Monday Mash-up

  • Listened to General David H. Petraeus on NPR this morning. Good interview as part of the overdue public affairs campaign that the Administration itself is probably wise to stay out of. (includes good awareness building of the complexity of the operation, that includes attributes of COIN, CT, and counter-gang/crime operations)
  • Dance Dance Revolution for Middle School fitness? (free sub req'd) Pathetic. Where's the range of motion? Stability exercises? Upper body fitness? Endurance? Get them outside... argh.
  • Opinio Juris finds SCOTUS's ruling in Hamdan v Rumsfeld case to be flawed:

    The Court’s holding and reasoning in Hamdan are unclear on one crucial issue: whether the United States is legally engaged in an armed conflict with the al Qaeda terrorist organization. Why is this issue so important? Well, the entire legal strategy of the Bush administration depends on it, both internationally and domestically, as vastly different rules of international and constitutional law apply in war and outside of it...

    ...the Court (1) cites an authority in support of a proposition to which it is actually contrary; (2) quotes that authority selectively; and (3) ‘borrows’ both the citation and the quotation from the Jinks, Goodman and Slaughter amicus brief. The story doesn’t end here, however, as the Justices did not only filch citations from the brief but also relied on it substantively. Yet, as I’ll show in my next post, they did so while failing to distinguish between the several alternative arguments presented in that brief. Instead of opting for one of them, they made an unintelligible mish-mash of all of them, leading to contradictions within the Opinion of the Court itself.

  • The United States continues to be self-evident in the eyes of the government. We're not talking about who we are and what we stand for, but the promotion of the US as a tourist destination. How else do you explain "the U.S. Department of Commerce has budgeted $3.9 million this year for marketing the country to international tourists. Malaysia will spend $117.9 million; Tunisia, $43 million; and Turkey, $80 million"? New York and Las Vegas spend "spend tens of millions" to attract tourists. DoC must think they don't need to... wrong. I suppose it's part of a larger strategy as the US continues to make it difficult and uncomfortable for people to get into this country.
  • PIPA released a public opinion poll that, among other things, reiterates that the United States is still well regarded and admired for its science and technology. For more discussion on the survey, see Marc Lynch's post, but you at least go to the PIPA page to see the charts yourself.

    There is strong support for enhancing the role of Islam in all of the countries polled, through such measures as the imposition of sharia (Islamic law). This does not mean that they want to isolate their societies from outside influences: Most view globalization positively and favor democracy and freedom of religion

  • Eddie shared an excerpt of John McCain on Fox rejecting Tenet's position on torture. This reminded me of an exchange on this blog last year on Powell letter's to McCain on morality (more here).