December 12, 2013 |
Ukraine's civil conflict strikes many Americans as a distant and unimportant dispute, one hardly connected to their daily lives. Such a lack of interest in international affairs is understandable, perhaps, because of the focus on economic recovery since 2008, but it's badly misplaced given the stakes involved, not just in eastern and central Europe but around the world. More alarming, and far less justifiable, as a cause for such inattention is the failure of America's national political leadership.
November 22, 2013 |
It was the assassination that launched a thousand conspiracy theories. Soon after President John F. Kennedy was killed on Nov. 22, 1963, the "who killed Kennedy?" debate began, and 50 years later, it continues. There have been books, movies and television shows devoted to the topic. Never mind the official ruling of the Warren Commission, that fact-finding committee established by the U.S. government. The majority of Americans -- 61% -- believe that Lee Harvey Oswald did not act alone . That contradicts the commission's conclusion that Oswald, and Oswald alone, planned and carried out the killing of the president.
September 11, 2013
Re "The road to Damascus," Editorial, Sept. 10 The Times dispassionately explains the challenges faced by the Obama administration in selling the case for action against Bashar Assad's regime in Syria. Members of the administration have been spending an immense amount of energy and media time making the case that the U.S. is compelled to act against Syria. The American people just aren't buying this, so your tone seems wishy-washy on a matter that deserves a voice. Allow me to do you the favor: The United States is not compelled and should not act in the Syrian civil war. Getting involved in the Syrian conflict is a slippery slope.
September 9, 2013 |
It was 1961 and the Cold War battle for influence in newly independent African states was sharply focused on the Congo. The first elected leader, Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba, had been kidnapped, tortured and killed by a military junta earlier in the year. With the anarchic new state falling under the sway of the Soviet Union, Katanga politician Moise Tshombe cleaved his province and its wealth of uranium, copper and cobalt mines into a separate state supported and protected by former Belgian colonial masters.
June 6, 2013 |
The Soviets put guns before butter, but we put almost everything before guns. " - Margaret Thatcher, January 1976 When Margaret Thatcher made the above observation in a speech that earned her the title "Iron Lady" from the Soviet army newspaper, she noted that the Soviet Union was spending 20% more each year than the United States on military research and development, 25% more on weapons and equipment and 60% more on strategic nuclear forces....
April 9, 2013 |
Margaret Thatcher will be remembered in her homeland as the conservative “Iron Lady” who transformed Britain from a strife-torn welfare state to a market-driven capitalist bastion. But for many of those who endured Soviet communist dictators and a world on the brink of nuclear peril, her shining accomplishment was being the first Western leader to see hope for a new world order. Thatcher in 1984 nudged her NATO allies to see in Mikhail S. Gorbachev, then a little-known newcomer to the Soviet Politburo, an opportunity to break out of the mind-set that the Soviet Union would never change.
December 30, 2012 |
MOSCOW - On New Year's Eve, dining-room tables across Russia will be covered with a mosaic of glittering red caviar, piroshki, marinated mushrooms, beet salad and herring. Chilled vodka bottles and Champagne flutes will tower over the dishes, reflecting the TV screens where the president - this year, the returned Vladimir Putin - will make his annual toast before the Kremlin bells chime in the new year. In Russia, no other holiday is as beloved or celebrated. For me, New Year's Eve dinners are the brightest culinary memory of the hungry 1990s, when Russian stores sold mainly bread, milk, canned sprats and frozen chicken thighs imported from the U.S. and nicknamed "Bush's thighs.
October 13, 2012
Responding to the Op-Ed article Tuesday, " America eternally 'at war,' " which noted a series of post-Cold War military failures and standoffs by the United States despite the country's profligate spending on defense and its relative lack of major enemies, reader John Arndt of Torrance wrote: "Tom Engelhardt contradicts his entire thesis in his first sentence when he complains that the U.S. has become a great power without a significant enemy....
June 20, 2012 |
OLYMPIC URBAN LEGEND : An Olympic athlete used a specially rigged epee to fake results during a pentathlon. Today's legend reminds me of the long-running crime series, "Columbo. " The series was set up so that the beginning of each episode would show us the criminals seemingly pull off a "perfect murder" and then the rest of the show would bring in the seemingly ineffectual Lt. Columbo, who would solve the murder while we see the murderer du jour (almost always a well known actor or actress)
June 8, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - Fifty-two years after his U-2 spy plane was shot down over the Soviet Union, famed Cold War pilot Francis Gary Powers will be posthumously awarded the Silver Star. The medal will be presented by Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz to Powers' grandson and granddaughter at a Pentagon ceremony attended by other family members next Friday. Powers, who died in 1977 at age 47 in a helicopter crash in Los Angeles, will be recognized for his "indomitable spirit, exceptional loyalty" and "sustained courage in an exceptionally hostile environment," according to the citation.