13 November 2015 America’s Veteran’s Day and Remembrance Day in the former British Empire are always time for an annual outpouring of platitudes, war propaganda, and historical falsehoods. This year in the US and Canada the media is filled by stories of suicides among soldiers, both serving and retired, as […]

10 Oct 2015   ALMATY, KAZAKHSTAN – “We need a new name,” a senior official in Kazakhstan  told me.  “People keep confusing us with all the other crazy “stans.”  We are not like them. Quite right.  Compared to neighboring Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan is an island of […]

May 2, 2015   It was 1967. The war in Vietnam was raging.  I was 24 years old, just out of graduate school in New York City.  Cambridge University had accepted me to do a doctorate history.   But no. In a burst of youthful patriotism, I concluded it was every […]