Month: October 2014

Former Director of Israeli Mossad Interrupted by Protesters During UT Lecture

Meir Dagan, the former Director-General of the Israeli Mossad, gave a lecture at the LBJ School on October 14 that was ultimately remarkable not for its content, but rather the reaction it produced. Literally translated to “The Institute for Intelligence and Special Operations”, the Mossad is the Israeli organization responsible for national intelligence collection and counter-terrorism operations. Dagan led the Mossad from 2002 to 2009 and ultimately left the organization a controversial figure. As Director-General, Dagan significantly increased the special operations carried out by the Mossad and was allegedly responsible for the deaths of several important political figures in...

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The Water Conversation

We all know water is important. For one, it’s essential for life. Aside from that, it’s essential for producing almost everything you depend on. Think about your day: You brush your teeth, you shower, you check your email, get gas on the way to work. All of these activities require water. The electricity you use is produced with water. Water is used in almost every industrial process you can imagine. You know that water is important, and you know Texas has a water scarcity problem. But what do you know about water management? Texas water law is complicated. The...

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Sectarianism in the Middle East: Neither Inevitable nor Permanent

The emergence of sectarianism in the Middle East is a modern historical problem. That was the message of Dr. Ussama Makdisi, Professor of History from Rice University, in his October 2 lecture at the LBJ School. Only by evaluating sectarianism as a complex historical development, Makdisi argues, can we hope to move beyond repeated failed attempts to quell Mideast violence and help establish the conditions for a lasting peace. According to Makdisi, sectarian strife in the Middle East should be understood not as the natural manifestation of violence between inevitably opposing groups, but rather as the product of mishandled...

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Nostalgia in Argentine Politics

Agustín Rossi, Argentina’s Minister of Defense and potential presidential candidate, spoke at the LBJ School recently. While Rossi’s speech pointed to many of Argentina’s clear successes in terms of its relationship with South America, it was also littered with reminders of the country’s fixation with the past. This fixation is not particular to Rossi, but rather it is characteristic of the national mindset that largely dominates Argentine politics. The claims of sovereignty over the Malvinas Islands, use of outdated nationalistic rhetoric, and unwavering support for inefficient economic models are indicative of a nation that has valued nostalgia above practicality. ...

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