28/11/2013

Friend or Ally? The United States and Israel/Saudi Arabia

Peace seems to be breaking out in the Middle East. An agreement has been reached with Iran to curb the development of its potential military nuclear program. The United States and the Islamic Republic are publicly talking. Over thirty years of diplomatic isolation appears to have ended. In addition, and not unrelated, a date has been set for a major conference in Geneva to stop the horrendous civil war in Syria. Diplomacy is working; sabers have been put back in their sheaths. Geneva is back in the news; the Hotel Intercontinental is doing land office business.

There are, however, two countries that are not jumping up with joy over the above.

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18/11/2013

The Importance of Nostalgia and the Kennedy Assassination

The 50th anniversary of the assassination of John Kennedy has brought forth an enormous amount of interest. Films about Jack and Jackie have flooded the television screens; interviews have replayed the terrible scenes of Dallas, the swearing in of LBJ, the salute of John John at the funeral, the riderless horse following the procession. Conspiracy theorists have been widely quoted; new evaluations of the famous 1000 days continue to be printed.

Why all this interest? During a recent interview, I was asked why so many people get emotional when analyzing the importance of JFK. And I admit I was as emotional as the others being interviewed. The tapes of the shooting, the arrest of Oswald and the second shooting, all came vividly back. Fifty years ago we were glued to our television sets for those horrible four days. We were not aware that history was being made; we just wanted to know what was happening, to have people help us understand what was going on.

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16:26 Publié dans Democracy, USA | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0) |  Imprimer |  Facebook | | | |

06/11/2013

The Sadness of November and the Kennedy Assassination

November is a sad month. Christmas is not yet here and we are between brilliant fall colors and crackling snow. As we approach the 50th anniversary of the death of President John Kennedy in November 1963, there is an added sadness. For those of a generation that remember him, it was a defining moment, a moment when we witnessed a national trauma that transformed us. Later, we would witness the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy, but the death of John Kennedy was something unique that changed how we saw and continue to see the world.

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19:12 Publié dans USA | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0) |  Imprimer |  Facebook | | | |