Thursday, January 14, 2010

Quote if the day

Quote of the day on listening to Sarah Pailn from

"Listening to her speak is like Free Republic Mad Libs."

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

List of US forces used abroad 1798-1993

This is an interesting list useful for putting some things into perspective. Some points I took away from it are these:

1) American armed intervention abroad is nothing new. This list shows about 234 instances between 1798 and 1993, or on average more than one per year.

2) There's been little real controversy over the president using military forces abroad, even in some fairly significant ways, without specific Congressional authorization. Indeed, only five of the 234 instances were declared wars.

3) That said, the vast majority of the instances were very limited in scope, casualties and duration.

4) The typical distance from the US had tended to increase as the country became more powerful, but even in the early 1800s there were interventions in the Arab world and even in the 1990s there were interventions in the Caribbean and Latin America, so there's no hard-and-fast rule on where the next intervention might be.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Down the slippery slope


Notice again how far down the slippery slope we have gone. Krauthammer's first position was that torture should be restricted solely to ticking time bomb cases in which we knew that a terror suspect could prevent an imminent detonation of a WMD. His position a few years later is that torture should be the first resort for any terror suspect who could tell us anything about future plots. Those of us who warned that torture, once admitted into the mainstream, will metastasize beyond anyone's control now have the example of Charles Krauthammer's arguments to back us up. Stephen Hayes, Cheney's stenographer along with Mike Allen, even argued on Fox News that Cheney's assault on the president as an alien threat to the American people was too soft and wanted to "squeeze" the pantie-bomber for more info. These are neo-fascist sentiments, empowering lawless violence by the government, justified solely by fear of terror incidents. Whatever else junking the entire history of Western jurisprudence and the laws of war is, it is not in any way conservative. It is a radical assault on one of the central pillars of our civilization.

Slate - Encyclopedia Baracktannica