Remembering 9/11

One of the days in my life that I remember the clearest was September 11, 2001. It happened 15 years ago, but I can remember it(or at least the parts that followed after the terror attacks) as clearly as if it happened yesterday.

I was about to go to the bus station and take the bus to my hometown to attend my paternal grandmother’s funeral in the following day. I checked the Internet to see if there was anything new and I saw that a plane had crashed into one of the twin towers of the World Trade Center. An accident it was said, and that’s what I thought too and looked at the time and realized I had to go immediately. But when I came to the bus, the bus driver had turned on the radio so loud so all passengers could hear. I then found out that the second tower had also been hit, as well as the Pentagon. Then it was obvious that it wasn’t an accident, it was a terrorist attack. Through the entire 1½ to 2 hour bus trip I listened to the horrifying radio reporting. It left me horrified, depressed and angry that such evil people could exist.

The fact that I have actually been on the top of one of those towers also made it creepy.

I was somewhat comforted later however by the forceful comments by President Bush wowing to destroy those who were behind the attacks, and when he visited the WTC sites, he said to the people there “I can hear you, and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon”.

Unfortunately Bush completely messed up the response. He should have devoted more military resources to Afghanistan, including not only more air strikes, but also more ground troops to defeat the Taliban and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan (and the lawless taliban regions of Pakistan that borders to Afghanistan). Instead he focused all his attention on Iraq, whose dictator Saddam Hussein certainly was vile, but posed no threat to us and had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks.

Instead he helped establish al-Qaeda in Iraq, though the so-called “surge” helped significantly weaken it, almost destroying it,but only almost. And because of Obama’s premature departure and the so-called “Arab spring” that most Western pundits celebrated, the remnants of al-Qaeda in Iraq grew strong again and became “the Islamic State” (or ISIS, ISIL or Daesh) and also took over parts of Syria.

I’m not sure how this mess is to be cleaned up. Except that we should focus on jihadists to a greater extent than before, instead of secular Arab dictators.