For Washington, Old Allies Become Today’s Enemies

The issue of terrorism has been on the top of the U.S. administration’s global agenda for the past four years. Since 9/11, terrorism has been a pre-occupation not only for the U.S., but also to the governments of the entire world.

Regardless of whether we talk of an industrial society or a third world nation, communities worldwide find themselves deeply concerned about how to deal with terrorism, given its detrimental consequences.

Throughout U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld’s visit to Russia, and during meetings he held with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the focus was entirely on how to fight terrorism.

Both the U.S. defense secretary and the Russian president, agreed on the necessity of working together, “shoulder to shoulder” on to their own terms, on the issue of terrorism. They also agreed to closely share information about the financial facilities of terrorist organizations.

Throughout the meetings, both sides tend to ignore the fact that Americans used to support a number of military regimes around the world with weapons and propaganda in order to stand up to what they used to call: “the Communist Threat.”

Throughout the Cold War Era of the 1950s and 60s, Russian communism was depicted by successive U.S. administrations as an imminent threat to the capital structures of the Western world.

The case of the Taliban, a movement that thrived in Afghanistan with the support of Osama bin Laden, demonstrates the way both U.S. logistical and moral support to anti-Communist forces, can be later used by the same groups to attack the very hand that nursed them.

The scarecrow once planted by the Reagan administration to stand up to the alleged communist threat has turned into a quagmire, shattering the deep sense of security the U.S. enjoyed after World War II, thanks to the natural barrier of the Atlantic ocean.

But even natural barriers have proven quite helpless when it comes to their ability to stand up to terrorist acts.

The settlement of global crises on the basis of fair United Nations resolutions is the only way to limit the mounting scale of terrorism around the world. Otherwise the pro-Western regimes and forces of yesterday will again become their enemies today.

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