Prisoner exchange and the law

The Obama administration negotiated the release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who had been held captive in Afghanistan for nearly five years, in exchange for five senior Taliban leaders being held in Guantanamo.  He was reportedly the last POW being held.  The problem is, the law requires the administration to consult with Congress when releasing prisoners from the Guantanamo prison, which the administration did not do.  Officials from the executive branch acknowledge that they did not follow the law.

UPDATE:  To add another level of controversy, Sgt. Bergdahl was evidently a deserter.

[Read more...]

Tripwire to World War III

Many Americans are wondering, what difference does Russia’s incursion into the Ukraine make for us?  Well, a number of observers are saying that Vladimir Putin might next go after the Baltic states (Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania), bordering countries that used to be part of the USSR and that also have large Russian minorities with grievances.

Those Baltic states are now members of the European Union.  Moreover, they are members of NATO.  As are we.  And, as the article linked after the jump says, “NATO is a mutual defense organization, meaning that an attack on one nation is considered an attack on all.”  NATO is currently sending military forces to the Baltics, which will probably include American troops, some of whom are already headed to Poland. [Read more...]

The difference one person can make

Some say history is made by vast social and economic forces.  Others say that even vast forces are launched by the actions of individual human beings .  Yesterday’s newspaper, in two separate articles, showed the difference made by two individuals, one whose actions led to the deaths of millions; the other whose actions led to saving the lives of billions. [Read more...]

Russia and Ukraine go to war

Russia has invaded Ukrainian territory–the Crimea, formerly an autonomous region that has been the flashpoint for war for centuries.  The Crimea has a Russian majority and a major Russian naval base at Sevastapol–Russia’s prize warm water port–so the incursion of troops there is not surprising.  But now Russia’s target seems to be  Ukraine proper, and the new pro-Western government is mobilizing its military and claiming that Russia has, in effect, declared war. [Read more...]

“The final episode of the cold war”

Violence is intensifying in the Ukraine, as a truce between pro-Western protesters and the Russian-dominated government fell apart. The protesters are getting weapons and more regions of the country are rising up.

Read George Will on the relationship between nationalism, democracy, and communism and on the significance of what is happening in Ukraine.  He calls it “the final episode of the cold war.” [Read more...]

Revolution in Ukraine

Pro-Russian government forces in the Ukraine have attacked pro-Democracy protesters in Kiev, but they are fighting back with Molotov cocktails and improvised weapons.  Other cities are rising up in support.  Details and a live feed from the Kiev town square, the epicenter of the violence. [Read more...]


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