Cogwheel Archive

Northfield Rotary Cogwheel | 7.9.09

July 7, 2009

Richard Collman leads us in songDSC_0002; Karl Gleason presents his work in HondurasDSC_0005

Today’s Program: Karl Gleason and MEDICO, humanitarian work in Honduras and Nicaragua (Ehresmann)

Birthdays: Orv Marks (7/6) and Candy Taylor (7/7).

Next Week: Romanian Orphanage (Schlichting)

Last Week:

If the United States is to bring some semblance of order and stability to the Tribal Regions that spill over the Afghanistan-Pakistan border — a refuge for Osama Bin Laden and al-Qaeda — it must work with Pashtun tribal leaders and the Taliban. That’s the analysis of Robert Flaten, former ambassador to Rwanda, who spent part of his 32 years of service in Afghanistan and India.

The Pashtun nation is key to the success of any of our military or diplomatic objectives in that region, Bob said, and the Taliban, riding the dual forces of Pashtun nationalism and Muslim fundamentalism, does represent its interests.

Bob characterized the Pashtuns as tough, fiercely independent, deceptive, loyal and hospitable. They number 40 million across Afghanistan and Pakistan. They have been in constant friction with the Pakistan government since its inception and are determined to maintain their independence.

Misguided decisions by past imperial powers divided the Pashtun people between Afghanistan and Pakistan. Attempts by outside powers, the British and Russia in the 19th century and the former Soviet Union in the 1980s, to tame the region have all ended in humiliating defeats. Many in Afghanistan predict a similar fate for the U.S.

Yet, President Obama has made Afghanistan a pivot point in the pursuit of terrorists. Bob said the decision not to enter the Tribal Regions with overwhelming force, but to employ a strategy of alliance building with tribal leaders is the way to go.

Changing of the Guard: Outgoing President Laurie Williams was honored for her leadership during this past year. She received a “standing O” and a round of “For She’s a Jolly Good Person.” She said it has been a privilege to serve the club and uphold its rich traditions. She passed the gavel and president’s pin onto our new president, Rick Estenson and wished him well.

Rotary Minute: Rick Estenson chose Mia Farrow’s presentation and his visit to Stonehenge the day before the summer solstice as highlights of the International Rotary conference in Birmingham, England. This year’s international slogan is: “The future of Rotary is in your hands.”

Guests: Jon Rondestvedt (Brown-Wescott), Dieter Prowe (Prowe), Mary Flaten (Larson) and Matteus (Dilley).

Scholarship Enhancement: Fred Rogers

Announcements:

There is still time to sign up for the summer social scheduled for Wednesday, July 22, from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Kris and Rick Estensons. Look for the signup sheet today.

Vicki Dilley reported that more Rugs for Rotary were sold. Our net is now $2,800.

Coming Up:

July 22 – Summer Social at Estensons

July 23 – no meeting

Welcome New Members:

Missi Arens – Matthew Detert – John Fossum

Jodi Fritz – David Koenig – Leo Lawlor

Matthew Rich – Mary Rossing – Mark Thacher

Ross Thompson – Therese Whitesong – Colleen VanBlarcom

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