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Remembering September 11: Uncertainty and violence continues

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The 18th anniversary of Al Qaeda's mega terrorist attacks on the United States once again not only reminds us of those tragic events, but also prompts us to ask whether the world has become any safer since then. The short answer is that we are still in the grip of more rather than less insecurity and a scourge of conflicts and extremism. Muslim extremist, Islamophobic, white supremacist and anti-Semitic actions have arisen on the global landscape at an alarming rate. Why?

The annual tribute in light is illuminated on the skyline of lower Manhattan on the eve of the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks in New York City. Picture: Getty Images

When the 9/11 attacks occurred, killing some 3,000 people to the horror of the Americans and indeed the world, and the US responded by declaring a 'war on terror', it was clear that the global political and strategic environment would not be the same again. In the shadow of the post-Cold War, two deeply hostile and vindictive centres of power locked horns to change the world according to their ideological and geopolitical preferences: the trans-subnational violent network of Al Qaeda and the United States as the sole superpower. While the former operated in the name and defence of Islam, the latter acted in pursuit of protecting peace, freedom and democracy. In declaring a war on terror, the US and its allies and sympathisers around the world strongly believed that American power would prevail. However, the collapse of the Soviet Union, the end of the Cold War as we knew it, and technological progress generated the space and means for religious fanatic, neoconservative and extreme ethno-nationalist groups to flourish on the one hand, and for the consolidation of a polycentric world on the other.

US power indeed prevailed in dispersing Al Qaeda's leadership and its main operatives from Afghanistan, from where the 9/11 attacks had been orchestrated, and in overthrowing the........

© Canberra Times