Reflections on a Visit to Moscow

Greg Laxer I have just returned from nearly two weeks in Moscow, my first visit to Russia. Just from the sights I absorbed on the ride from the airport to downtown, I appreciated that Russia is a great nation and justly deserves to be recognized as such by the U.S. and other hostile governments. This…

Why Not Zero Tolerance of Guns?

Richard Sahn Everyday in American newspapers and on our TV and cable news there are stories of gun related homicides. As a society we are used to these stories, we are numb to them, we take them for granted as in “What else is new?”  But we are also, I would argue, proud of them.…

Syria (Maybe) Used Chemical Weapons — And the U.S. Sits in Judgment?

W.J. Astore The Obama administration’s outrage over the possible use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government smacks of hypocrisy.  We might recall that the U.S. refuses to become a signatory to a ban on cluster munitions, which are particularly dangerous to civilians and children in the days and weeks following their deployment.  Or that the U.S.…

In Praise of Douglas Kinnard, A Truth-telling General of the Vietnam War

W.J. Astore The death on July 29 of retired Army general and professor Douglas Kinnard at the age of 91 reminded me of the vital quality of integrity and truth-telling, especially in life-and-death military settings.  A fast-rising general who became critical of America’s path in Indochina in the late 1960s, Kinnard retired from the military and…

Apache Scouts, Listening; Hollywood, Not Listening

W.J. Astore Frederic Remington understood the color of night, and he also understood something of the uniqueness of the Native Americans he painted.  This lesson was brought home to me by David Heidler, a good friend and a leading historian of American history.  Visiting an exhibition of Remington’s nocturnes, Heidler had this to say about how…

A Cherokee Parable

A good friend sent me this parable.  Succinct and telling, I hope you agree. One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, “My son, the battle is between 2 wolves inside us all. One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance,…