Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 980 (since 2009-08-02 18:11:12)


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  • Gilad Atzmon’s attack against me – the 'merchant of JVP'
    • Part of me understands the torments of Atzmon. The part that sees neocons continue to walk among us, free as birds, even rewarded - amply - while their crimes resulted in rivers of blood on the other part of the world. I cringe at the sight of horrific war criminals, every bit as abominable as certain fascist types, people like Feith, whose hands are dripping with the blood of innocents , being actually interviewed on TV as if they were not criminal serial killers. Even considered for a job in Trump's administration - which sort of smelled like Eichmann appointed to a UN's human Rights commission or something (luckily for us all, even trump could not go that far). This part of me cannot forgive the jewish community that sheltered and covered up for the likes of Wolfowitz, kagan, Ledeen et al with platitudes about - hey, it's not just jews! what about Cheney? oh sure. Cheney. that totally mclarifies things, don't it?

      Possibly, though temperamentally very different from Atzmon, I too would launch at tirades if cornered by certain individuals. The ones who hold the Feith et al cover-up by the jewish establishment guilty as charged (for being basically willing to forgive the thugs for Empire and israel) but then recoil at expanding beria's ethnicity to a historical cover up by the entire jewish establishment of Russia. Unlike Atzmon though I would never be so quick to hold an entire community (even a tribe) guilty because of some Jewish connection by some to some very bad things.

      Still, on bad days, I rant much as Atzmon does. On bad days when the magnitude of the crimes and abominations committed against the Syrian people, the Iraqi people, the Libyan people, the Yemeni people, become impossible to ignore. I know many jewish people (and of course, many many non-jewish people), people i respect, expressed their disgust with the neocons every bit as deeply and clearly as I did and do. I also know that many of the jewish people who failed to be suitably disgusted simply because they had not much knowledge about foreign affaires in general, much as most Americans. After all, it's the unique privilege of those who live in the heart of the beast to not know what the beast does when it goes on its rampages.

      But still, there is that little voice that says - of all its subjects and citizens, the Jews of the Empire should not use apathy or ignorance as a way out of witnessing that which must be witnessed, if civilization is to continue. If too many of them do just that, then perhaps they are all guilty?

      All that being said, a world without the like of Ofir is a sad world indeed. I have never seen an article of his I didn't like or appreciate. Of all the people out there, if I were Atzmon, I would let it slide, Even on a bad day.

    • Good points, Keith. I was about to make one of those myself (the one about the Holocaust being turned into something of a cult-like jewish gatekeeping aspect).

      Now, it is true that Atzmon can be artless. Even his questions can be phrased as an offense so it's not surprising that he elicits defensive reactions. Not that I don't understand how one could become so brittle given the attacks leveled against him for many years now. But psychologism aside, I think Ofir, despite denials, was probably given ample warnings that any association with Atzmon is poison in any and all jewish communities/organizations. Of course, being from israel, Ofir should recognize the MO of someone like Atzom. Something like offense is the best defense? a certain aggressiveness, whether justified or not?

      That being said, I probably would have also cringed at the question on Bolshevism. There is something about that line of questioning that makes me uncomfortable, and not because I care to be a gate-keeper, of any kind, for anyone. By now, that part of history - in general - the entire 1917 revolution, in fact - is so fraught with inaccuracies, exaggerations and mythologies that short of being a scholarly historian I am not sure I would be able to answer any question about that part of Russian history. Just heard someone on NPR who was researching Lenin's train trip back to Russia. Who funded it and for what purpose, she asked? was Lenin a tool of Western powers - or in particular of the German powers who sought a withdrawal of Russia from WWI. plausible, but true? false? who knows? how would anyone ever know what transpired in lenin's mind?

      I only bring this up because i see - among European Jews of marxist leanings, never Americans - an ongoing debate about Trotsky. May be Gilad has by now figured out what it's all about, I sure didn't.

  • When it comes to Syria, our press is full of moralizing and propaganda, and short on analysis
    • InBound - yes, israel and its agents within the American government and the entire political system - clean it up - If only that were possible!

    • Bandolero, good to see you interject again. Interesting points. See also my comment above.

      Me, i am just surprised why we are debating assad's rather than, say, Obama's or Hillary's or Erdogan's or Bandar's guilt when it comes to Syria. Weren't those the ones colluding to destroy Syria by killing as many of its people as they could through their MB, Al-Qaeda and ISIS stooges and turning so many previously comfortable citizens into refugees?

      To think that we are even willing to debate the pros and cons of a leader of a country fighting for its survival against truly evil forces unleashed by the oh so wonderful powers of the gulf, west and israel?

    • Ditto but then to continue to the logical conclusion, isn't Obama far more guilty of "atrocities" than Assad ever was? who is the real war criminal here? the one that did the attacking, destroying and plundering or the one that did and does the defending?

      Relativity lessons, anyone?

    • Donald, the problem is that you frame the discussion in terms of "Assad is innocent" or "Assad is guilty". But that is entirely beside the point. No one stays innocent in the face of a vicious attack on life, limb and liberty. The American revolutionaries were decidedly NOT innocent by your criteria. Neither were the forces of Simon Bolivar. Or the resistance fighters of France against the Nazi occupation. Certainly the Algerians were far from "innocent" in ridding their country of the colonizing French pieds noir.

      Assad is fighting a war for the liberty of his country from the invasion mounted by the Empire, just as Keith says. The question of "innocence" in this context is nonsensical because by definition any and all liberated towns will incur collateral damage in terms of civilian casualties. Aleppo was liberated at great expense. Numerous Syrian soldiers were martyred in the process and quite a few civilians ended up as casualties, mostly unintended, but mostly unavoidable. Just look at what price the inhabitants of Mosul, mostly civilians, have to pay for their liberation! that town is being destroyed brick by brick, but what's the alternative? and where is the cry of indignation fro m outr humanists, never apparently in short supply?

      My problem with your line of argumentation is that, even as you try to remain reasonable (and for which stand you deserve plaudits), you cast the conflict in terms that have little bearing on the situation on the ground. We are all couch warriors here, and none of us has our lives or property under immediate threat of being blown up. The difference between you and me is that I know this and therefore accept that any moralizing and high mindedness is, well, a luxury that those who have their lives at stake do not have. So, I reserve moral judgements, and try to stick to military tactics, in the hope that some day, there'll be time enough for high moral ground dwellers to banter back and forth on what should've, could've been done better.

      No matter what tactics Assad's army used, and many complain they were not harsh enough, pale by comparison with the reality of deeds perpetrated crazy mercenary Jihadists paid and armed by Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar, Israel and the CIA, many, if not the majority foreigners literally injected into Syria by the malfeasants. In all fairness, how would you speak if it was anyone you knew or claimed kinship to, had THEIR children enticed by crispies only to be blown up as the US's cuddly lovable oh so moderate "rebels" did last week?

      Anything you or I say also pales by comparison with the disgusting silence of the MSM on this atrocity. One so dastardly and evil that any speech about Assad's "innocence" or "guilt" means nothing by comparison. Frankly, Obama - to use one example, is hundred times guiltier of atrocities than anything Assad ever did or was party to. If we are to lay blame, let's do it proportionately, shall we? yet, here is Obama - a war criminal by any reasonable measure (for both Syria and especially for Libya) - and he is about to be getting $400K per speech. That's enough to make anyone throw up, isn't it?

      Also while we are at it, a word or two should be said about the unbelievable bravery of the Syrian Army in the face of incredible atrocity that was perpetrated upon their country. I kind of doubt the American or the israeli army would display nearly the same bravery and resolve in the face of such daunting odds. We should lift a hat to them, not argue about relative "moralities".

      BTW, what would you have advocated for the Jews of the Warsaw ghetto or for the French resistance? minimize collateral damage? really? there were people who did just that, you know. movies are being made about such relativities these days. may be some day, the Syrians and their army will get some movies made about them too, and how some thought that less is more and others that more is less.

  • Why prominent Israeli journalist Larry Derfner rejected liberal Zionism in October 2008
    • So when you gonna write your book, Yonah?

      Suggested title: "Disenchantment and its discontents".

      Alternatives: "BDS as Kosher Enlightenment: the third rail",

      Sorry, I keep the best titles for my own, so you can't have "Israel, a case study of Hysteresis in Jewish History"

  • Actor Richard Gere in Hebron: 'it's exactly like what the what the Old South was in America'
    • the gazans suffer every bit like the jews of the warsaw Ghetto did, and then some. Yes, israel has not liquidated Gaza - yet. But they would if they could. Ask any israeli and they'll tell you exactly - in their own oh so culturally uplifted Tikun-Olanish words - just what they would like to do to gaza and gazans.

      Followed by what they'd like to do to palestinians in the west bank, palestinian Israelis and, of course, their own "left".

  • BDS co-founder: Israel’s arrest and interrogation of Omar Barghouti next step in ‘war against BDS movement’
    • Actually, we love us some zionists. It gets a little boring otherwise, not to have them walk in to try and justify the unjustifyable.

      As for engaging them, people did it for years. It's useless and pointless - just like enegaging a Mormon cult member or a scientologist in a debate. their minds are sealed within their self-referencial bubble. If they come out to play it's just for fun.

      I have yet to meet a single zionist (which means over 90% of "Jewish" israelis) who was ever willing to learn something that in any way challenged their assumptions. just doesn't happen. But no harm in a little snowball fight, is there? I mean, they are making their pay grade this way (and I want my commission!).

    • I wouldn't mind seeing a GoFundme page to bring the murderous IDF thugs and the rest of the storm troopers to justice. Right along with the crazy religious nutcases who are busy with their pogroms. Frankly, the israelis make the Cosasacks of old look like saints by comparison. At least the Cossacks rode in, did their evil deeds and rode out to terrorize some other hapless peasant somewhere else (OK, not all Kossacks did that. My apologies to the good kossacks). But the israelis will not rest their evil-minded torture regime till every last Palestinian is gone or jailed or rendered subservient. Just as commanded by that sad little dusty and violent manuscript (otherwise known as old testament) taught in every israeli school every day. But hey, that's not considered incitement to violence. After all, it was such a great little book!

    • Any civilized person should engage in complete boycott of anything and everything from Israel. period. It is a horrific apartheid country that runs itself like a crazy cult of ethnic purity. A true testament to mankind not only not making much progress ethically, but possibly going backwards.

      Those in charge of the gaza ghetto and those who condone it should be held accountable. Even if they are "nice" people. Many nazis were also "nice people".

      Good for Omar. Hope he continues to resist.

  • Cuomo told Netanyahu he doesn't understand why 'fringes' of Democratic Party are turning against Israel
    • Israel - now where again is that country? and who is Dayan?

      Signed: Maxi Bds

      PS what happened to the comment archives?

  • 'NYT' runs U.S. propaganda on Russian crimes-- without even a comment thread
    • Indeed. Alas. It must be the playbook they all have to play by.

      So when was the last time the US had a UN ambassador that was not female? is this also one of the rules?

    • OK. Peace. A start.

      PS hope you didn't miss my acid tinged keyboard too much.

    • Samantha Power is an intellectual and spiritual midget when compared with her betters such as Churkin. Her diatribes in the UN were the object of mirth and derision the world over. especially when she'd go half -cocked against Russia or Syria.

      Also, Donald - Russia absolutely did NOT kill thousands of civilians in Aleppo - that is sheer nonsense worthy only of the propaganda arm of Al-Qaeda such as the illustrious White helmets, and that discredited pathetic SOHR serving as the mouthp[iece of the hotel hopping "Syrian opposition" clowns. Not that the White helmets were not worthy of an oscar just may be in the actor and supporting actor categories.

      Also what was this mention of the US being responsible "only" for thousands of dead civilians in Iraq and Syria? try over a Million and you'll be closer to the truth. Indeed the entire destruction of Syria - including by the US supported ISIS and al-Nusra (OK, OK, it was behind the scenes, I know) should be laid at the feet of the US and its malicious treasonous CIA. naturally with credit being shared with the most reactionary regime in the world - the great and illustrious Kingdom of saudi Arabia. yes the one whose king just recently took a little vacation with a retinue of 1500 and 150 tons of luggage.

      The great king of kings - our buddy of the guilded age, bathing in the blood of innocents. relishing it too,no doubt. While israel and the CIA are rubbing his back......even as that joker harpy samantha is off peddling her next book - probably something oh so very humanitarian.

  • Video: 'Apartheid has been here for ages. It doesn't really bother us' -- Israeli comedian says in closing act
    • Here is a little mental exercise - what would happen if an American comedian with a show (say someone of Jon Stuart's stature) was to make the same rant? can we even imagine the aftermath?

      Also, how many of us would dare share this on our own facebooks? just wondering....

  • Israel's neverending occupation is bringing 'infamy' to Jews worldwide, making Jewish life 'precarious' -- Tony Klug
    • Klug still aims to save jews from themselves and israel from itself, while bemoaning the downward slide in Judaism's image.

      It is, however, too late already. Judaism - that goose is cooked. Look at the huge rise of religion worshippers in israel. More and more of even the seculars are actually going in a religious directionl, even as the number of the bona fide religious is rising ever faster with their over-reproductive life styles. That the role and influence of religion can only increase over time is only to be expected since it is after all, a biblical justification that beget and props up claims of legitimacy in Palestine. Without the claims of religion, it is simple colonialism, nothing more. naturally, Israelis, in their desperate search for moral coherence, gravitate towards their own religious prescriptions. Yet, even as israelis increasingly flock towards their singularly ethnocentric brand of parochialism, it is the religion itself that will be collateral damage. No way can judaism shake itself from the burden of culpability in the brutal injustice of the occupation and ethnic cleansing.

      Neither will the jews of the world be able to escape history's verdict. Just as muslims feel obliged to continually defend islam as a "religion of peace" in the face of the barbaric interpretations and practices of wahabism, so will Jews feel increasingly obliged to spring to judaism's defense.

      To no avail, of course, because israel, as a whole, cares not a hoot about either physical or spiritual well-being of their "bretherns' elsewhere. Indeed, were you to ask the average israeli whether they think anti-semitism is good or bad for the jews, they would likely answer that it's a gift that keeps on giving and they should just all come to israel and bring the money too.

      Unless some miracle happens (and none can be seen on the horizon), the gig is up, and Judaism will have lost its good name as surely as islam had. Or catholicism. History can be tortured but in the end it does not forgive.

    • I agree RoHa about these "time-honored jewish Ideals". Since when were equality, justice, peace and mutual respect either "time honored" or "Jewish"? A cursory readings through some of the annals of jewish history, going back to medieval and even further, to biblical times, will reveal that these great virtues were quite limited in scope, even when upheld by Rabbis of great note. They applied primarily to jews, when they did, minus the "mutual respect" part which never applied even among Jews, except by exceptional people.

      Indeed, the Jews who aligned with the ideals circulating in Europe during the 18th, 19th and early 20th century borrowed most of the wisdom of their ideals from Christianity (which they would never stoop to credit) and the winds of enlightenment, which they neither invented, nor propagated among members of their own congregations.

      Justice, freedom, peace and mutual respect - I saw very little of any of these in the old Israel which I knew. needless to say, though these were hardly practiced, we mouthed them off as platitudes handed from on high.

      Of course, there were always good individuals to whom such lofty words meant something. In israel and outside it, among jews and non-Jews. But they were the exception that proved the rule. Indeed I consider myself lucky to have known 5 such israelis in the entire time I spent in that country.

      It's a racket, what can I tell you? a good one, too.

  • Commemorating 75 years of advancing prophetic Judaism, free of nationalism and politicization
    • Mooser - that link to the Trefa banquet was precious! never knew about it.....

      As for the denominalization of Judaism in the service of Zionism - I think I saw someone actually write about that but it was quite a while ago and I don't have the link handy. But I get the drift....

    • I get your point that one can just change "Jewish" to "everyone" and bingo! from a totally ethnocentric and indeed, xenophobic and racist diatribe, the prophets turn into saints!

      Alas, if you go through much of the preachings, you should be able to see quickly that it's not just a noun that needs changing, but rather the entire feel and purpose behind those texts. Which, I am sure I don't need to remind you, were all about keeping the israelites "pure". As in ethnically and religiously pure. At no point were others invited to join at the table except under great restrictions.

      I know the Reform and the Tikun Olamists like to pick just a few well selected sentences - from a prohet, or a judge, or a talmudic rabbi, and then massage them until, like the beds prepared for visitors to Soidom and Gemorrah, they fit!

      of course, this is exactly what Christians also do with their new testament - they take out the jewish part and bingo! peace be upon all men... But the equivalent to what the Tikun Olamists are doing is to take jesus out of the new testament and make it all about, say, Mary. That would be just grand, surely!

      Another parallel for you - we could take Tarzan and turn him into Tarzana to make the books of Tarzan into the greatest ever feminist texts, using your logic, couldn't we?

      Now, I am not saying that the Tikun Olamists couldn't or shouldn't come up with their own "Talmud Olam" to reinterpret the Torah. Only problem is - they want to do it with a wave of the hand and the stroke of a pen. I say - lazy bums! go ask the rabbis how many centuries it took them to come up with the talmud? why on earth would it take less than a few decades for the Tikkuners? just because we got computers, does it mean, thought and debate have been banished?

      I says - go do the hard work! and may be, just may be, after some centuries of it, the world will come to see that jews really did invent democracy. And law. And Good Will towards ALL men (+women of course).

      Oh yes, they were against slavery too. After, like, 7 years......I believe. That was super advanced for the times, and this must be pointed out over and over until we all get to believe it.

    • But I like that word! Synod has such a nice ring to it, matter what it is madeof.

      As for the catering - what, we don't have enough capable tribal chefs that can solve a few spillovers? just put some paprika in it, as my mother used to say, and who's to tell things got a bit, well .....over-cooked?

    • Interesting article and a nice thorough recounting of the history of resistance to nationalist Judaism, as it took over (under the guise of "enlightened socialism") the land of the Palestinians.

      Unfortunately,, there is a large number of jewish American (can't say a majority, as there are no hard numbers on that) who will defend whatever it is israel wants to do, no matter how depraved and evil. If it is only 30% that's already too many. Even more unfortunately the reform leadership is squarely in this column, even if many in the congregation aren't.

      One of the issues i have with this article, just as much as I had with Marc Ellis' vision (commendable as these visions are) is that they keep referring to this mythical "prophetic Judaism". What on earth is that, given that nearly all the prophets addressed their admonitions and visions primarily to Jews? the universalism that's being read into the prophets is fine, as long as we realize that's all it is - wishful projection of modernist thought into a much more primitively ethnically pure reality. It is not so easy however to turn parochialism into universalism without that secret ingredient known otherwise as pilpul (I am sure there are better names, but y'll know I mean a certain torturing of the truth) .

      That being said, I do agree with the poster above who suggested that the first order of the day for the prophetic jew is to part with the Talmud (well, keep the fun stuff and the sage stuff) and have a new synod that will do a new interpretation and commentary on the Old testament. This should have been done ages ago, really. But hey, it's never too late!

  • Elor Azarya's 'normative' support for genocide
    • i am really glad to see this article from Ofir (who has steadfastly been producing good work!). He actually puts out some Facebook posts that mirror the kind of genocidal dog whistles I have been pointing out for some time now. I am not even sure it's "as little" as 57%. My guess - that poll notwithstanding - is that it's closer to 65-70%.

      The thing is that, as i keep saying, American Jews DO NOT read Hebrew, so they see only the tip of the iceberg insofar as the absolute garbage one can see on Israelis' Facebook pages and other social media. In Hebrew they do not mince words and don't even try to mask their tracks. In English, it can be shocking too, but it's easier to dismiss as an "aberration", especially as there is some push back usually. Ofir no doubt sees what I and many many others see and know to be a fact. Among other things, we have family members that are so far gone that any conversation with them is utterly futile.

      And the younger crowd in Israel are the worst of the worst. Basically, if there were arrests for Hate Speech, half of Israel would be in jail - and it's only half because not everyone sings their ugly tunes in public on the internet. But you sure hear it around the Shabbat tables from the sweetest of all sweet grandmothers and that cute 10 year old kid.

      "Kill them all" is so common a refrain, as to be entirely normative.

      I just wish people the world over started to honestly digest what that means. Not just for israelis, Jews of the world or palestinians, but for our entire Western civilization. A civilization that continues to tolerate Ghetto Gaza, and will no doubt find ways to avert its collective eyes, when the liquidation starts up in earnest. However cagily and cleverly it is conducted. One can count on that clever little Start-up nation to do things cleverly enough to have a built-in plausible deniability at every step, while the cauldron keeps bubbling, covered with a chalis to contain the noxious fumes.

  • The immaculate conception of Louis Brandeis
    • Probably you are reading over not into. The absence of Allison Weir mention is as it must be, I'd assume, given that the mere mention of her name is likely to bring out the brigades, at which point the discussion becomes about Weir not Brandeis. That's how smears work - in the end a name becomes unfit to mention in "polite' society, especially if one wants to keep it "polite". The PTB are these days trying the same tactic with the "Fake news" meme - branding works by making certain citations problematic. Just try citing anything that appeared in RT, even if it's just an article about birds or bears.

    • But don't you see JN? the zionism controversy is a giant cutter-to-size! Not that I disagree about Brandeis' American giantness. It's just that "they" want to make it all about something jewish, thereby knocking the most progressive American ideals down to size. The "they" BTW are the apologists of the zionism extohlling variety cited by Phil in his excellent piece, herein supported by a more modern variety (see certain commenters above). Thusly are great achievements by Americans, who happen to be of jewish roots, corrupted, especially in retrospect. Because that's what zionism does. I concede that zionism may have been conceived as something ideal back in the day (as in, way back, before colonialism became a very very dirty word, as has "manifest destiny"), but ended up eating the soul of its own history. Like that snake symbol that eats its own tail (picture anyone?).

    • Wow, hophmi really came out of the woods for this one. Right along with jon s. Not to worry though - still the same zionism-is-a-smash cheering section. Of the American variety. Bearing the consent-manufacturing gifts that never stop giving, especially to the self-gifting. But hey, it's an exceptionally gifted section.......

    • as you know Mooser - or should - one of the great jewish achievements was the ability to claim iconic cultural/political thought as its own. Especially of the ground-breaking variety.

      The truth is - for millenia, covering the time from the 400-500BC period when the old testament was written down by Babilonian promulgators of zionism (the biblical variety) - true democratic though was almost entirely absent from Jewish teachings (give or take a couple of radicals). That is until the enlightenment taught them just what a winner democracy could be, at which point they promptly claimed the democracy concept as their own. Easy to forget history of those - eh, not so enlightened - medieval rabbis who ran rough-shod over their venerating subjects. Never happened.

    • Good point about the flip side of zionism's promoters. However, I must continue to object to the use of the word "anti-semitism" as if it was something totally obvious and written in stone. What I mean, as always, is this: there was no doubt that there was some (emphasis on "some") anti-jewish sentiment in parts of America but that sentiment was no different than simmering resentment of any other group of migrants to these shores who may be rising a bit faster than the natives feel comfortable with.

      My thesis is simple - what anti-Jewish sentiment there was, and is, is in no way different than the Anti-Asian sentiment we see often enough. Be it anti-Chinese or anti-Indian, there is considerable resentment to be found in quarters of the American populace of "upstart" immigrant (or migrant) groups. What I object to is the deliberate singling out of anti-Jewish sentiment as something unique and other to the much more conventional resentment seen far and wide in a country that prided itself on attracting immigrants/migrants, especially the more successful ones, yet found itself concerned when that very success they laud is so obvious that it makes the "natives" seem somewhat lackadaisical by comparison.

      Anti-semitism is a word that has been weaponized so effectively that we can't possibly use that word without recognition that there is a battle being waged.

  • Israel advocates worry Trump's pick for State has anti-Israel bias
    • Last I heard from the "Fake news" revelers - Putin has now been determined to cause the extinction of the dinosaurs and was seen - definitively (By CNN, no less) - at Caesar's assasination scene wielding a knife. That Putin! cavorted with Attila the Hun surely! no doubt was the very one sending Ildiko, Attila's last reputed wife, to poison him on his nupitals! thus the world was changed forever. Putin is like - everywhere!

    • Did you mean "exercism" as in "too much exercise" (a new word to be added to the lexicon. No problem here) or "exorcism", as in "extricate victory from the jaws of defeat?

      Sorry, just channeling a Mooser here. Forgetting myself*.....

      * who am I, exactly, in this upside down world? anyone knows?

    • the CIA/Democrat/Soros nexus

      Did you just cite one of the key Deep State components? or is it an axis?

      I agree BTW about the power struggle within the elite. There is lots of evidence for that. The line, the dividing line, goers straight through the heart of the CIA, the FBI and all the other three-letter agencies/agents.

      Poor little Empire.....torn asunder......

  • A missing piece of the puzzle of Trump's victory: the 2003 invasion of Iraq
    • I am with annie here on the issue of Syria, though I also agree with james North's take on the lack of support for the Iraq war in fly-over country.

      I know quite a few who are in active duty in the military as well as veterans. To a person they were all dead set against America's misguided intervention in Syria on the side of Jihadis and to a man - and woman - they are quite opposed to the kow towing to Saudi Arabia and Qatar, knowing full well who supported the Wahabis and the muslim brotherhood, and suspecting the nefarious purposes behind such support. The resistance of the military to any bombing of the Syrian army has been written about and many pointed out that this played a role in pulling back from such misguided missions following the chemical false flag attack (not one military person I know believes it was anything other than a false flag, since, as military trained individuals, they are all trained to look for the Qui Bono, and there was none for Assad. No need to look too deep into that or be a high fallutin' strategist to see that. Common sense would suffice, and that can be possessed even by some not-so-eminents).

      But more than that, I have not met or read any veteran or active duty person praising Hillary or having much confidence in her understanding of strategy and tactics and the difference between them. many professed some envy that the Russians can have someone like Putin whose heart and soul is obviously in promoting and serving the Russian national interest, something everyone believes. No, it's not always aligned with America's interests (no reason it should), but the clarity Putin's Russia has brought to military and economic conflicts are the object of no small amount of admiration, because it is so transparent. The US, by contrast, is perceived as having no clarity, either of vision or tactics. Its policy is mired in squabbling groups of unknown allegiances, which brought a chaotic approach to almost every task (just take the CIA - perceived as divided between the "good CIA" and the "bad CIA"). The military thrives on and needs clarity of goals and well defined missions. They feel they got none under Obama and were expecting more of the same veil of confusion under a Hillary..

      For all these reasons I am pretty sure that Trump got the lion share of votes from military people, that despite the myriad of reservations many had about him as a person and as a leader.

      What I find ironic is that it is Hillary's very hawkishness that got her to lose a substantial number of votes, even as Trump, the muslim lambasting clown, could trumpet his almost "peacenik" approach to foreign policy, including in muslim countries (emphasis on irony, of course. No, I don't think Trump is a true "peacenik". Only Bernie was that, and even he would have had to pay homage to the military-industrial complex, were he to run and get elected (insert sad face here)).

  • Media reports that Russians are behind email leaks are official stenography -- Carden
    • DeBakr - what on earth are you smoking? can I have some of that good stuff?

      KSA is just about the most repressive regime on earth - probably worse than North korea. may be you have some secret affection for the head-choppers but that is not likely shared by any here. And Qatar? com'on - what with all the slave labor or is that chomp change?

      Re MH17 - again, I have no idea where you get your hasbara points but anyone who knows anything realizes the plane was brought down by Ukraine - though we may not know who gave the order. IF you are not sure - why not ask for the cockpit recordings with the Kiev air traffic control tower? the answers are all there.....(yes, I know Ukraine refused to hand them over, but rest assured, heart throb Victoria Nuland has copies - just ask her and I am sure she'll oblige and send you the transcripts. She does have them, you know....).

      But you'll be glad to hear I disagree with one thing at least in Carden's piece - the annexation of Crimea was something Russia had to do following the US instigated maidan coup, which was all about getting hold of Crimea for the US fleet. Plus the Crimeans are mostly Russians and they voted with their feet. one could only wish we would have such open voting in this country. One free of the fraud and rigging that has apparently corrupted our entire voting system beyond repair, and called the legitimacy of candidates such as hillary and any governance she may preside over into question. There are quite a few states that would love to part ways with the east coast elite corrupt governing corporate/wall street rule if only there was a way.

      Anyways, I see no reason whatsoever fto assume Russia was behind the Wikileaks latest dump. After all, Podesta used gmail, as in GMAIL. Anyone expects it to be secure? why, was he too cheap to pay for an email box with more secure features? not to mention Huma who used a yahoo e mail to which she forwarded her state department mail, as did hillary. Yahoo, the very platform that gets hacked periodically - as in who did not yet have their address book hacked? of course, some may wish to question why Hillary and huma would forward classified e mails to unsecure addresses but that's the least of their crimes. I am actually assuming it was probably some basement dwelling kid who broke into Podesta's treasure trove of corruption revealing e mails. Anyways, it's fun to read how the sausage is really being made. now, i bet AIPAC servers are quite a bit more secure. darn - where are the russians when we need them?

  • Miserable night, bleak forecast
    • There are people out there, on the Palestinian solidarity and pro-Palestinian side who still believe that it will somehow be possible to affect change on US policy without changing the discourse on Jewish power. These 'some" people I am referring to are almost all jewish, and many found a cozy homes in organizations with "Jewish" in the title. that while the few voices arguing that it is not possible to do anything of substance for the palestinians without taking on The Lobby, are silenced or shunned or exiled.

      Reality however is a stern teacher, and the reality is that Palestinians will end up on the losing side big time, unless many more of us gang together to combat that nonsensical 'anti-semitism" as a weaponized tool to silence critics. For a long time I have maintained that anti-semitism exists only as a weapon not as a reality. There are many Jewish power brokers (see for example Phil's truly depressing cataloguing of the influence peddlers surrounding Hillary et al, which includes staunch republicans) whose job it is to see their power is maintained and is wielded to support whatever it is israel wants to do. Ergo, it is that power that needs to be combated, which means, by definition, combating the spurious charges of "anti-semitism" likely to be hurled the second Jewish power is mentioned by a non-Jewish person.

      For anyone still hopeful that somehow the jewish "community" can come around and exert pressure on israel to behave, I can only lament their likely life-long wait. not going to happen, not on any scale that matters. Ultimately, it's all about power and money, something israel understands all too well, as do the jewish oligarchs in the US and canada, and, of course, their non-jewish brethern oligarchs, all of whom flock together in their oligarchic circles. I suspect that it will take a precipitous decline of the American empire before any change on the ground happens, and not just on the I/P front but also climate change and inequality. Which means a revolution from within the Empire and robust resistance to it without.

      The first salvo for a revolution from within was Bernie, as imperfect as he was in terms of championing of change.That's the salvo from the left and we saw how it was crushed, both by hook and by crook. The other salvo is from the right, as embodied by Trump's improbable rise. Another thoroughly imperfect standard bearer. he will lose, because the hillary crowd will make sure he does, if need be by the same hooks and crooks used against bernie. The next challengers will be better armed and more forewarned. In the meantime, the palestinians must wait - their suffering unrelieved.

    • RoHa - did I just learn a new word - "divagate"? why does my spellchecker not like it?

      I'm just trying the comment function, hoping to give annie another opportunity to go dumster diving while typo fixing.

      trash talk is a most appropriate topic following the depressing post above. Not that I find it surprising as hopey-changey is not my shtick. Still, every day I hope my dire diagnosis to be proven wrong - I'll take anywhere over nowhere anytime.

  • Ari Shavit’s humiliating fall from grace: AIPAC, Hillel cancel events in wake of groping story
    • jon s - that resignation! the crime in israel is to be caught, as you would know, since you were there for a time, and heard them talk amongst themselves, right? getting caught is very very bad, even, and especially for the powerful and/or influential. Rumors about Shavit's bad behavior (meaning sleaze-ball, or jack-ass, or whatever the word is in English) have been circulating for some time. To violate the dignity of a pretty jewish American lady journalist would therefore be considered fool-hardy. IT opens the dam to other accusers in israel, who didn't dare or care to come forward before.

      In an israeli context Shavit was shown to be both a jerk and an idiot. A deadly combination, just like a certain president. Ergo, a resignation is in order, followed by public shaming, and possibly worse.

    • judithbell, do you speak from experience? because I do. You need to live in israel for like 20 years and serve in their army as a young recruit before you can state emphatically one way or the other. If that is not possible, you may want to listen to the accounts told in hebrew (not English!) among the Israelis. Even then, the worst stories are not told, even in hebrew and even among the knowing, because, well, failure to self protect is not considered a positive attribute.

      I don't mean to dismiss what some American service women go through, but in israel, service is mandatory, and people find themselves in the military at age 17, 18 with very little life experience. Also in israel, the bonds of silence are even stronger, especially since some of the worst violators have the "glamor" jobs - front line combat officers, pilots etc. So they have an aura of invincibility in an israeli context.

      Also in israel it is generally accepted that women's role in the military is partly social. Indeed, the IDF can do quite well these days without recruiting women, but they are needed for the 'cohesiveness' and the "bonding', i.e., a social function. So many, not being so wise, behave accordingly, brushing aside the absence of respect from male peers. When the bonding function is violated, as you can imagine, it's triple the shame. Talking about it or filing a complaint is beyond betrayal. It destroys the veneer of "we are all in this together" kind of rubbish. It can destroy the bonding function of an entire unit. Errgo, the woman complainer not only got herself into a 'situation" but also failed in her primary duty if, the social one, if she complains

      The US military takes volunteers, and women in the American military do in fact participate in some of the most dangerous and demanding duties. Some in the front lines. A few military pilots, etc. I am sure attacks and unwanted advances happen a lot in close quarters, and there are repercussions to filing complaints. OTOH, unlike the israeli army which for most is compulsory, the reaction of the US military can be more of a shrug, as in "what did you expect"? , "did you think it was going to be a bed of roses"? etc. There is an expectation of toughness and of toughing it out.

      I guess my point is not about the occurrence of abuse of authority or just abuse, but of the reaction to it by the military itself as well as society at large. The American woman soldier, being a volunteer, expects to be treated professionally. the israeli woman recruit expects to have an interesting and socially rich lifestyle.

    • Bless your heart, annie. All fixers of typos and bad syntax will surely end in a heaven where birds sing, flowers bloom, and lovely humans speak in impeccable grammar with crisp vowels too.

      And thank you so much for the reminder of that earlier article. I thought I remembered something weird about good old Avi but could not recollect.

    • I overstayed my edit time, so apologies for the disjointedness, typos, etc.

    • To me Shavit's reaction and his apologetic non-apology sounds like a typical israeli male's. Shavit's advances would be considered 'all in a day's work" in israel. Such aggressive behavior based on the premise that it's normal macho behavior is so common over there that it is barely worth mentioning. probably one third of females serving in the IDF were at one point raped and many times assaulted. I wouldn't know what it's like in a workplace but my guess is that women who work in larger firms sometimes wish there was a hijab or a burqa to ward off the many unwanted advances. This happens disproportionately more to women who are younger, good looking and generally out-going. Attributes that make them appear somehow "accessible". The usual reaction is to shun the man and use a form of public shaming by spreading the word. That when the assault did not actually culminate in rape. IF it did, many times the reaction is silence and self-blame for allowing a situation to evolve that far.Almost every israeli woman has such stories to tell, though most would rather not.

      As the few prosecutions of men in power in israel demonstrate, these situations become especially problematic when the man is older and in a powerful position. A good rule of thumb is that power goes to the head, and not just in israel.

      I base these observations a bit on experience (left israel when I was quite young, so I had a chance to experience typical predatory behavior many times over, and predatory it is) and most on stories I hear from there and the occasional reading of hebrew accounts for the more recent climate over there. I know that personally, having come to understand the israeli male behavior, I developed certain traits and behavior patterns almost sub-consciously that were designed no doubt to ward off bad situations that would force me to write someone off for life (caveat: I did not have female friends to gossip with. Just other males and those would hardly be the right ones to commiserate with). For example, one defense tactic was to not be in a situation where one is alone with a certain type of individual male. especially a much older one. Another is to have clarity about my own designs and interests so as to avoid any appearance of flirtation when the interest is not there on my part, and when there is a high likelihood of misinterpretation of mere friendliness for an invitation. I am no longer there, but the attributes persist through life for better and for worse. Even when in America where the aggressiveness is rarely so overt and in your face (again, it's my experience, and only as a comparison. I was never an undergraduate in the US so wouldn't know what the climate is like there). One thing I noticed in israeli females, even ones who are older, is the way they can move from friendly to freezing in a blink of an eye, almost. It's like a switch is thrown. probably a defense mechanism developed over their youth.

      It will take probably an anthropologist/psychologist team to dissect Israeli male and female more and behavior patterns. best to think of it as a kind of a jungle. Avigail Abarbanel can no doubt shed more in depth light on this interesting phenomenon of inter-gender behavior in a place like israel. may be she should write another article on this matter for MW? I am sure it'll be interesting.

      None of this is to hold Danielle blameful in any way. She would likely not have recognized the signs that her pleasant demeanor was eliciting in an interview situation where the goal is to put the subject at ease so they'll speak freely. She would probably not realize that his increasing "friendliness' were all signs of trouble to come. because it's not an American she was dealing with. In her place, i would have probably seen it coming from a mile away and changed the tone of the conversation, and possibly reschedule another meeting in a place where alcohol is not served. But then i would know things she didn't and no reason she would, coming from a more civilized jewish milieu. How do you note that suddenly the rules of the jungle apply and not the rules of a jewish day camp? or a friendly collegiate encounter?

      I do have BTW one funny story to tell. Funny to me because i made it so and nothing bad happened, though it could have. may be another time, in response to an Avigail well-measured account of the mores of the jungle.

  • Jeffrey Goldberg is Jewish
    • Phil - you accused Jeffrey Goldberg of being "shrewed"! That's like so anti-semitic! almost merchant of venice like...., don't you know that? what next? you'll accuse some jewish person somewhere of being "smart"? imagine the fanfare.... the howls of disapproval... the opprobrium....

      Off to re-education camp with you - and your ilk too, many of whom are present in this comment thread. as long as I can pop in (to the camp) now and then, that is... I heard the wine is first class.....

    • Tokyobk, I second Mooser's request for the calling cards of the august members of that tight community of sharers. You didn't mean anyone on wall Street, right? because that couldn't be - they don't do sharing so well, last I heard....besides, I didn't get anything for example after they collapsed the economy in 2008. So if you could help direct some my way, i would definitely appreciate it. hey, I AM a member of the tribe, too, so I need to get some precious.

    • Yonah sees "problematic". I see his post as emblematic. To a certain class of people (and I don't mean jews necessarily) who are bigoted against ghosts, which they see everywhere.

  • Clues to the end of the world shared during final 2016 presidential debate
    • Good point pabelmont. Climate change was a barely audible aside from the Clintonite direction, while the Clinton kryptonite Trump, seemed not to have heard the expression, much less repeat it.

      Even if there is no hot war, things are likely to get pretty hot, alright!the sad thing is that jill Stein's poll percentage - now hovering somewhere just upward of 3%, probably reflects the total number of people who care about climate change. That is, care enough.....(yes, i know many of sanders' supporters did, but he was expelled from the table of the powerful, along with his basement dwellers. leaving - what? the deplorables and deplorable-in-kinds?

  • New statement calls on the movement to focus on Palestine, not divisive internal conflicts
    • Donald, gamal, Keith, echi, jd65 - have you guys had a chance to read this truly gawd awful screed just published on The Interecept of all places?

      This one has one murtaza hussein as co-author, the same one who publish a glowing report of the 'revolutionaries" in Syria on The Intercept some days ago.

      It's a good read, not because it makes blood curdle but because it frames the new /old terms of debate for humanitarian interventionism under the unfortunately-soon-to-be-elected Hillary. The goal here is to present the so-called "opposition" (cf. salafist terrorists in my book) as winsome revolutionaries, while Assad is, by definition, the oppressor of such noble aspirations as ISIS (yess, there's a place where the interviewee says something along the lines of "better ISIS than Assad" or some such. I could not read through in great detail due to blood boiling. Not good, that). Note how these westerners, funded no doubt by an assortment of saudi/Qatari money, purport to speak for ALL Syrians. Even as they live the good life outside.

      That being said, I am sure one can find among Syrian refugees someone who will say one thing and another next to them who'll say the opposite, depending on what they figure must be expected of them. refugees do what refugees must, and words are less important than food or a ticket to the EU, surely.

      Not to repeat the many good points made by you all (yes, even* Donald makes his own case reasonably well. After all, who are we to pick our few supporters, even if they don't play exactly as we wish them to), I think it is important to take stock of the new enemies to the cause of Syrian people (as people, now subjected to terrible hardships by our own Western and gulf state regimes). In particular, let us note the publishing forum - The Intercept. Whether Glenn caved in to critics after Rania Khalek published one or two articles there, or he is just under extreme pressure from the corporatocracy - for which he now works, whether he agrees or not - and has to prostate the publication's good name, is immaterial. Be it as it may, such articles are not what the old Glenn (especially the firebrand who once wrote in Salon) would have tolerated, given the glaring hypocracies (too many to count).

      Instead of setting off on each other, my suggestion is that we may all unite in the interest of standing up against the powerful propaganda machines - arrayed against us all. Donald may not go as far as we may want him to, because perhaps he is not a crosser of Rubicons. But he has written on the subject of Syria better than the likes of ones whose heart is with interventionism, come hell or fire. Ones we have seen published right here on MW.

      I do expect things to get much worse, propaganda wise after hillary comes to the power, propelled and pushed across the finish line by the corporate deep state. We, as in all of us, Donald too, will no doubt be described as Putinists, Assadists and worse in the months and years to come, as the evil doers plot a way to their "no fly" zone. There will be time enough to take it out on each other, I think and hope, once the dust settles and most of Syria has been freed from the clutches of the cuddly al Nusra, ISIS and their FSA buddies. For now, I wish we could unite in common cause, whatever secret motivations we may suspect in this or that individual.

      * Donald, the 'even" is not to be taken as battle cry unless you want or need a battle, In which case, I'll be happy to oblige of course, since I am an obliging kind of person, as we know.

    • notatall, I 'll second echiniccus' request - what on earth is anti-semitism as opposed to any other kind of bigotry we see day in day out on our TV screens? many many jewish people say abhorent things about non jewish people (take for example paul krugman, who I cited above) or can barely conceal their contempt.

      That not to mention the torridm, horrid things you read in the pages of the NYTs, WaPo etc about palestinians, by people who are obviously jewish and obviously can't wait till the palestinians 'learn their place". This problem of anti-palestinian bias and Jewish supremacy that looks down on others and FULLY SUPPORTS the ethnic cleansing of the palestinians from their own homeland, is a far far bigger problem than the imaginary "antisemitism' some claim to see in every shadow of anyone who believers israel basically sucks (I do, as one example, Not only Israel but most israelis are people i prefer not to associate with on account of their racism and bigotry. Not to mention plain ill manners). Yet, you have a hideous creature called Nethanyahu, an even worse mafiosi thug called Lieberman and they are received by heads of state as if they were actually part of the human family. And who rolls out the red carpet for these jerks? yes, certain jewish Americans, who then put pressure on American politicians to cave in and sell American interests on the cheap..

      So yes, it is high time to denounce these bigots for they are, rather than hide behind your illusory blood libel of something you call "anti-semitism". Which, as i said, I have never seen or witnessed, except may be by people who are persecuted by israelis and who understandably despise those who oppress them and their enablers in the US.

      I would say that this Douglas guy, who I don't know, is much less of a problem than the writers of the NYT and WaPo plus the other jewish people who do, for example, fund raisers for the murderous criminal IDF. Depending on what Douglas said about blacks or non-whites, I would have to decide whfor myself whether weir oweas and apology or should get the medal of honor for bravery.

    • Notatall, I beg to differ on this matter. I don't know Douglas or have any idea why appearance on his show is such a line crossing event. I'll just make a few comparisons, assuming Douglas may be beyond the pale:

      1. people are willing to write for a polemic journal like the new York times (otherwise known as the pravda times) which has pushed travesties such as the Iraq war AND is currently busily promoting a campaign to divide and destroy Syria (under thee rubric of "humanitarian" intervention). This rag also promotes a racist nepotistic creature like Hillary who lies for a living and has been proven to be just about as corrupt a politician as we have ever seen, not to mention her blood-soaked hands and sadistic tendencies towards vanquished-by-empire foes (cf Qaddafi, among others). She and Bill and their corrupt money laundering "foundation' are pretty much a mafia operation, designed to enrich them and their cronies using pay-to-play schemes every bit as bad as drug pushing. Same for the torrid write-ups from the likes of brooks et al as well as the near complete disappearance of any palestinian narrative. Yet, people who are otherwise decent still write for the NYTs now and then. Should they all be shunned?

      Oh and did i say the NYT is guilty of racism by promoting all things jewish and barely hiding their disdain for the 'gentiles' (to use the illustrious paul Krugman's word. yes, he does say that, often enough and yes, we know what he means. So, am i misinterpreting or something....or may be not?). basically, if Douglas has bigotry against the zionist creed (which I would share, BTW. Zionism is nothing to be proud of, alas. It's become almost like a scarlet letter, thanks to that murderous ethnic cleansing entity on the meditarraneans calling itself israel or some such) then krugman has all out bigotry against any economist who happens to not be jewish enough. (can't be sure whether his ire and bigotry is directed only against economists. may be not, because he went all out against sanders too for the crime of not being sufficiently kiss ass to the PTB, whoever they are).

      2. The new Yorker is similarly guilty of pushing skulduggery, corruption and violent interventions in the name of "women's rights" or israel or some other politically correct mem de jour. Yet a decent writer like Sy Hersh does publish there. Should he apologize for the platform and say it was a mistake to publish there?

      3. the waPO, known as pravda-on-the-potomac is a known neocon propaganda and yellow journalism rag. hey, they even have a columinist called jennoifer Rubin, a lousy writer, if there ever was one, who arguably displays more prejudice in a single column than Douglas ever did on his web site or beyond it. But here and there a ray of sunshine appears and a decent article sees the light on WaPo's pages. Should anyone and everyone stop writing there because of the overall violent, racist, bigotted and corrupt editorial bend?

      To me , an appearance in ANY forum does not imply agreeing with editorial policy. Same for Weir as for a Rania Khalek or one Phil Weiss. the good guys are too few to demand some impossible and ludicrous purity test from them.

    • tokybk - why was peled's tweet objectionable? it's not like he said the 'p' or 'c' words or anything obscene that i could see.

      Peled is an ex-israeli and talks as Israelis do - being 'ex' doesn't alter that, it only slightly dials down the insults, which in israel are so common as to be matter of fact. Whether it's politicians or ordinary citizens. peled retains one of the features so widely admired by Jewish visitors to the state - directness in speech. I am often guilty of the self same. He saw sleaze and called it by its name - so what? just go over to the Wikileaks releases about the Clinton sleaze campaign and marvel at the level of corruption. Oh yes, that one is across the board, so OK to call it that (or is it?).

      If you could read hebrew (which of course, you may know a little of - just enough perhaps to think you do) you would find israeli social media a literal cesspool. I realize that's why most Jewish people around the world (excluding the settler support varieties) would never even try to understand the language spoken by by their supposed bretherns in the "holy" land, as it would offend their delicate sensibilities and eternally bolstered sense of victimhood (oh, those anti-semites all around them!).

      that being said, i can say what i want, but Peled is now a public figure and EVERYTHING he tweets or says publicly will be jumped on by enemies - from within and without the movement. I assume he must have gotten exasperated and let out in public that which most ex-Israelis see, mention and talk about in private. that because many israelis escaped that lousy little place by the sea precisely because they could not stand the endemic corruption of the Oligarchic political and business life. It's pretty much like in the ukraine except they get much larger hand-outs from big daddy, so the veneer of the good life is thicker (cf. the Tel Aviv and its great night life). So, sometimes it's hard not to get exasperated when you witness the cover-up operation run in America by "nice" jewish people who'll do anything and everything not to see the ethnic cleansing spectacle unfolding before our very eyes. And that is indeed sleazy (which remains so even if many non-jewish brain washed evangelical types share the same blind spot, which in their case, is truly blind, so perhaps a bit less sleazy?).

    • It's a good effort, IMO, and i am glad they highlighted the latest witch hunts against peled, who said something not the least bit controversial (unless of course you find everything controversial). It is also timely because of the great increase in the pace and severity of battles to marginalize BDS.

      When I read the petition, the examples - several of them - seemed to mention JVP as part of the "offending' partyies as Annie mentioned above. For me, JVP, despite the good work many of its members do, has become somewhat compromised - because of the overwrought actions of certain groups of individuals who appear to take sides, for example in favor of "humanitarian" intervention in places like Syria. When Blumenthal came out recently with his devastating expose of the "white helmets" as essentially a terrorist affiliated umbrella group pretending to do "humanitarian" work but really used as propaganda arm of the CIZ/KSA/Qatar etc. he was subjected to considerable villification, some of which again came from JVP members (though they were not the worst). In fact there are a few things that burst the propaganda bubble more ferociously than commentary on Syria. Some of which appeared here, on MW, as we all saw and noticed.

      Ideally, I would have liked to see a certain unmentionable name with the initials GA added to the list of examples. Of course, that would have meant far fewer would dare to sign. Still, i do take great comfort from the fact that the lynching of Allison Weir and the great Greta Berlin were on the list.

      Overall, it's worth adding one's name to the list of signatories, minor quibbles notwithstanding. Especially in light of the fact that the ethnic cleansing of Palestine is accelerating, with nary a word of protest from our president or the current candidates, compromised as the latter two are.

  • Shimon Peres, dead at 93
    • Oh yes, on the positive side [very positive] the archives are back! something to rejoice over, as some of the comments on this web site are/were worth so much more than a peres ever was.

    • Sometimes, the worst people get to live the longest. makes one almost wish there really was a heaven and hell. In which case good old [very old] Peres would definitely not be sent to the former.

      I have no eulogy to offer for him, other then - bye.

  • UC Berkeley reinstates Palestine class, rejecting pressure from pro-Israel groups
    • Interesting and encouraging. This should be noted in light of Avigail Abarbanel's recent articles about the words used to describe what israel is doing. She argued - quite ogently - against use of the word "occupation" in referring to the West bank and gaza, since occupation implies a kind of temporariness. Something that can - eventually - be ended. Kind of like the US occupation of iraq, or the british occupation of india. But we know this is not the case with israel, which intends - for all appearances - to settle the west bank just as it settled - and colonized - Israel proper. Every israeli knows this is the intent, and this is the plan. But they also know the word "settler colonialism' conjures images of an America or Australia or canada conquered and settled by Europeans. This is exactly what israel plans to do, but being the age of the internet, it's abit more difficult to hide the cost to the native people.

      hence the push-back from groups like AMCHA and the israeli government.

      All the more reason to rejoice at berkeley's decision.

  • After building a protest movement, West Bank village of Nabi Saleh steps back from weekly Friday protests
    • Keith, I totally agree bout the need to focus on the here and now. The siege of gaza needs to be a rallying point even if they attack us as Hamas-lovers, or Putin-stooges or whatever. Tearing down the wall, ditto. But israel is upping the ante as we speak, slowly but surely executing its grand plan.

      So, on our side, it's good to have a grand plan or two as well. It occurred to me that we - as in you, I, activists, palestinians on the front line, solidarity people everywhere - cannot bring ourselves to envision the outlines of a grand plan. And because of that we are weak in the face of a far more determined and focused foe, which actually has a unified philosophy, namely - we want it and we'll have it, and time is on the side of those who make facts on the ground.

      So, i says there is room for philosophers and visionaries. We need the likes of Zizek in our ranks, and the palestinians need them too, They have some of their own, to be sure, great thinkers, like Said, but the message needs to permeate more deeply and widely. It is necessary, I believe, to accept that the time is rapidly coming for a gestalt transition, among us all, palestinians included. people like Shmuel have been preaching this gospel for some time now, and quite well, but the message needs to resonate in villages like nabi saleh, and in cities like Ramallah and in the refugee camps throughout. Sure abbas can continue to have talks with yahoo. Why not. learn from Putin - the Russians always talk of cease fires even as they maximize gains on the ground. At this time, the best Abbas and his ilk can hope for is the equivalent of a "frozen conflict" but israel will not let them have even this much.

      So, I am thinking tactics and strategy, because thinking is all I have to contribute at this time.

      As with regards to sanders, I am conflicted. the revolution i speak of was more in the sense that the SPIRIT of a revolution really does exist among the people. Clearly, sanders, may have triggered something, but we all understand that ultimately - and always - he is a politician, and must do what politicians do. I try not to be too cynical about him, because cynicism drains the soul of energy. Instead, I look for the green off-shoots of a real movement. Can the off-shoots survive the coraling the establishment is intent on un-leashing, using the threat of trump as a trump card? I kind of see my job (if it can be called a job - because it really is just my programing that so inclines me) as encouraging and making connections to the off-shoots. The time for the real movement will come. I want it to be a good one, even while recognizing we may not have the luxury of having a national leader (if we did, they would bring them down). I am thinking local for now.

      BTW - an interesting subreddit for you: WayofThe Bern. Don't get discouraged by the name. They are all refugees there, but lots of good links, which i store in the shed where I keep my pitch fork well oiled and sharpened. Not enough eassayists. For those check out caucus99 (I am not providing the link so as not to bring the ire of whatever from the woodworks).

    • Susan A, my critique of Blumenthal (whose book I have and read, and to whose interviews - the few he is allowed to give - I listened) is circumspect, and well tempered by my respect for what he HAS done and HAVE brought to light. I am the last person to advocate rifts and minor internecine battles for purity or otherwise among the all too few supporters of Palestine. Same goes for Finkelstein who has done much good, and whose debating skills are beyond comparison.

      That being said, my comment has to do with something i recognize that exists among even the best jewish solidarity activists, and i hope you can view it with the consideration it deserves. I understand all too well what the somewhat one-sided teachings about jewish history have done to the people of israel, because I was subject to them myself. Even now, just as I think I escaped the worst of the tribal circle the wagons mentality, something happens, or someone says something and I am back into the old Anne Frank dilemma wondering who will hide me when the whole thing cracks open. That little twinge of fear is real, and fight as one way, I recognize its origins in having been brain-washed from a wee young age into the "basically all the goys are against us" mind frame. In israel that is how >95% of them feel - and express - quite overtly. In a place like the US, that little fear is tempered by multiple loyalties and alliances, such as are formed in this country. Loyalties that cross the ethnic/religious/political dividing lines. Just look at Phil and read his writings over the years, but even he, now and then feels that little twinge. He and I and multitudes of other Americans of jewish descent feel it when we talk about things like the rise of the jewish mandarin class (which Phil has done himself on several occasions and on a deeply personal level). We worry - what happens to us, solidarity people, progressives par excellance, when they come after the 1% with pitch forks. Will they make exceptions for some? all?and I speak here as one with my own pitch fork well sharpened, waiting in the shed, for when the time comes, and the neoliberal economic order based on perpetual accumulation of wealth by few, collapses, as it inevitably would. Just like the peasants of old, will the screwed over unemployed and under-employed, be inclined to make fine point distinctions? who knows?

      So, the way Blumenthal and Finkelstein deal with this existential angst is to arm against closet anti-semites, that you say exist among the activists. The way I deal with mine is to see all activists as soldiers in a battle for the soul of humanity. Like all soldiers, comments will be made in a heated moment, but that has been the case for every people fighting a much more powerful enemy - which in this case is the monied, all-powerful, deep state pupeteers, whoever and wherever they are. As warriors against deep states everywhere (israel included!), looking for closet bigot, here, homophobe there, anti-semite somewhere else is pointless and divisive. Ultimately, it's not whether anti-semitism is real or not, and whether all goys are infected a little by this 'virus" (which our distorted history inclines us to believe). It's about our own fears, sub-conscious anxieties and that's what needs to be recognized.

      Long answer but the gist is simple; no, greta berlin was no more anti-semitic than you or I. And Atzmon got it right on lots of issues that may be disturbing to many, even if his mannerisms may not be to everyone's taste. And BDS is just about the only weapon we got and it needs to be sharpened to the max, one heck of lot more than it is now. Even as the forces of evil are arrayed against it everywhere we look. In the end, we are either in this together, fighting as warriors in a common battle, or we are in it for the excitement and adrenalin rush of some feel-good activism, something that can be abandoned when we become too despondent over too few victories and many losses (we have one coming now, in Hillary). If it's the former then sorry, but you - and blumenthal, and Finkelstein and the many other jewish people who see palestinians as the oppressed people in this colonialist-settler adventure known as israel, we need to fight as one, and avoid the squabbles that tarnished just about every revolutionary movement from time immemorial.

    • To add one thing - another fact that neither israeli notr international activists counted on, is just how utterly cruel and racist the israeli mind frame really is. There have always been perhaps too many jewish people among the internationals. many (at least till proven otherwise) kept believing, deep in the recesses of their minds, that there was commonality between jewish people raised and educated in Western democracies, and israelis, raised and educated in a semi-Sparta-like garrison state mentality. The nice jewish liberals of the west could see palestinians as people, even behind scarves and religion. The israeli - except for the few most enlightened ones - cannot and never will. presuming there was some sort of a "bond' between jews of the world and israelis was - and still is - a major error, which contributes, time and again, to failed tactics. I am reminded of the gaza flotillas, among other things.

      I am also reminded of people like Finkelstein and Blumenthal, who, while actively engaged in exposing israel's misdeeds, cannot bring themselves to cross the rubicon. Namely their own sub-concious fear that anti-semitism is real if dormant, and BDS, can wake it up. But that's the line that needs to be crossed, because one can't hold the stick on both ends. One must risk blow-back of all sorts to be effective.

      many palestinians know this, on a very deep level. Blumenthal can write in the comfort of his Milieu. The people of the gaza ghetto can't. And until he is willing to see gaza as a ghetto, and the israelis as fundamentally flawed and cruel people, he will never understand what is really happening.

      I believe Phil may have, at some point, crossed that line. But i also understand what it means to cross lines. So I can only say what I see, which is that time is running out for one cause, and it's high time to start working for another.

    • I kind of wish people like tamimi started leading a movement for equal rights for palestinians. The struggle for a palestinian state is unfortunately all but over. A combination of increased israeli brutality, tacit support by a US largely captured by zionist visions which obscure the colonialist nature of the israel project, and a steadily rising campaign against international activists, have all contributed to the realization that palestine cannot be as envisioned.

      Sometimes, i think left wing activists get so sold on their own somewhat idealistic visions that they neglect to see the reality, in all its gore. The reality is that power and money (the two being interdependent) play a big role in human events and always did. Revolution is a nice word, but when these only work when the numbers are there. The sanders revolution in the US failed, so what hope does a palestinian revolution have?

      Ultimately, the palestinians of the west bank may need to take a step back, save themselves from death and injury, so they can fight another day. And when that day comes they will have to overcome their own differences and join the palestinian israelis (even if there's a barrier in between) and call for their rights within the israeli system, crooked as it is.

      Somehow the struggle of the palestinians for a state of their own reminds me of the Spanish civil war. We know who won and who lost in that one. Those who saw echoes of Algier in palestine were misguided in equating the french with Israelis, and also ignoring the fact that a sea separated Algeria from france. Geography is destiny, they say, and in this case, it unfortunately is.

  • Marc Lynch warns against the U.S. escalation in Syria
    • Donald, I have to agree with keith here. Virtually EVERY news source in the west is suspect - the entire MSM has become, in many ways, worse than Pravda ever was in the good old USSR. Most certainly anything from any so-called "opposition" figure residing in the west and speaking perfectly good English, is as good as their pay masters want it to be. that goes for the thoroughly discredited Syrian Observatory etc. in the UK - a one man office funded partly by saudi Arabia and partly by the west.

      You are not able to quote a single news item that comes from the government held side or get the view as it looks from, say, Iran or any of the allied forces fighting against the regime change, You have no legitimate sources to back your stories of 'atrocities". And, BTW, whatever happened to that infamous little chemical attack story in east Ghouta? funny how no one mentions it much any longer.

      Someone just nominated the 'white helmets" for a Nobel prize I heard. More f
      unny, that. Most would consider them to be part of the propaganda machine, well oiled, always at the right place to render "humanitarian" help, always only to one side..

      More funny things - no sooner does the government make some battlefield gains (earned at great cost!) that we hear of yet another chlorine attack. Or barrel bombs, or the same hospital bombed over and over and the same pediatricians who just keep dying only to reappear and sign petitions (for link, please consult one of the few credible sources on Syria - MOA).

      Also, may be others have pointed it out already, but just what do you think the US would do if some outside forces mounted a regime change operation in this country? what if the Russian ambassador was seen handing out cookies to Occupy, while some agency or other kept supplying them with deadly weapons, urging "jihad on wall street' (actually that has a cute ring to it....don't anyone get ideas now). Given the brutality with which the rather peaceful Occupy was suppressed, can you even imagine the response of our militarized police if someone actually mounted an armed rebellion?

      Syrria responded as best it could to outside intervention conducted to remove a government the US and the evil Saudis and their Qatar bretherns didn't like. For Qatar, may be it was the pipeline. For the US, it was pipeline + israel + empire. For Israel? just the usual, something about the shiite crescent, no doubt. Or, just chaos in Syria to remove any threat to the Golan occupation.

      And, one last thing - where are the wailing voices of the great liberal papers and journos and columnists about the atrocities committed by the Saudis against Yemeni civilians? did you see even a peep from the NYT? (OK, there was a peep. lame as it was).

      So, no wonder some people here don't trust the "liberal" bleeding hearts, because their hearts bleed ever so selectively. Hopefully, you'll never have to experience anything like what the syrians did, but surely, with a little imagination, you may want to reflect a little more on those 'atrocities", and how you would feel about them if it was your neighborhood that got taken over by some scarf-wearing mafiosi.

    • ritzl, you beat me to it apparently with the MOA link. That should teach me to read through the comments more thoroughly. Still, no harm in bringing it up again 9alas, in adouble too! glitches galore seem to be happening....I only hit the submit once!). I did add up the link to the mysterious brother who was quite alive and then suddenly very dead. Then, nothing.....the family evaporated.

    • Well, there are some doubts raised re the "wounded boy on orange seat" - a rather conveniently photographed picture just at the right time to put Syrian government on the defensive:

      I cannot verify or deny, but the case of a staged photo op seems rather compelling. Not only that, but the instant way in which the photo was circulated in the western press and used to generate publicity against the allied forces in Syria (cf. Syria/Russia/Iran/hezbollah axis) and bought wholesale by the ever loud chest beating so-called "left" is, by itself a bit suspect.

      To add insult to injury, shortly after the photo popped up and circulated (and seemingly believed by all, including lynch, it turned out the photographer was the very same one who filmed the beheading of a sick boy by one of the US favorite rebel groups (al-Zinki or something. very moderate they be). Funny how this photographer turns out in all the right places. Even funnier how the tale of the sick boy in the back of a truck was insufficient to elicit but murmurs of feigned sympathy in the very quarters so lamentous of the boy-in-the-orange-suit. So, it would appear that "Assad-atrocities" are to be played up and iconic pictures conveniently produced whenever the government scores a victory.

      But, wait, there's more - the ever watchful MOA caught our darling press in yet another strange little contradiction, now related to the brother of the "boy-in-the-orange-seat". Is the brother dead or alive? you be the judge.

      Funny how these things work out in the western propaganda and its leftist cheer-leaders world.

      Disclaimer: I, of course, cannot judge what really happened to the boys in this story in all its tribulations. people no doubt get killed and wounded during military campaigns, including children, especially in situations where civilians are effectively held hostage by western- and-gulf-kingdoms' financed jihadi-propelled attempts to destroy countries. A boy may well have been wounded. But the photo was well staged, its instant circulation suspect, and the bleeding-hearts' acceptance of the "of course assad is bad" tale-of-tales, while ignoring the plight of the Syrian citizens who were made into cannon fodder in the arsenal of geopolitical machinations, is a testament to the moral and ethical collapse of much of the vaunted "left".

      Next, i am sure we get to see more brave humanitarian acts by the illustrious"white helmets", who somehow never get around to saving anyone bombed by rockets fired by the sweet-cuddly rebels. Apparently, if Assad is the one trying to protect them, they must be not only expandable, but unphotographable.

    • Well, there are some doubts raised re the "wounded boy on orange seat" - a rather conveniently photographed picture just at the right time to put Syrian government on the defensive:

      I cannot verify or deny, but the case of a staged photo op seems rather compelling. Not only that, but the instant way in which the photo was circulated in the western press and used to generate publicity against the allied forces in Syria (cf. Syria/Russia/Iran/hezbollah axis) and bought wholesale by the ever loud chest beating so-called "left" is, by itself a bit suspect.

      To add insult to injury, shortly after the photo popped up and circulated (and seemingly believed by all, including lynch, it turned out the photographer was the very same one who filmed the beheading of a sick boy by one of the US favorite rebel groups (al-Zinki or something. very moderate they be). Funny how this photographer turns out in all the right places. Even funnier how the tale of the sick boy in the back of a truck was insufficient to elicit but murmurs of feigned sympathy in the very quarters so lamentous of the boy-in-the-orange-suit. So, it would appear that "Assad-atrocities" are to be played up and iconic pictures conveniently produced whenever the government scores a victory.

      But, wait, there's more - the ever watchful MOA caught our darling press in yet another strange little contradiction, now related to the brother of the "boy-in-the-orange-seat". Is the brother dead or alive? you be the judge.

      Funny how these things work out in the western propaganda and its leftist cheer-leaders world.

      Disclaimer: I, of course, cannot judge what really happened to the boys in this story in all its tribulations. people no doubt get killed and wounded during military campaigns, including children, especially in situations where civilians are effectively held hostage by western- and-gulf-kingdoms' financed jihadi-propelled attempts to destroy countries. A boy may well have been wounded. But the photo was well staged, its instant circulation suspect, and the bleeding-hearts' acceptance of the "of course assad is bad" tale-of-tales, while ignoring the plight of the Syrian citizens who were made into cannon fodder in the arsenal of geopolitical machinations, is a testament to the moral and ethical collapse of much of the vaunted "left".

      Next, i am sure we get to see more brave humanitarian acts by the illustrious"white helmets", who somehow never get around to saving anyone bombed by rockets fired by the sweet-cuddly rebels. Apparently, if Assad is the one trying to protect them, they muct be expandable.

    • Annie, you sure it was a good idea to point in that direction? most of us suspect that the disappearance of the archives was not entirely accidental.

    • Bingo, annie. Found my own partly lost archives. Noticed that the last comment is from August 30, 2015, which is when these must have been archived.


      Especially for Hostage's long lost archives....

  • France's burkini ban is a dangerous, Islamophobic assault on feminist values
    • Presumably if the Burkini is OK so is toplessness, I assume. Same thing, same feminist statement, just different approaches - bare less or bare more, each a feminist in thir own way, right?. Actually, come to think of it, the solution is obvious - make all beaches and pools in France Cloths Optional. let anyone wear or not what they wish. If people are offended they can go to another beach, or get their own private beach or pool.

      I see this whole issue as a storm in a teapot, and i don't trust the feminist interpretation issuing morality rulings. I especially don't like the fact that local controls and preferences are usurped in favor of something that may be more politically correct.

      So yes, may be cloths optional should be the norm everywhere. Which will no doubt result in a few sights for sore eyes, perhaps more offensive than the Birkini, depending on who chooses which option.

      In fact, there are interesting fashion statements one could make, such as a scarfed/veiled hat (to guard against the sun, of course) combined with a thong bikini a-la-brazil. There are many other interesting combinations i can think of, including topless with birkini pants that match a head-cover? a, the possibilities are endless. And no, I am not just mocking - some of the beach wear I imagine may well come to pass, since forcing people to change the way they view beach wear will likely result in counter-statements. Just you wait - I have every faith in the imagination of the french women (don't know about the men. Must think about that some more).

      perhaps i am weak in the cultural-devout-religious empathy department, but i read that these birkinis started appearing only last year or so. No doubt as a radical statement, just like the hijab is for some.

      In case anyone wonders whether my reactionary values are limited to women who believe in coveralls, far from it. i am also all in support of the motion pending in Italy now that if gay marriage is legal then multi-spouse marriage should be legal as well (whether bigamy or polyandry - take your pick) . In fact, i seriously resented once having to divorce one husband just to marry another. I kind of liked them both, for different reasons, especially as they resided in different countries. with each offering excellent vistas, albeit, very varied ones. Come to think of it, I am not really sure my divorce from one was ever properly finalized (which is why I have to stay anonymous?).

      may be we should just make it a catch-all-you-can civilization, why not? one person's sacred values is another's sacrilege, so just legalize everything.

  • The Palestine-Israel language trap
    • And there's your comment, in its entirety! smart you to have saved it. Nothing like semi-dead threads to recover lost pearls, no?

      I can see some controversialism in it - the jewish mandarins and all that (with which i agree totally, as you well know). Phil said things like that himself, couching them of course, in his indomitably affable style. I can see that some moderator (not annie) might consider the comment dangerously close to some illusory "protocols' and squash it, so as to not call in the troll squads.

      Either way, the glitch theory may have some merit, though it's far from proven. We need to try a few more times, don't we? especially those of us who just love to skate right along the red line......

      Regards, as always.

    • Keith, write to Adam. I kind of doubt it was deliberate. More likely a glitch.

    • Raphael, alas, the only thing I can teach is how to forget hebrew. I grew up in that language and it never felt natural to me. Discovering English changed my personality since it takes a word to define a state of mind, and in hebrew many states of mind are missing (there are, for example, woefully few ways to describe tolerance. In fact, one of the words translates - literally - as "put up with" or 'suffer"). new words are invented in hebrew constantly but no one uses them, and the existing words were defined to match a state of being, or more precisely, a state of being right. Always.

      There is value in knowing more than one language, I often heard that said, and perhaps there is. But not many spoke about the value in forgetting languages that include words that serve to cloud the mind and infringe upon one's clarity of thought. I have examples, but this isn't the place.

      That being said, and being cognizant of the power of words and/or their absence, I think that what Avigail wrote is truly insightful, and I regret to see much of that misinterpreted. then again, one can't expect that the power of words to inform, obstruct, persuade or dissuade, etc. will be clear to all. Indeed, i suspect that deep knowledge of that power, assuming one is not a linguist like Lakoff or Chomsky, comes from deep familiarity, and indeed fluency, in more than one language, even more so if one language was learnt much later than another. Only by having had the experience of an outsider to words that mean so much to an insider, can one come to appreciate what the power of language truly is. More later on this theme, may be, time permitting.

  • Palestine stands for the larger divide in the Democratic party
    • Left unstated in this article is the very high likelihood that the democratic primary was not only rigged in Clinton's favor (which we know for sure now thanks to the hacked e mails) but was also outright fraudulent.

      the below is an extensive article written by highly reputable people that goes over all the bizarre discrepancies and shenanigans that happened during the primary:

      It was mentioned and used as the basis for lee camp's program above brought in by Annie - an absolute must watch.

      Another article just came out goes over some of the pros and cons in some of the arguments over exit poll discrepancies, early/absentee votes etc., crediting the many other writers on the subject such as Palast, Harris, Simon and many others

      This article ends with the very obvious question: with so much smoke how could there not be some fire?

      If indeed, as is highly likely there was a concerted campaign on the part of the DNC anbd the Hillary camp to cheat and defraud the voters so she could be coronated, where or how would "couple counseling" come into that? were athletes caught cheating not disbarred from competing? are criminals allowed to run for office?

      the one and ONLY reason Hillary is running for office is because she feels entitled and wants it. Does she have a single idea she promotes on her own or is her campaign speech consists of "I am not Trump"?

      Right now, most progressives are little by little congregating under the jill Stein and the Greens flag, and that is as it should be. Jill Stein is a good and worthy candidate. hillary is a corrupt corporate creature who is in all likelihood a criminal who is every bit as dubious as Nixon ever was.

      The question i have is - how weird is it that the republicans, despite attempts by the establishment, managed to have a clean primary while the democrats managed to have a dirty campaign centered around a lousy super-unpopular candidate?

      I heard the arguments about the Supreme court and found them unconvincing. The entire "lesser evil" as a democrat slogan is beyond questionable. Should hillary, by some hook or crook (probably both) win the presidency, the Palestinians are certainly in for a world of pain.

      IT is time for #DemExit, Folks. that is if anyone still has any real conscience left.

  • 'Either Assad or we'll burn the country' - An excerpt from 'Burning Country: Syrians in Revolution and War' (Update)
    • Debakr - your comment is unfortunately comprised of pure nonsense mixed with much debunked propaganda. Read the many links provided here for a better handle on the reality in Syria. what wholesale massacre of activists? got any reputable source to back that? Obviously you have no intention of being convinced by any facts or arguments so I will leave those for my betters.

      As for your not so competent defense of KSA (just an oppressive little family rule, eh?) I hope you don't present the paymasters with too hefty a bill for social media hasbara. Something tell me the reward might be skimpy.

    • Frankie P +Thanks for the mention of the Palmyra concert (blacked out in the Western MSM) and for the excellent comment you brought up from the Saker. Something for the deeper thinkers and/or feelers. They should definitly highlight in their Comment corner..

    • Annie, I put up a comment yesterday addressing yours above, but it seems to have been swallowed up by the ghosts (I never saw it come up - may be I pressed the wrong key, or maybe...who knows).

      I can't repeat it all but i wanted to thanks you again for the lengthy and useful comment you made, concerning the difficulties of posting on the Syria question. It helped clear many things and I'm sure others found it useful as well.

      the point i wanted to make was that I there are reasons there are splits in the palestinian solidarity movement re Syria. You said many have a heart-felt aversion to the current government in Syria, while others are strong supporters of Assad and the government of Syria in their effort to fight back against the tearing up of their country. The split is actually reflected within the palestinian communities in Syria, with some groups actively fighting side by side with the Syrian Army, and others (like the one that had control in Yarmouk) allied with the islamist groups such as the al-Qaeda affiliated jaisch al Islam , Al nusra and even (some factions) fighting alongside ISIS..

      The problem for palestinians in the west bank, gaza and the solidarity groups in the west is that a fair chunk of their monetary support haols from Gulf countries, inclusing in particular, SA and qatar. the latter, through muslim brotherhood organizations, has a large presence in many Arab countries - obviously - as we saw from Egypt with Morsi. nowadays Qatar has mended fences with SA, so groups such as hamas, whose leader meshaal used to shelter in Syria, and is now in one of the Gulf countries (Abi Dahbi?), have to at least pay lip service to what SA goals are. And unfortunately SA goals are to break up Syria and, if possible, turn it over to any number of extreme islamist groups (take your pick from the "coalition they assembled in Riad a few months back). But Hamas and the PA aside 9the latter also getting fair support from the Gulf) many palestinian solidarity groups and activists have been compromised by the financial support received from one side in the conflict. I don't mean to say they knowingly tailor their message to the pay master, but it's easy enough to subvert the terms of discussion by flooding organizations with one-sided information, and making it tacitly clear that independent investigation into the facts on the ground are not welcome.

      There can honestly be few good explanations as to why solidarity groups the world over had not as much as a peep to say about the atrocities perpetrated in Yemen now by the saudis, or have said much of anything about the unbelievable brutality and misery brought by the islamist armed groups to the people living (often very reluctantly0 in the areas under their control. I can easily understand why so many may find the situation in Syria confusing, with facts disputed and with the US Empire Including turkey, UK etc) arrayed against the russia led axis of resistance. I have never seen even the slightest reference to the many good deeds Assad has done before the CIA propelled attempt at a color revolution 9cf "spring' which was more like "winter"). Or an analysis of the Qatar-to-Turkey pipeline plans. Instead there is this knee jery fist waving at Assad the tyrant, where in reality, he and his government were perhaps #20 at most on the list of thee world's great tyrants today 9with SA and the gulf countries heading the the top 10),

      OK, you know much of what I say is true insofar as the facts in Syria go. But the picture of finacial sources of solidarity and human rights groups is obviously murkier as there is little visibility of where the support comes from. I just think that this should be taken into account when considering the outpouring of anti-Syria articles from certain groups. This exerpt here is no different. It is just kind of interesting how one-sided the comments elicited from Syrians were. Given the way people feel in Syria, the coloring seems a bit strange to me. I would perhaps need to read more to understand where the authors went in Syria and which area residents they interviewed, before i say any more.

    • echinococcus - I agree about the positive net effect, even if the tenor of the article precipitating the discussions feels sour. We need those from time to time, though i agree with annie that it has a kind of a musky/moldy feel to have to go over all the old ground again.

      I am trying to be fair to this site. MW has, by and large, stayed away from general discussions involving the ME, with a few notable exceptions (the Egyptian "spring" - that turned into fall - and 5 or so articles dealing with Syria - all with the pro-regime change flavor, mixed with that little smidgen of color revolution meme. Phil did put up an article about his change of heart re libya, which was, if I recall, well received. My guess is that he, like many other writers on the palestinian/israel situation he finds it necessary to reserve judgement in the open, whatever his own feelings are. therefore, i try not to jrender judgement on that which i do not know.

      I can also see a problem with having the Syria question erupt with pro/con views and comments galore. Let's face it, the US (or, rather, parties in the US) are and have seen fit to use Syria as one place to conduct their little shadow war with the Russians. This blog being in the US, supported primarily by US sources (including readers), perhaps it is somewhat ill-advised to come out - for any blog owner - on the side of the ones the US's PTB set up as the empire's frontier. Comments is one thing, but giving a forum to far ranging discussions - including articles that may support the "other side' (cf. axis of resistance to the Empire) is another. Funny how I/P is legit, but Syria/Iran/Russia vs Saudi-arabia/Turkey/ the CIA (parts thereof)/Israel is not. I know the answer why that is so, of course, but I'm not telling (except under duress!). I only talk secretly (ie, in old comment threads that no one reads) about such things to keith, because it's part of our act, so it's OK.

    • Annie, thanks for bringing up those "old' Syria threads and conversations. I was set up to look for them but you beat me to it. man, those were good discussions!

      And you are right, it does feel tiresome to go over all the old ground again. Do you not find it interesting that in this most recent excursion, the yarmouk camp did not feature as prominently? have "Human Rights" operators (I hesitate to call them activists, for fear we may find the tell-tale signs of USAID lurking in the tunnels) decided to drop the pretense of 'caring' for palestinian refugees and are now sheltering behind 'civilians under siege" mantra? If i recall, the yarmouk-waving deeply caring writers of days gone by, found a way to sneak their pro-regime change articles into MW under the umbrella of "palestinian rights" and "Palestinian suffering". Do they feel such cover is not necessary any longer?

      Or, is the problem that there are not enough submissions on the topic of Syria from the side that cares for a more truthful discussions? I can't recall a single front page article along those lines...and yes, i deeply regret I couldn't finish mine up in time due to pressing obligations.

    • Merlot, again, it is not up to YOU to decide what the leadership the Syrian people want. You andn the ones you support or are supporting you, are interested in removing Assad for entirely nefarious reasons (the Qatar to Turkey gas pipe line is one such reason; israel has its on, as do elements in the US - but not all).

      By the same token if bringing 'democracy' to Syria implies killing and dispossessing half the population, is it any surprise tyhat people would rather stay united?

      I find it very disturbing that at this time, when the Syrian government campaign is seeing some success, when Aleppo may be on the verge of being liberated from the scum sent in from the north (the liberation of Aleppo is what the 'cease-fire" is supposed to halt, and has), when latakia can breath freely for the first time in 3 years, that this is the time, the authors choose to bring out this informercial. one of these authors has apparently been justifying the massacres of the kurds conducted by the Erdogan regime.

      Question - why can't we use your arguments to topple the evil monarchy of SA? the ones who, in all likelihood, supported and enabled 9/11 (among other unmentionable parties)? when the authors herein - and you - kindly use the same exact arguments to call for the removal of the turkey regime and the saudi regime (and perhaps also the Jordanian regime) then, maybe, may be, we might engage in a discussion. not before.

    • Silamcuz,

      Glad you think the compensation is merited. That some people distribute articles they have been paid to do - by whatever party - is not the issue here. Anyone is welcome to write anything or not, whether compensated or not. But people (known as 'commenters") are also free to reply as best they can, especially when it is clear that the article in question is a propaganda piece. neither are "commenters" obligated to take any article on some 'merits" just because it has 'scholarly' appearance and adds citations.

      FYI, all the FFs had plenty of citations to go with them in the information war. So., to take one example, why on earth have the authors brought up the sarin E. Ghoutta attack, proclaiming it an all but forgone conclusion that it was the "Assad" guys who did it? that by itself is a red flag. If you have been on this site for a while you'd know that there are myriad of much more credible citations that unequivocably put this claim to rest. Sy Hersh's articles were mentioned, but there are many others. Annie provided several references as did a few others. If I have time, i'll bring up the previous Syria related infowar articles that appeared here on MW where numerous citations were provided. understandably, people may not feel like retreading old grounds and debunking - yet again - this pathetic piece of shill.

      Sorry also for the lack of 'respect" shown to the illustrious authors. may be they can pop in here themselves to defend their positions.

      In the meantime, here is a hint for you - when you refer to the Syrian government as the "Assad regime' that's a dead give away. just because most of the western MSM does, that does not justify the terminology. Which, if we were fair we would apply much wider, such as the "Erdogan regime" and the "SA kings' regime".

      And yes, some of us are mighty mad to see the suffering of the Syrian people exploited to score cheap propaganda points. If you, or the authors, were to tone down your inciting termininology, we might do otherwise and refrain from calling the Erdogan regime, say, or the brutal SA regime, terrorist sponsors (which should be a crime, BTW, and isn't. After all, our own CIA does it too).

    • Doing what little I can, Just. Wish there was time to write up that which should be written, but alas, something tells me that the usual purses are firmly shut, so comment here and there is all I can do.

    • Eric, to be fair - Phil had a change of heart about libya - many people did, as the real truth of what happened there started to trickle out, and the disastrous postscript is now clear for all to see. I believe he may be on the fence with regards to Syria (can't say I know - going by the fact that 4-5 articles were published by now - all smelling of the same one-sided propaganda flavor...).

      Actually I prefer not to cast aspersions without knowing, but if so, my apologies.

    • silamcuz - who is paying you exactly? care to disclose?

      I do agree this article needs a serious reply. It's just hard to do for free when the writers have been generously compensated.

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