Richard Rebb writes about the necessity of American intervention in the rest of the world.
Last year Americans again exhibited ambivalence about their role in the world. Even as the United States fought and won a war to end the rule of a Middle Eastern tyrant who threatened the world with weapons of mass destruction, many prominent critics insisted that war was not necessary and perhaps not even right. We need to end our ambivalence and own up to our responsibility to secure and, where possible, to foster self government in the world.
We are a free and democratic country, so disagreements will occur over government policy. But the current disagreement is a fundamental one about what sort of nation we are and how we should act in our international relations. Resolution of this disagreement will depend on our gaining clarity about the requirements of our fundamental principles and the imperatives of our survival.
I refer to John Quincy Adams on American Foreign Policy:
[America] goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own. She will commend the general cause by the countenance of her voice, and the benignant sympathy of her example. She well knows that by once enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself beyond the power of extrication, in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy, and ambition, which assume the colors and usurp the standard of freedom. The fundamental maxims of her policy would insensibly change from liberty to force…. She might become the dictatress of the world. She would be no longer the ruler of her own spirit….
Glutter writes about child pornography in Hong Kong.
Backstory: Child pornography has just been made illegal in Hong Kong and there were radio public service announcements to get this out to the public.
Okay? Why are they giving people warnings? Shouldn’t they just go in and bust the assholes and put them in jail? It’s not like the whole of HK is holding child porn on their computers, (although some people’s computers do tread a fine line, coz underage = child for all intent and purposes).
I am glad it’s now illegal, but the way they told all of us on the radio was a little weird and uncomfortable. My friend looked at me and said, “The government just told you to go home now and clean out your computer.” Very funny.
She (?) then writes about how these people should be murdered by the government without trials. Yes!
Rick Heller links to a report that Iran, not Iraq was involved in 9/11 and gives some of his thoughts on the matter.
His quote of the report:
The Iranian witness, who fled Iran last July and whose identity remained concealed, said he is a former agent in the Iranian intelligence service, from which experience he makes his claim that Iran was the author of 9/11. He didn’t appear in the courtroom, but instead a German intelligence official read statements from his interrogation out to the court, which heavily implicates Mzoudi in the attack. In it, the Iranian national claims the accused, who spent three months in Iran as well as time in Afghanistan before 9/11, was employed in the logistics side of the September 11 tragedy, collecting information and sending it on to associates.
Richard links to Yule Heibel on Iran and women.
Setting the initial scene with a pointer to three books — by Bernard Lewis, Ryszard Kapuscinski, and Amin Maalouf — on the history of the Arab/ Muslim world, Atwood notes that “All political leaders bent on suppressing their own people need a Great Satan, or an axis of evil, or something of the sort, so that resistance to the leader can be portrayed as not only futile but heretical.” She quotes from Ryszard Kapuscinski’s 1982 book, Shah of Shahs on the benefits accruing to despots when people are reduced to a crowd — or as they used to say at the height of the cold war, a mass: “A person, an individual being,…is riches without end, he is a world in which we can always discover something new. A crowd, on the other hand, reduces the individuality of the person; a man in a crowd limits himself to a few forms of elementary behaviour.” Atwood adds that the despot’s desire to eliminate individual voices goes some way toward explaining his/her hatred of literature (and, dare I say it, free-wheeling blogs?), for despots”love the crowd and hate the individual, and literature is, above all, singular.”
Joi Ito writes about Sir Martin Rees and global warming.
Sir Martin Rees told me that he thought it was probably true that global warming was happening and that CO2 emissions contributed to it. He said that his main concern with global warming with the possibility that something non-linear would happen. In other words, his worry was not just the melting of the ice caps or the increased heat, but that this would cause something unpredictable and significant, such as a change in the circulation of the oceans.