September 11th, 2001.
The lives of 2,996 lost at the hands of 19 hijackers. Over 6,000 people non-fatally injured and the world left in awe.
Twelve years later, as we look back we must strive to understand not how the terrorist attacks happened, but why they happened. Whether you consider yourself a conspiracist, or one who strictly believes Al-Qaeda was behind the attacks. We have to move on. The one, over impending lesson we can learn from this event is that our foreign policy is not only flawed, but it is broken.
For over 50 years, the United States has been policing the world. Specifically, the Middle East. Whether it was through the overthrowing of Iranian Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadeq in 1953, or the United States’ involvement in the sales of weapons during the 1980s, among a long list of other interventions, there has been a generation of tension towards the United States building up in the Middle East. However, there is one specific intervention for which I believe takes a lot of the motivation behind the attacks on September 11th.
Interviewer: “We have heard that half a million (500,000) children have died… Thats more children than who died during Hiroshima, you know? Is the price worth it?”
Madeline Albright: “I think this is a very hard choice, but we think the price is worth it.”
The intervention was the siege of Baghdad where reportedly 500,000 women and children were killed from the United States’ sanctions. It is through foreign policy actions such as these that have outraged extremists in the region.
We must re-evaluate where we stand as a nation on foreign policy. Over the past two weeks we have seen President Obama push for an intervention in Syria. Much of the public disagrees with the President on this issue as they have recollections of the lies behind the Iraq War in 2003. We have to think, could this intervention enrage more extremists in the region? Could this intervention leave us more susceptible to attack?
Twelve years later, we have gone through two wars and multiple interventions. The fact of the matter is, our foreign policy of the past 50 years has caused outrage in a region we do not control. The attacks on September 11th, 2001 were caused by our irresponsibility in foreign policy. They were caused because we attacked a region that we didn’t think had the firepower to respond to us. Our nation continues a drone program that reportedly kills 50 civilians per one militant. It is through actions like these that we are going to find ourselves, our nation at risk for more terrorist attacks.
It is time that we end these foreign affairs. We have to stop attempting to fix problems overseas when we have even more problems at home.
The lives lost on September 11th will never be forgotten.