Issues / Human Rights

By blaming promordial hatred for the sectarian violence in Iraq, the Bush administration is ignoring the effects of the war and other decisions made by the United States during the occupation that have fueled the violence.
If the budget represents, in Joseph Schumpeter's phrase, "the skeleton of the state stripped of all misleading ideologies" then the Bush administration's current budget reflects the interests of those who would trample on the public-spirited vision of Puritan John Winthrop's image of the "city on a hill."
Many citizens look back over the 20th century and see the Supreme Court championing individual freedoms and standing in the way of government abuse of power. But this is not the case in many issues involving foreign policy, an issue raised when Samuel Alito was appointed to the Supreme Court. It's Congress, not the courts, that needs to step up to exert its Constitutionally-mandated role of checking executive power.
It is customary early in the New Year to recommend good books to read. And the "Tao Te Ching" should be at the top of President Bush's list. Careening from crisis to crisis with approval ratings drooping, the president should consider the opening lines of chapter 80. "If a country is governed wisely, its inhabitants will be content."
Lost amidst the predictably negative reaction to the victory by Hamas in the Palestinian parliamentary elections is the crucial role that the U.S. government had in bringing the radical Islamist group to power.
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