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It might help to give a little background of why and how John Rendon is here, tonight. Turns out that five of the Long Now board members have worked with John Rendon in the past in one meeting or another. Danny Hillis, Peter Schwartz, Paul Sappho, me, and we just got reminded, Kevin Kelly, John remembered Kevin in a session we were doing in the future of science, and Kevin had forgotten it. The thing that all of us have found is if there's some kind of workshop or meeting and John Rendon is there, the workshop will go better. He has, doesn't say much, but when he speaks up he has extremely useful interesting stuff to say and when you're working in government meetings and workshops you always wonder if it's going to connect to anything in the real world, because there's a lot of gears that don't. And when John is there, you know that the gears are connecting, because it is engaged, and I don't know what he's going to say tonight. Which is part of the pleasure for me, because usually with other speakers, I sort of know, but in this case, it's the man and his experience that we're bringing, and his interest in something that the Long Now is interested in. I've talked to three people about how the political needs to engage an important role of governance, which is long term responsibility, and a better way. That seems to have gotten out of whack somehow. And Madeline Albright has said she would like to give a talk on that subject. Al Gore has said he would like to give a talk on that subject, in the sequence. But when I raised the subject with John Rendon last week at a workshop we were at in Berkeley, The Future in Latin America, he said he would like to talk on the subject. So please welcome John Rendon. Thanks, Stewart. Good evening. It's important for full disclosure that I share some observations. First off, these will be my personal observations. They don't represent the government of the United States, other governments, planets, solar systems. Also a thousand years ago when I was 12, I served as executive director and political director of the Democratic Party. I was director of scheduling in advance for President Carter, and from time to time served as an analyst for BBC World Television. With a small, global audience of 365 million people every day, which in a global information environment means that they reach more people in one broadcast than all the US networks combined. In fact, in the United States, they have a larger audience than Fox and MSNBC, which are two of our premier panic channels. A little humor is okay in the summer. I want to thank Stewart for inviting me. I've known Stewart for a few years, he's a brilliant insightful soul, probably the first mythic poet I've ever met. But I was really sort of intrigued and not baffled, but moderately depressed by one of his emails either this afternoon or yesterday when you said I'd come out from behind the curtain, and maybe 25, 26 years ago, when I was President Carter's convention manager in New York, ABC did that piece about Oz and the person behind the curtain, so I'm thinking, a quarter century later, I'm back doing this same thing. It's really a thousand years ago. I wanted to talk about a couple things. Stewart touched on this. I am increasingly concerned about the polarized nature of the nation, and I think it's harmful to the country, because people who hold views very passionately, and passion is a good thing, get attacked viciously by people on the other side, and as some people mentioned to me this morning, there's no voice in the moderate middle. And what I wanted to do was just to share some observations about the War on Terrorism, and most importantly against those observations talk to you a little bit about the length of and the nature of a conflict and why I'm really happy and honored to be here. Because I think you may be the only group or continuing conversation that's taking a long view to everything. Or to anything. Uh, bless you. The increasingly, in Washington, everybody is consumed with today's news cycle. The tyranny of real time as Nick Gowing, who is the principal presenter on BBC describes it. And nobody has taken any time to think about time in a long view. And so I'd like to share my observations against that backdrop. I started with the notion that 1,756 days ago, there was an attack in and at the United States, and as I began to think about that, it also occurred to me that 22,163 days ago in this very room the United Nations started. And if we look back over that period of time and if we begin to think of things in a longer context, we begin to see things a little bit differently. At the start of the war, the information objectives of the US military were really for to create and maintain a coalition to counter, deter, and defeat the enemy, and the enemy would change over time. To support the war fighter. If brave men and women are going to go in harm's way, they deserve some support. 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Not 9 to 5 Eastern Standard Time. To counter, deter, and degrade the enlistment of potential terrorists. So let me talk a little bit about each one of these in a little bit more detail. I think if you're being honest with yourselves and you asked yourself if this is really a global war on terrorism, or America's war on terrorism, you would tell yourself that it's America's war on terrorism. And yet in open source reporting alone, since September 12th, 2001, over 76 countries have conducted unilateral operations against terrorist targets or provided support for other countries that were doing that. And these were countries that were saying so on their own. Now, admittedly in that, some of that is round up the usual suspects, some of it is domestic political considerations. But there is enough that is going on in different places and many countries are participating. So what does that mean. That means that probably one of the largest strategic conundrums of the war is that the difference between perception and reality is divergent. The perception is that it's America's war on terrorism and there is enough comment that it's really a global coalition working in different places at different times. Coalitions are, as people in the government would say, a center of gravity. The relationship of the United States and other countries is vital. Against that backdrop, the US government has a huge credibility deficit when it messages overseas and has so for a number of years. We must find ways not just to engage the governments of other countries, but it's important and in our vital interests that we engage the people of other nations. Counter, deter and defeat the enemy and the enemy will change over time. We learned early on, because of the credibility deficit of the government, to talk about bin Laden and Mullah Omar, meant we actually increased their value. So the debate shifted a little bit from people to their organizations. Because we could tell the truth, and in that truth is what al Quaeda sought to do, which was to turn different countries in to the next Taliban state. That dynamic has shifted once again. It's now important to talk about the tactics that they use and not necessarily the people who use them. After all, who could support someone who puts a bomb on a school bus and kills children? Who could support, and this actually is a real issue in Iraq now, who could support someone who stops a busload of people and checks their Ids and then selectively executes people because of their name? And then, as we begin to think about this, we need to think about the multiverse and not just the universe. What we do is, we tend to look at things just from our eyes and not from others'. And this derives together with the coalition, strives together with the importance of other countries and other cultures, and the values that they bring to the fight. Now, in terms of what's going on now, I'll share these observations. First, I think we're fighting two wars. Where we shouldn't be. One is, we're fighting a war that's comprised of real terrorists, coming at us and at coalition partners, whether it's London, Madrid, Casablanca, Aman. Names, faces, places, locations, some of which we know and some of which we don't. That war is being fought largely by the military and the intelligence community. And it's being fought tens of thousands of miles away from here, and sometimes close to the border, or even just inside the border, with law enforcement agencies. And that part of the war, quite candidly, is going fairly well. A lot's been stopped, sometimes in the middle of the night. But it's going fairly well. The second war is the war of potential terrorists, some of whom are alive, and some of whom are not yet born. And that's the war I can actually lose sleep over. Colleagues of mine who are media analysts and native language speakers from the region remind me that in this war, it's really not a war of potential terrorists, it's a war of potential allies. And these allies are individuals, and they're citizens. And here's the reason they say that. If you remember my comment earlier about the credibility deficit of the US government messages overseas, then think about this: we say that it's not a war against Islam, and we run the risk that 1.2 billion people hear that it is. If 1% of them are violent extreme actors bent on attacking and destroying the United States of America and coalition partners, that's 12 million people. If they come with support networks of 2 to 3%, that's 48 million people. Now, no government of the United States, regardless of political party or ideology is going to authorize the construction of a combat operations plan that goes after 48 million people one by one. That means that if we don't think long, and think long sooner rather than later, we will be in a situation where we will be fighting the fight and not necessarily fighting to win. So what does that mean? That means in reality, the threat comes not from the 12 million people, the 1%, the threat comes from the rest if we don't get them engaged in the nature of this conflict. What we need to do is to, and I'm going to borrow from Tom Friedman on this, we need to turn the street into an active ally and away from being a passive observer. What we really need, and this is to think long again, is we need the parents and the countries to believe because it is true that the American people care more about their children and their children's children, than the governments of the countries in which they live. If we don't start thinking about the people in these countries, we're going to miss an enormous opportunity. Against that we have some choices and challenges. First, we remain a peacetime government while the military and others are at war. Second, we are an industrial age structure in an information age environment. And that hasn't changed. Third, we have tactical opportunities that produce strategic threats. This is the temporal conundrum problem. That right now there are actions being conducted in a number of places that meet a requirement at a tactical or local level now that could very well create a strategic problem in the longer run. And then I think the single biggest threat in the nature of the war is that the United States unplugs from the rest of the world and disconnects. I know after a recent debate in Congress which was very vitriolic, I had the opportunity to call an old friend of mine, who was a former member of congress, and I told him that I was afraid that the Xenophobes were overrepresented in Congress. And this guy, with a good Southern drawl, said, "Rendon? You just might be wrong. There are a lot of them here." So what does that mean about the nature of the conflict now? Early in the war, and I would go back now to December 2001 and all of 2002, we conducted a number of focus groups globally. We conducted them because we weren't sure if the war was going to break out, where else it was going to go. So we used marketing techniques, focus groups as I just mentioned, specifically with the point of trying to find out what people were saying, because we thought if the war was going to break out, it would manifest itself in the rhetoric of young people first. So we did gender-divided, age-splits on youth, 16 to 20, 21 to 25. So here are the top lines of that. Young Muslims said to us, "You look at us but do not see us. You talk to us but do not listen. You believe in democracy inside your borders but not outside. And you lead in creation and innovation but you do not share." And I look at that research probably once a quarter, and I ask myself, how much has changed. And those views remain the same. Across different countries and across different regions. Ironically, to me, the first several of those points are virtually identical to research that we saw in the late sixties and early seventies, and in the early seventies, I worked on Phase 2 de-segregation in Boston. And this "look at us but do not see us" and "talk to us but do not listen" was virtually identically to what we were seeing across Boston and what we saw in the Civil Rights movement across the South. The second set of research that we took a look at really asked the question about the United States, Do you support the United States or not, do you like the United States or not. The most interesting question of that was What is the United States to you? And this is where degrees of separation became very important. If the respondent to these surveys had studied the United States or worked in the United States, or had an immediate family member that did so, their definition of the United States was the American people. And at that point it was a high positive and a low negative. So you would think, 80 something to teens. If they were two and three degrees of separation out from that respondent, they defined US policy as American businesses in the global marketplace. McDonald's, Burger King, Nike, Reebock. And that was in the negative probably low fifties, medium forties. And if they were four and five degrees of separation out from that, their definition of the United States was the US government, and that was a very high negative to a very low positive, in fact, it was inverted. If you thought about people who, respondents who defined the United States as the American people versus respondents who didn't know the American people and defined it as US policy, those numbers were virtually identical, but inverted. So a recent poll that Piu did pointed out some very interesting numbers, that in a number of countries, popularity or support of the United States continues to decline over time, but there remains huge separation in numbers between a definition of the United States as the American people and a definition of the United States as US policy. Therein lies a key in the long war. In reality, what the United States really needs is the strength and the credibility of the American people to increase the strength and credibility of its government. So what about solutions. Talk a little bit about networking strategy. And I'm going to do this from the same three places that I just described in the early polling numbers. Talk a little bit about the government, a little bit about the private sector, and then a little bit about the American people. First, I think the future is about convergence, those of you that are in technology would all see that and a lot of the conversation is about platforms on convergence. But I think it's about convergence not just in communications but also in relationships. So what should the United States government do to shorten the long war? First, we need to use soft power to recover the credibility of the government. And it's not about spin, it's really about substance. I remember a friend of mine describing a conversation with President Clinton in Russia on a trip that he went over there, and the President was troubled and for those of you that know President Clinton, you know what troubled means. And he was expressing himself, and those of you that know President Clinton know what that means. And he was outraged that the news media would not give him credit for the things that he was doing, and one of these senior aides turned to him and said, "Mr. President, bad facts do not make for good spin." We need to use soft power as Joe Nye describes it to increase the credibility of the government. But what about issues we share in common with different populations? I think one of the success stories that hasn't been told as much as it should have in the wake of the wall coming down and the transformation in the post-Communist environment, is how much of a role the National Endowment for Democracy has played in giving people an opportunity of empowerment, and an ability to express themselves, and to help with the formation and creation of governments. With that as a backdrop, I would encourage you to think about the creation of a Global Endowment for Education. It's important that every child on the planet has access to education. I would ask you also to think about the Global Endowment for Health Care. This is really about pre-natal health care, this is about immunization, this is about stopping diseases that break out in these places. And places that people don't pronounce. And they haven't been to. Also getting the Visa issue right is vital in our interest. There are colleagues of mine that have told me stories about what it's like, so I'm going to share one of those with you now. In some of our embassies, people spend the equivalent of one month's salary for the privilege of scheduling an appointment to stand in line for 4 or 5 hours, regardless of the weather, to go in, and it's a crap shoot, and they bring their children with them to find out whether or not they can get a visa to come to the United States to visit. And invariably, depending upon how they're treated or what the process is like, some of these parents come out and they're actually crying from the experience they've just gone through. And that's hard enough if you think about somebody that wants to come to the United States. Just as a visitor, this isn't a work permit. And this colleague of mine reminded me that it's not just about the parents, it's about the children of the parents who just watched their parents be treated that way. And here, not far away, in Silicon Valley, the whole emergence of the Silicon Valley phenomenon had a lot to do with people who came from other countries, who shared their insights, their observations, learned, and then worked and helped make it productive. Visas are vital. Conductivity is essential, whether it's the hundred dollar laptops at the media lab, we have to find ways to get people connected through technology, through experiences, shared commonality. All of that becomes essential. For those of you that are active in alumni programs with your respective universities or schools, alumni programs with international students are essential. The government also has to do, I think, a better job of engaging publics at home and abroad. Dialogue is helpful, debate is essential. In fact, it's vital to our national interests. After all, how can we tell people that it's important to come up and have a democracy and a country if the debate here isn't permitted at home? Then also I think universal service, which started under the Clinton administration is also important to keep in mind. In this, I think a little bit about the Peace Corps, and I think about the experience in the Tsunami, that I think now is almost a year and half, almost two years ago. I got one of the first alerts in activity that we maintain about open source information about the earthquake. And then in conversations shortly thereafter, by email, with military commanders in the Pacific, and at other commands, about the fact that an 8.9 earthquake was going to have havoc, which was what the first news report was. And that providing humanitarian assistance was essential. We watched with interest over a period of time about how support for the United States shifted in Indonesia. I guess the good news is, I told people that were on this that over 35 days, support levels for the United States moved 56 points, and that was the good news. The bad news was that over 35 support levels for the United States moved 56 points, that if you move that many points in that short a period of time, they can move back. And if there is not something that comes in behind humanitarian assistance that has enduring value on the ground, can actually lose the nature of the support that was developed. And now in Indonesia the support levels for the United States, as of last month, the computer was at 37%. Also to peg off of what Joe Nye talks in soft powers, that there's also a balance of smart power. Which is a new characterization. Which is using both a combination of strong, or hard power, and soft power, and applying it selectively. And then as I think about the government and I watch everything that's transpired over four years, and I see frustration, not just in citizens but also in people, commanders and soldiers, sailors airmen and marines, I'm becoming increasingly convinced that the best role for the United States government is to be the enabler and not the actor. The private sector: this is about connectivity again. This is about connectivity and technology, connectivity and education, connectivity and health care. American businesses that operate in the global market space that form part of the definition of what the United States is in an increasingly connected world, having increasing responsibilities, not just to their shareholders, but also the citizens of the United States, and equally important, if not more important, are citizens of the country in which they do They've really got to take a look at it. And they've got to engage at a much greater level. About a week ago, I was in Germany for a meeting and I was talking to somebody and she had virtually perfect English, and I said to this person, well where did you learn your English? I fully expected it to be an English program in her school, and she said when she was growing up and going to high school, Volkswagen, which was just coming into the United States at the time, which gives you an idea of the age of the person, who could actually talk about the Beetle. And she said Volkswagon paid for her entire high school class to study in the United States for 1 year and paid for US students to go study in Germany for one year. And I thought that was a tremendous program. And then I wonder about US businesses that are operating out there now, whether they would consider doing something similar, or helping wire schools in places in which they work. And then finally and most importantly the American people: what can they do? Senator Kennedy's done a good job, in the United States Senate, of establishing the importance of building bridges. But bridges go both ways, they're two way streets. And this ties back a little bit to the United States government and what it can do. But if you think about the world, and think about the world in a global context and the different countries and cultures, and I'm fortunate to work in 91 of them, the reality is that we have much to learn from each other. This isn't about bringing people over from other countries and asking them to learn how we do things so that they can do things better. We have to learn from them as well. And so in that-- I want also to think about the importance of education. This is sort of my magic wand solution. I ask colleagues from time to time if they could do one thing what is is that they would do that would make a difference. And my answer to that question, because I'm not immune, is that I would make the third year of high school in the United States mandatory overseas, and I don't care what direction the students go. If we lose touch with the rest of the world, then we'll see the rest of the world as a threat and not as an opportunity, and the diversity of this nation is what produces the strength and the character of the American people. Along with that, we could do a lot with health care. This is about building partnerships. I like the concept of the bridges that Senator Kennedy talked about. But health care in communities across America should be related to health care and communities across the Middle East, related to communities across Asia. We should be able to use the technology that has made such a big difference in everybody's lives, certainly in this room, across the country, an ability to build a bridge on education, an ability to build a bridge on health care. And then also on communications, and I would say this to the news media across the United States, you're not absent from this either. I think that newspapers in the United States could do a lot worse than trading one position and partnering out with a news organization in the Middle East. I would think, for example, in my own state of Massachusetts that the Boston Globe could send one journalist to work for Al Hayat, and take one journalist from Al Hayat to the Boston Globe for a year. I think that helps. This is about understanding each other, it's not about being right. And the finally I think we have to think about how jobs, how economics works, in a number of these countries, and a number of these cultures, and give people access to that very innovation that they see in the United States that they admire and that they respect, and that they think we keep away from them. So finally before I get to the 4,312 questions that you've obviously collected, let me just address the future a little bit. I think that the future, other than my comment about the final frontier in San Francisco and the starship enterprise, I would tell you that I think the final frontier is really about networks and narratives, desperately in search of an alliteration, you say. The networks are all about linked people, organizations, the scalability, social networks, not just hardwired networks, I think we really do have to find a way to have people communicate across boundaries and borders. I think the old definition of borders no longer works. And I think also that this multiverse, each of you has a universe around yourselves, or if you're here with family members, it's around your family members, and you come together and it pulls apart at different times. Well, you have to understand that everybody sees something, lives something differently, and that that multiverse is essential. And then it's about the narrative. I think a lot about this too, in the context of the long war. What is it that people will be taught in schools five years from now around the world about what transpired over the last five years? Whoever writes that narrative will probably decide, will play a big role in whether the war is a hundred months long at that point, or a hundred years long. This narrative will become central. And how will those stories be handed down, family to family? Neighborhood to neighborhood, generation to generation. This narrative is essential. And how will that story be told in movies, which after all are our tools of time. It's about networks and it's about the narrative. And then I come back to my concern about the crossroads the country's in, so I took a little bit from Robert Frost's two paths, and I wonder if we can think about this from the nation's perspective, then I too will be telling this with a sigh that somewhere ages and ages hence two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by, and as the political discourse in the nation polarizes even more, that road that's less traveled by, which is maybe the one of civilized discourse, that's the one that will make all the difference. It will make the difference over months, over years, and over the ages Robert Frost described. So thank you very much for having me, and I promised Stewart that I'd actually leave time for questions, and also for answers, so thank you very much and Stewart, you come up here now I guess?