Friday, May 03, 2019


I’m told that ‘dilemma’ means a choice between undesirable alternatives.  Take a look around.  We’re inundated with dilemmas: tough issues that defy simple solutions.

As observers, it’s easy to criticize.  I can vent and maybe feel better, but I won’t have changed anything.  It’s like being in the stands when those who can make a difference are on the field playing the game.

So for example:

Afghanistan:  We’ve been fighting a war there for 18 years.  We’re in talks with the Taliban to stop the killing.  But they’re playing a long-term game.  They’ve more than survived.  If anything they’re on the ascendency.  So what will happen if we reach some agreement, which by the way the current Afghan government may or may not support?  Will women’s rights be protected?  Will corruption disappear?  Will the drug trade continue to prosper?  What if the killing doesn’t stop?  And more . . .

A dilemma!

Immigration:  There is no one answer for this one.  Where do we start?  Stop people from entering?  Let them in but give them shelter, food, medical care?  For how long?  What do we do with families and children?  Have a different asylum policy?  What will that look like?  Build a wall?  Add border police?  Attack the problems in Central America, where the source of discontent begins?  What would such an ‘attack’ look like?  And more . . .

A dilemma!

Migration:  A worldwide problem of huge proportions.  Tens of millions of people (soon to be hundreds of millions) are leaving their homes to escape wars, drought and other climate-related issues, economic deprivation and a host of other causes.  Where are they going to go?  Who will let them in?  And if they are let in what will become of them then?  And more . . .

A dilemma!

Terrorism:  It’s not going away.  Quite the contrary, it is on the rise and there is no end in sight.  Maybe a big terrorist attack, involving many people, can be uncovered and stopped.  Maybe.  But the lone terrorist, deranged, hate-filled, on the loose, is unstoppable.  Dangerous people, who back in the day would have kept their impulses to themselves, now have license to act out and express their maniacal schemes.  What can we do about it?  Wring our hands and go online to propound theories about what causes this behavior we deplore?  Toughen the laws?  Protect ourselves?  Good luck.

A dilemma!


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