It occurred to us at VoteVets.org that there will be a lot of statements from conservative candidates for president that range from "fudged" to "completely wrong." Most of these statements are easy to predict. So, as a public service, here's a cheat sheet for you, so when you hear those statements, you know why they're just not right.
Foreign cultures go back centuries, evident not only from ancient castles on hilltops but from the attitudes inculcated in populations by tradition, attitudes toward family, friends, classmates, local leaders and central governments. A foreign correspondent is always an outsider, but often a welcome onlooker.
The end of the Cold War, epitomized by the Berlin Wall destruction, quickly came to be seen by the West as its own triumphant victory and the USSR/Russia's unconditional surrender. Hence Russia was to be treated as a second-rank country, a regional power at best, that was expected to obediently follow whatever directions may have come from Washington and Brussels. The problem was the Russians did not share this view of themselves as a defeated nation obliged to accept the victors' terms.
Not a single official commentator has hinted at the dangers entailed in this approach, nor to the Russian government's need to use Latin America as a diplomatic "launching pad" against its old enemy, the U.S. In the midst of this renewed confrontation among the great powers, we are trapped as a disposable part.
We seem to be prisoners of a terrible choice today: either the uncontrollable nationalisms of the humiliated striking back or the violent struggles of communities to assert their identities. At such a moment, we need to support artists that can be bridges between cultures. We need to support the work of spreading ideas and building a new common history. Only then can we avoid falling into the abyss of a clash of identities or succumb to the passions of nationalism.