America reacted to 9/11 as a bigger Israel and the repercussions continue
Ten years after 9/11, Americans remember what happened and what still could happen in the wake of a reported Al-Qaeda threat to attack anew. But the day should go off smoothly. The fact remains that the US has not suffered a major terrorist attack since 9/11. Perhaps helping was the defeat of the Taleban and the weakening of Al-Qaeda, now more so with the death of Osama Bin Laden. However, as it flexed its military, economic and political might in two wars, Washington forgot, or deliberately overlooked, the fact that its foreign policies, globally and toward the Arab and Islamic world in particular, were a crucial factor in generating the forms of violence it was combating.
One of the repercussions of Sept. 11 was to polarize the world via George Bush's invention — “the Axis of Evil” — to divide the world into “good guys” and “bad guys.” This would be a war between right and wrong, between good and evil. In this fight the rest of the world was given two choices: “You're either with us or against us.” Needless to say, most of the world has been suborned or bullied into the former.
In extension, one of the most disingenuous, but effective, distortions has been to reduce the Muslim world into two camps, good and bad, a modern twist on the old colonial divide-and-rule policy. The good guys are those who capitulate before US foreign policy; the bad guys do not. Another way of describing the two groups is moderates and extremists. The former are characterized by their compliance, the latter by their decision to resist.
It is hard to escape the conclusion that the war on terror, to use its popular designation, became a war on Islam. The West was and is still not fighting to eradicate terrorism. Terrorism is just a tool. It is fighting to defeat an ideology. And given the global supremacy of the Western media, the net effect has been a distorted picture of Islam.
More on the "distorted picture of islam" at "Arab News"