Friday, September 05, 2008
Are We Drifting into a Global War?
As the Great War on Terror grinds on with no end in sight. And three more young soldiers die.
And the conflict threatens to turn into the Pakistan-Afghanistan War.
While the crisis in Georgia simmers, and Dick Cheney gets involved.
Simon Jenkins wonders whether we are tilting at windmills, as world war looms.
The question is critical. Has the West misjudged the fault line of an impending conflict? Its global strategy under George Bush, Tony Blair and a ham-fisted Nato has declared the threat to world peace as coming from nonstate organisations, specifically Al-Qaeda, and the nations that give them either bases or tacit support. Western generals and securocrats have elevated these anarchist fanatics to the status of nuclear powers. Policing crime has become “waging war”, so as to justify soaring budgets and influence over policy, much as did America’s military-industrial complex during the cold war.
Might it be that a raging seven-year obsession with Osama Bin Laden and his tiny Al-Qaeda organisation has blinded strategists to the old verities?
Wars are rarely “clashes of civilisation”, but rather clashes of interest.
They are usually the result of careless policy, of misread signals and of mission creep closing options for peace.
Terrorists, wherever located and trained, can certainly capture headlines and cause overnight mayhem, but they cannot project power. They cannot conquer countries or peoples, only manipulate democratic regimes into espousing illiberal policies, as in America and Britain. By grossly overstating the significance of terrorism, western leaders have distracted foreign policy from what should be its prime concern: securing world peace by holding a balance of interest - and pride - among the great powers.
Did the Great War on Terror blind us as well as drive us crazy?
Blind us to the real threat to our survival. The impending clash of nuclear powers over the world's shrinking oil resources.
Was our memory so short we could forget this horror?
And if so what will our epitaph be?
How about they thought they were so smart?
But too stupid to see it coming.
And too crazy to survive...