In those first harrowing hours after planes were turned into bombs on September 11, 2001, people across the country were paralyzed with fear. Few people alive 20 years ago had experienced an attack on American soil anything close to this magnitude.

In those first moments of desperation and panic, people sought some way to understand what had happened and how we might respond. Many politicians, academics and media commentators—and even some faith leaders—vented their rage in calls for revenge. Within days, we got the answer. President George W. Bush announced that the United States would “rally the world” against terrorism. He would answer this horrific crime by taking the world to war.

Read the full article at The Nation.

John Cavanagh is a senior advisor at the Institute for Policy Studies. Phyllis Bennis directs the New Internationalism project at the Institute for Policy Studies.

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