The goal of handing out foreign aid to foster "civil society" always sounds noble and well-intentioned. But you'll forgive someone like me for being skeptical about the results. There is no substitute for local knowledge. Democracy is never a simple translation.
It was June of 1961, and the setting was neutral Vienna. This first and last Kennedy-Khrushchev summit would prove to be one of the most explosive and decisive meetings ever of the two most powerful leaders of their time.
In Berlin, I walked through history, retracing the roots of my family tree and immersing myself in the dark past of my Jewish heritage. What must it have been like to wonder if tomorrow would be better than today?
Will Lech Walesa, former head of the Polish Solidarity movement, succumb to pettiness of our times? When we fight not with stones and fists but lawyers and tricks, and suffering always has a monetary value?