Washington: The US went into a “war on terror” after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks organized by Al Qaeda that killed 3,000 people, the worst attack on America since World War II.
Stephen Collinson, writing for CNN, said on September 11, 2001, doesn’t explain everything. But the War on Terror took America in a political direction not to turn back from because, after those twenty years, it is at war with itself, threatening its democracy from within.
Ultimately, the attacks heralded an era of political shock and unrest, ending a brief period when prosperous America stood as a lone superpower in the post-Cold War glow of peace.
In retrospect, it is now clear that despite the heroism of the thousands of soldiers killed or crippled in the wars after 9/11, the excesses of the American political response have caused, if not more, upheaval in the form of the attacks themselves. caused.
A swift, successful war in Afghanistan plunged into a quagmire of 20 years, which ended just last month. Another war in Iraq, fought on false pretense, was his early version of a Big Lie, says Collinson.
President George W. Bush went from a champion on the rubble at Ground Zero to a leader devastated by his own war.
His successor, Barack Obama, spent two terms struggling to bring the counter-terrorism campaign within law and international ethics, but the use of deadly drone strikes to take out terrorist targets has also resulted in civilian casualties and is condemned by human rights advocates. Gone, Collinson says.
And along came Donald Trump, who vowed to ban Muslims from entering the US and claimed he was smarter than all the leaders who led the fighting over the years.
The political wounds of the years after 9/11 were again exposed in recent days, as the chaotic final withdrawal from Kabul brought history full circle: the radical Taliban – which welcomed al Qaeda – again on Afghanistan ruled, CNN reported.
Bush once warned of a multi-generational struggle against terrorism. But climate change and the rise of China are now seen as bigger threats, Collinson says.
And the most serious threat from terrorists is now indigenous. Al Qaeda may have failed to attack the Capitol, but the building was attacked by extremists, who reaffirmed the government’s warnings that white supremacy is now the nation’s top terrorism threat.
After 9/11 America united to defend itself. As CNN reports, it failed to do so when confronted by a president (Donald Trump) who attacked democracy. The division plunged the country into another national crisis – the coronavirus pandemic, which kills more people every two days than it did on September 11, 2001.
If a new 9/11 happens, it’s hard to believe that national and political unity will be replicated by the first one, Collinson says.
Beyond politics, and as he contemplates 9/11 on its 20th anniversary, Tony Brooks—who served as an army ranger in Afghanistan and Iraq—now practices chiropractic medicine on and about. Leave No Man Behind”. Wartime Service – Commemorates the loss of national unity.
“It was the most unifying event in my lifetime, and since then it has felt like every major event in the world divides us even more. It’s not the same world where the mission was bigger than ourselves. It was all about us, I don’t. I guess it’s about me right now,” he said.