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From the November 2001 issue of World Press Review (VOL. 48, No. 11)



Thailand: The U.S. Is Forever Changed



Kavi Banthai, Nation Sudsapda Weekly (leftist), Bangkok, Sept. 17-23, 2001.

The aftermath will be difficult to determine as it will affect not only Americans and America alone. For the Americans, [the attacks] shook their faith in their invincible military and economic might. From now on, security measures will be tighter: no more 10-minute check-in before departure time at the airport.

But beyond the everyday life security measures, what role and what status will the United States emerge with on the world stage after the fire? The president’s decision to hunt down the terrorists responsible for the attacks may bode ill for U.S. citizens living in the country and overseas. This group of terrorists is not an ordinary one. Its network, which spans the globe, is ready to make suicide attacks at any moment.

From now on, the U.S. government must review its foreign policy toward the Middle East, particularly toward Israel, which has caused so much anger among Arabs. Otherwise, Americans’ life overseas will have no guarantee of safety.

Even after the U.S. retaliates, as promised by President George W. Bush, that does not mean an end or a decrease in terrorism. It might, on the contrary, spark a new form of more sophisticated terrorism.

The problem goes beyond the American territory and American people. U.S. allies also may be targeted, in the same manner that the United States targets the suspects as well as the “countries who helped or harbored” them.

The United States is shaken. But the issue is whether the incident could cause this superpower to change or review its behavior and policy. When a nation, no matter which one, is swept up by a wave of patriotism, it is hard not to yield to it.



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