May 4, 2005

Life beyond terror.....

I have been traveling a lot, meeting many people, and within one month (Apr 4 to May 2) spoke to 8 Rotary clubs. At one club, I remember the topic of Sept 11th, American Foreign Policy, and the War on Terror being discussed.

The Rotarian mentioned that other countries have had terror and had many years of it. Europe has thousands of years of history and the US is a little baby of 200 plus years. Her point was that in that naivete, we are focusing our energies on what we perceive to be our largest problem when in fact, there are others and it isn't a new concept.

This is just a short thought but I was reminded of it when I was reading the article below when it mentions the approach between two heads of state, Bush and Hu (China). Bush was terror focused and Hu addressed many concerns of the people.

From Fareed Zakaria's article on China:

In November 2004, President George W. Bush and China's President Hu Jintao traveled through Asia. I was in the region a few weeks afterward and was struck by how almost everyone I spoke with rated Hu's visits as far more successful than Bush's. Karim Raslan, a Malaysian writer, explained: "Bush talked obsessively about terror. He sees all of us through that one prism. Yes, we worry about terror, but frankly that's not the sum of our lives. We have many other problems. We're retooling our economies, we're wondering how to deal with the rise of China, we're trying to address health, social and environmental problems. Hu talked about all this; he talked about our agenda, not just his agenda." From Indonesia to Brazil, China is winning new friends.

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