May 12, 2010 This year's Linowitz professor Ambassador William Luers had just returned from a diplomatic visit to Tehran, and if you know anything about Iran-U.S. relations, then you that that's a big freakin deal.
He delivered a talk at the science center as part of a panel, with Amb. Edward Walker, another Hamilton professor, and professor Alan Cafruny.
It was awesome to watch the two ambassadors duke it out over their different policy positions. Amb. Luers favors a more peaceful approach toward Iran, relying on U.S. diplomacy and confidence-building measures (e.g. working on drug issues in Afghanstan) as a means of improving relations. Amb. Walker sees Iran as more of a prospective security threat, and thus would prefer a tougher stance that includes economic sanctions and potentially others means of hard-nosed diplomacy.
At the dinner of seven that followed, three professors and four students, the talk was equally fascinating, with the ambassadors continuing a conversation that proved enormously enlightening to me. I'm not going to go over the content of the conversation here, because it would not be proper.
So -- here's the takeaway I guess:
Hamilton is small and intimate enough that it's possible to get wind of these kinds of events and then get invited out to private dinners with Ambassadors. Seems pretty cool to me...