Monday, May 12, 2003
Krieg der Illusionen - 12th May 2003, 23.10

The 11th September 2001 was an abrupt reminder that whatever happened to America affected the rest of the world, a brutal reminder of the United States' status as a star around which all other cultures orbited. If America invades another country, say Iraq, it is an interesting sideshow. When the Twin Towers fell, resentment was an inevitable outcome.

This outrage was also a reminder; a reminder of the limitations of influence that other countries had to recognise, in terms of power, culture and capital. It burst the skein of illusion that had allowed Europe, most of all, to entertain notions of a "global exuberance" about their global role. Europe's initial outpouring of sympathy under this realisation of unwanted realism. How dare the United States force Europe to acknowledge its own weaknesses, just because they were attacked?!

Yet, addicted to the comforting and illusory stability of international law, European countries have been unable to face the ferocious power relations of our Hobbesian world. Instead, they seek, through their own nascent ideology, to ward off the ills of the world, by focusing upon their own continent. The paradox of their Janus faced approach is that they hide themselves from the world and, at the same time, imagine that, by doing so, they are becoming a pretender to the global throne.

If the 'war on terror' has not been sufficient to awaken their minds, then one can only speculate that Europe may have to experience its own 9/11, an attack on the heatland that will pierce their imagined deceits.


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