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Re: Oil, the Euro and Iraq
by Threehegemons
08 April 2003 18:14 UTC
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I'm sure Mandela is a decent person, and that has something to do with his 
position against the war. But I think it is also indicative of a growing 
polarization in the semiperiphery.

Robert Kagan, who is being closely read in US elite circles, recommends that 
the US redirect its alliances away from Europe and towards India, Turkey, 
Russia...  in other words, semi-peripheral countries with strong militaristic 
cultures (sustained by unending conflicts on their borders) who would back the 
US' military mission (in practice, Russia is going to be hard to maintain in 
this alliance, given that the US is trying to take over its Southern flank, and 
we all have seen that Turkey did not work out well).

South Africa and Brazil represent the other pole of the 
semiperiphery--multicultural, and with political leaders who would just as soon 
weaken their military's prominence.  The WSF might be seen, in part, as the 
working through of an alliance between the multicultural semi-periphery and the 
European core.  Clearly this polarization cuts through countries (India, for 
example, has a strong multicultural tradition and will host next years WSF), 
but its still recognizable on the geopolitical plane.

I think that US efforts to goad countries into an alliance based on its 
economic might will sound less convincing in coming years.

Steven Sherman

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