On at least one issue, there's already a clear winner in the US presidential elections -- Israel. \nNo matter who wins the elections on Nov. 2 -- US President George W. Bush or his challenger Senator John Kerry -- Israel can continue to count on the unlimited support of the White House. It's the one point where the two men seem to actually agree. \nBut while anti-Semites and Palestinians see the hand of a ubiquitous "Jewish lobby" at work in the US, in reality, US presidents have always had quite other motives in their strong alliance with the Jewish state. \nThe 6 million Jewish voters in the US have a relatively small influence on the US elections. New York, California and Massachusetts, which have large Jewish populations, are already established as long-time Democratic fortresses. At the most, Jewish voters could tip the scales in hotly contested battlefields like Florida, although so could any other ethnic minority group. \nAs an ethnic group, Jews carry a much larger weight traditionally in the world of finance, in the film industry, in the media, in science and many academic professions. But even there, US Jews are hardly a homogeneous group and represent a wide variety of political opinions. \nWhile US Jews are bound together by their conviction that securing the existence of Israel is essential, so are the majority of non-Jewish Americans. Israel is a naturally close ally of the country for a variety of reasons -- as the homeland for the millenia-long persecuted Jews, as the only democracy in the Middle East and as the outpost of the free world amidst an increasingly aggressive and problematic Islamic-Arabic world. \nAmong the strongest advocates of Israel in the US are the conservative Christian evangelicals. For them, Israel is not only the Promised Land for the Jews, but also the birthplace of their own spiritual leader, Jesus Christ. \nAs a voter group, US Jews, who already tend to vote Democratic, are particularly torn this year. Among liberal Jews, Bush is a particular object of scorn and skepticism despite his support of Israel. \nJewish intellectuals like film maker Woody Allen and writer Philip Roth see the Bush presidency as a "political disaster." And even billionaires and financiers like George Soros are spending millions of dollars to make sure Bush doesn't return to the White House. \nDespite the strong emotions against Bush, no Republican president since Ronald Reagan has received more support from Israel than Bush. \nIsrael's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon called Bush the country's best friend in the White House in modern history. \nAnd Sharon can count on Bush for backing in even his most unilateral decisions, such as the building of the wall along the West Bank and the unilateral withdrawal from Gaza. \nMuch of this situation stems from the influence of the so-called neo-conservatives who include Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz and former advisor Richard Perle, both of whom are Jewish. They have put their imprint on the "Bush doctrine" of preventive war and on the offensive drive against terrorists, extremists and enemies of the US. \nIn the minds of many "neocons," who had been itching to remove Iraqi president Saddam Hussein from power long before Bush entered the White House, the US and Israel share exactly the same political interests. \nIsrael was the biggest cheerleader of all US allies when Bush gave the go-ahead to invade Iraq -- not only because of Washington's so-called "blind loyalty" to Israel and the Jewish lobby, but also because of the recognition that "the enemies of Israel are increasingly identical with the enemies of the United States," officials of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the main pro-Israel lobbying organization, said. \nDemocratic Senator Ernest "Fritz" Hollings and his colleague, Congressman James Moran, have charged that Bush only went to war in Iraq because of "Jewish interests" -- which brought a resounding protest in the leadership of the Democratic Party. \nThere's no doubt about the power of the Israel lobby in Washington. The wealthy pro-Israeli umbrella group, AIPAC, is described as Washington's "700 pound gorilla." The organization documents every vote in Congress and makes sure legislators who don't support Israel face well-funded opponents in the next election. \nBut the success of the Israeli lobbyists is most clearly seen in US policies since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Bush and Kerry do not talk of a "clash of cultures" but rather see the US in a global war against extremism in the Islamic-Arabic world, in which Israel and the US are usually mentioned in the same hostile breath.
Ideas matter. They especially matter in world affairs. And in communist countries, it is communist ideas, not supreme leaders’ personality traits, that matter most. That is the reality in the People’s Republic of China. All Chinese communist leaders — from Mao Zedong (毛澤東) through Deng Xiaoping (鄧小平), from Jiang Zemin (江澤民) and Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) through to Xi Jinping (習近平) — have always held two key ideas to be sacred and self-evident: first, that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is infallible, and second, that the Marxist-Leninist socialist system of governance is superior to every alternative. The ideological consistency by all CCP leaders,
The US on Friday hosted the second Global COVID-19 Summit, with at least 98 countries, including Taiwan, and regional alliances such as the G7, the G20, the African Union and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) attending. Washington is also leading a proposal to revise one of the most important documents in global health security — the International Health Regulations (IHR) — which are to be discussed during the 75th World Health Assembly (WHA) that starts on Sunday. These two actions highlight the US’ strategic move to dominate the global health agenda and return to the core of governance, with the WHA
Just as the cause of the Kursk submarine disaster remains shrouded in mystery — the nuclear-powered Russian submarine suffered an explosion during a naval exercise on Aug. 12, 2000, and sank, killing all 118 crew onboard — it is unlikely that we will ever get to the bottom of the sequence of events last month that led to the sinking of the Moskva guided missile cruiser, the flagship of the Russian navy’s Black Sea fleet. Ukraine claims it struck the vessel with two missiles, while Russia says ammunition onboard the ship exploded and the ship tipped over while being towed
The war in Ukraine continues, and lines are slowly being drawn in the sand. Nations have begun imposing sanctions; few can ignore the reality of Russia’s aggression and atrocities, especially as it edges to the possibility of making a full declaration of war. For Taiwan, this resurrects a different reality, the tangled web of its own complex past and how as a colony of Japan, it became involved with Russia, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT). Some role reversals are immediately evident. Taiwan is now an independent nation and the CCP rules China. The CCP indirectly