Remembering RFK / Debunking the Deep State 08.06.2018 ABU DHABI DH35 ALBANIA €6.25 AUSTRALIA $11.00 AUSTRIA €6.25 BAHRAIN BD3.5 BELGIUM €6.50 CHINA RM80 CROATIA HKR70 CYPRUS €6.50 CZECH REP CZK180 DENMARK DKR49.95 DUBAI DH35 EGYPT E£ 60.00 FINLAND €7.60 FRANCE €6.50 GERMANY €6.50 GIBRALTAR £6.05 GREECE €6.50 HOLLAND €6.50 HONG KONG HK80 HUNGARY FT1,800 IRELAND €6.25 ISRAEL NIS35 ITALY €6.50 KUWAIT KD3.00 LATVIA €6.50 LEBANON LL10,000 LITHUANIA €8.99 LUXEMBOURG €6.25 MALTA €6.50 MONTENEGRO €8.30 MOROCCO MDH70 NEW ZEALAND $14.00 NIGERIA $3.40C NORWAY NKR45 OMAN OR 3.250 POLAND PLN28 PORTUGAL €6.50 QATAR QR65 MALAYSIA RM27.90 ROMANIA LEI 42.00 SAUDI ARABIA SR35.00 SERBIA RSD1035 S LEONE SLL30,000 SINGAPORE $11.95 SLOVAKIA €6.50 SLOVENIA €8.50 SOUTH AFRICA R55.00 SPAIN €6.50 SWEDEN SKR60 SWITZERLAND CHF8.90 TURKEY TL21 UK £4.95 US $8.99 ZIMBABWE ZWD4.00 INTERNATIONAL EDITION JUNE 08, 2018 _ VOL.170 _ NO.21 FEATURES PROFILE IN COURAGE MICHAEL O CHS ARC HIV ES/GET T Y Robert F. Kennedy in 1964, a year after his brother, President John F. Kennedy, was assassinated. He would be killed four years later, during his own presidential campaign. COVER CREDIT Photo illustration by Picturebox Creative for Newsweek; Photo of Suu Kyi by SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg/Getty 18 28 ‘What Does The the Lady Want?’ Assassination of RFK Once hailed as a heroine of human rights, Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi is now being condemned for mistreating Muslims. June 5, 1968, felt like the end of hope—a feeling acutely familiar to many Americans today. BY LENNOX SAMUELS BY NINA BURLEIGH For more headlines, go to NEWSWEEK.COM 1 GLOBAL EDITOR IN CHIEF _ Nancy Cooper CREATIVE DIRECTOR _ Michael Goesele INTERNATIONAL EDITION JUNE 08, 2018 _ VOL.170 _ NO.21 NEWS DIRECTOR _ Cristina Silva DEPUTY EDITORS _ Mary Kaye Schilling, R.M. Schneiderman OPINION EDITOR _ Laura Davis EDITORIAL In Focus Periscope 04 Lisbon, Portugal 08 SpyTalk Bull Fights Men 06 Tegucigalpa, Honduras Plane Goes Down BIG BREAK Joy Nash stars as Plum Kettle in AMC’s adaptation of Sarai Walker’s best-selling novel, Dietland. Gaza City, Gaza Another Funeral Paloha, Hawaii A Volcano’s Path Is the CIA Now Monitoring Trump? 12 World How Russia Benefits From New U.S. Sanctions on Iran 14 Politics Turkey’s Imprisoned Presidential Candidate Horizons 38 By the Numbers Volcanoes 40 Fresh Evidence A Tragic Benefit of the Opioid Crisis: Organ Donation 41 Space One Step Closer to Determining Cosmic Dawn Culture 42 Music Liz Phair’s GirlySound Tapes 46 Television Dietland 48 Parting Shot Ocean 8’s Awkwafina NEWSWEEK (ISSN2052-1081), is published weekly except one week in January, July, August and October. Newsweek International is published by Newsweek Media Group, 25 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5LQ, UK. 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Chief Executive Ofﬁcer _ Dev Pragad Chief Content Ofﬁcer _ Dayan Candappa Chief Operating Ofﬁcer _ Alvaro Palacios Chief Financial Ofﬁcer _ Amit Shah Chief Technology Ofﬁcer _ Michael Lukac General Counsel _ Rosie Mckimmie VP, HR Business Partner _ Leiann Kaytmaz Senior VP Global Creative Director _ Robert Lee Executive Producer _ Alfred Joyner Commercial Director _ Sam Kumar Global Head of Programmatic + Partnerships _ Jeremy Makin VP, Product + Business Intelligence _ Luciano Costa VP, Programmatic Sales _ David McClain Senior Sales Director _ Chantal Mamboury Group Client Director _ James Byrne Sales Director _ Marta Leja Sales Manager _ Chris Maundrell Head of Subscription Operations _ Samantha Rhodes Newsstand Manager _ Kim Sermon FROM TOP : BER DSIGNS/ISTO CK/GE T T Y; ERIK MADIGA N HECK/AMC P. 38 DEPARTMENTS © 1986 Panda symbol WWF ® “WWF” is a WWF Registered Trademark HELP SAVE THE ‘WOW’ These giants of the animal kingdom need help. Despite their strength and cunning they’re no match for a poacher’s rifle. For 50 years WWF has been securing protected areas worldwide, but these aren’t enough to stop the killing. To disrupt the sophisticated criminal gangs supplying animal parts to lucrative illegal markets, we are working with governments to toughen law enforcement. We’re also working with consumers to reduce the demand for unlawful wildlife products. Help us look after the world where you live at panda.org/50 Silverback Western lowland gorilla. © NaturePL.com / T.J. Rich / WWF In Focus 4 NEWSWEEK.COM THE NEWS IN PICTURES J U N E 08, 2018 LISBON, PORTUGAL Bull Whipped At a bullﬁght at Campo Pequeno on May 17, the Coruche forcados meet the wrath of their prey head-on. The forcados, a group of eight sometimes called the “Suicide Squad,” confront bulls directly, without any protection or weapons. RA FAEL MARCHANTE/REU TE RS → R A FA E L M A R C H A N T E 5 CLO C KWISE FRO M BOT TOM L EFT: MAHMU D HAMS/A FP/GET T Y; FERNAND O ANTONIO/AP PHOTO; U.S. GEOLO GICAL SURVEY/AP PHOTO In Focus 6 NEWSWEEK.COM J U N E 08, 2018 TEGUCIGALPA, HONDURAS GAZA CITY, GAZA PAHOA, HAWAII Have a Nice Flight Open Wounds Hustle and Flow Fireﬁghters spray foam on a private Gulfstream jet, broken in half during a crash landing on May 22 at Toncontín International Airport—ranked the second most dangerous on the planet by the American History Channel because of its difﬁcult approach. Remarkably, some on board walked away without injury. Mourners at the May 19 funeral of Palestinian Moein al-Saai, shot while protesting the relocation of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. The 51-year-old man was among the 60 Palestinians killed and thousands injured at the Israeli-Gaza border on May 14. Lava spews from ﬁssures on May 19 caused by the eruption of the Kilauea volcano, which began a new round of dangerous activity in early May. Many have evacuated the Big Island, where homes have been set ablaze and toxic gas, or “laze,” caused by molten rock pouring into the ocean, has raised safety warnings. → FERNANDO ANTONIO → MAHMUD HAMS → U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY NEWSWEEK.COM 7 Periscope NEWS, OPINION + ANALYSIS WATCHDOGGING Hayden, a former four-star general and director of the CIA and NSA, has become an outspoken critic of the president. 8 NEWSWEEK.COM J U N E 08, 2018 “Iran’s loss…will be Russia’s gain.” » P.12 SPYTALK Mission Critical LE FT: CR EDIT DAVIDTKHU ME KENNE RLY/GET T Y; TOP R IGHT: ZO ONA R GMBH/ALAMY After decades in the shadows, former American intelligence ofﬁcials are taking on a new and very public role: keeping an eye on Trump least not in my ‘facts,’” including the finding by a few months into the trump U.S. intelligence that Russian President Vladimir administration, former CIA Director Michael Hayden took a reconnaissance mission of sorts Putin favored Trump and labored mightily to get to Pittsburgh, where he grew up in a blue-collar, him elected. When Hayden asked how many in the Roman Catholic family and worked summers in bar still believed the president’s claim that Barack Steelers training camps. He’d asked his brother to Obama had spied on Trump Tower, hands shot up. gather a couple dozen people to talk politics in a Why? “They simply replied, ‘Obama.’” sports bar “over some Iron City beer,” a local brew. A year later, the partisan divide over Russiagate’s “I knew many of the participants, indeed had well-established facts has widened into a dangerous grown up with several,” Hayden writes in his chasm. With his popularity creeping up in the polls, troubling and important new book, The Assault the president recently sharpened his attacks on the on Intelligence: American National Security in an FBI, accusing the bureau of spying on his campaign Age of Lies. “But we could have been from different and demanding the Justice Department turn over planets.” Virtually everyone in the crowd, he recalls, the identity of an informant reporting on Russian were supporters of the erratic New York business contacts with Trump associates. mogul who had improbably won election and U.S. intelligence veterans fought back. “Complete moved into the White House a few months earlier. nonsense,” responded former FBI Special Agent Clint Watts, a cyberwarfare expert and author of “He is an American,” they would say. “He is genuine.... Messing With the Enemy: Surviving He is authentic.... He doesn’t filter in a Social Media World of Hackers, everything or parse every word.” Terrorists, Russians and Fake News. Most distressing to Hayden, BY “This fabricated conspiracy will run though, was the revelation that Preswild and be repeated as truth by ident Donald Trump’s supporters JEFF STEIN his supporters, further hurting U.S. were uninterested in facts—“or at @SpyTalker NEWSWEEK.COM 9 institutions.” Former CIA Director John Brennan implored Republican leaders in Congress to block Trump from subverting the Justice Department. “If Mr. Trump continues along this disastrous path,” he tweeted, “you will bear major responsibility for the harm done to our democracy.” Trump’s assaults have cast U.S. intelligence agencies into the unprecedented role of public “truth tellers,” Hayden writes in his book, likening them to “scholars, journalists, scientists.” This is rich. CIA leaders long ago forfeited the right to expect the unquestioning faith of the American public. Their role in attesting to the George W. Bush administration’s false claims of Iraq having chemical, biological and possibly nuclear weapons comes to mind. Then there was James Clapper, the former head of national intelligence, who lied under oath about surveillance by the National Security Agency. And the FBI still lives with the stain from its long-ago operations to destroy Martin Luther King Jr. Black Panthers and antiwar groups during the conflicts in Vietnam and Central America. More recently, they enticed feckless terrorist-wannabes into bombing conspiracies. Now comes Hayden (who as NSA director in the aftermath of 9/11 oversaw the illegal monitoring of Americans’ emails) to make the case that today’s national security agencies deserve the support of the American people against a Russiabacked president who’s trying to destroy their independence. Irony aside, he’s right. Trump’s unprecedented attacks on key American national security institutions demand an unprecedented response. The president’s claim that this amounts to a “deep state” assault on him is bogus, Hayden and other top U.S. intelligence veterans argue again and again. 10 NEWSWEEK.COM SPYTALK “I have worked in intelligence for over three decades. I know what antidemocratic forces look like,” Hayden writes. “I have seen them in multiple foreign countries,” meaning the secret police and military officers that hold the keys to power in places like Turkey. “There is no ‘deep state’ in the American republic,” he adds. “There is merely ‘the state’—or, as I characterize it, career professionals doing their best within the rule of law.” But how do U.S. intelligence agencies, which traffic in secret sources and classified information, transition to a public role? Not easily. Last year, the NSA’s then-chief, Admiral Mike Rogers, and then–FBI Director James Comey were clearly uncomfortable on the Hill publicly torpedoing Trump’s claim that Obama or his British friends had wiretapped him during the campaign. But that hardly slowed Trump. He only upped his conspiratorial theme, distributed through constant tweets, that special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into suspected collaboration between Trump campaign officials and the Kremlin is “A TOTAL WITCH HUNT.” It’s one thing for U.S. intelligence leaders to counter Trump’s claims when they’re called to testify under oath in congressional hearings; it’s another matter entirely when they continue their campaign out of office via tweets or leaks: They risk validating the president’s theme that the “deep state” is out to get him. Hayden’s attempt to recast the intelligence agencies as an extension of the fourth estate also “misses an obvious point about the essence of truth telling,” Mark Galeotti, an authority on the Russian mafia, wrote recently. “Spooks funnel their truths to their own cadre while engaging in duplicity and misdirection with most everyone else. This has never been an easy line to walk, and in an age when truth is suffering, it only gets more treacherous.” Damn the torpedoes, say Hayden, Brennan and Clapper, who has called Trump’s tweets “a very disturbing assault on the independence of the Department of Justice.” Hayden revisits the many instances of candidate Trump attacking the leadership of the CIA and FBI before the 2016 election—a practice the president has continued in office, even after installing Mike Pompeo, his own Tea Party Republican spy chief, in Langley and firing Comey for refusing to drop his investigation into Russiagate. But Hayden is equally concerned about Trump’s alliance with conspiracy mongers and racists of the so-called alt-right, whose messages are amplified by Russian cyberwarriors and automated bots that “grab any divisive social issue they [can] identify.” Judging by the political discord that has exploded with Trump’s rise, Hayden concludes, the Kremlin’s social media strategy has been effective enough to pose an existential J U N E 08, 2018 CLO C KWISE FRO M TOP: AL DRAGO/BLO O MBERG/GE T T Y; EVY MAG ES/GET T Y; KEVIN LAMARQUE/FILE PHOTO/REUTERS Periscope PRIVATE EYES Clockwise from top: Trump with U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo after he was sworn in on May 2; former CIA Director Brennan; and CIA Director Haspel at a May 9 conﬁrmation hearing. threat to American democracy. In this, he sees a faint echo of the ethnic wars that broke out in the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s. He even opens his book in the wreckage of postwar Sarajevo, which was a “cultured, tolerant, even vibrant city” until Serbian nationalists launched ethnic wars that eventually left 100,000 people dead and 2 million displaced. “What struck me most as I walked through the city was not how much Sarajevans were different from the rest of us,” he writes, “but how much they weren’t. The veneer of civilization, I sadly concluded then, was quite thin.” “There is no ‘deep state’ in the American republic.” Trump may not (yet) be a Slobodan Milosevic, but he’s already proved such an outlier, Hayden concludes, that nobody with a reputation worth preserving should take a job in his administration. A few months after Trump was sworn in, Hayden got a call from a former colleague, who said he was being considered for a “very senior position” in the new administration. What should he do? Hayden, who devoted 41 years to government service, counseled him to turn down the job, arguing that he wouldn’t make a difference in a regime that values loyalty over expertise. “You’ll be frustrated and then tarred by the other activities of the administration,” Hayden advised, and probably won’t last through the first term. “You’re a young man. Don’t put yourself at risk for the future.” In early May, I asked Hayden if he’d given the same advice to Gina Haspel, the controversial CIA lifer nominated to run the spy agency. No, he says. He’d talked with Haspel, who was confirmed only after a bitter public debate over her roles in the agency’s secret counterterrorism renditions and “enhanced interrogations” program. “It was clear after our conversation that she knew the challenges she was embracing and was doing it on behalf of the agency and all of us,” Hayden says. Plus, he added, she had “no further ambitions,” unlike other senior career officials whose service to Trump could well leave a permanent stain on their résumés. Haspel could afford to tell Trump to go to hell, Hayden was implying, or block some illegal or unethical machinations related to Russia, China, Iran and the like. Only time will tell how that turns out. At a recent retirement ceremony for a CIA officer, Hayden says, he gazed at the assembled group of agency employees and wondered whether they “realized how much we are now counting on them.” It reminds me of something in The Assault on Intelligence: “We are accustomed to relying on their truth telling to protect us from foreign enemies,” he wrote. “Now we may need their truth telling to save us from ourselves.” NEWSWEEK.COM 11 Periscope WORLD Crude Gesture U.S. sanctions on Iran are driving up oil prices around the globe—and helping Vladimir Putin when pre sident d onald development so that no obstacles and Trump declared in May that circumstances interfere as we and he was withdrawing from the Iran only we determine our own future.” nuclear deal, he vowed to reimpose But behind the scenes, Putin was rapsome of “the strongest sanctions that idly burning through the country’s we’ve ever put on a country.” Among $125 billion reserve fund to cope with the biggest targets: Iran’s booming oil a punishing economic storm. ﬁelds, an economic engine that fuels Since the U.S. first imposed sanctions on Russia in 2014 Europe and Asia with 4 for annexing Crimea million barrels of crude and sponsoring sepaa day. But as Tehran and BY ratist rebels in Ukraine, other world leaders recoiled, one country the ruble has lost nearly OWEN MATTHEWS celebrated: Russia. @owenmatth half of its value, inﬂation The reason? Supply has hit double digits, and many Russian business moguls and demand. The new sanctions will likely remove a million barrels of have been cut off from international Iranian oil a day from world markets financing. Falling international oil prices—crashing from more than once the restrictions fully kick in this $110 a barrel to just $30 between fall, and few are in a better position March and June 2014—contributed to reap the beneﬁts of the resulting price surge than the Kremlin. Russia to a ﬁscal crunch; oil and natural gas is the world’s biggest energy exporter, make up about 50 percent of Russia’s but for the past four years, sagging oil exports. To offset those losses and prices have severely hurt the counmaintain military and social spending, try’s economy, leading to budget Putin tapped the reserves the Kremlin deﬁcits and austerity plans. Trump’s had set aside during boom times. actions could reverse that. But by January, Russia’s Finance Ministry announced that the cup“We have to thank Donald Trump for board was bare: The Reserve Fund, giving us an unexpected present,” says down to just $17 billion, was being Moscow-based oil analyst Alexey Gavrilov. “Iran’s loss…will be Russia’s gain.” closed down. The Kremlin even drew For Russian President Vladimir Putin, the oil rally represents a new political lifeline. In March, as he took his fourth oath of ofﬁce in the gilded St. George Hall of the Grand Kremlin Palace, he promised the assembled political elite that Russians would “create our own agenda for “We have to thank Donald Trump for giving us an unexpected present.” 12 NEWSWEEK.COM up plans for an unpopular overhaul of the pension system that would raise the retirement age from 55 for women and 60 for men to 65 for everyone. The dire circumstances were a stark reminder that the price of oil remains the single biggest factor in Putin’s ability to run Russia as he wishes and throw his weight around on the world stage. Now, as the price of oil surges—as of May 23, crude topped $80 a barrel, a three-and-a-half-year high—experts predict an emboldened Kremlin with little incentive to dial back its international interventions in Ukraine and Syria. Over the past four years, despite falling revenues, Putin boosted spending on arms to a whopping 5 percent of Russia’s gross domestic product. (NATO, by contrast, requires members to spend 2 percent, and most spend much less.) According to Timothy Ash, a senior strategist at London-based J U N E 08, 2018 FROM TO P: A NDR EY RUDAKOV/BLO OMBERG/GET T Y; MIKHAIL KLIMENT YEV/TASS/GET T Y OILED UP Left, Russia’s Novokuibyshevsk reﬁnery plant. Below: The price of oil remains the biggest factor in Putin’s ability to run Russia as he wishes. BlueBay Asset Management, Putin sees Russia in a “long-term battle of wills” with the U.S. and Europe. “Higher oil prices will help him play for more time against the West.” U.S. policies, analysts say, are setting the stage for a sustained rally. News of the reimposed Iran sanctions sent tensions soaring in the Middle East, a region that holds 47 percent of the world’s oil reserves. In South America, Venezuela, another key oil producer, is also reeling. In late May, Washington announced restrictions on Venezuela’s oil companies in response to a widely condemned presidential election, with tighter sanctions likely to follow. That will take even more crude off international markets. Meanwhile, OPEC—that often dysfunctional cartel—has been coordinating efforts for the past two years to cut supply by 3 percent in order to steadily nudge prices upward. And since a 2016 deal brokered by Saudi Arabia, Russia has been on board with OPEC’s supply squeeze too, reducing production by 300,000 barrels a day. Patrick Pouyanné, CEO of French oil giant Total, predicts a return to $100 a barrel oil within months. “We are in a new world,” Pouyanné told oil business leaders in late May. “A world where geopolitics are dominating the market again.” For Russia, soaring oil markets are not without risk. The country is dependent on crude, but higher prices suddenly spark investments in more efficient and cheaper electric engines and batteries. Moreover, they give a boost to the Russian oil industry’s biggest strategic nemesis: U.S. shale gas production. An oil price “in the $50 to $55 range…suits Russia’s best interests,” says Chris Weafer of the London-based consultancy Macro Advisory. In other words, high enough to balance the Kremlin’s budget but not so high that it jeopardizes the long-term future of oil by juicing alternative sources and technologies. Indeed, fear of another runaway, shale-fueling boom-and-bust cycle is why Russia, paradoxically, opposed Trump’s plans to scrap the Iran nuclear deal. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov accused Washington of “trampling international law” in backing out of the deal. Another reason: A slew of Russian investments in Iran’s oil industry—including majority stakes in projects across Iran’s untapped natural gas fields and the planning of pipeline corridors from Iran to Syria and onward to Europe—could be compromised. But with oil at $80 a barrel, the immediate future looks bright: Russia will earn some $10 billion more per month than it needs to balance the federal budget. Goldman Sachs has forecast economic growth of 3.3 percent for 2018, outstripping both the European Union and the U.S. And inflation has dropped to just 2 percent in this year’s first quarter, despite new rounds of U.S. sanctions intended to punish the Kremlin for meddling in America’s last presidential election. Putin says spasibo. NEWSWEEK.COM 13 Periscope KURDS AND WAY Left: The youthful and stirring Demirtaş has been called the Kurdish Obama. Opposite below: Erdogan. on opposition groups. Demirtaş and nine other HDP leaders found themselves behind bars, branded as terrorists. Among the dozens of charges heaped on him: insulting the president. Now, the 45-year-old Demirtaş is mounting a comeback, albeit from his two-man cell in Edirne Prison. On June 24, he will challenge Erdogan for the presidency. The centerpiece of his campaign: his own imprisonment. Holding a political ﬁgure for 14 months for making disparaging remarks, Demirtaş argues, is evidence of how Erdogan has replaced democracy with a repressive one-party state. Over the past year, prosecutors have added dozens of charges, for a total of 142 years in jail. “It is not entirely accurate to call this process a trial,” Demirtaş tells POLITICS Newsweek in answers to written questions passed on by his legal team. “I am being held as a political hostage.” (Requests for a response from Erdogan went unanswered.) Turkey’s pro-Kurdish opposition leader insulted Erdogan and As leader of a primarily Kurdish landed in jail. Now, he’s running for president from his cell party, Demirtaş has little chance of defeating Erdogan in a country where Kurds make up just 25 percent of the three years ago, selahattin his executive powers. “As of this hour, population. But Demirtaş is no token Demirtaş was celebrating a the debate about the presidency, the challenger: In June 2015, the HDP won debate about dictatorship, is over,” political revolution in Turkey. votes outside its Kurdish heartlands Demirtaş declared on election night Alarmed by the increasingly autoby championing the rights of women in June 2015. “ Turkey narrowly cratic rule of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and minorities, helping deprive the Kurdish former human rights Erdogan of a majority. And Erdogan averted a disaster.” lawyer had formed a new political and his fellow nationalists fear a The victory was short-lived. Erdoparty—the People’s Democratic repeat, with Demirtaş winning just gan challenged the results, and ﬁve Party, or HDP—and led it to victory enough votes to deny the 50 percent months later he regained his parliain a historic election. For the first mentary majority in a snap election. the president needs to time, the country’s long-suppressed Violence swept the country, with win. In that scenario, various opposition Kurdish minority was poised to take Kurdish militants and Turkish forces BY groups could then seats in Parliament, depriving the resuming a long-running war. After unify against Erdodivisive president’s party of a majorsurviving a failed coup in 2016, ErdoORLANDO CROWCROFT ity and curbing his plans to expand gan ordered a widespread crackdown @ocrowcroft gan in a second round Prison Break 14 NEWSWEEK.COM J U N E 08, 2018 FROM L EFT: JOHN THYS/AFP/GET T Y; SIMO N DAWSON/BLO O MBERG /GET T Y of voting. Dreading comparisons of Demirtaş to Nelson Mandela, nationalist politicians unsuccessfully tried to blunt Demirtaş’s popularity by calling for his release. “He showed his ability on a rhetorical level to struggle with Erdogan in a way other opposition leaders have failed to,” says Ege Seçkin, a research analyst at IHS Markit. For Erdogan, this election is crucial. Last year, he narrowly won a constitutional referendum that gives the Turkish president sweeping new powers—establishing a so-called executive presidency that abolishes the post of prime minister and gives the president the power to hire and ﬁre Cabinet members, judges and civil servants. But Erdogan has to win re-election to assume the position he designed. While he retains significant support with conservative and religious Turks, his overall popularity appears to be slipping. By Erdogan’s order, the country has been living under a state of emergency for two years, a period in which tens of thousands of journalists, teachers and civil servants have been dismissed from their jobs and jailed. The president claims that these “terrorists” are linked either to Fethullah Gülen, a U.S.-based cleric whom he accuses of orchestrating Turkey’s violent 2016 coup, or the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the militant group—deemed a terrorist organization by the U.S.—that has waged a bloody, decades-long war for self-rule. Amid the political upheaval, a steep decline in the Turkish lira is also sparking fears of an economic crash. Facing approval ratings below 50 percent for the ﬁrst time, Erdogan hastily called elections for June—nearly a year and a half earlier than scheduled. “Although it seems there are no serious issues arising, as the president and the government are working in harmony, the diseases of the old system “It is not entirely accurate to call this process a trial. I am being held as a political hostage.” can confront us at every step,” Erdogan said in announcing the speedy election. “For our country to make decisions about the future…and apply them, passing to the new governmental system becomes urgent.” Publicly, Demirtaş is optimistic about his chances—“I expect to win, naturally,” he says—and it is fair to say that his incarceration, although uncomfortable, has been a boon. For Kurds sympathetic to the struggle against the Turkish state, doing jail time for the cause is a badge of honor—particularly when the politician has been incarcerated for making a speech, even having a sense of humor. (In 2015, Demirtaş joked that Erdogan had “ﬂuttered from corridor to corridor” trying to get a photo with Vladimir Putin at a conference.) But the political calculus makes victory nearly impossible: Neither he nor the HDP has been invited to join the anti-Erdogan coalition headed by Turkey’s largest opposition party, the Republican People’s Party (CHP). And the HDP’s Kurdish roots make the party a tough sell for many, including religious Kurds, who associate Kurdish politics with the PKK. The ties have been particularly problematic for Demirtaş, whose brother, Nurettin, is a PKK member currently in exile in Iraq. While Demirtaş has defended his brother, the link has proved useful for Erdogan, who has argued that the HDP— or any mainstream Kurdish political party—is a front for the PKK. Demirtaş, however, blames Erdogan for inﬂaming the conﬂict since 2015, when the cease-fire between Ankara and the PKK broke down. If he was elected, he argues, the HDP could end the conﬂict between the PKK and the Turkish state within six months. “The Kurdish issue in Turkey should be solved by nonviolent means, by opening a channel of peaceful dialogue, by political means,” he says. “I believe the PKK will take [the] decision to disarm.… If we come to power, we would be able to solve this problem.” For now, Demirtaş’s campaign continues quietly—with an audience of one: his cellmate, HDP parliamentarian Abdullah Zeydan, sentenced to eight years on terrorism charges in May. The pair are kept apart from other prisoners. Each week, Demirtaş is allowed one hour with his wife and two young daughters, and four hours of exercise. He also receives letters, reads international newspapers and watches TV. As such, he has followed the rise of Donald Trump, which has taken place during his imprisonment. (“We feel you have broken the heart of the ﬁrst lady,” he says of the U.S. president. “Please make amends with her.”) As the election approaches, Demirtaş says the guards treat him within the law. “Despite everything, we are strong, our morale is high,” he says. “We have lost nothing of our determination in struggle. We believe justice will be done.” NEWSWEEK.COM 15 +++++ NEWSWEEK.COM /TRY SAVE 57% Subscribe ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ Award-winning journalists and photographers. Download issues and read ofﬂine on any device. National and global coverage on the issues that matter. Expert analysis beyond the headlines on a wide range of topics. +++++ EASY WAYS TO SUBSCRIBE Go to Newsweek.com/try or complete and return this form. → Select One: Deliver to: □ 52 Weeks for €139 NAME (€2.67 PER WEEK) 46% SAVINGS ADDRESS □ 104 Weeks for €219 (€2.11 PER WEEK) 57% SAVINGS BEST OFFER! CITY REGION/STATE POSTAL CODE COUNTRY □ Visa RETURN TO: NEWSWEEK SUBSCRIPTIONS DEPARTMENT 24th Floor 25 Canada Square London, E14 5LQ □ Mastercard □ Amex CARD NO. EXP. CCV CODE NAME ON CARD SIGNATURE To receive an email conﬁrmation and other information, please provide your email address: * Percentage savings calculated as a saving on our cover price, as found on the cover of Newsweek. The weekly price is an indication of what you will pay per issue, we will charge you the full price for the term you select. EMAIL □ Payment enclosed (cheques made payable to Newsweek) J ONATHAN NAC KSTR AND/AFP/GET T Y BY LENNOX SAM UELS Photo illustration by PictureBox Creative 18 NEWSWEEK.COM J U N E 08, 2018 ‘What Does the Lady Want?’ NEWSWEEK.COM 19 here’s a low buzz at house of Memories, a popular restaurant in Yangon, where two 20-somethings in T-shirts are listening impatiently to a visitor’s questions about Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of Myanmar. Some 600 miles away from the main city, the military allegedly has been ethnically cleansing Rohingya Muslims in the western state of Rakhine, and the visitor wants to know if they think Suu Kyi has condoned these actions. The two munch on seafood salad and batter-fried vegetables, point out the Japanese tourists dining at the next table and murmur asides to each other before one ﬁnally declares, “I love her,” his tone at once plaintive and deﬁant. “And anyway,” he says of the Rohingyas, “those are not Burmese.” That’s a common refrain among Myanmar’s Buddhist Burmans, the country’s ethnic majority. They see Suu Kyi, 72, as one of their own. She’s the adored youngest daughter of Major General Aung San, who led the ﬁght against the British before rival politicians assassinated him just months before London granted the country independence in 1947. She’s the Oxford-educated patriot who opposed the military regime, which seized power in 1962 and introduced totalitarian rule. She’s the deﬁant dissident who became the face of nationwide protests against the military in 1988, before the army cracked down on them, killing thousands of citizens. The Lady, as Suu Kyi is known in Myanmar, spent more than a decade under house arrest. Her resistance was so ﬁerce, she even refused to travel to England for the funeral of her British husband, Michael Aris, for fear that the junta would not let her return home. In 1991, she won the Nobel Peace Prize for her commitment to nonviolent struggle, democracy and human rights. That struggle continued for another two decades, and by 2015, then-President Thein Sein decided to hold a free election in a bid to make sure the West didn’t reimpose crippling economic sanctions against the country. Suu Kyi’s party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), won and formed a civilian government that the former dissident now heads as state counselor. Today, however, some three years after that contest, critics have condemned her for, among other offenses, sacriﬁcing the stateless Rohingyas, backsliding on press freedom, failing to forge a peace with militant groups and believing she can bring the 20 NEWSWEEK.COM generals around on all of the above. “The reality is, Suu Kyi was great as a democracy icon working from the outside,” says Anthony Davis, a Bangkok-based analyst with Jane’s, a British company that provides military, defense and national security intelligence. “She made the mistake of getting into power. She’s become a ﬁg leaf for and hostage of the military.” Not that the generals are happy with any cover she’s provided. “She has not lived up to her side of the bargain and has failed to protect the army from Western pressure,” says a retired senior ofﬁcer with links to the commander in chief, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing. (Like others interviewed for this story, he asked for anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter. Neither Suu Kyi nor her ofﬁce responded to requests for comment.) Suu Kyi’s fall has been precipitous. But many say she is a victim of high expectations from those who always saw her as a cross between Mother Teresa and Joan of Arc. “I’m just a politician,” she protested in an interview with the BBC last year. After she won the election, she went from an outsider-activist to the ultimate political insider—but one who is trapped between two parallel governments. Ostensibly the head of Myanmar, she is constrained by the country’s powerful military, which remains in charge by constitutional mandate. Her party hasn’t demonstrated CLO C KWISE FRO M TOP: THIERRY FAL ISE/LIGHTRO CKET/GE T T Y; PATRI CK AVE NTU RIER/GAMMAR APHO/GET T Y; KE YSTO NE/HULTON ARC HIVE /G ET T Y ASIA great skill at governing or maneuvering around the cunning generals, analysts say. And many believe Suu Kyi has been paralyzed by her cautiousness and need for control; she has failed to ameliorate the Rohingya crisis because she’s too wary of the nativist majority’s deep hostility toward the Muslim group. “She’s a nationalist,” says Khin Zaw Win, a former political prisoner who now directs Yangon’s Tampadipa Institute, a public advocacy think tank. “Many Burmese detest the Rohingyas, and she’s among them.” Three years ago, when Suu Kyi romped to victory, her followers were euphoric but also aware of the obstacles ahead. Yes, the military had allowed the results to stand—but it did so knowing it would retain THE LONG STRUGGLE Suu Kyi’s reputation has been tarnished. But many say she is a victim of high expectations. Clockwise from top: The Lady addressing supporters in 1996; Karen students with guns in 1988; and Major General Aung San, Suu Kyi’s father, in 1947. most of the power. In 2008, the generals rammed through a new constitution that reserves for the military 25 percent of the parliament’s seats, along with control of key ministries: Defense, Border Control and Domestic Affairs. The last one put the military in charge of a sprawling bureaucracy that collects taxes and registers everything from land purchases to deaths. Such powers left it with extraordinary access to citizens’ personal and business information, as well as the levers of the country’s wealth. The armed forces also inserted a clause in the constitution barring from the presidency any person with family members who are foreign citizens. Critics maintain this provision was expressly aimed at thwarting Suu Kyi, who not only was married to Aris but had two sons with him who are British subjects. When the NLD won, Suu Kyi adopted the state counselor title because the constitution barred her from being named president. (“The principles in the 2008 constitution are the best safeguard for the country’s continued peace and stability,” insists the retired military officer.) Today, Suu Kyi’s defenders blame that constitution for preventing her from stopping the forced expulsion, maiming, rape and killing of Rohingyas in Rakhine state. The military’s crackdown on the Muslim group started in the 1970s. The latest crisis began last August, and since then, some 700,000 of the country’s approximately 1.1 million Rohingyas have fled to Bangladesh. The United Nations and human rights organizations say the military carried out a pogrom, torching the villages of fleeing Rohingyas. Suu Kyi supporters point out, accurately, that she has no control over the generals. The military operates independently, even setting its own budget, which in 2017 totaled $2.14 billion, almost 14 percent of state expenditures. Cynics allege that the military brass wants to sabotage any attempt to reach a deal with the country’s ethnic groups, least of all the despised Rohingyas. “She [Suu Kyi] talks peace and reconciliation, and the military launches more offensives in ethnic areas,” says Zin Linn, a media consultant who served two separate jail terms as a political prisoner. The generals do want peace, the retired officer tells Newsweek, “but we will not surrender power or territory to the ethnic armies.” Either way, in early April, fresh fighting erupted between the military and the Kachin Independence Army, a militia that NEWSWEEK.COM 21 fields 8,000 fighters, according to Jane’s. So far, the violence has driven more than 6,000 Kachins from their homes in Myanmar’s northernmost state, located just south of China. “The truth is, Daw Suu did not want another bloodbath in this country,” Zin Linn says, using the Burmese honorific for an older woman or one in a senior position. “She wants unity.... That’s why she’s been so cautious.” Perhaps, but Suu Kyi not only has declined to condemn anti-Rohingya atrocities; she never actually uses the word Rohingyas, which some say underscores her reluctance to recognize them as a separate group entitled to their rights. And critics say she has minimized what the U.N. has called “acts of genocide” and a “textbook case of ethnic cleansing.” Last September, in her first comments about the crisis, Suu Kyi blamed “fake news” for exacerbating Muslimrelated tensions, citing a “huge iceberg of misinformation.” In March 2017, her office dismissed allegations of sexual assault on Rohingya women by Burmese soldiers as “fake rape.” “They’re saying, ‘Where is the evidence of rape?’” says the Tampadipa Institute’s Khin Zaw Win. “Well, the evidence is all on the people there [in Rakhine], especially on the women. If DNA tests were performed, that would be the evidence. For Aung San Suu Kyi to say ‘Show me the evidence’ is not enough.” Others go further in criticizing the Lady. “The military commits crimes against humanity against the Rohingya,” says Phil Robertson, deputy director of Human Rights Watch’s Asia Division. “And then, inexplicably, she goes out to defend their cover-up.” Yet publicly supporting Rohingyas and other ethnic groups is not a winning political strategy. Myanmar has no reliable polling, but analysts say an overwhelming majority of Buddhist Burmans loathe the Rohingyas, whom they consider foreigners and call “Bengalis.” Brought in from what is now Bangladesh by the British colonizers to work, they remain stateless, with no rights in the country they immigrated to roughly two centuries ago. For decades, the junta tried to strengthen the power of the Burman majority by giving it dominion over all other ethnic groups. “They [the military] try to ensure Burman supremacy. It’s partly intentional and partly incompetence on the part of the authorities,” says Dr. Ma Thida, a surgeon, writer, activist, former Suu Kyi aide and erstwhile political prisoner. The military recognizes 135 ethnic groups, which 22 NEWSWEEK.COM make up 25 percent of the nation’s 54 million people; Burmans, or Bamars, make up 75 percent. The biggest minority groups include the Shan, Karen (or Kayin), Rakhine, Kachin and Chin. Burmans have preyed on these groups for generations, most recently under the auspices of military strongmen. Many resorted to resistance, spawning the 21 “ethnic armed organizations” now operating in the country. Since 2012, the military and its quasi-civilian governments—and now the governing administration—have pushed for a cease-fire agreement to achieve a national reconciliation, end hostilities and defang the armed groups. “A deal can only be worked out if the ethnic groups sign the cease-fire agreement,” says the retired officer. But those organizations demand autonomy in their regions; the cease-fire deal does not resolve that issue, so fewer than half of the groups have signed on. In 2015, numerous ethnic voters backed the NLD, seduced, like everyone else, by Suu Kyi. “The Chins did not vote for the NLD; they voted for her,” says Cheery Zahau, a political activist and country director for the Project 2049 Institute, a U.S.-based think THE LADY VANISHES Suu Kyi, above, not only has declined to condemn anti-Rohingya atrocities, like the ones carried out against Mumtaz Begum, right, but never actually uses the word Rohingyas, which some say underscores her reluctance to recognize them as a separate group entitled to their rights. J U N E 08, 2018 ASIA Aung San Suu Kyi,” the reverend says. “She’s not focused on ethnic issues. She’s focused on democracy and dealing with the Western governments. That’s why people are disappointed in her. She’s too close to the military.” That disappointment is unlikely to abate as military operations against ethnic groups continue to escalate. In mid-May, at least 19 people were killed in Shan state, when the military battled the Ta’ang National Liberation Army, an insurgent group known for its operations against opium cultivation, near the border with China. Hkalam Samson says Suu Kyi’s peace strategy has foundered. After years of flinging rhetorical bombs at the generals, Suu Kyi maintains an uneasy relationship with them. She says privately that “there’s no relationship, no communication” between her and General Min Aung Hlaing, according to someone who knows her. She tried to cozy up to the general after the election, but the violence in Rakhine ended that effort. The leaders of the “two governments” have tussled ever since, says a second person who knows Suu Kyi. But in the spirit of realpolitik, the Lady has eschewed condemnation and confrontation with FROM TO P: YE AU NG THU/AFP/GE T T Y; ALL ISON J OYCE/GET T Y tank. “Ordinary people thought Aung San Suu Kyi would come and feed them food herself.” Cheery should know: She ran for parliament in impoverished Chin state and lost to the candidate from Suu Kyi’s party. “Now, many realize Suu Kyi won’t save them,” she says. “Chin people have to save themselves.” Kachins seem to have experienced a similar epiphany in their state, especially after the military’s April attacks, the latest outburst in off-and-on fighting dating back to 2011, when a 17-year-old cease-fire fell apart. The state government, run by Suu Kyi’s party, approved camps and authorized rescue operations for those displaced by the conflict. But Myanmar’s army has blocked such efforts, apparently to mask the extent of the upheaval. It was another case of the nation’s “two governments” in inaction. “We have two entities working separately,” the Reverend Hkalam Samson, general secretary of the Kachin Baptist Convention, says in a phone call from Myitkyina, a Kachin city awash in anti-military protests. Roughly half of the state’s approximately 800,000 residents are Baptists, and the evangelical group provides assistance to villagers and displaced people. “We are very confused on NEWSWEEK.COM 23 STORYTAG 24 NEWSWEEK.COM N OV E M BE R 24, 2017 THE FORGOTTEN KE VIN FRAYER /GET T Y Brought in from what is now Bangladesh by the British colonizers to work, the Rohingyas remain stateless, with no rights in the country they immigrated to roughly two centuries ago. Critics say Suu Kyi has minimized what the U.N. has called “acts of genocide” and a “textbook case of ethnic cleansing.” NEWSWEEK.COM 25 the military. The second person close to her says she acknowledges in private that the army engages in ethnic cleansing in Rakhine—but she’d never use anything close to that language in public. Suu Kyi’s critics acknowledge her constitutional limitations but argue that she missed an opportunity to leverage her popularity right after the 2015 election. “She had massive international support— including China—and massive domestic support,” says Davis, the Jane’s analyst. “That would have been the time for a smart politician to push for constitutional change. The military probably would have blinked. She could have had half a million Burmese in the streets of Rangoon in a half an hour.” Maybe, but the military rarely has hesitated to kill thousands. Bo Bo Oo, an NLD member of parliament, says Suu Kyi and the civilian government opted to take “an evolutionary approach” of nonviolence and “no people in the streets.” He stipulates that the generals are in charge, so “we have to choose another way”—apparently to speak softly and carry a small stick. Asked to identify some of Suu Kyi’s accomplishments in the past two years, the lawmaker acknowledges that “the very rigid constitution is difficult to change,” then lists tax reform—“tax income is quite increased”—and improvements in education and health care. If that sounds meager, it is, says Khin Zaw Win, the former political prisoner. You could credit the government with simplifying regulations to boost investment, and for proposals to improve the country’s infrastructure. But it’s still not much, he notes. Mostly, government officials have thrown rhetoric at tough policy issues, as if they can talk the nation’s problems out of existence. Kyaw Kyaw Hlaing, chairman of Smart, a group of oil and gas companies, says the government appoints officials not for their skills or zeal for certain portfolios but connections to Suu Kyi. “Everything is getting bottlenecked,” he says. “Nobody wants to make a decision. Everything has to go to Daw Suu or a minister…who sends it to her.” Pantomiming frantic officials waving their hands in the air, he parodies the bureaucrats: “‘What does the Lady want? What would the Lady do?’” He adds, “They’re not scared of her; they’re scared of losing their positions.” It doesn’t help that Suu Kyi employs an imperious management style, some analysts say. Even before the NLD won the 2015 election, she announced that while the constitution bars her from becoming 26 NEWSWEEK.COM president, she would be “above the president.” Indeed, the civilian president—first Htin Kyaw, who resigned in March, and now Win Myint—has functioned mostly as a conduit for Suu Kyi. The Lady is also foreign minister. “She has a personalized and centralized form of government, and all the ministers are deathly afraid of her and don’t dare criticize her,” says Khin Zaw Win. “This centralized system could work if Suu Kyi were more decisive, critics say. But as Smart’s Kyaw Kyaw Hlaing puts it, “She’s too focused on consequences in making decisions.” Such dithering could harm Suu Kyi’s 2020 election prospects, analysts say. “She had better hope that the Burmese people focus on her legendary THE GENERAL AND HIS LABYRINTH Suu Kyi’s party remains popular, and voters don’t have a lot of choices. The best alternative: the military. Above, clockwise from top left: Soldiers march during a military parade in Naypyidaw; Reuters journalist Kyaw Soe Oo is escorted by police after a hearing in Yangon; workers pave a highway near Dawei; and Buddhists protest the use of the term Rohingya. Right: Min Aung Hlaing, the military’s leader. ASIA CLO C KWISE FRO M BOT TOM L EFT: SOE ZE YA TUN/RE UTERS; THET AUNG/AFP/GET T Y; JORGE SILVA/RE UTERS; SEONGJO O N C HO/BLO OMBERG/GET T Y; SOE ZEYA TUN/REUTERS past rather than what she’s accomplished in power when they go to the polls again in 2020,” Human Rights Watch’s Robertson tells Newsweek. But the Lady intends to win, even if she can’t tout many achievements. Bo Bo Oo, the NLD lawmaker, insists that voters are less focused on big-picture issues, such as federalism and peace, and more concerned about improving electricity and garbage collection, creating new parking lots and dog shelters. “Issue by issue, I try to solve,” he says. “And they still believe the NLD is the best party to address such issues.” He may be right. The NLD remains popular, and voters don’t have a lot of choices. The best alternative is the military, through its Union Solidarity and Development Party. Some say the generals are content to leave governing to the civilians and instead focus on strengthening the armed forces and making money. Others say Aung Hlaing could seriously challenge Suu Kyi in 2020. Would he run? There are some indications—he’s made public appearances and is now using social media. The armed forces normally repulse Myanmar’s democracy-supporting populace, but the general is gaining some traction among Buddhist Burmans because he has brutally cracked down on Rohingyas and other ethnic groups. Some Burmans even see him as a defender of the faith. Conveniently, having allowed Suu Kyi and her party to take over most ministries, he gets to blame her for policy failures and can also use her as a shield against international grumbling about the country not being democratic. “For Min Aung Hlaing, military...support would be reinforced by a genuine popularity among many Burmans as a capable, strong leader…who has travelled abroad extensively while projecting himself at home as the defender of a Buddhist nation which sees itself as increasingly embattled,” Jane’s Davis wrote. But the extent of the general’s popularity is debatable. Despite his public support, some of his own colleagues are suspicious of his ambitions. “There are many in the military who find this distasteful,” says the retired officer. “Many junior officers believe he is more interested in personal power and wealth than the interests of the country.” If Suu Kyi were to be outmaneuvered by Min Aung Hlaing, the armed forces could take total control of the country. “What the military had always thirsted for was legitimacy,” says Ma Thida. “With the 2008 constitution and then the election, they got it. That’s why there will never be another military coup. They don’t need a coup.” They would have even less need for a coup if they were to triumph at the ballot box. Suu Kyi, whose halo may never have quite fit, seems determined to avoid such an outcome. Her unwillingness to confront the military on the Rohingya crisis, or to get too far ahead of the generals on the peace process, underscores her recognition of the political stakes, says Khin Zaw Win. So does her apparent lack of effort in freeing two Reuters reporters who have been jailed in Myanmar since last December, when they were investigating the killing of 10 Rohingya in Rakhine state. And so does Suu Kyi’s mistrust of a free press, exemplified by a paucity of interviews and occasional instructions to underlings to not talk to reporters. Even now, however, her disappointed backers declare their allegiance while they also vent their frustration. Hkalam Samson, the Kachin leader, is one of them. “We know she alone cannot move this monster,” he tells Newsweek. “That’s why we pray for her. We still love her.” With reporting by Larry Jagan NEWSWEEK.COM 27 28 NEWSWEEK.COM PHOTO GR AP HS BY GET T Y BROKEN DREAMS The Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., Robert F. Kennedy and President John F. Kennedy— assassinated at 39, 42 and 46 respectively. P The assassination of Robert F. Kennedy on June 5, 1968, felt like the end of hope, which sounds acutely familiar to many Americans today by NINA BURLEIGH hoto illustration by GLUEKIT NEWSWEEK.COM 29 CLO C KWISE FRO M RIGHT: ANDREW SAC KS/GET T Y; FR ANK HUR LEY/NY DAILY NEWS ARCHIVE/GET T Y; ROBERT W. KELLEY/THE LIFE PICTURE COLLECTION/GET T Y LEGACY obert f. kennedy was killed 50 years ago June 6—the third in a trio of high-profile assassinations during that decade, the bloody coda to an era of political violence. Today, in our divided, uncivil time, it’s worth remembering that Americans survived the horrors of the 1960s and early ’70s, which began with the murder of Robert’s older brother, President John F. Kennedy, in 1963. But 1968 was something of a watershed: “The year that shattered America,” as Smithsonian has called it, demolished the hippie fever dream of the ’60s with an explosive cocktail of escalating war, racially charged riots, police brutality and the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and then RFK. There was no 24-hour news cycle back then. Social media was not spreading hate or forging divisive bubbles. The president wasn’t fanning flames with regular tweets, covert Russian COURSES OF ACTION And Robert Kennedy was, for a moment, the Above: RFK, in 1968, greeting hackers weren’t propagating fake news, and man who could lead the nation out of darkfans on the campaign trail. books proclaiming the end of democracy ness. RFK had been his older brother's attorOpposite top: Martin Luther hadn’t become a lucrative sideline for pubKing Jr. with fellow leaders of ney general and remained in that position for the 1963 March on Washington lishers—all of which exacerbates our current several months after Lyndon B. Johnson was for Jobs and Freedom. turmoil, which can feel intractable. sworn in as president. But he left to run for the Opposite, bottom: Jackie And yet, in 1968 we experienced far worse. and John F. Kennedy, then U.S. Senate from New York in 1964 and won the the Democratic presidential “As strange and terrible as these times seem— seat, veering further and further left—well benominee, at a 1960 ticker tape and they are indeed strange and terrible— yond JFK's more conservative ideology—champarade in New York City. it’s hard for younger people who are despairpioning the poor, civil rights and labor activing over Trump to imagine what it felt like ism and speaking out against the Vietnam War. to my generation, coming of age in the late RFK entered the 1968 presidential primary late, announcing on March 16. He would challenge Johnson 1960s,” David Talbot, author of Brothers: The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years, tells Newsweek. “A hideous imperial war and Minnesota Senator Eugene McCarthy, who was running on that kept grinding on and on, despite massive protests in the an anti-war platform. But unlike his rivals, the Ivy League–educated Kennedy had a remarkable ability to speak to both black streets; long-repressed racial rage exploding every summer in our cities; a Washington power structure that seemed incapaand working-class voters, creating a coalition in a time of intense ble of understanding these protests and eruptions, let alone do political antagonism. “What other reason do we have really for anything substantial about it.” [our] existence as human beings unless we’ve made some other Peter Goldman, who wrote for Newsweek at the time (see page contribution to somebody else to improve their own lives?” he 23), remembers “a widespread sense that we were in big trouble. said in one of his speeches, typically peppered with erudition The foundations of the country we knew were crumbling. Our and an almost ecclesiastic, Catholic compassion. popular culture was changing.” America, Goldman says, seemed In an interview with Kerry Kennedy for her book, Ripples of Hope, commemorating the anniversary of her father’s to have “come loose from its moorings.” NEWSWEEK.COM 31 LE G A C Y assassination, Barack Obama (who turned 7 in 1968) says he yelling, “God bless you!” In an introduction to her book, Kerry took inspiration from RFK’s ability to change his views, becomKennedy writes that her father’s hands were rubbed raw and ing more progressive on race and poverty. “By the time he was his shirt cuffs torn at the end of each campaign day. running for president, you had a sense of somebody who had The nation, meanwhile, was drowning in death. The Tet really gone inward and examined himself,” Obama said. Offensive that started in January of that year led to the war’s The rich and privileged Kennedy was also remarkably opposed bloodiest period for U.S. troops, with 1968 its deadliest year: to the interests of big business (a 1968 Fortune article called him 16,592 American soldiers killed. The year would also see a peak the most unpopular candidate since FDR). The gross domestic of more than half a million men fighting the war. product, he famously said in a post-announcement speech in And then, on April 4, just weeks after RFK entered the race, Republican Kansas, “measures neither our wit, nor our courMartin Luther King Jr. was assassinated at a motel in Memphis, age, neither our wisdom nor our learning, Tennessee. Anger and despair erupted in black neither our compassion nor our devotion to communities across the nation, with riots in our country. It measures everything, in short, cities like Chicago, Baltimore and New York. except that which makes life worthwhile.” Kennedy was campaigning in Indianapolis LBJ quickly realized the implications of that night, and local police urged him to canKennedy’s popularity; he pulled out of the cel his rally, held in a mostly black neighborAMERICAN TRAGEDY race on March 31, leaving it wide open. Members of the Ohio National hood. Kennedy wouldn’t hear of it, speaking Guard, with gas masks and Footage in a new Netflix documentary extemporaneously with a few jotted notes. He ﬁxed bayonets, advance series, Bobby Kennedy for President, shows quoted Aeschylus, calling him “my favorite on students protesting at his charisma. That, coupled with a nation Kent State University on poet”: “Even in our sleep, pain which cannot May 4, 1970. Four students still mourning his brother’s death, led to forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until, were eventually killed and profound public yearning. As he plunged in our own despair, against our will, comes nine injured when weapons into crowds, people would grab his hands, were ﬁred into the crowd. wisdom through the awful grace of God.” Sad-eyed but with a dazzling smile, Kennedy stumped across the nation through April and May. His chance of winning the Democratic nomination wasn’t certain, but the likelihood was strong. Millions—progressives and others— saw in Kennedy the light and love that could, as King had preached, drive out darkness and hate. But on June 5, the night of the California primary—then the last one in the Democratic primary season—any hope of salvation was destroyed. Kennedy was shot to death in the kitchen area of the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles at what was supposed to have been his victory party. In the hours before his murder, as success became clear, supporters were ecstatic. “It was like everything you could ever hope and wish for was going to happen,” recalled labor organizer Dolores Huerta. Sirhan Sirhan, a Palestinian incensed over Kennedy’s support of Israel, was convicted of killing Kennedy and remains in prison; the incident is considered by some to be the first act of violence on American soil stemming from the Arab-Israeli conflict. A few months later, benumbed Democrats nominated Vice President Hubert Humphrey at a Chicago convention 32 NEWSWEEK.COM J U N E 08, 2018 THE A S SA S S I NAT I ON EDITOR A veteran journalist recalls reporting on the life and death of Robert F. Kennedy BY ZACH SCHONFELD FROM LEFT: HOWAR D RUFFNE R/GE T T Y; BET TMANN/GET T Y; NEWSWEE K ► PETER GOLDMAN WAS AT HOME IN NEW York, watching the results roll in from the California presidential primary. It was early in the morning of June 5, 1968, and for a ﬂeeting instant, Robert F. Kennedy seemed poised to capture the Democratic nomination and perhaps follow his slain brother’s footsteps into the White House. NBC went off the air, but Goldman, a 35-year-old national affairs writer for Newsweek, stayed awake, ﬂipping through other news channels. Suddenly, he saw footage of a shaken Steve Smith, Kennedy’s brother-in-law and campaign manager, ascending to the podium at Los Angeles’s Ambassador Hotel “and announcing that something horrible had happened.” As Goldman would observe in his subsequent Newsweek cover story, there was a sense of “sickening familiarity” in the night’s sequence of events, coming as it did just two months after Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination: “the crack of the gun, the crumpling body, the screams, the kaleidoscopic pandemonium.” The senator was rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery, but any expectation of recovery soon evaporated. Bobby Kennedy was declared dead on June 6. “I was kind of the assassination editor back in the ’60s,” says Goldman, who is now 85 and has retired from journalism to write crime ﬁction. “I did the Jack [Kennedy] cover. I did the MLK cover. I did an inside piece on Malcolm X, an inside piece on Medgar Evers.…” A proliﬁc chronicler of a remarkably tumultuous era, he would write more than 120 cover stories between 1962 and 1988. Somebody, it seems, had to bear witness to a nation’s unraveling. But, brieﬂy, Goldman saw a man who might stitch it back together. “Bobby had an extraordinary magnetism, and it was the reverse of what we usually think of as magnetism in politics. It was a kind of counter-charisma. There was sadness in his eyes. I think he ended his life still grieving for Jack.” And perhaps anticipating his own death. Goldman remembers an anecdote from a reporter who covered Kennedy's presidential campaign. At one point, there was a small birthday celebration for a member of his staff that included balloons. When one of them popped, “Bobby cringed and looked terriﬁed. I think he knew a gun was waiting for him somewhere.” Understandably, then, Kennedy was an uneasy candidate. Goldman did travel with the campaign for a short time, and he remembers RFK's hands shaking when he was speaking in public. “Bobby just carried this wounded, vulnerable look about him—to the point where you wanted to put your arms around him and say, ‘It’s gonna be OK.’ “The only time I saw him comfortable," he goes on, was at a stop in Indianapolis. Kennedy was met by a throng of young children outside a day care center. “The change in [Bobby’s] demeanor was, to me, remarkable,” says Goldman. One boy, disoriented by the ﬂesh-and-blood materialization of a celebrity, approached and asked, “How do you get out of the TV?” The candidate smiled but did not laugh at or mock him. Kennedy died on a Thursday morning, and Goldman had ﬁnished most of the story by late Friday, using the ﬁles of reporters working around the country. He wanted to end on RFK’s funeral on Saturday. He watched it at work, drinking a bottle of bourbon his editor had pulled from his desk drawer. “The two of us were sitting there pretty near tears, which is not what journalists are supposed to be doing.” Goldman believes that the events of 1968 indirectly led to the current rift between liberals and conservatives. “Some of the ﬁssures that were opening in the ’60s widened the division between the two parties, and the division on a lot of social and cultural issues,” he says. Freed from any obligation to impartiality (a quaint journalistic expectation of the past), he speaks plainly about the 45th president. “I’ve lived under one-third of American presidents [Herbert Hoover only when Goldman was an infant]. I’m an old dude. And Trump is the ﬁrst one who kind of scares me. He has no idea what he’s doing. What he’s substituting for expertise, it’s chaos.” Half a century later, Goldman can also confess to some political partiality during his career. “I was very drawn to Bobby—as was the entire traveling press corps,” he says. “It was the most remarkable thing I’ve ever seen, the ﬂying love affair on that plane.” When he died, “I was sadder than I would have been about any other candidate.” NEWSWEEK.COM 33 “THE FOUNDATIONS OF THE COUNTRY WE KNEW WERE CRUMBLING. AMERICA HAD COME LOSE FROM ITS MOORINGS.” 34 NEWSWEEK.COM N OV E M BE R 24, 2017 FROM LEFT: TIM PAGE/C ORBIS/GET T Y; DAVID FENTON/GET T Y STORYTAG WAR AND PEACE Demonstrators on and around the Peace Monument at a massive anti-war rally in Washington, D.C., on April 14, 1971. Opposite: U.S. soldiers patrolling the Mekong Delta in Vietnam in 1968. The war would last for another seven years, ending April 30, 1975. produce, and they had all been assassinated. And from this time forward, things would get worse: our best political leaders were part of memory now, not hope. The stone was at the bottom of the hill and we were all alone.” That sense of despair, however, was not shared by all. Representative John Lewis, the longtime congressman from Georgia and a civil rights leader, tells Newsweek that he and other progressives fought to maintain faith in the future. “During the ’60s, in spite of [those three] assassinations, we never became bitter,” he says. “We never became hostile. We never hated. We kept holding on—we kept dreaming. Although something died in all of us, we kept the faith. We kept dreaming for a better day.” And better days did come. Fifty years on, the U.S. poverty rate is dramatically lower, and tolerance and equality are dramatically higher: Gay marriage is legal, and there is increased awareness of discrimination against women and minorities. Obviously, there is still much to be done, yet if we have learned anything, it is that Americans can turn again toward hope. Kennedy adviser and labor leader Paul WE SHALL OVERCOME scarred by protests and police violence. Richard Schrade was at the Ambassador Hotel and was State troopers swing billy Nixon was elected president in November. Two shot in the head during the attack. His spiritual clubs to break up a civil rights years later, National Guardsmen killed four sturecuperation took much longer than his long march in Selma, Alabama, on March 7, 1965. The man dents at Kent State University in Ohio. By 1974, physical recovery. He left his job as an organizer being beaten is future U.S. Nixon was facing impeachment and resigned. and went back to work in an aerospace factory Representative John Lewis, Author Talbot was 16 and a passionate for several years, “because I wanted a quiet pictured, opposite, with President Barack Obama, at place,” he tells Newsweek. But Schrade joined supporter of Bobby Kennedy when he heard an event marking the 50th the news of the assassination on his car peace marches in the early 1970s—which he anniversary of that march. radio. “That burst of gunfire not only morcredits with leading to the end of the Vietnam tally wounded RFK, it deeply damaged the War. And while he doesn’t think the country dreams for a better America that had been has ever really come back from the era of assassinations, at 93 he still has unwavering faith in the power embraced by millions of people like me,” he says. “For many in my generation, these wounds haven’t healed; we still have of progressive movements. “I am as appalled at Trump as many trouble believing in our country’s future.” people, but we are, I think, turning a corner with Black Lives MatYoung Americans, energized by the enormous promise of JFK, ter, the #MeToo movement, and with the students against guns.” RFK and MLK, were left reeling. Journalist Jack Newfield, present Obama maintains his belief in the country that elected him as at Bobby’s murder, eloquently summed up the feeling in his 1969 its first black president, finding lessons, even inspiration, in Amermemoir, RFK: “Now I realized what makes our generation unique, ica’s worst moments, as RFK did. “If we’re going to talk about our what defines us apart from those who came before the hopeful history, then we should do it in a way that heals, not in a way that winter of 1961, and those who came after the murderous spring wounds, not in a way that divides,” he said at a rally last October. of 1968. We are the first generation that learned from experience… “That’s how we rise up. We don’t rise up by repeating the past. We that things were not really getting better, that we shall not overrise up by learning from the past and listening to each other.” come. We felt, by the time we reached thirty, that we had already “In spite of what is happening today,” says Lewis, “we shall, glimpsed the most compassionate leaders our nation could and will, overcome.” 36 NEWSWEEK.COM J U N E 08, 2018 FROM LEFT: AP PHOTO; SAU L LO EB/A FP/GET T Y LEGACY Horizons MILLION B E H I ND THE NUMBER S Hot Take 38 NEWSWEEK.COM FAHRENHEIT 2,140º Lava’s temperature range when first ejected. The eruption temperature at Kilauea is about The year Kilauea— about 14 percent of the Big Island’s land area—began its current phase of continuous eruptions. 1,300º The height ash soared when Kilauea, on Hawaii’s Big Island, erupted on May 17. Groundwater and hot rock had interacted, a combination the U.S. Geological Survey says can produce dramatic— though not huge— explosions. 2,200º Recent eruptions from Kilauea have caused school closings, temporary relocations and concern about larger explosions to follow. But against the backdrop of volcano history, Kilauea’s current activity is nothing out of the ordinary 30,000 feet 6 SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY + HEALTH Estimated number of active volcanoes in the U.S., the majority in Alaska, with most others in Hawaii and on the West Coast. 169 1,500 Estimated number of active volcanoes in the world, not including those on the ocean ﬂoor. Many are located in the Paciﬁc Rim’s “Ring of Fire.” About 500 have erupted in recorded history. Number of people living within 60 miles of Campi Flegrei, an active volcano in Italy with an explosive recent past. NINETY–TWO THOUSAND The most fatalities from a single event, after Indonesia’s Tambora erupted in 1815. Starvation was the major cause of death, though the worst incidents (like Italy’s Pompeii) usually kill people through ash, mud and lava ﬂows. 23 → Number of large volcanic eruptions across the globe in the 21st century. J U N E 08, 2018 GLOBE : C SA IMAGES/GE T T Y; VO LC ANO: CO RBIS/GET T Y 80,000ft The height of the eruption column that deposited ash on 11 U.S. states when Mount St. Helens erupted in 1980, killing 57 people and causing an estimated $3.03 billion in damage. NEWSWEEK.COM 39 Horizons Are organs from people who’ve died from drug abuse safe? We examined the outcomes of people who received organs from people addicted to drugs—speciﬁcally heart and lung recipients. Those organs are the most vulnerable to low oxygen, which is ultimately what kills most people who die from overdoses. The outcomes, at least through the ﬁrst year following the transplant, are the same as those seen with other donor sources. F R E S H EVIDENCE Life After Death A HARVARD DOCTOR UNCOVERS A DISTURBING BENEFIT FROM OVERDOSE FATALITIES The opioid epidemic ravaging the U.S. is killing tens of thousands a year, with over 63,600 overdose deaths in 2016. Although opioid prescriptions have started falling, the crisis is not abating. When pills aren’t available, many users turn to heroin or its more dangerous cousin, fentanyl. But a strange phoenix has risen from these ashes: life-saving organs available for transplantation. After Mandeep Mehra and a colleague at Harvard Medical School noticed an increase in the number of donors, they tracked the source to opioid-related deaths. Newsweek spoke with Mehra, a professor of medicine, about the discovery of this disconcerting correlation. How did you uncover the connection? For many years, the number of donors was stagnant. When we noticed an increase in recent years, we wondered if Americans had started donating more or if some other factor was at play. We How do you reconcile the beneﬁt of more organs with such a disturbing source? The drug epidemic is a societal ill that we have to deal with. The one silver lining to this very, very cloudy situation is that many lives are saved by one life lost—the heart, two lungs, two kidneys and the liver can all be donated. Every time an organ transplant recovery is performed, the team observes a moment of silence and offers gratitude and thanks for this gift of life. But as a community of transplant professionals, we should not consider this a sustainable donor source. —Jessica Wapner “Three years after my kidney transplant I won an NBA Championship with the Miami Heat. If not for my donor, I would have been hooked up to dialysis machines and may not have even survived. Each of the 120,000 people on the waiting list has great things to accomplish in the future ahead of them.” — ALONZO MOURNING, former Miami Heat center, in a 2016 email to the White House SURPRISING FIND I N G No Thanks A new study from the University of Helsinki found that expressions of gratitude are infrequent in many languages. Among more than 1,000 samples of conversations in eight languages from ﬁve continents, people expressed thanks for a request granted just 5.5 percent of the time. Even among the most verbal thankers—English speakers—the rate was only 14.5 percent. The absence does not mean that people aren’t thankful, say the authors, but simply that we expect to cooperate with one another. “Care should be taken,” the authors write in Royal Society Open Science, “not to conﬂate the emotion of gratitude with the act of expressing it.” NEWSWEEK.COM J U N E 08, 2018 FROM TO P: STUART KINLO UGH/GET T Y; PAUL ZIMMER MAN/W IREIMAGE /GET T Y; DANE MARK/GET T Y reviewed 17 years of data, from 2000 to 2016, on organ donors and saw an elevenfold increase in donors who had died from drug abuse. We also looked at the same span of data from Eurotransplant, a collective of eight transplant centers in Europe, and were shocked to see this particular donor source was absolutely ﬂat over time. LIGHTS OUT A dying star captured by the Hubble Space Telescope. SPACE A Bigger Bang? NASA/ESA /HUBBL E HERITAGE TEAM A new discovery could tell us when the ﬁrst stars appeared in the universe the universe began nearly 14 billion years ago as a vast and dark mix of protons and electrons. Hydrogen formed gradually, along with helium and some lithium. That was the extent of variety in the universe until the ﬁrst stars emerged. It would take those nuclear fusion machines to create oxygen and all the other, heavier elements that make up life. So pinpointing cosmic dawn— the time when the ﬁrst stars formed—has long been a quest for astrophysicists. Now, they are one step closer. Stars explode when they die, at which point the oxygen forged inside them merges with the gas in the rest of its home galaxy. But light is an escape artist; it always leaves its source. That means astronomers can spot the glow of oxygen even from very far away. Using a powerful array of radio telescopes in Chile, an international team of astrophysicists did just that. They found the faint, infrared glow of oxygen coming from a distant galaxy known as MACS1149-JD1, or JD1 for short. Waves of light stretch as they travel farther from their source, like a rubber band pulled by the expanding universe. The team knew that measuring the wavelength of the oxygen’s glow—in other words, how stretched out the rubber band was—would tell them exactly how far away JD1 is and when the light ﬁrst left its source. According to their May 17 report in Nature, the oxygen left its star 13.3 billion years ago—or 500 million years after the Big Bang. That makes this oxygen the most distant that we have ever found. Since this light first left its source, the universe has expanded nine or 10 times. But that’s not all. Because the light from this oxygen could only have escaped from a dead star, the stars in JD1 must have formed even earlier. Using images from the Hubble and Spitzer telescopes, the team calculated that the galaxy formed about 250 million years after the universe began. That moment might be cosmic dawn, says study co-author Richard Ellis, professor of astrophysics at University College London. Because the Spitzer images were blurry, it’s possible that “an interloping galaxy” may have skewed the results, says NASA astrophysicist Jane Rigby. But, notes Rigby, the James Webb Space Telescope, launching in 2020 and designed to study galaxies at cosmic dawn, could conﬁrm the ﬁndings. Ellis believes cosmic dawn is as important as the Big Bang to understanding the universe. “It marks the beginning of the synthesis of elements that make up you and me,” he says. “Life, of course, comes much later.” —J.W. NEWSWEEK.COM 41 Culture HIGH, LOW + EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN GIRL! GIRL! GIRL! 1992 Polaroids of Phair recording at Idful Music in Chicago. Center: with Exile in Guyville guitarist and engineer Casey Rice and producer Brad Wood. MUSIC Phair Play The long, strange journey of the ‘Girly-Sound’ cassettes—the legendary 1991 recordings that led to Liz Phair’s Gen X classic Exile in Guyville 42 NEWSWEEK.COM J U N E 08, 2018 POL AROIDS CO URTESY OF BRA D WO OD AND MATAD OR RE COR DS; CASSET TES BY GET T Y; TOP RIGHT: ERIK MADIGAN HECK/AMC FAT CHANCE Weight watchers get militant in AMC’s adaptation of Dietland » P.46 tae won yu received a cassette tape in In 1989, during her junior year, she spent some the mail. It was 1991, when bootlegs ﬂowed time in New York interning for the artist and activfreely through the postal service, like pollen in ist Nancy Spero. Two crucial things happened: springtime. Vanilla Ice had the top-selling album Phair wrote a ton of songs, and she befriended Yu. in America, and Nirvana was months away from “She was like a sister or a best friend almost immebreaking through to the mainstream, but the diately,” he says. “I felt like I’d known her all my life.” underground scene was vibrant. Yu, then the They both lived in the East Village and shared an guitarist for a rock duo called Kicking Giant, freinterest in music, though she remained secretive quently received homemade tapes from musicians about her songwriting. After graduating from Oberlin, Phair decamped he knew in the indie fanzine world: Bratmobile. Bikini Kill. Daniel Johnston. to San Francisco, and Brokaw happened to be This particular cassette was special. The songs— friends with her roommate. When he spent a week bracing and raw—had been recorded at home by crashing at their loft in late 1990, the two became Yu’s friend, an unknown 23-year-old songwriter closer. Phair had a guitar in her room, and he named Liz Phair. “It was astounding and fully asked her to play him one of her songs. Brokaw was formed—both the sound and the ease of her lyrimpressed: “I was like, ‘Man! Play me another one.’” ical dexterity,” says Yu. “I felt very lucky and also She ended up playing a few, and he remembers each jealous of my friend.” as shockingly good. Brokaw asked her to make him a For over 25 years, the tapes—recorded under the tape, and a month later, after moving back into her parents’ suburban Chicago home, she did. name Girly-Sound—have circulated among fans, ﬁrst in analog form and then as digital The first Girly-Sound cassette, ﬁles, amassing a reputation as the holy recorded in her childhood bedroom in late 1990 or early 1991, was cheekgrail of alternative-era bootlegs. Now, BY ily titled Yo Yo Buddy Yup Yup Word after decades of semi-legitimate circuto Ya Muthuh. It had 14 songs, and so lation and word-of-mouth mythology, ZACH SCHONFELD did a second tape, Girls! Girls! Girls!, the complete tapes are being commer@zzzzaaaacccchhh recorded a month later. The tracks cially released for the ﬁrst time, comhad an invigorating sense of emotional and sonic piled in Girly-Sound to Guyville, a boxed set honoring intimacy, with vocals—double-tracked over a the 25th anniversary of Phair’s 1993 debut and masterpiece, Exile in Guyville. barely ampliﬁed guitar—that were low, wobbly and This is the story of how those homespun cassettes untrained. At times, Phair sang quietly, like a teenlanded Phair a record deal (with some serendipitous ager who doesn’t want her parents to hear her from assistance from Yu). It’s also the story of how talent the next room. could be spotted in ways both primitive and miracuYet there was nothing timid about the lyrics, which confronted sex, rejection and desire with lous, long before the advent of Spotify playlists. startling frankness. By 1993, Phair had an audi‘LIKE A SISTER OR A BEST FRIEND’ ence enraptured by her ability to speak plainly to It all began at Oberlin College, where Phair studied the vulnerabilities and indignities of being a young, visual art during the late 1980s. “Everyone had a unfulﬁlled woman. (The beloved example is “Fuck band,” she recalled in a 1994 proﬁle. (Phair was not and Run,” whose fed-up narrator swears off casual available to be interviewed for this piece.) “There sex and declares: “I want a boyfriend/I want all that was a lot of rock ’n’ roll spirit, but it was an intense stupid old shit, like letters and sodas.”) But in early place.” It was here that she met a young musician 1991, Phair had no “audience”; she had friends. named Chris Brokaw, later of the bands Come and She mailed copies of the ﬁrst tape, then the secCodeine. “She was dating someone I knew,” Brokaw ond, to Brokaw and Yu, followed by a third, Sooty, says now. “She was just my friend’s girlfriend.” featuring an early version of the gloriously profane Photo Illust rat ion b y G L U E K I T NEWSWEEK.COM 43 Culture “Flower,” in which Phair inverts the male gaze and fantasizes about having her way with a shy male crush. “The lyrics had an urgency and a directness that you find in literature and films, but it was rare to find it in rock music,” says Brokaw. “It was certainly rare to hear it in a female voice.” The tapes revealed Phair’s blunt sensibility—and her humor: She experiments with goofy voices on “Elvis Song” and cartoonish accents on the spoken-word gem “California.” Brokaw made copies for his then-manager and his sister. Yu went further: He made dozens of copies—“I daresay over a hundred,” he estimates. “He thought she was a genius,” says Brokaw, “and I don’t know what possessed him, but he sent those tapes everywhere.” There was no aim to profit. It’s important, Yu says, to understand the anti-corporate cassette-sharing ethos that flourished back then. “A very engaged community of people communicated through mixtapes and tapes,” he says. “We were rejecting the idea of waiting for a label or corporate backing to be ‘legitimate.’ ‘Have you heard this amazing thing?’ was the subtext behind much of our correspondence.” Yu was in regular correspondence with underground artists and DIY punks around the country. They exchanged postcards, tapes, zines— the noncorporate music press that flourished before blogs—and he introduced all of them to Phair’s music. “I sent it beyond my circle of friends, to Calvin Johnson [of the band Beat Happening and founder of K Records] and Mark Robinson [founder of TeenBeat Records].” Another recipient: Yu’s pen pal, Allison Wolfe, the lead singer of Bratmobile, part of the pioneering feminist punk movement riot grrrl. When she heard Girly-Sound, she was enthralled. 44 NEWSWEEK.COM MUSIC “Her lyrics were so explicit,” says Wolfe. “She was singing about alternative guys and saying how they’re the same old sexist jerks as anywhere else.” Wolfe brought the cassettes to the West Coast when she went to Evergreen State College and put the song “Open Season” on mixtapes. Her punk friends were unimpressed. But one day, as she was buying food at a collectively run café, a student worker approached her. “I heard you have these Liz Phair tapes,” she said. “Can I please dub them?” That student was Mirah Yom Tov Zeitlyn, an 18-year-old musician who would achieve indie fame under the name Mirah. “I loved every song and every sound,” Mirah recalls in an email. “That tape is what made me determined to train my little hands to play barre chords, and it impacted my songwriting too.” Phair’s tapes zigged and zagged through the underground, becoming popular in the zine universe. At some point, Yu wrote an effusive review of Girly-Sound for the fanzine Chemical Imbalance. (The review included Phair’s address and implored readers to “send her some cash for a tape.”) “I really wanted the world to know about this brilliant talent,” he says. By Phair’s own account, this was an aimless period for her. She had stage fright, rarely, if ever, performing live. “I was living this completely “We were rejecting the idea of waiting for a label or corporate backing to be ‘legitimate.’” post-college, flat-broke, only-caredabout-going-out-at-night existence,” she said in a 2013 Spin interview. Through a friend, she met Brad Wood, who would become a trusted collaborator and produce her eventual album. Wood told Phair, “You need a label.” On a whim, she dialed up Matador Records in New York. Her timing was miraculous: “I get a lot of silly, audacious calls,” Matador co-owner Gerard Cosloy told The New York Times in 1994. “But the day before, I’d read a review of a GirlySound cassette in Chemical Imbalance.” It was, of course, Yu’s review. The label was intrigued. AN UNEXPLODED BOMB If you’ve read this far, you know what happens next: Matador signed Phair in 1992. Exile in Guyville (much of it adapted from the Girly-Sound tapes) was instantly revelatory and widely acclaimed. She got famous. She got J U N E 08, 2018 C OURTESY MATAD OR RE COR DS (2) AXE TO GRIND Phair playing Lounge Ax in Chicago’s Lincoln Park in 1993. an early Exile in Guyville show. widely imitated and debated. But even as Phair graduated to professional status, she kept returning to Girly-Sound. In 1994, when her second album, Whip-Smart, came out, Phair appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone. “I go in there and rip stuff off,” she said of the tapes. “It’s like a library.” Nine Girly-Sound songs wound up on Guyville with fuller arrangements and, in some instances, new titles; five more appeared on Whip-Smart, and two more on 1998’s whitechocolatespaceegg. Only in the new millennium, when Phair tried to remake herself as a glossy pop singer on a polarizing, self-titled album in 2003, did she seem to leave the cassettes fully behind. The 1994 Rolling Stone piece reported that Phair would “not release the tapes anytime soon.” Back then, she seemed a little embarrassed by their unpolished nature. But her unwillingness to officially release the recordings only contributed to their mystique. (“You had to know someone who had it to get it,” Mirah says.) Much as Guyville was sequenced as a track-by-track response to the Rolling Stones’ Exile on Main St., the GirlySound tapes could also be slotted into a classic-rock tradition: the sought-after bootleg. For boomers, it was Bob Dylan’s Great White Wonder or the Beach Boys’ aborted SMiLE. Gen Xers had Girly-Sound. “If albums are the signposts of rock history, bootlegs are a portal to rock’s shadow history,” Steven Hyden writes in his new book, Twilight of the Gods: A Journey to the End of Classic Rock. “ The only music greater than the music that moves you is the music you’ve been told over and over would move you if only you could hear it.” Thankfully, plenty of people did hear Phair’s cassettes. As her profile rose, the tapes spread far beyond Yu’s underground network of collectors. “You can imagine the contrast between Liz as she existed in the early ’90s, on the cover of Rolling Stone, versus this very quiet voice singing incredibly heartfelt songs into a recorder,” Yu says. “The idea of these incredibly pregnant songs existing, unknown, without a label—it was like an unexploded bomb.” By 2006, the tapes were 15 years old, and bootleg culture had shifted from CD-trading to file-sharing. Ken Lee, a self-described Liz Phair archivist who had founded the Phair fan site Mesmerizing, managed to obtain low-generation dubs of the first two tapes—which he made digitally available to fans on GirlySound.com—but he couldn’t find copies of Sooty. Lee urged fans to aid in the search. “They gotta be out there somewhere, doing time as squeegees, as drink coasters.... So PLEASE (with fucking candy sprinkles on top) LOOK for them!” By this point, Phair’s views on releasing the tapes seem to have evolved, and in 2008 she reissued Guyville for its 15th anniversary. In an interview with Pitchfork’s Stephen Deusner, she mused about passing out the tapes for free, “just like they were originally.” When Lee hand-delivered the singer CD copies of his dubs, “she was OK with it,” he says now. “She asked if I made any money off of them. I never did, as it was a labor of love for me.” Subsequently, Phair included 10 Girly-Sound songs as a bonus disc with her 2010 album, Funstyle. In recent years, they have influenced an entire new generation of songwriters, some not yet born when they were recorded. “I would say those tapes are why I write music,” Lindsey Jordan, the 18-year-old musician who records under the name Snail Mail, recently told Phair. “They’re so honest.” In 2017, Matador asked Yu to dig out the original tapes, in preparation for release. Yu still has a boom box, and he listened to them for the first time in years. “The freshness still hits me,” he says. “They’re incredible.” NEWSWEEK.COM 45 Culture TELEVISION Go Figure dietland wants to teach you how to say the word fat. The new dark comedy from AMC, based on Sarai Walker’s 2015 best-seller of the same name, features a character, Plum Kettle, who is not “heavyset,” “chubby” or “curvy.” She’s fat. Joy Nash, the actor who plays Plum, weighs 293 pounds. She’s fine with fat. In fact, she’ll have a problem if you don’t use the word. “It’s a bit of a litmus test,” says Nash. “You only need a euphemism when the truth is so terrible you can’t talk about it. There’s nothing wrong with being fat.” Dietland is not, in other words, going to be like the first season of 46 NEWSWEEK.COM This Is Us, which lost points with many in the fat community after Chrissy Metz, its Emmy-winning star, signed a contract with NBC to lose weight along with her character. Plum might begin the series loathing herself and desperately yearning for weight loss surgery, but she soon joins a feminist empowerment group that espouses turning self-hatred outward. At the same time, a terrorist group, called Jennifer, begins abducting, torturing BY and killing rapists who got away with it—in ANNA MENTA one case, dropping a @annalikestweets man out of a plane, onto the streets of New York City. Walker’s novel, which is about “women’s unleashed anger and rage,” is not something the author thinks viewers see enough of on TV. “I’m talking Thelma & Louise,” she says. “Have young people even seen that movie?” Marti Noxon, the show’s creator, read Dietland in 2016. “I couldn’t help wondering, Why haven’t women ever taken up arms?” Noxon is a recovering anorexic, so weight issues have preoccupied her since adolescence. “Almost every choice women make, including around food, is filtered through ‘Am I good J U N E 08, 2018 PATR IC K HARBRO N/AMC In AMC’s Dietland, women pursue violent extremes to take control of their lives WEIGHTY ISSUES Nash, right, as Plum Kettle, who, after scheduling weight loss surgery, is radicalized by a female empowerment group. enough?’” Noxon says. “Plum’s journey isn’t about learning how to love being obese or thin, but how to love how she feels best. If that’s being 300 pounds, whose business is it but hers? “One of the sly things about the book,” she goes on, “is that it has conventions of a romantic comedy. The cover is a little cute—the main character’s name is Plum Kettle, for Chrissakes! But there’s a Fight Club quality to it, and it connects on a level of anger I didn’t know I had.” Noxon, who is a rape survivor, got her start writing for Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the show that popularized the snarky female avenger; she went on to create, among other series, Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce. “I’m no fan of extremism, and Jennifer goes too far—the violence is really over the top,” Noxon says, “but it’s the philosophical question of when you’re starting a revolution, [extremism can] feel necessary. I wanted to take Plum on this journey of who is she going to be in this fight. Is she going to change? Is she going to run away, take a more pacifist route? Or is she going to become a terrorist?” When Noxon and her largely female Dietland staff were writing the series last July, they were still reeling over the election of Donald Trump, on record as a sexist. They joked that they hoped the president wouldn’t be impeached before the show aired, to capitalize on the millions of women equally incensed. They got an even better peg a few months later: Harvey Weinstein. Dietland now seems as if it were written expressly for this moment. She and her writers (including Walker, who consulted on the show) remained faithful to the book, with a few notable tweaks: When Emmywinning actress Julianna Margulies joined the show as Plum’s beauty magazine boss, the role expanded. And Plum’s best friend, the owner of her local café, is now a man. Some fans of the book, however, after viewing the trailer, perceived Nash as a radical departure: She wasn’t fat enough. In fact, the actor is just 7 pounds lighter than Plum, but she was viewed as too attractive to be the victim of incessant bullying. Nash, who, prior to this, had small roles on The Mindy Project and the Twin Peaks revival, admits she hasn’t experienced the sort of daily abuse Plum endures. At the same time, she finds the criticism frustrating. “I’ve gotten that a lot: ‘You’re not actually fat.’ What that says to me is ‘When am I allowed to be justified in my bigotry? When am I allowed to really be grossed out by somebody?’” Walker, however, was thrilled with the casting. The author had been inspired by “A Fat Rant,” a viral YouTube video that Nash made in 2007. In it, the actress—then 224 pounds and considered obese by her doctor— refers to herself as fat, criticizes the lack of plus-size clothing in mainstream stores and deflates the myth of dieting, citing its shockingly low success rates. “Joy’s video was one of the first fat-positive things I’d ever seen,” Walker says. “It was amazing to someone like me, who had always “There’s a Fight Club quality to it, and it connects on a level of anger I didn’t know I had.” felt shame about being fat.” At the same time, Walker gets the backlash. “When people were asking me to option the book, I was like, ‘Oh my God, this is gonna be like Gwyneth Paltrow in a fat suit!’ That nightmare kept me up at night, and that’s been the biggest fear fans of the book have expressed to me. Hollywood’s idea of fat is not what most people consider fat.” Nash sees notable improvements for women her size, particularly with shopping options. “When I made ‘Fat Rant’ 10 years ago, there were two stores that a person over a size 15 could shop at: Lane Bryant and Torrid. Now, there’s tons.” Walker is less optimistic. While she thinks the positivity movement is great, “I don’t want to overestimate its reach. Fat shaming is a deeply entrenched problem.” While on the Dietland book tour in 2015, the author was attacked by online trolls, subjected to frequent questions about her eating habits and even lectured for being unhealthy. The experience prompted her New York Times op-ed titled “Yes, I’m Fat. It’s OK. I Said It,” and the author worries Nash may experience similar treatment with her first starring role. “People find happy, fat women threatening,” says Walker. Nash appears unconcerned. Her own confidence began to improve at 18, after reading Marilyn Wann’s book FAT!SO?—which doesn’t mean she can’t relate to her character. “Plum thinks that when she’s thin, her life will blossom,” she says. “And I used to think, If I can just get a man to love me, then life will start.” At the very least, Nash hopes Dietland “reminds people that life is already happening. Do something with it.” —Additional reporting by Mary Kaye Schilling NEWSWEEK.COM 47 Culture Illustration by B R I T T S P E N C E R P A R TING SHOT Awkwafina tucked into the a-list-loaded credits for the all-female ocean’s 8 (Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Rihanna...) is a name that might throw some for a loop: Awkwaﬁna. The New York–raised Asian-American rapper, born Nora Lum, is best known for her 2012 video “My Vag,” a tongue-incheek ode to exactly what it sounds like. (“My vag a chrome Range Rover/Yo vag hatchback ’81 Toyota.”) But her career, simmering since with small roles on TV and in ﬁlm (Girl Code, Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising), is about to boil. On June 1, she dropped her second EP, In Fina We Trust; the blockbuster-assured Ocean’s, about a jewel heist, opens June 8; and in August she’s playing Constance Wu’s best friend in the highly anticipated Crazy Rich Asians. Awkwaﬁna tells Newsweek that while she’s grateful to hear “2018 is her year,” it’s giving her agita. “I’ve been having stress dreams every night, like someone posts ‘She’s terrible’ on Facebook, and it gets 905 likes,” she says. “Guess that means I have something I don’t want to lose.” “Every day people tell me my name is ridiculous. There are subreddits dedicated to that!” What were you doing before “My Vag” went viral? I was working at an ofﬁce job. YouTube wasn’t really a thing when I made the video, so I sent it to a couple of friends; I never wanted it to go beyond that, but I still got ﬁred for the content of the video! After that, I had nothing to lose, so I put it [on YouTube]. Before I pushed that publish button, I thought, There is a chance that I will never be able to walk into a job interview again. Fortunately, the bar is low for waitressing, and that’s mostly what I did. It was just a normal shitty life, trying to make rent. Is there a memory that stands out on the Oceans set? I was walking to my trailer, wrapping up this incredible movie, and I saw the building where I had worked in the night sky—the ofﬁce that I was essentially disgraced from. I had come full circle. It felt good. What’s the story with Awkwaﬁna? I came up with it when I was 15, recording songs at LaGuardia High School [alma mater of Nicki Minaj]. It’s a play on Aquaﬁna—the water brand. I never imagined anyone would literally call me that. When someone says, “Awkwaﬁna!” I’m still like, “Who is that? Oh, right, it’s me.” Every day on social media people tell me my name is ridiculous. There are entire subreddits dedicated to that! [Laughs.] But I’ve learned to love it. —Anna Menta 48 NEWSWEEK.COM J U N E 8, 2018 Tinalbarka wants to be a lawyer. She and her family fled violence in Mali. PHOTO: © UNHCR / A . DRAGA J We stand together #WithRefugees www.refugeeday.org Conquest V.H.P.