War: Because, hey, what’s the worst that could happen?

"What's the harm ...?"

As jaw-droppingly awful as it is to realize that Bill Kristol hasn’t learned anything from his complicity in the biggest, deadliest blunder of a generation, it’s just as awful to realize that many others haven’t learned anything from that mistake either. [Read more...]

WeAreN’t helping when we take sides in sectarian violence

nun

Picking sides or defending one side in a sectarian conflict doesn’t alter the overall dynamic and cannot resolve the perpetual cycle of violence. The only thing that can do that is to ensure that religious freedom and other fundamental human rights are not contingent — that they are enshrined in the rule of law, equally, for the majority and the minority alike. [Read more...]

‘God only knows how much blood it will take’

Kalhoun

This is a 1991 song about American bombs falling on Iraq. The bombing did not stop with the end of the first Gulf War. It continued, steadily, for more than a decade, right on through to the American-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, starting a second war that continues to this day. I was 23 years old when this song was recorded. My country has been bombing Iraq for more than half my life, and I am no longer a young man. [Read more...]

History matters: Juan Cole on religious conflict in Iraq

First

It was foolish to think that voting and elections could bring “democracy” or “freedom” to post-Saddam Iraq without first establishing a bill of rights guaranteeing secular government and legal protections for religious minorities. Attempting the former without the latter just puts religious freedom at stake in every election. That’s a guaranteed recipe for sectarian civil war. [Read more...]

Celebrating Krauthammer’s credibility problem

Krauthammer

Charles Krauthammer, April 22, 2003: “Hans Blix had five months to find weapons. He found nothing. We’ve had five weeks. Come back to me in five months. If we haven’t found any, we will have a credibility problem.” As of today, it has been five months 23 times over. [Read more...]

Theodicy and foreign policy: The U.S. is not omnipotent

Budgets

Andrew Tabler is trying to revive one of the nastiest, most illogical of all the nasty, illogical arguments that misled America into the disastrous invasion and occupation of Iraq. He’s repeating Glenn Reynolds’ ugly, foolish slur that anyone who opposed invading Iraq was “objectively pro-Saddam.” This accusation doesn’t make any more sense in 2013 than it did a decade ago, but I think I’ve finally figured out why people like Reynolds and Tabler trick themselves into thinking it does. They’re not really talking about foreign policy. They’re talking about theodicy. [Read more...]

Dover and Just Wars

Mark Benjamin of Salon points out that former Vice President Dick Cheney and retired Gen. Tommy Franks just aren't that bright. Benjamin didn't put it that starkly himself, but that's the inescapable conclusion. He recently spoke with Bob Garfield of NPR's On the Media about what Franks called the "Dover effect" (see "The True Cost [Read More...]

Band of outlaws

“To abolish God!” said Gregory, opening the eyes of a fanatic. “We do not only want to upset a few despotisms and police regulations; that sort of anarchism does exist, but it is a mere branch of the Nonconformists. We dig deeper and we blow you higher. We wish to deny all those arbitrary distinctions [Read More...]


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