Cogwheel Archive

Rotary Cogwheel | 10.27.2011

October 26, 2011


Rotary Cogwheel: Thursday, Oct. 27, 2011

Today: John F. Koser:  “You, Too, Can Build an Airplane” (W. Abdella)

Happy Birthday: Doug Crane and Brett Reese (10/25)

Next Week:  Omar Jamal, First Secretary of the Somali Mission to the United Nations (Flaten)

Last Meeting:

I wouldn’t want to be standing next to Bob Flaten in a lightning storm. Everywhere the man goes, there seems to be some sort of trouble.

Drawing on his personal experience in Afghanistan during his time in the Foreign Service, he treated us to a cogent analysis of that international hotspot and the evils that await any move we make.

Despite our decade-long effort to fight terrorism and reshape Afghan society, Bob reminded us that our campaign is a short sidebar to that region’s larger Indian-Pakistani cover story.

“We are just bit players in that drama,” he said.

Pakistan was complicit in creating the Taliban. They see it as a Muslim buffer against Indian infiltration. The U.S. bears responsibility, too.  We persuaded Saudi Arabia to funnel weapons to the Afghan resistance during their war against the Soviet Union. With the weapons came a fierce brand of Islam.

At this point, there are no good choices. If we withdraw support from Pakistan, they will likely cut our supply lines to Afghanistan. If we withdraw from Afghanistan, Bob predicts the Taliban will regain control and pose a threat to both the United States and a wobbly civil Pakistani government. That could mean putting nuclear weapons in the hands of militant jihadists. Bob said this could take another decade to sort out, but we are running out of time.


This Just In — Laurie Williams is the proud owner of a “new ride,” courtesy of our Rotary car raffle.  Her name was drawn at Dokmo Ford-Chrysler Saturday morning.  Angie Tanghe won the Weber gas grill and Linda Boree the $500. Congratulations to all for a successful event.

New Members: Jacob Conway (Bierman), Robert Craig (Estenson) and Geralyn Sheehan (Taylor) were inducted into the club. Welcome one and all.

Guests: Erin Mayberry (V. Dilley), Megan Tsui (Boxrud), Jesse Streitz (Williams) and Paul Ryland (Rich)

Scholarship Enhancement:  Mathilde Mortensen


— Mike Lane announced that the 11th Annual Rotary Turkey Trot will be held on Thanksgiving. The committee is looking to expand corporate sponsorships. They will be $200 this year. He could use a couple more turkeys, I mean members, for the committee.

Coming Up

Nov. 10 – District Governor Judy Freund, host – (Bierman)
Nov. 17 –  “Inspiring Possibilities, Realizing Dreams” Laura Baker                                              Nov. 24 — Turkey Trot
Dec. 1– Felcia Speychal, Exchange student from Sweden (Holden)