Eleven years ago, the attacks against the USA brought about a tidal wave of instant solidarity with the US -- not just in London and Paris, but even as far as Tehran (photos here from a ten-year-anniversary Facebook post), once considered the world capital of anti-American command performances. And with the world firmly behind us, we managed to do from halfway around the globe what the much more ruthless Red Army failed to do from right next door: invade and subdue Afghanistan.
So now we need to ask ourselves: What the fuck happened to that unity? There's absolutely no sign of it today. That's one promise that Bush Jr. fulfilled as President: spend the political capital he had. He didn't spend it wisely -- but he never promised to do that.
The Republican response to the event that gave us so much unity (both at home and abroad) has, in fact, created noting but DISunity (both at home and abroad), and has done so literally from day one. Even as liberals, progressives and feminists united behind Bush Jr's policy of retaliation, his propagandists were accusing those same liberals, progressives and feminists of opposing America's response and even hating America. Republicans at nearly all levels were actively seeking to tear our country apart, and incite hatred of Americans by other Americans, even before the Iraq invasion -- which only further divided us by exploiting and betraying the trust we all gave our leaders -- and by compromising our own ability to win the war we originally united to support.
Bush Jr. insisted that America was not at war against Islam -- but he only said that once, way back in 2001; and since then, his party have been inciting hatred of Islam, resistance to the very construction of "mosques" (how much of Manhattan do we have to rezone as "sacred ground" again?), and mindless fear of "creeping Sharia" (but not creeping Old Testament law, which is just as foreign and just as repressive), all over the country. And that's not even counting their chickenhawk puntits' mindless advocacy of new attacks on Iran and Syria. (ARITHMETIC, bitches! Any of you cowboy-wannabees ever try to add up how many planes, tanks, troops, etc. you'd need for your new Crusade?)
And what are the Republicans doing now? More of the same, with extra xenophobic nonsense about Obama's birth certificate (birther-in-chief Donald Trump is now part of the Romney campaign, and it shows). Not only that, but when Obama goes abroad and tries to repair the damage the Republicans did to our standing among other nations, all Romney can do is snipe at him for "apologizing for America." If
Eleven years on, it's clear that the terrorists have won: their attacks have empowered a party, and a mindset, that has infantilized us as a society, set us against each other in an unending, multifaceted scapegoating campaign (there's so many "new Jews" these days it's hard to keep track of them all), and rendered us unable to even talk coherently about the actual causes of our problems, let alone solve them and recover the power and stature we had before 2000.
And we wonder why some people believe 9/11 was an inside job?