Weblog Archives

  Thursday  August 29  2002    01: 09 AM

War Against Some Terrorists

An analysis of Bushe's justification that he can ignore Congress.

War Powers

Noting the White House counsel's opinion that the president does not need to seek congressional approval for an attack on Iraq, Kevin Raybould wondered what Glenn Reynolds, Talk Left, and I thought about the matter. My initial thought was that Kevin was right, and the White House lawyers were wrong. I have since done a bit of reading—not as much as I would like before rendering a firm opinion, but as much as I had time to do—and it has reinforced my initial impression. [read more]

thanks to Tapped


Forget War, Try a New Marshall Plan
by Molly Ivins

Here we are playing hawks and doves again on the matter on Iraq — war or no war? — with particularly peppy exchanges from our more excitable brethren on the right concerning "appeasement" and lack of patriotism on the part of anyone who isn't ready to nuke Baghdad now. Bubba and Joe Bob have a question: "Why don't we git Oh-sama Bin first?"

I bring this up because it seems to me what the right wing is fond of describing as "the media elites" are so absorbed in their own tong warfare, they quite forget the American people have a great deal of uncommon good sense. Does life in Washington, D.C., actually resemble an endless round of "Crossfire," or does it just seem that way from the boonies?

At last count, we were already involved in military actions in seven countries, counting Colombia, which is either a different set of terrorists or a civil war. Seems like that's a lot on our plate now. Under the new Bush doctrine of "unilaterally determined pre-emptive self-defense," we get to go around attacking anyone we want without provocation. Not so much as a "Remember the Maine!" or a Tonkin Gulf resolution. [read more]


Daggers drawn in the house of Bush
Clash between representatives of old and new leaders plays on world stage


Saddam Does Not Have "Weapons of Mass Destruction"
Unless he already has nukes that we don't know about.


Igor Boog has the following excellent links.

We the People, We the Warriors

One common philosophical argument for democracy is that democratic regimes are particularly unlikely to start wars. When the power to declare war is closely tethered to the preferences of those who would bear the costs of fighting, it stands to reason that this power will be used sparingly. Thus, many political philosophers have followed Kant in supposing that the universal embrace of democracy offers the best hope of world peace.

Our nation now finds itself on the verge of initiating war against another sovereign nation. We have not been attacked by Iraq, and we have thus far failed to produce convincing evidence that Iraq has aided, or plans to aid, those who have attacked us. If we go to war, we will be the initiators of aggression.

It would be a mistake, however, to take this as fresh cause for doubt about the link between democracy and peace. We ought instead to view this imminent possibility as an occasion for raising hard questions about whether, in the critical matter of waging war, we still function as a genuine democracy. [read more]


Dissing the Dissenters

Have "prudence" and "foresight" become dirty words in conservative foreign policy circles? You begin to wonder, watching the debate taking place on the right about what policies the United States should adopt toward Iraq and Saudi Arabia. [read more]


To Read the Koran

THE PUBLIC firestorm over the University of North Carolina's decision to ask that incoming students read a book about the Koran is a peculiar display of enthusiasm for ignorance. The university made an altogether rational judgment, in light of the circumstances in which this country finds itself, that students might benefit by reading and discussing a book titled "Approaching the Qur'an: The Early Revelations" by a professor at Haverford College named Michael Sells. In response, a group of conservative Christians sued, contending that such an assignment by a state university violates the First Amendment. North Carolina legislators, meanwhile, have threatened to cut state funding for the program. And some prominent people have denounced the book as a supposed whitewash of Islam -- or even objected to the notion that students might study the Koran at all. In a particular display of demagogic illiteracy, popular talk show host Bill O'Reilly last month compared studying the Koran today to reading "Mein Kampf" during World War II. [read more]