Ryan McCarl

Reading, writing, learning, languages, law, politics, etc.

Use of Predators Sets Dangerous Precedent

My op-ed “Use of Predators Sets Dangerous Precedent” appeared today on Antiwar.com. In it, I criticize President Obama’s decision to authorize drone warfare in Libya. I write: “The expediency of drones makes it all-too-tempting for governments to use them frequently and carelessly, brushing aside the ethical questions they raise and ignoring the long-term security consequences their use could entail.” Click here to read the full article. Thanks, as always, for reading. Read more →

Readings from Solomon’s ‘Judaism: A Very Short Introduction’

Martin Buber and Emanuel Levinas put their faith in the God of relationships. Alles Leben ist Begegnung (‘all life is encounter’), declared Buber, and the important thing is to get your relationship with God and with people right (I-Thou, rather than I-It); from that relationship, which is the essence of Revelation, ethical action flows; laws and rules are feeble attempts to capture revelation, and doomed to inadequacy. … Genesis 1:27 states clearly enough: ‘So God created humankind in his own image; in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. Read more →

Excerpts from Jonathan Glover’s ‘Humanity’

Jonathan Glover’s Humanity: A Moral History of the Twentieth Century is one of the best and most important books I have ever read. Excerpts below: — An extimate for the period from 1900 until 1989 is that war killed 86 million people. Eighty-six million is a small proportion of all those alive during the ninety years, and is a small number compared to those who have died from hunger and preventable diseases. Read more →

Readings from C. Taylor, J.T. Johnson, and the US Catholic Bishops

Faith does not insulate us from the challenges of life; rather, it intensifies our desire to help solve them…. From the resources of our faith we wish to provide hope and strength to all who seek a world free of the nuclear threat. Hope sustains one’s capacity to live with danger without being overwhelmed by it; hope is the will to struggle against obstacles even when they appear insuperable. Ultimately our hope rests in the God who gave us life, sustains the world by his power and has called us to revere the lives of every person and all peoples. Read more →

Why we must remember Iraq

“The Next Forgotten War,” an op-ed of mine, was published on Antiwar.com this morning; check it out here.  In it, I argue that we must keep the memory of the Iraq War, and the individuals caught up in its maelstroms, alive: “As Iraq recedes from the headlines and slips from the public’s mind to make room for the next ‘crisis,’ we have a responsibility to give some thought to the two million Iraqi refugees displaced by the war and the tens of thousands of Americans and Iraqis killed or maimed as a consequence of the war. Read more →