Iraq Marshes; NATO, Kosovo, Crimea, and International Law

View 819 Monday, April 07, 2014

But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it away from the fog of the controversy.

Nancy Pelosi. Former Speaker of the House of Representatives

Referring to the Affordable Health Care Act

“Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency.”

President Barack Obama, January 31, 2009

If a foreign government had imposed this system of education on the United States, we would rightfully consider it an act of war.

Glenn T. Seaborg, National Commission on Education, 1983

If you like your health plan, you can keep your health plan. Period.

Barrack Obama, famously.

“…the only thing that can save us is if Kerry wins the Nobel Prize and leaves us alone.”

Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon


I am being nibbled to death by rabbits, and I’m still involved in doing the taxes, but all is well.

Here is some good news from Dr. Jennifer Pournelle:

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

I am writing to ask your assistance in getting the word out about UofSC’s first crowdfunding research campaign “Water From Oil: Can We Help Restore Iraq’s Marshes <> ?”

Within three short weeks, we met our minimum fundraising goal (thanks to those of you who contributed!). We now have just seven days to raise the remainder, which will fund pilot lab analyses and an undergraduate research assistant.

I’m not spamming you to contribute (though all are welcome!); rather to ask you to forward this on to anyone you know who might have interest – and especially to listservs or other accounts that reach a wider audience. One last push this week will probably make all the difference.

If you’d like to learn more about crowdfunding, please attend my 9:30 am presentation at the USC Research Retreat <> on Friday. Also, the USC Times did a lovely piece earlier this week: you can read it below.

Thanks in advance for your help,





I note that President Putin, in justifying his sending in his military to Crimea, taking Crimea away from Ukraine, and annexing it to Russia has used the precedent of the NATO intervention in Kosovo to demonstrate that he was acting within accepted International Law.

In about 1920 Kosovo was largely Serbian in composition. There has never been any provision for legal immigration from Albania to Kosovo., which has been Serbian for a thousand years. Of course during the Moslem occupation of the Balkans, Albanian and Bosnian Moslems – ethnically more or less indistinguishable from Serbians and Croats, but converts to Islam – were the tax collectors for the Turkish rulers, and during some centuries the taxes collected were young male Christians who were taken as tribute to Istanbul where they were forcibly converted to Islam and became the slave soldiers and administrators of the Turkish state: they were known as Janissaries. This practice generated blood feuds which last to this day.

Sometime after the breakup of Yugoslavia Kosovo had acquired a large Albanian population. There was civil unrest, and NATO intervened in aid of the Albanian population. Eventually with NATO armed assistance Kosovo declared itself independent of Serbia. It remains in that status now, although the ethnic Albanian militia known as the  Kosovo Liberation Army has been accused of ethnic cleansing of Serbs in the formerly Serbian province, and some areas are held by Serbs who consider the province part of Serbia.

From the Russian view, Serbs are Slavs, and Russia is on record as supporting Slavs. It was the Austrian threat to Serbia following the assassination of the Austrian Crown Prince that caused Russian interference, and later mobilization, in 1914; at which point Germany, fearing a war on two fronts and very fearful of a mobilized Russia, began The Great War.

Note that Russia has not before recognized the legitimacy of NATO intervention in Kosovo; whether Putin now does so is not clear. It is clear that Russia has not forgotten its Slavic interests in the Balkans; and of course it is obvious that Russia is concerned about ethnic Russians in Ukraine and Moldavia.

It is not clear why the United States adheres to the NATO treaty. The NATO countries, minus the United States, have a far larger economy and military potential than Russia. NATO more and more is concerned with the territorial disputes of Europe, and the American interests in such matters are not clear at all.


How is this even vaguely legal under the current interpretations of the First Amendment to the Constitution of The United State of America?

The late Mr. Justice Hugo Black wrote “The First Amendment’s language leaves no room for inference that abridgments of speech and press can be made just because they are slight. That Amendment provides, in simple words, that "Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press." I read "no law . . . abridging" to mean no law abridging.“– Concurring opinion, Smith v. California <> , 361 U.S. 147 (1959).

Or am I just hopelessly out-of-date these days?

John R. Strohm

I have no source for this other than the link given, but it seems to me that the BLM needs some fundamental lessons on the law of the Constitution. Surely we have not come to need guillotines in the public squares?  Surely someone in Congress might find this interesting enough to subpoena the people in charge of armed response on public land?  I had not known that the mere Federal ownership of land took it out of the Constitution’s jurisdiction.



Freedom is not free. Free men are not equal. Equal men are not free.




Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.