Continued from The Decline of the American Century
A Look Back at September 11, 2001
On the second anniversary of 9/11 my comments published on 12 September, 2003 in Online Asia Times in my article: Jihadis: Assasin by Another Name reproduced below. Note: I was not happy with the title given by the editor.
September 11 and New Yorkers
According to a recent New York Times report about the impact and fears of September 11 among New Yorkers, "the simmering disquiet persists, a lengthening shadow that won't leave". It said that "most New Yorkers [are] feeling no safer, no more convinced that the terror won't come back. The narrative of that day is older now, but the city still feels its amplitude. It is as if the populace has stalled in its march toward fully being itself again."
There remains little confidence in the security measures meant to protect the city's infrastructure. And most New Yorkers feel that the city is unprepared for a biological or chemical attack that might contaminate the air or the water. Two years after September 11, New Yorkers feel the city remains as vulnerable as ever, the poll concluded.
Drill in London
On September 7, British authorities with ministers present carried out in London's financial district the most elaborate and high profile anti-terrorist drill that Britain has ever seen. Designed to be as realistic as possible, it was presumed that terrorists had struck at the Bank Underground station with a substance similar to the poisonous gas Sarin. The drill was intended to test how the emergency services worked together and the effectiveness of new equipment purchased in the aftermath of September 11.
Cry wolf, wolf
In February, an exercise in London and US cities almost looked like a parody of the fable "wolf , wolf", which was organized to influence the UN Security Council vote on the report of chief weapons inspector Hans Blix. (Later he commented that the US had already decided and planned to make war on Iraq.) Passengers reaching London's Heathrow airport were surprised when they found it surrounded by tanks and armored cars full of troops. Orange alerts, the second highest, were enforced in the US and UK, with helicopters and planes covering the airspace of the two countries.
An editorial in the Arab News on February 14 commented on this as follows, "Has UK Prime Minister Tony Blair taken leave of his senses? The sight of tanks and armored patrol vehicles patrolling London's Heathrow airport suggests so. Does Blair envisage an al-Qaeda Panzer division? Washington appears equally paranoid. Batteries of anti-aircraft missiles have been set up around the city with fighter planes patrolling overhead, while Americans have been warned to stock up on water blankets and food."
[The exaggerated fears of Al Qaeda and terrorist acts propounded by US/UK leaders and corporate media have been misused to restrict personal freedoms with Patriot Acts and other measures to control the society.]
Other Measures - Post September 11,2001
In September, 2002, the US announced a new National Security Strategy, asserting that it will maintain global hegemony permanently and any challenge will be blocked by force. The strategy declared that the US, alone, had the right to carry out "preventive war" - preventive, not preemptive - using military force to eliminate a perceived threat, even if invented or imagined.
There was never any credible evidence for the alleged link between Saddam and his known bitter enemy, Osama bin Laden. The invasion of Iraq has only certainly increased recruitment to al-Qaeda-like outfits, and the threat of terror to the world and in Iraq, as US forces are finding out. Meanwhile, bin Laden remains at large and the Iraqi weapons of mass destruction are still missing! (Studies have shown that as a result of illegal invasion of Iraq in 2003 and its brutal occupation, the number of terrorists and their activities have increased seven fold. In UK the intelligence expenditure on anti-terror activities was doubled).
More Brutal and Random
The Decline of the American Century
Jihadis: Assassins by Another Name
A Look Back to September 11, 2001