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April 21, 2010


Excellent post, Eric.

One of the main concerns raised about the very thin public record of Elana Kagan, who court watchers seem to think is the likely frontrunner to be nominated to replace John Paul Stevens, involves her position on "preventive detention" and other extreme assertions of executive authority of the sort that we came to expect from the last presidential administration....and have come to expect from this one, too.

Are they holding medics in jail, without charge or trial, despite the explicit ban in the Geneva Conventions, and are their courts upholding the detention, because their legislature has explicitly barred them from considering the Geneva Conventions? If not, then they have a ways to go yet.

when the political costs of breaking the law are lower than the political costs of allowing a terrorist attack which could have been prevented by breaking the law, politicians will break the law.

I strongly urge a followup post entitled "Foundation and Empire".

"I strongly urge a followup post entitled "Foundation and Empire"."

Followed shortly by Second Foundation and then a trail of posts of diminishing interest to demean the original epic trilogy in the name of making money, oh wait, sorry, that's another blog.

I was listening to the Fresh Air interview of the NYT's Afghanistan correspondent Dexter Filkins yesterday: http://www.npr.org/templates/rundowns/rundown.php?prgId=13&prgDate=04-20-2010

There are some obvious similarities between the two countries. The dudes we put in power are brutal and corrupt and widely hated, which is not especially surprising; that's a common characteristic of leaders of less-developed countries. The difference is that these guys have the US stamp of approval and billions of dollars in US military hardware & personnel backing them up. Democracy without reconciliation does not make for legitimacy and respect; it just means that the majority gets to be the bully.

In a mortifying sense, we have indeed exported our version of democracy to Iraq.

Damnit, you beat me to that snark.

Second attempt: Apparently I missed the emphasis. The purpose of the invasion was to shut down Saddam's secret police and torture chambers.

Third attempt: See, the transfer of authority in Iraq is working as planned. The Iraqis can now take responsibility for their own kidnapping, torture, and murder.

I strongly urge a followup post entitled "Foundation and Empire".

Followed shortly by Second Foundation..

Actually, the whole thing is playing out as:

"Saddam," "Saddam and Empire," (Kuwait war), and "Second Saddam," - whoever ends up as the new strongman.

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