2A - Wednesday, December 2, 2009
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
In Other Ivory Towers Off the Beaten Path
Against the odds
Before You Were Here Photos of the Week
. SERVING SWIRLS
Prompted by personal
experiences with fam-
ily members and friends
who have autism spectrum
disorders, LSA, sophomores
Maressa Criscito and Allison
Stein founded Autism Speak-
sU this past summer.
"Autism spectrum disor-
ders hit close to home for
(both) of us," Criscito said.
The two were driven to
create the group after, much
to their surprise, they could
not find any active groups on
campus that focused on the
"It ga've us a sense of pride
that we could unite with
other students in an effort
to raise awareness," Criscito
Criscito and Stein said
they feel the club's creation
is vitally important now, in a
time when autism spectrum on fundraising for research
disorders are on the rise. 'and increasing awareness of
"Autism affects many these disorders.
people throughout Michi- The fundraisers the group
gan, throughout the nation, has planned for this year
throughout the world," Cris- include small events like
cito said. bake sales and events at BD's
According to the national Mongolian Barbeque and
Autism SpeaksU organiza- Studio 4.
tion - of which the campus The culmination of the
group is a chapter - one in fundraising however, will be
every 91 children is affected the Walk-A-Thon, which will
by autism. Autism is more take place in April.
prevalent among boys, how- At the walk, all of the
ever, affecting one in 58. In proceeds will be donated to
2007, the Centers for Dis- Autism SpeaksU.
ease Control and Prevention Because the club is still in
reported the figure at one in its infancy, Stein and Criscito
150 children. said they are pursuing a rea-
Although relatively new, sonable yet substantial goal
the group already has 40 this year.
members who gather for bi- "We hope to raise at least
weekly meetings. $1,500 during the course of
Criscito and Stein said the year," Criscito said.
the group will concentrate - CAITLIN HUSTON
Ben Saginaw makes a latte and decorates it with a pattern in the foaw at
Comet Coffee in Ann Arbor yesterday.
C, h eMidciganlOaiIy
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, Mt 48109-1327
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The Michigan Daily(ISsN 0745-%7)is published Monday through Friday during the fall and inter
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Additional co pnstbepickedupat the Oily'soffice for$2.Subscriptionsforfatermiatingir
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u6eptionsforfaltermre$3. surssicin'erete eaid. TheMian yism
The Associated Press and The Associated Collegiate Press
CAMPUS EVENTS & NOTES
Was that pole MCard pinched 'Cape Wind' Documentary A man tried to rob a Wen-
dy's restaurant in Dearborn
always there? WHERE: Intramural Sports discussion screening EHeights, Mich. Saturday
Building night while his mother, the man-
WHERE: University lot NC-46 WHEN: Monday at about 3:45 WHAT: Author Robert WHAT:Screening of the film ager, was working there, msnbc.
WHEN: Monday at about 8:30 p.m. Whitcomb discusses the "The Take," a documentary com reported. Police said he went
p.m. WHAT: A student's MCard debate around the "Cape about factory occupations through the drive-through with
WHAT: A staff member dam- was stolen from a locker which Wind" off-shore wind farm in Argentina, followed by a a sawed off shot gun and a ban-
aged her car after driving it he had not locked while he project in the Nantucket panel discussion. datinaover his face. His mother
into a pole while trying to was using the weight room Sound. WHO: College Socialists later helped police arrest him.
park, University Police report-
ed. No one was injured in the
accident and there were no
passengers in the car.
WHERE: Shapiro Library
WHEN: Yesterday at about
WHAT: A student's white
mountain bike valued at $350,
along with its lock, was stolen
from a bike rack near the library,
University Police reported.
between 3 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.,
University Police reported.
There are no suspects.
WHERE: 2700 block South
WHEN: Monday at about 5:45
WHAT: A vehicle was dam-
aged after hitting a tire in the
road, University Police report-
ed. No one was injured.
WHO: Ford School of Public
WHEN: Today from 4 p.m.
to 5:30 p.m.
WHERE: Weill Hall
WHAT: There will be per-
formances, food and dance
at the third annual winter
WHO: Michigan Student
WHEN: Tonight from 7:30
p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
WHERE: Stamps Atdito-
WHEN: Tonight from 7 p.m.
to 9:30 p.m.
WHERE: Michigan League
WHAT: Singer, songwriter
and composer Lindsay Toma-
sic will perform.
WHO: Michigan Union
WHEN: Tonight at 8 p.m.
WHERE: The Ark
0 Please report any error
in the Daily to correc-'
Motown Records found-
er Berry Gordy was in
Detroit this month film-
ing a documentary for the 50th
anniversary of Motown.
>aFOR MORE, SEE THE STATEMENT
3A manrecently broke into a
home in Crestview, Fla. to
take a shower. When the
two children who lived there
walked into the bathroom, the
man told them "Obama let him
in" and to "getout," the nwfdai-
lynews.com reported. When
police entered the house, they
but a towel.
Love Crime Notes? Getlmoreonline at michigandaily.com/blogs/the wire
Aaron David Miller: A career of negotiations
From Pagel A
greatest impact I had on the Secre-
tary of State."
Since Shultz, Miller has worked
for five other secretaries of state,
advising them on one of America's
toughest foreign policy issues: the
Sitting in his downtown Wash-
ington office ornamented with
framed photos of Bill Clinton and
Colin Powell, Miller described his
time working for secretaries of
state from 1989 until 2003 as "one
constant trip or negotiation after
"Those 15 years were really quite
historic, and in the end disappoint-
ing and very frustrating," he said.
"Most of what we tried to do ended
up collapsing. But nonetheless,
they were extraordinary years."
Following the Madrid Confer-
ence, Miller was part of the U.S.
team that helped 'facilitate the
Oslo Accords. The 1993 confer-
ence held in Oslo, Norway estab-
lished a framework for future
negotiations between Israel and
the Palestinians, and was consid-
ered a major breakthrough in the
In 1996, Miller helped to broker
two agreements to keep the Oslo
process on track, but looking back,
he said he now realizes the process
was essentially futile. The assas-
sination of Israeli Prime Minister
Yitzhak Rabin by a Jewish funda-
mentalist completely changed the
Rabin, a war hero turned peace-
nik and a major player in the Oslo
Accords, inspired asense of hope in
the Israeli and Palestinian public,
which died along with him.
"It was dead, we didn't really
understand it,"Miller said. "Rabin's
death, the nature of roles Israelis
and Palestinians played as occupier
and occupied - and they're each
responsible in their own way for
the collapse of Oslo - really made
it very long odds."
Miller said that despite the col-
lapse of Oslo, he was part of a team
that advised then-President Bill
Clinton to "go for broke" with the
Camp David Summit in 2000. The
conference aimed to establish a
final status agreement between
Israel and the Palestinians and
brought Clinton, then-Israeli
Prime Minister Ehud Bara and
then-leader of the Palestinian Lib-
eration Organization Yasser Arafat
"I was one of the 12 Americans
there," Miller said. "Sadly, and
despite all these commitments
and good intentions, it was not
well managed. There was never a
chance. We had to watch in the fall
of 2000 after first Intifada broke
out, the collapse of everything
Israelis and Palestinians tried to
achieve - we tried to help them -
essentially be destroyed."
Robert Malley, the Middle East
and North African program direc-
tor for the International Crisis
Group, worked with Miller as a
White House adviser on the Arab-
Israeli conflict during Miller's time
at the State Department.
Malley remains a close personal
friend of Miller's, and called him
"an exceptional colleague."
"Whether people agreed with
him or not, they always respected
what he had to say because he came
to issues with an open mind and a
questioning mind," Malley said.
He added that Miller rarely let
the parties involved in negotiations
off the hook, including himself.
"Not only would he listen and
question others, he would also lis-
ten to and question himself, he was
very introspective in that sense,"
Malley said. "What he applied to
others, he applied to himself."
A CHANGE OF SCENERY
Miller no longer sits at the nego-
He resigned from the State
Department in 2003, deciding that
Ariel Sharon, Israel's Prime Min-
ister at the time, and Arafat, head
of the Palestinian Liberation Orga-
nization, had other goals in mind
besides establishing alasting peace.
"Neither of them were inter-
ested in doing anything other than
setting up the other for destruc-
tion," Miller said. "I made the deci-
sion at that point that I had had
enough. Twenty-five years was all
Miller now occupies an office at
the Woodrow Wilson International
Center for Scholars in downtown
Washington, D.C., a few floors
above amammothbustofWilson in
the lobby. The nonpartisan center,
which is tucked away in the Ronald
Reagan Building and International
Trade Center, a Irre three blocks
from the White House, brings
prominent thinkers to Washington
to do advanced study.
A NON-ACADEMIC SCHOLAR
Though his title is "Public Poli-
cy Scholar," Miller said he doesn't
consider himself a scholar in the
traditional academic sense.
"I'm not here to diss the acad-
emy. I love goingto university cam-
puses to speak, I really do," he said.
"I love students, but after 24 hours
on a university campus - and again
I'm just speaking personally - I'm
ready to go. I'm ready to go because
the world is a much more complex
Ironically, it was Miller's profes-
sors at the University who made
him realize he wanted to make
policy instead of lecturing about it.
Miller transferred to the Univer-
sity after spending a year at Tulane
University in New Orleans on a ten-
nis scholarship and another year
in England on a history exchange
program. Once he arrived in Ann
Arbor, Miller became a very seri-
ous student, quipping that he went
to only one Univerity of Michigan
football game during his eight
years at the University.
He became close with two histo-
ry professors, Richard Mitchell and
Gerald Linderman, who both had
careers as foreign services officers
before coming to the University.
Linderman, who has since
retired from the University but still
resides in Ann Arbor, stays in touch
with Miller. He said knowing Mill-
er as a student, he wasn't surprised
that he rose to such a position of
"He was very interested in the
foreign service and we talked about
it a lot," Linderman said. "But I
think the important factor there is
that I had discovered in my time as
a political officer that it was a mat-
ter of observing other countries
and analyzing as well as you could
and reporting them to Washing-
But according to Linderman,
that wasn't enough for Miller.
"I was an observer rather than
a participant, and Aaron, I think,
was always more dedicated to
participating himself and espe-
cially trying to influe ce matters of
University alum Aaron David Miller with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Washington D.C. earlier this decade.
Miller spent most of his career negotiating a resolution to the Arab-Israeli conflict.
American foreign policy," he said.
Miller began his career at the
University pursuing a degree in
American history, but after start-
ing work for his Ph.D he realized
his calling lay elsewhere.
"I was proceeding merrily along
studying Civil War history, which I
was very interested in, still am. But
then around the time I should've
received my master's degree, I had
a change, I'm not even entirely sure
why. I didn't really want to study
American history. I had been inter-
ested in the Middle East," he said.
Miller convinced the history
department that he could learn the
languages and topics necessary to
become a Middle East historian,
and he could think of only one way
to accomplish that goal.
"I got married in May of 1973,
and we packed up and left the coun-
try and went to the only place that
you could study Arabic and Hebrew
as living languages in 1973, and that
was Jerusalem," he said.
Shortly after he arrived in Israel,
the 1973 Arab-Israeli War broke
out, which provided Miller with an
experience he wasn't expecting.
"(The war) put my wife Lind-
say and miin a situation in which
we had never been, in a society
that was mobilized for conflict
in a strange way," he said. "And
that year with all of its dislocation
really changed my worldview again
and made me more determined to
become interested in the Middle
Miller became familiar with the
conflict at a young age, growing up
in Cleveland, Ohio with parents
and grandparents who were very
active in the Jewish and Zionist
"That provided a base," Mill-
er said of his Jewish-American
upbringing. "My academic educa-
tion and my experiences then drew
me, pushed me, forced me and
compelled me to try to understand
the problem in more of its entire-
ty, which meant of course that it
wasn't just one-hand clapping."
"SHAPER OF DEBATE"
Miller's commitment to under-
stand both sides of the conflict
has brought him criticism from all
corners. In addition to public criti-
cism, Miller receives what his wife
calls, "fan mail" - letters frompeo-
Vle on every side of the coikflict full
of personal attacks.
"The fact that I'm out of gov-
ernment doesn't matter, they still
continue and they come from
everybody," he said. "The pursuit
of truth, if that's a wayto explain it,
is never easy. Separating yourself
from the group, the tribe, is never
easy. But it's necessary."
Despite the criticism, Miller
said he wants to remain part of the
"public conversation" on the issue
for a longtime to come, though he's
turned his professional attention to
a different topic - he's currently
working on a book about presiden-
Miller, who has appeared as a
commentator on CNN, FOX News,
Al Jazeera and many other media
outlets said he takes his role as a
"shaper of debate" on the issue very
seriously, because the issue itself is
"The notion thattrying and fail-
ing is better than not trying at all,
I once bought that, I don't buy it
anymore," he said. "The Michigan
football team can govern by that
principle, but the United States
can not. Every time a super power
fails, it costs it its image and its