While within the United States, there is still plenty of willingness to use the 9/11 anniversary as a time for politicians to make public appearances and give hawkish speeches praising America’s “unity” in reaction to the attacks, internationally there is growing willingness to be more circumspect about the results.
France, which has found itself a primary target for ISIS terror attacks, increasingly sees the US reaction to 9/11 as the instigating cause of that, with several high-profile analysts and top officials saying that the post-9/11 interventions led to an “era of instability” of which much of Europe, including France, has been a victim.
French President Francois Hollande echoed this sentiment, noting that the US invasion of Iraq in 2003 led to the creation of ISIS, and that even though (France’s then-President) Jacques Chirac refused to participate in the war, France has become a main target for ISIS.
The US used false claims of 9/11 links in its effort to build support for the invasion of Iraq, and while Iraq had no meaningful al-Qaeda presence when the US arrived, the US occupation and the installation of a Shi’ite government ultimately led to a substantial al-Qaeda affiliate in Iraq, which ultimately split with al-Qaeda and renamed itself ISIS.
The global spread of jihad after 9/11 was by design, at least according to Osama bin Laden’s son, Omar, who said his father was aiming to set up a “grand showdown” with the Americans with the 9/11 attacks and that “I was surprised the Americans took the bait.”
Bin Laden has been dead for years at this point, but many US officials are still eagerly ‘taking the bait,’ consequences be damned.