Wednesday, February 14, 2007

An answer to an American question

A question that has been prominent in American media and US political speech in the last few years has been, "Why do they [terrorists] hate us?". Which is a very valid question, because to fight terrorism you should know its roots and causes and start the fight there. But the problem is that these politicians and analysts have stopped short of seeking (or admitting) the real answer.

The following paragraph is an excerpt from an interview with Michael Scheuer, a very colorful person who's a 22-year CIA veteran that served as the Chief of Alec Station, the Osama bin Laden Unit at the Counterterrorist Center.

Q: Where does the major danger lie now?

A: For America? That we could very well be defeated oversees and at home. And the source of it is clearly that we have yet to find a politician in either party who's willing to tell the American people the truth. We continue to be harangued by President Bush and Senator Clinton and former President Clinton and Senator McCain about how Americans must fight this war because we're being attacked because we have freedoms and liberties and women in the workplace and a whole list of ephemera that have nothing to do with this war at all.

We're being attacked, Britain is being attacked, our allies are being attacked because we've installed and backed and implemented a set of policies in the Middle East for the last 30 years or more. And we're being attacked because of what we do, not because of who we are. And by refusing to talk about that, I'm afraid the American people, at least, don't have a good idea of just how dangerous the threat is that we face.

The interview was part of PBS' program Frontline, the episode was titled The Cell Next Door. It talks about an alleged terrorist cell in Toronto that was uncovered, its members arrested and are awaiting trial thanks to information from a self-described Muslim fundamentalist, dubbed the Radical Informant. Quite interesting. But I digress.

To fight terrorism one must eliminate the conditions that breed it, that might be a process that will take some time, and it certainly will not be an awe-inspiring show of force that some want it to be, but it's the only way real and lasting results can be achieved. The US needs to rethink its foreign policy and address two particularly fundamental issues; the injustice the Palestinians are subjected to, and the US support of the tyrannical Arab regimes.

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