“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Post Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo and Libya interventions result in weak, corrupt and violent non-democratic countries.


One year on: chaotic Libya reveals the perils of humanitarian intervention

The mission to remove Gaddafi was a noble one. But it provides a further lesson in the pitfalls of such actions.

In the immediate aftermath of the fall of Muammar Gaddafi's regime in Libya last summer, Stewart Patrick, writing in Foreign Affairs, made a bold prediction. The fall of Tripoli, opined the former US State Department official, was "the first unambiguous military enforcement of the Responsibility to Protect norm, Gaddafi's utter defeat seemingly putting new wind in the sails of humanitarian intervention".

Even as Patrick wrote, his argument was apparently bolstered by a presidential study directive on mass atrocities that offered a menu of potential policy options in the face of large-scale human rights abuses. It was a document, he averred, which was a significant triumph for Samantha Power, the author of A Problem From Hell and the "intervention hawk" credited with persuading President Obama to back the anti-Gaddafi forces militarily.

That was then. Now, on the first anniversary of the uprising against the regime and with Libya in increasing turmoil, the certainties of last summer look less compelling. As recent reports by human rights groups and journalists have made clear, the country has descended into rival fiefdoms of competing militias, not least in Misrata, which, as the Guardian argued on Friday, has set itself up as a "city state" with its own prisons and justice system. Human rights abuses are rife. Corruption is endemic. The new post-Gaddafi state, far from coalescing into meaningful institutions, is becoming ever more fractured.

As Ian Martin, the UN's envoy to Libya, argued late last month: "The former regime may have been toppled, but the harsh reality is that the Libyan people continue to have to live with its deep-rooted legacy; weak, at times absent, state institutions, coupled with the long absence of political parties and civil society organisations, which render the country's transition more difficult." And the lessons of what has happened in Libya cannot be seen in isolation. Rather, they add impetus to the question of when and how humanitarian military intervention should be employed at the time when calls for a new intervention in Syria are mounting. For the reality is that far from being an unambiguous success, Libya has proved once again the limitations of military intervention for regime-change in its various guises.

In Iraq, Afghanistan – in Kosovo to a lesser degree — and now Libya, what has been left after intervention has been a series of weak and corrupt fragile states, where violence is often commonplace and anything resembling real democracy utterly absent.

Part of the problem stems from an overarching naivety in the terms of the doctrine of intervention – in particular "Responsibility to Protect", pushed by the likes of Power – which has operated on the assumption that removing a bad regime must lead inevitably to a happier outcome. That view, in turn, has its roots in a confused understanding of how the concepts of legitimacy and the use of force interact in times of war and how the recent history of conflict can create the permissive climate for further violence.

For while few would deny that states using violence against their own populations delegitimise themselves, when that abuse is then deployed to argue for the use of force to remove regimes, it creates a complex dynamic that risks normalising conflict in the new political space, as has occurred in Iraq and Libya. Perhaps even more worrying has been the starkly visible trend towards ever-more hands-off engagement in the post-conflict reconstruction that has mirrored an apparent desire for intervention to be ever cheaper in terms of blood and treasure.

After the fall of the Taliban and Saddam Hussein's regime, efforts were made, even if they were ultimately botched and deeply flawed, to remould the political space backed by huge resources. In Libya, "intervention lite" has been followed by an even lighter reconstruction, now unravelling with increasingly disastrous results.

Indeed, the failure of recent high-profile interventions – to a greater and lesser degree – far from putting new wind in the sails of humanitarian intervention, as Patrick claimed, has served to dramatise its ambiguities and shortcomings. These failures have raised once again the vexed questions of what should be the threshold for intervention, of proportionality and how far the organising notion of sovereignty should be undermined in international law.

All of which has led to a fundamental paradox. While it is difficult to counter the core moral principle of humanitarian intervention articulated by the likes of Power and US legal academic Fernando Tesón – the latter has argued that because the major purpose of states and governments is to guarantee human rights, then governments that violate human rights should not be protected by international law – it is far more difficult to commend the real and practical outcomes.

I have visited enough human rights-abusing regimes to understand the force of the moral argument in favour of preventing such abuses, especially when they are conducted on a grand scale. But having covered the interventions – and the bloodshed that has followed in Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan – I find it hard to be as complacent as the pro-intervention lobby often appears to be, finding as much to criticise in the abuse after intervention as before.

Perversely, the greatest danger for those pushing most forcefully for intervention is that the dubious consequences of recent interventions may ultimately discourage states from intervening in clear-cut and egregious cases of widespread atrocity and genocide of the kind that inspired the anger of the likes of Power in the first instance – in Bosnia and Rwanda.

What to do then? The answer is that if the notion of humanitarian intervention is not to be utterly discredited, there has to be a rigorous, realistic and practical understanding of what is required – not simply to remove abusive regimes, but to guarantee genuine freedoms, democracy and transparency in the post-conflict period.

For that to occur requires that the doctrine be married with a far higher threshold for intervention and a more profound understanding of both the actors involved and the potential consequences. Because the grim alternative – still visibly present in the relationship with countries such as Bahrain and Saudi Arabia – is a return to a kind of Kissinger-style policy realism that turns a blind eye to abuse.

If intervention is to be a tool, it must be a tool of last resort, backed by the promise of serious post-conflict engagement, costly and time-consuming as it is, with an explicit understanding that "Responsibility to Protect" should not simply mean the prevention of widespread atrocities in the first place, but responsibility for the prevention of civil war in the conflict's aftermath and for reconstruction.

Otherwise, the doctrine invoked to end one horror will become known as the doctrine that gave birth to so many others.



  1. How many more of these interventionist disasters do we have left to inflict? Now it is Syria.

    What benefit have the people of the US gained from any of these idiotic wars?

  2. There is more than one way to skin acat...

    ...i.e. There is more than one way to fall into war:

    "Iran stops oil exports to Britain, France in pre-emptive blow "

  3. .

    Going into Libya, a lesson eventually learned in Iraq and Afghanistan, it was obvious that once the existing regime was put down chaos would eventually follow.

    The only ones thinking differently were the ideologues, the naifs, and the English majors.


  4. The Obama Administration is reportedly giving away Wrangell, Bennett, Jeannette and Henrietta islands in Alaska to Russia. The federal government drew the line to put these seven Alaskan islands on the Russian side.

    Iran Halts Oil Sales to Britain and France (more for China and India).

    OHIO: Santorum 42%, Romney 24%, Gingrich 13%, Paul 10%–among likely Republican primary voters.

    MICHIGAN: Santorum 39%, Romney 24%, Paul 12%, Gingrich 11%.

    In Liberal Washington State, Voters Disapprove of Obama.

    Job performance: Approve 42%, Disapprove 47%.

    Economy: Approve 37%, Disapprove 56%.

    Health care: Approve 36%, Disapprove 56%.

    A former Navy chaplain who was drummed out of the military for ending his prayers “in Jesus’ name” has said the Obama administration is now attempting to silence chaplains who speak out on doctrinal matters relating to their church’s teachings on abortion and contraception.

  5. Deuce: How many more of these interventionist disasters do we have left to inflict? Now it is Syria.

    On Friday, June 9, 1967, Moshe Dayan ordered an attack on Syria and opened a northern front without orders from the prime minister, and against the recommendation of Chief of Staff Yitzak Rabin. Some hothead in the Little Satan will probably start the shit with Iran, and no worries, because Great Satan's got their back, right?

  6. .

    For proof, you need look no further than the Pentagon’s new “strategic guidance” document, issued last month in the wake of Mr. Obama’s pledge to cut $485 billion from the defense budget over the coming decade. It repeats many of the core objectives of recent American national security strategy: defeat Al Qaeda, deter traditional aggressors, counter the threat from unconventional weapons.

    But it also states, “In the aftermath of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the United States will emphasize nonmilitary means and military-to-military cooperation to address instability and reduce the demand for significant U.S. force commitments to stability operations.” It goes on to note that “U.S. forces will no longer be sized to conduct large-scale, prolonged stability operations.”


  7. More in the Fact is Stranger Than Fiction category:

    Greece plans to launch a debt swap next month for private bondholders as part of a second €130bn bail-out expected to be approved on Monday by eurozone finance ministers, a government official said on Saturday.
    The official said the swap, which would cover €200bn of Greek sovereign debt, would take place between March 8 and March 11, only days before Athens is due to repay a €14.4bn bond maturing on March 20.

    Greece has accumulated over $200 billion in debt. That was one hell of a party!

  8. To put that in perspective, California has $265 billion in debt. Greece has a GDP of $300 billion. California $2 trillion.

  9. Deuce: Greece has accumulated over $200 billion in debt. That was one hell of a party!

    We're almost there too.

    Nearly half of Americans don't pay income tax.

  10. Those banks may as well have loaned $1 billion to Mike Tyson.

  11. Deuce: To put that in perspective, California has $265 billion in debt. Greece has a GDP of $300 billion. California $2 trillion.

    I'm seeking a figure closer to $400 billion for Greek debt.

  12. Seeking = Seeing.

  13. what is "occupation"Sun Feb 19, 11:04:00 AM EST

    Wasp said...
    Deuce: How many more of these interventionist disasters do we have left to inflict? Now it is Syria.

    On Friday, June 9, 1967, Moshe Dayan ordered an attack on Syria and opened a northern front without orders from the prime minister, and against the recommendation of Chief of Staff Yitzak Rabin. Some hothead in the Little Satan will probably start the shit with Iran, and no worries, because Great Satan's got their back, right?

    Nicely played shit the issue to Israel...

    But Iran aint some small un-important to bit shit hole.

    And Israel's war with Syria has nothing to do with Iran's war on America and Israel.

    Once again you show your lying nature and your obsession with all things Israel.

    too bad. it was shaping up to be an interesting discussion.

    the solution to the middle east is simple.

    1. announce an intention for the USA to become an energy exporter

    2. arm the Kurds with tons of weapons and advocate their inclusion in the UN based on historic borders for their nation.

  14. what is "occupation"Sun Feb 19, 11:05:00 AM EST

    shift not shit

  15. Not all English majors, maybe the lieutenants.

  16. PYONGYANG, North Korea - North Korea will launch “merciless” strikes if South Korea goes through with planned live-fire drills near their disputed sea border, a North Korean officer said Sunday, amid persistent tension on the divided peninsula.

    Bring it.

    Sunni Sheik Prophecy: “Allah Will Send American Gorbachev From Within to Take Down Empire”

    (he already did, name's Barack Hussein Obama)

  17. Santorum:

    "Obama's agenda not based on the Bible"


    "Iran is dangerous because it's a theocracy."


  18. Not sure that Jesus would be Christian enough for Santorum. After all, he was never married and talked about poor people but not gays or abortion.

  19. Published on on February 14, 2012

    President Obama, faced with no recovery from the recession as he enters an election year, has come up with a handy political gimmick: Fake the statistics.

    The economic data that portend recovery are totally and completely inventions of Obama’s political operation. The reality is that no recovery is taking place!

    Economist James Fitzgibbon, of the Highlander Fund, explains how cooked the economic statistics on which the president bases his claims of recovery really are.

    Begin with “gains” in the stock market. Fitzgibbon explains that they are no indication of changes in the public mood because the public isn’t doing the investing anymore. He notes that HFT (high frequency trade computers) now “account for 80 percent [of the market's] daily business. No one else is left because they lost their money in 2008 and the public has fled the market … Total NYSE volume is 67 percent lower on average than in 2008. Volume is 29 percent lower this year compared to 2011. The prices [have] no serious meaning.”

    Have consumers, as alleged, started borrowing again? Not really. Fitzgibbon explains that “credit use has surged only because the Obama administration changed the student loan program to a direct program and those loans are now counted as part of this metric. It is not comparable to anything prior to 2011.” And, he adds ominously, “massive credit card use as measured against actual verifiable sales shows the increase is in borrowed funds to pay for food! Not my idea of a healthy sign.”

    How about lower unemployment figures? Fitzgibbon says they are a “joke.” He says that the Bureau of Labor Statistics has “completely changed the … metrics as of January 2012. None of the current percentages are relatable to anything prior to 2012!” He points out that the January unemployment data are heavily adjusted for “seasonal variations.” He notes that “the actual data [show that the economy] lost 2.7 million jobs in January.” And that’s just the numerator. For the denominator — the number of people in the workforce — the data “also shows about 1.2 million people magically left the workforce.” He says one has to go back to the early 1980s to see labor force participation as low as it is now.

    Auto sales? He says “auto sales are when the manufacturer dumps cars and trucks on a dealer. Inventory stuffing! It has no relationship to actual sales to a consumer. Thanks to Obama, GM dealers are drowning in product no one wants to buy. It is a meaningless data point. Only dealer-to-consumer data is useful. It is not showing any growth at all.”

    Housing? He says positive news in this sector is unreliable. “The raw data we get shows it is worse than last year and in some regions [the] worst ever since the ’60s.”

    So it appears that Obama’s reelection strategy hinges on asking people to believe the data he puts before them rather than the evidence of their own eyes. It won’t work.

    Any economic recovery is only publicly noticed eight to 12 quarters after it has taken place. Ask George H.W. Bush, who lost the 1992 election despite very positive economic news at the end of his term. Or ask Clinton, who lost Congress despite two years of favorable job-creation numbers. It takes awhile for the good economic news to sink in. And, when there is no good news, just faked government propaganda, it takes even longer to sink in!

    People will understand that Obama’s data are a lie. The economy is not some abstract issue. Real people do not depend on changes in the unemployment-rate data to gauge their mood. They are more interested in whether they can get good jobs themselves. Obama’s attempt to rig the statistics won’t work. Indeed, it is a pathetic attempt.

  20. On Thursday, the league announced that its 21-game broadcast schedule during the Chinese New Year celebration in China from Jan. 21-28 was watched by 96 million viewers there—79 million on the league's television partners in China, and an additional 17 million on digital platforms, the AP said.

    The recent success of Jeremy Lin, an American-born point guard from Harvard who has had a phenomenal two-week run with the New York Knicks, has only added to the NBA's popularity in China. Lin is the first American-born NBA player of Chinese or Taiwanese descent.

    Originally, Mr. Xi wanted to watch a Los Angeles Clippers game, according to people familiar with the matter. He made the surprise personal request during a recent visit to Beijing by Timothy Geithner, the U.S. Treasury secretary.

  21. Obama is the master of words that cool. We hate to break it to their youthful supporters, but neither Rick Santorum nor Mitt Romney is going to be cooler than Barack Obama.

    Indeed, as Jennifer Epstein of Politico reported last week, the Obama campaign is working hard “to revive the cool appeal” he had in 2008. Scarlett Johansson cohosted a fundraiser recently at Theory, “a trendy clothing store in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District.”


    Let Obama have the cool factor. Republicans can counter with some real poetry.

    They Like The Poetry

  22. Santorum will if he gets there hurt himself in the general with all this talk of condoms and wombs and theologies. He ought to tone that down a bit.

  23. "This reflects that Hu Jintao, in this moment, is giving…respect and leeway to his No. 1 associate," said Shi Yinhong, an expert on U.S.-China relations at Renmin University in Beijing. "It also reflects [Mr. Xi's] position as the future top leader has been quite solidified."

    For some U.S. experts, however, Mr. Xi's visit was short on substance. Mr. Xi managed to avoid making gaffes; hecklers or protesters did not disrupt high-profile events despite repeated demonstrations by Tibetan activists; and U.S. and Chinese officials kept any sharp discussions behind closed doors.

    "The fact that there was no story is in itself a story," said June Teufel Dreyer, a professor of political science at the University of Miami.

  24. The former chief of staff to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Saturday an Israeli strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities is “imminent.”

    Naftali Bennett appeared on Fox News’ “Huckabee” and painted a dire picture of a world with a nuclear Iran, saying Israel will not hesitate to take action if necessary — and that time is of the essence.

    “We’re at the very last moment. This is going to be the first time in history that a maniacal, radical Islamic regime will acquire a nuclear weapon,” he said. “The day after they have a bomb will be a different day for the entire world.”

    Calling Iran “an octopus of terror,” Bennett told host Mike Huckabee in no uncertain terms: “We have to stop them, and yes, it is imminent.”

    I wonder why he's the "former" Chief of Staff. Big mouth?

  25. what is "occupation"Sun Feb 19, 07:47:00 PM EST

    wasp: I wonder why he's the "former" Chief of Staff. Big mouth?


    not a comment ever made by Ms T, Aka Teresita, aka zena, aka WASP towards Israel, Jews or Israelis ever be without her /he/it's bias.

    The former Chief of Staff might know something worth listening to, unlike yourself...

  26. SWIFT, as a European entity, must comply with EU regulations.

    It unclear whether the SWIFT ban would apply only to new transactions with overseas buyers or whether it would prevent payment on existing oil contracts that go through sanctioned Iranian banks.

    Also uncertain was whether the powerful Central Bank of Iran would be covered at the outset.

  27. North Carolina officials have said there was a misunderstanding when a preschooler’s homemade lunch was sent home for not meeting certain nutritional requirements, but now a second mother from the same school has come forward exclusively to The Blaze to say the same thing happened to her daughter.

    Diane Zambrano says her 4-year-old daughter, Jazlyn, is in the same West Hoke Elementary School class as the little girl whose lunch gained national attention earlier this week. When Zambrano picked Jazlyn up from school late last month, she was told by Jazlyn’s teacher that the lunch she had packed that day did not meet the necessary guidelines and that Jazlyn had been sent to the cafeteria.


    That day, Zambrano said she picked Jazlyn up from school and asked if she ate her lunch.

    Not Healthy Enough

  28. Givin Volt™ buyers a extra $2500 means we gotta cut fat. DC school vouchers for poor kids was a frill anyways.

    Worst thing that could happen to unions is 1) No one buys the Chevy Dolt and 2) People pick their own schools.

  29. "Post Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo and Libya interventions result in weak, corrupt and violent non-democratic countries."

    If only we hadn't intervened, those countries would still be strong,ethical, peace-loving democracies.

  30. It’s been half a century since the writer Peter Viereck remarked that anti-Catholicism has become the anti-Semitism of intellectuals. Today, anti-Catholicism is the anti-Semitism not just of intellectuals but of the church of liberalism.

    It is no surprise that the Obama administration’s contraceptive “compromise” was no compromise at all but the same edict dressed up in new rhetoric. Compared with religious freedom and the First Amendment, the out-of-pocket expense of contraceptives might seem like a minor issue.

    But for the left, it’s a matter of dogma. And that dogma is sexual liberation.

  31. No, but we would have a hell of a lot more money, and a hell of a lot fewer dead, and disabled soldiers.

  32. The cost of Doctors' visits, and contraception isn't a "minor" cost to many young, poor girls.

  33. So why do you think someone would want to move to New Zealand?

  34. China-based Suntech, the world's largest producer of solar panels, hasn't been immune to turmoil in the industry world-wide, but the company's founder and chief executive, Shi Zhengrong, believes increasing consolidation in the sector will buoy large players.


    Dr. Shi talked with Aaron Back in Davos, Switzerland. The following interview has been edited.

    WSJ: You earned a Ph.D. in Australia and took an Australian citizenship. How did this experience shape your management philosophy?

    Mr. Shi: I spent 14 years living in Sydney, Australia. When I first went to Australia I was 23 years old. I was a young man. I did my Ph.D. with professor Martin Green, and to be honest, before that I never thought I could be a good scientist.


    WSJ: So was it something of a coincidence that you became involved with solar technology?

    Dr. Shi: It was a coincidence for me to come to know professor Martin Green. I knocked on his door at 5 p.m. to ask him for a job. So then I said "I don't want a full-time job, I just want something like part-time research assistance or something." So then he said, "OK, come in." So we started chatting, and he knew my background, he knew I had masters degree, I think based on the credentials of other Chinese students he guessed I was at least above average. That's how I got into solar.

    WSJ: Has your dual role as a Chinese entrepreneur and an Australian citizen been key to your success?

    Dr. Shi: I think it's extremely important for Suntech. If you look at our culture and DNA, a lot of things have to do with my experience in Australia.

    Solar Industry

  35. Melody you nitwit, the trout fishing out of those mountains is world class, super. My uncle went there. Probably still pretty good. That's why :)

    Paper says more doctors needed here desperately, more have left, some died (yes, doctors die too), can't find replacements, and we are an attractive community with WSU and U of I.

    If Rufus gets his way, we'll be stacked up in the hospital corridors and no one to care for us.

  36. That kid could use a ski pole out in that current.

  37. The Doctors left your hick, country asses, and went to Massachusetts, where they can get paid for their work.

  38. I hadn't hurled an insult all day, till you started, Rufus. Where ever they went, I bet it wasn't northern Mississippi.

    hick, country asses


    coming from back by the still

    o the moon is high
    and so am I
    the stars are out
    and so will I
    be pretty soon

  39. And, I quote:

    "If Rufus gets his way, we'll be stacked up in the hospital corridors and no one to care for us."

  40. The British, who really do have patients stacked up in the corridors, are finally making an effort to privatize their health care system. Just as we are going the other way. The British Health Service is one of the biggest employers in the world though it makes no difference in the quality of care on the receiving end.
    One of their higher ups in the Service died waiting around for her operation.

    Since Rufus wants to foist that type of system on us all, I can be excused for calling it RufusCare.

  41. That's a fucking lie, you asshole. I want to foist Obamacare (formerly known as, Romneycare) on you.

    The type of medicine found in Massachusetts - commonly referred to as "just about the best in the world" (but, available to everyone, not just old, ready-to-die, slumlords.)

  42. Massachusetts healthcare has absolutely Nothing in common with British Health Service care.

  43. A lot depends on whether opponents can press the argument against Obama’s mandate from all angles. Can they get the word out that it’s not merely a “contraception mandate” but an “abortion mandate,” too?

    Can they make the case that the issue is religious liberty—or liberty more broadly—and not access to contraception? That all remains to be seen.

    But there’s no reason to think the issue will go away before November. For opponents, the election is the only opportunity to reverse the mandate.

    Fight The Left Wants

  44. Wait till Santorum gets through informing the women of America that he's against their right to practice Birth Control.

    He'll be lucky to carry Mississippi, and Alabama.

  45. Idiot, he has voted for providing birth control for women, but you are such a closed minded old coot you don't even read the articles. He was just on this radio program I am listening to making the distinction between his own practice in his personal life, and what his votes were for and against in the past. Learn your topic before spouting off you old fool.

  46. I'm smart enough to know that every politician does all he can to see that his "Personal" convictions become, to some extent, Law.

  47. He's, also, against "Pre-Natal" Tests.

    How many Men in America are against Pre-Natal Testing for their wives?

  48. He's upset that Obama doesn't govern from a "Biblical" philosophy.

  49. If there's a difference between Santorum, and the Mullahs, it's a damned "nuanced" one.

  50. If there's a difference between Santorum, and the Mullahs, it's a damned "nuanced" one

    My God, my God, Rufus.

    You have flown from the tree.

    And I don't particularly like Santorum.

  51. A "Bible-Thumper" is a Bible-Thumper in the Rufus Book, Bob.

    I make no distinction between which book they're thumpin'.

  52. On the campaign trail, Mr. Santorum has criticized a requirement in President Barack Obama’s health-care overhaul that insurers cover prenatal testing, saying that would lead to more abortions.

    “A lot of prenatal tests are done to identify deformities in utero, and the customary procedure is to encourage abortions,’’ Mr. Santorum said on CBS, singling out the amniocentesis procedure in particular.

    When host Bob Schieffer questioned whether the senator would oppose any kind of prenatal testing, Mr. Santorum said he supported sonograms and other prenatal care, but he said parents should not be forced by the government to get procedures.

    Mr. Santorum cited his family’s own medical history in making the argument, particularly his daughter who has trisomy 18, a genetic disorder that impairs a child’s development and usually leads to an early death.

    “I have a child that has trisomy 18. Almost 100% of trisomy 18 children are encouraged to be aborted so I know what I’m talking about here,’’ he said.

    from Washington Wire

  53. You've correctly put your thumb on your problem, Ruf.

    It makes all the difference in the world what one is thumpin', and, it needs to be a nuanced thumpin'> too.

    g'nite from here

  54. If I want to hear "preaching" I'll go to church. But, I don't want the preacher to be in charge of the levers of power.

  55. Amniocentesis and stem cells

    Recent studies have discovered that amniotic fluid can be a rich source of multipotent mesenchymal, hematopoietic, neural, epithelial, and endothelial stem cells.[11][12][13]

    A potential benefit of using amniotic stem cells over those obtained from embryos is that they side-step ethical concerns among pro-life activists by obtaining pluripotent lines of undifferentiated cells without harm to a fetus or destruction of an embryo. These stem cells would also, if used to treat the same individual they came from, sidestep the donor/recipient issue which has so far stymied all attempts to use donor-derived stem cells in therapies.

    Artificial heart valves, working tracheas, as well as muscle, fat, bone, heart, neural and liver cells have all been engineered through use of amniotic stem cells.[14] Tissues obtained from amniotic cell lines show promise for patients suffering from congenital diseases/malformations of the heart, liver, lungs, kidneys, and cerebral tissue.[15]

    The first amniotic stem cells bank in US is active in Boston, Massachusetts.[

  56. Wait until someone asks Rick Santorum if the Earth is Six Thousand Years old.

  57. I take it back; I don't think he can carry Mississippi, and Alabama.

  58. Here's the thing: This looney-tunes motherfucker would outlaw amniocentesis because "Some People would use the results to opt for an abortion."

    All the other valuable Medical, and Scientific information gathered can go to hell.

    I wonder if he thinks Adam rode a dinosauer?

  59. I wonder if he's considered that some women at risk of a damaged baby might elect To Go Ahead With the Pregnancy as a result of a "Good Test?"

  60. Anonymous said...
    "Post Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo and Libya interventions result in weak, corrupt and violent non-democratic countries."

    If only we hadn't intervened, those countries would still be strong,ethical, peace-loving democracies.

    Sun Feb 19, 08:56:00 PM EST

    Here is something for you to chew on: It is not our business to interfere or intervene. (full stop)