ASIA AFGHANISTAN Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made a surprise stopover in Afghanistan on Monday on his way back from … Continue reading Asia/Africa update: July 9 2018
Hi. Perhaps you’ve noticed that I’ve been gone for a while. I’m not going to recap everything that happened while … Continue reading Middle East update: May 22 2018
EUROPE RUSSIA Russian media is reporting that Moscow has no intention of ordering further cuts to America’s diplomatic presence in … Continue reading Europe/Americas update: September 12 2017
ASIA UZBEKISTAN Uzbekistan may be liberalizing just a little bit: Uzbek authorities are removing large numbers of people from its … Continue reading Asia/Australia/Africa update: August 14-15 2017
IRAQ A number of things are happening on parallel tracks in Mosul. Most urgently, Iraqi forces are still mopping up … Continue reading Middle East update: July 12-13 2017
As I said on Sunday, this week was going to be a little abbreviated around here, and in that vein … Continue reading Middle East update: July 6 2017
It’s challenging for me to write about things like Donald Trump’s immigration executive order, which has by now gone through so many clarifications and legal challenges that it’s hard to say exactly what it is beyond red meat to his terrified white nationalist base. My instinct is to talk about policy on the merits–in terms of its likely effects, chances of success, that sort of thing–in addition to or sometimes (I have to work on this) instead of talking about its moral ramifications. And the problem with policies like this immigration ban is that to talk about them on the merits is in some sense to legitimize them as rational and even defensibly moral policy choices. George Bush’s torture–er, enhanced interrogation, sorry–program presented a similar choice. Should opponents talk about the fact that torture doesn’t work, or does even allowing that such a discussion could take place cede too much moral ground?
So let’s be clear: there is no moral justification for this policy. Continue reading “Irredeemable”