Saturday, June 05, 2004

The end of "the West" as an historical construct 

Good column The Decline of the West By Gwynne Dyer
: I usually find Gwynne Dyer's columns perceptive and interesting. This one is a D-Day retrospective about the differences between Europe and the US, now that the Cold War is over. One example of the contrasts -- Europeans see terrorism as a long-term problem that can do considerable damage and must be contained; Americans (or at least those who set the terms of the public debate) see it as an apocalyptic threat that must be destroyed at any cost. This ind-set fed the Bush administration's instinctive unilateralism and provided a saleable political rationale for the neo-conservatives' project of 'pax americana'. The resulting wars have accomplished in three years what might otherwise have taken fifteen: the Western alliance has been gutted, although the shell remains.

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