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Total number of comments: 214 (since 2013-11-28 14:42:49)

william james martin

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  • Saudi Arabia pulls Citizens from Lebanon as Beirut charges Hariri Jailed
    • Unlike Carter or Obama or virtually any other US president, President Trump is both too lazy, too uninformed, too disinterested in foreign policy, and too focused on himself and more local matters that more immediately affect him to even bother attending to what amounts a crisis for Lebanon and the Middle East - the kidnapping of a head of state.

      Carter and virtually any other US president would have been totally outraged by this.

  • Kurdish Independence: SecState Tillerson opposes, Sen Schumer Supports
    • Israel has been supportive of Kurdistan and has provided aid to the people and region for some time.

      Schumer, of course, is Israel's representative in the US Congress and has frequently placed Israeli interests above that of American interests.

    • If Schumer supports Independence for the Kurds, which means the partitioning of Iraq, it is because he sees it as good for Israel.

  • Trump on Islam: Neo-Orientalism and anti-Shi'ism
    • Yeah, Trump does not know of The House of Wisdom in 9th century Baghdad or of Islamic science including mathematics and astronomy.

      Well we hardly expect intellectual astuteness from Trump who is too intellectually lazy to read - neither the executive orders he signs or the intelligence reports given to him by the intelligence services.

      It is doubtful that Trump has read book in his entire adult life.

  • Trump Sanctuary Threat Quashed by Court - Is anything he does Constitutional?
    • You are very likely correct that Trump does not understand the constitution and most likely never read it.

      Trump's information comes, before assuming the presidency, at least, from television news, and much of it from Fox and other right wing TV sources.

      Trump is poorly read and poorly informed, and, in fact, there is evidence that Trump has never read a book in his entire adult life, and there is also evidence that he has sub-adult level reading skills. (Jimmy Carter reads at a rate of 3000 wpm with 95% comprehension.)

      "The Art of the Deal" was ghost written.

      Trump is importing into the presidency his own experience as the patriarch of his own family business where hes decision is the last word, and anyone crossing him is in for a unpleasant reaction.

      Trump apparently thought he was elected dictator and the presidency has unrestrained powers

  • In 3 months, Trump has Charged into 4 Mideast Wars, to no Avail
    • william james martin 04/15/2017 at 8:54 pm

      Those twenty ($ million jet fighters) will not be repaired now. Anyway, it makes little difference whether they could fly immediately or whether they had to wait a week for repairs. (What is your source that they were there for repair?

      It was certainly not a game changer in terms of a military victory. But that is not the point I made above.

      The chemical weapon attack as well as the entrance of US military power into the Syrian war was not at all welcomed by President Putin and Assad may well be wearing out his welcome.

      We will have to see.

      The American cruise missile attack has been the only significant change or innovation or addition to the Syrian conflict since the Russian entrance a year and a half ago.

      Putin's interest is to maintain a Russian presence in the Middle East and to maintain Syria as a client state. Russia is not married to Assad.

    • The damage done to the Shayrat airbase by the US cruise missile attack was not insignificant.

      According to US damage assessments, of which I have no reason to doubt (they are coming from the military, not from Trump himself), 20 Syrian aircraft were destroyed, significant damage was done to fuel and munitions storage depots, and air defense radars were destroyed or damaged.

      There was little point in utilizing a $1 million cruise missile to crater the runways as runways can be repaired quickly and cheaply.

      The cruise missile attack could be the beginning of the end of Assad, since Assad's decision to launch a chemical attack induced the American decision make its military presence felt in the Syrian conflict and thus created a liability for Putin whose tolerance for Assad is not unlimited.

    • The Cruise missile attack on the Syrian airbase did no harm at all and may may well have increased the irritation level of Vladimir Putin with Bashir al Assad for whom he has no admiration and no allegiance, except the necessity of the moment, and is only tolerating him for the time being.

      That the sarin gas attack induced the entrance of the US military into the Syrian civil war can hardly be applauded by Mr Putin who has been the dominating military power acting in Syria.

      In addition, the cruise missile attack sends a strong signal to Mr Assad that the US is likely to launch a similar attack should Mr Assad choose to replicate his action, which means that Assad is unlikely to do so again.

      It also encouraged the rebels and and signaled to them that they would not have to endure, alone and forgotten, a horrible gas attack on civilian in areas controlled by them

  • Washington's demonization of Foes jumps Shark with Sean Spicer on Hitler
    • I think his point was that Hitler never used gas warfare on the battlefield, as he conceivably could have, as had been used by both sides in WW I and by Saddam Hussein and Bashir al Assad since. In other words, Hitler did respect some constraints, at least in battle.

      I think that is a valid point.

  • Hawaii Judge: Trump's Muslim Ban 2.0 still Violates the Constitution
    • william james martin 03/18/2017 at 1:36 pm

      The intention of the author of a law or presidential directive refers to a psychological state which may be confused or may vacillate over time and to the extent that it is knowable to the outside world, through palpable utterances attendant to the writing of the law, that memory will dissipate over time while the law or presidential directive will perdure over time and will insinuate itself into the body of US law well into the future.

    • william james martin 03/18/2017 at 1:19 pm

      My view is that the intention of the president in writing the presidential directive should not be a consideration in the constitutionality of the law but only the practical palpable consequences of the law is appropriate for adjudication.

      I do believe, as a practical palpable consequence, that the presidential directive discriminates on the basis of religion and national origin and it therefore unconstitutional.

  • Trump covers Rockwell: Sometimes it Feels like, Obama's Watching You
    • william james martin 03/05/2017 at 11:24 am

      Mr Trump is an ignorant uninformed man who lack the intellectual or academically trained, or otherwise trained, discipline to be able to distinguish reliable sources of information from those that are not.

      He, from all indications, lacks the patience to read more very small amounts, and, for one reason or another, probably lack of patience, prefers to get his information from television where he is addicted to right wing commentators and seems to have preference for Fox News.

      Right wing radio commentator Mark Levin had made the charge that Obama had been wiretapping the Trump Tower before the election only hours before Trump tweeted the same claim. Mr Levin provided no more evidence for this claim than did Mr Trump himself.

      His motivation for initiating the seven Muslim nation ban was similarly uninformed. It is very unlikely that Trump was aware that there had been no terrorist attacks in the US perpetuated by immigrants deriving from any of the seven Muslim nations on his ban list because that is opposite the bombastic messaging from Breitbart and other right wing commentators.

      Rather than asking the Dept of Homeland Security for a review of the Seven Muslim Nation ban before attempting to implement it, he requested a review only after the failed initiation primarily to find justification for the policy already decided upon..

      That review was undertaken by DHS, however, reach a conclusion contradiction the justification which Mr Trump sought.

      This report, by DHS, also contradicts Mr Trump's claim during the political campaign that Mexican entering the US were, "They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

      But the belief otherwise is the constant message blared from the xenophobic, Islamophobic right wing TV, radio, and online sources which Trump prefers to competent intelligence report by US government agencies.

      That factual verification ought to be the basis for trustworthy belief is an ideal which apparently Mr Trump has never thought of.

      Donald Trump, an unrepentant ignorant uninformed man is a greater danger to the US than any immigrant from a Muslim country .

  • Netanyahu rejected offer by Kerry & Arab Leaders of Comprehensive Peace Talks
    • william james martin 02/20/2017 at 11:50 am

      Why should Israel make any concessions to the Palestinians?

      Militarily, the Israelis are infinitely stronger than the Palestinians, and 150 years of Zionist thinking has fixed all of Palestine, and then more, as land which belongs to Jews by either divine right or historical right - the so-called "Land of Israel". This is a universal understanding within Israel.

      The Israelis are taking over all of Palestine as fast as they can and displacing the Palestinians into disparate disjointed Bantustans, or encouraging their emigration, - in effect, ethnic cleansing.

      American politicians are either ignorant of what is going on, too shallow minded to think critically, or are intentionally burying their head in the sand.

      The status quo suits Israel perfectly, because it is not a static status quo but a dynamic one in which Israel is expanding like a cancer.

      As for peace, Israel already has peace - peace at the barrel of a Uzi.

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  • Here we go Again: Trump Admin Threatens Iran
    • william james martin 02/02/2017 at 12:12 pm

      An ignorant president is a greater danger to America than ISIS.

      And especially, and ignorant president who believes he knows everythihg

  • Trump Visa Denials target same countries Bush vowed to Overthrow
    • Paul Wolfowitz does not sigh off on policy, the president does. The Undersecretary of Defense only recommends it.

      Of course, Wolfowitz would do anything for Israel. That was my earlier point, that it was the view so some Neocons.

    • Bush's motivations for overthrowing Middle Eastern governments were centered around Israel and the efforts of their strategic planners aided by their American based Zionists Neocons to insure that Israel remained the hegemon of the region without any serious rivals or serious threats.

      Obama's enthusiasm for the Arab Spring, including his favoring the departure of Bin Ali in Tunisia, Mubarak in Egypt and Assad in Syria, derived from his democratic impulses.

      Obama's attitude was not unique. Indeed, the whole world felt a strong moment of hope and inspiration at the prospect the these dictators would be replaced by parliamentary governments and associated western freedoms and that the aspirations and rhythmic chants of the demonstrators in Tahrir Square would be realized.

      The tears of Wael Ghonin, 'that Google guy" as President Obama called him, who fell apart on a widely viewed television interview were shared by many who watch this interview and also watched the demonstrators who risked their lives every night in Tahrir Square who cried out for a liberal and humane society.

  • Trump's Visa Ban is about anti-Muslim Bigotry, not Security
    • That evidence is the basis of trustworthy belief is a concept alien to Trump's understanding of the world.

      He has proved that time and time again.

  • From Syria to Sanctions, Flynn-Russia Quid Pro Quo?
    • "I cannot imagine Trump thinks the rebels and ISIS are the same".

      I think you do not realize how ignorant and uninformed Trump is. I encounter people on Facebook all the time who confuse the two.

      Trump talks off of the top of his head, and what he takes for knowledge are impression gained from immediate social interaction which do not include any serious reading or study. He lacks the attention span and discipline for that.

      Trump is too arrogant to recognize his own ignorance.

      A recognition of one's own ignorance is the beginning of knowledge.

    • According to this map produced by the Carter Center, link to,
      it does not look like ISIS has much of presence north of Aleppo. Rather they are concentrated more aroun Raqqa and of course in Anbar Province in Iraq.

      I do not know why they would have a presence around Aleppo. I am not aware that they have seriously challenged the Assad government and would need to consolidate their forces in areas in which the allies are making deep inroads - that is around Raqqa and Anbar in Iraq.

      I am distinguishing between ISIS and al Nusra, which though a branch off of ISIS has broken from them and, in fact, has engaged them in several skirmishes.

      It is not clear from the map whether Al Nusra is classified with the rebels, in green, or with ISIS, in black

    • Donald Trump, ignorant and uninformed as he is, seems to think that the Russians have been bombing and attacking ISIS.

      They have not, with the exception of a small number of sorties approximately a year ago.

      He is like so many people I encounter on Facebook, who believe the rebels and ISIS are the same.

      They aren't.

      That is a belief express by those who are confused and completely ignorant of the Syrian conflict, and that includes Donald Trump.

      Trump says he knows more about ISIS than the American generals.

      He know nothing about ISIS and could certainly never pass a freshman level exam on the topic.

      He seems to be unaware of the massive human right violations engendered by the Russian bombing campaign in Syria which have been well documented by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the International Red Cross, the United Nations and other human right organizations.

      This erroneous belief on the part of Donald Trump, that the Russian have been helpful in so far as they have been attacking ISIS enables Trump to see the US-Russian competition in completely unrealistic terms - terms that are unrealistically benign.

  • For Russian hold on Trump, follow the Money, not the Sex tapes
    • If Trump hired prostitutes to piss on a bed because he knew that Obama and Michelle had previously slept in it, then he is a very sick and also a sadistic man.

      That disturbs me more than any financial misdealings.

  • Preparing for the Normalization of a Neofascist White House
    • I think major journalist, those of the NY Times, Washington Post, CNN, USA Today, well understand what a vacuous phony, yet potentially dangerous man Trump is.

      They have all written, scathing opinions expressing their extreme disgust of Trump and have all endorsed Clinton, with the exception of USA Today which rather than endorsing anyone, wrote an 'un-endorsement' of Trump

  • Trump's Jerusalem embassy Move an Invitation to Terrorism: 9/11 Provoked in part by Israeli Occupation
    • william james martin 12/19/2016 at 11:03 am

      If the matter of Jerusalem were brought to the International Criminal court, a rendering of genocide is extremely unlikely. Decisions by international criminal tribunals in Bosnia and Sierra Leone make it clear that a rendering of genocide is a high bar.

      A conviction of ethnic cleansing as a crime against humanity is more likely.

      In any case, Israel has already taken over, annexed and is in control of Jerusalem.

    • william james martin 12/19/2016 at 10:13 am

      Another reason bin Laden attacked the twin towers in NYC:

      In October of 2004, in a taped message to the American people, according to the BBC, Osama bin Laden said, “While I was looking at those destroyed towers in Lebanon, it occurred to me to punish the unjust one in a similar manner by destroying towers in the United States so that it would feel some of what we felt and to be deterred from killing our children and women….” Bin Laden, of course, was referring to the summer long shelling of West Beirut during Israel’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon.

  • Is Jimmy Carter right that Obama should Recognize Palestine?
    • william james martin 12/03/2016 at 11:54 am

      And maybe we might not have had to witness Israel' 1982 invasion of Lebanon with 20,000 Lebanese killed, the destruction of half of Beirut, the Sabre and Chatila refugee camp massacres, and the killing of 241 US marines.

      Carter had halted and reversed and earlier Israeli invasion into Lebanon by standing up to Israel, the last president to have done so,

    • william james martin 11/29/2016 at 2:28 pm

      President Obama cannot empathize with a man of Jimmy Carter' courage.

    • william james martin 11/29/2016 at 2:24 pm

      Obama has never given much deference to Jimmy Carter or his ideas, and especially to Carter's ideas on Israeli-Palestine which represents a deeper level of understanding than that with which Obama is comfortable.

      Unlike every previous president, Obama never consulted Carter related to any diplomatic initiatives.

      And Obama did not allow Carter to speak at either of the two National Democratic Conventions at which Obama was nominated - this past US President and Nobel Peace laureate (who actually earned it).

      According to Carter's most recent book, " A Full Life", David Axilrod told Carter that Obama's Jewish financial supporters did not want Carter to speak.

      Do not look for Obama to do anything except continues his string of vetoes of UN resolutions which would constrain Israel.

  • US Goes to War with Houthis in Yemen (Openly)
    • William James Martin 10/13/2016 at 11:29 am

      Foreign policy is not within the compass of President Obama's interests or expertise.

  • Colonial Slow Genocide: Palestinian Leader Abbas asks Britain for "Balfour" Apology
    • The US and much of Latin and South America and other areas of the world had slavery a couple of hundred year. But times have changed. International law is barely 100 years old, but growing in its influence.

      But unlike Israel, the US has enacted a body of law designed to protect the rights and privileges of minorities. The US has evolved to a more universally enlightened understanding of governance and the rights of all individual regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, gender, handicap.

      But this is emphatically not true of Israel which continues to be an exclusive state of Jews and where only Jews enjoy the full privileges of statehood. And in Palestine, under the control of Israel, the ethnic cleansing continues, even in the 21st century.

    • william james martin 09/23/2016 at 10:54 pm

      The Balfour Declaration was the culmination of about 500 years of English Christian Zionism, carried forward from about the 17th century by the Puritans who identified with the Biblical Jews.

      In fact, Zionism is essentially a product of Christian Zionism and is not a Jewish autochthonous creation, despite what David Ben Gurion, Netanyahu, and Obama think and what the world has been told by the state of Israel.

    • william james martin 09/23/2016 at 10:44 pm

      It was Louis Brandeis who, more than anyone at the time, peddled the myth, based on zero evidence, and contradicting much evidence, that the Palestinians were recent immigrants into Palestine

  • Top 8 Syrian-Americans whom we'd miss If Trump had Kept them out
  • On 71st Anniversary of Hiroshima, the Fear of a Nuclear Trump
    • Please tell you Canadian friends, Shazia, that the TNT equivalent yield of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima was 21 kilotons. That is exactly the estimated TNT equivalent that Israel used on Gaza in the 2014 assault on that narrow strip of land. (see "The Dahiya Doctrine", Rashid Khalidi, Journal of Palestine Studies

    • I understand that the US has tactical nuclear weapon in Europe for the purpose of deterring a Russian ground invasion as the video claimed.

      Thus it is not true that the only time US government strategists have considered the use of nuclear weapons is due to an attack by nuclear weapons.

  • Donald "Dr. Strangelove" Trump and some of the Times We almost had a Nuclear War
    • According to Avi Shlaim, in his book, "The Iron Wall", during the Gulf War in 1991, Israel pointed its nuclear armed missiles toward Iraq and readied them to fire on command.

  • Rep. Steve King, White People and 'Civilization'
    • Most people, and King is not unique, are simply unacquainted with the contributions of Islamic science to western civilization. And in the minds of most people the great contributions of the Italian Renaissance and the scientific revolution of the 17th century overshadow anything that preceded them.

      People remember Christopher Columbus, Leonardo de Vinci, Michelangelo, the advances in art, engineering and mathematics of that era, and the seventeenth century with Galileo, Kepler, Descartes, Huygens, Newton, and then the 18th century Enlightenment philosophers.

      Was the Renaissance sparked by Fibonacci's trips to the orient? Probably. But how many people have heard of Fibonacci? Or Mohammad al Khwarizmi, who wrote the first algebra book, and introduced the decimal system at the House of Wisdom in Baghdad in the 9th century? How many people know that 'alcohol', 'chemistry', from 'alchemy", 'alkali',or even 'coffee' come from the Arabic, and that 'algorithm' derives from the name of al Khwarizmi himself?. Or that most of the visible stars in the night sky have Arabic names. And Algorithm from "al Khwarizmi' himself?

      Mr king is hardly unusual. And politician are not normally know for their depth of knowledge.

      But its is fair to say that the great progress of the Italian Renaissance, and the greatness of the 17th century Scientific revolution are overshadowing events in the history of mankind.

  • Clintonites in Democratic Party Back Settler Colonialism (Not a 1905 Headline)
    • Resolutions passed by the UN Security Council or the UN General Assembly become part of the body of International Law as do precedents established by by international tribunals of which the Nuremberg Tribunal was the first.

      A part of the UN is the International Court of Justice, which meets at The Hague, as is the recently incarnated International Criminal Court.

      The UN Security Council may determine the existence of threats to the peace or breaches of peace and may authorized the use of force or apply economic or other sanctions in cases of breaches of the peace.

    • The problem is that all international law is subservient to politics. And when it comes to competition in domestic elections, international law means virtually noting. Recall both Democratic and Republican presidential candidates (Kerry and Bush, in 2004) said they would ignore the ruling of the International Court of Justice that the wall built by Israel on the east side of the Green Line was illegal under international law.

      Indeed, it was a political process that created the UN in the first place. And it was created by the victors of the Second World War, as was the Nuremberg Tribunal.

      That's just the way it is.

      Israel has absolutely no respect for international law, believe the UN is biased against Israel, and, in any case, stands opposed the deeper and more profound law that Jews are entitled to ethnically cleanse historical Palestine because of Jewish historical rights. This Mr Netanyahu has enunciated this attitude many times.

  • H. Clinton and Ed Snowden: Some Animals are more Equal than others
    • Yes, Gary, Snowden intended to release documents that were classified and most certainly violated the law.

      But his action was a brave act of civil disobedience aimed at informing the American people of the extent of government surveillance and the intrusion of government into people's lives and privacy and the government's violations of the spirit, if not the letter, of the US Constitution.

      Clinton's actions were nothing more nor less than negligence and incompetence.

    • Lacking intent, there is a category of criminal law (I am not a lawyer) called criminal negligence. But there, I think, substantial damage to some party, the US government in this case, has to be shown. What damage was done is difficult to access, and remains only speculation. I strongly suspect that regular communications of the State Department has already been hacked by Israel, or China, or whomever else.

    • One substantial difference between Clinton's handling of US government emails and Snowden's release of documents is the matter of intent.

      Snowden intended to release classified material, whereas it is doubtful that Clinton did.

      It is unlikely that she had any interest in revealing the secretes of the US government, including those of the State Department.

      Her mistake was one on negligence or sloppiness.

  • Are Sanders' Criticisms of Israeli Occupation Policies unprecedented in a Presidential Campaign?
    • william james martin 04/07/2016 at 6:28 am

      If you take the average of Palestinian children killed by Israel since 2000, which is 2089, based on the total provided by, which in turn takes its figures from human rights organizations, principally, B'Tselem, it comes to approximately 2.5 killed per week.

      That is, Israeli has, for the last 16 years, at least, murdered 2.5 Palestinian children per week..

  • Top 5 Crazy things Ben Carson said about Middle East and Islam
    • My favorite:
      Carson claimed that scientists believe that aliens built the Egyptian Pyramids, however he believes that they were built for grain storage for the biblical Joseph.

  • Israel: Friedman of the NY Times surrenders to One-State Solution, sees ME Apocalypse
    • william james martin 02/11/2016 at 10:58 am

      It has not helped the matter that Obama is a thoroughgoing Zionist accepting all of the dogma of the Zionist movement including that Jews have a historic right to 'The Land of Israel' (a phrase that only occurs in Mark, in the New Testament), and that Jew longed for a homeland for 2000 years, a complete lie incorporated by David Ben Gurion into the state's Declaration of Independence. Zionism was inherited from Christian Zionism which preceded it by 500 years and was only embraced by a minority of Jews of eastern Europe in the 1880's.

      In fact, there is little ideological difference between Netanyahu and Obama, their differences are largely personal.

  • Exasperated by Netanyahu, France Prepares to Recognize Palestinian State
    • The movement toward a one state solution or the two state solution by the international community are on tracks that are not incompatible as both are reactions against the continued occupation of the Palestinian people and the confiscation of land on which the Palestinian people could live. At this juncture, to work toward one is to work toward the other.

      Though it is hard to envision the likely final configuration, there is clear movement along these two interlinked tracks.

    • The goal of the French proposal is to promote the resumption of the 'peace process' or the resumptions of 'talks' between the Palestinian Authority and the government of Israel. Such 'talks' have been going on since 1988, 28 years ago, when the PLO recognized Israel on 80% of the land of Palestine and for about 20 years since the signing of the Oslo Accords of 1993, the basis of which was to establish a Palestinian state with 5 years.

      During all this time, as talks have been ongoing, Israel has been aggressively destroying Palestinian homes, confiscating Palestinian land, establishing or expanding Jewish settlements, confiscating Palestinian resources, including water beneath the West Bank, destroying Palestinian wells and water related structures and in myriad way consolidating the the exclusive Israeli control over East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Golan.

      What good are 'peace talk' when Israel is only using them as political cover while the expropriation of Palestinian land continues.?

      When Israeli Prime Minister Ytzhak Shamir lost the re-election in 1992, he stated:

      " I would have carried on autonomy talks for ten years, and meanwhile we would have reached half a million people in Judea and Samaria. … This must be the historic direction. If we drop this basis, there would be nothing to prevent the development of a Palestinian state."

      Mr Shamir has stated the guiding strategy of the Lukud Party, but American officials, and again, the French, paid no attention continuing to promote the 'peace process' as if this and not the achievement of a just peace was the only goal.

  • Top 5 Things for which We should be grateful to Arabic Writing
    • william james martin 12/30/2015 at 11:27 am

      'Aristarchus of Samos', I meant to say

    • It was Eratosthenes of Alexandria, who lived in the third century BCE who calculated the circumference of the earth, and did so with surprising accuracy. And Aristarchus of Samoa, 3rd century BCE, who is know as the 'Father of Trigonometry'.

      But yes, we all should be aware of our Arab heritage.

      Most of the visible stars in the night sky have Arabic names.

      Our words, 'Alcohol', 'Alkali', 'Chemistry', from 'Alchemy', are taken from the Arabic, as is, of course 'Algebra' which is taken from the title of what mathematicians understand as the first algebra book - the first effort to symbolize abstract quantities, or sets of numbers, with letters and to formally manipulate them.

      Probably the first fixed astronomical observatories were in Baghdad and Damascus in the ninth centuries CE.

      And the Arab development of the astrolabe, the precursor of the sextant, which no doubt guided Columbus with his discovery of American which initiated and heralded the 'age of discovery' for western minds.

      I must mention the "House of Wisdom' in Baghdad in the ninth century, home of Muhammed ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi, mentioned above and author of the first algebra book, which was a redoubt for Islamic scholars analogous to the great library in Alexandria, 3rd century BCE, and home of Eratosthenes.

  • Putin: Turkey was protecting ISIL oil Smuggling; Russia urges Assad-Kurdish Alliance
    • What does the shooting down of a Russian plane have to do with " the desire to protect the oil supply lines to Turkish territory, right to the ports where it is loaded onto tankers"?

  • Did Daesh/ ISIL's Paris attacks bolster al-Assad? Spain calls him 'lesser of evils'
  • Whether Jewish Refugees in '30s or Syrians today, USA Falls Short of own Ideals
    • william james martin 11/19/2015 at 11:36 am

      The American Zionists, as wells as the German Zionist federation were concerned with building a state in Palestine, not with saving Europe's Jews.

      Their primary concern regarding the slaughter of Europe's Jews was that resources might be diverted to them and away from Palestine.

  • Syria: Christian Militia to the Rescue as 1000s of Christians flee ISIL approach
    • Russian is not bombing ISIS, Juan, and except for a limited number of bombing raids, notwithstanding Russian propaganda to the contrary

      Rather Russia is bombing those rebel groups to the west of ISIS held territory which are pressuring the Assad government.

      You keep missing this point.

  • Iran helping build "New Syrian Army;" ISIL fighters Fleeing to Iraq from Russian Airstrikes
    • It is my understanding that, except for a couple or sorties, Russian is not bombing ISIS position, notwithstanding Russia's claim to the contrary.

      The Carter Center has followed and mapped some 40,000 military encounters in Syria and states, involving some 7000 different militias and states:

      link to
      ATLANTA — The Carter Center closely follows events in Syria and regularly publishes reports about conflict developments on its website. These reports are publicly available and are forwarded to all interested parties, including Syrians across political divides and governments in the west and in the region. A recent report details Russia's ongoing airstrikes in Syria, underscoring that the vast majority of the airstrikes do not target ISIS, as the Russian government asserts.

  • With Iran deal, & Russia in Syria, is Israel being Boxed In?
    • Yes. The Egyptian army surprised Israel on Yom Kippor in 1973 and initially push the Israeli army back and moved its troops well into the Sinai. However, within 48 hours the Israeli army had recovered and was on the verge of destroying the Egyptian army when the US intervened to prevent the its decimation.

      But then, Egypt launched the attack in what it believed was its own national interest. Egypt had no national interest in Lebanon.

      I might add that it was during this war that the US and the Soviet Union both went on nuclear alerts. Thus, whatever the benefits to Israel or to Egypt derived from the signing of the Camp David Accords, it was very much in the US interest. Acting in the US interests is, after all, the first responsibility of the American president.

    • Excerpt from “The Iron Wall”, Avi Shlaim, p 497

      An American satellite [during the Gulf Was] reportedly detected that, following the first Scud barrage, Israel missile launchers armed with nuclear warheads were moved into the open and deployed facing Iraq, ready to launch on command. American intelligence picked up other signs indicating that Israel had gone on full nuclear alert that would remain in effect for weeks.

    • It is not likely that the Camp David Accords had anything to do with freeing Israel to invade Lebanon in 1982. It is unlikely Egypt would have attacked Israel for its invasion of, first southern Lebanon, on Israel's northern border, and later moving up to Beirut. Egypt did not even want to engage Israel in 1967. Israel was the military powerhouse of the region, and Egypt well understood it.

  • Whether Jewish Refugees in '30s or Syrians today, USA Falls Short of own Ideals
    • The belief that Aryans and Jews could not live together was not a one-sided view of the part of the Germans or the German government of the 1930's. It was shared with equal fervor by the Zionist Federation of Germany.

      Indeed that is the principle which still energizes the State of Israel.

    • David Ben Gurion who told a meeting of the Labor Zionist in December, 1938:

      "If I knew that it would be possible to save all the children in Germany by bringing them over to England, and only half of them by transferring them to Eretz Israel, then I would opt for the second alternative. For we must weigh not only the life of these children, but also the history of the People of Israel."

    • The American American Zionist Committee, led by Stephen Wise did everything possible to prevent immigration of Europe's Jews into America in the expectation that they would otherwise be diverted to Palestine, which, rather than the Holocaust, was of central concern to the Zionist movement.

      In fact, Rabbi Stephen Wise testified before Congress opposing the bill introduced by Guy Gillette, and Will Rogers Jr which would have open the US up to wider immigration by Europe's Jews.

      Wise said that he opposed the bill because it did not mention Palestine as an alternative destination.

  • Palestine overwhelmed by Illegal American Immigrants
    • william james martin 08/30/2015 at 2:50 pm

      Unlike other immigrants to other counttries, they are paid a subsidy by the Israeli government to come and settle there.

  • President of Israel declares Israeli Squatting in Palestinian West Bank a "Right", key to Zionism
    • william james martin 08/25/2015 at 9:47 am

      It is my understanding that "The Land of Israel" belongs to Jews by 'historical right" is universally accepted within Israel and that the Palestinians are interlopers who settled Palestine after the Jews were expelled in 70 CE (or 135 CE). Indeed Netanyahu has said as much many times.

      The archaeological and historical evidence is that no one, or virtually no one, was expelled from Palestine due to the Roman conquest in 70, or 135 CE, Jewish nationalist mythology to the contrary, and historical, linguistic (see Paul Wexler), and genetic evidence is that that modern day Jews derive from Russian -Slavo-Turks and not from ancient Judaeans.

      Imagine an attempt to write into international law the principle something like: "If some group celebrated your religion 2000 years ago and lived in a certain region of the world, but now others are living there, then you have the right to ethnically cleanse those people and replace them with people of that religion."

      Laughable certainly. But, of course, this is not the attitude of the Jewish-nationalist. Rather what right holds for Jews is not universal but applies only to Jews, and that international law is not applicable and does not subordinate the "Jewish right of Return."

  • Barak-- Netanyahu was on verge of Attacking Iran 3 Times 2010-12 (Why Listening to him on Iran Diplomacy is Daft)
    • Not only has Iran not attack another country in modern history but it listens and quietly absorbes Netanyahu's threats to attack Iran which come about every day while Mossad assassinates its nuclear engineers

  • How the Israel Lobbies hurt U of Illinois-UC & 1st Amendment (Salaita Case)
    • If I am not mistaken, Juan, you were also the victim of a intervention of the recent Israeli ambassador, Michael Oren, to prevent your being hired by the History Department at Yale.

  • How Iran Deal Could Change the Middle East
    • It is time we rejected Theodore Herzl's century old fundamental dogma that Jews and gentiles cannot live together and that anti-semitism is universal and omnipresent.

    • This compilation of optimistic generalizations goes a bit too far in suggesting the Israel will, anytime in the near or intermediate future , or any time at all, open its nuclear sites to international inspection. And the the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict settling at the two state solution does not look a bit closer even after the signing of the agreement with Iran.

      And the integration of Israel into the region does not seem to me to be desirable since Israel is a state built on the principle separation of of Jews and gentiles.

      One democratic egalitarian state is the only fair and stable solution to this century long conflict.

  • Obama: Opponents of Iran Deal are Warmongers
    • If Obama had really pulled no punches, he would have told the Republicans, and others in the US Congress, that they were acolytes and traitors and in the pocket of a foreign government.

  • Amnesty Visualizes Israeli War Crimes on anniversary of Gaza Black Friday
    • william james martin 07/30/2015 at 8:08 am

      In 1945, the US exploded the nuclear bomb, known as ‘Fat Man’ over Nagasaki. Fat Man had a blast yield of 21 kilotons of TNT equivalent explosive potential.
      Israel exploded the equivalent amount of explosive power over Gaza this past summer.
      Rashid Khalidi says in his essay, “The Dahiya Doctrine”: “During the latest campaign, stretching over fifty days in July and August of 2014, Israel’s air force launched more than six thousands air attacks, and its army and navy fired about fifty thousand artillery and tank shells. Together, they utilized what has been estimated as a total of twenty one kilotons, or twenty one thousand tons, of high explosives. The attack from air involved weapons ranging from drones and American Apache helicopters firing US-made Hellfire missiles to American F-16’s carrying two thousand pound bombs. According to the commander of the Israeli Air Force, there were several hundred F-16 attacks on targets in Gaza, most of them using these powerful munitions. A two thousand pound bomb creates a crater 15 meters wide by 11 meters deep and propels lethal fragments to a radius of 365 meters. One or two of these can destroy a multistory building …

  • No, Mr. Netanyahu, Iran isn't trying to Take over the world & it isn't ISIL
    • I might add that Iran showed considerable restraint when, in 1988, the US Navy shot down an civilian Iranian airliner killing 290 passengers, including 66 children and 16 crew. This event ranks eighth among the deadliest disasters in aviation history. (Wikipedia)

      Imagine if Iran had taken down an American passenger plain killing 290 American civilians.

  • Who does Jerusalem belong To?
  • Tom Cotton's 'Chickenhawk' Taunt at Iran FM Demeans Jeb Bush, GOP Field
    • The last president with significant military experience was Jimmy Carter who was a Naval officer, commander of a submarine, and nuclear engineer serving under Hymen Rickover who oversaw the conversion to nuclear power propulsion.
      Because he concentrated his presidency on peacemaking and the establishment of treaty regimes, his considerable military experience and military expertise is frequently overlooked, or not even known at all, nor factored in when analyzing many of his presidential decisions.

    • william james martin 05/03/2015 at 8:59 am

      The last president with significant military experience was Jimmy Carter who was a Naval officer, commander of a submarine, and nuclear engineer serving under Hymen Rickover who oversaw the conversion to nuclear power propulsion.

      Because he concentrated his presidency on peacemaking and the establishment of treaty regimes, his considerable military experience and military expertise is frequently overlooked, or not even known at all, nor factored in when analyzing many of his presidential decisions.

  • The Middle East Policy of President Bernie Sanders
    • william james martin 05/02/2015 at 2:28 pm

      You spoke of a disproportionate response by Israel to the rocket flux by Hamas.

      That, of course, assumes Hamas was the initiator and Israel, in its eternal innocents, was just 'responding'

      That is very much a false assumption.

      However that may be, consider the following:

      n 1945, the US exploded the nuclear bomb, known as ‘Fat Man’ over Nagasaki. Fat Man had a blast yield of 21 kilotons of TNT equivalent explosive potential.

      Israel exploded the equivalent amount of explosive power over Gaza this past summer.

      Rashid Khalidi says in his essay, “The Dahiya Doctrine”: “During the latest campaign, stretching over fifty days in July and August of 2014, Israel’s air force launched more than six thousands air attacks, and its army and navy fired about fifty thousand artillery and tank shells. Together, they utilized what has been estimated as a total of twenty one kilotons, or twenty one thousand tons, of high explosives. The attack from air involved weapons ranging from drones and American Apache helicopters firing US-made Hellfire missiles to American F-16’s carrying two thousand pound bombs. According to the commander of the Israeli Air Force, there were several hundred F-16 attacks on targets in Gaza, most of them using these powerful munitions. A two thousand pound bomb creates a crater 15 meters wide by 11 meters deep and propels lethal fragments to a radius of 365 meters. One or two of these can destroy a multistory building …

  • Obama with Drama: Translating his comments on Israel's Netanyahu from the Vulcan
    • There are those who are excited because of the Huffington Post interview in which Obama expressed his disbelieve that Netanyahu was seeking a two state solution and also suggested that there might be a new response to Palestinian initiatives in the UN Security Council.

      But it is also important to recognize what else he said.
      He said that America remained committed to the security of Israel and that financial and security and military cooperation between the two countries would not change.

      He also said that he believes that Israel was founded on the basis of its historic Jewish homeland and the need to have a Jewish homeland. Thus Obama again embraces the Zionist mythology of a two millennial long 'homeland' awaiting the 'return' of its children.

      He seems to be saying that his only problem is with Netanyahu and that everything else is just fine.

      Obama strikes me as woefully uninformed about undemocratic nature of Israel and of the many laws within Israel which privilege Jews and denies equal rights to the Palestinian minority inside Israel.

      He does not seem to me to even be keeping up with the day to day violence perpetrated against Israel's Palestinian minority or of those living under occupation.

  • Tom Friedman & funding ISIL: Israel/Iran Derangement Syndrome
  • Bad News for US Biotech: GOP's Scott Walker so anti-science he can't affirm Evolution
    • Ronald Reagan did not believe in evolution. He said it was a 'theory only' and was increasingly regarded with skepticism by the scientific community.

  • Why Obama is Right to avoid double standard about Modern Christian Atrocities
    • Let's not forget the slavery of New Hampshire and Rhode Island and that there have been slave burial grounds uncovered in New York City.

  • The Latest Blow to Israeli-Palestinian Peace
    • william james martin 01/24/2015 at 9:51 am

      This article is a synopsis of what everyone already knows who has followed this issue.

  • Obama to GOP: More Iran sanctions lead to War (& 7 other Foreign Policy points in SOTU)
    • william james martin 01/21/2015 at 10:19 am

      Obama said, "When what you’re doing doesn’t work for 50 years, it’s time to try something new."

      Substituting '25' for '50' in this sentence, it might have occurred to him that this concept should apply to the Israeli-Palestinian 'peace talks'.

      And maybe he could refrain from using his veto at the UN Security Council in order to keep Israeli-Palestinian diplomacy in the same unproductive rut in which Israel continues its ethnic cleansing policies while the Palestinians get nothing but verbiage.

  • Israel's Syria Strike: Is it trying to Help al-Qaeda vs. Hizbullah & Iran?
    • william james martin 01/20/2015 at 9:22 am

      Israeli election year internal politics might be another reason, along with opportunity.

      And it is worth keeping in mind, Netanyahu is a not totally rational man, along with some of his friends.

  • Top 5 Five reasons 2014 was a game-changer for Palestine
    • william james martin 12/29/2014 at 10:55 am

      Ramzy Baroud has left out of his analysis the decision of the PA to ditch the so-called 'peace talks' and to pursue legal remedies in the UN and in international bodies, which, in my way of thinking, is more important than those he mentions. The voting in the UN Security Council stating that Israel must withdraw from all land conquered in the '67 War and to recognize east Jerusalem as the capital of the state of Palestine my come up this week. The US may veto it, but if it does, it and Obama will pay a price and the PA has said it will quickly pursue memberships in many other UN and international bodies and conventions.

      The so-called 'peace process' which has been ongoing for the last 25 years concomitant with the erosion of the right of Palestinians to live in dignity along with the erosion of their land and resources is a complete sham designed to gain time while Israel creates facts on the ground. It is a complete sham and everyone, but President Obama knows it.

      The decision to pursue legal remedies in international institutions and conventions is the only novel happening in this ongoing melodrama in decades.

  • The momentum to recognize a Palestinian State is unstoppable
    • william james martin 10/22/2014 at 6:00 pm

      Despite Obama's ramblings to the contrary, it is a complete myth that Jews longed for a homeland for 2000 years.

      During the 2000 year period, the numbers of Jewish pilgrimages to Palestine was minuscule compared to the numbers of such Christian pilgrimages.

    • Mr Balfour's motivation was not political, except perhaps secondarily.

      Mr Balfour was a true believer embedded in a religious Christian culture which favored the Zionist program from the time of the early Puritans well into the 19th and 20th century when Zionism was championed by such powerful figures as Lord Shaftesbury, and Prime Minister Palmerston and about every other English politician including, later, Winston Churchill and whose Zionist appeals appear in the English literature from Milton to George Eliot.

      In fact, Zionism is a creation of Christians, English Christian mostly, and not Jews.despite what Obama and Mr Netanyahu think. Zionism did not become a project of Jews until about the 1880's in the Russian Pale.

  • Israel's Gaza Campaign Endangers US Security: Why Obama & Kerry are Furious
    • william james martin 07/28/2014 at 7:43 pm

      Obama may or may not be furious. but he is still blabbing about "Israel's right to defend itself" and still calling Hamas a "terrorist" group and even using Israel's pet phrase. "Hamas's terrorist infrastructure".

      Anyone who thinks Obama is progressive on this issue should think again.

      Obama supports everything Israel is doing, he just want to keep the killing of Gazans down to a more manageable number.

  • Is Rula Jebreal right about US Media Bias against Palestinians?
    • william james martin 07/23/2014 at 1:12 pm

      Don't forget. The Flat Earth Society deserves its equal time also.

    • william james martin 07/22/2014 at 4:47 pm

      Well, part of his background, Juan, is that he is thoroughly committed Zionist. There are a number of Youtube videos of him defending the establishment of the State of Israel and it great value to the world.

      I have never heard of him giving any defense of a Palestinian state or anything Palestinian.

      He is a polished professional. But both he and CNN have a pronounced bias.

    • Do not forget the extreme pro-Israel bias of CNN's anchor, Wolf Blitzer, formerly of the Jerusalem Post.

      It is pretty clear from his many remarks, introductions, summaries, etc that his perspective is that of an Israel.

      During the era of Palestinian suicide bombings, in the early 90's, CNN would provide all day long stories and pictures of the scene of the bombings, continually coming back to these scenes throughout the day, while the many more Palestinian deaths carried out by IDF under Ariel Sharon were ignored.

      Nor was there any context given for these suicide bombings which were usually responses to IDF assassination of Hamas leaders, including Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, head and founder of Hamas, and his successor, Dr Rantissi.

      Some saw in these assassination, a strategy of Ariel Sharon of intentionally provoking such Palestinian responses such as suicide bombings in order to reap political benefit knowing the CNN and other media would giver full coverage to the deaths or injuries of civilians in Israel while ignoring the provocations for it or the many more Palestinian deaths at the hands of the Israeli army and air force.

  • Gaza: 4 Dead Boys on the Beach & Israel's Precision War
    • william james martin 07/17/2014 at 9:05 am

      It may not have been an accident.

      Many Israeli soldiers, some of whom are philosophically aligned with the settler movement, Gush Emunim, ideals, and imbued with rabbinical talk of Jewish superiority and squatter Palestinians on Jewish land will happily kill Palestinian children. And they do so with complete impunity, or if it happens to be newsworthy, are given a slap on the wrist, and we learn that it is "under investigation."

      Witness the cold bloodied murder of two Palestinian youths shot through the heart while casually walking across the street and caught inadvertently on security cameras. I have not heard of any prosecution of the IDF soldiers who killed the boys.

  • The Map: A Palestinian Nation Thwarted & Speaking Truth to Power
    • william james martin 07/13/2014 at 8:01 pm

      The only concern of the Zionist movement for the Jews being slaughtered in Europe was fear that it might divert resources and attention from the effort to build a Jewish state in Palestine.

      This statement by David Ben Gurion is typical:

      "Ben Gurion who told a meeting of the Labor Zionist in December:

      If I knew that it would be possible to save all the children in Germany by bringing them over to England, and only half of them by transferring them to Eretz Israel, then I would opt for the second alternative. For we must weigh not only the life of these children, but also the history of the People of Israel.13"

    • william james martin 07/13/2014 at 7:56 pm

      Whatever their personal views, you are exaggerating the influence of Henry Ford and Charles Lindberg on the American political psyche, as you are distorting the motivations of the Christian Zionists.

    • The main reason the US mostly blocked Jewish immigration from Nazi German in the years before and during the Second WW was due to Zionist efforts to divert European Jews to Palestine.

      In particular, Rabbi and Zionist leader Stephen Wise testified before congress that the bill sponsored by Will Rogers Jr and Guy Gillette to allow a significant number of Jews to enter the US was seriously defective because it did not mention Palestine.

  • Bush Trifecta lands on Obama: Gaza, Iraq and Afghanistan Imploding
    • william james martin 07/10/2014 at 8:44 pm

      One cannot even imagine Obama engaging Israel the way Jimmy Carter engaged the Israeli leader Manachem Begin, and Anwar el Sadat at Camp David. Obama simply does not have the knowledge of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to engage Netanyahu in the same kind of extended debates which took place between Carter and Begin at Camp David in 1978.

    • william james martin 07/09/2014 at 5:38 pm

      Obama is not just cleaning up the mess that Bush left. Obama's inaction on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has allowed the situation to deteriorate, much like a physician leaving an open wound to fester while just wishing it would go away.

      During the Obama administration, Palestinian rights and property and resources have further diminished at an accelerating pace while the Israeli government has become more entrenched in its program of ethnic cleansing, and the settlers and settlements more entrenched in the occupied territories.

      Obama's consistent and predictable vetoes of any Security Council resolution attempting to bring Israel into compliance with international law sets the precedence of a Jewish state above the law and international norms.

    • william james martin 07/09/2014 at 10:41 am

      Obama wanted to 'pivot to the East' because he knows or understands or cares very little about the Middle East and just wants it to go away. He has not a clue what to do about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict except to hand it over to George Mitchell and then, when that failed, to hand it to John Kerry and to leave it to them to solve the problem without any guidance at all and without any presidential pressure being applied to Israel
      On the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Obama accepts completely the Zionist narrative of people longing for a homeland for two thousand years and then creating a state because of Nazi oppression, amplifying the myth of expulsion of Jews from Palestine 70 AD, which did not happen, and that the of the ‘longing to return’ persisting over two millennia.

      In fact there was no longing of Jews to “return” to Palestine and the Jewish embrace of Zionism did not occur until the 1880’s. It did so in the Russian Pale because of the onset of waves of anti-Semitism.
      The Jewish embrace of Zionism was preceded and conditioned by four centuries of Christian Zionism with almost the entire nineteenth century leadership of England exerting it best efforts to promote a Jewish ingathering in Palestine.
      The Zionist movement has never credited the contribution of the Christian Zionists in creating and then promoting Zionism.

  • In the Deaths of 3 Israeli Teens, Likud Policies are also Implicated
    • william james martin 07/01/2014 at 11:32 am

      The world is outraged by the murder of the three Israeli teenagers - from President Obama to Pope Francis to the UN Secretary General.

      In the meantime, while the Israeli Operation Whatever was going on, 10 Palestinians, mostly young people were murdered by the Israeli troops, two of them, on camera for the world to see, shot through the heart while doing nothing more than just walking across the street.

      According to the website, Ifamericansknew,org, which coordinates its figures with other human rights organizations, including B'Tselem, Israel has killed 1,523 children over the last 14 years, since Oct of 2000. That amounts to roughly 108 children per year, or roughly one Palestinian child killed every three days.

      Murder an Israeli Jew and world leaders go berserk. Murder a hundred Palestinian children, and they do not even bother to shrug.

  • Israeli Occupation Army harasses Palestinians on Pretext of Missing Settler Youth
    • With the US government, as well as the US president, focused on Iraq, Prime Minister Netanyahu is using the diversion of attention and the occasion of the three kidnapped teenagers to destroy Hamas in the West Bank.

      According to the Jerusalem Post, in November of 1989, Mr. Netanyahu, then Deputy Foreign Minister, told an audience at Bar Ilan University, that the government had failed to exploit internationally favorable situations, such as the Tiananmen Square massacre in June of 1989 when world attention and the media were focused on China, to carry out ‘large scale’ expulsions at a time when ‘the danger would have been relatively small’. Later, when Netanyahu denied making these statements, the Jerusalem Post produced a tape recording of this speech

  • Israel Accused of War Crime over Army "Execution" of Innocent Palestinian Teens
    • william james martin 05/22/2014 at 9:33 am

      More typically: From the Guardian, Nov 2005:

      "An Israeli army officer who fired the entire magazine of his automatic rifle into a 13-year-old Palestinian girl and then said he would have done the same even if she had been three years old was acquitted on all charges by a military court yesterday.

      "The soldier, who has only been identified as "Captain R", was charged with relatively minor offences for the killing of Iman al-Hams who was shot 17 times as she ventured near an Israeli army post near Rafah refugee camp in Gaza a year ago.

      "Palestinian witnesses said they saw the captain shoot Iman twice in the head, walk away, turn back and fire a stream of bullets into her body."

    • Taysir Hayb, Mark Koroi, was a Bedouin member of the Israeli army, not a Jew.

      No Israeli Jew has ever suffered any serious punishment for killing a Gentile.

  • Top Ten Ways in which it was Actually the Israeli Gov't that Derailed the Peace Talks
    • Netanyahu's demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state has nothing at all to do with religion.

      It is rather a demand that the Palestinians recognize the validity of the Zionist project and Zionist movement.

      Netanyahu, to say nothing of Ben Gurion, Begin, Sharon, has said many times that Jews have a 'historical' right, not a religious right, to the 'land of Israel'.

      Netanyahu sees Jews, as did Jabotinsky, as a race of people related by blood. And he believe in a continuity of Jewish people from ancient times located in Palestine to the present. He most probably believes in a Roman expulsion of Jews from 'the land of Israel in 70 CE, or possibly 135 CE, though this scenario is unsupported by both historians and archeologists, and in fact is nothing more than a Zionist myth.

      The Zionist project, while having a Christian origin became a project of Jewish writers in the late 19th century. These Jewish writers, centrally Herzl, were secular and not religious.

  • On Iranian New Year, Russia hints it May Swing Support to Tehran over Crimea Sanctions
    • william james martin 03/20/2014 at 11:42 am

      One way that the Israeli/AIPAC control over American foreign policy has harmed the US and international diplomacy is that the severe Iranian sanctions, driven by Israel, which also sanction European firms who do business with Iran, has caused Europe to become dependent on oil imports from Russia which now supplies most of Europe's oil.

  • Israelis slam Kerry over "Jewish State" Remarks as Abbas Rejects Demand
    • william james martin 03/17/2014 at 10:18 am

      You misunderstand, Mark. Netanyahu's claim has little or nothing to do with religion. See my comment above, beginning with, "Nr Netanyahu’s insistence on Palestinian recognition ...", which you evidently did not read.

    • The problem is not that at all Peter Green. The problem is that Israel is determined to take over all of Palestine and to destroy the Palestinian people, as a people, as it has been programed to do since the invention of Zionism, mostly by Herzl, at the turn of the 20th century.

    • Nr Netanyahu’s insistence on Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, meaning a state for the world’s Jews, is equivalent to Palestinian endorsement of the Zionist project initiated by Theodore Herzl at the end of the 19th century and consist of:
      1) That every Jew in the world is a citizen of the Jewish state and is free to live in Israel if he so choses.
      2) Jews, because of historical reason, involving that Jews lived in the land of Palestine 2000 years ago, have a natural right to repopulate Palestine.
      3) The internal structure and laws of the Jewish state is designed uniquely for Jews.
      4) That, for historical and biblical reasons, Jerusalem must be the undivided capital of the Jewish state
      Unfortunately, Obama, through inadvertence and general ignorance has already endorsed these principles. When speaking of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and its resolution, he has always spoken of its goal as a ‘state for Jews’ and a ‘state for Palestinians’ living side by side, as if these had mirror image meanings.

  • Assad Regime’s Drought Response Triggered Syrian War
    • Ms Chatel did an impressive amount of first hand research on the water and drought conditions, walking the land herself, interviewing farmers and those who fled the eastern rural areas for the cities in search of work. That was her focus.

      What was not her focus, or given a lot of consideration, was the political situation stimulated by the Arab Spring and the rolling effect of liberal revolutions, or apparent revolutions, in Tunisia, Egypt, and Yemen.

      Syrians attuned to Al Jazeera were as intimately knowledgeable with the daily revolutionary events in Tihrir Square as were the people of Egypt.

      As far as Ms Chatel's analysis goes, the Arab Spring may not as well have even existed and the Assad Alawi government may as well have been a liberal democracy which, however, mismanaged the water resources.

      But he Assad regime was not a liberal democracy. It was a repressive police state, in which political dissent was met with midnight arrest and incarcerations without due process which not infrequently consisted of torture and degrading conditions.

      It was a state dedicated to the control of the government by the Assad family and his Alawi clan.

      Many people of Syria felt it was their turn for democracy.

  • Israel Tries to Bully Europe over Criticism of Planned 1800 Squatter Units on Palestinian Land
    • Yaalon sarcastic remark about Kerry's efforts to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through negotiations reflects the exact view of the Israeli government: The Israeli government does not want a negotiated but prefers to continue their unilateral takeover of Palestinian land.

      Their strategy is at least since Yitzhak Shamir who said upon his electoral loss in 1992 after having served for longer than any Israeli prime minister with the exception of David Ben Gurion: "I would have carried on autonomy talks for ten years, and meanwhile, we would have reached half a million people in Judea and Samaria.” When reminded that the recent election indicated that there did not exist majority support for a Greater Land of Israel, Shamir said, “I didn’t believe there was a majority in favor of a Greater Land of Israel. But it can be attained over time. There must be a historic direction. If we drop this basis, there would be nothing to prevent the development of a Palestinian state."

  • Top Ten Ways Ariel Sharon Ruined Israel and the Middle East
    • william james martin 01/12/2014 at 11:10 pm

      ... in negotiations over the withdrawal of the PLO the thorniest issue had always been the guarantees which Arafat demanded for the safety of the he Palestinian civilians the fighting men were to leave behind. To the end, he had been agonizingly aware of the inadequacy of those that he finally accepted. True, the US had given its 'word of honor' that the Israelis would never enter West Beirut, and special envoy Habib had written to the Lebanese prime minister, Safaq Wazzan:

      "The government of Lebanon and the United States will provide appropriate guarantees for the safety ... of law-abiding Palestinian non-combatants left in Beirut, including the families of those who have departed ... The United States will provide its guarantees on the basis of assurances received from the government of Israel and the leaders of certain Lebanese groups [I e, the Phalangists] with which it had been in contact."

      -- David Hirsh, 'Beware of Small States', p153

    • In 1978, on the occasion of president Jimmy Carter's presiding over a meeting of the Israeli Cabinet-the only non-Jew to have ever chaired such a meeting-Carter was told by then minister of agriculture, Ariel Sharon, that there already was a Palestinian state, that it was Jordan, and that Carter could take for granted that within the next few years there would be 2 to 3 million Jews living in the occupied territories. Sharon added that "even as we speak, Jewish families are migrating into Judea and Samaria."

  • Did Ariel Sharon get a pass on War Crimes because he was White?
    • That is, at best, an allegation, which I think no one has ever heard of. Sharon's crimes were on display for the entire world.

    • william james martin 01/13/2014 at 6:26 pm

      What's your source for that, Mark. And what possibly could have been Arafat's motivation?

      I think that is a fantasy.

    • Sharon was concerned that he might be hauled of the criminal court in Belgium. Some allege that he had Elie Hobeika, commander of the Christian Phalanges that entered the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Lebanon, taken out with a car bomb in 2002.

  • Top Ten Things Bob Gates was Wrong about, Some Criminal
    • I do not believe there is a straight line connection between the covert support for the mujahidin, which included bin Laden, initiated by the Carter administration following the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and al Qaeda as it emerged in the mid eighties, nor do I believe the Carter administration was responsible for the mujahidin's evolution.

      Three central concepts underlie the evolution of bin Laden's thinking as Sept 11, 2001 approached.

      They were, 1) the continuing occupation of Palestinian territories by Israel and the underlying anger of toward the West for imposing the state of Israel in the middle of the Arab world. This attitude has always been a subtext of Arab sentiment beginning well before Carter.

      2) The Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982 which included the deaths of approximately 20,000 Lebanese and Palestinians civilians, occupation by Israel of an Arab capital, and it summer long shelling and corresponding destruction, and then the massacres, orchestrated by Ariel Sharon, at the Sabre and Shatila refugee camps in Beirut of which the US had given its pledge to protect after the evacuation from Beirut of the PLO fighters.

      3) The Gulf War of 1990 in which the Americans were given permission by the Saudi government to use its air bases from which to launch attacks.

      These were historical events, two of them at least, which occurred after 1980 for which the Carter administration bares no responsibility and for which there is no direct causal relation to the evolution of al Qaeda as it evolved over the next two decades.

  • Recognizing Israel as a Jewish State is like saying the US is a White State
    • william james martin 01/07/2014 at 4:00 pm

      what does Rabbi Akiva have to do with anything?

      Rabbi Akiva was a footnote to history, and a minor one at that?

    • william james martin 01/07/2014 at 1:20 pm

      People seem to have forgotten this statement by outgoing Prime Minister Ytzhak Shamir, Israel's second longest serving Prime Minister upon his electoral loss in 1992:

      ‘I would have carried on autonomy talks for ten years, and meanwhile, we would have reached half a million people in Judea and Samaria.”
      When reminded that the recent election indicated that there did not exist majority support for a Greater Land of Israel, Shamir said, “I didn’t believe there was a majority in favor of a Greater Land of Israel. But it can be attained over time. There must be a historic direction. If we drop this basis, there would be nothing to prevent the development of a Palestinian state.”

    • william james martin 01/07/2014 at 11:27 am

      Formally recognizing the existence of a Jewish state cannot be squared with Enlightenment liberalisms as articulated by John Locke, Thomas Jefferson, John Madison and those who created the ideas that formed the basis of our country as well as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, ratified by the United Nations.

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