Start at the beginning: Felix Dzerzhinsky’s Birthday, September 11, 1877.
Move on to the “End of the Cold War”: December 25, 1991.
Pause for Ayman al-Zawahiri’s “detention” in Russia, winter 1996/7.
And take a moment for that indelible Monday morning 8:45 a.m. horror–>
What American and the world witnessed 21 years ago was an Islamic terrorist attack on two breathtaking office buildings symbolic of western business and political order. At the time, as one country-western singer-songwriter noted–Alan Jackson – “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)”–an ordinary American couldn’t tell the difference between Iraq and Iran.
Perhaps that absence of American and more generalized global political sophistication has changed.
As flesh swells where stung, BackChannels views the September 11 attack on America’s homeland as the installation of the “New Nationalism” to come to the United States and infect several other EU/NATO states–Hungary, Italy, Poland, Turkey–with reversions to dalliance and inroads by authoritarian power.
While the world’s more modern and western institutions for security focused on the “War on Terror”, another decade would deliver another message in Moscow’s inimical back alley manner in absolute thuggish power as an alley declared war on the humanity of his own constituency: on BackChannels, “Syria: The Horror: 2011”. The Syrian Civil War would in disperse millions of refugees into other states in the Middle East (Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Egypt) and into NATO member Turkey (3.6 million) and into Europe (more than 1 million) according to World Vision.
Add yet one more decade to spring 2021 and the winter of 2021/2, for Russia’s positioning for its invasion of Ukraine, which was then initiated on February 24, 2022 (this leaving out Russia’s annexation of Crimea from February to March 2014 in the wake of the Ukraine’s Euromaidan and concomitant Revolution of Dignity
While the public generally views “9/11” as a singular act of Islamic ne “Islamist” terror against the pillars of the western (and majority-Christian) order, it appears in retrospect as a challenge on the part of the still politically absolute medieval world against the more compassionate, humanist, and ordered modern open democracies and their profoundly liberal ends. In fact, the attack appears to fit with a greater and more pernicious narrative arc as Russia was to support the Taliban with arms and materiel through to their taking Kabul in an American retreat first agreed to by former President Trump, a most (allegedly) criminal, devious, disgraceful, and traitorous American President (well, to judge by the latest breaking news).
This September 11 anniversary differs quite from Moscow’s authoritarian and criminal vision for the world.