OPINION

Editorial

In the first days following the devastating terrorist assaults in the USA on September 11, people across the world expressed fears over the extent of the American response. All kinds of pessimistic scenarios came into the limelight, forecasting extended military campaigns which would generate inconceivable chain reactions. Some even talked about the beginning of a third world war. Even before the dust from the rubble of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center had settled, we saw the first anti-war rallies by the most dogmatic sections of the left which, after wandering in the blurred landscapes of the anti-globalization movement, has returned to the more familiar turf of blind anti-Americanism, seeking a new cause to justify its existence. Defeating all eschatological predictions, the USA had a pleasant surprise in store for all well-meaning citizens. Rather than opting for a strike of blind retaliation which many had taken for granted, the USA chose to build a broad political coalition which has included states, such as Russia, which have traditionally been geostrategic enemies of the USA. Rather than declaring an indiscriminate war on other civilizations, the USA made a subtle distinction between God-less, raceless, colorless terrorism and the overwhelming majority of the Islamic world. Rather than indulging in a hysterical witch hunt that would undermine democratic rights, America has sought to set up an effective security mechanism which will not violate the freedom of expression – a call also reflected in the anti-war demonstrations within the USA itself. With its overwhelming military, economic and technological superiority, the sole superpower could afford to resort to the logic of force, particularly after the the painful strikes on American territory. Rather, it chose to utilize the power of reason. It is to be wished that the USA’s stance will become an example for other less powerful countries, such as Greece, which, despite the fact that they lack similar luxuries, often lapse into hot-tempered reactions to their foreign policy challenges – a fact which has over the last decade been demonstrated in several senior officials’ poor handling of the war in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), the Imia crisis and the case of Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan. For a decade, the Western world boasted of the triumph of liberalism, the liberal victory over reactionary ideologies and the consolidation of a value system based on exclusively material and utilitarian grounds.