The Mideast at Telluride's Library: Lecture 2/1, 6 – 8 p.m.

The Mideast at Telluride's Library: Lecture 2/1, 6 – 8 p.m.

[click “Play”, Lawrence de Bivort discusses current Middle East affairs with Susan]



Lawrie & Sus Outside the Telluride bubble, the New Year came in with a bang. Waves of unrest that began in Tunisia and spread to Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and Yemen suggest the old order from might be ending.

In response to these seismic shifts in the global landscape,Telluride’s five-star Wilkinson Public Library invited long-time (20 years) Telluride local Lawrence de Bivort to share his perspective on the Middle East. It is an opportunity for Telluride locals and guests to hear from the horse’s mouth: in a career spanning 40 years+  years, de Bivort has worked as a consultant and policy maker on the Middle East to the Beltway, including to the White House, where he currently advises on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

De Bivort’s talk, “What in the World is going on in the Middle East?,” takes place Tuesday, February 1, 6 – 8 p.m. in the Library’s hyperactive Program Room. Among the timely questions de Bivort plans to address:

• Will all this just blow over? Or has something of historic significance

• Who is next?  Algeria? The PA? Iran? Pakistan? Afghanistan? Iraq?  Syria?

 • What does this do to traditional US foreign policies and goals?

 • What is the story on the Global War on Terror?  Iraq? Afghanistan? Pakistan?

The evening begins with de Bivort looking back over his shoulder at the history of the region as we know it today. He explains:

“Elitism, corruption, power-hunger, anti-democratic politics, cultural denigration, violation of the principles of freedom and self-determination, collaboration with wealthy powers against the interests of their own peoples, and economic exploitation – all these have burdened the peoples of the Middle East since World War II.”

All this boiled over with the events that included the Israeli-Arab wars of 1956, 1967, and 1973 and the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.

“Some of the peoples of the Middle East began to consider violent ways of freeing themselves from the colonial and neo-colonial experience. Terrorist tactics attracted a few, but their disruption was so great that the US launched a ‘global war on terror,’ and this then led to today’s unfortunate and unnecessary tensions between ‘the West’ and ‘the East.’ Today’s headlines are direct results of these powerful dynamics.”

Click the “play” button to preview more of de Bivort’s talk.

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