Sunday, November 13, 2011

We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People


As someone who worked in foreign aid in Africa in the 1980's I was eager to reader Peter Van Buren's memoir of his time in Iraq, We Meant Well. Although there was neither so much money to spend in Africa nor the political push to spend it quickly, the same American mentality of not really understanding the local culture held true. It takes years to even begun to understand another culture, time that the American system of government and administration doesn't allow. 

I was sorry to hear that Van Buren has been disciplined by the State Department, but I wasn't surprised. No organization wants to see the inside story, warts and all, aired for the world. This is a highly readable book. It should be mandatory reading for anyone who thinks the US should do another military intervention.

Posted via email from Black Gap Road

Thursday, November 03, 2011

The Daily Nightly - What happens when a 1,500-year-old tree falls?

The Daily Nightly - What happens when a 1,500-year-old tree falls?:

'via Blog this'

When I visited the parks with redwoods I noticed that fallen trees were very common! In some of the parks, California State Parks, they tended to leave the trees. But they did cut the dangerous branches and built trails around them. The downed tree is part of the scenery. There really shouldn't be any controversy at all.