A Day That Changed America: Did It?

Category: Americas, World Affairs Views: 2364

In the aftermath of September 11, 2001, the fear, foreboding and outrage of many Americans was crystallized in a single phrase: this was a "a day that changed America forever." 

These words conveyed a tragic sense of loss, a sudden passage from innocence to sorrow, a descent from strength to vulnerability, an exit from exhilaration to angst. Suddenly, Americans, used to cruising at ethereal altitudes, had crash landed on the real world; they faced terror in the heart of America. It appeared that America had collided momentarily with the reality of a world mired in wars, poverty and disease; it had been struck by the shards of economies devastated, polities derailed, environments degraded by a rapacious globalization. In short, for one brief hour, Americans had been dragged through the agony endured by more than four-fifths of mankind, or what still goes by that name. It was as if, like Adam and Eve, Americans had been expelled from Eden, banished from the land of perpetual bliss.

These wounds carried revolutionary potential. Now that September 11 had rudely shattered Americans out of their unearthly bliss, ended their disconnection from the outside world, they would avidly seek to expand their knowledge about this alien world, its geography, history, politics, and, most importantly, its peoples. They would ask not only about who had perpetrated the horrors of September 11 but why? They would not rest till they had answers to two troubling questions that delve into the origins, the source, and the genesis of September 11. 

The first question concerns good and evil. Why has the goodness of America been repaid by the evil of September 11? Many if not most Americans believe that they are a nation of do-gooders; that their country stands at the pinnacle of human evolution; it embodies better than any other nation ever the values of freedom and justice; it is a beacon of light to all mankind, fighting foreign tyrannies, propagating democracy, and sharing its own prosperity, ideas, and technology with the world's less fortunate nations. If all this is indeed true, why did September 11 happen to us? Or could it be that we have been duped, that the image of American munificence was just that, an image that concealed the reality of an ugly, imperialistic power like all others before?

The second question concerns the efficacy of America's vaunted military power. Americans know that their country is the only superpower, a distinction solidly built upon unrivalled economic strength, leadership in cutting-edge technologies, inestimably superior manpower, strengths which allow their government to gather intelligence worldwide, to deploy troops worldwide, to hit targets worldwide, and to destroy incoming missiles before they cross their  borders. In short, we are convinced that we have the capacity to annihilate any country that dares to challenge us. But none of this helped us on September 11 when a handful of men, armed with nothing more lethal than box-cutters, attacked two venerable icons of American power, and within an hour killed some three thousand Americans, caused damage to property worth tens of billions of dollars, and still greater damage to the economy. Why was our government spending 350 billion dollars annually on military hardware, surveillance, intelligence, training and troops if it could not stop nineteen men from changing America forever? 

These are the questions-and there are many more like these-that America's mass media might have asked after September 11 if they were free from corporate control. If these questions could be raised in the mass media, they would also be debated on college campuses, in churches, town halls, and in the halls of the Congress. If such a discourse had occurred, it would slowly but surely effect a sea-change in our perceptions about how America projects itself overseas; about the ideals abandoned in our dealings with weaker nations; about our readiness to trample freedoms abroad, sacrifice non-American lives, devastate entire economies, in order to advance the corporate interests of a few Americans. If these changes had indeed occurred, Americans would finally wake up to the ugly reality of America abroad, and mobilize-as they had mobilized against  slavery and racial discrimination before-to force their government to pursue the same ideals abroad that it honors at home. If all this had indeed come to pass, then truly we could say that America had decisively defeated the perpetrators of September 11-by changing America, by changing America and the world for the better.

But this is not how America changed after September 11. Americans could not be allowed to ask the right questions because these would only generate the wrong answers-that is, wrong for corporate America, for America's powerful oil interests, for the military establishment, for the Zionist lobby, for racists, and for religious bigots. America's outrage would not be answered with debate, discussions and dull inquiry. It would be placated by righteous indignation, by talk of evil antagonists, by promises of vengeance, and wars without end. America's grief would be hijacked by groups whose interests, security, power and profits batten on paranoia, bigotry, racism, wars and conflicts. Almost instantly, these forces responded to September 11 by orchestrating the deafening beat of war drums. On September 11, Osama bin Laden had dared America. America obliged-with wars against Afghans and Palestinians, to be followed by wars against Iraqis, Iranians, Syrians, Saudis, and many more besides.

George Bush and his neoconservative war-mongers took the lead in all this. They had found in the tragedy of September 11 the trigger for the war plans they had been hatching since the end of the Cold War in the early 1990s. Within days, George Bush at al had laid out their plans for global war before the American public. Even before the hijackers had been identified, they were linked to al-Qaida, a "collection of loosely affiliated terrorist organizations." Yet their attacks were declared to be "an act of war against our country." This was no ordinary war, however. The al-Qaida had launched a civilizational war: "they hate us," they were "enemies of freedom," they "hate our freedoms," they want to "disrupt and end a way of life." Al-Qaida's goal "is remaking the world-and imposing its radical beliefs on people everywhere." In other words, al-Qaida wanted to impose a fundamentalist Islam on the United States and Europe.[1]

Wars spawn wars. So if the al-Qaida had started a war, United States would have to respond in kind. The President declared that "the only way to defeat terrorism as a threat to our way of life is to stop it, eliminate it, and destroy it where it grows." This global 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." In time, this war will be extended to  "nations that provide aid or safe haven to terrorism.". In addition, this would not be a short war: it will be a "lengthy campaign, unlike any we have ever seen." It will also be a total war, including "dramatic strikes, visible on TV, and covert operations, secret even in success." The Bush strategy was clear. Magnify the terrorist threat, fuel it, and prepare the nation for a war that would be global, total and unending.

Roma locuta, causa finite. President Bush had spoken, and the case was closed. All the organs of mainstream media concurred with Bush. The country was in the midst of a war, and nothing would be tolerated which carried the hint of dissent. Dissent was unpatriotic; some said, it was treasonous. The Bush doctrine-you are against us if you are not with us-applied to individuals as well as states. United States was now a country with one party, the party of Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld-Ashcroft. Only the survivors of the victims of September 11 stuck to their demand for an independent investigation into September 11. When they persisted, the President reluctantly agreed, more than a year after September 11, to appoint an Independent Commission. Yet, in choosing Henry Kissinger to chair this Commission, the President ensured that it would be ineffectual. As one commentator quipped, he had put Dracula in charge of the blood bank.

Even without Kissinger to chair it, the Independent Commission on September 11 is unlikely to deliver any surprises. Its mandate only demands that it identify the factors that allowed the attacks on WTC and Pentagon to occur. The Commission will not hold any hearings in Groznyy or Gaza; in Baghdad or Basra; in Kashmir or Kabul; in Cairo or Karachi; in Jakarta or Jeddah; in Caracas or Kolkata; in Nairobi or Nouakchott. It will not enter into the world the hijackers came from; it will not probe into the lives of the hijackers; it will not investigate why they committed such carnage; it will not ponder over why did they took their own lives to attack Americans; it will not ask why they could not deliver their message to Americans by less violent means? 

Presumably, all these questions had been answered definitively by Bush et al. The perpetrators of September 11 were evil, they acted from ineradicable spite, from a nihilistic rage against modernity, against all that America represents, her freedom, democracy, progress and prosperity. After these incontestable answers, there was only one thing that remained to be done. Send the stealth bombers, cruise missiles, daisy-cutters and bunker-busting nukes to exorcise these demons.

Now, more than a year after that tragic morning on September 11 when nearly three thousand Americans were consumed in an inferno that descended from the skies, after all the rubble from the Ground Zero and the Pentagon has been cleared, can we say that America has changed forever? Did America embrace the potential for change contained in that terrible moment, the potential to connect with the inverse of our own world, a world whose sufferings, whose tyrannies, whose pathologies are deeply connected to ours in ways unknown to us? Were we overwhelmed by the slow dawning of the burden we bear, as the vanguard of the human enterprise, as the champions of Christian charity, to do something-even a little bit-to enrich, empower, enlighten and embrace those left behind? If Americans had taken up this challenge, if we could take up this challenge, that would be a change.

Instead, the captains of capital, the marshals of mass media, the priests of bigotry, the zealots of Zion, have laid out plans for wars, total, global and unending to stop Americans from demanding change and to stop the rest of the world from getting the change they demand. As the wounds of global capitalism deepen, as the dark satanic mills of capitalist greed grind three-fourths of mankind deeper into poverty, as entire continents are devastated, as agro-corporations seek to chain millions of farmers to their genetic fabrications, as the middle classes in the rich countries slowly sink into poverty, as the consciousness of these depredations finally threatens to become global, the concentrated power of capital seized upon September 11 to divert Americans with gladiatorial combats on a global scale.

Let the drums of the news networks roll, let the combats begin, let blood be spilled liberally, let entire countries be depopulated, let us make mass exterminations a spectator sport. Only death brings life. Only thus will America be diverted. After devastation there comes peace.


[1] All the quotes in this and the next paragraph are from President George Bush's speech of September 21, 2001, given to a joint session of Congress. See: www.guardian.co.uk/Print/0,3858,4261868,00.html

M. Shahid Alam is Professor of Economics at Northeastern University. His recent book, Poverty from the Wealth of Nations, was published by Palgrave (2000). He may be reached at [email protected]. Copyright: M. Shahid Alam

  Category: Americas, World Affairs
Views: 2364
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Older Comments:
it was very facinating to get a piece of your knowledge. But would you kindly tell me which muslim country today is the perfect one.
In which country can any one have the freedom to voice his viwes. Well as it is said that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Same is the case with all the world.
If this situation is to be changed then it can only be done my the Kalema e sahada. Once the world decides that there is only one Allah. The whole human race will then live in peace.
This will not be achived by violently blowing oneself up but by blowing the tune of His oneness in each and every ear.
INSHAALLAH one day the muslim world will realise this and then again we will be the seat of knowledge for the whole universe.

all i really want 2 say is that , muslims all over the world should please hold tight onto their faith and continue to worship Allah with all they have got!try and als change the lives of other kafr to the proper way of life(Islam)
from a believer
like urself.

Now I know what I am about to write may not refer directly to this article, but this is what has come to my mind, and I do not claim to have much education when it comes to this topic. Although it is one that I have a passion for, and it is not meant to degrade anyone.
I am fascinated by the Islamic religion and people, and have a deep respect for both. After finishing an article or book on the subject I find myself wanting more. More information, knowledge. I think that's what is important here. Education, in the truest sense of the word.
The only people that can give a true view of Islam are none other than Muslims themselves. I want to learn more and I'm sure that there are plenty of other people out there that want the same. And I say focus on that, divert threats of war with education. I do know that Islam is a peaceful and rational religion. I think that's what I respect mostly about it, is it's rationality.
I have an idea, if the Islamic people were to come together concentrate their frustrations on education it may help. All to often I'll be talking to someone (in an attempt to educate myself on foreign policies), and I can't help but sense the bitterness the Islamic people feel, but the moment I start to ask questions about where their from, or what's it like, it's almost as if they light right up. I find that they love to give information on their countires and to explain the beauties of their religion. It's like they've been given the chance to teach people that their not those stereotypes that we as Americans give them.
Further more if the Islamic people take this chance, then we as an Americans should listen, learn and accept. We cannot just have that attitude that "well my life is fine, why should I concern myself with anybody else's." Having an open mind can get you far, and remember we all came originally from somewhere that is not the United States. Ignorance will get you nowhere.

I am an American citizen who had the eyes opened shortly prior to Sept.11.I only pray God that the fire of the souls burning in those buildings may serve as light for this generation and generations to come regarding the injustice that the controllers of power are excerting to other nations.This is a nation with a lot of Tv's and alot of misinformation.Let me quote Dr. King: "The greatest purveyor of violence in the world today is my own government...for the sake of the hundreds of thousands trembling under our violence, I cannot be silent" MLK Jr.


yes brother muslims were the first globalist in history.Arabs,Turks, Iranians, Indians,Africans,chinese,europeans,southeast asians, Berbers, Kurds... a myriad of people and origins brought under the banner of Islam. that was the first, and by far, the most multiethnic culture and civilisation that had ever existed, and not equalled in many respects, even today; not even in countries and institutions which keep advertising their equal opportunity status.
some ignorants just keep parroting what they have been tought in school or what they have been spoon fed with in their hatemonger and stupid media.

This is an EXCELLENT. My advice to you and all people of of conscious, KEEP IT UP.
Dont let the idiotic and ignorant comments of warmongers (von hove your kind belong in the sewer) and charlatans dissuade you. We need to hear your voices now more than ever.

Mr. Dowling I'll agree with you. Mr. von Hove: I don't know where to start with you. Well, let's do it seriatim:

1. "There is no one islamic country in the world with democratic constitution."
* Wrong, Lebanon has one.
2. "It seems to me the islam is a kind of arabic nationalism"
* Seems to you? Well seeming and the truth (if you make the effort to find it) could be two polar, diametrically opposed things. Islam came to abolish nationalism and make the allegiance to God only -not to Mahammad , and not to your whims and fancies.
3. "mohammed itself was a conquerer bringing war to the people"
* Muhammad started his message by saying to his clan worship God alone and abandon the miserable ways of your ancestors -the debauchery, burying infant girls in the sand, abusing women, adultery, clans warfare, idol-worshipping; just about every despicable thing the human being can lower himself to do. That's all he wanted, peacefully. But his enemies, as you can imagine, would not have it peacefully, how could they part with these things? They decided to fight, he fought back in self-defense, and guess whom did God support when both sides invoked his help? You got it.
4. "Not all moslems are terrorists but all terrorists are moslems."
* I honestly don't mean to be condescending, but this quote reeks of ignorant:

1. The Japanese subway attack with Sarin gas, Muslims??

2. The IRA, Muslims??

3. The fighters of East Timor, Muslims??

4. Timothy McVeigh -a real Mulism!

5. The Irgun, the Stern, the Hagana?? Do you know who they are, what they did?

6. The KKK??

7. The Hindus of Gujarat??

Are all these terrorists Mulsims?

5. "in europa we dont need the islamic ideology."
* Islam is a choice.

People, for the love of God, why don't you read history before you prattle, before you shame yourselves with ignorance? Read history written by non-Muslims if you fear bias.



Mr. von hove, when was the last time you read a history textbook ? You only disgrace yourself with such false tales.

van hove you're a racist cretin. Islam is far more than what you moronic right wing whackos call it, if you truly knew anything about it you wouldnt spew your bile here. You sound like some pathologic "Christian conservative." You have no democracy, but a police state where anyone who disagrees is "dealt" with. Your President wasnt elected was he ? Ever heard of COINTELPRO?
Muslims were running multiethnic plueralistic societies based on consensus before you savages came out of your caves.
Learn history before mouthing off like some flag waving imbecile.

There is no one islamic country in the world with democratic constitution. It seems to me the islam is a kind of arabic nationalism only and mohammed itself was a conquerer bringing war to the people. Not all moslems are terrorists but all terrorists are moslems, so easy is that. in europa we dont need the islamic ideology.

Montana Skies,

You're reading me all wrong, I don't love Israel I'm sure they spy on us like we spy on them. I'm simply stating a fact we need an ally in the region and Israel is the only one volunteering for that position. Every other country wants nothing to do with us. Is that not obvious? If I were making decisions we wouldn't be anywhere near the middle east. And I would put all of that money into developing alternative means of energy, so we wouldn't rely on their oil. I would also use the money we give not only to Israel but Jordan, Syria, Egypt, Pakistan, and countless other countries to try and solve our own internal problems. I was simply pointing out a FACT that Israel is our only ally in the region. To argue with that seems like your forgive me if I offend you a little close minded. Saying Israel is the only ally of the U.S. in the region doesn't mean I love Israel. All it means is I pointing out a fact that is true.

Mr. Dowling:

I'm so happy you brought the example of trust. Yes, how can you trust your co-worker? Similarly, if your beloved Israel loves us and trusts us so much then answer this if you will: Why do they spy on us so much? Maybe they're afraid we'll stab them in the back. If you tell me they're allowed, you're an Anti-American Zionist; if you are a true American you'll side with me on this, accept the facts and stop bickering. Check out these links regarding Israeli espionage activity on the soil of the Hand that Feeds them:






Need I say more. This is just the tip of the iceberg. We are a freedom loving, democratic nation. How in God's name can we accept on ourselves to be allies with a repressible, brutal, blood-thirsty, democracy-only for-Jews country like Israel? Here's your problem, you're media brain-washed. Stop listening to government/corporation controlled media, and go on-line for some free-thinking, fearless, and honest reporting on the Mid-East crisis ( try yellowtimes.org; the Guardian; Common Dreams, etc, or choose your own, but act.) I'm afraid you're the one who needs to be re-connected to reality.

Mr. Dowling the Israelis think only of themselves, don't be deceived to otherwise. They're controlling America to a certain degree only for selfish reasons. They have become a political liability because of Sharon's policy toward the Palestinians particularly and Arabs generally. An ally does not embarrass his friends. They have embarrassed us all over the world. Thanks again for your example.

Mr. Dowling
If you worked with someone and they constantly stabbed you in the back and asked you to borrow money and then asked if it was ok if they didn't give it back because they needed to buy a new hunting rifle, and who had an argument with another coworker that led to a fist fight where he knocked the other coworker out, stole his wallet and then wouldn't give it back unless you paid for his lunch every day ad infinitum. Oh by the way he also borrows things from you and never gives those back or pays for them, and regularly asks you to give his your finished projects so he can claim them for his own without any work? If this was happening I would expect you were having a adulterous affair with this coworker and in the end have nothing to show for it.
Some ally stab you in the back embarass you constantly takes free money and borrow things and money without return takes your work(research) and uses it for itself (or sells it to China)

Montana Skies,
Just because we have bases there I don't consider them an ally. An ally is someone who welcomes you and shares the same priciples and ideals as yourself. An ally is not someone who temporarily allows you to use a base for a payoff.
I'll put it like this I work with someone I truly do not like. We work together to get things done because we have to. But not for one minute would I trust him not to stab me in the back. Do you get my drift now. Israel is our only ally in the region to argue with that is only deluding yourself to reality. How can Saudi Arabia be an ally when 96% of men in S.A. have an unfavorable view of the U.S. and 16 of the highjackers were from there. With freinds like that who needs enemies.

Terri Baap,
The only one who sounds hatefilled on this board so far was you. And I can't speak for Mr. Hale but I spent five years in the Marine Corps 2 1/2 years in the Persian Gulf region. So I can speak from experience. These people were not our allies. So I guess you can say I did walk the walk.

I also want to make it clear that any problem between Americans and the Middle East has nothing to do with religion. Many in the Middle East think it is. But the sad fact is only a very tiny minority of Americans actually pay any attention to, or care about there religion. It's hard for Middle Easteners to understand this because religion is such a powerful force in their everyday lives. In America religion is largely regarded as outdated, has some good ideas but of course can't be taken literally. And church is a place to meet with people and keep up with appearances. For Americans life is about being free to do what we want, not religion.

Mr. Hale
that is correct. It is closer to 4 billion a year in straight economic aide, as well as loans in the amounts of further billions a year that are always forgiven, and not barring of course military research and equipment free worth further billions. So straight money no this is not this much. The value of American contributions for free may very well be.

Mr. Dowling:

Tsk, tsk, tsk, how can you say Israel is the only ally for us in the Mid-East, where is the Al-Udaid air base, where is Prince Sultan air base? Catch my drift? They and others like them are sprawling over Islamic, Arabic soil. Now I just threw a monkey wrench in your ideology: If we have allies from two sides who are at each other's necks, what can we do with both of them?

The answer is left to our readers. But bear in mind these facts:

1. Our military budget is near $400B (easily verifiable,) larger then the next 5 superpowers combined. Why? Why such a mind-boggling army, and to fight what exactly? The war on terror? No, that is an ideological war, any second in the world a MINDcan be swayed toward it.

2. We have bases all over the WORLD! Why? What are we trying to control?

3. We have fewer and fewer products being manufactured here in the US, except (you guessed it) the war machine. In 2001, total world arms transfer agreements were worth nearly $26.4 billion, and the United States accounted for 45.8 percent of them (http://reese.king-online.com/Reese_20021209/index.php.)

If you look keenly and objectively at these facts, they will, inevitably and horrifyingly, point to the establishment of an Empire. Now, Mr. Dowling, Show me one empire that still exists. That's right, they implode, they're incredibly expensive to upkeep. Look at the Romans, the Ottomans, the Soviets -all extinct.

Now, Ms. Rogers please ask yourself one question, the statement of which is:

Why America, why did they attack with such unspeakable cruelty this democratic nation, and not any other nation in the democratic west. Why not Belgium, Sweden, France, Denmark, all freedom-loving, prosperous nations. Why, Ms. Rogers?

Please read this article, it may help you with the answer:


The French author, Alexis de Tocqueville, wrote Democracy in America when he traveled here in the first third of the 19th Century. In ringing tones he sang the praises of America's invulnerable strength and spirit. He attributed its greatness to its citizens' sense of morality... even with the abundant church attendances he observed in America. De Tocqueville wrote in French and is credited with this familiar quote: AMERICA IS GREAT BECAUSE SHE IS GOOD, AND IF AMERICA EVER CEASES TO BE GOOD, SHE WILL CEASE TO BE GREAT.

Mr. Hale:

For the love of finding the truth, would you please do me the honor and read this article. Do you think for a moment I would speak glibly on a matter of such gravity?


This, Mr. Hale is the epitome of squandering precious resources. This is hard-hitting facts. You are absolutely wrong in your rebuttal because your calculations are wanting in accuracy. But this is all beside the point, which is:

How much evidence can you satisfy yourself with? Do you need the proof, or the proof of the proof, or the proof of the proof of the proof? Do you se what I mean?
Let us call a spade a spade. Let's look at something wrong and summon the courage to say it's wrong; I'm not a sucker for the anti-Semitism thing because I am a Semite -a cousin to the common Jew, but I have nothing to do with the Zionist. Do you have any idea who the fanatics are? No, not radical Muslims, but blind supporters of Israel; those who darn-near worship it as a god.

Read the article; it's time people woke up. Don't get me wrong: let the US support Israel - as they would many other nations- but for God's sake do it reasonably.

All the best,

Well well well, looks like Rush Limbaughs illegitimate kids are starting to post their nonsense here.
"Mike Hale" sounds like some cheap GI Joe figure come to life, obviously for this sorry excuse of a man, facts and rational discourse are a total mystery. Most of these knee jerk "patriots" behave no better than pavlovian hounds salivating at the sound of wardrums and blood for oil. My advice to you phony nationalists is simple...shut up and march to the closest recreuitment office and demand to be shipped off to one of the 100 countries where US forces are stationed. Lets see if you chicken hawks can walk the walk.
Thank fully we do have many of our fellow Americans who have learnt that they can no longer ignore the excesses of our government abroad and have mobilized a superb antiwar movement.

This is an excellent article. Mr. Alam as usual continues to publish thought provoking and intelligent material.
It comes as no surprise that the racist right wing drivel is posted by many Americans here. I urge IslamCity to continue to post their comments...there is no better way to understand the criminal intent of these thugs and gangsters with their inept and rancid rants.

The article is so absurd it is hardly worth responding to. It sounds like nothing more than plain old jealousy. The U.S. has built an astoundingly prosperous and free nation, and the other nations who can't seem to get their nations together need a scape goat, blame the guy who is successful. Get over it. The U.S. is responding with perfect common sense, a bunch of fruitcakes with a dangerous ideology have attacked free, innocent people, and they must be stopped. And if whole nations are bound by the same dangerous ideology then they too must be stopped, for the sake of humanity.

Mr Alhussaini is absolutely wrong is his equation that the United States has been giving Israel 53 billion US dollars per year since 1973.

Your views have a good degree of truth, I am very harsh. But there are several factors that contribute to that harshness. And I do disagree with the American government on a mutltitude of things. Our government spends over 2 trillion dollars a year. That is the taxpaying citizens of this countries money. The government flaunts money when it feels the need to shine. I guess just as Saddam builds his palaces to shine. Our economy cannot shoulder the burden of curing every ill on this planet. If the United States did that, then people would complain that we haven't fixed the moon and stars. One thing the United States does when possible, protect and defend the senseless slaughter of innocent civilians. Kosovo, World War II, World War I, the Balkans, Grenada, Korea and Kuwait and Israel.
I don't have any expanded love for the Jewish people but I do not pray for their removal from the planet. I want to make a living, raise my children, and enjoy life. I don't want to spend it living in Terror of my government or any other. And that includes deluded people that fly planes in buildings and killing thousands of innocent people. When the American people read comments from Muslim or Islamic people of the world and they pray for the destruction of America we can have but one thought in the long run. Self preservation. And I believe that as long as man has been on this planet his first goal has always been self preservation. It always strikes me as funny that American tourist are greeted with open arms in a great many countries on this planet and yet there remain some that are consumed by the destruction of America and every ally it has. The future and success of all people on this planet will be dictated by tolerance for others. And intolerance can only be met with force or isolation. In the long run I would rather end up with the groups that can tolerate others.

Innocense! of What! I never had regarded America as an innocent country. It has seen pearl harbour, it has nuked two Japanese cities. It has participated in numerous subversions, sabotages, covert operations, coups, massaccres etc.... Locally, every minute, a female is raped. A human life is taken every minute. How can we call America an innocent country before Sept. 11 man? This is a mythology. The start of the article itself is wrong. Nonsense.

To me it seems rediculous to expect Americans to reach out to countries that do nothing but pray for our death and demise. We support Israel because they're the only country in the region who will tolerate us being there, it's as simple as that. We need an ally in the region, and everyone else there made it clear they hate us. On the morning of september 11th the Israelis morned for Americans, and Palestinians danced in the streets, like 9/11 was the greatest thing in the world. Use some common sense who would you ally with. Perhaps the professor believes that when attacked by someone who has clearly stated his main goal is to kill millions of Americans. We should lay down and sing Kum Bai Yah with him. Thank God people who spew this rubbish are a tiny minority in America. If they were the majority Hitler would have won the war and we'd all be speaking German right now. Perhaps instead of entering WWII we should have had a sit down and tried to figure out why Hitler was such a psycho. The answer is he was as crazy as a Sh*t house rat. Just like Bin Laden just like Pol Pot. These people can not be reasoned with. The only way to deal with it is to exterminate there existence. So professor what do you do daily to improve the lives of those poor countries. Do you buy products that use cheap labor in third world countries? I bet you do. Do you drive a big gas guzzler to work everyday? probably. The fact is there has always been poor nations, and there has always been rich nations. It's just a chance of fate as to what side of the coin you are on. You can defend the actions of 19 men who took the lives of 3,000 people if you choose, it's a free country. But to me it is real simple it was inexcusible. Perpetraded by a bunch of angry young men. We have them in America too. They're the KKK, Aryan Nation,and other hate filled organizations. Is it our job to try to feel there pain and what makes them tick. Most Americans would rather not waste their time

I think if Bush was going to invade Iraq he would have just
done it already. By making this big show of force he
peacefully got Saddam to submit to inspections. Right
now there are inspectors rummaging through his royal
sock drawers.

Mike Hale, is the writer right or is he wrong?

A lot of fancy words, a song and a dance, but you don't tell us, is he right or is he wrong. Since 1973 1.6 trillion dollars to Israel, and what do they have show for it, they're still in shambles economically and morale-wise. Now, one of their war criminals (excuse me, heroes) is here to beg for another 8 billion on top of the $3 b they receive from our hard-earned dollars. All this and not one state in the union that doesn't have need for this money that we're sending to what the World Bank defines as one of the world's richest countries. It's nothing short of madness. Let me hear one politician speak unfavorably against Israel, they'll cut his throat (politically of coarse,) as if Zionists are above fault and error, as if their sh-t doesn't stink. Go to a Baptist church and listen to what they preach. I swear I'm too tired to go on; it'll take another two pages of sign narrating. But what's the point when people like you have their heads in the sand then pop it out to listen to CNN the mouthpiece of the government then right back in?

You think I don't love this country don't you? I came here many years ago knowing only Please and thank you. I found opportunity, but I also found some dark, sinister hearts that can assume the reigns of power and steer us into oblivion. Remember Vietnam and how the government treated us during those horrible times? I want goodness and prosperity to all those deprived, we may mean well, but we must guard against corruption and usurpation of power for selfish purposes. Who are those anyway? Men like you and me, fallible, with weaknesses, and without our vigilance and watchful eye, can easily succumb to the trappings of power.

Mr. Alam raises a good point but he seems too consumed by hate to get his message across. I don't think that you can convince someone by first ridiculing them.

As a muslim, I am getting sick of other muslims who cry out with joy when they hear someone criticizing America. I am also amused by Americans whose only answer to criticism is to remind muslims of the great freedom of speech and religion enjoyed by them in America. I grew up in Pakistan (after being born in the USA) that has 98% muslims and I think the media there has more freedom than that in America. The difference is that the American media never says anything overly critical of the US government, while the Pakistani media goes overboard and thus is censored by the Pakistani govt., as would be the US media if they did that.

It is quiet funny that when reminded of the attrocities committed by Muslim rulers in their own countries, the muslims are quick to point out that these tyrannical rulers do not represent the true spirit of Islam. However, when it comes to America they hold the current American people responsible for all atrocities comitted by the American government in the past, going back all the way to the persecution of Native Americans. Just as Saddam Hussain does not represent Islam and Muslims, the actions of George Bush do not represent the average American. This is evident from the drop in Mr. Bush's popularity (from 90% in September 2001 to 58% in January 2003, as reported by CNN) in America ever since he started beating the war drums instead of paying attention to the problems of common Americans.

Mr Hale pointed out that the average American wishes for peace in the world. I think you missed the point of this article. Alam was criticizing the American Government, not the American people, who seem to have no say in what their government does. Mr. Hale, if you believe in freedom of speech you should not try to insult Mr. Alam. Instead, try to understand his point of

I have one comment for Islamicity: Why do you publish anti-Muslim and anti-Islamic comments made by haters, who hate Allah's religion and who top at nothing to vent their poisonous, scathing insults at Muslims? Why do you publish it? It's your site for God's sake and you should omit such racist, demonizing diatribe! Or are you paranoid that if you don't you'd be brandished "a site with a religious tilt"? A "non-objective" site? If you are worried about this, then I would suggest that you wake up and smell the coffee! Christian fundamentalists, Jewish Zionists DOMINATE THIS MEDIUM of the internet, which they use brilliantly to their advantage to vent their racist anger at anything Islamic or what they perceive as anti-Jewish or Christian. It's time you served the MUSLIMS and NOT worry about the right wingers otherwise by God Islamicity would be making a big mistake. Unfortunately.

Sorry I sounded too harsh but BROTHERS THAT'S THE REALITY THAT WE'RE IN!!!!!!!!!!!!!

American's will never get it. it's in there heritage since the inseption of America. ..

Mr. Hale You have once again shown your limited and narrow minded view of Democracy.
So because in other parts of the world you can be imprisoned and killed for criticizing the government we shouldn't in America because it is allowed? Is that what you said? If you don't like the way the government does things, or complain about the government then leave? Is that what your saying? Democracy is about the right to criticize the government in order to improve it. You have forgotten this in you fascist fury haven't you. To question is democracy and to choose is democracy. You should have blind love for the actions of your government just because it is a democracy. Democracy can do evil, and as citizens of Democracy it is our job to point out this fault, complain, assemble, vote, and when necessary, as Thomas Jefferson said rebel against it until it shapes up. Just because you can't complain in the middle east doesn't mean we can't try and improve America. Just because rights within the American are excelent by world standards doesn't mean they can't be fine tuned a little better nor does it mean that we as Americans respect follow our valued rights outside our own boarders. We are moral obliged to do so even if not legally obliged by the constitution.

The US government has attacked a country EVERY YEAR FOR THE LAST 50 YEARS.

Dr. Alam, is simply reinstating what other scholars such as Noam Chomsky have repeatedly affirmed: the terrorists struck in retaliation to violent and oppressive American policies abroad. Their reasons were political, not religious. Their leaders even stated some of these political issues in earlier interviews.
They simply used the guise of extremist religion to further attract illiterate and ignorant people to their cause.

Bush's claims that the terrorists attacked because "they hate democracy" is irrational.

Most Americans are either unaware of their government's unfair policies or misled by the media. However, voices of reason are heard even from Hollywood: "America has joined the rest of the world" Susan Sarandon told her children on September 11, 2001.

Unfortunately the USA is a democratic country with an unelected president. Acts of war done falsely under the banner of democracy does not make them any less bloody.

The American people must rise up and stop their leaders from wreaking further havoc on the world.
Dont let Bush attack Iraq, a country it has already imposed the most brutal sanctions the world has ever seen and illegal no-fly zones on.
200 children die in Iraq every week because of US imposed sanctions and depleted uranium radiation from US ammunition.

The US cannot arrogantly override the decisions of the UN. That would not be a democracy.

The bitterness that Alam wraps around himmself like a veil does not hide his true colors. His own lifestyle and ability to contradict the government is available in very few countries. So he receives either Federal or State tax monies to denigrate our way of life. He proclaims "priests of bigotry", "the zealots of zion", and "neoconservative warmongers" to dictate American policies abroad. That is a very pathetic view of someone totally disenfranchised from the reality of their own situation. If he practiced his gospel of anti-government rhetoric in any country of the middle east he would find himmself in shackles or worse.
The average "American" wishes for peace in the world and for all men to treat each other with respect and dignity regardless of their creed, religion, race or ethnicity.
Northeastern University is obviously having difficulty in recruiting good professors that can teach and leave their religious doctrine at home.
mike hale

H FROM USA said:
I guess I'm naive as I believe most Americans are good, moral and compassionate people. Most of us also feel there is too much war now. It hurts my heart to see people using faith to hate. Faith is supposed to make people behave more compassionately towards one another, not destroy one another. It is not my fault, for example, that people across the world are starving. I give. I work. I feel for them, but this is the station in life to which I was born.
I pray that we as a species do not destroy ourselves due to our ignorance and hatred.

Mashallah, good work Mr. Alam,

A wake up call to Americans