Comment: The impact of 9/11 can be clearly seen after ten years of that devastating attack that made the United States lose its way in the so-called war on terror declared by former President George W. Bush.
Contrary to Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, who said right after the mass killings by Anders Breivik that Norway’s answer would be more openness and more democracy, Bush went on a $3-trillion foreign policy crusade that has cost the United States dearly.
Writes Speigel Online International: “For a short time after the attacks, the country seemed united. Americans embraced each other. Even the cold city of New York suddenly seemed warm. But instead of cultivating public spirit, President Bush sought to find a pretext — any pretext — to invade Afghanistan and Iraq. This is his most tragic legacy, the fact that America can no longer even mourn its victims properly — because Americans have long been not just victims, but also perpetrators.”
If there is one party in Finland that can thank Bush it is the Perussuomalaiset (PS). The US’ war against the Muslim world gave rise to Islamophobists like Jussi Halla-aho and a long list of others. Without their anti-immigration and anti-Muslim rhetoric the PS could have never won 39 seats in the April election.
In 2003 I published an opinion-piece on Suomen Kuvalehti on the US invasion of Iraq and how it would have catastrophic consequences for the credibility of that country. At least for me, the Iraq invasion was a strong whiff of deja vu since it was the way Washington handled its big-stick policy in Latin America.
“Latin America was a region where coups – oops! régime change — occurred on a grand scale. If experience of how the U.S. influenced Latin America in the last century is anything to go by, the people of the Middle East are in big trouble,” I wrote back in 2003.
Probably the saddest matter of 9/11 is that the United States under Bush started to believe its own spin and invincibility.
Where were you on 9/11 and how to do you think that attack, which should be seen as a crime and not as a declaration of war against all Muslims, changed the world?
The events of Sept. 11, 2001 led to a wave of solidarity with the US. But the superpower has lost that goodwill over the course of the wars it subsequently waged. Now America is mainly seen not as the victim of terrorism, but as a perpetrator of violence itself.