1. Apparently unaware of the strong negative connotations of the term “crusade” for many Muslims, President Bush touched off a firestorm within Muslim public opinion when he remarked in a speech in the days after the attacks of September 11, 2001, that “this crusade, this war on terrorism is going to take a while.” The term “crusade” can have multiple interpretations in English beyond the religious meaning contained in the term’s Latin root of (Christian) cross; the Oxford English Dictionary lists as the second definition of crusade, “An aggressive movement or enterprise against some public evil, or some institution or class of persons considered as evil.” In Arabic, however, the literal translation of “crusade” is a “Christian campaign,” which conjures for many Muslims the medieval Christian wars against Islam in the Holy Lands. President Bush’s unfortunate choice of language was roundly condemned by Muslims and non–Muslims alike. For an analysis of the cultural implications of the term “crusade,” see Anne E. Kornblut and Charles Radin, “Bush Image of Crusade Upsets Some Potential Allies,” Boston Globe, September 18, 2001.
2. John Hanford, the Bush administration’s ambassador at large, made the criticism of France for international religious freedom. Hanford noted that items like headscarves are worn “as a heartfelt manifestation” of faith, and “this is, we believe, a basic right that should be protected.” Hanford spoke in the course of releasing an official report on religious freedom that also criticized Turkey for its ban on headscarves. See Christopher Marquis, “U.S. Chides France on Effort to Bar Religious Garb in Schools,” New York Times, December 19, 2003. Contrasting European and American perceptions of Turkey’s application to join the European Union are another intriguing instance of how the two Western cultures perceive the “religious identity” question differently, in this case when looking at a political question. See David L. Phillips, “Turkey’s Dreams of Accession,” Foreign Affairs, September/October 2004, for a characterization of the mainstream American view; for some European reaction to Turkish admission and the American interest in it, see the remarks by Frits Bolkestein, the EU competition commissioner, in Tobias Buck and Daniel Dombey, “Fischler Criticises EU plans for Turkey,” Financial Times, September 10, 2004, p. 1, and the discussion in “Turkish Tales,” The Economist, September 11, 2004.
3. For a survey of neoconservative thought, see William Kristol, ed., The Weekly Standard, A Reader: 1995–2005 (New York: HarperCollins, 2005).
4. John Locke, A Letter Concerning Toleration (Indianapolis: Bobbs– Merrill, 1955), p. 13.
5. Havel’s speech is online at http://www.europa–web.de/europa/ 02wwswww/203chart/chart_gb.htm. It inspired the Charta of European Identity (1995), which is available at the same electronic address.
6. Elaine Sciolino, “God’s Place in Charter Is Dividing Europeans,” New York Times, May 26, 2004.
7. One example is the career of Ruben Habito, a native of the Philippines who, although a Catholic, underwent Zen training, received a doctorate in Buddhist philosophy from Tokyo University, then made his home in the United States, where he teaches at Southern Methodist University and directs the Maria Kannon Zen Center, both in Dallas, Texas. See www.innerexplorations.com/catew/13.htm.
8. The association of Islam with African Americans, and to a lesser degree with the prison population, is one of many instances where race and social class are closely associated with a particular religious belief.
9. The then–Attorney General John Ashcroft, who was perhaps the most avowedly Christian member of the Bush cabinet, made positive statements about Islam following the attacks, in tune with the line of the administration as a whole. As early as his first address to Congress, on September 20, 2001, President Bush said: “I also want to speak tonight directly to Muslims throughout the world. We respect your faith. It’s practiced freely by many millions of Americans and by millions more in countries that America counts as friends. Its teachings are good and peaceful, and those who commit evil in the name of Allah blaspheme the name of Allah. The terrorists are traitors to their faith, trying, in effect, to hijack Islam itself.” Bush, Our Mission and Our Moment: Speeches Since the Attacks of September 11, Washington, D.C.: private printing, p. 15. President Bush’s speeches are available at www.whitehouse.gov. One treatment of the Bush White House’s Christianity can be found in David Frum, The Right Man: An Inside Account of the Bush White House (New York: Random House, 2003). Frum was Bush’s speechwriter and, before his resignation, one of the very few Jews in the administration.
10. The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press report on “Post–September 11 Attitudes,” released December 6, 2001, online at http://peoplepress.org/reports/ display.php3?ReportID=144.
11. See Tony Judt, Post War: A History of Europe Since 1945 (New York: Penguin Press, 2005).
12. For a completely opposite view of American imperialism, see Neil Smith, American Empire: Roosevelt’s Geographer and the Prelude to Globalization (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003). Within the academy, the general view of American expansion is much less rosy than is the case in high school and undergraduate classrooms.
13. An interesting, very pluralist approach to this question is presented by Joao Carlos Espada, Adam Wolfson, and Marc F. Plattner, eds., Pluralism Without Relativism: Remembering Sir Isaiah Berlin (Lanham: Lexington Books, 2003).
14. Originally published in the summer 1989 issue of the National Interest; subsequently expanded and published in book form as The End of History and the Last Man (New York: Free Press, 1992).
15. Ralf Dahrendorf, Reflections on the Revolution in Europe: In a Letter Intended to Have Been Sent to a Gentleman in Warsaw (London: Chatto and Windus, 1990), p. 23.
16. Timothy Garton Ash, History of the Present: Essays, Sketches and Dispatches from Europe in the 1990s (New York: Vintage, 2001).
17. The passage is in the preface; the text of the 1996 National Security Strategy (NSS) can be found at www.fas.org/spp/military/docops/national/1996stra.htm.
18. See, for example, the feverish battles over Stanford University’s decision to modify its traditional “Western civilization” core curriculum to include more nonwhite, nonmale voices, as chronicled in Nathan Glazer, “Canon Fodder,” New Republic, August 22, 1988, and James Atlas, “The Battle of the Books,” New York Times Magazine, June 5, 1988. The strong generational abandonment of “the West” as a tainted idea is examined in Matthew Connelly and Paul Kennedy, “Must It Be the West Against the Rest?” Atlantic Monthly, December 1994.
19. Samuel Huntington, “The Clash of Civilizations,” Foreign Affairs, summer 1993. Huntington added “cultural freedom” when he expanded his argument to book length: The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of the World Order (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1996), p. 310.
20. President Clinton was said to have decided that Balkan cultures were too deeply affected by ancient ethnic hatreds for U.S. intervention to make any difference based on his reading of Robert Kaplan’s Balkan Ghosts: A Journey Through History, (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1993). See Nader Mousavizadeh, ed., The Black Book of Bosnia: The Consequences of Appeasement (New York: Basic, 1996), p. 54; also Misha Glenny, The Balkans: Nationalism, War and the Great Powers, 1804–1999 (New York: Viking Penguin, 2000), pp. xxiv–xxv.
21. Robert Kagan and William Kristol, “Toward a Neo–Reaganite Foreign Policy,” Foreign Affairs, July/August 1996; Robert Kagan, “The Benevolent Empire,” Foreign Policy, summer 1998. In spring of 2000, these ideas were further developed, alongside contributions from several noted architects of George W. Bush’s security policies, in Kristol and Kagan’s book Present Dangers: Crisis and Opportunity in America’s Foreign and Defense Policies (Washington: Encounter Books, 2000). The book identified the present danger as U.S. hesitancy in maintaining global hegemony.
22. George W. Bush, Our Mission and Our Moment: Speeches Since the Attacks of September 11.
23. Max Boot gave this argument on October 15, 2001, in his Weekly Standard article “The Case for American Empire.” “Rome has been attacked, and Rome is fighting to re–establish its security and its hegemony,” Michael Ignatieff wrote in the New York Times on February 5, 2002, introducing the imperial figure of speech into a broader discourse. Washington Post columnist Sebastian Mallaby’s article “The Reluctant Imperialist: Terrorism, Failed States, and the Case for American Empire” appeared in Foreign Affairs the following month. Since then there have been numerous articles and, by now, a number of books, including Max Boot, The Savage Wars of Peace: Small Wars and the Rise of American Power (New York: Basic, 2002); Niall Ferguson, Empire: The Rise and Demise of the British World Order and the Lessons for Global Power (New York: Basic, 2003) and Colossus: The Price of American Power (New York: Penguin, 2004), by a British historian and frequent advocate of empire, particularly in the pages of the New York Times; Andrew J. Bacevich, American Empire: The Realities and Consequences of US Diplomacy (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2003); Clyde Prestowitz, Rogue Nation: American Unilateralism and the Failure of Good Intentions (New York: Basic, 2003); Ellen Meiksins Wood, Empire of Capital (London: Verso, 2003); and Michael Ignatieff, Empire Lite: Nation–Building in Bosnia, Kosovo and Afghanistan (New York: Vintage, 2003). See the omnibus reviews by Brian Urquhart, “World Order and Mr. Bush,” New York Review of Books, October 9, 2003; Martin Jacques, “The Interregnum,” London Review of Books, February 5, 2004; and Ronald Steel, “Totem and Taboo,” Nation, September 20, 2004. An argument that America’s imperial moment is more a mood swing than a permanent shift is made in Benjamin Wallace–Wells, “Right Man’s Burden: Why Empire Enthusiast Niall Ferguson Won’t Change His Mind,” Washington Monthly, June 2004.
24. On the birth of the United Nations, see Stephen C. Schlesinger, Act of Creation: The Founding of the United Nations (Boulder: Westview, 2003); a recent meditation on the West, including an argument that “universalization” of the West would mark its demise, is David Gress, From Plato to NATO: The Idea of the West and Its Opponents (New York: Free Press, 1998).
25. Robert Cooper, The Breaking of Nations: Order and Chaos in the Twenty–First Century (New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 2004), pp. 30, 60–61.
26. Robert Cooper writes, “The United States is a state founded on ideas and its vocation is the spread of those ideas. European countries are based on nation and history. For Americans history is bunk. They aim, as the Mexican author Octavio Paz says, at the colonization not of space but of time: that is, of the future.” The Breaking of Nations, pp. 47–48.
27. See Oriana Fallaci, The Rage and the Pride (New York: Rizzoli International, 2002); on how Michel Houellebecq created a scandal by saying Islam was a “stupid” religion, see Phillip Delves Broughton, “Writer Defends Right to Call Islam ‘Stupid,’ ” Daily Telegraph, September 18, 2002; Brigitte Bardot, Un Cri dans le silence (Paris: Editions du Rocher, 2003); Ann Coulter, Treason: Liberal Treachery from the Cold War to the War on Terrorism (New York: Crown, 2003); Melanie Phillips’s columns appear in the London Daily Mail and are online at www.melaniephillips.com. Phillips’s column “You Say Phobe, I Say Phooey” from June 11, 2004, gives her perspective on being called an Islamophobe. Bill O’Reilly hosts The O’Reilly Factor on Fox News Channel and transcripts from his show are online at www.foxnews.com.
28. Considerable controversy attended the publication of Franklin Graham and Bruce Nygren, The Name (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2002) and Graham’s comments on Islam made at the time, some of which can be found in an interview at www.pbs.org; for Robertson (and others), see “Muhammad a Terrorist to Falwell,” New York Times, October 4, 2002, and “Islam Is Violent In Nature, Robertson Says,” New York Times, February 23, 2002.
29. See Bernard Lewis, The Crisis of Islam: Holy War and Unholy Terror (New York: Modern Library, 2003); and From Babel to Dragomans (New York: Oxford, 2004), as well as Ian Buruma’s review of the latter book in the New Yorker, June 14, 2004. For Samuel Huntington, see note 19, supra, and his recent argument for defending what he calls the “Anglo–Protestant” nature of the United States in Who Are We?: The Challenges to America’s National Identity (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2004).
30. A glimpse of how one public intellectual might influence policy can be found in David Frum’s description of a visit by Bernard Lewis to the White House, in Frum, The Right Man: The Surprise Presidency of George W. Bush (New York: Random House, 2003), pp. 170–171.
31. Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., “Forgetting Reinhold Niebuhr,” New York Times, September 18, 2005.
32. UN Secretary–General Kofi Annan announced the formation of an initiative toward an Alliance of Civilizations in a statement on July 14, 2005. Based at the United Nations and cosponsored by the prime ministers of Spain and Turkey, the alliance will work to bridge divides between societies that are being exploited by extremists.