Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 2067 (since 2009-08-02 18:11:12)


Showing comments 2067 - 2001

  • 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:

      link to

      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.

      link to

      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:

      link to

      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.

      link to

      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:

      link to

      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

      link to

      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'
    • 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.

    • ToivoS - good sleuthing - suspec ted as much - this really does read like an erdogani paid propaganda piece. I also agree that MW should look deeper into the source of these before promoting such a collection of shilling talking points on the front page.

      At least there should be a counter article.

      BTW, there is a huge amount of money being scattered around the various west publications from SA and Turkey especially, in an effort to score a few points in the information war.

      Also i agree that the effort by the Syrian Kurds was commendable.

    • ToivoS - bless your heart - couldn't agree more. Dreadful propaganda, indeed.

    • Why should Assad go? why not king salman or the emir of bahrain? hasn't SA committed enough war crimes in yemen yet?

      The government of Syria should be up to the Syrians to choose - the ones living there and suffering the ravages of the destruction brought upon it by the US Empire, Saudi Arabia (which pays for ISIS and promotes it as best it can) and Turkey, with some notable contribution from israel. Assad has actually provided a rather able leadership, as best i can tell - far better than al-Baghdadi or any of the CIA trained/supported islamists and the assortment of foreign jihadists unleashed upon the country.

      Have you seen the concert at Palmyra BTW? that was quite inspiring, wasn't it?

    • To my knowledge, there has not been an article that tells the truth about Syria - namely the way the US and Israel, with the support of saudi Arabia, Turkey and the rest of the emasculated West deliberately financed, armed and supported a color revolution to overthrow Syria's government. The excuse of him being a 'dictator' rings mighty hollow in light of the far worse dictatorship of the KSA and the other Gulf countries, which somehow - mysteriously - don't merit as much as a whimper from the bleeding hearts of the wes and/or their well supported stooges in the ME..

      Those who supported the destruction of Syria, including many who write articles blaming a cornucopia of false Flag incidents on Assad et al in an effort to discredit the legitimate government - these are the people responsible for the suffering of the Syrian people, including the refugees, now kindly channeled by Turkey into the heart of the EU, in a transparent effort to get their precious visa-free travel.

      False Flags like the east Gouta sarin attack, now conclusively proven to have been perpetrated by the opposition forces (with plenty of help from Turkey and propaganda from the US, israel, UK, cf that pathetic, so-called "observatory" - the one-man operation funded by UK and friends), the would-be attacks on refugee camps - such as the recent one which was, again, proven to be false (there was NO bombing from the air) , and of course, any number of hospitals (this is just the tip of the iceberg of all the FFs).

      Yet, here we are again - another sanctimonious article feigning sympathy for Syrians and making Assad out like the worst dictator ever. It's getting to be almost silly by now, given that the rather well-informed readership of MW knows different, and - by and large - recognizes - propaganda when it is inflicted.

      So, where are yassin-Kassab and al-Shami when it comes to the hideous rulers of SA? by far the most reactionary , authocratic, tyranical. dictatorial government out there, or the "emir" ruling Bahrain,where legitimate demonstrations were heavily squashed - with the help of the US? where are they when it comes to the palestinians actually living and dying in Palestine? where are they when it comes to Turkey increasingly moving towards a one-man rule where tolerance will be a thing of the past? Turkey that keeps bombing the Kurds as if it's the most normal thing to do, with nary a peep from the west or the ever so conscientious left groupings, now moaning and groaning about Syria? where were they when the town (Cizre?) in Turkey was burned with many people still in the buildings? where are they when it's a country 'allied' to NATO or the west that's perpetrating war crimes? funny - that silence of the lambs....

      I don't know whether people submitted articles that tell the truth to MW or not. I know i was going to once but ran out of time (that was when the Yarmouk situation was boiling hot from all the propaganda fires lit by a dubious "left"). I do know we need alternative voices on the dire straits Syria found itself in, when the evil forces of the Empire, the gulf and the malfeasant neighbours to the West and the North colluded to try and make Syria safe for the pipeline from Qatar (among other machinations).

      When I look at the situation from my - oh so lonely - perch, I see a very different picture. In truth the Syrian army with the support of Russia, Hezbollah and Iran/Iraq (the axis of resistance) has been mounting a truly heroic stand against the forces of evil that were trained upon the country. Be it ISIS, the various Al-Quaeda affiliates, Turkmen paramilitants or various islamist groupings (FSA etc.) - all armed and paid for - these are the enemies of the Syrian people and indeed, in many cases, of civilization itself. To me the fight looks much as it did for certain South American countries, where elected governments were disposed of, or, for a better analogy, may be look to the Spanish civil war where the fascist Franco forces were supported by other fascist leaning countries, and indeed by certain elements in the west, which were more mortified by some "socialist left" than the brutish right-wing thugs that ended up taking over. IMHO,, there is very little difference - politically speaking - between the fascist Franco forces and the Al-Nusra types, with some so-called "moderates" or FSA or whatever, consisting of a few hapless stooges there to paint a positive picture of the "poor rebels" who in reality are anything but poor.

      In lieu of a proper article i urge everyone to read MOA, The Saker (which occasionally writes about Syria), and Southfront 9with daily updates), among others. Stephen Cohen too and a few others one could mention. Too few, alas, way too few.

  • Beinart's Jewish double-bind: Support oppression or you're out of the family
    • This comment is in part directed to and inspired by Bryan above:

      So if the whole story of the Israelites' illustrious beginnings was a myth, one that was written down - as many historians believe - by the Babylonian exiles, what do these stories say about the morality of those who made them up? I will concede imaginativeness, story-telling talent and the ability to create fables that reflect on the human condition possessed by those early scribes. i will also concede strong devotion to a single god as the paramount value - one that transcends all others. But what do the biblical tales of origin say about the craving for justice? about universal rights?about fighting oppression from within not only without? the message is clearly not coherent - something uplifting here, something depraved there. Kind of like the human condition mixed with strongly tribal themes, coupled with lots of excuses about why good people can do very evil things (god demands it, tribal loyalty uber ales, weakness of heart, the devil made us do it etc. etc.).

      Even the prophets - selective readings aside - were first and foremost about devotion to god first, the tribe next and universal justice somewhere down - way down - the line.

      Indeed it took the advent of Christianity to distill the universal message from the angry old testament and filter out the tribal loyalty part. Which of course is difficult, making christianity at its core - suffer some cognitive dissonance, because well, it's hard to keep the jewish tribe out of the story without compromising much of its essence.

      It took the jews of the US to cleanse the jewish saga of its more oppressive, primitive and reactionary elements, and come up with the so-called "Jewish values'. This was done by washing away the mindless devotion to god. Alas, American jewishness, bound with the supposed fight against oppression and a craving for justice, also suffers cognitive dissonance, for the "values' as supposedly embedded in the vision of the prophets is still tribal-centric. There was no universal god for the prophets, much as many like to read their rantings/ravings/preachings, only an Isralite god. one that's keen to smash all other gods, as brutally as necessary.

      Alas, today in the American and israeli context we see both cases of dissonance come full circle. With many devoted Christians taking the bible literally and American jewry delighting in the redemption brought about by the ultra-oppressive state of israel while preaching obedience to the familia. Both communities are brushing aside the inherent contradictions embedded in their respective congregations.

      the result is that we have the likes of beinart and jeff goldberg and ADL on the jewish side. What we have on the christian side are the evangelicals and dominionists etc. etc.

  • Norman Finkelstein on Sanders, the first intifada, BDS, and ten years of unemployment
    • dan, as you said, Finkelstein definitely does not state in this interview that BDS as a tactic is something he agrees with. Instead choosing to take issue with the larger aim of BDS as well as the position, and indeed the existence of those "illusory" palestinian civil groups.

      Whatever he may have said in the past, his positions now, as reflected in this interview, have hardened. he goes as far as to maintain that BDS plays into the hands of the hasbara. Plus he goes on at several points about the importance of the palestinians recognizing israel as a "jewish" or at least "majority jewish" state. To me this looks like a regression in his positions. Being ostracized by many palestinian solidarity groups on account of his opposition to BDS probably got to him - can't have been pleasant and he said, his invitations for the lecture circuit have dwindled to a trickle.

      The truth is that what he really takes exception to is that 'agnostic' position on Israel upheld by the movement's leaders and most of its rank and file. In other words, the ideal one state for all its citizens as something to strive for is what's really bothering him. partly i conceded for this not looking as an overly realistic position at this point. but partly, i think it's that tribal tug on his soul of souls. He actually wants a jewish state and thinks that such a state can be a rational actor on the world stage if peace were to break out through the ushering in of a palestinian state. most of us differ on that point of "realism" as a 2SS may indeed be something simpler to conceive, but in practice israel will resist it tooth and nail, till kingdom come. Also, many of us are just not so committed to the idea of an "all-jewish" state. many of us think that's actually not a good thing even in theory because of the "collateral" unavoidable damage. And some of us - like me - simply believe that jews do much better when they are mixed with others, but that's another story.

    • Keith, agreeing with much of what you say but adding a caveat. There is another force on the global stage which is obviously fighting back against the globalist, corporate-controlled anglo-zionist Empire (I am using the Saker's terminology here, so you know where i am going with this). With the exception of a few bloggers in the west, not much attention is being paid to the Russian resistance and its newly minted alliance with China. This I see as the harbinger of a pro-national movement that aims to maintain and restore the state as a representative pf the public good in the long run (I am not saying russia is 'good" and I don't want to confuse pro-nation state with nationalism which has come to have negative connotations). I know that there is a campaign to villify Putin as the embodiment of all things bad in our controlled suppine press, but that's just propaganda, meant to obscure what's really going on.

      What i am saying is that the entity of Russia has embarked on an effort to remain separate from the global corporatocracy, which is the real reason it is being so condemned by the PTBs. Good or bad, Russia gave every indication of wanting to plot its own way rather than jump on the bandwagon of a dollarized, neoliberal, corporate train, where national, individual and ethnic differences can be all erased in favor of maintaing the profits of the top 0.01% (while spewing hymns to democracy and freedom - all the way to hell). Russia knows of course that ultimately this means finding a way to disengage from the dollar as the coin for all transactions, which means carving alternative financial systems - not an easy task by any means. To accomplish this they made an alliance with the Chinese, slowly integrating their corporate and financial infrastructures (just the other day, the Chinese acquired a 10% stake in Rosneft - part of the integration effort, clearly). In time the Russians and Chinese will seek to bring in Iran, India and what's left of the Latin American brics (after the damage being wrecked upon them now is done - hence the small 'b').

      When i look at these events of the geopolitical level, I find reason for hope that ultimately, a multi-polar world may emerge that might clip the wings of the global corporate elite structure. Wish Europe would join in but for whatever reason they are too weak to stand up to the Empire.

      The cynic in me sees of course the potential for the alternative Euroasian empire to turn into, well, just another global empire. one that's ruled by different corporations, but with the exploitive financialization forces intact. I am hardly blind to the rise of the oligarchies in China or to its rather mercantile nature. Still, in a multi-polar world, despite the danger of conflicts getting out of control, space may be created for alternative groupings of nation-states where they get to keep their traditions, values and individualities, and perhaps be allowed to have their own approach to serve the public rather than the private good.

      See how deep my opsimism goes? always looking for that sliver of a silver lining.....also, sorry if i am waxing about things you already know.

    • Note added re BDS (my reading):

      The psychologically damaged mindset of the Israeli gestalt (viewed as a whole - give or take a few 10's of 1000's excellent souls - bless their hearts) is what makes the BDS movement the only possible counterweight. In an important respect BDS represents a tacit recognition that the israeli psyche is, in fact, bound tightly with an irrational quest to hold on to the west bank (at least most of it), while believing they can thrive anyways. Since it seems impossible to entice israelis with the BENEFITS of relinquishing their unjust rule over Palestine (as evidenced by the failure of countless "peace" overtures and farce negotiations), the only counter-approach is to address the issue of COST. That in the hope that some day, the cost-benefit equation will become skewed enough to where the patient - the israeli gestalt in this case - will undergo an existential crisis that will allow it to deal on a rational level. It's a long shot, of course, and will be fought tooth and nail by powerful forces, but as any good psychologist knows, sometimes it's necessary to use "alternative" techniques of persuasion to help the sleepwalker come to terms with their condition.

      Norman Finkelstein is, perhaps unfortunate for being a rational man to the core. So rational, in fact, that his visionary ideas, cannot fully encompass the irrational elements of the Israel/Palestine dilemma. And because he still thinks of israel (and, of course its many supporter Jews around the world) as a basically rational entity that is amenable to conventional forms of persuasion, he cannot fully grasp just how unlikely it is for the 2SS to become a reality. More unfortunately, just as we all know (from personal experience), it is difficult to persuade rational people to recognize the irrational element in certain harmful individuals, I doubt debates with Finkelstein, no matter how calm and scholarly, will convince him to view BDS as a useful tactic that can achieve strategic goals.

      This is all the more regrettable, because Finkelstein is so very smart, and we would all benefit from him having a proper platform so he could continue to challenge all and sundry. For myself, I know that while i disagree strenuously with his views on 1ss vs 2SS and BDS as a tactic, reading and hearing him made me examine my own convictions more deeply.

    • I was struck again by the sadness that permeated this interview with Finkelstein. I still think of him as an old prophet/new scholar who can't find a home in any group. The sad ness I see in Finkelstein's fate is of disconnectedness on two different levels:

      (1) he seems to accept that a scholar who plots a collision path with mainstream academia is bound to suffer from the notorious cowardice and funding dependence inherent in the academic structure. But in his acceptance he still does not fully grasp just how far and deep academic subservience to power goes. Or he may grasp it (by now, he might well) but cannot yet imagine the truly kafkaesque dimensions of academic life (at least for the liberal/ arts/political/economic/legal departments)

      (2) While he has certainly plowed deeply into israel's misdeeds over the years, he still does not comprehend the israeli psyche on both a collective and individual level. AS a result, he still thinks in rational terms about a group of people who some time ago have been brain-washed into more of a cult-like mentality. Finkelstein cannot understand the israeli paranoia for example, because it is not a rational symptom. Neither does he understand the toxic combination of superiority complex and a fear of persecution, the two being flip sides of each other, but co-existing in a state of perpetual disharmony. It's the kind of conditions psychologists like Avigail Abarbanel recognize, but scholars like Finkelstein dismiss - as if it could be waved away with a slight of hand. "Surely, reason must prevail in the end' says the scholar, even as the psychologist reaches frantically for some behavior-modifying pills.

      While the first disconnect prevents Finkelstein - a fine scholar by all account - from bagging an academic position for which his skills are well suited, the second disconnect causes him to hang on to the 2ss dream as if it could ever be a reality, while dissing BDS as unrealistic, and thereby making himself not so grata along the Palestinian solidarity lecture as well. A truly sad predicament. The Israelis, collectively (by a decided majority0 basically want to hang on to the west bank. Whether they all admit it, whether some are willing to relinquish some of it, whether some very few keep saying they'll happily give it all up doesn't matter. The reality is that for the most part they want to keep it and believe that ultimately they will, which means that, on a sub-conscious as well as conscious lever, they judged the costs to such filly to be acceptable.

  • Sanders slams Clinton for ignoring Palestinian needs and thinking Netanyahu is 'right all the time'
    • I'll note that the discussion where the notable observation "Palestinians are human" appeared, was in a context of Mid-east policy, where, again, Sanders showed himself to be a realpolik kind of guy (which is obviously not far enough for most of us, but it's a start). Not long after the assignment of humanity to palestinians - which is something hillary equivocates on - there was mention of Syria and the ever-lasting fake issue of "no-fly" zone (a code name for regime change, as we all know). Sanders again held to his guns on this one - even though he too chose to repeat the mantra of "Assad is a horrible dictator", which is an essential prologue to any statement by anyone in power in the US (sort of like "Saddam was a horrible dictator" and so was Ghaddafi, and "Israel has the right to defend itself").

      I am, of course, grateful for small deviation from the propaganda lines, even if it was just a foray. I do find it interesting that Clinton doubled down on the no-fly zone - to protect the 'refugees", no less, from Isis AND Assad. But not a word about the inconvenient presence of Russia in that same area slated for "no fly", which of course, Russia enforces with gusto, as we speak. presumably the Russians are not protecting 'refugees",and to add insult to injury, are actually upholding the government's right to defend itself from attacks by the neocon conglomerate of CIA/saudi-Arabia/Turkey/Israel. OK, obviously no one can go down this road in a debate - that might be too, how to say it? - sensitive. After all, surely the monarch of saudi-Arabia is not a tyrant, Turkey is a paragon of democracy and israel is a shining light on the hill. The CIA? just another humanitarian organization, surely.

      Ignoring the Russians must be the new "realpolik" for the Clintonites. Kind of like ignoring wall Street in favor of the new punching bag, known as shadow banks (which are not at all connected in any way to real banks - perish the thought! Kind of like a separate mafia....).

      An aside - in the past, I did hear Sanders calling out the great Kingdom of SA. Speaking of treacherous waters!

      All in all, after this debate we can all see what a horrid disaster Clinton will be as president. Frankly I am beginning to wonder whether trump (if these two are the nominees) will not be the lesser evil. Isn't this Hillary's campaign platform? the lesser evil? what if she isn't the "lesser"?

    • Well said Bryan. Alas, even Sanders did not dare mention the word "blockade". Much less Gaza Ghetto. But I am not complaining. In a world where the words for "neutral" and "even handed" are verboten (on the pain of eviction from the vaunted halls of Jewish life and New York Times), saying a single sentence about Palestinian unemployment in Gaza does indeed appear as if a revolution is near. That is how far down the rabbit hole the "conversation" has sunk, and how steep will the eventual climb have to be. Good for sanders that he at least had the courage to show up Clinton as deep in the hole. Like the Alice in Wonderland Queen she be with "sentence first, judgement later". And a sense of good judgement? never.

  • Execution of Palestinian exposes militarism and racism of Israeli culture
    • Jonathan Cook does not name the murderer but his name is known - and named - throughout Israel, where he is considered a "hero". irecommend Richard Silverstein's piece on the murder where his name - Elor Azaria - is stated along with photo of him standing next to his approving commander, Shapiro and a screen shot of a Facebook dedicated to upholding his reputation. may be a new Tzadik? after all, many in israel, consider the murder of a wounded person by a medic as a Mitzvah - a good deed. One that can surely get one to heaven.

      link to

      I am only surprised the defense of the killer has not defended this act of mayhem and brutality as a "mercy killing". May be that's the role of the medic now in israel? administer to a lightly wounded Jewish soldier, no matter how thuggish, and make sure to administer the coup-de-grace to a wounded palestinian? I mean, they kill horses, don't they?

      Also absent in this piece is the ongoing persecution of the Palestinian, Imad, who took the video and gave it to B'tzelem. The attacks on his home, his villification by a blood-thirsty israeli public and the unbelievable vitriol directed his way are by now known facts. I read he had to go into hiding but may have been arrested by now - perhaps his crime was "witnessing the morality of the israeli Army"? or "accessory-after-the-fact"? after all, why was he there? very suspicious, indeed. Why are any Palestinians at a checkpoint? I wouldn't at all be surprised to learn later he was tortured into confessing some ill-intent or another, even as the nurderer-in-broad-daylight is walking around under light "camp arrest".

  • Trump abandons 'neutral' Israel position, Sanders adopts it
    • One other commendable statement by Sanders (I believe it was in an interview with Wolf Blitzer, but I'm not sure): he stuck it to Saudi Arabia - actually named them as a key sponsor of terrorism - something Hillary, with all the money she (and/or hubby's "foundation") received from the despicable KSA, would never, ever do. sanders called out KSA as undemocratic, despotic, and generally a bad player, including in Yemen. He also singled out Qatar for honorary mention - Qatar which is spending $200.B for the vanity spectacle of the world cup. Sanders suggested that some of that money could have much better uses.

      IT took me a short research to verify that indeed, not one of the candidates, and not one of the news stations had the guts to call out SA for the sponsor f ISIS and Al-Qaeda that it is. A thoroughly disgusting regime (but no, no one advocates regime change there, do they?).

      The reason for avoiding naming the culprit of terrorism as wahabism-on-steroids is obvious: money. Sanders referred even the the Saudi regime buying the acquiescence of their own citizens. And right he is. But KSA (and Qatar and UAE) also bought stakes in any number of news organizations - something that is not always in plain sight, but is known to those who need to know and some others who care enough to look. Needless to say, surreptitiously they contribute to the candidates as well even if it's well hidden behind super-pac or "foundation" veil.

      I think it was incredibly brave of sanders to go there. At least as brave as directing some criticism Israel's way for Gaza and the settlements and the hint that israel is not always working in good faith (OK no news to anyone here).

      Since much of the media has jewish involvement in one capacity or another, no wonder they have worked so hard to first ignore him, then diss him, then dismiss him. And still he won't go away, despite obvious election fraud (Arizona), suspected fraud (Iowa, Illinois) and generally shabby treatment by the liberal bastions, such as NYT and MSNBC.

      We complain a lot about having poor candidates. But there is one who is head and shoulders above them all, and it's Bernie Sanders. A mensch among the mice. IF we, the people, can't get a guy like this into office because of quibbles, squabbles and petty cynicism, may be we all deserve what we are going to get.

  • Why is AIPAC legitimating Donald Trump's bigotry?
    • Actually, Cruz is more like an American Netanyahu, or may be an American bennet. In which case Hillary is more like the Israeli lapid. I think.

    • Donald, what makes trump mre bigotted than the American jews who support the ultra-racist, hyper-Islamophobic, etohno-supremacist theocracy known as israel?

      I am not saying you are, but the vast majority of attendees to AIPAC must be inherently racist, bigotted, islamphobic and suffer from a serious supremacy complex. OK, they don't mind the mexicans. Why should they - the 1-5% (which, conservatively speaking encompasses the majority of attendees - both jewish and non-jewish sycophants) have no issue with those lower than low wage earners, do they?

      Basically, support for AIPAC or the holier-than-thou trump protesting "rabbis-in-good-standing" or the thieving, illegal,settlement fund raisers who day in, day out defend ugly racist practices, is so much worse than support for trump. If anything the 20,000 or so AIPAC attendees make trump sound like a boy scout.

      20,000 is a lot of people, I think. I know hardly anyone who frequents this blog is among them and I know we can subtract perhaps a 1000 who are there to gather information or speak to people in the vain hope of affecting change. What I want to know is where are the Black-Lives-Matter protesters and the others who are so keen to disrup ttrump rallies. Why aren't they disrupting and protesting this gathering of this sliver of the elite who support a reprehensible foreign entity that is guilty of war crimes galore - often at the expense of their own country?

      Where are the AIPAC protests, Donald? (yes I know there are a few. but where is the buzz? where are the multitudes? where is the disgust and the opprobrium?)

      Again, it's not you or james north or Phil or anyone here I accuse of bigotry, racism and/or blood lust. But you know as well as I do who the guilty ones are. In fact, they'll be momentarily on our very TV screens, preening and crowing to all the media that are handsomely paid to deliver their unctuous, hypocritical, condescending utterances.

      So, Frankie P got a point. may be you should re-read it.

    • Just to emphasize once again - AIPAC has no problem with mexicans and latinos in general because just like the rest of the 1% they love the economic migrants - excellent for low wages and profit taking. Just as Merkel over in Germany thinks a couple of million refugees and migrants can do just great to prop up a decreasing labor force and insufficiently consuming, overly saving Germans.

      The AIPAC shills who never tire of calling for the blood of Iranians, and secular rulers of muslim countries such as Assad, of course are all for the combating 'prejudice" against "muslims in general". It's just when they happen to be Palestinians, or Shiites like hezbollah or iran, that they have issues with.

      And here we are, talking about the bad trump who, in truth, has shown not one hundredth of the bigotry afflicting the high and mighty AIPAC movers and shakers and their even more contemptible racist-to-the-core "bretherns-in-faith" from israel.

      To me it seems that it is this ill-disguised anti-American, power-hungry, war-mongering organization called AIPAC that should be protested as the most disgusting exhibit of bigotry, hatred and anti-humanity, rather than someone like Trump who is apparently the voice of millions of disaffected, left-behind people, whether they are prejudiced or not. Disaffected people, from time-immemorial found others, lower than they, as targets for their resentment and unhappiness. In Israel, the Mizrahi descendants and Russian emigres voice far more hatred for Palestinians, and muslims in general than any Trump-supporting republican voter ever has. For true, concentrated hatred, I suggest we look to the east Mediterranean rather than west of the Atlantic.

      PS I am obviously a Sanders supporter , but i find the hissy-fits thrown around about Trump disingenuous as well as dangerous. Let the people vote for whom they wish, and drop the sacred "Humanitarian" coverings.

    • Let's talk about them elephants in the room again, shall we?

      What is AIPAC after all, if not the mputhpiece of the most virulent, toxic, bigoted and obnoxious strains in the so-called Jewish state? who or what does AIPAC support - to the detriment of the American people - if not a xenophobic, racist, ethno-supremacist country called israel? what is heard day in, day out on the streets of israel, and the neocon halls of America, populated by exalted figures such as Adelson, Foxman and Gaffney (now part of the Cruz team of killer-shills), if not bigotry, hatred and contempt of any and all minorities? which country in the world makes trump look like a saint by comparison?

      And while we are at it, what exactly has Trump said about migrants and alternative religions (not jewish or christian) that AIPAC has not endorsed and indeed promoted from the and to the highest offices in the land?

      Why, you say, it's not mexicans or some feckless "muslims" they are against. It's those Arabs called palestinians that they wish to see gone from the white-washed streets of israel, and their friends banished from US campuses.

      Is there a body politic more prejudiced against anyone not jewish than the illustrious AIPAC and its oh-so-jewish "values? who exactly are these rabbis protesting anyways - Some ill-conceived pronouncements by Trump or the fact that he proposed even-handedness and/or humanistic approach to the I/P conflict? why, Trump failed to condemn all palestinians as hate-filled "terrorists" even as he had some issues with muslims in general. may be he doesn't realize that protesting israeli murderous occupation and spite for all non-Jewish residents within and without the Green line is simply not kosher.

      I think AIPAC is way to the right of the Trump in the hate mongering business, and may be that's what upsets the high and mighty congregation - that Trump may not be "saufficiently "right" in the right direction.

      The upset over Trump's speech to AIPAC is thoroughly disingenuous. After all, that other masked hater of all things not empire, called Hillary (of the "we came, we saw, he died") is speaking in front of AIPAC too, probably to protest her undying support for the most racist, bigoted, hate-filled country in the world.

      Now, now.....

  • 'New York Times' whitewashes poll showing Israeli support for expelling Palestinians
    • Thanks Keith. Yes, I have Shahak's book and have been reading through it (not in order. I never read in order because, well, I am not sure...). Very interesting points and observations. What i read I have annotated carefully. The chapter you mention is actually one of the ones I haven't read through fully yet but have every intention to do so. I can certainly see why he was so villified. I have read a couple of other books (one by maxim Robinson called "cult, Ghetto and State") that address the same historical facts, though without the analysis of Classical Judaism that Shahak brought up.

    • Actually, one of the things I found shocking but not surprising is the seeming unanimity of the religiously affiliated Israelis, who by large majorities supported expulsion of the non-Jews as well as keeping Israel preferentially Jewish (ie, a jim Crow-like state). Somewhere in the poll, there was a question on political affiliation. Again, shockingly but unsurprisingly, fewer than 10% identified as "leftists".

      The hand wringers and apologists seem rather uninterested in these factoids. may be they are too embarrassed to call attention to the all-too-obvious facts that the more jewishly educated are correlated with the more bigotted, prejudiced, and indeed undemocratic.

      Why does no one comment on the vaunted Jewish "values' in this connection? what does it mean when Judaism becomes synonymous with intolerance and xenophobia? how do the great jewish pontificators in the US (the Bill krystols, brookses, friedmans etc) deal with the Israeli version of "Jewish values"?

      If anyone has seen some interesting commentary on this - from the US especially - I would like to read it. Am always interested in innovative apologetica (it's a relatively unknown field now but is expected to grow explosively in the coming years, I hear).

  • Trump's Jewish mirror
    • Good point THB. Indeed, the Reform movement is despised in Israel because they fail to conform to the orthodoxy and xenophobia of the established jewish lithurgy and dogma. The rank and file israelis assume/presume that Reform are essentially impostors, not to be taken seriously.

      To think that the reform guys continue to kow-tow to the brutal conquistadors of israel, prostating themselves further at each insult, is indeed the kind of travesty Stockholm syndrome was invented to explain.

      OTOH, may be they just suffer from a martyrdom complex.

    • I am with you in my impatience, Mooser. May be Trump will trumpet his newly discovered Jewish values to AIPAC?

    • If Reform jews support a state as brutal, oppressively criminal, corrupt, xenophobic and racist as israel, what exactly does it say about their "jewish" values?

      I kind of agree with Ellis here (I think I agree...not that he would ever stoop to correcting me/others) - Trump and Israel are mirror images of each other. The substance is similar even if appearances differ. In an honest world, where "reform" jews take a break from pip-squeaking about their "Jewsih values" and own up to the brutish criminal entity they support, they should all be flocking to trump - a somewhat cruder manifestation of their "values".

  • Sayed Kashua doesn't want to write in Hebrew for 'Haaretz' anymore
    • Shmuel, thanks for the recommendations. and comments. Alas, Aida is only available in hebrew, which is kind of difficult for me to read. I bought The Flight of the Swans (also in Hebrew) but it's going to be hard going.

      These days, reading in hebrew for me is a bit like reading English was for the first 2 years after I came to the US. Can be done, but a little laborious.

      Why haven't his books been translated to English? and is there perhaps an "underground" translation available?

    • Hello Shmuel. Dare I confess my ignorance and admit I didn't know Sami Michael, until you recommended one of his books to me (Flight of the Swans). Amazon was out for a while and it took some time before I was able to get it, but alas, by the time it arrived, I was mired in the other side of my brain and could not escape. Still haven't read it but it is moving slowly but surely to the top of the heap next to my desk (a scary thought because just below it, is Piketty's book - all 1000 or so pages of it, which I have been pretending to have read but may need to make good on the pretense real soon due to a stupid commitment I made to some people. Only Sami's book is protecting me from this fateful meeting with the great - and supposedly readale, but - oh so voluminous - Piketty and his many - oh so many- diagrams and graphs).

      I have saved all the Hebrew teachings you gave me over the years here and can confess that your sentences in my near-forgotten language, brought up a few pangs of regret (don't worry though - I get over such pangs rather swiftly, so no guilt for you...).

      The other day, looking through a box I long had in storage, I found n old old notebook with poems I wrote in Hebrew back in the day. Tried to read them objectively figuring on a chuckle or two, but alas, comprehension escaped me. It was literally like reading someone else's writing. I could not recognize the person who wrote them anywhere in my memory - or connect to the feelings and perceptions behind the words - so much so that the thought crossed my mind that perhaps I just copied someone else's work for posterity. Except the pages were marked with my name and lines were crossed out and words rewritten here and there, and yes, there was a hint of that verbosity which felt somehow familiar (a verbosity to which English lends itself so much better, ouch!). Interestingly, I also found the feelings conjured by the words quite foreign, a distance that may be explained by the passage of time, but only partly. For example, way angrier than I recall. What was there to be so mad about, I wonder? or, could it be that hebrew lends itself to fury so well that it conjures that particular emotion, even out of nothing in particular?

      Alas, I know enough Hebrew still to see that those poems were not all that great (so in the box they shall remain). Good thing I ended up going on another path.....

    • I am late to reading this piece, and will be late in commenting; still, better late than never, yes?

      As a former Hebrew speaker I am especially touched by Kashua's complex relationship with the language of his oppressors. I say 'former speaker' because I have consciously and deliberately set upon not speaking the language I grew up with for many years now. No, I didn't quite forget it, nor do I seek to denigrate it. What happened though is that as I moved away from the Israeli gestalt, its language started to feel foreign to me. As one feels with a language one learns later in life. I am not sure whether the two processes - growing apart from the collective, and growing estranged from its language - were independent or fed on each other in some sub-conscious way. I just know that one day, a decade or so from the time I left, Hebrew stopped feeling organic - and I lost the music of the words.

      Unlike Kashua, part of my own estrangement was the direct result of having discovered another language - English - one in which I felt I could find a more natural expression. The thought occurred me tha perhaps, we each have a natural language of sorts, one which may not always be the one we are born into or are raised with.

      Still, though my journey - linguistically and politically - is quite different from Kashua's, I find great resonance in his story. For I have come to believe in the supremacy of language over the personal emotional world. Do we feel something if the language we have at our disposal has no word for that emotion? perhaps we dismiss such inexpressible emotions as something foreign, peculiar or just too vague to get hold of. I have been wondering about such things for quite a while now, searching my memory banks, taking note of others' expressions, musing idly as I listen to music - which may be just another language to wrap reality into, or escape from its everydayness.

      Kashua was always political and In Hebrew, he expressed the vagaries of israeli political existence, through the funny, to which hebrew lends itself well. Almost too well. I, OTOH, woke up to the political dimension of life in English, and therefore have only its vocabulary to discourse on this level. In Hebrew I was politically asleep - as many if not most young people are. Nothing different about that between Israelis and other humans - the young are too busy to meddle in the messy business of collectives everywhere; or, to put it more accurately, they would rather not unless external events force them too, as when revolutions occur.

      Nowadays, I realize that to be israeli - Arab, jew or otherwise, is to be political. The politics of the "situation" is always there, separating people from one another into camps, even if they just met as strangers. For an israeli, the personal is truly political these days, and I am not sure if it was always so, because when I was young confrontations with alternative world views were few and far between. We complained about our own society, but still we were politically dormant. So I think that perhaps, for the Arab israeli person of letters, such a state of blissful drowsiness was not the option it was for us, who grew up cozily wrapped in the bubble of illustrious - and shared - manifest destiny.

      Anyways, figuring this train has left the station, I hope it's OK to wax poetic to an probably empty room.

      My very best to Sayed Kashua, whose "Arab Labor" I discovered one day, all on my own, on an isolated ranch somewhere in middle America. Quite by chance, thanks to linkTV.

  • Clinton's date to pander at AIPAC leaves an opening for Sanders, you'd think
    • Krauss, sometimes, when we don't know the facts about how or what a politician is thinking (and let's not forget that Sanders is a politician, if a principled one) it may be instructive to look at who is opposing them. And the one group I see fiercely opposing Sanders are the neocons who are basically apoplectic about him. The other group is from the liberal ranks of the establishment. Why wouldn't J street endorse Sanders for example? isn't he for their precious 2-state chimera? or the other jewish operatives and/or commentators? is it just that they are all ogling for a position in a Hillary administration, or could it be they know some things we don't?

      I think we should take a serious look at the ones from the supposedly "liberal" side of the aile who speak up so forcefully for Hillary when their own positions conflict with everything she stands for (cf establishment etc.).

    • Phil, thanks for bringing in that debate in Las Vegas. Truly precious. The standard bearers of the New Mandarins chatting among themselves - how cute!

      I hope that once Hillary gives her supine address to AIPAC Sanders will find the courage to comment on the power of lobbies in the US, even if he doesn't take her on directly. Of course that will take place after the Ides of March, when many things can either change or not.

      I do BTW agree with DD that Sanders' "emotional" attachment to israel is somewhat dubious. At best, he has very mixed emotions as do many once idealistic jewish israel supporters in the US. Chances are that what he feels is a deep sense of sadness for the country that could have been and isn't (putting aside for a second the original sin of colonization and dispossession of the natives). Ultimately though he has to wrestle with his own political instincts that right now are telling him that taking Israel and/or AIPAC head-on in inadvisable. His plate is plenty full already and for the battle against the big bad wolf he will have to be much better weaponized than he is at the moment.

      Speaking just as a tactician here, not a wisher for all good things. On that second front I am of course with you and all true progressives.

    • Interesting comments, DD. And this:

      "I expect he seethes inside toward Netanyahu and the Neocon playbook with similar feelings he expressed about Kissinger. But he is holding that back, for now, reading the political winds as best he can."

      I tend to agree with you on this one, as I said before. I know some on the left criticize sanders for not going to bat AIPAC straight and square. But taking them or the neocons embedded within and with them head on would be a politically foolish move, especially as he, as the sole combatant does not get to even choose the duel weapon. Far better to mount political guerilla tactics on this front, at least while the battleground is so uneven.

      That being said, chances are - and I agree with you on that as well, that Sanders can't stand netanyahu and his ilk. Among other things Netanyahu took israel on a neoliberal course that has resulted in just about the worst inequality among OECD countries. Yes, even worse than the US and much much worse than most European countries. Surely that alone would put sanders on a collision course with present day Likud-racist-religious-Ideological israel, which is rife with corruption, graft and outright racism, even before the occupation is factored in. After all, when he was young, it was a Shomer hatzair Kibbutz he volunteered in and they didn't come much more socialist than that back in the day. (other than the communist party).

      Sanders actually enjoys quite a bit of support among the israeli left, pale echoe of their former selves that they are. I have seen quite a few expressions in israel wishing they had someone like him on their political scene.

  • Bernie Sanders's God is a lot like John Brown's
    • So says the guy who refuses to acknowledge that Israel's vaunted democracy is akin to the democracy of the confederacy. Over three million persons, some living in conditions that are just as dire as those of the American slaves - or Indians - are deprived of the rights of a human per the UN charter, in israel. That beacon of light unto the "nations".

      The palestinians of israel-proper, who have actually been granted citizenship, are living under conditions much like the Jim crow South. The Plaestinians locked in the conquered west bank territories and in the horrific ghetto of Gaza - live, work and die strictly according to what Israel allows. In other words, they have the rights accorded to slaves. No one offered them the vote or citizenship, much less an opportunity to be considered humans and have the rights of personhood.

      To which you will no doubt say they don't want the vote because then they would have to be citizens of Israel. To which I will reply - does anyone know what the response of the people of gaza would be to an offer to become citizens of israel with full rights of movement and livelihood? how about trying that out?

      Unfortunately, no Jewish person in America who fancies themselves a zionist (liberal or otherwise) and supports the apartheid country of Israel while denying it is an apartheid state - has any claim to partake in debates on what it took to abolish slavery in the US and what it took later to release them from Jim crow. At least not in good conscience, because their consicience is sullied. So to me, speaking to what did and didn't end slavery and the role of John brown sounds a bit sanctimonious, coming from you.

  • Did dodging foreign policy doom Bernie Sanders?
    • MRW - I just saw this chart on the Nevada turnout for Dems and Repubs on Rachel maddow. The numbers definitely don't jibe with those very low numbers in the few thousands for the Dems and just over twenty thousand for the Repubs.

      link to

      These caucuses are definitely confusing....

    • I stand corrected MRW - I thought for some reason this was like Iowa, where they really did give counts of those "county delegates" rather than the popular vote. I think I just refused to believe so few people in Nevada go to caucus. But seeing the republican numbers, must now accept the unbearable lightness of democracy in Nevada.

    • Re Sanders and foreign policy positions, I think that many of us who support sanders tend to forget that win or lose, Sanders will still have to represent an Empire. With all that entails. It is not that Sanders forgets that, otr that his anti-war stands, or I/P stands are weak. It's that he doesn't forget that because he can't.

      The question before the people of the country is the same it's been for many decades now - do we want to stay an empire or, more pertinently, do we, the people, even have a say on the matter?

      Yes, we all figure that when sanders rails against the lobbies that hijacked the US democratic process, he is also speaking of the military-industrial-surveillance lobby and of AIPAC and the Saudi lobby. But, as the case may be, and strangely enough, it is much safer to criticize strongly the financial lobby, the gun lobby, the oil lobby and the insurance lobbies. Because those lobbies, somehow, are part of the so-called "domestic" landscape (even though they are not). Take on the foreign policy and you deal with the Empire in all its trappings.

      And this is the saddest part of the story - that, in the end, even the best candidate, even the bravest one, cannot tackle the deep state. Ron Paul did and he is the only one who dared, and he was thoroughly marginalized, but because of that, is still out there, writing and speaking.

      Unfortunately, in the end, there will be no revolution if one is not willing to take on the Empire itself. And this is a conversation only some military people are able and willing to have because they know, in their bones and in their souls that the Empire is in decline, and as it declines it'll corrupt everything it touches till only the dry embers of a pretend-democracy are left. Which is why so many of them support Trump. Can Trump really keep it up? can he do anything about it? would he even want to? time will tell but I suspect the Empire has its ways of co-opting him or, if need be, tripping him.

      That is what's stopping the revolution, regardless of what Sanders true opinions are on Palestinian liberation or Syria or Russia. regardless of how strongly the anti-war camp feels.

      For myself, before I get too depressed about sanders' real chances, I try to remember Michael hastings. No one speaks of him any longer or his suspicious demise. No one notes the strange silence of Jeremy Scahill, or the scarcity of Glenn Greenwald either. But at least they are still around and may return and do so occasionally, as often as they dare. I also try to remember that Sanders' fight is an honorable one, and I would like to see him punch through as long as he can, even if he can't do so on all fronts. I hope his voice will remain strong even though he may not prevail this time around, In the end of count it is the movement he helped create that should be kept alive. As hard and distressing the road ahead is likely to be.

    • MRW< you may be looking at delegate numbers, not the popular vote. It can be confusing for these caucus states.

    • Good points kalithea.

      I am especially with you about the terror of seeing either a hillary in one of her many dashingly hot pink or chartreuse tops or a Trump with his mop on my TV screen. I am going to start looking seriously at new Zeland, I think, if either of those two are elected.

    • What has to be factored in for a race between hillary and Trump is the likely indifference and even antipathy of the many Sanders supporters, who have seen and are living through the total trashing of their candidate by the entire MSM, especially outlets such as NYT, PBS, NPR, MSNBC etc. That even as other, more 'alternative' outlets are decidedly pretending he barely exists.

      Seeing the hillary shenanigans, hearing her endless pandering, disingenuous shift 'to the left" (which she will no doubt recant the minute it gets to the general election), and the yawning canyon of absence of anything that can be called "vision", many supporters of sanders will, at best, cast a vote for Hillary just to stop trump, but very few will hit the pavement for her. And quite a few, myself included probably, will vote for a third candidate, like jill Stein. The defection and disillusionment of the youth vote and not a few of the not so young and not so white, is a factor that cannot now be assessed with any confidence.

      AS for trump, just you wait. If he wins the republican nomination - watch him beat a fast turn to the center, probably on many identity issues. perhaps other than immigration. He may well get the anti-war vote by many who will overlook his many other deficiencies. he will moderate his comments on muslims and latinos. He will probably take a few pages out of sanders' book about the need to eliminate corporate campaign finance and "clean up" washington. Indeed, I predict that in a Hillary-vs-Trump we'll see the weirdest realignments of voters we have even witnessed - with not a few Republicans holding their noses and voting for Hillary, and not a few Democrats and perhaps a majority of independents likewise holding their noses and voting for Trump.

    • I agree about the naming of Churchill. This was a serious off-note for Sanders. I could not believe he wouldn't come up with the "safe" choice of Mandella (which Hillary exploited). To choose Churchill, who supported the colonialist rule over india almost to the bitter end, indicates to me that Sanders may not be as well-read or well-informed on foreign history and affairs as he is about domestic ones. It's probably typical of many of his followers too, unfortunately, as much as we'd like to believe otherwise. It's hard to blame young people (in general) for knowing so little when the MSM has been completely captured. I know from personal experience that I must make an effort to read alternative media, the only places where I find a semblance of truth about what happened in the Ukraine or in Syria or in Egypt or Libya. And the alternative media can be a minefield of its own - one has to have judgement born of experience in reading media in general to make the trek without being waylaid.

      I don't take sanders off the hook or put all the "left" on the hook. Just pointing out the obvious - there s a serious defieciency in the educational background of Americans - young and old, left and right, male and female, when it comes to America's role in the world, and the dire history that entailed for the people who happened to live in the wrong place at the wrong times. If anything that history has been rather "churchillian", but most Americans, sanders apparently included, don't even know what was it that made Churchill a bit of a controversial figure. May be some irish Americans and Indian Americans can help him out on that?

Showing comments 2067 - 2001