9/11 Reflections

It was hard to watch Fox News’s annual program this morning on how the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks unfolded, but I do this every year to remember the horror of that day, the massive loss of life, and the many heroes — firemen, policemen and the passengers of Flight 93, and many others.

I also reflect on this day how fragile our security and freedom are – and on the reality of the evil forces in this world that want to take them away.

We must not forget that the carnage of September 11, 2001 was an act of terrorism by radical Islamists who want to destroy our country and our way of life.  Radical Islamists are at war with modern society and staged many other deadly terrorist attacks against innocent civilians, including the Madrid train bombing in 2004; the London subway bombing in 2005; the Mumbai attacks in 2008; the Boston marathon bombing in 2013, and the San Bernardino attack in 2015.  There have been many other radical Islamist terrorist attacks around the world, including two in 2020 in Afghanistan and the Philippines.

While the U.S. government has done a good job preventing dozens of radical Islamist terrorist attacks, many were stopped because of lucky breaks.  Although al Qaeda is a weaker organization than it was in 2001 and the Trump administration defeated ISIS on the ground in Syria and Iraq, neither organization or their offshoots have been defeated.  They continue to operate in remote and ungoverned areas. They continue to recruit followers and plot acts of violence against modern society. Our nation must be vigilant to defend against this continuing threat.

I am concerned every year on September 11 that our nation is forgetting who was behind the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Honoring those who died trying save others on this day is essential. But too many commemorations omit mentioning that 9/11 attacks were an act of terrorism by radical Islamist terrorists. The mainstream media, pundits and educators have decided that it is politically incorrect to talk about how our country was attacked by Islamist extremists who are part of a global movement that wants to destroy our country and modern society.

When we commemorate the events of 9/11, we must honor the victims and heroes of this terrible day and call out the terrorists and terrorist movement that was behind them. To defend our nation against similar acts of terror in the future, it is crucial we recognize and name our enemies.  We can’t sweep this under the rug.  We must insist that school children be taught the full truth about the 9/11 terrorist attacks.  We must insist our leaders not let down our guard against this continuing threat to our security and freedom.

Never again.

About Fred Fleitz

Fred Fleitz is President and CEO of the Center for Security Policy. He recently served as a Deputy Assistant to President Trump and Chief of Staff to National Security Adviser John Bolton. He previously worked in national security positions for 25 years with CIA, DIA, the Department of State and the House Intelligence Committee staff. Follow Fleitz on Twitter @fredfleitz.