President Barack Obama's claim that he doesn't need congressional authorization for his current war in Iraq and Syria is troubling. However, Obama is not the first president to believe that he has the rather imperial authority for war by executive fiat.
When Ben Affleck differentiates the extremists from the overwhelming majority of peaceful Muslims, and when Harris and Maher claim that polls indicate the extreme are a larger part of the overall pie than we think, Affleck's argument is not only stronger, but correlates to the raison detre for both the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars.
I consider this ideology to be the greatest danger that the world will face in the next decade. Its seeds are growing in Europe, the United States, Asia, and elsewhere. With its twisted religious overtones, this pre-packaged franchise of hate is available for any terrorist group to adopt. It carries the power to mobilize thousands of desperate, vindictive, or angry young people and use them to strike at the foundations of civilization.
Now it is for all concerned with children's rights to rise up and insist that the torture, rape and militarization of children be placed at the center of our demands for an International Criminal Court investigation that will aim for the prosecution of the guilty.
The economy appears to be making a slight comeback as the number one issue, and the immigration issue seems to have reached its peak. However, the increasing likelihood that global conflicts may have an impact on American soil may result in additional focus on conflicts as the number one issue.
When the Secretary of Defense reiterates "no boots on the ground," military families don't breathe a sigh of relief alongside the rest of America. We know too much. Whether the Pentagon calls it a combat mission or boots on the ground won't matter much to those doing the job and wearing the boots.
Critics of the coalition may see military action as a threat and think that it will only intensify the problem. However, such critics seem to be ignoring that it was the inaction towards the atrocities in Syria and the failed state in Iraq that resulted in the swelling of ISIS's ranks from a few hundred to nearly 30,000 according to the latest estimates.
The head of the Secret Service abruptly resigned, after she got grilled by Congress over several disconcerting lapses which happened on her watch. She fell on her sword immediately, to her credit, rather than drawing the story out day after day.
What is the center of gravity for this 21st century hybrid outfit ISIS? Has the administration identified a center of gravity? And if so, is its assessment correct? It's all more than a bit unclear, as you'll see.
The conflict has not only shone a light against the persecution of women, it has provided greater understanding of the essential work civil society is playing in safeguarding women and protecting their human rights. Without them, women would be left open to the untold horror of ISIL.
The president claims that, despite the provisions of the War Powers Act, his continuing attacks on ISIS have an alternative foundation. On his view, President Bush did all the necessary work a decade ago when he convinced Congress to approve his wars against Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein. Obama asserts that the language of the Bush-era authorizations is sufficiently broad to support his new war against the Islamic State. This legal claim has been vigorously criticized by constitutional scholars across the political spectrum. But neither the Justice Department nor the White House Counsel has backed up Obama's bare assertion with a serious legal opinion.
In the streets of Hong Kong today, China's future is meeting its past. It's 17 year-old rebellious student Joshua Wong, who is leading the Umbrella Revolution protests, versus Confucius, the sage of order and "social harmony," whose 2565th birthday was just emphatically celebrated by Xi Jinping in Beijing last week. To put this historic crossroads into perspective, The WorldPost publishes excerpts of Xi Jinping's remarkable speech on the anniversary of Confucius' birthday, which amounts to an official rehabilitation of ancient Confucian thought as the guiding light of modern China. From Hong Kong, WorldPost China correspondent Matt Sheehan reports from the ground on the orderly rebellion of the Umbrella Revolution. Beijing artist, Jia, looks at the Hong Kong protests through the prism of her memories of the excitement and dashed hopes of the Tiananmen Square events in 1989. Lawrence Lau, a former member of Hong Kong's Executive Council, argues that the election plan presented by Beijing, which stirred the protests, will actually allow for genuinely competitive elections over time.
We're bombing Iraqis again, and Syrians. These new campaigns will slaughter more civilians (a large percentage of them children) and further radicalize the opposition. It will also spread more toxins, poisoning land, air and water. We can pursue war or we can pursue healing. We can't pursue both.
The battles against terrorists such as the Islamic State and the centuries-old tension between Sunnis and Shias are not symbolic of the 'soul of a religion'. Instead, these sectarian and politically fueled schisms are symbolic of the battles for the soul of humanity, pluralism and peace.
The president has already entered the war -- he's involved America in an historic event that may decide the future of the Middle East and all of Islam. I suggest that instead of counting the "pennies," we "pound" away at ISIS on behalf of the western world.
Two potent forces power the Ebola and ISIS epidemics that the media are ignoring. They're (1) breakdown of governing authority, and (2) dissolution of "social capital" -- ties of trust and cooperation that empower individuals, families, and others to forge coalitions and tackle common problems at the community level.