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Total number of comments: 13 (since 2013-11-28 16:32:41)


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  • Americans 64 times more likely to be Murdered than die in Terrorism
    • The report's controlling definition restricts terrorist attacks to those committed by non-state actors. I doubt victims, or their relatives, see much difference between state and non-state terror. Government controlled drones demolishing wedding parties or funeral gatherings not being considered terrorist attacks seems to me a substantive bias, as would be much "collateral damage" created by state controlled armies.

  • Triumph of the Immigrant American Spirit: Meb Keflezighi and the Boston Marathon
    • This essay is concise and to the point and much needed.
      However, I think it marred by your choosing to label the Marathon bombing as cowardly. I recall no use of that word in this blog in referencing U.S. drone strikes, which often are targeted at civilian locales.
      Indeed, launching destruction from thousands of miles away, or even thousands of feet, in comparison to an up close placing of destruction, seems to blur any judgment of cowardice. Perhaps you might explain the difference you see?

  • Amanda Knox and Troy Davis
    • "If Amanda Knox had been in Georgia’s legal system, she would probably be dead... ."

      Troy Davis was Black male, convicted of murdering a white police officer. Amanda Knox, white female, was initially convicted of killing another white. Knox comes from a relatively wealthy family, Davis not. What evidence makes you think that racism and classism have been overcome in the American justice systems?

      In Georgia, there is a reasonable chance Knox would not have been prosecuted, let alone convicted, as would likely be true in many states.

  • Al-`Awlaqi Should have been Tried in Absentia
    • Unfortunately Obama, the constitutional law professor, did an end run around the courts by countenancing an extra-judicial execution of bin Laden, just as he has done with al-`Awlaqi .

    • The link to Slate isn't relevant in that al-`Awlaqi would need to be present at the beginning of the trial and then skip out after the trial commences. And pre-trial business doesn't count. You continually ignore that distinction, though it is clear in the Slate article. The Feds would have to capture him first, not assassinate him as was done.

    • IF the government could try al-`Awlaqi in absentia, what is to stop state or federal governments from trying all manner of accused in absentia? One recent example is the decades long effort of the federal government to arrest James "Whitey" Bulger, who is charged with many more actual murders than was al-'Awlaqi accomplished, whose offenses were more speech issues.

      This appears a novel construct, and maybe one that would likewise need new "law" or maybe even a constitutional amendment to get rid of the pesky right to confront the accuser based on suppositions of internet communication, which I believe would be very unwise.

      Is this a power you really want to extend to the Dept. of Justice, whether under Obama or Bachman, or our Courts under Roberts or whomever?

  • Ten Years after 9/11, Do the Arabs value Democracy more than We do?
    • Prof. Cole said: “Some critics trace the debt and budget crisis to the Bush wars, but in a $14.5 trillion a year economy, the $1 trillion spent on the wars over a decade was not decisive.”

      Is that $14.5 trillion a year economy the federal budget, or the total economy. It seems that the $1 trillion spent on wars in the past decade needs to be compared to the expenses by the govt., what it can allocate through revenue. My understanding is that Fed. budget does not equal $14.5 a year. but well under 4 trillion (according to the 2012 proposed budget of $3.729 trillion, as found on wikipedia), and perhaps less without social security payments, which are funded separately. Whether that $.1 trillion/year over 10 years might have a substantive impact enhancing our current (from an unemployed worker's perspective) depression, though not the cause, seems more likely.

  • Iraq Adopts Iran's Backing of Assad
    • Two questions:
      1). You don't identify Turkey as a part of the "defacto alliance" (3rd question). Is there a reason you leave Turkey out?

      2). In response to the same question, you state "There is nothing that Syria can do for Iraq, economically." Aren't there still a considerable number of Iraqi refugees throughout Syria, and if they were all quickly deported back to Iraq, would that not be a severe strain on Iraq at this point? If so, perhaps that is something that Syria has to offer Iraq.

  • Top Ten Myths about the Libya War
    • Perhaps not a major criticism, but your examples in #3 are not to the point, depending on how you define the word "country" - whether the country is the army officer class, or, more normally, the ruling government. In both Tunisia and Egypt, the military was sent against the revolutionaries by the then presiding dictator. That those two officer corps refused to follow orders doesn't disappear the order given. So perhaps it is normal for governments to order their military against a revolutionary uprising.

      The American government used its military to suppress an uprising at Wounded Knee, SD in 1973. It also used units of the army to suppress anti-war demonstrations, and to suppress labor unrest (class war).

  • Iraq declines to Cut Syria Off
    • IS it not also possible that Iraq hesitates to break connections with Syria because of the huge number of Iraqi refugees within Syria? The U.S. advised all Americans to leave Syria; could Iraq follow suit? And just where would those refugees now settle once back in Iraq?

  • Rebels offer Qaddafi Libyan Retirement
    • A number of democratic representatives voted for the application of the War Powers Act; where is the case that they were acting for "political gain". As for those Republicans who support the application of the War Powers Act, some of them are actually concerned about separation of powers. The charge of "political gain" can apply to all opposition parties, and is used to stamp out opposition by the ruling clique. It is fairly meaningless in this kind of constitutional context, without a demonstration of personal financial interest by the opposition.

    • IT is hardly dispicable for U.S. Representatives to tepidly vote to require the president to abide by the constitution and subsequent laws. The vote by the House was a matter of attempting to force the president to come to Congress to request that body declare war, which should have been done at the beginning, or at least after the lapse of the 60 days required by the War Powers Act. To suggest that the war in Libya is not a war, but some kind of "action" is the sort of semantic dodging that increasingly presidents rely on. ("It depends on what the meaning of the word "is" is." OR we can look at the apparent inability of the more recent presidents to agree on what torture is, even though US courts have addressed this.) Further, the war by NATO et al. has far exceeded the boundaries as set forth by the UN security council.

      To be in favor of this war, which you are, does not necessitate the indirect ad hominem attack on those who disagree with you.

  • An Open Letter to the Left on Libya
    • "I hope we can have a calm and civilized discussion of the rights and wrongs here."

      "I would like to urge the Left to learn to chew gum and walk at the same time."

      By itself, the second quote moves any possible discussion away from being calm and civilized. Earlier this week, you used "silly" and other like derogatory terms to reference those who disagree with you, venturing into an ad hominem attack. Referencing Qaddafi as a "Mad Dog" as well discourages what you allege you want. (Qaddafi's actions are indeed more than reprehensible; labeling the man so negates any desire to engage the argument.)

      While your arguments are worthy of consideration, it isn't clear you have an interest in a civil engagement with others'.

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