Thursday, May 09, 2002
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Sir, This is with reference to Hasan Saroor's `Back to empire in new clothes' (April 25). Imperialism is not dead; it is contained, but it raises its head so long as there is implanted in the human animal the desire to dominate and rule. Cooper and Haass have only aired this longing underlying in certain circles. The anti-terrorist campaign seeks to reorder the world to serve the needs of the post-modern world. Pre-emptive, peremptory self-defence, so long as it serves the post-modern world, is defensible, but applied to the third world and neo-nuclear powers is dangerous and a potential threat to the new world order.
There is a pattern in the Cooper-Haass formulations: self-aggrandisement followed by self-destruction, as Marlow muses over it in Conrad's `Heart of Darkness'. European self-aggrandisement, as later history proves, was followed by two self-destructive world wars. The Cooper-Haass thesis is not macho rhetoric but blind self-aggrandisement that fails to envision a global conflagration that could be sparked off by imperialist longings. Nazis and fascists are not born but made, the stuff being provided by the pious speculations of the Coopers and the Haasses.
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