Turkish Journal of International Relations

Turkish Journal of International Relations

Volume 2, Number 2, Summer 2003


Constructing a New Imperial Order? The War in Iraq and the Ideology of Clashism
By Seifudein Adem



Less than a month after terror attacks hit New York and Washington D. C. in September 2001, America launched a war in Afghanistan. The result was abetting and quick: the Taliban regime was dislodged from power in a little more than a month; Al Qaeda, the parent organization of the perpetrators of the attacks, was driven out of its caves and was walloped. A debate was then sparked as to what this portends for the future of world politics. Observers and analysts all agreed on the epochal significance of the chain of events. On its deeper meaning, however, they were deeply divided.(1) Some saw the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan as the beginning of the clash of civilizations while others perceived it as heralding the age of the New Imperialism; still for others it marked the beginning of the Third World War. It is useful to note here that many observers seemed sometimes to overlook that these scenarios are necessarily not mutually exclusive. (2) The Anglo-American invasion of Iraq in March 2003 appears, propitiously, to shed the much-needed light on these issues. The central argument of this paper is that the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq in the spring of 2003 demonstrates the world has been plunged into a clash of civilizations driven by America's new imperial impulse-a historical impulse, which has maintained a clear link to the past. (3) The paper focuses on political and academic discourse on the contemporary scene to explore how a new universe of discourse paralleling an emergent hegemonic order is being socially constructed.

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