The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 changed the skyscape of New York City. They also changed the political, economic, and cultural landscape of the United States. September 11th showed Americans that not even the strongest military country in the world can protect its citizens from terrorism. The changes in America since 9/11 have not only impacted Americans but have impacted citizens of other nations worldwide. This infamous day in history had the power to turn the world upside down in only a matter of hours.
U.S. foreign policy, specifically our relationships with other countries, was significantly changed after September 11th. After the terrorist attacks on this day of 2001, most nations were ready to accept U.S. leadership against terrorism. This was an opportunity for President Bush and his administration to exploit this rare opportunity to stabilize the Middle East and Asia. It was also an opportunity to unite world leaders in a combined effort to curb the production of weapons of mass destruction. Instead, the Bush administration has hurt our relationships with foreign countries, including some of our allies, and sharpened the insecurities of other countries.
Differences that divided the United States and other nations before September 11th gave way to widespread solidarity and support. "An outpouring of sympathy from countries throughout the world reflected the fact that even though other countries might dislike U.S. policies, they understood that the U.S. is a just power who had been wrongfully attacked." On September 12, 2001, the United Nations passed a resolution condemning those responsible for the attacks. NATO, for the first time in its history, invoked Article 5 of its charter, calling the attack on the United States an attack on all 19 members. The Bush administration received strong support to assemble an international coalition to fight the war on terrorism. "These countries saw the war on terror as a multilateral effort, one requiring the cooperation of many countries and the efforts of many agencies."
Instead, President Bush shunned offers of help from U.S. allies, with the exceptions of Britain and Australia, in waging the Afghanistan war. In December 2001, President Bush announced that the United States was withdrawing from the ABM Treaty. "The White House blocked international efforts to strengthen the biological Weapons Convention, even though the anthrax attacks in the fall of 2001 demonstrated the dangers of biological terrorism." President Bush announced his doctrine of preemption that insisted on America's right to attack potential foes before they could harm the U.S. He then waged war on Iraq, invoking this as a legitimate response to 9/11 and as a preemptive strike on Weapons of Mass Destruction. When confronted with objections from many other world powers, President Bush then supported the invasion of Iraq on humanitarian grounds, freeing the Iraqi people from a...