Julie Gutman: As we celebrate liberty and democracy on July 4, let us ask what our founding fathers would have to say about the current torture debate.
If you’re concerned about the growing governmental scrutiny of our private lives and communications in the name of the vaunted “War on Terror,” please participate in the discussion “From McCarthyism to the Patriot Act to Islamophobia,” on Tuesday, September 13, 7 p.m. at Neighborhood Church in Pasadena.
Dick Price: Amir Bar-Lev’s powerful documentary, “The Tillman Story,” fleshes out the tragic arc of Pat Tillman’s life in what becomes less an anti-war movie and more the story of one indomitable family’s struggle for truth and justice in the face of arrogant indifference by our nation’s top military and civilian leaders, abetted by a cheerleading press.
Ivan Eland: The American media, and to a lesser extent the world media, focus on symbolism at the expense of underlying reality. And sometimes they can’t even make sense of the symbolism. The artificially generated controversy over a proposed mosque within about two blocks of the site of the 9/11 attacks is illustrative of this ignorance.
Tanya Acker: When I heard about the “split” in the Democratic party between Harry Reid and President Obama regarding the building of the mosque near Ground Zero, and as I listened to Senator Reid voice his objections to the mosque, my first thought was that the Senator should know better.
Ivan Eland: On March 31, 2010, the New York Times wrote an editorial that briefly expressed horror in response to the Moscow subway terror bombings, then warned that Prime Minister Vladimir Putin might yet again use terrorist attacks to further consolidate his power, and finally lectured Russia that the only way to defeat such extremism was to deal with the underlying causes. Such a sermonizing editorial by any Russian publication after the 9/11 attacks would have engendered outrage in America
Michael Sigman: Isn’t it precisely the job of political, financial and religious leaders to imagine disasters and then prepare for them? (Plausible ones, that is, as opposed to, say, anti-asteroid Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher’s crusade for funds to combat “objects coming from space that could cause colossal loss of lives on our planet.”) And if their imaginations fail them, and us, shouldn’t they be held accountable — morally and, when appropriate, criminally?
Ivan Eland: President Obama’s rationale for not including these security expenditures in his discretionary spending freeze is that he is prosecuting two wars. Aside from the obvious solution of ending the two conflicts—which are part of the “war on terror” but have had the counterproductive effect of increasing retaliatory terrorism—and cutting back the defense budget, defense spending could be reduced even if the two war efforts are sustained.
It is up to us to defend and improve our democracy more effectively than the Germans of 80 years ago. This implies not only vigilance and willingness to do political battle, but as important, a willingness to acknowledge and respond to the real concerns of honest conservatives who might otherwise be seduced by Rush Limbaugh and his colleagues.
Fearing a new, more formidable opponent than the often buffoonish and macho cowboy George W. Bush, the two leaders of al Qaeda have tag teamed Barack Obama with twin audiotapes condemning him. Unlike Bush—who made little effort to understand the Islamic world and whom al Qaeda could easily bait into reckless acts that raised its [...]
by Charley James – According to both the 9/11 Commission report and Richard Clarke’s book, Against All Enemies, in the summer of 2001 former CIA director George Tenet raced around Washington clanging “alarm bells” to anyone who would listen about a possible al Qaeda attack on the United States. The CIA and the National Security [...]
General David Petraeus, the former military commander of U.S. forces in Iraq and author of the military’s most recent counterinsurgency manual, learned the lessons of the successful British counterinsurgency experience in Malaya in the 1950s. He was able to reduce the violence in Iraq by instituting a policy of U.S. military restraint in that country.
In the twilight of his eight-year term, George W. Bush is the loneliest guy in town these days. Remember him? With the economy in the tank, the Iraq War dragging on with casualties at 2004 levels (which we were all horrified about back then), Bush’s popularity is in the cellar and holding. Republican presidential candidate [...]