T HE Cold
War ended dramatically on 26 December 1991 when the collapsed Soviet
Union dissolved itself. Ironically, in late 1991 British forces were
just returning from the war to help liberate Kuwait from Iraqi
occupation, where they had fought with their airpower and heavy metal
very much in Cold War style. It was as if anti-Soviet battle routines
had been transposed out of NATO and tested by the allies in the open
territory around Basra. Britain created a full division for the
’re Here, before dispersing amongst the commuting crowds.
Commemorative activities are designed to collapse time and permit the participant to empathise with the situation of their forebears. The Somme had been chosen as one of three focal points for the UK Government’s commemorative activities as the most iconic of the battles in Britain’s First World War: the moment when the volunteer army of the ‘Pals Battalions’ died in great numbers as the ‘Big Push’ faltered in the face of German resistance. But as the ad-vention played out on 1 July 2016, the British
'Terror' is a diffuse notion that takes no account of local particularities and 'war on terror' is a contradiction in terms. This book is based on the lectures that were given on the subject in Oxford in 2006. Amnesty has described 'war on terror' as a war on human rights. It is also a contest of narratives: stories that the protagonists tell about themselves, about their enemies, and about what is happening now. The book considers how the recent actions of the United States have stressed and stretched two areas of international law: the right of self-defence, and the rules of international humanitarian law. State terrorism, with a bit of careful spin, can be reclassified as counter-terrorism, in other words as inherently good in the same way that terrorism is inherently bad. The book engages with the politico-conceptual difficulties of distinguishing between war and terrorism. The interface and tensions between the human rights tradition and the Islamic tradition, particularly Islamic law, is discussed. The intensification of Western repression against Islamic thinkers or activists has at times been coupled with policies that seemed designed to change the religious trajectory of society. The sexualization of torture is only one way in which the 'war on terror' has delineated who is (and who is not) human. Religion, human rights, and trauma narratives are three other mechanisms for rationalizing suffering. The book also discusses the subject of censuring reckless killing of innocent civilians by the issue of fatwas by Muslim teachers.
the notion of terrorism are distortions that derive either from the dominant state-centred paradigm of international relations or from the theory of the just war which claims that combatants are legitimate targets while non-combatants are not.
The claim that terrorism involves intentional attacks upon the innocent raises a number of questions. I will discuss two. First, what is the relevant sense of ‘innocence’? As I will use it here, ‘innocent’ has two senses, one formal, the other substantive. In the formal sense, a person is innocent when he has done
The initial context for this essay included the war in Afghanistan (2001–), the war in Iraq (2003–) and terrorist attacks such as those of 11 September 2001, 11 March 2004, and 7 July 2005. These events have been discursively connected by talk about ‘international terrorism’ and ‘the war on terror’, a connection hotly contested ever since it surfaced in speeches by U.S. president George W. Bush (and members of his administration) following 11 September 2001. 1 I do not here intend to contribute to the multifaceted debate about the ‘war on terror’, though
great tradition we belong to. I am of the generation – roughly 1960s-vintage, post-Stalinist left – educated in the Trotskyist critique of that whole experience, and in the new expansion and flourishing of an open, multi-faceted and pluralist Marxism; educated in the movement against the war in Vietnam, the protests against Pinochet’s murderous coup in Chile and against the role of the US in both episodes and in more of the same kind. Of a generation that believed that, even though the Western left still bore some signs of continuity with the Stalinist past, this was
Dean Acheson entitled his memoirs Present at the Creation. Acheson argued that a new world order was created during the few, eventful years when he was US Secretary of State, between 1949 and 1953. His memoirs describe the consolidation of the bipolar, Cold War world – the world which is also presented in this chapter. The chapter aims to show how the Western Bloc, presided over by the USA, became pitted against the Eastern Bloc, dominated by the USSR. It records the formation and consolidation of the bipolar rivalry that dominated world affairs for
Most of humanity shares two searing memories: the collapse of the World Trade Center on 11 September 2001; and a hooded man standing on a box with wires dangling from his outstretched hands. These images capture the painful truth that both sides in the so-called ‘war on terror’ have violated fundamental rules. But while non-state actors can violate international law, only states are able to change the law, making their breaches of greater potential consequence. In this chapter, I consider how the recent actions of the United States
History and memory
On 24 December 2014, Vladimir Luzgin failed a history exam with fairly high stakes. The resident of Perm in the Urals did so, unknowingly, by sharing an article entitled ‘15 Facts about the Supporters of Bandera ( Banderovtsy ), or: What the Kremlin is Silent About’. The article countered what its author perceived as Russian misconceptions about the Ukrainian independence movement in the Second World War, in particular the followers of one of its leaders. 1
Stepan Bandera (1909–59) was born in Galicia, then part of the
The German people’s capacity for suffering must certainly be above the average. They proved it during the war years of starvation and sacrifice. 1
‘The war’, claims Angelika Schaser, ‘was a great mobiliser of women.’ 2 As millions of men went off to war, women mobilised themselves out of economic necessity or patriotism, replacing men on local transport, volunteering for nursing training and organising welfare as they sought, in the words of Empress Auguste Victoria, ‘to help’, ‘to lighten the struggle for our husbands, sons and brothers’ and ‘to