Two years later…

Two years after the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center, President George W. Bush’s anti-terrorist campaign cannot be said to have had a satisfactory outcome. The world’s sole superpower may have successfully waged two wars, but the threat of a fresh attack haunts the lives of American citizens. Fear has taken root and human rights are being compromised in the name of security measures that often verge on the excessive if not paranoid. The regimes of the Taleban and Saddam Hussein may have been toppled, but the victors appear trapped in a minefield. In Afghanistan, the government exerts only a limited influence. In Iraq, more Americans have been killed in peacetime than during the recent war. Evidently it is peace and not war that remains the challenge. America’s chief concern is the threat of «Islamic terrorism.» September 11 proved that even the most sophisticated security systems are not always capable of reacting in a timely and effective manner to terrorist attacks, especially when the assailants are determined to die. However much security measures are intensified, an impenetrable shield will never exist. Moreover, although security may be the priority, it will represent a failure of democracy and of Western civilization if security measures end up eroding human rights and quality of life. So alongside the fight against terrorism there should be an attempt to undermine the reasons for its existence.

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