Johns Hopkins University

Spring 2008
Vol. 5, No.2


Amateur Hour

Inspired Intersections

The More Things Change...

>A Decade of Discussion

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A Decade of Discussion

It began modestly in 1998, with 10 speakers debating America's role as "superpower or supercop." Organized and run entirely by undergraduates—as now—the Johns Hopkins Foreign Affairs Symposium grew quickly into a much-anticipated, well-attended forum for important, thoughtful, and often controversial dialogue with high-profile public officials, journalists, and experts on world affairs.

Over the years, the symposium has brought to campus such speakers as former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Charles Krauthammer, Indian National Congress President Sonia Gandhi, and financier and philanthropist George Soros.

Here we offer a brief sampling of the events of this year's symposium. More coverage of the Symposium will be posted in the coming weeks.

February 5, 2008

Paul Rusesabagina photo"I believe in the power of words. With words you can save people, and with words you can kill people. Words are the best and the worst weapons of human beings."

Paul Rusesabagina, the inspiration behind the film Hotel Rwanda, explaining his ability to repeatedly convince oppressors not to kill him or the more than 1,000 people he sheltered during Rwanda's 100-day genocide in 1994

February 14, 2008

photo"Islam is like a pure river that takes on the color of the rocks of the Africa, Islam is African. In China, Islam is Chinese. Therefore, in Britain, Islam is British."

Peter Sanders, internationally renowned photographer of the Islamic world, commissioned by the British Embassy for the exhibition "The Art of Integration: Islam in Britain's Green and Pleasant Lands," on display in the Mattin Center as part of the FAS

March 4, 2008


College Democrats vs. College Republicans

"The problem with the title 'war on terror' is it does not involve any level of diplomacy—ever."

Jack Berger '10

"I don't think you can negotiate with people who want to blow themselves up. These are people who are intent on doing us harm."

Evan Lazerowitz '10

March 11, 2008

ice photo"The extent of Arctic ice at its low point in the summer has declined and now hit a record low. And so, instead of a projection of the first summer with an ice-free Arctic being 2030, the most recent projection is 2013."

Thomas E. Lovejoy, biologist, conservationist, and president of the Heinz Center for Science, Economics, and the Environment

March 12, 2008

"...There's a period of time when the executive authority used the intelligence community to spy on Americans for some purpose. It happened in World War II, it happened in the '50s, it happened in the '60s, and it really blew up in the '70s with something called Watergate."

Mike McConnell, director of national intelligence

"The real threats that we face, the United States and its friends and allies around the world, come from not just the international struggle with terrorism but from the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction: nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons."

John Bolton, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations

March 26, 2008

"Conditions in Africa make it unlikely we can completely eradicate malaria. Getting it under control is possible. Not a very optimistic viewpoint, but it leaves us open to discuss what can be done."

Randall Packard, William H. Welch Professor of the History of Medicine, Bloomberg School of Public Health

April 1, 2008

"In order to divert the Natanz nuclear facility from low-enriched uranium to high-enriched for weapon purposes, you need to reconfigure entire caskets. You have to be set up differently. Right now the IAEA cameras installed at Natanz are watching that like a hawk. And the IAEA officials are there on almost a bimonthly basis. So there's absolutely no way that the Iranians could misuse and divert their enrichment activities for military purposes and get away with it. Absolutely no way.

"What is really astounding about Iran's program is the double standards, the hypocrisy, the tremendous misinformation that has gone into this to misportray a program that has had no evidence of diversion."

Kaveh L. Afrasiabi, expert on Iran's foreign and nuclear affairs, author of Iran's Nuclear Program: Debating Facts Versus Fiction and coauthor of the forthcoming Iran's Foreign Policy after Sept. 11