Foreign Policy

The Primate Diaries

Category archives for Foreign Policy

Obama May Have Death Panels After All

What happens when a Nobel Peace Prize winner breaks international law in the rules of war? The world may find out as increased attention is being focused on the use of unmanned military drones that are carrying out assassinations of suspected militants in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Philip Alston, United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Executions,…

In Aztec cosmology, Venus was associated with the god Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli (Nahuatl for “Lord of the Dawn”). In the mythic tale Legend of the Suns, Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli attempted to shoot the sun with an arrow, but he missed and shot himself instead. The Aztecs had a sophisticated science of astronomy that focused on the movements of Venus…

In a huge breaking story, The New York Times is reporting today that the CIA, with Bush administration authorization, used the private military firm Blackwater (who changed their name to Xe Services after controversy erupted when contractors killed Iraqi civilians) in a program intended to hunt down and assassinate suspected Al Qaeda militants. Congress was…

Japanese artists’ depiction of the horrors at Hiroshima.Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum On August 6, 1945 the United States dropped “Little Boy,” the first of only two nuclear bombs ever used in warfare, on the Japanese civilians at Hiroshima. In an instant flash of light an estimated 140,000 people were either incinerated or suffered an agonizing…

In 1996 Cornell astrophysicist and science popularizer Carl Sagan posed the question, “What are conservatives conserving?” It was not something he asked lightly. The question appeared in his final book following a prolonged battle with bone marrow disease. Faced with his own mortality, he wanted to understand the individuals whose actions, whether consciously or not,…

The Domino Theory Returns, in Afghanistan

In the 1960s military strategists promoted the “domino theory” as a rationale for why the United States needed to intervene in what later turned out to be a Vietnamese civil war. The logic was that, as communist influence extended from Russian and China, every country that fell before the “Reds” would perpetuate yet another country…