Turkish Journal of International Relations

Turkish Journal of International Relations

Volume 1, Number 2, Summer 2002


The Most Dangerous Game in the World: Oil, War, and U.S. Global Hegemony
By Bulent Gokay



The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 on New York and Washington D.C. are viewed by many as not only life changing but also world changing events. Like the landing of man on the Moon and the assassination of John F. Kennedy, those who are old enough to remember will doubtless be able to recall years from now precisely where they were and what they were doing when the news broke. And like other significant events that are thought to have altered the course of history, September 11 has become something of a reference point with people now speaking in terms of pre and post September 11. In fact, very little time had passed after the terrorist attacks before commentators paused to reflect and offer opinions on how the world had changed in the aftermath of the attacks. Post-September 11 high-rise architecture would be different to pre-September 11 high-rise architecture, likewise airline security and countless other affected arenas of concern. But the greatest speculation on how the world has changed has been reserved for the impact the terrorist attacks will have on the lives and daily routines of the general population. Western commentators in particular believe with conviction that, regardless of where one lives in this world, the events of September 11 will affect the manner in which a large percentage of the population goes about its daily business. While their might be some measure of truth in this assessment I am not entirely convinced, at least not for the reasons on offer. Others put emphasis on globalisation, and claim that the old idea of international governance is now an actual possibility. Similarly, Achilles Skordas like so many others sees a move towards a disciplined international system of benevolent hegemony after September 11. Some others read in September 11 and the following events a clear indication of an impending crisis of the world capitalist system in general and the US power in particular. What they are seeing in the recent events is the death throes of a dying capitalism. Yet some others are increasingly concerned with the identity questions as the main aspect of the recent events, and a clash of civilisations narrative of the relationship between the West and Islam has occupied centre stage. 11th September, in the words of Anatol Lieven, has ushered in a struggle of civilisation against barbarism. It was described as an attack by a fanatical group on civilised societies in general.

Full Text (PDF, 22 pages, 72.6 KB)