Fresh Thinking on U.S. National Security Policy

Here, as promised, is what I hope is some fresh thinking.  I also posted this at Huffington Post. Currently, so-called “fresh” thinking on national security from the Obama administration includes the pivot to Asia, more emphasis on cyberwar and drones, continued expansion of Special Forces, a withdrawal from Afghanistan in super-slow motion, and intervention (sending arms at minimum; troops…

Exclusive Interview with Former Cuban Ambassador

We recently had the opportunity to interview Dr. Carlos Alzugaray, the former Cuban Ambassador to the E.U. and a long time Foreign Service officer.  Changes are taking place in Cuba and there is strong evidence that sentiment in the US and Cuba is beginning to shift in favor of normalization of relations.  Contrary Perspective was…

The Dreadfulness of War

In our media and our culture today, there’s an unfortunate tendency to see military service as uniquely efficacious and ennobling, and to see war as necessary and even to view it as antiseptic (notably our so-called “surgical” drone strikes). But real war is dirty.  It’s as likely to infect us, to spread sepsis through our bodies…

Shooting the Gun Myths

Richard Sahn I live in Central Pennsylvania, the heart of the gun culture in the state. Guns are considered a birthright, a God-given birthright no less. The Second Amendment, of course, is interpreted literally (the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed), meaning that the Founding Fathers intended that people should have…

Bread and Circuses in Rome and America

W.J. Astore Just posted a new article to Huffington Post.  Here’s the link and the article (pasted below): The expression “bread and circuses” captures a certain cynical political view that the masses can be kept happy with fast food (think Cartman’s “Cheesy Poofs” on South Park) and faster entertainment (NASCAR races, NFL games, and the like).…

Learning from Europe’s Dark Past

b. traven On a trip to Berlin my son and I spent some of our time looking into the crannies that elude most visitors.  In Europe I have researched how some countries memorialize (if at all) their resistance to fascist occupation during World War II.  The French Resistance Museum is a disgrace!  It’s poorly lit,…