Radical Palestinian groups and Saudi militant Osama bin Laden are among those at the top of the list of suspects for Tuesday's terrorist attacks in the US. In Palestinian territories, some people danced, tooted their horns or fired their weapons into the air in celebration after hearing of the catastrophes.
On Internet forums, one sees messages expressing pleasure at other people's disasters. Some believe the US had it coming; some are even calling on Taiwan to follow the terrorists' example and launch similar attacks on Shanghai and Beijing. The suffering inflicted by the attacks, the madness of the terrorists who carried them out and the attitudes of people who watch the events as if they are watching a good movie -- these are just some of the deplorable signs that, at the beginning of the so-called "digital era," the human soul is still deeply mired in the self-destructive idea of fighting violence with violence and resolving everything by means of force.
Both the Palestinian radicals and bin Laden have been viewed as fanatics hostile to the West. Their hatred for the US has its causes, however. Also, Afghanistan's Taliban regime has harbored bin Laden because of its long-running tensions with the US.
The Taliban regime has been rejected by the international community because of its lunatic demolition of the giant Bamiyan Buddha statues, its rigid implementation of its interpretation of Islamic law and its hostility to Western culture. These have trig-gered UN trade sanctions and seriously diminished foreign aid. On top of this, drought is also inflicting severe suffering on people across the country. Bin Laden sees "reclaiming the Islamic holy land and driving US forces out of the Middle East" as his sacred mission.
The Palestinians were robbed of their land by Israel; therefore they want to reclaim it and realize the dream of building an independent nation. Since the Temple Mount incident last September, however, Isrealis and Palestinians have been on the brink of war, exchanging provocations and assassinations.
Several hundred people, mostly Palestinians, have been killed since then. Despite its repeated claim to neutrality as a mediator, the US has tilted too far toward Israel. On issues such as the return of refugees and UN observer status (for Palestine), the Palestinians have accused the US of taking only the Israeli perspective and ignoring the rights of Palestinian refugees.
Indeed, the US, the self-proclaimed world policeman and peacekeeper, used to claim that its unilateral leadership would be conducive to stability and prosperity throughout the world. When intervening in regional conflicts as a mediator, however, the US has placed its own interests -- instead of ethics and justice -- as its guiding principle. This has resulted in partiality and injustice. For example, the US intervened in the Kosovo crisis for "humanitarian reasons" and vehemently condemned then Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic's "ethnic cleansing" activities.
But on the other hand, it has turned a blind eye to the Colombian government's murderous repression of its own people and the atrocities committed against the Kurds by the Turkish government. Instead, the US has provided these regimes with weapons and training. The ROC, a staunch anti-communist ally of the US during the Cold War, has also been abandoned time and again by the US -- first before the Korean War and then following Washington's policy to join hands with China to contain the Soviet Union.