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Crisis In Syria

The body count surges in Syria. The U.S. closes its embassy. Russia and China have the West fuming over their U.N. veto. Where is this headed?

Committees in Syria, anti-Syrian regime protesters, burn tires and wave Syrian revolution flag during a demonstration in the suburb of Daraya, Damascus, Syria, on Saturday Feb. 4, 2012. (AP)

Committees in Syria, anti-Syrian regime protesters, burn tires and wave Syrian revolution flag during a demonstration in the suburb of Daraya, Damascus, Syria, on Saturday Feb. 4, 2012. (AP)

The sound and images out of Syria the last few days are terrible.  Government artillery shells on suburban neighborhoods and heavy machine gun fire in the streets.  Many dead.  American outrage at the UN over Chinese and Russian vetoes of heightened pressure is full volume.  “Travesty,” said Hillary Clinton.  The U.S. embassy in Damascus, now closed.  Civil war in Syria – here or coming, say many.  President Obama says no military intervention, but arms are moving.  Where does this go?

This hour, On Point:  Syrian nightmare.  Syrian powder keg.

-Tom Ashbrook


Abigail Fielding-Smith, correspondent with the Financial Times based in Beirut.

Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma. He runs a blog SyriaComment.com.

Edward Djerejian, founding director of the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University. His career in the U.S. Foreign Service spanned the administrations of eight presidents from John F. Kennedy to Bill Clinton. He was formerly the U.S. ambassador to Israel. You can find his recent op-ed for CNN on the situation in Syria here.

From Tom’s Reading List

Foreign Policy “As world leaders huddle at the United Nations to debate whether to demand Bashar al-Assad’s ouster, the smart money is already betting that his time is short. The president of Syria is a “dead man walking,” according to one U.S. diplomat, a view shared by Israel’s military and predicted by a surveyed group of foreign policy experts. Reports of Assad’s death, however, appear greatly exaggerated. The Syrian president has survived almost a year of demonstrations and growing violence, and if not pushed by outside actors he may yet cling to power.”

Al Jazeera “The US has closed down its embassy in Syria and pulled all of its employees out of the country, amid reports that the Syrian military is intensifying its assault on the central city of Homs.”

CNN “The Syrian regime under President Bashar al-Assad approached the outset of the Arab awakening in Tunisia and Egypt in a state of politico-psychological denial.”

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  • Ellen Dibble

    Russian Permanent Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin was talking to Charlie Rose last night about the veto (and other things).   It’s clear enough to me that the word “stability” underlies that veto.  He cited the 5,000 dead in Syria compared to the 115,000 dead in Iraq, not counting the millions displaced.  He also said Russia has a long friendship with the Assad regime and isn’t about to dump an old friend — “into a cage.”  Charlie Rose said, oh, you mean like America did to Mubarak.  Exactly. 
        Other major factors.  The  Russians sell arms to the Assads, apparently some specific cities in Russia whose votes are important in the March election, and this will go on, just as other “parties” start trying to provide arms (worth a great deal more Churkin suggested) to the rebels.  
       Preceding the Churkin interview, there was a panel of Americans (Tom Friedman, Fouad Ajami, two others) pointing out the mostly Sunni Syrian population has figured out the Assad family plans to continue their domination and their “plundering” of the Syrian people; and the consensus seems to be that those previously aligned with this non-Sunni minority Alawi Assad regime (Christians, for instance, I heard), are fed up, as well as those opposed all along.  
        But the panel also says there is no stable order to shift to, no leaders, no constitution.  This will be long and bloody, with no predetermined outcome.  This puts me in mind of the way the French helped the American Revolution.  
        Apparently one United Nations plan, the female panelist said, was to have large safety zones in Turkey and Saudi Arabia (I think she said; I’m thinking Jordan) for refugees.  
        In any case, the Russian, Churkin, said he felt the Security Council (or did he say General Assembly) could have reached a consensus if there hadn’t been a hasty vote on Saturday.  I have trouble seeing that possibility, since the Russian position is the Assad family should and can change, that the Syrian people are not at a point of no return but just need to be heard.  (How will this impasse impact us vis-a-vis Iran and Israel, down the line, if Russian diplomats don’t see eye to eye with ours.)

    • Potter

      I am afraid that Israel will use this upheaval, which may last, as one more excuse as to why they can’t make peace, why they have to maintain their present stance vis a vis the Palestinians ( no state) and towards the region in general ( not willing to trust or deal, hunkering down and threatening Iran ). 

      Note- that if Jordan is being viewed as a place for refugees, it already is filled with refugees, and, as well here you have another situation where a minority ( the Hasemites) are ruling over the majority, though at the moment Jordan is peaceful.

      There is an interesting op-ed in the NYTimes today by Nicholas Noe: In Syria, We Need to Bargain with the Devil

      I would like to hear some discussion of this view.

      • Hidan

         The current Israeli government(there charter) believes they can be no Palestinian state and Jordan is the de-facto Palestinian state. The current goal of the Israeli is to keep the status quo and colonized as much land as they can. Than create either bantustan and trade it’s non-jewish population to such bantustan to keep an majority Jewish population. This is what the F.M. has stated before and even now. While others in Likud what to keep colonizing and than wait for an break out of violence’s to cleanse the majority of Palestinians from the west bank,leaving gaza as a open prison. Israeli policy states gazan cannot live in the west bank.

        Israel is actually against taking out Assad, cause it fears Islamist might take over and may allow refugees/Palestinians the ability to flee to the golan heights and west bank. Also Syria efforts with Hamas and company allows it to keep the garrison state. This also maintain supports from the U.S. and allowed to keep the victim hood status. A new U.S. supported government may want the Golan Height back it would be tougher for the Israeli to refuse if the government is democratically elected.

        • Modavations

          Where is the homeland of the Jew.Isn’t it Judea.I believe there are jewish settlements from 12,000b.c..What is a semite?Arn’t Jews semites.Where should indigenous Jews go.I’m under the impression that if we moved all the Isrealis to New York,it would take 5 days before you guys would be at each others throats.Arafat(stole 2 Billion)could have had peace.Ask Bill Clinton

          • Anonymous

            Wow, you need to stop making comments like this. Are you aware how off base you sound?

          • Modavations

            Is there a point you wish to make?

          • Potter

            12,000 B.C was before Jews invented themselves… before “Semites”, even. 

            As it happens Jews, Israeli’s Arabs and Muslims seem to be getting along fine in New York. 

          • Modavations

            Tells lad,the Tells they are from 12000 BC

    • Hidan

       The outrage and hypocrisy of the U.S. is pretty known, as the Media dutifully does it job as the stenographer of the U.S. government. Russia/China Veto is covered for days while the U.S. veto against Israel is covered for minutes. According to China it worked to draft the sanction but the U.S. rushed the vote. The U.S. also provided in it open worded sentences that would allow it to fight and arm one side of the civil war. The U.S. claimed they wouldn’t but Russia pointed out the U.S. abuse of the U.N. resolution on Libya.

      I listen to Meet the Press last night and they had on two guest. Both argues the same point on Syria and Iran.

      The U.S. government doesn’t care about Human rights unless they can use it for political purposes.

  • still just cory

    How is Syria set for natural resources?  Any signifigant oil supply?  Is there a future plan to run some natural gas pipeline through their territory?

    It represents a divide in traditional American involvement in foreign countries.  If you have resources or strategic positioning, you are Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.  If you have neither, you are Darfur or Rwanda.

    Just wanted to get that straight.

    • Hidan

       the gist of the matter is this,

      When the protestors started in syria both the U.S. and Israel backed Assad. The reason for backing Assad was the fear of Islamist Sunni’s taking over. Turkey got involved and the violence temp stoped/slowed. Than the U.S. decided to use it’s ambassador to find puppets who promised the U.S. they do what it wants. This of course pissed off syria. while refugee fled to Israel there were shoot and gun down by Israeli snipers along with Israel reinforcing it’s Golan height boarder by re-mining it. Than called them infiltrators. Refugees fled to Lebanon and Turkey. While in Turkey the U.S. attempted to train and arm syria protestors. This was at the same time some protestors were willing to strike a deal with the despot Assad These armed protestors came back to Syria which than escalated the situation. It went from Assad stepping down to killing Assad. Once the U.S. was able to start arming there new puppets(and weakening the our protestors) the U.S. stepped up it’s sanctions efforts. As for the Sanction that Russia and China Veto which amazly enough takes days to cover while U.S. use of the veto only takes minutes. Was similar and open worded as the one in Libyan that the U.S. totally abused .

      • Plushkin

        another bunch of pro-arab spinning by Hidan.
          while refugee fled to Israel there[sic] were shoot

        refugees do not throw molotov cocktail into border guards of the country they try to flee into, nor do they usually decide to do that on so-called “nakba” day or use government provided and organized transportation to get to the border in the first place. Israelis shot at mob trying to storm the border.

        Your entire drivel just shows how little, if anything at all you understand, about actual facts.     

      • Anonymous

        You forgot to mention that Assad is being heavily backed by Iran. Interesting how you left that out.

        • Hidan

          It’s well known and of course would be repeated on the show just as the connection between Russia and Syria, Also Iraq has good relations with Syria.Since millions fled from Iraq to Syria with the U.S. invasions.

          I also left out Russia and Iraq is that Interesting as well?

          • Plushkin

             it is actually. What you engaged in is called fact manipulation which in turn is one of the essential parts part “taqqiyya”.  

          • Plushkin

             * part of*

          • Hidan

            delusional disorder “taqqiyya” Had to look that one up.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1816544 Dan Trindade

    Whatever the international community settles on with regards to this sanctions or even military intervention, I cannot see a peaceful resolution to this crisis. Syria is a hodge podge of ethnic groups, with a coalition of minority groups having taken power decades ago headed by the Assad family. Once that power bloc falls there appears to be very little in the way of nationalism or a Syrian identity to hold the country together and prevent more blood shed. When Assad falls (and I believe it is a when, not an if), there will be infighting between these groups even perhaps a civil war, each one vying for a bigger peace of the pie. This will not end well for any involved, Syrian or otherwise. Not at all.

  • Anonymous

    Funnel aid to rebels through Turkey. If the rebels take down Bashar al-Assad, Iran will be left without a route for arms trafficking to Lebanon. The US will not have an opportunity like this again for a long, long time.

  • Potter

    Mr. Landis, I believe is in a difficult position because his family, his wife, I understand, is an Alawite. 

  • Ed

    Walid Phares (‘The Coming Revolution’ 2010) argues that Northern Africa will become dominated by the radical Muslim Brotherhood because they are organized and funded, and that Syria, Iran, Iraq and Lebanon will become dominated by the Shiia. And where is Israel and the Christians in this picture? (See The World Over Live, Raymond Arroyo, 2/2/2012). And the US is giving money to the radical and minority Mulsim Brotherhood.

  • SteveV

    As this subject is discussed please keep in mind that the majority of people in
    our country couldn’t care less about what’s going on in Syria, or Afghanistan,
    or Africa, etc. Perhaps a little lip service, but otherwise they are focused on
    the economy and whether they and their children will have jobs tomorrow. Call it what you will, but people are tired of the media moving from crisis to crisis with problems that defy logic and have no viable solution.

    • Hidan

       What many American’s fail to grasp is that these crisis are draining resources that could be spent at home helping other Americans. Instead it allows some to cut funding that helps the poorest among us to defense contacts and funding people who later become our enemies or create even more enemies for us in the future.

      The goal of the Government propaganda is to get Americans to believe there’s no other way but war and regime change than at home cry about not having the funding and how we must cut social programs to cut the debt.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Doesn’t ALL armed conflict drain resources that could be better used for positive progress?

        • Hidan

          Many do, but normally they also require higher taxes and citizen sacrifice to pay for them.

          Unlike our Israeli friend here that’s more than willing to leave the bill with the U.S.. I’m not, the rich alreadly stated there not going to pay for it, the Middle class can’t pay for it and the poor are being told they will loose services to pay for it.

          • Plushkin

            where did I ever say anything about who should go to war and who pays for what?
            Classic straw man fallacy — put words into opponent’s mouth and attack. 

            On the same note nor have I ever said that I’m an Israeli. 

          • Hidan

            So you know believe we the U.S. shouldn’t attack Iran?

            “On the same note nor have I ever said that I’m an Israeli. ”



            Are you not Israeli? feel free to let us know.

          • Plushkin

             What I believe is irrelevant, just like everything you believe is also irrelevant.

            I would prefer to avoid any escalation of violence, but being a realist I understand that this is not always possible.

            US should pay a role in Iran  ONLY if it considers its interests threatened and this determination must come from US and US only.

             Forgetting nothing. I said that I’m a true, 100% semite despite being born outside of ME. Nothing did I say about my nationality, which is again no one business.  And I do feel free to tell you to sod off. How about that?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VDH4GYJMIUFU373W3XUQVD2V4E Patrick

    Tom, I expect more from this show that to jump on the neo-con propaganda train. Why don’t we do an hour on our arms sales to Bahrain?

  • Hidan

    It’s sad what’s going on in Syria and I hope Assad finally is no longer in power but the reporting so far mirrors that of Libya. where the TNC had free rain to torture African immigrants and Libyans of African origins while the press dismiss this and only choose to report on one side the town of 30k mostly Africans was ethically cleansed  while Garrovo knew of this but didn’t report this. Which seem to be to due to the fact she was embedded with the TNC. Among others things she finally reported on such after the war was over.


    Would be great for the listeners to get some actual reporting to whats going on in Syria like the European Middle Eastern press is doing.  Instead stenograph what the Government is telling the press to say.

  • Modavations

    The Egyptians just canceled the talks over the hostages.So much for the Arab Spring.Drill baby drill and we can turn our backs on the despots and thugs.Anyone ever been to the mid east.I went to see the pyramids 20 yrs ago and Cairo was trashed.Made Mexico look like Eden.morrocco was cool though.

  • aj

    -via Global Post-

    ” New York Police Department officers shot and killed an unarmed 18-year-old Thursday, reported the Wall Street Journal.
    Ramarley Graham, an 18-year-old suspected drug dealer, ran down the street from narcotics officers during a drug bust. The chase lead police to Graham’s home in the Bronx. Graham was then shot in the chest during a struggle with an officer in his bathroom, reported New York Magazine, allegedly after he tried to flush drugs down the toilet. 
    “He wasn’t a bad kid. Not the kind of kid who carries guns,” Graham’s mother told NY1. She said the only drug he had was marijuana.
    More from GlobalPost: Greg Kelly, NYPD commissioner’s son, accused of rape
    NYPD spokesman Paul J. Browne told The New York Times that there was “no evidence” that Graham was armed. Graham is the third suspect to be killed by NYPD officers in the past week, reported the Times.
    The police department has come under increasing scrutiny in recent months. New documents reported on yesterday by the Associated Press show that the police department had spied on thousands of Shiite Muslims in its search for Iranian terrorists, profiling the suspects based on their religion. ” 

    On Point MUST, I repeat MUST! do an hour on this brutal homicide.  Or at minimum FEATURE it on Friday’s week in review or it is as morally bankrupt as the rest of the overpaid elite self-righteous hypocritical government-mouthpiece zionist-rascist  mainstream media.

    This is an appaling example of viscous brutality commited here at home in the ghetto by police, while the U.S. govt self-righteously proclaims moral superiority a few blocks away at the U.N..   This is unacceptable!

    Your move OnPoint.

    Official oppression in the Bronx is just as newsWORTHY as govt oppression in Deraa or Homs.   

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Interesting comment.

  • Terry Tree Tree

    I can only express my sympathy for the innocent civillians, and expecially the children, that suffer the MOST, and probably will ganin the LEAST, from these conflicts!
       My best wishes for the best possible outcome for the people of Syria, and ALL other conflicts!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1816544 Dan Trindade

    Tom can you ask your guests how they think things would turn out if we (the United States and Europe) took a step back from this situation and started taking a back seat to regional actors such as Saudi Arabia and Turkey?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1816544 Dan Trindade

      thank you Tom!

  • Anonymous

    Jefferson wrote: “The tree of liberty must be refreshed form time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”  Why does the U.S feel the need to interfere with this process as it plays out in other countries?   Let them sort things out on their own,  as we did in the 18th century.  

    • Modavations

      Let’s drill our on oil,etc,. and let them have at it

    • Vtpeaknik

      The US revolution succeeded only thanks to French intervention.  If you don’t know what I’m talking about, look up “LaFayette”.

      • Ellen Dibble

        And we succeeded so well that after we “won,” then you have Shay’s rebellion, right where I live.  Issue one:  How to pay for the war.  We had major  upheavals over that sort of thing.

  • Ellen Dibble

    I heard on the BBC Newshour this morning a rather official Russian statement that Russia knows how dangerous a civil war can be, how destabilizing, because after the Russian civil war what befell was “70 years of totalitarian government.”  That might have been Alexander Nekrassov.  
      To me, that is a significant perspective, if this is the last act of the Cold War.  See http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-16921329

    • Modavations

      Ellen,they’re still totalitarian.There is no free press.I have plenty of shawls with very minor defects,that I won’t sell to my clients.Do you have a charity that might want some.I;’ll send you some too,the defects are very,very negligible

      • Ellen Dibble

        When the Charlie Rose staff get it linked on their site, give a  listen to the Churkin interview from last night.  Charlie Rose challenged him on exactly that, and it seems they started a series of discussions on exactly that, the Churkin/Rose debate on Russia’s future.
            By the way Joshua Landis was one of the panelists with Tom Friedman and Fouad Ajami and the fourth, that I don’t have a name for yet.

  • Ellen Dibble

    Maybe I missed it, but does Joshua Landis think sanctions are exacerbating Syrian stresses on the people?  Is there a better alternative?

  • MarkVII88

    How can the USA avoid getting stuck in a trap in Syria?  Either we intervene militarily or financially and suffer the ire of Americans who are sick of sticking our noses into foreign affairs, or we don’t intervene and thousands more people get killed with the US looking like a hypocrite to the world for letting Syrians suffer while we helped oust the dictator in Libya in 2011.

  • Kevin

    I know the situation in Syria is bad, but I find the outrage on the part of US leaders “interesting”, considering that we said nothing when Bahrain cracked down violently on its opposition.  

  • Samer

    Before Al-Assad’s, Syria had 15 government overthrow in about 20 years since the independence from the French.  It was a chaotic time which did not promote progress of the country.  The peaceful environment made possible by the Assad strong rule made it possible for the country to progress and prosper.  Bashar Al-Assad grew the middle class and that’s why he has their support as previously stated by one of your guests.  And here we are promoting the overthrow of someone who has strengthened the middle class, what has the world come to?  A democratic change should include the vote of all the Syrian people and by all estimates Bashar has at least 35% of his people’s vote of whom I am one.  Simply removing him from power is like trampling on the votes of these people.  What about my vote?  Do I not count?  Peaceful, negotiated, democratic, transition is the way to go.
    In every country in the world there are always disgruntle people but that is seldom a reason to violently overthrow the government.  As a sign of things to come, recently a mortar was fired by islamists on a christen convent which is about 1,500 year old.  As a Syrian Christian, I was always proud of the well treatment of the minority Christians in Syria.  I am not sure that will continue if Assad is violently overthrown.

  • JustSayin

    Wow that caller worried about the three kids exhibits the new American emotionalism. Don’t think rationally, just emotionally, and set foreign policy based on a world view based on ignorance. Let’s stop thinking, and police the world and damn the cost… Bombing saves lives?

    Did he ever consider how many children die from starvation and disease every day?

    Every year 15 million children die of hunger. For the price of one missile, a school full of hungry children could eat lunch every day for 5 years. 

    • aj


  • Anonymous

    There are days when I cannot find the words to praise On Point because its extraordinary quality. I share the sentiment of the working class man, and others, who spoke with great emotion about this atrocious repression the Syrian people is enduring. I hope Ambassor Djierjian hears the voice of sanity. He better that I knows the terrible cost of repression against an unarmed population.

    Had the United States armed forces marched against Saddam Hussein’s regime at the end of the  first Gulf War, Iraq today would have been a better place, both humanly and geopolitically, that what it is today. But the they ‘voice of caution’ prevailed, do not let it prevail again. Peoples do not forget those who come in support, neither those who remain indifferent at the hour of affliction.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1270475378 Ellen Blanchette

    I find it disappointing that the only thing we (U.S. and our allies) are asking for in Syria is for regime change. I wonder if it isn’t still possible to succeed in convincing al-Assad to change his policy of violence against his people. I’m very concerned that there isn’t any consideration of negotiation with the president, although perhaps that has been going on and we haven’t seen it. To me the goal should be to stop the violence if possible and I think we have moved too quickly to regime change when that guarantees a long dark period of extreme violence against the people of Syria. Al-Assad is not Gaddafi, a crazy person in power for 40 years. He is intelligent, western educated, did seem like he might be a reformer in the beginning. He is certainly surrounded by his father’s old advisors, inherited not only the presidency but the people who kept his father in power. Call me naive, and I may be, but this man may be capable of change if given the chance and at least an attempt to a real cease fire to save lives and find a way forward is what I would like to see.

  • Anonymous

    One more point. When we reason in terms of a geopolitical logic, we are not better than the Chinese or the Russians. Recent history proves it well. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1270475378 Ellen Blanchette

    comment on On Point

  • Dee

    Tom, I hate to remind you again–your job is not to cover the news but to uncover it today. Especially,all the fear mongering against Iran and Syria collapsing into a civil war. It seems to me you ought to be asking “who is benefitting from this…” and 
    connect the dots accordingly.
    I believe Tim Snider’s column below (URL) begins this process and he brings the West’s historical injustice against Iran into focus today. Thus one can understand why Iran seeks Nuclear capability with all their threats and counter threats by Israel and the US. (Plus the appalling hypocrisy there of condemning Iran’s nuclear facility when Israel has astockpile of 300-400 nuclear warheadsas Jimmy Carter pointed out a few years ago and it has never opened its facilities to inspection and monitoring ..At least, Iran has done this…) Syria’s history though different was a victim to the same colonial powers dirty tricks–especially Assad’s father… Thus it any wonder today many in that state feel they are being infiltrated today by outside Western forces today too?Still, it doesn’t justify the military firing on protesters seeking democratic reforms. Yet US officials along with the Zionist apologists must be held responsible for pulling the trigger and uppping the fear mongering in the region, the military build up of American power land and sea, and the closing of US Embassy. Those were the WRONG SIGNALS to send and if Israel or the US touches the region –it won’t be just the Syrians and the Iranians and Egyptians on the streets –it will be the world’s people condmning the war mongering state of Israel and theNeocons in the US…..Dee Accusing Iran, Ignoring Historyhttp://www.zcommunications.org/accusing-iran-ignoring-history-by-ted-sniderNeocons, Not Mullahs, Would Blow Up the Middle Easthttp://politicalcorrection.org/fpmatters/201008160003The Israeli Lobby , John Mearsheimer and Stephen Wallhttp://www.lrb.co.uk/v28/n06/john-mearsheimer/the-israel-lobbyThe big Lie about the US bringing Democracy to Iraq & Afghanistanhttp://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/20/opinion/20collier.htmlHere is the architect of this lie speaking now on Libyahttp://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204394804577011721031265512.html 

  • Dee

    addendum URLs 

    Accusing Iran, ignoring History..

    Neocons, not Mullahs want to blow up the Middle East 

    Israeli Lobby, note references to fear mongering in the Region

    The Big Lie behind bringing Democracy to the Region<NYT

    The Zionist Architect for war in the Region (many in the Senate 
    Mc Cain, Liberman, Kyle ) and Right Wing Think Tanks in Wash. 
    (Amerian Enterprise, The Centre for Near East Studies, Brookings INstitute and The Chales Baker, 111 Institute, et al.)


  • Bruce

    I am very disappointed in the positive potential of this show being used as a de facto propaganda outlet for the lies and sophistries of the hypocritical murderers around the Obama State Department, the CIA, the NED (National Endowment of Democracy), NGO’s  and the whole “Color Revolution” crowd pushing what is leading to world war III.

    If people are worried about stopping tyrants, lets start with the impeachment of warmonger Obama for violating our Constitution and Bill of Rights. Remember the Democrats leadership was against the impeachment of Bush, because they wanted to inherit those dictatorial powers. Now torturer and murderer of American citizens, Obama bin Bush, is creating the platform for another Republican to inherit the dictatorial precedent expanded under Obama.

    Tom should interview people like Webster Tarpley, Tarpley.net, now reporting from Iran, after trips to Libya and Syrian. Or someone like Professor Chossudovsky of Global Research.

    Thank God for Russian and China in saying no at the UN, a stance that is very welcome to say no to the bankrupt militarist west, which wants a world war as a means of staying in power as the financial crisis continues.

    • Anonymous

      So Bruce, you support Assad as the Chinese, Iranians and Russians do?

      Also on what grounds do we impeach President Obama?
      There are so many things skewed in your comments one does not know where to begin.

      • Hidan

         As Chomsky puts it most of our current and former presidents would be siting in the Hague if we applied the same rules that were at the the Nuremberg trial. Obama has in many cases continued many of the bush policies. It’s drone program kills more civilians than suspected terrorist,if the killing of civilian scientist had U.S. involvement it’s be considered a act of terrorism cause the intended goal is to scare the population. The kill of U.S. citizens without due process is another

        According to Russia and China(grain of salt here) it would allow the U.S. and Nato to do what they did in Libya in Syria. The wording was left vague on some parts allowing the U.S. to interpret it as it sees fix. Libyan was deem a success but countless libyans Africans and migrant workers were/are tortured,raped, beaten and killed. The U.N. actually had previous year reports on. Even going back to the early 2000′s. Also civilians deaths by Nato and the TNC were often not covered or glossed over.

        I much prefer Turkey take the lead with Syria than the U.S..


  • Plushkin

    Joshua Landis excelled today at providing realistic and honest perspective for the events in Syria. His no nonsense delivery and comprehensive understanding of the problem are a welcome departure from mindless left wing hacks soiling every forum discussing ME affairs. Tom, please, have him on more often!  

  • Wise Infidel

    Tom Ashbrook or someone in this program said democratic governance is inevitable in the post-colonial era when the colonial powers had enthroned minority devils with the crown.  He cited how Iraq got democracy – rule by the majority so implying Syria deserves too.

    How about India?! Minority has been ruling for the past 1000+55 years!  How about Bahrain??  The sunni devilish lust for power, wealth and influence has denied these two major nations any prospect of real and true democracy. When will the western govt, media and elite champion their cause?!! Is it not the moral imperative now being already a bit too late!!  Both are witnessing – especially India – limitless violence, criminal attacks on ordinary citizens such as rape, robbery, murderous riots, abductions, serial mass murders from serial blasts in markets, trains and temples, targeted assassination of politicians  (like Tory or Democrats being killed in UK/USA by the opponents which is impossible in the West!),  political arrests (on Anna Hazare and Ram Dev), and so on …

    Both Shias and Hindus are victims of islamic xenophobic hate crimes for so many centuries.

    Recently, one islamic bollywood actor savagely punched his critic in public; nothing could be done about it as he has manipulated the media to style himself as ‘king’ or ‘emperor’!!! But most see him as kingpin of crimes – part of Mumbai underworld that barred Saman Rushdie from entering India. .

  • Hidan

    Speaking of drivel seems our non-racist Israeli decided to use the “Israeli Project” as his factual truth teller.

    What is the Israeli Project?

    An non bias and objective group that wishes to communicate to the world on the M.E. and Israel. Just so happens it’s anything but it’s actually an pro-israeli polling group that works with the Likes of Frank Luntz(Republican known liar) It’s also funded by the RJC(Repubilcan Jewish Coalition) who works with our fellow U.S. Neocon within the U.S. and Likud in Israel.


    Claiming to be a non-profit educational organization that “gets facts about Israel and the Middle East to press, public officials and the public,”[2] the group advocates a number of positions similar to neoconservative groups and other U.S. organizations aligned with Israel’s conservative Likud Party. It supports the controversial wall along the West Bank, advocates a hardline on Iran, and actively promotes the work of hawkish think tanks and writers.
    A sign of the Israel Project’s pull in Washington is the long list of senators and congressional representatives from both parties who apparently serve as advisors to the group. As of mid-2011, TIP’s Board of Advisors included 15 senators and 22 members of the House of Representatives. Advisors have included former Sen. Sen. Rick Santorum, Sens. Joseph Lieberman (I-CT), Mark Kirk (R-IL), and Ben Nelson (D-NE), as well as Reps. Allen West (R-FL), Joe Wilson (R-SC), and Eliot Engel (D-NY).[3]
    In 2009, the lobby group found itself in hot water for dubious signatures on an anti-Iran petition it commissioned. Reported Spencer Ackerman: “But clicking through that link to take a closer look at those signatories raises substantial questions about their authenticity. For instance, signatories 84,854 through 85,071 are all named ‘Vince Vince’—although the Israel Project claims that all those different Vince Vinces are from different states. Well, sort of. Some of them are from states listed by recognizable acronyms like MN or AZ or PA. Others, however, are from the great states of GU and AA and XX.
    … Nor does the curious reader even have to examine the list that far down. Signatory number five is listed as Comfylovely

    • Plushkin

       Anything on the subject matter of the link provided? Do you still stand behind your bogus claim that fence runners from Syria were refugees and not government organized mob to deflect attention from Syria’s internal affairs?
      I thought so…
      BTW you  have also failed to name 1 (ONE) right that Jews have and Arab Israelis don’t,  in Israel as well.
      Your perverted world view and undisguised hatred of Jewish people is shining brightly.  


      • Hidan

         You think wrong, which has become common on these threads.

        The Israeli Project is an P.R organization that’s goal is to put Israeli in a better light.

        Others have it the IDF used snipers to shoot at the protesters(including children) before any of the cocktails were thrown. As you noted it was on the or around the time of Nabka(which Israeli passed a law banning it) in which refugees come to the boarder. It actually happen an Month before the event.

        BTW you  have also failed to name 1 (ONE) right that Jews have and Arab Israelis don’t,  in Israel as well.

        I didn’t I linked a bunch of examples in my below post but heres another.

         This is the law that the Israeli Supreme Court voted to uphold last week. It applies only to Arab Israelis. Jewish Israelis are free to marry and live with anyone they like (except Palestinians). The Supreme Court ruling – by 6 votes to 5 – has sparked off a long overdue debate in Israel about discriminatory laws. But family unification is only the tip of the iceberg. Israel uses a whole armoury of seemingly neutral bureaucratic devices – planning permission, building permits, housing densities, residence applications – to reduce the Palestinian population.The Jerusalem Plan openly sets a target of reducing the Palestinian population from 40 to 20 per cent and a recent surge in the number of house demolitions, evictions, settlement expansion, revocation of residence permits, even the building of parks and open spaces, are all part of a strategy of ethnic engineering. Refusing to let Palestinians from the suburbs (which are in the West Bank) live with their spouses from the City (who have Jerusalem ID cards) is just one of many ways of nudging Arabs out of Jerusalem

        • Hidan

           “I did I linked a bunch of examples in my below post but heres another.”

          • Plushkin

             they are all fail to bring up ONE right that Jews have and Arab Israelis don’t. Also don’t confuse all Arabs with Israeli ones. If your are not a citizen of the country, said country has no legal obligations to guarantee you anything.

            Once again immigration policy is of Israel’s own.  And it is set to benefit Jewish people in the Jewish state. I know it is hard to swallow for those that believe that the only right Jews have is to be subjects for someone else. This is no longer true and that’s exactly why you’re so anti everything Jewish.  

        • Plushkin

          You, statesman and guardian are twisting the facts again: the law doesn’t deal with marriage. In Israel only religious marriages are allowed, which presents a problem for everyone not just Arabs. The law in question is actually an enforcement or clarification of immigration policy which is entirely up to the sovereign to decide for itself. There is nothing racist about it. At least I don’t hear you cry about Kuwait not allowing Jews to immigrate there or Saudi Law banning Jews from setting a foot on Saudi soil.


          • Hidan

             Thanks for proving my point. Israel is Jewish first which in fact is going to discriminate against non-jews. Immigration policy is a clear example.

            Also throwing in Kuwait and Saudi A which the U.S. both supports is an red herring.

      • Hidan

         Once again I got nothing against Jews, but our non-racist Israeli has qouted from known racist and xenophobes, people that work with and host groups listed as Hate groups.

        If your not an Israeli I’ll refrain from labeling you such, but with it’s current government I be ashamed to call myself one as well.

        I do dislike the Likudites and Firsters mainly cause there racist and supremacist, than there’s the bold face lies and slander.  But just because I don’t like the Racist Israeli government doesn’t mend I hate all Jews. Unlike some I make a distinction and don’t try to conflate all jews with being Israeli.

        What’s perverted is stalking others on other threads, than pretending to be them cause you don’t like what they say about an foreign government.

        We all know your an known racist who believes in equality for all and believes Muslims are just as equal as Jews right?

        • Hidan

           We all know your not an known racist who actually  believes in equality for all and believes Muslims are just as equal as Jews right?

          • Plushkin

            Of cause not. Muslims should have much more rights. Just consult some Saudi Arabia laws or your beloved PA laws and declarations.

            As for Israel: Arab citizens enjoy far more rights in Israel then most of their brethren in their own Arab countries, all 22 of them.

            An Arab member of the Knesset who goes all the way to the US and Canada to tell university students and professors that Israel is an apartheid state is not only a hypocrite and a liar, but is also causing huge damage to the interests of his own Arab voters and constituents.


          • Hidan

             of cause not?

        • Plushkin

           What’s perverted is a belief that one can post lies, half-truths, openly call for state to be wiped or shutdown, advocate terrorism and expect that to go on unchallenged.

          We all know that you support right of Jewish people to have state of their own, right? 

  • Write To Ib

    Who is calling the shots in Syria, Bashar or Maher?

  • Anonymous

    When you say “regime” who are you talking about? Who or whom’s calling the shots?

  • Hallcrash

    Just one more example of the majority of tax $$ working against the people who. pay them.Greed is the problem in all cases

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charley-Wooley/741206578 Charley Wooley

    If were going to do this, we gotta do it like we did libya. Let NATO or the UN take the lead and provide them with air support, predator drones, and the like but really take a backseat in the whole affair. 
    After all its not really our fight to begin with.

  • Dee


    I must apologize for reprimanding a veteran journalist and 
    an excellent public affairs moderator like yourself… Still, 
    I find even the best and the brightest often fail to connect 
    the dots on the undue influences the Israeli war mongers 
    have on our system of government and media and how they are engaged in another all out PR campaign to get the US to attack Iran and pick up the tab.  

    I think the authors of the The Israeli Lobby John Mearsheimer 
    & Stephen Wall spell this out that clearly in their article in the London Review of Books. 

    Yet the backlash today Americans will not tolerate their war 
    mongering anymore and will call to shut down their state.

    Still, I feel the Israeli historian Avi Shlaim hit the right note 
    when he quoted a memo to the British Foreign Office Secretary Ernest Bevin on June 2,1948 from Sir John Troutback accusing  the Americans of creating “a gangster state” headed by ‘an utterly unscrupulous set of leaders.” 

    No doubt he was speaking from experience as the Zionists 
    waged a vicious assault on the British military in Palestine 
    with their attacks, assassinations and bombings. 

    Remember, it was Menachem Begin’s gangsters who blew 
    up the The King David Hotel in Jerusalem in 1946 and kill-
    ed 91 British military staff and Members of The Stern Gang 
    who assassinated the Swedish Count Folke Berdotte and UN Envoy because he felt it was a terrible injustice to bring in jewish Refugees from around the world and keep out the in-
    digenous Palestinian population from their homes in Israel (Palestine) after the uprooting of 1948. 

    Yet their officials have the audacity to call Palestinians terrorists leading a national resistance to reconcile this
    injustice against their people in their homeland.

    Especially, in the Palestinian territories which was illegally invaded by Israeli Forces durning the 1967 war. Please listen 
    to Salman Abbuta Sitta’s eye witness account (URLbelow) 

    He was just 10 yrs old when his family become victims of Zionist terrorism. He is still unable to reurn o his parents 
    home and the family’s land due to Israel’s continued illegal occupation of his homeland …

    Shocking isn’t it? There were a group of Jewish people who pleaded with the world body of the UN after World War 11 
    to give them a homeland as they claimed they were devast-ated by the violations in their human rights by The Nazis and the confiscation of their land and property. 

    Now, they have turned around and have committed some of the  same war crimes against Palestinian people. Thus, invalidating their own cause and place in the Middle East today…. 

    This is what is so upsetting to the world’s people today. Their lawlessness and ungratefulness . Plus, their leaders dirty tricks and PR campaigns to dictate US policy in the region. 

    Columns to attack Iran are in all local and national newspapers and Weekly magazines during the last few weeks. In addition, 
    their Zionist apologists are on the airwaves day & night beating the drums to attack Iran–which only fuel the situation in Syria
    and ups the ante in Iran…Plus, it places Americans serving abroad and at home at risk for reprisals….

    Mearsheimer and Wall point all this out in their article. Read it

    I see a ban coming on Zionist apologists on Capital Hill,  just as 
    there will have to be a ban on corporate lobbyists too. It must all end…Dee

    • Plushkin

      You , hidan and caruso should be commissioned to right updated version of “Protocols”. This drivel could be used in its entirety as a introductory chapter.


      PRINCETON, NJ — Americans’ views toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict held fairly steady over the past year, with a near record-high 63% continuing to say their sympathies lie more with the Israelis. Seventeen percent sympathize more with the Palestinians.


      That means you have much more work to do Dee, hope to it.

      • Plushkin

        also readers of the  measheimer & walt link should enjoy comments section on that article, it is quite telling.

        • Hidan

           Another World Poll on Israel

          Ynet News



          World poll: Only 19% see Israel in positive light

          Survey conducted in 28 countries on 29,000 respondents reveals that only Iran, Pakistan, North Korea have more negative perception than Israel. Most ‘loved’ country is Germany. ‘Obama effect’ has resulted in improvement in relations towards US for first time since 2005

          Published:     04.20.10, 21:43 / Israel News

          Only Iran, North Korea, and Pakistan are viewed in a more negative light than Israel, according to a poll conducted in 28 countries and published Tuesday by the BBC.
          This is computer output

          • Plushkin

             Interesting. where is the rest of data? I mean 19% see Israel positively, how much see so-called palestianians positively? 3% ? and rest is don know/don’t care? 

          • Plushkin

            Here  the missing details, which our ‘arab rights’ activist conveniently ommited
            Even though, the average of countries polled in both 2009 and 2010 became slightly less negative; unfavorable ratings have dropped by four points.

            note the double digit drop in negativism in whole bunch of countries

            Views improved but remained negative in several countries. Unfavorable ratings have dropped in Australia by 20 points (now 47%, down from 67%), in Canada by 14 points (now 38%, down from 52%), in China by 12 points (now 40%, down from 52%), in Japan by 11 points (now 52%, down from 63%), in Portugal by 22 points (now 46%, down from 68%), in Spain by 11 points (now 60%, down from 71%)

            The USA has remained one of the two countries offering a positive rating overall, although this has dropped seven points (now 40%, down from 47%). It is joined by Kenya, where a drop in negative ratings by seven points (now 34%, from 41%) has caused it to lean slightly positive (39% positive). Russia continues to be quite divided (29% positive, 30% negative).

            huge surprise here. I wonder how much weight was given to these numbers in overall rating

            Majority-Muslim countries continue to have negative views about Israel’s influence. All five of these countries surveyed have negative majorities: Egypt (92%), Turkey (77%), Indonesia (56%), Pakistan (53%), and Azerbaijan (51%).

          • Hidan

             always the truth teller. Our Israeli friend left out this part

            “Attitudes toward Israel are widely negative.
            Twenty-four countries give an unfavorable evaluation, while only two
            evaluate Israel positively, and two are divided. In the 28-country
            average, 50 per cent rate Israel‘s influence negatively
            and 19 per cent rate it positively. “Right before the part he qouted Also one would think an 20% reduction in negative would translate to an postive view. But it didn’t and was at 19%

      • Hidan

         What’s americans views on stopping settlements?


        2:1 votes opposed settlements.

        58% believe Israel is an ally while 32% believes Israel somewhere between a ally and enemy

        And this is from the Conservative Rasmussen

        What does the World think of Israel?

        new poll commissioned by the European Commission show that Israel is believed by Europeans in 15 countries to be the greatest threat to world peace, greater than North Korea, Iran or Afghanistan.

        While the European Commission will release the full results of the poll on Monday, the International Herald Tribune reported that the 7,500 people polled living in the European Union (500 in each of the 15 E.U. member states) were presented with a list of 15 countries and asked if these countries present a threat to world peace. Shockingly, Israel was rated first.

        • Plushkin

           wondering why there is no source for European commission poll? Here is why

          I found this “news” on a Twitter, and as I’m very interested in the topic, I searched for futher informations, but I think this is a mistake. This poll is the one from back in october 2003 that made a lot of noice in Europe at the time. Maybe people should verify their informations better :-)
          This kind of “false news” is not serving the Palestinians.

          Deïr Yassin

          November 2, 2011 at 16:45

          Sorry I forgot to mention that Romano Prodi who’s mentiones in the full text left his position in 2004, and Javier Solana in 2009 :-)
          But still, Israel is without any doubt the biggest threat to world peace.

          Way to go! And you say you have nothing against Jewish people? Certifiable libel.

          • Hidan

             Got it from the The Simon Wiesenthal Center Nov 2011. Ill make sure not to rely on them in the future

    • Hidan

       As Demographics change in the U.S. so will support for Israel. With Israeli growing trend to the Far-Right and the racism becomes known to more and more Americans as you stated will sooner or later come true. Israel worst enemy are it’s far right in the country and the enablers in the U.S. that blindly supports any and all actions.

      Civil rights groups cite all-time high of 21 bills proposed in 2010 aimed at discriminating against Arabs


      Poll: 77% of ‘Soviet’ olim support Arab transfer


      Poll: 46% of high-schoolers don’t want equality for Arabs

      The more religious the student the higher the racism.

  • Dee

    Addendum Re: American Public Opinion And sympathy with 
    Israel is greatly exaggerated by the US Leadership -and it is 
    certainly far from being “in locked step with Israel” as US Officials like to claim. Indeed, I believe the opposite is true  especially after Israeli forces vicious attacks on Lebanon in 
    2006 and it’s criminal and immoral bombing of Gaza in ’08
    -09. The author of the following column speaks to this also

    And if one were to look at it in terms of generational opinion Israel is on track to losing the battle of hearts for the future.

    Many baby Boomers (the new powerhouse generation) hate Israel’s guts and won’t support its call to military aggression 
    and parrot that so called “special relationship” Indeed, I be-
    lieve they wil discharge the state as being no longer needed
    in today’s human rights world.

    Plus the younger generations of Americans-the some 20s 
    and 30 yr olds don’t want any kind of war and are completely turned off today by the misled war on Iraq and the quagmire and cost there and its criminal expansion into Afghanistan  

    Not to mention how it has all bankrupted their economy and future to climb into the middle class and homeownership, etc. 

    Then- there is of course the new aspiring Latinos generation 
    who will dominate the American majority in the coming years,
    especially by the end of this decade. They won’t give a damn
    it seems whether Israel is on the map or off…Their focus will be their pwn heritage and family climb to power in America.

    Thus the stakes are piled high against Israel in the coming yrs
    and it won’t win the future. Indeed, I believe it will lose it un-
    less it comes clean now and shows it can be a law abiding state and recognize Palestinian rights and return to 1967 Green Line.

    (Although, in essence it should be the partition line of 1947 so Palestinian Right of Return is fully realized.)

    This is what the world wants for them and this was so evident in the UN Assembly vote for a Palestinian state last September.

    In addition, the world’s opposition and vote against the Fascist 
    Israeli Wall in 2004 (The vote was almost unanimous with only 
    10 countries opposing.. ) Thus, one could say that is a wall 
    against the world…

    And of course , there was the unanimous 14 justice panel ruling against the Israeli settlements at that time also. Hence, the Palestinian people have the law on their side and there is no court that can make those settlements legal–not now or in a hundred or indeed a thousand years from now….

    So the settlers are building a future based on false hopes 
    for themselves and their families.,,,They should do what is right and pack up and go now and “void ” the settlements 
    as the International court of Justice called for and save 
    what is sovereign about Israel under UN Resolution 181.

    (As the writer of this website points out they don’t have a leg 
    to stand on http://pamolson.org/ArtIllegalColonies.htm )


    • Hidan

       I’m for allow settlers to stay with the condition of renouncing there Israeli citizenship and becoming part of the New State. I also think that if Israel allowed jews and non-jews to marry this would reduced the hatred on both sides.  I think even if the Israeli gave some limited safty to Palestinians and Syrian flee Syria it would reduce hatred on both sides and could heal some wounds if the protesters were to oust Assad. But as we both know it’s unlikely to happen and the Likes of it’s F.M. would bring down the Israeli government

      A friend recommend Jeff Halper who runs the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions

      Here’s one of his lectures.


      I came across this if your interested. By David A Kirshbaum


      A candidates’ list shall not participate in elections to the Knesset if its objects or actions, expressly or by implication, include one of the following:

          (1) negation of the existence of the State of Israel as the state of the Jewish people;
          (2) negation of the democratic character of the State;
          (3) incitement to racism.”.

      The irony of this law then encapsulates the conflict – because, unavoidably, advocating equal rights for all Israelis is considered to be one form of “negation of the existence of the State of Israel as the state of the Jewish people”, but this by definition is itself a form of racism because it involves giving privilege to one group over all others based on what religion they are, which is then outlawed in point #3, because by definition, racism negates “… the democratic character of the State”, which is outlawed in point #2, because a true democracy could not tolerate such things as legalized discrimination or laws that contradict themselves (Kretzmer, 1990)!

      • Plushkin

        so you agree with those who deny Jews right of self-determination then? Nice.

        Israel as sovereign nation has the right to define it charter, it’s immigration policy and laws denying funding to those who wish to celebrate “nakba” on Israel’s independence day.  Israel was established as state for Jews and others will have to live this.

         Alternatively they will always have a chance to join Hamas, as their (Hamas’ and for the matter of fact FATAH’s also) charter is more in tune with their sentiments and by doing this finally put the money where their mouths are.

    • Plushkin

       This sounds like a bunch of wishful thinking from a closed closet.

      Take this pearl for instance:

      This is what the world wants for them and this was so evident in the UN Assembly vote for a Palestinian state last September.

      Really?  Was there a vote? What was the outcome I wonder?

      The rest of the arguments is equally flawed as being simple emotional outburst at facts that contradict one’s preconceived bias.

      So Dee you could safely drop speaking for the entire world and follow up on your transformation from `digusted’ and ‘outraged’ to an “an admirer”. So far I’ve seen you commenting positive only on deceased or jailed democrats. Everything else was just worthless bubbling from far left perverted perspective

  • Dee

    Yes, Israel’s racism will consume the state and make it im-
    possible to maintain such a state in today’s human rights 
    world. So one can see how demographics, racism and segregation will all come together to make it morally unacceptable to support Israel in the future.  The Former AG of Israel Michael Ben Yair wrote about this in his column in Haaretz in 2003. (see the URL below.) Thanks for your references on Israel’s racism. Zionism has gotten so out of hand…..Dee P.S. One can understand why Iran want to level the playing field with nuclear capability….The Courage to Refuge–Michael Ben Yair http://www.seruv.org.il/english/article.asp?msgid=77&type=article

  • http://profiles.google.com/felix.scotfl2 Felix Scott

    I am afraid to go against Israel even when I know they are wrong. The Holy Bible talks about this future time and the Jews are going to come out victorious. We are going to have to see how this turns out in the end. Until then be like the grasshopper in Aesop’s Fables. Enjoy the day as best you can.

  • Plushkin

    Some real war mongering:

    The Iranian government, through a website proxy, has laid out the legal and religious justification for the destruction of Israel and the slaughter of its people.

    Interestingly enough

    NY Times Edits Ayatollah Khamenei’s Speech, Omits Portion Calling Israel a “Cancerous Tumor” And Vowing To “Cut It Off”…


  • Dee

    Re Felix Scott ‘s argument –afraid to go against Israel 

    Well, Felix the Bible is one thing and the truth is another thing .
    And history has shown us repeatedly the truth and love has always won the day. (See Gandhi’s recognition of this below)

    Thus we have an obligation to stick with the truth and indeed 
    a blessed assurance that those who stand with the truth will 
    eventually be the victors. 

    Yet, aside from this justice can only come from the truth and 
    that to me is where necessity of sticking with the truth and 
    confronting it lies…..

    Thus I am not accepting Israel’s “facts on the ground” on 
    the settlements nor its multitudes of deceptions and crimes 
    against the Palestinians and its neighbors in the region… 

    And I should add for the purposes of this discussion its cur-
    rent fraudulent argument that Iran is an existential threat 
    and should its system should be taken out. 

    Americans lived with the Soviet Union during the cold war 
    for 40 yrs and indeed the people around the world and no 
    one proposed the absurdity that the Zionist hawks in Israel 
    and their apologists in the US are proposing of taking that system out. 

    Yet since that time –China and Japan and North Korea, India and Pakistan have developed their own systems..And unlike 
    Israel with its own nuclear capability (identified by Jimmy 
    Carter a few years ago Israel has 300-400 nuclear warheads) and have opened it arsenals for inspections. So there is a shocking double standard at work there also and this cannot 
    be ignored but must be held up…

    John Mearsheim and Stephen Walt discuss this also in their
    paper–The Israeli Lobby . Go back and read it. Thus the im=
    portant thing to keep in mind today is most Americans are not upset about a nuclear Iran . And indeed, I believe view its as
    an inevitable outcome of the times….

    And I would argue (unfortunately) necessary to level the play-
    ing field against the bullies and war mongers in Israel and their their neocons friends in the US and in the media. (Mearsheim and Walt provides a good listing of them in their article……  
    ( http://www.lrb.co.uk/v28/n06/john-mearsheimer/the-israel-lobby ) Dee

    “When I despair, I remember that all through history the ways of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it–always.” Gandhi 

  • Dee

    Re:  Hidan’s willing to accept some settlements 

    I wish I could be accommodating as you are but I feel the law is the law and Israeli officials knowingly violated it by trans-
    fering its civilian population into the Palestinian Territories  in
    violation of the Fourth Genevieve Convention (“The occupying power shall deport or transfer part of its civilian population 
    into the territory it occupies.” ) and now we have a responsib–
    ity to hold them accountable and forced them to comply with
    the law and return ALL the occupied land to the Palestinian 

    Salman Abu Sittu speaks directly to this in his video……. http://www.archive.org/details/Salman_Abu_Sitta

    I would be guide by his position as it is in tune with what the
    fourteen justices unanimously ruled at The Hague in 2004 and 
    equally importantly or perhaps more -it is what society consid-
    ers just and what other colonial powers have done in the past.

    Yet, this is not to negate or dismiss how the settlers accepted such fraudulent terms and must be held account or indeed the people who put up the funds for the illegal settlements . And I realize this includes American politicians unlawfully committed US tax payers revenue for the building of such illegal settle-ments and roads and wall and Jewish organizations in the US and around the world who complicit in this terrible crime of theft against another people and their homeland…..

    They must all own also as they will place innocent Jews at risk around the world for reprisals and Israel for a shut down..(This crime is beyond being brushed under the rug anymore and they should act accordingly.) Dee

    P.S. Many thanks for the Jeff Helper ‘s URL ..Jeff has always 
    displayed a great moral conscience….Jews can be proud of 
    his example today….

  • Plushkin

    Re:  Hidan’s willing to accept some settlements
    I wish I could be accommodating as you are but

    This is just hilarious. Do you people take yourself that seriously?

    I mean this ‘word sequence’/exchange  would be appropriate somewhere where real discussions or negotiations happen.

    But coming from two characters, that can barely cling to the cliff of far left extremism,  on a public, meaningless (no offense, just realistic ) forum is noting else but laughable. Two staunch Jew-haters discuss what they would or would not accept from Israel! Who cares?

    • Hidan

      Just to prove his point he spent the day commenting on this thread and a few days back.


      everyone knows your abusing the like button. Same way you did when you were stalking me on another thread.

  • Dee

    Re: Plushkin and his real discussion and negotiations 

    It seems to me the only thing laughable in this conflict is the fairy tale existence Zionist Jews have tried to create for them-
    selves in the Palestinian territories and expected to pas this off to the world as their God given right. 

    Well the truth of the matter no state has recognizes Israel’s sovereign rights in the occupied Palestinian territories.

    The US professor of International law John Quigley explained
    this in his book Palestine & Israel A Challenge to Justice, ‘
    “Under the UN Charter there can lawfully be no territorial gains from war, even by a state acting in self defense”  which was Israel’s claim during the 1967 war. 

    Thus the building of settlements and the transfer of Israeli civilians into the territories was a blatant vioation of Palestinian rights and international law. 

    It is too bad it has taken the 2004 International Court of Justice 
    unanimous ruling in 2004 that Israel would have to withdraw it
    troops from the territories and “void” all its structures for that 
    to hit home. And of course, the overwhelming expression of this by member states at the UN Assemly last September that 
    Israel would have to withdraw to the 1967 Green Line………

    And I should add no judge in the ICJ ruling entertained partial withdrawal or an exchange of land in a negotiated settlement. 

    I imagine, such an arrangement was not part of the British or Dutch or Spanish/Portugese colonial Powers from the territories they occupied….Dee

    • Hidan

      Plushkin goal is to defecate all over the thread to silences discussion of his prized Israel. His goal is to piss you off or attempt to.

      Like most right wing Israeli he cries about Hatred and racism yet displays it himself and I bet he be on this same thread days,weeks,months if someone responded to him.

      Anyone can check the people/organization he’s qouted to see what type of person he is. Most fall between racist,xenophobe, and supremacy advocacy.

      Great links btw and others are reading them don’t like him bring you into the mud.



  • Dee


    Many thanks for alerting me on the tendencies of Plushkin.

    Your warning not to let let him drag me into the mud on israel 
    is almost unavoidable as this is what I feel Israeli officials are 
    doing to American officials daily–and I am just outraged and wish this “special relationship” would end…

    I am so sick of the way Israeli officials seem to come to the 
    US and bully their way around Washington getting members of Congress and I suspect the Pentagon to do their bidding. Then, they top it off by having dinner at the Whitehouse and getting Obama (and Bush before him) to say “There is no distance bet-ween us and Israel” 

    What BS when most people I know can’t stand Israel’s guts today.

    I believe Senator Fulbright had their number when he called their apologists irregularities to the floor of the Senate. (URL)

    Still, it seems those fanatical Zionists have been nothing but trouble since day one and i have read many authors who said that is why the Palestinians refuse to accept the UN partition agreement with them as they know were totally unscrupulous as Sir John Troutback wrote in a memo to the British Foreign Secretary in 1947.

    (Ben Gurion is recorded as telling his partners in crime who were at the UN ceremony in 1947 , “Today, we take what the UN gives us, later we take the rest.” )

    Now, we should learn from the British who gave up the Man-date and threaten to close down their operation if they don’t clean up their act…Enough is enough. Dee 

Aug 27, 2014
Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, shakes hands with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, right, as Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, center, looks at them, prior to their talks after after posing for a photo in Minsk, Belarus, Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014. (AP)

Vladimir Putin and Ukraine’s leader meet. We’ll look at Russia and the high voltage chess game over Ukraine. Plus, we look at potential US military strikes in Syria and Iraq.

Aug 27, 2014
The cast of the new ABC comedy, "Black-ish." (Courtesy ABC)

This week the Emmys celebrate the best in television. We’ll look at what’s ahead for the Fall TV season.

Aug 26, 2014
Matthew Triska, 13, center, helps Alex Fester, 10, to build code using an iPad at a youth workshop at the Apple store on Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013, in Stanford, Calif.  (AP)

Educational apps are all over these days. How are they working for the education of our children? Plus: why our kids need more sleep.

Aug 26, 2014
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, right, speaks with Ady Barkan of the Center for Popular Democracy as she arrives for a dinner during the Jackson Hole Economic Policy Symposium at the Jackson Lake Lodge in Grand Teton National Park near Jackson, Wyo. Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014.  (AP)

Multi-millionaire Nick Hanauer says he and his fellow super-rich are killing the goose–the American middle class — that lays the golden eggs.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Poutine Whoppers? Why Burger King Is Bailing Out For Canada
Tuesday, Aug 26, 2014

Why is Burger King buying a Canadian coffee and doughnut chain? (We’ll give you a hint: tax rates).

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Why Facebook And Twitter Had Different Priorities This Week
Friday, Aug 22, 2014

There’s no hidden agenda to the difference between most people’s Facebook and Twitter feeds this week. Just a hidden type of emotional content and case use. Digiday’s John McDermott explains.

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Our Week In The Web: August 22, 2014
Friday, Aug 22, 2014

On mixed media messaging, Spotify serendipity and a view of Earth from the International Space Station.

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