Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The Day that changed the world: Sept-11-01

Looking through the annals of history, it's impossible not to notice major dates that changed the world. The Day the Huns sacked Rome (summing up the centuries of decay that brought an end to the empire), the Day Christopher Columbus "discovered America (found a new hemisphere to exploit)", the Day Neil Armstrong first set foot on the Moon. There are countless such moments that define an era. Some of these moments signal an end, others signal a beginning; but in general, the common thread between these eras is global change. Changes of significance, when looked upon with hindsight and the eyes of history, can often be summed up in an apex moment; a moment of utter climax that subsequently ushers in a difference of perspective. Encapsulating vast moments of causality to the process of history in such climactic increments is a mode of convenience. It allows us to simplify and define what could be a complex and intricate patchwork of various circumstances leading to the ultimate moment of definition.

September 11, 2001 will in high probability, become a defining moment in History. Not just in the history of the United States, but in the history of the World. It was a moment that signified a change in perspective for most governments of the world. Before 9-11, an enemy was often defined by a particular nation, a state that was either considered a threat, or a required asset. The Cold War was the quintessential definition of State sponsored Warfare. The two superpowers of the world, through threats, intimidation, peripheral warfare, and mutual assured destruction, tried to influence the rest of the world to sway towards their ideals. The effects of this polarization still linger today in places such as North Korea. After 9-11 however, the Western World started viewing warfare in a different light. It wasn't one nation against another, but one ideology fighting the influence of the other. Further, the nature of warfare itself changed, by the combatants' adaptation of blending instead of forming well defined armies. Warfare in the 21st century is becoming defined by "terrorism" instead of globalism. In the previous century, victors were often a product of a large military capacity. Recently however, thanks in large part to Vietnam, the Soviet Afghan Wars, the strength of a force suddenly was overshadowed by the ingenuity and resourcefulness of those who had nothing left to lose. The main weapon of those forces was not artillery, but ideology. It was and still is a binding force of strength against what is deemed an occupying oppressive regime. Hundreds of years of European Style Imperialism is suddenly coming to a close. The Middle East is tearing itself apart to break free of the European imposed boundries based squarely on the surviving remnants of Imperialism and Colonialization.

September 11th didn't have to be known as the moment in history when a superpower so grossly overreacts to a perceived threat, that civil liberties, rational thought, and the presence of a thoughtful opposition are completely lost. A lot could have changed had the Administration properly reacted to the situation. First, a new pledge to lead the world in Environmental issues and perpetuating the growing trend towards renewable resources. The technology and implementation of such things as biodiesel (Brazil is leading that forefront), solar power (Australia), and wind energy (Denmark), could have gone a long way. Imposing a carbon tax on emissions would have resulted in expeditious advancements in eco-science.

Apart from the Environment, 9-11 could have been the moment when the world not only came together, but through proper leadership, stayed a course of mutual trust and assurance. Who now remembers Iran's official condolences, or the unification of the Arab Nations towards capturing those responsible? Thanks to the United State's Unilateral engagement to fossil fuels and Israel, we, the American people are now defined as Pariahs. It's unfortunate that a whole nation can so quickly forget the ease with which liberties can be lost, and forge a relentless path towards World War III (or World War IV in some circles, due to the Cold War being considered WWIII).

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