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BU Opera Institute Fall Fringe Festival’s one-act operas, October 25 to 27 and November 1 to 3
Week of 25 October 2002 · Vol. VI, No. 9

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U.S. News & World Report: Need for modesty in globalism

What is America’s role as the custodian of the new world order? Traditionally, assertions of preeminence have made most American politicians uneasy, and so modesty is a crucial factor to consider when answering the question, according to an article in the October 21 U.S. News & World Report. Andrew Bacevich, a CAS professor of international relations and director of the Center for International Relations, says that globalization is more than a post–Cold War development for the United States; it is the continuation of America’s century-long pursuit of openness. In his forthcoming book American Empire: The Realities and Consequences of U.S. Diplomacy, Bacevich asserts that since Woodrow Wilson, American foreign policy has aimed at knocking down barriers to foster “an integrated international order conducive to American interests, governed by American norms, regulated by American power, and, above all, satisfying the expectations of the American people for ever-greater abundance.” But the United States has been a reluctant imperial power, adds Bacevich, couching its objectives in terms of altruism and ideals instead of power and self-interest, preferring multilateral cooperation instead of unilateral action.

The Minnesota Daily: Importance of individual rights in anti-bioterrorism policies

At a University of Minnesota consortium on Law and Values in Health, Environment, and the Life Sciences held on October 16, health experts urged caution and increased public debate on anti-bioterrorism policies, including immunizations, reports the Minnesota Daily on October 17. Wendy Mariner, an SPH health law professor, gave the keynote address, which focused mainly on the history of public health and the legal precedent for mandatory public health procedures. She said that public health efforts, such as immunization policies, should not ignore individual rights. “Patients’ rights need to retain value to limit overreaching government policies, and the byproduct could be people cooperating rather than resisting,” she said.

CNN International, Q&A: Indonesian government needs to rein in Islamic militants

Al Qaeda is at work inside Indonesia, that country’s leaders admit, but they have been slow to crack down on radical Islamic groups, such as the one that may be responsible for the recent bombings in Bali, reports CNN International’s Q&A show on October 15. Laskar Jihad, one of the extremist Muslim groups operating in Indonesia, has decided to end its campaign of terror in parts of the archipelago, but Jemaah Islamiah is still active and its leader, Abu Bakar Baasyir, is wanted by Malaysia and Singapore. Robert Hefner, a CAS professor of anthropology and the author of Civil Islam, believes two things would happen if Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri took firmer action against alleged extremists and terrorists, and hunted down Baasyir. “First, there would be fairly large, but I don’t think seriously destabilizing, demonstrations in Indonesia by conservative groups,” he says. “But more significantly, there might be a little bit of tension that would develop within the [government] coalition, in particular between [Megawati] and the more conservative Islamic groups, who happen to be represented by her own vice president.” While it is not clear that Jemaah Islamiah was responsible for the Bali bombings, Hefner says, “the political and economic implications of the Bali bombing are so serious that even moderately conservative Muslim leaders are thinking twice.”


25 October 2002
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