Month: April 2016 (Page 2 of 2)

Exclusive: Greek far-right organising violent anti-refugee rallies

“Greece belongs to Greeks!”

Shouts rang out at a demonstration held by far-right Greeks protesting against refugees last weekend in Piraeus, a port city south of Greek capital Athens. More troubling was the chant, “Knife into the heart of every antifascist!” That chant would be taken into action with fists and clubs.

In Greece there are still over 50,000 refugees and migrants are trapped by the closed borders, with over 4,000 having waited in the port of Piraeus for over 2 months. The Greek far-right sees increasing numbers of refugees as an opportunity for gatherings and pushes the agenda “Against the Islamisation of Europe.” Similar anti-migrant gatherings are being organised all over the Greece lately.

“We are many hundreds here today and this is just a beginning. Our heroes who were fighting against Islam once are the ones leading us,” spokeperson for Greek parliamentary neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn Ilias Kasidiaris stated from an improvised stage, where the slogan “Stop Islam” was written.

Just an hour before Greek rightists reportedly carried out an attack, led by Golden Dawn MPs Yiannis Lagos and Ilias Kasidiaris. They attacked the group of anti-fascists who gathered to protest a Golden Dawn rally. Among those attacked were also journalists, including

Read More

How abortion laws that force women to give birth to babies with severe disabilities hurts families

The midwestern U.S. state of Indiana recently banned abortion based on sex, following in the footsteps of Oklahoma, Arizona, Kansas, North Dakota, but the state also added a ban on abortions on the basis of disability. These add to over 200 restrictions put on abortion rights at the state level between 2011 and 2015, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a think tank that supports abortion rights.

Katherine McHugh, an obstetrician/gynecologist in Indianapolis, agreed to let Bombs and Dollars share an op-ed she wrote about why this law will hurt patients and families:
Even after years of education, training and experience as an obstetrician/gynecologist, I am never prepared to deliver the news that a pregnancy is abnormal. There is no good way to tell a pregnant woman — a woman who may already be wearing maternity clothes, thinking about names and decorating the nursery — that we have identified a fetal anomaly that can lead to significant, lifelong disability or even her baby’s death.

In such situations, physicians have two responsibilities. First, we must always be supportive of the mother or family who has suddenly been confronted with the loss of an imagined ideal pregnancy and child. And second, we help them understand that they have options, one of which is the termination of the pregnancy.

Unfortunately, that’s no longer the case here in Indiana. A new law signed by Gov. Mike Pence (R) punishes doctors if they perform abortions for women because of their fetus’s race or sex, or after a diagnosis of disability. Indiana’s state government is intruding on the doctor-patient relationship at one of its most vulnerable, sensitive times. Which means that not only does the new law encroach on women’s rights to control their own reproduction, it is also bad medicine.

Indiana already has one of the harshest laws in effect on mandated counselling, one of four states that forces women who want an abortion to undergo in-person counseling in advance.

Indiana already has one of the harshest laws in effect on mandated counselling, one of five states that forces women who want an abortion to undergo in-person counseling in advance.

As a mother as well as a doctor, I am acutely aware of the intensity and fear of the unknown inherent in pregnancy and childbirth. Indiana now expects women who live here to experience them without trusting their doctors’ knowledge and with strict limits on how doctors may treat patients — limits driven not by science or research, but by politics.

Supporters of the new law, such as Pence, say the measure “affirms the value of all human life.” And yes, some women do choose to carry abnormal pregnancies to term. I am honored to care for them and their babies. I have held and comforted babies as they died, because their mothers were too grief-stricken to bear it. I have cried with families as we watched their babies breathe their last breath.

Not every woman can handle such horror. In the United States,

Read More

Bill Clinton and Barack Obama break from liberal political correctness

Anti-Clinton pushback proves how far political correctness has pushed the left since 1992.

Matt Lewis writes, in his new book Too Dumb to Fail, that “neither of [the bases of both parties] want to hear hard truths and both … demand pandering. And so, a politician who stands up to his or her own base and attempts his or her ‘Sister Souljah moment’ … is more often than not punished for being courageous.”

Bill Clinton’s argument with #BlackLivesMatter protesters at a rally last week proves that point. Interrupted by protesters angry with Hillary Clinton’s public support of Bill’s crime bill—and in particular with Hillary’s 1996 reference to the then-popular phrase “super-predators” to describe young violent criminals—Bill responded that his anti-crime policies cut crime.

“I don’t know how you would describe the gang leaders who got 13-year-olds hopped up on crack and sent them out in the streets to murder other African-American children,” he said. “Maybe you thought they were good citizens. She didn’t. You are defending the people who kill the lives you say matter.”

Clinton’s comments point to a problem with the #BlackLivesMatter movement. As their emphasis has been focused on the lives of convicted criminals (“mass incarceration”) and suspects like Michael Brown, who, in many cases had resisted arrest or gotten into physical altercations, they have ignored larger problems. Michael Brown, in fact, having robbed a convenience store, was one of the very people who had contributed to a level of crime in his community that his innocent neighbors bear the burden of.

Needless to say, however, Democratic Party activists didn’t want to hear any of it. Hillary Clinton had to deal with negative headlines from liberal commentary outlets. Slate’s Michelle Goldberg called on Bill to step away from Hillary’s campaign. Bernie Sanders called on Hillary to apologize.

Meanwhile, Barack Obama, who seems to have taken his lame-duck status with joyful relief, spoke out, as forcefully as a nuanced Obama could, against recent politically correct controversies at universities.

“I’ve heard of some college campuses where they don’t want to have a guest speaker who is too conservative. Or they don’t want to read a book if it has language that is offensive to African-Americans, or somehow sends a demeaning signal towards women. I’ve got to tell you, I don’t agree with that either. I don’t agree that you, when you become students at colleges, have to be coddled and protected from different points of view. Anybody who comes to speak to you and you disagree with, you should have an argument with them. But you shouldn’t silence them.”

It is likely

Read More

Weekly Reading List: So, I got published in War on the Rocks and Nottspolitics

Big week, as I mentioned before, with a couple of major publications coming, other than my regular columns.

To start with, the biggest one till date, my essay on War on the Rocks, where I write a Neo-Realist critique of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s latest revisionist history lesson. And was then called a Neo-Con for some reason, in the comments. But that’s another issue.

The second big one was my guest post at the official blog of the University of Nottingham, Dept of Politics and IR, where I talk about a foreign policy course for Philippines and how it should balance between China and US.

Other than that, here are my weekly columns.

Read More

Sanders: Anti-trade by any other name

Sanders would end trade with China, if he is being logically honest

Isolationists don’t like being called “isolationists.” An isolationist will tell you they just want South Korea to pay more for its defense or that World War II ended 70 years ago, and that he isn’t an isolationist, he’s just an “non-interventionist.” (See my article on Rand Paul’s isolationism.)

So it is that when the New York Daily News asked Bernie Sanders about trade (Daily News interview analysis), he went to great lengths to explain he isn’t anti-trade.

“I’m not anti-­trade. We live in a global economy, we need trade.” … “So I think we need trade.” … “In other words, I do believe in trade.”

But are his pleas on the matter, like those of a certain candidate on the size of his “hands,” meant to mask a real truth?

Read More

Rand Paul, Obama, Sanders and Trump cannot possibly all be Realists

ROUND TWO OF “THE DONALD AND REALISM” ACADEMIC DEBATE:

Over the week the academic feud of categorisation of The Donald’s foreign policy entered round two.

Couple of weeks back, readers will remember, there was a twitter debate if Donald Trump’s foreign policy is realist, which bordered around three basic points,

  1. His actual policy, if it is even coherent or not.
  2. His Realist tendencies.
  3. His understanding of Realism.

Stephen Walt and Dan Drezner, both subsequently wrote about it.

Read More

Bern-ed out…

Then it comes to be that the soothing light at the end of your tunnel, is just a freight train coming your way – Metallica 


 

We have often heard that we are obsessed with Trump. We’re not, ofcourse. Really. We’re not obsessed with Donnie Littlefinger at all. But yes, in this election cycle, we have sometimes given undue attention to Trump, as our incredulity turned to shock to borderline panic, but is now slowly returning to a careful equilibrium, as we realise that the majority of American people have not given in to the vile, race baiting, nativist demagoguery.   We didn’t pay that much attention to the other side, after all Dems are supposed to be the “normal” ones in this election cycle, right? Not like the crazy bunch on the other wise having a d measuring contest…literally.

Wrong.

After the trainwreck of an interview of Bernie Sanders, which was analysed here by my colleague and co-editor, I thought of exclusively doing a post of Bernie memes, after all with followers like the ones Bernie has, its easier to hammer a point home with memes than words and maths, most of which will be too difficult for them to comprehend anyway.

2But, it gave me a headache. I started following his twitter feed, till I couldn’t distinguish it from parody anymore, and realised, if I even try to ascribe a coherent policy it would be an injustice to the discipline of economics.

So, I chose the best FP bits for your entertainment. Please have a few bottles of Merlot right next to you. You’ll need it.

Read More

Sanders’ political revolution: Powered by wishes

Donald Trump says that he will make Apple assemble its iPhones in America. Bernie Sanders “wishes” they would. Sanders seems a little bit less authoritarian about how he would try to get it to happen, but at the end of the day his plan is no less fantastical.

In an interview with the New York Daily News editorial board, the socialist candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination put his ignorance on display on issue after issue. Like a candidate who says, “Mexico will pay for it,” Sanders appeared to think his words alone will make something happen. Unlike Trump, Sanders was humble enough to admit multiple times he didn’t know the answers.

“I don’t know if the Fed has it [the authority to break up big banks],” he said. The lawsuit that found the government didn’t have the authority to bring Metropolitan Life under financial regulation is “not something I have studied,” even though the legal implications could stifle Sanders’ ambitious regulatory plans. Are there any actual laws on which to prosecute Wall Street bankers for activities that led to the 2008 financial crisis, as Sanders says he will do? “I suspect that there are. Yes.” Throughout the interview Sanders admitted to ignorance about multiple important topics before stating his passionately held assumptions.

This was Sanders’ first attempt to explain how he would actually be able to implement his “revolutionary” ideas. He didn’t appear to know how to they would get done.

This is important, because

Read More

The future of nuclear security post-Obama: A report on the final Nuclear Security Summit

Absence of Iran and Russia & the Czech complacence.

Approaching the end of his presidential term, Barack Obama convened leaders from over 50 countries for the final Nuclear Security Summit. The March 31-April 1 Washington gathering marks the end of a high-level diplomatic process with roots stretching back to the 2009 Obama´s Prague Summit speech.  In light of contemporary narratives of terrorists´ willingness to hijack unguarded nuclear materials, or target nuclear sites, a wide participation of all vital players became a sine qua non of securing vulnerable substances. The absence of representatives from Russia and Iran casts doubts on the undertaking´s future success.

As a part of his 2009 Prague speech, President Obama articulated his concerns regarding nuclear proliferation and insufficient security of hitherto acquired materials. His address initiated a series of summits aimed at safeguarding existing nuclear supply, including the minimisation of the use of highly enriched uranium (HEU), participation in international organisations, and prevention and detection of illegal trafficking of materials indispensable for the weapon-creation. Recent stagnation and lack of improvement coupled with the 2016 non-participation of key actors in the endeavour not only highlight the flawed architecture of the process, but also contributed to the loss of momentum and might render the previous achievements futile.

Together administering the vast majority of the total global stock, involvement of Russia is an essence for any significant political breakthrough to be achieved. Its absence has been officially blamed on “shortage of mutual cooperation on agenda”; even though the rationale seems to lie in Russia’s desire to demonstrate the deadlock inevitably resulting from the failure to recognize the country´s rejuvenated position in the world.

Regardless of the genuine reason for Russia’s decision to boycott the summit, it will undoubtedly have repercussions capable of stalling, if not outright undermining the progress. Recent comeback of Russia to the leaders’ club and the use of other than hard-power instruments to manipulate system for own benefit manifests the position the country has asserted, as much as its ability to influence and steer the course of events. Similar empty chair crises had in the past served to teach a lesson of no bright prospects of advancement without the absentee.  While the U.S. administration speaks of the missed opportunity for Russia and slipping further into isolation, Obama must be well aware that chances for considerable change in nuclear security domain wane as his term slowly draws to the close, and Russia´s assistance would have enhanced future outlooks.

As Obama declared preceding the gathering, “…we’ll remain vigilant to ensure that Iran fulfils its commitments.” Not inviting Iran to the summit puts the fervor of commitment to the test.

Read More

Bombs and Dollars announces our endorsement of Trump (Note the date of this post)

With the Republican primary coming close to its conclusion, Bombs and Dollars has decided to go public with our endorsement. By now we have had enough time to analyze the candidates, and this is our conclusion: We endorse Donald Trump not just for the Republican nomination but also for president of the United States of America.

This might come as a surprise to readers who have seen our previous coverage of Trump, but we believe Trump’s recent decisions to act more presidential–such as his tweet about Ted Cruz’s wife–have conclusively affirmed that he is the best choice.

At a time when China is building islands and air strips with ever quicker intensity in the South China Sea, the U.S. needs a tough president who will pull out troops from neighboring countries.

With North Korea becoming ever more provocative, there is no better time than now to leave the status of America’s commitment to defending East Asian allies in question. Entertaining the idea of further nuclear proliferation in Korea and Japan would be a great boost to stability in the region.

Russia’s annexation of Crimea and troublemaking in Ukraine prove now, more than ever, that there is no need for NATO, and the continuing ISIS attacks on Europe–which Trump says only he can stop–are further evidence of the need to disengage from Europe.

Finally, Trump’s domestic policies provide a little bit of everything to everyone, depending on what day of the week it is.

If, by now, you have not been convinced to join us in supporting Donald Trump for president, then take a look at the calendar. Happy April Fool’s Day.

Page 2 of 2

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén

Get the most important and interesting articles right at your inbox. Sign up for B+D periodic emails.