I find this really ironic, considering that I just had an international politics midterm exam with a question that focused exactly on this topic.
Please give the rationale for the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers using all three of the normative traditions (realist, rationalist, revolutionist).
I think we can now safely conclude that the rationale was realist. And the American response will probably be realist as well, while the European response would probably be rationalist. What will Canada do? Canada supported the War on Terror, though not the War on Iraq. Will Canada continue to side with the US on the War on Terror, given the contents of this video tape?
Canada has several facts that it has to face:
1. The United States accounts for the vast majority of our trade. Over 87% of our exports go to the US. The fact of the matter is that we need the US to survive. Certainly, we can diversify our trade to a more global activity, and that is happening right now anyway, but we need the US for at least the short-term; trade can't diversify on a global scale overnight. Whatever affects the American economy can affect the Canadian economy, and if Canada ticks off the US, the US can do mean things to Canada (like irrationally ban our beef in American markets, despite our cattle tracking system being vastly superior to the US cattle tracking system).
2. The US wants Canada involved in all security and defense initiatives because Canada shares the world's longest undefended border with the US. The accusation that Canada is a haven for terrorists and that terrorists can cross easily into the US is still ringing. Consequently, the US will probably include Canada in its security and defense plans, whether Canada likes it or not.
3. Despite all political and cultural differences, the US and Canada are at least allies, if not friends.
4. Even if al-Qaida keeps to bin Laden's words (i.e. there will be no terrorist attacks on the US if the US "stops threatening Muslim nations"), there are other terrorist groups that are not bound by bin Laden's words. And I believe that those terrorist groups will continue their attacks, whether it's Hamas in the Israel-Palestine conflict, the Chechnyan terrorists in Russia, or stuff in Spain that still hasn't been figured out. If I presume correctly, then the US will not be able to ignore Islamic extremists, given US interests in these various regions; besides having their own interests, the US is an ally (or a friend) to all those nations as well. If the US really does consider breaking off all relationships with those areas and turtling instead, expect the rallying cry to be made again: "The terrorists will have won!" Except this time it would be starkingly true.
And I'm sure there are more things to consider. But I'm tired. But given these factors, what should and what will Canada do? We live in amazing times. I always wondered what it would be like to live during the Renaissance, Industrial Revolution, Great Depression, World Wars, the 70s, etc. And then I realized that there is no time like now. The world is always doing incredible things, moving directions at astounding speeds, and we're so blind to it. The increase of terrorism's exposure, the research and advent of nanotechnology, the proliferation of the Internet, we live in extraordinary times.
And what's the scariest implication of this terrorism? I can only imagine Big Brother's powers exploding, with the help of the infrastructure and direct marketing efforts of corporations. As well, I really see the consolidation of efforts to stop terrorism into a joint task force, ala Rainbow Six. Of course, I'm just pulling predictions out of my behind, but the first prediction seems especially plausible, given the US domestic response to 9/11. The REALLY freaky thing is that the terrorists WANT the US to respond with force. It rallies and unites all the extremists together. So the US is caught in a catch 22. Damned if they do and damned if they don't.
Given my own analysis is extremely superficial, I can't wait for class to see what Professor Moens has to say about all this. The guy rocks. Would rank #2 on my all-time list.
But crap. And chee, what a time to do it. The guy sure knows how to maximize his exposure, huh?