It’s been 20-odd years living in the shadow of the 9/11 attacks. Its innocent victims were unrelated to any global conflict, except for the fact that they were in the twin towers and struck and killed by a terrorist organization to vanquish an enemy who was even not among the victims.
It is true that this year’s 9/11 anniversary has passed, and that the two men responsible for killing thousands of innocent people – Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahri – have themselves been killed. While their graves are hidden, Ground Zero, where the towers collapsed, has become a mass grave commemorating those killed that day.
Though the actual victims of 9/11 may been have identified, we don’t yet know who the true beneficiary of what happened may be. The events of 9/11 — when planes were hijacked to commit terrorist attacks by being flown into targets supposedly protected by a missile shield and warning radars to warn of any deviations in an aircraft’s flight path — still raise many questions, such as how the Tora Bora* cave dwellers could steer giant planes (although some hijackers had been trained in flying small aircraft technologically different from the planes used in the attacks). There is still another question as to whether the terrorists had inside accomplices. That is why the National Institute of Standards and Technology investigated the attacks and rejected all allegations made by 9/11 conspiracy theorists who claimed that authorities had previous knowledge of the strikes and ignored it, or that the authorities had hypothetically given help to the attackers.
Still another question remains as to who or what benefited from 9/11. Certainly whoever was able to justify the many wars that swept through Arab and Muslim countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya and Yemen, all of which occurred immediately after 9/11 with aftershocks including the Arab Spring, and all of which were justified by those who benefited from 9/11, regardless of the apparent perpetrator, al-Qaida. Perhaps the German president at the time was partially correct when he said that George Bush and his men in the White House weaponized the Bible to kill randomly. All of this followed 9/11 as if neoconservatives needed an excuse to overtake the world.
Whoever seeks the “clash of civilizations” and wants to perpetuate a state of racism and racial supremacy is the beneficiary of 9/11; theirs is an effort to return to the racist past of the 1960s when the “the superior race” theory was dominant. America suffered from a crisis of segregation and racial supremacy, which presented a significant barrier to social integration there. This led to Black ghettos in American cities and neighborhoods after efforts at integration failed, and provoked social unrest.
The lesson from 9/11 is that no one can change the world by force. Terrorists could not change America, nor could America annihilate the terrorists. The terrorist stronghold in Afghanistan still stands, despite the fact that America struck the country with enough bombs to deplete its weapons supply a dozen times over. Afghanistan is still just the way bin Laden and Taliban leader Mullah Omar left it. After 20 years, the Taliban have returned to govern with the same mindset and philosophy. The Afghan “square” and its neighbors have become an open field for wars between the Taliban and the bloody Islamic State Khorasan Province, in addition to other emerging groups. Chaos continues to rule.
Perhaps the reasons for the renewed appearance of the Taliban in Afghanistan is the state of chaos and security and military vacuum there. This allowed the Taliban to gain a foothold and take control during the final departure of U.S. forces, revealing the weakness of the Afghan army which Washington had spent billions of dollars to train and arm, only for it to collapse in just hours when faced with the Taliban advance.
A result of 9/11 was the war on Afghanistan, one of America’s failed wars in the region before Iraq and Libya. Afghanistan became a failed country and collapsed after the U.S. intervened under the banner of “spreading democracy.”
The unchanging truth of 9/11 will remain the story of the innocent victims who had no connection to any conflict that arose after they were killed. It continues to be a great mystery how these extremist groups and organizations, with their primitive beliefs and weapons, were able to hijack planes, detonating fuel on collision to destroy buildings that were built with unprecedented design and engineered to touch the clouds. Sept. 11 divided the world into two camps, exactly as the terrorists wanted.
*Editor’s Note: The Tora Bora caves are located in the Spin Ghar mountain range of eastern Afghanistan, known to be a stronghold of the Afghan mujahideen.
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