March 8th, 2012

Targeting US citizens abroad

This article seems to sum up the situation where US citizens can be targeted by drones.

Frankly, I'm torn and I think there needs to be a national debate about this. I agree with the Obama administration's decision, but I also think it is a dangerous line to cross.

If, for example a US citizen were to join a foreign military that person would be fair game. But what happens when there is no military to join? When groups don't play by the "accepted" military rules. There has to be a way that we can legitimately claim a citizen has become an enemy combatant. OTOH, what will stop the powers that be from claiming that members of a domestic terrorist group are enemy combatants? Is it simply borders? Do the American ideals of due process stop at the border?

Here is my current line of thinking. Yes, borders matter, but these borders are defined as the places where US rule-of-law is supreme or covered by treaty. If you as an American citizen are engaged in certain activities within places where there is no US protection, then you place yourself at risk. If at any time you surrender and voluntarily come under arrest, then all rights, privileges and consequences should prevail, including if necessary, revocation of your passport. Since the US has an active military and law enforcement under its control, this would not allow the powers-that-be to target American citizens on American soil or elsewhere in cooperating nations.

What say you? I'm willing to be convinced either way.
Ormie love

A million roses to all ladies!

Today is International Women's Day. The 101st one, to be precise. One century and one year ago it all started as a series of demonstrations across Austria, Germany, Switzerland and Denmark as an effort to promote equal rights for women, including suffrage. A century later, we could say that women have made huge strolls towards empowerment and equality. But there is still a lot of work to be done in many corners of the world.

A recent study in The Independent attempted to summarize the issue about the "best and worst" places to be a woman these days. It was done in the form of a compilation of places ranking top in certain aspects of women's rights. Of course it's impossible to say which place is "THE" best for being a woman, because that is a rather complex issue. But maybe we could learn some things from that list.

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