Under banner of 'counter-terrorism,' US exports instability and plunders foreign resources for 21 years
Published: Sep 11, 2022 09:36 PM
Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

Sunday marks the 21st anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Amid the mourning for the victims, it's apparent that much of the world in the past two decades has been impacted by the US government' vengeance wars against terrorism, though the global situation has only got more complicated and chaotic.

Over the past 21 years, the US, under the banner of "counter-terrorism," has waged wars overseas and caused tremendous suffering to people of other countries. However, the US not only failed to export its "democratic system" to Middle East countries or eradicate  terrorism, but at home they have been faced with rising extremism in political and social spheres.

This is ironic, given the US' tendency of wantonly engaging in military aggression and pursuing hegemony.

The 9/11 attacks opened the curtain of the US' so-called "global counter-terrorism war." In the name of making itself safer, Washington scorched the land of other countries like Iraq and Afghanistan.

Through "fighting terrorism" overseas, the US government also forcefully promoted US-style democracy, only causing greater turmoil and human rights crisis in those countries.

On the other hand, wherever the US military goes, it seeks opportunities to gain material benefits like controlling the local resources. 

The US has recently stepped up efforts to steal oil from Syria, and over the years, Washington has overthrown several governments in the region that resisted its hegemony.

The US' war on terror has been a complete failure - it has failed to make the American people feel safer. A US joint intelligence bulletin warned that foreign militant groups could exploit the 21st anniversary of 9/11, one year after the US military's withdrawal from Afghanistan, to inspire homegrown violent extremists, according to Newsweek.

Domestically, a report released in 2021 revealed that 20 years of post-9/11 wars had cost the US an estimated $8 trillion. Instead of spending the sum on improving infrastructure and people's livelihood, addressing domestic issues and achieving social solidarity, such large amounts of money has been used to destabilize the world. This has impaired many Americans' confidence toward their country and it contributed to the social division and political polarization of recent years in the US.

Against this background, issues such as ethnic conflict and gun violence have become more prominent. Worse still, some domestic extremist forces have gradually gained influence. Take the Capitol attacks on January 6, 2021: extreme partisanship is tearing apart the US and hurting the American population.

When the US launched the so-called war on terror in the Middle East, it also engaged in strategic geopolitical competition with other powers in the region. The US' war on terror actually is not aimed at countering terrorism, but at maintaining US hegemony both in the Middle East and the rest of the world. Instead of reflecting upon the root cause of the terrorist attacks, in which the US' pursuit of hegemony played a major part, US politicians ramped up their hegemonic practices, resulting in negative sentiments on a global scale toward the US, in particular in the Middle East.

The US' theft of Syria's oil serves as another example of how the US resorts to whatever means to benefit itself in operations in the Middle East. In fact, plundering the energy of other countries is  US' real purpose. Syria's oil theft by the US plainly exposed the real purpose of US foreign military intervention - for the sake of economic profit. The US presents itself as a kind of "world police," is the source of a large part of the world's turmoil and suffering. Because of the involvement of the US in various parts of the world, humanitarian disasters have occurred in different regions and many refugees are still wandering to find a home. 

It can be concluded that the US decision-making elites are not interested in the well-being of either the American people nor the people of other countries, and they are certainly not interested in promoting genuine democracy to eradicate the root of terrorism. What they really care about is plundering resources around the world in whatever name they choose, be it "democracy," "freedom," or "fighting terrorism." 

The author is a reporter with the Global Times. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn