America’s past and present became entangled on Saturday, September 11, during the commemoration ceremonies for the attacks committed twenty years ago by Al-Qaida. At the sites of the attacks, the United States paid a moving and dignified tribute to the thousands of missing. But the country also mourned a lost unit and wondered, hollow, about the meaning of its commitments during these decades of illusions, disappointments and denial, eleven days after the complete military withdrawal from Afghanistan.

“Is America safer today than twenty years ago? “ This question, asked repeatedly by TV presenters to their guests, never elicited a clear-cut and optimistic answer.

Joe Biden did not deliver a solemn speech on this Saturday of meditation, giving priority to the images and testimonies of the anonymous, to the names shelled and to the songs which rose. He went to the three sites concerned by the commemorations, in a black mask, accompanied by his wife Jill: first in Manhattan, in New York, then in the flowering fields of Shanksville (Pennsylvania), where the plane d ‘United Airlines 93 had crashed due to resistance from passengers and, finally, to the Pentagon in the afternoon.

The president has broadcast a tweet. “We never forget. We never forget the children who grew up without parents. Parents who suffered without children. Husbands and wives who had to move on without their partner. Brothers, sisters, loved ones. “ The black and white photo accompanying this message showed the meditation of three presidents side by side in New York, with their wives: Bill Clinton, Barack Obama and Joe Biden.

George W. Bush “without explanations or solutions”

For his part, Donald Trump organized his own program, including visiting a New York police station. Long insisted on the “Gross incompetence” of the Biden administration during the withdrawal from Afghanistan, and in particular the abandonment, in the hands of the Taliban, of military equipment “Which I bought most of”, he said. “I think you are going to be very happy”, replied the former head of state to a police officer, questioning him about a new candidacy for the presidential election.

On Saturday, during his visit to Pennsylvania, Joe Biden spoke briefly to reporters, responding for the umpteenth time to criticism of the confused withdrawal from Afghanistan. “Can Al-Qaida come back? Yeah, but guess what? He’s already back in other places. What is the strategy? Invade every place where Al-Qaida is located and deploy troops there? “, asked the president. “There are a lot of autocrats who really think that democracy cannot work in the XXIe century, he continued, referring to his telephone interview this week with Chinese President Xi Jinping. This is not a joke. Because the world is changing so quickly and people are so divided, they think they cannot be brought together for consensus. ”

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