May 14, 2013
By Brian Wright O'Connor Nearly 50 years after leaving the University of Pennsylvania for Vietnam, Lt. Col. Mortimer Lenane O'Connor will receive a posthumous Ph.D. today in a ceremony honoring academic achievement and sacrifice on the field of battle. My father, who set aside his dissertation to lead soldiers in war, will be included in the Class of 1968, the year he would most likely have completed his doctorate had fate not intervened. Born in 1930, my dad grew up in the company of soldier-storytellers on Army garrisons from Manila to the Old West, and watched his own father and three uncles set off for war in Europe.
March 20, 2006 |
I recently spoke at the library and birthplace of President Harry S. Truman to reflect on his leadership in the early days of the Cold War and to consider what lessons might apply to another - and in many ways very different - struggle that could occupy our country for a good many years ahead. With the perspective of history, the many new institutions and programs of the Truman years - such as the doctrine of containment, the Marshall Plan, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Department of Defense, and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization - can seem as part of a broadly supported strategy that led to what now almost seems like an inevitable victory in the Cold War. But, of course, things didn't unfold that way. Our country was tired after the Second World War, and strong strains of isolationism still persisted.
April 16, 2004 |
Director Elia Kazan and playwright Arthur Miller were colleagues, friends and titans of 20th-century theater. With plays such as Death of a Salesman (which Kazan directed and Miller wrote), they redefined American drama, bringing heat and realism to the stage. But then came the Cold War and Kazan's cooperation with the House Un-American Activities Committee. While Kazan named names of Communist Party members, Miller refused to cooperate and didn't speak to Kazan for a decade. This created difficulties for their intimates, among them Miller's wife Marilyn Monroe, who had once been Kazan's mistress.
January 2, 2004 |
John Frankenheimer's The Manchurian Candidate (1962), a startlingly fine adaptation of Richard Condon's part political satire, part paranoid prophecy, stealthily made its way into movie theaters months before the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. It stars an implosive Frank Sinatra doing his best work as Maj. Bennett Marco, a Korean War vet tormented by the recurrent nightmare that under Communist directive, his Army buddy Raymond Shaw (Laurence Harvey) is out to assassinate the men in his platoon.
June 7, 1991 |
Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan's effort to abolish the CIA and transfer its functions to the State Department is a recipe for disaster. Giving the secretary of state the responsibility for intelligence raises the specter of "cooking" intelligence to support a preconceived policy. As Dave Durenberger, ex-chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said: "There's danger when your eyes and ears become your brain. You start seeing what you want to see. " Moynihan is using his bill to promote certain theories.
February 23, 1992 |
You probably don't remember Ronald Reagan's grizzly bear. It lumbered across your TV screen in 1984. It was a canny metaphor for the Cold War - brought to you by the same folks who had created ads for Gallo Wines and Meow Mix. There it was, two months before Election Day, trudging along a hilltop. The narrator intoned: "For some people, the bear is easy to see. Others don't see it at all. Some people say the bear is tame. Others say it's vicious and dangerous. Since no one can really be sure who's right, isn't it smart to be as strong as the bear?"
January 4, 1991 |
A recent report by a presidentially appointed panel of experts supports the surprising conclusion that the country's space program is an unexpected casualty of the end of the Cold War. NASA's public woes, from Challenger to Hubble, were less on the panel's mind than the space agency's long drift in search of a mission and its symptoms of what Robert M. White, president of the National Academy of Engineering, calls "an acute case of giantism....
November 29, 2007 |
THANKS TO the Daily News for your recent editorial on utility bills ("The Cold War Begins Again," Nov. 26) - but you missed the point. The "cold war" is not beginning. It was never over. The real issue is fairness. House Bill 824 is not about derailing Act 201. It's about striking a balance between the interests of consumers and utility companies. Since passage of Act 201 in 2004, PGW, PECO and utility companies statewide have enjoyed several rate increases. Unfortunately, these increases have occurred at a time when the salaries of moderate-, middle- and low-income workers have remained flat.
November 19, 1989 |
The Cold War in Europe may or may not be over just yet. But it seems to be ending. And some experts miss it already. They say the day may come when the world looks back on the 40 years after World War II as the good old days - when life was simple, people knew which side they were on and a standoff between superpowers kept the peace. "We are witnessing the loss of our tidy little world," Josef Joffe, foreign editor of Suddeutsche Zeitung, the largest newspaper in West Germany, said here last week at a conference on The Changing Face of Europe.
March 2, 1990 |
"The Hunt for Red October" is a happy cinematic event, the first motion picture that allows us to experience the sweaty-palm thrills of the Cold War without worrying that the world will blow up this year. The movie is an entertaining journey back to the days of mutually assured destruction, nuclear winters and scowling Soviet dictators who always died of colds. Now, with bits of the pulverized Berlin Wall in the hands of greedy entrepreneurs and Big Mac wrappers blowing around Red Square, everybody is concentrating on more important things, like getting their cut of the peace dividend.