Like nearly all of the peoples of North and South America, most Americans are not originally from the territory that became the United States. They are a diverse collection of peoples primarily from a dozen different Western European states, mixed in with smaller groups from a hundred more. All of the New World entities struggled to carve a modern nation and state out of the American continents. Brazil is an excellent case of how that struggle can be a difficult one. The United States falls on the opposite end of the spectrum.
Another hurricane is brewing in the Atlantic and fires rage in Oklahoma and Texas. Meanwhile, all across the country, Americans are working to rebuild after spring floods, summer tornados and Hurricane Irene. Enter the federal government.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was speaking for the Obama administration this week when she issued a sharp demand: Syrian dictator Bashar al-Asad should step down and now. The Obama administration is putting its Syria policy in line with its overall goal making the Mideast safe for democracy.
How interesting that the Pittsburgh theme in history never goes away. Whether it is her people or the surrounding region, this one-time edge of the wild west threads itself over and over into our country's founding.
My argument assumes the worst case, which is not only that the Palestinians will not agree to a genuine peace but also that the United States cannot be counted on indefinitely. All military planning must begin with the worst case.
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