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Displaying 111-120 of 25866 results.
ID: 2001
Uid: 19
Author: 32
Category: 41
Title: ONE AUTOCRATIC BELLIGERENT DEPOSED, ONE TO GO
Source:
Body: The humiliating footage, beamed to the world, of a bedraggled Saddam Hussein having his mouth examined by a U.S. military doctor is living proof that the embarrassing, once U.S.-supported Iraqi despot has finally been deposed. But if that fate is now to befall all dethroned, war-like leaders with autocratic tendencies, perhaps President Bush should get his own dental house in order just in case he loses the election in November 2004.<P> Of course, it would be unfair to compare the magnitude of Saddam's bellicosity and human rights violations with those of President Bush. After all, Saddam Hussein went to war with two countries-Iran and Kuwait-without provocation; so far, President Bush has needlessly invaded only one nation--Iraq--without first being attacked or genuinely threatened. In addition, Saddam killed thousands of his own people (some with chemicals sold to him with the approval of the U.S. and other Western governments); President Bush only had his law enforcement agencies intimidate and interrogate thousands of innocent Arabs and Moslems based solely on their ethnicity or religion and detain and mistreat thousands of similar immigrants indefinitely without charges or access to a lawyer. <P> Saddam used censored media to justify or hide such heinous human rights violations; President Bush merely relies on a White House spin machine and a cowed and compliant post-September 11American press corps to positively pitch his violations of America's founding principles--adequate due process and equal protection under the law. <P> In war, we become a little more like our enemies.<P> But like Saddam, President Bush may ultimately find that his political fate depends on digging himself out of a hole of his own making. Most experts on counterinsurgency expect that the capture of Saddam will not end anti-U.S. attacks in Iraq. After all, many of the people fighting U.S. forces and their Iraqi helpers are not doing so for the love of the former Iraqi leader. They are nationalists who oppose foreign occupation of their country, minority Sunnis who fear domination by majority Shiites and a loss of their privileged status in Iraqi society, and foreign Islamist fighters who have a hatred of U.S. policy in the Middle East. Any insurgency requires the support of at least some part of the population that is dissatisfied with the status quo. And little evidence exists that Saddam-on the run and without efficient means of communication-was directing the decentralized opposition cells conducting the ttacks.<P> More important, the Iraqi opposition knows that its attacks were already affecting U.S. policy in Iraq. After all, there is an election on, and the White House has to stop the U.S. body bags coming back from the continuing"unpleasantness." The attacks have already hastened U.S. plans, at least nominally, to turn the administration of Iraq over to the Iraqis. And, recently, the U.S. Army's desperate escalation of violence against the opposition-politically, it is difficult to increase significantly the numbers of U.S. or foreign troops in Iraq--will likely make more and more Iraqis hostile to the U.S. occupation. The Iraqi people may be delighted to see Saddam finally gone, but that doesn't mean that they are happy with their foreign occupier. So despite the capture of Saddam and jubilation in the streets, the outlook for the Iraqi resistance doesn't look all that bleak. In fact, the guerrilla cause ultimately may be strengthened by the U.S. release of humiliating footage of Saddam and the fact that the resistance will no longer be associated with his despotism.<P> Other Bush administration victory parades-the photo opportunity of the soldier placing the American flag over Saddam's statue after Baghdad was captured, the president's"mission accomplished" stunt on the aircraft carrier as he declared an end to hostilities and the grisly footage of Saddam's dead sons-proved to be premature. Very likely, so will the triumphalism over Saddam's capture. After the flag went up over the statue, Iraqi public opinion toward the U.S. occupation quickly soured because of widespread looting, chaos, gas lines and lack of electricity and other services. Continued problems of that sort could turn the current celebrations in the streets to renewed anger. If the resistance continues and U.S. soldiers continue to die, President Bush may want to make a dental appointment before the November 2004 election-just in case he, like Saddam, is deposed and has to force a smile before the cameras.<P>
ID: 2002
Uid: 22
Author: 32
Category: 41
Title: MIT
Source:
Body: FYI for anyone wishing to pursue independent academic study. MIT is opening most of its course materials on the web to the public. A friend tells me,"I checked out one class and found references for the reading materials, a syllabus and calendar, assignments with solutions, quizzese and exams with solutions, links to related resources, and video lectures. There are over 500 MIT courses available." Here's <A HREF="http://ocw.mit.edu"> the link.</A>
ID: 2003
Uid: 16
Author: 32
Category: 41
Title: CRICHTON ON THE DEEP GREENS
Source:
Body: <A href="http://www.crichton-official.com/speeches/speeches_quote05.html"> Michael Crichton <a> (yes, the novelist guy who seems to have a monopoly on the reading habits of airplane passengers) speaks out forcefully against the dangers of extreme environmentalism. <P>
ID: 2004
Uid: 16
Author: 32
Category: 41
Title: FOOD FOR THOUGHT FROM WENDY MCELROY
Source:
Body: Check out this new article by our fellow L and P blogger at <a href="http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,105827,00.html"> Fox News <a>.
ID: 2005
Uid: 16
Author: 32
Category: 41
Title: GUANTANAMO PRISON AND THE RULE OF LAW
Source:
Body: Brigid O&#8217;Neal, a research associate at the Center on Peace and Liberty at the <a href="http://www.independent.org"> Independent Institute <a> has just published an article on <a href="http://www.independent.org/tii/news/031215ONeil.html"> &#8220;Uncle Sam&#8217;s Guantanamo Prison: Outside the Rule of Law." <A>
ID: 2006
Uid: 20
Author: 32
Category: 41
Title: SADDAM AND PERSONAL SURVIVAL
Source:
Body: As Chris Matthew Sciabarra points out in the post directly below personal survival held great importance for Saddam Hussein. I would go even further saying it was by far his number one, most likely his lone, priority. Not only did he have a plethora of tunnels he also had many doubles. He could not follow his natural instinct and flee Iraq because after what we did to the Taliban for giving Bin Laden sanctuary no other country would have taken him. We did not find him out leading an insurgency to recapture his country, we found him hiding in a hole in the ground.<P> If we accept the above point then the justification for the invasion is even further diminished. Whether or not Hussein had weapons of mass destruction has always been an irrelevant point. Even if he did still have them, to use them against America would have been an act of suicide by the least suicidal man on the planet. We could have easily traced any use of such weapons back to him because we provided him with such capabilities that he had back in the 1980s when he was one of our best friends fighting one of our worst enemies Iran.<P> Some of the neocon commentators suggest that we are in a new world war with fundamentalist Islamic terrorism. If this true, what are we doing wasting enormous resources and precious lives in a country that was never a threat to us in the first place? I have no doubt that the fall and capture of Saddam Hussein is a good thing for the Iraqi people. However, the job of our government is not to make the Iraqi people happy, the job of our government is to make the American people safer and when George Bush invaded Iraq he was not doing his job.<P>
ID: 2007
Uid: 26
Author: 32
Category: 41
Title: DON'T BOTHER TO EXAMINE A FOLLY
Source:
Body: <P>I have some follow-up discussion on the capture of Hussein <a href="http://www.nyu.edu/projects/sciabarra/essays/internet1203-104.htm#15-December-2003">here</a>. In that post to the <a href="http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SOLO_forum/">SOLO Forum</a>, I actually reiterate a point I made way back in February 2003 to the <a href="http://www.wetheliving.com/mailman/listinfo/objectivism">Philosophy of Objectivism list</a>, which Arthur Silber republished on his blog <a href="http://coldfury.com/reason/comments.php?id=P234_0_1_0">here</a>. There is no mystery as to why Hussein didn't go down in a blaze of glory. Telling his captors,"Don't shoot" is rather typical of a man who sees his own survival as the only barometer by which to measure victory in any battle. As I wrote: <P><B>This brings to mind a really wonderful skit from earlier this season on"Saturday Night Live." A group of Islamic terrorists are sent out to die so they can all get the rewards that come from sacrificial martyrdom: X number of virgins in paradise, etc. When somebody asks the Osama Bin Laden character why <I>he</i> isn't fighting, why <I>he</i> hasn't died for the cause, he fumbles over his words, screams out something about Allah, and proceeds to send out <I>another</i> group of martyrs to die&#8212;in his place. <P><B>We all know why this is the case. [Ayn Rand's villain from <I>The Fountainhead</i>] Ellsworth Toohey provides the answer:"Don't bother to examine a folly&#8212;ask yourself only what it accomplishes. . . . It stands to reason that where there's sacrifice, there's someone collecting sacrificial offerings. . . . The man who speaks to you of sacrifice, speaks of slaves and masters. And intends to be the master." Hussein, Bin Laden, and other <I>leaders</i> of Islamic terrorism are fully capable of sacrificing their own people; they most assuredly do not wish to die themselves. I think it is reasonable to assume that pointing a nuke at Baghdad can still have the required effect of keeping <I>Hussein</i> in check, since <I>he</i> apparently wants to live. Why would he have so many tunnels and escape routes under his various castles if <I>living</i> were not a priority?</b><P>And so it was that he was captured in one of those filthy holes in the ground. How apropos. Now, the Butcher of Baghdad will put on a show to keep himself alive in the Mother of All Jury Trials. We're already hearing all the psychobabble about how the poor guy suffered abuse as a child, as if this should be a mitigating factor in our judgment of his crimes.
ID: 2008
Uid: 22
Author: 32
Category: 41
Title: SADDAM AND GENEVA CONVENTIONS
Source:
Body: The status of the captured Saddam Hussein is already confusing. Although the US maintains that no determination of his legal status has been made, according to <A HREF="http://www.voanews.com/article.cfm?objectID=E285E10D-1061-416A-A58A4F1A28BA5501"> Voice of America</A> (and many other sources)"Rumsfeld said the captured former Iraqi leader will be protected under the Geneva Convention, the international agreement that prohibits mistreatment of prisoners of war." In this, Rumsfeld is acting in accord with Article 5 of <A HREF="http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/lawofwar/geneva03.htm#art5"> the Third Geneva Convention</A> (3GC) which states,"Should any doubt arise as to whether persons, having committed a belligerent act and having fallen into the hands of the enemy, belong to any of the categories enumerated in Article 4 [which defines Prisoners of War], such persons shall enjoy the protection of the present Convention until such time as their status has been determined by a competent tribunal." In short, until a competent tribunal declares that Saddam is not a POW, then he is. <P> But the Geneva protections have already been violated, as Rumsfeld well knows from his experience with the Guantanamo prisoners. 3GC (Article 3) states that POWs must be spared"outrages upon personal dignity,""humiliating and degrading treatment," as well as"insults and public curiosity." Rumsfeld has openly acknowledged that the GCs forbid showings PoWs -- an acknowledgement occasioned by the criticism surrounding <A HREF="http://www.aljazeerah.info/News%20archives/2003%20News%20archives/March%202003%20News/27%20news/US%20blasted%20for%20invoking%20Geneva%20Convention%20%20aljazeerah.info.htm"> widely-publicized photographs</A> of prisoners at Guantanamo. At that time, the defense offered was that the photos were blurred and did not show the prisoners' faces. No such defense can be offered for the degrading photographs of Saddam that are saturating the globe: Saddam's hair being searched for lice; his mouth being probed by a tongue-depressor... Months ago, when the Arab satellite station Al-Jazeera in Qatar showed Iraqi footage of interviews with American prisoners, Rumsfeld <A HREF="http://straitstimes.asia1.com.sg/iraqwar/story/0,4395,179024,00.html"> declared</A>,"The Geneva Convention indicates that it's not permitted to photograph and embarrass or humiliate prisoners of war.'' In respect for the GCs, most American news sources <A HREF="http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/special/iraq/1832454">restricted</A> the airing of that footage. <P> His interrogation raises further questions about possible violation of the GCs, which guarantee a right to silence...other than stating minimal info such as rank, that is. Now <A HREF="http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,561472,00.html"> Time</A> and other sources are reporting that Saddam is unco-operative and defiant. Is he also being accorded the right to silence? <P> The question is not whether Saddam deserves to be humiliated, treated humanely, etc. As I stated yesterday, Sic Sempris Tyrannis -- Thus perish all tyrants! The question is whether the GCs are being applied as Rumsfeld insists. Clearly, they are not. And for an obvious reason. An unphotographed, silent Saddam makes for bad PR and the Bush administration wants to maximally-bask in the happy glow of an event that goes to its pre-election credit.
ID: 2009
Uid: 18
Author: 32
Category: 41
Title: SADDAM'S CAPTURE
Source:
Body: It's about time this war saw a good day, and it's always a good day when you see a once-mighty tyrant looking like a bedraggled drunk rousted from the bus station. I hope we turn him over to the Iraqis and I hope they hang him high. <p> I also hope this improves our chances for a rapid and dignified exit. And maybe now we can work on capturing that other guy, you know, the one that attacked us. As former CIA counter-terrorism chief Vince Cannistraro <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/sections/wnt/US/sept11_OBL_030908.html">told ABCNEWS in September</a>, the hunt for Saddam was impeding the hunt for Bin Laden: <p>"'If you've drawn off many if not all of your Arabic language resources and sent them off to Iraq you're shorthanded in terms of dealing with intelligence collection problem of fixing bin Laden's location,' said Cannistraro. 'So there are fewer resources to deal with in trying to basically find and capture, the principal leader of a terrorist organization that's killing Americans.'" <p>
ID: 2010
Uid: 22
Author: 32
Category: 41
Title: SIC SEMPRIS TYRANNIS
Source:
Body: Sic Sempris Tyrannis -- Thus perish all tyrants! My first response at the news of Saddam's capture was to check out coverage in the English-version <A HREF="http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/9F3E7293-7C8F-4AA8-BC96-953A7F94B326.htm"> Aljazeera</A>, which ran basically the same straight-forward account that is circulating through dozens (probably hundreds) of other newspapers. Far more interesting is an article entitled <A HREF="http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/A95BE375-F766-4267-812A-556C573EEAA7.htm">"Early Analysis".</A> Of course, the Iraqi Governing Council has stated,"With the arrest of Saddam the financial resources feeding terrorists have been destroyed and his arrest will put an end to terrorist acts in Iraq." I put more stock in the analysis of Toby Dodge, analyst at Warwick University and International Institute for Strategic Studies, UK:"It's a huge coup and most Iraqis will be celebrating the capture of this tyrant. But it's not as clear-cut as that. The insurgency has grown well beyond Saddam's control or even influence. There are 15 to 30 groups that have no direct contact, financially or strategically, with Saddam Hussein. His capture gives the United States a window of opportunity. If they redouble their efforts and increase their troop commitment, they could contain or even roll back the insurgency. But the temptation of Bush, facing a re-election campaign, will be to call this victory and cut and run. That would be a disaster for Iraq, for the Middle East and for the strategic interests of the United States in the region and beyond." <P> The Jerusalem Post <A HREF="http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull&cid=1071395079048"> reports</A>"Iraqi governing council members described Saddam Hussein as 'unrepentant, defiant and sarcastic' about the Iraqi people at a news conference transmitted live on nearly all broadcast channels worldwide....Earlier, Chalabi told the Pentagon-funded Al-Iraqiya TV station, 'Saddam will stand a public trial so that the Iraqi people will know his crimes.' Chalabi is a leading member of the U.S.-appointed council who has close links to the U.S. administration of President George W. Bush." It seems clear that Saddam will be tried in Iraq by the US-dominated Governing Council (or, rather, its judicial creation -- the special tribunal established last week to try top members of the Saddam government for crimes against humanity.) But a question hangs as to whether there will be a"World trial" as well. The latter would be a risky venture for the US because that trial could not be easily controlled, especially if France, Germany or Russia were prominent players. <A HREF="http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull&cid=1071395080141 Another"> article</A> in JP may explain why there is a comparatively muted reaction from the Arab press at this point:"Many in the Arab world greeted news of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's capture with disbelief. Then, when it became official, emotions ranged from joy, to hunger for revenge against the tyrant, to sadness that an Arab leader - even Saddam - should come to such a tawdry end." It may take awhile for reactions to sink in and settle...tho' with the situation so fluid, reactions may have erupted before I post this entry. Certainly, <A HREF="http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull&cid=1071395079853"> the Palestinians</A> know where they stand: Saddam's arrest is bad news for them.