Updates and Announcements
Evening Meetings: The next evening meeting will be Wednesday, February 22th at 5:30 PM at Our Lady of the Pines Catholic Church in Conifer. 
  • Welcome to our guest Jonathan at the Tuesday morning meeting, and it was great to see Charles H.!
  • Time to think about kids to send to Rotary Youth Leadership Awards RYLA & YRYLA camps. We are sponsoring four RYLA and two young RYLA, Kids in Fairplay are eligible.  Visit the www.rmryla.org for details and applications.
  • A Sergeant-at-Arms for March will be Dean M.  Thank you Dean for helping with the morning meeting set-up.
  • Volunteer opportunity - The Rotary Denver Mile-Hi Club will begin their tree planting campaign.  This project is an ongoing project intended to address environmental issues by "greening" city areas over a ten-year period.  It is being done in conjunction with Denver Forestry, The Park People, the Greenway Foundation and the City of Denver Climate Office. The Park People are providing a turn-key set up for volunteers – The volunteers need show up and place a tree in the pre-dug hole!  On April 30th the goal is to have 300 trees planted.  Members of the Conifer club will be helping with the tree planting on April 30th.  The community is welcome to join.  Please send us an email if you would like to help out.
  • Evergreen Ice Melt Contest tickets on sale at the Mountain Foothills Rotary web site - https://mountainfoothillsrotary.org/
  • If you have enjoy working on website, the Conifer club needs you!  If you would like to be the new webmaster, please email Diana P. for information.
Upcoming Events:
Rotary District 5450 Conference - Saturday, April 29 @ The Cable Center.  Visit the Rotary District 5450 web site to register.  The Conifer Club will have a table at the ‘House of Friendship’ to showcase what the Conifer club has been up to this year.
Meeting Program: Stanley Harsha, former consul in Medan, Indonesia and lifelong US diplomat in Indonesia, Malaysia, China, Timor Leste (Chief of Mission), Taiwan and Namibia.  (and our next Conifer Rotary president)
One of the first things Trump did was move $50 million from the State Department budget to the Defense Department budget. His own Defense Secretary opposed this, saying it would make war more likely.
Consulate is like a satellite embassy. It handles the same functions but away from the capital.
State Department has 14,000 civil service staff, and 250 foreign service officers have died in the line of duty.
The whole foreign affairs budget is a small percentage of total budget. USAID is a part of it.
Each embassy includes representatives from other agencies, including CDC and DEA.  FBI legal attaches handle terrorism, Americans murdered, training local police, etc. CIA station chief is publicly named and others are not. All report to the ambassador.
In 1990s, US closed a lot of consulates. Jesse Helms wanted to close all embassies. But after Sept. 11, we realized we didn’t have people where we needed them.  Then reopened a lot of consulates.
In Indonesia, reopened Medon Consulate where he was. Also opened lots of consulates in China.
We promote democracy and human rights, American values. Sometimes we don’t adhere to the values we are promoting. Our democratic system got a little confusing.
Friend of his was ambassador, would speak the language immediately, even if only 10 words, until he spoke the language. He as from Africa, went Harvard, became an American. Loved all over. Tule single-handedly preserved democracy in Burkina Faso by calling the leader and telling him he had to leave.
Ache province in Indonesia wanted to be independent. US helped a lot of people from Ache escape assassination, gave them visas. In the second democratic election, we observed all over Ache, so the government didn’t commit the mayhem planned.
When Americans hurt or killed, we have to contact family, make arrangements.
Public diplomacy is telling America’s story to the world.
Another task is cultural exchanges. So after 9/11, we reached out to Muslims while invading Afghanistan and Iraq. Bush called the war against terrorism a crusade. We brought an African-American hip-hop group to Indonesia. I brought them to the area that had the earthquake; they played for 10,000 young people in a field. (Alternative could have been 10,000 protesting at the embassy.)
We respond to disasters. We brought a carrier to the earthquake. Indonesia didn’t want to ask the US for help. This carrier was on its way toward India. One of my colleagues called the VP, got the ship turned.
Q: How do State and Defense work together? We have defense attaches from each service in each embassy. People who sell arms, military intelligence, etc.
Under Obama administration, there was a pivot to Asia, to divert resources from Europe toward Asia. More diplomats, consulates, etc. because half of our trade is with Asia, and because of China – which we didn’t say. When relations are good, China is seen as a competitor instead of a threat, like now.
 Since the embassy bombing in Nairobi, we have hardened our embassies. Big setback and walls so you can’t get a bomb close.
He used to leave the house every Sunday because demonstrators protested at his house.
Before Sept. 11, we knew there was a threat, but not exactly what. We cut off visas for Muslims, had travel warnings. So people would ask if they could go to Bali and we said they should not. We didn’t know Bali was going to be bombed. Then 200 people were killed in a terrorist bombing but no Americans because we told Americans not to travel there.
I arrived in August of 2001 in Jakarta. We just heard in August that terrorists were plotting to fire a missile through our embassy. It never happened, but a few months later, we had steel plates over the windows, so there was no light in my office.
Also served in China. Our diplomats are trying to keep lines of communication open right now. They’re making sure China knows not to attack Taiwan.
Lesley: With what Tom was doing in Seibu in Philippines, we were always keeping an eye on the radicals. Sometimes it’s contractors. Tom lived in a town, had to say he was from Canada because Americans were targeted.
Stanley: Everything I know is on Wikileaks, so I can talk. I was part of a whole apparatus to keep track of terrorists. At the time, they were attacking police stations. But some terrorists were plotting against US. One of bin Laden’s generals was planning on sending a plane into Los Angeles but the attack didn’t happen, and we captured him.
Libyan Ambassador Chris Stevens, who died in Benghazi, knew Bengazi, and wanted a consulate there. We really got unlucky. Funding for security is woefully underfunded thanks to Congress. He should have been a hero instead of vilified.