Friday, August 22, 2008

G-7 Countries support Georgia

The G-7 nations are currently the world’s major financial nations: France, Germany, Italy, Japan, U.K. U.S., and Canada.

Interestingly, “Goldman Sachs has predicted that, by 2040, five emerging-market countries – China, India, Brazil, Russia, and Mexico -- will together have a large economic output than the G-7 countries, the seven Western nations that have dominated global affairs for centuries.”

This is a quote from page 26 of Fareed Zakaria’s The Post-American World. Zakaria doesn’t seem a careful writer. In this sentence he is wrong about the seven nations being all Western. Japan is not a Western nation. Also, Canada didn’t join the G-6 until 1976 which hardly allows it to be part of the G-7 for centuries; although we could push through the ambiguity here and guess that Zakaria might be saying that Canada had been one of the nations that has dominated global affairs for centuries even if it has only been part of the G-7 since 1976, except this isn't true. Even the U.S. hasn’t dominated global affairs “for centuries." Even two centuries would mean that it had to start its “domination” in 1808, and it clearly wasn’t there yet. Maybe by 1890 it was getting there but that is only 118 years ago – not centuries ago.

This is a quibble, and I usually hate quibbles, but I’ve run across several such errors in Zakaria’s book and they have begun to be distracting.

Moving away from the quibble, I find it interesting that we G-7 nations are providing financial rather than military support for Georgia. I suppose there are ways to intimidate Russia so it will be less inclined to do to other nations what it has done to Georgia. Our missile support to Poland is one thing we can do. It would be good if the Ukraine could be accepted into NATO in the near future. . .

Timothy Garton Ash thought it would disprove Samuel P. Huntington’s Clash of Civilizations thesis if the Ukraine could be accepted into NATO. That wouldn’t do it. The Ukraine might be accepted, and they might like being there because they fear Russia, but they are still on one of Huntington’s “fault lines,” whether or not they move over onto the Western side. Being there may be unnatural for them. Ukraine is after all 83.7% Orthodox in religion and may find the “fit” with the atheistic E.U. a bad one. The move to the West may be temporary, and it would disprove Huntington’s argument (in this instance) only if trouble was not caused between the West and Russia over Ukraine’s joining NATO.

Lawrence Helm

No comments: