Is there another alternative to paying tribute to Somali pirates, other than sending a huge naval expedition force to route the pirates out of their lairs? Congressman Ron Paul (R-Texas) believes the Constitution’s long-neglected “marque and reprisal” provision may offer a viable option. Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution states: “The Congress shall have power … To define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas,… To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water.”
The White House announced on April 13 that the Obama administration will ease U.S. restrictions on dealings with Cuba, including allowing unlimited travel and money transfers by Cuban Americans to family in Cuba. The news had been leaked earlier in the day by a senior administration official, who told news agencies such as the Associated Press and AFP on condition of anonymity, "Restrictions on the families will be lifted." A formal announcement was made at the White House in the afternoon, during presidential spokesman Robert Gibbs' daily briefing with reporters.
The Commentary magazine website has posted an interesting article from its March issue authored by John Bolton, who served as the U.S. Representative to the United Nations during 2005-2006. The article reviews a report published in September 2008 entitled, A Plan for Action, which carries the subtitle, “A New Era of International Cooperation for a Changed World: 2009, 2010, and Beyond.” The thesis of the report can be pretty much summed up by a sentence from its Executive Summary: “International cooperation today must be built on the principle of responsible sovereignty, or the notion that sovereignty entails obligations and duties toward other states as well as to one’s own citizens.”
President Barack Obama ended his European jaunt with a message to Muslims everywhere: the United States is not at war with Islam. Fortifying that statement, the president, whose father and stepfather were Muslims, proclaimed that the European Union must admit Turkey as a member, which would be an absolute calamity for Europe — or what remains of it.
NATO celebrated its 60th anniversary during its April 3-4 summit in Strasbourg/Kehl, and President Barack Obama was one of the celebrants. Speaking in Strasbourg, France, on April 3, the new president affirmed U.S. support for the military alliance and for the concept of collective security that undergirds it and ties the fate of our own nation to that of all other NATO members.
President Barack Obama called for a "world without nuclear weapons" when he spoke in Prague on April 5. But nations obviously will not disarm in a vacuum. And so he also called for a “stronger, global regime” that would fill the vacuum and ensure that all nations follow the rules.
During last year's presidential campaign, Republican candidate John McCain turned heads when he stated: "We have to strengthen our global alliances as the core of a new global compact — a League of Democracies — that can harness the vast influence of the more than one hundred democratic nations around the world to advance our values and defend our shared interests."
Todd Stern, the Obama administration's special envoy for climate change, told representatives of 175 nations in Bonn, Germany, on March 29, that global warming "requires a global response" and that rapidly developing economies like China "must join together" with industrialized nations to solve the problem.
Following a series of informal discussions held in Brussels over the preceding weekend, U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke met with NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer and the 26 NATO ambassadors at the Brussels Forum on March 23. The prime focus of the talks was NATO's strategy for Afghanistan. Holbrooke gave participants a preview of U.S. plans for continuing the ongoing military operation there.
War means big government and an excuse to clamp down on constitutionally protected freedoms, AntiWar.com co-founder Eric Garris tells The New American in an interview. The longtime libertarian political activist is the webmaster of AntiWar.com, the non-partisan, daily global news source on war and empire. He spoke with TNA correspondent Thomas R. Eddlem.