20 Years Ago — 9/11 and the Rumsfeld Test

“Are we capturing, killing or deterring and dissuading more terrorists every day than the madrassas and the radical clerics are recruiting, training and deploying against us? Does the US need to fashion a broad, integrated plan to stop the next generation of terrorists? The US is putting relatively little effort into a long-range plan, but we are putting a great deal of effort into trying to stop terrorists. The cost-benefit ratio is against us! Our cost is billions against the terrorists’ costs of millions.”

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld

September 11 2021 — Has the U.S. war on terror made the world a safer place? Former President Bush says he’s “comfortable” with the decisions he made after 9/11. Not everyone is convinced. Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY

RELATED POST: Breaking News — Ex-US defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld dies at 88

RELATED POST: Afghanistan — America’s war ends in humiliating debacle

RELATED POST: The Afghanistan Papers — The Origin of the Opioid Epidemic [Remember Mike Flynn?]

RELATED POST: The Spies Who Fooled the World — Never Forget, Never Forgive

Colin Powell’s former chief of staff Lawrence Wilkerson disagrees with the idea that the U.S. is safer now than 20 years ago, saying “I think we’ve created more terrorists in the world.”

“Rumsfeld asked the good question. ‘Tell me how we are winning if every time we kill one of them, we create ten more?’ And that is what we have done.”

What do you think? Has the U.S. war on terror made the world a safer place?

“Overnight, you can have a psychological boost, a morale boost, to extremists already here, or in other countries. There is no doubt that recent events in Afghanistan will have hardened and emboldened some of those extremists.” 

MI5 Chief Ken McCallum (September 10 2021)

Flashback — On September 9, 2001, Ahmad Shah Massoud was assassinated by two al-Qaeda assassins during a suicide bombing. The operation had been ordered personally by the al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden himself as a prelude to the 9/11 attacks.

The killers claimed to be Belgian journalists. In fact, they transited through the municipality of Molenbeek in Bruxelles and they used stolen Belgian passports.

Fast forward — This week, the trial of the 2015 Paris terror attacks has begun. The mastermind of both the Paris and Brussels terror attacks is widely believed to be Oussama Atar, a Belgian citizen who grew up in Molenbeek.

RELATED POST: Five Years Ago — The Paris Attacks (November 13 2015) [UPDATE : At long last, the trial begins.]

In a piece titled “The Islamic State of Molenbeek” published by the New York Times on April 11 2016, Roger Cohen — a former journalist who worked for Reuters in Brussels — wrote:

“A jihadi loves a vacuum, as Syria demonstrates. Belgium as a state, and Belgium as the heart of the European Union are as close to a vacuum as Europe offers these days. (…) There is a vacuum. Vacuums are dangerous.”

Twenty years ago, Molenbeek was a sanctuary for jihadists. Nothing has changed. If anything, Molenbeek is more dangerous than ever.

In Molenbeek, the madrassas and the radical clerics have already recruited and trained the next generation of terrorists.

America has been fighting in Afghanistan for 20 years. It has spent more than $2 trillions on the war.

In the end, they only succeeded to provide a psychological and morale boost to extremists already here. The ‘war on terror’ may be over in Washington, but here in Brussels, it is only the beginning.

“You fucked this up like you fucked up everything else. You fucked up Iran-Contra, fucked up Ames, 9/11, WMD, Afghanistan, Iraq, Benghazi… Not, you yourself of course! You are just the latest in a long line of fuck-ups who turned this agency into a cesspool of politics and special interests on behalf of weapons makers and the surveillance industry who get rich while we get weaker.”

Dying of the Light (2014) – “I Resign!”

What We’ve Lost: A September 11th Special 

Mehdi Hasan explores all that was lost on September 11th and the twenty years since, including how the ensuing domestic and foreign policy decisions reshaped global relations.

REFERENCES

WHAT TO DO? A GLOBAL STRATEGY — The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States

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20 Years Ago — 9/11 and the Rumsfeld Test

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