viernes, septiembre 22, 2006

Thailand: the coup d'etat.

Thailand: the coup d'etat.
Again the country in the eye of the political Hurricane

Alfredo Ascanio (askain)

To day Thailand besides suffering the natural onslaughts as the Tsunami and the flu Aviar, returns to its very united same old political crisis to the problems of corruption and of political personnel’s decisions of many of its military political leaders. But the person that always seeks the balance of these complex powers is the King Bhumiboi Adulyadej and the fact is that the tradition of Thailand was always to be wrapped in political crisis owed al to be able military that has always existed in that country and also its crisis with the old Burma (today Myamar) and with the kingdom of Cambodia.

Thailand is a tropical country and with a small territorial extension (513.115 Km2 ), but with a high greater population of the 63 million inhabitants. Being a 32% of their urban population is supposed that is a really rural country, where they inhabit the 75% of the Thais, with a 14% of Chinese, 4% of Malaysians and 7% of Cambodians and other ethnic groups. This country is of young population therefore barely the 6% they are over 60 years. The expense in education that represents an average from the 4% of the GDP indicates that barely the country has a 7% of illiterate population and that probably the country yes have a problem of public health therefore this expense represents barely the 2% of the GDP.

The country has as system of government a parliamentary Monarchy, supported in the Constitution of 1997. Thailand is a multiparty country and the leader of the State is the King Bhumiboi Adulyadej, since the year of 1946. The Prime Minister of the government is Thaksin Shinawatra since the year of 2001. The legislative power is bicameral with 200 senators, chosen by in Provisional Counsel and with 500 Representatives.

This country with commercial bonds with Japan, Singapore, USA, Germany and Chinese, presents a GDP per capita of a little more than 2 thousand dollars, but with a high external debt of almost 46 million dollars, that is to say almost the 10% of its aforesaid annual GDP in dollars of more than 525 million dollars (year 2.004).

The country spends the 16% of its budget in military defense, but with an army formed by a 48% of paramilitary and the 52% remainder of a professional soldier.

Thailand was the old one Siam with an origin in the 11th century, when the town Thai is installed in the territory of the Asian southeast, al to be expelled of China.

The country adopts mostly the Buddhist religion. The Kingdom of Siam is unified in the year of 1350 but its capital is destroyed in the year of 1767 due to the war with Burma. Then a new monarchy with their capital in Bangkok arises and the country fight for is not a European colony, although the Laos and Cambodia were yielded to France and part from Malaya the United Kingdom.

In the year from 1931 the country is surprised for a first coup d'etat to place a constitutional state. In the year of 1941 is country is occupied by Japanese troops and then an anti-Japanese resistance appears.

In the decade of the years 60 and 70 the country controlled by the soldiers they experience again various coup d'etats and during the Vietnam War, USA places in the country its military bases. Then, it is from the year of 1975 and with western investments when the economy of the country is fortified and already for the year of 1988 a democratic government with the prime Minister exists Chatichai Chunjavan, but al to arise rivalries with the military dome receives the country again another coup d'etat in the year of 1991 headed by the general one Sunthom Kongsompong and a new one is named: Anand Panyarachun.

The country continues fighting for consolidating its democracy and during the year of 1992 a new government with the presence of the prime Minister is formed Narong Wongwan, ally to the groups of soldiers with being able, but al to be accused of having bonds with the drug trafficking is separated of the government and is substituted for Suchinda Krapayun, commander of the armed forces. This appointment causes many to protest liderizadas by the general opponent Chamiong Srimaung and was the massacre of May 18, the year of 1992 with more than 100 dead persons the one that does that the King Bhumibol promotes a meeting to reconcile to Chamiong with Suchinda and besides to ask the renunciation of this last one.

A provisional government under the direction is formed of Anand Panyarachun and again solidifies the opposing forces directed by Chuan Likpai as the prime Minister.

In the year from 1996 the prime Minister Chaovalit Young Chaisyudh, of the party New Aspiration, assumes the government, but already for the year from 1997 the country begins a high very united economic crisis also to the call Asian crisis. The distrust in the economy of the country is high and the country has to resort to the loans of stabilization of the International Monetary Fund for more than 17 million dollars. Almost to ends of the year from 1.997 the Prime Minister Young resigns al to be accused of the crisis and assumes Chuan Likpai, of the Democratic Party.

The economic crisis is aggravated with a budgetary deficit from the 2% of the GDP, which obliges al government to elevate the taxes. Almost to ends of the years from 1999 the country begins to be recovered of its economic crisis with a growth of the GDP of the 4,2% al year, the half of what had grown in the first years of the decade of the years 90.

The representatives of the opposition pressure al government of Likpai so that call of new elections for January of the year 2001 and then obtains the victory Thaksin Shinawatra of the Thai party they Love Thais (TRT), a leader processed by corruption but that then was acquitted by the Constitutional Court.

The problems of the economy of USA and the attack of September 11 to the Twin Towers at New York, they have impact in the world economy and again in the economy of Thailand, a country with an unprotected border and with high supported drugs traffic indices by the militias of the military government of Myanmar, the old Burma until 1997. Then arise another crisis but now between Myamar and Thailand, a fight of powers between armed groups and the crisis with Cambodia. Again the country battle with Islamic rebels in the south of the country. To ends of the year 2004 the country suffers the so much onslaughts of the call Aviar Flu as of the Tsunami in the Indian Ocean.

September 19 the country is faced again with another military coup ( ). Al to be absent the prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, defendant of fraudulent management of financial type and that had traveled to the meeting of the UN in New York, the Real Army of Thailand advances at 15 of October day for the general elections and decrees the martial law. It is created immediately an Administrative Council for the Reform, and this Council assumes the executive powers with total loyalty al King.

The social division of the country and the high corruption it has been two justifications to give the coup d'etat. The coup d'etat was directed by the general one Sondhi Boonyaratklin, but the leaders of the three branches of the army they have proposed him al King a cabinet and as the prime minister al general leader Sorayud Chulanont. Nevertheless a political transition exists for now or to be able executive collegial, which has called for political meetings for 20 of September. In the meantime, a strict control exists with hardly reproofs to the national mass media and of the outside.

It is expected that for the month of October they be not carry out the general election but within a year but in the meantime the King legitimizes the Administrative Council for the Reform and the general Sondhi Boonyaratklin, leader of the military coup. It is expected that the democratic order be recovered quick and the endorsement al democracy.

Behind the causes of this coup d'etat they are the decisions of the Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra to dismiss al commander of the region of Bangkok and members of the Electoral Commission that tried again to support illicit at multimillionaire Shinawatra, leader of the party Thai Rak Thai.

Now there it will be that to expect a year more to know the political future of Thailand.But It seems knowing the political history of Thailand that this country needs come back its eyes to the not military politicians, therefore to seem that the political soldiers do not have the vocation for manage the democracy in a country and with they to seem that the corruption enlarges.

jueves, septiembre 21, 2006

miércoles, septiembre 20, 2006

Tailandia: un nuevo golpe de estado

El golpe de Estado en Tailandia
De nuevo el país en el ojo del Huracán político

De nuevo Tailandia además de sufrir los embates naturales como el Tsunami y la gripe Aviar, vuelve a sus crisis políticas de siempre muy unidas a los problemas de corrupción y de decisiones políticas personales de muchos de sus líderes políticos militares. La persona que siempre busca el balance de estos poderes complejos es el Rey Bhumiboí Adulyadej y es que la tradición de Tailandia siempre fue estar envuelto en crisis políticas debido al poder militar que siempre ha existido en ese país y también sus crisis con la antigua Birmania (hoy Myamar) y con el reino de Camboya.

Tailandia es un país tropical y con una extensión territorial pequeña (513.115 Km. 2), pero con una elevada población mayor de los 63 millones de habitantes .Siendo un 32% de su población urbana, se supone que es un país realmente rural, donde habitan el 75% de los tailandeses con un 14% de chinos, 4% de malasios y 7% de camboyanos y otras etnias. Es un país de población joven pues apenas el 6% son mayores de 60 años. El gasto en educación que representa una media del 4% del PIB, indica que apenas el país tiene un 7% de población analfabeta y que probablemente el país sí tenga un problema de salud pública pues este gasto representa apenas el 2% del PIB.

El país tiene como sistema de gobierno una Monarquía parlamentaria, apoyado en la Constitución de 1997. Es un país pluripartidista y el Jefe del Estado es el Rey Bhumiboí Adulyadej, desde el año de 1946. El jefe del gobierno es el primer ministro Thaksin Shinawatra desde el año de 2001. El poder legislativo es bicameral con 200 senadores, elegidos por in Consejo Provisional y con 500 Representantes.

Este país con vínculos comerciales con Japón, Singapur, USA , Alemania y China, presenta un PIB per cápita de un poco más de 2 mil dólares, pero con una deuda externa elevada de casi 46 millones de dólares, o sea casi el 10% de su PIB anual expresado en dólares de más de 525 millones de dólares (año 2.004).

El país gasta el 16% de su presupuesto en defensa militar, pero con un ejército formado por un 48% de paramilitares y el 52% restante de un ejercito profesional.

Tailandia fue el antiguo Siam con un origen en el siglo XI, cuando el pueblo Thai se instala en el territorio del sudeste asiático, al ser expulsados de China. El país adopta en su mayoría la religión Budista. El Reino de Siam se unifica en el año de 1350 pero su capital es destruida en el año de 1767 debido a la guerra con Birmania. Luego surge una nueva monarquía con su capital en Bangkok y el país lucha para no ser una colonia europea, aunque la Laos y Camboya fueron cedidos a Francia y parte de Malasia el Reino Unidos.

En el año de 1931 el país es sorprendido por un primer golpe de Estado para colocar un régimen constitucional. En el año de 1941 es país es ocupado por tropas japonesas y entonces aparece una resistencia anti-japonesa. En la década de los años 60 y 70 el país controlado por los militares vuelven a experimentar varios golpes de Estado y durante la Guerra de Vietnam USA coloca en el país su bases militares. Luego, es a partir del año de 1975 y con inversiones occidentales cunado la economía del país se fortalece y ya para el año de 1988 existe un gobierno democrático con el primer Ministro Chatichai Chunjavan, pero al surgir rivalidades con la cúpula militar recibe el país de nuevo otro golpe de Estado en el año de 1991 liderado por el general Sunthom Kongsompong y se nombra un nuevo primer ministro: Anand Panyarachun.

El país sigue luchando por consolidar su democracia y durante el año de 1992 se forma un nuevo gobierno con la presencia del Primer Ministro Narong Wongwan, aliado a los grupos de militares con poder, pero al ser acusado de tener vínculos con el narcotráfico es separado del gobierno y es sustituido por Suchinda Krapayun, comandante de las fuerzas armadas. Este nombramiento provoca muchas protestar liderizadas por el opositor general Chamiong Srimaung y fue la masacre del 18 de mayo del año de 1992 con más de 100 muertos la que hace que el Rey Bhumibol promueve una reunión para conciliar a Chamiong con Suchinda y además pedir la renuncia de este último. Se forma un gobierno provisional bajo la dirección de Anand Panyarachun y de nuevo se solidifica la fuerzas opositoras dirigida por Chuan Likpai como Primer Ministro.

En el año de 1996 el primer Ministro Chaovalit Young Chaisyudh, del partido Nueva Aspiración, asume el gobierno, pero ya para el año de 1997 el país comienza una elevada crisis económica muy unida también a la llamada crisis asiática. La desconfianza en la economía del país es elevada y el país tiene que recurrir a los préstamos de estabilización del Fondo Monetario Internacional por más de 17 millones de dólares. Casi a finales del año de 1.997 el primer ministro Young renuncia al ser acusado de la crisis y asume Chuan Likpai, del partido Demócrata.

La crisis económica se agrava con un déficit presupuestario del 2% del PIB, lo cual obliga al gobierno a elevar los impuestos. Casi a finales de los años de 1999 el país comienza a recuperarse de su crisis económica con un crecimiento del PIB del 4,2% al año, la mitad de lo que había crecido en los primeros años de la década de los años 90.

Los diputados de la oposición presionan al gobierno de Likpai para que convoque de nuevo elecciones para enero del año 2001 y entonces obtiene la victoria Thaksin Shinawatra del partido Tailandeses Aman Tailandeses (TRT), un líder procesado por corrupción pero que luego fue absuelto por el Tribunal Constitucional. Los problemas de la economía de USA y el atentado del 11 de septiembre contra las Torres Gemelas, tienen impacto en la economía mundial y de nuevo en la economía de Tailandia, un país con una frontera desprotegida y con altos índices de tráfico de drogas apoyadas por las milicias del gobierno militar de Myanmar, la antigua Birmania hasta 1997. Surja otra crisis pero ahora entre Myamar y Tailandia, una lucha de poderes entre grupos armados y la crisis con Camboya. De nuevo el país combate con insurgentes islámicos en el sur del país. A finales del año 2004 el país sufre los embates tanto de la llamada Gripe Aviar como del Tsunami en el océano índico.

El 19 de septiembre el país se enfrenta de nuevo con otro golpe militar
  • del 2006 como se relata aquí
  • . Al estar ausente el primer ministro Thaksin Shinawatra, acusado de manejos fraudulentos de tipo financiero y que había viajado a la reunión de la ONU en New York, el Real Ejército de Tailandia se adelanta al 15 de octubre día para las elecciones generales y decreta la ley marcial. Se crea de inmediato un Consejo Administrativo para la Reforma y este Consejo asume los poderes ejecutivos con lealtad total al Rey.

    La división social del país y la elevada corrupción han sido las dos justificaciones para dar el golpe de Estado. El golpe de Estado estuvo dirigido por el general Sondhi Boonyaratklin, pero los jefes de las tres ramas del ejercito le han propuesto al Rey un gabinete y como primer ministro al líder general Sorayud Chulanont. No obstante existe, por ahora, una transición política o poder ejecutivo colegiado, el cual ha convocado para reuniones políticas para 20 de septiembre. Mientras tanto, existe un control estricto con fuertes censuras a los medios de comunicación nacionales y del exterior. Se espera que para el mes de octubre no se lleven a cabo la elección general sino dentro de un año, pero mientras tanto el Rey legitima al Consejo de Reforma Administrativa y al general Sondhi Boonyaratklin, líder del golpe militar. Se espera que el orden democrático sea recuperado pronto y el respaldo al estado de derecho.

    Detrás de las causas de este golpe de estado están las decisiones del Primer Ministro Thaksin Shinawatra para destituir al comandante de la región de Bangkok y debido a que algunos miembros de la Comisión Electoral intentaron apoyar ilícitamente al multimillonario Shinawatra, líder del partido Thai Rak Thai.

    Ahora habrá que esperar un año más para conocer el futuro político de Tailandia; pero mientras Tailanda no vuelva sus ojos a los políticos civiles y siga con militares políticos, siempre habrá ineficiencia de las principales decisiones y siempre habrá elevada corruptela. Zapatero a tu zapato...

    martes, septiembre 19, 2006

    Gente del Siglo XXI repudia la visita de Iran

    EL Observatorio Anti-totalitario Hannah Arendt repudia visita del presidente iraní Mahmud Ahmadinejad e invita a los amantes de la Paz y el Pluralismo a estampar su firma en este manifiesto. El manifiesto y las firmas que aparecenrán en el Dairio El Nacional también se puede ver en este blog.

    China y el control de Internet

    Behind the Great Firewall
    Foreign companies complicit in Chinese Internet censorship
    Ronald Schaefer

    What is Manichaeism and who is a Bodhisattva?

    Like most people these days, I am looking for the answers to these or other questions on Wikipedia, undoubtedly one of the most frequented websites of our time. But unlike most of its users, I first have to activate my browser's proxy server before the world's accumulated knowledge will appear on my computer screen. That is because I currently live in China, a country that heavily controls which websites its inhabitants can access, and which they can't. Unfortunately, Wikipedia belongs to a long list of blocked sites in China, and some of its contents remain miraculously hidden even when using a proxy server.

    Wikipedia could be the most prominent victim of Chinese Internet censorship. Most foreign news organizations' websites are accessible, however, with the BBC website being a notable exception. Most Chinese users will read their news on homegrown websites anyway, making Chinese web portals more and more popular. was recently ranked as the fifth most trafficked site in the world, and followed closely behind at seventh place.

    The enormous task of controlling the multitude of electronic information circling around the globe every day lies firmly in the hands of China's own Internet police, which reportedly employs as many as 50,000 state agents. They frequently erase critical comments on popular bulletin boards and occasionally even arrest people who publish untolerated opinions online.

    The Great Firewall of China (known as the Golden Shield Project on the mainland) helps the government to block websites by preventing IP addresses from being routed through, and through selective DNS poisoning when particular sites are requested.

    Ironically, some of the world's major Internet companies, normally ardent supporters of free speech, support this system of censorship. The American company Cisco Systems sold more than 200 routers to the Chinese government in the summer of 2005, thereby greatly enhancing the government's technological censoring ability. The Chinese version of the popular Skype software, a pioneer in the field of Internet telephony, is configured to automatically censor sensitive words in text chats without informing the user.

    The corporate heavyweight Microsoft censors the content of its blog service MSN Spaces. They explicitly censored searches and blog titles to avoid sensitive political topics and even deleted or blocked whole blogs. Even Google cooperated with the Chinese authorities, agreeing to block websites that are illegal in China. Its Chinese search engine under is heavily censored, though not as much as the government-sponsored Baidu search engine.

    Yahoo cooperated with the Chinese censors to the degree of releasing the identity of private users to the Chinese authorities. Four prominent Chinese government critics, Shi Tao, Li Zhi, Jiang Lijun, and Wang Xiaoning were subsequently imprisoned and received heavy sentences.

    Human Rights Watch, a renowned nongovernmental organization, recently strongly criticized all companies that cooperate with the Chinese authorities in terms of censorship, urging them

    "to use all legal means to resist demands for censorship of searches, blogs, and web addresses. Companies should only comply with such demands if they are made via legally binding procedures that can be documented and after the company has exhausted all reasonable legal means to resist them."

    HRW also called on the United States, the European Union and other jurisdictions to prohibit companies from storing private user data on Chinese web servers. Rebecca MacKinnon, a consultant to Human Rights Watch, argued,

    "Western Internet companies are complicit in actively censoring political material without telling users what's happening and why... We believe that companies could act more ethically and still operate in China. It is time for Internet companies to decide whether they want to be part of the problem or part of the solution."

    The blocking of certain websites is, however, not the only way for the Chinese government to restrict access to potentially sensitive information. Very often some unwanted information is simply erased, and sometimes even replaced with the official position of the Chinese government.

    Since the country's Internet police could never monitor the entire Chinese web all by themselves, Chinese leaders have been trying to mobilize the masses to help with this monumental task. An initiative named "Let the Winds of a Civilized Internet Blow" was launched through which many schools, colleges, and Web portals now police their online grounds themselves. College bulletin boards especially are thoroughly monitored, very often even by the college's own students, and almost certainly without the knowledge of their peers. These student monitors don't only delete controversial comments, but also introduce politically correct themes for discussion.

    Bulletin boards in China are a main source for information, especially for the growing majority of people who don't have a lot of trust in the official press anymore. Recently, some universities have started to block off-campus users from contributing to their bulletin boards and now require students to log in with their real names.

    Some Chinese have found another medium to express their criticism, anger and frustration. In recent times, there has been a growing number of amateur videos online that parody socialist Chinese movie classics. Their popularity has skyrocketed in a relatively short time. It seemed that many Chinese appreciated the opportunity to express their frustrations in a funny way.

    Now the Chinese government has released new regulations requiring all Internet video clips to be registered with the State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television, an organization charged with the censoring and licensing of movies and television shows. What's more, only specially authorized web portals will be allowed to distribute the videos from now on.

    So what is the solution? Of course, it would be best if China would extend the privilege of censor-free Internet access to all of its citizens, and not only to the new Chinese students of Kean University. That American College's new branch in Zhejiang received the exclusive permission from the Chinese government to directly connect all their campus computers with their uncensored U.S. servers.

    All other Chinese Internet users interested in unrestricted access to all the knowledge the web has to offer will have to continue using proxy servers or special software such as Anonymizer. That San Diego-based company recently started an Anti-Censorship operation, not funded by the American government, that allows Chinese Internet users to access blocked sites using its especially developed software. Every week or so, the software will be available for download under a different Internet address (to avoid blocking by the Chinese censors) and users, once registered, will receive weekly updates by e-mail.

    The problem is that these websites are so elusive that I so far have been unable to find them. So if you know where the software is currently available for download or if you even have it yourself, please do this citizen reporter a favor and reply to this article.
    ©2006 OhmyNews

    lunes, septiembre 18, 2006

    El Fraude Electoral según PRINCETON UNIVERSITY

    El enlace que he colocado arriba aparece un detallado artículo en inglés que viene de la prestigiosa Universidad de Princeton sobre el fraude elctoral digitalizado. Aunque este asunto es bien conocido en Venzuela y nos ha tocado vivirlo de cerca, vale la pena analizar la manera en que se prepara el software y la máquina para cambiar el voto sagrado de los ciudadanos.

    "The Clash of Civilizations?"

    SAMUEL P. HUNTINGTON, "The Clash of Civilizations?" Foreign Affairs Summer 1993, 72/3.

    S.P. H is the Eaton Professor of the Science of Government and Director of the John M. Olin Institute for Strategic Studies at Harvard University.

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

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

    Conflict between civilizations will be the latest phase of the evolution of conflict in the modern world. For a century and a half after the emergence of the modern international system of the Peace of Westphalia, the conflicts of the Western world were largely among princes -- emperors, absolute monarchs and constitutional monarchs attempting to expand their bureaucracies, their armies, their mercantilist economic strength and, most important, the territory they ruled. In the process they created nation states, and beginning with the French Revolution the principal lines of conflict were between nations rather than princes. In 1793, as R. R. Palmer put it, "The wars of kings were over; the ward of peoples had begun." This nineteenth-century pattern lasted until the end of World War I. Then, as a result of the Russian Revolution and the reaction against it, the conflict of nations yielded to the conflict of ideologies, first among communism, fascism-Nazism and liberal democracy, and then between communism and liberal democracy. During the Cold War, this latter conflict became embodied in the struggle between the two superpowers, neither of which was a nation state in the classical European sense and each of which defined its identity in terms of ideology.

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

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

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