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View Full Version : Live from Pakistan (PreppyMcPrepperson & Don Zeko)


Bloggingheads
01-13-2010, 09:50 AM

bjkeefe
01-13-2010, 11:54 AM
... here: http://apollo.bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/25236.

Lyle
01-13-2010, 03:39 PM
If you send in diplomatic and economic aid to places like Somalia or Afghanistan, U.S. troops must follow (or even lead the way) to defend the diplomatic and economic aid. This always brings some level of conflict, like in Somalia in the early 90s and now in Afghanistan.

Preppy, I wish you would have also brought up Fareed Zakaria's caution to Pakistanis to look inward and not just at the United States and perceived "outsiders", as being behind all of Pakistan's problems. I would have enjoyed hearing you criticize Pakistan for a bit.

bjkeefe
01-13-2010, 05:52 PM
A good and instructive diavlog. I'm glad you two, and the powers that be, let it find its own length. I was especially happy to hear the PMP's reported perspective from within Pakistan.

Thanks for the effort.

Don Zeko
01-13-2010, 10:29 PM
Thanks for the feedback and compliments. As far as the length goes, I'm curious when/if Bloggingheads is going to put their foot down, or just let us drop the pretense and record up to one hour diavlogs. In this one, we were shooting for 30 minutes or so (the length of PMP's previous DV), and just wound up going way over. I know that I wasn't really looking at the clock, I was listening to PMP and enjoying the conversation.

bjkeefe
01-13-2010, 11:47 PM
Thanks for the feedback and compliments. As far as the length goes, I'm curious when/if Bloggingheads is going to put their foot down, or just let us drop the pretense and record up to one hour diavlogs. In this one, we were shooting for 30 minutes or so (the length of PMP's previous DV), and just wound up going way over. I know that I wasn't really looking at the clock, I was listening to PMP and enjoying the conversation.

Yeah, I don't see any reason at all for the Bh.tv overlords to require the Apollo diavlogs be time-limited, especially not to 20 mins or whatever they have been. It's not as though anyone having clicked "play" is then forced to watch the diavlog to the end.

I suppose there are some minor cost considerations associated with bandwidth, but with all due respect to you and the rest of the Apollonians, I don't think there are so many people downloading your diavlogs that the length of them represents the make or break point for the site.

I can appreciate it as a guideline, especially for people new to being in front of the camera, but that's all it should be.

Anyway, we might be talking about a non-issue, since you appear to have established a new precedent -- you can run as long as you want, provided you're listening to PMP. ;)

PreppyMcPrepperson
01-13-2010, 11:53 PM
That standard seems to hold for everyone I've DV'ed with so far, all A1 interlocutors I could have listened to for hours.

PreppyMcPrepperson
01-14-2010, 12:10 AM
If you send in diplomatic and economic aid to places like Somalia or Afghanistan, U.S. troops must follow (or even lead the way) to defend the diplomatic and economic aid. This always brings some level of conflict, like in Somalia in the early 90s and now in Afghanistan.

In a case like Somalia, where the state has collapsed in a domestic civil war, I would advocate designating some of our diplomats in the neighboring countries to essentially serve as representatives to Somalia while not actually stationing them there. I would send aid via those missions in neighboring countries, and I would have encouraged those countries to carry out the protective role you describe. That is, by the way, what we're doing now with the African Union, but we could have done it in the '90s with their predecessor, the OAU.

In Afghanistan, diplomatic and economic efforts came after invasion, not the other way around. That was our first mistake.

Preppy, I wish you would have also brought up Fareed Zakaria's caution to Pakistanis to look inward and not just at the United States and perceived "outsiders", as being behind all of Pakistan's problems. I would have enjoyed hearing you criticize Pakistan for a bit.

See the Friedman thread for my take on such challenges that I must talk about the sins of country x if I want to talk about the sins of country y. This was a DV about US policy in South Asia; other countries have dumb policies, but they were not the subject of this DV.

In any case, my criticisms of Pakistan (http://forbes.com/2010/01/11/companies-pakistan-sugar-mills-association-sweet-agony.html) have little to do with this issue of counterterror and more to do with other areas of domestic and regional policy.

Baltimoron
01-14-2010, 08:58 AM
It actually worked from the .mp3 link this time on the main page! Yay!

Baltimoron
01-14-2010, 09:03 AM
Excellent diavlog - dog and bowl included! I actually want to listen again! Or, the two of you should draw straws, to pair up with Innocent/Marlowe!

I'm interested to know, though - off-topic - how and why Preppy decided to get a grant to go to South Asia a little more.

Don Zeko
01-14-2010, 10:28 AM
I don't think we say anything particularly dated here, but I think I'll still take a minute to let the viewing audience know that it took a long, long time to work out the technical problems and put up this DV. We recorded it nearly a month ago.

osmium
01-14-2010, 10:47 AM
Haven't listen to everything yet--just wanted to say wow I've never heard archipelago pronounced that way (http://apollo.bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/25236?in=02:53&out=03:00) before. Never even thought about it. Must be the Tennessee in me. (?)

Don Zeko
01-14-2010, 10:51 AM
Hahaha. I doubt it's the Tennessee in you! I'm a native North Carolinian, and I'm pretty sure that I came up with that creative mispronunciation myself. It's a constant risk for someone that reads complex language much more often than speaks it.

osmium
01-14-2010, 11:19 AM
Hahaha. I doubt it's the Tennessee in you! I'm a native North Carolinian, and I'm pretty sure that I came up with that creative mispronunciation myself. It's a constant risk for someone that reads complex language much more often than speaks it.

Well I liked it, so I'm thinking of changing.

I used to have a word for that: a word you've read a lot, but never heard or said. Sometimes you don't realize it until you a gripped with performance anxiety halfway through saying it.

I called it a Rabbit Word I think.

I used to have a lot of examples, but I can't think of many at the moment. The other day I had to talk about a kind of X-Ray spectroscopy called Auger Electron Spectroscopy. I called it "AH-ger." I successfully rose above it when I was corrected to "oh-ZHAY."

Don Zeko
01-14-2010, 11:43 AM
And you'll have to, too, if you don't stop putting up ridiculous things like this (http://instantcappuccino.blogspot.com/2009/12/failure-of-institutions.html) on your blog. I'm starting to think we should have a DV about whether or not Liberals should be happy with, or at least support, the health care bill that emerges from Congress, because it appears that someone smart and interesting to talk to is Wrong On The Internet.

bjkeefe
01-14-2010, 12:23 PM
... a constant risk for someone that reads complex language much more often than speaks it.

Oh, boy, do I know that problem.

PreppyMcPrepperson
01-14-2010, 02:06 PM
Haha, I post dumb things all the time, but this one I defend.

I do think we should accept it, vote for it, support it etc. I'm not in the camp that thinks the bill is so bad we should do nothing. That's craven. I just think we should be very careful how we brand the bill because it isn't the best we could have had, and we want to leave the political door open for something else down the line.

PreppyMcPrepperson
01-14-2010, 02:38 PM
Happy to oblige, though I'm sure no one else on the board wants to read such navel-gazing, so please, BHTV-folk, forgive me.

I was writing on a weird mix of topics - tech, climate, regulatory law, macro policy - because none of these, on its own, generated enough income to make ends meet. All of these subjects interest me about equally, but I loved working with the stunningly brilliant ed at Forbes who handled my South Asia macro stuff.

Moreover, a lot of the stories I'd been asked to write about other topics devolved in the editing process into gibberish and fluff. These Asia policy pieces, along with some of the legal and regulatory stories I was doing on domestic issues, felt like the real thing, journalism that in some small way, mattered. Which is, romantically enough, what I got into this business to do.

Thirdly, in a similar romantic vein, I felt I had a special ability to do the Asia stories in particular--I have long-term visas to both India and Pakistan (sort of green card equivalents, because of my parents' backgrounds), speak several regional languages, and have places to stay and access to free transport in many cities --and thus a kind of obligation to try.

Fourthly, I was getting a bit bored of life in New York.

I really just wanted to cover South Asia for Forbes full time for a spell. They were pretty clear that they don't have money for full time foreign correspondents anymore (no one does) but that they'd happily take my work. Other places were hiring foreign correspondents for this region, but they wanted folk with more experience.

I started discussing the situation with friends, and one of my classmates at Columbia mentioned the Pulitzer Center. They required you to have more than one outfit publishing you. I wrote to Newsweek because: 1. I was intrigued by what they were doing to reinvent the mag 2. I'd never written for a general interest mag and wanted to try 3. I knew they were interested in South Asia.

For some reason, they bit on my proposal as did Pulitzer when I applied. I honestly have no idea what made them say yes, and no special advice to offer others. I lucked out, really, and continue to be super grateful/in awe of the opportunity/bummed that it's going by so fast.

Francoamerican
01-14-2010, 03:00 PM
Preppy you are an asset to this site, and with your multilingual background you are (or should be) an asset to American journalism too. Keep up the good work. And you too Don Zeko. Both of you deserve kudos for this diavlog.

Lyle
01-14-2010, 04:26 PM
Arguably we wouldn't have been able to help Afghanistan without invading it. Lucky for them, 9/11 happened.

... and not criticizing Pakistan when you're only complaining about U.S. policy makes it seem like what the United States chooses to do is more important than what Pakistan chooses to do.

Baltimoron
01-14-2010, 05:44 PM
Preppy you are an asset to this site, and with your multilingual background you are (or should be) an asset to American journalism too. Keep up the good work. And you too Don Zeko. Both of you deserve kudos for this diavlog.

Exactly.

And, this post was as food as the diavlogs devoted to journalism in the past few months. Now, there's a few topics - South Asia, non-profit work, journalism et al - that could stuff a diavlog. I'm interested in how at first newspapers edited your work, if this diavlog is the "rough cut". What did editors find so objectionable, and how did they cut it?

Don Zeko
01-14-2010, 06:11 PM
My recollection isn't perfect, and it was a long diavlog, but I don't think that we were cut at all.

rfrobison
01-15-2010, 08:04 PM
Great diavlog, guys. Thanks.

I do have one nit to pick with Preppy: It's more than a bit of a stretch to say that Pakistan and the U.S. "were never allies" during the Cold War. What about Cento (granted, the organization never amounted to much)? What about the billions in military and economic assistance that the U.S. poured into the country during the '60s through the '80s as a check to Soviet influence in Central Asia?

The relationship between Islamabad and Washington has always looked like a marriage of convenience--they're not friends, necessarily, but they are allies, even if uneasy ones, it seems to me.

PreppyMcPrepperson
01-16-2010, 02:09 AM
See, when you talk to people in Pakistan, they'll say: 1. CENTO wasn't a direct link to the US but part of a broader alliance, so it doesn't count. 2. Any contact in the 1960s/1970s was just a function of Nixon needing a route into China so it doesn't count either.

The US-Pak exchange of the 1980s and the present, ie during the Afghan wars, they see as meaningful because the US was engaging with Pakistan on issues pertinent TO Pakistan.

Problematicaly, the issues (two wars) are necessarily temporary. They see no evidence that Pakistan is part of our long term geostrategy in the region and plenty of evidence--in the nuclear deal--that India is. So long as India and Pakistan are open enemies, Pakistan will not acknowledge any Indian allies as allies of theirs too.

Meanwhile, many Indians tell me that the US operations in AfPak make them worry that the US will switch its long term alliance to Pakistan.

listener
01-19-2010, 05:19 AM
PMP & DZ,

Thanks for this thoughtful and insightful conversation. I agree with others who have said that the Apollo time limit should be abolished. I've learned from, and enjoyed, this conversation more than many regular BhTV diavlogs, which too often feature blowhard personalities (I won't name names) who appear to be more interested in pushing their own agendas/egos than in furthering our understanding and knowledge. Also, I appreciate your participation in the written discussion here following your on-camera appearance -- something that many "regulars" seem to think themselves above doing.

PreppyMcPrepperson
01-19-2010, 06:36 AM
Thanks, Listener!

Don Zeko
01-19-2010, 08:56 AM
Yep, thanks a lot.