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Why must America break the rules to enforce them?

first_imgAmerica has changed from the champion of international order to its antagonist. Bush has rejected the idea that a set of strong international institutions, built on a set of common agreements about values and the rule of law, is good for America and the world.  First came the unilateral abandonment of the Anti Ballistic Missile Treaty so that they could complete testing and then build the first stages of a ballistic missile shield.  There are many problems with this, aside from the fact that the technology doesn’t work. It is preposterously expensive; it does not protect against terrorist attack (the most likely kind); and it is strategically destabilizing. That is a quartet of problems that should have doomed it. But the core message America sent in ditching the treaty it is that their commitments are valid only so long as they are also convenient. The Russians have recently used the proposed first phase construction in Poland as the basis for saying they will not observe their commitments under the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty.  What goes around comes around.The Administration then announced that they would not sign the treaty establishing the International Court of Criminal Justice.  The ostensible reason for this was to avoid “rogue prosecution” of American soldiers by those who might wish the US harm.  This is, on its face, preposterous.  The standards of the Court were specifically rewritten to respond to US concerns over precisely this issue. Once again, the message is that the US will accept no limits on its power.Then, in an almost offhanded way, the Administration simply rejected the Kyoto Treaty.  Among European countries this was, along with Iraq, the most shocking step.  Absolute and unilateral rejection was far outside the range of what informed observers thought would be the US response.Next the Bush Administration asserted that the Geneva Accords were not binding on US treatment of detainees – and this has only put coalition soldiers at greater risk.  Finally there is the National Security Strategy to Combat Weapons of Mass Destruction. This paper reasserts the right to preventative war, but a more dangerous element of that same paper was called to my attention by an article in Foreign Affairs by George Perkovich.   One weapon of mass destruction – nuclear – is fundamentally different from chemical and biological weapons, which are absolutely outlawed. The core treaty regulating nuclear weapons is the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty of 1968. And the core “deal” of that Treaty is that all state signatories agreed not to acquire nuclear weapons and the five nuclear states agreed, over time, to reduce and then eliminate their own nuclear arsenals. But now the Bush strategy calls for assuring US nuclear superiority indefinitely. In order to do this the US will necessarily abrogate its commitments under NPT, including the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and the commitment to eventual elimination. In short, in the most dangerous area – nuclear – the Bush radicals have asserted the right to abrogate the Treaty that has worked so much to the benefit of the US. The inevitable consequence of this action will be violation by others, making the world a vastly more dangerous place.For those Americans who believe in a rule of law at home (including protection of civil liberties) there is real risk and real work ahead.  But it is in the international arena where the radicalism of this Administration poses a direct challenge to the world’s security. America will pay heavily – in security, in economic well-being, in their long-term leadership – if it allows this Administration to make the country a rogue state not bound by treaty and unconstrained by the decent opinion of mankind.Sam BrownSam Brown was the Ambassador of the United States to the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe.last_img read more

Your version of Kobe Bryant doesn’t need to match anyone else’s

first_imgMany recalled the Bryant who took the floor for the Lakers, captivating fans on his way to five championships, 18 All-Star teams and more than 33,000 points. The anticipation of waiting for a final Kobe jump shot to reach the basket with the game hanging in the balance could take your breath away. His accolades were impressive, but his signature moments elevated him from man to myth.Bryant’s unstoppable will to win and endless supply of energy turned him into a superhero more than a superstar. He was held in a higher regard, even among the game’s elite. He can still be seen through the next generation of NBA players, the youngsters who grew up watching and worshipping Bryant as he chased greatness with reckless abandon.Those qualities also provided plenty of material for his detractors. Another side of Bryant could be selfish, arrogant and sometimes downright mean to others.His former teammate Lamar Odom said Bryant once elbowed Lakers guard Sasha Vujacic in the face for no apparent reason. He turned Smush Parker into a punchline. Everyone knows his history with Shaquille O’Neal. He was fined $100,000 in 2011 for hurling a gay slur at a referee. (He later apologized and earned praise in 2013 for telling a Twitter user to not use the word “gay” as an insult.)GREER: Kobe’s daughter brought out the best side of her fatherPerhaps Bryant’s competitive fire, with all of its intended and unintended ripple effects, was the only way he could have reached such a high level of success. It takes insane self-belief to launch some of those trademark clutch shots, let alone drain them. Critics may have argued about Bryant’s playing style and abrasive nature, but for him, that was how he found what he needed. He challenged those in his circle the same way he challenged himself.Then there was Bryant’s public persona. He could be charming and intriguing, the kind of famous person who stands out in a room of celebrities. His 6-6 frame, his voice, his articulation — there was a certain command and magnetism he could have over a room. (Note: Strong language in the video below.)My favorite Kobe story, and one of his favorites to tell me: After studying Michael Jordan on film, what it was like the first time a trademark dunk move happened before his eyes the first time he played MJ & the Bulls. I think he would have wanted you to all know this one… pic.twitter.com/XuMfa0x0aR— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) January 28, 2020Bryant’s image also changed drastically when he was charged with sexual assault in 2003. The charges were dropped after Bryant’s accuser declined to testify, and a civil suit was settled privately in 2005. As part of an apology to the woman, Bryant said: “Although I truly believe this encounter between us was consensual, I recognize now that she did not and does not view this incident the same way I did. After months of reviewing discovery, listening to her attorney, and even her testimony in person, I now understand how she feels that she did not consent to this encounter.”Following Bryant’s death, arguments quickly formed online about how to discuss this case. Is it too soon to talk about it? Isn’t it always “too soon” to talk about it? How much should we talk about it?Legacies are always complicated if you look beyond the surface. There is no right answer. ESPN’s Pablo Torre came the closest to finding one.MORGAN: How my hate for Kobe turned into admiration”We should think of Kobe Bryant as a human being, as hard as that is right now,” Torre said. “To mention his flaws is not to dilute his myth. To acknowledge his sexual assault case in Colorado, for instance, is not to dishonor his greatness. It is merely to complicate it.” No matter what Kobe Bryant did, he made you feel. There was no middle ground with him. For the majority of his 20-year NBA career, you wanted him to win triumphantly or fail miserably, and there was no in-between.Bryant’s rare blend of excellence and charisma propelled him to a status reserved for only the most compelling figures in sports history. The impact of his sudden death stretched well beyond the basketball floor and forced people around the world to grapple with their feelings in a way only the loss of life can. We witnessed a post-retirement Bryant enjoy being a husband and father. He expressed such a profound love for his wife and four daughters. We saw how he passed on his passion for basketball to 13-year-old Gianna, one of the nine people killed in Sunday’s tragic helicopter accident. She brought out the best in him, the dorky dad and coach following her around to the next game and snapping photos at every opportunity. This is who Kobe was on his final day.Bryant transitioned into different phases of his life before our eyes, and he had so much more left to do. His curiosity was limitless. He dabbled in sports, business, TV, movies and literature. He won an Oscar less than two years removed from his final NBA game. Once closed off and unwilling to share his secrets, he became a role model for current players, both men and women. He had so much left to share.No matter what Kobe Bryant did, he made you feel — and your feelings are just as valid as anyone else’s.last_img read more


first_imgALL roads lead to Killygordon this Friday where some of Donegal’s best musicians, singers and performers take to the stage for the local community variety concert.The hilarious Fergus ClearyThe event will be held in the Oaktree Community Centre, with all proceeds going towards helping Crossroads and Killygordon Enterprise (CAKE) continue their good work in the area.Earlier this year, CAKE opened a new 4,000 square foot, two-storey extension to the centre. The organisers stressed that all artists will be local, as they wanted to host the event in order to highlight the great wealth of traditional and contemporary musicians and performers in the locality.MC on the night will be one of Donegal’s best-known artists, writers and storytellers, Fergus Cleary.Fergus will also be joined by the cream of local talent including traditional group ‘Whin Bush’ who will be accompanied by renowned fiddler, Francie Kelly.Other musicians and singers include the performers from Dromore National School, Orla Noonan-Sweeney, Shelly O’Brien and Danny Sweeney, John (Simi) Doherty (fiddler), Evan Kee (recital) and Champion Irish dancer, Sophie Duffy. Doors open 8:15 pm and Dromore NS performers will be on stage at 8:45 pm Sharp, so come early as a large crowd is expected.Admission is just €10 for adults and €5 for under 16s while there will also be concessions for families.YOU CAN HAVE YOUR CAKE AND EAT IT IN KILLYGORDON was last modified: November 20th, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:CAKEconcertKillygordonlast_img read more


first_imgThe Donegal Chamber OrchestraPICTURE: With the kind permission of John Soffe (www.johnsoffe.com) Check his Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/JohnSoffePhotography),The Donegal Chamber Orchestra is in Inishowen for the first time as part of the Colgan Heritage Week this Saturday at 7.30pm in the Colgan Hall, Carndonagh. The ensemble was founded in June 2006 and successfully performed across the County, Northern Ireland, Dublin and as far as Tuscany. In its 8 years of history this will be the first time the group is performing in Inishowen! For this special occasion, the string orchestra will be joined by local musician Ciara Fagan, who will be playing John Baston’s Recorder Concerto No. 2 as soloist with the ensemble. Also to mark the first visit to the peninsula, the orchestra will perform ‘The Inishowen Set’ a new work especially composed for the string ensemble by Redcastle based composer John McLachlan.During February the composer worked with the Orchestra in this new work for a Letterkenny premiere and it will be performed for the second time this Saturday in Inishowen.John McLachlan is an internationally esteemed Dublin born composer who lives in Co. Donegal. See www.johnmclachlan.info for more.The Donegal Chamber Orchestra features classical string players from across county Donegal and is dedicated to helping students and amateur musicians achieve the highest level of excellence in performance. The Donegal Chamber Orchestra gives regular performances throughout the county during the year and previous seasons have included trips to Spain and Italy. Since its establishment the orchestra worked with guest artists such as violinist Darragh Morgan, Belgium soprano Tine Verbeke, renowned Romanian/Irish cellist Mihai Dancila, the Spanish chamber orchestra Concerto Málaga and the Italian Maestro Massimo Paris. The Orchestra was founded in 2006 by Hungarian violinist Orsolya Szabó-Yélamo (Violin resource tutor with Donegal Music Education Partnership) and Spanish cellist Víctor Yélamo (Artistic Director of the ensemble).www.dmep.ieFor their concert in Cardongagh, they will perform John McLachlan’s ‘The Inishowen Set’ conducted by the composer himself who also will introduce his piece to the audience. The program will also include Karl Jenkin’s Palladio, John Baston’s Recorder Concerto No. 2 (soloist: Ciara Fagan), Hindemith’s Op. 44, Britten’s Simple Symphony Op. 4, Tchaikovsky’s Elegy for string orchestra and Bartok’s Ten Folk Hungarian Pieces.This concert starts at 7.30pm. Admissions € 10/5. Tickets will be available at the door. For further information contact The Colgan Hall 074 93 29377 or [email protected] DONEGAL CHAMBER ORCHESTRA’S SATURDAY NIGHT CARNDONAGH CONCERT was last modified: June 27th, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Carndonaghdonegal chamber orchestraInishowen SetPerformanceThe Colgan Halllast_img read more

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