I could not be happier about the changing demographics of the U.S., both in absolute terms and in terms of voting. This is fantastic. And it makes me think that, all things considered, I didn't make a huge mistake supporting Obama over Hillary in 2008.
U.S. border officials boarded the Pakistani politician’s New
York-bound American Airlines flight on Friday to escort him off the
plane and question him about his views on the U.S. administration’s use
of drone warfare.
“I just couldn’t understand,” Khan said in a telephone interview with the Toronto Star after his brief interrogation.
“I was sitting with this guy and he
kept asking me these strange questions. Finally, he said, ‘Do you know
something about drones?’ And I don’t think he fully understood what he
was talking about. It was just so bizarre, the whole thing.”
Khan has been a vocal opponent of the
Obama administration’s use of drones to target militants in Pakistan.
Earlier this month, he led thousands of anti-war activists in a march to
Pakistan’s tribal area.
He again criticized drone warfare
during a Thursday interview, calling it “insane” and “immoral” and
noting the high number of civilians killed.
“Sheer madness . . . worse, it’s
counterproductive,” he told the Star. “All it is doing is creating
anti-Americanism. It is helping the militants to recruit people.
Collateral damage means anyone losing a family goes and joins the
Britain’s Bureau of Investigative
Journalism, one of the organizations that tracks drone deaths, estimates
that during U.S. President Barack Obama’s first three years in office,
between 282 and 535 civilians were reported killed by drone strikes in
Pakistan and Yemen — including more than 60 children. The Obama
administration’s estimate is much lower.
You knew about the targeted assassinations, the drone attacks, etc. Now there are "Terrorist Tuesdays", where Obama hand-picks foreigners to "kill or capture" (read: kill), and the Orwellian redefinition of a "militant"---useful for redescribing all those civilian collateral casualties:
Just to underscore the level of right-wing extremism which Obama has normalized, consider his deceitful re-definition of the term “militant” to encompass ”all military-age males in a strike zone as combatants,” which I wrote about earlier today. In 2006, the pro-Israel activist Alan Dershowitz created a serious scandal when he argued – mostly in order to justify Israeli aggression — that “civilian causalties” are a “gray area” because many people in close proximity to Terrorists — even if not Terrorists themselves — are less than innocent (“A new phrase should be introduced into the reporting and analysis of current events in the Middle East: ‘the continuum of civilianality’ . . . . Every civilian death is a tragedy, but some are more tragic than others”).
Even more repellent was John Podhoretz’s argument in 2006 that “the tactical mistake” which “we made in Iraq was that we didn’t kill enough Sunnis in the early going to intimidate them and make them so afraid of us they would go along with anything,” specifically that the real error was that the U.S. permitted “the survival of Sunni men between the ages of 15 and 35.” In other words, “all military-age males” in Sunni areas should have been deemed “combatants” and thus killed. Podhoretz’s argument created all sorts of outrage in progressive circles: John Podhoretz is advocating genocide!
But this is precisely the premise that President Obama himself has now adopted in order to justify civilian deaths and re-classify them as “militants.” Here is the rationale of Obama officials as described by the NYT: “people in an area of known terrorist activity, or found with a top Qaeda operative, are probably up to no good.” Probably up to no good. That’s a direct replica of Dershowitz’s argument, and is closely related to Podhoretz’s. They count someone as a “militant” — worthy of death — based purely on the happenstance of where they are and the proximity they’re in to someone else they suspect is a Bad Person. If such a person is killed by a U.S. missile, then, by definition, they are “militants,” not “civilians” — even if we don’t know the first thing about them, including their name.
That’s official Obama policy. It won’t even be reported on most MSNBC shows, and won’t even be acknowledged, let alone denounced, by the vast majority of Democrats, including progressives. That’s the Obama legacy.
And it’s all justified by this definitively warped premise: we have to keep doing things we know will result in large-scale civilian deaths in order to stop the Terrorists, who are really terrible because they keep killing civilians. Besides, continuously killing a bunch of foreigners is hardly some reflection on our President’s character, especially in an Election Year.
Unemployment rate in Germany at 6.6%. Apparently this is because
Germany deployed a number of instruments to keep people in their jobs even during the most trying days of the financial crisis
OK, so 'democratic' government is supposed to be in the business of advancing the (medium-term, presumably) interests of 'the people' -- in the sense of, if not the 51%, then at least the 97%. Presumably, 'keeping people in their jobs' is in the interests of 'the people' in this sense. Perhaps making the 97% feel as if the state has no interest in keeping them in their jobs is in the interest of (allowing for some borderline feelings of suspended indecision in the 98th %ile) the top 1% -- shock doctrine, give up on organizing, willingly subject themselves to the market and all that. So -- we do not wish to repeat ourselves, and yet we must -- the relatively pathetic efforts toward keeping people in their jobs in the Anglophone world are evidence that government here is not 'democratic'.
Germany did not get the jump on Anglophonia because they knew something we didn't. Their strategy involved:
the government program known as “Kurzarbeit,” which allowed employers to significantly reduce workers’ hours, with the state stepping in to make up most of the shortfall in pay. Another was the so-called work-time accounts, whereby unions and companies agreed to let workers build up a bank of overtime that they could then use to take paid leave when there was a downturn in business
Clever, but not really very clever. And academics and technocrats share ideas globally. Our current predicament is not inevitable but is the product of state activity -- and not state activity directed in any significant way on behalf of 'the people'.
A tribunal in Malaysia, spearheaded by that nation’s former Prime Minister, yesterday found George Bush and Tony Blair guilty of “crimes against peace” and other war crimes for their 2003 aggressive attack on Iraq, as well as fabricating pretexts used to justify the attack. [...]
The tribunal ruled that Bush and Blair’s name should be entered in a register of war criminals, urged that they be recognized as such under the Rome Statute, and will also petition the International Criminal Court to proceed with binding charges. Such efforts are likely to be futile, but one Malaysian lawyer explained the motives of the tribunal to The Associated Press: “For these people who have been immune from prosecution, we want to put them on trial in this forum to prove that they committed war crimes.” In other words, because their own nations refuse to hold them accountable and can use their power to prevent international bodies from doing so, the tribunal wanted at least formal legal recognition of these war crimes to be recorded and the evidence of their guilt assembled. That’s the same reason a separate panel of this tribunal will hold hearings later this year on charges of torture against Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and others.
Here’s what I find striking about this. Virtually every Serious political and media elite in America, by definition, would scoff at this tribunal; few things are considered more fringe or ludicrous than the notion that George Bush and Tony Blair should be punished as war criminals just because they aggressively attacked another nation and caused the deaths of at least 150,000 innocent people and the displacement of millions more. But the only thing this Malaysian tribunal is doing is applying the clear principles of the Nuremberg Tribunal as enunciated by lead prosecutor and former U.S. Attorney General Robert Jackson in his Opening and Closing Statements at Nuremberg [..].