Bosnia: A Final Lesson?

Unfortunately, it is much more likely that the attack on the United States marks the start of a planetary cataclysm than the beginning of a global renaissance. Statements of all the world’s relevant leaders cause one to conclude that they do not understand that, regardless of the scale of the horror in New York and Washington, such terror can be repeated in the same places or on an even larger scale. The world’s leaders say that “civilization should be defended in all ways and at all prices.” This underlines a crucial misunderstanding: which civilization they speak of is not defined. To the perpetrator of the crime, whoever it may be, such an act of madness would be impossible in a different, more just world, however pathetic and naive that sounds.

In “the world that should be defended at any price,” 30,000 children die of hunger every hour, while the most developed countries experience a period of prosperity unprecedented in the history of mankind. Three million children in Africa die every year from tropical diseases such as malaria because a US$1 vaccine is out of their reach. America and its allies spent thousands of billions of dollars during the Cold War to stop the spread of communism. The task is now much more complex, and the main goal of foreign policy must be the opposite: to ensure aid so all parts of the world, including the poorest, can be integrated into a global economic and environmental network. Unfortunately, President Bush has thus far failed to explain to Americans that such a goal can be reached only by providing more aid to the poor.