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Inside Medical

Special Section

Medical A Special Section of The Washington Diplomat


This month, the U.S., Canada and Mexico can formally begin to renegotiate NAFTA, the landmark trade pact that President Trump has called a disaster. Despite Trump’s disdain for NAFTA, negotiators are likely to modernize, rather than abandon, a deal that has integrated the North American market. / PAGE 9


Kenya, Rwanda Gear Up for Key Elections There are two elections in August that will decide the next presidents of two critical East African countries — Rwanda and Kenya, whose politics have long been plagued by ethnic rivalry and division. / PAGE 14

August 2017



Tough Opponent

North America

U.S., Canada, Mexico Prepare To Update NAFTA


Senator McCain Faces Aggressive The median survival for glioblastoma


Brain Cancer Foe in Glioblastoma

patients is about 15 months,

en. John McCain (R-Ariz.) faces an uphill battle fighting the aggressive cancer discovered in his brain last month, experts say. The cancer, glioblastoma, is the most common malignant tumor that originates in brain cells, as opposed to cancers that spread to the brain from elsewhere in the body, said Dr. Manmeet Ahluwalia, dean of the Cleveland Clinic’s Rose Ella Brain Tumor and Neuro-Oncolog Burkhardt y Center.


Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) speaks before re-enlisting them during to a group of soldiers an Independence Day celebration in Kabul, Afghanistan, on July 4, 2013. The longtime senator was recently diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer known as glioblastoma.


oncologists say

But it’s a very tough cancer difficult to surgically remove, to treat. Glioblastoma is eye. The following Wednesday, resists attempts to kill it with radiation and chemotherapy, the blood clot was associated his office reported that with glioblastoma. and nearly always comes back, cancer experts Until last year there was said. no medical evidence that “The tumor many times responds to treatment ini- people older than 70 benefited from the standard tially but it tends to grow back,” said Dr. Kurt Jaeckle, treatment for glioblastoma, said Dr. J. Leonard a neuro-oncologist and Lichtenfeld, deputy chief medical co-director of the Gerald officer for the American Glasser Brain Tumor Center J. Cancer Society. Center’s Atlantic Neuroscience at Overlook Medical But a study presented in Institute in New JerJune 2016 at the Amerisey. “It’s not unusual to have can Society for Clinical to Oncology’s (ASCO) annual It’s the same type of cancer treat it again.” meeting was the first to show that killed Sen. Ted Kennedy at age 77 in 2009. otherwise good health could that people over 70 in McCain, 80, underwent treatment, Lichtenfeld said. benefit from aggressive a remove a blood clot from procedure on July 14 to his brain just above his left SEE CANCER t PAGE 28


2017 | 27

HARD-HITTING MAVERICK Tiny Uruguay, wedged between relative giants Brazil and Argentina, has been punching way above its weight for years. The small country took on big tobacco — and won — while at the same time legalizing marijuana use, same-sex marriage and abortion, firmly establishing itself as a beacon of liberalism on a continent where some countries only recently allowed divorce. PAGE 17


Stirring ‘Revival’ Of Female Art The bold but somewhat unwieldy “REVIVAL” at the National Museum of Women in the Arts stirs a range of emotion. / PAGE 30

People of World Influence

Diplomatic Spouses

Troubleshooter Reflects On Life of Service

Indian Doctor Straddles Two Worlds

When James Dobbins joined the Foreign Service in 1967, the Vietnam War was in full swing. When he retired in 2014, U.S. troops were bogged down in Afghanistan. In between those two conflicts, Dobbins played a leading if behind-the-scenes role in some of the world’s nastiest trouble spots, from Haiti to Bosnia to Somalia. / PAGE 6

India’s Avina Sarna, who married her husband through an arranged marriage yet whose medical career has tackled progressive issues such as HIV prevention among sex workers, is a fascinating dichotomy of modernity and tradition. / PAGE 31

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Issue 8


August 2017



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CORRECTION The article “New Kids on Block: From Micro Rooms to Trump’s Huge Mark, D.C.’s Hotel Scene Continues to Evolve” in the July 2017 issue incorrectly stated that Lil’ B Coffee Bar and Eatery in The Darcy is the kid sister of the former Bayou Bakery. Lil’ B Coffee Bar and Eatery is run by chef David Guas, the brainchild behind the flagship Bayou Bakery in Arlington, Va., which remains open. The menu at Lil’ B Coffee Bar and Eatery, which opens in early August, will have a Southern focus while Bayou Bakery specializes in New Orleans-inspired dishes.







22 NEWS 6

People of World Influence James Dobbins reflects on a life of foreign service, from Afghanistan to Vietnam.


NAFTA 2.0 Prodded by Trump, Canada and Mexico gear up to renegotiate the landmark trade pact.

12 Shoring Up Walls Foreigners wonder how extreme Donald Trump’s “extreme vetting” will be.


35 22

North Korea and Cuba photographs offer a rare glimpse inside closed societies.





AIS: Ethiopia Today Girma Birru talks about Ethiopia’s state of emergency, economy and U.S. ties.

27 Brain Cancer Sen. John McCain faces a tough foe in glioblastoma, an aggressive brain cancer.

East Africa Votes

Ethnic fault lines simmer below the surface of Rwanda and Kenya’s elections.

17 Cover Profile: Uruguay


Stirring ‘Revival’

Uruguay’s veteran envoy says the progressive pioneer is way ahead of its time..

The National Museum of Women in the Arts evokes a range of emotions in its latest showcase.



Defining Crazy

The Goldwater Rule has kept psychiatrists from commenting on Trump’s mental fitness.


Global Vantage Point America’s great waterways would become less great under Trump.

Diplomatic spouses

From HIV/AIDS research to fiction writing, one Indian couple defies convention.

Capturing Communism

Inuit Storyteller An indigenous Canadian artist tells traditional tales with a modern twist. Shaping Time

Mexican artists use clay to build bridges between the past and present.

REGULARS 36 Film Listing 38 Events Listing 40 Diplomatic Spotlight 46 Classifieds 47 Real Estate Classifieds



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WD | People of World Influence

Frontlines of Diplomacy James Dobbins Recalls Life of Foreign Service, from Afghanistan to Vietnam by Larry Luxner


hen James Dobbins joined the Foreign Service in 1967, the Vietnam War was already in full swing. When he retired in 2014, nearly half a century later, U.S. troops were bogged down in Afghanistan. In between those two conflicts, Dobbins played a leading, if sometimes behind-the-scenes, role working to advance U.S. interests in some of the world’s nastiest trouble spots — from Haiti and Bosnia to Kosovo and Somalia. Now Ambassador Dobbins has written a book about his fascinating life. “Foreign Service: Five Decades on the Frontlines of American Diplomacy” should be required reading for any aspiring diplomat. On June 26, Dobbins’s publisher, the Brookings Institution, hosted the 75-year-old elder statesman to discuss his 336-page memoir with Peter Baker, White House correspondent for The New York Times. Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., and raised in the Philippines, where his father was a top official with the postwar Veterans Administration, Dobbins spent much of his childhood in Manila in a luxurious house with a swimming pool, a tennis court and five servants. In late 1963, following his return to Washington, the young man became a naval officer. “Back then, the draft was in force, and most people assumed they’d go into the military. So I spent three and a half years in the Navy on an aircraft carrier in the Pacific,” he recalled. “There were two benefits to that: having that experience and bringing it to any number of subsequent diplomatic crises where civilian-military cooperation was important, and learning about the habit of command. I had people working for me when I was a very junior officer, and every one of them knew more about their job than I did.” Besides treating subordinates with respect and getting good performance in return, Dobbins — who later in life served as U.S. ambassador to the European Union — offered three specific tips on how to make Washington work for you: • One of the most important jobs is that of note-taker, but don’t record what was actually said. The joke is that you write a memorandum of a conversation so that it reads the way your boss would have liked it to read. • When traveling with your boss on business, never check your bag, especially if your boss doesn’t.


Photo: Larry Luxner

James Dobbins, a former U.S. ambassador who has served in Afghanistan, Haiti, Bosnia, Somalia and other hotspots, talks about his new book, “Foreign Service: Five Decades on the Frontlines of American Diplomacy,” at a Brookings Institution discussion.

We’re in this situation where we now have two centers of foreign policy: President Trump and everybody else. Talk about polarization in Washington. James Dobbins

author of ‘Foreign Service: Five Decades on the Frontlines of American Diplomacy’

• Always accept diplomatic invitations, because if you don’t go, they’ll notice you weren’t there. “Partly there’s a degree of luck involved — being in the right place at the right time, and being noticed. My first assignment was Paris. This was just luck,” he said. “If you’re lucky and you’re good, you get noticed. As a junior officer, you’re largely an observer, a gopher and a facilitator, but you do have to demonstrate a command of the topics.” Dobbins’s career spanned 10 presidencies, from John F. Kennedy to Barack Obama, though he noted that, “the day I was sworn in as an officer in the Navy, Kennedy was assassinated, so our association was very brief. But as I progressed, I had more of an opportunity to size up these individuals” — as well as their secretaries of state. While the “most consequential” secretary of state he served under was James Baker, whom Dobbins called “ex-

traordinarily competent,” the most colorful was Henry Kissinger, the architect of foreign policy during the Nixon and Ford administrations. “Kissinger was and remains a fascinating character. He was a bit of a monster and flew into rages, but he could also be very funny,” Dobbins recalled. “When I worked for him, Kissinger was both secretary of state and national security advisor. We had two forms of stationery, and they were always at loggerheads with each other.” George Shultz, on the other hand, “kept his cards most closely to his chest. He was impressive, impassive and Buddha-like — and took a slight pleasure in discomforting briefers when they didn’t know their stuff.” Baker, the journalist, asked Dobbins which president was best suited to foreign policy. “George H.W. Bush was certainly the most prepared,” he replied, in a nod to the president who named him ambassador to the European Union (he served

in Brussels from 1991 to 1993 in that capacity). “Bush had been director of the CIA, ambassador to China and vice president for eight years, and he was a warrior. This was a resume nobody else matched. He brought those talents to the presidency and the results are manifest. He’s the one I admire most.” Yet the easiest, most pleasant president to work for was definitely Bill Clinton. “Bill Clinton was so talented, he could take a speech and really make it sing. He listened to advice. There was a feeling that what you were doing was meaningful, because the president was actually listening and responding.” Dobbins added: “Although he could be short-tempered with his immediate staff, he treated the rest of us as if we were major donors and he was running for a third term. He would always compliment me on my ties.” Yet his favorite secretary of state wasn’t Hillary Clinton but Madeleine Albright, for having given Dobbins the most opportunities. “Some secretaries of state want to leave behind a better State Department. She wanted to leave behind a better world — and the State Department would pretty much take care of itself,” Dobbins said of Albright, who oversaw NATO’s 1999 bombardment of Yugoslavia and stood up for Kosovo. “She herself told me at one point that she

hadn’t connected as much as she wanted with the Foreign Service. I admire the tenacity with which she followed the Balkans. She was a woman in a man’s world. But instead of trying to act like a man, she used her femininity in an amusing and affectionate way to work with all of her male colleagues. She turned them into suitors.” Yet by the end of the Cold War, Dobbins lamented that, “nation-building and peacekeeping had become a growth industry,” citing the Clinton-led invasion of Haiti and Bushled invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. “And by flooding Bosnia and Kosovo with international manpower and assistance, we turned these two countries into permanent wards of the international community.” Dobbins witnessed many of these conflicts firsthand — and managed the reconstruction efforts once the fighting stopped. He served as a troubleshooting envoy to Bosnia, Kosovo, Haiti and Somalia, where he oversaw the withdrawal of U.S. troops following the 1993 Battle of Mogadishu. After the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Bush appointed Dobbins the administration’s representative to the opposition in Afghanistan, where he participated in the Bonn conference that saw the emergence of a new post-Taliban government. Dobbins went to work for RAND Corp., but in May 2013, just as he was about to retire from the Foreign Service, Obama named him as his third special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, having succeeded Richard Holbrooke and Marc Grossman in that position. Dobbins knew John Kerry as a U.S. senator from Massachusetts and even testified before him several times. “I was completely surprised when he called one morning and asked me to do the Af-Pak job,” Dobbins said. “He decided that the president was going to run foreign policy in Wash-

ington, and that his best option was to be away as much as possible and be the principal face of foreign policy abroad. But he knew the brief better than I did, so it was hard to brief him. He was impatient. He already knew whatever I was trying to tell him. We never really had detailed, substantive conversations about where we were going, partially because he had already been on the trail for a long time.” Reflecting on Obama’s determination to wind down the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, Dobbins pointed out that Donald Trump is certainly not the first president who wanted to adopt an isolationist foreign policy, although he’s no fan of Trump cozying up to Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Egypt and other questionable allies. “In the ’70s, just as Nixon was beginning to withdraw from Vietnam, he declared what






Photo: Larry Luxner

he called the ‘Nixon Doctrine.’ Jimmy Carter came into office as a pacifist, and Obama came into office promising to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and pivot to Asia, which was the most peaceful area of the world. None of that worked out,” he said. “Obama learned that the Americans wanted a cheaper foreign policy, but didn’t like the reduced influence that resulted. So he was criticized when that influence was reduced. I don’t think Americans will be long content to see our country leading a coalition of oil-state monarchies and Third World bad guys, while the rest of the democratized, industrialized world marches to a different tune.” During the Q&A, one member of the audience asked what insights President Trump might learn from his memoirs.

“If he read the book, maybe he’d relent on cutting the State Department’s budget by 30 percent,” Dobbins replied. “I think he’s so completely off the charts in terms of what has become acceptable, normal behavior by an American president. This is quite extraordinary. We’re in this situation where we now have two centers of foreign policy: President Trump and everybody else. Talk about polarization in Washington.” It’s evident that Dobbins isn’t exactly a Trump fan. Asked to name the 45th president’s best decision since taking office, the retired statesman hesitated awhile. “Allowing [Defense Secretary James] Mattis to set troop levels in Afghanistan was a little odd, but probably was a good decision. I don’t think Mattis is going to flood the country with U.S. troops. “Also, his decision to give China another chance to change behavior on North Korea was the right one,” he added. “The president clearly has a different view, but he’s also rather careful on national security. He does tend to listen to advisors, and only goes off the charts occasionally. Mostly, the tweets are about domestic issues and trade. By and large, he’s approached national security issues more cautiously than other issues.” Naming Trump’s worst decisions was much easier. “The worst decision was abandoning the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which would have been good for the U.S. economically, and solidified America’s role in Asia,” he said. “But Hillary would have done that too, so I’d say leaving the Paris agreement [on climate change] was the worst decision.” But foreign policy is full of bad decisions. Looking even further back, Dobbins said one of the biggest mistakes the United States made See Dobbin s • page 8

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Dobbins Continued • page 7

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following the collapse of the Soviet Union was to allow the three Baltic states — Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania — to become full-fledged members of NATO. Taking a hard-nosed, realist view of the Baltics’ inclusion in the security bloc, Dobbins said the move, which infuriated Russia, has had serious repercussions that continue to plague the 29-member alliance to this day. “The only country that was a serious threat to the U.S. was Russia,� said Dobbins. “Sweden, Austria and Finland had gotten through the Cold War just fine. Unfortunately, the price of bringing in countries that were in conflict was that you had to get the Baltic states in, too. And that was a bridge too far, because they weren’t part of the Warsaw Pact but part of the Soviet Union. I’m not suggesting we should have sold them down the river, but they could have persisted like Finland as independent, democratic states.� The purpose for Washington to have allies is to make the United States safer, but geography prevents Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania from contributing to U.S. security. “The fact they are effectively surrounded by Russia makes them effectively indefensible. Almost no amount of force could prevent the Russians from taking them, if they were foolish enough to try,� he said, adding that, “bringing them into the alliance and formally moving the alliance onto the border of the former Soviet Union was almost necessarily going to be provocative and costly as a result.� But that doesn’t mean Washington should go easy on Moscow’s own various provocations. Dobbins urged Trump to confront Rus-

Photo: Larry Luxner

Former U.S. Ambassador James Dobbins, right, told Peter Baker of The New York Times during a discussion at the Brookings Institution that he thought George H.W. Bush — a former CIA director — was the U.S. president who was best suited to foreign policy. “He’s the one I admire most.�

sian President Vladimir Putin on his country’s meddling in the 2016 U.S. elections. “Until Trump establishes his credibility on that issue, he’s going to be completely impotent in regards to Russia policy, as indicated by the 98-2 vote on sanctions,� Dobbins warned, referring to the Senate bill to impose additional sanctions on Russia and handcuff the president’s ability to curtail those sanctions without congressional approval. “This is the first time almost ever that sanctions have been passed in a way that the president can’t waive them. It’s unprecedented in the degree to which it limits the president’s capacity to use and manipulate sanctions in a way to achieve objectives.�

Before the Brookings event wrapped up, it was almost inevitable that someone in the audience would ask Dobbins the proverbial question: What keeps you up at night? “North Korea,� he replied without hesitation. “It has nuclear weapons and is devel­­op­ ing ICBMs [intercontinental ballistic missiles]. The Trump administration has said it’ll take military action to prevent that if necessary. At best, such military action against North Korea would involve several million South Koreans getting killed — and it could be worse than that.� WD Larry Luxner is the Tel Aviv-based news editor of The Washington Diplomat.

5/22/2006 4:48:43 PM



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North America | WD

NAFTA 2.0 Prodded by Trump, U.S., Canada and Mexico Prepare to Renegotiate Trade Deal by Aileen Torres-Bennett


he North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) came into force in January 1994. It was an unprecedented symbol of cooperation between the U.S., Canada and Mexico and has since set the tone for the amicable relationship between the three neighboring countries, even with lingering, and new, disputes. Among President Donald Trump’s endless stream of sound bites, he has deemed NAFTA a “disaster” and counts it among the trade agreements he threatened to “rip up.” Alarmed at his rhetoric, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called Trump to roll him back from threats that he was going to pull out of the accord, and Trump decided to renegotiate NAFTA instead. On May 18, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer sent a letter to Congress stating that Trump intends to initiate negotiations with Canada and Mexico to modernize NAFTA. Now that the letter has been sent, Congress has 90 days to review the president’s memo and formal negotiations can legally begin after Aug. 16. On July 17, the administration released a broad outline of U.S. negotiating objectives for NAFTA. Among them: reduce trade deficits with Mexico and Canada; maintain existing duty-free access for agricultural, industrial and other goods; eliminate “non-tariff ” barriers to U.S. agricultural exports such as price undercutting; establish new rules to govern the trade of services, including telecommunications, financial services and digital goods like e-books; reduce barriers to U.S. investment; promote intellectual property rights; add enforceable labor and environmental provisions; restrict the amount of imported material in goods that qualify under the pact; address the issue of state-owned enterprises; and scrap a dispute settlement mechanism that gives appeals power to a special NAFTA panel. Canada and Mexico will likely object to some of America’s demands — and come to the table with their own — when negotiations begin after Aug. 16. The intricate deal-making could take months or even years, after which time any revised agreement would be put up for a vote in each country’s respective legislatures. Negotiations could, of course, fall apart, in which case Trump is only legally required to notify the other two parties six months in advance if he is withdrawing from the accord. The president may dislike NAFTA, but it is unlikely the U.S. will completely abandon or remake a landmark agree-

Photo: By Guldhammer - Own work, Public Domain

After NAFTA was enacted in 1994, maquiladoras sprung up throughout Mexico. The factories import certain materials on a tariff-free basis for assembly, processing or manufacturing and then export the completed product as part of the supply-chain process.

This is an opportunity to modernize the agreement, and if the three sides approach the agreement with a constructive mindset, this could improve regional competitiveness. Cathleen Cimino-Isaacs

research associate at the Peterson Institute for International Economics

ment that has integrated the North American market. Most likely, what has already been agreed upon will stay in place, and negotiations will focus on bringing NAFTA in line with today’s economy, where digital trade has become a major force. “This is an opportunity to modernize the agreement, and if the three sides approach the agreement with a constructive mindset, this could improve regional competitiveness,” Cathleen Cimino-Isaacs, a research associate at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, told The Diplomat.

The Purpose of NAFTA When NAFTA was set up, the objective was to integrate the U.S., Mexico and Canada into one giant market to create a competitive regional economic bloc. In

the early ’90s, when NAFTA was being negotiated, globalization was starting to become a grand idea on the world’s stage. In 1993, the European Union was established and the post-Cold War era had begun. “The U.S. had to become part of these broad globalization efforts,” Peter Hakim, president emeritus and a senior fellow at the Inter-American Dialogue, said to The Diplomat. “What was more natural than to take two of its bordering countries, Canada and Mexico, and join together in representing 20 percent of the world’s economy?” NAFTA was essentially “an attempt by the U.S. to establish a paradigm for how to organize the global economy in the post-Cold War period,” Matthew Rooney, economic growth director at the George W. Bush Institute, told The Diplomat.

A free trade agreement between the U.S. and Canada already existed, and NAFTA built on that by adding Mexico to the deal. NAFTA sought to lower trade and investment barriers, and it achieved that by eliminating tariffs on the majority of goods produced by the three parties. As a result, U.S. trade with its neighbors more than tripled, growing more rapidly than U.S. trade with the rest of the world, according to a Jan. 24 backgrounder by the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). In 1993, regional trade amounted to $290 billion. The latest numbers show NAFTA involves over $1 trillion in trilateral trade, according to the Americas Society/Council of the Americas (AS/ COA). Twenty-six U.S. states, including eight of the 10 largest state economies, rely on Canada and Mexico as their top two export destinations, and 14 million U.S. jobs depend on NAFTA trade. Today, Canada is the leading market for U.S. exports, while Mexico ranks second.

Mixed Bag Based on numbers alone, NAFTA is a big success. But economists caution that “it has proven difficult to tease out See n afta • page 10 THE WASHINGTON DIPLOMAT | August 2017 | 9

NAFTA Continued • page 9

the deal’s direct effects from other factors, including rapid technological change, expanded trade with other countries such as China, and unrelated domestic developments in each of the countries,” wrote CFR’s James McBride and Mohammed Aly Sergie in their backgrounder. Determining whether the deal was a net gain or net loss for workers is even more difficult, the authors argue. “Debate persists regarding NAFTA’s legacy on employment and wages, with some workers and industries facing painful disruptions as they lose market share due to increased competition, and others gaining from the new market opportunities that were created.” The debate is hardly new, mirroring disagreements that surfaced when the idea was first proposed over 25 years ago. “NAFTA was controversial when first proposed, mostly because it was the first FTA involving two wealthy, developed countries and a developing country,” said a May 24 Congressional Research Service report, noting that proponents of the deal said it would generate thousands of jobs and reduce income disparity, while opponents warned it would result in enormous American job losses as production shifted to lower-cost Mexican factories. “NAFTA did not cause the huge job losses feared by the critics or the large economic gains predicted by supporters,” the report concluded. What it did do was usher in a new global trading paradigm. “NAFTA initiated a new generation of trade agreements in the Western Hemisphere and other parts of the world, influencing negotiations in areas such as market access, rules of origin, intellectual property rights, foreign investment, dispute resolution, worker rights, and environmental protection,” the CRS report said, noting that the U.S. now has 14 free trade agreements with 20 countries. “As with NAFTA, these trade agreements have often been supported or criticized on similar arguments related to jobs.”

Photo: Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead

Above, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and President Donald Trump shake hands during a joint press conference in the White House on Feb. 13. Below, the Peterson Institute for International Economics lists key facts on NAFTA as part of its guide to renegotiating the trade accord.

The Biggest Winner NAFTA has yielded undeniable benefits for all three parties, but Mexico has emerged as the one that has gained the most. The U.S. and Canada were already modern economies when NAFTA went into effect, and Mexico, in forging a formal economic relationship with its two developed neighbors, was catapulted into a new playing field. It was forced to abide by new international rules, which created a novel discipline in Mexico’s formerly protectionist, debt-saddled economy, said Hakim. The result is that Mexico became a modernized, liberalized economy, reducing its public debt, stabilizing inflation and attracting foreign investment (although the deal has not done much to slash poverty or boost wages). Notably, Mexico moved away from a focus on agricultural products to industrialization as a result of NAFTA. The most conspicuous example of this is in the automotive industry, where supply chains were created by the free flow of goods between borders that now enables the body of a car to be built in Mexico, then sent to the U.S. for its motor to be put in, then sent back to Mexico to be painted, according to Hakim. There has been a change toward “maquiladora-style manufacturing to provide for the U.S. and Canadian market,” Michael McKeon, project manager of transatlantic relations at the Bertelsmann Foundation, told The Diplomat, referring to factories that import tar-

Graph: Peterson Institute for International Economics

iff-free goods for assembly and export them as part of the supply-chain process. “There’s been a big move from classical agricultural employment in Mexico to low- and mid-level manufacturing jobs. Those jobs in the U.S. moved to Mexico and China and other parts of the developing world, supplanted by automation.”


Unintended Consequences

The unforeseen consequence of successfully integrating the North American market has been the loss of blue-collar manufacturing jobs in the U.S., which has contributed to Trump’s voter base. The so-called Rust Belt of the U.S. contains a swath of people who have lost their jobs, and some would argue a whole

way of life, as the auto industry has evolved. Some argue that these jobs have been lost to cheaper labor in Mexico, but others argue that the loss is due to the larger forces of globalization (in particular, China’s accession to the World Trade Organization in 2001) and automation, which has seen technology replace people and increase productivity (also see “Trade, Automation, Cheap Wages Abroad Conspire to Alter U.S. Economic Landscape” in the March 2017 issue of The Diplomat). Economists differ greatly in their opinions on the merits of sweeping trade accords like NAFTA. Some, such as Dean Baker of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, point out that since NAFTA came into effect, America’s trade deficit with Mexico has ballooned and that numerous studies show a link between unfettered trade and lower wages for workers without a college degree. But others say increased trade benefits the economy as a whole. A 2014 Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE) study, for example, says that claims of NAFTA stealing American jobs were exaggerated. It points out that almost 17 million jobs were added to the U.S. economy in the seven years following enactment of NAFTA, and that the unemployment rate dropped from 6.9 percent to 4 percent. A more recent PIIE study from May estimates the payoff to the United States from trade expansion between 1950 and 2016 to be $2.1 trillion, which translates into an increase of over $7,000 in per-capita GDP, although the study also concedes that over 150,000 manufacturing jobs have been shed annually over the last 13 years. These figures have “been in keeping with what most economists maintain, that trade liberalization promotes overall economic growth among trading partners, but that there are both winners and losers from adjustments,” according to the Congressional Research Service. That applies not only to American workers, but also to their counterparts in Mexico and, to a lesser degree, Canada. For instance, the elimination of trade barriers under NAFTA exposed millions of small-scale Mexican farmers to competition from heavily subsidized American agricultural firms, putting many out of business. Meanwhile, annual U.S. farm exports to Canada and Mexico since NAFTA took effect quadrupled. That’s why American farmers are now lobbying against significant changes to NAFTA, fearing a loss of access to their lucrative Canadian and Mexican markets. On the flip side, the U.S. auto sector has lost hundreds of thousands of jobs since 1994, while Mexico became a thriving automotiveexport hub. Again, however, economists disagree to what extent this shift was the result of NAFTA versus other factors, such as China’s growth, Mexico’s own efforts to build up its auto industry and the forces of globalization that have connected global supply chains and wiped away traditional divisions. For example, thanks to NAFTA, carmakers in the U.S., Canada and Mexico effectively operate as one large bloc against competitors such as Germany. Parts and labor have become so closely intertwined that “Mexican-made” cars are often made with American parts that support thousands of American jobs, while some 35 percent of “American-made” cars are made with imported components from Mexico, Canada and other nations. While globalization has transformed entire industries, most economists agree that automation — the use of machines and robots to replace low-skilled labor — has caused far more manufacturing disruptions than trade agreements. Today, manufacturing accounts for less than 10 percent of the U.S. workforce, as the nation continually evolves toward a more high-tech, service-oriented economy — pre-

cisely the areas that a revised NAFTA seeks to address. So while Trump blames NAFTA for job losses in the auto industry, even if NAFTA were abolished, “The jobs are not coming back,” said William Reinsch, a fellow at the Stimson Center. Technology is advancing, and so is globalization.

Updating NAFTA There is a consensus among trade experts that while NAFTA has achieved its original objective of increasing trilateral trade, it could certainly use a refresh to bring it up to date with today’s economy. “In particular, we note that NAFTA was negotiated 25 years ago, and while our economy and businesses have changed considerably over that period, NAFTA has not,” Lighthizer stated in his letter to Congress. “Many chapters are outdated and do not reflect modern standards. For example, digital trade was in its infancy when NAFTA was enacted…. [O]ur aim is that NAFTA be modernized to include new provisions to address intellectual property rights, regulatory practices, state-owned enterprises, services, customs procedures, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, labor, environment, and small and medium enterprises.” All three parties say they are ready to come to the table to update NAFTA. Experts say that while the administration hasn’t fleshed out its position in great detail, the main issues will likely be ecommerce, rules of origin and intellectual property. Between the U.S. and Canada, softwood lumber will be a sticking point, and between the U.S. and Mexico, sugar and citrus will be the big points of contention. Any negotiations will be fraught with difficulty and arcane details, however, and just like Trump will be pushing for a better deal, Canada and Mexico will expect concessions from him as well. For instance, Canada will be reluctant to open up its protected dairy industry. Mexico will want more favorable treatment for its truckers crossing the U.S. border. And both countries will want to preserve the dispute mechanism that largely prevents the U.S. from imposing antidumping duties on them. Canada and Mexico are gearing up for a fight, launching an aggressive charm offensive to woo American lawmakers and businesses. Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau, for example, delivered the keynote address at the 2017 U.S. National Governors Association’s summer

ments made under TPP could be a good basis for the upcoming NAFTA negotiations (also see “After U.S. Withdrawal from Trans-Pacific Partnership, Now What?” in the April 2017 issue). Indeed, some of the objectives outlined by the administration with regards to updating NAFTA’s labor and environmental protections appear pulled straight from the TPP playbook. “The TPP could be a basefor NAFTA for certain NOTE: Although every effort is made to assure your adline is free of mistakes in spelling an Trump content it is ultimately up to the customer toissues, makeand the indeed final proof. officials have said they’d like to use TPP as a starting The first two faxed changes will be made at no cost to the advertiser, subsequent change point,” wrote Cimino-Isaacs will be billed at a rate of $75 per faxed alteration. Signed ads are considered approved. in an email. “In particular, in areas like digital trade and Please check this ad carefully. Mark any changesdisciplines to your on ad. e-commerce, state-owned enterprises, laPhoto: wikipedia Commons / Wiki Historian N OH bor standards and environIf the ad is correct sign and fax to: (301) 949-0065 needs changes Honda’s auto manufacturing complex in Marysville, Ohio, is home to the coordinating entity for all Honda North American facilities. NAFTA integrated ment, TPP has been touted automotive supply chains between the U.S., Mexico and Canada and made the region a competitive economic bloc. Mexico became a big beneficiary on the automotive front, and American critics of NAFTA argue that it tookThe awayWashington U.S. automotive jobs. At the same time, car production has become so as setting new precedents for Diplomat (301) 933-3552 U.S. trade deals. However, closely intertwined that “Mexican-made” and other foreign cars are, in fact, made with American parts and support thousands of American jobs. Honda says the unhindered movement of goods and services has allowed it to flourish in North America, where the Japanese conglomerate has it’s not going to be as simple Approved __________________________________________________________ invested more than $22 billion and employs over 40,000 people. as moving over what was done exactly in the TPP to Changes ___________________________________________________________ meeting, touting the benefits ernment’s right to regulate in Obama saw TPP as a way to insurance, accounting and NAFTA because the agree___________________________________________________________________ improve NAFTA, according delivery services were also ment was based on a balance of U.S.-Canada trade. Among the public interest. other things, he noted that The Peterson guide also to Politico Magazine, which brought into the agreement, of concessions between 12 the two countries share the contains a section on what reported that the Obama as well as digital commerce. countries.” largest trading relationship in not to do at the negotiation, administration spent three The U.S. was also able to inthe world, with bilateral trade such as revising rules of years working on upgrading clude more protections for Consequences totaling over $880 billion last origin to require more con- NAFTA under the umbrella intellectual property and the tent from U.S. factories. The of TPP. Under TPP, Canada environment, Politico’s Mi- of Exiting year. The goal, wrote Megan White House argues that in- gave U.S. farmers access to its chael Grunwald reported. No one but Trump knows Trump cut off TPP before what he will do next. His Cassella of Politico, is to creasing the required share dairy industry, and Mexico “build groundswell of local of North American parts in said yes to labor reforms. it could make its way to ConSee n afta • page 45 support in the United States determining what counts as U.S. service sectors such as gress for review, but the agreeto pressure the Trump ad- originating from the NAFTA ministration not to do any- trade area will help American thing radical to the 23-year- manufacturers and reduce competition from low-wage old trade agreement.” countries in Asia. But the Peterson Institute argues that Do No Harm such a revision could erode Indeed, many economists NAFTA trade preferences say the U.S. should approach that make it cheaper for imnegotiations with a “do-no- porters to buy products from harm” mentality. Opponents the region as a whole, makof wholesale change argue ing the free trade zone less that U.S. trade with Canada competitive. The guide also and Mexico is already fairly cautions against promoting well-balanced, particularly “Buy America” policies becompared to America’s gap- cause this will likely result in ing trade deficits with nations retaliation from Canada and such as China. Mexico, which could restrict The Peterson Institute for the ability of U.S. firms to bid International Economics has on their government concreated a guide to renego- tracts, meaning businesses tiating NAFTA, by Melina in all three countries could Kolb and Cimino-Isaacs. For be left hurting. e-commerce, the recomOn that note, economists mendation is to raise North stress that the U.S. should not American limits for imports adopt protectionist policies that count as duty-free, en- that violate World Trade Orsure an open market for ganization rules, which could digital goods and services, spark a raft of lawsuits, titand protect proprietary tech- for-tat tariffs and a trade war nologies, intellectual prop- that hurts U.S. exporters and erty and consumer privacy. raises costs for consumers. The recommendation for rules of origin is to simplify TPP Template? them into a regional content s%.',)3(!3!3%#/.$,!.'5!'% Trade experts point to the rule that can be used for all products. The guide also rec- Trans-Pacific Partnership s'2/50#,!33%3).&/2%)'.,!.'5!'%3 ommends the enforcement (TPP), which was to have of labor rights and laws; en- been outgoing President s4%!#(%242!).).'4%3/,#%24)&)#!4%3 couraging renewable energy Barack Obama’s economic and infrastructure invest- legacy, as a good template for ment; enhancing dispute renegotiating NAFTA, given resolution mechanisms, such that the U.S., Canada and as narrowing the scope for Mexico have already agreed frivolous cases; and improv- to major concessions in the ing safeguards for the gov- 12-nation TPP.



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WD | United States

Shoring Up Walls Foreigners Wonder How Extreme Trump’s Extreme Vetting Will Be by Ryan Migeed


onald Trump built his campaign around building up walls, promising to clamp down on illegal immigration and enact stricter screening to protect the nation’s security and economy. Funding for his proposed wall along the U.S.-Mexican border has yet to materialize, and his travel ban on six Muslim-majority nations is set for a legal showdown in the Supreme Court this fall. But Trump has steadily pushed ahead with his vow to more closely screen those who want to visit, study, work or seek refuge in the United States. As a candidate, he repeatedly pledged to implement more “extreme vetting” of foreigners coming to the United States but was vague about what exactly that would entail. In a series of measures over the last several months, however, the president has made real his promise to increase government scrutiny of travelers to the U.S. In late June, Trump slowed down the visa application process when he signed an executive order rescinding an Obama-era order that sought to speed up visa processing. The 2012 order signed by Obama had instructed the State Department to “ensure that 80 percent of nonimmigrant visa applicants are interviewed within three weeks of receipt of application,” according to a report by The Hill. White House spokesman Michael Short told the newspaper’s Jordan Fabian and Morgan Chalfant that it makes little sense to rush the screening process “to accommodate an arbitrary deadline.” Even before Trump signed this order, however, the State Department was acting on instructions to increase vetting of visa applicants. In March, Trump launched a review of vetting procedures for all international visitors to the U.S. In response, the Departments of State and Homeland Security quietly enhanced their vetting procedures. On March 23, Reuters reported on a series of cables directing U.S. consular officers to identify “populations warranting increased scrutiny” and beef up screening for them, in addition to conducting a “mandatory social media check” for all applicants who have been in territory controlled by the Islamic State. In those cables, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson also said the number of visa interviews conducted by each consular official should be limited to a maximum of 120 per day, acknowledging that this schedule “may cause interview appointment backlogs to rise.” There has even been speculation that consular functions would move from the State Department to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). On June 30, CNN reported on a White House memo that would shift State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs and Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration to DHS. The Bureau of Consular Affairs, which issues passports and processes visa applications, is the State Department’s largest bureau in terms of personnel and is funded almost entirely through revenue generated by consular fees, which amounted to a little over $4 billion in 2015. While the proposal is far from being finalized, it has already reportedly sparked a backlash. The Washington Post’s Josh Rogin wrote on July 9 that Secretary Tillerson is pushing back against the plan, which was reportedly crafted by White House policy adviser Stephen Miller in a bid to get “tougher” on immigration policy. The idea behind the proposal is to streamline the


Photo: Donna Burton

On July 3, U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced the launch of an arrangement with India to join the Global Entry Program. Above, Indian Ambassador Navtej Sarna becomes the first Indian citizen to enroll in the program on June 22. While Global Entry has allowed expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers through automated kiosks at certain airports, President Trump is looking to slow down visa and refugee admissions in general to implement what he calls more “extreme vetting” of foreigners coming to the U.S.

We understand any country’s need to protect its borders, but this goes far beyond any reasonable requirements, and far beyond what is proportionate…. We want a functioning federal government, but we also want it to be effective. Nuala O’Connor president and CEO of the Center for Democracy & Technology

vetting process and improve security, a position supported by the “Listening Report” Tillerson commissioned to review the State Department’s organizational structure, according to Rogin. But critics say there is no evidence the change would accomplish either goal, and that DHS is already involved in the refugee resettlement program, which they argue is a humanitarian endeavor that should remain in the hands of diplomatically trained officials rather than law enforcement officers. Beyond the debate over how the U.S. should screen visa applicants is the separate issue of Trump’s legally fraught travel ban, which put a 90-day pause on entry from six predominately Muslim nations — Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen — and a 120day pause on the entire refugee resettlement program in order to conduct a thorough assessment of vetting

procedures. But as The New York Times noted in a June 11 article, that review hasn’t progressed despite the Supreme Court allowing parts of the revised travel ban to go into effect. “Mr. Trump’s lawyers have moved slowly in responding to legal challenges to the White House’s initial and revised travel bans. And immigration experts say the administration has not taken steps it could have — even while the latest ban is tied up in the courts — to achieve the restriction’s stated goal: to tighten the vetting of people trying to get into the United States,” wrote Michael D. Shear and Ron Nixon. “The result has been that almost halfway through his first year in office, Mr. Trump has made few changes to the way people enter the United States from the countries he has deemed the most dangerous, despite his frequent campaign promises to institute ‘extreme vetting.’” The issue will come to a head this October when the Supreme Court hears arguments on the constitutionality of the travel ban, although the case could become moot if the administration concludes its review by then. In the meantime, however, the president is unlikely to relent on his signature campaign promise: to weed out potential terrorists from entering the country. In fact, Trump’s travel ban also capped the number of refugees at 50,000 — down from the 110,000 refugees Obama aimed to resettle this fiscal year — and the government hit that cap in July, meaning that thousands of refugees could be shut out. Trump’s supporters point out that setting immigration directives in the name of national security is well within the scope of the executive branch. They also say it is his job to determine who is a danger to Americans, especially in a constantly changing threat environment.

Marc A. Thiessen, a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), argues that the current visa screening process is “badly broken.” “In 2015, the State Department admitted to Congress that it had revoked the visas of 9,500 individuals since 2001 who were believed to have either engaged in terrorist activities or were associated with a terrorist organization. That’s 9,500 people who beat our screening procedures, and got visas to enter the United States, only to later be discovered as having terrorist ties,” he wrote in a June 27 AEI brief. “And last year, news broke that the at least 1,600 immigrants, who were supposed to be deported because they posed a threat to national security, were instead mistakenly granted U.S. citizenship.” But critics counter that more rigorous screening measures are unwarranted and redundant. They argue that current procedures, which were strengthened after 9/11, are already some of the most stringent in the world, with thousands of State Department officials working with DHS, the United Nations and other agencies to vet refugees and other would-be travelers. These officials are already trained to look for security risks, fraud and other dangers from particular hotspots such as Iraq and Afghanistan, where applicants are already subject to extensive background checks that can include phone, medical and financial records. Critics also worry about the economic costs of Trump’s vetting plan and whether it would needlessly deter tourists, students and highly skilled workers from coming to the U.S. The president’s “extreme vetting” was initially thought to affect even U.S. allies such as Britain and other European countries. But when the measures were announced on June 28, they excluded travelers who can come to the U.S. under the visa waiver program, which includes most European nations as well as Australia and Japan, although they still apply to roughly 150 other nations. That’s why the tourism industry in particular remains concerned that erecting more barriers sends the wrong message. Jonathan Grella, executive vice president of public affairs for the U.S. Travel Association, wrote in an April 17 commentary that “after a “lost decade” of international travel growth in the U.S., fueled by complex, often lengthy security procedures coupled with perceptions abroad post-9/11 that discouraged many visitors, international travel only recently regained its pre-2001 market share. That progress could easily be rolled back, if the Trump administration does not campaign consistently to sway travelers in our direction.” He noted that travel is a top-10 employer in 49 states and D.C., supporting 15.3 million U.S. jobs, and that international travel, in particular, is America’s number-one service export. Meanwhile, immigrant rights advocates argue that stricter vetting procedures raise the potential for racial and religious profiling, and they question the usefulness of Trump’s call to interrogate travelers based on an “ideological test” of values, a concept reminiscent of the Cold War. They also say that gathering more personal information like social media handles will require significant additional resources and time, and may constitute a violation of privacy. In a Senate hearing on border security in April, DHS Secretary John Kelly raised the possibility that airport and customs officials would start inspecting tourists’ mobile phones and request the passwords to their social media accounts. But he cautioned that “very small numbers” would be asked to share passwords, estimating that “one half of one percent might have their device looked at” — amid the millions of people who enter the U.S. every day.

Photo: Donna Burton / CBP

Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly participates in a press conference earlier this year alongside U.S. Customs and Border Protection Acting Commissioner Kevin McAleenan and other officials to discuss the implementation of the president’s executive orders to institute tougher screening of foreigners.

Nevertheless, the mere suggestion itself immediately drew the attention — and opposition — of civil rights activists and internet advocacy groups. One such group is the Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT), based in Washington, D.C., which advocates for global online privacy rights. “We understand any country’s need to protect its borders, but this goes far beyond any reasonable requirements, and far beyond what is proportionate,” said CDT President and CEO Nuala O’Connor, who previously served as the chief privacy officer at the Department of Homeland Security from 2003 to 2005. “We want a functioning federal government, but we also want it to be effective,” O’Connor said, adding that “this is not the most targeted, effective way” to find and stop terrorists. But DHS says these “enhanced security measures” are necessary to provide better protection of potential U.S. targets and international travelers. “[B]ecause commercial aviation remains a major target for terrorists, and in response to urgent and evolving threats, DHS is implementing new enhanced security measures to improve screening of passengers and electronic devices and heighten security standards for aircraft and airports with direct flights into the United States,” said David Lapan, a spokesman for DHS, via email. “The enhanced aviation security measures have already been implemented by some airlines and airports and additional changes will be made in the coming weeks and months,” he added. A second concern with the Trump administration’s extreme vetting policies and enhanced security screenings is the threat of retaliation from other countries. In a May 5 op-ed for Politico Magazine, Jonathan A. Meyer, a former DHS deputy general counsel, argued that Americans traveling abroad could soon face the same tough scrutiny — including being forced to hand over social media passwords — if the U.S. moves forward with such aggressive screening measures. “Americans should ask: Do I want to hand over my social media passwords and personal contacts every time I go to the United Kingdom, Germany, or Italy? Let alone China, Russia or Turkey? Is it a smart policy to open the door for these other countries to reciprocate?” Meyer wrote. He concedes that “there are certain types of travelers who warrant increased scrutiny,” but said that current policy allows for this — and that sophisticated terrorists are likely to cover their social media tracks before coming to the

United States. Meyer also cited the laptop ban on some international flights — following security warnings that terrorists could hide bombs in laptops — as an example of how the U.S. can work with allies to address threats. In March, the U.S. imposed a ban on laptops in airplane cabins on direct flights to the U.S. from 10 Middle Eastern airports. The federal government was poised to expand that ban to all international flights bound for the U.S., but declined to do so as foreign airports agreed to comply with new U.S. security standards, according to a report by The Washington Post.

Currently, 280 airports in 105 countries will be required to comply with the new standards. Once they implement those standards, the U.S. lifts the laptop ban from their airports and they no longer have to prohibit passengers from carrying laptops onto departing flights for the U.S. “There’s always going to be a balance you’re trying to strike between liberties and security,” Meyer said. But the point he sees getting lost in the discussion is whether the policy is effective or not and what are its ramifications. His point was made sharper by a recent vote in the European Parliament. Responding to the U.S. refusal to waive visa requirements for all EU member states — visitors from Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Poland and Romania cannot enter the U.S. without a visa — the European Parliament voted to start requiring Americans to obtain visas to enter Europe. The European Commission rejected the vote, Meyer wrote, but the imposition of “extreme vetting” by the U.S. could revive the debate over slapping restrictions on American travelers. Still, Meyer has no doubt that the outcome of these tougher policies will be increased vetting of travelers and tighter scrutiny of people coming to the U.S. “The threat evolves and so our posture needs to evolve,” he said. WD

Ryan R. Migeed (@RyanMigeed) is a freelance writer based in Boston.

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WD | Africa

East Africa Votes Ethnic Fault Lines Simmer Below Surface of Rwanda and Kenya’s Elections by Aileen Torres-Bennett


here are two elections in August that will decide the next presidents of two critical East African countries. Rwanda will hold its presidential election Aug. 4, and Kenya will hold its general election Aug. 8. The state of governance is different between these countries, but ethnic factions dominating politics is a common theme. In Rwanda, Paul Kagame has been president since 2000. He is part of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) party, which is credited with ending the genocide in 1994 that resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths, largely of Tutsis, the minority ethnic group that were systematically targeted by Hutu militant extremists, but also of Hutus who were killed by the rebel movement led by RPF. A long, bitter history of ethnic rivalry still simmers between Hutus and Tutsis, and although Kagame has outlawed any discussion of ethnicity in Rwanda, people still strongly identify with their ethnic group. Since Kagame has been in power, the government has been a Tutsi stronghold. Kagame has put Rwanda on more stable footing politically and economically, and some argue that he needs to remain in power to maintain the peace of the nation and keep it on a path toward continued improvement. Kagame himself is the biggest proponent of this view, and he does enjoy widespread popularity in the electorate. The national gains under his rule, however, have come at the cost of stifling dissent. Meanwhile, in Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta, who has been president since 2013, does not have anywhere near the tight grip on power that Kagame has. Kenya’s election is competitive, and experts say it’s hard to predict who will win. Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga is Kenyatta’s main opponent. Kenyatta is a member of the Jubilee Party, whose supporters include the Kikuyu and Kalenjin ethnic groups. Odinga is part of the National Super Alliance coalition, whose supporters include the Luo, Luhya and Kamba ethnic groups. The 2007 election in Kenya, with accusations of ballot rigging, resulted in violent ethnic clashes. Odinga fanned the flames of protest against election results that gave his then-opponent, Mwai Kibaki, a narrow victory. The election of 2013 was a quiet one, most likely because outside observers kept watch on the process, but this year’s election may not be so quiet, depending on whether Odinga or Kenyatta stir up trouble.

Rwanda: An Authoritarian Regime Disguised as Democracy? Rwanda may hold elections, but experts argue democracy is only a guise in the country. Kagame has held onto power by pushing through a referendum that enabled a change to the constitution to allow him to run for a third term. “There’s no chance anyone other than Kagame will win,” Richard Downie, the acting director of the Center for Strategic and International Studies Africa Program, told The Diplomat. “There is no viable opposition. Everything in the system is tilted to Kagame getting another term in office.” Kagame keeps a sharp eye on opposition and quashes any threats. “Opponents end up in exile or end up dead. You think long and hard before standing against him,” said Downie. 14 | THE WASHINGTON DIPLOMAT | August 2017

Credit: UN Photo / Evan Schneider

Rwandan President Paul Kagame is seen in Kigali on April 6, 2014, as he reflects during a commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide.

It seems to me that Africa’s primary, and indeed chronic, barrier to development — political, social and economic — has been poor governance, and poor governance is associated with the strongman approach. John Campbell senior fellow for Africa policy studies at the Council on Foreign Relations

One of his opponents in this election, Diane Shima Rwigara, was neutralized with the release of nude photos to publicly embarrass her. Over the years, political opponents and critical journalists have been arrested, harassed, beaten, killed or disappeared. While Kagame has been criticized for muzzling dissent, he also enjoys genuine popular support for pulling the country back from the brink of oblivion. He has fought to move the nation beyond the bloodshed of 1994 by banning talk of ethnicity in Rwanda and embracing a policy of reconciliation over revenge, and many Rwandans appreciate the stability he has brought in the wake of a genocide that touched the lives of nearly everyone in the country. A soft-spoken but shrewd technocrat who admires economic success stories such as Singapore, Kagame

is credited with transforming the nation of 11 million. His “Vision 2020” strategy aims to turn Rwanda from a low-income, agriculture-based economy into a knowledge-based, service-oriented economy with middle-income status by 2020. Today, Kigali’s streets are clean, traffic is orderly, crime is rare and high-speed internet is readily available. Under Kagame’s rule, child mortality has been slashed, school attendance has skyrocketed and foreign development money has poured in. He has tackled corruption, poverty and inequality, with the country’s parliament boasting the highest proportion of female members in the world. Kagame’s most notable achievement, however, has been the economy. Rwanda’s GDP has risen tremendously since the 1994 genocide. In 1994, GDP was about $753 million and has since climbed steadily to a total of about $8 billion in 2016, according to the World Bank. Likewise, gross national income rose from $150 in 1994 to $700 in 2016. While the country is still relatively poor, it boasts one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, averaging annual growth rates of 8 percent since 2000. While there is plenty of evidence that Rwanda is much better off since Kagame took power, human rights groups say these gains have come at the expense of civil liberties. “Kagame, the idea he has is if you bring enough prosperity, people won’t care about freedom of speech and free and fair elections,” Timothy Longman, a professor at Boston University who wrote the book “Memory and Justice in Post-Genocide Rwanda,” told The Diplomat. A lot of Rwanda’s prosperity since Kagame took over has been built on foreign assistance, from corporations such as Starbucks to governments giving money, said Longman. “Forty percent of Rwanda’s

budget is paid for by outside donors. They’re dependent on a good public image. They have used it to improve health care and make education more accessible.” If Kagame enjoys popular support because he has cultivated prosperity, “What happens when the economy takes a hit?” asked Downie. “You can’t deliver this year after year. When people don’t see their lives improving, you might see the response turn violent.” Experts don’t expect an eruption of violence any time soon in Rwanda, but with Kagame trampling on civil liberties, simmering resentment exists — often along ethnic lines. For instance, Hutus have long complained that they are not able to share power unless they tow Kagame’s party line. “Under the new constitutional amendment, he could remain in office until 2034, a situation that could force opposition groups, which include Hutus, to resort to violent mobilization to oust him,” John Mukum Mbaku of the Brookings Institution’s Africa Growth Initiative wrote in an email. While this is speculation, it is not a scenario that can be written off, given the history of ethnic bloodletting in the country.

Kenya: A Presidency Up for Grabs Although Kenya has a history of ballot tampering in elections, experts still call it a democracy, albeit a troubled one. Kenyatta won the presidency in 2013, beating out Odinga, who had lost previously in the chaotic 2007 election to a different opponent. Odinga’s refusal to accept the results of the 2007 election — which many observers did deem flawed — led to atrocities that resulted in about 1,500 deaths, according to the

Photo: By RudolfSimon - Own work/ Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 3.0

At left, motorists are seen on a Kigali street during the 27th African Union Summit in July 2016. Under Rwandan President Paul Kagame, Kigali has transformed into a bustling, orderly capital. Kagame has also invested heavily in education. Above, children in a Rwandan primary school use laptops supplied by the government’s One Laptop per Child program.

Credit: UN Photo / Rick Bajornas

BBC. Kenyatta was also implicated in fomenting the 2007-08 violence. The International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague charged him with crimes against humanity, including murder, rape, persecution and deportation. In 2014, however, the ICC dropped the charges after witnesses failed to come forward. There is concern that violence could occur again in this election if the results are contested. “Some of Odinga’s supporters have already stated publicly that unless their candidate wins the presidency, Kenya will see a return to the sectarian violence that enveloped the country after the 2007 presidential election,” said Mbaku. “The politicization of ethnicity in Kenya means that regardless of which party

wins the election, the loser will see the victory in ethnic terms. The probability that the loser will resort to violent mobilization is quite high. This is especially so if Odinga loses, given his age and the fact that his supporters are likely to see 2017 as their last opportunity in a long time to capture the presidency.” It’s a toss-up who will win the election. “I think it’s too close to make a prediction,” Rebekka Rumpel, a research assistant with the Africa Program at the U.K. think tank Chatham House, told The Diplomat. “The polls have tightened a lot in the last few months. It is a really competitive election.” As for Kenyatta’s record as president, the country’s economy has grown during his term. In 2013, Kenya’s GDP was about $55

billion, and in 2016 it was about $70.5 billion, according to the World Bank. This growth has been a continuation of rising GDP for several decades, however, so how much Kenyatta’s leadership plays into it is not certain. Gross national income began to increase significantly in Kenya beginning in the early 2000s, according to World Bank data. In 2013, the year of the last election, gross national income was $1,150, increasing to $1,380 in 2016. Kenya has positioned itself successfully as a tech hub on the continent and has developed a diversified economy not dependent on oil or other natural resources, said Downie, who See Eas t Afr ic a • page 16


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kenyan President uhuru kenyatta — seen below addressing a u.n. environmental gathering in nairobi in 2014 — is running for re-election in the Aug. 8 election. At right, a view of nairobi is seen from the kenyatta international Conference Centre, named after Jomo kenyatta, kenya’s first president and uhuru’s father.

East Africa ContinueD • PAge 15

pointed out that IBM has a major office there. “Kenya has cemented its status as the dynamo of the East Africa region economically,” he said. “Kenya has worked hard to portray itself as a business-friendly environment.” The growing economy has allowed for infrastructure investment, including the new railway between Mombasa and Nairobi, the country’s first new railway in a century. China, which is publicizing its Belt and Road Initiative that offers financing for infrastructure projects around the world, bankrolled the project (also see story in the July 2017 issue). Possibly putting a damper on economic growth is persistent corruption. Kenya ranks 145 out of 176 countries on Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index for 2016. Keeping security forces in check is another challenge, one that will become more significant in election season as the threat of violence looms if the results are contested.

going beyonD ethniCity Politics is ruled by ethnic factions in Rwanda and Kenya. Some say strongmen like Kagame are needed to keep these still-developing nations from devolving into fractious tribal infighting. Others point out that leaders often manipulate ethnic grievances and disparities to amass power and wealth. Because individuals identify so strongly with an ethnic group, the concerns of those

Photo: by bobokine - oWn WoRk / WikimeDiA CommonS CC by-SA 3.0

CReDit: un Photo / eSkinDeR Debebe

groups should be taken into account in the political system. But stability must last beyond any particular person, which requires redirecting focus to ideas and ideals instead of ethnic rivalries and loyalties. “I am no fan of the strongman approach,” John Campbell, a senior fellow for Africa policy studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, told The Diplomat. “It seems to me that Africa’s primary, and indeed chronic, barrier to development — political, social and eco-

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nomic — has been poor governance, and poor governance is associated with the strongman approach. I very much subscribe to the view that governance in Africa, or any place else, is dependent on institutions grounded in law.” Kagame employs brutal tactics to maintain his ironclad grip on power, but he did try to push Rwandans to get beyond ethnicity by banning all talk of it. That doesn’t mean people identifying with their ethnicities has gone away.

Kagame has created a self-fulfilling prophecy in which he is Rwanda’s savior, with no alternative. If Kagame is no longer in power, the big question is what will happen to Rwanda. Will ethnic violence break out again? What will be the stabilizing force in a post-Kagame era? In Kenya, the fight is over which ethnic group, or groups, take control of the government, and observers worry that events could take another deadly turn if there is no clean election and no respect for the ballot or the rule of law. Without strong governmental institutions that exist beyond personalities and factions, there can be no lasting stability or growth. “If you secure peace through force, you need more and more resources to sustain that peace,” said Mbaku. “You are preoccupied with trying to control people.” WD Aileen Torres-Bennett is a freelance writer in Washington, D.C.

Cover Profile | WD

Progressive Pioneer Veteran Ambassador Carlos Gianelli: Uruguay Way Ahead of Its Time by Larry Luxner


or a country of only 3.5 million people, tiny Uruguay — wedged in between relative giants Brazil and Argentina — has been punching way above its weight for years. Enrique V. Iglesias, who led the InterAmerican Development Bank from 1988 to 2005, is Uruguayan. So is Luis Almagro, secretary-general of the Organization of American States (OAS), whose criticism of the Maduro government and Venezuela’s descent into chaos has earned him both respect and contempt throughout the hemisphere. Adding to its global clout, in 2016 and 2017, Uruguay represents Latin America and the Caribbean for a two-year rotating slot as one of 10 non-permanent members of the U.N. Security Council. The small country also took on big tobacco — and came out on top, winning a landmark lawsuit last year against Philip Morris International that paves the way for nations to aggressively crack down on cigarette smoking. At the same time, it became the world’s first nation to completely legalize marijuana for sale at state-regulated pharmacies. By consistently bucking convention, Uruguay — which marks its 192nd anniversary of independence Aug. 25 — has firmly established itself as a beacon of liberalism on a continent where some countries only recently allowed divorce. “We rank near the top of every index when it comes to transparency, prosperity, rule of law and press freedom, and I believe this is because we have a longstanding democratic tradition,” said Carlos Gianelli, Uruguay’s ambassador to the United States. “We are one of the oldest democracies in the world — born at the same time as America — with only 13 years of military dictatorship in the last two centuries.” Gianelli is Uruguay’s top envoy here — again. He first held that post from 2005 to 2012, but was sent back to Washington two years ago by President Tabaré Vázquez, a member of the leftist Frente Amplio coalition. “I have served under three different American presidents,” Gianelli told us during a recent interview at the Uruguayan Embassy. “We had a great relationship with George W. Bush; we signed all the instruments creating the base of our bilateral relationship during his administration. We also had excellent relations with President Obama, who supported multilateralism. In President Trump’s case, his administration is just starting out. We don’t know exactly what his policies toward Latin America will be, but we can guess that Mexico will be his first priority.” He added: “We don’t have many elements to assess what’s going to be his relationship with Latin America. But we

have more than $500 million of exports to the U.S. annually, and we are really trying to manage this relationship.” Gianelli, 69, has had a long and varied diplomatic career. A native of Montevideo, Uruguay’s capital and home to nearly half its inhabitants, he joined the Uruguayan Foreign Ministry in 1976, serving at the United Nations from 1987 to 1991. He became ambassador to Saudi Arabia in 1991 — at the tail end of the Gulf War — and was also Uruguay’s top envoy to the Netherlands and Mexico before arriving in Washington for his first ambassadorial posting here in 2005. In addition, Gianelli has served as director-general of political affairs (199396) and director-general of economic affairs (2000-03) at the Foreign Ministry. He also advised his government during the lawsuit against Philip Morris and worked on a legal dispute between Argentina and Uruguay over the building of pulp mills along the Uruguay River. As ambassador, Gianelli heads a staff of 25 people. Besides Washington, Uruguay maintains consulates in Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami and New York, as well as honorary consulates in a dozen other cities from Minneapolis to San Juan, Puerto Rico. “We are a middle-class country with very well-educated people, and we are quite committed to the multilateral system,” he said. “We’ve been part of the U.N. since the very beginning. The World Trade Organization was created during the Uruguay Round in 1995 and

Photo: Lawrence Ruggeri

We rank near the top of every index when it comes to transparency, prosperity, rule of law and press freedom, and I believe this is because we have a longstanding democratic tradition. Carlos Gianelli

ambassador of Uruguay to the United States

is quite important for us.” Trade has always been crucial to Uruguay, which last year exported $9 billion in goods and $3 billion in services, according to Gianelli. Uruguay is a founding member of the Southern Common Market (Mercosur), which also includes Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay. Despite the fact that Uruguay ranks as Mercosur’s smallest member state, the customs union’s secretariat is permanently headquartered in Montevideo, though these days, it’s more symbolic than substantive. “Unfortunately, Mercosur is not performing as we expected. It was frozen for a long time, but we are confident we

can revive it,” he explained. “Venezuela was also a part of Mercosur but was suspended because it didn’t comply with the commitments.” Agriculture still dominates Uruguay’s economy, with meat comprising 28 percent of the country’s exports by value, followed by cellulose and soybeans. But the country is now making a push in socalled “smart services” like the export of global services and information technology, particularly software. The software export sector is worth around $3 billion, though for now, the U.S. market represents only a $140 million slice of that. Gianelli said his government began negotiating a free trade

agreement with the United States in 2006 to boost trade in general. After a year or two, the talks fell through because of domestic opposition — and these days, there seems to be little appetite in Washington for new free trade agreements with anyone. Nevertheless, the Uruguayan economy is humming along, registering an average annual growth rate of nearly 5 percent between 2006 and 2015, according to the World Bank. The bank also notes that during the same timeframe, moderate poverty was slashed from 32.5 percent to 9.7 percent, while extreme poverty is virtually nonexistent in the country that, in relative terms, boasts the largest middle class in Latin America. Uruguay’s economy, with expected growth of 2 percent in 2017, is doing much better than that of its huge neighbor, Brazil, whose troubled economy — plagued by political scandal and stagnating foreign investment — has essentially flat-lined. “In the last three to five years, there’s been an explosion of interest in the software and IT sectors,” Gianelli told The See u r u gu ay • page 18 THE WASHINGTON DIPLOMAT | August 2017 | 17

Photo: By Rosina Peixoto, Own Work / Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 4.0

Boats dock at the Puerto del Buceo in the Uruguayan capital of Montevideo.

Uruguay Continued • page 17

Washington Diplomat. “Uruguay has 500 companies in this sector, including around 10 American companies like McDonald’s.” Internet connectivity has skyrocketed, with 65 percent of Uruguayans now online. Mobile penetration is among the highest in Latin America, and a fiber-optic cable is now being laid that will soon stretch from Miami to Maldonado, a department of Uruguay that includes the world-famous Punta del Este resort on the Atlantic. While Uruguay has been a democracy for most of its nearly two centuries of existence, the Colorado and Blanco parties had dominated its political life for 170 years. That ended on Oct. 31, 2004, when the Frente Amplio (Broad Front) left-wing coalition of Tabaré Vázquez — then an oncologist and former mayor of Montevideo — easily defeated two other candidates for the presidency. Vázquez led Uruguay from 2005 to 2010 and returned as president in 2015 for another five-year term following the maverick presidency of José Mujica, a fellow Frente Amplio member. A former guerilla who was imprisoned by the military dictatorship, Mujica became internationally renowned for his humble lifestyle — famously eschewing the presidential palace for a modest home on the outskirts of the capital, driving a 1987 Volkswagen Beetle and donating 90 percent of his salary to charity. He also garnered headlines for his progressive policies. Among other things, he legalized marijuana consumption, abortion and same-sex marriage, signing a marriage equality law in 2013 that made Uruguay the 12th country in the world to recognize gay marriage.

While some of Mujica’s accomplishments remain highly controversial at home — including abortion rights and his experiment creating a government-regulated market for marijuana — Uruguayans have generally supported Frente Amplio’s record of economic stability and social inclusion. But Uruguay’s reputation as a pioneer in social welfare predates Vázquez and Mujica. The country’s literacy rate of 96 percent is the highest in Spanish-speaking Latin America, a consequence of Uruguay’s strong educational system. Access to education and other basic services such as electricity and health care is considered part of the social contract. Likewise, the country has developed a reputation as one of the least corrupt, most equal societies in Latin America. In fact, of 199 countries and territories surveyed in the Freedom House 2017 Press Freedom Index, Uruguay ranked 38th — right behind the United States and ahead of the United Kingdom, France and Japan. “The whole country is quite liberal. Between the right, the center and the left, there’s not much space,” Gianelli said. “We have no radical political sectors any more.” With its own painful memories of mass incarceration, torture and forced disappearances that endured from the 1973 military coup until the 1985 restoration of democracy, Uruguay is quite outspoken on the subject of human rights — especially in Venezuela, where what little democracy remains appears to be quickly collapsing. While Gianelli wouldn’t come out and call Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro a dictator, he did say the country was “leaning toward authoritarianism” under Maduro’s leadership — and that Uruguay is clearly worried, and so is the OAS under Almagro, Uruguay’s former foreign minister. Elected to head the Wash-


Photo: By Karin Porley von Bergen - Flickr: Instrucciones del Año XIII, CC BY-SA 2.0

For Uruguay’s bicentennial celebrations in 2011, 500 school children from 19 schools across the country gathered at the Palacio Legislativo (parliament) in Montevideo. Uruguay boasts a literacy rate of 96 percent and invests heavily in its education services.

Photo: TPSDave / Pixabay

A sculpture of fingers rising from the sand draws thousands of visitors to Punta del Este, a world-famous resort along Uruguay’s Atlantic coast. Below, colonial architecture and antique cars dot the streets of Colonia, Uruguay, another scenic attraction.

President of Uruguay Tabaré Vázquez

Photo: Paisa_38 / Pixabay

ington-based body in 2015, Almagro — once an admirer of Venezuela’s populist policies under the late Hugo Chávez — has now become one of Venezuela’s fiercest critics. After Almagro threatened to expel the country unless it holds general elections “as quickly as possible,” Maduro announced in late April that Venezuela would withdraw from the OAS, which it calls a U.S. puppet organization. “Almagro was nominated by the current government of Uruguay. He now represents 34 countries. He has his agenda, and Uruguay’s position is not always identical to that of the OAS,” Gianelli said. “But we agree that Venezuela has problems, democracy is eroding there and human rights is a challenge. A lot of people have died. Uruguay is very

moderate, and we’d like to see the opposition and government immediately engage in peace talks.” Yet the big story in Uruguay isn’t Maduro, but marijuana. In 2013, Uruguay became the first country in the world to completely legalize the consumption of marijuana (citizens could cultivate a certain amount for personal use or through membership clubs). The culmination of this threeyear legalization process came this past July, when sales of marijuana were scheduled to begin at 16 pharmacies throughout the country to about 6,000 people who have registered as consumers. The government will heavily regulate the process. According to Reuters, pharmacies will have a total of 400 kilograms at their disposal, an

Photo: Anayugdar / Pixabay

amount that could increase depending on demand, said Juan Roballo, head of the National Drug Board. They must sell the substance in 5-gram containers at $1.30 per gram. In addition, interested Uruguayans 18 or older must enroll in a government registry complete with a digital thumb scan, and may only purchase 40 grams per month. Smoking on the job or while driving remain illegal, and only citizens — not foreign tour-

ists — will be able to purchase the drug. The verdict on legalizing cannabis is still out — Canada is considering joining Uruguay in legalizing the consumption of marijuana, and many other nations allow it to be prescribed for medical purposes or stopped prosecuting it as a crime. Various studies have shown that marijuana is not the “gateway” drug its critics often paint it out to be, although its long-term health effects are unknown — nor

is it known whether government attempts to regulate its sale will decrease illegal narcotrafficking. And a significant portion of Uruguayans aren’t thrilled that their nation has become the poster child in the global marijuana experiment. Interestingly, while Uruguay is allowing its citizens to smoke weed, it strongly discourages them from smoking cigarettes. In a classic David vs. Goliath story, Uruguay won a lengthy legal battle against tobacco giant Philip Morris, which sued the government for, among other things, ordering cigarette makers to cover their packs with grisly warnings about the dangers of smoking. So why is it OK for Uruguayans to light up in certain circumstances and not in others? The government argues that both cannabis and tobacco will be heavily regulated. The potency and genetic makeup of marijuana plants will be closely monitored and commercial marketing is strictly prohibited. The goal, as The Washington Post’s Nick Miroff wrote on July 7, is to make marijuana “as boring as possible” and ultimately decrease consumption. The government also points out that tobacco causes a litany of costly health problems and that black-market marijuana funds a dangerous, illicit drug trade that fuels crime and violence. (A portion of the marijuana sales will go to a fund for addiction treatment and public health campaigns.) “As a former cigarette smoker, I was involved in Uruguay’s lawsuit against Philip Morris, when they sued us for $20 million at the World Bank regarding tobacco regulations,” the ambassador explained. “We spent six years defending ourselves before the bank’s Settlement Dispute Mechanism. In the end, the final award was in our favor, and the tribunal decided that Philip Morris had to pay Uruguay $7 million plus court costs. “But cannabis is different. President Mujica

pushed this in order to try to reduce demand as well as illegal trafficking,” Gianelli continued, although he cautioned that he himself does not necessarily support the legalization of marijuana. “The majority of people supported it, but I am against it because I’m a former smoker and cigarettes are very dangerous. I quit because I started having problems with my throat.” He added that “outside Uruguay, there was a lot of criticism about our decision,” although others supported the move, including Ernesto Zedillo, the former president of Mexico, and Colombia’s former president, César Gaviría. These two countries provide ample ammunition of exactly why Uruguay’s new law makes sense, argues Eduardo Blasina, director of Montevideo’s recently inaugurated Cannabis Museum. “The law gives consumers access to certified, unadulterated marijuana,” Blasina told The Guardian’s Uki Goñi in a recent interview. “South America’s war against drugs has been absurd, with catastrophic results no matter which indicators you consider, including consumption. If Uruguay’s experience turns out positive, it will be easier for other countries such as Colombia or Mexico, mired in huge problems with powerful narcos, to find a better solution than the disastrous one implemented so far.” WD

uruguay at a glance Independence Aug. 25, 1825 (from brazil) Location Southern South America, bordering the South Atlantic ocean, between Argentina and brazil

National flag of Uruguay

Capital montevideo Population 3.35 million (July 2016 estimate) Ethnic groups White 88 percent, mestizo 8 percent, black 4 percent, Amerindian (practically nonexistent) GDP (purchasing power parity) $73.2 billion (2016 estimate)

GDP per-capita (PPP) $20,300 (2016 estimate)

GDP growth 0.7 percent (2016 estimate) Unemployment 7.1 percent (2016 estimate) Population below poverty line 9.7 percent (2015 estimate)

Industries Food processing, electrical machinery, transportation equipment, petroleum products, textiles, chemicals, beverages SouRCe: CiA WoRLD FACtbook

Larry Luxner is the Tel Aviv-based news editor of The Washington Diplomat.

follow The Diplomat Connect at modern architecture and cheerful sidewalk cafes brighten up downtown montevideo.

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WD | United States

Defining Crazy Goldwater Rule Keeps Psychiatrists from Commenting on Trump’s Mental Fitness by Whitney McKnight


f nearly one in five persons in the U.S. experiences mental illness at any given time, as federal data show, then more than 100 members of our federally elected government, including whomever is in the White House, suffer from a clinical mental condition at any given time. Does this affect their ability to lead? And why aren’t the people who are best equipped to help us navigate and explore these questions — namely, psychiatrists — leaving mostly nonmental health professionals to speculate widely in the media on the mental stability of President Donald Trump? The answer is a misapprehension of psychiatry’s code of ethics, according to a psychiatrist thought to be the last surviving co-author of what is colloquially known to mental health professionals as the “Goldwater rule.” The Goldwater rule stemmed from a libel suit filed by Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater. He sued Fact magazine after it published a 1964 survey in which nearly 1,200 members of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) deemed him not “psychologically fit” to be president. Goldwater, who lost the election, won the lawsuit and in 1973, the APA adopted the so-called Goldwater rule to prevent members from commenting on the mental health of public officials whom they haven’t personally evaluated. “The first thing to appreciate about the so-called ‘Goldwater rule’ is that it is not a rule, but rather a principle,” Dr. Allen Dyer, a professor of psychiatry at The George Washington University, wrote to The Washington Diplomat in an email. “Much of the current discussion applies rulebased legalistic thinking to a matter of professional judgment based on principle.” More formally, the rule is known as section 7.3 of the American Medical Association’s Principles of Medical Ethics with Annotations Especially Applicable to Psychiatry, which specifies that “it is unethical for a psychiatrist to offer a professional opinion [of any public figure] unless he or she has conducted an examination and has been granted proper authorization for such a statement.” Some psychiatrists view this ethical stipulation for APA membership as a gag order. Others see it as an essential tool for protecting the guild. Either way, none of the APA’s roughly 37,000 members has been cited for violating this code during the recent campaign cycle, nor since President Trump took office. Fear of transgression seems to have largely prevented


Credit: Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead

President Donald Trump speaks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in the Oval Office on May 10, 2017, a meeting that raised eyebrows coming less than a day after Trump had fired FBI Director James Comey, a leading figure in the investigations into the administration’s ties with Russia.

When people were saying Trump would pivot and become more presidential, I said, ‘That would be true if he weren’t so mentally ill.’ But people don’t stop being mentally ill when it’s convenient for them or in their best interests to do so. John Gartner, psychologist

psychiatrists from entering the public debate over whether President Trump, and possibly others, are too mentally ill to lead.

Diagnosing Trump Of course, the definition of mental illness is a broad and subjective one to begin with. Millions of people around the world deal with mental illness but function if not excel in their daily lives. Given the complexities and potential stigma surrounding the issue, some psychiatrists say it is unethical to label someone as mentally ill without a personal evaluation. Others say given the weight of the office that the president holds, it is unethical not to speak out if he or she is a danger to the country. Trump’s erratic behavior has led a growing number of mental health professionals to openly voice their

concerns that the president is mentally unfit to lead. Many of those professionals — especially non-psychiatrists who aren’t card-carrying APA members and therefore not bound by its rules — have accused Trump of exhibiting a litany of traits that impair his judgment, from narcissism, paranoia and delusions of grandeur, to lying, misogyny and sociopathic tendencies. Psychologist John Gartner, who taught at the Department of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University, helped found the group Duty to Warn, an association of mental health professionals “united by the idea that it is our ethical responsibility to warn the public about the dangers posed by Donald Trump’s mental health.” In an interview with The Diplomat, Gartner said he believes the president — whom he has never treated — has malignant narcissism, a diagnosis originated by the late German

psychoanalyst Erich Fromm, who applied it retrospectively to Adolf Hitler. According to Gartner, the four main parts are: narcissistic personality disorder, paranoia, anti-social personality disorder and sadism. “His narcissism is evident in his ‘grandiose sense of self-importance … without commensurate achievements.’ From viewing cable news, he knows ‘more about ISIS than the generals’ and believes that among all human beings on the planet, ‘I alone can fix it,’” Gartner wrote in a May 4 op-ed in USA Today, adding that Trump’s repeated lying and lack of remorse “meet the clinical criteria for anti-social personality. His bizarre conspiracy theories, false sense of victimization, and demonization of the press, minorities and anyone who opposes him are textbook paranoia. Like most sadists, Trump has been a bully since childhood, and his thousands of vicious tweets make him perhaps the most prolific cyber bully in history.” He also noted that, “Trump, like many successful people, shows biological signs of hypomania — a mild and more functional expression of bipolar genes that manifest in energy, confidence, creativity, little need for sleep, as well as arrogance, impulsivity, irritability and diminished judgment.” Gartner warns that any expectations that being president will somehow temper Trump’s behavior is

wishful thinking. “When people were saying Trump would pivot and become more presidential, I said, ‘That would be true if he weren’t so mentally ill.’ But people don’t stop being mentally ill when it’s convenient for them or in their best interests to do so. Because this is a genuine illness and not an act, even when it’s in his best interests to start behaving more normally, he can’t do it,” Gartner told us. Gartner participated in an April conference at Yale University, where event chair Bandy Lee, an assistant clinical professor in the Yale Department of Psychiatry, said that Trump’s mental health “is the elephant in the room. I think the public is really starting to catch on and widely talk about this now.” While proponents of the Goldwater rule argue that it is unethical to diagnosis a person from afar, Gartner counters that it is unethical to remain silent. “If we see something, we must say something,” he told The Diplomat. “[President Trump] enjoys inflicting pain on people, which is a very dangerous characteristic in a leader.” Jerrold Post, director of the political-psychology program at The George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs and founder of the CIA Center for the Analysis of Personality and Political Behavior, agrees with Gartner. “Serious questions have been raised about the temperament and suitability of He-WhoMust-Not-Be-Named,” Post told reporter Jane Mayer for her May 22 article “Should Psychiatrists Speak Out Against Trump?” in The New Yorker. “It seems unethical to not contribute at this perilous time.” But not everyone in the field agrees with that assessment. They say throwing out conflicting and highly charged diagnoses, possibly influenced by political prejudices, will tarnish the APA’s reputation — just as the Goldwater lawsuit did. “It was unethical and irresponsible back in 1964 to offer professional opinions on people who were not properly evaluated and it is unethical and irresponsible today,” APA President Dr. Maria A. Oquendo said in a March statement. So while pundits have denounced Trump as everything from “not well” (according to “Morning Joe” co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski) to just plain “crazy” (Keith Olbermann), the majority of psychiatrists have refrained from joining the chorus of armchair analysts for fear of violating longstanding ethical principles.

Fear of Speaking Out This fear is misplaced, according to Dyer, who as a member of the APA’s inaugural ethics committee formed in 1973, helped write the original code. The author of several books, including “Ethics and Psychiatry: Toward Professional Definition,” Dyer said in an exclusive interview that “the intention … was not so much to punish members of the APA but to educate members to be sensitive to the ethical norms and principals.” Dyer recalled that the committee believed section 7.3 was the best way to prevent “another Goldwater fiasco.” Thus, the rule was crafted in part to protect the guild, something Dyer pointed out is rooted in the second paragraph of the Hippocratic Oath that professes a commitment to medical law above all else. “There are two sides to that coin, one of which is that the interests of patients will be served by a principle of beneficence and the profession banding together to articulate principles of ethics that hold the members to common standards,” he said. “The subtler aspect to that is there may be interests in society that are at odds with the interests of the profession.” The guidance is not meant to silence

fessor of psychiatry at Tufts University Medical Center in Boston, reveal that concerns over the rule extend beyond protecting patients and the profession, but also touch on the long-standing struggle in psychiatry to overcome suspicions that it is not a real science.

Anti-Psychiatry Bias

President Trump attends the G20 Summit in Germany on July 7.

members, according to Dyer. “Section 7 says, ‘A physician shall recognize a responsibility to participate in activities contributing to the improvement of the community and the betterment of public health.’ That’s an affirmative obligation of the profession,” said Dyer, who is not currently a member of the APA’s ethics committee. He suggested there has been too much focus on the section’s “don’t” and not enough on its “do” that states “a psychiatrist may share with the public his or her expertise about psychiatric issues in general.” For example, if a psychiatrist who had not examined the president were to say Trump is a narcissist, that would be unethical because it would be what Dyer called “diagnosis from afar.” What would be ethical would be to explain in general terms how the profession understands pathological narcissism. “Then it isn’t the psychiatrist making the judgment the president is a pathological narcissist. It’s an elaboration on the term and the technical meaning of it,” he said.

Clarifying the Rule In March of this year, the APA’s ethics committee reiterated and even strengthened its stance that members have the right to make public, general statements about psychiatric diagnoses, but that is where the line is drawn. In fact, the group effectively broadened the Goldwater rule to include all

Credit: Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead

observations offered by psychiatrists, not just official diagnoses. “When a psychiatrist renders an opinion about the affect, behavior, speech, or other presentation of an individual that draws on the skills, training, expertise, and/or knowledge inherent in the practice of psychiatry, the opinion is a professional one.” Thus, even saying that someone does not have a mental illness constitutes a professional opinion and therefore violates the rule. The APA also noted that when a psychiatrist comments on a person’s mental fitness without their consent, it violates their privacy. Speculating without a firsthand examination compromises the integrity of the profession and has the potential to stigmatize those with mental illness, it said. The group did tell members that they are not precluded from profiling historical figures “aimed at enhancing public and governmental understanding of these individuals.” So far, however, public discussion by APA members has focused less on historical analysis and more on whether the rule-thatisn’t-a-rule should be scrapped, modified or adhered to impeccably. In May, during the association’s annual meeting, a standing room-only gathering of psychiatrists from across the nation listened as an expert panel debated the Goldwater rule. Their collective arguments, as detailed in an account written by one of the symposium’s organizers, Dr. Nassir Ghaemi, a pro-

Rep. Tim Murphy (R.-Penn.), himself a clinical psychologist, often cited a pervasive “anti-psychiatry” bias in federal policy that drove him to push for more government support of mental health services and evidence-based treatments. He also called for the creation of the nation’s first-ever Cabinet position of a clinically trained professional to oversee mental health care delivery. His efforts were based in part on a 2014 House report that he said showed that “those most in need of treatment — patients with serious mental illnesses such as persistent schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depression — are the least likely to get the acute medical help they desperately need.” Many of Murphy’s recommendations — including an assistant secretary position for mental health and substance abuse — were incorporated into the bipartisan 21st Century Cures Act of 2016, which increased resources for mental health patients and enacted a raft of reforms. But a furor erupted when President Trump chose psychiatrist Dr. Elinore McCance-Katz as the new mental health czar, bypassing Murphy’s own pick, widely reported to be Dr. Michael Welner, a forensic psychiatrist. Murphy expressed his outrage in a statement accusing McCance-Katz (who has yet to be confirmed by the Senate) of having a history of defending what he called pseudoscientific “anti-medical” approaches to care. Although the APA did not actively oppose Welner, it did endorse McCance-Katz, citing her training as an addictions specialist as welcome during a time when the opioid crisis rages across the U.S. The acrimony points to how historically, the way psychiatrists define, diagnose and treat mental illness has, at times, led some in medicine to hold psychiatry at arm’s length. In 2013, just prior to the release of the APA’s fifth edition of its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Diagnosis (DSM-5), Dr. Thomas Insel, a psychiatrist who directed the National Institute of Mental Health, wrote a scathing rebuke of the field manual, often considered the Bible of psychiatry. He called it simply a “dictionary” and derided its over-reliance on unproven symptom clusters that have no basis in biology. Other critics of the field often touch on psychiatry’s extensive relationship with the pharmaceutical industry, which some believe has led to overmedicating the human condition to swell the ranks of those who take pills. Gary Greenberg, a Connecticutbased psychotherapist and prominent author of “The Book of Woe: The DSM and the Unmaking of Psychiatry,” criticizes the APA for claiming “the naming rights to psychological pain” for the sake of profit. At the heart of the debate lie the subjective, contentious and ever-changing definitions of mental illnesses ranging from depression to bipolar disorder. Psychiatrists themselves have come under fire for their personal biases. During the debate at APA’s annual meeting, Dr. Paul Appelbaum, a psychiatry professor at Columbia University, reportedly said that after 40 years in the field, he’d consistently observed that a psychiatrist’s views of a presidential candidate “without exception” mirror that psychiatrist’s political leanings. See t r u mp • page 45


WD | Global Vantage Point

Down the Drain Op-ed: America’s Great Waterways Would Become Less Great Under Trump by Karin Zeitvogel


he watershed of the Chesapeake Bay, right outside Washington, D.C., is the largest estuary in North America and is home to nearly 18 million people and over 3,600 species of animals and plants. The 6 quadrillion gallons (that’s six with 15 zeroes after it) in the Great Lakes — Superior, Huron, Michigan, Ontario and Erie — form the largest group of freshwater lakes on earth and are a shipping lifeline that also provide food, water and a living to more than 30 million people living in the lakes’ basin. And smaller lakes and rivers like Lake Cumberland in Kentucky have long been popular fishing holes and summer watering places for millions of people every year. There’s water, water everywhere in the U.S., but environmentalists say Republicans are washing away years of progress with bad policies. America’s waterways are under threat from funding cuts, deregulation and science-deniers, including President Donald Trump. Usually, in times of a Republican super-majority, the aim of many government exercises is to save money and appease those citizens who think the government should stay out of their business — even if that means making their lives less pleasant and easy. That cycle is beginning to play out at the local level in conservative strongholds like Kentucky, Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s home state. Take Kentucky’s Pulaski County. Trash pickup is not mandated in the county, meaning people don’t pay for it in their taxes. That might not seem like a bad thing or a big deal until you know that a percentage of county residents don’t even pay for private rubbish collection, but instead throw their trash in Lake Cumberland or dump it along the roadside or in the rolling hills nearby, according to local reports. “I’m seeing oil cans, pop bottles, coolers, there’s an antifreeze bottle,” Randy Adams, who has spent many a summer on the shores of the lake since his family acquired a home there in 1972, told WKYT TV’s Miranda Combs for a recent report. “If they could put their trash in a trash can and take it to the curb, it would be easier than finding a place to dump it on a hillside or a creek or a river.” A senior judge in Pulaski County said that around a third of residents dump their rubbish wherever they please; twice as many pay for private trash pickup. If the county government were to mandate rubbish collection for all, and maybe pay for it with a small local tax, “I think it would definitely help the trash problem,” Steve Kelley, the 22 | THE WASHINGTON DIPLOMAT | August 2017

Photo: Will Parson / Chesapeake Bay Program with aerial support by LightHawk

The Bird River flows into the Gunpowder River in Baltimore County, Md., on June 27, 2016 — part of the extensive system of waterways that make up the Chesapeake Bay, the largest estuary in North America. The 26-square-mile Bird River watershed received Baltimore County’s first comprehensive watershed plan in 1995 to address water-quality issues.

The erosion of environmental programs in Trump’s proposed budget threatens to undo decades of local, state and federal collaboration to preserve the nation’s myriad rivers, lakes, estuaries, creeks, mountain streams and other vital waterways.

county’s judge executive, told WKYT. That would help Randy Adams to rediscover the Lake Cumberland he enjoyed in his youth. But it’s unlikely to happen because, according to the judge, this part of Kentucky is conservative and people “don’t want government telling them they have to do this, or they have to do that.” Indeed, God forbid that the fish you just caught in Lake Cumberland and are about to fry should be ruined by some federal agency telling you that it’s tainted with mercury, or God forbid that your kid should be prevented from swimming in a lake brimming with E. coli by some government warning. The only thing worse than either scenario would be how sick you’d become from eating mercury-laced fish or the diarrhea your kid would get from exposure to E. coli.

Zeroing Out Waterways Neither the pollution nor its conse-

quences are inevitable, but when there’s a sustained attack against the environment, both become increasingly likely. The first whiff that the attacks on our waterways were about to be stepped up, after years of fruitful efforts to improve the state of bays, lakes, rivers and other bodies of water, came in March, when the White House released its budget proposal for the 2018 fiscal year. The environment, science and diplomacy all took a huge hit. Several environmental programs, including those concerned with waterways, were summarily axed or had their funding slashed. Programs that have helped restore places like the Great Lakes and Chesapeake Bay, making them swimable, productive destinations that teem with aquatic life, were zeroed out — a uniquely American term that applies to federal and other budgets. An updated draft budget, made public in May, maintained the pledge to defund these waterway programs (totaling over $400 million in cuts), ignoring criticism from

the public and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. Many of these programs — including in the Great Lakes, Chesapeake Bay and Puget Sound in Oregon — appear to have been doomed because they fell under the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The Trump administration is the bane of the EPA’s existence. Trump-appointed EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt sued the agency 14 times when he was attorney general of Oklahoma, to block air and water protection rules. In Trump’s draft budget for 2018, the arc of the axe is swung widest over the EPA, where the administration proposes chopping the budget by more than 31 percent — the biggest cut to any government agency (in second place is the State Department — also see “Critics Say Trump’s ‘Skinny’ Budget Starves U.S. Diplomacy, Aid at Time of Heightened Need” in the May 2017 issue). “The Administration is committed to creating a leaner, more accountable, less intrusive, and more effective Government,” a summary of the EPA’s budget says. “The FY 2018 budget eliminates programs that are duplicative or those that can be absorbed into other programs or are state and local responsibilities.” The rationale for zeroing out the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and similar initiatives is that “state and local groups are engaged and capable of taking on management of cleanup and res-

toration of these water bodies.” But lawmakers from the affected states railed against the cuts, calling them nonsensical and counterproductive. Democratic Sen. Gary Peters of Michigan said he was “extremely concerned that President Trump’s budget proposal makes significant cuts to critical programs that boost Michigan’s working families, support economic development in Michigan’s urban and rural communities and protect the Great Lakes, which are vital to some of our state’s largest industries.” “Rather than investing in policies that promote manufacturing, support small businesses, strengthen education and drive our economy forward, President Trump’s budget only offers counterproductive cuts that would stifle Michigan’s economic growth and strain the pocketbooks of Michigan families,” Peters said in a statement. “While Congress has a responsibility to ensure taxpayer dollars are being used efficiently and effectively, any budget passed by Congress must address the needs of middle-class families, seniors and small businesses.” Democratic Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin lamented that the cuts could undo years of efforts to clean up the Chesapeake Bay that have brought about positive change. “The Chesapeake Bay Program and related efforts are delivering encouraging results throughout the watershed and have built tremendous momentum moving forward, yet President Trump still targeted them for elimination,” Cardin said in a statement released in April. “Pulling the federal government out of this effective regional partnership makes absolutely no sense to anyone who cares about a healthy economy or a healthy environment.… President Trump’s plan to erase the blueprint for cooperation shows a fundamental failure to understand how restoration of this magnitude best gets done and how the federal government is an essential lynchpin in that effort.” Republican Congressman Rob Wittman of Virginia called the proposal to do away with the Chesapeake Bay Program “shortsighted and unacceptable.” Nine senators from both parties, representing states along the Chesapeake Bay watershed, sent a letter to colleagues on the Senate Appropriations Committee urging its members to maintain funding for more than half a dozen programs that have helped to restore the Chesapeake Bay. A similar legislative effort is underway to protect the gains made in the Great Lakes — among them, removing toxic pollutants from harbors and preventing harmful algae outbreaks — thanks to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which was started by President Obama. House appropriators recently released legislation to preserve the $300 million in funding for the program in a direct challenge to Trump. The bill still has to wind its way through both chambers of Congress but appears to enjoy bipartisan support. In addition to EPA programs, several U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) initiatives help con-

Photo: Tekila918 / Pixabay

Photo: Skeeze / Pixabay

At left, the Choptank Wetlands Preserve is seen on the Choptank River in Easton, Md., in 2010. The Choptank River a is a major tributary of the Chesapeake Bay. Lake Michigan, seen above, is part of the Great Lakes, which form the largest group of freshwater lakes on earth.

Photo: Matt Rath / Chesapeake Bay Program

trol runoff from farms that carries animal waste, ammonia, fertilizer chemicals, pesticides, toxins from farm equipment and other harmful substances into bodies of water. These, too, are threatened by budget cuts. Runoff in waterways can result in elevated levels of toxins and chemicals, which cause dead zones — waterways from which living organisms have either fled or died because pollutants have depleted their habitat of oxygen. This year, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) — which would see a 16 percent cut under Trump’s budget — predicted that the thirdlargest dead zone resides in the Gulf of Mexico, breeding ground for the best shrimp in the world. Meanwhile, the dead zone in the Chesapeake Bay is predicted to be nearly the volume of 3.2 million Olympicsize swimming pools, which is also larger than average, according to NOAA. The bay’s dead zones have added up over the years and taken their toll on this cherished waterway, which stretches 200 miles from Havre de Grace, Md., to Virginia Beach. Unregulated overharvesting and waste dumping as well as climate change have also helped to decimate fish populations and entire industries built around them. According to the Chesapeake Bay

Program, although it still produces about 500 million pounds of seafood per year, the bay’s fishing industry used to harvest tens of millions of bushels of oysters. Today, harvests have fallen to less than 1 percent of historic levels.

Blast from the Past Today, most Americans take for granted that dipping a toe in the river running through their town or going for a swim at the beach does not pose a health hazard. But that hasn’t always been the case and, as the story of Lake Cumberland shows, is still not always the case. In 1969, the dangers lurking in America’s waterways vividly came to light when oil-slicked debris and litter on the Cuyahoga River caused it to catch fire as it flowed through Cleveland, Ohio. Although this was not the first time the river had burned, the blaze caught the attention of the media and the public, leading to changes in the way the government viewed its precious water resources. The fire on the water has been credited with, among other things, prodding Congress to create the EPA in 1970 and pass the Clean Water Act in 1972. A few years before the Cuyahoga fire, President Lyndon B. Johnson had signed the Water Quality Act of

1965. In a speech to mark the occasion, Johnson declared that the new law was a sign that Americans refuse “to be strangled by the wastes of civilization.” The president recalled how George Washington used to stand on his lawn at Mount Vernon and look at the Potomac River, which “was clean and sweet and pure,” and how Theodore Roosevelt used to go swimming in that same river. “But today the Potomac is a river of decaying sewage and rotten algae. Today all the swimmers are gone,” he said. Things have improved markedly since the Cuyahoga caught fire and the Potomac was replete with sewage and rotten algae. Today, kayakers, paddle-boarders and canoeists turn the Potomac into a recreational superhighway on sunny weekends — and users no longer fear for their lives if they fall in. But the erosion of environmental programs in Trump’s proposed budget threatens to undo decades of local, state and federal collaboration to preserve the nation’s myriad rivers, lakes, estuaries, creeks, mountain streams and other vital waterways. These waterways are home to fragile ecosystems in which one disruption throws off the entire chain. Likewise, the creatures and plants living in these waterways have a delicate, symbiotic relationship with the millions of people who rely on those waterways. A dirtier Chesapeake Bay would further deplete stocks of crabs and oysters, for example, leading to more expensive Maryland crab cakes, or none whatsoever, and lost jobs for the state’s fishermen. Unhealthy bodies of water also directly impact the health of the humans

who live on their banks. An EPA study from the late 1990s found that using chlorine to disinfect water and make it drinkable can produce chemical byproducts that have been shown to be carcinogenic in laboratory animals. The EPA has awarded about $10 million in grants to states and territories since 2001 to develop and implement monitoring and notification programs for the quality of beach water in coastal and Great Lakes recreation waters. And EPA funds have allowed state officials to check for things like fecal matter and E. coli bacteria in the waters that families plunge into on a hot summer day. Any reverberations can be felt far and wide. The Chesapeake Bay, for example, which was formed about 10,000 years ago when glaciers melted and flooded the Susquehanna River valley, boasts roughly 8,000 miles of shoreline that are part of a much larger ecosystem. When adding its tidal tributaries, the bay actually consists of 11,684 miles of shoreline — more than the entire American West Coast. In fact, the bay has the largest land-to-water ratio (14 to 1) of any coastal water body in the world, which is why our actions on land have such a big impact on the water’s health. This reliance will only continue to grow. Each year, about 150,000 new people move into the Chesapeake Bay watershed, already home to 18 million people. The Chesapeake Bay is also arguably the world’s most studied body of water. Government cleanup efforts began in 1983 when it became apparent that the bay’s food chain was in serious danger. It was slow going, with massive fish kills common throughout the 1990s and 2000s, although in recent years, the efforts were making tentative but measurable progress. At a time when decades of research and work are finally bearing fruit, the Chesapeake Bay cannot afford a year — or several — without federal funding, Marel King, the Pennsylvania director of the Chesapeake Bay Commission, told the York Dispatch. “It takes money and it takes knowledgeable boots on the ground to get the work done,” King told the paper. “We are really concerned about the loss of that scientific information, data-gathering and coordination of the research and information-sharing because good policy doesn’t happen without good information.” WD Karin Zeitvogel (@Zeitvogel) is a contributing writer for The Washington Diplomat.


WD | Events

Ethiopia Today At AIS, Girma Birru Talks About State of Emergency, Economy, Famines and U.S. Ties by Larry Luxner


thiopia, once synonymous with poverty and famine, is still desperately poor. Yet it boasts one of the fastest-growing economies in Africa, with GDP expanding by 8 to 10 percent a year for most of the last decade. Foreign investors have been taking note of what already ranks as the continent’s second-most populous nation after Nigeria. By 2050, if current growth rates continue, Ethiopia will rank ninth in the world, with nearly 170 million people. Even so, the country struggles with social and political unrest. A deeply controversial state of emergency imposed after violent ethnic protests last year is now entering its 11th month with no end in sight. Human rights groups such as Amnesty International say nearly 700 people have died and 26,000 have been arrested — figures the government does not dispute. “We’re not asking for excuses. This state of emergency has worked, and now we have peace and tranquility,” said Girma Birru, Ethiopia’s ambassador to the United States. “The moment we make sure peace and security is in place, we will lift it.” Birru, speaking at his embassy on June 27 for The Washington Diplomat’s latest Ambassador Insider Series (AIS), conceded that the current status isn’t exactly a source of pride for his government. But he said the measures were a necessary reaction to the wave of protests and rioting by the Oromo people, the country’s largest ethnic group, who complain of economic marginalization and displacement by the government to make room for the country’s rapid development. “We’re not telling the world that having a state of emergency is something good,” he said. “We were forced to do this after a situation in which violent protesters tried to tear down investments [including foreign-owned factories]. They broke into jails and released prisoners, burned courts and put the stability of the country at stake. The only thing the government could do was put in place a state of emergency, as other countries have done.” The state of emergency successfully quelled the violence but significantly expanded the powers of security forces while curtailing freedom of assembly and other rights. Asked where the violence originated, Birru said it stems from a combination of ethnic strife and frustration by young people who lack jobs and education. “The unemployment rate is so high, and the government has admitted a lack of good governance. After consultations, we have agreed to address these problems,” he said. “But some of them are structural in nature. You cannot address them overnight.” Birru has been Ethiopia’s top diplomat here for the last six and a half years. Before coming to Washington, he was Ethiopia’s minister of trade and industry for nine years, and minister of economic development and cooperation for six years before that. An economist by profession, Birru has held senior positions at the World Bank, the African Development Bank and various other institutions. “Our relations with the United States are at a very good stage, and growing all the time,” Birru explained. “We have many areas of cooperation. On peace and security, we fully see eye to eye, and we’ve worked with the U.S. very well on this. On trade and investment, the U.S. has supported us as well. “The third major area of cooperation is in democracy, human rights and good governance. On this we have the same goal — but on how we reach there, on what instruments we use, we sometimes have differences. At least we have agreed to sit down and talk and iron out our differences, cooperating on the things where we can work together in the short run and postponing differences so we can come back to them later.” Some 150 people attended the June 27 event, which marked The Diplomat’s seventh Ambassador Insider Series since the program’s inception — and the first with any African ambassador. When it comes to firsts, in fact, Ethiopia is in many ways unique. For instance, an ancient jawbone fragment discovered two years ago in Ethiopia’s Afar region is the oldest known pre-historic hu-


The Washington Diplomat news editor Larry Luxner, right, interviews Ambassador of Ethiopia Girma Birru.

The Washington Diplomat managing editor Anna Gawel, news editor Larry Luxner, publisher Victor Shiblie, Ambassador of Ethiopia Girma Birru, Ambassador of Nicaragua Francisco Obadiah Campbell Hooker and former Ambassador of Trinidad and Tobago Neil Parsan.

Bian Li of the Hungry Lab, Marcelo Magnou of the Embassy of Uruguay and BBC State Department correspondent Barbara Plett Usher.

Ambassador of Ethiopia Girma Birru. The Washington Diplomat news editor Larry Luxner. Chief tourism and investment specialist Luis S. Chang and Analía Díaz, both of the Peru Trade, Tourism and Investment Office, and Sam Dib of Aquicore.

Barbara Plett Usher of BBC asks a question.

Daniel Huang of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office and Leila Beale of Hollywood Real Estate.

Deputy Chief of Protocol Rosemarie Pauli and her husband Dr. William Sadler.

Nearly 150 people attended.

man fossil, dating back about 2.8 million years. Later on, Ethiopians began brewing what the world would eventually come to know as coffee. Except for a few brief years under Italian occupation before World War II, Ethiopia is the only one of Africa’s 54 countries that was never colonized. It was the first and only headquarters of the Organization of African Unity — now the African Union — and on July 1, Ethiopia’s own Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus took office as the first African ever to head the World Health The Washington Diplomat managing editor Anna Organization (WHO). “Ethiopia contributes the biggest peacekeeping force in Africa. Gawel, publisher Victor Shiblie, Ambassador of Girma Birru and Ambassador of Belgium We host about 850,000 refugees — which is the most in Africa Ethiopia Dirk Wouters. and the fifth-largest refugee population in the world,” the ambassador pointed out. “We’re trying to play an exemplary role, doing our best to represent African countries at the G20, and the fact that an Ethiopian is now director of the WHO shows what Africans can do when they put their heads together.” Among other things, Ethiopia now boasts the Hawassa Industrial Park — the largest of its kind in Africa — with companies investing in the venture from China, India, Belgium, France, Indonesia, Hong Kong and Sri Lanka. In telecommunications, Ethiopia’s growth has been nothing short of phenomenal. Today, 48 percent of the nation’s inhabitants has mobile phone access, and by 2020, the government expects to have 103 million mobile subscribers and 56 milMiss District of Columbia 2017 Briana Kinsey and The Washington lion internet users. Diplomat publisher Victor Shiblie. Birru thanked the Ethiopian diaspora community for reinvesting in their homeland, especially the estimated 250,000 Ethiopians living in Washington, D.C., and suburban Maryland and Virginia, which is home to the largest concentration of Ethiopians outside the country. “Ethiopians here love their country very much, even those who have differences with the government now in office. We appreciate that and try to assist them in connecting to their country of origin,” said Birru, noting that they send billions of dollars home each year in the form of remittances. “In addition, over 250 medical doctors here have put their resources together and pooled their money to build a big hospital in Addis Ababa to American standards.” Last year, growth began slowing, although Ethi- Ambassador of Ethiopia Girma Birru is interviewed by news editor Larry Luxner. opia — which, unlike Nigeria is not an oil exporter

Tara Compton Parsan, former Ambassador Neil Parsan of the World Bank and embassy liaison Jan Du Plain.

Brileigh Pinkney of Foxcroft School, Rasanjali Wickrema of Higher Educator Navigator and Jane Pearlman of Cort Furniture Rental. Sharon Paz and Gabe Gough of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

See AIS • page 26

Aldo Rodriquez of AKA White House, Colleen Stanley of Ampeer Residences and Laura Kintzer of Ampeer Residences.

Lisbeth May and Tony Culley-Foster, president and CEO of the World Affairs Council-DC.

The Washington Diplomat operations director Fuad Shiblie and account manager Rod Carrasco. THE WASHINGTON DIPLOMAT | August 2017 | 25

AIS Continued • page 25

— still remains one of sub-Sahara Africa’s bright spots. Yet Americans know very little about Ethiopia, a situation Birru says is only made worse by poor coverage of Africa by U.S. news outlets. “I don’t think the American media has been mean to Ethiopia in particular. The problem is that maybe they don’t pay sufficient attention to Africa as a whole,” he explained. “Some very important media outlets here in the U.S. have only one correspondent in all of Africa, and they keep that correspondent in one good city. I don’t want to criticize the media, but in general, if they want to write about Africa, they have to be physically there and live with the people and understand their situation.” Today, one of Ethiopia’s most pressing problems is its severe food shortage, bringing back memories of the horrible famines that devastated the country back in the 1980s. According to Oxfam International, 5.6 million Ethiopians face severe hunger as a result of droughts caused by El Niño and climate change. Another 9.2 million people lack access to safe drinking water, and some 300,000 children will become severely malnourished this year. Along with nearby Somalia, Kenya and Yemen, the entire Horn of Africa and its environs are now enduring their most catastrophic famine in decades, although the international community remains preoccupied with crises in the Middle East. Still, Birru said that because of the famines of the 1980s, the government today is better mobilized for food shortages, having built an extensive network of humanitarian aid programs, food shipments and early warning systems, along with roads, clinics and other services. Security is another ongoing regional concern. The al-Shabaab terrorist group has murdered Ethiopian troops in Somalia, and observers worry that the Islamic State — having been dislodged from its strongholds and sensing a vacuum — is making serious inroads in the Horn of Africa. “It’s our priority to not allow al-Shabaab to expand outside the area,” Birru said in response to a question about terrorism in East Africa. “In my opinion, al-Shabaab is now in a defensive position. But it will not be destroyed only by military means. We are working with Somalia, the United States and other partners to be able to provide basic services to the people of Somalia. It’s this that will stop al-Shabaab from expanding.” Meanwhile, Birru said that despite Ethiopia’s deep association with Christianity, 40 percent of its inhabitants profess Islam — and that his country is home to more Muslims than Saudi Arabia. In fact, Ethiopia has the third-largest Muslim population in Africa after Egypt and Nigeria. “It’s a place where Muslims live with their Christian neighbors, and where intermarriage and tolerance has existed from day one,” he said. “In my own family, my mother’s side is Muslim, and my father’s side is Christian. We all live together in peace.” In July 2015, President Obama became the first American head of state ever to visit Ethiopia — a trip observers considered of enormous political significance. We asked Birru whether those close bilateral ties would continue under Donald Trump. “President [George W.] Bush introduced very important health programs during his presidency, and President Obama built on them,” he replied. “Our expectation is that the president now in office will build on what earlier presidents have done. There is no reason to suspect otherwise.” WD

Santiago Busa of the State Department and Robert Hoffman of Invariant.

Samuel Demisse and Ambassador of Nicaragua Francisco Obadiah Campbell Hooker.

Jason McNatt and his wife Ursula McNamara of Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants. MinisterCounselor at the Ethiopian Embassy Elias Melaku Feleke and Mandi Solomon of the Community Preservation and Development Corp.

Santiago Busa of the State Department asks a question.

Ambassador of Malta Pierre Clive Agius and Leila Beale, wife of the former ambassador of Barbados.

Charles Kovatch of the Environmental Protection Agency and Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Small Business Christina Sevilla.

Larry Luxner is news editor of The Washington Diplomat. Richard Levick, founder and CEO of LEVICK, and Heather Louise Finch.

Ethiopian jewelry on display. Ray Friday of the U.N. Federal Credit Union and A.J. Peretz of Georgetown Smile. Louis Brownstone and Caroline Brownstone of International Management and Marketing Associates and attorney Gary Maslan.


David Hawk of the Embassy Suites at the Chevy Chase Pavilion and event planner Daniela Paoli.

Medical A Special Section of The Washington Diplomat

August 2017

Credit: DoD photo by Staff Sgt. Dustin Payne, U.S. Air Force

Tough Opponent Senator McCain Faces Aggressive Brain Cancer Foe in Glioblastoma •

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) speaks to a group of soldiers before re-enlisting them during an Independence Day celebration in Kabul, Afghanistan, on July 4, 2013. The longtime senator was recently diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer known as glioblastoma.

by Dennis Thompson

The median survival for glioblastoma patients is about 15 months, oncologists say


en. John McCain (R-Ariz.) faces an uphill battle fighting the aggressive cancer discovered in his brain last month, experts say. The cancer, glioblastoma, is the most common malignant tumor that originates in brain cells, as opposed to cancers that spread to the brain from elsewhere in the body, said Dr. Manmeet Ahluwalia, dean of the Cleveland Clinic’s Rose Ella Burkhardt Brain Tumor and Neuro-Oncology Center.

But it’s a very tough cancer to treat. Glioblastoma is difficult to surgically remove, resists attempts to kill it with radiation and chemotherapy, and nearly always comes back, cancer experts said. “The tumor many times responds to treatment initially but it tends to grow back,” said Dr. Kurt Jaeckle, a neuro-oncologist and co-director of the Gerald J. Glasser Brain Tumor Center at Overlook Medical Center’s Atlantic Neuroscience Institute in New Jersey. “It’s not unusual to have to treat it again.” It’s the same type of cancer that killed Sen. Ted Kennedy at age 77 in 2009. McCain, 80, underwent a procedure on July 14 to remove a blood clot from his brain just above his left

eye. The following Wednesday, his office reported that the blood clot was associated with glioblastoma. Until last year there was no medical evidence that people older than 70 benefited from the standard treatment for glioblastoma, said Dr. J. Leonard Lichtenfeld, deputy chief medical officer for the American Cancer Society. But a study presented in June 2016 at the American Society for Clinical Oncology’s (ASCO) annual meeting was the first to show that people over 70 in otherwise good health could benefit from aggressive treatment, Lichtenfeld said. See C an cer • page 28 THE WASHINGTON DIPLOMAT | august 2017 | 27

Cancer CONTINUED • page 27

“Sen. McCain is obviously a very active gentleman and has outstanding functional capacity for someone of his age,” Lichtenfeld said. “I suspect his family and care team are going to strongly consider treatment. Other individuals may choose not to do that.” Glioblastoma arises in the supportive tissue of the brain and typically is highly malignant, with finger-like tentacles that reach deep into the brain, according to the American Brain Tumor Association (ABTA). Glioblastoma represents about 15 percent of all primary brain tumors, with an estimated 12,390 new U.S. cases predicted for this year, according to the ABTA. Median survival for glioblastoma patients is about 14.6 months, the association says, and about 30 percent of patients are still alive after two years. Treatment for glioblastoma tends to be a holding action, rather than something that completely cures the patient, said Dr. Brian Alexander, a leading radiation oncologist at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. “Generally it’s one of the toughest problems we have in oncology,” said Alexander, who’s also a brain cancer expert for ASCO. “Successful treatment delays a growth coming back rather than curing the tumor, in most cases. We do know of patients who are years out after treatment that haven’t had a recurrence of their tumor, but that’s more of an exception than the rule.” The first challenge of treating glioblastoma is to surgically remove as much of the cancer as

Generally it’s one of the toughest problems we have in oncology…. Successful treatment delays a growth coming back rather than curing the tumor, in most cases. Dr. brian aLeXanDer

radiation oncologist at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston

possible from the brain, Ahluwalia said. Brain surgeons have gotten better at clearing out tumors thanks to real-time MRI scans that they can consult during an operation, he added. “The surgeon can check with the MRI how much tumor is left behind,” Ahluwalia said. “The hope is to get the greatest amount of tumor out without hurting the patient.” Unfortunately, glioblastoma tends to aggressively infiltrate the brain, and even successful surgery will likely leave behind some cancerous brain cells, Alexander said. “Even if you treat everything you can see with surgery, there are still cells that are infiltrating the normal brain, so you can’t just take it all out,” Alexander said. That means three to six weeks of follow-up treatment with radiation therapy alongside longer-term oral chemotherapy to try and kill off as many loose cancer cells as possible, Alexander said. In the past, doctors would irradiate the whole brain to try and kill stray tumor cells, but cancers would still recur near the original site, Alexander said. Standard therapy now calls for targeted radiation aimed at the area around tumor location. Glioblastoma also resists attempts to kill it through chemotherapy, in part because stan-

phoTo: isToCK / KTsimage

dard chemotherapies generally are designed to not get into the brain, Alexander said. “Most of the time you don’t want toxic therapies getting into the brain,” he said. “That’s been a challenge over the years, in terms of developing the right kinds of drugs for this tumor.” Glioblastoma also tends LeArn MOre: for more to contain a lot of differon glioblastoma, visit the ent kinds of tumor cells within it, which makes american brain Tumor finding the right chemoassociation at therapy even more difficult, Alexander added. “If you treat with one specific therapy, it may just evolve a resistance to it over time,” he said. Several clinical trials currently are under way to test the effectiveness of immunotherapy drugs in treating glioblastoma, Ahluwalia said. “The cancer is very smart,” Ahluwalia explained. “It induces a shield around it so the immune system cannot recognize the cancer cell and kill it. These drugs are taking away this shield and boosting the immune system, so the patient’s own immune system can go and kill the cancer.” WD Dennis Thompson is a HealthDay reporter. Copyright © 2017 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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Culture arts & entertainment art

diplomatic spouses



Defying Convention Avina Sarna, a practicing physician who has extensively researched issues related to HIV/ AIDS, and her husband Navtej Sarna, a veteran ambassador who dabbles in fiction writing, are a fascinating study of modernity and tradition. / PAGE 31



The Washington Diplomat





August 2017




Closed ‘States of Mind’ In “States of Mind: Photographs of Cuba and North Korea by Carl De Keyzer” at the American University Museum, scenes of everyday life offer a rare window into closed communist societies. / PAGE 33


Inuit Storyteller Influenced by the tales of Canada’s Inuit people and the landscape of Cape Dorset, artist Ningiukulu Teevee weaves together a visual story that blends abstraction with representation and tradition with modern-day struggles. / PAGE 34

Bettina von Zwehl’s “Profiles III, No. 6”


DIPLOMATIC SPOTLIGHT Heart’s Delight / ASEAN March of Dimes / PAGE 40

ART “REVIVAL” at the National Museum of Women in the Arts features compelling work by 16 female contemporary artists that veers from the beautiful to the grotesque, from biting commentary to sweet nuance, stirring emotions in viewers that ultimately are of their own making and posing more questions than answers. / PAGE 30 THE WASHINGTON DIPLOMAT | AUGUST 2017 | 29

WD | Culture | Art

‘Revival’ of Sorts NMWA Evokes Range of Emotion in Showcase of Female Contemporary Art •



(202) 783-5000 | WWW. NMWA.ORG


t the National Museum of Women in the Arts, a revival is being staged, but it isn’t clear what exactly is being revived. A group exhibition titled “REVIVAL” features compelling work by 16 female contemporary artists, including sculpture, photography and video. The collected artwork veers from the beautiful to the grotesque, from biting commentary to sweet nuance, stirring emotions in viewers that ultimately are of their own making. As a whole, the work poses more questions than answers, which is what art is all about. The exhibition is meant to conjure an oldfashioned tent revival, said Kathryn Wat, the museum’s chief curator. “Similar to a preacher, we use intensity to get us to a level of understanding about love and power and anxiety,” she said at a press preview. But in those religious rituals of bygone days, tent revivals reveled in undying faith and fiery fervor. A sweating crowd of true believers would be swept up in the ecstasy of the religious spectacle, experiencing true joy tinged with real fear of the eternal hellfire awaiting the wicked. This exhibition has only a tenuous connection to those concepts. While some work explores wider themes of life and death, only a few pieces could be considered spectacles. A more apt categorization might be the revival of interest in female contemporary artists who have largely been ignored for decades, as the Guerrilla Girls have illustrated through their ongoing critique of the male-dominated domain of most museum exhibitions. The National Museum of Women in the Arts, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary with a greater focus on contemporary female artists, obviously doesn’t suffer from that sexist problem, but it can still be difficult to unite the diverse work of many female artists under one overarching theme. The exhibition is definitely worth seeing regardless of the theme, with the work loosely divided into depictions of women, children or animals. Most of the artists have several works on display in separate areas, providing much-needed space for contemplation rather than competition. At two entrances, visitors immediately see an unnerving sculpture or a controversial video projection that trigger the most shock value, most likely not by coincidence. In the video titled “When I Grow Up I Want to Be a Cooker,” London-based artist Maria Marshall’s 2-year-old son stares nonchalantly

“REVIVAL” at the National Museum of Women in the Arts features a sprawling collection of contemporary works by female artists including, from top, Lalla Essaydi’s “Bullets Revisited #20,” Anna Gaskell’s “untitled #27 (override)” and Alison Saar’s “En Pointe.”

ahead while blowing smoke rings from a lit cigarette. The video, whose title comes from a quote by her son, immediately triggers a visceral outrage, especially if you’re a parent of young kids like myself, about how this irresponsible artist could endanger her own child in the name of art. But the video is smoke and mirrors with digital trickery used to create PHOTO: COURTESY MILLER YEZERSKI GALLERY / © LALLA ESSAYDI the smoke. In the wall text, Marshall said she was “projecting on him a future as an addict” and asking, “How does a mother calm herself and learn to let her children just be?” For convoluted reasons that aren’t worth explaining, Marshall was swept up in the insane Pizzagate conspiracy that claimed the popular Comet Ping Pong pizzeria in D.C. was also the base for a child sex ring, leading to an unhinged gunman storming the restaurant, although thankfully no one was injured. Marshall has said her work is about “fantasy and fabrication” and “not about being sensational,” which is disingenuous on some levels. On her website, she doesn’t reveal the boy in the video is her son, and she falsely claims that he “parts his lips inhaling the smoke deeply into his lungs.” PHOTO: NATIONAL MUSEUM OF WOMEN IN THE ARTS / © ANNA GASKELL Deborah Paauwe offers a subtler examination of adolescence in sensual chromogenic prints of young women whose faces are hidden or seen only in profile, creating uncertain story lines. In “Tangled Whisper,” the torso of a nude woman with auburn hair appears locked in a dance or tender embrace with another young woman wearing a white brocaded dress. In “Tender Locks,” their backs are shown while they tug gently on each other’s hair. It’s difficult to gauge their age, and their images seem both innocent and titillating at the same time. Are they childhood friends or budding lovers? What does it say about the viewer if you pick one over the other? Alison Saar’s sculptures fill an entire gallery and offer the most pointed commentary on race and gender in the exhibition. “En Pointe” is an imposing bronze sculpture of a nude woman suspended upside down by a rope wrapped around her ankles that is attached to the ceiling with a pulley. The immediate electric impulse it triggers is the bloody history of lynchings of innocent African Americans in the South in yet another sordid chapter of America’s long, tragic history of racism, rage and dehumanization. Saar, who calls these sculptures “inverted lynchings,” has said that being raised by a black mother (famed artist Betye Saar) and white father played into her feelings of “never belonging PHOTO: COURTESY OF THE ARTIST AND L.A. LOUVER, VENICE, CA / © ALISON SAAR / ROBERT WEDEMEYER



Diplomatic Spouses | Culture | WD

Diplomatic Dichotomy From HIV/AIDS Research to Fiction Writing, Indian Couple Defies Convention •



vina Sarna, wife of Indian Ambassador Navtej Sarna and a mother of two, is a fascinating dichotomy of modernity and tradition. A medical doctor by training who has published extensively on issues related to HIV/AIDS, she is currently a senior associate with the Population Council, which she joined in 2001 to lead the group’s Access to HIV Treatment global operations. As part of her work, she has documented barriers to antiretroviral treatment, studied the link between reproductive health and HIV services and led research on HIV prevention and treatment among injecting drug users and microbicide adherence among female sex workers. In other areas of her life, Sarna is what many Americans would consider to be old-fashioned. She is proud of her arranged marriage to her husband and unabashedly prods her own children to get married and have babies while they’re still young, while at the same time supporting their high-powered legal careers. Likewise, her husband is a somewhat unconventional diplomat. A seasoned envoy who has served in high-level postings — among them, as India’s high commissioner to the U.K. and ambassador to Israel — Navtej Sarna is also a noted author who has dabbled in fiction writing, including his first novel, “We Weren’t Lovers Like That.” The 2003 novel follows the life of a 40-year-old man whose wife leaves him for another man, forcing him to contemplate reclaiming a long-lost love and missed opportunities. Amid postings to places such as Moscow and Tehran, Navtej wrote novels and short stories such as “Savage Harvest,” “Indians at Herod’s Gate” and “Second Thoughts: On Books, Authors and the Writerly Life.” Meanwhile, his wife continued practicing medicine, working as a physician in India, Poland, Switzerland and the United States. “It’s been a charmed life,” Avina told us. “You have to have an open mind for all the experiences in diplomatic life. One of my favorite sayings is, ‘Those who were there, will know what I mean, and those who weren’t there won’t understand.’” Avina has used that open mind to adapt to each place where they were posted. “In Iran, I had to learn Farsi and wear a hijab [headscarf]. It really set me free; I traveled all over the country. It was great. In Poland, Chernobyl [the 1986 nuclear disaster] happened. There was an abundance of fruit but we couldn’t even taste it. It was contaminated. The whole summer, there was fruit rotting by the street. When we were posted in Geneva, I learned to speak French well enough to see patients in French.” And in Thimphu, Bhutan, she ran the maternal, child health and family planning center. She has also conducted research on nutrition in Iran and on high-dose folic acid therapy for hemodialysis patients in the United States. “My [medical] work is exciting and difficult to give up. We’re working on the first national study of 133,000 adolescents and young women and their nutrition,” she said. When the Sarnas were posted to D.C. from 1998 to 2002, she received her master’s degree from the George Washington, where she studied reproductive health, gender issues, family planning and HIV. “It was a Rockefeller DR. AVINA SARNA program. I worked parttime, two days a week and wife of Indian Ambassador Navtej Sarna headed the office,” said Avina, who also earned a Ph.D. from Ghent University in Belgium. While Avina’s career has tackled progressive issues such as HIV prevention among female sex workers, her personal life has been underpinned by traditional beliefs. “We had an arranged marriage. We agreed and our parents thought it was good. We were engaged within the week,” said Avina. She recalled her future husband, who was in the Foreign Service at the time, telling her: “Only say yes if you agree to two things: You will never go to work and you will never be rich.” Fortunately, Avina said the diplomatic rules changed over time “for noble professions” such as medicine and teaching and she was allowed to continue working throughout her husband’s postings.

It’s been a charmed life…. You have to have an open mind for all the experiences in diplomatic life.


Avina Sarna and her husband, Indian Ambassador Navtej Sarna, host a reception for U.S. governors at their residence. A doctor by training, Avina Sarna is currently a senior associate with the Population Council.

“I was already an MD and I worked all my life. We may not be rich, but we are very rich in experiences,” she said. “We fell in love during the year-and-ahalf engagement and sorted everything out. Any other way [than an arranged marriage] would have never worked for me. I couldn’t have gotten a better husband if I scoured the earth. “We are Sikhs. It is a relatively young religion that came out of Hinduism as a reformist movement,” she continued. “The men wear turbans because we are not allowed to cut our hair, ever. Sikhs are known for their military prowess and have fought in Europe and the Middle East in both World Wars,” she noted. As Avina continued to practice medicine and her husband moved up the diplomatic ranks, eventually becoming spokesman of the Ministry of External Affairs, they also had a family. Today, their two grown children, a son and daughter, both live in New Delhi. “Satyajit, whose name means ‘the truth will always win,’ is 32 and a lawyer. Our 26-year-daughter Nooreen, whose name means ‘radiant,’ is a lawyer too, working for a Supreme Court judge who is an ex-minister. I always say, ‘Don’t mess with me. I have two children who are lawyers!’” she joked. “They live in our family house in Delhi. That is the usual arrangement. Living on different floors, they can have independence and yet the family can be close.” Avina isn’t shy about pushing both children to settle down. “I’m keeping my eyes open; I’m looking for Indians,” she said. “Their minds are closed to anyone we suggest. They will miss good opportunities…. Our son has been hanging around through school with 25 to 30 bachelor mates. Almost all of SEE DIPLOMATIC SPOUSES • PAGE 32 THE WASHINGTON DIPLOMAT | AUGUST 2017 | 31

it was some new mutant species. The conspiracy-busting website Snopes even investigated the rumor to debunk it. In the largest installation in the exhiCONTINUED • PAGE 30 bition, Beverly Semmes’s “Blue Gowns” fills an entire gallery, with flowing sections of baby-blue chiffon lined with in either world, always being conblack crushed velvet descending from sidered some sort of other.” But she the wall and cascading across the floor said that uneasy duality also extends like three separate waterfalls. While to “seeing myself as the civilized self the materials and title obviously referand the uncivilized self, the wild self ence wedding or ball gowns, Semmes, and the controlled, contained, wella D.C. native now living in New York, behaved self.” has said the work isn’t primarily a femi“En Pointe,” a ballet term for on nist critique of the constricting layers the tips of the toes, is more difficult that women adorn to please men, other to read on closer inspection. The women or themselves, but is instead an woman’s serene expression and foldexamination of the interplay between ed arms belie her brutal treatment, the female body and the earth’s undulatand large antlers protruding from ing landscape that grounds all of us. her head evoke a mythical beast or a While female artists continue to be merging of the masculine and femiunder-recognized in a male-centric nine. field, the National Museum of Women In Saar’s recently created sculpture PHOTO: NATIONAL MUSEUM OF WOMEN IN THE ARTS / © PATRICIA PICCININI / PHOTO BY GRAHAM BARING in the Arts — itself an institution that called “Barreness,” a bronze nude woman sits on over the years has struggled for recognitwo battered trunks while a thicket of thorny tion — shows that these artists and their branches tangles upward from her belly butwork are very much alive and thriving. In ton. For centuries, a woman’s only function was fact, on the eve of its 30th anniversary, the as wife and mother. Despite their lofty station, museum announced that it received a $9 even queens could be discarded or executed if million gift from the estate of Madeleine they couldn’t bear sons to carry on the royal Rast, a longtime benefactor who herself line. The title of the sculpture, which sits upon exceeded in a male-dominated field — in her own baggage, plays on the noble title of barher case, business. Born in Zurich, Rast oness as well as the inability to bear children in moved to California as a young woman that enduring history of body politics. and became a successful management At the other entrance to the exhibition, Paauditor and savvy investor. tricia Piccinini’s eminently creepy silicone and “The achievements of women artists of fiberglass sculpture titled “The Young Family” the past have generally been overlooked stirs an intense dread that flirts with outright and ignored, yet many women persisted, horror. A mother pig has been transmogrified developing their talents and producwith human-like hands and legs and is coving magnificent works of art,” said Rast, ered with real tufts of human hair. Three piglets who died earlier this year at the age of 92. PHOTO: COURTESY OF RUBELL FAMILY COLLECTION, MIAMI nurse from her teats while a fourth has been “Today’s artist still faces the same set of abandoned, cast aside struggling on its back Patricia Piccinini’s “The Young Family,” top, and Beverly Semmes’s “Blue Gowns” problems. She needs the time and place alone. The mother creature’s eerie expression are among the startling, thought-provoking works on display in “REVIVAL.” to develop her art. She needs a responconveys both a sadness and fragility about an sive audience also capable of constructive uncertain future both for herself and her offspring. Piccinini has said the work criticism. She needs a peer group for support and collaboration. And, yes, she was inspired by our futuristic and ethically problematic attempts to genetically needs recognition for her work.” WD engineer human organs in pigs to be harvested and transplanted, turning animals into genetic freaks that exist only to provide replacement parts for humans. Brendan L. Smith ( is a contributing writer The sculpture, which was shown in 2003 at the Venice Biennale when Piccinini for The Washington Diplomat and a mixed-media artist represented Australia, is so unnerving and lifelike that internet rumors claimed ( in Washington, D.C.


Diplomatic Spouses CONTINUED • PAGE 31

them are married now. There are only three left. He’s one of them. It’s time!” But Avina said she realizes that she and her children view marriage and starting a family in a different generational light. “It’s good to have your childbearing when you are still young. Of course, women have a shorter window. You have to grab it. They think this is old fuddyduddy thinking,” she said. Despite her traditional views on marriage, Avina also stresses that the new India is a modern, enlightened global powerhouse that promotes gender equality. “We’re not really a developing country any more. Our economy is up; our GDP is going up to 8 percent. Four heads of our major banks are ladies. We offer six months of maternity leave. Ninety-six percent of our children are enrolled in school. Eighty people out of 100 have cell phones,” she said. “We are way ahead in some things. We have worldclass female athletes in cricket, wrestling, shooting. We wish everyone had an awareness of all aspects of our development.” She added: “We have many women ambassadors all over the world. In the last batch of Foreign Service recruits, almost half were women. We have had three lady foreign secretaries and our current foreign minister is a 32 | THE WASHINGTON DIPLOMAT | AUGUST 2017

lady, Sushma Swaraj. We have had a lady prime minister, Indira Gandhi, and a lady president.” As much as she’s enjoyed diplomacy, it is time for the couple to move on. Her husband will retire from the Foreign Service next year but continue writing. She plans to still work part time but in one place. “I was a military brat; every two to three years we moved again. Now, I like to be in one place. As I’m growing older, I’m scaling down,” she said. “Diplomacy can be very exciting. I love interacting with different people — it’s been a party. We’ve made such lovely friends and we stay in touch. I love going to a party and seeing all the people [and] smelling all the food. We are open to all cuisines. We have a cook and I love to cook but my husband doesn’t. I think he’s a bit spoiled — a pampered man. I’m never comfortable with men washing the dishes,” she quipped. Avina said some aspects of diplomatic life have been difficult, such as managing the household in Warsaw, Poland, with a young baby in tow, although she stresses that “you must never feel sorry for yourself, never whine.” “Life is about others, not yourself,” Avina said. “It’s about your spouse, your parents, your children, your sib-

Avina Sarna and her husband, Indian Ambassador Navtej Sarna, pose with their son Satyajit and daughter Nooreen during a trip to Egypt.

lings. We need to grow up and put ourselves last. “It’s been a great life,” she reflected. “And now we’re here enjoying Washington again.” WD Gail Scott is a contributing writer for The Washington Diplomat.

Photography | Culture | WD

Window into Communism North Korea, Cuba Photographs Offer Rare Glimpse Inside Closed Societies •


States of Mind: Photographs of Cuba and North Korea by Carl De Keyzer THROUGH AUG. 13 AMERICAN UNIVERSITY MUSEUM 4400 MASSACHUSETTS AVE., NW



elgian artist Carl De Keyzer has visited every province in North Korea through some of the most extensive access ever granted to a foreign photographer. And if anyone were to find a way to peek inside the Hermit Kingdom, it makes sense that it would be him. He photographed the Soviet Union in 1989 immediately before the fall of the Berlin Wall. He did a project on Siberian prison camps and was arrested 54 times while working in the Congo. He is drawn to rigid and unique systems. North Korea and Cuba were always on his bucket list. Now, a striking selection of images from his travels to the two countries are on display in an exhibit at the American University Museum titled “States of Mind: Photographs of Cuba and North Korea by Carl De Keyzer.” The exhibit is all the more compelling given recent events, with President Trump trying to dismantle his predecessor’s diplomatic rapprochement with Cuba, as well as North Korea’s missile provocations that have ratcheted up Pyongyang’s ability to launch a nuclear strike on the U.S. in the near future. For decades, the resilient communist governments in both nations have vexed U.S. policymakers and intrigued average Americans. De Keyzer, who belongs to the globally renowned collective Magnum Photos, doesn’t delve into the complex political dilemmas each nation poses, but rather lets his photographs of everyday life in North Korea and Cuba speak for themselves. In De Keyzer’s signature style, the images are piercing vignettes of daily life. The activity isn’t dramatic; the power is in the humanity they capture in the contrasting settings. When examining the North Korea images, it’s unclear how staged the scenes are. A group of men stand, fists raised in support of a figure hidden from view. A young girl plays an accordion. Children read textbooks in class. Everything looks polished, from the tiled walls of an indoor swimming pool to a group of youths’ crisp white uniforms. What we see feels just as telling as what we don’t see — especially in contrast to the Cuba images, which often pair tattered architecture with a sense of idleness. Compared to the sterile North Korea backdrop, everything feels warm and weathered, including the Cuban people, who seem unsure of how to move forward when they have so little. “This is not the whole truth about the DPRK or Cuba,” De Keyzer told us, referring to the official Democratic People’s Republic of Korea moniker. “This is just a version. I’m not … someone who tries to be as objective or politically correct as possible. If you look at my other books, often it’s closer to fiction than reality.” De Keyzer finagled his way into photographing one of the most restrictive countries in the world with a strong resume and a bit of luck. At first, the Koryo Group, a British-owned, Beijing-based travel company, turned down his request to visit North Korea as a photographer. But then it looked at his acclaimed work in many of the most rigidly dictatorial countries in the world and recognized that he knew the drill, De Keyzer explained. “They said, ‘Well, we have an opportunity. We have this very old website from the ’90s and we are really in need of new pictures, so would you be interested in shooting these new website pictures for us and, you know, travel

Belgian photographer Carl De Keyzer captured rare images of Cuba for his 2015 series “Cuba, la lucha,” at left and below, and of North Korea for his 2016 series “DPR Korea Grand Tour,” above and bottom photo, which are now on display at the American University Museum.


the whole country?’” he recalled. “Well, yeah. I only had to think about it for three seconds, and I said ‘yes.’” Thus commenced his four trips for a total of 60 days in North Korea. He traveled in a minivan with a driver and two guides who monitored him day and night. “Whenever you try to take a picture, they say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ … I’ve never heard the word ‘no’ so many times in my life,” he said. After the first three trips, De Keyzer presented the Koryo Group with the photos he was interested in publishing, allowing them to censor any they disapproved of. To his surprise, they accepted all but three. Cuba was easier to access and made for dramatically different subject matter than the replica of the Soviet Union he found in Asia, De Keyzer said. He began photographing the island eight months prior to North Korea, traveling the country with a university student as a guide and staying in locals’ homes. The resulting book, titled “Cuba La Lucha,” was released in July 2016. “Almost all the photographers go there because it’s such an attractive country visually,” De Keyzer told The Diplomat. “All these cars and these palm trees … and all these colors. These are things I wanted to avoid at all costs. I tried to do something different.” His forays into the lesser-known sides of Cuba and the barely-known SEE STATES • PAGE 37 THE WASHINGTON DIPLOMAT | AUGUST 2017 | 33

WD | Culture | Art

Inuit Storyteller Indigenous Canadian Artist Speaks to Tradition with Modern Twist •





nfluenced by the culture and tales of Canada’s Inuit people and the changing landscape of Cape Dorset, artist Ningiukulu Teevee weaves together a visual story that blends abstraction with representation and tradition with modern-day struggles. The Embassy of Canada partnered with the Winnipeg Art Gallery (WAG) to feature Teevee’s drawings and prints in the exhibit “Kinngait Stories.” With a total of 29 pieces that Teevee worked to create since 2005, the exhibit marks the first solo display of a Canadian Inuit artist in the United States. Inuit art tells the stories and myths of this indigenous group of people who are native to the Canadian Arctic. As a supporter of Teevee’s work, Darlene Coward Wight, curator of Inuit art at WAG, visited the artist in Cape Dorset in March 2017 for a week to witness her artistic process. Wight said she formed a personal connection with the art and with Teevee that in turn sparked the idea for the exhibition, which coincides with the 150th anniversary of Canada’s confederation (also see “‘Punctured Landscape’ Surveys Highs and Lows of 150th Anniversary of Canadian Confederation” in the July 2017 issue of The Diplomat). A video made during Wight’s excursion offers insights into Teevee’s drawings, intertwined with the artist’s backstory. Teevee’s simple but striking creations have elements of whimsical abstraction while integrating patterns found in nature, including birds such as owls and ravens. While Teevee incorporates the Inuit culture into her stories, she views them through a contemporary perspective. Despite her quiet, soft-spoken nature, Teevee boldly communicates her style through her dramatic pieces, rather than the spoken word. “There are a lot of sobering messages when you carefully look at the artwork,” Sheila Riordon, minister of political affairs for the Embassy of Canada, said. “[W]e are placing an emphasis on bringing culture, Canadian culture, to the embassy and of course bringing Inuit art as a way of exposing Americans to that part of our culture,” she said. One piece that speaks to the modern-day struggles that the Inuit people grapple with is Teevee’s large-scale work titled “No Excuse for Abuse.” Composed of graphite, colored pencil and chalk, the piece portrays the myriad daily hardships that women endure. Among the visuals we see are a woman with scars battling breast cancer, a pregnant woman smoking and drinking and a man in handcuffs arrested for abuse — scenes that also convey the universal struggles women elsewhere face. Domestic abuse is a compelling theme in some of Teevee’s works, such as her depiction of a woman fighting off a man holding her bra. The images stem from Teevee’s personal life, she said at the opening reception for her exhibition in mid-June. In her childhood, Teevee said she recalled her father hitting her mother frequently. “This was sort of unusual for Ning,” Wight said. “She usually does the more traditional stories, even though she does them in untraditional ways…. But this one really, really startled me into complete attention.” Teevee’s penchant for untraditional art is evident in works such as “Neutralizer,” which illustrates the story of a woman hoping to transform into a raven after her husband hurt her. The modern twist is seen in the raven’s foot, which is encased in a high heel. This refreshing take on Inuit tradition mixed with contemporary themes such as women’s empowerment imbues Teevee’s work with a universal appeal that resonates beyond the confines of the Canadian Arctic. Wight said that Teevee is a unique storyteller who has the ability to capture the culture of her people while also tackling the present-day issues that confront both the Inuit and society at large. WD Morgan Caplan is an editorial intern for The Washington Diplomat.



Inuit artist Ningiukulu Teevee, left, joined Darlene Coward Wight, curator of Inuit art for the Winnipeg Art Gallery, for the exhibition launch of her drawings and prints at the Canadian Embassy. The event featured the lighting of a traditional Arctic oil lamp known as the qulliq by Cape Dorset elder Annie Petaulassie.

Sculpture | Culture | WD

Shaping Time Mexican Artists Use Clay to Build Bridges with Past and Present •


Tierras Ambulantes (Clay in Transit) THROUGH AUG. 19 MEXICAN CULTURAL INSTITUTE 2829 16TH ST., NW



lay has been used by humans for millennia as a basic building block and a form of expression. In today’s fast-paced world, however, taking the time to mold a lump of clay into an intricate piece of pottery seems almost quaint. But seven artists at the Mexican Cultural Institute demonstrate how this fundamental yet versatile material can be shaped to build bridges and blend the past with the present in “Tierras Ambulantes,” or “Clay in Transit.” Produced by the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs and curated by Paloma Torres, the exhibit showcases seven Mexican sculptors (including Torres) who use clay as a vehicle to return to their deep-rooted history while crafting contemporary pieces that embody technique and time. Torres was originally drawn to the exhibit because communications these days are so immediate. “This is a technique that has to have a lot of patience,” she said. “It belongs to all of humanity, as the first material used is clay.” Torres said the exhibit represents a “return to the primary [elements] of life” and reflects the world in which we live — a world that she calls a “common planet to all humanity.” Even if people want to “build a wall,” she said, it’s still “all the same planet.” Torres, who comes from a family of architects, draws inspiration for her own clay sculptures from the beauty of human creation. “Beauty is something we need in this world — hope in life.” The slow process of sculpting clay is itself an attraction of the show. “It’s a soothing exhibition that has you walk through very primal things. It soothes your soul,” said Alberto Fierro, executive director of the Mexican Cultural Institute. Fierro, who knows some of the featured artists, mentioned Gustavo Pérez, the oldest in the exhibit, as a “master of ceramics.” Younger artist Ana Gómez portrays a mixture of states and cultures in the U.S. and Mexico, Torres noted. “[All of the art] is a reminder of what artisans have done for many centuries,” Fierro said. “Each room has a piece that I love.” While relying on ancient techniques, the artists also incorporated contemporary touches, including mixed media, conceptual installations and experimentation, to differentiate their work from traditional sculpture. The result is a striking fusion of old and new, from Gómez’s playfully global arrangement of plates, saucers and cups in “Sweet Home,” to Saúl Kaminer’s “Shaman,” a piece that looks both primordial and futuristic at the same time. The exhibition also uses an age-old material to convey modern-day messag-

Mexican sculptors use clay to build bridges between the past and present in works such as, from clockwise top left: María José Lavín’s “Territorios de piel (Skin Territories)”; Saúl Kaminer’s “Chamán (Shaman)”; Ana Gómez’s “Sweet Home”; and Paloma Torres’s “Columna vertebral Kintsugi I (Kintsugi I spinal column).”

es. In light of President Trump’s heated rhetoric on the subject of immigration, the Mexican Cultural Institute has strived to paint a more accurate portrayal of Mexican culture. While subtler than previous shows that PHOTOS: COURTESY OF THE ARTISTS directly commented on the immigrant experience, “Tierras Ambulantes” has similar political overtones. In addition to the sculptures on display, the exhibit invited Mexicans to take photographs with their favorite works of clay. The resulting installation highlights crowdsourced images and accompanying stories submitted to the curator that convey the importance of ceramics and pottery to Mexicans living in the U.S. Torres said that when you move to another country, you carry a piece of your country with you. “It’s a literal way to say this with pottery — showing the real worlds of immigrants. All of us that are here are immigrants. Since mankind exists, immigration exists.” WD Kate Oczypok (@OczyKate) is a contributing writer for The Washington Diplomat. THE WASHINGTON DIPLOMAT | AUGUST 2017 | 35

WD | Culture | Film

Cinema Listings *Unless specific times are listed, please check the theater for times. Theater locations are subject to change.

fame, glory and women. The Avalon Theatre Wed., Aug. 9, 8 p.m.



Beast Cops

Atomic Blonde

Directed by Gordon Chan and Dante Lam (Hong Kong, 1998, 110 min.) Famed for its bloody final fight scene, gritty performances and the armloads of prizes it won at the Hong Kong Film Awards, “Beast Cops” is credited with breathing new life into the cops versus triads genre (Cantonese and Mandarin). National Museum of American History Sun., Aug. 6, 1 p.m.

Kung Fu Hustle Directed by Stephen Chow (Hong Kong, 2004, 99 min.) Featuring a cast of legendary Hong Kong action stars, this film pits the ragtag denizens of a rundown slum against the dapper and ruthless Axe Gang. A nonstop series of action sequences is fueled by some of the most outrageous special effects ever devised (Cantonese and Mandarin). National Museum of American History Fri., Aug. 4, 7 p.m.

Made in Hong Kong Directed by Fruit Chan (Hong Kong, 1997, 109 min.) The first independent Hong Kong film made after the 1997 British handover to China, this “intoxicating drama about teenage alienation” (Tom Dawson, BBC) depicts a rarely seen view of the city. Far from the skyscrapers and expensive suits that populate most Hong Kong crime films, it depicts high school dropout Autumn Moon, who lives in a tenement with his single mother and collects debts for a low-level gangster. He falls for the daughter of one of his victims, and he gets even deeper into the crime world to raise money to treat her kidney disease. National Museum of American History Sun., Aug. 6, 3:30 p.m.

Czech The Wolf from Royal Vineyard Street (Vlk z Kralovskych Vinohrad) Directed by Jan Nemec (Czech Republic/Slovakia/France, 2016, 68 min.) “Our life zips by faster than our recollections of it,” said internationally celebrated Czech director Jan Němec (1936-2016). In his last film, Němec loosely adapts his collection of short, real-life stories spanning the ’60s to the present, experienced through the director’s alter ego in his direct-to-camera narratives about

Directed by David Leitch (U.S., 2017, 115 min.) An undercover MI6 agent (Charlize Theron) is sent to Berlin during the Cold War to investigate the murder of a fellow agent and recover a missing list of double agents. Angelika Mosaic Atlantic Plumbing Cinema

Baby Driver Directed by Edgar Wright (U.K./U.S., 2017, 113 min.) In this stylish, action-packed crime drama, a talented young getaway driver relies on the beat of his personal soundtrack to be the best in the game. When he meets the girl of his dreams, Baby sees a chance to ditch his criminal life and make a clean getaway. But after being coerced into working for a crime boss, he must face the music when a doomed heist threatens his life, love and freedom. Angelika Mosaic Atlantic Plumbing Cinema

Beatriz at Dinner Directed by Miguel Arteta (U.S., 2017, 83 min.) At an elegant dinner party, conversation between Beatriz (Salma Hayek), a self-effacing and spiritual immigrant from Mexico, and a hardnosed businessman explodes into a bitter clash of cultures. West End Cinema

The Beguiled Directed by Sofia Coppola (U.S., 2017, 94 min.) At a girls’ school in Virginia during the Civil War, where the young women have been sheltered from the outside world, a wounded Union soldier is taken in. Soon, the house is taken over with sexual tension, rivalries and an unexpected turn of events. Landmark’s E Street Cinema

The Big Sick Directed by Michael Showalter (U.S., 2017, 119 min.) Pakistan-born aspiring comedian Kumail connects with grad student Emily after one of his standup sets. However, what they thought would be just a one-night stand blossoms into the real thing, which complicates the life that is expected of Kumail by his traditional Muslim parents (English and Urdu). Angelika Mosaic



Landmark’s Bethesda Cinema Landmark’s E Street Cinema

The Confessional Directed by Robert Lepage (Canada/U.K./France, 1995, 100 min.) Two stories separated by three decades play out in Québec city. In 1989, following his father’s death, Pierre embarks on a quest to unravel the identity of his adopted brother’s biological father. The search leads him back to 1952, just as Alfred Hitchcock arrives in Québec City to film a movie and a pregnant, unmarried young woman makes her own decisive and fateful confession (English and French). Aug. 26, 1:45 p.m.

Dunkirk Directed by Christopher Nolan (U.S./U.K./France/Netherlands, 2017, 106 min.) Allied soldiers from Belgium, the British Empire, Canada and France are surrounded by the German army and evacuated during a fierce battle in World War II. AFI Silver Theatre Angelika Mosaic Atlantic Plumbing Cinema Landmark’s Bethesda Cinema

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Directed by Jay Baruchel (Canada, 2017, 101 min.) This sequel to the 2011 cult hockey comedy “Goon” revisits Doug “The Thug” Glatt and his team, the Halifax Highlanders, during a pro hockey lockout. AFI Silver Theatre Tue., Aug. 8, 7:10 p.m.

Escapes Directed by Michael Almereyda (U.S., 2017, 89 min.) This documentary explores the life of Hampton Fancher, a flamenco dancer, actor and the unlikely producer and screenwriter of the landmark sci-fi classic “Blade Runner.” Landmark’s E Street Cinema Opens Fri., Aug. 4

The Exception Directed by David Leveaux (U.K./U.S., 2017, 107 min.) This riveting World War II thriller follows German soldier Stefan as he goes on a mission to investigate exiled German Monarch Kaiser Wilhelm II who lives in a secluded mansion in the Netherlands. As Stefan begins to infiltrate the Kaiser’s life, he finds himself drawn into an unexpected and passionate romance with one of the Kaiser’s maids whom he soon discovers is secretly Jewish. The Avalon Theatre

Photo: CFR Releasing

Märt Avandi stars as an Estonian fencing master on the run from the Soviet secret police who finds a home teaching children in a small Estonian town in “The Fencer.”

A Ghost Story

Lady Macbeth

Directed by David Lowery (U.S., 2017, 87 min.) In this singular exploration of legacy, love, loss and the enormity of existence, a recently deceased, white-sheeted ghost returns to his suburban home to try to reconnect with his bereft wife. Landmark’s Bethesda Cinema Landmark’s E Street Cinema

Directed by William Oldroyd (U.K., 2017, 89 min.) Set in rural England in 1865, this austere, riveting drama centers around a young woman stifled by her loveless marriage to a bitter man twice her age, and his cold, unforgiving family. When she embarks on a passionate and dangerous affair with a young worker on her husband’s estate, a force is unleashed inside her so powerful that she will stop at nothing to get what she wants. Angelika Mosaic Landmark’s Bethesda Cinema Landmark’s E Street Cinema

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Directed by Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk (U.S., 2017, 98 min.) A decade after “An Inconvenient Truth” brought climate change into the heart of popular culture comes the riveting and rousing follow-up that shows just how close we are to a real energy revolution. Cameras follow former Vice President Al Gore as he continues his tireless fight traveling around the world training an army of climate champions and influencing international climate policy. Angelika Mosaic Landmark’s Bethesda Cinema Landmark’s E Street Cinema Opens Fri., Aug. 4

Koneline: Our Land Beautiful Directed by Nettie Wild (Canada, 2016, 96 min.) Award-winning documentary filmmaker Nettie Wild creates a visually stunning celebration of an extraordinary part of the world, as well as a politically charged examination of the agents of “progress” increasingly encroaching on the pristine landscapes of northern British Columbia. AFI Silver Theatre Wed., Aug. 9, 7:20 p.m.

The Little Hours Directed by Jeff Baena (Canada/U.S., 2017, 90 min.) In this irreverent comedy, a group of medieval nuns spend their days chafing at monastic routine, spying on one another and berating the estate’s day laborer. After a particularly vicious insult session drives the peasant away, a virile young servant is introduced to the sisters as a deafmute to discourage temptation but soon struggles to maintain his cover as the repressed nunnery erupts in a whirlwind of pansexual horniness, substance abuse and wicked revelry. AFI Silver Theatre Landmark’s E Street Cinema

Lost in Paris Directed by Dominique Abel and Fiona Gordon (France/Belgium, 2017, 83 min.) Librarian Fiona visits Paris for the first time to assist her myopic Aunt Martha. Catastrophes ensue, mainly involving an affable but annoying tramp who has yet to have an emotion or thought he was afraid of

expressing (English and French). Landmark’s Bethesda Row Cinema

Maudie Directed by Aisling Walsh (Ireland/Canada, 2017, 115 min.) An arthritic Nova Scotia woman works as a housekeeper while she hones her skills as an artist and eventually becomes a beloved figure in the community — and with the hardened reclusive bachelor for whom she works. The Avalon Theatre

My Winnipeg Directed by Guy Maddin (Canada, 2007, 80 min.) Visionary super-auteur Guy Maddin’s “docu-fantasia” melds fact, memory, myth and metafiction to paint a loving portrait of his hometown and the reasons the film’s narrator, a character named Guy Maddin, is trying desperately to leave it. AFI Silver Theatre Wed., Aug. 16, 9:30 p.m.

Nelly Directed by Anne Emond (Canada, 2016, 101 min.) Based on the life and electrifying writings of former sex workerturned-bestselling novelist Nelly Arcan, acclaimed director/writer Anne Émond’s third feature is a powerhouse drama of sexuality and solitude (English and French). AFI Silver Theatre Mon., Aug. 28, 7 p.m.

Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World Directed by Catherine Bainbridge and Alfonso Maiorana (U.S., 2017, 103 min.) This documentary about the role of

Native Americans in contemporary music history — featuring some of the greatest music stars of our time — exposes a critical missing chapter, revealing how indigenous musicians helped shape the soundtracks of our lives and influenced popular culture. Landmark’s Theatres Opens Fri., Aug. 25

Shivers Directed by David Cronenberg (Canada, 1975, 87 min.) In a Montreal high-rise, an unorthodox scientist accidentally releases a culture of parasites. Transmitted via sexual contact, the organisms infect the building’s residents one by one, creating a sex-crazed horde who will stop at nothing to satisfy their primal lust and pass the pathogen to the next victim. AFI Silver Theatre Fri., Aug. 25, 11:55 p.m., Sat., Aug. 26, 11:55 p.m.

Step Directed by Amanda Lipitz (U.S., 2017, 83 min.) “Step” is the true-life story of a girls’ high school step team set against the background of the heart of Baltimore. These young women learn to laugh, love and thrive — on and off the stage — even when the world seems to work against them. AFI Silver Theatre Landmark’s Bethesda Row Cinema Opens Fri., Aug. 4

Stories We Tell Directed by Sarah Polley (Canada, 2013, 108 min.) Actor and director Sarah Polley addresses the complicated mystery of her mother’s life in this rousing mix of memoir, interview, reconnaissance and copious Super-8 home-movie footage, both real and staged. AFI Silver Theatre Mon., Aug. 21, 7:30 p.m.

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets Directed by Luc Besson (France, 2017, 137 min.) In the 28th century, a duo of special operatives is charged with maintaining order throughout the human territories. Under assignment from the minister of defense, the two embark on a mission to the astonishing city of Alpha, an ever-expanding metropolis where species from all over the universe have converged over centuries to share knowledge, intelligence and cultures with each other. Atlantic Plumbing Cinema

estonian The Fencer (Miekkailija)

FRenCh Café de Flore Directed by Jean Marc Vallée (Canada/France, 2011, 120 min.) In present-day Montreal, successful DJ Antoine balances his career with his responsibilities to his new love, his daughters and his ex-wife. Meanwhile, in 1969 Paris, Jacqueline, a fiercely devoted mother of a young boy with Down syndrome, defies the doctors and her husband


country of North Korea leave us with a snapshot of hidden worlds. “He’s able to get up close and personal, and you just get the feeling that he is not exploiting the situation, that he’s genuinely trying to understand and to reveal,” American University Museum Director Jack Rasmussen said. “So it’s interesting — on the one hand, he’s a documentary photographer taking on topical issues, but on the other hand, he’s an artist who’s just trying to see the world and understand and show others.” A lack of captions, however, leaves viewers guessing about the scenes and the circumstances in which they were photographed. Behind every photograph is a story that we

From the Land of the Moon (Mal de pierres) Directed by Nicole Garcia (France/Belgium/Canada, 2017, 116 min.) In 1950s France, Gabrielle (Marion Cotillard) is a passionate, freespirited woman who is in a loveless marriage and falls for a dashing injured veteran of the Indochinese War when she is sent away to the Alps to treat her kidney stones (French, Spanish and German). West End Cinema Opens Fri., Aug. 4


Directed by Klaus Härö (Finland/Estonia/Germany, 2017, 99 min.) Endel, an Estonian fencing master on the run from the Soviet secret police, leaves Leningrad and hides out in a small Estonian town as sports master at the elementary school. Despite hostility from the principal and lack of equipment, he decides to teach fencing to the enthusiastic young students. But when the children want to participate in a national fencing tournament in Leningrad, Endel must make a choice. Landmark’s Theatres Opens Fri., Aug. 11


to fight for her son. AFI Silver Theatre Mon., Aug. 28, 9:10 p.m.

Directed by Jean-Claude Lauzon (Canada, 1992, 107 min.) This dark and outrageously original coming-of-age fantasy tells the story of Léo, a boy living in a Montreal tenement with his mentally unstable family. His only escape is a rich fantasy world in which he is Léolo Lozone, an Italian boy conceived when his mother fell into a cart of semen-covered Sicilian tomatoes. AFI Silver Theatre Sun., Aug. 13, 12:30 p.m.

Marie Curie Directed by Marie Noelle (Poland/Germany/France, 2017, 100 min.) A sweeping biographical film about the first woman to win the Nobel Prize, “Marie Curie” is as much an intimate portrayal of the struggles of the scientist’s private world as of her legendary public accomplishments, chronicling her battles against the male academic establishment, as well as her blissful marriage to her scientific partner, Pierre. Her world falls apart when her husband perishes in a tragic accident, and despite near scandal, Curie perseveres and triumphs once more (French, German,

will never truly know. For example, a young man in a tank top casually leans on an open window in Cuba. He appears to be in a public building where people get their government rations. Is he working? Waiting for someone or something? What’s playing in his earbuds? The constant contrast of people and setting is seen throughout De Keyzer’s Cuba series. We see two older men practice boxing in room littered with old-fashioned TVs, cluttered desks and fading images of Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara on the wall. Decked-out friends and family gather around a young bride and groom sitting behind an administrative desk, perhaps getting married or waiting to receive their wedding license. A shabbily dressed man looks lost standing in a gleaming art decoinspired lobby. A young man plays a piano on a makeshift seat in a dilapidated building. Classic American cars wind their way

English and Polish). The Avalon Theatre

The Midwife Directed by Martin Provost (France, 2017, 117 min.) Two of French cinema’s biggest stars shine in this bittersweet drama about the unlikely friendship that develops between Claire (Catherine Frot), a talented but tightly wound midwife, and Béatrice (Catherine Deneuve), the estranged, freespirited mistress of Claire’s late father. The Avalon Theatre West End Cinema

A Woman’s Life (Une vie) Directed by Stéphane Brizé (France/Belgium, 2016, 119 min.) Upon finishing her schooling in a convent, young aristocrat Jeanne marries a local viscount, who soon reveals himself to be a miserly and unfaithful husband. As she navigates his chronic infidelity, pressure from her family and community, and the alternating joys and burdens of motherhood, Jeanne’s rosy illusions about her privileged world are slowly stripped away in this tale of tormented love embedded in the restrictive social and moral codes of marriage and family in 19th century Normandy. The Avalon Theatre Wed., Aug. 16, 8 p.m.

heBReW Harmonia Directed by Ori Sivan (Israel, 2016, 97 min.) Abraham, the conductor of the Jerusalem Philharmonic, and his wife Sarah, the orchestra’s harpist, cannot have children. When Hagar, a young horn player from East Jerusalem, joins the orchestra, she bonds with Sarah and a unique friendship evolves between the two women. Hagar, feeling Sarah’s pain

from not having children, offers to have a baby for her from Abraham, but as the child grows older and becomes a renowned pianist in his own right, an emotional clash develops between the two women. The Avalon Theatre Wed., Aug. 23, 8 p.m.

KoRean The Battleship Island

Directed by Zacharias Kunuk (Canada, 2016, 94 min.) Nunavut, circa 1913: When Kuanana returns from hunting caribou to find his wife and daughter kidnapped and his home ransacked, he sets off across the barren Arctic with his band of maliglutit (followers) and his father’s spirit helper. AFI Silver Theatre Wed., Aug. 23, 7:30 p.m.

Directed by Ryoo Seung-wan (South Korea, 2017, 132 min.) To whet your appetite for the Freer|Sackler’s Korean film festival this fall, the museum presents an exclusive prerelease screening of the newest movie from Ryoo Seung-wan. During World War II, some four hundred Korean civilians were conscripted by the Japanese as slave labor to work in the coal mines of Hashima Island, nicknamed “Battleship Island” due to its resemblance to a war vessel. Based on actual events, this film is the action-packed, moving story of the conscripts’ uprising against their oppressors in the waning months of the Pacific War (Korean and Japanese). Landmark’s E Street Cinema Thu., Aug. 3, 7 p.m.



In This Corner of the World (Kono sekai no katasumi ni)

Endless Poetry (Poesía sin fin)

Directed by Sunao Katabuchi (Japan, 2016, 129 min.) In this animated film set in Hiroshima during World War II, an 18-year-old girl gets married and now has to prepare food for her family despite the rationing and lack of supplies. As she struggles with the daily loss of life’s amenities, she still has to maintain the will to live. Angelika Mosaic Opens Fri., Aug. 18

Directed by Alejandro Jodorowsky (Chile/France, 2016, 128 min.) Through the intensely personal lens of writer/director Alejandro Jodorowsky comes the story of his years spent as an aspiring poet in Chile in the 1940s — replete with Jodorowsky’s wonderfully imaginative, surreal and psychedelic imagery. Against the wishes of his authoritarian father, 20-year-old Alejandro (played appealingly by real life son Adan Jodorowsky) leaves home to pursue his dream of becoming a poet, and is introduced into the eccentric bohemian and artistic inner circle of Santiago. Landmark’s E Street Cinema

inUKtitUt Searchers

Rashomon Directed by Akira Kurosawa (Japan, 1950, 88 min.) The murder of a man and the rape of his wife in a forest grove are seen from several different perspectives in Akira Kurosawa’s meditation on the nature of truth that transformed narrative cinema. AFI Silver Theatre Aug. 11 to 17

Photo: AMeRiCAn uniVeRsity MuseuM / © CARl De KeyZeR

Belgian photographer Carl De Keyzer captured scenes of everyday life for his 2015 series “Cuba, la lucha.”

through Havana’s streets, teeming with life, elegant colonial architecture and a sense of decay. The context behind the North Korea photos is even more elusive and enigmatic. A

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group of people stand in line for food. For some reason they are all wearing 3D glasses. Uniform rows of children perform some sort of school-sponsored dance or ritual. Anonymous workers go about their day in a subway station as they pass a billboard depicting the country’s dictator, Kim Jong-un, in various triumphant propaganda-like poses. Where are they going? Are they happy with their station in life? With their leader, who is wreaking havoc around the world? Do they even know what’s going on outside the country? De Keyzer offers more questions than answers, just like the politicians struggling to deal with both nations. But he also offers us a rare window into the humanity behind the headlines, and that in and of itself is worth a look. WD Teri West is an editorial intern for The Washington Diplomat.


WD | Culture | Events

Events Listings *Unless specific times are listed, please check the venue for times. Venue locations are subject to change.

ART Aug. 4 to 31

From Nature What is the value of nature? Or rather, what values does nature exhibit? This exhibition features six Korean artists who explore what it means to espouse the values found in nature — form, flow, utilization of resources — in their art and life. Bukang Kim, Hyang Yeon Lee, Hyun Jeung, Jung Woo, Soo il Choi and Yurim Seong utilize a variety of expressive artistic media including painting, sculpture, print and installation to reflect the contrasting harmony of realism and abstraction found at different levels of nature. Each artist’s work varies in material and technique as they draw connections between their unique personal style of expression and fundamental principles of the natural world. Korean Cultural Center Through Aug. 6

Gateways/Portales What do D.C., Charlotte and RaleighDurham, N.C., and Baltimore, Md., all have in common? They are all urban areas, are all on the East Coast and all have experienced rapid growth in their “Latinx” populations, most with spurts beginning in the 1980s. “Gateways/Portales” explores the triumphs and struggles of Latinx migrants and immigrants through the lenses of rights and justice, representation and celebration. Anacostia Community Museum Through Aug. 6

José Gómez-Sicre’s Eye A half-century ago, Cuban-born curator José Gómez-Sicre took the reins of the OAS’s art program, thrusting himself into the rapidly expanding Latin American art world and bringing young, emerging talent to the OAS’s budding exhibition space. Impassioned by the arts, Gómez-Sicre planted the seeds of what is today considered among world’s finest collections of modern and contemporary Latin American and Caribbean art. The OAS will be celebrating the centennial of Gómez-Sicre’s birth throughout 2016, honoring his contribution to the legacy of the hemisphere’s art. OAS Art Museum of the Americas Through Aug. 6

The Urban Scene: 1920-1950 American artists of the early 20th century sought to interpret the beauty, power and anxiety of the modern age in diverse ways. Through depictions of bustling city crowds and breathtaking metropolitan vistas, 25 black-and-white prints in this exhibi-

THE WASHINGTON DIPLOMAT | August 2017 ships and shipbuilding, this exhibit explores the history of Omani seafaring over the last millennia. Sultan Qaboos Cultural Center

tion explore the spectacle of urban modernity. National Gallery of Art Through Aug. 13

Through Oct. 29

Escape: Foon Sham

Equilibrium: Fanny Sanín

“Escape” showcases Foon Sham’s mastery of wood sculpture. To be within one of his vessel sculptures is to experience the palpable space of a woodland creature’s habitat, or the place of concealment. At the American University Museum, Sham has built one horizontal tunnel measuring 62 feet long and one vertical tunnel towering 36 feet high. “Escape” is one of a series of participatory sculptures, begun in the 1990s, meant to be experienced with all the body’s senses and to resonate socially. American University Museum Through Aug. 13

States of Being: Photographs of Cuba and North Korea by Carl De Keyzer An exhibition of prints by Belgian photographer Carl De Keyzer of scenes in North Korea and Cuba consists of 60 large-scale photos. The Cuba photos were taken shortly after former President Obama’s 2014 speech inviting the relaxation of the communist island’s 56-year embargo. De Keyzer’s North Korean prints also were shot in 2015. The British-run Koryo Group, which organizes travel tours in North Korea, arranged for De Keyzer to spend more than 40 nights in North Korea, during which time the globally renowned photographer traveled to every single one of the country’s provinces. American University Museum Through Aug. 19

Tierras Ambulantes (Clay in Transit) Curated by Mexican artist Paloma Torres, “Tierras Ambulantes (Clay in Transit)” explores the work of seven sculptors who use clay as a means of returning to cultural roots and origins. The artists whose work is presented here build bridges between the past and present by creating contemporary pieces with such an ancient medium. Mexican Cultural Institute Through Aug. 20

America Collects EighteenthCentury French Painting When Joseph Bonaparte, elder brother of Napoleon, arrived in the United States in 1815, he brought with him his exquisite collection of eighteenth-century French paintings. Put on public view, the works caused a sensation, and a new American taste for French art was born. T his exhibition brings together 68 paintings that represent some of the best and most unusual examples of French art of that era held by American


This spotlight exhibition, featuring five paintings and more than 30 preliminary drawings by Fanny Sanín, invites viewers into the artist’s meticulous, intuitive process, as she creates compositions of geometric forms with precisely defined fields of color. National Museum of Women in the Arts Through Nov. 17

Wonder Women! Photo: Courtesy of the artist / © Stacy L. Pearsall

Stacy L. Pearsall’s photograph “Apple Pie & Baseball” is among the images that convey the realities of the modern soldier in “The Face of Battle: Americans at War, 9/11 to Now” at the National Portrait Gallery.

museums and tells their stories on a national stage. National Gallery of Art Through Aug. 25

Love is in the Air: Magical Realism and the Art of Emotion Felipe Giménez and Antonia Guzmán portray humans with all their frailties and foibles in a few strokes of a brush. Pared down to essentials, the most minimalist of figures in both artists’ work conveys elation, anxiety, and the breathtaking willingness to take a chance on love. Giménez worked for many years as a child psychologist before becoming a full-time artist. This early training permeates his art, which shows a rich sense of humor as it radiantly captures the essence of human relationships. Meanwhile, Guzmán’s dreamlike tableaux are comprised of lushly colored geometric shapes, hieroglyphs and stick-like anthropoid figures. Embassy of Argentina Through Sept. 3

David Molander – Invisible Cities If home is a place where we ought to feel safe, how is this feeling visualized in our collective home — i.e., the city? This question inspired David Molander to create scenes where small and large conflicts play out among different interests and processes. While we can choose to care about or ignore them, all of them play an important role in shaping the invincible cities that we call home. House of Sweden Through Sept. 3

Linda Lasson – Black Thread, Images from Northern Sweden Exploring the lives of the Sami, Sweden’s indigenous people. Linda

Lasson tells the stories of an exploited Northland and a displaced indigenous population through work that is archetypal contemporary poetry expressed as embroidery. The threads resemble drawings, and the graphic feel, mixed with the textile structure, exudes a sculptural aesthetic. House of Sweden Through Sept. 10

Markus Lüpertz: Threads of History Offering unparalleled insight into the German artist’s pioneering early practice, “Markus Lüpertz: Threads of History” showcases more than 30 paintings from Lüpertz’s formative years in the 1960s and ’70s, as he challenged the limits of painting and forged his own style amidst the unrest of postwar Germany. Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Through Sept. 10

Revival Contemporary sculpture, photography and video by women artists explores how arresting aesthetics and intense subject matter can spur the viewer into a transcendent encounter with a work of art. Rousing the spirit rather than simply tantalizing the eye, the 16 artists in this exhibition harness scale, technique and effect in photography and sculpture to reanimate deep-rooted emotions related to the human experience. National Museum of Women in the Arts Through Sept. 17

Yoko Ono: Four Works for Washington and the World The Hirshhorn celebrates the 10th anniversary of Yoko Ono’s iconic “Wish Tree for Washington, D.C.,” a living tree that invites visitors to tie a handwritten wish to its branches, with

a summer of the Ono’s emotionally charged installations and performances. Starting June 17, visitors can make a wish at the Wish Tree, leave memories of their mother at the U.S. debut of “My Mommy is Beautiful,” a 40-foot participatory artwork that becomes a communal tribute to motherhood, and watch the newly restaged Sky TV for Washington, D.C., a 24-hour live feed of the sky outside, created in 1966 when Ono was living in a windowless apartment and longed for a glimpse of nature. Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Through Sept. 23

Markus Lüpertz “Markus Lüpertz” explores the entirety of the prolific German artist’s five-decade career with a survey of his earliest works along with more recent paintings. Lüpertz, who began painting in a postwar Germany dominated by American Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art, has exhibited a preoccupation with the relationship between figuration and abstraction over the course of his career. Demonstrating this relationship through nearly 50 paintings, the exhibition at the Phillips includes important examples from Lüpertz’s “dithyrambic” pictures and provocative paintings of German motifs. The Phillips Collection Through Sept. 30

From Sinbad to the Shabab Oman: A Seafaring Legacy Sail the high seas alongside some of history’s most famous explorers and navigators — Marco Polo, Ibn Battuta and Ahmad Ibn Majid — and visit different Omani ports of call. Each leg of this journey will explore Omani history, Omani mariners and the Omani vessels they sailed. By interweaving the stories of these explorers with items from Omani

From the Guerrilla Girls righting the wrongs of the art world to painter Edna Reindel’s tough World War II riveters, to vintage feminist comic books — it’s the celebration of the Wonder Women! Explore images of the powerful woman, real and fictional, in a wide-ranging selection drawn from the special collections and artists’ archives of the Betty Boyd Dettre Library and Research Center. National Museum of Women in the Arts Through Dec. 10

Stories of Migration – Sweden Beyond the Headlines Migration is old news. It has helped shape countries and the world. But the current situation is unprecedented: More than 65 million people around the world have been forced to leave their homes. Migration is also an integral part of the history of Sweden; in today’s population, one in six was born in another country. Since the 1930s Sweden has been characterized by more immigration than emigration, including offering refuge to people fleeing war and political unrest. This exhibition aims to add new perspectives to the story of Sweden and migration and give insights into the current situation in the country. Beyond headlines of chaos and collapse, beyond politics and public authorities, there are people who try to build a life in a new country. House of Sweden Through Dec. 13

Matthias Mansen: Configurations German-born artist Matthias Mansen creates large-scale woodcuts that explore abstraction and figuration. He advances the tradition of woodblock printing by transforming pieces of scavenged wood— discarded floorboards or fragments of abandoned furniture—into printing blocks, which he progressively carves and recarves. National Gallery of Art

Events | Culture | WD

Through Jan. 1

Spectacular Gems and Jewelry from the Merriweather Post Collection For centuries, extraordinary gemstones have been the centerpieces of stunning jewelry made to adorn royalty, aristocracy, high society and Hollywood stars. Over 50 pieces that once belonged heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post, one of the greatest jewelry collectors of the 20th century, will tell the story behind some of the remarkable stones and the jewelry into which they were transformed. Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens Through Jan. 15

Architecture of an Asylum: St. Elizabeths 1852-2017 Established by Congress in 1855 as the Government Hospital for the Insane, St. Elizabeths is widely considered a pioneering psychiatric facility. The hospital is a prime example of the “Kirkbride Plan” for mental health hospitals, which promised to help patients with a specialized architecture and landscape. This exhibition traces St. Elizabeths’ evolution over time, reflecting shifting theories about how to care for the mentally ill, as well as the later reconfiguration of the campus as a federal workplace and a mixed-use urban development. National Building Museum Through Jan. 28

contemplate the separations and releases that shape our individual and collective identities. National Museum of African Art

Fri., Aug. 25, 7 p.m.

Sweden in the Park: Nordic Dancers of Washington, D.C. The Embassy of Sweden in collaboration with Glen Echo Park and the local folkdance community are offering free Swedish/Nordic folk dance lessons and social dances this summer. Classes take place at 7 p.m. and social dances begin at 8 p.m. Registration is recommended but not mandatory. Glen Echo Park Bumper Car Pavilion

Fri., Aug. 4, 8 p.m.

Daymé Arocena Cuban singer and composer Daymé Arocena combines contemporary Cuban music and Santerian chants with fluid jazz styling, synthesizing elements of her homeland and world music into an enrapturing musical fusion. Her live performances are equally captivating, immersing fragments of rumba rhythms and outbursts of scatting into her songs. Tickets are $25 to $35. AMP by Strathmore

As a journalist, NPR’s “All Things Considered” host Ari Shapiro has witnessed wars and revolutions. Now, inspired by his experiences around the world, he takes the stage in “Homeward,” his first solo cabaret performance. Shapiro sings songs of upheaval, patriotism and hope from places that are less far away than they seem. Tickets are $14 AMP by Strathmore

Through June 24, 2018

Jim Chuchu’s Invocations The museum is the first institution to acquire and display Kenyan multimedia artist Jim Chuchu’s mesmerizing suite of video projections, in which two distinct videos loop in succession and follow the structure of initiation rituals. Surrounded by Chuchu’s pulsing house beats and evocative imagery, viewers are invited to

Othello Photo: Scott Suchman / Woolly Mammoth

Since Sept. 11, 2001, the United States has been engaged in multiple wars, varying in intensity, locale and consequence. After fifteen years, this warfare has become normalized into our social and cultural landscape; it is ongoing, yet somehow out of sight, invisible. These 56 portraits by six artists explore the human costs of ongoing wars through portraiture. The exhibition title is drawn from John Keegan’s classic military history, which reorients our view of war from questions of strategy and tactics to its personal and individual toll. National Portrait Gallery

Discover the paintings collection at the Folger — its stories, its glories and Shakespeare’s power to inspire visual artists. From humble oil sketches to international masterpieces, this exhibition presents kids and adults alike, with a sometimes surprising, and always eye-catching, view of the man and his works. Folger Shakespeare Library

Aug. 15 to 27


Sat., Aug. 5, 7 and 9:45 p.m.

Painting Shakespeare

In 1900 Sweden, on a magical night that smiles three times, an aging actress, a married virgin, a sex-starved divinity student and a buffoonish count find themselves hilariously tangled in a web of love affairs. Winner of four Tony Awards, Stephen Sondheim’s glorious musical masterpiece returns to the Signature stage in a brand new production directed by Eric Schaeffer and featuring awardwinning DC actors Holly Twyford and Bobby Smith. Please call for ticket information. Signature Theatre


The Face of Battle: Americans at War, 9/11 to Now

Through Feb. 17

Aug. 15 to Oct. 8

A Little Night Music

Ari Shapiro: Homeward

Fri., Aug. 11, 8 p.m.

Youssou N’Dour Youssou N’Dour from Senegal is one of the major stars of African pop. He and his band are internationally known for their thoughtful lyrics and joyous performances. Tickets are $55 to $75. GW Lisner Auditorium Sat., Aug. 19, 8 p.m.

Erika Rose, left, and Kathryn Tkel star in “An Octoroon,” a riff on a 19th-century anti-slavery melodrama now playing at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company.

Can’t We Be Friends,” WAR shares the stage with Los Lonely Boys, a band of brothers bringing bluesy Texican rock to the mainstream with chart-toppers like “Heaven.” Tickets are $30 to $65. Wolf Trap Sat., Aug. 26, 6 p.m.

Kyrgyz American Foundation Gala The Kyrgyz American Foundation in partnership with the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts presents a gala concert featuring classical and traditional music from Kyrgyzstan at the Millennium Stage. The gala will feature world-class concert pianists Aza Sydykov and Jonathan Levin; soprano Nikoleta Rallis; cellist Nurmira Greenberg; and special guests Perizat Kopobaeva and renowned jazz pianist Joel Martin, who will demonstrate their mastery of improvisation on the komuz (Kyrgyz traditional instrument) and piano in a spectacular duo. Formerly part of the Soviet Union, Kyrgyzstan is a young sovereign country located in the heart of Central Asia, but its traditions stretch back to the ancient Silk Road civilizations of Eurasia. Kennedy Center Millennium Stage

An ensemble of virtuoso musicians presenting a fusion of Persian music, Rastak Group seeks to collect, record and interpret traditional Persian folk music for a global audience, incorporating language, culture and history while also merging traditional instruments with contemporary rhythms. Tickets are $40 to $100. GW Lisner Auditorium

Edward Bloom, a traveling salesman who lives life to its fullest, boasts incredible, larger-than-life stories that thrill everyone around him — most of all, his devoted wife Sandra. But their son Will, about to have a child of his own, is determined to find the truth behind his father’s epic tales in this production by the Keegan Theatre based on Daniel Wallace’s acclaimed novel. Tickets are $55. Andrew Keegan Theatre

One of the most sampled and popular funk groups of the ’70s whose hits including “Low Rider” and “Why

A plantation on the brink of foreclosure. A young gentleman falling for the part-black daughter of the estate’s owner. An evil swindler plotting to buy her for himself. Meanwhile, the slaves are trying to keep things drama-free, because everybody else is acting crazy. “An Octoroon,” by Obie-winning Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, riffs on a 19th century melodrama that helped shape the debate of the abolition of slavery. Please call for ticket information. Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company

The Mark of Cain Synetic Theater’s newly devised work is a neo-surrealist distillation of human history, seen through the eyes of Cain, the world’s first criminal. As Cain makes his bloody “mark” in every corner of the world, we see that the conflict between progress and morality are ever present — a function of humanity’s need to create civilization through uncivilized means and attempt to touch the face of God. Tickets start at $35. Synetic Theater Through Aug. 13

The Second City’s Almost Accurate Guide to America: Divided We Stand Who better to comment on the state of our nation than the comedians who mock it best? The Second City returns for another summer of uproarious irreverence on America’s divided political climate. Tickets are $49 to $65. Kennedy Center Theater Lab

Through Aug. 20

Rodger’s & Hammerstein’s ‘The King and I’ Set in 1860s Bangkok, the musical tells the story of the unconventional and tempestuous relationship that develops between the King of Siam and Anna Leonowens, a British schoolteacher whom the modernist King, in an imperialistic world, brings to Siam to teach his many wives and children. Tickets are $49 to $159 Kennedy Center Opera House

Aug. 5 to Sept. 2

Big Fish

War and Los Lonely Boys

Through Aug. 6

An Octoroon

Through Aug. 13


Rastak Music Group

Wed., Aug. 23, 8 p.m.

and leave your troubles outside. As part of its 50th anniversary, the renowned Roundabout Theatre Company presents “Cabaret,” the scintillating Tony winner about following your heart while the world loses its way. Tickets are $59 to $149. Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater

Ron Daniels’“enrichingly nuanced” (The Washington Post) production of “Othello” returns for the 27th annual Free For All, a beloved Washington tradition. Among the exotic airs and mysterious shadows of Cyprus, newly married and promoted Moorish general Othello finds himself the pawn in the manipulative games of his righthand man, Iago. As his imagination is poisoned, Othello turns on his new bride Desdemona and his loyal lieutenant Cassio, and rapidly spirals from hero to murderer in one of Shakespeare’s most haunting tragedies. Shakespeare Theatre Harman Hall

Through Aug. 6

Cabaret Step into the infamous Kit Kat Klub

Photo: Christopher Mueller

Holly Twyford and Bobby Smith star in Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler’s “A Little Night Music” at Signature Theatre. THE WASHINGTON DIPLOMAT | august 2017 | 39

WD | Culture | Spotlight

Diplomatic Spotlight

August 2017

2017 Heart’s Delight Wine Tasting & Auction In early May, wine aficionados and foodies converged on the 17th annual Heart’s Delight Wine Tasting & Auction, which has raised over $16 million for the American Heart Association. Heart’s Delight hosts leaders from the country’s business, medical and political communities who share a love of food and wine and a concern for the prevention of heart disease and stroke. Events included the Congress has Heart reception showcasing premier American wines; the Embassy and Winemaker Dinner Series featuring intimate ambassador-hosted dinners; the Vintners Dinner & Auction highlighting the wines of Château Mouton Rothschild; and the festive Bordeaux Master Class & Grand Tasting. The event began in 1999 in memory of Bruce Bassin of MacArthur Beverages. Heart disease is the numberone killer in the nation while stroke ranks fifth.

Photo: Marc Hodies of HTeam Photography

Barbara Bassin, Jamie Ritchie of Sotheby’s and Gail Bassin of JBS International Inc.

Photo: Charlie Shin Storyteller

Alfred-Alexandre Bonnie and Michèle Bonnie of Château Malartic-Lagravière join auctioneer Jamie Ritchie of Sotheby’s on stage at the Vintners Dinner & Auction at Mellon Auditorium.

Photo: Charlie Shin Storyteller

Guests toast at the May 10 BYO Collectors Dinner at Charlie Palmer Steak. Photo: Charlie Shin Storyteller

Wilfrid Groizard of Château LatourMartillac and Sophie Schÿler-Thierry of Château Kirwan.

Photo: Travis Holler Photo: Rodney Bailey Photography

Photo: Charlie Shin Storyteller

Dennis Yee of Abacus Technology Corp. bids on an item.

Photo: Charlie Shin Storyteller

David Ornon of Château Guiraud and Lucas Leclercq of Château Lafon-Rochet.

Anne Cuvelier of Château Léoville Poyferré, Ambassador of Gabon Michael Moussa-Adamo and Lucas Leclercq of Château Lafon-Rochet attend a dinner at the Gabonese Residence.

Photo: Marc Hodies of HTeam Photography

Wais Jalali, son of a former Afghan interior minister; Philippe Sereys de Rothschild of Château Mouton Rothschild; Mrs. Jalali; and Philippe Dhalluin of Château Mouton Rothschild.

Heart’s Delight Chairman Brian Kearney of Kearney & Co., Jim Ervin of Ervin Hill Strategy and Gil Guarino- CEO of Intuitive Data IT attend the Congress has Heart reception.

Photo: Travis Holler Photo: Travis Holler

Photo: Travis Holler Photo: Charlie Shin Storyteller

Guests attend the private dinner series at the French Residence.

Josh Peeples of Addax Wines, Kimberly Hatcher of Morgado Cellars and Russell Bevan of Bevan Cellars.

Kevin Ortzman of Caesars Entertainment, Adam Stromfeld of Addax Wines & Joe Canal’s Liquor, Brendan Kearney of Addax Wines and Greg Cumbey of Addax Wines.

Photo: Travis Holler

Ashley Kennedy of FK & Co., Nick Calio, CEO of Airlines for America, and Shelley Rubino of Airlines for America.

Ashli Douglas, Anne Devlin and Cindi Sensibaugh, all from the Abbott global health care and research company, stand atop 101 Constitution Ave., NW, overlooking the Capitol.

Photo: Travis Holler

Joseph Herrmann of American Airlines, Nancy Thompson and Scott Masciarelli - Connoisseur Travel in Photo: Marc Hodies of HTeam Photography D.C. and Debbie Behnke of American Airlines. Bidders celebrate at the Bordeaux Master Class & Grand Tasting at the Ritz-Carlton.

Photo: Rodney Bailey Photography

Photo: Travis Holler

Tim Veltman, American Heart Association DC Region Executive Director Natalie Bush, Soula Antoniou of VSA Arts and Heidi Veltman of Kaiser Permanente.

Photo: Marc Hodies of HTeam Photography

Bidders celebrate at the Bordeaux Master Class & Grand Tasting at the Ritz-Carlton.

John Brooks; Gayle Brooks; Roger Schagrin of Schagrin Associates; Janie Brooks; Heuck Brooks; Chris Williams Brooks; Margie Gagliano; Joel Kleinman; Jay Erb; and Robert Bloch attend the Collectors Dinner.

Photo: Catherine Rae Photography

Karine Barbier of Château Lascombes and David Marventano of Fluor Corp. attend a private dinner series event.

Photo: Travis Holler

Chase Hieneman, Kendall Hussey and Heide Bajnrauh represent Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP.

Photo: Charlie Shin Storyteller

From left top row: Colby Groom of Colby Red; Daryl Groom of Colby Red; Gail Bassin of JBS International Inc.; John Garr of Garrco Products; and bottom row from left: Jerri Shaw of JBS International Inc.; AlfredAlexandre Bonnie of Château Malartic-Lagravière; Lisa Groom of Colby Red; and Michèle Bonnie of Château Malartic-Lagravière. Colby Groom, 19, underwent back-to-back heart surgeries at age 10, inspiring him to raise nearly $1 million for heart research.


Photo: Marc Hodies of HTeam Photography Photo: Charlie Shin Storyteller

Chicago-based celebrity chef Graham Elliot joined the Bordeaux Master Class & Grand Tasting.

Celebrity chefs from restaurants such as Centrolina and Gramercy Tavern set up food stations at the Bordeaux Master Class & Grand Tasting.

India Emond; Gregory Ballington of PwC; Estelle Ballington; Sean Ballington of PwC; Bob Skonberg; Catherine Ballington; and John Garr of Garrco Products.

Spotlight | Culture | WD

A Celebration of ASEAN Gala Dinner The US-ASEAN Business Council hosted its 2017 annual gala dinner, “A Celebration of ASEAN,” on May 25 at the Four Seasons Hotel to mark the 50th anniversary of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, as well as 40 years of relations between the bloc and the U.S. Together, the nations of ASEAN — a 10-member regional organization that promotes economic growth, social progress and cultural development — comprise the third-largest population in the world and boast the planet’s fifth-largest economy, with a combined GDP of $2.4 trillion. The gala dinner featured Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross along with various U.S. ambassadors to Asian countries who recently concluded a U.S. Ambassadors’ Tour hosted by the US-ASEAN Business Council, which advises U.S. corporations working in Southeast Asia.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross delivers the keynote address.

Photos: US-ASEAN Business Council

Guests celebrate Red Nose Day to encourage charitable giving.

Ambassador of Thailand Pisan Manawapat talks with representatives of Chevron Corp.

Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.), Marie Royce and President and CEO of the US-ASEAN Business Council Alexander Feldman.

Deputy Assistant Secretary for Asia in the International Trade Administration Diane Farrell, Chargé d’Affaires of the Embassy of the Philippines Patrick Chuasoto and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Southeast Asia W. Patrick Murphy.

Ambassador of Vietnam Pham Quang Vinh; Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and Ambassador of Singapore Ashok Mirpuri.

U.S. Ambassador to Thailand Glyn Davies delivers remarks.

Vice President of the US-ASEAN Business Council Marc Mealy, Ambassador of Vietnam Pham Quang Vinh, Ambassador James Keith of McLarty Associates and Ambassador of Indonesia Budi Bowoleksono.

Judy Rising Reinke, deputy director-general of the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service; James Rockas, deputy director of public affairs at the Department of Commerce; John Walsh, chairman of the SEA Spirit Foundation; and U.S. Ambassador to Cambodia William Heidt.

US-ASEAN Business Council Chairman Keith Williams delivers remarks.

Vice President Pence at Wilson Center

U.K. at Capital Pride Parade As part of VisitBritain’s “Love is GREAT” campaign, the British government celebrated LGBT rights by participating in local Pride events in 13 cities across the U.S., making the U.K. the first foreign government to participate in Pride on such a significant scale. This year marked the British Embassy’s fifth year marching in D.C.’s Capital Pride parade on June 10, a celebration that started when the U.K. passed equal marriage legislation in 2013. “Diversity and inclusion are values that make the United Kingdom great — and as a leader in human rights, the U.K. is committed to promoting the LGBT cause around the world,” said British Ambassador Kim Darroch. At bottom right, British Ambassador Sir Kim Darroch and Lady Vanessa Darroch. Photos: U.K. in the U.S.

Photo: The Wilson Center

Jane Harman, director, president and CEO of the Woodrow Wilson Center, interviews Vice President Mike Pence during a discussion on U.S. engagement in the Western Hemisphere and the world. THE WASHINGTON DIPLOMAT | august 2017 | 41

WD | Culture | Spotlight

Diplomatic Spotlight

August 2017

March of Dimes 35th Annual Gourmet Gala

Belgium Highlights Water Crisis

Nearly 50 U.S. senators and representatives united for an evening of friendly culinary competition at the 35th Annual March of Dimes Gourmet Gala, held May 23 at the National Building Museum. The celebrity chefs served their favorite recipes to the over 600 attendees while helping to raise $1,123,000 for March of Dimes programs and research. Special guests included Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and Anna Cotton, who shared the story of their son’s Daniel’s birth and two-week stay in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). The Judge’s Choice award went to Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and Bobbi Barrasso for their Roosevelt beans; People’s Choice went to Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and Abigail Blunt for their pan-seared scallops with wilted spinach, bacon jam and spiced pecans; while Healthiest Recipe went to Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Haiwaii) and her husband Leighton Kim Oshima for their kimchi recipe. The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. Premature birth is the number-one killer of babies. Every year, 15 million babies are born prematurely worldwide, and 1 million will die before their first birthday.

On June 28, over 150 guests gathered at the residence of Belgian Ambassador Dirk Wouters, to support the “Buy A Lady A Drink” campaign, a partnership between Stella Artois and that aims to raise awareness of the global water crisis. “The global water crisis today affects around 663 million people all around the world, and that is why I’m especially humbled but also determined to partner with Capital Eagle, Stella Artois and to bring awareness to the global issue,” said Wouters. Photos: John Robinson Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and Anna Cotton.

Rep. Doris Matsui (D-Calif.).

Ambassador of BelgiumDirk Wouters,’s Julie LaGuardia and Katcef Companies’ Neal Katcef.

Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.).

Rep. Marc Veasey (D-Texas).

Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.), center, and his wife Kasey Crowley.

Cassie Mabery, Lauren Hamilton, Ellie Knust, Lacey Clifford, Carolyn Zwiener, Ben Butler and Julie LaGuardia.

Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) and Terese Casey.

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), right.

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and Dr. Laura Layden Cassidy. John McCarthy and Arienne Thompson. Guests took home limitededition Stella Artois chalices as a gift from Katcef Companies’ President Neal Katcef.

Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.) and Rev. William Coleman.

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and Abigail Blunt.

Rep. Bob Latta (R-Ohio) and Marcia Latta.

Rep. Gene Green (D-Texas) and Helen Green.


Sen. Angus King (I-Maine).

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.).

Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas) and Dr. Libby Doggett.

Erica Andrew, Adrianna Hopkins and Ali Haveson.

Africa Day at Ronald Reagan Building

NUSACC Iftar Dinner The National U.S.-Arab Chamber of Commerce (NUSACC) hosted its sixth annual Ramadan Iftar celebration in honor of the Arab diplomatic community and the League of Arab States in June at the Ritz-Carlton. Over a dozen Arab missions participated in the event, sponsored by the UAE Embassy, Chevron, Qatar Airways and the Ritz, among others. “America was built on the strength of our immigrant communities, including Muslims, and we are proud of our many ethnicities and religions,” said NUSACC President and CEO David Hamod. The holy month of Ramadan is an occasion for fasting, selfreflection and prayer for the world’s nearly 2 billion Muslims.

NUSACC President and CEO David Hamod.

Fifteen Arab diplomatic missions were represented at NUSACC’s annual Iftar dinner.

The Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center came alive with music, dance and ceremony on May 25 in celebration of the 54th anniversary of Africa Day. Over 600 guests, representing 55 countries of the African Union and the African diaspora, came out for a festive reception at the atrium that culminated a day of activities focusing on the African Union’s commitment to investing in its most important natural resource, its youth. “Africa is on the move and we are thrilled for the first time in our history to be hosting the Africa Day celebrations,” said the Ronald Reagan Building’s Andrew Gelfuso. Andrew Gelfuso, vice president of Trade Center Management Associates at the Ronald Reagan Building, and Arikana Chihombori Quao, the newly appointed ambassador of the African Union to the U.S.

NUSACC Vice President Amin Salam. Ambassadors celebrate Africa Day at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center.

Photos: Kaveh Sardari

Ambassador of Benin Hector Posset, Ambassador of Rwanda Mathilde Mukantabana and Ambassador of Côte d’Ivoire Daouda Diabate.

Photos: NUSACC

NUSACC President and CEO David Hamod; Ambassador of Jordan Dina Kawar; Rev. Joseph Rahal, senior representative of the St. George Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church in D.C.; and Chairman of the Jordan Chamber of Commerce and President of the Union of Arab Chambers Na’el Raja Al Kabariti.

Acting Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Peter Henry Barlerin and Ambassador of Mozambique Carlos dos Santos.

Andrew Gelfuso of the Ronald Reagan Building, Nahla Reda and Ambassador of Egypt Yasser Reda.

Guests enjoy the NUSACC Iftar, the meal at sunset when Muslims break their Ramadan fast.

The Sahel Band performs.

Jordanian Foreign Affairs Minister Visit

Pakistani Interfaith Iftar

Jordanian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Ayman Safadi and Jordanian Ambassador Dina Kawar hosted a reception at The Heights restaurant for members of the Jordanian community in D.C. Safadi underscored the importance of maintaining strong and effective ties by pursuing a two-way dialogue, promoting economic development and fostering avenues for partnership.

Pakistani Ambassador Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry hosted an interfaith Iftar dinner for Ramadan at his embassy. The event featured representatives from the Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist and Sikh religious communities. The ambassador emphasized the significance of tolerance and interfaith harmony for a vibrant, tolerant and pluralistic Pakistan. Photos: Embassy of Pakistan

Ambassador of Pakistan Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry welcomes Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas).

Photos: Embassy of Jordan

Foreign Affairs Minister of Jordan Ayman Safadi, Ambassador of Jordan Dina Kawar, President of the Jordanian-American Association of DC Rami Rihani and Rev. Fuad Khouri.

Ambassador of Jordan Dina Kawar, Foreign Affairs Minister of Jordan Ayman Safadi and Rev. Fuad Khouri.

Akbar Ahmed of American University, Ambassador of Pakistan Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry and Cardinal Theodore McCarrick were among the guests. THE WASHINGTON DIPLOMAT | august 2017 | 43

WD | Culture | Spotlight

Diplomatic spotlight Portugal’s Toast To America Portuguese Ambassador Domingos Fezas Vital opened his residence on June 22 for the second annual toast to America, which celebrates America’s independence Day as well as Madeira wine, a glass of which the Founding Fathers raised in 1776 after signing the Declaration of independence.

August 2017

THIS for Diplomats Enchanted Evening this for Diplomats held the benefit reception “An enchanted evening in her garden” at the Potomac, Md., home of advisory board member shahin Mafi on June 2. this for Diplomats is a nonprofit volunteer organization that welcomes and assists diplomats and their families during their stay in D.C.

Hostess Shahin Mafi of Home Health Connection Inc., center, welcomes past THIS for Diplomats Presidents Liz Klass, left, and Lynn Rothschild Gagnon.

Ambassador of Portugal Domingos Fezas Vital, Isabel Fezas Vital and President of the Regional Government of Madeira Miguel Albuquerque.

Ambassador of the European Union David O’Sullivan, Esma Isaacson and Jason Isaacson, managing director of government and international affairs for the American Jewish Congress (AJC).

Joan Keston and Susan Mulhall. Maria Isabel Macedo dos Santos and Ambassador of Mozambique Carlos dos Santos.

Ambassador of the Czech Republic Hynek Kmonícek and his wife Indira Gumarova.

An actor portrays Thomas Jefferson.

Ambassador of Cabo Verde Carlos Wahnon Veiga and Ambassador of Timor-Leste Domingos Sarmento Alves.

Brian Miguel, Shaun Curtis, Joana Carvalho and Hugo Palma.

Deputy Chief of the Embassy of Monaco Lorenzo Ravano, Ambassador of Monaco Maguy Maccario Doyle and Theo Adamstein of TTR Sotheby’s International Realty.

Gudrun Faudon-Waldner, Ambassador of Austria Wolfgang Waldner and wife of the Czech ambassador Indira Gumarova.


Tony Cammarota, Patrick McClellan and Denis Gagnon.

Frederica Dunn and Olivia Brown. Nancy Coyle, Brigitte Bächtiger of the Swiss Embassy and Roger Coyle.

Former U.S. Deputy Chief of Protocol Lawrence Dunham and Lois Stratton.

Tom and Leda DiLeonardo.

Barbara Goldlust, Denis Gagnon, Gail Roache, Lynn Rothschild Gagnon and Deborah Dunham.

Frank Wildes, Linda Wildes, Carol Bradford, Lashley Wolf and Frederica Dunn.

NAFTA Continued • page 11

team seems divided between economic moderates such as Lighthizer and National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn on the one hand, and protectionists such as chief strategist Steve Bannon and trade advisor Peter Navarro, who have advocated policies such as restricting steel imports and tariffing Canadian lumber — in line with Trump’s “America first” agenda. It’s not inconceivable for the president to walk away from NAFTA, as he did from the Paris climate agreement. But the consequences of doing so would be immediate. Scrapping NAFTA would mean disrupting the supply chains that have developed as part of the integration of the North American market. The region has become tightly lashed together, and if NAFTA is eliminated, then all bets are off with regards to tariffs. “If tariffs were to rise to preNAFTA levels and investment rules were different, it would really upend the North American economy because so much of it depends on supply chains created by NAFTA,” said McKeon of the Bertelsmann Foundation. “A lot of industries would really suffer.”

For instance, the auto industry would have to rethink the entire way it does business because the cost of vehicle components would change with changing tariffs. The virtually nonexistent tariffs for most goods circulating through North America could easily morph into walls of rising tariffs, which would hinder cross-border trade and hurt industries and consumers in all three countries. The business community is a staunch supporter of NAFTA. The Business Roundtable, an association of CEOs of leading U.S. companies, co-hosted a meeting with the Business Council of Canada and the Consejo Mexicano de Negocios in June to discuss NAFTA. Business leaders from all three countries issued a statement upholding the

trade agreement: “NAFTA drives significant economic growth and job creation in each of our countries. Hundreds of thousands of businesses in our three countries trade with one another, and millions of jobs are supported by trade in goods and services among our countries…. Negotiators must take care not to erect new barriers to the $1.3 trillion in trade across our borders. Equally, they must avoid disrupting supply chains that enable our companies and workers to produce globally competitive goods and services.” While Trump works to fulfill his vision of putting “America first,” other nations are not standing still. Canada recently completed a major free trade agreement with the European Union. Japan is now look-

Continued • page 21

Long-Shot Legal Efforts That’s why some psychologists like Gartner have publicly and persistently beaten the drum about Trump’s mental state. Gartner started a petition, which now has nearly 60,000 supporters, to remove Trump from office by invoking the 25th Amendment because he “manifests a serious mental illness that renders him psychologically incapable of competently discharging the duties of President of the United States.” Adopted in 1967 after President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, the 25th Amendment clarifies that if the president is incapable of carrying out the duties of the office, then the vice president legally can. The amendment does not spell out what constitutes incapacitation, but mental illness is conceivably a reason. It is a high bar

ing to forge a trade deal with the EU that would rival NAFTA, while also taking up the TPP mantle. And China has touted itself as an advocate for free trade and open markets in contrast to Trump’s isolationist policies. Trump may be playing to his base when he rails against the loss of manufacturing jobs, but he’s also a businessman and the head of the Republican Party, which generally champions free trade. Mexico’s presidential election and America’s congressional midterm elections both loom in 2018, so there has been pressure for Trump

House calling for a commission to oversee a medical examination of the president if the 25th Amendment is triggered. In that case, Gartner believes his petition helps give Congress professional cover. “If we can say 56,000 mental health professionals are warning you that [the president] is dangerously mentally ill, and you are thinking of removing him, we offer the professional observation for what you are seeing with your own eyes,” he said.

Trump Ghaemi of Tufts University Medical Center countered that, “If we accept the perspective that we should say nothing in public because psychiatrists have different views (e.g., bipolar vs. attention deficit disorder vs. sociopathy vs. narcissism), all of which could be wrong, in this case we must admit that psychiatrists just don’t know what they’re talking about and thus should say nothing.” Doing so, he wrote, would mean “accepting the basic critique of anti-psychiatry groups — namely, that there is no truth to psychiatric diagnoses.” Rejecting this as “nihilistic,” Ghaemi argued in his report that this approach was antithetical to science, which relies on the free exchange of ideas until the truth, which he called “corrected error,” emerges. “Science involves refutation of false hypotheses, not censorship of them,” he concluded.

Photos: Pixabay

While many economists say that NAFTA helped build up Mexico’s automotive industry, the trade pact helped American farmers and agricultural firms — often at the expense of small-scale Mexican farmers — to increase their access to the Mexican and Canadian markets.

Credit: Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead

President Trump announces his infrastructure initiative on June 7.

to clear, however. Forcibly removing a president from office would require the support of a majority of executive departments, such as Cabinet secretaries or another group designated by Congress, as well as the vice president. If the president refuses to step down, a two-thirds majority bicameral vote in Congress would then be needed to oust the president. Gartner, who divides his practice between Baltimore, Md. and New York, said his petition is based on a widely accepted code of ethics, namely the “duty to warn” — generally viewed as the obligation of all mental health professionals to notify law enforcement if a patient is thought to be in danger of self-harm or poses an imminent threat to others. But Dyer emphasized that the closest psychiatry comes to this norm is a California Supreme Court ruling specifically calling for therapists to sound the alarm about patients who pose a threat, not a member of the public. “There is no duty to warn in the actual code of ethics. It is a subjective sense that many people feel in view of the alarm of Trumpism,” Dyer wrote in an email. Despite the long odds any legal attempts to remove Trump from office face, there already is a Democratic-sponsored bill in the

Murky Terrain Yet that argument assumes agreement over which diagnostic criteria to use. Malignant narcissism does not appear in the DSM, for example, and so technically it is not a clinical psychiatric diagnosis. Narcissist personality disorder does appear in the DSM, but does not accurately describe the president, according to Dr. Allen Frances, the psychiatrist who defined the criteria for the diagnosis. In a letter to The New York Times, Frances wrote: “He may be a worldclass narcissist, but this doesn’t make him mentally ill, because he does not suffer from the distress and impairment required to diagnose mental disorder.” Rather than experience distress, the president inflicts it, typically to his benefit, wrote Frances. “Bad behavior is rarely a sign of mental illness, and the mentally ill behave badly only rarely,” he wrote. Dyer said he agreed “generally” with Frances and suggested that whether or not the president has a mental illness is beside the point, wondering if “the real objections are moral and political.” Many psychiatrists also have pointed out that personality traits such as impatience or impulsiveness should not be confused with personality disorders. And even if Trump — like millions of people around the world — were formally diagnosed with a mental illness, he likely wouldn’t be the first leader to suffer from one. In fact, psychiatrists have

to finish negotiations by the start of next year. It’s doubtful NAFTA will be completely renegotiated in the span of a few months, experts say. It’s the trade deal that rules the region, and it will govern the future of the North American market, if it survives. “NAFTA’s created a market. Let it grow and prosper,” Reinsch of the Stimson Center said. Withdrawing from NAFTA “would be a disaster. The economic consequences would be devastating.” WD Aileen Torres-Bennett is a freelance writer in Washington, D.C.

long speculated about the link between a higher IQ and mental disorders such as depression and schizophrenia, which have plagued countless artists, writers, intellectuals and, yes, heads of state. In his book, “A First Rate Madness: Uncovering the Links Between Leadership and Mental Illness,” Ghaemi uses examples such as Napoleon, Abraham Lincoln and Winston Churchill to prove his theory that, “The best crisis leaders are either mentally ill or mentally abnormal; the worst crisis leaders are mentally healthy.” Can psychiatrists help the nation navigate the murky terrain of a president’s mind? Dyer thinks they can and should. “Psychiatrists have to act responsibly. That doesn’t mean you can’t answer questions and address concerns … that can become part of the debate, even as the media focuses on the legal considerations [of] obstruction of justice and corrupt financial dealings,” he said. “Psychiatrists are … looking for ways that their contribution can be constructive rather than further burden the divide.” In the end, the ongoing debate may be a largely academic one. After all, Trump made no secret of his behavior and thinking prior to the election, but voters still elected him into office. Those voters may not care about the opinions of a group of psychiatrists, regardless whether they adhere to the Goldwater rule or break it. Dyer suggested that rather than focus on the mental status of our elected leaders, we should turn inward to reflect on who we are as a common people. “I think as a country the task we need to address ourselves is [asking] what are the values we hold in common in this country? How are they applied in a particular situation, and [what happens] if one politician and a group of politicians are flouting those values? I think that is the debate we need to have.” WD Whitney McKnight (www.whitneymcknight. com) is a freelance writer in Washington, D.C.

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