Torture is never legal, not under U.S. law nor under any of the international conventions to which we are signatories. Nor is it ever justified.
The number of victims is breathtaking. Close to 200,000 people have been killed in the three-year-old conflict; 6.5 million Syrians are displaced from their homes; three million are living in squalid refugee camps in neighboring countries with little food or water.
Finally, a use for our dysfunctional relationships: a get-out-of-jail-free card.
Collecting and disseminating information: that’s all Foley was trying to do. And he paid for it with his life.
By its very nature, apartheid required the virtual militarization of parts of the country. How else could the white minority government impose racial segregation on the majority black population?
It seems the virus was now news in this country because: 1) Americans had been affected; and 2) it had, in effect — according to the breathless headlines — arrived on our shores. (This, despite the two victims being transported in hazmat suits and quarantined in an Atlanta hospital.)
Moral ambiguity is always a tough one. This was a confrontation marked by stunningly bad leadership on both sides — the same leadership that now intends to sit down for peace talks in Cairo.
Of all the myriad bills that Congress didn’t pass this year and issues it didn’t address, one failing stands out in particular for its impact on foreign policy: leaving one-quarter of our 169 embassies without ambassadors.
By the end of last year, civil wars and other violence had forced a mind-numbing 51 million people to flee their homes, according to the United Nations. To put that number into perspective, it’s tantamount to the entire population of South Korea pouring out of the country and decamping to other places.
In an age of instant information, out there has emphatically become here; those people are us; their humanity, ours. Now we watch world events unfold in real time. We are all intimately and immediately connected — for better or worse, as I have come to learn.