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Old February 16th, 2011, 09:42 AM   #21

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9/11 was certainly signifigant but in broader terms, i'd say the creation of the internet, WWW is very significant. it may be something we will regret one day...
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Old February 16th, 2011, 10:05 AM   #22
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The war in Afganistan sprang directly, and the invasion of Iraq indirectly
Am I alone in thinking that if the 9/11 plot never happened and Bush lost the 2000 elections, we'd still quite likely have seen a joint Blair-Gore invasion of Iraq in, maybe, 2005-2008? I recall a certain "Iraq Liberation Act" under Clinton stating the case for regime change, an interventionist Gore arguing against an isolationist Bush, and a pre-Bush (1999) speech by one Anthony Blair proposing the toppling of Saddam Hussain. The same Blair who talked Clinton into taking out Milosevic, who intervened in Sierra Leone, and who pretty much pioneered the liberal interventionist line in UK foreign policy.

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Due to 9/11, it is questionable that the general populace of any nation will ever consider a military operation a resounding success. This changes war forever.
I'd be tempted to agree with this - though this was also the view following Vietnam. There will probably be a considerable western 'military malaise' though.

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The harm 9/11 did was to transform Islam into the new bogeyman-external-enemy to replace communism, with the kind of hyperbole,ignorance,hysteria and bar faced lies not seen since the 1950's and the Vietnam War.
Certainly prejudice toward Muslims has rocketed since 9/11, and certainly the terror threat has been (mis)used to clamp down civil liberties, but 9/11 didn't exist in a vacuum. It was a horribly successful attempt among many obvious but less apocalyptic attempts by militant Islamists to blow up embassies, overthrow "decadent" governments and attack... the World Trade Centre (1993). It certainly forced militant Islam into the public consciousness. As for "bogeymen", such forces are certainly exploited by
the ignorant, and lead to highly questionable if not downright immoral operations (Vietnam, Iraq, saturation bombing, torture), but to pretend Soviet Communism wasn't a ruthless and expansionist force up until the mid-1980s ignores what the archives themselves clearly demonstrate. And Qutbian/Salafist Islamism is a highly dangerous Utopian ideology - ask any Pakistani asylum seeker, or any Muslim resident of Lahore for that matter. The issue simply didn't permeate popular culture until the towers came down.

I'd say the dramatic expansion of free media/ internet/ instant global communication is the most significant force; it's hard to see recent events in Egypt, Tunisia, Iran and elsewhere having quite the same force or influence without it.
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Old February 16th, 2011, 11:18 AM   #23

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I am trying to think of benchmarks and major themes like you get in a high school history class. Like in your general high school history class would associate the 1800s with Napoleon, Colonoialism, Industrialism etc. and how a child of the 1900s would associate the century with World War 1, 2, Communism, Nuclear power, Cold War, and the internet.

As far as things on the scale of those things go. I do not see anything very interesting or worth mentioning so far. Maybe the 21st century will be like the 18th century which got much more exciting in the second half rather than the 19th and 20th century, which started out exciting and got boring as the century went on.

Anyways, at this point, I would half to say I'd hate to be a kid in high school history class in 2111, learning about the 21st century.
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Old February 16th, 2011, 12:33 PM   #24

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Originally Posted by kbear View Post
9/11 was certainly signifigant but in broader terms, i'd say the creation of the internet, WWW is very significant. it may be something we will regret one day...
The internet was around before 2000.
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Old February 16th, 2011, 01:36 PM   #25
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The internet was around before 2000.
'96, right? Or was it '97?
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Old February 16th, 2011, 01:51 PM   #26

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As an horrific event 9-11 certainly springs to mind. I would submit here that as heinous as it was, it was the prelude / excuse to invade Afghanistan in 2002, and Iraq a year later. When one considers that there are estimates that as many as a million civilians have been killed in Iraq alone since 2003, I suggest that the invasion of that country has been the most significent event of this Century so far.
Agreed in part. I have no doubt many Americans consider 9/11 as THE defining moment of this century so far.

As a non American, I'm not entirely convinced that's true or that the majority of the world shares that opinion.

However, the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan are simply act 2 of what will become a permanent oil war.
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Old February 16th, 2011, 02:05 PM   #27
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I'm still not sure how 9/11 can be described as THE defining moment of the 21st Century so far. To me it makes no sense. I understand that it was incredibly tragic and a very important event in American History, but I can think of other, more important events, like the creation of FaceBook and YouTube or when the ISS will be completed.
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Old February 16th, 2011, 02:14 PM   #28

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The continued exploration of space. I hope people will see the 21st century later as the beginning of the space-age.
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Old February 16th, 2011, 02:23 PM   #29
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The continued exploration of space. I hope people will see the 21st century later as the beginning of the space-age.
It is. ISS, Mars Rovers, Replacement of Hubble Space Telescope.
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Old February 16th, 2011, 04:44 PM   #30

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Hmm according to Star Trek, the space age isn't until the 2200s. Something else will have to fill the gap for the 2000s and 2100s. Personally, I expect to see someone build another Empire soon. People let their guard down and think "oh we live in an age of democracy and order, there won't be any going backwards to empires or imperialism."

But people tend to forget there is no backwards or forwards on a political scale. Dictatorships and monarchies are just another form of government.
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