9 July 2003

Was Liberia Founded By Freed U.S. Slaves?

An article published by Slate, written by Mary Kay Ricks, repuidates the oft repeated mantra ubiquitous in the current news headlines that Liberia was a country "founded by freed U.S. slaves".
Not quite. Although some freed American slaves did settle there, Liberia was actually founded by the American Colonization Society, a group of white Americans—including some slaveholders—that had what certainly can be described as mixed motives. In 1817, in Washington, D.C., the ACS established the new colony (on a tract of land in West Africa purchased from local tribes) in hopes that slaves, once emancipated, would move there. The society preferred this option to the alternative: a growing number of free black Americans demanding rights, jobs, and resources at home.

2 July 2003

Lessons From Japan About War's Aftermath

My desk sits next to the coffee machine and water cooler. It is a window seat though, so I'm not going to complain. Try as I might to block out the chatter from gathering co-workers, their conversations still seep into my small cube. Yesterday, two chaps were puzzling over why the U.S. occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq is not proceeding like the post WWII history in Germany and Japan, and is deteriorating into a quagmire. As they speculated in jest, I wanted to blurt out some answers, but I didn't, and instead, returned attention to my work load.

Just about everything about our presence in present day Iraq differs from post WWII Japan:
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