Some anniversaries you just don’t look forward to.
Actually, to a history minded person, there are a lot of anniversaries that don’t equate to fond memories. One of them arrives tomorrow, marking the 20th year since the life-altering, world-changing 9/11/01 terrorist attacks that brought down the World Trade Center’s two towers as well as levelled a large section of the Pentagon just across the Potomac River from Washington, DC. It’s safe to say, everyone who was old enough to remember where they were when first hearing of the astonishing unfolding news recalls those morning hours with vivid detail.
I was patiently feeding cheerios to my toddler with PBS Kids on in the background when my wife called and told me to switch the TV to a news channel because “two planes had slammed into the World Trade Center.” Expecting to see a couple small planes piloted by maniacs or small-time terrorists looking to die in a spectacular fame-seeking but likely low casualty suicide mission, I did as she instructed. I was instantly jarred awake by the size of the gaping holes in the buildings, complete with black smoke billowing from the horrific scene.
‘Those weren’t small planes. How could this be an accident?’ I wondered.
Stunned disbelief quickly turned to concern. ‘Oh, those poor people.’ Not only the ones who were killed in the crashes… but what would happen to the others trapped on the floors above the impact zones? Confused news personnel then broke a report of another plane hitting the Pentagon. Crazy. This was no coincidence. What was next?
We all know the rest of the story. President Bush was quickly whisked away from a Florida elementary school classroom he’d visited on that morning and there was speculation that a fourth commercial aircraft that had taken off from Newark, New Jersey, was bound for somewhere. The crew had stopped communicating with the air control and was enroute to an unknown destination. Where was it going?
The 100-plus story Wall Street buildings collapsed in what seemed like slow motion. The missing plane plummeted from the sky and ended up in a tiny agricultural community in central Pennsylvania, which certainly was not the “real” target. Air travel of every type was completely suspended. People were sent home from their jobs. My oldest child’s first day of Pre-K was cancelled. The world essentially stopped. Eerie silence ensued. The president made statements. Americans tried to sort it out. This was a tragedy on top of a tragedy on top of a tragedy.
It was a day that would live in infamy. But at least on December 7, 1941, we knew who the attackers were.
In the weeks following, uncontrollable sadness morphed into intense anger. President Bush vowed to find those responsible and retaliate. Americans consolidated around the president, a perfect unity of purpose that hadn’t been seen since World War II -- and hasn’t been experienced since. People cried during the playing of the national anthem and “America the Beautiful” at sporting events. Patriotism was tangible -- and visible.
Grateful citizens couldn’t wait to thank first responders and honor them for their daily sacrifices. Each passing day brought more tales of individuals who were killed in the attacks and their widowed spouses and orphaned children. More sadness, more resolve.
Then American soldiers, sailors and airmen went into Afghanistan. And it’s never been the same since.
Politics was put on hold for a time. Even then, I knew the ceasefire wouldn’t last forever. Twenty years later, Afghanistan still blankets news reports, but not for rehashing a total victory on this anniversary and the triumphant return of our fighting forces, but for the disgrace and lasting smell of defeat due to the horrible ending of our role in the conflict under the misguided direction of current president Joe Biden. The then Delaware senator was well into his 28th year on Capitol Hill when the war began. Now he’s calling the shots and making excuses as the 46th president of the United States, having spent an additional eight years as Barack Obama’s vice president where he was very involved with steering Afghanistan policy.
Surveys show American voters are enduring a major bout of buyer’s remorse for trusting the mentally slipping Democrat Joe with so much power, even including those who opted to vote for him last November. Jennifer Harper reported at The Washington Times:
“Two significant polls now reveal that a considerable number of voters regret voting for President Biden back on Election Day 2020.
“A new Zogby Poll [conducted Aug. 5-13] finds that a fifth of likely U.S. voters who voted for Mr. Biden are now sorry that they chose him to lead the country. ‘Why does this matter? If you take into consideration the size of the electorate, and how the last two presidential elections (2016 and 2020) were decided by tens of thousands of votes in a handful of battleground states, this could really hurt President Biden’s chances in 2024,’ the poll analysis noted...
“A new Rasmussen Reports survey also uncovered some regret. It found that if the ‘next presidential election’ were held today, 37% of likely U.S. voters would choose Mr. Biden, 43% would pick former President Donald Trump, and 14% say they would vote for some other candidate. The survey of 1,000 likely U.S. voters was conducted Aug. 16-17.”
Neither poll is “new” and I’ve written on the Rasmussen survey before, gloating a bit that Trump would win the election if it were held today. Neither of the tallies Harper wrote about were completed prior to the disastrous end-of-August capitulation in Afghanistan. Both didn’t sample enraged citizens who couldn’t fathom how Americans and ally Afghanis were left on their own in the remote, war-torn nation. Just imagine how much regret there is now among Biden voters!
9/11 anniversaries will always produce pain and sorrow, but this year’s date is especially so, since the Afghanistan festering wound is still open and bleeding. Not everyone automatically associates Biden with Afghanistan and the 20th anniversary of the attacks, but some victims’ relatives have spoken out (calling Biden the “killer in chief”), saying they don’t even want the president present at Ground Zero tomorrow.
Americans fault Biden for the pullout while generally supporting his decision to leave Afghanistan. Many ardent Trump supporters were glad to have one issue where they mostly agreed with Biden, but everyone should have been wary of trusting a complex, diplomatically sensitive operation to an administration that hasn’t proven proficient at doing anything, including securing our southern border. Senile Joe not only screwed up the actual on-the-ground planning in Afghanistan, he got 13 U.S. service members killed in the process.
Whereas decent citizens of this country could’ve seen Afghanistan as at least having been worth the effort and somewhat justified for the immense loss of life and expenditure of trillions of dollars, everything disintegrated in the blink of an eye when the Taliban took over the whole country, capturing the vast piles of military hardware that were callously left behind along with the human prisoners.
Biden even had the nerve to insist the pullout was an “extraordinary success” and that Americans should be thankful that we are now away from Afghanistan. Perhaps senile Joe should try telling this to the families of the 9/11 victims and the husbands, wives, siblings, sons and daughters, parents and friends of those who fought valiantly during the “War on Terror.” It’s true, we killed Osama bin laden and weakened Al Qaeda, but what else is there to say about everything that’s transpired in those 20 years?
Does anyone feel good about this anniversary? While Ronald Reagan asked Americans whether they felt “Better off than you were four years ago” during his 1980 debate with Jimmy Carter, the question now becomes, “Are you as an individual and America as a country, better off than you were 20 years ago?”
No. The entire political class betrayed us, most prominently led by bumbling dunce Joe Biden, his ”woke” boss Barack Obama, and the Democrat congressional leadership that’s more preoccupied with cashiering January 6 defendants (like the “QAnon Shaman, Jacob Chansley) than working to ensure another massive terrorist barrage doesn’t happen again.
America has gone stupid in the past twenty years. The arrival of 9/11/21 brings a moment of intense reflection. Not many will enjoy the image they see.
United Flight 93
Islamic terrorist attacks
Osama bin laden
Peace of the Ummah