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These word clouds reflect the positive and

negative things students at one U.K. high

school associate with the United States.

The problems [with Russia] are starting to get very critical. Syria is the

one that’s the most critical, in my own view; but, secondly, our means of—

channels of—communications, our ongoing dialogue, our understanding

of the personalities in Russia and their understanding of us has ... gone way

down from the way it was, say, 20 years ago.

The United States tends to believe that when a war is over, it’s over. So when

the Cold War was over, we really ratcheted back our diplomacy in Europe, in

Russia, in all the areas which we thought had been taken care of, and we’re

now paying a price for that. We just don’t have—the soldiers say we don’t have

the boots on the ground. Well, we don’t have the pinstripe suits on the ground,

either. We just don’t have the people out there who need to be doing the


—Ambassador (ret.) John Kornblum, in a conversation with journalist Tom Ashbrook

and Professor Angela Stent (Georgetown University) on the podcast

“On Point with Tom Ashbrook,

” Oct. 11.

Contemporary Quote

One study suggests bluntly that the rate

at which countries accrue unpaid parking

fines in New York correlates well with that

country’s own rate of corruption. That study, conducted by economists Raymond Fisman and EdwardMiguel in 2006, found

no non-payments fromofficials from

Japan, Canada, Turkey, Sweden or the

United Kingdom, while the worst offenders

were Kuwait, Egypt and Chad.

—Gemma Dvorak, Associate Editor

Colombia Peace

Agreement Voted Down


he Colombia peace agreement of

Aug. 25, which had been touted as a

“transformational moment” and feted as

a diplomatic success story, was rejected by an excruciatingly narrow 50.21 per- cent of Colombian voters on Oct. 2.

Despite this setback, Colombian

President Juan Manuel Santos was

awarded the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize on

Oct. 7 for his efforts to end the bloody

52-year war between the Colombian

government and the Revolutionary

Armed Forces of Colombia (known as

the FARC).

In a statement, Norwegian Nobel

Committee Chairman Kaci Kullmann

Five said: “The award should also be seen

as a tribute to the Colombian people

who, despite great hardships and abuses,

have not given up hope of a just peace.”

All hope for peace in Colombia is not

lost, with FARC leader Rodrigo Lon-

doño Echeverri (who goes by the alias

Timochenko) declaring that he remains

committed to peace. “The only prize

we aspire to is #PeaceWithSocialJustice

for a #Colombia free of paramilitary

violence, revenge and lies; #PeaceTa-

keTheStreets,” he wrote on his Twitter


—Gemma Dvorak,

Associate Editor

Ambassador to the U.K.

Visits 150 Schools


atthew Barzun, the U.S. ambassador

to the Court of St. James’s, is pas-

sionate about engaging with young people.

During three years at the helm of

Embassy London, he has visited 150

schools to talk about American policies

and hear what the youth of the United

Kingdom think and feel about the

United States.

As part of the process, Ambassador

Barzun asks students to write down pos-

itive and negative ideas they associate

with the United States. The word clouds

shown here reflect what he learned at

one of the school visits.

—Gemma Dvorak, Associate Editor