Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Updated: Read Richard Falk and Marjorie Cohn

UPDATE - just in: I've been looking for a new article by Professor of Law, Marjorie Cohn, for a longtime...here's a winner "The targetted assassination of OBL" here

Be sure also to read the following excerpts and see the articles by International Law Expert, Richard Falk at http://richardfalk.wordpress.com/2011/05/ or GO here

See Obama's Libyan Folly: To be or not to be?
Is the Arab Spring a Black Swan?

"end of Obama's Libyan Folly..."...the limelight during the unfolding of events in the Arab world reveals the two sides of the current American dilemma: it is not yet ready to shed the mantle of imperial overseer in the post-colonial regions of the world, but it is faced with the contradictory pressures of imperial decline and overstretch. This fledgling patriarch can lecture the world, and even manage a military thrust or two, but nothing is sustained, and little achieved. Obama seems to be auditioning to play Hamlet in this unfolding global tragedy. Source; richardfalk.wordpress.com

Also, he has a priceless chapter in the following quintessential book:

"The United States and Torture" edited by Marjorie Cohn, 2011 New York University Press (London, New York) Here is a brief sample:

From chapter 5:
Torture, War, and the Limits of Liberal Legality


(After returning from Vietnam in 1968 with similar reaction to other returns from Vietnam and with parallel battle concerns later):

...What struck me most at the time was the total disinterest of the mainstream media and most of my (liberal) friends in those aspects of my Vietnamese experience that touched on the one-sided nature of the war and its horribly inhumane effects on a ppor peasant society of the sort that existed in Vietnam. This disinterst was as true for journalists who seemed clearly critical of the war, such as Hedrick Smith of the New York Times and Charles Collingwood of CBS, as it was for more conservative and hostile pro-war journalists I encountered, such as Pat Buchanan and William F. Buckley. My liberal academic colleagues at Princeton and elsewhere were eager to hear about my contact with Vietnamese leaders, but not my observations on the fundamentally unacceptable character of such an unequal encounter. Their anti-war concerns were focused on the imprudence, costs, and failure of American policies in Vietnam, but they seemed completely disinterested in the logic and implementations of one-sided warfare...leaving the US free from any risk of retaliation....

(complicating) the American war discourse, not because of its deeply ABUSIVE CHARACTER but because it ended in defeat, resulted in more than 58,000 American combat deaths, exposed the deceptions...of a wartime government and alerted the country FOR AWHILE to the immense dangers of an imperial presidency...

(a few paragraphs down)

...torture is a personalized instance of one-sided violence in which the perpetrator inflicts unspeakable pain while facing no risk of retaliation and is generally insulated from accountability under law....(which) properly causes...moral revulsion.
...There is also a lesser pragmatic form of objection that questions the effectiveness of torture as a means of acquiring reliable information and repudiates torture because of its assault on the professionalism and the morale of the military...

...The prohibition on torture, embodied in the 1984 Convention Against Torture, is probably the most important international agreement in the field of human rights and deserves to be respected, and not cynically manipulated to provide rationalizations for engaging in the very behavior that has been prohibited...

esp. note the way Falk correlates US warfare with torture here:

...In effect, one-sided warfare combines the worst features of torture and terrorism, if the latter is associated, as it should be, with the use and scale of political violence against the innocent.

Richard Falk and others who've contributed to "The United States and Torture" deserve to be read NOW and kept close by...

FIND much more from Falk GO here

IF/when I return to this book I may post at nomorecrusades.blogspot.com

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