Day: October 29, 2012

The Moral Cost Of Inaction In Syria

The tragedy in Syria grows worse by the day. Battles between rebel forces and the Assad regime continue to rage across the country. With over 30,000 casualties and hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing war-torn areas, the suffering endured by the Syrian people is an abhorrent tragedy. However, an even greater tragedy is the comprehensive lack of leadership shown by the United States government in responding to the crisis. This is a rolling disaster for American leadership. The Obama administration’s failure to act in the face of growing human carnage is a blow to the United States’ reputation, to regional and international allies, to initiatives like the Responsibility to Protect and to innocent civilians in Syria. As the world watches, the Syrian government is escalating its war against rebel groups. In an attempt to defeat the rebels, the Assad regime is resorting to the unrestrained pounding of civilian areas. In addition, Syria’s use of air power decisively tilts the advantage in its favor, leading to indiscriminate destruction, where fleeing civilians are often caught in the crosshairs of battle. The U.S. can repair some of its damaged reputation by instituting a no-fly zone in northern Syria. In choosing to follow this course, America would find substantial international support from a cross-section of key allies, making the mission a multi-lateral effort and lending it international legitimacy. A broad coalition of actors,...

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No, the Dollar Is Not Dying

This article is in response to Trevor Whitney's article Is the Dollar Dying? — “In truth, the gold standard is already a barbarous relic.” John Maynard Keynes This year, the Republican Party polished off an idea formerly relegated to the dustbin of history. In its official party platform, the GOP calls for a commission to study the possibility of “a metallic base for U.S. currency” – in other words, a return to the gold standard. The last time a major political party officially endorsed the idea of tying the nation’s currency to a limited, volatile commodity[1] was in 1984. That year, the economy was booming, the dollar was peaking and the dream of a return to the gold standard was in its death throes after President Reagan’s 1982 Gold Commission rejected the idea. The world today looks wholly different, with a struggling economy and an embattled dollar. And the gold standard, once thought dead, has staged something of a comeback. In 2011, a whopping 44 percent of likely voters said they favored a gold standard. Representative Ron Paul has led the charge, (falsely) declaring any monetary system without a metallic base to be unconstitutional[2] and calling for an end to the Federal Reserve’s “debasement” of the dollar. The argument goes something like this: without the gold standard, inflationary policies by unaccountable elites[3] at the Federal Reserve have steadily destroyed...

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