Ben Wisner

A series of question come to mind in the face of the damage to a large town in a volcanic eruption.

Principle question is suggested by the irony of Goethe's aphorism. Does "city air make men free" in the case of Goma? Why is Goma where it is? What was its function in the days of Belgian colonialism? Under Mobutu? In 1994? Now? Is it a life boat for people in a sea of economic and security threats, or is it a death trap?

Another question concerns "disaster diplomacy" in the...read more