Rest in Peace 9/11 (2001-2021)

The world would remember 9/11 as a monster.

9/11 was a daytime spectacle of planes flying into the North & South Towers of the World Trade Center and Pentagon; it was a mass murder, a psychological assault on the self-confidence of an imperial nation. 9/11 was a magical act of Islamic militancy. A swiftly planned military invasion overthrew the Taliban government, the host of Osama bin Laden, the master architect of global resistance to what he called “the occupation of Muslim lands.”

9/11 instigated a cacophony of explanations: For decades, some argued, the U.S. policy had been a disaster in supporting oppressive governments in the Middle East, fomenting widespread resentment; it has been unjust in unconditionally siding with the Israeli settler-colonialism of the Palestinian lands. For some, 9/11 demonstrated Muslim jealousy of Western values and dominance in science and technology that the Towers embodied. For the Neocons, Islam is an inherently violent creed that intoxicates followers with ruthless violence.

Reacting to 9/11, the Washington ruling elite triggered the War on Terror, extending to many Muslim countries. Brooding on Afghanistan, President George W. Bush said, “I’m not gonna fire a $2 million missile at a $10 empty tent and hit a camel in the butt.” Unquenched with the Afghan blood, Bush (now an oil painter) struck Iraq. The Pentagon explosives incinerated Baghdad and other cities and towns, where the targets were juicier streaming with men, women, and children. The screams radiating from the Iraqi neighborhoods found no ears. While executing the war, the Coalition forces (and the Iraqi homeless) lived in the abandoned buildings. At Abu Gharib, the CIA operated pornographic torture chambers.

The U.S. military built a prison in Guantanamo to torture Muslim detainees, mostly innocent men, arbitrarily picked up worldwide. There, the White House, the Office of Legal Counsel, the CIA, and the Department of Justice “orchestrated a horrific torture program.” They housed Muslims of various nationalities in open cages, wearing orange suits, bent as if finding spines scattered in the ground. The agents flushed the Quran in the toilets; the prisoners smacked their heads against the walls; the CIA waterboarded the “masterminds,” denying it was torture. Yoo (now a law professor) and Bybee (now a federal judge) wrote the “torture memos.” There were no charges, let alone trials, for most detainees.

Bedeviled with the 9/11 monster, Barrack Obama, the Noble Laureate for Peace, fell in love with armed drones to kill people in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia. He authorized a total of 540 drone strikes in his two terms of presidency, murdering hundreds of civilians. Obama also murdered U.S. citizens with armed drones in Yemen. Bending forward in the famous photo of the Bin Laden raid, Obama got even with Osama and buried his corpse in the Arabian Sea. Uttering words as a reluctant fundamentalist, as if he receives revelations from Gabriel (he doesn’t), Obama repeatedly lied to the American public that the U.S. was winning the war in Afghanistan.

Donald Trump, crazy to the core, first dropped mega bombs in Afghanistan. Then he started to make peace with the Taliban. Trump modified the war narrative, calling it a massive burden on American taxpayers. He accused the Pentagon generals of advocating war “so that all of those wonderful companies that make the bombs and make the planes and make everything else stay happy.” Trump praised the Taliban as “tough and smart.” The Taliban called Trump “honest.” Trump finally struck a deal with the Taliban, called the Doha Agreement.

On August 31, 2021, the last U.S. soldiers left Afghanistan, closing the war. “This decision about Afghanistan is not just about Afghanistan,” said Joe Biden. “It’s about ending an era of major military operations to remake other countries.” Biden’s words suggest that the 9/11 monster is dead.

Rest in Peace 9/11 (2001-2021).

But wait, says Cervantes: “Tis an old saying, the Devil lurks behind the cross.” The Pentagon is nursing the wounds after losing a war it said it was winning. The Taliban are back to power in Afghanistan.  ISIS is expanding. Guantanamo is open. The Middle East is murdering journalists. The Israeli occupation has transmuted into apartheid. Defense contractors and companies are scouting for new wars. What will the CIA do without the 9/11 monster?

L. Ali Khan is the founder of Legal Scholar Academy and an Emeritus Professor of Law at the Washburn University School of Law in Topeka, Kansas. He welcomes comments at