Day: October 22, 2017

Peace picks October 23 – 27

  1. Countering Violent Extremism: Qatar, Iran, and the Muslim Brotherhood | Monday, October 23 | 11:30 am – 5:15 pm | Hudson Institute (held at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center) | Register Here | This full-day event includes two keynote addresses, the first by Secretary Leon E. Panetta, and the second by former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, as well as two panels titled “Sinews of Terrorism – Communications, Funding, and Ideological Support” and “New Dynamism in Congress.” General David H. Petraeus, formerly of the Central Intelligence Agency, and Ambassador Hussain Haqqani will also speak at the event.
  2. The Future of Orthodox Christianity in Syria and America | Tuesday, October 24 | 12:00 – 1:30 pm | Hudson Institute | Register Here | Over the last two thousand years, the Church of Antioch has played a major role in the formation and development of Christian theology and philosophy. Today the Church is facing tremendous challenges in its native homeland, Syria. Six years after the beginning of the Syrian civil war, the country is in ruins and millions of its citizens have become refugees or are internally displaced within Syria. The ongoing war has flamed sectarian tensions that threaten the existence of Christianity in one of its earliest locations. Though suffering at home, the Church of Antioch is flourishing abroad with a growing congregation in the United States. What place do Christians and the Antiochian Church have in the future of Syria? What role has the Church played in humanitarian assistance to the millions in need? Why is Orthodoxy finding renewed appeal in Western countries? For answers to these and many other questions regarding the future of Orthodox Christianity in Syria and America, Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom will host a conversation with His Beatitude, John X, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, and His Eminence, Metropolitan Joseph, Metropolitan of All North America and Archbishop of New York. Hudson Senior Fellow Samuel Tadros will moderate the conversation.
  3. Tunisia’s Corruption Contagion | Wednesday, October 25 | 12:00 – 2:30 pm | Carnegie Endowment for International Peace | Register Here | Corruption in Tunisia is perceived to be even more pervasive today than under former president Zine el Abidine ben Ali, despite numerous legal measures and civil society initiatives working to fight it. In their upcoming Carnegie paper, “Tunisia’s Corruption Contagion: A Transition at Risk,” Sarah Yerkes and Marwan Muasher argue that corruption has become endemic, as more and more people engage in and benefit from corrupt practices. For the democratic transition to survive, Tunisia must simultaneously address the kleptocracy of the previous regime and the emergence of widespread petty corruption. Can Tunisia’s government and civil society win this fight? Yassine Brahim will provide keynote remarks, and Chaima Bouhlel and Safwan Masri will join Carnegie’s Sarah Yerkes in a discussion of the paper’s findings moderated by Marwan Muasher. Tunisian Ambassador to the United States Fayçal Gouia will provide closing remarks. A light lunch will be served at 12:00 p.m. The discussion will begin at 12:30 p.m.
  4. Trump and the Arab World: First Year Assessment and Policy Recommendations | Thursday, October 26 | 9:00 am – 5:00 pm | Arab Center DC (held at JW Marriott Washington DC) | Register Here | The Arab Center’s second annual conference will begin with an opening keynote titled “US Policy in the Arab World: An Arab Perspective given by Tarek Mitri of the American University of Beirut and will consist of four panels. The first panel, “What Arabs Want: Arab Public Opinion and US Policy,” will feature panelists Tamara Kharroub of the Arab Center DC, Dalia Mogahed of the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding, and Shibley Telhami of the University of Maryland- College Park. The second, “US Policy and Political and Economic Challenges in the Arab World” will include Phyllis Bennis of the Institute for Policy Studies, Perry Cammack of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Hani Findakly of Potomac Capital, and Najib Ghadbian of the University of Arkansas and Special Representative of the Syrian National Coalition to the US. The panel will be moderated by Dina Khoury of George Washington University. The third panel is titled “US-Gulf Relations and US Policy in the Arabian Gulf,” and moderator Khalid Al-Jaber of Qatar University will be joined by Abdullah Baabood of Qatar University, Sheila Carapico of the University of Richmond, David Des Roches of the National Defense University, and Barbara Slavin of the Atlantic Council. The final panel, “US Policy Recommendations in the Arab World” will feature Marwan Kabalan of the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies, Rami Khouri of the American University of Beirut, Ibrahim Fraihat of the Doha Institute for Graduate Studies, Ellen Laipson of George Mason University, and will be moderated by Laurie King of Georgetown University.
  5. Public Perspectives Toward Democracy | Thursday, October 26 | 12:30 pm | Council on Foreign Relations | Register Here | Panelists discuss global public opinion towards democracy amid the rise of populists and autocrats, and the implications for the future of democracy and U.S. foreign policy. Speakers include Stewart M. Patrick of the Council on Foreign Relations, Ken Wollack of the National Democratic Institute, and Katie Simmons of the Pew Research Center.
  6. The Path Forward on Iran: Contain, Enforce, Engage | Thursday, October 26 | 11:00 am – 12:00 pm | Carnegie Endowment for International Peace | Register Here |  What comes next after President Donald Trump’s decision not to recertify the Iran nuclear deal? Experts from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the Center for a New American Security offer a suggested way ahead in a new joint report: Contain, Enforce, and Engage: An Integrated U.S. Strategy to Address Iran’s Nuclear and Regional Challenges. Carnegie President William J. Burns will introduce the report, and Carnegie’s Jen Psaki will moderate a discussion with some of the report’s authors. Speakers include Ariel E. Levite and Karim Sadjadpour of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, as well as Ilan Goldenberg and Elizabeth Rosenberg of the Center for a New American Security.
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Imperatives of elected leadership

My first DCM and still friend, H. Allen Holmes (Foreign Service types will recognize the significance of a first deputy chief of mission in a diplomat’s life) writes:

Charlottesville on August 12 was not the first occasion when senior elected officials were expected to assert moral, political and constitutional authority in the face of illegal behavior by white supremacists openly carrying firearms. In thinking about the leadership challenge at Charlottesville, I recalled what my grandfather faced in Kansas when serving as Governor in 1918-1922.

In mid-1921 the Ku Klux Klan penetrated Kansas, organizing local klaverns and spreading their special animus toward Catholics. Given their skill at recruitment—which led to as many as 200,000 Kansas Kluxers by the mid-1920s—Kansas Governor Henry J. Allen described the Klan as “un-American and perniciously founded upon racial and religious prejudices,” and warned that the state would punish any Klan interference with legal processes.

Governor Allen’s first serious clash with the “Invisible Empire” happened when it announced an initiation ceremony of several hundred members in Arkansas City, where mounted horsemen in KKK regalia would lead the new members to erect a fiery cross on a hill just outside town. Allen objected to the Klan demonstration on grounds that it would menace the peace of the town, and notified local officials that he would send troops to stop the parade if necessary. He added that there would be serious consequences if they ignored his orders. The Klan backed down and canceled. Three days later Allen proclaimed wearing masks on Kansas streets illegal on the grounds that such displays created an atmosphere of fear and intimidation.

According to Patrick O’Brien writing in the Kansas History Quarterly, Allen’s fight with the Klan escalated into a “declaration of war” on October 16, 1922, when the Catholic mayor of Liberty staggered into town with his body a mass of cuts and welts administered by 13 masked Klansmen warning him to keep quiet about the Klan or risk being tarred and feathered.

Allen said “Kansas never has tolerated the idea that any group may take the law in its own hands and she is not going to tolerate it now”. Later, Allen lamented in a campaign speech that the KKK had “introduced into Kansas the greatest curse that can come to any civilized people—the curse that arises out of unrestrained passions of men governed by religious intolerance and racial hatred”.

Finally, on October 30, 1922, Kansas Attorney General Richard Hopkins, executing Governor Allen’s promise of legal prosecution, drafted an injunction to stop Klan recruiting. Three weeks later, Hopkins filed a petition with the Kansas Supreme Court charging the Klan with being a foreign corporation operating in the state without a charter and engaging in civil disruption. When the court rendered its opinion in January 1925, Kansas became the first state to legally oust the Invisible Empire. Even more significant, the Kansas legislature defeated a bill the next month that would have compelled granting a charter to the Klan. On February 28, 1927, the U.S. Supreme Court conclusively settled the controversy when it refused to hear the Klan’s appeal.

In view of today’s crisis, the Kansas story provides good examples of what can be averted when a strong executive acts early and with sustained conviction to protect decency and constitutional principles. My grandfather Allen’s actions were not always supported by the Kansas electorate since there were Protestant groups in many towns across Kansas which were strongly anti-Catholic. Nonetheless, by continuously asserting his fundamental views in public and supporting them in his newspaper, the Wichita Beacon, Allen defeated the Klan’s ambitions in Kansas. In addition, this story demonstrates what can be accomplished when the other two branches of government, the legislature and the courts, carry out their constitutional responsibilities.

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