Experte in the Middle East, TV-Journalist

Ulrich Tilgner: Afghanistan & the Orient – The Failure of the West.

Ulrich Tilgner was a correspondent for ZDF and Swiss television for many years, reporting from the Orient since the 1980s. Today, he is still concerned with current events in the Middle East, especially with the political conflicts in the region and their economic and cultural backgrounds.

Ulrich Tilgner Lecture topics:

  • War in the Orient: The Failure of the West
  • Permanent conflicts in the Orient: Why are the burdens for Europe increasing.
  • The Root of Terros: Failed Policies of the West and Flight into Tradition.
  • War and Terror: The Tensions between Cultures

Ulrich Tilgner (1948) studied cultural studies, politics and economic history in Freiburg and Tübingen. After the Islamic Revolution he was accredited in Tehran, from 1985 to 2000 he maintained an office in Ammann/Jordan and from 2002 to 2008 he headed the ZDF bureau in Tehran. His reporting area covers Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan. In addition to reports with current information from the war and crisis zones, Tilgner produces documentaries about the region.

Neither the military nor diplomats have the crises in the Middle East under control yet. Only beyond military action and threats of attack is there a way to jointly promote peaceful development without violence. Ulrich Tilgner, former journalist on the ground, on a region between war and peace.

The age-old struggle between the Orient and the Occident threatens to erupt again – with dangerous consequences for world peace. With its war on terror, the U.S. in particular has summoned those spirits that it actually wanted to weaken and destroy. This is the thesis of journalist Ulrich Tilgner, who has been reporting from the region for over 25 years and has deep insights into the most sensitive areas of Middle Eastern politics. Whether he is shedding light on the disputes over Iran’s nuclear program, describing the resurgence of the Taliban in Afghanistan, or the looming civil war in Iraq, everywhere the U.S. escalates conflict, it accelerates the radicalization and re-Islamization of society. Many believers in the Middle East see the U.S. conflict strategy as an attempt to weaken Islam as a whole. Thus, any form of escalation plays into the hands of radical forces that want to protect Islam from Western values at all costs in the emerging culture war. Forces willing to engage in dialogue are losing ground. According to Tilgner, the danger that terrorism will spread with every military action because it finds ideal breeding ground cannot be overestimated. For this reason, he argues for dialogue between cultures in order to deal with the problems of a complex modernization process in the Middle East without re-triggering age-old defense mechanisms.

Ulrich Tilgner received the “Hanns Joachim Friedrich Prize” for television journalism in 2003 for his reporting on the war in Iraq, saying that he had “preserved and demonstrated his professional quality and journalistic independence under the extreme conditions of war reporting.” This is the reason given by the sponsoring association in Hamburg.

War in the Orient – The Failure of the West

The Middle East has been a focal point of world politics for decades. Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Libya, Afghanistan: the countries are as different as their respective problems, but Ulrich Tilgner says that the crises there have one thing in common: they radiate into the West. Migration and terror are the keywords. What’s more, the West’s misguided policies are largely to blame for the emergence and spread of terrorist organizations such as the “Islamic State” or the permanent (civil) wars in the region. Worst of all, however, according to Ulrich Tilgner’s thesis, the failure of Western policy in the Orient signifies nothing other than a turning point in global development. The withdrawal of the U.S. from the region means a further farewell to its role as a global power of order – and that new problems and tasks await Europe. There are probably few journalists who can analyze an area of the world and its changes as thoroughly as Ulrich Tilgner, who has known the entire region for forty years. His unsparing report is also an eye-opening analysis of one of the most dangerous flashpoints in world politics.