President Barack Obama has failed to engage in the debate about America’s role in the world, wrote Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., in Foreign Policy. Rubio conceded too that the “misguided view” that problems overseas will go away or be solved by others “is also shared by some in my own party.”
In the “articles you never expect to see” category: “What George W. Bush did right” declares the former president “a great humanitarian” whose initiatives in Africa saved millions of lives and set an example for global engagement. MIT senior fellow Christian Caryl states up front he’s not a fan of many Bush-era policies, but controversy over the global war on terror, he said, has obscured Bush’s success to fight AIDS—a program experts estimate has saved 5 million lives.
The Pittsburgh-based company that makes Heinz ketchup has been sold to a Brazilian conglomerate and Warren Buffett in one of the largest food acquisitions—$28 billion—in years.
The hold Republicans in the Senate successfully placed yesterday on Chuck Hagel’s nomination to be secretary of defense is not unprecedented.
Examining the medieval Christian practice of Lent, author Philip Jenkins compares the season of fasting and penance to the Muslim practice of Ramadan today. And—finally!—someone explains the origin of Shrove Tuesday pancakes. Jenkins also noted, “If American football had existed back in the Middle Ages there would have been no better time to schedule the Super Bowl than in early February!”
Long weekend read: Max Boot’s “The evolution of irregular war” traces the long history of guerrilla warfare to today’s jihadist insurgencies.
I’m reading: Freya Stark’s Baghdad Sketches, a travel classic from the 1930s. London-educated Stark taught herself Arabic and Turkish, and was one of the first Westerners to travel to many parts of the Middle East. She wrote 24 books and lived to be 100 (from 1893 to 1993, imagine!), traveling the globe into her 90s.