I believe that this 'pre-emptive war' (that was not sanctioned by the UN) will have
global consequences. This said, I want to add that as a Canadian, I can distinguish
between disliking the American administration and disliking Americans.
I have friends in the States and by no means do I hate them or Americans in general.
I wish people looked a little further down the road and saw the big picture. We all
share this planet. We must learn to tolerate each other. As we head into the future,
things will not get easier, they will get harder. Somewhere between pride and humility
we must find a common ground.
The following excerpt sums up some of my thoughts about this 'war'.
A drawn out Iraq war will create immense political instability, especially in the
Middle East and Pakistan. A military coup in nuclear-armed Pakistan by officers
sympathetic to Islamic fundamentalists cannot be easily ruled out. And militant
Islamist organizations may have to hire additional help to keep up with the volunteers
willing to sign-up for the grand Jihad!
In the Middle East and in the Muslim world in general, the situation is ripe for
large upheavals that will be highly anti-American. In the Muslim world, the American-led
war on terrorism translates too easily into a war against Muslims. The social tide
is also moving against the United States. The population of the Muslim world is young
--about 50 percent is under the age of twenty. The gulf between state and people is large.
Most people are highly discontented with their social and economic lot. Secular democratic
parties are generally weak. This is fertile soil for fundamentalist Islamist parties.
Their success depends largely on how much the Bush Administration creates anti-American
sentiments that help them mobilize recruits to their war against America.
Meanwhile, terrorist attacks on the United States and its allies are a certainty.
The only question is the location, scale, and frequency. Everyone in the world will
be watching to see if al-Qaeda can rise to the challenge. Failure to respond will
relegate al-Qaeda to the ranks of hundreds of small, obscure and violent sectarian
outfits all over the Muslim world. The United States will have to respond to these attacks;
especially those orchestrated on a large scale by al- Qaeda against US forces or
territory, or those of its allies or friends. Thus, war on Iraq will likely plunge
the United States into deeper and more dangerous global military engagements in
search-and-destroy missions in stateless rural and urban sanctuaries that have no
national government and are loaded with private weapons ready to kill Americans.
Followed to its logical and historical conclusion, the Bush doctrine of anticipatory
and preventive war means that either the entire world is effectively subordinated to
the American imperium, or the entire world must push back against the United States until
it abandons its imperial logic. Along the way, any country - insurgency - that fears
falling on the wrong side of the United States must now consider seriously acquiring
nuclear weapons to deter against American attack.
In short, a fast victory in Iraq will lead to rapid collision with other states and the
early termination of the Bush doctrine of anticipatory invasion-or a general conflagration
between great powers. A slow victory in Iraq that preoccupies the United States for years
will fuel the flames of general Islamist and anti-American insurgency at a global level
while the other great powers get on with their business. Bush has put the United States and
the world in this double-bind by invading Iraq.
By Zulfiqar Ahmad and Peter Hayes
The real differences around the world today are not between Jews and Arabs; Protestants and
Catholics; Muslims, Croats, and Serbs. The real differences are between those who embrace peace
and those who would destroy it; between those who look to the future and those who cling to the
past; between those who open their arms and those who are determined to clench their fists.
William J. Clinton, 1997