The Leadership Deficit Is Alive And Well: Remembering the Lesson from 9-11

What Hasn’t Changed in Twenty Years Since 9-11

Bad leadership allowed the terrorists to be nearly successful when Al-Qaeda attacked us twenty-years ago. They got lucky.

I say “partly successful,” because citizens on board Flight 93 prevented the White House from being hit, taking the plane down in Shanksville, PA instead.

To these eyes the U.S government failed us on that day for three specific reasons:

1) Lax security at airports in the weeks leading up to 9-11

2) No FBI follow up even when suspicious activity was reported weeks, if not months before

3) A memo Condoleezza Rice had warning of just such an attack AND she failed to give urgency to that August 6th 2001 memo which specifically said Osama Bin Laden was going to use airplanes to attack the U.S.

Those three things led to the worst attack on U.S. soil since Pearl Harbor. 

It wasn’t our freedoms Al-Qaeda wanted to destroy, it wasn’t our way of life. It wasn’t because we deserved it because American Imperialism in Saudi Arabia made bin Laden bitter and vengeful, nor was it our treatment of Muslims in the Muslim world.

They attacked us because radical Islam hates Western values, especially when Westerners (naturally) export those values overseas. Some of our values are great, like women’s liberation, democracy, freedom of the press and of religion, the fact that women can drive and aren’t sold into marriage, these are good things you find in the West. They hate them. These ideas challenge their power.

You also find materialism and prosperity in the West, which we export through business dealings with leaders all over the world, including Saudi Arabia, Jordan and other Middle Eastern countries.

If some radical young jihadist billionaire hates the fact that there’s a KFC in his city that is his problem, but they would not have had the temerity to attack us if we had been even just a little more prepared. Our complacency led to our vulnerability. 

But we weren’t prepared, and to this I blame the leadership of our U.S. government. They failed America on that day, and they have been punishing us ever since with stupid rules at the airport, and extra homeland security measures that allow for them to snoop into our lives in the name of security. 

Twenty years later and we are still hated overseas today as much as we were then, perhaps with even a few more enemies with Biden in charge.

Secretary of State Rice failed us because she didn’t take the threat seriously, and Bush 42 was unqualified as commander-in chief because the only business he ever had to that point was being the owner of a baseball team. While he grew into leadership, he wasn’t one on that day and the Deep State law enforcement agencies didn’t take the threat seriously.

On 9-11 if our airports in Boston, New York and Washington had gone to medium or high alert and specifically looked for single Middle Eastern men with passports from any one of nine countries known to harbor terrorism trying to board planes, the plan would have never happened. 

Never forget the 19 hijackers were already here in the U.S. They got in planes in New York, Boston and Washington heading west to California. We had been warned from several countries weeks prior to the attack, we knew who OBL was and this wasn’t his first attack, it was his second.

History will show two days before the 9-11 attacks on Saturday, September 9th, 2001 Afghan Northern Alliance leader (and U.S. ally) Ahmad Shah Massoud was assassinated by Al-Qaeda. It is likely Massoud might have tried to warn U.S. intelligence about the pending attack before he was killed, or punished for doing so. Reports state there was increased “chatter” on cellphones and other communications leading up to 9-11.

The only question is did our intelligence get the warning from Massoud in time?

Clearly, a little elbow grease would have exposed over a dozen foreign nationals getting on airplanes that day, but no decision came from the FAA or the FBI to be on alert for a possible terrorist attack. 

That’s called a lack of leadership.

It’s the same kind of leadership we had when just a week before leaving Afghanistan, our current commander-in-chief leaves not only 80-million dollars worth of hardware behind for our enemies, but hundreds, if not thousands of people behind as well, people who helped the military and now have targets on their backs because Biden & Company bungled the operation. 

The only thing in two decades that has changed is political parties, and they appear equally inept when it comes to foreign policy and keeping Americans safe.

Jim Watkins is a national media consultant and host of the Candidly Speaking podcast

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