In the echoing words of the late Susan Sontag: "Let's by all means grieve together, but let's not be stupid together." She wrote that to Americans after 9/11. It applies maybe quadruple after the Boston bombings -- and to us as well.
One day last week, I was in a Shawarma shop as the wall-to-wall TV coverage of the Boston manhunt provided the soundscape for lunch. The gentleman behind the counter and I exchanged words of sadness about the sickness infecting those who would commit the kind of violence we saw at the end of the world-famous marathon.
Pakistan's Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar has called on the US to immediately end its "unlawful" and "counterproductive" assassination drone strikes in her country.
The foreign minister made the statement in an interview with Press TV, after arriving in the Iranian capital Tehran for the 16th summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).
The killing of Pakistani civilians, including women and children, in drone strikes has strained relations between Islamabad and Washington, prompting Pakistani officials to send warnings to the US administration over the assaults.
The UN and the Pakistani government have condemned the US use of combat drones as a blatant violation of international law.
With student activists away for summer vacation, it was the perfect occasion in late July for Carleton University to celebrate a new $40-million war-training contract. In partnership with war manufacturer CAE, Carleton's Visualization and Simulation Centre will enable Canadian Forces to better practice, in the coarse but memorable phrase of former Canadian warlord Rick Hillier, the fine art of killing people.
In a moment that would have done Orwell proud, Carleton President Roseann O'Reilly Runte gushed: "This is about saving lives. This is about saving money." On hand for the announcement was Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, who boasted this war-training partnership will advance "Canada's security interests and...Canadian values around the world."
I don't think there's anything shocking or implausible about Canadian Olympic athletes Christine Sinclair and Melissa Tancredi suggesting the ref in their soccer semifinal was in the tank for the U.S. and would wear an American jersey to bed that night. She called what amounted to a non-existent foul at a crucial point. You have to go back to 2002 to find another instance. There's no good explanation for it, which amounts to a licence to speculate on why she really made the call.
The first time the phrase "war on terror" was used was when George W. Bush linked the same phrase to the word "crusade". He declared in September 2001: "This crusade -- this war on terrorism -- is going to take a while..." He was talking about the response of the American administration to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. He prepared the ground for the shocked American public for a long war against militant Islamists.