Friday, September 12, 2008

9/11, Seven Years On: Safer? Freer?

Yesterday was an interesting discussion on BBC's World Have Your Say on the subject matter of whether the American reaction to the 9/11 attacks "has made the world a safer place?" in which I had the chance to participate.

Much to my surprise, I discovered that one of the architects of American policies in the immediate aftermath of the shock was invited to answer the questions of anonymous listeners: Richard Perle, the Prince of Darkness as he is often dubbed; the Neocon par excellence.

Overall, my very modest intervention lasted for seconds but I took the opportunity to argue and state the obvious really: Whatever the rhetoric, as long as the symptomatic treatment, and that is an arduous police and intelligence work -not military,- as long as it is not supported by a tireless political effort to deal with the causes of despair and anger in the Arab and Muslim worlds, we are doomed at repeating tragedies of the past. In other words, as long as the question WHY is avoided, the problem of Terrorism will be around for some time still.

As I responded to the comment of my friend Abdelilah, who by the way also participated in the program, I like to make the analogy of the current American rhetoric with that of an acrobat, trying to convince himself and his public that he can walk his way safely, without falling, without loosing control, with a heavy elephant on his shoulders. The question in these circumstances is not IF he can handle it, but FOR HOW LONG!

In other words: as long as root causes of the problem are not dealt with genuinely, the sources of the recruitment of youngsters amongst the frustrated masses are not addressed head on, the elephant is inexorably going to fall upon our heads!

Is the world safer...


une marocaine said...

A qui le dis-tu !
Ou comme on dit chez nous "à qui tu récites tes psalumes ô david"...

Hisham said...

Tu veux dire que je prêche pour les convertis... peut être? Mais il m'arrive de rencontrer des obtus pour qui ce qui te semble évident, ce qui paraîtrait du bon sens pour tout esprit raisonnable, leur parait comme le monde à l'envers.

Il faut de tout pour faire un monde

Reb said...

Hi Hisham,
The US is definitely beginning to weaken like every hegemon before it but the complacency or agreement of the American public is not helpful. With American isolationism, many think that if the whole world is against us we are doing a good job.

I couldn't find your email address but I would really like you to fill out my survey when you have time. Here are the links:

Part I:

Part II:

Part III:

Part IV:

Part V:

Part VI:


une marocaine said...

Non c'était pas ça. L'expression "lemene te3awede zabourek ya daoud" se dit quand tu es face justement aux personnes qui ne croient pas dans ce que tu parles aussi raisonnable et logique soit-il.

PS : t'as raison "il faut de tout pour faire un monde" c'est parmi mes provoerbes français favoris.

Have a nice day :)

Hisham said...


I would be delighted to fill in your survey; otherwise you can reach me at


Mais oui! mais c'est.. bien sur!

Excuses mon inculture et mon manque de subtilité populaire.

Abdelilah Boukili said...

Hi Hisham,
Eid Mubarak Said to you and to the whole of your family.

Hisham said...

Thanks fellow