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Juan Cole is an American academic and commentator on the modern Middle East and South Asia. He is Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History at the University of Michigan. Since 2002, he has written a weblog, Informed Comment (juancole.com) which is also syndicated on Truthdig.com.
SHARE Sunday, November 25, 2018 India Doubles Iran Oil Imports: Are Trump's Sanctions Cratering?
The Trump administration was constrained to give eight Asian countries "waivers" allowing them to import Iranian oil without risking sanctions by the US Treasury Department Office of Foreign Asset Control. The US places third party sanctions on firms and governments trading with sanctioned countries like Iran.
(8 comments) SHARE Monday, January 14, 2019 Who's Running John Bolton to Start a war with Iran? He worried even Mad Dog Mattis
George W. Bush tried to shoehorn Bolton in as ambassador to the United Nations but Congress would not confirm him because he is a horrible, angry person who viciously mistreated his aides and tries to fume at people around him until he can intimidate them into taking orders from him on the basis of his crackpot theories. He is another example of psychopathocracy.
(2 comments) SHARE Wednesday, October 31, 2018 Top 5 Mistakes GOP's Wohl Made in allegedly framing Mueller for Sex Charges
Republican activist Jacob Wohl allegedly set up a phony company called "Surefire Intelligence," charged with paying supposed women victims of Special Counsel Robert Mueller to allege sexual abuse. Wohl used his own email address to set up the site, and give his mother's telephone number as the contact.
(1 comments) SHARE Wednesday, April 3, 2019 Senators Grill Rick Perry on Transfer of Nuclear Info to Saudi Arabia Despite "Troubling Actions"
Secretary of Energy Rick Perry apparently handed out seven authorizations but did not, as he was supposed to according to the Atomic Energy Act, inform the independent Nuclear Regulatory Commission, members of which were grilled by Congress this week, as well. They greeted questions about whether they had been informed of the Part 810 authorizations with silence, stunning Congress.
(3 comments) SHARE Sunday, June 14, 2020 All the Lies Trump told the West Point Graduates about American Militarism
Trump endangered the health of the graduating class at West Point -- for the purposes of a photo op for his reelection campaign by insisting on bringing them back to campus. He gave an alarming performance in which some observers saw an advancing dementia and during which he had difficulty lifting a glass of water.
(6 comments) SHARE Tuesday, July 9, 2019 China Backs Iran: Trump "Started the Fire," "unilateral bullying" "a tumor"
China is openly blaming the Trump administration for the breakdown of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said at a daily press briefing, "The 'maximum pressure' against Iran imposed by the United States is the root cause of the crisis concerning the Iran nuclear issue."
(2 comments) SHARE Sunday, July 8, 2018 Iran: Trump's Tweets have added $10 to cost of Oil, Upping cost of Gasoline
Trump is a one man inflation-machine. The trade wars he is picking will cause consumers to have to pay more for automobiles and lots of other commodities. His own voting base will suffer most, since they probably shop in Walmart, the chief marketing agent in the US for the goods produced by the Chinese Communist Party.
(4 comments) SHARE Sunday, July 28, 2019 Trump's Supreme Court overturns Magna Carta (1215) and Montesquieu (1748) for Sultan Donald John
By letting Sultan Trump subvert the will of the legislature, the Court has united "the legislative and executive powers...in the same person." The result is that the sultan can "enact tyrannical laws, to execute them in a tyrannical manner." I.e., Trump can arbitrarily imprison people at the border, arbitrarily build a wall the legislature never funded, can arbitrarily have ICE detain American citizens.
(3 comments) SHARE Thursday, April 4, 2019 Dear Trump: Top 7 Signs Puerto Ricans might be Americans
Trump caused a brouhaha by tweeting that Puerto Rican officials "only take from USA," as though they weren't part of the USA! Then his White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley called Puerto Rico "that country" during an interview on MSNBC Live with Hallie Jackson. Puerto Rico has introduced a bill to become a state by 2021. We don't usually let foreign countries become states.
(4 comments) SHARE Wednesday, October 23, 2019 Unlike Trump, Putin faces down Turkey on Plans for Massive Syria Incursion
This Russo-Turkish deal emphasizes that Russia is the real hegemon in Syria, and Turkey is a bit player that is being allowed to keep a small part of what they wanted on sufferance. The Turkish ministry of defense announced that its military operations in (i.e., invasion of) Syria is over with.
(1 comments) SHARE Sunday, July 21, 2019 Is Trump setting the US up for further al-Qaeda attacks by putting Troops in Saudi Arabia?
Trump is sending US troops to be based in Saudi Arabia. Several hundred US military personnel will be at Prince Sultan Air Base, accompanying fighter jets and Patriot missile defense systems. US troops were first based in Saudi Arabia during the Gulf War of 1990-91, when George H. W. Bush assembled a coalition to force Iraq back out of Kuwait, which it brutally occupied and tried to annex in August, 1990.
(6 comments) SHARE Wednesday, October 9, 2019 Is Trump's Syria Policy about to Loose 12,000 ISIL Terrorists on the World?
Trump just pulled out the 50 US troops up near the Syrian border with Turkey, and the US apparently still has about 1,000 military personnel in the Kurdish region of Syria, Trump says he wants to bring them all out. Doing so without any plan whatsoever for the aftermath is typical of Trump but could turn into a disaster.
(1 comments) SHARE Sunday, January 13, 2019 Trump Foreign Policy in 2019: How will it Change the World?
Trump's new doctrine with 2020 nearing is "Let Trump be Trump." He may well get out of Afghanistan this year, which would be a geopolitical earthquake. It would create a power vacuum. Would Kabul fall shortly thereafter to the Taliban? Will India, Pakistan, Russia and Iran vie to succeed the US in making Afghanistan their sphere of interest?
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, July 1, 2019 Europe, Defying Trump, Implements New Currency Exchange with Iran
The US is trying to sanction third parties, those who do business with Iran, but Europe is creating fourth parties, those who do business with Instex. Instex is the one dealing with Iran. And since it has no dollars and doesn't deal with the US, Instex probably can't be fined or punished by Treasury's Office of Foreign Asset Control.
(3 comments) SHARE Tuesday, August 27, 2019 France Upstages Trump at G7 by Inviting Iran to Salvage Nuclear Deal
In a surprise development, Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif suddenly flew to Biarritz on Sunday for meetings on the sidelines of the G7 summit. He clearly was invited at the instance of French President Emannuel Macron, who is still attempting to salvage what he can of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which restricted Iran's enrichment activities.
(1 comments) SHARE Sunday, October 13, 2019 Kurds Consider Asking for Russian No-Fly Zone as Moscow Demands Foreign Armies Leave Syria
Although US politicians and pundits keep saying that the Turkish invasion benefits Russia, in fact Moscow is clearly very uncomfortable with it. It may end up inadvertently aiding the major Russian ally in Syria, the government of Bashar al-Assad, if it forces the Kurds into Assad's arms. But Russia hasn't connived in it, and its benefits to Moscow are uncertain.
(1 comments) SHARE Friday, July 19, 2019 Notorious Moments in Modern History when Dictators Sent their own Citizens "Back"
The idea that some citizens are less loyal or less patriotic or less deserving of residency than other citizens is not new in American history. But deporting those not viewed as knee-jerk loyal to the Great Leader has been more common in dictatorships than democracies, and the former is where America is going if we aren't careful.
(3 comments) SHARE Friday, August 2, 2019 Iran: Germany and France Refuse to be Inducted into Trump's Gulf Naval Operation against Tehran
The government of Angela Merkel in Germany has rejected participation in the Trump administration's naval mission, "Operation Sentinel," aimed at securing the Straits of Hormuz from Iranian interference in shipping. France's President Macron has also rejected participation in a US-led naval operation in the Gulf, suspicious of Trump's aggressive policies toward Iran.
(2 comments) SHARE Monday, November 4, 2019 Top Six Problems with Trump Taking Syrian Oil
Trump keeps talking about taking Syrian oil. In fact, many of those 1,000 special operations troops he pulled out, sending them to Iraq, are mostly back in Syria now, but in Deir al-Zor rather than up north. That is because the lion's share of Syrian petroleum is in Deir al-Zor province.
SHARE Friday, August 16, 2019 Trump wrong Again: Offshore Wind a "New Industrial Revolution"
The cost of wind power has fallen to a tenth of what it was 40 years ago. The United States now has enough wind installations to power 28 million homes, and we get 6.5% of our electricity from this source, says Ben German at Axios. He says new wind installations can generate electricity at 2 cents per kilowatt hour; coal is usually counted as 5 cents a kilowatt hour and so is more than twice as expensive.
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, July 25, 2019 Mueller's Testimony Exposes Trump for What He Is
President Trump ordered former White House Counsel, Don McGahn, to fire Mueller. The president then ordered Don McGahn to then cover that up and create a false paper trail. And now we've heard the president ordered Corey Lewandowski to tell Jeff Sessions to limit Mueller's investigation so that he -- Mueller -- will stop investigating the president.
(9 comments) SHARE Wednesday, May 30, 2018 Is Roseanne Barr what America has Become?
The whole tale is a sorry commentary, not on Barr but on where American culture and politics now stands. We went from a corporate elite nervously allowing some working class characters on mass media in the 1990s (just as long, you understand, as it gave no support to actual striking laborers) to transmogrifying it into an Islamophobic hate-fest in the teens of the 21st century.
(1 comments) SHARE Wednesday, October 16, 2019 Russians, Syrian Army take over Manbij and its US Bases, Blocking Turkey
In late summer, Manbij fell, much to the joy of local residents who had been regimented by the cult of terror, ISIL. It was a joint US-Syrian Democratic Forces victory and a milestone in the gradual defeat of ISIL, since it closed off a major smuggling route for them. Russian personnel took over the abandoned US bases, symbolically announcing the ending of American presence in Syria.
(1 comments) SHARE Tuesday, December 17, 2019 In Wake of "Afghanistan Papers" Scandal, Trump to Yank Out 4,000 Troops
The US appears to have no plans to cut back on its massive aerial bombardment of Taliban-held areas. During the first three quarters of 2019, the US dropped 6,208 bombs and missiles on Afghanistan, up nearly 5 percent over the same period in 2018, which had itself seen the heaviest bombardment of the country since the US invasion in 2001.
(1 comments) SHARE Sunday, November 18, 2018 Trump tries to counter CIA Leak on Bin Salman complicity in Khashoggi Murder
Trump attempted on Saturday to push back against his own Central Intelligence Agency's assessment that Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman and his brother Khalid (the Saudi ambassador to the US) were behind the assassination at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, May 27, 2019 Yemen: On Memorial Day, Remember the 233,000 Dead in US-Backed Saudi War
Memorial Day should be rethought, as a day to mourn the death and destruction caused by war. The UN Development Program says that by the end of this year 233,000 Yemenis will have died as a result of this US-backed war, and as we speak 250,000 Yemenis are on the brink of starvation.
(8 comments) SHARE Saturday, June 30, 2018 Report: Trump hopes for Deal with Putin over Iran in Syria, US Exit
al-Assad and Iran want the US back out of eastern Syria, but it is not clear to me that Putin cares that much one way or another. He just wants Damascus to regain its stability and for the Syrian radical Muslim movements to remain crushed, so that they don't blow back on the Russian Caucasus.
SHARE Friday, June 1, 2018 Hate Speech Advocate, who got Roseanne Barr Fired, Running Trump Mideast Policy
The people who put Roseanne Barr up to these cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs ideas are now running the US government's foreign policy. Our foreign policy. In the Middle East, where there are thousands of US troops at risk, and where Bush started us on a path to pouring trillions of dollars down the toilet while denying ordinary Americans basic services and a living wage.
(1 comments) SHARE Sunday, October 6, 2019 Iraqi Gov't Teeters as Protest Death toll Rises to 100, with 4,000 Wounded
The youth protesters are upset about the spoils system in the Iraqi government, whereby the parties with the most seats are given cabinet ministries in which they hire party members. They are upset about the government's inability to deliver basic services or sufficient jobs. They are exercised about severe corruption.
(5 comments) SHARE Thursday, May 3, 2018 If Giuliani's right Trump lied about Porn Star Hush Money, why believe him on Iran?
A president who serially lies is a particular problem for foreign policy. Trump is on the verge of pulling out of the 2015 Iran Deal, in part on the grounds provided by Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in his stunt retailing old intelligence before 2003 which he attempted to portray as relevant to 2018. Trump appears to have bought the lie, what with being truth-challenged and all.
(3 comments) SHARE Friday, May 31, 2019 A Wroth Mueller Comes for Nancy Pelosi: Rashida Tlaib is Right
When Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) colorfully called for us to "impeach the" mofo, Pelosi called her in and told her to stick to "representing her district." Mueller knows that however big a disaster an impeachment of Trump might be for American politics, letting him continue in office is far more dangerous. Mueller spent his life putting criminals behind bars, and he knows that Trump is a criminal who has committed criminal acts.
SHARE Thursday, August 8, 2019 White al-Qaeda, Trump and Economic Terrorism against El Paso
The people of El Paso also understand something most outsiders do not. Both Trump's rhetoric and the shooter's murders target El Paso's economy in classic terrorist style. Singling out and demonizing an ethnic group is the first step toward attempting to destroy them.
SHARE Wednesday, August 7, 2019 Immigrants aren't "Invaders:" They're Who will Pay your Social Security
Immigration is not usually invasion. The US power elite needs and wants more workers than the US population is providing. US immigration laws were fashioned to bring in those workers. It isn't to replace "white" people. It is to make up for the low population growth rates of US-born families.
(1 comments) SHARE Sunday, August 4, 2019 White Supremacist Terrorism strikes Again in the Age of Trump and Putin
It isn't enough to say that the El Paso terrorist was "hate-filled and racist," as El Paso police characterized him. That makes it sound personal and idiosyncratic. This man was part of a movement, a movement that is being actively promoted from the White House. The difference between a crime and terrorism is that a crime is for personal gain and its not ideological. This was ideological.
(1 comments) SHARE Friday, January 11, 2019 Pompeo's US Jingoism and Anti-Iran Warmongering Rejected by Mideast Public
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gave a major and extremely embarrassing foreign policy speech in Cairo on Thursday, which is probably inconsequential since his major talking points departed from the positions of his president, Trump. Also, aside from some generals and kings and princes, nobody in the region agrees with anything he said.
SHARE Tuesday, August 6, 2019 On How Latinos are America's Greatest Hope for Economic Growth and Renewal
In 2019 it is ridiculous to divide Americans by ethnicity. We all need each other to thrive. Without the 40% of the Texas population that are Latinos, the state's economy would collapse over time. Latinos own 4.37 million businesses in the US, contributing $700 billion to the economy every year.
(2 comments) SHARE Monday, June 17, 2019 Trump Heights on Stolen Golan an Indictment of Colonial White Privilege
In a publicity stunt Trumpian in its iniquity and emptiness, the government of Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu put up a sign in the Occupied Syrian Golan Heights, saying "Trump Heights." There isn't really any settlement there yet, just a sign, just as there isn't any reality to Trump more generally, just an empty suit.
(2 comments) SHARE Saturday, July 14, 2018 An Offer they Can't Refuse: Trump's
Having bloodied May quite publicly, having threatened her and slapped her around, Trump then met with her in public and put the illusion of honor back in place. The special relationship is the most special. Theresa May is the best thing since sliced (white) bread. The interview was "fake news."
SHARE Tuesday, November 27, 2018 Bowing to Saudi Pressure, Trump stops UN Yemen Ceasefire (-CNN)
The US began supplying the Saudis with logistical support such as in-air refueling of their fighter jets and bombers, and strategic help with identifying key targets. The US military has been frustrated for some time by the Saudi insistence on hitting targets that hurt civilians, such a bridges over which food is delivered, even though Washington has advised against it.
(5 comments) SHARE Friday, July 12, 2019 Majority of US Veterans doubt Value of Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria Wars: Pew
If a majority of Republican veterans can't be found to uphold the value of the Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria Wars, we damn sure ought not to be starting any new conflicts in the Middle East that are doomed to run up our national debt, bankrupt us, devastate our economy, and produce more disillusionment -- even among the most gung-ho section of the population.
(2 comments) SHARE Sunday, May 10, 2020 Your Crazy Uncle Sam strikes again, Vetoing Global Peace to own the ChiComs
On Friday, the US used its veto power to block a United Nations resolution calling for a global ceasefire during the coronavirus pandemic. The resolution had been called for by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. The move left all the other countries in the world shaking their heads in disbelief at the pettiness and unhinged character of American diplomacy under Trump.
(4 comments) SHARE Wednesday, November 28, 2018 Trump wants out of Mideast, blames Oil and Israel for Having to Stay
In an interview with The Washington Post on Tuesday, Trump bruited the notion of removing US troops from the Middle East. He said that Israel and oil were the only reasons the US was in the region and that oil no longer justified the US military presence. Trump can get out if he wants to. That he doesn't do it is owing not to lack of capacity but to cowardice.
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, March 21, 2019 How Bush's War on Iraq Produced Trumpism, Instability, Refugees and Climate Catastrophe
George W. Bush as the second worst president in American history is burnished by the absolute worst. Trump is, notoriously, a pathological liar who has told thousands of whoppers. So far, at least, Bush's lies were more consequential. Trump lies about having been a good student or about being a billionaire. Bush lied the country into a war for oil.
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, August 5, 2019 America's Shame: 15,549 Gun Homicides in US in 2017; 32 (160) in UK
The US policy of constantly endangering our children is enacted by a bought-and-paid-for Congress on behalf of 10 major gun manufacturers with an $8 billion industry. Most Americans don't have or want a gun, and 50% of all guns in the US are owned by 3% of Americans, i.e., some 6 million people out of 320 million.
SHARE Monday, February 3, 2020 On the Big Issues, Bernie Sanders is the Only one who Can Save America
The most extreme threat to American democracy today is the emergence of a permanent plutocratic class. Inequality is skyrocketing. The US is not naturally stable. If these trend lines continue with regard to inequality, we can have the sort of problems other unequal societies have, such as Brazil and the Sudan.
SHARE Wednesday, September 11, 2019 With Bolton gone, will Trump meet Iran's President Rouhani?
In the wake of the firing of national security adviser and full-time warmonger John Bolton, secretary of state Mike Pompeo and treasury secretary Dan Mnuchin held a press conference on Tuesday. Both reaffirmed that Trump is open to meeting Iran's President Hassan Rouhani "without preconditions." They also, however, affirmed that the Trump administration would continue its policy of "maximum pressure" against that country.
(1 comments) SHARE Sunday, June 9, 2019 No, WSJ, Palestinians have Not given up on National Rights
Anyone who has been following the Palestine issue knows that for some time a plurality of Palestinians has swung behind a one-state solution and now want Israeli citizenship. This result does not come from the dimming of nationalist aspirations but from the weary realism of a colonized people facing the best-armed army in the Middle East, which is backed by the world's sole superpower.
SHARE Wednesday, December 19, 2018 What did Flynn Know about Russian ties to Trump and When did he Know it?
Disgraced former National Security Adviser to Donald Trump, Michael Flynn, had his sentencing postponed until March on Tuesday after Judge Emmett Sullivan raked him over the coals for lying to the FBI in the White House and for intimating that he was not really guilty and had been entrapped by the FBI.
(1 comments) SHARE Sunday, May 12, 2019 Pace Pompeo: What if the US is "Sowing Chaos" in Mideast & Iran is a Status Quo Power?
Bush invaded and occupied Iraq, an action Trump himself ran against, but which John Bolton supported so strongly he lied to get it. The American war on that country displaced 4 million people from their homes (out of then 26 million), killed hundreds of thousands, wounded millions and left millions widowed and orphaned. The US has been the bull in the China shop, sowing chaos in the Middle East.
(1 comments) SHARE Saturday, June 22, 2019 Trump cites "Proportionality" in Iran pullback, though He has often Violated It
Trump in an interview Friday with Meet the Press attributed his decision not to go ahead with a strike on Iran to concerns about proportionality. He said he asked the Joint Chiefs of Staff just before the strike was to have been set in motion about the likely Iranian casualties. They estimated 150. He said that since the Iranian had shot down an unmanned drone, that death toll seemed to him not proportionate.
SHARE Tuesday, May 28, 2019 If Trump really only wants "No Iranian Nukes," then he should just rejoin the Nuclear Deal
Iran has not had a weapons program since 2002, and that program was rudimentary. The cult-like People's Jihadis (Mojahedin-e Khalq or MEK) outed the program in that year, and the Iranian government mothballed it. The People's Jihadis are a small fanatical Iranian dissident group once hosted by Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, which has carried out large terrorist attacks.
(3 comments) SHARE Thursday, November 8, 2018 The Top 11 Things the Dems Absolutely must Do in the House
Progressive Democrats in the House must be prepared to fight like hell against the Pelosi-Schumer establishment, which will try to make them quiescent and go along with corporate priorities. What 2016 showed is that that platform is a formula for humiliating defeat and irrelevance. Democrats have to stand for something or people won't bother to vote for them.
(1 comments) SHARE Sunday, July 5, 2020 When will Palestine have its Declaration of Independence?
Citizenship in a state and popular sovereignty over the land, air and water of that state were started as an ideal by Americans. That ideal is denied to the Palestinians, one of the few peoples in the world to lack citizenship or basic human rights.
(2 comments) SHARE Tuesday, January 1, 2019 Trump's US in 2019: Is the Mideast "War on Terror" Paradigm Ending
There are some signs that the War on Terror paradigm in US foreign and military policy may be winding down. Trump is trying to get out of Syria, and though the Washington Establishment may succeed in putting some breaks on the withdrawal, it seems likely that Trump mostly will get his way before summer.
(2 comments) SHARE Monday, January 7, 2019 President Bolton overrules Feckless Trump Tweet on Syria Withdrawal
The Washington Establishment is deeply divided on Trump. They love his hawkishness toward Iran and China and the Palestinians and Muslim extremism, and his tax cuts for the super-wealthy and his early-Obama-sized Pentagon budgets. But they are driven crazy by his isolationist tendencies, his bromance with Russian president Vladimir Putin and his shooting from the hip.
(1 comments) SHARE Sunday, March 3, 2019 Netanyahu to be Indicted on Bribery, Fraud, Press Tampering: Israeli AG
Some Israel watchers are convinced that the indictment will make no difference. Netanyahu's right wing coalition may well win the 61 seats in parliament needed for a majority, and his far right wing Likud Party will likely be the largest party in the coalition. Netanyahu may well be reelected prime minister despite the charges.
SHARE Monday, May 7, 2018 Treason: Obama Iran Deal Officials targeted by Trump via Israeli Black Cube
The Trump aides who targeted former Obama administration officials Ben Rhodes and Colin Kahl used the Israeli Black Cube agency, the same one deployed by Harvey Weinstein to keep his many victims of sexual harassment in line. It advertises itself as being able to provide the best former Mossad agents for the job (but if they are the best why are they former?)
SHARE Tuesday, August 7, 2018 Manafort's alleged Corruption is How America Works, not Deviance
Representatives have to start fundraising the day they are elected for the election only two years away. They have to promise favors to the donors. The US is peculiar among the industrialized democracies in allowing more or less open bribery. Manafort was the fixer, the go-between. Manafort is not a criminal in the sense of a deviant. He is all too normal in the US political system. He is how the system works.
SHARE Sunday, December 30, 2018 A Top 2018 Story: Sudan's Mercenary child-soldiers in Yemen (NYT)
These child soldiers appear to have been paid for by Saudi Arabia at a time when, because of the murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Saudi Arabia is in bad odor anyway, contributed to the sensation. Virtually every Arabic newspaper and news site is leading with the Times story.
SHARE Monday, April 13, 2020 If Trump fires Dr. Fauci and installs a Barr-like Toady, what ever will become of us?
When Jake Tapper repeatedly pressed Dr. Anthony Fauci on Sunday to say whether earlier social distancing measures, say in February rather than March, would have saved lives, Fauci allowed for the possibility. Fauci is the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and heads up the Trump administration's Covid-19 task force.
(2 comments) SHARE Tuesday, April 2, 2019 Did the Same Saudi Hackers who Trapped Khashoggi Target Amazon's Bezos for Nude Photos?
The Saudi hackers went after Bezos, obtaining photos of him naked, and broke up his marriage, costing him half his fortune, because of the Washington Post's criticism of Trump and possibly because it wouldn't let Khashoggi's murder go. The Washington Post connection links Bezos and Khashoggi. The Saudi connection links Qatar and Kushner, though it cannot be assumed that he was involved in the Bezos gambit.
(4 comments) SHARE Monday, September 16, 2019 Trump Awaits Orders From Saudis; And Why The Houthis Could Have Done It
Trump actually said that he was waiting on the Saudis to determine the guilty party and to tell him what to do! We all kept saying it is dangerous to have an erratic person like Trump in the White House in case there was a major global crisis. This might be it, folks.
(2 comments) SHARE Thursday, July 19, 2018 Benedict Trump
White House spokesperson Sarah Sanders acknowledged that Russian President Vladimir Putin asked Donald Trump to let Russian security forces interrogate former US ambassador in Moscow Mike McFaul on US soil, and that Trump did not dismiss the request out of hand. He would, Sanders said, take it under consideration and consult his cabinet about it.
SHARE Sunday, February 24, 2019 Can AIPAC sell Netanyahu's Kahanist Terrorists to Middle America?
BDS is being adopted by churches and civil society organizations. And it is responding to the Jim Crow conditions in the Israeli-ruled Palestinian West Bank that already are Likud Party policy. Imagine if Netanyahu comes back as PM only because he has the backing of the terrorist wing of muscular Zionism. BDS would spread like wildfire.
(3 comments) SHARE Thursday, December 20, 2018 A New Middle East: Winners and Losers from Trump's Abrupt Syria Withdrawal
Trump shook up the Washington establishment and Middle Eastern and world politics on Wednesday by abruptly announcing by Tweet a full and immediate withdrawal of US military forces from northeast Syria. Trump's motives for what he does are never easy to fathom. He may have been driven by a desire to please his base, which has been shaken this fall by a massive blue wave in the House midterms and a series of legal scandals.
(1 comments) SHARE Wednesday, December 26, 2018 Biggest Stories of 2018: Israel announced Apartheid, Shot Thousands of Civilians
Israel at the end of 2018 is now unambiguously an Apartheid state, admired only in the US Deep South among those who are nostalgic for their own Jim Crow Apartheid. Its leaders deprived nearly a quarter of Israeli citizens of any share in national sovereignty. They sped up the colonization program in the Palestinian West Bank and coddled armed, violent squatters (who are often secretly subsidized by the Israeli state).
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, July 5, 2021 Top 6 Things Trump should be Indicted for aside from Cheating on Taxes
The Trump organization was indicted by a New York grand jury on Wednesday and the indictment is unsealed. Trump Org.'s CFO, Allen Weisselberg, was also indicted. Trump is not named, but the trial could lead Weisselberg to turn state's evidence or could throw up new information that could land Trump in legal hot water.
SHARE Wednesday, June 12, 2019 Is Jared Kushner Literally in Bed with the Saudis?
Cadre, a real estate investment firm in which Jared Kushner has as much as a $50 million stake, has received a mysterious $90 million infusion of cash from unknown and possibly foreign sources. At least $1 million came in from Saudi Arabia.
(3 comments) SHARE Sunday, December 2, 2018 The Pivotal GHW Bush Presidency: How the US became Mired in the Mideast
Bush was the last representative of the old Republican Party of wealthy northeast businessmen and Midwestern farmers and small town dwellers, before the Religious Right took over the party. That the Southern Baptists and other Evangelicals did not form part of his base allowed Bush to view the Israeli-Palestinian conflict more dispassionately than have any of his successors.
(3 comments) SHARE Thursday, November 29, 2018 Senate Rebukes Trump, Saudis on Yemen, Advances Withdrawal Bill
The vote was the most significant bipartisan measure to come out of the senate in ages, and fell just short of a veto-proof two-thirds majority. The bill, co-sponsored by Bernie Sanders and a bipartisan set of his colleagues, calls on Trump to withdraw US troops from their support role in Yemen within 30 days.
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, February 28, 2019 Top Six Pieces of Dirt Cohen Dished on Trump in his Opening Statement
Trump really enjoyed screwing over his subcontractors by underpaying them or even stiffing them entirely. As I remember, Hillary Clinton said this during one of their debates. Trump replied that he didn't pay people who did poor work. Cohen's testimony suggests it was part greed and part sadism.
(4 comments) SHARE Wednesday, November 4, 2020 How will the US election Change the Mideast?
If Joe Biden wins the presidency and the Democrats sweep to power, the impact on foreign policy would be significant. The biggest foreign loser in such a sea change will be Saudi Arabia.
(6 comments) SHARE Sunday, April 29, 2018 Pompeo, Trump's new Enforcer, Talks tough against Russia, Iran
Trump brought Pompeo over to State as an organized crime boss brings a capo into a new neighborhood, as an enforcer and breaker of legs. Pompeo's charge is to break the legs of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which vastly curtailed Iran's nuclear enrichment program and capabilities.
SHARE Sunday, January 6, 2019 Rashida Tlaib and Working Class Authenticity v. Trump's Plutocrat Pretense
Why does Donald Trump get a pass on speaking and acting obscenely but Rashida Tlaib is pilloried for calling him a Mofo? It is because US corporate media and political elites expect the wealthy to do bad imitations of working class profanity (so as to fool the rubes into voting for them), but despise the real thing.
(3 comments) SHARE Sunday, June 10, 2018 Shorter Pope Francis to Big Oil : You're Going to Hell if You don't Go Green
Pope Francis on Saturday forthrightly reminded Big Oil that climate change is a moral issue. Unlike President Trump, the Vatican has a whole bevy of science advisers. What a comedown for Americans proud of our First Amendment and republican spirit, that the Vatican is now demonstrably more progressive than is the United States of America.
SHARE Monday, March 25, 2019 We did Trump to Ourselves and Should Own up to It; Mueller and Putin can't Save US
Trump probably did not hatch a plot with Putin. Trump may not be a systematic enough thinker actually to hatch a plot. He seems to have the attention span of a magpie. This is not to say that Putin did not try to put Trump in. He did. as George W. Bush said, fool me twice -- can't get fooled again. That is Bushpeak for "fool me twice, shame on me."
(3 comments) SHARE Friday, June 22, 2018 #Bringbackourgirls: How Trump made the US into Boko Haram
ISIL and Boko Haram took girls hostage from some villages as a warning to other villages not to oppose them or they would be cut off from their families on a permanent basis. John Kelly, Jeff Sessions and Trump made clear that they were kidnapping children as a warning to Honduran and other villages not to defy them.
SHARE Thursday, December 27, 2018 Shiite Parties Decry Trump's "Arrogant" and "Disdainful" Visit to Iraq, Ignoring Iraqis
Trump's surprise visit to a US military base in Iraq on the day after Christmas has provoked a strong critique among some Iraqis, who mind that Trump slipped in and out to visit the Ain al-Assad base in al-Anbar Province but did not bother to meet with any Iraqi officials. It was as if Iraq were an empty vessel useful only for hosting the US military.
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, December 3, 2018 Israel turns unstable Abruptly, as Police urge PM Netanyahu be indicted
Avigdor Lieberman of the (mostly Russian) "Israeli is our Home" party, recently resigned from the cabinet over Netanyahu's unwillingness to go to war immediately against the Palestinians in Gaza. Hence, a change in government could accelerate the Israeli dispossession of the Palestinians and result in further warfare and bloodshed.
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, May 9, 2019 Thousands of Innocent Palestinians in Gaza at Risk of amputation from Israeli Sniping
About 7,000 Palestinian protesters in Gaza have been sniped out with scopes by professional Israeli snipers, and hit with live fire strategically targeting their legs. Physicians have already been forced to carry out 120 amputations since the protests began last year. Twenty of these amputees have been children. these children did not present any danger to Israeli troops and each time one was shot, a crime was committed.
SHARE Friday, December 14, 2018 Senate Fingers Saudi Bin Salman as Murderer, Demands End of Yemen War
Seven Republicans joined the Democrats in the Senate in voting for resolutions that 1) assigned the blame for the murder of the dissident Saudi journalist and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi to Saudi crown prince Mohammed Bin Salman and 2) invoked the War Powers Act of 1973 in calling for an end to US military involvement in the Saudi-led war on Yemen.
SHARE Thursday, December 6, 2018 "A Smoking Saw": Bin Salman Loses Support of Key GOP Senators with CIA Briefing
Among the things Saudi Arabia wants from the United States is support for its war on Yemen and permission to buy from US arms corporations state-of-the-art military weaponry. Both things are now in peril, as key Republican senators reacted to a secret briefing by Gina Haspel, director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, February 25, 2019 Not Trump's America: On How the Oscars looked Like the Real America this Year
Trump's America is a thin, diminished slice of the country, the barracuda business classes of Queens in the 1940s before the Dominicans and other minorities came. His is the German and Scottish America of "white" grifters who put down African-Americans and immigrants because they had no other source of self-esteem but the denigration of others.
SHARE Thursday, July 5, 2018 Three Grievances America's Founders Would Have Had Against Trump
One grievance had to do with the independence of the judiciary, which they believed the king had undermined. Trump, in his attacks on the Mueller investigation, on the Department of Justice, and on judges who cross him, is guilty of the same sort of interference in the judiciary.
(3 comments) SHARE Monday, July 23, 2018 Trump and Iran's Rouhani Threaten each other with the Mother of all Wars
Iran signed a treaty with the US in 2015 and observed all its requirements. Trump has torn that treaty up and launched covert operations to destabilize the country. Trump is the aggressor here, and Rouhani was just saying that Iran would defend itself very effectively if attacked.
(4 comments) SHARE Friday, April 26, 2019 Israel Lobby AIPAC slams Bernie Sanders for branding Netanyahu's Gov't "right-wing, racist"
There really is no other way to characterize Netanyahu's government than as racist. And, no one is sabotaging peace more than Netanyahu, who gleefully destroyed the Oslo agreement and then gloated about it, and who has pledged that the Palestinians will get nothing politically as long as he is PM, and who has also pledged to steal most of their land.
(3 comments) SHARE Thursday, June 21, 2018 Not only Is Trump's Refugee Policy Morally Wrong, it is Illegal in US and Int'l Law
The Family Separation Policy that Trump has "temporarily" set aside (in favor of indefinite detention of entire families) has in some ways obscured what is really going on in Trump's refugee policy overall. In essence, the Trump administration is attempting gradually to abolish the acceptance by the US of asylees, in stark contravention to US treaty obligations (and hence to domestic US law).
(4 comments) SHARE Saturday, April 13, 2019 Republicans & Rupert Murdoch Created al-Qaeda when Ilhan Omar's Somalia upheld Scientific Socialism
The dishonest smearing of Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) by the Rupert Murdoch press, including the New York Post and Fox Cable News, on which the despicable Trump piled on, contains more ironies than her defenders for the most part realize. When a white nationalist terrorist shoots down innocent people, we don't blame all white people or demand that white people apologize on behalf of their disreputable cousins.
(2 comments) SHARE Monday, May 6, 2019 Warmongers Bolton And Pompeo send Aircraft Carrier to Menace Iran, still Hoping for Confrontation
Bolton is a sadistic bully who wants to dominate people. He never got to be more than temporary UN ambassador under George W. Bush because he had mercilessly tortured his office staff. Bolton likes to hurt people who are weaker than he. He is not after Iran because he is afraid of it. He is after it because it is one of the last countries in the world still bucking the US power.
(4 comments) SHARE Thursday, October 8, 2020 Kamala Harris's best Zingers and Pence's worst Lies
The Pence-Harris debate was what disagreements among normal people might look like, as opposed to the weird behavior of Trump in the first presidential debate. While pundits are saying that it lacked fireworks, that is not true if you define fireworks as policy disagreement as opposed to mud wrestling.
SHARE Monday, April 22, 2019 "The Nearest in Love:" On how the Sri Lankan Death Cult Betrayed the Islamic Values of the Qur'an
The engine of Islamophobia thus can be revved up and used to radicalize Muslims in the "grey zone" who had earlier rejected radicalism. The tactic only works if the mainstream society and authorities fall for it by persecuting the Muslims that had nothing to do with the attack. Hitting Christians was a way of getting an even bigger effect, since it would attract the attention, they thought, of Christians in Europe and the US.
(3 comments) SHARE Tuesday, February 19, 2019 Sleepwalking into our Constitutional Crisis in the Age of Trump
Congress will attempt to over-rule Trump. Some 16 states are already suing over the so-called emergency, and the House of Representatives may also sue. Congress may also attempt to stop Trump with legislation, and if he tries to veto it, they will attempt to over-ride the veto in both houses of Congress.
SHARE Thursday, May 2, 2019 Mueller thinks Trump Committed Obstruction: Why he Wrote to Barr and why Barr Lied
Special Counsel Bob Mueller wrote a sharp letter to Attorney General William Barr to protest the four-page summary Barr put out before releasing the Mueller report to the public. Mueller's team had been very professional and avoided leaks, but some had also told journalists after Barr's memo that they felt it misrepresented the Mueller report and they were angry about Barr sidelining all their work.
(3 comments) SHARE Friday, May 3, 2019 The Democrats can Crush unpopular Trump in 2020, but only if they Run to the Left
If the more progressive wing of the party wants to win on it, they have to spend more time working out a progressive foreign policy alternative. But the polling says Trump's foreign policy is low-hanging fruit waiting to be plucked by a knowledgeable politician. The presumption should be that Trump is out of office in January 2021. But this prediction will only come true if Dems run to the left.
SHARE Tuesday, November 3, 2020 Top 5 Ways Trump Failed you too Epically ever to be Reelected
Trump is a real-life world-destroying Thanos from the Avengers, and is trying his best to commit planeticide. His policies will kill the earth. If Americans give him another four years to wreak this kind of destruction, it will be game over for normal human life on the planet.
SHARE Friday, September 18, 2020 Trump doesn't Understand History any more than he Understands Epidemics
Trump has a long history of proclaiming that he understands things better than the people who are experts in those things. Having crashed the US economy and having polished off tens of thousands of Americans with his irrational policies based on magical thinking, Trump is now coming for American history.
(2 comments) SHARE Wednesday, May 16, 2018 Can Palestinians Be Killed by Israelis? Or Do They Only "Die"?
70% of the Palestinian families in Gaza are refugees from what is now southern Israel, trapped in the Gaza Strip and denuded of property, dignity and prospects. That is why Palestinians in Gaza are rallying at the fence and insisting that the world will not be allowed to forget two million stateless persons trapped and under blockade in an Israeli concentration camp.
SHARE Tuesday, December 4, 2018 Congressional Noose may Tighten around Saudi Crown Prince as Haspel Testifies
Haspel and her CIA analysts appear to believe that Bin Salman is a major threat to US interests in the Middle East because he is unbalanced and a brutal murderer. He has imprisoned other princes at the Ritz Carlton Riyadh and extracted billions from them, and he kidnapped the prime minister of Lebanon in a failed bid to force him out of office.
SHARE Thursday, December 13, 2018 If Cohen and Pecker are Guilty of Campaign Finance Felonies, isn't Trump?
Trump's one hope is for prosecutors to decide he can't be charged while president. Then, if he wins a second term, the statute of limitations will run out on his 2016 crimes. Trump's been getting away with things for a very long time. It isn't clear if he can talk his way clear of this one. But don't underestimate him.
SHARE Friday, February 22, 2019 Israeli PM Netanyahu partners with Kahanist Terrorist Elements, seeking another Term
Netanyahu, leader of the far right Likud Party, faces a challenge from the coalition of a center-right general, Benny Gantz, and a center-right politician, Yair Lapid. In order to fend off this challenge, he sought a coalition with the far right Jewish Home Party. But to seek yet another alliance, with a Kahanist group, is widely seen in Israel as a dangerous step, and even Jewish Home politicians are threatening to pull out.
SHARE Monday, April 29, 2019 Scottish Gov't Announces "Climate Emergency" in response to Extinction Rebellion Call
Scotland's First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon of the social-democratic Scottish National Party has called a "climate emergency," doing so in response to a call from "Extinction Rebellion Scotland." The latter is a youth protest group that has staged walk-outs from high schools and engaged in civil disobedience in numerous cities around the world.