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Tuesday, April 23, 2019
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A Conversation with Pulitzer Prize-winning Iraq War Correspondent and Author of...

"If somebody were to ask me what’s going to happen in this short medium term, I guess I see Iraq more and more controlled by men with guns. I see not necessarily a war that pits Sunnis against Shiites or Shiites against Kurds but instead a war that pits rival militias, sometimes within communities against each other. And they vie for territory and they vie for power. They vie for control of their respective communities. That’s my fear. You might have a functioning government in Baghdad with ministries and with a legislature and a lot of debate, but once you get out in the hinterland, you see men with guns in control."

War beckons at the request of Israel

"Some analysts have argued that unless America curbs Israeli appetite for military attack against Iran, the US will be unable to prevent the rise of China as potential strategic rival. The driving force for this US confrontation with China is the relative economic decline of American imperialism. It signifies a continuation of a global order dominated by the US in which the Pacific Ocean has been considered “an American lake” for more than a century, hemming China in by a network of US military alliances, and Beijing’s economic and strategic interests are subordinate to Washington’s."

Israel plays a role

"Recent experience has led many analysts and politicians to conclude that engaging Hamas and involving it collectively in social responsibilities have a moderating effect on the movement. Engaging Hamas empowers its moderates and encourages healthy debate within the group. Isolating it, on the other hand, plays into the hands of the movement's most extreme elements....For these purposes, Palestinians are having difficulty understanding Israel's anxiety about the reconciliation process. They are suspicious that Israel's hostility to reconciliation arises because Israel is actually hostile to an independent, unified, and contiguous Palestinian state as part of the two-state solution."

"By Imbeciles Who Really Mean It": Lost Verities and Dirty Hippies

"A vast disparity of wealth within a nation will all but ensure this societal trajectory. But that isn't going to happen, this time. The planet cannot endure the assaults wrought by a system that requires exponential growth to be maintained. The run of capitalism is nearly over. A more sustainable economic system, based on horizontal rule, is being developed, globally (e.g., the Icelandic model)."

The King’s Speech

"...he raised the possibility of a federation between Jordan and the (still occupied) State of Palestine in the West Bank, obviously to forestall Israeli designs. Perhaps he also wants to convince the Palestinians that such a move would help them to terminate the occupation, facilitate their application for UN membership and prevent a US veto. (I don’t believe this offer will find many Palestinian takers.)....The Israeli Right has never really given up the idea of a Greater Israel (which in Hebrew is called “the whole of Eretz-Israel”). This means the total rejection of the Two-State solution in all its forms and the creation of a Jewish state from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River."

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