Friday, March 10, 2006
The Bush Doctrine: A postmodern empire?International law specialist Richard Falk makes an interesting suggestion in his 2003 book The Great Terror War:
[W]hen patriotism disguises a huge empire-building project that becomes the subtext for a war against global terror, the war itself is likely to go badly! This is because energies and resources are not sufficiently focused on the specific threat, but dispersed, and directed at establishing a global control mechanism, what amounts to a dominating geopolitical network. In effect, the United States transforms itself into a global network that has an American state-centric nerve center and a territorial base of operations. This combination of capabilities and ambitions is best understood as a postmodern type of empire, foregoing formal arrangements of control while exercising global dominion, which is challenged, if at all, by a rival underground network of comparable ambition. This American project is being perceived by other states as threatening to their sovereignty and independence, generating counter-moves, and a reluctance to cooperate fully in the common struggle of states against megaterrorism. (my emphasis)The administration create-your-own reality approach to justifying the Iraq War is certainly a kind of postmodernism. OxyContin postmodernism, we might call it.
Falk's observations about US policies making other nations less willing to cooperate with us is even more true today. The recent controversy in Germany about whether the previous Schröder government collaborated in any way with the US on the war in Iraq or the secret prisons in Europe is just one of many recent reminders.
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No subject for immortal verse
That we who lived by honest dreams
Defend the bad against the worse."
-- Cecil Day-Lewis from Where Are The War Poets?
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