Torture

"They say this is a different kind of war," Tony Lagouranis says. "Different rules for terrorists. Total crap." Lagouranis was a military intelligence specialist in Iraq until he was honorably discharged due to "adjustment disorder." That seems to be a military psychologist's euphemism for still having his conscience and humanity mostly intact. I've written before [Read More...]

The Firing Squad for God

Pat Robertson is nuts. But then you probably already knew that. Robertson surpassed even his own goofy standard this week when he called for the assassination of Venezeula's president, Hugo Chavez. We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability. We don't need another [Read More...]

August 6

Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S. Four years ago today President Bush received a daily brief warning him that terrorists planned to attack America. He spent the next three weeks on vacation. If he had done something, anything, might the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 have been prevented. I don't know. Nobody knows. But [Read More...]

Darfur

The Guardian's Simon Jeffery today offers a helpful Q&A backgrounder on the humanitarian crisis in Darfur, Sudan. I have not previously written here about Darfur, where more than a million people have been displaced and 30,000 have already died from hunger or at the hands of violent militias. The United States Congress has declared, without [Read More...]

Actionable Items

President Bush yesterday traveled to the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pa. The War College brings together some of America's best military minds to, in the word's of its founder, Elihu Root, "study and confer on the great problems of national defense, of military science and of responsible command." Faced with a perceived absence [Read More...]

Stop promoting democracy

Promoting democracy abroad has become a cornerstone of American foreign policy — or at least of American foreign policy rhetoric. This is a mistake. Democracy is, of course, a Good Thing. I am eager to see it spread to the billions of people around the world who do not enjoy it today. But democracy is [Read More...]

Falling Down

The 1993 movie Falling Down doesn't quite add up. Ebbe Roe Smith's screenplay wants to explore some interesting ideas about the relationship between violence and impotence, but director Joel Schumacher — the hack who made Batman and Robin — is much more interested in revelling in that violence than in understanding it. Still, no movie [Read More...]

No planning = unjust war

Like the pope, I opposed the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq because, among other reasons, I found it impossible to defend according to the jus ad bellum criteria of the just war tradition. Specifically, I was far from convinced that we had reached the necessity of last resort; I believe that “preventive” or “pre-emptive” wars require [Read More...]


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