Rule of Law

Ukraine War, May 11, 2022 (I): Spinning leaked revelations about intelligence sharing, U.S. officials evidence continued confusion about international law; Azovstal steelworks fighters plead for evacuation of wounded; France and Germany push back on American war aims; U.S. should limit war aims to requirements of U.N. Charter and international law

Developing. We are publishing this article as it is being written. Please check back for updates. To see a list of previous articles, enter “Ukraine”…

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Ukraine War, May 10, 2022 (II): The hard work ahead in the non-allied countries, to get them to joint the anti-Russian coalition



Ukraine War, April 15, 2022 (II): Let us not praise Ukrainians’ courage, at least not until we have looked within and found our own; Explaining to citizens what is at stake and why it is important







Biden’s failed approach to defending American democracy

See, Ross Douthat, “What Is Joe Biden Thinking?”, New York Times, January 15, 2022. Ross Douthat has done an excellent job in summing up the…


How was Malik Faisal Akram killed in the hostage-release operation in Texas? (Updated January 17, 2022)

Reports of the rescue of hostages and the killing of the hostage-taking gunman in Collingwood, Texas are extremely opaque as to how the hostage-taker, identified as Malik Faisal Akram, was actually killed.

Official statemeents simply say that he was dead, with absolutely no details, raising a lot if questions.

According to one report, “One hostage who had been held was released during the stand-off and the three others got out when an FBI Swat team entered the building, authorities in the US said.”

Questions raised include the following:

Why was it necessary to kill the hostage-taker?

Was he simply executed after the hostages had escaped or been released?

It may seem to some that, given the heinous nature of the crime, these details are unimportant. There was a similar disinterest in the details of the killing of Osama bin Laden in 2010, after he had apparently been brought under control.

These little details are important.

An entire civilization built on the rule of law depends on them.


Merrick Garland should indict Trump today. If he doesn’t, Democrats should impeach Garland tomorrow.

The Democrats and “little d” democrats in the House and the Senate are in the middle of an all-out war with the Republicans for the future of the Republic–even if they are unaware of this fact, as often appears to be the case.

Merrick Garland has demonstrated in his year in office–beyond a shadow of a doubt–that he is not the General America needs to lead a victorious army to conquer the anti-democratic forces seeking to overthrow the Constitution and the rule of law in the United States.

A year of impunity for Trump and his felonious co-conspirators is enough, enough already.

It is time to replace or remove Garland, and to end the state of impunity in the country that allows Trump to run around organizing his forces for the next Republican attempt to seize power by unconstitutional means.


Three urgent actions needed to save American democracy

Sometimes political situations and their implications are very clear to the objective observer, someone like the Observer who is far removed from the buzz of Washington, Twitter, and the latest “breaking news” on the Cable News networks. The Observer is a keen and unbiased commentator who reads many newspapers, both American and foreign, and who has been paying attention to political developments in the United States for a long time.

Drawing on this experience and his own original analysis, the Observer believes that there are three major problems that pose a challenge to American democracy, and that there are three active measures that the Democrats and “little d” democrats should take, now, in order to save the Republic.

Taking down Trump is the single most important action the Democrats can take to safeguard American democracy in 2022 and 2024. Together with passing legislation prohibiting the knowing transmission of lies and disinformation on television and radio, and enacting voting rights legislation, indicting Trump is an essential action in any program to protect American democracy against the anti-democratic and authoritarian threat Trump and his supporters represent.

These three problems represent the greatest challenges to American democracy today.

These three urgent actions represent our best hopes for beating back the anti-democratic challenge before it is too late.


Democrats should impeach Attorney General Merrick Garland–UPDATED December 24, 2021

Having sworn in his confirmation hearings that he would not allow political considerations to influene his decisions to prosecute individuals, he has blatantly violated his oath and his duty under the Constitution and the law.

Specifically, he has failed to initiate prosecution of Donald Trump and his many co-conspirators for the many electoral crimes committed after the November 3, 2020 presidential election, or for the many instances of obstruction of justice including witness tampering committed if full view by Trump. Among these apparent crimes are the 10 instances of obstruction of justice laid out, in explicit detail and with summaries of the relevant evidence, in the Mueller Report.

There appears to be a conspiracy of silence among Democratic leaders to not even discuss the issue of whether Trump should be prosecuted.


American Politics: What if the faint voice of reason in a sea of Unreason is not enough?

See, Michael Gerson, “What if the eventual Jan. 6 report is rigorous, compelling — and doesn’t really matter?” Washington Post, December 16, 2021 (3:17 p.m….


French President Macron breaks ranks, meets with MBS in Saudi Arabia

French President Emmanuel Macron is breaking ranks with Western leaders, including President Joe Biden, and planning to meet with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS) on December 4, on a trip to the Gulf countries of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar, and Saudi Arabia.

Whatever France’s interests may be in dealing with Saudi Arabia, Macron is sacrificing any claim France might have to be a leader in the struggle for human rights and the rule of law, including international law, by meeting with the Crown Prince–who is widely known to be Kashoggi’s assassin.

The great threat to France and the West is that MBS may become the next King of Saudi Arabia, perpetuating an authoritarian system of government characterized by gross violations of human rights, the oppression of women, and a total absence of due process of law.

Instead of meeting with MBS, Macron and France, the U.S., and other democratic countries should be shunning MBS and doing everything they can to prevent him from becoming king.


J’accuse

On January 13, 1898, French novelist Émile Zola published his famous letter entitled, “J’accuse” (I accuse), addressed to the President of the Republic, in which he denounced the government and its military command and their antisemitic leaders for prosecuting Alfred Dreyfus, a Captain of Jewish descent, on trumped up charges of treason. Dreyfus had been convicted in 1894, and at a subsequent retrial. Zola’s letter had a decisive impact on democracy and the rule of law in France.

In the United States, we now face a similar if not even graver moment in which the rule of law is at stake. It is a moment in which antisemitic and racist militants actively participate in a fascist conspiracy to overthrow the Constitution and the rule of law.

In these circumstances, the following letter is addressed to “Democrats “and political leaders in the United States, calling on them to act, vigorously and effectively, to defend American democracy.



Max Boot calls for Garland to appoint Special Prosecutor to investigate Trump’s crimes

Today, finally, a leading national opinion columnist, Max Boot, called for the Justice Department to investigate Donald Trump’s crimes.

Because Merrick Garland has been far too willing to look the other way, and has avoided investigation and indictment for the many crimes Donald Trump appears to have committed, Boot proposes Garland appoint a Special Prosecutor to investigate Trump’s apparent crimes.


U.S.-Taliban meetings in Doha reach an impasse, as enormous humanitarian disaster approaches

With the Americans and the Europeans firmly set in their demands that the Taliban provide guarantees for the respect of human rights before assets can be freed or aid can flow, the Afghan economy appears on the verge of collapse.

As winter is fast approaching, a humanitarian disaster of enormous proportions becomes more likely very day.

It is difficult to see either side yielding, while diplomacy is awkward and takes a lot of time.

In these circumstances, it seems likely that millions of Afghans will starve to death before the assistance they so desperately need reaches them.