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State of the Globe 2002-2003, Part 1:
On War

How did war affect the world in 2002?

December 30, 2002

How did war affect the world in 2002?

2003 is starting in an ominous fashion: There is more talk about war than in decades. The war against terrorism is being converted into one on Iraq. The first installment of our “State of the Globe” series explores what the confrontation is all about — and what risks lie ahead.

How do people look at the world today?

“The world is divided between those who believe the worst is over — and those who believe the worst is yet to come.”

(Former U.S. Senator Gary Hart)

What is the recipe to defeat terrorism?

“To win this war, the open societies must each play to their strength — America’s hard power and Europe’s soft power.”

(Thomas L. Friedman, New York Times columnist)

What are terrorists after in this war?

"Terrorists like nothing better than governments to fail to create social justice.”

(Indonesia’s Foreign Minister N. Hassan Wirajuda)

Is Iraq a major priority in the war on terrorism?

"I think this isn’t number one — it’s maybe sixth or seventh.”

(Retired U.S. Marine General Anthony C. Zinni)

What is the scope of the war on terrorism?

“It is a war that pits a few thousand unidentified individuals against most of humankind — from the beaches of Bali to lower Manhattan.”

(Tony Judt, director of the Remarque Institute at New York University)

Is the Pentagon aware of the complexities of war?

“War is brutal, risky and unpredictable.”

(U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz)

Are Americans ready for the reality of war?

“Except in Washington and Wall Street, the prospect of a real, live shooting war doesn’t seem to be grabbing anyone’s attention.”

(Alan Abelson, Barron’s columnist)

Why should the United States be extra careful about attacking Iraq?

“A war that poses a particular challenge to our nation’s greatest societal weakness — that of attention span.”

(Michael Kelly, Washington Post columnist)

What do Arab governments think of a U.S. war in Iraq?

“Even the United States does not know how a war in Iraq is going to end.”

(Syrian President Bashar Assad)

And what do the Iraqis think of possible war with the United States?

“In 1920, we defeated the British with simple weapons. We know the Americans have superior technology — but we will defeat them, too.”

(Young Iraqi)

Can war really solve the problem of terrorism?

“Learning has liberated more people than all the wars in history.”

(Carl Rowan, black writer, 1925-2000)

Are military experts the only authority on war?

"The strategists who know the possible ramifications of politics miss the huge and obvious things and wreak yet more havoc and suffering."

(Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury)

What do other religious leaders have to say?

"Extinguish the ominous smoldering of a conflict which, with the joint efforts of all, can be avoided."

(Pope John Paul II)