For all those who in a few hours will commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the tragedy at the National September 11 Memorial in New York City, at the Pentagon Memorial in Virginia or on the Flight 93 National Memorial in Pennsylvania, for all those who elsewhere in the United States of America, or indeed elsewhere in the world, are painfully honouring the victims, my deep and committed solidarity.
This was the most far-reaching mass-murder single act perpetrated by Jihadism, yet by no means the only one. Thirty-three years ago, the fatwa by Ayatollah Khomeini, under the Iranian Jihadi constitutional mandate, promoted the genocide of the Iranian political opposition. This is a contemporary genocide whose perpetrators remain in power unchallenged by the international community. This allows them to pursue repression, terrorism, conquest, and destabilisation both in the country, in the region and elsewhere in the world.
Jihadism, under different brands and promoted by various states, continued for all these years to ravage the world – across the Greater Middle East and Sahara, Central and Eastern Africa, America, Europe, and Asia.
Most symbolically, as the twentieth anniversary of September eleven is honoured, Jihad made its full return to the very country where September eleven was originally planned and masterminded. This insults the memory of all those who fell, persecutes, and enslaves those who fought against it.
The very same Taliban who harboured Al Qaeda are back in full control twenty years after their original crime! The Prime Minister of the country that created, financed, armed and directed the Taliban – and sheltered Osama bin Laden up to the day of his annihilation – claimed on August 16th the breaking of the ‘shackles of slavery’ upon the conquest of Afghanistan by its proxies.
It is easy to look at the mere surface and focus on the politicians presently in charge, responsible for the ongoing disaster – one that simultaneously fails to pay tribute to the memory of the fallen, fails to ensure the rights of the living and fails to safeguard any prospects for peace and freedom.
This calamity is the consequence of the incapacity to understand, and therefore to efficiently struggle against, Jihad’s evil ideology. Worse still: the incapacity to prevent this very same enemy from infiltrating and parasite Western decision processes to the point where facts are entirely truncated.
And yet the ‘9/11 Commission Report’ rendered public on 2004 – on material and intelligence previously available to decision makers – already established the crucial points, that nevertheless; were entirely reversed in the political decision process.
Iran’s theocracy, not Saddam’s Iraq, played a fundamental part on the attack, yet Iraq was the country invaded – and offered to the Iranian expansionism. Pakistan was and remains the Taliban’s most important foreign pillar, yet it was made the number one ally on the ‘war on terror’, naturally re-imposing the Taliban in power as a result. Most importantly, Saudi Arabia was highly infiltrated by Jihadism at all levels, starting by clerical circles, and yet the reforming prince that tried to revert the situation is undermined and threatened to be replaced by these very same Jihadists.
Twenty years after the original mass murder, our world proved unable to punish the culprits. On the contrary, it largely rewarded them for their crime.
The downfall of Kabul at the hands of Jihadi monsters is the painful proof we did not learn what we should from nine eleven.
It is urgent to reflect together on why things went the way they did to prepare for the counterattack against totalitarian ideologies in defence of liberty and human values.
We need to control the unrestricted power of money, which allows the enemies of democracy to penetrate and pervert our institutions. We need to break with the new puritanism that emulates Jihadism. We need to overcome the culture of hysteria that inhibits reason and reflection.
We need courageous and motivated people willing to fight so that we and our descendants may mark future anniversaries of nine eleven with more reasons to look at successes than to analyse repeated disasters.
I would like to thank the organisers of the event, most in particular Manel Msalmi, for the invitation to be here with you.
(Speech read September eleven at the Luxembourg Square in Brussels, by Paulo Casaca, director of ARCHumankind).