Sunday, February 23, 2003

Who said there is order in chaos?

Vidya Subrahmanian in her article for TOI, analyses the gravity of the situation while America divides the world between order and disorder. As usual a few teasers.

The clash of civilisations theory is back in circulation, though now suitably amended to take care of such non-Islamic surprises as North Korea. Writing in the New York Times, Tom Friedman divides the world into two: World of order and world of disorder. In the former category fall the US (but of course), the UK, the EU countries, Russia, China and India (hurrah!). In the latter fall failed states such as Liberia, rogue states Iraq and North Korea, and messy states, Pakistan (more hurrah!), Indonesia, Colombia and most Arab and African states.

In many places, placards asked for a regime change — not in Baghdad but in Washington and London. If the protests were muted anywhere, they were in the ‘disorderly’ Arab world. This mass of protesting humanity didn’t represent a sudden spurt of irrational anger against the US.

This was anger that had been building up, as Newsweek’s Fareed Zakaria discovered while travelling in Europe much before the protests began to show up on the streets. Such was the sweeping anti-Americanism Zakaria found wherever he went that he might have been in hostile Arab territory rather than in Europe; indeed, he quotes a Swiss friend’s child as saying that everyone in his school believes the CIA to be behind 9/11. As Zakaria says, it is no longer about Iraq, it is about the US.

That the US will go against the UN has been made clear by almost every member of the Bush team. On February 7, Mr Bush said: “If the Security Council were to allow a dictator to lie and deceive, the Security Council would be weakened.” On February 12, Colin Powell repeated the threat: “We are reaching a moment of truth with respect to the relevance of the UN Security Council to impose its will on a nation such as Iraq, which has ignored the will of the Council.”

And that will be the ultimate irony. The world’s greatest democracy despatching a ‘demonic dictator’ by the same means he has employed to stay in power — muzzling the voice of the people and showing complete disrespect to the will of the United Nations.

When that happens it might be time to redefine the worlds of order and disorder.


Aye aye, Vidya. And unless USA wakes up to this 'growing anger', all its' brouhaha over the 'war on terrorism' will be looked upon as a means to redefine US interests. That is, if it isn't already being looked upon like that.


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