reiterate what has happened: in a coordinated operation that
involved hijacking four planes, two aircraft dove into the
World Trade Center, leveling both buildings and (probably)
killing and injuring thousands. Not only that, but in Washington,
D.C., the Pentagon itself was reportedly under attack, with
at least one explosion in the area: also the US State Department
was the scene of yet more high drama, as it too is rocked
by explosions in the area and evacuated. It was a strange
sight indeed to see an F-16 jet fighter plane patrolling the
skies above New York City and the announcer's voice intoning
in a sepulchral voice that the primary election scheduled
for this morning in New York has been canceled.
Americans wake up one day to find that they are living in
a Third World country. Would anybody be surprised to learn
that all civil liberties have been suspended, and martial
law declared? What is going on?
going on is this: the war is coming home. The war fought by
America and its chief
Middle East ally against the Palestinian uprising has
moved from the streets of Gaza to the boulevards of the imperial
metropolis. What Americans are facing, now, is what the Israelis
face on a daily basis. For us, these attacks are a horror
of monumental proportions, something so out of the ordinary
that to call it "unusual" would be something of
an understatement: for the Israelis, this is a
way of life.
Israelis recently had an election in which they made a decision:
they would rather live this way than give in to the Palestinians'
demands. They elected Ariel
Sharon, an Israeli hawk, who vowed to take a tough line
against the Intifada.
The Palestinian response has been relentless: a vicious all-out
war fought by suicide-bombers targeting civilians. Israelis
voted for it, they knew what they were getting into, and they
have steeled themselves to endure it. The question that poses
itself almost automatically is: when did we vote for
is the second Pearl Harbor. I don't think that I overstate
it," said Sen. Chuck
Hagel, R-Neb., a major congressional war hawk. The reappearance
of kamikaze planes diving into American targets just a few
days after V-J ("Victory over Japan") Day should
give us pause: the last time we faced down and beat such fanaticism
was the occasion for a world war in which the entire nation
was mobilized and militarized, and there was talk of canceling
a presidential election. Are we willing to do that
again? And here is a sobering thought….
US mainland was completely unaffected by the last world war:
millions were killed, but not on our shores. The closest they
ever came was when the Japanese dropped some hot air balloons
over the state of Washington. But not this time. In the age
of globalization, a world war means that everybody's back
yard is a potential battlefield.
common word we hear in foreign policy circles is "hegemonism."
We stand at the apex of power, and the French have even invented
a special term for the hubristic heights of the American Imperium:
they call us the hyperpower.
It was coined to describe a power outside human history, outside
the ordinary rules and conditions attached to human existence,
a power without parallel or precedent. We were all about actions,
and not about consequences: unlike the empires of the past,
America was thought to be exempt from any possible reaction
to its imperial edicts. Now we know it isn't true: too bad
we had to learn the hard way.
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