Thursday, February 07, 2008

What's Angelina Jolie Doing In Iraq?

Angelina Jolie was recently in Iraq to improve efforts to help internally displaced refugees. More than 4.2 million Iraqis have fled their homes, 2 million of which to neighboring states. Jolie has also been vocal about boosting the U.S. effort to resettle Iraqi refugees in the United States. A goal has been set of accepting 12,000 Iraqi refugees by September of 2008 but only 375 have been accepted so far.

We should all agree that there is a certain moral responsibility for helping refugees. My question to everyone else: Because of the U.S. involvement in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, does the United States bear a greater moral responsibility to accept these refugees than refugees from other countries? If so, what implications does this have, if any, on asylum policy?

So Waterboarding is not Torture Now?

For those of you who don't know what waterboarding is -- it is essentially simulating drowning. One form is strapping someone to a board, putting a cloth over the face and pouring water over their mouth until they can't breathe.
So, is this torture? If you don't think so, what don't you try it?

So let's get to the facts. The White House has admitted and defended the CIA's use of waterboarding as an interrogation technique.
Let's remember, that the U.S signed the Convention Against Torture (CAT), and that almost every legal authority views waterboarding as torture and a crime.

So where does that leave us as Americans? Where does this leave our government? Are we okay with the fact that the U.S. government (or more specifically the CIA) is torturing in our name? How does this effect our credibility elsewhere? How does it effect our perceptions of ourselves?

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

"Darfur Can Wait. Let's Save America."

Isn't facebook fantastic? Below, I have pasted a description from a facebook group with the above title. I have pasted, rather than created a livelink, to protect the identity of the group members. What do you guys think about this? Are we spending too many of our resources on non-Americans? Should we, as this group suggests, take care of business at home before extending ourselves to other people in need?