What makes George W. Bush “the man,” as Americans would put it, is his apparent, albeit misleading, determination to go after the “bad guys,” whoever that might be. The American people, with understandable emotions and bitterness regarding the tragic events of September 11th, are behind him all the way. Yet, the implications of such overwhelming support to Bush’s declared “War Against Terrorism” may be catastrophic, not least for the American people themselves.
Nothing can, and should, justify the cruelty and inhumanity of the infamous attack on the US; the fact is innocent human beings fell victim to the horrors of hate and evil, once again. Anyone who attempts to even imply that the ‘criminals’ had a “reason” is, to put it mildly, mistaken. However, the causes must be carefully assessed.
A reasonable question to ask at this stage is: Why would someone (anyone) have such a destructive grudge for the US? A reasonable answer may well be: Anyone who interprets US foreign policy as biased, unjust, and detrimental towards the well-being of his/her own society, culture, country, and principles. Lets face it, we all have our side of the story!
“Make no mistake about it, we’re in hot pursuit.” These words by Bush echoed endlessly through the media in the past few days, ostensibly carrying with them a message of undiplomatic and un-pragmatic declarations. Perhaps, after all, a “hot pursuit” for the truth is what America needs at this time.
The U.S. must weigh the implications of short-term military tactics against long term political strategies; the American people must careful weigh the benefits of a desperate response against a far-reaching reassessment of U.S. foreign policy, thus a critical insight into the roots of such tragic and catastrophic hostility against the “free world.”
Such insight must fully incorporate global disputes, regional instabilities, as well as national and international conflicts. Such insight must closely examine the political, legal, economic, cultural, ethnic, and religious dimensions of all human conflicts and tragedies.
The U.S. must finally come to terms with the realities created by its unchallenged status in today’s international society, social realities, political realities, and economic realities.
The US must reconsider its unconditional support to the illegality, immorality, and inhumanity of Israel’s occupation of Palestine. The U.S. must reassess its supportive political stance (sometimes through willful silence) towards the atrocities committed by Israel against the Palestinian people, through brute military force, political assassinations, human rights violations, economic strangulation, and discrimination. The U.S. must realize that the measures and policies adopted by Israel only reinforce, and attempt to legitimize, terrorism; state terrorism.
The ten-year old embargo against the Iraqi people must not escape the hearts and minds of the American people in their grief for the thousands of America’s innocent victims, nor should the suffering of all oppressed peoples be marginalized.
The fight against evil cannot be won without holding the powers of evil accountable to human injustices committed against nations, in the name of “security,” self-interest, realism, and, ironically, peace.
Make no mistake about it, Mr. President: This is a time for the collective human will to triumph over hate and evil, most importantly by destroying the very causes of hate and evil.
(*The content above reflects the views of the author, and not necessarily the views of MIFTAH)