In the context of globalisation in developing countries, the issues of national sovereignty and commercial opportunity are intertwined. In other words, while large Internet portals such as Yahoo and Google, by way of exploiting global opportunities provided by the medium of the Internet have submitted to the imperatives of business. While their profits have shot up as a result of the new opportunities for advertisement, their tacit support of citizen censorship (as typified by the case ofChina) has attracted criticism. As a result of facilitating Chinese government censorship, these dotcom trans-national corporations have done social injustice to the people ofTibet. Similar instances of thwarting democratic participation can be found in countries such as East Timor, Cambodia and the Indian subcontinent. In essence, MNCs such as Yahoo and Google don’t seem to care an iota about freedom of speech and democracy in the countries in which they function, as long as their revenues remain impressive. Such profiteering attitude is ethically very shallow and does not project globalisation and MNCs in good light (Buckley & Ghauri, 2004). It is an unfortunate reality that globalisation is starting to resemble war profiteering. A case in point is the ongoing chaos inIraq. While theUnited Statesgovernment initiated this war on grounds of its War on Terror agenda, as the weak Iraqi army was defeated some of the companies with close ties with the Bush Administration started imprinting their corporate footprint in the spoils ofIraq. Companies such as Bechtel, Halliburton and Chevron have shown impressive profits as the rest of the corporate world is trying to stay afloat in the prevailing period of economic recession. It is a well known fact that Dick Cheney, the former Vice President of theUnited Stateshas a vested interest in Halliburton Corporation; and it is too improbable a coincidence that the company should prosper in the aftermath of theIraqquagmire. It is events and trends such as these that adduce a bad reputation to globalisation. In this particular instance, the perpetrators of globalisation are seen as conniving war-profiteers. This rationale is used by the militant elements inIraqto gather support for their cause. Seen in this backdrop, the guerilla warfare inIraq, where both sides have employed terror tactics, falls within the discourse of globalisation and its discontents.
The aforementioned case was just the most recent of a long list of digressions that are connected to globalisation. Right through the history of twentieth century, the Western democracies have not hesitated to use force under the pretexts of principles, sovereignty and justice. Subsequently, military intervention in world affairs has risen drastically since the end of the Second World War. The period following the Second World War sawAmericaassume the role of a superpower that headed the western coalition in what was a bipolar world. In a way, the nuclear bombing ofJapanwas the first of its international digressions and the ongoingIraqquagmire the latest. Since the collapse ofSoviet Union, the West has had at its disposal the most potent military force. Its economic structure complements military spending; leading to a military industrial complex. The 2003 Allied invasion ofIraqwas not an exception. The repercussions that we are witnessing today in the form of civil unrest, guerrilla warfare and random acts of terror should serve as a wake up call for the proponents of globalisation (Luo, 2001).
The War on Terror and its sub-plot inIraqhave drawn the most vociferous of condemnations and popular protests that the modern world had ever seen. The events of 9/11 were followed by calamities in theUnited KingdomandSpain. The latter terror attacks were no less brutal when compared to the former, yet the reactions to these catastrophes in the respective parts of the world has been disproportionate. While the anger and indignation expressed by the American public representatives is quite vocal well known, the reactions of their British and Spanish counterparts has been rather subdued – if not in rhetoric, surely in actions. In other words, “terror” is a part of life for much of the world, including the advanced nations ofBritainandSpain, both having their own enemies to civil society. But for Americans, a one-off event such as 9/11 had set off such melodrama and popular outcry that the American populace is surely out of touch with the realities of the outside world. This is the nature of the “insular” American society, which makes it difficult for their public representatives to understand and cooperate with alien leaders of state (Dawson, 2005). When the standard responses of American governments of the last century are coupled with opportunistic exploitation of American business enterprises, we get the perfect recipe for the propagation of trans-national terrorism.