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Wednesday, January 7, 2004

Political Science 129: The US, Europe, and Asia, and the War On Terrorism

Ordinarily, the buggy prof doesn't mix buggy stuff with political science lectures and syllabi, all of them dealing with international relations: theory, security matters, political economy, US foreign policy, and the domestic influences across countries that affect their foreign policies. The main exceptions, fleshed out from the very schematic outlines the buggy prof sketches out and memorizes for classroom pyrotechniques, are those lecture-topics that seem of more general interest . . . at any rate, to the buggy mind. Does this syllabus for a junior-senior class on US-Asian-European Relations in the War on Terrorism fit this category? At first sight, no: far from it. But then, while yanking weeds in his garden with such persistence and force that the blood-flow to the buggy prof's sluggish, slowly deteriorating brain was quickly upped ten-fold, it dawned suddenly on my energized mental powers that all the activated internet links to the readings on the web, in the dozens and possibly over a hundred, might be worth offering to visitors here.

Over a hundred? Who counts, except lackluster students looking desperately for a course with 99 readings . . . even if the lecturer lacks a bugged-out sense of humor?

Political Science 129: THE US, EUROPE, AND ASIA

Course Aims

This year, our course will focus almost entirely on US foreign policy and the war on terrorism, viewed and studied in a ranging, far-flung manner. In particular, we will grapple with these ambitious and closely related topics:

What underpins the US sole superpower role? Will Others Rival It Soon, say the EU or China?

What is the Bush revolution in US foreign policy since 9/11, and what is the nature of criticisms at home and abroad?

What is American exceptionalism: unrivalled wealth, power, and influence, and how these generate inevitable backlash criticisms?

What is the war on terrorism about: the new Islamo-extremist varieties, the clash of civilizations inside the Arab and wider Muslim worlds, what Islamist fundamentalism amounts to, what the US can or can't do about this, and what the new anti-Semitism in the Arab countries add up to. How does the war to topple Iraq and reconstruct it as a viable consensual society --- the only one in the Arab world (all 21 other Arab countries are despotic tyrannies, run ultimately by the secret police and differing mainly in brutality) --- fit into the wider war on terrorism? Can the US succeed? What are the repercussions for the US in its relations with the EU, NATO, Russia, and others?

How does the war to topple Saddam influence the rest of the Middle East, including the Israeli-Arab conflict, Syria, Iran, and Saudi Arabia?

Course Requirements:

There will be a mid-term at the end of the third week, January 22nd. It will cover the first part of the syllabus on the Bush revolution in US foreign policy --- pros and cons, US and foreign views, partisan reactions at home --- and we will hand out study questions for it next week. A 9-11 page paper will be assigned that same week: it will cover the readings and lectures in Parts II and III and due at the start of the 6th week, February 10th or so. A second mid-term will be held at the end of the 8th week, February 24th or 26th, all depending on where we are in the course then; again, study questions will be handed out in advance. A final exam covering the entire course will also have study questions in advance.
The final will count 40% of your grade. Each mid-term will be another 20%; so will the paper. The two teaching assistants will have the liberty of adjusting your grade in the light of your weekly contributions in the discussion sections.

Course Readings:

All the readings are available online, and the web addresses are listed below. Almost all can be accessed on any internet connection; a handful --- usually those requiring subscriptions --- might require you to use the library and its databases for a legally free download: these are singled out. The readings have been chosen to reflect a wide range of views: pro and contra Bush's foreign policy, American and foreign alike. And so on for all the other topics.

Note carefully. You won't have any trouble recognizing my own preferences; nobody expects you to subscribe to them, and you will be free to criticize the lectures and readings on the exams and in your paper . . . subject to the proviso that these criticisms be solidly based, presented in a civil manner, and show a mastery of the readings and lecture contents. Note, too, that a lot of the readings are fairly short, so don't be worried about the number listed in the syllabus here. The paper topic and the study questions should help orient you through them. That doesn't mean the course isn't demanding. It is. If you aren't willing to make a powerful academic commitment to mastering the materials, you might do better in another course.

You will also have to subscribe to the gordon-newspost, a listserver where you will receive a copy of this syllabus in HTML (hence the web address links should be activated by your email program). We will also send the paper topic and the questions for the mid-term and final exams by means of the listserver. Once in a while, too, if a particularly good selection occurs in the course of the quarter, we will send you the link to it. You will be able to subscribe here: gordon-newspost


The American Global Role: The World's Unique Super-power
Michael Gordon, Is The US An Imperial State, A Hegemon, Or Just Very Powerful?

The Bush Revolution in Foreign Policy
Colin Powell, "What We Will Do in 2004", New York Times (Jan. 4, 2004)
Colin Powell, "A Strategy of Partnerships," Foreign Affairs (Jan/Feb 2004)
Kiron Skinner,"The Year Ahead, 20 Years Ago: Bush and Reagan," New York Times (Jan. 5, 2004),

American and Foreign Critics
Josef Joffe: "Gulliiver Unbound; Can America Rule the World?" Centre for Independent Studies
(A prominent German journalist and scholar with a Harvard Ph.D.)
Dominique Moisi, "Reinventing the West" Foreign Affairs (Nov/Dec 2003)
(A prominent French analyst with a Harvard Ph.D.)
An American View by Two Critics of the Bush Policy: James Chace reviews two books, New York Times (Dec. 16, 2003)
A British View of Noam Chomsky, Nick Cohen, "By the Left . . . About Turn", The Guardian (Dec. 14, 2003)

American Defenses of George Bush:
Ralph Peters, "Bush the Statesman", New York Post (Nov 26, 2003),
Victor Davis Hanson, "Multilateral Mantras: National Review (Nov 26, 2003)
Victor Davis Hanson, "The Western Disease:", National Review (Dec. 30, 2003),
Charles Krauthammer, "Khadafi Got The Message," L.A. Times. (Dec. 26, 2003)
Jefferson Morley, "EU Pundits Concede Khadafi Pledge", Washington Post (Dec. 22, 2003),

The Partisan Fall-Out: The Democrats In Search of a Foreign Policy Alternative, The Left in Disarray
James Traub on the Democrats : "The Things They Carry" New York Times Magazine (Jan 4, 2004),
Michael Walzer, a prominent left-wing scholar and editor of Dissent:" Is a Decent Left Possible? Dissent (2002)
Elliott Cohen, "Iraq: If We Cut & Run", Washington Post (Nov. 19, 2004),
"Interview with Christopher Hitchens: "Why I Broke with the Left after 9/11"



American Exceptionalism
A Series of 8 one-page articles on the US, "A Nation Apart", from the British weekly, The Economist (Nov 6, 2003)
Be Sure To Read All 8, Links Found in the Right-Sidebar in the first article. Go here

Michael Gordon, 5th Article in a Long Mini-Series on US Exceptionalism:
"What Specifically Sets the US Apart from Other Democracies" (/2003)
Michael Gordon, "An Exchange with a Former Student on US Exceptionalism": 2nd in the Mini-Series,

A New Syndrome: Anti-Americanism, Anti-Semitism, and Anti-Israeli Animosity
David Brooks, "Among the Bourgeoisophobes: Why the Europeans and Arabs, Each in Their Own Way, Hate America and Israel,"
The Weekly Standard , April 15, 2002
A French View: Jean-Francois Revel, "Europe's Anti-American Obsession," The American Enterprise Online,"
A German View: Josef Joffe, "The Demons of Europe," Commentary Magazine (January 2004), Not yet available
David Brooks, "Refuting the Cynics", New York Times (Nov 26th, 2003) (This must be accessed by the UCSB library research services.)

Michael Gordon, A Three Article Series on Anti-Semitism in West Europe and How It Relates to Anti-Americanism
One Two



Terrorism: The New Threat Since 9/11
James Woolsey, former Clinton CIA head, ""A War for Freedom and Change in the Middle East", Frontpage.com
Speech by Douglas Feith, Undersecretary of Defense, and Questions from the Audience, "Global War on Terrorism", Council on Foreign Relations (Nov 13, 2003),
Zeno Baran, "The Lessons of Istanbul: Terrorism Knows No Borders," (Nov. 21, 2003),
Jim Hoagland, "Fighting for the Soul of Islam: Saudia Arabia and Morocco Targeted," Washington Post, (July 13, 2003).

What Is New: Terrorism In History and Its Evolution
"A Brief History of Terrorism," CDI.Org (Nov 2003)
"Explaining Terrorism", CDI.Org (August 2003)

A Clash of Civilizations Within Islam Between Modernizers and Islamist Fundamentalists
"Islam Survey", The Economist /2003)
Charles Krauthammer, "Islam and Violence: Islam Divided," Washington Post (Dec 6, 2003),
Michael Gordon, "Samuel Huntington's Clash of Civilizations: What's Right and What's Wrong with the Thesis?"
Bernard Lewis, "What Went Wrong " (Jan. 2002)
Martin Kramer, "Fundamentalist Islam: The Drive for Power," Middle East Quarterly(1996) Note: Scroll down to the link, then click.

The Clash Further Explained
Bernard Lewis, "I'm Right, You're Wrong: Go to Hell: Religions and the Meeting of Civilizations", Atlantic Monthly (May 2003),
Bernard Lewis, "The Crisis of Islam" New Yorker " (Nov 11, 2001)
Bernard Lewis, "Democracy and Enemies of Freedom in Islam,"(Dec. 22, 2003) WSJ
"French Cardinal Criticizes Islamic Treatment of Christians" (Jan 2, 2004)
Robert Spencer, "Notes from Post-Saddam Iraq" (Dec 203) Frontpagemag.com
Michael Gordon, "Iraq and the Arab World's Future" April 6, 2003,

Frontpage.comA Clash of Views on Islam: A 3 Part Symposium
Michael Gordon, "Debate with a Visitor on Islam and Modernization" (April 17, 2003)
Bernard Lewis, "Problems of Democracy in Arab Civilization," (1996),

The New Arab Anti-Semitism
Michael Gordon, "Palestinians Found in Surveys To Admire Israeli Democracy: Why Israel Is Rich, Modern, and Democratic, And The Arabs Aren't
Michael Gordon, "Preachers of Hate: An Interview with Kenneth Timmerman,"
Michael Gordon, "What Explains the New Arab and Wider Muslim Jew-Hatred? 1st of 4 articles,"
Michael Gordon, "What Explains the New Arab and Wider Muslim Jew-Hatred? 4th of 4 articles",

Michael Gordon, 2nd of 4 articles On Arab Anti-Semitism, "
Michael Gordon, "3rd article on Arab anti-Semitism



Iraq: Going To War
Robert Kagan and William Kristol, "Why We Went to War with Iraq" The Weekly Standard (Oct. 20, 2003)
A former Clinton Assistant Secretary of State Criticizes the Bush Administration: James Rubin, "Stumbling Into War", Foreign Affairs (Sept-Oct 2003),
Michael Gordon, "Was the War with Iraq Moral?"/2003)
Michael Gordon,
"Saddam's Weapons of Mass Destruction," (/2003)

Iraq: The War and the Aftermath:
Jeff Jacoby, "A Botched Occupation: US in Germany 1945-47," Boston Globe (Nov. 6, 2003)
An Iraqi Citizen Speaks Out: "Iraq The Model,"
Eliott Cohen, "UN Security Council Resolution 1511, Oct 2003,
On US-UK-Coalition Presence in Iraq" WSJ
Reread the speech by Under-Secretary of Defense Douglas Feith(Nov 13, 2003),
"Snatching Saddam: Its Implications," Symposium, (Dec. 19, 2003), Frontpage.com,

The Wider Middle East: Israel, the Palestinians, and the Arab Countries
Victor Davis Hanson, "The Vision Thing and the Crazy Middle East," NRO (Oct 17, 2003),
"How America Should Promote Its Values in the Middle East and How It Shouldn't," The Economist (Nov 13, 2003),
Dennis Ross (Clinton's Chief Envoy to the Middle East and the Shepherd-Mediator of the Oslo Process),
"Israel Needs a Palestinian Partner," WSJ (Nov. 5, 2003), Note: This must be accessed through proquest in the library
Fred Barnes, "Myths of the Infitada," The Weekly Standard /2002)
Dennis Ross, "Taking Stock: The Bush Administration and the Roadmap to Peace" (Dec. 2003),
Dennis Ross, "My Instinct Is to Hold Both Sides Accountable," Minneapolis Star-Tribune (Nov. 30, 2003),
"Palestinian Authority Textbook Calls for Jihad and Martrydom," (Nov 13, 2003),

For an unusually balanced analysis of the origins and history of the Israeli-Arab conflict down to the present, see Joel Beinen and Lisa Hajjar, "Palestine, Israel, and the Arab-Israeli Conflict," Middle East Research and Information Institute,

The Other Key Problem Countries in the Region
Fouad Ajami, "Good and Evil: The Arab World Grapples with Saddam's Captivity," WSJ.Com Opinion Journal (Dec.18, 2003),
Michael Scott Doran, "The Saudi Paradox," Foreign Affairs (Jan/Feb 2004),
Steven Stalinsky, "Education in Saudi Arabia: Teaching Terrorism" Middle East Research Institute
Max Boot, "With Friends Like These: Pakistan and Saudi Arabia," Los Angles Times (Jan. 4, 2003),
"Former CIA Chiefs Calls for Tougher Policy on Syria,"
"Basic Facts on Iran," Council of Foreign Relations,



Europe and the US
"Symposium: European Union and the Death of NATO?" (Dec 12, 2003),
Michael Gordon, "The Future of US-EU Relations," /2003)

Will China Be A Peer-Rival of the US One Day?
Michael Gordon, "Will Pacific Asia Overtake the West in Wealth?"/2003),
Michael Gordon,
"Will China's Economy Catch Up to the US's or the EU's"/2003)
Michael Gordon,
"China's Economic Future: The Pivotal Clash between CP Authoritarianism and The Logic of Economic Reform,"/2003)
Michael Gordon,
"China's Economic and Political Future: An Extraordinarily Illuminating Exchange Elsewhere," (/2003)

Replies: 2 comments

I have also had problems getting on the list serve and have been unable to get a copy of the paper topic. could you please email me a copy to my email or contact me with information to help me obtain the paper topic on the list serve? Thank you

Posted by John Abney @ 02/03/2004 06:15 PM PST

Prof. Gordon,

I have recently been attempting to get on the listserve via the web page on the syllabus, but as of yet had little luck. Perhpas you could send me a hyperlink or another rout in which I can sign up.

Thank you,

ben younkman

Posted by Ben Younkman @ 01/14/2004 12:58 PM PST