Europe and Singapore
[Due to the snowstorm in the New York area, I still haven’t returned
home from my long trip, but I did want to post the following in light of
current developments on the diplomatic front regarding the coming
war with Iraq. I will resume my more normal “Hott Spotts” schedule
on February 27.]
As of a few days ago, the following European nations support the
position of the United States.
Turkey (though they are being a bit obstinate as of this writing)
The following oppose the U.S.
Frankly, I know many of you will join me in seeking out products
from those nations that support President Bush, while shunning the
ones from countries who don''t.
In praise of Singapore
No nation has done more to fight terror, and supply the U.S. and its
allies with more information, than Singapore. While in Australia, I
came across a book review on this nation (“Lee’s Law: How
Singapore Crushes Dissent” by Chris Lydgate) written by Peter
Coleman in The Weekend Australian. Here are a few snippets from
“If you live (in Singapore), you don’t have to worry about drugs at
school. The republic’s low crime rate is the envy of the world – and
there are no flies on its Special Branch, which recently saved the
Australian high commission from terrorist bombs.
“Singapore is prosperous, with a higher per capita gross national
product than Australia. It smoothly weathered the recent Asian
economic meltdown. Foreign investors love it. It is a world center
for manufacturing and service industries.
“Although it is a race-based society – predominately Chinese, with
Indian and Malay minorities – there have been no race riots since
1964 (when six people were killed). There are no panhandlers in the
streets, no slums, no rampant disease. Many see this former swamp
as a stunning success story. Others disdainfully call it a well-scrubbed
utopia. Some, even more disdainfully, see it as a Maoist paradise –
egalitarian, authoritarian, repellent.
“It is the amazing creation of one of the most amazing politicians of his
time – Lee Kuan Yew or Harry Lee, its prime minister from 1959 to
1990. It bears his imprint in its details. It’s easy to reduce crime, he
says bluntly. All you need are sure, severe and just punishments.
Western liberal democracies are ‘decadent.’ The trade unions are
tame; the churches stick to charity; there’s no future for independent
parties: the Confucian, Lee says, does not understand the idea of ‘a
I met a fellow on Guam the other day who flies to Singapore quite a
bit and he was raving about the country. Maybe later in the year I’ll
take another road trip. In the meantime, we thank these good people
for their help in the war on terror.