Monday, October 13, 2008

Figures of Speech: Big scary world edition

This feature will take a look at some highlights of the lectures on the schedule for the week ahead. This week, former US Ambassador to the UN John Bolton, journalist Steve Coll, and author Philip Bobbitt are giving talks.

The One You Can’t Miss
On Monday at 4:30 in Dodds Auditorium in Robertson Hall, John Bolton will speak on “The UN and American Interests.” Bolton’s civil service culminated in stormy tenure as US Ambassador to the United Nations from 2005 to 2006. His Senate testimony and eventually recess appointment to the post generated a great deal of controversy, in part because of his past criticisms of the international body. (“"If the U.N. secretary building in New York lost 10 stories, it wouldn't make a bit of difference.”)
To borrow a phrase from Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), John Bolton was not voted Miss Congeniality in the U.N. Many conservatives still agree with his approach to the U.N. and respect his work there.
This lecture follows news of further developments in talks with North Korea. Bolton, a neoconservative, has criticized the U.S.’ recent approach to the talks.
Word Watch: North Korea, veto power, Condoleezza Rice, and Taepodong.

The Ones You Still Shouldn’t Miss
On Tuesday at 4:30, also in Dodds Auditorium, Steve Coll will give a lecture entitled “The Bin Ladens: An Arabian Family in the American Century.” Coll spent two decades at the Washington Post in the role of foreign correspondent, and later managing editor. He has also written an eponymous book on the Bin Ladens, his second involving that family.
Word Watch: Northwest Pakistan, CIA, videotapes, and dialysis.

Finally, on Wednesday, once more at 4:30 and in Dodds Auditorium, Philip Bobbitt ’71 will discuss his new book, “Terror and Consent: The Wars for the Twenty-First Century.” Bobbitt, a law professor at Columbia University, has served in multiple administrations, both Democratic and Republican. In the 1970s, he served as Legal Counsel to the Iran-Contra Committee in the Senate. Professor Aaron Friedberg, Wilson School Dean Anne-Marie Slaughter '80, and Professor Kim Lane Scheppel will also speak; the latter two will be discussants and the former will speak before Bobbitt.
Prof. Bobbitt’s senior thesis was entitled: “On Wittgenstein and a Philosophical Topology.”
Word Watch: Black sites, Boumedeine v. Bush, CSRTs, and ARBs.

Check back next Sunday for a preview of next week’s lectures.