American Diplomat

American Diplomat

www.amdipstories.org
Real Stories Behind the News


Saving Lives: Collaborate or Vilify?
May 21 • 26 min
Jimmy Kolker, who ran the largest AIDS program in the world, discovered the power of diplomatic skills in saving lives during worldwide health crises. When he got to Wuhan, what happened? Have we “self-disarmed”?
“Get Me Out of Here!”
May 14 • 45 min
From “Pearl of the Pacific” to epicenter of COVID 19 in Latin America. Consular Officers Gabriel Kaypaghian and Ian Hayward share their tale of evacuating Americans fast during the sudden outbreak in Ecuador. But is this a tale of misery and woe? Far from…
Stay Home and Pour the Tea
May 7 • 32 min
A social worker by profession, Bonnie Miller traveled the world with her spouse Ambassador Tom Miller and created the first-ever course in Psychosocial Consequences of War in response to trauma she witnessed in Sarajevo. But the life changing moment came…
When You Shouldn’t Follow the Rules (Repost)
Apr 29 • 23 min
A repost of Pete’s chat with Laura Lane, one of our most inspiring guests ever. Ambassador Laura Lane served in Rwanda during its period of genocide in the 1990s and learned when you need the courage not to follow orders. Here is the audio track of her…
Repatriating Americans During COVID
Apr 23 • 29 min
Ian Brownlee, head of the State Department’s Repatriation Task Force, tells us how it’s been to preside over an unprecedented effort to bring back well over 60,000 American citizens in very short order. How do you do get these people home? Go, Ian!
Unity, Love, Positivity
Apr 16 • 35 min
Jeffrey Franca, the drummer for DC’s own world music icon Thievery Corporation - the band that generously allows us to use its music to open our show each week - brings us on the journey he took to become a musician. He shares with us the value of unity,…
School Scandal in Jakarta
Apr 9 • 53 min
Lainie McKeating and her spouse launch a husband-wife career change and land in Embassy Jakarta, Indonesia. How does she get a substantial job of her own at their very first post? She puts the pedal to the metal and lands the huge job of Community Liaison…
AmDip Carries On
Apr 6 • 5 min
We’re all stuck at home, as we should be. But we still love you! This little mini-dealio tells you how we will continue to share our diplomats’ so very human stories despite these strange times. Be well and be safe, and we wish your families the same.
Glamping With the Masters, and with Vicki, Again
Apr 2 • 29 min
One of our best episodes ever (in Laura’s humble opinion) about just another day in the Amazing Vicki Huddleston’s life in Mali. This repost offers good company and a virtual adventure for these days at home. Enjoy!
Vicki Huddleston is Back as Well
Apr 1 • 38 min
Who would we rather hang out with than Vicki Huddleston? No One. And right now, No One is exactly the alternative we’re all faced with. So, here’s a repost of one of our favorite episodes with one of our most delightful guests, Ambassador Vicki…
The Great Bill Burns is Back
Mar 25 • 33 min
Something inspiring for our days at home…Remember the capture of Osama Bin Laden? The Syria Red Line situation? What Laura remembers best from this previously aired episode with Bill Burns is the call to service. All of us can make this a better world, by…
Ralph Bunche, Accidental Diplomat
Mar 18 • 38 min
The life of Ralph Bunche, recently celebrated by the State Department as a Hero of US Diplomacy, as relayed by his grandson, Ralph Bunche III and UCLA professor Kal Raustiala. Bunche, academic, pathbreaker, civil rights activist, and early planner of the…
Tales from the Vault
Mar 11 • 30 min
Ambassador Romero, how would you describe your head? Your chin? And whose gaudy suit is that, covered in paint? (Not Pete’s.) Passports from 100 years ago, a suit from a protestor’s assault, and Chinese language flashcards from the 1930s, plus sooooo much…
We Are In!
Mar 4 • 34 min
Climate advocate Ambassador Bob Blake is back: Climate change, international business, government and our individual selves. No one can do everything but everyone can do something.
Democracy Wins!
Feb 28 • 28 min
In four days in April, Bob Service helps save Paraguay from dictatorship (this is the 1990s). Laura’s favorite part: The psychology of diplomacy, of helping those caring human beings who may find themselves among the world’s heads of state, faced with…
A Student of Leadership
Feb 21 • 51 min
Most of us are not born with leadership skills, explains Marc Grossman, one of the highest-ranking career Foreign Service Officers ever. We learn to become leaders. We fail a lot, we pick ourselves up and knock on more doors, and we learn. (Laura loves…
All Peace is Local
Feb 19 • 49 min
In helping stabilize failing states, what do you do about disaffected, potentially dangerous citizens? How do you help citizens own their country’s peace? Keith Mines, now with the U.S. Institute of Peace, is back with more on nation building. Laura’s…
Could This Happen to Me?
Feb 14 • 32 min
Eric Rubin, President of the Foreign Service Officers’ “union”, compares the treatment of Foreign Service Officers during the McCarthy era and support that is available today, during “the biggest political battle of a generation.”
What is Nation-Building?
Feb 12 • 50 min
And why is it a bad word? How could Thailand kill 40 million chickens without a state? Former Foreign Service Officer Keith Mines, now with the U.S. Institute of Peace, explains all of this and why we care, drawing on his vast political, military,…
Foreign Service Test? Quiz Show? You Decide.
Feb 5 • 40 min
Laura’s Foreign Service Test, finally. Did she pass? Did she live? Were the questions fair? Were the examiners fair? Pete and Dave Rabadan are tough. Was Laura tough enough?
Pedro Pan and the Guerrillas
Jan 28 • 32 min
Pete sends Phil Chicola to guerrilla country to investigate the deaths of American linguist missionaries, and both Pete and Phil are accused of negotiating with the FARC. All of this concurrent with the Clinton impeachment, and as Pete explains, it got…
Who Lost China?
Jan 23 • 30 min
It is the 1950s. Senator Joseph McCarthy and his henchman Roy Cohn target and humiliate our diplomats for accurately reporting an eventual Mao victory in China. Jack Service and his family are at the center of the storm. How are things different today?
Rohingya Genocide in Myanmar
Jan 15 • 35 min
Shari Villarosa, Chargé in Myanmar, helps us understand why the leader of Myanmar, Aung Sun Suu Kyi, who was once awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, did not stop the genocide of the resident minority group Rohingya.
Sidebar - Parsing Iran Brinksmanship
Jan 14 • 14 min
Pete quickly parses recent events in Iran for Laura. (Please note that we recorded this the day before the Ukrainian jet went down). As international news gets weirder and weirder, Pete and Laura will offer brief breakdowns of events in our new bonus…
Perils of the Press, in Mexico-US Relations
Jan 8 • 25 min
Why is public diplomacy especially important in Mexico? Mi casa es su casa, or put another way, we have 35 million US citizens of Mexican heritage, a 2000 mile border, 1 million people going in both directions over the border every day, and billions of…
War and Peace in Trade
Jan 1 • 32 min
How do trade agreements affect regular people? Tony Wayne, former Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs and US Ambassador to Mexico, breaks down both the recent US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) and the preceding North American…
A Life of Significance
Dec 26, 2019 • 31 min
What’s so important about devoting your life to service? What are the rewards? How have the changing times impacted the work of diplomacy, and how have they not? One thing never changes: You have the opportunity to promote and protect and defend the…
Immunity, Reciprocity, Espionage
Dec 18, 2019 • 30 min
Why was a stash of Nazi spy payoff money stuffed up Pete’s chimney? Why was the Iran hostage crisis of the 70s such a huge aberration of norms? And why can it be difficult to tell the difference between diplomatic reporting and espionage? David Stewart is…
Diplomatic Immunity?
Dec 12, 2019 • 37 min
Is immunity the same as impunity? Sadly for some, there are always consequences for a bad act. David Stewart, former State Department attorney, explains the reality.
When Ambassadorships Are for Sale
Dec 5, 2019 • 28 min
Sondland, the Ukraine affair, and what this episode in history teaches us about the risks of appointing ambassadors who donate heavily to presidential campaigns. With Ambassador Dennis Jett, author of the new book titled, American Ambassadors: The Past,…
Thanksgiving with AmDip!
Nov 27, 2019 • 40 min
We love Thanksgiving, and our diplomats especially love the holiday when celebrated overseas. What better way to celebrate an American tradition of thanks than to share it with our friends abroad? Plus, what’s the best way to slaughter a turkey? Better…
When ISIS Comes Home
Nov 21, 2019 • 41 min
They left to join the recruiter-imams’ war. Now they’re back home in Kosovo. How to make these young men peace-loving Kosovars once more? Greg Delawie explains.
Remember the Last Impeachment?
Nov 14, 2019 • 24 min
Jim Dobbins, National Security Advisor to Bill Clinton, riffs on what it was like to work for Bill under the cloud of impeachment more than 20 years ago.
Estonia’s Success Story
Nov 7, 2019 • 22 min
Mike Polt, who previously shared his experience in Serbia, shares a contrasting tale of successful adaptation to new circumstances in Estonia. What can we learn from these two tales?
Diplomacy After the Bombs Have Fallen
Oct 30, 2019 • 27 min
Michael Polt shares his perspective on the honored tradition of the State Department dissent channel, and discusses his experience in the former Yugoslavia when he arrived as Ambassador to Serbia in 2003, just after the bombings in Kosovo. What actually…
Heroes of US Diplomacy - Lizzie Slater
Oct 23, 2019 • 36 min
Brand new to the job, Lizzie Slater arrives at Embassy Dar es Salaam ready to begin work on embassy communications of every kind. Then the bomb falls. She is buried and seriously injured. But once pulled from the rubble, does she stop working? Many of us…
Corruption vs. the Ambassador
Oct 17, 2019 • 31 min
Ambassador Prudence Bushnell puts Marie Yovanovitch’s recent testimony on Capitol Hill in the context of the Certificate of Commission for all Foreign Service Officers, emphasizing the integrity, prudence and ability that are the guiding principle from…
Sequoia is a She
Oct 9, 2019 • 20 min
The Sequoia: A presidential yacht? A floating icon of American and diplomatic history? A loan gone south? Pete schools Laura on the proper pronoun for a thing of such great beauty (a “she”, not an “it”), and Mike Cantor does his best to answer our nosey…
Send Lawyers, Guns and Money
Sep 30, 2019 • 23 min
We’re in LA right now promoting a TV script we’ve written, inspired by many of AmDip’s greatest stories including this one from an interview with Kate Canavan on the many things that can go wrong in Tijuana. Two air traffic controllers, fired for going on…
Love in the Time of Tweet Diplomacy
Sep 24, 2019 • 23 min
AMLO, or Andrés Manuel López Obrador, President of Mexico, takes the long view, and so does the Mexican populace, in the face of insults and other perhaps spontaneous diplomatic communiques conveyed by tweet. As the 13th largest economy in the world,…
Jim Jones (Not the One You’re Thinking Of)
Sep 18, 2019 • 18 min
This one went to work in the Lyndon Johnson White House at the tender age of 25, became Johnson’s Appointments Secretary (a role now called the Chief of Staff) at 28, and later became a congressman and US Ambassador to Mexico. Do you know how much time…
We’ll Always Have Paris
Sep 12, 2019 • 22 min
Communism drives immigration decisions, 1956. Hank Cohen is in love. It’s his first tour, and he’s in Paris. The Soviets invade Hungary and Hank helps thousands of refugees flee Communist aggression and make new lives in the US. But what about heartthrob…
Desiree, Encore!
Sep 4, 2019 • 37 min
We’re refreshing one of our earlier (and best!) episodes from the early days, before anyone had heard of us. But now you have! And so we offer you the joy you may have missed, of learning what it is to be black, creole or colored, all words that have been…
Rock On, AmDip!
Aug 28, 2019 • 31 min
We love music. We love it almost as much as we love listening to our friends tell stories about life overseas. So here’s our end-of-summer look back on some of our favorite music in the series. Enjoy! Your pals, Pete and Laura
I’m Goin’ to Kathmandu
Aug 21, 2019 • 28 min
Larry Dinger regales us with tales of tires on fire, pollution, trekking, and one of the most bizarre episodes in monarchy in the world. Now Laura wants to join the Foreign Service and all of us want to go to Kathmandu.
Freedom for Ethiopian Jews
Aug 12, 2019 • 30 min
It’s 1991 in Ethiopia. President Mengistu and the rebels are at war. Drought and famine are killing thousands. As Charge d’Affaires in Addis Ababa, Bob Houdek oversees the evacuation of 14,000 Ethiopian Jews to Israel, and why? Because, as Bob explains,…
Think About a Career in Public Service
Aug 5, 2019 • 30 min
Bill Burns says it best: ”This is exactly the moment when you need to attract the best in our society to lives in public service, whether it’s in the State Department, the US military or elsewhere. I am a passionate believer in that.” We are, too! Uncle…
Bill Burns - The Back Channel
Aug 1, 2019 • 33 min
Burns shares stories from his engaging new book, The Back Channel.
Glamping with the Masters of the Desert
Jul 23, 2019 • 29 min
Plus, a few good works. Vicki Huddleston gets around in the Sahara, and even gets the women a place inside the tent. So where did all these terrorists come from?
Mali - Most Dangerous Peacekeeping Mission on Earth
Jul 18, 2019 • 37 min
Vicki Huddleston, our ambassador in Mali (not to be confused with Bali), helps us understand the Sahel, the Sahara, and their vast range of inhabitants. Everyone got along so well, so how did this land become what the UN now calls the most dangerous…
Sandinismo 2.0
Jul 11, 2019 • 34 min
Now that Ortega is back, how is the revolution going? Nicaraguans are being shot, hauled off and denied medical services, while the president’s coffers swell. A how-to kit, on how to steal democracy.
Liberation Day, Nicaragua!
Jul 3, 2019 • 20 min
We have Independence Day, and for Nicaraguans Liberation Day is just as important. Celebrated July 19, this is the day the Sandinistas overthrew the Somoza dynasty in 1979. But what really is a Sandinista, and what’s up with their leader Daniel Ortega…
Ajani Husbands, Dreadlock Diplomat
Jun 26, 2019 • 31 min
Grass to tree roots: Ajani helps us understand how the Montgomery, Alabama, bus boycott in 1955 impacts lives today in Eritrea and the region that is now South Sudan.
AIDS - Health Diplomacy
Jun 21, 2019 • 31 min
Jimmy Kolker is back to tell us how, as Ambassador to Uganda, he helped stem the spread of this deadly disease and save scores of human lives.
12 Days in the Hotseat
Jun 13, 2019 • 32 min
How did Tom Shannon end up Secretary of State for 12 days? How do transitions work, when one president leaves and another takes office?
Slip Out the Back, Jack
Jun 6, 2019 • 35 min
We revisit Pete’s stories about Naples, with a couple of bonuses at the front. Happy summer!
Money, Money, Money
May 30, 2019 • 39 min
Social Democracy in Northern Europe, not to be confused with socialism of any stripe. And what is socialism, anyway? With Ambassador Jimmy Kolker. Plus knowledge test: What fabulous 70s band brought us the name of this episode?
Bromance? Trump and Brazil’s Bolsonaro
May 23, 2019 • 35 min
Peas in a pod? Or something much more complex? As it happens, each country is different, even if each would-be strong man looks much the same. Join Tom Shannon and Melvin Levitsky for an expert look at a fascinating polity. Part of our “Is It Happening…
What, More Feeley and Brownfield?
May 16, 2019 • 41 min
Will Cops-in-a-Box keep Fulanita home? What else do these guys have for us?
Foreign Service Day
May 9, 2019 • 23 min
You think of your loved ones first: Honoring the lives of those who sacrificed theirs in the line of service. With remarks from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the story of Ambassador Jonathan Addleton.
Here I Am, Now What?
May 1, 2019 • 41 min
What happens when Fulanita arrives? And what is this wall, really? And what do drugs have to do with all of this? Bill Brownfield and John Feeley, together with Pete, unpack the deets in our second of three episodes on the border. Plus, a barnyard narco…
Fulanita’s Progress, An Immigration Tale
Apr 24, 2019 • 34 min
Episode One, in which John Feeley, Bill Brownfield and Pete lay it all out: How and why does Fulanita, our Guatamalan every-gal, end up at the US border with young son Javier, delivered by the cartels’ fancy coach service?
Plastics
Apr 18, 2019 • 26 min
Remember the movie The Graduate? Fifty-two years on, here’s where we are with plastics. It ain’t pretty, but Bob Blake is on the job.
Quick Bonus ep! Future of the Foreign Service
Apr 16, 2019 • 4 min
Miss us? Here’s a midweek extra: Ashley Inman, a master’s student at Georgetown who will become a US diplomat upon completion of her studies, shares her passion for service and her reasons for joining. Go, Ashley!
The Diplomat Environmentalist
Apr 11, 2019 • 26 min
The life and (near) death of Indonesia’s Palm Oil Pledge, a guy named Anderson and an air pollution monitor in Jakarta. Bob Blake works with private industry and government to foster lasting change in Indonesia.
Ever Hear of Ebenezer Bassett?
Apr 3, 2019 • 45 min
Me, neither. Chris Teal, filmmaker, author and diplomat, shares the little-known tale of integrity and courage of the first African American diplomat, appointed 1869, preceding longtime friend Frederick Douglass by 20 years.
Immigration Made Simple
Mar 27, 2019 • 32 min
Michele Bond parses immigration and solves the whole conundrum. So what’s the problem? (Hint: Pete thinks it’s us.)
And How Long Will You Be Staying?
Mar 21, 2019 • 39 min
Courtesy, respect, denial (painful, but often true). Tourist visas to visit the US, with Michele Bond, Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs. Can you guess why Pete is admitted and Laura is not?
Remember Ron Brown?
Mar 15, 2019 • 54 min
In case you don’t (say, you were born after 1960), Lauri Fitz-Pegado remembers him for us: his vision, his vim, his leadership, his significance to our participation in the worldwide economy. With bonus continuing comment from Pete on Venzuela.
Wonderful, Weird, Incredibly Dangerous Naples
Mar 7, 2019 • 31 min
Pete explains “the Neapolitan solution” in this love letter to his first European posting. Plus, he connects this to gangland diplomacy today.
Baby’s Got the Bends
Feb 27, 2019 • 25 min
You might survive your coca eradication crop duster plane going down, but then the mosquitoes will get you, which is still better than ripping the crops out of the Colombian earth. But, says Virginia Bennett, many small people in many small places doing…
Only the Paranoid Survive
Feb 20, 2019 • 31 min
Virginia Bennett’s security detail made sure no one hurled bricks at her, while the Greek populace contemplated boiling the family bunny for dinner. Bennett helps us understand what the U.S. did to help average Greek people during their economic disaster…
Jeff DeLaurentis Knows a Lot About Cuba
Feb 14, 2019 • 22 min
It’s hard for an American to make friends in Cuba, circa 1990. But Jeff DeLaurentis finds a way, and learns that Communists can be complicated. And what are all of those old cars doing in Havana, anyway?
Chavez Gives Pete Four Pinocchios
Feb 6, 2019 • 35 min
The Chavez/Maduro kleptocracy in Venezuela masquerades as a people’s revolution. Almost two decades later, millions flee en masse. Pete was there when it all began and explains why Venezuela is suddenly all over the news.
Anwar Awlaki and Abrar
Feb 1, 2019 • 29 min
Anwar Awlaki destroys, Abrar starves. Yemen today, with Gerald Feierstein.
Hysteria or Reality? China in Panama
Jan 24, 2019 • 42 min
What do Teddy Roosevelt, China, and the band Afrodisiaco all have in common? Panama! Learn why concerns that Pete once thought were partisan paranoia might be a serious, unrecognized source of concern today.
Counterterrorism - The Diplomat’s Perspective
Jan 17, 2019 • 28 min
Gerald Feierstein, counterterrorism expert for the State Department, helps us understand how violent extremist groups attract young men, and what different nations do to bring them back to the fold, according to local values and customs.
More Fun Facts about Trade
Jan 10, 2019 • 30 min
Did you know that over 11 million jobs in the U.S. come from exports? And that they pay U.S. citizens 15-20% more than non-export related jobs? Dan Crocker debunks our most intrenched myths about trade. Plus, why does Pete ask if he’s a meatball? Learn…
Questions, Questions…
Jan 3, 2019 • 29 min
Why do we care about diversity in the Foreign Service? When did you know this job was “the one”? How do you do your job with so much danger out there these days? Students visiting the State Department as Cox Fellows have some pretty good questions. Julie…
College Students Visit State
Dec 27, 2018 • 27 min
The American dream is alive and well at the U.S. Department of State. Stacy Williams, Luis Mendez and Julie Chung share with visiting Cox Fellows inspiring stories of their journeys from where they began to leadership roles in the Foreign Service. And to…
A Public Servant in the Private Sector
Dec 19, 2018 • 18 min
Did you know that 95% of the world’s consumers live outside the United States? As President, Global Public Affairs at UPS, former Economics Officer Laura Lane helps reduce corruption at borders, in turn helping small and midsize businesses prosper, while…
When You Shouldn’t Follow the Rules
Dec 13, 2018 • 23 min
Ambassador Laura Lane served in Rwanda during its period of genocide in the 1990s and learned when you should, and when you should not, follow the rules. Here is the audio track of her TED talk on the subject, bookended with comments from Pete.
Secretary of State James Baker Reflects on Bush and Our Times
Dec 6, 2018 • 21 min
James Baker, Secretary of State under George H.W. Bush, remembers President Bush and puts today’s foreign policy events in perspective as he receives the Walter and Lenore Annenberg Award for Excellence in Diplomacy. ”A golden age for humanity,” he calls…
The Dictator Hit Parade
Nov 29, 2018 • 20 min
Ambassador Joe Sullivan has known a lot of dictators. Who are they? What are they like? How do they do it? ”All I want to do is make this a prosperous, democratic country,” is a good thing to say to Americans, these charming men have found.
President vs. Strongman: No Peace in Angola
Nov 23, 2018 • 32 min
Diamonds, Petroleum, widespread human suffering and a decades-long civil war. Ambassador Joe Sullivan talks about the U.S. role as monitor of the peace and demobilization process: ”It was time to choose, and choosing was not between the angel and the…
Bonus Chat - Is It Happening Here?
Nov 20, 2018 • 9 min
Turkey, Russia, Venezuela: In what ways is the rise of strongmen in those countries similar and different from what we’re seeing in the United States? What role do press freedom and demonizing adversaries play in the rise of a dictator?
The Cult of Jim Jones - Murder-Suicide in Guyana
Nov 15, 2018 • 35 min
November 18 is the anniversary of the Jonestown massacre (40th, can you believe it?). Chuck English walks us through his experience as the first American diplomat to witness the aftermath. With bonus discussion about Congressman Leo Ryan, an “experiential…
How Did Erdogan Do It? - Is it Happening Here?
Nov 8, 2018 • 42 min
Populism and religiosity: Erdogan begins as a reformer, then builds a corrupt government that leads Turkey into economic peril and total political control through a narrative that stokes fear of victimization at the hand of external enemies. Bob Pearson…
Turkey’s Erdogan - Is It Happening Here?
Nov 1, 2018 • 33 min
Corruption, hostage-taking, and a populace divided over Erdogan’s Muslim Brotherhood-style government. Ambassador Bob Pearson helps us understand Turkey’s era of us-vs.-them politics in the newest episode of our series Is It Happening Here?
Stove-piped to Death?
Oct 25, 2018 • 21 min
Why was the Nairobi attack not prevented? How was it planned, and why did al-Qaeda choose that embassy? Ambassador Prudence Bushnell helps us answer these questions and tells how she led in the aftermath, in ways that only a woman can lead.
Take Care of Your People: Bombing in Nairobi, 1998
Oct 18, 2018 • 32 min
“I could not take away people’s pain or anger or injuries or post-traumatic stress, but I could accompany them.” Ambassador Prudence Bushnell leads the US Embassy in Nairobi through the aftermath of a massive bomb attack on August 7, 1998. 213 people died…
Expeditionary Diplomacy is What, Exactly?
Oct 13, 2018 • 31 min
Mongolia, Turkmenistan and the Marshall Islands: What do they all have in common? Mike Senko opened the first American embassies in each one! And he lived to tell the tale.
Can We Make a Diplomat of Laura? Laura in the Hot Seat
Oct 4, 2018 • 26 min
Reporting from fictional Sulandia, a skill that can be developed. Dorothy Mayhew and Michael Gray, diplomats who teach at The Foreign Service Institute, lead the way. Plus bonus info on the life of a State Department cable: What is it? Who writes it and…
Who Knew? Diplomatic Training, Revealed
Sep 27, 2018 • 29 min
Are Foreign Service Officers made or born that way? And what, exactly, is a “demarche”? A tour through basic training, Foreign Service style, with Dorothy Mayhew and Michael Gray.
Bouazizi, Arab Spring, SiriusXM and Is It Happening Here?
Sep 20, 2018 • 23 min
Pete and Laura’s recent appearance on SiriusXM with host Eric Ham, bookended by discussion of the psychology of frustration, even humiliation, that can lead whole populations to support strongmen.
Tamil Genocide - History Repeats Itself?
Sep 18, 2018 • 30 min
Bob Blake offers an alternative to genocide, but his help is refused. How similar is the tragedy in Sri Lanka to the current crisis in Myanmar?
Tamil Tigers - The Memory Still Haunts Sri Lanka
Sep 12, 2018 • 29 min
Want to go to jail in Sri Lanka today? Just mention the Tamil Tigers in a positive manner and you will be on trial. That’s how upset people still are about the war that ended almost ten years ago. Bob Blake unpacks this time of terror in Sri Lanka.
Russia - Is It Happening Here? Putin Consolidates Power
Sep 8, 2018 • 32 min
Sandy Vershbow, US Ambassador to Russia 2002-2005, recounts Putin’s gradual seizure of power over more and more of the Russian State, leaving ordinary Russians with little, if any, voice in the policies that affect their lives.
Russia - Is It Happening Here? “He Must Be Like Putin”
Aug 30, 2018 • 25 min
Conditions precedent and the rise of populist autocrat Putin, via Sandy Vershbow, US Ambassador to Russia, 2001-2005. Plus bonus Russian hit song “One Like Putin”. Your internal soundscape may never be the same. The second country in American Diplomat’s…
Pete Goes Native - Second Part of Pete’s Visit with the Indians
Aug 23, 2018 • 32 min
Pete visits the Huarani Indians, botches up a boar hunt, drinks the mystery drink chicha, and receives upon his departure a marriage proposal, ambiguously addressed either to himself one of the other fine young gringos. Follows first episode, titled…