Two weeks ago, a little-known Canadian gold mining company that has developed or operated exactly zero mines over 17 years announced to its investors that it had initiated international arbitration proceedings against the government of Romania for failing to permit what would be the largest open-pit gold and silver mine in Europe.
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The inconsistency between war as a moral imperative versus political policy runs way wider and deeper than the Libya conflict. It goes to the heart of human nature and the character of society. For despite the popular delusion that war is primarily a matter of political strategy and pragmatic execution, it almost never is. Squaring the circle of war and politics, morality and material interests, is not just Obama's or America's quandary, it is a species-wide dilemma that results from wanting to believe that we humans are fundamentally rational beings, when in fact David Hume was right to say that "Reason is, and ought only to be, the slave of the passions."