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How America’s 9/11 Response Destroyed Trust in Institutions

In this episode of New Ideal Live, Onkar Ghate and Elan Journo discuss America’s failed response to 9/11 and some of its consequences, including the discrediting of American political and intellectual institutions, the proliferation of conspiracy fantasies, and the rise of “populism.”

Among the topics covered:

  • Why 9/11 was a turning point in American foreign policy and in the wider culture;
  • How ARI’s analysis of 9/11 and America’s military response differs from mainstream analyses;
  • Government institutions’ evasion of the nature of the Islamic totalitarianism movement that caused 9/11;
  • How this evasion led to the deaths of American troops deployed to help create new Middle Eastern governments that empowered Islamists;
  • How the evasive response to 9/11 discredited political institutions, the media, and the universities in the eyes of many Americans;
  • How the post-9/11 climate of evasion mainstreamed conspiracy fantasies and unjustified skepticism of America’s military capabilities;
  • How the 2008 financial crisis and subsequent bailouts further discredited the government, the media, and the universities;
  • How the “populist” view of “elites” as the enemy was fueled by the financial crisis and the handling of the Covid-19 pandemic;
  • Why the root of the problem is the failure to uphold America’s founding ideals.

Mentioned in this podcast are Journo’s article “Carter, Reagan, Bush and Clinton Paved the Road to 9/11” and the book Failing to Confront Islamic Totalitarianism, edited by Ghate and Journo.

The podcast was recorded on September 7, 2022. Listen to the discussion below. Listen and subscribe from your mobile device on Apple PodcastsGoogle Podcasts, Spotify or Stitcher. Watch archived podcasts here.

Podcast audio:


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Sam Weaver

Sam Weaver, BA in English, is an associate fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute and a recipient of the Conceptual Education Fellowship.

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