HUMANITARIAN. I think Yglesias goes too easy on Eric Posner'sWashington Post op-ed attack on humanitarian intervention. Posner invokes Somalia, Kosovo, and Iraq as evidence that "experience shows that humanitarian war is an oxymoron." This can fairly be argued of Iraq 2003, but I'm unaware of any compelling evidence that the intervention in Somalia in 1992-3 failed to increase living standards for Somalis, at least for as long as the United Nations forces stayed.
DOUBLE-EDGED EXECUTIVE. John Quigganmakes a point that should be obvious to conservative supporters of enhanced executive power, especially as regards combatting terrorism:
So, for those who support the bill, it might be useful to consider the standard thought experiment recommended to all who support dictatorial powers for a leader on their own side. Think about what the other side might do with these powers.
HUMAN DIGNITY. Three weeks ago, President Bush pointed out that Article III of the Geneva Conventions prohibits "outrages against human dignity", a term that he found too imprecise to guide detainee policy. As Rodger Payne notes, the Bush administration has felt free to use the term "human dignity" in other contexts without feeling a need for clarification. In the National Security Strategy of the United States, Section IIA: