The phenomenon of ‘fighting terrorism’

Hassan Tahsin
Hassan Tahsin
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The phrase “fighting terrorism” was invented by the administration of President George W. Bush after the attacks of 9/11. The Americans came to realize that their territory was vulnerable to terrorist attacks, and as a result, Washington gave itself the right to act unilaterally against terrorism. With the passage of time, this phrase was picked up and used as a pretext by a number of leaders to fight their political opponents.

America attacked Afghanistan in an unbalanced military confrontation - the world’s only superpower pitted against a country which was, and still is, below the zero line in everything. The invasion did not realize all the declared U.S. objectives but has enabled America to achieve its hidden agenda of gaining a foothold in Central Asia.

America also attacked Sudan, Somalia and Yemen. This increased the fears of a number of countries, especially in the Arab region, that they might become targets of American attacks under the pretext of fighting terrorism.

The U.S. used its military might in the attacks against Sudan, Somalia and Yemen, and it also made direct threats to Iran, Iraq and North Korea which President Bush called the “axis of evil.”

It seems that the U.S. administration is quite adamant on striking Syria before it turns to Egypt

Hassan Tahsin

America added North Korea to its list of hostile countries not because Pyongyang posed a direct threat to it but only to be able to deny allegations that it was targeting only Arab and Islamic countries.

On Feb. 11 2002, the London Times quoted unidentified U.S. officials as saying that Washington had enough evidence to justify its military operations against Somalia and Yemen. The officials, however, did not specify what this evidence was.

George Tenet, director of the CIA at that time said openly that America's plans against terrorism might expand in the future to include organizations in the Middle East such as Hamas, the al-Jihad Movement, Hezbollah and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. Such statements created much worry and skepticism as world leaders were unable to predict what America’s next move would be after Afghanistan.

Fighting unilaterally

The determination of the United States to fight terrorism unilaterally if it considers it necessary to do so may cause a serious split in the international alliance against terrorism which America has been able to build over a period of many years.

NATO, which totally opposed the war against Iraq, has begun to have second thoughts about providing blind support for U.S. military actions. The Arab countries have, without any exception, refused to support an attack on any Arab or Islamic country under the pretext of fighting terrorism. Russia has warned against any attacks which are not authorized by the Security Council. China, as usual, has always doubted the credibility of U.S. actions. It says that America is often rash in its decisions which are not always carefully thought out.

The world supported America's war against Afghanistan so as to destroy the Taliban and the al-Qaeda organization which together embraced many terrorist organizations.

Today Egypt is fighting a real war against terrorist elements in the Sinai desert. Washington is not only denying Egypt the right to neutralize these elements but has encouraged Hamas and other terrorist organizations to destabilize the country.

Ignoring Egypt?

The question here is: Why is the Obama administration turning a blind eye to terrorist groups in Sinai? Why is it not supporting Egypt in its war against terrorism? Why didn’t America take a clear position against a number of terrorist organizations such as the Baader Meinhof group and the Japanese Red Army in thepast? Does America consider that all terrorism originates in Arab and Islamic countries?

It seems that the incumbent U.S. administration is adamant on striking and destroying Syria before it turns to Egypt. The Egyptian people were able to foil American plans about the Greater Middle East which the U.S. has been working to achieve for more than 60 years.

The U.S. has ambitious plans to control and exploit other countries. These are colonialist plans in every sense of the word. America’s arrogant attitude has created enemies around the world with the result that the American people expect terrorist attacks at any time. We hope that the American people will be aware of the machinations of their government so that they will not lose the love and respect of the other people of the world.

This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette on Sept. 5, 2013.


Hassan Tahsin is a veteran Egyptian writer and a regular contributor to pan-Arab newspapers, including the Saudi Gazette. His writing focuses on Middle East conflicts. Tahsin’s political analysis particularly centers on Arab-Israeli relations on a regional level, and Egypt’s domestic and foreign policies, including ties with the Western world. Tahsin can be reached at [email protected].

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
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