: This Isn’t the Speech I Expected to Give Today. From October 16, 2001.
a brilliant article in his Letters From Ground Zero series: Annihilation and the Ways of Peace. “The world is sick. It cannot be cured with America’s new war. The ways of peace–adopted not as a distant goal but as a practical necessity in the present–are the only cure.”
any relation to the Current Situation, but last night an Indian plane was hijacked on a domestic flight. It has landed in New Delhi at last report.
: Reports are coming in of fire being exchanged between a small British SAS unit and Taliban fighters in the foothills near Kabul.
. Today in his weblog, John Robb says, “people there [Europe] don’t like what the US is doing. Why? Fear. Disgust with our prior arrogance. Etc. What they don’t realize is that the system that supports their standard of life depends on the success of the US.”
Robb is obviously a smart, reasonable person, but on this matter I think he has it backwards. Europe understands that they must support the US, and they do support the US. European countries are fully of the world, in the world. They do not stand apart from global systems when it is expedient to do so – not any more. What they are afraid of is that the US will try to extract itself from the world. Again. That it will simultaneously engage (and create) global structures and try to stand separate from them, making its own rules that apply only to it.
The US must, after September 11, realize that it is one state. First among equals in many ways, but equal nonetheless. European countries, and Canada, know only too well how this story goes. If you’re going to live in the system, as we all do, you must commit to the system. A state can’t selectively use the system when it wishes and discard it a moment later. But this is what the US does, constantly. And looks to be doing now.
The rest of the world seems to me to be perfectly happy to follow the US here. But they want to use the systems that exist in which to do so, systems that the US has taken a key role in developing. And that means oversight by other states. The US would have oversight by others for all but the US – that is an unacceptable exception for much of the rest of the world.