Friday, July 29, 2005

The Caliphate of Pax Americana

In the search for the driving forces behind the recent fundamentalist Islamic terror aimed at Western targets, those who refuse to make the obvious connection with a number of disastrous Western involvements in the Middle East, have found an old, old motive they believe they can attribute to Islam: the Global Caliphate.

R. James Woolsey, on Newsnight recently, resorted unashamedly to this argument. This is rather rich coming from a former Director of the CIA, an organisation that helped create Osama Bin Laden.

It’s tempting for those in power to explain the recent surge in radical Muslim terrorism as driven by the desire to create the Global Caliphate, because it’s a simple explanation that has some roots in history and appeals to most simple folk. The epic clash between good and evil!

It’s true that Islam and Christianity are two competing religions which for centuries have been trying to promote their truths, often at each other's expense. It’s also true that some radical Islamic thinkers consider the West’s involvement in the Middle East as the latest
Crusade and are therefore calling for a Global Caliphate. The latter are nonetheless a small minority.

For most Islamic terrorists, the Global Caliphate is quite literally about the last thing on their mind. Palestinian human bombs have only one real aim: to secure an independent, sovereign state for the Palestinian people.
And these fundamentalists in Iraq really aren’t aiming at global domination either.

Besides, terrorism would be almost the most ineffective method of establishing such a Caliphate. To achieve world domination, you need to cover terrain, this is something which bombing campaigns of whatever nature cannot achieve.

By contrast, the US are much more advanced in achieving territorial domination of the Middle East, with troops present already in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iraq and powerful local allies like Israel and Egypt. The US have made it clear that it’s in their interest to establish a Pax Americana in the region, to secure the world’s supply of hydrocarbons.

Perhaps we’ll be looking at a Caliphate in the form of a global Pax Americana

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