September 11 marked seventeen years since that fateful day when over two thousand persons perished following the destruction of the World Trade Center at the hands of terrorists.
I have some painful recollections of the World Trade Center, also referred to as the Twin Towers. I had only a few month or so before its collapse visited the buildings along with a relative of mine, who was at the time of its collapse working in one of the two buildings. Unfortunately, she also perished when the buildings came down.
The destruction of the World Trade Center and the almost simultaneous attack on the Pentagon was a defining moment in global politics. It led to the so-called ‘war on terror’ which was unleashed by George Bush and which with varying degrees of intensity continues until today under the Trump administration. Several governments were toppled in Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan, which culminated several years later with the emergence of the Arab Spring.
It is debatable as to whether or not the interventions by the United States to defeat terrorism have yielded any positive results. Osama bin Laden, the man believed to be the mastermind behind the destruction of the World Trade Center was eventually captured and killed in Pakistan after years in hiding. According to a recent news report, there appears to be new information linking the Saudi government to the attacks. If found to be true, this could prove embarrassing to the United States administration which so far has pointed an accusing finger at Bin Laden and his terrorist network.
Terrorist attacks have now spread to several western capitals, and the authorities seems helpless in dealing with this growing menace. In the Middle East, ISIS has running battles in several Muslim countries as it seeks to redefine the map in its bid to establish a Caliphate. This is a further complication in the politics of the Middle East and the relationship with the United States.
It is unclear how events will unfold in the Middle East from a geopolitical and strategic perspective following the rise of ISIS and the continuing turmoil in Syria and other Middle Eastern countries. One thing remains certain: the impact of September 11 continues to leave a dark shadow of awe if not trepidation in the minds of people not only in the United States but in several other nations, more particularly in the developed western world.