Archive for January, 2007

Bush’s SOTU: Annotated
24 January 2007

President George Bush gave his 2007 State of the Union address on January 23. While the speech covered many domestic issues, Bush also laid out his foreign policy approach to Iraq, Iran, terrorism, and democracy promotion. Excerpts from the president’s speech are in italics; my comments follow.

Somalia as a Military Target: Updated
14 January 2007

The U.S.-backed Ethiopian invasion of Somalia and subsequent U.S. air strikes and naval blockade against that east African country mark another dangerous chapter in the Bush administration’s war against Islamic nations. And, despite no authorization from Congress for the United States to become engaged in that country’s civil war and despite the failure of President Bush to consult with Congress as required by the War Powers Act, the new Democratic leadership in Congress apparently has no objections to this dangerous and illegal escalation.

Annotate This: Escalation in Iraq
11 January 2007

On January 10, George W. Bush finally delivered a speech on his new Iraq policy. Originally planned for before Christmas, the plan’s chief element—an increase in U.S. soldiers on the ground—received much criticism and was therefore postponed. The speech has already drawn negative responses from senior House Democrats, who have vowed to block funding for the increase in troops, from the American public, 61% of whom oppose the build-up, and was skeptically received by some key Republicans. The Arab world, too, has voiced doubts about the plan.

Saddam’s Execution
1 January 2007

The execution of Saddam Hussein, though he was undeniably guilty of a notorious series of crimes against humanity, represents a major setback in the pursuit of justice in Iraq. The trial and the sentence were both problematic. The opportunity for future trials, and to present evidence of U.S. complicity in some of Saddam’s crimes, has been lost. And the overall message — that leaders face justice only if they run afoul of U.S. authority – undermines international legal norms.