Sept. 10, 2011
“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,” former US President George Bush said in a statement following the attacks.
Washington’s military reach began with the hunt for Osama Bin Laden and continued with a pre-emptive pounding into Iraq.
In the decade that followed, America’s fight for freedom has been stained by torture, secret detention, rendition and other human rights violations symbolized by landmarks like Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib and the Bagram Airbase prison.
“We had garnered the empathy of not only the world, but the Muslim world. And if we had the courage to be vulnerable, we would be far safer and more secure than we are today. Instead we drank deep from that very dark elixir of nationalism,” says journalist and author Chris Hedges.
He claims that says America’s terror unleashed throughout the Middle East has opened a Pandora’s Box of evils.
“Estimates are over a million Iraqis dead since the invasion. Hundreds and hundreds of civilians killed in Pakistan. Thousands killed in Afghanistan. Not to mention millions of people displace into refugee camps. The terror that we have unleashed will not go unpaid and it will strike us eventually.”
However, in post-9/11 America, citizens have been forced to compromise their freedom in the name of security.
The past decade has paved the way for new state practices such as warrant-less wiretapping, intrusive airport screening and greater authority for law enforcement. What some call a police state in the making.
Chris Hedges spent two decades as a foreign reporter covering wars in Latin America, Africa, Europe and the Middle East. His latest books are Death of the Liberal Class, and The World as It Is: Dispatches on the Myth of Human Progress.