One 12 months after marking the twentieth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the US finds itself struggling to carry on to its place as the world’s sole superpower
This 12 months marks the 21st anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist assault on the United States. Twenty-one is not historically a high-profile day of remembrance. People prefer to mark the passing of the years based mostly upon the attractiveness of the calendar, versus the precise relevance of the second. One-year anniversaries are necessary; two years much less so. The tenth anniversary is an enormous deal; not so the eleventh.
Last 12 months, the US and the world marked the twentieth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. What made this date extra necessary than the easy passage of time was that it was related – the 2021 occasion marking America’s entry into what was to turn into often called the “Global War on Terrorism” occurred lower than a month after America’s ignominious retreat from Afghanistan. The Kabul evacuation of August 2021 was the last act in a two-decade-long drama which noticed the imaginative and prescient of a “new American century” espoused by an American neoconservative elite, who seemed to use the horror of 9/11 by turning it right into a catalyst for world domination, run aground on the shoals of geopolitical reality, capsizing, and in the end sinking in a self-created storm of nationwide hubris.
The America that emerged from the 20-year coverage catastrophe that was the “War on Terrorism” (comprised of a number of distinct conflicts, together with Afghanistan and, maybe most notably, Iraq) was chastened and humiliated, however not defeated or humbled. There is a dichotomy between the geopolitical reality the United States discovered itself in after 20 years of international neglect whereas squandering the nation’s blood, treasure, and popularity in the deserts and mountains of the Middle East, and the narcissistic conceitedness of an American management elite unable and/or unwilling to acknowledge the harm they’d completed to the American enterprise, and as such nullify their collective utility in crafting applicable diplomatic, financial, and safety methods for restoration.
9/11 at 20-plus-one is the first anniversary of this new reality.
Unlike a marriage anniversary, the place the bride and groom are cognizant of the initiating date and subsequent outcomes being celebrated, the lack of ability on the half of the American collective – the folks, their management, and the mainstream media – to have interaction in fact-based, unemotional reflection on the place they have been at the twentieth anniversary of 9/11, how they obtained there, and the place they have been headed signifies that they fail to know the undeniable fact that they’re marking a one-year anniversary of a post-9/11 reality, which they appear largely ignorant of.
After 20 years of wandering in the geopolitical wilderness of the Middle East and Central Asia, America emerged a a lot weaker nation – militarily, economically, and diplomatically. Compounding this diminishment was the undeniable fact that whereas America was engaged in its two-decade act of self-immolation, the relaxation of the world was not treading water, however relatively shifting ahead, constructing their very own capabilities which, whereas not essentially designed to confront the United States, put them in a much more advantageous place if the time ever got here to take action.
Nations similar to Iran, China, and Russia watched as America expended its energy chasing ghosts, taking to coronary heart the classes America unwittingly was offering relating to its navy functionality, financial vulnerabilities, and diplomatic shortcomings. These classes have been magnified by the chaotic classroom of American democracy, the place the world bore witness to the wild vacillations of coverage and precept that got here from a two-party system at struggle with itself. Eight years of the neoconservative aggression of George W. Bush was adopted by eight years of neoliberal deception beneath Barack Obama; the 4 years of hubris-driven chaos that was the Trump administration has in flip been changed by two years of misguided and incompetent revanchism by a Biden administration working beneath the premise that one can undo the harm completed by a long time of American coverage failure by merely prepared it away.
American democracy, the ostensible “shining city on the hill” that was speculated to encourage the relaxation of the world to need to be like us and as such comply with our lead, had been uncovered as a Potemkin village, little greater than a ghetto disguised as an upscale suburb. The world was capable of see this transformation happen earlier than its very eyes; Americans, on the different hand, remained blissfully unaware, coerced into ignorant submission by the false promise of unconstrained consumerism.
Debts, nevertheless, should ultimately be paid. 9/11 at 20-plus-one displays the reality of many of these payments, home and overseas, coming due.
The 20-plus-one anniversary of 9/11 finds the United States in a political civil struggle that threatens to blow up into partisan-driven violence of a scope and scale unseen since the unique American Civil War. The dominance of the US greenback as the world’s reserve forex is very a lot unsure as international markets, fed up with American interference of their sovereign financial selections, are dropping the greenback in favor of regional forex “baskets.” After chiding Russia as being little greater than a “gas station disguised as a nation,” the United States and its allies discover themselves in the place of motorists stranded on a freeway in the center of a wilderness, their gasoline tanks empty, and no fuel station in sight – primarily as a result of they closed all the stations earlier than endeavor their journey. The financial sanctioning of Russia by the collective West has became an act of self-harm, with the economies of Europe collapsing, and America unable and/or unwilling to save lots of them.
American management was at all times predicated on the premise that the American mannequin of democratic governance helped produce the social, financial, and navy energy the US relied upon to confront the forces of evil in the world.
This mannequin not exists, thanks largely to how America behaved in the first 20 years after the 9/11 attacks.
9/11 at 20-plus-one finds the United States coming head to head with the reality of what it has wrought, in Ukraine, in the Pacific, in the Middle East, Africa, Asia … and at residence. Sow the wind, the Bible says, and reap the whirlwind.
The statements, views and opinions expressed on this column are solely these of the writer and don’t essentially signify these of RT.
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