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Current Topic: International Relations

FindLaw's Writ - Dean: Legal Jeopardy For American Torturers Here and Abroad? A Q & A Session With An Expert on the Issue, Philippe Sands
Topic: International Relations 7:21 pm EST, Jan 27, 2009

My question is how can the Obama Administration not investigate, and, if appropriate, prosecute given the world is watching, because if they do not, other may do so? How could there be "change we can believe in" if the new administration harbors war criminals – which is the way that Philippe Sands and the rest of the world, familiar with the facts which have surfaced even without an investigation, view those who facilitated or engaged in torture?

John Dean (you remember him, White House Counsel to Nixon) pulls no punches here at all. Richard Nixon famously said "I am not a crook," and to a certain level that's probably correct. I don't know that he authorized the Watergate break ins, I find it unlikely, but when he found out about them, he did all he could to cover them up.

This is a bunch of crooks, and it is not partisan to go after people who have broken domestic law and used their office to violate international treaty. The phrase is "Crimes Against Humanity" and while the previous administration may not live up to the standards of some of the prior committers of such acts, they give every appearance of having crossed that line without reservation.

FindLaw's Writ - Dean: Legal Jeopardy For American Torturers Here and Abroad? A Q & A Session With An Expert on the Issue, Philippe Sands

Vladimir Putin 'wanted to hang Georgian President Saakashvili by the balls' - Times Online
Topic: International Relations 6:31 pm EST, Nov 14, 2008

Mr Sarkozy thought he had misheard. “Hang him?” — he asked. “Why not?” Mr Putin replied. “The Americans hanged Saddam Hussein.”

Mr Sarkozy, using the familiar tu, tried to reason with him: “Yes but do you want to end up like [President] Bush?” Mr Putin was briefly lost for words, then said: “Ah — you have scored a point there.”

When even Vladamir Putin knows Bush is a cautionary tale, all I can say is, what the hell is wrong with the people in this country who think he's still doing a "heckuva job"?

Vladimir Putin 'wanted to hang Georgian President Saakashvili by the balls' - Times Online

We Are All Georgians -
Topic: International Relations 5:02 pm EDT, Aug 14, 2008

For anyone who thought that stark international aggression was a thing of the past, the last week must have come as a startling wake-up call.

To Senator McCain,
No sir, it comes as nothing of the sort. While I do not agree with the way the Russians have responded, they have done so in a far more responsible manner than we did in the invasion of Iraq, with understanding of the consequences of their actions and their goals in mind and achievable. We are NOT "all Georgians," unless you mean we willy nilly blow the crap out of people without concern for the results.

Let's keep some FACTS in mind here. What was a low level conflict between Russia and Georgia exploded when the Georgians blew the crap out of their own people because they wanted to be Russian, not Georgian. This would be similar to... Trenton blowing the hell out of Hoboken because they want to call themselves from New York, not New Jersey. That may be putting too nice a face on it, but less than 20 years ago, they were all part of the USSR.

Georgia started this and bit off more than they could chew. Iraq going after Kuwait? There are any number of parallels to be drawn, but the one written here is a study in blithe ignorance.

We Are All Georgians -

Annals of National Security: Preparing the Battlefield
Topic: International Relations 4:08 pm EDT, Jun 29, 2008

“The Finding was focussed on undermining Iran’s nuclear ambitions and trying to undermine the government through regime change,” a person familiar with its contents said, and involved “working with opposition groups and passing money.” The Finding provided for a whole new range of activities in southern Iran and in the areas, in the east, where Baluchi political opposition is strong, he said.

The upshot? We've covertly invaded Iran. Oops part deux.

Annals of National Security: Preparing the Battlefield

McClatchy Washington Bureau | 06/09/2008 | U.S. seeking 58 bases in Iraq, Shiite lawmakers say
Topic: International Relations 1:06 pm EDT, Jun 10, 2008

Iraqi lawmakers say the United States is demanding 58 bases as part of a proposed "status of forces" agreement that will allow U.S. troops to remain in the country indefinitely.

Gee, who didn't see this coming? I love that they were originally called "enduring bases" so it wouldn't trigger the same connotations at permanent, but they are, and always have been. It's a good thing Georgie is doing his farewell tour of Europe now while he's still in office, if he tries to go back as an ex-head of state, he'll probably find himself in a jail cell.

McClatchy Washington Bureau | 06/09/2008 | U.S. seeking 58 bases in Iraq, Shiite lawmakers say

Dems fire back at Bush on 'appeasement' statement -
Topic: International Relations 4:33 pm EDT, May 16, 2008

"It is a serious error on the part of Sen. Obama that shows naivete and inexperience and lack of judgment to say that he wants to sit down across the table from an individual who leads a country who says that Israel is a stinking corpse," McCain said.

Let's apply that logic to some past events then. Nixon goes to China. Reagan calls the USSR the "evil empire" and proceeds to work on START. Reagan sells weapons to the Iranians to fund the contras. The infamous Rummy shaking hands with Saddam Hussein picture. The current 6 way talks concerning North Korea. Detente. I could go on, but you get the point.

So who don't we talk to now? Chavez, Hamas, Morales. Who have we pulled numbers on or tried to? Allende, Mossadegh, Ortega. What do they all have in common? Welcome to democracy. They all won control of their countries or areas (in the case of Hamas) by popular acclaim.

Not understanding the idea that "To jaw-jaw is always better than to war-war" is a failure. It doesn't mean you give up or make deals that make no sense (the failure of Neville Chamberlain, who looked into the eyes of Adolph Hitler and got a "sense of his soul," to borrow a phrase about a different botch). It means you use the brain you were given to see if there is another route other than to blow the crap out of things indiscriminately. Sometimes you end up making with the war-war, but ignoring the jaw-jaw part is a "miserable failure," which Google searches quite correctly. (It no longer goes directly to W, all the links however still talk about it)

Dems fire back at Bush on 'appeasement' statement -

U.S. has Mandela on terrorist list -
Topic: International Relations 12:29 pm EDT, May  1, 2008

Nobel Peace Prize winner and international symbol of freedom Nelson Mandela is flagged on U.S. terrorist watch lists and needs special permission to visit the USA. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice calls the situation "embarrassing," and some members of Congress vow to fix it.

This is the sort of thing that should have been fixed years ago, and the only reason it seems it's getting fixed now is that someone outside state noticed it? Let me explain something simple. When you are in government and see this sort of thing happening, it's your job to fix it. That's what "and justice for all" means.

U.S. has Mandela on terrorist list -

Crooks and Liars » Lou Dobbs Rails At White House Incompetence For Funding Nuclear Technology That May End Up In The Hands Of Iran
Topic: International Relations 6:59 pm EST, Feb  8, 2008

This administration, everyone keeps talking about the legacy of this administration, well their legacy is mind-boggling, unbelievable, breathtaking, incompetence and stupidity. That is going to be the legacy of the Bush administration. Thank god that Congressman Dingell and Stupak are leading the way on this issue. I mean my — how in the heck can a secretary of the Department of Energy, Samuel Bodman, even get up in the morning and think he has done anything but waste some of God’s protoplasm if he can’t run that department better than he is.

Complete with video! I do so love C&L.

Crooks and Liars » Lou Dobbs Rails At White House Incompetence For Funding Nuclear Technology That May End Up In The Hands Of Iran

Bush Offers Peacemaking Checklist
Topic: International Relations 6:49 pm EST, Jan 10, 2008

"There should be an end to the occupation that began in 1967. The agreement must establish Palestine as a homeland for the Palestinian people, just as Israel is a homeland for the Jewish people. These negotiations must ensure that Israel has secure, recognized, and defensible borders. And they must ensure that the state of Palestine is viable, contiguous, sovereign, and independent."

Well this is a stunner. I wonder how long it will take before this gets spun into something completely different from that statement. If he actually sticks with it and pushes it hard, W could get something in the plus column. Unfortunately given his history, that's about as likely as Nixon coming back from the grave and saying what was really in those lost 18 1/2 minutes of tape.

Bush Offers Peacemaking Checklist

Dollars no longer accepted at Taj Mahal - Yahoo! News
Topic: International Relations 5:17 pm EST, Jan  3, 2008

India's tourism minister said Thursday that the dollar will no longer be accepted at the Taj Mahal and other national tourist sites.

We were already disliked as a country, now our paper is getting short shrift too? Please unplug the fan, there's a world of shit coming fast.

Dollars no longer accepted at Taj Mahal - Yahoo! News

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