May 1st, 2014
05:06 PM ET

What I'm reading: Year of trauma in Bangui

By Fareed Zakaria

“In the past, some have argued that the United States cannot be transparent about targeted killings in countries like Pakistan and Yemen because their governments approved of our use of lethal force within their borders on the condition that we not admit that we were doing so,” writes David Cole in the New York Review of Books. “The morality of such an agreement is itself deeply questionable; presumably the plausible deniability is demanded because no government could openly admit to its people that it had given another sovereign the green light to kill by remote control inside its own borders. But the deniability is no longer plausible.”


“The last year of fighting has traumatized the population [of Bangui, CAR], and now nearly everyone is nursing a lethal grudge,” writes Graeme Wood for the New Republic. “It is a city of overlapping vendettas. Roadblocks are staffed by gun-toting, battle-hardened children, and even an interaction as simple as complaining about a broken cell phone can turn into a spray of indiscriminate machine-gun fire on a crowded city street. During my week there, I learned to stand silently, hands cupped behind my ears, to discern the direction of distant gunfire and figure out where to go, and where not to.”


“A study in Nature Methods has found that lab mice have different hormonal and behavioral responses to male and female human scientists – a discovery that could have wide-ranging impact on how research is conducted and interpreted,” argues Ian Steadman in the New Statesman. “Men, it seems, scare them. Women don't.”


soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. Joey Isotta-Fraschini©

    I consider targeted killings by the United States in contrives like Pakistan and Yemen moral. These actions save many lives.
    I do not want to live in a country where complete transparency about such activities is necessary.

    May 1, 2014 at 6:31 pm |
    • rupert

      Thats right joey. Especially when Pakistanian president hid OBL from us.
      Guess thats ok with chrissy.

      May 2, 2014 at 1:09 am |
  2. chrissy

    There is NOTHING moral about killing people!

    May 1, 2014 at 8:59 pm |
  3. chrissy

    Sometimes its a necessary evil but it sure as he!! isnt moral.

    May 1, 2014 at 9:02 pm |
    • Joey Isotta-Fraschini©

      @ chrissy, good morning.
      I also support the death penalty. I think that it is highly moral.
      Do you consider the death penalty immoral, or a necessary evil?

      May 2, 2014 at 6:33 am |
  4. The ENTIRE GOP Platform in one paragraph

    The GOP Prayer/Mantra/Solution: Dear God...With your loving kindness, help us to turn all the Old, Sick, Poor, Non-white, Non-christian, Female, and Gay people into slaves. Then, with your guidance and compassion, we will whip them until they are Young, Healthy, Rich, White, Christian, Male, and Straight. Or until they are dead. God...Grant us the knowledge to then turn them into Soylent Green to feed the military during the next "unfunded/off-the-books" war. God...Give us the strength during our speeches to repeatedly yell........TAX CUTS FOR THE RICH!!!..........and........GET RID OF SS AND MEDICARE!!!
    In your name we prey (purposely misspelled, or is it?)........Amen

    May 1, 2014 at 10:00 pm |
  5. Marvin

    Muslims need to be expelled from CAR.

    May 1, 2014 at 11:07 pm |
  6. Ferhat Balkan

    The human cost of "Collateral damage" is too great for the use of drones. The more innocent people killed, the easier it is for the enemy to find recruits. Thus, the never ending cycle.

    May 1, 2014 at 11:34 pm |
    • Silverado

      The only way to end this vicious cycle is to vaporize not only the terrorists, but also those who give them shelter. Drones are doing a good job. If they ramp up the pace and do more drone strikes, that will truly be a great job.

      May 2, 2014 at 5:08 am |
    • Joey Isotta-Fraschini©

      Drones save many lives.
      Some of those lives belong to USA soldiers.

      May 2, 2014 at 6:37 am |
  7. Peter

    Killing innocent people cannot solve the problem of terrorism

    May 2, 2014 at 2:11 am |
    • Silverado

      People who hide terrorists are not innocent. Drones should fry both: terrorists and those who give them shelter.

      May 2, 2014 at 5:02 am |
      • Joey Isotta-Fraschini©

        @ Silverado gets it.
        Some writers here would topple the whole USA just to save the life of one human shield.

        May 2, 2014 at 6:25 am |
  8. John Smith

    America is the root of all terror. America has invaded sixty countries since world war 2.
    In 1953 America overthrow Iran's democratic government Mohammad Mosaddegh and installed a brutal dictator Shah. America helped Shah of Iran to establish secret police and killed thousands of Iranian people.
    During Iran-Iraq war evil America supported Suddam Hossain and killed millions of Iranian people. In 1989, America, is the only country ever, shot down Iran's civilian air plane, killing 290 people.
    In 2003,America invaded Iraq and killed 1,000,000+ innocent Iraqi people and 4,000,000+ Iraqi people were displaced.
    Now America is a failed state with huge debt. Its debt will be 22 trillion by 2015.

    May 2, 2014 at 3:37 pm |
  9. chrissy

    @ Rupert if you wouldve read my post entirely you wouldve noticed i said "sometimes its a necessary evil." That does not mean its moral. And @ Joey i support the death penalty depending on the crime! And again its a necessary evil!

    May 2, 2014 at 9:32 pm |
  10. chrissy

    And @ Silverado im not sure we should vaporize a whole country because they were hiding Bin Laden but we sure as hell shouldve gotten that pakistan doctor out of that country that helped the US in locating him instead of leaving him there to fry! And we damn sure shouldnt have been giving pakistan billions of dollars!

    May 2, 2014 at 9:38 pm |

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