FROM 9/11 TO 5/22


Many people, justifiably so, make a comparison between what happened in Ulus quarter in Ankara with what the USA went through on September 11, 2001. Terrorism chose civilian and military targets in the USA on September 11. That day four passenger planes were hijacked; two of them hit the Word Trade Centers in New York, and one hit the Pentagon in Washington DC. The last plane, according to official statements, crashed in a rural area of Pennsylvania after the struggle between hijackers and passengers. In these events, 3000 American citizens lost their lives. This massacre, as later it would be revealed, was not unexpected attacks. Only there was no information about the time and place of the attacks. However, the USA was aware of the danger and threat. “The enemy” had reached Washington DC and challenged the US. In this case what the USA had to do was to make an evaluation of developments in a calm manner, launch a struggle to “eliminate the enemy” in accordance with its national interests. The greatest threat against global peace was at the same time challenging Americans’ right to live. In this case, America had to eliminate this treat which was against its principles and values. It should not let the threat create more damage. Thus, America had to follow pro-active policies and launch preventive attacks. The main reason for the transformation was that “the doctrine of flexible response” became meaningless after the end of the bipolar world order and the emerging of asymmetric threat. The doctrine of flexible response is a defense doctrine put into action during the Kennedy era in the USA, and later it was adopted by NATO. According to the doctrine, the USA would defend its security with nuclear weapons in case its vital interests became under threat, but at other times it would use conventional weapons. The aim was to reduce the risk of a nuclear war and also prevent an escalation of crisis. But it was keeping enemies away from its national interest, announcing that it would use nuclear response against threats to its national interests. The US President, George W. Bush, highlighted “pre-emptive war” in his speech made at the US Military Academy at West Point on June 1, 2002. The security doctrine of the US, which took its final shape in September 2002, envisages stability of “national success,” which was composed of freedom, democracy, and free enterprise. In short it envisages securing individual and public security. In another words, the doctrine envisages protection of the values with which the US is referring itself. In the USA, the system considers itself responsible for protecting these values all around the world and at all times. There are two bases for this mission: the constitution and history. The doctrine defines those who pose a threat as those who are not with the USA, because the doctrine states, “Our national interests are the first mission of our administration.” And it continues, “This mission is dramatically changed. In the past the enemies needed huge armies and developed industrial assets to threat the USA. Today organized networks and individuals can cause enormous crisis and sorrows. Moreover, the cost of their actions may be less than the cost of a tank for them. Terrorists operate in open societies and use modern technologies against us.” Thus, according to the doctrine, to eliminate the threat there is a need for “military power, development of internal security measures, criminal proceedings, intelligence activities, and cutting terrorist financial resources.” Among the lessons the US learned from the attacks on September 11 was that “Even weak countries, such as Afghanistan, can pose a threat against the US national interests. Poverty doesn’t only produce terrorists and murderers but also causes weak institutions in the county and paves the way for poorly administrated states to integrate with drug cartels.” Consequently, the doctrine demands development of all countries so that none of them would tolerate terrorists or terrorist connections. The countries that failed in these efforts are –even though not mentioned in the doctrine- coined as “rogue states.” This expression is equivalent to failed state in the EU. According to media, the failed states today are as follows: Sudan, Congo, Ivory Coasts, Iraq, Zimbabwe, Chad, Somali, Haiti, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. In summary, the policy, which could be summarized in the expression such as “I will crush whatever I feel threat from” or “I will hit any threat instantly,” was applied, mobilizing everything, from customs to Hollywood, in national and international fields. Even though a pre-emptive ptrike is considered in public opinion as a situation strictly related to the US, the operations that have been launched by Turkey for years were nothing but pre-emptive strikes. Indeed, pre-emptive strikes are considered to be components of pre-emptive wars. In the frame of the pre-emptive wars, the USA launched preemptive strakes in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Palestine . More examples can be given for pre-emptive wars. For example, the Soviet Union’s attacked Finland on June 25, 1941 in response to German’s attack on June 22, 1941. Again in the frame of the pre-emptive war, Israel hit the Osirak nuclear reactor in Iraq in 1981. Moreover, the British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, gave the Kosovo War as an example of the pre-emptive war in his speech made in Chicago Economy Club on April 24, 1999. The US’s interference as well was not different from Turkey’s operations in the North of Iraq. In both places, it was intended to prevent new attacks and eliminate aggressors, and the operations were mainly successful. At this point it is vital to answer the question “where to establish the line of defense.” If the US had established its line of defense in its air space, ports, and customs, it could have been hit for many times, and many people would have lost their lives. However, the US operated by founding true answers to these questions: who is the “enemy?” who are activists? Who benefits from the actions? What are their goals? What is their method? What are my goals? Which method should I use against the enemy? Which method should I use against activists? There is a truth that should be pronounced honestly: Terrorism is a special method of a struggle between states; terrorist organizations are only covert intelligence operations. Terrorism is a special type of war method between states and in reality it is a kind of negotiation. In an article published by The International Herald Tribune Daily, Henry Kissinger stated: “There has evolved a reluctant recognition that pre-emption may be so built into modern weapons technology that some reconsideration of existing rules is overdue.” “If each nation claims the right to define its pre-emptive rights, the absence of any rules would spell international chaos. Some universal, generally accepted principles need to be matched with the machinery of their operation” “Of course, the United States, like any other sovereign nation, will, in the end, defend its vital national interests - if necessary, alone. But it also has a national interest to make the definition of national interest of other nations as much a parallel its own as it can” “The most obvious targets for pre- emptive strategy are terrorist organizations. These cannot be deterred because they have nothing tangible to lose. Nor can they be dealt with by diplomacy, because their objective generally is not compromise but the destruction of their adversary. “ We need to remember these words, when it comes to 9/11, pre-emptive war or pre-emptive strikes. However, there is another point. There is no difference between the Eisenhower Doctrine of 1957, which consisted of a major commitment by the United States to the security and stability of the Middle-East, and today’s the Greater Middle Eastern Project (GME). The demand made by Eisenhower to the Congress on January 1957 was envisages military and economic aids to the Middle Eastern Countries and thus to prevent communist expansion. The doctrine included: -Economic aid for the Middle Eastern Countries. -Military aid for them -Intervention of the US against attacks from pro-Soviet Unions countries. - As it is clear here, Eisenhower was demanding the prevention of communist expansion and called the system for the aim “the security and stability of the Middle East.” On the other hand today Bush is calling the system to prevent radical Islam from spreading and dominating the Middle East “the Greater Middle Eastern Project.” In summary; In the frame of continuity of state, The United States with the responsible of its constitution and history was launching pre-emptive strikes and pre-emptive wars against failed states to prevent its national success, even though the enemy continually changes.
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