War and peace: Links & notes 11/29/13

‘Aleppo is nothing but hunger and Islam’ by Francesa Borri in The Guardian.

I’m glad that President Obama decided against overt U.S. intervention in the Syrian conflict, but I admit I don’t know what to do to help the poor people of Syria.  It seems as if the only alternatives are continued rule by a ruthless and brutal hereditary dictator, and rule by local militias and warlords.

Islamist borri 12 novThe United States government, for all our high-tech flying killer drones and all our highly-trained special operations forces, does not have the capability to keep the peace in a country torn by civil war.  Arming one or more of the fighting factions makes things worse.  Bombarding the country makes things worse.  Helping victims is good to do, but it doesn’t solve the problem.  Maybe somebody who knows more about Syria than I do sees an answer.  I don’t see any.

Hollywood ‘Fight Club’ producer was Israeli spy with nuclear script by RT News.   Hat tip to O.

Arnon Milchan, producer of Hollywood movies such as Pretty Woman, Fight Club and LA Confidential, gave an interview about his earlier life as an Israeli secret agent in the 1970s who obtained materials and equipment for Israel’s secret nuclear weapons program.  This helps me understand the Israeli government’s fear of Iran’s nuclear program.  If Israel could develop nuclear weapons without the world’s knowledge, why couldn’t Iran?

Karzai, Pakistan protests against U.S. drone strikes may force U.S. out by Juan Cole for Informed Comment.

Pakistan blows cover of suspected CIA chief after drone strike by RT News.

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf, the opposition political party headed by former cricket star Imran Khan, has named a person it says is the CIA station chief in Pakistan, and demanded this person be tried for murder under Pakistani law in the deaths of civilians killed by flying killer drones.   The question in Pakistan, as in Afghanistan, is which is more unpopular: U.S. troops or the Taliban?

Egypt moves ahead with nuclear plant to address electricity crisis by Ayah Aman for Al-Monitor.

Egypt, like Iran, wants the benefit of nuclear power, but, unlike Iran, is not the target of international sanctions.   The difference is in the relation of the Egyptian and Iranian governments with Israel.

Iran, unlike Egypt, never declared war on Israel and never sent troops into battle against Israel.  In the days of Saddam Hussein, there was even a tacit alliance between Israel and the Ayatollahs’ Iran.  So, as improbable as it may seem now, someday there may be an end to the cold war between Israel and Iran.

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