Saturday, December 10, 2011


Even for a superpower, military superiority does not guarantee safety. The United States suffered the most casualties ever inflicted on its own soil on September 11, 2001, when armed hijackers took over four passenger jets and rammed two of them into the World Trade Center towers in New York and one into the Pentagon building in Washington, D.C. The fourth jet crashed in rural Pennsylvania, probably on its way to another target in the nation’s capital, after a revolt by the passengers brought the plane down. That day showed Americans that they were not safe on their own territory—regardless of how many weapons and troops they might have. In addition to everything else it signified, September 11 proved to Americans and the world that globalization could provide technology and communications to a small group of men fanatically committed to a cause and facilitate their killing 3,000 people in the heart of the reigning superpower . Writer Thomas Friedman has identified two basic responses to globalization. One is to use the power of the Internet and high technology to leap frontiers and oceans to create new centers of business. This has happened in India, he says, where the call center and software companies are good enough to compete for clients with the best in the world and often win. This is the response that reflects and increases personal freedom. Young Indians attend schools and universities where they receive excellent training in technology and bring to their jobs the motivation to live better and differently than their parents. The other response to globalization is the route taken by fundamentalist extremists. Their brand of religion begins by denying human rights to women. In many cases girls are banned from school entirely or permitted only a few grades of elementary schooling and are prevented from receiving the education or training given to their brothers.The countries where this type of fundamentalist religion is taught—Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Afghanistan under the Taliban—are autocratic societies where religious authorities terrorize the population, “societies where there was no democracy and where fundamentalists have often suffocated women and intellectuals who crave science, free thinking and rationality.” The brothers of the girls whose schooling is limited attend schools for boys only called madrassas where they are taught according to an extremist interpretation of the Koran.100 Later, mainly in Western countries, they are educated in technology and state-of-the-art communications, but they do not use that knowledge to expand their own horizons and improve the lives of their fellow citizens.They use it only for destruction,of themselves and as many others as they can kill. Their primary targets are Americans, but, as in the World Trade Center, where more than 3,000 people including many Muslims from 13 other countries died, and the bombings in Madrid and Bali, the goal is to wreak havoc and kill because they cannot imagine a better future on earth.

World Trade Center (WTC)


September 11, 2001


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