Thursday, December 02, 2004

More U.S. meddling 

The United States is once again practicing its imperialistic policy of meddling in other countries' affairs, demanding the release of Burmese political prisoner and Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.

What is it with the Bush administration? First they free Afghanistan from the Taliban. They they remove a murderous tyrant from power in Iraq. Lately they've been demanding fair democratic elections in Ukraine... And now this?

This kind of bullying and intereference needs to stop immediately. If not, the Bush administration might hurt someone's feelings.
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Suspicious powder at West Point 

LT (er, LCDR) Smash has the scoop. I think his concluding words on the matter are right on.
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Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Abbas surprise order 

I wonder what brought this on:

Interim Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas has told government run television and radio stations to stop broadcasting 'inflammatory' material inciting hatred against Israel.

Mr Abbas has asked the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation to review programmes before they are aired.
Certainly a step in the right direction, but it might not really change anything:

Radwan Abu Ayyash, head of the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation, said that Mr Abbas has asked them to "ensure that programmes do not include material that might be interpreted as incitement."

"In fact we do not incite," said Mr Ayyash, "We report what Israel commits against the Palestinian people."
The key thing to watch for is whether Abbas and his administration step in to enforce his order if the PBC doesn't change its ways. If he does exert some real pressure, it will also be interesting to see the reaction on the Palestinian street. The Palestinian political environment is a fractious and contentious one, and this kind of action on the part of Abbas could lead to a backlash, in the form of rising popularity and influence for extremists like Hamas.

On the other hand, if this order sticks without a serious backlash, it could signal a tilt toward moderation within the Palestinian Authority. This story bears watching in the days and weeks to come.
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Shooting the messenger 

A federal appeals court ruled yesterday that colleges may exclude military recruiters from their campuses.

A three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, in Philadelphia, found that educational institutions have a First Amendment right to keep military recruiters off their campuses to protest the Defense Department policy of excluding gays from military service.
The real problem with keeping recruiters off campus to protest that policy is... that it's not a Defense Department policy. It's the law of the land, passed by both houses of Congress and signed by President Bill Clinton. Proposed by Clinton in the first place, actually. The military does not make laws. It follows the laws and the orders of the nation's civilian leaders. It would be a scary country otherwise. So blaming the military is misguided, not to mention ineffective since it doesn't target the people who made the law--the Congress and President Clinton.

New York University and George Washington University are among the schools involved in this case. But NYU and GW have had no problem allowing Clinton onto their campuses in the years since he signed the policy into law.

The military, which is legally bound to obey the law (duh), is barred from campus. But the man who actually proposed and then signed the law is welcomed with open arms.

Why is that, I wonder?
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