The “Leverage” Meme Rears Its Ugly Head

This morning, I open the Washington Post opinion section to see this headline: “In Afghanistan, real leverage starts with more troops.” Coming as this does only a few weeks after we celebrated the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, I will reprint part of a past post. I wish I didn’t have to repeat this message, but we fall into the same damn trap time and time again:

Sadly, it seems our government learned the wrong lesson when the Berlin Wall fell. Again, when it comes to American history, we have an uncanny ability to remember only what we want to.   Continue reading “The “Leverage” Meme Rears Its Ugly Head”

The Somalia Syndrome Continues to Go Untreated

Jason McLure had a good article in Newsweek last week giving the history and latest sad news on Somalia:

An estimated 3.8 million need humanitarian aid (fully half the population), according to the U.N.’s Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit for Somalia, which calls the crisis the worst since 1991–92. In the past six months alone, the number of people forced from their homes by fighting—between the country’s barely functional transitional government and Islamist insurgents—has grown by 40 percent, to 1.4 million. Most live in squalid camps that a new report from Oxfam calls “barely fit for humans.”

It is, however, easy to miss the bigger picture in McLure’s story. I call it “the Somalia Syndrome.” Here is how I explained it in the Hazleton Standard-Speaker in January:   Continue reading “The Somalia Syndrome Continues to Go Untreated”