Recently I have been reading about the situation in the Middle East, specifically the Israel/Palestine impasse, and started to wonder what has happened to create such a divisive atmosphere when there was so much hope at different times since the Oslo Accords were signed in the early 1990′s, and also the agreement entered into between Rabin and Arafat in the mid-1990′s. During my reading I asked myself one very important question when it came to the most recent volatility in the peace process: Has Israel poisoned the process? Sadly, while both sides have caused impasses and problems, Israel, under Netanyahu, has severely damaged the process and weakened the prospects for a peaceful settlement of the issues. Read more
Two weeks into my sophomore year in university I decided to meet up with an old friend from freshman year. She was a Muslim from Kuwait and a very interesting person to talk to considering her background. We were discussing various topics and came across the theory of evolution since she was now taking the same biology class as the one I had taken during my freshman year. She is very much into science so I decided to ask her opinion on the theory of evolution. Her response wasn’t very positive. I first I was surprised, but then I remembered I had learned the previous year that the Muslim world frowns upon the idea of evolution. I also learned that teaching evolution in the Middle East varies by state and is usually combined with creationist beliefs for the explanation of the origin of the universe. I am fan of evolution, but the conversation reminded me just how the Arab world is similar to the USA since there is a problem here with teaching evolution and God in public schools. Questions arise asking whether God should be taught alongside evolution, should we even teach evolution to our children, or does God even belong inside the classroom? Read more
The UN General Assembly meetings this week offer President Obama a chance to capitalize on recent diplomatic developments with Syria and to extend a hand to new Iranian president Hassan Rouhani in the hopes of launching renewed negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program. In an op-ed in the Washington Post last week, Rouhani urged other leaders “to respond genuinely to my government’s efforts to engage in constructive dialogue.” It is critical for Obama to show that his administration is willing to answer Iranian concessions with some relief of sanctions that Rouhani can bring to the Iranian people.
Iran is Ready for Talks
A prominent adviser to the Iranian leadership, Amir Mohebbian, explains that Iran’s leaders see the next six months represent the best opportunity to reach an agreement, before campaigning for parliamentary elections begins in March. This is a window the US cannot afford to miss. It is time for the US to offer a reasonable deal that would signal to the Iranian people that the West is willing to work towards a larger agreement. Read more
The world weeps for Syria. To the growing list of atrocious statistics achieved during the Syrian Civil War, we may now add the 100,000th death. While the West twiddles its thumbs, weighing its fear of being embroiled in a prolonged conflict against some moral imperative to intervene, Bashar al-Assad and his regime continue to pass bloody milestones.
When your neighbors are taken prisoner or murdered and your schoolmates are tortured at the whims of the regime, it's hard to sit by… so many Syrians are not. But the rebels who wage war on Assad have also committed violent acts in their fight against the government that, when viewed in isolation, may be considered extreme and even cruel. And yet we do not view them in isolation. Many of us intuitively consider the rebels’ use of violence to be justified in light of the violence committed by the other side. So, the argument might go, it is only appropriate to judge the cruelty of the rebels’ actions in the context of the greater battle and in reference to the violence that Assad is currently using – violence justified in virtue of reciprocity, what I call "reactive" violence. Read more
Now that we're finally untangling ourselves from quagmires in Iraq and Afghanistan, "serious people" on both sides of the aisle call for a new open-ended Middle East military incursion.
At home, we hear about austerity and cuts, yet we're considering a blank check to send missiles half a world away.
We can't address climate change or immigration, can't vote on gun legislation or jobs bills, but we can find the time to start a bombing campaign that most Americans don't really understand.
Fifty year after the inspiration of "I have a dream," is our greatest dream really another attack? Is war all we can be serious about as a country?
There are issues we need to tackle seriously. Do we need to prioritize tackling Syria? Syriasly?
Share your thoughts, memories and your dreams as we share a drink and democratic discourse at you local progressive social club.
DRINKING LIBERALLY Find - or start - a chapter near you.
I voted for Bill Clinton in 1992. Then I watched him force Navy Seals into Sensitivity Training and send them from Iraq to Bosnia on a bunch of pocket wars that made no damned sense at all. I watched a brave man’s body dragged through the street in Somalia.
In 2000, Dick Cheney stood before the Republican National Convention and told the U.S. Military that “Help is on the way…” “Thank God”, I thought. “These poor military guys could use a break.” I voted for Bush.
Then 9-11 happened and I watched, in horror, as the bravest and best young people in our nation were ordered to stand around Iraq and Afghanistan and wait to get shot or blown up. I watched them come home with crippling injuries and missing limbs and tried to figure out what the hell we had accomplished for all of this sacrifice.
When Obama was elected (I didn’t vote for him but was willing to give him a shot.)
I had the same thought as when Cheney spoke, in 2000. “Maybe now they’ll get that break.”
I mean come on; Obama said he would end these stupid wars, right? Nope; more deployments, more car bombings, more death. Read more
So does anyone really believe that the Obama administration had nothing to do with the removal of Mohammed Morsi as the duly elected President of Egypt? If you do, I’ve got some nice land I would like to sell you here in Florida.
Did you notice the casual indifference as Egypt spiraled into chaos? You were supposed to notice. Obama went golfing; John Kerry went sailing. I mean we’re just bystanders, and those poor Egyptians — we hope they can sort themselves out. Yeah right.
These guys play a pretty fair hand a lot of the time, but they have overplayed this one. Anyone who thinks the U.S. is not complicit up to its eyebrows in the Egyptian army’s unlawful coup needs a refresher in our history.
It is now common currency to say that Morsi, who served just a year after he was legitimately elected in June 2012, failed some kind of democracy test. He did no such thing. There was a test, but the failure belongs to Washington. It professes to like democracies all over the planet, but it cannot yet abide one that may not reflect America’s will. Read more
We live under the false notion in the United States that if we just assert ourselves into the situation we can control the out come. This notion isn't new, we can look at Egypt as a classic case of national overconfidence. Between the 16th century BC and the 11th century BC, the new kingdom of Egypt, also referred to as the Egyptian Empire is the peak of Egyptian power. While the fall of Egypt was gradual compared to other nations, we all know by 1882 the British occupation began and didn't end until 1953. Like other powerful nations before Egypt, Egypt tried to do too much with limited power, even though at a time they were the most powerful nation in the world Read more
It is of course necessary for the U.S. Government, like any government, to do what it can to protect its own interests. However, has not the United States government had policies in the past that was not so much for the interest of the country as a whole, but wealthy interests instead?
For example, the influence that Big Oil has over our elected leaders would lead some to think that perhaps we have had wars in the past because the oil industry was interested in the black gold that existed under the feet of our enemies. Read more
I’ve pretty much given up on expecting sense and, more importantly, COMMON sense, out of the ReThugnican Party these days. I mean, you’ve got a man running for President who thinks that it’s perfectly OK to monger another war in the Middle East. What I didn’t expect – and indeed, I don’t think ANYBODY expected this or saw it coming, is the sheer, unmitigated gall as well as the cynical, self-righteous BS that Mitt Romney got up after our consulate in Benghazi, Libya was stormed and our ambassador and 3 other folks that worked with and for him were brutally murdered on Tuesday. Read more
I don’t know if the rest of y’all have been watching commodities prices lately, but I have, and what I’m seeing is starting to really scare me. A lot.
The Great Drought of 2012 hasn’t yet come to a conclusion, but we already know that its consequences are going to be pretty devastating. With more than one-half of America’s counties designated as drought disaster areas, the 2012 harvest of corn, soybeans, and other food staples is going to fall far short of predictions. This is going to boost food prices, both domestically and abroad, to go through the roof, and it’s going to cause increased misery for farmers and low-income Americans and far greater hardship for poor people in countries that rely on imported U.S. grains. Read more
Logging the Onset of The Bottleneck YearsThis weekly posting is brought to you courtesy of H. E. Taylor. Happy reading, I hope you enjoy this week’s Global Warming news roundup Read more
Mitt Romney recently was asked to grade our current president; Barack Obama by CBS News correspondent, Jan Crawford.
Romney replied to the question by saying “Oh, an ‘F,’ no question about that.”
Jan Crawford quizzed the Republican nominee further and he went on to criticize the president’s foreign policy:
“I’d look at the fact that he was looking to have a force of American troops staying in Iraq, securing what had been so hard-won there, and with the Status of Forces agreement. He failed to achieve it,”
He gives the president an “F” even in spite of Obama’s successful killing of Osama bin Laden. Read more
While the mainstream media (MSM) obsessed on the death of popstars, Mary Kennedy, and superpac ads, today the House passed another bill pushing the date of an Iran attack even closer. With bi-partisan support, the House passed HRes568 which essentially ties the President’s hand in dealing with Iran. S. Res.380 is the Senate’s version. Read more