David Ignatius at PostGlobal

David Ignatius

PostGlobal co-moderator David Ignatius is a Washington Post columnist with a wide-ranging career in journalism, having served at various times as a reporter, foreign correspondent and editor. He has also written widely for magazines and published six novels. Ignatius’s twice-weekly column on global politics, economics and international affairs debuted on The Washington Post op-ed page in January 1999, and has been syndicated worldwide by The Washington Post Writers Group. The column won the 2000 Gerald Loeb Award for Commentary and a 2004 Edward Weintal Prize. From September 2000 to January 2003, Ignatius served as executive editor of the Paris-based International Herald Tribune. Prior to becoming a columnist, Ignatius was the Post´s assistant managing editor in charge of business news, a position he assumed in 1993. He served as the Post´s foreign editor from 1990 to 1992, supervising the paper´s Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage of the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. From 1986 to 1990, he was editor of the Post´s Sunday Outlook section. Close.

David Ignatius

PostGlobal co-moderator David Ignatius is a Washington Post columnist with a wide-ranging career in journalism, having served at various times as a reporter, foreign correspondent and editor. He has also written widely for magazines and published six novels more »

Main Page | David Ignatius Archives | PostGlobal Archives


America Gets Tribalism Right

America's great gift is assimilating people to certain common values while allowing them to be faithful to their ethnic roots.

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All Comments (81)

aiman:

the problem in kenya is simply not caused by tribal violence alone, but their unscrupulous leaders could be blamed for stealing too much money from the public, and manipulate minds that the rage is caused by ethnic differences. i think it's all imagined.

KP:

To get it "right" presumes that a series of protocols to integrate society were tested and a winning combination was found.

I believe that a majority of the diverse peoples that make the melting pot of the United States, have come from a commonly shared experience.

Their background was probably one of social persecution, economic marginalisation and political victimisation. They all seek "FREEDOM"; and this common trait has allowed the greater tolerance and integration in the great democracy of America.

(cont) Cristina:

Definitions of ethnic nationalism on the Web:

Ethnic nationalism is a form of nationalism wherein the "nation" is defined in terms of ethnicity. Whatever specific ethnicity is involved, ethnic ...
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethnic nationalism

Definitions of economic nationalism on the Web:

The set of practices that dominated international economic interactions during the interwar years and which eventually brought about the collapse ...
www.indiana.edu/~ipe/glossry.html

The ideology of mercantilism. Economic nationalism holds that nations are best off when state and market are joined in a partnership. The state protects domestic business firms, which become richer and more powerful. Which in turn increases the power of the state.
socrates.berkeley.edu/~arunacha/peis101_glossary.doc

A policy that places highest priority on increasing the economic strength and competitiveness of national firms and reducing economic, vulnerability, if necessary at the expense of trading partners' political and economic interests, or at the risk of damage to international trading relationships ...
www.itcdonline.com/introduction/glossary2_efgh.html

Economic nationalism is a term used to describe policies which are guided by the idea of protecting domestic consumption, labor and capital formation, even if this requires the imposition of tariffs and other restrictions on the movement of labour, goods and capital. ...
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economic nationalism

Definitions of civic nationalism on the Web:

Civic nationalism, or civil nationalism, is the form of nationalism in which the state derives political legitimacy from the active participation ...
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civic nationalism

Definitions of banal nationalism on the Web:

is a concept put forward by Michael Billig (Prof. Social sciences, University of Loughborough ) whereby the everyday, less visible forms of ...
www.bigpedia.com/encyclopedia/Nationalism

Banal nationalism refers to the everyday representations of the nation which build a sense of national solidarity in the citizenry. The term is derived from Michael Billig's 1995 book of the same name. Today the term is used primarily in academic discussion of identity formation and geopolitics.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banal nationalism

Definitions of patriotism on the Web:

love of country and willingness to sacrifice for it; "they rode the same wave of popular patriotism"; "British nationalism was in the air and ...
wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn

Patriotism denotes positive and supportive attitudes to a 'fatherland' (Latin patria < Greek patrida, πατρίδα), by individuals and groups. The 'fatherland' (or 'motherland') can be a region or a city, but patriotism usually applies to a nation and/or a nation-state. ...
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patriotism

is the number two cause of battlefield fatalities, surpassed only by improper foot care.
uncyclopedia.org/wiki/Patriotism

devotion to a community as opposed to devotion to one's individual interests without considering what is good for the community. It would be patriotic to walk, ride a bicycle or have a fuel efficient car to help keep the price of energy low. ...
www.fsmitha.com/defini.html

strong feelings of love and devotion to one's country and, if necessary, one will fight to defend it.
www.durham.gov.uk/recordoffice/usp.nsf/pws/Durham+Record+Office+-+The+Learning+Zone+-+World+War+One+-+Glossary

is a feeling of love and devotion to one's own homeland (patria, the land of one's fathers). This article surveys the concept of patriotism from the viewpoints of history, politics, ethics, and biology.
dictionary.laborlawtalk.com/patriotic

Definitions of social patriotism on the Web:

Social Patriotism is an openly patriotic standpoint which combines patriotism with socialism. It was first identified at the outset of the First ...
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social Patriotism

Definitions of constitutional patriotism on the Web:

Constitutional patriotism is a concept associated with the German philosopher Jürgen Habermas. It is a key part of theories of post-nationalism ...
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constitutional patriotism

Definitions of anti-patriotism on the Web:

Anti-patrionism is the situation when all the values and beliefs of the patriots of a country are considered as a bad thing in a way, and the ones ...
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-patriotism

Definitions of racism on the Web:

Prejudice or discrimination based on an individual's race; can be expressed individually or through institutional policies or practices. ...
www.hsp.org/default.aspx

or racialism is a form of discrimination based on race, especially the belief that one race is superior to another. ...
encyclopedia.kids.net.au/page/ra/Racism

The belief that one 'racial group' is inferior to another and the practices of the dominant group to maintain the inferior position of the dominated group. Often defined as a combination of power, prejudice and discrimination.
www.bl.uk/learning/histcitizen/voices/ref/gloss/glossary.html

The doctrine that race is the basic determinant of human abilities and that, therefore, the various racial groups constitute a hierarchy in which one group is properly regarded as superior to others. Racism has also been defined using the following formula: Power+Prejudice=Racism. ...
www.unk.edu/offices/aaeo/index.php

Racism is prejudice or discrimination based on the belief that race is the primary factor determining human traits and abilities. Racism includes the belief that genetic or inherited differences produce the inherent superiority or inferiority of one race over another. ...
www.adl.org/children_holocaust/more_resources.asp

refers to beliefs, practices, and institutions that negatively discriminate against people based on their perceived or ascribed race. ...
www.wacklepedia.com/r/ra/racism.html

The stigmatising of difference along the lines of ‘racial’ characteristics in order to justify advantage or abuse of power, whether economic, political, cultural or psychological.
freespace.virgin.net/brendan.richards/glossary/glossary.htm

Ethnic Origin Racism is in direct breach of fundamental European values. The EU is working, from both a preventative and repressive perspective, to combat all its forms.
web20.s112.typo3server.com/6423.0.html

defined broadly as stigmatization of those we perceive as different from us; defined specifically as the doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one's own race is superior. ...
www.geocities.com/paris/chateau/6110/europeconceptsterms.htm

discrimination on the basis of race
www.gradesaver.com/classicnotes/titles/colorwater/terms.html

is power plus racial prejudice, a system that leads to the oppression of or discrimination against, specific racial or ethnic groups.
colours.mahost.org/faq/definitions.html

Racism couples the false assumption that race determines psychological and cultural traits with the belief that one race is superior to another. Based on their belief in the inferiority of certain groups, racists justify discrimination against, segregating, and/or scapegoat these groups. ...
www.reslife.cmich.edu/rama/index.php

1 Racism can be defined in several ways.
www.bristolpct.nhs.uk/theTrust/Equality/Race/glossary.asp

Prejudice and/or discrimination based on the myth of race. Racists believe that some groups are born superior to others and, in the name of protecting their race from “contamination,” they justify the domination and destruction of races they consider to be inferior to their own (Anti ...
www.in.gov/cji/youth/compliance/glossary.doc

the prejudice that members of one race are intrinsically superior to members of other races
discriminatory or abusive behavior towards members of another race
wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn

Racism is a belief system or doctrine which postulates a hierarchy among various human races or ethnic groups. It may be based on an assumption of inherent biological differences between different ethnic groups that purport to determine cultural or individual behaviour. ...
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racism

Definitions of institutional racism on the Web:

Those forces, social arrangements, institutions, structures, policies, precedents and systems of social relations that operate to deprive certain ...
www.socialpolicy.ca/i.htm

Institutional racism (or structural racism or systemic racism) is a theoretical form of racism that occurs in institutions such as public bodies and corporations, including universities. ...
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Institutional racism

Definitions of institutional racism on the Web:

Those forces, social arrangements, institutions, structures, policies, precedents and systems of social relations that operate to deprive certain ...
www.socialpolicy.ca/i.htm

Institutional racism (or structural racism or systemic racism) is a theoretical form of racism that occurs in institutions such as public bodies and corporations, including universities. ...
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Institutional racism

Definitions of anti-racism on the Web:

Anti-racism refers to beliefs, actions, movements, and policies adopted or developed to oppose racism. ...
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-racism

Definitions of a future for anti-racism on the Web:

(Social Affairs Unit 1992) pamphlet
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antony_Flew

Definitions of reverse racism on the Web:

is a highly controversial form of racism against a majority that refers to several ideas. The current occurrence of reverse racism in the United ...
encyclopedia.kids.net.au/page/ra/Racism

is a controversial concept; it refers to a form of discrimination against a dominant group. In the United States, many people, mostly conservatives, criticize policies such as affirmative action as an example of reverse racism. They say that these policies are race-based discrimination. ...
www.wacklepedia.com/r/ra/racism.html

Definitions of rock against racism on the Web:

Rock Against Racism (RAR) was a campaign set up by Red Saunders, Roger Huddle and others in winter 1976. ...
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rock Against Racism

Definitions of racism/stereotyping on the Web:

In each narrative, inequalities in social status and individual rights are based on racial, socio-economical or genetically-engineered differences.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloud_Atlas

Definitions of racism/stereotyping on the Web:

In each narrative, inequalities in social status and individual rights are based on racial, socio-economical or genetically-engineered differences.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloud_Atlas

Definitions of nationalism and ethnic conflict on the Web:

Nationalism and Ethnic Conflict is a 1994 book in the Current Controversies series, presenting selections of contrasting viewpoints on five ...
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nationalism and Ethnic Conflict (Current Controversies)

------------------------------------------------

I hope I have helped someway, especially with the links since this site goes all the world and I defend that the knowledge should ba as accessible as possible.

Critina:

This anonymous to K Ndegwa is me : Cristina
January 14, 2008 12:48 PM

------------

To Alex:

Finally somebody else to criticise Ignatius! Indeed, he got something wide of the mark here.Indeed there are all these differences. I did try to post one definiton of colonialism but it was not because of this thread. I did it because of something I read on some other panalists who mentioned colonialism or colonialisation. my intention therefore was to clarify the issue by including one theoretical definition...and that is only one. As for the development paradigms, the article is much broader than just the 2 paragraphs I alos included here. I foung the diescussion by dr. Brett very appropriated for the topic it discuss: Capitalism and social conflicts (he didnt diverted!)

Your criticism made me feel less alone...if you understand what I mean. Good remarks of yours!

Definitions of tribalism on the Web:

The organization, culture, or beliels of a tribe.
moodle.bathpublicschools.com/moodle/mod/glossary/view.php

the state of living together in tribes
the beliefs of a tribal society
wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn

The word "tribalism" can refer to two related but distinct concepts.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tribalism

Definitions of modern tribalism on the Web:

Neo-Tribalism is the ideology that human beings have evolved to live in a tribal, as opposed to a modern, society, and thus cannot achieve genuine ...
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modern tribalism

Definitions of sectarianism on the Web:

A strong or excessive devotion to a particular form of religion, often leading to a resolute prejudice against other beliefs.
www.reasoned.org/glossary.htm

Sectarianism is prejudice or discrimination based on religion or cultural association (ie discrimination shown by Catholic and Protestant groups in Northern Ireland towards each other).
www.peaceprg.co.uk/key_terms.htm

adhering to or staying confined within the viewpoint/beliefs of a particular denomination ie being narrow minded (quite similar to ethnocentricity I think)
www.boredofstudies.org/courses/arts/religion/1132283002_2005_Studies_of_Religion_Notes_lisa.doc

a narrow-minded adherence to a particular sect or party or denomination; "he condemned religious sectarianism"
wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn

Sectarianism refers (usually pejoratively) to a rigid adherence to a particular sect or party or religious denomination. It often implies discrimination, denunciation, or violence against those outside the sect. ...
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sectarianism

Pride in one’s country or culture, often excessive in nature.
regentsprep.org/Regents/global/vocab/topic.cfm

The belief that groups of people are bound together by territorial, cultural and (sometimes) ethnic links. Although nationalism developed in the 19th century and led to the formation of the nations of Germany and Italy, it was the cause of some of the most dramatic events of the 20th century. ...
www.channel4.com/history/microsites/H/history/browse/glossary.html

Of nationalism George Orwell wrote: "The abiding purpose of every nationalist is to secure more power and more prestige, not for himself but for the nation or other unit in which he has chosen to sink his own individuality."
www.fsmitha.com/defini.html

loyalty and devotion to a nation or ethnic group that places emphasis on promoting the interests, cultural and social values, or religion of one group above all others
www.juniata.edu/faculty/tuten/islamic/archive/glossary.html

Political viewpoint with origins in Western Europe in the 19th century; often allied with one of other "isms"; urged importance of national unity; valued a collective identity based on culture, race, or ethnic origin. (p. 702)
occawlonline.pearsoned.com/bookbind/pubbooks/stearns_awl/medialib/glossary/gloss_N.html

The advocacy of the utmost political advancement of one’s nation or people, without regard to the consequences, in promoting hostility and competition, discrimination and vilification. See fundamentalism. ...
www.geocities.com/longhairedbastard/glossary.htm

Close identification with the concerns of a particular country or nation.
www.ilstu.edu/class/hist127/terms.html

A common identity; a specific geographic area; a common language, history, destiny, culture, ethnicity, or religion; feeling of belonging.
www.historyteacher.net/EuroProjects/DBQ1998-1999/glossary24-99.htm

(1) The Illyrian renaissance began among the Croats as a literary movement but eventually strengthened the resistance to the Magyars, the dominant ethnic group within the lands of the crown of St. Stephen. ...
www.bartelby.com/67/1073.html

is an ethno-political ideology that sustains the concept of a nation-identity for an exclusive group of people. ...
www.bigpedia.com/encyclopedia/Nationalism

The movement which attaches great importance to your homeland. It manifests itself in music in the use of folk rhythms, melodies, or forms.
www.musicworksathighworth.net/Glossary.htm

A devotion to the interests or culture of one's nation.
www.mrlambersky.com/terms.html

is an ideology that creates and sustains a nation as a concept of a common identity for groups of humans. According to the theory of nationalism, the preservation of identity features, the independence in all subjects, the wellbeing, and the glory of one's own nation are fundamental values.
dictionary.laborlawtalk.com/Nationalist

patriotism: love of country and willingness to sacrifice for it; "they rode the same wave of popular patriotism"; "British nationalism was in the air and patriotic sentiments ran high"
the doctrine that your national culture and interests are superior to any other
the aspiration for national independence felt by people under foreign domination
the doctrine that nations should act independently (rather than collectively) to attain their goals
wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn

Nationalism, in its broadest sense, is devotion to one nation's interests over those of all other nations. ...
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nationalism

Pride in one’s country or culture, often excessive in nature.
regentsprep.org/Regents/global/vocab/topic.cfm

The belief that groups of people are bound together by territorial, cultural and (sometimes) ethnic links. Although nationalism developed in the 19th century and led to the formation of the nations of Germany and Italy, it was the cause of some of the most dramatic events of the 20th century. ...
www.channel4.com/history/microsites/H/history/browse/glossary.html

Of nationalism George Orwell wrote: "The abiding purpose of every nationalist is to secure more power and more prestige, not for himself but for the nation or other unit in which he has chosen to sink his own individuality."
www.fsmitha.com/defini.html

loyalty and devotion to a nation or ethnic group that places emphasis on promoting the interests, cultural and social values, or religion of one group above all others
www.juniata.edu/faculty/tuten/islamic/archive/glossary.html

Political viewpoint with origins in Western Europe in the 19th century; often allied with one of other "isms"; urged importance of national unity; valued a collective identity based on culture, race, or ethnic origin. (p. 702)
occawlonline.pearsoned.com/bookbind/pubbooks/stearns_awl/medialib/glossary/gloss_N.html

The advocacy of the utmost political advancement of one’s nation or people, without regard to the consequences, in promoting hostility and competition, discrimination and vilification. See fundamentalism. ...
www.geocities.com/longhairedbastard/glossary.htm

Close identification with the concerns of a particular country or nation.
www.ilstu.edu/class/hist127/terms.html

A common identity; a specific geographic area; a common language, history, destiny, culture, ethnicity, or religion; feeling of belonging.
www.historyteacher.net/EuroProjects/DBQ1998-1999/glossary24-99.htm

(1) The Illyrian renaissance began among the Croats as a literary movement but eventually strengthened the resistance to the Magyars, the dominant ethnic group within the lands of the crown of St. Stephen. ...
www.bartelby.com/67/1073.html

is an ethno-political ideology that sustains the concept of a nation-identity for an exclusive group of people. ...
www.bigpedia.com/encyclopedia/Nationalism

The movement which attaches great importance to your homeland. It manifests itself in music in the use of folk rhythms, melodies, or forms.
www.musicworksathighworth.net/Glossary.htm

A devotion to the interests or culture of one's nation.
www.mrlambersky.com/terms.html

is an ideology that creates and sustains a nation as a concept of a common identity for groups of humans. According to the theory of nationalism, the preservation of identity features, the independence in all subjects, the wellbeing, and the glory of one's own nation are fundamental values.
dictionary.laborlawtalk.com/Nationalist

patriotism: love of country and willingness to sacrifice for it; "they rode the same wave of popular patriotism"; "British nationalism was in the air and patriotic sentiments ran high"
the doctrine that your national culture and interests are superior to any other
the aspiration for national independence felt by people under foreign domination
the doctrine that nations should act independently (rather than collectively) to attain their goals
wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn

Nationalism, in its broadest sense, is devotion to one nation's interests over those of all other nations. ...
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nationalism

Alex:

David, so many things to comment on. First and foremost, your "response" seems entirely un-related to the query - how do governments respond to tribal violence and loyalties. Interestingly, your response gave no indication that you'd considered what governments should do, but rather vague and unconvincing praise that America is the answer.

I don't really understand what the point of this PostGlobal blog is if you're not going to actually use any solid analytical or scholarly arguments. To begin with, you'd have to seriously defend the implied but unstated presumption that tribalism, ethnic tension, and colonialism are the same thing...alas, I think scholars in the field could save you plenty of time by pointing out that that would be impossible. Tribalism is not all ethnic violence. Tribalism is distinct from nationalism, it is distinct from racism, and it is distinct from sectarianism. Before you can even begin to suggest to know what policies governments might develop to help deal with the very real tribal-based problems in much of Africa, it might help to understand what, exactly, it is.

Anonymous:

K Ndegwa:


You made a good point....somehow the whole post-question, including what I conisidered an ill-linked title-text from Ignatius (I couldnt and cant and wont ever be able to imagine how he linked the initial discussion posed by the question and his article (the content) and how he establishes its title based on all that...sounded nonsense to me...anyway...he is David Ignatius, maybe he can commit this litte things...and go unpunished...and it followed that the whole posting wturned around US getting tribes(?) right (awhat about the native Indians?)...I could point so many inconsistencies in his article...but that is over now. Turn the page. In the end it impressed the same few ones...

I had argued talked about identy in the first post of all. I still have this in mind but no time to elaborate unfortunately, but the idea is here....So your post is valuable and important as it is from an insider!

Cristina:

Anonymous:
To JLRL: You are welcome.

The frog-prov :) was funny! That is for you and for those men and women with a dream:

"Great souls have wills; feeble ones have only wishes." (Chinese Proverb)


"He who imagines he can do without the world deceives himself much; but he who fancies the world cannot do without him is still more mistaken." (François de La Rochefoucauld)(French Statesman)

Anonymous:

To JLRL: YOu are welcome.

The frog-prov :) was funny! That is for you aand for those mean and women with a dream:

"Great souls have wills; feeble ones have only wishes." (Chinese Proverb)


He who imagines he can do without the world deceives himself much; but he who fancies the world cannot do without him is still more mistaken. (François de La Rochefoucauld)(French Statesman)


K Ndegwa:

Attempts to discuss prevailing problems in Kenya on the basis of tribal tension and conflict is simplistic and ill informed. As it is the case elsewhere, politicians in Kenya have used and distorted tribalism and other social affinities to mobilise public opinion in the interests of influencing voting patterns and consolidating power. Therefore it is obvious that any degeneration to conflict would take a tribal dimension. However, in reality, the tensions and conflicts are products of economic and generational disparities and differences which is being made manifest at its initial phase as ethnic conflict. It is becoming increasingly evident that Kenyans have started becoming conscious of class. The Middle class for example is less ethnically polarised and are unified in the interest of restoring calm while the lower clases are bound in an effort to assert themselves in the resource distribution and allocation process. What lacks is leadership within these classes to help identify class specific interest and mobilisation to specific objectives. The "Hawker Phenomenon" is one such pointer to increased class consciousness. Hawkers from all ethnic groups in Nairobi have become increasingly conscious of their class identity and over time, this identity is overiding their ethnic identities. Hawker populations feel unified in their cause to gain market access beyond their presumed ethnic interests.
It is also not being said that in the crisis, populations are targeting even those from their own ethnic communities. This attacks are inter class in nature are poorer people invade, loot and harm their own kin who are better endowed.

Attempts to understand the crisis in Kenya should therefore consider other prime factors and consider shifting from the traditional ill-informed focus on tribal tensions. While these tension remain a factor, it is minor in nature. The economic growth the country has experenced in the past 5 years has expanded the middle class and caused discontent among lower classes. What we are witnessing is a revolt from these classes as a result of exclusion which is mostly misdirected to those viewed as being beneficiaries of the system i.e. the Predominant Kikuyu. As the revolting classes become conscious of their identity and gain leadership, the course of prevailing tensions shall increasingly shift from an ethnic focus to a class focus.

JRLR:

Cristina

You are very kind with me.

As you seem to like quotes, I must tell you that your post reminds me of a proverb. I shall paraphrase it; unfortunately, I cannot find the literal version of it, this morning... and do not even remember in what language it was brought to my attention. In essence, it goes like this:

"To a frog, the whole world is just like its pond."

No reason to despair, Cristina... The frog has indeed a net advantage over the toad: it can jump!

Regards, always.

JRLR:

PPS

Concerning that tirade "To all of the mindless America haters out there...Clearly, you think America is an evil land with evil people.", I want to take this opportunity to dot my i's and cross my t's.

Mindless America haters are precisely those Americans: 1. who tolerate extreme economic inequality, fetid ghettos of poverty, rampant crime, etc. in the richest country in the world; 2. who constantly minimize the depth of the pain and suffering those conditions entail, for the poor and the needy; 3. who choose to look the other way so as to blow more deafeningly America's own trumpet; 4. who, for decades, do sweet nothing to put an end to such scandalously revolting social conditions; 5. who rather waste their time cheering from the sidelines, every time this country, at one of its wild parties, creates havoc in other people's countries.

Let it be said that those true mindless America haters, those the world knows as the classic ugly Americans, are a permanent human disgrace.

"I have a dream"...

Cristina:

to JLRL:

I enjoy reading your posts. You always come up with a valid argument or something reasonable.

To someone (and I really dont care who) eventually some post of mine may sound charged with "hate" (the use of this word is debatable)..Anyway, that is not the case. For me questioning things is a must, it's like breathing. Thus, none of my posts are gratuit displays of whatever.

I knew little about South Africa. In cat, I knew nothing. See my point? Your comments contributed to my becoming aware of something new and quite relevant.

My opinion is that there is no such a thing in modern world of one model to all. This is a sounds a little infantile, I mean, as if I was listening it from the most underprepared socially unexposed person. Only under these circumstances I can conceive one perceiving his world as the model to the rest. Farmers in my region think like that: there is not better life than theirs! and the world is missing out it! Everything is a matter of perception (which again makes me remember my ontology classes -- not a small matter too.)

Trying to add to your post, I dare say that not a group of 3 or 4 countries are to be emulated. But if we really want to think out of the box or understanding different paradigms: the whole is at service and it all would have something to share...it is the old give/take thing. No (I am THE better" at work so do follow me and shut up!)


PS: I like many things about US and I would be happy to copy them... Why not? But I dislike and disapprove many others....why follow? I dont, simply discard or ignore them. The same attitude I would expect from intelligent US citizens regarding how the see/perceive the world...knowing that unanimity is out of question and it is not wanted or least desired!

PS2: Eduardo De Bono, PhD by Cambridge if I am not mistaken, is one of the most brilliant minds ever. If you read his books you would be amazed with the language he uses. You might as well discovers that there is no such a thing of pompous intellectual discourse. More pompous it is, less it has to say or worst: to teach!

JRLR:

Anonymous,

The world is not as simplistic as the bushies think. As a matter of fact, one never HAS to take the bad with the good.

Academics like to call what this perspective presupposes, "a change of paradigm". Less intellectually inclined folks will generally talk of "thinking outside the box". Put very simply, that means thinking differently, creatively, leaving the clichés behind.

Here is a simple example. Whenever I find a restaurant where the food is great, the wines outstanding, but the washroom lousy, I may always decide to eat and drink there, but use McDonald's toilet, across the street. Similarly, once I have crossed the street and done my thing, I never consider I HAVE to eat their non-food.

Disarmament (more so unilateral disarmament) requires that we think differently. South Africa has shown the world how that is done. The challenge is to emulate them, no small matter, as your answer indicates.

We should adopt the best each nation in this world has to offer. I know, it is difficult for some Americans to imagine, yet each nation has something most valuable to offer. South Africa's contribution to the world is the determination to develop a nation whose prosperity will not be provided by a military-industrial complex. The day we try to emulate South Africans, we shall realize that for a country to meet that objective is no small feat; for it means refusing that one's nation lead a predominantly parasitic, destructive existence in this world.

PS

The moment you mentioned "extreme economic inequality, fetid ghettos of poverty, rampant crime, etc.", you made me think of the US I know, the REAL US! Considering we are the wealthiest country in the world, it seems obvious to me that should those factors serve as our criteria (I could make your list much longer and more detailed, if you so wished) we are in no way "inferior", just as bad as South Africa is. The trick is to stop looking the other way, assuming our self-inflicted blindness makes American reality disappear. It does not.

Anonymous:

JRLR:

I don't think our posession of a nuclear arsenal makes us inferior to South Africa with its extreme economic inequality, fetid ghettos of poverty, rampant crime (2nd in the world in per capita rape and murder), and staggeringly high AIDS rate.

If you want to cherry pick individual policies from other countries to compare to America, that's great. But you have to take the good with the bad.

Sorry, I don't really feel the need to emulate South Africa. Seems most of the people in South Africa don't either, as continue to be rife with constant protests, years after "reconciliation".

Who else would you like us to emulate? China? Russia? Brazil? Or some other country that runs a huge immigration deficit with America?

JOAO DA ROCHA:

JUROS ALTOS E INFLAÇÃO BAIXA , É MÉRITO ?


Será que é recomendável para o Brasil, que irá ocupar este ano, a PRESIDÊNCIA FINANCEIRA, do G-20, levar como credencial, na BAGAGEM, e como PÉSSIMA referencia, a informação de que o nosso país paga ágio de 7,25%, para manter a taxa de inflação em 4,46% ?. Afinal, é um ágio de 160% acima da inflação e nenhum desses países deve estar pagando essa taxação de usura, porque o custo existente, além de injustificável, não transfere nenhum benefício ao Povo.

Verifiquem, por favor, nominando os ágios que esses países pagam, para uma simulação verdadeira com as vantagens do capital especulativo em nosso país.

O Brasil poderia aproveitar essa excelente oportunidade de comando e propor , para o G-20, uma Resolução determinando que nenhum desses países pode pagar ágios superiores a 4% acima da inflação,protegendo, assim,a economia de nações ricas e pobres da especulação financeira mundial. Afinal, o cartel financeiro especulativo mundial já se organizou há muito tempo e está agindo on line c/ muita competencia, para descapitalizar a poupança de muitos países, através da Bovespa, BM&F e Títulos do Governo. E porque os Governos também ñ podem se unir na defesa dos interesses maiores de SUAS NAÇÕES ? Os Bancos Centrais não podem continuar com a inércia de hoje e a reboque do CAPITAL VOLÁTIL E APÁTRIDA. Basta simplesemnte agir , se modernizando E MONITORANDO, com rigor, o sistema FINANCEIRO, NA DEFESA do ESTADO E NÃO SÓ FICANDO
ALIMENTANDO ESSE CAPITAL DE CASSINO. O MERCADO LIVRE TAMBÉM TEM O SEU LIMITE . E POR NÃO RESPEITAR ESSE LIMITE E SE AUTO REGULAMENTAR, COM ABSOLUTA LIBERDADE, É QUE CRIAM CRISES COMO A DAS LETRAS HIPOTECÁRIAS AMERICANAS E CONTINUA IMPUNE, BOLANDO NOVOS ASSALTOS AOS BOLSOS DOS BRASILEIROS.

Pagando ágio de 7,25% acima da inflação, é muito fácil o seu controle, mas muito caro para o tesouro Nacional. CÁLCULOS que ninguem se propõe a fazer.

E, os reflexos nos custos,nas Contas do Goveno, estamos vendo, com a transferencia de mais de R$ 60 bilhões da Conta de Juros não Pagos, p/ a Conta do Prinicipal da Dívida, porque o superavit primário só irá cobrir uns R$ 100 bilhões de \juros Anuais.

E, ainda p/ cima, só as reservas internacionais estão consumindo mais de R$ 16 bi anuais do TN ( diferença entre o q recebemos e o que pagamos para mante-las), financiando o Tesouro americano( maior PIB mundial ou precisamente 1/4).Embora sejamos o menor PIB do G-15.Dá para entender, o país pobre e em desenvolvimento, financiando, à custa do suor de milhões de brasileiros o país rico ?

Destacar mais de 30% de todas as receitas do TN ( s/ INSS), só para pagar juros elevados, será que é mérito e para debeficiar a quem ? Porque ao Povo, com clareza, Não.

Será que de fato, o ágio que pagamos acima da inflação, não é devido à garantia de rolagem mais fácil de nossa dívida que é erroniamente concentrada no Curto Prazo?. E porque o Banco Central não muda o ferfil dessa dívida no Curto para o LONGO PRAZO, sabendo que o Tesouro está CADA VEZ mais vulnerável ao comando dos especuladores internacionais?

Faltam muitas respostas para a manutençao de uma selic elevada e dos pagamentos de juros e engargos que passaram de R$ 160 bilhões em 2007.

Será que para alcançar a meta inflacionária de 4,46% era
realmente necessário o Tesouro Nacional concordar com uma Selic tão despropositada ?. Porque mais de 15 países, com PIB duas a 5 vezes maior do que o do Brasil, refletindo em maior capacidade de consumo, não precisam de ágio tão elevado para conter ainflação ?. Como a sétima economia mundial, somos um péssimo exemplo a dar ao mundo. E olha, se a Selic estivesse em 8,92% ( 100% acima da inflação), a meta do Banco Central não seria comprometida e o Tesouro Nacional (dinheiro do povo) teria uma economia real de quase R$ 30 bilhões, recursos esses suficientes para alavancar a infra estrutura de trasnporte, incluindo uma ferrovia de norte a sul e de leste a oeste, além do trem bala rio são paulo e outros investimentos sociais prioritários.

Enquanto tivemos pressão por demanda de produtos alimentícios , a China também teve, em 18% e o Brasil sómente em 13%. Mas a inflação chinesa foi de 4,7% ou 0,24% maior do que a nossa e lá o ágio ñ passa de 2% acima de inflação. Quem está errado? Será que no grupo do G-20, o Brasil é o único certo?

E a pressão dos alimentos sobre a inflação,se resolve com um simples planejamento do Governo, porque temos uma das maiores áreas agricultáveis do planeta, o que falta ao Japão, Inglaterra, Itália , Alemanha, França e outros nações de primeiro mundo. Não culpem os alimentos como justificativa para uma Selic elevada, por favor. E tem mais, como o Feijão depende de duas Águas, sendo a primeira no plantio e, a segunda , quando estiver cozinhando na Penela, pode ter a prudução ampliada com financiamentos dirigidos aos Agricultores Familiares. O Consumo nacional do feijão não passa de 3,5 milhões de tonelas. Quanto ao Arroz,com consumo previsto de 13,5 milhões de toneladas e que não é um produto de Sequeiro, mas de Varzéas, Tocantins, Maranhão, Piaui, Mato Grosso e Rio Grande do Sul, podem aumentar imediatamente a produção irrigada para atender tranquilamente à demanda interna. Afinal,a maioria dos projetos de Irrigação são financiados a Fundo Perdido pelo Governo Federal, com recursos do Povo.

Khalid:

David,

I agree you on this point that US has lead the world on living with diversified culture. And it is not because of any government effort; it is just because of the people of US of A

Anonymous:

I agree we have come a long way, but not far enough. It would be a tremendous step for the United States, and would silence our fiercest critics and most dangerous enemy's , if Obama was elected President - prove we are what we have always claimed to be.

dick cohen:

there are some things that even the well intentioned cannot affect.
remember the wise saying about change; know your limits. Of course we can chage ourselves,albeit quite time consuming. I'm 89 and still working on it

JRLR:

Mike writes: "To all of the mindless America haters out there: What country should we emulate? Clearly, you think America is an evil land with evil people. Who do you think we should be emulating and why?"

For starter, here is a country for America to emulate and why:

"South Africa's nuclear... and missile programs reflected perceptions of internal and external threats stemming from its former government's policy of apartheid, as well as the country's advanced state of technical development. Pretoria developed nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles but relinquished these armaments in the early 1990s. ... the proliferation legacies of South Africa's nuclear and missile programs were effectively resolved through verified disarmament measures that won international acclaim... The post-apartheid government of South Africa implemented its nonproliferation and disarmament policy through the Non-Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction Act (No. 87 of 1993) to control the transfer of sensitive items and technologies. South Africa is the first and, to date, only country to build a nuclear arsenal, and then voluntarily dismantle its entire nuclear weapons program. The South African experience demonstrates that at least under some conditions, unilateral disarmament is not only possible, but can improve a nation’s security." ***

Once this first step has been taken, please advise. I will be pleased to suggest who else "we should be emulating and why"...


*** http://www.nti.org/e_research/profiles/SAfrica/index.html

spylock:

Most of the people in America get along because of economics,they are around each other because they have to be,I believe that giving a choice people would rather be around their own kind,but America is so PC that few would admit to it.

R. Auriesville:

America is far from perfect in developing a culture that allows the blending of different cultural groups, but we do have the very important ideal of a melting pot as a core value of our country, and our laws support a redress of the most overt examples of inequality of opportunity.
As painful of a lesson as our bad treatment of aboriginal people and blacks, we have signaled a continued intolerance of Latinos, who are the primary object of the current anti-immigration rhetoric. It is proof that there continues to be elements of tribalism, as the narrow-minded among us object to the Indian features and dark complexion of many of our neighbors to the South.
America's "gift" is indeed the myth of Emma Lazarus, but we should all strive to make it a reality and quiet those who would have us wall ourselves in.

R. Auriesville:

America is far from perfect in developing a culture that allows the blending of different cultural groups, but we do have the very important ideal of a melting pot as a core value of our country, and our laws support a redress of the most overt examples of inequality of opportunity.
As painful of a lesson as our bad treatment of aboriginal people and blacks, we have signaled a continued intolerance of Latinos, who are the primary object of the current anti-immigration rhetoric. It is proof that there continues to be elements of tribalism, as the narrow-minded among us object to the Indian features and dark complexion of many of our neighbors to the South.
America's "gift" is indeed the myth of Emma Lazarus, but we should all strive to make it a reality and quiet those who would have us wall ourselves in.

Mike:

To all of the mindless America haters out there:

What country should we emulate? Clearly, you think America is an evil land with evil people. Who do you think we should be emulating and why?

Mike:

"A lot of what appears on PostGlobal is critical of the United States, and quite properly."

Check that David. Everything on PostGlobal is stridently anti-American. This is the first piece I have ever seen on PostGlobal that has anything positive about America, and you can't even do that without prefacing it with the warning that "despite what I am about to say, I know America is bad." I don't ever remeber any such warning that "America is OK, but..." when you slam us. Don't worry, David. You and Fareed will still be able to hang out with your cronies at Davos, even if you say something nice about America once every three years or so.

The reason that our image sucks around the world is that our major media outlets have turned into echo chambers for pundits to attack America.

Cristina:

"(a) Competing Value Systems and Emancipatory Change

The dominant paradigm, and the western social systems from which it is derived, is based on a normative commitment to freedom of choice, equality of rights, and institutional accountability. However these principles are rejected in societies based on hierarchical religious or cultural systems, so imposing the
dominant paradigm does indeed rob 'peoples of different cultures of the opportunity to define the forms of their social life'. [Escobar, 1997, 91] Thus people in dual societies do have to make difficult choices between competing value systems. Many traditional values are compatible with western principles, but many others are not.
And where this is so Escobar's claim certainly holds. It is indeed impossible to create a social and economic system based on personal freedom and equal rights, without marginalising those who still support political absolutism, ethnic exclusion, theocratic absolutism or patriarchy.
This contradiction between indigenous and foreign systems confronts development theory with its most difficult challenge. Using external standards to judge local systems is to assume that there are universal values against which these can be measured and found wanting, and that wealthy and powerful foreigners have the right, and, indeed, the obligation to persuade other societies to adopt them. This claim has always been used to legitimate the actions of those who have profited by forcing their systems onto others, and it also contradicts the principles of free choice and cultural tolerance that are critical to the western value system itself."(Brett, 2000:12)

No.00-02
DEVELOPMENT THEORY, UNIVERSAL VALUES AND
COMPETING PARADIGMS:
CAPITALIST TRAJECTORIES AND SOCIAL CONFLICT
Dr. E. A Brett
Published: February 2000
Development Studies Institute
London School of Economics and Political Science

--------------------------------------------------

I recommend the reading of this article.

Cristina:

Some food for thought:

"A very interesting and thorough definition of Colonialism:

" Colonialism is the subjugation by physical and psychological force of one culture by another - a colonising power - through military conquest of territory. It predates the era of European expansion (fifteenth to twentieth centuries), extending, for example, to Japanese colonialism in the twentieth century and, more recently, Chinese colonisation of Tibet. Colonialism has two forms: colonies of settlement, which often eliminates indigenous people (such as the Spanish destruction of the Aztec and Inca civilisations in the Americas), and colonies of rule, whre colonial administrators reorganise existing cultures to facilitate their exploitation (such as the British use of local "zamindars" to rule the Indian subcontinent). The outcomes are, first, the cultural genocide or marginalisation of indigenous people; second, the extraction of labour, cultural treasures, and resources to enrich the colonial power, its private interests, and public museums; third, the elaboration of ideologies justifying colonial rule, including notions of racism and modernity; and fourth, various responses by colonial subjects, ranging from death, through submission and internalisation of inferiority, to a variety of resistances - from everyday forms through sporadic uprisings to mass political mobilisation." (McMichael, 2000:5)

Book: "Development and Change: a global perspective". 2nd ed. (Sociology for a New Century)PINE FORGE Press

JRLR:

Arthur Mwangi writes: "America did a good thing when the primitive Indian cultures were replaced with what we have now... What in the world did the "indigenous" leave us. Nothing."

I do not think I had ever read and seen published, in a major US national newspaper, such a crude and blatant apology of genocide. No question, we've come a long way!

That makes the conclusion most appropriate: "Lets never equate the U.S with any other country in the world because that causes confusion..."...

All the more so, I imagine, if one considers "the U.S ...is the example for the future."

But what if Arthur Mwangi had merit, after all, spelling out here what so many think but would never admit publicly?

Ohg Rea Tone:

Tribalism is fundamental to humanity. We don't like to admit it but the primal instinct is to protect the social group. In America we have perfected the art of Trash Talking other tribes. Then we can feel more civilized about ourselves.
Ohg
http://thefiresidepost.com/2008/01/13/trash-talk-the-elixir-of-life/

Ahmad:

America's great gift to the world is a combination of sparce population and a culture that glorifies high school social experience. The beer drinking, couch potatos that grow out of this system are no competition for the hard working immigrants who often achieve financial success early on. Unlike the old days of the Chinese and the Italian and the Irish immigrants, it no longer takes a life time of hard work to make it because the indigenous populace offers so little competition. Having said that, the culture and the educational system sets the same trap for the children of these new inmmigrants.

As for the tribe analogy and US offering a way forward for the world, you must be joking. Introduce poverty and hunger into the equation and the these happy get along people you see at the multi-cultured local malls will revert back to the days Hatfields and the McCoy's, killing immigrants to steal their shops and wealth. Look at the poverty in East LA and how the tribes get along there.

David, next time you want to go out for a drink, skip the nice bar down the street in K street and take a 25 mile drive in any direction and stop at a local bar and you'll see what I am talking. about

Ahmad:

America's great gift to the world is a combination of sparce population and a culture that glorifies high school social experience. The beer drinking, couch potatos that grow out of this system are no competition for the hard working immigrants who often achieve financial success early on. Unlike the old days of the Chinese and the Italian and the Irish immigrants, it no longer takes a life time of hard work to make it because the indigenous populace offers so little competition. Having said that, the culture and the educational system sets the same trap for the children of these new inmmigrants.

As for the tribe analogy and US offering a way forward for the world, you must be joking. Introduce poverty and hunger into the equation and the these happy get along people you see at the multi-cultured local malls will revert back to the days Hatfields and the McCoy's, killing immigrants to steal their shops and wealth. Look at the poverty in East LA and how the tribes get along there.

David, next time you want to go out for a drink, skip the nice bar down the street in K street and take a 25 mile drive in any direction and stop at a local bar and you'll see what I am talking. about

gezelda:

Yeah, well maybe -- in a limited sort of way -- if you don't mention the nearly-extinct Native Americans, gloss over the many persistent problems of current racial discrimination, stuff the White Supremacy movement under the rug and overlook the viciousness in the anti-Latino arguments and the irrational fear of Muslim-Americans. That requires swallowing quite a lump of human beings, but as long as we can shut our eyes and ears to injustice . . . . etc. etc.

Arthur Mwangi:

America is the only hope of the world. America did a good thing when the primitive Indian cultures were replace with what we have now. Nothing is perfect but we are the most enlighted and prospersous nation for numerous reasons and not because we conquered weaker cultures but because we shaped the world as we know it adn showed the world how to organize in a modern world. Thank God for those brave conquerors and explorers for without their daring and exploits we are able to write word on a computer linked to the Wahingtons Times. What in the world the the "indigenous" leave us. Nothing.

One of the main new problems is not "racism", or "sexism", but anti-Americanism and pacifism. The more we buy into the secular feminine model of civilization, the more the moral fabric and the protective warrior instinct that protected this country over the last 100 years will decay.

Lets never equate the U.S with any other country in the world because that causes confusion as to the rule the U.S has in the world. It is the example for the future.

Basil T Doumas:

In my opinion David Ignatius is the best columnist in the U.S, always well-informed, cogent and thoughtful. I read his columns in the Washington Post and in the newspaper "KATHIMERINI" of Athens , Greece, and enjoy them very much. He is always the voice of reason and moderation in the Jungle of American politics.

JRLR:

While there is no denying that on tribalism, African governments are responsible for both their actions and their inaction, it is incumbent upon us, in an American paper, not to tell African governments and others what they ought or must do, but rather to examine what our very own government can and ought to do, as this is precisely what we should demand that it does.

A person's identity first feeds on blood: the blood of the mother. It is the blood of parents and of family. Out of the blood of common ancestors, flows a shared common identity, reflected both by a culture, and by a socio-political organization. All of that is blood, flowing to overflowing. Inasmuch as it is basically a matter of blood, identity is felt as a matter of life and death. The identity of others needs therefore be respected, and attended to with the utmost care. For while vulnerable in who we are, our identity makes us also as resilient as life itself.

Now for as long as history can remember, unwise governments, colonial and imperial (that includes our own), have all enjoyed (they still do!) making the blood boil, through opportunistic manipulations of people’s identity. With the worst of intentions, and in order to serve exclusively their own interests, they have repeatedly fed ancestral hatred and rivalries throughout the world. From their experience at home (in our case, with American Indians, with African-Americans, etc.), they had learned that were they to be successful at dividing, they would more likely conquer. In that process, they set whole peoples one against another, or else, they abstained from mediating effectively in deadly disputes, believing that through tribal conflicts, their interests would best be served.

That remains to this day a very bloody game unwise governments enjoy playing, as was seen repeatedly in Africa, this last century (not long ago in Rwanda, more recently in Kenya), indeed on every continent (remember Vietnam and the whole of South East Asia), and more particularly, as this is written, in Palestine still, in Afghanistan, in Iraq, in Iran etc. Here is a reminder, from Noam Chomsky: “Under Reagan, support for near-genocide in Guatemala became positively ecstatic. The most extreme of the Guatemalan Hitlers we've backed there, Rios Montt, was lauded by Reagan as a man totally dedicated to democracy. In the early 1980s, Washington's friends slaughtered tens of thousands of Guatemalans, mostly Indians in the highlands, with countless others tortured and raped. Large regions were decimated.” (“What Uncle Sam Really Wants”)

What wise (i.e. no longer colonial or imperial) governments ought to do -- that begins with our own! -- is work towards the peaceful coexistence of all human identities: of all people, all races, all tribes, indeed of all human beings. That implies sharing this world and its resources in an unprecedented way, something that is currently being forced upon us at an accelerated pace.

Indications are our unwise governments are more likely than not to resist this forced redistribution of wealth, on our planet. There are no signs our unwise governments will stop short of encouraging and exploiting tribalism for their own ends. Should the past help us see what the future holds, human diversity and richness will simply be crushed and annihilated by us, through our unwise governments, so we can attempt to dominate this world, while living in this manufactured uniformity of ours: of all origins, yet all the same, somehow, assimilated. It many not work as perfectly as some wish it did, but then what? Can’t we still make allowances for some more folklore?…

Bashir:

I am not sure if the native Americans wasting away in reservations would agree with your claim that we all get along. Similarly, I do not think many African Americans will agree with you that America is not tribalistic etc. Of course when you are from the dominant tribe (white in this case) and you earn more than 200,000 a year you are unaware of any tribalism as President Mwai Kibaki's elite were. But even if we concede that things have improve in the US what is undeniable is the US as a tribe is using violence directly or indirectly throughtout the world eg. Iraq and Somalia. So what are you going to teach the world? Externalize you violence?

M. Burke:

Mr. Ignatious it was NOT a primary in Iowa it was a caucus. Things were different when it was a primary in New Hampshire. Obama is clearly a superb orator but calling for change is one thing. The media is not asking Obama to list exactly what he intends to change and exactly how he will be able to bring about change. Domestically and internationally, the country faces unusual perils. Being a good orator does not ensure success. Unfortunately, the electorate likes glitz and is not much concerned with substance.

valleyforge:

l. Pointing to a specific Good Thing (Obama's successful campaigning) does not refute the existance of the Bad Things. Our history of brutality toward Blacks and Native Americans does not disappear because in some instance a part of our society shows favor toward a particular Black man or Native American. Is the Sand Creek Massacre, Rosewood, Florida, or the assassinatin of John Kennedy, Bobby Kennedy, and Martin Luther King more excusable because, at the moment, we are showing support for the political progress of an African American?

America is a great and powerful country with military and technical accomplishments that will be remembered as long as there is human history. America is a country of great successess in the areas of civil liberties and human rights. But at no time has America divested herself of the desire or ability to kill for the smallest of reasons, or no honest reason at all. You don't have to roll back the clock a hundred years to see that is true. All you need to do is look at Viet Nam or Iraq--both politically motivated wars that destroyed an entire country's infrastructure and killed tens of thousands of noncombatatants.

It was--and still is--too easy for America to justify this kind of violence and then go into a state of denial about the nature and purposes of her violent acts. It suggests that America is morally unhealthy and does not practice the morality she preaches. A healthy society would not have a Viet Nam or Iraq on its conscience, nor would it have elected a man like George Bush as president. Nor would we claim that peace is the outcome of war, and democracy is rightly served by a pre-emptive military invasion.

America, whatever it's accomplishments or progress, remains a country willing and able to rationalize, and then deny, her violent acts.

If this condition were observed an a man instead of a society, what would the response be?

John Baker:

When I was in Kenya in 2003 I was on a private, 2-week birding safari with Joseph, my driver/guide. I asked him if he considered himself Kenyan first and Luo second, or the other way around. He said he was a Kenyan first. Apparently, not enough of his fellow citizens felt as he did.
Americans tend to decry the imperfect race relations in this country--and they certainly can be improved. However, compared to the rest of the world, we are doing very well. Mr. Ignatius is right on.

Chaotician:

There was a time when I might have agreed, but the last 15 years has revealed a tribalism deeply rooted in America; The various religious cults, the preying mantis of economic privilege, the stock car crowd, the beleaguered white European tribes, the red meat republicans, the hip-hop gangs, the barrio kids...all tribes with separate cultures, separate values, separate economic systems...Into the abyss!

I can't even begin to understand who George and the republicans are speaking to!

DL:

Yes. In your POSTGLOBAL scale, Russia and China and Iran are gaining prestige throughout the world. Ironically, they openly dispise minorities in their midst. In other words, racism is open and tolerated in these countries and, sadly, this factor has no value in global prestige.

So, I agree with Mr. Ignasius. America debates race issues ad naseum; but we deal with it and so many powerful countries do not.

jhbyer:

Righteously true, notwithstanding the ongoing threat of today's GOP platform. Having built its base on resentment of the Civil Rights Act sponsored by Democrats, Republicans remain committed to restoring exclusive privileges to Christian, citizen, and straight "tribes". Were it not for our mighty Constitution and the foresight of our founders, we could easily become Iraq.

chris:

Hello,
We have become more balkanized and willfully blind to what's happening down the street or in other parts of the country; We have an exploitation and abandonment based society. Go out into the countryside, the 'heartland'. I run into a lot of frustration and 'tribal' horror. The poor whites are bitter and see the change as a threat. Many still hate blacks and, of course, post 9/11, arabs. Someday, we'll have a John Wayne with a latino face. That'll be strange. You can forget the Alamo.

From Tehran:

Interesting but wide of the mark.

1. First of all, there is no such a thing as an American, except the Indians. The young nation state of America is a club, a kind of gathering of immigrants in a particular, relatively isolated piece of geography. Many of those immigrants are from the lower 50% of socio-economic groups back in their home country.

It has been successful in the past, but it appears to come unglued, along the same schedule as the Roman Empire when it lost touch during its third century.

2. America today is in its second decade of separating the more recent immigrants, and black Americans, in a clever, so-called politically correct version of "hyphenated Americans" such as African-Americans, Chinese-American, etc. That is with the tacid support of Hispanics that are gaining the upper hand. Even immigrant families dating back to about 100 years ago are now Italian-Americans or Irish-Americans. (Note the article above makes reference to Barrack Obama, a senator, as an African-American.)

3. America, and American politicians and journalists have spent the last 10 years amplifying differences, rather than minimizing it all. The issue of religion generally, and Islam in particular, has formed the heart of this racial drive-by slurs.

America's foreign policy is blindly pegged to the intentions of a racist, Jewish state of Israel that is the last member of the Apartheid Club. On his visit two days ago, your president didn't offer a sufficient reply to a question about road blocks for Palestinians-- in their own homeland! Where is the universality in that mindset?

New terms have been coined by journalists, such as "Christian Zionists".....??? Hello...!?
I thought Jesus Christ turned away from Judaism and towards peace. How, and when, did history change?

4. American demographics is changing as Hispanic surnames are now the second most common names in USA.

So, perhaps it might be a good opportunity for an awakening. Take a look at Europe and see whether they have done a better job of taking steps towards pluralism vs. 20-30 years ago.... before congratulating yourself in front of a mirror as an (Armenian-)American.

Eric:

The key to assessing how far we have come in exorcising racism is not Obama's success in Iowa or New Hampshire, but how successful he will be in white communities in mixed race states.

arjay1:

The question of whether ‘wise governments’ can effectively deal with tribalism is a heavily overlooked question because tribes are a fundamental social structure among human beings. Many so-called nation states are actually alliances of tribes going back thousands of years. Many tribes that have gained territorial supremacy in one place or another have turned on the allied tribes and carried out exterminations of them that would give a normal modern human the shivers. Current Iranians, Iraqis, Serbians, Laotians, Indonesians, and Bolivians all have extensive tribal structures and generally fail to recognize them as a genocidal instrument for some despotic xenophobe, especially if their tribe is running things.

In the future, tribalism or cultism might lead small groups to acquire or build weapons of mass destruction as has already occurred with tribal groups like Al-Qaeda (chemicals), Rajput (Pakistani nukes), Japan’s Aum Shinrikyo ( nerve gas) or the older Aryan cult of Germany ( chemical extermination). The problem is that tribalism is so ingrained into all societies that it continually re-creates itself, as any American who has lived in ‘tribalized’ American cities can attest . This tribalization occurred whether the group was made up of Irish, Italian, African, or Chinese immigrants and is now intensifying with Latino immigrants. The American experience has been that the democratic rule of law was made to work for all (with ups and downs) so that each tribe has some identity with the entire society and its opportunities. That is a working model that could be adopted in many parts of the world, even if the system of justice has to be imposed by force.

The idea of democratic justice being imposed by force may sound absurd but it should be noted that ethnic tribal violence can be so ingrained, note Iraq’s Shia and Sunni, that it would need an equal and opposite positive force to overcome the tribal system. This would be even more true if a tribal cult like MS-13 decided to ‘protect’ itself with carloads of ammonium nitrate laced with CX explosives. The idea of dealing ‘wisely’ with tribalism might require a combination of tribal enhancement and justice for many members along with a ruthless hunt for the sociopaths using the tribal society for their own purposes. Does one empty a trout pond to get one alligator?

Cristina:

Dear Ignatius,

There are too many good points raised here...I could copy and paste the main ones but that would take some time so many I found....

So, at the end of the website there is a guideline that reads: "We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles..." Well, well....I wonder that you might need to write another article to really respond to the many good points I read here....

The link says: Dave Ignatius responds...hummm...I dont think so...not yet. I do not consider your (though) fine piece a response to anything...not after I read here.

Are the posters better fundamented than you are? :)

charko:

The tribal genetics of African nations is very repulsive...American cities experience this same tribal barbarism with black on black crime up over 85%. The comparison of the gangs in the cities of America with the tribal warfare in Africa is shockingly similar...

Dan:

"But nobody who knows America can deny that we are a different country today in terms of racial relations than we were 40 years ago."

Yet another pundit who implies that the United States is over racism. Simply because the Civil Rights Movement came and went doesn't mean the discrimination against folks of color by white people has stopped or racial violence forever stifled.

charko:

Ignatius says: A lot of what appears on PostGlobal is critical of the United States, and quite properly.

Ignatius is just another elitist who continually pukes about how bad America is and how bad we are to the rest of the world--oh yeah, all the problems in the world are the fault of the evil America. Notice how he still lives in this evil country, and peddles his books....I long for the day when all these arrogant ignoramus' move to another country...

David Ellis:

People DO change, but it's like watching paint dry. It takes WAY longer than most people have patience for, and even when it's done, it doesn't look THAT much different.
This is a good piece, Dave. We ARE making progress. And even our foreign policies are improving, albeit by nano-increments. Many people, for example, have come to realize that the torrent of anger directed at Israel these days has to do with protecting the recent victims of zionism (Palestine, Lebanon and Iraq) rather than hatred of all Jews. We can hate your policies and your philosophies, Israel, without hating your race. This is a BIG step in the right direction.

Nkwari:

Great the US of A is able to bring the tired, abused, dispossed masses--these days the brain draining of the best and brightest of the world-- and fuse them to make a perfert union.
It will be even better if all those who come here let go their ethnic hatred against, and superiorities over, their fellow home-country folks. Immigrants from caste societies don't forget their caste orientations no matter how long their live in the US. The Tutusi and the Hutus living in the US are not necessarily transformed by living in a society where ethnic hostility is somewhat muted. It would be US' gift to the world if only she is able to strip immigrants of their built-in ethnic hatreds they bring with them, so they can go back and transform their own societies.

Jeff:

Ignatius is spot on.

@Belbd. Please don't bother trying to blame white colonialists for tribalism. Did they exploit it in their day? Certainly. But they just as certainly didn't create it. It takes a lot of mutual suspicion and fundamental distrust to maintain 40 languages in an area the size of Texas (i.e. Kenya).

The more people interact in a constructive manner, the faster multiple tongues congeal into one (or very few). Only three languages exist in substantive numbers in North America. This blessed paucity both reflects and is caused by the cooperative commerce that goes on here. I've tried my hand at working in Kenya and found it to be an insufferable experience. Tribalistic mentality prevents people from trusting one another's word to an extent that is far outside of almost any present-day American's life experience.

Advice to any would-be entrepreneurs looking to do business in places like Africa... use the language diversity as a cooperation index. It's the best indicator of the mentality of a country and whether you, as an American, have the je ne sais quoi to survive and flourish or rip out your hair.

Ann Gerstenberger:

A distinction could be made between ethnic American "tribes" and tribalism in Kenya and elsewhere -- that as immigrants we are not rooted to this land in the same way an indigenous people would be. Does "assimilating people to common values, while allowing them to be faithful to their roots," really describe the experience of people native to this land?
I can see how living on the land, and with a way of life passed down from my ancestors' ancestors would elicit the passion to defend or avenge it ferociously.
But American immigrants have already made a choice to detach from the homeland of our ancestors, a traditional way of life, and ethnic purity.
If "the American way" of assimilating many cultural groups in one society, which is working pretty well here, can work elsewhere, then that detachment from a way of life that is rooted deeply in the place itself, detachment by choice or by force, would have to come first.

Wayne:

I think the biggest problem is the American Tribe jeesh !

chuckmcf:

David Ignatius is correct. In his excellent piece, he points out that the United States has well managed the tricky business of absorbing diverse "tribes" and giving all comers great opportunity.

I'm amazed at the amount of knee-jerk hostility expressed by the spelling-challenged posters who project their own idiocy and prejudices onto Ignatius's well-done piece. Good Lord, people, take a deep breath and step back a little.

Belbd:

David makes a statement that one can apply to any country or village on earth by just replacing "America" by almost any other country:
" But nobody who knows America can deny that we are a different country today in terms of racial relations than we were 40 years ago."
Another similar statement would be: " the more things change the more they remain the same".
As for tribes, they have enjoyed their own brand of democracy until the colonizer gave them the gift of "civilizing mission" and pushed them to settle disputes by using powder not sand!

Zathras:

Evidently PostGlobal has some issues with duplicate posts that it might be well to resolve.

The analogy Ignatius makes here is superficial enough to be misleading, in that the original "tribes" of the United States were confessional groups which had much more in common than many such groups elsewhere in the world, and for which geography provided a handy buffer for those differences that did exist. Colonial Anglicans were dominant in the South, Calvinists in New England, Dutch Reformed in New York; none of them shy about imposing the values of their faith within their own regions when they thought this appropriate, but none of them with good reason for hostility to the others. The Constitution, a thoroughly secular document produced in an environment where (by our standards) the religious influence was overpowering, reflected this reality by avoiding all points of controversy respecting religion and thereby ensuring that no confession could use the national government as a means to impose itself on any of the others.

In later years, immigrants who might be described as "tribes" in some sense were absorbed by the United States -- but they were absorbed in the context of a political order created by men whose background and upbringing was for the most part grounded in a fairly narrow range of Protestant faith and northern European cultural heritage. Without the rules of this political order, assimilation of immigrant groups and the avoidance of conflict between them might well have been far more difficult -- which raises an interesting question.

Immigrants to the United States from countries like Italy, Greece and Germany assimilate by becoming more American and less Italian, less Greek, and less German. They do not need to create a political order or a tolerant culture, but instead need only to adapt to the one America already has. Tribal groups, whether based on religion or ethnicity, in other countries have an arguably much more difficult task -- creating a political order in which people with far greater differences than the 18th century Americans had can coexist, without the buffer of physical distance between themselves and with much deeper feelings about the historic grievances held by each tribe against one or more of the others. Is it realistic to expect that this task can be accomplished?

History suggests that it often cannot be. Political orders in which different ethnic groups coexist are historically imposed by force more often than they are created by mutual consent, from the Roman and Aztec Empires to the Soviet Union. Tribal differences are not resolved, or mediated; they are suppressed, usually with violence. It is not unreasonable to think that the force of the American, and in recent decades the European example, and the manifest benefits that flow from stable, democratic political orders should have a powerful influence in some countries, prompting their people to avoid the temptation to secure their tribe's prosperity by despoiling and suppressing their neighbors.

But there are other influences abroad in the world, and what Ignatius is essentially suggesting -- in his somewhat oblique and diffident way -- is that the people of nations afflicted with tribal strife need to become less like the people they have been and more like Americans, and their countries more like the United States. The advice is given with the best of intentions, and would save any amount of bloodshed and suffering were it universally followed. But it will not be. We are too apt in this country to take things for granted, and therefore to underestimate the difficulty facing other people trying to create political orders that able to do for them what ours has done for us.

Rory:

I know this article is supposed to be uplifting, and it sort of is, but WTH is going on with this statement:

"If an African-American can win the Democratic primary in the white-bread state of Iowa, then we've come a long way."

Here's a thought - we'll REALLY have come a long way when we stop assuming people living in the "flyover" states are a bunch of unenlightened white bigots. Or would no one really be offended by the corollary statement:

"If a White-American can win the Republican primary in the fried-chicken state of _____, then we've come a long way."

Acting surprised that "the crackers" voted for a black guy reinforces rather than dispenses with prejudices.

ConcernedCitizen:

David--An inspiring and hopeful depiction of America at its best and I thoroughly agree.

I only hope that the zeal to win an election doesn't lead any candidate to put herself over the country. We've already seen race-bating that is ugly and has no place in American politics--let alone the Democratic party!

jacqueline andersen:

Barak Obama is the Republicans choice for Democratic nominee. Why? Because they think they can win with him as the competition. Why? Because they are counting on the hidden racism of the voters. This is the sad reason they infiltrated the Iowa Democratic causes and voted for Obama.

jacqueline andersen:

Barak Obama is the Republicans choice for Democratic nominee. Why? Because they think they can win with him as the competition. Why? Because they are counting on the hidden racism of the voters. This is the sad reason they infiltrated the Iowa Democratic causes and voted for Obama.

jacqueline andersen:

Barak Obama is the Republicans choice for Democratic nominee. Why? Becauise they think they can win with him as the competition. Why? Because they are counting on the hidden racism of the voters. This is the sad reason they infiltrated the Iowa Democratic causes and voted for Obama.

marshadams:

You may be speaking too soon. Multi-culturism flourishes in prosperity; tribalism in adversity.

Our affluence, abundant land and resources in our early history and our top position in the world economy more recently, makes it easier to be multicultural here than it might be in other places.

Hopefully the good times will continue.

gary:

funny how the accusations of negative racial comments are being directed at the clintons and coumo. looks like african americans should pay close attention when these racebaiters open their mouths.

Anonymous:

As usual someone that comes from a privelege class is telling us that America is a wonderful inclusive country where all differences coexist with effort.
What you forget, or choose to ignore, is that America is very segemented, especially along class lines. And again, using Obama as an example of a Black American is totally innaccurate, to start with, there is a difference between Black and African-American, African-Americans are from Africa and have African culture and values as an essential part of their thinking and reality. Blacks, are Americans that are descendents of oppressed, kidnapped Africans that have American culture and thinking as a part of their reality. In order to be Black, you have to have that as your point of departure, and the hurt that comes with that origin. Blacks are oppressed and marginalized by every segment, class, gender, and race in America. Africans especially discriminate against Blacks, which is so hurtful. Obama is effectively insulated from ANY of the things that a Black has to deal with in their daily lives. He does not know what it feels like to watch helpless as the neighborhood he lives in is gentrified and he is ultimately pushed out, watching as condos, homes, and shopping gets built up in his neighborhood where he can no longer afford the rent in a building where he used to live or a building that is now managed by a Hispanic and Blacks are quietly denied the apartments and condos. He has no Black experience.
White people get this confused very easily because they see darker skin. Skin with melanin does not equal Blackness. And by the way, there have been plenty of articulate Black people that ran for president, you just chose not to hear them, Jackson and Sharpton just to name two.

Anonymous:

As usual someone that comes from a privelege class is telling us that America is a wonderful inclusive country where all differences coexist with effort.
What you forget, or choose to ignore, is that America is very segemented, especially along class lines. And again, using Obama as an example of a Black American is totally innaccurate, to start with, there is a difference between Black and African-American, African-Americans are from Africa and have African culture and values as an essential part of their thinking and reality. Blacks, are Americans that are descendents of oppressed, kidnapped Africans that have American culture and thinking as a part of their reality. In order to be Black, you have to have that as your point of departure, and the hurt that comes with that origin. Blacks are oppressed and marginalized by every segment, class, gender, and race in America. Africans especially discriminate against Blacks, which is so hurtful. Obama is effectively insulated from ANY of the things that a Black has to deal with in their daily lives. He does not know what it feels like to watch helpless as the neighborhood he lives in is gentrified and he is ultimately pushed out, watching as condos, homes, and shopping gets built up in his neighborhood where he can no longer afford the rent in a building where he used to live or a building that is now managed by a Hispanic and Blacks are quietly denied the apartments and condos. He has no Black experience.
White people get this confused very easily because they see darker skin. Skin with melanin does not equal Blackness. And by the way, there have been plenty of articulate Black people that ran for president, you just chose not to hear them, Jackson and Sharpton just to name two.

phil:

A few years ago I taught English as a second language to a Japanese man and his wife . As we concluded our study I asked him if he would stay in the US. He repied he would but his wife wanted to return to Japan. I said to him that to be an American all he needed to do was come here, learn the langauge and become a citizen. Then I said while he could be an American I could never be Japanese. He said "You could never be Japanese."
In a few words this sums up "Coming to America." May it never change.

america gets tribalism right? what country you from.:

As usual someone that comes from a privelege class is telling us that America is a wonderful inclusive country where all differences coexist with effort.
What you forget, or choose to ignore, is that America is very segemented, especially along class lines. And again, using Obama as an example of a Black American is totally innaccurate, to start with, there is a difference between Black and African-American, African-Americans are from Africa and have African culture and values as an essential part of their thinking and reality. Blacks, are Americans that are descendents of oppressed, kidnapped Africans that have American culture and thinking as a part of their reality. In order to be Black, you have to have that as your point of departure, and the hurt that comes with that origin. Blacks are oppressed and marginalized by every segment, class, gender, and race in America. Africans especially discriminate against Blacks, which is so hurtful. Obama is effectively insulated from ANY of the things that a Black has to deal with in their daily lives. He does not know what it feels like to watch helpless as the neighborhood he lives in is gentrified and he is ultimately pushed out, watching as condos, homes, and shopping gets built up in his neighborhood where he can no longer afford the rent in a building where he used to live or a building that is now managed by a Hispanic and Blacks are quietly denied the apartments and condos. He has no Black experience.
White people get this confused very easily because they see darker skin. Skin with melanin does not equal Blackness. And by the way, there have been plenty of articulate Black people that ran for president, you just chose not to hear them, Jackson and Sharpton just to name two.

MHughes976:

How is Tribe defined? If it is a group whose members have usually not married/formed childbearing relationships outside the group then it is true that every such group brings social dangers with it. Is cross-tribal marriage increasing?

MHughes976:

How is Tribe defined? If it is a group whose members have usually not married/formed childbearing relationships outside the group then it is true that every such group brings social dangers with it. Is cross-tribal marriage increasing?

hernando romero:

Clould you maybe mention the Native America Genocide in which the united states government wiped out any tracs of real tribalism from its culture?

Come on David!

Let's not confuse the issues. Milticulturism is not multi tribalism.
Tribalism by its own definition is violent.

jpw:

Please read your history books, America has been 'absorbing' Latinos for a very long time. It is not a new issue and, in fact, the contributions Latinos have made to American culture are quite signficiant -- so, please, don't diminish their importance to our society by pretending that this is a 'new' issue.

On the other hand, I'm not convinced that America is so 'different' than it was 40 years ago. (Were you around then?) Yes (and bravo!), there's a black man and a woman running for president but racism and sexism are still 'discussed' as issues when we should be really focusing on much more important political questions -- such as the war in Iraq (and possible bombing of Iran), such as a free Palestine, such as how much GMOs are ruining our health and our planet, such the idoicy of bio-fuels (whch take more energy to produce than they produce). These are questions for the candidates -- not their gender or race!

cab50151:

Whoa! What country are we talking about here? America treated it's various tribes with
1. planned exterminations
2. cultural planned extermination (both under the caption of Manifest Destiny)
3. suppression by law and mob law
4. spying
5. Jim Crow
6. theft of labor
7. theft of resources
8. lynching
and probably more than I can recall at this time.
All of these issues have not disappeared, they have just gone underground and are spoken of in code.
So don't fool yourselves. We haven't fully escaped yet.

walterrock:

I agree with AL to a point. It is true that our government is responsible to protect our boarders and establish immigration policies, PERIOD. But whenever you speak of raising wages people in a certain party (republican)get very upset. What harms small business more: low wages (people can'y live on 5$ an hour), or lack of health benefit to employees? They go hand in hand. So why not hire illegals who are just happy to have a gig that pay them more than their native country, and when they are sick do like the rest of the citizens do--go to the emergency room. America CAN absorb immigrants, even illegal ones, if our next administration will concentrate on AMERICA FIRST, instead of the military industrialcomplex WAR MACHINE and their little sister the FEDERAL RESEREVE system (I don't even support Ron Paul, but he's right). All said, the meat of this opt ed is correct in saying that we do have a unique country, yet as AL and others point out, not without it's problems, which are miniscule in comparision to the turmoil we in others countries.

walterrock:

I agree with AL to a point. It is true that our government is responsible to protect our boarders and establish immigration policies, PERIOD. But whenever you speak of raising wages people in a certain party (republican)get very upset. What harms small business more: low wages (people can'y live on 5$ an hour), or lack of health benefit to employees? They go hand in hand. So why not hire illegals who are just happy to have a gig that pay them more than their native country, and when they are sick do like the rest of the citizens do--go to the emergency room. America CAN absorb immigrants, even illegal ones, if our next administration will concentrate on AMERICA FIRST, instead of the military industrialcomplex WAR MACHINE and their little sister the FEDERAL RESEREVE system (I don't even support Ron Paul, but he's right). All said, the meat of this opt ed is correct in saying that we do have a unique country, yet as AL and others point out, not without it's problems, which are miniscule in comparision to the turmoil we in others countries.

Al:

America is not doing it right by allowing those illiterate illegal immigrants to continue to violate our southern border. All they do is run up my tax bill, excersize bad behavior in public (public urination) and won't learn our language and customs. They also managed to run down the price of labor with their overwhelming numbers thereby preventing real Americans from earning a decent living doing the jobs they now do. When the price of labor rises to a decent level make no doubt about it Americans will fill those spots. This would remove people off the welfare rolls when told by the government "We got a job here for you". Just take a ride through your local town now and you will find a little mexico where no one speaks English. This government had better get on the stick because legal Americans are totally fed up with this situation. This has nothing about being prejudes either. They come through with legal papers, they are welcomed if not they are illegal and need to be sent back.

Prince William county resident, Va.

Al:

America is not doing it right by allowing those illiterate illegal immigrants to continue to violate our southern border. All they do is run up my tax bill, excersize bad behavior in public (public urination) and won't learn our language and customs. They also managed to run down the price of labor with their overwhelming numbers thereby preventing real Americans from earning a decent living doing the jobs they now do. When the price of labor rises to a decent level make no doubt about it Americans will fill those spots. This would remove people off the welfare rolls when told by the government "We got a job here for you". Just take a ride through your local town now and you will find a little mexico where no one speaks English. This government had better get on the stick because legal Americans are totally fed up with this situation. This has nothing about being prejudes either. They come through with legal papers, they are welcomed if not they are illegal and need to be sent back.

Prince William county resident, Va.

RD Padouk:

I think one of the reasons we largely succeed at suppressing tribalism is because we have a very short memory. While this is bad in many ways, it sure helps overcome the ancient hatreds that seem to torment so many.

Gaye:

To As Usual: Give it a rest. He just included a couple of examples and he didn't say anything negative about anyone. Why do you want to go there?

Like your mommy said, "If you can't say something nice...."

Robert Blundell:

One more time, I'd really like to have some input, because the truth or falsity of the following changes what the Kenyan slaughter is all about:

http://www.eakenya.org/AAEAKUpdate/RAILA_MUSLIM_MOU.pdf

If it is real,or even if it is perceived to be the real secret understanding and not the bland agreement also published, this discussion about tribalism is rather moot. A newly elected President in a multi-confessional state that started to impose Sharia nationally would precipitate civil war and / or military coup.

Just when you were thinking Kenya WASN'T another front of the Islamic radical terror campaign!!

as usual:


African Americans are a tribe!! the ugly Ignatius says.

As are Hispanics! But the waundering tribe called tribe everywhere, Jews, doesn't get a mention
-- the one NOT on the ascendent, popularity- wise in the world. Antisemitism grows dangerously.
Well, at least he didn't bash Muslims a lot. This time.

PostGlobal is an interactive conversation on global issues moderated by Newsweek International Editor Fareed Zakaria and David Ignatius of The Washington Post. It is produced jointly by Newsweek and washingtonpost.com, as is On Faith, a conversation on religion. Please send us your comments, questions and suggestions.