The Global Citizen
Today, October 24, is United Nations Day. This day should remind all of us of our nation's important relationship with the only global forum where all countries can work together to solve the problems that we cannot solve alone.
If you think about it the U.S. and the U.N. are sort of like an old married couple.
Sometimes stepping away from politics and looking at the big picture is a wonderful thing. I was grateful to be able attend the presentation of the Congressional Gold Medal to the Dalai Lama in the Rotunda last week. It was a moving experience to watch this humble man being honored in our nation's capitol.
The drumbeat for war with Iran has been banging for a few years now. Last week, beginning with President Bush's 'diplomatic' comments about "World War III," the rhetoric really seemed to heat up; and sadly so.
The former head of Mozambique, President Joaquim Chissano, is the first winner of the Mo Ibrahim prize for governance; an award financed by and named after the prominent Sudanese cell phone millionaire. The cash prize of $5 million over 10 years and then $200,000 per year is awarded to the top former African leader of the past three years. Mr. Ibrahim is essentially trying to create incentives for good governance among African leaders.
Few things are guaranteed in this life. Off the top of my head: Death, taxes, Yankees in pinstripes, and Cliff Kincaid railing against black helicopter-flying, baby blue beret-wearing, UN-supporting, liberal globalists.
According to GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, ratifying the Law of the Sea treaty would be "the dumbest thing we've ever done. It's like taking our sovereignty and handing it over to some international tribunal. What's wrong with us?" And based on his recent interview with Glenn Beck, he's not too keen on international law in general. Don't believe me, or just a glutton for punishment, take a look for yourself...
On Wednesday, President Bush's Attorney General nominee Michael Mukasey reaffirmed our nation's commitment to international justice and the rule of law as it relates to U.S. interrogation policy.
Check out AIUSA's ad in today's USA Today:
One year ago today, Congress passed the Military Commissions Act. With it, founding principles of the U.S. Constitution were discarded in the name of fighting terror. The Act made it lawful to hold prisoners indefinitely without charge or trial, to assume guilt before innocence, to blur the definition of torture, and to use information obtained through brutal treatment as 'evidence.' Other governments, including the British during America's founding, have tried to exert control in similar ways. It didn't work then and it doesn't work now.
Is America safer when we undo the Constitution? Those with first-hand experience of torture, such as Senator John McCain, believe it is not only wrong but counter-productive. This and other abuses erode America's moral standing in the world. Strong evidence suggests that they even serve as a recruiting tool for those using terror and provide convenient cover for anyone else abusing human rights.
Amar is a terrific writer/blogger for the Washington Post. He recently headed on "walk about" to pick up the vibe on the global street. His reports have been really interesting and well worth reading. Today he suggests that the simple act of listening to what our friends and allies around the world are saying could be a big help - see here for more details.
Our friend and colleague Mike Otterman is on Tavis Smiley this a.m.
Wednesday, October 17, 8:30am
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