Old Wine, New Battles

1280px-Muammar_al-Gaddafi,_12th_AU_Summit,_090202-N-0506A-324Engaging in the Libya conflict in 2011 (without any plan for an outcome) was not morally or even tactically “wrong.” However, events have gone against American interests – and also, by the way, the beleaguered populations of the current Libya which is a threat to itself, to Europe, and sooner or later to American direct security interests as well.

Continue reading Old Wine, New Battles

Liberty, Equality and Barbarity

Bastille Day July 14 is Bastille Day, the day on which the people of France celebrate the storming of the Bastille and the revolution that gave the world “liberty, equality and fraternity.”  That, at least, is the version we get in the history books.  But the French Revolution was a good deal more complex than that.  And so I am going to devote today’s post to an episode from the Revolution that most history books either gloss over or omit altogether.  It’s something called the War of the Vendée. Continue reading Liberty, Equality and Barbarity

Christmas in Lunel

December 4, 2004, night flight Paris-Bamako. Malian journalists await for a week of training and encouragement to affirm, with an outsider, a free press in a country so poor it cannot even really falter. Sleep mask, ear stops, ambien, and I take my contrived sleep position so as to function for next day’s press sessions. Continue reading Christmas in Lunel

Viva El Cinco de Mayo!

In Houston, as in other parts of the U.S. with large Mexican-American populations, May 5 is celebrated as El Cinco de Mayo — the day when a rag-tag Mexican army trounced a professional French force nearly twice its size at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. Continue reading Viva El Cinco de Mayo!