Saturday, May 17, 2003

September 11 and the emergence of the Anglosphere.

It wasn't a sudden awakening this realization that the English speaking nations had more than just a special relationship. Indeed it has emerged slowly after much argument, disagreement and strife. The 9/11 atrocity brought about a coalition of many more nations than just the Anglophone ones. The western world and others were generally supportive of the war against terrorism and rallied behind America. How could it be otherwise unless you were already a pariah state Even those states on the fringes of civilized behavior such as Libya and Iran expressed support for the war.

Yet supporting the war against terror is quite different to actually prosecuting the war and when specific countries were identified as terrorist training centers true colors began to unfurl. Afghanistan was the first test and some nations did show themselves as willing to actually kill (let¡¯s be blunt) the enemy.

However it was the reality of actual combat in Afghanistan that awoke the Left. Grumbling was heard amongst the usual suspects about American imperialism. The Islamic states questioned aloud whether this was a war against Islam rather than terrorism. The odd man on the street in places like Finland thought it wrong that a great power such as the USA should attack an impoverished one like Afghanistan - as if wars should somehow be fair. For a fair war think WW1 and recall what happens when both sides are near even. Some people felt that the root cause of terrorism should be addressed and that it was really all the fault of the Western imperialists ¨C we brought it upon ourselves. As if the perpetrators of September 11 were somehow able to be reasoned with. Some thought that it would be a good idea if peace delegations were formed and despatched to reason with the Taliban and placate al Qaeda.

However most of the world supported the war against Afghanistan in 2001 yet few were willing to commit combat forces to assist the Americans. Those that were notable for doing so were the British, Canadians, Australians and New Zealanders. Germans, French and others were there but not in any especially notable way except that the French aircraft carrier would take a year to get there. The Russians turned up after the fall of Kabul although they had provided great assistance to the Northern Alliance in the way of weapons. Of all the nations that actually did the fighting in Afghanistan it is quite remarkable how many were English speaking.

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