The legacy of 9/11?

On this anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, we’ve got to ask ourselves:  Did the terrorists win?  Or did America win?  And what did those attacks do to us?  Considerations after the jump. [Read more...]

The President’s speech

So what did you think of the President’s speech on Syria?  Did it make any of you change your mind?  Is this his “Cuban Missile Crisis” moment?  What do you think will happen now?

An account of the speech and a link to the complete transcript after the jump. [Read more...]

Developments on Syria

A reporter asked Secretary of State John Kerry if Syria could do anything to avoid getting attacked.  Off the cuff, Kerry said, sure, get rid of their chemical weapons.  Whereupon the Russian foreign minister seized on the idea, turning it into a proposal.  Whereupon the Syrian foreign minister indicated that the country might be open to that.  Now the rest of the world and much of Congress is rallying around that possibility.  Do you think this proposal is a way out or a delaying tactic?  A diplomatic breakthrough or a Russian ploy to keep Assad in power?

Meanwhile, President Obama will address the nation tonight at 9:00 ET, after a day packed with TV interviews, all in an effort to persuade Americans to persuade their Congressional representatives to let him attack Syria.  I can’t watch the speech, but if you do, live blog it here.  We’ll discuss it tomorrow.

UPDATE:  Syria says it will accept the Russian proposal.  President Obama is revising his speech accordingly.

[Read more...]

What our soldiers are saying about Syria

Retired Major General Robert H. Scales, former commandant of the U. S. Army War College, gives the word on the streets from those who would actually have to do the fighting:

By no means do I profess to speak on behalf of all of our men and women in uniform. But I can justifiably share the sentiments of those inside the Pentagon and elsewhere who write the plans and develop strategies for fighting our wars. After personal exchanges with dozens of active and retired soldiers in recent days, I feel confident that what follows represents the overwhelming opinion of serving professionals who have been intimate witnesses to the unfolding events that will lead the United States into its next war. [Read more...]

Let’s apply Just War Theory

As Congress and the nation as a whole decide on whether to attack Syria, let us take up the exercise of applying the guidelines for starting a “Just War,” according to Christian ethicists going back to St. Augustine.

The criteria are listed after the jump.  How would they apply to the current proposal to use cruise missiles to punish Syria for using chemical weapons?

Even if a war would be just by these criteria doesn’t mean it’s necessarily a good idea, but let’s see to what extent these ancient principles can offer guidance in a contemporary problem. [Read more...]

It’s looking bad for Obama’s war vote

Pretty much what I predicted is unfolding in Congress.  The growing consensus among both conservatives and liberals that attacking Syria is a bad idea should be celebrated as an instance of bi-partisanship, of once polarized factions coming together over foreign policy, a sign of national unity.  Too bad the President and the Democratic and Republican leadership aren’t part of it. [Read more...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X