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9/11: Balance sheet of  the holy war

Tuesday Sep 11, 2001 is a day that turned everything of the 21st century topsy-turvy and marked the momentum of the new decade with a reeking of blood. Few would dispute the fact that it was a critical watershed which virtually divided history into pre-9/11 and post 9/11. That day terrorists attacked the Twin Towers of the World Trade Centre, the financial nerve centre of the US in New York and Pentagon, America's military headquarters, with astounding precision. About three thousand died in that direct onslaught on, and challenge to US supremacy. The world's biggest military power was torn asunder with a destructive power reminiscent of the Pearl Harbour attack in World War II. Today, 20 years since that event which sent shudders across the globe, it would be pertinent to ask what the balance sheet of that day shows.

Few will have a case that the said terror attack had any justification. True, a democratic society can see any occupation as much as any military attack only with disdain and disapproval. But a set of regimes itching for a bullying and racist 'new world order' were found using this event as a golden opportunity. Among them were warlords who lived predominantly on war, corporate giants preparing for a fifth industrial revolution, Zionists who for long have been sowing toxic seeds of aggression and hate in Palestine and ultra-rightist groups and fascists with their guns pointed at Islam and Muslims. It was when this broad alliance under the umbrella of the American regime, declared September 11 as a new weapon that terrorism became a complex conundrum. And that turned out to be a starting point of new occupation and racial attacks under the label of 'War on terror'. Thus 9/11 is not just the name of an event or its memory, but a term synonymous with the organised state terrorism, occupation and Islamophobia all rolled into one.

Following the WTC-Pentagon attacks, when US president George Bush secured Congress approval for the 'war on terror', this was what he declared: "Our war on terror begins with Al Qaeda, but it does not end there. It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated." But on the ground that was also a declaration of America's occupation of Afghanistan. Thereafter the US invaded Iraq too. And now reports tell us that the 'crusade against terror ' is going on in at least 85 countries with America's overt or covert intervention. The US which set out on its holy war against global terror through such interventions, has come to metamorphosed into a terror machinery by itself. Afghanistan is just one case in point: the allies ousted the Taliban government during its occupation and brought in a puppet government under Hamid Karzai. After two decades thence, and failing to put the country on a path of peace, and instead unleashing destruction all over the country, imperialism withdrew from there, in the meantime signing a peace deal with the Taliban involving a transfer of power. The bizarre interventions that were witnessed in all occupied lands was not much different from this. And these form the balance sheet the allies left for the world after having spent 8 lakh crore dollars and sacrificing nine lakh lives.

It was predicted right at the beginning of this process that proponents of this vicious approach combining nationalism, racism and communalism would take capital out of this 'war on terror'; that has now become the real experience of the world. They took September 11 as a cover for all their prejudices and predilections. It is clear from the time terms and metaphors like Islamic terrorism, good Muslim-bad Muslim, Islamophobia, jihadi regime started getting currency as staple narrative. All of them were projected as the justification for state terrorism in countries including India. On their pretext numerous laws were pushed through in legislative houses. Parliamentary activities from UAPA to Citizenship Amendment Act alone would be enough to explain this in Indian context. In Europe too, similar phenomenon was visible where the dominance of far right, who can be called neo-Nazis is quite perceptible. The anti-immigrant, racial campaigns conducted by these groups even shook the foundation of a united Europe. In that sense, the phenomena including Brexit could also be read together with the offshoot of 9/11. The US visa ban for Muslims from select countries, imposed by the Trump administration is also a byproduct of this holy war. In short, imperialist forces failed miserably in crushing global terrorist movements. Instead all the 'anti-terror' actions served only to build a new world order based on racism and an othering of Muslims at a global level.

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TAGS:September 11 Twin Tower blast US-led holy war on terror Othering of Muslims 
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