The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is being heavily criticized for civilian casualties and a series of bombings apparently targeting essential non-military infrastructure in Libya, with some observers calling the actions war crimes. The Libyan rebels being supported by coalition forces have also been accused of wanton savagery and even crimes against humanity.
Most recently, a NATO bombing campaign near the Libyan city of Zlitan earlier this month reportedly killed almost 100 civilians — more than half of them women and children. The attack sparked a new wave of outrage worldwide as journalists and activists called for investigations.
Representatives of the Gaddafi regime took a large group of foreign reporters to the site. They were reportedly shown bodies of women and children, including the remains of a baby. Multiple bombed out homes were also presented to international journalists.
As the GOP 2012 presidential campaign evolves, foreign policy issues will become more and more relevant, particularly as pro-Israel candidates debate Palestine’s venture for membership into the United Nations. Although domestic issues will continue to play a central role in the debate — largely due to the economy’s prolonged comatose state — Palestinian leaders’ request for U.N. membership serves a new recipe for the GOP campaign plate.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will introduce Palestine’s application to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon before the general assembly convenes on September 20. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said that the Palestinian request was "expected and regrettable," and that "Netanyahu still believes that only through direct and honest negotiations — not through unilateral decisions — will it be possible to advance the peace process."
Iowa Straw Poll — Ron Who? Why is the media ignoring Ron Paul…again?
An analysis just released by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco concludes that most of what Americans spend on consumer goods, electronics, clothing, sneakers and the like, stays in America. Surprisingly little comes from China after all. Say the authors:
Goods and services from China accounted for only 2.7% of U.S. personal consumption expenditures (PCE) in 2010…Chinese imports make up only a small share of total U.S. consumer spending…
Athough globalization is widely recognized these days, the U.S. economy actually remains relatively closed. The vast majority of goods and services sold in the United States is produced here. In 2010, imports were about 16% of U.S. GDP. Imports from China amounted to 2.5% of GDP.
On June 15, 1961, Walter Ulbricht, the communist ruler of East Germany (known officially as the German Democratic Republic) held a press conference in East Berlin to promote a cause he had long advocated: the signing of a treaty between the Soviet Union and Ulbricht’s German Democratic Republic (GDR) so that the East German government would control all land and air routes to Berlin, which would then be, in Ulbricht’s terms, a “Free City.” As Frederick Taylor noted in The Berlin Wall: A World Divided, 1961-1989, Ulbricht’s aides “went out of their way to invite the Western press corps.”
Although I remain something of a talk radio junkie, it has been some time since I recognized that the “conservatism” of the air waves is really nothing of the kind. That is, much to my disappointment, it isn’t “conservatism” that “conservative” talk radio tends to promote but neoconservatism, or at least Republican Party politics (which is for all practical purposes the same thing). Still, I continue to listen to talk radio regularly, and just as regularly find it instructive. For the latest pearls, I have nationally syndicated host Mike Gallagher to thank. Gallagher expressed incredulity over the response of some “on the left” to the recent killing of Navy Seals in Afghanistan.
The Afghan war, being a decade old, is the longest war that America has ever waged. In spite of this, our military suffered more casualties in a single day this past weekend than it has suffered on any given day since this war began. Not surprisingly, these facts are being taken by an ever growing number of Americans as further confirmation of their skepticism toward this Middle Eastern adventure. Our mission in Afghanistan, they reason, if it ever had any coherence at all, has lost intelligibility: it is time to either radically revisit our objectives or, at long last, to bring the troops home.
Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) schooled former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Penn.) and Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) on foreign policy issues in the August 11 GOP presidential debate in Ames, Iowa.
Asked by Fox News channel anchor Chris Wallace why Paul was "soft" on Iran in his opposition to economic sanctions against the country, Paul told the debate audience that the threat from Iran was small when looked at through the lens of history: "Just think of what we went through in the Cold War when I was in the Air Force, after I was drafted into the Air Force, all through the Sixties. We were standing up against the Soviets. They had like 30,000 nuclear weapons with intercontinental missiles. Just think of the agitation and the worry about a country that might get a nuclear weapon some day."
Paul concluded of sanctions: "That makes it much worse.
The recent horrendous casualties suffered by our military forces in Afghanistan must lead the average American to ask the simple question: Why are we still there? Of course, we are told that we are there to prevent the Taliban from coming back into Afghanistan and imposing their radical Islamic dictatorship over that country’s hapless population. But as we all know, the moment we leave Afghanistan, the Taliban will be back, and it will be up to the government in Kabul to prevent them from imposing their cruel and despotic rule.
We cannot be there much longer, nor is it the responsibility of the American people, at great sacrifice in lives and treasure, to see that Afghanistan is turned into a western-style democratic society. Not only is it not our responsibility to do so, but the simple truth is that we are incapable of turning a very large, backward, primitive country into a modern state. Nations are responsible for their own destinies, and the United States does not have the right or the means to remake other nations.
The sight of the former president of Egypt, Hosni Mubarak, lying in a hospital bed in a courtroom cage reminds me of the saying, “how the mighty have fallen.” It could also be said of the United States, “How the mightiest, richest, most advanced capitalist nation in the history of the world has fallen into a bumbling, dysfunctional confused, debt-ridden state run by the most corrupt government in its history.” In the case of Mubarak, it was the Egyptian people who brought the dictator down. In the case of the United States, it was the American people, who put their trust and faith in the hands of anti-constitutional politicians, who brought America down. To put it bluntly: treason is the reason.
For 30 years Mubarak was America’s best friend in the Middle East. He was the recipient of valuable U.S. military aid, and he maintained Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel to the letter. For Israel, Egypt meant stability on its southern border. But for the Egyptian people it meant an authoritarian regime with little political freedom. Mubarak was not like Saddam Hussein of Iraq — he didn’t commit the kind of atrocities against his own people that Saddam was known for. Nor were Mubarak’s sons the kind of pathological sadists that Saddam’s were.
A high-ranking Mexican drug trafficker with the powerful Sinaloa cartel made a series of explosive allegations in a federal court filing, arguing that he had an agreement with top U.S. officials allowing his criminal empire to obtain American weapons from the federal government while shipping tons of cocaine and heroin across the border. According to court documents, U.S. agents even helped the cartel elude Mexican and American investigators in exchange for information on rival drug groups.
The claims were made by Jesus Vicente “El Vicentillo” Zambada-Niebla, who was arrested by the Mexican military in 2009 and extradited to the U.S. for trial on federal drug-trafficking charges. Prosecutors accused him of serving as the “logistical coordinator” for the Sinaloa cartel. He responded earlier this year by invoking a “public authority” defense — essentially arguing that since he was working for the U.S. government under an agreement, he cannot be prosecuted.