Zimbabwe’s Currency

January 30, 2009

Zimbabwe’s government for the first time acknowledged the severe problems faced by the country’s local currency.

Harare’s finance minister released the country’s new budget proposal denominated in U.S. dollars in a move SW Radio Africa says will officially pave the way for the disappearance of the Zimbabwean dollar, which has suffered from severe hyperinflation.

Meanwhile, the BBC reports South African officials have said Zimbabwe’s opposition party will agree to endorse a deal for a power-sharing government. Officially, the party has yet to endorse the deal.

Terrorism Update: Pakistani Islamic group targets India

January 28, 2009

In response to Israel’s military action in Gaza to stop Hamas rockets from being fired at Israeli towns and cities, several terrorist groups and their supporters have increased their threats against Israel and Jews, like Lashkar-e-Taiba (LET), a Pakistani-based Islamic terrorist organization.

The threats, which are coming from Hamas, Hezbollah, Al Qaeda, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine among others, exhort Muslims to target Israeli civilians, Jews all over the world, Israeli embassies and American forces in Afghanistan.

Lashkar-e-Taiba (LET), a Pakistani-based Islamic terrorist organization, has embraced a more global anti-Western ideology that considers the United States of America, Israel and India to be its primary enemies. LET has vowed that it will plant the “flag of Islam” in Washington, Tel Aviv and New Delhi.

LET demonstrated this new ideology in a series of coordinated terror attacks in Mumbai, India, in November 2008, that killed over 170 people and wounded approximately 300 others. At least ten armed militants attacked several locations frequented by tourists throughout Mumbai, including a railway station, a popular restaurant, a hospital, two hotels and a Jewish Center.  Although LET never claimed responsibility for the attack, one of the militants captured by Indian authorities reportedly admitted that he belongs to LET and trained with the other gunmen at LET camps in Pakistan in preparation for the attacks.

The front group for LET in Pakistan, Jamaat-ud Dawa, reportedly changed its name in January 2009 to Tehreek-e-Tahafuz Qibla Awal, or the Movement for the Safeguarding of the First Center of Prayer, which appears to be in reference to Al Aqsa Mosque.  The name change demonstrates an ideological shift to further support and identify with the Palestinians.

LET was designated as a terrorist organization by the United States of America in December 2001; designated by Pakistan in January 2002; and designated by the United Nations in May 2005.

Davos World Economic Forum 2009

January 28, 2009

The Financial Times says overall attendance numbers may be up at this year’s World Economic Forum summit at Davos, which opens today, but adds that the overall mood is glum due to the global economic crisis.

The Wall Street Journal reports the summit will focus predominantly on two questions: whether the world economy can be saved from prolonged recession, and if so, where the growth will come from. The article says policymakers are likely to look to rattled U.S. consumers – rather than rattled Chinese and emerging market producers – as the most plausible engine in the short-term.

Bloomberg also reports a markedly different attitude among emerging market leaders, some of whom were perceived as “cocky” at last year’s event.

The Wall Street Journal has also a page focused on summit coverage, pulling together several relevant news and analysis pieces.

Londonistan – Britain’s Surrender

January 25, 2009


Britain and France had to choose between war and dishonour. They chose dishonour. They will have war. (1938, Winston Churchill to Neville Chamberlain in the House of Commons, after the Munich accords)

by Melanie Phillips

Years of demonizing Israel and appeasing Islamist extremism have coalesced in an unprecedented wave of hatred against Israel and a sharp rise in attacks on British Jews.

In Britain, the war in Gaza has revealed the extent to which the media, intelligentsia and political class have simply crumbled in the face of the global jihad.

The U.K. is a major player in European and world politics and is America’s most significant strategic ally. Until now, it has been considered one of Israel’s firm supporters and a linchpin of the Western defense against the world-wide Islamist onslaught. With the reaction to Gaza, however, that reputation is no longer sustainable.

Years of demonizing Israel and appeasing Islamist extremism within Britain have now coalesced, as a result of the media misrepresentation of the Gaza war as an atrocity against civilians, in an unprecedented wave of hatred against Israel and a sharp rise in attacks on British Jews.

Throughout the war, London’s streets have witnessed a hallucinatory level of violent and explicit support for Hamas from Muslims, members of the far left and supposedly progressive individuals.

Night after night, Israel’s embassy in well-to-do Kensington found itself under violent siege. Demonstrators attempted to storm the building, howling their support for the terrorist body whose genocidal intentions toward Israel and the Jews necessarily includes killing every one of the occupants inside.

Certainly, there have been anti-Israel protests around the world. But in Britain, not only have these been particularly violent but the authorities have done nothing to stop such incitement of hatred.

The police told pro-Israel demonstrators on at least one occasion to put away their Israel flags because they were “inflammatory.” Yet officers allowed some anti-Israel demonstrators to scream support for Hamas – and even to dress up as hook-nosed Jews pretending to drink the blood of Palestinian babies.

In general, the police have reacted passively to the violence. One recent video clip captured the astonishing spectacle of Muslims stampeding through London’s West End hurling traffic cones and other missiles at the police, all the time shrieking “Allahu akbar” and “cowards.” The police ran and stumbled backward rather than standing their ground and stopping the rampage.

Not only has such violence barely been reported. There has also been no acknowledgment of the explicitly Islamist nature of these demonstrations. Keffiyeh-clad demonstrators prostrated themselves in prayer or shouted “Allahu akbar” as they attacked Jewish-owned or -founded stores, such as Starbucks and Tesco, on numerous occasions.

Instead, the political class has simply regurgitated Hamas propaganda. In a debate in the House of Commons last week, one MP after another expressed horror at Israel’s supposed crimes against humanity in Gaza.

More serious still, Foreign Office Minister Bill Rammell cited as fact the Hamas claim that 300 children had been killed in Gaza, even though Israel has given a much lower figure, and said the Israeli action was “disproportionate” and the bombing was “indefensible and unacceptable.”

Similarly, Prime Minister Gordon Brown, commenting after this weekend’s cease-fire that “too many innocent people” had been killed, made no mention of Israel’s strenuous attempts to minimize civilian casualties, nor Hamas’s responsibility for holding Gaza’s civilians hostage.

In fact, the British government has effectively taken the view that Israel should not be allowed to defend itself by military means against the Hamas rockets that ministers have taken care to condemn.

From the second day of the war, Foreign Secretary David Miliband was calling for an immediate cease-fire by both sides. Since Hamas would take no notice, this in practice amounted to pressure upon Israel to stop defending itself.

It was Britain which took the lead in framing the United Nations resolution calling upon Israel to withdraw all its forces from Gaza while making no mention whatever of Hamas. And it was Britain which also drew a disquieting moral equivalence between Hamas terrorism and Israeli self-defense.

Certainly, neither Mr. Miliband nor Mr. Brown – a reputed supporter of Israel – can be unaware that it was Tony Blair’s refusal to call for an immediate cease-fire by Israel in the 2006 Lebanon war that finally led his MPs, already enraged by his support for the war in Iraq, to force him prematurely out of office.

But Britain’s new coolness toward Israel is due to much more than this. The government’s failure to support Israel’s war against Hamas as the front line of the West’s defense against the global Islamic jihad reflects its failure in turn to acknowledge the nature of that world-wide phenomenon.

Last Thursday, Mr. Miliband wrote in the Guardian that there was no single, unified Islamist threat but merely a set of various local grievances, such as Kashmir or the Golan Heights. Such startling ignorance of the goals and ideological antecedents of the Islamic jihad, from Hamas to Hezbollah to Pakistan’s Lashkar-e-Taiba, is of a piece with the British government’s stubborn refusal to accept that the West is under assault from a war of religion.

The government denies this fact because it does not want to face up to the unpalatable realities of fighting such a war. So although “middle Britain” is beginning to grasp that the Islamists in Gaza are the same as those rampaging through the streets of London, ministers are intent on appeasing Muslim extremism and intimidation both at home and abroad.

Accordingly, while Britain’s security services have had significant success in smashing Islamic terrorism plots, government strategy for combating Islamist extremism rests upon seeking to mollify Britain’s two million or so Muslims by avoiding confrontation – which means turning a blind eye to threatening statements.

Recently, prominent British Muslims who advise ministers against Islamist extremism wrote an open letter making the veiled threat that unless the government condemned Israel there would be a rise in violence in Britain.

Ministers’ openly stated fear that this will indeed happen as a result of the war in Gaza makes them anxious to show Britain’s Muslims that they oppose Israel’s actions. They don’t understand that, by showing such weakness in the face of intimidation, they are not just betraying their Israeli ally but also undermining the Western defense against the jihad.

Across the spectrum, Britain’s elites are terrified of dealing with militant Islamism. It is hard to avoid the conclusion that, in a pattern which goes back to the foundational Christian blood libel against the Jews, they are concealing their fearful inability to deal with Islamist aggression by displacing the blame onto its Israeli victims instead.

This article originally appeared in the Wall Street Journal.

Vatican Launches YouTube Channel: For Unto Us A Pope Is Born!

January 25, 2009

The Vatican said that with a new YouTube channel, it hoped to broaden the pope’s audience – around 1.4 billion people are online worldwide – while giving the Holy See better control over the pope’s Internet image.

U.S. President Obama appoints envoys to Middle East and South Asia

January 24, 2009

U.S. President Barack Obama named high-profile envoys to be his point-men for the political crises in the Middle East and South Asia.

Obama named George Mitchell, a former U.S. Senate majority leader, to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and Richard Holbrooke, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, to lead U.S. efforts in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The Middle East Times analyses the choices in a special report and argues that Obama appears to be shifting Middle East politics into “high gear” as a top priority.

Read full story.

In Memoriam: Samuel P. Huntington (1927-2008)

January 24, 2009


To commemorate the passing of Samuel P. Huntington, the preeminent political scientist of the second half of the twentieth century, who died on December 24th, 2008, we reproduce his great controversial essay The Clash of Civilizations, published 1993 in the leading magazine for international affairs Foreign Affairs.


The Clash of Civilizations?

by Samuel P. Huntington

Summary: World politics is entering a new phase, in which the great divisions among humankind and the dominating source of international conflict will be cultural. Civilizations – the highest cultural groupings of people – are differentiated from each other by religion, history, language and tradition. These divisions are deep and increasing in importance. From Yugoslavia to the Middle East to Central Asia, the fault lines of civilizations are the battle lines of the future. In this emerging era of cultural conflict the United States must forge alliances with similar cultures and spread its values wherever possible. With alien civilizations the West must be accommodating if possible, but confrontational if necessary. In the final analysis, however, all civilizations will have to learn to tolerate each other.


World politics is entering a new phase, and intellectuals have not hesitated to proliferate visions of what it will be-the end of history, the return of traditional rivalries between nation states, and the decline of the nation state from the conflicting pulls of tribalism and globalism, among others. Each of these visions catches aspects of the emerging reality. Yet they all miss a crucial, indeed a central, aspect of what global politics is likely to be in the coming years.

It is my hypothesis that the fundamental source of conflict in this new world will not be primarily ideological or primarily economic. The great divisions among humankind and the dominating source of conflict will be cultural. Nation states will remain the most powerful actors in world affairs, but the principal conflicts of global politics will occur between nations and groups of different civilizations. The clash of civilizations will dominate global politics. The fault lines between civilizations will be the battle lines of the future.

Conflict between civilizations will be the latest phase in the evolution of conflict in the modern world. For a century and a half after the emergence of the modern international system with the Peace of Westphalia, the conflicts of the Western world were largely among princes-emperors, absolute monarchs and constitutional monarchs attempting to expand their bureaucracies, their armies, their mercantilist economic strength and, most important, the territory they ruled. In the process they created nation states, and beginning with the French Revolution the principal lines of conflict were between nations rather than princes.

In 1793, as R. R. Palmer put it, “The wars of kings were over; the wars of peoples had begun.” This nineteenth-century pattern lasted until the end of World War I. Then, as a result of the Russian Revolution and the reaction against it, the conflict of nations yielded to the conflict of ideologies, first among communism, fascism-Nazism and liberal democracy, and then between communism and liberal democracy. During the Cold War, this latter conflict became embodied in the struggle between the two superpowers, neither of which was a nation state in the classical European sense and each of which defined its identity in terms of its ideology.

These conflicts between princes, nation states and ideologies were primarily conflicts within Western civilization, “Western civil wars,” as William Lind has labeled them. This was as true of the Cold War as it was of the world wars and the earlier wars of the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. With the end of the Cold War, international politics moves out of its Western phase, and its centerpiece becomes the interaction between the West and non-Western civilizations and among non-Western civilizations. In the politics of civilizations, the peoples and governments of non-Western civilizations no longer remain the objects of history as targets of Western colonialism but join the West as movers and shapers of history.


During the cold war the world was divided into the First, Second and Third Worlds. Those divisions are no longer relevant. It is far more meaningful now to group countries not in terms of their political or economic systems or in terms of their level of economic development but rather in terms of their culture and civilization.

What do we mean when we talk of a civilization? A civilization is a cultural entity. Villages, regions, ethnic groups, nationalities, religious groups, all have distinct cultures at different levels of cultural heterogeneity. The culture of a village in southern Italy may be different from that of a village in northern Italy, but both will share in a common Italian culture that distinguishes them from German villages. European communities, in turn, will share cultural features that distinguish them from Arab or Chinese communities. Arabs, Chinese and Westerners, however, are not part of any broader cultural entity. They constitute civilizations. A civilization is thus the highest cultural grouping of people and the broadest level of cultural identity people have short of that which distinguishes humans from other species. It is defined both by common objective elements, such as language, history, religion, customs, institutions, and by the subjective self-identification of people. People have levels of identity: a resident of Rome may define himself with varying degrees of intensity as a Roman, an Italian, a Catholic, a Christian, a European, a Westerner. The civilization to which he belongs is the broadest level of identification with which he intensely identifies. People can and do redefine their identities and, as a result, the composition and boundaries of civilizations change.

Civilizations may involve a large number of people, as with China (“a civilization pretending to be a state,” as Lucian Pye put it), or a very small number of people, such as the Anglophone Caribbean. A civilization may include several nation states, as is the case with Western, Latin American and Arab civilizations, or only one, as is the case with Japanese civilization. Civilizations obviously blend and overlap, and may include subcivilizations. Western civilization has two major variants, European and North American, and Islam has its Arab, Turkic and Malay subdivisions. Civilizations are nonetheless meaningful entities, and while the lines between them are seldom sharp, they are real. Civilizations are dynamic; they rise and fall; they divide and merge. And, as any student of history knows, civilizations disappear and are buried in the sands of time.

Westerners tend to think of nation states as the principal actors in global affairs. They have been that, however, for only a few centuries. The broader reaches of human history have been the history of civilizations. In A Study of History, Arnold Toynbee identified 21 major civilizations; only six of them exist in the contemporary world.


Civilization identity will be increasingly important in the future, and the world will be shaped in large measure by the interactions among seven or eight major civilizations. These include Western, Confucian, Japanese, Islamic, Hindu, Slavic-Orthodox, Latin American and possibly African civilization. The most important conflicts of the future will occur along the cultural fault lines separating these civilizations from one another.

Why will this be the case?

First, differences among civilizations are not only real; they are basic. Civilizations are differentiated from each other by history, language, culture, tradition and, most important, religion. The people of different civilizations have different views on the relations between God and man, the individual and the group, the citizen and the state, parents and children, husband and wife, as well as differing views of the relative importance of rights and responsibilities, liberty and authority, equality and hierarchy. These differences are the product of centuries. They will not soon disappear. They are far more fundamental than differences among political ideologies and political regimes. Differences do not necessarily mean conflict, and conflict does not necessarily mean violence. Over the centuries, however, differences among civilizations have generated the most prolonged and the most violent conflicts.

Second, the world is becoming a smaller place. The interactions between peoples of different civilizations are increasing; these increasing interactions intensify civilization consciousness and awareness of differences between civilizations and commonalities within civilizations. North African immigration to France generates hostility among Frenchmen and at the same time increased receptivity to immigration by “good” European Catholic Poles. Americans react far more negatively to Japanese investment than to larger investments from Canada and European countries.

Similarly, as Donald Horowitz has pointed out, “An Ibo may be … an Owerri Ibo or an Onitsha Ibo in what was the Eastern region of Nigeria. In Lagos, he is simply an Ibo. In London, he is a Nigerian. In New York, he is an African.”

The interactions among peoples of different civilizations enhance the civilization-consciousness of people that, in turn, invigorates differences and animosities stretching or thought to stretch back deep into history.

Third, the processes of economic modernization and social change throughout the world are separating people from longstanding local identities. They also weaken the nation state as a source of identity. In much of the world religion has moved in to fill this gap, often in the form of movements that are labeled “fundamentalist.” Such movements are found in Western Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism and Hinduism, as well as in Islam. In most countries and most religions the people active in fundamentalist movements are young, college-educated, middle-class technicians, professionals and business persons. The “unsecularization of the world,” George Weigel has remarked, “is one of the dominant social facts of life in the late twentieth century.” The revival of religion, “la revanche de Dieu,” as Gilles Kepel labeled it, provides a basis for identity and commitment that transcends national boundaries and unites civilizations.

Fourth, the growth of civilization-consciousness is enhanced by the dual role of the West. On the one hand, the West is at a peak of power. At the same time, however, and perhaps as a result, a return to the roots phenomenon is occurring among non-Western civilizations. Increasingly one hears references to trends toward a turning inward and “Asianization” in Japan, the end of the Nehru legacy and the “Hinduization” of India, the failure of Western ideas of socialism and nationalism and hence “re-Islamization” of the Middle East, and now a debate over Westernization versus Russianization in Boris Yeltsin’s country. A West at the peak of its power confronts non-Wests that increasingly have the desire, the will and the resources to shape the world in non-Western ways.

In the past, the elites of non-Western societies were usually the people who were most involved with the West, had been educated at Oxford, the Sorbonne or Sandhurst, and had absorbed Western attitudes and values. At the same time, the populace in non-Western countries often remained deeply imbued with the indigenous culture. Now, however, these relationships are being reversed. A de-Westernization and indigenization of elites is occurring in many non-Western countries at the same time that Western, usually American, cultures, styles and habits become more popular among the mass of the people.

Fifth, cultural characteristics and differences are less mutable and hence less easily compromised and resolved than political and economic ones. In the former Soviet Union, communists can become democrats, the rich can become poor and the poor rich, but Russians cannot become Estonians and Azeris cannot become Armenians. In class and ideological conflicts, the key question was “Which side are you on?” and people could and did choose sides and change sides. In conflicts between civilizations, the question is “What are you?” That is a given that cannot be changed. And as we know, from Bosnia to the Caucasus to the Sudan, the wrong answer to that question can mean a bullet in the head. Even more than ethnicity, religion discriminates sharply and exclusively among people. A person can be half-French and half-Arab and simultaneously even a citizen of two countries. It is more difficult to be half-Catholic and half-Muslim.

Finally, economic regionalism is increasing. The proportions of total trade that were intraregional rose between 1980 and 1989 from 51 percent to 59 percent in Europe, 33 percent to 37 percent in East Asia, and 32 percent to 36 percent in North America. The importance of regional economic blocs is likely to continue to increase in the future. On the one hand, successful economic regionalism will reinforce civilization-consciousness. On the other hand, economic regionalism may succeed only when it is rooted in a common civilization. The European Community rests on the shared foundation of European culture and Western Christianity. The success of the North American Free Trade Area depends on the convergence now underway of Mexican, Canadian and American cultures. Japan, in contrast, faces difficulties in creating a comparable economic entity in East Asia because Japan is a society and civilization unique to itself. However strong the trade and investment links Japan may develop with other East Asian countries, its cultural differences with those countries inhibit and perhaps preclude its promoting regional economic integration like that in Europe and North America.

Common culture, in contrast, is clearly facilitating the rapid expansion of the economic relations between the People’s Republic of China and Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and the overseas Chinese communities in other Asian countries. With the Cold War over, cultural commonalities increasingly overcome ideological differences, and mainland China and Taiwan move closer together. If cultural commonality is a prerequisite for economic integration, the principal East Asian economic bloc of the future is likely to be centered on China. This bloc is, in fact, already coming into existence. As Murray Weidenbaum has observed,

Despite the current Japanese dominance of the region, the Chinese-based economy of Asia is rapidly emerging as a new epicenter for industry, commerce and finance. This strategic area contains substantial amounts of technology and manufacturing capability (Taiwan), outstanding entrepreneurial, marketing and services acumen (Hong Kong), a fine communications network (Singapore), a tremendous pool of financial capital (all three), and very large endowments of land, resources and labor (mainland China)…. From Guangzhou to Singapore, from Kuala Lumpur to Manila, this influential network-often based on extensions of the traditional clans-has been described as the backbone of the East Asian economy.

Culture and religion also form the basis of the Economic Cooperation Organization, which brings together ten non-Arab Muslim countries: Iran, Pakistan, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Tadjikistan, Uzbekistan and Afghanistan. One impetus to the revival and expansion of this organization, founded originally in the 1960s by Turkey, Pakistan and Iran, is the realization by the leaders of several of these countries that they had no chance of admission to the European Community. Similarly, Caricom, the Central American Common Market and Mercosur rest on common cultural foundations. Efforts to build a broader Caribbean-Central American economic entity bridging the Anglo-Latin divide, however, have to date failed.

As people define their identity in ethnic and religious terms, they are likely to see an “us” versus “them” relation existing between themselves and people of different ethnicity or religion. The end of ideologically defined states in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union permits traditional ethnic identities and animosities to come to the fore. Differences in culture and religion create differences over policy issues, ranging from human rights to immigration to trade and commerce to the environment. Geographical propinquity gives rise to conflicting territorial claims from Bosnia to Mindanao. Most important, the efforts of the West to promote its values of democracy and liberalism as universal values, to maintain its military predominance and to advance its economic interests engender countering responses from other civilizations. Decreasingly able to mobilize support and form coalitions on the basis of ideology, governments and groups will increasingly attempt to mobilize support by appealing to common religion and civilization identity.

The clash of civilizations thus occurs at two levels. At the micro- level, adjacent groups along the fault lines between civilizations struggle, often violently, over the control of territory and each other. At the macro-level, states from different civilizations compete for relative military and economic power, struggle over the control of international institutions and third parties, and competitively promote their particular political and religious values.


The fault lines between civilizations are replacing the political and ideological boundaries of the Cold War as the flash points for crisis and bloodshed. The Cold War began when the Iron Curtain divided Europe politically and ideologically. The Cold War ended with the end of the Iron Curtain. As the ideological division of Europe has disappeared, the cultural division of Europe between Western Christianity, on the one hand, and Orthodox Christianity and Islam, on the other, has reemerged. The most significant dividing line in Europe, as William Wallace has suggested, may well be the eastern boundary of Western Christianity in the year 1500. This line runs along what are now the boundaries between Finland and Russia and between the Baltic states and Russia, cuts through Belarus and Ukraine separating the more Catholic western Ukraine from Orthodox eastern Ukraine, swings westward separating Transylvania from the rest of Romania, and then goes through Yugoslavia almost exactly along the line now separating Croatia and Slovenia from the rest of Yugoslavia. In the Balkans this line, of course, coincides with the historic boundary between the Hapsburg and Ottoman empires. The peoples to the north and west of this line are Protestant or Catholic; they shared the common experiences of European history-feudalism, the Renaissance, the Reformation, the Enlightenment, the French Revolution, the Industrial Revolution; they are generally economically better off than the peoples to the east; and they may now look forward to increasing involvement in a common European economy and to the consolidation of democratic political systems. The peoples to the east and south of this line are Orthodox or Muslim; they historically belonged to the Ottoman or Tsarist empires and were only lightly touched by the shaping events in the rest of Europe; they are generally less advanced economically; they seem much less likely to develop stable democratic political systems. The Velvet Curtain of culture has replaced the Iron Curtain of ideology as the most significant dividing line in Europe. As the events in Yugoslavia show, it is not only a line of difference; it is also at times a line of bloody conflict.

Conflict along the fault line between Western and Islamic civilizations has been going on for 1,300 years. After the founding of Islam, the Arab and Moorish surge west and north only ended at Tours in 732. From the eleventh to the thirteenth century the Crusaders attempted with temporary success to bring Christianity and Christian rule to the Holy Land. From the fourteenth to the seventeenth century, the Ottoman Turks reversed the balance, extended their sway over the Middle East and the Balkans, captured Constantinople, and twice laid siege to Vienna. In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries as Ottoman power declined Britain, France, and Italy established Western control over most of North Africa and the Middle East.

After World War II, the West, in turn, began to retreat; the colonial empires disappeared; first Arab nationalism and then Islamic fundamentalism manifested themselves; the West became heavily dependent on the Persian Gulf countries for its energy; the oil-rich Muslim countries became money-rich and, when they wished to, weapons-rich. Several wars occurred between Arabs and Israel (created by the West). France fought a bloody and ruthless war in Algeria for most of the 1950s; British and French forces invaded Egypt in 1956; American forces went into Lebanon in 1958; subsequently American forces returned to Lebanon, attacked Libya, and engaged in various military encounters with Iran; Arab and Islamic terrorists, supported by at least three Middle Eastern governments, employed the weapon of the weak and bombed Western planes and installations and seized Western hostages. This warfare between Arabs and the West culminated in 1990, when the United States sent a massive army to the Persian Gulf to defend some Arab countries against aggression by another. In its aftermath NATO planning is increasingly directed to potential threats and instability along its “southern tier.”

This centuries-old military interaction between the West and Islam is unlikely to decline. It could become more virulent. The Gulf War left some Arabs feeling proud that Saddam Hussein had attacked Israel and stood up to the West. It also left many feeling humiliated and resentful of the West’s military presence in the Persian Gulf, the West’s overwhelming military dominance, and their apparent inability to shape their own destiny. Many Arab countries, in addition to the oil exporters, are reaching levels of economic and social development where autocratic forms of government become inappropriate and efforts to introduce democracy become stronger. Some openings in Arab political systems have already occurred. The principal beneficiaries of these openings have been Islamist movements. In the Arab world, in short, Western democracy strengthens anti-Western political forces. This may be a passing phenomenon, but it surely complicates relations between Islamic countries and the West.

Those relations are also complicated by demography. The spectacular population growth in Arab countries, particularly in North Africa, has led to increased migration to Western Europe. The movement within Western Europe toward minimizing internal boundaries has sharpened political sensitivities with respect to this development. In Italy, France and Germany, racism is increasingly open, and political reactions and violence against Arab and Turkish migrants have become more intense and more widespread since 1990.

On both sides the interaction between Islam and the West is seen as a clash of civilizations. The West’s “next confrontation,” observes M. J. Akbar, an Indian Muslim author, “is definitely going to come from the Muslim world. It is in the sweep of the Islamic nations from the Maghreb to Pakistan that the struggle for a new world order will begin.” Bernard Lewis comes to a similar conclusion:

We are facing a mood and a movement far transcending the level of issues and policies and the governments that pursue them. This is no less than a clash of civilizations-the perhaps irrational but surely historic reaction of an ancient rival against our Judeo-Christian heritage, our secular present, and the worldwide expansion of both.

Historically, the other great antagonistic interaction of Arab Islamic civilization has been with the pagan, animist, and now increasingly Christian black peoples to the south. In the past, this antagonism was epitomized in the image of Arab slave dealers and black slaves. It has been reflected in the on-going civil war in the Sudan between Arabs and blacks, the fighting in Chad between Libyan-supported insurgents and the government, the tensions between Orthodox Christians and Muslims in the Horn of Africa, and the political conflicts, recurring riots and communal violence between Muslims and Christians in Nigeria. The modernization of Africa and the spread of Christianity are likely to enhance the probability of violence along this fault line. Symptomatic of the intensification of this conflict was the Pope John Paul II’s speech in Khartoum in February 1993 attacking the actions of the Sudan’s Islamist government against the Christian minority there.

On the northern border of Islam, conflict has increasingly erupted between Orthodox and Muslim peoples, including the carnage of Bosnia and Sarajevo, the simmering violence between Serb and Albanian, the tenuous relations between Bulgarians and their Turkish minority, the violence between Ossetians and Ingush, the unremitting slaughter of each other by Armenians and Azeris, the tense relations between Russians and Muslims in Central Asia, and the deployment of Russian troops to protect Russian interests in the Caucasus and Central Asia. Religion reinforces the revival of ethnic identities and restimulates Russian fears about the security of their southern borders. This concern is well captured by Archie Roosevelt:

Much of Russian history concerns the struggle between the Slavs and the Turkic peoples on their borders, which dates back to the foundation of the Russian state more than a thousand years ago. In the Slavs’ millennium-long confrontation with their eastern neighbors lies the key to an understanding not only of Russian history, but Russian character. To understand Russian realities today one has to have a concept of the great Turkic ethnic group that has preoccupied Russians through the centuries.‹

The conflict of civilizations is deeply rooted elsewhere in Asia. The historic clash between Muslim and Hindu in the subcontinent manifests itself now not only in the rivalry between Pakistan and India but also in intensifying religious strife within India between increasingly militant Hindu groups and India’s substantial Muslim minority. The destruction of the Ayodhya mosque in December 1992 brought to the fore the issue of whether India will remain a secular democratic state or become a Hindu one. In East Asia, China has outstanding territorial disputes with most of its neighbors. It has pursued a ruthless policy toward the Buddhist people of Tibet, and it is pursuing an increasingly ruthless policy toward its Turkic-Muslim minority. With the Cold War over, the underlying differences between China and the United States have reasserted themselves in areas such as human rights, trade and weapons proliferation. These differences are unlikely to moderate. A “new cold war,” Deng Xaioping reportedly asserted in 1991, is under way between China and America.

The same phrase has been applied to the increasingly difficult relations between Japan and the United States. Here cultural difference exacerbates economic conflict. People on each side allege racism on the other, but at least on the American side the antipathies are not racial but cultural. The basic values, attitudes, behavioral patterns of the two societies could hardly be more different. The economic issues between the United States and Europe are no less serious than those between the United States and Japan, but they do not have the same political salience and emotional intensity because the differences between American culture and European culture are so much less than those between American civilization and Japanese civilization.

The interactions between civilizations vary greatly in the extent to which they are likely to be characterized by violence. Economic competition clearly predominates between the American and European subcivilizations of the West and between both of them and Japan. On the Eurasian continent, however, the proliferation of ethnic conflict, epitomized at the extreme in “ethnic cleansing,” has not been totally random. It has been most frequent and most violent between groups belonging to different civilizations. In Eurasia the great historic fault lines between civilizations are once more aflame. This is particularly true along the boundaries of the crescent-shaped Islamic bloc of nations from the bulge of Africa to central Asia. Violence also occurs between Muslims, on the one hand, and Orthodox Serbs in the Balkans, Jews in Israel, Hindus in India, Buddhists in Burma and Catholics in the Philippines. Islam has bloody borders.


Groups or states belonging to one civilization that become involved in war with people from a different civilization naturally try to rally support from other members of their own civilization. As the post-Cold War world evolves, civilization commonality, what H. D. S. Greenway has termed the “kin-country” syndrome, is replacing political ideology and traditional balance of power considerations as the principal basis for cooperation and coalitions. It can be seen gradually emerging in the post-Cold War conflicts in the Persian Gulf, the Caucasus and Bosnia. None of these was a full-scale war between civilizations, but each involved some elements of civilizational rallying, which seemed to become more important as the conflict continued and which may provide a foretaste of the future.

First, in the Gulf War one Arab state invaded another and then fought a coalition of Arab, Western and other states. While only a few Muslim governments overtly supported Saddam Hussein, many Arab elites privately cheered him on, and he was highly popular among large sections of the Arab publics. Islamic fundamentalist movements universally supported Iraq rather than the Western-backed governments of Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Forswearing Arab nationalism, Saddam Hussein explicitly invoked an Islamic appeal. He and his supporters attempted to define the war as a war between civilizations. “It is not the world against Iraq,” as Safar Al-Hawali, dean of Islamic Studies at the Umm Al-Qura University in Mecca, put it in a widely circulated tape. “It is the West against Islam.” Ignoring the rivalry between Iran and Iraq, the chief Iranian religious leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, called for a holy war against the West: “The struggle against American aggression, greed, plans and policies will be counted as a jihad, and anybody who is killed on that path is a martyr.” “This is a war,” King Hussein of Jordan argued, “against all Arabs and all Muslims and not against Iraq alone.”

The rallying of substantial sections of Arab elites and publics behind Saddam Hussein caused those Arab governments in the anti-Iraq coalition to moderate their activities and temper their public statements. Arab governments opposed or distanced themselves from subsequent Western efforts to apply pressure on Iraq, including enforcement of a no-fly zone in the summer of 1992 and the bombing of Iraq in January 1993. The Western-Soviet-Turkish-Arab anti-Iraq coalition of 1990 had by 1993 become a coalition of almost only the West and Kuwait against Iraq.

Muslims contrasted Western actions against Iraq with the West’s failure to protect Bosnians against Serbs and to impose sanctions on Israel for violating U.N. resolutions. The West, they alleged, was using a double standard. A world of clashing civilizations, however, is inevitably a world of double standards: people apply one standard to their kin-countries and a different standard to others.

Second, the kin-country syndrome also appeared in conflicts in the former Soviet Union. Armenian military successes in 1992 and 1993 stimulated Turkey to become increasingly supportive of its religious, ethnic and linguistic brethren in Azerbaijan. “We have a Turkish nation feeling the same sentiments as the Azerbaijanis,” said one Turkish official in 1992. “We are under pressure. Our newspapers are full of the photos of atrocities and are asking us if we are still serious about pursuing our neutral policy. Maybe we should show Armenia that there’s a big Turkey in the region.” President Turgut Özal agreed, remarking that Turkey should at least “scare the Armenians a little bit.” Turkey, Özal threatened again in 1993, would “show its fangs.” Turkish Air Force jets flew reconnaissance flights along the Armenian border; Turkey suspended food shipments and air flights to Armenia; and Turkey and Iran announced they would not accept dismemberment of Azerbaijan. In the last years of its existence, the Soviet government supported Azerbaijan because its government was dominated by former communists. With the end of the Soviet Union, however, political considerations gave way to religious ones. Russian troops fought on the side of the Armenians, and Azerbaijan accused the “Russian government of turning 180 degrees” toward support for Christian Armenia.

Third, with respect to the fighting in the former Yugoslavia, Western publics manifested sympathy and support for the Bosnian Muslims and the horrors they suffered at the hands of the Serbs. Relatively little concern was expressed, however, over Croatian attacks on Muslims and participation in the dismemberment of Bosnia-Herzegovina. In the early stages of the Yugoslav breakup, Germany, in an unusual display of diplomatic initiative and muscle, induced the other 11 members of the European Community to follow its lead in recognizing Slovenia and Croatia. As a result of the pope’s determination to provide strong backing to the two Catholic countries, the Vatican extended recognition even before the Community did. The United States followed the European lead. Thus the leading actors in Western civilization rallied behind their coreligionists. Subsequently Croatia was reported to be receiving substantial quantities of arms from Central European and other Western countries. Boris Yeltsin’s government, on the other hand, attempted to pursue a middle course that would be sympathetic to the Orthodox Serbs but not alienate Russia from the West. Russian conservative and nationalist groups, however, including many legislators, attacked the government for not being more forthcoming in its support for the Serbs. By early 1993 several hundred Russians apparently were serving with the Serbian forces, and reports circulated of Russian arms being supplied to Serbia.

Islamic governments and groups, on the other hand, castigated the West for not coming to the defense of the Bosnians. Iranian leaders urged Muslims from all countries to provide help to Bosnia; in violation of the U.N. arms embargo, Iran supplied weapons and men for the Bosnians; Iranian-supported Lebanese groups sent guerrillas to train and organize the Bosnian forces. In 1993 up to 4,000 Muslims from over two dozen Islamic countries were reported to be fighting in Bosnia. The governments of Saudi Arabia and other countries felt under increasing pressure from fundamentalist groups in their own societies to provide more vigorous support for the Bosnians. By the end of 1992, Saudi Arabia had reportedly supplied substantial funding for weapons and supplies for the Bosnians, which significantly increased their military capabilities vis-à-vis the Serbs.

In the 1930s the Spanish Civil War provoked intervention from countries that politically were fascist, communist and democratic. In the 1990s the Yugoslav conflict is provoking intervention from countries that are Muslim, Orthodox and Western Christian. The parallel has not gone unnoticed. “The war in Bosnia-Herzegovina has become the emotional equivalent of the fight against fascism in the Spanish Civil War,” one Saudi editor observed. “Those who died there are regarded as martyrs who tried to save their fellow Muslims.”

Conflicts and violence will also occur between states and groups within the same civilization. Such conflicts, however, are likely to be less intense and less likely to expand than conflicts between civilizations. Common membership in a civilization reduces the probability of violence in situations where it might otherwise occur. In 1991 and 1992 many people were alarmed by the possibility of violent conflict between Russia and Ukraine over territory, particularly Crimea, the Black Sea fleet, nuclear weapons and economic issues. If civilization is what counts, however, the likelihood of violence between Ukrainians and Russians should be low. They are two Slavic, primarily Orthodox peoples who have had close relationships with each other for centuries. As of early 1993, despite all the reasons for conflict, the leaders of the two countries were effectively negotiating and defusing the issues between the two countries. While there has been serious fighting between Muslims and Christians elsewhere in the former Soviet Union and much tension and some fighting between Western and Orthodox Christians in the Baltic states, there has been virtually no violence between Russians and Ukrainians.

Civilization rallying to date has been limited, but it has been growing, and it clearly has the potential to spread much further. As the conflicts in the Persian Gulf, the Caucasus and Bosnia continued, the positions of nations and the cleavages between them increasingly were along civilizational lines. Populist politicians, religious leaders and the media have found it a potent means of arousing mass support and of pressuring hesitant governments. In the coming years, the local conflicts most likely to escalate into major wars will be those, as in Bosnia and the Caucasus, along the fault lines between civilizations. The next world war, if there is one, will be a war between civilizations.


The west is now at an extraordinary peak of power in relation to other civilizations. Its superpower opponent has disappeared from the map. Military conflict among Western states is unthinkable, and Western military power is unrivaled. Apart from Japan, the West faces no economic challenge. It dominates international political and security institutions and with Japan international economic institutions. Global political and security issues are effectively settled by a directorate of the United States, Britain and France, world economic issues by a directorate of the United States, Germany and Japan, all of which maintain extraordinarily close relations with each other to the exclusion of lesser and largely non-Western countries. Decisions made at the U.N. Security Council or in the International Monetary Fund that reflect the interests of the West are presented to the world as reflecting the desires of the world community. The very phrase “the world community” has become the euphemistic collective noun (replacing “the Free World”) to give global legitimacy to actions reflecting the interests of the United States and other Western powers.› Through the IMF and other international economic institutions, the West promotes its economic interests and imposes on other nations the economic policies it thinks appropriate. In any poll of non-Western peoples, the IMF undoubtedly would win the support of finance ministers and a few others, but get an overwhelmingly unfavorable rating from just about everyone else, who would agree with Georgy Arbatov’s characterization of IMF officials as “neo-Bolsheviks who love expropriating other people’s money, imposing undemocratic and alien rules of economic and political conduct and stifling economic freedom.”

Western domination of the U.N. Security Council and its decisions, tempered only by occasional abstention by China, produced U.N. legitimation of the West’s use of force to drive Iraq out of Kuwait and its elimination of Iraq’s sophisticated weapons and capacity to produce such weapons. It also produced the quite unprecedented action by the United States, Britain and France in getting the Security Council to demand that Libya hand over the Pan Am 103 bombing suspects and then to impose sanctions when Libya refused. After defeating the largest Arab army, the West did not hesitate to throw its weight around in the Arab world. The West in effect is using international institutions, military power and economic resources to run the world in ways that will maintain Western predominance, protect Western interests and promote Western political and economic values.

That at least is the way in which non-Westerners see the new world, and there is a significant element of truth in their view. Differences in power and struggles for military, economic and institutional power are thus one source of conflict between the West and other civilizations. Differences in culture, that is basic values and beliefs, are a second source of conflict. V. S. Naipaul has argued that Western civilization is the “universal civilization” that “fits all men.” At a superficial level much of Western culture has indeed permeated the rest of the world. At a more basic level, however, Western concepts differ fundamentally from those prevalent in other civilizations. Western ideas of individualism, liberalism, constitutionalism, human rights, equality, liberty, the rule of law, democracy, free markets, the separation of church and state, often have little resonance in Islamic, Confucian, Japanese, Hindu, Buddhist or Orthodox cultures. Western efforts to propagate such ideas produce instead a reaction against “human rights imperialism” and a reaffirmation of indigenous values, as can be seen in the support for religious fundamentalism by the younger generation in non-Western cultures. The very notion that there could be a “universal civilization” is a Western idea, directly at odds with the particularism of most Asian societies and their emphasis on what distinguishes one people from another. Indeed, the author of a review of 100 comparative studies of values in different societies concluded that “the values that are most important in the West are least important worldwide.” In the political realm, of course, these differences are most manifest in the efforts of the United States and other Western powers to induce other peoples to adopt Western ideas concerning democracy and human rights. Modern democratic government originated in the West. When it has developed in non-Western societies it has usually been the product of Western colonialism or imposition.

The central axis of world politics in the future is likely to be, in Kishore Mahbubani’s phrase, the conflict between “the West and the Rest” and the responses of non-Western civilizations to Western power and values. Those responses generally take one or a combination of three forms. At one extreme, non-Western states can, like Burma and North Korea, attempt to pursue a course of isolation, to insulate their societies from penetration or “corruption” by the West, and, in effect, to opt out of participation in the Western-dominated global community. The costs of this course, however, are high, and few states have pursued it exclusively. A second alternative, the equivalent of “band-wagoning” in international relations theory, is to attempt to join the West and accept its values and institutions. The third alternative is to attempt to “balance” the West by developing economic and military power and cooperating with other non-Western societies against the West, while preserving indigenous values and institutions; in short, to modernize but not to Westernize.


In the future, as people differentiate themselves by civilization, countries with large numbers of peoples of different civilizations, such as the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia, are candidates for dismemberment. Some other countries have a fair degree of cultural homogeneity but are divided over whether their society belongs to one civilization or another. These are torn countries. Their leaders typically wish to pursue a bandwagoning strategy and to make their countries members of the West, but the history, culture and traditions of their countries are non-Western. The most obvious and prototypical torn country is Turkey. The late twentieth-century leaders of Turkey have followed in the Attatürk tradition and defined Turkey as a modern, secular, Western nation state. They allied Turkey with the West in NATO and in the Gulf War; they applied for membership in the European Community. At the same time, however, elements in Turkish society have supported an Islamic revival and have argued that Turkey is basically a Middle Eastern Muslim society. In addition, while the elite of Turkey has defined Turkey as a Western society, the elite of the West refuses to accept Turkey as such. Turkey will not become a member of the European Community, and the real reason, as President Özal said, “is that we are Muslim and they are Christian and they don’t say that.” Having rejected Mecca, and then being rejected by Brussels, where does Turkey look? Tashkent may be the answer. The end of the Soviet Union gives Turkey the opportunity to become the leader of a revived Turkic civilization involving seven countries from the borders of Greece to those of China. Encouraged by the West, Turkey is making strenuous efforts to carve out this new identity for itself.

During the past decade Mexico has assumed a position somewhat similar to that of Turkey. Just as Turkey abandoned its historic opposition to Europe and attempted to join Europe, Mexico has stopped defining itself by its opposition to the United States and is instead attempting to imitate the United States and to join it in the North American Free Trade Area. Mexican leaders are engaged in the great task of redefining Mexican identity and have introduced fundamental economic reforms that eventually will lead to fundamental political change. In 1991 a top adviser to President Carlos Salinas de Gortari described at length to me all the changes the Salinas government was making. When he finished, I remarked: “That’s most impressive. It seems to me that basically you want to change Mexico from a Latin American country into a North American country.” He looked at me with surprise and exclaimed: “Exactly! That’s precisely what we are trying to do, but of course we could never say so publicly.” As his remark indicates, in Mexico as in Turkey, significant elements in society resist the redefinition of their country’s identity. In Turkey, European-oriented leaders have to make gestures to Islam (Özal’s pilgrimage to Mecca); so also Mexico’s North American-oriented leaders have to make gestures to those who hold Mexico to be a Latin American country (Salinas’ Ibero-American Guadalajara summit).

Historically Turkey has been the most profoundly torn country. For the United States, Mexico is the most immediate torn country. Globally the most important torn country is Russia. The question of whether Russia is part of the West or the leader of a distinct Slavic-Orthodox civilization has been a recurring one in Russian history. That issue was obscured by the communist victory in Russia, which imported a Western ideology, adapted it to Russian conditions and then challenged the West in the name of that ideology. The dominance of communism shut off the historic debate over Westernization versus Russification. With communism discredited Russians once again face that question.

President Yeltsin is adopting Western principles and goals and seeking to make Russia a “normal” country and a part of the West. Yet both the Russian elite and the Russian public are divided on this issue. Among the more moderate dissenters, Sergei Stankevich argues that Russia should reject the “Atlanticist” course, which would lead it “to become European, to become a part of the world economy in rapid and organized fashion, to become the eighth member of the Seven, and to put particular emphasis on Germany and the United States as the two dominant members of the Atlantic alliance.” While also rejecting an exclusively Eurasian policy, Stankevich nonetheless argues that Russia should give priority to the protection of Russians in other countries, emphasize its Turkic and Muslim connections, and promote “an appreciable redistribution of our resources, our options, our ties, and our interests in favor of Asia, of the eastern direction.” People of this persuasion criticize Yeltsin for subordinating Russia’s interests to those of the West, for reducing Russian military strength, for failing to support traditional friends such as Serbia, and for pushing economic and political reform in ways injurious to the Russian people. Indicative of this trend is the new popularity of the ideas of Petr Savitsky, who in the 1920s argued that Russia was a unique Eurasian civilization.‡ More extreme dissidents voice much more blatantly nationalist, anti-Western and anti-Semitic views, and urge Russia to redevelop its military strength and to establish closer ties with China and Muslim countries. The people of Russia are as divided as the elite. An opinion survey in European Russia in the spring of 1992 revealed that 40 percent of the public had positive attitudes toward the West and 36 percent had negative attitudes. As it has been for much of its history, Russia in the early 1990s is truly a torn country.

To redefine its civilization identity, a torn country must meet three requirements. First, its political and economic elite has to be generally supportive of and enthusiastic about this move. Second, its public has to be willing to acquiesce in the redefinition. Third, the dominant groups in the recipient civilization have to be willing to embrace the convert. All three requirements in large part exist with respect to Mexico. The first two in large part exist with respect to Turkey. It is not clear that any of them exist with respect to Russia’s joining the West. The conflict between liberal democracy and Marxism-Leninism was between ideologies which, despite their major differences, ostensibly shared ultimate goals of freedom, equality and prosperity. A traditional, authoritarian, nationalist Russia could have quite different goals. A Western democrat could carry on an intellectual debate with a Soviet Marxist. It would be virtually impossible for him to do that with a Russian traditionalist. If, as the Russians stop behaving like Marxists, they reject liberal democracy and begin behaving like Russians but not like Westerners, the relations between Russia and the West could again become distant and conflictual.


The obstacles to non-Western countries joining the West vary considerably. They are least for Latin American and East European countries. They are greater for the Orthodox countries of the former Soviet Union. They are still greater for Muslim, Confucian, Hindu and Buddhist societies. Japan has established a unique position for itself as an associate member of the West: it is in the West in some respects but clearly not of the West in important dimensions. Those countries that for reason of culture and power do not wish to, or cannot, join the West compete with the West by developing their own economic, military and political power. They do this by promoting their internal development and by cooperating with other non-Western countries. The most prominent form of this cooperation is the Confucian-Islamic connection that has emerged to challenge Western interests, values and power.

Almost without exception, Western countries are reducing their military power; under Yeltsin’s leadership so also is Russia. China, North Korea and several Middle Eastern states, however, are significantly expanding their military capabilities. They are doing this by the import of arms from Western and non-Western sources and by the development of indigenous arms industries. One result is the emergence of what Charles Krauthammer has called “Weapon States,” and the Weapon States are not Western states. Another result is the redefinition of arms control, which is a Western concept and a Western goal. During the Cold War the primary purpose of arms control was to establish a stable military balance between the United States and its allies and the Soviet Union and its allies. In the post-Cold War world the primary objective of arms control is to prevent the development by non-Western societies of military capabilities that could threaten Western interests. The West attempts to do this through international agreements, economic pressure and controls on the transfer of arms and weapons technologies.

The conflict between the West and the Confucian-Islamic states focuses largely, although not exclusively, on nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, ballistic missiles and other sophisticated means for delivering them, and the guidance, intelligence and other electronic capabilities for achieving that goal. The West promotes nonproliferation as a universal norm and nonproliferation treaties and inspections as means of realizing that norm. It also threatens a variety of sanctions against those who promote the spread of sophisticated weapons and proposes some benefits for those who do not. The attention of the West focuses, naturally, on nations that are actually or potentially hostile to the West.

The non-Western nations, on the other hand, assert their right to acquire and to deploy whatever weapons they think necessary for their security. They also have absorbed, to the full, the truth of the response of the Indian defense minister when asked what lesson he learned from the Gulf War: “Don’t fight the United States unless you have nuclear weapons.” Nuclear weapons, chemical weapons and missiles are viewed, probably erroneously, as the potential equalizer of superior Western conventional power. China, of course, already has nuclear weapons; Pakistan and India have the capability to deploy them. North Korea, Iran, Iraq, Libya and Algeria appear to be attempting to acquire them. A top Iranian official has declared that all Muslim states should acquire nuclear weapons, and in 1988 the president of Iran reportedly issued a directive calling for development of “offensive and defensive chemical, biological and radiological weapons.”

Centrally important to the development of counter-West military capabilities is the sustained expansion of China’s military power and its means to create military power. Buoyed by spectacular economic development, China is rapidly increasing its military spending and vigorously moving forward with the modernization of its armed forces. It is purchasing weapons from the former Soviet states; it is developing long-range missiles; in 1992 it tested a one-megaton nuclear device. It is developing power-projection capabilities, acquiring aerial refueling technology, and trying to purchase an aircraft carrier. Its military buildup and assertion of sovereignty over the South China Sea are provoking a multilateral regional arms race in East Asia. China is also a major exporter of arms and weapons technology. It has exported materials to Libya and Iraq that could be used to manufacture nuclear weapons and nerve gas. It has helped Algeria build a reactor suitable for nuclear weapons research and production. China has sold to Iran nuclear technology that American officials believe could only be used to create weapons and apparently has shipped components of 300-mile-range missiles to Pakistan. North Korea has had a nuclear weapons program under way for some while and has sold advanced missiles and missile technology to Syria and Iran. The flow of weapons and weapons technology is generally from East Asia to the Middle East. There is, however, some movement in the reverse direction; China has received Stinger missiles from Pakistan.

A Confucian-Islamic military connection has thus come into being, designed to promote acquisition by its members of the weapons and weapons technologies needed to counter the military power of the West. It may or may not last. At present, however, it is, as Dave McCurdy has said, “a renegades’ mutual support pact, run by the proliferators and their backers.” A new form of arms competition is thus occurring between Islamic-Confucian states and the West. In an old-fashioned arms race, each side developed its own arms to balance or to achieve superiority against the other side. In this new form of arms competition, one side is developing its arms and the other side is attempting not to balance but to limit and prevent that arms build-up while at the same time reducing its own military capabilities.


This article does not argue that civilization identities will replace all other identities, that nation states will disappear, that each civilization will become a single coherent political entity, that groups within a civilization will not conflict with and even fight each other. This paper does set forth the hypotheses that differences between civilizations are real and important; civilization-consciousness is increasing; conflict between civilizations will supplant ideological and other forms of conflict as the dominant global form of conflict; international relations, historically a game played out within Western civilization, will increasingly be de-Westernized and become a game in which non-Western civilizations are actors and not simply objects; successful political, security and economic international institutions are more likely to develop within civilizations than across civilizations; conflicts between groups in different civilizations will be more frequent, more sustained and more violent than conflicts between groups in the same civilization; violent conflicts between groups in different civilizations are the most likely and most dangerous source of escalation that could lead to global wars; the paramount axis of world politics will be the relations between “the West and the Rest”; the elites in some torn non-Western countries will try to make their countries part of the West, but in most cases face major obstacles to accomplishing this; a central focus of conflict for the immediate future will be between the West and several Islamic-Confucian states.

This is not to advocate the desirability of conflicts between civilizations. It is to set forth descriptive hypotheses as to what the future may be like. If these are plausible hypotheses, however, it is necessary to consider their implications for Western policy. These implications should be divided between short-term advantage and long-term accommodation. In the short term it is clearly in the interest of the West to promote greater cooperation and unity within its own civilization, particularly between its European and North American components; to incorporate into the West societies in Eastern Europe and Latin America whose cultures are close to those of the West; to promote and maintain cooperative relations with Russia and Japan; to prevent escalation of local inter-civilization conflicts into major inter-civilization wars; to limit the expansion of the military strength of Confucian and Islamic states; to moderate the reduction of Western military capabilities and maintain military superiority in East and Southwest Asia; to exploit differences and conflicts among Confucian and Islamic states; to support in other civilizations groups sympathetic to Western values and interests; to strengthen international institutions that reflect and legitimate Western interests and values and to promote the involvement of non-Western states in those institutions.

In the longer term other measures would be called for. Western civilization is both Western and modern. Non-Western civilizations have attempted to become modern without becoming Western. To date only Japan has fully succeeded in this quest. Non-Western civilizations will continue to attempt to acquire the wealth, technology, skills, machines and weapons that are part of being modern. They will also attempt to reconcile this modernity with their traditional culture and values. Their economic and military strength relative to the West will increase. Hence the West will increasingly have to accommodate these non-Western modern civilizations whose power approaches that of the West but whose values and interests differ significantly from those of the West. This will require the West to maintain the economic and military power necessary to protect its interests in relation to these civilizations. It will also, however, require the West to develop a more profound understanding of the basic religious and philosophical assumptions underlying other civilizations and the ways in which people in those civilizations see their interests. It will require an effort to identify elements of commonality between Western and other civilizations. For the relevant future, there will be no universal civilization, but instead a world of different civilizations, each of which will have to learn to coexist with the others.

Samuel P. Huntington was Professor at Harvard University, where he was also director of the John M. Olin Institute for Strategic Studies and chairman of the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies. He was one of the co-founders of the influential magazine Foreign Affairs.

China’s Recession

January 23, 2009

Chinese President Hu Jintao said in a speech that economic recovery would be China’s top priority for 2009 and called on leaders of social and political organizations to work together to address the crisis. Hu’s comments come a day after China released data showing 2008 gross domestic product growth of 6.8 percent, a seven year low.

RGE Monitor’s Nouriel Roubini points out that due to China’s year-on-year reporting mechanism, the country’s quarterly growth for the fourth quarter of 2008 might well have been zero or lower.

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The Trilateral Strategic Dialogue between USA, Japan and Australia

January 22, 2009

Foreign policy analysts Michael Auslin, Zhu Feng, Rory Medcalf, Sheldon W. Simon, Akihiko Tanaka, and William Tow, from the National Bureau of Asian Research, released a report on the new American strategic partnership with Japan and Australia.

“In response to changes in the Asia-Pacific region, including the rise of China and nontraditional security threats, U.S. strategic thinking has begun to look beyond the traditional hub-and-spoke model of postwar U.S. alliances and formulate new agreements such as the Trilateral Strategic Dialogue (TSD).

Washington has joined Canberra and Tokyo in a dialogue designed to focus their bilateral relationships on joint regional concerns. Initiated in 2005, the TSD agenda has remained focused on more narrowly defined security concerns, including maritime security, nonproliferation mechanisms, counterterrorism, and missile defense. At a minimum, the United States is pushing for the enhancement of information exchange on these issues as well as for sharing strategic assessments with Japan and Australia in order to have similar regional pictures.

Engaging Japan in TSD discussions over common threats and common responses can serve to help further refine the goal of globalizing the U.S.-Japan alliance, as seen in TSD-initiated joint military exercises held among the three countries.”

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Bilanz der israelischen Operation Gegossenes Blei

January 22, 2009


Die israelische Armee (ZAHAL) hat in einem Informationsbrief ihre mittlerweile abgeschlossene Selbstverteidigungs-Operation Gegossenes Blei im Gaza-Streifen bilanziert.

Richard Kemp, Oberst der britischen Armee, der 2003 in Afghanistan gekämpft hat, lobte in einem Gespräch mit der BBC die außergewöhnlichen Bemühungen der israelischen Armee zur Schonung der palästinensischen Zivilbevölkerung: “Es hat nie eine Zeit in der Geschichte der Kriegsführung gegeben, da eine Armee mehr dafür getan hat, die Zahl der zivilen Opfer zu reduzieren, als die Israelischen Verteidigungsstreitkräfte (ZAHAL) es heute in Gaza tun.”

Unterdessen berichtet die gestrige Ausgabe der italienischen Tageszeitung Corriere Della Sera unter Berufung auf einen Arzt des Krankenhauses Shiva in Gaza, dass die Zahl der Todesopfer der israelischen Militäroperation womöglich sehr viel geringer sei, als von der Hamas kolportiert werde (Die Rede war bisher von 1300 Toten gewesen): “Die Zahl der Toten liegt bei nicht mehr als 500 bis 600. Die meisten sind junge Männer im Alter von 17 bis 23 Jahren, die von der Hamas rekrutiert wurden, die sie dann ins Massaker schickte”, sagte der Arzt, der aus Angst um sein Leben anonym bleiben möchte.

Lokale Journalisten bestätigten diese Aussage: “Vielleicht ist das wie in Jenin 2002. Am Anfang sprach man von 1500 Toten und am Ende stellte sich heraus, dass es sich nur um 54 handelte, 45 davon bewaffnete Kämpfer.”

Andere Palästinenser erzählten der Zeitung davon, wie die Hamas Krankenwagen als Fluchtfahrzeuge missbraucht habe.

Kein Frieden mit der Hamas

January 21, 2009

Der New Yorker Journalist Jeffrey Goldberg, Redaktionsmitglied des traditionsreichen amerikanischen Magazins The Atlantic Monthly, hat in einem Artikel für die International Herald Tribune die Unmöglichkeit beschrieben, mit der Terrororganisation Hamas einen Friedensabkommen zu erreichen.

von Jeffrey Goldberg

Sollte Israel (und in Ausweitung davon die USA) versuchen, sich mit der Hamas substantiell und nachhaltig politisch zu arrangieren? Dies ist eine gute, diskutable Frage, die jedoch von gewissen politischen und theologischen Realitäten losgelöst ist. Eine unausweichliche Realität erwächst aus der komplizierten und kompetitiven Beziehung der Hamas mit der Hisbollah. Für die Hamas ist die Hisbollah nicht nur eine Quelle für Waffen und Ausbildung, sie ist ein Mentor und ein Vorbild.

Das Verlangen der Hamas nach den größten Errungenschaften der Hisbollah ist natürlich, was aber wichtiger ist: Es wirkt radikalisierend. Einer unter vielen Gründen dafür, dass die Hamas sich veranlasst sah, vor einem Monat die Waffenruhe mit Israel zu brechen, bestand darin, von der Hisbollah beeindruckten Muslimen ihre Potenz zu beweisen.

Eine andere bedenkenswerte Realität betrifft die Theologie. Hamas und Hisbollah entstammen unterschiedlichen Strömungen des Islam: Die Hamas ist der palästinensische Zweig der sunnitischen Muslimbrüderschaft; die Hisbollah ist ein Stellvertreter des Iran und erhält ihre Eingebung von der radikal-schiitischen Politik Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeinis. Aber die Gruppierungen teilen den gemeinsamen Glauben, dass die Juden ein kosmologisches Übel sind, Feinde des Islams, seit Mohammed nach Medina flüchtete.

Befürworter von Verhandlungen legen es regelmäßig nahe, dass die Feindschaft der Hamas gegen Juden sich irgendwie ändern könnte. Nach Jahren des Zuhörens habe ich allerdings nicht viel gehört, was vermuten ließe, dass ihr Antisemitismus unaufrichtig wäre. Wie die Hisbollah glaubt die Hamas, dass Gott gegen einen jüdischen Staat in Palästina ist. Beide Gruppierungen sind rhetorisch erbarmungslos, wenngleich die Hamas wiederum der Führung der Hisbollah zu folgen scheint.

The Bush-Cheney Legacy

January 20, 2009

Roundtable: Bob Woodward and Barton Gellman on Bush Legacy

The Washington Post‘s Top Investigative Journalists Bob Woodward and Barton Gellman weigh the successes and failures of George W. Bush’s presidency during a roundtable discussion.

Read full story.

Die USA, Barack Obama, der amerikanische Traum und die Suche nach dem Erlöser

January 20, 2009
1in_god_we_trustThe Battle Hymn of the Republic (dt. Die Schlachthymne der Republik)

Der Amerikanist Dr. Götz-Dietrich Opitz schildert in der Neuen Zürcher Zeitung die Rhetorik der Inaugurationsreden in den USA insbesondere im Zusammenhang mit der amerikanischen Bedeutung der alttestamentarischen Jeremiade als politischer Predigt, und nicht zuletzt Ausdruck einer zivilen bzw. bürgerlichen Religion.

Heute wird Barack Obama als 44. Präsident der USA vereidigt. Seine Inaugurationsrede wird die Aufmerksamkeit der Weltöffentlichkeit auf sich ziehen. George Washington hat bei seiner Amtseinführung 1789 diesen Brauch etabliert. Die inaugural address folgt einem eigenen Muster des rhetorischen Pathos. […]

Zusammen mit einer Vielzahl religiöser Gesten – wie zum Beispiel ein öffentliches Gebet – sind Amtsantrittsreden Ausdruck eines für die USA typischen Phänomens. Der Soziologe Robert N. Bellah hat es schon 1966 mit dem Etikett civil religion, Zivilreligion, versehen. Bellah wies darauf hin, dass Gott bisher in allen Inaugurationsreden – mit Ausnahme der zweiten von George Washington – angerufen wurde. Amerikas Zivilreligion proklamiere, dass sich die Rechte des Volkes von einer transzendenten Quelle jenseits des Staates herleiten und dass das ganze amerikanische Experiment der Demokratie unter dem Urteil eines gerechten Gottes stehe.”

Zum Artikel.


The Battle Hymn of The Republic / Die Schlachthymn der Republik


Im Februar 1862 in der Zeitschrift The Atlantic Monthly abgedruckt.

Meine Augen haben die Herrlichkeit des Nahens des Herrns gesehen,

Er zerstampft die Weinlese, wo die Früchte des Zorns gelagert sind,

Er hat den verhängnisvollen Blitz seines schrecklichen, geschwinden Schwerts entfesselt: Seine Wahrheit schreitet weiter.


Rühmt ihn, rühmt ihn, Halleluja!
Rühmt ihn, rühmt ihn, Halleluja!
Rühmt ihn, rühmt ihn, Halleluja!
Seine Wahrheit schreitet voran.

Ich habe ihn in den Wachfeuern hunderter Feldlager gesehen,

Im Tau und Dunst des Abends errichteten sie ihm einen Altar.

Ich kann seinen gerechten Spruch im Licht der trüben und flackernden Leuchten sehen: Sein Tag schreitet fort.

Ich habe eine aufwühlende Botschaft gelesen, die in glattem Stahl eingegraben ist:

“Wie Ihr an meinen Nächsten gehandelt habt, so werde ich an Euch handeln.”

Lasst den Menschensohn die Schlange unter seiner Ferse zermalmen,

Denn Gott schreitet weiter.

Er hat in die Trompete gestoßen, die nie zum Rückzug rufen wird,

Er siebt auf seinem Richterstuhl die Herzen der Menschen aus:

Antworte ihm eifrig, meine Seele, jubiliert, meine Füße,

Unser Gott schreitet voran.

Im Glanz der Lilien wurde Christus jenseits des Ozeans geboren,

Mit einer Herrlichkeit in der Brust, die mich und dich verklärt:

Wie er starb, Menschen heilig zu machen, lasst uns sterben, Menschen zu befreien, Da Gott weiterschreitet.

Er kommt wie die Pracht des ersten Lichts in den Wellen,

Er ist Weisheit den Mächtigen und Ehre den Tapferen;

So wird die Erde sein Schemel sein und die Seelen der Ungerechten sein Diener

Unser Gott marschiert voran.

Russia-Ukraine Deal

January 20, 2009

Russia and Ukraine signed a deal this weekend that will get Russian gas flowing to Europe again and seems likely to end a weeks-long standoff over Russian gas exports.

The BBC explains the spat in a Q&A.

World Jewish Congress recalls legacy of Martin Luther King as Barack Obama is sworn in

January 20, 2009


On the occasion of Martin Luther King Day in the United States, the chairman of the World Jewish Congress United States, Rabbi Marc Schneier, addressed several functions across the country on the issue of civil rights and Martin Luther King’s legacy.

Together with King’s son and Rev. Al Sharpton, Schneier spoke at the National Annual King Day Breakfast in Washington. In an opinion piece co-authored by hip-hop star Russell Simmons, Schneier emphasized that King’s legacy should not be reduced to race.

“Dr. King was an African-American leader of unparalleled import – but he was also a leader of all people, a giant whose life and thought continues to guide and inspire nations around the globe. In terms of civil rights, King was color-blind, championing human rights for everyone, everywhere. His empathy and outspokenness showed the bravery and firmness of his conscience and the reality of his dream.”

For example, little has been told about King’s support for issues that almost exclusively concerned the Jewish community, such as easing discrimination against Jews in the Soviet Union and the safety and security of the State of Israel. He also spoke out against anti-Semitism in the United States, especially when the virus erupted in the African-American community.

“Dr. King recognized that a people who fight for their own rights are only as honorable as when they fight for the rights of all people. This, then, is his legacy. To narrow Barack Obama’s achievements to the color of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is to entirely miss the point. Obama’s connection to King is not the product of his race; rather it is a result of his embracing Dr. King’s legacy.”

Today, Barack Obama will be sworn in as 44th president of the United States of America. Barack Obama takes oath of office before Americans who gathered in Washington in record numbers for the inauguration, braving midwinter cold and heavy security to witness an event – the swearing-in of the nation’s first African American president – that for many marked a dramatic break with the past and the dawn of a new sense of possibility.

For complete coverage of The Inauguration Day, visit The Wall Street Journal.

Presseerklärung von Holocaust-Überlebenden zu den Anti-Israel-Demonstrationen in Deutschland

January 18, 2009

Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren,

am 27. Januar 2009 findet der diesjährige Auschwitz-Gedächtnistag statt.

Ich möchte Sie aus diesem Anlass auf die Holocaust-Überlebende Frau Fanny Englard hinweisen, die für Interviews zur Verfügung steht.

Frau Englard, geboren 1925 in Köln, ist Mitglieder der Organisation of Former Nazi Prisoners Tel Aviv und Leiterin der Organisation Perpetuation of Memory of the Holocaust. Sie lebt in der Nähe von Tel Aviv, ist über Email nicht zu erreichen, erlaubte mir aber, Ihnen ihre Telefonnummer weiterzugeben: 00972 – 3 96 46 438.

Frau Englard wurde am 4. Dezember 1941 von Hamburg aus (gemeinsam mit dem Hamburger Rabbi Dr. Carlebach) in das KZ Jungfernhof bei Riga deportiert. Sie überlebte das Ghetto Riga und das KZ Stutthof.

Frau Englard gehört zu den wenigen Holocaust-Überlebenden, die sich intensiv mit dem islamischen Antisemitismus beschäftigen und die Welt hierüber aufzuklären suchen. Sie ist zu einer Stellungnahme zum gegenwärtigen Gaza-Konflikt bereit.

Am 17. 10. 2008 erklärte sie in einem Brief:

Ich bin als 20-jährige am 8. Mai 1945 aus der Hölle befreit worden und habe meine Familie gesucht, aber ohne Erfolg. Denn mit der Zeit musste ich mich damit abfinden, dass mein Vater im Ghetto Warschau sein Leben lassen musste. Meine Mutter wurde mit meinem 10-jährigen Bruder – und mit der Großmutter, Tanten und Kusinen – in den Gaskammern von Belzec (Polen) vergast. Zwei Brüder, 15 und 13 Jahre alt, wurden in Weißrussland nicht weit von Minsk im Walde Bayoutschina 1942 erschossen. …

Ich kam 1947 im Mai in das Land Israel – damals britisches Mandat – und heiratete, um eine neue Familie zu gründen als Ersatz für die ermordete Familie, die dem Judenhass zum Opfer gefallen war. Hier in Israel haben viele Holocaustüberlebende eine neue Familie (als Ersatz für ihre ermordeten Familien) gegründet und wir haben nicht die neuen Familien gegründet, um sie dem Kriege zu opfern, zu dem uns der Judenhass von Hitlers islamistischen Erben immer wieder provoziert.

Dieser Judenhass zwingt uns zum Lebenskampf, der kein Krieg ist, um andere zu töten. Es ist ein Lebenskampf für die sichere Zukunft der neuen Familie. Wir haben doch nicht überlebt und eine neue Familie gegründet, um sie dem Judenhass wieder zu opfern.

Weiter unten habe ich eine von Fanny Englard verfasste Presseerklärung über die antisraelischen Demonstrationen in Deutschland dokumentiert.

Falls Sie Fragen haben sollten, stehe ich Ihnen gern zur Verfügung.

Mit freundlichen Grüßen,

Dr. Matthias Küntzel


Presseerklärung vom 8. Januar 2009 zu den antiisraelischen Demonstrationen in Deutschland

Die Stimme der Shoah-Überlebenden

Israels Regierung ist für unseren Schwur NIE WIEDER verantwortlich. Nachdem Hamas acht Jahre lang Israel mit Raketen provoziert hatte, ermahnte das Gedenke NIE WIEDER Israel an seine Pflicht.

Und wer hat ein Recht, sich unserem Schwur entgegenzustellen, wenn die Hamas Israel zum Lebenskampf – Sein oder nicht Sein – zwingt?

Wo gehobelt wird, fallen Späne und wo Raketen fliegen, fließen Tränen – auf beiden Seiten.

Und die Stimme Deutschlands?

Wo ist sie, wenn Hitlers islamistische Erben (zu denen auch die Hamas gehört) in den Straßen Deutschlands gegen Israel mit dem Vergleich GAZA/SHOAH demonstrieren?

Ist dies etwa im Sinne Deutschlands – Missbrauch der Shoah zum Vergleich mit der Situation in Gaza?

Wer sich diesem Vergleich nicht entgegenstellt, gibt dem antisemitischen Islamismus die Legitimation zur Verfälschung der Tatsache der Shoah.

Israel will Frieden, aber wo Hass gesät wird, kann man keinen Frieden ernten und die Juden heute als ein freies Volk wollen sich nicht wehrlos diesem Hass beugen.

Sind wir deshalb als Kriegsverbrecher anzuklagen?

Fanny Englard, Perpetuation of Memory of the Holocaust, Moshav Beth Chanan, 76868 Israel, Tel.: 00972 – 3 96 46 438

Jacob Silberstein, Organisation of Former Nazi Prisoners Tel Aviv

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

January 18, 2009


Dear Friend,

What are you doing tomorrow?

In your neighborhood and in thousands of communities across the country, Americans are answering President-elect Obama’s call to service.

Tomorrow, January 19th, our nation will come together in a shared spirit of community. And I wanted to make sure you know how to participate.

Monday is not only the eve of an inauguration that brings all of us so much hope, it’s also Martin Luther King Jr. Day – when we recognize the power of one man to bring about change by serving his country.

Help kick off an ongoing commitment to serve our communities by taking part in this extraordinary day of service.

The grassroots movement you helped build was always about more than an election. It’s about bringing much needed change to Washington and our communities.

Barack Obama is calling on us to help rebuild our country. He knows what can happen when ordinary people turn their hopes into real action.

Take the first step this Monday, January 19th, by joining a service event near you.

Sign up now!


David Plouffe
Campaign Manager
Obama for America

As Israel Defends Itself, Jews Around the World Come Under Attack

January 15, 2009
   January 5, 2009 – France – A burning car with a Molotov cocktail was rammed into the door of a synagogue in Toulouse while the rabbi was giving a class inside.  Another car was prepared for a second attack, but was abandoned after an alarm scared off the attackers.

As Israel acts to defend its citizens against Hamas rocket fire and terrorism from Gaza, Jews around the world have come under attack. Jews in Europe have been threatened and beaten on the street, and synagogues firebombed.

 “Jews to the gas chambers” has been chanted at anti-Israel demonstrations in Europe and similar calls for death to Jews have been heard across the Arab and Muslim world.

Some recent manifestations include:

  • January 11, 2009 France – Molotov cocktails were thrown at a synagogue in Saint Denis, a northern suburb of Paris.  The fire-bombs bounced off the reinforced window and caused damage to an adjacent Jewish restaurant.
  • January 7, 2009 – France – In Paris, a 15-year-old Jewish teenager was beaten by a gang of youths, including three schoolmates, who said they were avenging the Palestinians.
  • January 6, 2009  Belgium – Four Molotov cocktails were thrown at a synagogue in Schaerbeek.
  • January 6, 2009 – Turkey – An Israeli basketball team fled from the court into the dressing room after the crowd became threatening, calling them “killers” and shouting “death to Jews.”
  • January 5, 2009 – Sweden – A Molotov cocktail was thrown at a synagogue in Helsingborg.
  • January 3, 2009 – United Kingdom – Assailants tried to burn a synagogue in the Brondesbury section of London.
  • December 31, 2008 – United Kingdom – A Jewish man was pulled from a car in London and beaten by three men, reportedly of Arab descent.  That same day, Jewish shops were attacked by Arab youths who shouted anti-Israel slogans.
  • December 31, 2008 – Denmark – A Dane of Palestinian descent shot two Israelis in a shopping mall in Odense where they worked. 

Violence against Jews and Jewish institutions has occurred mostly in Western Europe.  The violence often is incited by hate speech at demonstrations after which individuals have sought out Jewish targets.

Among the most prevalent expressions of anti-Semitic hate speech is equating Israel with the Nazi regime.  The widespread Holocaust and Nazi analogies employed at global demonstrations go well beyond legitimate criticism of Israel into outright anti-Semitism.

France is already commonly known as Eurabia and Britain’s capital is now known as Londonistan. Both have unfortunately lost their true liberal-democratic identities and pathetically neither seem to mind it. But where have the Napoleons and Churchills gone? We guess we’ll find them embedded in some old history books…

Polizeiskandal bei Anti-Israel Demo in Duisburg

January 15, 2009

Duisburger Polizei schlägt neues Kapitel der Kapitulation des deutschen Rechtsstaates vor dem islamistischen Mob auf.

Duisburger Polizei beim Hausfriedensbruch und Flaggen-Entfernen, um die pöbelnden Demonstranten der verfassungsfeindlichen Organisation Milli Görüs nicht zu verärgern…
Duisburger Polizei beim Hausfriedensbruch und Flaggen-Entfernen, um die pöbelnden Demonstranten der verfassungsfeindlichen Organisation Milli Görüs nicht zu verärgern…

Nach der gewaltsamen Entfernung von Israel-Flaggen durch die Polizei bei einer pro-Hamas-Demonstration in Duisburg prüft der 25-jährige Bewohner der aufgebrochenen Wohnung rechtliche Schritte, insbesondere wegen Hausfriedensbruch und Verletzung des Rechts auf Meinungsfreiheit.

Teilnehmer warfen Steine auf seine Wohnung, an deren Fenster Israel-Fahnen angebracht waren, und riefen “Tötet die Juden”.

Die deutsche Polizei, sonst nicht zimperlich gegenüber dem Gebrauch von Wurfmaterialien, drang in einer Nacht-und-Nebel-Aktion in die Wohnung des unbescholtenen Bürgers ein und entfernte die Israel-Fahnen – sie wären eine “Provokation” gewesen – anstatt die Randalierer festzunehmen oder die hasserfüllte Pro-Hamas-Demonstration aufzulösen.

Der Geschädigte wolle mit einem Rechtsanwalt darüber beraten, sagte der Student gestern auf ddp-Anfrage in Duisburg. Er forderte die Polizei auf, sich auch bei ihm persönlich zu entschuldigen. Zudem solle die Polizei die konfiszierten Israel-Fahnen wieder zurückgeben, sagte der 25-Jährige.

Er wolle anonym bleiben, da es bereits nach der Demonstration Pöbeleien und Drohungen von Islamisten gegen ihn gegeben habe.

Als Reaktion auf die umstrittene Polizeiaktion meldete sich der Generalsekretär des Zentralrats der Juden in Deutschland, Stephan J. Krämer, zu Wort. Deutlich kritisierte er die Entfernung der Israel-Fahne: “Das Signal ist eindeutig: Faustrecht diktiert Meinungsfreiheit. (…) Wir haben kein Problem mit friedlichen Meinungsäußerungen von Palästinensern. Aber dieser Einsatz hat den Rechtsbrechern freien Raum gelassen.”

Inzwischen bedauert der Duisburger Polizeipräsident, Rolf Cebin, die “aus heutiger Sicht falsche Entscheidung” getroffen zu haben, wie ihn die Neue Ruhr Zeitung (NRZ) vom 14. Januar 2009 zitiert. Die CDU-Ratsfraktion forderte dennoch den Rücktritt von Rolf Cebin. “Der Polizeipräsident ist für Duisburg nicht mehr länger tragbar”, so die Fraktionsvorsitzende Petra Vogt.

Hamburg für Israel! Stoppt den Terror der Hamas

January 15, 2009

Folgende Organisationen rufen zur Solidaritätskundgebung mit Israel am Samstag, den 17. Januar 2009 ab 18 Uhr auf dem Ida-Ehre-Platz (Mönckebergstraße) in Hamburg auf:

Mitglieder und Anhänger rechtsextremer Parteien und Organisationen wie NPD, DVU, Rep, Pro-NRW, PI-News und der «Freien Kameradschaften» haben keinen Zutritt zu der Veranstaltung (nach § 6, VersG).

Hillary Rodham Clinton hearing for top U.S. state department post

January 13, 2009

The U.S. Congress opens confirmation hearings today for Senator Hillary Clinton, whom President-elect Barack Obama has nominated to serve as secretary of state.

Reuters says a smooth hearing is expected, though Clinton is likely to face questions about the foreign business dealings of her husband, former President Bill Clinton, who recently revealed that some foreign governments have been major donors to his foundation.

More broadly, however, Clinton’s likely accession as secretary of state marks a new phase of Washington foreign policy, and potentially opens some new power struggles. The Washington Post says a power triumvirate has emerged that includes Obama, Clinton, and Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair John Kerry, whom many had seen as the leading candidate for the secretary of state post.

An American Strategy for Asia

January 12, 2009

by Dan Blumenthal and Aaron Friedberg

ASIA STRATEGY WORKING GROUP – American Enterprise Institute (AEI)

On the global shift in wealth and power toward Asia

The new U.S. administration confronts an unusually long and daunting list of pressing foreign policy problems: ongoing conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, the continuing threat of global terrorism, a brewing crisis in Pakistan, unresolved nuclear standoffs with Iran and North Korea, Russia’s new aggressiveness toward its neighbors, and the lingering aftereffects of a global financial meltdown. All will demand urgent attention and timely action. The president-elect will be lucky if he has a moment to savor his victory, let alone to pause and reflect on the longer-term trends that are reshaping the world.

Yet such reflection is badly needed. As important as they undoubtedly are, all of the issues listed above are being played out against the backdrop of something even bigger: a massive, rapid shift in the distribution of global wealth and power toward Asia. This process has been gathering momentum for more than thirty years; if current projections are borne out, in the next thirty Asia’s rise will fundamentally alter the structure of the international system and the character of great power politics.

It is difficult to exaggerate the magnitude of what is taking place. The changes now underway are comparable in scale, and potentially in historical significance, to the “rise of the West” – the emergence of Europe as the world’s leader in wealth and military power – or the rise of the United States to global preponderance that began in the nineteenth century.

Such a profound shift will eventually require the reexamination, and ultimately the reorientation, of many aspects of America’s foreign, economic, and defense policies. These changes may be forced by events. Or they could be shaped by a clear and coherent national strategy, a plan of action that looks beyond today’s turmoil, sets broad goals, and identifies the tools and policies that will be necessary to achieve them.

The purpose of this report is to put forward an American strategy for Asia. While it is motivated by an awareness of long-term trends, the emphasis of this report will be on the concrete and practical. We intend not only to identify goals, but also to specify the steps that a new president should take over the next four to eight years to bring them closer to realization.

Our report differs from others on related subjects in two important ways.

First, it is focused rather than comprehensive. Instead of touching lightly on every conceivable subject relevant to Asia, we have chosen to concentrate on those that we believe to be of greatest strategic importance.

Second, our report is more candid than is typically the case about the challenges that are likely to emanate from Asia and, in particular, about those that may result from the rise of China. Our intention is not to be provocative, but rather to be clear. Ritualized “happy talk” about where China is headed will do little, if anything, to alter Beijing’s course. But unwarranted optimism on the part of our leaders may make it harder to maintain public support for the policies necessary to keep the peace and secure American interests, and it could set the stage for future disappointment and overreaction if exaggerated expectations of Sino-American friendship are not met.

We have been reminded in recent years how important it is not to overstate the magnitude and imminence of threats to our nation’s security, but it is at least as important to be clear and honest in acknowledging their existence.

Read full report.

Operation Cast Lead – Israel under attack

January 11, 2009


Click here to read the last briefing from the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) on the operation in the Gaza Strip.

The following link is to a video by the IDF, entitled Hamas’ Escalation to Confrontation, explaining why the State of Israel was forced to re-enter the Gaza Strip in order to prevent further terrorist attacks on innocent Israeli civilians in the Southern District.

Tim und Struppi werden 80

January 11, 2009

jetzt, das Jugendmagazin der Süddeutschen Zeitung, gratuliert dem Kollegen Superheld und Reporter Tintin zum Achtzigsten und erklärt sich dessen Erfolg wie folgt:

“Tim ist der kanonische Weltenretter und Schurkenjäger, weil wir – die Pullunder-Existenzen der Welt – uns wünschen, es möge am Ende einer von uns sein. Keiner, der den exotischen Sehnsüchten entspringt, sondern der Banalität unseres Alltags. Deshalb ist Tim lange vor Bond, Dr. Jones oder Ethan Hunt auf der Welt gewesen – und wird sie auch dann noch vor Rastapopoulos und dem Geheimdienst der kriegerischen Borduren beschützen, wenn Tom Cruise für die Verfilmung von Helmut Schmidts Leben schon zu alt sein wird. Tim ist einer von uns.”

Zum Artikel.


January 11, 2009

An op-ed by David A. Harris
Executive Director, American Jewish Committee
The Jerusalem Post, January 11, 2009

There is an interesting juxtaposition this month.

As Israel pursues its military operation against Hamas, preparations are under way around the world for Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27. The two are not disconnected. Israel’s policy should be scrutinized like any other states, and the loss of any innocent life should be mourned. But some of Israel’s fiercest critics go far beyond the limits of what might be termed rational debate. They have obscenely tried to turn the Holocaust on its head, portraying Israel as committing Nazi-like crimes, the ultimate libel against the Jewish state.

A Catholic cardinal and leading Vatican official refers to Gaza as a concentration camp.

A Greek newspaper entices readers with the banner headline Holocaust, referring to Israel’s alleged actions in Gaza.

A Brazilian newspaper publishes two cartoons, one of Hitler wearing an armband emblazoned with the Star of David and swastika, saluting, Heil Israel!; the other of a Star of David casting a shadow in the form of a swastika over the Gaza Strip.

On his website, white supremacist David Duke reacts to the Gaza crisis by lamenting that Hollywood portrays Jews as Holocaust victims rather than perpetrators.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez calls on Venezuela’s Jewish community to denounce “the Holocaust being committed in Gaza”.

Posters equating the Star of David with the Nazi swastika are ubiquitous at anti-Israel rallies around the world.

A demonstrator in Holland confidently asserts that Anne Frank would be turning over in her grave, if she saw what was happening in Gaza.


Israel seeks to defend itself in a highly complex environment, where the adversary, Hamas, cravenly uses civilians as shields and mosques as armories. For that right to protect its citizens, which any sovereign nation would exercise under similar circumstances, it is labeled as the successor to the demonic force that wiped out two-thirds of European Jewry, including 1.5 million children.

How many times does it need to be said?

Israel left Gaza in 2005. Israel has repeatedly renounced any territorial ambitions there. Israel gave Gazans the first chance in their history to govern themselves.

Israel has a vested interest in a peaceful, prosperous, and developing Gaza. This point cannot be stressed enough. After all, the two are destined to share a common border.

Israel has only one overarching concern in Gaza: Does it pose a security threat to neighboring Israel? The answer, tragically, is clear. That was the result of a decision taken in Gaza, not Israel. Hamas was chosen to rule, and choices have consequences. After all, Hamas denies Israel’s right to exist.

Why were tunnels built across the Egyptian border? What are the Iranian-made Grad missiles going through those tunnels to Gaza meant for? And why are Hamas fighters going through those tunnels in the other direction for training in Iran and Lebanon?

More than 10,000 rockets, missiles, and mortars have been fired at southern Israel from Gaza in the past eight years. Towns and villages have lived under constant threat. If some of those projectiles were crude and missed their targets, it was not for lack of trying. Their aim is to kill, maim, and intimidate as many civilians as possible. Everything is fair game—homes, hospitals, schools, playgrounds. The trauma this has created cannot be adequately described.

And for what? To liberate Gaza? Well, Gaza is already under Hamas, not Israeli, rule. No, more likely, to eventually liberate Israel from Israeli rule.

But wait.

What about all the clergy, cartoonists, protesters, and politicians so concerned about the human rights of those in Gaza? Have they ever uttered a peep while those 10,000 rockets, missiles, and mortars were raining down on southern Israel? Did they ever take to the streets to support the human rights of Israelis? Did they ever read the Hamas Charter and hear the echoes of Mein Kampf and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, two European books that helped to condemn Jews to their death?

Did they ever put two and two together and ask what would happen if Hamas married its annihilationist goals with ever more advanced weaponry? And did it occur to them that, yes, nearly six million Israeli Jews would be in the crosshairs?

To ask these questions is to answer them, which probably means one of two things.

Either the accusers are totally clueless about the Holocaust and, therefore, incapable of understanding why their words and actions are so outrageous.

Or they are deliberately manipulating history, distorting the truth, and twisting facts for a larger political purpose.

What could that purpose be?

Well, for starters, extreme right, extreme left, and radical Islamic groups have found something to agree on—the Holocaust complicates their goals.

For the extreme right, by seeking to deny or minimize the Holocaust, the crime of their predecessors, they have tried to burnish their credentials as a responsible element in more mainstream society.

For the extreme left, the Holocaust is seen as a basis for the subsequent creation of the State of Israel, a nation whose right to exist they single-mindedly deny.

And for radical Islamic groups, the Holocaust is regarded as a perennial source of sympathy for Israel, undermining efforts to chip away at its legitimacy.

These three movements can’t agree on much, but they seem to have a convergent interest in hijacking the Holocaust and using it against Israel.

And there are others, especially in Europe, who don’t fit into any of these three categories but may have their own Holocaust-related agenda.

Perhaps it’s an effort to get out from under the moral weight of the genocide. After all, it was the sins of commission by the perpetrators, abetted by the sins of omission on the part of bystanders, that amounted to the Final Solution. How could Europe, especially the Europe that today sees itself as a source of such enlightenment and reason, have been the stage for such a monstrous crime against humanity just a few short decades ago?

And, of course, the Europe in which the Holocaust unfolded was a continent already haunted by the crowded presence of Jewish ghost victims of centuries of expulsions, pogroms, ghettos, pales of settlement, inquisitions, forced conversions, discriminatory laws, professional restrictions, conspiracy theories, blood libels, and the teaching of contempt.

Pinning a swastika on Israel, and, by extension, its supporters, can be unburdening. It allows for a catharsis of the spirit. Given a measure of power, the argument goes, the Jews behave no differently than the Nazis. According to this inverted, not to mention perverted, logic, the only lesson of the Holocaust is to stand up for targeted victims. And who is that targeted victim today? The Palestinians of Gaza, of course.

The Holocaust taught several lessons. This January 27th would be a good time to remind the world of what they are.

First, sometimes people mean what they say. Hitler spelled out his ambitions well in advance. Too few took him seriously. Until late in the day, there were those leaders in Europe who believed that he could be reasoned with, that his words were simply hyperbolic, that negotiations were possible, and that compromises could be reached. Is it possible that Hamas and its patron, Iran, actually mean what they say when they speak of a world without Israel?

Second, there is such a thing as a just war. War should be the last option, but there are times when it must remain an option. Had the Allied nations not declared war on the Third Reich, how would the world have looked? Mind you, that war was neither clean nor surgical, and Allied leaders were hardly preoccupied with debates over proportionality.

As diplomacy offered no solution and restraint met with no reciprocity, what was Israel supposed to do in the face of Hamas’ arms buildup and daily barrage of fire? Simply accept the role of sitting duck so that it might aspire to the moral high ground of victimhood?

And third, defenselessness is no strategy. Jews were defenseless against the Nazi onslaught. They had no army, no recourse to weapons, and few who sought to defend them. Jews learned, at high cost, never to permit such vulnerability again.

So, as January 27th approaches, and we recall the six million, spare us the lip service and the crocodile tears from those who would accuse Israel of Nazi-like crimes.

Remembering dead Jews is important, yes, but protecting living Jews is no less significant.

© 2009, The Jerusalem Post

The Moral Battleground – Myths & Facts about the Gaza War

January 9, 2009


Spotlight on 111th U.S. Congress with regard to Israel’s self defense war

Israel is engaged in a crucial struggle against Hamas terrorists who have been firing rockets at Israeli population centers for years, causing great suffering and posing great risk for Israel’s citizens. Israel’s decision to defend itself by surgically retaliating against Hamas has been met with criticism and condemnation from some in the international community. It is now more important than ever that the new United States admnistration publicly supports Israel’s right to defend itself from attack by Hamas and other terrorist groups.

The U.S. Congress will very shortly consider resolutions expressing an understanding of Israel’s security predicament and underscoring the critical importance of Israel’s military operation against Hamas. Please call your Senators and Representatives and urge them to support legislation affirming Israel’s right to defend itself from attack by Hamas. Phone the Capitol Hill switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask to speak to your Senators’ and Representative’s’ offices. Tell them that it is essential that the United States stand by the only democratic state in the Middle East, Israel, while the Jewish state and the Western values are under assault.

HIRAM7 REVIEW responds to UN Security Council on Gaza

HIRAM7 REVIEW started an online petition to UN Security Council, expressing profound disappointment and concern about the statement delivered by him on December 31, 2008, with regard to the situation in the Gaza Strip.


The petition stressed that the international community needs to understand the tremendous danger that terrorist organizations like Hamas pose not only to Israel, but also to the entire world. It also observed that intergovernmental organizations like the UN should vigorously denounce the Hamas regime in the name of human rights, instead of demonizing Israel when it acts to protect its citizens, in lawful exercise of its right of self defense. There is no moral equivalence between Israel, a democracy which seeks peace and targets the terrorists, and Hamas that seeks Israel’s destruction and targets the innocent, including his own people.


American Leaders Speak Out in Support of Israel’s Right to Self-Defense

Current & Future Administration Officials

  • David Axelrod, Senior Advisor to President-Elect Barack Obama
  • President George W. Bush
  • Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice

Congressional Leadership

  • Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)
  • House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH)
  • Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV)
  • Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY)

U.S. Senate



  • Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-AZ)
  • John McCain (R-AZ)



  • Barbara Boxer (D-CA)



  • Christopher Dodd (D-CT)
  • Joseph Lieberman (I-CT)



  • Bill Nelson (D-FL)
  • Mel Martinez (R-FL)



  • Saxby Chambliss (R-GA)
  • Johnny Isakson (R-GA)



  • Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL)



  • Evan Bayh (D-IN)



  • Charles Grassley (R-IA)



  • Mary Landrieu (D-LA)
  • David Vitter (R-LA)



  • Benjamin Cardin (D-MD)
  • Barbara Mikulski (D-MD)



  • Christopher “Kit” Bond (R-MO)



  • John Ensign (R-NV)

New Hampshire

  • Judd Gregg (R-NH)

New Jersey

  • Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ)
  • Robert Menendez (D-NJ)

New York

  • Charles Schumer (D-NY)

North Carolina

  • Kay Hagan (D-NC)


  • George Voinovich (R-OH)


  • Bob Casey, Jr. (D-PA)

Rhode Island

  • Jack Reed (D-RI)
  • Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)

South Carolina

  • Jim DeMint (R-SC)
  • Lindsey Graham (R-SC)


  • John Cornyn (R-TX)
  • Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX)

U.S. House of Representatives



  • Spencer Bachus (R-AL)
  • Mike Rogers (R-AL)



  • Trent Franks (R-AZ)
  • Harry Mitchell (D-AZ)



  • Howard Berman (D-CA)
  • John Campbell (R-CA)
  • Dennis Cardoza (D-CA)
  • Jim Costa (D-CA)
  • Elton Gallegly (R-CA)
  • Wally Herger (R-CA)
  • Dan Lungren (R-CA)
  • Doris Matsui (D-CA)
  • Jerry McNerney (D-CA)
  • George Radanovich (R-CA)
  • Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA)
  • Adam Schiff (D-CA)
  • Brad Sherman (D-CA)
  • Ellen Tauscher (D-CA)
  • Henry Waxman (D-CA)


  • Doug Lamborn (R-CO)
  • Ed Perlmutter (D-CO)


  • Jim Himes (D-CT)


  • Gus Bilirakis (R-FL)
  • Ginny Brown-Waite (R-FL)
  • Vern Buchanan (R-FL)
  • Kathy Castor (D-FL)
  • Ander Crenshaw (R-FL)
  • Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R-FL)
  • Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL)
  • Alan Grayson (D-FL)
  • Alcee Hastings (D-FL)
  • Ron Klein (D-FL)
  • Connie Mack IV (R-FL)
  • Kendrick Meek (D-FL)
  • John Mica (R-FL)
  • Adam Putnam (R-FL)
  • Tom Rooney (R-FL)
  • Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL)
  • Cliff Stearns (R-FL)
  • Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL)
  • Robert Wexler (D-FL)
  • C.W. Bill Young (R-FL)


  • Paul Broun (R-GA)
  • Tom Price (R-GA)


  • Jerry Costello (D-IL)
  • Phil Hare (D-IL)
  • Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-IL)
  • Mark Kirk (R-IL)
  • Daniel Lipinski (D-IL)
  • John Shimkus (R-IL)


  • Mike Pence (R-IN)


  • Leonard Boswell (D-IA)
  • Steve King (R-IA)


  • Jerry Moran (R-KS)


  • Geoff Davis (R-KY)


  • Rodney Alexander (R-LA)
  • Bill Cassidy (R-LA)
  • John Fleming (R-LA)
  • Charlie Melancon (D-LA)
  • Steve Scalise (R-LA)


  • Elijah Cummings (D-MD)
  • House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD)
  • C.A. “Dutch” Ruppersberger (D-MD)
  • John Sarbanes (D-MD)
  • Chris Van Hollen (D-MD)


  • Michael Capuano (D-MA)
  • Barney Frank (D-MA)
  • Edward Markey (D-MA)
  • James McGovern (D-MA)
  • Richard Neal (D-MA)
  • John Olver (D-MA)
  • Niki Tsongas (D-MA)


  • Gary Peters (D-MI)


  • Outgoing House Minority Whip Roy Blunt (R-MO)
  • Russ Carnahan (D-MO)
  • Ike Skelton (D-MO)


  • Shelley Berkley (D-NV)

New Hampshire

  • Paul Hodes (D-NH)


New Jersey

  • John Adler (D-NJ)
  • Rob Andrews (D-NJ)
  • Scott Garrett (R-NJ)
  • Leonard Lance (R-NJ)
  • Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ)
  • Steve Rothman (D-NJ)
  • Albio Sires (D-NJ)

New York

  • Joseph Crowley (D-NY)
  • Eliot Engel (D-NY)
  • John Hall (D-NY)
  • Brian Higgins (D-NY)
  • Steve Israel (D-NY)
  • Peter King (R-NY)
  • Nita Lowey (D-NY)
  • Carolyn Maloney (D-NY)
  • Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY)
  • John McHugh (R-NY)
  • Michael McMahon (D-NY)
  • Jerrold Nadler (D-NY)
  • Charles Rangel (D-NY)
  • Edolphus Towns (D-NY)
  • Anthony Weiner (D-NY)



  • John Boccieri (D-OH)
  • Marcia Fudge (D-OH)
  • Steven LaTourette (R-OH)
  • Zack Space (D-OH)
  • Betty Sutton (D-OH)



  • Dan Boren (D-OK)
  • Mary Fallin (R-OK)



  • Christopher Carney (D-PA)
  • Charlie Dent (R-PA)
  • Jim Gerlach (R-PA)
  • Patrick Murphy (D-PA)
  • Allyson Schwartz (D-PA)
  • Joe Sestak (D-PA)
  • Bill Shuster (R-PA)


Rhode Island

  • Patrick Kennedy (D-RI)
  • Jim Langevin (D-RI)



  • Kevin Brady (R-TX)
  • John Culberson (R-TX)
  • Chet Edwards (D-TX)
  • Gene Green (D-TX)
  • Jeb Hensarling (R-TX)
  • Kenny Marchant (R-TX)
  • Pete Olson (R-TX)
  • Ted Poe (R-TX)
  • Pete Sessions (R-TX)
  • Lamar Smith (R-TX)



  • House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA)
  • Gerry Connolly (D-VA)



  • Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA)

State and Local Elected Officials

  • Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I-NY)
  • Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives Armond Budish (D-OH)
  • Gov. Donald Carcieri (R-RI)
  • Gov. Jon Corzine (D-NJ)
  • State Senator Ted Deutch (D-FL)
  • Lieutenant Governor Lee Fisher (D-OH)
  • Secretary of State Trey Grayson (R-KY)
  • State House Majority Leader Adam Hasner (R-FL)
  • State Representative Josh Mandel (R-OH)
  • Gov. David Paterson (D-NY)
  • Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX)
  • Former Governor Mitt Romney (R-MA)
  • Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-CA)
  • Gov. Ted Strickland (D-OH)
  • Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaragoisa (D-CA)


Elvis Presley – His Last Farewell

January 8, 2009

Among numerous cover versions of the popular wartime ballade The Last Farewell is one by Elvis Presley on his last album From Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis, Tennessee. This exquisite song is well suited to reflect the tragic and beautiful life of such a great nice man like Elvis Aaron Presley.

Words & music by Roger Whittaker – R.A. Webster

There’s a ship lies rigged and ready in the harbor
Tomorrow for old England she sails
Far away from your land of endless sunshine
To my land full of rainy skies and gales
And I shall be aboard that ship tomorrow
Though my heart is full of tears at this farewell

For you are beautiful, I have loved you dearly
More dearly than the spoken word can tell
For you are beautiful, I have loved you dearly
More dearly than the spoken word can tell

I’ve heard there’s a wicked war a-blazing
And the taste of war I know so very well
Even now I see the foreign flag a-raising
Their guns on fire as we sail into hell
I have no fear of death, it brings no sorrow
But how bitter will be this last farewell

For you are beautiful, I have loved you dearly
More dearly than the spoken word can tell
For you are beautiful, I have loved you dearly
More dearly than the spoken word can tell

Though death and darkness gather all about me
My ship be torn apart upon the seas
I shall smell again the fragrance of these islands
And the heaving waves that brought me once to thee
And should I return home safe again to England
I shall watch the English mist roll through the dale

For you are beautiful, I have loved you dearly
More dearly than the spoken word can tell
For you are beautiful, I have loved you dearly
More dearly than the spoken word can tell