July 28, 2017
The The American Interest-American
Committees on Foreign Relations - Experience in Birmingham
purpose of this communication is to record the events in Birmingham
on October 18-19, 2006 and how it was evaluated by Frank Young,
Chairman of the Birmingham Committee on Foreign Relations (“BCFR”);
David Carder, President of the American Committees on Foreign Relations
(“ACFR”) in Washington, D.C.; and Ken Jensen, Executive
Director of ACFR..
with an understanding between The American Interest (hereafter “TAI”),
publisher Charles Davidson, and the BCFR staged a number of events
together in Birmingham. TAI provided and paid the expenses of speakers
in the persons of its editorial board chairman, Frank Fukuyama,
editor Adam Garfinkle, and contributor Raymond Baker. The BCFR did
the organizing of local meetings and arrangements. ACFR acted as
an intermediary initially, but almost all of the organizational
work was undertaken by TAI and the Birmingham Committee
with an agreement with the head of America Abroad Media (AAM), Aaron
Lobel, one of the events in Birmingham was the taping of a radio
program for NPR broadcast distribution. Again, ACFR acted as an
intermediary only. The taping was conducted in conjunction with
a local NPR outlet, which provided the moderator/host for the panel
of the 18th-19th were as follows:
Committee leadership (including a member of ACFR’s Board of
Distinguished Advisors, Herb Sklenar) hosted a dinner on the evening
of October 18 at the Mountain Brook Country Club for the four TAI
visitors (publisher Charles Davidson came down as well), Aaron Lobel
and Mr. Jensen. Guests included former city council president William
Bell and his wife. The spouses of Committee leaders also attended.
While dinner went forward, Frank Young called upon the group to
introduce themselves and then to make remarks on what each of them
hoped to get out of the events of the next day. This became a very
lively exchange of views that focused both on national and local
concerns of an international character.
2) The 19th began
with the radio program taping. Panelists included Frank Fukuyama,
Adam Garfinkle, Frank Young, and David Pollick, the president of
Birmingham Southern College, which hosted the event. The topic was
the Bush Doctrine and the Middle East. The
guiding principle of the event was the bringing together of significant
national opinionmakers and local concerned citizens/international
actors. A number of Committee leaders were in attendance. They formed
both the audience and were a source of questions and dialogue. The
quality of the product was, all agreed, outstanding.
next event was an hour-long meeting with the editor and editorial
board of The Birmingham News. TAI spoke to its own “creative
centrist” editorial position and its concern for American
public policy as well as foreign policy. A discussion of Alabama
politics as they related to national foreign policy and other political
noon, a public event was held at Birmingham Southern College. On
the occasion, the speakers were Frank Fukuyama, Adam Garfinkle,
Raymond Baker, and William Bell, with Frank Young moderating. BSC
president David Pollick did welcoming remarks. The topic was, roughly,
“America in the World,” with Baker opening the bidding
with a presentation on the role of international corruption in globalization,
Bell speaking on his experiences in dealing with the PRC as a local
trade official, Garfinkle speaking on the Middle East, and Fukuyama
speaking on the limitations of the Bush Doctrine. The presentations
were followed by a lengthy question and answer period.
followed an afternoon visit to the Birmingham Civic Rights Institute,
which began with a panel of three local speakers discussing civil
and human rights issues pertinent to Birmingham. This was hosted
by Institute director Odessa Woolfolk, who afterwards led a tour
for TAI and BCFR members. The greatest effect of this, inasmuch
as it explained and gave evidence of the way in which the Institute
was created as a civic response to Birmingham’s uncomfortable
civil rights history, effectively acquainted the non-Birminghamians
present with local civic and political culture. The Institute and
Odessa Woolfolk proved to be a world-class experience. Accordingly,
the group’s visit was very much more than a visit to a local
attraction: it conveyed meaning regarding life in Birmingham.
The climax of October 19 was the monthly dinner meeting of the BCFR,
at which Adam Garfinkle spoke on a half-dozen realities of the Muslim
Middle East and Frank Fukuyama spoke once again on the limitations
of the Bush Doctrine and the current problems of U.S. foreign policy.
It should be mentioned here that each of the TAI presentations throughout
the day was fresh, which was much to the benefit of the BCFR members
who attended more than one event. Some 120 BCFR members turned out
for dinner and asked first-rate questions. Host Frank Young and
ACFR President David Carder thanked the TAI participants and presented
Fukuyama, Garfinkle, and Davidson with a number of gifts as mementoes
of their stay in Birmingham.
Fukuyama, Garfinkle and Davidson expressed their pleasure at the
success of the enterprise and stated that the manner in which they
were hosted was demonstrable. What interested them most was what
they had learned about Birmingham civic life and Alabama politics.
They also discussed the possibility of further collaboration.
amount of work was necessary to pull off a program the likes of
which occurred in Birmingham - several hundred man-hours would be
no exaggeration at all. The BCFR provided 2-3 drivers continuously
throughout the two days, managed the logistics of each event, fed
the speaking participants between events, gave them mini-tours when
time between events permitted, and, generally speaking and most
importantly, engaged them personally throughout.
hoped that TAI editor Adam Garfinkle will print an article regarding
the Birmingham experience in a future edition of The American Interest.
A piece will also be submitted to The Birmingham News as a possible
David L. Carder Elected President
of the American Committees on Foreign Relations
At the Annual Meeting of The American
Committees on Foreign Relations held in Washington, D.C. on May
5, 6 and 7, 2005, David L. Carder, of Birmingham, Alabama, was elected
President of the organization and Frank M. Young, III was elected
a member of the Executive Committee. Carder, Retired President of
Vulcan Lands, has been a member of the Executive Committee of the
ACFR since 2002. He is a past Chairman of the Birmingham Committee
on Foreign Relations and a longstanding member of its Board of Directors.
Through Carder’s leadership during the past two years, the
ACFR organized a Board of Distinguished Advisors, of which Herb
Sklenar, retired Chief Executive Officer of Vulcan Materials, serves
as a member.
Carder assumed his duties at the
ACFR Board meeting on Saturday, May 7th, presiding over a meeting
of Board members from across the country. The ACFR is an organization
of over 2,400 members throughout the United States that supports
civic dialogue on U. S. foreign policy issues by sponsoring outstanding
programs and guest speakers on these important issues. The Committee
in Birmingham was established in 1943, and is in its 61st year.
Carder’s leadership helped build the Birmingham membership
to become one of the strongest committees in the ACFR organization.
Carder is the first President of the organization from Birmingham.
“I hope to continue to strengthen the organization’s
emphasis on quality speakers and add new committees where appropriate
during my term,” said Carder, who has held many leadership
roles in the Birmingham community, including Past Chairman of the
Norton Board of Advisors for Birmingham Southern College, and Past
President of The Kiwanis Club of Birmingham.
Frank M. Young, III, the current
Chairman of The Birmingham Committee on Foreign Relations, said
it is a great honor for Birmingham to have its first elected President
of the national organization. “Dave Carder is an outstanding
leader and will do a superb job as President of our organization.
Under Dave’s leadership, we expect the ACFR to continue to
grow and prosper.”
In Honor of Charles F. Zukoski, Founding
A year or so ago, Frank Young
asked me to present a short biographical sketch of the founder of
the Birmingham Committee on Foreign Relations, Charles F. Zukoski.
I gladly accepted. I accepted because of the fond memories I had
of him as a young member of this organization which met then at
the Relay House. Charles was always in attendance, along with General
Henry Graham and Alex Lacy, smartly dressed and truly on top of
the issues of the moment. Even though he was over 75 years of age,
we could always count on him to ask thought provoking questions
of our speakers. As Shorty Williams will attest later, he was never
loath to speak his mind on issues, however controversial!
As I researched his life, I ran across an 88-page book entitled
"Voice In The Storm" the Button Gwinnett Columns written
during the Civil Rights Struggles and other writings. It is to be
found in the Birmingham Public Library and was published in 1990,
six years before his death at age 97. In a foreward to the book
his friend and archivist Marion Yeomans Whitley wrote in part and
"Charles F. Zukoski, Jr. is a remarkable individual. His history
includes a successful career as a senior officer of Birmingham,
Alabama’s First National Bank; as the first mayor, and as
a four-term mayor, of the City of Mountain Brook; as one of the
area’s civic leaders, serving as chairman of the Shades Valley
High School Advisory Committee; as one of the organizers, committee
members, and early president and long board member of the Birmingham
Civic Symphony Association (now the Alabama Symphony Association);
for many years a member of the board of the Birmingham Music Club;
as organizer and for twenty years the secretary of the Birmingham
Committee on Foreign Relations; and as president of the Jefferson
County Coordinating Council of Social Forces, which was for years
the planning agency of the community for health, recreation and
Although this history bespeaks the “remarkable,” as
does the work which he and his wife Bernadine undertook, following
his retirement from the bank, in behalf of family planning and birth
control both locally and in many countries on all the continents,
to my mind, Charles deserves the appellation principally because
he is an individual who has never been afraid to think, to explore
ideas and issues, and to speak his mind when the occasion is appropriate.
In a culture crowded with people who are either not trained to the
life of the mind, or who, although once trained, find the pursuit
of ideas too demanding, Charles has remained wedded to the discipline.
There is, however, another quality in Charles which I find remarkable.
When he has explored an idea or an issue and has come to a conclusion
about it, he will stand up for what he then believes. To quote a
phrase my grandfather was wont to use, Charles has the “conviction
of conscience.” These two qualities, a willingness to think
and the courage to argue for what one comes to believe, are clearly
evident in The Columns which Charles authored in the 1940s and 1950s,
The Columns published under the pseudonym “Button Gwinnett”
in the Shades Valley Sun. Whatever the issue-McCarthyism, race in
education, the U.S. Supreme Court, racially-motivated bombings,
death, fraternities and sororities in a local high school -- the
writing always reflects careful forethought, the capacity to live
with ideas, and precise afterthought, the ability to reach conclusions,
to present them cogently, and to offer arguments in their behalf.
In an era of growing social hysteria, when the word "race"
more than often, among Southerners, provoked the "knee-jerk
reaction" and not the reasoned response, when it was often
easier, among Americans, to hurl the word communist than to endure
thinking that differed from the norm -- in the mist of a growing
storm of voices speaking in defense of a status quo, the voice of
"Button Gwinnett" was remarkable, for it spoke of inevitable
change, of the need to adjust to that change, of restrained and
decent adjustment; of the value of ideas, of the need for a sense
of the ethical, of the worth of the individual. For the age in which
it spoke and the place from which it spoke, the voice was indeed
remarkable, as was the man who spoke through it: Charles F. Zukoski,
Dearly beloved, we have come together on life’s road until
now, and it has been good. There have been trials and there have
been gratifications. For a moment you and I have had a part in mankind’s
endless procession. I am saddened over your going, but your memory
will have meaning for me all along the remainder of my journey.
I bid you good-bye.
New Book Reviews
The following books all deal with
the situation of the United States in the world of 2004. They
are neither historical background nor entertaining reading.
They are “hard-nosed” information about the challenges
that our country faces. Opinions differ on the current state
of affairs. However any informed citizen needs to work to
be as informed as possible. The following books are all recommended
as helping to accomplish that goal.
Pax - Salam Pax -This book is a blogger’s diary of
the time before, during and immediately after the Iraq war.
The word Blogger is short for Web Logger. This is a person
who posts a continuing account of an event or situation on the World
Wide Web. In this case, the blogger is a resident of Baghdad.
His continuing log of events starts several months prior to the
invasion of Iraq. It details daily life in Baghdad. The result
is to give a valuable insight into how an informed Iraqui views
his country, its place in the world and the prospects for the future.
A commentary on how the world
has changed in the current century is presented when the author
discusses the arrival of the B-52 bombers. He has a friend
in England who lives near the B-52 base. When his friend hears
the bombers taking off on their mission to Baghdad, he notifies
Salam Pax in Baghdad on the Internet. Salam Pax then starts
a countdown until the arrival of the B-52’s. He times
going to the bar and having a drink to allow time to get home, take
shelter and sit out the raid. This is only a small view of
the interconnectedness and communications possible in our world
of today. The book gives a great overview of this quality.
Qaeda and What It Means to Be Modern - John Gray -A short,
very dense book about the philosophical basis of Al Qaeda.
The author maintains that Al Qaeda is both Western and modern. It
is a byproduct of globalization’s international capital flows
and open borders. Their utopian zeal to remake the world descends
from the same Enlightenment creed that informed both the disastrous
Soviet experiment and the neo-liberal dream of a global free market.
Anyone who thinks of Al Qaeda
as a group of escapees from the Middle Ages or some sort of religious
misfits needs to read this book. It shows the face of the
enemy and the view is frightening. The insight is into a totally
different culture and set of values. We ignore these viewpoints
at our peril. The author is a Professor of European thought at the
London School of Economics.
Bookseller of Kabul - Asne Seierstad - The authoress of this
book is a Norwegian journalist who has covered many assignments
in war-torn regions. She was invited to move into the house
of a bookseller in Kabul. She lived with this family for several
months. The bookseller himself has 2 wives, 5 children and several
other relatives who live in a 4 room house in Kabul. The authoress
moves in with this group and shares their joys and trials.
The result is to present a view of life in an Islamic community
where the influence of the Taliban is never very far away.
Military operations and presence are a very small part of this book.
It is more of a social interest story of life in a very different
The most outstanding conflict in
the book is between Muslim hard liners and modernity. As a
bookseller, the main character must maintain a progressive, thoughtful
and wide ranging outlook. As a Muslim under very close scrutiny,
he must be very discrete in his actions. The book presents
a balanced view of the difficulties of living a progressive and
productive life under these conditions. The problems of women
and feminism in this culture also are well presented.
Bubble of American Supremacy - Gorge Soros - This is a very
disturbing book about the current foreign policy of the United States.
The author compares the current phenomenon of American supremacy
to a stock market bubble similar to the one that collapsed at the
beginning of this century. He feels that current Bush doctrine
of pre-emptive military action is a potentially catastrophic policy
grounded in the belief that international relations are relations
of power, not law. Soros argues that for the Bush administration
legality and legitimacy are mere decorations and that military power
is the true currency of all international relations.
Soros’ personal philanthropic
commitments amount to roughly $500 million per year. He directs
these funds to promote open society around the globe. His argument
in the book is that the supremacy attitude of the Bush administration
puts all of our military might and reputation behind a single throw
of the dice. He alternately proposes that by building long
term alliances and fostering cooperative actions with other nations,
we can greatly increase the effectiveness of our efforts and enhance
the long term influence of our country. A somewhat dissonant
point of view, but one that fits disturbingly well with the influential
Globalization and Its Discontents by Joseph Stiglitz.
All of these books are available
at Barnes and Noble or Books and Company.
- Abbott ("Shorty") Williams
Winter Reading, Vol. 1
January 5th, 2004
and Gentlemen: Here's the first half-day's pickings from
NewsGroup participants as to what to read this winter. Fifteen
of you responded with 40-plus suggestions! I tried to create
a uniform format, but gave up after the first couple of pages.
- Ken Jensen
Mari Banks: The Revolt
of the Masses by Jose Ortega y Gasset. Written in
1930, its very apropos for us and this age of anxiety.
from Mari Banks: Democracy
in America by Alexis de Tocqueville; The
Rights of Man/The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine; Meditations
by Marcus Aurelius; Ethics
by Benedictus de Spinoza
Collum Clark: A truly outstanding book with an unusual
perspective on the War of the American Revolution is Piers Mackesy's
War for America. Mackesy
tells the story from the perspective of Britain's grand strategy,
with special emphasis on the political and organizational challenges
posed on the home front by Britain's effort to wage a global war
in at least five theaters. Written at the time of the Vietnam
War, it has a good deal of resonance for U.S. foreign policy today.
Ronald Cole: Mountains
Beyond Mountains: Healing the World: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer
by Tracy Kidder. This book affects international foreign policy
since it describes the fundamental shift that has taken place
in addressing infectious disease in the developing world. It is
a remarkable book, and I cannot recommend it enough.
from Cole: A Future
Perfect : The Challenge and Promise of Globalization by
John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge. This book provides
a detailed and involved argument for globalization. It discusses
the counter arguments, and the realities of dealing with international
bodies such as the IMF. It is extremely well written by two authors
of the Economist magazine.
Rachel Ehrenfeld: Rachel Ehrenfeld, Funding
Evil: How Terrorism is Financed and How to Stop It.
Amb. Donald Gregg: C.S. Lewis, The
Screwtape Letters; C.P. Snow, Science
Mel Graves: James Michener, The
Bill McGeehan: The Clash
of Civilizations & The Remaking Of World Order by Samuel
Huntington. 8-10 years old but still pertinent. The
term "The Clash of Civilizations" has become something
of a buzz word and this puts a lot of meat on that bone.
Joe Manguno: Okay, Ken, here's one you're not likely to
get from anyone else: The Island
of the Day Before by Umberto Eco. A superbly crafted novelization
of the international race to find the prime meridian in the 17th
Century, with all the implications for world trade and shipping,
intertwined with much larger questions about life, God and man's
Richard Millett: Wesley Clark's Waging
Modern War. (Better than his second book-and a study
of the problems of dealing with modern tyrants)
Joe Nye, The Paradox of American
Power (for the present and future)
Dana Priest, The Mission
(Note especially the sections on Kosovo after intervention
and the awful moral ambiguities
Richard Haass, Intervention
(Should have been required reading on Pennsylvania Avenue)
Russell Weigley, The American
Way of War (A history of American strategy with real
implications for the present as well as the past)
Leslely Byrd SImpson, Many Mexicos
(Old but still fascinating The best one volume history
of any country I have ever read-and my students all loved it)
Tina Rosenberg, Children of Cain:
Violence and the Violent in Latin America (uneven, but
disturbing and at times insightful)
And now two more off the wall ideas.
Keith Devlin, Goodbye Descartes.
A book on the end of logic and on much more.
Richard Neustandt and Ernest May, Thinking
in Time: The Uses of History for Decision Makers (The
title says it all.)
William Norris: Franklin
and Winston by John Meacham, Random House, 2003 - An interesting,
often poignant, historical review of the two allied leaders in
the era leadiing up to and during World War II.
Also from Norris: The
Paradox of American Power by Joseph S. Nye, Oxford University
Press, 2002 - Counterpoint to hard power, neo-conservatives and
Also from Norris: The
Ideas that Conquered the World by Michael Mandelbaum, Public
Affairs (Perscus Book Groups), 2002 - How did we get here and
the interplays of peace, democracy and free markets in the new
world of today
R. Prince: Old books worth looking at in light of current
Howard's The Partition of Turkey.
for those of you familiar with Fromkin's work (Peace
To End All Peace), this is of the same genre. mostly diplomatic
history of the period before and after WWI. Found it a pearl.
Arab Awakening. Again, although written in 1938, and a
book that has been the focus of much criticism by contemporary
scholars (Dawisha comes to mind), for its time it is a fine carefully
argued interesting book. worth reading if only to see what current
Middle Eastern scholars are criticizing.
Zora Neale Hurston's Go
Gator and Muddy The Water. retrieved writings of the Black
novelist and anthropologist whose revival is due in large measure
to Alice Walker who rediscovered her and paid to have a tomb stone
placed on her unmarked grave. These are her anthropological writings
about Florida that were done for the Federal Writers Project during
the 1930s. Expunged from the record at the time, and Pamela Bordelon,
it is a wonderful study of cultural history, about as good as
it gets. Hurston was trained by Boas.
Richard Slaughter: I recommend any one of three works by
the Nobel laureate economic historian Douglass C. North. I
cite these in increasing order of theoretical sophistication,
to be selected in light of the reader's background in political
and economic history.
I offer these because of a deeply
held belief that the ability of a society to function politically
and economically is heavily impacted, if not determined, by its
institutional structure (and history). Ergo, within can be found
strategies through which to address many of the state-building
issues of the day (through which one avoids violence associated
with disaffected populations, failed states, etc.).
Caveat: Successful economic
and political development requires a secular state. North
does not have an answer to the problem presented by theocracy,
wherein the state is an instrument of religious control and, in
Bernard Lewis' terms, social dissatisfaction can be expressed
only by creating a new sect.
The books are:
Rise of the Western World. Cambridge Univ. Press
Structure and Change in Economic
History. W.W. Northon 1981.
Institutions, Institutional Change
and Economic Performance. Cambridge Univ. Press 1994.
Richard Siegel: I am enjoying the D`Emilio biography of
Bayard Rustin, a great inside look at the pacifist and civil rights
movements. My students greatly like both Charles Kupchan , The
End of the American Era, and Samantha Power on A
Problem From Hell. The latter is a very readable
overview on the response of the international community to genocide
and the former is a fairly balanced take on the way to view the
past, present and future of U.S. foreign policy. I also liked
Aryeh Neier`s autobiographic look at the origins of the human
rights organizations, Taking
Bob Taichert: 20/21 Vision:
Lessons of the 20th Century for the 21st by Bill Emmott,
Editor in Chief of the Economist. I found it terrific, informative
from Bob Taichert: Edith Grossman's new translation of
Bob Wehrle: If you want to know why we are hated so much
in the Middle East, read All
the Shah's Men by Stephen Kinzer, a new 2003 book.
It is about our government's involvement in the overthrow
of Mohammed Mossadgh in Iran in 1953 and the reinstallation of
our puppet, Reza Pahlavi, as the Shah. Our Middle
East policies have been a disaster ever since the Dulles brothers
got involved. If this book intrigues you, then read The
Game of Nations by Miles Copeland, a 1969 out-of-print
book, that follows up on the shenanigans of some of the same CIA
operatives such as Kermit Roosevelt
Program Change for the meeting of
December 4th, 2003
Due to a medical situation, the
speaker scheduled for December 9, 2003 is unable to speak to our
group. However, we have arranged for another excellent speaker,
Robert R. Reilly, Director of the Voice of America, whose topic
will be "Lessons from Baghdad." We hope to see you
at the Summit Club on December 9th. If you have not made your
reservations, please do so immediately by calling Regina Ash at
254-1445, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org."
- Frank M. Young, III, Chairman
You can also make reservations
by going to the programs section of the site, finding the upcoming
program you would like make reservations for, and clicking on the
*MAKE RESERVATION(S)* link under the Meeting Number.
Book Reviews from member Shorty
November 10th, 2003
In the past few months, there has
been a spate of books on terrorism, Iraq, the Middle East, Afghanistan
and other related issues. The following list is a brief outline
of some of the ones that I have found most interesting. All of these
books were purchased at Barnes and Noble at the Summit or Books
and Co. at Brookwood.
New Terrorism (Walter Laquer, Oxford University Press). This
is the bible of terrorism. Its 1999 publication date in no way should
put you off. This one volume helps to make sense of terrorists from
James Earl Ray to Eric Rudolph to Timothy McVey to Osama Bin Laden.
I finished this book this Summer and was easily able to fit in all
of these situations and find an explanation of the increasing “terrorist“resistance
in Iraq. This is scary reading about how the terrorist thinks, what
he wants, what he may do and what motivates him to do it. As the
former Director of the CIA said, “If you read only one book
on terrorism, this should be it.”
Paradise and Power (Robert Kagan, Knopf) A short book by
an associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
The book gives an overview of the new relationship of Europe and
America. After years of mutual resentment and tension, there is
a sudden recognition that the real interests of America and its
allies are diverging sharply and that the transatlantic relationship
itself has changed, possibly irreversibly. Europe sees the Unites
States as high-handed, unilateralist, and unnecessarily belligerent;
the United States sees Europe as spent, unserious and weak. The
anger and mistrust on both sides are hardening into incomprehension.
This book helps us to at least define the problem.
of Mass Deception (Sheldon Rampton and John Stauber, Jeremy
Tarcher, Penguin). A light hearted approach to a deadly serious
subject. This is a book about how the “spin-masters”
doctor the news and try to polish it into politically viable bits.
This book by the authors of Trust
Us, We’re Experts is a detailed expose of the aggressive
public relations campaign that was used to sell the American public
on the war with Iraq. This book is reminiscent of Bill press’s
Spin This and Al Franken’s
Lies and the Liars That Tell Them. All of these are books
help us to learn how to filter the news, get behind the spin and
find the truth.
With The Devil (Robert Baer) A frightening revelation of
our relationship with Saudi Arabia. Written by a former CIA operative,
it names names, gives facts, dates, places and insight into a highly
questionable relationship with the oil giant. Particularly interesting
are the revelations about the Bush family, some of the cabinet members
and other high ranking officials with the Carlisle Group. This one
is definitely not recommended for the fearful and squeamish.
Spectrum Dominance (Rahul Mahajan, Seven Stories Press) A
short book about the exercise of American military power in Iraq.
Written by an anti-war activist, it outlines the futility of high
tech weaponry and sophisticated organization against determined
locals fighting for their survival and freedom from dominance. This
is a “real politic” appraisal of Iraq and big military
Three more that I am reading now
and seem to warrant recommendations are:
(Mohammed El-Nawawy and Adel Iskandar,m Westview). A description
of how the network operates, the programs it broadcasts, its effectiveness
on Arab viewers, the reactions of the West and the Arab states,
and the implications for the future of news broadcasting in the
Al Qaeda (Rohan Gunaratna, Berkeley) The definitive view
of the world-wide terror network. Dan Rather calls the author “the
foremost English-speaking expert on the terror network”. The
book discusses organization, controls, objectives, methods and personnel
of Al Qaeda.
Pax (Salam Pax, Grove Press) Salam Pax is a pseudonym of
an Iraqi blogger. The author is a very well educated Iraqi who conducts
an ongoing eMail conversation (Blogging) with a friend in Jordan.
The effect of the book is to give an inside view of what life inside
Iraq has been like for the past year. The author has recently been
identified and now writes a column for the “Guardian”
- Abbott ("Shorty") Williams
Do you have any comments on the
above article, or any of the books reviewed? Voice your opinion
in the forum, under the appropriate thread. You will need to be
a registered forum member, so if you haven't, go register! You can
do so by clicking on the forum button above. Members only.
Celebrating Our 60th Year
September 18th, 2003
The spectacular globalization of
our worlds economy during the past decade has been driven,
at least in part, by advances made in digital communications. We
are living in a digital age. As digital communication technologies
have advanced, the world has become smaller. Today from our offices
and homes we instantaneously communicate with people and organizations
around the world.
one of the first organizations of the American Committees on Foreign
Relations to have our own website, the Birmingham Committee on Foreign
Relations is joining the digital age. I hope you will peruse this
site and learn how to use it effectively. We hope to expand this
website, make it better and use it as an ongoing tool for communication,
education and discussion.
We will welcome
all input, comments, suggestions and criticisms as we move forward
with the project. Please understand that this beginning effort is
a work-in-progress. We will refine, improve and strengthen
our website as we go forward.
Welcome aboard. Again, we will appreciate
all of your comments.
- Frank M. Young, III, Chairman