In 1955 the U.S. detonated a nuclear weapon. Men nearby huddled in fear, praying for their lives. Some died instantly. Others lost their sight or had the skin ripped off their bodies. However, these were not enemies of the U.S. They were Americans.
I like Robert Gates. He's a professional, a grown-up. He's a thoughtful, reasonable Republican at a time when such are overshadowed by something very different. I agree with him on many things. But his "Mission Impossible" assignment to salvage Iraq and Afghanistan is blinding him.
The cold war is over is long gone, but the nuclear triad remains. And now, as the nuclear weapons built and deployed in the 1980s reach the end of their operational lives, the government is planning to not only maintain these weapons, but to build their replacements.
Now in my 70s, I also look back on my youthful, carefree days aboard those beautiful EC-121s in a different light and I get a lump in my throat when I think of Sergeant Thibodeau and of all those magnificent young men who made the ultimate sacrifice in those flying machines.
On a chilly fall night, my friend and I headed over to the smaller Potsdamer Platz section. It wasn't for drama that we traveled under cover of the dark. There's an unwritten rule that tourists are not to take pieces off the remaining Wall, for obvious reasons.
In my view, is the time for American leaders, beginning with our president, to lead the nation past the cliché-ridden images o the Cold War. Clearly, China is out of the box and we had better recognize how misleading policies of the past have warped public opinion for too long.
Having returned to Cambodia more than once in the post-Cold War era, my wife and I were surprisingly impressed by the extent to which this once battle-torn country was now coming to life, placing the memories of its past well behind it.
Hopefully, in 30 years we'll be mocking Obama's drone dream in the same way we now mock Star Wars. But at the present we're at a critical juncture where we need to act before the drones (weather government, corporate, or terrorist) come home to roost.
Following a month-long return to the memories of my Cold War years of reporting in Southeast Asia, life in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Hong Kong exposed me to an economic revival of these countries that have put the animosities of the past to rest.
Nearly a week has come and gone since Vice President Joe Biden's big Asia-Pacific tour in the immediate wake of China declaring an air defense zone across the East China Sea. It proved to be a consequential trip, one swiftly followed on by Secretary of State John Kerry visiting Vietnam.
Calling Mandela a Communist or a terrorist shortly after his death is mean-spirited, but it is a bigger condemnation of the moral blindness of much of U.S. foreign policy during the Cold War than it is a criticism of Mandela.
South Korea is a democracy, a thriving one if measured by the sheer size and energy of its civil society and the stability of its political institutions. But what is happening in South Korea today is deeply disturbing nonetheless.
If we aren't going to have a draft in any imaginable future, and if we aren't even going to enforce the Selective Service registration law -- the last prosecution took place in 1986 -- then it is time to get rid of draft registration.
I hope, as we remember a young President, that we will renew our commitment to building with urgency and persistence a just America where every child is valued and enabled to achieve their God given potential regardless of the lottery of birth.
I remember a grey October day in Harlem in 1960, when JFK, accompanied by Jackie, and introduced by Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., spoke before a sizable black crowd, eloquently condemned racial inequality.