There is an old saying: No matter where you go or what you do, there you are. And here we are at the changing of the years; a great time to take stock of all the flashpoints that came our way in 2006, and what we might expect in 2007.
That is what our special edition of AC 360, "Flashpoints", is all about.
We chose five major flashpoints from the past year: Iraq, Immigration, the Israel-Lebanon conflict, Terrorism, and the political upheaval of the last U.S. election. Then I had the pleasure of sitting down with a smart panel of folks to talk the issues over: Lewis Black, the comedian and political commentator; Arianna Huffington, the influential voice behind The Huffington Post; Reza Aslan, a young and exciting author with powerful insights into the Muslim world; and Wade Davis, a National Geographic Explorer in Residence whose expertise is cultural anthropology.
Working through a stack of electronic maps and graphs with them, I enjoyed a remarkable hour of ideas and insights...and a sense, through their eyes, of what the coming year might bring. Certainly, our list of flashpoints was not exhaustive, but they were more than enough to spark a lively conversation...and Lewis Black, as you might guess, took off on a tear more than once.
One example, I asked him what steps we could take in 2007 to improve the situation in Iraq? He rolled his eyes, and gestured in that "crazy uncle" way, and said: "If I knew that I wouldn't be doing what I do for a living.". Then with a broad smile, "I'd be working for Halliburton!"
Before Lewis and the other left I asked them: What Flashpoints did they think might directly affect Americans next year?
They have their ideas, and I hope you'll watch this unusual show to hear more...but now I want to hear from you: Higher gas prices? More political discontent? What flashpoints do you think will light up the news in 2007?