Friday, November 30, 2012

Motorola's Need for Vision

By Lisa A. M. Bauman

Executive Summary
            This report pinpoints several interconnected problems within Motorola that reveal one serious problem occurring in the company. Since Google acquired Motorola in August 2011 Motorola no longer has a vision unique to its own identity; its basis for existence seems to be driven solely by Google's needs. Motorola's once inspiring innovation-focused vision has been replaced with Google's customer-based development model and goal to overtake the smartphone market.

            Google does offer potential strengths by providing investment capitol and pre-market access to its pet project Android. Still, confidence is waivered because Google has had a history of deviating from its own vision "to organize the world's information" and Motorola could be another example of this. There is fear that Motorola is another pet project that will be easily dissolved once its use is gone.

            Considerable financial and cultural losses are being sustained because of Motorola's lack of vision. Google directed aggressive lawsuits in the so-called "smartphone patent war" racking up to 5 million dollars per each of the 41 infringement suits filed. Layoffs directed by Google to restructure Motorola into a strictly smartphone-focused industry resulted in over $275 million in losses. The 2012 fourth quarter alone Motorola's GAAP operating loss was $527 million.

            Four potential solutions were studied. Three failed. Solution one offered a rehiring process to gain back company culture and loyalty, but the solution did not address the problem completely. Solution two suggested combining Google and Motorola into a meshed brand, but it was costly, threatened Android vendors, and put both companies into branding risk. Solution three offered incentives to encourage employee innovation, but it failed because modern breakthroughs in behavioral science proved the model unsuccessful. This left one more option.

            Solution four offers a re-visioning process labeled Looking Inward for Motorola that focuses on innovation while keeping Google's goals in mind. It is cost effective, lower risk, and addresses the problem more fully than any other solution. Implementation involves monthly meetings, exchange of ideas, recognition for successes, sharing of positive feedback, and most importantly: sharing the reasons and benefit of Motorola's new inspired vision. Implementation is feasible because (1) Motorola has the finances available to fund the project (2) financial benefits will begin to show in less than a year and (3) there is little risk for environmental, community, or legal losses. In conclusion, this report recommends solution four to address Motorola's need for vision.

Essay: Motorola's Need for Vision
Motorola's Proud History

            Before Google's buyout in August 2011 Motorola’s mission and vision statement was: “Our history is rich. Our future is dynamic. We are Motorola and the spirit of invention is what drives us ("Motorola Mobility Targets World Record," par. 5).” Motorola takes significant inspiration from its history and it is evident that this history is rich with invention. Motorola began manufacturing radios in 1937 and moved into car radios, transistors, televisions, pagers, and today mobile phones ("About Motorola: History" par. 1-7).

            There is good reason that Motorola is proud of its history too. Motorola, once known as Galvin Manufacturing Company, invented the handie-talkie and walkie-talkie which became widely used during World War II. It produced the first portable cellular phone for consumer use in 1983 and in 1996 Motorola offered the smallest and lightest mobile phone on the market.  Motorola RAZR was the top-selling cell phone of all time for 12-straight quarters until 2011. Finally, it released the very successful Droid that we know today in November 2009 with Google's Android system (Goldman, What Google is buying par. 1-8).


            The major stakeholders in this new, under-construction face of Motorola is far-reaching. Google and its investors, Motorola and its investors, employees of both companies, and the engineers who worked so hard to create Android all share high emotional and economic stakes. Competitors such as Apple and Microsoft are also concerned. Investors of both companies have been let down by the drops in revenue. Also, considerable lay-offs have created losses for both employees and investors. Android engineers want to see Android succeed and competitors want it to fail. Now that you understand the situation, let's visit some of the problems that Motorola faces as it moves forward.

Problem One: Is Google Loosing Focus?

            Unlike Motorola's main focus on technology, Google's focus is search and its income comes from advertisement. Its mission and vision is to "organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful ("Google: About Google" par. 1)." Since 1995 when founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin were grad students at Stanford, their goal has been to organize information on the web. In 2001, when Google Groups launched, Google began to create products that were not specifically related to search or advertising. This was a big change for the company and it caused criticism to circulate.

            As far back as 2006 Google was showing signs of fuzzy vision. BusinessWeek correspondent Ben Elgin noted that Google appears to have "a case of product attention-deficit-disorder" in an interview with Marissa Mayer, now Google VP (Elgin par. 5, McGee 3). Mayer explained that the diversity of products was evidence of the core philosophy that Google should "put products out there and, without a lot of promotion, a good product will grow." She said that "The way you find really successful new innovation is to release five things and hope that one or two of them really take off." She explains that Google has an inspiring "consensus-driven approach" that yields "some of the best outcomes we've had" by encouraging teamwork, vision building, and individual creativity (qtd. in Elgin par. 5, 20). Indeed, this method of innovation seems to be working for Google as last year alone revenue increased 51 percent to $11.33 billion from $7.51 billion ("Google Earnings, Revenue Miss" par. 10). But is this dynamic branching of invention in line with the original vision of the company? It's been four years since the interview and now Mayer seems to agree that focus is needed. She admitted that “we do have too many products and we need to condense them (qtd. in McGee 3).”

            The Motorola buyout seems to be the ultimate test of Google's deviation from its vision. The purchase of Motorola has caused significant immediate losses for Google. Motorola revenues now account for 18 percent of Google’s 2012 third quarter report. Still, Motorola reports a GAAP operating loss of $527 million ($505 million of which came from mobile). Motorola had 20 percent decrease in net income and as a result Google stock decreased by 10 percent (Crook par. 1-6). Of course a portion of this loss comes from short-term restructuring costs but the question begs to be asked: Why would Google, a search engine business funded by advertising revenue, want to purchase a mobile phone company?

Problem Two: Is Motorola Merely A Stepping-stone for Google?

            It seems that the key to Google's interest in acquiring Motorola is Android, a free, open-source mobile platform project led by Google that modernizes Google's goal to organize the world’s information. Google sees the next step of information usefulness and universal accessibility needs to be lead through mobile devices. Google's philosophy is that "the world is increasingly mobile: people want access to information wherever they are, whenever they need it … we’re hoping to fuel greater innovation for mobile users everywhere with Android … ("What We Believe" par. 5)." This is why Google convinced Motorola to switch to Android in 2009 and later purchased the company and its more than 17,000 patents, plus an extra 7,500 that are awaiting approval (Goldman, Google Seals $13 Billion par. 5).

            The real concern is: Is Motorola yet another test project that will later be discarded? If this is true, it is understandable how the company could be losing ambition and steam. Google seems to be placing all of its planning and power to place Motorola as a strategic pawn rather than a profitable, desirable, and separate business entity with duties to its stakeholders.

Problem Three: The Cost of Gaining Market Control

            Additionally when Google purchased Motorola with the intent to secure its place in the smartphone market, Motorola incurred damaging restructuring and legal costs.

            Under Google's direction Motorola began the costly race to secure patents in the smartphone market. A study in 2011 that focused on applicable smartphone patents since the 1960's found 298 litigated patents that applied to the smartphone "patent war" of today. Of this study, Motorola was asserting the most patents - 41 total (Lloyd, Spielthenne, and Mokdsi  9, 14). Another 2011 study estimates that patent infringement suits where more than $25 million is at risk cost about 5 million dollars each (Sachdev par. 12). Patent litigation is clearly contributing to Motorola's losses.

            Additionally, large-scale, costly layoffs were required as Google removed elements of Motorola that distracted from this new smartphone focus. In August 2012 Google announced that it would lay off 4,000 employees, one-third of which would be in the United States, and that severance-related charges of up to $275 million were expected in the third quarter. Google also downsized 40 percent of Motorola Mobility's vice presidents ("Google's Motorola Mobility Layoffs" par. 9, 12, 13). This brings to light some of the exceptional costs that Motorola's new, strictly smartphone focus is requiring.

The Problem: Google Kills Motorola's Vision

            It appears that the three problems stated above are connected. Surprisingly, Motorola's mission and vision statements are nowhere to be found on the web since the Google buyout. Motorola does keep the long and beautifully graphical record of the company's history available for its stakeholders to see, but the company's focus has completely changed. Instead of promising innovation, the company's profile mimics Google's customer-focused culture boasting that "We’re designing technology that connects seamlessly so consumers have the best content at their fingertips, every second of every day. TV, talk, text, email and web surfing ("Giving People What They Want" par. 1)." The problem is that Motorola no longer has a vision unique to its own identity; its basis for existence seems to be driven solely by Google's needs. In order for Motorola to gain back its vision, changes need to be made.

Fig. 1
            To fully explore the possibilities of causes for this daunting problem, I created a fishbone diagram (Fig. 1). I found that several scenarios had not been explored: (1) employees lost due to the restructuring could have had significant correlation to the strained culture and vision in the company and (2) the Google buyout could have the ability contribute to the solution rather than the problem since Motorola had been showing signs of stressors even before the buyout occurred.

Layoffs and Cultural Losses

            Signs of anger and outrage were almost immediate when Motorola began job cuts to allow for restructuring. In August 2012 after announcing plans to layoff 4,000 employees and close one-third of its 94 offices, China employees responded in protest. Hundreds refused to sign their walking papers and in Beijing more than 150 people organized a demonstration outside a company office (Ong par. 1-10).

            According to a 2008 report published in Organization Science "the cumulative decision-making experience an employee builds over time through relationships with customers, vendors and fellow employees, [plays an] important role in dictating a firm's capacity to create competitive advantage." Furthermore, layoffs can "seriously erode employee commitment and loyalty, with negative consequences for firm competitiveness and performance (Guthrie and Datta 111)." Motorola may be experiencing these very same loyalty conflicts today.

A Positive Look at Google's Acquisition

            Google's acquisition offers benefits that can contribute to Motorola's future success. Google sees Motorola as a test market for Android; using it to "understand how consumers interact with mobile devices (Cheng par. 17)." Google's long-term perspective for Motorola and financial capitol affords Motorola the time and resources it needs without the demand from shareholders for "instantaneous profits and a turnaround in revenue growth (Cheng par. 17)." This is an important element needed for Motorola to compete.

            Also, because as a test market for Google, many believe that Motorola will gain access to Android code before major competitors. Although Google denies this claim, many experts such as Michael Gartenberg, an analyst for Gartner, believe differently (qtd. in Cheng par. 13).  If this insight to Android does occur as many believe, it will give Motorola an edge to compete in the smartphone market.

            Despite all of the negative things that are occurring as Motorola makes this transition, Google seems to understand that in order for Motorola to succeed it must focus on innovation. "We're deciding as a company to stand for innovation," Dennis Woodside, an ex-Google employee who now runs Motorola told CNET in an interview (qtd. in Cheng par. 5). Still, we see no sign of internal promotion of the ideology. This pervasive problem is what our focus will be on for the rest of the paper.

Solution Finding

            Unlike most corporate problems, this issue seems pretty clear: Motorola needs vision. The question is: How does Motorola cultivate this vision given the current circumstances? Below is a list of potential solutions.

Solution Option One: Repairing Lost Culture

            Because of layoffs, Motorola has lost valuable employees that contributed to the culture of the company. Motorola will instate a rehiring preference for employees who were laid off due to the buyout in an attempt to repair lost relations and disloyal feelings.

Solution Option Two: Rebranding Motorola as a Partner with Google

            Like Motorola, Google has a lot of history to be proud of. In this solution Motorola and Google will combine their brand through a logo change, mission statement, employee trainings, and advertising campaign for Motorola. By combining the brands employees and engineers will identify with the honesty of the gesture and find inspiration in the combined goals of Google and Motorola.

Solution Option Three: Incentivizing Innovation

            Instead of focusing on culturing the company, Motorola will create a culture through practice. Employees will be encouraged to share innovative ideas and experiments in the workplace. Incentives will include both financial and personal rewards.

Solution Option Four: Looking Inward

            Right now Motorola's vision seems to be an advertising campaign that mimics Google's customer-driven culture. In this solution Motorola will change this focus to internal inspiration which comes from Motorola's historical inspiration to innovate. This is a goal that both employees and engineers can identify with. This new company culturing will occur mostly through training and tying the ideals with the company's new, Google-driven ideology.


            Now that we have a list of possible solutions let us evaluate them and choose the best solution available.

Examining Option One: Repairing Lost Culture

            Instating a rehiring preference for past employees can be very helpful to boost spirits, but it is an incomplete solution to a larger problem. It fails to direct the current employees and engineers to find vision and should not be used.

Examining Option Two: Rebranding Motorola as a Partner with Google

            After an acquisition the purchasing company, in this situation Google, has three basic strategies for branding: joint branding, flexible branding, and one brand. Joint branding, where "both brands enjoy an equal or similar market standing, market reach and brand equity" has been the current strategy in place. The one brand strategy used for companies that are very similar in products or services and the flexible branding strategy based on geographical separation, do not apply directly in this situation (Wilson 2, 3). Our focus in this solution set is a new variation of joint branding where Motorola will be a new, Google brand, but retain its own name.

            Option three seems to be the most holistic and honest approach to the problem, but it is also the riskiest and most costly. Marketing specialist Rebecca Wilson says that "one of the main reasons for the failure of … acquisition is the resulting conflict between the combined entities sales, marketing, and cultural communications strategies (1).” When Kmart acquired Sears in 2004 with plans to cross-sell product lines, many believed that the inferior Kmart brand would be replaced by Sears. Also, partners and vendors were disenfranchised. For example in 2005 "Nike, fearful that its products would suddenly appear in Kmart as a Blue Light Special, terminated its deal to continue selling Nike products in Sears stores" (de Mesa 13-15). For Google this situation is already causing Android vendors apprehension. Because Motorola has an interest conflict with Google vendors and an unstable brand name in the smartphone market, the option two strategy should not be used.

Examining Option Three: Incentivizing Innovation

            Incentives have been used before in business and they can be helpful, but recent breakthroughs in behavioral science show that this type of solution falls short. Daniel H. Pink, author of Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, explains that managing with rewards and punishments can only de-motivate action. This type of motivator sends a signal that employees have no real stake in outcomes because no real choice is available to them. Fifty years of behavioral science points to the clear signs that only when an employee is given autonomy, discovery, and mastery can he claim his stake (Pink 13-145, Fig. 2). This is why option three should not be used.
Fig. 2: Wu, Michael. "Gamification 101: The Psychology of Motivation." Lithium. Lithium Technologies Inc. , 31 2011. Web. 27 Nov 2012.

Why Looking Inward is Most Favorable

            Solution four offers inspiration through a relatively affordable, less risky approach that follows current behavioral science. By focusing on training within, Motorola avoids expensive marketing costs. Also, by keeping the Motorola and Google brands separate, it avoids vender conflicts with Android and other Google projects.

            The goal to looking inward is to cultivate passion within the company. There are four things that a company needs to achieve this according to Carmine Gallo, communication skills coach for the world's top brands: brevity, specificity, consistency, and emotional connection (par. 1-10). Gallo says that "In order to create an emotional connection … your vision must be about your listener. In other words, if your vision is all about yourself, it can be specific, concise, and consistent, but fail to touch your [listener] on an emotional level (par. 9)." Google's new vision for Motorola offers specificity and consistency, but it lacks the connection to Motorola's proud history and drive for innovation in technological advancement.

            Now we understand why Motorola should not merely focus on lost employees, incentives, or even Google's brand. It should capitalize on Motorola's proud history and drive for innovation. By communicating and encouraging employee involvement, employees will self-generate their own culture and move Motorola forward as a leader in the smartphone industry while satisfying Google's acquisition goals. These are the reasons why I believe that option four is the best and most affordable solution to Motorola's problem.

Ethical Screen

·         This solution will have no major impact on the biological environment. Impacts include the use of facilities and operations that require electricity, travel, and office materials.

·         There will be no major impact in the local community. Several jobs will be created for training purposes - boosting employment rates.

·         Company values and vision will be upheld with better customer service and a culture of innovation.

·         This solution will have a positive impact on stakeholders. Both companies and the investors will have needs served by better productivity and a revenue increase. Employees will feel more valued and secure in their jobs. Android vendors will have confidence boosted. Motorola's brand will portray a more positive image to investors and the general public.

Cost-Benefit and Feasibility Analysis

Fig. 3
Fig 4
Fig. 5
            This plan proves to be very feasible after weighting economic, organizational, technological, and legal factors. Please refer to Figures 3,4, and 5 to view the Cost-Benefit Analysis and Feasibility Diagrams which verify the five points below. Please note that financial estimations in these charts are not accurate. They are created with limited information.
1.      Motorola can afford the initial cost of the program. Current assets that are available for implementation are $6,612,000 and the initial costs are $586,000. Additionally, Motorola will see a profitable outcome before a year has passed.
2.      Motorola has the expertise to administrate a training program. One to three "vision managers" will be either trained for these positions or replaced; saving about $240,000.
3.      Facilities, supplies, and technologies are currently in place. The program will cause a slight increase in costs (estimated $190,000 annually), but not significant enough to create a problem.
4.      Administration will not be difficult for Motorola to perform as all employee information is contained within to company. The allocated funds for this expense are $190,000.
5.      Legal factors are a small risk. Motorola will use current legal checks and balances to insure all laws are followed. There is little risk of lawsuits to implement this plan.


            Motorola will direct employees through a culture and vision training program inspired by Mary Lorenz, a specialist in corporate recruiting best practices. The program will offer these three steps:

1. Monthly team meetings will be held by the three vision managers who travel to national branches and staff managers. A vision manager will attend at least four of the 12 meetings a year. The inspirational program must:

·         Communicate how the vision will benefit employees’ lives and the world.

·         Explain how employee goals align with those of the organization.

·         Inspire by communicating with enthusiasm and passion.

·         Share why Motorola believes the destination is compelling and inspiring.

2. Communication and media will be used; mainly inter-office sources and motivational speaking within meetings. Additionally the website will be updated to specifically communicate Motorola's new inspired vision.

·         The program will solicit employee input by asking employees what the vision means to them and how they see themselves contributing to it.

·         Positive customer feedback will be shared to give employees reasons to feel good about what the company does.

3. Recognition will be important. Employees will celebrate achievement of milestones by recognizing progress and success along the way.

Measuring Success

            Employees will submit a monthly anonymous multiple-choice form that measures personal feelings for Motorola as a company and employer.  It will have a changing set of questions interpreting the company's vision and mission. Answers to an open-ended question about how the vision applies to them will be used for team building purposes. A score will be given according to the scale of satisfaction and correctness of understanding the vision. Data will be presented quarterly by a vision manager.  This test will measure attitudes about Motorola.

            Innovation is the second goal. To measure this each office will need to set individual goals for innovation. Setting specific goals that blanket the entire process will inhibit innovation and distract from the goal of this project. Additionally, the company will keep employees educated about successes that are companywide. Successes in innovation will be shared at the monthly meeting.


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** For BA301 honors, Problem Solving, Portland State University, Fall Term, 2012-2013

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Fighting with Eyes Shut

By Lisa Bauman

* A summary of part four of Other Lands Have Dreams: From Baghdad to Pekin Prison by Kathy Kelly

In the final section of Kelly's book Other Lands Have Dreams: From Baghdad to Pekin Prison she describes her experiences with several US arrests, searches, and imprisonment procedures as an example of cruel, inhumane military training (pages 139 to 141). She explains that the first step in defeating terrorism is not military training, but looking in the mirror. She believes our desire to consume resources at cut-rates and control other governments has caused the cycle of war to strengthen along with suffering and death throughout the world (pages 145 and146).

Kelly believes that being a tax refuser is one way to commit to this peace-promoting lifestyle because it refuses to pay for the defense budget and other programs that promote war (pages 147 to 149). She says: "From most of us what is required is not our bodies and not our consent - it's our money. This is what we have power over (page 149)."

Water, the essence of life of which no living thing can exist without, is one of the most unequally distributed resources. Kelly witnessed it in Iraq and later in Haiti. People would carry water for miles as a precious resource (page 153). In Haiti very few people have water pumps which allow access to somewhat sanitized water, but most are venerable to water-borne illnesses. Kelly sees it as an unjust "pecking order" where only the very wealthy have access to safe drinking water (pages 153 to 156).

Our problem is that we "look the other way" she says. Consider the sanctions on Iraq. They only gave Hussein more power as it was ignored because "the regime became the only source of food and stability for an increasingly desperate and dis-empowered population (page 151)." Even after UNICEF's released a study in a conference proving Iraqi sanctions were creating effects that former UN official Dennis Halliday described as genocidal, not one US television network aired it (pages 150 to 152).Two of fifty newspapers reported it. And when Kelly held pictures of suffering children up, many would just turn their heads.  

Kelly's clear message is extreme activism, but to her these actions are only basic decency. She encourages behaviors that most citizens are unwilling to do such as tax refusing, protesting that leads to arrests, refusing arrest leading to jail time, and illegal occupation of governmental sites. Although her ideals and work have clearly helped many in need, I don't think we should assume everyone is willing or able to commit to these same actions.

For those of us who desire a cultural change, but not a radical one there are more progressive options. We can form peace-promoting policies and procedures though legal activism such as letter writing, community involvement, and educational events. We can change personal attitudes that discriminate and use nonviolent solutions for conflict. We can create non-profit programs and outreaches that show compassion to the drug addicted, poor, and abused. I believe, much like Kelly, that the real change needs to start with attitudes. This can start as we look into ourselves to seek ways to care for those who are less privileged and those we don't understand.

Kelly, Kathy. Other Lands Have Dreams From Baghdad to Pekin Prison. Oakland, California: AK Press, 2005. Print.

** For Cr399U, Intro to Peace Studies, Portland State University, Fall Term, 2012-2013

Change in America: Look to the Prisons

By Lisa Bauman

* A summary of part three of Other Lands Have Dreams: From Baghdad to Pekin Prison by Kathy Kelly

While in county jail awaiting transport to Lexington Federal Correction Institution in 1988 to serve her year sentence for peace activism, Kelly experienced very poor treatment. Her cell contained six beds, an exposed toilet, and twelve women. During the two months that she was held there she only saw sunlight one time. There was a shortage of toilet paper, cleaning supplies, and eating utensils. The prisoners would use old newspapers when the toilet paper ran out.

Surprisingly after a lawsuit from a past prisoner, the major confronted the prisoners about the complaints and all the other cellmates accused Kelly. This was a shocking betrayal. Later she found it was because her sentence was short and her outside connections were numerous unlike the other women (pages 91 to 94). They knew she could speak for them without as much harm. This is where she began to understand that “to whom much is given, much is required. When we witness, first hand serious abuses …how can we keep quiet (page 94)?”

Kelly gives numerous accounts of what she calls “imprisoned beauty” caused by circumstances that prisoners “had tried to escape though drug use, drug sales, or both (page 94).”

In prison she met Emanuelle, a young, Paris-born mother who had spent her adult life seeking a place to raise her two small children "within a community that embraced values of simple living and harmony with nature (page 119)." Unfortunately her two children became sick with fevers and parasites. She decided to transport cocaine to raise the money to take her family to recover from the illnesses in Paris. She was caught and sentenced four years in prison (pages 119 and 120). This was her first offence. If she was sentenced in Paris, she would have only been sentenced six months for the crime. Now this nonviolent mother has been separated from her family during the most formative years of her children's lives (pages 120 and 121).

Another woman, Ernestina, was tricked by her adult children to ride in a vehicle that was used to transport drugs. Ernestina was sentenced for two years and separated from the grandchildren that she was raising for a crime that she did not know she was committing. The grandchildren were left to fend for themselves while being raised by parents who were addicted to heroin and other drugs (pages 123 and 124).

One woman, a new mother, educated and now a good citizen was guilty of trafficking marijuana. She was sentenced thirty years after her ex-husband turned her in. When this occurred she had been out of the drug trade for several years and her life was completely different. The ex-husband was sentenced only two years, a scant sentence compared to hers. Terry's child was left motherless while the major players in the crime received a slap on the wrist (pages 125 to 127).

She describes the emotional and personal effects of imprisoned women in these experiences. The idleness, routine, guilt, and separation from their children cause a “prison fog (pages 95 and 96)." She sees the prison system as a failed system. “Abusive people can be separated from victims and helped to cope with their sick behavior without losing every other human freedom (page 96).”

FPI or UNICOR, begun in 1934 by President F.D. Roosevelt in an effort to give prisoners job skills that will help them find employment when they are released, is another example of the broken prison system. Workers earn 23 cents to $1.23 hourly, spend most of it on overpriced commissionary items sold by the prisons, are denied insurance, retirement benefits, and vacation pay, and cannot list their employer as a job experience reference. Also, this program is not required to comply with OSHA regulations. The prisoners work 24 hour rotating shifts, are not compensated, and are left with no options for employment after release (pages 98 and 99).

Kelly explains that there is a strong need for compassion in place of punishment; asserting that there are no “bad apples” and that we should learn from the hundreds of thousands who died, being “sacrificed, brutally and lethally punished (pages 102 to 106).” She complains that “military or prison structures don’t train recruits to view the enemy or the inmate as precious and valuable humans” or “foster the notion that we, ourselves could be mistaken, that we might seek forgiveness, or that we might together with presumed outcasts, create a better world (page 102).”

Kelly believes that absurdly long sentences imposed in the US are "every bit as dehumanizing and cruel as the measures taken against migrant workers (page 110).” In Pekin prison 82 percent of the women were first-time offenders convicted of nonviolent crimes and over half were facing eight or more years of imprisonment (page 132). The average sentence for males was twenty-five years (page 132).Prison populations have quadrupled in the last twenty years because so many people profit from it: judges, lawyers, prison architects, wardens, owners, executives of companies with lucrative prison contracts and especially lawmakers during election promotions (pages 132 and 133).

Kelly suggests that:

·         current military expenditures and nuclear arms races should be redirected to funding human needs. This will free up about 400 million dollars and valuable expert personnel who are currently employed by the military to solve problems in developing necessary structures for "confronting crime and fostering restitution and community safety, and for rehabilitating individuals and groups guilty of endangering the common good (pages 133 and 134)."

·         Truth and reconciliation committees should be formed to deal with injustice of lethal behavior such as reparations for survivors of the Bhopal, India event where toxic chemicals were released into the atmosphere by a Union Carbide plant (page 135).

·         Arms and tobacco manufacturers should have their resources redirected to health care and socially useful projects (page 135 and 136).

·         Drug addicted persons should be rehabilitated rather than imprisoned (pages 136).

·         And most importantly social values and ideas need to be reshaped to support this change (pages 136 to 138).

I do not entirely agree with Kelly's suggestions for change, especially where she states only as a last resort that "in some cases of people who have been treated other people abusively, we way need to contemplate removing the abuser from his or her intended victim (page 136)." I know firsthand that this overly extreme view of rehabilitation is focused more on the rights of the abuser than the abused. For example, I have a friend who was bused and even forcibly raped by her ex-spouse after they separated. Even after nearly four years of separation he is allowed to harass and deter her from personal freedoms such as maintaining a social life, parenting, and maintaining employment because the court feels a strong desire to uninhibit him from co-parenting their two children.

The victim has only been afforded physical safety. It does not recognize the emotional trauma that occurs when a victim of rape and abuse must return children to the abuser and see him bi-weekly for the remainder of her life. It does not recognize her right to feel safe and be uninhibited from harassment. Likewise any verbal or emotional abuse that occurs with the children is considered acceptable because the woman is considered unable to judge that the children are at risk even when councilors identify problems unless there is witnessed physical abuse. If this is the payment for peace, it makes me desire to seek another alternative.

However, war is not the answer either. Useful resources from both sides are being denied to the children and given to legal fees and lawmakers. The children often wear used clothing and are unable to attend after school functions. The mother struggles to meet the court-ordered requirements for visitation because the father seeks to impoverish her by making the visitation transitions expensive and time consuming. She is unable to work enough hours to keep the family out of toxic stress as she continually returns to court hearings and meetings with her lawyer.

Clearly Kelly is on the right track. I admire her commitment to peace and desire to take resources used for war to be used for strengthening the human spirit. It is hard for me to believe that our world could ever move its ideals and structures to support the peaceful system that she seeks. However, I believe that it is the capability to keep finding hope, much like a child seeking the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, that makes us human, beautiful, and worth saving.

Kelly, Kathy. Other Lands Have Dreams From Baghdad to Pekin Prison. Oakland, California: AK Press, 2005. Print.

** For Cr399U, Intro to Peace Studies, Portland State University, Fall Term, 2012-2013

Monday, November 19, 2012


Frightened women and children in the city of Basra  
By Lisa Bauman

* A summary of part two of Other Lands Have Dreams: From Baghdad to Pekin Prison by Kathy Kelly

This section talks about the seven years that Kathy Kelly traveled to Iraq as part of the peace activist team Voices in the Wilderness.

In November 1998 Kelly recounts seeing children in Basra who walked barefooted and in rags through the streets of mud and sewage. The sanctions were causing a type of biological and economic warfare” that were claiming the “lives of five to six thousand children every month (pages 31-35).”

In February 1998 she was part of a team that deliberately violated the sanctions by bringing 110,000 dollars worth of medicines to Iraq (page 35). The wards were filled with sick people who were unable to get the help they needed due to the sanctions. Contaminated water and malnutrition killed and permanently damaged thousands of children. Kelly was astounded that the US leaders understood the death and destruction that was occurring and justified so easily. Madeline Albright said that “If we use force, it’s because we are America. We are the indispensible nation. We stand tall. We see further into the future (page 38).”
Al Mansour Children’s wing at the Saddam City Medical Center

In April of 2000 she visited the Al Mansour Children’s wing at the Saddam City Medical Center to see that the situation hadn’t changed even after thirty years. There were no light bulbs. The electricity was unstable because of the Desert Storm bombardment that destroyed Iraq’s electrical grid and scarce medicines would be repeatedly lost. Child incubators were in disrepair and children commonly died of cold. Sanctions prohibited the importation of incubators and mothers were told to wrap children in gauze and cellophane to keep them warm (pages 39 to 41).

 Ibn Sina hospital in Mosul
In January of 2002 she visited the Ibn Sina hospital in Mosul (page 41). It contained several machines, but lacked the tools to make them useful. Doctors were denied books in their education because of the sanctions and often were taught through oral tradition (page 42).  Even sanction-approved items were being denied because of holds from the UN Sanctions Committee and policies recommended by the World Health Organization (page 42)

In 2002 economic sanctions forbid the British company that sold Iraq new generators (costing twelve million dollars) to deliver supportive items such as installment instructions and essential computer software (page 55). It appeared to her that the US was trying to find ways to keep sanctions because it ignored UN documentation that Iraq was in fact not stockpiling foods and medicines and refusing to distribute them to citizens (page 45).
Looting in Iraq

Beginning in 2003 the US bombed civilian areas in an attempt to destroy Saddam Hussein causing more electrical grid destruction. Kelly hid in bomb shelters with civilians and experienced the emotional and physiological pain that it caused (pages 60-65). Families would have to witness each other die (page 72).

In March 2003 the US claimed that only 500 casualties occurred, but it was a lie (page 67). One day in March Kelly witnessed how a single bombing brought 207 wounded people to the hospital (page 66). Looting was rampant and demoralizing (page 72). The US sent soldiers to protect oil refineries while hospitals and food storage facilities were destroyed and unaided (page 74).

More than 3,000 civilians held at Camp Ashraf
Kelly continues to give accounts of examples like this throughout the rest of Part Two. She cites the horrible circumstances that the embargos create and the horrors of military force and its aftermath during the US search for Saddam Hussein.

The pain lives on from this war. Many have died or are suffering and dying. People live in extreme poverty and filth. Innocent people are still imprisoned with no hope of release (page 88). One prisoner begged “Please, there are many here. Help us all (page 90).”
Kelly, Kathy. Other Lands Have Dreams From Baghdad to Pekin Prison. Oakland, California: AK Press, 2005. Print.
** For Cr399U, Intro to Peace Studies, Portland State University, Fall Term 2012-2013