This week’s TNR cover story by James Mann deals with the vexing problem that China poses to the community of nations—and to the young Obama administration. Mann observes that, even as China has opened up economically, it has pursued an aggressive foreign policy. Writing in TNR thirteen years ago, Peter Beinart anticipated this situation.
On a recent afternoon in Washington, D.C., a group of Christian evangelicals and social activists met at the offices of the conservative Family Research Council to watch a short home movie. The twenty-minute film, smuggled out of the People’s Republic of China, depicted Chinese Christians involved in the illegal faith known as the home church movement. The audience watched scenes of hundreds of worshipers at passionate prayer— swaying, chanting—in the caves and fields where they secretly meet.
The Bridge Betrayed: Religion and Genocide in Bosnia by Michael A. Sells (University of California Press, 244 pp., $19.95) The Muslims of Bosnia-Herzegovina: Their Historic Development from the Middle Ages to the Dissolution of Yugoslavia edited by Mark Pinson. (Harvard University Press, 207 pp., $14.95) Was it genocide that occurred in Bosnia between 1992 and 1995? Were the Serbs and the Croats who attacked the Muslims motivated mainly by religious nationalism?
For at least six months before the United States announced it would veto his nomination for a second term as Secretary-General of the United Nations, Boutros Boutros-Ghali had been running hard for re-election. Not only had he been courting his traditional patrons, the French and the Chinese, but in his travels in the Third World, particularly in Africa, he had repeatedly characterized his tenure at the U.N. as a work in progress. He needed, he insisted, another term to finish the job. "Every U.N. secretary-general has received two terms," Boutros-Ghali has said publicly.
He's been called Bill Clinton's smarter younger brother. The best Tory tacticians are terrified of him. At lunch-tables round Westminster, the prime minister's allies whisper about the looming electoral slaughter. As business leaders defect and opinion polls give Labour a stratospheric lead, there is now a fixed assumption in Britain that the next prime minister will be Tony Blair. A young-looking 43, he is a slim but strongly built man whose fast smile and self-deprecating patter convey the impression of relentless, perpetual movement.
By all measures, Gordon Brown’s Labour Party is going to be trounced at the British polls next month by either the Tories or the newly ascendant Liberal Democrats (or both). With Brown’s popularity lagging, it’s easy to forget that the Labour Party once represented an exciting modern progressive party—particularly back when Tony Blair was on his way to becoming prime minister, and he and Brown were heralded as the party's future.
When Jimmy Carter, after concluding several hours of discussions in Pyongyang with North Korea's Great Leader, Kim Il Sung, declared that "the crisis is over" on the Korean peninsula, a sigh of relief could be heard around the world. It appeared as if the drift toward a diplomatic and economic confrontation, and possibly even a military conflict, had been averted. If Carter was right, and no one could say with certainty that he was wrong, the stage had been set for a peaceful resolution of the North Korean nuclear challenge. Pyongyang subsequently agreed to permit inspectors from the Internati
Clean Hands. In the course of many centuries, there were many crimes that Jews did not commit, but this was not least because they lacked the power to commit them. I remember the day that I discovered the obscure figure of Yusuf Asar. He appeared in a remarkable volume of Syriac Christian hagiographies, called Holy Women of the Syrian Orient. Yusuf Asar lived in the South Arabian kingdom of Himyar in the early sixth century. He was a Jew (or, according to the editors of the volume, "a Jewish upstart").
It has been three months since "the handshake" on the White House lawn, and the euphoria that followed it has by now all but dissipated. The Israel-PLO talks have become one impasse after another. What keeps the process going is one Israeli concession after another. Yasir Arafat says he won't come to Jericho unless and until his officials control the bridges to and from Jordan and the cross-points between Egypt and Gaza. In return, the Israelis agree to a larger, more heavily armed Palestinian police force than they ever contemplated.