In 1994, God told David Thompson to start training surgeons in Africa. Thompson was in the fifteenth year of a mission to Gabon at the time, in West Africa. “I just realized that I couldn’t keep up with the demand,” Thompson told me.
Thompson is tall. He wears a mustache, and has deep creases alongside his eyes and mouth. I asked him how God had spoken to him. “I had a habit of spending about an hour a day early in the morning reading the Bible and praying and meditating on it and listening to see what God said to me,” he said.
Had bin Laden been blown to pieces by way of B2 bomber, nobody would be wasting black pixels on the ridiculous questions that are now dominating news: Was the woman killed his wife? Was she used as a human shield? Was bin Laden holding a gun?
Hondros, Hetherington, and Marinovich ran into the flames so that we might all bear witness, so that suffering of the world and the courage of our soldiers might not remain silent. But if we look the other way, or worse, if we look but then remain silent, we fail them and their work.
“By the middle of the century,” he said, “the Hispanics and the Afro-Americans, these two minorities together, on the one hand they will form a majority of the electorate, and on the other hand they will demand social security for themselves. They will demand access to colleges and to universities and to positions higher up in the economy and the society.”
Only two U.S. nuclear sites are in compliance with federal fire regulations. How confident can we be that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has things firmly in hand?
In the immortal words of Johnny Depp channeling George Jung in the film Blow: “Danbury wasn’t a prison, it was a crime school. I went in with a Bachelor of marijuana, came out with a Doctorate of cocaine.”
The holidays typically lead one home. Then, quite often, to the memories of one’s childhood. And then onto the stories thereof.
This year, I found myself digging into the notes and bits that surround my favorite Christmas story, Peter Pan, which was staged in London each December early in the 20th century. Amid the digital wandering, I made an unexpected discovery: Eton—the world’s most esteemed high school—is not only the alma mater of Prince William and Prince Harry; of Prime Minister David Cameron and 18 of his predecessors; but also of Captain James Hook, commander of the Jolly Roger…
Hawke, a puff-haired, womanizing Aussie’s Aussie, held a record in the Guinness Book for the fastest consumption of a yard glass of beer, roughly two and a half pints in eleven seconds. Keating, on the other hand, has a taste for antiques and double-breasted Ermenegildo Zegna suits, and would listen to Wagner’s Valkyrie in preparation for questions in the parliament, imagining himself as Zeus hurling lightning bolts.
The Afghans know it, and they’ve known it for a long time: we will leave Afghanistan. Despite all statements to the contrary, we will leave before the mission is achieved, and we will leave a narco-state in our wake. The American public simply lacks the will, both financially and politically, to carry out the immense nation building required to leave a functioning state behind.
This is not about W. or Petraeus, COIN or Al Qaeda; this is the story of a middle class — the kind of vibrant, skilled middle class that one finds lacking in almost every other country in the region — and what the neoconservative experiment meant for them.