Times Online – Comment

Times Online – Comment December 22, 2003

It has always been my belief that the arguments for and against the Iraq war are finely balanced. It is nice then to see a British journalist being very positive about the war. Lets hope they are right.

Times Online – Comment: “Al-Qaeda had its Pearl Harbor on the ninth of September. It was a sinister and secret attack. The parallel with Pearl Harbor does not consist only of the profound shock to all Americans. When the attack on Pearl Harbor was being planned some of the senior Japanese officers recognised that the only possible outcome would be to awaken an American power that would eventually destroy Japan. Perhaps there were even senior figures in al-Qaeda who had the same premonition. It is always a mistake to attack a power of extreme superiority, particularly the United States.


However, the parallel goes further than that. In 50 years time, perhaps earlier, it will be clear to historians that it was Pearl Harbor that was the primary event of the historic reform of East Asia; not just of Japan, but of the whole region. One can easily become confused between economic and political development, between freedom of trade and democracy. They have not always moved at the same speed. China itself has gone fa rther in economic than in political change, though both have moved very far. The American reaction to Pearl Harbor has eventually achieved an open society throughout the greater part of Asia. The example of Japan proved to be a vital part of that process. That is the model for the US response to al-Qaeda, and Iraq is playing the role of Japan in 1945.

The attack on the twin towers is the trigger for a process of liberation in the Islamic world, the penultimate closed society.”


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