Staying With Robert Gates


President-elect Barack Obama’s decision to keep Robert Gates at the helm of the U.S. Department of Defense is an excellent choice.  As a successor to the highly controversial (almost “radioactive”) Donald Rumsfeld, Gates brought a refreshing sense of professionalism and calculated detachment and distance from George W. Bush’s controversial defense policies.  That was difficult, but he pulled it off. 


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Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Design and Nuclear Brinkmanship

If the world had any doubts that the genie of advanced nuclear weapons proliferation was out of the bottle, those doubts were removed by a report that the Swiss officials have found blueprints of advanced weapons belonging to the nuclear networks formerly headed by Pakistani nuclear physicist, Dr. A. Q. Khan.  What is not yet known is whether Iran or other countries have purchased that blueprint from the nuclear smuggling network.  The U.S.-led pressure on Iran, the Twenty-First version of “nuclear brinkmanship,” is likely to be further intensified as a result of this new disclosure.

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The “Obama Factor” in America–A Personal Narrative

While watching the emergence of Senator Barack Hussein Obama as the presumptive nominee of the Democratic Party for the presidency of the United States, I was experiencing the feeling expressed in the phrase “present at the creation,” by President Harry Truman’s Secretary of State, Dean Acheson.  Here is a black man, whose father was a Somali Muslim and his mother was white woman from Kansas, getting ready to challenge the presumptive nominee of the Republican Party, Senator John McCain.  Obama and McCain epitomize the stark contrast that is quintessentially American.  Obama grew up in Indonesia and Honolulu, Hawaii, where I currently reside.  In fact, I live only a few blocks from the Punahou School, which Obama attended.  He is the embodiment of Midwestern America and immigrant tradition, whereby America is called a “nation of immigrants.”  McCain, on the contrary, is part of “mainstream,” Anglo-Saxon America.


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