While I appreciate the many compelling national and local stories about the impact of the 9/11 attacks, the somber truth of this anniversary has been largely left out of the coverage: Osama bin Laden won.

The attacks on 9/11 were merely the detonating charge that got us to blow up our own country and violate what remained of its nobler values — to embrace torture, end due process for certain groups, establish a surveillance state, mire ourselves in bloody and expensive Sisyphean efforts at regime change abroad, refuse to recognize and address the ongoing climate apocalypse and embrace ventilators over masks in the current pandemic.

Now, one of our major political parties is in thrall to an aspiring autocrat and working feverishly to cripple and nullify voting. What bin Laden could not achieve — the end of America as a free, prosperous and democratic nation — the GOP is pursuing with an untrammeled passion. It has been a grim trajectory from the flaming towers to our own self-immolation.

Stephen Ducat


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