Page 1

The Diplomat April 2011 Volume 1, Issue 3

Farewell Letter from the President By Max Steiner

Inside this Issue

1 2 3 4 5 6 8 9

Letter from the President

Current Events

Pledge Event

In the News

Active Event

Letters from Abroad

Fall 2011 ExComm

Fun and Games

Diplomat Staff: Liz Sanchez Jazzy Fatemi Caitlin Carnes Collin Chuck Norah Hammond Tiffany Lin Rachel Fryke Byron Chan David Miller Alina Xu Kevin Guzik Vincent Wang

Sisters and Brothers, It has been an honor and a pleasure being the President of Delta Phi Epsilon this semester. It has been an exciting time in the wonderful world of Foreign Affairs and I am glad I was able to share it with all of you. We have had a great time together over these last few months and, though I am sad to have to leave, I am confident that I leave the organization in good hands. But before the future can sweep all the seniors (and singular Norwegian) to all corners of the globe, this newsletter gives us a chance to remember all our fraternal adventures. We have had a full semester on the professional side with three Active Events. Starting with Muhammad Motiwala, a State Department Economics Officer, we then hosted a talk on the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process with OneVoice. Not to be outdone, Active Committee hosted John Kamm for a great talk on Human Rights in China. The pledge event was, as always, amazing. Professors Manz and Shaiken gave a very enlightening talk on the economic implications of the NAFTA and the implications of human rights abuses in Latin America. This is especially relevant as Latin America becomes more assertive

with its new-found economic clout. I loved this semester’s pledge class. Under the leadership of Mi Thich and Christian Campos, the newest members of DPhiE have really come together and many have taken on leadership roles in the Fall Semester ExCom. I am sure that I speak for all of Spring ExCom when I say how proud we are of what this fraternity has accomplished this semester, and I am equally sure that Fall Semester will be an exciting time as well. Many of the “old guard” are moving on and the fraternity will adjust to their absence in ways that are very hard to predict. What I can confidently say is that this fraternity will continue to play a role in campus life as a voice on all things “foreign”, and it will continue to unite in bonds of brotherhood those Cal students who care about how the world works and want to make a difference in it. I have had a great semester with all of you. Good luck in wherever life takes you and may we meet again someday. Fraternally yours, Max Steiner

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

April 2011

Celebrating the Death of Osama bin Laden: A Distraction from an Uncomfortable Reality By Rachel Fryke Late on the evening of May 1, 2011, President Obama announced the death of Osama bin Laden, the “master terrorist” behind the Al Qaeda’s September 11 attacks against the United States. During a brief firefight at his Pakistani compound, Navy SEALs killed this undeniable symbol of the War on Terror after a ten-year search. During Obama’s speech, he declared that “justice has been done”. Many believe bin Laden’s death will relay a message of US persistence to Al Qaeda and other militant organizations while others purport it will grant closure to a nation still mourning over those lost on 9/11. People shared optimistic hopes of a more peaceful and safe future. Political leaders from both sides of the aisle extended congratulations to Obama and the military for finally disabling this “widely ackn owle dged mons ter”.


After the pronouncement of bin Laden’s death, many Americans expressed their excitement and relief. Patriotic and triumphant updates inundated social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. Crowds gathered in impromptu celebrations nationwide, many amassing by the White House and New York’s ground zero. Across the country, both cheers and firecrackers erupted in elation over bin Laden’s long-awaited death. This response begs the question: How should we react to the death of a fellow human being, even a known enemy? Since the United States invaded Afghanistan and Iraq, tens of thousands of civilians and soldiers have died. Over the past ten year, the government funneled more than a trillion tax dollars into the War on Terror, while domestically Congress slashes spending on social services like education, healthcare, and support for the poor. Rejoicing at bin Laden’s demise diverts attention from this uncomfortable reality. It also denies the inherent responsibility the US shares in creating and reinforcing violence in the Middle East. Although the United States played a major role in fostering an environment that facilitated the rise of militant terrorist groups, destroying such a well-established enemy shifts the culpability from US abuses of power and systems of global disparities to an overessentialized, easily-identified “bad guy”. Furthermore, celebrating bin Laden’s death

provides legitimacy for the institutions of US hegemony. Amidst warnings of Al Qaeda’s inevitable retaliation, the United States can justify further militarization while enjoying the support of a placated, uncritical, distracted public. Mike Hayes, a campus minister at the University at Buffalo, remarked that America’s public euphoria surrounding bin Laden’s death hearkened back to his memories of Afghans dancing in the streets after the 9/11 attacks. In addition to the disrespect for the value of human life inherent in such behavior, celebrating bin Laden’s death remains foolish. We still find ourselves entrenched in a costly war, both in terms of money and lives, and in a system that requires such conflict to sustain its legitimacy and global power. In such a situation, do we really have anything to celebrate?

Sources: TIME Magazine, ABC News, NPR, The New York Times Photo sources: CNN, The New York Times

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Pledges Bring Latin America to DPhiE By Collin Chuck On Monday evening, April 18th, Delta Phi Epsilon’s pledge class hosted a forum featuring Professors Beatriz Manz and Harley Shaiken to discuss their backgrounds and work studying the US and Latin America. Professor Shaiken is currently the Chair of the Berkeley Center for Latin American Studies and has an extensive background in union labor issues. He played a key role in the debate surrounding NAFTA and is currently involved in the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas (FTAA). He is currently advising the U.S. Congress as they work on legislation for a free trade agreement with Colombia. Professor Manz, former Chair of the Center for Latin American Studies, researches human rights, refugee, and genocide issues facing contemporary Mayan communities in Guatemala. Her more recent focus on humanitarian issues includes the

rise in undocumented Guatemalan immigrants in the United States. (Background information courtesy of pledge event advertising materials.) Professor Manz was running late so Professor Shaiken began the talk by speaking about his involvement and research regarding free trade agreements. At around the same time that NAFTA was emerging and being negotiated, Professor Shaiken was researching economic integration. His work was particularly relevant to the discussion of NAFTA and he was approached by a think-tank headquartered in DC, which asked him to present his research at a dinner hosted by Richard Gephardt, who was at the time the Democratic Majority Leader. Gephardt was intrigued by Shaiken’s argument that an agreement such as NAFTA might put pressure on labor rights and wages, depressing them and leading to a situation which he refers to as “high productivity – high poverty,” possibly lowering US wages as well. Unlike Shaikent, most economists at the time were focusing primarily on the results of econometric models which arrived at an opposing conclusion, suggesting instead that NAFTA would be a beneficial trade agreement. Gephardt’s interest in Shaiken’s work led to the professor’s increased involvement in the

political field. Shaiken’s reasearch prompted his increased involvement in the political side of the argument and ultimately led to Gephardt’s announcement of his opposition to NAFTA.

A little while after hearing about Professor Shaiken’s background and research regarding trade agreements, Professor Manz arrived to join the conversation. Although she did not have quite as much time to speak about her work, she introduced us to some of her research of Guatemala’s impoverished and discriminated against populations, and the violence and genocide that the plagues the country. She also discussed her latest work and the criticism it received from Elliot Abrams. The discussion concluded with Shaiken and Manz talking about the success of the US-Mexico Futures Forum, which was hosted by the Center for Latin American Studies in April, and answering a few questions from the audience. The pledge class presented both of them with flowers and a gift card to thank them for their enthusiasm and taking the time to speak to us. Refreshments were provided and the audience had the opportunity to talk with both speakers afterward. The pledge class put on a great event!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


April 2011

In the News: By Kevin Guzik April 1st: NATO Warns Libyan Rebels Not to Attack Civilians April 2nd: Fukushima Daiichi Plant Reactor Core Damaged April 3rd: Hundreds Killed in Ivory Coast Town as Conflict Intensifies April 6th: In Japanese Village, Outrage and Fear Rise With Radiation April 7th: Qaddafi Writes to Obama, Urging End to Airstrikes on Libya April 8th: Missile From Gaza Hits School Bus April 9th: Syrian Protests Are Said to Be Largest and Bloodiest to Date April 12th: French Ban on Veils Goes Into Force th

April 13 : Syria Cracks Down on Coastal Protests April 16th: Croatian Generals Guilty of War Crimes

April 22nd: Kurds Renew Movement for Civil Rights in Turkey April 23rd: Security Forces Kill Dozens in Uprisings Around Syria April 24th: YEMEN PRESIDENT OFFERS TO LEAVE, WITH CONDITIONS April 25th: More Syrians Are Missing, Hinting at a Wider Crackdown April 26th: NATO Strikes Qaddafi Compound; Italy Joins the Fight April 27th: French and Italian Leaders Seek Tighter Controls on Migration April 29th: 5 Die in Violence in Kampala, Uganda April 30th: Qaddafi Is Said to Survive NATO Airstrike That Kills Son May 1st: Bin Laden Is Dead, Obama Says May 2nd: Bin Laden Killing Fuels Debate About U.S. Strategy in Afghanistan

April 17th: Many Libyan Rebels, Blaming NATO, Flee City in East April 19th: Robert Mugabe Jailing Rivals in Zimbabwe, Parties Say April 21st: China Releases Two Human Rights Lawyers


. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


The Last Active Event By Vincent Wang, Introduction by Liz Sanchez In the last of a series of Active Events this semester, the Active Committee hosted John Kamm of the Dui Hua Foundation. Mr. Kamm, who had previously spoken at external meetings in previous semesters, started his foundation several years ago to address human rights violations in China. During the event, Mr. Kamm spoke on a range of topics including labor rights in China and of the current dilemma in Chinese human rights violations involving Ai Weiwei. Though attendance was slightly less than anticipated, Mr. Kamm created a welcoming environment for all those present. Given the small size of the audience, our guest speaker elaborated on the various projects he was involved with. Though not directly involved in the Ai Weiwei case himself, he and his foundation have advocated on behalf of Ai Weiwei’s release. If you are not readily familiar with this ongoing case, here is a closer look. By Vincent Wang Ai Weiwei, the only “real man” left in China. As news of artist and dissident Ai Weiwei's arrest proliferate throughout the blogosphere, foreshadowed by a forboeding message from dissident Zhao Lianhai, various bloggers and dissidents from within China and abroad have come out and stood in solidarity

with the designer of the Bird's Nest in Beijing. Arrested before his trip abroad to Hong Kong and Taiwan, Ai Wewei is the latest dissident to be targeted directly by Beijing. Before this incident, late last year, his new studio was knocked down by the government from being built illegally. All these activities taken against him by the state is the result of his active stance against Party and government corruption, especially his activism against grafting and corruption that led to the death of numerous children in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. As one of the few prominent individuals in China who actively protests against the government, both through his art and social media such as twitter, Ai is called by some as the last “real man” in China. Reflecting on Chinese literature, bloggers have compared Ai to the pugilists of old that fight for justice and against the oppression of the rich and the ruling elite. This Robin Hood-esque activism in the face of the Chinese Communist Party presents an Ai that is unwavering in his beliefs and unwilling to back down. Ai's prominence in the world has put the Party in a precarious position. As with Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Liu Xiaobo, the Party's action against these two individuals most not be too severe. The high profile of Ai and Liu has already caused Beijing unwanted publicity. Any further actions against these two individuals, especially physical harm, will incite the international community even more. Previous

dissidents, such as Zhao Lianhai and Tan Zuoren, are relatively unknown internationally, and as a result, less outcries were generated in their arrest and sentencing. Their social activism is no less than that of Ai and Liu's. However, due to their lack of international standing, their sentencing has been, for the most part, swept under the rug by international media. Ai's arrest amidst calls in China for Jasmine Rallies, as part of the larger Jasmine Revolution, points at the Beijing's fear of social instability and the effects of these mass gatherings. As they witness the fall of Middle Eastern regime, Beijing is unwilling to let that manifest within China. No matter how ridiculous of an idea, Beijing fears that mass protests within China may push them out of power. Their arrest of Ai is a precaution against an unifying figure that may rally the Chinese and the elimination of any individuals that may capitalize on the whiff of the Jasmine Revolution. As for now, we can only expect that Ai will be treated with utmost care by Beijing, even under arrest. Any physical harm done to Ai will bring more bad publicity to Beijing. Though international organizations and art institutions around the world

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


April 2011

have called for his release, there is no sign that Beijing will budge. Beijing will hold on to Ai until the time is right: when news and information of the Jasmine Revolution and China's own Jasmine Rallies has died down and faded away. Even if Ai is harmed in the process, to be honest, there's nothing that anyone or any other institutions would do to reprimand Beijing.

Letters from Abroad From Jessica Li Dear DPhiE-ers (old and new!), Bonjour! For those who haven’t met me yet, my name is Jessica and for the last three months, I’ve been studying abroad in Bordeaux, France. I still can’t believe I’m here. Bordeaux is such a beautiful city, and being able to call this wine capital “home” has been unreal. There are too many things to share, but I think I’ll start with food! French pastries are SO GOOD. My favorite so far is a bordelais specialty called canelé. It has a sweet, spongy custard center and a dark, chewy, caramelized shell. It’s AMAZING! I wasn’t really impressed the first time I tried it, but now I can finish six of them


in an hour!! It’s like a soirée in your mouth. Also amazing: the bread and cheese! There are so many rich and creamy varieties of cheese here, and good bread is so easy to find! My homestay parents give me bread and cheese everyday for dinner along with a glass of wine. It makes me feel so warm and fuzzy inside. My main reason for coming to Bordeaux however was the language, not the food! Although my listening comprehension is still deplorable and my American accent still unmistakable, speaking and writing have gotten a lot easier. I’ve started to make a lot more grammatical errors in English than I used to though. Language is just so hard, at least for those who don’t have a natural talent for it. I’m taking a translation class at the university here (French to English and English to French) and it’s really strange hearing people talk about your native language like it’s some foreign science. Whenever I’m eating lunch, taking the tram, or walking home, I’m constantly thinking about sentence structure, word choice, and what’s lost and gained in translation. The happiest moments though are when I find French phrases I can’t translate, phrases whose meaning I can only absorb. I just wish I could translate my love for Bordeaux into words! Let’s just

say if it were a gesture, it would be a giant bear hug. My homestay family has really made the difference in my study abroad experience. I live with an old French couple who grew up in the countryside. I love them so much! Dinners with Madame and Monsieur are my favorite part of the day. They’ll ask me about my day and tell me about theirs, and whenever they explain something, they’ll act it out using funny gestures and sound effects (French people seem really good at that for some reason!!). They even conceal their horror at my terrible French! They’ve just really made Bordeaux feel like a home, and I’m so sad I’m leaving in a month! Nevertheless , I’m very much looking forward to this summer and heading back to Berkeley in August. So many new pledges to meet! And seniors, I will miss you so much! DPhiE won’t be the same without you guys. Gros gros bisous,




. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


More Letters from Abroad from Caity Knowlton Ahoj z Prahy! Greetings from Prague! Currently, I am writing you from along the Vltava on a gorgeous spring day. Confidently, I can say that my adventures exploring Central Europe have been extraordinarily enriching and thrilling. Being the history nerd that I am, living in a city with such a striking juxtaposition of both medieval and recent history has been such an exciting experience. Amidst the jagged cobblestones, the reddish trams, and the (rather surprisingly) numerous KFCs, little Prague is a bustling city with a vivid past and a very promising future.

Although I was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah, I have never experienced cold weather like I did when I first arrived, in mid-January, in Prague. I guess there is a reason why they call January leden (icy). After a short bout of freezing temperatures, my Czech, like the weather,

began to improve. Luckily, having an awesome Czech roommate and going to five hour intensive Czech classes everyday, has not only helped me with day-to-day encounters but has proved instrumental when getting lost in Poland, Slovakia as well as the rest of the Czech Republic. Even between being a full-time student at Charles University in Prague and my 20hour a week internship at the Institute of International Relations, I seem to continually manage to get myself into the most peculiar situations. My most intimidating moments have oddly occurred close to the borders of countries, the first when I forgot my passport on the way to Berlin and was subsequently questioned by a German police officer. The second time, when I overslept on the wrong car of a train, supposedly going to Krakow, but really going to Kiev. The result of which ended in me being forced to exit the train at 4:30 am, waiting by the side of the railroad tracks in the dark and not having a clue which country I was in.

Although I have been lucky enough to see many capitals and smaller cities in the whole Central European region, I would have to say that my best memories of this study abroad experience will be my simple day-today puzzling

encounters, like trying to figure out how to work a printer in Czech, or trying to decipher between what is butter and what is cheese at the grocery store.

I can’t wait to (try to) make Czech goulash and dumplings for you all!

Čau a hezký den!

-Prague, Czech Republic

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


April 2011

Upcoming Events: Mary Chesus’ Birthday 5/5 Mother’s Day 5/8

Presenting: ExComm of Fall 2011 By Liz Sanchez

Final’s Week 5/9-5/13 Commencement Ceremony 5/14 Edwards Stadium @ 10am Doors open @ 9am Carol Tan’s Birthday 5/14 Liz Sanchez’s Birthday 5/16 Memorial Day 5/30 *If you’re staying in the Bay Area over the summer, check the online Community Calendar to find out what’s going on at the DPhiE House

Last week, the active members as well as this semester’s pledges sat down to decide the leadership for the upcoming semester. After a grueling and heated 2+ hours of deliberation, the new seven members of the Executive Committee were chosen. Next semester, Yasmine Agelidis will serve as President, George Kadifa as External VicePresident, Natalie Hurley as Internal Vice President, David Ahn and Aishwarya Shukla as Membership Vice Presidents, Chris Carson as Treasurer and Jennie Tian as Secretary. Congratulations to all and we all look forward to a great new semester with new pledges, new adventures and new memories that will shape our time here at Berkeley.

Pictured from Left to Right: David Ahn, George Kadifa, Chris Carson, Jennie Tian, Natalie Hurley, Yasmin Agelidis and Aishwarya Shukla

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Here’s to another great semester…. 8


. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Fun and Games DPhiE Anagram By Nora Hammond

Un-mix these letters to spell out the names of countries

1. oraandr 2. mianera 3. sghalbndae 4. nnieb 5. mnoeaocr 6. dhca 7. tiidbuoj 8. gnaauy 9. altiy 10. nakktzaiahs 11. slao 12. aaaiiutnmr 13. rauasti 14. noam 15. raatq 16. oaams 17. aeionsvl 18. oogt 19. abazmi Answers: 1.Andorra,2.Armenia, 3.Bangladesh, 4.Benin, 5.Cameroon , 6.Chad , 7.Djibouti, 8.Guyana, 9.Italy,10.Kazakhstan, 11.Laos, 12.Mauritania, 13.Austria,14.Oman, 15.Qatar, 16.Samoa,17.Slovenia, 18.Togo, 19.Zambia

The Diplomat 9

April 2011

Delta Phi Epsilon at UC Berkeley Executive Committee

Max Steiner President

Miki Sankary External Vice-President

Christian Campos Membership Vice- President

Adam Motiwala Treasurer


David Ahn Internal Vice-President

Mimi Thich Membership Vice- President

Liz Sanchez Secretary

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

The Diplomat Spring 2011 Vol.3  

The Diplomat is the official newsletter of UC Berkeley's professional, co-ed, foreign-service fraternity. It is the main medium through whic...

The Diplomat Spring 2011 Vol.3  

The Diplomat is the official newsletter of UC Berkeley's professional, co-ed, foreign-service fraternity. It is the main medium through whic...