IU South Bend Professor teaching 9/11 course reflects on the attack 20 years later

Published: Sep. 10, 2021 at 12:56 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 10, 2021 at 5:15 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) -Americans are reflecting on the tragic events that shocked our nation nearly twenty years ago.

A history professor at IUSB teaches a course called the origins and aftermath of 9/11.

16 News Now spoke with him to find out what the last two decades have taught us about our role in the Middle East and the rest of the world.

Some of these images are like a time capsule, sending people back to the exact place and time where they heard a plane crashed into the World Trade Center.

Ten years later, veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan had a simple question for IUSB professor Jonathan Nashel, ‘why’.

“After 9/11 occurred there were huge bureaucratic battles about US policy toward Iraq. We now know that within hours after 9/11 occurred, the Pentagon was already gearing up for war,” Nashel said.

Now two decades after the attacks, Nashel has a clearer picture of whether or not we were successful, and he’s teaching that to students who were too young to remember 9/11 or were not even born yet.

“I would think the United States now will be more insular in some ways. I think very much the United States has lost. I think the vast majority of people believe the United States should not have been in Afghanistan. I believe the exit as we all know was quite chaotic and it was quite tragic,” he said.

That exit happening over the past month as the Taliban regained control of Afghanistan.

“I am not terribly hopeful. What’s happening to the Afghan people is just utterly tragic. But you must understand that most of the Afghan society is rural and I think what’s going to happen in Kabul and other major cities will be very very harsh,” he said.

Even as time creates distance between us and that tragedy, the ripple effect continues to make waves here and abroad.

Staff members at IUSB are honoring those who’ve served by signing a banner and cards that will go to the Walter Reed Medical Center near Washington DC.

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