A year after September 11: Has the USA learnt a lesson? [Archives:2002/37/Viewpoint]

September 9 2002

Three days later, the first anniversary of the September 11 attacks will be marked. Nevertheless, the world is still asking, “Has the USA learnt a lesson?” Did the American government get an answer to the question asked by most Americans “Why did this happen?” and the big question, “Why do they hate us?”?
Did the world become a safer place after the war against terror started? Did the war in Afghanistan come to a peaceful end and is Osama bin Laden killed? Is bin Laden he and his al-Qaeda network paralyzed? Has the USA secured a way of avoiding such devastating incidents in the future? Are Americans confident that all those steps were useful or necessary to heal the wounds and avoid another similar attack?
All those are legitimate questions that should be asked. People all over the world are curious and want to know whether the Bush government had done the right things.
Unfortunately, most, if not all of the answers to those questions, at least from the viewpoint of most Arabs and Muslims, is “no”.
The superpower of the world doesn’t seem to rethink its way of handling things. It may say that it wants freedom, wealth, and good-quality life for all people of the world. But what it says directly contradicts what it is doing on the ground. The USA is now in control of the whole world. It controls most of the world’s resources and wealth. It can impose its will on the United Nations, and worst of all, it does not give a damn about it.
I was on the Internet the other day looking for pages that include “global injustice” and guess what! I found that most of those who had something to say about global injustice blamed the US for most of them.
One year after the events, Americans continue to ask “Why does the world hate us?” They have failed to find the answer. But in time it is expected that the number of Americans interested in researching the reasons behind this hatred is increasing. More Americans are now opposing the US overall strategy in the world, and specifically its plans to attack Iraq. They see their government deviating every day from the original principles of the country’s constitution which is based on freedom, dignity, and justice. The US of today seems to be quite different than that of the 1970s and 1980s. Perhaps it is because it has become the dominating power of the world. Or simply because of its current Republican government that has been putting the USA interests above the world regardless of the consequences to other nations, failing to realize that the interest of the rest of the world is also part of the interest of the US.
It cannot be denied that the USA has caused misery and pain for so many peoples in the world. To measure the injustice, it is enough to see how the USA has expressed full support to the Israeli forces that mercilessly bomb, destroy, and kill innocent civilians in the occupied territories.
Has the USA changed since the attacks last year? Unfortunately not! Today, the USA administration seems to be insistent and determined to cause and afflict more pain to the Iraqi people and to Arabs all over the world. Why isn’t the US studying the reasons for hatred by most of the world? A look at the angry and frustrated faces of those who attended the last Earth Summit in Johannesburg have clearly signaled that opposition to the USA is increasing despite the September 11 attacks. Some people have now started thinking that what has happened to the USA is only a result of its own actions.
A year after the event Americans are trying to find the answer to the same question “Why do they hate us?” And until they find the true answer to this question, their lesson will still be considered unlearnt.