"September 11th Has Changed Our World Forever"
by James Glaser
So very many Senators and Representatives have uttered these words this past week when speaking either for or against the President's resolution for the power to attack Iraq. Those words are wrong though. Our world changed long before that, when terrorists started to hate America so much that they would give up there lives to hurt us. September 11th was not a spur of the moment attack, but one that had a lot of planning time. That hate started years ago.
Something happened that set these men on their path and no one in our Government even wants to think of what that could be. "Those terrorists were Evil and we are just so good that they have to have been wrong to hate us." That is the stance the American government has taken. Some how I believe that it would most prudent to figure out where this hate came from because it is there and is shared by millions of people the world over.
We can wish that hate away or continue to believe that it doesn't exist, but it will still be there. We can continue to trust that our military power will protect us, but we will have to attack more and more countries as this hate grows and grows. With every military action we will not only lose some of our own personal, but we will continue to add to that hate, with every innocent life taken by the collateral damage inflicted in each action.
Self reflection is so very hard. America has to remember that for over two hundred years terrorists were not attacking us. For over two hundred years the rest of the world tried to emulate us, not kill us. What happened? Did everyone else change or did we?
At one time our foreign policy was led by the Peace Corp and Hospital Ships like the USS Hope. In past years people talking about going into the Foreign Service were thought as Ambassadors of American good will. Today they are thought of as part of the CIA.
Trust. America has lost that feeling of trust that other people thought of when the United States was mentioned. Today if we go to help another country, right away you wonder if they have oil or some other resource we want. It never seems like we are there just to help.
Afghanistan, we must have gone there for that oil pipe line. Iraq, we must want to attack them because we want their oil. Now a days, people can't believe that America is sending troops into another country in order to set their people free, because we have lost that trust.
All through out the world we have propped up too many dictators and potentates that have treated their people so badly that when we do try and help, people think there has to be an ulterior motive. So many times we have helped and before the job is done we walk away, like with the Kurds in Iraq, the Afghans after they defeated Russia, and Somalia. Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos are the same story. We get in, we start to fight and help, things get too hot, and America bails out and our friends are slaughtered and those left never really trust us again.
America has given Terrorists lots of campaign slogans that they can use. Having millions of people hate us all over this world didn't happen over night and we will not change their opinion of our country for quite some time.
For the sake of our children and grandchildren, America must become the "Good Guys" again. It will take time and effort, we didn't lose our place in the hearts of the world by doing good acts, but good acts are what we have to start doing again if we want the rest of the world to be on our side. If we decide to continue forcing our military might on the rest of this world, in the long run terrorism will build their forces larger and larger because America will be recruiting for them.
BACK to the Politics Columns.