The Daily Star, Lebanon
Bush Policy Creates New Enemies; Wastes Resources


September 11, 2006
Lebanon - The Daily Star - Original Article (English)    

The remains of World Trade Center,
September 12, 2001. (above)

—BBC NEWS VIDEO: Five years of the War on
Terror; Are we safer?, Sept. 11, 00:03:23

RealVideo[SLIDE SHOW: September 11].

—BBC NEWS VIDEO: Americans remember
Sept. 11, 2001, Sept. 11, 00:02:56

President and Mrs. Bush at memorial ceremony
at Ground Zero, New York, Sept. 11. (above).


Exactly 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.

Just days after September 11, 2001, U.S. President Bush declared a War on Terrorism RealVideo 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.

Al-Qaeda 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 support.

After 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.



WindowsVideoAL-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

"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