Pages

Sabtu, 11 September 2021

September 11 sparked a 20-year war that shaped four US presidents. So where to from here? - ABC News

The day started clear and warm, much like it did on that fateful September morning, 20 years ago. 

But the usually vibrant, fast-paced streets of Lower Manhattan moved a bit slower today, the constant hum a bit quieter. 

Time just felt at half speed. 

Grappling with a lingering pandemic and a fraught exit from Afghanistan, Americans have paused to unite and once again remember the September 11 terrorist attacks. 

Twenty years on, the tragic day is coming of age as it shifts from memory to its place and impact on history. 

At Ground Zero, where the two towers once stood, the families of lost loved ones stood beside presidents, clutching flowers and comforting each other as they remembered the 2,977 people killed in the attacks. 

President Joe Biden, Barack Obama and Bill Clinton stood shoulder to shoulder, flanked by their partners. 

The grief felt from 9/11 remains raw and written on the faces of Americans who endured the moment or grew up in its shadow. 

An entire generation — a quarter of the country's current population — weren't even born when the terror struck New York, the Pentagon and Pennsylvania.

The moment, which changed the lives of everyday Americans in a second and would define four subsequent presidencies, reshaped the country's foreign policy approach and influenced how global allies interacted with the world.

The war on terror, America's longest combat engagement, mostly waged in Afghanistan, grew to divide and exhaust society. Every president since George W. Bush tried to exit the situation, and today's commemoration played out against a chaotic and arguably mishandled exit from that conflict.

The aftermath on the ground after the 9/11 attacks.
Three hijacked planes crashed into major US landmarks on September 11, destroying both of New York's mighty twin towers and plunging the Pentagon in Washington into flames.(

Reuters: Peter Morgan

)

Next chapter for the war on terror 

Joe Biden, the man who finally succeeded in ending the Afghanistan war, was present at its creation.

Weeks after the United States first ousted the Taliban, Mr Biden became the highest-ranking American politician to visit the battlefield.

After touring conflict-ridden Kabul, he said the US should take part in a multi-national military force to restore order. 

But in the years that followed, like many American citizens, Mr Biden became disenchanted with the corruption of Afghanistan's rebel leaders and sceptical the US would ever be able to unify its warring tribes. 

Now, having fulfilled his promise to leave Afghanistan, it falls to him to articulate the next chapter in the war on terror to a country tired of the subject. 

Disillusioned Americans are remembering their fallen citizens and lost servicemen and women, knowing the experiment in Afghanistan largely failed.

Many are critical of those who tried and failed to withdraw earlier or have been left scratching their heads wondering what it was all for. Many are left feeling more fearful at home and less trustworthy of their leaders. 

War as a weapon to bring about change has lost currency after this grinding 20-year experience.

The US flag unveiled at the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks in New York City.
Thousands have gathered in New York and across the United States for ceremonies commemorating the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks.(

Reuters: Brendan McDermid

)

A nation divided over the response 

At Ground Zero, outside the memorial site, Americans of all generations converged to show their respects.

With his parents and two younger sisters, 20-year-old Juan Mancera, just four months old at the time of the tragedy, came to lay flowers. 

He grew up in an era of heightened security and intrusive government surveillance, with the expectation his generation would commit to soldiering in Afghanistan.

"I'm glad President Biden ended it, because it was pointless and we're seeing how the Afghan army really hasn't fought back against the Taliban. It just represents it was a good time to step away and move on," he tells me. 

"We need to learn from our mistakes. 

"Our country is very divided. Today is the day we come together and remember the victims and everything that has happened up until today."

a family standing together with flowers
Juan Mancera hopes America will learn from the mistakes which followed the 9/11 attacks. (

ABC News: Kathryn Diss

)

Meanwhile, the aftershocks of 9/11 continue.

The families of the nearly 3,000 victims are still struggling with the justice department to lift the secrecy over the FBI investigation into the attacks and the possible complicity of Saudi officials. 

The torture of suspects carried out by the CIA and allowed by legal memos issued by the Bush Administration has hampered the cases of the 9/11 suspects at Guantanamo, leaving prosecution unable to move forward. 

And while some security excesses of the 9/11 era have been pruned, the habits and reflexes remain — with some drawing a direct link to the fermenting culture of white nationalism, which arguably led to the January 6 storming of the US Capitol. 

"One of the most important lessons of the war on terror is that a white man with a flag and a gun is told by the culture of the war on terror that he is a counter-terrorist, not a terrorist," former Guardian journalist Spencer Ackerman wrote. 

Protesters in orange jumpsuits from Amnesty International US
Human rights organisations rallied outside the White House to demand the closure of the US prison at Guantanamo Bay, where some terror suspects were held without charge or trial.  (

Reuters: Jonathan Ernst

)

Former president George W. Bush, who was in charge on the fateful day of the attacks and initiated the response that would shape society for a generation, reflected on those divisions today.

"There is little cultural overlap between violent extremists abroad and violent extremists at home," he told an audience in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where Flight 93 went down.

"But they share disregard for human life in their determination to defile national symbols. 

"On America's day of trial and grief, I saw millions of Americans instinctively grab for a neighbour's hand and rally to the cause of one and another. That's the America I know.

"It's what we have been and it's what we can be again."

Afghanistan war a mistake for many

Holding a hand or lending a shoulder was on daily display in the months that followed the downing of the twin towers, as first responders worked tirelessly pulling bodies from the wreckage. 

The country was unified by grief. 

Psychologist Judy Kuriansky circled 'The Pit' at Ground Zero every night for three months, offering mental health support to crews digging for survivors. 

The 20-year war brought her no comfort and has left her contemplating the collateral damage, with Afghanistan appearing no safer. 

"It's devastating what's happening in the world, not just this country. I'm horrified, worried and panicked for future generations," she said. 

Concerned about a potential increase in terrorism, she tells me she's upset and disappointed with the Biden Administration's handling of the exit from Afghanistan. 

"It's really sad and it's a big mistake, I find it totally incomprehensible how this could have possibly happened, how the administration could possibly have allowed this to happen." she said.

"It was major, major bad judgement. 

"It defined several presidents, but it came to a head here and they all wanted to leave but it didn't happen. Now it has and it's happened in my mind and to many others in a way that was not wise, not safe and not clever."

Judy Kuriansky
Psychologist Judy Kuriansky circled Ground Zero every night for three months, offering mental health support to crews digging for survivors. (

ABC News: Kathryn Diss

)

At home, the political consensus that underpinned the war on terror is fracturing, a causality of America's extreme polarisation. 

Some Republicans called for Joe Biden to be impeached after the suicide attack at Kabul's airport killed 13 service members in August. 

Former president Donald Trump and his aides, like former secretary of state Mike Pompeo, have been scathing in their criticism of Mr Biden, despite negotiating the deal with the Taliban that set the clock ticking on the withdrawal. 

With the war on terror entering a third decade, President Biden has declared this new era will be the fight for open society versus the autocrats in Moscow and Beijing.

But it's clear Americans are less willing to deploy ground forces in lengthy combat overseas.

Coming years will determine if these current sentiments trigger a broader American retreat from the world or crystallise US resolve to regain lost ground, as happened following its humiliating retreat from Vietnam.

Adblock test (Why?)


https://news.google.com/__i/rss/rd/articles/CBMiY2h0dHBzOi8vd3d3LmFiYy5uZXQuYXUvbmV3cy8yMDIxLTA5LTEyL3JlZmxlY3Rpbmctb24tdGhlLXRyYWdlZHktb2YtOS0xMS1mcm9tLWdyb3VuZC16ZXJvLzEwMDQ1NDkwMtIBKGh0dHBzOi8vYW1wLmFiYy5uZXQuYXUvYXJ0aWNsZS8xMDA0NTQ5MDI?oc=5

2021-09-11 22:36:54Z
52781875674865

Tidak ada komentar:

Posting Komentar