Need a little help remembering the road from the 60s to ISIS? San Francisco psychotherapist Hank Berman looks back what he saw on his self described “Hegira on the Hippie Trail”. His was North Africa, Turkey and across Iran and into Afghanistan, Pakistan and India, and the political blowback of what he saw was in the cards. Were people paying attention to the red flags? Hank was, and he talks about how American guns in Afghanistan turned against us, what we might have done to stem the tide of hatred against Western ideology before it became today’s savagery, and no strings attached foreign aid (yes, LOL on that one), our political leadership, violence and the importance of love.
He is a grateful recipient of the golden age of education, from people who took education seriously enough to teach students in elementary school, as a matter of course, the notion of critical thinking, without which we cannot, today, so much as deconstruct a headline, understand what our leadership is talking about, or sense when we are being generally hornswoggled.
History told by a person who lived the drama of an era is most reliable for not just the facts but also for the emotional tone that brings authenticity to the times. Because Hank’s conversation here touches on critical issues covering a 50-year span, it is a powerful American history lesson best heard in his own voice for its strength, insight, humor, candor and compassion, the very crossover qualities that make a reliable historian, a reliable psychotherapist and a reliable man.