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>From: Trichur Ganesh
>To: "Maximilian C. Forte" , Trichur Ganesh , firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
>Subject: Re: Why doesn't the world act against the US?
>Date: Thu, 27 Mar 2003 18:47:41 -0500
>Dr.Maximilian, you raise some interesting points for discussion. There are a
>few things here, which I would like to point out as partial response(s):
>(1) The US today is the space of concentration of weapons of mass destruction
>(the most effective means of coercion in short, lie in the US).
>(2) The "pre-emptive war(s)" that is being waged today is being waged at least
>partly to ensure that no other space is capable of containing comparable
>concentration of weapons of mass destruction.
>(3) The point of doing so, I would argue, is to bring to the fore the question
>of scarcity of protection supply and to thereby raise protection costs. The
>monopoly in the ownership of the means of violence would ensure a continuing
>role for the US in a world order that is no longer ordered under the post-World
>War II regime of accumulation of capital and means of violence-production.
>4) Surely one of the most glaring forms of world inequality today, I argue, is
>the effect(s) of the glaring disparity in the concentration of "effective" (i.e.
>technologically sophisticated as in the ways in which Paul Virilio speaks of
>"war at the speed of light") means of coercion in the US (in particular, and in
>the spaces of the North in general) and the "rest" (the South). Another form of
>the same disparity - outside of the US - is the State apparatuses everywhere and
>their ownership of the means of coercion versus the unarmed citizens (exception
>being the US).
>(5) The effects of this global anomaly(ies) have not however prevented mass
>demonstrations and protests from declaring that despite this imbalance in the
>ownership of means of violence, contemporary states everywhere are
>illegitimate. (6) How will this crisis of legitimacy be resolved? This is the
>question of the moment, Maximilian. For it is indeed a question of the crisis
>of global democracy and global terror unleashed by US power and reactionary
>Islamic (and other) fundamentalisms.
>(7) Which states will take up arms for Iraq? I doubt if any of the Gulf states
>will do so - the interests of the ruling classes there are very closely tied up
>with US power. The problem of the Middle East, I argue, is the problem of a
>common resource(oil) which has high scarcity value, but which is being
>squandered for the most ignoble of uses - in the West for the maintenance of
>high levels of automobility, in the Middle East for the maintenance of high
>levels of consumption among the upper classes there. There is in short no unity
>among the Arab states other than the fundamentalist unity supplied by Islam.
>What about Europe? No European state can by itself or in combination with any
>other - like Germany and France - match the unparalleled military might of the
>US. Moreover all European states are tainted by their history of colonial
>adventures. As Rumsfeld and others rightly remark they are indeed an "old
>Europe", old in the sense that all the way until the 20th century, they have had
>histories of colonial exploitation for reasons not so dissimilar from the ones
>that the US is embarking upon. The hypocrisy of the whole venture! The
>hypocrisy of all that is! No one cares, my Maximilian, for the poor. There is
>no morality in contemporary politics or in any other politics for that matter.
>Issues of intervention have to be measured in terms of a cost-benefit calculus.
>Who can afford a costly war? Who can afford to go to war against the US?
>However, having said that, it is important to mention the undeniable presence of
>a threshold: it is the point beyond which no one will stand for aggressive
>interventionism of the US-type. That threshold, unfortunately, is not perhaps
>in the immediate vicinity. In the meantime, it is important to express
>solidarity with the protesters whose actions are equally unprecedented, equally
>historic, and bound to have lasting effects on the contours of the possible.
>"Maximilian C. Forte" wrote:
> > It may be more personal rage than rationality, but I am at a loss at how
> > once the war began, states opposed to the US action seem to have done very
> > little, while protesters seem resigned to simply protest some more (as vital
> > as that is, I certainly don't want to diminish the global protests by any
> > means). I totally agree with virtually everything Iraq's ambassador to the
> > UN said yesterday at the Security Council, and the UN which itself was a
> > party to genocide in Iraq, has a great deal to answer for.
> > As far as I can see, Iraq today is in the role of Kuwait in 1990 (a victim
> > of aggression and invasion), while the US today is playing the role of Iraq
> > in 1990. So who is going to even try to put a stop to this? No calls for
> > trade sanctions against the US? No embargo? No troops sent to intervene and
> > try and put up a wall against further US incursion? Are protesters not
> > calling for worldwide boycotts of American products, or are all such actions
> > still highly localized?
> > I am currently in Trinidad and Tobago where, though most seem disgusted with
> > US bullying, and already began to lose confidence in their Mecca (New York
> > City) when they saw the towers of the master nation collapsing, there have
> > been no protests and certainly no calls for any action. In the meantime, US
> > citizens can enter without any passport, while Trinidadians still line up tp
> > pay $600 TT for visas when most of them are turned down. Therefore, please
> > forgive me if I seem exasperated with what, at my end, seems like feckless
> > actions or inaction.
> > If "terrorism" increases, I don't see that it will simply be a result of US
> > actions. I think it will also have to do with frustration many will feel
> > over the inability of anyone to do anything to oppose the US. Why all of the
> > fighting has to fall on Iraqi soldiers alone is beyond me. I would love to
> > hear of any movements, anywhere, that at least are engaged in trying to
> > foster a worldwide boycott of American goods and services.
> > Best wishes,
> > Max.
> > Dr. Maximilian C. Forte
> > Editor
> > CARIBBEAN AMERINDIAN CENTRELINK
> > http://www.centrelink.org
> > Editor
> > KACIKE: The Journal of Caribbean Amerindian History and Anthropology
> > http://www.kacike.org
> > ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
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