Friday, June 23, 2017

Will US Confront Russia in Syria: A Trial Balloon

Thomas Riggins
Here is a nice trial balloon to prepare us for a military confrontation with Russia in Syria. How the world reacts to this balloon will decide whether there will be a wider war in the Middle East. Here is the basic story line. 1. The US does not want a military confrontation with Russia and is trying to avoid it. 2. There could be an inadvertent confrontation that accidentally leads to conflict with Russia. 3. This will be Russia's fault because (a) Moscow likes “escalation dominance” and (b) unlike the US "Russia has never been shy about escalation." Meanwhile, since 9/11 the US has fostered the escalation of military confrontations in 6 countries in the region (Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen, and Somalia) and aided and abetted Israel's escalation of conflict with the Palestinians (so that makes 7). Russia has engaged in 1 (counter) escalation in Syria in response to the US entering the civil war and trying to overthrow Russia's ally the legal government of Syria. Make no mistake about it -- the American people really are getting flooded with "fake news" just as the Germans were in 1939 when they read about the Polish invasion of Germany and the German counter attack in self defense, and from the same kinds of sources -- war mongering fascists dressed in the uniforms of democratic patriots: Trump will carry out the grand plans that he inherited from the Obama/Clinton regime that were originally drawn up by the neoliberals of the Bush/Cheney era and have been slowly hatching in the pentagon since the end of WW2.
Recently the United States has shot down a Syrian warplane, came close to shooting another and downed two Iranian-made drones that were nearing American-backed…
NYTIMES.COM

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Politico and McCarthyism

Thomas Riggins

"We're certainly interested in any efforts the Russians made to influence our election,” says California Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, which is investigating Russia’s alleged meddling in the election. “There have been public reports, I think, that Jill Stein was also in Russia attending the RT function, so we’re going to need to look at any efforts the Russians made through whatever means to influence our elections."
This is pure unadulterated McCarthyism coming out of the neoliberal Clintonite wing of the Democratic Party (Schiff supports the Saudi slaughter in Yemen). This entire article is nothing but speculation, innuendo, and typical center-right BS: if it is typical of Politico, then reading Politico is probably a waste of time.
Whatever you think about Jill Stein and the democratic rights of people who are neither Democrats nor Repubicans, HRC is history; it's time to move on.
The Green Party candidate has no regrets, even as Democrats accuse her of helping elect Donald Trump and cozying up to Vladimir Putin.
POLITICO.COM

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Philosophical Reflections on Micah Goodman NYT Article

Thomas Riggins
Some philosophical reflections: 1) " Mr. Goodman argues, both remaining in the West Bank and leaving it could spell the end of the Zionist project." This is a paradox he has discovered as a result of trying to maintain a mono-ethnic or religious state when there are two ethnic/religious groups involved. It is a function of philosophy to resolve paradoxes so it appears the conclusion is to abandon the Zionist project.
2) "Mr. Goodman lives in the settlement of Kfar Adumim, but “I would rather not be called a settler,” he said. “It’s where I live, not who I am.”" This appears to be an example of what Sartre called "mauvaise foi" (bad faith). He is certainly not just a settler but he is choosing to live on other people's land taken by conquest and colonized by his group and he is a "settler" despite his druthers.
3) "The occupation does not lead to a lack of morality,” he wrote. “The occupation itself is immoral." The occupation is the logical result of trying to maintain the paradox discussed in 1) and the logical implication is that Zionism itself is immoral (as is, perhaps, any philosophy based on religious or ethnic exclusivity).
4) He seeks to “shrink the amount of occupation without dramatically shrinking the amount of security for Israelis.” If the occupation qua occupation is immoral this solution amounts to shrinking the amount of immorality. But it is a goal of philosophy (ethics) to eliminate immorality not justify its perpetuation.
5) Conclusion: The present security of Israel has resulted in an immoral occupation of another people's land and must be ended. The security of Israel can be assured by a guarantee of a condominium of the Great Powers and the UN to protect the existence of the Israeli state in an analogous way as Kuwait was protected from an invasion by Iraq. Hypothesis: A deeper study would reveal all attempts to justify Israeli behavior on the grounds of "security" are bogus and are really motivated by racism and a desire to dispossess a militarily weaker people of their land and liberty; this behavior is analogous to the treatment of native Americans by the US government.


In a provocative new book, Micah Goodman, 42, concludes that there is no possibility of any comprehensive final peace deal with the Palestinians.
NYTIMES.COMA Best-Selling Israeli Philosopher Examines His Country’s ...
www.nytimes.com/2017/06/09/world/middleeast/a...
Jun 08, 2017 · ... Philosopher Examines His Country’s Inner ... A Best-Selling Israeli PhilosopherExamines His ... inner struggle over their conflict ...