Sunday, December 27, 2009
But my friends and I went to Pacoima Junior High School, most known for its best known alumnus, Richie Valens of "La Bamba" fame, and a plane crash that killed three students on the school grounds, one of whom was Jewish and for whom we named the new Temple Beth Torah social hall. Anyway, today TBT, as we called it, is a synagogue for the hearing impaired and no longer plays the role as a local community magnet. But, then again, I am sure that Pacoima and the Valley in general is no longer what it was in our youth, the land of milk and honey, at least for our parents, many of whom had moved to sunny, palm treed California from New York in the 1950s.
In response to Steve's email, Irv Lucks wrote to me saying he had called Steve and had said that 2010 is the year that we are all going to get together again, jokingly said that his twin brother Ed had added "...at least for an early bird dinner." I do not know whether Irv was serious or not, but for me, I would be happy to make the trip to California for a real reunion. It is impossible to imagine the kinds of common experiences and bonds that we had in our junior high and high school years. We practically created our own language and set of stories to express our view of the world around us, from our teachers, to the good looking girls at school and to our very own relationships (like when Steve went berserk when he was "attacked" by a bee at school during lunch or his endless avocado sandwiches; or when I talked all the boys into paying for my glasses when they were broken during an orange throwing fight at the Lucks'., asking plaintively, "Well, what do you expect me to do?, for which they will never forgive me. Then their was the time when I drove all of them to the beach in Santa Monica for the first time in our old '56 Murcury, only to get my first ticket, when, missing a vital turn on the way home, someone yelled "Turn, turn!," and I crossed over four lanes to make that turn right in front of a police car. (No, I did not manage to get the boys to pay for that one.)
I hate to get mushy, but listening to a ton of Holiday music, the one that has stuck in my mind has been Auld Lang Syne, which some consider to be the most famous song in the world, as it is sung all around the world (and its score was even once used for the Korean National Anthem!). So just for the good old times, here is the text of the original Robert Burns poem containing the lyrics:
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,and never brought to mind ?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,and auld lang syne ?
For auld lang syne, my jo, for auld lang syne, we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,for auld lang syne.
And surely ye’ll be your pint-stowp !and surely I’ll be mine !
And we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,for auld lang syne.
We twa hae run about the braes,and pu’d the gowans fine ;
But we’ve wander’d mony a weary foot,sin auld lang syne.
We twa hae paidl’d i' the burn,frae morning sun till dine ;
But seas between us braid hae roar’dsin auld lang syne.
And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere !and gie's a hand o’ thine !
And we’ll tak a right gude-willy waught,for auld lang syne.
Friday, December 25, 2009
I have always had big ideas and perhaps an overgrown sense of my own ability to realize them. Despite the fact that I have a steady job, I have sought satisfaction more from seeking to promote certain ideas and projects. A couple I have written about in earlier postings: my desire to hold a major conference on global governance and to advance this concept as a central organizing principal of US foreign policy; more recently my hope to form an organization dedicated to insuring the security of the 2016 Rio Olympics. However, neither of these ideas has gone beyond the proposal stage. They have failed to elicit the kind of support needed to carry them forward. I think they are still good ideas, but nobody was really willing to embrace them to the point of taking some small steps forward. I believe I deluded myself into thinking that good ideas will always find their outlet. This is probably due to the fact that in my life I have in fact brought about some important projects and ideas that have given me a lot of personal satisfaction. They are scattered throughout my career and perhaps I have overblown their importance. In my work as a diplomat and as a nonprofit manager, I accomplished the following things:
- Played a major role carrying out a contingency plan written by me that reversed a military coup in the Dominican Republic in 1978
- Negotiated the 1980 UNGA resolution that gave birth to the country of Belize
- Worked closely with the US Ambassador to Bolivia to move that country, between 1981-82, from a military "narco-dictatorship" to a civilian democracy
- Planned and worked the diplomatic side in Bolivia of the 1982 capture and repatriation to Italy of a major neo-fascist terrorist, drug dealer and torturer
- The latter directly resulted in the capture in Bolivia and repatriation to France of Klaus Barbie, the Nazi "Butcher of Lyon." I subsequently assisted the Department of Justice in figuring out how Barbie had arrived in Bolivia, including securing is travel documents
- Inspired and saw carried to completion a public plaza in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for my greatest hero, Raoul Wallenberg
- Wrote the plan that led to the dismantling of the Cali Cartel in Colombia
- Assured that the First Summit of the Americas contained a section on narcotics control
- Contributed to the success of the 1995 Guatemalan Presidential elections through a program of voter education that laid the groundwork for a peace accord between the government and rebel factions
- Established significant democracy promotion programs in Haiti in 1994-96 following the US intervention in that country
- After retiring from the Foreign Service, I took over control of the nonprofit organization operating at the home of Eleanor Roosevelt in 1996, following a period of its decline. However, taking advantage of the popularity of Doris Kearns Goodwin's No Ordinary Time and the impetus given to women from the 1995 Beijing Summit, I expanded its activities many fold, carrying out a number of national programs in the areas of women's empowerment, human rights and the United Nations. I am also responsible for the organization acquiring a new building for its operations on the Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site.
These accomplishments have led me to believe that with correct insight, a strong will and with the wind blowing in the right direction, almost anything is possible. What I probably have not been willing to admit is that the wind is not always blowing in your sails when you want it. As a result, my recent attempts to "start something" have not moved ahead, or if you will, have failed. So just as I was getting frustrated with failure, I decided that I may have had another fate-yes I believe in fate--to go to Afghanistan as a member of the civilian "surge" in President Barack Obama's new Afghan policy. I am now still working on that although given my age and some health issues, this may not be possible.
So, although I still have a decently paying job, a wonderful wife and two grown children of whom I am proud and love and a dear Mother whom I moved this year to live close to us in Virgina, I am now still looking for some good ideas and projects to keep my spirits up in the New Year. May it be a happy one!
Sunday, October 18, 2009
See the videos in the link above
BBC at 22:08 GMT, Sunday, 18 October 2009 23:08 UK
Extra police after Rio violence
Several thousand extra police officers are on the streets of Rio de Janeiro
Brazilian officials have deployed thousands of extra troops on the streets of Rio de Janeiro a day after violent clashes with gang members.
Police said on Sunday that two suspected drug traffickers had also been killed overnight.
Officials also sought to calm fears about security in a city due to host the 2016 Olympic Games.
"Rio de Janeiro has a safety problem. We are fully aware of this problem, it is one of the city's most historic problems," said state public safety director Jose Mariano Beltrame.
"We proved to the Olympic Committee that we have plans and proposals for Rio de Janeiro."
Police killed in Rio helicopter crash
On Saturday, two Brazilian policemen were killed after their helicopter was shot down above the city.
The helicopter came down and burst into flames after the pilot was hit in the leg by a bullet.
Several buses were also set on fire during the worst outbreak of violence since the city was awarded the Games two weeks ago.
The attack on the helicopter followed an outbreak of fighting between rival drug gangs in a shanty town in the north of the city.
One resident said it was the one of the most intense gun battles he had witnessed in the area in recent years.
Security at all levels is the key to a successful Olympics. But the games must help rebuild Rio not militarize it. We should not come up with schemes to surround the games with thousands of soldiers as was done at the Pan American Games in Rio, but to civilianize and socialize the effort so that a military solution will be unnecessary, except as a backstop measure.
I served for a total of six years in Rio as US vice-consul, consul and acting Consul General (in addition to the two years as Principal Officer of the US Consulate in Salvador da Bahia) over two decades. I was put in charge of Rio's crime issue at the Conulate General as the Ambassador considered it a political as opposed simply a consular matter. After departing Brazil, I worked closely with Law Enforcement agencies both US and Latin American, as the South American Division Chief, of the State Department's Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL). I was responsible for approval of US credits for the Amazon Surveillance System (SIVAM), a $1.4 billion project won by Raytheon.
I am considering ways in which I can contribute to the success of the Olympics by playing a role in its security, look forward to future opportunities to collaborate and am reaching out to many friends to this end. This will hopfully result in the formation of a security consultancy that will bring to bear many capabilities to assist Rio to have successful and secure games.
It is Rio! Start preparing…
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
(Released by USJFCOM Public
Monday, September 7, 2009
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Supporter -It's time to get Lou Dobbs and his hate speech off the air.Yesterday, our friends at Media Matters for America, who are dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media, caught Lou Dobbs promoting hate and inciting violence towards Governor Howard Dean.With violence from right-wing extremist groups on the rise and Republican backed mobs hanging cardboard versions of members of congress in effigy, Lou Dobbs' statement is dangerous. Enough is enough.It's time for CNN and the United Stations Radio Network to fire Lou Dobbs.
WATCH THE CLIP AND GET THE NUMBERS TO CALL NOW This isn't the first time Lou Dobbs has used the air waves to promote hate and embarrass CNN.His relentless promotion of debunked, racially charged conspiracy theories about President Obama's birth certificate have already seriously damaged CNN's credibility. Yet, Lou Dobbs remains on the air.Now, he's gone too far. He's not just making CNN look bad, he's inciting violence to stop Governor Dean from fighting for President Obama's health insurance option. That's not just un-American, it's irresponsible and dangerous.It's up to us to make sure CNN and the United Stations Radio Network know we've had enough.CALL NOW AND DEMAND LOU DOBBS BE TAKEN OFF THE AIRThis isn't just about my brother Howard; this is about the America we all want to live in.Thank you for everything you do,-Jim
Jim Dean, ChairDemocracy for America
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Saturday, July 11, 2009
I could not consider the restaurants I discovered in places like Morrettes, Parana state; Florianopolis, Santa Catarina; and Rio de Janeiro, to be of the gormet status that Kugel describes. Moreover during the trip to Parana and Santa Catarina with my college group, we ate at dozens of places, some better than others, but just about all following the "all you can eat" buffet style that has taken over Brazil, from barbecue to pizza joints. The two that were memorable was one called Medalozo in Morretes, Parana state (http://www.madalozo.com.br/), which specializes in the Paranaense traditional dish, barreado, an interesting boiled beef which taste better than you would think and is well served on a terrace overlooking the Nhundiaquara river that goes through the center of town; the other was a Japanese sushi restaurant (proliferating all over Brazil) named Taisho (http://www.taisho.com.br/) , where the sushi was not only unlimited by of excellent quality, and the restaurant itself very impressively and grandiosely decorated.
However, some of the really good dinners I had were when I was on my own and able to explore a bit. Two excellent seafood restaurants were discovered over a weekend in Florianopolis, capital of Santa Catarina and something of a Brazilian Hawaii. Santa Catarina is totally located on an island and hosts annual surfing championships. There is a laid back, relaxed attitude on this green paradise, and I felt absolutely no risk at riding on the well organized, inexpensive public buses to get around the island. In the center of town, however, I discovered an excellent seafood restaurant called Toca da Garoupa, Rua Alves de Brito N 178. There I had an excellent Bahian style shrimp bobo (bobo de camarao) that was enough for two.
The next day, Sunday, I took a bus from the downtown bus station in Florianopolis, which was walking distance from our hotel, out to the bridge that connects the two closest points of the Lagoa da Conceicao, a large lagoon that occupies almost a third of the island, to have lunch at Chef Fedoca (http://www.cheffedoca.com.br/) , also a fantastic seafood restaurant located at the Ponta da Areia marina. A small upstairs dining room overlooked the marina, boats and water. I could not resist having a couple of coconut milk batidas (the batida,made with Brazilian cachaca (cane alcohol) was once thought of as Brazil's national drink, but has been almost totally replaced by the ubiquitous caipirniha or more commonly the caipirovska (made with vodka). The difference is like that between an Alexander and a Margarita. I had them with some of the best cod fish croquettes (bolinhos de bacalhau), a Portuguese specialty, I have ever eaten. I decided to go all the way, and ordered a lobster moqueca, unbelievably delicious!! Bobo and muqueca are both Bahian dishes, and both use dende (palm) oil and coconut milk, but differ in that moqueca is a stew, whereas bobo is based on manioc flower and dried shrimp. While one might ask why eat Bahian style seafood in Brazil's extreme south rather than in Bahia itself, I can only say that to a tremendous degree, Brazil's regional foods have become nationalized. My best Bahian restaurant when we lived there in the late 80s, for example, was always Bargaco. Though I have not been back to Salvador for a decade, only a year or so ago, I was visiting Brasilia and went out to a new dining area along the lake to find a branch of Bargaco there, which was identical to what I had known before . Similarly, such a traditional Southern Brazilian food as gaucho-style barbecue (churrasco) can be found in any corner of the country and indeed abroad.
In Rio as in Sao Paulo, we mostly were received by friends and family in their homes for dinners, but in Rio had the pleasure of dining with my brother-in -law Max and his wife Frances at one of their favorite restaurants, Bar Urca (http://www.barurca.com.br/) in the bohemian district of Urca the pathway to Rio's famous Sugarloaf. Bar Urca, is both a bar and a restaurant (upstairs) and the street in front of it along the water of Guanabara Bay facing urban Rio is lined by couples enjoying the night air and darkness. Bar Urca mostly serves very traditional Brazilian dishes such as fried shrimp with "Greek rice," and filet of sole belle munier. The most fun about the restaurant was the men's bathroom that listed seven rules for taking a leak. Another great restaurant which we have gone to for many years, and this time went with our friends Janette and Sergio, located in the posh Leblon neighborhood is Alvaro's. A tiny little corner on Leblon's main commercial street, two blocks in from the beach, it is also a famous bohemian style place, which is well know for its meat, cheese or sh imp turnovers (pasteis), which is great with the ice cold draft beer served. Their meats are superb. We all had either the the filet minon or the chataubriand a la francesa (made with shoestring potatoes, fried up with onions and ham), served to perfection. I cannot fail to mention one of the most delightful and inexpensive meals we had with our adorable friends Marion and Luis, just before going to Rio's Hippy Fair tourist market on a typical Sunday. This was a total revelation to our friends, but a place I had been going to informally for several years in Ipanema. Called Galitos, it serves the particularly delicious and simple small roasted chickens (galetos) accompanied by fries or a variety of rice or salads and well eaten with a cold beer. Our friends were delighted even though we had to wait half an hour for a table on the crowded sidewalk.
Well so much for eating as a subject. I could be embarrassed to focus on it, but also recognize that food is a huge part of traveling abroad and in many ways sets the, um, flavor of a visit to a foreign country. Brazil is no exception and offers a variety of regional and national dishes to please the pallet of any visitor.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Sunday, May 24, 2009
As mentioned in my last posting, we met with the former mayor of Curitiba and governor of Parana state, Jaime Lerner, after visiting the city and seeing all the things he had done to improve it, laying the foundation for Curitiba to be considered the environmental capital of Brazil. (Jaime Lerner agreed to see us although his wife, Fani, was gravely ill. I found out only a few days later that she had passed away and sent condolences.)
A primary conclusion of this trip is that Brazil has been globalized. (Actually, I took the name of this posting from a book here Brasil Globalizado, published last year with contributions from leading Brazilian thinkers and economists, which takes the position that Brazil has been on the path to globalization since 1990, but still has a long way to go in necessary reforms.) It is deeply involved in world trade and through a galloping information revolution, in world culture. I don´t want to cite the many statistics showing Brazil´s place in the world economy, because they are readily available. However, observing the immediate effects of globalization on a country that at one time, during most of the period I lived here, largely had its trade protected and suffered a gap between it and the world. Today, anything is available here, at a price of course often quite a bit higher than in the US. (The little figure of a stick man with the head of a globe, above, has been used on the wrappings of a kind of cracker, Biscoitos Globo, in both sweet and salty versions, sold only on Rio´s beaches for the past 70 years to the delight of little children and their parents, and older siblings.)
Brazil is much more wired than I have ever seen in the past, including on a visit only a year ago. This has given Brazilians a closer touch with the world. Everything now is accessible online (I was told a phone book is no longer printed because the info is online). Advertising and all kinds of services are being promoted online. Most hotels and public areas have wireless. Brazilians use cellphones and PDAs even more vigorously than Americans do.
There is something very global about Brazil´s culture today. The main TV soap opera playing now is called Road to the Indies (Caminho das Indias), a rather colorful portrayal of life and love that somehow crosses from Brazil to India (where everybody suddenly speaks Portuguese--which would be OK if it took place in Goa but it doesn´t). People here are fascinated with the rich texture of Indian upper class life, with flashbacks to Brazil. Another bit of evidence is the film Budapeste, based on the novel by Brazilian cultural figure (popular musician and now novelist) Chico Buraque de Hollanda. In this film, a Brazilian ghost writer finds himself in Budapest and decides to learn the most difficult language in the world (my paternal grandparents were Jews from Budapest) and is embroiled in efforts to ghost write in Hungarian, in addition to dealing with lovers in both Rio and Budapest. What all this means to me, is that Brazil is culturally engaged in the world. In the case of India, it reflects a Brazilian desire to be as dynamic as the Indians have been in moving their economy to be globally competitive (which most Brazilian products still are not), and perhaps to compare the talents of a Brazilian intellectual to the often crude ways of a former Communist Eastern European country. The ease with which the views of Budapest and Rio are flashed across the screen gives a sense of the closeness in time and space that marks postmodern globalization.
I should also mention that Green is really catching on here, a legacy of the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio but also with a lot of new energy coming from world culture and Brazil´s easy connection to nature. People talk Green better than they act Green, but it is a good beginning. (Watching a well heeled woman open up her car door while stopped in traffic and tossing out a pile of paper trash caused me teeth to gnash.)
Brazil is always Brazil, thank goodness. Today I was delighted by a scene as I walked and sat along the Calcadao, when they close off one lane of traffic along the Ipanema and Leblon beachfront on Sundays so people can walk, bicycle and skate freely along it. For some reason, everyone now has a dog, preferably a little dog. But one fellows large black lab decided to go directly to a coconut sitting on the curb next to a family whose very young daughter had only drunk about half of its milk, and started licking the hole at the top and draining off the delicious liquid. Everyone laughed. Then the dog picked up the coconut in its mouth, lower jaw in the hole, and walked off with it. 15 minutes later, the same dog walked by the other way, still clenching the coconut in his teeth. I would like to see that scene happen in the States!
A trip to Brazil would not be complete for me without going to at least one show of Brazilian Popular Music (MPB). In Sao Paulo, Yeda and I went with some cousins to see the Caymmi family, Danilo, Dori and Alice, sing songs of their father and grandfather the great Dorival Caymmi, who passed away last year. This concert was dedicated to Caymmi and his frind, Brazil´s greatest novelist, Jorge Amado, both from Bahia and both of whom I knew when I served in Salvador da Bahia as US consul. I have to admit that I had trouble holding back tears listening to some of the Caymmi songs that represent Bahia not just to me but to most Brazilians as well. It was a great concert and I hung around afterwards to meet the Caymmi family and congratulate them. As it turns out, Dori lives in Los Angeles, so even Bahian music has gone global.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Before arriving here, however, we spent a couple days in Parana state, just north of Santa Catarina, visiting its capital, Curitiba, known as one of the most green cities in the world in the world due to the vision of its former mayor and also the governor of the state, Jaime Lerner. After visiting the beautiful Botanical Gardens that he built and observing improvements made in public transport and trash collection, we had the special priviledge of spending a hour with Jaime Lerner, an old friend and contact from my days as US Consul in Rio de Janeiro and with whom I have some family ties.
Here are some highlights of our discussion of an hour with Jaime Lerner:
- Leaders of cities get bogged down in trying to decide exactly how to do things. It is much better to engage in the subject and work your way though the problem.
- He often asks city mayors around the world "What is your dream?" That is different from asking "what is your problem." Leaders need a vision of what kind of city they hope to create for their citizens. You can then work on the problems too.
- For success you need a) political will; b) solidarity of the population; c) a strategy; and d) a proper "equation of co-responsibility" among the different sectors of the city. Many politicians lack a strategic vision.
- If you want to deal with global warming, you need to recognize that 75% of carbon emissions come from cities. You have to lick the problem in the cities.
- He believes on the environment that you have to "teach children to teach their parents." In Curitiba it was only by mobilizing students to separate trash that the adults became conscious of the importance of this. In Curitiba the rate of separation is 70%.
- Important rules for making cities green is to get people to drive less, live as close to their work as possible
- Rising crime in cities comes from a lack of a stable economic relationship between the classes. People moved to to cities in Brazil to help build the cities and when building slowed down they no longer had jobs. It is important for different classes to be integrated and to support one another. They should live in the same neighborhoods.
- When he first started working with his group, they found that it was best to find simple solutions for problems and spread out. Today, his group works more a process like "urban acupuncture," visiting a city for a couple of weeks, offering some suggestions and then withdrawing, leaving it up to the locals to follow up on suggestions.
Saturday, May 2, 2009
•It recognizes that in a world of accelerated globalization, some global solutions are necessary.
•The essence of global governance is a coordination of efforts by governments, international organizations, civil society and other groups of efforts to reduce or manage the threats of globalization and to promote the benefits of globalization.
•An important UN report, Our Global Neighborhood, by The Commission on Global Governance, a distinguished panel of international public servants was issued in 1995, but was not universally well received.
•Global governance is opposed by those who defend the sovereignty of states and mistrust large multinational bureacracies.
•Global Governance is not World Government. In fact, global governance would not be necessary, were there a world government.
•Global governance refers to the political interaction that is required to solve problems that affect more than one state or region when there is no power of enforcing compliance. Problems arise; networks of actors are constructed to deal with them in the absence of an international analogue to a domestic government. This system has been termed “disaggregated sovereignty.”
•Some, however, question the inefficacy of such informal regimes and recommend a more structured set of regimes coordinated through international organizations, such as the United Nations and regional organizations.
Clinton: Who cares about Lou Dobbs?
@ 1:06 pm by Michael O'Brien
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said CNN pundit Lou Dobbs can buzz off during a townhall meeting with career foreign affairs officers on Friday.
One questioner, Jan Strasser, an employee at the United States Joint Forces Command, asked what Clinton thought about a system of global governance, referencing the work on the subject by Anne-Marie Slaughter, Clinton's nomination to be the State Dept.'s Director of Policy Planning.
"Well, I can just imagine what Lou Dobbs will say about that," Clinton said to laughter, referencing the CNN host who has emphasized economic nationalism and decreased deference to larger world governing bodies.
"You know what? Who cares about Lou Dobbs?" Strasser responded.
"I agree with that," Clinton shot back to more laughter, before refusing to specifically answer the question, saying that Slaughter is working on the subject.
My question – I should mention right now I work for General Mattis at Joint Forces Command and still actively engaged in the issues that this Department is involved in as well. My question actually is this, or proposal – many years ago when the last Clinton Secretary of State, Warren Christopher, first came to the Department, he had a big town hall meeting like this for the staff, which was very good. And I asked a question then. I said, “Mr. Christopher, we just finished the Cold War and we know that a great diplomat came up with a concept to how to deal with the Cold War, and that was containment.”
And I asked him, “Do you have a concept to deal with the post-Cold War period that we’ve now entered?” And being the lawyer that he is, he basically said, “Well, no, we’ve got to deal with each problem one at a time.” I was never really satisfied with that answer. And listening to the various things that you are doing and also Deputy Secretary Burns – Under Secretary Burns’ list of things, I wonder if you feel that you have an umbrella over – an umbrella concept, an overarching concept in which to contain what it is that this Administration and you are trying to do to deal with what I call the problems of galloping globalization in the world. And I do hope that you might have one.
SECRETARY CLINTON: (Laughter.)
QUESTION: May I – I know you’ve talked about the three --
SECRETARY CLINTON: Do you have any ideas?
SECRETARY CLINTON: Good. (Laughter.)
QUESTION: I nominate the concept of global governance, which I know that Anne-Marie Slaughter knows a lot about, and which was proposed back in the late ‘90s when you were in the White House by the UN Commissioner on Global Governance. I believe it still has a lot of very good proposals that probably need to be updated, but recommend to you, considering global governance, as that concept for this Administration. Thank you.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I can just imagine what Lou Dobbs will say about that. (Laughter.)
QUESTION: You know what? Who cares about Lou Dobbs? (Laughter.)
SECRETARY CLINTON: I agree with that. (Laughter.) We – you mentioned Anne-Marie Slaughter, who some of you may not know is our policy and planning director, first woman to have that job, former dean of the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton. And we’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this. I mean, we don’t want to get hung up on coming up with a word. But we do have a pretty clear idea of the kind of approach that we’re taking. But I think she would be very disappointed if I were to preview any of it right now, so give me a little – give me a few weeks, okay?
QUESTION: Okay. Well, I’m going to try to talk to her --
SECRETARY CLINTON: Talk to her, (inaudible).
QUESTION: -- as well.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Good.
QUESTION: Thank you very much.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Go lobby her,
QUESTION: Yeah. (Laughter.)
SECRETARY CLINTON: Yes.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
–Weak state is either a result of or allows for internal ethnic or religious conflicts
Fragile, Failing, Failed States and Ungoverned Territories
–Anarchy results in human suffering, violence, criminal activities and trafficking
–Lack of governance results in non-existent or poor public services, corruption
–Allow safe havens for terrorist, extremist and criminal organizations
–Globalization makes negative impact on Rest of World (ROW), e.g. terrorism and piracy
•Harvard Political Scientist Samuel Huntington predicted a “Clash of Civilizations” between the West and the East
•Main threat is from Radical Islamic Extremism, e.g. Al Qaida and Associated Movements.
•Driven by a jihadist (religious war) ideology to create a modern Caliphate under sharia (Koranic) law.
•Al Qaida is “blowback” from war by US-backed Mujaheddin against Soviet aggression in Afghanistan in 1979.
•Resentment from “Arab Afghans” against resistance by own governments (Saudi Arabia, Egypt, etc.) to give them a political/security role; resentment against US dominance of Middle East; presence of US troops on Holy ground and control of Middle East petroleum.
•Promoted series of bombings—First World Trade Center bombing, USS Cole, US Embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and finally 9/11/2001 attack on the World Trade Center.
•US invasion of Afghanistan – Al Qaida leadership flee to Pakistan tribal areas
•Joined resistance to US invasion/occupation of Iraq.
•Continue to support Afghan Taliban and fight in Afghanistan
•Continue to plan and plot further terrorist attacks against Western targets
•Problem of terrorist presence on the WWW and of “home grown” terrorists in Europe and the US.
•First major national security reorganization in US forming the Department of Homeland Security.
•Other terrorist groups, Hizbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Palestine Gaza Strip, represent state-sponsored groups supported by Iran and Syria, against Israeli and Jewish targets only.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
•Technological: IT, Biomedical, Green, Robotics
•Population: Growth, Aging, Youth Bulge, Women, Labor, Migration
•Economic: Commercial, Industrial, Communications, Services
•Financial: Investments, Banking, Exchange Rates, Black Markets, Money Laundering
•Cultural: Ideational, Ideological, Educational, Civilization, Pop Culture
•Political, Democratic, Multinational Organizations, International Law and Regimes, Rule of Law, Civil Society
•Military/Security: U.S. as a Super-Power, Nuclear Proliferation, WMD, Alliances, Rising Powers
•Environmental: Global Warming, Bio-Diversity, Deforestation
•Health: Pandemics, Potable Water, AIDS/HIV, Malaria
•Resources: Water, Food and Agriculture, Energy and Fuels, Minerals
•Terrorism: Islamic, Ethnic, Religious, National,
•Crime: Organized Crime, Drug Trafficking, Piracy, Trafficking in Persons, Conflict Diamonds
Though there are specifically political forms of globalization, all globalization has political dimensions.
–Sub-national Conflicts and Failed States
–Radical Islamic Terrorism – “Clash of Civilizations”
–Authoritarianism – From Self-Destructing Zimbabwe to Rising China
–International Organized Crime – Drug Trafficking
–Global Economic/Social Inequality - Displacement of Jobs
–Ecological Threats – Global Warming, Melting Ice Caps, Rising sea levels, Hurricanes
–Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)
–Resource Wars – Fuel, Water, Food, Raw Materials
–Human Rights Violations, War Crimes and Genocides
–David Ricardo and comparative advantage
–Expansion of trade, industrialization, finance and GDP
–Expansion of International Law and Organizations
–Expansion of Freedom, Democracy, Civil Society
–Expansion of Development and Foreign Assistance
–Expansion of Western Culture and Values
–US a principal beneficiary of Globalization
–Empowerment of individuals, women, groups, minorities
Monday, March 23, 2009
•Globalization – A “smaller world”
•People are closer together
•A world closer in time and space
•A world without borders
•Goods, services and ideas move faster or instantly.
•Driven by technology
–Transportation – Shipping, Containerization Accessible Air travel
–Communication – Television, the Internet, Cell Phones, PDAs
Globalizations I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII
•Often speak of Globalization I (Pre-WWI) and II (Post Cold War), with a hiatus in the middle, but one can identify 7 phases of Globalization:
•I. Early Man: Globalization is inherent in the human condition; man originated in Ethiopia 200,000 + years ago and occupied the entire world 20,000 years ago.
•II. Ancient Empires: China, Rome, Italian explorers, Arab traders
•III. Colonial empires of Spain, Portugal, England, France, Holland – Mercantilism
•IV. British Empire - Naval Supremacy 18th /mid-19th Century to WWI
•V. Cold War – Post WWII - US vs. USSR, the UN, Decolonization, Independence movements, accelerated technological development, space exploration, micro processing, the internet
•VI. American Hegemony – Post Cold War, Rise of Islamic Radicalism, Transnationalism, NGOs, Uni-polarity
•VII. Post-Modern: 9/11, 2008/9 Recession, Multi-polarity, Uncertainty
Sunday, March 22, 2009
. Defining Globalization
•No universal definition of globalization.
•Economic definition: trade, finance and communications
•Broader definition: Tom Friedman – an International System that replaced the Cold War
•A good definition I have found (Levin Institute, SUNY):
•“Globalization is a process of interaction and integration among the people, companies, and governments of different nations, a process driven by international trade and investment and aided by information technology. This process has effects on the environment, on culture, on political systems, on economic development and prosperity, and on human physical well-being in societies around the world.” (www.globalization101.org)
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Choice of Drug Czar Indicates Focus on Treatment, Not Jail
By Carrie Johnson and Amy Goldstein - Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, March 12, 2009; A04
The White House said yesterday that it will push for treatment, rather than incarceration, of people arrested for drug-related crimes as it announced the nomination of Seattle Police Chief R. Gil Kerlikowske to oversee the nation's effort to control illegal drugs.
The choice of drug czar and the emphasis on alternative drug courts, announced by Vice President Biden, signal a sharp departure from Bush administration policies, gravitating away from cutting the supply of illicit drugs from foreign countries and toward curbing drug use in communities across the United States.
Biden, who helped shape the Office of National Drug Control Policy as a U.S. senator in the 1980s, said the Obama administration would continue to focus on the southwest border, where Mexican authorities are facing thousands of drug-related slayings and unchecked violence from drug cartels moving cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine into American markets. But it remained unclear how the new administration would engineer its budget to tackle the problem.
Since President Richard Nixon first declared a war on drugs nearly four decades ago, the government has spent billions of dollars with mixed results, according to independent studies and drug policy scholars. In recent years, the number of high-school-age children abusing illegal substances has dipped, but marijuana use has inched upward, and drug offenders continue to flood the nation's courts.
"The success of our efforts to reduce the flow of drugs is largely dependent on our ability to reduce demand for them," Kerlikowske said yesterday at a ceremony attended by his former law enforcement colleagues. "Our nation's drug problem is one of human suffering, and as a police officer but also in my own family, I have experienced the effects that drugs can have."
Kerlikowske's adult stepson, Jeffrey, has been arrested in the past on drug charges, an issue that the police chief referenced in his remarks yesterday.
Kerlikowske's top deputy is expected to be A. Thomas McLellan, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania medical college and the chief executive of the Treatment Research Institute in Philadelphia, according to two sources in the drug control community, who said the selection underscored the administration's philosophy of rehabilitation and outreach.
On the campaign trail, Obama and Biden promised to offer first-time, nonviolent offenders a chance to serve their sentences in a drug rehabilitation center rather than in federal prison. In promoting wider use of drug courts, the administration is embracing an idea that has broad support in theory but has never been a main path for people with drug addictions who are charged with crimes.
The nation's first drug court originated in Miami in the late 1980s at the urging of Janet Reno, who went on to become President Bill Clinton's attorney general. By the mid-1990s, the federal government was providing money for communities to plan and set up such courts -- although not to help operate them in the long term.
John Roman, an Urban Institute researcher who has studied drug courts, said they now exist in most of the nation's medium and large counties, but they are used for only about 55,000 of the 1.5 million Americans with drug addictions who are arrested each year on criminal charges. The Obama administration has not said how much money it wants to devote to the courts' expansion.
In contrast to previous administrations, the Obama White House is not giving the position of drug control director a Cabinet rank. The move was intended to give a larger role on the issue to Biden, according to an administration source.
William J. Bennett, who became the nation's first drug czar during the George H.W. Bush administration, said he spent three weeks in a room with Biden, then chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, hashing out the scope of the new job.
Yesterday, Bennett called on Kerlikowske to "get the public's attention, get the president's attention, get the attorney general's attention and put this issue back on the front burner."
Scholars said that emphasis on the drug problem waned after terrorist strikes on U.S. soil in 2001, and never regained the spotlight or its slice of the federal budget as attention and resources flowed to national security.
John Carnevale, an economist who worked at the Office of Drug Control Policy under three presidents, predicted that the Obama administration would concentrate on reducing demand for drugs through high-impact law enforcement and prevention efforts targeted at communities at risk.
Under Bush, money to international programs doubled, while funding for prevention and treatment fell by one-quarter, he said. The Bush White House devoted much of its attention to developing the 2008 Merida Initiative with Mexico and Central American countries to support law enforcement training and equipment there. In recent weeks, Mexico's attorney general traveled to the U.S. to discuss ongoing cooperation with Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.
"There was a complete mismatch between the rhetoric of the strategy, which emphasized treatment, and the budget," Carnevale added, referring to the Bush administration. "The long-run answer is for the U.S. to curb its demand or appetite for illicit drugs. . . . The national drug problem is a series of local ones, and they're not all identical."
The office has drawn controversy recently. The outgoing director, John P. Walters, was the subject of a congressional investigation for his role in announcing federal grants in states where Republican lawmakers confronted tight reelection efforts in 2006. Trade groups for narcotics police officers complained about Walters's reluctance to meet them to discuss policy and budget issues. Walters had written widely for the Weekly Standard and other publications advocating for stiff prison sentences and "coerced treatment."
Retired Gen. Barry McCaffrey, who served as drug czar under Clinton, said Kerlikowske's background as a street cop would give him special insight.
"I tell people, 'If you want to understand the drug issue, talk to any cop at random with more than 10 years on the force,' " he said.
Staff researcher Julie Tate contributed to this report.