From the monthly archives: "June 2011"

Huffington Post, November 22, 2008

Every day seems to bring another headline-grabbing act of piracy in the lawless waters off the Horn of Africa. Earlier this year, while writing a Masters thesis relating maritime insecurity in Africa to U.S. national security objectives, I reported that, according to the International Maritime Bureau, acts of piracy in the seas around Somalia had tripled, from 10 in 2006 to 31 in 2007. So far in 2008, that number has doubled. If the seas represent global connectivity – the conduit of trade and commerce – then acts of crime on them may have global effects, as well. Otherwise said, piracy in the Gulf of Aden might seem like a pebble dropping, but the ripples may be felt everywhere.

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Huffington Post, December 30, 2008

This week, big minds are mourning the passing of the great Harvard historian Samuel Huntington, who died December 27 at the age of 81. Among the terms he added to the lexicon, academic and otherwise is “clash of civilizations.”

This thesis has resonated deeply, if unconsciously, into the American psyche. In the summer of 1993, four months after the first attack on the World Trade Center, Huntington published a paper in Foreign Affairs called, “The Clash of Civilizations?” The question mark was key, and did not carry over to the book that was released five years later in 1998, this time one month before Osama Bin Laden’s second fatwa against the west and Israel. Huntington theorized that, with the end of the Cold War and the removal of ideology as a source of conflict, it would be cultural and religious differences that would now propel history. So it was not the end of history after all, as Francis Fukuyama suggested, but rather the next stage in the evolution of global conflict.

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Huffington Post, January 24, 2010

Forget Texas. Massachusetts is the largest state in the nation. Sometimes, events can bring this into focus, most notably when the Red Sox, Celtics and Patriots won consecutive, simultaneous, “world” championships. In 2007 and 2008 – sportswise – nowhere else mattered. Likewise in 1972. Who can forget the omnipresent bumper sticker in the aftermath of George McGovern’s victory in Massachusetts – the only state where he prevailed: “Nixon 49, America 1”? But for those of us born and raised in the Bay State – even if, like me, they left home at eighteen – this is a perpetual state of being. More years later than I want to admit, when people ask where home is, I answer, “Boston.”
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Huffington Post, November 10, 2008

Barack Obama is now the face of the United States — the photograph we will see when we go through customs at JFK airport, or when we go to any U.S. Embassy on earth. The impact of this image, particularly at first, will be subtle, but immeasurable and its iconographic significance is multi-layered. He might refer to himself self-deprecatingly as a “mutt,” but he is in effect, Globalized Man. With parts coming from all around the earth, including Africa and Ireland, passing through Asia on the way back to America, our new President now seems inevitable — this is the way the world is in 2008. But perhaps of even larger importance is that the leader of the world’s greatest democracy was a professor of constitutional law and above all, a teacher. The Constitution — as in, the foundation of any functioning democracy — is his area of expertise. As such, he embodies the best possible argument for democracy at a time when the world needs it most and our country could benefit from, as Bill Clinton put it, the “power of example” rather than the “example of power.”  Read article here