Alabama World Affairs Council's Archive:
Bret Stephens, key points of speech to AWAC, YouTube, 3'
revised 12 Apr. '06 with notes on events with AWC, by Jeremy Lewis
8 Nov. '05: Brig. Gen. Russell Howard, "Terrorism Then and Now", Director of the Jebsen Center for Counter-Terrorism Studies at the Fletcher School, Tufts University and recently retired from his position as Head of the Department of Social Sciences at West Point.
6 Dec. '05: Ambassador Chas Freeman, China: Rising Rather than Returning, President of Middle East Policy Council, Fmr. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, 1990-91
7 Feb. '06: Jerry Leach, "Turkey and the European Union," President, World Affairs Councils of America, Washington D.C.
28 Feb. & 1 Mar. '06: Prof. Carlos Eire, Novelist and Riggs Professor of History and Religion, Yale University, author of Waiting for Snow in Havana. Tuesday evening lecture, "Is Freedom a Luxury?"; at Huntingdon College's Ligon Chapel, followed by breakfast event on "US-Cuban relations" at Capitol City Club, downtown Montgomery, and a presidential colloquium, "Reflections on a life of teaching," in HC's Flowers Hall, courtesy of President Cameron West, Huntingdon College.
11 Apr. '06: Air War College instructors give a Report to Alabama on their recent regional trips
Tuesday 20 Sep., '05: John McLaughlin, "The intelligence business and the CIA", Acting Director of the CIA in 2004, between the resignation of George Tenet in July 2004 and the appointment of Porter Goss. Now a Senior Fellow in the Nitze SAIS, Johns Hopkins University, he has received distinguished intelligence awards and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and associated with the Brookings Institution and CNN. He was educated at Wittenberg University, Johns Hopkins University and the University of Pennsylvania. As an army officer in Vietnam he received the Bronze star and Army commendation medal with oak leaf. At CIA, he founded the Senior Analytic Service and the Kent School for Analysis. In his three decades in the Directorate of Intelligence, he focussed on European, Russian and Eurasian issues, rising to Vice Chair for Estimates and Chair of the National Intelligence Council.
Summary of presentation only:
Two items: intelligence business and CIA
Job of intelligence community -- help navigate a difficult world. (discussion of challenges)
How to set priorities?
War on terrorism
WMD interest (discussion of various nation states)
Question Time: (discussion of various contemporary issues)
(AWAC Board of Directors Meeting : September 14, 2005, United Way Office, 12:00-1:30)
8 Nov. '05 Brig Gen Russell Howard, "Terrorism Then and Now", Director of the Jebsen Center for Counter-Terrorism Studies at the Fletcher School, Tufts University and recently retired from his position as Head of the Department of Social Sciences at West Point.Two articles in 1999 from Howard argued (prophetically):It would take a catastrophic terrorist event to reform national security organization.For 8 reasons, current terrorism is very different than Pacific terrorism of the 1980s (against which Howard fought as a special forces operator):
Future adversaries would be non-state, transnational actors, for which the US would need a "department of homeland security".
These adversaries would seek Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), for which we would need a pre-emptive doctrine.
Although these were roundly criticized, post 9/11/01 these arguments led to new CT centers.
Howard and Sawyer's anthology on terrorism [McGraw-Hill -- and used for our class PSC 371 at Huntingdon] is now the best selling book on the topic.US now sensed at risk (notwithstanding historical attacks in 1814, 1912, 1941, 1993).We are part of the problem, because of our culture of needing to get away [alive], we cannot fully comprehend suicidal terrorists.
No longer mere political theatre or a subplot to the cold war. Rather than wanting converts and a seat at the negotiating table, new terrorist groups want many watching and many dead. The long term hostage taking (against which Howard operated) has been replaced by AQ manuals that mandate killing hostages. Today's Terrorist groups are global, rather than the substate actors of the 1980s. AQ cannot be influenced by the economic, military and political sanctions that have manipulated states since the 1648 Treaty of Westphalia.
Better financed, not merely the 1980s style criminal enterprises. OBL's inheritance, gum arabic business, and hawallah informal funds transfers have rendered AQ less vulnerable financially.
Better trained: captured manuals and computers' hard drives indicate extensive training, no longer expected to make substantial operational errors [such as bombers' 'own goals'].
Difficult to penetrate: no longer vulnerable to sex, alcohol or money incentives. $25 million price on OBL's head hasn't worked. With 18 of 19 9/11/01 hijackers there was no evidence of sexual activity. Cells are redundant and complex. Even when speaking the language, outsiders cannot penetrate the cells without having graduated from the training camps with their closely-held culture.
Better weapons: Despite a lack of WMD found in Iraq, AQ was seeking them. OBL purchased some in Sudan, but fortunately tricked by a con man. Plenty of Russian nuclear and biological weapons material is missing [or improperly inventoried], as are some of their scientists.
Different metrics for success? Unlike quick major conflicts such as WW2, where 15 million were demobilized postwar leaving a million in uniformed services -- we will need different measures, such as the number of women students in Afghanistan.
Question Time:Why not more disruption of US since 2001? AQ may be on the run, but still training, and using surrogate, frontline organizations to do some of the work. AQ has an ego, and wants spectacular attacks only. US population is also better prepared, espcially in NY city. Wannabe groups are a problem, but surveillance now notices when they recon locations.
Intell challenges?1947 National Security Act, 1973 amendments prohibited CIA and FBI from talking. Need to change law, predicated upon WW2.France? Don't gloat. Predictable for 20 years: 5.5 M muslims there, 60 under 22 yrs, with no prospects, no future -- and new hero, OBL. Very volatile. Also 3.5 M UK, 2.5 M Spain, about 7 M US. See Juan Enrique Cabot book, Untied States (2005). Demography is changing, but US a better assimilator, addressing problems sooner.
Need to increase intell analysis from 10% of budget -- Intell collection is 90%.
There are too many intell services (17).
Pershing's ruthless methods in Philippines to return? Don't do it! Violates core values of military, don't have to torture to get info -- must not take lid off a military unit's discipline. Must fight an idea; convince muslims to take back their religion.
Iraqi war? Two versions: US stirred up a hornet's nest, leaders all from Afghan war -- versus -- honeypot attracting enemy to be killed. If Iraq is successful, will change region's politics.
6 Dec. '05: Ambassador Chas Freeman, "China: Rising Rather than Returning", President of Middle East Policy Council, Fmr. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, 1990-91.
Freeman speaks chinese fluently and was principal US interpreter during President Nixon's 1972 visit to Beijing. He holds degrees from Yale and Harvard universities, and was elected to the American Academy of Diplomacy; he has received several distinguished public service awards for work in diplomacy, defense and intelligence.
Freeman is the author of two standard texts, Arts of Power: Statecraft and Diplomacy and The Diplomat's Dictionary.
He served as US liaison and minister to Beijing, 1973-84; Director for Chinese Affairs at the State Dept. 1979-81; Principal Dep. Asst. Sec. State for Africa during the independence processes in Namibia and Angola; Asst. Sec. Def. for International Security Affairs 1993-94 (where he earned awards for the NATO centered European security system); US ambassador to Saudi Arabia, 1990-91.
Today he chairs the board of Projects International, a business development consultancy.Nathan's introduction: Amb.. Freeman is noted for having made a deal with Deng settling the colonial era debts of the railway bombers, incurred in the presidency of Taft.Question Time:
Historical perspective.For over 2,500 years, China was a third to a fifth of the global economy. 1850 overtaken by UK. 2020-2025, China will become largest economy.Taiwan issue: modern perspective.
Last 200 years actually unusual for China. 1911 Sun Yat Sen and 1949 revolution to free China from foreign domination and restore preeminence.23 years till Reagan - Deng communiqué' 1982, capped quality and reduced quality of weapons sales to Taiwan. Bush sold 150 F-16s to Taiwan, in reversal. But 1980s relaxation in straits. Then democratization in Taiwan. Lee broke commitment to US to speak at Cornell on separation, led to tensions 1995. US Navy exercised in straits, 1996, tension with PRC. PRC planned for conflict with Taiwan and US, Dec. 2004.Current developments:
Seemed increasing chance of war over China -- but Dec. 2005, changed. If fired missile near Taiwan, would face US military response, and Japanese resurgence. Japan did, like Germany, extend forces beyond own territory post 2001.Now Article 9 of Japanese Constitution may be abolished, may become normal country -- and in 1895-1945 occupied Taiwan, hence May 2008 target date for military capability (major submarines, fighter bombers, missiles, ballistic carrier-killer missile) to end Taiwan's separation from PRC. May be able to oblige Taiwan to negotiate.Recent PRC-Taiwan party dialogues:
Open to Taiwanese: 5 percent now live on mainland, many charter flights for Tet holidays, $70 Billion invested in PRC.
US Trade balance with greater China stable, just moved from Taiwan to PRC.PRC anti-secession law authorized force. US believed would end dialog, but soon KMT and other leaders went to Beijing. Electoral alliance with PRC to oppose current governing party of Taiwan. Promote economic cooperation and one-China principle. Travel directly on ferry across straits is now political issue between the parties. PRC has market for fruit and vegetables from Taiwan, whose opposition party is agrarian -- and agreement bypassed the Taiwanese government.Current administration: 2005 Rumsfeld only SecDef. to visit PRC without cooperation agreement -- using US-Soviet model of relations. Just as formalizing enmity with major competitor, casus belli (Taiwan) is being removed.
End of separation between Taiwanese and mainland politics. Party-party agreements have been building like a coral reef, gradually breaking surface. How can Chung avoid being bypassed in favor of engagement?Peer competitor brilliant concept -- imaginary counter to every program -- but China just opted out of role; may be on decades-long path to solving Taiwan issue.Proliferation connections? Taiwan issue is not rapidly -- rather, gradually -- being removed. PRC is not behind the North Korean nuclear program. US belief in coercive basis of leverage does not translate abroad.
7 Feb. '06: Jerry Leach, "Turkey and the European Union," President, World Affairs Councils of America, Washington D.C.
Biographical notes:Since 1996, Dr. Leach has been the President of the World Affairs Councils of America, based in Washington, D.C. He coordinates and assists the efforts of 86 World Affairs Councils across the country, recommending speakers, staging the annual WACA conference, administering overseas leadership missions for council members, holding training workshops, and helping new council startups.Introduction on World Affairs Councils of America:
In the early 1990s, he was Regional Director of the Peace Corps for Eastern Europe, the Soviet Republics, the Middle East, Asia, and the Pacific. He launched 22 new country programs in the formerly communist world, fielding more than a 1,000 volunteers in English, small business, and environmental protection projects. He also worked in the US foreign assistance program administering a farmer-to-farmer project in Russia and Ukraine as well as civic organization development projects in southern Russia and Central Asia. Much of his work and study has been done in Turkey, and he is an internationally recognized expert on that country.
In 1988-9, he served as Director of International Economic Affairs at the National Security Council handling science and technology, environment and conservation, oceans and space, nuclear non-proliferation, and export control.
As a U.S. diplomat in the 1980s, he served as Executive Secretary of the Senior Interagency Committee on Technology Transfer, the group charged with stemming the flow of Western technology to the Soviet bloc. He served at the State Department and the embassy in London, receiving a Superior Honor Award for his achievements.
Dr. Leach holds a Ph.D. from Cambridge University, where he taught in the 1970s.
A native of Virginia, Dr. Leach is a graduate of Emory University which has awarded him, together with his wife Marianne, the Emory Medal for Distinguished Public Service.Leach: 86 councils now, largest, with three types of members, 84,000 total, 3 councils over 10,000 members; Great Decisions program for high schools, 400,000 participating this year; pushing global education series in HS for 50,000 teachers. Total 500,000 served in these ways. Working on outreach, visibility, overseas. Largest international affairs organization in US.Turkish modern history, a survey:
Lived in Montgomery 2 year at Lanier HS. Attended Emory together and married before peace corps 1964 in Turkey. Lived there 2.5 years. Recently returned with WACA tour.Turkey a democracy since collapse of Ottoman empire after WW1, 1453 renamed Istanbul, ascendancy first half of existence but declined as silk road declined, and leadership declined for three centuries (sick man of Europe). INjections of ideas from West in late C19th but young turks took over 1908 and modernized empire but lacked leadership skills and entered WW1 on wrong side, needed empire by 1918. COuntries had left by rebellion or disintegration by then. Disappearance of a homeland of the Turks, till Mustafa Kemal Attaturk brought new leadership and set country on new course.Entry to European Union?
Reoriented towards Europe, old enemies of Empire. Growing economy, end of shariat, end of polygamy, new parliament and constitution, visionary concept, renamed Turkey -- but a guided democracy owing to fears of fractionation of democracy.
Death of Attaturk and his successor Ismet led to competitive elections 1947 and ever since.
Elements held over from Ottoman past; "illiberal" democracy in some eyes.
Military were not kept out of politics, press not free of censorship -- though recently charges against leading novelist of insulting nation have now been dropped.Turks already in NATO and in 1958 knocked on door of EC soon after Treaty of Rome. But Turks still lacked independent judiciary and Common Market offered associate membership 1963 with promise of full membership later. Turks observers of some European institutions. 1987 Turks tried by were rebuffed from full membership because of human rights violations in SE Turkey in Kurdish war.In favor of entry:
1993 EU Copenhagen conference criteria for membership: common values included. Stable democratic institutions (Mil interventions 1960, 71, 80 and 1997 a problem) rule of law deeply embedded and protection of human rights in courts, written constitution. Turkish government decided on a third attempt, could qualify under Copenhagen -- but Council of Ministers rebuffed, decided could never be a member by qualification. Reversed 1999 with British and other help, could try to qualify but not in next batch of entrants.
Accession negotiations blessed by COuncil of Ministers and 2004 began, Oct. 3, 2005 to present. Provisos: open-ended (code for may not succeed after whole process, ten years or longer, any country may still veto and roadblock of referenda on Constitution underlined this risk.)Some governments really want Turkey in, despite public appearances. Some feel EU will be more powerful especially militarily, with Turkey in.Opposed:
Dynamic economy, 70M pop and 5% a year, an attraction. Other Bulgaria and Rumania taking EU to 27 members and Croatia may follow before Turks.
Turks stalwarts assoc. members and members of NATO, have stuck with democracy and have done what EU has asked. EU will be good for cleaning up Turkish practices also.
Good to have a strong democracy in islamic state. Role model in islamic world, now taken seriously.
Good to blur line between Christian and muslim states to reduce appearance of hostile club.
NOw important now because of cartoon episode.Some do argue, especially in CD and right parties for Christian europe -- but other working for open EU, open to other religions.Signs of Progress:
Fear that rejection of Turkey could lead to backlash -- turn to radical islamic government.
Some argue too many muslims in Europe already incl. 4M Turks as guest workers, esp Germany. Have not integrated well.
Turkey has 25M peasants, some fear would open floodgates to immigrants.
Moroccans, Lebanese, Egyptians, others looking at EU membership. French riots illustrated dangers of this.
Turks have a mixed human rights records gives ammunition to opponents. Includes allegations of torture in prisons and lengthy sentences.
Turkey 70M, growing 2.5% year, compared to declining European populations -- would be second largest country and in a decade equal to Germany. Population weighted voting makes this an issue. Affects distribution of power. In 20 years Turks will be largest in Europe at 85 or 90M population. Some say too big a pill to swallow.Turkey an open, market economy Turks abolished death penalty. Head scarf issue not a violation in ECHR. Turks now allow languages other than Turkish. Free trade, penal code modernized despite opposition. Double digit inflation now down to 8% Turkish lira: million to one European, now new Turkish lira 4:$3. Privatized Telecom and antitrust legislation.Still needed:Europeans still pushing for practical elimination of torture -- not a constitutional ban alone. Need trials of military torturers, and other signals. Need religious rights for Greeks and Armenians. Full judicial independence, not corruptible of pressured by parties. Europeans are working on training court of appeals. Need civilian control of national security council over an extended period. Need parliamentary control of defense budget. Resolution of the Armenian charges, formal recognition of Greek Cyprus. Justice minister dropped prosecution of novelist.Conclusions:
Needs end of deep state -- military and paramilitary frequent intervention against what they see as domestic enemies, intimidating other political forces.
80,000 pages of EU law and regulations need to be adopted -- and measure up to EU standards, survive 25 veto holding countries at each stage.
Ten percent of Austrians say in polls Turks should never be allowed in -- so a roller coaster ride for Turks -- and golden cuffs because must obey all requirements.Odds are against entry but Turks have 45 years of trying and have made enormous changes already, will stick with it.Question Time:
Likely compromises include entry in stages but with modified weighted voting.Cyprus negotiations progress? UN emplace double referendum of Greek and Turkish Cypriots -- Turkish government blessed reunification, and Turkish Cypriots favored 2:1 -- Greek Cypriots opposed. Now Turks would need to recognize Greek part of Cyprus as being in Cyprus -- bitter pill to swallow. Turks have agreed conditionally.
Secular state compromised in future? Party in power has best chance of keeping lid on islamic radicals. Has relationship with mosques. Secularism is embedded deeply -- and knows will never be able to enter with islamic state. Attaturk charged military as guardians of secular, rational state.
Turkish immigrants not actually all peasants -- in US plenty of professionals, but blue collar in Germany. Hence perceptions differ.
Right to live and work in EU has been diluted slightly -- and Turks will not likely get right to settle and work in other countries for an extra decade after entry. Turks have winked at this likelihood. Now a public diplomacy campaign in Europe by Turks.
Education in Turkey? Truly remarkable progress from 1923 to present, from low literacy rate only 3% -- and only 1% HS graduates -- in bottom 5% of countries very poor then. Committed to comprehensive education for all both sexes -- stuck relentlessly to it, now universal elementary and middle schools, high schools for majority, and building more universities, some endowed by wealthy families. Females included in educated middle class -- mc now about 20%, a great achievement. Has not been given credit for it.
Predict most likely future? Turks are so committed to entry to EU that will impress more and more people. Will end up pulling European public opinion along with them by climbing a high mountain. WIll succeed but in twenty years, not ten -- and not with full rights to work across EU.
Some Turks feel will come out better off from the process even if do not enter. But a turbulent ride.
Kurds in Northern Iraq? Turks very nervous, Kurds found all over Turkey although mainly in southeast mountains and across 4 countries. Largest minority in middle east without their own country. US protective shield in northern Iraq a working semi autonomous region and now have presidency of Iraq. Turks worried this is a prelude to declaration of independent of Kurdistan in north, when Iraq disintegrates in a civil war.
1 Mar. '06, 7:15 for 7:30 am, Breakfast in Montgomery room, Capital City Club.
Prof. Carlos Eire, "US-Cuban relations." Prof. Eire is the novelist and Riggs Professor of History and Religion, Yale University, author of the 2003 National Book Award-winning memoir of growing up before the cuban revolution, Waiting for Snow in Havana. Invitational breakfast event at Capitol City Club, downtown Montgomery, courtesy of President Cameron West, Huntingdon College.
Biographical notes:In 1962, at age eleven, Carlos Eire and his brother were among 14,000 children air-lifted out of their native Cuba, leaving their parents behind for a new life in the United States; removed from everything and everyone they knew. Eire's memoir of life as a boy in Cuba under the reign of Batista, the Cuban Revolution, and the beginning years of Castro's regime, and his new life as a boy and young man in America is the 2003 National Book Award-winning Waiting for Snow in Havana. Eire will speak on the life of faith and the meaning of citizenship in his lecture, "Is Freedom a Luxury? Confessions of a Cuban Boy," for the 2006 Stallworth Lecture Series at Huntingdon College, Tuesday, February 28, at 7:30 p.m. in Ligon Chapel, Flowers Hall. The event is free and open to the public. A book-signing will follow the lecture in the Office of the President, with books available for sale by Capitol Book & News.28 February, 7:30 pm, Prof. Carlos Eire, "Is Freedom a Luxury? Confessions of a Cuban Boy," free, public lecture by Dr. Eire in Ligon Chapel of Huntingdon College in Flowers Hall. Access and parking from 1500 East Fairview Ave. AWAC members particularly welcome.
Eire completed his doctorate at Yale University in 1979. He is the Riggs Professor of History and Religious Studies at Yale, and is also the author of War Against the Idols: the Reformation of Worship from Erasmus to Calvin (1986); From Madrid to Purgatory: The Art and Craft of Dying in Sixteenth Century Spain (1995); and co-author of Jews, Christians, Muslims: An Introduction to Monotheistic Religions (1997).
In his acceptance speech upon receiving the 2003 National Book Award for Nonfiction, Eire said, "Had I written this book in my native land, I would be in prison. As we sit here enjoying this dinner, there is one country on earth, Cuba, which is dead set and has been dead set since 1959 on repressing thought, repressing expression. There is no freedom to write, there is no freedom to read. Everything that the National Book Foundation stands for is negated in Cuba on a daily basis. There are people in Cuba now in prisons that aren't fit for even animals. Their crime? Writing."
Carlos Eire, Lecture. "Is Freedom a Luxury? Confessions of a Cuban Boy."Luxury a condition of abundance or great comfort; an indulgence in something that provides pleasure or satisfaction.Question Time:
Are any of us absolutely free? No. But it is un-American to think of our choices being limited. But freedom also a political privilege. Free press, speech, assembly, religion do not exist in Cuba.
e.g. Cuban Gov. recently banned El Pais of Madrid, leftist paper. Also Spanish language edition of popular mechanics. Gov. considered them to have ideological content. From now on limited to subs by foreigners.
Lectured by colleagues about wonderful 2 accomplishments of Cuban regime -- but literacy rate was 82% in 1958, now 98% -- but Bahamas similar, and only Cuban paper is run by Gov.
Socialized medicine other accomplishment but 3rd Reich also had it.
Horrors of Cuban revolution great.
Originally contracted to write a history of Europe, but wrote story of child as a novel instead of history book because couldn't take it any more. Prompted by coverage of Elian Gonzalez, utterly wrong, boy was already damaged, cursed for life by being born in Cuba.
At 11, my parents cared so much about certain values including freedom that they sent me to US among 14,000 kids in 1960-62. Feared my body and soul would have been taken by the revolution. Sacrifice of sorts, hoping to reunite. Like throwing child off moving train that is going to crash. Father not allowed to leave, so never seen again; mother surmounted many obstructions and harassment to leave after three years.
Cuban Gov. had actively kept parents from children, yet media not covering the story. Telling the universal story instead of a history would prove more successful. Wrote every night for four months, then read to children the next night. (If Oprah had picked him, she wouldn't have had any problems!) Editor when understood book, determined to publish it as memoir.
Since publication, letters from fellow exiles, thank you for telling their story or their parents' story.
Only one letter without thanks, because of use of foul language.
Didn't know he was cuban till he wrote book, now professional cuban. But expertise shallow if deep in childhood. No longer dream or count in spanish -- or even pray.
Commonweal review compared to trash of Gone with the Wind. HIs family though owned property without slaves.
Some critics feel freedom is still a luxury for inferior people -- example of reviewer of his talk labeling him "pompus" and "a piece of work." Faculty reject fact of more thousands killed by Castro than Pinochet -- likewise Che Guevara a mass murderer.
COmmunism/socialism a religion in Cuba, Castro popular outside as a religious figure who stands up to US.
Apartheid in Cuba as vicious as South Africa and some is racist.
Chief industry is tourism, one million per year, tourists get best beaches, stores, restaurants off limits to cubans. Illegal for any Cuban to accept tips from tourists. Disbelief among many in US.
Some apologists say Cubans don't care about freedom since they have medical care.
Some claim must be racist.
Previous book title on Death in C16th Spain drew laughs at Book awards -- contrast with this memoir. HIsotires took ten years each to write. Feel compelled to reiterate need for freedom.
After revolution was denied entry to 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea film, no longer suitable for children.
Everyone in world deserves to be free. Thank of governments that trample on human rights as criminals.
Embargo? Don't know and don't care. Policies that states put in lace against one another are ultimately ineffective; tourists still frequent the beaches, and cubans don't care.
At a faculty conference dinner, conversation stopped when Book award was mentioned, a great sin to venture outside academic fold. French historian: "You certainly won't win a prize for the paper you gave us today."
Change in world is a change in individual thinking: freedom not a luxury but something everyone in the world deserves.Che blew brains out of prisoners including documented case of 14 year old boy. He moved into a half city block mansion, had chauffeur driven car.Breakfast discussion of US-Cuban relations for World Affairs Council, Wed 1 Mar. 2006. (Notes on additional comments, will not repeat much of evening lecture. Members who participated are welcome to add to this summary.)
Mother and brother: mother died last year, brother in nursing home. Mom unable to read book in English, but heard it read to her in Spanish.
Exiles some 2 million versus 12 M in Cuba. All three scholars who have tried to investigate airlift were denied access to documents in cuba -- but also in US. Kids were snuck out via 3 officials wo granted visa waivers to kids, in hope of parents following -- but they were imprisoned for 25 years.
Rural areas? Everyone except leadership is poor, living at near starvation levels $17 per month, professionals $34 per month. Countryside has more access to food than cities, but less electric power. Against law to move to city. Can no longer go to Cuba since book published. Tourists at resorts see a different cuba.
Post Castro? Don't know. Cubanologist recently gave 13 scenarios but could still be something else. Castro has ensured never a number two man -- they disappear. No discernible successor or plan for change.
Before Castro , anouther awful dictator, and no elections since 1948.
How to change overnight to democracy, reconcile exiles?
Freedoms have been selectively applied, e.g. Japanese Americans in WW2. Need to complain when freedom slips from grasp.
Phone tapped during 3 minute conversation, eavesdropper laughed at his mother.
Castro's brother Raoul? May succeed him but has negative charisma, made fun of since earliest days. Almost opposite of brother, in speeches people fall asleep.
Cuban health care system gets good press: universal inoculation of children, but uncle says health care still terrible. Free, but inferior and delayed. Uncle never has to put up with with electrical brownouts because on same grid as hospital for party members. Ministers go abroad for care, even as Castro sends doctors to Venezuela.
Great proponent of free universal health care -- but to trade ones freedom for that not a good trade.
Embargo largely symbolic gesture. US is largest source of food products for Cuba. Cuba still doing business with world except US ever since revolution, 1M tourists per year since about 1997 -- but more freedoms taken away from cubans.
Privilege of starting small home businesses -- but experiment ended after two years. Ending embargo would make little difference as long as megalomaniac, psychotic leader in charge.
US prisoners without trial at Guantanamo, wrong to remove freedom and ironic to do so on island of cuba.
We have given all our industry to China, where crushing human rights violations. But everything I buy is made in China.
"Right wing wacko" for some, but once voted for Ralph Nader.Mediaeval and early modern historian of Europe, not an expert in economics or international relations.1 Mar. '06, 3:30-4:30pm, President's Colloquium, Flowers Hall, Huntingdon College.
Has not traveled to Cuba and is now banned from entry, anyway.
Much of Dr. Eire's view of cuba, drawing upon a network of family and fellow cuban émigrés, is at odds with the conventional wisdom in US, and he is frequently challenged by audience members elsewhere who uphold an over-optimistic view of life in cuba.
Cuban independent of Spain only in 1898 war, and since 1902. Population 1M then, 12M now.
1962, 14,000 Airlift children have succeeded in many cases in US, e.g. Rep. Mel Martinez (R-FL), and many are now communicating about their experiences.
Children were placed in foster homes for several weeks to several months, siblings separated by age and gender categories.
Universal free health care achieved but poor quality and some doctors drained for showcase export to Venezuelan and now Bolivian regimes.
Cuba has suffered since withdrawal of old Soviet subsidies for sugar and donations of supplies.
Internal repression of political prisoners who speak out to criticize regime.
Committee for Safety of Revolution term for family spies on each housing block.
Bureaucratic difficulties for parents attempting to emigrate to follow their children.
References to George Orwell's, Animal Farm, and Machiavelli's The Prince, issue of being feared or loved.
Poverty: $17 per month cash, slightly more for professionals -- but party elite live well.
Visitor to Connecticut astonished by consumer choices available even at yard sales, lack of official restrictions.
Cuba has not experienced US style democracy -- only authoritarian government with inequality before Castro, totalitarian since.
No particular view of the post-castro politics, but skeptical of the free cuban leaders who have parceled out cabinet positions in exile, in advance.
US embargo on trade with cuba is ineffective, since US goods are widely available there. Has not changed Cuba, and sanctions have not worked elsewhere. Capitalist engagement has not worked elsewhere either.
Tourism major industry, and tourists see foreigners only hotels, not open to ordinary Cubans.
Prof. Carlos Eire, "Reflections of a Life of Teaching." Courtesy of President Cameron West, Huntingdon College. Access and parking from 1500 East Fairview Ave. AWAC members particularly welcome.
11 April '06: Air War College Faculty give regional briefing presentations
Moderator: Col Stefan Eisen, Dean of Academic Affairs at the AWC.
Speaker: Dr. David Sorenson on Israel and Egypt
Speaker: Dr. Adam Cobb on Indonesia and Malaysia
Speaker: Dr. Mark Conversino on Russia
AWAC Report to Alabama, 11 April 2006
Dean, Col. Stefan EisenHalf class is USAF -- 46 international fellows, and other forces.David Sorenson, "Egypt and Israel."
These students matured post cold war.
Now includes east Europeans.
Half of faculty have engaged in cultural and regional studies.
Few unilateral decisions made any more.
Studies to analyze a region from perspective of combatant commanderVisited wall/fence, known neutrally as "security obstacle", pivotal issue for US and for middle east.Mark Conversino, "Russia and Sweden"
Recent election of Hamas, incapacitation of Sharon.
Met with both sides.
Madrid-Oslo accords for process to peace -- but neither side upheld process. Clinton tried to revive but narrowly failed, violence escalated.
Sharon redefined plan from negotiations to barrier, 2002-.
Female soldiers watch monitors constantly from sensors along fence.
Bethlehem under Palestinian control, group not allowed in. Tall wall at that point because of previous shooting.
Takes hours for Palestinians to enter, especially after a terrorist attack.
Palestinian economy suffers because agricultural, and expected to drop 30%.
Terrorist attacks have already dropped 75% and completion of wall should reduce to 5%.
Palestinians bitterly argue Israelis have abandoned peace process.
Fatah ran competing candidates for seats -- Hamas with fewer candidates won more seats from fewer votes.Met MOD officials in Moscow and Foreign Affairs, think tank; St. Petersburg and Sweden.Adam Cobb, "Southeast Asia"
Russia still matters, permanent member of UN Security Council -- and largest country on planet.
At war with islamic extremists and Chechen separatists.
Putin taking Russia back to an earlier time to solidify military power and power at home.
US and Russia collide on issues in central Asia and middle east. Russia covers 11 time zones.
Most Russians replied don't want near-abroad of muslim republics back in Union.
Unlike UK, Russia has not experienced a gradual liberalization over centuries --just up and down.
Putin appointed 1999 PM and then President on platform of restoring Russian power.
Chechen war has cost 10,000 troops killed and many more civilians -- only 100 of 1,000 oil wells operating, brutal repression. Russia has now eliminated most of the Chechen fighters who were trained in old soviet army, and face now younger generation. Brutal attacks on both sides. Beslan massacre led to Putin rejecting further complaints about repression.
Military: Putin vowed to restore. Accusations of military being autonomous and corrupt, and hazing scandal. Putin wants to professionalize. 500 killed yearly by hazings of cadets & soldiers, Putin trying to reform.
Putin sees all issues via oil production -- Russia has 12% of reserves, 9% of production and sells to US now.
Population shrinking rapidly.maritime environment, with offshore claims by multiple countries.Question Time:
Oil reserves south of China and north of Malaysian coast.
Spratly islands in south china sea, on oil and gas field.
China has used force multiple times, though has turned to negotiation.
Maritime choke point at straits of Molucca, very narrow, huge flow of oil and trade, off Singapore.
China very thirsty country for oil. Indonesia has suffered reversal of fortune.
Piracy problem here -- 1/3 of world's piracy. Dramatic rise as soon as asian financial crisis hit. Some incidents are minor but large tankers have been taken over, systems learned and captains hijacked for possible future terrorist attack. LNG tanker ship if detonated in Singapore harbor would be equivalent to nuclear weapon.Singapore? Cobb: [discussion of security measures in straits, including surveillance and technical measures.] Tankers have only small and unarmed crews.
American not engaged diplomatically in middle east? Sorenson: Richard Haas has argued negotiations succeed only when ripe. Neither side believes other side will produce results. Clinton was rushed into peace talks at Camp David with Knesset unprepared. Must build political support over time and fund Palestinians as well as Israelis to engage in peace. Israelis willing to engage in withdrawal from pockets, but Palestinians feel not a solution because pockets of land are isolated.
Despair /hope in Palestine? Sorenson: despair in Palestine not as deep as previously under Arafat, but dependent on Israelis for jobs. Fence a solution to lack of FDI, but many religious settlers opposed and military initially felt money would be better spent on equipment for punitive raids. Palestinians now have to administer and pay for operations.
Chechens? Conversino: many subject groups of Soviets were sympathizers with Germans.
Progress in Russia? Conversino: Putin is supported by about 70% of population. Russian economy grew 7% last year, but mostly in extractive industries like timber, oil and gas where price fluctuations. Moscow now clogged with traffic, cars driving down sidewalks -- real change from lack of cars under soviet system. Department stores now like US, full of shoppers and selling western style goods.
QDR (Quadrennial Defense Review) just released and rejected unilateralism, calls for engagement -- but it will take time to catch up.
Indonesia? Cobb: has more muslim population than whole of middle east. Suharto and military removed from parliament -- now genuine democracy with moderate majority. Saudis now funding madrassahs that can preach hate of west. Will US build churches and schools in Indonesia to compete? Trajectory at present is good, but long term more concern.
Russia? Conversino: Relative access to information now, software outsourcing now run by intelligent youth even if in dilapidated buildings. Patient with limited resources but developing. Disfavor Barnett thesis of greater understanding through communications.
Egypt? Sorenson: also Disfavor Barnett thesis of greater understanding through communications. Egypt now showing more local media material and more women wearing hijab. Chinese cultural influence rising -- including in Yemen. Chinese aid comes without human rights strings.
Attitudes to US? Cobb: visible hatred of US among public found on trip.
Russians emphasized wanting to work with US on middle east, Iran. Very pragmatic and balanced view, wanting to be involved and to be respected as a player.
23 May '06: Dr. Anthony Lake, Distinguished Professor of Diplomacy at Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. Service includes in U.S. State Department 1962-1997; aide to Amb Henry Cabot Lodge in Vietnam; aide to Sec State Henry Kissinger; Head of State Department Policy Planning Council 1977-1981; National Security Advisor to President Clinton 1993-1997.
(The webmaster was travelling in Europe on this date, and welcomes notes from members on the discussion.)
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