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Tom Farer

Blog Entries by Tom Farer

Iran and the Bomb: What If Diplomacy Fails?

(84) Comments | Posted September 28, 2012 | 11:23 AM

Having observed foreign policy decision-making over four decades, it's evident to me that wherever important interests are at stake, the choice among options is at best an intuitive leap rather than the outcome of some rigorous and wide-ranging cost-benefit analysis.

Sometimes decisions stem from some primitive conviction such as...

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A Question of Proportionality: Israel's Excessive Airstrikes

(28) Comments | Posted March 23, 2009 | 11:06 AM

A blog is not a book, not even the facsimile of a chapter. At best (and worst) it is a strong conclusion and a terse abridgement of the facts, premises, analogies and values on which that conclusion rests. So it's an awkward medium for an academic like me who cherishes...

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Gaza and "Crimes" of Status

(0) Comments | Posted March 22, 2009 | 4:35 PM

In my first blog on the recent Gaza catastrophe I drew an unintentionally inflammatory analogy between what I see as the indefinite detention or incarceration of the inhabitants of Gaza and Nazi treatment of Jewishness beginning as soon as Hitler seized power as a crime justifying incarceration (which, of course,...

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Israel in Gaza: Self-Defense or Slaughter?

(7) Comments | Posted January 5, 2009 | 9:40 AM

According to the latest approximations of Amnesty International, 400 Palestinian residents of Gaza have been killed and 2,000 wounded by Israel's air and sea bombardment. Meanwhile, mainstream media outlets report that rockets from Gaza have killed 4 Israelis (15 had been killed in previous rocket attacks beginning after Israel's withdrawal)...

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Palestine Bleeds: Should Obama Enter?

(38) Comments | Posted December 29, 2008 | 7:48 PM

Explaining Barack Obama's circumspect reaction to the bombing of Gaza, his chief political advisor, David Axelrod, correctly noted that "we can only have one President at a time." But in three weeks that temporary pass for Obama will expire.

Hearing, like the rest of us, the great sucking sounds American...

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Biden vs. Palin: What Joe Needs To Do

(10) Comments | Posted October 2, 2008 | 11:11 AM

Dear Joe,

Exposing Palin's disqualifications will be difficult. For she will deliver from memory non-toxic, formulaic "answers" crafted by her handlers, deliver them along with an occasional stiletto wrapped in carefully rehearsed Reaganesque good humor. And the PBS moderator, frantic to demonstrate her impartiality, won't press Palin when her...

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The Obama-McCain Debate: Lingering Mysteries

(2) Comments | Posted September 29, 2008 | 5:32 PM

Why did Obama, superior in intellect and character, jab lightly and otherwise play rope-a-dope rather than delivering decisive blows to McCain's inviting jaw? Here are two among a half-dozen samples of opportunities foregone:

1. McCain: We have got to get spending under control.

Obama [what he could...

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