The Destruction of World Trade Centre and the attack on Pentagon, on September 11, 2001, was the unique modern-age man-designed human calamity one could hardly imagine. More than four thousands innocent lives wiped-out just in few moments and the world was helplessly watching on their television sets around the world. The symbol of America’s wealth (World Trade Centre) vanished and the icon of America’s power (pentagon) badly damaged – this much could hardly be seen even in any Hollywood movie.
The 9/11 incident does not, only, reflect the level of hatred and revenge any human can keep or the obsession one can aspire – it also echoes the global injustice, disparity, the ignorance of fundamental human rights and the disproportion of world’s power. It shows the extremism and vengeance of those who feel throwing lives is now the only option left for them to get freedom. However, on the top of every aspect one can think of, the incident directly relates to the dealing of US with the rest of the world especially with those nations who hold the maximum God-gifted (natural) resources of this earth in their territories and among them fatefully or un-fatefully majority are the Muslim states.
Perhaps this is not the time to criticize a country that is observing the mourning on the first anniversary of the horrified deaths of her thousands of innocent civilians. However, sometime one has to swallow the bitter truth and face the realities of the time when analysing and documenting the facts. Just after the attack on WTC and Pentagon, on 9/11 last year, every single country including Muslim countries demonstrated their full support and sympathy with US. Not a single country appreciated the brutal action of the suicide attackers. Majority of Muslim countries practically shared the US-led war in Afghanistan declared as ‘War against terrorism’. So, in principle, world’s compassion with US should have been at least the same, if not greater, after a year. US should have more friends and sympathisers today than in the past. Conversely, yet, one finds today, particularly among the people in the Muslims countries the loathing against US wider than prior to September 11, 2001. In fact, the continuos blunders on strategic & policy issues of Bush administration – presumably, aiming to rule the world by power é has not only damaged the US reputation badly but created more enemies than friends of US since the 9/11 attacks.
The arrogant and revenge-style attitude of Bush and his top ranking officials in the White House since 9/11 attacks developed more hatred among millions watching around the world on their television sets every day. ‘America under attacké our freedom, our democracy has been attacked é’ that was how the Bush projected the 9/11 attacks in his early speeches. Were his statements near to any realities? Did the terrorist want to rule America? Did they want to liberate US? When the people jumped out of the World Trade Center and were slammed through steel and concrete, could anyone think freedom and democracy were in their minds? Could anyone think the attackers were envious or even cared about the US obsession with these values? The simple fact was that they were just sick and tired of being pushed around. It doesn’t matter whether these terrorists came from outside the US or from within. The People of United States saw in the Oklahoma bombing a few years ago. Who was Timthy McViey? There are many inside the US, today, who feel being pushed around, who feel they are not included when US leaders tell the world, ‘we are the best, we are the smartest, we are the most powerful, we are No.1‘
George W. Bush, frequently, uses targeted and hard-hearted language in public against the other nations. Being the President of the most powerful nation, if one uses this kind of language for the other countries than it might not make any difference to those countries but it is definitely now costing to the people of United States. Bush declared, in the first place, the US-led operation in Afghanistan as “The Crusade“. He called Iran, Iraq and North Korea as “Axis of Evil“. He uses harsh and punishing language against Palestinians but the soft corners for Israelis. He ignored the brutal action of Sharon through Israeli forces against the innocent civilians of Jenin including the attack on Yasir Arafat and his high ranking officials. Rather condemning Israeli action Bush blamed Yasir Arafat for the cruel action taken by Israeli forces.
If all the suicide attackers were Muslims or majority of them belonged to Saudi Arabia, as declared by US agencies then US leadership must understand that this is not because Muslims hate Americans é majority of students from Muslims countries proudly go and study in US to be educated and benefit from the modern advancement of US. In fact, the time is changes now; even the ordinary citizen of the Middle East understands the vested interest of US in others’ territories and US double standards in dealing with others. Seeking the reasons one finds that US has been enjoying Gulf’s oil resources for many decades, US economy depends upon continuos flow of oil from Arab lands. Yet, US don’t bother to actively involve or push Israel in providing justice and freedom to the people of Palestine.
It is very vital and in the interest of the people of United States that policy makers in the White House should accept the need of the time, the demands of the changing world, the fairness, the equality, the freedom and respect for every single nation. If US want to remain on top, it has to behave accordingly. You can not play games anymore using CIA or by utilising militarily power and assume that the world will remain hushed and unaware from the ground realities. You can not do one thing and show the other. How can one assume that you kill thousands of civilians in Afghanistan using the most dangerous weapons of the modern age, supposedly, just to hunt and kill Osama Bin Ladin and his Al-Qaeda group and yet you even could not prove to the world whether Osama is alive or dead? Then you expect that the world should remain silent and will not strive to look for your real intentions to remain in Afghanistan? In fact, even the brutal use of the militarily power in Afghanistan supposedly to wipe out terror already shown signs of whipping up enough world-wide hatred against US to give rise to thousand new terrorists for every one terrorist US might kill. If US-led forces could attack Afghanistan, supposedly as punishment for giving aid and harbouring terrorists, then some Palestinians may naturally find motivation to attack US for giving aid and even military support to Israel – a nation that has committed unrelenting terrorism against the innocent poor children and women of Palestine.
How many times the US has been the target of terrorism in the past 30 years alone? US has been experiencing terrorism for decades. US airlines have been hijacked many times; US army personnel have been killed in bombings and US embassies around the world have been hit more than once; US citizens have been taken hostage for months at a time. Within the US, a federal building was exploded killing hundreds; the World Trade Center had come under terrorist attack about 10 years ago as well. How much US foreign policy-makers had been expected more to see prior to the 9/11 attacks before they could realise to review and reassess their policies to avoid any big bang like what happened on September 11, 2001? The other countries in the world learnt from such incidents, threats, and incidents yet US hasn’t, Why?
There’s no mistaking that terrorism is a threat, as it has always been. There is also no disputing that those responsible for such acts of terrorism in any shape or form must be held accountable. To be sure, prosecute those who are responsible, but do not turn the process as an advantage to cash out other vested interested in various parts of the world. Otherwise it will bounce back to US again.
To end the threat of terrorism against US, the policy makers in White House must accept the true reason why they are so hated. Well it is a very serious test for the policy-makers at the white house now to choose which way they want to go. Whatever decision they take, they must think twice keeping in mind the consequences of their action. Modern technology makes mass murder and terrorism so ridiculously easy that just about anyone can do it. It cannot be stopped by military might.
US must consider before launching any future adventure whether it might be attack on Iraq, Iran or North Korea as the world has changed now. Even the act of terror has changed. Every thing impacts globally. When US talks about global economy and global peace and new world order she must also not forget that whatever action is taken would have a global impact too. The technological advancement which mostly is a gift of US to this world, made this world as a global village. Small piece of news, plan or action is disclosed to millions throughout the world just in few minutes through internet and mass communication.
9/11 is the day of remembrance, assessment and reassessment for Bush and his policy-maker to start a new epoch for peace, justice, fairness and equality. This is the time for US to create a threat-free environment for smaller countries. This is time for US to provide confidence to every other nation without the prejudice of race, colour and religion.
The writer is a Sydney-based freelance journalist and a political analyst.