Reed Magazine May
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Seeing Mideast democracy as more than ‘‘pie in the sky’’

In profile:
Lorne W. Craner ’82

title: Assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights and labor.
age: 44.
career highlights: President, Inter-national Republican Institute,1995–2001, vice president 1993–1995; director of Asian affairs, National Security Council, 1992–1993; deputy assistant secretary of state for legislative affairs, 1989–1992; foreign policy adviser to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), 1986–1989.
education: B.A., Reed College; M.A., Georgetown University.
family: Married, three children.
favorite rock-and-roll group: Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.

Craner, former president of the International Republican Institute (IRI), acts with common sense in support of an idealistic vision, said Tom Malinowski, Washington advocacy director of Human Rights Watch.

“He’s a very pragmatic person. He’s not one of these crusaders we often have problems with,” said Malinowski, a Clinton administration speechwriter. “He has made a significant difference in maintaining the administration’s focus on human rights when many people thought it would fall off the radar screen—especially in areas where the apparent trade-offs appear to be the greatest, namely Central Asia and the Middle East.”

Craner began thinking about the United States’s place in the world in a personal way when he was still in elementary school. His father, a fighter pilot, was shot down over North Vietnam in December 1967.

Robert Craner spent more than five years in prison, three of them in isolation in a cell next to one occupied by future senator John McCain (R-Ariz.). The two prisoners perfected a code to tap messages to each other and remained close friends until Craner died in 1980.

As the antiwar movement grew in the United States, Lorne Craner was spending four years in London, in his mother’s native country.His mother took him to a George McGovern fundraiser when he was 11, but President Richard Nixon’s handling of Vietnam helped make him a Republican. As he put it, “I thought Nixon was doing the right thing on the war, which was confirmed when he ended the war and my dad came home.”

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Reed Magazine May