Bill Sykes' - In Retrospect
looks back in retrospect at material which has been published
in previous editions of "View from America",
in an attempt to determine whether the subject matter
written then is still applicable in today’s world.
Please remember that this article was written
on the eleventh of September 2001.
My question still remains: "When looking back in retrospect has anything
changed for the better in this world and will current and future acts of war
and terrorism bring us closer to the commencement of World War Three?"
Disaster from the skies.
As every one is now aware of the terrible disaster that
struck the people of New York and Washington D.C. where
the loss of life and casualties have mounted to a figure
in excess of 5000 souls. In search for answers
I will try to put the disaster in context and provide
personal observations as to possible reasons for the
disaster and the effect upon the world as we currently
The United States and the world as a whole will never
be the same.
Whilst sitting watching the horrifying events unfolding
upon the nation’s TV screens I tried to rationalize
the philosophy of the perpetrators and within a few hours
tried to put my thoughts on paper.
My initial thought was "It had to happen sooner
or later" and as I
started to gather thoughts together I focused upon the
past political situation and as to how the American President
had taken a hard line approach upon a number of extremely
sensitive foreign policy issues. Two particularly contentious
issues, a) The go-it-alone attitude of the United States
in the development of
a "Star Wars Anti-Missile Defense Shield",
and b) The complete lack of support given by the United
States and it’s withdrawal from The Kyoto
environmental agreement between major nations.
The potential terrorist threat has been brewing
for several years.
Even before the "Desert Storm/Desert Shield" incidents where
the reason given for the attack by NATO Forces on Saddam Hussein and the Iraqi
armed forces invasion of Kuwait, was for the re-establishment of a democratic
government in Kuwait, (a country that never had democratic government and still
doesn’t), and this was further exacerbated by the United States continued
support of Israel in it’s oppression of the Palestinian Arabs. The continuing
incursions of British and United States military aircraft into the no fly zones
of Iraq may also have had some bearing upon Muslim terrorist hostility towards
the government of the United States and the American people.
To my knowledge this is only the second time that foreign
terrorism has hit the United States on its own soil and
both times the targets have included the World Trade
Center in New York.
The International Monetary Fund and the Centers for World
Trade have been a particular thorn in the side of the
anarchist regime who declare that "THE ESTABLISHMENT"
(shades of George Orwell’s 1984 thesis), are responsible
for the oppression of the proletariat, physically and
mentally. The World Banking Organizations, controlled
by the upper five percent of the rich moneyed class establishment,
have been singled out as the oppressors.
To put the damage into some form of context, (whilst
respecting and mourning the violent death of the people
of New York and Washington), one must remember that many
of the major cities of Great Britain, Germany and other
European countries were all but obliterated by constant
day and night bombing which occurred for months on end
without respite during the dark days of World War Two,
with terrible loss of life and destruction of property.
If one can offer any degree of criticism, may I suggest
that "we the people" can no longer maintain
our lack of foreign policy leadership with its questionable
lack of credibility, its ignorance, and arrogance towards
the nations of this world leading to the growing disrespect
of America and Americans in general by the people of
those nations that we vilify.
Whether we like it or not, we can no longer afford to
be the policemen of this world, dictating and enforcing
our opinions and policies upon sovereign states.
may I suggest that the people of Great Britain are particularly
vulnerable to terrorist activities by the fact of being
on the doorstep of various known terrorist organizations.
The British Government’s support of United States
and NATO policies against terrorism is tantamount to
a joint declaration of war against the people who violate
the code of ethical human behavior.
The American people’s immediate reaction to the
violence and carnage was of complete disbelief, shock
and extreme sadness.
As the days went by that sadness turned into a burning
desire for revenge, which unfortunately encompasses a
propensity for immediate action against the perpetrators
of this terrible act of violence, never before experienced
in this "Land of the free and the home of the
First things first, before one can go to
war, one has to ascertain beyond a reasonable shadow
of doubt who the enemy is. If we attack and kill
the people of another sovereign state, without determining
the true facts of their involvement, then can we also
be considered to be involved in an act of terrorism. It
has been reported that an increase in the number of cases
of violence by angry Americans against Muslim people
who are resident citizens of The United States have been
recorded. One must remember that not all Arabs are Muslims,
and not all Muslims are Arabs.
A certain degree of embarrassment exists, or should
exist, in many areas of American society, (certainly
the FBI and the CIA should shoulder some of the blame/criticism
for their lack of knowledge and/or lack of reaction to
prior terrorist threats which lead up to the tragic incident),
due to the use of American civil aircraft, (by terrorists
trained within the United states as pilots), as flying
Could the lack of intelligence and
security be blamed on indifference, and possible arrogance
that no foreign entity would dare, or be capable of penetrating
our shores, or can it be put down to just plain inadequacy
Certainly Mr. Bush’s "Star
Wars Anti-Missile Defense Shield" would not have
staved off this tragedy.
Looking to the future.
The aftermath of the anarchist terrorist actions have
yet to be fully recognized by the general public.
The people of the United States are focusing upon the
current dreadful situation of destruction of life and
property, or as NATO and the Pentagon used to say during
the Gulf War, "collateral damage".
Without detracting from the terrible pain and suffering
inflicted upon the people of this country, I hate to
say this but life must go on and we have to consider
the future financial aspects and consequences of this
tragedy which will be enormous and generally far beyond
the scope of people like you and I who are not geared
to the intricacies of the world financial markets. The
man in the streets past worries of financing Social Security
and Medicare would appear miniscule in comparison to
the predicted insecurity of the world financial markets.
This disaster will have far reaching consequences on
the economic future of the United States and world markets
Life will never be the same.
The Orwellian view of a "Big Brother Society" where
the Government is involved in personal spying, electronic
and otherwise, upon it’s own people will intrude
into the realm of civil liberties and our activities
will be seriously curtailed, (for the near future anyway),
with increased surveillance, security challenges at any
time and the advent of carrying and producing personal
identification documents to authorized security personnel
upon request at any time, reminiscent of the restrictions
of the people of Europe under the reign of Hitler’s
Germany. The inconvenience of our current airport security
restrictions will be minimal compared to the inconveniences
we should expect to suffer in the future.
The fear of additional acts of terrorism such as the
distribution of biological weapons will be forever on
our minds, and are too frightening to even contemplate.
We as a nation may find that "Home of the Brave" has
lost some of the aspects of freedom that we have always
taken for granted.
The American public in general, as with the general public
of many other nations these days, is sadly lacking
in geographic and historic facts appertaining to knowledge
of the world beyond their own doorstep. We have
become very parochial in our attitudes so I thought
that as part of this document I would include what
I consider to be pertinent facts.
Most people these days having been bombarded by TV with
geographic facts, now know the location of Afghanistan
and are certainly aware of the name Osama bin Laden
who figures prominently as one of the most wanted terrorist
leader of our time. Would you believe that the
TV news stations have been bombarded by American citizens
complaining about their spelling of Usama bin Laden’s
first name because it starts with USA,
but very little critical comment appears to have been
given to President Bush’s suggestion that the wild
west posters of yesteryear "Wanted Dead or Alive" now
apply to Osama bin Laden. Notice the change of spelling
got to the stage when I really don’t know how his
name is spelt. By the way, Osama bin Laden was
the son of a rich Saudi father, one of fifty siblings,
and he considered that the American and Allied forces
who used bases in Saudi Arabia to be satanic infidels
who were desecrating the land of his Fathers and his
own Islamic beliefs.
I appear to have wandered away from my original intent
to provide relevant information.
Taliban. Afghan revolutionary movement,
who after the long and brutal war with the Soviets established
a new society based upon strict Islamic law. A
coalition of Afghan rebels who fought against the Soviet
during the period 1979-1989. These rebels initially supported
by funding from Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and to some extent
by the United States who provided financial assistance,
the building of military training bases, and the provision
of weaponry such as Stinger missiles. There were also
suggestions that the Taliban used the proceeds from the
sale of opium, to help their political and religious
aims for the people of Afghanistan.
Pakistan has been a staunch supporter of the Taliban
during recent years and now finds itself under pressure
from the United States to close off its borders
with Afghanistan and allow Allied military aircraft to
over fly it’s airspace, (undoubtedly to attack
targets in Afghanistan), and arrange for the handing
over Osama bin Laden.
Up until now, because of Pakistan’s
development of atomic weapons, the United States (and
I’m led to believe other NATO countries), have
placed Pakistan under a trade embargo. Pakistan now finds
itself in a very difficult position bordering upon civil
Islam. The basic beliefs of Islam encompass,
and teach that there is only one God, and that God is
Allah who is compassionate and just.
I am very disturbed when considering whether this horrific act of violence
by terrorist factions can be considered by them to be compassionate and just,
and have many reservations about these complex beliefs which I really know
little about. The same goes for the interpretation of Jihad (A Holy War). Perhaps
I should educate myself further to understand the complexities of the Islam
I apologize for this somewhat lengthy dissertation, but
current events have raised mortal fears for the future
of the world and its people and true to my beliefs
I have tried to demonstrate fair, factual and unbiased
I have tried not to introduce too many religious or political
arguments into this newsletter. Let’s hope that
I have succeeded
I understand that these comments may not be considered
pearls of wisdom and that alternate opinions will surface,
but I consider it better to have rational discussion
on this very important subject, which allows the individual
to express certain views, than bigoted propaganda which
only portrays one side of the picture.
Some of the information gathered for this news letter
has been gleaned from American and International media
sources, (including the Internet), and as such is quoted
as accurately as possible. I try to obtain confirmation
on each subject from several outlets, so the text is
a mixture of composite news items and personal comments
and therefore the reader must make his/her own judgment
as to the reliability and degree of accuracy of the
welcome feedback about any of the contents of these articles.
Please send all correspondence to firstname.lastname@example.org