Sunday, January 28, 2007

What Constitutes a "World War"?

What constitutes a “world war”? Just glance at affairs from South Asia to North Africa: A bomb blast in Islamabad, rising activity of the Taliban along the eastern and southern borders of Afghanistan, Iran effectively declaring war against Israel and installing equipment to produce enriched uranium, violence in Beirut between pro-government mobs and Hizballah loyalists, quarrelling between Russians and Georgians over a Russian scientist’s attempt to peddle enriched uranium in Georgia, anti-Russian rebellion still simmering after a crushing defeat in Chechnya, Americans trying to bring order in an ever more bitter clash between ethnic factions in Iraq, Sunni and Shi'a militia's fighting in the streets of Baghdad, Hamas and Fatah shooting each other in Gaza, Ethiopians invading Somalia, American air strikes against "Islamist" groups in Somalia, atrocities in Darfur that exceed the imagination, the Darfur war spilling into Chad. From Chad to Pakistan war and more war, from civil war to civil war. This is a span far greater than all of Europe: If all those countries were engulfed in conflict would they call it a World War? If this is not a world war, what is it?

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