Show – March 28, 2012

Mali. An unexpected coup? Ambassador John Price

Ambassador John Price, appointed by President George W. Bush in 2002 to the Republic of Seychelles, Mauritius and the Union of Comoros until 2005, returns to RAradio to speak about the latest developments in Mali, a West African country ( bordering with Algeria to the North, Niger on the East and Burkina Faso and Cote d’Ivoire to the south)…, which suffered a military coup last Thursday, a month before celebrating general elections on April 29. Mali’s new government is led by a rebel military captain- Captain Sanogo, who is said to have received some training in the US. His actions have been condemned by the ECOWAS (Economic Communities of Western African States), the UN, France, and the US. Ambassador Price speaks of Niankoro Yeah Samaké, the village of Ouélessébougou’s Mayor, who attended Brigham Young University (UT) and is a candidate for President. Ambassador Price comments on the many BYU students that “were caught in the crossfire” and that he helped “through special ops., to get out safely.” Ambassador Price speaks of the concern for the “rebels in the north [the Tuareg people, who since the 50’s want autonomy from the sub-Saharan states] and the atrocities committed in a town called Aguel hoc near Timbuctu, where there are a few villages. The region is isolated and many of the fighters (Tuareg), who are returning from Libya with discarded firearms, have settled…” Members of Al Qaeda are also operating in the same area. The present (now deposed) government is blamed for corruption and dealing with the terrorists. Ambassador Price criticizes the “focus of this Administration,” and specifically mentions Hillary Clinton’s visit to the area in January 2011, celebrating “democratization,” but not facing the real problem….” That in an Africa of 800 million, 300 million are living in poverty…Democracy doesn’t put food on the table,” and recommends that young people join the Peace Corps or NGO’s and … and begin paying attention to the 2nd largest continent with the most poor and 400 million Muslims…”

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The IRS and The Teaparty. Persecution. Dan Backer, Esq. Principal, DB Capitol Strategies Mr. Backer, who was the lead “counsel in the groundbreaking 2011 case, ‘Carey vs. FEC’ which relieved PACS of some restrictions on accepting contributions,” speaks to RARadio of his helping “pro bono” many of the Tea Party organizations, and specifically The And he explains how the IRS has been targeting more than 100 conservative grass roots organizations, while only one single democrat (Obama’ Super pac). Mr. Backer comments on the letter sent to the IRS on March 14 by Republican Senators in which they plead to the IRS commissioner that the agency stop exerting pressure on the tea parties. That pressure consists in the IRS asking the small grassroots organizations to identify and disclose (while not required) the names of all donors and contributors and making it difficult for them to apply for 501 (c) 4 status. Mr. Backer explains the difference between Pacs and Super Pacs and how they are affecting the election process. “For the first time, the two-party system , has seen the eruption of third party committees, that with resources, can influence and engage in the political process and[ ultimately], more voters have a say…”

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China. Getting to know the Dragon… Ralph E. Winnie Jr.As Director of the Eurasian Business Coalitions China Program in Washington DC, lawyer and “joint ventures’” negotiator, Mr. Winnie speaks to RAradio about doing business with the Chinese people. As representative for the Guangxi Province (which with Vietnam and Thailand) Government, since 2008, Mr. Winnie has led delegations to and from China/US promoting business opportunities for both countries. He explains how the central Chinese government is intent in “keeping the people in their rural areas, away from the big cities of Beijing and Shanghai where there would be inadequate housing and jobs…” Through economic incentives ( for example, corporate taxes waived for 5 years) foreign companies (American and European) are encouraged to participate in joint ventures and to date have developed projects such as a major airport in Guangxi province, what Mr. Winnie calls the Eco-gateway to Asian countries..” For Mr. Winnie, the Chinese have a positive view of the US and “Nixon is perceived as a true friend.” To be effective in doing business with China, the development of personal relations is paramount. Mr. Winnie compares the difficulties of doing business with China with “navigating the system in DC, if one was to come as a [parvenu] lobbyist with no past history of working as a staffer on the Hill, for example….People have to like you and respect you.”

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Russia. No “Flexibility” here…Ralph Winnie Jr. Ralph Winnie Jr. speaks of Mongolia and his relation with the Mongolians going back to when he was at Moscow State University (comparable to Harvard), and how this experience helped him “make inroads, and recognize the Mongolians’ strong community with Russia and strategic relations with China.” When asked about President Obama’s much criticized “flexibility” comment to Pres. Medvedev, Mr. Winnie pointed to the “inconsistent messages” sent by this Administration and Obama being perceived as “wishy-washy and weak.” Differing from the Chinese in that they are more reserved and “keep to themselves,” (as a result of living under Communism and totalitarian regimes where everyone is viewed as a “suspect” by the state ) and their currency being devalued overnight, Russians have a great distrust of their government… And he asserts, that for Russians “it is difficult to lead a normal life.” But, today, at the forefront [of business] there are the young entrepreneurs, the newly created “businessman” (the word, as well) and the emergence of a small business culture …Mr. Winnie speaks of American companies doing business in Russia and the Russian Jewish community returning to help in the small business set ups…The problems? Corruption… The Chinese are activlye setting up businesses and are encouraged, by their government, to learn about capitalism…with orientation to the “private sector.” The Chinese have “high savings rates, are embracing tourism, and the government has lifted travel restrictions, is encouraging/mandating vacation time… Understanding the Russian and Chinese mentality is imperative for a good relation. The former are perceived to be more direct while the latter, more subtle.