On the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attack on New York's World Trade Centre, US presidents past and present stood up to remind the world of how the US had, in retaliation, launched a "war against terror" to "keep the West safe".
They even dared to claim a "safe" world had been achieved, since the figure behind the attack, Osama bin Laden, was killed - never mind that it was only in 2011, 10 years after they'd already bombed Afghanistan and its Taliban rulers back into the Dark Ages. And he wasn't even in Afghanistan by then, but in Pakistan....
The number of Afghan civilians killed in this revenge war is uncounted. As the Independent newspaper writes "the US has avenged these innocents [2,977 were killed on 9/11] many hundreds of times over"; the Afghan dead who have actually been accounted for, apparently number over 360,000.
As for "safe" world, well, today the Taliban are right back where they were 20 years ago. The "terror threat", remains as imminent and unpredictable as ever. And it will remain so, as long as the rich countries continue to exploit, threaten, sanction and embargo the poor. The horrific truth of the suicide bomb is that it is the weapon of the weaponless.
Let no-one forget that terrorists remain the creation of the West's Dr Frankenstein-politicians. In asserting their world order they've never had any qualms about using monstrous means themselves. Nor do they bother about the consequences of their actions on the poor populations of the countries they attack and whose leaders they manipulate to their own ends. The chaos they left in Kabul says it all. It's justified in a moral cloak which hides the real and nefarious interests of imperialist capital.
And yet the "revenge" against Afghanistan continues: assets belonging to the bankrupt Afghan state - apparently $9bn - are withheld in New York. Worse, even humanitarian aid has been stopped. This means that the Afghan poor face the terror of starvation. The sick are dying for lack of simple drugs and up and down the country children suffer acute malnutrition. It might be a leap in reasoning to use the analogy of vaccines against Covid-19, but the hypocrisy of world leaders is the same: they preach that "nobody is safe until everyone is safe", but for the rich countries' politicians, safety begins at home. The terrible aftermath of 9/11 has taught them nothing.