How Bin Laden Won the War

As I wrote an answer on Quora, I went a bit into myself. Thinking about 9/11 and its aftermath, thinking about the State of Exception that is still ongoing decades after 9/11, thinking how America has mutilated itself as a result.

Remember how America once advertised itself as? The land of the Free and Freedom, the pioneer of Democracy. Remember the times when America stood up to get the peace back in Europe, how she supported the European project of working together? Hell, remember when President George Bush, Sr. and President Gorbachev didn't give a shit about Prime Minister Thatcher's delusions of keeping Europe divided and agreed to let West and East Germany unite, agreed to let the Soviet republics and satellite states to become independent?

That was an America promoting peace and unity, an America promoting civil liberties and democracy. That's was when America shined bright, displaying its American Values. But then..

Remember when the US Congress was lied to through a PR campaign to influence the Congress in allowing the first intervention in Iraq? Remember when the entire world was lied to by the US government to get the NATO to invade Iraq a second time and to remove Saddam Hussain?

I could've called them the darkest hours of America, but they aren't. Not even close to it. But what is?

9/11. Of course, the attack was terrible. The lives that were lost, the physical damage caused, but also the fear and the far worse damages that rooted on this fear. The USA Patrio Act.

If I had to nominate anything unamerican in the United States, that would be the USA Patriot Act. The name suggests patriotism, but it's nowhere close to patriotism. With the illiberal undemocratic near-dictatorial authoritarianism that it promotes, it is the most unamerican thing, I'd say. It clearly is in conflict with American Values, no matter how you look at it.

Now back to 9/11. It was a terror attack. Terror means "fear" and it's idea is to spread fear and panic. The 9/11 attacks indeed achieved that. But the attacks didn't only achieve that, it also achieved that the US President and Congress themselves started mutilating the very core beliefs of Western society and America: its democracy. Because the USA Patriot Act was nothing, but the mutilation of the democracy in the United States.

So in the end, the USA might have won the battle against Al Qaeda and bin Laden, the USA might even have killed him, but hasn't bin Laden won the war? Hasn't he achieved exactly what he aimed at? And he didn't have to do anything else than standing in the corner and shout "boo" for the US to start mutilating herself.

That terrorists got control over a few planes and crashed them into a defenseless America isn't the real humiliation here, but the fear-led irrational decisions of the US Government and Congress. But the biggest humiliation of all is that all Presidents up to now have kept extending that State of Exception instead of returning the country to how it used to be. The biggest humiliation of America is that no President to this day is even trying to "make America great again". Neither did Obama, nor does Trump.

If there is any way to "make America great again", that is by returning to those American Values. Thus, I hope that the American people will think a bit more about the future of their nation, their own future, and vote for a candidate respecting the American Values and promoting for ways of restoring them. Spoiler Alert: Most candidates don't.

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