Kerry between the possible and the impossible

Secretary of State John Kerry returned to the Middle East for another round of talks about what is improperly called the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, hoping to push forward meaningful negotiations. His trip was promptly labeled “mission impossible.” What is most disheartening is that both the Israelis and Palestinians dispute any notion that they are closer to…

Snowden: Neither traitor nor hero

There are good reason to believe that if the amnesty proposal for Edward Snowden were submitted to a national referendum, a large number of Americans — albeit not the majority — would vote in favor of amnesty. On the other hand, as President Obama was quick to point out, Snowden has been indicted and it…

Unpredictable

Written September 2013 What happens next in the Middle East is anyone’s guess. Making predictions is difficult, especially for the future, say the Chinese. And yet things happen that leave even diplomats befuddled. A short time ago, no one could predict that among all possible people, two of America’s adversaries, Russian President Putin and the…

America the Ungovernable?

Written October 2013 Americans may not care much about what the world thinks of the U.S government shutdown, but other countries, and not just friends and allies, are bewildered at the way that Americans play brinkmanship, as if it were the modern real life version of the popular Monopoly board game. The gridlock in Congress…

A Journey Back To The Mekong

There was a feeling of déjà vu and that was normal. But I also felt a bit of personal triumph not just that I had survived for a long spell but that now I could gaze with serenity and contentment at a mighty river that once terrified me. Below the gunwale, the muddy waters of…