Perverse Irony of the War on Terror

From Matthieu Aikins at Foreign Policy Magazine:

Indeed, the Global War on Terror has illustrated the troubling contradictions that underpin our age: That the West’s attractions of modernity, material progress, and liberalism can prove unsatisfying to smart and ambitious young men; that our allies in the Muslim world might be among the greatest sources of the terrorists who would do us harm; that the freedom promised by an age of unlimited connection across information and physical space might engender a draconian self-repression; and that a new golden age of capitalism might leave such ruined states and peoples on its margins. Today, we find the roots of terror in the growing instability of the world’s economy and climate, which in turn prefigures deeper coming threats to the global order. The perverse irony of the War on Terror is how badly it is has distracted our political and moral will from the great challenges of our time. This is bin Laden’s legacy.

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Osama Bin Laden, Dead

Typing this, I hesitate.  Is this a mere death?  An assassination?  A murder?  And if not the latter, why not?  Mass murderers and perpetrators of genocide have been brought to trial, yet the U.S. now abandons established paths of justice.  They’ve “taken him out.”  Have we already tried bin Laden in our media, determined him guilty beyond doubt, not worthy of justice except the justice that we see in death? Continue Reading →

U.S. Ethics, the Rule of Law and Human Rights

From Richard Kim’s recent editorial at The Nation, “Obama’s ‘War on Terror’“:

And so we now see clearly a kind of social cancer: the exercise of inhumane and abusive power simply because it is the state’s prerogative. Recall that this is what happened in Abu Ghraib—not torture for purpose but torture for fun, for petty retaliation, for no reason other than that the uniform allows it. The treatment of Manning in Quantico, as well as the incarceration of inmates in CMUs for no apparent penological purpose, demonstrates that the poisonous shards of Abu Ghraib are still with us.

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