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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Justin writes on the effects of the US's War on Terror

(an edited version of one of Justin's Uni papers)
Since the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington there has been a significant shift in the focus of international relations. In the ten years between the end of the Cold War and the start of the War on Terror academics were searching for a way in which to define the nature of relationships between nation states. Samuel Huntington’s Clash of Civilisations and Francis Fukuyama’s End of History theories being the two most prominent international relation theories that were developed in this period. With the advent of globalisation global norms that have defined the nation state like the Treaties of Westphalia are currently being undermined both by the global hegemony of the United States of America and the reaction against such Imperialism that has come to be known as Islamic terrorism. The United States in its War on Terror has established a new global political paradigm for which the relationships between nation states are now being defined and analysed. The political ideology of ‘American Exceptualism’ has undermined global norms and institutions to such an extent threat that is currently a greater threat to our international peace and security than that of Islamic Fascism.

Since the signing Treaties of Westphalia in 1648 the international institution of the nation state has been at the centre of our western democratic system of governance. As a result of globalisation, our post-reformation society has been brought into conflict with the emerging states that were carved out of the remnants of the Ottoman Empire. This conflict has been described by Samuel Huntington as the ‘The Clash of Civilisations’ . The Campaign of Terror that has been launched by the reactionary Islamic Fascists and their associates as a response to the process of globalisation are impacting on the international legitimacy of the three norms of the state, ‘the control of territory, population and the use of force’ . The United States has inevitably become the prime target for this new wave of terrorism as it is the major contributor to the process of globalisation as the world’s pre-eminent economic, cultural and military superpower.

The most important global institutions such as International Law with its associated norms of behaviour like jus cogens have set guidelines of behaviour for nation states on matters of collective importance like terrorism . It is these global norms and institutions that the United States junta with its War on Terrorism has set about to undermine and to impose upon the world its own domestic norms and institutions . The effectivity of global norms and institutions are in direct correlation to how many nations are actively supporting their implementation .

With the biggest political entity in the world the United States effectively undermining these global norms and institutions the whole world ha s been thrust into a chaotic new global political paradigm that is reminiscent of the old wild west days of colonial North America. Without these global norms and institutions a global community of states could not exist and prosper . It is from the undermining of these global norms and institutions by the United States of America that an attempt to unilaterally impose itself hegemonically since the end of the Cold War has taken place.

With the triumph of US imperialism in its Cold War against the Soviet Union global politics has been searching for a new paradigm in which to define the state of international relations. A new global political paradigm has been found in the unipolaritic globalisation of US economic, military and cultural hegemony and in its reaction . In the post cold war period Islamic terrorism has emerged as the greatest threat to US unilateral hegemony and so it has therefore has provided the defining characteristics for our current political environment. This is a result of the reactionary nature of US Imperialism which has the tendency to define itself internationally in relation to who it is currently engaged in conflict with.

The War on Terror has been used as a legitimising excuse for the US Imperial war economy to act hegemonically against nations in the Middle East which have vast unexploited natural resources like oil . A perfect example of this lies in Iraq where the United States regime manufactured an excuse, weapons of mass destruction, to invade another nation on a false pretext in an attempt to secure much needed oil resources . Through this the War on Terror has replaced the Cold War as the prime defining excuse for US Imperialist endeavours.

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