The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 marked one of the biggest and most violent terrorist attacks in the history of humankind, striking horror in the hearts of the entire world. It was at the same time a critical turning point that altered the course of history since the early 2000s.
In the wake of this inhumane and brutal attack that shook all nations, and above all the people of the USA, US President George W. Bush declared a “War on Terror.” It was barely a month after he had declared the war during his speech in the Congress, he gave the order of air strike on Afghanistan on October 7, 2001.
While the invasion of Afghanistan raged on, using the so-called report by Tony Blair, the then Prime Minister of Britain, and the British Intelligence saying “Iraq is in possession of weapons of mass destruction,” this time the Bush administration gave the order for the invasion of Iraq.
However today, the Chilcot Report has exposed Blair’s intelligence report, which subsequently dragged the US into the Iraq war, to be unsubstantial. There were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq whatsoever; Blair ultimately had to admit to this fact and recently, the messages Blair sent to Bush between 2001-2007 have been exposed in the press. These messages laid bare the fact that Blair was the person who guided the US President in every respect as well as that he was the mastermind behind the Afghan War.
Consequently, “the War on Terror” policy has caused harm for everyone except the terrorists:
– The Islamic world faces the greatest calamity and destruction in its history. Millennia-old ancient cities as well as metropolitan areas were reduced to rubble. Millions of civilians lost their lives while millions more lost their homelands, forced into migration. Hundreds of thousands were either injured or maimed. Tens of thousands were subjected to unimaginable torture and rape. The rest are now struggling in the clutches of poverty, disease and misery. Today, many children are being born with disabilities in Iraq and Afghanistan due to the use of white phosphorous and depleted uranium rounds being used against the local civilian populace.
– “The War on Terror” has taken – and continues to take – its toll on the Western world as well, although to a lesser degree than the Islamic world. Let alone ending terrorism, the method of military intervention has only served to escalate and infuriate it, and spread it to the entire world. In the words of Andrew J. Bacevich from Boston Globe, it caused the terrorism to “metastasize.”
March 2004 MADRID; June 2005 LONDON; January-November 2015 PARIS; January 2016 ISTANBUL; March 2016 BRUSSELS; June 2016 NICE; December 2016 BERLIN; January 2017 ISTANBUL; April 2017 STOCKHOLM, May 2017 MANCHESTER; June 2017 LONDON; August 2017 BARCELONA…
These are the bloodiest examples of radical terrorism that spread from the Middle East to Europe following the ‘War on Terror’…
The list would become hundreds of entries long if it was for the entire world.
– As for the USA, the material and moral damage the “War on Terror” campaign caused to the country was many times more than that of September 11.
A total number of 4,491 US soldiers died in Iraq between 2003 and 2014. By October 2016, the US military casualties in the Afghan War had reached 2,386 while 20,049 more were injured on duty and the number of civilian fatalities in Afghanistan during the war was 1,173.
Merely in 2012, the number of USA military members who had participated and committed suicide due to depression was 349. This number is even greater than that of the US soldiers who died at war in the same year.
The “War on Terror” also dealt the severest damage to the US economy. In fact, the Afghan War that has been ongoing since 2001 is the longest war in the US history. According to Linda J. Bilmes from Harvard University, the total cost of the Iraqi and Afghan Wars for the country is somewhere between $4 to 6 Trillion dollars. At the end of her research, Bilmes rightfully asks the question, “What did we buy for this Trillion Dollars?“
Surely the most significant repercussions of this economic collapse were felt throughout the US society. According to Feeding America, 48 million Americans, comprising 15% of the population, are below the poverty level, while 42 million Americans are struggling with hunger. According to a study conducted by researchers from Michigan and Harvard, the number of households in extreme poverty living on two dollars a day has doubled in the last 15 years, reaching 1.5 million. 20 million Americans are living in trailers. 565,000 homeless sleep on the streets every night, 48,000 of whom are ex-military.
The radical terrorism that was transferred to the West through the military operations conducted in the Middle East since September 11 has turned the guiltless people of the US into a society in constant fear. Three terrorist attacks have been perpetrated in the US in the last five years. Three people died while 264 were injured in Boston Marathon in 2013 in a bomb attack perpetrated by radical terrorists. In December 2015, a married couple targeted a health institution catering to people with disabilities, causing the deaths of 14 people. The attack later turned out to be tied to ISIS.
Again under the justification of struggling against terrorism and security, countless laws and regulations such as the Patriot Act, which led to unfavorable consequences for the people of the US such as oppression, fear and violation of privacy, only added insult to the injury.
In conclusion, the current state of the USA brought about by the “War on Terror” fiasco the country was steered into through the guidance of Blair-MI6 collaboration does not appear bright at all. Let alone correcting this historical mistake, new governments, too, insist on repeating the same mistakes despite hundreds of futile and unsuccessful experiences.
However, even a small-scale academic study could have simply revealed the fact that radical terrorism has no place in the Qur’an; the Qur’an calls to peace, love, unity and brotherhood, the core and basis of Islam. It could have been easily realized that the radical terrorist mentality has its roots in primitive and violent traditions and superstitions such as ancient customs and tribal culture. And subsequently, this non-Qur’anic, bigoted, radical belief system constituting the sole ideological basis of terrorism could have been completely rooted out from the entire Islamic geography through a professionally organized education campaign based on the Qur’an.
These would surely have been the most perfect methods that would prove way more constructive, permanent, cost-free, safe, non-violent, non-destructive and definitive than all the military interventions conducted to this end until today.
This might have not been implemented yet, but what is vital is to compensate for the time that have been lost and start working altogether as soon as possible to prevent new 9/11’s from ever occurring again.
Adnan Oktar’s piece in American Herald Tribune (USA):