Wednesday, September 13, 2006

9/11 Five Years and 2 Days Later:
A World of Lost Opportunities:
The fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks on New York and Washington has come and gone, and the commemorations have begun to fade. The myth making has added another brick to the mental monuments that both sides, the USA and fundamentalist Islam, have constructed to justify their actions. On the one side the toll of innocent victims is being used to continue to cover the far from innocent role of American foreign policy and American business in fostering the sort of mindset that sees the USA as "the Great Satan". The idea is now being mooted by, not just the American government, but even the present Canadian one that outfits like Al Queda carry out their attacks because "they hate the way of life and the freedoms of the West". I'm sure that they do indeed have such hatred, but it is hardly the reason why they have declared war on the USA. That sort of propaganda falls pretty flat outside of the USA and a minority of Canadians.
On the other side the death toll and the spectacular nature of the events has undoubtedly fed the delusion that a world spanning empire such as the USA can be defeated by a handful of terrorists carrying out such actions. No matter if the toll rises to 100 or 1,000 times the present toll an empire can never be defeated by such actions. Asymmetric war is, after all, asymmetric, and in the end the USA can outlast its present opponents until the time that its competitors overtake it on the economic front. At such a time Islamic fundamentalism may find itself pining for the "good old days" of fighting the Americans rather than a less constrained opponent.
Be that as it may the next few posts will look at the missed opportunities that the 9/11 events led to- for all sorts of different parties.
Til then- Molly

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