Posted by: Tony Carson | 5 September, 2007

US foreign policy and terrorism

It is the dilemma of the Oughties. Should countries change their foreign policies in the face of potential terrorist responses to it?

Obviously, the US is top of mind here. It’s foreign policy is in the process of alienated a entire race of people, the Arabs, and an entire religion, the Muslims. The UK is perceived through a similar prism.

The recent plot in German. Plot targeted U.S. facilities, of three terrorists, two of whom were German converts to Islam, against US targets in that country is just the most recent. If you believe US Intelligence, these kinds of plots are being detected and stopped all the time.

Are these isolated events, coordinated events or a trend? It seems they are all three.

They may well be isolated events because there is no over-arching coordinating terrorist network. On the other hand, these attacks against the US may well be coordinated through an emotional esprit created by a fuzzy al-Qaida-esque raison d’ete. And they may be a trend because their apparent US-inspired causes seem, if anything, to be accelerating.

And the causes are obvious. The US stands steadfastly with the Israelis against the Arab Palestinians and against both logic and world-wide opinion. In adding the emotion and muscle to Israeli atrocities against the Palestinians, the US manufactures hatred throughout the Arab world which inevitably entices revenge.

Iraq, of course, doesn’t help. The US policy in that Arab country is incoherent that it sends whatever message anyone wants to hear. And the tactics it is using where ‘collateral damage’ is just a part of a mission inevitably inspires hatred and revenge. This is also true in Afghanistan.

And then there is the essential tenet of US foreign policy which has been magnified by the Bush Administration: whatever the US does in any part of the world is designed only by US interests in the region. This selfish, me-first policy of the world’s only (for now) superpower has reached a critical mass under the actions of Bush: all the international polls point to just how reviled the US has become.

All actions have their consequences. These terrorist plots against the US are evidence of this. But are they enough to modify national behaviour? Probably not. If reason hasn’t done it, if humanity has done it, if long-term self-interest hasn’t done it, than common sense has no chance.

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