Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Abdulmutallab too
The Obama admin caved. They're not going to hold Mohammed's trial in NYC anymore, which really shows yet another incredible lack of political backbone. But I digress. Apparently, too many people found it unpalatable for him to be tried in NYC, which for myself I see as a very proper venue. It would show that we're not afraid to face our past demons.
(And of course, any event like this can't go without its mention of the most recent big, bad, scary terror plot- this time in the form of the "Underwear Bomber". Dianne Feinstein, a senator from California, stated-
"Without getting into classified details, I believe we should view the attempted Christmas Day plot as a continuation, not an end, of plots to strike the United States by al-Qaeda and its affiliates," (!!!!) "Moreover, New York City has been a high-priority target since at least the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993. The trial of the most significant terrorist in custody would add to the threat."
I find it quite hilarious that people actually think this kid who couldn't even light the bomb right was actually part of al Qaeda. We're talking about the organization that managed to coordinate attacks on some of the most famous landmarks in the US, not to mention plan and execute simultaneous attacks on embassies thousands of miles apart. And this kid, who had a bomb that wouldn't even take out his own seat, is representative of their organization?! Yeah, sure.)
Anyway, back to Mohammed. A bunch of people have been protesting trying Mohammed in NYC- or anywhere on US soil. Why? Well, you never know- it just might be that American values might forever be undermined if we were to take this incredibly drastic step.
Of course, this move is not without precedent. Bush also tried al Qaeda and other terror suspects- in civilian courts. 87 terror suspects, in fact. And (just an interesting little tidbit), Bill O'Reilly (one of the most outspoken voices against trying Mohammed on US soil) vigorously defended Bush's decision to allow these trials to move forward!
Healthcare and Scott Brown
Scott Brown the Republican Liberal won Massachusets, and thereby ensured that a watered-down version of healthcare reform will get through. I say watered down because he does want socialized healthcare, but just doesn't think the current plan will adequately fix things.
I happen to agree with him on the latter point. But I also happen to think we don't need another plan. I think his idea that individual states should take care of healthcare (though he seems to only half-heartedly believe in that, at best) is a good one, not to mention Constitutional.
'Course, Obama has already decided his healthcare bill ain't doing so hot, and has switched to other issues, probably in an attempt to dispel murmurs against him in the Democratic phalanx. (I think his time could be better spent trying to get DOMA or the PATRIOT act repealed, like he promised.
Middle Eastern Issues
So we're toughening sanctions on Iran (and planning to launch missiles at them), Karzai is reaching out to the Taliban, an imam got shot by American troops in Kabul, and the Brits are doing investigations into Tony Blair's (Former Prime Minister of the UK) conduct concerning Iraq.
To start with Iran- I have to wonder what morality we're appealing to that gives us the right to impose sanctions on anyone, especially someone who is innocent. And Iran, to all appearances, is innocent. Ahmadinejad has repeatedly stated that they don't have nukes, have never had nukes, and have no intention of having nukes anytime in the near future.
And, lets face it, sanctions do very little except make third-world countries even worse off. Cuba, a country that has had sanctions against it for years (while we simultaneously do business with them) is no closer to getting rid of Communism now than it was ten years ago. The people are starving, but our lofty goals of ridding the world of evil...mm, well not much progress. That is all sanctions do, in any case- rid the average people of food and supplies they need to survive.
Karzai, our lovely puppet-President in Afghanistan is opening peace/"moving forward" talks. At least he's trying. In fact, the Taliban (with the interesting stipulation that they must be "moderate" Taliban) is invited to said talks.
And the Brits are investigating Tony Blair, their former Prime Minister. Why? Because of Iraq, and his ardent support of it (and his friend, Bushie). I applaud the Brits for their ability to do so. I think we ought to do the same thing to Bush, but that might just be me. Of course, we lack the British capability to detach ourselves from our emotional turmoil. It might not work here.
Corporate Campaign Contributions?
As most of you probably know, the Supreme Court declared unconstitutional a 2001 ban (Feingold-McCain) on corporate campaign contributions. I agree. Sort of, and let me explain.
I see nothing wrong with corporations exercising the first amendment right to free speech, which includes using money as leverage in a political campaign. But I also think that voters should be informed enough to watch where their prospective elected officials are getting their money.
Hence, if prospective Senator Ronald McDonald has gotten $200,000 in campaign donations from McDonalds, it might be wise for voters to wonder if there is some sort of ulterior connection between said Ronald McDonald and McDonalds, and decide their vote accordingly.
I can't help thinking there was something else I needed to cover. Oh well. I'm going to be doing a post on the President's State of the Union sometime this week...a week after he gave the speech. But it should be up here soon. :)