Friday, July 08, 2005

London bombings reveal how unsafe the world really is, July 8, 2005

London bombings reveal how unsafe the world really is
July 8, 2005 Creators Syndicate
By Ray Hanania

I think it is pretty clear that the world is not safer as a result of the war in Iraq.

It is also clear that our current security procedures are not working. Profiling Arabs and Muslims only tends to isolate a community that for the most part opposes the extremism of the terrorists.

The fact is, no matter what we might do, without support from the communities where we believe terrorism originates, we cannot properly defend ourselves.

In effect, we are at the mercy of the terrorists who strike not on our failed timetables of fast wars, but on their ideological calendar where the period between attacks may be weeks, months and even years.

The toll of lost lives from the concerted attack against several commuter targets in Britain’s capitol continues to rise. Bombs were set in six bus and subway locations.

Immediately, British officials identified al-Qaeda, the terrorist organization of fugitive Saudi militant Osama Bin Laden.

You would think that a sane person moved by the tragedy of the terrorism might ask the obvious questions: Why haven’t we captured Bin Laden? Why did we focus on Iraq rather than on completing the job in Afghanistan where Bin Laden is reportedly hiding along the border with Pakistan, a nation that supposedly is our ally?

Most Americans are already weary of the contradictions in the answers.

There are no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. We so easily pushed that aside and found a new excuse to justify an unjustified war there. But every failed excuse leads to another failed excuse.

What’s next after "making the world a safer place’ proves to also be a failed objective in invading Iraq?

At some point, the American and British people might start demanding accountability from their governments.

But it is so easy to fall into the heated and emotional political debate rather than to examine the failed policies for real answers.

The answers are there for us to find.

We should immediately withdraw from Iraq. It’s a war we cannot win. We began with unbelievably na├»ve goals of crushing Saddam Hussein and winning the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people.

Saddam Hussein is in prison but the persistent and very successful insurgency continues to grow, not diminish while the number of mainly Americans soldiers who are dying there continues to grow.

Rather than creating enemies in the Arab and Muslim World through foreign policies based on injustice and favortism, we should be working to resolve many of the longstanding problems that range from the brutal and unjustified Israeli occupation of Palestine to the continuing support this nation provides to Middle East tyrants and dictators who oppress their own people while speaking hypocritically about embracing Democracy.

We should end the politically driven prosecutions of Arabs and Muslims in America, many of whom have been targeted not because of anti-American activities but because of their political views critical of foreign countries like Israel.

If the United States and Britain imposed a fair and just solution to the Palestine-Israel conflict, that would do far more to undermine the popular support terrorists are receiving from the people of the Arab and Muslim world who are driven to that support by anger and emotion.

When we stop playing politics with our foreign policy and put real meaning behind building Democracies, freeing people and achieving justice in the Middle East, then we might find that the majority of those people will embrace us as the champions that we so far have failed to become.

It will also mean eliminating the injustices and tragedies that the terrorists continue to exploit as a cover for their crimes.

As a result of the London attacks, there is an increased vigilance in America and other Western nations for potential follow-up strikes by al-Qaeda against transportation centers.

But if there is one lesson we must expect from al-Qaeda, and their free leader, it is that they are unpredictable and our current methods of security provide no security at all.


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