Category Archives: Military
Standing Rock Pipeline protesters became the most immediate threat of pollution to the Missouri river they sought to protect. They had braved the North Dakota winter by camping at the construction site of the North Dakota Access Pipeline.
But in the end it was trash from the humans, not oil from the pipeline, that immediately threatened the river. Gov. Doug Burgum told The New York Times that melting snow could wash their “garbage and human waste” into the river. Last week authorities forced the campers to leave.
Tom Goldtooth, executive director of the Indigenous Environmental Network, which has been active here, said in a statement that the evacuation was a “violent and unnecessary infringement on the constitutional right of water protectors to peacefully protest and exercise their freedom of speech.”
Here’s the story in the Washington Times.
In 2012 President Obama said, “We have been very clear to the Assad regime — but also to other players on the ground — that a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized.”
Here’s an Arms Control Association timeline of chemical weapons “moving around or being utilized” in Syria.
The agreement seems to remove the prospect of any strike against Syria following the chemical attacks in Damascus on 21 August which killed up to 1,300 people.
Putin later entered the war with airstrikes in support of Bashar al Assad. That turned the tide in his favor and unleashed a greater flood of refugees and dead.
With the destruction of Aleppo in December Charles Krauthammer wrote that the Obama administration could offer only bitter speechmaking at the UN:
In the end, the world’s greatest power was reduced to bitter speeches at the U.N. “Are you truly incapable of shame?” thundered U.S. ambassador Samantha Power at the butchers of Aleppo. As if we don’t know the answer.
Red Line Threat
Last week the administration drew a new red line through the West Bank and West Jerusalem for building settlements.
The Daily Beast is alarmed by the massive national security apparatus The President is turning over to The Donald. It kills by drone and fights wars without congressional approval.
Whenever George W. Bush started a war he made sure to to pack a Congressional resolution. President Obama, not so much.
Obama ended “torture” of enemy combatants. Instead he blows them up by drone. Even American citizens make the hit list.
He also engineered a nuke treaty with Iran without Senate approval. He simply deemed it not a treaty.
Now all that power is in the tiny hands of President-elect Trump.
National Security Apparatus
Here’s Jameel Jaffer, the director of the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University:
“Many Americans were willing to invest broad power in the presidency because they trusted the president. But obviously the powers that we invest outlast any particular president, and now those powers are available to Trump.”