tjir_v1n2krs01 - An Inarticulate Imperialism Dubya...

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Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations, Vol.1, No.2, Summer 2002 69 An Inarticulate Imperialism: Dubya, Afghanistan and the American Century. Sankaran Krishna* From Containing Communism to Combating Terrorism The first independence day of the post-9/11 era in the United States was celebrated with characteristic patriotism and vigor. Parades, military music, fly-pasts and fireworks were everywhere, and the red-white-and-blue of the American flag impossible to escape. Thanks to strident but unspecific warnings of ‘terrorist attacks’ by state managers, every act of celebration was tinged with a sense of anxiety. Meanwhile, in a faraway village named Kakarak in Afghanistan, a stunned community was trying to make sense of the incredible violence that had burst upon them through the night sky. It was a little after midnight on July 1 st, 2002, and wedding celebrations were in full swing. Amidst dancing, music, cups of hot tea and revelry, some of the men were firing off automatic rifles into the air. Suddenly, an American AC-130 plane loomed over the horizon and launched a missile attack on the two adjoining compounds where the wedding was to be held early the next day. 48 civilians including many children were massacred and more than twice that number injured. As the dust settled after the attack, a familiar story of faulty intelligence, trigger happy over-reaction, stalling, and obfuscation, has emerged on the American side – a story buried in the inside pages of its leading newspapers and hardly covered at all in its more provincial media. Searches of Kakarak by the Americans, in a vain quest to unearth arms caches or anti-aircraft
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Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations, Vol.1, No.2, Summer 2002 70 guns or individuals affiliated with the Al Qaeda or the Taliban – something, anything, that would render the murder of the wedding guests into collateral damage – have proved fruitless so far. The villagers are bewildered at the attack as they see themselves as among the earlier supporters of the new President Hamid Karzai, and as potential targets of the rump Taliban still afoot in Afghanistan. 1 The horrendous attacks of September 11 th , 2001, on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon demand a police, not a military, response that gradually and thoroughly determines the specific organizations responsible for them and then brings them to justice. Such a police response would entail the acquisition of detailed knowledge, intelligence, and penetration of militant organizations over a long period of time. It would rest upon a more long-standing social, political, cultural, and economic intimacy with societies the hijackers originated from. Such intimacy is something that American imperialism has never cared to cultivate with regard to the countries of the middle East and south Asia – and seems even less likely to acquire now than at any time in its history. Instead, the fear of being perceived as weak and indecisive has made the
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tjir_v1n2krs01 - An Inarticulate Imperialism Dubya...

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