US Response to 9/11 Seen as Driving Force in Spread of Terror
September 12, 2016
Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Michel Moutot / France 24 & Agence France Press & The Times of Israel
While within the US, there is still plenty of willingness for politicians to use the 9/11 anniversary to make hawkish speeches praising America's "unity," internationally there is growing willingness to be more circumspect about the results. French President Francois Hollande, or one, claims it was the Iraq war that created the Islamic State group, which in turn, led to the rise of extremist attacks across Europe.
US Response to 9/11 Seen as Driving Force in Spread of Terror
Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com
(September 11, 2016) -- While within the United States, there is still plenty of willingness to use the 9/11 anniversary as a time for politicians to make public appearances and give hawkish speeches praising America's "unity" in reaction to the attacks, internationally there is growing willingness to be more circumspect about the results.
France, which has found itself a primary target for ISIS terror attacks, increasingly sees the US reaction to 9/11 as the instigating cause of that, with several high-profile analysts and top officials saying that the post-9/11 interventions led to an "era of instability" of which much of Europe, including France, has been a victim.
French President Francois Hollande echoed this sentiment, noting that the US invasion of Iraq in 2003 led to the creation of ISIS, and that even though (France's then-President) Jacques Chirac refused to participate in the war, France has become a main target for ISIS.
The US used false claims of 9/11 links in its effort to build support for the invasion of Iraq, and while Iraq had no meaningful al-Qaeda presence when the US arrived, the US occupation and the installation of a Shi'ite government ultimately led to a substantial al-Qaeda affiliate in Iraq, which ultimately split with al-Qaeda and renamed itself ISIS.
The global spread of jihad after 9/11 was by design, at least according to Osama bin Laden's son, Omar, who said his father was aiming to set up a "grand showdown" with the Americans with the 9/11 attacks and that "I was surprised the Americans took the bait."
Bin Laden has been dead for years at this point, but many US officials are still eagerly 'taking the bait,' consequences be damned.
Shock and Awe' Response to 9/11 Helped jihad's Spread: Analysts
Michel Moutot / France 24
PARIS (September 11, 2016) -- While 9/11 failed to bring America to its knees as Al-Qaeda hoped, it ushered in an era of instability, especially in the Middle East, that Islamic extremists have skilfully exploited, analysts say.
By reacting with a doctrine of "Shock and Awe" and invading Iraq in 2003, the US committed a series of missteps that indirectly helped foment jihadism, say critics.
Founded in the 1980s, Al-Qaeda was gravely weakened after being expelled from Afghanistan in 2001 by the US-led invasion of the country that had harboured the terror group's leader Osama bin Laden.
But the occupation of Iraq offered them a new opportunity, underlining how jihadist groups have resisted attempts to vanquish them and have now expanded into franchises in the Middle East, Asia, the West and parts of Africa.
"September 11 was the culmination of several years of planning by Al-Qaeda of 'the big one'," Didier Le Bret, who recently resigned as France's national intelligence coordinator to run in next year's parliamentary election, told AFP.
"Above all it marked the start of a realisation (by the Americans) of their vulnerability on home soil. And that is something they cannot bear."
He said the invasion illustrated the dangers of acting first and worrying about the consequences afterwards.
Among the consequences was the damage done to America's reputation by the torture of prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and Guantanamo Bay, the camp opened by George W. Bush at a US base in Cuba to hold "enemy combattants" captured around the world.
For Le Bret, the conflict in Iraq was "an unfinished war, built on a lie" that ended up destabilising the whole region.
Jean-Pierre Filiu, professor of Middle East studies at Sciences-Po University in Paris, said it also squandered support for the US among its allies.
"The US enjoyed unprecedented international solidarity in its campaign against the Taliban and Al-Qaeda (in Afghanistan)," he said.
"But after that campaign, which was crowned with success within a few weeks, the Neoconversatives imposed a strategy of a 'global war on terror' which reignited global jihad," Filiu said.
Tai Chi Terror Tactics
The US presence in Iraq made it a magnet for jihadists, with Al-Qaeda in Iraq becoming a major force in the post-war insurgency that later morphed into the Islamic State (IS) group.
IS extremists, seeing power vacuums created through weak governance in Iraq and a civil war in Syria, grabbed territory in both countries after declaring their "caliphate" for Muslims in 2014.
Spurred by social media and the forces of globalisation, they have since encouraged Muslims to take up arms against the West which they see as an ideological enemy.
While conducting a campaign of mass murder and terror in territories under their control, they have spread their tentacles worldwide, inspiring or carrying out attacks in France, Germany, the United States, Turkey or Bangladesh.
"Daesh, or the so-called Islamic State, was born out of the alliance of two totalitarianisms, that of Al-Qaeda and the ousted regime of Saddam Hussein," Filiu said.
"Instead of taking the measure of this new threat, Barack Obama was for a long time in denial, allowing the emergence of a 'terror caliphate' that has spread around the world," he argued.
Obama's reticence to commit the US to a new battle in the Middle East reflected the caution of a nation scarred by Iraq, where thousands of US troops and tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians died during the post-invasion insurgency.
Bin Laden's son said 9/11 was aimed at setting up a grand showdown with America in Afghanistan where the Soviet army had been defeated by US-backed mujahideen.
"I was surprised the Americans took the bait", Omar bin Laden, one of 11 sons, told Rolling Stone magazine in 2010, a year before his father's death at the hands of US special forces.
By forcing Washington out of its isolationism and luring it into Iraq, bin Laden was using what historian Yuval Noah Harari calls the "tai-chi masters method."
"The terrorists hope that even though they can barely dent the enemy's material, power, fear and confusion will cause the enemy to misuse its strength," the author of Sapiens, a history of humanity, wrote in The Guardian newspaper last year.
"Terrorists calculate that when the enraged enemy uses its massive power against them, it will raise a much more violent military and political storm than the terrorists themselves could ever create."
US Response to 9/11 Increased the global Terror Threat -- Hollande
Agence France Press & The Times of Israel
PARIS, France (September 11, 2016) -- America's response to the 9/11 attacks augmented rather than defeated the jihadist threat, with the consequences of the Iraq war now being felt in terror-scarred France, President Francois Hollande said Sunday, as the US marked the 15th anniversary of the devastating attacks in New York and Washington, DC.
In a Facebook post commemorating the victims of the attacks, Hollande echoed a famous front-page headline from Le Monde newspaper on the day after the suicide plane strikes.
"Yes, on that day, we were all Americans," he wrote.
But the Socialist leader, whose country has been rocked by a string of extremist attacks in the past year-and-a-half, was also fiercely critical of the US riposte.
"The response that the American administration gave to these attacks… far from eradicating the threat, expanded it over a wider area. Namely to Iraq," he wrote.
"And even though France, through [ex-president] Jacques Chirac, rightly refused to join the intervention [in Iraq] which it condemned, it has nonetheless been a victim of the consequences of the chaos it caused."
Hollande's remarks were seen as a reference to the rise of the Islamic State group (IS) which was formed out of al-Qaeda in Iraq.
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