In the latest round of saber-rattling between the US and North Korean governments, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson laid down the well-worn line. “All options,” he said during a visit to South Korea, “are on the table.”
If he’s serious, here’s an option that never seems to get much discussion lately:
US president Donald Trump should send Tillerson to tell Yun Byung-se, his counterpart in Seoul, that the US is withdrawing its troops from the Korean peninsula by a specific date, and that after that date the US will cease to guarantee, or accept responsibility for, the South’s security.
If the Korean War was a person, it would be old enough to collect Social Security benefits. It began on June 25, 1950 when the armed forces of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (“North Korea”) invaded the Republic of Korea (“South Korea”).
Continue reading “It’s Time To End America’s Longest War”
On March 15, US Senator John McCain (R-AZ) revealed just how ridiculous the American political establishment’s reliance on Vladimir Putin as boogeyman has become.
McCain, seeking the Senate’s unanimous consent to advance a bill supporting admission of the small country of Montenegro to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, warned that anyone who dissented would be “carrying out the desires and ambitions of [Russian president Vladimir] Putin.” True to form, when Kentucky Republican Rand Paul objected (meaning only that the matter will actually be debated instead of rubber-stamped), McCain asserted that “the senator from Kentucky is now working for Vladimir Putin.”
Paul’s having some fun with McCain’s over-the-top theatrics, describing McCain as “past his prime” and “unhinged” on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. But let’s set aside the rivalry aspect and look at what McCain’s hysterical performance says about US foreign policy.
Continue reading “McCain versus Paul: The New Red Scare Masks US Foreign Policy Insanity”
Shurat HaDin, Israel Law Center, characterizes itself as a non-governmental organization “at the forefront of fighting terrorism and safeguarding Jewish rights worldwide.”
On July 10, the organization filed a federal lawsuit on alleged behalf of the families of five Americans (one American tourist and four Israeli-American dual citizens) killed in attacks which the suit blames on Hamas, the Islamist organization governing Palestine’s Gaza Strip area. Facebook, the suit alleges, assists Hamas (in violation of the US Anti-Terrorism Act) in “recruiting, radicalizing, and instructing terrorists, raising funds, creating fear and carrying out attacks.”
Continue reading “Shurat HaDin versus Facebook: Vexatious Litigation as Warfare”
In his July 5 press briefing, FBI director James Comey spoke 2,341 words explaining his decision not to recommend criminal charges over Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server to transmit, receive and store classified information during her tenure as US Secretary of State. He could have named that tune in four words:
“Because she’s Hillary Clinton.”
Comey left no doubt whatsoever that Clinton and her staff broke the law: “[T]there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information. For example, seven e-mail chains concern matters that were classified at the Top Secret/Special Access Program level when they were sent and received. … any reasonable person in Secretary Clinton’s position, or in the position of those government employees with whom she was corresponding about these matters, should have known that an unclassified system was no place for that conversation.”
Continue reading “Hillary Clinton: More Equal Under the Law Than Others”
“The White House said Tuesday [June 7] that President Barack Obama will veto the Senate’s version of the annual defense policy bill,” Richard Lardner of the Associated Press reports. Why? Lardner cites provisions that would prevent Obama from shutting down the prison at Guantanamo Bay and limit the number of “national security” functionaries he can put on the White House payroll.
Deeper in the story, however, we find meatier objections: The $600 billion bill “denies the Defense Department’s request for a new round of military base closings” and Senate Armed Service Committee chairman John McCain (R-AZ) “plans to propose an amendment that would add nearly $18 billion to the defense budget to pay for additional ships, jet fighters, helicopters and more that the Pentagon didn’t request.”
If Obama, who doesn’t face re-election, follows through on his veto threat House and Senate Democrats will likely join Republicans in overriding that veto so long as they get their share of that $18 billion and the bases in their districts remain open. What gives? Nothing. It’s politics as usual.
Continue reading “Got Milked? US ‘Defense’ Spending 2017”
“I ain’t got no quarrel with them Viet Cong – no Viet Cong ever called me nigger.”
With those pointed words, Muhammad Ali explained his opposition to the US war in Vietnam and justified his refusal to submit himself to the draft. He declared himself a conscientious objector. After declining three times to step forward for induction into the US Armed Forces in April of 1967 in Houston, Texas, the reigning world heavyweight boxing champion was arrested, stripped of his title and state boxing licenses, and thrown into a three-year legal battle ending with his exoneration (on technical grounds) by the US Supreme Court.
No one ever seriously doubted the physical courage of Muhammed Ali (born Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr. in 1942 in Louisville, Kentucky). An Olympic gold medalist and winner of eight Golden Gloves titles, he became the youngest man ever to unseat a reigning heavyweight boxing champion at 22.
Continue reading “Muhammad Ali: A Profile in Moral Courage”