• Taliban Vengeance and an Algerian Exception

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    Vengeance is in the air. The recent takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban has caused fear and consternation among Afghans that the newly victorious fundamentalists will carry out reprisals against those who worked with the Americans and their western allies during the past 20 years. The Taliban are known for their intolerance of girls and women; they have also proven to be brutal towards their opposition and allied collaborators. The Kabul airport is a chaotic scene of those trying to flee. 

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  • The End of the Endless War

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    The hasty withdrawal of American troops and citizens from Afghanistan marks the end of the longest war in U.S. history. For 20 years, U.S. presidents, both Republican and Democrat, with the help of NATO and allies, have had a continued presence there. The mission evolved from reprisals and security to a form of undeclared nation building. Thousands of soldiers have been killed in the conflict, more than $83 billion dollars spent on material for the Afghan army and more than $1 trillion dollars wasted. (The Afghan army had over 300,000 soldiers outfitted and trained by the United States; the Taliban roughly 75,000 fighters).

     

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  • An Olympian Decision

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    The best story coming out of the Olympics did not make many headlines We have been overwhelmed by reports of national heroes who won medals as well as human stories such as U.S. star gymnast Simone Biles’ mental health issues or the Belarussian sprinter's request for political asylum in Poland. Most prominently, nationalist competition has been highlighted in charts that show which countries won the most medals, focusing on U.S. versus China as the world’s dominant sports power. But those are not the best story.

     

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  • Robert Moses: An Equal Rights Militant in a Land of Unfulfilled Promises

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    Robert Parris Moses died last week. He was a champion of civil rights through voter registration in the American South in the 1960s and later through his Algebra Project.  He was also my teacher.

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