On the twentieth anniversary of the deadliest attack on American soil, George W. Bush, who was president at the time, warned against a new risk within his own country.
“We’ve seen increasing evidence that the risks to our country can come not just from across borders, but from the violence that brews within them,” Bush said Saturday at the memorial to September 11th in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, during a ceremony to mark the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks.
“There is little cultural overlap between foreign and domestic violent extremists…they are children of the same rotten spirit, and it is our continuing duty to confront them.”
Bush, recalling the unity of the American people after the attacks, called for a return to that spirit amid growing political division in the country.
“On unifying the US, those days seem far from ours,” he said. “Evil forces seem to work in our lives… so much of our politics has become a naked appeal to anger, fear and resentment.”
Bush and his wife Laura, as well as the vice president Kamala Harris, attended the ceremony in Shanksville, where United Airlines Flight 93 crashed after passengers overpowered the hijackers. The plane crashed into the field, preventing another target from being hit.
“In the sacrifice of rescuers, in the mutual help between strangers, in the solidarity of mourning and grace, the actions of the enemy revealed the spirit of a people,” Bush said, describing the country’s reaction. “We were proud of our wounded nation.”
The September 11 attacks, which killed 3,000 people in New York, Washington and Shanksville, prompted Bush to launch a US-led invasion of Afghanistan that drove the Taliban out of control in Kabul and forced al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden , to hide.
His government’s next invasion of Iraq, under the mistaken charge that Saddam Hussein’s authoritarian government possessed illicit weapons of mass destruction, diverted resources and attention away from Afghanistan, leaving US strategy in place adrift, former officials said. and experts.