Wednesday, September 15, 2004

ZNet |Terror War | Nine-Eleven Retrospective

ZNet: "Through the tears of sadness, I see an opportunity.
- George W. Bush, September 14, 2001"

Think about 'how do you capitalize on these opportunities?'
- Condaleeza Rice, White House National Security Adviser, to the United States National Security Council, September 12, 2001.

According to Chicago Tribune columnist Stephen Chapman one day after the attacks, "America" had "become a target" because foreign tyrants and terrorists were threatened by and jealous of our superior, democratic "way of life."By Chapman's estimation, the core ingredients of that glorious American way were "prosperity," "happiness," "openness," individualism, and "love of freedom" for "ordinary people."

Actually, there was nothing surprising about an attack by zealots of Arab background on Washington DC and New York City.The motives behind the attack had little if anything to do with militant Muslim terrorists' feeling about the nature of America's internal society. What bothered them and indeed many Arabs most about America was the United States' external policy in and around the chief area of the perpetrators' concern and ambition - the Middle East itself. If bin-Laden and his followers and ilk were driven by hatred of American freedom and democracy, why were they firmly on the side of the US in the late 1980s, when America enjoyed if anything more domestic freedom and democracy than in the summer of 2001?


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