Please follow this blog – I want to build it up! I’ll be on This Is Hell Radio this –

Saturday at some point between 11 AM – 12 PM, EST. More precise info to follow when I get it. Follow button is on right, down the page. Thank you.

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Open Letter to DNC – Blame Yourselves, not Sanders, in November

Dear DNC:

You know NOW that Sanders is actually very likely more electable than Clinton, and that he’d be polling even better without your and Big Media’s thumbs on the scale for Clinton. You know NOW that thousands of Sanders supporters have pledged NOT to vote for Clinton if she’s nominated (here and here). Yet you persist in promoting Clinton. You persist in not letting the primaries play out so that voters may decide. If Clinton loses in November, don’t blame Sanders’ supporters (the way you blamed Nader supporters in 2000), who have made clear that they are opposed to Big Money in politics (for which Clinton is the poster child) and have demonstrated that a candidate can get widespread funding, from small donors, without selling out. Your conduct is the definition of “reckless.”

If Clinton loses in November, you will have only yourselves to blame. 

Best,

Brian J. Foley

Dealing With Dictators – Payoffs vs. Punishment – Spare the Rod, Spare the Children

(FROM 2011, discussed recently on This Is Hell!)

As the U.S. and others quickly moved to bomb Libya, I wondered why we just didn’t offer to “buy out” Qaddafi. Offer him a billion dollars and asylum and immunity from prosecution for war crimes (the sort of immunity our own leaders enjoy, de facto) if he would just get out.

If Qaddafi refuses the offer that no reasonable person could refuse, well, then, perhaps, there could be limited but escalating uses of force against him, with the offer remaining open.

This sort of deal would avoid the killing and maiming of soldiers and innocent civilians. It would also save hardworking taxpayer dollars.  It would avoid all the other disorders and destruction that military action brings. It would foster a peaceful transition to a better government.

I’m not the first person to make such a suggestion. Here’s a link to a blog that discussed, in 2007, the idea of buying out Saddam Hussein.

So, why not play Let’s Make a Deal?

Some people would object, saying that we need to “punish” Qaddafi.  My response is that we can’t punish everyone we would like to punish. “Punishing Qaddafi” means killing innocent people, including, of course, children. Who wants that?

So rather than hold our nose and make the “tough decision” to order airstrikes that will kill innocents, why not instead hold our nose and forego punishing Qaddafi? I’d rather see him walk free than see a little girl get her legs blown off.

Another objection is that this would “incentivize” other leaders to treat their people terribly, to win this “payday.” My response is that this is fatuous.  The leader who embarks on a program of oppression risks being killed by his or her own people. And such a leader might not even get approached by U.S. officials  if such a deal isn’t in the U.S. interest (read: the country has no oil).  Moreover, the sad fact is that the U.S. already has a history of “incentivizing” despots … to repress their own people.  Here, we’d be paying them not to.

Some of the objections would have the benefit of revealing the ugly nature of modern, U.S. warmaking. One would be that the various private, corporate contractors such as Halliburton and Lockheed Martin, who profit wildly from war, would not get their expected windfall (blood money).  We would see their lobbyists and bought-and-paid-for think tank mouthpieces and the craven U.S. officials who are in their pockets try to squash any deal that would promote peaceful resolution.

We’d also see mainstream, corporate media pooh-pooh talk of such a buyout as “unrealistic” — because war is much more exciting. It brings in bigger audiences and advertising dollars.

But what’s more realistic? The belief that we can bomb despots out of their own countries – and without killing innocent people, without creating disorder, without losing our own troops, and without spending a fortune? Or the belief that sleazy tyrants such as Qaddafi have their price?

Why No Process to Test Obama’s Case for Bombing Syria?

Here are three links to pieces I’ve written on how we need, internationally and nationally, to create processes for testing claims for war.  Let’s start a movement!

http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/10/10/a-dangerous-lack-of-rigor/

http://jurist.org/forum/2006/05/limiting-war-by-process-congress-un.php

http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1202882

Here’s a downloadable article: Foley Avoiding War

I discussed this issue today on the great Chicago radio show “This Is Hell” with Chuck Mertz. Here’s the link: http://thisishell.net/shows/765/#.Ui0t9ry8oeM

cross-posted on brianjfoley.net

Biden – Ryan Debate

What a great debate. I’m mulling over each candidate’s positions. They both have lots of really good ideas for America. It will be a really tough choice. I will keep thinking about this until November 6. I will keep watching the debates and commercials and will save up to donate money to my favorite candidate.