The war on terrorism could be understood as to have helped with alliances between major nations associated with globalism, it did not address issues and contro¬versies involved with the unexpected changes of globaliza¬tion. The attacks on the WTC on 9/11 may have surprised the most skeptically and harsh criticism of globalization of foreign-trade issues, which could be considered “anything but simple” (Lacayo, 1999, p. 36): Protesters who were asking for justice for underprivileged nations were told last week that Third World representatives to the World Trade Organization don’t want developed nations to force them to allow union organizing.
To them cheap labor represents a competitive advantage. (Lacayo, 1999, p. 36). The war on terrorism as an answer to egomaniacal mass murder may have placed issues like these on the back burner politically speaking, but it is unimaginable that the worries about economic and social fairness and some version of a postcolonial critique of Western industrial domination will not surface between and among WTO insiders and outsiders. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are also likely to be factors in the unfolding discourse of globalization.
Indeed, within days of the attacks on New York on 9/11, Cambridge Classics professor Mary Beard (2001, p. 20) managed to experience the fade of shock at “horror of the tragedy . . . enormously intensified by the ringside seats we were offered” and yield to “more hard-headed reaction . . . that, either way it did not matter how diplomatically you dress it up, the United States had it coming. . . . World bullies, even if their heart is in the right place, will in the end pay the price.
” Doubtless hard-headedness plus gritted-tooth British resolve would have set in equally fast had Queen’s College, redolent of Her Late Majesty’s Empire’s pink countries, and not the WTC, been destroyed, but one need not be an anti-American apologist for Islamist thugs to see that there remain unresolved geopolitical issues associated with US leadership in the war on terrorism. Schwenninger cites “conflicting visions of NATO and of the American-European-Russian relationship, particularly as it links with the uneasy Arab and Islamic worlds”:
In Europe as well as Russia, there was a palpable fear that politicians at Washington DC were using the war on terror to take advantage of the situation and to guide changes were . . . a more understandable NATO with a global mission supervised by politicians at Washington DC and acting in behalf of US foreign policy priorities (Schwenninger, 2001, p. 27). when national self-interest in France, Germany, Italy, and Britain reasserts itself, the solidity of the international coalition may become problematic. Compare that with the unifying effect of a terrorist ethos, both in the West and among anti-Westerners.
Huntington’s thesis (1993) that the post-Cold War world is likely to evolve toward a clash of civilizations explains that cultural divergence of Islam and the West, complicated by the centuries of bloody confrontation, is much harder to overcome than “mere” political differences (1995, p. 209). “In the Arab world,” says Huntington, where Islamist activism has stepped into the anarchic void created by ineffectual or oppressive authoritarian post¬colonial regimes, “Western democracy strengthens anti-Western political forces” (Huntington, 1993, p. 23).
This is consistent with Coyle’s view (2001) that an important link between globalization and terrorism has to do with failed states, i. e. , nation-states like those in the Arab Islam world, in which patronage, royal caprice, religious fanaticism, and nepotism rather than meritocracy or (still less) democratic institutions and protocols dominate cultural, social, and economic opportunity and experience.
The gap between rich and poor, though enormous, does not fully capture evidence of the disconnect between the life experience of Arab-state elites and practically everybody else, with the latter watching globalization overtake their lives while truncating their access to its benefits. In the midst of prosperity generated by cooperative capitalist foreign trade states there are pockets of grinding poverty, and seeking connectedness, benefit, and somebody to blame for not having them, boys get themselves organized into thuggish little clubs that enact fascism and terrorism where they can.
As it turned out, the misogynistic fundamentalist boys’ club with its secret handshakes and throat cutters and 8th-century values did not in September 2001 unleash a global clash of civilizations on the 21st century, at least not in the way al Qaeda’s Jihad-summoners might have expected. But whether the current war on terrorism can succeed in its response and at the same time, over the long haul, navigate the shoals of globalist diplomacy to the benefit and satisfaction of the US remains to be seen. References
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