Today, Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) announced she would support the Obama Administration's Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the international agreement to end economic sanctions against Iran in exchange for restrictions imposed on its nuclear program. As the 34th Senator to so announce, Mikulski hands the White House the final Senate vote needed to protect President Obama's veto of Congress's expected rejection of the deal. [more inside]
The legal framework of terrorism has been ... complex. Under the Bush Administration, terrorists were deemd to be "unlawful enemy combatants," and not afforded the protections of the III Geneva Convention. The policy, thought not the name, has continued under the Obama Adminstration, and this indeterminate legal status has significantly complicated efforts to try or release them. However, there is an older legal model that may suffice: piracy. (previously [more inside]
To understand what is at stake we need to make our way through the rhetorical smog. For months prior to the WCIT, the Euro-American press trumpeted warnings that this was to be an epochal clash between upholders of an open Internet and would-be government usurpers, led by authoritarian states like Russia, Iran and China. The terms of reference were set so rigidly that one European telecom company executive called it a campaign of “propaganda warfare” (2). ~ Masters of the Internet, Le Monde Diplomatique
The European Union said Friday that 26 of its 27 member countries are open to joining a new treaty tying their finances together to solve the euro crisis. Only Britain remains opposed, creating a deep rift in the union. In all, just 23 of the 27 EU countries signed on outright to draft a new treaty binding them to a uniform regime of deficit controls and budget regulation. Only one country said no: Britain. Three more say they are open to the idea. [more inside]
The Obama administration's proposed internet sections of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) have been leaked, the analysis says it's very bad. [more inside]
More than 100 nations have reached an agreement on a treaty which would ban current designs of cluster bombs. Naturally, the most militant nations (USA, Russia, China, India, Pakistan) have refused to negotiate (creating significant interoperability issues for allied nations such as the UK to the USA). The Cluster Munition Coalition is an excellent resource about the issue. [more inside]
Because water is a basic need for all life and good health, access to enough safe water, or water security, is defined as a human right by international law. [mostly pdfs]
Quitting Kyoto Though I too was angry when Bush end gang refused to get involved with Kyoto (environmental treaty), I might have let my ant-Bush feelings take over my "better self." Here an expert argues that all the world but the EU knows that the Kyoto treaty is worthless.
The New Frontier- Preparing the law for settling on Mars. "Like the abandoned launch fields [at Cape Canveral], the Outer Space Treaty [of 1967] needs to have its valuable parts salvaged, and the dangerous ones demolished."
Bush plays peacemaker. Having refused to honor several international treaties since taking office, the Bush administration sees itself as a legitimate peace broker. Opinions solicited, is this likely to improve the situation or cause it to deteriorate further?
The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty was in the news 3 and a half years ago when the Senate failed to ratify a treaty we created. Although there have been no formal talks of ratification since, with all that has been happening these days, one can't help but wonder if now is the time to act. Bush mentioned earlier of reducing our nuclear arsenal, but wouldn't ratification be our best solution to control major threats, such as North Korea, Iraq, and Iran?
Just a Reminder That The White House is Occupied by a Clueless, Dangerous Man I'm not sure what to add, except I wish he would just resign. And that I wish the median national IQ would rise into the low 90's.
How to brew up a new cold war: arm up some rivals and burn a treaty in exchange for setting up a global missle defense system. Can anyone find an upside to this story? Why could this be a good thing for the US and the rest of the world?