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    William Milam

    Ambassador William Milam is a Senior Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington DC and a former US diplomat who was Ambassador to Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Chief of Mission in Liberia.

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  • Searching for a Potemkin Village Opposition0

    by William Milam April 9, 2021   “Potemkin village” is actually a term that originated in politics, and thus, for this article, a very appropriate term to describe one interesting recent, possibly rhetorical, sidestep in the authoritarian march of Sheikh Hasina and the Awami League government she runs. According to Wikipedia, a Potemkin Village is “any

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  • Bangladesh: Censorship through internet chicanery0

    William Milam explains how governments can misuse copyright law as a tool for censorship  by William Milam  March 19, 2021 Two weeks ago, I received an email from a good friend who is the publisher of two online surveys of South Asia news articles and analyses, as well as a print quarterly journal. He forwarded an

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  • A MARK AGAINST THE SKY AND FOR GENERATIONS TO COME0

    By William Milam January 22, 2021   Well, the United States has survived its first insurrection since 1860 and its first ever coup d’état attempt. So, perhaps, the title of this piece, a triumphal, partial quote from Homer’s Odyssey is appropriate. But the verdict on its veracity can surely only come in the generations to

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  • Last chapter of an enfeebled democracy?0

    by William Milam   January 8, 2021 I began writing this on Tuesday, the day that the two runoff elections for the two senate seats in Georgia were being held, and a day before President Trump’s latest, and probably final, assault on our democracy takes place. On Wednesday, Trump’s disciples in Congress will challenge the already-certified

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  • Off to the Races: Trump has completely captured the Republican Party, and it is unlikely to change in character while he remains in control0

    Off to the Races Trump has completely captured the Republican Party, and it is unlikely to change in character while he remains in control, writes William Milam by William Milam    November 27, 2020   On Monday, November 23, when I started writing this piece, the dam had just broken, and President Trump’s vainglorious effort to undo

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  • Banana Republicanism0

    whitehouse.gov   by William Milam   November 13, 2020 Well, the election is over—or at least the vote is almost completely counted, and there is no mystery about who came out on top. Today’s count shows that Joe Biden got 5 million more votes than Donald Trump and now has 290 electoral college votes, which is 20

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  • Lives or Livelihoods: Evidence from the Spanish Flu0

    by William Milam May 22, 2020 “The past is never dead. It’s not even past,” wrote William Faulkner. I think of this line as I continue to study the last great influenza pandemic to devastate the world, foreshadowing 102 years ago, the devastation of our current pestilence, COVID-19. Yes, as my medically trained friends point

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  • The Wages of History: Revisiting the 1918 Pandemic0

    by William Milam May 8, 2020 Finally, just when I thought the Great Pandemic of 1918/19 had been mined for all it could teach us in regard to defending against the COVID-19 pandemic that now afflicts us, a new study is published, which with new looks at old data, and more sophisticated analytic tools, tells

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  • A Tale of Two Cities in a Pestilential World0

    by William Milam April 24, 2020 The 1918 Influenza Pandemic came in two waves. The first wave, which in the early months of 1918, struck a large American Army camp in Kansas and spread rapidly to other military camps across the country. Recruits moved between camps for various kinds of training as the government’s policy

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  • In a fog of pestilence, politics, war and peace processes continue0

    by William Milam April 10, 2020 There is very little to write about these days except the COVID-19 pandemic. But most human activities, including politics and war, do not stop during pandemics, although their trajectories may bend radically. Two things are clear about pandemics: they are caused by viruses or other bacteria to which innocent

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  • ‘No one will ever be free as long as there are pestilences’0

    by William Milam March 27, 2020 So wrote Albert Camus in his great novel, The Plague, and so we are learning its truth as we cower in our shelters from the Coronavirus, spreading the Covid-19 influenza that grips most of the world. We are certainly not free. I and my friends and family, as well

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  • As the Afghan peace process gets underway, reality eclipses magic0

    by William Milam March 13, 2020 Two weeks ago, as we awaited the signing of the US-Taliban Agreement which intends to ignite a peace process in Afghanistan, I wrote of the magic realism in general of US foreign policy and specifically in the agreement about to be signed. The agreement was signed on February 29

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  • Magical Realism in American Foreign Policy1

    Four concentric circles must come together if the Afghan process is to succeed, writes Willliam Milam Magical Realism in American Foreign Policy – The Friday Times by William Milam 3 March 2020 This theme struck me when I attended last week a discussion among three highly respected experts at a Washington think tank of the

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  • STARTING THE NEW YEAR WITH A BANG AND A WHIMPER0

    by William Milam 19 January 2020 I was disconnected, electronically and, to some extent psychologically, from current events during December. I have now reconnected, and being so has its downsides. As I came back online, President Trump had another brain cramp and appeared to be preparing to start a war with Iran. I guess we

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