For me, 9-11 always arrives in a fog of memories. Like the tragedies of JFK's assassination, space shuttle Challenger exploding on ascent, or the triumph of Apollo 11's landing, I'll always remember where I was and details of the day it happened.
I've long harbored a mixed bag of responses. The first group of feels is "remember the fallen", "remember the first responders who ran into the buildings", "remember the dead and wounded servicemen, the ones who came back with missing limbs, or injuries that can't be seen" and "remember their families." All of those feels are still there. Next, though, came contempt for the politicians and beltway bandits that made money off those fallen servicemen. The age-old bad guys that Eisenhower coined the term "Military Industrial Complex" for. Those feels are now joined by contempt for and disgust with the current military leadership.
Everyone says 9-11 changed the world forever. America of 2023 is so different from the America that I grew up in that it's barely recognizable. Part of it was the PATRIOT act, which led to that NSA Data storage facility in Colorado (I ran some numbers on it in 2013, but that's pretty outdated) and so very much more. Peter Grant, Bayou Renaissance Man, ran a piece today linking to a piece on the Last Refuge that presents the case that 9/11 led to the current mess our country is in.
The problems we face now as a country are directly an outcome of two very distinct points that were merged by Barack Obama. (1) The post 9/11 monitoring of electronic communication of American citizens; and (2) Obama’s team creating a fine-tuning knob that it focused on the politics of the targets. This is very important to understand as you dig deeper into this research outline.
The late 1990s and into 2001 was a seminal moment in technology; the population of people online and communicating electronically skyrocketed, the data began pouring in and was ripe for the picking. It gave rise to what Sundance at the Last Refuge calls the Fourth Branch of Government or the Intelligence Branch. The article on Last Refuge is long and detailed but worth going back to.
While 9-11 led to Afghanistan and Iraq, Iraq was pretty much over with years ago, Afghanistan lingered on. We're now two years since the disastrous ending in '21. That was the year that we lost. We weren't defeated, we formally demonstrated defeating ourselves to the whole world. We lost in what might have been the most incompetent fustercluck in world history. A team of Brownie Girl Scouts could have planned and executed that abandonment of Afghanistan better than the Bidenistas did. For cryin' out loud, they abandoned hundreds of Americans and Afghans that worked for us behind Taliban lines. Many of those left behind have been assassinated. They even abandoned Biden's translator in Afghanistan. By now, the stories have been talked about until everyone has heard them.
to be clear, it's not that I think we should still be in Afghanistan,
I'm closer to those who have said we should have gotten out long ago,
only we should have done it competently. We didn't leave from any
position of strength, we left with our tails between our legs looking so
weak as to be pitiful to the charitable observers and pathetic to the
rest of the world. I'm sure we're especially pathetic to the heirs of
Bin Laden who declared us "a weak horse" easy to roll over. I expect
lots more actual attempts to emulate 9/11 while we're showing weakness. There have been reports that many people on the "terror watch list" came across the open border in the last few years. Not just from the middle east, but from all over the world, joined by Chinese communists. I'd be shocked to the point of falling over if there aren't Chinese Peoples' Liberation Army special forces teams in the country now.
America is weak now. Unprecedentedly weak. I hear numbers around that our non-nuclear weapons stockpiles are essentially gone; given to and used up in Ukraine. That Ukraine uses more in one day than manufacturers make in a month. Other adversaries have to be looking at us and thinking "now is the time" to do whatever they thought we'd respond to with force. It's possible they've decided not to attack us because we're doing such an excellent job of destroying ourselves.