Poor Richard's Podcast-logo

Poor Richard's Podcast

Government >

The official podcast channel of ADST! Diplomacy, Warts and All

The official podcast channel of ADST! Diplomacy, Warts and All
More Information

Location:

United States

Description:

The official podcast channel of ADST! Diplomacy, Warts and All

Language:

English


Episodes

Nixon in China- A Question of Interpretation

7/11/2019
More
Nixon's "jowls were wobbling in anger" when a young foreign service officer, during Nixon's historic 1972 visit to China, saved the President from embarrassment by refusing to interpret. Here is the story.

Duration:00:09:36

South Africa, DeKlerk and the End of Apartheid

6/25/2019
More
In a one-on-one meeting in 1989, future South African President F.W. DeKlerk told Hank Cohen, America's senior diplomat for Africa, that if elected he would free Mandela, un-ban the ANC, and end apartheid. DeKlerk delivered. Here is that story.

Duration:00:07:16

Peace Baby: the First Drive from Egypt to Israel in 1980

6/5/2019
More
In 1980, James Larocco was a young American diplomat in Egypt--and a new father. His newborn daughter needed urgent medical treatment in Israel. The American ambassador told Larocco “Egyptian President Anwar Sadat called Israel’s Menachim Begin and they agreed that you will be the first family to drive from Cairo to Jerusalem.” Here is that story.

Duration:00:06:53

William Harrop on Using Soccer Balls to Build Goodwill in Guinea

5/23/2019
More
As American ambassador to poor, socialist Guinea from 1975-77, William Harrop used a $25,000 discretionary fund and lots of soccer balls to promote goodwill. From the series "Tales of American Diplomacy" by the Association for Diplomatic Studies & Training. Because diplomacy matters now more than ever.

Duration:00:04:28

Tish Butler on the 1983 Beirut US Embassy Bombing

5/8/2019
More
The bombing of the US Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, on April 18, 1983, killed 63 people, including 17 Americans. Newly-arrived USAID employee Letitia "Tish" Butler survived the bombing. This is her story.

Duration:00:14:35

Blowing the Whistle on American Corruption in Russia

7/12/2018
More
USAID unearthed a major corruption scandal in Russia in the late 1990s involving Harvard University’s Institute for International Development. Dr. Janet Ballantyne, USAID’s mission director, blew the whistle. In her oral history, Ballantyne discusses the consternation this caused with U.S. Embassy leadership, and the repercussions of her reporting on relationships with key Russian officials. Throughout the 1990s, after the fall of the Soviet Union, the United States and Russia worked...

Duration:00:07:39

Basketball: The Fifth Basket of the Helsinki Final Act and the Effects on U.S.-Soviet Relations

5/1/2018
More
The Helsinki Final Act, an agreement signed by 35 nations at the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) on August 1, 1975, addressed a spectrum of global problems and had a lasting impact on U.S.-Soviet relations. The Helsinki Final Act dealt with a variety of issues divided into four “baskets.” The first basket dealt with political and military issues, the second economic issues, trade and scientific cooperation. The third basket emphasized human rights, and the fourth...

Duration:00:08:25

CNN, Tanks, and Glass Walls: The August 1991 U.S.S.R. Coup

4/13/2018
More
In August of 1991, hard-liners opposed to Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev initiated a coup attempt to overthrow him. The rebellion occurred in part because of financial strife as the Soviet Union transformed quickly from a statist to a market-based economy. Long lines formed for essential goods including medicine and fuel, and grocery shelves were empty. Inflation rates rocketed upward as the winter approached, leading to factories lacking the funds to pay their employees. The economic...

Duration:00:11:33

Mission Unspeakable: When North Koreans Tried to Kill the President of South Korea

3/23/2018
More
On October 9, 1983, while South Korean President Chun Doo-Hwan was on a visit to Rangoon, Burma to lay a wreath at the Martyr’s Mausoleum of Swedagon Pagoda, a bomb concealed in the roof exploded, killing 21 people including four senior South Korean officials. President Chun was spared because his car had been delayed in traffic and he was not at the site at the time of the detonation. Chun had seized power in South Korea in December 1979. His tenure as president was characterized as poor...

Duration:00:07:20

Teaching the Foreign Service to Speak Foreign Languages

3/9/2018
More
The Foreign Service Institute (FSI) is the primary training institution to prepare American diplomats to advance U.S. foreign affairs interests, teaching, among other things, the languages of the countries where Foreign Service Officers will serve. At the National Foreign Affairs Training Center in Arlington, Virginia, FSI’s School of Language Studies provides 25 hours of classroom instruction per week in 24-week courses for languages such as French and Spanish, and 44 weeks for “hard”...

Duration:00:15:42

Getting the U.S. President to Write to the President of Guatemala About Human Rights (Hint – It’s Who You Know)

2/28/2018
More
With the end of the Cold War, the U.S. began to put greater emphasis on enforcing its policy of protecting human rights worldwide, based on the core belief that people have a set of inviolable rights simply on grounds of being human. Some foreign counterparts were skeptical that the U.S. would give priority to human rights at the expense of other goals. Among them was President Vinicio Cerezo Anevalo of Guatemala, who refused to accept the word of Ambassador Thomas F. Stroock that the U.S....

Duration:00:11:05

Escape from Japanese Internment in China

9/26/2017
More
In June of 1937, Beijing became one of the first cities to fall as Japanese forces began their conquest of China. In contrast to the atrocities committed by Imperial forces during their capture of Nanjing in December of that year, residents of Beijing lived relatively peaceful lives after occupation. This included the city’s population of Westerners, who could move freely throughout the city even under Japanese rule. This all changed after the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7...

Duration:00:22:53

South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission

9/12/2017
More
After nearly 50 years of brutal apartheid in South Africa, it is almost impossible to imagine how people could coexist peacefully. However, the new, post-apartheid government demonstrated the power of reconciliation, which eventually served as a blueprint for similar initiatives throughout the world. Apartheid, the racial segregation system in South Africa, lasted from 1948 to 1994. During this time, black individuals in South Africa were deprived of citizenship and virtually every aspect...

Duration:00:26:03

Observing the Fiftieth Anniversary of VJ-Day in Japan

8/29/2017
More
How to commemorate an important anniversary of the country in which you’re posted when it marks a low point in the bilateral relationship? World War II came to an end when Imperial Japan announced its surrender on August 15, 1945; officials from its government signed the Japanese Instrument of Surrender on September 2 aboard the USS Missouri. It was the end of a series of losses for Japan, including the detonation of an atomic bomb over Hiroshima on August 6, the declaration of war on Japan...

Duration:00:12:13

"The Wild West" - Peshawar and the Afghan Mujahedeen

8/22/2017
More
In the late 1970s, the USSR had been supporting the Afghan government in its fight against rebels, who had made considerable inroads and controlled territory outside Afghanistan’s major cities. Determined to squash a growing threat, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan on December 24, 1979. Soviet troops and swarms of helicopters overthrew the government, which Moscow believed had contributed to the instability, and installed a pro-Soviet government, forcing millions of Afghanis into refugee...

Duration:15:54:37

Take This Job and Shove It, Mr. Kissinger

8/8/2017
More
In the late 1960’s, the United States had become polarized by the Vietnam War, as even many defenders were beginning to question the goals and tactics of the military. One such person was William Watts, who at the time had been promoted to the position of White House Staff Secretary for the National Security Council under President Richard Nixon in 1969. As such, he worked closely with Henry Kissinger, who at the time was National Security Advisor, as well as prominent people from the Nixon...

Duration:00:23:44

Korean Visa Fraud and GI Brides

7/25/2017
More
As long as there are vast economic disparities between countries, there will be people desperate (and unscrupulous) enough to do whatever it takes, including fraud and false marriages, to try to immigrate. Before its economic takeoff, South Korea in the 1970s and 80s was a major source of visa fraud and so-called GI brides, women who looked to escape the country by marrying a U.S. soldier stationed there. Others were “sold” by their families and others to soldiers to take them to the U.S....

Duration:00:19:10

Persecution of the Kurds

7/11/2017
More
The Kurds have had a long and troubled history in Iraq. Under Saddam Hussein tens of thousands of Kurds were massacred and their villages destroyed during Iraq’s war with Iran in the 1980s. In the aftermath of the 1990-91 Gulf War, the Kurds, staged an uprising against Saddam and fought to gain autonomy over the Kurdish-dominated region of northern Iraq. However, Iraqi troops recaptured the Kurdish areas and hundreds of thousands of Kurds fled to the borders. A “safe haven” was then...

Duration:00:31:57

Pac-Man Fever

6/27/2017
More
July 2016 saw the explosion of the global phenomenon Pokémon Go, where people walk around town (and often into traffic or ditches) trying to catch various animated creatures that look like they are actually sitting there in front of you. (If you really do believe they are in front of you and not just on your smartphone, please seek medical attention immediately.) While many welcome this as a fun way to get out off the couch and others see it as another Sign of the Approaching Apocalypse,...

Duration:00:09:59

U.S. Diplomatic History in Brief

6/8/2017
More
This podcast is adapted from a one-hour lecture given to classes of newly-hired Foreign Service Officers in 2005/2006 during their first week of training at the Foreign Service Institute. Mr. Zetkulic is a Senior Foreign Service Officer who was then serving as Executive Director of the Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training.

Duration:00:49:49