The Daily Star,
Bush Policy Creates New Enemies; Wastes Resources
September 11, 2006
Lebanon - The Daily Star - Original
five years ago today, the world watched in stunned horror televised images of the
worst act of terrorism ever committed on American soil. Few would have
predicted that the United States would interpret the al-Qaeda attacks as justification
for a dramatic shift in its foreign policy, and that just half a decade later, would
be directly or actively engaged in supporting bloody wars in Afghanistan, Iraq,
Palestine and Lebanon.
after September 11, 2001, U.S. President Bush declared a War on Terrorism
and began preparations for the invasion of Afghanistan, where al-Qaeda leaders
had been given shelter. But since then, America has shifted its focus from al-Qaeda,
whose top leaders remain at large, and toward a new
and ever-growing list of "terrorist threats" - including Sunni
insurgents in Iraq, elected leaders in Iran and Palestinian, Shiite militants
in Iraq and the resistance movement in Lebanon [Hezbullah]. Bush says that this
diverse array of groups constitutes a single threat which he refers to as
"Islamo-Fascism," and which he has likened to the menace of Nazi
Germany or Soviet Russia. But any honest assessment must acknowledge that these
groups do not in fact form a unified front; nor does the tiny gang of criminals
responsible for the September 11 attacks pose the same kind of threat to
civilization as did Hitler or Stalin.
could likely have been easily defeated had American leaders channeled all of America's
resources into pursuing this threat. But instead of isolating and wiping out al-Qaeda,
Bush has created a long list of new foes for his ever-broadening war on terror.
In doing so, he has bolstered the popular impression that the U.S. is waging a Crusade
against Islam - an impression which al-Qaeda skillfully exploits to gain added
five years of bloodshed and with no end in sight, it's time for Americans to
re-evaluate U.S. policies in the War on Terror. A good start would be to draw a
distinction between terrorists such as al-Qaeda and legitimate resistance
groups such as Hezbullah and Hamas, whose aims are largely political and
nationalist. Unlike al-Qaeda, resistance groups have a territorial base and
legitimate political grievances that can be resolved. Addressing these
grievances through an even-handed peace process would go a long way toward
making America safer.
VIDEO FROM IRAN: 'BUSH ADMINISTRATION
AL-ALAM TV, IRAN: Excerpts from a Friday sermon delivered in Beirut by Lebanese Shiite leader Muhammad Hussein Fadhlallah, September 8, 00:01:48, Via MEMRI
EXPLOITING THE EVENTS OF SEPTEMBER 11'
"Everybody knows that the [real] danger is to the entire world, and comes from the imperialistic American power, with its plans for more than just a preemptive war. This is especially true now, with the commemoration of the events of 9/11, which were exploited by the American administration."
Lebanese Shiite Leader Muhammad Hussein Fadhlallah