I am always a bit surprised to discover that educated people can be totally misinformed about recent (and past) history. Anyone knowledgeable about our interventions south of our borders should know that over the centuries we have exploited these states in the most brutal ways. Only a few decades ago we were supporting brutal rulers of a number of the South American states. From its origins in 1804 as a slave rebellion against the French, we have been messing up Haiti:

http://www.historycommons.org/timeline.jsp?timeline=haiti

http://www.webster.edu/~corbetre/haiti/misctopic/leftover/whypoor.htm

My father was an honest broker and I recall his distress at the economic exploitation of South American countries when I was a small child. Education here and in Britain and reading since made me aware of the horrors of things we were doing — usually in the name of anti-communism.

As today Tea Party-ites cannot distinguish a European social democracy from a communist or Nazi state, too many intelligent people play games to deceive others.

Truth and Reconciliation efforts were designed to cope with vast injustices in many parts of the globe. Read the list in this website:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Truth_and_reconciliation_commission

President Nelson Mandela’s effort in South Africa to heal the harms of apartheid is often seen as the model for such things. We do owe some reparations here and there.

Beware the Ides of March! (The last time I used this image, I got a call from the authorities to find out what I meant. And I am personally worried about what Al Qaeda may be up to now.)

“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent [blind copies]

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