Is Gandalf the John Bolton of Middle Earth? or #IStandWithSauron

I had read and enjoyed both The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings (LOTR) trilogy as a young adult in the 1980s, but I could not get through The Silmarillion, which I imagine is a minimum requirement of true Tolkien fandom.

By the time Peter Jackson’s movies were released, I had changed my politics and began to question American exceptionalism and Eurocentrism. Continue reading

Request to Cover USA Complicity in Destruction of Yemen

Dear Ms. Finan,

I live with viewers of MSNBC’s Morning Joe and other programs. While I don’t sit to watch, I can often overhear the broadcasts.

Today’s action alert from FAIR Media Watch confirmed what I’ve long told them: MSNBC promotes war.

According to the action alert, “On July 2, a year had passed since the cable network’s last segment mentioning US participation in the war on Yemen.”

I’m not asking you to go Che Guevara & Noam Chomsky, although you could invite him to balance out your stable of weapons-manufacturer-sponsored military analysts. Just occasionally cover our country’s involvement in making Yemen a terrible place for humans.


Ayman Fadel
Augusta, GA

Warmongers’ Spewing Dangerous Nonsense in Augusta, GA Daily Newspaper

If you want to read warmongering nonsense with your morning coffee, check out Augusta, Georgia’s only daily newspaper’s editorial page. The Sunday editorial:

In today’s paper, two letters to the editor, one asking us to welcome war criminal Netanyahu to listen to his advice to attack Iran and the second proposing an official authorization by Congress for global war against “Islamic terrorism.”

I wrote the following comments to the two letters:

Why Should We Fight Wars on Behalf of Israel?

Netanyahu wants the United States to fight a war to prevent Iran from having a nuclear energy program in compliance with the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Meanwhile, Israel is not even a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty and has hundreds of nuclear weapons.

Ending U.S. hostility to Iran, including threats of regime change and ending economic sanctions, would go a long way towards reducing the tension which adds to the intensity of Syria’s and Iraq’s civil wars.

Congressional leaders should ignore calls for war by foreign leaders and focus on the well-being of their constituents, who don’t want military intervention in other countries.

Comment #2

License for Endless War

I’m not sure why some people believe the United States has to be the world’s policeman, especially when past interventions have exacerbated the problems they were advertised to solve.

For example, there was no al-Qaida in Iraq until we invaded. The leadership of ISIS met in USA detention facilities in Iraq during our occupation.

NATO intervened in Libya. Since the overthrow of the Qaddafi regime, various militias have fought each other for control of the country, and its nominal government barely functions. Now people claiming affiliation with ISIS have begun operations in this chaos.

Whether or not the United States played in a role in the 2013 coup in Egypt, it continued support to the military junta there.

These are all cases of past interventions which have not solved anything.

Next, many times insurgencies which have nothing to do with the United States may take on the flavor of “Islamic terrorism,” especially according to the regimes trying to suppress them. For example, China describes dissidents from the Turkic populations of its western regions as “Islamic terrorists.” Ethiopia cracks down on journalists and bloggers in the name of squashing “terrorism.” Should we intervene in Somalia to support its government’s attempts to defeat insurgents there just because some elements of the insurgency are al-Shabaab, an “Islamic terrorist” group? So Congress should not authorize the President to wage war globally, but should instead examine each instance to be sure the particular conflict is in the interests of the United States.

Finally, let us not exaggerate the threat of “Islamic terrorism.” Please read this article from Foreign Affairs, hardly a peacenik journal, which includes a chart showing the causes of mortality and where terrorism falls in that list.