OpinionQuestionsLingerfrom911

Opinion: 9/11 questions linger 20 years later

Liberal Opinion

Rashad Richey

National TV Political Analyst, Talk Radio Host, Univ. Prof. View full bio

On this 20 year anniversary of the September 11 attacks, we must consider how U.S. policy opens the door to terrorism.

On Tuesday, September 11th, 2001. This nation changed forever because a group of evil extremists decided to murder Americans. The 9/11 attack. It rocked us. It shook us.

We have to be reflective of all of those human souls who lost their lives because of this evil. 

And then our response 20 years ago, we responded as a unified nation. We wanted to have a unified response to this great evil visited upon our soil. 

So I have to pose the question today: 20 years later, after we launched the war on terrorism, after our family members and friends lost their lives during that attack, did we win the war on terrorism? Let me answer it this way. 20 years after the 9/11 attack, the Taliban will be waving their flag in Afghanistan. The Taliban, that should answer your question.

Now, remember there’s this sentiment to blame Democrats or Republicans.

Hell, I blame them both.  Both.

The war was waged by a Republican president, but we had Democrats in-between as well. And we currently have a Democrat in the White House now. It did not change the reality of our victory over terrorism. 

Let me tell you why: We decided to go to war with countries rather than going to war with terrorism. Now we said we were going to war with terrorism, war on terror, war on terrorism, but that’s not really what we did. We tried to fight and engage this very non-traditional enemy in traditional combat ways.

What is terrorism? Any social scientist will tell you that terrorism is a social process, and terrorism requires three dynamics in order for it to become the extreme version that you see. 

Number one, it requires motivation. Number two, ideology, and number three radicalization. In other words, terrorism as evil as it is, actually is a mindset.

When you say you go into war with terrorism, you’re literally saying that you were going to war with a social process rooted in the mindset of others. If you’re not willing to address the root of where terrorism comes from, you will never actually win the war. 

Now we spent trillions of dollars. We lost even more lives through military engagement. 

And once again, I remind you, the Taliban will be flying their flag in Afghanistan. 

Now, granted, we have not had another 9/11 style attack on American soil. I think that’s a positive, but I also have to remind you that terrorism as a social process is continuing to permeate throughout countries all across this planet. So let’s be very clear. 

What is the root of it? The root has always been American policy, the hypocrisy of our policy. And if we don’t address that our policy actually impacts the creation and the promotion of terrorism throughout the United States and beyond, then we will find ourselves continuing to fight a mindset that will continue to grow. 

You do know that there are actual propaganda machines that will take American policy, use it to evangelize new followers against the United States of America. 

Are we addressing how our policy impacts the social process and social development of other nations?

Are we, through our policies, creating more terrorists or giving ammunition to other terrorists to evangelize more to their side? 

So here’s what I say to you outside of the partisan politics of it, the American government has to be more involved in understanding how its policies shape the social process of those around the world.

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On this 20 year anniversary of the September 11 attacks, we must consider how U.S. policy opens the door to terrorism.

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