Catalytic Diplomacy

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Adventures in Foreign Policy and Peace Activism

This series of lectures are drawn from the two memoirs by Jeremy J. Stone describing 45 years of his work from 1962–2007. Each video is designed to place some effort—success or failure—in historical and personal perspective revealing, in particular, an activist's motivation and thought processes in dealing with a specific dilemma.

This material may be used freely for educational purposes. Comments may be sent to Jeremy Stone.

Lecture #1

In the first part of this lecture, the author describes how the Nixon Administration smeared him in retaliation for his criticism of John R. Foster's testimony as Director of Defense Research and Engineering in the Pentagon. The second part describes how he was instrumental in persuading Henry Kissinger to meet regularly with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The last part shows how, as a consequence of the Kissinger affair, a letter received by Stone from White House Counsel Dean played a role, on the climactic day of Watergate, in paving the way for John Dean's key testimony against Nixon. The lecture draws also on John Dean's Conservatives Without Conscience.

This lecture is drawn from Chapters 6 and 7 of Every Man Should Try: Adventures of a Public Interest Activist (PublicAffairs, 1999). It was recorded on May 4, 2011 in Catalina Hall, La Costa Glen, Carlsbad, California.

Lecture #2

In 1963, Stone invented the idea of a U.S.-Soviet agreement not to build anti-ballistic missiles systems and wrote the first serious paper on it. This video describes how he did it; how he campaigned for it in Washington; how, in 1966, he was the first to carry this idea to Moscow; and how, subsequently, he campaigned in Washington and Moscow for the ABM Treaty until it was ratified in 1972. This treaty was the most important arms control treaty of the Cold War and lasted for 30 years.

This video was recorded at Brentwood Theater, La Costa Glen, Carlsbad, California on March 2, 2011 at 4 p.m.

This video is drawn from Chapters 1 and 2 of Every Man Should Try: Adventures of a Public Interest Activist (PublicAffairs, 1999).

Lecture #3

In March, 1983, President Reagan announced his intention to develop and deploy a Star Wars defense of the United States imperiling not only the ABM Treaty but the progress of strategic nuclear weapon disarmament. This video describes how Stone invented and sold, in both Washington and Moscow, a "bear-hug" strategy that would permit and even encourage disarmament notwithstanding the Reagan policy. This strategy was ultimately adopted. 

This video was recorded at Brentwood Theater, La Costa Glen, Carlsbad, California on April 4, 2011 at 4 p.m. The subject matter is drawn from Chapter 21 of Every Man Should Try: Adventures of a Public Interest Activist (PublicAffairs, 1999) supplemented with information from Way Out There In The Blue: Reagan, Star Wars and the End of the Cold War, Frances Fitzgerald, Touchstone Books, 1999 which draws on memoirs of Reagan-era officials.

Lecture #4

Stone was invited to attend a May, 2011 conference in honor of the 90th birthday of Andrei Sakharov—Nobel Peace Prize winner and inventor of the Russian hydrogen bomb—and asked to give a plenary address describing a "good theory" that would defeat the apathy and passivity of the Russian public and which would do so in the spirit of Andrei Sakharov.

This latter part of this video blog is a report on that theory—a theory of "attack corruption first" and its positive reception in Moscow. But in the first part of the video, Stone describes how—beginning in 1973—he defended and befriended Andrei Sakharov and other Soviet dissidents. In the process, he invented a "balancing detente theory" that changed the attitude of the American scientific community from a presumption that scientists should not be involved in political affairs to one that presumed that the scientific societies, and scientists, should involve themselves in the human rights of repressed foreign scientists. Some of this memoir shows vividly shows how small activist steps can lead to major changes as in chaos theory.

This lecture is drawn from Chapters 14, 15, and 16 of Every Man Should Try plus new material from a trip to Moscow from May 16 to May 24, 2011. The paper presented in the "defeat corruption first" theory is posted on this website under the title: "A Patriotic Campaign Against Corruption in the spirit of Andrei Sakharov". It was recorded in Brentwood Theater at La Costa Glen, Carlsbad, on June 8, 2011.

Lecture #5

Jeremy J. Stone describes his career interactions with the Central Intelligence Agency. He describes his apprehensions about becoming the editor of a journal being run by persons who had, previously, run a CIA-front magazine. He describes the illegal CIA program Chaos of domestic surveillance that put a CIA spy-agent into his office and that of other peace groups.

He goes on to tell how a letter of inquiry he made in 1971 catalyzed a four-year-long bureaucratic dance ending in the termination of the CIA's 20-year-long illegal policy of opening the mail of Americans. As a fitting coda to this bizarre affair, the CIA miscalculated and sent Stone a most interesting memorandum of conversation in which it plotted to maintain a knowingly illegal operation! In the aftermath of this story, Stone persuaded Senator Kennedy to introduce a bill making it a crime for government bureaucrats to lie to the public.

In 1988, he turned to catalyzing visits of high CIA officials to Moscow as a result of a humorous interaction with the CIA Deputy Director Robert Gates. This had considerable success in 1989. Later, in 1991, on return from North Korea, he began an ultimately successful effort to secure the cooperation of the CIA and the KGB on North Korea as a test case of a general campaign for CIA-KGB cooperation on crime, drugs and proliferation. The lecture ends with a discussion of his friendship and collaboration with CIA Director William Colby in Colby's retirement and with Stone's involvement in Colby's decision to purchase a vacation home—a decision that led, ultimately, to Colby's death. He reveals that it was at the home of another CIA Director, Robert Gates—3,000 miles away from the location of Colby's death--that he learned, through an insight of Gates, the cause.

This lecture was given in Brentwood Theater, La Costa Glen, Carlsbad, California on July 6, 2011.

Lecture #6

At the end of the Vietnamese War, the secret bombing of Cambodia by President Nixon destabilized an on-going civil war in Cambodia and permitted the Khmer Rouge, headed by Pol Pot, to take over the country, empty the cities, and begin a reign of terror that lasted for three years and took the lives of an estimated 2,000,000 Cambodians.

After his government began to falter, in 1978, Pol Pot tried to strengthen his position by provoking the historic enemy, Vietnam. He attacked several Vietnamese villages on the border. After efforts to resolve this by negotiation through third parties, the Vietnamese counterattacked, pushed Pol Pot's Government into the jungle, and installed a replacement government led by Cambodians who had defected from the Khmer Rouge and been allowed to enter Vietnam. Hun Sen became the Prime Minister of this Government.

Notwithstanding the genocidal nature of the Khmer Rouge and the justification of the Vietnamese invasion, the U.S. and China urged the U.N. not to recognize the new Government and recognition remained with the Pol Pot Government which, in particular, denied Cambodia any UN aid. A hydra-headed insurgency began designed to overthrow the Vietnamese Government. It was composed of a royalist faction, a democratic faction and a Pol Pot faction.

On return from a first visit to Cambodia in March, 1989, I learned that the State Department and Congressman Stephen Solarz--who chaired the Asia subcommittee of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the House of Representatives--were urging that arms ("lethal aid") be sent to the Royalist and Democratic insurgents.

This lecture reports on my campaign of opposition and, in particular, on my success in getting the Chairman of the Senate subcommittee on Asia, Alan Cranston, to hold related hearings which, in due course, persuaded thirty-three Senators to stop the appropriations. This struggle to prevent the United States from entering a second Indochinese War reveals a good deal about how Washington works. See the next lecture on Cambodia for three subsequent efforts to end the civil war.

Lecture #7

This lecture reports on my continued frenzied efforts, over three years, to close down the Cambodian civil war. The first effort centered around material sent to me by journalist Nate Thayer, which I placed on the New York Times op-ed page. It showed that the United States Central Intelligence Agency was forcing all three factions to work together and was funding the operation--something the State Department was denying. The constraints on the op-ed page prevented this information from having the impact which I had expected and Washington seemed to ignore it.

The second, more successful effort, arose when the Russian Foreign Ministry agreed to a suggestion of mine. It said it would persuade the Chinese if I would persuade the Australians. This worked and the suggestion removed a deadlock in the then on-going negotiations over ending the civil war.

The third, also successful effort, was my invitation to Premier Hun Sen to visit Washington at the time of the Congressional debate over funding the Cambodian election. Hosting Hun Sen for a week in Washington and in New York permitted Washington to engage with him and was an important part of the effort to secure the $250,000,000 necessary for the vote.

This lecture is drawn from Chapters 23-25 of my memoir "Every Man Should Try: Adventures of a Public Interest Activist".

Lecture #8

This lecture describes how the author managed to arrive in China in 1972 only one month after President Nixon. This was the first scientific delegation and it contained, also, the Chairman of Federation of American Scientists (FAS), Marvin Goldberger, and a lawyer who specialized in Chinese law, Jerome Cohen.

The delegation sought to catalyze scientific exchange which had been broken off between America and China in 1949. The Chinese asked about the governmental status of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) which, we recognized, was being urged upon the Chinese as the appropriate partner for scientific exchange. They wanted to know if NAS was an "official" part of the U.S. government or was non-official. China was following, then and now, a one-China policy and knew that NAS had relations with Taiwan. This was a barrier to doing business with NAS if, but only if, NAS was an official part of the Government.

Stone knew the answer to this—that NAS was listed in the Government organization manual as "quasi-official"; he told them that this meant they could handle this any way they wanted and that FAS would support their decision. Later, they returned and said: "Thank you for assuring us that NAS was non-official".

The lecture discusses the author's speculation, based on comments that Premier Zhou had made over dinner with the delegation that Zhou had cancer. On return, the author organized a cancer delegation to go to China and sent messages to China asking for visas. The messages were never answered. It appears from information provided years later that the messages were intercepted and prevented from arriving by the Chinese side. Chairman Mao did not approve of helping Zhou with his cancer.

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Current Activites

This talk responded to a request from the leader of an on-going lecture series at La Costa Glen on astronomy who wanted to know more about the work of Professor Richard Muller at the University of California, Berkeley whose astounding theory of a second star in the Solar System was summarized in the famous book Nemesis: The Death Star—The Story of a Scientific Revolution.

Drawing on the material in this book and on two related books by David M. Raup (The Nemesis Affair and Extinction), the lecture makes the case for periodic extinctions of life caused by comet impact every 26,000,000 years with a few lucky exceptions. The comet impact is caused by a small star, Nemesis, which orbits the Sun with a 26,000,000 year periodicity and brings, in its trail, a rain of comets, some of which arrive in the inner solar system and one or more of which hit the Earth.

This lecture was given on July 16, 2011.

More information about this diet can be found at the Catalytic Longevity website.

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