A few hours after the tragedy on September 11, US President George W. Bush said that this will be a monumental struggle of good versus evil, but good will prevail. The time in between has reinforced the optimist camp, which read in these statements something more than the necessary tonic for the morale of the president’s fellow citizens. In a very short period of time, we witnessed sweeping changes which shook the traditional lines of division in the international arena. Russia, which has always been suspect of Western imperialism, suddenly rushed to join the US-led coalition. Furthermore, Moscow has also accepted to negotiate NATO’s eastward enlargement and even its participation in an alliance with which it was at odds for half a century. At the same time, Israelis and Palestinians were to resume their peacemaking efforts under pressure from the Bush administration which did not hesitate to criticize Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s recent remarks in a clear readjustment of its Mideast policy. These almost tectonic changes are, of course, far from irreversible. The launch of the military campaign against the Taliban regime by the USA will put the durability of the anti-terrorist alliance to the test. Some of the new parameters, however, are already visible: After the September 11 disaster, our world has become smaller, more interrelated. The myopic logic of national isolationism and regional blocs, as well as the unfettered optimism of those who thought that the invisible hand of the free market alone could guarantee a fairer world order, are history. Governments and peoples understand that the great issues of our era call for political solutions. These solutions have to be jointly implemented by the countries which lie on the same side of the great dividing-line of our times. This is not the dividing line between different civilizations, but between the human civilization and barbarity. What is true of individuals is also true about the modern world: Anything that does not kill us makes us stronger. Their decision was, no doubt, a very courageous one, especially when compared to the foreign policy framework of the Clinton administration.

Subscribe to our Newsletters

Enter your information below to receive our weekly newsletters with the latest insights, opinion pieces and current events straight to your inbox.

By signing up you are agreeing to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.