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Middle East relations topic of latest lecture
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Forsyth County News
Great Decisions 2010

• When: 6:30-8:30 p.m. Wednesdays
• Where: Hampton Park Library, 5345 Settingdown Road


• Week 5: Peace building and conflict resolution
• Week 6: Global crime
Jonathan Miner set out Wednesday night to help local residents understand how the United States can achieve its foreign policy goals in the Middle East.

Miner, an assistant professor of political science at North Georgia College & State University, was a guest speaker as part of the Great Decisions lecture series. The national program is locally sponsored in conjunction with the Dahlonega university and focuses on topics of global concern.

“My talk tonight is going to hopefully give you a little bit more information on how things work in the Middle East and maybe clarify a couple things about how the United States works,” Miner said.

He asked the group to think about how the United States can best accomplish its foreign policy goals.

Miner proposed that all U.S. foreign policy stems from domestic concerns, all Middle Eastern foreign policies come from their domestic concerns and if Americans understand how the Middle East works, then achieving U.S. foreign policy goals will be easier.

He addressed various aspects, including policy goals and governmental structures of the United States, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Afghanistan.
Jerry Frank said he’s been attending the series, held Wednesday nights at the Hampton Park library, because of his brother-in-law.

“He’s a marine zoologist and he spent time in a number of these countries trying to help them in their fish farming industries and trying to get some protein into their diet,” Frank said. “He’s had a lot of experiences and I just wanted to understand it.”

Frank said he found the goals of the countries discussed in Miner’s lecture interesting.

“Basically, I think America is trying to work with win/win solutions and the countries they’re working with aren’t interested in win/win, they’re interested in we win/you lose and possibly within their own country,” he said. “Where do we work with a government policy that basically has been having civil wars for the last 200 years?”

Following the lecture, Miner fielded questions from the group that ranged from education in the Middle East to opium use.

The series will continue next week with a lecture on peace building and conflict resolution.