How Human Rights Became our Ideology
November 16, 2012
The modern idea of human rights was only created after World War II. In the next half-century, it became a global movement.
Sanctions Have Crippled Iran’s Economy, But They’re Not Working
November 12, 2012
Sanctions aren't only going to deny Iranians health, education, and hope for the future. They'll feed new grievances against the U.S.
Anti-Muslim Subway Ads Enjoy the Freedom to Offend
September 25, 2012
In his address to the United Nations General Assembly this morning, President Barack Obama vigorously defended the freedom of speech, noting that even if the U.S. government could prevent the dissemination of offensive statements and images, it would never do so. “The strongest weapon against hateful speech is not repression,” said Obama. “It is more speech—the voices of tolerance that rally against bigotry and blasphemy, and lift up the values of understanding and mutual respect.” Obama began his remarks with a tribute to U.S.
Pas Devant Les Enfants, Tampa: Word Cloud Edition
August 31, 2012
What a word-cloud search tells you about the topics (or at least words) Romney got the GOP to avoid in Tampa.
Pas Devant Les Enfants, Tampa: UN Out of Lubbock!
August 28, 2012
“The current Administration's most recent National Security Strategy.... relies on the good intentions and capabilities of international organizations to justify constraining American military readiness.” —GOP draft platform, “A Failed National Security Strategy.” This week I'm tracking insane things Republicans say that undermine the Romney campaign’s painstaking efforts in Tampa to portray the GOP as reasonable and normal. Today please welcome Hon. Tom Head, a Lubbock County judge elected on the Republican ticket.
Nearing the Point of No Return? A Conversation With the Author of a Game-Changing New Climate Study
June 22, 2012
In anticipation of this week’s Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, a group of 22 scientists from a variety of disciplines collaborated to complete a sobering—that is to say, terribly frightening—new study of the global ecosystem.
Yes, Obama's Election Campaign is Affecting His Syria Policy. No, That's Not a Bad Thing.
June 15, 2012
It’s clear that the conflict in Syria is now an issue in the American presidential campaign, largely at the insistence of Mitt Romney’s Republican supporters. Most notable among the interjections was an emotional speech recently delivered on the Senate floor by Senator John McCain, in which he demanded to know why the White House was abetting Bashar al Assad’s murdering of innocents. There is, of course, much to quibble with in this characterization: Far from doing nothing to oppose Bashar, the Obama administration has supported the U.N.
The ultimate goal of the ongoing nuclear negotiations with Iran, the next round of which commences in Moscow on June 18, has always been the same: Determining whether Iran is willing to accept that its nuclear program must be credibly limited in a way that precludes it from being able to turn civil nuclear power into nuclear weapons. The collective approach of the 5+1—the five permanent members of the U.N.
The Syrian ‘Civil War’: Discuss
June 14, 2012
A front page story in yesterday’s New York Times quoted Hervé Ladsous, the head of United Nations peacekeeping operations, opining that the violence in Syria had descended into “civil war.” The same story, however, points out that “opposition leaders are wary of the term civil war because it suggests that the conflict is somehow an even match”; meanwhile, the Assad regime is still holding fast to its story that the violence is nothing more than the product of terrorists. So, which is it? Is Syria in a civil war or not? The answer, it turns out, is maybe.
Speaking Thursday before the U.N. General Assembly, just one day after the latest massacre of civilians by government-affiliated forces, Kofi Annan warned that the crisis in Syria was on a disastrous course. “If things do not change, the future is likely to be one of brutal repression, massacres, sectarian violence and even all-out civil war,” he said. “All Syrians will lose.” Annan, of course, is not the first to evoke the term “civil war” in reference to the crisis in Syria, which has already resulted in more than 10,000 dead and 50,000 missing.