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Total number of comments: 267 (since 2012-02-20 15:50:43)

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  • Exile and the Prophetic: Decolonizing the Holocaust
    • "And no she wasn’t interested in her Catholic Church’s complicity in the Holocaust. I didn’t even broach it."

      I was going to comment that for a woman who must have been at least 70 years old, she seemed attuned to current commercial activities (since she'd have to be about 70 to have present awareness of "her Catholic Church's complicity in the Holocaust"), but I noticed that you said she is a "young woman."

      That being the case, did you discuss the complicity of Germany in facilitating Israeli belligerence against Iran by providing Israel with nuclear-capable submarines? How about any possible culpability of German corporation Siemens in the melt-down at Fukushima, given that Siemens provided the doorway for infecting Iranian computers with Stuxnet, and the virus got out.


      the subtle subtext is, Marc, in case it glides past you down a snow-covered Innsbruck slope, get over yourself.

  • Syria updates
    • The turning of Turkey is of major importance.
      According to Ramadani, Turkey has patched things up with Israel over Mavi Marmara; turned away from formerly friendly relations with Assad in exchange for warmer relations with Saudi Arabia; turned its back on Iran, primarily over the US Radar towers on Turkey's soil that spy on Iran** in response to US-NATO pressure and in exchange for European promises for entry into EU organizations.

      **Iran's telecommunications used to route thru a Turkish-maintained tower, but in 2007-2008 Iran constructed a tower in Tehran to manage its own communications networks to eliminate the possibility of Turkish spying.

    • excellent overview of the parties involved in Syria conflict by Sami Ramadani on Real News

  • Terror war comes home: White supremacist kills 6 Sikhs in Wisconsin
  • Trapped
    • "You can tell because Israel is still there."

      so is Hezbollah.

    • "The only possibility that really comes to mind is an Iranian nuclear weapon landing on Tel Aviv. "

      Danielle Pletka: The Biggest Problem is an Iran that HAS Nukes but Does Not Use Them!

      "The biggest problem for the United States is not Iran getting a nuclear weapon and testing it, it's Iran getting a nuclear weapon and not using it. Because the second that they have one and they don't do anything bad, all of the naysayers are going to come back and say, "See, we told you Iran is a responsible power. We told you that Iran wasn't getting nuclear weapons in order to use them immediately..." And they will eventually define Iran with nuclear weapons as not a problem.

      which is another way of saying, Iran will have chopped the moral high ground right out from under Israel and the USA.

    • Vladimir Jabotinsky spent the best years of his life in Rome, soaking up Mussolini, whom he greatly admired and emulated in creating the "muscular new Jew."

    • Whose "our" are you talking about, Theo? I was not aware that Israeli soldiers were "fighting and dying in Iraq & Afghanistan right on the front."

      Unless you mean what Robert Kagan & ux, & Bill Kristol, Paul Wolfowitz, Feith, Perle, Ledeen, Pipes, etc. do = fighting on the front lines.

    • All the time I was growing up I knew that my Dad had been injured in the war, but never gave it a moment's thought. That was just the way it was; he lived his life well and never, ever mentioned what happened or what might have been.

      After my parents died, as we were sorting their papers, we came across letters between my parents, just courting, and at the time Dad was injured. I learned about a part of my Dad -- and Mother -- that I had never realized before: a very lonely and uncertain young man, simultaneously injured, discharged, and orphaned (his father died while Dad was at war). He was 20 years when he had all that to handle. For several years I could not stop my soul from bleeding at the pain my Father had endured; I kept thinking of my own children at that age.

      I've lately come to a spot where I'm glad Dad was injured when he was, and though it dashed all his hopes and dreams for what he thought he wanted his life to be, his injury got him out of a violent environment in which he might have turned into a moral monster; he might have been harmed in so much worse a way if he had had to live with the realization that he had killed an innocent man -- a man who had hopes and dreams, and a wife and child -- just like he did.

      But I am even more fearful for my children; they are slowly slowly seduced and lured into a universe that, to bastardize the Bard, "Looks on homicide and is never shaken." Killing, lying, and stealing to gain advantage have become far more than acceptable; they have become the new America, the New Jerusalem.

      My Dad, and the thousands like him, and the founders of the US, did not put Their Lives, Their Fortunes, Their Sacred Honor, on the line to enable Hillary Clinton to go around the world hiring killers.

    • "Good luck finding a source that meets your criteria."

      Most scholars of Judaism affirm that the central beliefs of Jews are "God, Torah, and Israel."

      Reading Torah might provide an appropriate "source."

      Ben Gurion relied on Torah.
      Bnejamin Netanyahu is a passionate student of Hebrew scriptures, as is his son.

      It seems reasonable to attempt to understand Jewish beliefs based upon celebrations in the Jewish calendar -- Purim, Passover, Yom Kippur, etc.

      It's also instructive to observe how Israeli military operations are named for elements in Hebrew scripture; for example, Cast Lead, the assault on Gaza, is named for the "lots" cast in the festival of Purim; the Sampson option = mess with me and your temple goes down with me. Mike Evans and/or Joel Rosenberg (I forget which; both are Bibi's acolytes) run the "David Project."

      It's also useful to view Jewish mythos in bas relief against the myths/epics of other nations with whom Israel is in an adversarial relationship. The Iranian people have a yin-yang relationship with Islam: Islam was imposed on Persia; some Iranians are devout Muslims, others are not, others still seethe with resentment at the imposition of Arab-ness on the Persian character. But ALL Iranians are united around the Persian epic, The Shahnameh, which most Iranians can recite and which forms their inner architecture. The Shahnameh celebrates Zoroaster, the ethos at Persia's heart. It's enormously unifying. Superimpose the conflictful Israeli thinking about Torah, Talmud, etc. against Iran's Shahnameh, and the gold goes to Iran, while Israelis argue over who will walk first in line on the way to the training camp.

      (The US does not have a unifying mythos; that is its tragic flaw. Most people think "the bible" is the most meaningful & unifying thing that can be said about the US; the 23 busts in the US House of Representatives, and the painting in the Dome of the Capitol tell a much richer story. )

    • Klaus has an extremely important argument, in the realm of "ideas not people," as Dennis Prager emphasizes in his books, that should be considered objectively and intelligently. Dennis Prager is allowed to interpret, judge, and condemn other people's beliefs but those who subscribe to those beliefs are not permitted to defend their own beliefs without being slammed with "antisemite;" having their claims deliberately distorted as "racist," and shut down, even imprisoned, as "neo-Nazis." This has been going on for decades, perhaps centuries, and it affects not just Jewish-non-Jewish relations but also Christianity's interpretation of itself.

      The core of the conflict is seated in the meaning of -- or thoughtless affirmation of -- "monotheism". The god of the Hebrew scriptures demands that his chosen people -- and that does not include anyone other than Hebrews/Jews -- worship hm alone, under pain of death to Jews under varying circumstances, and under a broad grant to Jews to take the lives of non-Jews for their failure to worship the "one god, yahweh." In "Still the Best Hope," Dennis Prager writes about what a "good thing it was" that Jews cleared out that cesspool in Canaan, where non-Yahweh was being worshipped. Canaanites might have a different pov.

      Elijah gets props for killing the 450 priests of Ba'al. How is that act any different from a white supremacist killing priests and worshipers at a Sikh temple? Yet the work of Elijah is enshrined as a holy and to be emulated.

      Monotheism is not the same as universalism. Abba Eban explains in "Heritage, Civilization & the Jews" how the god of the Hebrews becomes universalized: the Hebrew god acts in history. When, for example, the Egyptian people are seen to act in a harmful way toward Hebrews, the Hebrew process of interpreting religio-history casts Egyptians in the role of yahweh's instrument to express yahweh's posture toward his chosen people at the time. The Egyptian people are under the sway & control of yahweh -- i.e. Yahweh has universal dominion over them -- but they are decidedly not among his chosen people -- by definition.

      Some people object to being the tool of a jealous and particularist god who uses them -- or kills them -- in order to send one message or another to his chosen people.

      Most Christians, however, endorse full incorporation of Hebrew scriptures in their own belief system, and necessarily, by extension, the right and duty of adherents to the Hebrew god to eradicate any who deviate from the 'monotheistic' path. Christians deal with the irrationality of this situation by claiming that Christians are the "new chosen people." John Winthrop made that claim in staking the Massachusetts Bay colony as a Christian territory, destined to be a "light among the nations." Roger Williams, a contemporary of Winthrop's, held a different view, one more in line with the empirical ideas of Francis Bacon; although Thomas Jefferson, James Madison & Benjamin Franklin were closer to Williams' view (and certainly to Bacon's) than to Winthrop, the latter seems to have prevailed in the USA.

      Abe Foxman has made it a personal mission to disabuse the Vatican and the Christian world of the view that Christians are the successor "chosen people."

      The British, at least from the colonial times of Winthrop, fully endorsed the incorporation of Hebrew scriptures into their mythos and ethos.

      German churchmen did not. Martin Luther was harsh and intemperate in his critique of the god of Hebrew scriptures. Four centuries later, Walter Grundmann took a more irenic approach, treading ground that Thomas Jefferson and Ernest Renan had ploughed before him -- sorting out the scriptural Jesus from the human Jesus, and detaching Christianity from a Hebrew matrix.
      In "The Aryan Jesus: Christian Theologians and the Bible in Nazi Germany,"Susannah Heschel distills the quest:

      "Most members of the Institute [for the Study and Elimination of Jewish Influence on German Church Life], particularly its academic director, Walter Grundmann, professor of New Testament at the University of Jena, regarded their work as being in the theological avant-garde, addressing and resolving a problem that had long plagued Christian theology: how to establish clear and distinct boundaries between earliest Christianity and Judaism and eliminate all traces of Jewish influence from contemporary Christian theology and religious practice." pp. 1-2

      As Heschel notes, a large proportion of German scholars, preachers, and congregants supported Grundmann's quest. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Karl Barth, and large and influential groups in the American Christian community condemned Grundmann's "rationalization" of the "inerrant" bible, and Heschel, of course, condemned the Institute as "anti-semitic" and Nazi, after first twisting herself and logic all out of shape in order to be able to call the Institute "racist."

      At numerous junctures Heschel attacks Grundmann for "deviating from Christian tradition and doctrine."

      That leaves wide open the question: Of what concern is it to Heschel or to any Jewish person how Christians choose to define their beliefs, and whether they choose to separate what they consider Christian beliefs and scriptures from Hebrew beliefs and scriptures? Neither Heschel nor any Jewish person has any standing whatsoever to define Christianity to Christians, any more than Dennis Prager has standing to define--and condemn-- Shari'a law for Muslims.

      In the wake of the Colorado killings, a letter in a local newspaper declaimed on the necessity of "returning to God" to solve the ills manifest by the shooter's acts.

      I'm forced to ask, What god? The god who endorsed and enabled the killing of the first-born of Egyptians? The god who endorsed Elijah's killing of the 450 priests of Ba'al? The god who affirmed the killing and plunder of the Canaanites and Jericho? I don't want anything to do with that god. Aren't the American people doing the same thing as that god -- killing those who are not monotheistically committed to the same beliefs as we are?

      Jefferson, Madison, Franklin established the United States Constitutional republic on notions that included the moral code of a de-scripturalized Jesus. I don't find in that moral code of Jesus any endorsement of killing one's enemies OR friends, real or imagined. I think that's the Jesus Grundmann was trying to get at. Pity he did not succeed.

      Grundmann and the thousands of German people who supported his views sought to diverge from that monotheistic path, in a principled and non-violent way.

    • "if you wanna help the jewish zionists in the holy lands, you should immediately and without wasting any further time, start figuring out how to raise reparation money on their behalf to pay for their vandalism and rape of Historic Palestine. "

      got it covered

      MKs Demand Reparations from Arabs

      Today, Representatives Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Howard Berman (D-CA), Ted Poe (R-TX), Joe Crowley (D-NY), and Bob Turner (R-NY) introduced bipartisan legislation to ensure recognition of the plight of the nearly one million Jewish refugees who were displaced from countries in the Middle East, North Africa and the Persian Gulf as a result of the Arab-Israeli conflict; it would also recognize Christian and other displaced populations. The bill would strongly encourage the President and representatives of the administration, when speaking on the issue of Middle Eastern refugees at international forums, to pair any explicit reference to Palestinian refugees with similar reference to Jewish and other refugee populations.

      “The suffering and terrible injustices visited upon Jewish refugees in the Middle East needs to be acknowledged,” said Nadler. “It is simply wrong to recognize the rights of Palestinian refugees without recognizing the rights of nearly one million Jewish refugees, who suffered terrible outrages at the hands of their former compatriots. This no-nonsense legislation would help secure equal treatment of Palestinian and Jewish refugees.”

      this has been going on for years.
      I prepared a post that listed links to same kinds of resolutions in US Congress back to 2003 but the ethernet ate it. It was a thing of appalling beauty.

  • Romney-esque reflections
  • Exile and the Prophetic: I’m leaving on a (Nazi/German) jet plane, don’t know….
    • A Seventh Day Adventist website maintains a careful count of various faith communities, for purposes of knowing who remains "unchurched."

      The most interesting thing their statistics revealed is that had Jewish people worldwide maintained the same growth rate post-WWII, relative to total population growth, as almost all other faith groups in the world, there should be over 40 million Jews in the world today. There are about 16 million Jews in ~2011, up from 12 million in 1953.

  • AEPi Sigma Pi Stands with Israel?
    • " Otto Warburg: German botanist; born in Hamburg July 20, 1859. From 1879 to 1883 he studied at the universities of Bonn, Berlin, and Strasburg. Having graduated from the last-named university, he continued his studies at Munich and Tübingen; and from 1885 until 1889 he traveled through southern and eastern Asia. He settled in Berlin and became privat-docent in botany at the university in 1891. In the following year he was appointed teacher of tropical botany and agriculture at the Oriental Seminary, and received the title of professor in 1897. A few years ago Warburg began to interest himself in Jewish agricultural colonization, for which purpose he visited the East in 1900, 1901, and 1903; and he founded the first Jewish settlements in Asia Minor. He worked as an active administrative member of the Esra, an organization for the agricultural movement among the German Jews, and in connection therewith founded in Palestine the Neuhof Agricultural Society.
      . . .
      From 1897 to 1903 Warburg was the publisher and editor of "Der Tropenpflanzer," a journal of tropical agriculture and the organ of the Colonial Agricultural Committee. He is besides one of the principal collaborators on the Zionistic periodicals "Palästina" and "Altneuland." Warburg is also chairman of the Palestine Commission of the Zionist Congress and a member of the smaller Actions Comité.

    • ". . .“A little-known but very ambitious Warburg project between the wars was the “Agro-Joint.” Established in 1924 and financed by Felix Warburg, Julius Rosenwald (of Sears, Roebuck), and John D. Rockefeller, Jr., the “American Jewish Joint Agricultural Corporation”

      That name keeps popping up --

      Nina Rosenwald, the Sugar-Mama of Anti-Muslim Hate, by Max Blumenthal ". . . a little-known think tank called the Gatestone Institute rolled out the red carpet for [Geert Wilders]. On April 30, before a select crowd that according to Gatestone’s website had paid $10,000 a head, he held forth on the persecution he had endured during his recent trial for incitement to hatred and discrimination. . . .At the April event, Wilders’s seamless fusion of anti-Muslim bombast and pro-Israel cant was gratefully received by the Gatestone Institute’s founder and director, Nina Rosenwald, whom he acknowledged at the top of his jeremiad as another of his good friends. An heiress to the Sears Roebuck fortune, Rosenwald spreads her millions through the William Rosenwald Family Fund, a nonprofit foundation named for her father, a famed Jewish philanthropist who created the United Jewish Appeal in 1939. His daughter’s focus is more explicitly political. According to a report by the Center for American Progress titled “Fear Inc.,” Rosenwald and her sister Elizabeth Varet, who also directs the family foundation, have donated more than $2.8 million since 2000 to “organizations that fan the flames of Islamophobia.”

      A few generations earlier, Martha Dodd, the daughter of the American ambassador to Germany 1933-1937, married

      millionaire Alfred Kaufmann Stern, "an investment broker[20] who acquired great wealth in a prior divorce from the daughter of Sears Roebuck tycoon Julius Rosenwald."

      Alfred & Martha Dodd Stern were Communist spies who, in 1956, fled to Prague rather than comply with FBI subpoenaes to testify concerning their activities. They never returned to the USA.

      BDS Sears?

    • In May 2011 as the drama of the neutralizing of Osama bin Laden was broadcast on C Span,
      with shots of Obama & others watching as the actions unfolded, one of C Span's cover pages displayed a still photo of a crowd of young people magically assembled in front of the White House, well after midnight on a Monday.

      I thought it was curious that young people would have assembled in a such a timely fashion, at such a late hour on a work night. Young people in DC party hard, but they are uncommon ambitious, and work hard too; the sidewalks roll up relatively early on work nights.

      The revelers were identified on-air as "students from nearby Catholic University."

      After about 5 or 6 hours, the photo was removed.
      But there's a screen shot in odd corners in the ethernet.
      The screenshot of the crowd shows a woman w/ blonde hair, apparently on someone's shoulders, holding an American flag outstretched behind her. She's wearing a black sweatshirt with the AEPi logo on it in gold letters.

      Doesn't mean a thing, I suppose. Anybody can buy a sweatshirt.

  • New round of Iran sanctions pressures Obama to move closer to Israel's 'red line'
    • If you come upon a 45 min. lull in Olympics IV drip, this 'll cheer you up --

      Lt. General Richard Formica talked about missile threats against America and the possible responses to these threats.

      spoiler alert: 1st question from the audience? "How is the US prepared to handle an Iranian attack on Turkey's something-something-something."

      nb. not real encouraging that in a speech that included mounds of acronyms & jargon about how US "provides DOTMILPF of the TIPPY 2 Radars in 850 locations, space operations & ballistic systems around the world, . . .ready to defend our homeland against attacks from rogue states" on at least 3 occasions, the microphone the gen. was using, failed.

  • Exile and the Prophetic: Exporting the Holocaust
    • fer sure, Mooser. My Dad used to run into all kinds of vets at the VA hospital where he spent so much of his life, after having been injured in WWII.

      He was still alive when the WWII Memorial in Washington, DC, was inaugurated, but his poor health made it impossible for him to visit.

      Ah well, maybe next war.

      Nearly 59 years after the end of World War II, the National World War II Memorial was dedicated in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, May 29, 2004.

    • "The US had no guilt"

      Today is the 67th anniversary of the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima that killed 140,000 Japanese civilians.

      The United States chose to incinerate civilians rather than engage military-to-military.
      Perhaps because the people of the United States have not contemplated the depth of their guilt -- for two nuclear bombings as well as for the firebombings that killed additional hundreds of thousands of Japanese civilians and 600,000 German civilians -- Americans have assumed a false sense of righteousness.

      Herodotus thought long and hard about the Persian wars against Greece, and how it came to be that a tiny power like Greece prevailed over the then-most powerful empire in the world. He concluded that the Persians displayed "arrogance and hubris, and failed to handle its earlier victory over Lydia with elegance and grace. " Due to that hubris, Herodotus concluded, Persia was vanquished, beginning the collapse of its empire.

      There's a lesson in there, for those willing to see.

    • "Hateful" yes, it is hateful that " one of the main Jewish exports of our time is the Holocaust – this from America. Another major Jewish export is military weapons – this from Israel.” It is also true.

      In the process of cornering the market on the sufferings of large groups of people, the suffering of two or three entire generation of Americans has been obliterated: the suffering of veterans returning from WWII were swallowed up in the narcissism that saw only jewish suffering as worthy of notice -- the holocaust memorial in the US capitol was built before a memorial to veterans of WWII.

      " nonsense." yes, it is nonsensical that "one of the main Jewish exports of our time is the Holocaust – this from America. Another major Jewish export is military weapons – this from Israel.”

      Not only nonsense but extremely dangerous nonsense, particularly when a government that finds its ideological blueprint & battle plan in 3000 year old mythologies of conquest and plunder is now armed with the most advanced and destructive weapons mankind has ever known. In 1500 BC, man's destructive capacity was limited to the strength of his arm and the (poor) quality of metals he was able to produce. Israelis have the same homicidal mentality as Joshua but the killing potential of Einstein.

  • Romney backs Israel in the battle of the Iran red lines
    • Leon Panetta is Italian, in the mind and mold of Andrea Doria.

      Two things you should know about Andrea Doria (and by extension, the cultural heritage of Panetta:
      1. a successful mercenary, Doria nevertheless changed sides to advantage his home city/state, Genoa;
      2. Doria remained fiercely loyal to Genoa

      Don't assume that what Panetta tells the media is carved in stone; it might just be what it is useful for some to believe.

      Do not EVER doubt that Panetta's first, last, and in-the-middle loyalty is to the USA. Panetta is NOT an Israel firster. Panetta is in his mid-seventies; he's not a fabulously wealthy man, but he's comfortable enough to have started his own small think tank. He's he's not doing what he does for the money, and he didn't need to return to DC at all; he is doing it because he sees public service as a patriotic responsibility. He does & says some stuff that makes me cringe, but I trust that he is doing what needs to be done to negotiate waters infested with Israel firster sharks.

    • considering Romney's declaration of willingness to attack Iran, please pardon me if offending Jewish sensibilities re money fails to move the outrage needle.

      that said --

      Why has no pundit or journo made the most obvious connection in the entire universe: If Israel has a GDP of $31 000/per kippa'd cap, why do they need US taxpayer's money to get along?

      US has a per capita GDP of $48,100 (2011). The buying power of that figure is a different thing entirely. I can't find -- and would be challenged to interpret if I could find -- a chart that shows the relative buying power of US $48,100 to Israel's $31,000.

      btw -- did y'all know that in 2008 Israel changed from a dollar-denominated economy to a shekel-based system?

      Speaking again of how Israel generates wealth/revenues --

      Looks like a Congressionally-approved hedge fund against the possibility that Israel will be required to compensate Palestinians for dispossession in Nakba & subsequent.


  • To understand the history of Palestinian dispossession look to the words of Zionist and Israeli leaders
    • Theodore Herzl died in 1904.

      It is ludicrous to associate the founding of Israel with the Holocaust.
      The perpetuation of statements like these:

      "[A German court's ruling on circumcision is the ] 'Worst Attack on Jewish Life Since the Holocaust'"


      Conference of European Rabbis President Pinchas Goldschmidt: [The German court ruling on circumcision is] "An existential question for the Jewish community in Germany."


      "If the ruling is allowed to stand, the group's president warned, "then I don't see a future for Jews in Germany."

      force reasonable people who are trying to make sense of what is happening to their world to seriously question whether the "existential threats" that Herzl perceived in the 1890s, and that Rabbi Stephen Wise & Sam Untermyer perceived in 1933, and that Benny Morris wrote of

      "At stake in this civil war was Israel's existence, and in the early months the Arabs appeared to be winning. . . .In April 1948, with its back to the wall, the Yishuv (in Hebrew, the Settlement)—as the 630,000-strong Jewish community in Palestine called itself. . . battled mercilessly with the Palestinian Arab militias and overran dozens of Arab villages and towns.

      Iran poses an existential threat to Israel's security, that has required the strangulation of Iran's economy, the assassination of Iran's scientists.

      Hamas poses an existential threat to Israel and must be wiped out -- costing the lives of 400 Palestinian children.

      How much more of this sh*t do people like Pinchas Goldschmidt and his Israeli and American counterparts think they can get away with?

  • Why Obama shouldn't go to Israel
  • CIA considers Israel the largest counterintelligence threat in the Middle East
  • Romney visits Western Wall, ignores question, Does Israel have a right to annex West Bank
  • Russia's foreign minister claims US justifies terrorism in Syria
    • anan says: RustyPipes, you are idealistic and impractical. Countries intervene in the affairs of other countries all the time. Always have. What mid sized or large country in the world today doesn’t do this? And for that matter, why shouldn’t countries intervene in other countries as a moral matter?

      What you can maybe argue is that interventions in other countries should be transparent and open as much as possible. And that they should be consistent with values.

      sometimes values suck.
      for example, Joshua's values suck: voices in his head told him it was okay to steal the land of Jericho and slay all its inhabitants.

      Based on Old Testament recidivism, United States claims the right decide who should be the leaders of sovereign states, and the right to kill leaders who are inconvenient to them.

      Sergei Lavrov and Vitaley Cherkin stand on their values that coincide with an international consensus recorded in United Nations General Assembly Resolution 2131 (XX) on the Inadmissibility of Intervention in the Domestic Affairs of States and the Protection of Their Independence and Sovereignty, which falls under the general rubric of the Golden Rule: Do Unto Others as you would have Other Do Unto You.

      Some prefer to erode both of those consensus holdings:

      Chas Freeman, 4 May 2011, Palestine Center, Washington, DC "These crimes have been linked to a concerted effort to rewrite international law to permit actions that it traditionally prohibited, in effect enshrining the principle that might makes right.

      As the former head of the Israeli Defense Forces’ (IDF) Legal Department has argued:

      “If you do something for long enough the world will accept it. The whole of international law is now based on the notion that an act that is forbidden today becomes permissible if executed by enough countries . . . . International law progresses through violations.”

      A colleague of his has extended this notion by pointing out that:

      “The more often Western states apply principles that originated in Israel to their own non-traditional conflicts in places like Afghanistan and Iraq, then the greater the chance these principles have of becoming a valuable part of international law.”

      These references to Iraq and Afghanistan underscore the extent to which the United States, once the principal champion of a rule-bound international order, has followed Israel in replacing legal principles with expediency as the central regulator of its interaction with foreign peoples."

  • One apartheid state, with liberty and justice for Jews only
    • the housing is ugly.

      Leila Shawa's family had orange groves in Gaza. She and her family were forced from their home and their family's plantation in 1948. Shawa, an artist, says the land and architecture were magically beautiful. She comments that the buildings that Jewish settlers built to replace the indigenous architecture was an "arrogant statement that we now control you."

  • University report on Jewish campus life slammed as biased and harmful to academic freedom
    • Not only should universities become echo chambers, efforts are under way to create echo chambers in US public libraries:

      All too often libraries used by adults and students include a disproportionate number of books that present skewed and inaccurate depictions of Israel. Volumes by Edward Said, Noam Chomsky and other extreme detractors of Israel are almost certain to be available, but solid works presenting reliable information about Israel are often few in number or omitted entirely from library collections. . . .

      In a major public library system that is over 100 years old, has over 70 participating branches and well over a million volumes, there are 2839 items under the subject 'holocaust;' but only 131 under the subject 'Persian history,' and at least a third of that number are graphic novels; another dozen are books on Esther, and most are written by authors with an antagonist point of view.

  • Penn State lobby... gun lobby... Israel lobby
    • with respect to Ms. Weiss, whose feathers I would not want to ruffle even a little bit, there's a whiff of (ahem) tribalism swirling around the Penn State debacle.

      Joe Paterno's grave has been (figuratively) desecrated -- his entire career and all the good he did at Penn State have been marked forever by NCAA decrees.

      But Graham Spanier, former Penn State president at whose desk the buck should have stopped, was allowed to resign relatively quietly, and quickly landed a job with the Federal govt in the security arena.

      Read the comments to the linked article.
      Penn State students & alum are not pleased. Nor are they politically unaware.

    • great big wet smooch to Myron Kaplan (hope he doesn't smoke cigars) at CAMERA: he provides names and emails of people to contact to protest C Span' biased programming.

      "Washington Journal, the network's premier daily public affairs and call-in show, . . . C-SPAN's major patrons include
      -Comcast, the largest cable television provider in the country. [email protected] is the e-mail address of Neil Smit, President of Comcast Cable and most prominent member of C-SPAN's five-member Board of Directors executive committee.

      -Another prominent member of this five-member group is Glenn Britt, Chairman and CEO of Time Warner Cable, who can be reached at [email protected].

      Courteous, concise e-mails should urge Comcast and Time Warner Cable to make clear to C-SPAN executives that Washington Journal [should serve ALL the people in its audience and not censor or display a bias toward any group.]

      C-SPAN's chief executives are Susan Swain ([email protected]) and Rob Kennedy ([email protected]). "

  • Sacha Baron Cohen settles with Palestinian he slandered as 'terrorist'
    • "“The academic research on Israel is no longer the footnoted “Exodus,” and younger Jews, when they go to college, are walking away with very different picture of Israel,” "

      deep irony.
      The Israel studies programs that megamillionaires (like Bronfman) have planted in universities all over the US will end up being the undoing of the zionist project.

      Hell, Bronfman could have saved his money. A careful reading of Edwin Black's "Transfer Agreement" slaughters a whole herd of sacred cows.

  • Yes, what about Syria?
    • Eleanor, first off, know that I'm on your side; I hate what is happening to the Syrian people. I've only observed it thru media but you've been exposed to it personally. That's a powerful dose of emotion.

      Second, "the Ba'athist regime" was your term.
      Quite honestly, I don't know exactly what is meant by "Ba'athist regime" in the context of Syria. Do you mind explaining what you mean by that term?

      I'm aware of stresses among Alawites, Sunnis, and Shia that Assad worked to ease (i.e. Bashar is Alawite, his wife is Sunni. Their marriage was not a hit with Assad's mother but he married her anyway -- why would he now deliberately create cross-group fissures?); I think I understand that group tensions are being exacerbated to cause divisions -- similar to what took place in Iraq. But where does the Ba'athist factor come in?

    • Eleanor, you are over-invested in "effects" -- the horrible suffering of Syrian people caught up in whatever is going on in their country,

      and with this statement --

      "What concerns me is that the voices and stories of ordinary Syrian people who are defending their lives against the Ba’athist regime forces

      -- you tip your hand that you take it for granted that the "Ba'athist regime" is the "cause" of the suffering.

      Effects do not cause causes.

      Some of us are sceptical about what we are being led to believe are the causal factors of the suffering of the Syrian people.

      Annie passed along a link to a report by Guardian journalist Charlie Skelton that traced some of those causal factors -- and factotums.
      Thanks, Annie, and recommend Skelton's research to all who are concerned about the suffering of the Syrian people.

    • Eleanor, you delude yourself if you think the Iranian protest in 2009 was "home grown."

      Here's a clue: parse this recent statement on CAMERA's website:

      "NOTE: It's no secret that Iran is under the control of a fanatical religious dictatorship believing in a doomsday scenario. It's foolhardy to assume that such a dictatorship will not risk the repercussions of perpetrating a nuclear attack. What is it about this reality that so many C-SPAN listeners are incapable of grasping? What are this caller's sources for his worldview? Host Slen fails to ask. This is the C-SPAN way.

      How can Iran simultaneously be a dictatorship and have "fraudulent elections that erupted in a Green Movement protest?

      As Stephen Kinzer has written, Iran is the ONLY Islamic state in the region that has the elements of a democracy and HAS elections.

      As Eric Brill has demonstrated exhaustively, the 2009 elections were fair enough to make the outcome unmistakable: a majority of the Iranian people re-elected Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

      The rest of CAMERA's rant is so detached from reality that one hopes Avigail Abarbanel has some free time to deal with another set of nutcases.

      The world looks with apprehension upon Iran especially concerning the Iranian nuclear threat. The annihilationist intention of Iran's leaders, including President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, toward Israel have been documented repeatedly. Ahmadinejad, a religious fanatic who apparently believes world conflict will hasten the return of Shi'ite Islam's messianic “Twelfth Imam,” has frequently advocated the destruction of Israel.

      The trope that Ahmadinejad is a religious fanatic etc. is lifted straight out of Yossi Melman's "Nuclear Sphinx of Tehran," a work that delivered orgasms of fear and delight to Israelis, according to Haggai Ram in Iranophobia: The Logic of an Israeli Obsession. It's a bogus assessment, more readily applicable to Israeli settlers from Brooklyn than to the broad swathe of Iranians and certainly not to Ahmadinejad -- a very pious Muslim but not a "fanatic."

      back to CAMERA:

      For example, on Oct. 26, 2005, in a speech to a "World Without Zionism" conference in Tehran, he vowed that "Israel must be wiped off the map." The Iranian president called for Israel to be "uprooted" in a press conference with Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad in Damascus on Feb. 25, 2010, one of a number of more recent such statements.

      Iran's hostile attitude toward the United States – since the country's violent takeover by the Muslim fundamentalist regime in 1979 – has been demonstrated by its occupation of the American embassy in Tehran that same year and seizure of American diplomats, and its strong continuing support of terrorist entities hostile to American interests such as Hamas and especially Hezbollah, whose 1983 truck bombing killed 241 American Marines at the multinational force barracks in Beirut, Lebanon. Iran was linked to the bombing of U.S. military housing in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, in 1996, in which several dozen Americans were murdered and many more wounded and more recently to arming anti-American insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan. Iran reportedly was behind the recent plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador in Washington, D.C.

      CAMERA is like the woman who has been divorced and crabby for the past 20 years and can still recite every single frickn' time the filthy bastard failed to put the lid down on the toilet, while conveniently forgetting that she tried to strangle him in his sleep. Specifically, CAMERA ignores that fact that Israel & US trained the Shah's SAVAK that tortured Iranian civilians; slaughtered as many as a dozen Iranian diplomats from 1980 to the early 1990s in Israel's "moral" quest to find airman Rod Arad (see Ronen Bergman, "The Secret War with Iran," pp. 158-160); fails to mention that Israel profited -- enormously -- from weapons sales to Iran throughout the Iraq war, a situation about which an Israeli Defense Ministry official said, "We didn't make any ethical assessment at all. All that interested us was to sell, sell, sell more Israeli weapons and let the Iraqis and Iranians kill each other with them." (Bergman, p. 43)

      CAMERA concludes:

      On the other hand, Israel has never threatened any country with destruction. What is it about this reality that so many C-SPAN listeners are incapable of grasping?"

      What can anyone say to a statement like that? It reflects the level of mendacity -- if not outright, psychopathic detachment from reality -- that one has come to associate with Israel firsters, Eleanor.

      Given that evidence of the deluded mindset with which an Israel firster responds to an anonymous comment from a concerned American taxpayer, how should a reasonable and prudent person assess the kind of information high-level Israelis are whispering into the ears of US congressmen and key decision makers?
      How could anyone place even a grain of credibility in statements that come out of Israel firsters like CAMERA & fellow travelers?

    • Sergei Lavrov has made repeated attempts to set up dialogue between "resistance" and Assad. Assad has repeatedly said he is willing and eager to sit down and talk. The opposition movements have insisted that "no talk of a transition government can take place until Assad steps down." Assad will not agree to that. Assad is doubly resistant to such a non-starter since he's extended several favors to the US and to Israel and gotten nothing in return. (similar to Khatami's overtures that were rebuffed by Bush admin, culminating in Axis of Evil).

      It is the same gambit -- the same handful of sand -- that Dennis Ross has thrown into Iran negotiations: FIRST agree to preconditions, then we can negotiate. (btw, anybody got a bead on Jeff Feltman's activities lately?)

    • Thank you, W Jones. That's the way I understand the situation as well.

      I'm afraid I have to take issue with Eleanor's assessment. I understand that she is talking to people who have suffered horribly and are personally caught up in a tragic situation.

      But it is simply not an accurate representation of the whole situation to make statements such as 'Assad has been a brutal tyrant for 40 years.'

      Blumenthal has done a lot of very good work, but this statement --

      "In the end, Assad will be remembered as an authoritarian tyrant whose regime represented little more than the interests of a rich neoliberal business class and a fascistic security apparatus. Those who have thrown their intellectual weight behind his campaign of brutality have cast the sincerity of their commitment to popular struggle and anti-imperial resistance into serious doubt."

      -- is viewing the trailer and thinking it is the whole dramatic arc. Max's Marxist hat is fitting a bit too tight.
      According to analysts who have interviewed Assad and assessed his strengths, weaknesses, goals and obstacles, Assad is the opposite of the "rich neoliberal"; and constantly conflating Basher with his father in order to be able to say "tyranny for 40 years" fails to take account of witnesses such as the Syrian BBC journalist who said, "we lived in peace for most of my life;" and fails to acknowledge Assad's slow, hard slog to reform Syria FROM his father's era; against predictions that after Syria pullout from Lebanon Assad would fail; against all of US bets & actions against Assad's efforts; and mindless of Assad's tremendous assistance to US in the war on terruh.

      You doubtless spoke with people who have suffered greatly, Eleanor; but I suspect their present state of distress does not represent the entire story of Assad's rule, nor do they seem to account for the reality that the US-Israel and western interests play a huge rule in their suffering.

    • On Annie's original Syria thread, someone linked to Vijay Prashad. [thank you, btw]

      iirc, Prashad explained that Assad has been a reliable border guard for Israel. The picture that seems to be coming into focus is that Assad has made gestures to keep Israel and US happy but has received nothing in return -- something like Khatami in Iran -- while simultaneously attempting to phase in internal reforms of Syria's "old guard" by slowly replacing that entrenched deadwood with sophisticated technocrats and introducing economic and social reforms. The US has been unhelpful at every turn.

      The mere fact that WINEP speaks with one voice seeking the ouster of Assad -- even supporting his assassination, is evidence enough for me that Israel sees some advantage in creating and sustaining chaos in Syria.

      Tracking Hillary Clinton's numerous speeches and pronouncements on Assad, from ~2009 to the present, demonstrates a distinct ratcheting up of the pressure to remove Assad. The policy Clinton has been following was established by the Bush Admin. and Dick Cheney's office.

      Deep deep in the background -- the Cheney administration supported the notions of Jeanne Kirkpatrick. During her stint as UN ambassador, Kirkpatrick worked diligently to fracture the Saudi-African alliance against Israel. Some of Kirkpatrick's earliest mentors were uber zionists, and Kirkpatrick was as well. She was stridently pro-Israel, anti-Palestine, anti-Iran. Now, Kirkpatrick's agenda is complete: Saudi Arabia & Qatar are forging temporary, tactical alliances with Israel & US with the goal of harming Iran. As Vijay observes, the alliances are not the result of a long-term vision but have at heart the determination to preserve Arab monarchies.

      Israel firsters (WINEP) are probably supporting the overthrow of Assad, even tho it will harm Israel's interests, because Israel firsters think chaos in Syria will harm Iran.

      As usual, the Israel first anti-Iran clowns are wrong at every level of their analysis, but they don't pay the price, Syrian people do.

      Back in the 1950s, when US oil companies (Aramco) were building TAPLINE to get Saudi oil to the Mediterranean, Israel was a headache so TAPLINE needed Syria for a workaround but Syria resisted out of sympathy with Palestinian Muslims. US ginned up a war with Syria; within a short time, problem solved.
      A similar scenario may be playing out again.

      Anybody know what the Clintons' good friend Marc Rich is doing these days?

  • It's a lie that Ahmadinejad took responsibility for Bulgarian attack
    • is the complaint that Iran is threatening to pray Israel to death?

    • using callers to C Span as a barometer, people are catching on and calling out BS when they hear it.

      there is hope.
      just a little bit, but hope.

    • same sh*t
      different day
      Center for New American Security, 'Game Changing Diplomacy,' Sept 2008

      "In order to explore the full range of options available to the next president, in early 2008 the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) convened a bipartisan group comprised of experts
      on foreign policy and national security, retired military personnel, former diplomats and other government officials, and specialists on Iran and the region. This Experts Group (for membership, see Appendix B) met four times to discuss and debate papers addressing a range of U.S. policy options. Ambassador Dennis Ross presented a paper on diplomatic strategies for dealing with Iran, and Dr. Suzanne Maloney wrote on Iranian perspectives and potential responses.


      Game-changing diplomacy means inviting Iran to the bargaining table without preconditions — but with a specific set of proposals and with the Iranian alternative to a negotiated outcome appearing unreasonable to their population and to the global community. Proposals should be structured to be so clearly reasonable that if they do not work out, it is clear to the Iranian people and other audiences in the Middle East that the Iranian government is at fault."

      Bipartisan Policy Center April 2012

      (what was most noteworthy about this conference was how thuggishly dumb the participants were, all of 'em -- Nicholas Burns, Michael Makovsky, Dennis Ross, Steven Ruderman, Elliot Abrams, Mort Zukerman. They fairly drooled with the prospect of causing suffering and fear of suffering to Iranians, and they did not seem to possess the capacity to reflect on their own essential immorality and mendacity. It's also remarkable how physically unattractive these people are -- the eyes are the mirror of the soul. How embarrassing for Americans and Jews to have to claim these buzzards as "my people.")

      Dennis Ross: " We have an interest in demonstrating to the world, even to our own people, that this was a good-faith approach to negotiations, even to the point that we might publicize what was on the table so that we can demonstrate what was on offer that would have allowed the Iranians to have what they claim they desire, which is a civil nuclear capacity, and they simply turned down that opportunity. We need to be able to demonstrate that diplomacy was tried and if it didn't work it was because the Iranians just didn't want it to work." [~23 min]

  • Syria watch
    • what intrigues me is why Romney went to Poland, and not to Auschwitz.

      Not so much why he didn't go to Auschwitz, but why he went to Poland. For the Ohio-Wisconsin Polish bloc? I don't think so.

      More likely to connive with Poland to plant anti-missile systems ostensibly to "defend" Poland AND Russia against Iran's "emerging" (definition: they don't have 'em yet, but maybe someday they might) long range missile threat) that are simultaneously intended to keep Russia in check and let Russia know that if Russia gets too uppity, it will be punished -- particularly re Iran.

    • enthymeme noun. an incomplete logical structure [that is part of a claim] that depends, for its completeness, on one or more unstated assumptions (values, beliefs, principles) that serve as the starting point of the argument.


      warrant the unstated assumption that turns an enthymeme into a complete logical structure.
      Derived from the concept of "warranty" or "guarantee." The warrant is the value, belief, or principle that the audience has to hold if the soundness of the argument is to be guaranteed or warranted. . . .We must provide warrants linking our reasons to our claims if we expect skeptical audiences to "buy" our arguments."

      grounds the supporting evidence, facts, reasons, data to justify a claim and warrant. "Grounds" answer the question "How do you know that?"

      -Writing Arguments, 4th ed. John D. Ramage & John C. Bean; pp. 97-100.


      "brutal dictatorship" What are the grounds by which you stand behind (warrant) the claim that Assad's rule is a "brutal dictatorship?"
      When did it become a "brutal dictatorship?"
      Is Assad singularly responsible for creating a "brutal dictatorship?"
      Has Assad done things that demonstrate that his rule is anything other than a brutal dictatorship?
      Is there evidence pointing to Assad as the singular source for brutality?
      Is there evidence that others may be responsible for brutality in Syria?

      "[Assad] create[s] the context where dissent can only be voiced through violence."

      How do you know that?
      Can you provide evidence of a pattern where dissent in Syria could be voiced only through violence? Can you provide evidence to show that Assad and only Assad is responsible for creating that context?

      1. In 2005, Seymour Hersch said that "Basically, the neocons look at Assad and see Saddam. They want to take him out."

      2. Also in 2005, Flynt Leverett said and wrote that the Bush administration was "inclining toward a policy of regime change" in Syria.

      3. In 2011, Hillary Clinton made public statements that "Assad is not indispensable; he should step aside." (Assad countered that he does not answer to the West, he answers to the Syrian people. )

      4. In May 2011, Franklin Lamb visited Syria and was astonished to find it peaceful, prosperous, and bustling.

      5. In 2012, numerous reports revealed that the United States, Saudia Arabia, Turkey, and Qatar were funding, assisting, harboring and providing intelligence and other support to foreign fighters in Syria.
      -Since Max Weber, nation states have held the principle that the state holds the monopoly on violence.
      - United Nations Resolution 2131 (XX) declares that "1. No State has the right to intervene, directly or indirectly, for any reason whatever, in the internal or external affairs of any other State. Consequently, armed intervention and all other forms of interference or attempted threats against the personality of the State or against its political, economic and cultural elements, are condemned."

      6. Also in 2012, the Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, was on the ground in Syria and witnessed armed "protesters" firing upon Syrian civilian protesters as well as attacking and firing upon Syrian army troops who were carrying out a state army's assigned duty: protecting the Syrian people from an armed rebellion.

      7. In Feb. 2012 the people of Syria voted in a Constitutional Referendum. Syria claimed that a majority of the Syrian people approved the Constitutional reforms. (The vote was dismissed as a "farce" by numerous Western sources. But then, the vote for Hamas was rejected, as were the results of Iran's 2009 vote.)

      How do these sets of facts either support or undermine the warrant that "Assad is a brutal dictator who is creating the context where dissent can only be voiced through violence?"

    • Annie, gotta say this -- your quiet (yes, your writing has a quiet tone; doesn't mean it's not bunker-buster powerful) relentless determination to look at 'just the facts' about Syria is awesome.

      kudos & thx

    • Mr Saigon, encourage you to refrain from cheerleading for war without assessing all sides of the situation.
      I just spent 90 min watching this video & it was time well spent
      "Inheriting Syria," w/ Flynt Leverett, Seymour Hersch, Martin Indyk

    • Colin Wright, have you ever explored Basher Assad and Syria from Assad's point of view?
      Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett have --

      In 2005 Flynt Leverett published a book about Assad's leadership. He discussed it here, on the day after Syria pulled out of Lebanon, in a forum introduced -- "with pride" -- by Martin Indyk at Brookings Saban that paired Leverett with Seymour Hersh.

      Foreign Affairs reviewed Dr. Leverett's work on Syria and Assad here --

      "Leverett, who tracked Syria as a U.S. government official from the late 1990s to 2002, tells the story largely in terms of U.S.-Syrian relations. He does not stint in relating how Syria has stymied U.S. goals (and often been maddeningly difficult in the process), but his reading of the record is that Washington now needs to offer Bashar's regime a more coherent policy of "conditional engagement."

      Flynt & Hillary Leverett have discussed Syria a number of times on their blog --

      Charlie Rose has interviewed Basher Assad several times:




      There is no excuse for Mondoweissians to express uninformed opinion.

    • the point i meant to hilight in the Sic Semper Tyrannis link was Lang's claim that chemical weapons in Syria is a "distraction; " bogus.

    • actually there is something the US could do, Oleg: the US could stop supplying weapons and mercenaries to attempt to overthrow the Assad regime.

      plain. and. simple.

      US & Israel firsters have done everything in their power to foment agony in Syria, and to cut off avenues of dialogue.

      The civil war in Syria is Made in the USA, just as much as the 1953 overthrow of Mossadeqh in Iran. US State Department is staffed by slow learners.

      Hillary Clinton's State Department planned and set in motion a scheme to topple the Assad regime over a year ago. From the first instance she had in mind the removal of Basher Assad -- from Haaretz, 2010:

      This is a US and Israel -- more specifically, AIPAC-driven agenda.
      The last charge, that AIPAC is driving the agenda, is based on the lopsided programming on C Span.

      CAMERA sends out warnings to C Span producers/moderators -- "COMCAST is your funder; we will tell Comcast on you" -- and Comcast is owned by Israel firsters. (see CAMERA C Span, July 4, 2012).

      Programming on Syria that C Span has carried in the past months:

      -Ephraim Sneh (on a Wilson Center panel, moderated by Aaron David Miller, with Trita Parsi to hold the fort against Miller, Sneh, and Gaith Omani) In this Feb 22 2012 program, Sneh stated nonchalantly that "Syria will be in turmoil and it will spill over into Lebanon."

      -David Pollock, WINEP, June 30 2012 When a caller suggested that the best course of action might be to assassinate Assad, Pollock replied, "it's being tried; it's very difficult. An adviser to Assad had been poisoned but was hospitalized & survived."

      - C Span aired a Center for Strategic & International Studies moderated by Anthony Cordesman and including Donatella Rovera of Amnesty International and Aram Nerguizian, Visiting Fellow at Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). July 13 2012. Nerguizian was quite pessimistic about Syria's future and stressed the fault-lines between Sunni, Alawite, and Shiite Muslims. (In a BBC news brief on July 22, 2012, BBC interviewed its own ethnic Syrian reporters who report on Syria. The first woman opened her commentary stating that "for all the 30 years I lived in Syria, we lived in peace and prosperity. I do not recognize what is happening in my country.")

      -Joshua Landis, Syria expert, at Wilson Center, whose director is Jane Harman. Jul 16 2012 Landis repeated that "a cruise missile in the palace" could solve the situation; "Assad is a loser and needs to go;" "unfortunately, Christians will not fare well with Assad gone."

      -Eliot Engel, D-NY, Washington Journal, July 19 2012. Lost count of the numbers of times Engel said, "Assad brutal dictator; Iran evil; slaughtering his people."

      -Michele Flournoy, Washington Journal, July 20, 2012. Flournoy's demagoguery was flowery but otherwise not a dime's worth of difference between the substance of her message and that of Engel-- "doesn't matter how many Syrians have to die, GET IRAN." Flournoy said, "Assad needs to go, then democracy will come to Syria and the differing denominations will live together in peace." See Landis, above.

      -Andrew Tabler, WINEP, Washington Journal July 22 2012 Watch Tabler's body language as several callers present substantive rebuttals of Tabler's claims. Tabler closed the session with "taking down Assad will deny Iran . . ."


      The Syrian ambassador, Imad Moustapha, has not been a guest on C Span since 2009. (After 100 people were killed in Houla, US pushed through the expulsion of Syria's ambassadors from all western countries. Houla was likely a false flag op.)

      Syria's deputy ambassador to the UN, Fayssal Mekdad, has not appeared on C Span since 2005.

      Buthaina Shaaban, the (female) Head of Syria's Foreign Ministry, was last on C Span in 2004.

      The last time Basher Assad appeared on C Span was August 2011 when C Span aired Al Jazeera's interview of Assad, in which he said he would not step down inasmuch as he answers to the Syrian people, not to the West.

  • Exile and the Prophetic: The heartbeat of the prophetic
    • The biggest question the Book of Esther poses for me is this:

      Why weren't Esther & Mordechai in Jerusalem?
      Why did so many Yehud -- a majority, according to the book of Chronicles -- choose "voluntary exile" in Persia rather than obey the word of God and return to Jerusalem? Did Esther's "tongue cleave to her very mouth" and Mordechai "forget his right hand," because they "forgot thee, o zion?"

  • Netanyahu adopts Facebook strategy to claim sovereignty over Jerusalem for the Olympics
    • zionists have slave brainwash complexes the size of greater Los Angeles [and in Boca Raton, too] where they breed people to be slaves from birth for the greater glory of their leader, not just a few either, hundreds of thousands.

    • Interesting ranking results, when one considers that Iran has been subjected to a relentless campaign of demonization for ~30 years, while Israel has relentlessly promoted itself and hidden its crimes under dirt like a dog covers its poop.

    • what is it about history & counterfactuals that frightens you, Winnica?

    • "irrational logic" worked for USrael imperialists in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, and Iran WIP.

      remember what Chas Freeman said:

      As the former head of the Israeli Defense Forces’ (IDF) Legal Department has argued:

      “If you do something for long enough the world will accept it. The whole of international law is now based on the notion that an act that is forbidden today becomes permissible if executed by enough countries . . . . International law progresses through violations.”

      A colleague of his has extended this notion by pointing out that:

      “The more often Western states apply principles that originated in Israel to their own non-traditional conflicts in places like Afghanistan and Iraq, then the greater the chance these principles have of becoming a valuable part of international law.”

      These references to Iraq and Afghanistan underscore the extent to which the United States, once the principal champion of a rule-bound international order, has followed Israel in replacing legal principles with expediency as the central regulator of its interaction with foreign peoples. The expediently amoral doctrine of preemptive war is such an Israeli transplant in the American neo-conservative psyche."

    • "What defines a State or an independent country?
      An independent State:
      Has space or territory which has internationally recognized boundaries"

      What defines a duck?

      Clearly, and QED, Ducks and states have defined borders.

      To paraphrase the great statesman Benjamin Netanyahu, in a speech that will go down in history for its Ciceronian elegance:

      If it does NOT look like a duck;
      If it does NOT quack like a duck;
      It ain't a duck.

  • 3 stories without legs
    • What's so great about monotheism?

      Roger Williams argued that the "first tablet," or the first four commandments, about man's duties to god,

      1. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

      2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

      3. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

      4. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.

      should be eliminated from the purview of the state.

      That's absolutely the only position that could be contemplated under the 3rd Amendment:

      Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

      Williams argued that the six remaining commandments, regarding man's obligations to his fellow man [using male pronouns in an inclusive fashion] were universal, or 'natural law' obligations.

      On The Cyrus Cylinder, the Persian King Cyrus acknowledges the Sumerian god Marduk who inspired and strengthened him to guarantee the rights of all other peoples in the realm to return to their holy places and worship each their own god/gods/goddesses.

  • Bulgarian Foreign Minister: Mistake to blame 'any country or organization' for Burgas attack at this point
    • This Scientific American article is old -- 1968 -- but packed with fascinating information about Iran's qanat system of "making the desert bloom" -- providing water for irrigation and consumption to a country that is half-mountain, half-desert
      It's an underground water system that channels mountain runoff to and along 170,000 miles of streams deep under the desert floor.

      The author writes that "the system provides 75 percent of the water used in Iran."

      Dennis Ross and his henchmen Mort Zuckerman, Michael Makovsky, Elliot Abrams, Nicholas Burns and Steve Ruderman were delighted that the US Congress agreed to provide bunker busters to Israel, so that Israel could mount a "credible threat" to Iran.

      Think about what a bunker buster would do to Iran's water system.

      Factor in that same bunker buster releasing nuclear radiation.

      Toss in the fact that much of Iran lies on an earthquake-prone geological platform.

      Then explain to me why Ross & his merry band, AIPAC, Hillary Clinton, the US Congress are not in bullet-proof cages at the Hague facing charges of inciting to commit genocide.

    • Curious that we haven't heard anything more about the fingerprints of the guy in the photo.

      Few more curiosities:

      1. comment on a Washington Times communities blog re Colorado killings: "the killer was wired by CIA. The Agency has a headquarters in Colorado. What is the likelihood that a lone dude could get all that firepower, and wire up his apartment . . ."

      2. This morning, Dr. Larry Weinstein was guest on NPR (??) to discuss his book about CIA Mind Control experiments in the 1950s. Weinstein's father had been treated at a psychiatric hospital associated with McGill University in Canada, and emerged from treatment with the functional capacity of a 3-year old.

      The comment on the Washington Times blog sure seems like genuine conspiracy theory, until you recognize that the US can do and has done the things alleged.

      3. Statement in a different Washington Times communities blog:

      Only a couple of days after an Iranian-backed Hezbollah homicide bomber killed innocent Israeli Jews in Bulgaria, Americans face a similar tragedy that hits far too close to home."

      responses to statement:


      what's with the random "Only a couple of days after an Iranian-backed Hezbollah homicide bomber killed innocent Israeli Jews in Bulgaria"?? Those two situations have absolutely nothing to do with each other. Don't subtly push agendas when you're trying to deliver facts, it weakens credibility.
      19 hours ago


      Just delivering the facts. Perhaps your being bothered by my mentioning this shows your agenda. You read something into the column that was not there.

      I was pointing out that we had barely gotten past one atrocity before another one surfaced.
      eric aka the Tygrrrr Express
      17 hours ago
      in reply to guest

    • A couple years ago I had a conversation with a librarian about Wilhelm Marr. The librarian is Jewish; a very nice person, helpful and intelligent, and we're good friends.

      I said to him that Marr did not invent the word or concept "anti-semitism;" it had been used at least as early as the 15th century, to apply to both Moors and Jews in Andalusia.

      He did not say anything in words, but I wish I could verbalize his body language; his eyes and face contorted and he moved his head and shoulders in a way that seemed to suggest to me that he had no 'receptors' to take in the information; the concepts were totally beyond anything he had the neural capacity to process.

      I think some Israelis -- like Netanyahu-- really really believe they are the sharpest knives in the drawer, and they really believe they are behaving morally when they kill people. They have conditioned away -- snipped off -- the neural transmitters through which one would process information to the contrary.

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