How 9/11 era and War on Terror weakened US politics and produced President Trump

Carrying signs, protesters head to the Pentagon as part of an anti-war march and rally in Washington, D.C., March 21, 2009. Photo by Rena Schild/Shutterstock.

KCRW has spent this week talking about the Taliban’s rapid takeover of the American-backed government in Afghanistan, and what the departure of U.S. troops means for Afghan people. 

The U.S. spent 20 years waging the War on Terror in Afghanistan, which eroded Americans’ confidence in our government. This war and the 9/11 era also enabled the presidential win by Donald Trump. That’s all according to Spencer Ackerman, national security reporter and author of “Reign of Terror: How the 9/11 Era Destabilized America and Produced Trump.” 

“The War on Terror isn't a departure from American history. The War on Terror is a doorway to American history, and in particular, to the most violent and the most racist aspects of American history. Then once that doorway is open, those currents stream outward toward taking power under the atmosphere of a righteous patriotic emergency,” says Ackerman.