Reese Erlich, foreign correspondent, best-selling book author and freelance journalist, will present “Conversations with Terrorists -- foreign correspondent Reese Erlich's update from the Middle East" at Black Hills State University on Tuesday, Oct. 12 at 3:30 p.m. in Jonas Hall 305.
Erlich, longtime foreign correspondent, will also make presentations to several classes at BHSU.
Erlich works full time as a freelance print and broadcast journalist. He reports regularly for National Public Radio, Radio Deutche Welle, Australian Broadcasting Corp. Radio, and Canadian Broadcasting Corp. Radio. He also writes for San Francisco Chronicle and the Dallas Morning News. His television documentaries have aired on Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) stations nationwide.
In his latest book, Conversations with Terrorists: Middle East Leaders on Politics, Violence and Empire, Erlich questions how the U.S. has dealt with terrorist threats since 2001, suggesting that by "labeling all opponents as terrorists," the government has "from a practical perspective... rendered the term terrorism' meaningless." Using decades of his personal reporting, personal interviews, and new research, Erlich emphasizes the stark differences between the nihilism of al-Qaeda and the political aspirations of organizations such as Hamas and Hezbollah. He urges the U.S. to "recognize the difference between isolated fanatics and groups fighting for legitimate causes," concluding that such a policy shift would "do more to undermine groups such as al Qaeda than all U.S. invasions combined."
Erlich, described by Walter Cronkite, as “a great radio producer and a great friend,” has a long history in journalism that goes back 41 years. He first worked as a staff writer and research editor for “Ramparts”, an investigative reporting magazine published in San Francisco from 1963 to 1975.
The BHSU Bookstore will have his three books available to purchase at the general assembly, Conversations with Terrorists: Middle East Leaders on Politics, Violence and Empire, Dateline Havana, and The Iran Agenda.