If we are to really express our gratitude to those who serve and honor the memory of those who have fallen we must use the democratic freedoms they swore to protect. We should deliberately, consistently and publicly question the rhetoric and agendas of a government which has poured out the blood of its people only to later render their sacrifices meaningless.
The revered Latin American writer Eduardo Galeano wrote these words a few months after the events he alludes to: On May 10, 2013, 30 years after the crimes were committed, former dictator General Efraín Ríos Montt was convicted of genocide and crimes against humanity against the Maya Ixil population and sentenced to 80 years is prison.
Foreign policy should reflect international realities, which change over time. The Republic of Korea was vulnerable to renewed North Korean aggression at the conclusion of the Korean War in 1953. Today, Seoul could do whatever was necessary to deter and defeat the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. There's no need for America to defend that which could be defended otherwise.
This week marks the 30th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe. More than an accident, it was the beginning of the meltdown of the Soviet Union and defrosting of the Cold War. Mikhail Gorbachev has written that Chernobyl "was an historic turning point" and "perhaps the real cause of the collapse of the Soviet Union five years later." The secretive, cover-up culture of the Soviet state, he recalls, kept timely information from getting to the top so a quick response could be formulated. "The Chernobyl disaster, more than anything else," says Gorbachev, "opened the possibility of much greater freedom of expression, to the point that the system as we knew it could no longer continue. It made absolutely clear how important it was to continue the policy of glasnost."(continued)
I remember, it was 6:00 am and I got a telephone call. It was a bright, shiny day in June. "Bill, somebody here would like to talk to you." Sharansky came on the phone, "Hello Mr. Woessner. I want to thank you. I want to thank the American people. I want to thank the American President. Thank you very much."
BEIJING -- There are two competing agendas in the relationship: cooperation and friction. If the cooperation agenda fails to move forward, the friction agenda may take over. Given the importance of China-U.S. relations to world peace and development, this scenario would be bad not only for our two countries, but also for the whole world.