Germany is now realising that it cannot make such an apparently open-ended offer, so is pressing hard for other EU countries to share the burden through some sort of mandatory quota system. Poland, Hungary and some other states are resisting. They have spent long decades if not centuries grappling to assert their national and linguistic identity under different imperial powers, and are determined not to see their hard-won independence eroded.Read More
Contrary to a generosity of spirit in America, both our political parties have shown disdain for the underdog in foreign policy, kicking them in the teeth when empathy might be more in character. Bipartisan annoyance at the suffering of foreigners seems to twin our Left and Right.
Faced with the slaughter of a million Biafrans in 1967-70, Lyndon Johnson sided forcefully with Nigeria’s central government, saying of the Biafrans, “Get those [n…] children off my television set.”Read More »
There wasn’t much to do in Brazzaville in 1980. The little People’s Republic of the Congo faces the immense Zaire (the other, capitalist “Congo”), its capital Kinshasa visible in the distance
across the mighty Congo River.
I was supposed to be teaching English at the Université Marien Ngouabi, which disdainful expats called “Le Lycée…”Read More »
It went like this: a smile, a business card, and a camera. With these three WMDs we faced down an armed police squad and ran them off a property they had invaded.
Yaoundé, 2006. Jim (not his real name) had picked Cameroon off the internet and came on a one-way trip to perform a religious mission.Read More »
In a world of metastasizing injustices, Denmark would be one of the last places to get a red flag for public policy abuse.
Still, the Danish Supreme Court stepped in it June 3 in a case against Bent Jensen, who conveyed declassified records into a publication in 2007. The outcome has Danish writers and publishers running for cover.Read More »
“…every other real or imagined candidate felt compelled to jump in with their response to what they would have decided twelve years ago based on what we knew then or what we know now or what we thought we knew then or think we know now but didn’t know then.”Read More »
At $50.3 billion (FY 16 projected), the U.S. budget for diplomacy and overseas development is a pretty good deal. One-tenth the spending of the Department of Defense and well below two percent of national public expenditures, it comes in almost unnoticeable by people like me, baffled by zeroes.
Even so, it’s real money and needs to stand up to scrutiny.Read More »
In years past, when national leaders talked about victory, they meant the United States — the entire United States — would defeat enemies overseas and overcome serious problems at home. Now their definition of victory is one political party winning over another.
Photo: DonkeyHoteyRead More »