9/11 was a product of the hate that US and Western foreign policy produced
I was living in America on 9/11 — in Los Angeles to be exact — and will never forget the palpable fear and confusion that reigned in the immediate aftermath of this horrific event. Streets normally teeming with traffic were eerily quiet. The world-famous Sunset Strip was completely deserted, its bars and restaurants closed and its flashing neon klights now reminiscent of an abandoned theme park.
During those initial few days in the immediate aftermath shock not rage or anger predominated, as America tried to get to grips with the enormity of what had just taken place and why.
Modern history did not begin with 9/11, but it did change its course in ways the men of war who used it as a pretext for the most prolonged and destructive military onslaught since World War II did not anticipate. For instead of achieving the domination and mastery of the Middle East and Central Asia, as intended, the wars unleashed after 9/11 culminated in the humiliating retreat and panicked and shambolic evacuation from Afghanistan in 2021.
Such a far cry from the bombastic speeches and pronouncements which spilled from the mouths of George W Bush and his neocon friends twenty years ago, relishing, all of them, the prospect of unleashing bombs and missiles on Afghanistan and Iraq not with justice but with revenge in mind.
It was not as if they weren’t warned and warned mightily of the consequences of what they had in store for a world they mistakenly and hubristically believed was theirs to control, either. As a footsoldier of the US antiwar movement, which I joined not long after 9/11, I along with countless others from every part of the world — people of every race, creed, and background— marched and rallied against the invasion of Afghanistan and the now impending war on Iraq as if the future depended on it — which it did.
It was one of the most inspiring and also tragic periods I have ever lived through — the inspiration of seeing millions of people in every corner of the world coming together as one in a desperate if futile attempt to drown out the…