Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBCi CATEGORIES   TV   RADIO   COMMUNICATE   WHERE I LIVE   INDEX    SEARCH 

BBC NEWS
 You are in: Talking Point
Front Page 
World 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
Forum 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 


Commonwealth Games 2002

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

SERVICES 
Friday, 26 October, 2001, 13:50 GMT 14:50 UK
After the air strikes: Has the world changed?
It is a week since US-led air strikes against suspected terrorist targets in Afghanistan began.

The Pentagon says it has destroyed most of its initial targets and round-the-clock strikes are continuing. The country's ruling Taleban have reported that more than 300 people have been killed so far.

US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has hinted at the possible deployment of ground troops "in areas where we previously have been bombing".

President Bush has offered the Taleban one last chance to hand over Osama Bin Laden - chief suspect in the US suicide attacks - to avoid further destruction, warning them that the alternative is a campaign that could last years.

Has the world changed since military action was launched? Do you think we are heading for a long and bloody conflict? Has your attitude changed towards the current situation?

This debate is now closed. Read your reaction: Yes, part of the world has changed. This is the beginning of the end of the extremist, repressive Taliban regime and probably the beginning of a better era for the long-miserable Afghanistan. On the other hand, I think the American people will change a bit too. The American people now have a better understanding of the pain of other peoples who lost many, many more innocent civilians in previous wars (Japanese, Russian, Vietnamese, Iraqi etc.). As the most powerful war machine on earth, the American government should realize that war must be the last resort and must be executed in the most careful way. Because the truth is, in most wars, it is the innocent civilians who suffer the most, not the military, not the government, not the ruling party.
Thinh Hoang, Canada


The world will never be a safe place

Mohamed Ilyas, UK
The world has definitely changed. A human does not value another human being's life, there is more cold bloodied bombing and the killing of innocent civillians where bombs have accidentally missed target. This is not a short war but is expected to go on for years ultimately leaving thousands more dead, children orphaned and poverty around the world, not to mention the clashes between muslims and non-muslims. The world will never be a safe place and terrorism will never be wiped of the face of earth when countries like the USA and Britain are carrying out terrorist and cold blooded attacks after condemning the same.
Mohamed Ilyas, UK


September 11 threatened our lives and freedoms, and thereby brought to light their true importance

karen S, USA
I think that on a personal level "the world" has made some important changes. We are all beginning to realize just how we are connected to each other - both in the U.S. and around the world. I see a tremendous patriotism being shown as well as a return to religion. Here in America people have mistakenly taken our safety and freedom for granted. In recent times we have not fully appreciated or used our freedoms effectively. September 11 and subsequent events have threatened our lives and freedoms, and thereby also brought to light their true importance in our everyday lives. I think this is especially important for the young people in America who have never needed to question whether they were safe, or where their next meal was going to come from.
Karen S, United States of America

Living in Kuwait my concern has naturally been aroused. I have been a resident here for 5 years and enjoyed the hospitality of a generous nation which,contrary to popular belief, I am still very much a party to.

We are so quick to judge and condemn from afar. I live, and will continue to live, here. I am amongst friends as I was during my life in the UK. I was born, raised and will always be a British citizen. I will never, I hope, become a bigot.
Concerned, Kuwait

I agree wholeheartedly that America could use more effective and just policies with regard to the Middle East, I even harbor considerable doubts about the merits of our current air war. But let's not forget that the real bullies and aggressors are those who butchered without thought or remorse over 5000 people on September 11. To think that the Taliban--the greatest violator of every basic human right existing in the world today--will simply hand over Bin Laden when they receive "proof" is at best simple-minded.
Peter, San Francisco, USA

We have all changed here. We have been exposed to a horror that we never dreamed possible. Our minds were not equipped to see what we saw. To smell the stench that still remains and lingers through our streets. The pain of knowing that we could be hated to this degree. As a person of color, I know how it feels to be looked down upon. Many have died in this country simply because of who they were. However, the terrorists did not discriminate in bringing death to over 6000 people. We all feel vulnerable and to some degree helpless. The people of Afganistan are now victims, just as we were and to some level, still are. I only pray that death does not come to them as it did here. Dealing with the Taleban and bin Laden merely touches on the surface of controlling terrorism. The fact is that none of us knows when it will happen again and where.
Tyesha, New York, USA


The world has changed for the better

Mark Anthony, USA
The world has changed for the better. The majority of people here finally support our objective to take on the enemies that would destroy us, with or without the help or support of the rest of the world.
Mark Anthony, USA

To Mark Anthony of the USA. I'm glad that your country is united behind its' political leadership. I wish we in the UK were so lucky. However, while I agree that it is important to fight terrorism, I must maintain my position that the tactics and strategies chosen by America are not only ineffectual, they actually strengthen their enemies.
Ben Russell-Gough, London, England

The world has not changed yet, but it will." Big Money" has made the world a place of immense injustices. And when the population gets worn down by generations of this behaviour, all they need is someone to follow them into a battle against what is causing their suffering. And unfortunately, it always seems to be the wrong person, someone with their own agenda. I believe if the world was a fairer place, where people had equal opportunities, not only terrorism would come to an end, but crime, poverty, violence, and most of the ills of the world would eventually end too. Contented people don't want conflict in their lives.
CR, UK

I think all around the world people are united in their feelings of sorrow for those poor people who lost their lives in such a mindless act of terror. Let's hope we learn from this.
Josh Hawes, Wales


We can all do something to make a difference

Moazzam, UK
The world hasn't changed, it's the people that have changed, it's the people that either make this world a better place or a worse place. Change is inevitable, However we can all do something to make a difference. Everyone knows that to resolve a problem, we must first find the cause, we can then progress from there. We are supposed to be an advanced civilisation, it really doesn't look like it!
Moazzam, UK

The world may have changed for the west, but for the rest of the world where dictatorship, unrest and death are common, it is business as usual.
Jennifer, UK

The world HAS changed. We're at war. Whether we should be or not is another matter. I think people underestimate the capabilities and the irrationality of the likes of Osama Bin Laden and indeed Saddam Hussain. Don't the words 'Nuclear' or 'Biological War' scare Blair or Bush? They certainly unnerve me!
Nick Treharne, UK

Yes, world has changed. There is no peace; we are living in the horrified world. Please get back the peace.
Sudha Sonny, India


Yes, the world has changed... and I am glad

Jeanne Olson, Chicago, USA
Yes, the world has changed... and I am glad. Historically few people here in the US wanted to talk about US Foreign Policy and the mixed-results overseas "deals". The country was so focused inward... I would mention "Behind the Veil" and everyone thought I was talking about a wedding. Now, with the help of the Internet, public radio, access to foreign news sources, and a big, scary reason to care...

I have seen MORE Americans in the last 30+ days try to get their hands on as much "good news" as they can (not the propaganda put out by the top "corporation and government controlled" national news stations.) This makes me proud again (finally!) of a lot of my fellow Americans. They are educating themselves on issues we should have known about all along, should have been more "reflective" as a nation in the global community versus selfish. I hope these new conversations continue forever.
Jeanne Olson, Chicago, USA

The world has changed. Enough is now enough. They 'the terrorists' have had their bluff called and like all bullies are now grizzling at how unfair punishment is. Like bullies, see how they surround and hide behind innocents, using any excuse like naughty children to get out of coming to terms that they are evil, cruel and wrong. They can stop this instantly, they have clearly been told what needs to happen. They bring upon themselves retribution. I and all those I have spoken to firmly stand behind our governments and the resolute task before them.
Andrew Burbidge, UK


The world hasn't changed a bit - in the last thousands of years

Victor D, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
The world hasn't changed a bit - in the last thousands of years. We still solve our problems by force and violence. Peace years have existed in all the past empires, only to be toppled by outside forces or their own arrogance or lack of understanding that others do not think the same way. I don't see this changing in the near future. We're still a long way off from a "One World" status.
Victor D, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

"Has the world changed since military action was launched?" Has the world changed since Doris Appleby's cat climbed a tree or Simon Quinlag left for work five minutes earlier then usual? The world itself remains, as always, unimpressed by the meaningless actions of us humans.
Charles Brown, Aberdeen, Scotland


We'll have more terrorist converts who will be more determined than ever to bring the US to her knees

Chee Choong, Malaysia
The world is surely changing. With each passing day of imagery of a weak party being struck by a vastly stronger one, all the while playing by the rules of the latter, we'll have more terrorist converts who will be more determined than ever to bring the US to her knees. The obvious irony is that it's become free advertising for wily Osama and his ilk to recruit their numbers.
Chee Choong, Malaysia

The affairs of nations on this planet must be determined by the rule of law. The rest of the world must not let one country, be judge, jury and executioner in the affairs of this planet. It is simply suicidal. A collective body, like the UN should perform those functions. America's self-interests are too narrow for the world to allow it to walk into Grenada, kidnap Noriega and bomb Iraq and now Afghanistan. History is littered with examples of the arrogance of power and that power corrupts.
Abdullah M Yusoff, Singapore

No, the world has not changed. Just our view of it. We are in just as much danger today as we were in, before September 11. We just realize it now, that's all. I just hope this can all be resolved quickly and with a minimal loss of life. Plus I'd like to remind people that Islam isn't the enemy here. The people of Afghanistan are not our enemy. The Taleban, Osama Bin Laden and those who follow him are our enemies.
Cathleen, USA

The world has changed, finally. I think, separately we cannot do anything against terrorism. If we work together, we will win, if not we will live in fear.
Bakhtiyer, Tashkent, Uzbekistan


The support for the action in Afghanistan is evaporating.

Joseph S. O'Leary, Ireland
The support for the US/UK action in Afghanistan is evaporating. The Islamic world is being united in resentment as the West is split by US jingoism. We all wanted the Taliban out and we all want to suppress terrorism, but no one wants a repeat of the massacres in Vietnam or Iraq. Meanwhile, could we at least stop the war long enough to feed the refugees? Do the USA want to have a huge humanitarian catastrophe on their hands?
Joseph S. O'Leary, Ireland

The world has never stopped changing. But are we still living in the Middle Ages? Most of the Western people are completely unaware of the fact that our prosperity is based on the exploitation of the periphery. For decades we have been keeping the Arab countries at subsistance levels and ignorance in order to have cheap oil. We are responsible for their fundumentalism
Irma Mihelidaki, Greece

When speaking with other average middle class women, the most common thread is that we all are "going about the business of living our lives" - but with the overwhelming sense that something is terribly wrong. It is hard to know how to feel, there are stories and moments where my composure crumbles and I find myself driving to an every day errand crying.

I am a former New Yorker and just returned from flying there on business. I felt as though my heart would break when we saw the skyline as we approached La Guardia.In place of the Trade Center is a hole filled with floodlights and smoke still rising from the debris. Just remembering that sight reduces me to tears as I type this.

Of course the free world has changed, and as a parent who took for granted that my children's lives would be "better" than mine, I now wonder what kind of world they will grow up in.
Susan Hass, US


Why focus on Afghanistan? Terrorism is everywhere

Ioanna, Thessaloniki, Greece
Is this attack intended to 'flush out' Bin Laden? Then the US must explain why it's not negotiating with the Taliban, who seem to want to hand the man over - and save themeselves - without losing honour or seeming like lackeys of the West. After all, which one of our own countries would hand over a suspect to, say, Japan or Argentina without some evidence of his guilt?

Or is the war intended to destroy terroristm once and for all? Then why focus on Afghanistan - terrorism is everywhere, including in the US and Europe. And why choose a 'hot war' when covert operations would do the job better?
Ioanna, Thessaloniki, Greece

All terrorists should be mercilessly exterminated - I'm all for that. However, endless bombing raids over a country that already has nothing is pointless. What does it achieve? Why are the Americans always obsessed with using bombs, missiles etc? Have they learned nothing from history? Bombs achieve nothing! Fine, use a few in the early stages to destroy military targets etc, but then stop. I know you guys were traumatised in 'Nam' and since then you don't want to put a soldier on the ground but if you don't you will never achieve your goals. You will just sow the seeds of further hatred and resentment with every bomb that goes astray.
B Thompson, UK


The West has only just realised that a fundamental strand of Islam has been at war with them for years.

John, USA
I see a change. The West has only just realised that a fundamental strand of Islam has been at war with them for years. What has not changed is that the conflict is superficially based on religion and politics, but is really over the control of Middle East oil.
John, USA

The attack on the US was unprovoked and without warning and members of 80 nations died. Wipe this idiot out before he does something worse, and if the Taleban get in the way then so be it. They are responsible for the deaths of more of their own people than the allies will ever be.
Garry, Germany

We "Americans" should continue our drops in Afghanistan. But it should be more food, supplies and medicine. If the Northern Allinace wants to change the power structure there then we should support them with aid, but we are not accomplishing anything by dropping bombs on the poor. All we are accomplishing is the further alienation of Islam and the rest of the Middle East. Bush should quit being so damned pleased with himself. He is just as much a fanatic as Bin Laden with his ultimatums to the Taliban!
Jason, USA


We tried to tell the whole world of this danger, but nobody took what we said into account.

Yusuf, Erdal and Resul, Turkey
We think the world has not changed too much. For about 15 years our country had been suffering because of terrorism - especially in the South-East of Turkey. We tried to tell the whole world of this danger, but nobody took what we said into account. Now they can understand we were right. We want the USA to be succesful against the terrorism - not against Afghanistan.
Yusuf, Erdal and Resul, Turkey

The world has changed little. America has just had it's eyes opened to the same realities the rest of the world deals with every day. I'm ashamed to admit how ignorant I was about this world on September 10th. I'm sad to see that people don't think the majority of Americans have asked "why".

Although I understand why we began bombing Afghanistan, it's obvious that bombs aren't driving the terrorists out. It's time to stop bombing and use more intelligence. It's time to address the real problem. But, I don't think that's Bin Laden's true agenda.
Sandie, USA

We must get rid of world terrorism for good. It may take years but until we do, the world will not be the same again.
Graham Powell, Wales


Yes, the world is changing. But to what?

David Thompson, New Zealand
The world hasn't changed, but it will. The gulf between Islam and the West is widening, and what will happen when it becomes a chasm? America has shown that they are an arrogant, aggressive nation who are futilely bombing the living daylights out of a devastated 3rd world country. They have proven this time that the old way of building military power is no longer effective. Yes, the world is changing. But to what?
David Thompson, New Zealand

The world hasn't changed. We are waking up from a deep sleep. Those who condemn the US war on terrorism should talk to the 15,000 plus people who live where I live - whose lives have been turned upside-down. Are we supposed to sit back and wait to get hit again? How much should we take before we do something? If the Taliban gave up Bin Laden, the US would not be in Afghanistan. Let the wealthy Arab countries help get Afghanistan back on its feet. The citizens of the US are tired of handing out money to every nation in the world and receive nothing but disdain and condemnation in return.
C. Jamesburg, USA

The world has not changed. The powerful still bully the poor country. Justice is only for the powerful. And Bin Laden is still at large. Poor innocent people are still the victims. So what are the changes? To get rid of the terrorist by killing the innocent?
Nora, Malaysia

Has the world changed? This seems to be nothing but a rhetorical question. Those of us who have spent our lives under a warm blanket of security must now cautiously duck under the covers. For Americans, the closest that we have come to a national tragedy on our home front in 50 years have been school shootings and a bombing every 5 years or so. For the lot of us, these occurrences happen hundreds upon thousands of miles away... yet I believe that every true American wants justice for the atrocities committed to innocent lives. Will a few more innocent lives be taken in the aftermath? Sure. Just as people of Afghanistan will lose lives, so will New York and Washington D.C. - only fighting to save others in a collapsed building.

But I do ask this, if there is another way to "compromise" the retaliation or peace talks for what has occurred, then I am sure that every American would listen with open ears. The problem must be halted! We cannot play a game not to win. We must make sure that there will not be games to play in the future.
Scott Boswell, USA


Nothing will change until there is food, equality and freedom for all.

Stacy Brankovic, USA
The world hasn't changed. This situation reflects the ever-present struggle between the "haves" and the "have-nots". Those who do not have power but want it seek to gain it by manipulating and using those who have no food, freedom or opportunities to attack those who do. Nothing will change until there is food, equality and freedom for all.
Stacy Brankovic, USA

How can people like Josh claim that the UK should not be involved in this war. Is he not aware that in one day the UK lost more lives from terrorism than we lost against the IRA in thirty years? If that doesn't involve us would he kindly tell us how many deaths require a British reaction?
Brady, UK

I can't believe the people of this country aren't listened to. Tony Blair simply ignores his country and works for the US which is devastating. We were brought into this war, which this country should not be involved in.
Josh, UK

The biggest changes are that the average American now knows just a little bit more world geography, but now understands even less about the aims or beliefs of Islam.
Brian Naylor, England


It is clear that the Western powers have yet to learn any important lessons

TB, Belgium
As the world starts to recover from the shock of 11 September, it is clear that the Western powers have yet to learn any important lessons. Firstly, the US-UK led coalition is currently playing straight into the hands of the Bin Laden and Al-Quaeda. The terrorists' strategy is clearly to portray the US as an international bully, unaware of the plight of many of the world's poor. The bombing of Afghanistan is doing this for Bin Laden.

Secondly, the hate of the US is increasing in Muslim and other countries. Although 11 September left everyone angry and confused and wanting revenge (which was perfectly natural under the circumstances), for a few weeks it seemed as though Bush would keep a clear head and refrain from a knee-jerk reaction which would only aggravate the situation. However, this didn't last and, instead of fighting the covert with the covert, Bush merely seems to be feeding the public thirst for blood. Surely the US should have avoided the huge CNN-led media blitz of Desert Storm Part II, and taken care of the terrorists in a more clinical fashion, whilst conceding that US foreign policy has been severely lacking in prudence in recent years. Why is it that the lessons we are taught as children: "do not retaliate"; "two wrongs don't make a right"; and "revenge is for the wicked" are not put into practice by our leaders?
TB, Belgium

I believe very little has changed, except of course that Tony Blair is now chief U.S. envoy. Incidentally, does anyone truly believe that the situation which currently exists would have existed, with such strong U.S. leadership, if the terrorists had smashed planes into buildings in London, Berlin, Toronto, or Auckland?
Thomas, Canada

I can't believe the people of this country aren't listened to. Tony Blair simply ignores his country and works for the US which is devastating. We were brought into this war, which this country should not be involved in.
Josh, UK

Two thoughts have crossed my mind since crossroad of September 11. 1)It is difficult to win against those who have nothing to lose. 2) If history has taught us anything, it's that it teaches us nothing.
Timothy Weeks, USA/Netherlands

A week of bombing - a week of destruction and chaos put upon people who are as innocent as those that died on September the 11th. Are the US and UK governments so blind to think that this is going to work out fine and their nations will stand behind them patriotically whilst thousands more are slaughtered in order to seek out a few? Winston Churchill once said "Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened."

Don't get me wrong - I was choked as I watched the events of 11th September, and strongly believe that Bin Laden is responsible and should pay bitterly for it, but I fear that as nations both the UK and the US are doing nothing but fuelling the propaganda that Bin Laden lays on so thickly. This man is not going to roll over and say he's wrong nor will he surrender in order to save the life of innocents. I close with another quote from Mr Churchill; "A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject."
Kevin, London, UK

I don't believe the world has changed as a result of the events on 9/11 or the present bombing. Instead we are all seeing where our loyalties lie. After reviewing most of the posts I am shocked by the naiveté expressed by the liberals. Maybe a short story will make my point. Two liberals are walking down a road and come across a beaten and bloody man lying in a ditch. One turns to the other and says, "Wow, the man who did this really must need some help".

Instead of asking ourselves "Why do these people hate us?" and what can we do to make everybody happy? Maybe we should enforce civility and towards that end words don't carry that much weight but a 5,000lb cluster bomb does. Of course people are going to disagree over political and social inequities. But if you resort to violence to make your point then you must be prepared to expect it in kind. Personally I could care less for the criticism of U.S. Middle East Policy. If you think your governments are not representative, living conditions are unacceptable and human rights are a joke then do something about it yourself. It's not the responsibility of the U.S. to fix your problem. But we will support who we want and that is our choice and it is I believe the majority opinion here.
John Thompson, U.S.

I think the World is now a slightly safer place than it was last week. A terrorist organisation has had a taste of what it is like to be attacked and have felt a small flexing of the West's true muscle. The sooner the anti-war brigade understand that they have such strength to thank for their freedom to protest, the better.
Tom, UK

Yes the world has changed. We have many more dead innocent people. There is a greater threat of terrorism in the world and there is far more instability in the Middle East and South Asia. If that what Blair and Bush wanted then they have done a good job of changing the world.
Marvin, U.K.

I read recently the slogan "Unity through Diversity" and I really believe this should be a good solution to the current crisis. Instead of a lot of pulpit-style rhetoric, it would serve many of the contributors to think about September 11 and reflect on the fact that the targets may have been buildings but the casualties were people from 80 nations, from diverse faiths, all going about their business. Terrorists are anti-societal. If we are to believe in society then they must be curtailed if not eliminated. I live in a multi-cultural free society out of choice and I am thankful for the opportunity. Yes, the world has changed but it has not been destroyed and Bush, Blair et al. need time and support, not impatience and criticism.
Paul Ashton, USA

The world has definitely changed if not the specific situations. People around the world are becoming more aware of what is going on. We in the United States have finally woken up to realize that we are not immune to what goes on elsewhere in the world. In response to the accusations that we are specifically targeting civilians in Afghanistan, I say to you this. If we really wanted to "pound" or "obliterate" the people of Afghanistan then why don't we? The United States surely has the power to. No, instead we go out of our way in an attempt to ensure the safety of those civilians who will not or cannot leave the dangerous areas. When a bomb or a missile does impact civilian areas it is not by intent or direct malice, it is an accident. The same cannot be said for the three jetliners on September 11th.
Chris K, New Hampshire, USA

There always be different ways of bringing people to justice and just like in the case of Milosevic who executed thousands of innocent people and got away with it and America and the UN stood by and did very little. It is this that annoys the Muslim world - the difference in policies and the intolerable behaviour by Israel which seems to be condoned by America in the lack of any sanctions or actions against them. I pray for peace but until America changes it policies towards the general moderate countries and adhere to those grievances nothing will change in fact all the West will do is make the young believe in the martyrs and will subsequently follow in there steps and the chain will begin all over again Is this what we really want?
Bobby, England

My attitude hasn't changed. I think the UK and USA are acting totally unreasonably in this entire situation. The Taleban have suggested on several occasions now that once they are shown proof they will hand over Bin Laden to a third, neutral court for prosecution. This is fair and democratic. The fact that Bush and Blair refuse to show any evidence or let the man face a judicial procedure just smacks of a cover up of alternative plans. Bush and Blair are solely responsible for this war because they did not explore all the possible solutions before choosing the most destructive. I think it is an insult to the dead of September 11 to carry out slaughtering of innocents in the world's poorest country.
Carole K, UK

No, I wouldn't say that the world has changed. Terrorists have been hitting targets for centuries and the US has been bombing innocent civilians since WW2 in all its aggressive foreign campaigns. So what's new! Countries, tribes, ideologies etc have been at war with each other since the dawn of the human species. Personally I am disgusted with the hypocrisy of the West. How can they mourn the loss of innocent life in one instance, and then commit the destruction of it themselves in another? What will signify that the world has changed is when America ceases to answer everything with bombs and violence.
Mick D, UK


It will be a very long war if Bush has it all his way

Peter, Hong Kong
It will be a very long war if Bush has it all his way. He is already planning his next conflict with Iraq. I believe this Anthrax story is nothing but a cooked up story, spread by the White House war machine. Another excuse for the US to take out Saddam. It doesn't fool me though.
Peter, Hong Kong

The continuous comparison and common reference between Muslims and terrorists is absolutely outrageous. I cannot understand why the British press continually has stories about Muslims and terrorists within the same context. I do not remember them doing the same between Catholics and the IRA or Protestants and the UVF. Instead they use references to Republicans or Loyalists. Bin Laden and his men are extremists. Muslims are not terrorists. Just like Roman Catholics are not all members of the Provisional IRA.
Benjamin Kopic, London, UK

The world hasn't really changed - existing geopolitical fault lines have merely cracked wide open after the seismic shock of September 11. The Muslim and western worlds are becoming more separate, more entrenched. We should be careful now to examine what happens within the Bush administration - there too fault lines have emerged between Republican hardliners and moderates. The hawks of the "Wolfowitz Cabal" are attempting to widen the war to include Iraq. If they succeed then we can expect a much wider, longer and more dangerous war.
Iain Ball, UK

I don't think the world has changed but we have certainly woken up to the dangers that have been brewing for years. My fear is that this will become a long and protracted war as the Taleban won't give up Bin Laden. Even if they did, would this stop terrorism in the future?
Danielle, The Netherlands


If this is a war, then Osama and others will strike Britain

Don Antony, Zimbabwe
Well things have changed for sure. Now that Tony Blair has taken a strong but unpopular stance against the Afghans, he should also be fair enough to tell his counterpart, Bush, the real reasons that caused those attacks on America but not to hide behind the rhetoric of saying that this is a war on terrorism. He should also understand the full meaning of war. If this is a war, then Osama and others will strike Britain too. The death of a British or American soul is equivalent to that of an Afghan. Your death will not be viewed as more tragic than theirs because all men are equal.
Don Antony, Zimbabwe

A few thousand more innocent people that had no idea anyone could hate them that much have been killed. For what? The US government has embarked on another war - no doubt as successful as its war on drugs or Vietnam. The cycle of violence goes on and any of us could be a casualty at any moment. Nothing changes.
Brian, UK

The world has not changed. What is going on in the world is tribalism all over again. The Afghans are buckling and wish to negotiate but Bush is being a bully and wants it all his way. The UK government, in particular Tony Blair and Jack Straw, are still giving the US their full support, like lap dogs. Public opinion is not heard. In yesterday's Panorama program, we saw young Muslims in the UK convinced it's a war against Muslims. Innocent people in Afghanistan are pleading with the west to stop the bombing. The list is endless, not to mention the other major issues in the world. The world has not changed, only the state of the world has. From striving to live in peace and harmony, we are resorting to violence for the sake of tribalism. We might be living in the 21st century but things have not changed.
Nelson, London, UK


It has become a more dangerous and polarised world

Max Ben Arye, Canada
The world has changed because it has become a more dangerous and polarised world, but people and their naiveties have not changed at all. Do the 20,000 people that demonstrated for peace in central London not realize that they might have gotten killed or imprisoned by the very same repressive regimes in whose interest they were marching, had they expressed their anti-government views in those countries. Not until I see demonstrations for peace in Tehran, Gaza City, Damascus and Tripoli will I truly be convinced that the world has changed.
Max Ben Arye, Canada

Max Ben Arye, no one is defending totalitarian regimes, but it's worth paying attention to the many who do not believe that people living under a totalitarian regime should pay for the actions of international terrorists. It's also worth remembering that as a consequence of western bombing and sanctions one fifth of the Iraqi population has died. That shouldn't happen.
Rhiannon, UK


We are still stupid enough to let this happen

AF, Singapore
The terrorists are creating more horrifying terror, the military retaliation is bigger and better and more expensive and the human cost is even greater. No things haven't changed. We are still stupid enough to let this happen.
AF, Singapore

The whole world can see that the bombing is now destabilising the majority of Muslim nations worldwide. It's not about terrorism anymore, it's about the bombing of innocent people in Afghanistan, while the Taleban and al-Qaeda are hidden away in their safe mountain enclaves. Does no one care about this?
Farhaan Mirza, England

The world does seem to have changed, albeit for the worst. There are no indications yet that the bombings are going to get Osama and co out of their holes. With each passing day, America is losing the sympathy extended to them in the aftermath of the WTC bombings because of the daily mounting death toll of innocent lives. Add to that the impending terror of chemical warfare being perpetrated as a means of revenge by the terrorists. The world sure has got quite a bit more unsafe during the last week.
Deepak Suri, India

The world has changed in that we are now more conscious of the dangers of Islamic fundamentalism. The USA and Russia are now allies and Islam has emerged as a new superpower that is perceived as blindly hostile to everyone and everything standing in its way. I do believe that the ultimate aim of Islamic fundamentalists is truly world domination. At the same time, it is encouraging to see the way that Western countries, including Russia, are closing ranks to fight this menace.
Antoine Vella, Malta


The world has changed for the worst

Ramzi Yaffawi, Palestine
The world has changed for the worst. Arabs and Moslems' historical perception of America and the west is biased and hostile. This has been maintained and substantiated. The west not only conspired against the Arabs early this century but betrayed its promises to free it from Turkish occupation and supported the establishment of Israel at the expense of the original owners, the Palestinians. The west and America still practice the same aggressive strategy against the Arab world by occupying Saudi Arabia, besieging Iraq, threatening Iran and supporting Israel unconditionally.
Ramzi Yaffawi, Palestine

Yes the world has changed. It has made us in the west realise that appeasing, ignoring and dodging terrorism was very foolish. Now these demons will have to reap their reward.
Frank, USA

My world has changed. I'm getting on a plane to fly 5,000 miles to see my family. It may be the last time I see them, with terrorists on the loose. I'm not afraid. If 6,000 innocent people can be so brave, so can I.
Melanie, USA

Yes, the world has changed. It has returned to the middle ages, when people killed in the name of faith. The religious true believer is a person, whose state of his mind is a one-channel radio, unable to analyse, to think or to question.
Alexander Pushkin, Israel

It's still the same and still might is right, the west is arrogant and Muslims divided. Democracies are still encouraged where there are unwanted regimes and the puppet regimes are still supported by the west. Propaganda is still controlling unwitting minds in democracies. The west is still giving the carrots of aid to the east to silent it. Doing the right thing is still difficult. The world hasn't changed at all.
Qaswar, Pakistan


There is no way we can win this war

Phil Sandy, UK
I believe that the war on terrorism, although honourable, is ill-fated from the start. There is no way we can win this war, and the continued bombing of Afghanistan if anything is counter productive. It will just increase the tensions in the area leading to more, not less, terrorist activity.
Phil Sandy, UK

The only long-term solution to the problem of terror is the gradual education of people, not making them better by changing their culture and decrying their religions. Rather through informing them of the positive aspects of western practices so that they may make their own choices. Unfortunately, in the short term, the nearest thing to a solution may be the armed response that has been undertaken.
D Viglino, USA

I feel a lot has changed since September 11. Unfortunately for the worst. Yes, it seems likely Bin Laden and his group were responsible, but how do we know for sure? If the evidence is that strong, show some of it to the Taleban, who have just offered to send Bin Laden to a third country if they see the evidence and the bombing stops. It may be stalling, but surely it's better than bombing innocents, rather than just saying no outright as Bush has done. I am a white English male, who, after seeing a lot of the reports and reactions from Bush and Blair, is starting to understand the anti-US and UK sentiment throughout the world.

A lot of people I know feel that it is time the west took responsibility for the problems it has caused or ignored rather than shoot them to bits. Sadly, as horrible as the events were, there are deeper issues involved that our governments still don't seem to want to face. There also exists a culture now of not being able to say anything that vaguely criticises the US. This leads to more ill-feelings around the world and not just in Muslim countries.
Shane Woodhouse, UK

Of course the world has changed. Americans are changed and now know that they are not as supreme as they thought. Muslims are changing now. They are becoming united as the war is going in different stages. The US just wants Osama Bin Laden and claim that he killed more than 6,000 people, and to achieve that goal the US can kill probably millions of innocent people and that will not be terrorism. That will be called retaliation. The US had the peaceful means to get what they wanted but it chose war, and if this war turns religious then only God knows what will happen. Most probably the day of judgement is closer.
Muhammad, Canada

As a Muslim currently living in the US, I support the bombing of Afghanistan and president Bush's decision. However I do not think that the poor starving people who reside there deserve to die for one man's unjust act towards western civilization. Our religion preaches peace and love, not hate and destruction.
Rana Levy, UK/US

It would be naive to believe that these actions can change the world. In my opinion, these air strikes will only create more hatred and anger. If we really want to change the world and make it a better place, then we should not be bombing countries and injuring civilians but make sure that there aren't any people left to carry out such actions. These terrorist attacks are not just a game. There are years and years of poverty and injustice involved in driving a man to kill himself and so many people. If we really want to change things, then we should be eliminating injustice. Only when everybody on this planet has equal chances, these fundamentalists can't find people willing to do such things. But if we bomb the world, we'll only make things worse.
RP, Belgium

In trying to get rid of things that are unpleasant, the problems created are often worse than the original thing. In trying to get rid of foot and mouth they created more suffering. And now in trying to get rid of terrorists they are creating even more suffering, Better to live the way of acceptance.
Michael, UK

Apart from the fact that no one wants to open their mail, no one wants to fly or use the tube or that we now seem to be in a war we don't know who with and for how long, or how to end it? No, the world hasn't changed. It seems the terrorists have already won, by causing terror. Can anyone explain why the west seems to want to stay in the Middle East, apart from Oil? And I'm not sure the safety of Israel is a fully legitimate answer either.
Karl, UK


Bush and Blair have a dilemma

David, Hong Kong
Bush and Blair have a dilemma. If they go on and take a long time over ridding the world of terrorists, than they will loose much of the support in the Arab and Islamic world. So they have to finish quick and probably quite messily to avoid this scenario.
David, Hong Kong

I'd be more comfortable about going after Middle Eastern terrorists if the West had the same enthusiasm for going after it's own terrorists. For example, in mid-1990, the New York Times published a photograph of 19 coffins in a village in Nicaragua. The text said that the Contra's using mines supplied by the US government had blown up the local school bus in order to intimidate the local people. Although the US Congress withdrew all funds for the Congress within a few days of this photograph, the Contra leaders were given residence in the USA. To blow up a school bus was a terrorist attack and the Contra movement that carried it out was US-backed. Yet there have bee no prosecutions of these terrorists.
Bill, UK

I think that military strikes in Afghanistan have had an adverse effect throughout the Muslim world. Creating civil unrest in Pakistan, India, Malaysia, Iran, Sudan etc. The list is growing. The US has taken the easy option and has deepened the divide between the moderate Muslims and the western world
DAN, UK

Since this conflict started I'm being reading more about Middle East conflict and USA intervention in worldwide conflicts. I think that people are opening their eyes more. Now there are three parts in this conflict. We know two, and the third one is powerful - the opposition to war.
Manuel, UK


Tony Blair is acting like a puppet for the US

IB, Philippines
I hate it when I see Tony Blair acting like a puppet for the US. I hate to say this but I have lost all respect for the UK and the people who made it great, when I realized that this new age, your government is just pleasing the US. The US needs the UK more than the UK needs the US.
IB, Philippines

To everyone who believes the US is asserting a neo-colonialist attitude because of retaliatory strikes, I can assure there is nothing we all would like better than to have never been involved in Afghanistan or the issues of the Middle East. But we were requested there 10 years ago, and as Richard Butler pointed out, Iraq is stockpiling biological weapons of mass destruction. We lost innocents people here, without provocation or warning. If innocent people are being killed in Afghanistan, it is because the Taleban didn't remove them from military areas. They were given three weeks notice, and didn't do anything. The victims of the WTC and the Pentagon didn't have any warning they couldn't prevent it at all.
Nicole, USA

Yes, the world has changed. Public opinion towards the American attacks has changed. The demonstrations against American attacks on Afghanistan, which were confined to Islamic countries, are now visible in the Western world as well. Economy worldwide is in a devastating state and humans do not feel safe on this planet.
Tahir Farooqi, Pakistan


Mankind once again kill each other for their different ideologies

Babur Soylu, Turkey
I think the world has not changed that much. It's divided into two parts once again. It's the free and developed world against the primitive and dictatorial world. Mankind once again kill each other for their different ideologies. Even though we are in the new Millennium we still cannot solve our problems without killing each other.
Babur Soylu, Turkey

Mullah Mohammed Omar is complaining about the number of women and children killed by the alliance? As regrettable and sad as it is, it was accidental. Casualties of war. Does he feel the same way about the women and children murdered on purpose by the man he is protecting? I'd say give it a rest Omar because it is your fault that women and children were killed in this conflict. The blood of every dead person is on his hands. If he wants to stop it, he has to hand over Bin Laden and dissolve his leadership, because somehow I can't see a halt to war before this. There is no free world, just one that's better than the other.
Richard H, UK

The US had to respond to the Attacks and bombing was a good means to soften up the Taleban and their friends. However now is the time to work with the Alliance and send in special ground forces to carry out covert operations; this is probably happening. The US needs to keep up the pressure but only by bombing legitimate targets otherwise it may lose world support.
Vivian de Mesquita, Spain

The world has definitely changed. For once in our life times the issues, which are the real cause behind this horrible tragedy in New York, are being recognized. Bombing mud houses in Afghanistan is not the solution. They have already been bombed by the Russians and between themselves. Now America also wants their pound of flesh. The solution lies in the hands of world powers, which have knowingly and willingly allowed issues to remain unsolved in the name of national interest. Why don't they understand that terrorism is a two way street. The killing of innocent civilians in New York is as much terrorism as killing innocent people in the name of protecting the civilized world. These double standards have to go, if we want to have a peaceful coexistence in this world.
Salman Nazir, Pakistan

The world has changed in that the dream of a "Global Village" is over and there is no one to cry over its demise. The colonial mindset of the Western world has been exposed by classifying the West as the civilized world, implying that all others are uncivilized and should be civilized by force if necessary. In the process, subjugation of their population, collateral damage and the exploitation of their resources is just a subsidiary event. Why is it difficult for the "liberal, civilized world" to understand that phrases like "civilized world" and "collateral damage" are racist and de-humanizing to the sensibilities of the so called uncivilized world.
A Butt, Karachi, Pakistan

At the very least the terrorists have more reasons to hate Americans. The innocent have been butchered due to military errors. Western governments want to do what African governments have been doing all along - control the media. I shudder to think of UK editors being told by Downing Street what news to bury.
Thembelani Ndlovu, Zimbabwe

The world has too many religions and cultures. For thousands of years there has been war for one reason or another. The way western people are brought up and think is different to eastern people. The east is more extremist and will sacrifice more. This conflict will increase so that every country with different cultures and religions will be affected. I cannot write next what I believe will happen in the future but it looks bleak.
Charlie, England

Nothing has changed. Only the hatred for the US and the west has increased in the Muslim world among all peace loving people. Reportedly hundreds of innocent people including women and children have been killed by US air attacks. Osama is still at large. Bush is talking revenge directed at innocent people. Americans are still ignorant of the root causes of terrorism and will remain ignorant. This is evident by the NY mayor's rejection of the £10m dollar cheque by the Saudi Prince. At least he condemned terrorism and tried to advise the US to adopt a balanced policy toward Palestine.
Zargham, Pakistan

The world has changed a lot after the attacks on the USA and more dramatically in the case of Afghanistan. The Muslims are now aware of the hypocritical mind of the west. Why are civilians being targeted? Where are the humanitarian organisations and the Nobel peace prize winner? They should feel ashamed for receiving their award.
Mehmood, Pakistan


"What we learn from history is we have never learnt a damned thing from history"

Vo Van Cuong, Vietnam
"What we learn from history is we have never learned a damned thing from history". No, it would be naive to believe that things have changed. The course of history has turned a page for the worse but conflicts, more conflicts, perpetual conflicts, terrorism seems to be the flavour of the early years of the 21st century, it is a conflict nonetheless.
Vo Van Cuong, Vietnam

The world hasn't changed, we've just been forced to wake up and face the threats that are out there.
Pete, UK

The world has been changing constantly. The potential dangerous conflict between the Islam and the West has been emerging. If it will really develop into a world war depends primarily on the keeping extremists in check. It is in best interest of both sides to eliminate Osama Bin Laden and Taleban, as well as to resolve the Palestinian problem.
Mario Biancchi, Argentina


It would be a terrible irony if for the sake of 6,000 innocent westerners, 5, 10 or even 15 million Afghanistan's lost their lives

Phillip Krajewski, Australia
With a week of bombings, there can't possibly be much left to bomb in such a destitute country. Whilst I support the bombings, I hope that a quick resolution to this 'war' can be found, so that the 20 million innocent people of Afghanistan can attempt to rebuild their lives. It would be a terrible irony if for the sake of 6,000 innocent westerners, 5, 10 or even 15 million Afghanistan's lost their lives through starvation aided by the hunt for 1 man.
Phillip Krajewski, Australia

The world has changed for sure, for good , I hope so but only time will tell. Finally the US and the west has recognised the menace of terrorism; sadly though only after terror struck at home. If they had seen this coming which was so obvious all over world, this sad set of events would have never happened.
Nand Mehta, USA

Nope. Nothing has changed. The Middle East hates the western world as much now as it did on September 10th before the bombing. Just now, instead of hearing about the environment and gun control and all kinds of other useless garbage that the US media harped on because it is thoroughly incompetent, the real threat that was looming has taken the centre stage.
Dave, USA


Links to more Talking Point stories