Former President Bush compares US extremists to international terrorists
Violent extremists in the US and abroad are “children of the same evil spirit,” said former President George W. Bush in his speech on the 20th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks.
The former president gave a speech in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, recounting the heroism of the passengers and crew of Flight 93, which crashed into a field after passengers and crew fought the hijackers to prevent another attack.
In his speech, Bush compared domestic extremists with foreign terrorists who attacked the US 20 years ago.
“We have seen increasing evidence that the dangers to our country not only across borders, but can also come from violence that gathers there,” said Bush.
“There is little cultural overlap between violent extremists abroad and violent extremists domestically,” he continued.
The former president said domestic and foreign extremists share a “disdain for pluralism,” a “disregard for human life,” and a determination to defile national symbols that appear to be related to the Jan 6th Capitol insurrection.
The former president had previously said that the Capitol riot “made him sick to the stomach” and said that he was “still disturbed” for weeks after the riot.
Of the more than 500 people arrested in connection with the Capitol riot, dozens had ties to US extremist groups such as the Oathkeepers, Three Percenters and Proud Boys.
In his speech on Saturday, Bush also criticized the presence of cultural wars in US politics.
“When it comes to American unity, these days seem far from ours,” said Bush. “There seems to be a vicious violence at work in our lives together, turning any disagreement into a fight and every argument into a clash of cultures.”
Former President George HW Bush’s son said our policies had become “a bare appeal to anger, fear and resentment” and said he was concerned about our future.
The president said he remembered “millions” of Americans who died on a day of “trial and mourning” following the terrorist attacks on Sept.
“At a time when nativism could have generated hatred and violence against perceived outsiders, I have seen Americans welcome immigrants and refugees again,” said Bush. “This is the nation I know.”
In the speech, Bush also paid tribute to critics of the war on terror that he initiated.
“The military measures taken over the past 20 years to trace threats at their source have sparked debate, but one thing is certain, we owe an assurance to all who have fought our nation’s recent battles,” said Bush and praised the members of the military.
“The cause that you have pursued in duty is the noblest that America has to offer. You have protected your fellow citizens from danger,” said Bush. “You have defended your country’s beliefs and promoted the rights of the oppressed … we are grateful.”
Bush was criticized not only for his foreign policy in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, but also for his domestic policy, which, according to critics, has led to a series of measures over the years that have also made it possible to monitor innocent Americans.
Human rights groups like the American Civil Liberties Union have heavily criticized laws passed in the months and years after the attacks, such as the Patriot Act, which allowed the government to monitor telephone and email communications, banking records, and Internet activity.
Several federal agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Customs and Border Control were spawned from a sense of urgency created by the attacks.
The prosecution of journalists increased after the attacks. In 2013, Edward Snowden, a former National Security Agency contractor, leaked classified information to Wikileaks that shocked the nation and exposed widespread government surveillance of innocent Americans.
The US government continues to pursue legal action against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, a move condemned by human rights groups and even the United Nations.
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