The greatest challenge to Globalization has begun, not with the horrendous attack on America, but rather with the current U.S. plan for massive military retaliation. Any sober U.S. official’s belief that a WWII-like retaliation is viable in this New World order of globalization would be threatening the well being of the world and the future security of America itself.
The ones to blame for the attack on the U.S. are the individuals that perpetrated or participated in the catastrophe. However, collectively punishing an entire civilian population, for the acts of a few, as continues to be the case in Iraq and Afghanistan, will only contribute to further American lives being lost to terrorism. The attempt of U.S. officials to promote a Rambo style retaliation is to play directly into the hands of the terrorists.
This should be self-evident given the U.S. did not bomb Michigan when American Timothy McVeigh was arrested after the Oklahoma terrorist bombing, nor did it bomb Atlanta when the American bomber, Eric Robert Rudolph, was charged following the Olympic Centennial Park bombing.
The average American has no inkling, whatsoever, of the possible ramifications of such actions which could further fuel the kind of inexcusable hatred as recently witnessed in these latest attacks. It is the duty and responsibility of U.S. policymakers to correct a foreign policy gone astray and to ensure that the country and, indeed, the world are not lead into an avoidable and preventable war. The public outcry for “war” in the U.S. must not be the basis for such actions, especially in light of the fact that these recent terrorist attacks seem to be the direct result of a failed U.S. foreign policy.
The U.S. should pause to re-evaluate the core issues that have brought an entire region to a boil, namely the blind support of Israel’s 34-year military occupation of the Palestinians and its oblivious complacency with non- democratic Arab regimes from Saudi Arabia to Morocco.
Questioning U.S. strategy with regard to Israel may be difficult given that Israel is perceived as a necessary strategic ally in the region. However, given former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s enthusiastic remark that the terrorist attack was “very good” (he later went on to try and clarify his remarks by adding that it was “good for U.S. Israeli relations”…), maybe it’s time for the U.S. to re-evaluate Israel’s true strategic value. It is also time for the U.S. to re-assess its oil-driven relationships with tyrannical Arab regimes and start demanding the implementation of more democratic policies for their peoples.
Months on end before the attack against the U.S., it was glaringly apparent that Israel was escalating its military aggression against the Palestinians with unfettered support from the U.S. Israel has been propped up financially, politically and militarily by every single U.S. administration since it was established. The far-reaching arm of the Israeli lobby has rendered U.S. politicians literally deaf, dumb and blind to the Palestinian people’s legitimate plight by bombarding U.S. politicians with campaign blood money. In addition, U.S. taxpayers unwittingly support the U.S./Israeli military machine due to their collective ignorance concerning U.S. foreign policy in Israel and the Middle East. Israel, which started as a strategic ally for the U.S. in one of the most sensitive regions of the world, has rapidly digressed into a liability as the rest of the globalized world begins to question the “moral authority” of U.S. leadership as it continues to turn a blind eye to the continued Israeli violations of International Law and human rights.
The time is now for America to show real leadership and prove that Globalization does not equal extra-judicial annihilation of a country or population. No one begrudges the U.S.’s right to defend itself but in the process of doing so, it must be sure who the real enemy is and take action based on certifiable facts and with a sense of justice in mind, not the vengeful unchecked rhetoric currently coming from senior U.S. officials.
Further, the U.S. should not assign itself the role of judge, jury and executioner in every country it deems to be “harboring terrorists,” for this would require the Timothy McVeigh network in the U.S. to also be added to the hit list.
Mr. Sam Bahour is a Palestinian-American businessman, born and raised in Youngstown, Ohio, who relocated to his family’s home in Al-Bireh, West Bank immediately following the signing of the 1993 Oslo Peace Accords. He is a co-author of HOMELAND: Oral Histories of Palestine and Palestinians (1994). Mr. Bahour is a co-founder of MEViC, the Middle East Virtual Community.