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9/11 The Reaction to 9/11
· On 11/9/2001, al-Qaeda terrorists hijacked 4 airplanes in the USA. · There was global condemnation, declarations of support for the
They crashed 2 into the World Trade Centre, leading to its collapse, US and pledges of cooperation against the perpetrators, backed
and one into the Pentagon. The 4th plane crashed short of a target. up by a UNSC resolution. Bush announced a `war' on terrorism ­
an ideological struggle.
·3,031 people of different nationalities were killed and an estimated
· A coalition of countries prepared to join the `war' was assembled
$400 billion damage caused. The intention was to strike a blow at the
(supposedly 69 countries by mid 2002) though contributions
symbolic heart of the US financial and military power that would
ranged from intelligence sharing and provision of forces to little
rouse the Islamic world to join Bin Laden's jihad against America.
more than rhetoric.
· US also declared the countries sponsoring terrorism and
spreading WMD would be treated as enemies ­ so called
·`axis of evil', including Iran, Iraq and North Korea.
How successful has the `war on terror' been? -
· One could argue that the `war on terror has been
successful. The US had overwhelming international
sympathy and Bush was careful to avoid presenting the
9/11 and the
struggle as a war against Islam. war on
·Al Qaeda's bases were destroyed in Afghanistan and terror
the Taliban regime that had supported them was
overthrown. The security measures taken in the US and
elsewhere have made it more difficult to mount attacks. The Reaction to 9/11 continued.
·US demanded that the Taliban regime in
Afghanistan, where al-Qaeda's bases were, should
hand Bin Laden over. The Taliban refused and the
US began bombing Afghanistan. The Taliban
collapsed by November 2001 and the country fell
How successful has the `war on terror' been? ­ failures. into the hands of anti-Taliban warlords, who agreed
·However, these successes have been overshadowed by recent failures. to western pressure to agree to a provisional
The US had failed to win the battle to convince public opinion in the government, which led to elections in 2004.
Islamic countries to support the `war'. · The financial assets of al-Qaeda and groups
· The `collateral damage' in Afghanistan and Iraq and the treatment of funding it were frozen, and the CIA anti-terrorism
prisoners in Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib has inflamed Muslim hostility HQ was expanded from 500 to 5,000 staff.
across the world. ·Measures were taken in many countries to
·Many Muslims view the war as one in a series of attacks by the West increase the power of the state when tackling
and Israel on Islamic societies e.g. Iraq joins Kosovo (unfairly, the aim suspected terrorist activity, to the dismay of Human
was to help Muslim minorities) Chechnya, Afghanistan and Palestine. Rights advocates ­ for example, Guantanamo Bay
·Heavy handed US policies and the failure to restore order in Iraq has is highly criticised because it breaches the Geneva
united Iraqi opinion against the US and turned Iraq into an ideal zone for Convention on humane
conflict. treatment for prisoners of war.
·Iraq has influenced further terrorist attacks, such as the 2005
London bombings.…read more

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Relations between the US and its
·The US gained ties with many · Many governments in the Middle
traditional ally, Saudi Arabia became
former Soviet republics and East used 9/11 as an excuse to crack
strained (many of the hijackers were
became a powerful player in an down on dissident Islamic groups ­
Saudis and Saudi money has also
unstable area of importance ­ oil thousands were rounded up in Egypt
funded a fundamentalist movement in
reserves. for example.
the Islamic world.
·The military regime of General Musharraf
in Pakistan supported the US against the ·Some people are now furiously hostile
Taliban, which it had helped to create, to the US after the Iraq war and the
gaining the lifting of sanctions imposed on revelations about Abu Ghraib.
it when it carried out nuclear tests in the
1990's, along with aid and debt relief.
The impact of 9/11 and ·However, several European states
such as France and Germany have
the `war on terror'
become alarmed by some of Bush's
on the international policies created a major rift in the UN,
·Improved relations between USA and system and although Britain and some other
Russia. As well as Russia, other countries EU states took the US side, growing
used the `war' to improve relations with the hostility to the US is part of public
US ­ Chinese support eased tensions opinion in most countries.
between China and the US, which were bad
at the start of the Bush era. China also was
at risk from Muslim separatists (Uighurs in
Xinjiang) and had no love ·Bush accepted Israel's struggle
for the Taliban or al-Qaeda. with Palestinian militants as a
·European countries gave `war on terrorism', and so the US
strong support to the US and tolerated hard-line policies in
many provided special response to suicide bombings.
forces and other units in
·The US gained remarkably broad support after
9/11 and many countries were quick to declare
themselves part of the `war'; some for
·India hoped the US would take its side
questionable motives - it is convenient for
over terrorism sponsored by Pakistan in
governments to label people they are fighting Kashmir, though it was angered to find
terrorists and linked to al-Qaeda, so that any that the US now enjoyed good relations
= Impact on the rest f the world
ensuing questions about the conflict can be with Pakistan, creating a regional crisis
deflected - e.g. Russia in in 2001/2.
Chechnya. = Impact on the US…read more


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