ROBERT GATES

GEORGETOWN ALUM AND FORMER SECRETARY OF DEFENCE ROBERT GATES BEGAN HIS PRESENTATION WITH AN INTRODUCTION MADE BY OUR VERY OWN PRESIDENT BOREN, AMONG THE CROWDS OF PROFESSORS AND ASPIRING STUDENTS. I SAT AT A TABLE OF EIGHT, NEXT TO A PROFESSOR OF PHILOSOPHY AND AN EX MATHEMATICS PROFESSOR. THEY HAD THEIR WIVES WITH THEM, AND WE ALL POLITELY CONVERSED AS ACADEMICS DO (I THINK I COULD BE CONSIDERED AN ACADEMIC?) TALKING ABOUT OUR STUDIES, PROJECTS, AND THE RANDOM THINGS WE ALL HAD IN COMMON, WHILST POKING AT THE SALADS AND CROISSANTS IN FRONT OF US. DR. GATES EVENTUALLY CAME OUT, AND HIS IMAGE AS PROJECTED ON AT LEAST SIX SCREENS ABOUT THE ROOM. HIS SPEECH CONSISTED OF HIS VERY AMERICAN-CENTRIC NOVEL, DUTY: MEMOIRS OF A SECRETARY AT WAR, WHERE HE OUTLINED WHAT LED UP TO THE WAR IN IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN, AND THE DIFFERENCE IN BUSH’S AND OBAMA’S POLICIES. GATES ALSO OPENLY CRITICIZED CONGRESS AND THE CONFUSION OF PARTY POLITICS WASHINGTON, BLAMING SOME OF THE TROOP INJURIES ON THE FOCUS OF CONGRESSIONAL RE-ELECTION. HE WENT ON TO DESCRIBE AMERICA’S CURRENT STATUS IN SYRIA, IN THE MIDDLE EAST, WITH CHINA AND RUSSIA. HE DEPICTED RUSSIA AS A DECLINING POWER, IT’S LEADER VLADIMIR PUTIN ‘ACTING LIKE A PETULANT CHILD’ AND CHINA ALSO A FALLING WORLD LEADER, ITS DECLINING POPULATION AND ITS INDUSTRIAL ECONOMY INCLINING TOWARDS THAT OF THE CONSUMER-BASED (EDGING AWAY FROM THEIR INDUSTRIAL STRONGHOLD). LISTENING TO HIS COMMENTS ON RUSSIA MADE ME CRINGE, AS I KNOW THAT RUSSIA’S DWINDLING POPULATION CONTRIBUTES TO ITS SOFTENED POWERS BUT I DO NOT IT WILL BE EXTERMINATED AS EASILY AS DR.GATES PROPOSES. RUSSIANS ARE TOO TOUGH AND SMART FOR THAT. MOST CYBER-ESPIONAGE IS CARRIED OUT BY RUSSIANS, ISRAELIS, CHINESE AND AMERICANS. MOST OF THE PETROL OF  EUROPE IS LOCATED IN RUSSIA. 
DR. GATES’ PRESENTATION WAS AN INTERESTING ONE, THOUGH PROBABLY NOT WORTH THE $33 I SPENT ON IT.
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