A blast in Riyadh, a blast in Chechnya, and British bombers in Israel. And this is over a year and a half after the 9/11, over half a year after Bali and the Moscow Theater, after continuous bloodshed in Palestine, Afghanistan and Chechnya, and a war in Iraq. The “War on Terror” proclaimed by the US administration is visibly in progress. And at each occasion public figures condemn violence and the world leaders proclaim their determination to eradicate terrorism by continuing with their war.
But, can this War on Terror be won?
Of course, violence has no place in a civilized world. In a civilized world all disputes should be resolved on the basis of justice, and violence should be restricted to an orderly enforcement of justice and maintenance of law and order.
But do we live in a civilized world?
Tony Blair described the present “world order” as “unipolar”, to distinguish it from the “bipolar world order” of the Cold War days, where a measure of world stability was maintained by rivalry between two “super‐powers”. In a unipolar word only one super‐power is in charge of the global order.
But such “unipolar world order” can establish peace and security only if the ruling super‐power rules the world as a just ruler, playing the role of an impartial judge and policeman, rather than as a frivolous tyrant using his power to advance his own interests.
Is the present US administration fit to be a just ruler of the Unipolar World?
Judging by the National Security Strategy of the United States of America Report (September 2002) the US administration bases its foreign policy on the doctrine of advancement of the US National Interests. This is clearly not the role of an impartial judge and policeman.
This egocentric attitude of the US administration is also confirmed by its actions — the support for Israel in the Israeli Palestinian Conflict, the use of the formula of “the need to disarm Iraq” to justify the war against that country, while ignoring possession and development of weapons of mass destruction by other countries.
Without impartiality the US actions are seen as frivolous and lawless. And lawlessness begets lawlessness. If the US administration believes it has right to do what it pleases, other people believe they have right to do what they please.
If the US administration believes it has right to attack its “enemies”, other people claim the same right.
The terrorists blow themselves up not because they are “cowards”, as Colin Powell says, not because they are “in a hurry to go to Paradise”, as some commentators say, but because they want to inflict damage upon their “enemies” (the US and their allies). They are just playing their role in what the Americans call the “War on Terror”, which they see as a “crusade” being waged in Palestine, Afghanistan, Chechnya, Iraq and wherever the US and their allies seek to establish their presence. And as long as this war continues, there will be people who be willing to take part in that war, just as those British youngsters did to the bewilderment of the Media, who wonder: “Why such nice educated boys would want to do such things?!”
So, if the US administration want to achieve peace and security in the word, they need to learn to be impartial and objective judges and policemen. And this is very difficult to combine with pursuit of one's “national interests” and imposition of one's own “values” on others.
The solution to this difficulty is creation of supra‐national institutions for resolution of international disputes on the basis of justice and for maintenance of international law and order. And these institutions will become the only source of power in the unipolar world. Attempts to rule the world by a single nation state advancing its national interests can result in nothing but wars and terror.