People who’re discovered screaming “Allahu Akbar” at the top of their lungs with any degree of sincerity should not be allowed access to modern technologies and conveniences, nor should they be allowed to participate in democratic elections in any capacity.
A few thoughts on Obama’s extrajudicial assassination of US citizen Anwar al Awlaki.
One thing that stands out is the curious fact that almost all mass media mentions of Awlaki refer to him as “American born.”
Awlaki wasn’t just “American born” - he was an American citizen. So was Samir Khan, who was killed alongside him, apparently unintentionally, in the same drone attack.
That’s two American citizens killed because the US President declared one of them to be a terrorist and demanded his death.
Think about that for a moment.
These were US citizens. Executed without arrest, without charges, without a trial, without evidence, without a hearing, without anything resembling due process. They were killed because the President said they were evil and needed killing.
Even if they *were*, for the sake of argument, really and truly Evil, and really did deserve death -
Do you really think a President - any President - should have that kind of power?
The power to just declare any *citizen of his own nation* worthy of death, and to order their assassination?
Without any oversight? Without any checks or balances? Without arrest, charges, trials, evidence?
Consider - official policy when dealing with the worst *mass murderers* in the US… monstrous individuals who kill their fellow citizens - is to track them down, apprehend them, charge them, put them on trial, and provide evidence to prove their guilt. Even the worst *mass murderers* are, under US law, presumed innocent until *proven guilty*.
But if the magic label of terrorist is affixed to a citizen, apparently all their rights vanish instantly.
Awlaki and Khan - again, American citizens, both of them - didn’t kill anyone.
What were their crimes?
Speaking and writing. Expressing ideas. Communicating a point of view the US government did not agree with. That’s all that’s apparent.
The government of Mr. Obama asserts that Awlaki was “operationally” involved with Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, that he was planning attacks on US “interests and citizens” - but they refuse to provide any evidence of that. To anyone who questions these assertions, their response has been basically “this is what we’re saying is true, we don’t have to provide any evidence, so fucking shut up and believe it, assholes. Jesus, what’s the matter with you cynical bastards? It’s time to celebrate! - we killed that motherfuckin’ Terrorist stone dead, bitches!”
In the absence of any evidence regarding Awlaki’s alleged “operational” involvement, what we’re left with are the crimes of speaking and writing.
Two US citizens making use of their rights, as citizens, to freedom of speech, were killed, apparently, because what one of them - Awlaki - was saying was deemed evil, dangerous, and worthy of death by the President. And the other - Khan - well, he was just a lucky coincidence.
So it seems that Awlaki was killed because he “inspired” terrorists. He “exchanged emails with” terrorists.
Apparently these are now crimes punishable by extrajudicial assassination.
No arrests, charges, trials, or evidence necessary. No presumption of innocence. No need to prove guilt.
Apparently, now, the President’s mere word is enough to establish a conviction.
Apparently, now, the US President’s personal, unaccountable decisions and orders to kill US citizens trump the entire American legal system.
Don’t you think that maybe, in the broader picture, this should be a litte bit of a cause for concern?
One thing’s for sure… Mr. Obama is an odd kind of constitutional scholar and a vastly odder kind of Nobel Peace Prize winner.
In the sixth book of George RR Martin’s Game of Thrones series, every single character from all of the preceding books will be killed off.
The seventh and final book will begin with the revelation that only half of them were actually killed; the other half were only almost killed.
And then inside 100 pages they’ll all be really killed 100% irrevocably stone dead.
Except 25% of them will turn into ice zombies, and fifty others will be resurrected.
Then Martin will introduce six thousand entirely new characters and spend 1500 rambling, sweaty pages explaining where they live and what they’re eating and wearing and what the weather’s like from moment to moment and detailing their excruciatingly tedious journeys from various vaguely interesting but near-totally irrelevant places to various other somewhat dimly intriguing but also almost wholly irrelevant places.
In the final chapter Westeros will suddenly become a constitutional democracy and a character we just met four pages earlier will be elected Prime Minister and deliver a stirring speech explaining what he’s planning on having for dinner and what he’s thinking of wearing next week and why keeping painstakingly accurate financial records is very important. Then a dragon will eat him. Then we’ll discover that Ned Stark is actually still alive and that the entire story was all a dream he was having while in a deep coma he fell into after eating too much of a rancid eel pie. But then it’ll be revealed that he really *is* dead and his being in a coma and dreaming the entire thing is actually a dream being experienced by Daenarys while also in a coma, which it turns out she lapsed into at the beginning of the first book and has never awoken from.
And then there are five more books, all written by Brandon Sanderson because GRR Martin will by this point have died of six simultaneous heart attacks.
Finished reading “A Dance With Dragons.”
"A Lacking of Editors"
"A Cashing of Royalty Checks"
"A Losing of Interest"
"A Yawning of Readers"
"A Filling With Padding"
"A Bloating of Sidestories"
"A Skimming of Chapters"
"A Nothing is Happening"
"A Stopping of Reading"
"A Done With This Series"
Who are these five thousand tedious new characters introduced over halfway through the series and why should I care about them?
Why have all the main characters turned into boring whiny passive/reactive unconvincingly drawn shadows of their former selves?
The first three books are great, classics. Enormous, towering achievements. The fourth is tolerable. This one… sorry, I have to get off at this stop. If the next two (three? Four? Five?) books come out, I’ll skim summaries.
I offer my sincere thanks and awestruck respect to Martin for his prior accomplishments. I wish him the best of luck in his future endeavours. I just can’t go on watching this thing get driven into the ground.
O noes! Interdimensional clockwork machine elves are coming through a portal created by the Large Hadron Collider to kill us all!