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Sunday, February 26, 2012

An Israeli strike on Iran? Not so fast | The Times of Israel

An Israeli strike on Iran? Not so fast | The Times of Israel

First and foremost, the unarguable military fact is that Osirak and Syria constitute no precedent whatsoever where Iran is concerned.

Osirak was a surprise attack against a single, inadequately protected facility – the Iraqi missile defense team was actually having dinner, machines switched off, when Israel struck — and Saddam was incapable of rebuilding or of retaliating with particular viciousness. Where Syria was concerned, surprise was the order of the day too, and here Israel took pains not to publicly claim responsibility in order – successfully – to avoid embarrassing the Syrians into a perceived need to retaliate.

With the Iranian program, the picture is entirely different. Iran has constructed its nuclear facilities with Osirak serving as the case study in what not to do – built them, therefore, with minimal vulnerability to attack. Israeli officials have intimated with deliberate vagueness that Israel can do what is necessary to protect itself, but any military option would be immeasurably more complex than the challenge that was posed by Osirak. It is hard to see how there could be any surprise in a strike that has been trumpeted in the headlines for months. And Iran can both rebuild and — via Hamas, Hezbollah, terrorism and missile attack — it can hit back.

Read more by clicking the link at the top of this article.




Rick Santorum's Despicable And Hurtful Health Care Lie - Forbes

Rick Santorum's Despicable And Hurtful Health Care Lie - Forbes

You have to want to be President awfully badly to purposely scare the hell out of parents whose children face illness and disability in their lives. You also have to be a perfectly despicable human being.

Appearing yesterday with his wife, Karen, on theGlenn Beck program, Rick Santorum joined his wife in ‘revealing’ that it was the passage of Obamacare that motivated them to enter into the presidential race.

According to Karen Santorum, “Because we have as you know a little angel, little Bella, special needs little girl, and when Obamacare passed, that was it, that put the fire in my belly.”

Had that been the end of it, I’d have no problem whatsoever with Mrs. Santorum’s comment. If Karen Santorum feels that there is a better way to protect the health and wellbeing of her child, it is not only her right but her responsibility to do everything she can on behalf of her little girl and every child out there in similar circumstances. I would fully respect her for the same even if I disagree with her assessment of what the law means to her daughter and others who suffer illness

Read the rest of the article by clicking the link at the top.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Limits of Lincoln's Mercy - NYTimes.com

The Limits of Lincoln's Mercy - NYTimes.com

On a frosty day in late February 1862, at a little past noon, 400 people stood solemnly within the stone-walled courtyard of the Tombs, New York City’s jail. Eighty were marines, dressed in Union blue and standing rigidly at attention with loaded rifles and fixed bayonets; the rest of the crowd consisted of reporters, politicians and observers who had cadged invitations to an unusual execution.

The condemned, flanked by government officials, was a small, dark-haired man in a black frock coat. His arms were pinioned, a black hood covered his face and a noose encircled his neck. He had been convicted of having “piratically, feloniously, and forcibly” captured “800 negroes, with intent to make them slaves.” His name was Nathaniel Gordon, and he was about to become the only man in American history to be executed for the crime of slave trading.

After Gordon’s conviction, his lawyers had exercised the one option open to them – a direct appeal to the president of the United States. The Constitution states that the president “shall have the power to grant reprieves and pardons.” And no president in the history of this nation has been so praised, or so criticized, for his use of the pardoning power as Abraham Lincoln. He was, to some, a man of compassion and mercy, to others, a sentimental meddler who continually undermined military discipline and the sanctity of the courts. But in this case the habitually merciful Abraham Lincoln withheld his customary clemency and allowed the execution to take place. Why?

Library of CongressThe execution of Nathaniel Gordon.

There were three areas in which Lincoln’s pardoning power could be applied. The first related to cases in the civil courts. During his tenure, Lincoln reviewed 456 civil cases; 375 of them – over 82 percent — received pardons. The second class had to do with those in rebellion against the government. This being the Civil War, more than half the country qualified.

The third category was in military cases. It was here that Lincoln received the most criticism for what was perceived as his interference in the flow of military justice and discipline. He made it clear from the beginning that he was “unwilling for any boy under 18 to be shot,” and he had a tendency to pardon youths who had fallen asleep on guard duty or had deserted. Gen. Joseph Hooker once sent an envelope to the president containing the cases of 55 convicted and doomed deserters; Lincoln merely wrote “Pardoned” on the envelope and returned it to Hooker....


Read the rest by clicking on the link at the type of this post.