Germany: Where Is the Enemy?
Michael Maier, Netzeitung.de
(Internet publication), Berlin, Sept. 13, 2001.
enemy of the Western world wears a mask. People want to tear that
mask from its face, using any means possible. The mood in the United
States is clear: Hit someone, anyone! Show them that we will not
tolerate such terrorism.
problem is that terrorism cannot be suppressed through military
reprisals or international morality. There is deeply rooted hostility
in wide parts of the Arab world against the West and, especially,
against the United States. There are many factors. Have we forgotten
the photos of burning American flags? The determination of the Hamas
members when they attack Israel?
today Afghanistan is cleaned out, then tomorrow extremists will
arise in southern Lebanon. If southern Lebanon were then suppressed,
terrorists would gather in the areas under Palestinian control.
If these were eradicated, then more would spring up in Syria or
in Iraq or someplace else. Even if the whole world were in flames,
the problem would not be solved.
Arab countries that stood by the Wests side during the Gulf
War will now play a key role. Some of their leaders are new. Jordans
King Abdullah or Egypts Hosni Mubarak will be won over. But
what will [President] Bashar al-Assad in Syria do? And what about
the religious leaders of Iran?
has been in precisely this situation for a long time: surrounded
by enemies that destabilize it by means of terrible small attacks.
It is apparent that military force does not solve any problem. Nor
do offers of peace. All the mediators have seen that to be the case.
Bleeding the region dry is the solution; that is the dirty little
the United States this is not an option. The United States will,
with the backing of the Alliance, defend itself. It must punish
the perpetrators. But it must consider what will happen at the end
of such an operation. Weighing what actions to take against the
attackers, and then carefully carrying them out, will be the greatest
challenge that the politicians, military, and diplomats have faced
since the end of World War II.