9/11, 15 YRS. LATER

Le Torri gemelle del World Trade Center colpite dai due aerei dirottati l'11 settembre 2001. REUTERS/Steven James Silva

It’s been 15 years since the Twin Towers fell, the Pentagon was hit and our first counter attack over Shanksville, PA.  The world has changed a lot since that September day.  This was a day that all of us old enough to know what was happening will never forget.  We all have personal stories from 9/11 related to friends and family.  We must never forget that day and what it meant to us and America.  Let’s take a look at where we are today, 15 years after the attack.

AFGHANISTAN

Afghanistan was the training hub for the al Qaeda terrorists who attacked us on 9/11.  The United States demanded Afghanistan give us the leaders of that plot.  Afghanistan refused which started a war to end those training sites and eliminate the threat.  President Bush warned the American public it would be a long war, maybe a decade or more to defeat our enemy.  When Bush left office, the war was not over but we were in the “mop up” stage.  The al Qaeda forces were scattered and losing their ability to execute a major strike.

President Obama lost interest and started withdrawing troops before the job was done.  A leadership void was created that was filled by the Taliban.  Although we have a contingent of forces remaining in the country, they are only strong enough to protect themselves.  Afghanistan no longer looks to America for their protection.  We are now a non-factor in the country and the Afghans look elsewhere for support.

IRAQ

We entered Iraq for regime change.  Iraq was said to possess chemical weapons that Saddam Hussein had previously used on his own population.  The U.S. attacked and removed the dictator and his Ba’ath party from power.  Hussein was eventually captured in 2003 and tried for crimes against humanity.  He was executed after his trial by the new Iraqi government.

The Obama Administration couldn’t wait to pull our troops out of the country.  They considered this the “wrong war” and ended our involvement as soon as politically possible.  This time the void was filled by a new group, ISIS.  The American government did not consider this group as a threat, even after they captured all the American military equipment we left for the new Iraqi army.  ISIS recaptured large portions of the country that America had fought for and our soldiers died for.  Still, the Administration considered ISIS the JV team.  ISIS killed all those in their conquered area who opposed their radical form of Islam.  They declared their area a new country, the Islamic State.

SYRIA

Syrian President Bashar Assad has a history of using chemical weapons on his own population to wipe out any dissent of his rule.  Syria is engaged in a civil war.  In 2012, President Obama stated that the use of chemical weapons again by Assad was a “red line in the sand.”  Crossing that line would bring the fury of the United States and the world.  One year later, in August of 2013, 1,500 Syrian citizens were gassed to death by Sarin gas, including 400 children.  With the world watching, America chose to stand down rather than remove Assad.

ISIS has spread into Syria.  They have captured land to expand their state.  Rather than provide American troops, the Obama Administration has supplied military equipment to those who oppose both ISIS and Assad.  Russia has entered the country to support Assad.  Russia has begun a bombing campaign against the American backed troops and ISIS.  Russian President Putin has shored up the position of the Assad government.  Recently Assad has used chlorine gas on his opponents.

IRAN

Remember Iran?  That’s the country that held our Embassy employees captive for over a year and ended the Presidency of Jimmy Carter.  Iran had their assets around the world frozen after they took the Americans hostage.  Iran wanted their money back and the right to start selling their oil again on the open market.  American citizens, those or family members of the hostages, have held claims against the government of Iran.

Iran has been on a crusade to develop a nuclear bomb.  They claim it is for generating power but everyone knows their program is weapon oriented.

Enter team Obama.  The Administration, with the assistance of five other nuclear powers entered an agreement with Iran to slow the program for 10 years.  In return, the West would release the Iranian funds plus interest being held.  This renegade nation is the worlds largest supporter of terrorism in the Middle East.  It is suspected that much of the money delivered to Iran went to several terrorist groups operating in the Middle East.  All other sanctions were lifted.  There are 4 other Americans being held by Iran that were not part of the deal.  There will be a group of inspectors from the U.N. to insure Iran is in compliance with the agreement.  The United States will not be permitted to take part in the inspections.

Iran has used their military in Syria, with the support of Russia to support Assad.  Iran has supported the Taliban in Afghanistan.  They are the major power in the Middle East.  Iran has purchased a modern defensive system from Russia.  This system, when fully deployed, will stop Israel or the U.S. from using a strategic strike to take out Iran’s nuclear program.

Obama has just paid a ransom to Iran to free our citizens who were being held by the rogue regime.  Although Obama claims the United States did no pay ransom, the hostages were not permitted to leave the country until the money, paid in foreign currency. was delivered to the Iranian government.

IN THE UNITED STATES

Since 9/11, we have created security at our airports.  Americans have become more aware of those around us.  Although we have been subject to “lone wolf” attacks on our soil, we have stopped most large, planned attacks in America.  We all realize that we will never stop all the attempted attacks, but so far we have been pretty successful.

Our southern border remains open and porous.  The largest number of those illegally entering our country from the south seem to be from Central America.  However, there is material found that indicates that Muslims from the Middle East have used this southern gateway as their illegal entrance point.

The Obama Administration has brought to the United States and released over 10,000 Syrian refugees from the civil war in their home country.  In the Middle East we have Shiite Muslims killing Kurds and Sunni Muslims.  We have Sunni Muslims killing Kurds and Shiite Muslims.  Everyone is killing Christians.  However, Christian refugees are not welcome in America.  Only a handful of refugees are Christian.

This is where we are today, 15 years after that fateful attack on our country.  Our “WAR ON TERROR” will continue for many more years to come.  Our children will probable be fighting this war long after we are gone.  Hopefully their children will find a safer world to live in.

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