38 Comments

Reza is a breath of fresh air. Having lived through the collapse of the British after the Suez episode, I well remember the perpetuel civil unrest in Sudan, Uganda Ruanda, Barundi, e,tc. Israel and the US were supporting Jomo Kenyatta, head of Kikuyu tribe and of KANU party. This had been favored by the British and members comprised the bulk of the colonial police forces. As soon as they got independence, all non KANU leaders were quickly killed, (among these was Obamas father).

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The Glenn Show becomes less and less worth the money.

Woodrow Wilson defeated Fascism? Woodrow Wilson was at least as much a fascist as the countries we were fighting. Read about the American Protective Lead and the people jailed, or worse, indefinitely without benefit of trial. Read "American Midnight" or anything by Jonah Goldberg for that matter.

Iran armed and trained Hamas as well as Hezbollah and the Houthis. Iran is responsible for the attack despite what US intelligence says. Our agencies are accountable to a president who is still trying to accommodate Iran and work out a treaty.

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"America's foreign policy isn't about promoting democracy or promoting human rights. I mean, only an ignorant child would continue to say such a thing. American foreign policy is predicated on one thing and one thing only: our national interests and nothing else. If our national interests means supporting terrorist organizations in Latin America, that is what we will do. If our national interests means promoting democracy in the Middle East, that's what we will do."

This is just silly. Has the US been perfectly behaved in regards to foreign policy, democracy and human rights? No. But if anything the US has been naive in believing it can spread liberal values far and wide compared to countries that have had no such illusions.

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There is no moral equivalence between the United States and China and Russia and Iran. The USA does not, "do the exact same thing". Not even close. Of course, the United States pursues its foreign policy based on its natural interests, but it is a lie that the United States pursues its foreign policy without a thought to what is moral or not.

This is borne out by the fact that the effect of the United States, as opposed to other empires, has been beneficial to the world. Just a few examples:

-post WW2, the United States has policed the worlds oceans, allowing free and open trade, where there was none before. This resulted in turning nations that were basically colonies, into sovereign nations.

-The development of the microchip has brought the world from a poverty rate of over 50% to under 10%.

Reza should have been challenged on this lie.

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The United States certainly has a hideous history of protecting its national interests—support of right-wing coups, assassinations in South America and Africa of democratically elected politicians, and using the military to support corporate interests...

The U.S. has 800 bases around the world. After the fall of the Soviet Union, American capitalists saw great opportunities to exploit weaker nations and expand their world domination. They have had their eyes on Ukraine for quite a while. Ukraine has very weak trade unions.

Israel helps to protect U.S. interests in the oil deposits in the Middle East. At one time, Nixon had repeatedly planned military intervention in the Middle East to take control of the oil fields when America was running dry. I remember the rationing of gasoline during that time---odd vs. even days to refuel.

Desperation and greed override morality, as clearly showed by history.

Israel is a Jewish apartheid ethno-state with great contradictions. Gaza is an open-air prison (ghetto) and the conditions on the West Bank are worse than the Jim Crow discrimination practiced in the old South against blacks with the excessive control of Palestinian movements. I have visited South Africa twice and witnessed the horrible remnants of apartheid. The Israeli settlers and military are committing crimes against the Palestinians in the West Bank with impunity with the use of U.S. weaponry.

The world is increasingly turning against Israel.

Unfortunately, I have a prepaid cruise in the Middle East that I can't get a refund on. It starts on November 21st out of Istanbul, Turkey. Two ports in Israel have been canceled for obvious reasons.

But Turkey, Egypt, Oman, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Suez Canal... are still on the literary. I got a small prescription of antianxiety medication today to take on the trip to avoid forfeiting $14,000. We should have chosen the trip to Kenya. Lol! 🤣🤣🤣🤣

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"apartheid ethno-state" - what does that even mean? They are the country with the most diverse population in the Middle East, where everyone, regardless of religion, race, sex, etc has the right to work, drive, vote, run for office, own land, start a business, etc.

To compare Israel to apartheid South Africa when many of their neighbors, especially Hamas, are calling for the murder of the nine million Jews in Israel is disgraceful.

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First, you provided absolutely no proof of your various accusations of the USA.

2nd, Israel and others have tried to make a resolution with the Palestinians and each time the Palestinians said no. They even said no to an offer of over 80% of what is Israel.

3rd, Gaza is a mess only because of Hamas.

4th, Palestinians in the West Bank have a higher quality of life than Arabs in most other Arab nations. Arab Israeli citizens certainly have a far better quality of life than other Arabs.

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Europeans achieved a very high quality of life through mal-distribution of wealth and power after killing indigenous people, stealing billions of acres of free Indian land, black chattel slavery, colonization, and apartheid. The pattern is clearly in front of your nose. Your facts to disprove the above?

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Israelis are NOT Europeans. Israelis were happy to share their economy with Palestinians in Gaza.

Jews are indigenous to the Middle East they are not colonizers. What country are they colonizing Israel for? Countries in Europe where they were never citizens? Egypt, Iraq, Iran, and Jordan that expelled their Jews in 1948 after their families had been there for thousands of years?

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Nov 8, 2023·edited Nov 8, 2023

Slavery and colonization was committed by all types of people not just the Europeans. The Europeans and the Americans have done more to bring wealth for all people in the world than any other group of people. As such, blacks in the United States of America are wealthier than blacks, anywhere else in the world. There's your facts.

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Compensatory whiteness? The late Dr. W.E.B. Dubois (1863-1963) was a brilliant Black sociologist who wrote many essays on race relations in America.

Here's an excerpt from one of W. E. B. Du Bois’s essays: his account of [compensatory whiteness] within the US regime of racial capitalism is particularly significant. "In Black Reconstruction in America, Du Bois famously argues that whiteness serves as a “public and psychological wage,” delivering to poor whites in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries a valuable social status derived from their classification as “not-black.” The claims embedded in this thesis—that whiteness provides meaningful “compensation” (Du Bois’s term) for citizens otherwise exploited by the organization of capitalism; that the value of whiteness depends on the devaluation of black existence; and that the benefits enjoyed by whites are not strictly monetary—shaped subsequent efforts to theorize white identity and to grasp the (non) formation of political coalitions in the United States. The lasting impact of Du Bois’s thinking was evident in debates surrounding the 2016 presidential election, in which the category of the “white working class” featured prominently. Commentators wrestled with whether the actions of this demographic could be best explained by feelings of economic insecurity, racial animus, or, in a more Du Boisean vein, some potent alchemy between the two."

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If you're going to quote WEB DuBois, quote WEB DuBois. This is someone misreading and misusing Mr. Dubois's writings.

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Anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism are two different things.

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Blacks only own and control less than 2% of the wealth in this country since the eve of the American Civil War in which there were 4 million slaves and 400 thousand semi-freed blacks. Studies have shown that it would take 235 years for blacks to catch up with white wealth (loss of opportunities due to 240 years of black chattel slavery plus 100 years of Jim Crow discrimination).

Racism is a power relationship between groups. Whitety got the great head start with genocide, free Indian land, slavery, cololiniasm, Jim Crow, apartheid, and codification. Israel and the indigenous Palestinians? Zionism? Zionism is racism!

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Pooor babies. Is that trivial tail of woe, all that ales ye? You are indeed fortunate. Now go get a job.

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Thomas Jefferson, the religious pessimist --- "Like many other 18th-century intellectuals in Europe and North America, Jefferson believed blacks were inferior to whites. In his only book, Notes on the State of Virginia (1785), Jefferson expressed racist views of blacks’ abilities, though he questioned whether the differences he observed were due to inherent inferiority or to decades of degrading enslavement. He also believed that white Americans and enslaved blacks constituted two “separate nations” who could not live together peacefully in the same country. Of this inevitable rift, he wrote:

“Deep rooted prejudices entertained by the whites; ten thousand recollections, by the blacks, of the injuries they have sustained ... will divide us into parties and produce convulsions, which will probably never end but in the extermination of one or the other race.”

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The transatlantic slave trade wasn't like other past slavery. Africans were transported thousands of miles across the ocean from their homeland. Families were broken up. Women were savagely raped on the ships and after they arrived in the new world, even during Jim Crow. My great-grandmother was brutally raped by a scumbag Scot-Irishman with impunity. I experienced the brutality of Jim Crow, losing loved ones. I'm not an apologist for your white fuckery. Fortunately, I learned machiavellian skills to deal with the white fuckery.

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Your compensatory whiteness has no authority here. You're providing no substance. Where have you traveled to internationally? Readings? Restricted to Fox News, Breitbart, News Max, and Daily Stormer? Are you still mad at Pookie and Ray-Ray taking your lunch money? Lol!

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Compensatory whiteness? What does that even mean? Everything I stated is a fact. The British empire offered the Palestinians over 80% of what is Israel and they turned it down as well as 4 other subsequent offers. I don't need to have authority. I'm quoting the historical record.

Having said the above, your statements are the personification of anti-intellectualism and ad hominem attacks. It is both immoral and pathetic.

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At the Time of the Balfour Declaration, Jews were only 10% of what is now Palestine. European Jews were imported into the region. The decisions were made by a European power, not by the Palestinians. To say that Palestinians were offered a deal is akin to saying Africans were offered a jobs program.

The Declaration claimed the Palestinians would gain independence. This was a bald-faced lie. Palestinians were disposed in the Nakba.The reason current Palestinians are reluctant to leave the North is because they know they will never be able to return.

European anti-Semitism pushed Jews to the Middle East. Britain claimed Palestinian land, pushed Palestinians out and created Isreal and here we are.

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Robert, the Palestinians were offered a deal of over 80% of the land by the British empire. This is a fact. It is not akin to anything else. It stands on its own. And a further fact is that the Palestinians rejected this incredible offer. Had they not done so, today they would be controlling over 80% of what is Israel. It was a self-destructive decision.

And yet another fact, the Palestinians were offered land 4 subsequent times, and each time they once again self destructively rejected the offer.

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BTW, I ran around with Jews in Los Angeles about ten years ago, having had a Jewish girlfriend. We traveled internationally. Jews are not a monolithic group and have different opinions about Israel and Zionism. I learned a lot about the culture and religion. My Jewish girlfriend introduced me to some old original Black Panther Party leaders and Jewish writers.

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The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is very complex. There's massive detailed facts for which we could not cover with a 1 to 2 paragraphs. Whites like you explaining morality to me with their history? I'm rolling on the floor of my second home on the beach with uncontrollable laughter, along with Becky.

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It's worth considering that much of the dollar amounts of aid given to Ukraine are estimates of the value of the equipment (amortized)? rather than a debit from the budget. Much of this stuff is surplus, and old, and nearing end-of-life in any event. If it were not donated to Ukraine, it'd be soon relegated to scrap. I believe Biden made this point in a recent speech. (It's not completely clear-cut, however. Did some googling and this seems a fairly balanced assessment: https://apnews.com/article/fact-check-us-aid-ukraine-money-equipment-714688682747.)

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Aslan is right that the Iranian government has no legitimacy in the eyes of its own people. But he couldn't be more wrong about Obama's treaty "solving" the issue or Iran developing nuclear arms. The International Atomic Energy Agency reported in 2020 that Iran was in violation of ALL (emphasis mine) restrictions outlined by the JCPOA, with which Iran agreed by the way. Back in 2016, when the ink was barely dry, German intelligence found Iran seeking to acquire nuclear weapons technology and materials from German companies. Throughout the years it denied access to UN Inspectors whenever it chose. In addition, Iran was developing ballistic missile launch technology, fomenting revolution throughout the Mideast and seeking to assassinate those who spoke out against the Klepto-Theocracy. It was never a credible partner, and there was never doubt that they would continue to develop nuclear weapons. Besides, what kind of nuclear weapons ban sunsets in 10 years?

While few Americans are impressed with how the American government has functioned both domestically and abroad in recent years, Aslan equates the U.S. with all other terrorist organizations, saying "we love terrorists, just our terrorists" and "we love governments that support terrorism, as long as it's for our purposes". The U.S. has, with all its flaws, been a tremendous source of global stability in the last 75 years since WW II, allowing millions, indeed billions, to escape poverty as their economies were able to grow under the Pax Americana umbrella. That's not something terrorists do.

I also take issue with Iran having nothing to do with Hamas, which he says is the opinion of "the American national security apparatus". Most experts in the area know Iran's role throughout the Middle East, but the Biden Administration doesn't want to paint itself into a corner by declaring Iran a direct party to the October slaughter and torture of civilians in southern Israel. Then they would have to deal with the root cause of most of the region's turmoil - Iran and, more specifically, the Mullahs and the IRGC.

Lastly, "Iran believes it is besieged on all sides by enemies..." Really? Afghanistan? Iraq, over which Iran has great influence? The tiny Gulf States? Maybe he is worried about Armenia or Turkmenistan? Iran is by far the dominant power in the region.

Iran is a country with a rich history and many accomplishments. Today they are in a dark age due to the Mullahs tight grip on power and the economy. Aslan sounds more like someone from the Bay Area than an expert on this region.

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Reza Aslan ? Really? A pathological liar from the day he was born/ how could you Glenn?

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I haven’t listened yet, have you? After reading the episode description, I checked out the audio version of Aslan’s book Zealot from library. While I am keeping a shaker of salt handy--I am a devout Catholic and Aslan decidedly is not--I find it engrossing even (especially?) when I need to add a few grains of salt. I can’t imagine anyone I’d rather interview Aslan more than Glenn, who will give him a hearing but not be a pushover.

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Thanks for your reply. Of course Glenn is not a pushover. As a Sam Harris fan, i was hit by the level of insincerity Aslan spoke about Sam

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I hear you and, as I said, I haven’t listened to the episode yet. I’m still listening to and processing “Zealot,” his book about the historical Jesus, and find it engaging though not entirely convincing. He does seem to have a lot of confidence in his own narrative and I can well believe he would brush aside people who challenge it. And if he engaged in an ad hominem attack on Sam Harris, well that’s just lazy.

Sometimes listening to a podcast is like sitting in the passenger seat of car, pressing your foot down on an imaginary gas pedal or brake. I’ve had to turn off some of Andrew Sullivan’s interviews when he lets his guest say insane things or outright lies unchallenged. Glenn does challenge a guest’s ideas, albeit politely and respectfully. I reckon if he were too combative, guests might be unwilling to come in. (Aside: I wonder if that’s one thing that tanked John Stewart’s relaunch; early in the series, he and his other guests ganged up on Sully)

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FYI: Reza Aslan was once a fundamental Christian.

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Yes. I can see traces of a background in ‘sola scriptura’

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