November 1, 2001 PAUL WINEMAN DAY at WVRC

Yes, it was a barnburner as expected! Pres. GEORGE wisely decided to keep the early program short, giving PAUL more time - and he needed it all. See below. There were a few substitutions in the prelims. PP JIM DOWNIE stepped in to lead the Pledge, and then did double duty as the accompanist for The Battle Hymn, as led by LENNY FRIEDMAN. In a risky move, PP ERIC LOBERG was asked to lead the Invocation, and he kept it short and sweet - good job, ERIC. PP HOMER NEWMAN introduced three visiting Rotarians - Jim Sharp, a physician from Beverly Hills, his wife, Rhoda, an educator with a home club in Rancho Mirage, and a scientist from Studio City/Sherman Oaks, Allessio Coppola. Many, many visitors with THREE related to RUDY ALVAREZ. Funimori Minakawa, an Ambassadorial Scholar from Japan, Special Guest Cathy Marie Rezos, who is a business consultant, and her partner Matthew Carey. They are the principals in the Legacy Management Group. Several husbands and wives were present, including PP HOMER NEWMAN and Sally, married these 15 months, PP RALPH WOODWORTH with best friend Bettye, PETER MORE and President of the Auxiliary Shirley, and PP JIM DOWNIE, who topped them all by reminding us that he and Margie have been married a mere 51 years!

Pres. GEORGE next introduced SANDY SANDERSON, who will be replacing DENNIS CORNWELL as the organizer of some of the preliminary activities - DENNIS is staying close to the office, in these uncertain times. PP DOUG DESCH told of the travails he encountered as Manager of the Claremont Theater in Denver, some time ago. They were showing Sign of the Cross, with Claudette Colbert - bathing in a tub of milk, what else? One lady protested, DOUG turned on the house lights, and came down to help her. She complained that the lions were eating HER people, but DOUG assured her they were only eating the Christians, and she seemed satisfied. Shortly afterward, she again called for him - this time he knew where she was, approached with a flashlight, and she was upset that one of the lions WASN'T eating - apparently there were some Christians still left!

Next up was PP JIM SUMNER, and you will be surprised that he had a golf joke. Seems there was a golfer who had finished his round, and enroute to his car, he met an attractive and provocative young lady, who practically insisted that he buy her a drink. After a couple, she invited him to her apartment, where the usual took place. When he got back to his house about 1 a.m., his wife was irate - "Where the hell had he been?" Deciding that the truth was best, he related his adventure. She stopped him - "Don't give me that - you were drinking with your friends, and then got into a poker game!" So perhaps the truth isn't always best - perhaps he had the same poker ability as YOE, for whom my group sends a limo to be sure I get there…

PP DAVE WHITEHEAD reported on last week's Computer Class, attended by 32 stalwarts, all of whom needed help. He first blindsided us with a pop quiz, asking what the various control keys were for - our average score was not impressive. He particularly thanked BOB YOUNKER as the primary instructor, PETER MORE for setting up an alternate computer, and PP RON LYSTER, who had nothing to say. There may be another such class - stay tuned. DAVE did offer some advice to our Speaker - Afghanistan and the border problems with Pakistan may be tough, but stay away from that border dispute between West Hollywood and LA! MARK BLOCK reported our great success with the Patriotic Pin campaign, as supplied by PP JOHN SINGLETON. We are sold out, but JOHN will have more next week - and remember, the entire ten bucks goes to the relief of our fellow citizens in New York, distributed by the NY Rotary Club. ART HENRY reported that our Call A Colleague program is doing very well - do give him a ring anytime. SLOSS VIAU spoke of the need for men's clothing for our local Salvation Army housing unit, and DORE CHARBONNEAU seconded him, adding that the men's clothing they need most is so the residents can make a good impression when looking for a job.

Three quick announcements, please - SHARIN KLISSER has resigned, due to job pressures. Please save Nov 7th and 14th, when "Going to School" will be shown. at the Culver Hotel, Culver and Washington Blvd. in Culver City - 7:30 p.m. This depicts handicapped kids in school, and has been very well reviewed - RUDY ALVAREZ has more information. And an early reminder, please - mark your calendar for Thursday December 13th - MIKE YOUSEM will be leading the Venice Boys and Girls Club shopping trip that evening.

I was pleased to introduce our Speaker, PAUL WINEMAN. PAUL was a ten-year member of WVRC, resigning in 1996 due to extensive travel overseas. He spoke to us at least annually during that time, plus speaking at many other Rotary Clubs in our area. He is primarily a marketer and negotiator for many major U.S. corporations, with 30 years experience traveling the oil producing areas of the Middle East He speaks Farsi, and early in his career served with the Shah of Iran instructing his forces in parachuting and related strategy. PAUL'S first comment was that he would be speaking from his own perspective. He began by outlining the career of Osama bin Laden, who was one of 26 sons born to his father, a very successful building contractor in Saudi Arabia. There was immense wealth, which was shared with the sons, and bin Laden decided to use his money to help drive the Russians out of Afghanistan. When he returned to Saudi Arabia, he found US troops there, made quite a fuss, and was expelled from the country and deprived of his citizenship early in the 90's. He moved to Sudan, was expelled from there, and so ended up back in Afghanistan.

The four pillars of his jihad are oil, oil, oil and Israel. Since the two major events in the Middle East (the formation of Israel in 1948 and the Israeli-Arab war in 1967) the policy of the United States has consistently been to maintain oil supplies, sign lucrative contracts, and preserve the status quo. After the first bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993, the US did nothing. Same zero response to the Khobar Towers bombing in 1998, no response to the Embassies bombing in 1999, nor to the USS Cole attack this past year. Thus, we DID maintain the status quo, insuring our oil supplies, our local bases were intact, and we kept all those monumental contracts - but at what cost? Our lack of retaliation simply encouraged the terrorists.

What does bin Laden want? #1, the US gone from the Arab world. #2, Israel gone. #3, corrupt Western-oriented Arab regimes overthrown, and #4, the pervasive effect of American culture no longer allowed in the Arab world. On the other side of the coin, what do WE want? #1, terrorism gone with help from a worldwide coalition, #2, bin Laden dead. #3, those harboring terrorists punished, and #4, (this is PAUL'S wish) - after the Taliban, one at a time, taking out Saddam Hussein, and probably Syria, Libya, and Algeria. He points out that all the Arab states are weak, and getting weaker. The Arab states most threatened are Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, Kuwait, Oman and the United Arab Emirates. And bin Laden believes we will tire of the contest, and give it up. Remember that we pulled the rug out from under the Shah, over Human Rights, yet! When you have a society where at least 50% of the population is illiterate - as in Iran - you MUST use strong methods, and we didn't understand this. We were reminded that we need to show the Muslim world that we are fighting terrorists, NOT Muslims - and we can't do this by dropping leaflets (they don't read, either). He said repeatedly that we would be successful in this war - we MUST be - but it won't be quick. It is legitimate to bomb during Ramadan, according to Muslim law - and we SHOULD.

He expects both the Canadian and Mexican borders to be closed, essentially, and while he doesn't agree, we may all be carrying ID cards someday. Regarding Israel, our government really doesn't want peace! The tension that exists suits our purpose - or did, until now - but it does appear that we will begin to lean hard on both the Israelis and Palestinians to, at the very least, put their violence on the back burner. This conflict is an obvious running sore to the entire Arab world - a major reason why they hate us - and thus a solution there would be a major help in healing some wounds. He pointed out that the three largest recipients of US aid are Israel, the Palestinians, and Egypt, so we do have some clout there, after all. As to why we aren't liked, his basic answer is, Who Cares? We need respect, not being liked - and we won't get respect unless we show how strong we are. The Arabs are impressed by strength.

Q&A (and the wide-ranging subjects really show how interested we truly are). PP STEVE SCHERER - are the women really ready to revolt? No, they really have very little real power. PP CHRIS GAYNOR - what is the future of these Arab states? We must be successful, and thus encourage the younger members of the ruling families to accept some basic reforms. PP MIKE NEWMAN - how do we keep the oil flowing? The governments concerned will be sure to protect this resource. DICK ROBINSON - what is the basis of their seeming fanaticism? The masses are told that if you are killed in battle, you will go to heaven. Educated Arabs don't believe this. PP HOWARD SISKEL - what about Indonesia, with its 300 million Muslims? They aren't Arabs, and neither are they nearly as radical as the Middle East Arabs. MARK BLOCK - are we in trouble with the people of Pakistan? Yes, reaction is moving in that direction. ELLIOTT TURNER - didn't Pakistan help create the Taliban? Yes, and so did we. PP JIM COLLINS - will our resolve weaken? No. YOE - which is more important in the dynamics of a possible peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, the Settlements, or the status of Jerusalem? Jerusalem, and it must be under UN control. PP STEVE DAY - do they have a great leader among the Palestinians who can replace Arafat? No. BOB YOUNKER - What is an Arab? There are two groups, the Berbers who inhabit the northern shores of the Mediterranean, and the others, who are concentrated in and around the Gulf. Note that Iran is NOT Arabic. BERT KREISBERG - what is our strategy in this war? We will use mountain-trained troops and Special Forces, but no large ground forces. PP HOWIE HENKES -are you consulting in Washington today? I'm busy these days. LEE DUNAYER - will the forces switch sides easily? No, since they don't realize what they have bitten off. In Libya, their government will change, but who knows when? PP STEVE SCHERER (and since he asked the first question, it only seems fair that he should ask the last one) - do you have any doubt that we will win? No, but this will change our way of life.

Summary - PAUL, you were all we expected, and more. Please come back soon.

YOE, Ernie Wolfe