On the 19th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the United States, it's necessary to reflect upon the developments that significantly took place in the country. The event's tragedy kickstarted an era of history in the country that is usually referred to as post-9/11.
The immediate aftermath was the United States adeclaring a state of strong collective single-mindedness in its declaration of war under then-President George W. Bush. Commentators and political analysts identified this with a strong sense in national pride and a dedication to the country's new worldwide fight against the forces of fundamentalism and terrorism. However, this 'War on Terrorism' did not yield completely positive results like the United States expected, becoming long and drawn-out, attracting major global controversies and resulting in challenging questions about its past and present that it is still struggling with. At present, the United States of America, the world's foremost superpower, is facing a crisis that many consider far worse than what 9/11 had in store. But, how exactly it reached to this point is the major question as a number of significant reasons were responsible for it.
War on Terrorism or Something Else?
President Bush's address in front of a joint session of Congress in the immediate aftermath detailed how the attack was made by the operatives of the terrorist group, Al Qaeda. However, his address painted a number of other terrorist groups as being the new global threat to democracy, and thus conflated terrorism to stand against the existence of the natural order for the people in the country. This point was evidently made to launch large scale military campaigns in the countries of Afghanistan and Iraq. However, the motivations on both sides of the conflict acquired a great deal of confusion. It was most egregiously on the part of the United States, as it doubled down upon its hegemonic foreign policy. Terrorist groups around the world were primarily motivated to launch attacks like 9/11 on the country because of their foreign policy. Such an area in the aftermath only became more heavy handed; therefore, continuing a cycle endlessly.
Influence on Capitalist Forces and Conditions
The conditions of capitalist society upon the geopolitical issues of significant kind also came into attention. Post-9/11 up until the present time cannot be properly explained without talking about the roles that big businesses played, and the contentious relationships they evoked with time. A noted case was made during the invasion of Iraq, seemingly unrelated to 9/11 directly, where the country's focus upon invading and removing its dictator's regime seemed contradictory and based upon falsified claims. Many think that the main motive for this was to gain control over Iraq's wide availability of oil fields. The Global Recession of 2008 was also a major source of concern for the relationships that existed between the capitalist actors and the society's perception of its essential need. Simply speaking, the United States of America has seen a major increase in generational income disparity, and the failure of the widespread belief that capitalism was the solution to all problems in society.
Social Issues becoming More Prescient and Radicalized
The issues emanating from the social landscape in the United States post-9/11 present a scenario in which divisions and differences become more pronounced and significant. This goes to associate for very long across America's history, and it's apparent that issues like racism, homophobia, religious conservatism etc. became more relevant and significant with time. Such factors only became more prominent because many attribute to the collective trauma that the country experienced, and the increasing contradictions that existed within its political landscape. All of these directly relate to major social issues that the country had regarded resolved, but had been largely systemic and structural in nature. It has resulted in a number of important movements to come at the forefront, which have presented circumstances wherein the differences have only widened in terms of direction of both the political left and right respectively. Political and social extremism have become the norm in the country in the recent past, which is something that the country is still struggling very significantly with.
Relationship with Objectivity and Science
The presidential election wins of both Barack Obama in 2008 and Donald Trump in 2016 were historical touchpoints in the post-911 era. However, both these presidencies were mired with controversies and criticism in the direction they took, especially with regards to the US foreign policy. Obama is usually looked upon more favorably because of his promise and actual attempts at moving away from the earlier promised 'War on Terrorism' to focusing upon the global issue of Climate Change. However, his successor Donald Trump, the current president, has sought to dismantle his legacy in every possible way. At the heart of all these things was the return to address terrorism and the position of the United States as a global leader. As a result, policies, agreements and avenues that moved toward possible directions of favoring the existential threat over the global environment and the climate at large reflected important positions. It has been a major source of controversy on the Trump Administration's part among many others, which reveal important conditions over the state of affairs.
More so than anything else, it is how Trump and its administration went about reasoning such moves, actions and strategies. It was the direct antithesis of what could be essentially referred to the acceptable and objective truths about science and other bases of knowledge. The buzz word of 'fake news' was weaponized and launched in order to gain a footing of political offense. However, the outbreak in the global pandemic this very year has provided contexts the extent to which the United States was left vulnerable in these positions and circumstances. The country has had more deaths and infections than any other country reported around the world, and is seemingly failing to cope with the situation in real time.
Many present the argument that the current pandemic marks the end of the post-9/11 era. The transformation and the speediness with which it has affected the lives and conditions of American people will evidently bring some new results altogether.