9/11, 2006: Bush Jnr isolated at home and abroad. We are all Hizbollah now Print E-mail

 Tuesday September 12, 2006

Five years on
America has still to draw the right lessons from 9/11.


 It is five years since terrorists attacked the World Trade Centre in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, killing over three thousand people. The impact of those horrific attacks continues to reverberate across the world. One would have thought that the attacks would prompt a deep revulsion with violent means. On the contrary, in the five years since, state and non-state actors have stepped up the use of violence and terror to achieve their goals. Within hours of the attacks on September 11, 2001, the US government blamed the al-Qaeda. If the ‘war on terror’ was primarily aimed at eliminating the al-Qaeda it has failed miserably. In the five years before 2001 there were three al-Qaeda attacks; in the five years since there have been thirty major strikes. Instead of reducing terrorism and dismantling terrorist networks the ‘war on terror’ has fuelled rage and revenge. It has resulted in a proliferation of terrorist groups. The ‘war on terror’ has deeply polarised the world along religious lines.

Governments have used the ‘war on terror’ to eliminate their political rivals and crush dissidence. People have been denied their rights. In the name of the ‘war on terror’, hundreds of thousands have been detained without trial. Over a lakh are said to have been detained in the course of the ‘war in terror’. Some 756 prisoners of thirty five nationalities have passed through the US-run detention centre at Guantanamo Bay; none of them has been convicted of any crime.

In 2001, the international community was one with the American people over the tragedy. George Bush’s ‘war on terror’, the ruthless bombings of civilians in Afghanistan, the invasion and occupation of Iraq and the recent bombardment of Lebanon have changed all that. It has led to the isolation of the Bush administration at home and abroad. An increasing number of people are sympathising with the rising militancy and with those who are seen to be standing up to Washington’s might. If on the day after 9/11, a headline in the French newspaper Le Monde said “We are all Americans now”, today placards at demonstrations scream, “We are all Hizbollah now”. Two days ago, President Bush vowed to never forget the lessons of September 11. That does not bode well for the world as he did not draw the right lessons from 9/11 in the first place.