вход по аккаунту


International The New York Times 190418

код для вставкиСкачать
The disaster
in Syria was
Obama’s too
of Russia
is failing to
shake Putin
Susan E. Rice
Contributing Writer
The New York Times publishes opinion
from a wide range of perspectives in
hopes of promoting constructive debate
about consequential questions.
Though sanctions sting,
president and majority
of population are confident
Muted hunt for truth in Malta
Family of slain journalist
fears a cover-up because
of the interests involved
On Oct. 16, at 1:41 a.m., a cellphone SIM
card was activated in the rural Maltese
village of Bidnija. It was the moment, investigators say, when a remote-controlled bomb packed with TNT was
armed and placed under the driver’s
seat of this tiny country’s most famous,
and most provocative, journalist.
That afternoon, the journalist, Daphne Caruana Galizia, left her house and
walked toward her gray Peugeot 108, intent on regaining access to her bank account. Her assets had been frozen as
part of a libel case, one of 47 suits pending against her. This one stemmed from
an article she had published on her blog
about Malta’s economy minister, Christian Cardona, reportedly visiting a
brothel in Germany while traveling on
official business.
Her son Matthew heard a powerful
explosion and felt the windows of the
house shake. He raced outside and
sprinted barefoot down the long, unpaved drive from their home to the main
road, where a column of smoke churned
upward into the autumn sky. Shards of
glass and plastic were everywhere, and,
most gruesomely, chunks of flesh were
strewn on the road, all accompanied by
the droning blare of a car horn.
He struggled to maintain hope that it
was not his mother’s car, until he saw a
hubcap with the stylized lion logo of a
Peugeot on the ground and could no
longer deny what had happened. He
stared at the burning hulk that had come
to rest in a field. “I expected to see something like the shadow of a person or
something, but there was nothing,” Mr.
Caruana Galizia recalled in an interview. “It was just flames.”
The death of Ms. Caruana Galizia riveted international attention in this island nation in the Mediterranean and revealed that a tourist hub known to many
as a “Game of Thrones” filming location
was also a transit point for fuel smuggled from Libya, a center of the online
gambling industry and a haven for offshore banking suspected of links to
money laundering.
The search for her killers posed a test
for Malta, its political parties and institutions, and for the European Union, of
which the country is a member. It is a
test the family claims the country is failing.
Three men the police call career criminals were arrested in December and
charged with planting and detonating
the bomb. But questions about who was
behind them and why they wanted Ms.
With award, filmmaker
faced pressure to finish his
first feature-length project
Y(1J85IC*KKNPKP( +&!"!?!=!.
A vigil in Valletta, Malta, this week, six months after the violent death of the anticorruption journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. Questions remain unanswered on the motive.
Investigators at the scene of the explosion in Bidnija, Malta, that killed Ms. Caruana
Galizia in October. A bomb shattered her car shortly after she had left her home.
Caruana Galizia dead remain unanswered.
“The brutal assassination of Daphne
Caruana Galizia was aimed at instilling
fear in everyone,” a European Parliament delegation to Malta said in a report
released in January, “especially those
involved in investigating and prosecuting cases of money laundering and corruption.”
After her death, 45 journalists from 18
Here’s $1 million. Now make your movie.
One evening this month, Faraday Okoro
was sitting in a sound studio in the New
York City neighborhood of Chelsea,
putting the final touches on his first feature film. Onscreen, one of the main
characters had just picked up a beaded
necklace, and Mr. Okoro, leaning back
into his chair with a can of seltzer in his
hand, was questioning whether the rattle of the beads could be heard clearly
enough. In front of him, a sound engineer pressed pause, punched a series of
commands into a keyboard and played
the scene again. The beads were louder.
Mr. Okoro nodded.
“I think it’s good,” he said softly, and
sipped from the can.
Mr. Okoro, 31, was impressively calm.
He had just days before the film needed
to be finished, a milestone that would
news organizations agreed to work together to pursue leads from her work on
corruption and international money
laundering networks, as well as look
into the circumstances surrounding her
death. Forbidden Stories, an investigative nonprofit organization in Paris devoted to completing the work of jailed
and murdered journalists, coordinated
the collaboration, in which The New
At least one bright spot stands out in the
Russian economy, even as its prospects
darken in the face of escalating sanctions: the manufacture of work uniforms.
The production of specialized work
clothes, including bulletproof vests, is
one of the few growth areas in the economy, up by 27 percent, said Igor Nikolaev, director of the Strategic Analysis Institute at the FBK auditing and consulting firm. The comments came at an otherwise gloomy news conference
Tuesday focused on Russia’s economic
That statistic, out of a generally dormant economy kept afloat as usual by
energy sales, seemed to underscore
what many analysts are saying at the
moment: President Vladimir V. Putin’s
increasingly aggressive posture toward
the West is producing a boomerang effect, with an ever more isolated Russia
likely to suffer long-term economic
damage as a result.
The deterioration reflects a growing
awareness in Western capitals that Russia, growing ever more hostile, should
be treated as a threat, rather than as a
mere annoyance. That in turn is pushing
them toward a unified front in challenging Moscow over such serial transgressions as destabilizing its neighbors, assassinating its critics abroad, meddling
in the elections of other countries, tolerating the use of chemical weapons by
the Syrian government and cyberskirmishing.
The confrontation is likely only to get
worse, analysts say, for one main reason: Mr. Putin and his closest advisers
are convinced they are justified in their
policies and have persuaded important
portions of the elite, as well as the bulk of
Russians, that the country is thriving
and rebuilding its global muscle, rather
than weakening itself.
“The party of war has won within the
Russian elite,” said Yuliy A. Nisnevich, a
political science professor. “There are
people in the elites who would like the
confrontation to stop — these are the
people who would like to spend or earn
money abroad. But the party of war, the
people who get their money inside the
country and live here, is prevalent now.”
Russia professes its innocence on all
fronts. It accuses the West of suffering
from an advanced case of Russophobia,
a longstanding disease that emerges
from hibernation whenever Russia begins to “get up off its knees.”
Sergei V. Lavrov, Russia’s foreign
minister, said in a television interview
broadcast Tuesday that the last vestiges
Faraday Okoro during the editing of his movie “Nigerian Prince.” The film is based on
his experience as a Nigerian-American sent to live with extended family in West Africa.
mark the end of a year of life-changing
turbulence, one that began last spring at
a luncheon where he learned that he’d
won $1 million.
At the time, Mr. Okoro had directed
only short films. A graduate student at
New York University, he was among five
finalists for an award being given by
AT&T, the Tribeca Film Festival and the
Tribeca Film Institute to a promising
young filmmaker, with a focus on underrepresented perspectives. After a gameshow-like pitch-off — that Mr. Okoro
prepared for, in part, by recording himself delivering a 10-minute presentation
and repeatedly playing it back through
headphones — he won the transformative grant. His thesis project would have
a million-dollar budget. But the money
came with pressure.
“It’s much different than winning the
lottery,” he said this month, “because I
still had to make the movie for it to mean
anything. And I could really feel that.”
Besides, there were strings attached.
One requirement was that the film,
which at that point had been written but
Andorra € 3.70
Antilles € 4.00
Austria € 3.50
Bahrain BD 1.40
Belgium € 3.50
Bos. & Herz. KM 5.50
Cameroon CFA 2700
Canada CAN$ 5.50
Croatia KN 22.00
Cyprus € 3.20
Czech Rep CZK 110
Denmark Dkr 30
Egypt EGP 28.00
Estonia € 3.50
Finland € 3.50
France € 3.50
Gabon CFA 2700
Germany € 3.50
Great Britain £ 2.20
Greece € 2.80
Hungary HUF 950
Israel NIS 13.50
Israel / Eilat NIS 11.50
Italy € 3.40
Ivory Coast CFA 2700
Jordan JD 2.00
Kazakhstan US$ 3.50
Latvia € 3.90
Lebanon LBP 5,000
Luxembourg € 3.50
Malta € 3.40
Montenegro € 3.40
Morocco MAD 30
Norway Nkr 33
Oman OMR 1.40
Poland Zl 15
Portugal € 3.50
Qatar QR 12.00
Republic of Ireland ¤ 3.40
Reunion € 3.50
Saudi Arabia SR 15.00
Senegal CFA 2700
Serbia Din 280
Slovakia € 3.50
Slovenia € 3.40
Spain € 3.50
Sweden Skr 35
Switzerland CHF 4.80
Syria US$ 3.00
The Netherlands € 3.50
Tunisia Din 5.200
Turkey TL 11
U.A.E. AED 14.00
United States $ 4.00
United States Military
(Europe) $ 2.00
Issue Number
No. 42,020
The agonizing conflict in Syria, which
has vexed both the Obama and Trump
administrations, is growing increasingly complex and dangerous. Now,
more than ever, the United States
needs to clarify its strategic objectives
in Syria and pursue them with ruthless
Russia and Iran have paid dearly to
enable the Syrian leader, Bashar alAssad, to dismantle the opposition and
will stay in Syria to prop him up. The
Islamic State has been dislodged from
its “caliphate” but not yet defeated.
And the horrific humanitarian plight of
the Syrian people endures.
The United States’ policy options,
ever bad, are more limited and less
effectual than ever. The airstrikes
launched last week by the United
States, France and
Britain sent a necesThere is a
sary, calibrated
way forward.
message to Mr.
But it can
Assad that the civonly work
ilized world does not
if the U.S.
countenance chemiand its allies
cal weapons use. But
their deterrent effect
clarify their
is likely, again, to be
fleeting, not least
because the United
States — wary of
provoking a wider
conflict — has twice demonstrated that
it will not use regime-threatening force
to punish Syria’s use of chemical weapons.
Moreover, the United States has
been deliberately ambiguous about
whether our current “red line” is the
use of chlorine gas alone, to which the
United States and its allies have never
responded with force. (American officials have said the recent attack in
Douma may have involved both chlorine and a far deadlier nerve agent,
sarin, stores of which Syria seems to
have surreptitiously retained or reconstituted despite a 2013 agreement to
eliminate them.) If the United States
responds to incidents involving only
chlorine, it will be striking Syria more
Most dangerously, the Syrian conflict now pits big players against one
another: Israel versus Iran, the United
States versus Iran and Russia, and
Turkey versus American-backed
Kurds. These standoffs risk escalating
into sustained conflict, even if worstcase scenarios can still be avoided.
Against this backdrop, the United
States must be clear about its interests
and strict about avoiding mission
creep. Here, despite their evident
2 | THURSDAY, APRIL 19, 2018
page two
A first lady who lived without apologies
Barbara Bush, the widely admired wife
of one president and the fiercely loyal
mother of another, died Tuesday at her
home in Houston. She was 92.
Jim McGrath, a family spokesman,
announced the death in a statement
posted on Twitter.
On Sunday, the office of her husband,
former President George H. W. Bush, issued a statement saying that after consulting her family and her doctors, Mrs.
Bush had “decided not to seek additional medical treatment and will instead focus on comfort care.”
The Bushes had celebrated their 73rd
wedding anniversary in January, making them the longest-married couple in
presidential history.
Mrs. Bush had been hospitalized with
pneumonia in 2013. She underwent
surgery for a perforated ulcer in 2008
and had heart surgery four months later.
As the wife of the 41st president and
the mother of the 43rd, George W. Bush,
Mrs. Bush was only the second woman
in American history to have a son of hers
follow his father to the White House.
(Abigail Adams, wife of John Adams
and mother of John Quincy Adams, was
the first.)
Another son, Jeb, the governor of
Florida from 1999 to 2007, was an unsuccessful candidate for the Republican
presidential nomination in 2016.
During that campaign, he was repeatedly derided in personal terms by the
eventual nominee and now president,
Donald J. Trump, prompting Mrs. Bush,
who was never shy about expressing
her views, to lash back, suggesting in
television interviews that Mr. Trump
was a misogynist and a hatemonger.
“He’s said terrible things about women, terrible things about the military,”
Mrs. Bush told CNN. “I don’t understand why people are for him.”
Dedicated to her family and largely
indifferent to glamour, Mrs. Bush played
down her role in her husband’s political
success. But she was a shrewd and valuable ally, becoming a sought-after
speaker in at least four national campaigns: in 1980, when Mr. Bush was chosen to be Ronald Reagan’s running
mate; in 1984, when the two ran for reelection; in 1988, when Mr. Bush campaigned for president; and in 1992, when
he sought re-election.
She stepped into another presidential
campaign in 2000, that of her son
George, then the governor of Texas. She
appeared at fund-raisers and met voters
in New Hampshire and other states on
his behalf as he rolled to the Republican
presidential nomination.
She was clearly a political asset. A
1999 poll found that 63 percent of Americans had a favorable opinion of her and
that only 3 percent had an unfavorable
While first lady, from January 1989 to
January 1993, Mrs. Bush generally refused to talk publicly about contentious
issues, particularly when her opinion
was said to differ from her husband’s.
She was vocal, however, in championing causes of her choosing. Literacy was
one, and so was civil rights; she had
been an early supporter of the movement.
And she could be combative in news
interviews, sometimes yanking off her
glasses and tartly chastising reporters
when she thought they were being
overly aggressive.
Her candor occasionally got her into
trouble. In 2005, while visiting victims of
Clockwise from above: Barbara Bush with the former presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton in 2005 at the Super Bowl; Mrs. Bush with her husband and a young George W. Bush in 1955 in Rye, N.Y., where Mrs. Bush
grew up; Mrs. Bush reading to children at a day care center in New York in 1990. Mrs. Bush was only the second woman in American history to have a son of hers follow his father to the White House.
Mrs. Bush was regarded as
unpretentious, a woman who
could wear fake pearls, enjoy
takeout tacos and make fun
of herself.
Hurricane Katrina at the Houston Astrodome, where they were being temporarily housed, she remarked that many
of them “were underprivileged anyway”
and that their Astrodome stay — though
the living conditions there were dire —
was “working very well for them.”
The comments, coming at a time
when her son’s administration was being roundly criticized over its response
to the storm, were widely heard as insensitive and condescending.
Two years earlier, shortly before President George W. Bush ordered the invasion of Iraq, she said in a television interview that she had not been watching
coverage of the prelude to war. “Why
should we hear about body bags and
deaths, and how many, what day it’s going to happen?” she asked. “Why would
I waste my beautiful mind on something
like that?”
She was similarly outspoken in 2013
when she was asked, on the “Today”
show, if she thought her son Jeb should
run for president in 2016. “I really don’t,”
she replied, adding, “There are other
people out there that are very qualified,
and we’ve had enough Bushes.”
She later changed her mind. In an
email to potential supporters in March
2015, she acknowledged, “When the idea
of Jeb running for president first came
up, I was hesitant.” But she said she was
starting a “Run Jeb Run Fund” because
“Jeb is our best chance of taking back
the White House in 2016.”
She went on to campaign for him in
New Hampshire, but he finished fourth
in the Republican primary there in February and suspended his campaign a
few days later.
Mrs. Bush enjoyed a favorable public
image throughout her years as first lady.
In one respect she benefited from comparisons with her predecessor, Nancy
Reagan, whom many perceived, rightly
or wrongly, as remote, icy and overly
By contrast, Mrs. Bush was regarded
as unpretentious, a woman who could
wear fake pearls, enjoy takeout tacos,
walk the dog in her bathrobe and make
fun of herself. Perhaps adding to her appeal, she conformed to the popular view
of an old-fashioned grandmother, with
her white hair and matronly figure;
though she was almost a year younger
than her husband, many thought she
looked much older.
“What not everyone always understood is that Barbara revealed as much
as she wanted to but seldom more,” Donnie Radcliffe wrote in a 1989 biography,
“Simply Barbara Bush: A Portrait of
America’s Candid First Lady.” “She
came into the White House with a dexterity at manipulating her image, and
she wasn’t above playing off her own
outspoken style against Nancy Reagan’s reluctance and often inability to
express herself.”
“A less popular political wife,” Ms.
Radcliffe added, “might have seemed
“You have to have influence,” she said
in 1992. “When you’ve been married 47
years, if you don’t have any influence,
then I really think you’re in deep trouble.”
The substance of that influence remained largely invisible to the public
eye, however, making her one of the few
first ladies of her era to escape serious
criticism. When Mrs. Reagan raised
more than $1 million in tax-deductible
contributions in 1981 to redecorate the
White House living quarters, there was
a public outcry. When the Bushes’
friends raised almost $200,000 to spruce
up the vice-presidential house the same
year, there was hardly a stir.
One glaring exception came in 1984.
Speaking of Representative Geraldine
A. Ferraro of New York, the Democratic
nominee for vice president, Mrs. Bush
characterized her as something that
“rhymes with rich.” She later apologized, but even then she parried with
her critics, saying she did not mean any
offense by calling Ms. Ferraro “a witch.”
She was born Barbara Pierce on June
8, 1925, in New York City. She was the
third child of the former Pauline Robinson and Marvin Pierce. Her father
was in the publishing business and
eventually became president of the McCall publishing company. Her mother,
the daughter of an Ohio Supreme Court
justice, was active in civic affairs in Rye,
N.Y., the New York suburb where the
family lived.
One of Mrs. Bush’s distant relatives
was Franklin Pierce, the 14th president
of the United States.
Mrs. Bush often insisted that she stayed
out of her husband’s concerns. But few
who knew her believed that she would
ever hesitate to tell Mr. Bush her views.
She met George Bush in 1941 at a Christmas dance at the Round Hill Country
Club in Greenwich, Conn. George had
grown up in Greenwich, a son of
Prescott S. Bush, a Wall Street executive
and a future United States senator from
Connecticut, and the former Dorothy
Walker. At the time, he was a senior at
Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass.
They began corresponding.
After graduating in 1942, Mr. Bush enlisted in the Navy and trained as a pilot.
The next year, he was assigned to a torpedo squadron in the Pacific and piloted
a Grumman Avenger. On one combat
mission, in 1944, he was shot down and
rescued by a submarine. Barbara did
not hear from him for a month.
After enrolling at Smith College but
before entering the freshman class, she
shocked her mother by spending the
summer working in a nuts-and-bolts
She and Mr. Bush, on leave from the
Navy, married in Rye on Jan. 6, 1945; the
bride, not yet 20, had dropped out of
Smith at the beginning of her sophomore year. “The truth is, I just wasn’t interested,” she said in interviews. “I was
just interested in George.”
They honeymooned in Sea Island,
Ga., and spent nine months at military
bases in Michigan, Maine and Virginia
before Mr. Bush was discharged and entered Yale. In New Haven, where the
couple moved, their first son, George,
was born in 1946.
After Mr. Bush’s graduation, in 1948,
the family left for Texas, where Mr.
Bush, with the help of a family friend,
had taken a job as an equipment clerk in
the oil industry. For a time, in Odessa,
Tex., the family lived in one half of a
house; the other half was used as a
brothel. Within a year they were sent to
A daughter, Pauline (known as Robin), was born there in 1949 but died of
leukemia before her fourth birthday.
After they returned to Texas, four
more children were born: Jeb (John Ellis) in 1953, Neil Mallon in 1955, Marvin
Pierce in 1956 and Dorothy Walker in
1959. Only George and Jeb went into
politics; Neil and Marvin became businessmen, and Dorothy Bush Koch became a philanthropist.
Mrs. Bush’s children survive her, as
do her husband; her brother, Scott
Pierce; 17 grandchildren; and seven
prosperous Nigerian film industry,
known as Nollywood. Most of the crew
members were Nigerian, and the American heads of creative departments
were paired with Nigerian artists.
“It just became apparent that all the
departments needed a partner to show
us the proper way to do things,” Ari Fulton, a costume designer who met Mr.
Okoro at N.Y.U., said in a phone interview.
For Ms. Fulton, the assistance came
from Olaogun Opeyemi, a Nigerian costume designer and the film’s costume
supervisor, who helped make nuanced
Another learning experience was realizing that despite the size of the budget, financial decisions still had to be
carefully considered.
“The million dollars just flies,” said
Mr. Chau, the cinematographer. He described the days after winning the
grant, when he and Mr. Okoro would fantasize about using elaborate film gear.
But they quickly realized that they were
being unrealistic; after all, their budget,
while several times higher than the
$150,000 or $200,000 they’d initially
hoped to shoot the movie for, was still
modest for a feature film.
“We went back to pretty much our initial approach,” Mr. Chau said. “It was a
humbling experience.”
Still, Mr. Chau also noted that while
Mr. Okoro was the ostensible winner, the
money had a trickle-down effect, bolstering the professional portfolios of his
young collaborators.
“The profiles of all of us came up,” Mr.
Chau said.
The pressure trickled down, too.
“If someone hands you a million dollars, they expect you to turn out an
amazing product,” Ms. Fulton said. “It’s
a huge thing to carry on your shoulders.”
Mr. Okoro has carried it for a year.
The morning after the film was finished — the sound mixed, the color corrected — less than two weeks before the
film’s premiere, set for next Tuesday, the
director was in New York, standing in a
restaurant in the Tribeca neighborhood
where this year’s award finalists were
scheduled to pitch their films.
After exchanging greetings with two
of the new judges, the actor Griffin
Dunne and the comedian Ilana Glazer,
Mr. Okoro took a seat, waiting for the
new finalists to appear.
On the floor at his feet sat a hard plastic carrying case he’d brought with him.
Inside it was a computer drive with the
copy of “Nigerian Prince” that will be
used for the Tribeca Film Festival
screenings. The film was finally ready,
and Mr. Okoro would not let it out of his
A lifelong volunteer for charitable
causes, Mrs. Bush raised money for the
United Negro College Fund while in
New Haven, started a thrift shop in Midland, Tex., and volunteered in nursing
homes and hospitals in Houston, Washington and New York. Her son Neil’s
dyslexia led to her interest in fighting illiteracy.
In her eight years as the wife of the
vice president, she attended more than
500 events related to literacy, and after
she became first lady she started the
Barbara Bush Foundation for Family
Literacy. The profits from her book “C.
Fred’s Story: A Dog’s Life” (1984), a wry
look at Washington life as seen by her
dog, and from a follow-up based on another family dog, “Millie’s Book: As Dictated to Barbara Bush” (1990), went to
literacy causes.
Mrs. Bush hoped her contributions to
those causes would form a large part of
her legacy.
“I want to be known as a wife, a
mother, a grandmother,” she wrote in
1988. “That’s what I am. And I’d like to
be known as someone who really cared
about people and worked very, very
hard to make America more literate.”
Here’s $1 million. Now make your movie.
not yet fully cast, had to be finished
within a year, in time to have its premiere at this year’s festival. And the nature of Mr. Okoro’s project posed an additional challenge: He would be shooting in Lagos, Nigeria, far from the support systems of New York.
The film, “Nigerian Prince,” follows a
Nigerian-American high schooler, Eze
(Antonio J. Bell), whose mother sends
him to live with his aunt (played by the
Nigerian actress Tina Mba) in Lagos.
There, Eze befriends his cousin, Pius
(Chinaza Uche), a professional scammer who sends phishing emails, among
other deceitful business pursuits.
Mr. Okoro wrote the story with Andrew Long, a fellow alumnus of Howard
University in Washington. As they developed the script, they were guided by
the director Spike Lee, who mentored
Mr. Okoro at N.Y.U. (Mr. Lee is also an
executive producer of the film.)
The project was long-gestating. “This
is classic Faraday,” Sheldon Chau, the
film’s cinematographer, said in a phone
interview. “He comes up to me and he
asks me, ‘Sheldon, what are you doing
summer 2017?’ This is in 2014. And I was
like, ‘I think I’m free.’ And he was like,
‘Well, that’s when I want to do my feature.’”
The plot is based in part on Mr. Oko-
“If someone hands you a million
dollars, they expect you to turn
out an amazing product. It’s a
huge thing to carry.”
The actors Antonio J. Bell and Tina Mba in “Nigerian Prince.” Shooting in Lagos, Nigeria, the filmmaker had to deal with flooding, traffic and the loss of shooting locations.
ro’s own life. A Nigerian-American
raised in Maryland, Mr. Okoro was sent
to live with his extended family in Lagos
for his first two years of high school, in
the early 2000s.
Like his character Eze, he reluctantly
left his friends and home. “I definitely
resented it,” he said.
He eventually learned to appreciate
the new culture; one of his hopes is that
the film will resonate with other young
Nigerian-Americans who have felt disconnected from their roots.
But shooting a movie in the West Af-
rican city brought a host of unforeseen
“We shot during the end of the rainy
season,” said Mr. Okoro, who was familiar with the region’s climate but hadn’t
bargained for all the difficulty it would
present in filming. “There were some
days where we’d go to set at 6 a.m., and
it’d rain at 6:30 and flood.”
The week before filming began, the
crew arrived at a space meant to double
as a police station onscreen, but it was
flooded. They didn’t end up using that location, though not because of the flooding; as at several other sites, the owner
decided at the last minute that despite a
signed contact, filming would no longer
be allowed there. With little leverage
and less time, Mr. Okoro and his team
went searching for an alternative.
In addition to the frequent rains and
notoriously unreliable power, they ran
up against the city’s heavy traffic.
Mr. Okoro and his team did have assistance. Several of his collaborators
were peers from N.Y.U. To help them
navigate, they hired artists from the
Printed in Athens, Denpasar, Beirut, Nivelles, Biratnagar, Dhaka, Doha, Dubai, Frankfurt, Gallargues, Helsinki, Hong Kong, Islamabad, Istanbul, Jakarta, Karachi, Kathmandu, Kuala Lumpur, Lahore, London, Luqa, Madrid, Manila, Milan, Nagoya, Nepalgunj, New York, Osaka, Paris, Rome, Seoul, Singapore, Sydney, Taipei, Tel Aviv, Tokyo,Yangon.
The New York Times Company 620 Eighth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10018-1405,; The New York Times International Edition is published six days per week. To submit an opinion article, email:, To submit a letter to the editor, email:,
Subscriptions:,, Tel. +33 1 41 43 93 61, Advertising:,, Tel.+33 1 41 43 94 07, Classifieds:, Tel. +44 20 7061 3534/3533, Regional Offices: U.K. 18 Museum Street, London WC1A 1JN, U.K., Tel. +44 20 7061 3500,
France Postal Address: CS 10001, 92052 La Defense Cedex, France, Tel. +33 1 41 43 92 01, Hong Kong 1201 K.Wah Centre, 191 Java Road, North Point, Hong Kong, Tel: +852 2922 1188, Dubai PO Box 502015, Media City, Dubai UAE, Tel. +971 4428 9457
THURSDAY, APRIL 19, 2018 | 3
Pakistani minority defies army, at its peril
Pashtuns demand justice
for extrajudicial killings
amid a media blackout
A new civil rights movement in Pakistan
is galvanizing a rapidly growing following among the country’s ethnic Pashtun
minority by doing the nearly unthinkable: openly accusing the powerful and
popular Pakistani military establishment of being “oppressors” who kill or
whisk away Pashtuns by the thousands.
Counting hundreds of thousands of
supporters in just its third month, the
Pashtun movement has wielded the pictures and names of dead family members — along with the chant “What kind
of freedom is this?” — as an indictment
of unchecked military authority. From
its start, the movement has been
haunted by the question of how long the
security forces would tolerate it before
cracking down.
That time may be coming, many fear.
Despite its largest rally yet, a demonstration of tens of thousands in the
northern city of Peshawar on April 8, the
movement has labored under an only
rarely interrupted media blackout. Interviews with editors and reporters at
several outlets detailed pressure to
avoid covering the Pashtun movement
as an unmistakable sign that both the
demonstrators and the news media are
facing a new level of threat from the military.
The country’s army chief, Gen. Qamar
Javed Bajwa, ominously suggested at a
public event last week that “engineered
protests” threatened to reverse counterterrorism efforts by the military in recent years.
That military campaign, centered on
operations against the Pakistani Taliban
and some other militants in the country’s northwestern region — where
most of the country’s Pashtuns live —
has been credited with a drastic drop in
terrorist attacks. It has greatly bolstered the military’s popularity and
tipped the balance of authority over the
country’s institutions toward the army.
It has also led to the feeling that many
of the country’s Pashtun population cen-
Manzoor Pashteen, the leader of the Pashtun rights movement, condemned the Pakistani military as “oppressors” at a rally in Peshawar this month. Below, a family from Pakistan’s tribal areas displaying pictures of a missing relative at the rally.
ters have been under functional occupation by the security forces.
Using an alternative system of military counterterrorism courts along with
an extensive network of covert jails, security and intelligence officers wield
life-or-death power — often instantly —
over the Pakistani region known as the
Federally Administered Tribal Areas, a
leftover from the British colonial system.
The new Pashtun rights movement —
which is known by the initials P.T.M.,
from words that translate as Pashtun
Protection Movement — is the product
of years of outrage over the security
forces’ power.
It caught on after the killing of a small
group of Pashtun men, including an as-
piring model named Naqeebullah
Mehsud who was originally from the
tribal areas, by police officers in Karachi
in January.
The officers have been accused of
staging a fake shootout to cover up an
extrajudicial killing spree.
Under the leadership of a young activist, Manzoor Pashteen, 26, the P.T.M. has
evoked deep emotion from Pashtuns in
Pakistan and Afghanistan, as well as
Mr. Pashteen and his allies say that
Pashtuns, who make up about 15 percent of Pakistan’s population of some
204 million, have endured countless human rights violations, from disappearances to forced evictions. At rallies,
women clutch pictures of sons they say
were hauled off by security officials,
never to be seen again.
Mr. Pashteen says that from the start,
the movement has faced hostility from
the military and its agencies, and is increasingly the subject of propaganda
and social media campaigns devised by
supporters of the security forces.
“We’ve spent these two months enduring accusation after accusation, that
we’re foreign agents and working on behalf of some other group,” he said this
week in an interview. “All we can do is
try to take the moral high ground. We
know our first mistake will be our last.”
Another leader of the movement,
Mohsin Dawar, was equally stark about
the risks of open protest against the military: “Speaking about the army like
this in Pakistan is suicide.”
At the protest in Peshawar on April 8,
Mr. Pashteen condemned the military
and its agents as “oppressors” and
called for the end of curfews and army
checkpoints in the tribal areas.
Though the demonstration drew tens
of thousands of Pashtun marchers from
all over the country, its coverage on local
television was next to absent, and only a
smattering of Pakistani newspapers
covered the event.
Then, three columns about the movement that were published by The News
International, one of Pakistan’s biggest
English-language news outlets, disappeared Sunday from its website not long
after being posted.
Interviews with newspaper editors
and reporters — many of whom spoke
on condition of anonymity out of fear of
the military’s reaction — portrayed an
atmosphere in which reporting on the
Pashtun movement was widely being
seen as a red line for the country’s security establishment.
The journalists described the main
factors in keeping the movement out of
the news as a combination of direct
warnings from military officials or their
go-betweens and self-censorship in order to avoid being shut down.
In recent weeks, the country’s biggest
news channel, Geo TV, has been run off
the air by cable operators who are
broadly seen here as under threat from
a military establishment that has increasingly been flexing its authority
over civilian institutions.
“A lot of this is self-censorship, but you
can’t ask individual journalists to be crusaders for free expression,” said Saroop
Ijaz, a representative in Pakistan for the
advocacy group Human Rights Watch.
“Now that the state has demonstrated
its power against Geo, you have a chilling effect. They’ve set a precedent for
blatant censorship.”
Many journalists described coming
under immense pressure to keep the
Pashtun movement out of the headlines.
“What’s happening now is far more
detailed and micromanaged as compared with the past,” said Talat Hussein,
a senior broadcast journalist and talkshow host. “It makes the current crackdown deadly and disturbing,” he added,
because there are no avenues for recourse.
Mr. Dawar, one of the movement’s
lead activists, said the censorship was
sad, but not surprising. “We were actually surprised that the columns ran in
the first place,” he said. “Most publications are reluctant to cover any issues
against the military.”
He said social media had allowed the
movement to gain supporters, as well as
sympathetic international audiences.
“Electronic media, print media — we
don’t need them. The entire world is seeing it, and seeing it live,” Mr. Dawar said.
The movement’s founders are counting on the idea that the world is watching as they continue to defy the military.
“We have no option but to continue,”
Mr. Pashteen said. “We are on the last
possible option.”
Recognizing his difference
In homogeneous Japan,
a university elects a
president born in Africa
On a beautiful spring Sunday during
cherry blossom season, the new president of Kyoto Seika University welcomed students for the start of the Japanese school year. “You have left your
home,” he told the 770 first-year and
graduate students gathered in a gym on
the hilly campus. “But this is also your
He was speaking in Bambara, the lingua franca of his native Mali.
And so Oussouby Sacko, 51, quickly
dispensed with the elephant in the
room: He is a black man in a homogeneous country that has long had an
ambivalent relationship with outsiders.
Dr. Sacko, who is believed to be the
first African-born president of a Japanese university, segued elegantly into
fluent Japanese, invoking Hannah
Arendt, Edward Said, Eleanor Roosevelt and the Malian writer Amadou
Hampâté Bâ. The university, Dr. Sacko
said, was “diversifying and internationalizing,” and he wanted the students to
“recognize your difference from others.”
In a country of islands that is sometimes less than welcoming to immigrants, Mr. Sacko is an outlier. A resident for 27 years, he obtained Japanese
citizenship 16 years ago and worked his
way up through the ranks of a Japanese
With a declining population, Japan is
confronting its traditional resistance to
taking in foreigners. Last year, according to government figures, the number
of foreign nationals in Japan hit a record
of more than 2.5 million, with 15,140 of
them from Africa.
Yet that total number of foreign nationals makes up less than 2 percent of
Japan’s population of 127 million, a lower
proportion than in South Korea, for example, where foreigners make up about
3.4 percent of the population. The share
is much higher in the United States, at 14
percent, and it is close to 40 percent in
Hong Kong, according to United Nations
population statistics.
Obtaining Japanese citizenship is extremely difficult. Since 1952, just over
550,000 people have managed to naturalize as Japanese citizens, most of them
ethnic Koreans whose families have
lived in Japan for several generations
since the colonial occupation of Korea.
And despite recent efforts to allow
highly skilled foreigners to obtain permanent residency more quickly, Prime
Minister Shinzo Abe has declared that
he will not relax immigration policy to
address the country’s falling population.
Dr. Sacko says he believes Japan
needs to allow in more outsiders, simply
as an act of self-preservation.
“Japanese people think they have to
protect something,” he said during an interview in English before a reception recently to celebrate his appointment —
occasionally interrupting to greet his
guests, switching effortlessly among
English, French and Japanese. But
“someone who has a broad view from
outside on your culture can maybe help
you objectively improve your goals.”
Dr. Sacko, the eldest son of a customs
officer and homemaker, grew up in Bamako, the capital city of Mali. A strong
student, he won a scholarship from the
Malian government to attend college
He had never been anywhere other
than the neighboring country of Senegal. With 13 other students from Mali, he
was assigned to study in China and
landed in Beijing in 1985 to study Mandarin before embarking on a degree in
engineering and architecture at Southeast University in Nanjing.
Oussouby Sacko, the new president of
Kyoto Seika University, is from Mali.
On a vacation in Japan after obtaining
his undergraduate degree in 1990, Dr.
Sacko found himself enchanted by what
he observed as strong community ties
and the hospitality toward guests. Although he had begun graduate studies
in China, he was frustrated that a government minder always shadowed him
when he conducted field research in villages.
He had also met and started to date a
Japanese woman, Chikako Tanaka,
whom he later married and with whom
he has two sons.
Dr. Sacko moved to Osaka, Japan, for
six months of language lessons before
enrolling in a master’s degree program
at Kyoto University. In meetings with
colleagues, he was often asked to take
minutes, which helped him improve his
listening comprehension and writing
ability. At night, he watched Japanese
television shows and socialized with
Japanese classmates.
His dedication to becoming fluent distinguished him from other foreigners.
“They said, ‘If you speak Japanese, they
will put you in meetings and on committees, and that’s not interesting,’” he said.
Many foreigners, he added, “spend too
much time among ourselves.”
Dr. Sacko said he had hoped to return
to Mali someday, but after a military
coup in 1991, his employment options
were limited. As he pursued a doctorate
in Japan, he worked to understand a culture where people can say the opposite
of what they mean. “You don’t always
catch things from the meanings of the
words,” he said. “You have to go deeper.”
He applied for a job at Kyoto Seika
University, which specializes in the arts,
and started as a lecturer in 2001. Colleagues say that he has worked very
hard to adapt to Japanese social codes
while also retaining his own sensibility.
“He deeply understands Japanese
culture and the way of thinking,” said
Emiko Yoshioka, a professor of art theory whom Dr. Sacko appointed as vice
president at Kyoto Seika. “But he also is
able to poke fun at the fact that he is a
The faculty vote for president was extremely close, with Dr. Sacko winning by
just one vote. At his inaugural reception,
a group of musicians played Malian music on a patio, and Dr. Sacko stood quietly on a small stage during a parade of
speeches from the mayor of Kyoto, the
Malian ambassador to Japan and various academic colleagues, including a
professor from Kyoto University who repeatedly slipped up and called him “Professor Mali.”
In a practical sense, Dr. Sacko’s appointment could help Kyoto Seika appeal to more foreign students at a time
when many universities across Japan
are struggling to maintain enrollment.
Already, 20 percent of Kyoto Seika’s
student body comes from abroad, much
higher than the 4 percent overall ratio of
foreign students in Japan. Dr. Sacko said
he hoped to raise Kyoto Seika’s level to
40 percent within a decade.
“I think he will help shrink the distance between Japanese and foreigners,” said Chihiro Morita, 18, an illustration major from Hyogo Prefecture.
Other black residents of Japan said
that Dr. Sacko could help improve race
relations in a country where performers
still appear on television in blackface.
“The fact that he has been placed in
such a prominent position will have a
significant impact on how we’re perceived,” said Baye McNeil, a Brooklynborn columnist for the English-language Japan Times who has lived in Japan for 13 years.
Dr. Sacko said that he had not experienced racism in Japan but that he was
treated differently simply because he
did not look Japanese. Despite his Japanese citizenship, for example, he says he
is automatically routed to lines for foreigners at the airport when he returns
from trips abroad.
“It’s not because you’re black,” he
said. “It’s because you’re different.”
Makiko Inoue contributed reporting
4 | THURSDAY, APRIL 19, 2018
Muted hunt for truth in a journalist’s fiery death
York Times took part.
Today, the once-barren field where
the burning wreck of Ms. Caruana Galizia’s car came to rest has sprouted
green and lush, dotted with yellow and
red spring wildflowers. The men
charged with the killing — the brothers
George and Alfred Degiorgio, and Vincent Muscat — have pleaded not guilty
but have otherwise refused to talk, and
they remain in custody.
But the police say the three men were
tipped off to their imminent arrest, according to evidence gathered in the investigation. Among the allegations the
victim’s family passed to investigators
is that Mr. Cardona, the economy minister, and two of the suspects in the
killing were regulars at the same out-ofthe-way bar.
In a written response, Mr. Cardona
said that the bar, Ferdinand’s, “welcomes patrons from all walks of life, including other politicians.” He added, “I
do not, however, recall having any discussions with any of these individuals,
and have definitely never had any meetings with them.”
Mr. Cardona said that he had not been
interviewed in connection with the case.
A person with knowledge of the investigation who was not authorized to speak
publicly on the matter confirmed that
the police were not actively looking into
whether the crime had been motivated
by Ms. Caruana Galizia’s reporting on
politicians. Instead, the police have chosen to work their way up from the evidence at the crime scene. They still have
a dozen investigators working on the
case — half of them full time — while
other investigators are combing financial and communications records to try
to find links to the killers.
Ms. Caruana Galizia’s family says
that the police are content to let the
three suspects in custody take the fall
without investigating deeper and potentially uncovering wrongdoing by the
governing party. They fear that with
time, the urgency to uncover why she
was killed, and who was behind the attack, has already begun to recede. Six
months after her death, neither the
bomb maker nor the person or people
who wanted her dead have been found.
“There is now a sense of impunity, a
culture of impunity,” said Simon Busuttil, the former leader of the opposition
Nationalist Party. “So everyone thinks
they can get away with murder,” he added, “perhaps even literally.”
Underscoring the point, a Russian
woman identified as one of Ms. Caruana
Galizia’s sources has applied for political asylum in Greece, where she fled in
fear for her life after the assassination,
and she is fighting extradition.
In her years as a muckraking journalist, Ms. Caruana Galizia angered countless people on this island, not to mention
an Iranian-born banker, drug-trafficking syndicates and the president of
Azerbaijan. Ms. Caruana Galizia was no
stranger to threats. In 1995, someone slit
her dog’s throat and laid its body on her
doorstep. In 2006, unidentified perpetrators stacked five large tires filled with
bottles of gasoline against the back of
her home and set them ablaze.
In an interview she gave to a researcher from the Council of Europe, a
human rights organization, shortly before her death, Ms. Caruana Galizia, 53,
The site of the bombing in Malta that killed the journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia in October is now filled with wildflowers, above. Ms. Caruana Galizia, below left, in 2011 outside the
Libyan embassy in Malta; and, below right, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat of Malta. Ms. Caruana Galizia described “a climate of fear” in Malta for the consequences of speaking out.
described “a climate of fear” in Malta, a
country where people were afraid of the
consequences of speaking out.
“There have been periods where literally I would feel like, ‘Oh my God, I’m
going to get a stomach ulcer,’” she said.
“That churning, churning nerves all the
time. Because you’re living under it constantly, you know?”
Ms. Caruana Galizia dedicated herself
to uncovering what she saw as a web of
corruption in Malta. On her blog, Running Commentary, her reporting veered
from tabloid to investigative to partisan
and back again — sometimes in a single
article. Hated by many but read by all,
her post about Mr. Cardona had 547,146
page views; Malta has 460,000 people.
She also reported on how Prime Minister Joseph Muscat’s chief of staff and
energy minister had used the Panama-
based law firm Mossack Fonseca to set
up shell companies there shortly after
the Labor Party came to power in 2013,
which they have acknowledged was
true. She said that a third company that
had been set up belonged to Mr. Muscat’s wife, Michelle, which the couple ve-
hemently denied. The Muscats demanded a formal inquiry to clear their
name, and it is still underway. Joseph
Muscat is no relation to Vincent Muscat,
one of the men charged with the killing.
Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando, a former
lawmaker who switched from the Nationalist Party to the Labor Party and
who was a regular subject of Ms. Caruana Galizia’s blog, shared a view expressed by many here: that Ms. Caruana Galizia engaged in loosely sourced
personal attacks rather than in sober,
careful journalism.
“It’s not exactly what’s called a journalistic gem,” he said. “Most of it is
mainly insults and denigrating any opponent to her clique.”
Mr. Orlando also pointed out that Labor, which won elections called after Ms.
Caruana Galizia’s disclosures about the
offshore accounts, had nothing to gain
from her death, as it would bring only renewed criticism and attention. “No one
in the political sector of Malta had any
interest in her death,” he said.
After the killing, foreign law enforcement experts arrived to help with the investigation. A team from the Netherlands assisted with forensics at the
crime scene. From the United States,
the Federal Bureau of Investigation sent
a team to analyze cellphone data. Europol, the European Union law-enforcement agency, had people on the ground
working with its Maltese counterparts
out of a command center set up at Police
Significant evidence was gathered
from cellphones, and from surveillance
videos linking the three suspects to the
killing. But little progress has been
made in discovering who was behind
The inquiry has been hampered by
the family’s distrust of the police, which
means that investigators have not had
the chance to examine her laptop, which
might contain clues to who might have
betrayed her, or had an interest in silencing her.
“Daphne would never have handed
over her laptop,” Corinne Vella, Ms.
Caruana Galizia’s sister, said in a statement this week. “She always said, ‘If
anything happens, if the police ever
come to the house, I will throw my laptop into a well,’ and she meant it.”
She added: “It was about protecting
her sources. She knew that whatever information the police got hold of would go
straight to the same people in government she was investigating.”
Debate rages over acquittal in Irish rugby rape case
The nine-week trial of two Irish professional rugby stars accused of rape transfixed, and at times horrified, the public
on both sides of Ireland’s border. Their
acquittal in March had been expected to
calm emotions and allow divisions to
Instead, weeks after the players —
Paddy Jackson, 26, and Stuart Olding,
25, who played for Ireland’s national
rugby union team and the Ulster club in
the five-nation Pro 14 league — walked
free from Laganside Courts in Belfast,
the furor continues over what some describe as a toxic male culture in elite
sport, and acrimonious debates still
rage over sexual consent.
(Both players are from Northern Ireland, but the Ireland rugby team represents both parts of the island.)
Last week, the players’ rugby contracts were canceled, ending their professional careers in Ireland, with some
expressing fear that the move would
further inflame public opinion. Supporters say they are adamant that since the
two men were cleared in the sexual assault case, they should be allowed to
play professional rugby again.
But for many — like Louise O’Neill,
the Irish journalist and author whose international best-selling novel “Asking
for It” addresses issues of consent and
rape — the original verdict was shocking and traumatizing.
“Whether they honestly think she
consented or not, I’ve never met a
young woman before who left a consensual sexual experience in tears and
bleeding,” Ms. O’Neill said, “and for that
alone, I don’t think they should be allowed to put on the green jersey again.”
The Northern Ireland case began
when a 19-year-old woman said she was
raped in June 2016 at a party at Mr. Jackson’s home. In a text message to a friend
a day after the party, she appeared in-
Stuart Olding, above left, and Paddy Jackson, above right, outside court in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The men have been dropped from the Ireland national team and their Ulster club.
timidated by the prospect of facing
down the men she had accused: “I’m not
going to the police. I’m not going up
against Ulster Rugby. Yea, because
that’ll work.”
Mr. Jackson and Mr. Olding were
charged with rape and sexual assault.
The trial centered on whether the woman had consented to the acts performed
on her, and on the sometimes contradictory accounts of what had been done, on
a night fueled by alcohol.
Mr. Olding said he had had consensual oral sex with the woman, but both
men denied having had vaginal sex with
her. A taxi driver who took her home testified that she had been “sobbing
throughout the journey” and that he saw
blood on the back of her white jeans. A
doctor told the court that he had observed a laceration in her bleeding vagina. But defense experts argued that this
was not proof of rape or even that she
had had sex.
The young woman spent eight days
on the witness stand being questioned
by each of the defendants’ lawyers. She
sat in court while her underwear was
passed around for the jury to examine.
Defense lawyers cited testimony that
said the young woman did not physically resist or scream for help from
other women downstairs.
The criminal law in Northern Ireland
is based on the principle that guilt must
be proven beyond reasonable doubt.
And after a grueling trial, the two players — and two of their friends who had
been charged with lesser offenses —
were unanimously cleared by a jury of
eight men and three women after less
than four hours of deliberation.
On the steps of the courthouse, Mr.
Jackson’s lawyer, Joe McVeigh, strongly
criticized the complainant and the police
for taking the case. Mr. Olding, speaking
through his lawyer, maintained that everything had been consensual but said:
“I am sorry for the hurt that was caused
to the complainant.”
But activists said that some of the evidence produced in court, particularly
private WhatsApp messages sent
among the young men and their friends,
“I’ve never met a young woman
before who left a consensual
sexual experience in tears
and bleeding.”
had raised disturbing questions about
the attitude of some Irish men toward
sex, consent and women in general.
Court records showed that after the
party, Mr. Olding posted a message —
“We are all top shaggers” — to a private
WhatsApp group that included Mr. Jackson. The group exchanged boastful, abusive and misogynistic messages that appeared to refer to the young woman, including, “Mate no jokes she was in hysterics.” One member of the group
concluded a graphic exchange with
“Legends!! . . . Why are we all such legends?”
Defense lawyers argued that the comments were exaggerated boyish banter.
But those remarks, and the vitriol unleashed by some of the men’s supporters
against the woman, whose identity is
protected in Northern Ireland’s legal
system, were condemned.
After the verdict, some called for her
to be identified and said she should be
punished for trying to ruin the lives of
innocent young men.
Luke Rossiter, a semiprofessional
player with the Drogheda United soccer
team in the Irish Republic, called on
Twitter for her to be “locked up” and directed obscene abuse at women who
had supported her. He later apologized
for his “stupid and immature” comments and vowed to donate his wages
for the rest of the season to a rape crisis
Willie John McBride, a celebrated former player for the Ireland rugby team,
gave the players more measured support on a Dublin-based radio show this
past week.
“The guys have come through a very
traumatic couple of months where
they’ve virtually been tried on television every day, walking in and out of the
court,” he said, adding, “It is time they
were back playing rugby again.”
The verdict failed to quell the rising
anger of supporters of the young woman
and survivors of sexual violence, who
continued to rally under the hashtag
#ibelieveher. (When Mr. Jackson’s lawyers threatened after the verdict to sue
anyone who attacked his client or questioned the verdict on social media, a blizzard of defiant responses emerged under #suemepaddy.)
The following week, Mr. Jackson put
out a more contrite statement: “I am
ashamed that a young woman who was
a visitor to my home left in a distressed
state. This was never my intention, and I
will always regret the events of that
Cara Cash-Marley, the chief executive
of Nexus, a rape counseling service in
Northern Ireland, said the trial had
again exposed the onerous burden of
proof placed on those who brought sexual assault complaints.
She said complainants should be allowed to record their evidence when it is
fresh in their minds, rather than be expected to repeat it many times over —
and finally to be aggressively cross-examined in court years later.
Cliona Saidlear, executive director of
the Rape Crisis Network Ireland, said
the case may have caused a new willingness to re-examine prevailing attitudes
about sex and consent. “There is a macho culture in sport, and a hookup culture,” she said. “And we have to say, just
because it is this way, does it have to be
that way?”
The decision to fire the two players
came amid commercial sponsors’ concerns that the men’s return would damage the image of a sport that has grown
in popularity in recent years — not least
among Irish women.
But a recent episode hinted at the hurdles still remaining. In Belfast this past
week, the Malone rugby club said that it
was investigating a photograph that had
emerged of two players simulating sex
acts with a trophy cup, the names of Mr.
Jackson and Mr. Olding stuck to their
THURSDAY, APRIL 19, 2018 | 5
Trump rebuffed bid to consult Congress on strikes
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis urged
President Trump to get congressional
approval before the United States
launched airstrikes against Syria last
week, but he was overruled by Mr.
Trump, who wanted a rapid and dramatic response, military and administration officials said.
Mr. Trump, the officials said, wanted
to be seen as backing up a series of bellicose tweets with action but was warned
that an overly aggressive response
risked igniting a wider war with Russia.
The limited strikes on three targets
last Friday night, which lasted under
two minutes, were the compromise.
The debate reflects a divide between
Mr. Trump and the defense secretary,
who, like no other member of the cabinet, has managed to maintain a cordial
relationship with the president even
while reining him in.
Until this month, Mr. Mattis had a buffer at the White House in the former national security adviser, Lt. Gen. H. R.
McMaster, who often deferred to the defense secretary, a retired four-star Marine general. The arrival of Mr. Trump’s
new national security adviser, John R.
Bolton, means that buffer is gone.
Administration and congressional officials said the hawkish Mr. Bolton is not
expected to defer to the defense secretary; already, neoconservative members of the Republican foreign policy establishment have started to air concerns that Mr. Mattis is ceding strategic
territory to Iran and Russia in Syria.
Mr. Mattis is widely viewed by global
leaders as the strongest and perhaps
most credible voice on foreign policy in
an administration that has been rocked
by firings and resignations among senior presidential advisers. The recent exits of both General McMaster and Rex
W. Tillerson, who was secretary of state,
have focused more attention on Mr. Mattis’s role in the cabinet.
On Tuesday, Mr. Mattis and Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., the chairman of the
Joint Chiefs of Staff, briefed lawmakers
in Washington about the Syria airstrikes
in closed-door meetings.
“We’ve got to put a check on this president, on any president, when it comes
to Congress’s constitutional responsibility to wage war,” Representative Barbara Lee, Democrat of California, said in
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has maintained a cordial relationship with the president, even while reining him in. But he now must contend with a new national security adviser.
an interview on Tuesday. She called last
week’s Syria’s strikes “illegal.”
As he pressed his case last week, before the allied strikes with Britain and
France, Mr. Mattis lost the battle over
getting congressional authorization.
But he prevailed in limiting the strikes
to three targets that did not risk endangering Russian troops scattered around
Syria. Nor did any of the 105 missiles hit
Syrian military units believed to have
been responsible for carrying out what
is suspected of having been a chemical
weapons attack on Douma, near Da-
mascus on April 7. In the end, the narrowly targeted strikes belied Mr.
Trump’s description Friday night of a
larger coordinated response that could
take days or weeks.
“The combined American, British and
French response to these atrocities will
integrate all instruments of our national
power — military, economic and diplomatic,” Mr. Trump said in an address to
the nation as the strikes were underway.
“We are prepared to sustain this response until the Syrian regime stops its
use of prohibited chemical agents.” But
there have been no additional strikes
since then, and the Pentagon said no
more were being planned. “This is a onetime shot,” Mr. Mattis said on Friday,
calling the airstrikes “a very strong
message to dissuade” President Bashar
al-Assad of Syria from using chemical
weapons against his own people.
Mr. Trump’s drumbeat of threats last
week of a sharp response to the suspected gas attacks all but guaranteed
that the United States military would
strike Syria, according to two Defense
Department officials, who spoke on con-
dition of anonymity. Even so, Mr. Mattis
pushed to get congressional authorization, according to people with knowledge of the internal debate. In several
White House meetings last week, he underscored the importance of linking military operations to public support — a
view Mr. Mattis has long held.
It was the second public divergence of
views between Mr. Trump and Mr. Mattis over Syria in the past two weeks.
Just days before the suspected chemical attack, the president said he was
ready for the estimated 2,000 American
troops currently in Syria to leave the
battlefield, where they have been fighting alongside Kurdish allies against the
Islamic State. Mr. Mattis and other aides
quickly talked him out an immediate
withdrawal. Pentagon officials said
there was also worry that congressional
opposition to American military engagements that still rely on authorizations approved after the 2001 terrorist
attacks could grow unless Congress was
brought onboard before a strike at Mr.
Assad’s chemical weapons program.
Mr. Trump did not necessarily want to
hit Syria hard enough to bring Russia
into the war, administration officials
said. But he did want to appear aggressive in his response.
“He just wants the big show,” said
Derek Chollet, an assistant secretary of
defense in the Obama administration.
“So Mattis was probably pushing on an
open door.”
Mr. Mattis is particularly concerned
about overextending the American military in Syria. He does not want the
United States to veer from its stated policy, which is to focus only on the fight in
Syria against the Islamic State and to
avoid delving into the country’s sevenyear civil war. Russian forces and Iranian militias have helped Mr. Assad remain in power against Syrian opposition
fighters, who accuse him of a brutal
siege against the country.
“The strike was really just enough to
cover the president politically, but not
enough to spark a war with the Russians,” said Jon Soltz, a two-tour veteran
of the Iraq war who is the chairman of
the liberal veterans group VoteVets. “It
was clear the military had tight constraints on the operation and that everybody in the military seemed to know
that except the president.”
Mr. Mattis publicly disputed suggestions on Tuesday that the limited strikes
amounted to little more than a public relations punch at Mr. Assad.
“The French, the United Kingdom,
the United States, allies, all NATO allies,
we worked together to maintain the prohibition on the use of chemical weapons,” Mr. Mattis said at the Pentagon.
“We did what we believe was right under international law, under our nation’s
“And I hope that this time, the Assad
regime got the message,” Mr. Mattis
Thomas Gibbons-Neff contributed reporting.
Putin holds his ground
of trust with the West were evaporating,
sinking below even Cold War levels.
“There were communication channels
during the Cold War, and there was no
obsession with Russophobia, which
looks like genocide through sanctions,”
Mr. Lavrov told the BBC.
The Western countries’ perspective,
however, consider that enough is
enough, and they are gradually acting in
concert in delivering that message to
the Kremlin. Economic sanctions imposed after the 2014 annexation of
Crimea, which started the deterioration
in relations, have remained intact despite repeated predictions from the
Kremlin that one European Union member or another would eventually veto
More recent sources of friction have
been the mass expulsion of some 150
Russian diplomats from Western nations after the chemical poisoning of a
former Russian spy in Britain in March;
harsh United States sanctions against
several Russian oligarchs, political figures and companies; and the bombing
of Syria by the United States, France
and Britain over the weekend.
“There is an upsurge in momentum of
the kind we have not seen before,” said
James Nixey, the head of the Russian
program at the London-based research
institution Chatham House. He is not
sure it will last, however, with nations
like Hungary following the Putin model,
while the Baltics and the Scandinavian
countries remain far more wary.
In Russia, the population can basically be broken down into three groups,
said Vladislav L. Inozemtsev, a Russian
scholar currently at the Polish Institute
of Advanced Studies in Warsaw.
Two of them, the circle around Putin
and the bulk of the population, are sure
that Russia is doing everything right.
But the urban elite, including a majority
of the business community, thinks the
country has gone too far and needs to
find a way to reset relations with the
West, he said.
The latter group views growing Western consolidation with trepidation, he
said, while the Putin court and the majority “believe that quite soon the Western unity will vanish.”
They have a wild card in President
Trump. He has long been reluctant to
criticize Russia, but his attitude has
proved more volatile of late. On Sunday,
Nikki R. Haley, the American ambassador to the United Nations, said that
Washington was about to impose yet
more sanctions on Russia, but Mr.
Trump rejected the idea on Monday.
There are those who believe that the
Russians have some hold over Mr.
Putin’s close advisers and the
majority of the population
“believe that quite soon the
Western unity will vanish.”
Trump. That explanation does not have
much public currency in Russia, where
the attitude swings between humor and
If the value of the ruble in relation to
the dollar used to fluctuate according to
the price of oil, it is now Trump tweets
about Russia that send it swinging, goes
one joke.
But economists are not laughing
about the sanctions imposed by the
United States last week. The hardest hit
was Rusal, one of the world’s largest
manufacturers of aluminum, which appeared on the sanctions list: Its value
plummeted. Japan just became the latest country to announce that it would
halt purchases from the company.
The Russian Parliament expedited a
draft of wide-ranging proposed countersanctions last week that included halting the import of medicine from the
An exchange office in Moscow. This year, economic growth in Russia will be lower than
the 2 percent anticipated, with expert predictions ranging from 1.7 percent to none.
United States, cutting off titanium and
uranium sales and allowing the open
theft of American intellectual property.
A statement by one legislator, Pyotr O.
Tolstoy — a descendant of the writer —
that Russians would happily drink
brewed tree bark instead of using American medicine provoked widespread derision.
On social media, the idea of imposing
countersanctions has become known as
“bombing Voronezh,” a provincial Russian city, the idea being that such measures invariably hurt Russians.
Boeing, for example, buys about 35
percent of its titanium, which is used extensively in the 787 Dreamliner, from
VSMPO-Avisma, the state monopoly
that controls titanium production. The
company warned in a statement that
such a measure could adversely affect
20,000 employees and the economy as a
The outcry from businesses over the
potential countersanctions was such
that the Russian Parliament postponed
discussion of the measures until May 15
to allow for consultations.
Ultimately, the path is clear, with the
upshot of actions from both the West
and Russia driving the “deglobalization” of Russia, said Evsey Gurvich, the
head of the Expert Economic Group, an
independent analytic center. As the
West shuns Russia, the country will
withdraw more to try to protect itself
from further sanctions, he said.
This year, economic growth will be
lower than the 2 percent anticipated,
with expert predictions ranging from 1.7
percent to none.
The result, some experts noted, is the
state’s taking control over more of the
economy as it tries to protect jobs and
industries from the fallout from sanctions, driving Russia back toward the
Soviet model. In addition, when a big
company like Rusal gets hit with sanctions and its revenues plunge, there is
less tax revenue for the budget, so social
services like medicine and education
are cut.
It is unclear that there will be domestic political problems for Mr. Putin, however. Real incomes have been falling
over the last few years, but he still received overwhelming support in the
March presidential election.
No one expects economic issues to
change Mr. Putin’s mind about confronting the West either. The upshot is
that the Kremlin elite who are winning
the internal struggle value geopolitical
goals far more than the country’s economic development, experts said.
“When we say that we are not successful and quote economic numbers,
they say that they do not care about
this,” said Leonid Y. Gozman, a political
commentator and former politician.
Steven Erlanger contributed reporting
from Brussels, and Ivan Nechepurenko
from Moscow.
Liens Collection
6 | THURSDAY, APRIL 19, 2018
Cambridge Analytica
explored virtual cash
Dabbling in digital tokens
included plan for Macau
gamblers to move money
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief, testifying before Congress. Facebook’s data collection is what makes it valuable to advertisers, but it also gives the company inordinate power.
Facebook: Creepy and valuable
Eduardo Porter
One of the most telling moments in the
spectacle of Mark Zuckerberg’s congressional testimony last week was
when Representative Billy Long, a
Missouri Republican, warned the
co-founder of Facebook of what the
United States Congress was likely to
do about its multiple concerns surrounding the social network. “Congress is good at two things: doing
nothing, and overreacting,” he said.
After years of the former, he said,
“we’re getting ready to overreact.”
That sounds worrisome. But I sympathize. Doing nothing and overreacting make sense when you have no clue
to what is going on. And we don’t. The
cloud of questions aimed at Mr.
Zuckerberg — Is Facebook too dominant? Does it censor information?
With whom does it share our data?
Does it help sell OxyContin? — suggests that we don’t really know what
the problem with Facebook is. It also
suggests we don’t understand what
Facebook does.
That goes for the entire data-driven
ecosystem, including Google and the
auto companies that riddle your car
with sensors that can tell where you’ve
been and how fast you got there. And
that puts policymakers in an uncomfortable spot.
The crucial issue for Congress, government regulators, members of the
public and even Mr. Zuckerberg is how
much all this data-driven stuff is worth
to us. What do we stand to lose by, say,
limiting the data these companies can
collect? What do we stand to gain?
As Alessandro Acquisti of Carnegie
Mellon University and his colleagues
put it in a recent paper, the question is
“to what extent the combination of
sophisticated analytics and massive
amounts of consumer data will lead to
an increase in aggregate welfare, and
to what extent will it lead to mere
changes in the allocation of wealth?”
We don’t know.
“We don’t understand the value to us
of the new data economy nor the risks
it entails,” said Leonard Nakamura, an
economist at the Federal Reserve
Bank of Philadelphia who has studied
the economic impact of data. “We just
let it rip and now are trying to catch
up.” Unfortunately, we have only rudimentary tools to measure the good and
the bad.
As the data-driven economy continues evolving at breakneck speed,
catching up may be beyond our reach;
we will build the guardrails by trial and
error. The risk is that policy will be
driven mostly by fear.
What is the problem with Facebook?
Clearly Russia’s use of the platform to
spread fake news and warp the 2016
elections is one problem. Allowing data
from tens of millions of users to flow,
without their knowledge, to a political
consultancy working for Donald J.
Trump is another.
But the raw business models of the
colossi of the data economy are creepy
in and of themselves. Start with the
sheer scale of personal data scooped
up by Facebook, often without users’
knowledge. The platform not only
harvests the data you share with the
platform, but also collects information
about you from the files of other Facebook users you know. It buys data
about your offline lives from data
brokers — including sensitive stuff like
your income and the credit cards you
own. And testifying before Congress,
Mr. Zuckerberg acknowledged that
Facebook sucks up information about
people who are not even on Facebook,
so it can aim ads at them.
Mr. Zuckerberg noted that this data
is what makes Facebook valuable for
its advertisers and its users, enabling
the network to offer them only relevant
ads. But it also gives it inordinate
power over people’s lives. It wouldn’t
be impossible, for instance, to use
Facebook’s sophisticated models to
send a deluge of ads for weight-loss
pills to overweight teenagers with a
fragile self-image.
We know that Face“We don’t
book can determine,
and manipulate, its
users’ emotional
the value to
us of the new
Data can also be
data economy
deployed for virtual
nor the risks
redlining. And what
it entails.”
about price discrimination? Amazon and
others have already
experimented with mining our data to
charge “personalized” prices for a
given item — the maximum price each
of us is willing to pay — a practice that
can leave many consumers worse off.
But policy cannot be determined
only by the potential creepiness of
what corporate America might do with
our data. Maybe perfect price discrimination will never take off because
consumers don’t like it.
Indeed, it is unclear to what extent
consumers are repelled by any of this.
Though surveys repeatedly find that
Americans are concerned about their
privacy, they rarely take action to stop
cookies and other tools deployed to
gather their data. As Sinan Aral of the
Sloan School of Management at the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
has noted, “Lots of the things that
depend on ads we want as public
More broadly, Mr. Nakamura points
out, the online economy powered by
data collection and advertising is improving welfare in a way not properly
captured in standard measures of
economic output. This includes reams
of “free” music and the potential benefits from the artificial intelligence that
will be trained using personal data.
The consumer surplus — the benefit
that we get from a good or service
above and beyond the price we pay for
it — is bigger than it ever was. And it
will grow further.
Yet if this sounds like an argument
against touching the data-driven digital economy with even the slightest
regulation, it is not. Worries that Facebook and some of its brethren may
have become large enough to squelch
innovation are legitimate. So are suspicions that it plays fast and loose with
consumer data.
Regulations to curb the power of the
digital behemoths — say, barring them
from buying up rising companies that
might threaten their dominance in the
future, like Instagram and WhatsApp
— make sense. So do policies that
ensure responsible stewardship of the
data they gather.
”I don’t think the right policy position is to totally eliminate the business
model, but instead to introduce some
restraint,” said Terrell McSweeny, the
lone Democrat on the Federal Trade
Commission. “The idea is to give people more control over the uses of their
data and ensure companies are responsible for what is happening to it.”
Summoning Mr. Zuckerberg to testify suggests that Congress is no longer happy doing nothing. Hopefully, it
can do better than simply overreact to
its fears.
The embattled political data firm Cambridge Analytica quietly sought to develop its own virtual currency in recent
months through a so-called initial coin
offering, a novel fund-raising method
that has come under growing scrutiny
by financial regulators around the
The offering was part of a broader, but
still very private push that the firm was
making into the nascent world of cryptocurrencies over the last year.
Much like its acquisition of Facebook
data to build psychological profiles of
voters, the new business line pushed the
firm into murky ethical and legal situations. Documents and emails obtained
by The New York Times show that Cambridge Analytica’s efforts to help promote another group’s digital token, the
Dragon Coin, associated the firm with a
notorious gangster in Macau who has
gone by the nickname Broken Tooth.
The goal of Cambridge Analytica’s
own coin offering? Raise money that
would pay for the creation of a system to
help people store and sell their online
personal data to advertisers, Brittany
Kaiser, a former Cambridge Analytica
employee, said in an interview. The idea
was to protect information from more or
less what the firm did when it obtained
the personal data of up to 87 million
Facebook users.
“Who knows more about the usage of
personal data than Cambridge Analytica?” Ms. Kaiser said. “So why not build
a platform that reconstructs the way
that works?”
The effort was overseen by Cambridge Analytica’s British chief executive, Alexander Nix, who was forced out
of the company in March after he was
caught on tape bragging about his company’s approach to political work in
other countries, including the use of
shell companies and strategies designed to entrap opponents. The Facebook data revelations and Mr. Nix’s
comments appear to have put the virtual currency work, which was still in the
early stages, on hold.
Initial coin offerings, or I.C.O.s, are a
method of fund-raising in which companies sell their own virtual currencies.
The tokens are generally structured like
Bitcoin, using a so-called blockchain to
record transactions. The coins are usually designed to be used as an internal
payment method in software that the
start-ups are building. Over the last
year, companies have raised over $6 billion through I.C.O.s.
Coin offerings generally avoid the
regulatory oversight that accompanies
traditional fund-raising methods, opening the door for significant fraud. A number of coin offerings have been shut
down by law enforcement, and there are
several broad investigations of the industry by regulators around the world.
“There are only a handful of more controversial areas it could have expanded
its business into,” said Tim Swanson, a
consultant to companies in the industry,
who was briefed on the Cambridge Analytica coin offering.
A spokesman for Cambridge Analytica did not respond to multiple requests
for comment.
Cambridge Analytica began working
with coin offerings in the middle of last
year. The business was guided by Ms.
Kaiser, an American who led the company’s business development and previously appeared at a press event with organizers of the “Brexit” campaign to get
Britain out of the European Union.
“We’re going to see a new type
of economy emerging where
people can start to take
ownership of their data.”
Cambridge Analytica boasts that its
“psychographic profiles” of voters and
consumers allow for more persuasive
and precisely targeted advertising. In
marketing material sent to investors,
the firm said Ms. Kaiser was “helping
blockchain companies in using predictive modeling to target investors for token sales.”
Jill Carlson, a consultant who has
worked with several blockchain companies, attended meetings where Cambridge Analytica pitched its services to
virtual currency companies, including
one that Mr. Nix attended.
Ms. Carlson said the Cambridge Analytica employees had bragged about
their success in helping get President
Trump elected and their ability to carefully target advertising campaigns using data from social networks like Facebook.
She also remembers that they spoke
about an array of potential campaigns.
The most unusual idea involved sending
virtual currencies to people in far-flung
Brittany Kaiser, a former Cambridge Analytica employee, said the goal of the coin
offering was to help pay for a system to store and sell personal data to advertisers.
President’s trade policies hold perils for both parties
President Trump’s trade policies enjoy
the strong backing of his supporters but
are less popular among independents,
moderate Republicans and others
whose votes could decide control of Congress in the election this autumn. That
could complicate Republicans’ plans to
make their economic record a central argument in their case for re-election.
Over all, Americans are about evenly
split on the steel and aluminum tariffs
that Mr. Trump announced last month,
according to a survey conducted in early
April for The New York Times by the online polling firm SurveyMonkey. Support split mostly along predictable partisan lines, with 78 percent of Republicans
supporting Mr. Trump’s tariffs and 74
percent of Democrats opposing them.
Only 68 percent of self-described
moderate Republicans said they supported the tariffs, however, and only 42
percent of independents did so. Support
for the measure was also softer among
better-educated and wealthier Americans of both political parties, echoing
other evidence that backing for Mr.
Trump’s agenda is weaker in the affluent suburbs that were once a Republican stronghold.
Jeffrey Campbell, a 49-year-old law-
yer in Minneapolis, said he liked the tax
bill that Republicans passed late last
year, and he gave Mr. Trump credit for
moving to reduce regulation. But he opposes Mr. Trump’s tariffs, saying they
will benefit a few favored industries
while hurting the economy over all.
“A few people benefit from the protection,” Mr. Campbell said. “But when
prices rise as a result, the net effect, I
think, is harmful to the economy.”
Minnesota is a key political battleground this year, with several competitive House seats and two Senate elections because of the resignation of Al
Franken after a sexual-misconduct
scandal last year.
The re-emergence of trade as a central political issue has scrambled traditional partisan alignments in ways that
carry risks for both parties. Mr. Trump
won the presidency partly by tapping
into voters’ concerns about the impact
of globalization on jobs and wages, particularly in the industrial Midwest.
But free trade still receives strong
support among business groups, which
have historically backed Republican
candidates, and among big-dollar conservative political donors. As recently
as 2015, three-quarters of House Republicans voted for a measure meant to
open trade even further — so-called
“fast track” negotiating authority for
President Barack Obama. Reflecting
those tensions, congressional Republican leaders have criticized Mr. Trump’s
tariffs as potentially harmful to businesses and consumers while also praising the president’s broader goals on
Kevin Brady, Republican of Texas, the
chairman of the Ways and Means Committee of the House of Representatives,
opened a hearing on the tariffs last week
by saying the measures “curtail economic growth, discourage new investment, delay new hiring, and put American workers at a huge disadvantage to
foreign competitors.” But he added, “I
remain committed to working with
President Trump and the White House
on strong, enforceable trade policies
that will target bad actors and encour-
age economic growth here at home.”
Democrats face their own challenges
on the issue. As Republicans have
shifted away from supporting free-trade
agreements, Democrats have embraced
them: In the Times poll, 73 percent of
Democrats said they thought free-trade
agreements helped the United States,
compared with 51 percent of Republicans. But union members, long a key
source of mobilization and support for
Democrats, retain the party’s longtime
skepticism of free trade. “It’s not an
ideal issue for either party,” said Robert
J. Blendon, who directs the Harvard
Opinion Research Program at the Harvard School of Public Health. “It makes
the issue slightly more complex because
their voters’ views don’t correspond to
their interest groups.”
For Republicans, Mr. Trump’s trade
battles pose an additional risk of undermining the party’s core economic message. Republicans have tried to emphasize the tax law they passed in December, which cut taxes on businesses and
most households. But trade has largely
pushed the tax law from the headlines,
and support for the law, which rose early
in the year, now seems to be ebbing.
The trade fight has also roiled financial markets, which rose steadily during
Mr. Trump’s first year in office. If that
volatility continues, it could erode con-
sumers’ confidence in the economic recovery. Consumer confidence remains
high over all, however, and there is little
evidence that the tariffs have hurt the
economy so far. But economists say an
outright trade war could derail the economy, although the tariffs announced so
far fall well short of that.
Ethan Brackenbury, a cost estimator
for the federal Department of Energy in
southeastern Washington State, said
that he didn’t like the idea of a trade war
and that he hadn’t noticed any gain from
the tax cut in his paycheck. But the economy seems strong in his area, he said,
and he views any declines in the stock
market as an opportunity to buy, not a
signal to sell. “I’m certainly not worried,
nor am I excited,” Mr. Brackenbury said.
“I don’t see long lines of unemployment
or those kinds of things. Everyone
seems to be gainfully employed.”
The data came from an online survey of
10,533 adults by SurveyMonkey from
April 2 to April 8. Respondents were selected at random from the nearly three
million people who take surveys on the
platform daily. Responses were weighted
to match the demographic profile of the
United States. The survey has a modeled
error estimate (similar to a margin of error in a standard telephone poll) of plus
or minus 1.5 percentage points.
THURSDAY, APRIL 19, 2018 | 7
The dawn of merchandising to the few
When he was 13, Leo Mandella began
posting photos of his street wear outfits
to his Instagram account, @gullyguyleo, and with his sophisticated color sense, confident poses and baby face,
he was a quick hit. His hundreds of posts
earned him a follower count comfortably in the six figures. But he craved
“I want to show that I’m more than a
kid who wears outfits,” Mr. Mandella,
now 15, said in a recent interview. “I’ve
always known if this blows up, I can create a brand on the back of it.”
Making clothing of his own would be a
natural extension of his brand — Mr.
Mandella eventually released a few
items under the Gully brand name —
but he wanted to make a loud, unexpected splash. His idea: a coloring book,
with 25 line illustrations of him wearing
high-end street wear, accompanied by a
pack of Gully crayons. Released late last
year, it sold several hundred copies.
“We wanted to make it exclusive, for
the people who were actually passionate
about buying,” Mr. Mandella said.
Which is to say, for the people who
were so passionate about Mr. Mandella
— a teenager living in Warwick, England, who invented himself online from
whole designer cloth — that they craved
an even more tactile connection. His coloring book is part of an emergent movement of micromerch: personal merchandise for niche public figures and celebrities (or even not-yet celebrities)
made possible by innovations in manufacturing and distribution, and with
mechanisms greased by the ease of the
Consider it the modern equivalent of
the private-press LP or the small-batch
zine, amplified for social media and very
late capitalism.
Buying merch — T-shirts, key chains,
mugs, etc. — to support a band, or a favorite actress, has been a common expression of fandom for decades. And in
recent years, merch has begun to infiltrate fashion on two fronts. Companies
like Bravado, the merchandising arm of
the Universal Music Group, have propelled traditional musician merch into
the hypebeast cycle. And brands including Vetements and Balenciaga have absorbed merch aesthetics into meta-referential clothing.
Now, though, small-batch merch — a
couple dozen to a couple thousand items
— can be made available for almost any-
Above, the surrealist comic artist Zack Fox. Below, from left: a coloring book with crayons that Leo Mandella uses to extend his
brand; a tissue box with the likeness of the reality TV celebrity Ashley Iaconetti; and a T-shirt with Danielle Bregoli’s catchphrase.
one, whether emergent social media or
reality TV demicelebrities or casual dadaists who toy with the dissemination of
ideas in the marketplace. In an era when
personal branding is presumed, no following is too small to monetize.
Want to show support for Sean Bryan,
a.k.a. the Papal Ninja, an American
Ninja Warrior contestant and lay minister? There’s a shirt (and laptop case)
for that. Enthralled by the 1980s sun-
glasses worn by the rubber-legged teen
social media star Roy Purdy in his absurdist dance videos? For a while, he
sold them, too. Obsessed with Gordie,
the French bulldog owned by Alex Tumay, who engineers Young Thug’s
records? Buy a shirt.
“I’d never pitched myself as a product
to people,” Mr. Tumay said. “It was kind
of a sellout angle I was worried about.”
But he’s sold around 50.
Peloton, the home indoor cycling business, has a stable of a dozen instructors,
and sells merch inspired by each. Jill Foley, Peloton’s director of boutique apparel, said the company has sold hundreds
of T-shirts and tank tops with instructor
catchphrases like “It’s Not That Deep”
(Cody Rigsby) and “Sweat Sing Repeat”
(Jenn Sherman).
“We’re getting messages to people in
this micro way,” Ms. Foley said, empha-
sizing the intimacy of the relationship
Peloton riders develop with their chosen
instructors. “We’re in people’s homes in
their daily life.”
At times, the micromerch comes before the notoriety. On the most recent
season of “The Bachelorette,” Lucas
Yancey spent most of his energy
screaming “WHABOOOOOOM,” rather
than pursuing Rachel Lindsay. Conveniently, he was already selling shirts with
the phrase on his website.
In this, at least, he was ahead of the
curve. Most graduates of the Bachelor
ecosystem migrate into the murky
worlds of paid Instagram posts and
event appearances. But Ashley Iaconetti, a contestant known for persistent waterworks and committed virginity, decided to become the brand herself.
“I always thought myself being so
known for crying,” she said. “Why don’t
I have a deal with Kleenex or Puffs?”
Instead, she began selling her own tissue boxes (in truth, a printed sleeve
with line drawings of Ms. Iaconetti’s forlorn face sheathing a plain white tissue
box) along with other merchandise.
“Snooki was Snooki, and now she’s kind
of her own brand,” she said. “Also, Kylie
lip kits subconsciously encouraged me.”
(Indeed, the peak micromerch endgame
is something like Kim Kardashian
West’s Kimoji, which sells pool floats,
mouse pads and Post-it notes shaped
like her derrière, among other items.)
These nascent micro-personality
businesses may never reach that level of
name recognition or profitability, but
they’re something more than mere pet
projects. “The easiest term is to call it a
brand,” Matthew Hwang of Pizzaslime
said, but conceded that wasn’t quite sufficient. “We almost need to come up with
new words.”
Pizzaslime is a creative agency specializing in creating viral moments, and
also a rapid-response merchandise
business specializing in capitalizing on
them. Early last year, a sharp-tongued
teenager, Danielle Bregoli, went viral
following a hilarious moment on “Dr.
Phil” where she threatened judgmental
audience members to “cashmeoussidehowbowdah” (say it slow). Within two
weeks, Pizzaslime had made a slew of
merch for her featuring the catchphrase, including a $250 blanket featuring her face — all sold out.
“When anyone is smart enough to
build a following on social media, strategic in the ways they build their content, they can utilize those same sort of
strategies for merchandise,” Mr. Hwang
Which raises the question of what the
smallest following a person can have
while still being able to sell merchandise
can be. “I’ve worked with people who
have 10 million Instagram followers and
they’ve done less than someone with
20,000,” said Chase Ortega, who owns
The Hyv (pronounced “hive”), a merchandise company that primarily handles emerging musicians, but which has
employed the same infrastructure to
service merch for several nontraditional
clients, including the feminist artists
Grace Miceli and Molly Soda, the social
media star Too Poor, and the surrealist
comic artist Zack Fox.
“I think of it as a new record label. I’m
not trying to be Bravado,” Mr. Ortega
said. “I want to be the Matador. I want a
cool roster.”
That frees him up to sell, with Mr. Fox,
a couple of hundred water bottles emblazoned with a reclaimed bigoted
phrase (that can’t be published here) derived from a Twitter meme.
For Mr. Fox, merch isn’t strictly about
celebrity. “I’ve always leaned more into
making things artistically valid to me,”
he said. In buying the water bottle, he
explained, “You’re buying a piece of performance; you’re not really trying to rep
Zack Fox.”
That tension between the intentions
of the purchaser and creator also intrigues Ayesha Siddiqi, a creative consultant specializing in trend forecasting
with a robust Twitter following who, in
partnership with the artist and musician
Saba Moeel, recently collaborated on
the design of a collection of shirts and
hoodies. Some are drawn directly from
Ms. Siddiqi’s tweets, like the hoodie that
reads Spider Labor Solidarity. “It means
what it says — that my solidarity is with
the workers, especially those who work
quietly and alone and for the benefit of
all those around them,” Ms. Siddiqi
wrote in an email.
In some cases, micromerch may be
the pretense for providing an undersupported creative with some revenue.
It can also be a way to extend a moment that might otherwise be fleeting,
give it physical form so that it might
travel far beyond where it began. And it
can lead to bigger things. Recently, Mr.
Mandella was tapped by Converse to
help relaunch the One Star sneaker. On
Instagram, he posted a photo of himself
inside a bus covered in a 15-foot-tall
photo of him. Who’s micro now?
Idea of budget flight hub takes root near New York
NEW WINDSOR, N.Y. As the baggage claim
area at New York Stewart International
Airport filled with passengers arriving
from Dublin last month, the airport’s
manager of business development, Michael Torelli, shook his head with delight.
“Awesome,” he said of the crowd.
Just two years earlier, the airport, 67
miles north of New York City, had
275,000 passengers, its slowest year
since the Port Authority of New York
and New Jersey began running it 11
years ago. This year, passenger volume
is projected to be more than double that
as the region rediscovers an airport with
more land than Newark Liberty International Airport and just a tiny fraction
of its passenger volume.
“Where are you going to get the space
to build a new airport now?” Ed Harrison, the general manager of Stewart
Airport, asked during a lengthy drive
around the airport property in Orange
The grounds include woodlands and a
reservoir, giving the airport a rural feel.
But the property, formerly a military airport, also contains an industrial park, a
United States Department of Agriculture animal inspection center, three air
cargo operators, an Air National Guard
base and a runway long enough to handle the largest jetliners.
Mr. Harrison and Mr. Torelli said that
they expected more business from two
commercial developments nearby: a
$500 million Lego theme park scheduled for completion in 2020 and the $1.2
billion Resorts World Catskills casino,
which opened in February.
“We have 2,500 acres that are strategically located at the intersection of
I-84 and 87, that now we’re advertising
with access to New York City by bus for
$20,” Mr. Harrison said, referring to a
shuttle service outside the passenger
terminal. “The sky is the limit.”
Some of the optimism about the airport’s future is attributable to Norwegian Air International, a low-cost airline
based in Ireland that offers flights to the
United States with one-way fares that
often dip below $100. The domestic
budget airline Allegiant Air offers four
daily flights to Florida and South Carolina. Allegiant and Norwegian Air are
seen as trailblazers to officials at the
New York Stewart International Airport in Orange County, N.Y., has plans to expand.
Port Authority, because if their service
succeeds, it will encourage other airlines to offer flights at Stewart.
“Stewart has enormous potential to
be a real gateway airport to the New
York area,” said Rick Cotton, the authority’s executive director. The agency has
spent $200 million over the past decade
to improve the airport, and an additional
$30 million has been set aside for the
construction of a 20,000-square-foot hall
for international arrivals. When complete in 2019, the hall will be able to
process 400 passengers an hour.
By focusing on a low-cost airline identity, Stewart is part of a growing trend
among airports in the United States. It is
following a pattern established in Europe and Asia, where budget airlines
have reinvigorated smaller airports on
the outskirts of major cities, said
Matthew J. Cornelius, vice president of
air policy at Airport Council International, an industry group. “They’ve had
the ability to strengthen their power,
and now the Europeans are coming
across the Atlantic,” Mr. Cornelius said,
adding that the international airlines
were seeking smaller airports like Stewart, as well as those in Hartford and
Providence, R.I. “They’re used to operating at secondary airports, so it’s a natural.”
This attracts passengers like Gavin
Bamford of Northern Ireland, who arranged to visit family in Pennsylvania
after finding a $364 round-trip ticket to
Stewart Airport on Norwegian Air’s
website. Before he returned to Belfast,
he said that if fares remained low, he
would come back to Stewart, rent a car
and drive 400 miles to see relatives in
Several former military airports on
the periphery of large metropolitan areas in the United States have been repurposed. Their prime location, along
with assets like long runways and un-
derlying infrastructure, can help communities keep up with increasing demand for air travel.
Traffic jams are frequent on the sole
highway leading to Seattle Tacoma International Airport, which has grown
over the past few years to become one of
the nation’s busiest airports. Sea-Tac, as
it is known, served nearly 47 million
travelers in 2017, a 25 percent increase
over five years.
But 12 miles north in Snohomish
County, away from the congestion on Interstate 5, a former military airfield
called Paine Field was being used by
Boeing for test flights and general aviation. It was ripe for commercial flights,
said Brett Smith, chief executive of Propeller Airports in New York, which is developing a passenger terminal at the airport with county officials.
The Alaska Airlines subsidiary Horizon Air, United Airlines and Southwest
Airlines have announced that they will
offer multiple daily flights at Paine Field
while continuing service at Sea-Tac.
“The fact they’re splitting their operation shows how much Seattle needs
this,” Mr. Smith said. The airlines are not
shifting business, but they “are adding
capacity to the market in Seattle,” he
Company explored virtual cash
regions of Mexico. The payments would
give people incentive to fill out surveys
and get data that could then be used to
help design campaigns for Mexican political candidates.
Ms. Carlson said the pitch was contrary to the ideas of openness and transparency that drew her to virtual currency projects like Bitcoin.
“The way that Cambridge Analytica
was talking about it, they were viewing
it as a means of being able to basically
inflict government control and private
corporate control over individuals,
which just takes the whole initial premise of this technology and turns it on its
head in this very dystopian way,” she
Cambridge Analytica did win over
some clients. Last summer, Ms. Kaiser’s
team began working with Dragon Coin,
a new virtual currency that was designed to be used by gamblers. The coin
was supposed to make it easier for people to get their money to casinos in Macau, an island that is a semiautonomous
region of China similar to Hong Kong’s
Cambridge Analytica had little public
role in promoting Dragon Coin. But behind the scenes the company emailed
potential partners and investors and arranged for some of them to take all-ex-
penses-paid trips to a glitzy Dragon
Coin event in Macau.
The South China Morning Post published a photo from the event showing
Wan Kuok-koi in attendance. Mr. Wan is
known as Broken Tooth Koi from his
days as the leader of the notorious 14K
gang in Macau. He was released from
prison in 2012 after serving a 14-year
The founder of Dragon Coin, Chris Ahmad, told Business Insider at the time
that Mr. Wan “is not involved in Dragon,
and he is not financing Dragon in any
But documents sent in September to
potential investors by Dragon Coin’s cofounder Paul Moynan listed Mr. Wan as
the sponsor of the initial coin offering
and included his picture. Ms. Kaiser was
included in the email. A separate Dragon Coin document that Mr. Moynan sent
out at the same time listed Mr. Wan as
one of a few high-profile supporters of
the project.
When reached recently, Mr. Moynan
initially said that his email address had
been hacked and that he did not recognize the documents. He later said the
documents were a “hypothetical wish
list” of a “junior staff” member.
“We will be conducting an internal investigation, as unfinished draft documents would never have been indicative
of actual agreed partnerships,” he said.
Ms. Kaiser said that her work on the
Dragon Coin event in Macau had been
done in a personal capacity, and that the
Dragon Coin team had told her that Mr.
Wan was not involved with the project.
Dragon Coin claimed it raised more
than $300 million from investors last
fall. That total has been hard to verify.
Like many coin offerings, Dragon Coin
has failed to live up to its promises.
Ties to a notorious gangster in
Macau known as Broken Tooth.
Setbacks surrounding Dragon Coin
did not stop Cambridge Analytica from
plunging further into the virtual currency realm.
The company’s New York office continued reaching out to potential investors and partners, emails show. And in
January, Ms. Kaiser hosted a side conference dedicated to blockchain
projects, known as CryptoHQ, at the
World Economic Forum’s annual conference in Davos, Switzerland. Mr. Nix
spoke on a panel at the event.
He said that the technology would be
helpful in solving the very problems that
Cambridge Analytica has since become
the emblem of — the abuse of online per-
sonal data.
“We’re going to see a new type of
economy emerging where people can
start to take ownership of their data and
monetize on their data,” Mr. Nix said, according to a Twitter post from the CryptoHQ account. “And that is only possible
through the blockchain.” The virtual
currency that Cambridge Analytica was
designing was aimed at exactly this
problem, and would have also helped
the company raise money from investors.
The company wrote a document describing the technical specifications of
the coin, Ms. Kaiser said. Her account
was confirmed by another person who
worked on the project and agreed to
speak on the condition of anonymity.
The work was overseen by Alexander
Tayler, the firm’s chief data scientist and
briefly the interim chief executive after
Mr. Nix stepped down.
Ms. Kaiser left Cambridge Analytica
in February and has been sharply critical of the company since then. As far as
she knows, the coin offering has not
moved forward. But she is still working
on similar concepts at her new consulting firm, Bueno Capital.
Nathaniel Popper reported from San
Francisco, and Nicholas Confessore from
New York.
A contemporary take
on a classic concept
Presented by
Rue des Sablons, 7
1000 Brussels
8 | THURSDAY, APRIL 19, 2018
Saudi Arabia has its first fashion week
Female-only audiences
and no social media
but lots of optimism
Fashion week in New York, Paris and
Milan can often be a surreal experience,
full of towering fantasy, inflated egos
and sky-high stilettos. But last week, on
the eve of the inaugural Arab Fashion
Week Riyadh, the backdrop was very
different: Sandstorms and thunderstorms loomed, and missiles fired by
Houthi rebels in Yemen sailed overhead.
That, along with a lot of logistical confusion, meant that the week — another
example of the social and economic
change sweeping through what has
been one of the most conservative countries in the world — did not go as
smoothly as planned.
The first official fashion week ever
held in Saudi Arabia was, said Marriam
Mossalli, a luxury consultant in Jeddah,
“an amazing opportunity to shift the disconnect in the minds of outsiders about
Saudi women, how they design and how
they dress. Women here have been waiting for years for a time to shine.”
Yet it almost didn’t happen, though
perhaps not for the reasons you would
Five months in the planning and organized by the Arab Fashion Council (a
nonprofit organization in Dubai that
opened a Riyadh office in December),
Arab Fashion Week was originally set to
begin on March 25. It was postponed after scores of foreign journalists, buyers
and models were unable to obtain visas
in time to enter the country last month.
Three weeks later it was back on, with
16 shows scheduled, the high-profile
guest designers Jean Paul Gaultier and
Roberto Cavalli and attendees flown in
from around the world.
But on April 11, 45 minutes before the
first model was due on the opening night
runway, the phone screens of dozens of
fashionable women dressed in abayas
milling in the palatial lobby of the RitzCarlton hotel began to flash.
To their dismay, fashion week was being delayed again, by an additional 24
hours, according to a statement from
the organizers on WhatsApp. The reason? The show tent, in the vast grounds
of the luxury hotel, was apparently unfinished and unsafe for use, because of
bad weather.
There was despair among the designers, both locals and those from countries
including Lebanon, Egypt and Italy,
who had traveled to show their collections to the affluent Saudi market.
Some guests, many of whom had flown
in only for the opening night, were
aghast at the late notice.
“I feel frustrated because this suggests that we are incompetent and unorganized, and we absolutely are not,” Ms.
Mossalli said, as she sipped a hot chocolate in the lobby and waited for an Uber
to the airport. She said that disorganization, as well as the bad weather cited by
the Arab Fashion Council, had led the
Saudi government’s General Entertainment Authority to take over production
of the event, including the construction
of the tent.
Ticket sales to women in Riyadh were
poor, perhaps because there had been
little local marketing. Some brands had
pulled out of the event because of the
lack of communication, and that may
have affected sales as well.
“The organizers need to align their
many story lines and just tell the truth,”
Ms. Mossalli said. “It totally sends out
the wrong message at an important
time for us, and that is disappointing,
given all the design talent we have
amassed here this week.”
The high-profile, high-stakes plan for
a first fashion week in Saudi Arabia, unthinkable even two years ago, comes at
a time of ambitious plans for economic
and social change in the country, led by
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman,
Above from left, Princess Noura Bint Faisal at Arab Fashion Week Riyadh and Jacob
Abrian, chief executive of the Arab Fashion Council, which organized the event.
A look by Naja Saade of Lebanon, shown
on the Arab Fashion Week runway.
“The next priority has to be
building a better local
infrastructure so that the Saudi
fashion industry can grow.”
the kingdom’s de facto ruler.
Taking inspiration from the successes
(and failures) of smaller Gulf neighbors
like Dubai, Saudi Arabia is trying to shift
away from a reliance on oil and gas revenues and is repositioning itself as a dynamic place for business, hospitality
and leisure — and foreign investment
and visitors.
M.B.S., as the crown prince is known,
has been spearheading a rapid easing of
strict and longstanding social restrictions. This has included reining in the religious police, introducing public concerts, lifting bans on cinemas and allowing women to drive.
However, Saudi women must still
abide by so-called guardianship laws,
which give male relatives the power to
make many decisions integral to their
daily lives.
The prince has been on an outreach
tour of the United States, from Harvard
to Hollywood, and in an interview with
“60 Minutes” in March, he even said that
women should be able to choose what
they wear in public, as long as it was “decent” and “respectful.”
The country’s fledgling fashion industry has also found its way into the spotlight. Although there have been designers in Saudi Arabia for years (and fashion shows — behind closed doors in palatial private residences), most brands
have struggled with finding materials,
Top, a design by Mashael AlRajhi of Saudi Arabia, who also collaborated with Nike on a
hijab that was shown on the runway. Above, Yassa, a fashion and lifestyle blogger, in a
street style pose at the Ritz-Carlton hotel, where the fashion week was held.
studio staff and production facilities to
expand their businesses, eventually
opting to show their wares abroad.
A pillar of Vision 2030, the crown
prince’s blueprint for Saudi Arabia’s future, is supporting small- and mediumsize businesses, particularly those
owned by women. An important step
was the establishment of the General
Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises (Monsha’at) in 2015, which aims
to increase the contribution of these
companies, which include fashion businesses, in the economy from 500 billion
riyals ($133.1 billion) in 2014 to two trillion riyals in 2030.
The social shifts can also be seen on
the increasing number of women in
Saudi cities who have been eschewing
the traditional black abaya in favor of
more colorful or patterned cloak designs
(especially in the more liberal port city
of Jeddah).
Flashes of a gradual wardrobe change
were being quietly modeled by guests at
fashion week via exquisite florid embroidered sleeves or sequins that cascaded down the backs of flowing cloaks.
They were accessorized with Gucci
sneakers or Christian Louboutin stilettos, quilted Chanel handbags and diamond earring studs the size of Gobstoppers.
Arwa Al Banawi, a Saudi designer
based in Dubai who showed a polished
contemporary collection of tailored staples infused with Bedouin references at
the delayed opening night, said she believed a Saudi fashion week could be another step on the road to female empowerment in her country.
“It is so important for us that we have
our own fashion week — historically I
have always shown in Dubai or Paris,
but as a Saudi woman I really wanted to
be a part of this moment,” she said. “Yes
it has been the most challenging event I
have ever been a part of, but the only
way to look is forwards, not backward.
Next time will be better.”
Mashael AlRajhi, a Riyadh-based designer of men’s and women’s wear,
agreed. She showed her street wear
pieces, including a collaboration with
Nike on its first runway hijab.
“There is so much creative talent
flourishing here now. The next priority
has to be building a better local infrastructure so that the Saudi fashion industry can grow, and most designers
don’t have to leave to scale themselves
anymore,” she said, adding that while
she was proud to run a studio and manufacture clothes in Riyadh, it was far from
easy. “A fashion week is a platform that
gets the attention of the industry and
those who can help us prepare for what
comes next.”
Once the shows actually happened,
the determination, thoughtfulness and
ambition of the many young brands
were clear, despite the many challenges.
A vast tent for 1,500 people had been
erected, with a glossy catwalk backed
by a floor-to-ceiling video screen advertising concerts and BMW cars (with
beautiful Saudi models in abayas seated
behind the wheel). There were John
Legend and Ed Sheeran tracks being
played live on the traditional Arab oud, a
stringed instrument shaped like a lute.
Male designers weren’t allowed backstage before their shows. There was a
strict social media ban, which meant an
absence of front-row influencers, male
editors and walkers and overeager photographers, though a few official female
photographers were granted access.
(As Jacob Abrian, the chief executive of
the Arab Fashion Council, had mused at
a media cocktail party on the eve of the
event, it would be the first fashion week
he had organized that he would not be
allowed to see in person.)
This gave the all-female audience the
chance to take off their abayas, though
few did. Instead, glimpses of embellished dresses and sleek designer
pantsuits could often be seen peeking
through. And on the runway: sorbethued frothy gowns of Lebanese couturiers like Tony Ward and Naja Saade;
avant-garde all-black designs of Bibisara, from Kazakhstan; a capsule collection of sequined abayas by Maison
Alexandrine of Brazil; and over-the-top
glamour courtesy of Mr. Gaultier.
There was little of what has become
known as “modest” fashion — chic yet
conservative designs, often with long
sleeves and ankle-length hemlines. Ms.
Mossalli offered an explanation.
“We either wear our abaya or Western styles of our choice under that —
there is still no in-between here like
there is in other Islamic countries,” she
said. “As the changes continue here,
however, modest fashion will be a huge
growth market.”
Mr. Abrian, of the Arab Fashion Council, not surprisingly, agreed. “The stress
is gone from all the past weeks,” he said,
when it was clear the shows would finally begin. “I just feel relaxed and have
started preparing for October. I might
go and watch some TV.” He was proud of
the international brands that had come
to Saudi Arabia, he said, and that they
could see the opportunities emerging.
“Inshallah, it will just all go smoothly
now — this has been my baby after all,”
he said, sipping nervously from his coffee cup. “There have been some major
hiccups, but the partners, government
and designers are committed. They will
take the rough with the smooth. This is a
window into the future of Saudi Arabia.”
Hermès plays a hipster tune
In a time of street wear,
the classic brand wants
to prove it can boogie, too
The ground floor of the Madison Avenue
Hermès men’s store underwent something of a redesign last week. Ordinarily,
silk ties hang from the oak-colored
walls. Instead, there were only records,
which had been placed in sleeves
matched to the patterns of the brand’s
By the doors were Pioneer turntables
and JVC headphones. Fashion editors
swayed to electronic tracks that seemed
more suited to the chill-out tent at
Coachella than the retail outlet of a 181year-old French fashion house whose
disinclination toward chasing trends is
virtually unparalleled in the industry,
but whose dedication to the classic can
occasionally seem a bit like fustiness.
Particularly when big shifts are taking place in fashion land.
Gucci is selling faux vintage AC/DC
concert shirts for $750. Limited-edition
drops from Supreme are greeted with almost as much attention as the Super
Bowl. A few weeks ago, Louis Vuitton
hired as its new designer of men’s wear
Virgil Abloh, a stylist to Kanye West and
founder of the haute street wear brand
Who wants to get left behind? Why
not try to put forth the idea that Hermès
can also be hip?
Guests with crocodile Kelly bags
smiled and posed in a photo booth where
the backdrop was patterned like a
checkerboard-patterned scarf. Waiters
served mini burgers, deviled eggs and a
chicken-and-waffles hors d’oeuvre that
didn’t really taste like chicken and waffles.
Upstairs, the D.J. Patrick Vidal was
playing a set for scenesterish 20-and 30somethings who perused the racks of
patterned T-shirts and hooded zip-up
Here was Emory Stewart, who is 30
and described what he does for a living
as being at the intersection of fashion,
creative strategy, real estate, interior
design and branding.
Left, the Hermès store installation and,
above, Christophe Goineau, the company’s creative director of men’s silks.
This means he goes to a lot of parties,
is active on Instagram and is well poised
to talk about how the kids are consuming these days and how the grown-ups
are trying to reach them.
“This is a take on Generation Z,” he
said, standing there in his Margiela
shirt, Gucci pants, Balenciaga shoes and
Givenchy jacket (“from Riccardo Tisci’s
last collection, he noted).
“Hermès is going for millennials,” he
said. “Look at Supreme. There are lines
out the door every weekend. It’s not always luxury, but it’s a trend and Supreme is making a lot of money. Virgil
Abloh is now the creative director of
Louis Vuitton. Kids look like they’re
homeless, but they’ve got $10,000 worth
of garments on.”
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Christophe
Goineau, the creative director of
Hermès men’s silks, put the goal of the
event differently.
According to him, the idea was merely
to parallel different experiences of
pleasure and appeal to the senses.
He wanted, he said, to get at the “feeling and emotion you get” upon encountering a “beautiful cashmere” scarf.
If the crowd seemed mostly impressed by the execution of the concept,
it may have been because the store still
looked like a beacon of luxury. The
clothes on the racks were mostly informal, but unmistakably Hermès.
“It’s still quite elevated,” said Dorian
Grinspan, the recent Yale graduate who
edits Out of Order, an international fashion and culture magazine bible that’s
popular with Brooklyn types.
Even the choice of Mr. Vidal as the
evening’s D.J. was an indication that
Hermès was doing this the Hermès way.
“He’s over 50,” Mr. Goineau said.
THURSDAY, APRIL 19, 2018 | 9
The Palestinians’ continuing catastrophe
This week
70 years since
it declared
But as
we mark a
Ayman Odeh
HAIFA, ISRAEL Seventy years ago, the
world changed around my family. The
establishment of the state of Israel
represented self-determination for
Jews, but a catastrophe — “nakba” in
Arabic — for Palestinians. In the area
around the Mediterranean city of Haifa,
where my family has lived for six generations, only 2,000 Palestinians of a
population of 70,000 remained. My
grandparents, A’bdel-Hai and A’dla,
were among them. Their neighbors
were expelled and dispossessed, and
never allowed to return.
More than 400 Palestinian communities were destroyed entirely — each one
carried the memories and milestones of
the families who called it home. My
grandparents and all those Palestinian
Arabs who remained and became citizens of the state of Israel were placed
under military rule in Israel until 1966.
This is a sorrowful and important
part of my family’s story, and of Palestinian history. It should be recognized
and mourned. But in 2011, Israel passed
a law declaring that any institution that
receives public funds can be financially
penalized if it mourns the Nakba on the
same day as Independence Day, which
Israel celebrates on Thursday.
This law is intended to erase the
painful truth of the Nakba, which is an
inseparable part of the story of the
founding of the state of Israel. It is also a
point of proof that the Nakba — the
erasure of Palestinians, along with our
history, language and stories — is not a
single historical event. It is a continuing
The Israeli educational system perpetuates the Nakba by refusing to teach
about Palestinian society before 1948.
Children in public schools throughout
the country, Arab and Jewish, learn
about European Zionists like Theodore
Herzl, who died well before the establishment of Israel, but nothing about
Palestinians before 1948. One would
think there was not a Palestinian artist,
poet or author before Israel’s founding.
The residents of the small village of
Umm al-Hiran, whose 1,000 residents
are Palestinian citizens of Israel, tasted
the continuing Nakba bitterly last week.
They have been battling with the Israeli
government for years to receive recognition for their village, which would
allow it to finally be connected to the
water and electrical grids, and to benefit from public infrastructure like paved
roads. But the state
dug in its heels in and
A law is
refused, bulldozing
intended to
the village over and
erase the
painful truth
Finally, desperate
of the Nakba, to end the uncertainty and pain of
which is an
living and raising
families so precaripart of the
ously, the village
story of the
residents signed an
agreement with the
of the state
government to move
of Israel.
to a nearby town.
Umm al-Hiran will be
demolished, and a
new town called Hiran will be built in its
place. According to the planned town’s
bylaws, it will be home to religious Jews
only; these racist requirements are
legal under current Israeli law.
Palestinians living in the occupied
territories feel the continuing Nakba
constantly, at each checkpoint that
makes travel unbearable and keeps
them contained, at each funeral for an
unarmed protester killed by Israeli
snipers and each time a settlement is
built on stolen land with the blessing of
the Israeli government. And if the government of Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu follows through on its desires to annex the West Bank without
providing full equal rights to its Palestinian residents, it won’t be a new
Nakba. It will be the continuation of one
that has never fully ended.
I don’t believe that my grandparents
could have imagined 70 years ago that I
would become a member of Knesset,
representing Palestinian citizens of
Israel, a minority voice in the parliament of the country we did not ask for
but that came to us on the land we have
always called home. I can’t know what
place my children and grandchildren
will have in their society in the future.
But I am sure that to be able to create
the kind of future I want for them — one
in which they can live with equality and
in peace — Israelis will have to do more
than recognize the Nakba. They will
have to end it.
To end the Nakba is to fully accept our
humanity as Palestinians and to acknowledge that the only future for
Israelis and Palestinians is a shared
future. To end the Nakba, we must end
the occupation and establish an independent Palestinian state alongside
Israel, with Eastern Jerusalem as its
capital. To end the Nakba, we must
implement a just solution for Palestinian refugees. The Nakba will end when
Israel recognizes the crimes of the
Nakba and works to correct those mistakes. The Nakba will end when Jewish
schoolchildren learn the culture of Arab
Palestinians, just as Arab children learn
Jewish history and culture, when they
study the history of all the indigenous
peoples of the land, when Palestinian
children grow up with the freedom to
move and live and determine their own
Then we can begin to commemorate
the Nakba as a thing of the past, and to
mourn it.
leads the Joint List, the
third-largest bloc in Israel’s parliament,
the Knesset, and is chairman of the
Hadash party.
Lordy, is there a tape?
book sheds
new light on
the Steele
Michelle Goldberg
Whatever you think of the former F.B.I.
director James Comey, he has started a
long overdue national conversation
about whether the pee tape is real.
“I don’t know whether the current
president of the United States was with
prostitutes peeing on each other in
Moscow in 2013,” Comey said in his
hotly anticipated interview with George
Stephanopoulos on Sunday night. “It’s
possible, but I don’t know.”
Comey was referring, of course, to a
claim in the dossier about Donald
Trump’s ties to Russia compiled by the
British ex-spy Christopher Steele.
While in Moscow for the Miss Universe
pageant in 2013, Trump reserved the
Ritz-Carlton’s presidential suite, where
Barack and Michelle Obama had stayed
previously. Citing multiple anonymous
sources, Steele reported that Trump
had prostitutes defile the bed where the
Obamas slept by urinating on it, and
that the Kremlin had recordings.
Since BuzzFeed News published the
dossier last year, the right has treated
this allegation as so outrageous as to be
almost prima facie false, like a report
that Trump had been abducted by aliens
or plotting with the Illuminati. Revelations in Comey’s new book, “A Higher
Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership,”
complicate any easy dismissal.
I doubt Comey wants these salacious
details to be the main message of his
earnest tome, in which he comes off as a
somewhat tragic figure who, in striving
for decency, makes errors of judgment
that helped put the singularly indecent
Trump in the White House. Yet the
book’s most significant new information
is about Trump’s obsession with the
rumored tape, which he brought up with
Comey again and again, and the lies
Trump told about why it couldn’t be real.
In one conversation, Trump insisted
to Comey that it was unimaginable that
he would sleep with prostitutes. (The
former Playboy model Karen McDougal, who claims to have had an affair
with Trump, has said that he tried to pay
her the first time they had sex.) In
another, he said he’d just remembered
that he never even stayed overnight in
Moscow: “He claimed he had flown
from New York, had only gone to the
hotel to change his clothes, and had
flown home that same night,” Comey
Though Comey doesn’t mention it,
this contradicts the story that Trump’s
former bodyguard, Keith Schiller, reportedly told the House Intelligence
Committee about that night. Schiller
said that a Russian associate offered to
send five women to Trump’s room, but
was turned down. “Schiller said the two
men laughed about it as Trump went to
bed alone,” NBC reported. “Schiller
testified that he stood outside Trump’s
hotel room for a time and then went to
Trump’s lies here are of more than
voyeuristic interest. The possible exist-
Donald Trump with Miss Universe Gabriela Isler of Venezuela in Moscow in 2013. Mr.
Trump’s visit to Moscow was a focus of the Steele dossier published by BuzzFeed News.
ence of the tape isn’t relevant because it
would prove that Trump is sexually
debauched and longs to desecrate
everything Obama touched; we already
know that. It matters because, like the
former director of the F.B.I., we don’t
know if Trump has been compromised
by Russia.
Evidence that the tape might be real
isn’t limited to Trump’s phony alibi. In
their book “Russian Roulette,” the
investigative journalists David Corn
and Michael Isikoff report that five
months before the pageant, Trump and
his entourage, including his Russian
associate Emin Agalarov, visited a
louche Las Vegas nightclub called the
Act. It was later shut down after a judge
issued an injunction against the “lewd”
and “offensive” performances it was
known for.
Among its regular performances,
Corn and Isikoff wrote, were at least
two involving women simulating urination, a fairly specific kink. We don’t
know what took place when Trump was
there, but his presence at the club tells
us he may not find this sort of thing
unbearably disgusting.
Most of us do, which may be why this
anecdote hasn’t received as much
attention as other details in the TrumpRussia story. Trump benefits from the
fact that looking too closely at his behavior, sexual and otherwise, feels
soiling. This leads people observing him
to construct elaborate theories to avoid
admitting what seems to be staring us
all in the face.
Consider a recent Washington Post
scoop about Trump’s rage at feeling
manipulated by aides to get tough on
Russia. After America expelled more
Russian officials than France or Germany last month, it said, Trump was
“furious that his administration was
being portrayed in the media as taking
by far the toughest stance on Russia.”
The piece described how Trump
reluctantly agreed to sell antitank
missiles to Ukraine on the condition
that it be kept secret, and was apoplectic when the news leaked, even though
he was lauded for the decision. A puzzled senior administration official told
The Post, “For some reason, when it
comes to Russia, he doesn’t hear the
praise.” The article considers a number
of potential reasons for this, but doesn’t
raise the rather obvious possibility that
Trump is being blackmailed.
Like Comey, none of us know what
really happened at the Ritz-Carlton in
Moscow, and we may never find out. As
outlandish as the rumor is, however, the
idea that Trump would shy away from
good press out of principle is far more
so. To seriously discuss this presidency,
you have to open your mind to the truly
Women sit next to
the ruins of their
dwellings, which
were demolished
by Israeli bulldozers, in the tiny
village of Umm
Al-Hiran, in
January 2017.
10 | THURSDAY, APRIL 19, 2018
Why Facebook still matters to me
A.G. SULZBERGER, Publisher
Shelley Thakral
DEAN BAQUET, Executive Editor
MARK THOMPSON, Chief Executive Officer
JOSEPH KAHN, Managing Editor
STEPHEN DUNBAR-JOHNSON, President, International
TOM BODKIN, Creative Director
JEAN-CHRISTOPHE DEMARTA, Senior V.P., Global Advertising
SUZANNE DALEY, Associate Editor
ACHILLES TSALTAS, V.P., International Conferences
CHARLOTTE GORDON, V.P., International Consumer Marketing
JAMES BENNET, Editorial Page Editor
HELEN KONSTANTOPOULOS, V.P., International Circulation
JAMES DAO, Deputy Editorial Page Editor
HELENA PHUA, Executive V.P., Asia-Pacific
KATHLEEN KINGSBURY, Deputy Editorial Page Editor
SUZANNE YVERNÈS, International Chief Financial Officer
The E.P.A.
policies aside,
his unethical
and bullying
behavior has
sullied his
agency and
its employees.
Despite stiff competition, Scott Pruitt, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, is by
common consensus the worst of the ideologues and
mediocrities President Trump chose to populate his
cabinet. Policies aside — and they’re terrible, from an
environmental perspective — Mr. Pruitt’s self-aggrandizing and borderline thuggish behavior has disgraced his office and demoralized his employees. We
opposed his nomination because he had spent his
career as attorney general of Oklahoma suing the
federal department he was being asked to lead on
behalf of industries he was being asked to regulate.
As it turns out, Mr. Pruitt is not just an industry lap
dog but also an arrogant and vengeful bully and
small-time grifter, bent on chiseling the taxpayer to
suit his lifestyle and warm his ego.
Any other president would have fired him. Mr.
Trump praises him. “Scott is doing a great job!” the
president tweeted on April 7. He agrees with Mr.
Pruitt on policy — indeed, many of the administrator’s
worst moves have been responses to Mr. Trump’s
orders. And Mr. Trump seems to care not a whit about
Mr. Pruitt’s mounting ethical problems.
These problems began innocently enough, with the
revelation last year that Mr. Pruitt had ordered up a
$43,000 soundproof phone booth for his office so that
his employees could not overhear him. The nonpartisan Government Accountability Office said Monday
that the purchase violated the law because the E.P.A.
had not notified Congress before incurring the expense. But what seemed like early onset executive
paranoia quickly metastasized. Citing security concerns, Mr. Pruitt insisted on flying first class, against
government custom, and when possible on Delta Air
Lines (not the federal government’s contract carrier),
so that he could accumulate frequent-flier miles. He
asked his staff to schedule trips back to Oklahoma so
he could spend weekends at his home there. Mr. Pruitt
used his own security detail and hired private security guards during a trip to Italy — at a cost of $30,000
— when embassy guards were available for free.
In addition, he tripled the size of his security detail,
also at taxpayer expense. He ordered bodyguard
coverage 24 hours a day. He insisted on flashing lights
and sirens to take him to the airport and to restaurants, a perk customarily reserved for the president
and vice president. He rented a room at $50 a night,
well below market rates, in a Washington condominium co-owned by the wife of an energy lobbyist with
business before Mr. Pruitt’s agency.
He didn’t get everything he and his team wanted: a
bulletproof sport utility vehicle, for instance, equipped
with special tires designed to keep moving even when
hit by gunfire; a $100,000-a-month contract to fly on
private jets. But heaven help the E.P.A. staff members
bold enough to challenge these demands. The Times
reported this month that five agency officials who
objected to Mr. Pruitt’s costly requests and security
upgrades were dismissed, reassigned or demoted.
One frequently overlooked truth about Mr. Pruitt
amid these complaints is that for all his swagger he
has actually accomplished very little in terms of actual policy — a wholly desirable outcome, from our
That does not mean Mr. Pruitt has been without
baleful influence. He helped spearhead the effort to
get Mr. Trump to withdraw the United States from the
Paris agreement on climate change, a major insult to
every other nation on earth, all of which have agreed
to limit planet-warming greenhouse gases.
By endless repetition, he has reinforced in the public mind the lie that Republicans have peddled for
years and Mr. Trump’s minions peddle now, that environmental rules kill jobs, that limiting carbon dioxide
emissions will damage the economy, that the way
forward lies not in technology and renewable energy
but in digging more coal and punching more holes in
the ground in search of oil.
Should Mr. Pruitt choose to depart or by some miracle should Mr. Trump fire him, the administration’s
appalling environmental policies are unlikely to
change. The recently confirmed deputy administrator,
Andrew Wheeler, is a former coal industry lobbyist
who shares Mr. Pruitt’s deregulatory zeal and fealty
to the fossil fuels industry. Mr. Wheeler was for many
years chief of staff for James Inhofe, an Oklahoma
Republican and long the Senate’s most determined
denier of the accepted science on global warming.
So far as is known, however, Mr. Wheeler, a Washington insider, has no lust for bulletproof S.U.V.s or
other trappings of power. Such modesty by itself can
only lift the moral tone of a once-noble office that Mr.
Pruitt has besmirched.
overthink it, because there are probably 101 better things to do with my
time, but I spend a lot of time scrolling
through, liking, laughing at, getting
angry about and sharing things I see
on social media. Facebook tells me I
have 3,549 friends when in real life I
probably have around 30.
It might have something to do with
my work. For the past eight years, I’ve
been supporting humanitarian aid
work, far from where I grew up, in
Alsager, England. My family and
friends are all far away, so I see most
of them only on Facebook. I can remember birthdays, and see friends fall
in love and get married and have kids.
I have never been one to pick up the
phone, but give me 10 minutes on
Messenger with a pal and I am instantly gratified.
It took my sister a million years to
get a smartphone. She claimed that her
reliable Motorola flip, circa 2001, was
adequate. Imagine my delight when
she entered my world in 2018 and got
WhatsApp. We are many time zones
apart, but a love-heart-and-kisses
emoji goes a long way in a second.
I am really no different from anyone
else using Facebook. The dog in the file
cabinet made my day. I post photos of
my work and travels. The only difference is that I might post updates on
Instagram and my Facebook page
from unusual locations — like Quetta,
Pakistan, during a polio campaign; at
the United Nations to see the Pope; or
on my daily commute to the largest
refugee camp in the world.
And then there are moments when
there are no words. A massacre of
school children in Peshawar, Pakistan,
a dark day. Another shooting in a
school in the United States or a new
report of atrocities against the Rohingya in Myanmar. A series of many,
many dark days.
I sometimes imagine the day I die
and what people will post on my Facebook page. If only life could be like
that. We could begin again to forgive,
speak the truth and put hate aside.
And besides that, would 3,549 people
come to my funeral?
It isn’t just personal. This alternate
community on Facebook gives people
like me a chance to reach different
audiences. I’m a communicator by
profession, and I work internationally.
Facebook is my perfect partner. By
being part of the global social media
infrastructure, I can share information
about places to which most people have
no access and very little information.
Facebook is often used by charities
and aid agencies to communicate about
emergencies so that we can raise
awareness and raise funds. I am currently in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh,
working on the Rohingya response. I
tell stories on social media to inform
our donors and supporters about the
bridges we are building to reach more
refugees with food, about children who
are undernourished and how we are
treating them, about making the
ground safe in the
camps in advance of
When you’re
cyclone and monfar from
soon season.
home and
For humanitarian
trying to
workers, Instagram,
communicate WhatsApp and other
social media platfrom remote,
forms have become
indispensable tools.
They allow us to
Facebook and communicate faster
than we could before
are lifelines.
about all sorts of
things, like how
many people we are
feeding, new data on children with
malnutrition and who’s at risk from the
coming monsoon. When people are
crossing the border, WhatsApp helps us
communicate quickly about what’s
needed and who is doing what to reach
them so that we can coordinate our
Does social media help save lives?
No, of course not. People do, and the
more widely information is shared on
different platforms, the more likely it is
that starving children, raped women
and murdered husbands become everybody’s business.
But social media can also do harm
and lend a voice to those who spread
lies and rumors. Many of the families
who have escaped the violence in
Myanmar know this too well. Facebook
has been widely criticized for playing a
role in spreading hate speech.
I don’t know a solution, but I do know
that on this assignment I have met so
many people who have been struck by
the powerful images of people crossing
the border from Myanmar to the safe
shores of Bangladesh, and haunted by
stories of their poor living conditions.
“We want to help — what we can do?”
many ask when I tell them what I do.
Personally, staying off Facebook is
not an option for me. It is my address
book, my village post office, the place
where I can stop by when I want and
have a chat and catch up. Until another
platform comes along, I’ll stick with it.
Some people talk about needing to
escape from social media. But when I’m
working round the clock on an emergency response, Facebook and Instagram are my escape. I can pop in to see
this or that quirky post in my news
feed, and sometimes clicking “like” is
just what I need.
is an international aid
worker responding to the crisis involving Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh.
A Rohingya refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. Facebook is often used by charities and aid agencies to communicate about emergencies to raise awareness and raise funds.
Trump can’t make war on a whim
Bruce Ackerman
President Trump has a big constitutional decision to make regarding the
attack launched on Friday by United
States, British and French forces
against Syria for its use of chemical
weapons. And he should make it this
When he launched his first retaliatory strike against Syria a year ago,
the president almost immediately
informed Congress, explaining that he
was acting in a manner “consistent
with the War Powers Resolution.” The
resolution, passed over Richard
Nixon’s veto in 1973, imposes strict
limits on unilateral presidential warmaking. It places the burden squarely
on Trump to gain congressional approval of his decision to bomb Syria
within 60 days; if he fails, he must
cease his military campaign within the
next 30.
Moreover, the resolution requires the
president to notify both Houses “within
48 hours” of the initiation of hostilities,
although presidents have taken liberties in meeting this deadline. It took
Barack Obama 13 days before formally
informing Congress after he announced his open-ended campaign
against the Islamic State on Sept. 10,
2014. In contrast, President Trump’s
letter arrived in the House and Senate
within 48 hours of his initial bombing
raid against Syria in April of 2017.
It would be a bit much to insist that
Trump should have already sent his
new notification 48 hours after his
speech on Friday night — since Congress was out of session over the weekend. But if Trump is to repeat his ex-
emplary performance, his letter should
arrive while Congress is in session this
week and can prepare to consider its
responsibilities under the resolution.
The first Syrian assault by the
Trump administration was a one-shot
affair, so the 60-30 timetable didn’t
apply. This time around, Mr. Trump
said that the United States is “prepared to sustain” the bombing “until
the Syrian regime stops its use of
prohibited chemical agents.” So if Mr.
Trump follows his own precedent and
promptly provides Congress with
formal notice of his new campaign, he
himself will be recognizing that the
War Powers Resolution gives him 60
days to persuade Congress to approve
his initiative.
But the president’s speech gave no
indication that he will in fact respect
his decision last year to remain faithful
to the 1973 law. Worse yet, in his follow-up, the defense secretary, James
Mattis, advanced a much more aggressive position, asserting that “the
president has the authority under
Article II of the Constitution to use
military force overseas to defend important U.S. national interests.”
This is precisely the view notoriously advanced by John Yoo during the
early years of President George W.
Bush’s administration. If Mr. Trump
fails to notify Congress, as required by
the 1973 statute, he will be repudiating
his own precedent and embracing an
extreme position that even Mr. Bush
rejected during the second term of his
To be sure, Mr. Yoo made his sweeping claims to defend the commander in
chief’s authority to torture terrorists,
while Mr. Mattis is making Yoo-like
arguments to support the noble cause
of suppressing chemical warfare. But
once Mr. Mattis’ sweeping assertion of
presidential power is accepted, it will
be used as a precedent by Mr. Trump
to ignore the War Powers Resolution
whenever he, and he alone, is persuaded that “important national interests” justify future military adventures.
Defenders of presidential war-making back up their position by claiming
that Congress has abdicated its constitutional responsibility to serve as the
ultimate arbiter over war and peace.
But this is false. In passing its omnibus
appropriations bill only last month,
Congress was careful
And Congress to provide that “none
of the funds made
needs to
available by this Act
make sure he may be used with
knows that.
respect to Syria in
contravention of the
War Powers Resolution, including for the introduction of
United States armed or military forces
into hostilities in Syria.”
Congress even more recently responded to Mr. Trump’s military escalation in the Middle East by reinvigorating its authority under the War
Powers Resolution. Its reassertion of
war-making power was provoked by
Mr. Trump’s unilateral military support
for Saudi Arabia’s war against the
Houthi rebels in Yemen. Earlier this
month, a bipartisan senatorial coalition
invoked a special provision of the War
Powers Resolution to force a floor vote
condemning Mr. Trump’s action. While
this motion was returned to the Foreign Relations Committee by a margin
of 55 to 44, it was only after the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, Bob Corker, promised to consider
legislation this week that could limit
the president’s war-making authority
against Islamic militants.
Mr. Corker should rapidly follow
through on his commitment if Mr.
Trump fails to provide Congress the
required notice under the War Powers
Resolution. If Mr. Corker hesitates,
members of the Senate and the House
should fill the gap, and follow the example recently set in the Yemen case.
This not only allows them to invoke a
special provision of the resolution to
force a timely vote on Mr. Trump’s
Syrian campaign; it also prevents any
efforts to filibuster or delay their initiative, since the War Powers Resolution
requires a final vote “within three
calendar days” after members have
forced their motion onto the floor of
each house.
The real challenge will come if Mr.
Trump refuses to follow sober legal
advice and explicitly endorses Mr.
Mattis’s celebration of the powers of
the commander in chief. At that point,
the House speaker, Paul Ryan, and the
Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, will face their moment of truth.
They should be prepared to make it
clear to the president — first privately,
then publicly — that they will no longer block demands for his impeachment
if he defies the Constitution, and the
War Powers Resolution, and insists on
his authority to make war whenever he
If they refuse, they will go down in
history as Mr. Trump’s obedient servants in the escalating campaign to
transform the presidency into an instrument for arbitrary assertions of
military force.
is a professor at Yale
Law School and the author of “The
Decline and Fall of the American Republic.”
THURSDAY, APRIL 19, 2018 | 11
Mrs. No-Nonsense
Christopher Buckley
Comey is Trump’s ultimate victory
Frank Bruni
James Comey’s book is titled “A Higher
Loyalty,” but it surrenders the higher
ground, at least partly. To watch him
promote it is to see him descend.
Not to President Trump’s level —
that’s a long way down. But Comey is
playing Trump’s game, on Trump’s
terms. And in that sense, he has let the
president get the better of him.
Trump has sought, by accident and
by design, to define leadership downward and establish new norms of
behavior for political candidates and
government officials.
Everyone is out for himself or herself. No gambit is too tawdry and no
accusation too speculative, not if the
television cameras approve. The only
thing better than a whole lot of attention is a whole lot more.
And here we have the former head of
a supposedly scrupulous, detached
federal agency reaching for Mafia
metaphors, indulging talk of the socalled pee tape and taking cosmetic
digs at the president in the service of a
book tour as exhaustive and elaborate
as they come. There’s apparently room
in Comey’s primness for a measure of
Michael Wolff.
His demeanor may not be fiery or
furious. Talking with George
Stephanopoulos for an hourlong ABC
News special on Sunday night, he
maintained a subdued, steady voice
and communicated sadness more than
anything else over Trump’s conduct in
the White House.
But other aspects of that special told
a more complicated story. For starters,
Comey didn’t just agree to a single,
straightforward sit-down with
Stephanopoulos. He granted a level of
access akin to a pajama party.
Meet the wife. Here are some great
shots of the kids. And here are the long
fingers of Comey’s normally sized
hands on the very keyboard that he
used to type the memos that documented his interactions with Trump.
Comey was game to provide footage of
that — and to follow up with interviews
on Tuesday on “Good Morning America” and on Wednesday on “The View,”
which is not a place where I would
have expected to see a former F.B.I.
director anytime soon.
I mention hands because Comey
does. That was one of the first bits of
his book that leaked
out last week. FlashThe former
ing back to his initial
F.B.I. director up-close encounter
has better,
with Trump, he
nobler fodder recalls how orange
than the
Trump’s skin looked,
how improbably his
hair glistened and
hands and
how inferior his
hands were.
“Smaller than mine,”
Comey writes, but
not “unusually so.”
I chalked that up to a fleeting passage overplayed by the media, and I
was heartened by other advance material from the book. Comey, for example, mentions his experience in two
administrations before Trump’s and
has judicious complaints about members of each. He thus makes clear his
broad frame of reference and ability to
find flaw on both sides of the aisle.
But he revisited Trump’s physical
peculiarities with Stephanopoulos on
Sunday night. Didn’t Comey always
tell us that he was better than this?
He could have set the record straight
and settled any scores that need set-
tling without a tour this extended or
details this catty. His choice of a different tack suggests some unflattering
motives in the mix. It gives Trump’s
allies plenty to attack him with, and it
has goaded Trump — predictably —
into his most infantile epithets.
There’s obviously no contest of
character or credibility between
Comey and Trump. I believe most and
maybe all of what Comey has to say,
and much of it needs saying, as an
answer to the president’s lies and an
exposure — affirmation might be the
better word — of who and what Trump
But in succumbing to this showboating and spite, hasn’t Comey joined
Trump almost as much as he’s defying
him? Comey says that he means to
shine a spotlight on what leadership
should and shouldn’t be, and I hope
that’s the long-term takeaway of the
“Higher Loyalty” rollout and all the
hours and miles being devoted to it.
But right now I’m cringing at a food
fight. In fact, “Good Morning America”
displayed a snazzy graphic of Trump’s
various Twitter tirades against Comey
— “Slippery,” “Slimeball,” “Leaker &
Liar” — as Comey was asked to respond.
Trump personalizes everything.
Ideas don’t joust. People do. And it’s
vanity, not verities, at stake. With the
way that Comey has written his book,
which charts every last tremor of his
conscience, and the staging of his
appearances in promotion of it, he has
abetted his own transformation from a
crucial witness to a character in the
serial melodrama of Trump’s life.
That spectacle only serves Trump. If
he can convince American voters that
what they’re beholding has as much to
do with the egos of the actors as with
the egregiousness of his acts, he has
inoculated himself against Robert
Mueller, and he shapes the movie
that’s made of this.
Its title? “Honey, I Shrunk the F.B.I.”
I met her in 1981, when I went to work
for her husband as speechwriter. I was
a bit in awe of her — who wasn’t? —
and, I confess, a bit scared. A few
weeks in, I wrote a speech that went
over well, in no small part due to
George H.W. Bush’s solid delivery.
After the event as we reboarded Air
Force Two, Barbara Bush spotted me
and said, “That’s the best speech he’s
ever given.” I said, “Well, we all
worked hard on that speech.” Her face
went stony as she brushed past my
seat. She said, “Oh, don’t be such a
Ouch. Boy, did that leave a welt. It
took a while to heal, but I realized she
was absolutely right, and thus learned
two lessons: 1) Don’t be a Pollyanna,
and 2) Mrs. Bush had a bull-detector
like no one. She gave it to you with the
bark off. But when you earned her
affection, which I eventually did, it
meant all the more. You knew it was
There was no falsity, no pretense, no
guile, no spin, no art to Barbara Bush,
who died on Tuesday. She was WhatYou-See-Is-What-You-Get avant la
lettre. (That is, before the concept of
WYSIWYG had a name.) Americans
are always clamoring about the virtues
of “transparency.” Barbara Bush was
as transparent as distilled water. Who
but she would have said of her own
(adored) son, as he weighed a campaign for the presidency, “If we can’t
find more than two or three families to
run for high office, that’s silly. There
are a lot of great families. There are
other people out there that are very
qualified. We’ve had enough Bushes!”
Thanks, Mom!
If she was Mrs. No-Nonsense, she
also had a playful, even girlish, side to
her. On one occasion, I was alone in a
freight elevator with Mr. and Mrs.
Bush and their Secret Service detail
when it got stuck between floors. Stuck
elevators are viewed grimly by the
Secret Service.
The atmosphere inside quickly elevated (as it were) to Condition Red,
with hands reaching for the holstered
Glock 9’s, orders barked into wristmics and all the rest. The Bushes were
blithe. I was standing behind them. Mr.
Bush’s fingers reached for Mrs. Bush’s
derrière and gave it a pinch. She
Barbara Bush at a presidential dinner in 1989.
turned to him and grinned like an
18-year-old. “Hi-ya, fellah,” she said. So
I can claim to have witnessed a primal
scene between Mom and Dad Bush.
The last time we were together was a
few years ago in Kennebunkport,
Maine. My doctor wife and I had dinner
with them. Mr. Bush had been ill, and on
a course of antibiotics. But he was feeling much better now. When the waitress
arrived, he ordered a vodka martini.
“You can’t have a
Barbara Bush
Mrs. Bush said
gave it to you
with the bark
The poor collegeoff. But when age waitress didn’t
you earned
know whom to obey
— the former leader
her affection,
of the free world, or
it meant all
Mrs. Bush. That she
the more.
even hesitated
You knew
speaks eloquently to
it was real.
the authoritative
aura of Barbara
Pierce Bush.
I caught the waitress’s eye and signaled her to, yeah, bring the former
leader of the free world his martini. Go
for it! Message received, she returned
and set his frosty see-through in front
of him. Mrs. Bush stared at it in disbelief, eyes widening. Quicker than a
mongoose, Mr. Bush’s hand shot out
and took possession of his drink.
“Who told you to bring him that?”
Mrs. Bush demanded of the now-
stricken waitress. To spare her summary execution, I fessed up. Mrs. Bush
gave me a whack on the shoulder. (It
was not an affectionate tap.) My wife
tried to run interference by asking Mr.
Bush what kind of antibiotic he’d been
on. Perhaps there were no contraindications between it and vodka martinis?
“You stay out of it!” Mrs. Bush
By now, three out of four of us were
laughing. The fourth was emphatically
not. Acting from some suicidal impulse,
I covertly ordered a second martini for
Mr. Bush. When it arrived, his hand
again did the mongoose thing.
“Fine,” Mrs. Bush said. “Go ahead. I
don’t care if you die. I’m not going to
take care of you any more.”
Mr. Bush winked and gave me a
thumbs-up. No victory in my life is as
sweet to me as the memory of that one,
the night Mr. Bush and I outfoxed “the
Silver Fox.”
As I reflect, it was the one time I ever
detected falsity in Mrs. Bush, because it
was inconceivable to me that she would
cease, for one minute, caring for the
man to whom she was wholly devoted
throughout 73 years of marriage. What
is conceivable, today, is the awful
weight of Mr. Bush’s loss, and America’s.
a novelist, was
speechwriter to Vice President George
H.W. Bush from 1981 until 1983.
The disaster in Syria was Obama’s too
differences, the Obama and Trump
administrations have proven more
alike than not.
Mindful of the lessons of Iraq, each
administration has defined the primary goal as defeating the Islamic State,
not regime change. Each has sought to
avoid entanglement in a wider war
that requires a large, lasting commitment of American troops. (While the
Trump administration has emphasized
thwarting Iran’s ambitions in Syria, it
has not put much muscle behind that
Each has urged a diplomatic solution
to the civil conflict, though the Trump
administration has employed little
diplomatic capital. Each drew a controversial distinction between Mr. Assad’s
relentless use of conventional weapons, which has killed hundreds of
thousands, and his resort to banned
chemicals, because they violate important international norms that America
has a direct interest in upholding.
Such narrowly defined objectives
remain the least bad approach from
the United States’ perspective, even as
they require Americans to tolerate the
intolerable from a moral and humanitarian perspective. This stark trade-off
is what has made Syria the most difficult and painful policy conundrum for
The path forward will continue to be
perilous and deeply unsatisfying.
First, America and its allies must
maintain current force levels (approximately 2,000 United States troops) to
defeat Islamic State and Qaeda elements, forswearing any premature
withdrawal. ISIS will regain ground if
we create a vacuum.
With its partners, the United States
must help secure, rebuild and establish
effective local governance in liberated
areas. This will allow the United States
to thwart Iranian ambitions to control
territory spanning Iraq, Syria and
Lebanon; retain influence in major
oil-producing areas; and deny Mr.
Assad a substantial portion of Syrian
territory, pending a diplomatic solution. Yes, this is nation-building, or at
least region-building. But to abandon
liberated areas is to roll out the red
carpet for terrorists.
Second, the United States should
continue to refrain from deposing Mr.
Assad militarily. The
costs of this endeavThe United
or have always
States must
exceeded the obvibe clear
ous benefits. Now
about its
with Russia and Iran
interests and
so deeply invested in
sustaining him, the
strict about
risks of that strategy
have only increased.
The United States
should keep avoiding
direct conflict with
Russia; limit the risk
of Israel coming to blows with Iran and
its proxy, Hezbollah; and defuse the
conflict between Turkey and the Syrian
Kurds, whose help America still needs
against Islamic State.
This does not mean allowing Russia
and Iran free rein. Rather, the United
States must push back firmly and
smartly, preferably with allies, whether
with respect to chemical weapons or
other outrages.
Third, the United States must sustain its generous humanitarian assistance to Syrians inside the country and
in neighboring states, and immediately
halt the inhumane and hypocritical
policy of refusing admission to all
Syrian refugees.
Finally, the United States should
renew its push for a negotiated settlement to the conflict. While American
leverage has declined, its diplomatic
weight is still substantial. For Syria to
be viable, it needs a government chosen by its people. Without that, it will
not be a unitary state able to prevent
terrorists from exploiting its territory.
Though Russia, Iran and Mr. Assad
have less incentive to negotiate, the
United States has two potentially
valuable cards to play. The first is its
effective hold on an important swath of
northern and eastern Syria through its
predominantly Kurdish partners. The
second is its unrivaled capacity, with
European and Gulf allies, to support
Syrian reconstruction and refugee
return. Without our money, Russia and
Iran, neither economic powerhouses,
will be left holding the bag on a costly
failed state.
Alternatively, if we link all Western
and Arab assistance in post-conflict
Syria to the free and fair election of a
new Syrian government under strict
international verification, we hold a
carrot that may become increasingly
attractive to Mr. Assad’s backers.
These steps won’t end the Syrian
civil war, bring back the innumerable
lives lost, nor assuage our collective
moral conscience. But they will keep
the United States focused on clear and
achievable objectives, avoid strategic
overreach and wisely tend to our core
national interests.
the national security
adviser from 2013 to 2017 and a former
United States ambassador to the
United Nations.
Toric Hémisphères Rétrograde
If there had to be only one
Manufactured entirely
in Switzerland
Mount Street, London | Design District, Miami | Jardins du Palais-Royal, Paris
12 | THURSDAY, APRIL 19, 2018
He’s only 16, but his N.H.L. stock is rising
A younger brother, Luke, plays on a
high-level travel team and could land at
N.T.D.P. in a few years, too.
“We’re really competitive with each
other in whatever it is — basketball,
Ping-Pong,” Jack Hughes said of his
brothers. “But they’re like my two best
The family lived in Toronto while Jim
Hughes was a scout for the Maple Leafs.
Ellen taught the boys to skate. They
spent hours twirling around on outdoor
rinks in winter and honed their shooting
skills in their basement.
“We had a goal down there and the
posts were so dented,” Jack Hughes
said, laughing. “The crossbar was like
flattened. There were holes all over the
wall. It was pretty spectacular.”
Hughes and his parents are trying to
shut out the speculation about his No. 1
pick potential.
“It’s all talk right now,” he said. “Nothing is going to happen for a while. I just
love going to the rink. We’re here like
five hours a day. It might seem like a
grind, but it’s just a blast for me.”
Hughes is undecided about where he
will play after he is done with the National Team Development Program in
2019. He is considering college hockey
and the junior ranks in Canada. “We
can’t get too far ahead of ourselves. He’s
just a kid,” said Jim Hughes, who now
works for Pat Brisson, the agent for
Matthews, now a Maple Leafs star, and
other N.H.L. players.
One other possibility is a year of pro
hockey in Switzerland, where Matthews
played, on Brisson’s advice, before being drafted. Going directly to the N.H.L.
after the 2019 draft could be a stretch unless Jack Hughes adds plenty of pounds
and bulk over the next 18 months.
For now, the immediate challenge is
representing the United States at the
under-18 world championship. The
American team has won the tournament
seven of the last nine years.
The American roster includes at least
four players who are possible firstround picks this year, and the coaches
are confident that the rest of the world
will have their hands full just trying to
contain Hughes.
“Jack does things in games that are
mesmerizing,” said John Wroblewski,
coach of the N.T.D.P.’s under-17 squad.
“He’s a savant.”
Two years ago, Auston Matthews became the seventh American-born player to be taken first over all in the National Hockey League draft.
The question of who will be the next
one may already have an answer: a
skinny 16-year-old named Jack Hughes.
Hughes, a native of Orlando, Fla., who
grew up in the Toronto area in an accomplished hockey family, will not be eligible for the N.H.L. draft until 2019. But he
has emerged as such a star for U.S.A.
Hockey’s National Team Development
Program that pro and college scouts are
penciling in the left-shooting center as
the odds-on favorite for the top spot 14
months from now.
“I have not seen a better player available for the 2019 draft,” said Craig Button, a former general manager of the
Calgary Flames and now an analyst on
the NHL Network. “He’s got the skill,
he’s got the drive. He’s lights out. If
there’s a better player available for 2019,
just tell me where he is, because I’ll take
a buggy, a bicycle, a plane, if there’s
someone out there better than Jack
The National Team Development Program has produced N.H.L. stars including Matthews, Jack Eichel, Patrick Kane
and Phil Kessel. Yet Hughes, who is
nearing the end of his first of two years
in the program, seems poised to destroy
all of their scoring marks. His 99 points
so far this season are already the fourth
highest single-season total since the
program began in 1996. At his current
pace he could break Matthews’s record
of 117, which he set in his second season
when he was 17.
In the United States Hockey League,
the junior circuit where the N.T.D.P.
team plays, Hughes faced off against
teams of 18- to 20-year-olds, yet averaged two points a game, the best mark in
the league by far. He played only 27 of
the 60 games and finished with 21 goals
and 33 assists.
“The numbers he’s putting up this
year and making it look easy — it only
tells you that the ceiling is so high,” said
Keith Tkachuk, the former N.H.L. great
who is a scout for the St. Louis Blues.
Jack Hughes played 27 games in the United States Hockey League this season and scored 21 goals. He will be eligible for the N.H.L. draft in 2019 and is projected to be a top pick.
In February, when the N.T.D.P. played
in a tournament with the best under-18
players from Sweden, Finland, Russia
and the Czech Republic, Hughes was the
youngest player on the ice, and probably
one of the two or three best. “He dominated,” Tkachuk said. “I walked out of
the building shaking my head.”
Hughes also is the youngest player on
the United States team at the under-18
men’s world championship, which begins Thursday in Russia.
North Dakota, a top Division I team with
several players six and seven years older than Hughes.
“He went through like three guys and
whipped a pass to one of his linemates
for a scoring chance, and all the guys on
the bench were looking at each other
like, ‘How did he do that?’” Fohr said.
Hughes has the pedigree to become
an elite hockey player. His father, Jim,
played at Providence College, and his
mother, Ellen, skated for the University
of New Hampshire. His uncle Marty
starred at Boston College.
And Jack Hughes might not even be
the best player in the family right now.
His older brother, Quinn, also an
N.T.D.P. alum, was a standout freshman
at Michigan, which reached the Frozen
Four this season. Known for his fluid
skating and playmaking ability, Quinn,
18, is expected to be a first-round pick in
the N.H.L. draft in June, and could be
among the first 10 players selected.
No. 1904
Created by Peter Ritmeester/Presented by Will Shortz
(c) Distributed by The New York Times syndicate
At 5-foot-10 and 157 pounds, Hughes is
not much of a physical presence yet, but
he is a dynamic skater who cuts and
turns at speed, and sees plays and passing possibilities before anyone else. He’s
often described as a cross between Clayton Keller of the Arizona Coyotes and
Kane, the Chicago Blackhawks star who
was the No. 1 draft pick in 2007.
Nick Fohr, an assistant coach at
N.T.D.P., recalled an exhibition game in
December against the University of
Fill the grid so
that every row,
column 3x3 box
and shaded 3x3
box contains
each of the
1 to 9 exactly
For solving tips
and more puzzles:
No. 1804
CROSSWORD | Edited by Will Shortz
Fill the grids with digits so as not
to repeat a digit in any row or
column, and so that the digits
within each heavily outlined box
will produce the target number
shown, by using addition,
subtraction, multiplication or
division, as indicated in the box.
A 4x4 grid will use the digits
1-4. A 6x6 grid will use 1-6.
For solving tips and more KenKen
kenken. For Feedback: nytimes@
Slow sort, informally
Duke, e.g.: Abbr.
Contents of a vault
33 “Zip your lip!”
57 He won this many
Olympic gold medals
34 Fish whose roe is used
60 Some slushy drinks
in sushi
61 “Man produces ___
35 How to find out what
or “Lucy”
17 He wrote this many
40 Choreographer Alvin
41 Oktoberfest order
42 Like most of New York
State’s flag
19 Now, in Bilbao
20 First name on the
43 “Aha!”
45 Consideration for
avoiding burns, for
Supreme Court
KenKen® is a registered trademark of Nextoy, LLC.
Copyright © 2018 All rights reserved.
Answers to Previous Puzzles
21 It borders this many
other states
Exactly right
Tax ID
The Devil has one
Country that changed
its name in 1939
Rank above maj.
First in a field
56 Many an art print,
Part of a baseball
Polar bird
2 Chocolaty breakfast
Two in the news
One stop on a grand
Wipe out, in slang
It’s only half due
9 The New Yorker
cartoonist who wrote
“What I Hate: From A
to Z”
10 “A Shropshire Lad”
11 Casino
National Adoption Mo.
“Cabaret” director
3 Actor Wynn of “Dr.
Soap brand mentioned
in “Hair”
Sheltered at sea
1 Classic Milwaukee
It has this many legs
Solution to April 18 Puzzle
as a bee produces
honey”: William
“this many” is in
17-, 21-, 52- and
What a salesperson
may be assigned
15 Observe
16 Word before “Johnny”
Man in Mannheim
Actor Morales
Not take things lying
down, say
24 32-0, e.g.
25 Poet who wrote “In
the Vanities /
No one wears
29 ___ days (now)
31 Oktoberfest order
32 Washington and
Adams: Abbr.
33 Seuss’s star-bellied
34 Ones carrying roses,
35 One hailed on
36 Alaskan export
37 Grieves loudly
38 Part of a how-to
the throne in ’52
or Fe
Covers in goo
No longer all there
49 Drew from a hat, say
51 Bite playfully
52 Arabic leader?
53 Having mucho dinero
39 Monarch who took
47 Disney movie set in
54 Singer/songwriter
58 Narrow
59 Airline with a crown
in its logo
THURSDAY, APRIL 19, 2018 | 13
‘Classical’ without a bubble
powerful, its casting is expert, and the
subject of the athletic youth has an illustrious lineage culminating in Michelangelo’s David. The sculpture has been the
subject of protracted legal challenges
from Italy, which has claimed the work
because it was discovered by an Italian
fishing trawler and brought back to Italian soil. The Getty has maintained that
the piece was found in international waters and that its own acquisition was legal. Asked about the status of the court
battles, Mr. Potts did not have an update
or resolution: “It just goes around the
courts,” he said.
The Getty Villa reimagines
its outstanding collection
of artworks from antiquity
The Getty Bronze, a Greek statue of a
beautiful male athlete with enviable hair
that is easily the most celebrated artwork at the Getty Villa, has not been
knocked off his pedestal. But he does get
a remarkably different treatment — less
fanboy, more scholarly — after the extensive, yearlong renovation and reinstallation of the Getty Villa near Malibu, the branch of the Getty Museum
dedicated to antiquities that is the former estate of the billionaire oilman J.
Paul Getty.
Before the renovation, which was
done in stages and marked its completion on Wednesday, this victorious athlete with a dramatic deep-sea discovery
story that has inspired legal claims from
the Italian government, was something
of a diva looming over a small room of
his own. Now he’s part of a new large
gallery devoted to the Hellenistic world,
dating from the death of Alexander the
Great in 323 B.C. to the rise of the Roman
Empire in 31 B.C. (And the new pedestal
is noticeably slimmer.)
“When you walk into this space, you
realize what a wonderful collection of
Hellenistic art we have — before, this
work was spread out over 10 galleries,”
said Timothy Potts, the Getty Museum’s
director, who arrived in 2012 with an expertise in antiquities and with strong
ideas for improving the Villa’s academic
One driving force behind the renovation was to put artworks into proper historical context. Mr. Potts and his team
have rearranged works in the permanent collection galleries to tell a more
chronological story, from 3000 B.C. to
400 A.D., largely presenting Greek
works on the first floor and Roman on
the second. Gone are the entertaining
themes like “gods and goddesses” that
mixed figures from different periods in a
pantheon of superheroes.
Another motivation was to tell a
broader, more international story about
classical art, going beyond the usual
Greek and Roman suspects — Mr. Getty’s original collecting focus — to include art from their Mediterranean and
Middle Eastern neighbors. Mr. Potts,
who earned his Ph.D. in the art and archaeology of the Middle East, considers
objects from that region relevant to our
understanding of the classical world.
“There isn’t a bubble around the classical world, no hard and fast lines separating one culture from another,” said
Mr. Potts, noting that Alexander the
Great’s conquests included Central
Asia, and that the Roman Empire extended as far as Afghanistan.
He was giving a tour of a new gallery
called “The Classical World in Context,”
which is making its grand debut along
with the permanent-collection reinstallation. This gallery relies on longterm loans from other institutions to
help broaden the Getty’s horizons.
He pointed out prime examples of
first- to third-century funerary relief
portraits from Palmyra, the ancient caravan city in the Syrian desert, borrowed
from the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek museum in Copenhagen.
“The destruction in Syria today
makes the exhibition even more topical,
but we didn’t choose this material for
that reason,” Mr. Potts said.
Rather, he added, he was interested in
how these Syrian objects blend an array
The drama comes straight from Greek
mythology: Herakles is poised to smash
one snakelike head of the hydra, while
Iolaos holds a sickle to another. But the
style of the vase is not traditionally
Greek: The strange lozenge pattern on
the rim, the stars right below it, and
even the squared-off shape of the rim
are typical of pottery from Etruria, in
what is now central Italy. “It’s a Greek
myth rendered in a way that’s unmistakably Etruscan,” Mr. Potts said. He
praised the vase as one of the prized
pieces in the collection, now on view
with other Etruscan works: “It’s got everything you want a great vase painting
to have: great subject matter, beautifully executed and distinctive local
1-79 A.D.
Visitors approaching the Inner Peristyle garden at the Getty Villa in Los Angeles. The museum has just undergone an extensive, yearlong renovation and reinstallation.
From its gardens to its architecture, the
Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades was
modeled on the Villa dei Papiri, a Roman
seaside estate that was preserved by
the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 A.D.
One new goal in the reinstallation, Mr.
Potts said, is to create a few moments
where you can see what a great ancient
estate like this might have contained.
For example, the walls would not have
been painted a cool gray, as they are
now, but covered in frescoes, with decorative flourishes and narrative details.
These four frescoes fit the bill — they
came from another Roman villa active
during roughly the same period and
were in Getty storage for years. One has
a narrative element, but the identity of
the figures is a mystery: Some speculate that it’s Socrates and his teacher Diotima. Others, judging by the man’s bare
feet and unkempt look, say he is probably a Cynic philosopher, perhaps Diogenes.
160-190 A.D.
Ancient bronzes are exceedingly rare
today because the metal was so valuable
it was often melted down. But this sculpture, modeled in the style of Lysippos,
was preserved by a cosmic accident: a
shipwreck in the Adriatic Sea kept it
submerged until 1964. Its modeling is
If you visit this seven-foot-tall female
figure, see if you can detect the break in
her neck. When the Getty acquired the
work in 1972, the head was missing —
the sculpture consisted of a body covered in flowing drapery. But two years
ago, after seeing a photograph of the intact sculpture during research for the
reinstallation, Jeffrey Spier, the Getty
Museum’s senior curator of antiquities,
immediately recognized an object on
view at the Royal-Athena Galleries in
New York as the missing head.
“I was at the gallery looking at something else Tim was interested in, and I
turned around to see the head just sitting there,” he recalled, referring to Mr.
Potts. “I almost laughed, it was so perfect.” The museum acquired it and
turned it over to conservators, who have
worked to rejoin it to its body and fill the
crack. “We had to come up with a new
word for it: recapitation,” Mr. Spier offered. He never learned why the head
was severed, but suspects it was easier
to transport and sell on its own.
lines, and her crucial duets with Cendrillon are not ecstatic climaxes but
trouble spots for both singers to negotiate rather than luxuriate in.
Also uneven in intonation, but far
more delicious in effect, is a third
mezzo, Stephanie Blythe, as the wicked stepmother, the imperious Madame
de la Haltière. Her voice enormous and
rich, Ms. Blythe wields it with palpable
joy and considerable wit. Through
sheer force of personality, her Haltière
takes on almost shocking humanity
without stinting cartoonish glee.
Kathleen Kim, a veteran of superhigh soprano roles like Mozart’s Queen
of the Night and Strauss’s Zerbinetta,
ascends lucidly to the heights as La
Fée, Cendrillon’s fairy godmother. The
tender bass-baritone Laurent Naori is
Pandolfe, who married Madame de la
Haltière for her status and has gotten
from it far less than nothing.
Bertrand de Billy leads the orchestra
in a sumptuous performance that
pivots from a robust start to ethereal
accompaniment under Cendrillon’s
forlorn opening monologue.
As father and daughter plan their
escape from the city in the third act,
the orchestra blossoms in sympathy
with the pastoral scene they dream of.
Gradually awakening along with Cendrillon at the start of Act IV, the playing, nearly at the end of a long season,
is as fresh as it was in the fall.
Not unlike Cesare Lievi’s Magritteinspired production of Rossini’s “La
Cenerentola” at the Met, this “Cendrillon” is boldly stylized; elegant yet
winking; straightforward but with an
aura of extravagance, particularly in
the artfully over-the-top costumes
(designed by Mr. Pelly, who took his
curtain call on opening night in a red
velvet suit that matched them). Even
incidental action, like a selfish stepsister being lifted into shoes for the
prince’s ball, is pertly, smilingly choreographed by Laura Scozzi.
Appropriately for a work that ends
with the characters informing the
audience in direct address that the
piece is over, Mr. Pelly takes storytelling as his concept. The written word,
comically stretched and squeezed, is
everywhere in the set, designed by
Barbara de Limburg. Cendrillon’s
carriage is cutely constructed from the
letters of “carosse,” an archaic French
word for a royal coach.
The French text of the opera’s source
material, Charles Perrault’s classic
telling of the story, is plastered over
wall after wall. After wall after wall:
As in other stagings by Mr. Pelly, the
sugar-high cleverness of his “Cendrillon,” which will travel to the Lyric
Opera of Chicago next season, can
grow a little dizzying. But more often,
the production is as lovable as its
The funerary relief called “The Beauty of
Palmyra,” which still has traces of paint.
The Getty Bronze, easily the most celebrated artwork at the villa.
of cultural influences.
“Since Palmyra was on the borderland region between the fringe of the Roman Empire and the Parthian Empire,
the art reflects the coming together of
two traditions,” he said, pointing out the
Roman drapery on the limestone objects.
Here are five highlights of the re-envisioned Villa, not to be missed. Some are
old favorites in new contexts. One
comes fresh from long-term storage.
But one very prominent statue is no
longer on view: the Getty Kouros, a
larger-than-life sculpture of a naked
young man once thought by museum
The Caeretan Hydria, an Etruscan vase made in central Italy in the sixth century B.C.
leaders to be from ancient Greece. Soon
after its purchase in 1985, scholars and
scientists publicly doubted its authenticity. It was recently on view at the
Villa, labeled “Greek, about 530 B.C. or
modern forgery.” Mr. Potts is not waffling. “It’s fake, so it’s not helpful to show
it along with authentic material,” he
said. It will be accessible by appointment.
Though time has stripped the statues’
color away, scholars now know that
many classical Greek and Roman sculptures were originally not white but as
vivid as contemporary works by Jeff
Koons or Takashi Murakami. You can
see evidence of this polychromy painting technique in the showstopper
known as “The Beauty of Palmyra,” a
limestone funerary sculpture. This
heavily bejeweled female figure with
Eastern headdress still has flecks of red
in her hair and on her cheeks, with gold
tints on her pendant necklaces. Kenneth
Lapatin, the Getty’s associate antiquities curator, considers her a masterpiece “both for the high quality of the
carving and for the preservation of all
the polychromy.”
(THE GETTY BRONZE), 300-100 B.C.
A stepchild finally makes it
Massenet’s ‘Cendrillon,’
from 1899, reaches the
Metropolitan Opera at last
Once upon a time, a sunny, sweet
American diva brought an opera back
from the dead.
“Cendrillon,” Massenet’s fairydusted take on the Cinderella tale, was
a hit when it opened in Paris in 1899,
but over the decades it drifted into a
neglect as profound as that of its protagonist. Then came the mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade: “the perfect Cendrillon,” The New York Times
called her in 1979.
The similarities between Ms. von
Stade and Joyce DiDonato, a sunny,
sweet American mezzo-soprano a
generation younger, were clear as Ms.
DiDonato rose to fame in the early
2000s. So it was no surprise when, in
2006, Ms. DiDonato tried on the glass
slippers in “Cendrillon.”
She did so in Santa Fe, N.M., in a
bright, airy production by Laurent
Pelly that — 12 years later, by way of
stops in London; Brussels; Barcelona,
Spain; and Lille, France — has brought
the work to the Metropolitan Opera for
the first time, a 21st-century exclamation point on its 20th-century rediscovery. Running through May 11, it is a
delightful show, if one that offers more
charm than enchantment.
Ms. DiDonato’s characteristically
American balance of spunk and awshucks earnestness, of radiance and
gumption, has served her well as Cinderella. She had early success as the
ill-treated Angelina in Rossini’s more
famous, notably magic-free version of
the story, “La Cenerentola,” which
ends in a blaze of joyful coloratura.
In “Cendrillon,” Ms. DiDonato occupies a musical landscape more varied,
reflective and rapturous. Massenet
obviously had fun with the score:
doing his best impression of Baroque
dances, conjuring an ethereal world
out of Mendelssohn for the realm of the
fairies, whipping duetting lovers to
Wagnerian heights.
He created a credibly loving, yet
haplessly passive father; a jovially
villainous stepmother; a lonely, melancholy prince; a fairy godmother weaving sinuous Art Nouveau lines in the
vocal stratosphere; and a gently courageous Cendrillon — Lucette is her
given name — never quite sure
whether she is dreaming or awake.
Ms. DiDonato does sincerity better
than anyone since Ms. von Stade. At
49, she can still step onstage and per-
Joyce DiDonato as the title character in “Cendrillon,” heading to the prince’s ball.
suade you she’s a put-upon girl. She
experiences the story with an open
face and endearing ingenuousness, a
sense of wonder that never turns
saccharine. In soft-grained passages,
she is often simply lovely.
Yet her voice is not what it was 12
years ago — or even seven, when I
heard her sing the role in London.
While her basic sound retains its sensual silkiness, her tone has taken on a
noticeable beat, and as the line rises,
the pitch grows uncertain. Soft high
notes waver; loud ones seem to harden
in the air.
Committed as an actress and savvy
in her musicality, Ms. DiDonato puts
her changing vocal resources to work,
adding to your perception of the character as vulnerable. But Massenet’s
soaring blooms, his evocation of supernatural transcendence and impulsive
youthfulness, are now missing.
Ms. DiDonato is not helped by her
Prince Charmant, a part written for
what Massenet poetically called a
“soprano de sentiment” and sung here
(as in London and Barcelona) by the
mezzo Alice Coote. Her voice is too
blunt to expand over the score’s long
14 | THURSDAY, APRIL 19, 2018
His palette? All arms and legs
Lar Lubovitch celebrates
half a century of coming
up with steps for the stage
The choreographer Lar Lubovitch
didn’t discover dance until college,
where he had gone in hopes of becoming a painter. The impulse to fill a
canvas hasn’t left him. When he describes making a dance, he does so not
only in kinetic terms but through the
prism of painting: “I’m reacting to the
effect the music has on me and making
that visual by painting the space and
the time that the music is occupying,”
he said recently over lunch at a cafe
near his apartment in New York’s
Chelsea neighborhood.
He has been painting with bodies for
50 years now, a milestone that he is
celebrating with a weeklong run at the
Joyce Theater in New York through
Sunday. The dances on view date back
to his “Brahms Symphony,” from 1985,
a work he considers a watershed in his
career. It vividly embodies the two
qualities for which he has come to be
known: lush musicality and unabashed
emotionalism. (It will be performed by
dancers from George Mason University in Virginia, for whom he restaged
it earlier this year.) For his own company, he has created a new dance,
“Something About Night,” which contains passages from previous works,
many of them forgotten. “An anniversary gesture to myself,” he called it.
The Martha Graham Dance Company
performed “The Legend of Ten,” from
2010, also to Brahms, during its recent
season at City Center in New York.
Mr. Lubovitch’s passion for movement was awakened during his freshman year at the University of Iowa,
where had enrolled as an aspiring
gymnast and art student. It was there
that Mr. Lubovitch, who was born and
brought up in Chicago, saw his first
dance performance, almost by chance.
There was a sense of “instant recognition,” as he described it, a feeling that
“this was what I was meant to do —
art and gymnastics put together.” He
gave up painting and gymnastics
almost instantly.
Mr. Lubovitch, 75, was lucky to
discover dance when he did, in the
early 1960s — the tail end of the heroic
age of American modern dance. The
summer after his freshman year, in
1962, he headed to the American Dance
Festival “to find out what dance was.”
His first class there was taught by
Martha Graham, the second by Alvin
Ailey and the third by José Limón.
Graham and Limón were already
titans of the modern dance world. And
Ailey had created his most famous
work, “Revelations,” two years earlier.
“I was 19,” Mr. Lubovitch recalled, “and
I had no idea who they were.” But he
felt the power of their personalities and
was moved by what he saw.
That fall, he left college and went to
study dance at the Juilliard School in
New York. In addition to Graham and
Limón, who were both on the faculty,
he came into the orbit of the British
ballet choreographer Antony Tudor,
whom he still considers one of his
strongest influences. Tudor taught his
students that physical skill and technique, however necessary, were
merely tools for revealing deeper
meaning, an idea that resonated with
the young Mr. Lubovitch, as did Tudor’s emphasis on visualizing the
music as he danced. “It was about
being the music,” Mr. Lubovitch said.
His eclectic and compressed training
— he spent only two years at Juilliard
Above, a rehearsal for Mr. Lubovitch’s new work, “Something About Night.” Below, a
scene from his “Concerto Six Twenty-Two” being performed in 2008.
Dance was exploding, and things were
going in this much more conceptual
direction. And I had to ask myself, was
that really me or not? And I said, no, it
isn’t me. So I went in the opposite
direction and took this music by
Brahms and did this very passionate,
very sentimental, very physically
expressive dance. It was a statement
to myself and whoever was watching
that this was my truth.
Some of your most well-received
dances, like the duet from “Concerto
Six Twenty-Two” (1986), “Men’s
Stories” (2000) and “Little Rhapsodies” (2007), were made for men.
I like the way men dance, and I like
women who dance like men. What I
mean by that is that they have gravity
and weight in their movement. So what
I really like is a dancer who has gravity in both senses of the word: physical
gravity and spiritual gravity.
Donald McKayle, Pearl Lang, John
Butler and various ballet companies,
you were a go-go dancer at a nightclub in Greenwich Village. What was
that like?
— also meant that he didn’t have time
to absorb the enmity that simmered
between modern dance and ballet, two
artistic camps that looked upon each
other with suspicion. (To a certain
extent, they still do.) “To me, it was all
dance,” he said. His own choreography
embraces both the grace and line of
ballet and the weight and purposefulness of modern dance. For him, there
is no tension among abstraction,
beauty and honest expression. (He has
at times been criticized as sentimental,
not that he minds, he said.) Nor has he
shied away from making dance to
“important” classical music, including
compositions by Brahms, Schubert,
Schumann and Mozart, composers
often considered too monumental for
The following are edited excerpts
from a conversation looking back at his
50-year choreographic career.
You discovered dance as a freshman
at the University of Iowa. How did it
Marsha Thayer, who was a choreographer, dancer and teacher, came into
my gymnastics warm-up one day and
asked if there were any men there who
would like to lift some women. That
was how she put it. It was intriguing
enough. She took me to my first dance
concert, and it happened to be the
Limón Dance Company. I remember
everything they performed: “There Is
a Time,” “The Emperor Jones” and
“The Moor’s Pavane.”
Why has musical expression been so
Top, the choreographer Lar Lubovitch in a recent photograph. Above, Mr. Lubovitch in
his performing days. He came of dancing age in the early 1960s.
central to your idea of dance?
Music visualization sounds so corny
now, but I do think it’s a bottom line of
why people dance. Something about
music filling our spirit and our having
a physical reaction to it. But it’s spoken
of less, and in certain circles it’s
thought of as very old-fashioned.
Early on, in addition to dancing with
You were also a pioneer in same-sex
partnering. “Concerto Six TwentyTwo,” for example, contains a very
moving pas de deux for two men.
How did that come about?
Yes, Trude Heller’s. I wore white bellbottoms and white go-go boots. In
those days, go-go dancers stood on a
ledge above the dance floor and demonstrated the latest dances. I was
really good at it. Go-go dancing was
where my spirit of dance came alive. I
became more interested in choreographing because there was no other
place I could dance where I felt that
We were at the beginnings of what was
clearly going to be a worldwide crisis
of AIDS. I had lost a close friend already. I thought that one of the emerging themes was friendship. People,
very young people who didn’t expect to
escort their friends to death, were
helping people to die out of friendship.
So I decided to do a dance that was
basically about honoring friendship.
The central duet was for two men, and
the whole dance is about that. It resonated.
Did you always think of yourself as a
What is the idea behind your newest
piece, “Something About Night”?
I made up my first dance when I was
about 3. I first heard the word “choreography” as a child in a movie theater
with my parents. It was a movie with
Danny Kaye and he was doing a parody of Martha Graham, and the name
of the dance parody was “Choreography.” I asked my father, “What does
that word mean?” And he said, “That’s
the guy who makes up the steps.”
It’s composed of fragments of many
dances I’ve done over the years, little
moments in duets and trios. But
mainly, my motivation was that I want
to be quiet. I think I value quiet now.
And in this dance, I’m seeking a quieting of the mind.
What qualities do you value in movement?
My style of movement is very fluid. I
always knew that one step had to come
out of another, with a sense of inevitability. All of the movement comes out of
itself and delivers the next idea.
You’ve also taken up curating dance;
you started the Chicago Dancing
Festival in 2006, and now you’ve
begun a new festival, NY Quadrille, at
the Joyce. How do you see the current state of dance?
You’ve said that “A Brahms Symphony” (1985) was a turning point for
you. In what way?
There are a lot of people making really,
really good, deep dance right now in
spite of the economic climate. On the
ballet stage as well. We’ve seen a
plateau for some time, but a plateau is
just the place you know someone will
use as a springboard. It’s inevitable.
Art always moves forward.
— to make room for their sizable families.
Huang devotes a short chapter titled
“Foursome” to the question of sex. The
couples had to deal with considerable
physical and logistical challenges.
(According to interviews with their
widows, Chang and Eng would alternate weeks as the “complete master”
who dictated how he wanted to go
about business, with the other brother
“blanking out.”) But the widespread
social disapprobation that greeted
their arrangement was beyond their
control. The most vociferous indictments came from the abolitionist papers in the North, which declared “so
bestial a union as this” yet another
sign of how slavery had corrupted the
Southern soul.
And the twins did seem determined
to be identified as Southern gentry. In
addition to owning slaves, they supported the Whigs and became ardent
supporters of the Confederacy, sending
two of their sons to fight in the Civil
Huang is right to point out the cruel
irony in all of this, but when he characterizes his subjects as “two brothers
formerly sold into indentured servitude and treated no better than
slaves,” he inadvertently downplays
the incomparable brutality of the slaveholding system in order to heighten
the contradictions.
As Huang shows elsewhere, Chang
and Eng were treated better than
slaves; if anything, what really rankled
them were instances when they compared themselves to white men and
felt they weren’t given the respect they
were due — such as their first transAtlantic journey, when they were
booked in steerage rather than first
class. In the excellent 2014 study “The
Lives of Chang and Eng,” Joseph Andrew Orser argues that the twins
deliberately “made claims to whiteness.”
But their intentions were one thing
and public perception another. They
would always be known as the conjoined brothers from Siam, and after
the Civil War rendered their slaveholding assets worthless, they went on tour
again, this time with their children, to
show the world that their union with
two women “was able to produce normal offspring.”
Huang writes movingly about the
twins’ painful end in 1874, when Chang,
a heavy drinker, died and the teetotaling Eng perished soon after. But it’s in
the epilogue that Huang unveils one of
his most surprising turns.
When Huang visited Mount Airy, or
Mayberry U.S.A., he learned of a
Chang and Eng exhibit kept in the
basement of the Andy Griffith Museum. In other words, a shrine to an
American myth of old-timey homogeneity was literally built on the more
convoluted reality. Huang knew that
the symbolism was almost too much to
bear: “As Sheriff Andy says, ‘If you
wrote this into a play, nobody’d believe
The conjoined brothers from Siam
Inseparable: The Original Siamese
Twins and Their Rendezvous With
American History
By Yunte Huang. 388 pp. Liveright.
The 19th-century lives of Chang and
Eng Bunker, the original “Siamese
twins,” were all the more extraordinary
for how ordinary they became — at
least according to what the times, and
their conjoined bodies, would allow.
Two boys from Siam, sharing an abdominal ligament and a liver, went
from the humiliations of showcased
servitude all across Andrew Jackson’s
America to a life of Southern comfort in
small-town North Carolina, fathering at
least 21 children between them and at
one point owning as many as 32 slaves.
“Regarded as freaks, the twins would
always have to fight to be treated as
humans,” Yunte Huang writes in “Inseparable,” his new history of the
brothers. That they would eventually
identify as part of the white oppressor
class that dehumanized others is one of
many paradoxes explored by Huang —
a professor of English and the author
of a book about Charlie Chan — in this
contemplative yet engrossing volume.
Born in 1811 in a Siamese fishing
village to an ethnically Chinese family,
Chang and Eng turned 18 about a
month into a 138-day journey to Boston
Harbor. They had been contracted into
service by a Scottish businessman and
an American captain, who promised
the twins’ mother they would bring her
sons back in five years. Chang and Eng
would never see Siam or their family
What followed their arrival was a
decade of touring the United States
and England as “monstrosities” to be
gawked at by paying crowds. But
showbiz was only part of the attraction.
As Huang explains, the twins were
also served up as scientific specimens
“to be inspected, poked, tested and,
most important of all, verified” by
esteemed members of the medical
establishment. Examining the twins,
the Boston doctor John Collins Warren
— who publicly staged the first surgical use of anesthesia (“like a peep
show,” Huang wryly notes) — jabbed
their connecting band with a pin, recording the central point at which
“both said it hurt.”
Chang and Eng became an immediate United States sensation, giving
Huang a bounty of sources from which
to choose when tracing the contours of
their story. Modern writers like Mark
Slouka and Darin Strauss have written
novels based on the twins’ lives. A
popular biography by Irving and Amy
Wallace was published in the 1970s;
more scholarly monographs have been
published since.
But it’s the contemporaneous accounts that give an unvarnished look at
the degradation and disparagement
the brothers had to endure. A British
visitor recalled grabbing their connecting band, only to have one of the twins
say (with what one imagines was
barely concealed displeasure), “Your
hand is cold, sir.” Philip Hone, the
ex-mayor of New York City and an
inveterate diarist, recorded his impressions in his journal: “Their faces are
devoid of intelligence, and have that
stupid expression which is characteristic of the natives of the East.”
As common as such racism was,
Chang and Eng happened to arrive in
the United States well before the 1849
gold rush, when the number of Chinese
living in the country was still negligible, and before Chinese labor was
considered a threat to working-class
whites. As a result, the official government census didn’t even have a category for Asians until 1870 (when a “C” for
Chinese would stand in for all of them).
“Before that,” Huang writes, “the
Chinese were considered white for
census purposes.”
The brothers, then, may have been
subject to the prejudice of individual
bigots, but when it came to American
law, they were able to use loopholes —
their ability to blend in, legally speaking — to their benefit. In 1832, the year
they turned 21, they claimed their
freedom from the captain and his wife,
using the money they had saved up to
declare a very American independence, going boating at Niagara Falls
and buying a horse named Bob.
Yunte Huang.
(Chang and Eng kept meticulous
ledgers, and Huang deduces quite a bit
from their purchases.) They became
citizens in 1839, even though the 1790
Naturalization Act — which wouldn’t
be repealed until 1952 — was supposed
to apply to “free white persons” only.
They were even able to marry white
women, despite Americans’ panic at
the time over “racial mixing.” In 1843,
having retired from touring a few
years before, Chang and Eng married
Adelaide and Sarah Yates, two sisters
from Wilkes County, a rural corner of
North Carolina. The couples settled
down just outside Mount Airy, N.C. —
later the inspiration for the town of
Mayberry in “The Andy Griffith Show”
THURSDAY, APRIL 19, 2018 | 15
U.S. exit
would mute
its voice on
Unesco sites
Decision to withdraw
won’t affect places with
Heritage status already
Last fall the Trump administration announced that it would withdraw from
Unesco, the cultural organization of the
United Nations that is known to travelers for its list of World Heritage sites.
The withdrawal is scheduled to take effect at the end of 2018. There are 23
World Heritage sites in the United
States, including Grand Canyon National Park, Independence Hall, Yellowstone National Park and the Statue of
The World Heritage program, which
began in 1972, includes a list of 1,073
sites “that are of outstanding universal
value to humanity,” and should therefore “be protected for future generations to appreciate and enjoy,” according
to Unesco’s website. But in 2011 the
United States stopped funding Unesco,
standing with Israel when Palestine was
admitted to the organization (legislation
from the 1990s requires a cutoff of American funding to United Nations agencies
that accept Palestine as a full member).
Yet despite cuts in funding — United
States contributions were 22 percent of
Unesco’s yearly budget, or about $70
million before the 2011 funding cutoff —
travelers will not experience a direct impact when visiting World Heritage sites,
according to George Papagiannis, the
chief of media services at Unesco headquarters in Paris.
“Maintenance and preservation of the
sites is the responsibility of the host
country,” Mr. Papagiannis said in a telephone interview. “But we do hold countries accountable to maintaining their
sites in accordance with the World Heritage Convention.” Sites are monitored
with conservation reports that all countries are required to file every six years.
While there would be no immediate
consequences for World Heritage sites,
the withdrawal by the United States
may affect Unesco in other ways. According to Stefan Simon, the director of
Global Cultural Heritage Initiatives at
Yale University, “With the U.S. once responsible for approximately 22 percent
of Unesco’s budget, of course the announced withdrawal is detrimental and
would painfully reduce Unesco’s ability
to fulfill its important missions, such as
advancing and promoting literacy, gender equality, freedom of expression and
scientific collaboration.”
If the United States withdraws from
Unesco, it would remain a state party,
having signed and ratified the World
Heritage Convention. “There is one consequence only,” Mr. Papagiannis said
about the United States withdrawal.
“The U.S. cannot be elected to the World
Heritage Committee,” a managing committee of elected representatives from
21 countries. The committee is in charge
of allocating financial assistance and determining what sites are included on, or
removed from, the World Heritage List.
“The leadership of the U.S. is
crucial in this debate. Its voice
will be thoroughly missed
at the table.”
Despite no longer being a paying
member, the United States would be
able to continue to submit sites for
World Heritage List consideration. The
World Heritage Committee will next
meet in Bahrain from June 24 to July 4.
“The leadership of the U.S. is crucial in
this debate,” said Mr. Simon. “Its voice
will be thoroughly missed at the table.”
There are several benefits for sites
that are included on the World Heritage
List. Unesco provides leadership on
maintaining the health of the sites, including a focus on sustainable tourism.
“An important component of what we do
is providing guidance for managing
tourism numbers in a sustainable way,”
Mr. Papagiannis said.
Studies also suggest that World Heritage status has a direct impact on the
local economy. In Texas, where the San
Antonio Missions (Spanish Colonial
missions dating to 1690) were designated a World Heritage Site in 2015, an economic analysis conducted by Harbinger
Consulting Group estimated that over 10
years, from 2015 to 2025, the designation
would generate between 500 and 1,000
new jobs.
Increases in tourism can also bring
challenges to a site. “Tourism and development can cause both positive and negative consequences,” said Mr. Simon.
“Many of the more than 1,000 World
Heritage sites are struggling with keeping a balance between the economic
benefits created by soaring tourism and
development, and connected threats to
the cultural significance which originally put them on the list.”
Beyond the World Heritage List, Unesco also operates a list called World
Heritage in Danger. This list of 54 sites,
including the Everglades National Park
in Florida, raises a red flag for places
that are currently facing threats,
whether from natural causes like an
earthquake or from political conflict.
A deeper meaning behind souvenirs
“Nobody sits us down and tells us to collect objects when we’re young,” writes
Rolf Potts, “it’s just something we do, as
a way of familiarizing ourselves with the
world, its possibilities, and our place in
Few of us would call ourselves collectors, but most travelers have, at some
point or other, bought a keychain, pocketed a seashell, or saved a ticket stub
from a vacation. Turns out, as Mr. Potts
notes in a new little book called “Souvenir,” there is more to this seemingly
simple (perhaps frivolous to some )
practice than meets the eye. For one
thing, it’s a ritual that goes back millenniums, dating back to the oldest described journeys. And, likely unknown
to many travelers, academic researchers have classified souvenirs —
even mass-produced items like “I Love
New York” T-shirts and plastic miniatures of Michelangelo’s David — into
various categories.
Which categories do the things I’ve
bought or found in my travels fall into? I
began wondering this when Mr. Potts, a
travel writer and the director of a summer writing workshop at the Paris
American Academy, mentioned to me in
passing that there are names for different classes of souvenirs. Further, what’s
really behind our need to bring home
mementos? And what do the things we
keep say about us?
If you’ve ever pocketed a pebble or
saved a Champagne cork, you’ve got
yourself what scholars call a “piece-ofthe-rock,” a physical chunk of a place or
experience, we learn in “Souvenir”
Piece-of-the-rock mementos, along
with another category of souvenirs that
scholars call “local products” (“everything from Uruguayan leatherwork, to
Mozambican piri-piri sauce,” Mr. Potts
writes), predate today’s multibilliondollar mass tourism industry. These
sorts of souvenirs stretch back to the
earliest of journeys, when pilgrims
brought home dirt from holy places as a
religious souvenir.
Over time, intellectual curiosity became the driving motivation for personal travel. Yet even as travelers began
collecting historical and scientific me-
Left, tourists looking at souvenirs outside
a shop in London. Above, a store in Manhattan selling Statue of Liberty trinkets.
mentos, not just religious items, the
things they brought home had echoes of
sacred objects. In the 1700s, when
Thomas Jefferson and John Adams
carved slivers of wood off a chair in
Shakespeare’s home in Stratford-uponAvon, it was “as much an attempt to
commune with the Bard’s aura as it was
to commemorate a moment of travel,”
writes Mr. Potts. (The wood chip said to
have been taken by Jefferson is at his
former home, Monticello, in Virginia
where slicing off pieces of the furniture
is not allowed.)
“Souvenir” reminds the reader that
plundering was not unusual tourist behavior into the 20th century, especially
with industrialization and better transportation allowing travel to flourish —
not only among the wealthy, but also the
middle class. In the 1800s, “breaking off
pieces of Plymouth Rock in Massachusetts was such a common practice that a
nearby grocery kept a hammer and
chisel on hand for tourists,” Mr. Potts
tells us. During the 1876 American centennial, “tourists visiting the Capitol
snipped off swatches of the gallery curtains (and carved off chunks of the
Speaker’s desk) in the House of Representatives.”
By the close of the 19th century, cheap
mass-market souvenirs were becoming
alternatives to objects plundered from
historical sites. And by the end of the
20th century, Mr. Potts writes that in
tourist areas around the world, imported keepsakes had become the
standard — and mass-produced souvenirs were a global industry.
Scholars group these souvenirs into
different buckets, including “markers”
(location branded items like T-shirts
and teacups); “pictorial images” (postcards and posters), and “symbolic
shorthand” (for example, Statue of Liberty key chains), with the latter two categories being emblematic of, though not
exclusive to, mass tourism. The bulk
manufacturing of such items under-
scores the relationship, or the lack
thereof, between the souvenir and the
place. As Mr. Potts observes, little Eiffel
Towers sold in Paris are manufactured
in China and can be ordered online and
shipped to Dubuque, Iowa, no plane
ticket to France required.
What then, a traveler may ask, is the
“Souvenir” offers ideas about what
may be in play when we seek mementos.
For instance, buying souvenirs may
function as part of gift-giving customs,
like the Japanese ritual of omiyage. Or,
the act of shopping for souvenirs may
give the traveler a certain comfort: It’s a
familiar activity in an unfamiliar place
that also allows the traveler to conjure
loved ones back home.
For some, collecting mementos is a
way to advertise worldliness, even
though as Mr. Potts writes, many souvenirs end up speaking to “stereotypical
shorthand rather than lived experience.”
For others, acquiring a souvenir is aspirational. Consider the large clamshell
Mr. Potts found at Lake Michigan as a
child. He viewed it less a souvenir and
more “a totem of faith that I might one
day travel beyond the landlocked
prairies of my youth, see an actual
ocean, collect a real seashell, and journey outward to farther shores.”
Indeed, in the end, “Souvenir” suggests that the meaning of a keepsake is
not fixed (its importance to the owner
can change over time) and that its significance is bound up in the traveler’s
identity. “When we collect souvenirs,”
Mr. Potts writes, “we do so not to evaluate the world, but to narrate the self.”
The story begins the moment we take
a trinket off a shelf, buy it and walk out of
the store. The object can then become
part of our personal history, “a way of
mythologizing our own lives,” Mr. Potts
says. And ever more so in an age of Instagram, he told me recently, when conspicuous consumption plays out in real
time, making the objects we choose to
keep seem even more personal. He himself has had plenty of keepsakes displayed around his home in Kansas —
Asian masks, Bacchus beads from New
Orleans, pebbles — things that remind
him not merely of the places he’s been
and the people he’s encountered, but of
former life phases.
“Try as I might to articulate to other
people the meanings and back stories of
these objects,” he writes, “they ultimately exist as a kind of private sign
language that only I can understand.”
An intimate hotel
with an ink-stained past
Double rooms from 4,800 baht (about
The fading glories of books and printing
receive a retro-chic resurrection at
Bangkok Publishing Residence, an intimate eight-room hotel in the former offices of Bangkok Weekly magazine that
opened last year. The atrium-like fourstory structure features throwback factory architecture — catwalks, exposed
girders, a wire-cage lift that resembles a
freight elevator — and common areas
decorated with old printing machines
and vintage typewriters.
Though centrally situated along a busy
multilane boulevard, the hotel is soundproofed and feels insulated from the
hubbub, thanks in part to its hushed,
candlelit spaces and policy of admitting
only hotel guests to the premises.
Bangkok landmarks, including the
Golden Mount and Democracy Monument, are five to 10 minutes on foot,
while Chinatown and Khao San Road
are a short taxi ride away. Alas, there is
no nearby Skytrain or subway.
Noël Coward, Oscar Wilde and other bygone British dandies would have loved
my cozy and elegant room, a Regency
remake with paneled wooden doors,
dark wooden furnishings, a luxurious
sleigh bed and black silk robes for lounging. Should literary inspiration strike,
the dresser transforms into a writing
desk, and the hotel desk can provide
blank notebooks and pens. Gadgets like
a Nespresso maker and flat-screen television ensure 21st-century comfort.
The small but appealing bathroom was
lined with white rectangular tile and
wood-slat blinds over the windows. The
sizable shower was big enough to host
an editorial meeting, but a tub would
have been more conducive to scribbling
and reading.
Crowded rooftop bars fill Bangkok, but
the hotel bucks the trend with a private
and lushly planted rooftop garden, complete with fruit trees, a small library
lounge and a whirlpool tub. You can grab
a banana and a best seller and plunge
into cool, bubbly waters as you dive into
fictional worlds.
Alas, the hotel has no restaurant, and
the (free) minibar offers just some small
packets of candies, nuts and sliced
fruits, along with water and juice. The
writer’s most vital nourishment and inspiration — alcohol — is also absent.
Whether you fall under the spell of the
hotel’s vintage factory fantasia will depend on what price you put on style,
service and seclusion — the hotel’s calling cards. The place should find avid
fans among solitary bibliophiles, cocooning couples, design-magazine devotees and former publishing barons nostalgic for the heyday of print. But for
anyone seeking bodily pleasures — gastronomic indulgence, cocktail therapy,
spa treatments, fitness workouts — the
price-to-payoff ratio is steep.
Bangkok Publishing Residence, 1 Lan
Luang Road, Bangkok.
President and C.E.O.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Qatar Museums Board of Trustees
Founding Partner
Avid Partners LLC
Tate Americas Foundation
Through provocative interviews and
riveting discussions, senior New York Times
journalists will explore myriad topics, from
the impact of economic events on the arts
to the outlook for galleries in the era of the
mega-dealer, from the future of museums in
this technological age to the undiminished
fascination with contemporary art, and
much more.
This invitation-only gathering will take place
in Berlin, a city whose story of renaissance
and reinvention mirrors the essence of this
groundbreaking event.
Almine Rech Gallery
Victoria and Albert Museum,
A room at Bangkok Publishing Residence, a hotel with few bells and whistles.
This April, The New York Times will convene
the new Art Leaders Network, a select
group of the world’s most distinguished art
experts and influencers—dealers, gallery
owners, museum directors, curators, auction
executives and collectors—to define and
assess the most pressing challenges and
opportunities in the industry today.
President and C.E.O.
Pace Gallery
16 | THURSDAY, APRIL 19, 2018
Журналы и газеты
Размер файла
9 080 Кб
The New York Times, newspaper
Пожаловаться на содержимое документа