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September 11 And America’s Careless Diplomacy

2981 words - 12 pages

    For the past century, Americans have viewed the United States as standing as a symbol of strength, freedom, and prosperity. Recently, however, this perceived symbol of a higher society has been directly attacked by those who strongly disagree with the values projected by the United States. This is the first time since the Cold War that the stance of America has even been questioned. The most deliberating issue resulting from this atrocity has been how America should retaliate, or if the US should even retaliate at all. Within the past few weeks this question has been answered by actions from Washington. This action, however, has caused the emergence of even more questions. There are many deeply rooted problems to address that go beyond mere retaliation. To begin to solve these problems, the origins of conflict between America and the Middle East must first be addressed.

It has been stated over and over again by politicians and journalists since September 11, that "evil terrorists" have attacked American values and institutions and Western civilization as a whole. However, as more time unfolds, this seems more and more like an overly simplified patriotic statement, and the real reason for the attack has become increasingly apparent; the acts of Al-Qa'ida were not an attack on American society, but an attack on US foreign policy. Bombing a few terrorist training camps may serve as a deserved immediate solution and a clarification that revenge has been sought; however it will not put an end to the alienations American foreign policies have created. A resolve to this "war" will require diplomatic measures and ultimate compromises, which will begin to undo the chaos the US has contributed in the Middle East. This turmoil can most directly be related to U.S. support and involvement with Israel, involvement in the Iran-Iraq War, and U.S.- Soviet involvement in Afghanistan.

Osama bin-Laden and his supporters have claimed their hostility toward the West is partly a result of the United States' past support and involvement with Israel. U.S. involvement began during the conflict between Egypt and Israel, Great Britain, and France when their diplomatic intervention persuaded the countries to withdraw. The United States, however, continually supported Israel by aiding them financially and militarily. Israel proceeded to engage in the Six Day War of 1967, which caused the oil producing Arab States to issue a 15 percent reduction of oil production and an embargo of shipments to the United States. The October War soon broke out in 1973, and the same countries issued yet another reduction, this time a 25 percent reduction, causing the United Nations to call a cease-fire. The Arab nations and Israel both refused direct diplomatic relations with one another, solidifying their conflictual positions. American administrations however became intent on breaking the diplomatic barriers between the two groups. This brought the Arab nations and Israel into...

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