Thoughts on Cuba

The Obama administration’s decision to begin normalizing relations with Cuba has generated much praise and criticism. You can read the lead editorials in the New York Times and the Washington Post to get a flavor for the arguments, pro and con. On the right, the divisions between conservatives and libertarians have found a predictable expression. … Continue reading Thoughts on Cuba

A Failed Policy

“The US government’s failure to ensure basic transparency and accountability in its torture policies, to provide necessary details about its enhanced interrogation program, or adequately to set out the legal factors involved in decisions to torture hinders necessary democratic debate about a key aspect of US foreign and national security policy. US practices may also facilitate … Continue reading A Failed Policy

CIA Torture and Politician Grandstanding

So the U.S. Senate report on CIA interrogation methods is out, and now we know that the CIA tortured detainees, including the use of violent rectal assault: Some of the detainees were terrorists; some were probably innocent. We'll never know because they were never tried in a court of law: Some neoconservative torture apologists oppose … Continue reading CIA Torture and Politician Grandstanding

Get Ready to Pop the Champaign

That is Aaron Blake’s advice for the White House (Washington Post): “For the first time since January, President Obama is polling a 50 percent approval rating on an issue: his handling of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.” The newest WaPo-ABC poll shows 50 percent approve of Obama's handling of the Islamic State, as … Continue reading Get Ready to Pop the Champaign

Number 7

Glenn Greenwald notes that the bombing targets in Syria marks something of a new record: Syria becomes the 7th predominantly Muslim country bombed by the 2009 Nobel Peace Laureate – after Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Libya and Iraq. The utter lack of interest in what possible legal authority Obama has to bomb Syria is telling … Continue reading Number 7

The Coalition of the Kind of Willing?

Barack Obama announced his new strategy for ISIL on 9/10: “So tonight, with a new Iraqi government in place, and following consultation with allies abroad and Congress at home, I can announce that America will lead a broad coalition to roll back this terrorist threat.” -- The coalition partners are important because our efforts “will … Continue reading The Coalition of the Kind of Willing?