Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Syria Human Rights Violations Now War Crimes?

A fascinating debate occurred on CNN's AC360 last night.  Christiane Amanpour and Senator John McCain made a strong argument that Syria's use of chemical weapons on its own people crosses a line from human rights violation into international war crime.  Amanpour compared the situation to Bosnia, where a blind eye was turned to genocide because of a reluctance to commit military assets. Today there is a piece in the Washington Post, Obama should remember Rwanda as he weighs action in Syria, that compares Syria's atrocities to those in Rwanda, and quotes an exchange between Reuters and a spokes person for the state department...

Elsner: “How would you describe the events taking place in Rwanda?”

Shelly: “Based on the evidence we have seen from observations on the ground, we have every reason to believe that acts of genocide have occurred in Rwanda.”

Elsner: “What’s the difference between ‘acts of genocide’ and ‘genocide’?”

Shelly: “Well, I think the — as you know, there’s a legal definition of this. . . . Clearly not all of the killings that have taken place in Rwanda are killings to which you might apply that label. . . . But as to the distinctions between the words, we’re trying to call what we have so far as best as we can; and based, again, on the evidence, we have every reason to believe that acts of genocide have occurred.”

Elsner: “How many acts of genocide does it take to make genocide?”

Shelly: “Alan, that’s just not a question that I’m in a position to answer.”

As President Obama and his advisers look for “more conclusive evidence” that Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad has used chemical weapons against his people, he would do well to remember this shameful moment. The evidence Obama is reviewing first surfaced in December, when the U.S. consul in Istanbul sent a cable detailing interviews with victims and observers of an attack in Homs just before Christmas and concluding that it was likely that the Syrian government had used chemical weapons.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Questions About the Boston Bombings

Unfortunately with the Boston bombings, there will likely never be a satisfactory answer to the question 'why?' However, Time does do a good job in summarizing some of the most pressing questions that do need to be answered about recent attacks. Four Enduring Mysteries About the Boston Bombings

Did They Really Act On Their Own? During his initial interrogation, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev reportedly said that he and his brother Tamerlan acted alone, motivated by anger over America’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and that they learned how to construct their bombs online. Officials have disclosed no evidence to the contrary, but there are hints of a more complex plot. By some accounts, their bomb detonators–exploded via remote controllers for toy cars–required a sophistication that the Tsarnaev brothers didn’t otherwise show when, for instance, they failed to wear disguises to the marathon site, or when they carelessly allowed a hostage to escape. “There was some outside counsel to these individuals on how to build and how to detonate,” House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers told Fox News last week, although a national security source also told Fox that the toy-car detonator is not a known al Qaeda technique.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Support for the Boston Bombing Victims

Last night on Boston's channel 4, Johnathan Elias mentioned that he just talked to a women who lost a foot in the Boston Marathon bombing. She's already looking at what prosthetic will work best for her, but they are very expensive. To compound the problem she'll likely be out of work for quite some time. Hadn't considered this until last night, but sounds like many of the victims have particularly expensive injuries that will need multiple surgeries and expensive prosthetics.

So if you're able... One Fund Boston was established to help the victims of the bombing. As the Mayor of Boston reported, "Within an hour, I had calls from business leaders and local philanthropists who, like me, were heartbroken by the impact this hideous tragedy has had on individuals, their families, and friends. And they want to do everything they can to help these people physically and psychologically in the future."


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Stephen Colbert Talks Boston...

Stephen Colbert: "Boston was founded by the Pilgrims. A people so tough they had to buckle their g**d*** hats on."

Monday, April 1, 2013

Rambling Web - New Blog Launch

A new blog Rambling Web Blog is preparing to launch. While still in the experimental phase, Rambling Web brings fun, interesting information to the reader. A family friendly G-rated site that posts unique content from around the web. Whether it is famous quotes, classic television clips, nature videos, cute/funny animals, or original stories, Rambling Web brings upbeat, light-hearted posts to the viewer.