I want to take advantage of this opportunity to vigorously object to the UN report, which had to be a result of significant behind the scene arm twisting. Where was it established that it is legal to blockage an entire political area to prevent arms from entering that area? What about the long held agreement that everyone has the right of self-defense and SELF-DETERMINATION? How is that Israel gets to build the reputation of an incredible intelligence services, and then claim to be incompetent to keep arms out of Gaza. It is truly despicable that Israel is allowed to act like Nazi Germany with impunity, while at the same time being lauded as a democracy. The world has truly become crazy. I now fully understand how the Roman empire collapsed.

  • NATO Refuses Ground Troops for Libya as "Friends" Conference Opens
    • I am truly fascinated JT. If you assume space is limited, so you can't list all the infractions of caucasian aggression, how is it that you get to determine I'm a White Supremacist bigot, purely and only because I didn't mention every Western aggressive action???? I am fully aware that western powers have created havoc on most of the world for god knows how many centuries. I was commenting solely on Juan Cole's assumption, that I interpreted as claiming there was a double standard in the concern people had about Islam, but not for Buddhism and Hinduism.

      I refer you to any accurate history book on Islam to become informed of its stated desire to establish a caliphate over the entire world, and its history of increasing the Muslim population through military actions.

    • Once again, prescient assessment Juan. I never ceased to be amazed at the hypocrisy in the major governments of the world; example China now making nice just to get the oil it wants.

      On the Islamic note. It is true that there are groups of Hindus and Buddhists that create acts of terror. But to gain power in the societies in which they are located, not to take over the world, and run it; explicitly to force everyone to live in a society run by clergy, oriented to one religion; especially a religion whose basic theologies promote an elimination of all the basic rights considered intrinsic to western society for centuries.

      The history of Islam is one of conquer. So even though many a Muslim lives in free enterprise democracy, the underlying religion is one of conquer and subjugation. Therefore there is a element of reality when the jihad organizations of Islam are seen as particularly dangerous.

  • How to Avoid Bush's Iraq Mistakes in Libya
    • I salute you Juan, excellent! Succinct, sound, prudent and comprehensive. Which makes me wonder. You are now being heard in a lot of realms, that formerly didn't listen to such advice. I wonder if the establishment is finally considering giving up its "we few powers control the world, and they have to do our bidding"? Perhaps giving it up to some degree, but not totally voluntarily, more because the rest of the world is collectively beginning to say, "enough of that nonsense already, give it up". Whatever, it is joyful to see that more and more of the world is changing for the better. Now to wait for the delicious moment when this happens in Syria. Whoa is Israel in for deep trouble. Once it's "we are the only democracy in the ME" become extinct, it is going to be very difficult for them to hide their repeated absurdities from world opprobrium.

  • Top Ten Myths about the Libya War
    • I am repeatedly struck by posters who insist that American foreign policy is exclusively about one point or another, such as ensuring oil supplies to the US. Our leaders may be incompetent, greedy, self-centered, power hungry, etc.. But they are each a human being. An NO human being ever has just one motivation for every situation in her life. Each of you posters knows that is true about you. You have a multitude of motivations for the various activities you do. Accept that is true about every leading person in each administration.

      Learn the facts of any one country's actions. Ask what would be the benefit for a country that acted in that manner, in that situation, and you have their motivation for that situation. And repeat this for each country, in each situation. Use your mind repeatedly. Don't become a one song person, and sing that song in every situation. That will just make you a biased, one note person.

    • Several people have given the impression unrest in Libya is highly possible given what happened in Iraq. I would like to offer the following.

      It is now clear that Bush invaded Iraq not only with no post invasion plan, but with it appears a willingness to put people in charge, from the top to the bottom, who were obviously incompetent. Whose actions destroyed the participation of most of the Iraqi people who could have kept that country functioning equal to, or even superior to how they behaved during the Sadam era (since Sadam and his vicious, neanderthal, clique of advisors and hanger-ons had departed; those who remained could operate with far more of their potential then under Sadam).

      If Bush and his cronies had operated with common sense, who knows what would have been the behavior of the various Iraqi factions after the invasion? Since Bush and his crew were and still are obviously craven, mendacious to their core, self-centered, morally opposed to the slightest consideration for anyone who isn't rich and amoral or immoral; and it is clear from world history that the context established by the people at the top can have a significant impact on the behaviors of all the citizens of a country (compare the behaviors of the typical German during Hitler's reign to now), why isn't it highly likely that Bush and his nefarious crew are primarily responsible for Iraq's recent past and current interethnic (religious and cultural) antipathy?

      I personally hold Bush and his fellow criminals as the primary culprits. And from this regard, although I consider Obama to have a significant lack of integrity, and to be primarily oriented to creating the image of himself he prefers, he is vastly superior to Bush in terms of how the humans of the world are impacted by his actions.

    • Emile, consider the possibility that even the most draconian of people / groups can occasionally act out of character and do some that has honorable intentions.

  • The Great Tripoli Uprising
    • Hooray! Congratulation Juan on your prescient atypical (for you) support of NATO actions, and your support of the opposition.

      The speed of collapse is fascinating to me, but not surprising. All dictators exist on fear in the opposition, each dictator bathing regularly in the bath of quite unsupported egotism and self-importance; yet somewhat secure in sensing that most potential opposition are too weak, too lacking in character, to erect a sustainable rebellion.

      But then there comes a point where that opposition gains the character necessary to sustain, and takes actions that manifest that durability. And at some point the dictator realizes his victory through fear is over, he faces the inherent cowardice present in all such people, and whoosh the strength of him and his followers collapses (like the collapse of a ballon that is pricked), and they fade away, each pursuing his personally chosen path of escape.

      Now on the Syria, and the rest of the non-democratic Arab region. And in time maybe the very necessary American Spring.

  • Paul, Santorum and the Sixth War (on Iran)
    • I don't understand your logic. The government didn't give us property rights. The citizens of this country voted in the Constitution by which the government is instructed how to operate.

      I have never called myself a Libertarian, and disagree with most of their points, so I don't know why you label me as such.

      I come from the position that God designed humans to have quality sensations (each one a moment of pleasure) in everything they do: activities done, work activities, social interactions, and religious activities. And that each human has the free will to pursuing how to discovering how to do his activities, so he regularly experiences those quality sensations. All such people either become self-employed, or work in a cooperative. No one is forced to work for an employer.

      If you want to believe you can understand economic crashes with economic theories, we will have to agree to disagree. From my view every economic theory has major flaws.

      I have known many people who worked in a union shop. And every single one of them felt it was confining.

    • I strongly object to Juan's claim that corporations come into existence in laissez-faire societies. The initial corporations were at direct result of governments allowing the right to have limited liability, which is a truly insane idea. And where are the big corporations before the US Supreme Court in the 1860's, got that in the 1860's, ruled that corporations have the same rights as humans?

      The basic idea of incorporating is the you supposedly can accumulate lots of money (from issuing stock), and avoid personal responsibility. It is governments that created that nonsense.

      Unions. The basis motivation to form a union is to assume you need to be in a group, and let the group determine your work future. Since that is an avoidance of personal responsibility, soon the leaders of the unions become more interested in maintaining their lot, than the work experience of the union members. Further, all union contracts lead to more and more regulated work environments. Which over time makes it impossible for the workers to experience being productive, skilled, creative and contributing to their clients; which are the experiences that result in one feeling one's work is worthwhile.

  • Egyptian Revolution 2.0?
    • I support David's view above, and am optimistic as well. Anyone who studies history knows that political change of any magnitude takes a long time. Which is because political change of any magnitude involves the majority of a society each changing his or her personal world view (map, mind-set, attitude) for life; to include one's world view for what is a proper and acceptable way for a government to operate. And any personal world view modification takes time.

      Egyptians have lived in a culture that didn't accept individuality, didn't accept personal freedom, was very much oriented to living within the parameters of the section of society in which you were born and live, for their entire multi-thousand year history. Obviously they now want individual freedom for each to pursue her own destiny, free of an impedance from one's family, friends, community, culture or government. But that involves a huge shift in personal responsibility over what was there before. And that shift is not going to occur through demonstrations in any public square. Such demonstrations are good to provide fuel for the soul, to steel the soul for the hard work necessary to transform how one operates in one's daily activities. The function of the government is going to be based on the current state of people's worldview modifications, not on the numbers present in demonstrations.

      I wouldn't expect real change in the draconian and corrupt nature of the government until after there are new elections for president and parliament, and the new government has become used to governing. And then it will probably take several versions of parliament and presidents before a real viable democracy is in place in Egypt. Until then I wish the Egyptian people the best.

  • Notar: Syria and the Palestine Card
    • I would like to suggest that the citizens of each country are the ones responsible for the content of their government. And as soon as the majority of Syrian citizens realize they want a freedom impossible to be achieved under the Assad dictatorship, the family will resign and allow a democratic government to take over.

      I further suggest that the Arab Spring arises from Arabs taking action on a new consciousness present in every human since the 1960's, which tells each person she can be optimal in everything she does. And now that it has been unleashed, it will eventually spread worldwide; including in time reaching the US, Canada and the western European countries. Assad's time is numbered, and I'll bet that inwardly he knows it.

  • Key developments in the Arab Spring Today
    • I thank you Dr. Cole for the al-Ahzar information. I believe that in each human is an over consciousness, that human can use to direct how she approaches daily life, and through her free will can ignore that direction and attempt to pursue what she prefers. I further believe that a new consciousness was installed in all humans in the mid-1960's, which informed each human that he could be optimal in every area of his life: be autonomous (be true to his inner awarenesses in all he did); in work move toward where he repeatedly experienced being productive, skilled, creative and contributing to each client; in his social relationships repeatedly experience intimacy (feels rich and full), love (deeply value the other person), and he and all his long term friends repeated mutually empower each other; at some point become aware he has a spiritual component, and discover and optimize it.

      I saw the Arab Spring as Arabs finally beginning to operate in accord with this consciousness. And for months I have told people that proof of this is eventually the various Arab countries would call for some form of church and state separation. And here it is, presented and promoted by the Mullahs no less. Great. I look forward to experiencing full bloom free enterprise democracy in the Middle East, which unavoidably in time would result in a one state situation in all of Palestine.

  • Gates: Winding down the Wars
    • I propose that the empire building of the US post-wwii, was a result of a sickness that afflicted most Americans; wanting to ignore internal suffering, insecurity and major inappropriate actions, they looked elsewhere for less powerful people with whom to mess (as a diversion). That corruption, and the resultant interfering with vast regions of the world, is continuing to increase up to and including here in 2011.

      Intellectual prostitutes like Gates provide totally made up, never bearing fruit, always wrong views of the world, which are fed to a gullible American public, who continue to vote in the scoundrels in both parties, and this charade continues.

      It is like watching a seventy year long play about how stupid humans brilliantly repeatedly find totally unworkable situations to embrace.

  • AU proposes Ceasefire, NATO protects Misrata, Ajdabiya
    • I want to thank you Juan for this information about Al-Qadhafi. I was not aware of the extent of his malicious interference. The world is sure a screwed up place, and I hope some day we can make progress toward a free enterprise (non-corporation), democracy in every country. So people can get on with optimizing their lives.

  • Cole/ Van den Heuvel on Libya: Nation Podcast
    • This "debate" over Libya among people who call themselves progressives fascinates me. Because more than any previous debate, this one brings into the open a selective use of language that amazes me.

      Let us take the word quagmire. In the dictionary it presents that a quagmire is a difficult entrapping situation. How can a rational person talk about a less than two week old situation as being a quagmire???? Furthermore, does any person call a conflict a quagmire that is an honorable fight against illicit oppression, regardless of how long it takes? Did the people warning of a quagmire in Libya call the decades long civil rights fight in the US a quagmire????

      Then there is "civil war". Which the dictionary states is a war between two opposing groups of citizens. When one party is a dictator, whose only supporters are either mercenaries or people who benefit from corrupt actions of the dictator, you can't call them a "group of citizens". So there is no civil war in Libya, and never will be as long as Kadhafi remains. There is only brutal oppression and the honorable citizens of Libya attempting to eliminate that oppression.

      Then the "why not the same in Bahrain or Yemen". When you pointed out that there is no Libya-like invention option in Bahrain, Van den Heuvel did not reply; and you didn't repeat that regarding Yemen, which would have been true there.

      And what is the problem with Libya being a precedent? If the international community promptly produced sanctions and freezing assets each time a dictator wreaked havoc on a people, and introduced a no fly zone each time a group of citizens first protested peacefully and then took up arms against brutal actions by that dictator, I think it would not be long before rarely would a person act like a dictator, making that a worthy precedent.

      Then the "weaken the UN" point. The UN has always been weak, never able to do anything that the major world powers don't support. So it can't be further weakened. And why not have a Security Council resolution passage be required before any country can wreak havoc on a group of people? That would have stopped Russia from its genocidal actions in Chechnya, China invading and oppressing Tibet or suppressing the Uyghurs or actively oppressing all people who choose to practice Falun Gong. Or Sudan's oppression in the south and Darfur. Or the genocide in Rwanda. Or Idi Amin in Uganda. And so forth in many places. What is wrong with that precedent? There would have been no war in Afghanistan or Iraq if that had been done.

  • Obama on Libya vs. Trump, Palin, Bachmann, Romney, Gingrich and Carrot Top
    • I thank you for a cogent and comprehensive assessment of the current Libyan situation. But I suggest you retain some of your ire for the left, in which there is almost no one other than yourself who admits to the reasonableness of assisting the Libyan opposition.

      It is truly amazing that so many people today has abandoned common sense, and fail to recognize that the US being irresponsible almost everywhere doesn't automatically mean they are irresponsible in Libya.

      For K, please re-read your Constitution. It gives Congress the right to declare war, but no where forbids the President from using troops outside the US border for any reason without Congress's approval. War ought to be defined as an extensive military action against another country, where defeating and then replacing the government of that country is the objective. When you provide military assistance for a segment of a population of a country, to move to where they create a country in which each person can chart the course in life each person wants to do, that is a police action, not a war, and there is nothing in the Constitution that states the President has to get Congress's permission before he acts. There are current laws that state within a reasonable time he has to talk to them and let them know his basis for action. And Obama is certainly doing that with his speech last night.

      When the police send in the swat squad, which is heavily armed, to confront a criminal(s), and it is fully intended that after that action each person in that area is free to resume the actions he or she desires to take, do you call that a war? No, you call it a police action. Same with international military actions by a country. A police action, not a war.

      Iraq is a war, Afghanistan is a war, not so with Libya.

  • Top Ten Accomplishments of the UN No-Fly Zone
    • Pundits who want this whole thing to be over with in 7 days are being frankly silly. Those who worry about it going on forever are being unrealistic. Those who forget or cannot see the humanitarian achievements already accomplished are being willfully blind.

      Well said sir!

  • Top Ways 9/11 Broke Islamic Law
    • If you are going to promote an authentic view of authentic Islam, by claiming the passages in the Koran are the truth, and ignore how Moslems have acted since their inception; including from Mohammed onward, to modern times; then you have to do the same in regard to what is authentic Christianity; disregarding all the actions of false Christians throughout the years; including the Spanish Inquisition, the Crusaders, European imperialism, and the foreign policy of the US for the past couple of centuries.

      But that is not rational assessing. What is Islam, in practical terms, just as what is Christianity in practical terms, is how do the majority of professing Moslems and professing Christians behave throughout history.

      And from a purely rational perspective, Islamic governments throughout history and today; Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Turkey, Iraq, Kuwait, Egypt, Yemen, Somalia, etc., etc., etc.; create forced conversions and quite oppressive conditions for their citizens. The US, and other countries that are Christian in their culture bases, may do horrible things outside their borders. But inside their borders, for citizens and visitors alike, cultural Christian nations provide vastly superior environments compared to their Moslem equivalents, or the other countries that have a different religion: China, Russia (the Orthodox churches are miles away from Western churches), Japan, Vietnam, India, etc..

  • Toll in Quetta Bombing Rises to 65
    • Warren Metzler 09/05/2010 at 9:11 pm

      I fail to see why Hussein's assessment is sound. We are talking about killing people, and having them be assessed as so immoral they need to be eliminated. This would require Sunni fanatic group, as the same mind-set as the Al Queda in Iraq. I fail to grasp where a foreign intelligence service is going to get someone to carry out a suicide bombing for what is just a "mess up the enemy's social structure" objective.

  • Dear Rev. Graham: Obama was not born a Muslim and neither is anyone else
    • I want to recommend that Franklin Graham is a total prostitute, who by his actions was long ago found to be a fraud by all discerning Christians. That his father allowed him to become prominent in the Graham Ministries clearly demonstrates his father was a false Christians. No one who is a genuine Christian, who meets and prays with a man who claims to be a Christian, says, "I accept he is a Christian if he claims he is". He says "yes, I believe he is a Christian". Few families in the world have done more harm to authentic Christianity than the Graham family, in their decade old fraud that claims you become a bona fide Christian just be making a verbal statement. Nothing in the New Testament, if properly understood presents that view.

  • Repubs Plot Israel-Iran Apocalypse and the Collapse of the US Economy
    • There is an element of the war in Afghanistan, Iraq, and now the clamored for by some Iran. Which is the direct moral decay fallout for Americans. To be moral in situation A is to do what produces a successful outcome in situation A (successful outcome = result that is excellent and each participant thoroughly enjoyed doing that process). And once you give up an attraction to morality, your life is a progressively downward path toward repeated pain and chaos.

      Bush lied about who did 9/11 to encourage the Americans to fight a definitely illegal war on Afghanistan and Iraq. And from that lie spanned a multitude of moral decay, one of the most significant aspects being the start of eviscerating the Constitution, and the willingness for Americans to tolerate more and more corruption, greed and malfeasance in business and every day life. Obama lied about Afghanistan. And now these right wing unprecedented in ignorance Republicans are lying to get a war in Iran.

      The more we allow our governments to implement immoral practices, the more we all suffer from the moral decay at home.

      Innocent until proven guilty is a hallmark of our legal system. And it doesn't exist just as a nicety so we can feel good. It exists as a moral framework to stop the more idiotic and fascist members among us from going amuck. Innocent until proven guilty prohibits preemptive military actions. And the second you accept preemptive military actions, it is only a matter of time before idiotic fascists here in the US will find ways to remove innocent until proven guilty from all the Americans who don't toe the lines those fascists favor.

      Let us wake up and smell the coffee.

  • Palin on the Ground Zero Mosque vs. the Founding Fathers
    • Warren Metzler 07/19/2010 at 8:09 pm

      There is an aspect to Sarah Palin that is rarely looked at. Which is that even though it is obvious that she is lacking in perception capacity, appears to be incapable and uninterested in having a single coherent thought on any issue, and is fundamentally deceitful, she is very popular to a major portion of this country's population. Which, because political leaders are who they are because they are reflective of a significant group of the population, means that a major portion of our population is lacking in perception capacity, incapable and uninterested in having a single coherent thought, and fundamentally deceitful. Which is a major problem. Because having many citizens in any state is guaranteed to move that state progressively down hill toward perpetual chaos and failure.

      I further suggest this condition doesn't exist because these people have a genetic defect, or a deprived childhood. It exists because there are very few voices in this country promoting reality; right, left, or center; and the majority of citizens are left wondering around, susceptible to demagogues like Sarah Palin, who I believe is not so dangerous because of her absurd beliefs, more because people like this regularly engage in endeavors that provide problems for the entire country and the world; a la Georgie boy.

  • US Ally Maliki & Octavia Nasr Both Praised Fadlallah
    • Warren Metzler 07/08/2010 at 9:25 pm

      I suggest there is a moral dimension here that is being ignored. Ever since Georgie boy was allowed to massively lie about Al Queda flying the planes of 9/11, engage in a ridiculous wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and Barack (never met a lie I wasn't willing to tell) furthers Georgie's positions, the American people, being willing to go along with this nonsense, have all become significantly immoral (incapable of taking proper actions; actions that lead to good results and people enjoying the processes of their activities). And in their state of immorality can't tolerate a personal opinion that differ in any significant degree from any of the absurd delusions currently promoted by the status quo.

      If you make statements that are truly insane (think Charles Krauthammer), but which support any of the status quo's delusions you are commended. But say something of which the status quo opposed, and it is eminently true, and you are vilified.

      I accept the Israeli government has a highly skilled p.r machine, but they are not responsible for every malfeasance committed by an American corporation. The current status quo view (their real view, not the lies they claim are true) is that all Moslems are terrible. So Ms Nasr must be severely punished. But don't mourn her state too much. She may now find fulfilling work, and realize in retrospect it is impossible to have a single moment of pleasure working for a propaganda machine like CNN.

  • Public Souring on the Afghanistan War
    • Warren Metzler 06/27/2010 at 7:56 pm

      I disagree that Mr. Stewart's premise can win. That is exactly what we did in Vietnam; Vietnamization it was called: let the Vietnamese forces fight the war, and Americans hang out in secure American bases. Soon the NVA and Viet Cong came calling; as sure as soon the Taliban will come calling, and out we will go, the last American leaving in a helicopter hovering over the US embassy in Kabul.

      Unless Obama recognizes reality and negotiates a complete withdraw with the Taliban, or withdraws without that agreement, we will leave in disgrace. The Afghan people are predominately, if not totally, tribal, and you can't have a democracy and be tribal. So they will have to develop a democracy on their own, after being left to their own devices. And the quicker we leave the better.

      But the current crop of US government officials are insane, and don't seem to be capable of such perception. So I suspect the leave with our tails between our legs is the most likely scenario.

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