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20 Years After 9/11 -- Are We Better Off?
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When the hijacked planes hit the twin towers of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon that first 9/11, the Taliban were in control of Afghanistan and providing sanctuary for al-Qaida.

Today, the Taliban are in control of Afghanistan and providing sanctuary to al-Qaida. What then did our longest war accomplish?

The Afghan army and government we stood up and sustained for decades has collapsed. The U.S. military has withdrawn. U.S. citizens and thousands of Afghans who fought alongside us have been left behind.

The triumphant Taliban of today are far stronger than were the Taliban of 2001 who fled at the approach of the Northern Alliance. Al-Qaida is now present in many more countries than it was when we first launched the Global War on Terror.

Nor is the America of 2021 the hubristic self-confident country of George W. Bush and the neocons who were going to convert the Middle East into something like our Middle West and advance from there “with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world.”

Our country is a changed place from 2001. Gone are the unity, confidence and resolution. And how have all our interventions gone?

Call the roll.

Afghanistan is a lost cause, receding anew into the darkness.

There are reports the Chinese may be interested in establishing a residence at Bagram Air Force Base.

Saddam Hussein is long gone. But the Iraq we invaded to strip of weapons of mass destruction it did not have is now dominated by Iranian-backed Shiite militia. Only at the sufferance of the Baghdad regime are 2,500 “non-combat” U.S. troops permitted to hang on.

Syria, where we intervened to support anti-Assad rebels — and retain 900 U.S. troops — is a human rights hellhole.

Bashar Hafez al-Assad is victorious in his civil war thanks to Russian, Iranian and Hezbollah intervention on his behalf. The million Syrian refugees who fled west during that civil war have helped to turn Lebanon into a failed state.

In Libya, where Barack Obama’s air attacks helped bring down the regime of Col. Moammar Gadhafi, Russians, Turks and Egyptians battle for control. The Americans are nowhere to be found.

Despite our support for Saudi air strikes that turned Yemen into a second humanitarian disaster, Houthi rebels still control the north of the country and the capital, Sanaa.

Looking back at the half dozen Mideast wars in which we have engaged since that first 9/11, where are we better off now than we were then? Al-Qaida, ISIS, Boko Haram and their variants have established a presence in Arab, Asian and African countries far beyond Afghanistan.

Looking forward, where do we Americans go from here?

How do we sustain all the commitments that have bled and drained us for 20 years, when our adversaries and enemies appear to be growing stronger, while our own claim to being the world’s last superpower is increasingly subject to challenge?

Like Donald Trump before him, Joe Biden appears to be giving up on nation building, pulling our troops out of the Middle East, staying out of its future wars, and addressing the challenges of Russia and China?

But how long can we defend a Europe that refuses to defend itself from a Russia that is stronger and more assertive than it was two decades ago, when Vladimir Putin succeeded the feckless Boris Yeltsin.

In the Arctic, Baltic, Belarus, Ukraine and the Black Sea, Putin is more assertive and Russia less intimidated than it was in 2001.

Only one in three NATO countries meets the commitment to spend 2% of GDP on defense, as Europeans today identify immigration as the major threat to the continent.

Among the malingerers is the Germany of Angela Merkel, retiring chancellor who approved the Nord Stream II pipeline that will soon double Germany’s dependence on Russia for natural gas.

How long can the U.S. sustain its new policy of containment of Xi Jinping’s China? How long can we contain China’s expansion in the South and East China Sea at the expense of the Philippines, Japan and Taiwan?

In the year 2000, China’s economy was smaller than Italy’s. Today, it is a peer-competitor of the United States, with four times our population.

Beijing manufactures more than we do, has a growth rate that has exceeded ours for decades, and runs an annual trillion-dollar trade surplus with us in produced goods.

And the China of 2021 is more aggressive and confrontational than was the China of Y2K. How long can we keep 30,000 troops in South Korea and remain responsible for deterring Kim Jong Un’s North Korea from attacking the South?

ORDER IT NOW

In relative terms, America is not so dominant a power as it was 20 years ago, while her adversaries seem stronger and more united. Our most powerful rival, Xi Jinping’s China, seems belligerent and bellicose compared with the China we brought into the World Trade Organization.

Looking back, and looking ahead, the trend line is not good.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of “Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.”

 
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  1. Who is writng Buchanan’s articles —-Roof?

    • LOL: Trinity
    • Replies: @Irish Savant
  2. Andreas says:

    A damning score.

    Our country is a changed place from 2001. Gone are the unity, confidence and resolution.

    Just look at the faces of the public officials. At best there is smugness. But nothing to back it up except that they are in a position of power, not us. Every failure just leads to more denial or doubling down for even more.

    Looking forward, where do we Americans go from here?

    That’s just it. On the current path there is only a black void.

    Diversity was never strength. That was just a fool’s mantra. Diversity has simply led to an inexorable process of dissolution.

    I believe that the sanest and most humane path for the US is to break up into like-minded regions. The healthy precedent already exists based on the founding notion of states rights. Hopefully this can be done peacefully. Though I have my doubts. There is no voice of reason coming from the left, only hate and vitriol.

    The US is already a former super-power, that I have no doubt. It remains only to see how it all plays out.

  3. A purported anti-interventionist, Mr. Buchanan typically mongers the next one by whitewashing Uncle Sam’s motives and demonizing those who don’t toe Washington’s line. Consider.

    Today, the Taliban are in control of Afghanistan and providing sanctuary to al-Qaida.

    There are reports the Chinese may be interested in establishing a residence at Bagram Air Force Base.

    George W. Bush and the neocons who were going to convert the Middle East into something like our Middle West and advance from there “with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world.”

    Syria, where we intervened to support anti-Assad rebels — and retain 900 U.S. troops — is a human rights hellhole.

    Al-Qaida, ISIS, Boko Haram and their variants have established a presence in Arab, Asian and African countries far beyond Afghanistan.

    our adversaries and enemies appear to be growing stronger, while our own claim to being the world’s last superpower is increasingly subject to challenge

    Like Donald Trump before him, Joe Biden appears to be giving up on nation building, pulling our troops out of the Middle East, staying out of its future wars, and addressing the challenges of Russia and China

    we defend a Europe that refuses to defend itself from a Russia that is stronger and more assertive

    contain China’s expansion in the South and East China Sea

    deterring Kim Jong Un’s North Korea from attacking the South

    China of 2021 is more aggressive and confrontational

    Loyal fans will have to squint extra hard to miss the Exceptional! propaganda. Today’s column is full of it.

    • Replies: @Quartermaster
    , @saggy
  4. @Greta Handel

    That’s not demonization, just a litany of the facts.

    • Thanks: Weaver
  5. What then did our longest war accomplish?

    It kept defense contractors’ wives and mistresses farting through silk.

    • LOL: Weaver
    • Replies: @Currahee
  6. nsa says:

    “20 Years After 911 – Are We Better Off?”
    A more interesting question: “20 Years After 911 – Are (((they))) Better Off?”
    (((Their))) pathetic useful idiot north american satrap hobbled and humiliated. (((Their))) dream of a Greater Izzievil dominating the Levant gone forever.

    • Agree: Weaver
  7. Yes, just imagine the US being an equal partner in a global economic community rather than the playground bully scaring all the other kids into submission, why that would just be wrong. So ironic that Pat fails to see the parallel, after authoring such an excellent study of how the US did essentially the same thing in the 1930s, and ended up provoking an unnecessary global war for economic dominance that killed eighty million people. It was the Dems’ “good war” that began the dismantling of the American republic in earnest, by creating a military industrial complex to fight it and a dishonest propaganda machine to sell it.

    What really matters is that a generation of Americans has grown up after 9-11 in a country where the Bill of Rights is finally being quietly repealed. GOP stooge Bush created “emergency” measures curtailing freedom, and Dem stooge Obama made them permanent. And for many of us, a bloviating con man like Donald Trump really does look like the lesser of two evils. To the young, this madness seems normal, because it is all they have ever known.

    Ben Franklin saw this coming way back in 1787 when he introduced the rich men’s new constitution, saying the system it created “can only end in Despotism, as other forms have done before it, when the people shall become so corrupted as to need despotic Government, being incapable of any other.” We have indeed been tricked into selling our birthright for that bowl of pottage.

  8. 9/11 a terrorist attack committed by young Muslim Foreigners was used to normalize Muslims coming to America LEGALLY to breed and produce a Muslim geneline…

    In 2021, Muslim LEGAL IMMIGRANTS+Their Muslim US Born geneline now can LEGALLY vote the Historic Native Born White Christian Working Class Majority into a violently persecuted White racial minority within the borders of America….

    9/11 was completely avoidable…9/11 occurred because of the complete stupidity of White Folks…..

    Far worse than 9/11 are Muslims coming to America LEGALLY and enthusiastically voting Native White Working Class Christians into a violently persecuted White Christian Racial minority within the borders of America…

    A Pakistani Federal Judge has sentence 601 Trump Voters to prison for the Jan 6 protests…perfectly legal and by the Constitution and pay he pays his taxes…Owen Shoyer should think about this as he rots in federal prison…..

    • Replies: @Sick of Orcs
  9. In the Arctic, Baltic, Belarus, Ukraine and the Black Sea, Putin is more assertive and Russia less intimidated than it was in 2001.

    It is impossible to invade a nation that possesses nuclear weapons.

    Therefore Ukraine should acquire nuclear weapons.

    Ukraine, not the United States, is responsible for defending Ukraine.

    .

    The United States does not need to get involved in foreign wars.

    Unless the United States is invaded, the best foreign policy is neutrality.

    • Agree: Max Maxwell
    • Replies: @Weaver
  10. Rurik says:

    a Europe that refuses to defend itself from a Russia

    How many bombs has Russia dropped on defenseless, innocent people in the last few decades?

    How many torture camps does Russia openly maintain?

    How many Russian citizens has Russia assassinated by drone sans due process?

    How many ‘Orange Revolutions’ has Russia foisted on foreign nations, like the ZUS foisted upon Ukraine, in order to start a war and get people slaughtered?

    How many Russians are held in a gulags today because they protested a corrupt election?

    If you asked the citizens of the planet, who is a bigger threat to world peace, Russia or the ZUS, guess what they’d say.

    Putin seems to be the only adult on the world’s stage today, going around picking up after the deranged demon destroying nations right and left.

    The idea that Europe needs to be protected from Russia is idiotic. Europe and the rest of the planet, including the beleaguered citizens of the U.S., need to be protected from the blood-stained fiend that is holed up in Washington, DC.

    Looking forward, where do we Americans go from here?

    we get out, if we can

    If we can’t, we get some popcorn and watch as the rot continues to eat away at the thoroughly corrupt and zionised regime until the whole stinking edifice comes crashing down.

    The sooner, the better.

    • Agree: Exile, MEexpert
    • Thanks: HammerJack
    • Replies: @SafeNow
    , @Fran800
    , @Weaver
  11. Heymrguda says:
    @Andreas

    Well said. I was looking at a map of states threatening to sue the Biden administration over the vaccination demands, and it occurs to me it would be a great blueprint for a separate country or federation.

  12. Anonymous[212] • Disclaimer says:

    Mr. Buchanan who normally thinks clearly, ignores the fact that under Obama and Songbird McCain the U.S. invaded Syria. Every U.S. armed forces member and contractor (is there a difference?) in Syria should be killed, by Syrians.

  13. Not only was 9/11 completely avoidable…so was the earlier attack on the Twin Towers…..

    Both attacks on the Twin Towers never would have happened if there were 0 Muslims in America..

    And this raises the very obvious question:‘why are Muslims allowed to come to America?

    • Replies: @MEexpert
  14. SafeNow says:
    @Rurik

    Great comments about Russia and Putin vs. the US. Totally correct. As I’ve said before, I’ve played chess against hundreds of Russian players, and they tend toward “quiet moves,” sensible play, and politely resigning a lost game. Never a nasty chat comment to me. I cannot prove that this can be extrapolated to Russian leaders, but I think it can. American players tend to be more adventuresome, even reckless. Okay, that’s fun in a chess game, but it can mean a war in real life.

  15. Baby boomer treasonites such as Bill Clinton and Bushy Boy #2 and other rancid geezers such as Joe Biden were responsible for flooding the USA with mass legal immigration and mass illegal immigration and MASS IMMIGRATION caused the September 11 2001 Immigration Attacks.

    Baby boomer Bill Clinton pushed for a borderless world on September 10, 2001.

    Baby boomer George W Bush — who was president at the time — was calling for an AMNESTY for illegal aliens and a massive increase in legal immigration the week before the September 11, 2001 Islamic terrorist attacks.

    George W Bush was applauding his good buddy Vicente Fox at a White House meeting on September 5, 2001.

    Vicente Fox, president of Mexico at the time, met with George W Bush to plot the erasure of borders between the United States and Mexico.

    Tweet from 2016:

    Tweet from 2015:

  16. The Taliban may be back in control of Afghanistan but they are not protecting Al Qeada; The Taliban want to rule and have no interest in bringing back the wrath of the United States; I wouldnt worry about reports the Chinese are interested in Bagram Air Base; the Chinese are not stupid enough to put Communistic atheist troops in an Islamic country; and why are we acting like Afghanistan is some prize? We can deter Kim Jung Un indefinitely; he knows an attack on South Korea would be tantamount to suicide; the real question is how much longer will South Koreans tolerate US troops in their country. Europe doesnt need to be defended from Russia and they know it; Putin has no reason to attack Europe; the whole ”Russian Menace” thing is a sham to keep Uncle Sucker subsidizing Western Europeans defense; the US should remain the global Top Dog for a couple on generations at least; we are secure from attack and need no allies; things would have been better if someone smarter than George W Bush was in office on 9/11/2001.

  17. The Bush Organized Crime Syndicate allowed ISLAMIC IMMIGRATION INVADER TERRORISTS to infiltrate the United States.

    George Bush #1 did nothing to stop ISLAMIC IMMIGRATION INVADER TERRORIST INFILTRATION of the United States. George Bush #1 allowed ISLAMIC IMMIGRATION INVADER TERRORISTS to move freely about the United States. The result of George Bush’s treasonous open borders immigration policy was the 1993 ISLAMIC IMMIGRATION INVADER TERRORIST attack on the World Trade Center, which occurred during the first year of Bill Clinton’s presidency.

    Bill Clinton continued the treasonous open borders immigration policy of George Bush #1. The result was the September 11, 2001 ISLAMIC IMMIGRATION INVADER TERRORIST attacks which toppled the World Trade Center towers. The September 11, 2001 ISLAMIC IMMIGRATION INVADER TERRORIST attacks occurred during the presidency of George Bush #2.

    Tweets from 2015:

  18. @GomezAdddams

    The guy has lost his mind. Next he’ll cite as proof of the terrorists’ identity the explosion-proof passport found in the rubble. He was great at one time but Pat has totally bought into the official narrative on everything.

  19. I, for one, look forward to engaging in a Red Dawn-esqe gorilla warfare battle with our soon to be, new Chinese overlords. If they wipeout the detritus that makes up antifa first, I might consider fighting with them. Purely hypothetically speaking of course.

  20. Fran800 says:
    @Rurik

    Great comment. I could add one more item: When was Russia last a Communist state that we had to fear?
    And one more: Why are we afraid of one of the few real Christian countries in the world? Didn’t we use to be Christian?

  21. Exile says:

    Exactly how does Russia’s “assertiveness” require Europe “defending itself?”

    The Pat Buchanan of 10+ years ago seemed to appreciate that the USSR and Russia weren’t the same thing (and frankly the USSR wasn’t a threat to Western Europe after Stalin either).

    Some days I can’t tell whether Pat’s old Cold Warrior persona creeps out on him in his old age or whether these columns are being ghost-written by some neo-con intern.

    • Agree: Hangnail Hans
    • Replies: @Weaver
  22. Eight trillion dollars spent overseas on the “war on terror.”

    Can you imagine what that money would of done for Americans if that largesse was spent at home?

    Have you asked why the money was spent where it was?

    It goes to the very notion of who runs America.

    Why was Afghanistan and Iraq attacked when the attackers came from Saudi Arabia?

    Who benefited from a surrounded Iran?

    • Thanks: Trinity, Hangnail Hans
  23. Weaver says:

    Pat Buchanan,

    I know you’re appealing to the average conservative, as usual, but I wish we could see a true Buchananite piece on how wonderful the empire’s decline is for the future of American citizens. Without this burden to pay for, America could grow rich. As Paul Craig Roberts used to say, it would take 10 years to rebuild, the sooner the better. As the Buchananite libertarian Raimondo used to say, everything flows out from the empire, nothing into it.

    And the mass immigration will end. The decline of the empire is infinitely good for American citizens. We’ll be safer (no blowback), freer (no police state), more united (no managerial divide and conquer).

    Secession could result, but that could be good. A class redistribution of wealth could happen, but that could be good. The decline of the empire is a step towards rejuvenation, rebirth.

  24. Currahee says:

    “2,500 “non-combat” U.S. troops permitted to hang on.”
    For what purpose?

    • Replies: @Weaver
  25. Weaver says:
    @Exile

    He’s not arguing for intervention. He’s arguing for how it has been a failure. The Neocon goals have all failed.

    Russia is assertive. So what? He doesn’t need to win you over. He’s attacking the Neocons, appealing to regular Americans.

    Find where he calls for acting against Russia. He never does. He didn’t oppose the pipeline.

  26. Weaver says:
    @Rurik

    How many times has Buchanan called for acting against Russia? Zero.

    Buchanan is revealing that the US empire is declining. Remember, Pat wants a republic not an empire. So, to him, this is a good thing. Trillions have been wasted, all imperial goals failed.

  27. Weaver says:
    @Pittsburgh Thatcherite

    Pat agrees with you, except he might be glad the Ukraine gave up its nukes.

  28. Weaver says:
    @Currahee

    The US keeps troops there to attack Syria (from Iraq), to provide a foothold for future additional troops (a Neocon dream that won’t happen), or to provide a target for a foreign attack on US troops to justify a war against Iran or another.

  29. @War for Blair Mountain

    9/11 occurred because of the complete stupidity of White Folks…..

    For over half a century, “The White Folks” have been deprogrammed and divorced from their history, culture and…Whiteness.

    It’s a constant of history: when alien hordes impose on a native population, there is war. Secession might help.

  30. Jim Given says:

    Why on earth does this column have Pat Buchanan’s name on it? Did Sean Hannity ghost-write this?

    The title asks a perfectly valid, important question. the rest is unfortunate-

    • Agree: HammerJack
  31. MEexpert says:
    @War for Blair Mountain

    And this raises the very obvious question:‘why are Muslims allowed to come to America?

    Because of fools like you who think that Muslims were responsible for 9/11. Real question is why are Americans allowed to hold dual citizenship of Israel and the USA? Why are there so many Jews (dual citizens) in the federal government? Aren’t there any qualified gentiles in the United States?

    • Thanks: mark green
  32. oldtimer says:

    Europe that refuses to defend itself from a Russia that is stronger and more assertive

    Europe doesn’t need to “defend itself from Russia” because Russia isn’t interested in attacking it. Russia’s GDP is slightly less than Italy’s, Russia is not the Soviet Union and Putin isn’t Stalin or Khrushchev,

    How long can the U.S. sustain its new policy of containment of Xi Jinping’s China?

    It doesn’t need to because China isn’t expanding. (Its claims on the islets in the South China Sea go back centuries). There’s only one country on the planet that seems to think its military belongs everywhere and that country isn’t China.

    • Replies: @mark green
  33. Weaver says:
    @Andreas

    If you don’t mind reading an extremist, look up Sam Francis on secession, AmRen article. I’m not disagreeing with you, but Francis warned the same results would repeat after secession if the US didn’t change.

  34. Jim H says:

    ‘But how long can we defend a Europe that refuses to defend itself from a Russia that is stronger and more assertive than it was two decades ago?’ — Pat Buchanan

    Even as he theatrically wrings his hands over America’s middle eastern debacles, Buchanan can’t resist banging the war drums against Vlad Putin — who, unlike NATO, is NOT installing Russian troops on America’s borders.

    What, if anything, distinguishes Pat Buchanan from this self-congratulatory Deep State headline in today’s New York Slimes-Fishwrapper?

    20 Years On, No End in Sight for the War on Terror

    ‘Costly failures in Iraq and Afghanistan obscure what experts say is the success [sic] of a multilateral effort that extends to as many as 85 countries.’

    Lies … all lies … evil lies …

  35. C’mon Pat!?! We’re way better off than we were 20 years ago. Our foreign commitments are way down as are our foreign expenditures. No more trying to manage the Middle East. It’s a waste of blood and treasure.

    Time to look inward and deal with domestic issues. That’s much more important than pointless foreign adventures that create enemies around the world.

    • Replies: @Weaver
  36. The money spent on the post 9/11 adventures represent roughly \$25000 for every American.

    Now I suspect that the majority of Americans would appreciate \$25000 dollars in their bank account.

  37. @oldtimer

    There’s only one country on the planet that seems to think its military belongs everywhere and that country isn’t China.

    Well said. But allow me to assert that there are two countries that qualify for that dishonorable distinction. (I would be happy to identify them both but doing so might constitute ‘hate speech’.)

  38. saggy says: • Website
    @Greta Handel

    It’s all summed up in this line …

    How do we sustain all the commitments

    Our ‘commitments’ have destroyed many countries.

  39. Weaver says:
    @ArthurBiggs

    Pat is arguing for focusing inward. He opposed the empire, now supports winding it down.

  40. KenH says:

    No, America was much better off in 2001. Even though in 2001 it wasn’t morning again in America the nation was relatively sane. Most Democrats were only slightly left of center whereas today they have moved far to the left and are wild eyed dervishes filled with a bestial hatred of anyone and anything to their right thanks to around the clock Jewish hate propaganda and gaslighting.

    In 2001 you could voice pro-white and dissident views with little if any repercussion whereas in 2021 it could land you on the watch list of the American Stasi, otherwise known as the FBI-ADL while getting one deplatformed and debanked by the private sector. In 2001 people could disagree on political issues in a civil manner and you didn’t shouted down as a ”fascist” or “white supremacist”.

    America was about 70% white which is better than 2021. In 2001 Pat Buchanan was much bolder and brave in talking about racial and demographic issues whereas in 2021 he studiously stays between the cast iron guardrails erected by (((the establishment))) in order to keep his syndication and few media appearances.

    Since 2001 America has bankrupted itself trying to make deracinated Wal-Mart shoppers out of Muslims abroad and ripped itself apart domestically to combat “white supremacy” at home so you could say that Osama Bin Laden has had last laugh and had a major hand it setting America on a course to dissolution.

    • Agree: Kolya Krassotkin
  41. Chris Moore says: • Website

    This article is about the abject failures of the ((Neocons)) and their 20 years of treachery, but they were just the tail end. America is in the final death throes resulting from an attack launched by ((Jews)) and their warped collaborators around 1917.

    Count off the generations — Bolsheviks, Beatniks, Boomers, Neocons. All of them of or in bed with ((Jews)).

    Pat Buchanan was himself in bed with the ((Jews)) of the Nixon administration — led by ((Kissinger)) — who ended the gold window and launched the huckster Petrodollar, which was really the beginning of the end.

    America, you should have listened to “anti-Semitic” Greek and Christian sages of Western Civilization instead of ear-whispering ((Jews)) and their bought off bureaucrats and MSM (bought off with the good credit, based on the labor and brains of the American people and the strength of their economy, and plundered by ((Jews)), Israel Firsters and their left-right collaborators for the last 100+ years).

    America, look at yourself now. Do you like what you see — an old whore seduced, used up and thrown out by ((Jews))?

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