Editorial – Black September

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September 9 is already going down in history as one of the darkest day of human civilisation. This the day many paradigms of basic humanity changed so dramatically and drastically. Not the least important of these is the paradigm of human conflict. Regardless of what has been said of America or the Capitalist ideology which drives the country, basic humanity was compromised in a big way on this day when fundamentalist Islamists hijacked four planes in the USA and attacked and destroyed some of America’s most important symbols killing close to 3000 innocent civilians in the process. Of the four plane hijacked, two destroyed the famous World Trade Centre buildings in New York city, one rammed into the Pentagon building near Washington DC and the third crashed somewhere in Maryland, but according to experts, was probably headed for the White House. Apparently some passengers in the last plane got into action fighting the hijackers, in the process crashed the plane. Although they did not manage to save themselves, they prevented further damage to the American morale, thereby died heroes’ deaths in their own ways. The event on the day shook not just America, but also the rest of the world and indeed it was to have grave consequence on everybody else in the world, in particular two countries, Afghanistan and Iraq, which bore the brunt of the ire of the richest and the most powerful country in the world. National regimes in these two countries were dismantled in the most brutal and violent ways by invading Americans. What was a black day for America was soon to become the black era for many other nations. Pakistan and Indonesia to name just a few were also to soon feel the heat in big ways.

While there can be no dispute about the attackers of America on September 11, 2001 were making Afghanistan their stronghold, America’s retaliation against Iraq and the ultimate hanging of the President of the country, Saddam Hussein, remains a big controversy. The excuse for that attack was that Saddam’s regime was stockpiling weapons of mass destruction meant ultimately to be used to create terror in the world and that the country was in league with the Al Qaeda the organisation behind the attack on America. Nearly a decade after the invasion of Iraq, there are still no traces of any weapons of mass destruction found in the country. In the end, Iraq is turning out to be a country, the centre of the ancient Mesopotamian civilisation, a mistaken victim of the America’s and those of its Western allies’ unfounded suspicion. Can history ever excuse this mistake or highhandedness as the case may be?

But the event which has today come to be simply known as 9/11 has had other profound influences on the way the world conducts its business. It cannot be all by coincidence that while America remains extremely sensitive and as well as unable to come out of extremely expensive wars that it waged in the wake of 9/11, other thus far sleeping economic and military giants have not just begun stirring but also to wake up to prepare to change the power and economic equations in the world forever. China is leading the way, so are India, Brazil and Russia among others, making big headways. Once moribund economies of South East Asia too have begun making their presence felt, and Vietnam in particular is growing at a rate that would in another decade put it above many much larger nations of the world in terms of economic strength. At the end of the Cold War in the last decade of the 20th Century, marked most dramatically by the fall of the Berlin Wall and then the crumbling of the Communist bastions in Eastern Europe, most political analysts around the world had come to be convinced and some to lament, that the world was headed to become a uni-polar one with the USA as the only power centre. In just a matter of a decade into the 21st Century, this popular prediction is proving to be nothing but too far from what the picture ultimately would be. It is not even a bi-polar world as during the Cold War, but a multi-polar one we are looking at now. Indeed 9/11 is proving to have much more significance than apparent. To indulge in a bit of counterfactual speculation then, the interesting question now is, if the cataclysmic event had not occurred, would the world today have been the same? Would what Newsweek Magazine often described as “the rise of the others” been as pronounced as it is today. Again, the concept of war and conflict has been rewritten. Except for the USA which is in the thick of it, wars of nations are increasingly becoming a thing of the past. The new wars are against terrorism most visibly, but perhaps more importantly, though not acknowledged so readily by many of the richest nations, issues like global warming and shortfall of food to feed the ever increasing human population etc.

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