America, Al Qaeda, Donald Trump discussed on The Lawfare Podcast

The Lawfare Podcast


In the history of both terrorism broadly and in the history of jihadist terrorism. More specifically nine eleven is an outlier. Nine eleven is the thing that kind of gets accomplished once and then is extremely hard to regenerate. Look at you know. You mentioned omar for of end december. Two thousand nine bombing. Let's say that succeeded. Three hundred people would be dead. That is still as disgusting an atrocity as that was something that tells us something about the extant state of al qaeda's both operations and capability in two thousand nine. And if you want to attribute some of that to the war on terror itself go ahead. i'll bake that. There's no islamic state in two thousand nine. There's no al qaeda in iraq before the invasion of iraq there is no ability for such thing to generate absent. What america does i'm in an and this is a law fair podcast august thirty first two thousand twenty one jack. Goldsmith sat down with national security reporter spencer ackerman. He's the author of the new book reign of terror of nine eleven era de stabilized america and produce trump the to discuss the book and the consequences of twenty years of the war on terror with the recent developments in afghanistan. The conversation touches on the complicated history of the united states and middle east conflict that has now spanned four presidencies akron raises among other things. That there's a direct line between america's response to nine eleven and the rise of political figures like donald trump. It's the law fair podcast. August thirty first reign of terror. What spencer ackerman spencer. A central claim in your book is that the american response to nine eleven brought us donald trump and the trump presidency. Explain how that works. So i it works on a couple of different levels. Some of that is political. Some of that is institutional So let's take the political one. I the war on terror doesn't invent anything. What it is is a mechanism adore. If you will opened to the most noxious nativist racist environment aspects of american history and it gives them justification to reassert power during a time of national emergency and a broad political atmosphere broad in the sense of being broadly shared amongst elites not just in both parties but Within journalism weeden security stay amongst intellectuals and so on that righteous patriotic vengeance is the appropriate response to nine eleven. And once that happens as you can see throughout history not only american history but certainly american history empowered native ism does not stay within prescribed boundaries. American muslims found themselves very quickly within a crucible. In the united states immigrants found themselves very quickly within a crucible in the united states a recently had occasion to look back through some accounts taken by muslim community leaders in a neighborhood near where i live in brooklyn known as little pakistan in which i saw and reflected upon children thirteen fourteen fifteen telling some of their community leaders about the ways in which they were dehumanized the ways in which they were threatened that they were called soma that white classmates talked about telling immigration authorities on them Telling them that they were responsible for nine. Eleven there was a broad intellectual. I would say probably more journalistic declaration of national unity after nine eleven that entirely left such people out precisely so that it could be legitimate to target them. Scapegoat them to take away their freedom to deport them to keep them under a general atmosphere of suspicion. And we go back and you see some of the architects of this. You see very familiar figures that would go on to prominence. In the trump administration one of the architects of the immigration crackdowns that were functional tools for the justice department to shall we say invite muslims in america to prove their loyalty and earn a path to citizenship earn by informing on their neighbors that operated under the broad. And i think it's really playing to see racist presumption that american muslim communities were incubating further acts of terrorism. That was a policy. A series of policies the roundups in particular extended detentions in places like the metropolitan correction center in brooklyn sunset. park By john ashcroft the attorney general at the times immigration advisor crisco back. Who would go on to be. A prominent member of donald trump's short lived commission on voter suppression advertising itself as a commission investigating voter fraud. I'm there are many such examples of this. Many of the architects in custodians of the war on terror ended up serving in the trump administration. John kelly is a particular example to justify the war on terror. You jeff sessions is a great example. Many of the.

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