Browsing All posts tagged under »International Affairs«

When Did We Start Telling the World How to Behave?

January 19, 2019

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Sometime between the middle of the nineteenth century and today, the U. S. turned from participating in the world of diplomacy and politics to dictating to the world how to behave. Let’s examine this phenomenon a bit since I get somewhat edgy telling people all over the world that they should be more like us, […]

Spanish History, 101

September 14, 2017

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I first went to Spain in the late summer of 1964, sent by the USN as a newly minted Ensign to join my ship then in the Sixth Fleet. I landed in Rota, across the bay from the more famous city of Cadiz, and lingered there a few days waiting for a flight, first to […]

“Sowing the Oil” in Venezuela

September 14, 2017

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  I first went to Venezuela in about 1977. It was then politically quiet, economically well off, and possessed a working democracy. There were kinks and chinks in the armor of such a nice picture but I enjoyed my week there at a conference on the history of the Americas. The government was riding a […]

Backchannel Negotiations

July 13, 2017

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The most famous back-channel negotiations in modern history occurred in October 1962. They far surpassed in importance the recent hoopla on Jared Kushner and the Russians, and, furthermore, underscore the commonplace of it all. Kushner was just following some tried and true trails blazed over the centuries by others who got involved in diplomacy. To […]

On Walls

February 11, 2017

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You know, as an historian, one can get cynical about the human condition. A short sampling of modern “wall” phrase making might include the following: Ronald Reagan:    “Tear down this wall!” Donald Trump:    “Build the wall!” Robert Frost:        “Something there is that doesn’t love a wall” And we could add the more memorable line in […]

Hypocrisy, Not Just Another Word

February 11, 2017

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I am constantly astonished, even at my age, at the “holier than thou” attitudes of many Americans when it comes to something like the alleged Russian hacking and manipulation of the American elections. We stand back in a saintly state of innocence and not only cast the first stone, but also most of the rest […]