• Fri
  • Apr 18, 2014
  • Updated: 3:42am

Isolated US must learn subtle lesson from tragic attacks

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 27 September, 2001, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 27 September, 2001, 12:00am

I am fully behind the unified efforts of the free world to rid itself of terrorism.


I, like the vast majority of the world's citizens, stand alongside America in the use of whatever force is necessary to achieve this end. However, let us not lose sight of America's attitude to the rest of the world prior to the tragedy of September 11.


It took only a few short months of his presidency for George W. Bush to alienate himself and the self-declared 'greatest nation in the world' from most nations, its allies included. America defiantly withdrew from the Kyoto agreement to limit harmful environmental emissions, arguing it wasn't in the best interests of corporate America.


The United States then declared it needed a new missile-defence programme, ignoring world opinion and indeed its own previously signed anti-missile treaty. As a result, the world now finds itself on the threshold of another arms race, which it can ill afford.


Evidence of America's increasing isolation came when, for the first time in history, it found itself voted off the United Nations Human Rights Commission.


The irony of the terrorist attacks on September 11, is that in trying to defeat the spirit of America, the attacks have, in fact, achieved precisely the opposite. Instead, the attacks have created a far more cohesive and unified state. They have forced the people of the world to put aside their differences and unite to defeat the common enemy. Although I am fully behind this course of action, those of us not privileged to be part of the 'greatest nation in the world' must bear in mind that America isn't averse to pursuing its own interests to the total disregard and even to the detriment of the rest of the world.


Although I want to strongly emphasise what I said in my opening paragraph, it is no coincidence it was America which found itself on the receiving end of the most devastating terrorist attack the world has ever seen.


The world must unite against terrorism. But maybe a more subtle lesson should be learned by this tragedy.


STEPHEN CLEMENSON


Discovery Bay

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