Torture

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REPRISE: “A time to break silence”: Dr. King on the Vietnam war, and President Carter on America’s human rights violations

Fifty years ago, on April 4, 1967, Dr. Martin Luther King gave the first of two speeches that month setting forth why he was opposed to the war in Vietnam. These are discussed below, together…

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Trump, Russia and the betrayal of American heroes

Developing The worst case scenario, we wrote after the election on November 8, 2016, would be if Trump acted during the transition and his presidency like the Donald Trump we saw in the campaign, and…


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President-elect Trump, foreign policy, and the defense of core American values

Developing Given Donald Trump’s inexperience in foreign policy, he may not understand or appreciate certain fundamental principles and realities that are essential for the maintenance of international peace and security, on the one hand, and…


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REPRISE: Veterans’ Day, 2011: “Where have all the flowers gone, long time passing?”

Originally published November 11, 2011 My uncle died in a field in northern France with a German bullet in his head. To him, and all the other veterans of America’s wars, I am immensely grateful…


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Personal Takes: Russian war crimes in Syria, appeasement, and disgust

Developing PERSONAL TAKES Once in a while, The Observer reflects on his own personal involvement in world events. Today’s news triggered such a reflection. The news this morning is that the U.S. will resume negotiations…


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Herd journalists: The most deplorable in Trump’s “basket of deplorables” (Updated September 16, 2016)

Updated Octrober 8, 2016 See Gunda Trepp, “Wahlkampf in Amerika Die Medien haben ihren Auftrag vergessen; Im amerikanischen Wahlkampf kommen viele Journalisten ihrer Sorgfaltspflicht nicht mehr nach. Sie setzen die erfahrene Clinton und den politischen…


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Beyond Trump and the November elections: Is a coherent U.S. foreign policy possible?

2016 is a good year to be observing what people in the United States are saying about foreign policy. There are new and dangerous currents in U.S. politics which may affect foreign policy. To try…




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International Law and the Descent toward Barbarism: MSF —“Wars are being fought as in ‘barbarian times’

International Law constitutes the structure and the fabric which helps to hold international society back from a descent into barbarism. But, as is the case in holding any government accountable to law, the efficacy of…