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Born in St. Louis, Senator Christopher S. 'Kit' Bond is a Sixth Generation Missourian, the two term Governor of the state, he was elected to the Senate in 1986, and was returned by Missourian voters to the Senate in 92, 98 and 2004. Senator Bond currently serves as the Vice Chairman of the Senate Select Intelligence Committee which conducts oversight of and authorizes the budget for the U.S intelligence community which includes the CIA, the National Security Agency, National Reconnaissance Office and a variety of other offices responsible for national intelligence production and analysis. He is also the ranking member of the Appropriation Subcommittee that funds the Nation's Housing and Transportation needs. Senator Bond graduated from Princeton University in 1960 and received his law degree from the University of Virginia, having graduated first in his class in law school. I might have mentioned the thing about cell phones, thank you for demonstrating. If all have cell phones, if you will turn them off now, I would really appreciate it. In 1969 well after serving as a clerk to the Chief Judge of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta, Bond practiced law in Washington D.C. before returning home to Missouri. In 1969 he became an Assistant Attorney General under former Senator John Danforth. Before being elected State Auditor in 1970, Bond was chief counsel of Missouri's Customer Protection Division. At age 33, Kit Bond became the 47th Governor of the State of Missouri, the youngest Governor the state has ever had. He was re-elected to a second term in 1980. Senator Bond's son Sam Bond, is a 1st Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps stationed in Iraq. Having nearly been waylaid Washington over fierce negotiations regarding intelligence measure that the senate passed Friday night, we are deeply grateful that the senator was able to change his travel plans and fly in today in order to be with us and participate in our discussion, "The Security and Preparedness". Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Senator Kit Bond. Thank you very much Tom, thank you. Thank you very much Tom. Thank you ladies and gentlemen, indeed it's a real honor the pleasure to be here, I am just sorry I didn't have more time to spend with you. You know it's not easy being a member of the House or Senate these days in Washington, because Congress well it has never been more probably never been as unpopular it is now. We are engaged in a race to the bottom in the public opinion polls with the President and we are winning somewhere around less than a quarter like what we are doing. But so when I got your invitation to leave Washington and come up here, I jumped at it. I thought this was a great opportunity. Now you probably know that a number of my colleagues in the Senate are writing books. Some I think 28 of them have written books at one time and right now as I understand it, Senators Clinton, Obama, Biden and McCain are all writing books. It might have something to do with the fact they are running for a president. Well, I could assure you, I am not running for president. I am writing a book and my book is not about anything that any political campaign is going to be talking about. The book that I am writing and the subject I want to talk to you about today is South East Asia. Now some of you might say "Uh-huh South East Asia". Well, I have come to the conclusion that I probably won't get invited on Oprah or the Today Show to talk about the book. But that doesn't mean the subject isn't very important because I think it is. I don't have to tell this group that we all know that the world is getting smaller; the global economy is making all of our nations more interdependent. Similarly the war on terror has caused nations to intersect in ways that we may never have dreamed of previously. Just this past week we had the tragic image of North Korean South Korean missionaries captured in Afghanistan by the Taliban and being systematically murdered. Since September 11, 2001 there has been no stronger foreign policy imparity than understanding and reacting appropriately to the Muslim countries of the world. Despite the importance of the Muslim world to our national security, most Americans know really very little about Islam, from the radical dialect to Islamic political ideology to the more peaceful practice of religion which by and large most Muslims follow. And most Americans know very even less about South East Asia, it's a generally moderate Muslim population; and the dangerous elements that still exist there. I am going to discuss with you why the South East Asia region is important to us? What our challenges are and what I think that we ought to be doing? The region primarily is the original ASEAN group five nations Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore will be the main focus of what I talk about today. But there are five others. I hope some of you had an opportunity to see these maps. When I told my wife who is my strongest critic about this, yesterday, she said "well, give" I said well, this is a very well very intelligent group, she said, "they will probably still need a map". So you have a map that's a hand out. This ASEAN region is oh here it is so okay boy! There is nothing like having a handing president to a hand out the information. But the ASEAN region is our third largest export market. I made my initial visits there to promote agriculture, and value added egg exports, military exports of McDonald Douglas, now Boeing aero planes and other manufacturers. It is an area where many of our countries, - many of our major companies have chosen to invest or outsource to have access to the Asian market. And when the Asian contagion struck in 1997 and flattened the economies of that region, agricultural exports from the United States dropped from $12 billion almost to zero. And as one who represents a farm estate in the Mid West, I can tell you that farm prices are inelastic. And the drop in those farm prices brought recession almost to depression to our heartland agriculture, something that makes renewed my interest in South East Asia. Well we have lots of investments there and we have lots of trade. But China is threatening to establish economic hegemony over the area. They are bringing in the abundant American dollars they have to invest in the region and attempt to capture the entire region as their market. At least that's better than what they were doing 15 years ago when they were using military muscle to try to force their way and to get access to the oil and gas in the South China Sea, particularly the Spratly Islands. But it is a strong competition. Strategically, South East Asia is very important. If you look on the map, you will see the Straits of Malaka which run between essentially between Indonesia and Malaysia and Thailand. This is a choke point for the traffic in South East Asia and more than half of all the ocean transported petroleum products go through that region, a region previously bedeviled by pirates but also threatened by any power that wants to choke off the energy supplies to the region. Militarily we used to have bases in the Philippines, when the Philippines shut our bases there, we moved to our friends in Singapore who expanded Chun-king naval base to allow us the basing rights, we have military exercises with Thailand and cooperate with Malaysia. And we have been working very actively in the Philippines with their military to put down the terrorist activities in the Mindanao or Muslim regions of southern Philippines. But that brings me to the point that Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and the rest of South East Asia, are areas that we have to focus on because in the world wide efforts that the deadly terrorizing the ideological terrorists are threatening us, these threats could come from South East Asia. In the Philippines, Abu Sayyaf gained notoriety by beheading American missionaries. Moro Islamic Liberation Front has been a dangerous terrorist organization. And the Indonesian, the most deadly of all terrorist groups in South East Asia, Jemaah Islamiya or JI operates in the Philippines and throughout the region. It was my view and it was confirmed in open testimony before our intelligence committee, that South East Asia is potentially the second front in the war on terror. If we don't get it right in South East Asia, we could be facing increasing threats there. So let's take a look at South East Asia, very briefly and you see it on your hand out, you can see the countries there, their population and their percent of the population that's Muslim. And you can quickly figure out that some 210 million Muslims in Indonesia make it the largest Muslim nation in the world. In addition, Indonesia is key to the entire South East Asia region, when you ask anybody in any other country, in the region, how are you doing? They say "Well, we are doing all right but we are worried about Indonesia". Indonesia suffered through long dictatorships, Sukarno, and Suharto and tried unsuccessfully with a couple of popularly elected leaders. But finally they have a new President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. For your benefit and mine, we will refer to him by his initials SBY. SBY is a Muslim. He was an army general. But he put away his uniform when he took office. And having studied at Leavenworth Fort Leavenworth under the military's International Military Education Training Program, he knows full well what it means to have appropriate civilian control over the military. And he has taken great strides toward to reforming the Indonesian military. He sought to root out corruption which is endemic in that region and particularly virulent in Indonesia. He has working to gain security over the islands of Indonesia. And if you look from the left to the right, if you put Indonesia, if you put the western tip of Indonesia which is Aceh - Banda Aceh on the map of United States the eastern most parts of Indonesia would be in Bermuda. That tells you the size of the country that holds 235 million people; fourth largest country in the world. I have had the pleasure of dealing with President Yudhoyono when I visited Aceh right after the tsunami hit in late 2004 and extended an invitation to him to come back to the Webster University in St. Louis from which he had gotten a degree to give an address. He accepted and I was pleased to welcome him there. But when I got back to the Senate and started talking about how important our aid was to Indonesia, the American military send in the aircraft carrier, Abraham Lincoln Marine Ship, helicopters, it brought water supply, medical personnel came in from American NGOs along with Singapore and Australian NGOs, our embassy did a fabulous job. And I believe they saved literally tens and thousand of lives. I spoke a lot about Indonesia on the floor, in the Senate and found out much to my regret that probably less than half of my colleagues could even find Indonesia on the map, much less know what it is. And I suspect the portion of American citizens knowing that is somewhat less. That's when I started got the idea to try to write a book, to try to open up the discussion and get people to understand more about South East Asia Another key area, Malaysia is 52 percent Muslim and it is an interesting area, lots of US involvement. Previously it was headed by a Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad who was rather a prickly fellow; who made it a practice to attack westerners particularly Americans and Jews, as he built his following among the Muslim Malay and he developed a government that strongly tilted towards Muslims and the Malay. He was very difficult to deal with. He has been succeeded by a more moderate President Abdullah Badawi, who has spoken of the need to preach moderate Islam or Islam Hadhari as he calls it. But now we see Badawi either covertly or overtly supporting the expansion of Sharia Law and you may have read of the case of the woman who was going to be tried for - by a Sharia court for trying to leave the Islam faith and become a Christian. They frowned on that and the possible prosecution was a real problem. Thailand also another area, if you have never visited Thailand as a tourist you want to do that, it's a great place for Americans to do business. But it also has a Muslim problem in the southern part. Heavy Muslim population there has been engaged in active insurrection; it has not yet attracted the international terror groups like Al-Qaeda or Jemaah Islamiya, but the attacks are nevertheless very savage and a threat to the region. The military coup over a year ago which through out a popularly elected President Thaksin Shinawatra; is problematic for the US in trying to deal with that country. We hope they get back on path. Last year this time I was in Cambodia, an area that had quite a few problems with the Khmer Rouge. Former Khmer Rouge member, Hun Sen is now the President and he is cooperating with us in dealing with the threats that Al-Qaeda poses by trying to work in the minority Cham population of Muslims in Cambodia. Singapore is a very solid ally in that part of the world. Very well educated, predominantly Chinese, very successful, but they are much they feel much like Israel does in the Mid East because Singapore is a non Muslim country that is very economically successful in a sea of Muslim countries where most people are not so successful. And the country has been built by Lee Kuan Yew, who is brilliant political strategist; he is not a Jeffersonian democrat. And all you have to do is ask people from the Wall Street Journal who have been shut down for criticizing him. They can tell you about that. And they have a little they have a policy of dealing with terrorists who have tried to strike them. They arrest the terrorists and they have put them away for two years, and ask them if they would like to talk. They would like to tell who their friends are and what they are doing. At the end of two years, if they haven't talked, they put them away for another two years. And they ask him if they would like to talk. And that keeps going on. If they don't talk they keep getting two year extensions of their government supported housing. Now that's not a model you should follow. I am not recommending that. But they do, do some things in the prisons that I think are helpful. They have mullahs, trained Islamic clerics who work with the re-education of the terrorists as they support the as they support the families of the terrorist to convince them there is a better way. Now as we try to deal with South East Asia, we have some perception problems. As you have always heard, America the ugly Americans or they view us an arrogant super power, we have the power and we are regarded as being an arrogant super power. They also look back on our withdrawal from the Vietnam War. The perceptiveness withdrawal there led to genocide in the region with the killing of probably three million plus Cambodian, Laotians, and Vietnamese. At the time they viewed America's interest in the region as not being interested in the region; but being all anti communist all the time. And now they see us as being all anti terror all the time. But for the Muslims there are additional problems that we have. They are very they are very disturbed by our support of Israel in contrast to the Palestine people. They feel the Afghan and Iraq war is another showing that America is invading Muslim countries and they continue to harp on the criminal outrages in Abu Ghraib is showing how we treat Muslims. But on a more positive light they find much to admire in the US. They see they love our economic opportunity, the prosperity, the American investment there, the American movies and entertainment, the American Franchises, Starbucks and McDonalds. In writing researching the book, my co-author even talked with terrorists in training. One of them who is learning to speak English said, what he really wants to do was to learn English, so he could come to America and make a lot of money. He suggested that his background may give him a little problem getting a visa to come to the United States. Probably the one thing that that is for the leaders in the ASEAN countries that makes us most popular is the fact that we are a balance to the perceived threats that they see of Chinese hegemony. They would far rather have us being actively engaged in the region; so they would not be totally dependent upon China as a market or as a supply for their region. They want the economic competition, so they see us there. One of the things so how do we deal with the South East Asia? One of the first things we need to do in dealing with Muslims is to understand that we must make distinction between the radicals who commit terrorist crimes and try to pull around themselves the cloak of the religion. And the vast majority of Muslims too often American's knee jerk reaction is to regard all Muslims as terrorists. And there are far, far more Muslims in this world than are the very few who have taken the terrorists role. One of the useful distinctions, I think that some of the scholars have made is that we need to remember that the terrorist philosophy or as some one called as the Al Qaeda apostasy really has is in violation to the Qur'an. Jim Guirard of the Free Muslim Coalition has laid this out. He and Michael Waller in a book, Fighting the War of Ideas like a Real War, have said, we make a tremendous mistake when we call these evil doers Jihadists, because in the Muslim religion Jihad is a personal struggle to achieve moral superiority and righteousness as required by Allah. A Methodist ministerial friend of mine said to Jihad is to a Muslim like Revival is to a Christian. And if you went around calling a band of a band of bank robbers revivalists, you have probably set the teeth of a lot of Christians on edge. And that's what we do when we call the murdering terrorists, Jihadists. There is a word in Arabic, as defined by the Qur'an; those people who wantonly murder innocent women and children and commit terrorism are Hiraba Hiraba. And the people who commit Hiraba are mufsidun and we ought to be calling them mufsidun, certainly a lot less flattering than calling them jihadists. And we need to encourage more Muslims to help define the distinction between Jihad and Hiraba. A quarter of a century ago, my good friend, former colleague, the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan warned in a different time, of semantic infiltration. He said when we adopt the language of our adversaries in describing themselves and political reality; we are giving them a tremendous advantage. Most totalitarian governments at that time called themselves, liberation movements. And Pat Moynihan said, we should not influence others our own perception of our adversaries, by giving them the title they would like to claim. Yet too many in our in our government even now call them jihadists. I had an argument with a representative of the State Department who was calling them jihadists. And I wrote to Secretary Rice about that. I said, "Get on with the game, these are not jihadists." I met three weeks ago, with the ambassadors from all the ASEAN countries. And they said that one of the biggest problems they have trying to convince their people that Americans really like them is that our our media regularly equates Muslims with terrorists. And the Muslims in their countries think what they see on television is what America is. So we need to change. What can we do? We can support moderate Islamic governments like SBY and Badawi, economically, militarily, politically. We need more visits. President Bush has visited the region more than any other president recently but regrettably he has had to cancel next months visit because of the Iraq war which is a double edged sword for them. But we need more visits from members of Congress. When I was in Malaysia two times in the three year period back in the 90s; and our ambassador told me he said I felt like the Maytag Repairman, because in three years no body visited him except me. No body else from Congress was in that important country for three years. Well we need tourists, we need US businesses there, we need trade, investment. South East Asia really needs out investment. The Defense Minister Teo of Singapore told me the most powerful thing US has is a good example. Through trade we demonstrate the benefits of doing business with America. Regrettably the new congressional majority in Washington is totally opposed to trade, aren't at least moving anything on with trade. We need to renew the President's trade promotion authority, does not look like that's going to happen and we may not even renew approve the Free Trade Agreements already signed. But the South East Asians want the United States to assist them and particularly United States more business to develop their own indigenous small businesses. One good example of that, Kodak, is making its presence felt throughout the region by setting up franchises; franchises who are independent business people getting obviously getting Kodak's applies and dealing with the job of selling film, film processing and photos in the region. This is one thing that can help. We need to get but to get more US involvement you need transparency in government, regulations, sanctity of property, contracts, absence of corruption, the things that the World Bank sets out very clearly in its index of doing business in which Thailand and Singapore are ranked very high and Philippines and Malaysia rank very low. The problem I say first hand in December 2005, I was meeting President Arroyo, she said she wanted more US investment. I said, madam, you got to have you know, sanctity of contracts, absence of corruption and just went down that list and the conversation took an immediate 90 degree turn. And she said, well, China is investing billions of dollars in our new metro system and billions of dollars in resource development. Unstated, but clearly implied was, you and the white horse you rode in are you can forget about telling us how to clean up our business climate because the Chinese are going to bring us dollars anyhow. Well, that's the problem. And that's the problem we have to deal with. What we need to do is get direct US investment in trade. We need educational exchanges between US and ASEAN countries, like the Eisenhower program that my friend John Volf had exchanges between universities. We need more US citizens on the ground, as tourists, as Peace Corps members, mightily important. Peace Corps numbers have been declining throughout the world and and precipitously in South East Asia. We need the volunteers in Asia, the Financial Services Volunteer Corporation, more activities like that. But we also need to do a better job in public relation and strategic information. Tom mentioned the fact that my son is fighting in Iraq. And he wrote me a very frustrated memo two months ago, saying they went on to have two totally successful missions in which they killed Al-Qaeda, established a a command and control with the Iraqi police, pacified the area with no loss of lives and yet when he went back to his headquarters, he checked out the media, and American media reported that not the successful missions. But they erroneously reported that 25 police recruits were killed, 50 Iraqi civilians were injured, three children killed, none of that happened. You know he my son said, we are absolutely positively and without a doubt, losing the war in information operation. He said what incredible economy of effort the enemy is afforded when the United States media is their megaphone. Well, they have got their own megaphones. Al-Jazeera, which transmits their propaganda across the world and other media. They use their media outlets and it's a shame that sometimes they can use ours. But al-Zawahiri, the second in command of Al Qaeda knows that his best hope and the best hope of Al Qaeda is to defeat the United States with propaganda because they know they cant win in a war. In addition the radical mufsidun are incredibly proficient in using the internet, propagandizing on the World Wide Web rail, reaching terrorists and shaping Muslim attitudes from the Middle East to South East Asia. And their message obviously is Palestine versus Israel, Afghanistan, Iraq and Abu Ghraib. We set up our first Arab speaking group of internet operatives in December in 2006, a little bit late in the game, it's a nice step, but we can't just play defense. We need to stress the positive messages. Tsunami relief and what we did there. In Mindanao, our special forces go in, clear areas, with Philippine military and bring in US AID to build buildings, to build facilities and as the Philippine Ambassador told me when we met a few weeks ago, the Pilipinos have a very positive view of President Bush and the United States. One of the things that we are not doing is using our radio assets or our TV assets to spread a message an honest message about the United States and what we have done in the region. Like we used to have a very powerful Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, but right now we are sponsoring broadcasts of dance music competing with commercial broadcasts and not getting any messages out. We need to get out voices of Muslims, from their region, and from first and second generation Muslims in this country. We stand a very articulate United States, Christian women to the region to talk to Muslim women. Not only did that not go very well, they reacted negatively. We have to speak to them in their own language. We need to promote US-ASEAN media exchanges. We need to support positive efforts. In Indonesia the Wahid Institute set up by a former President Gus Dur or his real name is Abdur Rehman Wahid; whose daughter Yenni runs it, is doing a great job. The Jordanian government under King Abdullah had Amman Message. The good news is that July 24th, the Pew Center put out a study saying that Muslim support for terror is declining by half in key countries including Indonesia. Well I think the Pew Center finding is significant. It means that time is ripe for the west to seek a better relationship with moderate Muslims. One based on mutual understanding. We don't have to tell them we that they should like us or they approve of all we do, we need to find opportunities to share our share their goals, our common goals and share our views that we want to promote their security and prosperity and freedom in their countries. So that few of their people are tempted to be adopt radical means. In closing I quote a British and a frequent visitor here, actually talking about Karen Armstrong, who says, "The September 11th apocalypse was a revelation. An unveiling of a reality that had been there all the time but which had not seen clearly enough before. We live in one world. What happens in Gaza or Afghanistan today will have repercussions in New York or London tomorrow". To paraphrase Ms. Armstrong, I would say that what happens in Jakarta or Bangkok today will also affect the west tomorrow. Ms. Armstrong goes on to say, "Well, we and the first world cannot continue to isolate ourselves in our wealth and good fortune. If we do those who feel dispossessed or excluded will come to us in a terrible form. The study of other people's religious beliefs is now no longer really desirable but necessary for our very survival." Thank you for you attention and thank you for your willingness to join me in an effort to understand a region too few have thought about.