Commentary Magazine


Posts For: January 3, 2009

The Israelis Invade

Andrew Sullivan asks the following question:

How does just war theory defend the deaths of many innocent civilians as a means to increase “deterrent strength”?

The first answer is that Andrew is being coy; the ground operation is not only intended as a deterrent measure, it is intended to push Hamas off the territory it has been using near the Israeli border to launch rockets, and it is intended to kill important members of Hamas — its vanguard of fighters and leaders — and yes, it is also intended as a deterrent measure. If Andrew does not want to see the IDF either completely re-occupy Gaza or lay waste to ever-larger parts of the territory, he must allow the IDF a third way: create a new deterrence posture against Hamas so that the terror regime will be forced to make a new calculation about the value of its rocket war on Israeli civilians versus the destruction to its own infrastructure and lives that such attacks invite.

Increasing “deterrent strength” against an enemy is simply another way of saying that you intend to fight them until they stop attacking you. As far as just war theory is concerned, I invite Andrew to cite chapter and verse, or even vague tenets, which might guide us toward his claim of the illegitimacy of the ground operation.

Nobody knows at this moment whether Hamas is deterrable. The question depends on whether Hamas actually intends to fight to the last man and on the efficacy of the IDF’s ground war. But surely it is also true — according to just war theory, no less — that the sovereign state of Israel, in an attempt to protect its citizens, is allowed to discover whether deterrence is possible. I note that since August 2006, Hezbollah has been awfully quiet on Israel’s northern border; and that since 1973, so have Syria and Egypt.

UPDATE: Yaacov Lozowick: “Bye Andrew.”

Andrew Sullivan asks the following question:

How does just war theory defend the deaths of many innocent civilians as a means to increase “deterrent strength”?

The first answer is that Andrew is being coy; the ground operation is not only intended as a deterrent measure, it is intended to push Hamas off the territory it has been using near the Israeli border to launch rockets, and it is intended to kill important members of Hamas — its vanguard of fighters and leaders — and yes, it is also intended as a deterrent measure. If Andrew does not want to see the IDF either completely re-occupy Gaza or lay waste to ever-larger parts of the territory, he must allow the IDF a third way: create a new deterrence posture against Hamas so that the terror regime will be forced to make a new calculation about the value of its rocket war on Israeli civilians versus the destruction to its own infrastructure and lives that such attacks invite.

Increasing “deterrent strength” against an enemy is simply another way of saying that you intend to fight them until they stop attacking you. As far as just war theory is concerned, I invite Andrew to cite chapter and verse, or even vague tenets, which might guide us toward his claim of the illegitimacy of the ground operation.

Nobody knows at this moment whether Hamas is deterrable. The question depends on whether Hamas actually intends to fight to the last man and on the efficacy of the IDF’s ground war. But surely it is also true — according to just war theory, no less — that the sovereign state of Israel, in an attempt to protect its citizens, is allowed to discover whether deterrence is possible. I note that since August 2006, Hezbollah has been awfully quiet on Israel’s northern border; and that since 1973, so have Syria and Egypt.

UPDATE: Yaacov Lozowick: “Bye Andrew.”

Read Less

Trading Likability for Security

With the beginning of ground operations in Gaza, Israel has not only set itself a more immediately difficult military challenge, but also locked itself into a more ambitious mission over-all. The longer the IDF stays in Gaza, the more important it becomes that the end result of the operation be both dramatic and easily defined.

If after weeks of what the mainstream media has taken to calling a “bombardment” and a “pummeling” Israel can only claim that rocket launch pads have been temporarily degraded or that “many” munitions caches have been blown up, it will come out the loser of the public relations war — no matter how many fires rage in the Gaza skyline. Israel is the only country in the world that can be excoriated for its disproportionate response one day, and then immediately criticized for its military failure in the wake of this supposedly outsized and undeserved retaliation.

Israeli leadership needs Hamas to say, even disingenuously, “We give up.” Either that or the IDF needs to degrade Hamas leadership to the point of recognizable impotence. During the next days and weeks of fighting, international sympathies will take an even sharper turn in favor of Gazans. This is unavoidable, and Israel need not concern itself with the criticism that comes its way during operations. It matters not that Israel called innocent Gazans and urged them to leave in advance of the ground fighting or that it facilitated the exit of visitors to Gaza — the Jewish state might as well write off any hope of earning the world’s compassion. But sympathy constitutes the less important half of Israel’s PR goal. It is far more important to the country’s existence that Israelis preserve – in fact, reclaim – their reputation as the most formidable fighting force in the region. This is an attainable objective, but it will only be demonstrable when the smoke clears. And then, only with the showcasing of quantifiable evidence.

With the beginning of ground operations in Gaza, Israel has not only set itself a more immediately difficult military challenge, but also locked itself into a more ambitious mission over-all. The longer the IDF stays in Gaza, the more important it becomes that the end result of the operation be both dramatic and easily defined.

If after weeks of what the mainstream media has taken to calling a “bombardment” and a “pummeling” Israel can only claim that rocket launch pads have been temporarily degraded or that “many” munitions caches have been blown up, it will come out the loser of the public relations war — no matter how many fires rage in the Gaza skyline. Israel is the only country in the world that can be excoriated for its disproportionate response one day, and then immediately criticized for its military failure in the wake of this supposedly outsized and undeserved retaliation.

Israeli leadership needs Hamas to say, even disingenuously, “We give up.” Either that or the IDF needs to degrade Hamas leadership to the point of recognizable impotence. During the next days and weeks of fighting, international sympathies will take an even sharper turn in favor of Gazans. This is unavoidable, and Israel need not concern itself with the criticism that comes its way during operations. It matters not that Israel called innocent Gazans and urged them to leave in advance of the ground fighting or that it facilitated the exit of visitors to Gaza — the Jewish state might as well write off any hope of earning the world’s compassion. But sympathy constitutes the less important half of Israel’s PR goal. It is far more important to the country’s existence that Israelis preserve – in fact, reclaim – their reputation as the most formidable fighting force in the region. This is an attainable objective, but it will only be demonstrable when the smoke clears. And then, only with the showcasing of quantifiable evidence.

Read Less

Correcting Christiane Amanpour

On CNN a few moments ago, Christiane Amanpour, in the midst of an otherwise completely warped report on the Gaza war, said that over the past year only two Israelis were killed by Hamas rocket fire. Her point in the segment was to insinuate that Israel is overreacting to Hamas attacks that have been largely harmless. In order to do that, she had to abstain from mentioning important facts and context, such as that Hamas’ attacks in 2008 more than doubled — to 3,278 — from the 2007 number. And this figures in the six-month “lull” period, during which “only” around 100 rockets were fired. She also did not mention that the range and deadliness of Hamas’ rockets increased as well, putting around 15 percent of the Israeli population under Hamas’ missile umbrella. (The “disproportionality” fetishists also never get around to noting that Israel has conducted less than a thousand air strikes in response to over 7,000 Hamas rocket attacks since 2005.)

Thus is the history of this episode of the conflict re-written almost in real time, from one of a gathering danger to one of a boring nuisance. Oh, and eight Israelis, not two, were killed by Hamas in 2008. Amanpour’s “errors” always seem to work in one direction, don’t they?

On CNN a few moments ago, Christiane Amanpour, in the midst of an otherwise completely warped report on the Gaza war, said that over the past year only two Israelis were killed by Hamas rocket fire. Her point in the segment was to insinuate that Israel is overreacting to Hamas attacks that have been largely harmless. In order to do that, she had to abstain from mentioning important facts and context, such as that Hamas’ attacks in 2008 more than doubled — to 3,278 — from the 2007 number. And this figures in the six-month “lull” period, during which “only” around 100 rockets were fired. She also did not mention that the range and deadliness of Hamas’ rockets increased as well, putting around 15 percent of the Israeli population under Hamas’ missile umbrella. (The “disproportionality” fetishists also never get around to noting that Israel has conducted less than a thousand air strikes in response to over 7,000 Hamas rocket attacks since 2005.)

Thus is the history of this episode of the conflict re-written almost in real time, from one of a gathering danger to one of a boring nuisance. Oh, and eight Israelis, not two, were killed by Hamas in 2008. Amanpour’s “errors” always seem to work in one direction, don’t they?

Read Less

Look Who’s “Shredding the Constitution” Now

The Wall Street Journal’s editors take no prisoners with this slam at the Senate Democrats:

While the Constitution says the Senate can determine its own membership, the Court in Powell interpreted Article I, Section 5 to say that “in judging the qualifications of its members, Congress is limited to the standing qualifications prescribed in the Constitution.” Nowhere in the Constitution is there a “qualification” saying that a Senator must not have been appointed by an embarrassing Illinois Governor.

Mr. Reid is also attempting the dodge of referring the matter to the Senate Rules Committee, which is run by Democrats, but the Powell precedent ought to be clear even to political lawyers. If Mr. Reid wants to banish Mr. Burris, he must first seat him and then persuade two-thirds of the Senate to expel him. Needless to say, the last thing Mr. Reid wants to do is create turmoil in his party by expelling an African-American Democrat whose only offense has been to accept an appointment to serve. But if Mr. Reid does go that route, we’d suggest worthier expulsion possibilities, such as Connecticut’s Chris Dodd, who received sweetheart mortgages from Countrywide Financial while sitting on the Banking Committee.

Republicans want Illinois to hold a special election for the vacant seat, and we recommended that ourselves (as did Mr. Obama) when the Blagojevich tapes first became public. But now that Mr. Burris has been appointed, Mr. Reid can’t legally deny him his seat. If this is the way Democrats are going to use their new monopoly on Beltway power even against a member of their own party, we’re in for an ugly couple of years.

Aside from the Democrats’ weak legal position, one also has to question their political acumen on this one. Sure, they don’t want an “Appointee of Blago” lurking around the Senate for two years as a constant reminder of their corrupt Governor and their own failure to immediately strip Blago of his appointment powers. But will it be any better with “Appointee of Blago’s Successor”? Really, that would seem to set off a whole new round of  second-guessing and speculation about that person’s involvement in the Chicago quagmire.

Indeed, is there any Illinois Democrat who hasn’t given money to Blago, isn’t one of “Senate Candidates #1-5″ and has no ties to any of Blago-gate’s multifaceted schemes? If so, he/she is likely to be a placeholder that will throw open the seat in 2010 anyway.

And to be blunt, how’s it going to look for the Democrats to be blocking Burris after we learn that Harry Reid objected to three other African-American politicians to fill the slot? The Chicago Sun Times reports:

Days before Gov. Blagojevich was charged with trying to sell President-elect Barack Obama’s U.S. Senate seat to the highest bidder, top Senate Democrat Harry Reid made it clear who he didn’t want in the post: Jesse Jackson, Jr., Danny Davis or Emil Jones.

Perhaps the tapes which reportedly captured some of the conversations will reveal why Reid didn’t think any of these politicians could win a state-wide race.

In short, trying to block Burris seems like a huge hassle for very little benefit. Why not accept Burris gracefully, impeach Blago and declare that the party won’t consider (or fund) Burris as the incumbent in 2010? At some point, the Democrats would be wise to cut their losses — and this seems the easiest way to do it. As an added benefit it would also comport with the Constitution.

The Wall Street Journal’s editors take no prisoners with this slam at the Senate Democrats:

While the Constitution says the Senate can determine its own membership, the Court in Powell interpreted Article I, Section 5 to say that “in judging the qualifications of its members, Congress is limited to the standing qualifications prescribed in the Constitution.” Nowhere in the Constitution is there a “qualification” saying that a Senator must not have been appointed by an embarrassing Illinois Governor.

Mr. Reid is also attempting the dodge of referring the matter to the Senate Rules Committee, which is run by Democrats, but the Powell precedent ought to be clear even to political lawyers. If Mr. Reid wants to banish Mr. Burris, he must first seat him and then persuade two-thirds of the Senate to expel him. Needless to say, the last thing Mr. Reid wants to do is create turmoil in his party by expelling an African-American Democrat whose only offense has been to accept an appointment to serve. But if Mr. Reid does go that route, we’d suggest worthier expulsion possibilities, such as Connecticut’s Chris Dodd, who received sweetheart mortgages from Countrywide Financial while sitting on the Banking Committee.

Republicans want Illinois to hold a special election for the vacant seat, and we recommended that ourselves (as did Mr. Obama) when the Blagojevich tapes first became public. But now that Mr. Burris has been appointed, Mr. Reid can’t legally deny him his seat. If this is the way Democrats are going to use their new monopoly on Beltway power even against a member of their own party, we’re in for an ugly couple of years.

Aside from the Democrats’ weak legal position, one also has to question their political acumen on this one. Sure, they don’t want an “Appointee of Blago” lurking around the Senate for two years as a constant reminder of their corrupt Governor and their own failure to immediately strip Blago of his appointment powers. But will it be any better with “Appointee of Blago’s Successor”? Really, that would seem to set off a whole new round of  second-guessing and speculation about that person’s involvement in the Chicago quagmire.

Indeed, is there any Illinois Democrat who hasn’t given money to Blago, isn’t one of “Senate Candidates #1-5″ and has no ties to any of Blago-gate’s multifaceted schemes? If so, he/she is likely to be a placeholder that will throw open the seat in 2010 anyway.

And to be blunt, how’s it going to look for the Democrats to be blocking Burris after we learn that Harry Reid objected to three other African-American politicians to fill the slot? The Chicago Sun Times reports:

Days before Gov. Blagojevich was charged with trying to sell President-elect Barack Obama’s U.S. Senate seat to the highest bidder, top Senate Democrat Harry Reid made it clear who he didn’t want in the post: Jesse Jackson, Jr., Danny Davis or Emil Jones.

Perhaps the tapes which reportedly captured some of the conversations will reveal why Reid didn’t think any of these politicians could win a state-wide race.

In short, trying to block Burris seems like a huge hassle for very little benefit. Why not accept Burris gracefully, impeach Blago and declare that the party won’t consider (or fund) Burris as the incumbent in 2010? At some point, the Democrats would be wise to cut their losses — and this seems the easiest way to do it. As an added benefit it would also comport with the Constitution.

Read Less

China Is a Rogue Nuclear State

China, charges Thomas Reed, is continuing to transfer uranium and nuclear technology to Iran.  In an interview posted yesterday on the U.S. News & World Report website, the former U.S. Air Force Secretary also refers to Beijing’s use of the North Koreans to distribute nuclear and missile technology to Syria, Pakistan, Egypt, Libya, and Yemen in addition to Iran.

Why did the Chinese decide to proliferate nuclear weapons technology?  “They did so deliberately with the theory that if nukes ended up going off in the western world from a Muslim terrorist, well that wasn’t all bad,” Reed says, citing a decision made by Deng Xiaoping in 1982.  “If New York was reduced to rubble without Chinese fingerprints on the attack, that left Beijing as the last man standing.”

Reed is correct when he points out that China has been a rogue nuclear state for a long time.  In fact, China was helping Pakistan build a bomb as early as 1974, long before Deng took power in 1978.  So, for more than three decades, the Chinese have been spreading the world’s most destructive technology to Islamic fanatics.  We can understand why Beijing would wish us harm, yet it is difficult to comprehend why successive American administrations, especially those of Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, have failed to speak out about Chinese proliferation, even when Beijing had been caught red-handed.

These two presidents, as powerful as they were, may not have had the means to stop China’s transfer of nuclear technology, yet they failed to sanction Beijing or even speak out about what was happening.  Both of them were responsible for many failures during their times in office, but these are by far the worst.

Washington evidently believes that, if we do not criticize the Chinese in public, one day they will eventually stop proliferating.  As Reed notes, many younger officials in Beijing realize the lunacy of their country’s pro-proliferation policies-he suggests they don’t want to incinerate Los Angeles because they can’t then sell us sneakers-but at this time there is no consensus in the Chinese capital to change course from Mao’s and Deng’s policies.  By the time China becomes a responsible nuclear power, it will undoubtedly be too late.

By refusing to oppose those who wish us harm, we are creating the conditions for our own destruction.

China, charges Thomas Reed, is continuing to transfer uranium and nuclear technology to Iran.  In an interview posted yesterday on the U.S. News & World Report website, the former U.S. Air Force Secretary also refers to Beijing’s use of the North Koreans to distribute nuclear and missile technology to Syria, Pakistan, Egypt, Libya, and Yemen in addition to Iran.

Why did the Chinese decide to proliferate nuclear weapons technology?  “They did so deliberately with the theory that if nukes ended up going off in the western world from a Muslim terrorist, well that wasn’t all bad,” Reed says, citing a decision made by Deng Xiaoping in 1982.  “If New York was reduced to rubble without Chinese fingerprints on the attack, that left Beijing as the last man standing.”

Reed is correct when he points out that China has been a rogue nuclear state for a long time.  In fact, China was helping Pakistan build a bomb as early as 1974, long before Deng took power in 1978.  So, for more than three decades, the Chinese have been spreading the world’s most destructive technology to Islamic fanatics.  We can understand why Beijing would wish us harm, yet it is difficult to comprehend why successive American administrations, especially those of Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, have failed to speak out about Chinese proliferation, even when Beijing had been caught red-handed.

These two presidents, as powerful as they were, may not have had the means to stop China’s transfer of nuclear technology, yet they failed to sanction Beijing or even speak out about what was happening.  Both of them were responsible for many failures during their times in office, but these are by far the worst.

Washington evidently believes that, if we do not criticize the Chinese in public, one day they will eventually stop proliferating.  As Reed notes, many younger officials in Beijing realize the lunacy of their country’s pro-proliferation policies-he suggests they don’t want to incinerate Los Angeles because they can’t then sell us sneakers-but at this time there is no consensus in the Chinese capital to change course from Mao’s and Deng’s policies.  By the time China becomes a responsible nuclear power, it will undoubtedly be too late.

By refusing to oppose those who wish us harm, we are creating the conditions for our own destruction.

Read Less

Three Goals of the Ground Operation

Previous polls have shown that Israelis are apprehensive about the kind of ground operation in Gaza that has just begun. This is a direct reflection of Israelis’ dwindling confidence in the IDF’s ability to emerge  victorious from a ground war in this dense and treacherous territory. And this very skepticism is a key factor in Israeli leaders’ decision to go in on the ground tonight (Israel time).

If Israelis, traumatized by the 2006 Lebanon war, have a hard time believing they can win a ground war against Hamas, so do Israel’s neighbors. Hamas spokespersons were bragging last week that Israel would not dare invade Gaza, and promised that the Jewish state would pay a high price if it did. If the Gaza war ended without a ground operation, Hamas leaders would have crowed that Israel was deterred by Palestinian forces,  and this would have led to a further erosion of Israel’s reputation as a nation that cannot be intimidated. If Arab terrorists perceive Israel as a country wary of conflict, terrorist groups will only attack more in hopes of defeating the paper tiger.

So – the IDF and Israel’s leaders have three goals in launching this ground war: First, they want to make Hamas pay a price that will force it into a renewed ceasefire. Second, they must prove to the Arab world that Lebanon 2006 did not turn Israel into a country afraid of war. And third, they must engender renewed Israeli confidence in the country’s armed forces.

Previous polls have shown that Israelis are apprehensive about the kind of ground operation in Gaza that has just begun. This is a direct reflection of Israelis’ dwindling confidence in the IDF’s ability to emerge  victorious from a ground war in this dense and treacherous territory. And this very skepticism is a key factor in Israeli leaders’ decision to go in on the ground tonight (Israel time).

If Israelis, traumatized by the 2006 Lebanon war, have a hard time believing they can win a ground war against Hamas, so do Israel’s neighbors. Hamas spokespersons were bragging last week that Israel would not dare invade Gaza, and promised that the Jewish state would pay a high price if it did. If the Gaza war ended without a ground operation, Hamas leaders would have crowed that Israel was deterred by Palestinian forces,  and this would have led to a further erosion of Israel’s reputation as a nation that cannot be intimidated. If Arab terrorists perceive Israel as a country wary of conflict, terrorist groups will only attack more in hopes of defeating the paper tiger.

So – the IDF and Israel’s leaders have three goals in launching this ground war: First, they want to make Hamas pay a price that will force it into a renewed ceasefire. Second, they must prove to the Arab world that Lebanon 2006 did not turn Israel into a country afraid of war. And third, they must engender renewed Israeli confidence in the country’s armed forces.

Read Less

Bailout Fatigue –Finally?

You know things are getting out of hand when the Washington Post rails against “the insidious costs of all bailouts” and invokes a “moral hazard” to critique the latest cash infusion for GMAC. The criticisms come simultaneously from the Left and the Right:

In short, through the GMAC bailout, the U.S. government is enabling GM to overcome (or try to overcome) the market’s resistance to its inferior merchandise — and it is doing so in a way that directly clashes with public goals such as conserving energy and fighting global warming. Perhaps this will indeed be, as GM has vaguely promised, the last hurrah for the second-rate, U.S.-built SUV — or perhaps the government has purchased GM a chance to fail at something new. Either way, it’s another reason to look forward to the recession’s end and to the swiftest possible decoupling of government and big business.

If the Left is concerned about corporate welfare efforts which contradict its social and environmental aspirations, and the Right is worried about the eradication of market discipline,  from what quarter will the support for continued bailouts come? As the new Congress and administration surveys the results of the first round of bailout-mania, it may just be that their ardor for this sort of anti-recession activity fades. Indeed, there’s quite a bit of skepticism in the air, we learn from this report:

Can a $400-million injection of federal bailout money to the “bank to the stars” in Beverly Hills really help revive the troubled U.S. economy? That’s one of the questions the Treasury Department’s inspector general is asking in a review of the decision to award bailout funds to City National Bank. . . [I]nvestigators see the review as a case study into how the Treasury Department is implementing its controversial program to infuse $250 billion into the nation’s banking system and why certain institutions were selected to participate. The program was launched at the peak of the financial crisis in October to strengthen banks and encourage them to lend money, thawing the freeze that has deepened the yearlong recession. But critics are questioning the effectiveness of the effort and whether bureaucrats can ensure that the money will actually be used to make loans.

If Republicans are looking to play a constructive role and join forces with Democrats to help revive the economy, they might suggest a serious bipartisan effort to examine how the bailout money has been spent and what it’s given us. That might be the basis for a fruitful discussion — one that both ends of the political spectrum might embrace — about whether, now that the immediate panic of the financial crisis has passed, we have had quite enough of bailout-mania. Perhaps both parties can begin to recognize that there are better ways to spend taxpayaer money than bailing out incompetently managed firms and failing industries.

You know things are getting out of hand when the Washington Post rails against “the insidious costs of all bailouts” and invokes a “moral hazard” to critique the latest cash infusion for GMAC. The criticisms come simultaneously from the Left and the Right:

In short, through the GMAC bailout, the U.S. government is enabling GM to overcome (or try to overcome) the market’s resistance to its inferior merchandise — and it is doing so in a way that directly clashes with public goals such as conserving energy and fighting global warming. Perhaps this will indeed be, as GM has vaguely promised, the last hurrah for the second-rate, U.S.-built SUV — or perhaps the government has purchased GM a chance to fail at something new. Either way, it’s another reason to look forward to the recession’s end and to the swiftest possible decoupling of government and big business.

If the Left is concerned about corporate welfare efforts which contradict its social and environmental aspirations, and the Right is worried about the eradication of market discipline,  from what quarter will the support for continued bailouts come? As the new Congress and administration surveys the results of the first round of bailout-mania, it may just be that their ardor for this sort of anti-recession activity fades. Indeed, there’s quite a bit of skepticism in the air, we learn from this report:

Can a $400-million injection of federal bailout money to the “bank to the stars” in Beverly Hills really help revive the troubled U.S. economy? That’s one of the questions the Treasury Department’s inspector general is asking in a review of the decision to award bailout funds to City National Bank. . . [I]nvestigators see the review as a case study into how the Treasury Department is implementing its controversial program to infuse $250 billion into the nation’s banking system and why certain institutions were selected to participate. The program was launched at the peak of the financial crisis in October to strengthen banks and encourage them to lend money, thawing the freeze that has deepened the yearlong recession. But critics are questioning the effectiveness of the effort and whether bureaucrats can ensure that the money will actually be used to make loans.

If Republicans are looking to play a constructive role and join forces with Democrats to help revive the economy, they might suggest a serious bipartisan effort to examine how the bailout money has been spent and what it’s given us. That might be the basis for a fruitful discussion — one that both ends of the political spectrum might embrace — about whether, now that the immediate panic of the financial crisis has passed, we have had quite enough of bailout-mania. Perhaps both parties can begin to recognize that there are better ways to spend taxpayaer money than bailing out incompetently managed firms and failing industries.

Read Less

As the Obama Effect Fades

On December 23, the Associated Press reported that European nations were newly open to the U.S.’s request that EU countries resettle some Guantanamo Bay detainees. The AP’s taunting coverage went, predictably, like this:

The willingness to consider accepting prisoners who cannot be returned to their home countries, because of fears they may be tortured there, represents a major change in attitude on the part of European governments. Repeated requests from the Bush administration that European allies accept some Guantanamo Bay detainees received only refusals.

The Bush administration “produced the problem,” Karsten Voigt, coordinator of German-American cooperation at the German Foreign Ministry, said in a telephone interview. “With Obama, the difference is that he tries to solve it.”

The very next day, EU Business reported soberly:

Europe reacted cautiously Wednesday to the idea of resettling terror suspects released from Guantanamo Bay, with some countries seeking a concerted European approach and others already opposed to the idea.

The Netherlands went furthest, ruling out accepting any newly freed inmates, despite broad European support for US president elect Barack Obama’s promise to shut down the notorious military detention centre.

A story in today’s New York Times nearly completes our round-trip journey from reality to fantasy and back:

Australia said Friday that it would not agree to American requests to accept more detainees from the prison at Guantánamo Bay, and Britain signaled reluctance to take in significant numbers of former inmates, underscoring the difficulties both the departing and incoming administrations in Washington face in trying to close the camp, which has stirred bitter controversy around the world.

So, what ‘s the truth? Some spokesman at the German Foreign Ministry saw an opportunity to give the outgoing American president a dig and he took it. Sure, Germany and Portugal say they’d think about taking in detainees if Obama closes down Gitmo. And that’s good. But it’s predicated on a pretty big “if.”

On December 23, the Associated Press reported that European nations were newly open to the U.S.’s request that EU countries resettle some Guantanamo Bay detainees. The AP’s taunting coverage went, predictably, like this:

The willingness to consider accepting prisoners who cannot be returned to their home countries, because of fears they may be tortured there, represents a major change in attitude on the part of European governments. Repeated requests from the Bush administration that European allies accept some Guantanamo Bay detainees received only refusals.

The Bush administration “produced the problem,” Karsten Voigt, coordinator of German-American cooperation at the German Foreign Ministry, said in a telephone interview. “With Obama, the difference is that he tries to solve it.”

The very next day, EU Business reported soberly:

Europe reacted cautiously Wednesday to the idea of resettling terror suspects released from Guantanamo Bay, with some countries seeking a concerted European approach and others already opposed to the idea.

The Netherlands went furthest, ruling out accepting any newly freed inmates, despite broad European support for US president elect Barack Obama’s promise to shut down the notorious military detention centre.

A story in today’s New York Times nearly completes our round-trip journey from reality to fantasy and back:

Australia said Friday that it would not agree to American requests to accept more detainees from the prison at Guantánamo Bay, and Britain signaled reluctance to take in significant numbers of former inmates, underscoring the difficulties both the departing and incoming administrations in Washington face in trying to close the camp, which has stirred bitter controversy around the world.

So, what ‘s the truth? Some spokesman at the German Foreign Ministry saw an opportunity to give the outgoing American president a dig and he took it. Sure, Germany and Portugal say they’d think about taking in detainees if Obama closes down Gitmo. And that’s good. But it’s predicated on a pretty big “if.”

Read Less

Soon He’ll Be the Decider

Jay Winik, author of the magnificent “April 1865,” reminds us of the loneliness and unexpected difficulties that our greatest presidents have confronted. The skill to make enormously consequential decisions under pressure (and without the benefit of staff consensus) has often separated great presidents from mediocre ones. Ronald Reagan walked away at Reykjavik, to the horror of many advisors and the incredulity of elite opinion-makers. George W. Bush pushed for the surge despite its widespread condemnation in Congress and the media and great skepticism among his advisors. Harry Truman supported the state of Israel over George C. Marshall’s objections. History is filled with examples that leave us wondering “What if President X didn’t have the nerve?”

Now the question looms as to whether Barack Obama possesses the independence of mind and sage judgment to buck, when needed, conventional wisdom and the pleas of his advisors. We know he’s eloquent. We know he’s expert at avoiding conflict. And we know he’ll be surrounded by smart and experienced aides. None of that, however, answers the key question as to his own decision-making abilities.

His record is practically devoid of any clues as to whether he’ll be adept or inept at this key component of leadership. Yes, he ran an expert campaign which involved dozens of key decisions. But none approached the magnitude of those he’ll face in office. And  we also know that throughout the campaign and transition he has been cautious to a fault, often declining to articulate a position (e.g. Gaza) or trying to delay as long as possible (e.g. the AIG bailout, Russia’s invasion of Georgia) offering an opinion on issues of great import. But that was then. What will happen when he is not critiquing, but deciding?

For the sake of the country we can hope that, like Harry Truman, he rises to the occasion once in office without the benefit of any prior executive training. And certainly we know executive experience didn’t do Jimmy Carter, for example, any good. We’ll have to see how it all works out — and pray for the best.

Jay Winik, author of the magnificent “April 1865,” reminds us of the loneliness and unexpected difficulties that our greatest presidents have confronted. The skill to make enormously consequential decisions under pressure (and without the benefit of staff consensus) has often separated great presidents from mediocre ones. Ronald Reagan walked away at Reykjavik, to the horror of many advisors and the incredulity of elite opinion-makers. George W. Bush pushed for the surge despite its widespread condemnation in Congress and the media and great skepticism among his advisors. Harry Truman supported the state of Israel over George C. Marshall’s objections. History is filled with examples that leave us wondering “What if President X didn’t have the nerve?”

Now the question looms as to whether Barack Obama possesses the independence of mind and sage judgment to buck, when needed, conventional wisdom and the pleas of his advisors. We know he’s eloquent. We know he’s expert at avoiding conflict. And we know he’ll be surrounded by smart and experienced aides. None of that, however, answers the key question as to his own decision-making abilities.

His record is practically devoid of any clues as to whether he’ll be adept or inept at this key component of leadership. Yes, he ran an expert campaign which involved dozens of key decisions. But none approached the magnitude of those he’ll face in office. And  we also know that throughout the campaign and transition he has been cautious to a fault, often declining to articulate a position (e.g. Gaza) or trying to delay as long as possible (e.g. the AIG bailout, Russia’s invasion of Georgia) offering an opinion on issues of great import. But that was then. What will happen when he is not critiquing, but deciding?

For the sake of the country we can hope that, like Harry Truman, he rises to the occasion once in office without the benefit of any prior executive training. And certainly we know executive experience didn’t do Jimmy Carter, for example, any good. We’ll have to see how it all works out — and pray for the best.

Read Less

Gaza and the Law of Armed Conflict

While much of the world engages in hand-wringing, placard-waving, teeth-gnashing, and rocket-launching over Israel’s “disproportionate” response to Hamas attacks from Gaza, it’s worth looking at what the doctrines of “proportionality” actually say.

Making the rounds is a two-year old quote from Lionel Beehner’s paper for the Council on Foreign Relations in which he summarizes the principle of proportionality as laid out by the 1907 Hague Conventions. “According to the doctrine, a state is legally allowed to unilaterally defend itself and right a wrong provided the response is proportional to the injury suffered. The response must also be immediate and necessary, refrain from targeting civilians, and require only enough force to reinstate the status quo ante.”

The precise wording of the doctrine can be found in Article 51, not Article 49 as Beehner writes, of the Draft Articles of the Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts. “Countermeasures must be commensurate with the injury suffered, taking into account the gravity of the internationally wrongful act and the rights in question.”

This is vague and open to interpretation, as Beehner admits. And it’s further complicated by the fact that the doctrine was laid out at a time when war was fought between sovereign states with standing armies rather than asymmetrically between a sovereign state and a terrorist gang.

Proportion, as defined by Beehner and the Hague Conventions, is impossible between Israel and Hamas. The Israel Defense Forces are more professional, competent and technologically advanced than Hamas and will inflict greater damage as a matter of course. And Hamas’s war aim is entirely out of proportion to Israel’s. Israel wants to halt the incoming rocket fire, while Hamas seeks the destruction or evacuation of Israel.

Beehner’s proportionality doctrine is therefore unhelpful. Each side’s ends and means are disproportionate to the other. And nowhere in that doctrine are casualty figures or the intent of the warring parties factored in.

In any case, no war has ever been fought tit for tat, and the Hague Conventions doesn’t say any war should be. The American response to Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor went well beyond sinking an equal number of ships in a Japanese harbor, for instance. And European Jews certainly were not entitled to execute six million German civilians after the Holocaust.

The proportionality doctrine spelled out here is really only useful up to a point. “It’s always a subjective test,” Beehner correctly quotes Vanderbilt University Professor Michael Newton as saying. “But if someone punches you in the nose, you don’t burn their house down.” That much most of us can agree on. Israel should not – and will not – implement a Dresden-style fire-bombing of Gaza City in response to Qassam and Grad rocket attacks.

So aside from the obvious, we’re wading into murky territory that could be debated forever. Another doctrine of proportionality, though, clearly applies to this war, and it’s found in the Law of Armed Conflict.

The Law of Armed Conflict “arises from a desire among civilized nations to prevent unnecessary suffering and destruction while not impeding the effective waging of war. A part of public international law, LOAC regulates the conduct of armed hostilities. It also aims to protect civilians, prisoners of war, the wounded, sick, and shipwrecked.”

Proportionality, in short and according to the law, “prohibits the use of any kind or degree of force that exceeds that needed to accomplish the military objective.”

In other words, if a surgical strike is all that is needed to take out a Grad rocket launcher, carpet bombing the entire city or even the neighborhood isn’t allowed.

Hamas is still firing rockets; therefore, the IDF is not using more force than necessary to disrupt the firing of rockets. Israel, arguably, is using less force than necessary. And the IDF, unlike Hamas, does what it can to minimize injury to civilians. “Militants often operate against Israel from civilian areas,” the Associated Press reported last week. “Late Saturday, thousands of Gazans received Arabic-language cell-phone messages from the Israeli military, urging them to leave homes where militants might have stashed weapons.” Israeli commanders are even warning individual Hamas leaders that their homes are on the target list so they can vacate the premises in advance.

It’s also worth looking at the doctrine of distinction, which Israel follows while Hamas does not.

Distinction, according to the Law of Armed Conflict, “means discriminating between lawful combatant targets and noncombatant targets such as civilians, civilian property, POWs, and wounded personnel who are out of combat. The central idea of distinction is to only engage valid military targets. An indiscriminate attack is one that strikes military objectives and civilians or civilian objects without distinction. Distinction requires defenders to separate military objects from civilian objects to the maximum extent feasible. Therefore, it would be inappropriate to locate a hospital or POW camp next to an ammunition factory.”

Hamas violates this doctrine in two ways at once. Its fighters launch Qassam, Katyusha, and Grad rockets into Israeli civilian areas, and they fire those rockets from inside Palestinian civilian areas. Both are prohibited by the Law of Armed Conflict.

The law does not, however, prohibit Israel from striking legitimate military targets in civilian areas. “Although civilians may not be made the object of a direct attack, the LOAC recognizes that a military target need not be spared because its destruction may cause collateral damage that results in the unintended death or injury to civilians or damage to their property.”

Hamas, then, is legally to blame for all, or nearly all, injuries and deaths of both Israelis and Palestinians.

I shouldn’t even need to point out that Hamas is not allowed to target civilians with rockets, but I’ll cite the law anyway. “The LOAC protects civilian populations. Military attacks against cities, towns, or villages not justified by military necessity are forbidden. Attacking noncombatants (generally referred to as civilians) for the sole purpose of terrorizing them is also prohibited.”

Concern for the suffering innocents of Gaza – and all children of all nations are innocent – is well, good, and proper. And whether Israel’s operation in Gaza will turn out to be prudent, wise, and productive is yet to be seen. But either way, and at the end of the day, Israel’s rules of engagement comply with the laws of war forged by civilized nations, while nearly every one of Hamas’s military tactics are war crimes.

While much of the world engages in hand-wringing, placard-waving, teeth-gnashing, and rocket-launching over Israel’s “disproportionate” response to Hamas attacks from Gaza, it’s worth looking at what the doctrines of “proportionality” actually say.

Making the rounds is a two-year old quote from Lionel Beehner’s paper for the Council on Foreign Relations in which he summarizes the principle of proportionality as laid out by the 1907 Hague Conventions. “According to the doctrine, a state is legally allowed to unilaterally defend itself and right a wrong provided the response is proportional to the injury suffered. The response must also be immediate and necessary, refrain from targeting civilians, and require only enough force to reinstate the status quo ante.”

The precise wording of the doctrine can be found in Article 51, not Article 49 as Beehner writes, of the Draft Articles of the Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts. “Countermeasures must be commensurate with the injury suffered, taking into account the gravity of the internationally wrongful act and the rights in question.”

This is vague and open to interpretation, as Beehner admits. And it’s further complicated by the fact that the doctrine was laid out at a time when war was fought between sovereign states with standing armies rather than asymmetrically between a sovereign state and a terrorist gang.

Proportion, as defined by Beehner and the Hague Conventions, is impossible between Israel and Hamas. The Israel Defense Forces are more professional, competent and technologically advanced than Hamas and will inflict greater damage as a matter of course. And Hamas’s war aim is entirely out of proportion to Israel’s. Israel wants to halt the incoming rocket fire, while Hamas seeks the destruction or evacuation of Israel.

Beehner’s proportionality doctrine is therefore unhelpful. Each side’s ends and means are disproportionate to the other. And nowhere in that doctrine are casualty figures or the intent of the warring parties factored in.

In any case, no war has ever been fought tit for tat, and the Hague Conventions doesn’t say any war should be. The American response to Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor went well beyond sinking an equal number of ships in a Japanese harbor, for instance. And European Jews certainly were not entitled to execute six million German civilians after the Holocaust.

The proportionality doctrine spelled out here is really only useful up to a point. “It’s always a subjective test,” Beehner correctly quotes Vanderbilt University Professor Michael Newton as saying. “But if someone punches you in the nose, you don’t burn their house down.” That much most of us can agree on. Israel should not – and will not – implement a Dresden-style fire-bombing of Gaza City in response to Qassam and Grad rocket attacks.

So aside from the obvious, we’re wading into murky territory that could be debated forever. Another doctrine of proportionality, though, clearly applies to this war, and it’s found in the Law of Armed Conflict.

The Law of Armed Conflict “arises from a desire among civilized nations to prevent unnecessary suffering and destruction while not impeding the effective waging of war. A part of public international law, LOAC regulates the conduct of armed hostilities. It also aims to protect civilians, prisoners of war, the wounded, sick, and shipwrecked.”

Proportionality, in short and according to the law, “prohibits the use of any kind or degree of force that exceeds that needed to accomplish the military objective.”

In other words, if a surgical strike is all that is needed to take out a Grad rocket launcher, carpet bombing the entire city or even the neighborhood isn’t allowed.

Hamas is still firing rockets; therefore, the IDF is not using more force than necessary to disrupt the firing of rockets. Israel, arguably, is using less force than necessary. And the IDF, unlike Hamas, does what it can to minimize injury to civilians. “Militants often operate against Israel from civilian areas,” the Associated Press reported last week. “Late Saturday, thousands of Gazans received Arabic-language cell-phone messages from the Israeli military, urging them to leave homes where militants might have stashed weapons.” Israeli commanders are even warning individual Hamas leaders that their homes are on the target list so they can vacate the premises in advance.

It’s also worth looking at the doctrine of distinction, which Israel follows while Hamas does not.

Distinction, according to the Law of Armed Conflict, “means discriminating between lawful combatant targets and noncombatant targets such as civilians, civilian property, POWs, and wounded personnel who are out of combat. The central idea of distinction is to only engage valid military targets. An indiscriminate attack is one that strikes military objectives and civilians or civilian objects without distinction. Distinction requires defenders to separate military objects from civilian objects to the maximum extent feasible. Therefore, it would be inappropriate to locate a hospital or POW camp next to an ammunition factory.”

Hamas violates this doctrine in two ways at once. Its fighters launch Qassam, Katyusha, and Grad rockets into Israeli civilian areas, and they fire those rockets from inside Palestinian civilian areas. Both are prohibited by the Law of Armed Conflict.

The law does not, however, prohibit Israel from striking legitimate military targets in civilian areas. “Although civilians may not be made the object of a direct attack, the LOAC recognizes that a military target need not be spared because its destruction may cause collateral damage that results in the unintended death or injury to civilians or damage to their property.”

Hamas, then, is legally to blame for all, or nearly all, injuries and deaths of both Israelis and Palestinians.

I shouldn’t even need to point out that Hamas is not allowed to target civilians with rockets, but I’ll cite the law anyway. “The LOAC protects civilian populations. Military attacks against cities, towns, or villages not justified by military necessity are forbidden. Attacking noncombatants (generally referred to as civilians) for the sole purpose of terrorizing them is also prohibited.”

Concern for the suffering innocents of Gaza – and all children of all nations are innocent – is well, good, and proper. And whether Israel’s operation in Gaza will turn out to be prudent, wise, and productive is yet to be seen. But either way, and at the end of the day, Israel’s rules of engagement comply with the laws of war forged by civilized nations, while nearly every one of Hamas’s military tactics are war crimes.

Read Less

Flotsam and Jetsam

Tennessee Governor Tim Bredesen advises his fellow Democrats: “There is a clear path laid out in law as to how to fill this seat. Blagojevich is the governor. He has not been impeached, he has not been convicted of any crime, and the man he has appointed is by all accounts qualified and respectable. Fellow Democrats: stop what you’re doing, seat Mr. Burris, start us back on the path of respecting the rule of law even when we don’t like it, and most importantly turn your attention to a long list of issues that actually matter.”

Dan Schnur agrees: “Go ahead and give Burris the seat. A jury will decide whether Blagojevich is a criminal or just delusional. Either way, Burris is a hack. But there are no rules against hacks serving in the United States Senate. If it turns out that Burris gave the governor something of value in return for the seat (beyond support from African-American voters and jurors), he should be removed. But right now, there’s no good reason not to seat him.”

But Dan Gerstein suggests “carrots and sticks” be employed to get Burris to resign. Yeah, doesn’t Burris know this thing is bleeping golden?

And anyone who builds himself something like this isn’t likely, I suspect, to walk away from one more title (“U.S. Senator”) to be chiseled in just the right place.

Meanwhile, Colorado’s Governor selects someone for the open Senate seat there with expertise on a top issue (education), no relation to anyone in the Senate (past or present), and no excessive personal wealth. What’s up with that?

On the other hand, Michael Bennet is unknown, lacks any constituency, and may have a tough time in 2010. Perhaps governors shouldn’t get carried away with merit. (Or is Bennet a placeholder? It’s hard to keep straight who’s a real senator and who’s just seat-warming.)

If you thought we’d run out of Charlie Rangel scandals you’re wrong. And this one involves AIG. Really??!(at 2:14 mark).

One wonders if the next administration will explain the situation in Gaza in the unequivocal language used by President Bush in his weekly radio address: “This recent outburst of violence was instigated by Hamas — a Palestinian terrorist group supported by Iran and Syria that calls for Israel’s destruction. Eighteen months ago, Hamas took over the Gaza Strip in a coup, and since then has imported thousands of guns and rockets and mortars. Egypt brokered a ceasefire between Hamas and Israel, but Hamas routinely violated that ceasefire by launching rockets into Israel. On December 19th, Hamas announced an end to the ceasefire and soon unleashed a barrage of rockets and mortars that deliberately targeted innocent Israelis — an act of terror that is opposed by the legitimate leader of the Palestinian people, President Abbas. .   . The United States is deeply concerned about the humanitarian situation facing the Palestinian people. Since Hamas’s violent takeover in the summer of 2007, living conditions have worsened for Palestinians in Gaza. By spending its resources on rocket launchers instead of roads and schools, Hamas has demonstrated that it has no intention of serving the Palestinian people.”

In its report on President Bush’s condemnation of Hamas the Washington Post plays “honest broker”:”Bush’s criticism of Hamas was focused largely on allegations that the group endangers innocent Palestinians, using civilian areas to hide in and focusing scant resources on weapons.” Excuse me, but is there some factual dispute over Hamas’s situating weapons in neighborhoods and using children as human shields? And if President Obama makes a similar comment will the Post still describe his information as based on mere “allegations”?

If conservatives didn’t have enough complaints about George W. Bush, the New York Times praises a number of his health care efforts. Actually, if you look carefully enough at the reservations raised by the Times (e.g. refusing to let government set drug prices), you’ll find some pretty good reasons for conservatives to be happy as well.

Tennessee Governor Tim Bredesen advises his fellow Democrats: “There is a clear path laid out in law as to how to fill this seat. Blagojevich is the governor. He has not been impeached, he has not been convicted of any crime, and the man he has appointed is by all accounts qualified and respectable. Fellow Democrats: stop what you’re doing, seat Mr. Burris, start us back on the path of respecting the rule of law even when we don’t like it, and most importantly turn your attention to a long list of issues that actually matter.”

Dan Schnur agrees: “Go ahead and give Burris the seat. A jury will decide whether Blagojevich is a criminal or just delusional. Either way, Burris is a hack. But there are no rules against hacks serving in the United States Senate. If it turns out that Burris gave the governor something of value in return for the seat (beyond support from African-American voters and jurors), he should be removed. But right now, there’s no good reason not to seat him.”

But Dan Gerstein suggests “carrots and sticks” be employed to get Burris to resign. Yeah, doesn’t Burris know this thing is bleeping golden?

And anyone who builds himself something like this isn’t likely, I suspect, to walk away from one more title (“U.S. Senator”) to be chiseled in just the right place.

Meanwhile, Colorado’s Governor selects someone for the open Senate seat there with expertise on a top issue (education), no relation to anyone in the Senate (past or present), and no excessive personal wealth. What’s up with that?

On the other hand, Michael Bennet is unknown, lacks any constituency, and may have a tough time in 2010. Perhaps governors shouldn’t get carried away with merit. (Or is Bennet a placeholder? It’s hard to keep straight who’s a real senator and who’s just seat-warming.)

If you thought we’d run out of Charlie Rangel scandals you’re wrong. And this one involves AIG. Really??!(at 2:14 mark).

One wonders if the next administration will explain the situation in Gaza in the unequivocal language used by President Bush in his weekly radio address: “This recent outburst of violence was instigated by Hamas — a Palestinian terrorist group supported by Iran and Syria that calls for Israel’s destruction. Eighteen months ago, Hamas took over the Gaza Strip in a coup, and since then has imported thousands of guns and rockets and mortars. Egypt brokered a ceasefire between Hamas and Israel, but Hamas routinely violated that ceasefire by launching rockets into Israel. On December 19th, Hamas announced an end to the ceasefire and soon unleashed a barrage of rockets and mortars that deliberately targeted innocent Israelis — an act of terror that is opposed by the legitimate leader of the Palestinian people, President Abbas. .   . The United States is deeply concerned about the humanitarian situation facing the Palestinian people. Since Hamas’s violent takeover in the summer of 2007, living conditions have worsened for Palestinians in Gaza. By spending its resources on rocket launchers instead of roads and schools, Hamas has demonstrated that it has no intention of serving the Palestinian people.”

In its report on President Bush’s condemnation of Hamas the Washington Post plays “honest broker”:”Bush’s criticism of Hamas was focused largely on allegations that the group endangers innocent Palestinians, using civilian areas to hide in and focusing scant resources on weapons.” Excuse me, but is there some factual dispute over Hamas’s situating weapons in neighborhoods and using children as human shields? And if President Obama makes a similar comment will the Post still describe his information as based on mere “allegations”?

If conservatives didn’t have enough complaints about George W. Bush, the New York Times praises a number of his health care efforts. Actually, if you look carefully enough at the reservations raised by the Times (e.g. refusing to let government set drug prices), you’ll find some pretty good reasons for conservatives to be happy as well.

Read Less




Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor to our site, you are allowed 8 free articles this month.
This is your first of 8 free articles.

If you are already a digital subscriber, log in here »

Print subscriber? For free access to the website and iPad, register here »

To subscribe, click here to see our subscription offers »

Please note this is an advertisement skip this ad
Clearly, you have a passion for ideas.
Subscribe today for unlimited digital access to the publication that shapes the minds of the people who shape our world.
Get for just
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor, you are allowed 8 free articles.
This is your first article.
You have read of 8 free articles this month.
YOU HAVE READ 8 OF 8
FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
for full access to
CommentaryMagazine.com
INCLUDES FULL ACCESS TO:
Digital subscriber?
Print subscriber? Get free access »
Call to subscribe: 1-800-829-6270
You can also subscribe
on your computer at
CommentaryMagazine.com.
LOG IN WITH YOUR
COMMENTARY MAGAZINE ID
Don't have a CommentaryMagazine.com log in?
CREATE A COMMENTARY
LOG IN ID
Enter you email address and password below. A confirmation email will be sent to the email address that you provide.