Digital Library

  • Margaret Thatcher – Need for Strong Defense

    11/16/91 Margaret Thatcher tells the Los Angeles World Affairs Council that the biggest lesson from the Cold War is “if you wish for peace, you must be prepared for war.”
  • Benjamin Netanyahu – Peace through Strength

    11/17/1997 Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tells the Los Angeles World Affairs Council that in the absence of democracies outside Israel, peace is only possible through deterrence – “Peace Through Strength”
  • Valerie Plame and Joe Cirincione, CIA Spy & Nuclear Expert on Iran

    Valerie Plame Wilson, former CIA operative, and Joe Cirincione, Executive Director of Ploughshares Fund, speaking to the Los Angeles World Affairs Council on March 2, 2015 about nuclear proliferation around the world in general and Iran’s nuclear program in particular. Their talk comes just three weeks before the March 24th deadline for the US and Iran to reach an agreement on restricting Iran’s nuclear ambitions in exchange for a gradual lifting of international sanctions.

    To learn more about the Los Angeles World Affairs Council, visit:
  • Ayaan Hirsi Ali – Muslims must renounce violence

    2/22/2007 Ayaan Hirsi Ali tells the Los Angeles World Affairs Council why Muslims must give up violence, as Christian radicals have learned to do
  • James Bamford on NSA’s massive data collection

    2/4/15 James Bamford talks to the Los Angeles World Affairs Council about the enormous amount of data collected by the NSA – and why they need for the world’s biggest computer to crunch all that data.
  • General Stanley McChrystal: US Special Forces are “Stunningly Good”

    3/16/14 General Stanley McChrystal talks about the capabilities – and the limits – of the “stunningly good” US Special Forces.
  • Terry McCarthy, Council President, speaking on #CharlieHebdo

    As you know, the Los Angeles World Affairs Council is a non-partisan organization and we do not take sides on the many conflicts that plague this world. In laying out the policies of this Council, our bylaws state in Section 3, subsection 2, Paragraph 1 – and I quote:

    “This Council shall encourage free and fair discussion of any problem or issue pertinent to its purposes.”

    I submit to you that the two men who ran into the editorial offices of Charlie Hebdo magazine with AK 47 rifles and opened fire on Wednesday morning were not engaging in free and fair discussion.

    As a former journalist and current President of this Council, I am deeply troubled by such an assault on our fundamental rights of freedom of expression. Those who would try to silence with violence the voices of people whose views they oppose show a complete lack of understanding of what constitutes civilized society. Indeed they do not belong in civilized society. I trust the French police and penitentiary systems will see to that in short order.

    From time to time various parties have put pressure on this Council not to feature a certain speaker, or to limit what a certain speaker might say. My answer has been, and always will be – NOT ON MY WATCH. I often disagree with what I hear from our speakers. But the freedom to say what you want overrides any individual point of view. It is such a fundamental right that we in the United States take it for granted most of the time, until someone tries to take it away. We must never give it up – not to religious extremists in France, nor to cyber hackers in North Korea, nor to autocratic governments in China, Russia or any other country that does not enjoy the rights of our very first constitutional amendment.

    For that reason I join the many French people tonight who have taken to the streets proclaiming “Je suis Charlie” – I am Charlie. I won’t make any jokes this evening – I will leave that to the many cartoonists from around the world, who, as many of you have seen, have used their pens in the past two days to demonstrate with their humor and satire that our freedom cannot and will not be silenced by the sound of bullets.

    -Terry McCarthy, President of Los Angeles World Affairs Council
  • Ed Stone of JPL on Voyager spacecrafts’ discoveries

    1/21/15 Former JPL Director Dr Ed Stone talks to the Los Angeles World Affairs Council about the Voyager spacecrafts’ discoveries of volcanoes, oceans and geysers on other planets.
  • Elon Musk on flying to Mars

    11/18/13 Elon Musk tells the Los Angeles World Affairs Council how humans could get to Mars, and live there under a transparent dome.
  • Cai Wu, Minister of Culture for People's Republic of China: China at a Cultural Crossroad

    Chinese Minister of Culture Cai Wu addressing the Los Angeles World Affairs Council on July 2, 2014.

    To learn more about the Los Angeles World Affairs Council, visit:

The Digital Library has been made possible through a generous grant from the Giles W. And Elise G. Mead Foundation