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Allan Gerson

Entries by Allan Gerson

Dante's Inferno and Obama's Iran Deal

(0) Comments | Posted July 16, 2015 | 10:13 PM

David Sanger, writing in yesterday's New York Times cover story on the Iran deal, called it President Obama's "leap of faith," a gamble that the negotiated agreement will alleviate tensions in the Middle-East rather than exacerbate them. Dante's writing in "The Inferno" may be even more apt in describing a...

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Jurassic World and the State of the World

(4) Comments | Posted June 23, 2015 | 7:39 PM

In preparation for viewing Jurassic World, and being in Kauai/Hawaii where the first Jurassic Park was filmed, I saw the old movie again and then its sequel, and then I saw the blockbuster. Oh what a disappointment. After 20 years, to the applause of millions worldwide and nearing a billion...

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The Downing of Germanwings: Lufthansa's Responsibility

(1) Comments | Posted April 3, 2015 | 3:02 PM

Lufthansa may yet, as it has signaled, release all the relevant documents, admit it's own responsibility, and pay generous compensation to the families of the victims. But if history is any guide this will not happen without a fight for full disclosure of the facts surrounding this horrific event.

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The Guts of the Netanyahu-Obama Flare-Up: The White House Versus Congress

(0) Comments | Posted March 5, 2015 | 8:23 AM

Lost in the focus on slights to President Obama by Prime Minister Netanyahu's appearance Tuesday before Congress without first securing his blessings are two critical points:

1. Speech about critical issues of U.S. foreign policy should be unrestrained; and

2. President Obama may be violating Congressional prerogatives in...

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Whose Decision? The President's or the FAA's?

(0) Comments | Posted July 24, 2014 | 11:58 AM

When it comes to the handling of complex pressing foreign policy issues, national security considerations of the executive branch generally trump rulings of U.S. courts, as well as those of U.S. government agencies. The FAA is no exception, although the matter is usually handled in more subtle than direct ways....

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Extricating the President

(0) Comments | Posted September 10, 2013 | 2:15 PM

After all the convulsing it comes down to this: whether to extricate President Obama from his own folly in dealing with Syria.

The President is in a predicament of his own creation. Had he enforced the red-line he drew, had he authorized some small military strike, whatever turmoil might have...

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Intervention in Syria: Three Key Questions

(80) Comments | Posted June 15, 2013 | 8:18 AM

This piece draws on remarks delivered before the American Society of International Law Symposium on Support for the Syrian Insurgency, Washington, D.C. on May 29th, 2013.

Difficult decision-making -- whether personal or in dealing with thorny foreign policy dilemmas -- nearly always benefits by addressing three essential questions:

Is the...

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Open America's Doors to MEK, or Give a Green Light to Murder

(6) Comments | Posted March 21, 2013 | 8:47 AM

Every war leaves in its wake refugees and the displaced. Often, many among them are political refugees fleeing from oppressive political systems who may face torture or death if repatriated to their former countries. Try as it might, America cannot take them all in. But to special groups it owes...

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The Foreign Policy Debate: What Principles Govern?

(5) Comments | Posted October 20, 2012 | 12:14 PM

Who knows? The candidates just might be asked tonight what principles guide them in dealing with US military intervention or promotion of human rights. Would they look to UN Charter principles? If not, where else might they look for guidance?

But, don't hold your breath. It is unlikely that either...

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Is the Obama State Department Above the Rule of Law?

(16) Comments | Posted June 4, 2012 | 12:14 PM

One of the chief contentions by those supporting President Obama's candidacy for president in 2008 was that his administration would change, change, change. In particular, the promise was made repeatedly that the rule of law would be followed, and followed strictly. Above all, human rights were to be safeguarded zealously.

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Camp "Liberty": A Cruel Hoax?

(12) Comments | Posted February 22, 2012 | 1:19 PM

In 1932, the eminent theologian Reinhold Niebuhr wrote "Moral Man and Immoral Society" warning of the tendency of institutions to lose their sense of humanity. How better to explain today's actions of the US State Department in toying with the lives and hopes of over 3000 Iranian dissidents being "voluntarily"...

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A US Pledge of Protection: What Is It Worth?

(2) Comments | Posted November 4, 2011 | 12:07 PM

The UN sanctioned US/NATO Libya operation to topple Gaddafi was based on a singular premise: where there is a looming humanitarian catastrophe and the international community has the means to stop it, it should intervene to do so. Whether the US/NATO involvement exceeded that mandate is another story. But what...

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Surmounting the Palestinian UN Impasse: The Example of France and Egypt in 1982

(31) Comments | Posted September 22, 2011 | 1:40 PM

Pundits and policymakers alike seem united in seeing a looming precipice as the Palestinians press a UN Security Council vote on statehood, forcing a US veto and rebuffing President Obama's pleas.

Palestinian and Israeli security forces are preparing for demonstrations which could turn violent. And, with passions aroused by the...

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The "Terror Lobby" List: A Response

(97) Comments | Posted August 11, 2011 | 4:12 PM

What is an organization deemed by the US State Department to be dedicated to terrorism -- an FTO, or Foreign Terrorist Organization -- supposed to do when it believes the charge is spurious? Clearly, the consequences of such a determination are enormous because under federal law anyone providing as much...

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The Reagan and Obama "Doctrines" vs. the State Department

(28) Comments | Posted April 6, 2011 | 3:50 PM

In October 1983 shortly after a terrorist attack against the US Marines peacekeeping mission outside of Beirut left 241 dead, a call came from a regional organization in the Caribbean -- the OECS, the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States -- urgently requesting US military intervention in Grenada. Two...

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Libya: Deal with the Devil We Don't Know?

(27) Comments | Posted March 15, 2011 | 4:06 PM

The Obama administration wants to go with the tide of history, but there is no certain shore. Our allegiance is with democracy. Our allegiance is with stability. We were born of revolution and tempered by civil war. But interventions abroad have sobered our ambitions. Between these opposing pulls, we flail...

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Russia, Poland, and "Rehabilitation"

(4) Comments | Posted February 25, 2011 | 3:34 PM

‪As revolutions against unchecked power transform the Middle East, it would be worthwhile to see how Russia and Poland come to grips with accountability for mass murders committed more than 70 years ago: In March of 1940 Stalin ordered the execution of over 22,000 Polish officers with a single bullet...

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Spain's Courage: Holding Iraq Accountable

(59) Comments | Posted January 7, 2011 | 4:23 PM

Thank goodness someone -- the Government of Spain -- has shown humanitarian concern about the plight of 3,400 Iranians in Camp Ashraf, Iraq. On January 4, 2011, an Investigative Court of the Spanish National Court summoned Iraq's Lt. Gen. Abdul-Hussein Shemmari to appear in Spain on March 8,...

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When Governments Fail to Disclose Material Facts

(50) Comments | Posted October 29, 2010 | 3:25 PM

Not all lies matter. Some we dismiss as not all that important. That's as true in personal life as it is in national and international affairs. Lies that are "material" profoundly affect our conduct and can severely impact the way we lead our lives. In the eyes of the law,...

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PMOI vs. US Secretary of State: A Victory for Civil Rights

(17) Comments | Posted July 19, 2010 | 1:13 PM

Last Friday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in Washington ruled that the U.S. State Department cannot arbitrarily designate the People's Mujahadin Organization of Iran (PMOI) as a foreign terrorist organization, thus imposing criminal penalties on any American citizen who offers so much as a nickel to...

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