The recent Boston terrorist attack shook US society to its core, which showed that: (1) the US was vulnerable to attack despite all the stringent security measures in place; and (2) that it took only two frustrated individuals to inflict a considerable amount of damage in an American city. The scores of dead and wounded reflected the extent of this human tragedy and the destructive power of the ideologies of terror. The response to the terrorist act was even more economically and psychologically costly than the act itself. In addition to the loss of life and limb, the lock-down of Boston, cost hundreds of millions of dollars. For six days the city was paralyzed. The drama continues with more revelations about possible accomplices foreign and domestic and the way in which the two terrorists may have been radicalized by extremist Islamists with probable connections to al-Qaeda.
One wonders, however, as to why two seemingly ordinary young individuals of Chechen origin would commit such a heinous act. Discrimination against the «Other” is still deeply ingrained in US society despite undeniable advances in race and ethnic relations. National origin, religion or class still serve as bases for discrimination. Acts of violence against Muslims right after the September Eleven terrorist attacks show that clearly. Many Americans consider Islam a religion that promotes terrorism and Arab and Muslim Americans suspicious groups that should be put under surveillance to protect the homeland.
Prevailing social attitudes against Islam and Muslims have been employed by the US State to drum up domestic support for its intervention in the Middle East region. Zionist propaganda and influence in US governmental and social institutions have further exacerbated the negative feelings and behavior against Islam and Muslims. The Zionists have succeeded in their endeavor by utilizing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to drum up animosity towards Arabs and, by extension, Muslims.
Since the 1950s the US unscrupulously had used its Muslim allies, such as Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iraq, Iran, and Pakistan, to advance its own global agenda in the context of US-Soviet rivalry. The Baghdad Pact in the 1950s was a clear example of that. More recently, Qatar, the Central Asian republics, Egypt and Indonesia were added to the mix and Iran was out of the picture after the 1979 revolution.
The defeat of secular Arab nationalism in the June 1967 war and President Sadat’s utilization of Islamists against leftists and nationalists, strengthened his position, but gave more opportunities to Islamists to recruit. Furthermore, neoliberal economic policies widened the gap between rich and poor. Consequently, Egypt witnessed several years of terrorist attacks under both Sadat and Mubarak.
Openly utilizing extremist Islamists began with President Reagan against the Soviets in Afghanistan. Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, two pro-US Islamist regimes led that effort. The US subsequently helped create the Taliban in Afghanistan, curiously enough to fight multiple radical Islamist groups battling for control of the country.
The US invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq in pursuit of its global strategy have failed, but succeeded in ramping up the animosity of the peoples of the region towards the US and the West. The US support of dictators such as Mubarak then turning around and striking deals with «moderate” Islamists after popular uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, for example, only exacerbated the animosity against the US in the region.
The current war in Syria had been complicated by the influx of Islamist terrorists with declared ties to al-Qaeda, financed by Saudi Arabia and Qatar whose efforts, in turn, are supported by the US and its Western allies. The US has utilized Islamists in the NATO fight in Libya, where chaos now reigns supreme.
Radical Islamists took advantage of racism and discrimination against immigrants and people of color in Western countries and began to recruit individuals to their cause. Terrorist attacks occurred in European countries such as Spain and the U.K. It is now evident that the US is not immune from such terrorism.
Al-Qaeda’s ideology is global. The West is its nemesis. However, it is unlikely that the US would abandon its global agenda and effectively fight discrimination at home, but that is what it should do to triumph against terrorism.