syria

Nothing To See Here; Move Along

(or, Why I Haven’t Written Much Lately)

Most of my posts here are about current events.  When an important new law gets signed, I’m all over it; when there’s a big mystery or scandal, I’m right here with my opinion.  Normally, when there’s a pause in the news for whatever reason, I’ll chime in with a suggestion on policy.

Trouble is, right now, nothing’s happening, and what is happening is just more of (more…)

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White Phosphorous In Syria

It’s been reported by such prestigious journals as the Washington Post and the New York Times, and Amnesty International has released a potential war crimes alert:  The headlines say the United States is attacking civilians in Syria with incendiary rounds, something that’s been banned by the Geneva Convention — and for good reason.

The world reacts in horror, some in righteous indignation, others with a sort of resigned acceptance, knowing in advance just how horrible America is.

And yet, this seems like an uncharacteristically foolhardy action for the United States (more…)

Syria: It’s Time To Worry

The Syrian Civil War has been characterized by the United Nations as the “great humanitarian crisis of our age”.  A nation of twenty million, Syria has lost twenty percent of its population, most of whom have fled as international refugees.  On the other hand, over a hundred thousand foreign militants have gone there to fight, and the armed forces of a dozen nations have deployed in what has become one of the biggest proxy wars in all of history.

And it’s nearly over. (more…)

Tomahawking Syria: Questions?

It’s been all over the news, and as far as the actual events are concerned you probably know as much as I do.  There are a few items worthy of note, however, that aren’t all over the headlines, and it’s highly likely the details will be forgotten as the global situation continues to develop. (more…)

Upcoming Immigration Ban: What We Know

(NOTE:  This article is being written in advance of the new Executive Order designed to function in place of that order of 27 January which has been partially blocked by the 9th Circuit.  It is designed to be predictive in nature.  When the new order finally is released, expect to see this updated with comparisons, but I’ll try to leave my predictions intact so you can see how smart I am — or how foolish, just as the case may be.  The new order has now been released; comparisons are in a separate section at the end of the article.)

One week after taking office, President Trump released an executive order banning travel to this country on certain passports.  I’ve written extensively on the pros and cons of accepting refugees, on the ways the ban went horribly wrong and why, and on the justifications for that ban.  Combining that with the decision of the 9th Circuit to block some of its implementation, we should be easily able to predict what’s about to get ordered. (more…)

I Don’t Think We’re Invading Iran Today

I’ll admit, for a few minutes yesterday, I was getting very worried about whether or not we were about to go conquer Iran.

Bear in mind, if we ever do go in, it’ll probably be a Friday afternoon (more…)

So About These Australian Refugees

I don’t know about you, but when I woke up to discover that we’re having a refugee problem with Australia, it made my brain hurt for a bit.  I mean, I know they’ve got this cane toad problem, and some of the most poisonous nasty creatures on earth live there — I mean, spiders and snakes, sure, but a snail?  A deadly stinging tree?  Gina Rinehart, for God’s sake?! — but that’s no reason to flee the country.  Or maybe it is; I don’t know.  I’ve never met the woman. (more…)

I Hate This Place: Revisiting Refugees, Pros and Cons

“I Hate This Place”
-Spider Jerusalem

“All government, in its essence, is a conspiracy… One of its primary functions is to regiment men by force, to make them as much alike as possible and as dependent upon one another as possible, to search out and combat originality among them. All it can see in an original idea is potential change, and hence an invasion of its prerogatives.

The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself, without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos.  Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane and intolerable…”
-H.L. Mencken, “The Smart Set” (more…)

Why Aleppo Is So Important

While the White House and a couple of Senators are loudly Trump-eting about the alleged Russian involvement in an email hack, we’re missing out on a major news story:  The civil war in Syria is all over bar the shouting.  (And inevitable reprisals.)

Don’t mistake me:  The email thing is important.  I believe it will drive our news for much of the next year, and the results could be extremely impressive.  But Aleppo is huge, and (more…)

This Just In: “The Onion” Is Reliable News

Since their recent semi-acquisition by communications giant Univision, “The Onion” has begun putting out some surprisingly reasonable stuff in their Politics section.  The present edition features a useful infographic entitled “How To Stay Politically Active After The Election”, and there’s another interesting piece on Justice Ginsburg’s plans for the winter break.

…OK; I admit it.  My headline is a complete fabrication.  I made it up.  Much like The Onion did this.

This is how clickbait works:  You see something that’s shocking; you say to yourself, “This can’t possibly be true!”  And then you click on it, and someone makes money from their sponsors.

(News alert:  I don’t actually have any sponsors.  Too bad, too; I could use the money.) (more…)