Opinion: Pure Evil
Scotland on Sunday
March 14, 2004
A government which has been as abrasive, careless and riven as is the present US administration is hard to defend. But our own national sense of survival, demands the exercise of some reason. The US is no imperialist. It had invaded - in Kosovo; Afghanistan; Iraq and most recently (if in a minor way) Haiti in order to underpin or establish representative government. Its politics are such that it is there on the sufferance of its own electorate. The greatest danger to the countries in which its military are deployed, and to the world, is not that it stays, but that it leaves.
Now, a world-wide alliance anathematises an America which has deposed the world"s leading fascist murderer, has helped bring a lesser fascist murderer to trial in the Hague, is struggling to guard and guarantee democratic development in Afghanistan and is seeking to stabilise a desperate Haiti. If fanatics are beyond the pale and young idealists must live for a while in their delusions, at least the rest of us should recognise the change. A curmudgeonly, limited and hard-to-like administration is pursuing causes which liberals have wished to be pursued for decades.
One of these causes is the defeat of terrorism. Whatever we discover on the identity of the Madrid massacre, the largest bulwark we have against terrorism"s success is the United States. The )international community", usually equated with the UN, is in the end a collection of nation states which will, when push comes to shove, protect themselves.
It can only say that its )cabinet", the UN Security Council, intervened to stop carnage since the war on a number of occasions which can be counted on the fingers of two hands. Policing the globe is a burden which we, the Europeans, have so far politely declined. The US is, as Philip Bobbitt has written, "the one state with the power and willingness to intervene on behalf of world order".
Madrid reminds us that we need that willingness, whatever pure evil hand left these bombs among the early morning workers of Spain.
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