Immediately after the 9/11 twin terror attacks in the United States, President George Bush asserted that America was the main target for terrorists and other global enemies because it is “the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world” (Rhem par. 6). Whereas it is almost inevitable for a global nation like the United States to exist without creating enmity with its global rivals, the president did not offer a convincing explanation regarding the terror attack. Although that was not the best time to offer a detailed explanation of the cause of the attack, the President clearly knew that there must have been some complex issues behind the terror strikes (Edwards 54).
A few days after the attack, the Islamic extremists from the Arab world were blamed for the terror operations. It was alleged that the extremists were under the wide Al Qaeda network led by Osama Bin Laden. Consequently, the American public and the world at large were persuaded to believe that Osama Bin Laden and his terror network lodged the scathing attack in the US without any good reason. In fact, some pro-government sympathizers in the Bush administration argued that acts of terror against the United States were meant to derail the major gains that had been made in socio-economic and political cycles in the country. We ought to question ourselves why the terror attack was specifically directed at the US. Nonetheless, it is pertinent to mention that the 9/11 terror attack in the United States must have been caused by a long period of the poor relations between the US and the Middle East.
To begin with, Kinzer observes that the 9/11 incident brought into focus the relationship between the US and her historical rivals (102). Historical records indicate that Western Europe and the United States were never interested in the Middle East region up to the onset of the 20th century. It is possible that the region was of little economic and political importance to the western powers. It can be recalled that a country like Britain drew its interests closer to the Middle East only after the Suez Canal became operational. When crude oil was detected in the Gulf region, the United States and its like-minded allies saw the urgent need to control the affairs of the Middle East region. The main interest of America in this region was to gain some control of this invaluable natural resource. It is vital to mention that the Middle East is part and parcel of the Arab world. Most of them profess the Islamic faith.
During the First World War (1914-1918), a number of promises were made by the United States to the Arabs in the Middle East. The Arabs were convinced to attack the Turks. In return, they would be given their autonomous nation after winning the war. However, the western powers led by the United States failed to honor their part of the agreement and instead began to fight and split the Arabs. In addition, the western nations also promised the Jews people that they would be settled in Palestine as their cradle land. This did not go well with the huge Arab population. The same land was allocated to both the Arabs and Jews. As a result, they ended up in stiff resistance against each other.
In brief, there has been a series of historical betrayals to the Arab world by the United States. This can be a bitter reality especially to the supporters of the US system of administration. Rangel posits that the capitalistic ideals of the US government should be blamed for the growing number of global enemies (76). The United States has been on the lead as a self-appointed watchdog for the world. Objective political theorists often argue that the United States has a tendency of interfering with the internal affairs of sovereign States. Why should the successive regimes of the United States derail the autonomy of independent nations at the expense of innocent civilians? Why should the oil factor in the Middle East be a concern for the United States whereas it has no share of the natural commodity in the region? These are some of the terse questions we need to ask ourselves in light of the continued acts of terror ever since the 9/11 incident.
According to Mayntz, mediation activities that have been carried out by the US are often forceful (301). In the case of Afghanistan, the US overthrew the government of Mullah Omar Mohammed. The Taliban and al-Qaeda were affected by the change of government in Afghanistan. On September 11, 2001, the US experienced one of the worst acts of external aggression. The history of the US does not provide clear evidence of persons, groups of people, or nations that clearly portray themselves as enemies of the US or the West. Existing literature also fails to reveal direct or indirect condemnation of the United States’ foreign policies by any individual or group outside the US. To a large extent, the historical track record of the US against its interests in overseas locations has been the major cause for external aggressions such as the 9/11 twin attacks.
In retrospect, Koch underscores the fact that the United States created enmity with the Arab world after it supported Israel’s invasion of Lebanon in the early 1980s (362). Osama bin Laden used the case of Israel to wage war against the US. 9/11 was the culmination of al-Qaeda’s terrorist activities. He also claimed that Saddam was a crucial sponsor of al-Qaeda. Bush’s accusations against Saddam had no justifications. Political experts argue that the Bush family did not support Saddam’s oppression of his native Kurdish people. Economic analysts felt that America was mostly interested in Iraq’s oil wells (Koch 363). The Muslim world may have been inspired to attack the US due to America’s attitude of changing loyalties quickly to support countries from which it derived many benefits. Religious experts argue that the hatred between the Muslim world and the US may be a conflict between Christians and Muslims (Koch 363). The US seems to resort to armed struggle when diplomacy fails to work. The country engages in noble activities that concern the liberation of people’s freedoms across the globe. Protection of people’s rights should be properly structured.
To recap it all, it is vital to restate that the 9/11 terror attack in the United States was mainly caused by the indecent historical track record and the system of betrayal by the successive US governments. From the above discussion, it is evident that economic interest was presumably the main reason why the US and western powers gained a lot of interest in the Middle East region. However, failure to honor promises coupled with the politics of betrayal have worsened the relationship between the Arab world and the United States.
Edwards, Sebastian. Left Behind: Latin America and the False Promise of Populism. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 2010.Print.
Kinzer, Stephen. Overthrow: America’s Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq. Northern California: Times Books, 2009.Print.
Koch, Christian. “Modern History and Politics: The United States and Persian Gulf Security: The Foundations of the War on Terror/Turning Point: The Arab World’s Marginalization and International Security after 9/11.” The Middle East Journal 62.2 (2008): 361-363. Print.
Mayntz, Renate. “Control of a Terrorist Network: Lessons from the 9/11 Commission Report.” International Public Management Journal 9.3 (2006): 295-311. Print.
Rangel, Carlos. The Latin Americans: Their Love-Hate Relationship with the United States. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 2010.Print.
Rhem, Kathleen. Bush: No Distinction between Attackers and those Who Harbor them. 2001. Web.