Rewriting the history of 9/ 11



Schoneker, Jake

It has been six years since the terrorist attacks of 9/11, and all is well in the world. President Bush has demonstrated remarkable leadership throughout his tenure. Through a groundbreaking brand of multilateral diplomacy, America has become stronger at home and has achieved new levels of popularity across the globe. Bush’s work in creating peace and prosperity in the Middle East has earned him a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize, and many political analysts believe that the United States is entering a new Golden Age.

The devastation that occurred in New York and Washington triggered compassion and support in the international community. Leaders across the world stood together as the threat of terrorism became a reality that had to be addressed. In the wake of 9/11, the president knew he had to choose his response carefully – a reckless or hasty reaction might have led to a different world than the one we live in today.

CIA intelligence indicated that the terrorist group al-Qaeda was behind the disturbing attacks. Bush moved quickly to gain the support of the United Nations and our allies abroad to infiltrate Afghanistan and root out the masterminds of the terror plot. Allied forces converged upon the country, and several months later, Osama bin Laden had been located. CIA officer Gary Bernsten was able to pinpoint the al-Qaeda leader in the hills of Tora Bora but knew that he needed a sizeable force to bring bin Laden to justice. Thankfully, Bush and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld sent immediate reinforcements and allied troops were able to capture bin Laden while attempting to escape into Pakistan. Bin Laden was brought to the United States to go on trial and was executed a few weeks later.

The execution provoked a minor uproar in some Arabic communities, but the action was, for the most part, accepted by world leaders as a necessary reaction to the 9/11 attacks. Al-Qaeda continued marginal operations in the region, but with the help of international security forces, the United States has been able to limit his scope. Continued allied occupation in Afghanistan has fostered economic growth and the beginnings of a democracy there.

After the invasion of Afghanistan, many pointed to Iraq and Iran as potential security threats. They pushed Bush to take action against the countries, but he knew that another hasty invasion could result in havoc – and might have undone all the goodwill that had been sent America’s way after the 9/11 tragedies.

Instead, Bush appealed to allies in Europe, Asia and the Middle East to unite in the fight against terrorism. By sharing intelligence and resources and by earning the full cooperation of regional leaders and security forces in Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and elsewhere, the new coalition was able to gain valuable information regarding the whereabouts and infrastructures of radical terrorist groups in the region.

Bush identified the conflict between Israel and Palestine as a central issue in dealing with the Islamic world and – after the execution of bin Laden – the president directed international attention toward dealing with the dispute. By diplomatically reaching out to the Palestine Liberation Organization, empowering Israeli security forces and employing our new intelligence network in the region, allied forces were able to control the operations of terrorist groups and work to purge Islamic radicalism from regional public policy.

Having forged a more effective, multilateral method of political and economic control in the Middle East, Bush was able to facilitate meaningful discussion between the Israelis and the Palestinians, eventually leading to a unification of the two sects into a single state in 2006. With the combined money and might of the United States, the European Union, Russia, China and other allies working toward unification, there was pressure upon both Arabs and Israelis to find compromise.

Now that the Arabic community knows that the United States is willing to cooperate with international forces to maintain peace and prosperity in the Middle East, terrorism has fallen from grace and is no longer a viable political platform on which to pursue power. The United States has grown prosperous and popular around the world thanks to a careful and inclusive model of diplomacy that has risen from the ashes of the World Trade Center. Thanks to the fearless and capable leadership of Bush, the world is a safer place. I shudder to think of where we’d be without him.


Jake Schoneker is a senior political science and humanities major from Lansdale, Pa. He can be reached at [email protected].