Reciprocity, Lawfare, and Self-Defense: Targeted Killing

March 6, 2012 by

There is an emergent Israeli/American controversy on the lawfulness of targeted killing. Although the policy has not yet attained the status of being a national debate, there are signs that it may be about to happen, especially in light of the Attorney General, Eric Holder’s Northwestern Law School speech on March 5, 2012 outlining the Obama’s administration’s controversial approach to targeted killing in some detail.

The Post-WWI Years and the 21st Century

February 24, 2012 by

The world today and the world immediately before the Second World War are strikingly similar. The military and foreign policy of the United States today is comparable to the close-minded introversion of isolationism. European countries are teetering on the brink of economic collapse. The German industrial juggernaut has reignited. The announced rearmament of Russia resembles that of the former Soviet Union, during and immediately after the First World War.

Israel and the US versus Iran: Talk Peace!

February 14, 2012 by

We are witnessing the state system at its worst. The options are tighter sanctions, or war. The far better option of sitting down with mediators, talking and searching for solutions is absent. Polarization and escalation, the material of which wars are made, fill the media. What a shame!

On Religion, Reproductive Rights, Rhetoric, and Reality

February 12, 2012 by

President Obama proposed a compromise in recent days to a rule unveiled by the Department of Health and Human Services last month requiring religious institutions – but not houses of worship – to offer contraceptive coverage at no cost to their employees. The rule put forth last month drew criticism from several quarters, including religiously-affiliated hospitals and universities, as well as advocates of religious liberty.

Revealing the Obvious

February 12, 2012 by

The conflict in Syria continues to take lives on both sides in what increasingly looks like a civil war. The bloodshed in Homs has captured most attention in recent days, but we should not forget violence in the capital Damascus and other Syrian towns, under government control, where lives have been lost and a climate of fear prevails. Twenty-four hour news coverage means unlimited hunger for detail, factual, exaggerated or invented.

International Redistribution of Wealth

February 8, 2012 by

The past year of stops and starts by the United States on the international stage highlights that the Obama Administration has yet to establish a comprehensive foreign policy. The administration has seemingly decided how to handle matters abroad like a shortstop fielding ground balls: single-gloving them one time, two handed catching another, and letting the ball into the outfield yet another. There is no consistency nor rhyme or reason.

The Straw that Broke the War on Women’s Backs

February 7, 2012 by

Last week, the United States saw the culmination of the GOP War on Planned Parenthood (also known as the War on Women) when the Susan G. Komen foundation, which supports breast health for women of all incomes, defunded and, 48 hours later, refunded Planned Parenthood. Komen had supported Planned Parenthood in delivering breast exams and breast health services to low-income women who would be otherwise unable to afford such care.

Chinese Economic Policy in the New Cold War

February 6, 2012 by

The first pictures of the new Chinese aircraft carrier appearing on news reports across the world over the last two weeks underscores the relationship between the People’s Republic of China and the United States. It is time for the United States to acknowledge that it is in a Cold War with China. Its denial of the real state of relations between the two Superpowers is easily accounted for. The United States faces a myriad of higher profile, external challenges in today’s world.

Somalia: Under the Tutelage of Ghost-lords

February 2, 2012 by

At this dreadful moment in its history—when the obituary of a nation on life support is being written—political correctness is a luxury that Somalia cannot afford. Yes, Somalia is a failed state. But, failure is not a permanent condition, unless people choose to make it so by retiring their dignity and spirit of resilience. Since the collapse of the military government 21 years ago, Somalia went through various levels of problems perpetuated by clan militias, warlords, economic-lords, religious-lords, regional-lords, and a group that I would refer to as the Ghost-lords.

An Onerous Inheritance

January 30, 2012 by

In his 1998 book, Tom Brokaw famously coined the term, “The Greatest Generation,” to refer to the generation of Americans who lived through the Great Depression, fought in World War II, and went on the build the powerhouse that was the American post-war economy. Considering the achievements of this generation, many expected great things of their progeny, the baby-boomers.

Behold, a Straw Horse

January 24, 2012 by

The desire to accord faith and hope fundamentally different natures evinces a nauseating splitting of hairs. But tractates and injunctions betoken the gravity of disentangling even the smallest of fibers where similar but still separate species mingle.

Is there life after Facebook?: Cyber Goo(g)lag Revelation

January 17, 2012 by

Ever since, “McFB way of life” has been published, I was confronted with numerous requests to clarify the meaning. My usual answer was a contra-question: If humans hardly ever question fetishisation or oppose the (self)trivialization, why then is the subsequent brutalization a surprise to them? Not pretending to reveal a coherent theory, the following lines are my instructive findings, most of all on the issue why it is time to go home and search for a silence.

Sri Lanka’s Game of Diplomacy

January 16, 2012 by

As promised, the Sri Lankan government made the final report of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) public last month. It has also recently released its “National Action Plan for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights: 2011-2016.” The Action Plan was developed in accordance with a commitment the government had made in 2008, the last time Sri Lanka participated in the UN’s Universal Periodic Review.

Healing Wounds: Seeking Closure for the 1915 Armenian Massacres

January 12, 2012 by

Recently the National Assembly, France’s lower legislative chamber, voted to criminalize the denial of the Armenian genocide in 1915, imposing a potential prison sentence of up to one year as well as a maximum fine of 45,000 Euros. The timing of this controversial initiative seemed to represent a rather blatant Sarkhozy bid for the votes of the 500,000 French citizens of Armenian descent in the upcoming presidential election.

Where Are We Heading?

January 9, 2012 by

The clouds are dark and we sense one on the horizon. The omens are not good––a major war, even with Russia-China, to revive an economy in depression, which means destroying capital and rebuilding. Depression? Yes. Because of the dismantling of the welfare state (The Nation, January 2, 2012), the withering away of livelihoods will show up as increasing morbidity and mortality on the health indicators––the only true measures of “development.”

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