There's something unique about American Sniper. If this were just another modern war movie, Chris Kyle might be portrayed as a replica of the hollowed out versions of the soldiers we often see splashed across the big screen.
As to who played the scorpion and who played the crocodile, I'd give the first title "Scorpion" to Dick Cheney and share the second, "Crocodile" between Bush Jr. and Obama. Cheney injected the venom and Bush and Obama have been drowning in it ever since.
The soft power of America's open society has once again come to the rescue of its hard power misadventures, this time by coming clean on the post-9/11 practice of torture. As China and several other countries intensify their crackdown on the Internet and open expression in general, the U.S. offers a lesson: honest criticism fortifies the legitimacy of government, not weakens it, because it assures an avenue for self-correction. In The WorldPost this week, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who led the charge as head of the Senate Intelligence Committee that released the controversial torture report, writes that "torture goes against the very soul of our country." Howard Fineman reports why Sen. John McCain, a leading Republican and POW during the Vietnam War, also believes torture is a "stain" on America's national honor -- and ineffective to boot. (continued)
How can it be that the US, which so prides itself on its traditions of respect for the rule of law and human rights, simply turn a blind eye on this deep stain on its record without the resonance of hypocrisy? How can it revive its moral credibility?
We have seen over time, that humans are capable of the best and the worst. Nobody heals unless there is truth about what happened. We have a chance to open this book, and I hope we take it.
Even if outgoing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid does not schedule a floor debate on an AUMF this week, as is likely, at least the Foreign Relations Committee will have gotten the ball rolling by voting and passing a resolution. That's the most Americans can hope for from the 113th Congress.
With the latest news about controversies of Navy SEAL Mark Owen writing a book about killing Osama bin Laden, and the naming of former SEALs involved in the mission, SEALs are on everyone's mind.
Today's children and generations to follow them face nightmares of scarcity, disease, mass displacement, social chaos, and war, due to our patterns of consumption and pollution. Ironically, one of the institutions which comprehends the disasters that loom is the U.S. military.
If the United States would resist getting more involved in the Iraqi and Syrian civil wars, it could then tell Turkey to "go fish" and defend itself. The arrogant Erdogan would be flummoxed at the abnormal astuteness of a musclebound, but usually kind of dim, U.S. government.
On the eve of Thanksgiving, the Congressional Anti-Terrorism and Proliferation Financing Task Force conducted a briefing on Islamic State in Iraq and ...
If the sharply contrasting views of students in Xian or Beijing and Hong Kong are any indication, Deng Xiaoping's ideal formulation of "one country, two systems" has morphed into another reality: one country, two dreams. George Chen writes that President Xi Jinping's "Chinese Dream" competes with other narratives in today's China: the "get rich is glorious" story of Alibaba's Jack Ma and the democratic aspirations of the Hong Kong students. In a conversation with students after a lecture in Beijing, Amitai Etzioni detected a surprisingly aggressive patriotism, and even anti-Americanism, in college students he spoke with. WorldPost Senior Editor Kathleen Miles found similar sentiments when she talked with other students in Beijing as well as Xian. In contrast, WorldPost China Correspondent Matt Sheehan observes that the student-led umbrella protests in Hong Kong have become a "defining generational moment," not unlike the burst of freedom against authority in the 1960s in the West, that will trouble Beijing for a long time to come. (continued)
Unless the administration leaps back through the looking glass to the real world, the next two years will be grim. Chuck Hagel's departure will not change that forecast. And neither will Dr. Carter's nomination allow an escape from Obamaland-- no matter his qualifications.
One can only hope that Ashton Carter has moved past his glib endorsements of Donald Rumsfeld's disingenuous "group think" and Neil McElroy's outright distortion of the truth and on to a personal code of conduct where speaking truth to power is not seen as a vice, but rather a virtue.
How can the USA protect itself and counter ISIL's foreign threats without putting its own boots on the ground?
The leading multilateral institutions like to hold meetings on this topic and pontificate and yet their record of helping to reduce corruption in many of the world's poorest countries is lamentable. They continue to enjoy overly cozy relations with thoroughly corrupt governments.
The last thing the U.S. should be doing is sending more DU to the Middle East. It is long past time for the Obama administration to acknowledge that the U.S. has a legal and moral obligation to make reparations to Iraqis and U.S. servicemembers and veterans for the toxic legacy of the Iraq War.