The former Polish ambassador to the United States, Ryszard Schnepf, spoke about the impact of the attack on the Word Trade Center on the present day and what the war on terrorism looks like today. – These 20 years have completely changed the world, changed the perspective of terrorism and current threats – he said. In his opinion, terrorism has not yet been defeated and will probably never be defeated, but countries are now more prepared to face it.
– There are two such moments in my memory, in which I was not sure if something was even further away: if it was the end at all or if there was still some future. The first was the introduction of martial law in Poland, and the second was the attack on the towers in New York. I had the impression that the world was ending. We know that it is not over, that we have come out of it and I think that these 20 years have completely changed the world, changed the perspective of terrorism and current threats. It was also released by forces that made this rivalry look completely different than it did 20 years ago, said Ryszard Schnepf, the guest of Saturday’s “Facts after Facts”.
Schnepf: The states are more prepared, but this is at the expense of our freedoms
He also addressed the question of whether terrorism had been defeated in those 20 years. – Certainly not completely and will never be defeated. There will always be forces motivated by various causes, not necessarily ideologically: revenge, the desire for fame to threaten others, and such events will take place. However, let us remember that the terrorist attacks in the United States killed far fewer people than at the hands of their own citizens, who simply used weapons for various very personal accounts.
According to the former ambassador, countries are now more prepared to face terrorism. However, he stipulated that “this is at the expense of our freedoms and privacy.” – This line is very fluid. How much can we – citizens – give back to the state in order to better secure our future against attacks, but at the same time not to deprive us of what is very human: protection of personal data, correspondence, our conversations, our privacy?
The host of “Facts after Facts” asked the visitor if he thought that the world by protecting itself against terrorism was not destroying its own freedom. – To some extent, yes, we destroy a bit ourselves, but defending what is fundamental – our security – balancing, finding some place in between, to divide the role of the state and the privacy of individuals, is extremely important, and I think we are more aware of it right now, defending our liberties – replied the diplomat.
Schnepf: It was a shock for the US
According to him, Joe Biden’s decision to Fr. the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan is right. – Over 70 percent of Americans supported this decision. Let us remember that it started under Donald Trump and was realized. How was it realized? That is another matter and support for this – some say – flight from Afghanistan is much lower and burdens the administration – but not the first – that has failed, Schnepf noted.
He added that before September 11, 2001, Americans “were sure that no force could attack them.” – Previously, there were only two such moments in history: 1812 (British-American war – ed.), And then the attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, but never this main territory of America was directly attacked. It was a shock for them. It was then that the Patriot Act was created, i.e. a set of authorizations for secret services to counter the migration movement, travelers, tourists and American citizens – reminded the ambassador.
And he pointed out that there was the consent of the citizens, because – as he said – “George W. Bush had 90 percent support for his actions.” – This is an absolute record in the history of the United States for a president, but it is when people feel threatened and revolve around power. The fact that the authorities may, in turn, use some real or perceived threats is up-to-date and we should be very careful about the situation, whether it is real, or whether it is an attempt to deprive us of our freedom – he concluded.
Main photo source: PAP / EPA / JUSTIN LANE