Government Watch / Opinion / Politics / We The People

Forgetting 9/11


On the 21st anniversary of Sept. 11, President Joe Biden repeated the same tired nostrums we have heard for the past several years on the anniversary of the worst terror attack in American history: “We will never forget, we will never give up. Our commitment to preventing another attack on the United States is without end.”

That, of course, was rather ironic coming from the president who surrendered Afghanistan to the Taliban, the very people in charge of the country when al-Qaida launched its attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. It was Biden who declared his own heroism as he ushered in the revitalization of al-Qaida itself in Afghanistan; as The Washington Post noted in August, “After the attacks of September 11, 2001, the U.S. goal was to deny al-Qaida a haven in Afghanistan. Now, it is back — and seemingly safe.”

But none of this should be unexpected. Whatever lessons Americans learned on 9/11 have largely been forgotten one generation later.

On 9/11, we learned that the world is smaller than we think — that retreating from the world is not an option, and that if we do so, our enemies take advantage. One generation later, both parties encourage quasi-isolationist foreign policy reminiscent of the Clinton era, in which terrorism was treated as a law enforcement problem and the United States attempted to cut its presence abroad.

On 9/11, we learned that perceived weakness in any form — economic, military or ideological — invites aggression from our enemies. One generation later, we are deliberately destroying our own energy policy, focusing on expanded and fiscally irresponsible welfare statism, cutting our military capacity and pursuing radical ideological dissolution.

On 9/11, we learned that we have more in common than we do that separates us. One generation later, the president of the United States speaks about his fellow citizens as threats to democracy and declares that those who don’t deal with him are existential problems for the republic.

In the aftermath of 9/11, we learned that cultural and political change in foreign countries takes time, investment and blood. One generation later, we continue to pretend that democratic values will inevitably spread around the globe — that there is a “right side of history” that will simply manifest itself — and that exporting cultural Leftism is a necessary component of our foreign policy.

Overall, we learned on 9/11 that the world is a chaotic and terrible place in which the right may not always triumph and the wrong may do the decent terrible damage. One generation later, we seem to have forgotten that simple lesson, instead regressing to a sort of puerile innocence in which we are constantly shocked by brutal realities. This is not a recipe for safety, prosperity or success.

German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck once remarked, “There is a Providence that protects idiots, drunkards, children and the United States of America.” If America repeats the idiocies of its past, it will have to rely on that Providence once more to protect us — for surely our leaders will not.

Ben Shapiro, 38, is a graduate of UCLA and Harvard Law School, host of “The Ben Shapiro Show,” and Editor-in-Chief of He is a three-time New York Times bestselling author; his latest book is “The Authoritarian Moment: How The Left Weaponized America’s Institutions Against Dissent.”


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8 months ago

We already forgot, because of one word; I S L A M.

Deplorable Cowgirl
8 months ago

The farther away we get from 2001, the more I’m convinced this was an inside job. September 10 Rumsfield said something about $2.3 trillion that was unaccounted for in spending? We never heard about that again. As much as I’d love to think this was somebody else this was a job done by the Bush administration.

anna hubert
8 months ago

US after the WWII became a Mr Nice guy for that it received a kick in the teeth and had not learned a thing in the past 50 years

8 months ago
Reply to  anna hubert

Yes indeed

John A Bird
8 months ago

The controlled demolition of the twin towers could not have taken place without our governments involvement! The towers were not taken out by the planes.

Ken Avery
8 months ago
Reply to  John A Bird

In a controlled demolition, you can clearly hear the pop, pop, pop of the charges as they go off. In 21 years, NOBODY has claimed to have heard them. Watch the TV footage, you don’t hear any explosions before either tower came down. Controlled demolition, I don’t think so, but I’m open to correction.

Myrna Wade
8 months ago

Whoever decides what Biden says is consistently wrong. September 11 showed Americans terrorism is right here, so Biden decides to pivot and try to say President Trump and those who appreciate his leadership are terrorists. The speech was mean and totally wrong, but if they don’t even know what a terrorist is our future is perilous.

Stephen Russell
8 months ago

9/11 Gave US Today, Post 9/11 plans had biowar element thus 2020 Wuhan virus hit

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