Archive for 2006

An Ode to War

As a teacher of National Security Policy, I anxiously awaited the release of the Baker-Hamilton report on Iraq – to use as a policy example for my students. The night before its release, ’twas not visions of sugarplums that danced in my head, but these thoughts: “Will the group’s recommendations finally help focus this country on international policy? Can we finally agree on the important issues we must band together to solve?
I awoke early to get the newspaper. Coffee fueled, I scanned the headlines – moving the Intrepid, spammers find new ways to penetrate e-mail folders, New York City bans trans fats … What the …?
I couldn’t believe it. In the midst of one of the nation’s most difficult crises, New York City (of all places) was media saturated with trans fats!

A Wonderland of Wedge Issues

“My creed is that public service must be more than doing a job efficiently and honestly. It must be a complete dedication to the people
and to the nation with full recognition that every human being is entitled to courtesy and consideration, that constructive criticism is
not only to be expected but sought, that smears are not only to be expected but fought, that honor is to be earned, not bought.”

Dehydrated Defense

ime may be of the essence, but so is timing. Hence, it was my misfortune to schedule a two-week trip to Italy in the aftermath of the big “toothpaste” scare.
Worried that I’d become dehydrated on the long overseas flight (it’s been known to happen), I drank a gallon of water en route to JFK International Airport. Unfortunately, this only increased my already frequent visits to the bathroom. As recommended, I packed no bottled water for the flight – just a three-ounce container of eye drops, to ensure my contacts wouldn’t stick permanently to my pupils.

Integrating International Policy

Following the fifth anniversary of September 11, life is scarier than ever. After a brief show of world solidarity for peace, the forces of division and violence have resumed “business as usual.” Today, the global political climate is even worse than it was on September 12, 2001. We are witnessing record-high levels of anti- Americanism, no sign of calm in Iraq, and a resurgence of the Taliban in Afghanistan. To compound these woes, more terrorist groups subscribing to al-Qaeda’s ideology and tactics are crawling out of the woodwork.

Justice for All, or Bombs for All?

After a brutal six-week war, the Lebanese are trudging back to their burned-out cities to begin sifting through the rubble. South of the border, Israelis are emerging from bomb shelters, looking forward to welcoming those who left their homes for safer areas. Both sides are recovering from a situation that needn’t have happened. How many times must we witness this scenario?