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

Believing is Seeing

IMG-20140909-01939 September 10, President Obama rolled out his new anti-IS intentions.  Meanwhile two high-octane intellects separately discussed their appraisals of Obama’s foreign policy.  I won’t say “tautology,” but each made perfect sense in its own framework, each might have frayed if confronted with the other.  I would say, “It would have been fascinating to have them in the same room,” but I am not into reality TV. Continue reading Believing is Seeing

The news summer from hell and the end of optimism

globe By this point in the summer, a sane person could reasonably conclude that the world is going nuts.  Spiraling out of control, descending into darkness, making optimism a delusional last recourse – that kind of feeling.

“What fresh hell is this?” – the question Dorothy Parker asked when her doorbell rang – now applies to the news.  If you’re staying informed, you’re licking the razor.  Unfortunately, not following what’s happening in the world isn’t really an option.  These horrors seize our lizard brains; we’re hard-wired to pay attention to danger. Continue reading The news summer from hell and the end of optimism

And A Third Russian

Ilya_thumb S’Novym Godom, Happy New Year.

Ilya Levin wandered into my office in 2008. He was looking for a posting in Africa, and I said “just fine.”

Ilya wanted to tell me about some dark history of a previous assignment, but I wasn’t interested. Continue reading And A Third Russian