J.F.K. dug a deep hole in his relationship with Khrushchev

Because of the Bay of Pigs disaster, Khrushchev pegged Kennedy as a pushover

J.F.K. dug a deep hole in his relationship with KhrushchevThings didn’t go well when U.S. President John F. Kennedy met with Soviet First Secretary Nikita Khrushchev in June 1961. Or at least they didn’t from Kennedy’s perspective. Speaking to American journalist James Reston after the Vienna summit’s second and final day, Kennedy described it as the “roughest thing in my life.” Khrushchev, he said,…

Understated George Shultz left a lasting legacy

As Ronald Reagan’s secretary of state, he played a key role in bringing about the end of the Cold War

Understated George Shultz left a lasting legacyGeorge Shultz, who died on Feb. 6 at the age of 100, was an important 20th-century figure. He was one of the good guys. An economist by profession, Shultz was born in New York in 1920. He graduated from Princeton in 1942, served in the Marine Corps during the Second World War and subsequently earned…

Eisenhower was cagey but Kennedy rushed in

In 1961, as a young president prepared to take over from an aging one, their perspectives on military responsibility were starkly different

Eisenhower was cagey but Kennedy rushed inIn the third week of January 1961, two American political figures made important speeches. One was the outgoing president, Dwight D. Eisenhower. And the other was the new guy, John F. Kennedy. Eisenhower was first up with his Jan. 17 farewell address. Aged 70, he was at that time the oldest president in United States…

Shedding the destructive legacy of the baby boomers

Someone said, ‘Greed is good’ and we repeated it. But the only thing that matters when you die is your legacy

Shedding the destructive legacy of the baby boomersI have to apologize to the youth of the world for the state we find ourselves in. Yes, great things have happened in my lifetime. We watched the fall of the Berlin Wall and we have taken some steps in the progress of human rights. But the legacy of the baby boomer generation leaves little…

Why does the culture of impunity persist?

When words that demean others are spoken with impunity, they lead to further infringements on our dignity and rights

Why does the culture of impunity persist?The greatest danger to our way of life is the culture of impunity we’ve created. It’s an assault on truth and human dignity. This became very clear in a discourse between two members of the American House of Representatives. Ted Yoho verbally accosted and demeaned Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for expressing her views on controversial issues and…

Hang on to your compassionate ideals

Doing good is not only vital to humanity and to the planet, it’s one of the key ingredients to living a happy and fulfilling life

Hang on to your compassionate idealsBecause there are no sports on television right now, my favourite movie, Field of Dreams, has been getting a lot of airtime. Near the end of the film, the main character meets his father as a young man and comments on his appearance, saying, “My God, I only saw him years later when he was…

In true competition, there are no losers

We’re all meant to develop our own talents, and we’re better able to achieve unimaginable heights when we don’t strive to win, but to truly compete

In true competition, there are no losersThe word competition often draws to mind hard-nosed athletes and coaches who will do anything to win. We imagine the tough business executive who will eliminate all adversaries to make the greatest profit. But in fact, the win-at-all-costs attitude brings only short-term success. In order to win in the long run, one needs a much…

Fall of the Berlin Wall was just a starting point

We can never forget the love of freedom and the demand for the respect of the rights of each individual that brought about its fall

Fall of the Berlin Wall was just a starting pointNov. 9 marked the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.  This was most significant global event of my lifetime (I was born in 1962) and it’s worth remembering for many reasons. First, it’s significant to note why the wall fell. It simply couldn’t withstand the human desire for freedom. Throughout the communist…

Is the world on the verge of a nuclear winter?

As Trump upsets the world order, many countries may feel they have no choice but to develop nuclear weapons

Is the world on the verge of a nuclear winter?What will the world look like in 50 years – or even 10? One of the rather unsettling possibilities is that the future will have to accommodate a Germany with nuclear arms. For the short period after the Second World War that the United States was the only nuclear power, the world was stable. But…

Pierre Trudeau’s Cold War dossier shouldn’t have been destroyed

CSIS decision is an affront to historical study, denying us deeper understanding of both the former prime minister and the RCMP

Pierre Trudeau’s Cold War dossier shouldn’t have been destroyedThere’s a new Trudeau story in the news. It doesn’t have anything to do with the current prime minister for a change, but rather his late father. The Canadian Press’s Jim Bronskill wrote on June 15 that the Canadian Security Intelligence Service destroyed a Cold War dossier related to the late former prime minister Pierre…