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The Terrorist Masquerade

Raphael Israeli
Policy Paper No. 132, 2001


Since the horror committed on September 11th in America, frenzied efforts have been made by the Americans and their Western allies to rally a coalition of Muslim countries that would not only provide bases and intelligence to facilitate the American counter-attack against terrorism, but would also lend legitimacy for attacks against the Muslim perpetrators of that horror, and the Muslim countries that shelter them.

However, courting Muslim partners has proved problematic, for the US has had in the process to compromise its own ideals, by supporting autocratic regimes that have no legitimacy, thus further arousing the hatred of the Muslim people that are oppressed by the “moderate friends” of America, and subscribing to a double standard which denies other democratic countries that fight terrorism, such as India over Kashmir and Israel over the West Bank, the very same prerogatives that America ascribes to herself such as : targeting the terrorists, destroying their bases of support, drying up their funds, using military tactics and hardware etc.

If America had made itself aware of the horrendous barrages of hatred of the West in the Islamic world, and the eruptions of jubilation throughout the Arab and Islamic countries over America’s misfortune on September 11th, on the one hand, and had devised a war against terrorism that took those realities into consideration, then the very focus, goal, means and partners resorted to in that war, and in consequence the efficacy and the results thereof, would have been vastly different, and for the better.

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