STRING - World Politics for Individuals

Intro II, III



Wolfgang Behr
The "Anti-*itler"

Or take the way of Professor David Held to look at the murderous crimes of 11th september. In his article "Violence and Justice in a Global Age" he started with quoting the american novelist B. Kingsolver:

" On Sunday, 23rd September 2001, the novelist, Barbara Kingsolver wrote in The Los Angeles Times:

"It's the worst thing that's happened, but only this week. Two years ago, an earthquake in Turkey killed 17,000 people in a day, babies and mothers and businessmen.... The November before that, a hurricane hit Honduras and Nicaragua and killed even more.... Which end of the world shall we talk about? Sixty years ago, Japanese airplanes bombed Navy boys who were sleeping on ships in gentle Pacific waters. Three and a half years later, American planes bombed a plaza in Japan where men and women were going to work, where schoolchildren were playing, and more humans died at once than anyone thought possible. Seventy thousand in a minute. Imagine....

There are no worst days, it seems. Ten years ago, early on a January morning, bombs rained down from the sky and caused great buildings in the city of Baghdad to fall down - hotels, hospitals, palaces, buildings with mothers and soldiers inside - and here in the place I want to love best, I had to watch people cheering about it. In Baghdad, survivors shook their fists at the sky and said the word "evil". When many lives are lost all at once, people gather together and say words like "heinous" and "honor" and "revenge".... They raise up their compatriots' lives to a sacred place - we do this, all of us who are human - thinking our own citizens to be more worthy of grief and less willingly risked than lives on other soil." (2001)

This is an unsettling and challenging passage. When I first read it, I felt angered and unsympathetic to its call to think systematically about the 11th September in the context of other disasters, acts of aggression and wars. A few days later I found it helpful to connect its sentiments to my own strong cosmopolitan orientations. ... "
November 5, 2001
(from Violence and Justice in a Global Age by David Held, Professor of Political Science, London School of Economics)

Nothing can calm down your feelings, when you have lost husbands or wifes, sons or daughters, relatives or friends in the 11th September massacre. Bob Herbert wrote in The New York Times, Tuesday, December 18, 2001: "The gaping emotional wounds opened by the terrorists on Sept. 11 will never completely heal. The misery and sense of loss for those involved is almost too profound to grasp."

Nevertheless, "cosmopolitan orientations" is the right perspective. If the 11th september is proving something at first, it is that we are living in one world. Therefore my own comment tries to give an answer to this question:

World Trade Center lost -
Globalization lost ?