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Americans Pause to Remember the Victims of 9/11; Global Impact of the 9/11 Attacks Still Being Felt; Uncertain Future in Afghanistan as Taliban Assume Control; "Health Pass" and Delta Variant Convince Many French; Highlights of the U.S. Open. Aired 2-2:45a ET
Aired September 11, 2021 - 02:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Hello and welcome to CNN NEWSROOM everyone, appreciate your company. I am Michael Holmes.
Coming up on the program, "never forget": the U.S. marks one of its most somber days, September 11th, 20 years on.
Plus, how a gamble by France's president convinced skeptics to get the shot and turned the country into the one of the most vaccinated in the world.
And in a year of megastorms, why this supertyphoon could be the strongest one yet.
HOLMES: Exactly 20 years ago, four hijacked airliners changed the course of world history. It began early September 11th, 2001. What unfolded next, so shocking that no one could quite believe it.
And when it was over, nearly 3,000 people had perished in one of the most brazen terror attacks ever on U.S. soil. In the coming, hours Americans and people around the world will pause to remember the enormous loss that day and look back on what it led to.
In New York, the missing Twin Towers now replaced in the Manhattan skyline by beams of white light. So too at the Pentagon, where a single beacon illuminates the night sky.
This year's anniversary also coincides with the U.S. ending its 20- year war in Afghanistan that followed those attacks. Earlier, President Biden addressing the trauma of that day but also reminded Americans of the resolve that emerged in the aftermath.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We also saw something all too rare, a true sense of national unity. Unity and resilience, the capacity to recover and repair in the face of trauma, unity and service, the 9/11 generation stepping up to serve and protect in the face of terror, to get those terrorists who were responsible, to show everyone seeking to do harm to America that we will hunt you down and we will make you pay. That will never stop.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: The president and first lady will visit all 3 sites on Saturday, to pay their respects to those who died. Ahead of the somber occasion, the British prime minister, Boris Johnson, sending this hopeful message.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BORIS JOHNSON, U.K. PRIME MINISTER: While the threat persists today, we can, now say, with the perspective of 20 years, that they failed to shake our belief in freedom and democracy. They failed to drive our nations apart or to cause us to abandon our values or to live in permanent fear.
The fact that we are coming together, today, in sorrow but also, in faith and resolve, demonstrates the failure of terrorism and the strength of the bonds between us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: And we begin our coverage with CNN senior international correspondent, Arwa Damon, in Istanbul.
Arwa, how is the 9/11 anniversary perceived in the region today?
At the time it happened, it seemed the whole world stood with the U.S.
But how is the anniversary of this day, considering everything that has happened, being perceived?
ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Michael, you know, we all have to remember that, when the U.S., after 9/11, waged war in Afghanistan, yes, just about every single country stood behind them. That was, in the eyes of many, a justified war.
But when the U.S. then turned around and set its sights on Iraq, again, reminding everyone that that was based on shaky intelligence at best, intelligence that was manipulated by the then Bush administration, the narrative, especially for the region, changed because, all of a sudden, it went from America wanting to wage war on those who had carried out the 9/11 attacks to America and the West waging war on Islam and especially on Arabs.
That then resulted in the growing spread of terrorist networks throughout the region, because, keep in mind, as well, that, when the U.S. went to war in Iraq, there was vast opposition to it, especially in the Middle East but beyond as well.
And that is not because various countries or populations supported Saddam Hussein. It is because they stood against U.S. aggression in the Middle East, U.S. aggression against Muslims. And the turning of the narrative from being the West or America's war on terror to the West and America's war on Islam.
DAMON: Which is exactly how these various different terrorist networks played it up, allowed for organizations like Al Qaeda to then grow, thrive and become even more powerful in Iraq because, all of a sudden, they had a very viable story to be able to tell their recruits.
They were able to turn around and say, look, America is coming after Muslims, America wants to destroy Islam.
And the impact of 9/11 has transcended what took place in America and what took place in Afghanistan. Al Qaeda's intent was to sow chaos, division, to amplify hatred. And it managed to suck not just the U.S. and Western allies into this war text but so many other countries into it as well.
And despite the fact that current leaders may want to say that the war on terror is over, we should not allow that to overtake our own psyche. We need to be cognizant of the fact that a lot of these hatreds and divisions still exist. And they need to be addressed in a way that is not defined by bombs and bullets -- Michael.
HOLMES: Yes, and as you know from having covered it, ISIS didn't exist until the Iraq War, either.
Where then are we 20 years on, in the context of global security threats?
DAMON: I mean, if you want to look at it sort of in a superficial way, right now, today, has the threat from ISIS been diminished from when they were at their peak?
Has the threat from Al Qaeda been diminished from when they were at their peak?
However, has Al Qaeda spread more broadly over the last 20 years, to the Arabian Peninsula, to a number of African nations?
Do they have sleeper cells in a number of countries where they did not exist before?
Does ISIS still pose a very serious threat?
Yes, absolutely. We all saw the horrific attack that happened at Kabul airport. Keeping in mind, too, that even though, today, these two key main organizations may appear to be weakened, these are organizations that play the long game.
They are more than adept, as, they have proven to be in the past, to sit back and wait for these targets of opportunity, to wait for these exact circumstances to emerge, that then allow them to capitalize on population grievances.
Again, on these hatreds that I was referring to before and those dynamics, to allow for organizations like Al Qaeda, like ISIS, other terrorist networks, to emerge, they are very much still there.
Because, Michael, in the post 9/11 era, in these last 20 years, on a global scale, have we really managed to come together?
It seems as if there is more information out there through social media. And yet, there is less compassion. We are seeing growing hatred of the Other, people who don't necessarily look like us.
You have all of this anti migration, anti refugee sentiments that have emerged. And until we can cohesively actually come together as a global unit, those factors that allowed for terrorist organizations to grow and thrive, they are very much alive.
And so, no, we are not necessarily safe until we learn to actually be, to a certain degree, more compassionate while governments and various other intelligence organizations are trying to, you know, go after and diminish the capabilities of these various terrorist entities.
HOLMES: Great analysis there. Arwa Damon in Istanbul, appreciate it. Thanks, Arwa.
All right, now, this is the first 9/11 anniversary with no troops in Afghanistan. The Taliban, once again, of course, control the country, just as they did 20 years ago. Our Nic Robertson was in Kabul when the terrorist attacks kicked off America's longest war. He looks now at the conflict's legacy and the threat that remains.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR (voice-over): Behind the Taliban's newly painted, huge flag, America's Kabul embassy inside of the grounds, buried under a plug, debris, from New York's twin Trade Center towers.
Ten years, ago America's then ambassador, Ryan Crocker, who had overseen the memorial on his first tour, told me it was there so future diplomats would remember what triggered U.S. involvement in Afghanistan.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nic, what do you have for us at this point?
ROBERTSON: We just had an impact, perhaps a few miles away.
ROBERTSON (voice-over): I was in Kabul during the 9/11 attacks. Each major anniversary, I analyze the intervening years. This was 10 years ago.
ROBERTSON: There are no signs yet of serious contact between the Afghan government and the Taliban. And, it could be that the Taliban will wait out the foreign presence here.
Crocker wanted the talks but doubted that the Taliban would negotiate in good faith.
RYAN CROCKER, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO IRAQ: Our permanent guarantee --
ROBERTSON (voice-over): Crocker wanted the talks but doubted the Taliban would negotiate in good faith.
CROCKER: Their goal is, rather simply, to re-Talibanize Afghanistan to retake the country. And, if they do, then Al Qaeda is going to be back in here. The only reason Al Qaeda isn't here now, is because we are.
ROBERTSON (voice-over): Fast forward to today: 20 years of foreign policy fears, realized; American troops and diplomats, gone. The Taliban, ousting the U.S.-backed government, capturing much of the inventory of the Afghan army the U.S. helped build, proudly, showing off warehouses, loaded with weapons.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Look, these boxes are full, all new, unused.
ROBERTSON (voice-over): More, much more than the Taliban ever had before.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking foreign language).
ROBERTSON (voice-over): The new Taliban government, as uncompromising as the one that America ousted after the 9/11 attacks, their newly appointed, powerful interior minister, Sarajuddin Haqqani, has a $10 million FBI bounty on his head for ties to terrorism and Al Qaeda.
In 2020, they promised not to fight for power but to negotiate in good faith, promised Al Qaeda won't use Afghanistan again to attack the U.S. Now there is another, potentially more dangerous enemy, rooted in Afghanistan: ISIS.
ROBERTSON: We drove this road to Kabul just a few days before Al Qaeda's attack on September the 11th. Al Qaeda was in the mountains, over there in Tora Bora. Today, it is ISIS that is a bigger threat here.
ROBERTSON (voice-over): The roads are in better condition now, thanks, in good part, to American tax dollars; the towns, brighter, better developed, more prosperous, all, a positive part of the legacy of America's longest war.
ROBERTSON: But here is the hard reality. Because of years of evolving and, often, intertwined agendas and alliances with Al Qaeda and similar groups at a grassroots, fighter level, if the Taliban tries to crack down on their former brothers in arms, they could face pushback, even division, in their own ranks.
ROBERTSON (voice-over): Right after the 9/11 attacks, we asked Kabul residents, what would happen if U.S. forces came? "The result of Russian aggression was the breaking of Russia into 16 countries," this old man says, remembering the 1980 Soviet occupation.
"If America attacks us, Allah will divide America into 52 pieces."
Back then, it seemed inconceivable America could fail; 20 years later, the Taliban's writing outside the embassy wall, in effect, claims exactly that. The conditions, a possible pariah government, a potential failing economy, point to trouble ahead and fragile guarantees, at best, that it will not reach America shores again -- Nic Robertson, CNN, Kabul, Afghanistan.
HOLMES: And as we, know 20 years after 9/11, Afghanistan once again firmly under Taliban rule, for now. Militants carrying guns while patrolling streets, as more hard-earned rights of Afghan women seem to vanish by the day.
On Friday, the Taliban-controlled finance ministry ordered female employees not to return to work, until a, quote, "suitable work environment" is arranged. And, a Taliban spokesman incredibly told TOLOnews that the role of women is restricted to giving birth.
Also on Friday, a Qatar Airways flight landed in Doha, after taking off from Kabul airport, with scores of people on board. It is the second such charter flight caring foreign nationals from Afghanistan, since the U.S.-led evacuation ended last month.
When we come back here, on CNN NEWSROOM, battling vaccine skepticism, a recent gamble by the French president paid off.
So what could the U.S. learn from Emmanuel Macron's approach?
Also, we are tracking two cyclones making their way toward East Asia. The latest from the CNN Weather Center in a live report.
HOLMES: France's former health minister is being formally investigated over her handling of the coronavirus pandemic's early days. Prosecutors say Agnes Buzyn put the lives of others at risk. She stepped down, as health minister, in February 2020, to run in the Paris mayoral election.
Despite the recent success of the country's vaccine rollout, more than 115,000 people in France have died from the virus.
France is among the list of European countries to ban most unvaccinated Americans from entering. Yet much like Joe Biden, the French president, Emmanuel Macron, has struggled with vaccine skepticism. But a recent gamble by Mr. Macron appears to have paid off. CNN's Melissa Bell explains.
EMMANUEL MACRON, PRESIDENT OF FRANCE (through translator): (Speaking French).
MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was the push back in July that made all of the difference.
MACRON (through translator): We are extending the use of the health pass to push as many of you as possible to go and get vaccinated.
BELL (voice-over): Within 24 hours, almost 1 million appointments had been booked with a health pass, which shows whether you have been vaccinated or have had a PCR test within 72 hours, suddenly needed to enter restaurants, museums, cafes and bars and now extended to employees of any business serving the public.
ANAIS MAJDOUBI, FULLY VACCINATED WORKER: They say do you have the choice but you don't really. It's either you get vaccinated or you pay for your tests. So it is a trivial choice.
BELL (voice-over): Anais says she wasn't going to get vaccinated, like 60 percent of those polled during France's second lockdown in December. For a long time, the United States was ahead of France in terms of the proportion of the population that had received at least one dose.
Then in July, Macron took a gamble. Just as vaccination centers were emptying as vaccine hesitancy kicked in. And French hospitals were being overwhelmed by the Delta variant.
BRUNO CAUTRES, SCIENCES PO: They took the risk to say I will make the life of the non-vaccinated very difficult, which is very, very, very dangerous statement.
BELL (voice-over): Protests followed by one of the biggest came on July 31st, just a couple of weeks after Macron made his speech. Across France, 204,000 people took to the streets according to the interior ministry. But for all the noise that very same day, more than double the number of people required to be getting an injection.
The reason says this French lawmaker that most people understood that the alternative was yet another lockdown.
MONIQUE IBORRA, FRENCH LAWMAKER: It was saying to the French, she says that if you're vaccinated, you can live like you're used to this health pass will give you your freedom back.
BELL (voice-over): Now France has one of the best vaccination rates in the world over 62 percent. And despite the spread of the Delta variant, hospital admissions have gone down.
DR. CATHERINE HILL, EPIDEMIOLOGIST: The Delta variant goes faster. [02:20:00]
HILL (from captions): But enough people are vaccinated to sort of balance between being more contagious and meeting more people who are immunized.
BELL (voice-over): Macron's gamble depended on his being able to act at a national level with strong executive powers and a solid parliamentary majority, none of which Joe Biden has on his side.
But the French model does show that with some encouragement, even the vaccine hesitant, can be convinced that in the extraordinary circumstances of a pandemic, individual liberties must end where collective responsibility begins -- Melissa Bell, CNN, Paris.
HOLMES: Vietnam and Taiwan are bracing themselves. Twin cyclones forecast to make landfall this weekend. One of them is a supertyphoon, one of the strongest storms of the year, in fact.
HOLMES: A quick break on the program, when we come back on CNN NEWSROOM, Novak Djokovic just one win away from history. How the Serbian tennis star may soon accomplish a feat not done in more than 50 years.
Plus, the women's final just hours away, featuring two teenage sensations. A preview of their Cinderella championship -- up next.
HOLMES: Novak Djokovic is just one win away from a record-breaking 21st grand slam men's title.
HOLMES: The Serbian beat Alexander Zverev of Germany in five sets on Friday, to reach the finals of the U.S. Open. Should Djokovic beat the other finalist, Daniil Medvedev of Russia on Sunday, the world number one would accomplish the extremely rare calendar grand slam, winning the Australian Open, the French Open, Wimbledon and U.S. Open in the same calendar year.
No one has done that since Rod Laver in 1969 -- an Australian, I should point out.
Now as for the women's final on Saturday, it is the Cinderella battle of two teenage sensations: 19-year-old Leylah Fernandez of Canada takes on 18-year-old Emma Raducanu, who plays for Great Britain, where she was raised and grew up. But she was born in Canada, too. CNN's Paula Newton has more on all that make-believe pride.
PAULA NEWTON, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On the U.S. Open courts, cool Canada is on fire. The newest unlikely heroes on hard court are inspiring fans back home and beyond.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I'm very proud of Dan (ph).
NEWTON (voice-over): First to 19 year-old Leylah Fernandez, an unseeded finalist, virtually unknown, embedded now in many hearts in her northern homeland. The Canadian prime minister tweeted that he caught some of her semifinal match just before he took the stage in a national political debate.
Basketball Hall of Famer and fellow Canadian Steve Nash cheered from her players' box and heaped praise.
Magic Johnson called her "captivating."
CHRISTINE BRENNAN, CNN SPORTS ANALYST: She just turned 19 years old, a fresh face, who was just able to pull out victories, not necessarily with power but with guile, with brains, with strategy and it's just absolutely delightful to watch.
NEWTON (voice-over): And yet there are more stunners from Canada. Yes, Canada: 21-year-old Felix Auger-Aliassime, gutsy, composed, making it all the way to the semis.
He and Fernandez are all-Canadian kids, both the children of immigrants and now symbols of the striving can-do attitude that's becoming Brand Canada.
Fernandez's mother is a Filipino Canadian and Jorge Fernandez, a former soccer player and an immigrant from Ecuador, is Leylah's father and coach.
JORGE FERNANDEZ, LEYLAH'S FATHER: There is no magical formula. I've always been a very, very demanding and tough coach. So whenever we lose, we get back to work really hard. That's just a traditional thing, an old-school thing.
NEWTON (voice-over): But for Canada, this is a new thing. The tennis pedigree has been notable but not like this. Canada's third semifinalist in the U.S. Open is Gaby Dabrowski, who, with Brazilian partner Luisa Stefani, reached the final four in women's doubles.
Yes. British phenomenon Emma Raducanu and Fernandez's championship opponent was born in Canada. Even ahead of the U.S. Open, had to confess --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You won't tell anyone I'm Canadian, right?
NEWTON (voice-over): As the cliche goes, there must be something in the water up there.
Fernandez shot back, "It's the maple syrup."
Whatever the secret, there's a new spirit to tennis, from an unlikely cool place -- Paula Newton, CNN, Ottawa.
HOLMES: Twenty years of war and an ever-changing fight against terror, we'll take a look after the 9/11 attacks and how they've shaped the world. That's coming up after the break.
HOLMES: Welcome back.
Today, September 11, is the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks. A somber occasion, of course, that still evokes deep emotion, as official observances get underway in the hours ahead.
President Biden and the first lady will visit all 3 sites on Saturday, to pay their respects to the nearly 3,000 people who died that day. Most of those victims were Americans but several hundred were from countries all over the world, 90 countries.
The anniversary also coincides with the end of America's 20-year war in Afghanistan that followed the attacks. Even before the last American troops left, the Taliban had already swept back into the capital.
Now the terror attacks and American's response have left a complex legacy that is still unfolding today. To help us put it all into perspective, our Richard Quest, Nima Elbagir and Nick Paton Walsh traveled to a 9/11 exhibit in London, to share their insights.
NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The sense that the world stood still.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN HOST (voice-over): To see it now, to think of what they did, it's -- you can't put it into words.
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR (voice-over): I don't think we knew then, it was going to shape the next two decades.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): A plane has crashed into one of the towers of the World Trade Center. QUEST (voice-over): You cannot overstate the very idea of hitting
capitalism right at its heart: Wall Street, the World Trade Center, destroying those Twin Towers that were such symbols of what we stood for.
ELBAGIR: I remember what we did, I remember watching it for hours and hours, with a group of friends. And it was an Arab American friend who said it first.
"I hope this isn't us. I hope this isn't a Muslim or an Arab."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The United States will hunt down and punish those responsible for these cowardly acts.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Fugitive Saudi accused terrorist Osama bin Laden's group is at the top at their list of their suspects.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST (voice-over): The view was, never again. Intelligence was vital. A completely new architecture of security would have to be introduced. That architecture would include no-fly lists.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are your security questions answered? Please answer yes or no.
QUEST (voice-over): It would include knowing who was flying, not just searching them, background checks.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ELBAGIR: It was a moment where Muslims and Arabs around the world and in America were immediately altered. I felt this, that every day, every interaction with someone was a test.
And if you are a good Muslim, then you understand why you need to be harassed, why you need to be discriminated against by law enforcement, why you are the one who is going to be pulled out of the queue.
Islamophobia absolutely is a legacy of 9/11, that we are owed being able to question people, based on their religion or their ethnicity, because of this horror that was inflicted upon us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUSH: The people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon.
(END VIDEO CLIP) WALSH: To go to war against terrorism was the big Bush decision.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUSH: Our war on terror begins with Al Qaeda. But it does not end there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALSH: They immediately invaded Afghanistan but then embarked on an open-ended, nation-building campaign, which was ultimately totally and utterly flawed. And then of course, randomly afterwards, they seemed quite obsessed with Iraq.
They seemed to feel that authoritarian societies are something extremely simple, that they can suddenly walk in and give everybody a vote and they would all be happy.
ELBAGIR: This idea of American exceptionalism and American moral superiority was taken for granted.
What 9/11 did and the wars and the drone strikes without any accountability, the fact that Guantanamo Bay is still open, it eroded, more effectively, this idea of America's moral standing, better than bin Laden or any of the Islamist extremist groups could have ever done, in their recruitment.
WALSH: If bin Laden was alive, he would probably think he had won because, when he started out, jihadist extremism was a comparably smaller thing. The war against terrorism has just led to yet more terrorism: Philippine franchises of ISIS, they are spreading in Africa.
It is very difficult to rewrite history but I do wonder whether or not a smaller response by the United States to this would have been greater in the long-term benefit.
HOLMES: CNN national security analyst, Juliette Kayyem joins me now, she is also former assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
It is great to have you, in particular, at a time like, this. Juliette The U.S., of course, went to war in Afghanistan post 9/11, to remove Al Qaeda and the Taliban. Here we are, exactly 20 years later, the Taliban is back in charge; Al Qaeda is there, too.
What was achieved?
You can argue there hasn't been a 9/11 since but there have been other anti-Western terror attacks around the world. What has been achieved?
JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: So I think it is important that we don't try to lump the 20 years into a single narrative because I do think that some things were achieved early on, that sort of maintained themselves over the decades.
The war in Afghanistan started off as a very discrete war against terror. It was a war about counter-terrorism. And that was relatively successful; in other words, the disruption of Al Qaeda, bin Laden is on the run.
At the same time, we are building up Homeland Security defenses here in the United States and throughout Western Europe. It does not mean that the threat doesn't exist. It just means that the consequences can be managed. So you did see other terror attacks.
But they weren't of the extent of 9/11. What happened in Afghanistan were two things. One was Iraq, which like the narrative about the Iraq or the lack of it right now is just odd, right?
It clearly diverted resources, attention and unity. And the other is that, at some stage, the American government decided to turn the war in Afghanistan into one about counterinsurgency and nation building. And that was doomed to failure the moment I think that mission was devised.
HOLMES: Yes, and certainly the diversion of resources to Iraq from Afghanistan had a profound effect.
I'm curious, from -- with your mantle, in both the security sense but also in a national psyche sense, what did 9/11 do to America?
What to you were the more profound impacts?
KAYYEM: I think, in a way, I think for people who were adults on 9/11, I think it exposed a vulnerability that we had never imagined. I mean, those of us who were of a certain age -- 20, 30 or 40 -- we had experienced the end of the Cold War. We were reading books called "The End of History," right?
We won. And the notion of American exceptionalism stood out as sort of that we are special. And I think this 9/11 showed our vulnerabilities. To our children, if you look in polling and people born after 9/11, this notion of American exceptionalism does not exist anymore.
They have lived through wars and financial crises; they don't view us as special in that way. And I think that is going to have, I don't think it is necessarily bad; I think it is just a generational shift.
And when the younger generation is in leadership, it will be interesting to see how it plays out. So I think there is a lot of different consequences for the American psyche.
HOLMES: Yes. It is interesting, I think, that the intel community, today, says the biggest threat to the U.S. homeland is domestic terror, right-wing groups and so on, rather than the international terror groups we commonly think of.
KAYYEM: That is exactly. Right and to me part of that is they are not necessarily separate. What we have studied in the white supremacist groups, is obviously they are learning tactics and they're learning skills. And that actually is good in the sense that the U.S. and other allies need to use the tools of counterterrorism to disrupt these groups.
KAYYEM: But I do think that the sort of radicalization of the post 9/11 world, the us versus them, the vilification of Arab and Muslim groups, like I am Arab American, the sort of xenophobia against immigrants, right?
This sort of had -- it was part of the flavor of post 9/11 United States. That just grew into a tidal wave that we have seen over the last two decades. And how we stop it is the challenge we are having in the United States right now, throughout Europe as well.
HOLMES: You know, I guess the term "war on terror" was birthed by 9/11 and, in many ways, it has been going on for so long now.
Does a war like that ever end?
Or does it continue on indefinitely, in whatever form that takes?
KAYYEM: Right, the words, "war on terror," were sort of an easy shorthand. But if you ask me did it end, I would say it ended in December of 2001, when President Bush asked for military plans for the war in Iraq.
It was just clear that we were using 9/11 for something very, very different; essentially, for sort of our globalization war, essentially, is what happened over the 20 years.
So the very discrete effort against terrorists, which has to continue today, using drones and intelligence and law enforcement apparatus, is not a war. And we should not conceive of it as a war anymore.
And getting that sort of terminology out of our head may be one of the benefits 20 years later. War is very different than the kind of actions that we are going to see now. And war, the notion of war, excuses abuses or allows for abuses from Abu Ghraib to Guantanamo that should not be allowable in a democracy or in any civilized society.
So one hopes that we can move on from that and begin to just, you know, sort of treat the risks that we have, whether it is white supremacists or climate change or a pandemic as ones that the United States has to manage, with all the capabilities that it has.
HOLMES: Wise words, great analysis as always, Juliette Kayyem thank you so. Much
KAYYEM: Thank you. HOLMES: And joining CNN as we honor the victims of the 9/11 attacks,
our coverage starts at 8 am Eastern time, in the U.S. That is 1 in the afternoon in London, right here on CNN.
Thanks for spending part of your day with, me I am Michael Holmes, you can follow me on Twitter and Instagram @HolmesCNN. "MARKETPLACE AFRICA" starts after this short break.