Dear readers, first and foremost, I just want to say that it this research was one of my last year's assignments in my university. I will appreciate if you give comments on it, and share your ideas as well. It is long i know, :) , but hope it would be intersting for you.
The term terrorism is derived from the Latin word Terrere which means to frighten. Nowadays, terrorism has been one of the most widespread issues everywhere, therefore defining terrorism while remaining objectivity has failed worldwide. Mostly when terrorism is being defined, it either has some emotional side or some political side. (“Definitions of terrorism”) In general, terrorism is the kind of recurring brutal actions such as bombarding, suicidal attack and so on that are done by specific groups to frighten and intimidate the people of an area for a certain purpose either to make a demand on that area’s government or due to some political conflict between two groups of people.
The term terrorism and its rumors have become common around the globe since the 9/11 attack happened in New York City, America on September 11th, 2001. After this dreadful attack happened, the main definition of terrorism clacked people’s minds, but wondrously people started to blame each other of being terrorists. People were basically classified according to the way they have started to think about terrorism and the main responsible that are doing it, but what if their way of thinking was wrong, what if the source on which they had trust more was the real responsible. These all thoughts have made me do a research on terrorism and its real and maybe artificial world, and how it created conflicts among people of the only one world. This event, 9/11 attack, had been a deliberate plan of Al-Qaeda to destroy the World Trade Center in New York City as well as to destroy the Pentagon outside of the Washington City. On 11th September 2001, early morning, two jet airliners that were on their way to Los Angeles were hijacked and sidetracked towards the New York City. Another jet aircraft was hijacked towards the Washington city while it was on its way to Los Angeles. Two of the hijacked planes crashed into the North and South Tower in the World Trade Center in New York City, and another hijacked plane crashed into one side of the Pentagon Building. Due to the attack in New York City, nearly 3000 people died and both of the North and the South towers collapsed down, and in Pentagon nearly 189 people died. These dreadful attacks caused the ex-president of America, George W. Bush to start an impactful act against terrorism that is, War on Terrorism. (“Timeline…..of September 11, 2001.”)
The immediate actions that were taken by the government of America were, blood donation throughout America, and also all the international flights were cancelled. The 9/11 attack was not only a disaster to America, but it created a huge shake for all other countries around the world, because as terrorism is the only giant, terrible risk to human kind, and a harm to the environment, every country was alerted about it. Lots of countries’ leaders such as, England, Israel, France, Russia, China, Palestine, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Germany, Canada, Mexico, Japan, Egypt, Colombia, Taiwan, North Korea, Malaysia, Libyan, Italy, and Iran, and also some other international organizations such as NATO, European Union, and United Nations and others hardly condemned and rejected this attack. (“International Reaction”) These leaders send their message to the America’s president, and expressed their feelings of compassion, condolence, and solidarity to all the family members of the victims of the attack, called the attack a disgraceful act against humanity, peace, and freedom and asked the international community to come together and fight against international terrorism. Some countries declared a mourning day and offered their support regarding financial, blood donation, and other areas of support. Many people escaped from Afghanistan in panic of the response of America to Afghanistan. Some countries arrested some people who were alleged to be members of Al-Qaeda. Many countries around the globe “introduced anti-terrorism legislation and froze bank accounts of businesses and individuals they suspected of having al-Qaeda ties.”Most importantly some racial conflicts have also started between Muslims and Non-Muslims in many countries around the world. (“International response”)
This attack not only changed world’s order of policy and law, but it also caused different countries’ people to think differently about the responsible once behind the attack. According to an international poll by the WorldPublicOpinion.org project that was held among 17 nations of the world from different continents that represented 38% of the world’s population from July 15 to August 31, 2008, the majority of these nations cited Al-Qaeda as the main responsible behind the 9/11 attack. Moreover, in some countries a minority part of the population cited US government, Israel, and other perpetrators as the main responsible behind the 9/11 attack. As it is mentioned, “On average, 46 percent say that al Qaeda was behind the attacks while 15 percent say the US government, seven percent Israel, and seven percent some other perpetrator. One in four says they do not know.” (“International Poll: No Consensus on Who Was Behind 9/11”). In this poll, the majority of Muslims also cited Al-Qaeda as the main responsible for the 9/11 attack. The poll contained only one open-ended question with no answer choice and the question was, “Who do you think was behind the 9/11 attacks?”
Now, let’s come back to the spot where the attack had happened, America. American people who have lost several of their loved ones have also had different perspectives about the 9/11 in charge people. As similar to the world’s people way of thinking, Americans also differ according to the way they are thinking about the 9/11 attack and its accountable people. According to a poll by Jeorge Wolf in the Atlantic Review website on 27 June 2007, 41% of Americans had told that Saddam Hussein’s regime was involved in the 9/11 attack. (“More Americans Believe that Saddam Was Directly Involved in 9/11”). Furthermore, surprisingly, according to a survey of 1,010 adults in America by Thomas Hargrove in the Scripps Howard News Service, 36% of the respondents told that the US government might have been involved in 9/11 attack. (“Third of Americans suspect 9/11 government conspiracy”) After reviewing some information from different sources, I’ve come to know that likewise other people all around the world, Americans also have different opinions about the 9/11 attack as some of them cite Al-Qaeda behind the attack; some cite Saddam Hussein’s regime, some others cite the US government itself, and others claim of not knowing anything.
Having a flash back to the second paragraph’s last sentence which is about the main action, War on Terrorism, taken by the US government after the 9/11 attack had happened, I want to explore through the main targets of this serious action and its results. I will also give some information regarding whether the people of the world as well as Americans liked this action or not? Firstly, what exactly War on Terrorism is? The War on Terrorism is the kind of movement that was started by the US government with the support of some other countries to abolish mainly Al-Qaeda and Taliban, defeat the so-called terrorists like Osama Bin Laden and others to remove the international terrorism. The War on Terrorism included the two main actions that are invasion of Iraq and invasion of Afghanistan.
The invasion of Afghanistan had first good impact on the situation of Afghanistan at that time, 2001. During that time, Taliban were governing Afghanistan, and the main point was that this situation was the “worse” time in Afghanistan. People were suffering due to different issues. As a result, women were not allowed to go out or to educate, students did not get the proper and standard education; householders were not able to get enough money to survive, and finally the government was totally failed. US government’s war in Afghanistan as a part of the War on Terrorism finally defeated Taliban and took them out. Afghanistan once again got its complete freedom and started to develop in different ways, such as women’s education, proper education, employment and so on. Even though the invasion of Afghanistan brought positive changes in Afghanistan, it also consisted of negative results such as, in Charikar, one province of Afghanistan, nearly 30 people died due to a bomb strike by American army on November 17th, 2001; on the same day due to another bomb strike in Khandabad near to Kunduz, a province of Afghanistan, 100 people died; due to another bomb strike in Chowkar-Karez in Kandahar on October 22-23rd, 2001, at least 93 people died; briefly “some 3,500 Afghan civilians were believed to have been killed by U.S. bombing.” (“Will violence lead to more violence?”) The above results of the War on Terrorism in Afghanistan have had a great impact on the way people around the world think about War on Terrorism.
Moving on to the second action that is the invasion of Iraq, this action was also taken by the US government with the help of some other countries to remove Al-Qaeda, destroy the mass destruction weapons in Iraq, and improve Iraq’s situation. This action began on 20 March 2003. Even though US government claims that the purpose of this action was to remove terrorism from Iraq, and to end the mass weapons production in Iraq, some people reject this and tell that this have had more negative results than positive results. As the statistics from an article called Iraq War Facts, Results & Statistics proves that both regions, Iraq and America, faced many losses in terms of their civilians (only for Iraq), soldiers, and finance. As stated in the article, around 900 US dollars have been spent from the beginning of the war through 2010; around 4,413 US troops have died; around 316 non-US troops died. There is a statistic from the UN report, that the number of civilians died in Iraq was not surely counted, but it could be either between 50,000 to 100,000 or more than that; 9,537 Iraqi police died; approximately 55,000 Iraqi insurgents died; and more others. (“Iraq War Facts, Results & Statistics at June 29, 2010”)
By searching about Afghans way of thinking on Afghanistan war, I have found there a poll by USA TODAY Gallup, on November 2001, 89% of the respondents told that United States’ war in Afghanistan was not a mistake, but as time went by this percentage decreased. As a result, according to a poll on September 2006, only 52% of the respondents told that US invasion of Afghanistan was not a mistake, (“Poll: More view Afghan war as ‘mistake’”)and to be candid, this amount must have decreased as the time passed through the modern age. Nevertheless, as compared to what Afghans think about the invasion of Afghanistan, people around the world also have different thoughts about invasion of Afghanistan such as the author of the book “The Age of Fallibility,” says “I supported the invasion of Afghanistan. That is where Osama bin Laden had his……. If we had stuck to the invasion of Afghanistan and followed it up with a successful nation building exercise, we would be much farther along in reducing the terrorist threat than we are today.” (Soros, George, 107) In addition, as stated in an article in the Washington Post website, 42% of Americans say that United States is winning in Afghanistan, but 36% say it is losing, but this article still emphasizes on raise of opinions in America against Afghanistan War. (“Public Opinion in U.S. Turns Against Afghan War”)
In opposite to Afghans way of thinking towards invasion of Afghanistan, indeed positively, the majority of Iraqis are opposite of the US invasion of Iraq. According to the article, (“Iraq War Facts, Results & Statistics at June 29, 2010”), as many as 82% of Iraqis are against the existence of US troops in Iraq, and less than 1% of Iraqis claim of the foreign troops as a way of improvement in security. Now how about public’s way of thinking about invasion of Iraq? As an individual author Soros claims that more Iraqis have been killed by the US invasion than the civilians who had been killed by the terrorist attack of 9/11. (Soros, 103) In fact, this is not an individual opinion, but it is a global fact that had been proved through the reports of the casualties in both situations, the 9/11 attack and the Iraq War. Author Soros says that because terrorists are always hiding themselves, when trying to fight against these hidden gangs, innocent people become victims of the war. He says that as some Iraqis are supposed to be terrorists in front of Americans, Americans are also appearing like terrorists in front of Iraqis in nowadays. Moreover, he approves that as the War on Terror continues in Iraq, America’s trust will be in danger, because as America is one of the greatest leaders of the world, by killing innocent people in Iraq, it will lose its trust among countries around the globe. (Soros, 102-107) According to a poll by the Zogby International website on Americans from 12 May 2006 through 16 May 2006, 44% of the people told that President George W. Bush used the September 11th event to attack Iraq; 41% of the people told that Bush was right in his position of attacking Iraq, and 11% of the people told they were not sure. (“A WORD ABOUT OUR POLL OF AMERICAN THINKING TOWARDS THE 9/11 TERRORIST ATTACKS”)
To sum up, from all the facts we can see that people define terrorism while thinking of their own emotions and political aspects, yet they do not have to think like that, otherwise, peace will never huge them and make them as same as other human beings in the world. If asked of how I am feeling about the 9/11 attack, I want to say that I really denounce people who give a simple harm to human kind. However, about terrorist attacks, I am helpless to do anything except for wishing that their own trap will defeat them, they will hopefully become the losers of their own trap, as each victim’s soreness, and pain will follow them and will spoil them until they die and end to their dreadful crimes. I personally cannot decide about who the responsible people behind the 9/11 attack are, but I request all the people around the world not to refer an individual crime to the entire group in which the individual lives or stays. When I start to think about the environment in my hometown, I feel so bad, because the majority of the people in there have different unreasonable conceptions about Americans and American troops in Afghanistan. I do not want them to think either positively or negatively about America, but as their way of thinking does not have a profound basis and a reasonable fact, I want them to make sure the thoughts that they have should be based on universal, logical facts. Similar to my hometown, when I searched through the internet, I have faced many irrational comments on some terrorist attacks. These comments were about Islam. The ideas were that Islam religion is not a logical, good religion; it teaches its followers to kill other people. According to the book called, “Identity and Violence: The Illusion of Destiny” many Muslims died in the 9/11 event, and Muslim countries and regions tried to help American people as well. (Sen, Amartya, 68-71) According to the book’s author, “The fact that Muslims are on different sides of many cultural and political divides should not be at all surprising if it is recognized that being a Muslim is not an all-engulfing identity.” This fact not only can be applied to Muslims, but also to all other groups of people. As the same kind of human beings we all know that everyone differs according to what ideas they have and how they think about everything, so is it true that all Muslims all over the world are bad or good? Is it true that all Christians in all over the world are bad or good? Exactly the response of everyone is No. So blaming the whole nation only because of one individual’s fault shows our fault and our being illogical. As a human being, I want to condemn all these people, the people who have bad concepts about other countries, and the people who have bad concepts about other religions. In fact, if we think deeply, we can realize that in reality these people are not a part of our community and environment. They are just trying to end up their own generation, the super creatures of the earth, human beings. Additionally, according to the knowledge that I got through my research, I want to add that the War on Terrorism had both negative and positive results. The positive results could be seen in Afghanistan, and the negative results could be seen in both Afghanistan and Iraq. However, clearly we can realize that the negative results of War on Terrorism had been increasing day by day, but to be mentioned, the positive results of War on Terrorism have also been resisting until now and will continue to grow in future.
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•“Timeline & images on the morning of September 11, 2001.” September 11 news.com. 10 July 2010. http://www.september11news.com/AttackImages.htm
•“International Reaction.” September 11 news.com. 12 July 2010.
•“International response.” Wikipedia the free encyclopedia. 12 July 2010. 12 July 2010.
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•Wolf, Jeorge. “More Americans Believe that Saddam Was Directly Involved in 9/11.” Atlantic Review. 27 June 2007. Fulbright Alumni e.V. 13 July 2010. http://atlanticreview.org/archives/726-More-Americans-Believe-that-Sadda...
•Hargrove, Thomas. “Third of Americans suspect 9/11 government conspiracy” Scrippsnews. 8 January 2006. 13 July 2010. http://www.scrippsnews.com/911poll
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•Brook, Vanden, Tom. “Poll: More view Afghan war as ‘mistake’.” USAToday. 16 March 2009. 13 July 2010. http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2009-03-16-poll_N.htm
•Soros, George. The Age of Fallibility: The Consequences of the War on Terror. United States: PublicAffaris, 2006.
•Agiesta, Jennifer. Cohen, Jon. “Public Opinion in U.S. Turns Against Afghan War.” Washingtonpost. 20 August 2009. 13 July 2010. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/
•“A WORD ABOUT OUR POLL OF AMERICAN THINKING TOWARDS THE 9/11 TERRORIST ATTACKS” Zogby International. 24 May 2006. 14 July 2010. http://www.zogby.com/features/features.cfm?ID=231
•Sen, Amartya. Identity and Violence: The Illusion of Destiny. London: Penguin Group,2006.