Amitabh Mattoo: America’s failure of imagination / P B Mehta: What 9/11 unleashed on us / Ben Rhodes: Afghanistan withdrawal has ended the 9/11 era / Uday Bhaskar & Madhavan Palat on 20 Years after 9/11

No other event of the 21st century has defined international politics quite in the same manner as that of September 11, 2001. Twenty years later, the world is still grappling with the deeper philosophical, political, economic, and social consequences of “that day” – of the most audacious attack on American territory – and the forces that were unleashed thereafter.

Uday Bhaskar interviews Madhavan Palat on 20 Years after 9/11

Mass killings by US forces after 9/11 boosted support for the Taliban

While President Joe Biden’s withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan may suggest a closure of the American war on “global terror”, in almost every sense, almost everywhere, we are living in a different, more “precarious” world. As the celebrated philosopher Judith Butler reminded us in a series of controversial essays after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, a collective sense of vulnerability and mourning could have led to a deeper sense of solidarity and the search for global justice, had certain policy choices been made…

P B Mehta: What 9/11 unleashed on us

The unprecedented acts of terror on 9/11, when death literally fell from the sky, were ostensibly motivated by an impulse to revenge and restoration. The perpetrators who carried it out sought to teach a lesson to the West, and re-position their version of Islam as a powerful political force. But like a blast whose reverberations fly in all directions, the deepest impulses behind the attack were less strategic and more apocalyptic. They set in motion two crises that are still with us.

The first was the crisis of the West. It is often said that more than 9/11, it was the overreaction and response to 9/11 that shaped its meaning. There is a great deal of truth to that: 9/11 became the pretext to start two wars, put in motion the perpetual war machine, legitimise unaccountable exercise of executive power, institute the surveillance state, provide mendacious justifications for torture and reinstate the idea that civilian casualties could be counted as mere collateral damage….

Ben Rhodes: Biden’s Afghanistan withdrawal has finally ended the 9/11 era 

Foreign policy, for better or worse, is always an extension of a nation’s domestic politics. The arc of America’s war in Afghanistan is a testament to this reality – the story of a superpower that overreached, slowly came to terms with the limits of its capacity to shape events abroad, and withdrew in the wake of raging dysfunction at home. Viewed through this prism, President Joe Biden’s decisive yet chaotic withdrawal comes into focus.

The story begins with trauma and hubris. On September 11 2001, American power was at its high-water mark. The globalisation of open markets, democratic governance, and the US-led international order had shaped the previous decade. The spectre of nuclear war had been lifted, the ideological debates of the 20th century settled. To Americans, mass violence was something that took place along the periphery of the post-cold war world. And then suddenly, the periphery struck the centres of American power, killing thousands….

The last Jews in Afghanistan argued so much the Taliban kicked them out of prison and stole their Torah

Chris Hedges: The Collective Suicide Machine


The CIA’s Intervention in Afghanistan: Interview with Zbigniew Brzezinski, Paris, 15-21 January 1998

Vanessa Thorpe: MI 6, the coup in Iran that changed the Middle East, and the cover-up

Victor Jara murder: ex-military officers sentenced in Chile for 1973 death

Andrew Bacevich: High Crimes and Misdemeanors of the Fading American Century

Mohammed Hanif: The rest of the world has had it with US presidents, Trump or otherwise

Donald Trump’s gift to America: Realizing we’ve never been a liberal democracy. By PAUL ROSENBERG

Zack Stanton: Violent Christian Extremism in the USA

Conversation with Lawrence Lifschultz: The American reporter who investigated the assassination of Mujibur Rahman