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Why has the heart-rending conflict in Syria dragged on for so long, with such horrific results? Part of the reason is our insistence on playing geopolitics while thousands die. We seek abstract advantage rather than concentrating on ending the Syrian war. Geopolitics is fun. It’s about weighing options, measuring interests, and moving pieces on the […]
Americans are problem-solvers. We love a good solution. Give us a challenge, and we form committees, assess options, come up with a plan and execute it. This is a highly positive trait. In world affairs, though, it can bring us to grief. Syria is burning in part because the United States is waiting for […]
Eyes bulge in amazement when I show pictures of Tehran. There are always gasps. Within seconds someone exclaims, “That is Iran?” Tehran has wide and well-kept boulevards jammed with traffic, handsome parks, arrays of public art, a bustling downtown and vibrant neighborhoods. It feels prosperous despite years of economic sanctions, more like Madrid or Istanbul […]
SOMEDAY, IN A better world, countries may join together to form a global body. It would transcend atavistic nationalism and speak for all humanity. Perhaps it would be called the “United Nations.” Lamentably that day has not arrived. There is no such thing as the United Nations. A body with that name maintains a headquarters in […]
EARLY ONE AUTUMN morning in 1989, a death squad stormed through the gates of Central American University in El Salvador. When its work was finished, six Jesuit priests and their two housekeepers lay dead. One victim was my friend the Rev. Ignacio Ellacuria, the university rector. Finally one of the Salvadoran officers who allegedly organized this […]