American politicians have been tumbling over each other promising they would support the government of Israel by all means necessary. But I wouldn’t vote for Netanyahu if I could and don’t want this country marching to his orders.
In prior commentaries I have spoken about the moral and constitutional issues in targeting people for assassination, by drones or otherwise. Today I’d like to look at the problem coldly, and try to assess whether and when those moral arguments have consequences on our effort to end terrorism. In particular, what should we make of the Obama Administration’s use of drones abroad to kill those it labels enemies. Plainly al-Qaeda has few scruples; why should we? Should we “fight fire with fire” or “sink to their level” to use two common expressions? Read the rest of this entry »
Since the next two Tuesdays fall on Christmas and New Year’s Day when this station will be airing special holiday programming, I need to get my New Year’s wishes in now. Read the rest of this entry »
Iran’s position looks a bit stronger once the war in Gaza shifted everyone’s gaze. But let’s use the breather to understand the bombast about Iran which will surely return.
Public bombast is not an effective or accurate way to get so-called messages to the other side. What goes on in private is vastly different. Diplomacy is private until public deals are reached and announced. Read the rest of this entry »
Tasked with helping draft a constitution for India after World War II, B. N. Rau traveled abroad speaking to jurists. In Washington, Supreme Court Justice Frankfurter advised Rau not to include a due process clause in the Indian Constitution. Instead India should have a clause simply requiring that no one be charged with a crime but by the law of the land. That was the meaning of the Magna Carta in 1215 which said:
No freemen shall be taken or imprisoned … or in any way destroyed … except by the lawful judgment of his peers or by the law of the land.
That meant Parliamentary supremacy. Whatever crimes and procedures the legislature defined were kosher. But there was no check on the legislature. Read the rest of this entry »
We are all saddened by the sixteen people killed by an American soldier on a recent rampage. Clearly, he had lost his mind. Read the rest of this entry »
We’re hearing a lot of sabers rattling for war with Iran. The promoters have never been able to think past shock and awe to figure out what comes next. That’s blinders masquerading as courage. Read the rest of this entry »
We had dinner the other night with a friend who had lived in the same city in Iran where I had. We missed each other there by a few months. We were talking about the tense situation in the Persian Gulf and what they might do. Read the rest of this entry »
Do we have a stake in what is happening in Europe? Some countries, particularly in southern Europe are having trouble paying their debts in a recession. It shouldn’t be a surprise – taxes shrink in a recession. Of course in some places it is pathological – Greeks refuse to pay the taxes they owe in such large numbers that they are bankrupting their country. But the problem is wider, with deep roots in the recession.
As a result other countries have been reconsidering their participation in the Euro and even in the European Union itself. Should we care? Read the rest of this entry »
A few weeks ago I was planning to go out of town. I told Steve Felano we were going to a reunion of former Peace Corps Volunteers who had served in Iran. We would greet old friends and learn a great deal about what has been happening. We agreed I’d come back and report to you.
It wasn’t to be. Read the rest of this entry »