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Good to be back
Returned last night from two weeks away. Caitlin and our three kids went on a tour of California, spending a week at Lake Tahoe, a few days in Monterey and ending with beach time in La Jolla. The weather was great, seeing friends always comforting, and the time with our young family so important.
Of course a lot happened in these last few weeks. Castro became ill, Lamont won the CT primary, and a cease fire is being tried in Lebanon. We awake this morning with the news that global diplomatic efforts to bring peace to the region are failing, as the Europeans are balking at providing troops for the proposed peacekeeping forces.
It is good to be back, and it was great to be away, but this new diplomatic failure is a grim morning reminder of how much work we all have to do. The Bush era has ignored some important challenges - health care, the retirement of the baby boom, declining wages, global climate change - and created many more. The mess in the Middle East today cries out for a grand vision, subtle diplomacy and broad international cooperation for a sustained period of time. In the old days, creating this new process would be America's job. In today's world, in the Bush era, in an era of diminished American influence, it is hard to see how we all get to where we need to go in Lebanon and the region.